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#4325 - 08/09/03 11:46 PM Sexual Dysfunction
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2259
Loc: Maryland USA
OK, this is not an easy post, and I have a hunch replies won't come easy, either.

I've read a lot about the problems male survivors have in relationships, struggling with trust and intimacy, fearing others, and so on. And I've read the words "sexual dysfunction." In fact, when I wrote to the Plain Dealer, I included that in the list of possible effects that the victims might experience. Coupled with my self identification as a survivor, I wondered if that meant I was self identifying as a sexually dysfunctional man. Scared me, too.

But the thing is, sexual dysfunctions are part of the legacy of sexual abuse, at least for some people. Like me, for instance. In my case I struggled for years with premature ejaculation. Mr Macho I wasn't. Somehow I still got a wedding ring onto the finger of the most wonderful woman, though.

It's funny (yeah, ha, ha) but I remember sheepishly looking for information online about this, and finding that it can be a physical problem, but it's often not. That is, most of the time there's no "plumbing problem." I remember wondering what kind of problem could I possibly have, since I knew the abuse I'd never quite forgotten didn't affect me at all.

It wasn't always like that. In the last several years I flipped the coin, so to speak. I had to search for the terminology online, but it was retarded ejaculation. As in not ejaculating at all. Hmm, how to put this? "After" I would feel a tremendous wave of sadness, no, more than sadness, almost grief. I guess it was somehow better than feeling frustrated and embarassed, but looking back now I think it was a precursor to the current, "flashbacks during sex" stage.

The sadness stuff started a year or two ago, before I disclosed my sexual abuse. After I told my wife, then my psychologist, the flashbacks during sex started. Sometimes the "dry heaves crying" with my stomach aching from the sobs without tears. Sometimes worse, and once the "curled up in a ball wimpering" flashback from Hell.

I'm posting this because I haven't seen it before. I thought about putting it in the Family & Friends forum, but it's really about how survivors ourselves have experienced the effects. Yeah, another euphemism. This post is about how I personally have been sexually dysfunctional, during the time I hid my sexual abuse history, and since disclosure. There, to hell with euphemisms.

If anyone would care to add anything to this, I think I'd like to see it. I have a hunch I'm not the only one, but who knows? I've always been different.

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#4326 - 08/10/03 12:22 AM Re: Sexual Dysfunction
Sick Puppy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/30/03
Posts: 300
Loc: Nowhere Land
Outis, I know this can be a difficult subject and it is very brave of you to post about it.

I have had my problems in this area. They used to ashame me so much that I could not even go into a chatroom anonymously and ask about it. I was struggling very much then and confused about my sexuality so the added problems did not help. I had the idea that if I had sexual problems it meant I was less of a man.

I am improving in this area and I think it is because I am finally in a loving relationship. I still have difficulty sometimes (my apologies if this is too frank) in maintaining an erection, and it tends to take me a very long time to come but that may be due in part to my medication. When I was with my old girlfriend, she would always tease me about my sexual shortcomings and make me feel like shit that I could not even finish. I tried so hard to fix my problems but it only made them worse.

Since I began to deal with my abuse I have sometimes triggered during sex or broke down crying. My partner has thankfully been very supportive although it is still extremely humiliating for me \:\(

I think this post is getting too long now, but I want you to know you are NOT alone!!

_________________________
And one day we will die
And our ashes will fly
From the aeroplane over the sea
But for now we are young
Let us lay in the sun
And count every beautiful thing we can see


Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

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#4327 - 08/10/03 01:53 AM Re: Sexual Dysfunction
Stephen_5 Offline
BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/00
Posts: 667
Loc: Northern California Foothills
Joe,

You're not alone. I've been quite depressed in the last couple of years and many of the anti-depressants have sexual side effects that include reduced libido, retarded ejaculation, etc. Depression itself, PTSD and sexual dysfunction are common occurances in guys that have been abused. I personally would rather be on the anti-depressants and live with the side effects. It's not to much of a problem for me right now as I'm not involved with anyone anymore. Maybe in time...

Take good care of yourself,

Steve

_________________________
I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center.
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007)

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#4328 - 08/10/03 07:52 AM Re: Sexual Dysfunction
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2259
Loc: Maryland USA
Thanks, guys.

Josh,

It was a tough thing to post, but I hope that somebody who comes around here "just looking" might benefit from seeing this kind of discussion. Thanks for being so honest about your own experience.

Steve,

My problem was that I did it without medicines, so I couldn't blame the meds for side effects. I've read about the ways medicines can interfere, and I'm still thinking of asking about them. The way my problem "flipped" suggests to me that it's not something a urologist would have helped, if I even discussed it when I saw him. I did have surgery once and had the chance to dicsuss it with the urologist then, but I didn't mention it.

The embarassment was real. It was tough, and the premature ejaculation had to be very difficult on my wife because of the way our sex life suffered during those years. The next part was difficult for me because I felt like I had unconciously "found the cure and overdone it." Then the way I used to feel so sad. Maybe it switched so I could feel the sadness instead of the embarassment.

But I'm really not asking about medicine side effects. I understand that they can be bad, but I'm asking about guys not needing meds to have difficulties. I know it's not easy to talk about, but I do feel better now having started it.

Thanks,

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#4329 - 08/10/03 06:37 PM Re: Sexual Dysfunction
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Joe
My problem was / is that if I feel good while making love, then it's all over before the "Fat Lady" opens her mouth.
So I think of something to slow me down, and then I go back and forward between the two. And before I know it the "Fat Lady" has sung the song, packed up and gone home !

Throw in some unwanted flashbacks and fantasies, and I'm way off tune

Dave \:\(

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#4330 - 08/10/03 07:46 PM Re: Sexual Dysfunction
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
Joe, you nailed it when you said this would not be easy. I don't think my answer can be helpful to you because my experience of sexuality has been un-universal. I can't imagine for a moment how you guys who speak of how valuable your relationships are, can even begin to sustain them, considering my own experience and what the SA has done to my ability to have an intimate relationship. I have never had a partner that had a clue, and god knows I didn't. I find it difficult to understand and relate to the dynamics implicit in the depth of a longstanding relationship. What a wonderful burden it must be to have the opportunity you all have to be with someone for a long term, and eek out a life that you are able to stand back and admire as good, pleasant and worth fighting for.

Before and up until the time when I was married, I was promiscuous and in a series of short term, one night stands. I thought my relationship with my ex-wife was all I would ever need to "be normal". Our sex life was terribly unremarkable, and I always masturbated and fantasized more about imagined male sex partners than I had relations with her. I was interested in trying to make things exciting between us, but she had even less interest than I did. We were just not compatible sexually[nor any other way for that matter].

My marriage lasted for 7 years and we produced 3 offspring. My progeny are the most valued treasure I have [or don't have as the case may be]. After all, they are people, and you can't "have" people. You can just borrow them, and nurture them for a time while they are alive and in your care.

After our marriage finally ended, I quit drinking and went on a second adolescent binge of serial relationships all with men who didn't know, any more than I did, what were the ingredients of a good effective partnership. After about six years of that, I entered once again into a relationship with a female, thinking that because there were mutual feelings involved, that it was "meant to be" that we would have a relationship. We got engaged, and bought a house and made plans, but she was just looking for someone to pay for the emtional pain inflicted on her by her father and ex-husband. After that, I had two relationships with men that were long term (one for 2 years, and the other for 5 years). The 2 year one was just a guy looking for a meal ticket. The other was a really good person, whom I was quite fond of, but he could not get past his own issues with sexual dysfunction, and our relationship just went the way that most tend to, that being to just give up on the deepening of sexual intimacy. In all of my relationships, with the two females and the 200 men, I never rose to any level of "two become one"-ness. Sex was always, in every relationship, tense and orgasm oriented. At the beginning of each relationship, the focus of sex for me was about trying to make this time better than the last, perfoming with much more technique, or in a much cleverer manner than the last time. Hey, baby, I'll show you what I can do with a "g-spot". It was always about showing my partner that I was "the best ever". After a few months of this, it became more about getting it over and done with. All of my relationships were about "playing" being in a relationship.

After that I moved to Minneapolis and have been busy over that last two and a half years getting myself firmly established in a new life. Frankly, I feel too old and ugly to even put out my relationship radar. Since I have never had a relationship that was built on anything that even remotely resembled a naturally authentic basis for forming one, I have little faith that they are real. I am remaining open to the prospect, but am trying not to induce one, as I have done in the past.

My sex life right now is concentrated on exploring my own body in a non-judgmental, shameless and guilt-free manner. Truthfully, for the first time in my life I don't feel the urge to couple, and that is really odd, because I feel that I have never been better prepared than I am right now, for a successful relationship with another male.

I don't think what I have written has anything to do with your topic, but I guess I had to spill the words somewhere, and why not here. Thanks for giving me a reason to speak.

Ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#4331 - 08/10/03 08:21 PM Re: Sexual Dysfunction
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Ron, I am amazed at the level of trust you have in all of us. Thank you for sharing that.

Love is such a mystery to me. But I have experienced you on the forums as a very loving, kind man. I have to believe that, some other loving, kind man will come into your life, and you will share a beautiful relationship. You seem to know what you want and do not want. And you also seem to know what you can give. That sounds like a perfect foundation for something really good.

Ron, have you ever listened to Andy Lloyd Webbers STARLIGHT EXPRESS? you really have to listen to all the songs, and follow the story. But the song "Next Time You Fall in Love" sounds like something that would be very good for you to hear.

Much peace to you friend.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#4332 - 08/10/03 08:26 PM Re: Sexual Dysfunction
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2259
Loc: Maryland USA
Dave,

I think you're talking about the same kinds of things I went/go through. Thanks for being open about it. It helps to know it's something that can happen to guys after sexual abuse.

Ron,

I'm glad you found a place to "spill the words" and I think it is on topic. First I want to say that I think you have a lot of guts to spill words like that. I doubt anyone thinks this is an easy topic.

You've gone beyond the kind of nearly medical de>
_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#4333 - 08/10/03 10:39 PM Re: Sexual Dysfunction
dwf Offline
Moderator/BoD Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/24/03
Posts: 1223
Loc: Austin, Texas USA
Joe,

Your honesty and openness continue to astound me.
You are a real treasure for me and to anyone fortunate enough to have contact with the loving, understanding guy named Joe who posts so wonderfully on this site.

The shame I felt about my sexual dysfunction led me many times to fake having an orgasm, because it just would not happen for me in response to the stimuli received. In other words, either the guy didn't interest me, but I was having sex with him anyway. Or I had let things happen during sex which made it impossible to achieve orgasm, which I thought was the only reason to have sex. Which is pretty sick.

Or I would want to please him so much and be so excited that I would come right away. For me, it was very difficult to maintain any interest in the sex after I had come. It was like the show was over, a bit prematurely, but over nonetheless.

I have had sex with many, many men, and a few women. One time I wrote down every sexual encounter I could possibly remember. I went through my life year by year, incident by incident. It was so fucking depressing. I had to stop in the middle. Because I saw how I continued to duplicate the same emotional reactions to sex no matter where I was, how old I was or who I was with.

I wrote it all down as part of a sexual inventory.
I gained a lot of knowledge of myself and my sex.

Funny thing was, knowledge was not enough to change the behavior. I stopped some of the more egregious behaviors; mainly because I stopped drinking and I found that lots of things that I allowed to happen drunk simply would never happen as long as I stayed sober.

So after hundreds of sex partners, thousands of sex acts and endless amounts of guilt, shame, frustration and general disgust with my sexual self, I have in the past couple of weeks, finally had the experience of making love.

The simplest way I can explain it is that I finally was able to include my partner in all that I was experiencing. My fears, my doubts, the history of my sexual abuse, specific phobias about specific sex acts, my fear of disease, my tendency to treat sex as a porno movie in which I am the over achieving star.

All that came out before hand. And it comes out many times during sex. There is a lot of reassurance, questioning, pausing, resting, talking, encouraging and expression of love and tenderness that is not at all related to the achievement of an orgasm, retarded, premature or very late, as is the case with me these days.

I have finally started acting differently and am amazingly enough have begun to achieve different results. Wow, it is simply a miracle for me.

I've found a guy who is so loving and tender. So respectful of me, my feelings, my body, my boundaries and my soul that I was almost in tears the whole time we made love for the first time.
I never thought it could happen for me. I was abused by a man and then continued a life time of seeking abuse from others and degrading myself.

I really thought I was too far gone. but with a lot of help, therapy, medication and enough self esteem and trust in myself, it is finally happening.

Probably the most important contribution I am making to this success, is that I try very hard to honestly communicate with my partner.

I have stopped shutting my eyes while kissing him. I have made myself keep my eyes open while having sexual contact with him. I actively say if I am uncomfortable and also when it feels too good to be true.

Hopefully I will be able to share more of my recent experiences in another thread where it may be more appropriate. That would be a good thing for me and plus that would also mean that I'm continuing to have wonderful sex. \:\)

Some of the techniques I mentioned above come from a book recommended by my therapist. It is about the experiences of hetereosexual couples in overcoming dysfunction, sexual and intimate in nature.

It's a long book; and seems like it would be good read together with a partner. I'm done with my copy, if you'd like it I'd be glad to pass it on to you.

It's called:

'PASSIONATE MARRIAGE: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships' by David Schnarch, Ph.D., published by Henry Holt and Co, NY, NY 1998.

I have come to firmly believe that sex problems, like sex, are much better experienced in the company of a loving partner. The results become not nearly as important, and therefore always much better.

Thanks, Joe, for opening this thread. You've given me the courage to think about talking some more about my sex life.

Thanks, guys, for all the understanding and kindess.

It really does make a difference.


Your grateful brother,

_________________________
"Poke salad Annie, 'gators got you granny
Everybody said it was a shame
'Cause her mama was aworkin' on the chain-gang"

-Tony Joe White

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#4334 - 08/11/03 02:04 PM Re: Sexual Dysfunction
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2259
Loc: Maryland USA
Quote:
The shame I felt about my sexual dysfunction led me many times to fake having an orgasm, because it just would not happen for me in response to the stimuli received.
Danny,

Thank you for such courageous honesty in posting to this thread. I know it benefits me to stop hiding this particular effect and its manifestation in my life.

I can relate to the shame, that's for sure. I never bothered faking. Never saw the point in it. After all, either I failed to do "what I was supposed to do" when I couldn't last, or I was just a half step ahead of the sadness that always caught up to me. Besides, it's not about me feeling good. That's not the role I learned, that's not the sick ideal I strove to reach. "Once an object to be used, always an object to be used."

What I mistook for a healthy appetite was a desire to prove my value in the coin of the sick realm I lived in after the sexual abuse. When I approached a physical union, something nearing physical intimacy, the panic/fear would kill the chance. When I evenually found it possible to sometimes give pleasure, but remained unable to receive/accept it myself, the terrible sadness overwhelmed me. Wow, I'm learning about myself again.

It's absolutely amazing that I found and married my wife, and that our marriage hasn't failed. Look at the distorted view I had of intimacy. This stuff really does affect me through and through. Letting it fester as long as I did it became more and more entrenched in my life. Time to rip it and all of its runners out of the ground and burn them.

Thanks to everybody. I'm getting to know myself a lot better here. I hope you're getting some good out of this, too.

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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