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#35320 - 01/16/03 07:06 PM UNABLE TO BE INTIMATE: SEXUAL ANOREXIA?
bec Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/02
Posts: 187
Loc: chicagoland area
hello men:

i am learning about something that may be helpful to a number of us survivors. it is an illness called "sexual anorexia". i believe i suffer from it.

i am no expert but what i have learned so far is that a man/woman with the illness will compulsively avoid being intimate or having sex with a partner.

it is like being a food anorexic except the avoidance is not of food but of intimacy and sex.

i have shared this before but, i was emotionally incested by my mother for some 35 years, i am 40 now. and, abandoned by my addict father.

in my life i have never been able to be deeply intimate or have sex with a partner.

i am a virgin as a result of the wounds i still carry with me today.

coming across this illness has given me hope for the time being. it is nice to be able to name what i suffer from. God willing, learning more about it and how if affects me will make healing possible.

well, i hope this helps some of you. sincerely,


bec \:\)


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#35321 - 01/16/03 07:23 PM Re: UNABLE TO BE INTIMATE: SEXUAL ANOREXIA?
michaelb Offline
Member

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 211
Loc: cincinnati, ohio
I think what you and i both suffer from is more commonly referred to as "sexual aversion disorder"....that is how it is listed in DSM IV....the tool psychiatrists and psychologists use to diagnose people...

but the symptoms are the same.....michael


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#35322 - 01/16/03 10:01 PM Re: UNABLE TO BE INTIMATE: SEXUAL ANOREXIA?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Bec, Michael:

I don't know about sexual aversion disorder, but as I understand it, with sexual anorexia, it is more an avoidance of sexual relations with others, especially of an intimate nature.

Someone with sexual anorexia might be doing anything but avoiding sex, in the sense of acting out or numbing out by for instance using porn & masturbating.

Some believe sexual anorexia is actually fairly common among sex addicts; actually I have wondered about this myself.

So it would be no surprise if it were also found to be fairly common among SA survivors.

For more about sexual anorexia, see the book of that title which is co-authored by Patrick Carnes,
who has written several good books about sexual addictions & dysfunctions. You can get the book or look at reviews of it at Amazon.com thru the Male Survivor bookstore.

I hope some more of you men have some things to share out of reading or experience about this...

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#35323 - 01/20/03 02:54 AM Re: UNABLE TO BE INTIMATE: SEXUAL ANOREXIA?
dc62 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4
bec, what a great relief to me to hear that someone else has this problem. I too was emotionally abused by my mother. This inability to handle intimacy on any level is probably the biggest problem I have had in my life...seems to cause so many other problems.

Have you got any suggestions for working on this?


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#35324 - 01/20/03 01:03 PM Re: UNABLE TO BE INTIMATE: SEXUAL ANOREXIA?
Wuamei Offline
Member

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
DC62:

First of all, welcome to MS. I'm not glad for why you're here, but I'm glad you're here to deal with it, with things like sexual anorexia.

I was emotionally, & sexually, incested by my mother. Like you & Bec & I suspect many of us survivors, I also have a lot of trouble being intimate, sexually, emotionally, or in any way. It has indeed caused me a lot of problems. I looked for intimacy in all the wrong ways & places
for so long. Now, tho I have a wonderful wife of almost 23 years, I still struggle to be intimate with her.

Still working on what to do about it. Therapy helps a lot, as does just talking about it with fellow survivors & others in recovery, online and if possible live. Sex addiction & anorexia tends to isolate me. So, as one who struggles with sex addiction, the more I do things to break free from that, the more truly intimate I've been able to be with my wife, as well as just making friends.

I may get the book, "Sexual Anorexia." Meanwhile, if anyone has read it, or any other good info about this topic, as well as personal experiences,
feel free to share them.

Thanks for sharing DC62.

Victor

_________________________
"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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#35325 - 01/21/03 04:22 PM Re: UNABLE TO BE INTIMATE: SEXUAL ANOREXIA?
bec Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/02
Posts: 187
Loc: chicagoland area
hello dc62 and welcome:

well, i am just learning about this "sexual anorexia" and i will now explore this "sexual aversion disorder" as well.

as far as how to deal with it Victor/Wuamei gave some good advice and i believe you will find this article helpful. it was written by Ken Singer, a member of this site. here is the link to this great article:

http://www.malesurvivor.org/articles/singer2.htm

i hope it helps you dc62. good luck and hope to hear more from you. and, feel free to send me a private message anytime.

bec


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#35326 - 01/22/03 01:14 AM Re: UNABLE TO BE INTIMATE: SEXUAL ANOREXIA?
Les_Angry Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 195
I had the same problem. It felt like a force field separating me from intimacy. I thought the reason was because I was in love with another girl. I was kind of like a guy who thought he was better than other prople for never stealing on the job. But I was like a guy with no arms who worked in the anvil factory and never stole, and others I thought I was better than were like people who worked at a lemonade stand in the middle of the desert who did steal. I try not to judge anybody any more.

I beat it though when I was 24, I've only ever had sex with one girl. I've never even sucessfully kissed another girl besides her though.

Mo Healing


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#35327 - 01/26/03 01:42 AM Re: UNABLE TO BE INTIMATE: SEXUAL ANOREXIA?
Sleepy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
Les,
I could have written your words. They ring so true for me. I'm curious how you worked through this issue because I'm 24 and face these same challenges. Thanks.
mike

_________________________
"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

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#35328 - 01/26/03 03:28 AM Re: UNABLE TO BE INTIMATE: SEXUAL ANOREXIA?
Les_Angry Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/06/02
Posts: 195
Hey Sleepy,

My story regarding that is in this string:

http://www.malesurvivor.org/cgi-local/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=001149

Its from a topic called gender confusion on Oct 8, 2002 in case the link doesn't work. I appologize for the homophobic parts, but I was just remembering exactly what was going through my mind back then and writing it down.

This is an especially sore topic for me because I fell in love with a girl when I was 13 and have pretty much been in love with her my whole life. She basically chased after me for 4 years. My junior year of high school she would do stuff like if on Monday I wore a red shirt on Tuesday she wore a red blouse. On Tuesday if I wore a blue shirt, on Wednesday she wore a blue blouse, every day of 11th grade, she never missed a day. I realized in order for her to do that she had to be thinking about me before she went to bed, so she had her clothes ready, and when she woke up in the morning (and got dressed). When I got dressed in the mornign I used to think "I want to see her in this color tommorrow" and she always wore it, even really tough to match colors and stripes. I was so in love with her but I still couldn't talk to her, and I didn't know why. I was so angry at myself. Since it was 1982 and 83 this song has special meaning for me:

I Ran
A flock of seagulls

I walked along the avenue.
I never thought I'd meet a girl like you;
Meet a girl like you.
With auburn hair and tawny eyes;
The kind of eyes that hypnotize me through;
Hypnotize me through.

And I ran, I ran so far away.
I just ran, I ran all night and day.
I couldn't get away.

A cloud appears above your head;
A beam of light comes shining down on you,
Shining down on you.
The cloud is moving nearer still.
Aurora borealis comes in view;
Aurora comes in view.

And I ran, I ran so far away.
I just ran, I ran all night and day.
I couldn't get away.

Reached out a hand to touch your face;
You're slowly disappearing from my view;
Disappearing from my view.
Reached out a hand to try again;
I'm floating in a beam of light with you;
A beam of light with you.

And I ran, I ran so far away.
I just ran, I ran all night and day.
I couldn't get away.

I found out four years a go she saw the films my perp made of me at the end of or after 11th grade. On top of everything else he did to me he took away the person I loved most in life. But I blamed myself for nineteen years because of my problems with intimacy.

Mo Healing


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#35329 - 01/28/03 01:12 AM Re: UNABLE TO BE INTIMATE: SEXUAL ANOREXIA?
dc62 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/20/03
Posts: 4
Thanks wuamei and bec for the encouraging words. Also, thank you bec for the link to the Ken Singer article. It is so wonderful to find a community of people who are doing their best to cope with these problems, particularly the issue of abusive mothers.

I had managed to hold to hold my life together tolerably well until about 10 years ago when I lost my job. That is when all the rage/anger/rebelliousness/compulseness just overwhelmed me. My life went completely out of control with all these feelings inside for which I had no understanding. For a few years, I had all the side effects too, like unsteady job history, broken friendships, heavy drinking, etc.

Since then I have focused mostly on taking care of my self in the outside world (same job 5 years now), learning to handle family relationships, etc., so that I can develop the stability to deal with these dark personal issues.

It gives me a lot of anxiety to think about trying to cope with the darkness inside, and I can only take small steps...like finding this website. It is one thing to think about finding help, but a lot harder to go into your experiences and live them out...that is when you realize that the ride will be a difficult one. You guys are very courageous for being able to do that.

Thanks for the encouragement and hope you don't mind the long post. dc62.


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