Newest Members
pjmd, j_f1974, Dan234racer, ajax, marmill252
12431 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
mTm (55), Oz (28)
Who's Online
4 registered (petercorbett, Obi, highflight, 1 invisible), 15 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
12431 Members
74 Forums
63838 Topics
445783 Posts

Max Online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Topic Options
#431731 - 04/19/13 04:25 AM Getting the picture
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 263
Loc: Europe
Sometimes I look at images that should be erotic. They are not hard to find. (Long gone are the days when, somehow, you would have to face a cashier if you were going to get a magazine.)

I have a few sites. Soft porn is enough. Mild stuff, really. Almost like still shots that could be taken from Rated R (not even X) movies. Something like some paintings you could find, except photos.

Men's fashion magazine sites where, among how to choose a bow tie you will also find a racy pictorial of a current celebrity.

These are things I find. Nothing brutal.

But these images confuse me. I think, but I am not sure, that when I was in college I could enjoy these things more, on occasion. I probably felt some guilt, because somehow I grew up with a morality that said this was wrong. But I also grew up with a morality that said it was normal for men, especially young men, so I felt guilty but also knew it at least meant I was normal.

Now things have changed and none if it is so simple.

I'm older. I've got two kids. The novelty of a naked woman has worn off, and sometimes I am just stunned at how young they look. Somebody get a coat for that girl; she must be cold.

I don't see the sex object as much any more. This is not a bad thing.

Another change, and maybe this is related, is that I'm nto as interested in erotica. I wish I were. I don't want to lose that. This is just mid-life crisis stuff, I guess, but I though I would rise above that when it came. I have to admit, though, it gets to me. Am I less of a man than I used to be?

The last change is that if you had asked me in college if I'd been sexually abused, I'd have said no. Whatever I remembered then, I remembered differently.

Mom looking at me change, sometimes touching me. A thousand subtle gestures or comments that sank in over time and didn't admit what they were until I was in my 30's.

When I was getting dressed in the morning, Mom would come to my with exposed breasts, as she was getting dressed, too. She would be asking something, but when I look back, could her question really not have waited until she had a top on? (Or is it me? Families obviously see each other in different states of dress? Maybe the sexuality there is something I brought into it.)

She gave me a pornographic magazine once, and a swimsuite calendar one year (I'd asked for it for Christmas), and passed her Victoria's SEcret catalogues onto my brother and me. There is a few more things like that.

So now, having worked on this stuff for a while, and identified some things, if I look at, let's say a Victoria's Secret thing now, I feel like I hear her saying, "You like that."

I don't remember her exactly saying that, though I think there were times when she did, "He LIKES so-and-so. She'S PRETTY." "Gosh, look at so-and-so's boobs. I can see why you like her."

So now, if something interests me, I wish it didn't.

I wish I wasn't curious about the pictures. I wish that looking at them was not arousing. That curiosity and that interest is what made it so easy for Mom to manipulate me.

Mom didn't look like any of those models. And if, now, I can see the young woman beyond the eroticism, why could I not see "MOM" (!!!) beyond anatomy?

So I wish I were not aroused at all. Whatever it is in me that creates a market for that stuff, that is what led me to put up with Mom's behaviour. I let her watch me change. I tried to show off my developing muscles for her. I checked what state of undress she was in if she came to my door.

Knowing these things, I look at images now and can't appreciate them. I hate what they say about me.
_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

Top
#431834 - 04/20/13 08:01 AM Re: Getting the picture [Re: learning2remember]
BraveFalcon Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/25/13
Posts: 1134
Loc: The ATL
Originally Posted By: learning2remember

Another change, and maybe this is related, is that I'm nto as interested in erotica. I wish I were. I don't want to lose that. This is just mid-life crisis stuff, I guess, but I though I would rise above that when it came. I have to admit, though, it gets to me. Am I less of a man than I used to be?


No, you're just older. It's normal. I'm 38 and I don't beat off nearly as often as I used to or think about sex as often. In my case, that's a good thing because my sexuality is broken and disfigured to being with. Be that as it may, most men loose libido as they age. It does't make you less of a man. Just an older man.

Quote:
The last change is that if you had asked me in college if I'd been sexually abused, I'd have said no. Whatever I remembered then, I remembered differently.


I'm not sure you remembered it differently, I think you probably just didn't have the clarity about your experiences you now have.

Quote:

So I wish I were not aroused at all. Whatever it is in me that creates a market for that stuff, that is what led me to put up with Mom's behaviour. I let her watch me change. I tried to show off my developing muscles for her. I checked what state of undress she was in if she came to my door.

Knowing these things, I look at images now and can't appreciate them. I hate what they say about me.


What I'm hearing here is you taking responsibility for something that was not your fault. Your mother had very inappropriate boundaries with you and was doing things with and around you that were, at best, covert sexual abuse. I say at best because surely everything she ever did was not in this one little post, so I'm assuming there was more to her dysfunctional and abusive sexual behavior.

Those pictures and your arousal by them says absolutely nothing about you other than you are a human, heterosexual male. Being ashamed of yourself for that is like being ashamed of yourself for sneezing. What led you to "put up with your mom's behavior" was that you were a young, vulnerable boy who was confused and being taken advantage of. IT WASN'T YOUR FAULT!!! What you are doing here is internalizing the shame that your mother inflicted you with and letting it define you. The fact of the matter is, it doesn't define you! The shame that your mother inflicted you with is not your shame!!! It's her shame! Try to remember that and keep it in perspective the next time an erotic photograph makes you feel this way. Take care. Peace,

Ken

Top
#432071 - 04/22/13 12:10 PM Re: Getting the picture [Re: learning2remember]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 358
Loc: NY
Hey, L2R:

Your story sounds very similar to mine. There were boundary violations with my Mom and me that occurred all my life up until a couple of years ago, when I finally "got the picture".

I have many strange physical sensations that seem to relate to early memories. These days I am going very slowly and trying to listen to them.

My brother and I also had some problem growing up and becoming sexually healthy. There is a foggy period in my memory which I think begins around the time he was molested by a stranger.

There are many thoughts I'd like to share, but for now I wanted to say that when you juxtapose the unclear relationship with your Mom and pornography, something in me strongly relates.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember
I think, but I am not sure, that when I was in college I could enjoy these things more, on occasion. I probably felt some guilt, because somehow I grew up with a morality that said this was wrong. But I also grew up with a morality that said it was normal for men, especially young men, so I felt guilty but also knew it at least meant I was normal.


As I mentioned, up until a couple of years ago, I thought I had a fairly normal upbringing with regard to healthy attitudes about sex. These days I feel like I am coming out of a deep fog.

A therapist recently said to me that shame comes "before" guilt. It seems like a funny statement, but here is why I think it matters. For me, arousal can involve both emotions, but it is the shame that closes me down.

When I first read your post, my mind was distancing me from it. I wanted to say, oh it's all innocent. a voice in me apologized for all the experiences and tried to write it all off. I know this voice well. It is the one that has tried to protect me from seeing the bigger picture, connecting the dots, and feeling the feelings.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember

So I wish I were not aroused at all. Whatever it is in me that creates a market for that stuff, that is what led me to put up with Mom's behaviour.


A short while after reading your post, I had to once again painfully admit to myself that my Mother aroused me in ways I couldn't express. I had no way of calming myself down from them. This probably occurred from a very young age. I didn't want people to know. Mostly because of shame. That's why closing down the emotions happened and has continued until the present day.

It can be very difficult for me to find my true emotions and the man in me when I am feeling ashamed.

What your Mom did was done in the spirit of openness without full acknowledgment of other feelings and boundaries. My Mom's habitual response to me as a man happened similarly. What this did to me was to make true masculinity difficult to understand because it was imprisoned in feelings that could not be expressed or felt.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember

I wish I wasn't curious about the pictures. I wish that looking at them was not arousing. That curiosity and that interest is what made it so easy for Mom to manipulate me.



The guilty feelings were the ones that were manipulated in the spirit of openness. My mom was trying to get me to not feel guilty. She did this with other men too. I think it felt empowering to her. What she didn't realize was that there were other feelings going on. She didn't realize that men have them. I lived most of my life acting as if they didn't exist. I believed I was as sexually liberated from fear and shame as my Mom.

So confusing. I'm glad that I can finally get a handle here.

Going through the arousal states and talking myself through them with awareness is helping me. It will all take a while, but I'm in it for the long haul. For me.

Originally Posted By: learning2remember
Knowing these things, I look at images now and can't appreciate them. I hate what they say about me.


Being a survivor of unhealthy sexual boundaries, arousal can be confusing. But confusion is not something I want to hate myself about.

I've been manipulated my men who seemed to sense my hating myself as a man. These men seemed to not be ashamed about anything. They talked openly about porn. They also tried to make me think that hating myself as a man was healthy because of what men can do to women. This is another unhealthy dynamic.

I'm not going to do that hate. It's not worth it. When I hate myself as a man, I follow men who seem to know better but then make me feel even more lost. Everything gets worse.

Better to accept what has happened to me. This is where my true hatred of myself lies hidden and wants to be healed. I want to find each day the courage to face that which I want to avoid, even when it is extremely unpleasant. At least it's the truth.

I hope you can find your way to a greater appreciation of yourself. With or without the porn, you are a man worthy of love and respect from yourself and others.

Focused
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

Top


Moderator:  ModTeam, Publius, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.