This post is dedicated to a reflection on the conditioning, in the relationship between two gay guys, deriving from different backgrounds and different social conditions. Generally, when a gay guy falls in love with a guy, whose he doesn’t know the sexual orientation, the question that immediately arises is “is he gay or not?” If on the one hand it is true that it is a fundamental question which automatically conditions all the rest, it is also true that this is not the only question. Often, once a gay guy has ascertained that the guy he is in love with is gay too, after the first moments of enthusiasm the first perplexities arise, but not deriving from a lack of mutual sexual attraction but from the objective difficulty in building a deep relationship because of very distant starting points. Building a relationship between two gay guys is not something essentially sexual, it is necessary to build a relationship between two people that is made of mutual trust, affection and respect. Two variables intervene at this point, which in general are often neglected in the initial phase:
1) The difference in education
2) The difference in social condition
In order to build a relationship of serious love, a condition of equality is indispensable and forms the basis for the subsequent building together. The greater the differences in education and social condition are, the more difficult it is to start something really shared on an equal footing. In any case it is possible to do so but on the basis of a renunciation of one’s role and habits on the part of one of the two guys, made in order to avoid to condition the other, but these sacrifices often hide mental reservations that sooner or later come to the surface with all their disruptive power.
Let’s start from the differences in education between guys who live more or less the same social condition. Among them the differences are manifested in the habits of life, in greater or lesser freedom in behavior and in discourses, in the greater or less inhibition in facing sexuality. It is a question of conditioning but the awareness of one’s homosexuality almost always leads to overcoming educational constraints or to devalue them from within, in the name of the possibility of living an emotional life as a couple. A classic example: the guys who have had a religious education. These guys, when they overcome the problem of religious conditioning, either go beyond radically or remain in that environment in a formal way, and in this choice the education has a fundamental meaning. Differences in the social level are a real and powerful barrier that can arise between two gay guys and can prevent them from living a real life as a couple.
Below are some of the typical symptoms of social distress through very indicative phrases:
1) When I go out with his friends I don’t feel at ease, it’s another world
2) He with my friends is not at ease, I don’t know what takes him, he seems clumsy
3) My friends don’t like him, he talks about things from another planet
4) He has a concept of fun that I don’t understand, for him it’s a ritual, according to me he just acts a role.
Social unease manifests first in external things and then gradually into the others:
a) What was the need for sunglasses of 300 euros?
b) We don’t see each other for a month because he has to go on holiday with his parents, but I think he prefers so
c) But what do I care to see the photos he did in New York!
d) When I propose to go to take a pizza somewhere that I like, he always distorts the mouth
e) At his home? With his mother talking with her sibilant “s”? Let’s forget it!
f) He tells me that I have the southern accent
g) He talks too much about things that don’t interest me
h) He tells me that he would be willing to do anything for me, but he went on vacation with his family
i) Is an engineer, ok, but why does he have to repeat it a thousand times?
j) He tells me that I should get back to school but he’s not telling it for my sake, it’s because he’s ashamed of me
Very often in the conversation there are misunderstandings related to the fact that the two communication codes are different. Just an example: a guy can say anything about his parents but he will not tolerate the negative opinion of of his partner on his parents.
The first guy speaks badly of his father: “My father has always done his thing, he says that it is obvious because he is the one who pays. I cannot stand him, since he knows I’m gay he’s really hateful.”
The second guy adds his critique: “Actually, even Monday he behaved just like an asshole”
The first guy starts to defend his father: “But if didn’t do so people would put him under their feet!”
The true sign of social unease manifests through the absence of the design of a common life, through the underlining that the relationship will go on “as long as it lasts”, “as long as we want”, but also and over all through the absence of total mutual sincerity, as if the other guy were a person with which we share, and only partially, only sexuality. This is the so-called false couple, that is, the couple who shares only a few moments in life and keeps all the rest separate. Often the false couple on the sexual level works well, its weakness emerges only in long times when in moments of eclipse of the sexual interest it is understood that there is not a real community of life.
A characteristic of false couples is the declared idea of maintaining an “open and free” relationship, an idea behind which there is an affective emptiness and a substantial willingness not to be bound.
Often, during the discussions, the boys who find themselves in a false couple tend to maintain their positions and not to give in, the discussion becomes harsh and in principle and it is not rare that they arrive at even bitter quarrels because there is no mutual esteem that is the basic element of a couple’s life.
The rupture of the false couple is in the great majority of cases definitive and not remediable, while in true couples who share deep levels of affection the crisis is overcome and is in fact an element far from negative for the growth of common life.
Lads of high social level are generally unwilling to sacrifice their social position or put it in brackets in the name of homosexuality. There are significant exceptions but, despite everything, what matters most is not how A feels the problem but how B believes that A feels it and often misunderstandings are inevitable.
The real problem is to be two at a substantial level, to have the same perspectives, to behave like an “we” putting aside the individualistic dimension.
Particular attention must be paid to the problem, typical of the couple, of constructing a common sexual world by also putting aside one’s own needs in relation to the other. Shared sexuality means common sexual fantasies, it means living a sexuality built together, discovered together, in conditions of absolute parity.
I happened to see guys who have been living together for years for whom sexuality is in the most evident way an emotional exchange that is aimed at showing the other guy that you want to share his life with him in the deepest sense. It must be said, however, that those guys had realized a real project of common life and that the difficulties linked to misunderstandings by families and by the social environment had only put their relationship to the test and substantially stabilized it.
The sexuality experienced in these terms is really a way of loving that has realized a true community of couple. Getting to these results is not easy and when there are problems of very different education or very different social level overcoming the difficulties requires very strong feelings and very determined choices.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-couple-and-socio-economic-conditioning