My inability to feel pleasure ***TRIGGERS***


I think I can only hope to have this understood by you guys.

Last week I had maybe the most important therapy session ever. I began to talk in depth about a part of my experience I have often mentioned, but never explored. I began to tease apart what it was like to wake up to my mentor blowing me.

It triggered powerful emotions that forced their way into the present. I could not shake the fear and disgust that a current friend had betrayed me. Once I questioned why I was having these imagionings, the source was clear, didn’t my mentor betray me?

I was able to put it aside until today. At first I was disengaged from myself. But I have been spacy and cranky all day. Those are defenses. What I am under that is sad. I have a heavy heart today.

I had never gotten to this moment in therapy because the night was like a horror movie. This being the least of it. On the surface I handled it well. I woke up to him doing me. He noticed I was awake and stopped. I scrambled away. Tried to stand up but was crouching against the wall. He came at me with his out demanding I do him. I shoved him over, ran out of the room and locked myself away until a security guard made his morning rounds.

What I said in therapy is the secret belief I have had since that night. See, I go numb if anyone touches me. Oral, hand if someone is doing it to me I detach. At best I can fake a few moments of pleasure. My belief is I froze my dick that night. You could say he stole it. Today I thought, no he didn’t steal it, what he really did was kill my dick.

That may sound really strange to most of you. I hear (and understand) how many of you became hyper sexualized. I didn’t. I withdrew.

I have not held my secret belief in the kindness regard (i.e. what a sap to jump into complete lockdown over one blow job). But this afternoon I saw the whole picture. It wasn’t just a blow job. This came after I endured the earlier fright fest he staged. I left him in the room with me because what happened earlier was so unbelievable I accepted his explanations. The night was herky jerky. One one side was terror and mind numbing confusion. On the other were his explanations that seemed plausible. I fell asleep on a pile of stinking, moldy theater curtains. It was later than I had ever been awake for. I collapsed. Only to be betrayed again.

Was it powerful enough to remove all connection to my dick. I am here to defend that boy and say yes, yes it fuck was.
I understand completely Bri. It reminds me of something I've mentioned on various threads here. You may have read this before, but I'll repeat it because it was so profound in my understanding what the trauma did to me. I was trying in my marriage to not run away sexually as I'd done in my first three marriages. My wife and I were using a book by Wendy Maltz called The Sexual Healing Journey, and were doing sensate focusing. The exercise invited us to share touch but without proceeding to intercourse. My wife was gently touching my bare chest, then my belly, then my genitals. I began to feel aroused and the moment my penis reached erection I was overwhelmed with terror I'd never before experienced. It was shortly after that experience that I started therapy using EMDR and began to recall everything that happened to me at the hands of neighbors. It began when I was 3 and continued until I was 7 when an adult from this extended family of pedophiles raped my in the basement of his home.

I came to understand that ALL of my sexual experience with partners was driven by the trauma and beneath the arousal was terror I couldn't touch. I've honestly, never felt safe enough to have sexual feelings with a partner. It is all rooted in the trauma, much as you are discovering with the work you're doing now. I'm much older than you and am not in an intimate relationship, so I've concluded this is a condition I will live with the rest of my life. I will be asexual, using porn when I feel I need release. I will not seek a relationship that is sexual, though I hope to have intimacy in my life... an intimacy that doesn't expose me to this terror I still carry. This is part of my healing journey... Deep respect for the work you're doing Bri.


...was terror I couldn't touch.
Those words ring so true. When I first read them I inserted "Block" I can't touch. But the block is there out of terror.

I am just getting in touch with what I felt when I came to that night. I know I was terrified. I didn’t know what he was doing. His dark large figure was hunched over me like a massive dog eating me. What did I feel physically, down there? I've always said blank, nothing, void. But was there something before the fear kicked in? Was there a split second of connection? I learned to stop saying "I don't know". I need to concentrate on what I do. And that was I was terrified.

Thank you for giving me those words.
Bri, I absolutely 100% believe you with no reservations. I mostly turned to pornography to deal with my own abuse and my own sex organs have never worked well with a partner, because instead of pleasure I mostly just feel fear. So I feel like I can absolutely understand your inability to feel pleasure.

It sounds like an incredibly terrifying experience and I'm so, so sorry it happened to you.


Tonight I was texting a friend and telling him about what happened. Out of the blue I said John (my mentor) stole my dignity. The realization almost blew my mind. I certainly see understand that to be true for everyone else here, the abuse violates your dignity. Isn't that the first thing to go? But I have up until tonight never applied it to myself.

What he did to me was no small thing. My reaction is not over blown, it is proportional to the event. I am not flawed or fragile. I am just human.

@Strangeways I never stick around long enough to feel the fear, I just check out and go numb. I am sorry I am not alone, but it's also comforting to know it. Thank you
One of the things that makes this beautiful website a challenge is that we each encountered a traumatic experience at a different point in our development and what happened to us before colored everything that happened in the trauma. I was terrified before I had words to understand... that is the nature of complex PTSD. It was my care provider, my mother, who terrified me in the crib. So when the neighbors began using me I had no secure place in myself that I could reference to or feel was taken away by the acts. I have no doubt that the feelings that came with my sexualization were pleasant and I had a natural curiosity. I can remember some of that in the images and body sensations that appeared in therapy. It wasn't until I was seven years old that I was raped and that was an overwhelming and painful experience I eventually relived during an EMDR therapy session. I'd been working for three years using EMDR before I finally came to that devastating moment.

No we are not flawed or fragile, but we carry a profound wound... many of them in reality. And we are unpacking those experiences... looking at them with fresh eyes, tender eyes. You're doing exactly the work you are called upon to do Bri. This is healing and it can be confusing and destabilizing, but it is essential. You sharing your deep work with us, inspires us to do our work. That is what we are here to do. Deep respect.


The more I know of our experiences the more convinced that children must be guarded from anything sexual. Human sexuality has to progress at it's own, slow and mysterious pace. Any interjections or demands will have a catastrophic affect. I am seeing, not just in myself, but through so many of your stories just how vulnerable we are. You can not force a bloom without consequences.

Thank you for your encouragment. As I have said before, I often feel like I blurt and dump here. But I need to.