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#365341 - 07/03/11 02:10 AM Attraction to specific type of men- reason?
metsfan257 Offline


Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 12
I've posted my story here before but to summarize, I was sexually abused as an early teen by two men from the internet, and it continued for a couple of years. This occurred during a very emotional time for me as I had recently lost my father and these individuals preyed on my need for that kind of connection in my life, and their actions greatly twisted my perceptions on what that relationship is.

But aside from that, I have always believed I was abused long before that but am unable to remember it. When I think back on those two guys I became entangled with, I think some part of me was predisposed to thinking that what they were doing was normal. I think I have always equated paternal love with sex and that cannot simply be an accident. Hopefully that makes sense but I'm not sure.

I am 30 years old and don't consider myself gay. I would say I'm definitely bisexual because, right or wrong, the experiences I had in those early teen years solidified themselves in my mind and have been repeated many times since, as part of me will always be attracted to that, I think. But I do not get emotionally attached to men at all.

The issue on my mind is whether or not a specific attraction stems from an event or trigger caused by an experience. I'm asking because while I maintain relationships with women (as much as I can anyway), I have always had a strong sexual attraction to specific types of men with very specific looks/ personalities. And my attraction to men is limited specifically to this type.

The thing is, neither my father nor the two other men match this "type" that has always been in my head, almost at a subconscious level. It is so strong and so pervasive that at this point I've started to wonder if it is ingrained in my mind for a reason. Is it possible that I feel this way because of something that happened to me caused by a man who shares these characteristics?

I'm at the point where I'm lost as to what to do. Like I said, this is not an emotional attraction in terms of "love" and "relationship" emotion. It's more of a sexual attraction combined with a 'father figure' thing which even as I type, sounds twisted. But the point is to get answers so I'm being as honest as I can. I know that it's not normal to look at an individual and feel both of those things, so it has to stem from somewhere.

Can an attraction like this stem from a specific abuser?


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#365342 - 07/03/11 02:33 AM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: metsfan257]
Sailboat92 Offline


Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 79
Loc: Ct
It's my story, just different characters

_________________________
I don't have one

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#365343 - 07/03/11 02:36 AM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: metsfan257]
Sailboat92 Offline


Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 79
Loc: Ct
It's not twisted, it's exactly how I feel all the time,while being married with two growing boys....my father didn't die, amdvi mean no disrespect, but god how in prayed he would, itbwas the perfect storm, he called me horrible names, then I would leave house to seek some father figure and bed up being molested

_________________________
I don't have one

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#365349 - 07/03/11 09:00 AM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: Sailboat92]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota
For me, the answer is yes, SSA was forged during the abuse and other factors leading up to the sbuse:

And it is more helpful for me to examine what was going on in my life at the time of the abuse:

loneliness, feeling isolated and detached from the males in my family, not feeling confident or athletic at the time of the abuse, not feeling powerful.

The teens who abused me represented solutions to these inner problems, some of which I've struggled with years later.

The key for me is recognizing these deeper needs that were damaged further by the abuse, and finding healthy ways of connecting, affirming myself, and getting these young boy needs met in my life today.

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

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#365450 - 07/04/11 07:04 PM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: Mountainous Buck]
metsfan257 Offline


Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 12
Thanks for the replies. I'm always trying to understand the root of this specific attraction. I think it is connected to an experience but I have no recollection of an individual in my life that i can think of that would fit the bill, which makes it more confusing. I do have a vague memory of a random person my father knew who I know gave us toys and was friendly but I can't place anything else about him. It's more of a nagging feeling in my gut. As I said in my post, the two men I met with in my early teens do not resemble this specific "type" (but they fulfilled an emotional need), so this type doesn't stem from them.

I just want to try to confirm if that's a possibility--that this type is ingrained in my mind specifically because of an abuser, even though I can't remember it.


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#365774 - 07/11/11 02:32 AM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: metsfan257]
Kaene Offline


Registered: 07/04/11
Posts: 40
Loc: Ausin, TX
I would have to say that your experiences with CSA definitely mould who you become attracted to later in life, especially if you don't think you would have developed that SSA 'naturally'.

I'm fairly certain that my SSA was both caused and shaped by my experiences, but for me strangely there doesn't seem to be a direct relationship. All of my CSA was at the hands of other kids in my life and as far as I am able to remember, my SA was at the hands of an averagely built middle aged man.

However I seem to be most attracted to older, slightly overweight men in my later life, and am actually usually turned off by men who are extremely fit physically or under a certain age. I haven't yet been able to reconcile this in my mind.

Maybe I'm attracted to men who I preceive are old enough to 'take care of me' or some such. Or, I also fear as you do, that there might have been something that happened to me that I don't yet remember, something I've repressed to the point that I simply can't remember it.

So enough rambling, the answer to your initial question I think would definitely be a yes, our experiences shape our sexual attractions, but in what way they shape them is another story.

_________________________
"Do you think God lets you plea bargain?" - Calvin & Hobbes

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#366030 - 07/15/11 04:19 PM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: Kaene]
wayne9 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/14/08
Posts: 161
Loc: alabama
Kaene.... Exactly my situation. The "hunk" type men...really handsome in shape men do nothing for me. Its the older, slightly out of shape average Joe types that get me attention everywhere I go. I also have noticed that the age keeps going up as I get older.


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#399175 - 06/02/12 02:47 AM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: metsfan257]
metsfan257 Offline


Registered: 05/25/10
Posts: 12
Funny, I was coming here to post this exact topic--didn't realize I already did almost a year ago. Guess it's still on my mind! These things come in waves I guess. As I get older and dare I say wiser, I'm trying to really understand all of this stuff, and this is a big piece of it.

I got some good feedback and maybe this is more of a clinical question for the docs on the site, but what I'm trying to understand is if this very specific, and I have admit *extremely* pervasive attraction I have is the result of abuse that I can't remember, perhaps at an earlier age than the abuse I *do* remember?

To reiterate my point, when I was 13 I was approached on the internet by a 45 year old man who I proceeded to have a sexual relationship with. Not long after that was a second man, very similar circumstances, which went on for a few years. So I know that happened and I've been dealing with the rammifications in all their forms ever since.

But one thing I've never been able to understand is that I have a deep attraction to a specific type of man, which does not resemeble either of these two guys in anyway. The interactions I had with them absolutely messed with my wiring in a way I'm not I'll ever get over, but none of that accounts for this specific attraction.

For many reasons, I have always felt that there was more abuse when I was much younger that preceeded the stuff when I was 13, but I have no specific memories of anything occurring, which I know could be caused by repression... Is it a stretch to think that my deep-seeded and very specific attraction stems from the fact that I was abused by someone who fits this description? If that's not it, then what could cause a guy to be attracted to middle aged, gray haired men with glasses wearing a suit? (It's THAT specific!!)

It feels weird to type all this out but I guess that's the point. I have been trying to figure out for years if I was abused as a young child but both my parents are deceased and my extended family is essentially useless. It would really give me a place to start if I knew that it's at least possible that this attraction is caused by a specific person/incident.

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#399223 - 06/02/12 07:34 PM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: metsfan257]
Letourski Offline


Registered: 03/15/08
Posts: 302
Loc: Canada
Hey Mets,

I am not sure anyone here can answer that question for you. There are many men who have not been abused that are attracted to specific types of women and/or men. These are sexual preferences based on the individual. There are also many men who are attracted to certain types of men and/or women because of the sexual imprinting left on them by the sexual abuse. And further still, there are men who act out sexually with men and/or women in an attempt to master the trauma.

As you can see, sex and sexuality is a landmine. An area of my life I have yet to make sense of, but I am reading as much as I can. Have you asked yourself why linking this specific attraction to sexual abuse is so important to you? I only bring this up because as you mentioned, you may not be able to successfully answer the question, and so any answer you do get will be theoretical at best.

I hope any of this helps.
_________________________
I am the warrior.

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#399298 - 06/03/12 10:47 PM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: metsfan257]
1lifenow Offline


Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 385
Loc: west coast
I agree, there is no why to the WHY sometimes.

I know my preferences have changed now, but more about the character than the quick heart flutter. When i think about it now, the perp was very masculine. Blue collar, huntsman,drove a pick-up. Perhaps it why i am not attracted to feminine men.

Moreover , now i am just trying to be ok with whatever my libido likes , just letting my big brain make the choices of attraction vs something that would be more. The genesis of things like fetishes and specific attractions are often not really able to be understood, ever.

Dude, you have aleady started. Its more about the here and now, those answers may forever be mysteries. That is ok

The attraction is the attraction, maybe add some new ones by not limiting yourself, be open and honest. You never know.

A friend said she loved to cook, til her kids moved out and she started playing golf. Turns out she loves golf. Cooking - meh. lol
_________________________
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama

WoR Barrie 2011

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#399319 - 06/04/12 03:06 AM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: metsfan257]
eltoro65 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 6
Loc: chicago
Would it be helpful for you to give yourself permission to feel o.k. with feeling attracted to someone who does not fit into a "type"?


Edited by eltoro65 (06/04/12 03:08 AM)

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#399368 - 06/04/12 02:09 PM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: metsfan257]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3566
Loc: South-East Europe
Hey guys I love this thread.
I've done some research in this subject and I've found one interesting article about mammalian model that links olfactory/pheromonal input from the social environment to hormonal influences on sexual behavior. We humans are mammals and by that fact we share some common traits like all mammals even we have been to some degree more complex because of our ability of cognitive thinking. So in case of researching human sexuality it is very difficult to separate cognitive effects, like thoughts, from unconscious affects, like neuroendocrine changes, that may be manifest as human emotions. It seems that there are some facts that are showing us that some our preferences are resulting from very complex interactions of our genes and social environment resulting in specific sexual preferences. I find some parts of article very interesting so I've copied it here:
"In non-human animals, a causal relationship must exist among the development of sexual preferences for attractive physical features and how these preferences are manifest in sexual behavior. This causal relationship must develop before sexual preferences or sexual behaviors are expressed. Whether or not it is acknowledged, such a causal relationship appears to exist before human sexual preferences are fully developed and long before adult sexual behavior is expressed."

"Kohl, Atzmueller, Fink, and Grammer (2001) have integrated research findings that link mammalian pheromones to unconscious affects on human behavior. They proposed that sexual preferences for attractive human physical features are readily influenced by the effect of pheromones on gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH)-directed, gonadotropin-modulated androgenic and estrogenic changes in the brain. Because androgenic and estrogenic changes in the brain are not consciously perceived, the hormonal changes associated with pheromones and their effect on GnRH are considered to be unconscious affects. These unconscious affects supposedly occur in the brain during conditioning of the human visual response to olfactory/pheromonal input. Thus, hormone-dependent putative human pheromone production and hormone-dependent pheromone distribution from conspecifics (other members of the species) are what condition sexual preferences for hormone-associated characteristics, such as facial symmetry, facial attractiveness, waist-to-hip ratio, and most, if not all, hormone-associated physical features."

"Gottfried and Dolan (2003) have shown that appetitive neural responses to a particular food can be generated by pairing odor with the sight of a computer-generated image. The ability to make neural connections between appetitive or aversive odors and relevant or irrelevant visual stimuli is a part of learning that is probably common to all animals. This type of learning is how picture advertisements might effectively enroll the development of human food preferences. For example, a picture of a steak may positively or negatively influence appetite. The unconscious affect of the picture on appetite involves a form of classical conditioning of the visual response to olfactory input."

"Obviously, no mammal cognitively chooses to eat food that lacks olfactory appeal, and humans do not eat pictures of food. On the other hand, even though the same visual stimulus is processed, a picture of a steak is unlikely to look good to someone whose classically conditioned odor-associated food preferences and ingestive behavior make them a vegetarian. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider individual comments on how food looks as little more than a means to describe the food’s chemical or olfactory appeal."

"People who have developed different food preferences in accord with variations in the reward value of ingestive behavior may not agree on olfactory/odor appeal; the food might not look good to everyone. Similarly, preferences for erotic imagery could be expected to correlate with one’s conditioned visual response to olfactory/pheromonal input and its reward value or sexual effect. Thus, erotic visual imagery of a female, and most likely the female herself, will lack any classically conditioned olfactory/pheromonal (e.g., hormonal) association and chemical appeal for a male who has developed a sexual preference for other males. This may explain why some erotic imagery of human females does not always attract, arouse, or look good to all human males, why erotic imagery has no value to other mammals, and why humans develop sexual preferences for specific erotic imagery."

"Sexual preferences might even compare well with categories of carnivore and herbivore ingestive behavior. Further classification of the animalistic behavior of human “carnivores” and “herbivores” might include preferences for steak or broccoli, leading to the categories of steak-lover or chicken-lover, and broccoli-lover versus broccoli-hater, ad infinitum due to the nearly infinite number and combinations of categories that could be associated with food preferences."

It seems that there are some specific reasons why every one of us has been attracted to some person (no matter on sex). Those attractions seem to be unconscious result of some chemical stimulus to which we are sensitive because of our genetics. I've found some of this very interesting giving us some other perspective, don't you think?

Here is the link to article: http://www2.hu-berlin.de/sexology/BIB/kohl.htm#ARE

Pero
_________________________
My story

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#402168 - 06/29/12 06:37 PM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: metsfan257]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 997
This is me as well.

I am attracted to conservative-looking white-haired men with no memory of being abused by a man of this type. (although I do have a suspect.)

I am not attracted to men my age or muscular men at all. Repelled by them.

But white-haired mature men? I'm helpless.
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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#404237 - 07/20/12 10:58 PM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: metsfan257]
Grunty1967b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

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

I too am trying to work through SSA issues and I’ve talked this over with my therapist many times.

I thought I do have is your desire to try and recall if there was previous, suppressed abuse that is perhaps related to the ‘criteria’ of men who trigger you.

I don’t wish to dissuade you in any way of pursuing that however I would offer the thought that even if you do learn more about your past I wonder how that will help reduce the affect of the SSA you experience?

I know for my own recovery I have gained many ‘answers’ as to the type of male that triggers my SSA but I also have to say that knowing the ‘why’ is only part of the recovery.

Unfortunately I do not really believe (in my case at least) that the knowing has reduced these triggers. They’re just as upsetting as ever even though I wished with all my heart they would stop.

I’d like to say, working towards dealing with the SSA and how it affects you is equally important. Whether that’s you intentionally acting on ‘desires’ or perhaps trying to minimise those affects on you. I think a goal to work towards is having you more in control. Easier said that done I know as I’m far from there myself.

Keep well.

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#405457 - 08/01/12 01:37 AM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: metsfan257]
Napoleon Offline


Registered: 04/06/11
Posts: 166
Loc: Utah
My sexual abuse defiantly "affected" by my sexual attraction. I see my abuse at 8 and my abuse at 17 both had significant effect… Its like using wire to shape a tree when it’s a sapling, its branches are forever shaped that way.
_________________________
“Your only limit within reason, is the one that you set up in your own mind.” Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success, 1925.

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#405519 - 08/01/12 12:25 PM Re: Attraction to specific type of men- reason? [Re: metsfan257]
cant_remember Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 997
I, too, have embraced the sapling/tree metaphor to describe our situation, as my avatar image here indicates.

MetsFan, you're not alone or crazy. You and I are in practically identical situations.
_________________________
Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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