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#344619 - 11/09/10 06:17 PM Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared
gt78 Offline


Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 6
First, I just want to say that I just discovered this site a week ago, and I am so thankful that this resource exists.

Here's my problem: For the last 3.5 months, I have been dating an absolutely wonderful man who experienced some very severe sexual abuse throughout his childhood. He told me about the abuse on the first night I met him, and, perhaps naively, I honestly didn't think anything of it except to feel bad that it had happened and tremendous respect for what he was able to overcome.

With the exception of a few conversations since then when I could see that he was in more pain than he'd originally let on, I haven't thought much about it since then. However, the other night, I discovered that he had been viewing a lot of pornography on my computer. I found this upsetting enough, but when I started digging deeper, I discovered that he had searched for and viewed several sites that, while probably not technically illegal, were really skimming the line in terms of the ages of the models (late pre-teens) and the poses (very sexual, but clothed, though skimpily). I confronted him, and he admitted that he had looked at even worse before, though, thankfully, not on my computer.

He began to cry and insisted that he was not and never has looked at these images for sexual reasons. He said that he does search for such things now and then (it was a very small number of sites he'd looked at compared to the amount of "regular" pornography), but that the reason he does it is that sometimes he just gets obsessed with the fact that this is still going on, and he wants to relive his pain. He said he also sometimes tries to figure out if he could be an abuser and looks at the images to see if he can see what his abuser saw and why he did it.

I really, really want to believe him, but I have no idea if I'm deluding myself. He has agreed to go to thereapy (he is in his mid-30s and never has before)and is adament that he does not feel any sort of sexual attraction to girls so young, but I am just so confused. Is what he saying common or does he have a more serious problem than I can deal with? I do not have children, but I was planning to marry this guy, and we have talked about wanting kids; now I'm scared.


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#344624 - 11/09/10 06:46 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: gt78]
gt78 Offline


Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 6
I just posted but thought maybe I should add a few more things for context. Thus far, my boyfriend and I have had a wonderful relationship (the best I've ever had, in fact, which is why we're already talking marriage). Some of our friends have children, and I have never seen him act in an even remotely inappropriate way around them. Additionally, our sex life is great, and I haven't noticed anything unusual in terms of his tastes/requests. Basically, I've seen no signs of anything odd in this direction, but now I can't get this fear out of my head.


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#344626 - 11/09/10 06:54 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: gt78]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6419
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
gt78,

Don't go throwing-out the wedding invitations yet. He did a great and powerful thing by disclosing to you right off the bat. IMO, that indicates a guy whom has really dealt with a lot of the damage the abuse caused. As many folks here will tell you, some survivors have "acting out" issues. The Docs here can explain it better than I, but I see it as an uncontrolable residual effect of the abuse.

Given that he's made this much progress and readily admits the truth to you about it all, you might consider requiring additional professional therapy before progressing any further.

_________________________
This nation has lost its mind!

The Aftermath Video

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#344627 - 11/09/10 06:56 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: Still]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6419
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
I just noticed your remark about being around kids. I suggest you read the "Myths" section of this site or on my blog. Victims/surviores are rarely offenders. But I truly hope you read and believe all that we have to say about the myths.

_________________________
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#344629 - 11/09/10 06:59 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: gt78]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 281
Originally Posted By: gt78
First, I just want to say that I just discovered this site a week ago, and I am so thankful that this resource exists.
The saying goes, we're sorry you have to be here, but glad you made it.

Originally Posted By: gt78
Here's my problem: For the last 3.5 months, I have been dating an absolutely wonderful man who experienced some very severe sexual abuse throughout his childhood. He told me about the abuse on the first night I met him, and, perhaps naively, I honestly didn't think anything of it except to feel bad that it had happened and tremendous respect for what he was able to overcome.
I wouldn't feel too bad about that. Most people have no idea how bad this kind of thing messes people up unless they experience it themselves or love someone who has.

Originally Posted By: gt78
With the exception of a few conversations since then when I could see that he was in more pain than he'd originally let on, I haven't thought much about it since then. However, the other night, I discovered that he had been viewing a lot of pornography on my computer.
Porn and other kinds of addictions are common with this sort of thing. To the best of your knowledge, does he do it obsessively?

Originally Posted By: gt78
I found this upsetting enough, but when I started digging deeper, I discovered that he had searched for and viewed several sites that, while probably not technically illegal, were really skimming the line in terms of the ages of the models (late pre-teens) and the poses (very sexual, but clothed, though skimpily). I confronted him, and he admitted that he had looked at even worse before, though, thankfully, not on my computer.
Thats definitely not good, but at least he seems to have kept it legal. Just having materials that cross the line tends to results in very long prison sentences.

Originally Posted By: gt78
He began to cry and insisted that he was not and never has looked at these images for sexual reasons.
I would be very skeptical about this.

Originally Posted By: gt78
He said that he does search for such things now and then (it was a very small number of sites he'd looked at compared to the amount of "regular" pornography),
If he admits its a small part of the "ponography" he looks at, he's obviously looking at it for sexual reasons.

Originally Posted By: gt78
but that the reason he does it is that sometimes he just gets obsessed with the fact that this is still going on, and he wants to relive his pain. He said he also sometimes tries to figure out if he could be an abuser and looks at the images to see if he can see what his abuser saw and why he did it.
Thats something he needs to discuss with a trained CSA therapist. I've heard of people using the research excuse before, but don't know how often its legitimate. In any case, the police won't care about his reasons if he has stuff that crosses the line.

Originally Posted By: gt78
I really, really want to believe him, but I have no idea if I'm deluding myself. He has agreed to go to thereapy (he is in his mid-30s and never has before)and is adament that he does not feel any sort of sexual attraction to girls so young, but I am just so confused.
Another common and similar scenario is that girlfriends/wives catch their men looking at gay pornography and wonder if they're with a homosexual. It doesn't usually turn out that way, so there's hope in this area.

Originally Posted By: gt78
Is what he saying common or does he have a more serious problem than I can deal with? I do not have children, but I was planning to marry this guy, and we have talked about wanting kids; now I'm scared.
You can't deal with it alone, but he can over time. Only you can decide if you want to stand by him while he does so, and know that he'll experience quite a few ups and downs along the way.


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#344630 - 11/09/10 07:09 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: InsideTheWall]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6419
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
BTW: I consider ALL pornography to be "Inappropriate." I see it as demeaning to the people photographed...but through time, I've discovered that "that's just me."

_________________________
This nation has lost its mind!

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#344632 - 11/09/10 07:16 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: Still]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 281
Originally Posted By: gt78
I just posted but thought maybe I should add a few more things for context. Thus far, my boyfriend and I have had a wonderful relationship (the best I've ever had, in fact, which is why we're already talking marriage). Some of our friends have children, and I have never seen him act in an even remotely inappropriate way around them. Additionally, our sex life is great, and I haven't noticed anything unusual in terms of his tastes/requests. Basically, I've seen no signs of anything odd in this direction, but now I can't get this fear out of my head.
He may be well adjusted in many ways, this isn't an automatic death sentence for the relationship. Just expect alot of difficulty along with the good.


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#344633 - 11/09/10 07:19 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: InsideTheWall]
EvanCan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/09/10
Posts: 170
I believe that InsideTheWall has given you very sound advice and observations.

I would simply add this: If you were my daughter, I would tell you that you should not be living with this man, and I would say that under no circumstances should you plan to marry him for a very long time. (You've only been dating for 3.5 months, and you're talking marriage?!?) He has a lot of healing to do first, IMHO.
You can "stand by your" man through his healing if you wish, but you must insist that he continue in therapy. And as for the sketchy pornography, if the FBI is not already "on" to him, then it's only a matter of time before he is indicted if the porn has "crossed the line."
Under no circumstances should you allow him on your computer. Install filters. Install accountability software. Porn is as addictive as crack. He's not going to shake it on his own, IMHO.
I know this sounds harsh, but ... if you were my daughter ...

_________________________
Hope Springs 2010 WoR Alumnus
"I'm here, and I'm on the mend."


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#344637 - 11/09/10 07:32 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: EvanCan]
gt78 Offline


Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 6
Thank you all for your quick replies. I just don't know what any of this means.

Robbie, I hope I am not being caught up in "myths;" I have been reading about this issue non-stop for the past week, and, like I said, I honestly never thought anything like this until I found those pictures last week. Since then, I have been searching and searching, and I have yet to find a male survivor who has said he had a similar problem or looked at such pictures for similar reasons. That is what has me so scared; I would much prefer to have found something like gay pornography, which I can at least see that a lot of partners have dealt with. I really hate pornography in general, but I can at least understand why some people look at it; but this other stuff is really beyond my comprehension.


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#344638 - 11/09/10 07:43 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: gt78]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6419
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
gt,

I don't and can't imagine what sort of porn this is...but if the ages are actually sketchy and he's used a credit card...you can hear the FBI Crown Victorias on their way.

But truly, there have been plenty of folks here who have beaten the addiction. Snot a earth shattering problemo if he wants to stop it.

_________________________
This nation has lost its mind!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#344642 - 11/09/10 08:13 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: gt78]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 281
Originally Posted By: gt78
I honestly never thought anything like this until I found those pictures last week. Since then, I have been searching and searching, and I have yet to find a male survivor who has said he had a similar problem or looked at such pictures for similar reasons.
They're out there. This kind of thing is taboo even for us, so you won't see it spoken of openly. Not even on MS. A CSA/sex therapist could be very useful here.

Originally Posted By: gt78
That is what has me so scared; I would much prefer to have found something like gay pornography, which I can at least see that a lot of partners have dealt with. I really hate pornography in general, but I can at least understand why some people look at it; but this other stuff is really beyond my comprehension.
You're afraid he's a pedophile, aren't you? I still think the homosexual porn analogy holds up. I think its more about eroticizing the abuse than any legitimate sexual orientation. Could I hazard a guess that the "models" are about the same age as he was when it happened? Also, I wouldn't write off the sex/porn addiction angle so easily. You specifically described your sex life as being good, and I assume that means frequent among other things. If you still think he's a pedophile, we can discuss the warning signs of that or you can just Google them.



Edited by InsideTheWall (11/09/10 08:19 PM)

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#344643 - 11/09/10 08:19 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: Still]
gt78 Offline


Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 6
Well, thankfully, I know he did not pay for anything because he does not have a credit card or bank card. I do not think the pictures I found would qualify as illegal, and the search he used to find them actually specified no nudity. However, they were definitely sexually provocative, and when I pressed him on it, he did admit that he had seen what I (well, and I think anyone) would classify as illegal before.

He did admit to me that he thinks he has a porn addiction; he said that prior to dating me, he couldn't remember a day in the past 20 years he hadn't looked at it in some form. Once I made it clear that I do not like it, he lessened his viewing greatly, but he also realized that he has a problem because he wasn't able to stop himself completely. He told me that he would be fine with it if I felt the need to change the password on my computer; I haven't done so yet because I guess it seemed controlling to me. But now I'm beginning to think that he is going down or has gone down a road where I have an obligation to step in.

I just want so badly to believe what he said. I love him so much, and I would not stop being friends with him, but I really don't think I can handle dating someone who may have to fight with himself about this type of urge. Am I being selfish?


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#344644 - 11/09/10 08:22 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: gt78]
gt78 Offline


Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 6
InsidetheWall,

Your response came just after I made my last post, but yes, that is what I'm afraid of. I honestly know nothing about csa, having, thankfully, not experienced any such thing myself, but I did know enough not to stereotype him in such a way just because of what happened to him. It was when I saw the pictures he'd looked at that I freaked out.


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#344645 - 11/09/10 08:35 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: gt78]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 281
Originally Posted By: gt78
InsidetheWall,

Your response came just after I made my last post, but yes, that is what I'm afraid of.
I do hope you mean the sexual addiction part.

Originally Posted By: gt78
I honestly know nothing about csa, having, thankfully, not experienced any such thing myself,
There's no need to feel bad for not experiencing what he did. Being a sympathizer goes a very, very long way, if you're willing to carry the burden. But you need think think carefully about this.

Originally Posted By: gt78
but I did know enough not to stereotype him in such a way just because of what happened to him. It was when I saw the pictures he'd looked at that I freaked out.
Thats normal. Every woman that catches her guy looking at gay porn reacts the same way. You're not as different as you think. Having said that, you're entitled to change your password and it would be very wise to do so.



Edited by InsideTheWall (11/09/10 08:54 PM)

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#344649 - 11/09/10 09:52 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: InsideTheWall]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5778
Loc: Lambertville, NJ USA
gt:
You are getting some good advice here. The fact of the matter is that a) people who look at child sexual abuse images (child porn) do not, in the vast majority of cases, do NOT have hands on offenses and the rates for recidivism over 10-15 yr periods bear that out.

b) He is looking at "legal" erotic or sexually explicit photos does not put him in the same category of illegal usage but it is probably indicative of some sort of problem that should be dealt with in therapy with someone familiar with those issues (pm me if you need a referral).

There are a lot of "reasons" people look at images they should not be looking at and that too, is a treatment issue.

As some here have advised, before you commit to a marriage, deal with these issues before you agree to marriage.



Edited by Ken Singer, LCSW (11/09/10 09:53 PM)

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#344694 - 11/10/10 09:14 AM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
woftt Offline


Registered: 11/10/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Dallas Metroplex
The myth about victims becoming abusers is a double-edged sword. Not only do other people think that anyone who was abused is going to be an abuser. but I think that the victim often thinks, or even expects this of himself. Whether you stay with him or not is up to you, but he must be encouraged to get help and soon. If he is looking at child pornography (even the "legal" kind) then molesting a child is only a short step away. He has to be made to recognize this if not to protect him, then a child. He is not powerless but he can't do it alone, and as well meaning as your intentions may be I just don't think anyone who hasn't been through it themselves can truly empathize.



Edited by woftt (11/10/10 09:15 AM)

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#344700 - 11/10/10 09:58 AM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: woftt]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6419
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
If you believe TV shows like Law and Order SVU and popular culture in the USA, nearly every victim will offend.

If I may retort: I truly don't think that he's one short step away from offending if he's viewing whatever. I LOVE to watch "human challenge" shows and have not even considered bungee-jumping off a bridge.

_________________________
This nation has lost its mind!

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#344714 - 11/10/10 12:58 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: Still]
gt78 Offline


Registered: 11/09/10
Posts: 6
Thank you all so much for your very helpful replies. I do want to reiterate that I would never have thought he was capable of harming a child just because of his csa; it was really the images I saw that scared me.

I think what I'm getting from the majority of you is that while viewing such images is a serious problem that must be dealt with immediately, it does not necessarily mean that he would ever harm a child in real life. I have been doing a lot of research on child abusers lately, and, from what I've been able to understand, he does not have any other signs of a problem: he has lots of normal adult relationships, he is nice when a kid is around but shows no special interest in them, he doesn't have odd hobbies/habits, and our sex life is pretty vanilla. He is in the midst of a career change, and neither his old career nor his new one have anything to do with children. Plus, although I know he is very uncomfortable talking to me about this particular issue, he has been open about what happened to him otherwise, and is more than willing to see a therapist and even give up going on the internet until I feel that I can trust him not to look at such things again.

So maybe, with work on both of our parts, the relationship is salvageable?


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#344718 - 11/10/10 02:33 PM Re: Inappropriate pornography - confused and scared [Re: gt78]
InsideTheWall Offline


Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 281
Originally Posted By: gt78
Thank you all so much for your very helpful replies. I do want to reiterate that I would never have thought he was capable of harming a child just because of his csa; it was really the images I saw that scared me.
Ok, we got it.

Originally Posted By: gt78
I think what I'm getting from the majority of you is that while viewing such images is a serious problem that must be dealt with immediately, it does not necessarily mean that he would ever harm a child in real life.
Correct.

Originally Posted By: gt78
I have been doing a lot of research on child abusers lately, and, from what I've been able to understand, he does not have any other signs of a problem: he has lots of normal adult relationships, he is nice when a kid is around but shows no special interest in them, he doesn't have odd hobbies/habits, and our sex life is pretty vanilla. He is in the midst of a career change, and neither his old career nor his new one have anything to do with children.
Doesn't sound like a pedophile to me. I can tell you've researched the signs. He does however, sound like he's addicted to porn. Here's an organization that might be able to help.

http://www.sexaa.org/

Originally Posted By: gt78
Plus, although I know he is very uncomfortable talking to me about this particular issue, he has been open about what happened to him otherwise, and is more than willing to see a therapist and even give up going on the internet until I feel that I can trust him not to look at such things again.
All good signs. You really should enforce the no Internet rule though, at least for now. I do take it that you're living with him, aren't you?

Originally Posted By: gt78
So maybe, with work on both of our parts, the relationship is salvageable?
I've seen much more serious CSA related problems work out. But you really better love this guy, because its going to be very difficult at times. If you don't have the courage, run now. If you're going to keep at it, I highly recommend cultivating some contacts around here. Just PM those you think you can most easily work with and ask questions.



Edited by InsideTheWall (11/10/10 02:54 PM)

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