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#307070 - 10/19/09 06:28 AM So many questions about sex - what's right?
UKJames Offline


Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 2
Hi friends,
my 1st post so be gentle!

I was abused from 4-10 by my father and another man. It was always violent (requiring several surgeries).

From ages 10-18 I only slept with other men, 18-24 female prostitutes, 24-30 I got married (and stayed faithful) and now I'm divorced and in a relationship with a wonderful woman.

My questions are all about sex. I have no idea what's normal. It is almost impossible for me to be present during sex. I always feel like dying after I come (alone or with someone else), I almost always close my eyes and pretend I'm with someone else, or indulge in fantasies of abuse and inflicting pain whilst having sex. I have enormous fear of kissing, her breathing on me, bodily fluids (hers and mine) etc.

She wants me to be present, and often will ask me to look at her during sex - nothing is a bigger turn off for me. At the same time, I desperately want to be able to do it. I don't want to always feel that sex is secretive, wrong, to be hidden from and to be invisible during the act.

I have some questions, like can I catch any diseases from kissing or oral sex (I know she hasn't got any STDs)? Can i catch anything from her breathing over my mouth? Is there anything I can do to avoid the overwhelming shame that comes with ejaculation? Is it normal to only want sex once a week or so and to never want to masturbate?

Sorry if this sounds confusing and all over the place. I find the subject so overwhelming and confusing. Is it unhealthy to want to avoid intimacy during sex? To feel that she's stained/contaminated just because she's had other sexual partners (none abusive, just normal, consensual sex)? And if I have sex with her does that make me an abuser? I know that last one sounds weird, esp as she's in her late 20's, but sex always seems like an abusive act to me.

Sometimes she'll give me oral sex and I don't know whether to thank her afterwards or not. Has she done me a huge favour? Is it normal to enjoy giving other people head?

Eesh.

Any response gratefully received...

James x


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#307071 - 10/19/09 06:42 AM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: UKJames]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
hi james,

Quote:
Is it unhealthy to want to avoid intimacy during sex?


i can't imagine after what you've experienced that you would feel any differently than this.

i mean after all, you started having sneaky and abusive sexual experiences thrust upon you at age 4. how healthy was your actual initiation and training period for sexual activity? good gawd, you were a baby! healthy sex is a reciprocal activity between consenting adults. this is not the case for you for much of your early life. now as an older person, it seems plausible that you would simply carry over all the feelings that were created in your earliest experiences of being a little boy overpowered, sexually victimized and raped. life is never business as usual after that.

fear, shame, used and abused. the feelings that little james child felt and buried because they were too painful to allow; he was not developed enough as a human person to even know how to begin to process such things.

no it makes sense this confusion and anguish is being carried forward through your life from moment to moment.

are you in therapy? if i may, allow me to suggest doing that as soon as possible. you've got a lot of unpacking to do brother. sorry you went through all that, but i'm glad you found us.

all the best,

ron

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


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#307073 - 10/19/09 06:53 AM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: Sans Logos]
UKJames Offline


Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 2
Thanks so much for such a quick response. I'm in therapy and yet mostly it's been about staying alive and handling day to day basics. The unpacking hasn't really started yet and I'm not at all looking forward to it. I know it ain't going to just go away on its own but to start poking about in there... Jeez. Feel like it'll eat me alive.


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#307115 - 10/19/09 01:38 PM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: UKJames]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 858
Loc: washington
UKJames,

I am sorry that you have to be here and at the same time I am glad you founds MS.

Sometimes I think recovery is sometimes a rough road, but there are always gifts along the way.

I think of recovery like that of cleaning an infected wound. In the end I feel so much better, in the place that I am at...

...Have hope, my recovery brother it gets better...!!!

There are several good books to read on this subject and I started reading, "Courage to Heal" by Laura Davis (which is actually geared for women)...but there are several other books specifically suited for men.

...but only when you are ready.


Fight the Good Fight (Triumph)

island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#307124 - 10/19/09 02:27 PM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: UKJames]
Geeders Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/03/08
Posts: 1901
Loc: Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: UKJames
I'm in therapy and yet mostly it's been about staying alive and handling day to day basics. The unpacking hasn't really started yet and I'm not at all looking forward to it. I know it ain't going to just go away on its own but to start poking about in there... Jeez. Feel like it'll eat me alive.

TRIGGER ALERT!!

Welcome to MS James:

I believe our brother Ron is quite right in his response above. Too soon in your formative years you were taught to believe that sex was wrong, dirty, and associated with pain. In fact, with the right person, including just yourself, it can be quite the opposite.

Does your partner know of your past? If she were to know of your past, she and you, together can talk about what does, if anything, make you feel good. And the fact that you are already in T, well, that indicates to me that you have started the unpacking process. Part of that process includes not feeling shamed about who we are as men.

Like it or not, men ejaculate. When we do, its usually accompanied by feelings of immense wellness, peace, contentment, and release. Those endorphins really do rock the brain waves. You seem however, to be expressing great shame, and guilt that your body reactes sexually, up to and including ejaculation. It reacted when you were younger, and perhaps even more so when in adolescence. That is what a man's body is supposed to do. Even in abuse, our bodies react. It seems like the ultimate betrayal for as men we are taught to be in control, yet here is your body reacting in your youth to uninvited stimulation to the point it had to to react. This was not then, nor is it now, your fault.

Yet, here you are feeling this way, and through no fault of your own. You were taught to dislike sex for it was painful, scary, and not at all the wonderful experience it should have been for you. In time, and with a lot of work unpacking, I hope that this can change for you.

You asked about oral sex with your partner, not knowing if you should thank her for it. Is this something that you find enjoyable, receiving oral from her? If yes, then by all means thank her. And if it isn't enjoyable for you, perhaps you can tell her how it makes you feel. Communication between two people involved sexually is very important at the best of times, and especially so when a survivor is involved. Even the most basic behaviours of sex can trigger us, and force us to go places in our minds just to get through it, while realizing that our partners have sexual needs and desires as well. I used to have ghosts in the bedroom. Sometimes the ghost reappears, but not nearly as often as it used to. Working on remaining present together can reap enormous rewards. I wish you the best of luck.

Jim

_________________________
My name is Jim
WoR Mysthaven 2008, Level 2 WoR Alta 2009, Kirkridge 2010, 2011, Oprah 200 men

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#307249 - 10/20/09 04:26 AM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: Geeders]
sono Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/09
Posts: 1069
Hello UK James,

Since this is your first post, I just wanted to take this opportunity to welcome you to MS. Well, you may have asked your brothers here to be gentle as it was your first post, but you certainly jumped in with both feet...good on you!

I guess I don't have anything brilliant to add to what my friends here have already said except to ask the question, do you love her? You said you're with a wonderful woman...that doesn't necessarily mean you love her. You don't have to give me an answer but rather the answer is for you to know. If it's no, or not a full-throated yes, then that can sure play into all of the things you are asking about.

all the best and again, welcome!

sono

_________________________
the family
the perp

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#307375 - 10/20/09 10:13 PM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: sono]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1960
Hi UK James.

I think I understand many of the feelings you express. What others have said seems to make lots of sense. I have work to do in this area myself so not sure if I have any insights to add. I will say though, welcome to MS and I wish you well on your healing.

Eric


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#307395 - 10/20/09 11:05 PM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: ericc]
DJsport Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 1742
Hi, UK James.

Welcome to MS.

Your not alone there guy. I agree with Ron and Jim - what experienced would lead to the fantasies your having and the feelings you have after you ejaculate.

I would offer - It is ok to have the fantasies your having. As long as no one is getting hurt including you the fantasies are ok.

It will take time and be gentle with yourself and take deep breaths.

Peace,
DJ

_________________________
Live to your fullest potential

Never make someone a priority if your only an option

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#307463 - 10/21/09 01:15 PM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: DJsport]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2465
Loc: UK
Hi James, welcome to MS, and i hope you find the help and support you want here. Good to see a new member from the UK!

_________________________
"...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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#308527 - 10/29/09 12:29 PM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: king tut]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/27/08
Posts: 2572
Quote:
And if I have sex with her does that make me an abuser?

That statement makes perfect sense to me. I've struggled with that for a LONG time. I've been married just about 10 years, and most of the time I waited for her to initiate (which was very rarely) and then I'd let her have total control, I was really just there. Although I wasn't really ever there, because like you, I kept my eyes closed. Keeping them open would make continuing impossible. I also fantisized and disconnected and was never mentally or emotionally present.

Based on personal expereience, I can tell you that in time it is possible to get to where things should have been. You're beginning this journey, and it's not easy, but it is WORTH it!!!! It's a fight, every step, and some days you'll want to give up, but keep going!

Only very recently have I reached a place where I can actually enjoy myself. Actually enjoy being close to my wife. We can actually TALK and keep my eyes OPEN and it's all good! It's wonderfully amazing!!!

YOU can get there too. You're questions makes sense with what you experienced. When you're ready to unpack all that, go for it. I can't say it won't hurt, but it'll be better for you in the long run. It'll take time, but you'll get there. Little by little, day by day!!

Glad you found the site, it'll be a lifeline if you let it! Helped me quite a bit!



Edited by JustScott (10/29/09 12:29 PM)

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#308549 - 10/29/09 06:30 PM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: UKJames]
Mike1968 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/14/09
Posts: 117
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: UKJames
Hi friends,
my 1st post so be gentle!

I was abused from 4-10 by my father and another man. It was always violent (requiring several surgeries).

From ages 10-18 I only slept with other men, 18-24 female prostitutes, 24-30 I got married (and stayed faithful) and now I'm divorced and in a relationship with a wonderful woman.

My questions are all about sex. I have no idea what's normal. It is almost impossible for me to be present during sex. I always feel like dying after I come (alone or with someone else), I almost always close my eyes and pretend I'm with someone else, or indulge in fantasies of abuse and inflicting pain whilst having sex. I have enormous fear of kissing, her breathing on me, bodily fluids (hers and mine) etc.

She wants me to be present, and often will ask me to look at her during sex - nothing is a bigger turn off for me. At the same time, I desperately want to be able to do it. I don't want to always feel that sex is secretive, wrong, to be hidden from and to be invisible during the act.

I have some questions, like can I catch any diseases from kissing or oral sex (I know she hasn't got any STDs)? Can i catch anything from her breathing over my mouth? Is there anything I can do to avoid the overwhelming shame that comes with ejaculation? Is it normal to only want sex once a week or so and to never want to masturbate?

Sorry if this sounds confusing and all over the place. I find the subject so overwhelming and confusing. Is it unhealthy to want to avoid intimacy during sex? To feel that she's stained/contaminated just because she's had other sexual partners (none abusive, just normal, consensual sex)? And if I have sex with her does that make me an abuser? I know that last one sounds weird, esp as she's in her late 20's, but sex always seems like an abusive act to me.

Sometimes she'll give me oral sex and I don't know whether to thank her afterwards or not. Has she done me a huge favour? Is it normal to enjoy giving other people head?

Eesh.

Any response gratefully received...

James x

Hi James, nice to meet you. I will be gentle

To address some of your questions, if you can get rid of your television or limit your exposure to Hollywood and Media, it will probably help alleviate your fears about "what is normal". Folks who like to tell others what is normal are usually far from normal themselves. Their data is flawed anyway

We are all uniquely made, so normal doesn't exist. Thank Goodness

Regarding intimacy, my first inclination is you both appear at risk for STD's. Subtle signs appear as symptoms such as burning during urination which are often ignored. It is often free or inexpensive to get tested.

My wife and I dealt with those same fears you have many years ago when we first got together. She was raped. Ghosts lived in our bedroom and would pop up at the most inconvenient of times eek ok maybe that's not funny. But we didn't take it too seriously.
Unclothed I looked like her perp apparently. She only had one boyfriend before we dated so I suspect any man with pubic hair and a penis qualified to look like her perp, I didn't ask specifics. To make myself look different I shaved and still do. It feels much better and it's an easy way to obtain a somewhat safer looking appearance. I tied silly bows on my penis, drew faces on it. Made it talk. Genitals seem safer when not just viewed as a means for sexual pleasure.

We decided to touch each other without being intimate for a month.I let her do more of the touching but it was back and fourth. We started with just touching our heads and hair, then moving to face, then to neck then to chest, you get the idea. did it over again without clothes. Each day we would do just one phase, that's it. So it took a long time.

She seemed really happy that she could fondle me and I wouldn't get erect. Was seeming less fearful. Weaning her off slowly of the automatic fight or flight response was needed. Her belief that all men would become erect when touched needed clarification, it placed pressure on her. After about a month or so, she was begging me to go all the way. Torture was a tactic LOl by offering BJ's... stuff like that. I would joke saying "You are trying to torture me". It seemed like it gave her power and security to believe torturing me was possible, because that means she isn't the victim. She's deluded herself.

I promised to wait at least a month. And I did.

She needed to know when I have boundaries, to know they remain intact. What I say is what WILL happen. Never felt deprived really, it was kinda fun.

Until we made up this game, the ghosts would come frequently. Flashbacks every once in a while would cause an abrupt stop to intimacy but no biggie

My feeling is it may take you longer than a month. This is not just one event for you. Like you, she would become somber and sob after she came. This took a while longer to go pass but there was a marked increase as it occurred less and less. Making genitals seem like just another part of the body which they are, seemed to help. just like an ear except it feels good to touch. We had just turned 18 back then so I think our development was still in progress, probably easier to integrate new thought patterns
I suspect she may have came while being raped. She never told me back then and I am not sure that was something totally understandable to me at that age.

Whatever your fears are, it is fairly easy in my opinion to put them into context to decipher what would be needed to stop the fears It's just logic.

Whether it is successful or helpful, I don't know.

Regarding her and BJs, I would consider yourself very lucky. My suggestion is attempt to reciprocate somehow, do what feels safe to you. Just taking her arms/lets and gently tickling the insides for a while. Gleen what you can for this post, you will be in my thoughts.

Blessings,

Mike




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#309003 - 11/02/09 08:42 AM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: Mike1968]
catfish86 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Ohio
I recently recovered memories of being kidnapped by an uncle and abused. My reaction emotionally was to go from being a horndog constantly after my wife to being suddenly unconcerned and in a couple of instances unable to get an erection despite extreme efforts by my wife. The only successful effort she had was when she hopped on "morning wood" and completed the act before I went soft. I also lost interest in MB which I had done 1-4 times a day without fail since that incident. I obsessed on stories of abuse and my wife walked in when I had something disturbing on the screen. I denied it but later on confessed what had been happening. I was ashamed that it had happened to me and I still apoligize for it.

We talked to a doctor about my lack of reaction and he immediately started looking at my medications and I then let on about the past. He talked me into the need for therapy (if you broke your leg you wouldn't choose to heal it yourself, you've been hurt and you need help, wife was there nodding). While therapy is scheduled, it hasn't begun.

One of the things that I was before able to recover was a little boy in a fetal position, alone, crying, afraid, who wanted to be held so bad. I had never been able to tell where that boy was and what had happened. I now know he was curled up on the floor of a pickup truck trying to crawl under the seat.

One morning I asked my wife to hold me and she did. She had accepted me and the fact that nothing would "happen". We both were undressed and she held me. We talked about the incident and other things. One of the things deflating me was how much the abuse had hurt and despite knowledge to the contrary, I felt I was assaulting her for my pleasure. After about two hours or so, I was surprised to find I was starting to get an erection. After about another hour, my wife and I made love. It was not the best orgasm I have ever had but it was the most intimate and satisfying sex I have ever had. The next day we cuddled for a long time again and it was quite satisfying.

Despite the pain and turmoil I am now experiencing, it may be worth it if I am truly able to make love to my wife. Another thing is that I have found so true the "footprints in the sand" poem that God has carried me for much of my life.

_________________________
God grant me
The Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the Wisdom to know the difference.

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#309005 - 11/02/09 09:21 AM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: catfish86]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
wow catfish! this sounds like some really powerful force is working on you. i give your wife a 'bravo!' for her willingness to show such patience and understanding. you guys sound like you have your feet set on the right path. thanks for sharing this good news with us.

all the best,

ron

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


Top
#311110 - 11/20/09 07:40 AM Re: So many questions about sex - what's right? [Re: Sans Logos]
Logan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 1205
Loc: NY
reading these posts were really helpful for me because I too feel that when I have sex, I am abusing my partner, even though I am not and am just doing what is expected of me to do, it still feels that way to me.

thanks for the post and welcome to MS

Logan

_________________________
"Terrible thing to live in Fear"-Shawshank Redemption
WOR Alumnus Hope Springs 2009
"Quite a thing to live in fear, this is what is means to be a slave"
-Blade Runner

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