Gay Project has just published in Italian a “Manual of homosexuality”:, that is a guide to know and understand the real problems of gay guys. The manual has 22 chapters. I present here the first chapter in English, in the coming weeks I will publish the next chapters.



Let’s start with a concrete example.

A boy 12 year old (seventh grade) experiences for the first time the spontaneous swelling up of his penis (erection) while he is in the locker room along with his mates and while concentrating his attention on one of them who is undressing. The experience is pleasant, the guy comes home, sits back to think about his mate, goes quickly erect, the feeling is newly nice, the guy starts a long manipulation of his penis (masturbation) at the end of which he feels a strong contraction of the testes (orgasm) that makes a white substance (semen) squirts up from his penis (ejaculation), immediately after the guy experiences a strong feeling of relaxation, as if all the tension caused by sexual arousal had been discharged (post-orgasmic phase). Throughout all this procedure, the imagination is concentrated on the image of the mate undressing in the locker room (masturbatory fantasy).

Let us now analyze this example. It is the discovery of masturbation, that is the first real sexual experience. In this experience, there are two different components linked together, the physical one (erection, masturbation, orgasm, ejaculation, post-orgasmic phase) and the imaginative one (masturbatory fantasy).

It is usual to call masturbation also the whole physical-imaginative process we have just described. During masturbation the guy brings to mind the images that had caused the erection spontaneously, because focusing on those images (masturbatory fantasies) he can easily get an erection (sexual arousal through masturbation fantasies) and the erection is more vigorous and all the process of masturbation is strongly addictive. If the masturbatory fantasies of a guy are directed towards other guys  we use to say that masturbation is gay oriented, if masturbatory fantasies are directed towards girls we use to say that masturbation is hetero oriented. When the masturbatory fantasies are really spontaneous, they represent the fundamental indicator of sexual orientation: a guy who masturbates in an exclusive and consistent way with gay fantasies is to be considered a gay guy.

Now we go further with exemplification.

The same guy that we talked about before, listening to his mates about masturbation becomes aware that they experience something similar to his own experience in the physical aspect but different with regard to the masturbatory fantasies, and realizes that his mates, during masturbation, don’t focus attention on other guys but on girls. Back home, the guy tries to masturbate focusing on a girl, that is, using the same masturbatory fantasies used by his mates, but those fantasies do not produce results and are on the contrary experienced as something alien and not really exciting. The guy then comes back to masturbation fantasies focused on his mates and the physical response is rapid and convincing.

Let’s analyze the example.

This is the first perception, by a gay guy, of the fact that his sexuality is not similar to that of other guys. The thing in itself would not cause any problem, but the guy, speaking with his mates, becomes aware, with a growing awareness, that his sexuality is considered by his mates as an object of ridicule and as something quite offensive to joke about and begins to connect to his sexual orientation words like gay, fag, queer, fagot and so on, that people use as an insult. This way the guy perceives for the first time the discomfort of being gay, which is not caused by the fact of having a sexuality different from that of the other guys but by the contempt shown by other guys.

But let us proceed with the examples.

The guy that we talked about in the previous examples starts to feel the presence of the guy who is the object of his masturbatory fantasies as something very pleasant, he is happy while being beside that guy, talks to him for as long as possible, appreciates his voice, his physical presence and smile and tends to create a relationship with him. At first that relationship seems to have the typical characteristics of friendship but really differs from friendship because that guy is also the subject of masturbatory fantasies.

All the process described above represents a typical gay love affair, in which there are two components: one affective, which consists in creating a relationship of proximity and affection with the other guy, and the other strictly sexual, which consists in being sexually involved by the other guy assuming him as object of masturbatory fantasies.

For the other guys, who leave similar experiences, but oriented towards girls, the natural outcome of being in love is the declaration of love to the girl they love, that statement is usually taken by the girls like something  however flattering. The gay guy understands on the contrary that, for him, declaring his love for another guy carries the risk of being identified as gay and thus being branded with offensive epithets by his mates and also by the guy he is in love with. In essence, the gay guy realizes that he’s a gay guy in a group of guys who have a different sexual orientation and concludes instinctively, that not to be labeled as gay by his mates, he has to pretend to be straight.

So far we have presented a very simple model of getting aware of being gay applied to a 12 year old gay. In reality, this scheme can be complicated by many disruptive factors. Let us therefore examine the most important factors that interfere with the awareness of homosexuality. Consider an example.

A guy 11/12 year old is involved in sexual games with a girl slightly older than him, his first erections are not really spontaneous but are induced by the interplay of sexual manipulation by the girl, which is especially rewarding because allows the preadolescent to perceive himself like a man. The guy will repeat on his own the handling of the penis and will arrive at the discovery of masturbation and, at least apparently, his masturbatory fantasies will be oriented toward girls, but in this case during the masturbation the spontaneous sexuality cannot emerge just because the first erections are not spontaneous but are induced by a girl through explicit sexual advances (the manipulation of the penis or the intimate caresses). The sexual imprinting , that is the first real sexual or para-sexual experience, in this case, has been experienced by the guy “in a straight atmosphere” due to external elements (the girl) and thus was not the result of the sexual spontaneity of the guy, but nevertheless such sexual experiences are not superficial. The hetero imprinting can induce quite easily masturbation fantasies related to the imprinting, i.e. hetero fantasies, rather than to spontaneous sexuality. Following an hetero imprinting, even a guy who, if he could spontaneously develop his own sexuality, would manifest a gay sexuality, can present  a straight masturbation for years. Gay guys sooner or later come certainly out of the constraints that derive from the hetero imprinting because in the long time spontaneous sexuality comes always afloat.

Much more complicated and problematic is the situation of guys who have been subjected to violence or sexual abuse. I would simply point out that sexual abuse can leave on anyone who has suffered it very heavy consequences, particularly if it was committed with physical or psychological violence or by a close family member.

Let us consider now much more common disturbing elements that can interfere with the process of getting aware of being gay. We start here with an example.

An 8 year old guy is part of a larger group of friends and hears them speak with great interest about pornography on the Internet. For him, 8 years old, genital sexuality is still something to come, but he is induced by what he heard to go and see what it is. In this way, the guy discovers pornography, which means, in the vast majority of cases, heterosexual pornography, before having sexual maturity to understand the real meaning of sexuality. In this way, the guy gets a form of pre-orientation toward sexuality almost always towards heterosexuality, which tends to stabilize the guy because using pornography he feels integrated with the group of older guys. Over the years the tendency to imitate the sexuality of the older guys leads that guy to the discovery of masturbation that takes place in a straight atmosphere and therefore manifests a heterosexual orientation. This not spontaneous hetero orientation, precisely induced by the described mechanism, just because it is not spontaneous, may not coincide with the deep sexual orientation and therefore, also in this case a young guy with an exclusive hetero masturbation may be, with the passing of time, having to deal with the subsequent emergence of a spontaneous gay sexuality.

We come now to another important point, namely the education that a guy receives about sexuality, and as usual we consider a concrete case.

A guy has been accustomed from childhood to attend Catholic circles, typically the parish. In that environment he feels comfortable, the family has confidence in the priests and is happy that the child attends that environment because even the parents grew up in that environment and feel it as safe and suitable for the growth of the child. Gradually, from childhood on, that guy has assimilated the values ​​typical of a Catholic environment that are related to the idea of ​​family (father, mother and children), seen as the center of the life of an individual. This model does not create any problem to the guy before his first contact with sex life and indeed is regarded as quite natural because, before discovering sexuality, a guy identifies himself only in the role of child and not in a possible role of father. But there are also other things to take in account, a guy, before discovering sexuality considers as natural the idea that sexuality, which he still does not know concretely, is aimed exclusively to the procreation and that any other use of sexuality is wrong. When the guy discovers masturbation and the horizon of real sexuality, he is brought automatically to suppress the new feelings and to feel guilty about the fact of not being able to do without what he believes to be absolutely to avoid. Up to this point the conditioning of sexuality operated by the religion is practically the same for both gay and straight guys, but for gay guys there are also other problems. In religious circles in general people tend to take for granted that all the guys are heterosexual and the existence of homosexuality is considered as a manifestation of disease and sin. The priests who care for older kids only talk about relationships between guys and girls and these behaviors lead gay guys to stay as far as possible away from homosexuality, considered like a very serious sin but avoidable. Let us pause to reflect on the situation we have just described.

The Catholic Church considers heterosexuality as the only natural form of sexuality and considers homosexuality as a pathological tendency, something against nature, which must be repressed. The Church considers a grave sin every homosexual act, that is, all forms of sexuality shared with someone of the same sex and also considers masturbation a grave sin. The World Health Organization has recognized for several decades homosexuality as a “normal ” (i.e. non-pathological) variant of the human sexuality and homosexuals has been recognized in many states the right to join together to form a family, a family formed by same-sex partners,  in some states, it is also granted to homosexual couples the right to adopt children exactly as it is granted to heterosexual couples. The same World Health Organization has explicitly acknowledged the value of masturbation not only as a fundamental element for the formation of sexuality in adolescence but as a positive element that produces pleasure, accompanies the entire sexual life of an individual and also involves married man and women, who clearly have also a sexual life as a couple. The World Health Organization has included education to masturbation as part of sex therapy aimed at the well-being of the person as an individual and as part of a couple.

The teachings of the Catholic Church in matters related to sexuality and especially homosexuality and masturbation, are not only not universally shared but are completely incompatible with what the scientific community says about the same subjects.

Sexuality education in accordance with the dictates of the Catholic Church or other religious groups with similar attitudes, promotes feelings of guilt and leads to the repression of sexuality and especially homosexuality, which is seen only in the dimension of sin and not as a natural and spontaneous behavior.

What are the consequences of all this for a homosexual guy? The guy tries to force himself toward heterosexuality and considers homosexuality as a vice to be eradicated, seeks to create a relationship with a girl that can reassure him by giving him the illusion that his homosexuality will disappear if he will be able to resist temptation particularly avoiding masturbation, so in fact the feeling towards a girl will grow “pure” that is not tainted by sex. In repressing masturbation, which would inevitably be gay oriented, and in building a relationship with a girl chastely, that is, without any trace of sexuality, the guy sees a merit, a victory over himself and the sign that his “heterosexuality” is true love and not vice because it is not contaminated by masturbation. In fact the apparent “pure” falling in love with a girl is not really falling in love because is missing entirely any sexual involvement. That apparent falling in love allows the guy to pretend to be straight, relegating homosexuality to the rank of marginal vice that will pass easily, over the years, when he will go to the wedding. It is in essence a problem of removal of homosexuality that is denied and minimized. In some cases, starting with these concepts, when the first attempts to couple sexuality with a girl are successful, the guy can get easily even at the wedding.

The expression “sexual imprinting”, in the strict sense, is used to denote the first sexual or para-sexual experience (nudity, physical contact) that induces, through sexual arousal, the initial orientation of masturbation towards guys or girls. It is quite common to speak of sexual imprinting also about the discovery of pornography and even about the educational pressures. While the discovery of pornography, particularly if very early, can effectively determine the initial orientation of masturbation, and therefore can constitute a real sexual imprinting, the educational pressures act mainly through deterrence. In general, the removal of homosexuality as a result of education does not lead a gay guy to hetero masturbation but to abstinence from masturbation, in this case we can speak of sexual imprinting only in very general terms.

Here it should be clarified that as a guy who lives a straight imprinting can masturbate, for a period of time at least, with heterosexual fantasies, even if he is not straight, so a gay guy, in situations of particular emotional involvement, can have a sexual intercourse with a woman. It should be borne in mind that the true sexual orientation is the “spontaneous” sexual orientation of a person, therefore a guy is gay if, without any conditioning, his sexuality is focused on guys, and similarly a guy is straight if, without any conditioning, his sexuality is focused on girls, but that does not mean that a gay guy, that is a guy who, without any conditioning, focuses his sexuality on guys , cannot, under specific conditions, i.e. with strong constraints, respond to heterosexual stimulation. Similarly, a straight guy, who is spontaneously led to a hetero sexuality, in some particular situations, may also respond to homosexual stimulation. It is precisely for this reason that, in the presence of strong environmental constraints, when the orientation of masturbation does not coincide with that of couple sexuality, the true sexual orientation is what emerges from masturbation because during masturbation the weight of the constraints is enormously less and there  is no expectation to satisfy on the part of the partner. The fantasies that accompany masturbation are, for these very reasons, the fundamental index of sexual orientation.

It should be noted that, given that 92% of the population is composed of heterosexuals, environmental pressures that push toward heterosexuality are very strong, while those that push towards homosexuality are virtually nil. That’s why there are many gays who have problems, even for long periods, about their being gay, while it is very rare to find a straight guy who has problems about is being hetero.

About 30% of the guys who end up recognizing themselves exclusively gay have had before periods in which they considered themselves to be heterosexuals and some of them, and not a few, also had sex with a girl and also with more than just one. Those guys are not heterosexuals who have become homosexuals but they are homosexuals who have been induced to pretend to be heterosexuals by environmental pressures or by an education for nothing respectful of sexual spontaneity and typically have lived long and troubled periods of uncertainty about their sexual orientation. It is significant that most of these guys, even when they have a girlfriend and have sex with girls, continues to practice masturbation with gay fantasies.

Let us now deal with elements that can appear but are not indicators of sexual orientation. Let’s consider an example.

A 11 year old guy goes for swimming and compares his penis with that of his peers. In this case it is true that there is an interest in the penis of other guys but it should be clear that for the guy this is only an element of comparison for assessing his own sexual maturation in relation to that of other guys, the same is true when considering physical development, height or strength in relation to the similar characteristics of other guys. All this has nothing to do with homosexuality.

Let’s move on to another situation which is incorrectly related to sexual orientation or gender identity, that is the feeling of being a man or woman. A child about 5 or 6 year old sometimes puts on mum’s shoes, plays with dolls with girls and not at soldiers with his male mates, is at ease with the girls better than with his male mates, does not like to play football and so on.

Such situations are not indicators of sexual orientation or gender identity (feeling of being male or female) but can sometimes express forms of discomfort to integrate into the peer group, often caused by a very rigid education or simply by shyness. Adults should avoid to negatively emphasize these behaviors with attitudes amazed or worried that can really cause insecurities that are likely to remain unexpressed and unresolved.


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Starting from April 4, 2013 the Senate of the French Republic will examine the Draft Law No. 344 “for the opening of marriage to same-sex couples” ( already approved by the National Assembly.

The Article. 1 of the Draft Law No. 344 provides that the Chapter I of Title V of Book I of the Civil Code is amended as follows: “is inserted at the beginning of this chapter an art. 143 so defined:

“Article 143 – Marriage is contracted by two people of different sexes or of the same sex. ‘”.

The Draft Law also provides analytically all the provisions of the codes to adapt them to the new Article 143. The entire discipline of marriage, according to the provisions of the Draft Law, can be found on the page

It should be emphasized that the new Article 143 of the French Civil Code does not create a special legislation for same-sex couples, possibly extending it to unmarried heterosexual couples, but simply extends marriage rights to all, without exceptions depending on the sex of the spouses and extends the adoption rights to homosexual couples on the basis of the same rules that govern the adoption for heterosexual couples. This means that the new art. 143, secularly and strictly, applies the principle of equality of all citizens in front of the law.

The definition of the new art. 143 of the French Civil Code is the result of a long process of secularization of marriage.

Marriage, in France, was the exclusive prerogative of the Church during the Ancien Régime, the final secularization of marriage has been enshrined in Article 7 of the Constitution of 1791 which states that “the law sees marriage as a civil contract.” The decree of 20 to 25 September 1792 sets up the conditions for the formation of marriage, including the celebration in front of the municipal public official. This conception of civil and secular marriage was endorsed by the authors of the Civil Code. The marriage has no definition in the French Civil Code and the Code does not identify any fixed purpose for the marriage, the Code is just about acts of marriage, then, in a separate heading, about conditions, effects, and the dissolution of the marriage.

The idea of ​​opening marriage to same-sex couples has collected progressively greater acceptance since the adoption of the law n° 99-944 of 15 November 1999 on the Civil Solidarity Pact. The majority of French people are now in favor of access to marriage by same-sex couples. It is true that the Civil Solidarity Pact allowed to meet the real aspiration of society and the regime that it provides has been considerably strengthened and made closer to that of marriage, but differences still remain and this legal instrument does not meet the request of the same-sex couples who wish to marry or their request for access to adoption.

France has to take a step further. This is the purpose of the Draft Law. 344, which opens the right to marry to same-sex couples and therefore also opens access to parenting for these people, through the mechanism of adoption.

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, said that the opening of marriage to homosexuals “is socially disruptive” and added, “And then, this will have an infinite number of consequences. After that, they can require to marry non only in couple but in three or four. Then, one day perhaps, will fall also the prohibition of incest.”

The Cardinal Archbishop of Paris Andre Vingt-Trois judged the marriage between persons of the same sex, “an arrogance that will shake one of the pillars of our society.”

The Protestant Federation of France has ruled against “the false idea of ​​marriage for all” as a matter “not theological but social and anthropological.”

The Grand Rabbi of France Gilles Bernheim believes that “the arguments of equality, love, protection or right to a child do not hold up and they cannot justify, they only, a law.”

Olivier-Genh Wang, vice-president of the Union of Buddhists in France, hopes “people to reflect on the consequences that will arise from individualistic and selfish acts.”


The French Council for the Muslim Faith (CFCM) has published an official document which explains the opposition of the Muslim Law Project but precises, secularly, that “the rules and norms of a religion cannot be used to oppose or evade rules and regulations of the State that apply to everyone.” The document also states that Muslims “strongly condemn all homophobic acts.” According to the CFCM “the mission of marriage cannot be reduced to recognize a bond of love”, marriage presupposes “the foundation of a stable family under the direction of the two spouses”.


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This post is dedicated to a comparison between the positions of the Catholic Church on the masturbation and the reality of the phenomenon, as it appears through a simple analysis of the facts.

The definition of masturbation given by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Part Three, Section Two, Chapter Two, art. 6, n. 2352) ( is: “deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure“. The English text uses  “sexual pleasure”, but the Latin one uses ”veneream voluptatem” (venereal lust). The use of the adjective venereal, now obsolete in everyday language and even in medical terminology where the expression “venereal diseases” has been replaced by the more accurate expression “sexually transmitted diseases”, is indebted to Thomas Aquinas, who, in the “quaestio” of Summa Theologica dedicated to lust (Summa Thelogica II^ IIae, q. 153), frequently uses expressions that refer to “venereal lust (ἀφροδισιαστικός)” such as “delectationes venereae”, “voluptates venereas”, “actus venereus”, “usus  venereorum”.

The Catechism is limited to a mere reference to the Declaration “Persona Humana” of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (end of 1975) that however treats the subject in a much more structured way.

The point n. 9 of the Declaration Persona Humana on masturbation is one of the most typical examples of closed dogmatic structure of Catholic morality.

The Declaration Persona humana approaches the topic “masturbation” recalling that: “The traditional Catholic doctrine that masturbation constitutes a grave moral disorder is often called into doubt or expressly denied today. It is said that psychology and sociology show that it is a normal phenomenon of sexual development, especially among the young.” The Church opposes these psychological or sociological theories only with its authority stating that “according to someone” that the Church considers certainly in error, in masturbation “there is real and serious fault only in the measure that the subject deliberately indulges in solitary pleasure closed in on self (“ipsation”), because in this case the act would indeed be radically opposed to the loving communion between persons of different sex which some hold is what is principally sought in the use of the sexual faculty.” Beyond the fact that the text expressly speaks of “persons of different sex,” it introduces a distinction, in the context of masturbation, between “heterosexual” affective masturbation and “ipsation”. The term “ipsation” (from the Latin “ipse” = myself) was coined by Magnus Hirschfeld and was used in the psycho-biological questionnaire to be filled from patients of the Institute for Sexual Science in Berlin founded by Hirschfeld himself in 1919.

The question. 35 of the questionnaire was as follows: “Do you ever let yourself go to ipsation, i.e. to the satisfaction achieved through onanism? When did you start masturbating? How did you contract this habit? Have you been encouraged by people of your age or of different ages? From people of your same sex or different sex? Up to what age? With what intervals and what mental representations and how did you masturbate? If you are a woman, by external caresses or through the introduction of foreign objects in your body? Have you ever struggled against this trend? If so, by what means (vows, prayers, etc.) “.

The document Persona humana uses the term ipsation (now very rarely used by sexologists) to indicate a “solitary pleasure closed in on self” that would be the reason for the immorality of this “only” kind of masturbation. Obviously the Declaration does not consider any psycho-sexual topic and merely judges morally irrelevant the distinction between “heterosexual” affective masturbation, which implies at least a projective couple dimension, and ipsation i.e. the non-affective masturbation, as if it was that there is a dividing line between the two, and as if the question of the moral legitimacy of masturbation was reduced to this. The document points out that masturbation is still and always condemned by the Church for constant tradition and that whatever the reasons that induce certain indulgence toward affective masturbation: “This opinion is contradictory to the teaching and pastoral practice of the Catholic Church. Whatever the force of certain arguments of a biological and philosophical nature, which have sometimes been used by theologians, in fact both the Magisterium of the Church – in the course of a constant tradition – and the moral sense of the faithful have declared without hesitation that masturbation is an intrinsically and seriously disordered act.

The Document specifies the reason behind this judgment: “The main reason is that, whatever the motive for acting this way, the deliberate use of the sexual faculty outside normal conjugal relations essentially contradicts the finality of the faculty. For it lacks the sexual relationship called for by the moral order, namely the relationship which realizes “the full sense of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love.” All deliberate exercise of sexuality must be reserved to this regular relationship.” Whatever the value of the arguments to the contrary, the sentence is therefore bases its unfailing motivation on the teaching and tradition of the Church that legitimizes the use of the sexual faculty only in “normal conjugal relations“.

Very interesting is the evaluation of the significance of sociological research on the topic of masturbation, as proposed by the Vatican document: “Sociological surveys are able to show the frequency of this disorder according to the places, populations or circumstances studied. In this way facts are discovered, but facts do not constitute a criterion for judging the moral value of human acts.”

The Congregation in practice only paraphrases a document of Pope Paul VI, “If sociological surveys are useful to know the mentality of the environment and the concerns and needs of those to whom we proclaim the word of God, as well as the resistance that human reason could oppose in the modern age, with the widespread notion that does not exist outside of science, any legitimate form of knowledge, the findings of such investigations could never constitute in themselves a determinant criterion of truth.”(Paolo VI, Esort. apost. Quinque iam anni).

The Congregation goes to the identification of the causes of the frequency of masturbation as follows:

The frequency of the phenomenon in question is certainly to be linked with man’s innate weakness following original sin; but it is also to be linked with the loss of a sense of God, with the corruption of morals engendered by the commercialization of vice, with the unrestrained licentiousness of so many public entertainments and publications, as well as with the neglect of modesty, which is the guardian of chastity.

Then the document mentions the “modern psychology” although it is not clear to what it refers specifically:

On the subject of masturbation modern psychology provides much valid and useful information for formulating a more equitable judgment on moral responsibility and for orienting pastoral action. Psychology helps one to see how the immaturity of adolescence (which can sometimes persist after that age), psychological imbalance or habit can influence behavior, diminishing the deliberate character of the act and bringing about a situation whereby subjectively there may not always be serious fault. But in general, the absence of serious responsibility must not be presumed; this would be to misunderstand people’s moral capacity.”

It follows that masturbation is always objectively a serious fault but not always subjectively and it is for this reason that modern psychology can be useful to discern case by case. Clearly, modern psychology is regarded as legitimate as instrumental and compatible with Catholic morality. The Congregation provides also other criteria that go beyond the “modern psychology”:

In the pastoral ministry, in order to form an adequate judgment in concrete cases, the habitual behavior of people will be considered in its totality, not only with regard to the individual’s practice of charity and of justice but also with regard to the individual’s care in observing the particular precepts of chastity. In particular, one will have to examine whether the individual is using the necessary means, both natural and supernatural, which Christian asceticism from its long experience recommends for overcoming the passions and progressing in virtue.”

But let’s consider only the facts leaving aside moral prejudices.

That masturbation concerns basically all guys in adolescence, this fact is generally known and confirmed by all serious surveys carried out in this field. Masturbation in adolescence is very important:  gradually leads guys to the consciousness of their sexual orientation, determines the sexual archetypes, i.e. physical types of the people who induce a clear sexual response and sexual behaviors that will be considered to be more exciting all life long, creates and stabilizes the association between masturbatory fantasies and physiological reactions of erection and ejaculation.

Induce feelings of guilt related to masturbation in adolescents through moral prejudices means severely and negatively interfere with the maturation of their sexuality and with the formation of their moral sense, pushing them to neurotically react with a completely unnatural rejection of the masturbation, to consider masturbation as a vice which they must try in every way to get rid of, and to build a morality based on repression rather than liberty.

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Hello Project,
I write for a very special reason that from several days now there’s a thing that causes me profound disturbance. I am a 19 years old guy and no doubt I’m straight, the problem is not about me but about my father. I state that I respect my father very much, he is a father really as it should. He and my mother got married because I was about to be born. When I was born my father was 22 years old and now he’s 41. I no longer have my mother since I was 11 years old and basically live alone with my father that takes care of everything. I have a real dialogue with him, when I had problems (including sexual ones) I resorted to him and he has always helped me. My girlfriend loves him because he has always made sure that she would feel comfortable in our home like in her own.

I go to the fact: from about six months my father has a little changed habits, before he never used to go out, now in practice he goes out every evening. “Out” means he’s out two or three hours. The first few times I did not mind, then I began to wonder: where is he going? But there were other strange things, sometimes his cell phone rang and he entered his room to answer and spoke softly and he never does so when speaking with people I know or even with relatives.

I had the curiosity to spy on him, but I never did because I would be ashamed to do such a thing. I began to think about what could induce my father to that behavior, the first thing was that he could see a woman, but I have never seen my father do compliment a woman and I do not even remember the relationship he had with my mother. For mom and for the mom’s things he has always had the greatest respect, as for me, but an intelligent respect, without fetishes of any kind. After all, if he intended to marry again no one could prevent him and for me it would not be shocking, that would be pleasing to him, and for this I would accept it and he knows it. So I discarded the idea of a woman.

There was a fact that has alarmed me. About a month ago my father introduced me to a colleague of his aged 35. In practice, it was completely random, Dad and I were walking around and we met this guy. Dad stopped and introduced me to his colleague, however, I had the distinct impression that my father was embarrassed and he stayed to talk with his colleague a few seconds too long, and in a way a bit embarrassed. That’s where I took the flash. Of course I didn’t even mention it, but even after I felt the embarrassment of Dad. In the days after he has calmed down but I kept thinking about that thing and the more I was thinking the more the idea that Dad and his colleague were not just colleagues was becoming clear. I do not know what they can be for each other, but are not just colleagues. I want to clarify that I do not feel upset to think that my father might be gay or to think that he and his colleague can be a couple (it could also be), what I do not like is that my father is forced to pretend with me because maybe he is afraid to tell me the truth.

I read in the forum many stories about the coming out of the guys to their parents, but never the other way and I think that if it’s embarrassing for a guy it might be even more so for a father who has to confess to his son that he’s gay. I have not sought evidence that my father is gay, I’m not going to search into his computer because he has never done so with mine, but I do not know what to do, that is, whether to tell him that I understood or to go on waiting for him to take the decision. I do everything for my father to feel at ease with me but I think on this specific point he will never feel comfortable.

I have read on the forum about gay married, so the situation that my father probably lives is not something so exceptional. I talk about it as if I had the certainty that things are indeed so, in fact I’m not sure, but the intuition takes me there. Project, from what I understand you are much older than my father, and perhaps such things have already happened to you and you could tell me what to do, because I love my father and the fact that it can be gay does not constitute any problem for me, I just want him to be happy and to feel free with me because I am proud that he is my father! I wait your response. If you want, you can post this message.
I am attaching my contact [omissis]

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Recently, there has been a lot of talk in the press in reference to the Pope’s message for World Day of Peace. I mention only one article in the Corriere della Sera: “The Pope is against gay marriage: an offense against the human person“.

The Pope’s message really does not speak explicitly of homosexual couples, leaving the press the task of reading between the lines. I quote here below, inserting in note three topics for reflection, the passages more interesting to Homosexual Persons of the Message of Benedict XVI for the World Day of Peace XLVI, 1 January 2013, on the theme: “Blessed are the peacemakers”. The full text of the message can be read at:

“Even the natural structure of marriage must be recognized and promoted as a union between a man and a woman, compared to attempts to make it juridically equivalent to radically different forms of union which in reality harm it (1) and contribute to its destabilization, obscuring its particular character and its irreplaceable social role (2).

These principles are not truths of faith, or are just a tap of the right to religious freedom. They are inscribed in human nature itself, identified with reason, and therefore they are common to all mankind. The Church’s action in promoting them is therefore not confessional in character, but is addressed to all people, regardless of their religious affiliation. Such action is all the more necessary the more these principles are denied or misunderstood, because this constitutes an offense against the truth of the human person, a grave wound inflicted onto justice and peace. (3)”

(1) If this statement, which is deliberately not explicit, was referring to heterosexual unmarried couples it would be questionable but would make sense because it would be based on the actual fact that the choice of heterosexual unions in place of the marriage, is a cultural phenomenon in relation to which the Church can really play a major action to promote the values of marriage, if it was instead intended, as it would seem, despite the ambiguity of the expression, as referring to same-sex couples it would postulate a completely unreal conception of homosexuality as a cultural phenomenon against which it is possible to provide a competitive constraint through the promotion of the heterosexual marriage. Homosexuality is not a culture, not an ideology that is transmitted on a social level with the typical means of cultural communication (there isn’t any gay catechesis) but it is a deep personal identity against which it may be possible put into effect an action of repression, sure, but not an action of guidance through the promotion of marriage and the promotion of (heterosexual) marriage, in these cases, favors the creation of families in which the relationship between the parents is missing a very important component. The phenomenon of gay married men does really exist and is not even marginal. The problem is not, in these case, to do or not to do promotion of marriage to change a cultural attitude but to respect the natural sexual orientation of individuals.

(2) About the irreplaceable social role of marriage quote only one data provided by ISTAT ( for the 2010 Italian Census. “The rates of separation and divorce for both phenomena show a continuous growth: in 1995, for every 1,000 marriages there were 158 separations and 80 divorces in 2010 they reach to 307 separations and 182 divorces.” This means that in Italy the 50% of marriages end in separation or divorce.

(3) It is natural to wonder if freedom itself constitutes “an offense against the truth of the human person, a grave wound inflicted onto justice and peace.”

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Hello Project,

I am writing you this email because I had a look at your google site and also at your forum and it seems a serious thing, neither ideological nor to make money. I am in a rather difficult situation and I need to understand what is happening to me.

I’m 31 years old, I could tell you that I’ve always been straight, because the outside was always so, and I could say that for a long time, I also thought that I was really so, but if I go to look far back in memory, when I was 11 – 12 y. o., I find in practice many things that make me doubt.

As a kid, I was obsessed by the idea of seeing other kids naked, at the beach I tried to spy on them, the boys not the girls, and I still remember very well when a 19 y. o. guy who was playing with us on the shore took off his swimming suit in front of me with the most natural. I would not have forgotten it, at that time I was more or less 14 y. o.. I discovered masturbation this way and alone of course. I tried to do everything to be with that guy who treated me well, but he had a girlfriend and his parents had given him a canoe for two people, and since then he had started to sit always with the girl, when they came back to earth he was playing football with us and it was very nice, then the girl called him and they left. I’ve hated that girl. From 14 years onwards my fantasies have been about guys older than me, I was already no longer interested in my peers.

The following summer, I was 16, and I met at the beach a 17 year old guy, a guy with a nice body. After a few days we got into the habit of bathing in the sea together, he had an inflatable raft, we went where the water is a bit deeper, but not too much because we still were able to touch the ground with our feet, he would stand in the raft and I was trying to drop him in the sea and in the end I could drop him in the water but deliberately I waited a few minutes before deciding to drop him.

The thing that mattered to me was the fact that he wore a swimsuit very wide and when he put up in the raft while I was shaking it trying to get him down, I could see everything (his sex). Clearly he was not excited at all but I liked a lot to see his penis that way.

When I was aged 17, attending penultimate year of school, my life has changed. A priest who was more or less 50 y. o. came to teach us Catholic religion, this priest had its charm because he presented religion in a smart way. This priest was leading an oratory for guys and I started to attend it, at the beginning just because there were guys. There was also a Sunday Mass together.

My teacher introduced me to religion, he never confessed the school boys and I appreciated it very much, in short, with a lot of resistance, at least at the beginning, I started going to church and there came the first problems with sexuality. I think that all the guys who attend the church have had to deal with sexual problems but nothing serious.

In the group managed by the priest girls were rare but it was possible to meet also girls. One of them was called L. was pretty and also a lot smart. I’ll spare you the details, at age 17 and a half I had my first sexual relationship with L. and I liked it well. In practice since then I have no more had gay fantasies of any kind. I was an athlete, I was naked with my teammates every day but I never got excited.

Two years ago I married L., in practice, according to the canons, I become a normal man. L. didn’t know anything of my sexual fantasies when I was young because I never had had told her such things and at that time I honestly thought that I had completely overcome that things.

But for six months now things have changed, but have changed very slowly, I met at work a 24 y. o. guy, frankly I do not even care whether he is gay or straight, even if I think he’s straight. He knows that I’m married and I love my wife very much which in a way is true because I live with her my sexuality and sexually I’m completely happy and also when I rarely masturbate I think about my wife, but the trouble is that I tend to see my wife especially or rather only under sexual profile. When something is not right between us we put it on the sexual and overcome all the problems, at least in appearance.

With my colleague I don’t feel sexual physical implications of any kind, but I think I’m nevertheless in love with him, I do not know how to explain, I got to lie to my wife to spend an evening with him, I feel an extreme tenderness towards him and between us grew a very strong relationship that appears to me that he lives the same way. We’re good together, when I quarrel with my wife (it happens rarely) I call him and his voice has the power to calm me down, when I see him in the office I’m just fine, I miss him badly when he is away, it’s a little what should happen with my wife but with her things never go this way, on the contrary with my colleague it always happens.

I have read on the forum of the dissociation between affectivity and sexuality, however, it refers only to men who are sexually attracted to other men and fall in love only with women, the opposite is happening to me. I do not think I could conceive the idea of having sex with my colleague, I tried to see him also from the sexual point of view but the sense of our relationship is not that I do not know what to think, perhaps I can have it removed. However, what makes me think more and in a way encourages me is the fact that it is a shared thing, I do not know if he realizes it or lives it simply as a beautiful friendship between straight guys but it is certainly something special also for him.

In recent times this story has increasingly become inside me. I do not know if you can call it falling in love, certainly there isn’t visible sex but just seeing him makes me feel good, it’s a bit as if he were my model of man, the best I’ve known, physically but also emotionally, I respect him really, I love him, I think he is better than me and that gives me great pleasure. I came to think something paradoxical and that maybe I could come to prefer to live with my colleague without sex than with my wife with sex. I know I may sound hypocritical but that’s what happens to me.

What should do a married 31 y. o. guy who is in this situation? I do not have any intention of losing my friend. My wife could be happy also this way, in practice what am I depriving het of? A little affection, it is true, but this is a betrayal? And how it will end?

Project, no problem if you want to publish the mail, but please answer me in private. Thanks for your patience. I’m waiting for your answer (and possibly your msn contact).

Robert (not my real name)

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Hello Project,
I’m almost 50 years, and have been married for 25, I have two grown children 21 and 23 years, my wife is a very talented woman and I love her. My life, after all, runs happily as the lives of many fathers who hope to see their children fulfill themselves in work and love life. My children are both engaged and their girls are now part of my family, they are often at home without any formalities, we have lunch together and it seems to me that things are going along well in this direction, but I carry within me for many years a thought that haunts me and I can’t talk about to anyone. I think I am and always have been bisexual or even homosexual. I’ve never had problems having sex with my wife, on the other hand, she was the only woman in my life, but from the beginning I felt that a sexual relationship with her was not exactly what I wanted. I’ve never had sex with men but I think it did not happen because of my sense of duty towards my family, a little at moral level and a bit not to put at risk the health of myself and my wife and not for lack of sexual interest on my part. And then, objectively, have a relationship with a man would have been socially unsustainable. There have been periods in the past 25 years, when I felt less homosexual urge. The first four or five years I thought I had overcame the whole problem in the sense that I could contain it because the intercourses with my wife were frequent, but after the birth of our second child the couple sexuality weakened, the children have begun to fill our lives and homosexual impulses have reappeared, which, however, more or less controllable, have never disappeared entirely. In practice, next to my sexuality with my wife, I have a second life in homosexual masturbation, yes, even now at nearly 50 years, and it’s real homosexuality. When I got engaged I was 24 and I had never been in love with a girl before. I met my wife through some friends and she fell in love with me. I was not really in love, I did not feel anything comparable to what I had felt for some guys, but I liked his company, I felt loved and desired. A bit because of the pressures of my family and a little to see how it would end up, I started to do the sweetheart, as it was then: little gifts, romantic walks etc.. etc.., but always without sex, then she tried to go ahead and I had some sexual responses: when we kissed I was erect. Frankly, I never thought about having sex with a girl and I must confess that this not only wasn’t the object of my desires, but somehow it seemed to me like a strange thing. I thought it would not work and instead it worked. She was happy, I was basically indifferent and a bit confused, I could not think of me having sex with a woman, but yet it happened. I told myself then that I could not be gay, but then I thought that I was not really sexually involved. I was in doubt whether to speak with my girlfriend and try to explain everything but she was in love, and I thought that an explicit discourse would upset her totally so I said nothing and went on for a few months. We didn’t use to take contraceptive precautions, we said that if she got pregnant we would be married soon and we had no fear of diseases because neither she nor I had had sex with other people. Then she has been actually pregnant. I remember when she told me, she still had some concerns that I did not want to marry me but I told her that we would try to get to the wedding as soon as possible and I saw her really happy. Of course in such a situation homosexuality was the least of my worries. If I had said to her or anyone else that I wasn’t heterosexual would not have believed. We got married in the church, I would not have wanted to but my wife was and still is very religious and so we got married in the church. Now the idea of being able to talk to her explicitly of my homosexual fantasies had become impracticable and on the other hand I was living with her a form of heterosexuality that made her happy.
At the age of 36, for the first time, I was madly in love with a guy who was 29, of course everything was and remained only in my head but he was the true center of my sexual interest. We were colleagues and stay close to him embarrassed me terribly, I spied his every move, trying to know everything about him but I did not do anything concrete to even exchange a few words with him, I idolized him, I considered him a model in every sense, a model of morality, or so he seemed to me. Then I came to discover that he had been trying to get an important job putting around gossiping about a colleague of ours that I knew very well. This fact has destroyed the myth of that guy and I began to think that a nice guy can also be a go-getter, can also do things morally incorrect and that maybe I was in love with the wrong guy. If he was straight I would not be disappointed the same way. I could fall in love with a straight guy but never with an evil trickster! Meanwhile my children were growing up and with my wife things were going on well and all in all I thought I would forget this guy and the idea of being gay would end, but it was not so, in spite of everything I continued to think about the guys and my parallel sexuality continued to stay there. At 40 years comes the second love that, this time, makes me really in crisis. A guy 24 years old comes to work with me, he’s handsome, a bit my ideal guy. I notice that he tries to be close to me and not to miss every possible occasion to come in my room I do not do anything to keep him at a distance, we become friends easily and he tells me clearly that he is gay and then asks about me, I say that I have nothing against gays but I am married and have two children, he tries to compose himself but is obviously disappointed. I feel safe, because that guy would have really upset me. In the following days he comes rarely in my room, I don’t initially seek him, then, slowly our friendship begins again and sometimes, once every 15 days, we begin to meet also out of the office. He tells me about his life and I stay really fascinated because he is a clever guy, a little neurotic, but authentic, spontaneous, actually a nice guy outside but also inside. Many times I was tempted to tell him that even though I was married and had two children at the end I was gay too. The temptation was very strong but the fear has always held me back, and so our friendship has been going on while remaining only a friendship. Then he found a guy and I became his confidant, of course, our contacts became sporadic. He was really in love with his boyfriend and I kept telling him that the guy was really lucky to find a guy like him but he could not understand that behind those words there was also a healthy dose of envy. During all this time my family life proceeded normally. By now I was living in two parallel worlds that would never have met. I have asked myself many times what my wife would say if she knew exactly how things are, I basically have never betrayed her, I cannot even tell whether for love or for a quiet life. And then, now my children are grown and I wonder what they would think if they knew more about their father from this point of view. They are heterosexual and I have no doubts about, but unfortunately sometimes I see a hint of homophobia in the younger, a few jokes that I do not like, some smile out of place, and in front of these things I do not know what to do. The older has a gay friend and the younger, in front of such a thing, distorts the nose a little. I think these are things that still can be found in all families. My wife is not homophobic, for her, simply, homosexuality does not even exist and if it exists it’s something that doesn’t even concern her at all, sometimes she has an attitude of compassion for gays, which I cannot stand, but in this I can see the legacy of religious education. I think I will take my secrets and my family will always be out of these things. I thought about it a lot, but hear from me what I really am would just be a shocking thing for my wife and my children, something that they still could not understand. Reading stories on your forum I found the anguish of parents who have homosexual children but not (with perhaps one exception) the distress of children who have homosexual parents. I could give my life a different direction? Maybe so, but in fact it makes no sense asking similar questions. At this point, now at almost 50, the game is over, I made my choices and, all in all, I do not regret. When my children call me daddy I feel proud. But I think they would not even accept the idea that I had an homosexual friend as the guy that I was in love, and that, however, continues to be part of my life even if in the parallel reality that now will continue to characterize my life. If you want to publish my e-mail certainly you can. I’d like to know what you think about. A hug.
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