NON-POSSESSIVE GAY COUPLE

– Virgil: hello Project!
– Project: Hello !! Nice to hear you! How are you now that you’re home?
– Virgil: eh eh, the appearance is of tranquility
– Project: Wow !!! So it must be. . . But why appearance?
– Virgil: staying here makes me a rather strange effect
– Project: well, you stay at home, with your traditional friends, with people you should know better, or at least you attended for a longer time
– Virgil: yes, but the feeling is not to know them , in reality . . . it’s like a farce. . . it’s really weird
– Project: oh oh, I can understand, in fact that’s your virtual world
– Virgil: what do you mean?
– Project: that even at home and perhaps especially at home you cannot feel free as you would like, maybe you’re more free when you’re away
– Virgil: I talk about those I’ve known for a long time. . . the feeling is that of not having (almost) ever had real conversations with them
-Project: Mh …
– Virgil: yes, indeed. . . that’s what I told you the other night. . . that with the few that I knew outside I actually had conversations really more free than those I had with the guys I had considered friends from the beginning
– Project: I understand it well, I’m old but my real world is just PG
– Virgil: even if about friends of outside I’m afraid of not being able to count on them at the moment of need . . . but maybe I’m wrong
– Project: even out there are guys ok!
– Virgil: I wanted to ask you something more about the couple freedom and possessiveness, if you have 5 minutes. . . you told me that it’s not feasible to ask for 100% of a person, a couple relationship this way could not work. . . and that often relations with third parties based on exchanges of looks or even words can be deeper than those in which there is sex
– Project: they are different things, certainly if there is a TRUE sexual and also emotional involvement, we are at another level but it is not so common, often people try to live in couple just to try and or to experience
– Virgil: of course. . . I totally agree . . . what I wanted to ask you is about a possible relationship with true emotional and sexual involvement. . . premise: in the context of such a relationship, afternoons spent chatting with other people with whom another true emotional relationship has been established should be totally normal, I mean in the context of the speech about the impossibility of asking for 100% of a person. . . question: what if these relationships with other people (both true relationships, these and that with the first person) were to be configured as a betrayal according to the common conception (i.e. they entailed pampering and, in the extreme case, sex)? Do they become wrong relationships? And if so, what does the sex element entail in making a true relationship with a third person more wrong than the true relationship with the first?
– Project: everything is in people’s brains, there are guys who “if it is not really a betrayal” don’t get upset but must first understand that their relationship is not in crisis, it is not easy for them to understand it, but if there is a true emotional relationship and it is understood that the needs the other are not superficial, it is also possible that the thing is not considered a betrayal and doesn’t undermine anything. The possessiveness is dangerous but it is the common way of seeing
– Virgil: I agree with you, but if it is the common way of seeing, it doesn’t mean that it is the best one. . .
– Project: I don’t think it’s the best one, I mean that if you really love a guy and you realize, talking to him explicitly, that he loves a third guy, possibly even with sexual involvement, if you understand that this fact doesn’t destroy your relationship, in the end you don’t stay bad and accept it. This way of looking at things is not the common way of seeing but is founded on a very deep affective relationship, more important than prejudices
– Virgil: Ok, I try to go on, what do you think of the case in which the two relationships, both true and sincere, naturally evolve towards the dissolution of the former and the strengthening of that with the hypothetical third person? Should the true relationship with the third person have been avoided? Should it have to be undertaken only after interrupting the one with the first person? (all traditional conclusions that I don’t share but that put me to the test as they represent the commonly accepted view) and, to bring the discussion to its extreme, is it possible that these true relationships can coexist?
– Project: the fact that the second relationship can become more important than the first is possible but is not automatically destructive of the former, about the coexistence of the two relationships, I think they can coexist, I have seen situations like these that lasted long, but over time then social and cultural pressure easily leads to a break of balance
– Virgil: How nice to read it from you! It a little calms me. . .
– Project: why?
– Virgil: because you have my own vision and to think that I’m the only one who thinks so it makes me feel wrong, a bit as it is, and even more previously it was, thinking of being the only one who feels affection for the guys!
– Project: affectivity has no rules and is instinctive, true betrayal consists in hiding and not saying how things really are. But if a guy who loves you tells you that he loves also another guy, what do you do? Do you drive him away because you have no more the exclusive? On the contrary you make sure that he can realize his wishes at the higher level and you don’t abandon him, if you really love him, to avoid him live as a negative thing the feelings he feels for the other guy
– Virgil: since I feel a deep esteem towards you reading you somehow makes me feel in good company
– Project: slowly this way of seeing things is spreading and it will be more and more shared, especially in the gay field
– Virgil: Really! That attitude towards affection for another guy is what I feel too!
– Project: if you love a guy, you want him to feel good not only with you but that he is well according to his way of feeling
– Virgil: I would almost say Holy Words !! Or maybe not, not words of the saints of the near future. . .
– Project: the love is not a contract, there are no conditions, there are no obligations
– Virgil: why you don’t publish this chat? (changing my name obviously) I think it can be a useful food for thought! (and also for possible moral battles)
– Project: ok, and I’ll also put it in the manual
– Virgil: I would love to know how the guys take it but I think they will not take it well
– Project: it undermines the traditional ways of reasoning, those inherited from the concept of marriage. Possessiveness is a very ingrained thing, but let’s see what happens!
– Virgil: ok, Project, thanks and see you next time, I’m going to sleep that it’s very late. A hug and goodnight!
– Project: Night and see you soon!

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GAY AFFECTIVITY AND DIVERGENT THINKING

It is not rare to meet gay guys in the chat who are experiencing situations of discomfort arising from the difficulty of creating a deep personal relationship with another gay for the persistence of prejudices linked to the traditional vision of emotional life.

The topic deserves a lot of attention because often the misunderstandings, the tendency to dramatize and the exasperation of the tones, deriving from the prejudicial assumption of positions considered uncritically intangible and, even worse, the tendency to invasive interventions not respectful of the person of the other, contribute concretely to increase the problematic dimension of certain facts, which could instead be easily understood by putting preconceptions aside. The standard psychological analysis of the meanings of behaviors, i.e. the analysis conducted on the basis of standard models, should be reduced to the advantage of a more genuine and human understanding, that is less tied to prejudices and models, more respectful of the other and at the same time deeper of being gay and of emotional relationships that can be created in this area.

If on the one hand the emotional dimension is fundamental and distinguishes us from the machines, for the other the emotionality, according to the standard vision, should be controlled to avoid giving rise to anxious phenomena that create discomfort and uselessly complicate life. It is difficult for everyone to maintain a true balance between rationality and affectivity but for gay guys it is not uncommon to get to the extremes of reasoning and to see things either in total white or in total black without any intermediate nuance.

Expressions such as “love doesn’t exist, there is only selfishness”, or: “everyone tells me to love me but they are just looking for something for themselves, because they are all selfish”, are complementary to expressions like: “I will never be able to fall in love with anyone because I’m radically selfish and I think only of myself “. In all these phrases a radical extremism dominates: either all or nothing, and since the existence of affects is considered only a fable, the apparently rational vision consists in taking note of universal selfishness as a rule of life.

At the base of all these reasoning there are very likely emotional disappointments or emotional needs that are not easy to satisfy with ordinary interpersonal relationships, not even with ordinary love relationships, because cohabitation in a couple has rules, requires forms of adaptation to the reality of the other, which is never the faithful mirror, moment by moment, of our desires, but the adaptation, for a guy who reasons in radical terms, who excludes any kind of compromise in principle, is a very difficult reality to accept. It should be added that for some guys the tendency to an abstract analysis of facts is dominant and proceeds relentlessly towards the demolition of the meaning of affective relationships, which are seen in abstract terms as forms of weakness and dependence on the other, things to which one must get used to resist.

Beyond these radical arguments, in these guys there is however a deep affective need, which manifests in behaviors that are in sharp contradiction with the logical certainties so strongly affirmed, but this need is fought as a form of weakness and slavery. Depending on the prevalence of the strongly repressed affective dimension or of the abstract rational one, there are strong swings in the mood that give those who experience them the sense of their unreliability and therefore of ineptitude to the couple life.

Often sexuality takes the place of affectivity and becomes almost a form of affirmation of one’s own freedom to act outside affective involvements. It should be clarified that situations such as the one described typically occur in moments of crisis in the emotional life, when a stable bond, lasting for years, is lost, the mechanism that leads to the end of the couple bond, that is the perception of the dissatisfaction, is lived almost with feelings of guilt but also with strong hesitations: on one side the guy want to close the couple relationship because it represents a constraint and a limitation of one’s own freedom and on the other side he perceives, even if in an oscillating way, the importance of that relationship that, theoretically, he wants to close and it is precisely on these oscillations that thought concentrates and suffering becomes more acute.

I omit the fact that emotional states so disturbed can create difficulties in studies, in relationships with friends and family and can start a series of chain reactions that can significantly worsen things. What can be done in practice? Frankly I asked it myself several times and I didn’t find 100% convincing answers. Given the coincidence of these emotional states with the moments of the couple crisis (the emotional states can be the cause but also the effect of the couple crisis), it would be spontaneous to think that the beginning of new emotional relationships can be able to catalyze a return to a less extreme affectivity. But it remains that the new relationships, which could start on the sexual level, could hardly take on an emotional dimension, given the strong resistance to affectivity.

I add that when sexuality becomes a way to make up for an affectivity that is hard to accept, sexuality is charged with valences that for the new partner are extremely difficult to understand and this doesn’t facilitate the new couple relationships. For a guy who tends to replace the affectivity, too often frustrated, with a sexuality at least abstractly non-affective, taking the initiative towards a new partner limiting himself to sexuality and avoiding true emotional involvements means being assertive, and leaving the other at the fist appearing of the possibility that the relationship also assumes an affective value becomes a vindication of autonomy and affective independence, even if anyway that it is a question of only theoretical autonomy and independence which, in fact, doesn’t alleviate the pain of detachment.

Here then the value of simplicity returns to emerge. Those close to guys who live in these situations, that are not rare at all, cannot attempt to reason, because in strictly logical terms the abstract reasoning “aut-aut” has all the appearance of absolute plainness, such as: “absolute determinism is a physical datum, so we are rigidly programmed!” To rebut this statement in abstractly logical terms makes no sense but the weakness of this statement lies in the fact that it is abstractly logical, if determinism was or rather was perceived as absolute, the products of the human mind would lose all moral value.

So, putting aside the logical tools, which on the other hand are just those who in these guys tend to devalue the emotional life, the only thing that really makes sense remains just a “weak” affective presence, that is a presence that doesn’t question the absolute freedom of the other, that doesn’t oblige him to any choice or to any coherence. It should be clarified that these guys, who at least in certain phases, present real problems of social maladjustment, are however carriers of an autonomous and divergent thought that is often absolutely original and coherent, in other words, maladjustment derives from the fact that emotional relationships and affectivity of these guys doesn’t conform to the standards, this on one side causes suffering but for the other, when a serious human contact is established, it allows to discover completely new and unprecedented horizons of affective life, not reducible to the common denominators that generally govern affectivity. In other words, the suffering of these guys coincides with the effort to create their own autonomous and original system of thought, much less conditioned by standards and preconceptions.

It is a very difficult work of self-preservation, which impinges upon preconceptions and standard models of behavior and which tends to avoid caging the guy in those standards. Talking with these guys destabilizes the interlocutor because it puts him in front of a truly autonomous affectivity and rational thought.

Maintaining these levels of autonomy is difficult because socialization, which tends to stabilize affectivity, also tends to standardize it and to bring it back to accepted behavior models. The effort to give birth to a thought and affectivity really independent without superstructures produces suffering and a sense of isolation, but allows, when it allows it, unique forms of exchange and dialogue. There is an attitude that generally infuriates these guys and it is that of the paternalism of those who think they have understood everything and have the right recipe for all situations. Paternalism means substantial misunderstanding and underestimation and even a pathological evaluation of the efforts that these guys put in place to remain themselves and not end up being standardized, losing their individuality which is an absolute value.

With these guys, dialogue can only exist on an equal footing, that is, only if the interlocutor honestly accepts to confront himself trying to open himself to things that at first he doesn’t understand at all. Simplicity, that is the ability to get involved without reserve, is then the first characteristic to create a profitable dialogue. Who has in mind to solve the problems of the other without understanding his effort, the suffering and the research work that is in the mind of the other, will deny the other the contribution of a constructive confrontation and to himself a very important possibility of human growth.

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A NORMAL GAY

Hello Project.
 
I was intrigued by your forum that seems to play a different music from the usual music that I find in the chats and on the dating sites. I’m over 45 and I have had my experiences. Fortunately I didn’t compromise my health, but it is not a coincidence because I have been always very careful. I cannot even say whether I’m declared or not, I know a lot of people but not all of them know about me, for example at work I think that nobody knows and the same in my family, because I live on my own.
 
At my age I got tired of the gay world. A little it is for the fact that when you’re not young you realize that things are changing but not so much because the younger guys steal you the scene but because you reaches saturation. The gay world as I knew him is made of chats, clubs, evenings and you can imagine of what else. At the beginning a lot of curiosity, you meet a gay guy, get to have sex with a guy, then you realize that the guy sooner or later will go his way and that there is nothing stable, that you are alone one of a long series and you’re not the one that matters to anyone’s life.
 
Then another guy arrives and more or less the script repeats, then another and so on, these are stories that last a few months, when it’s all right, and then end and you realize that in these things at the end there is very little spontaneous behavior and that everything is in some way preordained. A friend with whom I complained about these things told me: “but it is normal that it is so”, that word “normal” applied to the life of a gay man, sounds to me very strange. I don’t want a normal life in which a routine is repeated for which it is normal to know a guy and have sex with him the same evening but it is just as normal that it ends up in a few weeks.
 
I thought that basically it is considered normal even that someone takes HIV and unfortunately I have seen them. I was really shocked but I realized that my friends assumed that these things should happen, for them it was normal. So many times I felt stupid when I wanted to try to understand something more without taking everything for granted. For me, being gay had to be transgressive, even risky, but it certainly didn’t have to involve classification into other boxes of normality. If I’m looking for a guy and I hope it’s for more than for a few weeks, I feel not normal, because it’s normal that things should not last long and it’s stupid to expect the opposite. It’s terrible to think how much gays get caught up in the usual routine, gay life becomes a play in which the roles are already written.
 
One day, I remember it well, in a club where I used to go often I was introduced to a guy who was considered there as the best the most handsome, we talked a bit then finally he made me the usual proposal and I said no, he looked at me as if I were a moron who was throwing away a rare pearl. Project, do you imagine the stories they did when I required that they always used condoms? Well, they took me for stupid without any remedy and when someone insisted and I said no, they grimaced as to say that I was completely out of my brain. I have often felt very heavily influenced by so many rituals and clichés that I did not understand, as if the manual of young gay marmots existed. I will not tell you about the question of sexual preferences for this or that practice, all ritualized as if sexuality were that, all divided by categories: bear, sado, etc. etc. … There was some guys, we can say normal, but they didn’t last long there, in a short time they turned into standard gays of this or that category, or disappeared at all and didn’t show anymore.
 
Personally I think I have attended the most stereotypical gay environments, there were certainly different environments and, let’s say, more free, but I have seen above all conformism, or rather homologation and then fatalistic abandonment to life as it comes.
 
On your forum I see different things, I suspected that there were, but reading I could understand that they are in places where I have never gone and that I naively considered less free than those I attended. I think that today I wouldn’t be able to live a non-stereotyped life or maybe yes but I think I would limit myself to a few friendships to talk a bit. I realize that I am too old to change the road and frankly I wouldn’t even try, but I’m pleased to know that what I have tried to consider as normal gay is, in practice, a very niche reality.
 
I would like a gay life on the model of the person not on the model of the stereotype. Project, what was it for to have had so many guys if they all left? It’s not their fault, they did exactly what I did, they integrated into what they thought was the gay world and they assimilated a way of being, because being what you are it’s bloody hard.
 
Project, in the environments I attended I didn’t find bad people but only people, so many people, who desperately tried to fill the solitude with a little sex. In many of the guys I’ve had, I’ve really mirrored myself, when one doesn’t find love, when one doesn’t find respect, feels no loved by anyone, he looks for something that fills the void and begins an endless race to chase a dream of love embracing a guy he will lose after a few days.
 
I felt so many times the despair of the guys with whom I have been and sometimes I even tried to go further but I ended up not being understood anymore, they looked at me as if I wanted to invade their lives while they were there just for a moment. I felt very often the lack of communication and the desperation of many guys, who in the end were experiencing what I was experiencing. How much better would be even a simple friendship that lasts, that accompanies us for a longer stretch of road. I don’t want to be a normal gay anymore, I just want to be myself.
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GAYS AND GAY NORMALITY

This post aims to clarify the effects of the preconceived schematisms on way of living of the gays and their perceiving sexuality. Speaking in chat with gay guys of all ages I often meet situations that are quite typical of discomfort that can be grouped into two distinct categories. On one side the uneasiness of uncertainty is noted and for the other the discomfort of certainty. I try to explain it better, with the expression “uneasiness of uncertainty” I intend to refer to situations in which a guy does not find convincing answers to questions he considers fundamental, such as “Am I gay?” Or “Am I really in love with that guy? “, With the expression ”uneasiness of certainty “I mean what manifests itself through absolute statements like:” I feel anaffective, I never fall in love with anyone“ or ”I think I’m addicted to sex, I think I’m a maniac“. 
Each of these forms of discomfort has its synthomatic elements, in the uneasiness of uncertainty are recurring expressions such as “I don’t know”, “I don’t understand”, in the uneasiness of of certainty are the classic adverbs “always” and “never”.
 
Where do these forms of discomfort come from? Often the origin can be found in the idea that it is necessary to conform to an abstract model of normality that obviously involves also schematizations and categories (labels) that end up being considered parameters of normality. Even in the gay world there is a need for normality, the so-called gay normality: it is normal for a gay guy to have a sexual activity as a couple partner, so if a guy does not have a couple sex life, he is not normal. I observe that the “normal / non-normal” cathegory passes from the behavior to the person. It is considered normal that a gay guy has “normal” levels of attraction to sex, if a guy feels attracted to sex less or more than what is considered normal, that guy is not normal. Masturbation is considered normal during adolescence and not normal in adulthood, so a 25-year-old guy who masturbates may feel un-normal. The list of presumed normalities could extend to sexual practices, monogamy and a lot of other things. Then there are other categories of presumed normality that have been introduced through concepts that have received some media success and that have become consolidated as an accredited interpretative model, it is the case of the “internalized homophobia” that seems to be the normal motivation of the non-acceptance of gay identity; or of the “absent father” who seems to be the normal determining cause of homosexuality. All these pseudo criteria of normality and pseudo points of reference are often accepted uncritically and, like all the criteria of presumed normality, create marginalization or self-marginalization.
 
Obviously, the criterion for verifying the normality of one’s own behavior, for a gay guy, is not based on a direct comparison with a large number of other more or less young guys, as happens between straight guys but, if ever, on  comparisons with a restricted or very small number of gay friends if not even with what is found on the internet. The myths of normality are paradoxically more common among gays than among straight people, Basically because in the hetero field the comparisons can be extended to a much wider audience of peers. The discomfort deriving from the comparison of one’s own behaviors with the presumed normality risks to induce guys to consider as pathological some behaviors that are not pathological at all. In the past the sense of non-normality referred essentially to the fact of not being straight, the problems connected to the acceptance of the gay identity have diminished compared to a few decades ago, but other ways have been created to feel non-normal, this time it is about modalities within the gay dimension.
 
A gay guy can feel like a gay who doesn’t fall in love with guys considered predominantly handsome by other gay guys, he can feel too much or too little interested in sex, he can be attracted to sexual practices that don’t seem to be the most popular for the gays, he may have his behavior patterns, too free or too little free compared to the more accredited models, but in any case that guy will feel a form of discomfort that will make him feel not normal, beyond any rationl evaluation.
 
The homologation can get to involve also the way of dressing, the language, the cut of hair and similar things, as if there was a gay language or a gay fashion and being gay outside of these things was in fact a situation not normal. The feeling of exceptionality of their condition is typical of gay guys and accentuates the feeling of loneliness, of marginality even compared to other gays and also accentuates the tendency to feel victim precisely because exception with respect to the rules of a presumed gay normality. I often happen in chat to see resigned, almost fatalistic, attitudes of some guys about their alleged impossibility to integrate even among gays and often it is the condition of supposed non-normality that puts these guys in difficulty, then, during the interview they face all the issues that cause marginalization and understand that in reality there is no condition of non-normality except in relation to a hypothetical normality that is often very far from reality (often true metropolitan legends) and that, when it has an objective foundation, represents, at most, a trend line but in no way a rule valid for everyone. I often happen to hear these words: “So you think there is nothing absurd?” and to see the amazement of not feeling treated as a non-normal gay.
 
The perception of discomfort is often associated with the self-pathologisation of gays which leads to the strengthening of the socially widespread idea of a pathological or pathogenic dimension of being gay. I would like to point out that the qualification of homosexual discomfort in terms of pathology rather than discomfort of homologation has a subtle dimension so that the gays themselves unconsciously tend to assimilate it, indulging in attitudes of self-pity.
 
What criteria can be used to avoid the effect of the false models of normality? “Always saying how things really are” is a moral duty but doesn’t solve the problem because with the spread and plurality of the media and in particular through the Internet, the flow of information is in fact uncontrollable. The only means that can be effective is the dialogue and the serious confrontation with an audience as wide as possible not only of peers but of gays of all ages on issues related to sexuality and how to live gay identity.
 
All this is not only possible, but where it has been achieved, it has had a remarkable response in terms of convinced participation. Not referring to models of presumed gay normality doesn’t mean that for gays the various behaviors are indifferent or equivalent, there are behaviors that although not having anything anomalous, are, nonetheless, uncommon, are niche behaviors and, if we want, can easily become the object of criticism and misunderstanding by those who don’t share them or simply don’t know them. In the context of a couple relationship, where a two-way correspondence is supposed between the two partners, some behaviors, even if not anomalous, are dysfunctional, that is, they don’t are useful and sometimes create problems to the establishment and maintenance of the couple relationship.
 
At least theoretically, the maximum probability of being functional to the couple’s relationship must be recognized to the most widespread attitudes that can obviously be more easily shared with the other partner. It is essential to keep in mind that falling in love with a homosexual partner is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the creation of a couple  relationship, this means that, if the other is not gay, a relationship is impossible, but for the realization of a true couple relationship it is not enough that the two partners share the same sexual orientation but it is necessary that they share also some fundamental opinions about some aspects of life well beyond sexuality, i.e. that they have a profound affinity of couple.
 
Homosexuality does not have an exclusively sexual dimension but interacts with several aspects of the personality, for example in determining the greater or lesser level of privacy of the couple life, the relationship with the families of origin or with the circles of friendships of origin of each of the two partners. In these fields it makes no sense to ask what is normal and what is not because it is about a cultural elements largely inherited from the original environment.
 
The representation of the gay world that each gay has formed and that, through presumed canons of normality can help to guide his behavior, is deeply conditioned by the quality and quantity of information available. The quality of information is linked to two fundamental conditions, namely the information must be not instrumental for other purposes and must be first hand, that is, must be provided by subjects who speak of themselves in the first person and are not therefore subject to external censorship.
 
The weight of the models and even stereotypes related to the gay reality is clearly perceived talking to boys affected by OCD with homosexual content, or obsessive compulsive disorder characterized by the intrusive idea of being gay. This is a typical disorder of 100% straight guys whose life is disturbed by the insistent and invasive presence of the fear of being gay. These guys, who are not gay, focus their fear of homosexuality on what they believe to be typically gay but after an appropriately detailed interview, to an eye accustomed to see the gay reality, it is evident that all what these guys consider proof of being gay, in reality, has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality but derives solely from the stereotypical image of homosexuality conveyed on a social level.
 
It is certainly less easy to evaluate the weight of the presumed normality models within the gay world in determining states of individual distress of gay guys, but it is evident that the lack of these normality models would allow a process of acceptance of gay identity much simpler and a faster social integration of gay guys with other gay guys. In a nutshell, we can say that accrediting behavior patterns as normal only increases discrimination and the state of discomfort.
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GAYS AND SEXUAL FIDELITY

Hello Project, I have to ask you a question: but do you think that to love each other, sexual fidelity is indispensable? Now you will think that I’m looking for excuses, but it is not so, I have not betrayed my boyfriend, it is he who betrayed me, but I have to explain well, speaking of betrayal does not make sense, because he didn’t cheat me at all, he told me it before in a sense he wanted a permit from me and I gave it to him, I only hammered him on one point, that is, that he had to be careful about health.

Project, maybe it will seem strange to you, but at the moment I thought that he needed something else, if I had told him no he would not have done it, but he would have felt forced, so instead he felt free and I frankly didn’t I felt upset because I was not afraid of losing him and in fact I didn’t lose him, with that guy it lasted a month and then it was over. Of my boyfriend I love the sincerity, he doesn’t cheat me, I never doubt that he can hide something from me.

Among us there is also sex, of course, but there is esteem, there is affection, we love each other. For me he’s like the sun, I could not do without him and he has no secrets with me. We’ve been together for five years, and in the last five years he has had two short adventures, or maybe I should say two short love stories, but in the end he could not adapt to the mentality of those guys who were very possessive and very badly lived the fact that he kept seeing me too.

So he closed the stories with those guys, and one of them remained his friend and mine too. After his adventures we waited the necessary time and we had the test before having sex again between us, even if I was sure that he had put into practice all the criteria of prevention, after the test, however, the sexuality between us came back very strong, after a long period of abstinence or at least of very controlled behavior.

I am in love with my boyfriend and I think we are really a couple destined to last. Speaking with other guys anyway I feel an extreme distrust of me and of my boyfriend, they consider us strange, almost heretical, tend to see him as a traitor and me as a cuckold and the thing, if from a certain point of view amuses me on the other hand, I don’t like it, because in order to integrate ourselves among our gay friends, in practice, we have to act, to pretend.

Even among gays there are fixed patterns of behavior and there are very strong prejudices, they don’t understand that we love each other without preconceived schemes. It particularly annoys me when they see us as an open couple, that is, like two who want to have fun and who in practice pretend to be together. Perhaps we are strange, Project, but I would not give up my boyfriend, as he is, for all the gold in the world, he has no schemes in his head and is honest at all.

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GAY SEX FOR NOT THINKING

Hello Project, thanks for the Monday chat, it helped me to recover a bit of courage and also to scale back a lot of things. How much it would be easier if there was no sex! Perhaps without sex all this would not exist, the fact is that sex still weighs like a boulder. It is not easy for a forty-year-old to try to build an affective life, I know that very well, but anyway it is certainly discouraging.

Whenever I can create a good friendship, inevitably, when one begins to put sex in the middle, I can no longer manage anything. It only happened once to me to live a story that had little to do with sex, but then also that story is over, perhaps, because there was no real sexual attraction.

As long as we stayed on the level of friendship, with that minimum of sex that came spontaneously, but just like tenderness, it still worked, then we said that it is not so that it should work, that ultimately we ended up being a big burden one for the other and then we stopped contacting each other, because if there is no sex a story is useless! It is paradoxical that I am the one who says it, and I say it with bitterness, because I have never had fixations on sex.

I need to begin from loving each other, and then maybe the rest would come, but obviously it doesn’t work that way. And then my whole story has been a follow-up not of failures, because this is not what this is about, but attempts, half stories, stories started with a long string of ifs and buts.

I have nothing to reproach the guys I’ve been with, they never cheated on me, they told me from the beginning that they didn’t know if it would last. I still love the guys I fell in love with, they’re poor guys like me who go above all in search of attention, small moments of happiness to make up for what they’ve never had from the family. If there is a constant element in the stories of all my guys is the bad relationship with the families and for me too it works like that.

Then, of course, if you have not been accustomed to caresses, to the small attentions of those who love you and have always thought to save yourself, not to be crushed by a family that doesn’t do anything to understand you, then it is obvious that you grow up bad, that you grow up with a kind of anxiety of revenge inside. In some way you must also revenge! But you cannot love, no one has taught you it, sex is for you just a way of saying that you exist because you do what others do, but such a thing is crazy.

Then obviously on sex you end up betting everything. If you’re not beautiful you go into a crisis because you think you’ll always be alone because you’re not beautiful, because you don’t even know that feelings exist. And what did you learn in the family? You have learned only the desperate egoism of those who try to survive and not to be annihilated.

Project, there will also be families who accept you and love you even if you are gay, I read the stories you publish, but I think that that those are exceptions and that the family life of a gay boy is actually much more squalid. One of the guys I had, felt almost poisoned by his family, he said the most terrible things about it, I don’t even know if they were real things but his reaction when I tried to talk about family was exacerbated, almost furious.

I’ve always wondered why sex ends up having such a huge meaning for us and I think it’s at least partly a way to fill a void, an emotional void, a kind of inability to create real interpersonal relationships. When my stories ended I always tried to maintain a minimum of relationship and, if possible, to remain friends, and I almost always succeeded. I’ve never hated my ex, I’m an ex too. I see them a bit like guys who, like me, don’t even know what they want. Sometimes I find myself cheering for them when they enter into stories that they think are finally good. The logic is a bit to think that “at least he can build a piece of happiness”.

Who teaches us to love each other? I believe nobody does it, and you spend the years making mistakes, falling in love, if this word makes sense, with other desperate people like you who don’t know what to do with their life, you fall in love just because they are desperate like you, you feel it above all when they are taken by melancholy and discouragement. You realize that sex is useful not to think, you realize that you are not able to give anything these guys because you can’t change their life, as you can’t even change your own life.

Why should sex be a kind of drug not to think? When you turn 40, you start budgeting. I learned a lot from my love stories and now of the melancholy and the angry reactions of the guys I understand many things that before I hadn’t understand at all, now I see things with the disenchanted eye of the mature man, but I still carry inside myself a huge desire for love, the more that desire grows the more I realize that it will end up unfulfilled.

Gil

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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-sex-for-not-thinking

MODELS OF GAY AFFECTIVITY AND GAY SEXUALITY

Models of affectivity and sexuality

It often happens that people totally alien to gay reality talk about gay marriage or gay couples, simply extrapolating to the gay field models of affection and sexuality typical of the hetero world. It also happens that even gays themselves are often led to more or less consciously conform their behavior to heterosexual behaviors in situations more or less similar. In reality the models of hetero-affectivity and hetero-sexuality are not easily exportable to the gay world because while in the hetero reality dominate categories such as sexual complementarity, procreative purpose of sexuality in itself, and social dimension of the couple relationship, in the gay reality dominate categories such as sexual equality, non-procreative orientation of sexuality and in most cases privacy.

This chapter aims to point out the originality of models of gay affection and gay sexuality compared to hetero models.

Sexcentric models and models with widespread sexuality

The different conceptions of the emotional life can be classified according to the role that sexuality assumes in them. There are models in which reproductive sexuality dominates to such a point that the choice of the partner becomes secondary, in other cases sexuality, considered fundamental, even beyond the reproductive purpose, remains at the center of affective life, which means that an interpersonal relationship acquires an important meaning only when it results in sexual intercourse, that fidelity is identified exclusively with sexual fidelity and that the relationship goes into crisis when sexual intercourse is no longer gratifying.

Some statements typical of certain models of hetero sexuality such as: “the essential purpose of sexuality is the birth of children”, “masturbation is inadmissible because it means wasting the semen”, “the relationship between two people of the same sex cannot be a true relationship of love because it cannot transmit life”, “virginity is a very important virtue” and similar, are indices of sexcentric models.

Similarly, a sexcentric view of affectivity leads to believe that a heterosexual sexual contact cannot be truly gratifying when penetration is lacking, and also to consider all that precedes penetration, and more generally any other sexual practice, only as a preliminary.

The underlining of masculinity and femininity as well-defined roles at a social level springs also from a sexcentric dimension. The sexcentric dimension of affective life can lead to use a particular emphasis about sexual intercourse and, precisely for this reason, it can induce performance anxiety.

In spreading sexcentric models, a particular role is played by pornography that identifies sexuality with sexual intercourse and spreads, by imitation, non-spontaneous behavior patterns that can be profoundly conditioning. I often talk with guys, who are no longer very young, grown up with an sexual education or better with a sexual miseducation entrusted exclusively to pornography, the real damage caused to these guys by pornography is to prevent or delay the development of true affective sexuality. Many characteristics of hetero sexcentric models are uncritically assimilated even by gays who only transcribe those models in a gay key.

A powerful antidote against the damage of pornography is represented by “non-sexcentric” affective models derived from examples of family life. Gay guys who grew up in families where models of widespread sexuality are dominant between their parents (pampering, affectionate cuddling and so on) are, in a sense, vaccinated against the sexcentric visions of pornography.

The mechanical transcription in a gay key of hetero sexcentric models induces gay guys not to pay too much attention to their feelings but to consider only strictly sexual reactions as fundamental. I often talk with young people who attribute fundamental importance to technical sexuality as a center of affective life, typical in this sense are the situations of guys who focus totally on their sexual response, in these cases the hyper-valuation of technical sexuality leads sometimes to neurotic reactions such as sexual testing (sexual experiments), which can also occur in a repetitive and disturbing manner at the limit of the obsessive content.

In these situations it would be necessary a real emotional re-education or better a re-education to affective sexuality, which anyway is only possible with a partner who doesn’t have a sexcentric view of affectivity. However, affectivity can also be widespread, with characteristics that are not sexcentric at all. This doesn’t mean that in this case there is no sexuality in the strict sense of the term but only that this sexuality is a component of the emotional relationship but it is not its essence.

The substantial difference between sexcentric affectivity and widespread sexuality consists in the fact that a widespread sexuality permeates all the emotional behavior of a person and is not limited to technically sexual moments.

Obviously the widespread sexuality is not, in itself, neither heterosexual nor gay but it is a way of conceiving sexuality. It remains anyway that, from what I see, for a gay couple made up of guys who have lived a peaceful adolescence in a family climate authentically affective, widespread sexuality, in the absence of the conditionings of pornography, is a spontaneous dimension, not induced from the outside by imitation of pornography, but learned within the family, from real life.

The deeply affective and fulfilling meaning that a hug can have for a gay guy is not linked to the fact that the hug can be a prelude to a sexual intercourse but derives from the dimension of warmth and intimacy that the hug assumes in a dimension of widespread sexuality .

A significant consequence of widespread gay sexuality is found in a more labile border between friendship and love. This is a very important fact both because it stabilizes the gay couple when the mutual sexual interest tends to fade, and because it leads to a vision of betrayal that is much more elastic than the typically rigid vision of sexcentric conceptions.

For a gay, thinking of a possible sexualized dimension of friendship, outside the couple, is not necessarily equivalent to putting the couple relationship in crisis, precisely because sexuality is often not seen as the essence of the couple relationship, in this sense episodic infidelity becomes tolerable because it is understood as a sexualized way of showing one’s affection to a friend rather than as an attempt to build an alternative couple.

The possible gay couple

I would like to stop now on the concept of possible gay couple. Using this expression I mean to point out that for a gay the possibility of achieving 100% of his desires in terms of married life represents an event that is anything but common. A hetero has much more choice and a lot more freedom of action, for a gay the realization of a couple’s life is linked to the a priori unlikely eventuality that the guy he falls in love with is gay.

When a gay guy falls in love with a straight guy, that is he is strongly attracted to him at a global level, both emotional and sexual, sooner or later he must acknowledge that his wishes will not come true, the same gay guy can then find also concrete opportunities to get to know other gay guys and to be able to create a really possible couple relationship with them, this dimension of couple is often apparently weakened by the fact that there are other guys, also hetero, and, I would say, often hetero, towards whom the gay guy is decidedly more sexually attracted than he is towards his possible gay partner. On this basis one could automatically think of a fragility of relationship. In reality it is not so, if the possible couple doesn’t fully satisfy one of the two partners in terms of sexual desire, which can remain concentrated also on other guys (desired but impossible partners), it remains however that it is a “possible relationship”, in front of desires that are unattainable. The couple relationship in these terms cannot be sexcentric and changes, while maintaining a sexual dimension, placing at the center a diffused affectivity-sexuality.

It is the classic case of loving one’s own boyfriend in a profound way, considering him as a life partner in the most serious sense of the word, even without experiencing a strong sexual attraction towards him. In these situations sexuality is lived as a completion of the emotional relationship and not as a value in itself decisive, one lives an “affective” couple sexuality and at the same time a masturbation not dedicated to the partner but to an impossible guy towards whom one feels sexually attracted in a strong way. The mechanism that I have described is much more common than is believed and has an enormous value in the process of growth of the person because it takes guys away from very schematic vistas of the sexuality.

I must underline that these couple relationships are not of lesser value with respect to relationships in which sexual desire and affection are perfectly in agreement, but are with those in the same relation in which possible reality is with theoretical hypotheses.

The biggest fear for a gay guy is certainly not lacking of a partner with whom to have sex but not to be loved and the “possible couple” responds to this emotional need in a serious way and that is precisely why guys who live a relationship of “possible couple” are usually not frustrated, as one might think from the outside. It is evident that the sexcentric view of affectivity is incompatible with these situations.

Let us stop now to examine the role that sexuality plays in conditioning the relationships between gay guys in two different situations:

1) An attempt to put into practice an abstract model of a gay couple

2) A search for a balance without assuming prejudicially couple models of any kind

An attempt to put in practice an abstract model of a gay couple

According to the common way of seeing, a gay guy can best realize his sexuality in a couple relationship when that relationship starts from a mutual and strong sexual attraction. On this basis it is assumed that it is easier to build even a stable emotional relationship, in a sense the emotional needs appear here subordinated to sexual needs. To enter the specific through more immediate speeches, here is a passage from a mail of a 26 year old guy, that I will call Andew.

“I think that if one becomes conditioned in life, in the end it does not accomplish anything and that never deciding is worse than decide wrong things and I, on the other hand, didn’t want to watch the passing train. Project, if one doesn’t endeavor and doesn’t commit himself, afterwards can’t complain. I was tired of the half things that were mired in a go and come without end, If you want to stay with me ok, otherwise each one must go on along his own way.

So I see him the first time, I’m almost stunned, so sexy that I had never seen one like that. Guys, I’m really dazed. We met absolutely by chance, I had attended chats and even clubs, but I met him by chance at a business dinner of the company where I work. He was with a girl but he wasn’t absolutely interested in her, so I decided to play my cards and told him: “You’re beautiful!” He smiled at me and said: “You too!” Oh, I’m not ugly, before I had always around a lot of girls interested in me, but I wasn’t absolutely interested in them (I always kept them at a distance!), but now that someone knows about me I also find some guys who are interested in me, but some, poor guys, not to brag, but I would never fall in love with them.

In short, he smiles at me. We part from people a bit, you know how these things go, you see that he is there and you feel encouraged, we touched a bit (in the intimate sense) and he agreed. I really exploded. I was single and I had never been with a guy, he had made his experiences, but in the end I didn’t care. In short, the fact is that I went to him the same evening and everything happened that could happen, I was so much upset so that I had not even thought about condoms but he had them. It made me think that he was not one who puts himself at risk easily. In short, after 15 days I went to live at his house. In practice it was a dream, a guy, “that guy” all for me. I had a terrible fear that he could betray me, that he could get tired of me but it did not seem so.

He was a little older than me (31) and already had an enviable position in the company, he could have everything he wanted but he wanted to stay with me. In short, everything is fine for a couple of months, then I begin to understand that something is wrong. He doesn’t want to have sex with me anymore. I feel desperate, I beg him but he doesn’t want to hear me, he tells me he has met a girl but he doesn’t want to talk about her. He with a girl? It seems to me absurd. One afternoon he tells me that he has to go to the company and he goes out but he doesn’t go to the company. Where he went I didn’t know and I don’t even know it now but he started telling me lies and keeping me out of his life.

We had sex every night, at least at the beginning, because I didn’t know anything at first, then I asked him how things were and he got very angry, he told me that it was not anyone’s servant, and that if I was tired of him, I had to go. I didn’t want to leave, it seemed to me that my dream had fallen apart and I didn’t even understand why. I stayed at his house almost as a challenge. He did not get the courage to let me out but he started behaving just like I was not there.

He started to came home with his friends who stayed until late at night and such things were unbearable for me then I reached the point of no return and solemnly sent him to hell and left his home. After three weeks I ended up in hospital for a bad accident and he didn’t even bother to visit me. Anything! And he was very well aware that I was at the hospital. Here this is a sort of summary of the story. It is definitely better to be alone than with one like that! But I only understood it at the end.”

A search for a balance without models of couple life

Too often as a model of a relationship between gay guys is adopted a model in which sexuality represents the maximum, as well as the remote cause of the relationship on both sides, i.e. it is assumed that two gay guys are brought together to satisfy a primary emotional-sexual need, and that once the affective conditions that guarantee the seriousness are realized, couple’s desire of the guys is perfectly fulfilled.

This model, even if attractive, in many cases is not really applicable because the motivations that push two guys to be together can also be significantly different from a mutual sexual interest, that is, they can appear under the appearance of a sexual drive and be in substance general affective needs.

The affective-sexual education of gay guys pushes them to emphasize the strictly sexual dimension as a fundamental if not exclusive cause of their relationship, in other words, the emphasis is essentially on the sexual dimension and not on the emotional one. The consequence of all this is a progressive sexualization of affectivity. Below is a passage from a mail of a 23-year-old guy (I’ll later call him Laurence) that clarifies the concept:

“I loved him, that is, I was fine with him, I was happy when he was there, when he was not there I felt strongly his absence, I waited for his cell phone calls or msn, I liked him so much when he came to me and we talked a lot, and he took off her shoes and stretched out on my bed, he felt free and I with him, I know that if I needed him he would do anything for me, he’s a nice guy but he’s not my type, some sexual thoughts about him I did too, after all why not, but not only he has never been a fixation for me but let’s say that on him I had few fantasies of that kind while It happened more on some other guys, perhaps those impossible that I could never have, but intrigued me more. I loved him but I didn’t really feel sexually attracted to him.”

The situation described here (the relationship between the two guys), from the point of view of the author of the email, has a primary matrix of affective and not typically sexual character. it is, in other words, the typical situation that predisposes to a strong gay friendship. The point of view of the other guy is so summarized by the author of the mail:

“For him it is different, it has always been different from the beginning, he has had just the typical way of doing the sweetheart, for me he has so many attentions, he respects me a lot, is attentive to my mood, he cuddles me a lot, hugs me, kisses me, is in physical contact with me, but I see that he brakes, I understand it, he brakes because even if he would keep going beyond, he does it only when he thinks it’s me to want it (maybe it’s not like that), for the rest he doesn’t even try, he tells me he dreams me, that I’m his guy, that when we cannot see each other he masturbates thinking of me, that he bring my photo always with him, I feel that he is in love.

With him I’m also good to have sex but it’s a different thing, I feel good as for a form of tenderness, he brakes and I instead let him decide and I try to follow him as I can, as it’s possible for me, but I feel the dissymmetry and I’m sorry because maybe he could deserve someone better than me.

We have been together for more than two years now but we cannot live together, I don’t even know if it would be better. I love him, I would never betray him, I would feel bad, I did all the controls for the hiv and it’s all right but it’s not just that why I would not betray him, but it’s that a guy like him doesn’t really deserves it. In recent months I have seen many guys who physically like me more than him but I think that with them it would not be better than with him, that in the end they attract me from the sexual point of view and that’s all, while with him it’s different. Of course, I don’t’ feel at all an overwhelming love, it’s another thing, an important thing, very important for me, but it’s another thing.”

The function of sexuality in these relationships is a guarantee function, in the sense that guarantees the exclusivity of the emotional relationship precisely because it is connected to a relationship also sexual. On this exclusivity are grafted on one side the expectations of an almost matrimonial relationship and on the other some attempts, anyway not too much strong, to safeguard one’s own autonomy.

“Then there is a further problem, he works and I don’t, I think he is starting to make plans on buying a small apartment. He didn’t tell me it explicitly, but from a few little particulars I understood that he was looking for deals in the magazines of real estate agencies. When we pass near a real estate agency he stops to take a look and before he didn’t. I think he doesn’t talk about it because he’s afraid I may consider it as a trap and it’s a bit like that, but not because I don’t want to be with him but because I’d like to be on equal footing, I’d also like an apartment in rent paid at 50%, but living in a house, with the expenses paid only by him, would make me uncomfortable. I must be free to leave if by chance I’m not well with him otherwise I would feel forced, not to say that I could never tell my parents that I’m going to live with him.

Honestly, I think that it could also work just because a cohabitation is not made of sex but also and especially of many other things, I wouldn’t give up easily, as I didn’t give up in these two years and maybe I could go on for so many years, we should stay together because we are really well, and now I’m fine with him, and certainly not because I don’t have a place where I can live.”

In these situations, sexuality ends up slowly acquiring a recessive dimension, the need for not turning it into a routine pushes to thin out opportunities and transforms sexual drive into a form of mutual sexual tenderness that can be more easily shared. These relationships have an apparent fragility but tend to consolidate over time and become substantially resistant, even in front of situations that at first might have put them in crisis.

“About three months ago I met, through my ex, a guy who is very nice and I really like him, let’s call him Paul. I don’t deny that he put me in crisis and not a little.

I think Paul fell in love with me even though I didn’t show him any enthusiasm. The first few times I didn’t talk about it to my boyfriend, I was very ashamed, then I told him everything and there I understood the value of my boyfriend, we talked a lot and in a serious way, even if it was obvious that he felt bad he didn’t in the least let his presence became heavy for me and almost tried to put me at ease telling me that I had to feel free because he will love me anyway.

Frankly I understood very well that he wasn’t at ease and that for him to stay away from me would have been a very heavy sacrifice and there I understood to what extent he loves me. In the meantime Paul has really tried everything to have me, I had the temptation but it would have been just like giving a stab to my boyfriend and so I put aside Paul’s speeches. Frankly I had no regrets even at the time, then I came back to my boyfriend and I told him I loved him. We made love and it was a very nice thing. Making love with a guy who really loves you is an indescribable thing, it’s not even a matter of sex, you think mostly of him, you make him understand that you love him, you make him understand through sex that you love him and you feel that he is happy and exactly for this you feel happy too.”

A relationship like the one described in the email mentioned above doesn’t start from an eminently sexual thrust but gradually comes to the conquest of a different affective sexuality, which has the appearance of uncertainty and the solidity of things of which the real extent is understood by direct experience. In essence, it is a matter of slowly constructing the sense of a relationship.

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-models-of-gay-affectivity-and-gay-sexuality