Hello all, I'm new to this place and this is the first post I'm making here. I've decided to post it in this particular forum because of something that's been on my mind for the past year or so.

First off, I'm a 21 year old who was sexually abused by an older cousin of mine when I was in elementary school, approximately between first and fourth grade. He was (is) 4 years older than me. Before our relationship had anything to do with anything sexual, we were close friends. I have a twin sister and had a few other friends at the time, but I looked up to my cousin as an almost older brother like figure of sorts.

Anyways, I don't remember exactly when, but at first anything sexual that went on between us was relatively innocent, just two kids exposing themselves to each other, that was about it. Every year after that though, things got progressively more sexual. By the time I had gotten into second grade, my cousin had made it up so that froteurism was like our "secret handshake". He would also frequently follow me into the bathroom whenever I had to use it, which made me feel like I was having my privacy invaded and I thought it was embarrassing. After a time though, this became an almost normal or expected occurrence, and I stopped thinking there was anything wrong with it.

By the time I had entered third grade, things had started to get to the point where I knew something was wrong. Whenever my cousin stayed over during a holiday, he would pester me to allow him to perform oral sex on me, or would ask me to perform oral sex on him. Although I would frequently refuse, he would continually wear me down until I finally agreed to it. I can't remember whether or not I actually performed on him, but I know he did it to me. I didn't derive any feeling of pleasure or gratification from it, I just remember thinking that it wasn't quite right, but I didn't want to tell anybody because I was afraid I would get in trouble and I was also afraid of getting my cousin in trouble, and therefore losing my "friend".

The final year of abuse was when I had just entered fourth grade. In addition to all the other behaviors I had mentioned, my cousin would masturbate in front of me to show me how he could ejaculate, and told me it was how you knew you were turning into a man. I believe ever since then I have associated masturbation with trying to re-assert my masculinity while also trying to measure myself up to be like him in some weird way, as if that would make me more of a man or more in control of my life. He also would make me frequently read anatomy books with diagrams of the male reproductive system in them. Then that year at Christmas he asked me, my sister, and his sister if any of us wanted to have sex with him. His sister and my sister both said no, but I thought that since men could only have sex with women it would just be more of the same old thing with him. I knew I shouldn't be doing it, but for some reason I went on anyway. He attempted to sodomize me, but I told him that I wasn't comfortable and I didn't want to do it. Then he asked me if I would do it on him, and I said I would try. Nothing happened though, so I just figured I would give up, leave it be, and not talk about it after the fact.

It wasn't until weeks later when we learned about AIDS in health class that I became concerned and told my parents what happened. After that, they made sure to watch me at all times whenever I was with my cousin, and I told him that I had told my parents. He was obviously upset and couldn't believe I had done that. Ever since then our relationship has been strange, and we don't see each other often. When we do, we don't speak to each other much. That's ok in my book though.

Anyways, shortly after the abuse stopped I began to think it was normal for some reason for my friends to expose themselves to me, etc. My best friends simply said no, and that was the end of that issue. At that time I also started trying to masturbate. I believe this was due to an over-sexualization at my age rather than properly developing sexually the way a well adjusted person would. That was also the first time I was ever able to obtain an erection, although I didn't do anything with it. Then that summer at camp I was in a situation where I was in a cabin with several other boys my own age. One of them suggested that we all drop trou and compare sizes. Much to my horror, I found that I had an erection in response to this. I was embarrassed by it and didn't know what to think. None of the other kids in the cabin knew what was going on and just thought that I was huge, but I felt guilty and embarrassed. I don't know how to rationalize that event. Up until the very end of the abuse I had always considered myself straight, in so far as a 9 year old can determine what their sexual identity is. I had wanted girlfriends in the past though, and I remember thinking to myself that I had to make sure I played sports and exercised so I would look good enough to be able to have girlfriends whenever I wanted.

Anyways, about two years later I figured out how to masturbate and engaged in it frequently, far more than most 11 year olds I would wager. In the beginning, the fantasy was always the same. I imagined or did the best I could to emulate my cousin as exactly as I could while I was in the act. As I grew older, my fantasies were focused around girls I knew from school with guys I knew from school, guys I knew at school with other guys I knew from school, and occasionally heterosexual porn when I could find it.

Some people have told me they believe some of my homosexual fantasies likely stemmed from confusion over my trauma mixed with a desire to fit in amongst my peers at school. I was a social outcast and as a result was always called "fag" or belittled in one way or another to make me feel emasculated or worthless. Of course, I believe that if anybody ever found out about what happened with my cousin, they would really think I was gay and that maybe if that had happened and they were calling me gay then it must have been true. Yet I still remember wishing when I was in middle school that I was popular enough for girls to like me so I could date and have a girlfriend.

Eventually as I got into highschool my fantasies were still all over the place with one common theme. I was almost never involved in my own fantasies, just passively watching. On occasion I would fantasize about having sex with a girl I knew or a friend of mine, but for the most part I was never involved in my own fantasies. Outside my fantasy life though I still considered myself strait, and began spending a large amount of time watching pornography. Although I stumbled upon gay porn a couple of times, about twice between when I was 14 and 16, I never knew quite what to think about it. I was turned on by it, but I was also turned on by strait porn. But whenever I got off to gay porn, I just felt guilty or dirty, like I had done something I shouldn't have. Apparently this guilty shock when coupled with an orgasm makes the orgasm more extreme, enforcing an attraction to something that a person feels is wrong. I wonder if since I viewed homosexuality as wrong for me because of my abuse I was somehow strangely turned on by gay porn. By the time I was graduating, I had begun to view solo male pornography on a semi regular basis.

That stopped after I got to college and started dating a girl who I was with for about six months. We lost our virginities to each other, and I remember that the sex wasn't really spectacular, but I did enjoy the foreplay and the sex was enough to keep me interested. Although I didn't find her to be particularly attractive, I would get very aroused if I thought we were about to get sexual with each other. When I was with her, I felt absolutely 100% secure in my sexuality as strait male. Anyways we both knew that the relationship was really nothing more than a sexual relationship though, and we eventually broke up.

After that I began watching guy on guy gay porn on a semi regular basis, especially if I was high. Again, I still watched hetero porn and actually noticed that in my fantasies I was getting more into girls and less into guys. Whenever I walked around on campus it was the girls I noticed, far more often then the guys. Yet I couldn't ever bring myself to approach any girls for dating.

I think I was intimidated since my relationship with my twin sister had been absolutely horrible, with her trying to convince me on several occasions during high school to kill myself, most of which my mother managed to stop. I have never been suicidal, but there were times in high school when I would literally beat myself with a belt buckle if I felt like I had hurt anybody emotionally or physically.

Anyways, it's been close to three years since the last time I had sex. I have stopped watching gay porn, since every time I view it I feel like I'm doing harm to something inside of me. For the few years I did experiment with it, my reactions ran the gammut from being into it sexually to being grossed out by it to being just plain bored with it. Now I just feel anxious when I see it and get afraid. Sometimes it still arouses me, sometimes not. Now instead of watching it because I felt like it, I watch it to check to see if I really like it or not. I believe I've actually been watching it for those reasons ever since I was first exposed to it.

To try and summarize, I feel some confusion over my sexual identity. I feel as though I'm probably straight, but there are definite homosexual aspects of my personal life that may or may not be related to the abuse I suffered, chiefly the viewing of gay pornography and the occasional gay fantasy. I don't recall ever having a crush on another male. Then again, any crushes I can remember having on girls seemed to be fairly small, as though I would have liked to have dated them, but something told me "it can't happen, you'll never do it, so don't bother." And as a result, i never tried. To this day, I still question this. I'm currently undergoing EMDR to try and process all of this, but I feel like I'm chasing an unanswerable question around. Am I straight, am I gay, or am I somewhere in transition between the two? All I want is to move on with this so I can settle down, start my career, meet a girl (I think?), get married, have a family, and live my life. I'm just mentally exhausted from having to flip this back and forth in my life every day.