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#400113 - 06/11/12 11:54 AM How to start intimate relationships again?
Justaname Offline


Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 17
Hey guys

My question is how does one seek out an intimate, sexual relationship with a female after being sexually abused by one as a child?

I have had a love-less life, remaining celibate for many years after a few botched attempts at relationships and sex.

How do you conquer this demon after being alone for so many years?

Just start dating?


I wouldn't know where the hell to begin...

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#400128 - 06/11/12 01:55 PM Re: How to start intimate relationships again? [Re: Justaname]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1993
Loc: durham, north england
I absolutely relate to what your asking, but I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that for me, ---- and maybe for other survivers of female sa it is not possible, and the only way to afford yourself a measure of peace is rid yourself that desire for an intimate relationship and concentrate on the rest of life.

I have no idea what "dating" means either. I've been out for drinks, coffee, lunch, concerts or whatever with lots of female friends alone, but nothing ever happens, whether or not I want it to, and sinse it's the man who has to make the first move, and I have no idea what that even means, there really is no way forward other than to give up the desire. I've tried people's advice, even tried a dating site (a joke as after a year I had zeor communications from anyone), but nothing seemed to actually work, and I realized that I was just hurting myself with this desire.

One thing I'm beginning to realize is just how broken my s/xuality is. I hate my own physical reactions, and am uncomfortable even with the word, or with being physically close to someone. With all my friends who found successful relationships though there was a natural course of things, a mutual communication of signals and desires, and something that went beyond friendship.

Sinse however I have neither the ability to communicate this to someone else, or believe or understand that they would communicate it to me, I'm pretty much sunk, like a deaf person stuck in a world where everyone talks and nobody writes or does sign language.

Of course, were I a woman this wouldn't be a problem, sinse men are always the ones expected to speak up, be blatant, put their feelings on the line, pick up none verbal mysterious signals etc. Unless however I meet a very unusual woman who happens to A, want to be closer to me (something I'm still not certain has ever happened), and B, can actually communicate that planely enough for my damaged receptors to understand, nothing will happen.

So, relationships go in the same box with walking on the moon or winning the lottery. Nice if it ever happened, but something I can do nothing practical about. I might as well concentrate on creativity, friendship, and the things i can! change.

i freely admit this is not an easy path, and I do not always succeed at blotting out that desire even though it's a path I've followed for the last three years, however I do offer it as an option, albeit probably not one you want to hear, sinse the alternative is continual, futile and repeated pain.

whatever you decide to do, I really hope you can feel better about yourself. i know how hard that particular desire can be.

Luke.


Edited by dark empathy (06/11/12 01:56 PM)

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#400330 - 06/13/12 11:13 AM Re: How to start intimate relationships again? [Re: Justaname]
Justaname Offline


Registered: 05/30/12
Posts: 17
Wow, this post saddens me man. I really wasn't expecting someone to put this view forward but I appreciate the reality of that for you, and so many of us who feel they can't pursue that avenue of life.

For me the idea of not ever having or attempting a relationship would be far more painful than not, knowing how many years I have already spent alone and without this in my life.

I also feel that I can't stand being alone publicly if you know what I mean. I can't deal with the stress of making friends, taking up hobbies, building a life for others to continually question why I don't have that in my life, or if I don't like women, or if I'm gay etc.

I find it very easy to live alone and spend a lot of time on my own but I know how unhealthy that is for me.

If you don't mind me asking, is this something you have tried to work through in therapy?

How do you deal with people asking why your are alone, or how do you talk about sex and relationships when it gets brought up?

It really pains me that I can't talk openly with people about sex and stuff, it sucks. I have a lot of shame about feeling less than and inadaquate as a man. Guys always talk about sex etc, I don't even feel I can lie about that stuff.

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#400362 - 06/13/12 06:48 PM Re: How to start intimate relationships again? [Re: Justaname]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1993
Loc: durham, north england
Hi.

It's not really a matter of "deciding not to pursue" sinse nothing I've tried in the pursuing line has ever actually done any good at all. I've been out in the literal sense with many female friends, in fact probably %70 of my friends are! female, though this is probably more due to the fact that singing and on stage performing is a major part of my life, and for some social reason not many men are as interested in that sort of thing (which also means I'm more useful as a tenor, which helps).

But whatever time I've spent with any girl, i've never noticed this mysterious exchange of signals that is supposed to happen, indeed even on the few occasions that mental pressure has forced me to admit openly how I feel, this isn't under any expectation of anything happening, rather it's just been an attempt to releave my own feelings.

I've often wished indeed that I was female, sinse it seems the relationship thing is so much easier for girls, as all they need to do is sit around, wait for a man to make his feelings known, then have all the power to accept or reject. As I said though in This thread I'm now thinking that there is something intrinsically broken in my perceptions of the feelings of others, simply because for me (as for other survivers of Sa), physical communication and closeness is automatically bad.

it was a failed attempt to make my feelings known to a girl that made me realize what happened to me as a teenager wasn't as dead and buried as I thought. Sinse then, the realization that the closest anyone has been to me was while spitting in my face, and the desire for the communicative experience I've seen betwene others has been extremely painful, so I completely understand.

I started recovery when I was 25, and am now 29, and have watched everyone I met at university get married (I've been invited to loads of weddings), and I absolutely agree, it is a difficult thing to live with. However, I realized that the desire, the ache, the pain of not! having that sort of communication with someone was just causing me problems.

I've not completely rid myself of it, but now, I'm at the stage where (as happened in fact just this evening), a friend talks about their relationship, or talks about dating, I don't feel a sense of shame, jealousy and inadequacy. Indeed, just this evening at my role play group, one couple was discussing their upcoming wedding. They mentioned a tv show where the bride gives the groom two words to arrange their wedding, and I stated that if they were getting married the groom should have a good idea of what the bride wanted which caused a gale of rather synical laughter. Yet, where as in the past this sort of incident I'd have found extremely upsetting, now I don't particularly bother about it, sinse ultimately, it doesn't matter to me all that much. So what if I don't know about mariage, does it really matter? It's an experience, nothing more, and there are lots of other good experiences to have.

This is really what I mean, giving up the pain, shame and hurt of not having a relationship, and replacing it with a more positive focus on the things you can! have.

In the time I had counceling, I did discuss this, but none of what was said really helped all that much, sinse it boiled down to "give it time" and "your not learning" both of which I could've done without, then again, all the best efforts I did with recovery have been on this site, rather than with a T.

On the social issue, well so what if I'm not with someone in public, or the way that others expect. I've learnt that any judgement about myself (especially when comparing myself to others), will be based on my own feeling of worthlessness, therefore I've learnt to stop paying attention to those sorts of judgements, the same way I'd pay no attention to the judgements of a bad crytic.

As for the questions issue about why your not with someone, well myself I just tell as much of the truth as possible, then change the conversation. I say quite happily "never really met anyone" and leave it at that, but if I volunteer less information, people do not usually ask for clarrification. I do the same thing if people ask me if I'm gay, I just state "oh no, not gay, just never met the right girl" and stop there.

If I make my manner such that the topic is supposed to stop, that is usually where it does stop.

I completely understand your reluctance with groups, hobbies, meeting new people and making friends. Myself, I have distinctly struggled with spending too much time alone and isolating from people, and the belief that any group of people wouldn't particularly want me joining.

The fact that I'm visually impared, and most people actually do! treat me like an alien when they first meet me doesn't help either, not the least because there are! groups of people that in the past have made it pretty clear that they don't want me either.

One advantage however to living successfully with a visual imparement, is that you must! learn the art of conversation, of reading people's emotions and how to make yourself as friendly, open and approachable as possible so that people stop! treating you like an alien.

as a natural intravert who relaxes by being alone anyway, this was hard for me to learn, but is now something I have learnt, and something that can! be learnt. It's generally though just a matter of relaxing, and being receptive to people's emotions, telling if they are interested, board, upset etc, and again this is another reason why I think my relationship receptors are broken, sinse in other respects I am pretty good at communicating with people and making friends, just by being receptive and empathic.

I once heard a great set of lectures on the art of smalltalk, which might be of help, though really the only way to learn this is to practice as much as possible, even with taxi drivers, employees in shops etc.

Making friends takes time, but where as relationships I've always found a none starter, making friends is something I find I can do far more easily.

indeed, I remember one abortive session with a new counselor, where for the first half of the session we were just chatting, and he actually said "why do you need counselling?" then I suddenly realized I was employing my people skills, and focusing on conversation and interest, and abruptly had to swich modes to focus on myself.

This isn't to say that I lye, falsify myself or in any sense change, only that I alter my focus to being aware of the other person, rather than myself.

Of course, the one area where this falls apart is discussion of s/x. I hate! even the word. When a teenager, discussion of anything to do with s/x, stupid adolescent humour that at the time I just saw as pointless and silly, and what started as "jokes" were a major part of my abuse, so this is something I find difficult.

Being on this site and having honest discussion with men who understand has helped a lot, and now I no longer get into a literally panicked state when people start discussing it, and have moderated my reactions when it's discussed to mere distaste, or discomfort.

Usually the best way I find to deal with it is simply to avoid it, and change the subject in conversation if I can, or to straight out say "I'm not comfortable discussing that" If I get someone really stupid who insists on using the topic to actually make! me uncomfortable, I simply leave, or ignore what is being siad entirely, sinse odds are anyone with that sort of mentality isn't worth talking to anyhow.

It's actually quite surprising how affective simply saying "i'm just uncomfortable with that" is.

I've also learnt to change the subject from direct, s/xual humour to something more surreal, but less triggering. For instance, just this evening in my rp group people were making jokes about a convent full of nuns. I said "well better than a convent full of confused monks!" which of course changed the focus from s/x directly, to transvestites, which is a far less dangerous subject.

I do admit though, I still have trouble with this. I often skip passages in books describing it, or flip passed it in films, or I simply ignore it and think of something else until that scene is over.

while I'm fairly certain if I ever found! someone I could communicate with, I could learn some new associations about s/x, sinse I can't find anyone, and even physical touch and miner affection such as a hug is something I find difficult, I can't really see this being fixed any time soon either, ---- so once again, better to simply resolve to live without it.

I really hope some of this is helpful. Basically, my atitude is that I might as well just focus on other important things in life. Friends, creativity, enjoyable experiences. I'm just finishing my phd thesis, and when I'm done I'll be training full time to become a professional tenor, both of which are very important to me, indeed you could say that for me, music has replaced relationships.

When I succeed at my resolution, I always think of my tutor. he is one of the wisest, most ensiteful and compassionate people I know. he writes absolutely beautiful pieces with a real understanding of life (which is surprisingly rare for a philosophy lecturer), he even extended my phd into part time when he found out I was having such severe problems working due to recovery from abuse (my mum told him that it had happened, and that I was dealing with it).

yet he is in his late 50's, certainly not married, and as far as I know, quite happy not to be so.

if I ended up anything like him I would not be in the least sorry.

I can freely understand if you choose not to go down this route, sinse your life might be different, though from what you've said it does strike me your desire for a relationship might be as much due to others expectations, as to your own personal desire for closeness with others, and that you can! certainly do something about, which will in turn help you be more relaxed around others and at peace, which might help in finding friends.

I really hope some of this ramble is useful.

Luke.

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#400609 - 06/16/12 04:45 PM Re: How to start intimate relationships again? [Re: Justaname]
Bradley P Offline


Registered: 11/03/10
Posts: 44
Loc: AR
Hey man, I can completely relate to almost everything here.

Justaname, I am 28 going on 29 and I'm right where you are. I am a survivor of female abuse, and until I was twenty, could not at all imagine myself with a girl.

Then, it happened. I met a girl who reminded me of Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life (Jimmy Stewart's wife) and I liked her. ALOT. It didn't ever turn into anything, but ever since then, I've tried my hardest to find a girl like that. Luckily, there are some really sweet, friendly, fun, cute dainty girls like that, but they are rare, and they have rarely ever liked me back haha. Nowadays, most women are aggressive, dominant, and quite frankly, catty and annoying. I should've been born in the 1930's.
_________________________
"Life is for living, we all know...but I don't want to live it alone"-Chris Martin (Coldplay)

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#400736 - 06/18/12 05:31 AM Re: How to start intimate relationships again? [Re: Justaname]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1993
Loc: durham, north england
Quite ironically, one of my closest friends is literally the most none female lady you can imagine.

She's physically attractive, ---- though sinse I find %90 of girls betwene 18 and about 45 physically attractive to some extent this doesn't particularly make a difference, yet she's about the most sterriotypically male person I know.

She is currently a black belt second dann in karate, she does viking reinactment and regularly clobbers people with swords, she cares nothing about what others think of her and not that much about her appearence either. Yet, she has a huge store of sympathy for people who she is close to, and is extremely faithful and a great friend. probably the reason we are! so close is that back in the first year of my degree, even though people assumed by the amount of time we'd spent together she said "i like you, ---- but not in that! way" which was pretty exactly how I felt about her as well, and how in fact I still feel. She's one of the people who knows the full details of my abuse, and probably the only girl I can think of I can accept physical affection from without panicking, ---- indeed I sort of think of her as a brother.

I have no problem relating to women like this, indeed most of my friends are! female. I wouldn't look for a sterriotype of any sort, sinse in my experience most people just aren't! sterriotypes, ---- heck I'm a long way from being one myself.

On the occasions I've fallen in love with someone it's always been a feamale friend, always someone high intelligent but also extremely empathic with a distinct personality and interests of her own, ---- indeed on one occasion it was with a girl I didn't think of as physically attractive when I first met her, (unless you count having an amazing alto voice).

yet, none of these ever really come to anything at all, indeed most of the time the people I fall in love with have boyfriends anyway, and even if not, I have absolutely no idea how to make it known to them or whether anyone has felt that way about me, which is precisely why the desire has to go.

I don't think I've ever! really fallen for a character in a film, indeed mostly it's only in books where I find a girl who I could! become close to in real life, sinse it's only in books that you get the full examination of someone's personality, most films (especially these days), just concentrate on looks and sterriotypes, neither of which interest me in the romantic sense.

I suppose I'm unlucky enough to actually know! what experience I have a desire for with another person, indeed I've frequently seen people who have it, and what sort of person I could have that experience with, but have absolutely no idea how to go about getting it, which is why the desire is of no use to me and has to go.

it might be different if I were female, or perhaps gay, sinse the social practices there are different, but unfortunately I happen to be male which makes this hole thing a right royal pain, indeed I think the only real good I get out of having a Y chromosome is being a tenor not a soprano, sinse at least tenors are far more in demand.

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#401561 - 06/24/12 03:03 PM Re: How to start intimate relationships again? [Re: Justaname]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Honestly, something like Dark Empathy, I've realized, truthfully, the wife and 2 1/2 kids thing just isn't for me. Work on just creating myself wealth, getting well (first) then accomplishment. I really don't think I could handle a kid. I'm really not good at emotional stuff, have no clue how to find a T (despise most due to my past horrible experiences with 12 of them)/someone else to teach me that. So, I said, what if I really don't want all the shit that comes with those relationships? Hard to find someone who doesn't give a fuck as much as I do. People today aren't that emotional either I've noticed. I really don't think there is anyone for me to be blunt. If I do find someone, they'd have to be intelligent and career-oriented (roll in the hay and around now and then so as not to be lonely type person--many would like that--most too chickenshit to ask) and not clingy or wildly emotional or want to spend every minute together. Know what I mean? Those kind of needy people drive me fucking nuts. Casual sex, however, is easy since it's just a couple of orgasms. I've had one after the other. It's quick, it's easy, no strings attached. Great time, too, since casual sex is in these days. Has been since the 80s but getting moreso among women including 40s/50s/60s/up. A partnership like Hillary and Bill's. Open marriage I might not be opposed to either.

Some things to consider:

-Like sleeping with another person all the time?
-Tons of responsibility like bills, have to keep a job you hate?
-The emotional drain when you have few to begin with?
Kids? (even people that have them I've known say, tons of work and can be a pain-in-the-ass and my marriage became lonely after them, EXPENSIVE as hell, they could be unhealthy)
-Love, Lust isn't made to last (Pat Benatar sang that)
-Eventual boredom
-Stress
-Freedom is gone (totally gone with kids)
-Routine (like it or not)

There are trade-offs to anything including emotions.
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#401606 - 06/24/12 09:27 PM Re: How to start intimate relationships again? [Re: Justaname]
HappyDays Offline


Registered: 06/16/12
Posts: 28
Reading this post all I can say is WOW, every person should be love and need by another person. I have two great kids and love doing things with them, I have love deeply and know intimacy, this year a two year relationship end for me I love her more then anyone I have before, I have talk to my therapist about this and tied it back to the issues I have from the abuse, for me I am going to keep trying to find the right person. To connect with and that will accept all of me. The ex GF and I are still talking, I don't think anything will happen, but I rather try then sit on the side lines.
_________________________
Anything and all things are possible when you understand the feelings coming from you heart

Courage, honor, respect = strength!!!!

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#401635 - 06/25/12 04:39 AM Re: How to start intimate relationships again? [Re: HappyDays]
phoenix321 Offline


Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Originally Posted By: HappyDays
Reading this post all I can say is WOW, every person should be love and need by another person. I have two great kids and love doing things with them, I have love deeply and know intimacy, this year a two year relationship end for me I love her more then anyone I have before, I have talk to my therapist about this and tied it back to the issues I have from the abuse, for me I am going to keep trying to find the right person. To connect with and that will accept all of me. The ex GF and I are still talking, I don't think anything will happen, but I rather try then sit on the side lines.


HappyDays,

I didn't have "love" (a word I despise sometimes) and certainly wasn't needed as a human just as a mantle piece growing up. Not sure if they did. You did and you're lucky. So, there is a big difference between us. No, I don't need kids myself. I hate wanting anybody and wish I could totally eliminate the need.
_________________________
Phoenix

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

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#401647 - 06/25/12 09:33 AM Re: How to start intimate relationships again? [Re: Justaname]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1993
Loc: durham, north england
Well Phenix, I find the idea and desire for casual s/x totally alien to me, which again I attribute to my broken sexuality and genophobia. someone saying they want "a quick roll in the hay no strings attached" is to me like someone saying they want to eat worms. it's fine, I can accept that it's someone else's preference, and I wouldn't condemn, but to me it seems utterly alien and not a little repulsive.

My mum once suggested I locate a prostitute to deal with my genophobia, I cut her off flat. Part of me was tempted for curiosity's sake, but I know that's just not the sort of experience I want, nor do I really believe I could ever go through with the act or even take my clothes off without some sort of emotional connection.

This isn't to say it's wrong, if that's what people want, ---- fine, I just can't understand it.

Equally however, Happydays doesn't speak for me either. I certainly have no desire for kids, just for a certain experience with another person. I know plenty of couples who've chosen to do this, indeed it's those who aren't! sensible enough to understand that they don't want kids but have them anyway which cause the problem.

This experience isn't just! physical, nor however is it long term, sinse I just have no idea about the future and saying "i want to find someone to live with for the next 40 years" just seems ridiculous at this point.

it's merely an experience, a connection, a form of communication that I'm looking for. other details, clinging emotionality, the mechanics of living together are things i know would work out one way or another.

But even though I'm not! looking for much, or indeed anything that many people experience one way or another, heck I sometimes get flashes of it everytime I take a train. Even though I'm not! looking for much, it seems it's too much to ask, I'm just too broken in this area and there's no way of fixing it.

So, my resolution, hard to maintain as it might be on days like today, dam happy couples on the street! public displays of affection should be punishable by law! laugh.

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