HETERO-GAY AND GAY-GAY MODELS OF SEXUALITY

Hetero-gay relationship

In past times, heterosexual men of high social class, strongly frustrated in their heterosexual sexuality because of arranged marriages, were led to find an outlet for their sexuality in sexual adventures with prostitutes, or in true ancillary loves, socially denied but substantially tolerated because apparently they didn’t undermine the institution of marriage.

The heterosexuality of young people of high social rank was often frustrated by marriages in which the wife was objectively socially superior to her husband, who ended up orbiting her family and depending on her income and property. Basically a heterosexual man could feel himself as an object bought from his wife’s family. The tendency to escape from the grip of marriage was sometimes noticeable but there were certainly inhibitory restraints represented by religion and the feelings of guilt in sexual matters inspired by the religion itself, as well as by the fact that the crisis of a marriage could weigh negatively on the family budgets of the husband. Clearly, in these situations, the breakup of marriage, seen objectively as a real trap, in which one had entered in total inexperience and on the basis of family pressures, could find a tolerable alternative in having a lover.

Looking for a lover, also of a high social level, would have led to the possibility of recreating relationships of dependence substantially similar to those already tried in the marriage and moreover the bonds would have been difficult to dissimulate due to the fact that wife and lover were from the same environment, it would be much easier to find a lover of low social level, whose loyalty would have been guaranteed by his own need for money, here too the logic of “buying the love” returns, but it is not brutal prostitution but something much more complex in which noble feelings also intervened, such as the tendency to protect the poor girl and to emancipate her from the risks of true prostitution, far more brutal.

Love stories of this kind have been common at the end of the eighteenth and in the early nineteenth century and have fueled so much literature. If the heterosexual man of high society meets a poor but faithful girl who is objectively in love with him, the relationship can become stable and also very gratifying, it being understood that it could never be transformed into marriage because of the enormous difference in social level. The story of Cinderella represents, in a very ennobled form, a relationship of love between a poor girl and her noble and rich lover. It should be emphasized that the relationships of hetero men with their lovers also had a not negligible component of power, the difference of social class played a fundamental role and was the basis of a completely dissymmetrical relationship: the girl was totally dependent on lover not only on an economic level but also on a cultural level, she was generally illiterate, while her lover was a man who had received a refined education and frequented high society circles. At the time, the condition of women of low social level, was of clear subordination and, in general, a poor girl who was aware of being courted by a wealthy gentleman, was very careful not to claim an impossible parity. On this basis the relationships between a rich heterosexual man and his lover could last for years and be basically gratifying for both.

It also happened that sometimes the escapes from marriage towards loves with other women of low social class were far from gratifying for the girl’s venality, for her infidelity and, more rarely, for her reluctance to accept a relationship that however would have left her in a state of submission. In such situations, a rich heterosexual man ended up mixing a resentment towards his wife with a more general resentment towards the female universe, perceived as dominant and venal at all levels and felt himself for a verse dominated by his wife and for the another conditioned and almost blackmailed by the lover. In these cases, and not infrequently, it happened that rich heterosexual men developed important sympathies not towards girls but towards guys of lower social status: grooms, servants, but also peasants and economically independent workers.

Homosexual prostitution existed even then, but it was much more limited than heterosexual one; “heterosexual” men who fled from the female world, in general, didn’t turn to male prostitution but tended to build stable relationships with some guys, similar to those that, under more favorable conditions, would have built with poor girls. The risks for the partner of the highest social level, in this type of relationship, consisted essentially in the possibility of blackmail from the partner of the lower social level, while the risks for the partner of the lower social level consisted in the possibility of being faced with a vulgar prostitution relationship disguised as a long-term loving relationship.

In the “Maurice” of Forster, the wealthy bourgeois Maurice tends to show his deep respect for the gamekeeper Scudder, not only never remarks the social difference that separates him from Scudder, as would a rich heterosexual guy looking for a hetero-gay relationship but he tends to build up its relationship with Scudder from the first moment on a level of genuine equality, which is a sign of a true gay-gay relationship. Maurice, however, initially expresses the same fears of blackmail that would have a rich heterosexual bourgeois in search of a hetero-gay relationship. To make Scudder understand that he was in love with him as a true gay, Maurice must show Scudder his deep emotional interest, beyond the merely sexual interest. When Maurice fears that Scudder is about to emigrate, he doesn’t limit himself to saying goodbye, giving him some money and that’s it, as a rich bourgeois implied in a hetero-gay relationship would have done, convinced that once Scudder had left, it would not have been difficult to find a substitute; Maurice is genuinely upset by the idea of losing Scudder, which in his eyes is not replaceable, and looks for him anxiously, until he finds him again so as not to leave him anymore.

I emphasize one fundamental thing: from the point of view of the rich heterosexual man who builds an extra-matrimonial relationship, a heterosexual relationship and a homosexual one are very different things, in a heterosexual relationship heterosexual man finds a gratification that can be very deep, accompanied by a sense of total freedom and emotional and sexual reciprocity, in other words, a heterosexual man can fall in love with the poor girl, while nothing similar can happen in a story with a guy, who would always be seen as the “substitute for a woman” not worthy to particular attention. Having clarified the point of view of the rich hetero man in the hetero-gay relationship, we try to understand who the guys were to whom these men addressed. First of all, they were not male prostitutes able to go indifferently for money with both men and women, they were, in most cases, homosexual guys, i.e. guys who fell in love both sexually and emotionally with guys or men and who dreamed of a stable relationship.

I emphasize that in the lower social environments, male prostitution was somehow accepted and justified on the basis of an economic necessity, while homosexuality was in fact tacitly tolerated but was not socially accepted. The cohabitation of two men was a fact deemed unacceptable, precisely because homosexuality was never considered as a normal and possible condition of life. In such circumstances, homosexual guys were extremely sensitive to any signal, coming from other guys, that had let some element of homosexuality shine through.

The manifetations of availability shown by some men of high social class, tired of their marriage and of the female world in general, made gay guys of lower social class believe that finally they had found another homosexual guy in love with them, and in this way gay guys were urged to show in turn availability.

It is in this climate that the so-called hetero-gay relations developed, on the one hand a rich heterosexual in a moment of rebellion towards the female world, who sought the “substitute of a girl” to vent its sexuality and exercise its sense of domination , and on the other a poor gay guy who dreamed of finding another gay guy with whom to create a stable relationship. These relationships, the so-called hetero-gay relationships, were totally modeled on hetero sexuality and considered the virile role as an exclusive prerogative of the dominant male, i.e. to the hetero male. By virile role we mean the role of one who is active in anal penetration and lends one’s own sex to the others attentions in the oral intercourse. Obviously, the gays were assigned the complementary female roles.

Hetero-gay relationships have been a frequent reality until the 1960s of the twentieth century and beyond. In hetero-gay relationships, roles are fixed: hetero male is active and gay is passive. But I add another observation, in this conception of sexuality sexual intercourse is aimed at anal penetration that appears as the most important and conclusive element of the intercourse, the rest is only seen as a preparation. It is precisely for this reason that, even today, it is used to speak of “complete homosexual intercourse” to indicate a relationship that also includes anal penetration, but it is a way of saying derived from the hetero world. Normally as we have seen, the dominant male in a hetero-gay relationship was not only dominant from the sexual point of view but also from the social point of view, what underlined the radical dissymmetry of the relationship, often experienced by both parties as a domain/submission relationship. These aspects of power legitimated even more in the eyes of heterosexual dominating males sexual relationships with a gay guy.

It should be kept in mind that when heterosexual high-class males married exclusively for patrimonial and caste reasons with women not chosen by them and lived a frustrating marriage sexuality, relationships with prostitutes allowed them to forget their frustrations and to vent their desire of power and domination, sometimes more than of sex. The sense of superiority and power manifested itself as well as through particular sexual practices, through money. Leaving money on the bedside table “pour vos beaux yeux!”, as it was usual to say, was a very strong way of marking social difference and therefore of avoiding to get truly involved with the partner. Mechanisms of the same kind are also found in hetero-gay relationships in which normally the dominant male compensated the gay for his passive role with money or other gifts, thus remarking the role of subordination of the gay.

Hetero-gay relationships and feminization of the gay

Hetero-gay relationships, as lived in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, precisely because in them the gay appeared to the dominant hetero male as the “substitute of a woman”, induced the gay guy too, who in all probability would have preferred an equal relationship, to take on a more markedly feminine role, repressing his instincts that would have led him to claim parity at least on the sexual level. The interest of hetero for the penis of the gay was normally non-existent and the idea that the gay could experience a form of pleasure not reducible to the passive role was not taken into consideration at all, ejaculation was the prerogative only of the hetero partner, the gay one had to limit himself to reach orgasm through masturbation, but separately and out of sight of his partner, who didn’t like having to remember that he had had a sexual intercourse with a guy and not with a girl.

For this reason the male characteristics of the gay guy had to be minimized or had to disappear, gay guys were encouraged not to cut their hair and to dress in vaguely feminine, to use perfumes or feminine underwear, but were also asked to hide their penis between the thighs so as not to show it to the partner and to shave the pubis; in the intimacy the gay guy was called with female nicknames analogous to those that would be used for a prostitute. The gay guy ended up convincing himself that in order not to lose his mate it was essential to please him as much as possible and was urged, for this, to assume languid attitudes, to hide his desires and, in essence, to “consciously act” a female role.

The seduction in the hetero-gay relationship

To get a concrete idea of the techniques of seduction through which a wealthy heterosexual man was able to obtain the availability of a gay guy of low social status, we can refer to the ways of doing Oscar Wilde. I don’t aim in the slightest to face the question concerning the homosexuality of Wilde, who was married anyway and had children, his relationships with the guys, however, have several characteristics of the classic hetero-gay relationships.

As it turned out during the trial, Wilde had an intimate friendship with a certain Wood, an eighteen-year-old master singer, whom Wilde invited to dinner and to whom he lent money, had a connection with a young shop assistant to whom he donated 200 francs, a huge amount of money, he payed tailor’s clothes for a young wanderer, a certain Alphonse Conwell, and stayed with him one night in Brighton. Wilde was a friend of a certain Taylor, a getter of guys, known to the police, had cohabited in Paris with the young Atkins, had dined in a luxury hotel with the domestic Scott and had given him as a present a silver cigarette case. The list could go on, I limit myself to referring to “Gay and History”, Gay Project Library: “The Oscar Wilde Trial”, in which the reader can find many useful details to illustrate the situation.

It could be argued, and not without reason, that Wilde’s homosexual stories are much closer to simple prostitution affairs than to the classic hetero-gay relationships and that the only truly important story of Wilde was that with Lord Alfred Douglas, that cannot certainly be interpreted in the light of the hetero-gay model, because of the social rank of Douglas, certainly not inferior to that of Wilde, but the reference to Wilde serves at least to get an idea of the means of seduction typical of hetero-gay relationships, where lacked the fee in money for the sexual performance, typical of prostitution, and everything was based on the fact that the young man who accompanies Wilde could taste the life of high society, from which otherwise he would have been completely excluded. The trips on luxury trains, the dinners in important hotels, and the entrances in exclusive environments were the real instruments of seduction of this type of relationship. In the case of Wilde they were relationships without any affective component, with the only exception, perhaps, of Alfred Douglas, and they were too numerous and superficial to have a minimum of continuity.

Raffalovich in the Annals of Unisexuality repeatedly and strongly accuses John Addigton Symonds of having used his prestige and his money to seduce some young people but from reading the diaries of Symonds things appear far from such hypothesis . Symonds, although he was also married, like Wilde, and had two daughters, was nevertheless deeply homosexual, he certainly suffered the charm of the guys of the popular classes, not only gay but also heterosexual, but he built relationships with them trending to equality, what is typical of gays, he didn’t deny the male identity of those boys, who was indeed the first cause of his interest and didn’t even deny their heterosexuality, when they were heterosexual, and especially really fell in love with them, wrote poignant poems for them and built with them friendships destined to last. With all due respect to Raffalovich, Symonds’ love stories were classic stories of gay falling in love, not always directed towards gay guys and with a very strong affective component.

Evolution of hetero-gay relationships

Hetero-gay relationships, as we have reconstructed them, represent a reality that is now outdated. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, for a heterosexual frustrated in his heterosexual relationships, it was certainly not easy to find a gay guy available, and when this happened, the relationship had, for this reason, its intrinsic stability. Wilde’s case is not significant because his behavior was strongly eccentric and not aligned with the behavior of the average married man in search of guys.

With the post-1968 sexual liberation and especially with the arrival of the Internet, the situation has rapidly changed and the absence of strong emotional relationships, combined with the ease of finding available partners has led to the substantial instability of hetero-gay relationships, which however have not slipped into prostitution, because most of the relationships built via the internet don’t involve donations of money, the means of seduction typical of the hetero-gay relationships have remained the same, because the offer to cruise together or spend a week in a luxury hotel abroad is generally not intended as a fee for sexual services.

In essence, long-term hetero-gay relationships have become a rarity and the ease of partner change now dominates the scene. To give some examples of the evolution of hetero-gay relationships, which involve married men, in the 21st century, I will refer to an interesting article in “LGBTQ Nation” of March 20, 2016, entitled “Straight men discussing their secret sexual relationships with other men “. The article presents three interviews with heterosexual-bisexuals obtained under guarantee of anonymity. I report those interviews below. I state, however, that, as it is obvious from the context, the terms heterosexual and bisexual are used with slightly different meanings from those adopted by Gay Project.

1) Rob

Rob (not his real name) is 46-years-old. He lives in San Jose, CA and has been married to his wife for 12 years. He identifies as “straight with bisexual tendencies” and has been hooking up with other guys on the down low since he was 19.

“Hooking up with other men, to me, is a non-complicated way of releasing sexual steam,” he explains. “It’s simply a physical release with no pressure.”

Rob prefers getting together with other married men in secret, as opposed to single or openly gay men. He finds most of the guys on dating sites.

“I seek out other married men for the simple fact that they are in the same boat as me, and hopefully can relate to what I am looking for,” he says. “I do not want to jeopardize my marriage. Another married man can understand that. Other married men are not willing to take as many risks.”

The primary risk being, Rob says, “getting strong emotions or falling in love. I wouldn’t want to become the object of another man’s desire. I do find some men attractive, but for me it’s just sexual. I don’t feel attracted to men in a loving way at all.”

Currently, there are two guys Rob sees on a regular basis.

“One is divorced, the other is a widower and semi-retired,” he explains. “They both live alone, and are therefore able to host our get together.” But, he is careful to add, “there is no love involved.”

“My wife is not aware,” Rob admits. “I don’t feel guilty doing what I do. However, I would feel bad if she found out. She would be very upset and consider it cheating. It concerns me very much, since I do not want a divorce.”

2) Tony

Tony (not his real name) is 32-years-old. A divorcee, he lives in New York City and just recently began identifying as bisexual, though he’s only out to a small handful of people. He has a casual girlfriend as well as a few regular “buddies” who he will occasionally meet for sex.

“The first time I messed around with a guy I was 21,” he says. “He was an older married guy who I met on a gay website. My challenge is that New York City is a very feminine gay city, and that’s not my type. I’m only into guys who are DL, not being noticed as gay. [DL = Down-low an African American slang term that typically refers to a subculture of black men who usually identify as heterosexual, but who have sex with men; some avoid sharing this information even if they have female sexual partner(s) married or single.] That’s my protocol. When I find someone who’s a match I keep him as a regular.”

Tony says he meets most of his hookups on dating apps or on dating sites, and he will often develop close friendships with them afterwards. He says he’s not “paranoid” about people knowing what he does, but he’s still not 100 percent comfortable with it either.

“I would be afraid of telling someone I had a relationship with a man,” he admits, adding that maybe someday he’ll feel differently. Until then, however, “I need to make sure the guy meets my criteria.”

“My ex-wife didn’t know what I did,” Tony says. “The women I’ve dated lately, though, know. They know how I am and still think I’m interesting and attractive regardless. At this point of my life, I don’t feel like living in lies anymore.”

3) Andrew

Andrew (not his real name) is 33-years-old and lives near New Orleans, LA. He identifies as totally straight and has been married to his wife since he was 21. He had his first gay experience about ten years ago.

“I had been married for two years and was feeling that I wanted to try something different,” he says. “I’ve messed around with about a dozen guys since then. It isn’t often, usually when it feels like my marriage is in a slump or getting boring. It actually invigorates me.”

Like both Rob and Tony, he finds most of the guys he hooks up with online and tends to gravitate towards others who are on the down low.
“I prefer men on the DL,” Andrew explains. “I find I have more in common and it is easier to make a connection.”

“If my wife found out she would leave me,” Andrew says. “She is very traditional and religious and does not believe in homosexuality. I love her and wish that we could have some sort of open relationship, but she would never go for it.”

He continues: “Hooking up with other guys is not something that I am proud of. I wish that I didn’t have the urge or want to do it, but there is something about being with another guy that reignites me. After being with another guy I find that I am more loving and happy at home. It adds life to me.”

Sexual behavior and perception of sexual Orientation

Jane Ward is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Gender and Sexuality Studies, as well as the LGBIT Studies Program Chair, at the University of California, Riverside. She is also the author of the bestselling book Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men.

“We can learn a lot about sexual fluidity and diversity from men on the down low,” Ward tells Queerty. “Some men on the DL identify as bisexual but are not public about their sex with men. Others are completely straight-identified and view their sex with men as an erotic hobby, so to speak. For them, it’s an occasional means of getting off, but it’s not something that feels significant enough to influence how they understand their sexual orientation.”

Ward continues: “The point here is that people can engage in the same sexual activity but make meaning of it in very different ways. It’s that process of making meaning that is what ultimately matters when it comes to people’s sexual identifications. Unlike animals, humans have the capacity to reflect on our sex practices and what they mean about who we are and who we want to be.”
I totally agree with Jane Ward.

Another significant example of the value of subjective judgment on behaviors, beyond their objectivity, can be found in the analysis of the relationship between gay sex and sexual play, in the chapter dedicated to gay sexuality.

Let’s stop now to analyze the three interviews. Married men (or who have been married and still have female partners) have sexual relationships with other men. The common element is the lack of awareness of wives or female companions, with the exception of Andrew, who says he no longer wants to live in lies. In all three cases, the interviewees don’t consider the homosexual relationship as an alternative to the marriage, which they don’t want to undermine, but only as a sexual diversion, perhaps fostered by friendship with married people who “are in the same boat”, or even as an incentive to rekindle heterosexual interest when this tends to weaken. It clearly emerges that the married life of these men is not gratifying, that the dialogue with the wives doesn’t exist, but that despite all the hetero relationship has its stability mainly due to the social environment, as can be deduced from the fact that these men tend to keep secret their homosexual acquaintances and to maintain a formal matrimonial relationship even when the couple lacks communication on fundamental aspects of sexuality.

It is clear that these men are interested in maintaining the marriage and preserve heterosexuality, they tend to stress that they don’t want in any way to become the object of sexual desire of other men and that they don’t consider their sexual encounters with other men as encounters of love, and they even consider the hypothesis of falling in love with a man as the greatest risk of their homosexual relationships, a risk that must be avoided carefully.

These men, despite their homosexual relationships, don’t perceive themselves at all as gays, rather they tend not to create relationships with gay singles or with declared gays but to stay with other married men; they admit at most a bisexual tendency, but only on a sexual level. In the chapter on gay sexuality we will talk extensively of curious heterosexuals, a category in which married men who perceive themselves as hetero and have homosexual relationships can be included. As we will see, this is a very large group.

Birth of pornography

It is commonly believed that pornography has always existed and has always been widely used, as happens today, but things are completely different.

At the end of the XIX century, Wilhelm von Gloeden, realized in Taormina (Sicily) a huge amount of photos, considered by many to be pornographic photos, They were actually nude photos, almost always male nude, even if there are female nudes, but there were also landscapes , photos of shepherds and farmers. The male nude was always represented in a Greek mythological frame and there is no picture of von Gloeden representing sexual intercourses or situations strongly connoted in the sexual sense. The photos of von Gloeden were certainly sought by homosexuals, but they were rare and precious material, always spread through very reserved channels.

Famous were also the male nude photos made in Rome by Wilhelm von Plüschow, also distributed confidentially among high-level homosexuals, as evidenced by a fragment of a letter by John Addington Symonds to Charles Edward Sayle:

“If you care for extremely artistic studies from the nude, done mostly in the open air, go & see my friend G. Plüschow 34 Via Sardegna. He has made an immense collection which he will be delighted to show you. Very truly yours. J A Symonds]” [Letter 1969 – John Addington Symonds, Letters, Wayne State University Press, 1969, vol. III. ]

Calling pornography the photos of Gloeden or Plüschow is obviously an exaggeration and in any case the spread of those photos was minimal. In the past, until the early ’70s of the XX century, the spread of pornographic photos, hetero or gay, was considered an outrage to modesty and was prosecuted by law, the photos were expensive and absolutely not easy to find, and were directed especially to bourgeois heterosexuals who lived, at the level of transgression, hetero-gay relationships with gay guys of popular extraction. In a reality of this kind, the so-called gay pornography was in fact addressed to heterosexual males and tended to emphasize the patterns of sexual behavior of the hetero-gay relationship. So, until the beginning of the ’70s the typical hetero-gay model was credited as the model of the homosexual relationship. That model, the only one sponsored by clandestine pornography and for this the only “official” one, ended up affirming itself and being considered by the gays themselves as their model of sexual behavior.

Since the late 60s of the 20th century, with the sexual liberation of ’68, gays began to have a minimum of visibility and, in some cases at least, as in university collectives, they had the opportunity to know and recognize each other, what was before completely impossible. Starting from the early 1970s gays began to abandon the old hetero-gay model of relationships, in which they were inevitably destined for the passive role, to finally live gay-gay relationships.

Up until the beginning of the ‘70s, many gay men lived unidirectional love relationships, often not even declared, towards straight guys who considered them exclusively friends, obviously without sexual contacts. For many gay guys, sexual relationships, I mean the ones exclusively sexual, continued to be dominated by hetero-gay model. In a first phase, currently not completely ended, the hetero-gay model, imposed by pornography, has continued to dominate the scene by importing the active-passive binomial in the gay-gay relationship. In this case, however, also the active role was played by a gay.

It should be remembered that until the beginning of the 1970s, there were no publications aimed at gays nor existed gay pornography. The first homosexual magazine in Italy, “Fuori!”, Appeared in 1971, and the circulation of homosexual magazines was however very low because the diffusion in bookstores or on newsstands discouraged buyers.

To understand how and when pornography, in Italy, comes to large distribution, it must be borne in mind that the magazine “Le Ore”, founded in 1953 as a magazine of cinema current affairs, distributed until 1967, from 1971 became a soft erotic magazine, with male genital organs covered and without explicit photos of sexual intercourses.

During the ’70s the Italian legislation on public morality became much more elastic and in 1977 “Le Ore” became a hard magazine. From the early 1980s, porn magazines have been be gradually supplanted by videotapes. The first gay porn magazine, “Gay Italy”, began publishing in 1983. “Babilonia” the most known Italian gay monthly magazine, with nude photos but never in bad taste, and with articles of interest for gays, began the publications in 1982 and continued until 2009.

Gay-gay relationships

In gay-gay relationships began to appear a novelty that marked a strong difference compared to the hetero-gay relationship: in the gay-gay relationship, although the categories of active and passive still existed, the roles were not fixed, or at least were not rigid, even if the anal penetration continued to be considered the true purpose of the relationship.

In recent years, the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, after the advent of the internet, for many gays the opportunity to come into contact with other gays has become a reality and this has encouraged a dialogue and a comparison among gays and has slowly but inexorably eroded the solidity of the gay sexuality model inherited from the old hetero-gay model. Chat interviews with gay guys of different ages suggest that, as we move towards younger age groups, gay-gay sexuality is understood and lived in a way less and less tied to old models. I would like to add another observation: sexuality on the hetero-gay model resists especially among guys who have been strongly influenced by pornography and who have not had the opportunity to compare their sexuality with that of other gay guys, while for the guys who have had a sex education freer and have been able to talk about their sexuality with other guys, the real sex life is in fact almost totally detached from the hetero-gay model and is tending towards a gay-gay model of sexuality based on the principle of equality.

I will now try to outline how young gays mean sexuality, let’s say gays under 30. For a gay, anal penetration is absolutely the sexual behavior most at risk for the transmission of HIV. This fact, associated with reasons of general hygienic character, pushes the younger gays not to consider the anal penetration a desirable sexual behavior. I note, incidentally, that in the masturbation fantasies of all the gay guys there is the idea of masturbating the partner and of performing oral sex on him or getting oral sex performed by him, while the fantasies regarding anal penetration are decidedly less common. The sexuality of younger gay guys (I am talking above all about undeclared guys and less tied to the world of gay clubs) tends therefore to be a sexuality that ignores anal penetration, which is often perceived as a reality imported from the hetero world and not spontaneously gay. In cases where penetration is practiced, the roles are not fixed or are not fixed in an absolute way, this is a sign, despite the permanence of penetration, of a parity or a trend towards parity within the couple.

Having said that, and with all the reservations of the case, I try to clarify the sense of equality within a gay-gay relationship.

A heterosexual couple is characterized by the complementarity of sexual roles that are anatomically and biologically defined, they are roles that substantially characterize that type of relationship. Heterosexuality means to love the different from oneself. A gay couple is characterized by the identity of the roles of the two partners. A gay guy falls in love with another guy, not because he considers him a substitute for a woman, but because he is a guy, that is, for his male identity.

The interest of a gay guy towards the penis of his partner is particularly strong and the sense of identity and almost personal fusion that is felt in sexual contact is linked to the fact that each of them knows perfectly the physiological responses of the other, because they are two guys.

Given these premises it is easy to understand that a relationship based on the concept of equality tends to be incompatible with the assumption of sexual roles and is absolutely incompatible with the assumption of fixed sexual roles. The sexuality of young gay couples tends to no longer be an imitation of pornography but to be realized through diluted sexual behaviors consisting of different elements mainly related to physical intimacy not immediately sexual and so-called cuddles:

1) Habit to mutual nudity, being naked together, hugging naked with naked and holding each other for several minutes.
2) To caress, kiss, exchange tenderness.
3) To touch each other intimately, without immediate sexual goals.
4) To postpone the phase of the orgasm.
5) To talk a lot while hugging the partner.
6) To prolong the cuddling also in the post-orgasmic phase, falling asleep one in the arms of the other.

As we easily understand, this gay-gay model of sexuality has now nothing to do with models inherited from pornography. In part, the most recent pornography is trying to adapt to the new emerging sexuality models, which however are not compatible with the classic standards of porn movies. Despite these attempts at adaptation, pornography in the classic sense of the term is slowly losing ground among gays to the full advantage of the spontaneity of sexual behavior.

I realize that the description I gave of the couple sexuality of young gay couples, in particular formed by undeclared guys, may appear dogmatic and pretentious. Talking about a “principle of equality” in gay couple sexuality might seem like an attempt to surreptitiously introducing rules that are completely meaningless. I have been reminded several times that in couple relationships everything can happen and depends on what you want and on the people you know, in this sense, the more you get rid of categories and schemes the closer you are to reality. On this I can only agree, but I must stress that the “principle of equality” is not an invention of the one who wrote these pages but is the summary of what has emerged from hundreds of mails and hundreds of hours of interview in the course of several years. Obviously, the results certainly have a value limited to what is found by the observation point of Gay Project and are not necessarily generalizable, but they have nevertheless a very serious objective basis.

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-hetero-gay-and-gay-gay-models-of-sexuality
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GAYS AND SELF ESTEEM

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

Unilateral discourses and dependence 

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

THAT THIN RUBBER WALL

Hello to all, people of the forum, and sorry for the long absence from the discussions, now that I have more free time I promise to participate more diligently. Here are some of my last year reflections; I would like to know what you think about it, or if you have had similar moments with your parents.

Let’s start from this assumption: I did my coming out with my mother in June last year. I thought everything would be pretty smooth with her: she’s an open person and has lots of homosexual friends and acquaintances. Before doing this great step I consulted with a cousin of mine, who has long known of my homosexuality, to ask him how he thought my mother could take it. He claimed that there would be no problems whatsoever; the same was told to me by a friend of my mother, a person whom I have always trusted a lot and to whom I had asked for advice in order to prepare my plan.

I still remember the scene: my mother had come to see me that day in the city where I was studying. I thought of telling her everything as soon as she arrived. For months I could not stand the silence, having to bypass certain questions, even on a simple “how are you?” or “what do you do?” In a word, I couldn’t stand anymore that I couldn’t be myself in front of her. The thing had become more acute after the previous month, May 2014, when I had begun the relationship with my current boyfriend. “So,” I told myself that morning, “as soon as she gets here, I’ll tell her.” Obviously I didn’t succeed. I waited, while we were in my house, to find the right moment. Since at such moments we are always kissed by the blindfolded goddess, what I never wanted to happen happened: by accidentally rummaging in a drawer, she found an old pornographic DVD (gay) of which I didn’t even remember the existence (I thought that I hadn’t it anymore). I took it from her hands, made a thousand improvised excuses and threw the DVD away within two seconds.

The moment I was patiently preparing the ground for my coming out, this was naturally a mess. The height of misfortune was reached when, by chance, a backpack fell from the top of my closet, opening itself and letting go out a box of condoms carefully hidden by me there. As they say: so lucky! All this, as well as unexpected, also seemed tragicomic to me. On either occasion my mother didn’t make a wrinkle; nevertheless my delicate and meticulously constructed plan to introduce the discourse had gone, to put it mildly, to hell. I remember that we went out, seemingly I was the the same guy as in the morning, but inside I cursed myself, for having forgotten the DVD there and for the unfortunate coincidence of the backpack.

We went to eat out in a restaurant. And there I told her everything, between one dish and another; I didn’t use the word gay or homosexual, I didn’t have time to speak clearly. I mentioned something I wanted to tell her and after a few tentative attempts she said to me: “Are you with a boyfriend?” And I replied: “Yes”, with the sensation of throwing myself headlong into a black chasm, where I hoped to find a soft surface that would have mitigated the fall, but it was not like that.

I still remember her gaze at that moment: it was as if a wasp had stung her; in her eyes I read for a moment her pain, an unexpected pain, never imagined. After about a second she came back to her usual way of doing, but there was a touch of coldness in the voice. I realized that my predictions were wrong, that I had thrown myself down and had banged my head violently. “I would have never imagined …”, she told me. “I know how sensitive you are, but I never would have imagined.” Then she resumed with an institutional, very cold tone. “it will take me a while to metabolize. It is not easy for us. No nephews (I am an only child n.d.r.). You did well to tell me. On the other hand we have a very close relationship. Many people never say these things, for a lifetime. Don’t tell dad, he would never understand. Perhaps, with the good that he wants you, one day maybe yes… or maybe not … it’s better to avoid, I think. The soup is tasty, isn’t it? We have to go back here, they make a nice home cooking.” I swear to you that at that moment I wanted to die. It had not gone well. I had hardly seen my mother, usually so warm with everyone, taking on such a cold attitude. At the exit she told me: “Well, hug me”. But it was not a hug, or at least, not one of those I had always received, this one was certainly the coldest. Then nothing more. I was very upset.

Then in the evening I forced myself to stop thinking about it. It was my last night in the city where I had studied and lived for four years and a furious storm raged, I had seen similar rains only during the monsoons. I had greeted my mother as if nothing had happened. In the following days we talked on the phone; she seemed much quieter, even cheerful. She simply told me she wanted to talk a little better with me about the thing. Several times I threw the hook, while she and I were alone at home, when I was home for the summer. We didn’t discuss a second time about it: every time I was about to start talking about it she stopped me saying that it was not the moment and nobody said anything more.

As you can imagine, the thing left me very melancholy. You must know that in the past I had a long relationship with a girl, which ended precisely when I decided to face reality and follow the true feelings that were in me. At that time my mother was always there to ask me how my girlfriend was, when I went to visit her etc. she kept also giving me money, without my request, so I could go and see her, since we were both away from home and during the holidays we lived in different regions.

Given this past, I would have expected a quite similar attitude, at least I would have expected she would ask me how I can meet with my current boy, since we are more than a thousand miles away, I expected that she would offer me help at least sometimes. For a year nothing. I am proud and, I have to admit, I have a tendency lately to shut myself up more than in other periods of my life, I have never asked for anything. Result: economic efforts to save money and buy airline tickets, and so far no problem, there is much worse in life and this is certainly not the problem for which I write here; rather, I was grieved that I continued to take planes for a whole year, once every two months, without saying anything to her. Indeed, I lied every time. I was pretending to be in France (where I currently live) and actually I was in Italy.

In such cases you have to behave like you were a spy: you must be careful never to turn off the phone because, in the event of an unexpected call, the interlocutor should not hear the answering machine of an Italian operator rather than one French; you must be careful never to use a credit card in Italy, because movements are traceable; you must call the landlady to avoid problems to rise in the days when you are away because she could call your parent’s home in Italy; you must invent days never lived and, what is still worse, and has always been unacceptable for me , you have to lie on the phone every night, inventing imaginary stages in radio astronomy that allow only a few minutes of phone calls a day due to radio screens in proximity to the tools (yes, I also invented this). Is not it horrible to have to lie like that, moreover to your mother? And all this because I was afraid of the rubber wall that I found in front of me, not hostile but not friendly, not contrary but not favorable. And I lived and I still live with terror that my father can discover the thing (in which case the catastrophe is assured).

Last April I had resigned myself to the painful idea that in my mother’s eyes I was no longer the same; I felt less loved and, behind all the good speeches, I saw the sad truth that “the majority of parents would not want to have a gay son.” No, they would want a gay son “but” they would prefer avoid such a opportunity. Then if it happens, they show to accept it, or at least maybe they try, but … And into this “but” the figure of my mother is drowned until recently. Then, in April, precisely during one of her visits to the foreign city where I currently live, she asked me for detailed information about my boyfriend, G., offering me the support that long ago would have been the norm.

I reassured myself, and in these months my hopes have increased. Of course, not everything goes well, in the sense that the subject is rather a taboo. I don’t know if my mother will ever get to love me just because I’m homosexual, going from “it is so and I’m not pleased, but I love you the same” to “I love you just because you are homosexual and you’re happy to be, because you’ve had the courage to take the reins of your life and you have a wonderful love story with G.” Perhaps I’m claiming for too much, indeed, almost certainly, but I wonder: is it so difficult for some parents to leave aside, even in lucky cases like mine, the irrational fear dictated by years of backward education on the subject, consolidated with age? I don’t know, have you had similar experiences? Or your coming out finished unexpectedly? A great greeting to all. I promise from now on to write more on the forum!

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-that-thin-rubber-wall

FROM HETERO TO BISEXUAL TO GAY

Hello Project,

it is 4.40 of December 27th 2010, an absolutely unusual time to write an email, but after spending a few hours reading the forum I decided. Actually, the input was another. Last night I had discovered the forum, I thought it was a very different thing from the usual, then I saw that there was a chat and I opened that chat. The guys welcomed me well, and above all it seemed to me a place of serious people, polite guys who talk about normal things for the pleasure of being together, a few minutes later a guy who had a nick that I remember well gp000, contacted me and we talked a bit, he is 23 years old and told me he had talked with other guys in the chat and the place seemed really serious and he told me that he would contact you. Frankly I felt a little displaced but positive, It hardly seemed credible to me to be able to find a gay environment where a guy contacts you with no other purpose than exchanging a few words. Then we talked a bit, I thought he was a great guy. I went out of the chat and I started reading the forum and I was there until 4.40. I can say that I have never seen anything like this on the net and I like it a lot, so I decided to write to you.

I’m actually a newbie in the gay world and I need to clarify some ideas because I confess that I’m a bit scared and finding a serious place for me is essential. But now I’ll explain it better.

I’m a 25 year old guy and my real problem was my so-called bisexuality. I have read some of your articles that have clarified my ideas a lot and have confirmed me in a series of convictions to which I had already arrived alone, but let’s start from the beginning.

In practice, up to 20-21 years old I never had doubts about my sexual orientation, I liked girls, only girls, I had many stories, and many also with sexual implications, I liked a lot such things, especially the idea of winning the resistance of a girl, however, with hindsight, I think I never really fell in love with a girl. That is, I was living the relationship with a girl as something only mine, she was a bit a way to prove to myself that in those things I knew how to do.

To let you understand, up to 21/22 years old I had sexual intercourses, it would be better to say I had sexual contacts with a dozen girls, with four I had complete intercourses, with the other ones just mutual masturbation, my fantasies were all straight.

Between 20 and 21 years old at a New Year party I met a girl Emma (it’s not her real name) who took me seriously and tried to build something different with me. At first it was fine, when I was talking about her I used to say “my girlfriend”, something I had not done with any of the other girls, I felt grown up, gratified, we also had sexual intercourses and things went very well. It went on like this for a few months, in the meantime I met a guy, Mark (a fantasy name), who was a couple of years older than me, I liked him, we talked often on msn, then we went out together sometimes we stayed talking until the morning. Summer came, Emma went on vacation with her parents and Mark proposed to spend a week with him in a mountain house on the Apennines.

I state that Mark is straight and that at the time I was straight too but that week was certainly the most beautiful week of my life, I felt free, appreciated by Mark, in a sense cuddled, an incredible relationship of intimacy had been created, we talked about our relationships with our girls and he understood me. The first night we stayed in separate rooms, from the second night we stayed in the same room to talk until late. I had a great time, I felt better than with Emma, with her at the end we had to get to sex, it was not bad but for her it was a fixed idea, for me no, with Mark I felt free, without obligations, and so I experienced that in fact with a guy I could have a great time, as with a girl if not even better. We also joked, played, pillow fought, made the fight, but without sexual implications, at least then I thought it was so, in fact, even if I didn’t understand it, I was falling in love with Mark.

After the vacation, when Emma came back I came back to her and in practice her company began to be a weigh for me, I noted certain underlining that I didn’t like. A lot of things didn’t seem to me really mine, at least not 100% mine. With Emma the sexual intercourses continued but the thing for me had a strange taste, it was not like before, I was listless, I tried not to get involved and she realized it, she wanted to know if I had met other girls, but I hadn’t met any girl at all. In short, I tried to please her and it was just while I was making love to her that for the first time Mark came to my mind in another way, a kind of substitution of a person, I imagined that Mark was with me. In the evening I masturbated thinking of Mark. It was the first time that it happened to me when I was thinking of a guy. The feeling was very strange, I had never done such a thing but at the same time I felt very well, I said to myself: I am bisexual, it is evident.

And here my madness began, I tried to contact Mark because I expected from him who knows what, I thought maybe he could have fallen in love with me, but the only thing I got was a dinner in four in a restaurant . He had eyes only for his girlfriend, Emma only for me and I only for him, a situation in which for the first time I found myself playing the part of the lover, but I recited it well and nobody noticed it. I didn’t know who to talk to, it was obvious that I had to forget Mark, I hadn’t even the courage to speak clearly with Emma and then I had always worked hard to look a good hetero guy, I practically imposed this behavior on myself. Every time I made love with Emma it seemed to me that I could be heterosexual, then I masturbated thinking of Mark and I thought I was bisexual, after the summer I no longer masturbated thinking about girls, for me there was only Mark.

I want to clarify something, for me there were no guys, there was only Marco and this led me to think that basically I was not gay or bisexual, because I wanted that guy only. I scrupulously avoided pornography because I would have ended up on gay pornography and it would have bothered me, what I felt for Mark I didn’t want to confuse it with pornography. I imagined a beautiful love story with Mark, but with a gay Mark able to share it, I said with a gay Mark, not a bisexual Mark, just thinking about this I had the first doubts about the fact that I would never have accepted that Mark was bisexual, gay would have been fine but bisexual no, I wouldn’t have wanted to share him with anyone.

I imagined instead that I was able to have two loves, one with Emma and one with Mark and that both were in love with me in an exclusive way, I then I hypothesized that such a thing could make sense and anyway I saw myself as a bisexual, also because we can say so, I was doing my best to be bisexual, I considered it a more acceptable thing, closer to a correct behavior, you’re in love with a girl and then just a bit with a guy, it seemed a less unusual thing. Sometimes I was tempted to masturbate thinking of Mark and to tell Emma that I didn’t feel like having sex with her, but then I forced myself to do exactly the opposite, that is not to think of Marco and make love with Emma because “it’s a normal thing”.

The situation became more and more absurd and in the end she began to ask me a lot of questions. At the beginning I answered vague things, like I’m tired, stressed and the like, then because I just couldn’t go on and I thought it would be better to break I made her understand that I felt bisexual and I could not stand her reaction, she wanted to know who had put these ideas in my head, if I had met “some of those”, I said no because first of all it was true and then I would never have brought Mark into that story because he had nothing to do with it. I was hoping it would be a good opportunity to close with Emma but it was not like that and the torture started, she wanted to know, she wanted to understand, but according to her what I told her was not true, those were all things that “some of those” had put into my head.

I tried to make Emma understand that I didn’t think it was a trivial thing at all, but she told me that I could not be gay and I told her that I didn’t feel gay but bisexual and she insisted that it was just a nonsense and that she knew me well, she started to do a bunch of flirting with me, what she had never done before, to change her voice as if it were that of a little girl, to show sexy attitudes, all things that I couldn’t bear and I told it her too, she went on for a while, then I made her understand that I didn’t feel like going ahead and she screamed at me that I was just looking for excuses to dump her because I had found another girl, for her the idea that I couldn’t be completely straight was in practice inconceivable.

All this happened between Christmas 2009 and New Year 2010. In practice since January 2010 I was alone again. I don’t hide that the first weeks were very hard, I was missing her madly, but I was not missing as a girl but as a person who could take a little care of me, I have been several times about to recall her because I really couldn’t go on, note that at the time I still felt bisexual and I even thought about starting a relationship with another girl and I went close to it but when it came to really getting involved I told myself I was going to do another stupid thing and that I had to take my time to understand. So I did nothing at all. I was alone, totally alone, my parents didn’t understand why I had left Emma and thought that I should go to a psychologist but nothing was done about it.

I didn’t know where to bump my head but I needed to understand. I began to think that basically I could use dating sites. I surfed a bit on some of these sites but the reaction was of total rejection and I would also say of depression. I told myself that I had nothing to do with those people, it was a logic that I felt completely foreign. Then I put aside the internet for months and I thought I could go to a gay association, in my city there are some, I looked for the addresses, I passed nearby there several times. I left my house with the intention of entering, then I arrived at the destination and pulled straight. I don’t feel safe, I need privacy, I understand those who make coming out but it’s not for me and then they declare themselves openly gay I should have declared bisexual, at least it was what I thought then. I was beginning to look at the guys on the street and they seemed beautiful, desirable.

This summer I was at the seaside in Puglia alone, I had proposed to look for opportunities to get experience, I was camping, I have known many guys but not even one gay. Now I say gay because I haven’t thought of a girl for at least six months and the guys camping in Puglia for me had a very strong sexual appeal that I cannot deny, but it was just fantasy. But why trying with a girl is so easy and trying with a guy is so difficult? I know why, but the result is depressing. After the holidays I would say my bisexuality is over, that is, I have closed another phase of my life but in fact I haven’t solved anything, I feel anyway a thousand fears, I’m attracted by the idea of getting to know gay guys, at least to understand how they are really, but I wouldn’t want to drive myself into bad experiences. After a somewhat depressed period, yesterday I happened to arrive on gay project and you know the rest.
Bye.
Uff25

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PERIODIC BISEXUALITY?

Hello project, … [omissis] …. I don’t know why I’m writing to you, things such as those I have to tell you I have never told anyone, and for me it’s a great burden that I discharge while telling you about them. It’s been about a year since I realized I was bisexual, but it’s not like I’m attracted both towards men and women at the same time, I can say I go “off and on”, and this is a problem for me and for how I’m done, I don’t want to offend anyone, but I feel I must be honest, the fact is that I “cannot always feel gay”, sometimes I would, I swear, but I cannot, all the stereotypes of gays don’t fit me at all, and moreover when I step to my “hetero period” I cannot feel sexual desires for men and this disorients me even more, but when I enter the “gay period” I become (excuse the term) an animal, I think only of sex and I feel very strong attraction towards guys , I start to masturbate thinking of those I see in the gym and the desire grows more and more until the masturbation no longer satisfies me, I would go out and go to gay clubs and meet other guys and have sexual intercourses with them, very often I also thought of going to a sauna. . . [omissis]. . . I think the sauna is a place where you can easily find sex and I just want that and nothing else, but I know it’s a place for experts, it’s dangerous and filthy too, so I think I’m some kind of monster, I hear people saying that saunas are squalid places fit for those who seek sex just for an evening, sometimes I think they are horrible places, then I think about it and say: but this is exactly what I want! I want a male body on which to vent myself, is all this wrong ?! it’s normal!? Then the only way to let my desire pass is to masturbate a lot (even 6 times a day) and after a while the desire not only dozes but disappears at all and I just start thinking about women while I masturbate automatically, it’s not that I try to move my thoughts on women, I try to keep it on men but I cannot and automatically I “slip” to think about women and all the rest, I think this is a nightmare, a hell, I don’t know what to do, I thought that maybe I will be condemned to live like this: half gay and half straight and this will lead me to live a double life that I cannot bear because I am a very sincere guy by nature, with myself and with others, I don’t know how to do because sometimes I would like to have sex with a guy but I’m afraid, first I’m afraid of myself and then of my changing of “tastes” (by now I got used to it), I’m afraid of diseases if I go to a sauna or if I look for meetings on the internet and I’m afraid to be discovered because if it were so I would have to give up my life as a straight man and I often think it’s the thing to do but I cannot! Often I tried to delete or ignore my straight or gay part and the result was bad in both cases: in one case I was going to go with a girl (a prostitute) (you can understand that even my hetero life is torn by this situation) and in another case I met a man on the internet and I went to his house and he tried to make me accept an oral intercourse but I opposed and left with violence, I don’t know what to do, give me some advice on how to manage this situation, please get in touch, I would like to know what to do, how to move, I take it badly, really … If you want, publish this email I don’t care, but I doubt it will be useful to someone. 
 
The following is Project’s answer.
 
Hello, first of all thanks for this testimony that helps to shed light on the planet bisexuality, a planet that is still largely unexplored. You talk about a periodic bisexuality of which you became aware a year ago and you speak clearly of an alternation of phases that, however, in your case, must be rather short, we can say lasting a few months at most, if in the a year’s time you could clearly notice the alternation. There is another thing that strikes me in your email and it is the fact that, while claiming that any attempt to put aside the gay or heterosexual dimension has brought bad results, which is more than understandable for a bisexual, you say that, in the end, giving up your straight life would be the thing to do. You insist a lot on gay masturbation and on the violent sexualization of the gay phase, which would suggest that the hetero phase is instead of a predominantly affective kind, what however seems to be disproved by the hypothesis of going with a prostitute. The idea of going with a prostitute, however, could be more than the search for a straight sexual outburst, the attempt to sexualize even the hetero phase that, from the general tone of the email, seems to be sexually far less involving than the gay one. It seems that your interest in guys is exclusively sexual, which is not typical of periodic homosexuality (whose periods moreover last  usually for years). In general, a bisexual with periodic bisexuality, when he is in the gay phase, is gay both from a sexual and emotional point of view and, similarly, when he is in hetero phase he is hetero from all points of view. Even if I cannot deduce it with certainty from your email, I think you don’t feel an emotional attraction towards guys, maybe you experience it towards girls, but it is not clear. In any case, you tend to seek, at least in the gay phase, an exclusively sexual satisfaction and you say it clearly. In your email you don’t mention your age, which would be a very useful element to get a better idea of the situation. The possibility that you are really bisexual with periodic bisexuality is real but it is not so automatic because your periods are very short and because at least in the gay phase there seems to be no affective dimension. It would be essential to know how you live even the hetero phase, which you don’t substantially talk about, seen as the center of the individual life, and also understand what your sexuality was before having a clear perception of a form of bisexuality, if only your perception of your sexuality has changed or also the way you live it, both at the level of couple and masturbation. There are many open questions and, lacking essential elements, it is difficult to give an answer fitting to your situation. If you were really bisexual you should aim for at least the recovery of gay affectivity, so as to live the gay phase in a dimension that is not just of sexual frenzy. I emphasize that it is not rare the case of guys who identify themselves as bisexuals but in fact don’t have authentic sexual hetero drives and live their so-called hetero part in an almost exclusively emotional or haltingly sexual dimension, while sexual attraction is almost totally oriented towards guys and is not accompanied by affection. At the base of these behaviors, which are not a sign of bisexuality, there is a mechanism of partial rejection of homosexuality based on the following reasoning: “I sexually desire guys but I don’t love them, so I’m not gay but straight because I love girls, even if maybe I don’t like them like guys”. Those who experience a very strong gay sexual drive and reject the idea of being gay tend to consider themselves bisexuals because they love women, that is, because their affectivity is almost exclusively aimed at women. At the moment I cannot give you a convinced answer because I lack essential elements, however, I suggest you to try to create real emotional relationships with gay guys, even when you are in hetero phase, that is completely without sexual involvement. However, this could benefit you, making you live the gay phase in a balanced way if you are really bisexual, or recover a gay affectivity in case you cannot accept you as a gay and end up accepting your being gay only as a sexual drive neglecting the emotional dimension. In case you were really bisexual with periodic bisexuality you would certainly live a situation of consistent emotional and sexual instability linked to the changing of phase and the insecurity that derives from it but after the transition period you should find a stable balance for a long time. A true bisexual has undoubtedly more problems than a gay in building a long-term stable relationship. For a bisexual, however, there is generally another way to experience affectivity and sexuality, which is not to be underestimated, and it is sexualized or better episodically sexualized friendship. To realize a sexualized friendship, one must first of all live a profound friendship that induces the non-bisexual partner (a gay or a woman depending on the circumstances) to accept the idea of a sexual relationship with a friend, but without the characters of monogamy and stability. These things, although not easy to achieve, become real in a non-negligible percentage of cases. It is obvious, however, that in order to reach these levels of friendship, the emotional relationship must be particularly strong and stable. For the moment I conclude here. If you want to give me some additional element I will try to complete the picture. Thanks again for your email that I think can be useful for many guys.
Project
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MAYBE I AM GAY BUT I LOVE MY FORMER GIRLFRIEND

Pratoditurno
Dear Project, I am 30 years old and I just discovered that I’m gay … I almost always masturbated thinking of guys, even though having always had women and having been satisfied by them I lived it as a kind of private transgression and so I never realized that I was homosexual … I had a long story with a girl and I loved her deeply, I masturbated thinking about her or our intercourses … it excited me a lot and I wanted to have sex with her. I was thinking only of her, although often when I was alone I also masturbated with gay porn. I must say that my gay masturbation has always been and is now of a contemplative kind, in the sense that I don’t ever feel in my fantasy the desire for sex with a guy but only the desire for images of naked guys. When my ex left me, to my great regret because I was still in love, I began to feel an increasingly strong attraction towards a friend of mine, with attached crush: I quoted him without a real reason, I followed him secretly, I was jealous … but at the time I couldn’t understand what was happening to me, so I kept going for a couple of years … until I decided to try an experience with a guy. I made friends with this guy and we started to try a gay sexual experience. The excitement was very strong at the beginning, I never experienced such a thing with a woman, but then gradually it waned … and finally I realized that sex with girls is much more engaging for me, even if the body of girls doesn’t excite me as strongly as the one of guys. In short, I didn’t have many answers … rather I have to say that the male body also made me a little repulsion … and I didn’t like the penis in any way. But the strong instinct to go with a man is there and I cannot deny it. After a few months I met again my ex and we had sex in a very engaging way. The attraction was there and I even thought for a moment that I was in love with her again, but then the premises were not there to get back together and we said goodbye. After that time I had other meetings with some guys and at the end, apart from the initial excitement, as usual I came back to have doubts about the fact that I really liked guys. Until a few weeks ago … when another friend, who attracted me so much, got engaged with a girl … since then I realized that in practice only the guys attract me, even if women have something that strikes me … sometimes sexual attraction, but less than what I experience for the guys. So I realized I was fundamentally gay … maybe a flexible gay man, who can even make love with girls if he’s in love, but anyway gay. I realized that in the end I could very well fall in love with a guy and make a story together, even if I don’t like it … I don’t want to be gay but I feel very strong pushes toward guys when I’m close to nice guys. Then when I think back to the exciting moments with my ex I think I’m straight … but actually my overwhelming sexuality is gay, even if I refuse to live it. I had tried to hear some guys to attend them seriously but then I changed my mind … I mean I’m in a big confusion. I cannot think of anything else, I just came out a nervous breakdown. Please … advise me what to do … and tell me what you think of all this ..
 
Alyosha
I leave Project the honor of answering on the subject, he is a master in this kind of analysis. I immediately anticipate that for what you write I don’t think there is any clear homosexuality, it is quite clear that a person who feels for years an emotional and sexual drive toward girls certainly is not a gay. Instead, you belong to that gray area that is hard to define within categories that have lied to us for centuries: building a family relationship with a woman and having relationships with men were much more common and “natural” practices than what is believed, and are still now in many “masculine” contexts (of those of the “male as a male”). I don’t think right now you need to define yourself in some way to understand what you have to do, indeed probably closing the circle too quickly now and draw the sums also hurts, because now you discard something that sooner or later will return from the window, because women attract you at least as gays do if not even much. What to do? Well, in the meantime, live your homosexual moment! You’ll be a bit terrified on the side of prevention, but it will not hurt you, you started as a rocket and you may find yourself very unprepared to manage a homosexual relationship. I tell you it from experience, since I have a story very similar to yours. In the beginning, projecting hetero categories on the gay world is very simple but you risk remaining badly burned. The story with your ex is over, it’s over after years, you’ve seen each other again, you’ve had sex and all this goes completely into the background, while it seems rather like the triggering event. You should first ask yourself if it’s over for real since at the first useful opportunity you two make sparks when you meet each other again. If you decide it’s over, close this relationship definitely before starting new stories with other people. From this point of view if it is a men rather than a women, it only complicates matters, so you are even more obliged to close the relationship with your ex. Try to stay alone just a little bit, a story like that isn’t easy to digest right away. Only then I would return to the question of sexuality, otherwise the risk is that the motivation to leave your ex, pushes the accelerator on the issue of sexuality, not allowing you a clear evaluation. The drives and desires must be listened to, not incarcerated, and bisexuality is in many ways more disarming than homosexuality, because it conflicts with another dogma of western society, which is that of monogamy, dogma if possible more stringent than that according to which male and male cannot fit together. It is already difficult to manage the transition from heterosexual to homosexual life, you can imagine how difficult can be becoming aware of being bisexual. How do you manage it? How can you be labeled? You will be a hetero-curious for the straight people and a repressed gay  for gays, in short it is not exactly like having a walk! : lol :. Don’t worry, learn to understand what you are for yourself and later you will think about what you are for others. You will never be gay as gay people who have never had relationships with women, I can anticipate this, because it is the feeling that I live. I lived a hetero life for 30 years and this famous gay world, including the forum from which you read me, I always watch it a little surprised and a bit shy. There are many things I don’t understand at all, such as the obsessive tendency to reduce everything to the issue of sexuality. Which is a little what you’re doing too. It seems that all the problems of gays are in the fact of being gay. Hetero people are all happy, because they have the female and don’t have any couple problem, neither problems relating to the other sex or tensions between strong sexuality and desire of monogamy, and so on. etc.. So are you sure that if the guy you flirted with was a woman, would you not stay the same with the thorn in the side? Do you like more your ex or the new girl with whom you only have a sexual involvement? Don’t you think that setting the question in this way in the meantime you would solve the problem of understanding what you really feel for your ex? If you also like males you don’t have to decide how much you like them, but accept this fact and learn how to live with it in the right and healthiest way for you. Learn to know the gay world, taste it little by little, without getting burned or worse poisoned.
 
Project
First of all, I welcome you to the Forum and I hope it will be useful. I thank Aliosha for his speech, which seems to clarify the essential points of the matter and which I share. I limit myself to an analysis from a strictly gay point of view. You start with a statement: “I just discovered that I’m gay”, but conclude by saying “I’m in a big confusion .”  You bring some arguments that should confirm the idea of being gay: “I almost always masturbated thinking of guys”, where the “almost” means that even in the masturbation there is a hetero component. About the time you were with your girlfriend, you say, “when I was alone I also masturbated with gay porn .” You affirm that “the strong instinct to go with a man is there”. About gay affectivity, which is an essential component of being gay, you say: “I began to feel an increasingly strong attraction towards a friend of mine, with attached crush: I quoted him without a real reason, I followed him secretly, I was jealous” but you don’t talk of love with this guy. The homosexual falling in love for you is not a real experience but a possible hypothesis, after all unwanted: “I could very well fall in love with a guy and make a story together, even if I don’t like it … I don’t want to be gay but I feel very strong pushes toward guys when I’m near nice guys.” When you talk about guys you don’t talk about love but about friendship and sexual contact with a guy is seen in strictly subjective terms and not as a couple, as an experience that you can “try”: “I made friends with this guy and we started to try a gay sexual experience.” From here you get a partial and flexible idea of homosexuality: “So I realized I was fundamentally gay … maybe a flexible gay man, who can even make love with girls if he’s in love, but anyway gay.” “but actually my overwhelming sexuality is gay, even if I refuse to live it.” The element of which I feel the lack in your description of homosexuality is the affective one, it is the falling in love with a guy. I emphasize that a gay guy of your age generally has lived his experiences not only on a sexual level but especially on an emotional level, and often these experiences are not easy, because they involve the idea of going out of oneself and of “loving” a guy, a real guy, not the protagonist of a video, a true guy, with all his weaknesses and all his contradictions. The experience of gay falling in love is not only and not even primarily a sexual experience, it is the experience of a deep affective relationship in which, as a rule, almost nothing goes as planned and in the end the relationship holds only if there it is at the base a deep feeling, with all its sexual values, of course, but in no case reducible only to a sexual experience. For you, at 30, the idea of falling in love with a guy is just a hypothesis that has never happened. I often see young guys “madly” in love with their friend, maybe even straight, and totally transported by this feeling in which the idea of sexual experience is just the last of the thoughts. In the things you say the gay affective dimension is almost completely missing. You’ve experienced gay masturbation as a kind of “private transgression” but you’ve never experienced a gay falling in love and when you stop to reflect specifically on gay sexuality you say, “the male body also made me a little bit repulsive … and I did not like the penis in any way. “These expressions are definitely irreconcilable with the idea of only sexual homosexuality. But let’s get on the ethereal side. You say you have “always had women and having been satisfied by them” and shortly after: “I had a long story with a girl and I loved her deeply, I masturbated thinking about her or our relationships … it excited me a lot and I wanted to make continuous sex. I was thinking only of her. . . “Here you speak explicitly of love and the sexual element integrates perfectly not the affective one. Not only that, but a gay parenthesis did not remove you from heterosexuality: “When my ex left me, to my great regret because I was still in love. . . “; “After a bit ‘of months I resented my ex and we had sex, very nice. The attraction was there and I even thought for a moment that I was in love with her again. “And here again you talk about falling in love and not just about sex. And when you limit yourself to just the sexual aspect, write: “when I think back to the exciting moments with my ex I think I’m straight.” The picture is not that of a gay, or rather a 100% gay, who is not interested in girls and who “falls in love” with boys. The emotional dimension is essentially hetero. In such a situation, looking for a relationship of gay couple based only on sexual attraction means exposing yourself to the risk of big disappointments, because, beyond what people think, in the gay field (I speak of the vast majority of undeclared gays ) affectivity is absolutely fundamental. Among gays, as among ethereal, the couples who hold are those that have a deep emotional relationship. For a gay in the vast majority of cases, behind the sex there is a very strong emotional request. Among other things, if you have no experience of the gay reality it is good to go there very much with the feet of lead because the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and in particular of AIDS exists and so, therefore, always and in any case, maximum caution! We try to narrow the field: it is obvious that the categories have a very relative value, but if we have to use one, I would call bisexuality into question, but with not small reserves, because to speak properly of bisexuality we should find not only, also if in a different proportion, both gay and hetero masturbation, but also forms of falling in love both gay and hetero are substantially similar, that is, with similar affective involvements. I add one thing: the guys who, like you, have had a non-superficial and gratifying experience of heterosexual sexuality, tend to transpose their hetero sexual behaviors in an almost automatic way, which often creates misunderstandings and difficulties. Just an example: a boy used to heterosexual sexuality and comforted by the vision of gay porn, is led to think that anal penetration is the fundamental element of gay sexuality, something far from reality. I wonder, then, how can you understand the meaning of gay sexuality, which is the sexuality of the like and not that of the complementary, a boy who says: “the male body also made me a little repulsion … and I didn’t like the penis in any way.” I add something, it happens also to 100% true gays to have relationships with girls, in the nineteenth century it was common. I don’t believe that you are in this condition at all. Raffalovich in 1896 described with these expressions the relationships of true homosexuals with women: “a forcing, something essentially “non-sexual”, an effort of the will that is a true violence against the free will, in essence a form of onanism incapable of leaving memories.” It is clear that your point of view towards heterosexual sexuality is not the one typical of 100% gay guys. In essence I would go very cautious before “trying” a relationship with a guy (an expression that a true gay would never use). I add another thing: the problem of bisexual guys is not in accepting their gay side, but in the fact that a couple’s life, hetero or gay, requires a form of exclusivity. For a gay to form a stable gay couple can be deeply stabilizing and rewarding, for a bisexual it means giving up the other half of the sky and the desire of the other half of the sky manifests itself particularly strong when a couple relationship excludes it.
 
Pratoditurno
I thank you for your very deep analysis … You’re right about everything, labels are not needed but if you really need to use one I’ll be a predominantly straight bisexual. On the other hand, sexuality is a very complex thing consisting of several dimensions and we are not necessarily on the same position for each of these dimensions.
PROJECT: You really have a great gift. You understood exactly how I’m. In fact, when you say that my gay sexual experience was only “subjective” you tell the truth, because not only I see the male as a friend (and in fact my partners were first of all friends and then also partners) but the experience I build with them is unidirectional, in the sense that I like to get involved but never give pleasure to my partner. A bit as if the guy was just “a toy” and not a person … and in fact this fits perfectly with all your speech. It’s as if I wanted a kind of inflatable doll to use it as I want, ending up just masturbating only by looking at it. I say this because in all my gay experiences (if so we can call them), after an initial excitement, I immediately begin to feel bored and, in addition to a strong repulsion for what I have done, I cannot even ejaculate … I have to ejaculate endeavoring hard every time. Or I don’t ejaculate at all. On the other hand, I have always noticed that my partners manifested a strong interest in the penis and a great propensity to have an orgasm in the presence of another male. So I wondered if maybe I was having a problem or if I had to stop with the males … because masturbating or doing a fellatio to a man it’s something that not only I don’t like, but provokes in me a feeling of repulsion  … and having an anal intercourse, for me, is like masturbating alone … nothing as involving as with a woman. Among other things, if I get excited thinking about a woman and after a little think back to a man this one not only doesn’t attract me anymore, but also makes me feel a little repulsion. In short, considering these things I have just written and adding, as you point out, that I feel guys only as friends and I never fell in love with them (for 27 years I have not even felt the “weight” of this masturbation in a gay key, as if it was nothing at all) I think that it makes no sense to delude a gay guy proposing a date and then leave him after a while because it is not for me … Indeed, as Alyosha says, I will stay good alone for a while, trying to calm me down. My real problem is that it’s been a long time since I’ve been with a woman, although I’m in constant search (in 3 years I have heard dozens of women, but these days it’s really difficult to find one to go out with you … ). Let me know what you think of these last things. Thanks so much!!! I will always be grateful to you.
 
Alyosha
“My real problem is that it’s been a long time since I’ve been with a woman, although I’m in constant search (in 3 years I have heard dozens of women, but these days it’s really difficult to find one to go out with you … )”
Well you have to tell your gay friends  such tings! They are all convinced that the problem of finding a suitable partner is just theirs: lol: Ah how much would do well to compare their problems with those of hetero guys, they would find they have a lot more problems in common than they think …
 
Project
Well, frankly, I think your second post is so explicit that there’s no need for any explanation. But I would like to draw attention to the fact that in a couple relationship, be it hetero or gay, what really matters it is not having sex but loving each other, and they are two different levels. I recently followed the story of two guys, one with a job and the other unemployed, and this was an element of extreme stress for the unemployed guy. His partner was close to him from an operational point of view, the search for work they did it in two and among them, even if there were economic problems, because living in two with only one salary and in addition low was objectively difficult, but there are never been couple problems. Then the unemployed guy found a job but in conditions of great discomfort, he had a boss who exploited him and paid him if and when he wanted. The guy returned home humiliated and depressed and his companion encouraged him to resign and to try again. Finally another work came out, not exciting at the economic level but quiet and in the midst of quiet people. The couple life of these two guys was the safety valve that allowed them to overcome a crisis that was in danger of being truly destructive. The guy who was looking for work told me: “I felt calm, when I got home I knew that he was waiting for me and he loved me and that once the door was closed, all the bad things remained outside and inside we were only us. You don’t imagine the feeling of tenderness, in two on the sofa, closed in the blanket (at home there is a heating that doesn’t work at all) watching TV, I was really happy!” This story is the story of two guys but it could very well be the story of a straight couple. Among these guys there was also sex but there was not only sex and they tried to see themselves each one with the other’s eyes. I mean that sex is a component of the emotional life and it is not even the most important. The sex lived “with love” is a beautiful thing, lived without love is a form of selfishness that can never give a deep gratification.
 
Geographer
Pratoditurno wrote: “You’re right about everything, labels are not needed but if you really need to use one I’ll be a predominantly straight bisexual. On the other hand, sexuality is a very complex thing consisting of several dimensions and we are not necessarily on the same position for each of these dimensions.”
In this forum, many know how I think about bisexuality. Honestly, I don’t believe in bisexuality. I have often heard of bisexual guys, who in the end had a preponderant interest in the same sex and were hiding behind the fact that sometimes they attended a girl or the women’s body didn’t make them sick. I am a homosexual, yet women don’t disgust me, their body simply doesn’t excite me. In fact, I often think of a charming, beautiful woman, I contemplate her as well but, I mean, it stops there. And the same could very well be said for a straight guy towards another guy (although this is in a sense banned because of social taboos). Pratoditurno, if you had I been 20 years old maybe I would have been more understanding and less severe, on the other hand you would still have been a kid. But you’re 30, you’re a man now. You should have a clear idea of who you are. If you had been 60 years old, I would have avoided to point out the matter because probably you would have internalized some constructions of the past that absolutely forbid homosexuality, and every so often enter the forum men of a mature age who tell how they have experienced the thing badly. But in your case it’s different, you’re adult and vaccinated, young but not too much and I don’t think that at 30 you can be burden with the same homophobic ideologies that have afflicted a sixty year old or that you can have the same insecurity of a boy. I looked at the Project response, which I don’t agree with. And here the risk is that maybe you can stay serene behind the word “bisexual”, maybe in a sense deluding yourself that you can safely spend the rest of your life with a woman. Let me be clear that I have no hatred towards bisexuals, and I’m the first to think that it is really sad to have to hide behind labels that should, in a sense, regulate our lives according to certain criteria. But you yourself tell how your sexual fantasies are predominantly homo, I think that once said this, everything is said. It is obvious that then, when we speak of real meetings (clearly homosexual), we detach ourselves from fantasies / abstractions, and we must clash with reality. So in that case the erection is less, maybe there is even a little less excitement or anything else simply because when you masturbate you are alone and you have complete knowledge of your body, with which you have confidence. The moment you have sex with another person, it means that two people have to relate to each other, and you understand that it is not easy. We are detached from that abstract sexuality and relate to one that is concrete and with which we don’t have the same confidence as with masturbation, it is obvious that as a result the erection cannot last or partners are less close-knit. Mutual harmony is something that is acquired gradually, the same gradualness that you have conquered when you tell yourself that you can make love with your ex. Then, Pratoditurno, let me say one thing: referring back to what I told you at the beginning, being homosexual doesn’t mean that you cannot recognize a beautiful woman. A homosexual is not an impotent man with women, he can really make love with a woman. He simply doesn’t like it because making love with a woman doesn’t fit to his nature. Then maybe you will be in love with your ex-girlfriend, I don’t doubt this, but I would say that it is a love born according to the canons that society has built for you and to which you have adapted. When I was a child (I think I was 14), I fell in love with little girls too, then I gradually became aware and now I wouldn’t be able to fall in love with a girl. The best thing for me would be to go out with a guy, without the meeting having any sexual end, simply for a knowledge. Unfortunately I know it’s difficult because in the mud of these applications and chats (which I find really squalid, I wonder when they will make some cleaner applications) is full of people absolutely not recommendable, you need to do a great skimming and then maybe you could find someone, but this is possible only if you live in big cities. But from what you write you don’t have such problem, since you say that you have had several opportunities to meet young people, so I assume that you don’t live in a village outside the world. You yourself tell me that your prevalent sexuality is gay, I think you answered yourself. And do you know what I tell you? That a homosexual person can safely live a peaceful life, with friends, with job ambitions and so on. The fact that you are homosexual doesn’t mean that you have to live a life different from that of a straight man. There are no “gay lives” and “hetero lives” because it seems to me that this is your fear. A gay man is simply a man who falls in love emotionally and sexually with other men, stop.
In any case, in my opinion, you can only do well a happy life as homosexual in cities that are not too small, absolutely out of the family, because if you still live at home with mom and dad then it is impossible (I still speak for me,
I will never tell my parents about my homosexuality, then maybe there are more open parents but in short, it is not so frequent). But I think that here you are running too much, you still seem little accepted and I am already talking about this, but the essence of my speech is that having this fear of being homosexual nowadays is just anachronistic, especially if you are thirty and independent. Live your life without paranoia, and remember that the life is only one.
 
Pratoditurno
My dear Geographer, I thank you for your opinion, that I respect, but I don’t agree with. I don’t agree certainly not because I want to be heterosexual at all costs when it’s clear that I’m not, but because, as you could read, I’m not even gay. If you deny the existence of bisexuality, with all its nuances, you deny decades of studies and progress on human sexuality, which is an extremely complex subject. Many gays, who shared your opinion, made me your own speech, but if you think about it, these are just speculations. You say that heterosexual love was suggested only by external conditioning and that I did sex just because I’m a man and therefore I’m not impotent. But how many of these gays, including you, have experienced a deep love for a woman? How many, for years, only wanted her, thought only of her and every day of their life at all hours had it hard thinking of making love with her? How many have dreamed every day to marry her? How many have masturbated thinking about her or sex with her? To how many of them continually surfaced images of her naked during masturbation? And then: how many of these have only contemplative fantasies about males, but then, in practice, they don’t like sex between men? Here, as you see, those of many gays are just words but are not justified by practice. If these gays had tried these and many other things they would not think so. I’m not saying that it is impossible that one day, after many attempts, I will find a gay love, nobody can tell it. Nobody! But I don’t think that being as rigid as you are, when everyone knows that bisexuality exists, it’s good for something, and even less to reassure me. I’m not a homosexual like you, just as you you’re not like another gay, etc. etc., it is all subjective.
A greeting.
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ANTI-GAY THERAPY

Hi Project, 
do you still remember me? Probably not, I have not called you for a long time, practically since the beginning of February. In February we chatted on skype a couple of times, I’m 23, Lombard. I remind you that we also talked about the fact that I was going to graduate in Engineering, but this does not tell you much. There is one thing that can help you remember: we only talked about girls, it was my fixed idea. 
The second time you told me things that bothered me and I closed the chat and, I must say, I felt really bad. It seemed to me that you wanted to remind me that for me girls were a way to escape reality. Your speech seemed to me very stupid. After I closed the chat I sent you loudly to hell and so I felt happy. What happened next? I told myself: Project is a fool and doesn’t understand that I am 100% straight! And I didn’t even know why you were looking at details that were a little scabrous of which, among other things, I had spoken to you. It’s not that we cannot talk about these topics, but it didn’t seem to me such a decisive thing at all. 
What you were saying really bothered me. I didn’t call you anymore, but not only, a bit for reaction, I put my own commitment to woo a girl, frankly I thought she wouldn’t accept and that everything would end with just a little courtship so, just to do, but it was not like that at all. She fell in love with me and I went ahead, we had sex more than sometimes. I did it, no problem, erection ok, and everything. She was very happy, me less. The first time I didn’t even notice my lack of participation, after all it seemed exciting. We went ahead. One day she calls me and tells me she thinks she’s pregnant. 
I was a little excited, because, you know, the idea of a child at my age is beautiful, but I was a little frightened because I didn’t love her. Two days of delay and I started to feel panic, and she didn’t know what to do and she was very nervous. Then the answer came and it was a false alarm! At that moment I felt a lot lighter, but also a little disappointed. Since then we have always made love with condoms, so there was no risk of pregnancy. We arrived at a pace that we did it even three times a week and even more, always everything was technically perfect, but I felt strange and I started to see it as a sort of duty. I told myself that I was tired, stressed, that it was becoming a habit. When we were in bed I had an erection, etc. etc. but on other occasions, thinking of her I was neither hot nor cold. 
Little by little, the situation has become such that she thought I was deeply in love with her and she wanted me to tell nice things every moment, things that in reality didn’t come spontaneously, and sometimes I couldn’t stand her, especially when she made me proposals that, according to her, I would have liked a lot. Note that throughout this period I didn’t have a boyfriend and I didn’t even think about it and didn’t even masturbate because the sex I was doing with her was enough for me. So I lived with her all my sexuality, but I couldn’t tell her: look, when we are together there is something that doesn’t work, because everything actually seemed to work. 
In mid-May I go for an internship in a company and I know a 25-year-old guy. he strikes me, but I don’t consider him as something too much important. My girlfriend offers me a weekend together and I say no, for the first time. The following week I’m looking for excuses and I don’t make love with my girlfriend, in fact I don’t think of her, I think only of the 25 year old guy, and even just thinking of him, “it stands up” and I don’t feel upset at all. In the week when I was not with my girlfriend, practically since Monday I started to masturbate thinking of the 25 year old guy. 
So, dear Project, you have come into my mind, I thought maybe you were not really that stupid, but I thought also that if I had started making love with my girlfriend all the gay fantasies would have gone away. With a great effort of will I forced myself to return to make love with my girlfriend. She pampered me in all ways. Erection yes, but not convinced. She looks at me a little disappointed and begins the story: “But it’s my fault? What have I done? But don’t you like me anymore?” In short, a terrible situation, incredibly embarrassing. I could not stand her appreciation of my penis. At one point the annoyance became such that I dressed and I left. I thought that from certain situations, which are a bit like traps, you must also get out without thinking too much, since you enter into them playing. 
She calls me on the phone, I don’t answer, she calls me for the second time, in the end I have to answer, she tells me that there isn’t any problem, that the next time will be better. But I said to myself: “I don’t want any next time. And now how can I discharge this girl?” I sent her to the devil without hesitation, but she had now entered the part of the girl who has to save her boyfriend and wanted to understand “why”. But how can you tell the girl that you put almost pregnant that you don’t really love her, you don’t want her and instead you think about a guy a thousand times a day? They were days of hell, I didn’t know what to do, to get rid of her I could tell her I was gay, but with her mentality it would have been worse, because she was convinced she would be able to take any gay to bed. In fact with me she was successful! But only because the idiot was me and also the asshole because in fact I used her as an anti-gay therapy. 
But I did not want to tell her that I was gay, now it was a certainty for me, but to talk about it with her was really impossible! I know it’s a malice but it’s like that. So I told her a huge lie, I told her that I had been with another girl that week and that I didn’t feel like being with her anymore. I felt a monster in telling a similar lie, but I had to go out of the situation anyway. There were hours of recriminations, then dozens of text messages to which I never replied and then she sent me a definitive one: “If you don’t answer me I will not call you anymore!” I didn’t expect any better and It was a moment of enormous relief (I didn’t hear her anymore). 
My 25-year-old guy didn’t have a girlfriend but, from the way he talked about women, more straight he could not be. What does it mean when a 100% hetero does not stay with a girl? In my ingenuity of gay neophyte it meant that the hetero was not so hetero! And then, with a lot of discretion (it was the first time that I was courting a guy) I started going after him. The thing ended almost immediately, he used expressions about a supposedly gay guy that I didn’t like at all. I didn’t look for him anymore, he kept looking for me for a while, then he got tired, luckily! I don’t want to fall in love with a straight guy! 
In practice I was alone again, but better alone than with my girlfriend or with an idiot like the 25 year old guy. Project, it’s ok that you have a certain practice of gay things, but how the hell did you understand that it would end this way? But I come back to me. So the next day I joined the gym and it’s actually a place where I feel great, a bit because, well, you certainly understood, and a little because in an environment like that, all male, I feel just fine, the sexual temptations are there but it is also nice when we are together only on a generic level. They are guys very ok! 
Now I cannot even understand how I felt hetero for years. If I think that practically a little more than a month ago I was making love with my girlfriend every other day, I feel absurd. But how didn’t I realize it before? There were a lot of the so-called significant signals and we had talked about a lot, I thought: “if the sky is cloudy it may rain a little” and instead it was a storm. I gay !!! My God, but how is it possible? But it’s like that! Project, if you want to publish this mail up to this point you can put it in the forum (by the way, congratulations for the forum! It’s a smart thing! And has grown a lot!) But from here on the mail is just for you, because I have other things to ask but they are too personal and on the other hand I cannot talk about it with anyone. [omissis]. And now I salute you otherwise to read this email it will take three hours. If you forgot it, my contact is [omissis].

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A hug, Project! I’ll call you soon!
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