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#451427 - 10/27/13 11:10 AM Starting relationships and physical affection
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
Okay, this is a hard one to discuss and I suspect only other survivers of female sa will get this so I'm posting it here.
As people may know I had a really awful trigger, ---- actually a full on physical flashback, (I've always had the memories, but I've never felt them so strongly), last weekend. Unusually for me, I felt I needed to talk to someone in person and in real time. My options were fairly limited given out of the three people who I've told my entire story two in detail, one I could get, one is married with a child and nearly impossible to get hold of, which left me with the third. She's a lady who is rather a lot older than me in her late fifties, indeed I suspect I only ended up telling her because she has a masters in counselling and thus is used to that type of thing, also because manifestly she doesn't quite respond or think in the same ways as people my age do.

We discussed the trigger and got into some rather dark areas, and of course touched on my problem with relationships, that I sometimes feel a literally physical ache! for the sort of conection I've seen with people. I said again how jealous I feel of women, because men are always expected to make the first move. I also said how one of my major problems was perceiving that anyone was interested in having! that sort of closeness with me. Female friends are fine, I have many of them, but anything else? the idea that anyone wants to be more than friends?

Said lady then said that for at least a lot of men, there was no! perception of female interest at all, most men she stated simply pushed, showed their interest with a blatant gesture of physical affection and a woman would catagorically refuse this if she wasn't interested herself, indeed she recounted an occasion when a co worker she was barely familiar with simply grabbed her and put an arm round her for no reason and she quite literally (and in my view quite justifyably), told him to get his ****ing hands off.

Bare in mind this lady is neither a raging feminist nor a man hater, and up until her husband died, she had a ridiculously happy relationship with him, (indeed I've been trying myself to at least be sympathetic to her grief).

This idea though i find down right disturbing, that basically men need to push that much and risk causing someone that amount of discomfort. If I contemplate say even a miner gesture of physical affection such as hand holding or patting a girl on the back, I feel disgusting, feel like one of my own abusers, indeed one girl I've discussed at least the relationship thing with described me as the physically least intimidating and most completely asexual man she knew, despite me being not exactly small in build.

Most of my male friends never mentioned this sort of pushing gestures of affection on a woman and seeing how she responds, indeed most of them talk of "natural signals" which made the hole process of finding a relationship much more mutual, like a matter of communication, and yet this is the bit I've always been missing myself since I've never! been able to perceive that anyone has been interested in being closer to me.

Of course, my friend is not a young lady, and she admits herself that her experiences are not modern. It might be that that was how most men behaved thirty years ago, but that things (at least among enlightened men like my male friends), have changed and become a degree more equal, (indeed one of the other three people who I've told about my abuse is a girl who fulfills all the usual masculine sterriotypes even down to actively asking her now husband out). But I do find what my older friend quite disturbing.

The occasion that destroyed me, that convinced me I needed to go into recovery was the occasion I tried to hold a girl's hand. She didn't object, or scream or think I was disgusting, but when i told her the way I felt, I just got "I'm flattered" for all I'd tried to move that huge weight of self disgust.

So, how does this attraction thing work? Is it possible to do without! physically being so dam forward and down right unpleasant? I've always wanted a woman to just verbally ask me, to say she was interested in being closer and thus encourage! physical affection, but that dam well doesn't happen.

Terms like "flirting" or "dating" I find dam well alien. I've been "out" in the sense of gone to concerts, gone for drinks or just stopped off for coffee with more girls than I could count, but nothing has ever come of it, whether I wanted it to or not, (and on the vast majority of occasions I truly didn't).

Is there actually a way to show physical affection without feeling like one of my abusers? If a woman ever did! tell me "know" or "get your hands off" I'd frankly feel so guilty, so fowl and disgusting I'd want to burn my hands off.

Btw, I'm not even here talking about touching any part of a body intimately, just pat on the shoulder, hand holding, mild stroke of the arm etc.

Also note when I say "relationship" I don't mean anything actually just physical. If I simply wanted to go to bed with someone I could likely pay for an escort, though frankly my genophobia makes that idea rather disgusting.

What I have felt this deep desire for, this ache which is sometimes almost physical is what you could call communication. I can't exactly say what this is, but it's something I've seen between people who are together, something that goes beyond friendship. Part of it is physical, part emotional, part almost spiritual, heck, the physical end doesn't have to be particularly s/xual at all, simply hand holding, kissing or hugging would be enough.

I know this state exists, I've seen others who have it, or have achieved it, and as I said I have a deep seated desire for it that sometimes feels like an actual physical pain. But I have no idea how to actually come close to this, to show someone I was interested in being more than friends or to actually perceive that anyone has that interest in me, (again, why can't people just be honest). Since however ignoring this desire or trying to crush it simply doesn't work, I might as well ask the question.

I've assumed that my sense to perceive others interest is simply broken, that because I had my s/xuallity destroyed as a teenager I couldn't achieve this, ---- but if that is the case, why can't I rid myself of the desire? after all, I don't have normal vision but can live quite successfully without desiring to read unaidedd.

Luke.

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#451600 - 10/28/13 05:47 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 312
Loc: NY
Luke:

Your post is a clearly stated accurate description of a conflict I know too well. Thanks for writing it and reminding me of how important it is to find others to relate to on this website.

Your subject is not only one of attraction and sexuality. It is the description of a social interaction. For me, one of the problems of having been too fused in many ways with my primary caregiver (Mom!) is that I also lack a simple understanding of these kinds of exchanges between two people, i.e. intimate ones with women. Sometimes it feels like I've got some wires crossed internally that won't allow true computing of the situation. And if I rely too much on others to know this, I can get more lost and embarrassed.

When I first started facing all of this stuff a few years ago, I received counseling from two different men who referred to a way of knowing what to do, as a man. They were kind about it, but nonetheless, I was left to wonder. Was this something I ever knew or just forgot? If it was never in my consciousness, could I learn it somehow, at this later stage in my life? Although these both seemed like valid questions they actually left something else out, namely the importance of how to develop a deeper trust in myself. Learning how to reach out and communicate in the way I want to do that has been an important part of growth and recovery. One might say that this whole time I've been in pursuit of a deeper "knowledge" of something. The moments when I feel present enough to acknowledge this pursuit, things make just a little more sense.

Although there are no stated rules in this area of physical affection, there are ways in which people come to know each other. Men and women may do it differently, but at some point in a healthy relationship I think there would be some celebration of this on a equal level. What's so hard for me is that I want to subscribe immediately to something greater, some elusive view of sex and love. Yet by doing that I tend to skip over something else that is unstated. This is very similar to how I interacted in my family. Strong feelings were not addressed. Ways of learning social interactions were missing. When this modus operandi takes over too much it's possible that I am leaving out the other person and possibly the chance to actually know them intimately.

As your post illustrates, this is a process of trial and error. One question I have is, what was your overall impression of the "I'm flattered" response? For us who have a healthy amount of self-contempt, it can be very difficult to trust that someone is being truthful. We might also expect and desperately desire a response that would immediately address or erase our "self-disgust" in some way. Unfortunately, the sheer "weight" of self-loathing amidst the anxiety of reaching out can make us unable to hear the reality: that someone is actually giving back to us another honest experience.

Thanks again for putting this out there. It's good to know that others have these questions. Hope I've at least provided some food for thought.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#451628 - 10/28/13 08:08 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
Well Fb, what has always confused me in this area is I have absolutely zero problems developing friendships with girls, indeed some extremely close. Take last week as an example, I went to a dance group to improve my dancing and spent nearly an hour after we'd finished conversing casually with my dance partner. nothing wildly profound about feelings or anything similar, just general interesting conversation, she told me for example that she went to Zambia in Africa to do performances and so was used to teaching others, and I of course found this facinating, likewise she asked about my own experiences performing. All of this came absolutely naturally to me, just good conversation, not really different to what I'd do with a man, and indeed in the context of this particular girl that was all I either wanted or intended it to be. Even on an emotional level people tend to tell me things, simply because I've learnt enough social skills to know how to listen interactively.

The problem is, for all I've been able to do this for years, it's never! got me closer to the sort of experience I want. On those rare occasions when i actually become interested in someone, and desire! for something closer I have no idea how to go from one state to the other, likewise, in none of these conversations for all I learn a lot of people's history and feelings and emotional conflicts do I ever! get that someone desires a closer friendship with me, I used to believe I'd know it when I saw it, but as I've got older and it's continued not to happen, I've concluded that whatever the faculty is, it's simply one in me that is just broken.

On four occasions in the past I've tried to make my interest clear in a reasonable way, usually because what I was feeling was so extreme I had to get the words out. But on all these three occasions, when I told the girl in question, always a friend, always someone I'd known for a long period of time (this is never instant), "I love you" I have been told "I'm flattered"

The first time I was told this when I was eighteen, it was accompanied by a kiss on the cheak, and when I said to said girl "that's the first time anyone's ever done that" she replied "not the last time" however she's been if not quite wrong, wrong in the way she meant it.

On each of the three other occasions i've said that it's felt more of a rejection, more painful, more like "oh yeah your nice, ---- but not much else!" for all I know that's not how it's meant. It just feels like I put everything emotionally into something so difficult and then get nothing back, ---- hence why I have often wanted to be female (I'd love to hear those words from someone else).

On the last occasion I said so in 2007, to****, I was feeling so desperate I did somehing I've never done before, I actually took her hand, which made me feel disgusting! and when she gave me that "I'm flattered" the rejection was so extreme I nearly lost all sense of reality, heck that's not a night I like to think about since it was in a lot of ways as violent as anything that happened during my abuse, though it did force me to admit that I wasn't fine and that my abuse needed dealing with, so I suppose it was good in retrospect.

The thing is however, most people don't seem to work like this. I've asked friends of both genders, and they say the interest is a lot less emotionally invested, but mutually communicated. Rather than it being my painful falling in love, it's a two way thing, an exploration. but I just don't seem to be able to either hear half of the conversation or communicate myself.

My older friend then suggested this communication came in the one thing that makes me feel most disgusting, forcing physical affection on someone, pawing at someone and making them simply sit there and take it, ---- the idea of it makes me sick!

of course if it was just about physical needs I could sort it another way, but the thought of anything purely physical without an emotional component disgusts me, even when both parties are consenting adults.

I'm just sick of feeling like I am lost with this, but don't know any way of fixing it.

What is equally irritating is that I know! if I could! get the emotional elements that accompany the physical, it would help me with my genophobia, tactile defensiveness and everything else. I'm not saying relationships fix everything, (I know that not to be true), but it just seems to me that at the moment the only association of s/x I have is pain and humiliation. The concept, either bltant or overt, even the word itself, something in me reactions and there is nothing good in it, ---- which is why this desire of mine to have a connection with someone that is more! than friendship is so utterly bizarre. I would contemplate medical castration castration if I didn't think it'd adversely affect my voice.

In general I just hate being in this position, and still more hate being male, since it seems if a woman is shy or unable to act, ---- well no trouble since guess who lays themselves on the line for little miss princess to accept or reject.

And yes, that probably did come out rather more bitterly than I meant it to, but I'm just sick of feeling this desire and being stuck not knowing how to do anything about it!

And yet people (especially girls), have the gaul to tell me things like "oh you'd make a great husaband/boyfriend" or "I'm amazed your not with someone your too nice" (I was told both of these things at music school last month for the thousandth or not time).

Part of me thinks people say this in the same spirit fat, millionaire chief executives justify paying their chinese workers under ten pence an hour as they work eighteen hours a day "because it is good for the economy" though equally I know this judgement is unfair and most people do mean such complements as a kindness.

Why can't someone just ask me! why does the fact that I've never been kissed as an adult still bother me!

I've been through hating myself for feeling this, and trying to crush it or ignore it, but I just don't know how to deal with it since people make it so dam difficult! I've read books, I've talked to friends, at my mum's insistance I even tried eharmony for a year (a laugh since nobody actually spoke to me). I'm just sick of feeling this and feeling so dam helpless with it! of all the consequences of my abuse it's the one that gives me most frustration since I just don't know! what I should do!

Luke.

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#452379 - 11/03/13 10:23 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
Harvey Dent Offline


Registered: 11/02/13
Posts: 28
I feel so unqualified to offer advice. But, I know some of the pain that you describe.

I was told by my mother and her best friend during our "the birds and the bees" conversation that all women give up a piece of themselves whenever they have sex. So I needed to be certain that I wasn't a thief when I made love.

They were telling this to an 8 year old boy that had been caught repeatedly fooling around with kids in the neighborhood. The didn't know about my abuse, even though both had been victims themselves. They simply didn't do the calculus of where my behavior was coming from.


At the end of that conversation, I was convinced that my sexual desire made me a thief at best and a rapist at worst. That was a burden I didn't shed until last year, at the age of 32.

Even though I longed for female companionship, I remembered those words and my abuse and I hated myself for wanting to inflict my dirty desire on some helpless woman who would lose a piece of herself to me no matter what.


So I became unable to approach women (girls, really....I was 14 when I started trying to overcome this aversion). I believed that my presence in their life was necessarily destructive. I believed that no woman would ever want me for me and that I would have to trick them into meeting my needs.


However, I am a natural optimist. And my abuse did not kill that optimism. It just twisted and warped it. But in this case, I stumbled upon "Game Theory" which was mostly mind games to victimize the willing. But it did make me rethink my assumptions. These are the things that I needed to do to have a relationship. If any of this helps, use it. If it doesn't....keep trying. That's the hardest part.

1: If a woman is talking to you, you have a chance. If she continues talking to you after she could have politely stopped, she is enjoying herself...that's why she is still talking to you.

2: if she is enjoying herslf and you are enjoying yourself, then you have the beginning of attraction. Attraction in healthy women is very different than most men expect: attraction for the healthy woman is based upon how much you believe in your ability to attract her.

3: if you believe in yourself, then Act like it: don't apologize too much. Don't talk fast. Don't be nervous about getting your needs met. Don't focus on yourself at all. Focus on her. Get out of your own head.

4: Do not make assumptions other than this one: you will enrich her life by being in it. If that is your starting assumption, and you believe it, then she probably will too.

Ask her out. If she says yes, just focus on her. Don't expect or need anything from her. Just give her the gift of who you are. If you do, she will fall in love with you.


Having said all that, I offer this warning: you cannot feel or create chemistry if you cannot get our of your head and into the moment.


Best regards,

Harvey Dent
_________________________
I am not defined by what is done to me. I am defined by the choices I make.

My story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=452346#Post452346

Odds are that I am typing on my phone. Please excuse punctuation and spelling. Editing is a serious pain in the neck.

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#452401 - 11/04/13 07:07 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
thanks for the advice, but I really don't know, all of this just sounds alien. Most is just what I would count as being a friend, listening to someone, paying attention to them and what they are feeling, trying to help if they need it, heck just engaging in conversation! no different to what I would do with a man really.
I don't even know what "ask someone out" means, as I said I've been "out!" with girls plenty of times, just getting a drink, meeting for a chat or whatever, but it's never gone further, and I don't really know how to get it further, I just wish if as you said any woman I'm friends with is interested in some way (a fact which I frankly find dubious), they'd dam well just tell me!

I hate being male and having all the first move stuff put on me! it's so not bloody Fair!

I also don't know why does all advice boil down to "don't be a scumbag!" Well, I'm not! or at least I try not to be and judging by all those complements women keep giving me I presume I'm doing something right.

Why the hell! wasn't I born a girl, or at least why can't relationship chemistry work for men like it does for women!

What scares me is if this continues not to work, one day I'll just pay a prostitute out of well morbid curiosity, like wondering what happens if you pick off that scar, and even assuming my genophobia will let me go through with it I dread to think how I'd feel afterwards.

Sorry harvy, this isn't a good day and I'm frankly just sick of this hole dam thing. If I could burn out whatever part of my brain has that desire for an intimate connection with a woman I'd do it, it's stupid and gives me nothing and like an idiot I still keep harming myself with it. I still hate the fact I'm 30 and never had a girlfriend or even kissed anyone, despite the fact that probably %70 of my friends are! female.


Edited by dark empathy (11/04/13 07:17 AM)

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#452505 - 11/04/13 10:50 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
Harvey Dent Offline


Registered: 11/02/13
Posts: 28
DE,

Check out a book, The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida. (In fact their is a free .pdf version online). The author explains some ideas of masculine/feminine interaction that I believe you would find useful. It was a very positive and insightful book that has helped me overcome the lies I leared and the lies I had been telling myself.


Not all of it will apply to you. It didn't for me, or my two best friends. But what does apply is simply life altering.

-HD
_________________________
I am not defined by what is done to me. I am defined by the choices I make.

My story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=452346#Post452346

Odds are that I am typing on my phone. Please excuse punctuation and spelling. Editing is a serious pain in the neck.

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#452640 - 11/06/13 04:58 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
If there is an online pdf version could you please post a link? One of the problems with books is getting them in a form i can read, (this is why I've not even read mike Loo's victims no longer), because they're not usually available, and while I could! theoretically pay someone I don't particularly want to recovery.

I tend to be suspicious of very gender biased books, mostly because I don't particularly identify myself with all the masculine sterriotypes, (I was once recommended the men are from mars books but the very assumption of those just puts me off and if I'm pissed off with an author for their sexist attitude it's not likely I'll take their advice).

This is indeed why a lot of the advice sites I've looked at don't apply, since usually they boil down to "don't be a scumbag" and "don't do all the stupid masculine sterriotype things like toilet humour or put downs or what not"

Well I don't do either of those so what is the problem?

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#453069 - 11/09/13 05:15 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
Harvey Dent Offline


Registered: 11/02/13
Posts: 28
Sorry for the delay in replying. I am at home right now, and my time online is greatly reduced versus when I am at work. Below is the link to the .pdf.

http://smilyanov.net/download/pdfs/The%20Way%20of%20the%20Superior%20Man.pdf

If you are concerned about being gendered, this is probably not the book to you. If you simply don't know how to be masculine in a positive way, then this is definitey the book for you.

This book has been crucial to me developing normal relationships. Not just romantic. It improved my relationship with my mother, my father, my sister, my daughter, my wife, my ex, my pastor, my best friend. All of them, separately.

Use your best judgement on this book, but try to be open to the possibility that your view of what the author says may be skewed by the CSA you suffered.

I learned so much positive from this book. I hope it offers the same to you.
_________________________
I am not defined by what is done to me. I am defined by the choices I make.

My story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=452346#Post452346

Odds are that I am typing on my phone. Please excuse punctuation and spelling. Editing is a serious pain in the neck.

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#453198 - 11/11/13 05:08 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
I don't know what masculine even means accept for negative and sterriotyped and shalow, everyone I've met who tries to be "a man" just strikes me as a moron, just as people who do things because they are "a woman" all the people I most admire in relationship terms are just decent people, gender or not, but it doesn't seem to work like that for me.

So maybe this is the wrong book on that score.

Indeed on sterriotypical gender lines I am probably a little closer towards the feminine end, for all I do have some masculine trates like being a perfectionist, though I don't particularly think of myself as either, I'm just me, end of story.

I am straight, indeed I've often thought if I was gay or at least by I'd get on better since then at least the sterriotypes of not being able to play the signals game wouldn't matter, but unfortunately that's not the case.

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#453244 - 11/11/13 02:42 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 312
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: dark empathy
I'm just me, end of story.


Luke:

Every time you say that, it brings a smile to my face and warms my heart.

Everyone has some experience with too much conformity, even if they don't admit it at first. If one gets beyond the initial social cues and gets closer to someone, the less immediate importance they have.

It seems to me that the difficulty in life is being honest enough with yourself that you feel comfortable sharing personal pain with someone else. Although it can overwhelm people who are not ready for it, there is also good reason to assume that others will recognize not only who we are, end of story, but some of the painful parts of that story. Learning how to do that in ways that that work is a process of trial and error, happening in fits and starts.

I found the above book helpful, but as Harvey recommends, at a certain point took what worked and left the rest. As your moniker suggests and reminds, empathy is an important part of being human. Although I don't think it's possible to expect it everywhere, holding the hope for it has helped me go on.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#453456 - 11/13/13 02:25 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
The problem fb, is that for relationships it just seems simple empathy and compassion isn't enough.What the rest is I don't know, but it's something which in me just seems broken.

I'm always getting comments from female friends about me being nice and easy to talk to and quite often You'd make a good boyfriend/husband" (marital status seems to be dependent upon lady's age), yet nothing ever changes, nobody ever wants to be closer. This is what I find so bloody frustrating since it seems I am! doing everything right according to reasonable advice.

this is also why I find posts in F&F irritate me. I can't imagine myself doing some of the things that women mention their other halves do. Indeed it seems often the compassion and empathy and just being decent is just not there yet they! are the ones with partners who are so devoted that they come onto this board and seak help, even if the men in question don't.

It just seems so dam! unfair!

All I can assume therefore is that this capacity, this ability of communicating attraction in me is just broken, something which got destroyed during my abuse as a teenager, indeed I feel quite robbed by this.

As I said, my biggest fear is that one day I'll just give up, I'll seak out a prostitute out of morbid curiosity, do something physical and then feel disgusting afterwards, like a failure, assuming of course I'd be able to do anything. I must admit this idea has been on my mind of late, for all I know it's an amazingly bad one and not what I want and would likely leave me feeling devastated afterwards.

It still! bothers me that the closest I've been to anyone was while having my face spat in, and that that! is the most intimate experience I've ever had with another person, then again I know paying some random professional bod wouldn't change that for anything the better either.

There's a passage on the front of this sight that still bothers me, about pedophyles being so partly because they cannot having the ability to maintain adult relationships. Obviously I'm not a pedophyle, but if I! don't have this ability what does that make me?

It always bothers me when people casually talk about their boyfriends/girlfriends as if this is something everyone does and a part of life that everyone has, and I just feel, ---- well what's so wrong with me? no, this isn't anything stupid about "scoring" or the like, it's just my increasing knolidge that something is missing, and has been for a very long time.

Back when I was 17 and had extreme trouble protecting myself from genophobic reactions, and would flinch or actually blush, (I'd not connected this to my abuse at the time but my abuse had only finished two years before), a girl got extremely irritated with what she perceived to be my "victorian morals"

"so are you going to be a monk and be celibate?"


i answered no at the time and thatI was in fact waiting for love, (I was quite the romantic), ---- but part of me wants to find where said girl is now and offer my congratulations on her forsight.



Edited by dark empathy (11/13/13 02:44 AM)

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#453580 - 11/13/13 11:22 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
Harvey Dent Offline


Registered: 11/02/13
Posts: 28
To be masculine is to be steadfast in the face of overwhelming adversity. To be masculine is to be patient, waiting for the right moment to act, and then acting without hesitation. To be masculine is to penetrate, whether that is a lover, a mystery, a problem, the World, or the Feminine Divine. To be masculine is to be relaxed when relaxing and keyed up when creating. To be masculine is to be playful, adventurous, silly, strong, rugged, self-certain, benevolent, and deep...all at the same time. To be masculine is to walk to the edge of your fear and stare it in the face, without leaping over the precipice and without pulling back before you face it nose to nose.

To be masculine is to embrace this moment, every moment, each moment individually, knowing that you suffice; for you have already faced the Worst that Hell has to offer and made it out alive.

To be masculine is to look at your scars with pride, knowing that each scarcomes from trial by fire.

To be masculine is to want something so bad it hurts, and then risk losing everything to satisfy your right and proper desire for fulfillment, unafraid of failure; for you know that trying and losing isn't failure. It is only giving up that is failure.

To be masculine is to love someone who is weaker than you, not for their weakness--but for the strength you know they possess.

Those are some of the positive qualities of masculinity.

Everyone possesses both the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine within them. The ratio of masculine to feminine is different, however, in each individual. Some people are 50/50. I happen to naturally be around 80/20, masculine to feminine. However, a great deal of my recovery was learning that fact. I thought was 25/75. It was only after growing my masculinity did I realize that this, my Divine Masculine essence, what I felt was missing, broken, or warped the most by the abuse.


One last thought about why this important. Romance is built upon polarity. People tend to be attracted to their polar opposites. A woman who is 25/75 will be attracted to and will be attracted by a man is very near to 75/25. If the man is too feminine, she will eventually grow to love him as a friend or brother. If the man is too masculine, she will feel out of control, controlled, suffocated, or lost. And if a woman is too feminine for a man, the man will feel like she is crazy, unreliable, overwrought, melodramatic, or bitchy. If the woman is too masculine, a man will find her less sexually attractive, too domineering, smothering, or competitive.
_________________________
I am not defined by what is done to me. I am defined by the choices I make.

My story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=452346#Post452346

Odds are that I am typing on my phone. Please excuse punctuation and spelling. Editing is a serious pain in the neck.

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#453583 - 11/13/13 11:51 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
Harvey Dent Offline


Registered: 11/02/13
Posts: 28
To be feminine is to be caught up in the soul of life, growing in the wisdom of the cycles of living and dying; understanding intuitively that Maiden, Mother, and Crone are all shells of the same Feminine Divine. To be feminine is to be pursued against your will and to induce pursuit in the One you desire. To be feminine is to take within your body and soul the desire of another, the pleasure of another, the longing of another whereupon you work alchemy to comingle your essences into the Divine Love. To be feminine is to be vexatious Kali, coquettish nymph, wise Demeter, sultry Marilyn, or conniving Cleopatra.


To be feminine is to feel, each emotion, every emotion: exalting in ecstasy, sobbing in sorrow, giggling girlishly, bubbling buoyantly, crying in crescendo, despairing in denouement, before rising up to do it all again the next day, the next season, the next instant.

To be feminine is to show your best face to a world that seldom appreciates you, knowing that you soothe pain and offer healing to those around you.

To be feminine is to want something so bad that it hurts, longing for what cannot be bought, sold, or traded and can only be created when the Soul is allowed seek its equal in another.

To be feminine is to love someone who is weaker than you--not because of the weakness, but because of the strength you create in one another.

These are the positive qualities of the Feminine Divine.
_________________________
I am not defined by what is done to me. I am defined by the choices I make.

My story: http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=452346#Post452346

Odds are that I am typing on my phone. Please excuse punctuation and spelling. Editing is a serious pain in the neck.

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#453711 - 11/15/13 12:16 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 312
Loc: NY
Luke:

Your reactions to attraction are understandable given what happened to you.

My reactions are there as well. For a long time I denied them, but that didn't make them go away. In the midst of the reaction is pain and other feelings, including self-loathing. I think this is pretty common with survivors. The difficulty of course is moving through the pain.

I'm not sure if you are asking too much of yourself here, but it's possible. Intimacy is ultimately not based on attraction, I believe. I think it is closer to caring and trust, which have to be built over time, much like a friendship. While many relationships may get started because of attraction, there are some that don't start there, but grow out of a friendship, which is where the real communication needed for a lasting bond can be nurtured.

With regard to your considering hiring a "random bod", I appreciate your honesty. There was a time when I did that. Like yourself, I have the qualities of compassion and empathy. What I found myself doing was sometimes just being present with the person I hired and not doing anything. Looking back I realize that I was actually trying to create a safe sexual situation for myself. It took me many years to admit how important a sense of safety is. Now that I'm willing to pursue it, things aren't easier, but at least I have a clearer goal.

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#454183 - 11/17/13 10:13 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
@Harvey, I appreciate your thoughts, but they really don't make a lot of sense to me. I don't think of myself or others as being male or female, indeed I ersonally would disagree or your gender assignment of characteristics, (reliability always seems slightly more female to me), but to be honest it doesn't matter. having an arguement about whether people actually are! different from possessing gendered characteristics won't help, because it's not really anything to do with me, the way I think of myself or how I treat others, indeed most of my close friends of both genders i've asked about this the same, albeit the female ones did agree that with me that it was helpful being female and having the other person ask and then being left with the choice, ---- though my male friends didn't exactly push.

@Fb, the problem is that that form of attraction, that sort of mutual communicative interest is what starts relationships, and is just what I don't seem to have the capacity for. I can make close female friends and I have some close female friends, and we can share a lot, but nothing seems to change or happen however close we get. I always assumed when I was younger that I'd know, that something would tell me, and indeed most of my friends who are now married said the same, they communicated a mutual interest to the people they met (all of whome were friends first), but I don't know how the hell to do this.

It just frustrates me! everyone keeps complementing me and saying "what a good boyfriend" I'd make, how nice or kind or insert other complement here , yet nobody actually seems to help, indeed this is just yet more evidence that said people are just being kind and complementary.

To take one example, okay, I've met a girl at some sort of activity, such as a performing group, a lecture, my recent ballroom class etc. We go off for a drink and a chat, perhaps more than one on multiple occasions, ---- then what! what! the hell is supposed to happen?

I have a singing workshop on vocal performance in a couple of weeks, and I can almost guarantee this will happen again. I'll meet someone, we'll get on, perhaps we'll swap phone numbers, have a chat outside the workshop, ---- the nothing!

I'm just bloody sick of not having this stupid capacity that everyone else seems to have, and yet having this idiotic desire that I can't do anything! about.

Sometimes I begin to think that paying a professional is the only way I'll ever find someone who wants that sort of closeness with me, even if just because she wants money, ---- hell even when I tried the dating website (under protest), I didn't get a single hello.

Yet people persist in telling me how tallented I am, how handsom, how kind, how I'd make a good boyfriend, yadder yadder yadder, --- just more kindness, nicely meant but ultimately meaningless.


Edited by dark empathy (11/17/13 10:34 PM)

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#454272 - 11/18/13 12:09 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 312
Loc: NY
Luke (and Dark Empathy):

I empathize! I was always supposed to be the ideal husband, great father, and would use my charm and familiar confidence based on that. But it always seemed like something was missing. Something important.

We are different people, so whatever may be true for me may have nothing to do with you. Nonetheless I will say that one of my primary defenses against the sexual aggression of my mother and my brother was to evolve what might be understood and labeled as a more "female" way of being. It was a way of protecting myself from unwanted interactions. For many years I thought this was just a healthy side of being a man. Over time however, things just didn't seem to add up. It is as you say. I would look around and other people seemed to be having a lot easier time than me.

This kind of conditioning has taken me a long time to sort out. It happens on a very subtle level. One might say that on the inside I'm filled with a paralyzing fear and on the outside I appear nice and a little passive. In many situations that might seem normal and is kind of congenial. Although being comfortably easy-going is not necessarily "feminine", it might however be construed by women as being uninterested in them. So the problem is not so much what I'm doing as what I'm not doing.

Being the victim of chronic abuse, my true self tends to live in fear. That true self is me, a boy who had trouble growing. A boy who thought that being afraid of a woman was being a wimp. But being the victim of some female abuse is to know and understand that there were many moments in one's childhood when that fear was real. There was often no relief from the onslaught of confusing experiences and unwanted sexual contact. For me, acknowledging the fear is the only way for me not to go into denial about it.

The easier identity for me to carry is one that is more easy-going. For a long time I thought asserting oneself was a bad thing. It has taken a lot of work to realize that asserting myself in a positive way requires overcoming some resistance to relying on that easy-going nature in situations where it is letting me down.

I think one of the difficulties with the discussion on this thread is that there is some kind of assumption of either-or. Is the only way to exhibit my true self to drop the easy-going nature forever and completely? What will happen to the person I usually am when my more vulnerable self emerges? How will I live with the experience of feeling rattled through and through?

Maybe that is a fear that I need to get to know. Maybe it is more from the past and not necessarily the present and future. And maybe it doesn't mean that I will never be easy-going again, or that I am defined according to what is more male than female, or any way that others choose to think of me.

Sometimes I can't imagine being more active when I need to be. I feel like I've ever followed impulses that lead to better communication. and fulfilling of desires. But the pain of not doing anything about this has become debilitating. I'm beginning to realize that that is a way of letting the memory of the aggressors win, and I think I've had enough of that.

I guess what I'm asking you is, is there is some fear that you haven't explored that may be stopping you from showing more of who you are to someone? Maybe there is an answer to "what is supposed to happen". Maybe it lies in you.



FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#454456 - 11/19/13 03:32 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
I justdon't know! I'm good with people, I have to be, there's no way to live with a visual imparement compitantly and not be that way, and it has! to be genuine, to be felt, to be real otherwise it won't work, (I've detected plenty of false extraverts and insicure windbags in my time).

I can get up on a stage (as I did last saturday), and speak to an audience of people quite confidently, let them share what I'm feeling. I know I don't tend to be naturally assertive since I do the thing of thinking of others first, but for important things, well I dam well can be, heck, I ran the university's philosophy society for four years, which involved pretty huge public organization.

yet nothing seems to happen, and nobody can sodding tell me even why! even the men who I have seen get successful relationships just talk about communication, well I missed the lesson boys sorry.

I don't know if it's what I'm doing or saying, sorry if being decent to people is wrong. I just am so sick of this hole thing, of having the desire and no way of actually satisfying it.

Yes, I'm genophobic, I'm tactile defensive, but does this realy matter? As I said women just seem to have it so easy. I've been doing this recovery crap for the last five years, and it was trying to hold someone's hand that got me hear, and in relationship terms, nothing has changed and nothing continues to happen and I have no idea why. I can sit and try to think happy thoughts until the cows come home, and I've done lots of that, but in the end it does sod all. It just seems utterly impossible, but if it is impossible why can't I just forget the hole thing?

And the thing that really! gets up my nose is I know all my problems with genophobia would be soluable if I had someone to communicate them with, no relationships don't solve everything, but they would change that at least.

At this point in time I'm beginning to think that it's pretty much a choice between finding a prostitute (assuming I even knew where to find one), or nothing, since there is no other way forward and has as far as I know never been, and I don't like either option.

While I don't feel any individual animosity towards anyone, I'm finding it really hard not to hate women's social position in this, since it just seems however uggly or unpleasant a woman is, all she has to do to at least find a relationship is sit around and wait to be asked.

I try not to be unpleasant, and people tell me I am far from uggly (my perception is different but I know to misstrust it), yet it still just bloody doesn't work.

When I was 25, just before recovery I asked my Russian friend, who is someone I can discuss this with, (she's like a brother quite literally), if she knew any other men who had never had any sort of close relationship. She said I was one, and there was another, but she assured me that the reasons he didn't have a relationship were obvious, since while extremely clever, he's also socially aukward, balding in his twenties, and not exactly the most perceptive of people in social conversation, neither did he actually meet many people outside his specific group of friends.

He got married last year.

God I hate this desire, and hate feeling this, and hate feeling so dam helpless to change it.

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#454541 - 11/20/13 09:26 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
focusedbody Offline


Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 312
Loc: NY
Originally Posted By: dark empathy
Yes, I'm genophobic, I'm tactile defensive, but does this realy matter?


Luke:

Although I understand your sentiment here, being touched does matter a lot.

I think whatever triggered your initial recovery process is important to continue to look at. I find the more I look at these issues, the more I have to confront, and deeper the feelings become. In order to do that, I have needed help. In particular, I have found sensorimotor therapy very good for this.

I have had the feeling for many years that I did not have the capacity to be the kind of man who could sustain any real "mutual communicative interest". As you say, there seemed to be some lessons I missed. It's always sad to recall that, but I am now beginning to also realize that the capacity that was missing can be nurtured through caring and healing.

I used to think this would just naturally happen while being in a relationship. Wrong! It takes a much more personal form of courage within oneself.

Thanks for bringing up the question of physical affection. Hope I have given you some food for thought here. You might try bringing up the same question in the Family and Friends section, for some more feedback.

Peace,

FB
_________________________
Lose the drama; life is a poem.

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#454556 - 11/20/13 01:00 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
Well Fb, unfortunately finding therapy (much less asking my parents to pay for private), isn't an option. I've tried counselling and that didn't work. However if genophobia and touch is such is such an issue what about all those women from F&F who talk about their significant others having such? how the hell did they get together? I know comparison is bad, but frankly I'm just pissed off, since it seems everyone in the entire world gets this at some point, at some time, accept me! and nothing I can do with me helps! nothing I do with other people or anyone helps.
Everyone's full of complements, indeed just a couple of weeks ago I was told "oh you'll end up with someone your too nice" and "why don't you have a girlfriend, you just too good not to" yet bugger all has ever happened!

And no, as I said I am quite aware relationships don't solve everything, but it seems the only way to improve at something like touch and physical intimacy is to do it, and that's just what I can't do since I have nobody to communicate with in that way, for all people are always telling me how nice I am!

Frankly I am just sick of this, and sick of feeling utterly helpless to change it.

AsI said, therapy isn't really an option since I doubt I could get it on the health service, I can't afford to go private myself, and I really don't want to ask my parents, so I suppose I'm just stuck!

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#455771 - 12/02/13 06:08 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
TheHermit Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 24
Loc: USA
Quite the coincidence; me running across this thread, having just posted some things related to this subject yesterday, like:

"At one point my uncle walks by and gives me a friendly pat on the chest and i'm sure I flinched, because, of course I don't want people touching me without permission. I immediately began to think about the "so-called" alpha/beta behavior, and how alphas are not afraid to touch people while talking to them. I guess i'm seen as a beta then, since I respect people's right to not have their bodies touched without first giving me permission."

And i'm currently writing and debating on posting something about "Male Lesbians" or the "Passive male" which are terms coined by Dr. Gilmartin, author of Shyness & Love (1987) and The Shy Man Syndrome (1989). My writing includes some related paragraphs like:

"As for the “Passive Male” version of the label. I would prefer if women were the initiators. I remember as a teenager I would lie on the couch and pretend to be asleep, hoping that my girlfriend would come and make a move on me. I even had one girlfriend who actually took my penis out and put it inside her because I had not done so after a week of dating. Of course, some of this is likely due to CSA and my learned habit of overly respecting the boundaries of others, but, alas, women are not typically the initiators, and, therefore, my past is littered with a plethora of missed opportunities and regrets.

These missed opportunities and regrets usually lead to the dreaded “friend zone.” Since you’re a nice, sensitive guy, who “seems” gay, and doesn’t make a move, you get friend-zoned nearly every time. Not only this, but women aren’t generally attracted to you because you don’t seem manly enough, I suppose. This then leads to the oft-mentioned dilemma of: Straight women don’t want you because you basically are a gay guy to them, which equals friend, and lesbian women don’t want you because you have a penis."

Maybe this is helpful: (Though, I haven't actually read it yet as my reading list has grown incredibly long recently, so I can't vouch for it.)


Edited by ModTeam (12/03/13 06:51 PM)
Edit Reason: removed link - possible copyrights infringement

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#455980 - 12/04/13 08:11 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
I don't know all that "not manly" and "being like a gay guy" just seems to not work according to the male friends I have who have! successful relationships. It also seems far too sterriotypical and symplistic.

I'm just sick of all this, I wish I didn't desire a relationship, or at least that I was female so something would work. Is it touch? is it genophobia? or maybe what I was told when i was a teenager was right all along and I'm just diseased.

And Hermit, if you had a girlfriend, then you obviously found some way of making this stupid thing work that I haven't, even if things have changed since. I'm sick of people talking about relationships as though they're just a natural part of life, to me, nothing is more unnatural or outside my experience, and the worst thing is I can't change this.

I just wish I didn't have this desire anymore, albeit I know trying to destroy it doesn't help either. I am just tired of this.


Edited by dark empathy (12/04/13 08:15 AM)

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#456104 - 12/05/13 05:44 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
TheHermit Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 24
Loc: USA

Here. You'll like this one, I bet. smile

I'm reminded of the movie A Beautiful Mind, where John Nash is direct and not at all romantic and magical. Why leave something so important to mere chance? smile

Nash: "I don't exactly know what I am required to say in order for you to have intercourse with me. But could we assume that I said all that. I mean essentially we are talking about fluid exchange right? So could we go just straight to the sex." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTN-CVQuBR8

Nash: "I find you attractive. Your aggressive moves toward me... indicate that you feel the same way. But still, ritual requires that we continue with a number of platonic activities... before we have sex. I am proceeding with these activities, but in point of actual fact, all I really want to do is have intercourse with you as soon as possible."

[pause]

Nash: "Are you gonna slap me now?" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lplDv1m_Zhk

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#456106 - 12/05/13 07:13 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
I'm not sure hermit if you meant that flippently or not, but to be honest that makes me sick.

I'm genophobic, even the word s/x I find difficult. If I just wanted the physical act, I'd just track down and pay a prostitute and not worry about it anymore than I worry about going into a restaurant and paying a professional chef to satisfy my desire for a pleasurable experience of eating. Indeed to me the idea of desiring just! s/x I find quite disgusting, which is exactly why I havne't! just paid a professional to service me.

If anything I'm almost the opposite way to those quotations you mention. I want love! actual, communicative love, that state which exists between people who are together which is one step beyond friendship.

At this point I wouldn't care if I never took my trousers off. just being curled up with someone, actual kissing or holding hands would be enough, or at least would be as far down that road as I can imagine myself going comfortably.

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#456164 - 12/06/13 02:29 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
TheHermit Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 24
Loc: USA
Nope. I had no idea you were not interested in sex. My apologies then.

I didn't post it for the sex part though. Only to show how Nash didn't understand the social rules of courtship so he had to be direct.


Edited by TheHermit (12/06/13 02:41 AM)

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#456176 - 12/06/13 09:07 AM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 1892
Loc: durham, north england
If courtship as you put it was just about s/x, I wouldn't care and could live quite happily without it, indeed I suspect if that were the case genophobia would be no more socially difficult than any other phobia.

After all if your afraid of hights it's easy enough to stay on the ground.

It's the fact that there is this state of communication which goes beyond friendship that I find difficult, and it's that! which I struggle being without.


Edited by dark empathy (12/06/13 09:12 AM)

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#458041 - 01/05/14 01:28 PM Re: Starting relationships and physical affection [Re: dark empathy]
TheHermit Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 24
Loc: USA

I guess I should have mentioned... a few weeks before this thread, I, coincidentally, saw a story on the news about someone wanting to open a business where you pay to cuddle with someone else.

Would you cuddle a stranger for $80 an hour?

"Snuggling enthusiasts say a new pay-per-cuddle practice is therapy. Police say it's a front for prostitution."

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