To face the topic starting from a concrete basis and to invite all of you to say your opinion in order to enrich and complete the picture, I report here, with the permission of those involved, some traits of e-mails and some sections of a conversation in chat on the subject. Obviously the names are fictitious. Immediately after, you can read the text of the article GAY SEXUALITY AND HETERO AFFECTIVITY. I think it can somehow be the basis for a discussion, with all the reservations of the case.
Mail by Albert
[omissis] I grew up in a strange family, my parents think that homosexuality is a psychiatric illness that feminizes you, basically they don’t have the faintest idea of these things, a gay man, so to speak, normal in external behaviors, according to them , cannot even exist, that’s why they not only have never thought about the fact that I can be gay but they consider it radically impossible, because I don’t have anything of effeminate.
The absurd thing of my family is instead the fixed idea, of my mother in particular, that guys have always and only sexual fixed ideas on the girls, it could also be true, but for my mother the fact that her son can have sex with a girl before marriage is really inconceivable, is monstrous.
They think I have a girlfriend. When I talk about a colleague of the university, my mother surely assumes that I have for that girl some kind of sexual interest. Even now she tells me that I have to be careful and that “I don’t have to do stupid things! (sex)” But for her to do stupid things basically means just getting pregnant a girl.
Now she still behaves like that and thinks that I didn’t bring home a girl so as not to give my mother the opportunity to intervene to give me advice on an aspect of my life that she considers so important, always taking for granted that I can only be heterosexual. But when I was younger, 14/15/16 years old, my mother was heavily involved in my female friendships, she invited my female friends to my house and subjected them to a kind of scrutiny, it was something I could not stand. As for the guys, on the other hand, my parents never got involved in anything, they only warned me, but rarely, about those who talked too much about girls, because, according to my parents, they could take me on a bad road. In practice between the ages of 14 and 16 everything about the girls had to go to the scrutiny of my mother while male friends didn’t get involved.
At 14 I had a crush on a girl my schoolmate, that is, I better say I was very good with her but I didn’t feel sexually attracted even because I discovered the masturbation a year later, at 15, a bit late, I know. Anyway at the time of my first crush with a girl I can say that I felt it above all as a beautiful thing, I liked being with that girl even if I didn’t know how to give it an explanation. Then my mother understood what, according to her, was happening and she interfered heavily: “Who is she? Do you know her parents? Why you don’t invite her here at home?” etc. etc., in practice they made me hate her. She was a very pretty girl, but when she realized that I wanted or had to bring her to my house to let my parents know her, she absolutely didn’t want to hear reasons and she looked at me as if my way of doing was strange. Then such a thing it bothered me a lot because I thought I had done everything as it had to be done, that is, as my mother told me. Then I realized that I was perhaps succubus of my mother and that my so to say girlfriend had realized it.
Let’s say that after that I didn’t have any more fantasies about girls and my discovery of homosexuality took place. It happened in the summer when I turned 15, at the seaside. I was camping with my parents and with my sister. We stopped for almost a month in a camping and after a few days I could get to know other guys. I had met another guy who was 16 years old and my parents left me very free because I was with him and they trusted him. Actually he was a very good guy who seemed older than his age. I spent all day with him, from morning to late evening, I was fine, I felt comfortable, it made me feel older but he never talked about girls. He was modest to the incredible, a bit my opposite, I had no problem then to show me naked, perhaps because in the nudity I saw nothing sexual. For him I think it was exactly the opposite. I think it was just this that triggered the spring that made me enter the gay world. We took a bath and then we changed into a thicket near the beach. There I started to tease him because he never took off his swimsuit, he pretended not to hear and then I threw myself on him and ripped his swimsuit away by force, then he reacted and ripped away mine, then we did compare our equipment and he got an erection, I remember everything like it was now, he was red like a pepper, then began to masturbate and I imitated him, in practice I discovered masturbation like that. Then for a few days the thing went on great, so we masturbated each other, but then something happened that I didn’t like at all, he wanted to kiss me and I remember very well that I replied: “I’m not a fagot!” He pretended not to have heard and didn’t insist but our relationship changed radically, we continued to have sex but he was not at ease. After three days in this way we quarreled furiously and we also got into a fight. I realized that he was gay, even if he hadn’t told me it and I disliked very much being pampered by him, it almost made me sick, at least I told him so, even though I continued to masturbate in practice until now on the memory of what I had lived with him that summer. The point is this, I have never fallen in love with a guy. When I see a guy I like him, I would never be able to kiss him or be pampered by him. I read in the forum that many guys like these things even more than sex, but for me it is not so, I don’t see myself spending my life next to a guy, it seems to me an unnatural thing absolutely not mine.
In very recent times there was something important, I met a girl and for the first time I think I feel for her feelings, I like to stay close to her, to flood her of text messages and call her on the phone three or four times a day (I cannot more because we are hours on the phone), for me it’s just a pleasant company but there is a fact, for her I feel tenderness and a lot, but not really a sexual desire like what I feel for guys. Even if, after what happened at the camping beach, I no longer have had physical relationships with guys, I would like to explore the sexuality of a guy, it’s a kind of fixed idea, but for a girl I don’t feel the same things, I don’t know at all the sexuality of girls and I would feel a tremendous embarrassment if I had to have a sexual intercourse with a girl. I tried to masturbate thinking about that girl but it was just a forced thing, I came also to the ejaculation but just mechanically, in practice I didn’t feel any sexual transport. What I think is that I stopped in the middle of the ford, I don’t feel gay because I don’t fall in love with guys and I don’t feel heterosexual because girls sexually don’t tell me anything. I think that I could also stay with a girl but passively, that is, I would accept it but I would let her do everything, admitted and not granted that there can be results then. I feel strange, Project, in a great uncertainty, very unstable. In practice I don’t know what direction I have/want to give my life.
Chat with Nicola
Nicola writes: ok, now I go to the point, in short, I think I’m straight, you could ask me then why I’m here, if you give me some time I’ll explain, but I would like to start from the fact that I think I’m straight. “I think” it means that in practice I am convinced or almost convinced of it. So, I’ve always had girlfriends since I was little, at 16 I had my first real sexual intercourse with a girl, my first girlfriend.
I have had three girlfriends and with all of them I have had sexual intercourses and from that point of view things have always been all right, even auto-eroticism was all about girls. Now it’s almost a year since I’ve had my last girlfriend. Until recently, having sex with a girl was something missing, but now things are changing. I practice sports, I see a lot of naked guys every day but gay fantasies never went through my mind, this up to a month ago, then a strange thing happened, in the gym came a new guy who is 23 years old , I’m 24, and I began to fantasize about this guy, just on a sexual level, something that had never happened to me before. In the evening I lie down on the bed and I think of him, that is, I think of him and me in a sexual situation and it excites me a lot. In practice I don’t masturbate any more thinking about girls, or very little, while I’m fine even just staying in erection when I think of him without even needing to get to orgasm, it happens sometimes but it’s just thinking sexually of him that makes me feel good, I think that we are in the gym alone and we undress each other and then we masturbate each other, rarely I fantasize of oral sex. I tell you, Project, I never imagined I could think of a guy in these terms.
Project writes: but did you spoke with this guy?
Nicola writes: spoken in the serious sense of the term no, because I’m afraid, in fact I have almost the certainty that he is straight, it seems so strange that it’s me to write something like that, I think that in practice my interest in him is only sexual, I don’t know, but I have this impression.
Project writes: if this guy corresponded to you, that is if he was interested in talking to you, how would you react?
Nicola writes: I would be very happy but I think it’s an impossible thing and then look, I think of him just in terms of sex, this is true, even if hetero fantasies are not 100% finished, but I also think that I would like to embrace him, maybe fall asleep next to him, but to create something emotional two persons are needed and I’m alone and that’s why I settle for a bit of sex. If I imagine a couple relationship with him, I think of it more or less like what happens with a girl, sex, all right, it’s another thing, but I think the affection would be more or less the same, but I don’t know because I’ve never tried and then I think that if I happen to meet a girl who falls in love with me at the end I would always be straight, maybe straight with some gay fantasy but essentially straight. And then with a guy how would I do? My parents would kill me, they always saw me 100% straight and in fact I still think it’s more or less like that. For them the word gay is like saying depraved. Frankly I have never felt homophobic like my parents, I had never felt gay until a month ago and I don’t even feel now, even if I feel something strange but I’m not afraid of these things, if I find out I’m gay it’s okay, what I don’t like is uncertainty and still I don’t think I’m really gay.
Mail of Federico
I read everything you wrote about the weight of affectivity in the relationship between two guys, frankly it is very nice even if I don’t know how realistic it can be. That is, let’s understand, I speak from my point of view, that is from the point of view of a married 33-year-old man who is going into crisis because he has sexual fixed ideas for a 25-year-old known at work. I underline that I’m and I feel heterosexual, I love my wife and I also desire her sexually, but now it’s more than a year that there is this new fact and it’s something that destabilizes me a lot. I masturbate thinking of a guy. It’s crazy that a married man does these things and yet it happens. At first I felt guilty towards my wife, but now it doesn’t happen to me anymore, I live two parallel lives or better a life and a half, because my being gay is only halfway, there’s the sexual part, the rest doesn’t exist al all. I never considered my 25 year old like a guy I could fall in love with, it’s just that female sexuality is not enough anymore for me, I like it very much but in my horizon there is not only that, in fact I see my 25 year old a bit like a porn actor (he is a very serious guy! Indeed even too serious) that excites me.
Is all this pathological? At first I thought about it but now slowly I got to the point that if I masturbate thinking of him I don’t do anything wrong, he doesn’t know it and will never know it and also my wife will never know it. So where is the problem? What am I doing wrong? Anything! On the other hand, I would never abandon my wife, it doesn’t even pass through the antechamber of my brain that I could put myself with a man. I don’t know how such a thing can evolve over time, maybe in one year I will have abandoned my wife and I will have escaped with him, but it doesn’t seem to me even thinkable! And then, one like me what is he? Is he gay? But from what you say it doesn’t seem realistic. Is he bisex? Frankly I don’t believe it and I don’t feel like it. I think someone like me is straight even if he has some small interest in gay sex, and I only say sex, perhaps I had better to say only at the level of masturbation because I would never go with a man apart from the risk of aids, it’s not really something that seems possible to me. What do you think about Project?
GAY SEXUALITY AND HETERO AFFECTIVITY
It happens to me quite frequently, in interviews with the guys, to find myself faced with real forms of splitting between affectivity and sexuality. It is not uncommon for guys who experience sexual drives that are strongly or even exclusively oriented in a gay sense, to feel an affective attraction towards girls, for whom, however, they live forms of attenuated or strongly sublimated sexual interest. This phenomenon is found many times also in forum posts and is confirmed by the statistics on sexual orientation of Project Gay. 23.72% of the guys who took the test on sexual orientation of Project Gay (a sample of several hundred guys, but not representative of the general population and with high concentration of gays) claim to have a masturbation oriented exclusively in the gay sense, while only 15.22% claim to fall in love only with guys, but what amazes even more is that compared to a 11.68% of guys who claim to have a masturbation oriented exclusively in straight sense, 27, 26% claim to fall in love only with girls. From the statistics of sexual orientation by age we can deduce that in the same sample the percentage of gay masturbation varies little with age while the percentage of hetero masturbation tends to increase and, at the same time, bisexual masturbation decreases (with sometimes hetero and sometimes gay fantasies).
Sexuality becomes polarized with the years and tends to follow not the masturbatory gay tendency but the affective hetero one. I mean that a percentage of younger guys tend to experience hetero affectivity despite gay masturbation, for them the homosexual dimension has only strictly sexual contents while the affective ones are reserved entirely or almost entirely to girls. The sexuality of these guys tends to evolve over time, the heterosexual affective tendency slowly becomes sexualized and the tendency towards heterosexual masturbation increases. While hetero affectivity is also enriched with explicit sexual content, the gay orientation on the strictly sexual level tends to be recessive. This is the underlying reason for which, to consider gay a guy masturbation is indicative but doesn’t solve the problem definitively and it’s necessary to say that a guy is gay if he has both a gay masturbatory sexuality, and also a gay affectivity, that is, he falls in love with guys.
As if to talk of gay sexual orientation it’s necessary to find together an exclusive tendency to masturbation with gay fantasies and also an affective tendency equally exclusive to fall in love with guys, so to talk about real bisexuality it is necessary that a guy has a masturbation that contemplates both heterosexual fantasies and gay fantasies, even in different proportions, and that he falls in love with both boys and girls. I mean that in a defined sexual orientation, that is stable, gay or heterosexual or bisexual in different degrees, strictly sexual drives are always associated with the tendency to fall in love with the same persons for whom sexual drives are felt.
Bisexuality is not a phenomenon analogous to the dissociation between affectivity and sexuality. Basically, a hetero guy falls in love emotionally and sexually only with girls, a gay guy falls in love emotionally and sexually only with guys, a bisexual guy falls in love emotionally and sexually with both boys and girls. In these situations affectivity and sexuality interact in an organic way and tend to direct a guy in a global way, both affective and sexual, to other people.
The dissociation between affectivity and sexuality is not a form of bisexuality but is a completely different reality. I would like to underline that it’s not a matter of pathological phenomena but of normal realities that touch significant percentages of the population. As it also happens for homosexuality and for bisexuality, the dissociation between effectivity and sexuality can lead to states of suffering, sometimes very heavy, if the social environment is constrictive and adopts rigid sexuality models, but suffering doesn’t come from the split between affectivity and sexuality but precisely from the sexually repressive climate.
Statistically, the dissociation between affectivity and sexuality is a relevant phenomenon, as it’s evident from the Gay Project statistics. The discrepancy between orientation of masturbation and affective orientation is noticeable but tends to decrease with the passing of the years and several guys who despite falling in love with girls had a gay masturbation, tend slowly to orientate even sexually in the straight direction. Approximately 5% of guys between the ages of 14 and 18 who took part in the Gay Project survey on sexual orientation tend to orient themselves definitively in straight direction as time passes. I must underline that the guys generally consider the split between affectivity and sexuality as a form of bisexuality and tend to consider themselves bisexual or even gay, above all due to the gay masturbation. Interpreting these phenomena is not easy because they are things that start with guys who consider themselves essentially gay and then slowly, not realizing their emotional world in a gay dimension, experience affective attraction to girls and slowly also discover a straight sexuality that is rewarding for them.
In the interviews with the guys, elements have emerged that lead me to try to give an interpretation of the facts that could at least in a good percentage of cases be realistic, clearly all of it should be taken with benefit of inventory.
In several situations of dissociation between affectivity and sexuality, in the background can be found the presence of a very rigid family in the sexual field and of children who have felt hyper-controlled during adolescence. Their female friendships were evaluated and judged by the family that tended to exercise control over the sexuality of the children, automatically presupposed exclusively hetero.
Sermons on the way to behave with girls, attempts to know how the child behaves with girls, tendential intrusiveness in the relationships of the child with the opposite sex, and on the other hand no interest in the male friendships of the child since early adolescence. If you go out with male friends, all right, if you go out with a girl you have to tell your parents who she is, where you go, when you come back, etc. etc.. The lack of freedom in the sexual field sometimes leads hetero guys to try to realize their freedom from the family in the environment of male friendships. While for a guy who can have a heterosexual emotional and sexual life basically free from family control, friendships are only a part of actual life, and not the one that polarizes sexuality, for guys who have no freedom in their emotional and sexual hetero behaviors, the friendships with other guys constitute an extremely gratifying environment because it is completely foreign to the family.
It often happens that, even in groups of substantially heterosexual guys, forms of special and very close affection are created that are not necessarily sexualized, the so-called special friendships (the best friend). For a guy who has no other sexual release valves, particular friendships easily take a sexual coloring. Pretty common episodes in the environment of heterosexual teenagers, such as masturbating together watching a straight porn, become, for a guy who feels forced by the family in his sexuality, a way to have his own private in which the family cannot enter, a sexuality which is finally subtracted from family control.
Sexual fantasies about friends and masturbation in a homosexual key end up dominating the scene and for a long time the guy can consider himself really gay, but since this sexual tendency cannot be declared nor shared and it is only experienced at the level of masturbation, the guy clearly perceives the difference between his way of living the para-sexual experiences with his friends, such as the nakedness in the showers of the gym, and the way of living those same experiences on the part of his friends, and this tends to confirm him in the idea of being gay.
However, the sexual morality of the family makes it practically impossible for the guy to accept the idea of an emotional couple relationship with another guy that would involve bringing homosexuality from the level of masturbation to the level of sharing and conscious and courageous choice. Sometimes guys also come to real sexual experiments with other guys but in situations that are not in any way accessible to the family and only with contacts for sexual purposes. From this phase that is from the greater awareness that non-affective homosexuality is not really gratifying, derives a sense of deep dissatisfaction or devaluation of sexuality, which is finally considered just as a technique. These are the most acute phases of the dissociation between affectivity and sexuality. In these situations the guys become again (now they are fully adults, 22, 23, but also 25 years old or more) particularly sensitive to a hetero affective contact. It’s obvious that after having become accustomed through years of gay masturbation to having homosexual fantasies, the approach with hetero sexuality is experienced as problematic, but that approach has a deep and satisfying affective dimension that the guy had not known in the gay environment. Thus begins a path of reunification of sexuality and affection that can last even two or three years, during which slowly but gradually the gay fantasies give way and heterosexual sexuality, combined with the effectivity gains ground.
We must immediately say that the process is delicate and, for example, a traumatic experience in a hetero environment can interrupt it, as a true and profound gay falling in love could also interrupt it. These are important transitional phases of the definition of sexuality in which, even if statistically evolution takes place prevalently towards heterosexuality, it is not at all said that the opposite does not happen. One idea must be kept in mind: sexuality must never be forced. The dissociation between affectivity and sexuality represents an evolutionary phase which, I repeat, has nothing pathological and must be experienced for what it is by following one’s own affectivity and spontaneous sexuality, avoiding to create too many problems and on the contrary setting aside any abstract and preconceived vision of oneself in both a straight or a gay key. Anxiety is the worst enemy of sexuality, so those who find themselves in such situations do not consider them as a problem to be solved. Sexual orientation issues are problems only to the extent that they are considered as such.
If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-splitting-between-gay-sexuality-and-hetero-affectivity