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#70207 - 05/27/06 01:27 AM Gay???
TrailofTears Offline

Registered: 05/24/06
Posts: 41
Loc: Central Kentucky
I was wondering, for those of you whose first sexual experience was abuse, how you know that you are gay as opposed to being conditioned by the abuse? How do you know that you not acting out sexually? I am predominately heterosexual, but find myself attracted to some men, but the focus is alway on the genitals, is abuse-specific and I am nearly always, humiliated and hurt by the things that I allow other men to do to me.
I was ready to come out of the closet as gay, just before I realized I had untreated abuse issues to deal with. On some level I wanted to be gay, so that I wouldn't have to face the reality of what had actually happened to me. And this is why I wonder how you know for sure if you are gay or not?
I will take the rest of my gender identity issues to another forum, but would appreciate any help I can get to understand myself better. Thanks!

#70208 - 05/27/06 11:10 AM Re: Gay???
ShyBear Offline

Registered: 02/08/05
Posts: 149
Loc: The American South
Sexual orientation is about the gender of those who I fall in love with, not (necessarily) about the gender of those who I have genital sex with.

Some men are capable of functioning genitally in configurations which are circumstantial adaptations at odds with their essential orientation i.e. men in prison, and straight survivors acting out.

Wanting to be gay if you're not will no more make you gay than me wanting to be straight would make it so (because I am indeed gay).

Sex is about an act, orientation is a fundamental characteristic.

With that said, I'm also aware that for true bisexuals, the water is a lot muddier, but I have no experience to share in regards to that.

#70209 - 05/29/06 06:29 PM Re: Gay???
george of kent Offline

Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 305
Loc: delaware
For me, the egg came before the chicken.
I was gay before the abuse, during the abuse and after. This question was simply never an issue in my case.
Except, of course, for the 23 year detour through a marriage, fathering three children, and a full length active duty military career.
In your case, TofT, it would seem that issues of self esteem, self body image, and/or self worth are also mixed up with your questions about sexual orientation. Unravelling all that could take some time (quite a bit) and might be easier if you somehow could obtain the help of a therapist. I know that's not always practical or feasible but check out your local resources, some of which might be low cost or no cost public facilities.
I think that I am starting to ramble here, so will sign off with best wishes.
Be gentle and patient with yourself.
Love, etc.,

"We are only two and yet our howling can encircle the world's end.
Frightened, you are my only friend.
And frightened we are, every one.
Someone must take a stand -- Coward, take my coward's hand"
Arthur Laurents

#70210 - 05/29/06 07:18 PM Re: Gay???
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon

I am in agreement with your definition of gay vs. straight. Good job. You've put my basic concept of the subject into a succinctly wrapped word-package. Thanks for that.


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson

#70211 - 05/30/06 01:20 AM Re: Gay???
ShyBear Offline

Registered: 02/08/05
Posts: 149
Loc: The American South
You're welcome, John !

My "succinctly wrapped word-package" (LOVE the phrase ...) is the summation of hard-won wisdom based on an enormous amount of personal struggle with the issue.

#70212 - 05/31/06 12:27 AM Re: Gay???
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

I like the way ShyBear draws a distinction between sexual acts and sexuality. I would put it this way, though it just repeats what SB has said. Imagine sex with someone and thinking "this is great sex", as opposed to doing the same thing with someone else and thinking the whole time, "I love you".

I had an interesting conversation with a gay survivor recently, and he put it really well. I'll just turn what he said into questions. When you think of waking up on a happy morning and looking at the person beside you in bed, do you want to see a man or a woman? When you think of building your life together with someone, is it a man or a woman? When you think of sharing all your joy and tears, man or woman? Things like that.

But yes, how can one even address such questions as a survivor? Certainly abuse wrecks a boy's sense of sexual boundaries and orientation, and that makes it very difficult for him, as an adult, to build on such weak foundations.

In a way it's like trying to build a house with a general plan in mind, but having no expertise or experience and being able to use only what random materials happened to come to hand that day. What would the result be? Imagine your feeling when you realize that the only way forward is to tear down the house and start over? But start with what? How can one "rebuild" such a house?

There are ways out of this mess, but certainly I would urge recourse to a professional therapist if that is at all possible. I don't know what is available in your area, and perhaps therapy would be very expensive. But what you're talking about is sorting out your life - a pretty major priority!

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#70213 - 05/31/06 06:57 PM Re: Gay???
scooter Offline

Registered: 05/23/05
Posts: 76
"On some level I wanted to be gay, so that I wouldn't have to face the reality of what had actually happened to me."

When memories come it's easier to frantically search for a fantasy. To make it not his body, but a male body that I admire. Then I can prove to myself how much control I am in, how it's something I want and could end it if I wanted to. And most importantly, then I don't have to feel the pain, shame, and guilt, and more and more, the anger.

I said in another post that I've labelled myself bi because I have to continue to live with the experience of being *&#%ed as a child. One of the ways I've done that is through fantasy. In reality I love women, I love my wife, and it's women that turn me on. Yet I have all this other mess to deal with. Maybe one day I'll be able to accept myself as heterosexual.

It is easier creating a mess of dealing with orientation than having to deal with the abuse. It's easier for the monkey mind to run abstracts of orientation through my head, and keep me running - than to stop and feel. I am always trying to avoid feeling, I hate stripping myself of the fantasies and letting the memories tear me apart, over and over again, until I am either stronger or driven completely insane. I hate to feel, but I need to to be alive.

My wife has a phrase that she offered for me to use and I offer it to you - I apologize for the profanity, but every time I'm messed up I just say, "this fckng sucks." Maybe some day I'll look back and say what a journey, but I'm not there yet and so I just have to continue with the awareness that it's not easy and it won't be. And remember that "life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved."

#70214 - 06/01/06 10:12 PM Re: Gay???
TrailofTears Offline

Registered: 05/24/06
Posts: 41
Loc: Central Kentucky
In practice I have been straight, Bi, gay and everything inbetween. I HATE labels!!! But I know that I prefer women and am just afraid of them because of things I was told during the years of abuse. And I can also be Bi if I choose, but almost all of those relationships are about reliving the abuse or strictly genital sex and are unhappy affairs. I also fall into some of the Gay stereotypes, I like Elton John, Cher, Celine Dion, etc. and on and on, and don't care who knows it or what they think about it. After all is said and done, I suppose I am still human and this may be the most important lesson I am learning throughout all of this "searching". Thank you all for your help!!!

#70215 - 06/01/06 11:19 PM Re: Gay???
Jas21 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/01/06
Posts: 14
Loc: Florida
there is so much i want to say about all of this, but i'm way too overwhelmed at the moment to even know how to start

#70216 - 06/05/06 07:27 PM Re: Gay???
Trevor Offline

Registered: 06/05/06
Posts: 778
Loc: Rhode Island
my first time was with another guy and it was abuse i guess, i didnt like it much. but then it kept happening and i got used to it and then started liking it, i think or i think maybe i just talked myself into liking it so it would be so bad when it happened? i havent figured that out yet. but then i was with a girl and it was just OK and i thought i liked being with guys better. but im still not sure. i dont know if its cuz of what happened from an early age or if i was just born this way or what.
i guess i like both.
sorry if this is way off from the original message, i start typing (or talking) sometimes and just cant stop.
thanks for reading


My lamb and martyr, this will be over soon. You look so precious.

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