SORROW AND GAY LOVE

Hi Project,
I am an assiduous reader of the Gay Project forum, the stories that you have published, in more than a few cases are similar to what I have been experiencing for years, but I would like to know your specific opinion about my personal situation, which I don’t always know how to deal with; generally it doesn’t cause me big problems but it certainly puts me in situations of great uncertainty, I would like to better understand how I can make my partner happier. I know that, putting the question in these terms, it is impossible to get a precise idea, so I come to the heart of the matter.
I am 45 years old, I practically lived alone until I was 35, then I met by chance Lorenzo, called Enzo, a Florentine guy who was then twenty-five years old. The story of our first meeting is unbelievable. It was Sunday, around 11 in the night, it was raining heavily, I was coming home, when I see a car pulled up along a large road and a person who asks for help and makes a sign to stop. For a moment I don’t know what to do, then, I confess, I see that the person is a tall, thin and wet guy and then I trust and I stop, also because helping a handsome guy is not just a humanitarian gesture. 
I must say that I was struck at first glance. He tells me that the car broke down and that he doesn’t know what to do. I tell him to get in my car and we’d be worried about the car the next day, because he could not possibly stay there under the rain. He gets into my car, I ask him where I can accompany him and he tells me that he should return to Florence (we were in Rome), but that the car does not work, I ask him if he wants to accompany him to the hotel somewhere, he replies that he has not money, I offer to lend him money but he doesn’t really want to talk about money, he asks me if I can host him for the night, I am a bit puzzled because I care a lot to my privacy and such an unusual request forces  me to decide when I’m not able to understand what I’m doing, then I finally accept. 
He goes up to my house, I give him some dry clothes and he goes to change clothes, I make him a bed in the smallest room, which is small but a real bedroom, I ask him if he has had dinner and he says no. I prepare a quick dinner, he’s tired, it’s almost one o’clock and I tell him to go to sleep. The next day he would like to put back his clothes but they are still wet. He is not expert in cars, so I call the tow truck and have his car brought to my workshop. The mechanic says that the damage is serious and that it will take a few days, Enzo insists that he must return absolutely to Florence in a short time, if necessary by train. I told him that I would take him to Florence with my car and then I would bring to him the repaired car a few days later. He replies that he has no money to pay for the repair but that he will give me everything back as soon as he can. I tell him it’s fine with me. I arrange some work things by phone and then we leave.
The trip is short but allows us to talk a lot. He asks me why I do all these things for him, I am very embarrassed, but then I tell him the truth that I’m gay and that for someone like me, being able to help a guy is a very rewarding thing. After a few minutes he tells me that he too is gay, which I am initially reluctant to believe. He tells me what he was doing in Rome. In practice he is in love with a guy who treated him very badly and this would not have been a problem for him, but that guy, in fact, didn’t want to be with him. Enzo had come to Rome by car, running in desperation, because he felt lost, he wanted to talk to that guy, to convince him not to leave, but he could not convince him. In telling me the story he began to cry in sobs and he was really bad, while droving I held his left hand for a few seconds and he calmed down a bit, asked me the cell phone number and gave me his. 
In Florence he told me to leave him near Santa Maria Novella and then leave immediately, and I did just that. After three days his car was repaired, I called him and told him that I would bring him back the car the following Sunday, he asked me to bring him the receipt of the mechanic because “as soon as possible” he would have returned everything. On Sunday I went to Florence with his car. The first thing he did was asking for the receipt. I thought he would stay to talk to me at least a little but it did not happen, he only said thank you, without even shaking my hand and dismissed me. 
I confess that I was a bit bad, I felt a perfect fool who had done so many miles and had spent plenty of money to be then dismissed so trivially. I have not heard from Enzo for more than a month and I no longer thought about him. One night, now very late, around two o’clock, he calls me and asks me what I’m doing, I tell him I’m sleeping. He asks me: “Are you alone?” I say yes and he says, “Then open the doorway.” The first thing he did was to give me back the money to repair the car, but he was upset, his face was wrecked and all flushed evidently he had decided to come to me already late at night and had gone all the way in anxiety. He stood up and started crying, saying he could not live anymore, that life did not make any sense to him, that he would never be happy. 
At that moment I hugged him, but he was really bad, I held him as tightly as I could, I unkempt his hair and I said, “I make the bed for you.” He replied that he wanted to sleep with me, I said I had only a single bed, but it was indifferent to him. We went to bed, but there was nothing erotic, he was sick, at times he was trembling, he read my doubts in my face and told me. “I don’t use substances … don’t be afraid of me, please.” I put an arm under his head and he turned to me. I told him: “Here you have nothing to fear … try to feel comfortable …” But he was agitated for most of the night. I did not know what to do, at times I thought he had really serious problems. It was morning when he fell asleep. We had slept not even an hour. I sat next to the bed to see him rest, he was really a nice guy and I was wondering why that other guy didn’t want to be with him. 
Of course Enzo’s ways of doing were very far from the typical ways of doing of a gay guy, he seemed emotionally unstable, if the night before he had done all that way it was not just to bring my money back for the car, he probably felt really bad, he was alone and didn’t know who to turn to. In short, while I saw him rest, a thousand doubts crowded my mind, from the most terrible, that he could get to an insane gesture, to the fact that he could be assaulted by emotion, perhaps along the way, risking to lose control of car. Because he had damaged the car for having forced it too much, at least according to the mechanic. He woke up after nine, I sent him to take a shower and I prepared breakfast. The first thing he told me was: “You could also take advantage of me when I was sick but you didn’t. Now I feel better.” I remained silent, I did not know what to say, and he started crying but more quietly, he followed me into the kitchen and began to have breakfast, then he told me: “Can I stay here a few days?” I replied: “Of course, all the time you want!” He said: “Only two or three days.” Instinctively I trusted him. 
In the following days we  talked a lot. I was listening to him, fascinated. I liked a lot also Lorenzo’s character, he was neither aggressive nor arrogant nor touchy, he tended if ever to belittle himself. He had graduated with honors in a very difficult scientific discipline and had just started his doctorate program. He lived on his scholarship. The relationships with his family were bad, not in the sense that there was hate, but there was much worse, there was total mutual indifference. Enzo was not bad for the university, even if he was beginning to neglect it, he was sick because he didn’t have anyone who loved him. He considered himself something similar to a border line case, almost a pathological case. I would have proposed to him to stay with me permanently, but he had his studies in Florence, and they were important studies that he could not let go lightly. We talked about it a lot and we concluded that if he had started studying again with the utmost seriousness, I would have gone to Florence on Friday evening and would have returned to Rome on Monday morning. He did not want to make me upset but in the end he was convinced that it would be the best solution.
He stayed at my house for five days. Between us there was nothing explicitly sexual, even if seeing him smile gave me moments of total happiness. Sometimes I tried to tell him that he is a special person but he stopped me right away: “No talk!” In those few days, however, we really told each other everything, he was hesitant because he thought that certain things would have created difficulties but I was more and more in love. If sometimes a few moments of misunderstanding were created between us, they were very rare, and after a few seconds the thing was over. Since December I started going back and forth from Rome to Florence by car, but since it was really destructive after a few weeks I preferred the train. 
Since April I rented a 36 square meter micro-apartment in the outskirts of Florence, the costs were more or less those of the hotel, but at least Enzo could come and stay with me for three nights. He used to take books with him and study at our home, the basic thing was to stay together. There were no more secrets among us. I began to understand many things of the life of Enzo that I never imagined and I was more and more in love, he made me an extreme tenderness. Between us the sincerity was total, sometimes brutal: he told me that I was not his ideal type of man, that he loved me but was not in love with me, this thing initially slowed my enthusiasm, even if I continued to go to Florence every week. One night while we were sleeping together in the same bed, he said to me: “I’m getting excited and it never happened to me before …” I tried to change the subject, but he did not allow it and only told me. “Don’t say no! It’s important to me.” We hugged each other and it was the first time I made love with a guy.
Enzo seemed like another person, he was calm, laughed, said nonsense, behaved like a kid playing, a marvelous spectacle, the confidence between us was total. I saw him happy, his eyes were laughing and they were beautiful. His way of making love was overwhelming. I think that for me I could not have imagined a first time more involving. But after sex things have changed and a heavy melancholy has taken over, almost a regret for having transformed into a sexual dimension something that before was only sublimated, Enzo had in mind that he had been with me because he loved me but not because he was attracted sexually to me, although frankly it seemed to me that he was attracted, but then even the melancholy passed and we remained naked embraced until the morning. I was afraid of how Enzo could have interpreted what had happened between us, but actually it happened many more times and there were never problems. 
We went on like that for three years, he got his doctorate and then had a research job in Rome and almost automatically, he came to stay at my house. He was almost thirty and I was almost forty. Enzo was fine with me, but I understood that even if he would always consider me an important person, I would never have been the love of his life. We talked a lot about this. Initially he thought that this speech would throw me into depression and for this he was very cautious, but I tried to make him understand that if he had taken other paths I would have continued to love him anyway, also because he would have continued to love me anyway. He only told me: “If it happens, I’ll tell you. But I feel lighter when I think it would not be a betrayal for you.” His life was more or less monotonous as ever. 
One evening, more or less a year later, he told me: “Do you remember the speech we did almost a year ago? … Well I think it’s happening …” I hugged him and I only told him: “I love you!” And he replied: “Me too.” He started to stay away from home often and not to come back at night. I felt lonely, Enzo was missing me, sometimes I was assaulted by moments of profound melancholy, because I thought I would definitely lose him. When he came home he was calm, it was clear that he had created a good relationship with the new guy. I tried to welcome him in the most normal and quiet way possible, for example, cooking for him particular dishes that he liked and never leaving him alone. Of his new companion he spoke only good and I was pleased. His story with that guy lasted three years, then Enzo began to feel restless and no longer be well, when he was in our house he did not sleep at night, he was often melancholic, sometimes he began to cry and I could not comfort him. I didn’t ask questions not to be invasive, but he was sick, it was obvious that the relationship with the other guy was in crisis but I did not know why and he did not tell me. I thought that the other guy knew only the side, so to speak, “happy” of Enzo and was not equipped to understand and manage the dark moments. The period of uncertainty went on for a couple of months. 
One evening Enzo returns home and tells me that I must accompany him to take the hiv test, I feel terrified, but he immediately stops me: “I do it only for scruple, more for you than for me, I’m not really worried.” He did the test that came negative, then he redid it after four months and even then it came negative, then he said to me: “Now you have nothing to fear.” And so we started making love again, but every now and then memories of when he was making love with that other guy came back to him, and then he did not feel like going on and he said: “Not today.” 
About two years ago I had a very serious cardiological problem, I felt bad while I was talking to Enzo, I was breathless and I had severe chest pains. He called “immediately” the emergency room and I ended up in intensive care. If there had not been Enzo I would have died, but he was there and he knew exactly what to do. He assisted me for the period of hospitalization, that was however short because I had been brought to intensive care in less than an hour after the coronary obstruction. In practice, I owe my life to Enzo and even now that I am completely autonomous again, he takes care of me. Yet, dear Project, sometimes I see him melancholic, he loves me, and I have no doubts about this, but it’s as if he never knew what to do with his life. 
He is not in love with me but between us there is an intimacy, even physical, which reassures him because he knows that there is someone who would never say no to him and really loves him. Every now and then there is a bit of sex between us, almost to confirm that we don’t have mutual closings, but I think that the strongest element of our relationship is mutual trust, in fact we are a certainty for one another. I know he could fall in love with other guys but this doesn’t scare me, I see him above all concentrated on his research work. Sometimes he tries to explain what it is, but these things are too difficult for me. If you were me, Project, what would you do? Thank you for your patience and I wish you a very good 2010!
Paul
___________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-sorrow-and-gay-love
Advertisements

SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESIS ON THE ORIGIN OF GAYS

In the first period of interplanetary exploration, we realized that on Mars there was no life or at least there was no life evolved in intelligence; since then (around the beginning of the 21st century), the existence of Martians was archived, as a ridiculous hypothesis, for more than a century. However, recent explorations of the red planet have completely altered this theory.
The “Geo-Mars” mission, which ended in 2123, found in the subsoil of Mars abundant signs of a highly developed Martian civilization at a technological level. Archaeological evidence showed that it was a small community of a few thousand individuals, the technological findings are numerous but their interpretation divides scientists … some objects seem similar to mobile phones like those used at the beginning of the last century, but scientists don’t understand what kind of energy could make them work and above all they don’t understand their exact function, some discoveries left the scientists amazed: have been found very detailed maps of the planet Earth, as it had to appear between the sixth and the seventh century BC.
For many years no direct traces of the Martians have been found, either in terms of images or writing or something that might appear similar to writing and the mystery of Mars has thickened. What greatly amazed the scientists was the recent discovery of a wooden box or better of a box made of a material that looks like wood (material that doesn’t exist on Mars), containing parchments or things that look like parchments written in a language that looks like an archaic form of Greek (similar to linear B). These documents were brought to Earth to try to decipher it. At the end of the mission of 2123, only one thing seemed certain: the Martians existed, at least up to the VII-VI century BC, even if only archaeological traces remain. The real shocking news came from the Greek paleography school of the University of Athens. The documents reported on the Earth appear to be actually written in an archaic form of Greek. Some texts, a fundamental document and a few others, with some uncertainties, have been translated and published, below you can read some passages.
“In the year 56765 of the fourth body from the shining Sun (probably therefore of Mars) the people of the Fourthians (Martians), having failed the conditions for the preservation of life, left their city of Underfourthian, in the subsoil of Forthian, and transferred to Thirdian (on the Earth). We, Fourthians, have chosen to assume in all the appearance of the inhabitants of Thirdian to live between them and we have also chosen to select our genes to make them compatible with those of the inhabitants of Thirdian, our species are therefore compatible and our genes can recombine with those of the inhabitants of Thirdian. On the basis of probabilistic laws the population of Thirdian, in a few years, will be constituted for 92% of pure Thirdians (pure Terrestrials) and for 8% of pure Fourthians. Our physical appearance will be indistinguishable from that of the Thirdians and we will also assimilate their language and, partially, their culture, but in some things we will not mix with them, only the Fourthians know and will know what these things are.”
A lot of the other documents reproduced treaties of alliance between Greek cities, one of them, Fourthian, seems to have been the first residence of the Fourthians on Earth. The prospects opened up by the new discoveries are shocking … the Martians are among us! All the remaining documents referred to philosophical-scientific and political questions, from them the scientists deduce that Fourthians had a singular instinct of freedom and lived in a society without laws, among them only one behavior was sanctioned: the attempt to limit the freedom of others and it can also be inferred from some documents that Fourthians had a particular tendency to reason avoiding metaphysics, at any level, it seems that all their way of life was based on two fundamental elements: the reason and the affective involvement, elements to which they seemed to give equal dignity. But we cannot deduce more than that from the translation of documents that present gaps, sometimes in essential points, gaps that don’t appear random: everything that describes the relations of the Fourthians with the Thirdians is explicit and understandable, all that seems to allude to relationships of the Fourthians between themselves is instead evanescent and incomprehensible because it is incomplete and, probably, deliberately incomplete.
Once it was thought that Martians were bad, and so much science-fiction literature was produced in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries starting from this idea and, after all, even today, many scientists are led to give it credit. It was also thought that the Martians were green, very strange in shape, that they spoke an incomprehensible language made up of well-modulated whistles and ultrasounds, but today all this makes no sense anymore. Today we have the certainty that Martians are among us.
Diary of Kennet White, New York 21/1/2127
Today I have been at the university … a terrible lesson … all nonsense and then, above all, the apology of oppression … they call it moral … if there is a moral rule that can make sense it is only the respect for the freedom of others … here everybody still reasons in terms of good and evil … but only in the abstract … all metaphysics … a professor who does the metaphysics of war and then talks about freedom … but do they know what freedom is? … they talk about it … but it’s a metaphysical freedom, they talk about morality but their morality consists in limiting the freedom of others, in condemning, in pulling out sentences … anything but respect … here respect for others doesn’t exist at all and then I live such a situation on my skin … freedom … respect … but here the hypocrisy is the rule! … but what can you do? You are in the midst of a mass of people but you feel lonely … they speak another language … we will never understand each other… never! Sometimes I have the impression of being from another planet … mah! Tomorrow yet another recital … every day you have to pretend, there is no remedy … let me open the communicator … there are a dozen messages … my Monday’s speech must have made an impression … let’s see.- Hello Kennet … I read your speech … you will make political career …… No! This must be deleted immediately … – Ugly fool but who do you think you are? … You look like an alien … This too to delete … – Kennet, I read your speech with interest and I would like to give you some advice … this too to delete … In short, ten messages not so bad … one of insults, all the others positive … but a little … how to say … a little … far … when I speak they understand me or better they understand what they can understand on the basis of their experience … but it is an experience that is very far from mine … another message has arrived … let’s see … – The things you said I feel them mine … obviously we are Martians … now you’re not alone anymore … now we are two.
___________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-scientific-hypothesis-on-the-origin-of-gays

GAY GUYS AND EMBARRASSING QUESTIONS

Hi Project,
you have often spoken of undue pressure on gay boys, pressures like: “Do you have a girlfriend?” “Are you engaged?” “Let’s go out tonight, so I’ll introduce you to a splendid girl, a friend of mine …” and so on. Who reads the posts you published might think that these undue pressure are addressed only to very young boys, more or less 16-18 years old, but instead it is not so, these pressures are often very heavy even after. I am 31 years old, I have a boyfriend for more than two years and I feel deeply satisfied with him. 
My parents know my situation perfectly and not only they have never hindered me, but they have helped me giving my life that aspect of normality it needed and that made it really beautiful, but what seems really incredible is that my boyfriend, who is practically as old as I am, lives a situation exactly similar to mine, he has spoken clearly to his parents, who know everything, his parents know my parents and they also know some of our gay friends, with whom they perfectly agree. All this happened spontaneously and it was really very nice. So, with our families things could not get any better. 
Both my boyfriend and I have no brothers or sisters, but we have uncles and cousins, and here the troubles begin. My uncle, every time he sees me starts with stupid questions, just as if I were 16, so, by survival instinct, I always keep away from him, when my parents go to lunch at his house I never go there, officially for work reasons, because luckily I have a job, but actually because I don’t like the idea of undergoing the usual interrogation. With the cousins it could be better because they are more or less my age and they should have a more open mentality, but either they have family and children or they have a girlfriend, and for them there is only one normality, that is their normality. For them, even if they are between 23 and 33, it is inconceivable that there are ways of life different from theirs. 
As for my boyfriend, things are easier because he has no relatives in the city where we live now and for him the periods of torture are limited to Christmas holidays and a fortnight in summer. Last year he didn’t visit his relatives either at Christmas or in the summer and it was great! 
One thing I cannot stand, which is nevertheless traditional among my relatives, it is the combination of marriages. Today there is the internet and I don’t see what sense it can have to get in the middle to try to put in contact a guy with a girl, and yet my relatives do it, obviously only on their own initiative. Last year, at Easter, one of my aunt, traditionally quiet and not meddler, put me more than once in embarrassment, making a girl believe that I had fallen in love with her. The girl was nice to me, she is a smart girl, and I had talked about her to my aunt and she deduced that I was probably in love with that girl and didn’t have the courage to declare my love. The girl, probably, was half in love with me, she believed my aunt and began to come forward insistently with text messages, e-mails and phone calls, as she had never done before. Of course I replied in a very nice way but also very cold without encouraging her in the slightest. I saw my aunt only a few months later, when I was permanently with my boyfriend. I had on my finger a ring given to me by my boyfriend, and I had not the slightest thought that for my aunt that could be an important thing. When I went to her house, she immediately noticed the ring and asked me if I was engaged, I answered yes, which is actually very true. Through my aunt the news arrived to the girl who disappeared altogether (I never saw her again and I’m sorry for this fact).
Another critical point: work colleagues, some are older than me and have children and therefore are absorbed by family life, others are younger but have a girlfriend. They often propose to go with them on Sundays or even if there is a few days of vacation and I scrupulously avoid going with them for two reasons, first of all not to put myself in embarrassing situations that is not to raise expectations in any girl and then because I want to spend my time with my boyfriend. The idea of not being next to my boyfriend to go for a trip with my work colleagues would seem to me a form of betrayal. I feel happy with my boyfriend. Our parents treat us just like a couple, so many times he stays to sleep at my house or I at his house, such a thing no longer creates any problem. When other relatives saw us together we said that we were friends without further explanation and no one asked questions. 
In practice I started living at 28, before I had my experiences but frankly I didn’t feel at ease. I met only good guys, but this is not enough to fall in love, then I found “him” but it was not love at first sight. We spent months to trust each other. The first time I went to his house I felt really embarrassed, I didn’t know what to expect, I went there because he cared a lot and told me it would be all right, and that’s exactly what happened. His mother had prepared the fettuccine in the house, the father was a talker who no longer stopped, they did not ask questions of any kind, there was no need to explain anything, they already knew everything. With me they were expansive as if I were one of the family. 
When he took his parents to my house to meet mine, they were a little embarrassed, but it lasted a few minutes, then things melted easily. Of course, even our parents have detached themselves from all the other relatives but I don’t think they really suffered it. Now we are something similar to an extended family, we are six and are fine. At work I have no friends, that is, I don’t have people with whom I can really talk about myself. All my colleagues now think that I have a girlfriend and no longer go out with them for this reason and sure I will not explain to them how things really are. 
A few days ago, a fact happened that made me think. I have a cousin, let’s call him Mirco much younger than me (he is 17), he has always been a good boy, he has never joked about girls nor has ever spoken with sexual allusions of any kind, it will seem strange but I believe that Mirco understood something about me and my boyfriend. There is some form of strange solidarity between me and Mirco. It all started when in a dinner with relatives, uncles have embarrassed him with the usual stupid questions about girls, etc. etc., I intervened and hushed my uncles energetically, they looked at me a little perplexed but the embarrassing questions were over. 
On that occasion I exchanged two very communicative looks with Mirco. Instinctively I am not led to believe that he could put me in difficult situations and he never did. In short, I think Mirco can be gay. I talked about it with my boyfriend, because I would like to try to have a more serious dialogue with Mirco, but my boyfriend is hesitant, he does not know how much Mirco can be trusted, and if Mirco was not gay it would end up putting him in trouble, apart from the fact that Mirco is very young and my uncles tend not to leave him even a minimum of freedom. But if what I think was true, that is, if he were gay and he felt even oppressed by the family, the fact that two gay guys can be together very well and that families can consider it absolutely normal, could be very important for him. I’m aware that with my aunt and uncle I could create huge problems and that even my parents could be involved in a lot of gossip, but if we could really trust Mirco, in the end there would be no risk.
Sometimes he could even come with me for a walk in the countryside, no one would know that my boyfriend would be there and all this could have an important meaning for Mirco. I have never seen Mirco with a girl, nor has he ever talked about these things, for the moment he only thinks about studying. He wants to start scientific studies and is very motivated. He had asked me to look for a book of genetics in the city and it was not a book of a popular nature. 
Things are at this point. Project, I don’t know what to do, I’d like Mirco to understand a little more closely which kind of life I and my boyfriend live but I’m also afraid that the whole thing could end badly. In fact I know very little about Mirco, I hardly ever see him, but I have to underline that when I meet him there are undoubtedly some strange forms of complicity. And then, if he were not gay, would he be able to understand the meaning of life of a gay couple? Or would he be upset, or would he feel almost soiled? Frankly, I think that gay or hetero, he has all the credentials to understand and the temptation to let him know my real life is very strong. One thing I would like to emphasize, Mirco is a nice guy but he is not really my type of guy, I have never had plans or fantasies of any kind about him. My boyfriend never even saw him, not even in photography, even though we talked a lot about him. What do you think, Project?
__________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-and-embarrassing-questions

GAY-THEMED OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER

I have been dealing with homosexuality for many years and, through Project Gay, who has been online for more than 10 years, I often had the opportunity to exchange e-mails with gay guys of all ages and to chat with them many times also in person, however It should be emphasized that a substantial proportion of the mails I receive, about 30%, do not come from gay guys, but from guys with gay-themed obsessive compulsive disease (gay-themed OCD).
 
I must point out that I am neither a psychiatrist nor a psychologist but only a person who has met many gays and who full-time looks after gays, often for many hours a day and even on holidays. The guys with gay-themed OCD who contact me are looking for my knowledge of the gay world because they feel obsessive doubts about their sexual orientation and compulsions that push them to test themselves to verify their sexual orientation and therefore want to have a comparison on these elements.
 
With some of these guys I have been exchanging literally hundreds of mails, even ten on the same day, when the OCD became more aggressive.
 
It is certainly not my task to talk about diagnoses and diseases and, obviously, when the problems become serious, it is useful and appropriate to contact specialists, but the fact remains that, in general, in situations of gay-themed OCD, an objective comparison with people who know well the homosexual reality is very useful because this way, guys with OCD are able to know of the weak aspects of their obsessive thinking. I will avoid any general discourse on the OCD and I will immediately and specifically deal with of the gay-themed OCD.
 
I start from some statistical observations.
 
In the experience of all (or almost all) guys with gay-themed OCD there is a heterosexual past free from OCD, often it is a non-linear past but still objectively and strictly heterosexual. Let me explain better, the guys who present a gay-themed OCD have lived the emotional, effective and even sexual experiences typical of heterosexual guys, that is they have been attracted in a clear way by girls, they have fell in love with girls, without ever questioning the fact of being heterosexuals, they have masturbated thinking about girls, very often they have had a girl and have had sexual intercourses with her, sometimes they have had more than one girl and a more complex sexual life but always heterosexual.
 
In the vast majority of cases sexual relationships of these guys were very strong and very engaging but the emotional dimension, in many cases, was marginalized, the dialogue with the girl was considered secondary compared to having sex with her. Sometimes and not rarely, performance anxiety phenomena are found. The absence of dialogue with the girl often led to the end of the relationship, followed by a sense of frustration.
 
It should be emphasized that for younger guys, who have never had sexual experiences, the picture, although essentially projective, often repeats models similar to the one just seen: I fall in love with the girl but in the end I’m afraid she doesn’t want me, doesn’t understand me. In this case, however, the dynamics are all internal.
 
In the experience of many straight guys there are sometimes memories of childhood or early adolescence linked to exploratory games with sexual background made with their mates, memories that generally don’t create any embarrassment and that are often completely archived because clearly not significant, when heterosexual attraction develops as adolescence progresses. Boys with a gay-themed OCD tend to improperly give those memories the value of an indicator of sexual orientation.
 
The gay-themed OCD emerges almost always in a sudden and totally unexpected way, very often because the guys, in the use of pornography, let themselves go to watch gay-themed videos and on that occasion they feel like they are experiencing some curiosity, some interest, or even at least a partial erection. It is common to hear phrases like: “If I had not gone to see that gay porn, all this disaster would not have happened!”
 
The gay-themed OCD as all the forms of OCD can present at different levels and the mails of the guys reflect the degree of obsessiveness of their thinking. Some mails are very articulate, deal with several issues and then address the topic of the OCD, others are clearly monothematic, in the sense that from the beginning to the end they speak only of OCD or better of the belief of being gay, others show signs of panic at the limit of loss of control. But one thing should be emphasized: guys with gay-themed OCD, in practice, never undertake homosexual experiences and don’t even have casual homosexual intercourses, all of their speech is independent of real relationships with real boys, both sexually and on an emotional level.
 
I try to clarify the concept: a gay guy falls in love with a real guy, a friend of his, a colleague of studies, in other words, his sexual interest is directed towards a well identified person, so it is a fact, not a mere hypothesis. A guy with a gay-themed OCD fears he can get excited about homosexual content, the concern is only about the technically sexual aspect. There is the fear of reacting sexually with “a guy” who is never a concrete guy but a generic male person. So these are abstract fears, which at most can be connected to a gay video, but never to a real person. In gay-themed OCD we find both obsessive, intrusive, recurring thought, and the compulsion to test to get a definitive answer about sexual orientation. Testing means practically verifying one’s sexual reaction (partial erection, hard erection, ejaculatory stimulation and more or less complete voluntary masturbation in the face of gay sexual content).
 
Obviously, as is typical of the OCD, the test “never” provides a satisfactory answer and this leads to the endless repetition of the tests itself. The tests tend to reproduce the situations that characterized the first manifestations of the OCD. In practice, during masturbation dedicated to a girl, or in front of a hetero porn, there is an intrusion of disturbing contents of homosexual type. I emphasize that these contents are not conceived as pleasing but as intrusive and capable of destroying the pleasure of heterosexual sexuality.
 
In the mails of the guys with gay-themed OCD there is almost always a loving attitude towards the girls who are described with tenderness, though often the real emotional relationships with those girls have been problematic, despite the intensity of sexual relations, in other words there is an involvement towards the girls well beyond the sexuality elementarily understood, these guys feel the emotional need of the girls, even if often they struggle to build truly gratifying emotional relationships with girls. These are problems typical of hetero sexuality but they are interpreted on the basis of a scheme suggested by the OCD: I cannot build an emotional relationship with a girl because maybe I’am gay! 99% of the problems of heterosexual couples have nothing to do with homosexuality and the difficulties of certain guys to create emotional relationships with girls does not depend at all on a hypothetical homosexuality but probably depend on the obsessiveness itself (which also manifests in heterosexual relationships), which the girl feels and pushes her to distance. A classic mechanism of “substitution” is realized, the true motivation of the problems of heterosexual couple is replaced by the idea that the motivation is just one: the homosexuality. It is very significant that guys with gay-themed OCD tend not to ask themselves questions about their unsatisfactory hetero affective relationships and shift their focus exclusively to the hypothetical homosexuality.
 
It has happened to me several times to have the impression that for these guys it is extremely difficult to accept the idea that their emotional relationships with girls can be problematic for reasons completely alien to homosexuality, it is as if the gay hypothesis were the only possible motivation of the difficult emotional relationship with girls.
 
I also often thought that these guys tended to give sexuality without affectivity (both hetero and gay) an excessive meaning, as if a couple’s relationship were just the sum of two single sexual entanglements, or rather the sum of two sexualities in which each of the two partners finds in the other the realization of his/her sexual fantasies, without the creation of a couple unity that goes beyond sex.
 
Another fundamental question is linked to the fact that the guys suffering from gay-themed OCD are brought to consider themselves gay repressed, or latent gays, or bisexuals. All this is significant because in practice they never identify themselves as strictly gay, but as guys who have “even” gay interests. For a guy strictly gay being gay is a value, a characterizing element that does not conflict with anything, except with the ignorance of families and of the social environment. A gay guy does not in any case tend to safeguard his more or less hypothetical heterosexual dimension, simply because that dimension is completely absent. Obviously the categories of repressed gays, latent gays or bisexuals have nothing to do with OCD. Let us now try to understand why.
 
A gay repressed is a gay to all effects who tends to repress his homosexuality almost always for environmental and educational reasons, but he is a 100% gay, he can practice gay masturbation with the sense of sin and transgression, but certainly does not feel it as something alien and disturbing, does not certainly feel it in conflict with a hypothetical hetero sexuality, which does not exist at all for him. A repressed gay guy can also come to “want” to experience heterosexual sexuality, either in masturbation with hetero fantasies or with videos of girls, or even with heterosexual relationships, but these things constitute a forcing, absolutely not spontaneous and certainly not gratifying, it is obvious that these forced attempts at hetero sexuality are self-imposed and have nothing to do with the true sexuality.
 
The concept of latent gay deserves a separate discussion. Latent gay means a guy whose homosexual interests are hidden, but not in the sense that they are hidden from others but well present to that guy, but in the sense that they are unconscious, that is, that boy has no awareness of them. A latent gay does not consider himself gay, he feels heterosexual and does not even consider the hypothesis of being homosexual. Latent homosexuality becomes concrete, beyond the hypotheses, when the guy leaves the latency period, which can last many years, and there is a real homosexuality, but these are rare cases. I add that one can “suspect” a latent homosexuality through symptomatic elements of a discomfort in heterosexual relationships, that may be not always fully satisfactory. Obviously those elements of discomfort can be interpreted also in quite different ways and it makes sense to refer to latent homosexuality only when, after the latency phase, a true homosexuality has occurred.
 
As for the bisexual category it must be said immediately that a bisexual guy experiences both heterosexual and homosexual interests, often in different degrees, with the prevalence or of the heterosexuality or of the homosexuality, but the guy experiences both considering each the two forms as a positive experience, none of the two forms of sexuality is seen by bisexual guys as a disturbing element of  the other neither is accompanied by anxious manifestations or compulsions.
 
In practice, the totality of guys affected by gay-themed OCD tend to identify themselves with “a gay who does not accept himself” and the ambiguity of this concept favors this identification. A gay man may have a big grip on declaring himself publicly gay, given the widespread ignorance about sexuality, that can cause unpleasant reactions in the family or in the social environment, but the prudence in external behavior has nothing to do with sexual orientation. A gay guy who is not publicly declared and does not behave externally in ways that allow him to be identified as gay, is just a wise gay guy, he’s not a gay guy who doesn’t accept homosexuality, he’s not a gay guy fighting against his gay identity. There may be times when a gay guy tries to suppress his sexuality to adapt to what the society and the family expect him to be, and in some cases gays also get married, but they remain gay guys that have forced themselves to a hetero life, they are not hetero at all, because they, also as married guys,  maintain an exclusively gay masturbation, that is, they have sexual intercourses with their wives, but when they experience sexuality freely in masturbation they clearly manifest their true sexual orientation.
 
Guys affected by gay-themed OCD, for what I can see, never show forms of homophobia, have or have had gay friends, they recognize to gay people the same rights of heterosexuals and also have a deep respect for homosexuality that disturbs them not as such, but only as an element that manifests in an intrusive and obsessive way in their hetero sexuality and in this sense conditions them, proposing them obsessive models of behavior that are alien to them, are unnatural, not against nature in the abstract, but against their individual heterosexual nature.
 
It must be clearly underlined that guys with gay-themed OCD have a decidedly unrealistic picture of the gay world, which does not come from their personal experience, because they are not gay, but from mass media and so it is built on stereotypes often very far from reality. I try to list some of these stereotypes: gays think only or especially about sex, they are sexually interested in all men and all guys, or at least in all gay men and all gay guys, gays are naturally effeminate, they dress so flamboyant, they only practice anal sex and tend to put it into practice with anyone, gays do not like team sports, have no friends, are melancholic, etc. etc..
 
Guys with gay-themed OCD tend to identify themselves as gay on the basis of their presumed conformity to these stereotypes and when, talking with me, they know that homosexuality is something quite different from what they have imagined, they experience moments of perplexity.
 
An important reflection must be made on the different frequency of gay-themed OCD cases in the various countries. It should be kept in mind that the OCD tends to polarize obsessive thoughts on a content that is particularly anxiogenic for the person affected by the OCD itself. The gay-themed doc is very rare among mature men or among the elderly who experience other types of obsessive content, while it is common in young people, this is certainly not surprising because for young people sexuality is a fundamental theme. We are instead struck by the fact that the gay-themed OCD is widespread especially in southern European countries (Italy and Spain), where the integration of homosexuals is still problematic, it is much less common in Germany, in the North of France and in England, where the culture of integration is much more widespread (especially in large cities) and is practically absent in the Scandinavian countries, where a precocious and well-managed sexual education allows a real integration of homosexuals who are no longer considered as a human category to watch with suspicion or concern.
 
From this reasoning it turns out that the real problem of gay-themed OCD is not being or not being gay, because the obsessive doubt about one’s sexual identity is substantially inspired by social intolerant attitudes towards homosexuality, the real problem is represented by obsessiveness in itself and by compulsiveness in itself.
 
In the experience of guys affected by gay-themed OCD very often obsessive elements, ritualisms of various kinds and unmotivated fears appear from childhood or early adolescence. In the approach with Gay Project the guys read that the fantasies that accompany masturbation are the first indicator of sexual orientation and as they experience in their masturbation the intrusion of gay elements are induced to think that those elements are true symptomatic elements of homosexuality. If it is true that masturbation fantasies are the first indicator of sexual orientation, it is not true, however, that all the homosexual contents that can come to mind during masturbation are really masturbatory fantasies. It should be noted that masturbation fantasies should not be confused with two other typical categories of homosexual content, that is, with abstract thoughts and phobic-obsessive contents. Let’s try to characterize these categories in order to make them easy to identify.
 
1) A sexual fantasy is a fantasy, usually associated with sexual arousal, that is to erection, or which would lead to erection if there was no rational control to repress it. Sexual fantasies are experienced as gratifying, both on a physiological (erection) and on a psychological level. The sexual fantasies are induced by concrete situations experienced as sexually involving or by the memory of similar situations or by episodes that make the memory resurface. Sexual fantasies are cultivated by the subject who spontaneously and voluntarily dwells on it, precisely because he experiences them as gratifying.
 
2) A masturbatory fantasies are sexual fantasies that accompany masturbation. These are therefore particularly exciting sexual fantasies, in relation to which the erection during masturbation is maintained for a long time. Gay guys who “do not accept themselves”, in spite of everything, perceive their gay sexual fantasies as pleasing on a sexual, physiological and psychological level, see them as fantasies against which they “must morally” resist but towards which there is no feeling of deep repulsion or of spontaneous rejection, I mean that a guy who does not accept or struggle to accept himself not only does not feel repulsion for gay sexuality but is attracted to it. In a sense, he is led to resist “rationally” to the temptation of gay fantasies, which for him have a considerable attraction. The emergence of gay sexuality is experienced by the guy as the realization of something new with which he must deal, but never as a repellent or disgusting reality, much less as a foreign reality that has become invasive and pervasive.
 
3) An abstract fantasy is a representation of a situation that “theoretically” could result in sexual involvement, i.e. that for other subjects would constitute a sexual fantasy or even a masturbatory fantasy, but that in the present case is not accompanied by any form of sexual excitement. Abstract fantasies are the manifestation of non-repellence towards certain sexual contents, but they do not at all constitute indicators of involvement or sexual orientation. Abstract fantasies are not produced by sexually engaging episodes or by their memory, they are a purely rational birth and do not involve physiological sexuality. It often happens that gay guys who “do not accept themselves” try to validate their hypothetical hetero identity based on abstract fantasies. It should always be kept in mind that abstract fantasies, even if they concern situations potentially involving sex, do not have any specific sexual value for the subject that feeds them. It is evident that abstract fantasies are not experienced by the subject neither as gratifying nor as disturbing, they can at most be reassuring but only at the rational level, generally on an emotional level they do not serve to resolve anxiety.
 
4) Sexual contents of a phobic or obsessive type are, in fact, contents that occur automatically and uncontrollably in situations or sexual fantasies with which they are not immediately correlated. They are contents that the subject fears, of which, wrongly or rightly, is afraid and which tends to recur in an obsessive and deeply disturbing way. Contents of phobic-obsessive type are not object of sexual fantasies, in the sense that the subject does not deliberately cultivate them searching for gratification, rather sees them as a foreign disturbing element whose presence tends to slowly invade all the sectors of affective and relational life. While sexual fantasies have a deep root in previous experience, the phobic-obsessive contents emerge unexpectedly and tend to stabilize creating states of considerable psychic suffering. The negativity of the obsessive phobic content is often linked not to individual experience but to educational archetypes that have consolidated over time as deeply assimilated prejudices. It should be emphasized that the negativity of such contents when the subject refers them to himself, does not mean at all intolerance or rejection of analogous situations not referred to himself. For example, a straight guy, very open to gays and with gay friends, who therefore does not present any kind of homophobia or social intolerance towards gays, can very well develop phobic-obsessive contents related to fear / conviction of being gay. To clarify the situation let’s examine two examples:
 
Situation n.1
A 25-year-old guy, who has a clearly heterosexual affective and sexual history behind him, writes: “I’m afraid of being gay because for some time I have gay sexual fantasies, I imagine that a man takes me with violence but for me the idea of being with a man is really repellent. Maybe I’m repressing my homosexuality, but when I’m starting to think about a girl that I like, inevitably the idea that someone is there who takes me by force comes back to me and I cannot even masturbate thinking about the girl because the idea of being gay is taking hold of me, but I never thought of a man as a sexual interest, at any level.”
 
Analysis of the Situation n. 1
a) The guy is afraid of being gay.
b) What he calls sexual fantasies are actually phobic-obsessive contents, absolutely non-gratifying and deeply disturbing, experienced as extraneous elements that invade the field.
c) In conclusion, the picture seems to exclude that the guy is a gay who struggles to accept himself.
 
Situation n.2
A guy 21-year-old writes: “I’ve always been hetero, but it’s a bit of time that I watch the guys with another eye and such a situation is becoming almost an obsession, if I think I get excited, I try to repress myself in every way but sometimes I cannot do it and I masturbate thinking of a guy and then I feel terrible, because I don’t feel gay and when I think  of my future I see it in my family. And then thinking about my life with a girl makes me feel good, that’s exactly what I want.”
 
Analysis of the Situation n. 2
a) Although the guy talks about an obsession or something similar, the thoughts to which he refers are true masturbatory fantasies against which one tries to resist rationally in the name of an alleged heterosexuality.
b) Heterosexuality is present only through abstract fantasies such as seeing oneself in a family in the future or feeling comforted by the abstract thought of the life with a girl.  
c) In conclusion, the picture seems to indicate that the guy is really a gay guy who “does not accept himself”.
 
Among the most frequent causes of the presence of gay phobic-obsessive content in the sexuality of heterosexual guys can be mentioned:
a) The prevalence of the sexual dimension over the affective one in the context of a heterosexual relationship, which makes the relationship unsatisfactory and fuels performance anxiety.
b) The rejection encountered by girls from whom the heterosexual guy was strongly attracted. Rejection depresses self-esteem.
c) Having spent childhood and adolescence experiencing the discomfort of being held up as gay in a way totally unrelated to reality.
 
Both in case a) and in case b) the suspicion insinuates that the failure may derive from some form of latent homosexuality emerging. The guy before go to a sexual contact with a girl or before masturbating, feels that the phobic-obsessive contents are there lurking and this fact implies that the sexual experience is heavily conditioned by anxiety with outcomes of failed or unsatisfactory erection and weak emotional participation that contribute to consolidate phobic-obsessive contents.
 
Sexual tests are also frequent in these situations. The guy tries to test the response of his sexuality in both heterosexual situations and in similar gay situations, tries for example to masturbate with similar fantasies both in the gay field and in the straight one. Since it is not a question of true sexuality because it lacks the spontaneity that is the backbone of sexuality, these tests are also disappointing and sometimes lead to a real rejection of both gay and straight sexuality. In such situations it is counterproductive to push the guy to go deep into the search for causes. It often happens that sexuality is the target but not the cause of phobic-obsessive contents.
 
If the phobic-obsessive disorders are reactive, that is, they are born by reaction to very anxiety-provoking and stressful situations, they will disappear when the cause that produced them ceases to exist. Classic examples are those of guys who have such disorders when they live in the family and who overcome them when they are for example in a university college. Often causes are to be sought in areas not related to sexuality: loss of work, fear of losing girlfriends, difficult family relationships.
 
As in many situations of psychological distress, it is advisable to encourage socialization in order to leave as little space as possible to obsessive thinking so that it is not perceived as conditioning for the entire relational sphere. Basically the way to deal with phobic-obsessive content can be summarized in one example: many are afraid of ghosts and because of this they don’t  leave their home, ghosts don’t exist, but the fear of ghosts can be paralyzing. How to cure the obsessive fear of ghosts? The answer is only one: “Experiencing that the ghosts don’t exist!” Bringing back the reasoning to the obsessive idea of being gay that haunts some hetero guys, how is it possible to overcome it? There is only one way to go, that is to say that sexual contents against which guys are fighting are not sexual fantasies, sign of homosexuality, but just phobic-obsessive contents in which homosexuality is present not as such, but as fear of homosexuality. And where homosexuality does not exist in objective terms, it makes no sense to be afraid of it.
___________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-themed-obsessive-compulsive-disorder

GAY GUYS AND PREVENTION OF SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES

Here below you can read the first part of chapter 18 of the Textbook on Homosexuality by Gay Project, you can easily download it here, absolutely free, unfortunately at the moment only in Italian:
http://gayproject.altervista.org/manuale…ualita.pdf
The chapter can also be heard in voice (only in Italian) on the Gay Project Radio website, at:
http://progettogayradio.blogspot.it/2013…zione.html
______________________________________

From “GAY PROJECT HOMOSEXUALITY TEXTBOOK” – CHAP. 18

GAYS AND PREVENTION

It has been rightly pointed out that sex education cannot be reduced to alerting young people to the risks associated with sexuality (unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases) but must take the fundamental task of contributing to individual well-being increasing the value of the pleasure as a means to improve the quality of life. Certainly we cannot disagree with such a statement, however, it remains that, in particular about sexual education of gay guys, the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases plays an absolutely fundamental role. Let us now try to understand why.

We start from data updated to 2012, which come from the Italian Higher Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità):

In Italy in 2011, there are 94.146 cases of HIV infections treated (HIV-positive and AIDS), adding the estimated share of unaware HIV-positive people, the number rises to 156.910.

The causes of transmission of the virus are divided as follows:

37.2% heterosexual relationships
28.5% injective users of substances
27.7% homosexual relationships between males

At first glance one gets the impression that heterosexual relationships are now even more dangerous than homosexual ones but it should be kept in mind that heterosexuals are about 92% of the population, while homosexual males are about 4%, so 92% of population, composed of heterosexuals, contributes 37.2% to the total number of infections, while 4% of the population, composed of homosexual males, contributes 27.7%. As a result, male homosexuals have a statistical probability of becoming infected with HIV which is 17.3 times higher than that of heterosexuals. The number 17.13 represents the so-called risk ratio gay on hetero for male subjects in Italy, but if we look at Europe, the risk ratio goes well beyond this number. In essence, statistically the risk of contracting HIV for gay males is “much” higher than for straight males.

That’s why, for gays, education to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases is absolutely essential.

Obviously it is doctors’ competence to explain in detail the techniques of disease prevention and therefore it is right to refer to the site of the Ministry of health that contains updated information shared by the scientific community. The Internet addresses of the site of the Ministry of Health and of the most accredited Organizations dealing with the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases can be found at the end of this chapter.

I would like to proceed now, on the basis of the experience gained in Gay Project, to analyze three different documents pertaining to the issue of prevention related to different age groups and different personal situations. The first document, very brief, regards the younger boys and their approach to sexuality and prevention, the second is a testimony of how we can move from a substantially dissipated life, spent in the search for false satisfactions, to a life lived with a very solid moral commitment. The third document concerns the fear of being HIV-positive that hangs a guy 19 years old but also witnesses a beautiful friendship born between two gay guys with the only purpose of doing a stretch of their own road together with the certainty of not being alone.

So let’s start from the approach to sexuality of the very young guys.

It happens to me, even if not very frequently, to chat with very young guys who are becoming aware of their being gay. The contents of these chats are often very different from the typical chat content with older guys. With the younger guys I often find myself faced with the need to make people understand:

1) that being gay has nothing to do with “doing this or that” in terms of sex, but it means in the first place to love another guy,

2) that the exasperated research of sexuality in too early age is not a sign of affective maturity but exactly the opposite,

3) that sexuality is not a game,

4) that the couple sexuality is substantially different from masturbation because it is not about dealing with one’s own fantasies but with a real guy and with his psychological reality, that is about creating serious affective relationships,

5) that feelings need time to grow and a guy who, as soon as he knows you in chat, tells you that he is in love with you, isn’t really looking for you but just for a bit of sex,

6) that having sexual intercourses can entail serious risks to health and that the use of condom is always and absolutely essential,

7) that in networked contacts it is necessary to be cautious, we must avoid in the most absolute way to give unknown people cell phone numbers, telephone numbers, home addresses or other elements for personal identification.

If on the one hand it is natural that very young guys tend to explore sexuality, there is on the other the risk that “curiosity” becomes the only or the main motivation towards sexuality. From the interviews it is clear that the youngest gay guys have practically no comparison with reliable adult people on the subject of sexuality and homosexuality in particular. A lot of guys are very shy and embarrassed so that a dialogue (that is, a two-way conversation) is in fact impossible, usually I’m the only one who speaks trying to expose the contents that seem to me of greater interest on the basis of the few words exchanged with the interlocutor. In some cases, about 50%, we get to an open dialogue but not immediately, and it is clear that the guys are not used to talk about sexuality in a serious way. In some cases a climate of trust is created and the dialog becomes less theoretical and much more personal.

When very young guys, who start by setting up all the talk on matters of sexual techniques, feel stopped and brought back to a more serious dimension, or run away or radically change their tone. Those who run away probably do not have the maturity necessary to understand that being gay is something that involves the deep emotional life or perhaps of that deep emotional life they don’t yet feel the need and are stuck to the phase purely exploratory of sexuality. Those who don’t run away but change their tone come to a serious and personalized dialogue. These guys, who certainly have a gay affective dimension already quite defined, don’t try to enhance it spontaneously, but instinctively prefer the sexual dimension by considering it more adult, for them sexuality is still subordinated to the anxiety of growing and sometimes they are amazed by the fact that I give so much importance to the gay affective dimension and that I consider it fundamental, what they consider quite strange, at least at the beginning.

Many guys, even very young, in their anxiety of experimentation of sexuality go far beyond masturbation and begin to mentally build the idea that they must “try with a guy”. The idea of the experiment is sometimes dominant. The couple sexual experience is considered a sort of sexual license of adult life. The “trying” is reduced, however, to try a technique, and the emotional dimension is completely marginalized. In some situations I found myself in front of very young guys who boasted a certain sexual experience and spoke with pride about the number of sexual intercourses they had had and about the sexual practices they had experienced (more or less credible) as it was a real Curriculum to be presented to a competition.

Stopped by me in a drastic way, however, they showed an unexpected will of dialogue. Basically they were facing, probably for the first time, an adult vision of sexuality that in some way fascinated them. In the face of expressions such as “my friends have done it”, or “why not?”, Or “gays do it” I often reacted in a strong way and then tried to resume the conversation calmly. The key thing in chats with very young guys is to listen and make them get to the conclusions by themselves.

Very often, with very young guys I tackle the subject of caution, both in terms of the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, and in terms of prudence on the net. It is clear that no one has ever talked to these guys in any way even minimally serious about these things and that they have absolutely no perception of risk. My insistence on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases has sometimes been the cause of the interruption of dialogue with young guys who didn’t like such things and considered them a just form of moralism aimed only at terrorizing guys to put them in mind that sex is a bad thing. In some cases, following my speech on the use of condoms, I found myself faced with paradoxical answers followed by the abandonment of the chat, as in the following little dialogue between a 16-year-old (his nickname is Nofear).

Nofear – I met him in chat, he’s thirty years old but is very strong, with him we do everything
Project – but always protected?
Nofear – that is?
Project – with condoms
Nofear – of course no condom, I don’t like such things, with a condom you lose the best
Project – do you realize what you say? Look, it’s dangerous
Nofear – those who are not risking don’t even win …
Project – wait … let’s try to reason
Nofear – if you want to preach, please go preach to somebody else, hi

In essence from the chats with the very young guys it is clear that they are completely abandoned by the adult world and that their sexual education, as a comparison with responsible adults on issues related to sexuality, homosexuality and in particular the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, practically doesn’t exist at all.

We now come to the second document, it is an email I received from a gay doctor on 11/27/2011.

“Hi Project, reading your blog I had a jolt of pride and it happens to me very rarely. I am 43 years old and experienced a lot of things that you would not like. I have been publicly declared for a very long time, or better I can say that I have been publicly declared and have passed through the complete succession of what you call, with many elegance, things labeled gay. Fortunately for me I managed to save my health and this comforts me because there are people who have been much less lucky than me.

When I was 18/20 years old internet practically did not exist yet, and I had made my own ideas, a little as you say, the frenzy of trying, believing that going into the circle would have facilitated things and in a sense it was true but from other points of view it was destructive, first of all the news that I was gay quickly spread throughout the city, a small city in the northern Italy where gossip and hypocrisy are always the masters. Fortunately, I was studying in another city and I finished my studies, but when I started the profession I had huge problems because everyone ran away from me (I’m a doctor) and I had to change city, I had to start all over again, not to mention the terrible recriminations on the part of my family that treated me like an idiot without remedy, which pushed me even more to leave.

In the new city, after a while I started going to clubs again, because it had almost become a drug. I met people out of mind that in some cases made me really scared and after five years I had to go again to a different, smaller city, here there were no clubs but I started with chats and even there it was a torment, just like a drug, I knew some guys in the chat, then we met, did a bit of sex and then they disappeared and were reckless guys that when I talked about condoms took me for crazy. I had the frenzy of sex, I was more than 30 years old, even almost more than 32, but I spent all my free time looking for contacts. I felt alone, and I was alone, the relations with my family were completely inexistent. My father and mother no longer made themselves heard after I left home, I called them but they did not answer me deliberately.

The only points of reference were the guys I knew only for sex, one in particular I had fallen in love with, he told me so many sweet things and was a very nice guy but he wanted to come to live with me, which I could not do because I would have ended up not to work anymore and to create a mess of problems with all the people I had around, then he disappeared, but before disappearing I vomited all the possible insults against me, that I was a worm, one who does not have the courage to be what he is and above all that I was a starving man, because he liked to make the good life and with me he could not do it for sure.

This story lasted three years and left me with a sense of rejection and very strong bitterness. Over the years, the young guys stopped contacting me and only the fifties were looking for me but they were people out of mind much more than me, depressed to hospitalize, who thought they were young boys and tried to behave as if they really were, even married men, even people with diseases with a religious background, a variety of humanity that I did not even think could exist. They arrived to offer me money in exchange for sex. One was sick, had a strong asthma and I convinced him to be hospitalized because he was a high-risk patient.

In August 2009 I said “It’s enough!” and deleted all the gay contacts I had.

I changed my mobile number and I threw myself completely into my work, practically I went back to university to do a very demanding and very long specialization that leads me now to deal with aids, I finished the first two years and started the third, it’s a thing very serious and I’m completely committed to this, now I work part time and I earn very little money and all I earn goes for specialization. I am really interested in my studies and I think for the first time that I have made the right choice. I don’t tell you what I see in the hospital, there is a really desperate need for people to take care of these things, I have been reborn and I have found my way. There is a lot to do and not so much in Italy or in Europe but especially in Africa where AIDS, without medicines and in the midst of total ignorance, is a real scourge.

Days ago I found “gay project” just looking for sites that deal with prevention and then I put myself to read also the rest. Project, don’t let the guard down! What you do makes sense. Life has a meaning and it is not in seeking sex but in giving love without conditions, I understood it late but fortunately I understood it. Being gay makes sense and I think that being gay and having experienced everything I’ve been through is the real spring of my underlying motivation. I told you my story in short, publish it if you want, I would like it. Permit me a professional notation, never abandon the discourse on prevention because they are very few to do it and there is a huge need of them. I’ll add the link to the hiv and aids page of the Ministry of Health:

http://www.salute.gov.it/hiv/hiv.jsp which remains a fundamental reference point for finding serious information, even for doctors (see the updating of the guidelines). I would like to devote some time to the forum but now I have other goals for which I ask you to keep my privacy
[signed letter]

The third document is particularly touching and, beyond the theme centered on the fear of HIV, it allows to understand the spiritual depths of gay guys and what it means to love each other. This is an email I received on July 4th, 2007 and I published the same day (in Italian) on the old Gay Project Forum.
The name of one of the protagonists of the story has been replaced with an X for reasons of privacy.

“First I met X through words. For me they were important, they made me feel good and I did not even understand why, I only read and reread them. I made sure to get some courage and ask his msn even if with an incredible difficulty because for the things that I really care about I am very shy and perhaps also of a crazy cowardice. Talking with him gave me so much! He has his own way of seeing things, maybe strange and difficult to understand but he always managed to get me out of my depression, in one way or another gave me a deep sense of serenity. I had a boulder inside, something that I had hidden inside me for years and that took everything away from me. I never thought I’d ever have the strength to tell it anyone. Instead, it came spontaneous to tell X about it and it made me feel good.

Being gay for me has always been an unacceptable and monstrous thing, not the feelings but just the idea of sex. I have a lousy family. They don’t care about me, I have always been the classic useless baggage, after their divorce I have been continually tossed about here and there. No affection, no attention, no dialogue. In reality it was as if I wasn’t there, if I’m away from home they even notice it and when I am taken into consideration it is only to impose, order, claim, offend or worse to beat be. For years I have been depressed and for two years it’s really worse, so that I have no more friendships, I dropped them all, I was rejected at school, I’m always home alone. No, they don’t notice it at all. I’ve always felt lonely, since I realized that maybe I was gay too, it was a crescendo. But now I’m also used to it, because you know when you live without hope, loneliness is not so bad anymore.

But this is not the boulder. What I confided to X is another thing: when I was 14 a guy much older than me, who sometimes attended the company of my cousin and that everyone knew he was gay has abused me. That’s why I hate gay sex. When I fell in love with a guy for the first time two years ago I thought it was for that abuse. I suffered too much. I felt as if something impure had crept into me. For me it was like a contagion. A curse that clung to me. But this is not the worst thing, the worst thing is the fact that one year and a half after what he had done to me I found out from my cousin that the guy was HIV-positive and I knew he had not used any precautions with me. I never saw him again and I didn’t speak to him anymore to know if I too could have become HIV-positive, but then I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do it.

I still perfectly remember what I experienced finding it out. It’s a bit like dying. I was holding the form for enrolling in a creative writing course that I was very fond of and it was the first time I had fought so hard to get something at my house, I started ripping it into smaller and smaller pieces and it was a bit how to tear up my future. Since then, the ice has not left me anymore. I continued to live but only on the margins because everything made me suffer too much.

The doubt I kept buried inside me, as deep as possible, was something I never thought of but that anyway stood there and poisoned everything. Since then I have always been inconclusive, defeatist and submissive throughout. I heard others talk about what they wanted to do and I did not say anything, I did not think about anything. Lately with some I had a little loose. I thought about what I really wanted to do, I did some programs, to a guy with whom I spoke on msn one day I also said that I would go to see him this summer. A little I believed, I hoped it but then my enthusiasm ended in nothing. Yes, in my heart it was like I was already dead.

Talking with X made me feel good. He has a boyfriend and they are very much in love, he is happy and fulfilled, but even if he did not know me at all, even if talking to me was always so difficult and painful, I think, he was looking for me and if he didn’t find me or it was me who did not make me available because I was too depressed, he still wrote me even just a few words that made me feel that at least one person was really interested. Yes, he always devoted so much time and attention to me, a constant and sincere thought, was the only one to really do it and in the most disinterested way possible, to give me a little of himself and without receiving or wanting anything in return. I thought a thousand times that it was very strange that a person could be like that and even more with someone like me. But he is special and UNIQUE.

In the end he also managed to convince me that I had to go and take the test. He did it telling me that he would accompany me. I waited to finish my graduation exam and immediately the next day we met through msn and he came to take me in the city where I live. When I saw him I could not believe it was really him, although I could see that he was really beautiful even from the avatar. Because X is very beautiful but the point is that there are a lot of guys I don’t say very beautiful but certainly beautiful, but X is a thing apart. And then he has incredible eyes, which one would think there could not be two eyes like that. Nobody after looking at them, even the most materialist, could ever be able to think that there is no soul. I fell in love with him immediately.

It’s hallucinating but as soon as I saw him, I no longer thought I was going to take the HIV test, that is, I thought it was a secondary thing. I was too busy with him. I immediately felt beautiful feelings and for me to try them was a natural and right thing. And yes, he also attracted me physically and very much, for me it was really too embarrassing but I managed to hide it well and for the first time it did not disgust me, even that was beautiful and natural and it was fine that way. To take the test we went to a rather distant city, because I wanted so, a stupid thing I know but it made me feel more anonymous and sure, he brought me there by car. I thought I had to go fasting for blood collection, when X knew it smiled to me, I was very pale for anxiety and agitation, he told me “It’s not that you go down right now?” And while we waited, he held my hand tight all the time, under a newspaper folded to the side so that no one could see and I was not embarrassed.

As soon as he got out of the clinic he put his arm around my shoulders and took me to breakfast. But after eating instead of feeling better I was very bad. I was struck in the harshest way by the image the nurse who was taking my blood sample, the latex gloves, the way he sat with his torso all the way back and how he barely touched me, just the indispensable, but above all by the vision of my blood. From that day on which I knew, the thought of my blood has always obsessed me. It was a nightmare that I sometimes did at night; my blood suddenly splashed on my schoolmates while I was in class, the terror of their gaze remained on my mind all day so that I thought I saw it in their eyes. I was afraid and disgusted with my blood. And now that I had seen it go out I felt crazy.

At that point I burst inside. I began to think only of the one thing that felt real to me, of what I could have inside me, of the fact that I had to accompany myself to this foreign and enemy thing for the time that remained to me to live, that I would be a danger, that I would continue to be alone until the end, that I would be kept at a distance but above all that I would have kept everything and everyone at a distance from me not to have to suffer even more. And all this at only 19 years old. Nothing behind and nothing in front. One passes graduation and should start planning his long-distance future. In my case, I felt it made no sense, never had a sense for me. X stared at me but I did not say anything to him and as we walked I moved away and moved further and further.

At one point he stopped me and hugged me without speaking any word and hugged me so tightly! I just said “You know, I always knew I was already dead.” X shook me strongly and made me sick and said “Don’t be silly!! Even if it were, life doesn’t end for this, only changes.” I don’t know how long he hugged me, I wanted to cry but I could not and it’s bizarre because I’m crying every single fucking day, yet at that moment I was dry and that dry was too bad for me. But at a certain point I began to feel X’s body, his breath against me, his warmth, his smell. I held my breath and focused on the beating of his heart to hear it with my ear but also with my skin. I felt an inexpressible yearning that rose from my stomach, something so beautiful and intense that it almost hurt and then, in short, I had an erection. Even if I continued to feel that I was HIV-positive, I felt even more strongly that I was wanting X with all my might and I felt that I was willing to do anything to have him close to me, even being HIV-positive.

I know it seems absurd but in these three months I have discovered that it is real life that is absurd, not that imagined. I tried to move away from him, but it was too embarrassing, and then I thought that rightly he could take it badly. But he did not let me go, and even told me “Do you see it? Your body knows that you are alive and you want to stay alive.” We were still embraced, someone looked at us badly, someone said something. I did not care at all, I would have liked to stay that way forever. X left me at some point and I felt a great emptiness inside, so I spontaneously told him that his boyfriend is the luckiest person on earth, he blushed, smiled and said “Believe me it’s me the one lucky to have him.” I thought he would take me back, in the end I had done what I had to do, instead X still wanted to stay with me. We walked around the city, we did not talk much but we simply walked, sometimes we sat somewhere. We went for lunch but my stomach was closed for him even though I lied to him and said it was still for the test.

X is so beautiful that I will never stop to look at him, has a smile of continuous light in the eyes and then he is sweet and affectionate in words but also in the gestures in a way that makes you feel protected and warm inside. While we were around, he often showed me things that I would never have seen on my own and surprised me and moved me in that way that he has all of his own to look at the world and be happy for certain things that never interest anyone. Every now and then he had a gesture toward me very sweet as touching my arm or a light squeeze of my hand, a separate communication with which he made me understand that he was there. In the evening he took me back to the place where we had arranged to meet.

I was all upset, X told me that he would come back with me to take the result of the test, because they give it to you after a few days and you have to go and pick it up. I felt very sad with that sense of emptiness that grew bigger and bigger. X looked at me, he was tense, worried and said “All right?”. Then I thought how bad all that could hurt him. I had glued on him weeks and weeks of anguish and depression, mine, and he had never avoided all this, but a wonderful creature like him did not even deserve the billionth part of it. I felt petty and selfish in the worst way. I tried to tell him that everything was fine, that I was better but it was evident that he did not believe it at all.

However, we said goodbye and in doing so he gave me a light kiss on the mouth. It was a kiss of a very beautiful sweetness, it had no sexual value, it just said what no words could explain. That he was not afraid of me even though I could be HIV-positive and that I would have had from him anyway the availability, affection and warmth of a true friendship. Nobody has ever given me something more beautiful. That kiss completely filled my soul, I think that I will always carry that feeling inside me. at that moment I thought, and I still think now, that at least I have a beautiful thing and no one can take it away from me, it will be mine until the end.”

At the end of this wonderful document, which I am particularly attached to because I knew the protagonists, I am happy to let you know that the analysis confirmed that the guy who wrote the email above was HIV-negative.

Questions and answers on AIDS and HIV (from the Ministry of health):

http://www.salute.gov.it/imgs/C_17_pubblicazioni_2005_allegato.pdf

__________

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-and-prevention-of-sexually-transmitted-diseases

COMING OUT: GAY GUYS AND GIRLS AS RED CROSS NURSES

Not infrequently it happens that a gay guy, who has lived for various reasons a hetero or pseudo-hetero life, finds himself, at some point, deeply embarrassed with his girlfriend, who notices something strange in the behavior of the guy and arrives to guess that her partner is gay. The girl demands clarity and the guy, in one way, struggles to break the relationship and for the other is very reluctant to come out with his girlfriend. Some girls, once they realize that their partner is gay, think it’s good to push him to come out to let him live his life more freely. 
These two issues are illustrated in the following document. On March 14th, 2008, a woman writes to Gay Project from an Islamic country, claiming that if a girl notices that her boyfriend is gay, she has the right to know how things really are and claiming also that not to speak clearly on the part of the guy, it is a dishonest act towards his partner. The girl would also like to “help” her partner causing him to come out at least partially. This is the text of the email: 
“Anonymous said. . . I just discovered this blog, I feel it’s serious and I liked it, and I write because of my boyfriend. I have serious doubts about whether he is gay but repressed, so he does not even admit it to himself, and I would like to understand it, I would like to understand.
In your blog I didn’t find any reference to this fact: how to help a man of extremely rigid and rational character, 37 years old, to let him find out if this (homosexuality) is his true nature? That is, how to help him come out in the open. I have to underline that we are not in Italy but in an Islamic country, where the traditional family is sacred and many gays take refuge in marriage to save appearances, or hide in a hamam, or in bars reserved for men only.  
I have read the comments of women in your blog and I appreciate their sensitivity, and also yours in reserving a space for their stories. A woman feels, perceives and understands when something is wrong. . . And if she feels love, she will always try to help. But I do it also for another reason: if there is a lie, I want to know. In the blog you talk about gay morality/immorality, but in the end it is a question of clarity and honesty towards those who are close, whether men or women, if they are no longer the person of our dreams. Forgive me if I remain in anonymity, but I think maybe my question is too difficult and perhaps will not find an answer. Thank you . . . March 14, 2008 22.24″.
 
ANSWER: Dear Friend, I try to answer what you ask. First of all I will divide the answer into two parts, one on the causes of gay repression and the other on the “what to do” in particular by a woman, towards her boyfriend.
 
REPRESSION
 
1) PERSECUTION OF GAYS
Human sexuality is an expression of individual freedom and personal freedom in sexual matters can be repressed in many ways, some of them constitute real forms of systematic persecution and we can even go so far as to apply the death penalty to the present day. Iranian President Ahmadinejad told speaking at a Columbia University conference that there are no gays in Iran as in Western countries. A declaration of this kind is self-commented. In those conditions the level of repression is such that no one declares himself homosexual and marriage for gay guys is the rule. 
Out of respect for people who are forced to live in similar situations I would never say that they are “gay repressed” but that they are “gay persecuted” and that any behavior that tends to hide their sexual identity is fully justified, even that in the face of wives. It is not about lies but about survival instinct.
 
2) SOCIAL INTOLERANCE TOWARDS GAYS
In many countries, even Islamic, however, there is a slow evolution that, if it does not really promote the free expression of a gay culture, doesn’t criminalize the very fact of being gay. In situations like this (like the one concerning the country from which you contacted me) there are no “legal persecutions of gays” but the public opinion is still a thousand miles far from showing tolerance towards them. In these cases we can speak of a real social intolerance towards homosexuality. Situations of social intolerance towards gays are not only manifested in Islamic countries but also in Europe, where social structures are still closed and linked to traditional values. 
A push to attitudes of closure, if not homophobia, comes from the Catholic Church and there are still, even in Italy, many situations in which I would certainly not recommend a gay guy to speak openly about his sexual orientation. In Italy, in some rare cases, thanks to a very traditional family education, there are still gay guys repressed enough to marry, in the belief that they have overcome their homosexuality. The variability of the framework of social intolerance towards gays is such that it makes no real sense to try to classify the possible coming out behaviors. 
But I must stress that in some situations the cost of coming out can be very high. I have seen gay guys forced to emigrate because they would not have found work in their countries and would have been hindered in the most varied ways. In any case, the coming out risk assessment is exclusively up to those who have to put it into practice. This is a very personal choice, like that of marriage, which cannot be conditioned by any request for clarity, from whoever it comes, for the simple fact that the consequences of coming out, under the regime of social intolerance, are all and only of the person that comes out. I answer directly to the specific question: “and the girlfriend of one of these guys (if there is one)?” The girlfriend (if there is one) can go his own way but must remember that the coming out is not addressed to her but it is an act very personal and risky on the part of the guy. 
I saw with my own eyes situations of authentic moral lynching as a result of gossip unleashed by confidences thoughtlessly entrusted to friends by a girl who had received the coming out of her boyfriend. I emphasize another thing that may not be pleasing to women in love with gay guys, a gay guy can have a real interest in declaring himself to another guy that he thinks is gay to create the conditions for a possible couple bond, in that case the risk has an objective justification, in the case of the coming out towards a girl, however, the risk does not correspond to any possible benefit, especially if the relationship with that girl was built exclusively for the purpose of saving appearances. It is up to the guy, after carefully assessing the risk levels, to choose if, possibly, to come out in front of his girlfriend, but I wouldn’t absolutely consider this type of coming out as an obligation and omitting it like a lie.
  
3) FAMILY INTOLERANCE TOWARDS GAYS
The most common and the most insidious form of repression of gays, both in Islamic countries and in Europe is the family one. Persecutory behaviors and social intolerance generally are clearly perceived and are recognized as such, while family intolerance is gradually absorbed step by step, it is essentially a poison of freedom that tends to extinguish it from the beginning. The lack of freedom is clearly felt when moving from a regime of freedom to one of absence of freedom or when confronting scenarios of freedom and scenarios of repression, but when one grows up in a repressive environment and when one receives information from a single source one also has no awareness of the existence of a possible freedom and repression becomes a deeply internalized mental habit lived as a natural and spontaneous thing. 
Such models have also characterized European culture until the advent of the internet. Even today, in Europe, a guy will never receive a serious sex education at school and even more so will never receive the correct information about homosexuality (just think that sex education is often delegated to priests and teachers of religion who, given the a priori condemnation of homosexuality on the part of the Church, are certainly not the best sources of information about gay life). Even today, in Europe, a guy will hardly have the opportunity to talk about sex with his parents and less than ever will have the opportunity to talk to them about homosexuality. Until a few decades ago, the only information on homosexuality could be found on a few serious books that a guy would have had difficulty buying and he would have to carefully hide. 
The weight of family intolerance is progressively decreasing, especially among younger guys, thanks to the Internet, which in recent times has begun to spread a model of homosexuality as normality that is slowly gaining momentum. The word “gay” itself, until twenty years ago practically a taboo for right-thinking guys, is now in common use and the implications of ridicule or irony are gradually disappearing. Where there is no internet, or internet is not free, however, the situation is still as it was in Italy 30 years ago. The cases in which family intolerance leads gay guys to feel themselves heterosexual, at least in Europe, today are limited to situations in which a guy is automatically induced to forms of uninhibited heterosexuality at an extremely early age, in such cases a very young guy can make the first hetero experiences, which can have an anaesthetizing value for years but, I want to underline that these guys do not tell lies to their girls, they feel substantially straight. Also in this case, therefore, I would not speak of lies or deception.
 
THE GIRL HELPS THE GUY TO ACCEPT HIMSELF AS A GAY
The expression “Red Cross nurses” (in Italian Crocerossine) in the gay world is used with two distinct meanings:
– “hetero Red Cross nurse” to indicate a straight girl who, knowing that her boyfriend is gay, puts in mind that she is able to make the guy straight just through the classic means of female seduction,
– “gay Red Cross nurse” to indicate a straight girl who, suspecting that her boyfriend is gay thinks she can “help” him to be gay, pushing him to come out.
Several times on the Gay Project forum the expression “Red Cross nurses” has been used very appropriately to define girls who want to help their boyfriends to accept themselves as gay.
I briefly summarize the terms of the question. A girl who realizes that her boyfriend is gay, if she wants to do a good thing, has to let him go on his way. Every attempt to “help” is seen by the gay guy as an undue interference or even as a form of violence, while it’s useful to the girl to feel like a good girl.
In the case of the e-mail from which this post has taken the cue, with a 37-year-old guy, in conditions of strong environmental stress, demanding clarity is basically a form of violence. If there is something that girls emotionally involved with gay guys can do, it is always and in any case to leave to their partners the maximum freedom and don’t expect anything. 
Between accepting and understanding there is a huge difference, love, at any level, is acceptance, those looking for an explanation are not able to accept unconditionally. To answer with the utmost clarity: if a girl realizes that her partner is gay, she has to leave him to himself avoiding to conceive any projects of any kind on him that, even under the appearance of the best intentions, risk hiding a predatory attitude. I realize that our reader will not like an answer like this but, for the experience that I have of the gay world, I know for sure that the gay guys don’t like Red Cross nurses.
____________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-coming-out-gay-guys-and-girls-as-red-cross-nurses

I REALIZED I WAS GAY AT 26

Hello Project, I don’t know who you are and to send you this e-mail I opened a new e-mail account that I will use only to write to you, if you answer me. I know that maybe it’s an excess of prudence but that’s what I did. Call me Alex, although obviously it’s not my real name. I don’t deny that I don’t feel comfortable writing an email like this in which I tell things that nobody knows but I think it’s still worth writing them because Gay Project helped me a lot and my story can be useful to someone. 
I am 27 years old, since some months I live on my own, far from my family of origin. I have a permanent job that I like and I am economically autonomous, in fact the others respect me and have a good opinion of me. Let’s say that from the outside I look like one who has achieved his goals and in a sense it’s true but inside myself for many years I felt like a failure. I thought that in my life I would never have done what I wanted but always something else. I would have liked to study Physics but I studied Economics and it is thanks to that that I found a good job, I wanted to work in Milan where my parents live and instead I ended up living in Bologna where I found my personal autonomy, in short I always did the opposite of what I wanted but in the end I felt good. In one thing I felt like one who had failed to build anything and it was the emotional life. Reading your website made a lot of ideas clear to me. 
I considered myself 100% heterosexual until I was 26 and I had no reason to think otherwise, but none at all. I’ve never been with a woman but I did my fantasies on women even if they were never great things and sex for me has always been in a minor tone, I mean I have never had the mania of these things, I heard from others extraordinary things about sex that never happened to me. So sex for me was an unimportant thing and I did not understand what could be overwhelming in it but even the individual sex was something that didn’t excite me so much. I had also tried with the hetero porn sites but they seemed to me absurd things. Up to 26 years I never thought of a guy, but really never, the broadcasts on gays seemed to me things from another planet. 
Up to 25 years old I was practicing sports and with my team mates we took a shower together but the thing for me was completely indifferent. I really thought I did not have a sexuality. The girls told me that I was a nice guy but they did not fall in love with me, when I tried something they moved away from me and I was very disappointed. I don’t think I would ever be able to woo a girl and it certainly never happened. 
Things have changed for me since September 2008. I started working in another city, where I rented a little apartment near my workplace and in the place where I worked I met also a guy who was a year younger than me, let’s call him Max. Even he lived in a mini-apartment, but far from where I was, about half an hour by car. We were hired on the same day and I met him waiting at the door of the CEO to know his destination. I was there for the same reason. We waited more than half an hour, both him and me very timid and normal, and then we were both fearful of the new work environment, the first job for me and also for him. He enters first, I wait, after half an hour he goes out and they call me. I go in, they give me the letters of assumption and summarily explain that the next day I should take service, in practice, in a place very close to my house. I was happy. 
I go out and see that Max is in the antechamber. He was waiting for me. I liked it. He had no car. I ask him where they sent him, he tells me that they had sent him to the other side of the city, near his house, or at least not far away. I’m sorry, a bit. I tell him about my destination. We exchange mobile numbers. It was eleven o’clock, he proposes to have lunch together, I say yes, but it’s early. I invite him to my house but he prefers to take a walk, it’s a beautiful day and I don’t take it badly. We walk a lot, then lunch in a fast food restaurant. He asks me if I have anything to do. I say no. He asks me if the offer to go up to my house is still valid. We climb into my mini-apartment. There is a single double bed. He takes off his shoes and lays on the bed, I sit on the only chair and we talk. In practice he always talks about the fact that he was practicing sport, about how much he loved his grandparents, that he no longer has, about any songs he listens to, about what he expects from work and many other things. I listen to him with pleasure, he is nice, casual, then he says nonsense, he laughs, in short it is a pleasant company. 
After some time I realized that we never talked about sex or love, never, as if the subject didn’t exist at all, but then I didn’t notice such things. In the evening we took something at the fast food and then I accompanied him to his house but I didn’t go up. I was happy to have found Max. I didn’t feel alone even though I was in a city that I didn’t know at all. In short we have become like brothers. 
Ten days later it had become normal that we were always together until the evening or on free days, but the night we stayed each at his own home. After a month we also started to sleep in the same house and in the same bed but all without any implication of any kind at any level, we were just like two brothers, no mutual embarrassment and no sexual thoughts neither on my part, nor, I think, on his part. 
The first idea that the thing could have a different meaning arose in me when a colleague began to court Max. It was something that I could not stand, it bothered me, not that she did it but that Max could spend time with her. He treated her politely, probably he was not interested but I was afraid he was. One evening he tells me that the colleague had proposed to him to go out with her. I ask him: “And what did you answer?” He tells me that he said he didn’t feel like it. At that point I breathed a sigh of relief and I must have made a face very happy. Max looked at me and said: “Don’t worry, it will never happen!” At the time I made the face of the one who understood and I changed the subject, but that phrase started to turn around in my head in an incredible way. In the evening he stayed to sleep with me, I tried to resume the speech and he was evasive, he just told me: “Don’t ask too many questions …”. 
That’s when I wondered if Max had fallen in love with me. I completely excluded that I could fall in love with him, but I considered a possible thing that he could fall in love with me. I wondered what I should do, whether to cut off relations with him or simply not to sleep together anymore, even if nothing had ever happened between us. Anyway I did not tell him anything and everything, between us, went on exactly as before, we continued to sleep together in the same bed or at my home or at his and nothing happened. 
As the days passed I ended up putting away the idea that he was gay, it seemed absolutely impossible. I said to myself: if he’s gay, why does he remain totally indifferent? In the end we are together in the same bed. Is it possible that a gay guy in such a situation doesn’t try anything, even at a minimum level? However, judging by his behavior, it didn’t seem to me that he could be gay. In practice months have passed in which we have lived together and for his part there has never been a slight mention, never a speech, not even vague, nothing! A beautiful morning I wake up before the sound of the alarm clock, there was enough light in the room, he is asleep, I watch him carefully. He’s nice. I want to caress his face but I don’t, but he is just beautiful, serene, an image that I will never forget and that’s where I had the first physical reaction looking at a man. It had never happened to me before, it was the first time ever. I was disturbed. I said to myself: what’s happening to me? I got up and went to put myself under the frozen shower. 
At first I was convinced that it had passed. When Max got up, everything went as usual and I was very happy that it did not happen again. I was looking for every possible motivation to justify what had happened: the heat, the fact that I had had no sex on my own for a few days and things like that and the fact that my reaction had not been repeated made me feel comfortable. For the whole working day nothing happened. In the evening I had to go to his house but I made an excuse and I didn’t go there, I was afraid it would happen again. He did not tell me anything, after all I had been alone at home other times. I spent the night alone with the idea that it could still happen, I saw the TV, I was a bit on the internet, then he called me in chat to ask if everything was fine and it happened again even though we were talking only about work. I greeted him quickly because I did not want him to continue. 
I was really upset, I tried to distract myself but I could not and I did something I had never done before, I drank two cans of beer one after the other and, stunned as I was, I went to bed. I was beginning to think that I would have liked him next to me and at the same time that I would have to move away from him and that if I was at that point it was his fault, because his company had ruined me. In short, I hated him and loved him. Since then I started to remove him, probably for him it was a tremendous blow but he did not say anything and tried to do as if between us things had not changed. The more I walked away the worse I was and then I began to desire him, that is even at sexual level, with everything this implies. I told myself it would be over but I knew it would not be like that. The phase of removal, let’s say, lasted almost two months.
He was friendly with me when he met but it happened rarely and only when the company forced us to common activities, but at a private level we did not see each other anymore. The separation not only did not make me overcome my feelings for Max but put them clearly on a sexual level. By now I had totally renounced the idea of being straight but I had to keep just for me the fact that I was in love with Max, we were now like two strangers, or at least I thought so. It was during those days that I started looking online for gay sites and, after seeing things of incredible misery, that made me feel really bad, I discovered Gay Project and it was a fundamental discovery that really opened my eyes.
One day Max and I come together to a meeting, he asks me: “How are you?” But he asks me it in a very serious way, just worried about me. I tell him that I have problems, he looks at me straight in the eyes and squeezes my hand, from outside only a greeting, for me much, very much more. I tell him: “Do you want to go to my place in the afternoon?” He says to me: “Sure!” He comes immediately after work. I feel a terrible embarrassment, his physical presence puts me in a very strange state of mind. I feel very excited, even sexually, but I’m afraid to say things out of place, to hurt him, to offend him. Result: after hours of interview attempts I don’t say anything. 
He asks me if he can stay for the night to talk a little more, but I insist to take him back to his home. I take him back home, we don’t say a word all along the journey, the embarrassment feels very strong. I come back home. He calls me on the phone, a few words and long silences. We close the phone with nothing done. The situation has been going on this way for more than a month, but I could not take it anymore. An afternoon he comes to me, I had never seen him like that before. He doesn’t ask me questions, he only tells me: “Shut up and let me talk. . . ” I listen. He only tells me: “Alex, I fell in love with you!” I don’t know what I did at the time, I was happy but also upset, I did not expect such a thing, after several seconds I replied: “Maybe me too. . . ” But I added that such a thing had never happened to me and that I felt strange. 
It was the first time that we talked about us in a truly free way. Max and I had arrived at this point, now we knew each other even the most intimate things and everything had been absolutely simple. It seemed incredible to me that such talk could be made in such a direct way, but really it happened. He told me that when I had left him he had been very bad but he thought I had left him because I had understood that he was gay from the speeches he had made and he didn’t want to intrude into my life because basically even if he saw me as straight he loved me the same and he did not want to make me problems and so he had accepted to step aside. In short, he took me for straight and I took him the same way. 
We have confessed our mutual sexual interest but also the embarrassment about the possibility of having sex with each other. He too is rather inhibited. We decided to go very slowly. That night we just went to sleep holding hands. But even shaking his hand was beautiful, it was also a physical contact and transmitted a strong emotion. At a certain point I say to him: “Max, I feel excited” and he tells me: “Me too. . . but does it embarrass you?” I answer him: “No. . . and you?” He says to me: “Not at all, but just the opposite. . . “. Max had never been in love with a guy in his life, just like me. It was March 29th 2009 a day I will never forget. 
Project, Max and I consider Gay Project a bit like a second home, truly a unique thing on the internet, and in the way of seeing of these guys, Max and I find ourselves very well. Nobody knows our story, not even our families know it, because they probably would not understand the true meaning of our relationship, but we want the guys who read your sites to know it. Neither I nor Max would ever have imagined a life like the one we are now living and yet we really are living it. It is not easy neither between us nor on a social level but we have passed hard tests and we are here to testify that, if two guys love each other, happiness for them is possible. Thank you for what you do, Project, and never give up!
___________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-i-realized-i-was-gay-at-26