Am I sexually repressed or just getting older?


Hi all,

Title kind of says it all. I'm a little stumped at this stage of my life (earlier 30s), and figured I'd have more stuff sorted.

I've said in other posts that I have often questioned my sexuality. This became especially true at the end of high school and into college, when I started getting a lot more female attention (and realizing I liked it, and hadn't really noticed it before because I was socially rejected growing up and never received any female attention from classmates, cringey as that may sound). Basically, I just wanted to definitively figure everything out and move on (have spoken to three different therapists over the years who have told me to just let that idea go).

After finding this forum waaaaay back and doing some reading, it sort of clicked for me that a lot of my sexual behaviors were linked to my abuse. This included watching a lot of solo male porn when I was in my late teens (the most vivid memory of abuse from my cousin and the most demoralizing, because he seemed "bigger", better looking, and more desirable than me in every way), thinking about male friends or class mates getting off when I was in my early teens (I've heard this is actually not super unusual - who knows!), or imagining kids who bullied me having sex with each other (that one was really weird - as best as I can tell, that was me getting off on the idea of the kids who called me "faggot" or "homo" were actually the ones guilty of what they were accusing me of). None of those were "all the time" things, but they were frequent enough in my teenage years that I did start to wonder. The one common theme was that I never imagined myself being directly involved in those scenarios - it was more like I was just on the sidelines watching things happen (I'm just now realizing that was the same feeling I had during the last encounter with my cousin). I did also imagine other guys I was in school with sleeping with girls I thought were attractive, mostly because in my mind I did not feel I was attractive enough or "worthy" or whatever of sleeping with those girls. Moving on...

Most of those fantasies and patterns of thought had just sort of gone away by the time I was graduating high school (never really came back, either) with the exception of the solo male porn. Joe Kort's writing resonated strongly with me on that subject though, in the sense that I kept "returning to the scene of the crime" from my CSA in some attempt to "fix" things or take control. I realized that it fell exactly into what I had remembered or idealized about my cousin from that final experience he made me watch him during. After doing EMDR, that behavior more or less faded, and I came to realize many of my sexual thoughts and fantasies were based on compulsions I had left over from what happened between me and my cousin. I'd also had enough sexual experiences with women by that point where I felt comfortable saying I probably wasn't gay with a fairly high degree of certainty - I was totally clueless the first time and literally could not believe a woman had found me attractive, but I loved the attention, loved that I felt like I didn't have to hold myself back sexually, and loved the feeling afterwards, which was a combination of "I guess I AM good looking!", "I feel like a real man" and "fuck all those assholes who called me "faggot" growing up, they were wrong!"

My issue by then (as it is now) is that between my job and where I live, there are not many single women around. I took college for granted in that women were much more likely to approach me, and so I didn't have to actively pursue anybody, and the signals were easier to read. For that reason, I've never been the kind of guy to hit on women at a bar (nightclubs, maybe, but that was a combo of liquid courage and some other inhibition removers).

I don't actively date either - I have an assumption that I'm not really a desirable person, and that my hobbies are kind of boring to people who aren't also interested in them (nobody cared that much when I was in school). I do my best to put my best foot forward on dates, but my track record isn't good. I do feel much more at ease around women I've gotten to know through work settings though, and my therapist has told me meeting women by doing something "shoulder to shoulder", like volunteering somewhere, might be better for me than formal dating and all the pressure I put on myself there.

Anyways, another thing that's got me confused is my libido. I remember my teens and up through my early 20s I would get turned on by practically nothing, and I remember at times physically feeling like "I've got to get off or I'm going to lose my mind". That same drove or urgency or whatever has steadily dropped off up to where I am now.

For instance, some of my close friends have younger sisters who are relatively close to us in age. Late teens up through my 20s, we'd go to the beach, and I'd be sitting there thinking "god I hope she starts hitting on me", cause I didn't wanna be the "creepy friend of the older sibling". If I go to the beach now though, and something catches my eye, I feel kind of creepy, or like I'm too old to "enjoy the view", as if it were more flattering when I was younger but now it would seem creepy or desperate.

Sometimes after lifting or getting a really good run in, I'll feel "the mojo" (to quote Austin Powers) again temporarily, but it's not "at will" like it used to be. I am struggling because I don't know if that's just age related or if I've somehow been repressing myself sexually for years without being consciously aware of it (seems really unlikely as I type it out).

It's not that I'm forcing myself to NOT have sexual urges and impulses, it's more like they're just...not there. I'm not a big fan of porn, either. I used to like watching "college couples" type stuff, but again, now I feel like I'm too old and it's creepy for me to be watching that type of porn. On the other hand, I don't like porn where the people involved look like what I once would've considered "old". Like, it still helps speed certain things along, but I am not at all I to it like I was when I was younger (which is probably healthy, to be fair).

I also still can't get over some of my past thoughts or fantasies I discussed earlier - I am obsessed with my own body image because of my CSA, and I know I was introduced to sexual behavior before I could discover it for myself, and know a lot of the old thoughts I beat myself up over stem from that trauma. I think growing up I was also very conscious of what it meant to be attractive or good looking as a Male, and wanted to have that kind of "idealized" body, but I was chunky and not athletic. I never even considered other boys "attractive" or good looking until after I became aware of what my cousin had been doing with me for years and that it was considered "gay", and that totally freaked me out. Like, if I could look at some actor who girls thought was "hot", and I could also understand that guy was good looking, didn't that also mean I thought he was "hot"?

I feel like ever since then, I've felt a need to PROVE that I'm not gay, or at least question myself about it to make sure, in order to move on with my life. Where that gets tricky is that again, I was obsessed with my own body image, and I used to look at other boys and wish I looked the way they did, but doing that made me think "wait, am I gay if I just thought so and so is really good looking?", and now as an adult I often question that period of my life and wonder if I missed something or subconsciously repressed my orientation.

I have never found myself daydreaming about being romantically involved with other men, nor have I ever seen another man (or boy, when I was one myself), and thought "oh wow, I hope they ask me out". Again, it all sounds ridiculous and "overthought" to me when I type it out and read it, but this is a headspace I get in, and then I get anxious about it.

As an adult and someone who does a lot of martial arts and am therefore around a lot of other dudes who are in great shape, I've noticed I don't feel or think that way anymore, and haven't since I ended up getting in shape myself and getting comfortable in my own skin. Still, I just can't seem to get past that little bit of self doubt from my early adolescene and teen years.

The only other thing that confuses me about my attractions are that I don't generally notice them unless women give me a fairly obvious hint or indication, and then it's like a switch goes off in my head and I'm way less shy/anxious and don't feel like a "creep", because they've given me a signal that it's OK to flirt or to at least talk to them without me being looked at as a weirdo or a threat.

So I guess this was more about sexuality issues in general, not just sexual identity issues, though there is that component there for me since I can't seem to stop examining my past behaviors and wondering "what it all meant". I've worked with three therapists over the past 12 years (for different perspectives and opinions), and none of them believe I'm gay. They DO agree I have high anxiety bordering on obsessive compulsive behavior with this issue, but feel I've gotten a better grasp of it with a mix of CBT and EMDR.

At the end of the day, I guess what I really want to know is if any of you guys have felt like your libido has kind of just disappeared. I really miss how that used to feel through the onset of puberty and into my teens, physically at least (no desire to relive those years mentally). I guess it made me feel more alive and more virile. Now I just feel like "...fuck! I'm barely past 30, I'm not old enough to feel like this!". At least in my early 20s I knew it was anxiety and depression related. Now, I just feel kind of "bleh". Think I might ask my doctor to test my testosterone levels and my thyroid next time I see him.
I think 30s is the age when your sexual desires (and hormones) start to mellow.
I agree plus I think maybe we start to think about things in a more deep way not just pure lust if sex urges.

I feel like ever since then, I've felt a need to PROVE that I'm not gay, or at least question myself about it to make sure, in order to move on with my life.
I am gay though I get what you mean in that I have lived my life worrying how others see me even today. Its not my sexuality only its everything, job perforce, how I am viewed by friends even strangers. I think for me the CSA played a big role in this though I am just realizing that.

Your post was very in depth so be proud your shared and know your not alone.


I agree plus I think maybe we start to think about things in a more deep way not just pure lust if sex urges.

I am gay though I get what you mean in that I have lived my life worrying how others see me even today. Its not my sexuality only its everything, job perforce, how I am viewed by friends even strangers. I think for me the CSA played a big role in this though I am just realizing that.

Your post was very in depth so be proud your shared and know your not alone.

To be honest, I have to externally process sometimes. A lot of times, the thoughts I have seem really real in my head, right up until I put them on paper (well, not paper, but you know what I mean).

I'm struggling right now with a lot, most of it relating to the way I relate to people in general. Sexual identity and my sexual abuse is an easy and familiar thing to come back to for me, and there are patterns to it. Bad date? Question my identity. Bored? Question my identity. Even this most recent case - I don't feel as sexually driven as I used to - probably has a lot to do with biology, but why not question my identity too? My therapists have pointed out I seem to go back to this particular issue to avoid talking about my other emotional issues and my fear (and often times my assumption) of rejection. It's convenient that way - the past is the past, and I can't change it. Even if I can reason that other kids in similar situations may have had similar thoughts, fantasies, etc., or that people can change in terms of what they're looking for or interested in, it doesn't change what I did in my past. That will always be there. It may not match my life now, but I can certainly still dwell on it since it was part or my past.

To your first point about urges, there's definitely a personality component I have to consider. It's not that I never used to consider personality, but I am at the point in my life where I'm realizing my family isn't going to be around forever. As much as I'm enjoying my freedom and my solitude now, the thought of not having the people I love and have always been around frightens me. The problem is that at times, the people in my immediate family had their own baggage to work through. Everybody is good now, but that home environment was really toxic, and it instilled in me a want to be self sufficient and as instinct to never trust anybody, no matter how good their intentions may seem. This, combined with all the years of social rejection I experienced, have led me to just want to be left the fuck alone! I live how I want, and don't have to worry about if people are acting fake to gain something or to end up making me the butt of a joke.

But, then the thought of hitting 40 and not being married or having kids bugs the hell out of me!


Wow, you've put a lot out there and I can relate to much of it. I think you're right to check for a medical issue if you've got a drop in libido at your age.

My libido takes wild swings and it is tied to my csa. Sex for me was a tool i used to prove my self worth. A lot like your experiences. As an aside, I find it interesting when I meet a sexual compulsive who has used a prostitute. Paying a woman to have sex w/me would have completely defeated the purpose. It was creating that desire in a woman that was the point of the exercise because that made me feel desirable.

Anyway, when I'm feeling good about myself and engaging in caring activities and I'm fulfilled I rarely think about sex. But when I'm ignoring my needs or under stress, my mind starts wandering to sex. Why am I not having it, am I missing out, I must be a loser, etc. Usually it's a sign I need to work on other issues because i know my fix-all cure of sex isn't what I really need.

Anyway, good luck on your journey. I really like Joe kort, too.

Take care.