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#280218 - 03/20/09 09:46 PM Re: CSA effects on sexual identity [Re: joelRT]
christianfather Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/04/08
Posts: 116
Loc: TN
A definite YES! It has been a large painful part of mu life. I like women, but because of what they did, I have same sex attractions regarding men. Until now I thought I was just a freak that didn't belong anywhere.


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#280267 - 03/21/09 11:13 AM Re: CSA effects on sexual identity [Re: myshoeisonfire]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1116
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
Originally Posted By: myshoeisonfire
I guess im wondering if theres anyone else out there that feels their CSA may have had an impact on them having an attraction to the same sex... or somehow had an effect on sexual orientation all together!
I want to place blame on the person who did this to me, but I dont know! im pretty sure i would not have this attraction if it wernt for the CSA
any thoughts?


Up until 4 days ago I would have said without a doubt that I was born bi-sexual and have stronger sexual urges for males. I've been married now for nearly 17 years, and have not had physical sex with a guy since 1982 (but have porn issues for sure). I made my choice...and for lots of good reasons!

But since chatting with others here, I'm now questioning my premise. Is it possible that my early age (11) exposure to hard core porn (including gay), overt sexual discussions by "adults" and my consequent CSA experience caused my SSA? Wow, that shakes my identity foundation for sure...

Jim

_________________________
Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

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#280283 - 03/21/09 12:45 PM Re: CSA effects on sexual identity [Re: Jim1961]
brother2none Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/30/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Undisclosed
Yes yes yes. I am going back and forth in my head with this. I keep coming back to wanting to know what is really me, and what was csa related.

I just want to know.

I am accepting of the truth.

And another thing... I love me anywhichwayhoo.


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#280295 - 03/21/09 02:06 PM Re: CSA effects on sexual identity [Re: Jim1961]
myboyhoodfears Offline


Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 457
hey jim.....and i feel exactly the same way,...this issue is clearly a very complex one, and has me confounded,...below are some thoughts ive been having about SSA's.

...there could be many reasons why people have SSA,...plus there are those out there who want to define our behavior as this or that and we very often never get the chance to define it ourselves...and when we are put in a place where we question our own true sexual identity as kids, some of us end up believing what everyone has been busy telling us...your gay or your this or that.

...sex can feel good even if its with someone of the same sex...thats a tough pill to swallow for some of us, who struggle to find our own identity...if i enjoyed sex with a man, am i gay?...well its not so simple as that...you can enjoy sex with someone of the same sex and not identify as gay or even bisexual...because the physical stimulation can be pleasurable regardless of gender, and if its tied to some emotional need it may not really be an innate attraction, so you might perceive yourself one way or another, and not be expressing your true sexual identity ...im not so sure the psychological profession has this really sorted out,...they are inclined to affirm SSA's rather than figure out where our psychology has gone awry , if it has....perhaps its because they want to oversimplify the behavior, putting us in their predefined boxes. or they are lazy...but regardless we become a product of their definitions, rather than our own.

...what the moral implications are for each of us can be difficult to negotiate, religion is also inclined to define our behavior for us,..that might be good for allot of reasons,...but it can also be bad,...if we are told we evil and so on, because we have these attractions, this causes us a great deal of shame, and if we cant shake the attractions we are left having to divorce our selves of any belief in god or we live our lives with secret desires and our shame increases...i don't have a solution for this other than...maybe we should do some more research and find out what is really going on here....but there is a political movement that is a reaction to social nonacceptance which seeks to validate a behavior that may or may not be problematic for many individuals living with these attractions, and science taking the side against religious views and are looking to push their perspective on us...just as much as the anti-gay movement is.

is sexual orientation really innate like they say?....is the fact that some animals engage in homosexual behavior an indication they are preprogrammed to by genetics? I'm not so sure....animals can learn behavior like we do...they raise their offspring and teach them a variety of behaviors that cannot be genetically defined, it could be just as likely SSA in animals are the result of environmental causes as it is in humans...at one point i kept an aviary full of lovebirds....you can hand raise a lovebird and it will orientate to you...show affection to you and exhibit mating behavior toward you....clearly the bird was not born with an attraction to humans,..the unusual artificial circumstance are what affect its behavior,...assuming that the bird is male..you can place another male bird in the cage...and it will re-orientate to that bird...and try to mate....remove the second bird and put a female in the cage and after some time it will re-orientate to the female and mate successfully...this clearly demonstrates that in this species orientation is not fixed at birth and can change through circumstances and revert to it's true context which is heterosexual...we can see this in many animals...but when you hear about homosexual behavior in animals...they conveniently omit this fact...that sexual orientation in many animals can change and is not innate...or fixed at birth....how many dogs do we have to see humping furniture or stuffed animals before we admit that the behavior is learned....im certain the mechanism for sexual attractions are defined within the genes, and controls our attractions in a general sense, (we can be more or less intensely attracted, for instance)...but what we actually become attracted to specifically, is beyond genetics and is defined within the environment.....case in point...one might have a sexual attraction to man made objects like plastic dolls,...plastic dolls cannot be defined genetically because plastic dolls are a relatively new man made object...genes cannot encode such objects...there are no genes that define man made objects....so this attraction must be learned within the environment and not defined genetically....if this and many other types of attractions cannot be defined genetically..then what is it about gender attractions "only" that must be genetic? I'm not buying it....the same attraction mechanism that is present in someone who is attracted to plastic dolls is present in all of us...and that behavior is clearly learned...so its not a stretch to think SSA's are learned as well....just a thought.





Edited by myboyhoodfears (03/21/09 04:33 PM)
_________________________
Post Nubilia Pheobus

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#280304 - 03/21/09 03:29 PM Re: CSA effects on sexual identity [Re: myboyhoodfears]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1116
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
MBF,

All I can say is "wow!" you took a very complex issue and hit it from all sides! It's going to take a while to digest... I'll respond later if I have anything to add.

Jim

_________________________
Loneliness is a power that we possess to give or take away forever. -Yes, Starship Trooper

My Story

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#280369 - 03/22/09 09:55 AM Re: CSA effects on sexual identity [Re: Jim1961]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5775
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
Let me add something to the discussion about this topic. This is from my book that will be coming out in a few months.

If I Sexually Responded to a Man Does That Mean I’m Gay? (Or does it just mean that my “equipment” was working properly?

This is a common response to sexual abuse. The abuser often stimulates the victim’s penis, engages him in other body contact, or exposures him to sexually arousing material (pornography), and when as a result the boy has an erection, experiences orgasm or ejaculates, he may believe that his body has betrayed him or he may interpret his sexual response as an indicator that he is homosexual. And if he is gay, this confusion may be similar in its consequences as the heterosexual boy who is abused by a female, as noted above.

While there is no research to support beliefs that sexual abuse can cause homosexuality, many victims believe that this experience, particularly if it is the boy’s first encounter of a sexual nature, results in becoming gay. There are men who identify as homosexual and have a history of sexual abuse. There are many gay men who have never been abused. There are a number of boys who, regardless of sexual abuse history, would have been “naturally” gay or bisexual later on. And there are heterosexual men who can have a history of abuse by a male, as well as those with no such history. There are also heterosexual men who were abused by women: that is, their abuse experience did not affect their sexual orientation.

Sometimes the abuser will use a boy’s fear of being labeled homosexual as a way to make him to go along with the abuse, justify the abuser’s actions, blackmail the youth into further sexual acts or prevent him from disclosing. Many abusers I’ve worked with have told their victims that the erection was “proof” the victim “wanted” the sexual contact, or that his erection was “proof” he was really gay. They also use this as a blackmail tool to scare the boy into thinking that people would know or possibly think he is gay – as if that is worse than being abused. If it is a terrible label for the boy to be told or think he is gay or an abuse victim, what does that make the abuser? One would think that being a child molester is a lot worse than being gay or abused.

Sometimes the victim becomes fixated on penises. Thoughts of performing oral sex on men or boys become the theme of sexual fantasies for some survivors. For those who are truly homosexual this is a natural source of arousal. For the heterosexual male victim of same-sex abuse, the penis may have a different meaning in such recurring fantasies. What we find sexually stimulating can also be termed “erotic”. Many survivors who identify as heterosexual are confused about erotic fantasies that may involve males. While they may have much more frequent arousal to female bodies, the male fantasies may cause feelings of shame and puzzlement. Homosexual men can have opposite-sex erotic thoughts and fantasies as well.

If you are heterosexual, the thought of a woman’s body can be quite stimulating. Because our sexual conditioning may involve a focus on body parts, some men become particularly interested or aroused by breasts, buttocks or legs. Others become attracted to the vagina. Likewise, if you are gay, the arousal to a penis or a man’s body can be stimulating for you. There is no “right” way to be attracted.

Years ago I worked with a man who was obsessed (or “fixated”) by legs, feet and women’s shoes. He reported that his mother used to come home from work and ask him to massage her legs and feet. She moaned as he worked on her legs and said things like, “Oh, you’re so good. That feels great, yes, yes!” He said he remembered often being sexually aroused and during one massage session with her, when he was about eleven, he experienced his first orgasm and ejaculation. He later associated sexual response with women’s legs, feet and shoes. The greatest turn-on for him during sex was to kiss his partner’s feet and massage her legs. He was also a big consumer of pornographic magazines that cater to those attracted to legs, feet and shoes. He concluded that had he not been eroticized to his mother’s legs and feet as a boy, he would have had a more normal sexual attraction to a woman’s body and not be fixated on her legs and feet.


Am I Gay If I Think about Penises a Lot?

Not necessarily. The man described above associated sexual pleasure with his mother’s (and later his partners’) legs, shoes and feet. Similarly, if boy experiences powerful sexual feelings while stimulating the abuser’s penis, or from having his own penis stimulated, he may make a similar connection. In addition, as teenagers discovering masturbation, we reinforce the pleasurable feelings with the sight and feel of our own penises. So, with a “normal” (that is, non-abusive) sexual history, we will have a neutral to good association with penises. Our penis can make us feel good, give us a sense of power, and can alleviate boredom.

For the gay survivor, the association of the abuser with the arousal and attraction of the male body, a source of otherwise healthy homosexual pleasure may be tainted. The gay survivor may have ambivalent feelings towards penises as a result.

When the sexual feelings are forced, unwanted, confusing and even painful, the association with the penis can be contaminated. You may hate your penis because it “betrayed” you by becoming erect in an abusive situation. Because the male abuser, particularly when there are negative feelings towards him, involves his penis in the acts, the result can be that some survivors may associate the penis with the hurt, betrayal, pain, humiliation, shame and guilt from the abuse. Think of the confusion you might feel from having these negative emotions about the abuse or abuser, and at the same time trying to feel good about your sexuality, and about a part of your body that is so central to your sexuality as your penis.

Many survivors report a desire or temptation to look at the groins of other men, or at their exposed penises in situations like a changing room in school, gym, or at a swimming pool. It is natural for boys and men to be curious about the penises of other guys, and no amount of reassurance that size doesn’t matter seems to lessen this curiosity. Though some heterosexual men may find it difficult to admit, there is probably not a man around who has never sneaked a peek at another man’s penis at a line of urinals or in a locker room.

For survivors, however, the penis may also be a symbol of the harm they have suffered. You may think, for example, that your penis is what “attracted” the abuser; this is often why some survivors, both teens and adults, report feelings of wishing they were not boys, or of wishing they didn’t have a penis.

The sexual parts of other males can also arouse feelings of discomfort and threat in you: that is, you are looking at other men not because you desire them, but because you are on alert for signs of possible arousal, which for you would be a danger signal. But notice once again how, when you experience these feelings, you are in fact also re-experiencing the control that the abuser had over you. The abuser’s penis was a powerful source and symbol of so much of what was happening to you as a boy. Now, even though the abuse has ended and you no longer need fear harm from the abuser, these old defense mechanisms are still active. What the abuser did years ago still has the power to influence how you think and behave.

One important consideration if you are sexual with other men, but you identify as heterosexual, is to look at why you desire to act sexually with them. If the acts are reenactments of your abuse, it may be because the trauma is still unresolved and the sex is a way of returning to the trauma, perhaps hoping – on an unconscious level – that this time you will not be the helpless victim.

One example of this is familiar with those who know or work with abused women. How many women in abusive relationships end their relationship, but then go back to the abusing partner or wind up with another man who turns out to be abusive as well? On some unconscious level these women may be hoping that “this time it will be different”. This way of thinking leaves them in a situation where they find themselves in a repeating cycle of bad or abusive relationships.

It may also be that you have been taught or conditioned that behaving in this way would bring closeness, acceptance or some other emotional need that you may not have had in your life at that time. Or you may have learned that by giving in, you would not be beaten or hurt more.

Again, look at all these situations and you can see the continuing control of the abuser. The abuse is over, and perhaps the abuser is gone as well, but the emotional responses you learned as an abused boy are likely still with you.


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#280400 - 03/22/09 07:10 PM Re: CSA effects on sexual identity [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
bardo213 Offline
Guest

Registered: 11/21/07
Posts: 811
.


Edited by TJ jeff (06/22/13 01:57 PM)
Edit Reason: removed at authors request

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#280415 - 03/22/09 10:04 PM Re: CSA effects on sexual identity [Re: bardo213]
Bruce1000 Offline


Registered: 02/19/09
Posts: 11
Loc: United States

I have recently joined this website and am greatfull for all the support and information. It never entered my mind that I might have been born GAY and that is why even after being sexually abused or not I would have been gay. I lead a very sheltered life till College. Didn't even know there was a word for what I was feeling. I am a bit confused about how GOD feel about all this, but like everything else I've experienced I will get through it.

_________________________
Our years are as the falling leaves-we live we love we dream, and then we go. But somehow we keep hoping don't we that our dreams come true on that Brighter Day.
.........Opening to old radio serial BRUGHT DAY (1948-1956)

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#281283 - 03/29/09 11:25 AM Re: CSA effects on sexual identity [Re: Bruce1000]
nathan555 Offline


Registered: 01/06/09
Posts: 230
Loc: Australia
Ken,
So much has been written about men who "were born gay"
I do not want to enter into a debate as to weather this is so or not just to say I recognise it is a widley accepted point of view amongst prychologists and it is affirmed by many gay men.

What I find tiresome, what used to make me defensive,
is the uncharatable, unwillingnes to give such affirmation to hetro men who experienced csa.

Again, I beg you,
I plead with you to release we who are hetro from the bondage of being labeled gay because a man aroused us in an act of csa.
WE were not born homosexual.
WE exist.
It hard enough working through csa without our therapists being unwilling it conceed that maybe
just maybe
hetro's exist
who have unwanted and uninvited same sex attraction put there solely in the act or acts of csa.

When I was able to see it in this light I understood myself and am able to move on.

Please end the torement of gays
I am sick of being asked by some gays "are you gay?"
"are you in denial?
How was I supposed to feel when I had but didn't know
I had csa induced ssa
concurrently with a fear of another man's penis
from forced sexual acts in csa?

How was I supposed to respond to "are you gay?"
which in my mind meant
do you have sexual desire toward gay men which you are suppressing and don't you secreatly want sex with me?"

When I now see
I was not supressing gay feelings
but the trauma of csa
but csa has both pain
and pleasure set off automatically without my concent

I - listen please - I
was NOT born a homosexual

When I was raped unwanted uninvited ssa was implanted
against my will
and contrary to my creator's plan.

You are writing a book
please, please please recognise our existance
please

My life and my recovery would have progressed so sooner
had I understood myself earlier.

You know what?

I have never condemned a gay man

but there are countless times gay men have sought to condemn me.
label me,
restrict my choices,
violate my beliefs,
embarrass me in front of others,

so please

if for no other reason than the preservation of intellectual
freedom and the challenge to subject current psychological accepted theory to new observations which include a Christian or Jewish or Muslem perspectives rather than limiting psychology to
a discipline based solely on secular humanism and evolution

please

recognise that we who were born hetro
who as a result of csa have unwanted uninvited same sex attraction

and please
release us to find and apply restorative steps

because quite frankly its complex enough
without the frustration of friends and relatives in denial
on one hand
without our psychologists and theropists denying us the posability of restoration and healing.

I certainly recognise simplistic responses don't work.

although significant keys may be amazingly simple
but that's the case in many disciplines.

Nathan 5

PS I wanted to study psychology from a Christian perspective but
my intellectual freedom and my right to explore posabilities from a Christian perspective was denied. I gained my degree in Sociology which granted my intellectual freedom to study my field from a Christian perspectives. As a result I have great respect for my Marxist Lecturers and fellow students.


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#281349 - 03/29/09 10:01 PM Re: CSA effects on sexual identity [Re: nathan555]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5775
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
I think I've been saying for a long time that same sex attractions or fixation/interest/arousal to penises does NOT make a person gay. Here it is again:
Quote:
Sometimes the victim becomes fixated on penises. Thoughts of performing oral sex on men or boys become the theme of sexual fantasies for some survivors. For those who are truly homosexual this is a natural source of arousal. For the heterosexual male victim of same-sex abuse, the penis may have a different meaning in such recurring fantasies. What we find sexually stimulating can also be termed “erotic”. Many survivors who identify as heterosexual are confused about erotic fantasies that may involve males. While they may have much more frequent arousal to female bodies, the male fantasies may cause feelings of shame and puzzlement. Homosexual men can have opposite-sex erotic thoughts and fantasies as well.


So, aside from saying that some people are born homosexual and some people are born heterosexual, all I am saying is that sexual abuse can affect a person to the point of confusion of what their orientation is. The behaviors that some survivors do, such as seeking out situations with other men although they see themselves as heterosexual DOES NOT mean they are gay. They may well be reacting to the need to take control in a situation that parallels their abuse. Or, they may be putting themselves in a situation to be in control. Or, they may be reenacting to continue being the victim. Or, there may be other reasons that have nothing to do with sexual orientation.

I hope that clarifies what I am saying.


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