I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Connecting Thoughts and Emotions

This is an edited comment written by Jack Stoskopf on Facebook. He is the co-founder of ISUVOA (Incest Survivors United Voice of America).

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For us sexually abused males, to be in touch with our thoughts and emotions is difficult. Many of us survived by disconnecting our minds and emotions from the acts of being used sexually. To this day, I struggle to connect my thoughts and emotions.

Many of us question our masculinity and our sexuality. Our ability to sustain relationships is often shaky. Although we see our weaknesses and vulnerability, most women see the man they have grown to love as strong and powerful.

The problem lies within the men themselves. Some will never open up and tell their stories. A woman may be in love with a man for years and yet he never reveals his inmost secrets.

When we do tell, after intense struggles, our thoughts come rushing like a flood. We worry about the stereotypes and myths of the sexually abused male. We risk being judged. We feel dirty, ashamed, and guilty. It takes a tremendous amount of trust for us to open up—even to the women we love. Many of us experience so much anxiety just thinking about revealing our secret.

When a man opens up, he needs women who listen and remain at his side. She needs to encourage him to speak in an atmosphere of quiet trust. That may occur very slowly over time and it requires great patience. I heard it said that if a man starts to cry, don’t stop him.

Be sensitive and compassionate. I also encourage you to read about the effects of men's sexual abuse. Some of the effects include sexual dysfunction, performance anxiety in the bedroom, acting out sexually, addiction, depression, anger, and irritability. The list is long and many times we men haven't made the connection to understand why we behave the way we do.

I believe in the power of love that a woman can have for a man. I have seen it in my life and trust me I wasn't so lovable. So if you're a woman, never give up on us.

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