Hello,

I'm new to the forum and to the issue of male sexual abuse.

I have been dating a 28 year old guy for a little over a year. We met through a job and were friends for a few months before we began dating, and I (along with many other coworkers) was not sure of his sexuality when I first met him. He is a big flirt, but he will flirt with women as well as with the openly gay men at our workplace. When we go out to a club, the flirting escalates, and he is more likely to "dirty dance" with men than women. He did not have a girlfriend when I met him and told me he hadn't had a relationship in more than 2 years and that he has never dated a women for more than 6 months.

We began dating when I asked him out. Actually, I have initiated every step of our relationship: asking him out, asking him to be my boyfriend, first kiss, and first sexual experience. He was extremely nervous when we first kissed, fooled around and when we finally had sex. I could tell he was not very experienced, which I was surprised abot given that he is a very good looking 28 year old guy. I asked him why he was nervous and he told me he is just very shy and hasn't had a lot of sexual experience.

Over the next few months, he became more comfortable with having sex with me, but he still rarely initiates it, is always the submissive one and still isn't completely comfortable. I was really beginning to question his sexuality, then one day he told me (when he was pretty drunk) that the reason he doesn't like sex is because his father molested him for several years when he was younger. He said that as a result, he has always felt that sex was dirty and has tried to avoid it at all costs. He said flirting is no problem but any time a relationship becomes physical, he freaks out. He has said the only times he has been able to have sex with women in the past are when he gets extremely intoxicated, and that any girlfriends he has had have ended their relationships with him within weeks because he tried to avoid having sex and clearly didn't enjoy it when they did have it.

I asked him what I could do to support him and he told me to just be understanding and to please not make him discuss the details of his abuse. He also told me that I am the only person he has ever told and also the first person he has actually enjoyed having sex with. He asked me to please keep initiating sex with him because he is actually beginning to enjoy it and no longer sees it as something dirty and shameful.

Things have been going well with us, but I still have questions about his sexuality. For example, everywhere he has ever worked, he has always immediately befriended the gay men who work there. At the job I met him at, his best friend was the most flamboyant gay man in our office. My boyfriend just moved to a new office, and once again he has become best friends with the most flamboyantly gay man in that office as well. He doesn't have any close straight male friends, only female friends and gay male friends. He also makes comments about how he doesn't believe anyone is truly gay or straight.

However, I believe he is genuinely attracted to me. He gets physically turned on by me very easily and realy seems to enjoy everything from cuddling to kissing to having sex with me. I have caught him checking out other women and I know from looking at the browser history on his computer that he looks at female pornography fairly frequently.

My gay friends who have met him believe that he is closeted but that he hasn't come to terms with his sexuality. However, I believe his abuse might have something to do with his apparent confusion over his sexual identity.

My question is, is confusion about sexuality common in male survivors of sexual abuse? And is the behavior I've described typical of someone who has been abused by another man?

Finally, any advice on how I can help him cope?

Thank you!