Well Fb, what has always confused me in this area is I have absolutely zero problems developing friendships with girls, indeed some extremely close. Take last week as an example, I went to a dance group to improve my dancing and spent nearly an hour after we'd finished conversing casually with my dance partner. nothing wildly profound about feelings or anything similar, just general interesting conversation, she told me for example that she went to Zambia in Africa to do performances and so was used to teaching others, and I of course found this facinating, likewise she asked about my own experiences performing. All of this came absolutely naturally to me, just good conversation, not really different to what I'd do with a man, and indeed in the context of this particular girl that was all I either wanted or intended it to be. Even on an emotional level people tend to tell me things, simply because I've learnt enough social skills to know how to listen interactively.

The problem is, for all I've been able to do this for years, it's never! got me closer to the sort of experience I want. On those rare occasions when i actually become interested in someone, and desire! for something closer I have no idea how to go from one state to the other, likewise, in none of these conversations for all I learn a lot of people's history and feelings and emotional conflicts do I ever! get that someone desires a closer friendship with me, I used to believe I'd know it when I saw it, but as I've got older and it's continued not to happen, I've concluded that whatever the faculty is, it's simply one in me that is just broken.

On four occasions in the past I've tried to make my interest clear in a reasonable way, usually because what I was feeling was so extreme I had to get the words out. But on all these three occasions, when I told the girl in question, always a friend, always someone I'd known for a long period of time (this is never instant), "I love you" I have been told "I'm flattered"

The first time I was told this when I was eighteen, it was accompanied by a kiss on the cheak, and when I said to said girl "that's the first time anyone's ever done that" she replied "not the last time" however she's been if not quite wrong, wrong in the way she meant it.

On each of the three other occasions i've said that it's felt more of a rejection, more painful, more like "oh yeah your nice, ---- but not much else!" for all I know that's not how it's meant. It just feels like I put everything emotionally into something so difficult and then get nothing back, ---- hence why I have often wanted to be female (I'd love to hear those words from someone else).

On the last occasion I said so in 2007, to****, I was feeling so desperate I did somehing I've never done before, I actually took her hand, which made me feel disgusting! and when she gave me that "I'm flattered" the rejection was so extreme I nearly lost all sense of reality, heck that's not a night I like to think about since it was in a lot of ways as violent as anything that happened during my abuse, though it did force me to admit that I wasn't fine and that my abuse needed dealing with, so I suppose it was good in retrospect.

The thing is however, most people don't seem to work like this. I've asked friends of both genders, and they say the interest is a lot less emotionally invested, but mutually communicated. Rather than it being my painful falling in love, it's a two way thing, an exploration. but I just don't seem to be able to either hear half of the conversation or communicate myself.

My older friend then suggested this communication came in the one thing that makes me feel most disgusting, forcing physical affection on someone, pawing at someone and making them simply sit there and take it, ---- the idea of it makes me sick!

of course if it was just about physical needs I could sort it another way, but the thought of anything purely physical without an emotional component disgusts me, even when both parties are consenting adults.

I'm just sick of feeling like I am lost with this, but don't know any way of fixing it.

What is equally irritating is that I know! if I could! get the emotional elements that accompany the physical, it would help me with my genophobia, tactile defensiveness and everything else. I'm not saying relationships fix everything, (I know that not to be true), but it just seems to me that at the moment the only association of s/x I have is pain and humiliation. The concept, either bltant or overt, even the word itself, something in me reactions and there is nothing good in it, ---- which is why this desire of mine to have a connection with someone that is more! than friendship is so utterly bizarre. I would contemplate medical castration castration if I didn't think it'd adversely affect my voice.

In general I just hate being in this position, and still more hate being male, since it seems if a woman is shy or unable to act, ---- well no trouble since guess who lays themselves on the line for little miss princess to accept or reject.

And yes, that probably did come out rather more bitterly than I meant it to, but I'm just sick of feeling this desire and being stuck not knowing how to do anything about it!

And yet people (especially girls), have the gaul to tell me things like "oh you'd make a great husaband/boyfriend" or "I'm amazed your not with someone your too nice" (I was told both of these things at music school last month for the thousandth or not time).

Part of me thinks people say this in the same spirit fat, millionaire chief executives justify paying their chinese workers under ten pence an hour as they work eighteen hours a day "because it is good for the economy" though equally I know this judgement is unfair and most people do mean such complements as a kindness.

Why can't someone just ask me! why does the fact that I've never been kissed as an adult still bother me!

I've been through hating myself for feeling this, and trying to crush it or ignore it, but I just don't know how to deal with it since people make it so dam difficult! I've read books, I've talked to friends, at my mum's insistance I even tried eharmony for a year (a laugh since nobody actually spoke to me). I'm just sick of feeling this and feeling so dam helpless with it! of all the consequences of my abuse it's the one that gives me most frustration since I just don't know! what I should do!

Luke.