MY NORMAL GAY LIFE

I wondered what I could do for this forum after nine years since my forum registration. Nine years ago I came across this forum by chance reading a post by Ennis that even today excites me everytime I read it. He was 21  and I was 28 and I couldn’t help but see in his story my own story not as it had gone but like it should have gone.
At 21 he had been able to tell himself that he was gay and had found the courage to write in this forum. For me it was different. When I discovered my attraction for males I was only 17 years old. At that time the internet was not there and that bit of porn that I saw, I saw it secretly in the back of the newsstands or it was that porn that I happened to find on the street.
It may seem absurd now. It is so easy now to have images, video, information and everything else, but back then it was different. There was no one to talk about such things. You had no way to understand if your feeling was envy, curiosity or true attraction. I remember that then I started throwing my eye frequently in the bathrooms, I often went down to the station where it was easy to meet “people” like that. In short, it was really difficult to understand and the simplest thing ultimately was to retrace my steps. I talked about this to my female best friend, but then they were just doubts and remained such for many years.
The Internet has changed everything: access to porn, but above all to information. Reading about homosexuality from the point of view of other homosexuals is not simple. Homosexuality is often emphasized, made sclerotic in stereotypes. You can find the normality of being gay just  in a few places. I remember that I spent hours and hours reading the various testimonies, the responses and Project’s comments. The forum was a real drug. The more I I was there reading, the less I felt alone, the more I continued reading, the more I felt at home.
Then there were the fatigues, my personal fatigues, I mean those needed to overcome many of my resistances to go out in the correct way from a virtual space and open up to reality. 
I used to get angry with Project and with the things he used to write here, but in reality there are objective difficulties to reconcile one’s own being gay, not with the normality of friendship (old and new) but with gay chats and all the rest. I visited very little the gay environment, just enough time to win some of my objective and stupid resistance.
In those days I thought it was enough to go to see a gay-themed movie to tell the world that I was gay. Now I think about it and it seems absurd to me, yet it is a problem that I often read in the posts of those who have acceptance problems. We live with the idea that those around us have as their first thought find out what we are doing, but it does not work like that.
However the declared gay world has so many complexities that I thank with hindsight to have discovered myself when I was 28 and not  18. It is too easy to let yourself be drawn into that vortex of emotions, of meetings, of disordered stories, but it is very complicated to get out of them. Today I believe the path of homosexuals is more downhill. We talk a lot about homosexuality, it is almost imposed on the media level as “mandatory content”. In almost all television series for boys there is a gay protagonist or at least a gay friend. In other words, now things are very different. But I feel these times already distant from me.
Nine years after, I can only tell you that it ended well for me. Six years ago I met my current boy, with whom I live practically from day one. It is not all roses and flowers, it is no longer that storm of loving feelings of the first months, it’s everyday life, it’s normality, quarrels, hugs and awareness.
I remember exactly how it started, I remember that first meeting around in my city. I met my old friends and spent our first outing with them. That was the normality I needed. I was with him and my old friends always having a beer, laughing and joking all together. I remember We made love three days later. And I still remember the first time he asked me to come to my house next time. Cabbage!! [a common exclamation in Italian] I was preparing my thesis and I was in trouble, I had to finish it. I then remember that he came to my house and sat on my bed looking at his cell phone while I was writing my thesis. After a while he fell asleep. Then he helped me write the thesis, we continued to go out with friends who gradually understood. And shortly six years have passed since that day.
I’ve always been certain we’ll stay together in spite of the many moments of crisis, quarrels and difficulties of these six years. Every time, from some of his behaviors, I have always had an illumination that started from my stomach and not from my brain: we are bound together by an intense and deep thread!
Couple life is not always simple, personal stresses inevitably mingle up with couple life and transform the relationship. It is not easy to continue to stay together whenever your personal situation changes. Many problems are more material and concrete than one might believe, for example your work if it does not satisfy you, your house if you don’t like it, can become problems. I believe that beyond feelings, life as a couple is a vocation, a life choice. If you don’t have it as a priority, you will soon become tired of your life.
This is not the case for me. I spent many of my years crucifying myself because I couldn’t have a story, writhing in bed because it was always too empty. I believe that from life I don’t need anything else to be happy.
I told you this whole story as a personal testimony: a normal life is possible, a gay daily life too, and it’s also possible to put one’s own homosexuality in its right place. Homosexuality doesn’t create our identity, we are not homosexuals. Homosexuality only identifies our orientation, but has nothing to do with how we are made, with our problems, our needs, our visions of the world. But unfortunately the need to emerge, to fight against prejudices etc. it makes homosexuality something pervasive in our existence.
Now I can read the forum stories differently. I read them and I find only stories of guys, with their problems, their relationship difficulties, in short I see mostly the homosexuality in the background and people in the foreground.
Well I’ll stop here. I hope that in some way my story may be useful to you.
By Alyosha
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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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FROM GAY COUPLE TO ENLARGED FAMILY

Hello Project,
we don’t know each other but I know you a little because I’ve read the forum so many times and I still read it now and I think it’s my duty to tell you my story because you also have something to do with it.
I’m 32 years old, I don’t know if they are many but to me they seem truly many. I can say I’m lucky because life has been very generous with me. I have parents I love, who are getting old, but it’s inevitable, they never really made me feel alone.
I never had any problems with my homosexuality, or rather, I had no problems accepting it, for me it was an obvious and natural thing, I have been involved in a few stories, but of little meaning, just when I was very young, then I dedicated myself to work in almost exclusive and I put aside my emotional world for a while. I also met gay guys but, frankly, I didn’t feel attracted to them.
Then, when I was 26, I met a guy, whom I will call Fulvio here (because he is a bit red in hair [in Italian the adjective “fulvo” means “reddish”]). I met him at work but he wasn’t a colleague of mine, he was working for a company that lives producing semi-finished mechanical components for the company where I work. When we met, I have to say, I didn’t feel involved with him, for me he was just a guy I had met by chance and with whom I had absolutely nothing to share. For work reasons we had the opportunity to meet several times and so we started talking a little, but about everything and nothing in particular.
In hindsight I can say that he probably understood a lot more about me than what I understood about him. Still for work reasons we continued to see each other often and I noticed that when it happened, for me it was a pleasing thing and probably for him too, and so our mutual knowledge gradually deepened. He is a nice guy but not exactly a handsome guy, or at least he didn’t look like a handsome  guy to me, so I didn’t feel attracted to him in that sense. 
One day he was very angry, really furious, he was depressed, but very troubled, upset, aggressive, and he began to attack me, of course, only verbally. He unloaded his anger against me and I didn’t understand why. I must confess that for this reason I was uncomfortable, I did not understand the reason for his aggressiveness.
In the following days he didn’t change his attitude and then he disappeared, I never saw him again and I didn’t know what to think. I kept going to his company, always for work reasons, but in his place there was a middle-aged lady and I missed Fulvio. In the end I took courage and asked news about him. They told me that he had quit his job and that he never showed up again. I didn’t have his cell phone number, I asked the lady but she didn’t give it to me and I was very upset, but one day, while I was waiting for the lady in her office, I saw that there was an open agenda. Since I knew the guy’s name I looked for it and found it, I memorized the number and then, when the lady arrived, I acted as usual, as if nothing had happened.
When I got home I called him. He immediately asked me who had given me his number and I told him that I had stolen it, he started to set off his aggressiveness and attacked me badly and, shortly after, he closed the phone in an abrupt manner. I felt a total fool for having looked for him and I have been in a bad mood for most of the evening. Then, at around 11.00 pm he calls me back, apologizes, always a bit brusquely, asks me if I live alone or if there are others at home, I tell him that there is no one, he asks me where I live exactly, I tell him where and he replies that he will come to my house after a few minutes, I just say: ok!
He arrives, looks around, then asks me: “Why did you look for me?” I tell him that I hadn’t seen him for a few days and other such banalities. He stops me and says: “People don’t steal a phone number if there is no serious reason!” I feel a little put at the corner and I try to digress, he apparently changes the subject: “Do you have a girl?” I answer him: “No! And you?” He hesitates, then says, “No!” But he goes further: “So why did you look for me?” I reply in a deliberately neutral way: “Because I was fine talking to you.” Then he asks the question I never wanted to hear: “Are you gay?” I feel terrible embarrassment, but I say to him: “Yes” and I immediately add: “And you?” He waits a few seconds and then says: “Yes, but I don’t want a guy.” I answer him: “But I’m not in love with you, you’re not my type, you just seemed like an interesting guy … ” He interrupts me: “And what do you want from me?” I tell him that if he comes under my home at night there will be a reason, he looks at me with a defiant attitude: “You think you have understood everything, but you didn’t understand a shit! You only make me angry!”
Well, our relationship began like this, in practice somehow as a fight. Nothing tender, nothing affectionate, absolutely nothing sexual. He stayed at my house until after two, I suggested he could sleep at my home, obviously not in my room, but he didn’t want to hear about such proposals. His behavior destabilized me. In the following days I called him on the phone several times but he never answered. After a week he came back to my house late at night, I thought he wanted to talk a little, but he asked me if he could stay the night and he retired to the guest room and in the morning, very early, I heard he was closing the door of the house, I went to see, he had left and had left a note, with only written: “I’ll call you”.
Our relationship proceeded this way, apparently without a goal and without meaning. I didn’t understand anything about him, I didn’t know anything about him. I wondered why I had got into such a mess, I felt used and at the same time marginalized. Then a traumatic event intervened, but not at a psychological level, right at the physical level: I had a serious car accident and ended up in the hospital in a reserved prognosis for a few days. I don’t remember anything of those days, I only know that when I woke up, or better at my first re-emergence to consciousness, I had my parents and Fulvio around me. Then they told me he had been there every day as long as they allowed him to stay by my bed.
My recovery was slow, it took me almost three months to get back into acceptable conditions, that is to walk more or less normally and he stayed three months at my house to assist me, day and night, and the first times it must have been something really heavy. But he didn’t just assist me, he sat next to me and we talked a lot, he treated me with affection. Slowly I learned to understand his world, and it was a difficult world, so difficult that I didn’t believe that such a world could exist.
We slept in the same room, I on the orthopedic bed and he on a cot. I asked him why he had quit his job and he told me that he didn’t quit his job but they fired him because one of his bosses had tried something sexual with him and he had sent him to the hell. He told me that he stayed at my house also because he could no longer pay for the room because, without a job and without money it was absolutely impossible, and therefore he had also taken the opportunity to find a temporary accommodation. This speech struck me a lot.
He told me very briefly about his family, if we can call it this way. His father hadn’t recognized him and, in practice, he almost never saw him, his mother died of an overdose when he was a child and he was entrusted to his grandmother who lived with a very minimal pension, then, just a few days after he turned 22, his grandmother died too, he had just found a job and shared a rented room with another guy, but shortly they fired him and he had to leave the room.
Fulvio is extremely proud, he has a dignity, he has never talked to me about money and this means that, if he stays with me, very likely he is not there for money or to find an accommodation, even if he tells the exact opposite. Among other things, in the last period of my convalescence he found another job. Precisely for this reason we were forced to arrive at a clarification. He told me he could be autonomous again and that he would leave. I began to be afraid, I knew I could not ask him to stay with me on the grounds of economic utility because such a thing would have infuriated him. He didn’t want to depend on anyone, he said to me: “Now you don’t need me anymore.”
It was precisely to respond to that statement that I told him I had fallen in love with him. He looked at me right in the eyes and said, “Don’t lie! I know that it’s not true!” Then I had to correct my sentence: “Well, I think I could fall in love with you, but, please, don’t go away!” He stared at me for a few seconds: “At least you didn’t say lies.” And he stayed with me. I feared that he wanted to set a deadline, for example that he would say to me: “I only stay a month.” But I immediately noticed that he had set no limits, but obviously I pretended I hadn’t noticed it, and said nothing about this. Our life together began this way.
With the new job he had big problems, they wanted to fire him because he didn’t want to close his eyes in front of very deep forms of malpractice if not of real scam. Then he changed job and the new job was widely better, requited more time but was even better paid. For a certain period (two or three months at least) I thought that Fulvio had found a guy, because he spent a lot of time away from home, I was worried but I didn’t have the courage to ask him anything, I saw him very tired, stressed, almost physically destroyed by work.
At one point I thought that he really had serious problems because he was home only at night and for a few hours, I could no longer bear not knowing what was happening and I asked him what he had. He looked at me, he meditated for a moment and then he said to me: “It’s right for you to know it: I have a boyfriend, if you want, I pack my bags today and leave.” I stopped him and told him: “Ok, you have a boyfriend, but why are you so stressed?” And he replied: “Because Claudio has huge problems and we are trying to solve them, I work from morning to night, I do double shifts and I can hardly see him …” That’s what he told me about Claudio, then he added: “he’s a boy refused by his family and who is coming out of bad circles, who ran away from his city because he was really afraid of the criminals who forced him to … well, you understood … “
He told me that Claudio had a bed for rent and that he didn’t work because he was in very bad shape. I told him: “But make him come here! With a minimum of sacrifice this house can be enough for the three of us, then we’ll see what we can do.” He looked at me quite perplexed, then said: “Do you realize what you are saying?” I replied: “Maybe not perfectly, but let’s not waste time, let’s go get him.” Claudio was really upset: skin and bones, two hours later he was at home with Fulvio. 
I gave them my room that had a double bed and I moved into the small room, they didn’t want to, but I forced them. The same afternoon we took Claudio to a very good doctor who prescribed him a series of tests and explained to us how to do in order to make Claudio be taken on charge by our region’s health service, since he comes from another region. Obviously Claudio also did the HIV test and since he hadn’t had sex for quite some time, the window period had also passed. The test gave negative results and we calmed down, after a few days we had all the clinical results in hand. In practice, Claudio carried the consequences of an untreated bronchopneumonia and full recovery would take time. Everything else was in order. 
Claudio was then 23 years old, he was very tall but he already had a bent back and was very thin. We took care of him and saw him slowly bloom again. Fulvio was madly in love with him and seeing them together aroused great tenderness in me, with me they were absolutely natural and casual. Sometimes we used to watch television together, I in the armchair and they crouched together on the sofa. I, who in theory should have been jealous, I felt happy to see them like this.
Almost five years have passed. We still live together, we are now a family, they are a very tender and very real gay couple, I don’t know what I am, at the beginning I was a bit of a nanny, now I’m “only” a true friend who loves them. Now Claudio also works and we share all the expenses, they have placed it as a mandatory condition to continue being together. My way of being gay is certainly strange but nevertheless I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world: their happiness is my happiness!
I have to add one more thing that seems very important to me. One day I was at my parents’ house, I took courage in two hands and told them the whole story. I didn’t know how they would take it. My father looked me straight in the eyes, then he stood up, he said to me: “Come here!” And hugged me tightly, then he exchanged a look of understanding with my mother and told me: “Sunday the three of you must come to have lunch here with us!” There were no other comments of any kind. On Sunday, when Fulvio and Claudio came to my parent’s home, I tell you it almost with tears in my eyes, my parents were just as happy as two kids and Fulvio and Claudio had a great time. Now every now and then mom goes to my house, cleans the house and brings us something already cooked to eat. Fulvio and Claudio have a beautiful relationship with my parents, in practice we are an extended family.
That’s all, Project, of course you can put the email where you like better because there are no identifiable elements and the names have been changed. Fulvio and Claudio greet you, they too have heard of you!
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GAY GUYS AND THE ANXIETY OF WAITING

Dear Project,
it was good for me to talk to you last night, but the underlying concerns remain and I hope that in the end they can vanish, because if it didn’t happen, it would really be a nightmare. 
One considers certain things always distant and almost impossible, then you realize that it can happen, and that the fact that it doesn’t happen to you personally in the end only consoles you a little. It can happen to the people you love and if it happened it would be destructive. 
You tried to get the guilt complexes out of my head, somehow you succeeded because those were not really problems, I know very well that, whatever happened, it is not immediately attributable to me, but this doesn’t make me feel better.
We will have to wait another few days and I pray to God that there will be no terrible news. Of him I spoke only with you, in complete anonymity, first of all out of respect for him and then because my friends would understand nothing, for them when a story is over, is over, if a guy is your boyfriend, then you have some duties, but if he is no longer such you are totally free, but for me it has never been so. He is no longer my boyfriend for years now but I love him anyway, and thinking that he may be sick knocks me out. 
For a long time we didn’t hear each other, and I was quiet, that is, I thought he was okay, then he called me with those doubts on his mind and put me in crisis. My guts are contorting, I’m afraid, afraid for him. It’s not a rational thing, waiting for the results it has a bad effect, and if it’s so for me, I imagine how it can be for him. We had talked so much about being careful, not getting into trouble, but now he has doubts and has physical problems. I can only stay close to him because being sick and alone must be really terrible. 
With whom could he talk about it? With parents? Mh … no, not really possible, to his partners? They would dodge him like a leper. Project, at the moment these are all hypotheses that could very well be completely wrong and I hope they are, but I feel anxious, worried and I don’t know how to make him feel better. We have a series of medical checks in the near future and I can only hope that there will be no bad news. 
He could also have problems that have nothing to do with sexually transmitted diseases, but I see him in crisis, he is not in his normal state, it’s true that anxiety can be destructive, and I hope that it’s only that. We loved each other, then he started to look for something else, and I can understand him, but between us there is still respect and a deep affection. 
Project, I feel the anxiety of waiting, the exact opposite of a rational attitude, even if we have planned everything in the way that seems most rational, I feel uneasy, I have the feeling that human life is carried by the wind like the leaves. For what little I can, I have to try to be close to him, if I let myself be taken by anguish I make him feel even worse. Project, I was amazed by your attitude in chat, you didn’t trivialize as people do, you didn’t say the classic: “you will see that it will be nothing” no! You said to me: “However things go you have an irreplaceable role” and this phrase has remained in my mind.
I embrace you strongly, Project, I’ll call you back on skype in the afternoon.
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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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