Wanting to Be Sexual "with" Other Men

Bradley P

Registrant
Haven't posted in a while. I'm sorry. Lost in work, etc...

I wanted to reach out because I haven't "crossed a line" so to speak; I am really seeking to stay as far away from pornography as possible, and so far, I haven't looked directly at actual porn for about 8 months.

I've realized in recent months since dealing with a new T about my OCD and processing my trauma with my brother, that what I seek through porn is not seeking out to be sexual in some way with men, but to be sexual "with" men, meaning, in the presence of other men. Exactly as it happened to me with my brother.

The draw and pull to act out in this way is incredibly strong--I find that nothing I do seems to help me deal with it in a healthy way. Part of me has sought, repeatedly, to integrate this part of my past into my sexual expression in a healthy way ("trauma play") but it just isn't for me--the guilt and the shame is just too strong to bear. I try and put all of my sexual energies into my beautiful wife, but that often becomes a source of frustration, as my overall sex drive is not as high as it used to be (I'm now 35 years old). So, we only have sex maybe two or three times a month and I get triggered and/or feel my compulsion to view porn or masturbate at odd times that makes it difficult to coordinate to having sex with my wife. And, at times, my OCD intrusive thoughts make sex with my wife a different kind of source of frustration as I fear having gay thoughts during sex with her.

*sigh* scared, confused, tired, and really need some support/advice.

Thanks
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Welcome back Bradley P. I've not stated this before, it's seemed that I don't have the experience or capability to discuss sex? It's a topic I'm without experience discussing, and to me, that only my wife of 34 years, and whom I've known for 37 has been my partner, I feel very ill at ease. I needed to preface my post this way, because I'm trying to work up to what I hope to convey...

So, if this is it, my sexual preference has always been monogamous hetero. Though bi curious, without any action. I believe I am wholly in for the female connection, but, I'm unsure I can exclude any male connection whatever? This doesn't make me too uncomfortable, because I'm monogamous and suffer body dismorphic disorder, there's very little likelihood I'll act.

What I do see though, is that I can imagine myself with a male partner, and it's not feeling wrong. I don't really have any way to be anything with anybody at present, so, limbo has me. Maybe that's why I am able to post this? I suppose if I were actively seeking a new connection (single), it would likely mean I would have to sort it out. Here is a good place.

I think if I decided to stay with a female, and there were such a person willing, then I know I will have to deal with some fears that are not conducive to any intimacy. If the person isn't willing to be patient and accepting then I know I would have to start over again.

I do know that acting out and fantasy are normal, and I want to assure you of that. We're worthy of our needs being met, and we do need intimacy at some level. That might be just a hug or holding hands, so be it.

Seeing you post your beautiful wife, infers your desire to continue. The OCD, triggers and emotions are normal parts of distress and mental health issues. Are you seeing a therapist who works on these? I would be telling my therapist that I'm struggling with this male attraction, but do find my wife desirable. It's a fair concern and like I noted, you're worth it.

My wife isn't accepting of anything, but I hope you've a wife whom you've been able to see positive affirmation from? That could really affect intimacy, like it is with my partner. To me, when you mentioned sex "with" men, I got that. It is familiar to me. But, perhaps like you, I could never bring that up with my wife? My therapist yes, but it would bring a new kind of abuse down on me from my wife. I hope that if you've felt your marriage has the benefit of affirming and supportive interaction, that you can at least discuss that you need to get to intimacy with her at a different way?

What might those be? I wonder if you have any ideas, or anyone? I think slower but deliberate touch, such as a massage can help. I think holding hands while sitting together could move towards massage. Maybe she's willing to massage you, or willing to let you massage her? Maybe, if you've a bath big enough, share a soothing scented bath together, with small talk about liking the scent and touching her skin? I don't know what anyone likes really, I'm so out of touch with what's really being done, that I'm being romantic.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

AndyS87

Registrant
I'm not sure I could speak to the "why", just that since I started going to therapy and talking things out about 10 years ago, my behaviors have certainly changed. I'm currently 31 - found out when I was 10 that what my cousin had been doing with me was not just "normal stuff between friends", told my parents, got ignored, and nobody ever thought to get me help. There's a whole other story about emotional abuse, peer rejection and isolation, etc. going on with me as well.

My adolescence was basically a compulsion driven development of my sexuality vs. a natural discovering of what I liked and didn't like. It was further complicated by the fact that I lived in a small town and was socially rejected and isolated as the "weird" kid. As I said, around 10, I found out what was going on with my cousin and believed if anybody found out, they'd think I was gay, and I didn't want to be. Hindsight being 20/20, that initial fear made me a lot more nervous when kids started throwing around "faggot" as an insult as I got older.

I had no friends, had been sexually abused by my male cousin who had previously been my #1 role model on what being a "man" was all about, wasn't popular with girls at school and viewed having a girlfriend as something only the "cool kids" got, and there was no way I could compete with them. I was a verbal punching bag for my sister at home, and my parents were emotional trainwrecks themselves who still will gaslight me and tell me I'm not remembering things correctly (even though then they'll call up my sister and admit to her that they fucked up). I was told I was worthless, I'd be an abusive spouse, I should kill myself, burden to the family, etc. the list goes on. At school, it was an obvious joke if a girl walked up to me to ask if I wanted to "hang out".

This set up some issues:

1. Immense distrust - I said I wanted to be in relationships and have a girlfriend, but have learned I don't trust them at all and have learned that in actuality, I prefer being alone as there is nobody to control, manipulate, or judge me.

2. #1 was fine in high school, college, and just after when I was constantly around peers, but into my 30s and heading forward, it's very, very lonely.

3. I have no confidence in myself - I withdrew so much that I rarely leave my house on the weekends. Who'd want to date that? 10 years ago, it was "how can I ever compete with these 'normal' people when I'm so screwed up"?

4. Insecurity about my sexual identity.

If it weren't for the first 3 problems, I'd probably be OK given that I was in therapy for the 4th one about 10 years ago. I saw TONS of friends and kids I knew do stuff that was a lot more "gay" than anything I'd ever done - many of them are happily married and never thought twice about what they did.
But when faggot is your nickname at school for several years and you're trying to sort through being sexually abused by another male, it isn't hard to see where doubts arise.

Where I seem to be in life is that anytime I feel ready to try and put myself out there to start dating, issue #4 rears its ugly head to sap my energy, make me feel depressed, confuse me, and ultimately stop me from putting myself out there. Because sexuality is so complex, issue #4 is an INCREDIBLY effective time-suck. In conjunction with chronic depression, which uses self doubt, there's also a touch of OCD (if you haven't googled HOCD, you may find that somewhat enlightening). OCD thrives off a cycle of having to constantly prove something or gain a definitive answer, only to then find a million reasons why you can't trust those answers, or gives you more "what if's" than you solution can account for. It's been incredibly good at keeping me isolated. My therapists have suggested practicing mindfulness meditation to get around those thoughts.


So, hopefully that gives you some background on me. It seems that for you, your concern is the compulsion you feel to be sexual in the presence of other men. My abuse had that going with me, as well. Much of my abuse happened before I went through puberty, and my cousin was a teenager at the time. I therefore ended up constantly comparing myself to him and being totally fixated on trying to look and be exactly like him. Things that I thought may have signaled I was gay when I was younger? Trauma re-enactment - there was a very clear connection. I got off on imagining I was skinny, jacked, and way more endowed than I was, and anything that helped fuel that or reminded me of what my cousin did fit that. Since getting EMDR about 10 years ago, those behaviors have more or less disappeared. They pop up once in a while, but I don't feel compelled or driven to do them anymore. The shame over having ever done the things I did or thought the thoughts I had is what kills me now.

Shame has been a useful tool for me though - I was just watching a show (BigMouth on Netflix) where one of the characters is exploring his sexuality. His girlfriend (a pillow that is female) asks if he feels good with her, he says yes. She asks if he enjoys his experiences with a "male" couch cushion he became intimate with, and he says yes to that as well, and ends up with both of them. For me, I had to look at what makes me feel good and what doesn't. Whenever I've been accepted by or hit on by women, or been sexual with women, I feel amazing, like "why the hell did I waste so much time worrying about this shit?!". When I was acting out more, the feeling I landed on was that I wasn't enjoying myself, I felt like I was re-victimizing myself all over again. Once I made that realization, I decided that in order to be kind to myself, I'd do what I enjoy vs. beating myself up.

That said, I am still working on the depression, low self esteem, and anxiety piece. As I said before, there are a lot of defenses and automatic thinking schemes I put up as a kid to try and solve problems 1-3, and so problem 4 pops up from time to time. Now I just try to be more aware of why it pops up and what's going on with me when it does pop up.
 
Bradley P said:
The draw and pull to act out in this way is incredibly strong--I find that nothing I do seems to help me deal with it in a healthy way. Part of me has sought, repeatedly, to integrate this part of my past into my sexual expression in a healthy way ("trauma play") but it just isn't for me--the guilt and the shame is just too strong to bear. I try and put all of my sexual energies into my beautiful wife, but that often becomes a source of frustration, as my overall sex drive is not as high as it used to be (I'm now 35 years old). So, we only have sex maybe two or three times a month and I get triggered and/or feel my compulsion to view porn or masturbate at odd times that makes it difficult to coordinate to having sex with my wife. And, at times, my OCD intrusive thoughts make sex with my wife a different kind of source of frustration as I fear having gay thoughts during sex with her.
Hey Bradley,

I am truly sorry that you are having to struggle in this manor.
I have been on a similar path for a very long time.
You are not alone and I can definitely relate to your situation and your pain.

I am a nature enthusiast. I am also drawn to trees that continue to grow after they have suffered an early trauma.

I suppose we have something in common with these trees.
We tend to grow around our wounds and often in spite of them.

I guess this is the lesson that I have to keep learning and re accepting over and over.

I have given several decades to the pursuit of wholeness and freedom from the struggle.
I wish I had that energy and time back. It was maybe a necessary process all the same.

The three things that have helped the most are:

Learning to accept myself completely for who I am, struggles and all.
Continually letting go of shame because it is a non truth and it’s very harmful narrative to entertain.
Continue to connect the compulsion to act out, with the memories and reality of my abuse.

I believe for me there are two main reasons why I am driven to gay porn and fantasy.
The first is that my mind and body are trying to understand what went so terribly wrong back in the day.
The second is that I am desperately trying to escape from the same trauma I am trying to understand.

Some days I will lose the battle.
I don’t let that define me.
I just try and learn what I can and let it go.

Being married is both wonderful and an additional burden for me.
I try and offer myself a lot of grace and understanding when it comes to my homosexual desires and compulsions.

I was groomed and sexually abused and betrayed by someone who should have been looking out for me when I was about 15 years old.
This really happened and it caused me to have to grow up and around some really terrible traumatic woundings.
Most of which took a long time for me to really understand and unravel.
I try to keep this in mind as I move forward with myself.

Sending peace.
 
Hi Bradley P

The ssa whether to be with a male physically or just gay porn has been very real AND both extremely destructive and constructive for me.

TRIGGER WARNING**************************
I ignored the perp scoutmaster's "education" and "preparation for being a man" I received from the age of 11 to 15.5 until I was in my 50's. I married and was monogamously hetero for 32 years. We have two intelligent, productive adult children. But I tried to surpress the past so long that it boiled me and us over. I chose to chase a re-enactment I could control - just to see if it WAS me. Convinced myself that after her forced hysterectomy and nonparticipator attitude she really didn't care if I sought sex elsewhere - after all it wasn't cheating if it wasn't with a woman right?

She discovered my graphic texts with a guy I never met but did have plans to hook up with. (yep risky craigslist behavior). Long three years, two couples therapists she quit on, three personal T's for me with only the last being a trauma specialist we discovered each other's secrets we had hid from for all those years and life experiences: the scoutmaster's training of me and
her admitting her father's use of her from as young as she can remember to the night before I moved her out.

The divorce was ugly and long. But it gave me courage to explore as I could never could as a teen because I was afraid of what I would find. In 6 to 9 months I went from convinced I needed to abstain from sex the rest of my life (first quack dx'd me as a sex addict which is NOT a recognized diagnosis in the DSM), to gay. Finally I started to live and I made friends with a friend's bff (female) who was easy to be honest and talk with...long story short she and I have been exclusively together but living in separate states for two years. We are together about 15 times (usually 3 day weekends) a year with a few extended two week periods. She has known everything since the beginning. She knows I still struggle occasionally with ssa but with the help of her, my experienced trauma T, this support group and Joe Kort's excellent articles and Beyond Betrayal I recognize three truths for me: 1) "orientation" is fluid and societal social religious efforts to label judgmental and condemnatory creating more angst than any of us need; 2) I am and probably always have been primarily hetero but will never know what life without the abuse and appropriate exploration at appropriate ages could have been like; 3) Love, undconditional, nonjudgmental love is the most beautiful experience in life...perhaps for me more important than the big O I was seeking and certainly better than the past or any attempt to re enact.

These are truths I could not and would not have seen for myself without my current T, the support and discussions I have had here, and the experiences I allowed myself. Harder than walking into the first T session (and being told that the past was the past my problem was current sex addiction) was nothing compared to being vulnerable and telling the story...all the story to my lady friend. All of it has been worth it.

I hope you find a good T, May your wife understand, may you have the courage to be who you are and not what others want you to be.
 

Hopein14

Registrant
ringing the many bells of my own life and thoughts, integration and health appear to me unable to obtain or sustain
 

Chad R.

Registrant
Hey Bradley,

I am truly sorry that you are having to struggle in this manor.
I have been on a similar path for a very long time.
You are not alone and I can definitely relate to your situation and your pain.

I am a nature enthusiast. I am also drawn to trees that continue to grow after they have suffered an early trauma.

I suppose we have something in common with these trees.
We tend to grow around our wounds and often in spite of them.

I guess this is the lesson that I have to keep learning and re accepting over and over.

I have given several decades to the pursuit of wholeness and freedom from the struggle.
I wish I had that energy and time back. It was maybe a necessary process all the same.

The three things that have helped the most are:

Learning to accept myself completely for who I am, struggles and all.
Continually letting go of shame because it is a non truth and it’s very harmful narrative to entertain.
Continue to connect the compulsion to act out, with the memories and reality of my abuse.

I believe for me there are two main reasons why I am driven to gay porn and fantasy.
The first is that my mind and body are trying to understand what went so terribly wrong back in the day.
The second is that I am desperately trying to escape from the same trauma I am trying to understand.

Some days I will lose the battle.
I don’t let that define me.
I just try and learn what I can and let it go.

Being married is both wonderful and an additional burden for me.
I try and offer myself a lot of grace and understanding when it comes to my homosexual desires and compulsions.

I was groomed and sexually abused and betrayed by someone who should have been looking out for me when I was about 15 years old.
This really happened and it caused me to have to grow up and around some really terrible traumatic woundings.
Most of which took a long time for me to really understand and unravel.
I try to keep this in mind as I move forward with myself.

Sending peace.
Thank you for your post... I share your feelings and I love it when you say “sometimes I lose the battle but I won’t let that define”. I am going to remember that!
 
Powerful thread. Thanks everyone for sharing so honestly on a subject that is near to me. All the best Bradley.
 
Top