Taboo topic at MS--Eroticizing the abuse--Triggers



There--I admit it--I sometimes eroticize my abuse.

I have been very hesitant to start a thread about this topic, in large part because it is embarrassing and I fear being judged about it. For me, it is one of the most haunting effects of the abuse. It makes me feel like I must be a pervert to be aroused by memories of what happened. I can think rationally about this problem and realize that fantasizing and masturbating about the abuse runs counter to my recovery; however, it is not a rational thing. It makes me feel so, so alone and, at times, like I don't belong here at MS.

It feels like a forbidden topic here, but it is a real struggle and source of angst for me.

Thanks for listening. I needed to get it off my chest.


New Registrant
You're not alone in doing so. I have eroticized the abuse and entertained fantasies around it in the past. It adds a whole other layer to the already overwhelming feelings of shame, confusion and overall feeling of dirtiness.


Alex you are never disqualified from being here - if every guy that has done this was to be disqualified I am not sure there would be enough guys around here to form a community.

Quite frankly having an open and honest discussion in the forum about this is shedding light in darkness and I applaud you for stepping up.

I believe that this is just one of the reasons why things stay quiet so long and why guys don't come forward. There are a ton of emotions involved a ton of feelings involved and in sorting through many of these things we can detour away from the pain and hurt to where escape becomes a safe space in our minds and pleasure is masking hurt.

Good post

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Tom E.

I too fantasize about my abuse and make it worse in my mind than it was... like it wasn't bad enough already.


Alex, getting to where we're at is fraught with emotions and triggers. I think this isn't taboo. Being overly graphic gets there, this isn't overly graphic. It' the confus just a tough topic, and good that you're trying to make of it what you can.

My long held consideration about the sexually charged nature of our abuse or rape, is we're sexualized in the perps mannerisms, not allowing that we are not going our way. Exploring the sex we seek. That sabotage imprints on us, and I know that confusion.

You explain yourself well, not needing graphic triggers. Sometimes I've found men can get really detailed and that's harder for me.

There does seem to be a problem with masturbation here, and porno, both seem necessary to me. Not reliving kind though, and being an idealist, I really only seek the lovingest kind. I understand there's a lot of triggers with the topic of sex, and I'm very inexperienced. However, not hopeless.

What would you think is where you want to be? Do you think role play is safe? But, U don't mean to use abuse, maybe some bit of Don? Alone though, like many, what then? I don't want to find self pleasure is taboo.

Being realistic, many of us find masturbation the only outlet. There are some ways to think about that, and I'm wondering if there's any methods that mix healing fantasy fixations that include moving away from old triggers?
"There--I admit it--I sometimes eroticize my abuse."

Sorry, I don't know how to properly quote someone.

I think that for many of us here, that this is or was a problem. I think you very brave for bringing it up...although this is the place to do just that.

I've also fantasized it in the past, masterbated, and then felt very dirty for doing so. I was concerned that maybe a God or someone(like my father who passed when I was young)...would look down on me...and see me as the wretched person I felt and thought I was. I also questioned I deserve the label of "victim"?

Although this is in my past now...I know just how you feel. We were made out to be dirty little things, and we believed it. What is next is to figure out and to believe the truth within us. And unbelieving their wicked lies to us.

I must add that masterbating is completely normal, just as normal as the response to the abuse that we all share. Perhaps in slightly different ways...but share we do.

much love
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I've been here just over a year. I think I know the taboo topics, but would not consider this one of them. Actually many abuse survivors of both genders struggle with this. It seems to be due to the neurochemicals that are released during trauma, which can imprint the trauma on your brain, effectively rewiring your brain. However it can be overcome with time and work, it does not have to dominate forever. Writing about the abuse and working through the emotions connected with it tend to slow the "autopilot" of arousal down so that it is not as intrusive. But you have to be willing to go there.

I've certainly struggled with this myself, related to my Florida abuser. You're hardly alone. One thing that has helped me build bridges OUT of the fantasies has been building new bridges in thinking and feeling about sex. I.e., discovering the positive and loving aspects of sexual expression and eventually wanting those more than anything connected to the fantasies of abuse. It is not a perfect upward slope and sometimes stress will trigger me back to escape into the fantasy (basically to numb out), but at least now I have awareness of when it happens and have some ability to ease out of it.


Staff member
It is exactly why I felt so guilty indulging in SSA - though with older adults in ways I could control. Re enacting whether in fantasy or in reality seems to be common if you read the literature- and again I refer anyone struggling with this or societal labels of “orientation” to read Joe Korts articles.

As Chris says above though rewriting your wiring responses with loving positive partners I have found makes the memories and the fantasies fade. I’m told never gone completely, after all the perp took my childhood and “normal” discover/exploration from me but certainly more and more the perp is removed from my present and my mind seems to overwrite. But like a hard drive bits and pieces remain and still occasionally pop into my life erotic or otherwise.


I think its a common issue for most of us but it does seem taboo to bring it up. You are a good man Alex, thanks for brining it up. I think it will help others.
Hi Alex

Thanks for the thread it is a topic that most likely effects us all.

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Hi Alex,

I don't know a lot about this but here are my two cents...

From what I have read, I think it is an all to common issue perhaps almost universal among survivors. Have you told a therapist - any decent one would know about this and not be surprised. It is a good topic to bring up. I cant say you are definitely not alone, I have come across others.

My guess is that it is some kind of defense mechanism in the brain trying to reprocess events perhaps with you in "control" now. Also MAYBE the confusion between certain physical feelings at the time MAYBE being "pleasurable" (an involuntarily bodily response) and being sickened by the horrible and UNWANTED acts themselves.

It is brave of you to admit it but you shouldn't feel ashamed or worry anyone would judge you. You are not harming anyone but you may be harming yourself but beating yourself up about it. It is an unwanted thought. I get that. I imagine you may feel disgusted by yourself doing it. Please don't but at the same time find a way to get rid of these unwanted thoughts by figuring out the source. Not because you are doing anything wrong but because you don't want those thoughts and they are causing distress. Remember it doesn't change anything as regards the horrific abuse you went through.

Do I eroticize anything to do with abuse? Well yes in a way but not a replay of the events themselves. I have fantasies in the present of giving guys blowjobs. For me they are unwanted thoughts and have little doubt they are a result of my own experiences. If I gave someone a blowjob at least it would be my choice and I would have control over it. I didn't have that choice then.

You have got it off your chest. That is the first step.

Hope this helps.

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Excellent topic. You are not alone.

Ever since I was a child my sexuality was trapped in a violent fantasy scape. It suffocated the sweet romanticism I yearned for. It was a cruel world dominated by humiliation and punishment. My “sessions” were void of physical sensation, only the relentless, unforgiving fantasies. From my teens on the final scene was always the same.

Escape is what I entered therapy for all those years ago. Early on I was encouraged to embrace it, get OK with it. I kind of shut up about it and kept it as my secret project.

When I spoke to my current T about it, I was explicit. He was silent for a moment. Then he said he had heard the closing scene before. It was the rape when I was drugged and choked. The fantasy didn’t even thinly veil it, I was just blind. Christ, over and over driven through every synaph in my head.

My T helped me look for physical expressions. He encouraged masturbation that actually included pleasure. I didn’t think I could, but I found it.

That ugly fantasy world is still in my head. But I try not to tap into it. I am working on unwiring what the rape and abuse did to me. My true sexuality has always had a poetic, sensual bent to it. That is what I am encouraging to flourish.


Thank you AlexBoyd, a brave and timely topic for me.

My abuse & rape were erotic to begin with, I hate saying that. And so are the memories. They are like a tangled strand of pleasure, terror, adoration, longing, shame, bewilderment and disgust. I've tried and failed to disentangle them and keep them all separate.

They turn me on. That's partly why they trouble me, why I've been so afraid of them. As a pre-teen kid I masturbated endlessly, embroidering on the very young boy's mysterious erotic past. After the rape I repressed it all, and I spent most my adult life repressing and running from the memories. At times I regret ever recovering them because of their power to upset me.

And yes I masturbate to them. That usually brings me dissociation and dysphoria, out of touch with my body, vaguely ashamed, dirty, yeah a pervert, sick. Now as I sit here I know I'm not those things, but it gets confusing because I cannot control them. I guess that's the standard rationale/reason not to jerk off to them, it can evoke those negative feelings.

Sometimes I attempt to reconstitute them where I play a different role, gain an upper hand, sometimes I succeed, sometimes not. But I think that's futile and leads me back into denial of the facts: I was aroused, I wasn't in control. Sometimes I accept that, or not. Sometimes that's the most intensely explosively erotic part, not being in control, being forced. Then I feel really sick, and I am ashamed (see previous paragraph!) How I hate saying all that. But I know I'm not alone.

Sometimes I feel I'm not recovering if I'm not in control of the memories and my reactions to them. I cannot change the past and I can't change my reactions, erotic or otherwise. So I try to just allow them all in, including my urge to jerk off to them, and I wait. I breathe and I get back into my body awareness. I write. A lot of feelings come up. Like now.

I'm glad I am recovering the memories, because they were much more dangerous and destructive when I didn't know what or where they were. Thanks. seachange


This topic is very interesting

(Trigger warning )

I found myself wanting the abuse sometimes.
That’s why I question it a lot.
I was highly sexualized.
I do think back to it.
But it’s hard for me get pleasure from it.
I feel shame.
I’m unable to have a healthy sex life.
At the time of my abuse i felt great anxiety trying to hide it.
Keep it a secret.
Everything about it was me finding a release.
And when I say release.
I mean pleasure.
The feeling of it being dirty.
All feelings I feel in my sex life now.
I’m with guilt in shame now.
But back than that quickly went away.
But now it’s permanent.


I want to express my gratitude to everyone who responded. It's clearly a complex issue. I find myself debating ways to handle my thoughts. It feels like I've got two conflicting things happening, like in a cartoon with an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. With one saying, "No. Stop it!" and the other trying to reason with me, "Screw it. If it feels good, do it." I know it's not as simple as an angel-devil dichotomy, and even if it were, I'm not convinced which one would be giving which advice.

A couple of you touched on the concept of fantasizing about the memories as a way of taking control of situations where once we were powerless. Sometimes I do wonder if I am attempting to take ownership of the past by turning it into something pleasurable.

Sometimes very little thought is involved and the arousal feels more like some form of autopilot. And, I will be the first to admit, that it can be very pleasurable to not think about things. Thinking gets exhausting.

It's not easy to explain, but thank you for listening and sharing. As mixed up as things feel sometimes, I do believe that we can help each other.


Agreed my friend, and I understand and others will as well as they read through your post.

I was talking tonight in the room, and one thing that sort of struck me was that while control is there, what you said about not thinking.

I tend to think that fantasy/ escape/control all form some form of cocktail of anesthesia for us as well to numb hurts or pain or memories to cope, to adjust / to give new perspective.

Take it easy on yourself


C. E.

Staff member
I once took an injured bird to a wildlife rehabilitator. On her porch was a possum that kept walking in endless circles to the right with its head also tilted to the right. I asked about it, and she said that he suffered a head injury and would always be like that. Our heads and bodies always tilt toward the side of our trauma.

That's the way I see this. We were traumatized sexually. Eroticization of our trauma is how our minds tilt toward it. It is a way of sprinkling sugar on a bitter experience, a way for us to find enough palatability to live with experiences and memories we cannot jettison.

The stunning paradox reveals a deeper truth. Eroticization may mask the bitterness with such powerful lies of pleasure that it can make us doubt everything. And yet by its very existence and power, it stands witness to just how deeply traumatic our abuse was.