Healthy relationships for men is key.
And keeping sex, sexuality, out of this equation is healing for me.
The relationships I had with men in my life as a kid were not healthy: a distant, angry, workaholic father with intimacy issues and an unhealthy marriage; an older brother who was sexually abused, addicted to drugs, and acting out; it wasn't a good place to learn safe, nurturing, and intimacy (nonsexual) male bonding. My sexual abuse cut me off from all relationships and I sought relief through school, drinking, and later athletics. Nothing really filled that wound, though.
There is a movie out called 'Absent" (http://www.absentmovie.com/
) that addresses some of the wounds children receive from the lack of a father figure in their lives.
I guess the solution for us as adults is to find safe mentors who can relate to us in healthy ways and to continue to explore those relationships on different levels.
Untangling these mixed up messages and experiences is part of my journey-it can really suck at times when I uncover another seemingly hopeless tangle/knot.
A while back I realized how I experienced my bosses in so many of my work relationships as potential rapists: the old trauma echoes years later. Even today I am coming to grips to how much I value my physical ability to defend myself, and how my view of male bodies was affected by my abuse.
More levels and layers to work through, I guess.
I know I have a number of close male friends and the emotional intimacy and honesty is very healing. It is unlike anything I knew growing up, and learning to be vulnerable is hard.