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On Abuse, Trauma And Questionable Incidents

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Revised Thinking About Former Sexual Experience

I'm a seventeen-year-old male writing to your great site after reading the stories on getting caught while masturbating.   While I found the ones where everything turning out okay humorous, I thought about the ones like Stacy's story and the abuse from her mother, wondering about my own feelings of confusion and anger towards sex.   I've been grappling with this issue for a few months after I told it to my friend over the net, and we even had a crying session (screaming on my end) to try and help ease my confusion.

When I was younger (around 7 or 8), I was baby-sat by a neighbor who lived across the street.   She was a friend of the family (although I didn't know her very well).   I believe she was around 16-17, and was friends with a cousin of mine who was a lot older.   I have a brother who is a few years older than me as well.

Anyways, my parents didn't want my brother and I to be alone for the night, so she agreed to help us out with our dilemma and babysit.   She came over that night, and it started off normally enough until she wanted to start playing a game with us.   We agreed and went into the bedroom, stripped down, and engaged in a few sexual acts (but lord knows at 7 years old you can't do much).

I don't remember too many more of the details about the act (just a lot of sucking), but I told my mom and dad about it and their reaction was total insanity!   They went insane!   They didn't punish the girl, but they gave her a good cursing for it and told her grandmother about it!  I enjoyed the act but that part wasn't pleasant at all, seeing as how my parents were so upset about their son's having been "abused."

I have had sex at ages after that, one memorable time... but after I hit my teens, I stayed away from females for fear of being "abused" again, or that's what the T.V. shows and my parents were calling it.   I wasn't scared of masturbation, my friend was giving me tips about it...   but despite several passes by other females (d'oh!), I refused them with either a dumb comment or totally skipping out on them.

One of the worst parts of my sexual repression came from my junior year of high school when my drawing book full of erotic colorings was "lost" in a math class and found by a total stranger and his friend!   I left it in there and went to the next class when I discovered it was missing!   The guy and his friend walked up to me and teased me about it brutally.   I almost died of embarassment although I kept a straight face in front of them.   By the end of the day, the whole male track team knew about it and gave me the loving nickname "Porn-dog!"   Although I always suspected, none of my friends talked about the infamous nudies.

Most recently, my father died a few months ago.   I think back to almost everything that had happened to me, especially the "abuse," all the things that could have been if that didn't happen.   I thought about the bad feelings about sex I felt throughout the years, feeling anger and wishing that my parents had told me about sex and how it worked, saving me from the confusion I've felt in these short ten years.   I was sheepish around my younger cousins, telling them that I was "abused" by my babysitter.   I've seen counseling about losing my dad, but also considered seeing someone about my sexual "abuse", to see if they could make sense of it.

After reading your wonderful site, I now see why I felt so much confusion and anger at myself for not understanding what happened, twisting the story around and not coming to my own decisions about situations that happened so many years ago.  How could I have understood if my parents didn't tell me?   I realized that feeling sexual urges by someone older than you isn't a bad thing and that sex isn't bad either.   I laugh at myself for calling someone doing me a favor like that "abuse" and that if I had shown a little guts in front of my friends I could have drawn more art to show off my talent!

Thank you for helping me deal with my outstanding confusion, and I truly hope that others like myself can appreciate what All About Sexis all about: education.   Keep up the good work, AAS! :)

Porn-Dog - North America - Boy - 17 - 20

    OUR COMMENTHey "Porn-Dog" -  
    It is great that you can joke now about the funny nickname given you by your peers, and it is great that you feel that this website was helpful to you in sorting out those issues.   We have been hearing from adults and teens who had a sexual experience early in their childhood, often with an adult, and who feel that greater harm was done to them by their parent's reaction, or at the hands of the prosecutors and "child-savers", than was actually done by the experience itself.   Like yourself, they struggle to understand why society, their parents, the "authorities" and the therapists all insist that they were victimized or traumatized by the sexual event rather than the reaction to it by the adults.   Parents need to realize that they can make or break a child's life-long feelings about sex and sexuality by how they deal with even a single sexual event, and that the child may struggle with the results of that reaction for the rest of their life.

    Your story does stir a lot of mixed emotions, myself included, and it is difficult to think of what the babysitter did as being "right", or a "good" thing.   At the same time, we weren't there to know if this was a devious plan staged out by the babysitter specifically intent on having a sexual experience with you,   or if this was a situation where sexual curiosity and a little sexual play with the babysitter got out of hand (no pun intended).   Many people would say that it doesn't matter HOW it happened, and that there is no question that the babysitter was completely at fault, but we can't really go along with that popular thought.   We feel that the circumstances of the situation *DO* matter - in fact, that they matter a great deal!   And that the entire situation, the feelings and perception of the event by the child, any physical coersion or deception/trickery involved, and the circumstances of how it happened ALL should be taken into consideration by parents, by child welfare/CPS, by the authorities and courts, and by any therapists involved.   The entire set of circumstances should be considered and are what should drive whatever is done about it, if anything at all.   Of course, we are not saying that it is EVER "ok" or "right" to make another person, of ANY age, do something sexual that they don't wish to do, nor is it ever right to try and "trick" them into doing sexual things.   But that said, sometimes NOT making a huge deal out of an event might be what is REALLY in the child's best interest, and enforcing "the law" or punishing someone should come SECOND, not first.

    Lets take your situation, for instance.   What if your parents had reacted calmly and carefully to your telling of your activities with the babysitter and had sat the two of you down and made sure that you both knew how much they disapproved of what she did.   Maybe they would have even told you it was wrong for her to do, but that they understood that you might have liked the experience (also depends on how you told them), but that it was not acceptable behavior in our society, and that she is not to do anything like that to you ever again.   Oh yes, and that they would find a new babysitter for you.   Would you have remembered this incident in a completely different way?   Perhaps even fondly?

    Or consider an even wilder possibility - what if you had not told, and what if you grew up getting quite a little education from the older babysitter and had great memories of the time you spent with her?   Others on this site have stated that this is what happened to them and that they feel they learned a great deal about themselves and their sexuality at the hands of a significantly older lover, and that they don't feel bad or guilty about it at all.   You even intimated at the end that you have wondered what fun you might have had rather than the years of going around announcing that you were an "abused" child (why do we always have to label everyone?).   Something else that we noticed was where you expressed anger at yourself for

      "not understanding what happened, twisting the story around and not coming to my own decisions"
    We're kinda thinking that maybe you have really been angry with yourself all this time because you told, and by telling (we got the impression you weren't complaining, only talking about what happened because you didn't know it was such a forbidden thing - but we could be wrong) you feel that you have brought this all on yourself.   If so, that is a pretty understandable feeling, from our point of view.   Either way, we're glad that you have NOW decided to take a humorous attitude, and that you are feeling better about your situation.   No one can go back and erase the past, but we can learn from those experiences and the experiences of others, and we can decide how WE would handle educating our own children about sex when we start to raise a family.

    We quite agree that if your parents had educated you about sex and prepared you for sexual experiences you might have in childhood that you could have made your own decisions about what you wanted to do and what you didn't want to do.   We believe that kids CAN make choices about who they share intimacies, sexual exploration, and engage in sex-play with if parents make sure their child knows about sex and sexual feelings, and has established sexual boundries for their sex-play, should it occur.   Assuming that their child knows nothing about sex, and has no need to know, and that they aren't likely to have any sexual experiences in their childhood is a big mistake.   In some ways, parents these days need as much sex education as do the kids.

    One last note is that we are wondering if you still express yourself with erotic artwork?   If so, and you have some in electronic format, we would enjoy seeing your work.   Who knows, we may even get brave enough one of these days to host erotic artwork by teens on this site.    Maybe.


Porn-Dog's Reply

I love you guys!   Knowing that my letter was responded to so quickly was great!   And the great reply that went with it!   Wow, I'm still blown away that you guys read my letter throughout the e-mails you get daily!   I love your site and your opinions, too!

I feel better about the entire situation, and the idea that I was "abused" as a child is almost gone.   I still haven't told many people how I lost my virginity, but I found out that it's nothing to be embarassed about.   I feel a lot better about myself than I have in a long time, knowing that there's a forum for everyone to let your opinions be known!

I'm wondering about my babysitter's motives myself... if she was lonely, or plotted for a week or two, or was a virgin herself and wanted to experiment.   I still wonder if she was wrong for choosing that time to explore with kids that she was babysitting.   Perhaps she could have found another boy to participate with.. it's a weird mix of sexual curiosity and authority.   She was a teen, and yet at the same time she had power over me. Or, perhaps in some weird way, we were equals? That would be a VERY good topic for you to talk about on your site!   You should title it "It feels good... but is it right?"   Sex and authority figures" and have the article cover babysitters, teachers, and other touchy subjects.   Even though it is contraversial, THAT is something that I could learn from, and a lot of others could too.

You guys were dead on when you said I was angry at myself... not for being confused, but for ruining a good thing!   I was trained to tell if anyone touched me, and no matter how good it felt it was still wrong.   I've been an obedient kid, but that was plain stupid of me and I realize that it might have been beneficial to me if I had kept it secret.   Do I resent my parents and myself for ruining my chances with the babysitter?   I've taken a humorous attitude towards the whole situation, and since I know a lot more now and am able to make decisions on my own, I'll make the right ones from now on!   I couldn't believe the guilt I placed upon myself until tonight when you guys replied, and to have it lifted from me is a great feeling.

Yes, I do wish my parents hadn't flipped out the way they did, but at the same time I'm glad they didn't go to the authorities.   If she had some disease, surely they would have gone but since nothing resulted from it, they probably let it slide.   I might have had a different attitude about sex completely! Not that I was ever repulsed by sexual ed (my favorite time of the year... ha ha!), but I had this nagging feeling that it was bad to have relations with a girl, let alone SEX! (The hell you say!)   I ducked out on many girls during high school and realize that it was silly for me to!

And no, my parents never told me about the birds and the bees... (YaWn) but I did find this wonderful thing called the Internet that taught me a lot!   All of that information at my -- and millions of other teen's fingertips.   Why can't everyone learn from sites like this?

I was embarassed to have my letter online (after browsing through your site again and realizing it was actually mine) but am thrilled to have people who are willing to help with the biggest issue on my mind: SEX!   I hope you continue to do the great work we all know you do!   To ANYONE reading this:   if you have an opinion or a story about something sexual that has happened in your life, believe me... your contributions are appreciated!

A subject I am concerned about is the differences between incest and mutual masturbation between cousins.   I've been thinking about a specific cousin of mine, but haven't spoke to her about sex or anything "touchy" like that.   I don't want to have sex with her but my feelings are mixed.   One side says "AAS said that mutual masturbation was ok, so why not talk to her about it?   You're horny, she's horny (you know ALL girls are horny like guys no matter how hard they try to supress it), why not!" and the other says "How in the world are you ever going to get her to open up to the idea when the fear of incest and the law still exist?"   I have no idea what to do with these feelings towards her right now.

Oh, btw.. I stopped doing erotic art after that, and haven't tried it... but may start again, and soon!   Thanks again, All About Sex!

Porn-Dog - North America - Boy - 17 - 20

    OUR COMMENTWell, "Porn-Dog", We're glad to have helped you.   We are finding that writing, publicly - for all the world to see - turns out to be great "therapy" for many people - myself, as Webmaster, included.   This site was born out of need for better sex education and a gap we saw between throwing out words and phrases (like "Just Say No!" to sex) like so many sites did and really just sitting down and talking with kids about sex in terms that they can actually relate to themselves - not "when they are older" - but right now.   However, a small portion of it came from a need to write and express myself, sexually, after a very long period of no sexual contact at all, and it has been the most incredible therapy, especially in becoming more aware of my sexual self and coming to terms with my own sexuality.   It feels good to get your feelings out, even if you fear your opinions being rejected by the "world-at-large".

    We don't usually do long follow ups, and we do, indeed, have a backlog of submissions to read - but sometimes one just kind of "jumps" out at us, and that is what yours did.   We would give anything in the world if we could reply to every single submission, but it just isn't physically possible.   However, your 2nd message also has some very good points in it, and it is always wonderful to hear that we have helped someone feel better about themselves and their "sexual history".

    Something you might consider doing, in order to help someone else like you've been helped, is to locate and give that old babysitter a call, if possible, and let her know how you feel about that old incident.   There is a pretty good chance that this event was traumatic for her, too, and it may be that she has long felt and lived with guilt about what she did.   Just letting her know that you turned out ok and now have a positive outlook about it just might help her.   Of course, she may not have felt the guilt or been traumatized herself, but you don't know if you don't try - maybe a letter to her would be better for you - but it is just a suggestion.

    Your suggestion for an article titled "It feels good... but is it right?" is an excellent one, and we'll add it to the list of articles we'd like to do in the future.   One thing about it, though, is that we are more likely to have more questions about it than any kind of answers.   Still, it would be good for people to debate the issue and to make sure young people get a well-rounded look at the possibilities and decide for themselves what they think is right and what they think is wrong.

    As for learning on the Internet, it is true that it is turning out to be life-changing thing for a lot of people, us included.   It has opened our minds to so many other ideas and possibilities for the way we think, feel and act as a society, and it is giving people incredible exposure to different points of view and new topics.   We recently had a friend say that they were totally against a lot of the things talked about on the Internet, but after reading a huge variety of opinions and information about them, they had opened their mind to many of those things and feel they are a better person for it.   It is true that our society tends to view childhood as a time when parents are responsible for doing the "thinking" for their child ('cause kids obviously are too immature and helpless to think for themselves).   Those of the older generation who have wrapped themselves in the mis-percieved "innoncence" of an earlier time, and those parents who feel that their child will be "harmed" just by hearing a new or different opinion than that held by their parent, are, quite honestly, horrified about the influence the Internet (and how sexual it has gone) will have on young people.  

    Not long ago, we read a book called "Choose The Best" - about pushing "Abstinence-only" sex education in our schools (it is offensive to call that "sex EDUCATION") and in the very first chapter they talk about those people in the "progressive education movement" who encourage children to "think for themselves".   They said that encouraging children to "think for themselves" abandons those children to learn things they would never have learned from their parent ('cause it ain't "right") and to make decisions on their own - which they seemed to think was a BAD thing.   We wouldn't use the word "abandons" - rather we would say it "frees them" to learn things they would never have learned from their parent, and that it encourages free and independent thinking.   That's not a "good" thing,   it is a FANTASTIC thing!   Parents should definitely play a role and their child's development and impart the ideals and morals they feel are important, but ultimately, the child will one day reach their own conclusion on things...    and that is just as it should be.   We very much support the Saturday morning battlecry "Great Minds Think For Themselves!"

    About your last concern - incest and mutual masturbation - definitely a hot topic on this site, and one that is difficult to debate.   We know that many, many people have suffered horrible abuse and trauma as a result of unwanted incestuous contact, and we don't want to minimize the effect that abuse has had on many children.   Many lives have been destroyed by the shame and guilt of incest that was forced upon them by someone else, or that they forced onto someone else.   But we feel that there is a very KEY difference between sexual contact that is wanted by both parties, related or not, and sexual contact that is NOT WANTED by both parties.   But it truly is a complex issue that deserves to be discussed without judgment, and perhaps this is just a first step in the ability to talk about this subject openly.

    We've indicated that the dictionary definition of incest is "sexual intercourse between two people so closely related that they could not legally marry".   But that leaves a giant undefined gray area about sexual contact between family members.   A lot of people, to be fair and honest, will say that there is absolutely NO SITUATION under which families should be so intimate as to engage in "abusing" another family member.   But they won't address the issue of when that very intimate contact between family members IS wanted and IS beneficial in that family's opinion.   We don't pretend to know all the answers - especially not about this issue - but we definitely feel that people should be open to debate and conversation about such a topic.   Only by talking it out and letting people see all sides of an issue, whether one side likes it or not, can we truly learn and put t his issue to rest.  

    On this site, especially in the "I Got Caught!" area, you will see that getting "caught" (by accident, NOT on purpose) often is by a close family member (which makes sense, of course), and that oftentimes it seems to result in WANTED sexual contact between the person caught and the one doing the catching.   People don't like to talk about sexual attraction to adolescents, even though science tells us that Nature made most animals (including humans) that way as part of the continuence of the species - that Nature, and the way we are made, is for the adults (especially males) to be attracted to the MOST fertile and obviously sexual partners to mate with.   And, whether anybody likes it or not, the fact is that puberty is about sexually maturing, and that the changes in body that come with adolescence - budding breasts, deepening, more adult-like voice, significant growth spurts, frequent erections and so on - are all signs of reaching sexual maturity.   If you think about it, many parents never, ever consider their child to be a sexual person until they start puberty, and suddenly, a dark cloud comes and parents start to worry about sexual attraction, perhaps even a sub-conscious attraction of their own that boils internally inside them, though the brain works very hard to keep the conscious-self from realizing that this is really what's behind their being so uncomfortable about their child entering adolescence.

    Back to you and your cousin - one suggestion we have is to ask your cousin if she would like to visit this website with you sometime.   You can guage her reaction to the various opinions and stories from teens of their encounters, and THEN decide if you want to ask her about this (she might see this, though - if you want, we'll remove those particular comments in your reply - let us know).   IF she doesn't respond very favorably with what she reads, or feels that the guilt society places on us for being attracted, sexually, to someone close to us that we genuinely care about, is something she couldn't handle, then you'll know that your thoughts and desires are best kept to yourself.   Again... it's just a suggestion.   You may want to read through some of the "I Got Caughts!" to see what others have experienced with family members.   We cannot say it is "right" for people to do, or that it is "wrong" for people to do - for now we can only present both sides of the issue, and this is the first time many people even understand that there is more than one aspect to sexual attraction, family intimacy, incestuous fantasies, exploration of sex and incest.   You might also want to read another "Speak Out" piece by a young woman named Rachel titled "Why Should I Feel Guilty If I Liked It?". This young woman recently began playing a major role in my life and I found myself hopelessly in love with her after several months of correspondence.   She was killed a few weeks ago by a drunk driver and I have been devastated by her loss (the feelings were mutual).   Still, I know that she truly wanted her story out there and she wanted people to see that there are, indeed, more than just one side of the issue in cases just like yours.   It might help you further, which is very much what she hoped her story would do.

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