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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: 3713

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

#402864 - 07/08/12 06:09 AM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
CruxFidelis Offline

Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I would never think of doing stuff with strangers. My wife's the only woman I'd even remotely be interested. Not to say there weren't temptations in the past but... nothing could make her more attractive than being the woman God chose for me.

You talk of "things not working out the way you want." Sometimes this can be a medical problem that can be treated in a variety of ways.

For me, fear of rejection is a big factor. I am not the same since after the assault and I worry that having been forced to do sexual acts on another man, she might view me differently in the bedroom. As much as she *says* it doesn't matter and that I'm still the same man she married, I am NOT the same and it IS different.

I don't see sex as shameful. It's a beautiful gift from God, designed for the purposes of building marital intimacy and conceiving children. But I'm ashamed of what I did to survive being attacked by a sociopath. the way he talked about certain parts of my body below the waist, he said all kinds of horrible emasculating things. "It might as well not even be there." The words seem to have more power than any loving or kind thing my wife has ever said to me.

He put my body through so much torture and it continues to resurface with flashbacks, body memories etc. I think my capacity to associate my body with pleasure is completely gone.

I will NEVER have sex again. Not with my wife, not with anyone.

I guess men who have casual encounters can do that but can't "perform" with their wives because of intimacy issues. Intimacy is amazing and wonderful. i really miss the years my wife and I spent together before the rape. I can understand why intimacy might be so scary it would make a man run in the opposite direction.

Really good, intimate sex is all about completely giving yourself to your spouse. You open up your whole self to them. After the rape, I don't feel like I have anything to give anymore. I guess in a casual encounter, it is more about using someone/being used which is more familiar to an abuse survivor than marital intimacy.
ďIf a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.Ē

- Saint John of the Cross

#402867 - 07/08/12 12:17 PM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Thank you for all your responses. They are very helpful, to say the least.

Crux, I am so sorry when I hear your story. Since you have a reference of good healthy intimacy with your wife, don't you think you can get that back? You know what it feels like....

Also, you say you will never have sex with your wife again? Maybe no sex, but how about making love?

#403161 - 07/10/12 05:44 PM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
herowannabe Offline

Registered: 11/01/11
Posts: 386
Loc: USA
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.

And this is the paradox, because we supporters, the ones you acted out against, are actually the ones you were safe with all along! We still are! We didn't throw you out! In spite of the betrayal. We stick by you still.

So, I don't understand what's to "learn". It seems like our steadfastness is obvious and would heal that sexual dysfunction, but it oftentimes makes it even worse.

While acting out, there wasn't sexual dysfunction. Had there been, wouldn't it have made a survivor give it up the way he's given up sex with his supporter?

It makes my head hurt trying to understand it. And it angers me to think that my survivor put forth more effort to have sex with himself, his affair partner and prostitutes than he puts forth to have sex with me.

My survivor and I had a busy sex life for a long while. It dwindled over the years, then D-day arrived and I discovered that the only one not having sex was ME! Now that the acting out is over, I'm still not having sex, which makes me wonder if my survivor is still scting out somehow, or if it's a sign that I'm undesirable, or .... I dunno...!!!

'Round and 'round we go.... I just want to be convinced I'm desirable. Or at the very least, that I'm worth the same effort as were whores.


For I know the plans I have made for you. Plans to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

#403178 - 07/10/12 08:43 PM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
Haps Offline

Registered: 07/06/12
Posts: 89
Loc: Ohio
Hero - I appreciate your statement. I, too, often question my desirability in my partners eyes. He swears he has been faithful, but doesn't understand my suspicion/insecurities, etc. I wish he did. My mind has it so much easier if he did. :-/ Going AWOL not helping seems like a no brainer, and I appreciate these boards to help put some pieces together.

#403196 - 07/10/12 11:52 PM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
I am so with you, Hero, as always.

I know you. You are beautiful inside and out. I know your heart and I have seen your pics. You are gorgeous. It isn't about you. that is easy for me to say to you, sometimes hard to tell myself that.

I really think acting out is with people they consider on their level or below them. We are their equals or maybe they consider us "cleaner" and not so fucked up as they are which is why we are harder to be with.

I am only guessing here but knowing you, seeing you and other friends on here and in my meetings who are beautiful, compassionate and good women and may I add sexy, it can't possibly be us. A hooker can never compare to us, lookswise or otherwise so what could it be?

#403197 - 07/10/12 11:53 PM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
The sexy was to get a giggle out of you!

#403238 - 07/11/12 08:45 AM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
LouLou Offline

Registered: 04/20/12
Posts: 37
You guys have been good at lifting me up when i've felt low, so now i'm going to add something here.
When my husband has sexualised women, believe me, he is not choosy. There is no certain 'look' that he goes for, no certain body type. It can be ANYONE. I'm no bitch but honestly, i often think, "Why her????" The one thing these women tend to have in common, is that they are often dressed very inappropriately or they are behaving inappropriately. I'm sure that most men would double take at a woman dressed like a hooker and just think nothing or "what a tart", but my husband clearly has issues in that he would, in the past, need to find the nearest bathroom in order to masturbate.
Of course, over the years, i would question my desirability. But i reached a stage about a year or so ago where i thought i mustn't do this anymore. I have a lovely face, a great figure and an amazing heart. This dysfunction that my husband has MAKES NO SENSE. The only thing i know is that he was never looking at their faces!
Lucy, you are damn right. No hooker, no porn actress, NO ONE will ever compare to us. I absolutely stand firm on that.
It has absolutely nothing to do with looks, i'm slowly beginning to see that. Please, do not allow this crap to make you question your own self worth. I know far too many women who have been battered down emotionally by others, for whatever reason, and who have become incredibly insecure. It nearly happened to me.
Stay strong in yourselves. This dysfunction has no reflection on you.
Louise xx

#403475 - 07/13/12 09:19 AM Re: Sexual dysfunction and survivors... [Re: lucylives]
peroperic2009 Offline

Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 3843
Loc: South-East Europe
Hy guys I've just bump to an old thread about survivor who loves his wife and has problems in preforming at same time; maybe it could be helpful for reading:
My story

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