DETOXIFICATION OF A 32-YEAR-OLD GAY GUY

Hello Project,
I’m 32 years old, and I think I’ve finished the so-called “most beautiful period of my life”, assuming there was ever something like that in my life. I look at the young boys, the twenty-year-olds, they are young, they are beautiful, they are full of wishes and hope, but I watch them from afar, they believe that sex can change their lives but I have already overcome this stage, I have had my experiences and in the end there is nothing left. I have been hunting guys on dating sites, I met a lot of them, I had sex with so many of them (prudently, that is, without putting myself at risk) and I came to the conclusion that it is good to think of something else.
With a couple of guys I even deluded myself, it lasted a few months, but then it all ended according to the general rule: better alone than badly accompanied! Every guy has his dreams, his ghosts, his pathologies, more or less evident, every guy follows his fantasy and the idea of building something together doesn’t exist at all.
Project, I don’t accuse others of doing so, because I’m the first who follows those rules, I’m the first one who isn’t so inclined to share his life. Going to bed with a guy, ok, some sex doesn’t hurt anyone, but then bye! I go back to my house, I don’t want to share anything with anyone. I should be happy to wake up in the morning near a stranger I know nothing about. Ok, we may have had sex together, but that doesn’t mean anything. What do I have to share with that guy? Our stories had nothing in common for thirty years, then we spent a few hours together and this should have changed our lives?
Project, I can also understand and accept that you don’t share my way of thinking, that you consider it stupid, but which would be the alternative? What should I believe in? The world of fairy tales no longer interests me, it is a bit like I had become indifferent to sex. I don’t know how long it will last but for the moment I want to be alone, I want to sleep a lot, I don’t want to think, I don’t want to chase unlikely dreams.
Project, I didn’t have bad experiences, I didn’t find guys who betrayed me or things like that, maybe I could change my mind, if I found (but I won’t look for it) a guy with whom there is another level of communication, then, maybe, I could change my mind, but I’ve been waiting for  the Charming Prince  for more than ten years now, and I’m tired of waiting.
There are so many better things to do! As you say, I could devote myself to the “others” in a generic sense, depersonalizing relationships, going out of the obsession that pushes me to know gay guys with the prospect of creating with them who knows what.
I also have longstanding straight friends, but I neglected them a lot, and what for? I neglected them to run after gay guys, wasting a lot of time without any result either for them or for me. With my family I broke off relationships years ago, since I became economically independent I left home … and what should I do? Should I go back to my parents’ house, even if they think I went to live alone to live with a girl? Because this is the level of communication that there is with my parents!
I left to try to be free to build my own life, I mean a couple life, but then what did I build? I became addicted to pornography for years, I had a bit of sex, which is nice only before, because afterwards it leaves you nothing! This was the meaning of my youth. Certainly there have been my studies, then my work, which is a concern but it is not really the obsession of my life, that is, it gives me something, at least economic independence.
By now the guys I have known I don’t even remember them distinctly, sometimes I confuse the story of one with that of another, they are “my ex-boys” but I consider them not as singles  but as a group, for me they don’t have a personality anymore  and I think they hardly remember me, but it’s not a big problem!
What is the use of living, Project? There is really no purpose. It’s a trivial thing. We are used to believing that we are special, that we have a profound meaning for others and for the world and instead we are nothing, just a little dust that will be swept away by the wind. Those who dedicate themselves to others probably don’t get anything, except in terms of self-esteem, but they certainly don’t lose anything, this is a great push towards love of neighbor!
I imagine what effect the reading of this mail can have in you. You’ll think that I’m depressed, inclined to renounce, disgusted by the world and by my fellow men, but it is not so, I want to look at other things, my life has been dominated for at least 15 years by the word gay, but this is not the only word in the vocabulary. I’m gay, but my being gay mustn’t become an obsession, I mustn’t find myself a partner at any cost and certainly he cannot be the first guy I meet in the street, I don’t seek any husband, I don’t deny anything and don’t reject anything a priori but I’m tired of chasing fantasies and thinking of having to settle for a bit of sex and with the risk of ruining my health.
I have never found a guy who loved me and on the other hand I have never been able to really love a guy, selfishness has always been the dominant value and this is not how married life should work.
You talked to me about “light couples”, that is without too many expectations and without too many obligations, but it’s not a thing for me, I need, or better, I absolutely need stability. Perhaps I have assimilated a model of a couple of almost matrimonial type or perhaps I’m not yet mature enough for a true couple life, that is for a couple life in which compromise and the search for quiet life dominate.
I wouldn’t accept my boyfriend making love with another guy, because I would like to be his boyfriend, not a friend of his. I’m not looking for a sexualized friendship, I’m tired of these things, I’d like a guy to share life with, but if I don’t find such a guy, I prefer to stay alone.
Don’t worry about me, Project, I’m fine, I’m not depressed, I started working on many of my projects, I joined a football club and I really like going there. Do you know why? Because they are all straight guys and when they talk about sex, they talk about girls and they don’t mind my own business. They welcomed me as a friend but we are “just” friends, it is so obvious that they are all straight that they are not at all a sexual interest for me, what we really have in common is the interest in football, everything else is part of their and my private.
I feel good in a hetero environment, of course, if there were girls too, it would be much more complicated but there are girls only in Sundays in the audience, in the gym there are no girls. It is as if I was detoxing myself from the excess of gay things, as if I were slowly releasing myself from an addiction. It’s nice to find a normalcy again.
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KEEPING GOING ON AT A MINIMUM LEVEL WITH A GAY GUY

Hi Project,
I write to you because I have exhausted the list of possible recipients.
It’s more a way to let off steam than anything else, if you are there and if the forum still works, ok, otherwise it will be like having put a message in a bottle that has been lost in the ocean, but anyway I would have lost just a little time writing.

I’m 36, friends … just someone, real friends … I don’t even know. There is a guy who interests me, he is not my boyfriend, I’m not in love with him, I don’t know if I would do anything for him, maybe not, but somehow I like him. Incidentally, I never understood those of “all or nothing”, lost lovers and things like that, for me the fundamental person is always and only one: myself.

I never had a real boyfriend, that is I never lived a couple life, I did a little sex, and just a little, but then no crazy enthusiasm. I’d like to be with a guy but first of all in order to fight a battle together, to collaborate in everyday life, even to have sex, but if we reduce everything to that, well, then this guy or that one it’s all the same, more or less. I was talking about the guy who interests me, … what can I say?

He fascinates me but I realize that a real dialogue is not possible, he’s always angry with the world, anxious, resentful (not with me, or at least with me only very rarely). Sometimes he calls me and I like it but I don’t understand why he calls me. What do you want from me? Sex? Project, please note that he’s a handsome guy and on the contrary I’m not handsome at all.

For him, it wouldn’t take too much commitment to find a bit of sex and sometimes it happens, when he has no one there is me always or at least sometimes available, certainly it’s not a problem for me, by now he doesn’t even make me more proposals, he tells me that I always say no (it’s what I usually do), but if he’s the first one to tell me in the face that he doesn’t want to feel bound, why does he look for me?

But then of the fact that he has other guys honestly I don’t care at all, but I wish he had more respect for me, for example I can’t stand when he tells me that the next day he will come to see me and then he doesn’t come, or when we have to meet but then he skips our meeting because obviously he has more interesting proposals. But all this, ok, it’s his business, I’m not his boyfriend, but a bit of respect, I don’t say loyalty, but he really should have at least a minimal respect. He tells me to call him and then he puts the answering machine and he never answers.

One day he asks me to drive him to another city, almost 200 km away, he could go by train, but he suggests that we go together, I insist on going with my car, he finally accepts. We leave early in the morning, obviously he doesn’t even tell me what it’s going to do. We talk a bit in the car, but he seems unnerved. We arrive at the destination, he gives me an appointment in the center for two in the afternoon, then he goes down to take the subway.

Obviously, at two o’clock he doesn’t arrive and not even at three o’clock, his phone is disconnected, he doesn’t answer until 9.00 pm, then he sends me a text message and tells me he had nerves and took the train to came back home. He must have left at least three hours earlier, but obviously he hasn’t warned me. I went back alone and I can say that the trip made me reflect!

I must regain my autonomy. At 36, I must understand that certain things make no sense. Note, Project, that I speak of a simple friendship, but even a simple friendship should be something minimally serious, otherwise one lives much better alone! Once at home I called him back and he told me he didn’t have time because he had a job to finish, and I also regretted calling him back.

Of course, solitude is a value! I know it very well, and then when he calls me we end up with clarifications and recriminations, he tells me that he can’t feel comfortable because of me, because I’m anxious and neurotic and I transmit my anxiety to him. I know that he has so many problems and also very serious ones, but if he tells me he was wrong to tell me about it, why does he call me first? But if he talks to me about something I have to tell him what I think about and not what he wants to hear and from there the piqued answers or better the total absence of answers.

We have two very different ways of looking at life, he tells me that I was born old and that I will be alone all my life, but then what will he do? He is now 31, and when you have had many guys it is like not having had one, but he thinks I will be the only one who will remain alone, he accuses me of reasoning like his parents, of avoiding risks even at the cost of living less intensely, he accuses me of always running away, of not deciding, of being ambiguous, of keeping one foot in two shoes. Why can’t I have a minimally serious dialogue with this guy without ending up in endless squabbles?

He is as he is, now I can only adapt, and then why does he get angry with me? Because probably when he talks about nonsense or sex all guys follow him, but when he enters the melancholic tone (which often happens to him) then no one listens to him or sometimes people give him reason just to make him feel happy.

I wonder, Project, what has all this to do with the fact of being gay? Certainly anyway there is some link, because I would clearly not be following a girl like I follow him, that is, putting apart also my dignity! But why do two gays end up having these problems? And then starting from things of life in general, which have nothing to do with sex or emotional life. But maybe all these things are somehow linked!

Project, I’m tired, very tired, I can’t take to repeat the same speeches over and over again, maybe I’m just old inside and I’m learning not to hope for anything and to let things go as they must go. I know it would be much more hygienic and healthy to end this relationship, if it is a relationship, but it is not easy even to end it. What problems! Ten years ago I used to think it was easier! And people are always talking about gay marriage! The real problem is being able to get along with a guy even at minimal levels.

Hi Project and if you are there, make you heard.

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SEXUAL ABUSE AND OBSESSIVE CONTENTS

The connection between sexual abuse and obsessive content related to sexuality deserves further study. I will consider two different situations, the first concerning a gay guy who has been abused in childhood and who presents a gay sexuality deeply conditioned by the experience of the abuse, the second concerning a straight guy who has been abused in adolescence and has developed a gay-themed OCD (I will only deal with the case of a OCD that had already manifested before the abuse). The situations, despite their substantial differences, have a fundamental aspect in common: the identification of the victim with the abuser. Let’s start with the first situation.

1) A gay guy, who has been sexually abused in childhood, has a gay sexuality that in the first meetings with his partners does not present particular problems but, if the relationship deepens, the guy gets to confess to his partner that he has been sexually abused, nevertheless he does not tend to feel as the victim but almost as the co-responsible if not as the promoter of the abuse, he tries anyhow to involve his partner in his obsessive fantasies concerning the abuse with insistently (obsessively) repeated questions about the circumstances of the abuse, asking him what he would do if he found himself in similar situations; faced with evasive or patently disinterested responses, the guy seems incredulous and attributes the lack of interest in sharing that particular sexual fantasies on the part of his partner to an alleged moralism of the partner himself, however the insistence does not cease even in the face of an obvious lack of interest but becomes even more pressing, as if the guy wanted to obtain a confession analogous to his own. The obsessive insistence on the partner goes as far as to induce him, in more or less long time, to distance himself and interrupt the relationship.

It is evident that the memory of the abuse has become a sexual archetype from which it is difficult to get free, and here a mechanism characteristic of the abuse is triggered: the victim imagines himself in the role of the abuser, situations of discomfort even very strong are created this way, because the victim sees himself as a potential pedophile and develops pedophile fantasies in which he assumes, in an oscillating manner, both the role of victim and abuser.

Basically the projective identification with the abuser and his behaviors favors guilt feelings and strongly weakens the possibility of rationalizing the memory of the abuse and of living a sexuality not deeply conditioned by the abuse itself.

2) In the case of the straight guy with a pre-existing gay themed OCD, the abuse in adolescence creates objective complications that cannot be ignored because it does nothing but feed the OCD, even though it cannot actually destroy the guy’s straight sexuality. The mechanism of identification with the abuser, in this case, cannot lead to true gay sexual fantasies (because the guy is a straight guy) but only to obsessions and gay compulsions which, as is usually the case in the OCD, remain, at most, at the level of masturbation and, in almost all cases, never materialize in real sexual relationships. The gay-themed compulsions and obsessions are perceived as deeply disturbing compared to the true sexuality that is and anyway remains straight.

The identification with the abuser can however be more complex when the abuser is not really a gay man but he is a married man or a man who has children, that is when the abuser is or appears to be a straight adult, with whom the straight guy with OCD can easily identify on the basis of the following projective mechanism: ”He is straight because he is married and has children, but if he abused me it means he also had gay fantasies and could not refrain from putting them into practice, but I am straight too, because I have a girlfriend and I have sex with her, but I also have gay fantasies, so in the end I won’t be able to stop myself and I’ll end up needing to have sex with a man. How can I be with a girl if I already desire men and know that sooner or later I will betray her with a man? I am fooling my girlfriend into believing that I am straight, but it is not so!”

In this case the identification mechanism acts through different paths but it is no less disruptive than in the case of the gay guy and creates the risk, sometimes lived obsessively, but objectively not very concrete, to lead to the breakdown the relationship with the girl.

The deeper identification with the abuser leads to two closely related consequences:

1) the responsibility of the abuser appears to be much lighter;

2) even if in such situations it’s evident that in any case no responsibility can be charged on the victim, the victim himself overestimates his own presumed responsibility up to the point to consider his own behavior decisive, and consequently to experience guilt feelings objectively unjustified.

In the two cases presented, the most suitable conditions to overcome obsessive thinking are realized when the guys have their ”real” emotional life, that is:

1) in the first case, when the gay guy lives not a unilateral falling in love but an authentic love story with a guy with whom a relationship is created that is completely independent of the fantasies related to abuse, fantasies which can also remain but marginalized and spontaneously not shared, fantasies that are not considered as a taboo but are very rarely argument of conversation. In essence the stories that materialize or tend to materialize only or mainly in terms of more or less spontaneous sharing of fantasies linked to abuse are not true love stories and therefore do not contribute to the overcoming of obsessive thinking;

2) in the second case, when the straight guy lives a love story in which the girl knows that the guy has been abused and realizes that the obsessive thought linked to the OCD can cause the guy to question his heterosexuality. The OCD has a strong conditioning capacity in two cases:

a) when the girl tries to ignore obsessive contents, pretending that they do not exist;
b) when the girl emphasizes the obsessive contents and offers them a sound box that amplifies their effect.

OCD must be tackled with awareness but without dramatization.

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GAY COUPLE WITHOUT CONSTRAINTS

Hi Project,
tonight I feel overwhelmed by thoughts of tenderness. My ex called me this afternoon to tell me that he wanted to make love with me. It’s not a strange request, sometimes it happens. He came to my house, as beautiful as the sun, we are not kids, I am 42 and he is 31, but if you saw him you would be entranced. I think I’ve never seen a nicer guy! I don’t describe the evening, you can only imagine it, to say that it was sex it is reductive, I would say that it was just a form of total tenderness, of intimacy, of wanting to be there. We are not a couple, Project, he has his life, he sees other guys, but I don’t think he is acting with them as he does with me. The meaning of his making love is never reductive, it involves you.

Generally, years ago, after having spent an evening making love with me, he experienced moments of rethinking, rejection and deep melancholy. Maybe it happened this time too, but it was a barely perceptible melancholy, we went together to get a pizza, a very rare event for us. He didn’t want to be accompanied home (he lives very close to my house). The atmosphere was very sweet, perfect. I looked at him, I was enchanted, I looked at his clear eyes, I listened to his voice, I saw him much less neurotic than other times, a bit melancholic but also available to smile at least a little.

I wondered how it is possible that he finds gratifying to make love with me, whot is certainly not the best option. It is true that he has other guys, but he doesn’t belong to anyone, he needs to be accepted, wanted for what he is. Now in my room there is his scent and I feel happy. Years ago we have been together, like a classic couple, but only for eight months, but in substance, later, we never separated. He calls me when he wants and knows that I would never say no to him, not out of generosity towards him, but because I’m fine with him, I’m totally fine. I’m not jealous, I’m looking for love and I don’t think that the fact that he loves others succeeds in stealing something from me, and in fact every time we see each other we don’t have to patch anything up because there’s never been a rip.

I cannot say that he “knows that I have always been faithful to him”, because this expression is meaningless, he has been my only true friend, partner, and lover, for years now, in my life there is no one else, and my faithfulness costs me nothing, it is something natural, I’m not searching for experiences with other guys, I know I will not lose him, I know that sooner or later he will contact me again and I don’t feel at all alone. He treats me with respect and affection, he knows that he can trust me! When I really needed him, he was next to me.

The sex, the real one, that is, what makes you feel the guy really close, I learned it from him and he had patience because I was a problematic learner. He tells me that I don’t put him in a crisis because I never say no and at the same time I do not give sex an absolute value. He tells me that in a couple, a guy fixed with sex is enough, but if I make comparisons between his way of being fixed with sex and the way of considering the sex of some that I knew before him, the difference seems to me stratospheric. He asks, he insists, but he doesn’t force me, he tells me he wants to see me convinced. Lately he also sometimes tells me incidentally that he loves me and such things are new and somewhat unexpected, but he never tells me it when we have sex.

It’s been ten years since I started to hope him to tell me “I love you!” And now it begins to happen. He asks me if I would do the same things I do with him with other guys, he asks me such questions because he knows the answer very well: he is he and the rest doesn’t exist, it is not a way of speaking. Today he told me something that I liked very much: “in sex, the best thing is to see the other who lets himself go totally freely”. He in sex is loose and spontaneous, unpredictable, I’m sometimes tired, not because of him but because I’ve worked all day, and he understands it and tells me he doesn’t want to force me to do anything I don’t want to do, and it’s exactly so and so we just stay in bed until we fall asleep.

So many times I feel full of complexes in front of of him, as if I were not able to truly correspond to his needs, because if it is true that I never say no, I never even take the initiative. I know that he also needs something else and I don’t have to be possessive. Sometimes I thought that, paradoxically, in my way of having sex, he could especially like the hesitations, the indecision, his ability to be a teacher, which he does with extreme sweetness. The early days I feared that he might get nervous if sometimes I said no, and sometimes it happened, then over the years he no longer limited himself to asking me to understand him, but he was the first to understand me and avoid insisting. Our relationship has been going on for more than ten years and shows no sign of weariness. I still have the fear of disappointing him, and it is in a sense symmetrical to his fear of insisting too much.

I don’t know if it has been him who has changed me or it was me who have changed him, probably both are true. Apparently our relationship is based on sex, but things are much more complex. When he calls me he tells me that he wants to be with me, that he has his life but that he doesn’t want to be without me, because he doesn’t see reasons to limit himself, since it’s he who wants it. He does not really like stupid speeches, those that people do just to say something, if he has something important to tell me about, he doesn’t use half words. Sometimes, years ago, it happened that he got angry with me, now it almost never happens, he just desists, but without claims or frustration. I just wish he smiled more, because he’s always serious, he always has a veil of melancholy in his face.

He has achieved great professional successes and in his world he is an esteemed person, yet he doesn’t give these successes any value, he sees them as a way not substantially different from others to earn a living, it is as if his life were elsewhere, especially in the world of affections, but in that world has received a lot of rejections and has encountered a lot misunderstandings. Frankly I cannot understand how a guy can do reject someone like him, perhaps it is precisely the attempt to force things and to build with him a classic couple relationship that eventually destroys the relationship itself. If you ask him for an absolute monogamy, you try to put him on a leash and certainly love cannot be built on obligations.

If you don’t ask him anything he is likely to give you his soul, but if you try to constrain him in some way, then he goes away and doesn’t come back anymore. I don’t understand jealousy, Project, to love and to possess are very different things. I love him, my friends tell me that I’m happy with too little things, but it’s a stupid phrase, I love him, I want to see him smile, I want him to be happy, I want the veil of melancholy that he carries become thinner and thinner, until it disappears completely. It took me many years to understand what I was looking for and to detach myself from models that substantially are not mine.

If our relationship really went into crisis, if there were any real misunderstandings, then yes I would feel bad, but such things never happened. In many things he is very different from me, I am calm, often undecided, I am used to long times, he is a decisionist, instinctive, neurotic, anyway we have been for many years a point of reference for each other. He always told me about the guys he fell in love with, and basically he knew that nothing would change between us.

He never told me that he was in love with me, he just shyly starts to tell me he loves me, but I know it’s different, and it’s not different in terms of sex, I think the real difference is in terms of acceptance. The guys he had fallen in love with wanted to change him at their image and likeness, he, after all, would have been forced to play a role in front of them. I want him as he is because he wanted our relationship founded on total clarity: “I tell you what I am, if you want me, take me like I am, otherwise it is better that each one goes his way.” Now after so many years I feel him closer than ever before!

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GAYS AND SEXUAL EDUCATION

This post will try to summarize the effects of sexual education on gay sexuality.

First of all it is necessary to define the concept of sexual education. We start from a premise: the development of studies indicates that sexuality has a genetic-epigenetic base which is substantially defined already in the uterus and at most in the perinatal period. This genetic-epigenetic imprint determines not only the sex, that is, gender belonging in anatomical and physiological terms, but also the gender identity, that is, the perception of gender and sexual orientation.

The awareness of sexuality, its models, the more or less repressed manifestations of sexuality over the years, and the consequences on an individual psychological level, are instead largely determined by that familiar and social interaction, which we can call “sexual education” and which is not limited to just a single part of life, but follows the evolution of the individual according to the progressing of age.

The fact that sexuality, understood in its most profound aspects, is closely connected with the affectivity induces to consider sex education as an integral part of affective education.

A concept, in the educational field, should never be forgotten: education acts on the basis of an individual biological genetic-epigenetic substratum but is also linked to the stages of development, to possible pathologies and many other factors. Education means to develop the potential of an individual “respecting first of all the biological identity”. A good gardener knows that by placing an apple tree in the ideal conditions for the cultivation of an apricot tree, not only we will not be able to obtain apricots from the apple tree, but it will suffer a lot and may even die. Cultivating a tree means understanding first of all what tree it is and then providing it with the appropriate care for that specific tree. This is also true for people.

Let’s start from the family dimension, i.e. from emotional-sexual education inside the family.

The family is the first environment in which a child begins to build relationships. In order to begin to feel an affective gratification, the child must perceive the sense of acceptance and affectionate care from the parents. If the child is the subject of confrontation (unwanted children, doubtful parenthood, a child that has become an object of contention between parents and grandparents or between the parents themselves), he easily becomes aware that he’s not the center of family life and begins to experience the sensation of marginality and abandonment yet in tender age.

Perceiving the disagreement between the parents is inherently traumatic and transmits automatically, by imitation, a model of behavior that is not emotional but competitive, stimulates aggressiveness in one direction and sense of frustration in the other. The child also instinctively senses the discrepancy between words and behavior. Cuddling a child for a while and then leaving him alone in the walker or in front of the television not only causes a sense of abandonment but also provides an initial model of falsehood: “I love you so much, but you must keep calm and stay aside because I have other things to do!” The speech is basically inconsistent and false because it brings together declarations of affection and behaviors that show disinterest.

Often the frustrations of parents, their claiming attitudes, their blaming of this or that, their justifying only themselves, transmit to the child the feeling of unreliability of the parent who begins to be a faltering reference point. Nothing is worse than raising your voice to impose your point of view, and I don’t even want to talk about the possible physical violence in the family, which is experienced by the child in a devastating way: a father who tugs at his mother, who slaps her, a mother who plays hysterical scenes and screams at her husband, represent models that the child will certainly internalize, or by imitation or contrast, identifying, according to the situations, as an aggressive person or as a victim, and this will move the child away from the emotional contact, which is the true purpose of emotional education.

There are several other behaviors, apparently neutral, which transmit a sense of insecurity to the child:

1) A parent who speaks in the singular setting himself against the other (“I … while your mother …”) . The use of “we/us” conveys the idea of affective family, harmony and solidarity.

2) To talk too often about money or about who brings home money, or about social hierarchies that don’t see parents at the same level.

3) To speak badly about other people the child knows.

4) To show that it is difficult or impossible to speak with the other parent, that he/she has defects, that doesn’t care for the family and, worse of the worst, doesn’t care for children.

The presence of parents in the life of young children, up to preadolescence, should be constant, affectionate, dialoguing and never abstractly normative.

A particular consideration must be given to managing family conflicts that may arise, and indeed inevitably arise in the family over the years. It can be the conflicts of the parents with other relatives, of between parents themselves and also of the conflicts between parents and children. The management of conflicts must always be discursive and shared, no form of violence, even verbal, can be admitted for no reason. Recognizing the other’s reasons and seeking conciliation doesn’t indicate weakness but the exact opposite. The child must realize that the parent can see things in another way and you can talk to find a point of equilibrium without coming to breakage.

Affective education suffers a violent trauma when the parent-child relationship is dominated by the fear of the parent’s violent reactions. Even worse is the idea that a parent invokes the presence of the other parent to induce fear in the children, such in the classic: “I’ll tell your father!”
As one grows, one element takes on particular importance: confidence, which must be accompanied by confidentiality on the part of the parent. If a parent receives a confidence by the child, he must keep it for himself, if he doesn’t, he would induce the child to immediately interrupt the relationship of confidence with the parent that will anymore be resumed. Any attitude that shows the tendency of the parent to abandon himself to gossip, devalues him in the eyes of his son and reduces the possibilities for dialogue.

A general criterion must always be kept in mind: education operates through the example, not through words: children tend to assimilate and imitate parents’ behavior, not to put into practice what parents say in words but don’t do themselves.

What has been said so far, as it is easy to understand, requires from parents a substantial affective maturity that too often is taken for granted, assuming that the parent is always substantially up to the task of education and that at most he needs a training aimed at the conscious rethinking of contents and methods of education. Sometimes however, and not very rarely, these assumptions don’t occur, in some cases because parents themselves have been in turn educated (assuming that this word can be used in these situations) with completely improper and substantially non-educational methods, and in other cases because one or both parents can be psychopathological subjects (for example paranoid or perverse narcissists). While in the first case it is possible with regard to the parent a concrete action (even if of long duration and with uncertain outcome) of reorientation or re-education of the adult, in the second case such action is essentially impossible and the parent-child educational relationship can turn into a framework of family violence and abuse, up to the most extreme consequences. It should be emphasized that violence and family abuse practiced by paranoid or perverse narcissists parents are often not visible on the outside and create very deep suffering in the children with unforeseeable consequences even in the long term.

Sex education of the child

Today, children are bombarded starting from an early age with images more or less erotic and very often begin to take an interest in sexuality in a very abstract way well before adolescence, so they assimilate, in a very tender age, banal visions of the sexuality as a “forbidden game”. Pedagogues have often been concerned with how to convey to children a more correct concept of sexuality: typical is the model of the flower, the pollination and the fruit, but in this way there is the risk, for gays far from being indifferent, to provide only the concept of sexuality aimed at reproduction, this will also convey the concept of sexual role, of the boy and girl as society conceives them, and of typically male and typically female behavior, taking for natural and obvious cultural attitudes often very questionable.

Accustom a little girl to the idea that femininity involves high heels and makeup means distort the concept from the beginning, like to think that the boy should be interested necessarily in football and in certain types of games is in itself misleading. It is very easy to see that in a school class of children who are not yet pre-adolescent, boys tend to play “boyish” games with each other, and girls tend to play “girlish” games with each other and this is the result of an education for sexual roles, how society understands them, starting from an early age.

The child before puberty sometimes shows an embryonal hetero affectivity, which involves interest in being with little girls, talking with them, playing with them, or an embryonal gay affectivity, which involves interest in being with other boys, talking to them and playing with them. These behaviors are the first manifestations of sexual orientation, they are not yet conscious, but they are elements on which we should reflect a lot and to which we should pay the utmost attention, but, I must say very clearly, never a repressive attention. I would like to point out that the transmission of role models deforms and often stifles these spontaneous tendencies altogether and tends to let the tendency towards homologation prevail, based on the fear of marginality within the peer group.

In the memory of many gays, the recollection of the first affectionate friendships with other boys and often the worried attitudes of the parents in front of such manifestations remains well imprinted. We are talking about friendships between children, not yet pre-adolescent who, if not totally conditioned by education, begin to show signs of homo-affinity or hetero-affectivity.

Parents, who often lack a broader horizon on sexuality, consider themselves as the only possible model for the sexuality of their children. The idea that children are not and cannot be a photocopy of parents is still struggling to get accepted. It is precisely for this reason that some children’s behaviors alarm parents and trigger a short communication circuit that ends up disrupting trust and establishing suspicious attitudes.
The child who plays with dolls or puts on his mother’s high heels or wig or dresses up as a woman generally raises questions in the parents, and this happens even more strongly if two children develop a very close friendship. Apart from the fact that these are completely different phenomena, because the first refers to gender identity and the second to sexual orientation, it is very probable that the child experiences in these situations the concern of the parent that manifests itself through limitations, prohibitions or simple removals.

The basic criterion of a good sex education is to promote the spontaneous development of affectivity and sexuality, avoiding a repressive sanctioning behaviors. The parent facing behaviors that are not what he would have expected believes that it is his duty to “correct”, to “guide” the child’s behavior, to “defend” him from dangerous influences, this attitude, which is perfectly understandable, is acceptable , positive and necessary, if “to correct ” means to demonstrate by example how one can have affection and respect for friends, without demanding too much and without running away from one’s duties towards those friends, if “to drive ” means to explain, to make the child understand the meaning of affective relationships even in adult life, for example by receiving friends cordially and affectionately, if “defending” from dangerous influences means to accustom children not to trivialize, not to exploit friendship, to take it seriously and to respond adequately when the need arises, but “to correct” means for many parents only to repress, “to drive” means to remove freedom and “to defend” means to segregate.

I would like to stress that the signs of homo-affectivity are generally very precocious and repressing them means inducing the guilt and submission of the child who begins to consider himself wrong. The repression of infantile homo-affectivity sometimes manifests itself explicitly, and sometimes through a systematic attempt to remove the child from contexts in which that homo-affectivity tends to manifest: if the child has developed a strong friendship towards another child or even towards a boy a little older during the summer holidays at the sea, the next year instead of going to the sea the family will go to the mountains.

A very delicate subject in this area is the prevention of sexual violence and abuse. Clearly, the child’s segregation reaches the goal but at the cost of a total repression of the individual freedom. The real problem lies in avoiding the risks (which are not only fancy) leaving the child a freedom commensurate with his age. Leaving a child (under 12-13 years ) alone for the whole day together with his playmates exposes him to objective dangers, which he may not realize. But if sexual abuses perpetrated by external pedophile subjects are generally the most feared, experience teaches that abuses are practiced only exceptionally by strangers and for the most part they rise from a family environment. Parking children by relatives or friends from morning to night means abandoning them to situations that can be objectively risky.

Before 12-13 years it is good that the child finds its spaces for the most part with the presence of the parents: the parents speak in the living room, the children play in the next room. Parents in this way give their children an example of socializing and leave them freedom spaces according to their age.

Beyond the age of 12-13, the risk of abuse doesn’t cease because abuse can also be committed toward adolescents or preadolescents both by family members and by educators, priests or teachers, especially in contexts where the minor cohabits with other peers for education or care purposes. Particular attention should be dedicated to the education of responsible use of the web for the risks of priming to which minors are exposed on the net. It is important to be vigilant in order to catch any signs of disturbance, alarm or exaltation in children, talk to them about it, if it is possible, and contact the postal department or the local Police Office to receive assistance when faced with dangerous situations. Obviously, the best prevention of priming risks on the net is realized right through risk awareness, the habit of always thinking before acting, and the habit of protecting one’s own privacy and that of others, and on these aspects education has a decisive influence.

When a child manifests the first forms of curiosity in relation to sexuality, it should be taken seriously, avoiding trivializing and manifesting evasive attitudes. It is essential that sexuality is never detached from its affective implications and is not reduced exclusively to procreative purposes. The child must become familiar with the idea of a sexuality that is not a forbidden game but a manifestation of affection for another person. Many parents never show explicit emotional behaviors in front of their children, for example, the father and mother don’t hug each other in front of children and avoid any physical act with each other, even the simple caresses, others instead let themselves go to forms of more or less sexual play in front of their children who in this way feel themselves excluded from the relationship with their parents. Of course

It’s necessary to find a balance between these opposing attitudes: the spontaneous caresses and affections between parents, the cuddles, which end up with the involvement of the children in the affection of the parents themselves are extremely positive in stabilizing the mood and in developing a harmonious character in the children. The double bed must become a non-exclusive environment, reserved for the parents only, but must be an environment in which children can also be admitted. The physical contact with parents, commensurate with the age of children, must lead to the idea of the affectionate embrace between adults, which expresses participation and sympathy.

Let’s come now to one of the key points of the speech: how to deal with the issue of homosexuality. The parent who is explicitly dealing such an argument with the child for the first time, must never forget that if one takes for granted that one’s son is hetero, in 8 cases out of 100 he is mistaken. Sending positive messages about homosexuality certainly doesn’t induce heterosexuals to become homosexuals, but can help homosexuals to grow accepting without complexes their homosexuality. Many parents believe that the specifically sexual education of children is not up to parents and should be delegated to school, church, doctors and other educational agencies, as if sexuality were an object of study or a question of faith or health protection. Obviously all these aspects are not foreign to sexuality, which, however, is a very complex reality that cannot be considered only under sectoral perspectives.

Sexuality is a component of the ordinary life of all of us and one of the essential contents of a serious educational relationship. I have been dealing with homosexuals for many years and I have often seen gay adult men, still deeply conditioned by the conflicting relationships with parents due to homosexuality. The vast majority of homosexuals not publicly declared, speak about their own homosexuality just with a few trustworthy friends, while those who talk about it openly in the family are very rare, perhaps today less than ten years ago, but it is still a narrow minority. For a gay boy, talking to his parents and finding their respect and their affection even in an atmosphere of clarity is absolutely essential and stabilizing. On the other hand, misunderstanding and rejection leave deep traces and greatly complicate the achievement of true autonomy on the part of the children.

I add a fundamental thing: a gay boy who feels accepted within the family will not need to go and look for other environments in which to find understanding and tends to develop his affective life without hiding and for this reason objectively also running much less risks. When a gay guy presents his boyfriend to his parents (what was once unthinkable and now becomes more and more possible) he realizes at 100% the dimension of the normality of his affectivity-sexuality. Surprised, reticent, perplexed or hostile attitudes of parents severely undermine their children’s self-esteem and create often irreparable fractures.

I would like to touch on a very delicate last subject. Sometimes the boys who grow up, whether they are heterosexual or gay, find themselves instinctively experiencing drives that alarm them, classics are examples of sexual fantasies about much older people, pedophile fantasies, sadistic or masochistic fantasies and erotic drives addressed within their own family. It is objectively very difficult that topics of this kind enter explicitly in speeches between parents and children regarding sexuality, because if the fear of negative reactions to homosexuality is already strong, the fear of negative reactions to those contents can be much more alarming. The issue of pedophilia can be responsibly tackled by highlighting the very serious objective damage that those behaviors can cause but stressing nevertheless the fact that those tendencies can exist even in very good people who would never put them into practice. If there is an attitude that a parent must show in front of such things, it can only be to clearly distinguish the fantasies that one cannot control, from the actions that can and must be taken under control. A similar argument can be used also regarding sadistic and incestuous fantasies.

With regard to intergenerational relationships it is necessary to avoid confusing them with larval forms of pedophilia, because intergenerational relationships are relationships between consenting adults even if of very different ages.

A correct attitude in the face of all these things helps people feel understood and accepted and enhances their morality and their capacity for discernment and this is the basic premise to accept themselves and to be able to self-control. It should be emphasized, however, that pedophile fantasies, of which people almost never speak in a scientifically correct way, are a reality very complex and difficult to manage. In many cases these fantasies are found in adults who have in turn been victims of violence or sexual abuse. It should be clarified that, although fantasies and actions are distinct things, it happens that fantasies are or may be prodromal to actual or possible behaviors, which, even if only considered merely as hypotheses, can cause levels of profound suffering.

Slipping from fantasies to pedophile behaviors can sometimes become easy and almost obvious. The sex tourism, for example, can lead the adult to look for more and more young partners of one or the other sex, producing a slow but effective slip towards pedophilia. The use of Internet child pornography should be considered as a sign strongly indicative of a dangerous corroboration of fantasies, prodromal to possible pedophile behaviors. According to what I learn from people who experience pedophile fantasies I’m led to believe that slipping into occasional pedophile behaviors, which can be the origin of recurring pedophile phantasies, also of obsessive types, is certainly possible even for people who have never had previously this kind of fantasies.

A person who experienced this kind of fantasies told me: “I had never had such fantasies before, then it happened to me an experience in which it would have been easy to come to the action, but it didn’t happen, but taking a step without return would have been very easy. And since then, such fantasies remained strongly stamped in my mind. I don’t like them, that somehow compromised my sexuality for years because I think that I wouldn’t even talk about such things with my partner, because he would react badly.”

I will not analyze here the possible compulsive aspects of pedophilia but because many men who have pedophilic fantasies are aware of it and are afraid of being able to practice pedophile behavior, in some countries (in Germany, in England and in the US) there are support services who deal with prevention by providing specialized psychological support to those who request it because they experience pedophile tendencies.

At the general educational level there is still an ancestral fear towards psychologists and psychiatrists that should be eliminated, leading people to understand that they are health workers who can provide psychological and even pharmacological support if necessary. Prevention education, which deserves a detailed examination, is not only carried out in providing information on sexually transmitted diseases, but also in the prevention of other risky behaviors for oneself and for others such as pedophile ones.

Certainly less sensitive are the themes related to the couple’s relationship structure: monogamy, indissolubility, socialization and formalization of the couple’s relationship, relationship between friendship and love. Insisting on the legitimacy of a single behavioral model collides with the reality of affective life which is often not monogamous, not unbreakable neither reducible to structure. The meaning of the couple relationship is usually assimilated by imitation already in childhood and, according to the general rule, is transmitted through the behavior of adults and not through their speeches. The relational aspect of sexuality should never be overlooked, according to this relational aspect the fundamental satisfaction in a sexual relationship derives from the realization that our partner is really involved and is in turn gratified by the relationship. Needless to say, these must be relationships that are actually wanted consciously and freely by both partners.

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A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO GAY SEXUSUALITY

Hi Project,

I’ve been reading the gay project forum for years, which was very useful to me to hear a different voice from those I usually hear. I am 29 years old and I have never had problems with my sexuality, at least according to the most common models.

Already at 18 I had my first experiences and, the first times, even without protection, then I panicked, I did the test but luckily nothing happened, and since then I have been much more cautious. I don’t think I’m addicted to sex. Up to now I have only had five partners, with all of them there is a friendship and some know each other. I have never promised anyone sexual fidelity and I think that having sex with a guy doesn’t mean betraying another guy, if things are said clear from the beginning. Let’s say that if there is one thing that for me has existed only partially, it was mutual attention, that is, I always thought that the relationships with my five friends made sense only or at least especially because I could have sex with them.

I’ve had a lot of sex, but always a bit too much technic because I grew up with pornography. I don’t like anal sex and I think no one of my friends is interested in it, I’ve never had no pressure in that direction. This is also why I stopped looking for other partners, because with my friends there is more or less a consonance of tastes and they are attentive to health. I mean that if they were at risk they would tell me. It happened more than once that they said me no because they had doubts and had to redo the test, and I really appreciated that. Let’s say that I had found my balance anyway, I’m fine with my friends from that point of view, they understand me, don’t make me sermons, don’t gossip, I can trust them. So far it’s not exactly a classic story but I think there are many guys doing like me.

At the end of the summer, about the beginning of September, at a meeting of comic collectors (my second passion after boys), I meet Andrew (this is not his real name), 26, not beautiful but more, so sexy that I cannot take my eyes off him. He notices me, he looks at me in turn and flashes me a smile and from there we start talking, first about comics and then about a thousand other things, we exchange mobile numbers, I’m happy but I don’t give too much weight to the thing, then there we say goodbye. A couple of days later he calls me and invites me to go out,

Somehow I certainly was looking forward to such an invitation, and what is more, the fact that he is so beautiful pushes me to the idea of trying a new conquest and this excites me a lot, brutally I start to get a hard-on just thinking about it.

We go out. I expect him to make a proposal but nothing similar happens, nevertheless it is not a trivial evening: we talk a lot and also very seriously, it’s still hot and you can stay around until late at night. When I come home I feel strange: “What have I tried with Andrew? Sex? Yes and no. Friendship? Maybe”. It had been a strange evening: “What did he want from me?” I couldn’t give plausible explanations. After a couple of days he called me back and we spent another strange evening, but anyway very intriguing.

Then I didn’t hear him a dozen days and I was already missing him and then I called him and I proposed him to come to my house, he thought about it a bit and then, when I told him that I live alone, he told me yes. He arrives at home with a package, I would have expected a bottle, since I had invited him to dinner, but it was a wooden object, or rather a small wooden sculpture, not even very small, the base was 20×15, there I was perplexed , but he told me: “That’s you!” And in fact there was a certain resemblance. I told him: “You’re very skilled! An artist!” He told me that he had been sculpting wood for years and that I had inspired his work.

The gift had upset all my projects, I felt stupid to read things that were happening as a sexual approach. He walked around the house, then he said to me: “I guess I had guessed right! There are no references to a girl, and I know your books very well. Ok, it seems clear to me that you do not have a guy …” This speech seemed to me inappropriate and invasive of my privacy, he realized it and tried to balance his statement: “I’m single too and I don’t have a boyfriend, of course it’s not a proposal, even if I’ve never been with anyone.”

I thought that in the evening he would have unlocked but nothing similar happened, as usual we talked a lot before and after dinner and I was really happy with him: no sex, but I was fine, somehow even better than with my friends. Andrew was not naive at all but he was calm, he didn’t have the frenzy of sex that when it takes me I cannot control it anymore. I asked him how he was doing for sex and he told me that “Ireland” helps him. “Ireland” sounded to me like a girl name. I told him: Do you have a girlfriend? He looked at me smiling and said: “The helping hand” but once again I didn’t understand and I thought that the friendly hand meant the hand of a friend and he looked at me shaking his head and told me: “But in wich world do you live?” Then I understood and I felt totally stupid!

Andrew’s presence made me very embarrassed because I was always in erection and I tried not to get up from my chair for fear of showing it too much. He stayed with me until after midnight. To say goodbye I had to stand up and show my erection. He simply said: “Don’t worry, so many times it happens to me”. I asked him: “Even now?” And he replied: “No, not now, because there are too many things that I don’t understand well, I need to have clearer ideas”. When he left I didn’t know what to think, what to desire. I wondered if I would see him again, and I saw him again after a few days.

He called me and we were on the phone for over an hour. Over time our meetings became regular, almost fixed appointments, he used to come to dinner at my house, he even slept there sometimes but no sex. I also felt quite demoralized: I was courting a guy who seemed totally disinterested. I have never wasted time on sex, but with him it was happening. I talk to one of my friends and the reaction surprises me: it tells me that maybe, finally, I’m really falling in love! I’m in love with Andrew? This, ok, could also be, but him? Just chat and then stop! Or love is another thing.

What is sure is that sometimes I find myself doing things that I would have never imagined, I seem to be gone back 10 years, I feel naive, I expect something from a guy and I don’t even know if I expect sex or anything else. If he had been ugly, this wouldn’t have happened, most likely. I’m in a difficult situation, he fascinates me but at the same time I feel him too far under many other point of view.

If It’s possible to come to a sexual contact, even minimal, at zero risk, ok, it would be good, but if such things are impossible, and in my opinion there is a risk and also very concrete that they are truly impossible, what should I do? Should I wait for the Charming Prince to decide? And it could happen in 10 years! I never thought I would find myself thinking about such things but that’s what’s happening to me.

What do I think about, Project?
Obviously you can publish the email if you like.

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AFFECTIVITY AND NON-EXCLUSIVE GAY SEX

Hi Project, I’m sorry, but more than an email addressed to you, what I’m writing is a tribute of gratitude to a guy I’m learning to love. I have never appreciated the guys who think too much about sex and I lived more of dreams and tales than of reality, I felt quiet this way, almost detached from sex, then, at 34, things changed for me,

I had never had a boyfriend and I wanted one, I know that it seems like a childish reasoning, but I still thought so at 34, then I met him (let’s call him Mark), he was 11 years younger than me and he was a really beautiful guy, we met by chance for work reasons, then we began to chat on skype. It struck me very much the fact that it was not me the one looking for him but it was he the one who was looking for me.

I wasn’t looking for him because I thought that he couldn’t really care about me but instead it was precisely what happened, I felt courted, wanted, let’s say it: loved. Between us we talked a lot, Mark trusted me and I trusted him, it was a very nice thing, or at least it seemed to me so, then slowly we got to have more and more physical complicity among us even if there wasn’t really sex. When he understood that I would accept it, he told me clearly: “I want to have sex with you and you understand it very well, but I don’t want you to fall in love with me, because I’m not in love with you, you attract me a lot on a sexual level but I’m not in love with you, I want my freedom, I need something else too.”

This speech has frozen me, but anyway we have continued to see each other and talk a lot about very intimate things. He had had and in a certain sense he still had other guys who he sometimes met to have sex, he was also in love with one of those guys, but this guy didn’t appreciate him too much: sex yes, but no couple life.

In short, after putting the cards on the table without hiding anything both from his part and mine, we decided that we could try, I asked him to take the hiv test before starting and he accepted, then he told me: “I will not have sex with other guys for two months, so you can feel comfortable, I would never put you at risk, and anyway I’m cautious … “

We did the test (me too) and then, one evening he came to my house. Well, it was an unforgettable thing, we were perfectly comfortable, we knew each other very well, even at the sex level. I never thought that spending a night with a guy could be such an engaging experience. In the morning I had to go to work and he to the university, I told him a few things that seemed to me to be sweet and he stopped me. “Don’t tell me such things! You don’t have to fall in love with me, don’t forget that for me it’s just sex, it’s real sex, serious sex, but I’m not in love with you, I’m not your boyfriend.” I expected a similar response.

For the two months of which he had spoken to me, we had sexual contacts practically every day, towards the end of the period he told me: “Next Saturday will be the last night I come to you, there is a guy I fell in love with and I want try to see how things can go on with him …” I replied: “Ok, it was in the pacts, but don’t forget me.” He smiled at me and hugged me tight. Then I didn’t see him for a few weeks, but he called me on the phone every two or three days, even if for a few minutes, he didn’t disappear.

The story with that guy went wrong and we started to meet again, he told me that he occasionally went to another guy and that he couldn’t give me the safety of the first time in terms of prevention but maybe he would like, sometimes, to sleep with me, without sex, only with a little intimacy, and so it was, but even so I was fine with him, and I began to feel in love, but he told me: “Don’t tell me sweet words, I’m not your boyfriend, if you fall in love with me you’ll feel very bad.”

We continued these sporadic contacts, we can say “without sex” or with zero-risk sex, then there was another two-month period of exclusive sex between us after the test, it was beautiful, but inevitably came to an end, and he went back to have sex with some of his friends once in a while and sometimes even being with me when he felt the need. In addition, anyway we never lost contact but by now I had very clear the idea that he would never be my boyfriend.

And here begins the second part of the story. I’ve had big problems of which I prefer not to talk. My friends came to see me and repeated the usual speeches of circumstance, some have just turned away and I haven’t heard them anymore.

I hadn’t heard from Mark from a few days, then he called me, I told him how things were and there I understood what it means to have a real friend. I was alone at home and I had not told my parents anything about my problems so as not to make them worry, he came to my home the same afternoon, he immediately realized that the problems were serious and I couldn’t handle them by myself. He moved to my home, put a cot near my bed and slept there. He took care of everything: relationships with doctors, supply and administration of medicines, paying bills, doing laundry, in short, everything.

One day, when I started to feel better, he told me that he had taken the test and that maybe doing a little sex would have been good for me too and that I could feel comfortable because there were no risks. So we resumed having sex and the thing went on quietly for three months, then I told him: “You told me that you were not in love with me …” And he replied: “I’m not in love with you but I love you”

Now I’m much better and I’m autonomous again, he’s come back to his house and every so often he comes to see me “without sex”, he has a guy with whom he seems to have built something solid, I see him calmer, less neurotic . Well, I can say that I learned a lot from him, above all I learned that sex, even it is not the couple one or the one made when you are in love, can have a deep emotional value, and then I found a friend that I think I will not lose anymore.

Mark I love you!

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