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#67901 - 10/09/03 03:09 PM sexual questions
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Another question for you guys....just talked with my ex bf. Last night we had a very sexual conversation on the phone (OK, it was pretty much phone sex). Today, he is suffering from stress, fear, muscle aches, he ground his teeth all night long, headache, etc. He called me to tell me about how he feels, to explain that this is why he feels like he can't have a relationshp (he said that it isn't that he doesnt' want to have a relationship with me and a normal sexual life, but that it causes such anxiety, fear, and physical pain, that he just cannot be with me) and to ask me if I had read anything about this kind of sexual problem.

Basically, he enjoys sex, can have sexual thoughts & fantasies, but if he actually has sex, or a sexual encounter he has a really bad emotional and physical reaction.

Anybody dealt with this before & does anyone have any insight for the best way to deal with it? He tries not having sex for long periods, he has distanced himself from me because of the sexual relationship we have had, and he is convinced there is something wrong with him sexually to cause this kind of reaction. He doesn't have specific memories of the abuse, so to me it almost seems like he is having memories through his body & through his emotions that are triggered by a sexual encounter.

-BB.


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#67902 - 10/09/03 07:19 PM Re: sexual questions
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
BB

"GUILTY !"

Quote:
He doesn't have specific memories of the abuse, so to me it almost seems like he is having memories through his body & through his emotions that are triggered by a sexual encounter.
My bet would be guilt, he enjoys the sex - and shouldn't we all ? but something eats away at him after and tells him that he's 'dirty and nasty because he enjoyed it.

I'm more likely to have a 'bad day' and fight with my fantasies and all that crap the day after I've made love to Linda.
Why ? because the feelings of guilt and shame are SO F******G DEEP they need a coal miner to shift them, not a Therapist.

but I'm determined to shift them, I just have to be prepared for some hard work for some time yet.

Pass the bloody shovel, I'm going digging !

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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#67903 - 10/09/03 08:48 PM Re: sexual questions
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Thanks for the reply! I am struggling with this. I think I feel guilty for being the 'cause' of his distress. I have always been able to find ways to be supportive in the past & in this case, regardless of how kind, supportive or caring I am, the sexual feelings he has for me make him feel bad...

When we talked, he made it clear that he doesn't see me as the problem, which I really needed to hear from him even if it seems like it should be obvious. And even though he explained that to me, I still feel bad about having anything to do with the pain he is suffering.

-BB.


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#67904 - 10/13/03 01:58 AM Re: sexual questions
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Update on this:
I am feeling much better. We talked this situation through & made a 'no sex' deal. My ex was very skeptical about whether we could relate on that basis & I reassured him that I would NOT allow anything to cross that line if he felt that it was too difficult for him right now, especially since we are not bf/gf anymore. It seemed hard to believe, (he's supposed to want the sex, right?) but I went into it from the point of view that sex is threatening to him & I think I finally have understood what is going on with him.

We've talked several times & I think it has meant a lot to him to see that it isn't about sex, that I still care even though I'm removing myself and that he can feel safe with the boundaries even if he is unsure of his own abilities to keep things platonic. I underestimated the sexual pressure -- we are so ingrained to think men are supposed to want sex & that women are the 'sexual objects'. He has that ingrained as much as I do. It has been really freeing to put that aside WITHOUT cutting off all communication -- to say that he is valuable to me even if he is thinking (in the future, not right now -- I am not such an open person that I could handle that) of having sexual relationships with other people. I think we are relating in the healthiest way that we have for a long time & from what I can see it has really meant something to him not to have this situation be so negative.

We are still broken up & I am still moving on, but we have been able to be more open & he's been able to hear me express my own feelings & needs without feeling too threatened. I was able to talk about my feelings about the ex & he didn't shut down, shut me out or cut off communications. He seems to feel more comfortable being open about what he is feeling since he doesn't feel pressured to have this be a 'relationship'. I'm turning into one of several people who care about & support him, instead of being in an 'all or nothing' sexual/romantic position where he feels like he has to edit and live up to roles & ideals that represent bad things from his past. And the big part is that he finally really believes I'm not trying to 'get' anything from him.

I think he is hitting another really hard place in his recovery. He is starting to have disturbing dreams & is unsure of himself, questioning whether he was abused at all at the same time that he is having more emotions come up. I'm glad that I can be there for him in a small way & I feel grateful to him because I think he is protecting me from these demons that haunt him. When he does talk about it, I am able to listen and be supportive because of the distance & that then lets him know that the demons aren't something that makes me see him as bad or perverted.

For all the moments where I felt I was being used & then pushed out, this finally feels like I'm giving him a healthy kind of support, like I'm not giving based on a promise of what the relationship is supposed to be. I never was before, but I don't think HE understood it that way becuase of the cycle we fell into with him breaking promise after promise & pushing me further & futher away at the same time he was coming to me for support when he was at his worst.

I don't know if it seems like such a breakthrough for him, but it is HUGE for me. I've managed to put up a healthy boundary & express my feelings openly without making him feel threatened. Wow. And I feel like he has more trust in me because he tested our 'deal' & I let him know that I wasn't going to cross that boundary. Trust! Wow, imagine that! And all of this at the same time that I am emotionally free and able to do my own thing & pursue my own activities & goals without being pulled into his trauma emotionally.

It seems like I'm walking a fine line -- I have to be honest about the feelings I have & I let him know that I'm NOT 'just' a friend. Because of our relationship, I am sensitive about certain things & there are topics that can hurt me. I have been very open about that, and made it clear that there are limits to what I can give. Even though it seems like it should be more complicated, it isn't. By removing the sexual component, he is able to meet me half way emotionally.

Who knew? We'll see how things go from here. I don't know how I'll feel about this as time goes on, but for this week it is a huge step forward for me & I think for him as well.

-BB.


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#67905 - 10/13/03 07:21 AM Re: sexual questions
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
Dave,

Your not the only Guilty one.

BB,

The guilt about having sex with someone goes very deep. The first time I had sex, outside of that SA shit, left me feeling like a perp. How could I do the stuff my perp did to me to this nice girl? It was another 12 years before I ever tried again. I finally came to the realization that the girl wants it too, so I should be okay. The girl needs to make the move on me or I'll be entirely engulfed in guilt. The first several times where pretty much a bust, I could bring them to orgasm, but not me. And I still felt dirty and like I hurt them in some way. With my ex-wives, I would always watch there face and listen to them, if I thought I detected the slightest discomfort to them it was over for me. I have come a way in the next 12 years, but still have a long way to go.

Bill

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#67906 - 10/13/03 06:16 PM Re: sexual questions
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Bill , and BB,

Quote:
I would always watch there face and listen to them, if I thought I detected the slightest discomfort to them it was over for me.
My group therapist, and she's also a psychosexual therapist, explained just this kind of thing to me today.

We ( I ) have so many damned hang-ups that we 'spectate' when we're having sex.

Instead of being 'as one' and enjoying the sensations of good ( and even mediocre ) sex, we sit back and think all about it.

I,m just the same, if there's the slightest 'discomfort' - and I'm a big heavy guy so why wouldn't there be ? - then I feel like a perp.
So I worry about that and look out for clues.

I also worry about going soft, and you know what ? the more I worry the softer it gets !

So I kick a fantasy into action, and get hard again. Here I am - superstud !

But the fantasies are disgusting, and I feel guilty for using them. It's soft again.

By this time I'm gasping for air and so f*****g mad with myself there's no chance of any success.

And because I've had this happen a few times, well - quite a few times, I dread it happeneing again.
The answer to that problem's quite easy - don't even start.

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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#67907 - 10/14/03 03:59 AM Re: sexual questions
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Thanks for the insight. Can you explain this to me?

We are now 'just friends', because he can't deal with sex. I just came back from seeing him & had to leave because things started heading that direction & I was determined to live up to my promise. But I don't get how I can be the friend he wants to talk to and the woman he wants to have sex with, but not both at the same time....I'm really confused. I know it is the abuse rearing its ugly dysfunctional head, but it leaves me feeling like IF I touch him I'm a sexual object, even though I am the same person that listened & talked with him about all kinds of stuff he's going through.

Anyway, we talked & I spoke to his therapist & him today about maybe having me join him for a session to discuss all of this. We'll see. The therapist thinks it would be a really good idea, I don't know how my ex feels because I just suggested it & asked him to think about it.

I don't think he feels bad when he feels sexual -- it seems to come out later -- like he did something bad or dangerous, even though it wasn't bad at the time. That is also part of why I get so confused.

Thanks for the insight. Even though it comes out in a different way, I think it is probably the guilt & shame that are eating at him. Any other thoughts on this would be most welcome. Some of this may seem obvious to you guys, but for me I have always used my 'don't do it if your gut says no' internal compass as my guide to what is OK sexually & what isn't. It has always worked for me, until this situation.

Everything feels upside-down. He doesn't love me (said so himself), but likes having me around better than being alone, seeks me out when he feels down because I comfort him & understand him, is sexually attracted to me, enjoys talking with me, enjoys sitting on the phone just knowing I'm on the other end, etc, etc. So what IS that? I'll be his friend, I'll offer the support I can & I think after tonights episode I'll try to be smarter about what situations we see each other in (together alone at his house seems like it is setting us up to cross the line). I need to back off for my own sake because it feels right, feels like loving caring connecting intimate two-way closeness. But that isn't what it is for him...

Obviously, I got too emotionally involved today. I have to back up & keep my poor mangled heart from getting smashed yet again. But I'd sure appreciate it if anyone has insight on this.
-BB.


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#67908 - 10/14/03 11:17 AM Re: sexual questions
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Wishing there was a way for my fiance to read this.. this is exactly what he is going through... and alas.. as far as our sex life... still a big void.


Quote:
Originally posted by Lloydy:
Bill , and BB,

We ( I ) have so many damned hang-ups that we 'spectate' when we're having sex.

Instead of being 'as one' and enjoying the sensations of good ( and even mediocre ) sex, we sit back and think all about it.

**stuff snipped**

The answer to that problem's quite easy - don't even start.

Dave




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#67909 - 10/14/03 08:27 PM Re: sexual questions
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
And the hard part to deal with is that I can sit here awnd write about it, talk to my wife about it in some respects, and STILL not be able to deal with it.

But I think it's like so many problems, we need outside intervention - therapy.

I'm talking about these problems as they affect me in my group therapy ( all the guys have some kind of problems ) and it's helping me some already.

The brave part is going to couples psychosexual therapy. And we're nearly at the point of saying yes.

If we try to do it alone,I firmly believe that we go around in circles until someone detached from our problems ( ideally a therapist ) points out the flaws in our circle and we learn to escape it.

It's possibly the biggest, and saddest, problem we face.

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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#67910 - 10/16/03 01:12 AM Re: sexual questions
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Cycles, yep, I think that is exactly why things seem soooo much better with this change. It is a way to stop the merry-go-round that we didn't seem to be able to get off. Now we have new expectations & are trying to relate in a different way.

I'm also realizing that the reaction I had the other night was partly resistance to the change. We have talked several times since then & it is really nice & comfortable. I think I have been wanting to 'fix' the relationship for so long that it is hard to make a new picture in my mind of what I want & what is best. But why would I try to 'fix' it when this is so much better? I think it is that fear of letting things be different, even when different is better.

-BB


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#67911 - 10/24/03 05:50 PM Re: sexual questions
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Another update -- we talked more about it & my ex told me that he feels the kind of 'I wouldn't belong to a club that would have me for a member' shame about sex. So if a woman WILL, then she must be bad because she'd be with someone like him. And if she won't, it reinforces the idea that he is undesireable -- a real great set-up for failure both ways, huh? And then the guilt/responsibility is also a factor -- he feels a sense of responsibility required for that type of relationship (not on the healthy, normal level, but like he becomes responsible for the other person's well-being if they are sexualy involved) so that brings up guilt and a sense of failure because of course no one in an adult relationship can take on the other's problems to that degree.

Things have been good -- lots of good conversations about these & other issues. I'm so impressed with how much progress he has made! He is seeing it as being in a real mess, but the fact that he is discussing and facing these issues just gives me so much hope for him in his recovery. He doesn't seem to be running away from things anymore. I mean, he still turns parts of it 'off' & 'on' as he is able to deal with them, but the denial is gone & he recognizes that he is doing that to cope.

He is also starting to make efforts to experiment with how we relate to each other. Inviting me to go places & do things that have been outside of his comfort zone. He doesn't always feel comfortable, but is looking at his reaction & then TALKING to me about it. I don't have a problem participating in the 'experiments' given that he explains what is going on, shows concern & respect for my feelings & takes responsibility for his own.

Anyway, I've vented so many times about the bad times I thought I'd do a little 'venting' about this. It is exciting to talk to him & hear what he has to say! To watch the current active progress he is making. It seems like he has gone through periods of progress & then some backsliding & then progress in the past where the progress was so tiny that it hardly seemed like it was happening. Right now it is the progress that is overshadowing the backsliding. A lot of work, emotion and effort for him, but so good to see!!

-BB.


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#67912 - 10/24/03 08:00 PM Re: sexual questions
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
BB

Quote:
told me that he feels the kind of 'I wouldn't belong to a club that would have me for a member' shame about sex. So if a woman WILL, then she must be bad because she'd be with someone like him. And if she won't, it reinforces the idea that he is undesireable --
That's a stunning statement, the accuracy is pinpoint - for me anyway, as it is for your fella.

Why is it so hard to resign form the club ? Is life membersip compulsory ?

I don't think it is at all, but it's a club where the f****g doormen keep people in insted of out !
and it's getting claustrophobic, I've GOT to get out.


Quote:
It is exciting to talk to him & hear what he has to say! To watch the current active progress he is making. It seems like he has gone through periods of progress & then some backsliding & then progress in the past where the progress was so tiny that it hardly seemed like it was happening.
That sounds good though, and I'm so pleased for you both.
We do so like our bits of encouragement when we're winning.

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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#67913 - 10/29/03 07:25 AM Re: sexual questions
Leosha Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/18/03
Posts: 3614
Loc: Right here
I agree that there is much guilt feelings involved with sexual activity. I have never done anything like that, because of the bad feelings that go along with it. I have never done anything at all, actually. Embarrassing, but true.

leosha

_________________________
Avatar photo in memory of my younger brother Makar.

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."~~~Martin Luther King Jr., 1963

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#67914 - 10/30/03 09:14 PM Re: sexual questions
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
another update -- yep, the guilt and strangeness has come up again. The feelings are there, so he is simultaneously trying to talk & be more open with me (yea!!!!! \:D ) and talking about whether he could attract a new girlfriend :rolleyes: . We get into really weird conversations because I tell him that he IS attractive, desireable, fun, funny, smart, etc. and that there are lots of women who would enjoy his company & find him attractive. Then he wants me to tell him where these women are :rolleyes: . Well, I'm not THAT generous -- not ready to give out dating advice! ;\)

So, because I am attracted to him, I am not credible enough for him to believe that he is attractive....but I AM believable if I can show that OTHER women would like him. He'll ask if certain friends of mine (who are unavailable, not a serious interest) would be interested in him. So my best friends' interest would 'prove' he is attractive, but mine doesn't. Of course, I'm sure that if they were available and seriously interested they'd immediately lose credibility too...

He's got himself set up to lose any way you look at it. Frustrating, but I think he's really trying to challenge some of those old assumptions, so we'll see how it goes.

-BB.


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#67915 - 10/31/03 09:17 PM Re: sexual questions
outis Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2260
Loc: Maryland USA
Quote:
So, because I am attracted to him, I am not credible enough for him to believe that he is attractive
BB,

Maybe that's it exactly. You're attracted to him. That's one thing. But is he attractive? Or are you attracted to him because you were somehow able to get past his "unattractiveness?"

I've wondered along those same lines about the wonderful woman who married me and bore my kids, so I guess someone else could have some screwy ideas, too. Not that he could beat me in the "Screwy Idea" department, though. \:\)

Joe

_________________________
"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

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#67916 - 11/01/03 01:08 PM Re: sexual questions
stpbb Offline
Member

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Yes, that is just it -- yes, he IS attractive. How many strange women have to agree with me before that is 'true', I mean, WHO decides what is attractive? Is it something where people collect votes? Compare to some perfect ideal standard?

When you say 'get past' the unattractiveness to find someone attractive, well, it just goes against the way I operate. I don't know about everyone else. When I got to know my ex, we were hanging out with a group of people. I was attracted to him BECAUSE I was attracted to him. Not because I saw past how disgusting and unappealing he was & managed somehow to see his good parts! I mean, WHY would I do that???? Especially if there were 'better' choices available to me.

But you are really on to something because he has said the same things to me...

It is frustrating because I feel like the only way I can gain credibility is to find someone else & 'prove' that I can pick who I want to be with & that I'm not 'attracted' to him because I am so pathetic that I can't find anyone better.

Grrrrrrrr. And of course, if I do that, then he'll see that it proved he WASN'T attractive, because i'd be with someone else who WAS, right?

Not sure how or if I can get this point across to him, but at least he has some awareness of the issues & can see part of the inconsistencies.

Any ideas?

-BB.


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