Originally Posted By: learning2remember

Another change, and maybe this is related, is that I'm nto as interested in erotica. I wish I were. I don't want to lose that. This is just mid-life crisis stuff, I guess, but I though I would rise above that when it came. I have to admit, though, it gets to me. Am I less of a man than I used to be?

No, you're just older. It's normal. I'm 38 and I don't beat off nearly as often as I used to or think about sex as often. In my case, that's a good thing because my sexuality is broken and disfigured to being with. Be that as it may, most men loose libido as they age. It does't make you less of a man. Just an older man.

The last change is that if you had asked me in college if I'd been sexually abused, I'd have said no. Whatever I remembered then, I remembered differently.

I'm not sure you remembered it differently, I think you probably just didn't have the clarity about your experiences you now have.


So I wish I were not aroused at all. Whatever it is in me that creates a market for that stuff, that is what led me to put up with Mom's behaviour. I let her watch me change. I tried to show off my developing muscles for her. I checked what state of undress she was in if she came to my door.

Knowing these things, I look at images now and can't appreciate them. I hate what they say about me.

What I'm hearing here is you taking responsibility for something that was not your fault. Your mother had very inappropriate boundaries with you and was doing things with and around you that were, at best, covert sexual abuse. I say at best because surely everything she ever did was not in this one little post, so I'm assuming there was more to her dysfunctional and abusive sexual behavior.

Those pictures and your arousal by them says absolutely nothing about you other than you are a human, heterosexual male. Being ashamed of yourself for that is like being ashamed of yourself for sneezing. What led you to "put up with your mom's behavior" was that you were a young, vulnerable boy who was confused and being taken advantage of. IT WASN'T YOUR FAULT!!! What you are doing here is internalizing the shame that your mother inflicted you with and letting it define you. The fact of the matter is, it doesn't define you! The shame that your mother inflicted you with is not your shame!!! It's her shame! Try to remember that and keep it in perspective the next time an erotic photograph makes you feel this way. Take care. Peace,