VISCOUS GAY RELATIONSHIPS

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

Hello Project, my name is Laurence and I live in a small town in the North East, we ought to be almost the same age. The idea of this email came to me because Andrew, a young guy who changed my life, told me about your forum and I went to read it with a huge curiosity. There is a section on older gays and it is not abandoned! In short, reading I had the impression that your way of seeing things is not very far from mine, that among gays is not so easy to find. 
 
I am 57 years old, Andrew is 31, but I have to say right away, we are two gays but there has never been sex between us, such a thing can have passed through my mind, ok, it is a fact, as it has also passed through his mind, but it never happened, because the fear of destroying what was consolidated between us held us back. I met Andrew when he was 16 and I 42. I have been always an undeclared gay and I didn’t even have gay friends. There was no internet, and if it had been there it would not have been my passion.
 
Professionally at 42 I had achieved my professional accomplishment. I was a lawyer and I was dealing with divorces. One day in February 1993 a gentleman introduces himself to  me with the typical way of doing of people of rather high social class and tells me that he intends to separate himself from his wife, but what strikes me is not the attitude of that gentleman towards his wife but his insistence that his wife had had in an extramarital relationship for many years and that their son or their alleged son would actually be the son of his wife’s lover. I asked him how old was the boy and he told me 16.
 
I accepted the cause of separation “because of the lady” telling my client that the custody of the son, especially in a condition like the one he declared, would have been granted anyway to his mother, because he actually had denied paternity but my client didn’t seem upset at all and on the contrary seemed almost happy.
 
A few days later I called the lady to understand her reasons and after a couple of days she showed up at my studio with her son, that is with Andrew. He was already a beautiful guy, he shook my hand without any hesitation. The lady was sure that the son was son of her husband because at the time she didn’t even know her friend, but she didn’t intend to resist the possible disavowal of the paternity. All this was quite unusual, but one thing bothered me more than all the rest: the lady, also certainly wealthy, was not in the least disturbed by the fact that the husband wanted to separate from her by blaming her, but seemed worried by the idea of having to keep her son in the house where she lived with her partner, who certainly wouldn’t have liked cohabitating with the son of the lady.
 
I asked the lady to talk separately with her son. The lady was a bit perplexed but finally said yes. When I found myself alone with Andrew, face to face, I asked him why neither his father nor his mother wanted to cohabit with him, and the answer baffled me: “They don’t want me because I’m gay and so I’m not even a son for them”. I smiled as if to say: “But is it possible?”  He smiled too. Then he made a strange gesture, for a guy of his age, he took from my desk a business card of the studio and told me: “Later I’ll explain, now let mom in, otherwise she worries.” I called his mother and we said hello.
 
I don’t deny that what had just happened had disturbed me and not a little, the behavior of Andrew was absolutely free and spontaneous, after the exchange of smiles he was no longer afraid of me. I thought, however, that the thing would have had no following, if not on a professional level, but it was not so.
 
The same evening, very late, after midnight, Andrew called me on the cell phone and always calling me by name, he kept talking with me for a long time. I’m wary by nature, so I spoke in a formal way, because I was afraid of being registered, but here and there I let go out a few words of encouragement. We talked almost two hours. In the following days almost the same thing happened almost every day. I canceled all my commitments in the evening because I knew that Andrew would call me. It was nice to talk to him, step by step we came to talk about everything.
 
I did not know whether to tell him that I was gay too, it could be a very dangerous thing, but then I told him, he replied that he understood it from the beginning and that for this he had taken my business card. Slowly I too put aside all my perplexities. Andrew talked about everything, even about sex and in a very serious way and, what could seem incredible, I did the same with him, I talked about me, my desires, my dreams and he answered me as one who knows exactly what to say and how to say it.
 
The legal proceeding came to define the separation of the parents and Andrew has been entrusted to mother and he was yet 17 and a half years old and basically we were on the phone every night. The thing was absolutely normal, his mother didn’t know it and when she saw him on the phone she thought he was talking to another guy. One day in March of 94 (I don’t say the day), Andrew turns 18, I wish him well. I had told him I would have a little party at my house. He shows up at six in the evening with two huge suitcases and tells me: “What is my room?” I look at him puzzled and he says: “I don’t want to stay at my mother’s house a minute longer!” We prepare his room. Needless to say, I was happy.
 
Andrew then attended the second classic (the twelfth class). I felt like I was coming down in a new role, that of Dad. He looks at me and says: “Why don’t you adopt me?”. I quickly took stock of the situation. I no longer had parents and I have no siblings, so something like that would not have undermined anyone. I answer him: “Yes we can, yes!” He hugs me and messes up my hair, then crouches down on the couch cross-legged and tells me: “It would be not so bad! But in the meantime you have to start to assume such a role properly.”
 
The next day there were talks with the teachers, he urged me to go with him to the talks. I asked him if the professors knew his parents, but he said that neither his father nor his mother had ever gone to speak with the teachers. The night before he tells me about the school, the teachers, about what I had to say. The next afternoon I make my debut as a dad. Andrew was good at school, indeed very good, and I tried to do my part well. The professor. of Mathematics told me that it was a pleasure to meet me and that I had be proud of having a son like Andrew! I cannot deny that I felt in seventh heaven!
 
Over time, the relationship with Andrew has become very strong. When he had a boy I saw him happy and he talked to me about it. This, although it may seem strange, has never created any problem. Andrew was so moderate: he never drank alcohol, he never smoked, he didn’t like going to parties. I already loved him then with all my soul. Sometimes with the guys he had bad experiences, that is, he deluded himself a lot, when the disappointment came, he sat in an armchair and said to me: “What are you doing when you’re sad?” And we kept talking for hours.
 
In April of 98, our life changed. Andrew met Peter, a very good guy, also 21 years old. At the beginning it seemed like one of Andrew’s usual stories, important but relative, then he told me that he wanted to try to live alone with Peter. That was the most difficult time for me. I was afraid of losing Andrew but not only I haven’t lose him but I also found Peter. I had a studio, a kind of attic with a single room but very large. We furnished it and Andrew and Peter went to live there, on the fifth floor, I lived on the second, at the beginning they were a little on their own, then slowly they started coming to lunch every day at my house, then even at dinner, at the end, in practice they lived in my house and went to the fifth floor just to sleep.
 
We’ve been living like this for 10 years now. Now both Andrew and Peter work and they could very well buy a little house to live on their own, but they don’t leave. We spend 15 days together in the summer all the three of us and we go around Europe. Even Peter is a very good guy, even he is an unwanted child. They treat me like a dad, for me it’s a wonderful thing, when they leave on their own they call me twice a day so as not to worry me. By now they are no longer two boys but they are two adult men. I have a little fear of old age because I could create problems for them, but they pamper me in an incredible way.
 
There is only one thing, stupid perhaps, that I miss a little, they always call me Laurence while I would like them to call me dad, but perhaps they didn’t even think about it. Now we are basically a strange family: a man of 57 and two of thirty-one. If I look back to my past, my gay dream was another, I also wanted to live the couple life like Andrew and Peter, I wanted to have a sexual life, which I only had between 30 and 35 years old and with a person who has always told me a lot of lies and who then suddenly disappeared without even saying hello. As a young man I wanted a world like Andrew’s and Peter’s but I didn’t have it, but in old age things have changed for me and I think I can say I have lived a full-blown fatherhood. I feel like a daddy, they treat me like a dad, so lovingly. There are people who say that the family is the so-called normal formed by a straight couple and children, that is a family of blood, ok, it’s a fact, but mine, that of Andrew and Peter, why should it not be considered a family? I don’t say of myself, for heaven’s sake, but these two guys, why don’t they have any protection in the name of the protection of marriage? What’s that got to do with it? They love each other and love me. But is it possible that all this doesn’t have to count for anything? When they will need someone it will not be the family of origin to remember them, but they will have to help each other. If I didn’t have these two guys I would be just an old man who would end up being looked after by a caregiver or some institution, if I have a future it’s because they are there and because they love me, but all of this on a social level counts for nothing!
 
Now, Project, publish this story so that someone reads it because it is not a fantasy but it is a testimony to the truth, that truth that so many people don’t want to hear, is a testimony to the seriousness of gay guys and to the things they are capable of, if only they find people willing to love them.
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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-love-in-a-gay-family

GAY LOVE STRONGER THAN DESPAIR

I call him, I try to talk with him, he doesn’t even answer me, I try to ask him if he has made it to go on, he doesn’t answer me … it means that we are back to the beginning. I feel destroyed. That’s enough! I cannot take it anymore … it’s a lost match … but what can I tell you? … 
 
Whatever I tell you anyway nothing will change, I should check you 24 hours a day, I should physically prevent you … I can’t take it any more … I can no more be the witness the disaster and pretend that it is not true … now you’re not even gay anymore, now you’re nothing, and even for me you’re nothing, when I speak I must pretend because I know how it will end. I would have to try? … but to do what? To make you reason? But it’s impossible … now you have only one thing in mind and you don’t even understand it … then you tell me that you love me and you think you’ve solved everything so, that I put my soul in peace and that’s okay … but if you love me really, stop with that fucking …. stuff!
 
But no, you’re talking just talk but you don’t move away from that fucking stuff … you tell me such things just to say … but why? I do not want anymore to hear such stupid things! … I see how you are, damn it, I see it … and I cannot do anything. Yesterday evening you were right outside your mind, there was a wall of ten meters between us, you said: “I’m tired … I’m not ready …” but you were not there, in the afternoon you said at most a hundred words and always repeating the same nonsense. I cannot see similar scenes, they make me feel too bad.
 
A year ago you were my idol, now I’m with you only because I pity you … and then what’s the use? Tell me! What’s the use? The more time passes the more I think I will not be able to get you out … but why, my God, why? It could all be so beautiful and then everything ended up in a ruin, I felt it was going up in ruin, you always said no, but I knew it would end this way … new friends … friends … those killed you and they killed me too. But you understand, two guys like us who found themselves and who loved each other, but what could we have hoped for more … and everything worked well, damn it ….! Everything worked well … and then a year later we are reduced at this point. What have I to do? I don’t know … What should I do?
 
I leave everything and come to you, I cannot stay here, I cannot think that you can die and I can only wait. You were a zombie, with watery eyes, completely melted. A house in total abandonment, mold and terrible smell. You were not even on the bed but just thrown on the ground, with a long beard, with black nails. I put you back on the bed and I started cleaning the house, you did not even notice. I collected two huge bags of rubbish, I cleaned the dishes, I cleaned the bathroom which was an incredible crap. It took me three hours and it’s a one-room house. The linen was all dirty, the sheets stained with blood, I put them in the washing machine … I removed the dust, I washed the floors but you were always completely gone.
 
I prepared a nice heavy tea and I brought it to you, you drank it a little, then you gave it a tug and you threw it half on you, I made you get up by force and I made you drink the cup of tea I had prepared for me … you could not stand up … you really stank, a guy like you used to take a shower twice a day, I took you to the bathroom, I undressed you and made you sit on the bottom of the shower box , then I undressed myself … you were reduced to being unwatchable, skin and bones … destroyed … I washed you as one do with a child, then I dressed you with the only clean things I found at home, very old jeans and a white t-shirt. You were a little less stunned, I made you sit on the stool in the bathroom, I cut your fingernails and toenails, I washed your hands with the toothbrush again, I cut your hair with scissors, I shaved you, you were a bit more watchable but you were so skinny to be scary.
 
We came back to the room. I asked you: “Where is it?”, you said to me: “No, please, no …”. I began to desperately search tor it, after all in a house with only one room it is not difficult to look for something … you were sure that I wouldn’t have found it … then it came to my head that one shoe was not close to the other but it was in the bathroom, I went to take that shoe back … and it was there. You became fierce, as I had never seen you before, a sweet guy like you turned into a fury, a fury almost reduced to a skeleton but a fury … but you couldn’t do it, you couldn’t stand up, and you started crying desperately, but I threw everything in the toilet, then I came back to you. You were crying out in despair. I tried to hug you, you rejected me … you never did before … in those moments you hated me, I know.
 
At home there was nothing to eat but I could not leave you in that state to go buy something … we had to go together, you didn’t want to show you like that, but I couldn’t leave you at home, then you decided and we went out. The sun bothered you, you had a headache. We arrived to the baker and took the bare minimum … I made two spaghetti at home, you have eaten yes and no 30 grams … but you have drank a little fruit juice, over the hours you seemed less stunned, you said still things a bit disconnected but less than before.
 
At about four o’clock, you had a cup of tea and you ate four biscuits, then you said you were tired and went to throw yourself on the bed, but I made you put to bed properly. I did a second washing machine, I washed your shirts, underwear, t-shirts, socks and hung everything on the balcony to dry. I prepared a bit of dinner. You slept until half past nine. I lay down next to you I looked at you, when you woke up you turned to me and you said to me: “Thanks Cub!” And I started crying like an idiot. I know it’s not over and it will be very hard, but now I feel like you’re there again. I know that I must not delude myself but we did the first step and for me it is very much, it is a step towards life!
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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-love-stronger-than-despair

EXTENDED GAY FAMILY

This post comes from my heart and represents a very serious reflection even if, for those who have prejudices, that is for those who believe they know and doesn’t really know, what I am about to say could sound very strange. 
 
Gay family … ok! Built on the model of the hetero family: a stable couple with the perspective of hypothetical children, etc. etc., yes, everything seems ok … maybe it could also be all right in another world, in another social climate, with another level of civilization and awareness. In reality, at least as long as the situation doesn’t radically change at the social level the hypotheses of a gay family consisting of a stable couple and hypothetical children is an idea that serves only as a symbol of an open road to the future.
 
But what should be the underlying spring that holds a gay family like that together? Sex … yes when you are young it could also seem a sufficient motivation, couple’s affectivity, mutual love and support in difficult situations? Of course this could be a good cement to keep the couple together, but then there is the problem of the children … in test tubes, with mothers for rent they would still be biological children of only one of the couple’s components. But I wonder, wouldn’t it make more sense to think that a gay family should not be based on any preconceived model?
 
Well, I have an alternative model absolutely original of gay family. For me, the gay family should be a group of solidarity and should be built on the emotional experience of loving each other. Do you want to know what my gay family model is? My model is the group of guys that has set up around Gay Project.
 
Tell me whatever you want but I think it’s really a family. We love each other, we support each other, we are friends, we talk freely, we feel accepted and sometimes I would say pampered in a typically family affective dimension. Days ago I criticized the posts of Loki and Fabiomatteo who came out a bit from the limits in which this blog must be maintained. Well I had the fear that this fact could undermine my relationship with these guys, then I talked to Fabiomatteo and I explained my point of view and nothing has gone wrong, indeed we talked in a very serious way and we said goodbye in an authentically affectionate way, with a very heartfelt “I love you!” that was not a courtesy formula at all. Then I spoke with Loki and no problem has been posed. The relationships that I have with these guys cannot go into a crisis because of banalities, the reason is only one, because we love each other and we esteem each other on a human level in a profound way, for me they are part of my family.
 
I mention only them but the discourse involves all the guys in a varied way. With someone, very special habits of trust and mutual attention have been created spontaneously , we share our concerns, we commit ourselves to the same goals, we are in the same situations. I receive messages of a seriousness and depth that I have never seen in any other situation. When I have doubts, what happens to me almost every day, I find an authentic listening, an advice, a comparison. I don’t feel alone, I feel that some bonds have been created and that I’m happy with these bonds.
 
You can tell me that this is not a family because without a couple there is no family but in my opinion it is not true. When I go to work, often in the breaks I think about the guys I know and I feel them present, I know that they are not my fantasy, that they are real guys … and  guys of very height level! Sometimes I feel bad for someone. Sometimes, if I know that there is someone who is not well, I don’t sleep the whole night, if in a situation like this I cannot get in touch  with them, I experience a kind of anguish… but when the contact is re-established and I can get news I feel like I was in paradise and I experience an extraordinary sense of happiness.
 
And what enchants me is that among us there is a deep mutual respect and an extraordinary solidarity despite the sometimes not small differences of point of view. The idea of feeling like a group, of feeling like a family is amazing. A few days ago some guys from Gay Project met and we spent a day together. One said: “It’s incredible the feeling that we’ve always known each other!” Basically meeting in chat and talking for hours has made us a group, a group of friends who love each other … but I would like to use a another word: has made us a family, a family without ties of kinship, a family linked only by emotional ties but a real family in which solidarity and loving each other are the only necessary things …
 
When I come home from work and I switch on the computer and I find a lot of calls in chat and I see so many messages and comments on the forums … I wonder: what would I be if I didn’t have this family that created itself? I would be a small little man, with no purpose in life, one who shouldn’t worry about anything but himself … but now I feel like a lion and when I realize that even the mistakes I make (and I make a lot of mistakes!) don’t are actually destructive because at the bottom of this gay family there is a true emotional bond that doesn’t even collapse in front of my stupidity or my naivety, when I realize that I’m not alone and where I don’t arrive others can arrive, when I realize that these others can do things a hundred times better than I can do and they actually do them … well … then I really feel like a family around, a family that doesn’t judge my mistakes but that understands and loves me, that supports me and comforts me, makes me feel a real affection beyond all possible imagination! Guys! I love you! I dedicate this post to one of us for whom I spent last night without closing a blind eye. I don’t know if he will read this message but I would like to tell him that I love him and that I’m close to him.
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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-extended-gay-family

NON-SEXUAL GAY LOVE AND SUBLIMATION

Hello Project, I send you this e-mail because reading your site made me feel better and I found the courage to do something that I would never have done before, that is to send you this e-mail. 
 
I am a 24-year-old boy who has always considered himself heterosexual and in a sense still considers himself heterosexual even now. I have a girlfriend and I have a good relationship with her, I don’t know if we will get married because there are many  problems linked to the necessity of finishing our formation path at the university and to finding work, but we are fine together, I also have with her a good sexual partnership, better than that I had with other girls. I have never had the fixed idea of running after girls and even less of running after the guys.
 
If I had to look at the things you value to understand the sexual orientation I should say that I am 100% hetero, except for something that I have always known, that is a form of aesthetic admiration for some guys I like just like for their physicality and perhaps also as psychological model of the person. The guys I look at, I state it with no doubts, always without sexual involvement, are very few, not one in a hundred or maybe in a thousand, the others are totally indifferent for me, but I stop to look at those very few, because they seem beautiful, perfect from my point of sight. All this is a premise.
 
This morning, at the secretariat of my faculty, however, something happened that really messed me up a lot. I had taken the number and sat down to wait, at a certain point a guy entered who enchanted me. Very young, I think a freshman, because if there had been one like this the last years I would have certainly noticed him, tall, dark blond, very light skin, with glasses, a bit scruffy, but as are people who are not obsessed with perfection, barely long hair. I tried to watch him without his noticing me. Our eyes met three times in all the waiting time, but just in passing, I think he didn’t even notice, but I experienced a very strong effect of it, I repeat, Project, nothing sexual, just a very strong sense of tenderness, I would have embraced, cuddled, defended him by everything and everyone, he seemed to me a piece of pure humanity, let’s say perfect, in a place where everything is uncertain and strange, also because he was not only beautiful but had very tender attitudes and ways of doing, at least to me they seemed so.
 
I continued to watch him with the fear that he realized he was being watched, I was fascinated by the fact that he didn’t seem aware of his beauty, he didn’t smile, was very serious, almost absorbed in his thoughts and stranger to that environment. Then they called my number and I went to the counter, when I finished that guy was gone and I felt alone and even at home he came back to my mind many times, as usual nothing sexual, but he made me feel more tenderness than how my girlfriend does and I thought that  falling in love with such a guy is not even linked to being gay, I don’t feel gay but being close to that guy I think could give me some affectionate, intimate moments, more intense than those I experience with girls. Can I, at 24 years, be about to open my eyes in front of the fact that I’m not entirely heterosexual or at least I am not heterosexual from the affective point of view?
 
I read a lot of what you wrote about bisexuality and about the fact that boys usually fall in love with a girl and want a boyfriend sexually, the opposite happens to me, I feel attracted towards some guys but sex has nothing to do with it or I think it has nothing to do with it, but I thought about that guy a lot. I mean that if that guy would have fell in love with me and he was gay, even if I don’t feel gay, with that guy I think I would be fine, with him, but only with him. For someone like me it is not obvious to come to a conclusion like this.
 
Could it be a first step towards homosexuality or do you think it has nothing to do with it? I’m not interested in guys but, if I had to say, to just in that one guy, I would like to be close to him, I don’t really think about sex, I’ve said it many times, what does all this mean? There is another thing that embarrasses me: with my girlfriend, with whom I use to speak just about everything, I would never dare to make a speech like that, if I don’t tell her anything I think I’m deceiving her, but if I tell her what happened probably I would make a mess and then what could I tell her? That I saw a charming guy? Because in fact this is precisely what happened. Is there a homosexuality without sex? Or is it a stupid question? What should I expect for my future? I greet you and I hope in your answer.
G.A.
 
Aliosha replies:
 
“That person is so special and there is a so particular affinity, that this is independent of sex and sexual orientation”. Well, that’s exactly what came to my mind when I read your story. I would like to add a couple of things that seem to me relevant to your situation. You say you have a girlfriend and that to some degree you are thinking about marriage. I would put this as the main thought beyond your orientation. I wonder if the things you’ve tried at any level have shocked you in some way. The real problem would be to be gay and get married or otherwise find yourself not in love and marry all the same. I mean, do you really experience the same kind of transport towards your girlfriend that you felt for that guy? With the due differences would you say the same things about her? That is “she could also be a male but I would be fine with her anyway”? And again … Is it necessary to try those things, that is, those that you have felt for the guy, in order to be considered in love? In short, if you reason already in view of marriage it makes more sense to ask these questions BEFORE and not after.
 
On your perplexities about sexual orientation I don’t want to say much else. I am sure that if you already have had an exchange of e-mails with Project, he will have already made an objective picture of the situation and in these things he always has a reassuring style that helps a lot to clear up ideas. I conclude only by telling you that since staying here a bit with us doesn’t cost you anything and you never have to decide in a hurry in such things, it remains that here you will notice quite easily  if something moves you inside or if you notice certain assonances between your story and those of other guys.
A hug
 
Telemaco replies:
 
To reply to this email I want to mention a small episode that has left me a bit perplexed but that perhaps has something to do with these issues.
 
During lunchtime in a nice spring day a friend of mine invited me to eat a pizza: we went to a tavern that I didn’t know and we approached the counter to ask for a table. While we were waiting for our shift a waiter passes by who is of an indescribable beauty; tall, slender, thin profile, little nose upturned, light eyes and very short and black hair a little unkempt.
 
The service uniform was tight because he had a very well-defined body, even if probably not trained at the gym. He was preparing drinks at the counter.
 
My friend, (a straight guy, I’ve known him for a long time and I’m sure) very candidly tells me: “Did you see those pectorals? It’s incredible, look at that shoulders, he’s really well handsome! Oh yes he’s really beautiful, look what a body!” I, surprised, I answered something like:” Um! Cough cough, what do you think he’s pouring? f-from the bottle I think Montenegro … ” I was stunned! Then I thought a bit about and I came to the conclusion that it makes no sense that sexual orientation must necessarily influence the idea of “beauty” that one has: if a heterosexual guy makes an impromptu appreciation on another male he does it simply to talk about his concept of beauty: it was I the one “with the straw tail” [who was wracked with guilt or hesitation] I had difficulty splitting his judgment on the beauty of the waiter from a something sexual, from the physical attraction that I instead can experience.
It is clear, however, that the association “physical beauty” -> “sexual interest” is an indestructible cliché of common sense, where in fact I fell that time too.
 
Felix replies:
 
I was struck by this email and I really liked the way G.A. exposed his reaction to the sight of that charming guy. I read answers and, even if I’m aware that I should read them more carefully, I would like to say what I think. I will try to be synthetic and clear.
 
Let’s start from what happened: G.A. saw a nice guy, but the reaction was not simply that of admiration, so I think we can say that the reaction is of an emotional kind. This is the first point. If so, it is normal that G.A. reacted with a certain upsetting: he has always considered himself heterosexual, he has a relationship with a girl and with her he also has a good sexual partnership. Nevertheless he felt the need to search the internet for something that would help him shed light on that reaction. It does not surprise me. It was a bolt from the blue. But, since the reaction has been affective, and not of sexual-genital attraction, it seems to me that it was a signal launched from the heart and that it has found the free way to reach the level of awareness.
 
A signal, however, does not indicate a certainty, just as a swallow is not enough to say that spring has arrived. It must certainly be taken into consideration and interpreted, but we must be very careful not to immediately jump to the easy conclusions. In this sense, remembering Pascal who says: “The heart has its reasons that the reason doesn’t know”, if it is right and legitimate to ask the questions necessary to read and interpret the fact, it is also necessary to pay attention to avoid falling into excessive rationalization with questions that demand answers that can easily risk not to take into account the emotional dimension. The heart takes a lot of time to talk and be heard. If this were not so, why do many find it difficult to accept situations that are of obvious evidence?
 
 For example, many homosexuals (I speak from experience) refuse for years the idea of accepting and defining themselves as such, despite the evidence and the signs that their interiority is constantly launching. But not only the repressed homosexuals react like that. Every man may have experienced similar situations of resistance in fields also very far from affectivity: the head says something and the heart rebels. Then? Then, one becomes aware of the fact that has happened and examines it but without too much reasoning about it. If you leave the space, the heart will find the way to launch other signals and with serenity the person will be able to understand if that episode was just an episode, or a strong jolt able to make him understand that perhaps his belief in sexual orientation requires a certain revision and a more careful observation.
 
G.A. stressed that the sexual sphere was inexistent in the whole affair. This does not upset me and it could even be a signal not to be underestimated. Lately in other posts we have discussed precisely the fact that being gay is not mainly connected with the genital attraction for people related only to their biological sex, but it concerns a higher emotional sphere that embraces even the sexual one. I think, for example, of the answer that Project gave to the topic that I have opened on erotic gestures over time and that clearly expresses this concept, or there is the discussion about what it really means to be gay. In both it is stressed that being gay means living a dimension that is mainly emotional. I conclude by encouraging G.A. not to enter the circle of those who want everything and immediately, and not to worry too much for his girlfriend when he feels that he is deceiving her.
 
Now he must stand before himself and to do so it takes patience and attention. Precisely because he is the first interested person. it is not necessary for others to enter your inner sphere too soon, even if it is your girlfriend. Sometimes speaking too soon about things not yet very well defined can create considerable inconvenience, as you have rightly noted. If she loves you and if the search for the truth about you takes a new direction accepted with respect and with the utmost sincerity by you, she will notice it and will also feel that you have absolutely hidden nothing. Good luck and a good journey. Whatever it is, I wish you to be happy!
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GAY RELATIONSHIPS WITHOUT AN END

Hello Project, I am writing to you because I am in a situation that makes me feel bad like a beaten dog. I am 46 years old, two years ago a 20 year old guy fell in love with me, or at least he did everything to build an engaging relationship with me: sex, but not only that, for us it was the first time, both for him and for me, you understood, Project, I had never been with a guy. I had the distinct feeling that it wouldn’t work and I tried to do everything to stay away but he didn’t give up and we came to build a relationship that lasted more than two years, then, what I feared has realized and he told me that he had found another guy, that he was sorry that I would have taken it badly but that he needed something else. 
The speech put in these terms would still be simple and all in all clear but things were actually much more complex, because we had created a relationship that went beyond sex, I mean that we loved each other and when we broke up (and we broke up well, I mean in a sweet and affectionate way) we actually both knew that something would have remained and that we would always be there for each other and so it was, in fact we never really left each other. 
We no longer had sexual contacts as before because he had a boyfriend, but there was still reciprocal love between us. Project, tell me what is good for this guy? To dedicate himself completely to his new boyfriend, who is a very good guy, and in this case I should completely disappear or in a sense dissolve myself and no longer contact him, or perhaps it makes sense that I exist, with a role that I don’t even know define? However I feel moments of deep suffering because I miss him violently, I remember the days spent together, I dream of those moments almost every night, but I know that I have to leave him free, his happiness is another, there might even be a place for me, but I would still be a secondary character in his horizon. What does one of my age have to do when a not yet 23 years old leaves him but tells him that he still loves him?
With his boyfriend he can now have a story if not in the light of the sun, at least not to hide carefully as he did with our story. I don’t blame him for this, after all I did the same thing and then he would have been considered as a madman at his house not because he is gay but because he stays with someone who is twice his age, something that, for him personally (not at the social or family level), has never created any problem. 
Project, I read with great interest the chapter on intergenerational relationships on “Being gay” but frankly in my case there is not a real couple relationship, maybe there was, but maybe what brought him to stay with me was something else, that is was the need for affection, the need for reassurance, the need to be accepted. In fact this is not the basis of a typical couple relationship but represents the attempt to rebuild a family that no longer exists. I believe this was precisely the meaning of the bond between us. The sex lived together in a calm and without inhibitions way was just the sign of a mutual acceptance without reservation. 
Ok, all this is true, but now he is not there and I feel really empty and destroyed. I know very well that my duty is not to complicate his life but to let him go or to allow him to manage what remains of our relationship exactly as he wants, even that is a sign of acceptance without reservation. But I feel really badly about it, Project, and he doesn’t realize it, and in a sense, I did everything to make sure he didn’t. When we  talk on the phone or on Skype, I act as if nothing has happened, but when we close the phone I feel like crying because those phone calls are not stupidities or formalities, they are a way to confirm that our relationship still exists. 
Here, Project, what really destroys me: the fact that it is not a matter of a thing that is already over, it is not so for him and it is not for me. At my age, before I knew him, I had thought about definitively put aside the idea of having a boyfriend, then he arrived and he upset my plans and now he’s leaving but he doesn’t leave completely and I feel an anguish inside that I couldn’t even describe: anxiety, fear that he might find himself in some trouble, desire to see him happy at all costs and at the same time a deep sense of emptiness, as if I were falling backwards, as if my life was sliding backwards irremediably at the level of two years ago, but after one has known love or at least sex lived with participation, after one has held in his arms a guy in love, well it is scary to think that all this is about to end. 
Something remains, I know, but it’s not enough for me, I know it should be enough but it’s not enough for me. Sometimes I feel like a fool and I try to download all the faults on him but I know very well that he has no faults, that he has lived and is living his feelings with absolute simplicity. I don’t know what to wish for, maybe it would be better if he forgets me soon but I don’t think it would be easy and on the other hand he also loves his boyfriend and I don’t have the slightest doubt about. I know very well that he will never come back with me and that I have to leave him completely free, but Project it’s damned difficult. What can I do? I swear I’m completely confused.
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GAYS AND COUPLE SOLIDARITY

Hello Project, I am a 54-year-old man, I have a name not very spread and for privacy I prefer not to use it, you can call me Francis. Reading the forum, which is really rich, I saw that messages related to young people and, let’s say, to the early stages of life dominate. You also talk about mature men, but in fact I have never seen a post dedicated to mutual solidarity among posts dedicated to gay couples. 
Ok, yes, sex, attraction, coming out, everything you want, but they are ways of seeing things very important when one is young, are issues for people who have to start their adult life, but one is gay non only when he’s a boy, then guys become men and the meaning of a couple relationship changes for them and the need for a concrete solidarity and a stable presence becomes basic cannot be ignored.
 
Why do I tell you these things? The answer is simple, I’ve seen what it means to live like a couple when you’re sick, that is when you really need to have someone close to support you and literally help you live. My life as a young gay was practically all of fantasies and pornography, at least up to 45 years, then I met a guy 24 years old, yes, he was 21 years younger than me, I, according to the usual script, would have had to let such an opportunity pass and pretend nothing happened, because he was a bit too young and I thought it could not work, but he didn’t give up and made me discover the couple sexuality and I will always thank him.
 
We have been together for three years, and those have been the best and most agitated years of my life, he is a bit neurotic but, in short, the result was very positive, then he found another guy, younger than me but with me he has nevertheless maintained a relationship, he has never disappeared and the level of our speeches has never descended towards banality.
 
I was not shocked by the fact that he had found another guy, in a sense I expected it, it was inevitable, and in fact our relationship continued to exist even if in another way. He has had his stories, has changed two or three guys, and then he ended up preferring to be alone, except for some adventure, if it happened, but without going to look for guys. When I was 52 I started to feel bad and it did not take long to realize that the situation was very serious. I felt a bit displaced because I had broken for years the relationship with my family and I was practically abandoned to myself. The very first time, I tried to do everything myself, without asking anyone for help, but it was very difficult, at the limit of the impossible.
 
When my ex-partner, let’s say my only ex-partner (because I didn’t have had any others) knew it, first he called me, then he came to see me and he realized the problem and then he did something that I never would have expected, that is, he moved to my house and now we have been living together for two years.
 
I would never have imagined such a thing, he is now 32 and could have a life of fun and instead he came to stay with me. Sometimes he helps me in an affectionate way and he works hard to alleviate my ordeal as much as possible.
 
My father and my mother (both 78 years old and both in good health) know of my health but have not come to see me, by phone they repeat that I must find “someone” who could help me, but they mean a caregiver or a nurse, on the other hand there has never been a dialogue with them if not for good manners. My parents would not have wanted a son like me, it happened, and they had to accept me with “Christian resignation” (my mother’s words). But that son has a person who loves him and this makes him happy even if he has so many serious problems to deal with. I do not know if my relationship with my ex is a couple relationship, but I think it’s a relationship of love anyway. In my misfortune I can say I was a lucky man. I just have to thank my ex who has given me back a dignity and is allowing me to look at the future with less anxiety. Thanks My cub! I love you so much!
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