This is from my book (in progress so please don't reprint it):

“What if I think about penises a lot? Does that mean I’m gay?” Not necessarily. The man described above associated sexual pleasure with his mother’s (and later his partners’) legs, shoes and feet. If a boy experiences powerful sexual feeling while sucking his abuser’s penis, or having his own penis licked, or touching or being touched on the penis, he may make a similar connection. In addition, as teenagers discovering masturbation, we reinforce the pleasurable feelings with the sight and feel of our own penises. So, with a “normal” (that is, non-abusive) sexual history, we will have a neutral to good association with penises. Our penis can make us feel good, powerful, and alleviate boredom.

But when the sexual feelings are forced, unwanted, confusing, even painful, the association with the penis can be contaminated. Some men hate their penis because it “betrayed” them by getting erect in an abusive situation. Because the male abuser, particularly when there are negative feelings towards him, has a penis, some survivors may associate the penis with the hurt, betrayal, pain, humiliation, shame, and guilt from the abuse. Think of the confusion one might feel from having these negative emotions about the abuse or abuser, and trying to feel good about one’s sexuality and penis.

One important consideration is to look at why you desire to act out sexually with other men. If the acts are reenactments of your abuse, it may be because the trauma is still unresolved and the sex is a way of returning to the trauma, perhaps hoping on an unconscious level, that this time you are not the helpless one. It may also be that you have been taught or conditioned that doing this behavior will bring closeness, acceptance or some other emotional need that you may not have in your life at the moment.


Blissfully retired after 35 years treating sexual abuse