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
____________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-love-stories-of-a-gay-eighteen-year-old
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THE CRY OF PAIN OF A YOUNG GAY

Hello boys … Since I joined the forum I attended it very little, although I stay most nights chatting. Often I just talk in chat and I feel a bit better, because here I met really fantastic people who can accept me despite my quirks (which go well beyond my homosexuality, as those who know me a little know very well). However, tonight letting off steam in the chat didn’t produce any effect because I felt bad as I haven’t felt for a long time.

Tonight the ghosts of the past have come back as violent as a hurricane, ready to drag me away another time … I don’t know if I have already spoken about it on the forum before (in the chat definitely yes), however I live in a mountain village, not far from the city (which anyway is a town of only 60 thousand inhabitants … can one call it city? …) but my village is not well connected to the territory given the reduced number of bus rides and so often it is difficult for me, being a minor, to go to the city. This causes me a very strong feeling of unease.

Here everybody knows everything about everyone … I hate being here, I feel completely out of place, I feel like those caged canaries that would fly and cannot escape. I also feel as a silent tiger, which roars but no one hears the roar. I cry my suffering but it is not understood. I compare to too many things that I’m not, actually … Here, as already mentioned, the Law of Jante, that collection of sociological maxims according to which those who are different from the community are excluded and ridiculed, is widely spread ad dominant.

I’ve never been part of my country, nor even of the neighboring city. I’ve always been a case apart, lost in the Franco-German novels and in Japanese comics, while listening to English and Icelandic music. Jante’s Law is also applied within the homosexual community. Given that there are very few gays here … that is, there are very few gay people, and the mentality is so closed that many don’t even accept themselves as gays. therefore …

I don’t exaggerate if I say that in my area don’t exist more than 20 gays, and in any case I’m the only one in my village. About those 20 in any case now has been made a malevolent word of mouth, I don’t know how or why but everyone knows me but I don’t know them, they know absurd things about me – sometimes true, sometimes not, I wonder how, from what, from whom they came to know such things.

I cannot live here anymore … relationships with the gay community don’t exist at all because of the negative reputation that someone has created about me (such things really happen only in “terronia” [= “land of terroni”. The Italians of the south use to call with contempt those of the north with the nickname “polentoni”, that is, eaters of polenta, those of the north use similarly call those of the south “terroni” i.e. workers of the land, peasants.] … this regardless of sexual orientation, if you are a little bit different you are anyway excluded and considered crazy), as for the relationships with heterosexuals … with the guys I cannot tie,

I’m afraid of being judged, ah no ops… they judge me because I’m not visibly like them … not that I’m very effeminated but I certainly don’t have the interests: pussy, motors and football the straight guys talk about here. I point out, I don’t have this opinion of all straight guys. Outside of my area, when I was lucky enough to live in France, but also in the north of Italy, I saw heterosexual guys very open (I point out it because I don’t want to look like heterophobe). Regarding the straight girls, eh, it’s a minimum positive point. With them I can tie, as long as they are not bitches or little geese [stupid persons] … as a result, I only have a close female friend (which everyone calls alternately “Satan” or “Zoccola” [bitch] and this clearly demonstrate how the south of Italy is open …) and three other female friends with whom I’m not as close but I feel at ease and I love them. Then I have a lesbian friend, but lately I attend her less. In short, all women.

I don’t even know what I’m writing and why I’m writing. Maybe to make sure that one day I’ll remember these things. I had started with the intention of describing in detail the word-of-mouth aggression perpetrated against me, but I realize only now that I cannot do it, for the simple fact that I don’t have the faintest idea about. And I have to say that I have been already the victim of another word of mouth, when in eighth grade someone called almost all the parents of my classmates to tell them that I was gay. I would like to know who did so just to say “I’m sorry for how much you are a piece of shit …”

So, I’m angry with everyone tonight. I’m angry with Calabria that doesn’t offer me opportunities, with the Calabrians who have a very narrow mind, with my mother who instead of helping me pushes deeper the knife into the wound with the acid jokes, stressing the fact that I don’t know how to defend myself, but above all I’m angry with myself because I’m not able to send everything and everyone to hell and move on by myself. I’m proud of myself only because in all this I have never seriously thought about suicide, because I firmly believe that there is a better life outside of this hell. But I see this situation depressing, to put it mildly … not committing suicide here is a demonstration that I give myself every day that elsewhere I could really be worth something …

Here people don’t have a minimum respect, I have been called “bog”, “crazy”, “Satanist”, “poof” and many other cute nicknames since I was THREE years old, they already hated me in kindergarten. Do I have a face of cocks? Maybe, but is it my fault? With people who don’t stop at the first impression I can bind so much to give them my soul … but often it seems that people next to me don’t realize it, they think I’m crazy and then I behave accordingly :/ What to say? How to conclude? I don’t know. I’m disheartened. I’m depressed. I say lies every 3×2 [usually], just because I say lies I delude myself to get away from this unsatisfactory reality. I’ve been doing it since I was 9 years old.

Sometimes I’m terrified that even if I’m going to attend university elsewhere, everything will be equally disgusting, that the world is really disgusting like Calabria (although I have tangible evidences that it is not). But my father with his fucking motto “the whole world is village” would make me want to swallow 50 pills of Valium and finish the games forever … I don’t do it because I want and I can resist … because I know I’m worth something … but believe me sometimes, for a few nanoseconds, suicide seems to me the only way out. I resist. I keep fighting and resisting. But for how long? How much do I still have to suffer before finding happiness? Does happiness exist for me?

What then my happiness is? … A goodnight text message would be enough for me or something like “my love … for me you are all” from a boy and this post would never have been written. I would need a “I would like you next to me now” if not a guy waiting for me in the room nearby ready to … kiss me, hug me, tell me that no matter how I suffered and I will suffer but he will always be there for me. Because this is my greatest cause of suffering: the fear of never finding a boyfriend. I don’t have particular passions, yes I like French, Icelandic, history and psychology. But I would never be able to make my work a reason for living, I’m rather “two hearts and a hut”, so far I’ve only had almost exclusively online relationships (live, I’ve only have had stupid, without feeling and also few relationships) yet in those online relationships I gave my all, often I canceled myself to receive a little word of affection, sometimes things went better, sometimes worse (they have always lasted little, anyway).

If I think back to those few messages that I now remember BY HEART from those guys, it’s enough for me to be less worse. I think of what they wrote to me and I repeat “Yes, Rox, you are strong … you can overcome everything!” But then I think that even if, yes, I can do it, I wonder WHAT IS THE POINT OF DOING IT… I feel lonely, terribly lonely, I don’t know people to talk to about such things. I’m here to talk to you. I talk about it on other forums – even about other subjects – on which I’m writing. And I don’t even want to end writing this post, because ending it would mean going to bed crying and listening to depressed music. I want to write here everything that passes through my mind. At the beginning I had titled this discussion “gay and in an isolated mountain area” but right now I have changed to “my cry of pain”. I cannot take it anymore. Life goes on and I look at it from behind the glass of my window. Time runs and I spend time waiting for it to continue to pass as fast as possible. I leave you with the song that most I listen to when I feel so much down … Everything passes, of the Huga Flame.

Everything goes, it’s true, but when will all this pass even for me? Reading about 13, 14 year old boys who already have a boyfriend … it makes me so angry and sad, also because they are all from Turin, Milan, Bologna, at most Rome … I’m here … I don’t know what to write. I won poetry and philosophy contests, I think I’m a sweet, shy and sensitive guy … but maybe this is not enough today to be liked, but I’m not going to change because of the others … because I love to be exactly like I’m, and this is the most important thing. I have beautiful eyes (according to others … otherwise I would not let me say) and anyway the rest of my face and my body although I’m not really a model doesn’t even disgust, yet this is what I provoke in many people, DISGUST. I suck them. And although I try to ignore it, and in fact it is waning compared to a few years ago when I didn’t reason on the basis of ME but based on the OTHERS, anyway all this hurts me.

I feel alone, fuckily, damned alone. And I would just like someone who now, right now as I’m writing, would lock my hands and bring them around himself and to my slightest protest would give me a kiss so long as to cancel everything that is around me, around him, around us. I don’t know what I expect as answers. The answers you’ll give me will probably not change my situation, but I wait for them impatiently anyway, as a child waits for Santa. MAKE IT STOP, LET THIS END … I feel a lot, too much, like in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP4clbHc4Xg

Oh, I add, since in the end I stayed at the computer even if it’s 5.09 a.m. and I hear the birds chirp (but what does it matter to me, if the birds are chirping?), now more than resigned I’m pissed off. I always alternate those two states of mind … a little I’m pissed off a bit I’m resigned. What a sadness! Right now I was thinking about the fact that so far, although I have had some (very few) relationships (mostly online) it’s been me the one who did EVERYTHING. The others stayed passively with me (not in the sexual sense, but in the sense that they didn’t consider it too much important if they were with me or not), except for a boy. I feel so different, different from anyone. It doesn’t matter if gay or straight, If male or female, I feel different, almost on another planet. And this sensation it’s not very cool, it’s really distressing … sorry for the strange expression. Feeling so different … feeling that I can never really like someone … makes me want to disappear …

___________

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-the-cry-of-pain-of-a-young-gay

GAYS AND FRUSTRATION

1 Frustration-inadequacy and frustration-rejection 
 
This chapter is dedicated to the experience of frustration, I immediately clarify that I intend to speak specifically about frustration, not anxiety or even more generally of discomfort, things that, however, they can be linked to the frustration.
 
The etymology itself of the term frustration, derived from the Latin adverb frustra = in vain, to no avail, clearly indicates that frustration is a form of discomfort resulting from the impossibility or the failure to achieve an expected or desired result. Frustration is one of the possible outcomes of the desired.
 
The reduction of the sense of frustration can derive only from the containment of the need or the desire within the sphere of the possible and even better of the probable, in other words only an ability to assess ex ante the greater or less feasibility of one’s desire allows to limit the its possible frustrating outcomes.
 
It’s here where the radical distinction of objectives comes into play in relation to whether or not their realization depends only on us. I clarify the discourse with two classic examples:
1) Completing of studies (individual objective).
2) Finding reciprocity in an emotional relationship (shared goal).
 
These are two radically different objectives. The completion of the studies depends only on the more or less conditioned action of the individual who can find objective obstacles but who is aware that the achievement of the objective (individual objective), beyond the external conditioning, depends in an essential way from his commitment and his capacities, in this case frustration is essentially perceived as a sense of inadequacy.
 
Finding reciprocity in an affective relationship is instead a fact substantially connected to an interpersonal relationship, this means that the achievement of the objective doesn’t depend only on the person who is focusing on that goal but also, and in an essential way, on another person who should share that goal (shared goal). In this case frustration is perceived as rejection.
 
It is not uncommon, however, that a frustration-rejection is also experienced as a frustration-inadequacy on the basis of identifying the causes of rejection in one’s own inadequacy: “He refused me because I am not up to the situation or because I have failed in something”, at the basis of these arguments however, there is a non-genuinely relational view of affective relationships that are interpreted as a kind of chess game in which, if the moves are not mistaken, you still get to win the game. In this way the other is seen as an object to be conquered with a strategy that, if adequate, necessarily leads to the result. This way of seeing things, even if in many cases it is completely incongruous, seems absolutely obvious to those who adopt it as their own interpretative model, to the point of obscuring the objectivity of the facts.
Let me explain with a concrete example.
 
2 Unrealizable goals
 
A gay guy who falls madly in love with an objectively heterosexual guy is induced to see his object of love as a repressed gay and not as a heterosexual and to think that with an appropriate strategy it will be possible to make sure that he takes note of his presumed repressed homosexuality. In such situations, the feeling of frustration-inadequacy can last for years and sometimes it becomes difficult to realize how things really are, even when the other gets married.
 
It is essential to realize that some things, however deeply desired, are objectively impossible. A heterosexual guy cannot fall in love with a gay guy, whatever strategy the gay guy uses, the thing will be anyway  impossible, so we should put aside the idea of being inadequate (not handsome enough, not solar enough, not reliable enough, too much neurotic etc. etc.) and realize that rejection is not a refusal of the person as such but a manifestation of the objective impossibility of sharing the objectives of the other. I pause for a moment to reflect on the feeling of being rejected.
 
The feeling of rejection that occurs when the other doesn’t share our goal is often experienced, especially by gay guys in love with straight guys, as a refusal not generically of the person but of the person as a gay, rather than as an inability to share the goal of the other, and this sometimes makes the process of accepting homosexuality more difficult.
 
Expecting a straight guy to fall in love with a gay guy makes no sense but expecting him to be a gay guy’s friend is realistic. A gay guy in these situations is often brought to the “all or nothing”, the thing is also understandable and a downsizing of the goal that makes it a shared goal is often difficult because even if the gay guy were to settle for a friendly relationship with the heterosexual guy he is in love with, he would still be frustrated in his “true, even if unrealistic, objective” that is to build a shared love story.
 
However, metabolizing the feeling of refusal of an emotional and sexual involvement by a straight guy, for a gay guy is still, all in all, a process of awareness of reality not too traumatic, because difficulties are basically objective and objectively insurmountable.
 
3 Frustrations in relationships between gays
 
The topic becomes much more delicate when the feeling of rejection intervenes in the relationship with another gay, here it is about a refusal on subjective ground that for the rejected person is much more difficult to accept and it is much more frequently accompanied by a feeling of inadequacy. In these situations, projective mechanisms typically come into play, for which one’s own feelings and expectations are projected onto the other and it is very difficult to understand that the other is objectively another, with a different individual story, with other desires and with a completely autonomous lived experience.
 
Generally, when a gay guy falls in love, the first and insistent question that arises concerns the sexual orientation of the other, if the other is not gay there is nothing to do, but if the other is gay it seems that the problem is solved and that the reciprocity will be achieved in any case, it is the typical “gay + gay = love” theorem behind which very strong projective mechanisms are hidden that make us see in the other, identified as a gay, an individual identical to ourselves.
 
We must never forget that gays don’t constitute a homogeneous category, there are gays of any political orientation, of any social level, of any religious creed or without any religious belief, there are gays who are excellent people and there are gays who aren’t at all, exactly as it is in the general population.
 
Gays are not a kind of Eden where everything is governed by good feelings, nor a kind of hell in which everything is dominated by individual interest and lower instincts. Gays are profoundly different from one another because they have behind them deeply different individual stories. So it is not at all obvious that a gay man can feel comfortable with another gay just because they are both gay and, I stress it, If two gays can quite easily become friends because they have something in common, it is certainly unlikely that two gay guys can feel a mutual sexual and affective feeling just because they are both gay, exactly as a hetero doesn’t fall in love with an ordinary woman just because she is a woman.
 
4 Frustration coming from projective mechanisms and socialization
 
Mechanisms that make us to project onto the other, as a gay, our feelings and our ways of reasoning can move us away from an objective assessment of the facts and can create completely unrealistic expectations. What can protect us from these projective mechanisms that often lead us to frustration? The answer is almost obvious, it is the socialization. The more a boy has a rich social and affective life, I speak above all of friendships, the more he has direct experience of the variability of the individuals with whom he interacts and the less he is led to the projective mechanisms.
 
I give a concrete example. A gay guy, who was writing to me his first embarrassed mail, told me: “I’ve never met another gay boy” for him the “gay boy” category was still unified and not having precise references he completed it seeing the “gay boy”  as another himself. That same guy, after a few nights spent chatting with other gay boys, said: “I realized that with many guys I can get along but with someone it’s like there’s a bigger distance, even if they are anyway very good guys, they have another way of reasoning, but there are some guys I feel really good with.” These speeches are the typical sign of a progressive socialization and therefore of the progressive decrease of the projective tendency.
 
5 Virtual relationships between gays
 
We now try to focus our attention on virtual couple relationships (chats, e-mails and forums) that can arise between gay guys. If we want to give the word love a connotation that is not excessively abstract, it must be assumed that love cannot be reduced to an intellectual affinity or a sharing of moral values but must necessarily presuppose a physical-physiological involvement, not necessarily experienced in couple, that deeply involves sexuality. At this point an observation is obligatory. When, in real life, a gay guy falls in love with another guy, falling in love doesn’t start from the intellectual level or from possible elective affinities but from physical attraction, that is from a whole set of factors that depend on the physicality of the other: his smile, his physical presence, his voice, his bodily attitudes, his tendency to a more or less seductive behavior.
 
This is so true that very often gay guys fall in love with straight guys far from them in every respect, but able to physically embody their ideal guy. If a guy appears to us physically attractive, we start asking ourselves questions about him and want to find a closeness also in terms of dialogue, in practice we are interested in that guy.
 
This mechanism of falling in love, which is typical of real life, cannot be put into practice through the internet where everything remains detached from the physical dimension. In these situations intervenes a projective mechanism that makes us imagine the guy with whom we are talking in chat according to our categories.
 
6 Texts not sexually connoted
 
Let me clarify with a very immediate example what a projective mechanism is and how much it can be conditioning. In appendix to this chapter can be read a story “not sexually connoted”, that is a story that does not present in the text any element that allows to clarify with certainty if one of the protagonists is a boy or a girl [In many languages but not in English, adjectives and past participles are accorded to the term to which they refer. In English third person’s pronouns are different for masculine a feminine, in any case, using the direct speech in second person and sometimes the impersonal speech “one can keep one’s own secrets” avoiding to refer to the sex of someone, it is possible this way to save ambiguity even in English] (in Italian it is possible to achieve the same result  avoiding pronouns of the third person, past participles or adjectives and using frequently the impersonal speech). A story not sexually connoted, therefore, is in itself neutral.
 
When that story is read by a straight guy, that guy interprets it according to his categories. But when that story is read by a gay guy reading is not so automatic and the gay guy often notices that the text is not sexually connoted, what usually escapes a heterosexual guy. On this basis projective tests for the determination of sexual orientation that have a real reliability can be built.
 
The projective reading is basically the reason for the fascination of literature or cinema because we project ourselves into the events and interpret them according to our experience.
 
7 Online chats and projective mechanisms
 
An exchange of e-mails, a chat conversation or a dialogue on a forum create a text, or better they construct a four-handed text. That text has the characteristics of literature, even more accentuated by the fact that it is built in four hands, it is the most suitable context for the projective readings but while in the projective reading of a book one doesn’t aim to build an interpersonal relationship and everything remains inside the reader’s mind, in the relationships via  internet the projective tendency must sooner or later take into account that on the other side there is another guy with his projections on the same conversation.
 
There is basically the risk of misunderstanding, aggravated by the fact that many chat conversations remain at extremely sublimated and symbolic levels and are therefore extremely open to projective interpretations. The role of important projective mechanisms in Internet contacts can be so decisive as to induce the two interlocutors even put aside the idea of a personal knowledge that could interrupt or destroy the projective mechanism which in itself is at least apparently gratifying.
 
8 The drift of the love language
 
I add that often in the dialogues in chat  between gay guys it is common to find the mechanism of the drift of the love language that is the progressive and automatic indulging in a language that more and more resembles a love language, this means that it is not at all rare that two guys who have never met in person, end up talking like lovers.
 
The emotional investment in these mechanisms is often very high and the projective dimension is such that the risk that the conversation is reduced to being just the starting point for the construction of stories that exist only at the projective level is very concrete. Basically we create an interlocutor to our measure, projectively completing the real elements (often scarce and of uncertain meaning) that emerge from the dialogue. This is so true that a gay guy comes to fall in love with a straight guy, interpreting every little element that does not appear 100% hetero as the sign of a possible homosexuality, and at the same time devaluing all those elements that also very clearly show that that guy isn’t at all a gay guy.
 
But I must stress that the mechanism also operates in relationships between gay guys, that is, between guys who know with certainty that the other is gay. The projective mechanism reaches the point of attributing to the other a presumed physicality, that is, it comes to embody him in an image that represents our ideal guy.
 
Sometimes and not rarely the projective image of the other is also loaded with sexual values and we try a sexual transport that is not at all superficial for a guy we’ve never seen. In practice we fall in love even sexually with a guy that at 90% has been created by our projective imagination that also attributes a physicality to him according to what we want.
 
The drift of the love language then does the rest and gives the clear impression that one is building a true love story. But in all this there is a fundamental mistake, in practice the natural mechanism that leads from physical attraction to emotional love is completely distorted. It must be remembered that to fall in love in the true sense of the word, a physical-physiological involvement is essential but must be addressed to a real person, not to an image created by our projective fantasy.
 
Some surrogates of the physical presence, such as photos or videos cannot in any way replace the physical presence that is and remains the necessary element of a true falling in love, I mean that without the physical presence and without an authentic form of involvement physical-physiological, love doesn’t exist at all.
 
I would like to warn youngsters who know each other in a chat against letting themselves go to the drift of love language, which only creates expectations that can then be completely destroyed even by a very brief meeting in which we realize that our projections don’t have anything in common with reality and that the discourse (but only the discourse) has been going on freely, far beyond reality.
 
It is generally very easy to let yourself go in a chat to big speeches, to say “I like you” and also “I love you” without a concrete foundation but it is very difficult to resize these statements later, when these speeches have created and consolidated expectations that a direct personal knowledge can destroy in a sudden and traumatic way.
 
At this point, if when the two guys meet in person the disillusionment is mutual, all in all, the problem is easily solved because the expectations of both parties vanish at the same time but if one of them is disillusioned and the other on the contrary feels strongly attracted also physically, the dissymetries become very strong and the situations become difficult to manage.
 
9 Friendships in chat
 
In chat or via e-mail, that is without direct personal knowledge, it is rather possible and, I would say, much less risky, to create friendships, which are much less conditioned by projective mechanisms than possible love stories. I notice that the spontaneous tendency of the guys is to look for a boyfriend, a lover, rather than one or more real friends in chat, but the internet tools are much better suited to the creation and maintenance of friendships than to the creation of love stories.
 
As a good rule of prudence I would say that it would be good to reserve speeches with strong emotional connotation only to people we actually met even outside the chat or the forum, that is people we met in person. And here an important reflection intervenes. Meeting in two in real life after having met in chat, gives that meeting a very strong emotional connotation and makes it appear as a step towards the construction of an important and mutual story. This is why it is generally better to build relationships that start from friendship, from seeing each other in a group, that is, from relationships that don’t create too many expectations that could turn into disillusionment.
 
Friendship is always the first step, if the physical presence is engaging and encouraging then it may make sense to go a step further, otherwise friendship remains and is not compromised by the fact that no story with greater involvement derives from it because undeclared expectations have not been fed.
 
I would like to stress that the network (used with the utmost caution, for heaven’s sake!) offers possibilities but can also lead to very heavy disillusionments. If you love someone, even just as a friend, you must avoid deluding him and take him to cold showers that leave a deep sense of bitterness. So it is good to always maintain an attitude of responsibility and think first about the possible consequences of what you are going to do or to say. Closed this parenthesis on online meetings, we return to the topic of frustration.
 
10 The value of experience
 
The other key element, beyond socialization, to prevent the sense of frustration is experience. The first refusal can be really traumatic, the following are certainly less, in essence our psyche considers the first traumas of rejection as a kind of vaccination that attenuates the virulence of the following ones. The rejection trauma often leads to behaviors that appear to be attempts to overcome rejection, as insistent requests for confirmation from the other, which obviously only amplify the feeling of rejection. All this, which appears as an inadequate and dysfunctional behavior, on the contrary, has a precise meaning and serves to define the situation (to put a boundary or a limit), that is, serves to its definitive overcoming, to its archiving.
 
It should be emphasized that those who after a first refusal insist on asking for further confirmation are judged by this to be inadequate, but are actually looking for a fracture mechanism that creates the conditions for going further. In this sense, unclear, implicit, said and denied refusals, do nothing but avoid this moment of fracture, preventing in fact the definition of the situation that remains perpetually unresolved.
 
Beyond the subjective perception, the real situations of discomfort are realized where a state of constant uncertainty persists and time passes without the guys realizing the presence or absence of a true symmetrical dimension in an affective relationship.
 
11 Affective frustrations and other frustrations
 
I would like to add that frustrations in the emotional field are often complicated by the presence of other frustrations, this time strictly individual, connected to the failure to achieve objectives related to the research and stabilization of work or success in studies, especially when failures are perceived as deriving from a lack of individual commitment in solving a problem which would really be solvable.
 
In general, frustrations due to substantial disengagement at the individual level are masked by frustrations in emotional or couple relationships that are magnified to make them appear as the core of the state of discomfort, in this case failures in emotional life are motivated by a primary, original inability, that is impossible to overcome and that is almost incumbent as an ineluctable destiny, it is the moment of “I am so, there something wrong in me, I cannot do anything!”
 
The individual frustrations, not referred to their causes but seen as an expression of something uncontrollable, trigger ideas with vaguely depressive contents that risk pervading life on various levels and setting in motion vicious circles from which it is difficult to get out.
 
Experience teaches that problems must be faced and resolved one at a time. The most meaningful thing is to avoid giving your brain a way of always spinning on the usual contents, instead choosing short-term concrete objectives to be implemented by focusing seriously on them. The antidote to frustration and the way to break a series of frustrations that risk triggering a depressive mechanism is to achieve the first successes, to lay the foundations for looking at the concrete and the goals that are really achievable shortly with an effort of individual commitment, how to take an exam, send a resume to find a job, without letting time flow when there are problems to be tackled immediately.
 
In this perspective, being gay can also lead to emotional frustrations that are difficult to accept, but rather than insist in the search for what is wrong in oneself, it makes sense to focus on individual and concrete goals, the achievement of which can lead to a clear increase in self-esteem and therefore also in the ability to face the frustrations in the couple life with greater concreteness and serenity.
 
12 Coexisting with frustrations
 
Frustrations are an indispensable element in the life of everybody and therefore it is necessary to learn to live with it, always remembering that as we have been rejected we also, more or less consciously, rejected other people or other forms of involvement, all this has nothing pathological but is part of the normal administration of emotional life.
 
13 Aggressive frustration and passive frustration
 
Speaking via msn with several gay guys, I often find myself faced with manifestations of frustration which, although quite differentiated, certainly have very similar motivations behind them. The reactions are at various intermediate levels between those of aggressive frustration and those of total passivity. I try to give an idea of the most recurrent content:
 
AGGRESSIVE FRUSTRATION – “The world sucks”, “I would break everything”, “People are a shit”, “To someone like that I would break his face”, “They are deficient and immature”, “I hate them all”, “I cannot stand them”, “I feel like I’m throwing away my time”, “Another day ended and I haven’t realized anything! I cannot stand anymore throwing away my time!”
 
PASSIVE FRUSTRATION – “The others can have fun not me “, “What am I living for?”, “So it’s useless!”, “I’ll never be happy”, “I don’t care about studying, so I will never succeed, my life is just a set of failures”.
 
At the base of these forms of frustration there may be differently articulated motivations but all attributable to the real or presumed impossibility of living a satisfactory affective life and the belief that “others” (hetero but also gay), instead, can fully experience their emotional life.
 
14 Different types of gay frustrations
 
The frustrations are found in different forms in different groups of people:
 
– Older boys, over 35 years old, who start feeling like they have “lost the train” because they arrived too late at the acceptance of themselves or at the idea that an emotional realization is possible even for a gay guy.
 
– Boys with specific sexual orientation towards people much older than themselves who realize the difficulty of achieving what they would like and become aware of the social condemnation (even among gays) of their preferences. These guys feel marginalized even among gays.
 
– Boys with specific minority sexual orientation, that is, boys who fall in love very rarely and with guys with whom it is difficult to build a relationship. These guys don’t usually fall in love with guys with whom fall in love the majority of gay guys and have the impression that the future, for them, can consist exclusively or in the acceptance of compromise solutions or in emotional loneliness.
 
– Guys who consider themselves unsuitable to constitute a center of emotional and sexual interest for another guy both for physical and psychological reasons.
 
15 Frustration before and after the arrival of the Internet
 
I must add a reflection that often came to my mind, while talking with guys and comparing their reactions with those that my peers had when they were twenty. Forty years ago, in objective terms, the reasons for the frustration of a gay guy could be even more serious because the isolation was total and yet, for what I could see, talking to people of my generation, the sense of frustration was less deep and the tendency to seek substitute satisfactions in the study, in the career and in a social dimension, independent of the sexual orientation, was much stronger. In essence there was at the time the clear awareness of the impossibility of building a life according to one’s own principles. Today, especially thanks to the internet, the possibilities of contact between gay guys have increased enormously, but expectations have increased proportionally, and the sense of frustration, far from being sublimated in productive activities, is very strong.
 
One of the risks associated with a reality such as Project Gay consists precisely in creating a sounding board that amplifies the sense of frustration and radicalizes it. Not only that, but the direct contact with other gay guys, which at the beginning looks extremely promising, then slowly dismantles the assumption that two gay guys necessarily have a common world and brings out the differences that are often very large. The discussion between gays is not easy because it highlights that even among gays there are mechanisms of marginalization and competitiveness. All this risks radicalizing frustration: “I feel marginalized even among other gays!”
 
16 The risks of frustration
 
But let’s come to the specific risks of the sense of frustration, first of all to the depressive forms that sometimes accompany adolescence and youth of gay boys, depressive forms complicated by the fact that talking with parents is practically impossible and boys are forced to an endless acting.
 
Depression can come to manifest itself in crying, in the sense of abandonment and uselessness. It sometimes happens that some ideas related to depression become persistently recurrent and even dominant. It is the case of the guys who construct a rational discourse in support of their depressive idea, giving it an appearance of objectivity. This is the typical case of the so-called extrapolations, which are very frequent: “If I have not fallen in love in twenty years it will never happen to me!”, “Everything I have done has always gone wrong and it will always be like that!” In these discourses we start from premises that can also be objective but we reach improper conclusions characterized by “always” or “never”, that is, by radically negative conclusions.
 
I learned from experience that talking with guys who live depressive phases is not easy and that the first thing that needs to be kept in mind is that it is not enough to have a positive chatter to get out of the depressed mood. If on the one hand the depression should not be fed, for the other must be respected and not trivialized. Seen from the outside it looks like something almost trivial, surmountable with a little encouragement, but seen from the inside it causes deep suffering.
 
Respect towards a depressed guy must be shown by putting aside all aggressiveness towards him and every preaching attitude, all this is not easy because, for those who are not depressed, it is very difficult to realize the mechanisms of depression. The insistence is experienced by a depressed guy as a form of aggression. What instead really has a value is a presence that does not fade, which is constant but not harassing. But the subject is very complex and should be investigated.
 
The second typical risk of the frustration consists in trying to “solve the problem” through the ways that seem the easiest or perhaps the only ones that can be followed, namely the erotic chats and the meeting sites. Gay Project’s online interviews show that the percentage of guys who attend erotic chats and dating sites more or less habitually is not negligible. However, it is quite probable that a good percentage of those guys don’t really enter chats or dating sites to find easy sex, in many cases those guys are driven by the sense of frustration to look inside those sites for what they cannot find elsewhere, i.e. a true emotional life. From what I see on a daily basis, many youngsters come out profoundly disappointed by the experience of dating sites and erotic chats and this only adds to the sense of frustration.
 
Apart from the risk of HIV, the alternative between visiting dating sites and sadden in a depressive state may appear to be the only one possible, even if it really it is not. What often creates conditioning is the rush to reach the solution. Among other things, the escape from the depressive loneliness can be so radically conditioning to take the boys to make them underestimate the real risks of the chats and dating sites in terms of sexually transmitted diseases and to let them consider sexual intercourses as indicative of a sure affective substrate also where it is unrealistic to expect anything like this.
 
There are guys who try to start couple relationships with guys met in chat or on the dating sites, completely expending themselves in this attempt and bringing back at the end, after many adventures, deep frustrations. The idea that the realization of sexual contacts on the basis of physical pleasure alone doesn’t realize affective well-being is difficult to accept, especially on the part of a guy fleeing from depression.
 
It would be essential to create true emotional relationships, of simple friendship, which could, if it is true friendship, allow an affective life less centered on the need for a couple’s life. The idea that the life of a person identifies with his life as a couple partner and only with it, in addition to being completely unrealistic, only amplifies the expectations, before, and the sense of frustration, after, since affective life can be built only in two and not as an answer to the demanding of only one, however profound it could be.
 
Frustration also involves a further type of risk and it is the risk connected to neglecting or abandoning all other activities that contribute to building the ordinary relationship life of a gay guy, I speak of study, work, the relationship with the family of origin and with the old friends.
 
When the idea of realizing a couple life becomes dominant, everything else gradually loses weight and becomes an object of contempt or explicit disinterest.
 
Neglecting the studies because there are “more important problems” to be solved not only doesn’t solve those problems but adds others and distances the economic autonomy over time which may instead be one of the most useful elements to reduce the sense of frustration that accompanies youth of so many gay guys.
 
Unfortunately, the idea that the life of an individual is not played on the only element “life of a couple” is difficult to accept for a guy who is accustomed and pushed to consider couple life as totalizing.
___________
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COMING OUT IN CHAT

– Mark writes: but you make a speech a bit ‘strange
– Luke writes: why?
– Mark writes: … I do not know … this friend for you seems to me that really matters a lot …
– Luke writes: yes indeed yes … we have known each other for years, we tell each other everything …
– Mark writes: but do you have a girlfriend?
– Luke writes: no …
– Mark writes: and why not?
– Luke writes: well …
– Mark writes: but what does it mean?
– Luke writes: …
– Mark writes: oh my God, are you gay? …
– Luke writes: …
– Mark writes: damn it, I’m sorry
– Luke writes: what are you sorry for?
– Mark writes: well, I don’t know, I was saying just to say…
– Luke writes: Come on, tell me what you really think
– Mark writes: … what can I tell you? … it’s not that I feel embarrassed but it had never happened to me before and then I would not have expected it from you, I’m sorry, I don’t know … damn I do not know what to say … but I feel embarrassed … no, maybe not, anyway … I do not know …
– Luke writes: come on, speak clearly …
– Mark writes: in short, I expected it, that is, I immediately understood it …
– Luke writes: but a second ago you said exactly the opposite …
– Mark writes: no, well … how sensitive you are … you don’t forgive me anything …
– Luke writes: oh … Mark … if you want, we can stop the chat here …
– Mark writes: and why?
– Luke writes: well …
– Mark writes: but what does it mean?
– Luke writes: …
– Mark writes: but I have nothing against gays, we are civil persons … if you’re like this … I can tell you … ok, ok … just don’t run too much …
– Luke writes: but have I ever done it?
– Mark writes: no … perhaps you think I’m a redfish, I mean ugly …
– Luke writes: but come on!
– Mark writes: well, I do not know, I said just to say … a stupid joke … but, seriously, what do you plan to do?
– Luke writes: in what sense?
– Mark writes: I don’t know … go to a psychologist … see if you can do anything …
– Luke writes: that is?
– Mark writes:… I do not know … but do you want to remain like this? If you have problems with girls I have heard that something can be done, you can ask your doctor perhaps with the viagra …
– Luke writes: but do you know what a gay is?
– Mark writes: he is one that when he is with a girl his dick does not stand up, but you don’t have to be affected by these things, I think that something can be done … just find the right doctor to solve the problem and then we’ll go together to look for prostitutes … nice Luke!
– Luke writes: no … I guess you didn’t understand … I’m not impotent …
– Mark writes: so what is it? If your dick stands up with a woman what’s the problem? … and I think you’re not even gay … this thing now you are putting it in your head as well as a fixed idea … but I know it’s a big bullshit. ..
– Luke writes: well … no … I want to be with the guys … I fall in love with them …
– Mark writes: what does this mean? But it’s not possible! How can you do such a thing? It does not really make sense … it would be like if I thought I’d fall in love with you but it’s crazy …
– Luke writes: …
– Mark writes: oh my God, what happened? Did you get offended? …
– Luke writes: no … I’m used to the fact that no one understands anything …
– Mark writes: but that should I understand? Come on! Don’t say bullshit! … I make you know a girl that when I see her I immediately get a hard-on … when you are there you cannot resist … you see her and all the stupid fantasies go immediately away … Luke, come on … it’s only bullshit …
– Luke writes: … If we have to go on like this it is better that I close …
– Mark writes: but … do you really think you’re one of those? … Luke!! Don’t worry, with that shit of people you have nothing to do! but have you seen what funny types they are? They are pathetic …
– Luke writes: I leave you, I go … it’s better … bye
– Mark writes: wait! Damn! But where are you going! Stop there! I don’t eat you … damn when one wants to help a friend at the end gets only punches!
– Luke writes: sorry, sorry, but I don’t want to be helped … I want to be what I’m, nothing else!
– Mark writes: I think you don’t even know what you say … Oh well … do you want to do that? Just do it! In the end it’s just your problem! At the end of you I do not care at all! You want to be shit … and then people treat you like shit … it’s right, no?
– Luke writes: Hi Mark
(and closes the chat. Mark reopens the chat immediately)
– Mark writes: Oh! Woe to you if you close another time the chat this way! You make me angry … but you have just a temper … You mean you’re gay, all right, do as you please! You want to be an asshole … Do it!
– Luke writes: if you start again, I turn it off … Mark, if you don’t have a minimum of respect, go to hell and that’s it!
– Mark writes: Oh well, sorry, sorry … but seriously why don’t you go to a psychologist? A good psychologist in my opinion can get you out of this mess …
– Luke writes: what the hell do you say!
– Mark writes: well, I don’t know, I said so … but what do you think you’re doing?
– Luke writes: what should I do? Anything!
– Mark writes: but if you don’t go to the psychologist this thing becomes a sort of fixation, while I think there are many things to do …
– Luke writes: do you have to continue this way?
– Mark writes: okay … you’re right … let’s pretend that you’re right …
– Luke writes: Mark I’m tired of listening to nonsense …
– Mark writes: oh! well I’m tired too … and you said much more bullshit than me …
– Luke writes: I cannot stand you anymore … Mark that’s enough! … But why did I tell you about my business? … I cannot stand it anymore … leave me alone!
– Mark writes: No! Otherwise what are friends for? … you’ve got a bullshit in your head and I have to wash your brain … that’s all … But did you tell Sandro?
– Luke writes: no! … but why? Did I have to tell him?
– Mark writes: no, but you know … he also seems a bit strange …
– Luke writes: what the hell do you say?
– Mark writes: well … I told you … anyway do what you want! …
– Luke writes: I told you and I was wrong because you are treating me absurdly and you don’t even understand what you say…
– Mark writes: but you know that Sandro thought he could take you too to that… girl I told you before … I had brought him there before …
– Luke writes: but was not he gay?
– Mark writes: well … but he came to that girl … if you had come too, she would have had the same effect on you too…
(Luke finally closes the chat.)

___________

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A COMING OUT ENDED BADLY

It’s a day like many, in the morning at work I know I’ll meet him, perhaps I’ll see him for five minutes, at most ten, and this already makes me uncomfortable, he’s not working in my room and if he were there it would be embarrassing, if I could I’d like better avoid to see him at all and instead the torment will be repeated even today because he will have to pass in my room, if I’ll can understand when, I will try not to be there, I feel uncomfortable if I have to stay there while he is there looking at me.

Let me explain immediately: I am a 31-year-old gay man and I carelessly made the declaration of love to a 26-year-old guy who works in my office and he took it very badly. At the beginning I was afraid that he would disgrace me but he didn’t and now it’s been two weeks, there is no longer any dialogue between us, he reacted very badly, he felt soiled by me, he tried to behave formally, but it was clear that he could not bear me anymore, I tried to apologize but he didn’t even hear me and he left. Before we used to say goodbye and go to have coffee together, but now he disappeared and even asked for a transfer to another office. As for me, I was shitty …

I didn’t expect such a reaction, it was a terrible moment, he grimaced with his face and then he made a gesture with his hand as if to say: “What have you put in your mind?” I fell from heaven to hell in a second and then you know, in an office like ours the risk for these things is big, but he didn’t say anything, it seems to me that with the others everything is exactly as before but maybe he didn’t gossip not so much out of respect of me but mostly not to get involved he too.

I had waited months before declaring myself and everything seemed to be in order, I would have bet he was gay, it seemed to me that all reasoning led to the same conclusion, I seemed to have had some encouraging signals, but obviously everyone interprets signals as he likes better. We even exchanged presents, I gave him a pen drive for PC and he gave me the poems of Garcia Lorca, but when one gives you a similar book, what have you to understand? That the one who gives it to you is hetero?

Evidently he had never read the poetry of Lorca and I was screwed, but this is not enough, we went a couple of times to eat a pizza together and we talked about everything, it seemed absolutely obvious to me that he was gay, no talk of a girl but only of a person, he spoke of loneliness and so on … I read on this blog of splendid gay-straight relationships, but why didn’t it happen to me? If he had been heterosexual and had not taken it badly, it would have been all the same for me, less good but good the same. But no, he reacted just with a form of refusal, I would say rejection, just with a sense of disgust. What ugly adventures you must pass! If a woman fell in love with me I wouldn’t treat her like that, I certainly wouldn’t encourage her, but I wouldn’t treat her with such a violent detachment, it’s not right.

But why should he treat me like that? Perhaps he’s trying to make his moral prevalence weigh looking at me from up down, a bit like a worm you don’t crush not to get your shoes dirty. Now when I see him from a distance I change road, twenty days ago I tracked him, I wanted to know everything about him, now I do not care about him anymore, I feel humiliated, I had never felt so low, I have to stay in the hole, when I try to go out even if in a very prudent way, because this time I was very cautious, I realize that it is better not to go out from the hole. But how do they do those who live as a couple? Can you let me know how you found the right person? I would really like to understand if there are real possibilities, because it seems to me that there are not at all. I don’t say just to say but where can you find serious guys just to chat a little with?

Where I live, in practice I don’t see any real possibility, the environment is very small and very gossipy. Here, if there are gay guys, they certainly cannot have a place to meet. At the age of 31 I’m still totally devoid of direct experience, not only sexual, but also emotional, I would love to have a gay friend just to be able to vent and to talk a little freely because it never happens to me and I begin to be fed up of dreams and fantasies.

Frankly I think I’m a guy as it should be, I have no ulterior motives, I would never put in crisis a person who loved me, but life is passing by, now are 12/13 years that I know exactly what I want and are 12 / 13 years that I know I will not be able to get it, but why should one remain alone? I don’t see any serious reason, but in the end it just happens that way. There are many nice guys, but I risk repeating the story of my colleague and frankly a single experiences like that is enough for me. I live in a small town in the north, not far from Milan, but I seem to live on the moon, here there is nothing, at least there is nothing I want, here the guys, on Saturday night, go to Milan and I stay here, so where can I go? You cannot go far if you are on your own.

__________

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A GAY BETWEEN A STRAIGHT AND A BISEXUAL

When I was a child, I believed in fairy tales, I believed that in order to obtain anything it was enough to want it deeply, as I grew up I learned on my skin that fairy tales are a way to prevent a child from too traumatic contact with reality. When I was a child, I was not a little charming prince and perhaps I looked more like a frog than a prince, but a chubby frog, because I was like that! I struggled to accept myself, but not as a gay (what came later and was not a problem at all) but as a fat boy. Now I see the photos of when I was a child: just a lard ball inexorably attracted to cakes and snacks of all kinds. 
Of the period before adolescence I remember especially the talks with the psychologist and the dietician, the terror of when they took my blood for the analysis and the obsession of the scale, I didn’t understand why my mother considered it something so fundamental. I didn’t give a damn about being fat and I didn’t understand why the others were so worried. I hated my mother when she hid me things to eat, spied on me and locked the fridge. In primary school, in a school of nuns, the comrades were polite and nobody was making fun of me and so being fat didn’t really give me any problem. 
The trouble started in the sixth grade. As soon as I entered the school, they gave me the first nickname: Ciccio! [something like “fatty”] At first I didn’t understand why, then I slowly understood. The school environment was bad. The teachers struggled a lot to be respected, we teased them and laughed like crazy and they tried to keep us as good as they could, the math teacher threatened to load us with homework, the Italian teacher to make us do long summaries. We had a young lady as a Gymnastics teacher, who showed us how to do the exercises first, she was very good at doing exercises, but we were not good at doing anything! 
At the first gym classes I felt myself marginalized for the first time. In primary school we didn’t do Gymnastics at all, but from the sixth grade the teacher didn’t let us play and didn’t allow us to waste time and the gym class started with a run that never ended. The teacher made me do only two laps, while the others kept running, I and another boy had to stretch while lying on the ground and the other boy was also chubby, not just like me but almost. The teacher didn’t make us tired, then I realized that since I was too fat I could have problems and she was careful. When my parents went to the interview with the teachers they asked if they would do better to ask for the exemption and the teacher said that asking for exemption would certainly be a mistake and that I would have to attend a gym regularly. 
In the first week of the sixth grade I had learned a very long series of bad words of which I didn’t even know the meaning. In practice in a very short time the mockery of the companions, but also the pushes and the blows, focused on two kids, one was me: “Ciccio” and then there was “Recchia” [derived from the Italian dialect word “Ricchione” or “Recchione” used vulgarly as a synonym of homosexual], a slim and blond boy who was systematically placed in the middle and beaten up. I didn’t understand why they called him Recchia and I thought it was because he had big ears (in Italian “orecchie”), but in reality they were not big, it took me a couple of years to get to understand the real why. 
In the seventh grade my classmates, or at least some of them, must have begun to understand something more about sex, the fact is that, even if I didn’t understand why, they hugged Recchia from behind and held him tight and Recchia tried to wriggle to run away, if he could not, he reacted screaming and sometimes he would start crying, and then they mocked him heavily, they demanded that he sit down on the legs of the other companions and someone tried to put hands in the middle of his legs, it is at this point that I began to have a first vague idea of what sexuality was. 
Recchia made me tenderness, I never made stupid jokes against him to put him in trouble and if I saw someone who tried to mock him I defended him and the others stayed calm, because I was much bigger than them. In the middle of seventh grade, Recchia changed school (then I realized that he couldn’t stand bullying of my classmates) but we continued to meet at least once a week, I was fine with him, he never mocked me and when I went to his house, his parents always prepared for me something to eat: pizza or sweets. 
When I was in eighth grade, Recchia started to become a really nice boy and I started to fantasize about him, I liked him very much and practically I started to masturbate always thinking of Paul, that’s his name. I imagined that he was gay and that he was in love with me, very unlikely because he was handsome while I was still fat, I had grown tall but I was still very heavy. We did the eighth grade examinations in two different schools and then we met together in the ninth grade, starting scientific high school. He told me he would attend the classic high school but then I found him in my class, I don’t know if it happened by chance (I don’t think so), but it happened like that. 
We started to study together, the thing worked and then I did everything not to lose ground because spending all afternoons with Paul was like being in heaven. The school was difficult and we studied a lot but we didn’t get scared. One day one of our female friends comes to me and tells me that Paul told her that I’m a special boy, I like it very much. We arrive in the 11th grade, Paul is now the idol of the girls and also of the teachers and I feel proud that he considers me a friend. Obviously he is the center of all my sexual interests, but it seems to me not only too good for me but too interested in girls, however we continue to study together. 
When we are almost at the end of the annual school trip we end up in the same hotel room, we talk all night long, even about sex, and he tells me about a girl that he likes very much, I listen and try to answer as I can, then he asks me about me and since I really trust him I tell him that I think I’m gay but not only, I also tell him that I’m in love with him, he looks at me puzzled, then he sends out loud all the breath he has in the lungs and tells me: “Oh well, it happens! I’m sorry that I cannot match you because for me there are only girls, if ever I fall in love with a boy, that one would be you! I know it’s a small consolation . . . All the same as before?” I reply: “Sure!” And actually nothing changed between us, or better our relationship has improved, I felt free and happy to have a friend like Paul. 
Then in the middle of the 13th grade I made my metamorphosis and from the fatty boy I was I become a butterfly, I lost many kilos and according to what they tell me, I became a handsome boy, I would have hoped that the boys would follow me and instead only girls were following me. I often consulted with Paul on how to keep girls at a distance because he too had the same problem even if the situation was completely different. 
After graduation Paul went to study in another city and in practice we lost almost all contacts. I enrolled in engineering, dreaming of being able to meet another Paul, but this time gay, and to finally be able to live a love affair with him. For me Paul was a very important person at all levels, he was not gay, ok, but we were friends in the true sense of the word, he basically knew everything about me and nothing had changed and then he didn’t talk about me to anyone. Let’s say that I was badly accustomed to him, not only, but I had in mind the myth of the gay who is always good, respects his neighbor and seeks a serious emotional life. 
In the faculty we are few, there is a fair percentage of girls, so the number of guys is quite low, I would say about twenty, there are me, gay, some others there should be but everyone keeps well perched in his privacy, except for heterosexuals, but they must think above all to study more than to stay with the girls. In short, I look around but there is not even the shadow of a gay. I make friends with a guy in my class, I immediately state that he had nothing to do with Paul, he was a not bad boy, but for me he had never been an object I don’t say of erotic fantasies but not even of curiosity. I had not tried to get news about him like I did on another couple of my colleagues, just because I was not interested in him. 
The friendship between us is born by chance and I think that he too cared little about me, he could serve to study together, but he was not even a big deal from that point of view. I don’t give importance to the thing, in the periods before the exemptions [tests carried out periodically during the course, which, if passed with good grades allow to be exempt from the final written test.] we study together a few nights. Seen up close he is not bad and I tell myself that since certainly I’ll never find another Paul, it is worth while accepting what the convent passes, between us there is a little more confidence and he starts talking about girls, tells me that he has a girlfriend but that “it’s not enough” that he also needs “other”. 
I ask him if he is in love with his girl and tells me yes, the speech goes on and after a long pull and spring he tells me that he’s bisexual, I, given my total inexperience, put in my head a wrong equation: “bisexual = gay” and I’m still a bit bad: I had found one that would have been there but it was not like Paul . . . I said to myself, “Did this guy really have to be gay?” (gay or bisexual it was basically the same for me) And I went on to assume that his world was exactly like mine. I didn’t know what to do, saying: “I’m gay” would have been perhaps the right thing to do but, frankly, I didn’t trust him too much and then I was also afraid he could take the lead of staying with me, what I was not at all convinced of wanting, I believe no more than yes. 
I continued to be a straight friend, but evidently he had a long eye and aimed far away, where I didn’t think he was coming. He introduced me to his girl, what I would never have expected, and made sure that we three would meet many times. I said to myself: “If you want to go out with me, ok, but what about the girl? Don’t meddle me with things I have nothing to do with!” But there was a flaw in my reasoning, I had slowly begun to assume that he understood how things were, even though I had never admitted anything. I said to myself: “If he is not an idiot he understood!” 
At a certain point I realized that the girl was beginning to consider me a confidant. She phoned me to tell me about his business and in practice to make me understand that she had problems with her boyfriend because she thought the boy was gay. I asked her what she deduced it from and she told me that the boy was never there on Wednesdays, I, perhaps naively, told her that on Wednesdays he never came to classes and she grimaced as if to say that she expected it, then asked me if I knew anything and I found myself in a terrible embarrassment, because I knew but I couldn’t tell her anything so I had to lie, but I didn’t like it at all. In short, I became the confidant of the girl, who called me almost every day and on Wednesday came to the university canteen to have lunch with me. 
I finally had to tell the guy how things were and he confessed to me that things were no longer going well with the girl and that maybe he was not really bisexual but gay and that he didn’t feel like going along with the girl. In short, after a few days, a Tuesday night he tells me that he left the girl because it is not something for him, on Wednesday at the table I see the girl who confirms the fact but the time is very short and we decide to meet again in the evening. We go to the pizzeria, then in the car she unleashes herself with me and starts crying and tells me a sentence that puts me in alarm: “I cannot stand any more gays! I need a real man, I’m just fine with you!” I said to myself: “Oh my God! But look what a rascal! He cut the rope and dumped the girl!” I had to appeal to all my creative spirit to explain to the girl that I was already busy and that my girlfriend calls me every night on skype. She was very bad, though obviously she couldn’t take it out on me. 
When I saw him the next day at the university, I asked him where he was going on Wednesday, because I thought he had found a guy, and he told me: “I see another girl!” I told him: “Girl? But didn’t you feel gay?” And he replied: “Not exactly 100% gay”. In the evening I called Paul and I told him the whole story and he told me that he had been courting a girl for months but that she kept him at a distance, then a female friend of the girl told him that the girl didn’t want him because she thought he was gay! Paul gay? Only one who does not reason at all can think of such a thing. Then Paul told me laughing: “I think it would be better if we put together!” And it all ended with this joke: Paul!!! But why are the beautiful and intelligent guys always straight?!
___________
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GAY SEXUAL INDIFFERENCE

Hi Project,

here you have another mail of mine after 15 days of silence. I’m the 32 year old guy with whom you talked the night between April 13th and 14th. I don’t know what you may have thought that night but for me it was a strange experience, these days I wondered if I had to write another time or not, it took me a while but I decided to write.

When I called you on the night of the 13th I was very depressed. I don’t know if it’s something typical of gays, but I think it’s mostly something that belongs to me, my mood collapses and I see everything black. I really needed to talk because I cannot do it with anyone. As I told you I had tried several times to find friends on chat but with bad results and on the other hand the loneliness weighs and sometimes you get really bad ideas in your head.

I’m no longer a boy and I don’t feel like it, I think the best of life has gone by now, or rather I think I threw it away. I tried to be straight for years and to have a girlfriend but then I didn’t do it anymore and even though I knew I would be alone I told myself that it is better to be alone than to pretend to be what you are not.

As far as the coming out is concerned, I’m not even thinking about it, where I am, it would be destructive. In my family they still hope that the girl who will take me with her arrives. Where I work the word gay raises acid jokes and guffaws.

Sex until recently was reduced to masturbation, pleasant, I do not deny it, but in the long run depressing, because it is like continuing to dream about non-existent things. As I explained to you, my sexuality has slowly disappeared, but also the only emotional desire. In practice I never fell in love, that is, I never found such a guy that I could say that I wanted to be with him. And masturbation has also become an exception in my life whereas before it was a constant.

At the age of 20, when I forced myself to be straight, I masturbated with guilty about guys and so on, etc., but for me it was a very strong sexual interest that I could not really repress. So my problem was to avoid masturbating thinking about guys, and despite all the good intentions, I could not avoid it. Now that I have accepted myself one way or another, it is as if I have completely lost my sexual desire. I don’t need to repress anything, in fact I don’t get excited and even though it seems strange to me, for me it is absolutely spontaneous.

I saw that a guy from the forum wrote things that somehow resemble my experience and I also read the things you wrote. You say that in the end they are not problems but they become problems just because guys see them like problems, but certainly you feel a bit strange, the guy who wrote the post is much younger than me, but in practice from 27/28 years old I happen to think that I don’t even have a sexuality. Let’s say that if I commit myself to masturbating I can do it, but it’s not like before, before it had a strong sexual dimension, now it’s a bit like an ordinary thing, if you do or do not it it’s practically indifferent. Let’s say that I don’t find any motivation of a physical nature for the fact of having put aside sexuality but it is as if I had removed a part of my personality, or rather as if that part of my personality had fallen asleep.

For the rest things are fine, apparently I don’t feel depressed, indeed, at work I also get better results, a bit as if I had transferred the mental time that before I devoted to sexuality to other things. Of course, it creates a strange feeling to hear my friends, all straight, talking about sex as if it were the center of their lives, for me it is not at all and what leaves me more puzzled is the fact that I don’t even fall in love with guys who are objectively beautiful and who in other times would have attracted my fantasies like a strong magnet.

I don’t feel anaffective, but asexual, that is I like the company of guys (even that of girls) with them I’m fine, with my straight friends I go out a little but there is a relationship, practically as before, only now I have stopped already looking with another eye a couple of them that previously interested me even sexually.

Project, when we talked, you tried to encourage me in every way but I don’t feel depressed, I feel good, not at all frustrated by this thing, let’s say that thinking about it is substantially a form of intellectual curiosity. Here are three pages of my diary that could explain the situation better. If you think it useful, publish everything I sent you (I have already changed the names).

See you soon.
__________

DIARY

January 12th 2009
Work finished, and I think quite well. I have some free time what do I do? I’m going to rest for a while. Mh, I don’t think about sex for a long time, it’s been months since I’ve opened my last porn. I go to the pool twice a week, I see a lot of naked guys but I remain totally indifferent. Before I needed a titanic strength to control myself now it is as if I were in a female dressing room. I’m moving away from these things and it seems to me almost impossible.

January 13th 2009
This morning I saw Matthew, beautiful as the sun! But I really did not give a damn. We went down to get coffee, he was casual, nice, always behaved in the same way, I went to the bar but I felt distant, stranger, and yet Matthew has been my fixed idea for years. Maybe when you understand that he is not for you, the fantasy comes away.

January 21th 2009
Yesterday I went to see “The Reader” a tragic film about a German guy who goes with a woman much older than him and discovers that she was a kapò, film strong, beautiful, the protagonist is a handsome guy and I have also seen him completely naked. In other times it would have shocked me, but yesterday it didn’t make me hot nor cold, at most the idea of exploring the nudity of that guy, but just zero sexual involvement. But is such a thing normal? Boh! It’s just as if I didn’t care about it.

February 6th 2009
Matthew asked me to go swimming with him. In other times something like that would have sent me into orbit. I told him yes, but I don’t really care about it.

February 10th 2009
I’ve been swimming with Matthew and I saw him naked for the first time, he’s a nice guy, also well endowed, but he didn’t make me hot nor cold. He does not think that I can be gay, of course … zero reaction! But the fact is that I think that actually saying that I’m gay doesn’t mean anything. I’ve been, maybe, but I’m not anymore, of course I’m not straight, but if to be gay I have to have fantasies about a guy, then I’m not anymore.

February 21th 2009
In the pool there was a new guy, very young, 20/21 years old, I think, he asked me how the pool works and I explained it to him, then I invited him to the bar and we got a drink. He was alone, without friends, then he told me that he was going to get ready for the pool and he said to me: “Are you coming?” I told him that I would go shortly afterwards, actually I waited for him to go to the pool, then I went to change. I don’t know if I avoided going there when he was there for fear of erection, the fear that could happen was there, anyway when he was there I didn’t go. Perhaps I was afraid that it would “not” happen. At home I have thought about him several times, but with tenderness and nothing happened, at most a half erection, but so, spontaneously, just thinking of a guy, it had not happened to me for a long time. Perhaps next time I go to the locker room with him.

February 28th 2009
With the guy of the pool I think we will be friends. I’m very comfortable with him. I think I’m a bit taking advantage of him. He does not talk about sex, neither guys nor girls, he’s really a good guy, this time he invited me to the bar, then same scene when he went to the locker room, I waited and went there a few minutes after but then I felt very uncomfortable and when he came out I went out too and we ended up in two showers nearby, I was afraid that I would get an explosive erection but nothing happened and he too was completely flaccid, I think he is straight. But it’s a nice guy, naked more than dressed.

March 2, 2009
I know that something is starting to happen to me. I often think of Andrew, even in a sexual key, I would like to cuddle him a bit when he is more melancholic, I think a hug would please him. Thinking about him in a sexual key makes me strange, it’s too young for me and I feel like a maniac, I know that I like this guy, but just as a person.

July 14th 2009
Andrew went to Sicily with his family. But why? This thing crashes me, in the last five years he was the only guy who made sense to me. With him I was really good, there were moments of mutual beautiful tenderness and maybe I would even fall in love with him, I began to have a sex life, that is to masturbate, with so many feelings of guilt, I admit, a bit as if I were a thief of his youth, because I was beginning to fall in love, but now? What should I do now? Write to him? I have his cell phone, I don’t even know if he’s gay, just that I was fine with him. Andrew! Why don’t you contact me again?

July 26th 2009
End of the story! Andrew sent me a beautiful postcard signed also by his girlfriend. I’m happy for him and also because our story was taking a road that I could not control. I feel dry, I don’t want to write anything. That’s enough! I am 32 years old and I feel like a failure from all points of view.

__________

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