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#446567 - 09/06/13 12:05 PM No Idea what to do
Anthony V Offline


Registered: 09/06/13
Posts: 19
I have been working through csa issues for almost two decades. However, in all that time I have had nothing to help deal with the sexual orientation confusion. I have always felt 'straight' but it doesn't change much. Outside of my abuse I have never been with a man, never fantasize about men and never had any sexual dreams about men. Yet I feel like a fraud as a straight man...like an imposter.

I worked hard over the past decade to work through a sexual addiction however now I realize I feel like I have nothing to offer a women who wants to have an intimate relationship. I can easily get aroused if the sex is non-intimate (I.e. addictive). I've always felt embarrassed to have a girlfriend as I feel like I would be laughed at...'you with a girlfriend'

I feel so gay...even though I am not attracted to men but moreso like I am a flawed man. I have this overwhelming feeling that I have nothing to offer a women. I had 3 long-term relationships and they all end due to sexual dysfunction. After a certain period it becomes very hard for me to have an erection within an intimate relationship.

I tried so many things but nothing seems to erase the doubt. I always have a doubt that 'maybe u r gay' and that doubt eats away at me...keeps me from relationships and I think is also what supports the dysfunction

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#446573 - 09/06/13 02:25 PM Re: No Idea what to do [Re: Anthony V]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 594
*


Edited by Jacob S (09/07/13 12:37 AM)
_________________________
Like a spent gladiator
crawling in the colosseum dust
who can count on his remaining limbs
all the people he can trust.
Like the one who stands behind him
cheering him on
Estatic when he stands defiant,
wild with abandon when he's gone

just stay alive.
do whatever you need to.
you are worth it.

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#446580 - 09/06/13 04:58 PM Re: No Idea what to do [Re: Anthony V]
Anthony V Offline


Registered: 09/06/13
Posts: 19
Hi Jacob,

I share this with much compassion as we both have experienced trauma in our lives. Your sharing did not resonate with me simply because you shared about me and not you. If all it took were words to heal I would of been healed many years ago. Eventually I will come to experience more fully healing but it will be drawn from my experience. Part of my experience is learning from others how they personally dealt with their trauma.

I share these words with much reverence.



Edited by Anthony V (09/06/13 04:58 PM)

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#446611 - 09/07/13 03:42 AM Re: No Idea what to do [Re: Anthony V]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1506
Loc: New England
Hi AV,

Great post. I have had alot of the same feelings. I just had a couple of comments.

Originally Posted By: Anthony V
....I feel so gay...even though I am not attracted to men but moreso like I am a flawed man

Many of us, both straight and gay, have struggled with confusion about our sexual orientation. For those of us who grew up in less enlightened times, when there was no such thing as "gay", the possibility that we might be "flawed" by being homosexual was frightening, disgusting, unthinkable. But it should be clear to us now that being gay is not a flaw, just a different orientation. Gay men are every bit as much men as straight men are, so lets be sensative about how we charachterize being gay on these boards.

Originally Posted By: Anthony V
....I always have a doubt that 'maybe u r gay' and that doubt eats away at me...keeps me from relationships and I think is also what supports the dysfunction.

It sounds like what you are calling "doubt" is really fear. If we hold on to the "I just CAN'T be gay" fear, I expect that will affect us in many negative ways. Personally, I resolved that fear by embracing that SSA part of myself as just part of who I am: A straight guy who sometimes feels attracted to guys. No big deal. I feel attractions to women, men, and little baby ducks. I can decide whether or not to act on those feelings. And my choices don't make me any more or less a man than anyone else. Case closed.

But just to make it clear that I don't have it all figured out, I still have fears and difficulties with sex and relationships. I've still got alot of work to do before I can really enjoy either of those things the ways other men seem to. But thats another thread.
_________________________
"I get up, and nothing gets me down.
You got it tough. I've seen the toughest around.
And I know, baby, just how you feel.
You've got to roll with the punches to get to what's real"
Van Halen

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#446629 - 09/07/13 02:10 PM Re: No Idea what to do [Re: Anthony V]
Anthony V Offline


Registered: 09/06/13
Posts: 19
It's interesting because I feel like the significant point is being missed. I don't see gay as negative. It is the confusion that tortures me. It is very easy to say; 'well, I'm everything; gay, bi, straight, etc. but that will do little to ease the pain. It may feel liberating for a little while even empowering but then the confusion returns. Because I am not everything. There lives within me an authentic me. Maybe that authentic me is gay, maybe straight, maybe bi but he is there and I must find him. In my opinion the superficiality of just saying I am everything will rear it's head when intimate relationships come up. That is the home of the authentic me and the terror of the superficial me.

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#446649 - 09/07/13 11:14 PM Re: No Idea what to do [Re: Anthony V]
Jude Offline


Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1506
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Anthony V
.... I don't see gay as negative. It is the confusion that tortures me.
I think you are exactly right and I understand you better now. That confusion is painful and disorienting.

I just have given up on finding the "authentic me". That is, the "me" that would have been had I not been subjected to CSA. I believe that whoever that "me" would have been, was destroyed when I was 13 and can't be resurected.

The SSA is a harmless part of who I am now, and I have stopped fighting it. I am a straight man, who sometimes feels SSA, and I accept myself.

On the other hand, I do not accept compulsive sexual acting out, and that is a daily battle. And there are other battles to fight, like alcoholism and broken relationships.

The past is over. I have to start where I am now, and try to move forward. Acceptance is what's worked for me. I hope that you find the way that works for you.
_________________________
"I get up, and nothing gets me down.
You got it tough. I've seen the toughest around.
And I know, baby, just how you feel.
You've got to roll with the punches to get to what's real"
Van Halen

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#446652 - 09/07/13 11:52 PM Re: No Idea what to do [Re: Anthony V]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 332
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: Anthony V
I've always felt embarrassed to have a girlfriend as I feel like I would be laughed at...'you with a girlfriend'


Hey, Anthony.

Just wanted to say that recently I realized that what could make me laugh at myself, or think others were doing so, wasn't so much what people said or did, but the absence of something else. Growing up I had somehow internalized a view of the world that did not fit me into it. There just had not been enough affirmation of who I really was. When I finally heard the voice inside that was crying due to this belief I had formed about myself, I began to heal and be present to those I care about as myself.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#446863 - 09/10/13 07:15 PM Re: No Idea what to do [Re: Anthony V]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
Hi AV,

A lot of what you said resonated with me. I wondered for a long, long time about my orientation, and even though I never physically acted out after my CSA, there was plenty of stuff on the internet to check out, and there were many times that I did. Eventually after I acknowledged my CSA and went to therapy, that changed. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that other men do not get it going for me. I was totally honest when I questioned, and figured that it it felt right on the inside and I was able to enjoy it, I'd go explore it in person. That never did happen though, and being with women physically, fantasizing, etc. did feel natural and enjoyable, so I left it at that.

Sometimes I still question but I notice patterns. Whenever I feel happy and life is going well, I don't feel confused. Whenever I become anxious, stressed, make a mistake, or am just feeling negative in general, the confusion comes back. That's when I have these same thoughts that I see you having.

Now I am going to steal Jude's formatting since it made things very easy to read. Thanks Jude!

"Yet I feel like a fraud as a straight man...like an imposter."

-Like Jude said, that whole "I CAN'T be gay!" thought was exactly what happened to me when I learned what was going on with me and my cousin. From a very young age, I was always very sure I would be with a nice girl, get married, yadda yadda yadda. I knew a few gay couples that went to my mother's church. As far as I understood it, that just meant that they loved each other like my mom and dad and that they would get married instead of marrying ladies. I thought that was a bit odd, but I didn't think poorly of them. Just wasn't for me.

In contrast, my gay friend told us a few years back that when he was that age, he would dream about being rescued by a big burly prince. Not to say there aren't gay people who are very masculine, but I have yet to meet a gay person who didn't know, even in early childhood, that they liked other boys, or girls (if female). Ultimately though, I learned to except that in this world in this life, nothing is an impossibility, and that if I say "I'll NEVER do that!" I'll worry that one day I might! Instead, I just adopted the never say never approach. I know certain things aren't likely for me, but now I'm not spending any extra time thinking about NEVER doing something. Furthermore, being able to fully and accurately 100% identify your sexuality is impossible. People are all over the place. It's tough to step back and throw your hands up and say "whatever, I don't know", but sometimes it's all you can do.


"I've always felt embarrassed to have a girlfriend as I feel like I would be laughed at...'you with a girlfriend'"

I personally have had this thought as well. I realize it's because I was worried about how people would judge me based on how attractive or whatever the girl was or wasn't. I remember countless times telling my mom or sister about a girl I was interested in or wanted to date, and heard "Oh no, you can do better" from my mom, or "if you date her, it'll ruin my social life because you're my brother and the way you act reflects on me" from my sister. A little fracked up, huh? Now my standards are impossibly high and I'm all alone because I care way too much about what other people think.

"I am a flawed man. I have this overwhelming feeling that I have nothing to offer a women."

Oh hell yes. I feel like anybody who didn't run when they found out about my past and why I'm as "unique" a personality as I am (a combo of CSA, social rejection, and just being way out there in general) would probably be marriage material. The issue here for me is simple. I not only assume rejection, but I'm 26 and have had ONE six month relationship, which only learned what NOT to do from. I can't imagine why I'd be worth it to anybody else.


"I always have a doubt that 'maybe u r gay' and that doubt eats away at me...keeps me from relationships and I think is also what supports the dysfunction"

I recently identified with my T that this is a strategy I am using to bring myself down so I don't have to deal with the anxiety and all the other emotions I've tied to trying to find romance. I put so much pressure on myself to succeed that I've gone back to using this line of though to stop myself from having to try. It applies to all other aspects of my life too, since if I have that thought I will focus all of my stress on THAT instead of what is ACTUALLY causing my stress. An interesting conundrum. Could it be that you are having that thought to avoid dealing with your fear of intimacy, or perhaps a fear of being unable to be intimate? I realize I have just blatantly projected myself onto you, but I thought it might fit.

At any rate, I wish you the best in dealing with all this. Be the best you that you can be!


Edited by AndyS87 (09/10/13 07:20 PM)

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#446930 - 09/11/13 08:48 PM Re: No Idea what to do [Re: Anthony V]
Anthony V Offline


Registered: 09/06/13
Posts: 19
Thanks Andy,

I had an experience today which has been very helpful for me. In my case I also felt masculine prior to the sexual abuse. I was good at sports, always spent time with other boys and men just really liked everything about being a boy.

My 'abuser' (let's call him Joe) was an older boy (I was pre-pubescent & of course he wasn't). I grew up in a community where being gay was a taboo. However, Joe was 'gay' or at least displayed all the attributes of being so. His older cousin one day called me over and asked my to try to make Joe more like me. I started sticking around Joe and trying to get him to be around us even though he was older and to our eyes a little awkward. It must of been hard for Joe. He went through puberty and realized he had feelings for boys but also knew that was taboo. There was no way for him explore his sexuality in safety as there would be for 14/15 year old boys and girls. As a result I was abused by him. When I was abused I physically loved it. I remember thinking how amazing it felt and fun it was. At the time I had absolutely no idea about sexuality...I loved everyone and anything that felt good. But our abuse ended when he tried to sodomize me and I told him clearly, "I don't like that." and I saw his face change and he became afraid. It was like for a moment I got my power back.

Anyhow, it is like I carried his shame my entire life. He must of felt shame around his sexuality (orientation) and I somehow grabbed it but it was not my shame. It never had been.

For me what lies beneath the sexual orientation confusion is power and my feeling of having lost it all. Impotence (which is powerlessness) is a physical manifestation of that loss of power. What I am actually feeling when I am feeling sexual orientation confusion is powerlessness. And when I feel that very strongly I act out through addictive sexual behaviors (which in my case is always with opposite sex). But Joe to had the same experience but maybe rather than sexual orientation confusion his was feeling terror over liking other men. He too acted out sexually and I was the consequence.

In some way Joe and I are very similar. He exploited me as I have exploited many women sexually over the years. My job is to try and put an end to exploitation without judging anyone.

I think what I must do is try to become even more friendly with my sexual orientation confusion. It a sense it ensured that I always knew that something was done to me that should not have been done. If I never had the sexual orientation confusion I'd of thought that what had happened was just normal.

anyhow, these are just my thoughts and experiences.

sexual abuse completely altered my life but some days I am not always sure if it was for the worse or better. I'm a much more compassionate & loving soul and not sure if be so without the experience (even though I'd way, way prefer life without the experience.

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#446940 - 09/11/13 10:21 PM Re: No Idea what to do [Re: Anthony V]
AndyS87 Offline


Registered: 12/12/08
Posts: 302
Loc: sorry, but I don't say on the ...
More similarities here...my "abuser" was my cousin who is 3 years older than me. In the beginning, that wasn't a major difference, and a lot of the earlier stuff that went on I feel like I'm more or less able to just brush off as him being curious and me being like "alright, whatever". Like you, when he tried to sodomize me I just asked him not too because I didn't much like it either. Then again, I wasn't really a fan of the fondling or the oral sex either - it didn't really do much of anything for me. The only thing that really threw me for a loop was when he made me watch him masturbate. That was weird, but also intriguing. He had kind of groomed me at that point to believe that that meant he was capable of having sex, and therefore capable of being a man. We were close friends, and I used to hang on to his every word cause I thought he was so cool. That was confusing for me.

I don't know if my cousin is gay or if he was also being abused. I tend to believe he was also being abused, as an 8-9 year old probably wouldn't display the behaviors he did without having had something happen. I don't blame him for what happened. I see myself more as a victim of circumstance.

As far as sex goes, I've gone the opposite direction and tend to isolate myself. People my age tend to be very sexually promiscuous and ambiguous about their relationships. I don't like that. If I'm going to be having sex with a girl, it needs to either be a fling for fun, or we need to be in a relationship. One or the other, not both. The former, I may or may not call again. The latter I probably would.

Again, as you said, the confusion is not actual confusion for me, but some other negative emotion that masquerades as confusion.

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