Dr. Joe,

I feel like I don't fit in anywhere! I am a Male survivor of rape, abuse and molestation. It started at age 6 to 14. I don't feel like I can relate sexually to a woman and I don't feel attraction towards other men. I actually feel like sex is a foreign country to me. I've learned to shut out and shut down. My question is: Is it possible to love and be loved even if I feel so damaged? Without going into too much detail, I just feel dead sexually/emotionally/physically, when in reality, it is supposed to be totally human and enjoyable!


Dear Hopeless,

I rarely--if ever--think that anyone who has been sexually abused is hopeless. I absolutely know that everyone has the resilience and the possibility of finding a healthy sex life for themselves after sexual abuse and trauma.

My questions are whether or not you are in therapy? That is required along with all the excellent readings that are available on male sexual abuse. EMDR is an excellent tool being used for sexual abuse survivors and I have professionally seen it benefit many of my clients.

You are going to have to learn to open up and let in some sexual experiences. It might be healthy erotica like videos or stories, perhaps buying sexual toys which stimulate you and learn how to masturbate in healthy ways. Sometimes I advise my clients (again they are in ongoing therapy) to start to enter chat rooms on the internet and talk to people about sex to discover what they like and donít like. This can be a way to start being vulnerable without it being too threatening by doing it in reality.

Again I would not go forward without help--and therapy is a must. The damage done by sexual abuse can be healed and healthy sexuality will surface. I am more than hopeful!

There is a place for you. You just need to keep looking!

Warmly,Dr. Joe

Edited by Ask the Sex Doc (04/26/11 03:14 AM)
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