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#59791 - 01/19/06 12:19 AM questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
This is mostly directed at (male and female) partners of survivors, but of course all input is welcome.

*************This is a sensitive subject for a lot of survivors and may be triggering***************

How many partners here have been blamed, attacked, or made to feel at fault for the sexual difficulties or sexual acting out in the relationship-- directly, by the survivor?

I am talking about statements such as "You are closed-minded for not wanting to do X with me/ not being okay with my acting out" "You are a freak for wanting sex/ feeling that intimacy is important" "You are a bad partner for confronting me about my acting out/sexual issues" "You contributed to my acting out/lack of interest in sex because of XYZ"

Now... how many partners here wondered about this, or believed themselves at fault or to blame for the survivor's acting out or sexual difficulties, without getting that message directly from the survivor?


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#59792 - 01/19/06 01:17 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
SAR,

Very sore subject. My b/f never has, and I don't believe ever would, directly blame me for his acting out, but I have, and at times still do, wonder if I was at least a partial cause of it.

I don't deny sex to my b/f because I don't want to. My phylosophy is that if you love someone and there's no physical or serious emotional reason why not, then why not? It hasn't happened often that "I just don't feel like it" but when it has, we laugh, alot, and I make it a joke and tell him to do what he's got to do. It hasn't failed yet that things work out for me as well. BTW, this isn't just a new thing with or for him, it's just the way I feel.

Our sex life together runs from the normal to the not so normal. By that I don't mean way up on the freaky scale, but a little bit. I guess since we're both consenting adults, it's not really freaky at all. But he does tend to be a bit more adventurous than me and I can't help but feel that if I did XYZ, maybe he wouldn't feel the need to act out. I know that this isn't true, but in my darket moments, that irrational way of thinking comes to the forefront.

He's told me that it wouldn't bother him if I were with another man - I find that super freaky and I would never do that because I don't want to. If I wanted to be with someone else, then I would not be with him. He believes that sex can just be sex and love, at least what he understands of it, is a totally different thing. He can't or won't understand that the two are not mutually exclusive.

He told me for years that he worried that he could not be faithful. Little did I know when he was telling me that he'd already been and continued to be unfaithful. He knows that's not an option - ever again - if he wants to be in my life.

I'm scared to death that if our sex life wanes, he'll go looking again. Even for the week or so when I have my period, I get scared because it's a week that we haven't been together and that might be too much for him.

Is that my fault? No it's not and I know that in my head, but it doesn't stop my evil twin from surfacing. It's way worse now because he gave me reason to be distrustful of him and I hate that. It's a viscious cycle that I hope to break - only time, with no new reasons given to me for fear will relieve me of this.

I hope I answered what you were asking, I might have gotten a little side tracked.

It's a very scary thing to think about.

ROCK ON........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#59793 - 01/19/06 01:49 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Nope-- not sidetracked.

This is a very difficult subject for many of us and I think it helps to put the fears and frustrations into words and see that we are not alone with them.

I'm not asking a specific question so much-- I just wanted to open up the topic.

\:\)


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#59794 - 01/20/06 01:07 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
Happy Birthday Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Talking to my wife ( at last :rolleyes: ) she has told me that as my interest in sex faded - when I was acting out a few years ago - she believed that it was her fault for being overweight, and she thought I was having an affair with another woman, a particular one that I worked with who was tall, skinny, blonde, young, and available! ( She's also dumb and not my type at all )

But at that time we didn't talk, so things went from bad to worse, my failures became her 'proof', her attitude towards me was a mystery at best, often it was anger, but I never expressed my anger towards her. So everything went unsaid between us and it festered away.

Sex is a very powerful thing that engenders many different emotions, and if we don't share the feelings and desires, or the hangups, we have then all manner of problems can happen.

Dave

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

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#59795 - 01/20/06 02:07 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
SAR,

Since you say you just want to open up the topic, I can add something that bears on what Dave says about the importance of communication.

As I began to come out of denial and had a million fears and freaked out feelings roaring around in my head, I became hypervigilant about being touched, especially if I wasn't expecting it. I also startled very easily and my interest in sex was plummeting.

The result was that if my wife put her hand or arm on me in the middle of the night as we slept, something we previously did a lot and really enjoyed, I would startle and would sometimes wake up almost in shock. The way everything was going she read me as rejecting her. She didn't tell me that, but at the same time I was too confused to say much either. It was not until last year that I was able put enough together and deal with it enough to tell her.

This is just one piece of the story of course, but the point is that if we had been able to communicate better back then this could have been alleviated and perhaps avoided.

I don't cast blame here and I know a lot could be said for both sides, but that is not what I am onto here. The point is that big problems arose because we could not talk about this as soon as the issue arose.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#59796 - 01/20/06 03:14 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Larry & Dave,

How do I put this respecfully? Were your sex lives very active before you began dealing with the S/A? The reason I ask is that my b/f almost never seems to get enough. Sure there are some nights, especially after a rough conversation, that we just go to sleep, but then the morning comes and he's ready to roll again. That sounds so crass, but it's just the way it is.

We've been together for over 4 years and we're 42 and 45 so it's not initial dating lust or youthful vigor. As far as our initimate life goes, we're just almost always on the same page.

As for communication, you come through loud and clear. My b/f says that I over communicate, maybe that's true sometimes, but I tend to think that some of what I need to talk about, he shys away from and shuts me down, gently, but with no room for doubt.

I also worry that because he does tell me things about his childhood, he'll think of me more of an, I don't know how to put this, a friend? confidant? supporter? I want to be all of these things, but I also just want to be his girlfriend. I don't want him to look at me and feel no desire because of what I know. This is a scary thought and one I've had many times.

I wonder if there may be something coming down the pike that I should begin preparing myself for now. This will be a difficult conversation for him if we ever need to have it and I won't lie, it will be difficult adjustment for me.

ROCK ON......Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#59797 - 01/20/06 05:49 PM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Trish,

My problem has always been that I am so ravishingly gorgeous, charming and sexually magnetic that women can never get enough of me. Sigh. What IS a guy to do???!!! My wife just DOESN'T understand how lucky she is.

Seriously, yes, our sex life was pretty good I think. We were always able to communicate what we liked and wanted to do, and if there was a problem for one the other would understand. Sex wasn't something we had difficulty enjoying and talking about.

Trish I think you make a crucial point when you stress that you are his girlfriend first. He needs to know that it isn't fair to ask you to hear him and support him and go through all his crap, and then seem less desirable because "you know"!! I hadn't thought of that. Wow. What a lose/lose situation that would be.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#59798 - 01/20/06 06:19 PM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
SAR Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
I don't want to attack any of the guys who have posted to this thread-- but I wonder if the communication issue is as simple as "no one brought it up." My experience with communicating with my boyfriend about this stuff is mostly what Trish said:
Quote:
I tend to think that some of what I need to talk about, he shys away from and shuts me down,
These are difficult issues for caring partners to discuss too and in our case, my boyfriend manipulated the conversations almost before they began-- so I felt that my choices were "Be supportive and caring, and DON'T try to talk to me about this" or "Sure, say it if you have to-- at the cost of my feelings and my trust in you-- and good luck trying to get anything out of ME about it."

There is a lot of shame for many survivors (and many females who aren't survivors, too, I suspect) in just admitting that consensual sex is enjoyable and important to us. It was very easy for my boyfriend to tap into my shame about wanting to communicate and wanting to improve our sex life. When I tried to communicate with him about his emotional distance and lack of interest-- "Well, we've done it X number of times this month-- what's your problem?" or "Why is our sex life SOOO important to you? Why don't you care about this and that instead?" which in my mind isn't a very big step from saying "You're the freak here, not me... X number of times is plenty for anyone normal." This was a way to shame me into NOT communicating about a whole range of issues which were related to our sex life-- including his acting out and his lack of affection in general. Small wonder he didn't want to go there.

Most times I would drop the whole thing-- which wasn't the best choice I could have made-- but if my boyfriend (who knew what he was doing on some level) tried to characterize this as a general lack of communication, I'd be pissed off.


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#59799 - 01/20/06 06:49 PM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Larry,

There was never any doubt in my mind that you would give Adonis a run for his money *lol* I'm sure your wife is well aware of the jewel in her house.

I read in past posts about the Madona/? complex, can't remember exactly what it was, and that, I suppose, is one of the things I'm really concerned with. I just don't want to be an "angel" in his eyes because lord knows I've got plenty of the devil in me that likes to come out and play too.

I try to just let things develop in our lives and see where we go, but sometimes, my thoughts and fears screw me up.

{edited to add]:

SAR - you're dead on. It took me alot of years to admit to myself, never mind another person, that sex is important to me. Before it was almost a shameful thing to admit. Now that it's done, there is no going back. I'm happy with who I am and I have a partner for whom sex is equally as important. Its far from the most critical thing in our relationship, but it's definately in the top 5.

The thought of losing that because of something that I can't control is very frightening.

ROCK ON........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#59800 - 01/21/06 02:10 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
Happy Birthday Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Well, Adonis has a beer belly, beard and is 52 years old, fact! \:D

A question for Larry, did the serious slide in sexual activity coincide with the start, or intensive period, of your healing?

Before disclosure sex was different for me, and it wasn't all good or bad either.
I've known my wife since I was 19yo and we became sexual within weeks of meeting, this was the early 70's and sex was still fun.
At that time we were very active, and I though fairly adventurous. We tried most things that we were comfortable with and made love at every opportunity. A lot of that was obviously the libido of youth and the passion of serious love at work, now I'm wondering if what we had was what could be considered 'normal' - and 'normal' is a huge and difficult thing to define I know.

But - ( Linda and I have had a long discussion about this tonight inspired by this topic that I read last night ) when I think back to those days I remember them as me being stilted and dominated by my feelings of not wanting to impose my sexual wishes on someone else.
We had both had sexual partners before each other, and I think she'd had what could only be described as a 'proper relationship' whereas I'd just jumped on any girl available.

I have NEVER felt comfortable instigating sex in any way other than the most cautious and subtle ways, I would start with kissing and caressing and see if that led to sex, I could always back off if I thought that Linda didn't want sex at that time.
I could never bring myself to ask outright for, or suggest, sex. A scenario of rushing home from work and having to go out in a couple of hours and saying "come on, let's have a quicky" has never happened to me because I somehow ( subconciously ? )feel that's it's wrong. But is it? I don't think it is now, but I'm stuck with that mindset. I listen to friends talk, as couples, and I'm envious of the way they treat sex. And I'm not talking about couples who would be considered anything out of the ordinary.

So, although our sex life was very active when younger, and way before disclosure, I can see ( with hindsight ) that I certainly wasn't as open about sex as I believed I was. The various hangups I had were almost certainly a result of both my upbringing and my abuse, but I covered them up, as I did my abuse.
That level of cover up was olympic, I guess I used the same 'skills' for both.

As middle age approached I suppose I suffered the normal decline in sexual interest that so many men in a marriage or relationship suffer. The sad fact is we get jaded, and not only men either, and that leads to the decline and often the straying and infidelity.
I didn't go down that route though, I retreated into my fantasy world and eventually acted out with other men.
Perhaps I'm being generous to myself in saying I didn't act out because of the reasons above, maybe at the time those reasons would have included the need for excitement and variety in my sex life to a degree.
I know now how it was driven by my abuse, but back then I didn't and I obviously went along with it in the expectation of gaining something.
My acting out was built up on extreme expectations, and the reality was always complete dissapointment. It was also very complex, but I only see that now.
Was / is my whole expectation of sex built upon these ( unreasonable ? ) expectations of sex I learned as a boy? I think so.

Since disclosure / healing my sex life has actually got worse. Which is infuriating because I understand so much more about myself and my problems, and as a couple we talk so much more openly. I can preach, but I can't practice. There are still way too many hangups. Perhaps I have different hangups now?

Perhaps I over analyze and attach way too much importance to things such as the instigation of sex, the performance during sex, the very reasons to have sex even?
I don't want to be the type of guy who says "come here bitch, let's f**k", but why can't I find a level that suits us as a couple that allows me to ask for sex? After 32 years of marrige I know my wife well enough to know the danger zones!

Because of all that shit I just find it easier to avouid sex, which is desperately sad because I love my wife.

Dave

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

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#59801 - 01/21/06 02:07 PM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Dave, SAR, Trish,

What a great thread. It is making me do a lot of rethinking about things that I see I have been hesitant to face, Adonis that I am.

It is difficult for me to answer your question Dave, because both my emergence from denial and the slide in my interest in sex came on slowly and were both well advanced by the time I recognized what was going on. It was all to easy to make up excuses like "I am so tired and have been working too hard", etc. Also, my wife had just bought a restaurant in Oxford and was herself working very hard. There were days she would come home after we were all in bed and would be gone the next day before we got up. Then it got complicated again when I took my job in Germany and our initial plans for the family to follow me there did not work out.

Looking back, I have to admit that sex was something that was always problematic for me. I did not have difficulties initiating it, but was always alert for signs or hints that something was not right. I think I would have to say that as soon as I began to realize that I really had been sexually abused, and for years and in sadistic ways, that was pretty much the collapse of me as a sexual person. It's an area that I am nowhere close to reaching in therapy, so that has been no help yet.

SAR, you commented:

Quote:
I don't want to attack any of the guys who have posted to this thread-- but I wonder if the communication issue is as simple as "no one brought it up.
That's an important point, and I don't think these issues are ever a simple matter of "it just didn't come up". I think in every relationship, especially where sex is concerned, there is a constant process of tacit signalling and negotiation going on.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#59802 - 01/24/06 03:22 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Ahhhh, 2 Adonis's on the board - who-da-thunk-it *lol*

You guys provide a lot of insight into the way some survivors think, unfortunately, neither one of you fits my b/f's profile. He's damn near a sexaholic, maybe he really is one, I don't know.

I actually believe that the way you describe yourselves is exactly the way he was during his early 20's and for the 11 years that he was married. His marriage was not a good one and sex was something to be endured, by her, only a couple of times a year. His desires were certainly there, but he couldn't or wouldn't act on them. He was a masturbating fool. When he got divorced, all hell broke loose and he became the equivalent of a male whore - whenever, wherever, however and whoever. He, however, was never the instigator.

He hung out in some very unsavory places and was always the nicest, most caring guy in the place. He also was and is a great protector. The women loved him. Unfortunately, they were all women who were themselves damaged in one way or another. He related very closely to that, although he never told them about himself.

After I found out he'd been cheating on me, he actually told me that the women he was with had this problem, or that problem; they'd been molested or raped, etc., etc. Did I feel better? Hell NO. He seemed to see it as his mission to "teach" these women that sex could be good and healthy. As you can imagine, I didn't have the same sympathies for them that he did, not in the context in which I learned about them. He thinks he can heal everyone except himself. Quite honestly, that pisses me off! I sure as hell am not about to sit back while he gets his rocks off and makes other people feel better and makes me feel like crap.

I think we're past that, but I've no doubt he still thinks about it. Not only for the excitement and the sex, but I truly believe he got satisfaction in making someone else's life better. He didn't have to make my life better because it was already good, I simply fell in love with him and want him in my world. He doesn't know how to cope with that.

In a weird twist to SAR's original question of how my partner has made me feel, I almost feel like if I were a woman who had problems for him to fix, it might be better for him, maybe he would relate to me better. I'm not that woman, so he felt the need to act out, so maybe some of it is my fault. I donít really accept that because I know itís not rational, but I never knew I even thought it until I wrote it.

ROCK ON.......Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#59803 - 01/24/06 04:23 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Trish,

Be glad you are not that woman. It was my experience that the people my boyfriend felt compelled to act out with were only reinforcing a negative message about himself, that what others cared about was using him to meet their needs.

He was relating to them in a way that gave him a feeling of control over the situation of being used that he was compelled to re-create in the acting out.

None of the people he exchanged emails or chatted with knew much about him at all-- some of them only knew lies about him. When I asked him how it was possible that he could have emailed with someone for months and never answered personal questions about himself, he said that the subject never came up-- that their conversations were all about about her life and her problems, that's all she wanted from him anyway.

Of course when he was presented with a real relationship, with loving give-and-take, he freaked out and felt compelled to seek out the type of interaction that was "normal" to him.


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#59804 - 01/24/06 06:23 PM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
SAR,

OK, so I started pulling out phrases from your post when I realized that would be insane because the whole thing is quotable and entirely relatable.

I am glad I'm not that woman. I'd rather be me any day of the week. Because of his past history and things he's told me, I recognize this type of woman when I see her and if we're out together when she presents herself, my guard goes up instantly. It's funny because my b/f sees immediately that my hackles are up. He hugs me, and I laugh, but I stay on guard until I feel the danger has past or better yet, left the building.

I think my b/f is learning to deal with and hopefully accept a loving, give and take relationship, but he does struggle. I know he wants it because when he sees it in others, he recognizes it and is envious of it; not in a bad way, just as something he would like to have. What's really crazy is that he really does have it, he just can't see it in himself or as it relates to his world. He has a huge blind spot that I wish I could erase.

Such interesting dynamics we deal with.

ROCK ON.....Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#59805 - 02/07/06 06:32 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
morganna Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 2
Loc: denver, Colorado, usa
Hi All,
I'm new here, and feel compelled to respond to this thread about sexual difficulties... My partner ("Rob") and I have been together for 3 and a half years. He told me about his CSA off the bat (the awareness of which he had repressed until about a year prior!!), but as we both were adol. counselors, I think we overestimated our ability to handle the issue.

Since about month three of our relationship, our sexual difficulties seem to have been both the origin and destination of the CSA struggle in our relationship... First came the hypersexuality, which served only to dampen my desire, then the pornography, which really did a number on my self-image. I feel like I have, on one hand, been objectified as a means to satisfy Rob's need to escape into sexual oblivion (as opposed to sharing intimate passion); on the other hand, we are best friends and creative partners. Pornography, however, is an element in the relationship that I cannot tolerate. Rob and I are in agreement about this - he fully understands how painful it is for me to regard such images, and he is angered by how he feels manipulated and seduced by them...

Long story short: Rob briefly went to a therapist after I was prepared to leave, sexually spent from constantly being hounded, and feeling rejected and betrayed by discovering his relationship to pornography. He eventually felt that his therapist was trying to seduce him and he quit. Now, three years later, porn is back (was it ever gone?), I'm still being told by him that it is basically, my problem that I'm not willing to have sex on demand, and he is denying looking at porn despite obvious indications to the contrary. I am so sad to think about how CSA is capable of decomposing loving relationships years after it "happens." Thank you all for allowing me to vent on this...
I'm glad I found this site a couple of hours ago!

_________________________
morganna

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#59806 - 02/07/06 05:01 PM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
morganna,

My take on this is that Rob is having difficulty seeing sex in terms other than those he got when he was an abused boy. If a young boy knows anything at all about sex yet, he still usually has no real knowledge or appreciation about it as anything more than an scary topic of intense curiosity. Then when he is abused he gets the idea that it is all about "doing it" to someone regardless of whether they want or enjoy what is happening (as you say, objectifying them). I guess porn would be the same way - it fits his old childhood image of what sex is all about: I get physical satisfaction, what anyone else gets is beside the point.

From other threads here you may have seen that people here (including me) will tell you that you have every right to stand by your boundaries and take care of yourself. His abuse issues can't trump your own needs and feelings all the time; some common ground acceptable to both partners needs to be found.

I especially wanted to comment on this:

Quote:
I'm still being told by him that it is basically, my problem that I'm not willing to have sex on demand
You don't owe him on sex on demand. No one owes anyone that.

I hope you two find a way forward, but remember that there has to be accommodation on both sides, not just yours.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#59807 - 02/08/06 02:45 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Morganna,

Porn is a weird thing. "Normal" guys who haven't been abused look at porn - some do it alot, some just occasionally. If that weren't the case, it wouldn't be all over the internet and the strip clubs would be out of business. If you don't like it or are uncomfortable with it then that's something that has to be worked out between you and Rob and he has to respect your feelings. But at the same time, is it really that awful if he wants to look at another naked woman sometimes?

This is something that me, myself and I fight over all the time. Porn doesn't really bother me unless it's like an addiction to the person looking at it. I'll be the first to admit that I've looked at some porn every now and then. It doesn't do much for me but I also don't believe that woman are anywhere near as visually stimulated as men. I'm not discounting your feelings, just giving another perspective.

My b/f enjoys his porn, much less now than before {I hope} because I told him things were out of control. The porn he was looking at went way beyond anything I was anywhere near comfortable with, but he still looks. Is it "normal?" Within limits, I believe it is. But as I said above, men seem to be much more visually stimulated than woman. Just another of the differences between boys and girls, no matter what their age.

Maybe some of it is a symptom of the csa, and maybe I'm just denying it at the moment; I don't know.

All that being said, if you have a problem with it, then Rob really does need to respect your feelings. You can't be made to feel as if you're just the outlet for his sexual appetite that was brought on by looking at porn. As Larry said, no one has a right to sex on demand when one partner wants anything but.

Finally, welcome Morganna. This is a very healthy place to help us all through.

ROCK ON.......Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#59808 - 02/08/06 09:13 PM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
TRACYUK Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/05
Posts: 178
Hi all

I'll try and answer youre original question Sar coz I've come late to this.

Def yes he acted like there was something not entirely right about my requests in sex. For him it was/still can be a pattern: feel aroused, have sex as quickly as possible getting it over with ASAP, get up and get washed straight away ( he felt fearful then dirty, sound familiar?). Not hugely satisfying for me as you can imagine.

I wanted forplay and when I eventually insisted on at least kissing and cuddling first he said he'd rather not have sex at all.A big own goal that was.. I can just about laugh now.

The only way he could cope with anything other than his routine was to zone out, at which I then always had this sneaking feeling I'd been alone or used even.... It was like he was so unconnected to me I could have been anyone and was just means to an end...As he was so not like that at other times I did accept it and questioned myself a lot.

Of late we have been communicating and connecting really well and have on quite a few occassions "made love". A completely fifferent experience for both of us. Getting aroused through love and feeling emotionally connected. Often he finds his fear is much less when this hapens.

Incidently we are seeing a psychosexual therapist soon and we'l be sharing this with him.. I'm happy to report back if you like.

In terms of the acting out. he hasn't done it since he disclosed and I actually feel confident that he won't again. The problem we have is in him fully being able to accept how much it hurt me to find out about his secret sex with men and the deceipt, lies etc...

He is slowly but surely getting in touch with his feelings and his feelings of sorrow for me get mixed up massivly with anger at the fact that he was abused in the first place (not anger at me but his anger distrcats from really feeling sorry if that makes sense)he is sorry on a rational level but is finding his feet in terms of FEELING sorry. He now totally relates his acting out to having been abused and neglected as a child and is coming to terms with his own role in it, ie; his personal power and or lack of it/ regaining of it.

I hope this has been usfeul and made some sort of sense.
Love

T


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#59809 - 02/09/06 06:21 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
morganna Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 2
Loc: denver, Colorado, usa
Hi Trish,
thanks for your insights. Yes, porn is really weird. Both Rob and I have talked alot about it since getting together, and I think the important thing to remember is how I said that Rob himself is in agreement with me about how it reinforces an unrealistic and oversexualized image of women. (We find this corroborrated in recent studies being done in the context of men who look at porn and their perception of women). Rob was exposed to porn repeatedly as a young child, and expresses feeling traumatized despite the occasional compulsion to view it - not surprisingly, in times of compromised self esteem. (trigger). Then the feelings of disgust that follow...

I believe everyone must figure this porn issue out for themselves, but I also suspect that in the years to come, it will be less likely to be dismissed as a "boys will be boys" activity. (I'm not saying you are doing this!). Although many men view porn regularly, many men have also been sexually abused... maybe there's some degree of correlation..

...As far as the "visual" tendencies of male arousal: pavlov proved the power of reinforcement: we expect men to look at porn. (Oddly enough, women, it seems, are conditioned to constantly prime ourselves to be the object of male viewing pleasure via the fashion and celebrity magazines that are inescable - witness, the checkout stands!)

Peace,
Morganna

_________________________
morganna

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#59810 - 02/09/06 03:15 PM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I think yes, most guys will have seen a lot of porn by the time they settle down with one partner. I know in my childhood ALL the boys went wild over it - because it was so naughty and forbidden. I suppose many men continue to enjoy looking at it.

I wonder if men and women look at this differently. When I see porn I see a fantasy world that vaguely amuses me. I don't look in ANY way like the guys in the pics (none of them have mandolins), and the women, well.... I think this stuff aims for the raging hormones of teenagers and young men mostly.

When I hear women talking about guys looking at porn however, it seems to me they think this is what the guy personally wants from women, or from their partner, or misses in their relationship.

I don't think that's true. But maybe that's just grumpy me at age 56. ;\)

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#59811 - 02/10/06 05:15 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
Larry,

For some kids, porn was probably a cool, naughty, forbidden things that they went wild over. I think there are abusive ways to be introduced to pornography that can create very different associations and that's what morganna is talking about when she says that viewing porn is traumatizing and evokes disgust in her partner. This sounds like a form of acting out abuse, not at all like an amusing fantasy.

My boyfriend did this too-- he used porn as a way of accessing/recreating certain aspects of his SA before he was able to process them in a healthier way. He also used sexual chat as a way of recreating some of the dynamics of the abuse-- setting up a scenario that was all about someone else not caring about him, but using him to meet their needs.

I know my partner has trouble connecting sex and love-- I know that it is important to him and to us that he work this out, and I want him to do things that reinforce healthy ideas about sex and love, and not do things that reinforce abusive ideas about sex and his sexuality. I don't think that means that I am deluded about the fantastic elements of porn, or naive about the disparity between what "guys" want from porn and what they want from their partners.

Honestly, this is sort of what I mean when I ask if sometimes partners feel that things get turned around on them when they try to address the acting out issues in a relationship.

SAR


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#59812 - 02/10/06 10:14 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
SAR,

In my post I don't think I said anything to give the idea I think partners are naive or deluded about porn.

I remember you speaking about the issue of things be turned around on partners, and in many cases I think you are right. But not in this case. What I tried to say here is that I think it would be natural for the two partners to see pornography in different ways. Whether they do or not, and the role that a history of abuse would play in all this, would of course depend on the individuals.

If a man says this to his partner he isn't necessarily turning things around on her, he may just be contributing to the discussion with the aim of solving a problem. If she feels things ARE being turned around on her, she should say so; that's a contribution to the discussion as well. Neither should feel the other is claiming a card that will trump whole domains of feelings.

I think I may have given the wrong idea when I referred to the world of porn as an amusing fantasy. I didn't mean that porn itself amuses me; in fact I have lots of difficulty with it. But the "world" (I can't think of a better word) depicted in porn is definitely a fantasy in the sense that it is unreal: extremes of physical and sexual endowment, the play-acting aspects, depiction of extremely unlikely scenarios, and so on.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#59813 - 02/11/06 05:28 PM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
Kirk Wayne Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/05
Posts: 499
Loc: Shrewsbury UK
As Dave has said

"Because of all that shit I just find it easier to avouid sex, which is desperately sad because I love my wife".

But sex scares the living daylights out of me, so I resort mainly to masturbation, I am in control, if you know what I mean.

Even talking about it freaks me out.

I know also I have a long way to go in my recovery.

Kirk
"Lets take this bull by the horns and swing it about a bit"


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#59814 - 02/13/06 08:33 PM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
ShellyB Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/13/06
Posts: 3
I've been coming to this site for awhile because my boyfriend of several months was sexually abused when he was young. I was reading this thread and felt the need to respond. I have really been struggling with the physical aspect of our relationship. Often when we're together, I'm left feeling like the time was a means to an end. I scratch your back and you scratch mine and then we're done. If I want us to lay in bed and kiss and hold each other, he calls me high maintenance. A lot of times he'll leave shortly after we're both "satisfied" which can feel very abrupt.

I'm okay with not having sex and not having him ever spend the night. I don't want to add to his anxiety. But I'm starting to feel like any intimacy that was there is starting to disappear. And it's difficult to talk to him about it because he gets frustrated with me and with himself. How does everyone in the equation get their needs met?


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#59815 - 02/14/06 01:08 AM Re: questions about sexual difficulties (TRIGGERS)
Happy Birthday Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
So many thoughts here .......

What Kirk said is true, masturbation is easy and we do it on our terms with no outside involvement.

Which also makes sense of what many partners have said about making love with a survivor - we perform, and roll over. Thank you and good night!

Much, or maybe all, of this comes from not having the right connections between love and sex.
What we learned as young boys was power and sex, love never entered the equation, and the sources of real love that we might have had at the time are often perceived by us to have NOT protected us from the abuse. I'm convinced that my parents didn't know anything about my abuse, but I still feel as though I wasn't protected properly at the time. The fact is I wasn't protected by anyone, but how do I reconcile the fact that some people loved me and some abused me and sex is the wedge that comes between love and abuse.
I was 'supposed' to have my first sexual experience with some girl I was madly in love with, even if it was only for a few days at 15 or 16 years old - not being beaten into submission by other boys at 11yo.

That wedge is still in place for me, I still can't place kissing, cuddling and making love in the 'loving' context, because the first two lead to the last one which is sex which is all about power.

That's also very true of the porn I have used in the past, but much less recently.
I think that most survivors are very fussy about waht they look at, I certainly had a narrow focus that was gay bj's where the giver looked as though he was submissive, and straight porn was pretty much the same, the woman was submissive.
I related to that submissive role, in my fantasy I knew how that sex act felt because I'd been there, done that.
I have said in the past that I was seeking control over the sex acts I did as a boy by doing them on my terms as an adult, but I'm not so sure now, I think I was just relating to the submissive role I was forced into as a boy.

Perhaps that's why I always had trouble when my wife started sex, or ended up in a dominant position.
But because I was ( am ? ) so conditioned to be submissive I can't do the dominant role either when it comes to sex with my wife because I don't want to put someone I love in that ( horrible ) submissive role!

I know 100% that making love is all about sharing, and there isn't a dom /sub role when it's 'right'.
But try and get that into my head!!

Dave

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

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