Okay, this is a hard one to discuss and I suspect only other survivers of female sa will get this so I'm posting it here.
As people may know I had a really awful trigger, ---- actually a full on physical flashback, (I've always had the memories, but I've never felt them so strongly), last weekend. Unusually for me, I felt I needed to talk to someone in person and in real time. My options were fairly limited given out of the three people who I've told my entire story two in detail, one I could get, one is married with a child and nearly impossible to get hold of, which left me with the third. She's a lady who is rather a lot older than me in her late fifties, indeed I suspect I only ended up telling her because she has a masters in counselling and thus is used to that type of thing, also because manifestly she doesn't quite respond or think in the same ways as people my age do.

We discussed the trigger and got into some rather dark areas, and of course touched on my problem with relationships, that I sometimes feel a literally physical ache! for the sort of conection I've seen with people. I said again how jealous I feel of women, because men are always expected to make the first move. I also said how one of my major problems was perceiving that anyone was interested in having! that sort of closeness with me. Female friends are fine, I have many of them, but anything else? the idea that anyone wants to be more than friends?

Said lady then said that for at least a lot of men, there was no! perception of female interest at all, most men she stated simply pushed, showed their interest with a blatant gesture of physical affection and a woman would catagorically refuse this if she wasn't interested herself, indeed she recounted an occasion when a co worker she was barely familiar with simply grabbed her and put an arm round her for no reason and she quite literally (and in my view quite justifyably), told him to get his ****ing hands off.

Bare in mind this lady is neither a raging feminist nor a man hater, and up until her husband died, she had a ridiculously happy relationship with him, (indeed I've been trying myself to at least be sympathetic to her grief).

This idea though i find down right disturbing, that basically men need to push that much and risk causing someone that amount of discomfort. If I contemplate say even a miner gesture of physical affection such as hand holding or patting a girl on the back, I feel disgusting, feel like one of my own abusers, indeed one girl I've discussed at least the relationship thing with described me as the physically least intimidating and most completely asexual man she knew, despite me being not exactly small in build.

Most of my male friends never mentioned this sort of pushing gestures of affection on a woman and seeing how she responds, indeed most of them talk of "natural signals" which made the hole process of finding a relationship much more mutual, like a matter of communication, and yet this is the bit I've always been missing myself since I've never! been able to perceive that anyone has been interested in being closer to me.

Of course, my friend is not a young lady, and she admits herself that her experiences are not modern. It might be that that was how most men behaved thirty years ago, but that things (at least among enlightened men like my male friends), have changed and become a degree more equal, (indeed one of the other three people who I've told about my abuse is a girl who fulfills all the usual masculine sterriotypes even down to actively asking her now husband out). But I do find what my older friend quite disturbing.

The occasion that destroyed me, that convinced me I needed to go into recovery was the occasion I tried to hold a girl's hand. She didn't object, or scream or think I was disgusting, but when i told her the way I felt, I just got "I'm flattered" for all I'd tried to move that huge weight of self disgust.

So, how does this attraction thing work? Is it possible to do without! physically being so dam forward and down right unpleasant? I've always wanted a woman to just verbally ask me, to say she was interested in being closer and thus encourage! physical affection, but that dam well doesn't happen.

Terms like "flirting" or "dating" I find dam well alien. I've been "out" in the sense of gone to concerts, gone for drinks or just stopped off for coffee with more girls than I could count, but nothing has ever come of it, whether I wanted it to or not, (and on the vast majority of occasions I truly didn't).

Is there actually a way to show physical affection without feeling like one of my abusers? If a woman ever did! tell me "know" or "get your hands off" I'd frankly feel so guilty, so fowl and disgusting I'd want to burn my hands off.

Btw, I'm not even here talking about touching any part of a body intimately, just pat on the shoulder, hand holding, mild stroke of the arm etc.

Also note when I say "relationship" I don't mean anything actually just physical. If I simply wanted to go to bed with someone I could likely pay for an escort, though frankly my genophobia makes that idea rather disgusting.

What I have felt this deep desire for, this ache which is sometimes almost physical is what you could call communication. I can't exactly say what this is, but it's something I've seen between people who are together, something that goes beyond friendship. Part of it is physical, part emotional, part almost spiritual, heck, the physical end doesn't have to be particularly s/xual at all, simply hand holding, kissing or hugging would be enough.

I know this state exists, I've seen others who have it, or have achieved it, and as I said I have a deep seated desire for it that sometimes feels like an actual physical pain. But I have no idea how to actually come close to this, to show someone I was interested in being more than friends or to actually perceive that anyone has that interest in me, (again, why can't people just be honest). Since however ignoring this desire or trying to crush it simply doesn't work, I might as well ask the question.

I've assumed that my sense to perceive others interest is simply broken, that because I had my s/xuallity destroyed as a teenager I couldn't achieve this, ---- but if that is the case, why can't I rid myself of the desire? after all, I don't have normal vision but can live quite successfully without desiring to read unaidedd.

Luke.