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#57672 - 01/26/04 11:17 PM I am very confused and need help to understand the reasons why..
needhelptounderstand Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/26/04
Posts: 1
Loc: atlanta
I am searching for some assistance in trying to understand a conversation I had recently with a wonderful man I am currently dating. This guy is great looking, has a wonderful personality, has good friends, is athletic (competes in triathlons, Iron Man competitions,etc), is affectionate, caring and kind. He is 55 (looks at acts 40), and although not happy with his current job, he appears to be very healthy in all other aspects of his life (has 2 children-17 and 21), has been divorced for 3 years (after a 20 year marriage) and we have been dating for the past several months.

During dinner this past weekend, the conversation started with a discussion concerning clergyman in the Catholic church (Greg was raised Catholic), and after a few minutes he said, well I have shared everything else with you, I should share this as well. He then proceeded to tell me how he would travel from Brooklyn, NY (where he grew up) to 42nd street in Manhattan, as a teenager, finding men to give him oral sex, and he would get paid $25.00. He indicated, after I asked, he would only have oral sex performed on himself,he would in no way exchange the act with the other man. He then indicated, after joining the army, this same thing happened on several occasions, one time on a nude beach in Europe, with him (Greg) asking a passer-by if he was interested in performing oral sex, on Greg only. After asking a few questions, such as if he (Greg) was bisexual or gay, the answer was "no". He indicated he has not had any such interactions for the past 30 years, other than one time his ex-wife's brother, who is a Catholic priest, kissed him (Greg) after the brother-in-law was totally drunk.

My question to you is: Does this appear to be possibly behavior created by a sexual abuse issue as a child? Could it be Greg is bisexual, or gay, and just not admitting to it? He is very affectionate, very open (he indicated I am the only person he has disclosed this to), he has no issues revolving around intimacy, that I have seen. I really care about this guy, but this disclosure has me very confused. Any, any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated.

#57673 - 01/27/04 12:11 AM Re: I am very confused and need help to understand the reasons why..
crisispoint Offline

Registered: 09/24/03
Posts: 2154
Loc: Massachusetts
First, I have to preface this with I am no expert, therapist, counselor, or psycholgist/psychiatrist. I'm a survivor of extended sexual abuse when I was 11 and 12. I have observed something about my behavior and other survivors' behavior, and I think it COULD be a reference to abuse as a child/teenager.

My own sexual development has been so screwed up by my abuse (both now and in retrospect, I repressed the memories for years) that I have no idea if I'm gay, straight or bi. I am genuinely attracted to both sexes and have had varying degrees of physical and emotional intimacy with both. Now, if it's any result of abuse at all, I am usually attracted to either assertive, aggressive men who are my age or stricly older men and I usually am passive sexually. This may come with me being victimized, or it be my own choice, but I don't know because of what was done to me.

Your friend may be "acting out," that is, replaying elements of the abuse in order to gain back some element of control, or he could be genuinely bisexual. You say that there have been no other trust/honesty issues, so I have a feeling he may be totally honest with you in what he says, but he may also be repressing further abuse this man did to him.

My advice? Suggest counselling, as this has been bothering him for some time. I found mine through a local rape crisis center and she has been wonderful. It's usually better, I think, to seek therapists who have expertise in dealing with sexual trauma, as I have heard horror stories about bad therapists that would turn your hair white and make you want to murder the so-called "experts." Fortunately, these folks are in the minority.

This site also has helpful suggestions on finding therapists. You should make use of them.

Mostly, be there and if you think you can be supportive, listen to him. Help him deal with what he's carrying around. If you cannot be supportive (I know how harsh this sounds, but trust me, not everyone can deal with stuff like this. You will not help him if you cannot deal with the unpleasant stuff he will probably tell you), suggest that he finds a therapist or someone who can listen without being judgmental or condemnatory.

I'm glad he has found the strength to be open, and I'm glad you're seeking out advice to help him. You're one of the better people out there. Know also that you can always find wisdom here. There are survivors and family/partners of survivors here who can add (volumes!) to what I've suggested. They're all rooting for you.

Peace, and love, no strings attached.


There are reasons I'm taking medication. They're called "other people." - Me, displaying my anti-social tendancies

#57674 - 01/28/04 06:00 AM Re: I am very confused and need help to understand the reasons why..
gryffindor Offline

Registered: 02/08/03
Posts: 131
Loc: St. Charles, Illinois
Why not ask him if he was sexually abused as a child or adolescent. And ask him what motivated him to have those oral sex encounters. The kiss from his drunken brother-in-law doesn't sound like it was anything to be concerned about. Ask him why he told you about these incidents. Guilt? Shame? Since its been thirty years, why bring it up? Tell him that it confuses you, that you don't understand how he isn't bisexual yet had these encounters? Tell him that many male sexual abuse survivors typically act out in similar ways, so you are wondering if it's SA. You might also ask him why he got divorced.


"Where there's a will, there's a way." American Folk Saying

"Had I not fallen, I could not have arisen; had I not sat in darkness, I would not have recognized the light." Midrash Tehillim Ch. 22


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