Can’t get hard since trauma

3 years ago I was 25 and was sexually assaulted by and elderly lady my grandfather was friends with. I was on the couch and I was on pain medication at the time for bladder pain and was very out of it. My grandfathers friend walked over to me when my grandfather wasn’t looking and she pretended to fall on me. I moved, and then she started touching my arms and legs so I moved away further and further and I was struggling to get up then she grabbed my groin and I instantly got hard even though I didnt want to and felt really uncomfortable and really grossed out. I managed to finally get up and stayed in the washroom for a while. For the following 3 months it disgusted me that I got erections and I didn’t want them. Sex disgusted me. I repressed my erections and trained myself to not get hard at the sight of a nude woman and eventually I just couldn’t get hard even if I wanted to. My testosterone levels completely dropped within that period and I had severe ptsd and ended up having a crisis that resulted in me being put on Venelfexine on a medium high dose. Eventually I started to gain some interest in sexual activity again, and I managed to get hard for the first time in a year but it felt completely different. I could only get half hard and I could orgasm however over the course of 2 months I eventually couldn’t get hard at all but could still orgasm. My ability to orgasm became more and more difficult to now 3 years after the assault, I have to take cialis 5mg daily but it only works 20% of the time and I can just barely orgasm. I have to maintain stimulation until I can get enough strength to finally get over that edge. The problem is that my sex drive has completely returned to normal 2 months ago and I’m horny almost daily like I was before, but I can’t orgasm to relive myself.

I feel like I’ll never be able to be with a woman ever again, and I feel like the lady who assaulted me took my sexuality and sex life away from me. Emasculated me in a way. What I hate the most is I didn’t report it, my grandfather is angry that I’m still upset about it and he tells me to get over it all the time and to just suck it up, and within the 3 years of not reporting it yet, the lady is now in a nursing home dying so I feel like she got away with it.

Also, I confided in my sort of almost girlfriend (it was complicated. Does sexual touching and talk with clothes on count?) and she at one point told her girlfriends who all made fun of me for being assaulted so I’m sort of afraid of women/girls my age at this point. I stopped talking to her effectively breaking up and I blocked all female contacts and deleted all their numbers. Idk. I feel like my life was ruined. I’ve only socialized 3 times this year when before I’d socialize every weekend.

I can barely leave the house and am super stressed and depressed all the time and can’t get my blood pressure below 135/95, however it seems mojo’s box breathing has helped. I was finally able to have a really fulfilling masturbation session yesterday night and it seemed to work! I was harder than I’ve been in 3 years and had one of the best orgasms of my life? Still, id have a massive amount of anxiety if I were to have sex with a woman I liked because I’m afraid I won’t be able to get hard and that they’d tell everyone about it. How to I prevent a woman from not talking about intimate private details about myself? I don’t think I can trust anyone ever again.

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Appreciate you sharing that experience and your feelings around it. Some people have violated your sense of trust very severely, compounded by sexual assaults of males not being taken as seriously as they should be.

Glad for you that some mojo exercises are beginning to help.

Don’t rush but keep pushing yourself to rejoin the world slowly. Can you access some therapy or other support to help ? Your severe crisis point may have been medicated away but it may help to develop some other ways to ease the stress?

unfortunately you cannot control the behavior of others, but take your time in meeting people again and getting to know them ( including females as friends / non sexual ). Some of my platonic female friendships I deeply value.

Wishing you well.

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I’ve been to a lot of therapy. Tried cognitive behavioral therapy but it didn’t really help. The therapist said I just have to accept that I have ED and move on. The next therapist seemed more concerned on whether I hate women or not even though I kept reassuring her that I didn’t and that I’m just scared and not trusting. The last therapist I saw just didn’t believe anything that I said I’ve gone through because the experiences seemed “unrealistically extreme” so at this point I’m not going to go to any therapy anymore. I really appreciate your validation. It means a lot to me.

In regards to platonic female friends, I don’t even know how to make friends with them anymore. I don’t know what to do with them because if I ask if they want to meet for coffee, I have to get a ride to town which is 30 mins away (Canada lets you live as isolated and as far from society as you want) which feels awkward in of its self because I can’t drive due to a seizure even though it was just from hitting my head in a bad fall. Meeting for coffee for just 20 mins doesn’t seem practical when it takes an hour of someone elses time to get there or a taxi and I don’t know any 28 year old women who would just do that in my area. I don’t know what else to do with them. At least with new male friends we can just crash at each other’s places after a few drinks and watching comedy stuff more or less while talking about programming. Even those friendships seem superficial though. We don’t talk about anything personal. Also, I only have 1 male friend at this point. Probably doesn’t help that I’ve only seen them 3 times this year and I don’t work, so there’s really much interacting with people. Someone else goes out to get groceries so I don’t even interact with people at all really.

OMG wow I see re therapy! That did not seem helpful at all.

We do have to accept what has happened in the past has happened and just breathe through the fear - we can’t change it after all, but “moving on” is hard.

Sounds like you live in an isolated place and may have some head injury impacts to manage that limit your ability to drive and things. Is that likely permanent ? Does this impact on your ability to manage emotions and things? No head injury is “just a fall” - take care and allow time to improve. You can’t rush it.

Impacts of experiences of unwanted sex can seem extreme. I had a very very much less severe sexual experience with a male friend that I was not in a position to refuse - I have totally isolated myself from all male friendships as a result - out of fear of unwanted sexual advances , which almost certainly wouldn’t happen anyway and now, some 40 years later I can probably manage better than when I was 15. I almost feel about guys as you do women - like what do I talk about and how do I meet “safe” ones - I don’t follow sport or do the typical male banter stuff well at all. But hey, I only have 1 friend at a time and they are female currently!

(I see a therapist for career burnout and we’re tackling my issue with this guy now - so I’ve been lucky there that she has listened )

Yeah most males don’t talk about this stuff anyway. I’ve really appreciated the mojo community for that.

Maybe just try small steps and just do things that you are able to do and enjoy that involve getting out of the house - with your male friends perhaps. Go with to the grocery store perhaps a few times. Don’t actively hunt for women but just get on with your life and do things that interest you where you may see other people and in time ( don’t put any expectations on how long) women will be part of your circle and friendships can build - I think as you say meeting specifically for a coffee with no other context can seem strained.

Women can be just like your male friend - you can watch comedy with them ( and some can do programming too) and have a nice time without sexual expectations, you can meet for a meal and coffee (would be a bit longer time to justify the hassle?). But I say that having not been officially dating for many years.

Look after yourself first and foremost.

Hey - how have you been this week?

This week has been decent. In regards to the head injury, I’m not sure how bad it is. I’ll find out from the neurologist next week or so for the scan results. I’ve managed to also garner up some confidence to apply to do some voluntary work for local places in the community as well so I can actually start meeting people. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been in crowded areas so I managed 10 minutes and then had to leave before I got sick but I did manage to sign up for a few arts and culture related things.

Erection wise, I’m in the process of reducing the amount of the SSRI I take and will hopefully go down to not taking it at all. For some reason my mood improved. The cialis also seems to be working finally. It took a while. I’m having more blood work done which will determine whether I need testosterone replacement therapy or not. I don’t know for sure if things will return to normal fully after stopping the SSRI Venelfexine, but the first reduction has made enough of an improvement finally by today where I can finally get over the climax edge. Still need an excessive amount of stimulation to feel anything though. Still less sensitive area than anywhere else on my body. But I’m finally able to get over the edge each time so that’s good.

Physical activity has also improved. I now actually feel like exercising. Is it possible for SSRIs to make depression worse? In terms of my trauma, I made a breakthrough this past week. For a long time I allowed each trauma to compound on top of eachother and have also accepted finally that hurt people really do hurt people. I haven’t forgiven them yet and I’ll never forget, but I at least have been able to accept or rather just understand what psychological factors can lead people to do certain things. I also realized that the violent things people say can be just as scary as someone you don’t know yelling right next to you and with that I can now detect my triggers for past trauma.

Overall, there have been a few good things that happened this past week. I finally have a sense of some hope and am not feeling as desperate.

How has your week been?

That sounds like really positive steps so a decent week indeed.

Great for signing up to those activities.
Good to listen to your body and take a break when sick. That could be related to the head knock - had some friends with head injury from falling off horses and they got sick feeling and tiredness for some time after - so yeah take care with that - hope scans are helpful.

I’ve not been on SSRI personally but Dr Google suggests possible side effects around sexual function and drive, blood pressure high and mood changes - so maybe worth talking with your health team as if you’ve had side effects there maybe other options for you. Need to take care coming off and changing the medications though as well.

One thing I struggle with with my negative experience way back is the idea that the actions I took at the time were the best I could do in the circumstances. I’ve been really hard on myself - I could have done this or that , been more assertive and all that or what if things were different. When I really reflect on it though, at the time, the idea that I could do something other than what I did simply didn’t occur to me - it wasnt actually an option - and that’s ok I did what I could and generally we’re all doing the best we can given our history, personality and the circumstances. I can say this and I think it is true and helpful but believing it in my bones/soul is a work in progress!

My week has been relatively uneventful to be honest. Had some good conversations with my life partner which have been helpful.

It’s heading into autumn/ winter down in the southern parts of the world so hopefully you must be seeing signs of spring - I find that always helps with the positive vibes too.

Have another good week ahead.

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Hi - just thinking of you and wondering how you got on with your scan results and head injury assessment ? How’s it been?

There’s been a few changes. I’ve been taken off Venelfexine. They symptoms have changed. When on Venelfexine, I had a hyper libido where I was interested in/thinking about sex every other hour but couldn’t get hard very easily, and if I did I would barely last long enough or usually not at all, but I was still very much interested. Now that I’m off it, I’m not really interested and have only been interested 2x this week, however I was hard like I was as a teenager. I don’t know what it would be like without the cialis though. Psychologically speaking I am coming more to terms with how I was feeling about being assaulted and I’ve realized that the past 4 therapists have been invalidating what I’ve been feeling in regards to my fear of women because of being molested and abused by various women. I don’t think I’ll ever do therapy again. Not if their priority is ensuring I don’t hate women (I don’t hate women at all. I might hate what a small handful have done to me, but even those women I don’t hate). Overall, I think my biggest struggle was dealing with extreme anger of being invalidated and being treated like I was the bad guy in the situation. Last week I told a nurse (they were male) that I’d been struggling with anger of the situation and I was told if I don’t get my anger under control, I am going to end up in prison and women are going to be afraid of me and I shouldn’t commit violence against women. No matter what I told him, he didn’t believe that my anger is all internal and that I don’t show it and the only sign of it from an outsider perspective is me curling up in be crying myself to sleep, or (why I used mojo) just straight up not being present enough to be turned on enough to get an erection that has already been weakened from the Venelfexine that I was taking for PTSD. I don’t feel like going to therapy or talking to medical professionals if all they are going to do is treat me like a bad person (I absolutely do not get aggressive, nor do I say violent things during appointments or to anyone. All I do is cry during my interactions). It took me 2.5 years to realize that this is what I was experiencing and it was only last week that I noticed.

The Venelfexine was being stopped as of 4 weeks ago for tapering to switch to a different med that doesn’t have sexual side effects. What’s weird is 3 urologists have been telling me for a year to get off it while my psychiatrist was refusing to take me off it. My psychiatrist kept telling me over and over again that there are no sexual side effects from Venelfexine, meanwhile my sexual health urologist (I have 1 for bladder dysfunction and damage (urinary retention has been causing issues for years now), 1 for kidney stones, and 1 for genital dysfunction) told me he sometimes prescribed Venelfexine to treat premature ejaculation for hypersensitivity in a penis by reducing sensitivity, so it’s weird that the psychiatrist didn’t know about that and claiming it doesn’t do that when that’s a known use for the med. I’m going to go with the word of 3 urologists on this one lol.

Overall, medical wise, I sure hope it’s just the Venelfexine that has caused the physical problems, and I sure as hell hope the problems aren’t permanent. Mental health wise, I’ve come to terms that therapists will never validate what I feel and experience and that I’m completely alone in this. It could very well just be that the mental health care and supports are just really really bad where I live. My yard service person’s best friend was found dead yesterday morning and it looks like a suicide and they’ve been trying to get mental health help for years, so I feel like it’s my area that happens to be not very good for mental health support (what’s sad is my area is considered one of the better locations in the province for mental health support). In the end, it seems my urologists are improving my mental health better than my psychiatrist. They’ve been super supportive and validating and have a vast array of knowledge on how hormones, trauma, and mental health affect physical health and they provide solutions that have been helpful. And most importantly to me, they don’t treat me like the bad guy. I’m so glad they’ve finally have been able to improve my sexual health.

Mojo has been very helpful in helping me control my physical symptoms of anxiety including heart rate and stress levels. It’s also helped me become mindful of myself.

Thanks for checking in btw :slight_smile:

Hey - yeah fingers crossed the change from Venelfexine goes well. Frustrating when different medical specialist don’t see eye to eye.

Wondering if you could try or thought about a non human based therapy approach such as online AI or bot therapy or journal/write out your feelings and things like you have here - I find it really helps to “process” things. Possibly just writing it out as you have here and let the feelings, anger and tears flow.

I’ve been with a therapist at the moment who really does nothing but listen in a non- judgmental way as I blather on. I have had to cover the same topic over and over but each time it gets easier and easier and I feel now I can start to look to the future a bit just from having discussed it and allowing my feelings out - indeed I hadn’t realized what my feelings were until having done this. A bot may allow you to do that too in a less judgmental way.

My natural state is to internalize emotions and feel tense for reasons I can’t identify until I break out crying for no reason Im conscious of - it feels so much better to let it out but I often don’t realize I’m holding it in! But getting more aware over time. Mediation helps a bit - I use Headspace app as Mojo sex focused.

I left my last job over stress - hence the therapy above. It’s been 15 months so far and I’ve been working on other issues in the therapy and only now got to the career concerns - it takes time to be ready - it’s so hard to see what’s going on for you when you’re living it.

Keep taking care of yourself. You are not alone alone - keep in touch with your friends / house mates and the mojo community!

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