HELL AND HEAVEN OF A GAY GUY

Hello Project, I wanted to tell you that for three weeks now I feel much better and it seems to me that I can get out of the black mood. It seems incredible, but it’s happening. Project, what you did for me has never been done by anyone and it seems incredible to me that you can create similar relationships even if you don’t even know who I’m, but it happens. In the last period everything has changed for me, apparently nothing has changed but I’m the one who has changed, I feel that I have changed and I owe it to you. You know all my story and you told me that there are other guys who live and have lived similar things and then I want to tell my story to those guys because not being alone and understanding that we are not alone, for those like me, is fundamental. Project, the story is long and I took so long to write it but I think it makes sense, because in the end I’m finding my way and so I finally feel free. Project, I tell you something true: I adopted you as a father! It’s something that I missed so much and I’m discovering beautiful things! (Thanks for the good wishes, you’re the only one who has remembered it!)

THE STORY OF PAUL

My name is Paul, I was born in Milan almost 28 years ago. If I look back at my childhood and adolescence I find no time in which I can say I was I don’t say happy but not even serene. My parents never got along, from the date of their marriage and from my date of birth I deduced that I was already arriving when they got married, which would not be a problem, but I don’t look like “my father” at all, under any point of view, just as far as genetic factors are concerned, and I think I’m not even a son of the man who married my mother, but I don’t know for sure and I cannot ask for something like that.

My parents (if they really are my parents), I remember that they often screamed and made spite. They had no other children and I was the object of contention, and I had many times, even as a child, the very clear feeling that “my father” didn’t want me because he knew I was not his son. My mother literally considered me a mess and tried to entrust me to relatives and to various campsites. From the age of eight, that is, since they divorced, they put me in a boarding school for rich people. My parents are economically wealthy. But the choice to send me to boarding school was just a way to disguise the fact that their wanted to get rid of me in order to continue living their lives without me. I was just one that had nothing to do with them.

The college was in a very nice place in the [omissis] area. They came to see me once in a while, usually once every three months, once he and one she. When the teachers told me that the next day my father or my mother would come, I felt really bad and I hated them as I think I never hated anyone.

When I was a kid I did not understand these things well and felt guilty because I hated my parents while teachers told me I should love them. In practice I grew totally alone, both during the school months and during the holidays. I specify that my college was totally male and managed by priests. A hateful place where with the excuse of letting me learn the discipline I was practically relegated as in prison. You learned hypocrisy, falsehood, and even the relationships with schoolmates were just of competition and constant acting, even in private.

My schoolmates waited at least for the summer holidays, I didn’t, because I would have ended up somewhere else like a parcel post. When my mother came to my boarding school, she took me to lunch outside and thought she had done her duty. We only talked about school and she tortured me for hours because she thought it was her duty to pay me a long visit. My father at least stayed very little. Both he and she gave me expensive gifts that I systematically threw away or gave away to someone soon after they left.

Since I was 15 years old they have not given me any more presents but they have thought to give me money and many. I never took that money and they considered me an imbecile for this too. So I was in a boarding school and I didn’t have a penny in my pocket.

The school was a real torture for me. In the fifth gymnasium ( 15th grade) I was rejected which meant another year in prison, I would have gone out of college only after have turned 20! Repeating the fifth gymnasium I met a guy that I liked a lot, I didn’t even understand why.

We were in a religious college and we had a spiritual father. So I started to masturbate thinking about that guy and I felt tremendous guilt. I told the priest that I was masturbating and he didn’t take it as a tragic thing, he always made the same speech and stopped there, but I didn’t say to the priest that I felt homosexual. Once I went badly in crisis and told him that I was gay. It was a terribly wrong choice! College life has become a torture. They controlled me visually as the rotten apple. I always had a priest nearby during my free time. In a first moment I tried to repress and control myself, that is, not to masturbate anymore and even to stop thinking about that guy, but it was a real torture. I resisted even three weeks by auto-imposing not to even think about sex but then I didn’t do it anymore and I masturbated again and I said: “Enough with these absurdities! Go to the hell!”

Since then I began to tell the spiritual father only false things: that I no longer thought of the boys and that I didn’t even masturbate anymore, but I presented it step by step to make it seem credible, I was 16 and a half years old. Naturally I went to church every day, confessed false things and made communion every day. It was a sacrilegious thing, I know, religion should be a free choice, while for me it was just an instrument of torture and frankly I didn’t feel guilty, and why, then? In our college there were never any common moments with other guys in a state of freedom.

At school we did physical education but in the afternoon, there was the gym, also very nice, but there were no locker rooms, no showers. We arrived wearing sports uniform and went away wearing sports uniform. Among other things, it was generally very cold there. We each had a single room with a private bathroom and shower. So I had no chance to see the boy I was interested in if not perfectly dressed, jacket and tie of the college.

I started masturbating since the 16 and a half, but in a place like that, without the internet (considered as the devil!) And without any chance to read an uncensored book or buy a newspaper, in practice, I did everything using fantasy. I selected someone among my classmates and built on them all my fantasies. The first times, this new regime seemed acceptable and even pleasant, then I began to realize that I was throwing my best years this way. The year of the final examination, in November, I also escaped from the college, I was of age, in fact I was almost 20 years old but I didn’t have a penny in my pocket. I arrived at the station after having walked a very long way and I got on a train without paying the ticket and I locked myself in the bathroom until the arrival in Milan so that they couldn’t detect me.

In the college room I had left a letter saying that I would be back in the evening. In Milan I realized for the first time, at almost 20, that the world existed, something that was shocking for me, I was late for years. In the afternoon I newly got the train with the same technique and I came back to the boarding school. Result: they kicked me out of the college! Finally! Of course they warned my parents, who were careful not to come and see what had happened. My mother gave me some money (a telegraphic order) and I have been in a hotel since then in the town near the college.

Then my mother found me a tiny apartment there and they transferred me to the state high school. There were the girls! I had never seen one before, but I wasn’t interested in girls. But the world of the state school was completely different. The professors sometimes even talked about sex, no one forced us to go to mass, there was no spiritual father and we did physical education in a gym with locker room and showers, I couldn’t even imagine a trauma bigger than that .

You might think that in a situation like this I felt good, but it was not like that at all. I felt desperately alone, full of complexes, I had entered the locker room just once for a moment, but after I saw my naked mates I didn’t enter there anymore. They were all there joking and having fun but I just felt the heart beating at 180. The feeling of loneliness and isolation was total. I had a mini-apartment all of my own and fortunately the feeling of solitude sometimes seemed a feeling of freedom.

To prepare the exam I bought a computer and there a new world opened in front of me. Avalanches of free gay sex, but those things sickened me. A few years ago even in porn things were different, they were more vulgar, more aggressive and I didn’t like them at all. When I masturbated thinking about my schoolmates I was fine but when I tried to imagine myself in scenes like the ones I had seen on porn sites I was nauseated. In practice I saw that gay content on the net was all sex but in the most vulgar sense of the term.

I studied very little that year because I had to grow up in many other things. In the end I passed the final examination with a very low rating. But at least the school’s torture was over. I was sorry because the following year there would be no more chance to see my schoolmates naked in the locker room, what, by the way, had almost never happened, but at least there was the possibility.

I leave my apartment and I move to Milan in another apartment paid by my parents. A minimal thing. My parents lived in Milan but I would never have gone to their home, now we no longer called each other not even by phone, after my escape from the college I was considered just a blockhead and the low-grade of my diploma was the further proof of it.

I enrolled in Engineering at the Polytechnic shortly after I turned 20. So many guys and beautiful, but I was totally unable to maintain contact with them even at the minimum level, I felt embarrassed, I felt them more grown up than I was in every sense, even if my classmates had a year less than me. I had tried everything: I enrolled in the gym and then I never went there, I tried to see if it was possible to study with some of my colleagues but always went wrong, they were real geniuses, and I understood little or nothing at all.

The first year I passed a single examination with 19 [18/30 is the minimum score to pass an exam]. At least it was not 18! The second year I newly attended the same courses of the first and I passed a single exam again but with 20! I was 22 years old I was basically a failure from all points of view. Bad university results, practically between university and school, three years lost. I tried to repeat again the first year, but I could not endure it anymore.

My colleagues were three years younger than me and they understood everything, I didn’t understand anything and I didn’t study anything, I felt essentially a failure. I sent everything to ruin, I bought things to eat that went bad in the fridge, sometimes I didn’t get up from bed all day, I ate very little and lose weight dramatically. I have arrived to weigh 55 kilos, even though I am not very tall it’s anyway very few.

At the age of 23 I changed faculty and moved to Economics. The thing was more human and at the end of the year, working at terrible rhythms, I managed to do almost all the exams of the first year. At least from that point of view things started working again. I took my first degree at the age of 27! After too many years lost! I did the first year of the specialistic but of the exams that were planned I did little more than a half because I started working and I finally cut the economic cordons with my family. From this point of view, let’s say, I managed to return to the surface, but my emotional life, in practice, until recently didn’t exist at all.

Since last year I discovered Gay Project and I must say that for me it was an important thing. I read the forum every day and the guys who write there, it seems to me I almost to know them in person, a little I feel them as friends, because I don’t have gay friends. So basically until this year my sexuality was only fancy and I thought that a real contact with a guy, that is, something that gives you a strong sexual emotion I would never have tried it.

I had practically resigned myself to such a thing, resigned badly, let’s say so, because sometimes I saw some nice guys, I wanted at least to try to talk with them but I couldn’t really and I felt a sense of extreme despair. Now I work as an accountant, in practice I verify the “form 730”, “Unique” and things like that, work of low labor, but all in all I can live of my own.

At work, a 26-year-old guy arrived, rather nice, that is, I like him and he also attracts me sexually. Since I met him, it has been my only sexual fixed idea. I think all of you have gone through things like that. First you start to masturbate thinking of that guy, then it comes to your mind that you don’t know if he’s gay, well, I’ve overcome all these things, he told me he’s gay because I would never had such a courage and he also said that he likes me.

He had tried a minimum of physical contact with me but I rejected him badly, I did a kind of hysterical scene and then I ended up to cry, just an attack of despair, he was in a tremendous embarrassment and I was sorry very much because in the end I wanted him but I rejected him so violently that he got really scared and started to keep me at a distance. I could not understand why if I wanted him, and I wanted him madly, in the end I had attacked him like that.

That’s where the Project forum happened to me and I said to myself: I try, so what do I have to lose? And I called. At first a tremendous embarrassment. From what I’ve read many guys talk about sex in a very casual way but I just couldn’t.

The first time, we talked for hours but always in a very vague, and never about sex, I thought that Project was tired but no. Then I called him back, but still without talking about sex, the third time he called me, I was not expecting it and I was very happy and even the third time we didn’t talk about sex. In fact I had been looking for Project just to talk about sex and instead a very strange relationship was created which I was not really used to. A man that could be my father was talking with me for hours, he listened to me, a very strange feeling. I asked him why he was listening to me and he told me that he was at ease and in fact I was fine too, so I found the courage and told him about me, telling him a little about the story you read up to now. I also said of the anxiety that takes me when I’m with my friend and that I thought I would never be able to have a sexual contact with him.

One thing struck me: de-dramatization. Project took it for granted that it would not be a big problem and that it would be resolved soon and well. We talked about sexuality very freely. Well it was remarkable: I had no inhibitions, something that had never happened to me before when the talk ended up on sexual issues. I never thought I could talk freely with a man of that age and instead it just happened. Then in the following days, we talked often. If I have to tell the truth I felt the affection of Project, the attention to what I said and what I am.

Why did I write all this post? Well, the reason is one, yesterday, for the first time, I managed to kiss that guy. I had never experienced anything like this, just a feeling of total mutual abandonment. The time that stops and you end up to merge with another guy, a wonderful thing, let’s tell it, because of these things I’m not ashamed anymore, the excitement was such that I came to orgasm for a kiss! When I told this to Project, he told me some beautiful things. It’s true Project, being gay is a beautiful thing and makes you forget so many bad things you’ve been through. Now I consider that guy as my boyfriend, and he thinks the same! Guys! Never let anyone throw you down! I now feel like another person!

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VISCOUS GAY RELATIONSHIPS

Hello Project, I’m a 22-year-old guy, from Lombardy, who has felt gay from the beginning, no problem of acceptance. I call you because I think I put myself in a mess. I am in love for two years now with a beautiful guy that I know very superficially, I don’t know if he is gay or not, I tried to understand it, but only spying a bit his behavior. This guy works in a bar near the university. Needless to say that I always go there to have breakfast, he was formal at the beginning, then he started to smile to me a bit and now when he sees me he says hello but we never talked neither a bit. Basically it’s been two years since when I see that guy and every time I see him I feel a knot in my stomach. 
He’s not just beautiful, it’s sweet but sweet as only a guy can be sweet. I’m at the point that if the morning he is not there or he doesn’t tell me that magic hello I’m sick, I miss him, I miss him just so damned. He has a beautiful, sexy voice in the most beautiful sense of the term. In practice it is now two years that I masturbate only thinking of him, the other fantasies have all passed away. I dream of being near him, of feeling his warmth of being able to hug him and then all the rest, I don’t write it but you can imagine it. I think that with him I would be very sweet. I told myself a thousand times that it makes no sense but for me there is only him, that is, I don’t think that any other guy could be able to make me experience what I experience with him. On him, unfortunately rarely, I make erotic dreams of an indescribable sweetness, just the sweetest things one could ever imagine. A smile and a hello coming from that guy make me happy. 
 
But there is another part of my life that really keeps me in anguish. I have a cousin who is a year older than me and who attends my same faculty, let’s call him Mark. Last summer our families went to the beach together and so we saw each other every day. I have known him from childhood because he is my cousin but we didn’t see each other very much because he lived for many years in another city. Once, at the seaside, we started talking about sex. He began to say that he had never had a girlfriend, that he felt alone, that he was afraid that he would remain alone his whole life and things like that, but he was very hesitant, he said that his life would never make sense, he was almost crying, I had never seen him like this.
 
The speech became very engaging I had the intuition that my cousin was gay and then I loosed my self control and I made him guess that I was gay too. We hugged, at first it was instinctive but then that hug lasted a bit too much and was too tight and I began to feel not at ease and I turned Mark away and he felt very bad and got caught up in despair. I didn’t I know what to do, and I embraced him again, but again I didn’t like it but I couldn’t move him away again and then I tolerated it, but I should say that I suffered it. He did nothing, he just hugged me, but there was something excessive that I didn’t like.
 
Then we came home and that day ended there, but only for that day. Mark started to stick to me in all ways, he always wanted to be with me, when I went out with my friends he pouted and it seemed that he felt really bad and maybe he felt really bad and then I sometimes started to give up hanging out with my friends. I had never done it! In practice I could never go out with anyone else, only with my cousin!
 
For a while he limited himself to this, then he began to feel guilty because he fell in love with me and I had to try to tell him that there was no fault in this, but it was not enough for him and he wanted me to tell him that I loved him and I ended up telling him because I couldn’t resist and then he started to analyze the phrases that I had had to tell him by force reflecting on every single word, he told me that I was holding myself back too much and that I had to dare a lot more with him.
 
One day he tells me that he must confess to me a terrible thing and after an endless story (I felt sorry for him) he tells me that he masturbated thinking of me. I tell him that more or less I expected it and that it didn’t upset me too much, but it was not enough for him, he wanted to know if I had ever masturbated thinking of him, but I had in mind the guy of the bar and thinking of Mark as a sexual fantasy didn’t even go through my mind.
 
He asks me who I think of when I do it and I tell him I think of the guy of the bar. He submits me to an interrogation, he wants to know what I did with that guy, I tell him: nothing! At the beginning he doesn’t believe it, then he asks me if he’s gay, I tell him I don’t know and he gives me a whole sermon about the fact that it makes no sense to fall in love with a straight guy. I know that in theory it is so but in the first place the guy of the bar could also be gay and I think he is gay, and secondly, in every sense, an hetero like the guy of the bar is better than a gay like my cousin.
 
After this talk he got a bit detached from me but he started not to leave the house anymore, my aunt was worried, he told me: Mark feels really bad, but what happened to him? But do you know anything about it? I told my aunt that I didn’t know anything, but in the end they forced me out with my cousin sometimes.
 
The embarrassment could be cut with a knife, I just didn’t want him to get close to me and I kept him at a distance and he was very upset. In practice now he comes to class just to see me, not even to talk to me, because we don’t speak at all, but he must let  his presence weigh, it seems to me an emotional blackmailing. He’s always distracted, I don’t think he’ll ever take an exam. He feels betrayed by me, but I never encouraged him, exactly never, he did everything by himself.
 
But the problem is not even the fact that he is nagging but the fact that I see him really bad, he seems one that really suffers. Now, tell me, what should I do? If it were for me maybe I would go close to him and I would try to maintain a relationship, but it would not be the relationship he wants. That is, if I keep him away from me it’s bad for him, if I get close to him, it’s all the same because it’s not what he wants. So how should I behave? I would not be bad with Mark because after all with me he has always been honest and he never put me in really unpleasant situations, but I don’t want to end up having to say (or, worse, to do) things I don’t want to say (or to do). Perhaps my problem is a bit unusual but for the moment it is my real problem.
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LOVE STORIES OF A GAY EIGHTEEN YEAR OLD

First of all, thanks for last night’s chat. You will understand that at 18, for one who has always tried not to see, finding the courage to write you was very difficult, but I’m glad I did. I expected a standard answer, let’s say a schematic thing, and I was struck by the kind of response, very direct. When I asked you to chat, I didn’t know what you would answer, but a minute later we were on Skype. Maybe the fears of a boy like me will make you smile, but I cannot talk to anyone seriously and for me to be able to talk about certain things means to understand that I must not be afraid. 
 
I have always lacked a family from my childhood, I had a family but only in name, my father thinks only of his things and my mother cares about me and my sister just like a duty always puffing and making us notice (especially at me) that for her we are only a ball and chain. My mother is convinced that she is an excellent mother and that she has sacrificed herself for us from morning to night and in a sense it is true, but she is not a mother, she is a super-nanny.
 
My father, when I try to tell him two words, makes me point out that he has no time, that he has other things to do and that what I wanted to tell him can be said later, he always postpones  my sister’s things and mine, because he has to think about work , always and only about work.
 
How can I tell my parents that I’m gay? I think that, very simply, they wouldn’t believe it, they are young, my father is 44 and mother 42, but they are straight and for them the world ends there. When there is a program on television that also speaks about gays, they don’t make homophobic comments, none of this, simply they change the channel, without even noticing, as if they had ended up by mistake on a channel that talks about how the cucumbers are cultivated in Arizona.
 
Besides, I would not bear at all the idea of being sent by a psychologist, and what for? I don’t have problems with my being gay, I feel great. One of my schoolmates is a gay, publicly declared, I don’t like him at all, he is a very good guy, but I really don’t like him physically, he is not effeminate at all but he isn’t certainly the guy of my dreams My classmates are not homophobic, my gay friend is not teased or bullied, the others simply consider him a bit like a Martian.
 
One day a friend of mine was talking to this gay guy and said to him: “I have nothing against gays, but I never understood how you, who are basically a boy like us, can do without girls and how can you run after guys “. This is the attitude that I see around me. I know that there is much worse, but even this feeling like a Martian is not at all pleasant. You can well understand that coming out at school and being treated like my gay friend doesn’t attract me at all.
 
As for love stories, my fantasies are enough for me. Two years ago I fell in love with a boy 18 years old, who was very handsome and fascinated me a lot because he was very calm, never aggressive and even though I was younger than him, the times that we talked, he took me as a guy his age. Then he graduated and left and I didn’t see him anymore, he was also a straight guy, I didn’t have the slightest doubt about that.
 
There is a guy in my class who likes me, that is, compared to the handsome boy of two years ago …  no! There’s no possible  comparison, but among others he is the one  I more look at, but then, when I speak with him, all my fantasies vanish, he is very full of himself, he tells me all the things he will do at university and later, but he seems to me a bit like an inflated balloon. Can you see him as a scientist, one who lacks satisfactory qualifications in mathematics? I don’t believe him will become a scientist! So, let’s say that as far as love stories I’m at zero.
 
There is a guy I like a lot in every sense but he is not in my class and I can exchange with him just a few words when there is the assembly, but I really like him a lot. He’s tall, thin, smiling, blond, with light eyes, just like the guys I like and then he’s smart, when he intervenes he amazes me for what he says, and he’s one who talks little, he also has a very sexy voice and beautiful hands. On this guy I tried to gather information, first of all to know if he has a girlfriend and doesn’t have one! Then to understand how he thinks about gays and I once heard one of his speeches in the assembly when he was talking about this and I noticed that he had a very particular way of expressing himself.
 
I’ll give you an example. Another guy, to say that gays mustn’t be marginalized, said that they should not be marginalized because “those are like us!” And therefore practically said to be a straight guy who accepts gays, while the guy that I like never did a distinction between “us” and “they”, he never said things that implied that he was straight, and this switched on a light bulb in my brain. . . he doesn’t have a girlfriend, talking about gays he doesn’t distinguish between us and them . . . well, objectively they are not very strong arguments but it is clear that the speech needs to be deepened and that it makes sense to try to understand something more.
 
I don’t think this guy has ever noticed me because I speak little, I don’t intervene in the assembly and I’m afraid to say nonsense, so I don’t show myself too much, however, with this guy  some things have happened that I liked a lot. During the assembly many guys were in the yard to smoke and we were there too, even if we don’t smoke, then the others came back to the assembly, I stayed out, I expected him to enter and instead he stayed out talking with me sitting on the steps, it seemed to me like a dream. I don’t want to overestimate the fact but he stayed there for me. We did not know what to say, neither he nor I, it was a moment of sweet embarrassment, but it ended immediately because a teacher passed and made us come back to the assembly.
 
Then there was another episode, there was a conference about the nuclear physics in the afternoon and there were very few people, there were no one of his classmates and he sat next to me in an almost empty room, I felt his warmth.
 
When it was over he offered me a coffee at the coffee machine and asked me what I had understood about everything they had said, and I told him that I was just thinking about something else and he replied: “Me too. . . ” and he gave a beautiful smile, I asked him about what had he thinking and he replied: “I think you know, but let’s change the subject, ok?” It was a very intense moment but then we talked about other things.
 
Is it possible that he too is interested in me? You don’t have an idea of how such a thing would make me happy. I don’t even care if he’s gay (of course it would be ideal!). It would be enough for me to have him only as a friend. Here he’s my dream of love: a handsome guy, intelligent and in love with me! Maybe it’s too much to ask, but I will not give him up because there’s something on its side too. Now I leave you and wish you a good week. 
Thanks for everything.
Mathew
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GAY AFFECTIVITY

Gay affectivity
 
This chapter was built exclusively on the basis of the experience gained in Project Gay, it is an objectively limited point of view that focuses mainly on undeclared gay guys, the average age of these guys is around 26 years, starting from 16/17 up to 40 and over.
 
The object of the survey is the set of emotional relationships of a gay guy, from familiar relationships to those with friends and those related to the love life, in other words we try to understand what can objectively contribute to individual well-being and what are the factors that for this purpose have greater weight.
 
Family affectivity and coming out
 
The awareness of being gay is not traumatic in itself but because it is hypothesized that being gay involves a condition of substantial separation, even if not always of objective exclusion, from the family and from social environment.
 
A gay guy very often realizes that he is living in an environment with which he cannot have direct dialogue and clearly perceives environmental and family homophobia. In other words, a gay guy often feels himself out of the family environment and out of the peer group, right because of his being “a gay guy” and hence derives the importance that many gay guys attach to the coming out (more or less enlarged) that is supposed to be the keystone for a full integration into the social and family environment of a guy as a gay.
 
All this is based on the often unrealistic assessment that the misunderstanding between a gay guy and his family or a gay guy and his social environment derives from the lack of clarity on the part of the gay guy rather than from ignorance and environmental homophobia.
 
A gay boy blames himself for not declaring himself to his parents and his friends and identifies the causes of his own marginalization precisely in the lack of clarity that he uses towards friends and family.
 
Not declaring themselves, especially in contexts that push towards coming out, is experienced with guilt, as a form of deception perpetrated against family and friends.
 
The push towards the coming out, which appears to be a push towards honesty and transparency, is greatly reinforced by the assumption, or rather we should say from the presumption a priori, that the family and friends are able to really understand and accept the situation.
 
 In totally unprepared environments, the coming out can create situations of serious discomfort, on the verge of intolerability, because usually the reaction is not a clear refusal but a disguised refusal often accompanied by the parent’s feeling of guilt for not having been in able to grow “well” the son. The punishment for this alleged fault consists in having to keep the child as he is and trying to love him “in spite of everything”.
 
Similar attitudes, for the guys who have come out in the family turn out to be more destructive than the sense of generic loneliness and non-inclusion that had preceded the coming out.
 
Friendship affectivity and coming out
 
Even with friends, with very few exceptions, guys soon realize that the coming out doesn’t lead to true integration but to an integration “as gay”, that is, the identification tag objectively makes a difference unbridgeable. After the coming out, often, the situation becomes worse than before and the feeling of marginality and loneliness is exacerbated.
 
Affectivity research and gay sexual research
 
After the phase of the search for family and social integration, the search for solutions oriented towards the gay reality begins. It is realized that with other gay boys a dialogue of another level is really possible, but often the idea of a more direct and immediate dialogue is mixed up with the sexual research.
 
Every effort must be made to represent things in realistic terms, trying to avoid the mysticim of gay affectivity. I mean that not only sexual research should not be underestimated but it must be realized that it is a fundamental element for the growth and emotional stability of any person. The overlapping and integration of affective research and sexual research has nothing pathological and one should be amazed, if anything, by the excess of sublimation on one side and the excess of affective aridity on the other.
 
For a gay guy, as for any guy, sexuality has a fundamental role that must be understood and valued. In the context of sexuality, given the difficulty for a gay guy to find the sexual availability of another guy, masturbation takes on a particularly important meaning, especially when any couple sexual experience is virtually impossible.
 
Even pornography, when it does not create real forms of addiction, should not be demonized. The discovery of online pornography occurs at a very early age and often in a period concomitant with that of the discovery of masturbation. The first contacts with the pornography of preadolescents are frenetic, pornography becomes in practice in many cases a reality that dominates for a while the whole horizon of sexuality, but in the late adolescence needs of affective character mature and gradually lead to a certain devaluation of pornography and even masturbation takes on a more typically affective dimension, that is, it is considered as an integral part, even if projective, of a love relationship.
 
It is a fact that guys and in particular gay guys are very selective in the use of pornography, they are looking for videos that have actors of a few and specific physical types and especially videos that concretize situations that they would like to live in reality. In fact, masturbation with fantasies related to experiences really experienced is much more engaging than that related to pornography because it has a root in concrete experience.
 
While masturbation keeps over time a fundamental role, pornography tends to lose importance over the years and, in a good percentage of cases, certainly not marginal, guys quickly move to the phase of erotic chats and dating sites and here takes place a phenomenon similar to the one that happens at the time of the discovery of pornography: guys realize that having sex on cam with strangers is easy as well as not risky in terms of disease prevention.
 
Then begins a phase of frantic search for virtual sexual contacts. At first the thing is very engaging, even if often accompanied by feelings of guilt, then, over time, guys realize that all this is missing something that is easily identified with the physical presence of the other, the jump towards meeting sites follows, which is objectively much more risky both at the social level and at the level of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
 
But even the meetings organized in the sites, except for very rare exceptions, are unsatisfactory, often the reason is found in the fact that the other is not exactly the one you were looking for, so you switch to a new experience and then to another and so on. The dating sites are likely to be the arrival station for many people, but in many cases guys ask themselves what is missing in all this and they finally discover the correct answer: in such experiences there isn’t any true affective dimension.
 
Economic model of gay affectivity
 
In what does gay affectivity materialize? The answer should be sought by keeping in mind the common overlap-confusion of two concepts: sex and love that often moves people away from a more complex conception of affectivity. I mean that affectivity can certainly be sexualized but in many cases it presents itself and is objectively completely independent of sexuality. A genuinely emotional relationship is born in a totally spontaneous way and above all it is not conditioned by anything, it exists, if it exists, only for its own strength, outside and often against any mechanism of control.
 
The economic view of affectivity is very common; balance of giving and taking, emotional investment, convenience, emotional failure, are all expressions derived from the world of economics. After all, the economic models dominate in many sectors and it is almost automatic to apply them also to emotional life, hence the idea of marriage and in general of emotional relationship as a “contract” in which one is bound to an exchange of services and offer certain guarantees and also the idea of an emotional relationship based on the possession of the other. In reality, the economic reading of affectivity is the cause of the failure of many marriages and many couple relationships.
 
Weak and gratuitous affectivity – Emotional affinity
 
The affectivity is not totally neither even essentially linked to the life of a couple, it is a much weaker concept, that is much less binding and contractual, but at the same time much more widespread and pervasive. Affectivity is the basis of a deep, spontaneous human relationship and responds to ancestral mechanisms aimed at mutual gratification and at creation of weak but lasting relationships on which the balance of individuals is based.
 
Affectivity tends to be a weak but stable aggregative force because it is independent of external factors and in large part also of the behavioral responses of the other. This identifies the gratuitousness of the affective dimension that gives without asking, even if it is not addressed to everyone but to a fairly small number of individuals who perceive themselves as emotionally similar.
 
Affectivity does not intervene towards people  who are perceived as a potential danger for their unpredictability, but only when the behavior of the other is in some way predictable and judged honest, that is, driven only by affective categories and not by other aims. Affectivity comes into play when there is recognition of a basic affinity in spontaneous reaction mechanisms.
 
Where there is something dissonant, that is, a stranger or not understandable, affectivity doesn’t intervene and the unconscious and subliminal communication mechanisms don’t work, where on the contrary affectivity intervenes, most of the communication doesn’t need words or abstract conceptualizations and people get in touch with each other  essentially through a subliminal communication easily deciphered because the communication code is substantially the same.
 
The affective dimension creates a form of communion-communication for which defensive shields vanish and the learning of behaviors, of ways of doing, of saying, of physically posing of  the other is much facilitated, but all this remains at the subliminal level.
 
Free friendship and instrumental friendship
 
The typically affective relationship is friendship, it is a fundamental and spontaneous interpersonal relationship that does not create bonds but is able to minimize the feeling of marginality and non-inclusion that so many gay guys experience.
 
Unfortunately, friendships are often considered as a kind of technique for the satisfaction of other needs (mostly linked with sexuality), in this way friendship is subordinated to something else and loses its essential character of absolute gratuity. However, it cannot be taken for granted that the intervention of sexuality in a relationship of friendship is always conditioning and destructive, there are friendships that are substantially independent on the sexual involvement that anyhow accompany them, such friendships are not lost when the sexual interest that had been, at least partially, the glue of the friendship, vanishes. However, if the so-called friendship was exclusively instrumental for sexual purposes, when the sexual relationship ends, the relationship of friendship highlights all its weakness and vanishes in a short time.
 
Friendship between gays
 
Friendship does not constrain, does not limit, but opens up a way of communication between people who feel similar. Of course, the affinity can be of various degrees; if this affinity is truly profound, friendship is very firm. In this sense, sexual orientation plays an important role because in a friendly relationship the affinity of experience is a fundamental element. A gay guy uses a communication code that doesn’t coincide with the one used by hetero guys, the messages are different and more cryptic,  the unsaid is much more important than the said, but a code like that for another gay, and especially for another near and congenial gay, is instead understandable and the discourse develops in depth even in the absence of many words.
 
Affective equilibrium
 
The affective equilibrium is a psycho-physical state of well-being that gives the perception of being inserted into a network of protection and therefore also of not being alone anymore. This protection network is not a constraint and above all it does not depend on any condition other than being oneself and triggers itself only when one really needs it.
 
The certainty of the existence of this network of protection derives from the fact that the presence of the other is is something that can not be doubted, it may be missing for a period but neither of the partners thinks, plans or even foresees the end of the friendship. These are not necessarily constant relationships, are often suspended but are anyway real because they reacquire their concreteness whenever the need of them arises. Just a few words, a smile, the availability that does not lack at all, the perception of the attention of the other are enough to prove that the relationship of friendship has not been broken.
 
The construction of true friendships with other gay guys turns out to be the keystone of individual well-being. When a couple relationship goes into crisis, there is a bad feeling of disappointment and abandonment, but if the protection network made up of friendships actually works, if they are true friendships, the crisis is overcome and is not in itself destructive; feeling deprived at the same time of all emotional relationships, lose all friendships and have to start everything from scratch would be quite different. Such a trauma would actually be destructive and would compromise the emotional stability of an individual in a very heavy way.
 
There are no formal affinities of any kind that can constitute deep bonds like the spontaneous bonds emerging from affectivity. To be friends it is certainly not enough to be both gay or have in common a political ideal or a religious belief. There is no associationism that can replace the emotional relationships because such relationships that have their own motivations and their mechanisms and cannot be assimilated to anything else. I add a last but fundamental observation: true emotional relationships, those who create a deep contact between persons, are always reciprocal, are not the result of an act of will and less than ever of an individual act of will. The lack of reciprocity is not a defect of the relationship but a spy of its inexistence. But reciprocity is not reciprocity of behavior but reciprocity of affective dispositions, it is mutual interest, mutual respect, it is perceiving the other as a peer.
 
Sexuality as a substitute of affectivity
 
Talking with gay guys of all ages, I happened several times to realize how sexuality often has in reality a substitute value of affectivity and how this substitution is inefficient and disappointing. I am not sexuophobic, but I don’t believe that sexuality per se represents the basis of a person’s well-being. If sexuality has also a strong emotional, communicative basis of human warmth, then it becomes one of the most powerfully stabilizing elements of the personality, but if it is detached from the emotional dimension it often ends up being the manifestation of an unease.
 
I have seen many times sexually available guys systematically escaping the concrete opportunities to create an important emotional relationship and I asked myself why affectivity can be scary and from what I see the only credible answer lies in the fact that an important emotional relationship is seen as a narrow, constrictive bound imposed to freedom. Behind this way of seeing things there is often the memory of difficult family experiences, in which the affective dimension has been used as a means of restraining and controlling individual freedom, but beyond that there is also the model of couple linked to the traditional idea of marriage as the bond of a monogamous and essentially irreversible union.
 
When overprotective parents, who are unable to really get in touch with sons, experience with anxiety the freedom of their sons who move away from the family, they tend, even unconsciously, to make their sons feel the emotional relationship with them more as a bond than as a security. It is the typical educational model: “If you love me you have to do what I say”.
 
The fear of falling in love is also linked to another concept, namely the idea of avoiding the “compromise” that is very often the basis of the couple life. I mean that guys who avoid building emotional relationships to safeguard their freedom, avoid in practice to enter into relationships of which they are not really convinced, that is, they are much more selective than the average in the search for a partner because they don’t want to pursue the idea of the “couple for the couple” but want a couple that is not based on a compromise.
 
It is often very easy to slip from relationships of superficial knowledge toward very tight and binding forms of involvement that don’t have a really strong emotional basis. The guys who don’t seem to like the couple life tend to follow a reasoning that seems strange from the outside, but that actually has a very precise meaning, they say that one thing is “to love a guy”, even if it is the case, with a bit of sex, and a very different thing is finding a partner. Typical is the expression: “I like him, but I’m not in love with him, while I’m really madly in love with that other guy, and I would stay in couple with him!”
 
The discriminating element between liking someone and falling in love with him is clearly of a sexual nature and this is certainly not a trivial thing. A guy who seems to be afraid of couple life and who generally tends much more to protect his freedom is willing to sacrifice it “only” to build a stable relationship with a guy who involves him very strongly on a sexual level. The reasoning is absolutely straightforward: a basically definitive choice must have a strong motivation at its base and sexual interest is one of the components, if not the essential component, of a really strong interest.
 
Failure of couple life
 
If we look at the reasons for the failure of many couples, when there is a mutual esteem and affection in spite of everything, we find in the first place the fading of sexual interest, in most cases from only one part. A couple made of people all in all serious and balanced, doesn’t work when the sexual drive towards the partner is missing even from only one side.
 
When this happens, one has to wonder if that sexual drive has ever been real or has been replaced by a fragile condescension due perhaps to the need not to be alone. Most likely the couple who goes into crisis after a few months, was couple born on a compromise, in which, on the one side at least, there was no real sexual drive.
 
A few decades ago, it was quite usual to find arranged marriages due to the intervention of the families. In such situations, the couple’s true glue was given by the social approval that didn’t propose but imposed on the spouses a life in which sexuality became a secondary variable aimed at the birth of children. In such situations, on the side of the husband, having a lover represented the tacitly tolerated answer to the enslavement of sexuality in marriage; on the part of the wife, obedience and submission were proposed as a religious and consoling value, taking the total frustration of female sexuality for granted and inevitable.
 
This model of couple life has inevitably been exported also to the gay field. Obviously, given the lack of sons and also the lack of formalization of the relationship in a union basically indissoluble as in marriage, the gay couple born on a compromise is characterized by a greater fragility than that of arranged marriages. It should be added that the low social visibility of gay couples greatly reduces the fear of social reactions (the scandal) that used to slow down the crisis of the marriage or at least to reduce its visibility.
 
Affectivity crisis and non-affective sexuality
 
So far we have analyzed the motivations that cause certain guys to avoid easy emotional ties, it is a matter of strong motivations but, nevertheless, the renunciation of the precarious stability typical couples born on a compromise, especially when family relationships are in crisis and friendships remain superficial or conflictual, involves a sense of emptiness, of suspended life, increases the perception of the passage of time and inevitably leads to the search for values substitutive of affectivity and the only concrete answer is to try to replace affectivity with sexuality but, obviously, with a non-affective sexuality, with a result that seems to re-propose on the sexual level the idea of a couple based on a compromise that had already been excluded on the emotional level.
 
It is true, however, that we are almost never dealing, objectively, with couples arose from a sexual compromise because the basic requirement of stability is lacking, i.e. the constraint that is automatically excluded in the name of the protection of individual freedom and obviously lacks also the exclusivity. I would like to clear the field from moralistic prejudices. The only real risk of these behaviors is sexual promiscuity that, if not accompanied by the systematic use of appropriate forms of prevention, significantly increases the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
 
In terms of social relationships, guys who are not inclined to forming couples based on a compromise often encounter misunderstandings, are considered in some way dependent on sex and, moreover, on a promiscuous sex, because the idea of a couple based on a compromise, on a social level, is considered, let me use the game of words, a good compromise between sexual needs and stability, where stability means adapting to compromise, which is the most condemned behavior in words, and nevertheless the most widespread in reality.
 
The real problem of guys who tend to substitute affection with promiscuous sexuality lies in the fact that the partners they relate to, in general, reason in the most common way, i.e. they tend to create compromise couples, without major problems, when they meet guys sexually available, because they take for granted that sexual availability automatically involves a similar affective availability, what in the situations we are talking about is not realistic.
 
So two very different mentalities meet and the misunderstandings can be profound and lacerating because both partners feel they are judged and misunderstood in things that seem fundamental and obvious to them. It is precisely this mechanism that prevents the consolidation of relationships that are born on the sexual level and fuels the promiscuity of young people who don’t want to create compromise couples.
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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-affectivity

 

GAY DIGNITY

Hi Project, I allow myself to call you so,  as everybody do, as far as I see. Congratulations for your blog and for the forum, lately I have spent a lot of time on the forum because I wanted to understand the lives of other gay guys. And really I gained a correct knowledge about such arguments. 
 
But now the thing that complicates my life more is not being gay, I know in practice that I’m so since I was little, my real problem (but maybe it’s not even a problem) is that recently I gave a radical breakthrough to my life because at my house, or better at my parent’s house, I felt spied on.
 
I turned 18 a few months ago and I thought I would be entitled to some privacy and instead I didn’t have any privacy. My parents are relatively young 41 years my father and 39 my mother, so in theory a bit of dialogue there could also be, they are not bigots and in many things like going out at night or staying to sleep by friends they have never created problems , and then they are from the left, always talk about freedom, about this and that but never about freedom of gays!
 
Once a couple of years ago I was with them and with a group of daddy’s friends and the talk about gays came out, while the others really seemed people who think that between a gay and a hetero there is no difference, for my father it was not like that, he used to put on “if” and “but” and such a thing gave me an enormous annoyance.
 
But this was two years ago and then it was just me the one who knew that I was gay, only I knew it and they certainly didn’t suspect it in the least. In February of this year the usual speeches began to come out: “All your friends have a girlfriend” but so only mentioned, without even adding the rest, because it was anyhow very clear, I was caught off guard and I reacted a little embarrassed. From this I believe the suspicions and the witch hunt began.
 
Apparently it was all like before, but I noticed something strange in the speeches and in the tone of the voices and I didn’t like it at all. Do you have anything to say? Well, then come on! Do it openly! But hypocrisy I cannot stand it at all!
 
Project, you must understand that in my house I have never had anything gay except in the computer. Until a short time ago I didn’t even have a computer of mine and I accessed the internet from that of dad and when they began to suspect I still used dad’s computer, who, being administrator, could access all the files, even mine, as well if they were password protected.
 
After the talk about my friends who have a girl, which had put me very alarmed, I immediately opened the computer and deleted all the gay files, even those most vaguely gay. I used to keep them all in a special folder where it was written “Exercises of Mathematics”, but evidently sometimes, in a hurry to close everything (because when my parents arrived suddenly, they didn’t have to find me on gay sites), I must have left behind a file “vaguely gay” (then I’ll tell you what it is, because it concerns you) out of the folder, so when I changed the contents of the folder and I actually put there the true math exercises that I had kept elsewhere, I forgot to delete the “vaguely gay” file that was left out. What do I mean by “vaguely gay”? I mean no photos, no videos, and here I come to your forum, in fact I had made a copy of the post “How I realized I was gay” because I liked it too much. I, after deleting the contents of the “Exercises  of Mathematics” folder, felt calm  since I thought there were no more gay files in the computer, and I had also cleared the “recent files” section on Word that resulted perfectly empty.
 
I started using the computer even when there were my parents, as I had never done before. A little time after the speech about friends who have a girl, I open the computer (if you remember, before closing it the last time, I had obviously deleted all the chronology and the “recent files” on Word), the chronology is still empty, I think it is clear that no one has put his hands on the computer, but then I open Word and I click on “file” and  on “recent files” I see “How I understood to be gay”. But I had perfectly cleared that section … it’s a clear sign that my father has opened that file and had read it.
 
The world had literally felled on me, I felt a horrible feeling, just to be badly caught red-handed, the feeling of being spied on by my father who had come to understand. I swear to you, Project, a horrible feeling. If I want to tell you, I must tell you! But you don’t have to be spying on me, something like that is shameful. Anyway I felt really badly. I expected that in a few hours the showdown would have come, now I was determined and I would have told him everything anyway, I had been discovered and I had nothing to lose, it was March 21 (first day of spring and I had just 18 years), I will never forget that day because it marked my total divorce from my family.
 
Contrary to the predictions, my father, when he returned home, didn’t say anything and I hated him for this and he did as if not nothing had happened, practically from the 21st of March between me and my parents there was no more a serious relationship, only hypocrisy.
 
Ah, I remember now an important thing, when I turned 18 (early March) and they already suspected something, they had proposed me to have a party at home and I had sent them to hell  (Project, I had written another expression but I changed it out of respect for you!), I had sent them to hell with education that is with hypocrisy because the party at home served to spy on me in situation and only for this.
 
My parents are in good economic condition and, perhaps unconsciously, but perhaps not, they thought they were very important to me at least from that point of view. Well, I didn’t want to know anything about their money and their hypocrisy. I’m a gay guy, I’m alone and maybe I’ll always be alone, my problem is not that of  finding a guy, I live well alone, my problem is to be free, not dependent on anyone and less than ever on my father and my mother. I started doing some chores in the afternoon, I work from 15.00 to 20.00 in a pizzeria to prepare all the material for the chefs for the evening, they give me 500 euros a month, but it’s my money.
 
My parents didn’t know where I was going in the afternoon, but I went to work, and to do a job that would have seemed absolutely unacceptable to them, but for me it was a liberation, I used to come home dead of exhaustion, because they made me work hard, and I put myself to study, at school I lost positions, first I was good, then I settled for the passable, but I felt free. I no longer asked for money for clothes or shoes, I paid for everything with my money, I bought only very cheap things, but they were mine! I got also to buy a laptop because I hadn’t used anymore my father’s computer and finally I put there everything I wanted, I activated many passwords and I always left it around.
 
My parents didn’t understand who had given me the money to buy the computer and were worried, I don’t know, they perhaps thought that I was prostituting myself or that I had found a lover much older than me who had given me expensive gifts, but I left them fry and I answered only: “It’s my business”. My father has been stupid enough to make the big voice: “As long as you stay here we must know what life you do!” I swallowed the bitter morsel because I could not reply but I worked hard to found a radical solution, I had insisted with the pizzeria and they hired me as a waiter, I had to work every night from 19.00 to 24.00 and on Sundays all day from 10.00 to 24.00, I take 900 euros of pay, but these are regular things, it’s a terribly tiring job and sometimes in the evening I cannot even stand up, but I can survive alone.
 
Through the pizzeria I was able to meet a lady who rented a little apartment in the suburbs for 300 euros a month, a rather shabby place, on the top floor, without a lift, with a piece of land in front of it that looks like a dump, but it’s mine! When I signed the contract I went to my parents’ house, packed up my things and left without saying anything to them. They didn’t even call me on the cell phone, then I heard that they had known from some friends of theirs that I was working at the pizzeria because they didn’t know it before, and that was enough for them to feel reassured.
 
Now, since the school is over, I also do other chores and I also do two shifts at the pizzeria and I have to put aside some money because the next year I have graduation exam and I will have to study more and therefore I can work less.
 
Now my apartment is very nice, I cleaned everything up so that it looks like a little gem. There’s also a nice terrace, bigger than the house, and I’ve put there a few plants.
 
Project, I tell you something absurd, I would like so much that you could come and see “my house”. I don’t know if I’ll ever find a guy, I think it will happen (and maybe it has already happened, but I’m going slowly), I want him serious, I want him with balls, I don’t like people who complain themselves.
 
Now there is a guy I like in the pizzeria, he’s one who works hard, he has just arrived, is a little older than me, 21, and is called Luke, I went to work for anger against my parents, he works for necessity because his family doesn’t have much money. When we are at work, Luke and I cannot talk, but he lives not far from my house and when we finish the shift we take the night bus together and talk a bit.
 
He’s very shy for a 21 years old but he’s a very good guy, I don’t know if he’s gay or not, I swear, for me the important thing is not to take him to bed, but that he loves me and he really loves me and I feel it.
 
One morning he came to my house, he gave me many compliments and I was happy, and then he has a way of smiling, a kindness of mind, a sweetness that for me falling in love with him is the most natural thing in the world. I have a dream that in that little house we can also live in two. I know that he’s working in order to support his family, once I went also to his home and they welcomed me very well and I’m happy for him because he has been lucky enough to have a family as it should be.
 
You know, Project, I don’t think about sex, apart from the fact that I arrive at the end of the shift absolutely destroyed, I don’t think about it because I’m fine, I have Luke nearby and that’s enough for me, as a friend and not as my boyfriend but I don’t really care about such a thing and he too is happy when he is with me, we talk a lot, he also told me about a story with a girl, two years ago, but added immediately that it was not something he really felt. I never say anything too demanding, I tell him that I’m happy to talk with him and that we are friends, once I mentioned that in the house it was also possible to stay in two and he told me that he would like it too and he gave me a beautiful smile.
 
Project, now I feel happy, but right in the deep meaning of the term, I work until I burst but I started to live my life and undoubtedly the idea of life in two, of serious life in two would be the highest happiness, but it must be with Luke, if with him it will be impossible, well, I’ll stay alone.
 
Project, do you know that I was pleased to write you? My msn contact is [omissis], add me, so we can talk a bit, basically I miss talking seriously with people your age and I think you could understand me and then, I told you, I would love you to see my little house, maybe having dinner with you and Luke! But we work every night until midnight, I think we had to settle for breakfast in the morning. What do you think? It could be done? I send you a picture of me and Luke, but don’t publish it.
A hug.
Your Albert
___________
 
Hello Project, I write to you because I find it very difficult to hear you in the chat and when I get home I absolutely have to sleep and for me there is neither Saturday nor Sunday. I think I’m close to the collapse, I’m working like crazy to try to put some money aside that will allow me to survive from September onwards, because from September I’ll have to go back to school and I have the graduation waiting for me, that’s why from September on  I can do very little work to earn some money and I would try to keep this mini-apartment not to be forced to return to my parents.
 
My parents don’t even look for me, for them I’m just a problem already solved in every sense, if I can manage without asking them for money, but then, after the graduation, what can I do? How will I survive, working and studying? I see it as a coming nightmare. My school friends, let’s call them so, if they are all comfortable doing nothing, they go on vacation and have fun, I’m here to kill myself at work to survive. These are the perspectives of study and work, truly beautiful!
 
At least before I had Luke, but now he works out of town, he has a girlfriend, when we meet I’m happy because we love each other but I feel also a terrible melancholy. To him, about me, I said nothing, we are two good friends who now no longer work together and meet at most two hours a week.
 
Once he came to the pizzeria and I felt a terrible embarrassment, I served him at the table, he was with his girlfriend, I was smiling and relaxed as if nothing had happened, but inside I felt like dying. I said that Luke would have been fine for me anyway, but now I feel him like a stranger, a stranger I love somehow, but he has his life and I have nothing to do with it.
 
So now with my parents the game is over, with Luke as well, what’s left? Work up to madness, study, and then the university for me will not exist, my friends are doing all their projects, one wants to go to medicine, the other to engineering, etc. etc. and when they ask me, what can I answer? I will not go there! Because in order to go there I should go back to my parents’ house and I should ask them for money and I will never do it, and from what I hear, the university is selective, so either you just do only that or you don’t go anywhere.  My dream would have been to study statistics, I don’t know why but I have always had this fixed idea but there are very few students there and you must attend lessons.
 
What a disgusting life! Everything is random, you can win the lottery or finish under the train, without any reason. I tried to take a look at that MIUR-Guide site you sent me, but it’s a chaos, I don’t understand anything, I’m lost in a huge sea of possibilities and choices. Maybe we could try to look at it together, but I fear very much that in the end it will be just a useless thing because for me the university will remain just a dream.
 
You cannot even imagine how I feel these days, I really feel that for me life will be nothing but work. A guy? But it’s just a dream, here everyone thinks about his business and then what can I offer to a guy? A life of starving or if he works, and maybe much better than me, I can be the one maintained. No! It’s better to be alone and I think I’ll have to start getting used to it.
 
Hi Project. If you answer me at least I realize that someone has spent 10 minutes for me I know you’ll do it.
 
Your Albert
___________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-dignity

GAYS AND SELF ESTEEM

Being comfortable with yourself 
 
This chapter is dedicated to feeling good about yourself. When one is not comfortable with oneself, one feels a generalized sense of inadequacy, of inability to cope effectively, not to some specific difficulties but more generally to the problems of ordinary life or a sort of progressive disinterest towards very important sectors of social life or even of affective life or towards sexuality, these are the typical depressive manifestations of a malaise under which there is the belief that the situation can not in any way change. In these cases the malaise leads to closure and isolation. In some cases, however, not being well with oneself does not take depressive aspects but rather manifests itself in a frantic search for solutions and therefore in a marked availability to emotional and sometimes sexual contact, often without adequate rational control, which entails the risk to get into situations that are not really wanted and difficult to manage.
 
Self-esteem
 
The fundamental causes of not being comfortable with oneself are essentially two: low self-esteem and feelings of guilt. Self-esteem derives from the overall equilibrium of the personality and is undoubtedly related to many social, educational and family factors and, in particular, to the successes or failures achieved and to the esteem we enjoy from other people.
 
Low self-esteem is often a dysfunctional response to states of social exclusion or to an education that tends to emphasize individual’s insecurities.
 
Although the low self-esteem has in most cases external substantive motivations due to the environmental conditioning, the search for its motivations in almost all cases is addressed inward by the people who experience it. Those who experience discomfort tend to identify the cause of it in one or a few well-defined elements, physical or of the character, which we can consider centers of polarization of the low self-esteem. Some of these elements have nothing to do with sexuality, while others are explicitly affective / sexual. I try to list some, based on what emerges in the chats with the gay guys.
 
Low self-esteem linked to one’s physicality
 
First of all the elements linked to one’s own non-sexual physicality must be mentioned: “I am too fat”, an expression that is frequently heard; “I am too thin”, a much rarer expression; “I am flabby, I have no muscles”; “I’m too short”; “I’m too tall”; “I’m too hairy”; “I’m really hairless”. These expressions, which in themselves indicate only the perception of a presumed inadequacy become symptoms of being uncomfortable with oneself when they take on a fixed idea character that interferes considerably with ordinary life. When this happens, the perception of the inadequacy leads to a more or less consciously exasperated search for solutions to what begins to present itself as a problem and sometimes as the problem.
 
Often boys who call themselves too fat or too flaccid are not at all such and the perception of the inadequacy is completely subjective and unrealistic, it is the case of slender guys who feel too fat and follow a strict diet and of boys who, despite having a body sculpted by the activity, even daily, in the gym, resort to anabolics to increase muscle mass. These elements indicate states of discomfort of a certain extent that may require specialistic intervention.
 
The dimension of discomfort in the perception of the inadequacy manifests itself as well as in the exasperation of presumed problems, in the search for pseudo-solutions that can be much more harmful than the illusions that they should hypothetically remedy.
 
Low self-esteem linked to one’s sexual physicality
 
The elements linked to one’s sexual physicality must also be stressed. A small number of gay boys ends up putting aside the idea of living a couple sexuality for reasons related to the sense of inadequacy of their sexual physicality. Even in these situations, as in the previous ones, the perception of the inadequacy can be absolutely subjective and not realistic and the search for solutions to alleged problems can also create serious drawbacks and sometimes, when a guy thinks that the solution to the alleged problem is not there or it is unattainable, the answer leads even to the renunciation of couple sexuality. This renunciation, in general, is not explicit but is manifested through continuous postponements or, when the situation can no longer be postponed, through the multiplication of hesitations and reservations that end up exasperating the partner, who is not aware of the real cause of those hesitations and those reservations.
 
Sometimes the renunciation of sexuality involves even the refusal of masturbation, the exercise of which, especially if carried out with reference to images coming from pornography, becomes an important although unmotivated cause of sexual frustration.
 
It is not uncommon for the guys to subconsciously end up hiding the true motivation of the sense of inadequacy and covering it with other motivations in which the reference to sexuality is completely removed.
 
On the problem of the size of the penis has grown a thriving business of pseudo-remedies of a medical and surgical nature, which promise rapid and apparently non-dangerous solutions, with prices that fluctuate in relation to the social category object of promotional messages.
 
Low self-esteem for character reasons
 
Among the centers of polarization of low self-esteem must be considered also elements linked to the personal character that individuals identify as their weaknesses or fragility. I mention only some of the most common ones: “I am very weak and I have not character, I can never make a decision, I get carried away by what others say, I am listless and inert and I let others choose for me.”
 
Both the elements linked to one’s physicality (both sexual and non-sexual) and those linked to the personal character, recognized as individual weaknesses, are experienced as insurmountable impediments to the construction of social relationships and even more of affective and couple relationships.
 
The premises to recover self-esteem
 
To feel good about oneself, one must accept one’s physicality at all levels and, of course, one’s overall personality, and it is necessary to begin to understand that couple life is not just sexuality and that couple sexuality has an essentially emotional rather than performance dimension. It should never be forgotten that many deep affective relationships are not based on what we consider the strongest part of us but on our weaknesses. It is from the integration of the weak sides of two people that a common dimension can be born, which is basically a form of mutual adaptation, that is, a renunciation of individual affirmation. In general, people who have a very strong “I” are not the best couple partners.
 
Talking often in a chat with guys who have never experienced the reality of couple life, I can observe how, for them, life as a couple is thinkable only as a total symbiosis in which everything is and must be common and the reciprocal dedication must be absolute at the limit of identification: partners must have the same friends, must always go together to the cinema, to parties, on holiday and so on. But all this, which is only theory, and unfortunately it is a false theory, leads to the re-proposition, in the real practice of the couple life, of the model of couple as the subordination of the other to oneself or of oneself to the other.
 
The life of a couple is seen, in essence, as the realization of a perfect communion of ideals but to this perfect communion of ideals we try to arrive not through a real balance of interests but through an attempt to bring the other into our world and to keep him in a condition of substantial dependence putting in practice more or less consciously a series of emotional blackmail, or accepting a role of dependence on the other, that is a form of substantial subordination motivated, in theory, by a feeling of love but in reality by a profound lack of self-esteem.
 
Parity and dependence within the couple 
 
It should never be forgotten that couple life, and gay couple life in particular, finds its foundation in the equality of the two partners that leads to the construction of a “we” that is objectively a new reality and not the result of a radical sacrifice of the interests of one to those of the other. It makes no sense, and indeed causes great unease, to identify love with the total acquiescence and absolute obedience, that is, essentially with dependence on the other.
 
The mechanism that creates addiction is simple and is analogous to that which manifests itself in the relationship between a child and the parent, which ends up being dependent on the child: the child wants a certain thing, the parent says no, then the child cries and the parent says yes so as not to see him crying, the child is  more gratified for having realized that he has a power over the parent than for having achieved what he wanted. These mechanisms, however, are natural only when they act between subjects who are not on the same level but, between two gay guys, who should love each other on a much more solid and equal basis, such mechanisms are basically the sign of a strong asymmetry and couple suffering and, in essence, of a relationship of psychological dependence.
 
Formalization of relationships
 
Those who don’t feel good about themselves tend to formalize relationships to make them clearer and more understandable, substituting an almost economic or quasi-contractual logic to an affective dimension that has largely failed. Typical, in these cases, is the tendency to dictate the rules that must define the relationship and to request the respect for them in any case.
 
The tendency to formalize the relationship and therefore to live the emotional life as a chess game with precise rules, in which one must always make the right move and can take advantage of the error of the other, reduces the spontaneity of behaviors that to guarantee greater security must be standardized.
 
Often those who don’t feel good about themselves think that their spontaneity must in some way be substituted with more adequate behaviors and even that spontaneous discourses must be replaced by speeches that seem to be theoretically more adequate. Sometimes it happens in a chat to meet guys who strive to say only things that they think can give a positive image of themselves and can make them look like good guys.
 
The most typical element of these behaviors, on the sexual level, is the sublimation of sexuality and its total removal from the discourse. In this way a dialogue is created that has the evident flavor of the lack of spontaneity. When guys succeed in overcoming the wall of sublimation and managing to speak freely of sexuality they tend to emphasize the strange if not pathological dimension of certain behaviors, such as masturbation and sexual fantasies about their friends, as if these things were the clear sign of their inadequacy. In substance things that are perfectly normal are experienced as anomalous and strange, and here the weight of the educational conditioning is evident; I mean that guys try to give a personal motivation of their low self-esteem on the basis of behaviors that are not at all related to the low self-esteem.
 
After a finally serious talk, the result of a strenuous sincerity, I notice the amazement of the guys who expect some strong reactions and they only hear: “Ok, but where’s the problem?” Basically these guys perceive their being gay as a strange thing and their sexuality as something unique and very far from the sexuality of others, and in particular from the sexuality of other gay boys, that they don’t know except through representations that are decidedly unrealistic if not even misleading.
 
Many times talking serenely about sexuality helps to resize, to see things in more objective terms and makes us understand that sexuality is an ordinary dimension of everyone’s life and that being gay essentially means simply falling in love with a boy instead of a girl.
 
Heterosexuals and (obsessive) fear of being gay
 
Particular attention should be paid to the discomfort deriving from the very idea of being gay or being about to become gay. It happened to me more than once that I was contacted by straight guys who had doubts about their sexual orientation, that is not from gay guys who had problems with acceptance. For some of these guys talking to me really had the sense of clearing up ideas to overcome doubts. With some of these guys, good relations have been maintained even after many years. For other guys objectively hetero, however, overcome doubts was much more difficult. Although they had a sexuality that had absolutely nothing that could be considered gay, these guys couldn’t reassure themselves and contacted me several times because for them the idea of being gay was a content basically obsessive that, even if objectively completely unfounded, deeply disturbing their sexuality.
 
An very significant example is that of a straight guy who has never had gay masturbation fantasies, but who cannot satisfactorily masturbate  thinking of a girl because the idea of being, perhaps, a gay who doesn’t accept his homosexuality always intervenes, and this idea ruins his sex life, but it must be stressed that all this happens to a guy who has never had any emotional or sexual interests oriented towards other guys. Such cases, which present themselves as problems of sexual orientation, in fact, have nothing to do with gay sexuality but are triggered by states of distress often linked to heterosexuality or hetero-affectivity, family relationships, relationships of work, economic insecurity and many other factors, as well as obviously a certain predisposition to obsession.
 
These situations can be at the border of true forms of OCD, that is obsessive compulsive disorder, and can also be the manifestation of the OCD itself.
 
Gays and discomfort of being gay
 
Even for gay guys, that is, for guys with exclusively gay masturbation fantasies, being gay can be a source of discomfort, sometimes even serious. Gay sexual identity can be unknowingly rejected or in some cases it can become the object of a conscious and determined self-repression. In these cases, gay masturbation is experienced with feelings of guilt that are deep, such as a giving in to evil or slipping into a pathological dimension, and the hypothesis of emotional and sexual correspondence with another guy is systematically set aside, avoiding a priori all the occasions in which a minimum of intimacy could be created (traveling with other guys, sleeping at a friend’s house, etc.). This is the case of the “I don’t want to be gay!” These situations of discomfort are a sign of dependence on the judgment of others and of need to be accepted within a group (family, friends) to which one ends up sacrificing one’s own sexuality.
 
The pressure exerted by the search for the homologation can be so strong to push a gay guy to make the so-called choices according to nature (heterosexuality and marriage) that are radically against nature for a gay guy.
 
Pessimism, depressive attitudes and self-esteem
 
They must also be considered the pessimistic and depressive psychological attitudes that manifest themselves as a symptom of low self-esteem in expressions like: “the others at my age have already achieved everything”, or: “I will never combine anything”, or again: “I know that sooner or later I will give up everything”.
 
Often the elements of a psychological nature that lead to discouragement and to the vision of oneself as a weak element intersect with elements of real or presumed physical inadequacy. The idea of disengagement or of the uselessness of commitment occupies in many cases the minds of young people who feel psychologically inadequate, the choices become problematic and the irresoluteness ends up prevailing.
 
These guys, in general, don’t enter into love stories because, for them, making an important decision is difficult but they fall in love in a serious and essentially one-sided way with impossible guys or almost always straight guys or gay guys who don’t give them any satisfactory response, in any case with guys with whom, therefore, a true couple relationship is in fact impossible.
 
Low self-esteem and search for the ideal partner
 
Particular attention should be given to the tendency to involve others in solving one’s own problems, or even to rely totally on others in an overly confident manner and without the support of adequate rational control, a tendency that manifests with expressions like: “But if I had met a boy, things would have gone another way”, or: ” With a guy near me, I would not be afraid of anything” and the like.
 
I often see undecided guys, with low self-esteem and easy to discourage, engaged in a frantic search for a partner to try to find an answer to their problems. These are guys who, in general, from this research end up getting further frustrations due to the fact that, because of their insecurity, they pay little attention to the choice of their partner and are willing to give too quickly confidence to the first guy who shows them some form of availability and with that guy they try to create very close relationships, which are seen on the other side as suffocating and for this reason are not welcome.
 
An insecure boy who tends to involve others in the solution of his problems, needs a constant reassurance, he asks, he requires, he reacts badly when he doesn’t find such a reassurance, tends, unconsciously, to compel his companion to listen to him for hours, besieges him with a storm of SMS and e-mails demanding continuous confirmations without offering any.
 

Unilateral discourses and dependence 

 A characteristic of these situations is the one-way speech, the insecure guy speaks and his companion must listen, if this doesn’t happen the insecure guy feels victim and demonstrates it very clearly, in an attempt to recall the attention of his companion, but this mechanism only exasperates the situation.
 
In some cases things are more complex and the search for the solution to one’s discomfort through the total entrusting to another person leads to the construction of true dependency relationships that have the appearance of affective relationships but are only dysfunctional responses to the low self-esteem, because they lack a true rational control. In these situations, the guy who experiences discomfort is willing to do anything to have an affective response or an alleged affective response on the part of the person to whom he is totally entrusted and from whom he is essentially dependent.
 
Frenetic phase and sexual embarrassment
 
Often, especially for non-youngster guys, situations of discomfort are created when acceptance comes after 25/30 years (and even beyond). The guys who find themselves in these situations are in many cases obsessed with the idea of recover the lost time (frenetic phase) and they live belatedly the affective and sexual experiences typical of adolescence. In these circumstances, the first contacts with the couple sexuality can create embarrassment and not small conditioning, because the a priori models of gay sexuality interfere heavily with the search for the real balance typical of the specific sexuality of each couple. It is the so-called sexual embarrassment that comes from the “myth of sexuality” and from inexperience.
 
There are older guys who are in crisis because of the lack of erection in situations where in theory there should be, or because they have difficulty in achieving orgasm even in individual masturbation practiced in the presence of their partner, even if they reach easily the orgasm in individual masturbation. In these cases the real fear is that embarrassment and inexperience can condition or even destroy extremely important emotional relationships.
 
Sexuality doesn’t get along with anxiety and getting used to talking about sexuality with one’s own partner in a simple and direct way helps to reduce anxiety and thus promotes the free expression of sexuality.
__________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gays-and-self-esteem

CHRISTMAS EVE: A TEXT NOT SEXUALLY CONNOTED

The text that follows is devoid of connotations (masculine or feminine) that allow to understand the sex of the protagonists. This story (like others with the same characteristics) can be used as a projective test. The heterosexual reader is led to read the story in a hetero key and generally doesn’t realize that it is a not sexually connoted text, the homosexual reader instead usually realizes that the text is not sexually connoted and, precisely for this reason, is less inclined to project himself into it.
_________

My dear,

This is a passage of my diary of “that year”:

« We have been friends for long time now. It’s a good feeling to have someone to call if sadness takes over, or just to talk with. Do you remember?

It was Christmas Eve. Neither of us was busy with friends and parties, total loneliness, and I called you to wish you a merry Christmas, I did it without any purpose, just as usual, but then it was different, we have been talking for over half an hour. It was nice to hear your voice. I didn’t know what to do, I thought I was making you waste time and I said: “Well, it’s better I go, otherwise perhaps you’ll be late … I think someone is already waiting for you somewhere…” and you answered: “No problem, nobody is waiting for me.”

I was perplexed, it seemed impossible to me, and that was the moment that the a fool idea flashed in my brain. I asked you: “Would you like to came here?” Your answer seemed to me very strange: “I would but I thing I wouldn’t fell at ease among your friends, I think perhaps it’s better another time.” But I was about to spend a Christmas Eve alone and I told you that I had no friends at home, I was completely alone. Everything started this way.

No more than an hour later we were in front of each other chatting in a very embarrassed way. Everything sounded strange. We put on a CD of Christmas carols just to ease the conversation and to make the long silences shorter.

My fridge was empty because I hadn’t programmed anything for that night: no wine, no sweets, in practice nothing but canned beans and rice and a bottle of tomato juice, salt and pepper. You told me: “Let’s start, I’m a little starving and you?” In practice we have spent all the time before midnight cooking. You are very well at cooking like you were a cook very refined .

Sometimes you were singing following the King’s College choir, like you were a chorister. You remembered by heart the text of those carols.

While shepherds watch’d their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.

“Fear not!” said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind.
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind.

There was a magic atmosphere, you seemed really exalted by that celestial joy, and I was there looking at you, looking at your flashing smile. I was happy, friendship seemed to me something wonderful. We were no more than two friends spending together Christmas Eve but it was wonderful. Or better it was normal, we were like a couple even if such a word was very far from our dictionary at that time, we were a family, with no children but just a family and the embarrassing feeling of the beginning vanished while a calm serenity took its place, as if time had stopped for a little to let us experience something new, something special, something that had been created abruptly, unexpectedly, but was nevertheless enjoyable, pleasant, I’d say absolutely particular.

The dinner was minimal, but the atmosphere was special. You had put aside every embarrassment and I was looking at you noticing for the first time haw you are beautiful, your hands, your skin, your eyes, you hair. Not that I hadn’t noticed such things before, but in those magic moments I felt upset … but no, it isn’t the right word, I felt a certain restlessness, the need to be near you, to think less and stay close to you as much as possible.

But you kept yourself at a distance, you didn’t move away from me but you didn’t encourage me and I didn’t know what to do. I wondered many times, on that Christmas Eve, what you were thinking, how you considered our strange relationship, our sharing good feelings while we were together. I expected a gesture from you that could take away all my doubts, but that gesture didn’t come. Nevertheless you were extremely happy, you were playing, you were joking, but that gesture didn’t come, and a certain discouragement began to make its way inside me.
Then the time has passed and even midnight has passed with all his emotions and best wishes and you asked me if you could stay and sleep at my house. I liked it, but at the same time I would have liked better a different epilogue. We didn’t even talk about sleeping together, I made you a bed in the room where I usually work, and you went to sleep after hugging me. It was not a formal hug, no, it was a different thing, you hugged me tightly, in a way that is certainly not that of friends but it resembles the way of lovers. It’s nice to hold the person you love in your arms, that’s undeniable, but I wondered obsessively what that embrace meant to you.

The next morning you came out of the bathroom with your hair in the wind, a very beautiful image, and with your usual smile you said: “I really enjoyed everything, I don’t think I could have spent better Christmas Eve.”

I feel really comfortable when I’m with you, it’s like I’ve always known you, it’s really a very beautiful thing. When you greeted me I wanted to hold you back, but I knew I didn’t have to do it. You hugged me again and for a few seconds more, that gesture contained a strong and clear message that didn’t need words.

You left smiling and waving your hand as if to say hello, even if we didn’t give ourselves an appointment. After five minutes I got a text message: “I love you!” »

Do you remember the first non-work mail you sent me? I kept it because I was really moved, here it is:

« How beautiful Christmas night was! The pleasure of being with a person who takes care of you, who transmits you serenity, calm, peacefulness, you feel happy, you feel you are the object of special attention, of affection, I would say almost love. When I decided to come to your house I didn’t know what to expect, in a sense I accepted the risk. My dreams could have shattered, but I also had to understand something more. I had to understand what I could be for you, what it means to you to love a person.

You have not reduced anything shattered, you have been there, I saw that you were fine but you never crossed the limit, you’ve never been intrusive, and I began to love you for this very reason. I am a person with many problems and I cannot promise you things that I could not keep, but I would like you to know that on Christmas night I was really free, in practice I felt happy and this almost never happens to me. I don’t know if we will ever be a couple in the classic sense of the term, but I believe that there is already some form of love between us, I don’t think this word is exaggerated.

You will have to be patient, I must learn what it means to feel loved, because I don’t think it has ever happened to me, but this time things could really be different. In short, if you think it is appropriate to start believing in something better, well, then I too think that we can try.»

Now I greet you, I needed to feel you somehow present, and write this mail made me relive some very nice things!
I’m waiting for you as soon as possible! When you’re not here I miss you very much!
Bye.

__________

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-christmas-eve-a-text-not-sexually-connoted