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#402680 - 07/06/12 12:47 AM Sexual dysfunction and survivors...
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Could be triggering but I doubt it.

If you wwere sexually abused and feel really anxious during sex and things don't work the way you want, what is that about?

Sex is dirty?
Sex is to be done with dirty people?
Sex is shameful?
You feel like a perp?
You feel inadequate?

Where does the "performance anxiety" stem from? WTF is this all about when you can get off with strangers and not yor wife?


#402715 - 07/06/12 07:19 AM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1739
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
Hi Lucy.

Well sorry but it is nothing on your list.

Survivors do what they can to NOT FEEL. We Drink, do drugs, do porn, do sex with strangers, do sex with ourselves. But you see there is a common thread in all of these.
WE DON'T HAVE TO FEEL. no emotions in these acts.
Problem is that in order to heal, we need to learn to feel and if we continue with these actions, that will never happen.

I know that this makes it incredibly hard on the partners, and you feel unloved and unwanted because he is out there trolling around. Truth is that the reason he doesn't want to be with you is because he would have to feel, and that is the one thing he doesn't want to do.

Strange thing is that the act of not wanting to be with you actually means that he DOES care for you. (Weird right)

Hope this helps a bit.

Heal well
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

#402737 - 07/06/12 12:32 PM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
SamV Offline

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5971
Loc: Sunnny, South East USA
I agree with Martin, Lucy. It is about the care and love we DO feel for our spouses that creates this inequity in our sexual performance. We were sexually abused, that is the clue here. When a victim of abuse acts out, he tries to satisfy the carnal experience of the sexual abuse, he searching to be abused again, not be loved, cuddled, nor talk, giggle, laugh, caress nor care. When we as victims and survivors think about sex, it is from the abuse perspective.

This must be very discouraging dear supporter, I feel your frustration. Please be courageous, keep trying to understand his experience. You are a good and caring person, who needs a complete relationship to support you. You are with someone who is providing you with some of these things. It may be that shortly, with encouragement and boundaries, he will come to be the complete man you wish for yourself and for him.

Please support you as you support our fellow survivor,
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

#402738 - 07/06/12 12:36 PM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3742

Well said. I have learned this on my journey. How true, we want to be abused, living what was done to us. But I now understand my acting out and the child. Today I want to be held and loved, never have I had these feelings. To the spouses, with healing the person can be reclaimed and live a life of love and hope. It takes time.

#402744 - 07/06/12 12:53 PM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
I wasn't clear. He is not "acting out" anymore thanks to SA meetings but our sex life is so clearly affected by what happened when he was a child (at least it is clear to me) and I am just trying to figure out what it is all about. He doens't know or so he says.

#402745 - 07/06/12 12:55 PM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
It is just that there is dysfunction sexually with us that didn't occur when he was acting out. I am very confused.

How does one learn to feel and be okay with that?

#402766 - 07/06/12 05:41 PM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
mmfan Offline

Registered: 09/25/11
Posts: 115
I think the answer is going to be some or all of what you listed Lucy. As I understand it, to some survivors sex + intimacy = harm, hurt, violation, confusion. Sex without intimacy is impersonal and "safer." It can also be more familiar in that it recapitulates abuse and thus is the only template they know. And yes sex can make some survivors feel like a perp, they see sex as something one person does "to" someone else rather than "with" someone, and they dont want to sully a "pure" loving relationship. Some survivors with mother issues may see their wife/gf as an angelic maternal figure and have trouble seeing her in a sexual way, or conversely they see her as a perp/threat. It could be a combo of many things.

As a woman its extremely difficult not to take it personally when our man doesn't appear to be aroused by us -and when you know he was able to perform with other women, I can imagine that would be extremely hurtful. However its precisely because he does love and respect you and feel close to you, that he has these issues with you and not the other women. I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with his actual desire for you or how beautiful and attractive he finds you, as he must have when he married you. It is about his fear of intimacy and learning that sex is not dirty or a weapon, it can be safe, fun and a lovely expression of care between people.

#402809 - 07/07/12 04:57 AM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
jls Offline

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
I'll just re-iterate what I PM'd you about. Itís the emotional dimension of sex that many survivors have difficulty with. We had to disconnect the emotional from the physical to survive the abuse so it really shouldnít be any surprise when one canít bring these aspects back together in an adult relationship. None of this is meant to say that what I described is acceptable in a relationship. It isnít. If you find it insulting that your husband canít perform with you but can do so with total strangers thatís because it is, insulting to you I mean. Iím not making excuses here. Just trying to find understanding is all.
Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And weíll change the world.

#402826 - 07/07/12 10:44 AM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
Dar Offline

Registered: 11/15/11
Posts: 170
Loc: Missouri
Lucy: It is just that there is dysfunction sexually with us that didn't occur when he was acting out. I am very confused.

Confused is the key word here!
I was trained that sex is sex, not love, but sex, and everybody does it.
Before anyone knew about my CSA it was much easyier to have sex because I was using a persons body to masterbate. I wasnt pleasing them, I was pleasing myself and didnt know any better.
Now that I know why I was acting out and why I was using anything and anyone to masterbate myself, I have found that making love or being intimate with my wife is confusing.
On one hand I dont have to use my penis to be intimate with my wife but on the other hand my mind is still telling me that I need to have intercourse to show her that I do love her.

I don't know about your spouse, but, in my case (or mind) after D-Day and therapy, I was awaken to the facts (some above mentioned) and I came to the realization that I was not only trying to hurt myself but in the interm had destroyed my wife.
Forgiving myself is one thing but seeing the hurt in her eyes for what I did still haunts me to this day.
So many things float through my mind once I am aroused that I no longer am aroused, Which I then start to worry that she will think she doesn't do it for me any longer. AND then, lets just say the little man runs and hides. Get my point?

Confused? Hell yes we are. We have to learn how to be, or should I say, in a normal, loving relationship that we wont get hurt, used or thrown away again.

For me it is just starting to get better, but is still very confusing to my wife who is still, like you, going through he healing process of my actions.
It will get better as time passes, I am just sure of it.

All I ever wanted was a hug.

#402850 - 07/07/12 10:56 PM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
Kazbob12 Offline

Registered: 03/19/12
Posts: 42
Hi all,

Can I put another little swing on this from my experience with an abused partner:-7
1) when we first began dating again he was all over me couldnt get enough of sex. This was down to a seen 'duty' to perform... thats what he had to do as this is what was expected of him. Much like the perp.. there was no emotion and he was literally 'going through the motion!' there were a couple of times he was unable to perform or actually lost it mid way... this I feel was down to him triggering when we were intimate. It is like a safety mechanism... cutting off emotionally as this is what had to be done when going through the abuse

2) cuddling is safer:- as the relationship has progressed and he has confided in me and disclosed some of the things he was made to do it became apparent to me that cuddling is safer. Sex is a form of violation, something 'he is expected to perform', something he was 'forced' to do therefore has no meaning to him. It is worthless. I'm also linking this with a child he trusted his perp..until he abused him...

now I dont know but there could be an element of feelings becoming more involved =trust=violation of trust because this is all he has known. He doesnt understand that sex can be intimate and safe and is something people so naturally when they have feelingd for each other.

I have learned a lot about my own perceptions on sex through this relationship which in all honest I am truly thankful for. I have unknowingly associated sex with being accepted - sexy - good looking - worthy of being found attractive - had to have in order to have a relationship and show you care and love.

So not true..

Would welcome any feedback from this....Its all a learning curve

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