MY NORMAL GAY LIFE

I wondered what I could do for this forum after nine years since my forum registration. Nine years ago I came across this forum by chance reading a post by Ennis that even today excites me everytime I read it. He was 21  and I was 28 and I couldn’t help but see in his story my own story not as it had gone but like it should have gone.
At 21 he had been able to tell himself that he was gay and had found the courage to write in this forum. For me it was different. When I discovered my attraction for males I was only 17 years old. At that time the internet was not there and that bit of porn that I saw, I saw it secretly in the back of the newsstands or it was that porn that I happened to find on the street.
It may seem absurd now. It is so easy now to have images, video, information and everything else, but back then it was different. There was no one to talk about such things. You had no way to understand if your feeling was envy, curiosity or true attraction. I remember that then I started throwing my eye frequently in the bathrooms, I often went down to the station where it was easy to meet “people” like that. In short, it was really difficult to understand and the simplest thing ultimately was to retrace my steps. I talked about this to my female best friend, but then they were just doubts and remained such for many years.
The Internet has changed everything: access to porn, but above all to information. Reading about homosexuality from the point of view of other homosexuals is not simple. Homosexuality is often emphasized, made sclerotic in stereotypes. You can find the normality of being gay just  in a few places. I remember that I spent hours and hours reading the various testimonies, the responses and Project’s comments. The forum was a real drug. The more I I was there reading, the less I felt alone, the more I continued reading, the more I felt at home.
Then there were the fatigues, my personal fatigues, I mean those needed to overcome many of my resistances to go out in the correct way from a virtual space and open up to reality. 
I used to get angry with Project and with the things he used to write here, but in reality there are objective difficulties to reconcile one’s own being gay, not with the normality of friendship (old and new) but with gay chats and all the rest. I visited very little the gay environment, just enough time to win some of my objective and stupid resistance.
In those days I thought it was enough to go to see a gay-themed movie to tell the world that I was gay. Now I think about it and it seems absurd to me, yet it is a problem that I often read in the posts of those who have acceptance problems. We live with the idea that those around us have as their first thought find out what we are doing, but it does not work like that.
However the declared gay world has so many complexities that I thank with hindsight to have discovered myself when I was 28 and not  18. It is too easy to let yourself be drawn into that vortex of emotions, of meetings, of disordered stories, but it is very complicated to get out of them. Today I believe the path of homosexuals is more downhill. We talk a lot about homosexuality, it is almost imposed on the media level as “mandatory content”. In almost all television series for boys there is a gay protagonist or at least a gay friend. In other words, now things are very different. But I feel these times already distant from me.
Nine years after, I can only tell you that it ended well for me. Six years ago I met my current boy, with whom I live practically from day one. It is not all roses and flowers, it is no longer that storm of loving feelings of the first months, it’s everyday life, it’s normality, quarrels, hugs and awareness.
I remember exactly how it started, I remember that first meeting around in my city. I met my old friends and spent our first outing with them. That was the normality I needed. I was with him and my old friends always having a beer, laughing and joking all together. I remember We made love three days later. And I still remember the first time he asked me to come to my house next time. Cabbage!! [a common exclamation in Italian] I was preparing my thesis and I was in trouble, I had to finish it. I then remember that he came to my house and sat on my bed looking at his cell phone while I was writing my thesis. After a while he fell asleep. Then he helped me write the thesis, we continued to go out with friends who gradually understood. And shortly six years have passed since that day.
I’ve always been certain we’ll stay together in spite of the many moments of crisis, quarrels and difficulties of these six years. Every time, from some of his behaviors, I have always had an illumination that started from my stomach and not from my brain: we are bound together by an intense and deep thread!
Couple life is not always simple, personal stresses inevitably mingle up with couple life and transform the relationship. It is not easy to continue to stay together whenever your personal situation changes. Many problems are more material and concrete than one might believe, for example your work if it does not satisfy you, your house if you don’t like it, can become problems. I believe that beyond feelings, life as a couple is a vocation, a life choice. If you don’t have it as a priority, you will soon become tired of your life.
This is not the case for me. I spent many of my years crucifying myself because I couldn’t have a story, writhing in bed because it was always too empty. I believe that from life I don’t need anything else to be happy.
I told you this whole story as a personal testimony: a normal life is possible, a gay daily life too, and it’s also possible to put one’s own homosexuality in its right place. Homosexuality doesn’t create our identity, we are not homosexuals. Homosexuality only identifies our orientation, but has nothing to do with how we are made, with our problems, our needs, our visions of the world. But unfortunately the need to emerge, to fight against prejudices etc. it makes homosexuality something pervasive in our existence.
Now I can read the forum stories differently. I read them and I find only stories of guys, with their problems, their relationship difficulties, in short I see mostly the homosexuality in the background and people in the foreground.
Well I’ll stop here. I hope that in some way my story may be useful to you.
By Alyosha
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LOVE IN A NON-STANDARD GAY COUPLE

Hi Project, 
I read so many posts on the forum, especially the last ones, and in reading them I had the impression of finding in many guys a kind of resignation in accepting everything from the other (your partner or something more or less similar), something that often happened to me too and that, I must say, has led me to many disappointments.
 
I told myself that being gay is already a complicated and problematic thing, but being a gay like me, who in the end always adapts to the desires and needs of the partner, means to shoot oneself in the foot. I felt united to all those guys “no more boys and not yet men” who run after a beautiful and impossible companion because to put us in the same category there was the fact of being unlucky in the same way, and unlucky means without a pussy, and this says a lot.
 
[The original post is in Italian, in Italian “unlucky” sounds normally “sfortunato” but there is another word, very commonly used to express a quite similar meaning and this word is “sfigato” literally “a guy who as no pussy to play with”. In Italian “pussy” sounds “figa”. ]
 
But now, Project, I’m writing to you for another reason, I no longer feel like a weak person or a fool who accepts everything from his partner because he is unable to rebel! I no longer feel like a victim but not because I rebelled and changed my behavior, but because I realized that I was never a victim.
 
Things are not at all like I had begun to see them in recent times: I love him! I have loved him for years, we have been fighting and making peace for years but we are always here. Today my … I don’t even know how to call him, well, I’ll call him Puppy, my Puppy called me on the phone and we spent a lot of time talking, he told me about his boys (yes, it seems paradoxical but it’s true!), about his doubts, his fears and a thousand other things, then we disconnected because it was too late and after a few minutes he sent me a text message: “I love you!”
 
I can tell you, Project, that I felt in seventh heaven, I don’t care that he’s no more my boyfriend, because after all he never was my boyfriend even when we were together, for me it’s enough that he loves me as he always did. If I continued to believe in him it is not because I was a weak guy or a loser who didn’t know where to head and somehow had to delude himself but because I loved him and I knew that he loved me too.
 
I have always known that he loved me, one can tell me: “but it is ONLY a friend!”. ONLY? But such a friend, a true friend like this is one who really loves you! I cannot say that we have been together for 14 years, because it wouldn’t be true, but we have loved each other for 14 years and this is very true. We know each other thoroughly and the contact between us has never been lost.
 
I’m not in love with the Moon, Project, but with a real guy who has so many flaws but he loves me like no one ever did. And I fell in love with him not because I didn’t see his faults but because I felt he really loved me in his own way. I don’t want a perfect boy, I want him, or rather I want him to be happy. Today he told me: “Many run after me but then nobody wants me as I am, they all tend to be possessive, you don’t, with you I can afford to be what I am.”
 
With him, in other times, I lived a couple’s life, then that phase was over but the loving has not passed, and I was so afraid that it would pass, but it did not pass! Project, you may find it absurd, but I feel like a happy man! I’m not alone, I know that he is there, with all the load of contradictions and melancholy that he carries with him, but he really exists. Maybe I see him more like the brother I never had than as a couple partner.
 
Actually, as he says, I’m not possessive but it’s something that comes naturally to me, I don’t feel like a renouncer or a weak screwed by a partner who takes advantage of the situation: none of this, Project, I feel happy! Many guys would consider what I wrote to be pathological, yet it’s all true and my happiness is true too. I would be upset if I lost him, if he forgot about me, I would be terribly ill if he judged me badly, but I feel him close even after 14 years so as I’ve never felt anyone else.
 
From the outside it seems that in my story there is no reciprocity because we no longer have sex together, but nevertheless there is a deep reciprocity and it has happened to me many times to feel important and even irreplaceable for him. Sometimes when he calls me he is anxious, then slowly he calms down and starts to joke a little, well, those are really wonderful moments!
 
Over the years I have also learned many things about couple life and about myself. With him I found a balance and an affectionate reciprocity (without exaggeration and without too many words), which I never found with anyone else. Today I feel really happy!
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GAY COUPLES IN FRONT OF THE MOST DIFFICULT TRIALS

Here is an email I received a few days ago and it struck me a lot. I asked the author to modify the text just a little to guarantee the protection of the privacy of the protagonists, while leaving intact the meaning of the story. This is the final text for publication. I thank Luca for having shared such a shocking experience and I’m sure that this text will help many people to have a more mature attitude towards life. 
“Hello Project, 
My name is Luca and I’m 42. I recently read the post “a gay couple in a terrible ordeal” and it deeply moved me, also because unfortunately I didn’t receive the same solidarity … 
Towards the end of last year, I was diagnosed with a serious neurological illness and my immature ex, after more than three years of our story, left me and as a justification he adduced very artificial excuses. 
I’m not writing to ask for advice or to be consoled, but perhaps because a part of me hopes that by putting my story in black and white, I can stop thinking about it and feel bad, as if I were moving away from it, as if I dismissed it. 
I have already talked about my love affair with a gay friend and some other good friends, but perhaps it is easier for me to write to a benevolent stranger, such as you are, to get rid of this burden, because your possible negative judgment I think would not touch me too much. 
I met Alberto in 2015. Our story was born at the beginning simply by physical attraction, but I was immediately struck by his sweetness and vulnerability. 
Although he was a few years older than me, he gave me the impression of a little lost boy. 
He told me with much hesitation and shyness that he still lived with his family, that he had never had a boyfriend, only stories lasting no more than a month, and that he had always been dumped. 
The last man he had trusted in had told him that he didn’t think he could keep up with the pace of a story. 
I asked him why he had not looked for more serious stories and he replied that he liked sex and that he had only recently been looking for something more. 
There were all the alarm bells pushing me to get away with no delay, instead I remember that I hugged him for a long time, I held him close to me and told him that in my opinion the others hadn’t understood anything and that I wanted to continue to see him, because he was a rough diamond that just waited to be discovered by someone who knew how to enhance it. 
And I added that, if it was for me, I would have gathered all the troubled and problematic guys to fill them with affection. 
In fact, I perfectly was able to understand what it was like to feel alone, without ever having someone special to love and to be loved by, because for many years I had experienced the same sensations before living serious stories. 
I still remember the sense of loneliness that has always assaulted me when I was in the midst of the “normal” guys, when I walked down the street in the crowd of my small provincial town and it seemed to me to be the only gay guy existing, an invisible pariah. 
Slowly I managed to get him out of the dynamic of seeing us only for sex and we began to know each other better and he opened up a lot with me.
We overcame many impasses together, mainly due to his inexperience. 
After a few months of dating, however, I received a bad cold rain: one afternoon, without warning, he told me out of the blue that he was not convinced to continue, because he didn’t understand where the experience with me could take him. 
I was so upset and angry that I burst into tears and literally ran away, with the intention of never seeing him again, so I felt disappointed that I had wasted my time with a total immature. 
He did everything he could to regain my trust and obviously I gave up, because I was madly in love with him. 
I explained to him that obviously the goals of a gay couple could not be those of a straight couple, that we would certainly not have had children and that on the other hand I had never considered cohabitation, because due to my family and work situation I couldn’t choose cohabitation nor be a declared gay. 
However, I added that in my opinion the fact of learning to love each other and doing many things together, such as travel, would have been more than important and satisfying. 
After that episode, our relationship became much stronger, although of course – as in all couples – there were lights and shadows. 
I would indeed have wished that we could spent more time together with him, also because we didn’t live at a great distance from each other and, since I lived alone, my house was always free. 
I understood that he needed to rest and to have his spaces, but I wanted more opportunities to be with him. 
We used to see each other only an hour after work during the week and only on Saturday afternoon. 
Then there were also some weekends together and holidays (but only for a week, because due to his work he couldn’t do more!) 
I remember once he told me all excited that on the radio he had heard of the “unpaired” guys and that he considered himself this way, that is to say as a person who loved couple life, but felt also very well when he was alone. 
A friend of mine in hindsight told me that Alberto probably had “a double life”, but I didn’t want to believe it. 
Unfortunately a constant in our relationship was from the beginning that I always had to make the first move to kiss him, to caress him with a gesture of tenderness, to make love. 
I was always the one who was the first to tell him that I loved him, that he was beautiful, and he only used to echo: “me too, me too”. 
When I asked him why he behaved so, his answer was “I don’t know”, although he once told me that I wasn’t his type physically. 
Then I was always the one who organized our activities, who found things to do together, ideas for the holidays … sometimes it seemed to me that I was more like a tourist entertainer than his boyfriend. 
I would have liked so much for him to go out with my friends, but he said that with too many unknown people he wouldn’t feel comfortable, although I told him that my friends knew about me and we wouldn’t have any problems. 
In our life as a couple there were also misunderstandings and difficulties, but in three years they were never so explosive as to lead us to write the final word. 
And on the other hand, Alberto never showed me reasons for discontent, on the contrary he often told me that being with me had made him a better person. 
Many times he also wanted to say the fateful phrase “I love you”, but I used to block him by telling him that love is a very, very big thing, that to be such it had to go through many trials. I really used to think of love according to the formula “In wealth and poverty, in health and disease” etc. etc.. 
Without knowing it, I had been prophetic! 
Then came the diagnosis of my illness and, as you can imagine, the world literally collapsed on me. 
From that moment I began to feel like I was already dead and to break away from of all the things that had been important in my life until then. 
Unfortunately Alberto was not able to stay close to me and I realized that consciously and unconsciously I made it difficult for him to stay close to me and that I pushed him away. 
I gradually worsened from a physical point of view and all the while I kept asking him if he really felt like staying close to me and if he really wanted to witness my physical decline. 
I was the first to let him understand what the difficulties of staying with me would have been, I never hid my conditions, my uncertainties about our future, my unease. 
I wanted him to be with me, but I also felt selfish and inadequate because I knew we could no longer do the things we did together and that had made our relationship so beautiful and carefree until then. 
His response to my solicitations was invariably: “let’s see how it goes”, while I would have liked to be told “I’ll always be by your side” or at least I wanted him to change his availability of time and attention towards me. 
Did I asked him for too much? Should I have made explicit what I wanted to hear? I believe that in his place I would have done everything to make him feel good. Of course, you could argue that I hadn’t chosen a mature person as a boyfriend, so why should I have expected maturity? 
As a provocation I told him – and I realize now that it was a cruel childishness – how he expected the new boyfriend to be. 
Then one night I fell in the street and my life got worse a lot. 
If until that moment I had succeeded, even if with difficulty, in walking and driving and living in my own house, after the fall I had to go home to my parents with all the problems related to having to return to live with elderly parents and to depend on them (thank goodness I have never come out to my family in all these years!). 
For the entire period of my convalescence we felt by telephone, but you know how they say “out of sight, out of mind” … He came to see me at my parents’ house only once. 
Obviously there was no talk of vacations together, nor of other entertainment together. 
Then when I was better he came sometimes to pick me up at my parents’ house and we went to my house, always and only on Saturday afternoon. 
We used to make love, to pamper ourselves, but you can understand that an atmosphere of sadness and uncertainty hung on our story. 
I was no longer the same cheerful and engaging boyfriend as before, how could I have been? 
I often asked him what he thought and what he felt and he said to me: “nothing”, but I saw him a little absent, nevertheless in the messages we exchanged he wrote that it was always nice to be with me. 
As always, in our relationship, it was I the one who had to find the courage to arrive at a clarification and a solution, because if it had depended on him we would have gone ahead with this ambiguity for who knows how long. 
Up to 15 days before the end of our story he came to bed with me and up to 9 days ago he called me “love, angel, darling”. 
I think I wouldn’t be so angry with him if he was more sincere: can I understand that he was afraid of my reaction, but hiding the truth didn’t it cause both of us more suffering? 
So I wanted a direct clarification and when we met, barely looking at my face, he told me that he had thought about it and that he thought it made no more sense to move forward because the circumstances had changed, above all my attitude towards him had changed. 
He also added that he wanted to leave me not because of my illness, but because he knew that whatever he said or did would end up disappointing me, displeasing me, making me feel bad. According to him for the entire duration of our relationship we have always tried to do the best thing for each other without knowing what it really was and in any case for him it was impossible to be with a man who wanted him and at the same time didn’t want him. Besides he couldn’t understand what was going through my head if I didn’t tell him. 
I replied that I was very amazed, because due to my habit of telling always the truth, all my life, people have always told me that I’m an open book, that people immediately understand what I think and what I feel and, according to me, it was he who never answered with sincerity when I asked him how he felt and what he thought. 
Then he turned the omelet again, saying that we both didn’t communicate openly for fear of hurting each other. 
I spare you all the accusations and counter-accusations of that painful afternoon, I only tell you that at the end of our “clarification” he proposed me to stay friends, as if we could wipe out everything that had existed between us, assuming that simple friendship was enough for me. 
I explained to him that maybe I was just a friend to him, but for me he would never have been just that. I still felt strong feelings for him despite everything and I told him that I was truly sorry that for him it was so easy to slip into a relationship of mere friendship, also because this probably meant that in three years he had not shared my own feelings. 
He had abandoned me as a boyfriend, how could I trust him as a friend? I don’t think I could have endured any further disappointment and in any case the wound was too recent. 
In the days following the end of our story, obviously I felt really in pieces, but I began to resign myself to the idea that I would never see or hear Alberto again. 
Instead, surprisingly, he started sending me messages to ask me how I was. 
They were so-called “neutral” messages, in which he did not lean on feelings he was really feeling. 
At first Alberto had a nostalgic and regretful tone, he told me that he had reviewed our photos together and that he felt guilty, without explicitly telling me he wanted to come back with me. 
Mostly he used to tell me in general that he wished I was fine, which used to make me angry because instead I felt badly and he wished me “happy birthday”, a rather unhappy expression, which is mostly used with terminally ill or toothless old aunts. 
I understand now that maybe it was his way to make me feel his closeness, to somehow save our relationship. 
The fact is, however, that for me to hear it was very painful, it was hurting to feel treated with cold courtesy. 
For me to hear him it was a continuous reopening of the wound of our separation, a constant reminder that my past as a healthy and happy man would never come back, that he would never be my boyfriend again. 
Moreover it served only to place me in front of the sad reality that in my future I will be destined to the sentimental solitude. 
No one likes to get in couple with a chronic patient. The truth is that I will no longer have caresses, hugs, kisses from a person who considers me special and who thinks of me as something more than a friend. 
I explicitly asked him not to contact me anymore and so far, to my great relief, he has not made himself heard. 
What to say? I do not regret having loved him with all of myself and I will never stop loving him, I really think I love Alberto, even though he hurt me deeply and I have definitely removed him from me. 
His escape is a typical reaction of a human being frightened, partly understandable and justifiable and certainly suffered and problematic. 
However, I still feel a lot of resentment towards him, above all because he never wanted to admit to having left me because of my illness and also because in other respects I felt deceived and in a sense “used”. 
I realized that it was probably an experiment for him that lasted three years, and then I realized also that in a couple the unsaid and personal interpretations are more important than what is said and lived together … unfortunately all that I learned I will carry it into my grave. 
Illness allowed me to discern clearly who loves me and who doesn’t and I must admit with bitterness that the man on whom I poured so much tenderness and in whom I placed so much trust perhaps never really loved me.”
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