SSA & Sexual Disorientation

@Strangeways - why must you assign the term homophobia to anyone who disagrees with your position. My statement was very strong in the love I still have for my brothers who disagree with my position. How is that a phobia? How is that bigotry? I am being true to my faith. Religious freedom. No hatred or fear was ever shown in my post.
Nc-survivor - this is what they do in the name of "protecting" others. They seem to be afraid of others having different thoughts and experiences. It feels like a need to control. Let's not have discussions about homophobia and/or hate - its what is wanted. That discussion is safer than SSA not being the equivalent of homosexuality or even the possibility of that.

Edit: another thing I've seen happen is that a robust convo takes place, someone comes in to disrupt and then a moderator comes in to end the thread rather than curtail the disruptive presence. Its unfortunate.
 
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This is a very hard conversation to have there are so many opinions and abuse seems to have effected us in so many ways. I have fought with this my whole life. Gone back and forth several times. I have identified as gay bi and straight. Now I don't identify as anything I gave up on that it was to confusing and hurt so much as I had no idea of my sexual orientation it got to the point that sex was something that sent me to full on panic attack started with my wife and continued after we split. I tried to have sex with a male a couple of times. The first time I froze the next time I had a sever panic attack. So I kind of see myself as someone with out a sexuality. I don't even MB very often as I can't handle the intrusive thoughts. I don't see that changing now or in the future but you never know. I have change how I feel about sexuality most of my life. And through my teens and twenties I was active out of control sex with both sexes.
I don't think of sexual abuse as being sex and those are my only visions of sex that stand out.

Take Care
Esterio
 

PRFL

Registrant
My take on the homophobia issue is that it is a legitimate issue, but there’s a lot more that is not about homophobia. It is one thing to rightfully address the homophobia issue, but another one to weaponize the term to silence those of us that have unwanted SSA that doesn’t fit our identity. As for the religious aspect, I am not a religious person so I have no concerns about “sinfulness”. To me, it is about reclaiming a part of myself that was severely wounded and damaged, and being accused of being “homophobic” adds to the wound and re-abuses me because it continues to invalidate my original identity. Furthermore, having had several years of same-sex relationships, sometimes very good ones, I have zero regrets nor shame about any of them, I just don’t feel obligated to fit into an identity that was not my original one.
 
I've seen it weaponized on here more times than I can count. In this thread the use of the word homophobia is the weaponization of it.

But here's the problem. Now we're talking about homophobia. We're not talking about SSA. That is by design.
 

PRFL

Registrant
I've seen it weaponized on here more times than I can count. In this thread the use of the word homophobia is the weaponization of it.

But here's the problem. Now we're talking about homophobia. We're not talking about SSA. That is by design.
I would be more nuanced about that. I feel that homophobia IS a legitimate issue that needs to be addressed, as does SSA. Is my reluctance to have sex with other men I’m attracted to because of homophobia? That’s, IMO, a very legitimate question, however, it’s not the only question that should be addressed, others being, for example, the impact of the abuse on my sexuality. I come from a very homophobic cultural background, so I needed to really get through layers of learned homophobia, and stop shaming myself for feeling attracted to other men. That way, I’m sure that when I try to grapple with my issues around women and my fears of them, I’m not worried about whether homophobia is an issue or not, because I already addressed it. So I know that i’m not running away from same sex attraction because I’m OK with it, but that doesn’t mean it’s an innate part of my identity, when heterosexuality was something I got robbed of. So, I personally don’t see a discussion of homophobia as incompatible with grappling with SSA, what I think happens is “when the only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”, or perhaps in other words, tunnel vision. I experienced this a lot with many counselors that could not wrap their heads around the SSA issue because all they knew was how to address homophobia. It’s the dogmatic approach to things that bothers me the most. I’ve got the “you’re homophobic in denial” speech so many times that sometimes I wonder if I’m not supposed to exist, because as legitimate as the homophobia issue is, it seems almost impossible for some people to see beyond that and see that there are other equally legitimate issues that need to be addressed as well.
Sorry for the rambling, just hope that this makes sense.
 

jacats

Registrant
I posted a post in the Gay forum about how i cant not read ssa as negative about gay people. i didnt feel like people meant me to take it that way, but i didnt get it. I would not actually think they were actually gay, but the bit about shame and embarassment i couldnt uhhhh separate from the idea of You Must Think Im Shameful and Embarassing. You know what I mean? Because i only like dudes. End of that story.
Now people who say hate the sin not the sinner, we just not going to agree on that shit. Im cool with that. I dont think theres nothing wrong with how i live my life. So thats a whole other convo, with some over lap but you know, to each they own.

But reading responses about it i am starting to understand what people are talking about. Its all very complicated and really fucking personal, going into beliefs on sexuality, maybe religion, maybe how you was raised, abuse... Either side of the coin maybe cut each other some slack, you know? Im starting to see what the SSA people are talking about from reading here.

Really! I want to! Im not just being an asshole! Im trying to figure it out!

Thanks for your responses, i figured some shit out, and pleeeeeeease lets not lock a good thread lol
 
Perhaps making the "Sexual Identity" Forum a "safe" place for SSA strugglers to discuss the issue without any fear of men in the Gay Community getting upset about any verbiage used within this subforum. Likewise, members who identify in the Gay Community should be able to post in the "Gay/Bi/Trans Survivors" without having to worry about any comments that could be deemed as insulting or homophobic.

All other main forums should be as "neutral" as possible, avoiding insulting one group or another. and can also allow for healthy, civil debate on the "Gay vs SSA" issue, as well.
 

flying

Registrant
This is a difficult topic. Part of my journey has been to get rid of internal homophobia, be ok with having attractions for guys. My journey has also involved being called gay because I was questioning my sexuality, mostly by a therapist who said I was trying to be straight but was really gay. He said I could get married if I was honest, which doesn't make sense to me because if I was gay and honest I wouldn't marry a woman. This fucked me up in the head, and I still feel mad at that jerk.

At the same time, I have always been attracted to women and I have had fear and shame of being vulnerable with women because of my history with my mom. Sometimes I still get scared being sexual with my wife. For many years I had shame about these feelings of fear. They go back to kindergarten when my parents made fun of me for having a crush on a female teacher. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I thought there was something wrong with me. I stuffed my sexual feelings for my mom because it felt so gross. When I would get close to a girl, I'd get overwhelmed with the feeling of being gross and bad.

Later, after being the object of men trying to molest me, the feeling that there was something wrong with me because of my anxiety with girls became connected with the fear of being gay.

Back to the jerk therapist, I knew I wasn't gay, but I also knew I was attracted to men at times. This made me decide I had to identify as bisexual. Now, I identify as me.

I believe God loves me, and God gives us all our sexuality. It is a gift, whether we are with men, women, both, or neither.

Having experienced sexual abuse, all of these issues are more difficult and confusing. It's important to have a place where we can disagree respectfully. We all went through bad stuff.
 
Perhaps making the "Sexual Identity" Forum a "safe" place for SSA strugglers to discuss the issue without any fear of men in the Gay Community getting upset about any verbiage used within this subforum. Likewise, members who identify in the Gay Community should be able to post in the "Gay/Bi/Trans Survivors" without having to worry about any comments that could be deemed as insulting or homophobic.
I appreciate that, but public forums for survivors are accessible to everyone who is a survivor. Straight survivors can and do post in the Gay/Bi/Trans Survivor forum, and those who are struggling with the concept of SSA can post in the Sexual Identity Issues forum. Fragmenting the site by having survivors disperse into separate "safe" camps is not what MaleSurvivor is about.

People should feel free to express differing perspectives without extrapolating their views onto others. Rephrasing strong perspectives as questions instead of maxims and avoiding the use of "you" or they" or "them" can go a long way towards disarming a loaded topic.

If people are discussing a topic as potentially controversial as SSA, there will be disagreements. That's pretty much a given, especially considering a proven history of disputation on the topic. Robust conversation can be very helpful to open minds looking to navigate a difficult subject, and that value compels us to leave the thread open. But robust does not mean heated or angry, and never should get personal. It may be helpful to keep in mind that contrary perspectives can make people feel unheard, and dogmatic statements can make fellow survivors feel dismissed. Sometimes what is more important than making a point is being sensitive to the person who is reading that point. Writer Dale Carnegie suggested that no argument is truly winnable. He maintained that if you fail to make your point, you've lost the argument. But if you pound it home and win it, you've lost the good will of the other. In the end, what has been won? And was it worth the price?

At the end of the day, this is a site where conversation should be focused on finding common ground and support rather than drawing lines of division. SSA. Gay. Whatever. We are all trying to navigate questions we should never have had to deal with in the first place. We're just trying to find our way, and perhaps find some friends on the journey who understand or can help guide us gently to a helpful perspective we may not have seen. That's the bigger point.
 
This is a difficult topic. Part of my journey has been to get rid of internal homophobia, be ok with having attractions for guys. My journey has also involved being called gay because I was questioning my sexuality, mostly by a therapist who said I was trying to be straight but was really gay. He said I could get married if I was honest, which doesn't make sense to me because if I was gay and honest I wouldn't marry a woman. This fucked me up in the head, and I still feel mad at that jerk.

I had too many stupid, uninformed, closeminded NYC dogmatic therapists do the same with me. They are indoctrinated and have barely a clue about sexuality and CSA and how it might affect orientation issues. They confuse what might sexually stimulate a survivor with the survivor's orientation the majority of the time. Most are not open-minded even if they are kind or trying to help. Unfortunately, in current society, most of the good help is in the religious world which has its own issues but there at least is help with a smattering of secular real help out there but it is very, very expensive.
 
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread... or so I've been told.

This is heavy reading but definitely apropos to my journey. Why the hell did I keep finding myself in video arcades exchanging sexual favors with anonymous men... anonymous because apart from one incident we were always in our own cubicle? The only time I was actually in bed with a man I jumped out the moment I felt his beard against my face. He was a married friend who'd told me years before about his gay fling who told me he was attracted to me. That happened to be in the midst of my confusion about my sexual orientation. I thought playing things out with him would make it all clear. I later ended up in bed with his wife after he'd split to resume his life as a gay man.

I'm pretty clear that the SSA I experienced was completely the product of sexual abuse I experienced with boys and men from age 3 to age 7. Yes, I was anally raped and forced into oral sex. I completely forgot about the abuse until years after I'd acted out in arcades. I had no reference point to draw upon and hence experienced significant confusion. Was I really gay and denying it? The pieces simply didn't fit together. I spent time with gay friends, and was intrigued with their world. It would have been easy in San Francisco to join the party. But I was still attracted to women and the sexual experiences in arcades produced more shame than pleasure. Yes, I continued to feel the urge, stopping only when the AIDS epidemic of the 1980's convinced me I didn't have a death wish.

So encountering the sexual abuse through EMDR in the early nineties gave me a sense of where my behavior might have originated. The farther into the healing journey I've gone the clearer it is to me that I'm not gay and the acting out was simply what Freud calls "repetition compulsion" or some forms of therapy call "control mastery." My therapist recently framed this behavior as my attempt to take control of the terror associated with being abused and in the power of another person. That works for me.

I have no interest in arguing anything about anyone else's sexual choices, but it would be foolish on the website like this not to reflect on the impact of sexual abuse on our sexual and gender identity, both topics that have caused much pain to survivors. Finding a place to comfortably stand in relation to those matters seems an integral part of healing, of claiming our own aliveness. THAT is what I'm doing here, not fighting some battle over political correctness.
 
Thank you, Visitor, for explaining something so well - something that I admit I don't fully understand but perhaps do a little more after reading your post. And an equally sincere thank you for handling a difficult topic with sensitivity simply by keeping it personal and nonjudgmental.
 

MACH123

Registrant
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread... or so I've been told.

This is heavy reading but definitely apropos to my journey. Why the hell did I keep finding myself in video arcades exchanging sexual favors with anonymous men... anonymous because apart from one incident we were always in our own cubicle? The only time I was actually in bed with a man I jumped out the moment I felt his beard against my face. He was a married friend who'd told me years before about his gay fling who told me he was attracted to me. That happened to be in the midst of my confusion about my sexual orientation. I thought playing things out with him would make it all clear. I later ended up in bed with his wife after he'd split to resume his life as a gay man.

I'm pretty clear that the SSA I experienced was completely the product of sexual abuse I experienced with boys and men from age 3 to age 7. Yes, I was anally raped and forced into oral sex. I completely forgot about the abuse until years after I'd acted out in arcades. I had no reference point to draw upon and hence experienced significant confusion. Was I really gay and denying it? The pieces simply didn't fit together. I spent time with gay friends, and was intrigued with their world. It would have been easy in San Francisco to join the party. But I was still attracted to women and the sexual experiences in arcades produced more shame than pleasure. Yes, I continued to feel the urge, stopping only when the AIDS epidemic of the 1980's convinced me I didn't have a death wish.

So encountering the sexual abuse through EMDR in the early nineties gave me a sense of where my behavior might have originated. The farther into the healing journey I've gone the clearer it is to me that I'm not gay and the acting out was simply what Freud calls "repetition compulsion" or some forms of therapy call "control mastery." My therapist recently framed this behavior as my attempt to take control of the terror associated with being abused and in the power of another person. That works for me.

I have no interest in arguing anything about anyone else's sexual choices, but it would be foolish on the website like this not to reflect on the impact of sexual abuse on our sexual and gender identity, both topics that have caused much pain to survivors. Finding a place to comfortably stand in relation to those matters seems an integral part of healing, of claiming our own aliveness. THAT is what I'm doing here, not fighting some battle over political correctness.
Well done. Thx.
 
Interesting thread with a lot of varying perspectives. Here’s my experience and opinion/outlook on this topic at this time: (In other words what follows is subject to change depending upon life)

From the time my memory begins I always felt male but never felt “masculine” as defined by our culture or society e.g. I did not and do not like sports, apparently (and sadly) am grossly uncoordinated and cannot throw a ball or catch a ball or even run like a man. Some of that may be because my father told me that I “throw like a girl” and “run like a girl” but it doesn’t matter because I have tried and I cannot… I am not naturally aggressive, but can be aggressive if the situation calls for it…

Despite that, before I ever knew what “sex” was I always “liked” and felt attracted to both boys and girls and had friends of both genders. Then, as I entered puberty, was conditioned by our society/culture/religion to steer my “attraction to” or “admiration of” the human body toward suppressing the admiration of the male physique (which I felt was more attractive than my own) and nurturing the “heterosexual” side of me… and that was my life… I married, had children and at age 38 recovered memories of having been raped by a man as well as having been used by my own mother for her sexual gratification. Also, as an adolescent and even to this day, I felt like I had to have sex to prove I was a man –

After remembering what my “mother” did, I reached a point where sex with my wife (or the thought of sex with any woman) became repulsive – and I tried for decades to overcome that – and I could not despite years of praying and feeling like less than a man.

So, for me, feeling and being a “sexual being” I feel that I must be attractive in order to feel “worthy” of living… and, because of my circumstances, my desire is to be attractive to men and (as I already stated) couple that with the fact that I am attracted to men (either because of their physical attributes or because they are kind to me – I am not attracted to someone who is not kind to me).

So, I do not know whether or not CSA caused SSA in me or if it would have been there even without CSA - also I do not know if it is SSA or same sex envy like "gee I wish my body looked like that" but it is really both I think - BUT, for me the rapist's repeated remarks about my ass made me feel like that part of me was not good and made me wish I had a butt that looked like other people's - not realizing that he was "turned on" by my "ass" and a part of me wants other men to be turned on by my butt too - as much as I failed to see this in myself, it is true. Also, I think this impacted my view of myself and other men even prior to the memories resurfacing..., BUT I DO KNOW that being forced to sexually gratify my mother from ages 4 to 8 and, having recovered concious memory of that, caused opposite sex revulsion which leaves SSA as the only option - which I cannot allow myself to act on because I value my wife, children and grand children and would not violate that bond. Besides, I don't know if I would ever act on SSA even if I was not married, because it would likely remind of the rape... The lesson I have to learn is that, sexuality aside, we are all first and foremost human beings and that alone is enough but, despite that, I do have a need to feel attractive and be physically fit in order to feel valuable/worthy - but I know that truly we are all valuable and loved by our Creator who is Love and our creator desires to live in us by allowing Him/Her to love others through us.
 
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This thread should probably always be active since the minefield most of us are traversing during our healing journey contains a great many explosive devices tied to sexual and gender orientation. How could it be otherwise given the fact the trauma we experienced was sexual? None of us was given the opportunity to develop naturally, to learn how to inhabit a small human body and then explore feelings that arise through an encounter with life that isn't tinged by distorted needs of others in our world. And so we bring our confusion and distorted experiences of sexual arousal into our lives as adults. The messages we receive tell us one thing about ourselves and the confusing feelings bubble around beneath the surface. Many of us acted out these feelings generally producing shame that was then added to the mix.

Although I feel resolved on these questions, I can't erase the history of confusion and acting out. I also have not so healed this area of my life that I can easily and comfortably engage in an intimate heterosexual relationship. It feels the damage done is too great for me to step into that territory. So I'll live a celibate life. At least now I can be a good friend/companion for myself. That is certainly an important step in healing these old wounds.
 
Although I feel resolved on these questions, I can't erase the history of confusion and acting out. I also have not so healed this area of my life that I can easily and comfortably engage in an intimate heterosexual relationship. It feels the damage done is too great for me to step into that territory. So I'll live a celibate life. At least now I can be a good friend/companion for myself. That is certainly an important step in healing these old wounds.
As always, Visitor, thank you for sharing in such eloquent fashion. I am not resolved on these issues - I am and maybe always was conflicted on these and many other issues. I do not like being conflicted and feel that I should resolve the conflict but have, thus far, been unable to do so - even with God's help - despite that, I do know God loves me... I did not choose to live a celibate life, it is a choice that I feel was forced upon me - I do thank God for the years of physical intimacy I shared with my wife - and am happy that I had those years especially as I know many, many survivors did not ever experience this from what I have read here and elsewhere. I think and pray that maybe I am at the cusp of being a good friend/companion for myself - but I am not "there" yet - I am still learning to accept and be comfortable with who I am - having just this year told my two adult sons and two surviving siblings about my CSA - I have to realize that that is progress. Again, Visitor, (and others for sharing so openly) Thank you. Also, fyi, sometimes writing in these forums is that first time that I am recognizing some of what I write as "my truth" - even though I have felt this way for a long time, putting it into words and sharing it here with other survivors who I only know through their written words - sometimes - somehow - this helps me - it is a way to "bear witness" to the holocaust that I experienced - and to know that I am not alone.
 

Ferguson

Registrant
I am still not very wise. I just don't know when to speak and when to stay silent.

Les Miserables: 'If I speak, I am condemned.If I stay silent, I am damned!'

It is people who believe they are free from religion that have caused me many years of distress and confusion. When I finally accepted that I was gay at 16 and told my parents they were so accepting! When I said that I wasn't at 20, they were terrible. My healing journey has been made so much harder by those pushing their unconscious-religion in "healing places". I'm getting there but no thanks to them mostly. The term SSA has been a life saver, a safe place, from 'bullies in recovery'. Do I stay silent and get what I can from a place of healing? Or do I speak out to help it become more of a safe place for people like me?

On the other hand I believe I would have always admired, liked, been in awe of, enjoyed the male form but without the sexualised attraction. There is a fear of physical contact between men which is not healthy in my view. I know what I feel with SSA is not an alternative gender but a sickness - a distortion. Wanting to be tied up and abused, belittled, hurt by a group of males is not a gender orientation.

I have never yet seen people with SSA trying to convert others - that is my truth.
 
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