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#289041 - 05/27/09 09:15 AM Erection during abuse
shoes_untied Offline

Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 8
I've read the articles that say, if you get an erection during abuse it doesn't mean that you wanted it. During my abuse I would become erect and it almost felt like self betrayal. But I still can't help but feel that I most have wanted it on some level.

I did find my self enjoying the "sex" from time to time. Sometimes I would look forward to it. I always told myself that it was because after was the only time I was treated like a real person and not a punching bag. But I'm starting to wonder if that is true.

I've been dating a women for 3 years now and I've still been unable to have sex with her. Most of the time it's because whenever we become physical I start to have flashbacks. Sometimes it's because I feel that I can't with her. Lately I'm wondering if that's because she is a girl.

Edited by shoes_untied (05/27/09 10:04 AM)

#289045 - 05/27/09 10:37 AM Re: Erection during abuse [Re: shoes_untied]
Trucker51 Offline

Registered: 05/21/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
This link is to a post that Ken Singer made maybe 6 weeks ago. It is a portion of his new book. Ken is a CSA therapist out of New Jersey and is a senior staff member on our site:

This entire topic should be of some help to you.


"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark

#289091 - 05/27/09 05:55 PM Re: Erection during abuse [Re: shoes_untied]
Casmir213 Offline

Registered: 05/14/09
Posts: 851
Loc: Northeast, USA
Shoes Untied,

I was sexually abused by my father when I was 7 or 8 and, yes it felt good and, yes I most likely had an erection (I didn't check because I was supposed to be asleep). For me that erection wasn't a choice though, it was a determined biological reaction. It couldn't have been any other way. In other words, it was forced upon me by my perpetrator and human biology. I had no choice in the matter. Neither did you. I wouldn't blame yourself or question you sexual orientation because of it.

The result of my abuse was that I felt that all sexual pleasure was wrong and shameful. As a teen and adult I came to associate all sexual pleasure with sexual fantasies that were always characterized by violations of trust in some way. (I'm not talking about child abuse here, but mostly fantasies about marrier women or relatives) My sexuality became shame based. Therefore, any sexual act that didn't involve a violation of some kind of trust in some way didn't turn me on.

Real sexual intimacy, I think, involves vulnerability and because of this you have to begin to trust in others when it comes to close physical contact. This is the trust that was violated when we were sexually abused. I think a big part of the recovery process involves regaining that ability to trust people with our bodies again. It is definitely something that I struggle with.

Take care,

I see recovery as a lifelong journey rather than a final destination, a journey, though, which can have many successes along the way.

WoR Alumnus - Hope Springs, OH, October 2009

My avatar is the farmhouse at the Hope Spring, OH WoR. It's a nice place.

#289102 - 05/27/09 07:41 PM Re: Erection during abuse [Re: shoes_untied]
Sans Logos Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5796
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
my friend, you are not your body. your body is wired to respond to certain stimulii in a certain way. are you your taste buds? are you the cake because sensations of sweetness arose on contact? in the same way, you are not your penis, but abuse has everything convoluted. it leaves us thinking it's the other way around.

the flashbacks are normal; they are today's way of saying 'NO!' because you couldn't say it back then. trouble is, we're saying 'no' to the wrong people.

i just saw an international [italian] film recommended by an[drea] entitled 'don't tell'. watch that and see how things shift from disgust and fear of the perps to disgust and fear of touch in general.

it seems so obvious that we transfer that anger from one to the other, because every touch begins to feel invasive, begins to feel like another rape, but this time as adults our defenses scream a silent "NO!!!!"

i would hazard a guess that it's not because she is a girl. it's because she uses touch, the strongest kinesthetic response, and touch has already betrayed us in the neural netting our brain, making our minds think we like[d] it. that it is our fault, that we invited it, and caused it, are the only conclusions which could naturally and rationally be drawn. but it just ain't so!

keep the faith bro,


#289105 - 05/27/09 07:50 PM Re: Erection during abuse [Re: Sans Logos]
wes-b Offline

Registered: 08/17/07
Posts: 438
Loc: Western, Canada

Shoes my Brother...

know that you are far from alone. I carried loads of shame for ages because my body responded when my cousin assaulted me. This site, 12-steps, and a couple of Ts, and several books and articles on abuse have informed me that, and our Brother Ron shared " you are not your body".

With my love and prayers for your healing.

Happy to be a recovering survivor. :-)

Continuing to meet more of my fellows as I "Trudge the Road of Happy Destiny".

My Story, 1st pass

#289117 - 05/27/09 08:27 PM Re: Erection during abuse [Re: wes-b]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

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

Remember back to all the times you got an erection at the worst possible moments: on the beach in your swimming trunks, during a physical exam, in the changing room after gym, in front of all the class when you were called to the board to work out a problem or read something. None of that was anything you wanted, right? It just goes to show that a boy's body can react sexually even when there is nothing happening that he wants to be sexual about.

It's well known now that a boy can get an erection even if he fears or doesn't want what is happening to him, and the same goes for orgasms. It's all a matter of biology. You got erections? Fine. All that proves is that your sexual plumbing was working according to spec.

It's not easy to give up the shame and guilt we feel about such memories, especially when abusers so often point to these reactions and tell the boy, "See? You want it." But in time you will come to accept the fact that none of this was your fault. In fact, nothing a boy says or does can shift off of the abuser any of the blame for violating the boy's boundaries and failing to protect him and keep him safe.

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)

#289946 - 06/02/09 03:23 PM Re: Erection during abuse [Re: roadrunner]
Tedure Offline

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 203
Loc: Utah
Thanks for your post!!

Your Brother,

Edited by Tedure (08/18/11 05:17 AM)
When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.

#290012 - 06/03/09 01:02 AM Re: Erection during abuse [Re: Tedure]
petercorbett Offline

Registered: 07/27/08
Posts: 2509
Hi my brothers.

Yes, shoes__untied. we sure did get erections, as for me, i liked it, i enjoyed it, it made me feel good, and i definately went back for more.
Yes, now we feel guilty, ashamed, worthless, etc. But it surely wasn't our fault, Yours or mine. I thought that my sexual agressor loved me, because nobody else ever did.

But listen to San Logos, he has been trying to drive it into me that it wasn't our fault. Erections are just a bodily reaction. There should be no guilt, no shame on our part.

heal well my brothers/friends.

Pete (Irishmoose)

Working Boys' Home 10-14 yrs old, grades 5-8. 1949-1953
A very humble alumni of the WOR Dahlonega, GA.
May 15-17 2009, Alta, Sep. 2009. Sequoia, 2010.
Hope Springs, 2010.

#293458 - 06/29/09 05:02 AM Re: Erection during abuse [Re: petercorbett]
inpainincanada Offline

Registered: 06/29/09
Posts: 3
Loc: edmonton
I am pretty sure I "enjoyed" my rape, The long term consequences of that have been that I cant enjoy sex at all because as soon as I get an erection, I start flashing back to my attack. I grew to hate my male equipment and viewed it as a sourse of pain rather than pleasure.


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