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#67988 - 12/16/06 07:47 PM sexuality?
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
I was just wondering about how many other partners of survivors here have an active sex life? How many you have husbands/boyfriends who flirt/initiate sex/choose to be sexual with you?


I am coming to realise I don't understand my bf at all in this area. There are times when it seems like he's being kind of sexual, but it's very hard to tell.....I feel like I don't come into the equation anywhere and that I'm just being toyed with. I have now, after years of confusion, stopped responding to this ambiguity.....I have no idea what he wants at all and I'm starting to get the feeling he doesn't really know either. He's chosen to stay with me, but he's so afraid of any real intimacy, after everything that's happened and all that I now know, I'm just finding it so hard to trust him.....

Yesterday I was completely paranoid again, searching the computer, convinced he's still lying about something. Didn't really find anything much i didn't already know about and he swears he's not up to anything......


I just find myself wondering what this relationship is.......I know it all comes down to personal preferences, and what makes sense to one person, wouldn't make sense to another. I have to be honest with myself and the truth is, I am so deeply unhappy. I don't feel desired at all. I'm starting to worry that perhaps bf might be one of those survivors who would rather live a sexless existence. I know some survivors feel this way. I'm worried it's either that, or I'm the wrong person for him. I don't know how other partners cope with an existence like this, but I know there is a very real limit as to how much longer I can function this way. It's not the lack of intercourse, just the general lack of sexuality........I can't keep being the only one to make anything happen in this area(and even that's totally limited to kinky conversation). There is never any 'real' exchange of passion between us. I just don't feel loved in this way.


If the whole thing is more based on his total preoccupation with his own inadequacies, well I have spent a lifetime compensating for that and I just don't see that after everything that's happened for me, why that should continue to dominate everything. Sexually I am not a very assertive person. I am not intimidating physically, and he's told me he's never found me a threat. That would be the truth. I am probably the least sexually intimidating woman I know. I am passive/submissive, with a rebellious side to me. I know myself and am happy with the way I am. I believe bf also knows me well and indeed was probably with me in the first place because of these qualities........I just wonder if that was more to do with the fact I was no threat, rather than he actually is attracted to me sexually?


I am at the point where I'm starting to think it would be far healthier for me to not be with bf, till a time when he can decide he would actually like to choose intimacy/sexuality(which I know may never come). I can't be happy in such a childlike existence. I so desperately crave an adult relationship. It doesn't have to a perfect one, just containing enough of the necessary ingredients. I have been stopping myself from making such a massive decision as this while I'm in such an emotional state about it. But even still, I have no idea what we'd do anyway....we have no money, god only knows what we'd do about who'd live where and how.....I can hardly think about it, but I know I have to deal with this possible reality. There's just something not right enough here and I'm going to trust my instincts for once......


Maybe we're just too different as people, as well as all the SA.....


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#67989 - 12/16/06 08:57 PM Re: sexuality?
honey girl Offline
Member

Registered: 10/09/06
Posts: 245
Loc: Midwest US
Hi, Beccy--
This is definitely a difficult question. I hope that you can figure out how you stand with it.
As for me/us: we're not very sexually active at all, unfortunately. We are quite physical and affectionate in some ways: we cuddle at night very happily, and some of that touch is pretty free (though not sexual); we kiss and hug regularly (but not often "seductively" if you know what I mean); we give each other neck and shoulder and back rubs; we hold hands a lot. But we have gone several months without intercourse of any sort, and no, I don't like it at all.
We keep talking about it, and I guess eventually that will help. It is far from a neutral subject for both of us, though. We're not even comfortable enough yet to be more open about it with our therapist (after about 6 months of discussions with him)! But so far, we've been dealing with all of the other, underlying issues.
And some of those are really complex. We each have csa in our history, but we also have some instances of abuse as adults--it's probably accurate to say that his marriages were abusive, and probably mine as well. You see, we're also talking about multiple marriages for each of us--it's a very unwieldy history.
For me, now, sex and sexual activity has so much more to do with expressing intimacy and communicating love. I do wish we had that dimension available in our relationship, for sure, but then again, I have been in relationships when the sexual activity was high, and physical gratification relatively plentiful--but intimacy? genuine connection? no, not really. Endorphin high, maybe; post-coital afterglow, sure. But when it wore off, there wasn't much else to sustain things. Sex can be a route of connection, and maybe I'm just rationalizing my willingness to go along patiently (more or less), but given that current unavailability I think my bf and I are doing pretty well to stay as connected as we are.
I am hoping that when we can be more comfortable with being sexual again it will be possible for us to be really present for it in ways that we really aren't used to. That in itself raises the ante. We each, my bf and I, conceived children in relationships that were deeply compromised--and we are never going to have that kind of connection between the two of us. (I am terribly grieved to write that, but it does seem to be the truth, grief and longing notwithstanding.) But we both also do know that touch between the two of us is fundamentally different, more genuine and loving, than the touch we've had with other people. So genital sex per se is only part of the story.
Well, I don't know if this has helped you much. Everyone's unique! But I am also interested in what other people will have to say. Thanks for the thread.
Peace to you--
HG

_________________________
I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger, a million miles away from home.

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#67990 - 12/17/06 07:07 PM Re: sexuality?
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
Thankyou for your post Honeygirl,


It sounds like you share a lot of very healthy love with your partner, which would suggest that eventually you will indeed both be comfortable enough to be sexual together...at least that's my theory. And that too is why i've stayed with my bf. We too share these kinds of love and I do think they are the very best reasons two people can be happy together and stay together into old age. There are also practical things about our relationship which seem to work well. On a lot of levels we do function well together.


I think the crux of it is between me and bf, that I grew up in a far more passionately expressive family than him. Both physically and emotionally. So, I crave these things and find it hard to feel complete without them. These are the very things(obviously not always sexual) which trigger bf, as he over sexualises everything. I think with the(relatively very small, as far as I have remembered) SA related incident in my past and some of the issues i have with my mother, I have found it hard to understand these behaviours of bf's as being nothing to do with me......so I haven't been myself with him either.


Basically, I suppose we can only be true to ourselves and that's what I'm trying to be. I know I cannot live a sexless life. If bf was telling me he didn't want to actually be sexual at the moment, then I would totally respect that, but that's NOT the truth of it, as became apparent last night when we talked again. It became VERY clear that he does want to be sexual. He WANTS me to respond to him. But, his advances are SO careful, because he protects himself from rejection!!!! I explained to him that I want to respond back to him, but I'm backed into a corner at the moment, with the way everything's been/is and all I've been through......if i am properly sexual, he has a number of negative responses. So, if I can't even be sure he means to be sexual, I am far too nervous to respond. I said I do understand he has confidence issues, but imagine MY confidence issues now!!!! If you don't take the risk and express what you really mean, how can you possibly expect to get back what you want from another? He seemed hugely relieved about all of this.....I still feel that once again I've made a huge drama out of something which could/should? have been a far calmer and reasonable conversation. BUT.....I am reminding myself that basically the fact of it seems to be that bf doesn't respect anyhting I say in a reasonable way. That is, NOTHING EVER CHANGES unless I am extremely FIRM about things. Then, each time I do that, life improves!

Yesterday evening for example, when we sat down to 'talk'...... after the intense and highly emotional conversation we'd had the night before, that morning, when I asked him if he had meant to be sexual the night before, he said yes, i said I couldn't tell and how come he didn't persue it further, he said once again about being scared of intimacy. I just said, 'what's the point then?' and jumped out of bed and we had an awful day......then last night, he said he'd 'forgotten' what we'd talked about that morning!!!! All he wanted to talk about was his 'stuff'. Which amounts to him worrying I'm 'cross' with him. Nothing to do with the actual issue at hand. We sat in silence for probably about 3/4 of an hour till in dawned on him that there was more to discuss here than HIM. I have spent many years falling prey to his 'poor me' emotional blackmail, sympathy game. And last night, i really noticed just how much that totally mocks me and the way he doesn't take me seriously. I want to have REAL conversations. I refuse to be side-tracked any longer. It's interesting, cause I have to fight guilt every step of the way with these things, but I feel proud of myself for once. I have some self respect. I will no longer feel sorry for the man, it's never done him any favours at all. And you know what? As soon as I took that approach, he entered into the real converstaion that we needed to have.....


See, he's not 'afraid' of intimacy, as in it frightens him. He is just scared of rejection. I will not be the only person in this relationship taking these kinds of risks, and I am indeed trying. But in order for two people to feel confident with eachother, they both need to be doing this. I think he is the most self absorbed person i have ever met and I've never realised it before......some time back i was reading about narcissism and I remembered this yesterday. he really has to know just how much he's hurting someone before he will change his behaviours, but it's not enough to see me cry, or merely talk, I have to be VERY FIRM!!!!! It's so far out of my character!


So, it's clear that yet again, I've been being too 'careful' because I am sensitive and didn't want to put any pressure on the sexual side of things..... but bf has a lot to learn about actually respecting the people he loves and I never realised this before. He reallt hasn't considered my feelings much at all. The only place my feelings ever come into things, are as far as the way they make HIM feel! We're probably quite well suited really. I do love who he is, I just long for a time when he can 'own' himself properly and be kind within that.....that will be a relief!

Anyway, I've rambled on ridiculously once again, but would still be interested to hear other's responses to my initial question(if you can remember that far back!)


peace
Beccy


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#67991 - 12/18/06 04:20 AM Re: sexuality?
compassion Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/07/06
Posts: 33
Loc: Illinois, US
Beccy...hey...

I hear ya'!! I am far from a passive gal, but have had many of the same issues in my relationship. A couples counselor once had us do an exercise where we talked about ME for 20 minutes. I arrogantly thought the only outcome would be that he couldn't do it...funny thing was; I couldn't talk about myself for that long. I was out of practice...wanted to (not co-dependency...didn't NEED for it to be about him), but couldn't trust he was really interested. My partner and I just went to see the new movie In Pursuit of HappYness with Will Smith and it brought up all kinds of anger and feelings. He rubbed my shoulders, cried and expressed feelings of regret for our financial demise, lost time, not able to do more, etc. He felt energized that he could do it...like Will!! I felt hopeful he might get that he has to work at this...there is rarely free handouts. I came out of the theater and said, "I think you wanted to be rescued then (when he was abused)....you wanted a white horse to sweep in and rescue you, but nobody did. I still hear you wanting to be rescued in our relationship". It triggered huge tears and I sat in the car with him empathizing (I was compassionate...it was a new and big trigger for him), but also dealing with this anger in me that we "once" again are talking about him. I will tell you flat out: my partner has learned to manipulate his environment for self-protection. I find this to be the most exhausting and lonely feeling. Naturally I empathize with the sexual abuse in his past, but I am so triggered by the "defeatest" language. I can't. Nobody helped me. It makes sense...I get it, but it leaves this pool of partners out there to feel that if he doesn't do it...who will? Oh, that's right...me! Taking a deep breath....ok...I just wanted to empathize with the tug and pull. We have been apart and together and when he wasn't there; I missed the man he is. I have walked the plank on that one...dated others...there were intimacy issues with the whole crew at some level!! I also feel like I am living with a child sometimes and that is often more frustrating than lack of intimacy. On intimacy: I taught Human Sexuality and have a fairly high sexual drive. My partner & I have connection and disconnection. I hear your frustration at your BF's inability to put a voice to feelings...AUUGHH!!! We are a community of humans that are disconnecting...intimacy is a lesson for all of us. I support you as you weigh what we all are weighing...do I stay or go??? I recognize that it is not enough to say care for yourself and all will be well. It is hard to find the man (or woman) in all the murky water. I see enough of my partner to stay and be patient with the process...when I couldn't; I left. How much...how long...nobody can answer, BUT...I trust you are bright, beautiful and have a great inner wisdom like we all do...listen. What if you made a collage for yourself of things you love and things you would love to do this year that are about YOUR gifts. I may make one, too!! Sorry if I am rambling...the movie is fresh in my heart.

Be well...

_________________________
The ocean that flows in you; flows in me...all colors of humanity.

My "avatar" is a lotus...a beautiful flower that thrives in muddy water.

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#67992 - 12/18/06 04:26 AM Re: sexuality?
compassion Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/07/06
Posts: 33
Loc: Illinois, US
I rambled so long...I forgot to answer. My partner very infrequently verbalizes the need for sex. I initiate or he drops clues that are WAY under my radar. (EX: mild rubbing up in bed). I find intiating tiresome and I feel rejected that he won't intitiate. He is very good at compliments...you look pretty, sexy, etc. Not sure if this helps...let me know if you need more...

_________________________
The ocean that flows in you; flows in me...all colors of humanity.

My "avatar" is a lotus...a beautiful flower that thrives in muddy water.

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#67993 - 12/18/06 11:17 AM Re: sexuality?
soapy bubbles Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 332
Loc: london


_________________________
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.” --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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#67994 - 12/18/06 11:23 AM Re: sexuality?
soapy bubbles Offline
Member

Registered: 09/05/06
Posts: 332
Loc: london


_________________________
"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.” --- Eleanor Roosevelt

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#67995 - 12/18/06 04:29 PM Re: sexuality?
beccy Offline
Member

Registered: 05/28/06
Posts: 449
Loc: england
Thanks Compassion,


it is so interesting to hear other partner's experiences and how we all personally cope/what our limits and needs are....yes my bf manipulates his enviroment too in order to protect himself and due to my own lack of security, this has mentally/emotionally confused me over the years.....NOT ANY MORE. I am noticing that the more I stay in my own space and the tougher i am about my own concerns/needs/boundaries, the more free we both are to exist within OUR OWN reality of what's happening HERE and NOW. It seems to dramatically change his behaviour and I feel I'm no longer feeding into the unhealthy 'loops' of interraction which we used to fall into. The basic fact of it is, we ARE both adults now, in an adult relationship and as such are both entirely responsible for ourselves. I feel very sad for the grief, pain and suffering, confusion and hard work my bf has to go through, but I cannot become enmeshed in his issues. I can only stand for the truth of what I know I need/can/cannot do/live with/live without and he has to do the same.

I love what you wrote there,


"We are a community of humans that are disconnecting...intimacy is a lesson for all of us."


That is so moving. I utterly, utterly believe in the truth of it. I will feel eternally grateful and thankful for the family home I grew up in and the love, passion and intimacy I was lucky to learn, be given and have faith and trust in. I am lucky to have grwon up the way I did for all those reasons and I have come to realise more fully the person I am and the needs I have within that. I can no longer deny myself the happiness I crave. There are too many negative side effects for everyone.....This means a new level of honesty for me and bf and I'm taking that risk....


SB, thankyou for your reply too,


I definately think my bf used to feel sex was dirty, horrible and all about using people. It seems he has been freed from this more recently, which i am so happy for him.....having said that, it never stopped him using me in the past, but I know that's only because of the dynamic between us and what I also colluded with.....


I would love to 'make love' sometimes....we've touched on it a number of times. I believe sex is whatever you want it to be, what mood you're in at any one time. Loads of different things....sometimes I feel like just being dirty, f*****g, being kinky, other times I'd like slow, lazy sex, sometimes I'd like passionate, expressive, loving sex and on and on.....I think it's all about finding peace with however you choose to 'play' together. Respecting eachother and communication.....


Indeed I don't want to lose the greatest love of life over sexuality, and that's the reason I've always stayed with bf, but i also don't want to feel depressed, longing, ill, desperate anymore. I want to celebrate ALL of who I am, and within that, I need to know what bf wants. If that is a life without sexuality, passion etc, or a partner who is sexually different than me, I would rather know these things now, then I can make my choices based on the total truth. Harsh though that might seem, it's reality and I'm facing it head on!


take care,
peace
Beccy


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