I took a quick look at the book Being Gay, it is truly monumental, from small tastings it seems interesting to me and it is extraordinary that it can be downloaded at no cost. You have done a useful job, I don’t add other adjectives.
I am a 25-year-old guy, I live in Northern Italy, so in an environment that should be gay friendly. Here there are gay associations but, if I refer to that mythical 8% of gays, I have to conclude that those who attend associations are a small minority and I don’t tell you the comments I hear about them by a lot of people.
Where are all the other gays? I don’t see them anywhere, so even here gays are scared, and I think they do well to be afraid because the social climate is not good at all, and actually it’s even worse than it was a few years ago.
At school I didn’t know a single gay guy, no one declared himself, and exposing himself too much was dangerous. The dating sites and the App, which everyone talks about, are not for me, they seem to me a squalid thing. My gay life, let’s call it so, started at university.
I attended and I’m finishing up attending a faculty with few students, not even forty the first year and then around 30 or even less until the end, they are almost all guys, girls are quite rare, in my course I think they are only five, well, a few weeks after the start of the lessons of my first year I realized that, let’s say, I was not alone, and that the compulsory attendance was not only useful for the exams but also to build relationships with the other guys.
In practice, the university works on two levels, one formal, official, in which there are relationships with teachers, objectively very technical and very limited, even if we are very few, because the courses are short and are very dense with content, and the other underground, but not too much, in which the very fact of being together from morning to night creates in us, young people, a climate of collaboration that favors the birth of friendships, and, in some cases, even something more.
In the morning we start the lessons at 8.00 and then, with various intervals we finish around 17.00. We eat at the canteen, perhaps at different times, depending on the lessons, but it is a very small service, only for our faculty and we study practically all together, even if divided into groups. Even those who live close to the university don’t come home, because together we feel good. I do not speak of large groups but groups of three or four guys, we have two study rooms for each year of the course and these rooms are also well equipped. Groups should be formed on the basis of uniform interests, and that is what has happened, but in general it is not a matter of study interests.
I don’t even know how it happened, but it happened, I found myself with two other colleagues, we chose each other instinctively, we were fine together, at the beginning we didn’t know at all that we were three gays, for me, it was a completely new world to be discovered, I felt that with those guys the relationship was different from what I had with others, there was no competition, there was only a great desire to be together, to work together and even more.
The two guys of my small group of study, Louis and Antony, were very different, Louis was a nice guy, but he was not my type, he was pleasant, reassuring, but physically attracted me little, while Antony was very insecure, always hesitant, he was tall, blond and with blue eyes, with hair a little longish, he was a bit neurotic and complexed by the fear of being out of place, to annoy, he apologized for everything, even for very trivial things, with him I too felt a little anxious because I didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable.
I knew almost immediately that Louis was gay, because it was he who told me it: “to avoid misunderstandings”, he added. I avoided to tell him that I too was gay. Louis was fine with me and with Antony, but from what I understood he had a boyfriend and so he had his life, we were his study friends and maybe we would have also become friends of confidences, but his basic interests were elsewhere.
With Antony things were very different, when we were alone together we felt a certain embarrassment, we often talked about Louis or other guys. At one point Antony told me: “Do you know that Louis is gay? He told me it this morning …” I replied that I knew, I saw a moment of perplexity on the face of Antony, I think he wondered why I hadn’t told him, but he didn’t comment and I think he appreciated my discretion. I was hoping that the dialogue on the subject would widen but it didn’t happen and it ended there.
We felt very well when we were there, the three of us, but when I was alone with Antony I didn’t know what to say or what to do, he had an embarrassed and embarrassing behavior, he never spoke of girls and even less of guys but it seemed to me that a good relationship had been created between us.
When we had to separate, in the evening, none of us took the initiative, and a quarter of an hour after a quarter of an hour we came home very late almost every night, but we didn’t talk too much, we spent almost all the time in silence. Among other things, when I was alone with him I was also embarrassed because I was almost always in erection and I was afraid that he would notice. From what I saw, he didn’t even give a minimum sign of erection and I didn’t like this thing at all.
The hypothesis that he was gay didn’t seem too realistic to me despite the fact that he tended to stay always with me. I feared that our relationship could turn into a relationship of dependency but in a sense I felt very attracted to Antony. I came to think that I should tell him that I was gay, because if he had found out it by himself or if he knew it from others he might feel uncomfortable.
One of the long nights spent walking back and forth around the city, I took courage and told him it, he answered me: “Don’t worry, I had understood it for some time” I asked him how he had understood it and he told me: “When you stay with me you’re hard all the time …” I asked him: “Does this embarrass you?” He replied: “If I felt embarrassed I would not be here …” Then he continued: “You want to know if I’m gay too? “I nodded and he said:” Yes, I feel gay, or at least I don’t feel straight but sex is a bit of an obsession and a bit of a frustration for me … ” And then we finally entered the topic.
This was more or less the speech:
“I’ve never fallen in love with a girl, while when I’m close to you I feel at ease, and I feel at ease even if you are in erection and perhaps especially for that. You will tell me that I am stupid, but I am really complexed by these things, I think I am very feminine, I don’t feel like a woman, but I think I have female physical movements and attitudes.”
“Who? You? No! Not at all!”
“You also saw Louis, he too is gay, but he is very masculine, no one would take him for gay …”
“No! Antony, no! Take these things off your head! You’re a beautiful guy, and you’re very masculine, you’re not rough, you’re not massive but thin, but rest assured that you’re 100% masculine … ”
“Well … maybe … ”
“But why do you feel conditioned in sex?”
“For me, sex has never been a simple thing, I’ve never been with anyone … ”
“Not even me if this is the problem … ”
“Yes, but you go into erection when I’m there, I on the contrary feel only embarrassed, I’m completely stuck, I think I would feel totally uncomfortable being with a guy … ”
“I think these are just fears, when it happens you will realize that it’s a very simple thing … ”
“I don’t think it will ever happen … ”
“But at least when you do it by yourself … there are no fears … ”
“When I do it by myself, as you say, and it’s a very rare thing, afterwards, I feel sick … ”
“But why? There’s nothing wrong … ”
“I’ll tell you something that nobody knows … I as a child, not even as a child, as a boy, because the first time it happened I was 14, I was raped by an uncle, and the story went on for a month, I was really afraid of him, at the end I couldn’t stand him anymore, I threatened him that if he came back I would have told my father and he disappeared. He was 44 years old and I have been really raped from behind … I don’t tell you how I felt when I experienced my first gay feelings, something disgusting, I don’t want to be gay, being gay sucks me … now maybe you can understand … ”
“Oh my God I would never have imagined, if you want I take you home, I don’t want to create difficulties of any kind … ”
“Please shut up! … Let me go on with what I’m saying, I am a victim of homosexuality and I don’t want to be gay, I don’t even know if you can understand such a thing, but even if the memory of those things really disgusts me, I ended up becoming gay just for that reason … ”
“No, Antony, now it’s you the one who has to shut up … but which “to become”? And then you say that your uncle was was gay but I don’t think so.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m gay, I have the pleasure of being near you, even sexual pleasure, it’s like that and I’m not ashamed at all of this, but I never imagined penetrating a guy from behind, really never.”
“That’s because you were been given an education.”
“No! This is because I’m gay!”
“I didn’t understand … what does it mean?”
And there, dear Project, I took my smartphone and I had him read a piece of your book where you talk about these things. He was initially perplexed, then he went on to read, after a few minutes he looked at me and asked me: “So then my uncle could even be straight? … ” I told him that he probably was, because what he did was not a gay behavior. He was perplexed, confused, he insisted on asking me if I had ever had fantasies of that kind and I told him that it really had never happened.
The speech didn’t seem to him according to what he had seen in some videos in which anal penetration was always present in practice. I told him to read all your article and also the part of the book about the hetero-curious and I drove him home. He was puzzled, very meditative, but occasionally he made some gesture of satisfaction and even a few sketchy smiles.
The day after everything went on easily at university as if nothing had happened; immediately after 5.00 pm he asked me to take him home, but we went around in the car until late at night. He had read the book and seemed to have discovered a world, he told me: “Reading the book I got the very clear impression that my uncle was not gay at all and I realized that instead my fantasies are really gay. My uncle paid no attention to my penis, just zero, he never masturbated me and I was over 14 years old and I would have reacted but he never did, but he wanted me to have oral sex to him, but never did it to me, and above all there had to be the anal penetration and there was also something that I didn’t understand at all, that is the attention to my nipples, a really anomalous thing, to the nipples yes and to the penis no! Actually the overall picture was very different form that of real gay fantasies, isn’t it? Even I have never had fantasies of anal penetration but I thought it was something only mine, a refusal due to the abuse, but it seems that it is a very common thing among gays”
Since Antony was talking to me so freely I too felt obliged to do so and he was very intrigued by that speech that he didn’t expect at all. It was now night and there was little light, he asked me if I was hard, I said yes, he asked if he could touch it from outside, I said yes, he touched it for about ten seconds, then he looked at me and said: thank you! He apologized for the fact that he could not reciprocate, because he wasn’t in erection, then he thought just a second and told me: “Come on, check it, it’s right that we’re on par!”
In the following days we talked a lot less because the exams were coming and we only studied, in three at the university and then in two at my house, a single-room apartment where I lived alone because I was away from home. He came to stay at my house, because it is within a stone’s throw from the faculty. We studied a lot, we slept together in the same bed, but between us there has never been sex, not even at the minimum level. After 15 days of overwork we passed the three exams we had planned. I expected him to move back to his house but he asked me to stay, I obviously said yes.
We had long evenings to spend together and we talked a lot in a totally free way, we talked about our families, our desires and obviously also about sex. I could understand that the memory of the violence troubled him deeply and even if he too began to accept the idea that his uncle was not gay at all, still he still had many doubts about it, he asked me to talk to him about my sexual fantasies and I did, he listened to me with the utmost attention, told me that the penis seemed to him an undesirable thing, associated only to violence and this fact tore him because he also experienced homosexual fantasies but mixed with feelings of rejection. I asked him if he had felt feelings of repulsion when I had made him touch it from above my trousers and he simply replied: no!
He told me he was happy to be with me, even because I had never pressed him for any reason and that I was a positive image of gays, and finally he added: “if you are gay, I too can be so”. I liked this sentence very much and I told him enthusiastically but he replied that anyway it wouldn’t have been easy for him, that he needed time and that I had to be patient, even if we slept in the same bed.
One day, after a day of intense study we went to sleep. We turned off the light but I felt that he had not turned the other way as he always did but had remained turned towards me. At a certain moment he asks me: “Are you hard now?” I say yes and he asks me if he can touch it, I say yes and he touches it very gently, after a while he says to me: “Touch mine!” And I feel that he is hard too. He tells me that it’s the first time that this happens to him spontaneously and that he doesn’t feel rejection neither touching me nor being touched, then he adds that he doesn’t want to go any further and we stop touching but we keep talking, he tells me he’s happy but that he doesn’t want to delude himself too much and above all he doesn’t want to delude me.
We get up, get dressed, I put myself on the sofa and he lies there, resting his head on my legs. He asks me: “Do you mind?” I only answer him with a smile and he says: “I have to get used to the physical contact … I have never done such a thing.” It is very late and falls asleep on my knees, I don’t move him. When it starts to dawn I take him in my arms and bring him back to bed. He’s really a nice guy, or rather, it looks beautiful to me. I lie in bed next to him and I fall asleep too.
In the following days he seems to have completely forgotten about what had happened between us, I don’t say anything but when I sit on the couch to see the TV he almost always comes to lie down on my legs and I feel his warmth. One evening, before going to sleep, he asks me to show me naked because it has never happened before, I smile and I completely undress in front of him and I start to get a hard-on, he tells me I’m beautiful, then he undresses and he too is in erection, he comes close and hugs me tight, but very tight, almost hurting me, then asks me if we can sleep naked, of course I say yes, I put only one more cover on the bed because it’s a bit cold. We hug tightly in bed and we stay like this for very long minutes.
The next day it was as if nothing had happened between us, not in the sense that there was disinterest, but as if what had happened was absolutely normal. There was certainly more physical contact between us, there were more hugs, we stroked our hands, we leaned against each other when we were sitting on the couch, but there were no sexual contacts, nevertheless, despite this I felt happy, I saw him smile, play, make jokes, it was a beautiful thing.
One evening I see him very discouraged, he keeps me at a distance, I try to understand why and he tells me that he tried to masturbate thinking of me but that the thing didn’t arrive to its obvious end because he felt a terrible sense of rejection, something very strong, not for me but for the idea of sex in itself, it seemed to him like a dirty thing almost a way to do violence against me, to play with my image, something like a lack of respect. In short, he was really uncomfortable and I had the distinct feeling that there was very little to do and that he would never have abandoned the obsessive memory of violence. I hugged him, but he was totally passive, then I said to him: “I love you, Antony!” He replied: “I’ll never have sex with you …” I told him: “I’m just worried about losing you and this would be devastating for me … ” He told me: “I cannot do anything, I tried, but I cannot … ” I didn’t know what to say, maybe a few days before it seemed all too easy, but slowly I was beginning to doubt that with Antony I could create a story, let’s say so, a normal story, that is even with a bit of sex, I don’t say much, but at least a little to convince me that he loved me and didn’t consider me only in relation to the memory of violence. I was beginning to understand that the problem was more serious than I had imagined.
We continued to live together but we removed any behavior that could have even a vague sexual implication, we continued to sleep in the same bed but always wearing pajamas, even during the summer, and he stopped lieing on my legs when we see the TV. We are good friends, yes, true friends, friends who talk about everything with the utmost sincerity, I love him deeply but slowly I lost the confidence that Antony can become my boyfriend. It’s been years, almost four years now, Antony and I still live together, sometimes there was even a minimal attempt to sexual approach between us, that has brought more frustration and disappointment than anything else. I think Antony has in fact put aside the idea, I don’t know if we will ever come to share sex, I have many doubts about it, but I know that without Antony I would feel lost.
I never imagined that I could live my life like this, and yet I feel that this is my life, I always hope that things can change, but the first rule, for me, must be the absolute respect for Antony and his problems. For me it is not a renunciation, I have made my choice and I don’t think I would be able to live a different life.
Antony and I really love each other and we are still young and something could always change, but our love will not fail under any circumstances.
I embrace you, Project, or I hope your work will be useful for Antony as it was useful for me.
In conclusion, I must state that the e-mail above is reported in the forum with the consent of both protagonists of the story. The text is in the form of an email but has been agreed so as to avoid any risk for privacy and to be as clear as possible. In particular, the references to the faculty have been significantly modified for reasons of privacy. I must emphasize that, if it is true that this story deals with the consequences of violence and sexual abuse, the situation described is certainly not the worst, because violence and sexual abuse can really have tragic consequences. The two guys mentioned in the story you read, have built a very strong emotional relationship in which sexuality, even if limited and denied is somehow strongly present. I have to underline that I happened several times to talk with guys who had suffered violence or abuse and I could see how much these episodes have weighed on their sexuality and their emotional life.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-and-rejection-of-sesuality