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#447151 - 09/14/13 12:03 AM The Confusing Issue of Boundaries
Chase Eric Offline
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Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1305
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Edited by Chase Eric (11/21/13 06:53 PM)
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#447291 - 09/15/13 01:58 PM Re: The Confusing Issue of Boundaries [Re: Chase Eric]
toddop Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/14/11
Posts: 214
Loc: California
I have been thinking about this question about boundaries. I think it makes sense if you think about it as two different kinds of boundaries, sexual boundaries and interpersonal boundaries. If viewed separately, it is apparent that each of them can have their own set of rules because the reasons for them existing may be different and may have been formed by different needs.

I definitely relate to sexual boundaries because I am mostly celibate and have been for most of my life, excepting the CSA years (all before age 10) and a brief drug and alcohol fueled period later in life that brought out quite a different side of me. I don’t really like sex and haven’t had sex in years. And I am happy that way. My partner and I have worked around my issues with sex. So, I guess I have a hard-stop boundary with sex, and that definitely was created by the CSA.

However, with the interpersonal boundaries, they are a bit more vague and more open. I often “catch” the eye of other guys. I get sexual attention from other men, based on absolutely no effort on my end, at least as I see it. In my mind, I am completely innocent and naďve about these things. My partner tells a different story. He says I am shy, but borderline coy in how I come across. A weird mix of quiet, but “batting my eyes” in a way that guys see as encouraging their attention. During my above mentioned phase of alcohol and drugs, this more innocent behavior turned into more obvious and overtly sexual behavior. I could “hook” men easily with this behavior. But, it turned really unhealthy, really fast, mimicking and re-enacting the worst parts of my CSA. So, I ended up shutting down that side of myself and I quit all substances many, many years ago.

I think this, too, links back to the CSA. I was used by a variety of perps in front of a camera for child pornography. And I learned really easily, even at the age of 7 or 8 to learn how to keep men happy and sexually interested in me. If not, the scenarios for the camera involved more pain, and more degrading things that they would do. Sometimes I could get the coach, who was the mastermind of the whole pornography thing, distracted enough that he would not want to do the movies. That is very hard for me to even say, because I have always felt like a little prostitute. But it is true. I think I just have this need to please other men branded into my behavior because of these situations. When you learn something like that at such a young age, something that is effective at minimizing the pain and severity of a truly insane, surreal, and fucked up situation, it just stays with you.

The interesting thing is, I think both of these boundaries, the sexual and the interpersonal, relate to maintaining a sense of safety, even if they don’t seem at all complementary. I cannot tease the coach and the perps who abused me out of my sexual behavior. They rise up like ghosts every time I am aroused. Putting a hard stop boundary around my own sexual behavior limits the amount of times I have to have their ghosts in my life. So, by decreasing sex, I am cutting off exposure to them and making myself feel safer.

With the interpersonal boundaries, I think I am more open and inviting to men because in a way I think it insures a better outcome to be a bit more forward and flirty in very “quiet, and not so obvious” ways because it is part of a long-standing survival mechanism that in the past worked to minimize exposure to cruel behavior. So, I learned to do that and do that very well. It is just something I do that is unconscious to me.

How does this play out for me and how does this work? That is a tough one. But, I think I would have to say that I have mirrored in my adult life what for me was the most perfect kind of relationship that I have experienced in all my years. When I was involved with the coach and the perps during the pornography years, I had a really good friend that was not involved at all with what was going on in gymnastics. Being the over-sexualized kid that I was, our relationship took a very innocently sexual tone. We were young boys, so we didn’t have sex or anything. But, we did kiss and during sleepovers would sleep together with our arms around each other and such. It was all very innocent stuff. But, to me, it was a stark contrast to what I was experiencing with the harsh and cruel stuff that went on in front of the cameras. It was an antidote in a way to what I was experiencing with adult men who wanted to use me sexually. It became my ideal.

So, I guess I would say that I have created in my adult life, that type of ideal relationship that I cherished as a boy. I have a loving partner, who I cuddle with, get lots of affection from, and who I feel is my soul mate. We understand each other on a very deep level. But, it is not explicitly sexual at all. Sex does not enter into our equation. And we are both okay with that, and have worked around it. In many ways, it has deepened our commitment and our love for each other. And it has worked for the 12 years we have been together. It may not fit anyone else’s idea of a perfect relationship, but it is mine.

I guess as always, all roads lead back to the CSA. These boundaries have shaped almost everything in me in one way or another. Some of it, not so great. Some of it, like what I have with my partner, I would not change for the world.
_________________________
Todd

"Great spirits have often encountered violent opposition from weak minds."
-Albert Einstein

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#447292 - 09/15/13 02:23 PM Re: The Confusing Issue of Boundaries [Re: toddop]
Chase Eric Offline
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Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 1305
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Edited by Chase Eric (11/21/13 06:52 PM)
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#447315 - 09/15/13 09:35 PM Re: The Confusing Issue of Boundaries [Re: Chase Eric]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 594
Originally Posted By: Chase Eric
maybe i pulled this post too soon?


I don't know what the post was but the topic title struck a note with me for sure. Its something that I have hard time thinking about beyond just knowing I suck at it, because it is hard to think of all the times I've hurt people or been hurt because of not understanding boundaries.
_________________________
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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#447330 - 09/16/13 12:04 AM Re: The Confusing Issue of Boundaries [Re: Chase Eric]
JayBro Offline


Registered: 11/13/12
Posts: 246
Loc: Germany
This post definitely relates to my experience so well. Tod, you are such a damn good writer- much of what you wrote matched my own experiences and residual thoughts: how your abuse "branded" you, how you knew from early on how to please men, the idyllic nature of non-overtly-sexual relationships around the time of the abuse- and of course the nature of our abuse- pornography. I too felt (and often still feel) like I am a prostitute when I engage in hyper sexual behaviour or even just contemplate social-sexual enviornments with other men. Right now I am working on dating, building my personal relationship with other gay men, and finding positive, affirming and respectful sexual/romantic encounters... I have never had a boyfriend- so maybe even a partner... and it is absolutely so difficult given my abusive past and how it has scarred my consciousness. It is as though I am climbing a steep wall by pulling a uncomfortable rope.

Boundaries and borders are something I struggle with- attention from men makes me snap into triggered mode and I become that boy who knows how to please. I don't want that anymore... I DON'T WANT THAT
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,,Nun ging es immerzu, weit, weit bis an der Welt Ende."

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#447417 - 09/17/13 12:22 AM Re: The Confusing Issue of Boundaries [Re: Chase Eric]
Rich1967 Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 270
Loc: PA
Who's doesn't have boundary issues that was abused.

Eirik - I always love to hear what you have to say so I hope you do post it again.
_________________________
Rich

"Me too" - I don't think I will ever get tired of saying or hearing these two words.

My Story:
http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=441625#Post441625

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#447486 - 09/17/13 07:15 PM ! [Re: Chase Eric]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
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Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
!


Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (02/28/14 09:48 PM)

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#447570 - 09/18/13 05:48 PM ! [Re: Chase Eric]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
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Registered: 03/25/12
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Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (02/28/14 09:47 PM)

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#447578 - 09/18/13 08:10 PM Re: The Confusing Issue of Boundaries [Re: Chase Eric]
Onesimus75 Offline


Registered: 08/22/13
Posts: 158
Loc: Minnesota
For years now I've had enough trouble with this that I've just pulled all my boundaries tight. I'm pretty much a monk.
(Eat, sleep, pray... kung fu...)
I can appreciate that sex and relationships are good things and I'm glad that others enjoy them.

But I've sort of made peace with the idea that I'm not going to have them 'cause they're a big mess for me.

It sounds like I'm still being ruled, but it doesn't feel that way in my head.
I refuse to play the "straight, date, and mate" game to prove how much better I am to myself or my church etc. I just want to be me and this is the most peaceful way I can handle it these days.
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We are not defined by our faults, or our wounds, but by the truth within us, which nothing can take away.

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#447677 - 09/19/13 07:35 PM Re: The Confusing Issue of Boundaries [Re: Rich1967]
Chase Eric Offline
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Registered: 10/25/10
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Edited by Chase Eric (11/21/13 06:52 PM)
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#447679 - 09/19/13 07:58 PM ! [Re: Chase Eric]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
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Registered: 03/25/12
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Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (02/28/14 09:46 PM)

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#447681 - 09/19/13 08:11 PM Re: The Confusing Issue of Boundaries [Re: Chase Eric]
genedebs Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 285
Loc: MO
Have you considered that rather than no, you could say I would prefer.

OR

Would you my if we did this (sucked dick instead of fuck for example or vice versa).

When I was 16 and had my first male to female fuck, It started by my licking her to orgasm, She offered to return the favor and I suggested I did not feel comfortable with that. (I had really only suck two peoples dick. One my brother and the other, my mother's choice of a caretaker. Maybe a dozen times
may be more. I think it is learning to suggest the alternative.

It's not like she believed I was virgin in the hetero-sexual sense. She thought I lied tp her and her sister. I couldn't know that sucking dick was uncomfortable, and licking a girl to orgasm if I were virgin. But without disclosing I Just indicated I would rather fuck (make love, put it in (whatever).

Any way . So my advice is they don't have to believe you, Just figure out how to say I would prefer ...

We all have different stories and we all are just the same


Edited by genedebs (09/19/13 08:34 PM)
Edit Reason: I read earlier posts

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#447683 - 09/19/13 08:18 PM ! [Re: Chase Eric]
Smalltown80sBoy Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 2217
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Edited by Smalltown80sBoy (02/28/14 09:54 PM)

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#447699 - 09/19/13 10:10 PM Re: The Confusing Issue of Boundaries [Re: Chase Eric]
Rich1967 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/17/13
Posts: 270
Loc: PA
Hey Eirik, glad you put the post back up.

Boundaries - I find that for me I don't no where to set them or even set them properly. They are usually all or nothing. I sometimes decide to have no friends. Then if I try to have friends I'll let things happen that I shouldn't in order to keep the friendship going. Why can't I just remain open to friendships and know that some will work and others won't and not be afraid of either situation? If I could do that I think I would have the ability to set appropriate boundaries.

I view my abuse on 3 levels in many ways. There is the trust that was betrayed, along with the purely physical sexual abuse and also a lack of a father who showed loved for me as a boy. Each having some specific consequences for me in later life. All of which affect my ability to set appropriate boundaries. Sometimes I'm so desperate for a friend that I will accept anyone even if they could end up hurting me. Sometimes I won't trust someone who's clearly earned it, because of a self imposed boundary to protect myself.

Everything about relationships (sexual and non sexual ones alike) was affected by our abuse. In my case I was taught that what I wanted was only achievable through sex. So if I do manage to have a friend there is sexual tension caused by a desire to sexualize the friendship because I was taught that's how I get what I need. Crossing yet another boundary.

I've seen many stories of guys that were abused multiple times. I honestly don't know how I avoided that happening to me. I was so ripe to be abused again even as recently as in the last year. I even wonder if I've let myself be a victim again on all levels except for the sex. That's probably one for another post.

So, why do you have boundaries in one area and not another? Well you are the only one who can really answer that one. The ones in the bedroom - that may be more obvious. For me it feels like everything related to the physical act of sex has been so affected by my abuse. I feel as if sex with another guy would be so much more physically satisfying than what I can have with my wife, but I know my heart would not be in it. Why no boundaries outside of the bedroom - that one may be a little more complicated.

Hope this helps you figure out another piece of your puzzle.
_________________________
Rich

"Me too" - I don't think I will ever get tired of saying or hearing these two words.

My Story:
http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=441625#Post441625

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#448149 - 09/25/13 12:11 AM . [Re: Chase Eric]
JoeSmith Offline


Registered: 05/03/13
Posts: 129
.

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#448190 - 09/25/13 10:15 AM Re: The Confusing Issue of Boundaries [Re: Chase Eric]
Robert1000 Offline


Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 336
I want to recognize the incredibly thoughtful and insightful things I've read on this thread. Thanks to all of you for starting this conversation and continuing it. Our abuse was terrible. And, for many of us, the way we dealt with the abuse has not been healthy or good. But we are not defined by the abuse heaped on us. We're defined by what we make of ourselves. And I'm proud to be part of this group at this moment, which is a very rare feeling for me. Thanks... especially to ToddOP and ChaseEric.

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#448233 - 09/25/13 08:24 PM Re: The Confusing Issue of Boundaries [Re: Chase Eric]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 945
Loc: southern California
Boundaries: the number one issue in my list of survivor symptoms. I am violated before I realize it. I'm learning to set boundaries and to see the infractions coming before they happen. It goes against my nature, or I should say, "what the predator programmed in my mind."
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