Male Sexual Disorientation and Sexual Abuse

“Sexual abuse disorients you; it does not orient you. ” 

Sex and relationship therapist Dr. Joe Kort, states that sexual abuse does not determine sexual orientation but it can create a sexual imprint which influences sexual behavior as an adult.

According to Dr. Kort “A boy who has become traumatized from such an event usually becomes quite adept in adulthood at compartmentalization—so much so that he may even “forget” that he has these compulsions until they are upon him again. He has a shame imprint that prevents him from talking about this with anyone … until, of course, his behavior has brought about some crisis in his heterosexual relationship. Perhaps his partner has discovered some of these secret encounters, or the man is having intimacy problems, trouble getting or keeping an erection, or reaching orgasm.”


I’ve been addressing the many-faceted issue of straight men who have gay sex—how easy it may be to conclude that such men are gay or bisexual and simply in denial of their true sexual orientation, but that this may not be the case.  What we find, instead, is that memories about the abuse from another male can become eroticized for a man, which then compels him to seek out same-sex encounters or porn. This does not mean that he is gay or bisexual, though he may have enduring fantasies about gay sex.

Childhood sexual abuse of boys, perpetrated by another male, may lead a man to again and again seek out sexual encounters with men in an unconscious effort to resolve the guilt and shame he feels around the original encounter.

~ Dr. Joe Kort


Below is a touching video of a young man currently identifying as gay, but is deeply conflicted because he wonders if his sexual orientation is due to repeated and long-term sexual molestation by men during his childhood.


For more resources on male survivors go to

To read more on sexual disorientation and sexual abuse, click here.

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