Boyfriend reapeatedly abused in his past

Negotiation4680

Registrant
My boyfriend is an ex stripper who worked in a strip club when he was a student in Canada. When he was a stripper he said that he and other male strippers get a lot of abuse: touching without asking him, scratching and groping by women and his boss just acted like it was nothing, refusing to protect them. He developped trust issues and feel a bit uncomfortable when I touch his bare body. He started to see a consellor 1 week ago (online) but I want to know if there is any way I can help him. I already told him that I don't need physical intimacy before he feels better about it (clothed hugs and kisses are enough). Is there any other way I can support him ? When I ask him he tells me to no worry but I am not sure of what to do.
 

jacats

Registrant
I'm also an ex stripper from Canada lol personally I hate when anyone touches me without me knowing they about to. I seen couples be all stupid silly tickling each other by surprise or even walking up to someone and hugging. That fills me with rage. Its better if people ask or even better just never touch me.
 

Negotiation4680

Registrant
I'm also an ex stripper from Canada lol personally I hate when anyone touches me without me knowing they about to. I seen couples be all stupid silly tickling each other by surprise or even walking up to someone and hugging. That fills me with rage. Its better if people ask or even better just never touch me.
Sorry that happened to you. I hope you don't have to face the same misbehaviors.
 
I was a street sex worker and suffered lots of abuse. I don't let anyone touch me all but doctors and nurses and they know enough to be gentle with me.
 
The two respondents above who have had experiences similar to your boyfriend both identify themselves as sex abuse survivors. I wouldn't assume that your friend's experience while working as a stripper is the only occasion in which he's been traumatized. Those of us who have sexual trauma in our history invariably act that out in one way or another. I never became a sex worker or stripper but the experiences that sexualized me came out in different ways. I've no idea, of course, about what made your friend become a stripper rather than a bartender or waiter when he was in college but that was in fact the choice he made... to take off his clothes and dance provocatively for a room filled with inebriated women. I don't imagine that was an accident. You and he may have to go a bit deeper. Whether that is a journey you're willing to take is for you to decide. Your friend will carry his entire life experience with him every day. If there is trauma in the past, it would be good if he were able to address it now rather than later in life after a failed marriage or two. I don't mean to be a downer here, but most of us have struggled with these issues for a long time and there has been collateral damage along with way... for us and for those around us.
 

Negotiation4680

Registrant
The two respondents above who have had experiences similar to your boyfriend both identify themselves as sex abuse survivors. I wouldn't assume that your friend's experience while working as a stripper is the only occasion in which he's been traumatized. Those of us who have sexual trauma in our history invariably act that out in one way or another. I never became a sex worker or stripper but the experiences that sexualized me came out in different ways. I've no idea, of course, about what made your friend become a stripper rather than a bartender or waiter when he was in college but that was in fact the choice he made... to take off his clothes and dance provocatively for a room filled with inebriated women. I don't imagine that was an accident. You and he may have to go a bit deeper. Whether that is a journey you're willing to take is for you to decide. Your friend will carry his entire life experience with him every day. If there is trauma in the past, it would be good if he were able to address it now rather than later in life after a failed marriage or two. I don't mean to be a downer here, but most of us have struggled with these issues for a long time and there has been collateral damage along with way... for us and for those around us.
He told be that at the time he has an important issue woth money (his parents had not a very good situation), and it was an easy and quick way to make money without having too much of restriction in term of hours. But I will follow your advice and ask him about prior abuse without being to forceful. We are together since 2 years and he is very open with me. Thanks for your advice.
 
I wish you both only the best. When I was young the sexual abuse in my childhood was unremembered. That took quite a few years to untangle though my difficulties with intimacy and sexual acting out suggested there was more to the story. Perhaps had I been able to look seriously at these matters when I was younger my life would have turned out differently. All the best to you and your friend.
 

dark empathy

Registrant
@Negotiation4680, though I've never been a sex worker myself, fear of touch, especially from women is something I'm quite familiar with.
Before I met my lady in 2015, I suffered pretty extreme genophobia (fear of sex), to the point that I couldn't be out in public in anything less than a t shirt, and where I'd actively recoil if touched, something which made starting relationships very difficult.
This was all because of a lot of bullying and public humiliation from girls as a teenager, scratching, pinching, public stripping, getting progressively worse over years until it culminated in what was virtually public gang rape.

For this reason, abuse aside, I was a virgin before I met my lady at 33.
whilst we now have a very healthy physical side to our marriage, it did take work, and yes, being open.
Avoiding unexpected touch was a major part of things, and communicating a lot as well.

I also found a large amount of none sexual physical touch helped quite a lot, particularly for me, since my abuse had involved a lot of shaming, (I used to assume that even brushing a girl's arm would make me an abuser), so a lot of holding hands, cuddling, washing each other's hair and such, as well as taking things slowly.
Indeed, one thing I realised was that it was not necessarily touch itself that was the problem, so much as the manner of touch, EG grabbing vs stroking.

Another thing which my lady suggested, which proved very useful was reading through Alex comfort's the joy of sex together, discussing things, both in terms of what we might try, or what sort of experiences she'd had which I hadn't.

No, it hasn't always been easy, and I confess powerlessness is still a trigger I struggle with, but the good news is that whilst it isn't easy, it actually can! work if there is enough openness, and enough self-understanding, indeed I realised that for me, recovery just wasn't possible alone (it's a little hard to overcome genophobia on your own).

You might want to suggest your bf he use this site, indeed there is a section for survivors of abuse by women, since I will admit that for me, knowing that there were other guys who'd been through the same sort of thing actually was helpfu.

either way, best of luck to you and your bf.

Luke.
 

Negotiation4680

Registrant
@Negotiation4680, though I've never been a sex worker myself, fear of touch, especially from women is something I'm quite familiar with.
Before I met my lady in 2015, I suffered pretty extreme genophobia (fear of sex), to the point that I couldn't be out in public in anything less than a t shirt, and where I'd actively recoil if touched, something which made starting relationships very difficult.
This was all because of a lot of bullying and public humiliation from girls as a teenager, scratching, pinching, public stripping, getting progressively worse over years until it culminated in what was virtually public gang rape.

For this reason, abuse aside, I was a virgin before I met my lady at 33.
whilst we now have a very healthy physical side to our marriage, it did take work, and yes, being open.
Avoiding unexpected touch was a major part of things, and communicating a lot as well.

I also found a large amount of none sexual physical touch helped quite a lot, particularly for me, since my abuse had involved a lot of shaming, (I used to assume that even brushing a girl's arm would make me an abuser), so a lot of holding hands, cuddling, washing each other's hair and such, as well as taking things slowly.
Indeed, one thing I realised was that it was not necessarily touch itself that was the problem, so much as the manner of touch, EG grabbing vs stroking.

Another thing which my lady suggested, which proved very useful was reading through Alex comfort's the joy of sex together, discussing things, both in terms of what we might try, or what sort of experiences she'd had which I hadn't.

No, it hasn't always been easy, and I confess powerlessness is still a trigger I struggle with, but the good news is that whilst it isn't easy, it actually can! work if there is enough openness, and enough self-understanding, indeed I realised that for me, recovery just wasn't possible alone (it's a little hard to overcome genophobia on your own).

You might want to suggest your bf he use this site, indeed there is a section for survivors of abuse by women, since I will admit that for me, knowing that there were other guys who'd been through the same sort of thing actually was helpfu.

either way, best of luck to you and your bf.

Luke.
Thank you for your post and I am sorry for what you have experienced. We do a lot of non sexual contact too ! Mostly hugs and holding hands. I never touch him without him not knowing. We will try to wash each others hair like you suggested. His therapist told him that if he is comfortable, to take my hands himself and guide them to touch him in different places (still non sexual) and we plan to try it too.
 

dark empathy

Registrant
That sounds like a good idea, my lady and I did something very similar.

One other thing I found very helpful, which is a little hard to explain, was my lady letting me know that she! found my touch pleasurable.
Maybe this was specific to what happened to me I don't know, but I was fairly convinced for a long time, that sex, and indeed any and all pleasurable touch was entirely one sided, with one person actively getting pleasure, and the other passively allowing them.
this is one reason for my genophobia, since as my only measure of sexual pleasure was my own humiliation, I thought the hole thing was one sided, and that at most a woman would just have to endure me, and me endure her.

it wasn't until I understood my lady's reaction to some of the ways I touched her, that I realised that this impression was entirely wrong!
Indeed, Alex Comfort's way of speaking of "instrument and player", rolls which he says are ever shifting, rather than a strictly defined active and passive partner made a lot of sense.

hth.

Luke.b
 

Negotiation4680

Registrant
Update : We have started to take shower together (1 times a week) and washing each other (except his parts and ass cheeks and only when I stand in front of him). He finds it pleasant and feels intimacy without negative feelings now.
 
i am late to this discussion but as a CSA survivor have experienced similar discomfort in being touched by anyone. That made things difficult in our marriage relationship. When memories of long-repressed abuse were flooding back into my consciousness, I totally shut down as far as physical intimacy goes. It took a while - and a series of steps suggested by my therapist - to get back to even rudimentary physical contact.

Congratulations on the showering together. That sounds like good progress. Another step we took was to lie in bed together nude but without any expectation of sexual activity except for embracing. That later led to gentle touch on the partner's body but excluding the erogenous zones. And so on. Next was touch all over the body, including erogenous zones. After a certain point, the natural instincts took over and the self-imposed restrictions fell away and by mutual consent we went the rest of the way.

Hopefully, with trust and patience and communication and understanding, the two of you can find your way to mutual satisfaction.

Lee
 

dark empathy

Registrant
@Negotiation4680, this is great to hear, and I'm happy things are working out, as I said, it was largely due to my lady that I got over my own genophobia or panic attacks, and I know for a fact there would've been no way to do this without herr.

sleeping together nude and holding each other is also a good idea as Traveller suggested, if your not already doing that.

since my lady just naturally sleeps without clothes anyway, this was something we ended up doing together pretty quickly after deciding to live together.
It began with me wearing a t shirt and underware, but since we made love for the first time two days after that, we pretty much both slept naked after that point, indeed regular, none sexual cuddling in bed together is something we do on probably a daily basis as well, especially when we're both reading, either together or alone, obviously this does occasionally result in matters getting sexual, but that's more something that we've just let happen to happen when it happens rather than we have any specific signals or rules about.

Best of luck to both of you.

Luke.
 
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