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#72851 - 10/19/04 12:40 AM How To Procede From Here?
sonlite Offline

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 100
Loc: North Carolina
What follows is a cut & paste of something I posted in "Sexual Identity Issues" and no one posted a reply. I know it is long, which is why I like to break things up by numbers. If anyone wants to read say #s 8-12 it would be enough to give you an idea of whats up.

Of course everyone will advise "go slow" but I am asking for specifics of what worked and what "didn't" work in the stories of people here.

btw - Yes, I have a Therapist.

Hello, please be patient w me on this one ...

1. I feel very confused and don't know where to go. As per so many male survivors I am having attraction questions which seem to consistently follow me. I lack faith in my self to just follow my heart, or my hard-on.

2. About eight out of ten women seem attractive to me. And only about one out of twenty guys, will I think that he's cute. I know about the continuum of hetero and homo-sexual identity and I can be at peace w accepting that I am way more on the hetero side, and accepting that I have some homosexual interests.

3. There have been times when I find myself looking at guys at the gym and when I analyze myself and my motivation for lookng at them it seems more about (a) I envy their penis size or (b) I am drawn to just raw sexuality, w/out any desire for relationship or companionship. This disturbs me bc I don't want to accept that I think of others just in sexual terms.

4. I signed up for a gay personals site and so many of the ads are just pictures of guys' penises and so many ads just talk about "hooking up for no strings fun". I have to honestly admit that at times no-strings-fun seems attractive. But another romantic part of me rejects sexuality (w women as well as men) as just a fun activity - as if sexuality were no more different a 'fun' activity than meeting a stranger for a cup of coffee.

5. I guess what I am trying to say is that I have a part of me which believes connection and deep interpersonal and spiritual bonding was the main reason for sexuality. With w my last girlfriend, I had sexual experiences w her which felt, dare I say it "holy"(?), in that I felt not just close w my loving her, but I felt close and bonded w God too. But my love for my ex-girlfriend existed outside of the bedroom, as well [sad-moment, bc I miss her].

6. * btw Girlfriend broke up w me at the end of July ('04) bc when there was any kind of criticism or disagreement I would feel ashamed or scared and shut down and avoid her. Also there were just different interests in spiritual beliefs bc mine are still forming.

7. So, moving on ... I am moving into my own apt. next month. And I will not have to contend w the likes/dis-likes of my current Bible-thumping roommate who if he knew I were having issues w sexuality would not have a kind response. Having my own apartment will mean that I have the freedom to experiment some w issues of relationships and sexuality in my own space.

8. This freedom is as scary as it is exciting. It is also very, very, confusing bc I have a part of me that deep, deep down says ...

9. "I want a tall, pretty wife, and a family. I want to be a dad and do the sippie-cups and safety seats and soccer practice stuff". "I want Love, I want Beautiful".

10. Another part of me gets so angry at myself bc the time I waste on this issue is time I could be working on other important parts of my life. But I have to accept that I am getting more comfortable w allowing myself the space to explore and perhaps even enjoy the experience of looking at naked men and wondering about getting naked w a cute man, even though I can't imagine me ever coming home to a man.

11. So if I do go about exploring? How should I do it? How have others dealt w the emotional up (Acceptance) and down (Self-Hate) issues of sexuality? I am an attractive guy so I will have no problem finding suitors. But it is wierd when my desires for a male only come in phases.

12. I feel scared and nervous and excited and abhorrent and disconnected from a unified sense of self and desire. How to procede from here?

thanks for listening.

Hang In There, John.
You're Doing Better Than You Think You Are.
"I Love You, John".

#72852 - 10/19/04 10:47 AM Re: How To Procede From Here?
Raphael Offline

Registered: 10/10/04
Posts: 67
Dear friend,

Your message struck a chord on me. I will not write much now because I am new here and am struggling with a lot of issues myself. What I mean is that I don't feel I am in a position to offer much help at this moment.

As you, I also find pleasure in looking at pictures of naked men, visiting gay porn websites, and fantasising about having sex with other men. You can read my recent post on "male survivor" called "loosing it".

As you, I also don't consider myself a homossexual. I know I could not live with a man, and that's not the idea of a family for me. I actually have a beautiful family, wife and three kids, whom I love very much. Sex with my wife feels "holy", like you described, and I feel blessed for the relationship we have.

I also know that I am capable of loving other man and I do have many friends who are very close to my heart - but that love could never find expression sexually. I may hug them, kiss them, really care for them, laugh and cry with them, but I could not have sex with them.

On the other hand, I have these fantasies of having sex with other men, purely for the sexual pleasure. I even tried it once (three or four years ago) and approached a guy who had tried to seduce me many times. He had oral sex with me and as soon as I ejaculated I was so disgusted by the whole scene that I ran away as quickly as I could.

Just a couple of years ago, when I was going through a big crisis and was completely addicted to pornography, I saught the help of a therapy and started to look at my personal story of being sexually abused at the age of six. I am still learning about the effects that this had on my life and I believe that my homossexual impulses come from there. I know that the only kind of pornography that interests me is directly related to the SA experience. It is almost as if I got caught up in that scene and am a prisioner of it.

You didn't mention if you were sexually abused so I don't know if my experience has anything to do with yours. But perhaps the roots of your unwanted desire for "pure sex" and for sex with other men are to be found in past abusive experiences.

I said I was not going to write much but this has become a long message. I was originally going to send it to you privately but because I have been getting so much help from the guys in this forum, I will make it public in case others have something to advise me as well.


#72853 - 10/19/04 05:12 PM Re: How To Procede From Here?
Kenn Offline

Registered: 07/10/04
Posts: 146
Loc: Toronto, Canada
You want specifics? I'll try to give you specifics.

Contrary to a popular stereotype I, as a gay man, am not on a mission to convince you - or anyone else - that you are, or should be, gay ;\) Believe me, were I not certain I was gay I would not choose the hassles!

As a matter of fact taking what you write at face value (my "gaydar" would work better in person) it seems to me that you are a straight guy with mostly straight fantasies. The "eight out of ten women" and the "one out of twenty guys" attraction meter is, I think, very important. For me, the numbers are reversed, and yet when I find myself attracted to a woman sexually I just acknowledge it ("She's beautiful", "Nice butt/boobs/smile/whatever") without questioning my main sexual orientation. In my opinion - so take it as only that - were I to act on the less dominant attraction it would be sex for the sake of sex which I would attribute to my history of being abused. (There has been enough sex for the sake of sex with men in my life - my main attraction - so I know how sex can become devalued. This was one of the ways I ran from dealing with my abuse.)

My gut tells me that when you notice other guys, or notice them noticing you for that matter, you are responding to them less as persons you are interested in building a relationship with than as someone who could satisfy your curiosity or lust. Being noticed, and the coy eye contact games, are - for me - reminiscent of the intrigue which was part of my abuse.

There are plenty of men who indulge in a roll-in-the-hay with another willing guy, then go home to their wife, thereby living a double life. I do not feel that I have been "wired" for that kind of relationship (keeping in mind that the tryst, in my case, would be with a woman).

As for the anger you feel, over all of this sorting out process being a waste of time, I'd be easy on yourself. Recovering from sexual abuse makes sexual relationships confusing. I totally relate to your shutting down in any conflict with your g/f. For me, such conflicts bring back the gut feelings of trauma - even though the actual events may be completely different.

Bottom line...and this may seem like I've totally contradicted myself...if you are gay the shame of your sexual abuse has probably stifled it, making the idea of a loving, committed relationship with a guy seem far less attractive than with a woman. Assuming you are straight, the idea of sex with a guy may seems intriguing precisely because you don't believe you would need to be emotionally attached.

My s.a. history makes emotional attachments, with the very person I am attracted to, difficult and confusing. MY task, in recovery, is to integrate my sexual attraction (to men) with my desire for an emotional, loving relationship.

I hope I haven't muddied the waters further.


"This above all; to thine own self be true."

William Shakespeare, Hamlet

#72854 - 10/20/04 12:14 AM Re: How To Procede From Here?
sonlite Offline

Registered: 12/11/01
Posts: 100
Loc: North Carolina
Thanks for responding folks.
Here's the latest (Yikes).

1. Well I did it. On Sunday I went to a XXX movie place and went in a booth w some guy and we gave each other BJs and it WAS fun. Which is to say that I was uninhibitted, and enjoyed his penis. Afterwards I solitarily watched a video on swingers and sort of learned about sex in that way as well.

2. I didn't leave feeling totally disgusted w myself. And I don't feel like I'm going to get fire & brimstoned and rocketed to hell. It was something I wanted to try and I tried it. And I was present and not in some trance during the experience.

3. I could feel a sense in my heart or soul, that all things being equal, I would have rather have been sexually fulfilled by my ex-girlfriend, bc the "Love bond" which I had w her, was noticably absent in this type of sexual expression. Still it is scary to admit, but the encounter was kinda exciting. So I guess I sort of de-mystified it all. And I faced my fear, out in the real world, instead of in my imagination or online and even still I am at peace about it.

4. I don't feel that my "experiment" was neither a success or a failure in convincing me in any lifestyle direction. I just know now that indeed I can enjoy the physical closeness and the sexual touching and stuff w a cute naked man.

5. Last night there was a bi-sexual group in town that meets twice a month at a coffeehouse. I thought about going but I just wasn't ready to go so "out there" beyond the annonymous stage and actually meet people. Too scary at this point.

6. But I suppose that eventually I will need to see if I can even have emotional connections to men. I have almost no male friends. Women have always talked to me and I feel safer w them knowing about me than me, than men.

7. I am aware that my experiment was not the healthiest or safest way to explore and I don't have an urge to keep going back for that type of thing. I have thought about going to the coffeehouse meeting next time or trying a sexually diverse-accepting church, or something else to meet people.

Life goes on.

#72855 - 10/21/04 06:14 PM Re: How To Procede From Here?
Brayton Offline

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 696
Loc: Minneapolis
First of all, I hear your distress and sympathize with it but have to say, at the same time, that you sound like you have a pretty good handle on things but just canít see that objectively yet.

1. As you say, attraction issues are common with us. I go with following your heart. It lasts longer and is more satisfying, ultimately. While the heart can remain firm for a lifetime, the other doesnít last as long.

2. You have an enlightened view. I think you are doing what most guys do but donít talk so frankly about it. Iím glad you do.

3. I think most guys compare size. Itís a natural behavior. I think most guys are drawn to sex, period. Itís a committed relationship with another person that makes the difference. You can still look then, fantasize, but not cheat (though its amazing what love can overcome). I objectify guys but I know that has to do with the abuse I experienced. Itís a way of keeping them at a safe distance. It screws up having a complete relationship (I lean towards the gay end of the scale).

4. That disturbs me, too. Iím not surprised by it but itís the dehumanizing aspect of it that bothers me which is ironic given how I objectify men myself.

5. ďDeep interpersonal and spiritual bondingĒ is wonderfulóvery well put. I like Ďholy,í too, but I think it is a different sort of spirituality and holiness that we experience with the Creator. Donít let that discount the depth and validity of what you have with your girlfriend.

6. What they donít usually tell you is that relationships are hard work. Working on communication and learning negotiation and compromise in the midst of deep emotional involvement is something that continues for as long as the relationship lasts, maybe a lifetime.

7. Oh, oh, ďBible-thumpingĒ roommates are difficult. You donít have to share anything about yourself with anyone that you do not feel safe with. Emotional and, even sometimes physical, safety is naturally a big issue with most survivors. Donít minimize it. Take care of yourself. Freedom is good but having it suddenly can take some getting used to. You donít have to regard it as a license to let go entirely. Remember to respect yourself and others with whom you are intimate.

8. As above.

9. "I want Love, I want Beautiful" is wonderful. Good things for which to aim. Why not devote yourself to achieving them?

10. They are important parts of your life, too. You are at a point where you are mentally experimenting with these ideas. And, it sounds like you know yourself and feel comfortable with yourself, so experimenting is probably going to be safe. Remember to practice safe sex.

11. If you have no problem attracting men, its going to be easy to get into experimental situations. Just remember that the guy you are experimenting with may be looking for something more lasting. Respect his emotional needs. There are plenty of guys looking for something fun and not long lasting. If you both understand that, why not? I said it above but it bears repeating: be safe! Acceptance vs. Self-Loathing. Thatís not unfamiliar. Gay men, given bigotry, are sort of set-up for self-loathing. I think many survivors are, too, when it comes to having a sexually intimate relationship with another person. Acceptance is something a lot of guys have to work hard on for a long time. If youíre vacillating back and forth, youíre kind of ahead of the game.

12. Confused feelings. Well, I think, it will be best if you work on thinking through or feeling through those issues before getting seriously involved with anyone. Make more friends of like mind. Build a network of supportive and loving people.

Sometimes, things just won't work the way we want them to.

#72856 - 11/11/04 05:12 AM Re: How To Procede From Here?
whendoIcry? Offline

Registered: 07/02/04
Posts: 34
Loc: Metro Boston
I have been absent lately but your initial post just got my attention along with your update. I am a 52 yo bi married man. I put myself on the Kinsey scale at a 5 which is one step below totally gay...he has a zero to 6 scale...from zero being completely straight to 6 being completely gay. I am attracted to my wife and very few other women...I am attracted to many men and have had a lot of experience. I love man to man sex, not just the fucking but the kissing, making out, massaging, touching...all of it feels so intense. I am in the throes of a moral dilemma about where I go from here.

If I was starting to experiment not just with sex but with gay lifestyle I would immerse myself in gay culture: bars, outings, shows, films, books, etc...and look at the whole picture...get to know some gay men, including old farts who are in long term partnered relationships...not just 'the bois' in the bar...we come in all flavors!

Gay couples are as likely to have marital struggles as straight coupls. Gay men can have families, too..adoption, family can happen!

Just go easy on yourself. In the end, it really does not matter what 'they' say or is how you feel inside...and remember...

Our Creator made all of us, made us in his image...and we are all good. So, love yourself as you are an expression of all that is good and creative. I happen to think that us 'queer' folks...are giften with sensitivity and courage.


I survive, one day at a time...knowing that I now can accept the things that cannot be changed, change the things I can and find the wisdom to know the difference.


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