Confused on sexuality *trigger warning*

JA21

New Registrant
I've posted introductions and my story in the story page but thought it was better to say this in here.

So I was abused from aged 12-14 which ended with me being raped on a school trip. I'd never thought of myself as gay, I had a girlfriend at age 16, we were intimate but it lasted 6 months. I've learned that at about 6 months I've ended all my relationships, took me years to realise. I was always scared to tell people able my abuse so would end things before it got too serious. I've only had sex with men from then on and currently married to an amazing man. We are intimate but not that often. I've always gone for quick sex or annonymous hook ups so I can leave after or get away as I feel rubbish after sex, not in a performance way but after cumming, I just want to leave and not be touched. The thought of 'cuddling' afterwards makes me cringe!

I've wondered over the past couple of years, what would I be like now if the abuse hadn't happened. Would I think of myself as gay? Would I have the issues I have now? I wonder about it all the time.
 
Confusion about our sexual orientation seems the outcome of having been sexually abused... unwanted but it comes with the territory. I always felt shame when I sexually acted out with men, which always happened anonymously in a video arcade. I'd drink and eat to mask my feelings but I always felt like a piece of shit. I KNEW I was a pervert. I understand now that all of it was rooted in the sexual trauma and I've been working to find release from that burden. I don't know if you're saying that you continue to engage in anonymous hookups now that you're married or if you're referring to the past. If you're continuing, I hope you realize that what you're doing perpetuates the trauma and keeps you tied to the perpetrators you've encountered in life. I know the power of compulsion... it has held me in its grip at many times in my life... taking me to places that surprised me. Healing involved telling the truth and finding a new response to the urges that arise in us. Whether doing so clarifies your sexual orientation I don't know, but hopefully you would find some peace in yourself, and perhaps allow you to be available for intimacy... a bit of cuddling before and after being sexual. A radical thought, I know, but it was trauma that took that away from us and we deserve better.
 

DavidS61

Registrant
Confusion about our sexual orientation seems the outcome of having been sexually abused... unwanted but it comes with the territory. I always felt shame when I sexually acted out with men, which always happened anonymously in a video arcade. I'd drink and eat to mask my feelings but I always felt like a piece of shit. I KNEW I was a pervert. I understand now that all of it was rooted in the sexual trauma and I've been working to find release from that burden. I don't know if you're saying that you continue to engage in anonymous hookups now that you're married or if you're referring to the past. If you're continuing, I hope you realize that what you're doing perpetuates the trauma and keeps you tied to the perpetrators you've encountered in life. I know the power of compulsion... it has held me in its grip at many times in my life... taking me to places that surprised me. Healing involved telling the truth and finding a new response to the urges that arise in us. Whether doing so clarifies your sexual orientation I don't know, but hopefully you would find some peace in yourself, and perhaps allow you to be available for intimacy... a bit of cuddling before and after being sexual. A radical thought, I know, but it was trauma that took that away from us and we deserve better.
I can certainly relate to the confusion, and the acting out. I dont have full recall of my incident of abuse at age 12, but I do remember after piecing things together, questioning whether or not I did something to deserve it, whether or not I might have enjoyed it, and whether or not it meant that I was destined to be gay. I can also attest to the fact that acting out, which I have done various times throughout my marriage to an amazing woman, only perpetuates the trauma, uncertainty and self hatred that comes with acting out.
 
The line I use David, which is completely the truth... nothing that happened before, during or after the trauma was your fault. I'd go farther and say even if you experienced physical pleasure, that is simply a human body responding to sexual stimulation. I'm sure you realize that without the efforts of the person who took you to those places you likely would not have created them yourself. That you continue to be caught by the residue of that trauma also suggests it is not something you would choose without those experiences. Trauma creates the template that we then act out, even at the risk of disease and horrible consequences in our lives. This is why we're here doing our best to heal those wounds and liberate ourselves.
 

DavidS61

Registrant
Given what I recall of what led up to the abuse, and how I physically felt in the days following, I cannot now rationally believe that I asked for, deserved or enjoyed the experience. I have however continued to question why I've acted out - via mostly gay adult chat, which sometimes led to erotic conversation, arousal and climax. I'm hoping now that I've started to come to grips with and share my early trauma, with my family, therapist and in safe, appropriate places like this, I'll no longer feel the need to venture into dark places to act out.
 

KMCINVA

Registrant
I've posted introductions and my story in the story page but thought it was better to say this in here.

So I was abused from aged 12-14 which ended with me being raped on a school trip. I'd never thought of myself as gay, I had a girlfriend at age 16, we were intimate but it lasted 6 months. I've learned that at about 6 months I've ended all my relationships, took me years to realise. I was always scared to tell people able my abuse so would end things before it got too serious. I've only had sex with men from then on and currently married to an amazing man. We are intimate but not that often. I've always gone for quick sex or annonymous hook ups so I can leave after or get away as I feel rubbish after sex, not in a performance way but after cumming, I just want to leave and not be touched. The thought of 'cuddling' afterwards makes me cringe!

I've wondered over the past couple of years, what would I be like now if the abuse hadn't happened. Would I think of myself as gay? Would I have the issues I have now? I wonder about it all the time.

Something that was said to me along the way--confusion can arise because we have fragmented ourselves--the "me" and child within. The child looking for recognition only knows the "love" of the abuser despite not finding pleasure in the the abuse. We are torn between two worlds. The child looking for love which many survivors do not provide to that part of themselves. The other is the me who is trying to live in this world. As we connect the two the confusion may become less and we can then better understand our true sexual orientation.

JA21 you said once the act is done you want to leave and not be touched. You need to talk with a therapist or other professional to help you explore the why. It may be your need to relive the abuse without emotional attachment. Abuse leaves us confused for our minds could not comprehend or understand the abuse or the sexual act--it created an unprocessed memory and confusion.

As for thinking of yourself as gay--only you can determine--I truly believe we can relive the abuse and once we heal and find the person that makes us feel safe we can truly understand our sexual orientation. I have found a woman who makes me feel safe and the passion and emotional aspects are rewarding. It comes with healing and bringing the parts of us together. What I may have done in dissociation or fugues did not define me but rather forced me to heal and figure out what brought me passion. I had to bring the child to be part of me to truly understand I was not whole nor could I understand me and my sexual desires.

I wish you well on your journey to heal.

Kevin
 
I also wonder what my sexuality would have been without the abuse. No way to answer that question though. My abuse started when I was 4 so I've lived my whole life with it.
 

DavidS61

Registrant
I wonder what my sexuality would have been without the exploration, which started with other guys, and shifted to promiscuous experiences with girls before I became "secure" in my heterosexual life/marriage. I've never once secretly wished to spend my life with anyone other than my wife, but that didnt stop me from acting out. Of course I regret being tricked into the abuse, and then burying it- but I know I was just a child. What I regret even more is my behavior as an adult, which has impacted so many others besides myself
 
Funny how we can be jealous of others...I wish I had the promiscuous sex phase instead I've fought total fear of intimacy all my life. Though it may have saved me from contracting HIV.
 

DavidS61

Registrant
Funny how we can be jealous of others...I wish I had the promiscuous sex phase instead I've fought total fear of intimacy all my life. Though it may have saved me from contracting HIV.
I dodged a bullet. The older teen boy who helped me to "learn the ropes" when I was 13 died of AIDs about 12 years later. After my experiences with him, I thank God that my teenage promiscuity was with girls, and ended after I met my future wife (when I was 18). I'm also grateful that several years into my marriage, when I resumed acting out with guys, it was almost always "virtually," otherwise I probably would have contracted HIV myself
 
I navigated through the early years when HIV wasn't understood and my behaviors definitely put me at risk. As the reality became clearer I gradually stepped away and the AID's test I took was negative. I'm quite certain a friend of mine who at one time propositioned me died of AIDs. Yes, I dodged a bullet... but the confusion over my sexual orientation lasted for a long time. Fear of intimacy drove me even when I didn't understand that was what was happening. I do better when I don't think about being in a sexual relationship with anyone by myself... and even that is dicey. Porn is not my friend.
 

DavidS61

Registrant
I navigated through the early years when HIV wasn't understood and my behaviors definitely put me at risk. As the reality became clearer I gradually stepped away and the AID's test I took was negative. I'm quite certain a friend of mine who at one time propositioned me died of AIDs. Yes, I dodged a bullet... but the confusion over my sexual orientation lasted for a long time. Fear of intimacy drove me even when I didn't understand that was what was happening. I do better when I don't think about being in a sexual relationship with anyone by myself... and even that is dicey. Porn is not my friend.
As I try to salvage my marriage (and whats left of my life), I've recently joined a 12 step support group to address the sexual addictions I've had which led me to acting out. To this group, "sexual sobriety" means having intimacy only with my spouse/partner. These guidelines seem well suited to my recovery, since as an adult, when I acted out virtually or simply pleasured myself, I often fantasized about the older boy who first taught me how to passively enjoy being stimulated by the hand/mouth of another. Porn is not my friend, but neither is masturbation.
 
Hope you get the support at that 12 Step meeting that enables you to keep your focus on your marriage. Of course, that work doesn't by itself resolve our trauma related wounds. For that a good therapist can help and so will talking about your moment to moment experience here where men understand the confusion, terror that are inherent is sexual trauma. I wish us all the best...
 

DavidS61

Registrant
Hope you get the support at that 12 Step meeting that enables you to keep your focus on your marriage. Of course, that work doesn't by itself resolve our trauma related wounds. For that a good therapist can help and so will talking about your moment to moment experience here where men understand the confusion, terror that are inherent is sexual trauma. I wish us all the best...
You are 100% correct. I'm talking with my therapist, family and new-found brothers here on matters related to my abuse, and the addictive behaviors that it initiated. thanks again!
 

brother2none

Staff member
I also wonder what my sexuality would have been without the abuse. No way to answer that question though. My abuse started when I was 4 so I've lived my whole life with it.
I wonder though if part of this statement is true: "No way to answer that question though." I often (like daily) struggle with this question of how to know when the abuse happened before, during and after puberty. I empathize with your struggles, I really want to know the real me, without the abuse programming. Many obstacles in my healing journey that once seemed impossible and unattainable have materialized. Maybe together, all of us, can put our heads together and focus on this specific self-understanding.
 
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