Male here: I ask this question anonymously on this forum because I want unfettered feedback from Women.
The last sexual/romantic relationship I was in ended 11 years ago. It was emotionally, physically, sexually and financially abusive: multiple violations of restraining orders, an attempt on my life (woke up to being strangled) and in retrospect, rape (twice…. yes, it happens: a woman can rape a man).
After this relationship, any notion of Sex stopped and I ceased contact with any datable woman for 5 years- including friends. After 5 years, I picked up 1 or 2 female friends, but adamantly remained abstinent, avoiding dating until I could figure out what caused me to be in such a horrible relationship.
A few year ago, I started Therapy, where I was able to realize, acknowledge and accept the abuse and physical/sexual assaults.
Therapy allowed me to understand why I had entered into that relationship and stayed for so long: turn out I had been molested by girls when I was 3-4 years old, and my relationship followed that pattern of abuse.
I am in the midsts of healing and realize that I want to be in a secure romantic relationship where I can express myself fully, including physically. Of course I’m working on myself. But my questions are:
1). How do I reveal this information to a potential partner… Gradually? But how gradual can you be when drawing close emotionally makes physical contact more difficult and painful.
2). What types of responses can I anticipate? How would you? What percentage of women have the patience to deal with such BS?
3) Of course I am concerned about how I am perceived by a potential partner: what are your thoughts on how you perceive a man with such baggage?