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#70104 - 04/17/06 12:29 AM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
shadowkid Offline
WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shadowkid" was exposed as a hoaxer. His entire online persona and stories of sexual abuse were fiction. We encourage you not to become emotionally concerned by anything you see in any of his posts. Thank you
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/18/05
Posts: 2437
since i am not gay this is just my opinion ,but for me the abuse made it impossible for me to ever knowingly have sex with another male ,.the thought of it is a huge trigger for me.please dont misunderstand me i'm not anti gay ,not at all ,i dont think the abuse could make you gay unless it was enjoyable ,which i'm sure it was not,. adam

_________________________
its not hard to fall
when you float like a cannonball - damien rice

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#70105 - 04/17/06 01:33 AM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
johnsurvived Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/20/05
Posts: 332
Loc: Arlington, Virginia
Blake, here's another great question that gets complicated depending on who you're speaking of. I suspect I was born with an innate tendency toward a homosexual orientation, and I don't think the abuse played a major role in determining which way I went. There are gay men, straight men, and in-between men. There is also the fact that identifying as one or the other doesn't preclude behaving in ways that are outside the definition we identify with. There are straight men abused as boys by men, or by women; gay men abused as boys by men, or by women; bisexual men who were abused by men, or by women -- and I don't think any man in any of these categories came out of his childhood abuse experience without some very fundamental questions about his orientation and what the abuse did or did not mean with regard to it.

How to tell? Again, I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all answer here. I can imagine having sex with a woman -- indeed I have done so on a handful of occasions -- but I cannot imagine being in love with a woman, nor would I want to wake up day after day knowing I was building and sharing a life with a woman. This, more than anything, is what confirms me in my orientation and helps me understand that no, for me at least, it was not the abuse that "made me gay." I find it an interesting question, and hope men who are gay, straight, bi, or just plain not sure what they are, will come and check in on this topic.

John

_________________________
Take for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards; for our vines have tender grapes. Song of Solomon 2:15

But let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. Amos 5:24

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#70106 - 04/17/06 01:34 AM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
Rustam Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 471
Loc: UK
I don’t believe so Blake, if it did why wouldn’t it make all boys who are abused gay, also most gay people weren’t abused so the reasons people are gay cant be about abuse. It does impact our sexualities whatever they are. It makes knowing our true identity hard, it makes sexual intimacy and our ability to love; gay or straight more difficult.

I wouldn’t care if the abuse had made me gay I am very happy with my partner and wouldn’t change my sexuality even if that were a possibility.

Peter.


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#70107 - 04/17/06 01:59 AM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
Russ2 Offline
Member

Registered: 10/28/03
Posts: 77
Abuse does not make us gay.

However, one's sexual orientation may play a role in some abusive situations (i.e. easy prey).


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#70108 - 04/17/06 05:45 AM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
relaxingpiano Offline
Member

Registered: 02/06/06
Posts: 53
Loc: Miami FL
I once asked this question in an interview of a well known author. His reply, being abused by a male doesn't make us any more homosexual than being abused by a female makes us heterosexual. That might be simple and somewhat blunt, but I've found it to be so true. And that was before I came to terms with my sexuality. It is a good way to look at it I believe. Sure there are the identity issues and getting to know one's self, but I like this simplified version.

Don

_________________________
Relaxing Piano Music from the Heart

http://www.donshetterly.com

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#70109 - 04/17/06 01:18 PM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I am convinced that being abused does not make one gay. The two may both involve homosexual acts, but apart from that they are very different.

Being gay isn't just about sex. Some boys think they might be gay because they get involved in sexual explorations with other boys and find these very pleasurable. But later on they find themselves attracted sexually to women and realize they are really heterosexual. Homosexuality is part of a boy or man's being and personality, it's intrinsic to who he is and what he wants and needs in life. If he is forced by the prejudices of society to deny that reality, his chances of being really happy in life aren't very good, I would think.

Abuse, on the other hand, is a felony committed by a criminal against someone else who is less powerful or is in a position of particular vulnerability. It isn't about sex; it's about trickery, lies, cruelty, manipulation, and misuse of authority. A survivor's recovery depends on rejecting that any of this is part of him.

To show how false the idea is that abuse can turn you gay, since both often involve homosexual sex, we might similarly ask if apples might grow on an orange tree, since both are fruits. ;\)

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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#70110 - 04/20/06 07:05 AM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
Rabbit Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/05
Posts: 91
Loc: San Francisco
I believe that for me the abuse is at the root of me 'being gay.'

First, I need to explain what being gay is for me. I'm bisexual who is gay-identified. Some aspects of my abuse exprience have morphed into fetishes in my sexuality. Abuse of power relationships was eroticized for me.

Since I'm sexually adept with men or women, I was capable of choosing to gay-identify. I made this choice after a very intimate and loving relationship with a woman that ended abruptly when I realized I was being rough with her and fantasizing about being so sexually rough with my abusers as to share the pain they gave. By identifying gay, I spared innocent women my agression and at times gained retribution by expressing the raw, dominant side of things with partners who were male like my abusers.

My absolute terror that I might one day perpetuate my abusive experiences on a child was another factor in my choice of sexual expression. Back in the day, 'being gay' didn't include the possibility of child rearing.

So, while I don't attribute my sexuality to the abuse. I attribute the expression of my sexuality to my abuse, and that expression led to the choice to live a gay life.

Tossing this out there...just the way it seems to be for me.
Quote:


_________________________
Your love should never be offered to the mouth of a stranger

Only to someone who has the valor and daring to cut pieces of their soul off with a knife then weave them into a blanket to protect you

There are different wells within us, some fill with each good rain

Others are far, far too deep for that

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#70111 - 04/20/06 03:18 PM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
This is an interesting topic, controversial and yet not well researched. Therefore, I speak for myself (not as a therapist) and through my own experience. First I'd like to present some background.

TRIGGER! TRIGGER! TRIGGER! TRIGGER! TRIGGER!!

I was sexually abused by both female(5 years older) and a male (3 years older) about the same time, I was age 5. When I told my mom what she did to me, nothing happened to us but she stopped molesting me. When I told about the boy abuser, they beat the heck out of me with a 'cat-o-nine tails' and called me "bad, evil" names. The boy did not stop abusing me for the next 8 years. I told my dad when I was 7 and he beat me again with even more names. I was exposed to sex pretty regularly. I was raped by a boy about 6 years older in a alley on my way to school but I never told anyone for years! I then became sexual with everybody who would "play doctor" - both girls and boys. I was always caught with the girls and had the sXXt beat out of me!! I was NEVER caught with the boys. When I was 12, I was caught having sex with a family friend (female) and was made to feel intensely guilty. My parents made me promise "to never do THAT again". THAT, I understood was to have sex with girls! Sure, I had the other 50% of the population left. I became exclusively homosexual from 13 through 20 - I left home at 19. I always enjoyed male company and began to experience female companionship (but my past vow was still strongly present)! I met a girl (woman) when I was 22 who was very attractive and we became "involved". At 23 we married but I recognized I still felt both attractions. There was no place to go during that "ancient, societal naivete" in the dark ages of therapy so I struggled with it on my own. After 2 serious homosexual 'infidelities', I realized there needs to be a decision. Both ways was not ever going to work for me. After much wrestling with myself, I chose to stay in fidelity to my wife - now 36 years married. Still two sides of me lives within, one I choose to act upon.

I feel that my abuse, skewed parental punishment for sex with girls and not for boys, signals that my male perp was unstoppable with me, I had no protectors, absolute exposure and acceptabilty for homosexual activities during a sexually developmental period of adolescense and more - all combined to support my homosexuality. For me - and in this instance me only - I feel that my abuse strongly exposed me to M2M sex and made it acceptable for me (by vow to my parents) during my teen years.

There is no one answer, I feel, to did it or did it not "make me" gay. Our sexuality and orientation is one of the great mysteries in Mental Health and human behavior. Personally, I accept gay/bi/straight, etc. because no one can say it's wrong! No one clearly understands how things happen! Are the pro-gay contingent right - for some I say they are perfectly right. Are the "Exodus" transformers right - for some I say yes. Each person needs to find what's right for them. As John said, "one size doesn't fit all". Instead of trying to find "THE ASNSWER" to fit into, find the one that's a comfortable fit for YOU! What makes sense in life for you! What permits you to LIVE your life and feel good about yourself! Labels are good on cans because they are either one thing or another. People are too complex to put a label on and think 'that's that'. Does CSA MAKE PEOPLE GAY? Yes, No, Maybe - the answers are as plentiful as there are people in the world!

Howard

_________________________
If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

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#70112 - 04/20/06 07:57 PM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
Steven Heath Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/06/06
Posts: 81
Loc: New York City
blake.....what a thought provoking question.....i was abused by my uncle from when i was 5 years old until i was 16......i was also abused by a mentally disturbed woman when i was 10......this is just my opinion...and i can only speak for myself....but......my belief is that ultimately neither of these things had anything to with my sexual orientation......my concept of sexual boundaries were certainly screwed up....and i was a mental basket-case for decades...but i always knew that i was gay..actually allow me to correct that.....i think gay is a label..and i don't know if i'm too keen on labels.....so allow me to say that i always knew that i was attracted to guys....sexually and emotionally.......i had relationships with women as well as guys as an older teen....but sex with women was always a very conscious act.....it never just "flowed" for a lack of better terms...and when i had my first feelings of "love".....pure and innocent love.....it was for a guy.....i never felt that way toward any woman i dated......i think my abuse had nothing to do with my "gayness" in my case......i think my sexual orientation was always just part me for what ever reason...but not from the abuse......i hope this makes some kind of sense to you.......thanks......steve


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#70113 - 04/22/06 04:31 PM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
george of kent Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 305
Loc: delaware
Just to add another "two cents" worth -- in my case, I know now that I was gay (more or less from birth imho)long before I was abused.
The fact that I WAS gay obviously attracted my particular abuser, but he didn't cause, change or "warp" anything in me in regard to my own sexual orientation.
Being in denial for a long time, I married and fathered three children -- but the innate "gayness" of my nature was always just under the surface. Pretending to be straight (for almost 30 years) didn't even begin to make it so.
This survivor always was, is now, and always will be homosexual.
And there's nothing wrong with that!
Love, etc.,

_________________________
"We are only two and yet our howling can encircle the world's end.
Frightened, you are my only friend.
And frightened we are, every one.
Someone must take a stand -- Coward, take my coward's hand"
Arthur Laurents

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#70114 - 04/22/06 04:54 PM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Looking back over the posts, and especially at Howard's thoughtful account of how things look to him, perhaps the question isn't so much how you came to be gay. Being a straight guy, shouldn't I in the same way wonder if the aversion and loathing I have for my abuser "made me straight"? As I said above in this thread, I think this is to miss the huge difference between being gay and being abused, but I would still suggest that to ask the question ONLY with reference to being gay suggests that there is something wrong - or there could be something wrong - with being gay.

Isn't the real question one of what your way forward is in light of the fact that you ARE gay. How does that affect your view of relationships, friendship, connections with other people, your needs and aspirations in the world and so forth? In other words, Blake is gay; this is part of who he is. What parts of your life does that affect and in what ways, and what other parts don't have to be affected at all?

Maybe not being gay myself is muddling this up for me, but isn't the question one of how important your sexual orientation is, for YOU, rather than where the orientation came from?

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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#70115 - 04/22/06 05:02 PM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I missed this when I read through the thread the first time and I thought I would comment:

Quote:
I dont think the abuse could make you gay unless it was enjoyable ,which i'm sure it was not.
The problem here is that sometimes the boy does feel pleasure at what is happening. We are, after all, sexual beings.

The man who abused me was a brutal sadist, but still, I know that when I was being abused I DID feel sexual pleasure and did have orgasms. That was one thing that made me feel so bad about myself. I could not keep myself from having erections and orgasms, and of course the abuser used that "evidence" to tell me "See, you do like it" and "You are in on this too". I felt so ashamed and confused. I couldn't figure out how I could feel so afraid and used and yet feel pleasure from what was being done to me.

I was too young, I guess, to go so far as to wonder whether this would make me gay, but that was 45 years ago. I bet a lot of younger guys worried about this.

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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#70116 - 04/23/06 09:30 AM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
sophiesdad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/30/05
Posts: 462
Loc: Florida
I'm not so sure that the question is all that simple. Psychologists have debated for years on the "cause" of sexual orientation and I don't think that anyone can really take a complex creature like a human being and make an answer that fits everyone.

I think that the sexual abuse only serves to muddy the whole issue even further. Let's face it - for most of us, the SA occurred at a time when we were very vulnerable and probably at stages of developing our sense of self which includes our sexual identities. I'm not so sure that the abuse would be the "cause" as much as it probably only served to make for more confusion and angst. Just my humble opinion \:\)

_________________________
There are no unresolved issues - they just didn't resolve themselves the way we would have liked. "Grinder and Bandler - Neuro-Linguistic Programming"

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#70117 - 04/23/06 11:52 AM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
watstobe Offline
Member

Registered: 02/18/06
Posts: 40
Loc: Jackson, NJ
I agree with Larry 100%. I know throughout the years I forever felt guilty for having had sexual feelings during the time I was molestated. This would remain a serious problem for me that lasted years after. I felt this was clearly proof that I was gay, and that my abuser was absolutely correct when he drummed into me that I would grow up to be gay. It made such a dramatic impact that I buried myself in work. This avoided any chance of me discovering who I was. I now realize this was not true, and as Larry stated, "boys feel pleasure at what is happening. We are, after all, sexual beings."

Currently I am slowly recovering from 16 years of health issues. Should I recover completely I will no longer put life on hold but live life as I should have in the past...to the fullest!

Best Wishes to all!

_________________________
Eddie

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#70118 - 04/23/06 03:42 PM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
Grunty1967b Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/28/05
Posts: 823
Loc: Australia
No wonder this question came up, and ones like it often do.

Sexual abuse of children screws us up in every way possible including of course sex, our views on it, our orientation or preferences and our ability to enjoy it as a part of life.

It's one crappy deal. Good luck to us all!


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#70119 - 04/23/06 07:40 PM Re: abuse is or is not the cause???
johnsurvived Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/20/05
Posts: 332
Loc: Arlington, Virginia
Larry,

You've hit a great big nail right smack on the head. Yes, the fact that our bodies and minds responded to the stimulation with pleasurable physical, mental, and emotional responses is a big part of the bag of survivor issues I'm carrying around. I was taking sex as a need-filler at an early age -- before I was capable of distinguishing the 'good' things I was feeling from the 'bad'. On the good side was that I was getting attention that was making me feel good and better about myself while it was happening; on the bad side was that I couldn't tell anybody about it because it just couldn't be talked about. Two elements in tension that add up to a lot of shame, disgust and self-loathing.

John

_________________________
Take for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards; for our vines have tender grapes. Song of Solomon 2:15

But let justice roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. Amos 5:24

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