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#67432 - 08/24/03 12:27 AM question for spouses on sex
JK Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 26
Loc: New York
My boyfriend Jack was sexually abused by a woman when he was 11-12 years old. It has just surfaced 3 months ago and at first our sex life remained the same then suddenly he is unable to have intimacy (sex) with me. Has anyone else had this problem, and how long did it last.

#67433 - 08/24/03 01:14 AM Re: question for spouses on sex
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I guess you've read some of the other posts here before you posted yours ?

It's a problem many of us face, and I speak as a male survivor.
Intimacy is something we can't relate to easily.

Sex, making love, is still associated to my childhood abuse, and I'm 50yo and married for 29 years.
It's a major problem for me and many other survivors.

The stark fact is that it's something we need help to get over. Good therapy and support.
I tried to do it on my own, but I just went around in circles with no success at all.

I'm not giving you a good picture am I ? but we do have problems.
Some guys become sex addicts, but that's not what it seems, and it's nothing to do with making love to someone we love.
Some guys become asexual, or impotent. Whatever problem we have, it's not easy to overcome.

But it is possible to overcome.
it's not easy and in my opinion it needs the help of a specialist therapist - someone who knows and understand SA and all its problems.

As the partner of a survivor you are going to have a tough time, I wouldn't BS you on that.
But love and support pay off, we need it and respond to it.
You can't heal for him, but you can do so much to help.

Try to encourage him to think about therapy, ask him to come here.
We can offer a lot, tell him he's NOT alone, give support, give advice and help him along his recovery.

But above all you have to think of yourself. It might sound selfish, but don't do all the work for him. He has to do the work.
And if you burn out he'll have no support.

it sounds like a crap deal, but underneath our abuse there's a great guy waiting to burst out.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#67434 - 08/24/03 02:45 AM Re: question for spouses on sex
LovingPartner Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/08/03
Posts: 26

I am married to a survivor. I noticed that he wasn't exactly comfortable with intimacy once the memories started to surface. I would definately do some reading together. I can cite some good books if you would like me to. It's good to know what you're up against. Could Jack be repulsed by his body or scared of physical intimacy? The problem of being unable to be intimate will last until the "root issue" is resolved. (Less than six months for us, more than six years for some.)

As Dave said, you can't fix his problem. HE has to fix his problem. All you can do is to be there for him. And yeah it's tiring and frustrating at times, but it's worth it if you two really love each other. Show him this site, tell him that he won't be judged here, but helped and cared for. These guys have been an immense help to many many men, and a few of us females as well. And if you're needing support (god knows we all do at one time or another) there is the family and friends section here. (I could also name another group if Jack decides to post here and is uncomfortable with you stil visiting here)

Always remember to take care of yourself. Dave is right, you won't do Jack any good if you're outta gas yourself. Once the two of you figure out why he can't be intimate (feeling "dirty" or disgusted at his own body, or uncomfortable with touch, or etc) then you can find out some remedy to try to lessen or eliminate the problem.

Best of luck to you, we're always here if you need us.


#67435 - 08/24/03 10:35 PM Re: question for spouses on sex
JK Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/13/03
Posts: 26
Loc: New York
Thank you for your response, It is hard for me, it was his sister who abused him. I want to be supportive because I can only imagine how hard this is for him. Any other advise for the partner of a survivor in this regard is welcomed.

#67436 - 08/25/03 02:25 PM Re: question for spouses on sex
butterfly Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1
Loc: Sydney
While I'm not a 'spouse' I've been in a long term relationship with a survivor of incestual abuse. I found the same thing, that there was a period of time when we couldn't be intimate at all, even holding hands was a problem. I guess you can't put a time period on how long it will be until things are better. We worked around the problem by giving him the control over when he wanted to stop or pause or slow down. I can't stress how important it is to listen and respect if he wants to stop. Try to remember that it isn't a reflection on you or your attractiveness. It is a long process to learn to be empowered by your sexuality, rather than enslaved by it. For my boyfriend, as memories surfaced, sex just led to flashbacks ect, but we stop and talk them over if they occur now and usually we can continue once he feels 'safe' again. Best of luck

Never give up

#67437 - 08/29/03 07:15 PM Re: question for spouses on sex
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA

We did have a recent discussion on sexual dysfunction in the Male Survivor's section. It's a difficult subject, and my own posts in that thread are littered with euphemisms, but I think we're all pretty clear in what we wrote about. In my case the flashbacks started after I began talking about the abuse, but the other dysfunctions that hindered our sex life were there while I was trying not to remember.



"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

#67438 - 09/02/03 05:25 PM Re: question for spouses on sex
PAS Offline

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
As a partner of a survivor its safe to say that from time to time my BF has difficulties with sex - sometimes he has anxiety attacks about it, other times he gets all weird about "his needs and my needs" - almost keeping score of things - and this applies to all parts of the relationship (he has a real strong need to make sure that he's not being taken advantage of). Other times he is "hyper sexual" and goes in phases of compulsive masturbation or wanting a lot of sex (however I think a lot of people, guys in particular go through those phases, SA or not!)..

Other times things are OK and we have no problems.

While he has not totally pulled away from me for an extended period of time, there have been a few times when he has pulled away for a week or two.

However, I am anticipating that he may well pull away and shut down sexually for a longer period of time over the next few months, as my BF will be prosecuting his perp and all the pain he has suffered will be very close to the surface. He will likely have to testify in person at a hearing, which will be very trying for him. He is also intending to attend group therapy for SA survivors - I am expecting a very challenging fall and winter... stay tuned y'all I expect I'll be posting a LOT about this.


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