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#404089 - 07/19/12 05:21 PM A Request for Advice
Diogenes Offline


Registered: 07/19/12
Posts: 4
Hmm. I guess I should start by saying hello as this is my first post.

Reading through everyone else's posts as been very helpful and encouraging so far. It is a lot just to know that there are men facing the same problems I am. I stress the noun "men" for I know of nothing harder and more honorable than facing fear and truly defying it. This is what I find as I peruse your posts.

This is a little difficult, and I feel like I'm wasting everyone's time by talking about myself and expecting anyone to listen. The two pages of rules I read through to create my accounts was important, but still dissuading.

Please excuse me while I try to be brief.

Basically, I am a 25 year old single male in the U.S. Air Force and I have never had a relationship with a woman. Ever. For the longest time I credited my faults and personality failures with the hardship of my childhood. I'm not going to detail it here; this isn't the place for it, so you'll have to trust me when I say my first 18 years were a struggle (manic depression, social isolation, attempted suicide). Over the years I have challenged myself to new horizons, released my past, and solved a lot of my obvious limitations. Recently, however, I've begun to try being intimate with women. And how I want to be. An avid desire for women, I have.

Most of my limitations I thought I had solved. I work very hard at not letting anyone know what problems I have, call me a DIYS-er. I keep my own council. But I feel like I've ran out. I really thought I was okay. I thought everything was behind me, I had forgiven everyone and grew beyond it. I've never sought professional help, but I'm good. What I've been doing to be a complete person has worked. I have friends, I socialize, I'm clean (no drugs, no booze), I exercise, I'm good with money, I'm in a leadership position at work and I can lead well, no trouble with the law, but it isn't enough. I still have problems with sex.

This is what brings me here. I'm at a loss: I cannot maintain an erection. Before anyone starts to recommend drugs - no thank you. I understand that I'm healthy physically. My problem is mental. I can feel the block, it's like a physical barrier. It's steel and I've slammed myself into it a lot.

My request for advice it thus: whoever has been in my position, what worked for you? Is it just a matter of the right partner or was there something else? Is there something else I can fix? It was a switch I hit when I was little that turned it off, but does anyone remember where that switch was? I'm in the dark and all I want is to be complete. To be the full potential I know I can be.

Thank you for your time.
Very Respectfully,

Diogenes

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#404092 - 07/19/12 06:19 PM Re: A Request for Advice [Re: Diogenes]
peroperic2009 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3608
Loc: South-East Europe
Hi Diogenes, welcome to Male survivor!
Please take your time and learn what is offered to us here.
Don't be hard on self and just write and talk (even about yourself smile ) you are certainly don't waste anybody's time by doing so.
I can't help you related to your problem because I don't have such experience. Maybe it would be helpful for other guys to know more about your background. If you were abused that could have huge impact on this issue although some other reasons could also cause all this. Do you have regularly erection in the morning every day? That is good indicator of your body's health. What do you think about asking expert help? If it last for long time you should think about it.
Here is the link on one topic were is discussed similar problem, maybe it could be helpful for you to read:
http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=403475&page=1
Keep sharing, asking and exchanging your thoughts with us.
Pero
_________________________
My story

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#404093 - 07/19/12 06:25 PM Re: A Request for Advice [Re: Diogenes]
chambers Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 118
Loc: VA
Diogenes do you look at porn a lot? Erectile dysfunction can be caused by porn use, I've experienced it myself. Although I've managed to stop looking at porn the recovery takes awhile.

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#404099 - 07/19/12 06:52 PM Re: A Request for Advice [Re: Diogenes]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
Howdy D-

I got some good news and bad news fer ya before we talk about your penis. What, no photo? hahahaha. I like to lighten the mood with inappropriate humor (which is why I never had a girlfriend for the first 20 years of my life, either).

The good news is I'm a psychological DIY'er also. So I've trudged that road, too. You've clearly done a better job than me. Whereas I'm a complete loon and financial wreck that's veritably unemployable, you're making friends (what are those) and serving our country with honor. Hats off. So, good for you for working through a lot of this shit on your own to become a functioning member of society. That speaks to your resiliency. Your experience with this provides a very strong foundation for your recovery henceforth. I fear I would not be as far along as I am today had I not also gone through a lot of previous self-assessments and healing.

That said, the bad news is even though I declared I was all better, I had lots of issues that were still burried, some were still unknown to me. This is true of many if not most all of us around here. We all think we're just fine till something like this happens. The down-side to DIY counseling is you have blind-spots. My healing was incomplete at best. I have had many ups and downs, recently I went to an actual therapist who helped me get myself on track. He affirmed a lot of what I'd already been doing. BUT, it did open a can of worms. So I stopped feeling alienated and lousy about myself but then I realized I had some deep-seated sexual dysfunctions, a kind of Oedipus complex with my wife. Cliche I know, but true. So you've come along way but a stint in formal counseling may help connect all the dots. Just be warned it could get worse before it gets better. The pay-off is worth it, though.

OK now some penis talk. Yup... been there, too and right around that same age of 25 (I'm 39 1/2). This girl I knew was way too young for me. Like 16 -17 years old and her whacked parents had no problem with me dating her. But I felt like it wasn't right somehow. I guess morally I felt like I should not be trying to have sex with this teenaged girl. It pissed me off b/c she wanted it and I knew all my buddies used to bang anything that walked back in the day. So I was torn. Then, because I knew she wasn't right for me I got a heavy degree of performance anxiety, so on subsequent horny occaisons I couldn't even get hard around her. And there she is laying there. Naked.

When I found a partner that was better for me (not a minor) I was able to gain and maintain an erection. So the changing partners thing did work for me in that one case fourteen years ago. But, as I've alluded to above, that wasn't the last of my sexual dysfunction issues. It was simply the first. I'm getting beyond them with honesty. Secrets about sex have shackled me for decades. Now I have a trusted partner that knows all about my abuse... hell, I even show her my posts on this site. With the burden of secrets gone I can finally explore being a sexual being in a healthy way. I can allow myself to be vulnerable in bed for the first time.

-Scott
_________________________
I've got a bike you can ride it if you like.
Its got a basket, a bell that rings
And many other things to make it look good.
I'd give it to you if I could -but I've borrowed it.

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#404111 - 07/19/12 08:47 PM Re: A Request for Advice [Re: Diogenes]
Sailor John Offline


Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 310
Loc: Newfoundland & Labrador
Hi Diogenes,

Do NOT feel that you shouldn't get on this sit even if it's just to vent instead of something specific. You are not wasting anybodies time

You are still a young person and the quicker you get the care that you need, the better. I went over 40 years before I admitted that I was actually abused and then only because I had serious depression. This will be a very hard road with many detours. Just remember that all detours will lead back to the main road even though it will be longer than we like.

You didn't mention that you have a therapist/counsellor. If you don't have one, I strongly recommend you see one, preferably trained in Trauma and or Male CSA.

With SA now comming to the forefront on your basic training base, maybe you could even get a military counsellor/therapist. Getting counselling/therapy will probably help your sexual problems as well as you get deeper into your treatment.

What you are experiencing sex wise is very common with abuse survivors. Unable to get an erection, premature ejaculation, porn addiction, use of hookers to sexually satisfy yourself sexually, etc. Take care of yourself and everything will be OK.




Edited by Sailor John (07/19/12 08:50 PM)
Edit Reason: addition
_________________________
I will mourn the teenager I never was and strive to make that dot of light way out in the far reaches of the end of the tunnel turn into a bright sun.

WE ARE NOT VICTIMS. WE ARE THE SURVIVORS!!!

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#404119 - 07/19/12 09:40 PM Re: A Request for Advice [Re: Diogenes]
Afldman Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/12/12
Posts: 67
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Hi Diogenes. I feel your pain. Although it doesn't really factor, I too was AF (now retired). I mention that only to highlight the exceptional health care offered to you. You can stop laughing now, I was half serious. I know the medical self help office can seem lacking at times. I know there is a significant social stigma (how's that for alliteration?) to seeking psychological help. But it does help. Allow me to briefly describe my similarities.

10 days after graduating high school I was at Lackland, and that seemed 9 days too long. I couldn't leave fast enough. I didn't (then) have the same issue with erections, but I was sure I didn't need help. Sure, I was depressed, isolated, suicidal at times, paranoid, but hey...I was fine. Fast forward 19 years and I finally get a clue that although I have never denied that I had my experience, there are a lot of things I would like to improve about myself.

So I tried the military system and discover that their psychologist (at least in my experience) had no clue how to help someone with real life history to work through.

However, after I retired and got settled in, I found a reputable doctor and over the past 18 months she has helped me a lot.

My point to all this, don't eliminate the option of a therapy. I gues I could have just said that...oh well.

Hoping you get whatever it is you need. Peter
_________________________
"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them." -Daliai Lama

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#404134 - 07/19/12 11:56 PM Re: A Request for Advice [Re: Diogenes]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Hi Diogenes,

first of all, welcome

It sounds like you've made a life for yourself despite having a rough childhood, and that deserves a lot of credit. You have said you're a do it yourselfer and are fine without professional help, but at the same time, maybe with professional help you could still be better. There is no shame in seeking it, and it doesn't have to mean anything more than it is.

As for the erectile dysfunction, I can understand how complicated the whole issue is... I have physical ED and a psychological aversion to sex as well. The whole idea of trying to do it again after sexual assault scares the crap out of me. Therapy would give you the opportunity to discuss the problem in a way that will alleviate anxiety and help you build confidence. also, I don't know if you have been to the site, franktalk.org but the guys over there are really helpful.
_________________________
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

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#404165 - 07/20/12 06:22 AM Re: A Request for Advice [Re: Diogenes]
Diogenes Offline


Registered: 07/19/12
Posts: 4
Thank you to all who replied, and replied so quickly. That shows this is a strong community and I value that.

I apologize, I should have been more clear about my problem. This is the first time I've openly asked for help/discussed it with anyone. I was sexually abused by my older step-brother (five years older). He made me perform sexual acts on him when I was four till about ten. He also coerced my sister into doing same with him and myself. My sister was stronger and able to tell him "no" sooner, but I was not. I later found out that she returned to it, however, and last I heard was still doing it as recently as 18 (she's 23 now).

I do not have a therapist/counselor and unfortunetly, am not in a position to either because of my current physical location. I would like to start receiving professional help, but I won't be able to for another year or so. In the meantime, I plan to do what I've always done: self-medicate with work (I'm good at it).

If you're asking why am I stirring the pot now, considering the constrains I'm under...well...it's something I'm having a hard time putting out of my mind. A month ago I was intimate (or trying to be) with a girl and it was painfully clear I couldn't perform. I don't have an aversion to it, it's just that nothing really happens. She was understanding at the time and tried to help me out, but it was like I couldn't even feel anything. As if I didn't have nerves in that part of my body. Despite my lack-luster effort, she said she was still interested in having a relationship. But through e-mail we worked our way back to the topic and I made my confession - I thought she deserved to know. She has since been...less available? I understand, but this seems like something I'm going to need another person to overcome. Does that sound right?

Like I said, I'm not exactly afraid of it. Only that it's easier when I MB. Otherwise I'm like a little kid - I really enjoy cuddling and could probably cuddle my life away.

To answer your question Mr. Chambers, yes I have been unable to resist porn - a lot. Mr. Fidelis, I appreciate the quote by St. John. He's an excellent person and I recommend reading his "Dark Night of the Soul." Mr. ScottyG, thank you for your answer. I put myself in that position and it probably wasn't for the best reasons. I want to overcome my limitations, but I wasn't in a loving, wholesome relationship with my recent partner. We had just met and it was awfully rushed. Mr. Afldman, my brother in arms, thank you but I agree. I don't feel I can trust the military medical experts. Most are also active duty and none are trained to handle these problems. I think I'd like to seek all of my help outside of the Air Force as I really don't want to draw attention to myself.

Patience is not my strong suit. I feel like I'm wasting an epic of time not being able to just drop this. But it's shameful of me to expect some shortcut to recovery.

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#404196 - 07/20/12 01:40 PM Re: A Request for Advice [Re: Diogenes]
chambers Offline


Registered: 04/17/12
Posts: 118
Loc: VA
Originally Posted By: Diogenes

To answer your question Mr. Chambers, yes I have been unable to resist porn - a lot.

Well if you're masturbating to porn a lot it can cause erectile dysfunction. After I quit school like 8 years ago I'd given up on dating and women and just used porn as a sexual outlet. Recently, about a year after starting therapy for my CSA I began dating and socializing again on the advice of my therapists. I ended up rushing into a sexual encounter with a woman pretty much on the first date. I could not maintain an erection for sex, it was embarrassing. I did some research and found these sites porn ED and yourbrainonporn . From those I discovered this was an increasing problem, but it can be fixed. You have to quit porn, quit masturbating, and quit fantasizing for a period of time. It varies according to the site but I think 1 month is the minimum and 2 months is average. Read the sites and see if you think that is your issue, if it is it's fixable but it's not easy or quick. Your brain pretty much has to reset to a normal state because it's been overstimulated by porn.

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#404203 - 07/20/12 03:45 PM Re: A Request for Advice [Re: Diogenes]
scottyg Offline


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 253
Loc: Seattle
Diogenes-

You're polite and charming now stop it. Just call me scott no mister -that's the another dude. We're rather "unvarnished" around here. chambers is right on target with the porn issue, BTW. I'm weening myself off of it, too. But porn is safe and unemotional. There's no second party you need to please or respond to. It's pervasive and convenient. It's a very powerful medication. I wanted to chime in again to tell you that many young men who're here for the first time will say, "I'm gonna speed through this and get all better and resume my regularly scheduled life ASAP." You are not "shameful" for wishing there is a shortcut to recovery. We all wish we were better off by now. You will get lots of great advise from smarter people than me (you already have)but one thing everyone always says is be good to yourself. Don't beat yourself up if "progress" is not on the timeline you're expecting. We all heal in our own ways, on our own time. So give yourself a pass on the "wasting epic time," belief. Did I mention I'm almost 40? Talk to me about wasting epic time.

One more thing D. I have found that for me a sexual relationship requires lots and lots of trust. The weight of the baggage I had inside prevented me from jumping into sexual relationships. I hadn't developed that threshhold for trust. For example, my wife was ready to jump in my pants by our fourth of fifth date. (What on earth was she thinking?)But I put it off much longer becuase I was confused about my feelings and I had all this undisclosed baggage and I had performance anxiety... I was a mess. I knew I wasn't ready and so I told her that I wasn't ready to have sex with her. She didn't understand but she didnt ridicule me, either. She figured I was just sensitive, which I am, and chicks dig the sensitive hunk (which I am not). So have the courage Diogenes to say no to sex if you're feeling rushed and it's not right. Just because SHE wants it, doesn't mean you're ready. Search yur feelings, Luke. If the bitch makes fun of you, then you'll know you can't trust her anyway. If you get a hug and a kiss goodnight then you will know that this is a person you may be able to trust moving forward. Again, trust and honesty are your best friends in the bed room. I'm still working on it but I've made that leap. You can, too.
_________________________
I've got a bike you can ride it if you like.
Its got a basket, a bell that rings
And many other things to make it look good.
I'd give it to you if I could -but I've borrowed it.

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