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.

I'm a Sexual Being

All of us are sexual. That’s part of being human. When others abuse us sexually, they touch the core of our being. Everything becomes skewed and produces a ripple effect that spreads through our entire personhood. The molestation alters the way we view ourselves, others, God, and life itself.

More troubling is that our minds become distracted with lustful or sensuous thoughts, fantasies, and desires. We struggle with keeping those feelings contained, but are they ever fully checked?

How could healing not be difficult, excruciating, and time-consuming?

I wish I could say that I never have lustful thoughts, but I do. And they’ll probably jump into my consciousness as long as I’m alive.

I’m still relentlessly sifting through behavioral patterns and ways of thinking that are victim-inspired and fear-focused. I’m determined not to give up. I will fight. And in fighting this evil, I will learn, and I will heal.

How do you handle such thoughts?


Anonymous said...

As a young person, I wished God would have made me without sexual feelings.

I'm decades older now, and still have a difficult time accepting being created sexual as a gift. I hurt when I hear other men referring to the fact they enjoy intimacy with their wives.

Even men who were also broken and abused when they were children.

Why did God allow some to heal enough, early enough, to enter into companionship with a spouse?
Why does God still give a that gift to those of us who have been hurt too deeply to ever be able to enjoy that gift?
Why does God allow us to be tormented by something that is supposed to be so good, and so perfectly part of His plan?

Roger Mann said...

Ok I'm weird and I know that. Let me get that established right off.

I'm a sexual being born with the same equipment and chemistry as all men were designed to have and function with. However, before I even knew I had sex or what sex was, I was introduced to sexual abuse. CSA is a twisting, a perverting if you will of my sexual identity and view of sex period. You are right it hits to the core of who you are, physically, spiritually, emotionally.

I remember an exercise my counselor did with me. He asked me to describe my first sexual experience. I went back to my childhood an described what I could remember of the encounter with my dad. He wrote something in his pad and asked me to describe my next one after that. Confused and a little concerned I did has he asked. This went on for about 4 experiences and I was beginning to be concerned as to where this was going.

Finally he put down the pad and pencil and said "I want to show you something. I asked you to describe your first real sex experience. You described your abuse and every time thereafter. Roger You equate sex with abuse. When you think of sex you think of what happened to you as a boy. That was not sex. That was nothing like sex."

And I wept for I don't know how long. Yeah a grown man bawling out loud like a little boy.

Yeah, I'm a sexual being but I have no idea what real sex is. Oh I know the mechanics, I know something of what others have described, movies, porn, erotic novels, etc. But honestly I don't know at this point if I have ever really had and enjoyed REAL sex with ANY of my three wives. Perform? yeah I performed but did I really experience the sex the way it was created to be? IDK

And that's not the end of it, (sorry for the long post), I am male and real happy about that BTW, but I suspect I am way hyperconscious of what I carry down there. I have a few fleeting minutes a day when I am engrossed in something else completely and I forget about my stuff for a few. But normally I am way conscious of what's in my pants and it doesn't help that it is constantly making adjustments for my constrictive clothing and the ambient temperature. Half the time there is a circus going on down there reminding me of the wonderful fact that I am male.

It probably doesn't help that for much of my childhood I was groped at any available moment when someone, usually my dad, thought they could get away with it. Sometimes I can actually feel hands on my stuff taking me back to my childhood. I know it is my imagination but it feels so real I can almost recognize who it is by the way it is happening.

So yes, I am a VERY sexual being. Sometimes I am pleased as punch, other times, like in church, restaurants, malls, not so much. I thought all this spontaneous activity slowed or stopped when you got older.

Just my thoughts

Mark said...

Roger - wow, that was quite a revelation your counselor gave you by having you describe what you thought were sexual experiences.

I have grown to see that I equate sex with rape and power. Last week I started repeating "I don't want to be raped. I didn't want to be raped." After a few days of saying that, I had one evening where I actually felt joy, happiness. I felt the freedom of FINALLY saying "NO" to the man who raped me.

That joy and happiness felt uncomfortable. I felt out of control. And I knew the feelings of joy would not last. In the days since I've been dealing once again with depression.

BUT... depression doesn't change the fact that I'm learning to state the truth "I didn't want to be raped".

I've never been married. The few unsatisfying homosexual encounters I had were not expressions of the gift of sexuality. I've never experienced that gift.

The only enjoyment of that gift that I hope for now, is the joy of learning to live in freedom from porn, from fantasy. And that is something I cannot do alone. I must have God's help to learn how to protect that gift. Which makes sense, 'cause He's the One who gave it, in the first place.

Andrew Schmutzer said...

Important topic. Speaking for myself, I don't know HOW to feel when non-abused people speak of such dire sexual dysfunction and addictions they have. Of course their struggles are real for them. Not my point. But honestly, it feels stunningly unfair that the sexually traumatized are the ones heard from the least, when it comes to sexual struggles. For this survivor, abuse has been both distorting and distracting. I struggle to "rest" (living now) even though I've put many miles between me and the noise of the battlefield (past abuse).

At 50, I've made some decisions: (1) Basically, I'm only involved in relationships that are nourishing. I now stare down my codependency, for example, in the way I relate (another topic survivors must address). I don't have time to play games anymore, literally. (2) I also ration my mind's exposure to difficult or dangerous things, like movies, places, toxic blogs, some news stories, and certain personalities around me. Avoident behavior, maybe. Practical wisdom and self-care...exactly! This has helped me accept my own VERY sensitive personality (ISFJ) and stop hating on myself, too. Just because I refuse to be a chess pawn, anymore, doesn't require me to play elsewhere on the board.

So it's not just learning to avoid what is harmful, but intentionally chasing what is POSITIVE for my well-being. I learned a while back: "What doesn't kill me can permanently wound me!" I don't believe in Iron Man.

Survivors do indeed face a "louder" sense of their sexuality. So I ration what I feed my mind so I can face my future, and not back into it.

Cec Murphey said...

You guys and your responses are absolutely marvelous. I continue to be amazed at the candor and transparency of your comments. Thank you. ec

Roger Mann said...

Andrew, thank you for your perspective. I like the idea of filtering my life for the positives. I think that is biblical too. I love your line of facing your future instead of backing into it. I may use that visual on myself.

Yes I too think survivors do have a 'louder' sense of their sexuality. When innocence is lost, or attacked I suspect like any wound we will be more conscious of that part of our being that has been hurt. My sexuality was attacked beginning at a very young age and continued through puberty into high school. Sex was the only way I knew to relate to others so I was pretty warped in social settings and maybe still am IDK.

Still I have made progress. I see all of this now and struggle against it rather than surrender to it. Baby steps maybe.

Thanks guys.

Joseph said...

Roger, your first post is excellent. I'm happy to be a man; that's all I ever wanted to be, but felt less than a man for most of my life because I never told what happened to me. I was terrified my male friends would learn I had had sex with men. I failed to realize the beginning was abuse of a lonely, rejected boy. Facing the past and letting the walls come tumbling down was a relief. I find I talk fairly freely about being abused, without going into graphic detail of what continued. I am like you in that I'm conscious of my junk many times during the day. It many times has a mind of its own--that's one of the reasons I believe in creation. A piece of flesh between the legs that has powerful control of a man, could not just happen; it had to be created.

Anonymous, don't give up. The road of recovery is a rocky road, but well worth the journey. This is a wonderful site where we men can tell it like it is, and realize that we are not alone in the battle. It was a great comfort to me to learn that I was not odd in my response to my abuse, for I read accounts of men who had the same emotional blocks that I had experienced, had the same kind of hang-ups, and for the first time in my life I knew that I was not alone. That gave me great hope.

Anonymous said...

I feel cursed. My wife and I are both CSA survivors. I don't carry the load of shame she does. Our sex life has imploded and she does not seem to want to heal, at least not to the point that we get over this. I've healed some, but her not pushing forward with healing and rejecting me sexually hurts. Even talking about it sets her off.

In my mind, I can somewhat comprehend her not wanting to have sex, but we're 14 years into marriage when the shame really kicked in. Satan has this attack down pat.

I get it. Men abused us both. She's the one that has to deal with having sex with a man, not me.

I know this is going to sound like an abomination to some of you, but I wish my perspective was the same as her's or vice versa. I wish I could turn my "sexual creature" off. The scriptural verses about sex in marriage sting. Have I dealt with my own sexual compulsion issues? Yes. I just want our marriage to be whole, which I believe includes the sexual component.

I love her dearly and I will keep walking this out with her, but I wouldn't wish this situation on anyone.