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#160281 - 06/06/07 08:42 PM Advice needed regarding intimacy issues
kavekdoriah Offline
New Here

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 2
Loc: Arizona
I am writing this after an attempt at having sex with my wife. Let me begin at the beginning as this is my first post on this site.

I did not remember the abuse until I was near 19yrs old. When I did remember, it all slammed into my brain like a MAC truck. I had always, even before this incident struggled with being attracted to both males and females, but being raised as a missionary's kid I thought I was dirty and perverse for thinking along those lines.

I was molested and raped by a teenage boy who was close to the family between the age of 7-9. There was alot of threatening and degredation to keep me silent. There was also the involvement of a small dog of his. (By the way I have hated dogs ever since.)

Now I am 33, and on my 3'rd marriage. We have undergone a plethera of issues within our marriage, and one constant has been my inability to perform sexually. There are times when everything goes fine, but at other times it works ok at first but it is like a switch goes off and we have to quit because there is no use in trying anymore without more frustration on both our parts.

I beat myself up for my lack of performance, I don't want her to feel like she is not attractive, or that I am pursuing anyone or thing on the "side". We are both hurt by this, and though we have spoken of the abuse and she is understanding; it is still difficult when I just want to make her happy and fulfill her needs.

I don't know why I am writing this, but I am so frustrated by the effects of the theft of my early childhood. Now I am trying to pick up the peices. If there is a way in which any of you have overcome these types of issues please let me know. I am tired of feeling dirty, inept, and dispicable.

Everything Happens for a Reason

#160293 - 06/06/07 11:03 PM Re: Advice needed regarding intimacy issues [Re: kavekdoriah]
Scoutvictim Offline

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 434
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri

You don't mention if it is an erection problem or something else. For that reason, I will assume that's what your talking about.

From what you wrote, you love your wife. You don't want her to feel like she doesn't turn you on, so don't make it about your penis. Don't focus on intercourse, many men who have ED find other ways to please their mates.

I know this is not totally fulfilling to you, but you can work around it. Mutal masterbation, after paying a lot of attention to her, can relieve some of the stress.

Your mind is the most powerful sexual organ in your body. The two of you should work with a proffesional therapist, to deal with the mental block you have built.

I know you have probably heard this before, but I promise it will get better, as you continue to work through the healing.

Love ya,

Shawn and Ben will always be in my heart....

Happiness is like peeing your pants; Everyone can see it, but only YOU feel the warmth.

Peebles, Ohio WOR alumni, Oct. 2007

#160306 - 06/07/07 12:41 AM Re: Advice needed regarding intimacy issues [Re: Scoutvictim]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hello, Kav, and welcome to the MS site. I'm glad you're here and working on your recovery. Your life will only get better now.

On the sexual issue, this can be a common problem for some men, in that it can be called performance anxiety. It's like trying to will yourself to not think about pink elephants. The more you try to not think about it, the more you will think about it. If you are anxious about how you will be able to perform, then that can effectively pull the plug on things leading to the loss of an erection because you are so concerned about whether it will happen or not. It then can get into a cycle that repeats itself. I speak from experience in that I've had the same problem as you described in the past.

I've found several things that have helped me:

* Go a little longer between attempts at intercourse. If you normally have sexual intercourse twice a week, then stretch that out to 5 or 7 days between them. The extra few days seems to build up a little more sexual tension.

* Be different. If the bedroom time has become routine, try changing things up a little. If you're used to the dark, then use some candles instead. Use some massage oil and give each other loving massages that really concentrate on each other.

* Focus on your partner. The one thing I have found that has really helped me overcome so many issues in the sexual area with my wife is to learn to get really focused on her and doing whatever I can to please her. That can mean the long massages, or getting focused on her reaching orgasm, etc. This helps to get my mind off of what's going on with me.

* Talk to your wife about it. Don't be afraid to speak frankly with her about what your "feel good" zones are of your body. Sometimes a light touch in just the right spots is all it takes.

Hopes this helps, and again, welcome to MS.


#160314 - 06/07/07 01:41 AM Re: Advice needed regarding intimacy issues [Re: EGL]
Pete2004 Offline

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 958
Loc: North Carolina
Hello Kav:

I too welcome you here, it is a great place to ask questions, find answers and walk the path towards health. You will find as I have there are guys here that struggle with the same issues and somehow, that brings comfort to know that we are not alone. I have experienced what you have described in the past with my wife and it has gotten a lot better.


There is a destiny that makes us brothers;
No one goes his way alone;
What we send into the lives of others,
comes back into our own. (Edwin Markham)

#160316 - 06/07/07 02:01 AM Re: Advice needed regarding intimacy issues [Re: Pete2004]
kavekdoriah Offline
New Here

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 2
Loc: Arizona
Thank you for your responses. As to ED, everything works fine, but it is psychological and I do understand that. The frustrating thing for me is that it is easier for me to have sex with someone I don't know than it is for me to allow someone to get close. Once they get close I tend to pull away. This pulling away is subconscious, and it always has to do with sex. I begin to dread the bedroom because it means I have to become vulnerable to someone. I have discussed this with my spouse and she is EXTREMELY supportive, and willing to try many new things. I think for the most part I pull away because I am afraid of getting hurt. Logically I know she won't hurt me, but subconsciously I begin to put up walls to avoid it. At the same time my penis has a tendency to pick up on those sentaments and decides at the worst of moments not to perform as needed.

I try not to linger on performance, or the frustration of it. But I know the issues of my childhood have had a great impact on that aspect of my life. And as a man I am not afraid of physical pain, but the memories of my childhood have been wrapped around one central topic and that is sex, and how sex is degrading and painful; even by those who say they care.

Everything Happens for a Reason

#160371 - 06/07/07 12:40 PM Re: Advice needed regarding intimacy issues [Re: kavekdoriah]
Ken Singer, LCSW Offline

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 5781
Loc: Lyons, CO USA
You may have some conflict between sex and intimacy. The following is an excerpt from a book I am writing for survivors. This is from a chapter for the partners but may help explain some of what you are going through.


The boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse of the survivor may wonder why their partner is often rejecting closeness and intimacy. The simple answer is that his trust and ability to be open with others, especially where there is sexual involvement, has been damaged by the abuse. Survivors, even where there was no strong emotional relationship with the abuser, frequently have difficulty in trusting others. It would seem to make sense that if you are being kind and caring to your lover, that person should reciprocate and return the care and kindness. However, many partners of survivors get negative responses or rejection despite their efforts.

The issue of intimacy is very difficult for many survivors. Intimacy, as noted earlier, is the sharing and closeness that two people can have. It does not have to be sexual, however it can be. Again, I’m not talking about the word “intimacy” as a euphemism for “sex” (as if to say, “They were intimate” when I mean they are having sex.)

For many survivors, being intimate with another may feel like vulnerability. Being vulnerable can be threatening for the survivor who knows what it was like to be hurt by the perpetrator. Even though he knows that you are not his abuser, it may feel threatening for him to let his guard down.

Vulnerability may need to be redefined. Instead of weakness, it can be seen as a strategy for strength. The man who wants to be strong and put up resistance to anything that may threaten his sense of control may need to see vulnerability in a different light. There is an old story about the “weak” flower that bends to the ground in the face of a mighty windstorm. The “mighty” oak tree resists, holds its ground and winds up with broken limbs. Vulnerability, particularly in intimate relationships, is not weakness but strength for him and the relationship.

Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse

#160407 - 06/07/07 04:05 PM Re: Advice needed regarding intimacy issues [Re: Ken Singer, LCSW]
mogigo Offline

Registered: 04/25/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
I think maybe the withdrawl from intimacy might also be a reaction to caring more deeply about a partner. When we start to care more about our partner and with the survivor having bad or painful thought's about sex and intimacy it might be an attempt to protect their partner from the pain they feel with intimacy. Obviously it's misguided but maybe in our minds we just want to protect those we care about from experiencing what we do. Kind of, well we feel pain from it so they do too and I don't want someone I care about to feel that pain. It might explain why many survivor's prefer sex with strangers. No emotional attachment or any guilt from hurting someone you love.

Just some thought's

Stay strong


#161851 - 06/16/07 04:38 PM Re: Advice needed regarding intimacy issues [Re: mogigo]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

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

I'm hitting this late, but I just want to add a word of welcome. You have a lot of useful comments above and I hope you will feel able to continue to talk about things here. This is a great place for that, and you will find a lot of support and understanding here.

For what it's worth I can so sympathize with your problem and especially with Eddie's reference to refusing to think about "pink elephants". Wondering "Will I be able to do this?" is a sure-fire recipe for disaster, but of course that's exactly what we so often do. Another killer for me is this one: "Will i think about the abuser this time?"

Much love,

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)

#161893 - 06/16/07 07:42 PM Re: Advice needed regarding intimacy issues [Re: roadrunner]
Paul1959 Offline

Registered: 05/17/06
Posts: 525
Loc: NYC
ED drugs are great for that boost of confidence - even if you don't need them physically. They won't hurt you if you are in good health. You can get away with a low dose. It helps so much just to get it up and it stays up as long as you need it. It helps when other thoughts are crowding in, you're not as likely to lose it. Even if you do lose it for a bit, it comes right back with some attention. So, go, talk to your doctor. It is no big deal. Eventually, you won't need them anymore. Viagra, cialis, levitra, they all work. It puts your sex life back on track and lets you spend your emotional energy where you want.

#162215 - 06/18/07 10:17 PM Re: Advice needed regarding intimacy issues [Re: Paul1959]
A C Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/31/05
Posts: 13
Loc: Missouri
You might ought to bring this up to your M.D. Could be some thing else going on.


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