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#293682 - 06/30/09 05:10 PM s
Freedom49 Offline
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Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
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Edited by Freedom49 (05/21/10 06:16 PM)

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#293686 - 06/30/09 05:33 PM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Freedom49]
king tut Offline
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Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2465
Loc: UK
This is a good discussion!

At the moment i think i am in agreement with the things that you have said, but i must consider it more carefully. The use of the word "attracted" i think can be easily mis-interpreted, or maybe not, but i think this is certainly something that is difficult to describe and distinguish easily because of the delicate technicalities and connotations of language. I think that peoples difficulty in understanding the term SSA lies very much in the connotations of the word attraction which is similar but different in that context to the more general meaning of the word.

Also i think it does take a careful and thoughtful understanding to define it- and lets face it, most people don't open their minds wide enough to really understand the delicate dances of life (and also fear looking at such things).

If you could choose a more appropriate word within the term SSA (if you don't think that "attraction" is the most appropriate word) what would it be?

_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#293688 - 06/30/09 05:43 PM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Freedom49]
JustScott Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2572
I agree completely that Gay and SSA are different. Although someone who is Gay does have SSA, I think it is possible to experience the SSA without being Gay.

I simply look at myself and see that to be true. I'm not Gay. I know that completely. When I'm feeling safe and strong and not triggered, I feel no SSA whatsoever. When I'm in a bad place (Triggered, down, depressed, feeling alot of self-hatred etc) though, I struggle with it. For me it connects straight to the abuse. I feel a need to be used and trashed and yet at the same time I feel this need to be wanted. Sounds weird and crazy but I know from the work I've done on recovery thus far that it makes perfect sense from a survivor stand point.

Physically wise I don't find men attractive. I don't check them out. But like I said before, when I'm triggered or in a bad spot, I find myself with this drive for sex. Nothing more. No desire for relationship or anything like that. Just sex, just like when I was used as a kid.


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#293690 - 06/30/09 05:49 PM Re: [Re: king tut]
Freedom49 Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
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Edited by Freedom49 (05/21/10 06:17 PM)

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#293711 - 06/30/09 07:48 PM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: king tut]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Roger:

Over the last couple of months, I have referred several of our members who are facing this issue to a topic that Lynchmob started in April entitled: Confused Beyond Belief, in which Ken Singer contributed a preliminary chapter out of his upcoming book. Here is a link to Ken's first post within that topic.

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...5223#Post285223

I find it interesting your assertion that all of us guys start-out with a bunch of mostly male friends in grade school through high school, before most of us choose to embrace our sexual identity, whether that identity is on one side of the proverbial fence or the other. It makes sense that abuse victims might very well tend toward sexualizing their same-sex friendships at an early age despite developing eventual opposite-sex attraction.

One thing that I have read is that from ancient times, men and boys are psychologically-predisposed to working and playing together. As far back as the caveman era, men had to be able to work together in order to get the work done. Girls will play together but adult women are often in competition with each other for the best of the males, and many women tend toward smaller groups of same-sex social friendships then is common for their male counterparts. I might lean more toward male/male social and working relationships being more the effect of a genetic predisposition toward the working together and playing together ethos combined with the effects of culture and socialization in childhood and into adulthood rather than referring to this phenomenon as same-sex attraction. We hang-out with each other moreso because it is socially-normal to do so, less so because of same-sex attraction.

Just my two cents. Your writing raises some intriguing questions though. Keep up the good work.

Mark



Edited by Trucker51 (06/30/09 07:50 PM)
Edit Reason: add two words and change one
_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#293750 - 06/30/09 10:44 PM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Freedom49]
Sam I Am Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/05
Posts: 7
Loc: Chattanooga, TN
I did not see any discussion (maybe I missed it) on the 'trauma bond' with the perpetrator mentioned with SSA attraction. In my case, I was abused by my uncle when I was 8 years old and it began with him grooming me. He had a broken leg and needed 'help' getting in and out of the bathtub and dressing. Somehow he always got undressed by himself?? The first night was a traumatizing experience not because of physical sexual abuse but the covert sexual abuse that I experienced. Just seeing an adult male up that close; the size of his body parts in comparison to my body parts; me having to help him into the tub and back out; me experiencing body smells I had never smelled before; me seeing body hair in places on his body that my body didn't have; the experience of helping dry him off or helping get him dressed, etc, all left an indelible image in my mind. I believe strongly those situations did cause a trauma bond between him and me. I had never been that close to a nude adult and all of my senses were on high alert: sight, smell, touch, taste, hearing. How I imprinted what I saw and what I thought and what I felt I am still uncovering and discovering. I do remember later that evening, after that first night of abuse in the bathroom, while I was sitting in my uncle's lap in the living room I now had a knowledge of what the lumps were in his pajamas. He had been at our house for two months (before the grooming began with my Dad's approval) and I had sat in his lap many times during that time. I had never even been aware of the lumps in his lap because I was too caught up in how exciting my 8 year old day had been. So, after that first night of bathing I felt I knew a secret about his nudity (I had seen it), which was most likely a big part of his dance. And after that first night I thought he must love me (emotionally I felt loved) very much to be willing to share his nudity with me. I felt priviledged and that experience in itself has to be part of a trauma bond. So today, nearly 50 years later, I can see a body type like his on another man, or smell his cologne on another man, or smell a musky smell from another man (I work in construction) and I may feel a same sex attraction to that man. It doesn't mean I want to have sex with that particular man, but I may feel triggered (by any of those senses from years ago) and I may experience a sexual feeling or response within my body. And this is an important part for me to remember in recovery. Where are those feelings authentically coming from? Having that feeling from so long ago doesn't mean that I want or have to act out with that person,(that other person may not even know I feel attracted) it simply means I feel an attraction to him. And sometimes that can make me feel uncomfortable at first and then feel repulsion. Not at the man I may feel attracted too, if I am honest with myself and if I stop to think where the repulsion is coming from I will have to be honest and say those feelings come from what my uncle did to me. My abuse went on for 3 years and near the end I hated my uncle because I was getting old enough to sense his betrayal so during the course of the CSA, I experienced elation (or how I imprinted it) in the beginning and repulsion in the end. The truth of all abuse is that what my uncle did to me was wrong. So, I am not sure how all our senses, our old imprints (definitions of what was going on during the abuse are imprinted in my brain) and sexual triggers work. I just know that they do work. And I know today that my sexuality lies somewhere on a great continuum and that because I feel attracted to someone of either sex doesn't mean I have to act on those feelings physically or label myself as being on one end of the spectrum or the other. I have done this earlier in recovery and found it to be crazy making in itself. I finally learned that some people may wish to clarify their position on one end of the sexual spectrum or the other without ever knowing or understanding their true feelings (I've been here); and some people may be comfortable that they feel desire for either females or males only; while some people may feel comfortable being attracted to both males and females; and some people may be comfortable with being non-sexual with either sex. I have lived long enough and been honored to know people all along this spectrum. I think the important part for me is to feel comfortable with why I have the feelings I have about either sex and to always know that I have the right to choose to have sex or not to have sex with either. Peace and love.
Sam

_________________________
"It is the TRUTH we ourselves speak rather than the psychological treatment we receive that heals us."

Peebles, OH - WOR 2007
Dahlonega, GA - WOR 2009

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#293778 - 07/01/09 01:01 AM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Sam I Am]
petercorbett Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2433
Loc: TEXAS
Hi my brothers.

This is confusing to me, the term SSA or Gay. Another label to be attached to us.

Any one who has read my post on my 69 year journey will see where I have always had very strong emotions towards to males.

My first sexual agressor, along with the emotional, physical & mental abuse was my "mother". Whom as a young boy always wished she was DEAD.

Now Ralph whom was my main male sexual agressor for years, had shown to me his "love", his compassion and understanding. He was the parent(s) that i never had. He was the only person at that time that ever had paid any attention to this emotionally and love starved young boy.

Now I had gotten into a few sexual things with a younger cousin 2 years or so younger than me.

Then I was sent to that Catholic orphanage/Home (all boys) we were between 10-14 yrs old. Me and another boy got into some things too. I was there for 4 years. 10-14 yrs old.

Then at exactly on my 17th birthday I joined the Air Force again, 99.99% male. Stayed for 22 1/2 years.

Then I got myself into an homosexual affair with a friend of the family. I was 18 yrs old at the time. That was a one time affair.

The only time that I was with a girl/female was when Ralph had me and that little girl (8) yrs old rubbing our little faces into his crotch. Then in the cellar together. All during that time and up to my late 20's I never had aanything to do with girls/females.

I was never attracted either sexually or emotionally to females until my late 20's.

By the same token I was never SEXUALLY attracted to any males either. I WAS emotionally attracted to my military buddies, as we were brothers, as our very lives might someday depend on each other. We knew more about each other than did our wifes.

I really wasn't sexually attracted to the lady that Imarried. But Igot her pregnant and took my responsibility and married her. But I was NON sexualy attracted to her son 11 yrs old, and just like I was as a boy, neither his mother nor stepfather was paying any attention this boy. So I took him under my wing and we stayed together and did things on base and outdoor guy type stuff. He eventually became my stepson when I married his mother.

Now up to this time in my life 33 yrs old. I had 3 dealings wuth females. One was with a young German girl, (non sexual). Next was a German lady old enough to be my mother. She was looking for a young guy to take care of her. She knew that I was a "cherry boy" so she duitfully plucked this boys cherry. There was no emotional connection. Then came the lady that I married, at first it was for the sex that she was giving me. And I canhonestly tell you that there was no emotional connection there at that time. We were married for lmost 36 yrs.

When this sexual abuse memories came to the surface last August I was in the depths of emotional and mental hell. I was a terror to my wife, she was at the brunt of my anger and violent mood swings. We went to 2 therapy sessions together. She had told my T that I was an emotional disaster towards her for 35 years. I had shown her absolutly none, zero emotions.

But I was ALWAYS telling my boys that I loved them, I was always giving them hugs and kisses. Then came my grand sons, and from the moment (almost) from their very first breath always held them, kissed them, always told them that I loved them. Tonnes of emotions for males.

So when my wife told me that we just couldn't keep living like I was with all those mood swings, plus I needed all the time for me and that lost boy. I told her that I was going to leave her, period. Then she says to me "so you are going to leave me and go marry a man". I had never implied that to her.

But you can see just where my emotions are.
Now I have had a few sexual encounters with a male adult since i've been back here. But those are things of the past.
I do not feel like I have to have this guy or that guy. There is no real emotional connection, just a sexual one. At this time in my life.

Screwed up lost boy for sure. But I really didn't know me, until now. SSA or Gay?? I'll let God put on the label at the pearly gates of heaven.

Heal well my brothers/friends.

Pete (Irishmoose.

_________________________
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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#293812 - 07/01/09 09:13 AM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Freedom49]
myboyhoodfears Offline


Registered: 03/13/09
Posts: 457
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Edited by myboyhoodfears (08/31/09 12:15 PM)
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#293815 - 07/01/09 11:13 AM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Freedom49]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
sorry for the tome; it is merely an analysis.....i've been working on this response since yesterday, and it really does not say completely what i intended to say, but hopefully it comes close. i realize i write from a different perspective, and since i am not trying to apologize to anyone for any of my sexual orientations, i certainly don't see myself as deficient in spite of the fact that i have worn both pants AND a dress in my day.

for me the greatest challenge of my life, perhaps growing out of the experiences of incest, is that i cannot tolerate pretense in any form [at least those forms that are meant to be covertly deceptive and therefore harmful to all parties involved]. it is obnoxious and toxic for me. it's a big part of why i live in such isolation. exposure to pretense of any kind leaves me with a sense of sunburn on my soul. and pretense is everywhere.

having said all that, i apologize in advance if my words are found to be difficult for anyone who reads them. i choose to respond to this thread based on those qualities that we have in common, ie, the survivor connection, however, i realize that we all have our own unique ways of surviving, and mine happen to be such that in all my living, i feel this intense and almost desperate need to integrate all my components, not segregate them into little anterooms, causing me to be further divided from those with whom i seek deep connection. for integration to happen, validation must precede it.

Quote:
As I understand it all boys start out attracted to other boys. They like being around them, hanging out with them, admiring things about them like their look or they way they dress or handle themselves


i bolded the word 'all' because unless 'all' boys have been polled, there is no way to verify this statement. and so for me, everything that follows it, is built on a false premise.

for me the all too human tendency to stereotype is at the root of the problem we encounter with generalizing such an abstract construct as sexual identity. i am at the point in my understanding, that these types of discussions' seem to take on more of an apologetic type of tint. they are raised within the framework of a dichotomy [ie am i gay versus am i straight]. and they are raised because some stress force is bearing upon a person causing them, out of some as yet unidentified need, to conjecture a definitive solution as to what is perceived by them to be 'an issue' or a problem in the first place, requiring an 'all or nothing' resolution.

what sets up this dyad of opposition, this need to argue for one state or position for or against another? i see words and concepts such as 'unhealthy' and 'unnatural' being ported into the conversation about same sex attraction and gay orientation, and immediately a red flag goes up for me giving evidence of a conflict, a dissonance within the psyche of a person who is at odds with two opposing states. where did that dilemma come from? and what purpose does resolving its dilemma serve?

what i perceive to be the answer to that question is found in the tendency, the need for secrecy. and i feel intense compassion for those self-proclaimed 'heterosexuals' who withhold the truth from partners for whom having to live with the idea that accepting a non-traditional sexual orientation[s] would be the most horrific and tragic of acceptances. the need to construct a life lived on pretense is simply an extension of the legacy of abuse, and in reinforcing the secrecy, we have gnawed off our own arm to avoid suffering the consequences of disclosure.

the subconscious dialog in a conflicted person needing to hide/deny unwanted attraction[s] may go something like this:

'in spite of my abuse experiences, i have made my choices; i have made my bed, and now i must 'lie' in it. if i admit even to myself to being 'gay' [ie, attracted to males in any way shape or form] then all of my choices, all that i have created in my life, my wife, my children, my image in the job market, would be compromised in disclosure. how could i ever explain this truth about myself, without risking losing my security and all that i have spent my life building; the very foundation upon which i have constructed everything that represents verity for my own life. who am i outside of the idea of who i imagine myself to be; outside the shell of self i have projected into the minds of my spouse and children and social community? the answer is clear: i am a sham, a fraud. ' of course, this logic is flawed, but people still cling to the notion of a bi-polar model, but guessing at why that is, would best be discussed in another thread and forum.

when these types of arguments are raised, i get the sense that they are predicated upon apriori acceptance of a certain set of preferred values as being the benchmark against which to measure another. [ie culturally condoned values such as males are men and their equipment are 'supposed' do go into a female] as if were some kind of division problem to be solved. [well, maybe multiplication.....] it is shameful how the legacy of abuse has duped us with fear and threat of loss of emotional spiritual and psychological support, into twisting ourselves into some concrete representation of who we believe we need to be. we are ever mercurial beings, always in a state of flux, more spirit than flesh, yet we seem to want to encase our entire being in concrete, or rather plastic.

in my opinion, SSA vs Gay is not the issue; the need to quibble about it is. there are much deeper issues beneath the surface that need to be addressed before this argument will go away. hopefully discussion such as this from many perspectives will serve to kick the legs out from under it, and if not put the question to rest along with the dinosaurs, it will at least give us yet another tool for excavating the deeper layers of the onion of self, and at least lead to more enlightenment and personal acceptance and integration.

all the best,

a very opinionated ron blush

ps dan, what you wrote gave me the balls finish this and to hit 'send'. thanks, i think.....



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


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#293816 - 07/01/09 12:29 PM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Freedom49]
Jim1961 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/10/09
Posts: 1121
Loc: Pa, but likely traveling...
Originally Posted By: Freedom49
Sometimes boys who are highly sexual or have been sexualized by other males tend to want to sexualize these desires they have for other males also. For some of them these desires feel unnatural and does not feel right for them. They may be strongly attracted to girls but because of abuse conditioning when sexual feelings arise they are confused about these feelings and are uncomfortable with the desire to want to be sexual with another male. I feel this is primarily because the SSA desires tend to draw them back into abuse reenactments that have nothing to do with love, caring, nurturing in a healthy relationship.

Unlike what you are feeling for your boyfriend, it is usually just a need to get off and does not usually concern who, when, or where. Love and devotion and other emotions usually do not even come into the experience and on the contrary a numbing and shame and isolation is usually the outcome. SSA in this sense is what many of us feel is unwanted because we cannot develop a loving lifelong relationship in this condition. This may appear to only be possible with someone of the opposite sex and therefore this other attraction seems unhealthy for them and detrimental to their happiness.


Roger,
This explanation perfectly fits my experience. Thanks for articulating it so clearly!

I feel I know myself better now than I ever did thanks to Recovery work. I'm comfortable with the choices I have made and understand that what was done to me twisted my true identity. Now that's progress I think!

Jim

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

My Story

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#293839 - 07/01/09 05:28 PM Re: [Re: Sans Logos]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
.




Edited by Freedom49 (05/21/10 06:17 PM)

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#293848 - 07/01/09 07:00 PM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Freedom49]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
thanks for saying all that roger. it is very clarifying to hear it and i appreciate all the heart and soul that went into making that reply.

when i first read thru your post, i thought, well this thread is really meant to speak to people who are struggling with ssa, which i am not, so i probably have nothing to contribute.

but what had elicited a response from me was the title, which seemed like an invitation to rehash the generality of the gay/ssa conversations that had preceded it in these forums so many times before.

your response shows me that the conversation had transcended that level into more specific territory as it relates to sexually abused males who are struggling with the contradictions between their own natural orientations and their attractions toward males for simple male bonding.

Quote:
I have read in studies on developmental stages in males would support that at least most boys do tend to gravitate toward their own sex in early development and not for sexual reasons.


ahhhhh, that's much better :-) when i saw that i immediately remembered how all through elementary school days, i would stand on the side of the school yard at recess and watch as the boys interacted, never quite 'getting it', but rather felt more comfortable fitting in with the girls and playing jump rope with them. it was not that i feared jumping into the frey with the rest of the fellows, but rather that there was no 'draw' for me to do so.

and that is important for me, because had the been an element of fear involved, then, as an older male with new processing mechanisms and filtering techniques, my red flags would raise to wonder 'why' that would be the case.

outside of school i did have male friends at home, two in particular, one of which tried to have sex with me, but i was too afraid and confused by his advance, and did not know how to respond, and just retreated from the experience. that was a simple situation [i imagine] of boys experimenting. he was not 'gay' but i was deeply in love with him both before and after that experience.

i was in the boy scouts as well, and many of the males i encountered there were peers, but i still had crushes on a lot of them, not necessarily because they invoked a power that i seemed to lack, but 'just because'.

another memory of mine of my boyhood crushes, was of johhny crawford, who was the son of lucas mccain in the tv series, the rifleman from 1958-1963. those would have been the years i was ages 5 thru 10, prior to my abuse. i can't honestly say i have any memories of anything that would have caused me to feel such deep passion for that little lucas mccain. but, i did, and he melted me, made me weak in the knees, even at that young age, everytime i would see him, and hear him speak. go figure!?

please allow me to apologize again for barging into a thread that really had no bearing on me. still, i must confess, anytime i see the words 'unhealthy' in the same context as the words 'gay' and 'ssa', i automatically shift into the mode of being judged, and when that happens, i seem to instinctively react as if coming to the defense of the defenseless.

but thanks to you and this thread, and i am learning to look before i leap. this was and is indeed a teachable moment for me.

all the best,

ron

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


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#293856 - 07/01/09 08:26 PM Re: [Re: Sans Logos]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
.




Edited by Freedom49 (05/21/10 06:17 PM)

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#293938 - 07/02/09 12:58 PM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Freedom49]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
I don't struggle with SSA or the gay issue. My struggles are with porn and allot of what is being shared in this post I can strongly relate to.

Roger- "It is usually the need to get off and does not concern who,when and where. Love and devotion and other emotions usually do not even come into the experience and the contrary a numbing,shame and isolate is the usually the outcome."

Just Scott- "When I feel safe,strong and not triggered, I feel no SSA whatsoever. When I am in a bad place though, I struggle with it. I find myself with this drive for sex. No desire for relationship or anything like that. Just sex, Just like when i was used as a child."

In fact I feel that being gay is a sexual origination.

Where as SSA is a patholical response to deal with the hurt and shame from the experience of being abused as a child.
Guys who struggle with SSA use men in order to find relief from their pain. And us guys that struggle with porn addiction use the images from the mag, dvd or what ever to find our relief. And then their are those men whom have multible sexual encounters with women for their fixes for the pain they feel. I think where your struggle lies with what sex you bonded or did not bond to as a child. Or if you even bond to anyone.
In short it is a learned behavior that we use to cope with the pain of being csa victims.

My question is how do we overcome these behaviors? Or can they truely be overcome?

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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#293961 - 07/02/09 04:02 PM Re: [Re: michael banks]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
.




Edited by Freedom49 (05/21/10 06:18 PM)

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#293995 - 07/02/09 11:15 PM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Freedom49]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
wink good stuff Roger

_________________________
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#295555 - 07/16/09 12:58 PM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: mogigo]
starman77 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 36
Loc: Illinois
Roger,

Thanks you so much for this post. I have unwanted ssa and at times it drives me crazy. I am married and love my wife. I know if I act I would loose a lot.
You have put this issue up for discussion and I have learned so much about ssa,it is complicated issue your post has cleared things up for me.
Thanks

Jerry


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#295562 - 07/16/09 02:24 PM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: starman77]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Hi, all.

This is my personal opinion and personal life story NOT an argument for or against being called names nor is this an opinion for being labeled gay nor is this an argument for others having unwanted ssa feelings.

I have been out for nearly 20 years. I was married for 5 years before then and have two wonderful kids.

I left the marriage to be me for which I could not be me because I was being intimate with a women and I wanted to be intimate with a man.

I was not having memories of the csa when I got married or divorced.

I have the "affects" from the csa which have NOTHING to do with my attractions. My fear of NOT having enough money has nothing to with my ssa feelings. My internal dialogue "i am not good enough" has everything to do with my abuser NOT with my desires for the same sex.

I am not physically attracted to girls/women and have NEVER been attracted to females. I got married to show others I could do better than my parents at being married. I was lying at being married - plane and simple.

Being gay is a label and having ssa feelings is fact. To me they both refer to the same thing. I spend very little energy and time defining them for me.

I support all of you in whatever effort you need to go through to be happy and at peace with yourself.

Peace,
DJ

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#299393 - 08/15/09 11:40 AM Re: SSA or Gay caution may trigger [Re: Freedom49]
dave999 Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 23
Loc: Canada
My experiences would support the two concepts. I was abused as a child by my mother. I had repressed this reality for my entire life - 2 years ago it surfaced - I found an unbelievable force pulling me to men - I was not physically attracted to them - I ended up acting on these - each time I would dissociate - leave the experience feeling depressed, full of shame and guilt, and very confused about my sexual identity - the de>

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#299406 - 08/15/09 02:18 PM Re: [Re: dave999]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
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Edited by Freedom49 (05/21/10 06:15 PM)

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#299582 - 08/16/09 10:22 PM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Freedom49]
a2312o Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Posts: 2
Thank You!!

I have been struggling with this for many years. I have always had a urge to get close to other males, the need for friendship, which I confused as a sexual urge (being 22; sexual urges happen quite frequently). I have always struggled with the fact that I would be considered gay. Because I want in the future a wife and kids.

I found myself over the last couple of years getting into physical situations with male and not being into it at all. I remember walking around a gay bathhouse thinking "What am I doing here!" It was purely the need to get off.

Growing up I never had any close male friends. Now I am longing for a close male friendship and I feel like I am confusing/ mixing it with my sexual urges. Being 22 these sexual urges are very frequent.

This post has cleared a lot of it up for me.

Now I just need to figure out how to separate the urges and the need for close male friendship.

Thanks Roger!!


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#299590 - 08/16/09 11:37 PM Re [Re: a2312o]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
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Edited by Freedom49 (05/21/10 06:16 PM)

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#300670 - 08/27/09 09:24 AM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Freedom49]
Grunty1967b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Australia
Roger,

This has been a really great post and Iím disappointed Iíve only come across it now. Still, better late than never.

As it turns out Iíve just seen another related post, but what speaks to me the loudest is that in my 4 years here at MS this is the first time I have come across the topic of SSA (Same Sex Attraction). Perhaps there have been posts about it before and Iíve not ďseenĒ them or maybe I just havenít come across them before. Anyway, this post is SO what Iíve needed to read about.

I appreciated the responses from everybody else so far. I have a thought from the people who would suggest that those of us with SSA are perhaps gay and just not at that place of acceptance.

I accept that could be true for some but I thought about this point Ė for those that are gay yet still have Ďunwantedí SSA isnít that a sign that things are not as they should be? Surely if a gay person is in a committed relationship is it really normal to live with and accept constant sexual thoughts about almost any two legged male that comes across their path (or at least any male that triggers them)? Surely not.

So I donít think the issue should be sidetracked by a personís sexual orientation. The issue as per the very beginning of this post is about unwanted SSA. Dare I say it could also be about OSA (opposite sex attraction). If the thingís out of whack, the thingís out of whack.

So thankyou for raising SSA from someone who has agonised over this daily since I was in my teens. Now in my forties I wish I could say Iím over it but that is not the case. It tears me up daily but I now have hope after reading more about this.

In particular, comments like that from ďa2312oĒ:
Quote:
Growing up I never had any close male friends. Now I am longing for a close male friendship and I feel like I am confusing/ mixing it with my sexual urges


These echo where Iím at too yet I am terrified that if I get close to any male I would either act out or allow them to do things to me. I canít even imagine them just being a guy whoís interacting with me. Iíve not known male to male interaction any other way than sexual or non existent.

Please Ė to everybody Ė keep the info coming and the insights active. I and all like me need it. Our lives are unbalanced, lacking and full of horrible daily triggers that seem like they will never go away.


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#300769 - 08/28/09 10:59 AM Re: [Re: Grunty1967b]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
.




Edited by Freedom49 (05/21/10 06:16 PM)

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#300777 - 08/28/09 11:58 AM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: Freedom49]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Hi, All.

I just started posting at this site and interacting here a few months ago.

I have been in "recovery" from the csa for 3 years and "out" for nearly 20 years. I dealt with the sexuality issues in my life at different times in my life. I "accepted" my gayness with some reservation because of the myth I had to get married to a women to be whole. I know women have the same thought about "having" to be married to be whole beings.

I will be brief and to the point about this issue of ssa or gay as far as MY opinion. For me the word "or" means a decision or direction needs to be taken.

I came out as a "gay" man 20 years ago. I never thought about it much until I started reading and comprehending this issue of unwanted ssa or gayness. So, if I evaluate myself in terms of unwanted ssa or gayness I have to say I had at one time "unwanted" osa (opposite sex attraction). Yes, I said it UNWANTED OSA. I would not want my ex-wife to read this but, I had the worst time of my life (next to dealing with affects of the csa) when I was living with the unwanted osa. I was so relieved to not have to "sleep" with her - opposite person. I was lying to her - ouch (sorry ladies in the F&F group here). Was I abused sexually by my mother or aunt or whomever was female NO. Would abuse by a female since I am male "cause" me to be straight or have unwanted osa? hmmmmm ....

Somethings to ponder but, I am happiest when I "accept" my own being.

I love you all for who you are.

Anyway my $1 worth of input.

Peace,
DJ

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#300879 - 08/29/09 01:24 PM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: DJsport]
GentleSoul Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 236
Loc: Manhattan
Gents,

Thank you all for your wonderful input. I can understand and relate to your struggles. I kinda agree with Danny with this one. I think labeling is just another form of manipulative propaganda. I believe there is nothing wrong with attraction. I think the main issue here is the shame associated with 'same sex' attraction. Trying to define an attraction as 'same sex' or 'opposite sex'.... Hmmmmm... doesn't that imply a sense of negative connotation to a feeling? Marriage and sex is a beautiful thing; but labeling it a 'mixed' marriage or 'same sex' marriage (to me) dilutes the term a bit. If the shame associated with 'same sex attraction' is eliminated, I wonder how life would be like? Brothers, there is nothing wrong with attraction. Feelings are feelings and it's okay to have them. If you're gay, does it mean it's okay that you can have SSA? Does it mean if you're straight it's socially unacceptable to have SSA? In terms of "unwanted" attention, I think this would fall along the line of accepting something for what it is. I've learned that I can't change the world (ie stop people from having attractions); however, I can change the way I view or react to it/them. To me there's a big difference between gay and SSA. One involves shame and the other doesn't.

Humbly,
Jay

_________________________
I can finally admit I pretend to say and do nice things so people will think I'm a standout guy.

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#300917 - 08/30/09 01:06 AM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: GentleSoul]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Just my two cents, and I suppose this could be triggering, I feel like we get obsessed with labeling or trying to avoid labeling here. That's perfectly understandable. It's so difficult for us to try and define who we are as people, and society makes sexuality a much bigger deal in America than it is in other parts of the world, as I understand it.

At any rate, if you give the words "gay" or "straight" power to restrict your identity, then yes, they're absolutely labels that you're confining yourself too. But at the same time, don't we also use these labels to convey a point that's much more simple? If I say "I'm gay" then in my mind I'm interested in finding men to spend my life with, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, etc. If I say "I'm straight" then it conveys simply that I'm looking for the above feelings with a woman. If it's made to be restrictive, it becomes a label. Does that make sense? If not, it's just my own view of the issue.


I just turned 22 a few months ago. Since I was 18, and probably much younger, I obsessed about what or who I was into sexually, especially after being abused by my cousin for several years under a very non violent, non threatening, but none the less manipulative guise. When the kid you spend your holidays with playing sega and watching hockey decides he wants you to perform sexual favors on him, or him on you, and everything else you do with him is "fun", then even if it seems wrong, you give in. I think it's funny that I just took that whole last couple of sentences and wrote myself out of them.

Anyways, I was a mess sexually for a long time. All my life from middle school I have wanted a woman or girl or whatever in my life for me to be with so badly, who really understands and loves me and all that good stuff. I enjoy hooking up with women, even though I have terrible approach anxiety and a pretty poor game. I dealt with a lot of psychological trauma from my mother and my sister, so I have a fear of women on some level or another that kinda throws a wrench in things for me. For a long time I was ostracised from my peers, wanting desperately to just be another dude and just fit in and get along with the rest of them. In middle school I definitely sexualized that need for belonging. I never tried to hook up with other dudes, but often times in my mind, I would fantasize sexually about the "popular" guys I was in school with. I wanted to be like them. I did it to kids that bullied me too, because it was my own way of emasculating them in my mind so I could move on with life. Very confusing.

By highschool I had put most of that behind me, but after entering college I began experimenting with gay porn. I feel like, and my therapist agrees, that this was a way for me to contextualize that abuse, and since I was in control by masturbating, try and make sense of it. At first I didn't mind it, but almost a week after I first tried it came the wondering, checking, list making, at levels that are reminiscent of OCD sufferers.


When I finally entered therapy, the more traumas I unwound and let go of, the more these behaviors started to fade, and they stopped hanging around in my head as often. They're nearly completely gone now, but there are two things that still have me, and I know EXACTLY what they are. One is the shame I bear in the fact that I actually went and explored gay porn. This isn't parental or religion based. But in my eyes, compared to my friends and other peers of mine who seek female company, I feel somewhat contaminated now, somewhat less of a man for having checked that way. Because of this, I feel like I can't go out and pursue women and enjoy their company, because of this proverbial skeleton in the closet. In the same way I was trying to control my abuse to lessen it's impact and make sense of it, I often watch or view gay porn to see how I react to it. It doesn't turn me on in all the kinds I've watched, but at the same time, when I even think about checking my body starts shaking and I feel fear instantly, because I know what the mental backlash will be like. It will only lead to obsessive questioning and more checking which will not bring me any answers. Even if it doesn't arouse me, I'll wonder "what if I just wasn't into it" "what if I was just scaring and I need to relax" etc. The simple fact is that it doesn't do it for me, but my anxiety will turn it into an obsession, and there is my insecurity right there. As long as that's on my mind, it makes it tough for me to concentrate on taking my life in the direction I feel it going.


The second is that I hold near impossible standards of perfection for myself in many areas of my life, mainly physical perfection. I was chubby as a kid, and not only my cousin (while I was being molested) but most of the "popular" kids I went to school with were all athletic and all similar types of people. Most had light hair, light eyes, and were in very good physical shape. I'm not in bad shape by any means, and I know this, but because I don't look like an abercrombie and fitch model I obsess about my body fat percentage, how many calories I burn in a workout, what kind of food I'm eating, down to these minute details. When I see kids, mostly younger, say 12 or 13 to about 14 or 15, and even good looking guys my own age who keep themselves in great physical shape, I used to wonder "am I attracted to them sexually?" The answer is no, but in them I see the person I wish I could be, the person who my ideal of who I am is. I am not attracted to them, I am attracted to what they represent to me. I wish I was tall, had 2 percent body fat and perfect muscle definition, and blonde hair. My eyes are already green, but I wish they were greener. Aside from the lack of blue eyes, does that not sound a little aryan? Like I said though, to abuse victims who sexualize these thoughts and feelings in what are to many other people normal reactions, it was confusing. It took me forever to realize that I can recognize other people, other guys specifically, as being good looking without it meaning I have a sexual attraction to them. I'm trying to move past all of that though, and I feel myself breaking free from these things I felt were binding me into effectively going nowhere with my life. Coming here and talking about this tonight has been a great help to me.


Best Wishes,
Andy


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#301107 - 08/31/09 08:01 PM Re: [Re: AndyS87]
Freedom49 Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
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Edited by Freedom49 (05/21/10 06:18 PM)

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#301175 - 09/01/09 11:27 AM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: AndyS87]
GentleSoul Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/05/07
Posts: 236
Loc: Manhattan
Andy!

Bravo on such a very poignant and well thought out post! I have to admit that I'm somewhat impressed of your level of introspection for such a tender age of 22! You hit on a very interesting point I have not even considered:

Originally Posted By: AndyS87
When I see kids, mostly younger, say 12 or 13 to about 14 or 15, and even good looking guys my own age who keep themselves in great physical shape, I used to wonder "am I attracted to them sexually?" The answer is no, but in them I see the person I wish I could be, the person who my ideal of who I am is.


For some survivors, I can see how it can be difficult to distinguish between attraction and sex. For example, I am attracted to men who have a healthy inner child, an innocence that I never had as a child. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that the attraction is sexual. Similarly, I can see how someone showing me some interest or attention can be misconstrued as sexual advances. As a matter of fact, I do it all the time. Someone comes up and talks to me and I immediately think they like me physically or sexually. In that sense, are the components of SSA purely physical or sexual or something more subtle like the need for attention or validation?

Thank you for sharing a point of view that was apparently in my blind spot. It's given me a lot to think about.

Humbly,
Jay

_________________________
I can finally admit I pretend to say and do nice things so people will think I'm a standout guy.

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#302012 - 09/07/09 02:35 AM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: GentleSoul]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
well, I think of attraction like this. I am attracted to dunkin donuts muffin's because they're fucking delicious. I'm attracted to sports cars because they're sleek, fast, and fun to drive. None of these are sexual. If you are "attracted" to an individual of the same sex, it could be completely non sexual. You find them funny as hell, they're a good drinking partner, a good wingman, or just a cool person in general, you're going to be attracted to them because you want them to be your friend. It's not a sexual attraction, but because of our pasts it can bemisinterpreted that way, ya dig?


Another word on my last post about having ideals for myself to be perfect. I talked to my shrink and she says trauma victims often feel a need to be as perfect in as many things as they can to compensate for what many perceive as a "weakness". If you're drawn to somebody because they have what you seek, it's not a gay attraction or anything (unless of course you are gay, and find those persons strenghts desirable and all that jazz). It's admiration.


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#302026 - 09/07/09 08:49 AM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: AndyS87]
petercorbett Online   content
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2433
Loc: TEXAS
Hi, AndyS87, my fraternal brother.

That is a great post that you made (above).

And there is a lot of truth in it.

And frankly i never have thought about in that manner.

SSA of Gay....again when i get to those pearly gates of heaven, i'll let God put on the label.

Heal well my fraternal brothers, heal well.

" I will take that lost boys hand, and i will lead him from the depths of darkness, into the sunshine forever, into eternity".

Little Pete & big Pete..but 1 (Irishmoose).

_________________________
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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#302314 - 09/09/09 11:27 AM Re: SSA or Gay [Re: petercorbett]
dave999 Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 23
Loc: Canada
I have come to realize (at least for me) that the experience of SA in some way separated me from my lidido - my life's energy force - I think that this separation is the basis of our problem - there is a natural biological imperative operating in which we try to get re-connected to this part of our being. This separation results in all kinds of sexual (libidinal energy)identity issues - in some cases we are afraid to re-connect - because of the negative memories of the previous experience or maybe my thoughts on my sexual identity will be proven to be true etc. etc. Our maleness and our need to re-connect to it drives a lot of our confusion (see comments from others in this thread) - regardless of whether or not we are attracted to the same gender or the opposite gender - these are just one man's thoughts - thanks for your feed back - take care - Dave


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