This post will highlight the consequences on gay people of the social non-integration of homosexuality and of the widespread environmental homophobia in terms of loss of the affective dimension of sexuality, of increasing transgressive meaning of sexuality and of spread of AIDS risk.
In front of many suicides of gay teens around the world who came to the headlines of the newspapers (many are deliberately hidden because of a choice of families), in front of those who lost their lives because of homophobic hatred, in the front of the frequent and marked incitement to discrimination and hatred operated by religious circles, people who have a sense of morality cannot remain indifferent. The homophobic and discriminatory attitudes receive daily incredible legitimations. Fortunately, in many states the civilization of the law is an obstacle to homophobic hatred and a boost to the integration of homosexuals, but it is undeniable that even in the twenty-first century, even in countries where homosexuality is not considered a crime, and even where the rights have been extended to gay marriage and adoption policies, there is, however, at the social level, a form of silent but powerful discrimination that acts on gay people from an early age and accustoms them to the exclusion, as if the exclusion was their inevitable destiny.
What are the consequences of all this?
When a teenager realizes that his affection and sexuality are deeply and often violently discriminated by both the family and the social environment, many reactions are possible: the tendency to self-repression and depression, the attitudes of rebellion and challenge to the family and society. In any case, beyond the external reactions, a search activity for discussion and dialogue is set in motion that cannot find a serious answer either in families or in schools or in the religious, social or recreational activities. And it is precisely at this point that are involved other tools available today that have changed the prospects of gay guys from ten years now, I talk about the internet and what guys can find on the internet, not only in terms of comparison and dialog but also the terms of easy sexual offer, that is, dating sites and video-chats.
There are sites on the net dedicated to an extremely serious information and comparison among gay people but it must be said that these sites are a little minority among services offered by the web and the audience of these sites is definitely very little. The vast majority of sites labeled gay consists of pornography, dating sites and video-chats.
Whatever for a straight guy belongs to a normal emotional and sexual life, that may be experienced under the eyes of everyone, including family, like falling in love, exchanging tenderness with his partner, speaking openly about his feelings, for a gay guy is on the contrary either impossible or extremely complicated. A gay guy has serious difficulties in declaring his love to another guy, he cannot talk to friends or family and if he gets to have a guy, with very few exceptions, keeps him far away from the family.
If a gay guy is not allowed to be realized in his family and social environment, inevitably tends to achieve his realization through different ways, and here the easy way is also the most dangerous, I’m talking about dating sites and sex chats.
The huge number of users of the erotic chats and dating sites should make us reflect. These sites are the answer, and often the only answer, even if dysfunctional, to the real affective and sexual needs that can neither be ignored nor suppressed. If for a guy it becomes impossible to live a normal sexual and emotional life openly, with the knowledge and acceptance of family and society, it is inevitable that the guy looks elsewhere for the realization of his expectations, which are anyway the normal expectations of any guy but that appear deviant and pathological because are related to another guy instead to a girl. Trying to curb and suppress a real need and prevent its development according to the normal channels automatically means encourage the development of alternative channels through which the need could find an answer. It happens a bit as in the “prohibition”: banning the use of alcohol in the common places of sale and consumption means promoting other distribution channels.
The dating sites have been created to provide easy sex encounters to users, this applies to heterosexual and is even more true for gays: “if in everyday life it is almost impossible to find a gay guy, or better, to choose one, taking for granted that he is also sexually available without any complications, the dating site solves the problem for you”, you can see the profiles of the guys, more or less explicit photos that they have entered, you can upload your photos on the site and above all, in practice, you are sure to find many and quick answers from which to choose your ideal partner. A gay man is led to believe that nothing is possible in everyday life instead everything becomes real through the dating site. In practice, the dating site is seen as the unique and irreplaceable tool for the creation not only of a sexual contact but for the realization of all emotional life. The dating site looks like the response to a deep emotional need that does not find any answers elsewhere and is loaded, because of this, with a lot of fundamental affective expectations.
The dating sites are becoming, year after year, accepted as “normal” in the life of a gay guy and this is due precisely to the social rejection of homosexuality just because the “prohibition” facilitates the creation of alternative channels to live however the emotional and sexual life.
Before registering on a dating site a guy lives contributing moments of uncertainty and fluctuation between the temptation and the resizing of the emotional expectations. In front of people who have strong concerns over the use of these sites, classical answers are indicative: “You are biased!” “I know that many clever guys have registered.” “But they are not all mad for sex.” “I have nothing against these sites but I didn’t register and I think I will not,” In general, a sentence like this last comes shortly before the registration.
When a guy walks into a dating site he is usually very favorably impressed by the fact that he can find a lot young people in the site, many of which are also in his area and then are actually contactable. To publish your photos on a dating site, especially if it is a site for gays, involves a certain risk of being labeled, but this risk is easily put aside due to a narcissistic impulse. In general gay guys, even if they are objectively very beautiful, are convinced that they didn’t find a boyfriend because they are physically not up to the task, the dating site offers an answer to these guys. The publication of personal photos followed by a rain of contacts, is something that rewards appropriately the narcissistic dimension: “If there are so many guys who are looking for me I am not so bad!”
Usually when a guy gets a lot of contacts on a dating site, he is brought to consider them as he considered an affective request received in ordinary life. The high number of contacts received induces to overlook the fact that guys who have left us their contact did exactly the same with many other guys and that contacts are just in order to get easy sexual exchanges without commitment. The most serious risk of the dating sites is the HIV risk, i.e. the risk of being infected with the AIDS virus but there is a risk of sexual transmission for many serious diseases such as viral hepatitis, herpes virus and the human papilloma virus. Sexual promiscuity is the first risk factor in sexually transmitted diseases. It’s amazing how guys who have about other topics, a highly efficient rationality end up putting everything aside coming to talk about “risk acceptance” or to underestimate the risk based on the assumption that the condom is a sufficient guarantee. Often the level of superficiality is such that they are content with general statements of the other in relation to his health: “He said that he’s fine and that he gets tested for HIV every six months.” I note in passing that a guy who frequents dating sites and gets tested for HIV every six months is probably concerned that he’s likely to be HIV positive. As a result of the decrease in anti-AIDS campaigns it is also common to see the underestimation of AIDS itself and the belief that “now it is a disease that can be overcome with the right treatment.”
DEPRESSIVE PHASE AND DEPENDENCE
After the first sexual encounters, the guys begin to notice that their first partners disappear and that no loving relationship can be created. All this is sometimes seen as an “experiment” waiting finally for the guy with whom you can build a real relationship, and sometimes and more frequently as an inescapable reality that proves that it’s impossible for a gay man to build long-term relationship with another man as a couple. Month after month, the feeling that it is just a sexual game that distracts from the necessary commitments such as study and work prevails, and this feeling triggers a mechanism of addiction, quite similar to the one that creates the drug dependency, i. e. alternating phases in which guys intend to unsubscribe from the dating sites and delete all the contacts of the people they had met in that environment and phases in which the depressive response to the emptiness, due to the abandonment of dating sites, quickly takes over and leads back to the sites to look for new contacts. Generally, we can say that addiction has already been established when the intention to abandon the site is not followed by the actual deletion of the contacts.
CONSOLIDATION OF DEPENDENCE
When the dependency is consolidated over the years, you end up accepting it as irreversible and to assume that “it had to go this way.” In reality, these guys, now grown men, were deprived of their emotions and they threw it away themselves to look for a simple solution to their problems. In this way, homosexuality, which in itself is a way of loving, becomes a degraded exercise of sexuality without emotions and inevitably leads to a sense of deep solitude, which doesn’t depend at all on being gay, because there are many gay guys who realized their dreams, but depends on having spent many years in a sort of true addiction. The drug dependency does not bring happiness but only the momentary illusion of being happy at the cost of becoming dependent; in the same way dating sites do not fulfill and cannot fulfill at all the dreams of love of a gay guy because they have been created for another purpose and also lead to addictions. The responsibility of this belongs to the guys who are looking for a chance to be themselves in a hostile world? Belongs to those who take advantage of the naivety and the problems of others in order to obtain an economic profit managing dating sites? Or belongs to those who allow all this fueling homophobia and the marginalization of gay guys and in fact helping, with their discriminatory self-righteousness, the growth of dating sites and the expansion of sexually transmitted diseases, which are inevitably associated with these new social uses? To you the answer.