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#267259 - 12/15/08 10:45 AM Sexuality and self esteem
nonchalant Offline


Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Northern Ireland, UK
Can anyone relate to a sense of 'when i feel good about myself i feel heterosexual, but when i feel bad about myself i feel like i must be gay' ?

In no way am i suggesting that all homosexuals have terrible self esteem or whatever, but i'm starting to believe i may well be bisexual with the homosexual side of things simply a product of terribly low self esteem



Edited by nonchalant (12/15/08 10:46 AM)

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#267267 - 12/15/08 12:16 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: nonchalant]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Yeah, I get that a lot. Whenever I'm not depressed I feel fine, but if anything happens and I crash or go into a depression it's like I just start ruminating on stuff like "oh god, what if I'm really gay? What does that mean for me? I don't want to be gay, but I'm afraid I might be..."etc. It's not a fun time at all.


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#267270 - 12/15/08 12:42 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: AndyS87]
Marinan Offline
Guest

Registered: 07/03/07
Posts: 329
If I mention that, I might get a PM from the mod-team. lol


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#267276 - 12/15/08 01:14 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: Marinan]
wes-b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 438
Loc: Western, Canada
not an uncommon thought/feeling for male survivors whose abuser(s) was(were) male. I lived the lions share of my life with that fear --my family of origin was very homo-phobic-- and when I was down tired or feeling overwhelmed I would slide into depression and part of that was always questioning my sexual orientation... Joe Kort has some great insight to this on http://www.straightguise.com/ his principle site http://www.joekort.com/default.htm has other valuable information.

Funny --the sad and disturbing type of funny-- that a family with male on male incest would be homo-phobic :-\ There was soo much hate and rage I feel blessed that recovery has allowed me to become loving, tolerant, and forgiving.

Wes

P.S. Nonchalant, whatever you find your sexual identity to be I pray that you love and accept yourself as a beautiful perfect being.



Edited by wes-b (12/17/08 10:58 AM)
Edit Reason: oops... had tp change an "of" to an "or"
_________________________
Happy to be a recovering survivor. :-)

Continuing to meet more of my fellows as I "Trudge the Road of Happy Destiny".

My Story, 1st pass

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#267294 - 12/15/08 03:01 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: wes-b]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1959
Unbelievable timing for me to have this thread here. I get that all the time. When I am feeling good then it is no big deal, but if I get depressed then the insecurities and doubts about my sexuality creep in along with all sorts of other anxieties. In fact I'm feeling it today. I don't like the feeling, but I'm glad to have found this thread and to have found out I am not the only one that goes through this. Wes, thanks for the links. Thanks for posting this topic Nonchalant.

Eric


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#267302 - 12/15/08 03:39 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: ericc]
nonchalant Offline


Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Northern Ireland, UK
Just been something i've been thinking about lately

It seems that when i'm feeling good i am affirmed in my heterosexuality. For example, if i'm having a particularly good day i am able to see myself as a man who is able to attract women, look after women, make love to women etc

When i'm down, depressed, or confused i feel like i could never be straight. I feel like i would be better off with a 'strong man' to protect me rather than me protecting a woman. I feel like no woman could ever be happy with me because i'm not manly enough. I feel like i must be denial somehow, and how i'm only unhappy because i haven't come to terms with my homosexuality


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#267317 - 12/15/08 06:05 PM ... [Re: nonchalant]
St3v3n Offline


Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 102
...


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#267527 - 12/17/08 08:58 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: St3v3n]
Juni Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 12/10/08
Posts: 502
Loc: Florida, WPB
Wow!
I know exactly what all of you are talking about. When I am feeling depressed or feeling baddly everything seems to change as apposed to feeling well and up-beat.

This observation seems to point-out that it may be just a temporary condition based on momentary feelings. Someone out there may have more concrete information that may confirm this.

_________________________
Today I'm O.K.
One day at a time I make the journey.

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#267534 - 12/17/08 10:23 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: Juni]
piperlime Offline
New Here

Registered: 04/01/08
Posts: 4
Loc: Metro NY
OMG

This goes to the core of my problems. My T has asked me time and again "how are you feeling when these feelings of SSA come up?" Most of the time I get pissed off and say "I feel like I'm GAY, what do you expect?"

But, now I see what he (T) means. When I doubt (which I do ALL day, all the time) I doubt EVERYTHING.

This is really good to think about. Thanks


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#267538 - 12/17/08 11:29 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: piperlime]
trb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/16/08
Posts: 16
Loc: Tulsa Oklahoma metro area
Man!

This is a great thread. When I am not physically feeling good and/or my self-esteem is low my thoughts are 110% strictly gay and I have unfortunaly been know to act unappropriatly as a result.

Otherwise I am a married father of 2 grown kids and a grandfather of a lovely little 1 year old grandaughter, who loves his family imensly and in all other ways is 100% heterosexual - which today I know is not the case.

My CSA was my aunt which started at about 2 or 3 years old and ended when I was around 11 or so.

My family was homophobic in that sort of love the sinner hate the sin type way, while making it very clear to me that I wasn't that type and that since I was the last male heir I needed to produce one to keep the line going .... I did as well as a wonderful daughter.

Today however I wonder if that st8 component of me is real to any degree and maybe just maybe I really am gay and as for bi I just cringe at the thought of being attracted to both but having to live with just one resulting in a feeling stuck in a marriage while having all these thoughts of men and the knowledge that in the past I acted on those thoughts but there was never any long term relief of course there was never any real relationship on that side either (another whole long story).

Couple that with fears about being gay and the resulting pain for the family and disolving of it as it now stands and I just remain stuck!

I guess I wrote more than I inteeded - sorry for the length of this post guess I had stuff on the mind.

Thanks for this thread.

TRB

_________________________
Hanging in there One Day at a Time
RB (trb)

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#267606 - 12/17/08 11:07 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: trb]
Bewlayb1 Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 241
Loc: NYC
There are some sentiments in your post which can be interpreted as offensive. High self esteem makes you straight. Low self esteem makes you gay. Yet, I know what you're saying. Sometimes, I think I can marry a woman, and have the family I've always wanted. Sometimes, I doubt I'll ever be successful enough, or confident enough to create the ideal future I envision for myself. It's not exactly that I resort to being gay because I don't think I'm worthy of a woman. It's more like, I can't handle the responsibility of being a husband and father. Again, one can be a gay husband and father, but when I think of loving a woman, I think family, stability, forever.

Obviously, my thoughts are very convoluted regarding sexuality. One minute I'll think in stereotypes, the next I'll lash out against them. One day I'm certain I'll never sleep with a man again, the next I'll be infatuated with a new guy. My brother, who's straight, make jokes about it. When I see him, he always asks: "So, are you gay, or straight this week?"

Just a few days ago, I was thinking about a man I met who flirted with me. I was attracted to him: it was instinctive, sexual. I compared him to a woman in my office who I've been getting closer to. My feelings for her were less overwhelming, but I felt as if I would be happier with her. She's sweet, kind, maternal towards me. I feel safer with her. It seems less fleeting. I've accepted that I am bisexual. Where that will lead me, I have no idea.

Anyway, I have a theory about the self-esteem issue. Maybe you just feel gay some days and some days you feel straight. One day you'll like a guy. One day you'll like a girl. You're self-loathing doesn't lead to feelings of homosexuality. Rather, the abuse you experienced causes you to feel shame and despair from your urges. You think you're doing something wrong. You're correlating it to the horrific trauma you endured. I'm not suggesting you should be gay. But it's possible that abuse didn't make you gay, it made you not able to be gay. That's how I feel it is with me. I, for one, don't think I'll overcome the shame and guilt I feel with men.

Regardless, it doesn't matter who you would have been. All that matters is what you want now: only you can decide that.


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#267697 - 12/18/08 11:54 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: Bewlayb1]
trb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/16/08
Posts: 16
Loc: Tulsa Oklahoma metro area
Bewlayb1

I certianly didn't mean to be offense in anyway and I appologize if I was. I don't think for a second that my abuse set my sexuality, however it did in my mind cause a great amount of confusion and all the rest.

I don't have any answers just alot of questions. Again I am sorry if my post was in any way offense.

_________________________
Hanging in there One Day at a Time
RB (trb)

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#267701 - 12/18/08 12:15 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: trb]
petercorbett Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2433
Loc: TEXAS
Hi, to all my Brothers/Friends in recovery from a old boy who still has low self-esteem. I believe that just about all of us in this web site, and on this page inparticullar, have gone through this question. But I had my doubts also. However anyone whom has any question on their sexuality, I, Me, AKA as Irishmoose, will ACCEPT YOU, without question for just WHO YOU ARE. I invite you to read my part #1 of Little Pete and Big Pete's 69 year journey. And inparticular the part about the dog. Talk about low/no self-esteem. In part #2 I will get into my homosexual affair. Heal well my Brothers/Friends.
Pete (Irishmoose)



Edited by petercorbett (12/18/08 12:16 PM)
_________________________
Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
____________________________________________________________
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.


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#267710 - 12/18/08 12:45 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: petercorbett]
nonchalant Offline


Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Northern Ireland, UK
If the offensive remark was directed at the thread as a whole, i did set out in my first post that in no way wanted to make out like i believe homosexuality is caused by low self esteem

But no matter what the masses may claim, there are men like myself who know we were not "born gay" (how could i have been when i am 23 years old and have never had a romantic thought about a man or a crush on one in my entire life?) but we can appreciate some homosexual (strictly sexual) desire within us. To people like myself, obsessions about whether or not we are simply in denial is commonplace, and it seems that low self esteem is one of the biggest factors in making the person believe they must be gay. This is entirely different to someone who knows they are gay and loses all self esteem because of it





Edited by nonchalant (12/18/08 12:46 PM)

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#267738 - 12/18/08 03:53 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: nonchalant]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
i admit it! i ping-ponged!

i got married in 1977 because at the time, i lived out of the belief that homosexuality was choice, and i all i had do was simply make a committment to my 'choice'. [my ex-wife knew at the time that i had a prior history of 'choosing male partners', and that i had been abused and raped....but she never suspected for a moment that she herself was 'a choice']. yuk i hate myself for that!

anyway, after we split up following 8 years of reconfirming the 'choice' and 3 kids later [how the hell did that happen?].

and i spent 6 years in recovery and working toward accepting my orientation to other males. had a couple flings, got involved in the gay sub-culture as a drag performer and cocktail pianist, dj, etc yadayadayada..... and eventually got bored, and began to think......well, i must be bi, because i had been married previously, and thought that i now had an evolved perspective about my sexuality, and made the 'choice' to become partners with another woman.

yuk! that was not right!

what i finally started to see for myself was that when i got bored or lonely, i had a tendency to vascillate back and forth between males and females.

once i realized that, i put a stop to it, and finally came to accept that i love the male energy and need to be close to it.

and no, i did not miss out on it in the formative years.... i was one of 6 brothers. we had 2 sisters, and plenty of male cousins also.

as it turns out, the gay gene is pretty prominent in my family. my two daughters are in relationships with other people who also have female genitalia, and my daughter sarah teaches at berkeley while completing her phd in gender studies.

alsoone of my brothers is gay [he is one who had been unaffected by my older brothers abuse], and two other siblings who had been molested both have participated in relationships of both sexes/genders.

but, yes, i vascillated in times of loneliness and boredom.

but those days are long gone, 'cause i finally admitted to myself.... i can't stand the smell of fish!

sorry, no textbook answers here! LOL

ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#267752 - 12/18/08 04:27 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: Sans Logos]
trb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/16/08
Posts: 16
Loc: Tulsa Oklahoma metro area
Hey Ron,

I really don't care for fish either or tuna taco's for that matter. Seriously, though I do relate to that vascillating aspect although in my case I have stayed married, raised the two kids (and I do know how that happened!)through it all, but today I am just so tired of not feeling right that however things turn out I think I am now ready to start to moving down a path that unfortunately is quite likely to generate a lot of emotion in it and OH do I HATE dealing with emotions mine and others.

Gay or Bi I don't know all I can rule out today is str8 I guess and that is a problem for me in a managomous relationship with my wife. She has a perfect right to expect it but OMG is it so not what my head tells me.

I guess all I can say is like you said Ron in the begining 33 years ago (in my case) I made my wife a choice and that wasn't right but now I have to figure out what is right for me and then face it stright up and honestly.

Praying for the stenght to do it no mater what it is.

_________________________
Hanging in there One Day at a Time
RB (trb)

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#267775 - 12/18/08 07:56 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: trb]
Bewlayb1 Offline
Guest

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 241
Loc: NYC
Hi. I think I should have worded my post differently. I wasn't offended. Someone uses the word "offend" with a sensitive topic like this and it's bound to be misinterpreted.

I just think it's wrong to suggest feelings of low self-esteem lead to questioning one's sexuality. Not morally wrong: it just doesn't make sense. Desire is one thing. Self-loathing is another. I hate to put it coarsely, but say, everyone has made fun of you your whole life and your parents didn't care about you. Will that cause you to get an erection when you stare at a naked man? I don't believe so.

Now, I'm probably being offensive. When I read some of these posts, I recall a friend I had in college. He was kind of effeminate, but he was very defensive about being straight. Over time, he opened up about his homosexual feelings. He once playfully kissed me at a party. (I didn't kiss back.) Senior year, he experimented with another guy. Yet, he would always provide reasons for his behavior. His favorite was that he was called gay all throughout school, so it somehow damaged his self-esteem. People can justify anything. They'll go to any length not to see what they don't want to.

Add a history of sexual abuse, and it's damn near impossible to navigate through the self-delusions. Yet, last time I heard, my college friend had a girlfriend, and was happy with her. Who am I, or anyone, to say he should be gay? I've tried being gay, and it's left me hollow and disillusioned. Maybe he's lying to himself. But so what? We all lie to ourselves. Maybe his life will be better for it.

As for me, I have no desire for gay sex. Does the fact that I'd rather be in a caring, platonic relationship with a man make me more "gay" than someone who only wants men to get off sexually? Despite the fact that he refused to admit he was gay, wasn't my friend in college actually "gayer" than I was? Who knows. I empathize with someone who doesn't want to be referred to as gay, because I don't like it either. It's not accurate. I don't feel lust, or, if I do, it's overpowered by my dread and unease.

I'm trying not to fixate on labeling myself. Call me gay, call me bi, call me nothing: whatever. Instead of obsessing about the past and why I am who I am, I'm trying to determine what's better for me now. I can't undo my innate sexuality. I think concentrating on the present and the future is a better attitude. That's all I was trying to say.


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#267806 - 12/18/08 09:16 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: Bewlayb1]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1959
This is a very good thread, and I thought I might add a couple more thoughts related to my experiences. Maybe the use of having low self-esteem and feeling gay is not a good choice of words. I think probably we all have our own unique experiences and for certain individual nuances. So I don't think there is an easy and clear answer here for all of this. But talking about it allows us to explore some of the ideas and thoughts and also realize we are not alone with this stuff.

For myself, when I am down, I think about the sexual acts that took place between my friend and I (he was a friend at the time) and the trauma effects that get triggered in me. It tears me down emotionally. I think for me, when I am feeling like that, I don't feel very confident in myself and am depressed. As a consequence I don't feel very sexual at all and then start to question things. It is complicated, that is all I can say. I have never engaged in same-sex sexual activity outside of what happened when I was 13 or 14 with that one person. But I also understand why men act-out with other men who would otherwise identify as being straight. I thought about once if mb made you like hands? I don't think so. All I am saying is that sexuality can be a very complex thing, especially if you have been abused.

But it doesn't really matter, and maybe I have bi tendencies, I don't know and I am not going to try and defend it one way or the other. Instead of beating myself up over it or worrying about it, I'd rather stick to what I read once here: "labels are for cans". Again, this stuff is complicated and I do not think there is a "once size fits all" answer in regards to this, which is why this is a good thread and great topic of discussion.

Eric


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#267849 - 12/18/08 11:29 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: ericc]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Yeah, saying that something like being teased or called "gay" can make you gay is absurd, I think most people are aware of that. But if you were already confused or maybe just weren't even getting any attention from girls and you were actually straight and people started ripping on you regularly for it, doesn't it make sense that if you were feeling down on yourself and that had made a significant impact on you, it would also make you wonder, no matter how ridiculous that wondering or those thoughts seemed to everyone else, or even the not-depressed you?

Also, there are quite a few people out there in the mental health field who believe that a some "gay" fantasies (NOT behaviors, just fantasies) or dreams are sometimes indicative of several different things. For example, wanting to feel more accepted by male peers might manifest itself that way. A need to integrate what one feels to be a more "feminine" part of their personality or just needing to accept oneself as a person may manifest itself that way, especially if you're identified as heterosexual.

To me, I was already an outcast, and so after the abuse ended and people started calling me "fag" or whatever variation of that all the time, I would wonder "are they right? Is that who I am? I guess I should just accept that then, in their eyes that's who I'm going to be" yet at the same time I would wish to myself that I could have a girlfriend. But since I was a "loser" I told myself I had no chance and would never even try. I'd dismiss crushes and say "whats the point, I can't ever have it so who cares." On top of that, up until I was maybe 16 or so I couldn't tell if I had "crushes" or just admirations of my male friends that I sexualized in my head because of my past relationship with my cousin. They were gone by the time I was 17, but sometimes I would entertain the fantasies just to see if there was anything to them, as a way of "checking" my reactions and behaviors. That led me to experiment with gay porn until I was 20, and even though I don't really enjoy it or find it attractive I still check it sometimes compulsively to see how my body reacts, as if that would somehow hold an answer( I'm now 21, and with therapy I notice these thoughts are fading, or at the very least not scaring me or making me anxious anymore). Every time I do it, I feel like I'm tearing open these scars on my soul, but I feel like I HAVE to prove something to myself. All very confusing to me, even now. Before that I was reasonably positive I was straight, I mean shit, I enjoy being with women sexually. I feel emotionally fulfilled when I'm with a girl who I find attractive, whether we're cuddling or doing something else more active. I've never had an experience with another male besides my cousin. When I was 12-14 there were 2 or 3 close friends I had who I considered asking if they wanted to watch porn together and get off to it. I hear that's not at all uncommon for boys that age to engage in, but in my mind even now that makes me wonder. It's like I have these two sides of me, which led me to believe for a long time I was bisexual, but now the more I process with therapy about it and the older I get the less "attracted" (if that's even the proper word, everything before seems more towards a compulsion or acting out than it does actual attraction) I find myself to the same sex. It's the questioning that kills me.

If you add in all the confusion that manifests itself after sexual abuse, then you can definitely get mired down and just have NO idea about something like your sexual orientation. Some people have healthy ways of trying to figure that out, some people don't. Every person is ultimately different. I know personally I've been trying to just leave all of that questioning and hyper-analyzing stuff alone after telling my family about everything going on in my life and have just been trying to go with my gut. It's helped me out a lot because I told my family that I was unsure, and they said "hey, whatever you are you are and we love you either way." Then after that I told my friends and got the same response. My gut seems to point to me being not gay.


If I'm gay, there's nothing to keep me in the closet, and I've tried to say to myself "ok, let yourself be 'gay' today and see where it gets you." And as much as I try to see if I'm attracted to other guys, or if I feel like having a relationship with another man, I tend to always end up in the same spot, and I just don't feel like that's who I am. I'm not blind, I can see a guy who's good looking and say "yeah that dudes good looking" or "that guy's ripped", or even "I wish I was as good looking as that dude, I'd have girls(maybe?) all over me" but that's as far as it seems to go for me. If I see an attractive women I usually think "wow, she's freaking hot" but I can never muster the confidence to talk to them. I also try to imagine myself in a relationship, and I just can't. I literally can not see myself with anybody, and I hate that. I get nervous if people talk about sex or getting laid around me. I think that might have a lot to do with performance anxiety at this point in time though, girls I'm comfortable around who approach me I perform fine with, but even something like going to a strip club where there's no familiarity I get so nervous I can't enjoy myself. That inevitably leads me to wonder "what if I'm lying to myself? If I can't perform, can I really be heterosexual?

So to me, this question still goes mostly unanswered. I doubt that I'm 100% straight, I think very few people are absolutely one extreme or the other when it comes to sexuality. It gives me a lot of anxiety though, and that in turn makes me so nervous that I can't perform even if I'm with a woman unless she takes the initiative, and that's so rare that in the past five years it's only happened twice. It sucks, and I'm having a really hard time trying to break it.


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#267856 - 12/18/08 11:55 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: AndyS87]
Danbuff Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 249
Loc: NY state
My quick reply is perhaps those who struggle with the issue...which is truly not surprising and I have empathy for anyone that struggles, but stop and think how gay people feel before choosing to come out.

I don't hear clear suggestions that being gay is horrible per se but it is clear there is a resistance to the possibility. As someone said he was not suggesting all gay people have low self esteem but the truth is it is all about perception and acceptance.

Now you might have an inclination of why so many in GLBT community feel so tread upon by the larger culture for being who they are.

Just something to think about.

_________________________
When you stumble, make it part of the dance.

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#267866 - 12/19/08 12:42 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: Danbuff]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1959
I think the issue here is related to how things were worded. I agree that wanting to defend ones sexuality against the possibility of being gay makes it sound like that is a terrible thing. I would just like to say that if someone identifies with being homosexual, that should be okay and accepted here. I personally do not try to think too hard about anyone's identified sexual leanings on this site, or at least base judgment upon that, but instead judge people by the content of their word. I know things are harder out in the bigger world, but I do think as a whole most people here are pretty accepting given what everyone has been through, and are just looking for some support and healing.

But I think it is healthy and helpful for people to have a conversation about this stuff because issues with sexual identity seem to be pretty common with those that have been abused; hence the purpose of this specific forum I assume. If you have been violated sexually, it seems pretty normal to have some doubts no matter what your "true" underlying sexuality is. I'd actually like to convey a story from last year that happened in a general issues therapy group I was in. I told my story about what happened to me. Every one was very supportive, and told me I was brave to share. That sort of thing gives other the impetus to open up as well. There was a guy in the group I had a lot of respect for who some weeks later told a story about how he and a friend made out once in the back of a car. It was near the end of the group and it was like the session didn't get resolved. I felt bad because I thought I should have said something, but I didn't. But the next week I made a point of mentioning that I thought a lot of friendships and relationships are based on some sort of attraction. It may not be sexual, but there is still an attraction there, and that it is no big deal. Actually I don't think he thought it meant much either.

My point is this, if you do not have abuse issues, it is a lot easier to go through life not questioning some of these attractions because these attractions are part of life and are no big deal. But as soon as abuse gets put in the picture, everything gets analyzed through the distorted lenses of the abuse. I am not passing judgment on anyone sexuality here, I am only saying that someone who would probably identify as straight without the abuse ends up questioning things that otherwise would not even be thought about. I have a feeling that is what is being explored here. But again, I like the idea that "labels are for cans", and I'm not too up for soup at the moment.

Eric


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#267868 - 12/19/08 01:12 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: Danbuff]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
That's a good point. The couple of friends I have who are gay or lesbian though have both told me that they very clearly knew they were gay fairly early on in their lives, at least by 11 or 12 if not earlier. The ones who were in the closet for a long time said to me they stayed in because it was easier to "fit in", not be persecuted or tread upon, but they were absolutely not in denial to themselves, they were in denial in a sense that even though they knew it they couldn't accept it because of friends/family/environment etc. That aside though they told me they knew what they wanted for themselves clearly, but the conflict for them in coming out and truly allowing their identity to just be was inhibited because of the way society was. Many of them felt that they had to act to please every one else and deny themselves of what they wanted. On the flip side of that coin, there are people who are able to easily realize their sexual identity without complications and can fully accept who they are.

Personally, I think that after a while, however long it takes, society isn't going to keep on labeling sexuality and expecting people to either be "this way" or "that way". Why should gay or bisexual people have to come out in the first place? I watched a very close friend of mine struggle while dating a girl we knew he didn't want to be with, just because his father was so strictly conservative. The rest of us more or less had a feeling he was gay when we were in middle school, and we didn't stop hanging out with him because of his orientation, he was still the same friend we had known for years. He wasn't truly open though until about halfway through high school though.

Another friend who was a drummer in a band I was in identified himself as bisexual when he was 12 years old. The rest of us were at least 15 or 16 at the time, and this guy would hook up with more girls in a weekend then the rest of us could combined in a month. One day we asked him "Are you really bisexual? You're always making out with girls but we've never seen or heard of you being with a guy". He just told us "Yeah, right now I'm attracted to both, definitely. I don't know any other gay or bisexual guys around here though, and I'm perfectly happy being with girls, so I don't worry about it." And that's just how he was until he got serious with a girlfriend of his, and now he identifies as straight. That definitely had the rest of us confused though, especially because at the time we were all so convinced that sexuality was such a rigid, fixed, categorized thing.

Straight people don't have to go through that process though, they just keep on with their lives and take their identities as they are. Personally I doubt I ever would have questioned my orientation if I had never been molested. I wouldn't have been sexualized as a child to react to nudity by getting an erection. I wouldn't have associated being well endowed and being able to ejaculate with being a "real man", and tried to masturbate compulsively while imagining I was my abuser to feel like a man. I wouldn't have had somebody who was a friend and almost like an older brother to look up to and admire (which I always wished I had) take a relationship and sexualize it, making me wonder if that was normal behavior and if I should engage in it with my other friends. If I had stayed an outcast, I doubt I would have thought to myself "maybe I really am a fag" when other kids harassed me for being a loser. Instead, I wondered if they were right because they somehow knew about what had happened to me at the hands of my cousin, which was by definition a series of years of homosexual acts. Maybe then I would have actually had the guts to take a leap and ask a girl out who I thought was pretty and not have been hung up because I thought I wasn't good enough because I wasn't enough of a man, or that there was something wrong with me that I wouldn't be able to make a girl happy, since all I thought about was sex. Perhaps most importantly, I could have actually had the capacity to feel and develop love for somebody rather than just assume that sex was about nothing more than making babies or getting pleasure, and that marriage was the only way to obtain that. That's all just pointless questions though, I know nothing can change my past and that all I have left is the right now and the future it leads to. But god damn I still wish I could have undone all that so I could have just lived and grown up however a "normal" kid grows up. Those questions are questions that no man, whether they're 13 or 47, should ever have to think about. Whenever all of this goes away and I finally find peace for myself, I'm going to do my damnedest to make sure no small child ever has to deal with shit like this, at any age, and to be there to support the people that I can't save.


Anyways, I know from working with a lot of kids and also talking to their parents that times are changing and people are becoming a lot more progressive with issues on sexuality, as in they're not making issues anymore over whether somebody is gay or bisexual. I realize that these past few paragraphs are somewhat of a blanket statement, and I certainly acknowledge that the 6 or 7 gay, lesbian, and bisexual people that I know represent a miniscule amount of the GLB community, but even if I seek information detailing that process I find the same responses whether it be through books, the internet, or on TV.


Again, I realize that some of what I've said is a blanket statement, but that's only what I've heard from people who I know personally. I can't fully understand what they went through; I'm not gay. I may be questioning or confused, but deep down as much as I allow for it to happen and leave room for that identity I've found that it's just not there.

Again, I don't think this thread was meant to gay bash. To a lot of people here, CSA has maybe turned their sexual identity into something they feel is bad or sick, regardless of their orientation or the gender of their molester. I think a lot of people are afraid of being gay because of family or religious reasons. If you were afraid of something or you felt like it was wrong and you didn't want it to be a part of you, doesn't it make sense that when you felt depressed you would start fearing that you were what you were afraid of or what you didn't want to be? These people in their lives might have absolutely no issues or prejudices against homosexuals they know or are involved with as friends or coworkers or family members, but when it comes down to their personal lives and their own personal being, it's something that they connect to fear or depression or any other number of negative emotions.


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#267887 - 12/19/08 07:11 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: AndyS87]
Danbuff Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 249
Loc: NY state
It is good to have this discussion but I hope I did not imply I felt there was gay bashing...I never said that nor wanted to imply it. My point was to highlight the struggles gay people have disclosing their identity because so many still see it as shameful or holding a negative connotation. If that were not the case, no one would struggle with emotions like feeling sick if they might be gay. People defend homosexual involvement only in the context of being abused. Either way it is tragic for the victims as well as the the homosexuals because the message conjures up negative feelings and associations that are distasteful or just bad for same sex attractions.

I completely understand the struggles men have over their own sexual identity though and especially CSA victims. Trauma is trauma. It is the same for everyone in how it affects us. It is painful. I simply wanted to highlight the point that it is still a taboo in our culture. In other words I don't want to be that way but I guess it's okay when others are...as long as it is not me. Gay people see and live in this culture and it makes coming out all the more difficult.

This thread is a great education from my perspective and I hope it helps the reader see it from many perspectives. I appreciate the struggles each of us have in this arena. There are some excellent statements made in this thread that are hopeful about how the future could be for our own ability to heal,our children and our culture.

_________________________
When you stumble, make it part of the dance.

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#267902 - 12/19/08 09:55 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: Danbuff]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
well I think for a lot of people it's not that being gay holds a negative connotation. Sure, society at large is resistant to gay people. But I think even if it had a positive or NO connotation there are people who for whatever reason just don't want to be gay. If you talked to an openly gay person who knew they were gay, I don't think you'd find many who wished they were straight. They don't want to be, they're happy, why would they want to change that.


It's funny though, when I first started questioning all this from a sexual standpoint without bringing the CSA into the picture it led me to a forum on the discussion of a certain form of OCD that leads people to worry compulsively about whether or not they're gay, they call it HOCD. Homosexuals can also develop this and be afraid that they're not actually gay, and bisexuals can get it and start to fear that they're no longer interested in both sexes which can be alarming for them. That's just one example, but I think there are tons of different circumstances that lead people to not want to be gay, and not all of them have anything to do with homosexuality having a negative connotation in the eyes of society. That's my view on it anyways.


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#267903 - 12/19/08 09:59 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: Danbuff]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5776
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
I don't see this thread as gay bashing but it is an excellent discussion of some of the complexities about how we self-identify our orientation. A couple of points to consider:

Someone earlier mentioned gay friends who knew they were gay at 11 or 12 or even earlier. That sense of identity, if not complicated by an abusive experience, is likely the natural recognition of one's orientation.

Add to the mix the abusive experience, the attrations and confusion are no longer a natural development but have been contaminated by premature sexual experience for the survivor.

So, the boy who is abused by a male experiences feelings and physical sensations, and visual associations with the abuser's penis, his touch, etc. The pleasurable feelings are complicated by the visual and touch experiences which are new for him.... perhaps scary, confusing, arousing, etc. Add to that the messages that the abuser gives directly ("see, your penis is hard, so you must like it, you must be gay") or the indirect messages that the victim gives himself with the limited understanding he has of sex, sexuality, relationships, physiology, etc.

No wonder the kid is confused and for many survivors, the later intellectual understanding is mangled with the emotional experiences and beliefs of the child. An example.... I am working with a young man who was abused at age 6 and later by an older man when he was 17. He experienced an orgasm when initially abused and later had a similar feeling when wrestling with his father. At first, he did not know what had happened with the abuse but it felt good, even if it was connected with the abuse/abuser. For years he wondered if his father (who did not touch him sexually but the physical contact with his father caused him to experience an orgasm) had also abused him. He did not know that he (or any child, male or female) could have an orgasm before puberty. (They can and do).

Getting the information that he had indeed experienced the orgasm as a result of the first abuser and "normalizing" the experience with his father (normal parent/child horseplay) gave him a great sense of relief.

This discussion is really good and the more info you can share with each other to get rid of misconceptions and false beliefs, the closer you get to fuller recovery.

Knowledge is power.

Keep up the good work.


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#267916 - 12/19/08 11:53 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: nonchalant]
Morning Star Offline
Member

Registered: 12/21/04
Posts: 1124
Loc: Home
This feels like a coping mechanism, as sex in this case would mean some sort of soothing the pain of emptiness/loneliness/powerlessness etc, you feel in the moment. Someone with a memory of 'acting out' would know about this.

The only way as I see to overcome this, is to learn to self sooth yourself - by pacifying yourself in the moments you are feeling low. Sometimes all you need to tell yourself is, "Its OK!", and allow the pain to ease out!

What helped me is to remain 'mindful' in those moment as it is in those very moment the wounded self is coming out, expecting us to heal it, before it sets out on its rampage!




_________________________
~ It's over!...Let go of Thy Past, Remember Thy Self ~

Why Don't People Heal, by Caroline Myss; 30 days to clean up your vibrations - Abraham-Hicks

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#267948 - 12/19/08 01:56 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: AndyS87]
nonchalant Offline


Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Northern Ireland, UK
Originally Posted By: AndyS87
well I think for a lot of people it's not that being gay holds a negative connotation. Sure, society at large is resistant to gay people. But I think even if it had a positive or NO connotation there are people who for whatever reason just don't want to be gay. If you talked to an openly gay person who knew they were gay, I don't think you'd find many who wished they were straight. They don't want to be, they're happy, why would they want to change that.


It's funny though, when I first started questioning all this from a sexual standpoint without bringing the CSA into the picture it led me to a forum on the discussion of a certain form of OCD that leads people to worry compulsively about whether or not they're gay, they call it HOCD. Homosexuals can also develop this and be afraid that they're not actually gay, and bisexuals can get it and start to fear that they're no longer interested in both sexes which can be alarming for them. That's just one example, but I think there are tons of different circumstances that lead people to not want to be gay, and not all of them have anything to do with homosexuality having a negative connotation in the eyes of society. That's my view on it anyways.


I actually have been diagnosed with HOCD, but i no longer post on the Neurotic Planet forum because the people on there are so closed minded. I sympathise with them greatly as i am suffering the same illness as they are, but they infuriate me greatly with just how little they do to try and help themselves, and their narrow-minded and often bizarre theories on sexuality. For example, a member on the forum told me i was clearly gay in denial because i said you didn't have to be disgusted by homosexuality to be straight. After that, i decided to no longer talk to other HOCD people

Naturally i am also slightly different to most HOCDers as i accept a level of homo-sexual desire within me, but i still fit the criteria for an obsession with my sexuality, as i have thought about nothing else in almost a year



Edited by nonchalant (12/19/08 01:58 PM)

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#267958 - 12/19/08 02:44 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: nonchalant]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Nonchalant, I think you might find things a little different there depending on when you left. Mark and Monnica are doing a great job watching the forums for stuff like that, but sadly the majority of people on there are reluctant to seek therapy or do anything other than sit around and write on that forum as if they're going to get free professional diagnosis, which just does not happen. I occasionally visit there to lend a voice of support but I've found that with the exception of talking to Mark and Monnica via private messages there's not much help that place can offer. My therapist didn't outright diagnose me with HOCD, but she said she definitely sees small OCD patterns in my life, especially when I'm bothered by something, whether it be something like poison ivy or not being able to figure out my sexuality. That in turn led her to tell me that although I have some HOCD like symptoms, my major problem with them is from a larger anxiety order and not HOCD itself. She has since then sent me to a trauma therapist who I have been working with on EMDR to try and normalize my past. It's going very slowly but it's definitely helping.


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#268253 - 12/21/08 09:43 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: AndyS87]
nonchalant Offline


Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Northern Ireland, UK
Andy

Having read through your posts, your situation is almost virtually like mine, it's uncanny in some parts

The whole 'having to prove that i'm straight' thing has been ruining my life for about 9 months now

As for Neurotic Planet, Mark is a good guy and it was very surreal to find me PM'ing a gay man telling him how i'd watched gay porn for 7 years, and him to tell me it DIDN'T make me gay. However, it's basically just a site for terrified teens to be constantly reassured that they aren't gay. They all seem to be terrified about whether or not they would like sex with another man, whereas i'm past that stage and am worried about the emotional/romantic side, and why i don't feel this way about men (weird huh, that i don't feel romantically for men and yet i'm terrified about why i don't and whether it might just be denial)


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#268286 - 12/22/08 10:24 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: nonchalant]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Yeah, at this point I've chocked up all that anxiety to something bigger than my sexuality. There's something else at work there, and I'm asking my therapist about it today. But yeah, most of the people on neurotic planet right now range from 14 (new user who signed in like twice) to I think the early thirties. Most seem to be in their 20's. Either way, they're all trying to use that board for therapy which is dangerous since nobody there with the exception of one of the moderators is qualified to help. But yeah, it is weird. I don't wonder about sex with another man because I don't think I'm ever going to try it personally. If I did I'd probably be too anxious to enjoy it and wouldn't do it again, but who knows. I have a lot of friends and the only ones I ever wanted to date have been the girls so idk why I always worry so much but it's there, and it's like I'm chasing my tail over it. Effin' frustrating.


Oh yeah as far as denial goes, and it might not work for us cause we might be too confused, I've heard from Mark and many other gay people that when you're in denial you know what you are. You aren't in denial to yourself, you're in denial to friends, family, etc. because you don't think they'll except you, and that's why you deny it. Anyways, good luck sir, this certainly is a bitch to think about isn't it?


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#268287 - 12/22/08 10:31 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: AndyS87]
nonchalant Offline


Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Northern Ireland, UK
It is very frustrating as on some level i am very aware of who and what i am: a hetero-emotional bi-sexual. I can be aroused by both men and women, but only have romantic thoughts and emotional feelings for women

Why can't i just accept this and live my life?

I live a life of constant checking, reassurance, and obsessing. I haven't had a moments peace in almost a year. My most common obsessions are "am i really hetero-emotional or could i be fulfilled emotionally by a man?" and "if i ever tried something with a man would i ever be interested in women again?" I know i am not in denial, as how the hell could i be in denial about it when it's all i ever think about, but my mind tells me i am. On my bad days, my mind tells me that i must be gay, as i get aroused by gay porn. On good days, i tell myself this is completely irrelevant to sexuality as a whole and i am probably straight. Most days i just feel a bisexual who is milking his straight side and who might be happier with men but is too scared to try it

I'm getting aroused by things that never aroused me in the past. Movies with scenes of shirtless guys now make me feel aroused, when in the past i wouldn't have even given it a second thought. I can't watch wrestling or boxing because i feel aroused, again i would never have even thought about this until a year ago. Thankfully though i have an understanding girlfriend and after decreasing for a while, my sex drive for her is pretty high again. But every time i hear that a certain celeb or random guy is gay, i start to freak out and think that if these men are gay then i must be gay too

It sure is tough



Edited by nonchalant (12/22/08 10:35 AM)

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#268295 - 12/22/08 11:03 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: nonchalant]
ineffable Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 1371
Loc: state of holeecrapdood
Hello

I've been reading this interesting dialogue since it began.
Lots has been said about sexual identity & sexual disorientation.
What about self esteem & how it relates now since this dialogue began?
(it seemed to be integral to the topic initially)

What is self esteem dependent upon?
(this question isn't directed at anyone personally, just throwing it out there)

C

_________________________
:: "Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there" ::


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#268296 - 12/22/08 11:09 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: ineffable]
nonchalant Offline


Registered: 11/17/08
Posts: 42
Loc: Northern Ireland, UK
Where i'm concerned it is completely connected to masculinity

When my self esteem is high i feel affirmed in my masculinity and i feel capable of maintaining succesful relationships with women

When my self esteem is low i feel that i might be better off as the submissive, feminine one in a homosexual relationship, as i am not manly enough for women and could never make one happy

As for being the masculine one in a gay relationship, that isn't an issue as i know i could never be interested in a feminine man



Edited by nonchalant (12/22/08 11:13 AM)

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#268303 - 12/22/08 12:15 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: nonchalant]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
For me I don't know that it's a self esteem issue or a confidence issue. If I feel confident in who I am I'm not intimidated by women, I feel attracted to them, all that. I've literally been at bars looking at attractive women and then all of a sudden if I've been feeling depressed my brain goes "hmmm, I wonder if I'm attracted to those guys over there?" and then the whole night goes in the shitter for me.


I connect that to my confidence because in elementary school throughout most of highschool people would call me "queer" or "fag" or something else as an insult. To me this was insulting, I was then and am now predominately straight, but when these people did that it made me wonder, especially when I was younger, if they knew about the abuse, and since I had been through that, if they were right and I really was gay. Like I said before I had gay friends, and if I had been gay I would have said "well yeah, and?" instead of just getting pissed off or feeling like I was just having my confidence or self respect cut out from under me by a bunch of assholes who were worried about nothing other then whose house they were partying at that weekend and how much coke was going to be there. That's the connection for me, that's why I was hurt by it. It was used towards me as an insult by people who were deliberately trying to put me down. If they had actually known how fucked up my personal life was, I doubt they would have given that much of a hard time or thrown those kinds of insults. Then again, I'm talking like the fuckers actually had brains in their heads. No point in trying to change that, I just get a laugh when I see them now dropped out all over the place with drug addictions, STD's, and shit lives in general. Funny how when you feel like shit you love seeing other people you really don't like feeling the same way.



Edited by AndyS87 (12/22/08 12:20 PM)

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#268588 - 12/24/08 02:49 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: trb]
Juni Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 12/10/08
Posts: 502
Loc: Florida, WPB
Hi TRB,

I know exactly how you feel. I've put a lot of thought into this topic over the years. Perhaps we can figure it out?

I gave some thought to what makes me feel "stuck."
It's my inability to switch to try the gay side of me at will.
Mostly, because I would have to sneak around and run the risk of hurting someone I chose to love. I do think that love is a choice.

What has helped me tremendously was having a heart-to-heart talk with my wife. I didn’t tell her I was gay or bisexual, I told her I had needs that needed to met. She obliged and we got some toys. Perfect it is not but better than before. When I entered recovery I told her everything that happened to me. She understood why I had my urges. Today she knows that I’m bisexual. She still expects fidelity and I do my best to comply and she tries her best to please me. Through thick and thin she stuck by me when she should have dumped me long ago. Today she is a vital part of my recovery. How can you not love that?

I hope you have the support you need. I believe this is vital for those like you and I.
Life is about relationships. They are important, no matter the orientation. Good and bad relationships can exist anywhere. If you have a good one I would hold on to it, nurture it, savor it, and enjoy it. This is only possible however with effort on both sides. Otherwise you are indeed “stuck.” I don’t know that I would give my relationship so I could experiment freely.

I hope I was a help to you. You certainly are a help to me.

Best regards and Merry Christmas,
Juni

_________________________
Today I'm O.K.
One day at a time I make the journey.

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#270649 - 01/10/09 01:24 AM . [Re: Juni]
bardo213 Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 811
.


Edited by bardo213 (06/21/13 07:06 PM)

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#270662 - 01/10/09 08:38 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: bardo213]
nathan555 Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 230
Loc: Australia
Those of us who were sexualy abused in our childhood no doubt show signs of having been abused
it affects the way we present ourselves and the way we relate

the community at large does not understand the reason is that we were abused

as abuse is not widly discussed and not recognised as an issue

they don't know the reason why we are the way we are

and so they ask "are you gay?"

I want to make an hypothesis that it's not that we exhibit any "gayness" but that is the only label they know

also I want to suggest to men being turned on by magazine male pictures and males on TV before making any conclusions
please take into account the media is showing males who look sexier and who know how to "turn it on"
no doubt some are activly gay and know how to set men off
having been abused we are vulnerable
I made a choice not to internalise such feelings
I have a choice how I respond

to avoid confusion I would suggest not asking if you are gay

just focus on what you want to be
and see destractions for what they are

those who gave in to it - it's your choice

I am addressing the confusion and labelling some are facing
as I have many times

Nathan


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#270940 - 01/12/09 08:33 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: nathan555]
Juni Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 12/10/08
Posts: 502
Loc: Florida, WPB
Nathan,

I like the way you explained it. I would have to agree.

One of the moderators suggested in another thread that some of us are looking for resolution of a horrible event. That we maybe looking for the event to somehow end positively and receive the affirmation, friendship, acceptance, or the affection that perhaps some of us were expecting or would have normally expected out of most relationships with men, male friends, boys, father, grandfather, or male mentor. This brings us back to reenacting the event or acting-out inappropriately in an effort to find what we did not get or make better what we did get.

We were focused on the maleness of our abuse as a pivotal variable. Based on the label society has placed on the situation as it may appear, we claim the label, be it gay or bisexual, as our own. Many of us find ourselves acting-out in a manner that may appear gay or bisexual but we have no desire to form a romantic relationship with men, don’t date men, don’t think about men all the time, etc.

Interesting thread.

Juni

_________________________
Today I'm O.K.
One day at a time I make the journey.

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#271755 - 01/17/09 08:26 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: Juni]
trb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/16/08
Posts: 16
Loc: Tulsa Oklahoma metro area
Nathan / Juni

Indeed tis is an interesting thread. I to like how you explained it Nathan & Juni your post above makes sense but raises another point here for me at least.

My first and primary abuser wasn't male but my aunt and which started befor3e school age. Your slant above is interesting but I sort of need to turn it around and say for me being married, a father and so on may very well be my search for normal relationships with women. All the women in my life growing up were cold manipulative, controlling etc, and to this day other than my wife I don't find them appealling and yes for meI do think about men all the time.

I have often wondered what affect my aunt really caused on me. Is my attraction for men rebellion or denied and most times suppressed natural feelings or did my aunt just turn me off for women in general.

No answer here just rambling.

Peace
TRB

_________________________
Hanging in there One Day at a Time
RB (trb)

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#274084 - 02/05/09 03:45 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: trb]
Juni Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 12/10/08
Posts: 502
Loc: Florida, WPB
Hi trb,

I went back to this thread and realized you never got a response to a very interesting reply you gave. I was abuse by a female twice. This came out after a visit with my T. I too am married with two kids and have searched for normalcy for years. I still don’t know what that means.

I believe that the abuse I received by the female perp was more damaging emotionally. I was used, abused, and dumped like so much trash and did not ejaculate. This left me with the feeling that I was less of a man. Later, I was abuse by men. Each time I was used like a female to pleasure them and told I was no good. Again, I did not ejaculate. I was used and rejected. This caused me a lot of distress throughout my marriage and our sex life.

Later this caused me much confusion and I sought affirmation from the men that I was good, that I had what it takes. It caused me to believe that all the women wanted was to “screw” and dump men. I thought about men and women both. I married a woman because that was “normal” to me. When I thought I was being dumped or rejected by my wife I ran to a man.

I believe a lot has to do with the variables surrounding the abuse, how and what was said, the body language, where and when that abuse took place, and other abuses that went along with the sexual abuse.

Again, No answer here just rambling.

Juni

_________________________
Today I'm O.K.
One day at a time I make the journey.

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#274426 - 02/08/09 11:30 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: Juni]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Undisclosed
In response to Juni's comment about having a heart to heart talk with his wife....

I have been contemplating having this discussion, for weeks now, even before reading your post above. I want to tell her that I am bi. I want her to know about me. But Im afraid of the consequences that I think will occur.

I am amazed at your post above Juni, and how you described that you have needs, as opposed to being gay bi or st8.

Im really having a hard time accepting myself. I am wondering how others have approached this situation. I want to share with her my feelings, and I have worked very very hard to get to this point. I don't want to lose her.


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#274453 - 02/08/09 01:38 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: brother2none]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Brother,

I would be very careful of what you choose to reveal to your wife. You may not get the results you are looking for. You could very easily lose everything that is important to you. Some people do not react well to finding out that you have cheated on them.
What are your motives for revealing this to her? To relieve your sense of guilt and shame. Be very careful you are not trying to dump all this just find some relief for yourself.

There are other ways to deal with these feelings then to dump it on those we love.

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#274456 - 02/08/09 01:56 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: brother2none]
joelRT Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor


Registered: 09/11/08
Posts: 1357
Loc: Québec, Canada
brother,

What possible positive outcome do you foresee in disclosure to your wife. Will she maybe breathe a sigh of relief at finally knowing all of the truth, do you think? Or perhaps she'll wrap her arms around you and reassure you that everything is alright and that she loves just as much now that she knows that you've cheated on her - and with men on top of that?

No, my friend, think this trough! Women tend to react very negatively when they find out that the man they trusted has been bed-hoping with other men. Another woman is already bad enough, but at least where another woman is concerned, in your wife's mind, she's on a level playing field. How is she supposed to compete with the fact that you need to be with men - you leave her completely disarmed and resoursselss.

A lot of women are very supportive when a husband discloses his CSA and explains the ravages of such in his life. Many are not - there are men here who can attest to that.

_________________________
My Story 1
My Story 2
The longest journey we take is to self-discovery

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#274460 - 02/08/09 02:07 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: joelRT]
KENKEN Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
Loc: NOTHERN COLORADO
Brother,
I sure do feel for you. It is a very very hard choice for you to make. I did have to confront my GF about my sexuality also. Not the same as what you are having to work out in your mind, but in somewhat the same.

I did talk extensively to my Therpist b/4 I did confront. In the end after all the anxiety, it was just what I had to do for myself, for what was right for me. It helped me BE TRUE TO MYSELF.

And now after my GF did chose to leave me and all the pain and hurt that occured, it was the best thing/decision I made.

Please do not make any rash judgements. Think about it alot, talk about it with friends and professionals. Then do what your heart tells you to do.

Ken

_________________________
I AM A GOOD PERSON, I AM A GOOD MAN

From the Movie: Antwone Fisher

***WOR ALUMNI SEQUOIA MARCH 2008***

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#274462 - 02/08/09 02:17 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: KENKEN]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Undisclosed
I appreciate all the responses. Thank you.


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#274505 - 02/08/09 08:35 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: brother2none]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Undisclosed
I am wanting to say more about how I feel, but I am too upset and scared.

I am very grateful for all the replies here. It means a lot to me.


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#274514 - 02/08/09 09:36 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: Juni]
pemac01 Offline


Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 25
Loc: Texas
Im facing some of the same issues. I'm just starting in my treatment and therapy, and in the beginning of realizing why I feel the way I feel and why I do some of the things I do.
My wife is right beside me and very supportine and she has promised that if I have needs that she can meet with Toys or whatever then she is more than willing, anything beyond that, she says she will deal with it as it comes.
My Abusers were male, and for a long time I struggled with whether I was gay or not. Growing u in a small rural town, I didnt even know what Bi was.
Im just thankful for my wife because she has been my leaning post and without her, I would never have been able to face up to all this and begin dealing with what I have hidden for the past 30+ years.
I havent acted out with another man but my list of female partners Is almost embarrasingly long. Im not sure If I could ever feel towards a man like I do with a woman but I do find myslef being aroused by other me on tv, the net or in magazines. Not sure how I feel about this yet since I struggled so hard with the issue of being Gay in my late teens and early 20's.
Im thinking this might very well apply to me.


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#274571 - 02/09/09 01:21 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: pemac01]
SIDUDE Offline


Registered: 02/05/09
Posts: 47
Loc: New York
WOW don't know how I missed that boat, I never got married so I have to go through this crap alone. It does suck!


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#274572 - 02/09/09 01:32 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: SIDUDE]
wes-b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 438
Loc: Western, Canada

Si Dude;

you have us... you never have to be alone anymore. Besides, I have been alone in crowded rooms!!! Since connecting with other survivors I no longer have to be alone.

AS far as being married makes healing easier in some respects do know that it also complicates it as well... we could start a thread for a never ending debate on whether it is easier to recover/heal as a single or as part of a couple. We are where we are as we recover and `in my humble opinion` it is God's will that we be there... heck I have to accept it and work with what I have. Some days I remember to pray for the willingness to want what I have :-)

Love from the frozen north,

Wes

_________________________
Happy to be a recovering survivor. :-)

Continuing to meet more of my fellows as I "Trudge the Road of Happy Destiny".

My Story, 1st pass

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#274609 - 02/09/09 05:42 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: wes-b]
pemac01 Offline


Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 25
Loc: Texas
I Like to think of myslef a strong stand alone type of guy but since I came to terms with what happened to me, I would be lost without my wife. I could do this alone but it's a lot easier having someone to share all this with and help keep you on track.
I use to figure if I can have an ex hand me our 6 month old son and say she's not going to be married to a Marine and isnt going to be a mom, See Ya, and leave me to raise him by myself, I can do pretty much anything that comes at me but not true. For me at least.


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#275011 - 02/12/09 09:44 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: pemac01]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Undisclosed
I believe that I have decided to share with her more about my needs and desires, that the two of us together can explore.


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#275481 - 02/16/09 08:57 AM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: brother2none]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Undisclosed
I'm having a difficult time asserting myself, and my desires, with my wife, in bed. I am embarrassed I guess to speak up for what I want to do. I am having a hard time saying that I want to try some things that I previously associated with CSA acts and male-male acts. I need some help with this. I am trying to stick with "if it feels good go for it", but it is so damn hard to shake the old shame. Anybody?


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#275570 - 02/16/09 10:01 PM Re: Sexuality and self esteem [Re: brother2none]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Brother,

That is great to hear that you are trying to push the bountaries of your sexually and sharing it with your wife. Just do it!
You got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Enjoy!

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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