Open for business

New topic area!

Due to popular demand, we are setting up a new topic area, Sexual Identity Issues.

This area is to deal with sexual problems that are not otherwise in the Gay Survivors forum.

It might be about confused feelings of sexuality (am I straight, bi, gay?), or sexual behaviors that are confusing. For those who are struggling with compulsive masturbation, feelings of acting out on children, At Risk is the place to deal with those behaviors.

We will opt to move topics to appropriate areas when necessary. Since this is a new area, we will probably move things that perhaps shouldn't be moved in the beginning until we figure things out. So, please bear with us. We don't yet have a moderator(s), and I'm going to ask all mods to let me know if they want to be involved with this one.

So, let's roll, but please be patient as we work things out.

There will be no sexual solicitation in this or any MS forums. If you are found to be soliciting anyone for sex (cyber or otherwise), you will be banned from this site.


Rick Goodwin

Brilliant work, team! Thank you, Ken! I feel that just another chapter in my life is embraced by MaleSurvivor!

Damn, why was this site not here 30 years ago? :)

Courage to all my brothers who are exploring this issue for the first time. And if these brothers at not yet members of the organization, perhaps this is yet another reminder of this resource for us all. Please join to help make it stronger.

Cheers, Rick


Mr. Singer,

Great idea on starting this forum. When I first visited this site, this is exactly what I was looking for at the time. Although I've found other outlets, this can help people now and in the future.

I thought I was crazy during the beginning of my recovery. Hell, even before I fessed up to myself and to a friend about what happened to me. Adult male survivors, as far as I have read, biggest issues come out of confusion over sexuality. Thanks so much for adding this. To anyone checking this forum out because you've had some of the same issues I would also recommend every article on this website. It helped me tremendously.

Thanks again and take it easy,

This is great though, I don't know if I can help child sexual abuse victims with these issues, but I can at least provide insight from an adult male rape victim. Hopefully, it can help everyone


There is a part of me that says I can never be accepted by other men as male, the belief that there is something, anything, no matter how seemingly minor, that will disqualify me from being accepted by the other guys as male. In this part of myself I am still like at the beginnings of my teens, wanting the warm acceptance of other males in my group, which doesn't and didn't exist. One of the key areas where I have this fear about something at root being missing or incomplete or insufficient is in going to the gym to compete with other men; I can go and play but I feel the deep fear of competition, like I have to psychologically destroy the other male and not be humiliated, which I cannot stand. I also fear going to the shower rooms and being seen.

I know this sounds wierd but when I go to a pool and smell the chlorine it reminds me of the very unpleasant feeling I had in possibly competing with other males.

It is hard for me to accept psychologically and physically that I am adequate to being accepted as a male "by the other boys" of my past and still cotninuing as a thought to this daya. I will write more later. :confused:


New Registrant
ken singer, well i am confused already. i understand sexual identiy issues and how complex they can be, however i don't understand why and how "acting out on children" would be part of sexual identity issues--that to me is a police matter..i am new to this MS sight and to me this is upsetting to hear that MS has a place for perps to work on their sickness. i am truly upset
Please note that there is not a place here for people for acting out on children. The Sexual Identity forum is NOT for that. Read over the welcome:

"For those who are struggling with compulsive masturbation, feelings of acting out on children, At Risk is the place to deal with those behaviors."

FEELINGS of acting out on children can be discussed in At Risk. Feelings are not reportable to the police. We would rather have someone discuss his feelings in the restricted forum At Risk than to keep silent and possibly act on those feelings. Prevention is better than cleaning up the aftermath.

Please don't be upset because we are not protecting perpetrators.

Ken Singer
Mr. Singer-
Upon looking over this wesite further I came upon
your new forum. Thank you.
As a grown man of 45, who was first abused sexually at the age of 4 by a man, I am here to tell you that I have never felt totally connested to my maleness. I sometimes have experiences where I don't feel inside that I look like the man I am on the outside, and I am
considered to be attractive, very masculine looking man.
After years of therapy, I still grapple with this isssue oif identification, although I feel most comfortable with a woman, I still have strong homosexual fantasies. At times I am
accepting of how this is how my life played itself out, but there are other times when I'm emotionally unbalanced and things seem to feel out of control.
I am currently not in therapy, bu this website
is already giving me an opportunity to express myself and that is very helpful right now in my life.
This is from my book (in progress so please don't reprint it):

What if I think about penises a lot? Does that mean Im gay? Not necessarily. The man described above associated sexual pleasure with his mothers (and later his partners) legs, shoes and feet. If a boy experiences powerful sexual feeling while sucking his abusers penis, or having his own penis licked, or touching or being touched on the penis, he may make a similar connection. In addition, as teenagers discovering masturbation, we reinforce the pleasurable feelings with the sight and feel of our own penises. So, with a normal (that is, non-abusive) sexual history, we will have a neutral to good association with penises. Our penis can make us feel good, powerful, and alleviate boredom.

But when the sexual feelings are forced, unwanted, confusing, even painful, the association with the penis can be contaminated. Some men hate their penis because it betrayed them by getting erect in an abusive situation. Because the male abuser, particularly when there are negative feelings towards him, has a penis, some survivors may associate the penis with the hurt, betrayal, pain, humiliation, shame, and guilt from the abuse. Think of the confusion one might feel from having these negative emotions about the abuse or abuser, and trying to feel good about ones sexuality and penis.

One important consideration is to look at why you desire to act out sexually with other men. If the acts are reenactments of your abuse, it may be because the trauma is still unresolved and the sex is a way of returning to the trauma, perhaps hoping on an unconscious level, that this time you are not the helpless one. It may also be that you have been taught or conditioned that doing this behavior will bring closeness, acceptance or some other emotional need that you may not have in your life at the moment.




From the very beginning of my abuse history I recall disliking the fact that I was a boy, with predictable results for my self-esteem.

So another dimension to what you are saying: One thing that caught my childish attention was that the first thing the abuser went for the first time he abused me was my penis - sticking his hand down my underpants and then other things. On later occasions that remained the focus of his attention. So it was my penis, the symbol of my identity as a boy, that had attracted the abuse. I hated the idea that I had one even before I started feeling betrayed by erections and so on.



New Registrant
Other than adolescents, liars, and total egotists, I have never met a man who consistently liked his image as a male. Whether you are Gay, straight, bi, or in transition... the culture teaches you to compete with others, and that you are never adequate. The fact is you are adequate when you claim your own identity and you will always be inadequate when you compare yourself to another guy. Even the bulk boys in the gym feel inadequate. They just have acquired a range of defenses to mask them, and if the truth be known they may be much more vulneralbe in their hearts than their bulk suggests.

I am surprised with all this attention to Pee-pees. The penis is just neutral thing. Not good, bad, or necessarily the source of pleasure or pain.. Even without an abuse history, the penis will be a source of great disappointment in the course of a lifetime. The poor baby will get sick, injured, might not work...etc. But the penis will also be a great source of comfort and pleasure to yourself and others with whom you chose to be intimate. Please please.. try not to be so frightened, scared, hostile, or angry with your penis. Make up... if it has been the source of abuse by others or yourself, make up.. and forgive it.. reown it.. and promise not protect it as sacred in your life from this point on. And keep it out of the male competion game... It is what it is as you are. And that is just enough for those who wish to love you.

Forum Readers:
May I introduce you to Dr Ralph, my friend and colleague, the "go to guy" I refer to for questions about sexuality, gender, orientation, image, and lots of other areas related to maleness. (I suspect he also is fluent in femaleness as well.)

Ralph is funny, irreverant but extremly knowledgable. You can post your comments, observations, questions and confusion here, and hopefully get a straight (or gay or bi) answer from him.

Welcome to MS, Ralph.


WARNING from ModTeam, September 2013: user "Shado
how can i ,or do i even want to feel like a man when men have done such horrible things to me ,where does a male fit in if not with other males ?adam



Your response to abuse as you describe it above is shared by many survivors new to recovery. May I also say, but not in any patronizing way, that I see this idea a lot among young survivors who are just coming to terms with their manhood and deciding what it all means for them.

Bro, you were abused by an adult male, sure, but maybe it would be helpful to consider the difference between that and a man. Any guy who is physically mature can have sex, for example, but so can animals. After a certain age we are classified as "adults" and society lets us think that with this age transition something special happens that gives us all sorts of new privileges and responsibilities - as if, with our 18th or 21 birthday or whenever it is, we suddenly become more able to deal with all this stuff.

That's nonsense so far as I have seen. At the age of 21 I wasn't doing anything that I wasn't already doing at the age of 17, and I wasn't doing it any better - not sex, not relationships, not life. I don't think I really started to become a "man" until I was nearly 30.

Becoming a man as I see it means learning to define and justify your boundaries in the various aspects of your life and then living by these limits because you know them to be right. A man lives by what he believes and treats others with compassion and respect; he stands by what he believes, but is willing to listen to others, test his ideas, and accept challenges meant in good faith. He understands that learning never ends and that wisdom can come in many forms.

So I would propose to you, Adam, that while you were abused by an adult male, you were not abused by a man as I would define the term. You are right to be cautious about adult males for the time being. You have a lot of work to do where your recovery is concerned, and I can see that your ability to trust has been pretty much wrecked. That isn't your fault - you are right, as I said, to be careful.

But I hope you will think about this and see that what you need to do is look for men and allow them into your life. And I know what your next question will be: How do I know that someone is a man I can trust?

We all keep learning this throughout our lifes bro, but just a short rule of thumb that I find useful: Look at how guys treat others and deal with them. How would you feel if he treated YOU like that? What would the world be like if EVERYONE behaved like that?

It's late and I need to get to bed, but I did want to finish this one. We all need others to fertilize our thinking, inspire us, and lend us strength. You are a good guy already and are showing a lot of the traits you will need to become a man in the sense I am proposing here. As you make more progress and gain in confidence you will begin to recognize others who see the world as you do and seem to offer you good ideas and models you can follow. You will be safe with such men in your life.

Much love,


New Registrant
I have been brousing the web site for the last few days. Trying to muster the courage to sign on again. I haven't posted in a long time - two years or so. I have been numbing out with an affair, an older coworker for the last 3 and half years, it ended by my initiative two weeks ago. My drug now gone, I've come back to you all, full of shame and remorse but hopeful that I can begin again to work on my recovery. I know you are all here for me,I need you and I'm grateful you are here.

The topic of sexual/"gender" identity has always been one I have always struggled with. I too have never felt like one on the guys. I never really felt like one of my peers for that matter the secret separated me from them - if nothing else child sexual abuse is lonely. Maybe that's one of the reasons I chose to have an affair with a woman nearly twenty years older than me...

My father left shortly after my abuse from an older cousin. Although no one knew at that time of my abuse, Dad had been concerned that I was not "masculine" enough - whatever that means when you're 10 - Dad's solution to this problem was to leave his stash of pornography to his ten year old son. Hoping that he could ward off any possible homosexual biases that my sweet childlike nature might sugest. Although I'm not gay it certainly added to the sexual/gender identity issue that many children face. Crossdressing and masterbation with dad's porn became my solace, it too was isolating, shameful and lonely, The image of the strong independant male was scary for me. Although I participated in athletics, I too was uncomfortable with competition and the comraderie that comes with being with other men. I just wanted to opt out. I became very ambivalent about my gender and my age, trying to be the sensitive male and more mature for my age. I married young, to a girl that I could play a more mature person to, a woman who was not interested intimacy emotional or sexual, a woman that had no problem with me taking on the more traditional female role in a relationship, cooking, cleaning, etc. In some ways I needed her to be that way.

My affair did have some positives to it- at least as I see it. I was appreciated as a man. something I didn't get/ allow from my wife. I did experience the emotional intimacy that comes from a shared experience with someone I love, as disfuctional as it may have been.

John Oarc

Ken, thanks so much for this section. This gives us a place to post regarding what I think is the greatest problem in most of our lives "sex" even people who have not been molested or abused have problems with it.

Thanks goes out to MS also.




New Registrant
I am new here, became a member just last week and I have been browsing the boards to get a feel of just were I fit in. I must agree that this is the topic I struggle with the most. I am glad there will be an area where one can share their thoguhs and feelings on the subject. Some of the key elements I picked up and identified immediately from reading the previous post are:

disliking your penis
shame and guilt
Trusting other males (really trusting them)
Dad thinking I was not male enough
thinking of penises or obsessing about them

I also struggle with defining my sexuality because of the following statement made by Ken, "One important consideration is to look at why you desire to act out sexually with other men. If the acts are reenactments of your abuse, it may be because the trauma is still unresolved and the sex is a way of returning to the trauma, perhaps hoping on an unconscious level, that this time you are not the helpless one. It may also be that you have been taught or conditioned that doing this behavior will bring closeness, acceptance or some other emotional need that you may not have in your life at the moment."

I can not tell all of you how much I want to believe this to be true and yet at the same time I tell myself that this may just be wishful thinking and that I should just accept that I may be gay; however I also wish things were that simple.

I long for an embrace from a male who is physically stronger than me, that embrace can make one feel so safe and yet It's terrifying at the same time because they could easily that control. I believe this longing is from not having a father figure around in my early childhood. I believe this feeling was the one that left me vulnaberable to abuse because I would seek out older males to fill that void. Following blindly and trusting always to be rewarded with betrayal, pain, abuse, horror, emptyness, heartache I can go on and on.

I guess I made this long enough for now. It felt good to be able to get that out. Guess I will be regular poster on this forum.

Thanks all it's good to have a safe place to express one self with out fear.
at the same time I tell myself that this may just be wishful thinking and that I should just accept that I may be gay;
I don't know if I stated it clearly in the part you quoted from me, but certainly is ok to be gay (or as Seinfeld used to say, "Not that there's anything wrong with that"). My point is that sometimes people who are not comfortable with their attraction/interest/arousal to penises are not truly gay but are fixated by the abuse experience and it is not about orientation.

It is also sometimes an attempt to re-enact the abuse in order to change the outcome of being controlled/abused from the past. In any event, sexuality in all its dimensions is a complex issue.

Glad this place can be of help. Welcome.