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#454359 - 11/18/13 10:07 PM Is it possible?
Anthony V Offline


Registered: 09/06/13
Posts: 19
I am 38 years old.

Other than being sexually abused from around 9-11 I have never been with a man. I have never had any same sex fantasies, any sexual dreams have always of the opposite sex. Yet, I am tormented by the feeling that I may be gay. Recently, I've been going on gay porn sites to try and watch it to see if I feel anything. I usually watch a minute or so and turn it off. This is the first time in my life that I have done that. After my abuse I was mired in compulsive sexual behaviors. It had been the only way I experienced some sense of intimacy (always opposite sex). However, in 9 years I have been single.

Is it possible that after the abuse I acted out exclusively with women to hide that I was gay and that I have been behaving exclusively straight trying to hide it?

I feel so confused. I just don't know for certain what my sexual orientation is. I can say well maybe you are bi but that doesn't feel right.

The bigger issue is that I feel like a fraud as a heterosexual man. I am embarrassed to tell people that I am straight as I imagine they would burst out laughing at me. Other times I just feel so gay...I feel that in that I feel like I have nothing to offer a women.

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#454363 - 11/18/13 10:37 PM Re: Is it possible? [Re: Anthony V]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3517
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Anthony - i suppose it is possible - but my take on it is that you got confused early in your life by what was done to you.

there is a lot of debate about this - whether early experiences influence or determine orientation or not. i don't know the answer to that and don't really care to go there. i prefer to think that we do have choices and when things seem ambiguous, we are free to set our own courses.

i have felt that confusion myself. i know it is what happened to me that caused it. i am married and have 3 great grown-up kids. but the lingering effect of CSA at the hands of males had caused me to question my own sexual identity and self-image.

my T explained it with the analogy of some wires that got crossed that cause some problems. i have been able to work on this to become happier and more well-adjusted to the life i have and want. he calls it re-wiring. there are still some moments of confusion - but not serious enough to throw me totally off-track. i am becoming clearer and more settled in who i am.

you will need to work the answer out for yourself. i encourage you to find your own solution and not be unduly influenced by those who have their own agendas.

keep on thinking, reading and discussing. it really does help to have feed-back.

i wish you all the best on your journey of self-discovery!

LEE
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#454365 - 11/18/13 10:41 PM Re: Is it possible? [Re: Anthony V]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3594
Loc: O Kanada
i had all kinds of doubts and fears about my sexual identity.
for about ten years i thought i was bisexual, although i only acted on these impulses rarely and only while drinking.
after a few failed experiments, i knew that i was far more interested in women.

ultimately, i discovered, my problem had nothing to do with my partner's gender, and everything to do with my promiscuous fornication.
there was not enough pleasure in the world to substitute for the love i was looking for.

quantity is not quality.

everything in my life got better, after i stopped having casual sex with strangers, and started getting to know people intimately.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#454370 - 11/18/13 11:23 PM Re: Is it possible? [Re: Anthony V]
don64 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 827
Loc: St. Croix, USVI
Hi Anthony,

My experience about issues in general is that confusion is a very healthy process. It is a signal that my insides are doing some serious exploration and reprocessing and rearranging a me toward a much more integrated ME. The process can be short or long or anywhere in between. If I am able to become curious instead of freaked out and controlling I may actually be able to enjoy the rearranging process, and see Me as sorting me out. We just don't get much support in our culture for self-exploration and self-development. I am happy for you that your insides are insisting that you grow. Growing pains can be difficult, however, and I hope you are able to learn to give YOURSELF the love and kindness and gentleness and patience you deserve while your learned and damaged self gets sorted out by your natural and healthy SELF. I feel like the process is elegant and automatic if I am able to stay out of the way. There's the rub.

Wishing you well,

Don
_________________________
Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

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#454407 - 11/19/13 03:48 AM Re: Is it possible? [Re: Anthony V]
1lifenow Offline


Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 412
Loc: west coast
it understandable and you have much to offer anyone. there is no need for torment just tenderness directed back at yourself.

part of the understanding if you would have been gay and repressed is to try to remember if you demonstrated any gender non-conforming behaviour before the abuse. the more ticks in the boxes the more likely

one man in my group was gang raped once at age 11, no gender non conformity before, never with a man yet has some sense that allowing it ( in his mind) made him complicate and therefore at least curious now. it repulses him yet he can't shake it but curious doesn't make you gay. accept that you have those thoughts, its ok.

wanting to be with a man and snuggle with him after sex and kiss him on the lips. and wear lots of purple, well then you are more likely gay,

but you are not a fraud if you don't feel completely straight either, it only matters if you can be with a woman as a man and feel honestly that it makes you feel complete. not what you feel you should feel but what you really feel deep inside.

you have so much to offer a woman or a man if thats truly what your heart desires,

my abuse repressed my sexuality, it does that for many men, some will be living a hetero lifestyle, others will just completely repress it and be asexual.

Ask yourself what you truly desire, then go for it. If you are honest with yourself then a potential partner will find your confidence and forthrightness damn sexy.
_________________________
The need for love lies at the very foundation of human existence. Dalai Lama

WoR Barrie 2011

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#454430 - 11/19/13 10:01 AM Re: Is it possible? [Re: Anthony V]
Anthony V Offline


Registered: 09/06/13
Posts: 19
thanks all.

In my core I have never felt gay. Most times when I see a classically effeminate gay man I find it funny...funny in the sense that I can not relate.

I often want to try to step into my heterosexual'ness but I feel embarrassed...I feel like a fraud. Then I retreat back to this isolated person. I used to act out sexually as well but much, much less now.

I will say that when I in much more supportive environments (i.e. retreats, 12 step meetings) I feel much more masculine and these fears don't plague me as much. I find the 'real world' a little more difficult. My shame gets activated much more strongly.

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#454501 - 11/19/13 09:12 PM Re: Is it possible? [Re: Anthony V]
gettingstronger Offline


Registered: 09/24/13
Posts: 192
Loc: Virginia
Hi Anthony,

I'm with 1lifenow. If you find yourself in love with a certain man, you enjoy kissing and snuggling (not just sex,) you see him as a potential partner for life, and so on, I'd gently suggest you're probably gay. I don't see anything like this in your post.

As far as looking at gay porn, that is so common among straight csa survivors that it really doesn't amount to anything. Lots of survivors are confused as to concepts like masculinity, body image, self-esteem, and so on. The list goes practically forever. Many go looking for these things there. As such, it means nothing. Besides, it also sounds like it's really not a turn-on for you, so I'd say don't sweat it.

What you consider as "masculine" might be worth exploring. So many of us had that badly damaged in childhood that it often has to be reinvented. If you're "not as masculine" (whatever that means) as the next guy, that's ok. We all have the image of the "masculine guy" as one who stomps around in work boots all day, jumps out of airplanes, plays extreme sports, bungee jumps over active volcanoes, endlessly pleases his wife in bed for hours on end, and so on. All that really is is one more set of false standards we guys are supposed to live up to.

If you feel "much more masculine" in supportive environments, that tells me it's in there somewhere. You have it-- it's just waiting to be recognized. See if you can develop a list of what it means to be "masculine," and then look at it and see if the things you listed are indeed achievable, or if in fact you have achieved them and just don't realize it.

Sorry, not trying to be a T, but I've been down this road too.

Do well,
Bob
_________________________
Never worry about "three steps forward and two steps back." Thirty steps forward and twenty back are still ten steps in the right direction.

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#454519 - 11/19/13 11:04 PM Re: Is it possible? [Re: Anthony V]
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 473
Loc: UK
Hello Anthony,

Yes I suppose it is possible but based solely on your words in this thread you don't seem to be gay, you are not attracted to men sexually or romantically therefore not gay. Maybe what you are talking about is not feeling masculine enough and putting a label of 'gay' on that. Not feeling masculine has nothing to do with being gay really. It may be about your self-esteem and feeling not right as a man somehow. When we are abused by older bigger boys/men we can be made to feel small, weak, powerless and ashamed of our less powerful masculinity, the abuse can feel like an attack on our maleness, we can feel less 'male' than the abuser who is bigger and more like a man in our child minds. This could have produced a feeling of not being masculine enough which might translate to 'gay' and become an obsessive thought/feeling stemming from the abuse, when you are feeling less good about yourself this intrusive fear and thinking would kick in more strongly.

My few thoughts based on my own healing and learning, none of which may fit.

take care
Peter

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#455931 - 12/04/13 12:08 AM Re: Is it possible? [Re: Anthony V]
Anthony V Offline


Registered: 09/06/13
Posts: 19
Thanks Peter.

Yes, those two have always been intertwined for me. I translate the feeling of not being a man with being 'gay.' It has gotten to the point where i want to be gay so I can end all this pain and confusion. It has been 20 years that I have struggled with this and I ask myself why have the struggle; just come out as gay and end all this pain. And yet, I can't see myself with a man. I can't see myself at all with a man whether physically or 'living' with me. Yet, I hate the idea of being in a relationship with a women for terror that one day I will end up coming out as gay and would never want to do that to a women. So, I live in this isolated hell. Thankfully I just found a male therapist who is a survivor and has invested his career working with survivors. Hoping it will help.

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#455945 - 12/04/13 01:24 AM Re: Is it possible? [Re: Anthony V]
Frustrated Offline


Registered: 10/28/13
Posts: 192
Don't sweat it there are a lot worse things to be than gay. If you are gay own it enjoy it live it. Good luck


James

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