Dating a Survivor - specific questions about sexual intimacy

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:31 am    Post subject: Dating a Survivor - specific questions about sexual intimacy Reply with quote

I met a guy online some time ago, and we have taken our conversations to text via our phones. We do not live in the same state, but in a couple of weeks he is planning to come and visit me. We have become very close and are both excited to meet in person and explore our relationship.

I’m an older gay man (40s), and the other guy is a younger gay man (20s). I have done much research into age-gap relationships, and we both have a strong attraction (physically as well as emotionally) to each other. (I am NOT posting to get advice on age gap relationships, so please do not go there. Also, we are both very comfortable in our sexual orientations/identities. I identify as gay; he identifies as bi.)

The complication is that this younger guy was sexually abused when he was a child, by his father. This went on from about age 5 to age 16 when the young man left home and started living on his own. He hates his father, and has no contact with him.

Like most younger guys, he’s very sexual and often talks about what we will do together when we meet in person. Much of his sexual fantasy surrounds being dominated, having me control him, “force” him through roleplay, etc.

I am comfortable with role play, and in my experience have seen it add an exciting dimension to sexual intimacy.

But before I meet this guy in person, I just want to find out whether it is healthy for him to roleplay being “forced” sexually, or whether that is likely to be a trigger for traumatic experiences from his past? He does express at times a desire to be the one in control sexually, which I am very open to, but most often he wants me to be the dominant one in the bedroom. He loves “dirty talk” and being talked down to sexually. He seems to have been rather sexually active from when he moved out on his own at 16 until we met a few months ago online. Is it healthy for him to explore this aspect of sexual intimacy? Might it actually help to heal him? Or might it do the opposite?

Like I say, I am very comfortable playing this role in the bedroom, but other than initially telling me about his childhood sexual abuse, he’s never talked about it again, and while he seems fine - indeed, very anxious - to explore things with me sexually, I just want to go into the relationship with both eyes open, realizing there may be triggers and tough times ahead as he works through his past abuse.

Beyond that, in fact above everything else, I absolutely do not want to perpetuate any of his past pain, or prevent/delay his recovery, or anything like that. Most of all, I am concerned about helping him live a productive and full life, including experiencing the depth of genuine love and caring. He seems to want this from me as well.

While no one can predict how our interaction will be once we meet in person, I am very hopeful it will turn into a solid, stable relationship for both of us.

So do I just dive in and fully explore his need for dom/sub roleplay, making sure he has a “safe word” and do whatever we both want to do together, or should I not role play scenes which I imagine might be similar to what he experienced as a child? If he were traumatized would he want me to role play these scenarios with him? Is it okay to do this type of roleplay with him?

Are there any issues or ideas I need to know going into this?

There are no negative aspects to our interaction: we’re both sort of crazy about each other and cannot wait to take things to the next level. I just want to make sure I’m not going to damage him or inhibit his recovery. I do not think he has had any therapy in dealing with his abuse, but I’m not certain. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any insight any of you may have. I've never dealt with such abuse before, or been in relationship with someone who has been abused, so I'm fairly ignorant about all this.
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Posting Freak
Posting Freak

Joined: 09 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:28 pm    Post subject: tough call Reply with quote


It's a tough call and it could go either way: He might heal from having a loving relationship, in fact, that might just be the thing.

As for the role play: open communication, you know the drill it sounds like, with safewords and all that.

Seems to me like you need to be having this conversation with your young lover, speak to him about it and voice your concerns. Perhaps he can put them to rest?

good luck,
We don’t see things as they are,
we see them as we are.
–-Anaîs Nin
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Junior Member
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Joined: 04 Oct 2009
Posts: 27

PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Dating a Survivor - specific questions about sexual inti Reply with quote

Hello, and - wow.

Lucky him. You seem so well researched on these issues. I agree with Ivonne - he's the only one who can answer.

If he is unwilling or unable to explore how his desires relate to his abuse, I would be very careful that these are unexplored areas for him. Your tender heart may be very much at risk.

If so, you may be the ideal person to help him work through these issues, but your "reward" may be his exploration of, maturation and/or healing into new desires, especially if he identifies as bi.

I would lean in the direction that he is too young to have fully explored his motivations, or healed to any great degree. Your concerns are well-founded. Somewhere on this board, there is a thread concerning how survivors' early experiences with being physically aroused while being raped and dominated carry into adulthood. While these arousal feelings are real, we generally don't want any of that behavior carrying over into real life. The very last thing we want is another "father" dominating our behavior outside of the bedroom.

What I am trying to say, is that while a long-term loving relationship is possible, you may also need to make time and room for him to move through other phases of healing. It may be best to help him into therapy, instead of his trying to use sexual role-play to heal. Without help, he will likely continue a pattern.

I could be wrong. He may have been in therapy and group for years. I hope I am, for you sound like a delightful person.

Just so you know, I am a straight female.

Best wishes for both of you!

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