HELL AND HEAVEN OF A GAY GUY

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

THE STORY OF PAUL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

________________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-hell-and-heaven-of-a-gay-guy
Advertisements

GAY SEXUAL EDUCATION

Acquisition of basic concepts: male, female, couple and family
 
This chapter is dedicated to sex education, with particular regard to the sexual education of gay boys. All education, and therefore also sexual education, aims to convey systems of values and to distinguish between right and wrong, moral and immoral, normal and not normal, basically, the sexual education can be taken as a guide  to distinguish what is to be accepted from what is to be rejected. Here I will use the categories of normal and non-normal.
 
Before sexual education in the strict sense, there is a phase of acquisition of concepts that will be taken as fundamental postulates, as obvious and indisputable structures of society, and in this sense will be considered normal. This phase begins very early; the contents transmitted include the difference between boy and girl, the behaviors assumed as typical of the boy and of the girl, the idea of the family, like father, mother and children, and also the idea of couple. And it is precisely through the acquisition of the concept of heterosexual couple as a normal thing that the discrimination of homosexuality begins.
 
The couples that appear in the comics of Walt Disney are always heterosexual: Donald Duck and Daisy, Mickey Mouse and Minnie, Horace and Clarabelle, etc. etc. and couples are presented by insisting on different attitudes of the male and female. Daisy is flirtatious and vain, Donald Duck is confusing and clumsy. Minnie is attentive to beauty and self-care, Mickey Mouse is concerned with investigating and solving police cases, but inevitably Donald Duck is in love with Daisy and Mickey Mouse with Minnie. The child, well before being able to understand what falling in love means, assumes that it is normal and obvious that a couple is formed of a boy and a girl. These messages, subliminal and pounding at the same time, constitute a substantial educational push not to heterosexuality in itself but to consider heterosexuality normal before knowing what it is about.
 
School books and heterosexual culture
 
The transmission of messages that underline the normality of heterosexuality continues to adulthood through many ways. Whoever has a school book in his hands that speaks of literature will notice that the point of view of the book, while having all the appearance of objectivity, is in all cases the typical hetero point of view. It is enough to say that the stories of love that we are talking about are, except for very rare exceptions, heterosexual stories and in the very rare cases in which stories with homosexual background are mentioned, which in the ancient world were not very rare and therefore cannot be omitted at 100%, the way to deal with the topic is substantially different from that used to describe heterosexual stories. Examples of couples of famous lovers, such as Paolo and Francesca, Abelard and Eloisa, Lancelot and Guinevere, and down to Renzo and Lucia and up to the contemporaries, are always made up of heterosexual couples. 
 
Sexual education through films and television
 
Even on television there are basically only stories of heterosexual love or passion. The appearance of television series centered on homosexuality, like the famous Queer as folk, is something that is spoken about a lot, almost an event, because it is absolutely exceptional, and we must keep in mind that in these series, homosexuality is presented as a social phenomenon perfectly structured in itself and substantially separate from the ordinary hetero world, the normality of gay reality is not at all emphasized, just the stereotype is stressed, that is gay reality is presented not in its complexity and its ordinariness but through a particular gay reality very ritualized, that one represented by the mass media, which is objectively only a little section of gay reality but risks to be mistaken for the real gay world.
 
Basically, given the general invisibility of the most relevant part of the gay world, i.e. of undeclared gays, the images of homosexuality that can be found in the cinema, on television or in comics (where they start timidly to appear), are only those of the gay visible world, with its collective rituals and its stereotypes, they are images that are very far from the real life of the vast majority of gays and, moreover, for show needs they are presented with particular tones and with a particular underlining.
 
Gays almost never appear on TV as ordinary people who one can meet in everyday life. Except for very few exceptions,  the idea of gay presence in society as a normal component of society itself still has no place in cinema and literature. The images used by advertising are often full of sexual allusions, even very explicit and they are almost always allusions to heterosexual sexuality. The very rare images that allude to gay couples or to contents referring to homosexuality are often the cause of scandal and are remembered above all for their exceptional nature and for the controversies they have provoked.
 
Sexual education and sport
 
Also sport helps to underline the idea of heterosexuality as normality and therefore of homosexuality as deviance. Discussions on the presence or absence of gay players in the national team or in other teams are very indicative of this trend. Coaches and players are quick to point out that there are no gays in their teams, which is like saying that there are no pathological cases and that everything is normal.
 
Religion and sexual education
 
The attitudes of total closure of the Catholic Church with respect to homosexuality are well known. The Church doesn’t limit itself to reaffirming the centrality of the heterosexual couple but states a prejudicial sentence and without appeal against  homosexuality. The official documents of the Church, beyond impromptu interviews with apparently conciliatory tones, are and remain among the manifestations of the more radical intolerance towards homosexuality.
 
It could be objected that the television series, the comics, the attitudes of the Church or those of the sports world are not true forms of sexual education, it remains the fact that all or almost all the messages to which the boys, who are growing, are exposed, are messages endowed with a communicative power far superior to that of any form of classical sexual education, and contain repeated and concordant underlining of the normality of heterosexuality and therefore of the non-normality of homosexuality.
 
Parents and sexual education
 
The condemnation of homosexuality is implicit but it is and is understood as very clear. It should be added that, in all this, the attitudes and expectations of the family have enormous weight. Parents hardly worry about the possibility that the boy can be gay and behave with him by taking absolutely for granted that they are dealing with a heterosexual boy and therefore they always believe they are legitimized to project their expectations into the boy and to direct him in the direction that, in good faith, they judge the most appropriate for the boy himself.
 
Sexual education: taboo and scandal
 
Sexuality, all sexuality, is still affected by a category of religious origin, that is, the idea of taboo, of the forbidden, and therefore of the transgressive. Of sexuality one can also speak but always in general terms, by categories, never explicitly and with reference to oneself. Sexuality, in other words, is not considered a normal topic of conversation, it is something that should be omitted, at least for good education. The idea of the taboo implies that of the scandal, the idea that one can create a scandal is very significant, because scandal means publicity and also money, so newspapers, magazines and gossip blogs put the sexuality of a person on the streets when that sexuality turns out to be not normal, especially when it comes to conjugal betrayals or homosexuality.
 
Building one’s own concept of sexuality
 
Naturally, the boys, with the maturity, gradually build their own idea of sexuality and, if they are gay, specifically of homosexuality, which progressively detaches itself from the concepts learned in a subliminal way in childhood and early adolescence. In other words, with the passing of the years boys open their eyes and realize that the reality of sexuality, in general, is very different from ideal models, that the model of marriage as a natural love union of a man and a woman if it’s considered for what it really is, shows all its fragility, so much so that in Italy the majority of marriages don’t hold up over time and that, as regards homosexuality, in particular, reality is totally different from how it is represented.
 
Repressive sexual education
 
The weight of the internet in this path towards awareness is often decisive. It is much easier to talk seriously and without sexual taboos with a 35/40-year-old man than with an 18/20 year-old boy who is still deeply conditioned by behavioral patterns and interpretation patterns of external origin. There are still many young people in their twenties who don’t have a realistic idea of how others experience sexuality. I would add that there are twenty-year-old guys who are literally terrified by the idea that something of their sexuality can be leaked to their parents.
 
In some circles, even today, gay guys suffer real forms of violent repression that unfortunately leads them to make choices that over time will prove devastating for their emotional life and for their personal balance. I happen to talk to guys over 20 who have never before had any chance to talk seriously about their sexuality. Talking with these guys allows us to understand the depth of their discomfort and the need for them to be reassured in order to be able to look at the future with concrete hope.
 
To get out of certain environments and earn a true autonomy it takes a huge effort and guys are often completely abandoned to themselves and discouraged in their every attempt to emancipate themselves and to build a better perspective. Very often families or are totally incapable of realizing the difficulties of their sons or are inclined to consider as a priority the traditional way of life to maintain a reputation at least apparent in front of the people. In some circles, even today, a 20-year-old boy he cannot afford not to have a girlfriend if he doesn’t want to be substantially marginalized. The state of suffering caused by these situations is really heavy. Here not only is there no sexual education to freedom and responsibility but there is a real form of educational violence that doesn’t propose but imposes coercive behavior patterns through very heavy forms of masked blackmailing. This imposition attitude is opposed to that of complete indifference which is instead characteristic of environments that are considered more open and free.
 
Risks of obscurantism and prohibition
 
It should be emphasized that, for the boys, talking seriously about sexuality and clarifying their doubts in this matter is fundamental and the absence of any form of comparison ends up inducing them to seek answers away from the daily dimension, in environments that seem the most suitable to acquire concrete knowledge on the subject of sexuality and in particular of homosexuality. I speak primarily of the pornography, which presents models, apparently gratifying and simple, endowed with a force of persuasion well beyond that of words.
 
Obscurantist or prohibitionist attitudes regarding sexuality have effects that are exactly opposite to those envisaged. If the parents, the school, the Church and the sports environment consider sexuality to be a taboo, the boys will go in search of spaces where they can obtain information in a clear way and can even live their first experiences, through the internet, first of all through pornography and then through erotic chats and dating sites. The huge number of people who use these sites is largely due to the absence of any form of sexual education at the family or school level, as well as, obviously, to the repression of sexual spontaneity.
 
Pornography on the net
 
In the past years pornography on the Internet was presented with criteria of strong aggression and in very stereotypical forms, access to the sites was generally paid and the presence of dialers to charge the user very high telephone charges was a deterrent that helped to keep the vast majority of kids out of those environments. Today things have changed, the free porn sites, which are financed exclusively by theme advertising, are many and recently the blogs created by individual users to collect photos from the web and to republish them, are widely spreading. this is the phenomenon of re-blogging, which has a particular meaning when it comes to erotic sites (these sites are not are about explicit pornography but show content vaguely related to sexuality, such as nude photos or short movies taken by a candid camera, with some sexual implication). The re-blogging has led to the creation of sites that have nothing to do with the old heavy pornography, that was present on the Internet years ago, these sites are managed with good taste, sometimes they have no commercial purposes and it is not surprising that they have a public in progressive increase. Even these blogs with an erotic theme, however, inevitably present behavior patterns.
 
Pornography and today also the re-blogging of erotic content constitute for many gay guys the sexual model of reference, somehow a true sex education. It should be kept in mind that the boys’ approach to pornography starts very early and that the first contact usually takes place between 13 and 14 years, so at an extremely receptive age compared to content related to sexuality.
 
The use of pornography is closely connected with masturbation and is, above all for straight boys, a topic of discussion with peers. For them, talking about these things with their friends is still possible and not risky, for gay boys it is easy to realize from the speeches of other boys that the sexuality of those boys is another and it is easy to deduce the wrong conclusion that there is something wrong with gay sexuality.
 
For a straight boy the messages coming from pornography are filtered through the speeches made with friends and have a less important value than for a gay boy, who on those topics generally doesn’t have the possibility of interpersonal comparison. I would add that the first sexual relationships of heterosexual boys are generally considerably more anticipated than the first sexual relationships of gay boys and present themselves as a sort of license to adulthood, for gay boys instead, masturbation on the basis of pornography replaces sexuality lived with other guys for very long periods and ends up consolidating the models offered by pornography.
 
Sexual education delegated to Church and pornography
 
In social contexts, such as the Italian one, in which moralism dominates and in which sex is the most widespread and rooted educational taboo, there is no serious form of sexual education given through institutional and lay channels, that is, not affected by prejudices of religious origin, which means that the sexual education of boys is almost totally delegated to the Church and to pornography.
 
Although the conditioning weight of the education given by the Church is still significant in many cases, the element that really dominates the sexual education of boys in today’s Italy is certainly pornography via the Internet. Given that in fact a very delicate educational task is up to the pornography, let us ask ourselves if it is really able to perform such a task by showing the true gay sexuality as it is actually experienced, or if pornography shows something substantially different from reality, in particular, let us ask ourselves if and how gay pornography influences the true sexuality of gays, beyond the fact that it represents such a sexuality more or less correctly.
 
Hetero-gay and gay-gay models of male-male relationship
 
Let’s start from the definition of heterosexual male (hetero) as a male person who falls in love both on an emotional and sexual level with women or girls, and of homosexual male (or gay) as a person, always male, who falls in love both on the emotional and sexual level with men or guys.
 
According to the common notion, an emotional or sexual relationship “male homosexual” or, briefly, “homosexual” is a relationship “between two male persons”, but it is clear that, in fact, the situations that can occur are two and are clearly different from each other. If the relationship is created between two gays we will talk about gay-gay relationship, if it on the contrary it is created between a heterosexual and a gay we will talk about a hetero-gay relationship. It should not be surprising that hetero-gay relationships exist, because a heterosexual, who “falls in love” affectionately and sexually only with women or girls, can nevertheless, for various reasons, build also sexual relationships, generally without a true affective component, with gay guys, the phenomenon, indeed, is and overall has been quite common, as we will see in the section on gay sexuality. Historically, hetero-gay and gay-gay relationships were born in very different eras and have been structured according to very different models.
___________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-sexual-education

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.
_____________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-viscous-gay-relationships

GAYS AND SELF ESTEEM

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

Unilateral discourses and dependence 

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

GAY GUYS BETWEEN REJECTION AND DIALOGUE

Hi guys, my name is M., I’m a boy 16 and a half years old, I’ve always been very closed, with my parents I have practically no dialog, from last July 11th 2008, a day I will never forget, I practically hate them because my father caught me doing a wank in front of my computer while I was watching a gay site and he did something I will never forgive him for, before I had the chance to rearrange myself, he slapped me in the face and he left, and then he went to report everything to my mother, shouting like an obsessive man so as to be heard from all the neighbors. The windows were wide open because it was afternoon and it was hot but he was screaming: “My son is a fagot!” I hated him as I have never hated anyone and I was really upset, I thought I’d leave home, smash the windows of his car, spit in his face, because he is an asshole and he enjoys humiliating me!

My parents have always considered me piece of shit and now they think I’m an unrecoverable one who will not do anything in life but to get it in the backside and my father tells me such things in the face, according to them I will never do a normal life but it’s not true at school I’m quite good, not very good, but I can handle it even if I do the bare minimum and then I don’t care about school. I have very few friends, if I can even call them friends, because I prefer when I don’t see them.

I’m gay, it’s one of the few things I’m sure of, I do and always did all my fantasies and even all my wanks thinking only of boys, but I have a fucking fear of sex, I would never go to a community, I don’t know but I think that certain things would make me really sick. I have a fucking fear that someone can rape me, that can force me to do things I don’t want. For my age I’m quite developed and I shouldn’t be afraid of suffering things that I don’t want because I’m strong and I can defend myself, but I still have this fear.

Till July 11th, I thought I was gay but I thought it was a relative thing, not that it was a passing thing, but that it was not important for me, that I only needed it to wank, but from July 11th on I said to myself: “Fuck, I’m gay, it’s not just any thing, I’m gay!” And I told myself I had to overcome my fears, I was afraid of going to the community, even though I would do it in spite of my father.

Then I discovered the blog of Project, and then, from there, the forum. Reading gave me a feeling of a bit of fear but also a bit of strong curiosity. I didn’t have the courage to register on the forum, so I wrote to Project and I sent him my contact, through the blog. After I did it I felt very strange, I didn’t know what to think, I thought he would have answered me immediately, I have been waiting until two in the morning but he didn’t answer. I was nervous and disappointed, I said to myself: “This Project is an asshole like everyone else!”. Then I collapsed and I fell asleep.

Saturday morning I opened the computer at nine o’clock and Project had added me and was online. I didn’t know what to do, I felt in total embarrassment, then I called him. The first few minutes I didn’t know what to say, I was wrong to write, I just said stupid things and I wanted to close everything, I thought: “What am I doing here?” Then the thing changed and it was a strange thing, I told him the story of the slap that still burned me and not only on a psychological level, then I started talking about sex, masturbation, fantasies that pass through my head. That is, we talked about it freely, like normal things. I never experienced something like that.

Then I asked him so many things about sex that I didn’t know and he started to explain everything to me but just trying to make me understand things but without haste. And then, for a wank my father gave me a slap and started screaming, it’s okay that it was a gay wank but he reacted like that, with Project we talked a lot but just in another way. Then we also chatted in the following days. I like it so much when Project gives me the sermons on the meaning of life and tells me that I’m not at all a disgusting person, despite what my parents think and then it is not a preaching, he believes it and a little bit I believe it too. Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say. Damn, it’s short! But I send it the same.

__________

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-between-rejection-and-dialogue

GAY BOYS AND PARENTS

1) Family conflicts related to homosexuality

Speaking with gay guys of all ages, it’s easy to realize that many of them think that often the homosexuality of sons is perceived, within the family, both by sons themselves and parents, as something disruptive and dangerous, capable of undermining even the most profound emotional relationships.

This fear, widespread at all ages, generates both for parents and boys attitudes of closure and defense. The boys, but also the adult men of 40 years, who live in their family of origin or who are still in close contact with the family of origin, not only generally avoid in any way any behavior that can push parents to consider them homosexual but, what is worse, they sometimes end up renouncing their sexuality altogether, even in the most sublimated forms: they don’t invite friends home, don’t go out at night, make a seemingly irreproachable life but totally unnatural and forced.

The fact that a boy should systematically renounce his sexuality to avoid family problems causes feelings of deep frustration and resentment towards parents who are seen as conditioning and castrating. There are gay boys who arrive at 40 years old not only without ever having had sexual contact with a boyfriend, but without ever having even experienced a serious falling in love. Such a thing cannot remain without significant psychological consequences. Gay boys living in this way feel defrauded of their own life and their deep identity by their more or less unconscious parents.

Such things create forms of family coexistence that hide profound recriminations and are merely formal. For gay guys, even at 25, 28 or 30 years, the problem of the relationship with the family is generally not yet solved. This means that these guys, who are now fully adults, are still suffering, often in a heavy way, from the crisis of family relationships due to their being gay. The parents of these guys, who are even 60 years old or older, are unable to give them any support and often misunderstandings accumulate and consolidate, and come to produce a total separation between the sons and the family that is terrible both for sons and parents and leaves a sense of deep failure of emotional life.

But at 25, if it is true that one can go into crisis, it’s also true that there are also resources to manage the situation, but at a very young age it is not at all said that it is so. I often notice, even in gay guys twenty-five years old, the deep desire to escape from home, not in order to get who knows what, but simply to find a privacy that for a guy 25 years old is absolutely necessary, especially if he is a gay guy.

That a gay boy can have good relations with the family it’s not very common and often, after the coming out in front of the family, the ostentatious acceptance of the homosexuality of the son by his parents is only just a semblance and the son feels that ”anyway” something has changed . In such a situation, the son is instinctively brought to consider his parents hypocritical.

Often the sons perceive that in the family the sex is intended like a taboo or something forbidden, this fact discourages from the beginning any form of dialogue of the guys with their parents and more generally with the adults on this topic, that is confined for class of age only to the peer group.

The idea that sex and sexual affectivity can be topics of which one can speak in a serious and open way, without taboos and without scandalism, is unfortunately very far from being a common heritage. Often even talking about masturbation is a taboo. In such a climate, a gay guy experiences in fact in a state of total isolation. Being gay becomes not a taboo like any other but the taboo par excellence.

2) Religious conditioning

The attitudes of the Church, which sees a serious sin even in masturbation and that condemns homosexuality a priori, contribute to the idea that being gay is something very negative that one must be ashamed of, a kind of disgrace, a stain, an outrage especially towards one’s parents.

Parents reticent about sex, hyper-moralistic parents, parents who speak of sex only in a derogatory tone, spread the idea that sexuality is a negative thing rooted in their son’s minds, and this is even more true for homosexuality.

3) Dialogue between parents and sons

In order to allow a form of mutual respect and genuine emotional contact between parents and sons, parents must put aside all the predetermined roles and must get involved without hiding behind attitudes of convenience that actually prevent to the sons to get to know their parents.

Generally, for a gay guy, perceiving that his parents assume a role in front of him, even apparently positive, but nonetheless they are not themselves and are not sincere, is equivalent to feeling rejected. And that perception is objectively correct. In a serious dialogue, and especially about sex or even homosexuality, there cannot be a priori presuppositions. If the answers to be given to the son already exist before any comparison, dialogue is only apparent.

Whenever a parent tries to talk to his gay son by trying to convince him of something, that is assuming what he will say to his son, regardless of the dialogue with his son, the parent is offending the dignity of the son and is creating a false dialogue. With sons, and in particular with gay sons, it is essential to be 100% honest. In most cases the sons do not talk with their parents about their homosexuality and, I add, in most cases they are right not to talk about it. What I am saying comes from the fact that sons often fear parents’ reactions and when fear takes over the relationship, the relationship is heavily degraded.

The guys I met through Gay Project and with whom I often chat, want to hear from me the confirmation that being gay means having a dignity, a morality, a high human dimension, no less than that of any other condition of life. Often the less informed or less seriously informed parents about the gay world, have an absolutely prejudicial vision of it, they identify it with the most screamed and most spectacular stereotypes that are seen on television … but no! Gays, the real ones, have nothing to do with these things, I know so many of all ages and they are very serious people, who work, who try to believe in what they do and often live in conditions of non-freedom because in the world in which they live being gay is not accepted.

There are people hiding (the vast majority!), I call them ”the invisible people”, and they hide because they are afraid, not because they have something to hide. I have seen gays falling in deep forms of love, with or without sex, this doesn’t matter, with those who gave them a serious emotional response. I have seen young boys literally destroyed by their parents’ misunderstanding and a thousand times repentant of having got out in family. The coming out with parents, in general, arouses anxiety and big hesitations because very often the relationships between parents and sons are formalized and are reduced to relationships between roles rather than between people.

4) Parents and role of support

What should a parent do when he realizes that his son is gay (no matter whether his son told him or not)? The answer may seem trivial but a parent who realizes that his son is gay, if he loves his son, must help him to be gay. A guy told me: ”after all I had a lion’s courage to talk about it with my parents … but they took it well only in a sense and say that I have to cure myself”. Such an attitude for a gay boy is equivalent to abandonment and non-acceptance.

Accepting does not mean trying to change the situation and not even hoping it will change, if there is an attempt to change things or the hope that things will change it means that there is no acceptance. Being gay is not a choice but a basic quality of a person about whom there is nothing to decide but everything to accept. Refusing the fact that one’s son is gay means rejecting him from every point of view. Loving sons means loving them as they are!

5) Parents and sex education of gay boys

The parents of gay boys, usually, even in good faith, believe they have nothing more to say about the emotional and sexual education of their sons. Nothing is more wrong. A gay boy must learn from parents to be seriously gay, to consider sexuality as a fundamental thing and to live it in an affective dimension characterized by honesty and respect for oneself and others. But beyond the moral principles, parents can have a great importance also in guiding the boys towards responsible sexual behavior in order to put aside any risky behavior. The parent’s insistence on this point is generally considered by teenagers as a form of positive interest and, in essence, as something gratifying.

A twenty-three-year-old gay boy, who had a very good relationship with his family, told me about an episode that I report below trough a passage of his e-mail.

“At one point I had a fight with my boyfriend or maybe I was just a little tired of him and even though I kept seeing him I started to go to clubs and look for guys to have fun without him knowing it and my father did something for which I will never stop thanking him. One evening he waited for me until I returned home, practically until morning, and he told me clearly that between loving a guy and going to behave stupidly to have fun there was a huge difference but if I wanted to get along with him I had to do things seriously, he told me: you have to respect your boyfriend, because he’s a guy like you and you’re cheating him now, and if you behave with less respect to a guy that you say you love you, are lacking in dignity. And he ended up like this: a gay guy must be a proper guy! I think I will not forget this anymore!”

With this example I mean that a parent can and must have a role towards a gay boy and that role consists in transmitting to the boy the sense of dignity and respect for others, which are fundamental values for all.

6) Medicalization of homosexuality

Parents, who almost always act in good faith towards gay sons, in the vast majority of cases, not only don’t have the faintest idea of what homosexuality really is but are totally unaware of their ignorance in the matter and therefore don’t seek information, don’t try to understand but only to take cover, assuming attitudes that can also violently condition sons, such attitudes are manifested in two main ways: the medicalization of homosexuality and the violation of privacy. The medicalization of the homosexuality of the son is aimed at solving the problem with a psychological or even psychiatric treatment. A serious psychiatrist will never accept to take care of a boy just because he is gay. A serious psychologist can also take care of a gay boy but to help him to be gay, certainly not to try to change his sexuality.

A gay boy, forced or kindly forced to go to a psychologist when he doesn’t want to, will perceive such a thing as a heavy violence against his person, because this way his parents don’t show acceptance but rejection of the his deep identity, and attempt to transform it. I add a very important observation: the medicalization of the homosexuality of the son by the parents is, in fact, a total discharge of responsibility as well as an explicit renunciation to try to build a dialogue with the son on the affective level.

7) Privacy of gay sons and parental intrusions

As to the violations of the son’s privacy on the part of the parents in order to understand if the boy is gay, let us remember the most common ones: reading the private diary or correspondence of the son, entering his computer to check the contents, attempting to control his friendships and especially to demand from him the confession of his homosexuality as if it were a moral obligation of the boy towards his parents. It is clear that parents are not easily aware of the seriousness of the violation of the son’s privacy and often believe that their intrusive behavior is not only justified by good intentions but is dutiful and even represents a meritorious way of exercising the parental function.

For a parent it can be very difficult to understand that the son is an independent person, different from the parent, and that no presumed good intent can justify violating the son’s privacy. For a young boy, and even more for an adult, there is nothing more private than his sexual sphere. An invasion in this area by parents is rightly experienced by the son as an intolerable violence. If a boy wants to come out in front of his parents, this is and remains in any case an absolutely free and personal choice of his, not an obligation, because boys who don’t do it avoid the coming out because they are afraid of the reactions from their parents.

I often speak with 25/30 year old guys who explicitly say that they will never come out in the family. If one of these boys felt somehow forced by his parents to talk about his homosexuality he would live it not as a simple lack of respect but as a very serious aggression to his dignity and his person.

8) Affective education of gays and family homophobia

The bad relationship of a gay boy with his parents, and worse the disapproval of them, radically prevents every form of dialogue. The model of affective life assimilated through the family life, that is through the observation of the behavior of the parents remains deeply imprinted in the mind of gay boys.

Gay guys who have had family relationships characterized by respect and affection between their parents certainly have much less relational problems in their emotional life. Unfortunately, the reasoning is also valid for the negative.

I spend my days, and very often my nights, talking to gay guys and many of them don’t have clear relationships with their parents, this doesn’t only mean that they are closeted gays in family but that between parents and sons there is no real dialogue and that parents don’t have and often have never had emotional contact with the sons: some boys are literally afraid of their parents and their judgment and others prefer not to put at risk even the fragile family peace by addressing dangerous discourses without any useful prospect.

These boys have often felt a homophobic atmosphere in their family, have heard scornful judgments about gays and realized that parents are too much conditioned by prejudices to be able to really understand what it means to be gay. In some cases, parents’ comments on television broadcasts or journalistic news concerning gays have permanently removed their sons from the intention of speaking openly with their parents, in other cases the a priori moral condemnation of homosexuality, on the basis of the attitude of the Church, provoked similar reactions. In these situations, a boy clearly perceives that for his parents, what people say or what the Church says matters more than the son and that there is no effort on the part of parents to understand what it really means to be gay. Often even attitudes that may seem to be of acceptance, in reality, can hurt boys very heavily, when they understand that there is a discrepancy between the parents’ words and their actual behavior, when they perceive the hypocrisy of the parents and their playing a role without getting really involved.

A single word out of place (I love you ”also” like that) can show anyway a profound non-acceptance, but often even the tone of the voice is sufficient or the fact that the topic is frozen in a definitive way. The boys would like to talk seriously with their parents, they would like to understand the difficulties of their parents and help them solve their problems. The real difficulties emerge when mutual trust is lacking, when parents and children don’t esteem each other as persons. In such situations, the fact that the son is gay is not the real problem but brings out the misunderstandings and underlying diseases of the parent-child relationship.

9) Parental victimhood

Often a parent’s interest in homosexuality, after the coming out of the son, is manifested through the search on the internet of sites deemed useful, but almost always the parent avoids serious sites dedicated to gay guys and instead seeks sites where a parent may have contacts with other parents of gay guys, this means that often the parent doesn’t try to understand the point of view of gay boys but is looking for someone willing to support him or allow him to feel victim. It is much easier to be welcomed by the thoughtful arms of a site ”for parents” of gay sons than by those much more tough of a gay site dedicated to gay guys. The parent who prefers dialogue with other parents rather than with his son is not honestly trying to solve the problem of the son but only his own! These things are the clear sign of an immaturity on the part of the parent. The lack of dialogue between parents and children is not eliminated by making parents talk to each other, but by pushing them to talk with the boys and get involved in the first person, without hypocrisy and without a prejudicial role-taking.

10) Parental attitudes about masturbation

When a boy is 14/15 years old, and sometimes even before, begins to have a sexual life, discovers masturbation and, in the 21st century, he invariably begins to use online pornography. Simultaneously at the beginning of sexual activity, this boy feels two different needs, first of all the need for privacy, that is to have his own reserved spaces and times when he is sure not to be disturbed, just to devote himself to the exploration of sexuality, then the need to find serious information about sexuality, that can provide answers without putting him in embarrassing situations. For a boy who has just begun to masturbate, an absolutely natural and necessary activity for the development of his sexuality, there is nothing more humiliating than being caught red-handed by his parents while masturbating or worse that his parents let him know that they know that he does it.

When a boy grows up, a parent must understand that it is absolutely inevitable that the boy has a ”very private” sexual life in which ”nobody” has the right to enter ”for any reason”. The first rule for a parent is to avoid the intrusion into the sexual life of the son and know how to stand aside by maintaining a role of ”possible” (and only possible) reference point for the son. A parent shouldn’t ask the son questions about his sexuality, he should never embarrass him. And here, because we talk about boys and not girls, a fundamental role belongs to fathers rather than mothers. A mother doesn’t fully know the development of male sexuality because she has not experienced it in the first person and, for a boy, talking about his own sexuality with a person of the opposite sex, especially if it is his mother, can be very embarrassing because the speech must be explicit.

A father, if he thinks it makes sense to mention masturbation by talking to his son, should not start from the son’s sexuality but from his own, mentioning the topic as something obvious, which doesn’t constitute a taboo, and accompanying the mention of the topic (which must remain only a mention if the son doesn’t continue the speech) with a joke of lightening or with a winking smile.

Below is a fragment of a dialogue between a 45-year-old father and his 15- year-old son.

The father and the son have just seen together a television service on the approaches to sexuality on the part of the very young people.

Father: Anyways, they are so amazed that at 14/15 years the boys know what sex is, when I was a boy, maybe we didn’t really have relationships as guys do nowadays but, in short, oh … (looks at his son, smiling) … what have you to laugh for? … Yes… I did what everyone does when the sexual urges awaken! … I’m not a Martian!
The son smiles. End of the speech.

This fragment is a non-invasive approach that plays down and doesn’t create embarrassment but almost a form of complicity. I emphasize that in the father’s sentence there is no reference to sexual orientation (he doesn’t talk about girls, which would create alarm and embarrassment for a gay son).

11) Mother’s approach to gay son’s sexuality

The mother’s approach to a son’s sexuality is much more problematic, especially if he is a gay son. If a boy ”explicitly” wants to talk to his mother about sexuality without involving his father, the mother’s task is not to investigate and understand but to listen carefully and not anxiously, to give the son a certainty, avoiding to involve him in her anxieties . When a mother doesn’t know what to say to her son or is embarrassed she can reassure him in a very simple way: when the discourse on sexuality is over, the mother doesn’t have to resume it, which would be a sign of destabilizing anxiety, like an underlining that there is a ”problem” to be solved, but must continue her relationship with the son as if nothing had happened, in order to give sexuality a dimension of naturalness and normality. I emphasize that naturalness and normality should always accompany any discourse concerning sexuality.

12) Parents and sexual anxiety of the son

A particularly delicate situation occurs when an adolescent boy experiences the approach to sexuality in an objectively problematic way. These are typically situations in which parents enter into anxiety states connected with their son’s discomfort. A parent who sees his son’s discomfort must ask himself whether it is more important for a parent to alleviate his son’s distress or ”know” how things are in order to ”help” his child. I state that, despite appearances, these are often irreconcilable situations. To help a son overcome discomfort, one has to put aside the will to know the real life of the son. If my son wants to talk to me about his sexuality he does it spontaneously, if he doesn’t I don’t have to force him in any way, I can stay close to him through normal family care: accompany him to his friends without asking too many questions, leave the dinner ready for him when he comes back late, welcome him with a smile.

13) ”Helping” a gay son

A parent cannot claim to help a son if this one doesn’t want to involve his parents because a boy is entitled to his privacy. There is much more value in a loving and constant presence that doesn’t deal with sexual themes than in a harassing presence that aims to ”know” and ”understand” how things are, a behavior this latter that can lead to a sudden and abrupt blackout of communication with the son, followed by a reactive behavior on the part of the boy leading to his radical and irreversible detachment from the family.

If a parent has doubts about the sexual orientation of the son he must avoid harassing him and must instead reassure him without involving him in an embarrassing way in direct speeches but through indirect hints of respect towards gays, hints that should not be too insistent, because otherwise they would sound fake.

A boy understands perfectly if parents have a true respect for gays or pretend, so for parents the key thing to not affectively destabilize their gay son is to arrive at a true respect for homosexuality. The parent should first question himself and his own preconceptions and only after he should think how to talk with the son about sexual matters.

14) Relationships of gay boys with the psychologist

Given for granted that it is always good to take care of sons in the first person, without delegating fundamental tasks to anyone, it sometimes happens that a parent, seeing the situation of discomfort of the boy, addresses him to a psychologist who could provide support. Here a very delicate point must be clarified: the relationship between a psychologist and his patient must be absolutely ”confidential” i.e. ”reserved”, a serious professional, even in a relationship with a teenage patient, has the professional obligation of secrecy.

Unfortunately this obligation is not always respected and the psychologist ”in the interest of the patient” or rather in the alleged interest of the patient but objectively yielding to direct or indirect pressures of the parents, arrives to communicate to the parents the homosexuality of their son ”without his knowledge”, violently breaking a relationship of trust that could be important for the boy, such a thing has devastating consequences for the boy who feels betrayed in a dimension that should be completely confidential. In this way the psychologist, carefully chosen by the parent, becomes in substance a spy of the parent, and this behavior indicates not respect for the boy but the will of the parent himself to ”know at any cost” , even violating the privacy of the son.

The parents don’t have to choose the psychologist and they don’t have to go to his study before the interviews with the son and not even after, the relationship with the psychologist is not an appendix of the parent-child relationship, but a completely different and separate relationship in which parents must not enter, worse than ever if the psychologist is a family friend. It is a good rule to have the name of the psychologist from the general practitioner and never ask the psychologist ”any” information about the son nor ask the son any judgment on the psychologist.

It happens to me several times to talk with guys who, sent by the psychologist from their parents, don’t trust the psychologist. In these cases the psychologist’s approach is not only emptied from the inside but is counterproductive. In full respect of the dimension of privacy of the son, we must keep in mind that if a parent has doubts about the sexuality of the boy, he must keep those doubts for himself, already talking about it with the spouse can be a negative fact, but talking about it with the separated spouse is anyway to be absolutely avoided , especially if he is a person who does not have a good relationship with the boy.

15) Undue interferences in the lives of gay sons

A parent must not interfere in the son’s relationship with his classmates and friends, when the boy makes a party at home and invites his classmates, the parents, if not directly called into question by their son, must maintain a marginal position, low profile, they must avoid to get into confidence with friends and classmates of the son and for no reason should try to obtain information about the son from his friends or his companions. Putting a son in a state of embarrassment with his schoolmates or friends creates a breaking in the parent-child relationship that is difficult to repair. Terrible and hateful, even if not very rare, are the situations in which a boy who has trusted in his parents in an absolute way realizes that his other relatives ”know about his sexuality” and that the source of the news are precisely his parents, unable to maintain confidentiality.

16) False acceptance

I have often seen parents terrified by the fact that the son had made his coming out but not at all worried about creating or maintaining a substantial dialogue with their son, in these cases, the most typical reaction of false acceptance consists in saying that ”It is only a transitory phase that will pass and then everything will return to normality”, but there are also other typical non-acceptance reactions, such as the classic: ”Go to the psychologist and see what can be done”, or the most common: ”But are you really sure?”, Or even the unpleasant expression: ”But you’re not gay, you only say this to provoke me!” this latter statement highlights strong long-standing contrasts between parents and son. In these situations it is obvious that parents should solve their problems about the rejection of homosexuality before thinking of being able to ”help” their son. The verb ”to help”, used in relation to gay boys only emphasizes the problematic dimension of being gay, a problematic dimension that exists only to the extent to which being gay is seen as a problem. The difficulty of the problem of being gay is proportional to the ignorance of the issue and to levels of anxiety of the parents who want at all costs to ”help” the son to solve a ”problem” that doesn’t really exist and also want to ”save” him from an indefinite series of dangers of which parents nevertheless don’t have the faintest concrete idea.

17) Education for prevention

If there is one thing a parent has the sacrosanct duty to do, it is to make the son understand that his own health must be safeguarded also in sexual activity because it is an absolutely fundamental value. Prevention should not be approached in a generic way with a vague ”be careful” but in a competent way. Talking with the parent must help (this time it’s the right verb!) the son to obtain reliable and accurate information. If a parent doesn’t feel sufficiently informed, he can update himself specifically on the Ministry of Health website or on the Gay Project website which has republished the most important ministerial information on AIDS.

18) Gay boys and family violence

A growing boy, and in particular a gay boy, shouldn’t be involved for any reason in aggressive situations, especially if it comes to aggressive situations related to his being gay. Sometimes I still talk with worried mothers who don’t want their husbands to know about their son’s homosexuality because they would react violently. A scene, and worse than ever, a slap given to a gay boy by the parent because the boy is gay, involves the comprehensible break-up of the relationship between father and son.

We are still amazed at how, even today, there are violent reactions of parents to the idea of the homosexuality of their sons and also of parents with high levels of education but who are obviously completely ignorant of sexuality and are not even able to restrain themselves from violence and to face a reasoning as civilized people. The essence of this speech can be condensed into two principles that parents of a gay boys should never forget:

1) A parent, before addressing the issue of homosexuality with his son, should ask himself what his personal attitude is. He must ask himself seriously if he knows what homosexuality really is or he only presumes to know everything, and if he realizes that he in the first person, has no clear ideas, he must try to clarify them first. He must look first to clarify whether his attitude is really of acceptance or if behind seemingly conciliatory words are hiding homophobic conceptions (homosexuality as a pathology to treat, as a defect to be overcome, as a sin to be avoided).

2) A parent, even after reaching a full awareness of what homosexuality is, must respect ”without exception” the privacy of the son, remaining present and available but never in invasive terms and understanding that the sexuality of the son belongs to the son and not to the parent and that the will to protect the son is likely to make him incapable to react autonomously or to bring him to a position of open break with the family.

__________

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

COMING OUT AND PHYSICAL ATTRACTION

My name is Mauro, I’m 24 years old, I would love to talk about homosexuality with someone in a serious way but I never succeeded, I never trusted anyone. With a psychologist who listens to me because I pay for it and who maybe gives me useful advices, I don’t even want to try, I wouldn’t feel at ease staying in front of a stranger or even a female stranger to talk about my sexuality, I don’t want to do the patient, then there are the priests, I tried to talk about homosexuality with a priest a half-time, in a very generic way, without even referring to myself and the reaction was so schematic and inhuman that it left me stunned. I would like to talk about homosexuality but not with one who talks about it because he has studied it reading books. What can a woman psychologist know about male homosexuality? She knows it in theory. And for a priest it’s the same, unless he’s a gay too. I would like to talk about homosexuality with a gay but here there are a mountain of problems. First of all a gay man could want me as a sexual object, I know that there is nothing wrong but it is something I don’t like because it ruins the possibility of talking seriously, I wouldn’t feel free and I would try to defend myself. But let’s go to my story.

Now I don’t remember well because they are very old things, but up to 14 years old I think I have been more or less gay, if such a thing makes sense, I masturbated thinking of boys and given my very free education I hadn’t at all feelings of guilt on the contrary it was something that had become so necessary that it was a real fixation and if I have to say all the truth it was the obsession of my adolescence, I did it too much, I almost went to the point of hurting myself, of course I couldn’t talk about it with anyone. I tried to hold myself back so as not to arrive at paroxysmal levels.

My anguishes have begun in the ninth grade. We took a trip to Paris with the school. At night there were two of us in each room because the rooms were small. The first night I and Mark (let’s call him so) start talking … obviously about sex, but in a very serious way, nothing morbid, talking just to compare our experiences. Mark tells me about a girl, I’m careful not to tell him that I’m gay, he definitely takes for granted that I’m straight, then tells me that he masturbates thinking about that girl and I answer in general terms that it happens to me too, obviously neglecting to say that it happened to me thinking of boys. Then something absolutely unexpected comes, a kind of lightning out of the blue, Mark tells me that “however” he sometimes masturbated even thinking of a boy.

I tried to put him absolutely at ease to make him talk but he was very reticent, while he wasn’t reticent at all about the girl. Then we changed the subject and I was very sorry but I couldn’t insist. When we went to bed I was strongly recommended that I keep absolutely private the things he had told me. I told him that I felt happy that he had told me these things because it meant he trusted me and trusted me completely. I swear I had the strong temptation to tell him about me and I had to make an almost physical violence on myself to restrain.

The day after, Mark was embarrassed, he kept me at a distance, he stayed as much as possible with the other guys. I thought it was for the confession of his gay masturbation but then, after some time, it came to my head that Mark could be in love with me and that the mention of his gay masturbation was in essence a way to tell me it, but, even assuming it was so, not only at that time I hadn’t foreseen such a thing, but in front of him I had taken a defensive attitude and hadn’t told him the truth just to keep my privacy.

The following days, for me, were a torture but I tried never to put him in trouble, when we were with the others I played the role of the fool to get his attention and he noticed it. The last night in the hotel the magical atmosphere of the first night has recreated, we talked a lot, or better he talked a lot, he told me clearly that he was gay and that he didn’t ever have a girl, he was astonished at my reactions, I was listening to him with the utmost attention and asking him questions to make him talk, but always keeping myself out of the play. I asked him to tell me what it means to be gay and he told me so many things that I knew very well, but I didn’t let go to confessions that seemed to me too dangerous and I let Mark speak without saying anything about me.

I was torn in my soul. I didn’t know what to do, but there was a basic reason that pushed me to shut up and it was that I didn’t like Mark physically. I liked hearing him talk about sex in such an intimate and direct way, and I was also very excited, but I didn’t intend to get involved in such things, maybe I felt a little desire to try (even more than a little!) But it was for the thing itself, I wasn’t in love with Mark and so I didn’t tell him anything. This time I was not recommended to keep the secret. When we came back to Italy, on the plane we were close to each other, I saw his hand resting on the arm of the chair that was attached to mine and I really wanted him to caress my hand at least for a moment but it didn’t happen.

With Mark we have been very friends, like two brothers, all the time of high school. He told me that he was fine with me “as if I were gay” but he said it in a very serious way. Basically I don’t think Mark ever questioned that I was straight and this made me feel like a worm on so many occasions. He trusted me and I didn’t trust him, now I regret it but at that time it seemed to me the only thing to be done.

The relationship with Mark has become profound over the years, even though I have always kept my distance from any possible implication on a sexual level. When he started going to the gym, at 17, I didn’t go there deliberately and avoiding to go there was very hard for me, he was the only gay guy I knew and he was a wonderful guy, not on a physical level, at least not for me, but he was an honest, generous boy, one whom you cannot help but love.

At the age of 18, he fell madly in love with Luke, one of our beautiful companions who played basketball with him. Mark was always in crisis, Luke didn’t even look at him and he came to seek comfort from me. Mark thought that Luke was gay but I had seen him with a girl in a such uninhibited attitude that a gay guy would never have shown, I told him: “Forget him, Luke is hetero! … you must find a gay boy … ” and he told me: “But I don’t know any gay guy … “. That was the straw that broke the vase … and I said to him: “It’s not true, you know me …” He looked at me with two eyes wide open that I will never be able to forget: “You? … “. He asked me why I hadn’t told him it before and I replied that I wasn’t in love with him and I didn’t want any complications, he was perplex, I feared his answer because I felt a hypocrite, but he immediately reassured me. .. “Well … maybe you did well because in fact I’ve always had a half crush for you …”.

After this conversation he stopped fantasizing about Luke and started thinking about me. We were friends, at last we were admittedly two gay friends, he was not a disco-maniac, no mania about clubs or strange things. We saw each other practically every afternoon. He no longer went to basketball … and we talked a lot, when it happened one afternoon that I couldn’t see him, I felt a sense of emptiness, of wasted time, a feeling of indescribable non-life. When he called me I felt immediately revived.

But there has never been sex between us. Now, to tell the truth, sometimes I think about it and sometimes I masturbate thinking of him, even if it is not common and it sounds a little strange to me, and I think he does the same, however, concretely, there has never been sex between us. I didn’t overcome the fact that he doesn’t really attract me physically. If Mark had the physique of Luke, he would be my ideal guy, but it is not so, he’s a great guy I don’t like too much physically.

There are many guys who excite me when I just look at them, with him it doesn’t happen to me, but I feel very impressed by his charm as a person. He knows that I’m not in love with him and he doesn’t even try a little contact with me, this thing is a good thing for me, but in another sense I’d like him to try and break the ice. I think he is in love with me, he has not found another guy, he has not even looked for a guy. He told me that he is well, but I don’t think it’s the truth. In a sense I would like our relationship to develop but honestly I don’t feel a real transport towards him. From the day we started, let’s say so, to love each other, I’ve known only another guy I really liked from the physical point of view but in front of Mark was a nothingness in every sense and in the end I let him go before starting because I cannot start a story with someone I don’t really admire, but on the other hand I think I couldn’t even be with someone who doesn’t physically attract me. I thought that maybe on a sexual level my interest in Mark could increase over time but until now it has not happened. My story stops at this point, I honestly don’t know how to behave. I’d like to know what you think about.

__________

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-coming-out-and-physical-attraction