How did you know?

IJM,

It is really okay to be confused. I can tell that it's really eating at you to KNOW the answer to this question.

You should watch some of the videos by Joe Kort,

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RF1cDQOftLc[/video]
 
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GeorgeMartin

Registrant
I do not diminish or minimize someone else's reality but insinuating that their sexual orientation is simply a "lifestyle" ... as if it being gay is like putting on and taking of a pair of shoes ... as if it is a choice.

Confusion is created by societies perceptions and beliefs about "being gay". Stereotypes and so on being perpetrated.
 

ImNotTheOnlyOne

Registrant
I have to get something off my chest and honestly don't know who to talk to about this. I think I need to put a trigger warning here too, I experienced some very powerful feelings of disgust at myself and at my abuser and I don't want to insult anyone reading this thread because as I read back over what I've written, it looks a little like gay bashing.

I have been so lonely since I started sticking up for myself. I struggle with sexuality as a result of CSA by a male family member and bullying from my sisters. I periodically go through these existential crises of whether I'm gay or not and it sickens me that my platonic interactions with gay men are basically ruined by my mistrust. The other night I was at work and went to a nearby Chinese takeout place. An attractive younger man struck up a conversation with me and I really liked him. I'm pretty sure he was interested in me and I was flattered. I had no idea what to do so when my food was ready, I said goodbye and went back to work. I couldn't get him out of my mind though. I was getting angry at all the people throughout my life that have told me I was gay and was resisting coming out of the closet. How dare they be right about me! I was angry at myself for being so stubborn as to ignore what was right in front of me the whole time. It literally felt like a weight had been lifted, I simply hadn't met the right person. I started fantasizing about him in a way that I usually reserve for women that I like and respect, but I wasn't feeling well, I figured it was the Chinese food. As I kept fantasizing, the unpleasant feeling grew into nausea and I finally had the brilliant idea that my fantasy was causing the nausea. So I changed the character in my fantasy from a man to a woman and the nausea instantly went away. This whole thing frightens me, it feels like my sexuality is so messed up that I can't reliably tell who or what I like. It felt like the person fantasizing was one person and the person experiencing the nausea was another. I managed to recombine the two people, but holy shit! And I'm so sorry for my mistrust of men.
 

Jer

Registrant
I think I knew when I was probably 8 or so. While I didn't understand the word "gay" or what it meant, I found myself attracted to my fellow classmates. 8 was also about the same time the abuse started. While the abuse had an impact on me in many ways, I do believe I was always gay.
 

LoneWolfX

Registrant
Napoleon said:
But what I believe is that All human men are born bisexual. Nurture determines it from there.

Look the prostate located in the anal cavity, why? This is why young boys take so much longer to potty train that girls. They actually enjoy holding it in, because it stimulates the prostate and produces endorphin's. Physically all men are bi, and receive sexual stimulation from either type of sex. Women do not receive pleasure from anal the same way a man does. One can not examine the position of the prostate and conclude there is no evolutionary benefit for this.

I am sure this is result of evolution. Populations evolve more quickly when individuals are removed from the gene pool. Those individuals were sexually isolated and find male partners the same way men do when sexually isolated in jail. But more over a young boy can engage in survival sex. And while there is no need for survival sex in modern society thanks to CPS, adoption programs, etc; This was most certainly a survival trait for ancient boys. thus this arrangement benefits both the gene pool and increases the likely hood of individual survival.
Really thought-provoking. Thank you for sharing.
 

InsideTheWall

Registrant
I knew I liked guys before the abuse happened, which was in my teens. It made accepting my sexuality much more difficult and largely ruined my 20's.
 
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bigman883

New Registrant
I continue to struggle to this day. i was abused by a female cousin and a male uncle, at different times. I don't think they knew about each other, they were from different parts of my family.

although I identify as being heterosexual, sexually, relationship, intimacy prospectives, i enjoy aspects of gay sex. i have been through therapy and i was told this may be due to patterning that occurred since the abuse happened when i was quite young.
 

Tom E.

Registrant
I've always been kind of Bi, but mainly attracted to guys. Don't know what the ratio would have been if I hadn't been exposed to gay sex as a boy & young man 1st, or if I'd had sex with females 1st.
 
how on Earth could they expect survivors of childhood sexual abuse to give a solid answer one way or another and how could they exclude people who identified as "confused straight" yet needed help?
I hear you, Slacks. Remember that these studies come out of institutional academia, which is systematically prejudiced against males. And while I'm sure many researchers as individuals recognize and deplore the exclusion of straight males from their research, they still have to pursue funding for it. There are few funds available to study abused straight males, because as we are the "most privileged" group in the world (according to feminist patriarchal theory, to which all institutes of higher learning more or less must subscribe), abuse against us is academically unrecognized and, according to patriarchal theory, generally isn't worth studying since as a group we cannot be oppressed - and in academia, abuse pretty much only "counts" when it's committed against oppressed people.
 
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I knew I liked guys before the abuse happened, which was in my teens. It made accepting my sexuality much more difficult and largely ruined my 20's.
Like InsideTheWall, to understand my sexual orientation I looked to my thoughts and feelings prior to when I was sexually abused and raped. I remember having intense feelings of friendship with a few boys that I now recognize as crushes or infatuations. The two that stand out are a handsome, rough and tumble, athletic blond boy, and a tall beautiful boy of Italian heritage who played the piano accordion. Looking at these relationships with an adult's eyes, I can see that I was romantically attracted to them, but as a pre-teen and pre-pubescent boy I had no language and no experience for that. There wasn't a hint of anything physical about it. I also remember being drawn to comic book heroes and images of men with heroic proportions to the point where I tried to draw them to recreate what it was I'd seen and felt in those images. Looking back, I think this was the beginnings of my natural sexual desire.

In retrospect, "Was I gay or did being sexually abused and raped make me gay?" seems like the wrong question for me. I think what happened to me made it even harder to face the truth that I was gay. Unpacking my sexuality meant I had to unpack and deal with my sexual abuse and rape as well. Ultimately I did that work in my mid to late twenties, but I was robbed of my sexual awakening and everything that goes with it. I had to deal with my childhood sexual abuse and tease it apart from my sexuality, trying to prevent it from tainting who I was becoming.

As an aside, I find the language calling gay sexuality a "lifestyle" very difficult and problematic. Framing natural gay sexuality as a "lifestyle" is used to denigrate lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals suggesting that their orientation is a choice and therefore can and should be "cured". I'm not down with being "othered" and pathologized in that way.

-efm
 
It makes sense but I wonder WHY your T asks that? Is he/she God and can go beck pre abuse and truly answer that question? No one else can and neither can you. You are attracted as you are now attracted. You are committed as you choose to commit. Screw the T for CAUSING you angst instead of helping you to resolve it.
 
I do not diminish or minimize someone else's reality but insinuating that their sexual orientation is simply a "lifestyle" ... as if it being gay is like putting on and taking of a pair of shoes ... as if it is a choice.

Confusion is created by societies perceptions and beliefs about "being gay". Stereotypes and so on being perpetrated.
Wish I could “LIKE” George Martins comment it says it all better than I did.
 

MACH123

Registrant
I don't believe in anything except abuse reactive sexuality as an abnormality. I feel the most compassion for people with unwanted SSA especially now because who can you turn to? Everyone just says "why can't you admit you're gay or bisexual," which is so horribly abusive if you aren't or if it's unwanted.

This whole subject is so painful and divisive. I wish I didn't know anything about it but sadly I've had to deal with it my whole life.
 

EQCR

Registrant
Honestly, I was 6 years old and had a sleepover with my best friend. I couldn't sleep and stood beside his bed trying to figure out how I could get a look at his thingy. It wasn't until much later (age 11) when I realized that I wanted that with boys and not girls.

You use Gay Porn for a reason. It may be helpful to figure out what that reason is. There is something about Gay Porn that you respond to, perhaps you might try and narrow down what exactly triggers your responses (i.e. is it the voyeuristic nature of porn? something about domination or submission? the impersonal intimacy between men? or whatever it is). This may also give you some insight into your attraction to men. It may also give you insight into why you are not responding to your wife the way you want to.
I would think a good therapist would be open to the idea of discussing your use or possible abuse of Gay Porn, the what and why you use it and help form a successful strategy for either eliminating it (if that is what you want) or de-stigmatizing it for you and your wife.
I can only recommend you be 100% open and honest with yourself and your therapist (and your wife), he is there to help you. He can't help if you don't (or can't) talk about it. Shame and confusion are powerful forces that survivors often have great difficulty dealing with. It does not help when we feel like our loved ones can't or won't understand.
 

MACH123

Registrant
Wish I could “LIKE” George Martins comment it says it all better than I did.
The like function is great maybe we can request it I agree.

As for the rest

I couldn't understand that I wasn't gay it made no sense and years later when the abuse came out I understood. My therapist also understood and help me understand that I couldn't possibly have felt any other way. Shattered that is.

CSA, re enactment, disassociation, repressed memories, addictions, hyper sexual, sexual and gender confusion.

Yeah, I'm a good one to decide this?
 
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Tack

Registrant
I see the question in terms of nature, nurture. I believe that as individuals, we are born with innate desires, but through our experiences, we acquire ways of being. Having experienced prolonged years of serious child abuse, being institutionalized for calling the cops, then surviving on the street by 13, I became very numb to sex, (I loved the analogy with smoking by the way, where I did it as just something that was part of life,)...yet constantly craving it, not realizing that what I really wanted was to be loved--by anyone. I equated sex with someone caring about me. To feel I belonged, that I was normal, I needed other people. It took me time to realize my true nature was not gay...but neither was I purely heterosexual anymore. I am attracted to all that is feminine, but prefer a sexual partner that has both large breasts and a large phallus, (what I see as nothing more than a large clitoris,) but I have never met someone like that, so my nature conflated by nurture sexual preference remains unfulfilled. I did, though, finally find someone that showed me real love, and sex became secondary. We have been together, off and on, for over 35 years. As time went on and she no longer had any interest in sex, (an effect of her going through menopause,) she still loves me, and I doubt we will ever be apart again...but I am still hyper-sexualized. Sex now is reduced to masturbation which she will sometimes be there for, and may touch me a little while I do it, but that's it. Over the years, though, she learned that I like threesomes (but anal is a NO GO for me, trauma too serious there,) and that I have such porn in my nightstand, but I have never asked her to share it with me, nor has she ever asked to share it. It is not HER orientation, and I love and respect her enough to not ask. To me, it came down to realizing what I really wanted was to be loved, that sex was a means to find it taught in my earliest experiences in childhood, which reproduces as intrusive memories. I learned to accept who I am, to share that part of me with the only person that has ever loved me and was also intimate with me, and found that she accepted me as I am. Because she no longer has an interest, but also knows about my orientation and still loves me, she has said I should go out, met someone sexually compatible, and if I develop feelings for them, she will welcome them into the family. To me, THAT is love; sex is a biological need nothing more than a natural need to burp, and because I love her, and do not want her to ever feel hurt or betrayed, I have never taken her up on her offer, and likely never will, (though I find myself masturbating three or more times a day lately.) Of course, no one else who knows me personally knows that part of me, because I have faced the stigmatization and marginalization that occurs when I disclose, so I keep my mouth shut in all other social relationships--save this anonymous forum that lets me vent. I found that, from my perspective, gay/straight/bi or any other orientation on the continuum came down to a question of...was there any love. I cannot see myself ever loving a male, realized that it was just sex, and that, I would be most satisfied sexually if I were in the arms of a loving woman, feeling love myself, when engaging with the sexuality I was taught by early trauma. Thus, being attracted, to me, is about sex, not about the love that was all I ever really wanted and that to me, reflects my combined innate and acquired orientation. Yes, I am sexually attracted to transgender females, but I will not pursue love there so long as the love of my life, my life-partner, is with me. My wife would have to be the one to initiate it, because I would never do anything that might hurt her.
 
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My take on this for me is the following: Confusing the abuser actions with sex or sexual orientation can be a big problem, while the acts were sexual in nature the abuser was seeking power and control and the sexual gratification was just a by-product of the act of dominance. For the victim, the hyper-sexualization of their young body and mind does throw you into sexual confusion because you didn't develop your sexual identity naturally, your body responded before the mind was ready to comprehend the responses and/or before you had made a choice to be sexual. By saying made the choice I mean at some point as teenagers or young adults we make a choice to try this thing called sex with someone who has also made the choice, the natural first time. None of us were given our choice to but we were assaulted even if by grooming. Society in general labels abusers of boys as gay but this can't be true for the fact that is about power and control and the vast majority are married men and women who commit the acts of molestation.
 
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