MANUAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY

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

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CHAPTER 1 – UNDERSTANDING TO BE GAY

Let’s start with a concrete example.

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

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

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

Now we go further with exemplification.

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

Let’s analyze the example.

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

But let us proceed with the examples.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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GAYS AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION

In recent days I have had the opportunity to carefully examine a very interesting document of the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization (Federal Centre for Health Education), entitled STANDARDS FOR SEXUALITY EDUCATION IN EUROPE.

The document was published in 2010 and, after presenting an overview of sex education in Europe, defines the standards that should be followed for sexuality education as they went through the maturing of sex education activities already in operation in Europe and throughout the scientific contributions of the many disciplines involved.

Reading this document has led me to reflect on the enormous need for sexuality education and the response of public institutions, essentially nothing, at least in Italy. Sexuality education is effectively delegated to the peer group, religious institutions, and even now on a large scale, to pornography.

A serious sexuality education, built on the basis of information coming from specialists in various disciplines, independent from religious teachings and respecting sexual rights of people is one of the pillars for the improvement not only in the situation of homosexuals but for the increase in personal and collective well-being of all. I emphasize that sexuality education should be compulsory and independent from religious teachings, in the sense that parents should not be allowed for any reason to ask for exemption of children from participation in educational activities, because this would be a violation of the rights of children in the name of parents’ convictions.

Many young guys, gay guys and not only ,have got to experience the absolute lack of preparation of teachers in imparting a serious sex education and even the presence of prejudices and discriminatory attitudes. Contents of sexuality education are often conveyed through other disciplines on the basis of personal feelings of teachers and with no scientific basis, many have found that religion classes often result in areas of indirect sexuality education. A serious sexuality education could have a strong social impact, not only in reducing sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and teenage bullying, but in improving the sexual and emotional relatedness of people in enabling them to make their own choices on the basis of objective scientific information, promoting an attitude of serenity toward sexual pleasure, to increase self-esteem and sense of responsibility. The fact that sexuality becomes, for groups of teenagers and sometimes also adults, an object of ridicule and jokes is a sign of immaturity in dealing with these issues.

The document to which I have referred, precisely because it is open to all, prepares a draft of a general nature.

This post is a concrete proposal. I invite you to read the document and report your past and present need for sex education. You can add a comment to this post or send a mail to gayproject@ymail.com

In particular, I invite you to report on:

1) the sexuality education you received and from what sources.

2) the sexuality education ay school.

3) what did you miss most in terms of sexual education.

Of course you can write what you think better even beyond these indications. I will try to summarize what gradually emerges from the discussion to define guidelines for sexuality education useful to non-heterosexual and to avoid discrimination.

The intention is to define standards for sexuality education related to non-straight people.

As a first contribution, I reproduce below the cap. 2 of the mentioned document, from which I extract three definitions that can be the basis for the next job.

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2. SEXUALITY. SEXUAL HEALTH AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION – DEFINITIONS AND CONCEPTS

The concepts of sex, sexuality, sexual health and rights, and directly related concepts are to some extent interpreted differently in different countries or cultures. If translated into other languages, they may again be understood differently. Some clarification of the way these concepts are used here is therefore needed.

In January 2002, the World Health Organization convened a technical consultation meeting as part of a more comprehensive initiative, which aimed at defining some of those concepts, because there were no internationally agreed definitions. This resulted in working definitions of the concepts of sex, sexuality, sexual health and sexual rights.

Although these definitions have not yet become official WHO definitions, they are available at the WHO website, and they are increasingly being used. In this document, they are likewise used as working definitions.

“Sex” refers to biological characteristics that define humans generally as female or male, although in ordinary language the word is often interpreted as referring to sexual activity.

“Sexuality” – as a broad concept, “sexuality” is defined in accordance with the WHO working definitions as follows:

“Human sexuality is a natural part of human development through every phase of life and includes physical, psychological and social components […]”.

A more comprehensive definition suggested by WHO reads as follows.

“Sexuality is a central aspect of being human throughout life and encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviours, practices, roles and relationships. While sexuality can include all of these dimensions, not all of them are always experienced or expressed. Sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, ethical, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors.”

For a number of reasons, this definition is very useful. It stresses that sexuality is central to being human; it is not limited to certain age groups; it is closely related to gender; it includes various sexual orientations, and it is much wider than reproduction. It also makes clear that “sexuality” encompasses more than just behavioural elements and that it may vary strongly, depending on a wide variety of influences. The definition indirectly indicates that sexuality education should also be interpreted as covering a much wider and much more diverse area than “education on sexual behaviour”, for which it is unfortunately sometimes mistaken.

“Sexual health” was initially defined by WHO in a 1972 technical meeting, and reads as follows:

“Sexual health is the integration of the somatic, emotional, intellectual and social aspects of sexual being in ways that are positively enriching and that enhance personality, communication and love”.

Although this definition is rather outdated, it is still often used.

During the WHO technical consultation in 2002, a new draft definition of sexual health was agreed upon. This new 2002 draft definition reads:

“Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.”

This draft definition emphasizes not only the need for a positive approach, the essential aspect of pleasure, and the notion that sexual health encompasses not just physical, but also emotional, mental and social aspects. It also alerts the user to potentially negative elements, and for the first time it mentions the existence of “sexual rights” – two issues which were almost absent in the 1972 definition. Also, those potentially negative elements are not focused upon as is often the case in HIV and AIDS literature on the subject. In short, it is a balanced definition.

Sexual health is one of five core aspects of the WHO global Reproductive health strategy approved by the World Health Assembly in 2004. It should be stressed that WHO has, since the early 1950s, defined and approached “health” in a very broad and positive manner, referring to it as a “human potential” and not merely the absence of disease, and including not only physical, but also emotional, mental, social and other aspects. For these latter reasons, it is felt that the WHO definitions are acceptable and useful starting points for discussing sexuality education. Thus in this document the term “sexual health” is used, but this includes the meaning and notion of ”sexual well-being”. Sexual health is not only influenced by personal factors, but also by social and cultural ones.

Sexual rights – embracing especially the right to information and education. As mentioned before, the 2002 WHO meeting also came up with a draft definition of sexual rights, which reads as follows.

“Sexual rights embrace human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other consensus statements. They include the right of all persons, free of coercion, discrimination and violence, to:

 the highest attainable standard of sexual health, including access to sexual and reproductive health care services;

 seek, receive and impart information related to sexuality;

 sexuality education;

 respect for bodily integrity;

 choose their partner;

 decide to be sexually active or not;

 consensual sexual relations;

 consensual marriage;

 decide whether or not, and when, to have children; and

 pursue a satisfying, safe and pleasurable sexual life.

The responsible exercise of human rights requires that all persons respect the rights of others.”

Although this is only a draft definition, it is used as a starting point in this document, because it is felt that the elements included here have a broad support base throughout Europe. Furthermore, it is important to note that in this definition the right to information and education is explicitly included.

A note of caution is needed here, however. Clearly, some of the rights mentioned have been conceived with adult persons as the point of reference. This means that not all of those rights are automatically applicable to children and adolescents. For example, it is clear that issues like consensual marriage or right to decide on childbearing do not yet apply to children or young adolescents.

The right of the child to information has also been acknowledged by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was conceived in 1989 and has since been ratified by the vast majority of States. It clearly states the right to freedom of expression and the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds (Article 13); Article 19 refers to States’ obligation to provide children with educational measures to protect them, inter alia, from sexual abuse.

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In summary, we can adopt the following definitions that conform to the recommendations of the World Health Organization:

DEFINITIONS OF KEY TERMS

“Sex” refers to biological characteristics that define humans generally as female or male, although in ordinary language the word is often interpreted as referring to sexual activity.

“Human sexuality is a natural part of human development through every phase of life and includes physical, psychological and social components […]”.

“Sexuality is a central aspect of being human throughout life and encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviours, practices, roles and relationships. While sexuality can include all of these dimensions, not all of them are always experienced or expressed. Sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, ethical, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors.”

“Sexual health is the integration of the somatic, emotional, intellectual and social aspects of sexual being in ways that are positively enriching and that enhance personality, communication and love”.

“Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.”

“Sexual rights embrace human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other consensus statements. They include the right of all persons, free of coercion, discrimination and violence, to:

the highest attainable standard of sexual health, including access to sexual and reproductive health care services;

 seek, receive and impart information related to sexuality;

 sexuality education;

 respect for bodily integrity;

 choose their partner;

 decide to be sexually active or not;

 consensual sexual relations;

 consensual marriage;

 decide whether or not, and when, to have children; and

 pursue a satisfying, safe and pleasurable sexual life.

The responsible exercise of human rights requires that all persons respect the rights of others.”

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HOMOSEXUALITY, MASTURBATION AND SEXUAL PLEASURE – SCIENCE AND CONFESSIONAL PROSPECTS

I reproduce below, in my translation, part of a major study that you can read on the website of the World Health Organization: “Sexual Health for the Millennium. A Declaration and Technical Document “a publication of the World Association for Sexual Health.

http://www2.paho.org/hq/dmdocuments/2010/Sexual%20Health%20for%20the%20Millennium.pdf

The passage is taken from Chapter 8 “Achieve Recognition of Sexual Pleasure as a Component of Well-being” pp.135-138.

SEXUAL PLEASURE IN HISTORICAL CONTEXT

Throughout much of human history, passionate love and sexual desire have been viewed as dangerous, a threat to the social, political and religious order (Hatfield & Rapson, 1993). During the current historical period, religion and medicine have had powerful influences on societal norms for sexual health and sexual behavior (Hart & Wellings, 2002) and in some important respects these institutions have inherited and continued the tradition of viewing sexual desire, and by extension, pleasure with varying degrees of suspicion.

It is not possible to make tidy generalizations about the extent to which the major religions have held either “sex negative” or “sex positive” perspectives toward pleasure and sexuality. However, it may be said that in various historical periods, many religions, including Christianity and Islam have focused on the reproductive aspects and function of sexuality. Consequently, they have sought strict controls on sexual behavior particularly outside of marriage between a man and a woman, behavior that does not lead to reproduction (e.g., masturbation) and viewed sexual pleasure, particularly that of women and homosexual men and women, with contempt (For extensive documentation and analysis of religious perspectives toward sexuality throughout history see Bullough, 1980, Hawkes, 2004). Numerous scholars have documented the disdain for sexual pleasure expressed by Christian theologians and institutions throughout much of the church’s history (e.g., Pagels, 1988). Masturbation, in particular, has been a contentious topic as its primary purpose is to produce pleasure (Coleman, 2002). Research on masturbation has indicated that contrary to traditional beliefs, masturbation has been found to be a common sexual behavior and linked to indicators of sexual health. While there are no general indicators of ill health associated with masturbation, it can generate powerfully negative or positive emotions for many individuals. It can be powerfully negative or positive, depending on the interaction between the prevailing societal attitudes and individual attitudes and behaviors (Coleman, 2002).

In fact, research has indicated that masturbation begins early and is an important part of healthy sexual development (Langfeldt, 1981). It is often a marker of sexual development (Bancroft, Herbenick, D., & Reynolds, 2002). Many young people learn about their bodies and sexual responsiveness through masturbation (Atwood & Gagnon, 1987). Masturbation also continues throughout the life span. For example, many adults continue to masturbate even though they are married and have ready access to sexual intercourse (Laumann et al., 1994). Masturbation can also help older people who do not have an available partner to maintain sexual functioning and expression (Leiblum & Bachmann, 1988). It is also a safe alternative to behaviors that carry a risk of a sexually transmitted infection, including HIV. The benefits of masturbation are illustrated by its wide acceptance in sex therapy as a means of improving the sexual health of the individual and/or couple (Heiman & LoPiccolo, 1988; Leiblum & Rosen, 1989; Zilbergeld, 1992).

Addressing masturbation within sexual health promotion programming can be controversial. However the available evidence suggests that including masturbation as a topic within comprehensive sexual health promotion is important and necessary.

There is a need for more research, including theory development and hypothesis testing, on the impact of masturbation on self-esteem, body image, sexual functioning and sexual satisfaction and the effective incorporation of education about masturbation within sexual health promotion programs.

It must be noted that positive and progressive perspectives toward pleasure and sexuality are emerging from groups from a variety of religious faiths. Nevertheless, it must also be acknowledged that the legacy of a largely negative interpretation of sexual pleasure, particularly if it is experienced in a context contrary to particular religious norms for sexual conduct, by many religious institutions is still with us today and continues to hinder the recognition of pleasure in sexual health promotion efforts in many parts of the world. With respect to international efforts to promote sexual health, the alliance of the United States, the Vatican and conservative Muslim and Catholic states in opposing the recognition of diverse sexual rights, including those related to pleasure, is testimony to the continued influence of conservative religious forces in shaping polices related to sexual health (Ilkkaracan, 2005).

Since the latter half of the 19th century, medicine and medical science has, particularly in the Western world, exercised considerable authority over sexuality and here too we find that sexual pleasure was often seen as pathology. As Hart and Wellings (2002) suggest “The long tradition of representing illness as a punishment for sin was continued when sexual behavior was medicalized and transformed into morbidity” (p. 896). For example, masturbation, homosexual desire and overt sexual interest, particularly if expressed by women was until quite recently seen by medicine as symptomatic of psychiatric illness and perversion.

Although contemporary medicine and some religious institutions have turned the corner in recognizing the positive and beneficial aspects of sexual expression, many remnants of the propensity to focus on the negative outcomes of sexual expression remains with us. “Today’s public discourse about sexuality is almost exclusively about risks and dangers: abuse, addiction, dysfunction, infection, pedophilia, teen pregnancy, and the struggle of sexual minorities for their civil rights” (Planned Parenthood Federation of America [PPFA], 2003. p. 1).

Although, in most cultures, sexual desire and pleasure receive their widest endorsement within the context of a relationship, sexual desire and pleasure are increasingly coming to be seen as intrinsically positive and rewarding aspects of human experience. While a concern with pleasure is sometimes thought of as a decadent preoccupation of a secular Western culture, it is important to note that many diverse cultures have strong traditions of affirming sexual pleasure. For example, within Brazilian culture the concept of tudo or “Everything” refers to the world of erotic experiences and pleasures (de Freitas, de Oliveira, & Rega, 2004). Indeed, a contemporary discourse of pleasure can be found in many non-western cultures. For example, in Turkey, a country not known for its affirmation of women’s sexual pleasure, a grassroots program that emphasized sexual pleasure as a women’s human right was conducted (Ilkkaracan & Seral, 2000). Organizations such as the South and Southeast Asian Resource Centre on Sexuality (Patel, online) are raising the issue of pleasure in the context of sexual health. From their review of historical and cross-cultural perspectives on passionate love and sexual desire, Hatfield and Rapson (1993) conclude that the tide of history is in the direction of “….an increasing acceptance of passionate love and sexual desire as legitimate, expressible feelings” (p. 91).

Sexual leasure is necessary and contributes to well-being, happiness and health

Romantic love is a primary feature of couple relationships and is expressed through sexuality and sexual passion for the partner (Esch & Stefano, 2005). Although social, political and economic differences across time and place can markedly impact upon sexual attitudes and behavior, cross-cultural research has found that people in all societies place a high value on being with a partner for whom there is “mutual attraction-love” (Buss et al., 1990). Sexual desire and pleasure are embedded in and a fundamental aspect of the mutual attraction between partners.

The mutual sharing of sexual pleasure has been shown to increase bonding within relationships (Weeks, 2002). As Tepper (2000) writes with respect to the neglected rights of people with disabilities to enjoy their sexuality, “Pleasure is an affirmation of life…It can add a sense of connectedness to the world or to each other. It can heal a sense of emotional isolation so many of us feel even though we are socially integrated” (p. 288).

In sum, the enjoyment of sexual pleasure plays an important role in contributing to the establishment, maintenance and stability of couple relationships and, without doubt, the quality of couple relationships is fundamental to the health and well-being of individuals and families. While sexual pleasure can be seen as an end in-of-itself, for many, if not most people, sexual pleasure is intertwined with feelings of intimacy and affection for their partner. Sexual desire and pleasure not only facilitate reproduction, they function as a mechanism of social attachment for the couple relationship, an essential kinship structure in all cultures of the world (Fisher, 2002).

At the most foundational level, sexual pleasure is rooted in the most basic of human functions as has been recognized by evolutionary psychology. In the context of adaptive behavior and its necessity in evolution, it would appear that the pleasure generated by sexual stimulation, orgasm or intercourse would be selected-for evolutionarily. Consequently, pleasure can be seen as an effective and important adaptive mechanism, the function of which is to ensure the procreation and survival of the species (Esch & Stefano, 2005, p. 182).

To the extent that a society is concerned with the well-being and stability of families generally, and couples specifically, it is in the interests of policy makers to recognize the importance of sexual pleasure and to implement sexual health promotion programs that address sexual pleasure as fundamental to individual and couple health and wellbeing.

The recent Global Study of Sexual Attitudes and Behaviors that examined various aspects of sexual health among a sample of 27,500 men and women aged 40 to 80 from 29 culturally diverse countries around the world offers strong evidence of the importance of pleasure and sexual satisfaction for the happiness and well-being of individuals and couples (Laumann et al., 2006: Nicolosi et al., 2004). The survey asked participants, among other things, questions about the degree to which they found their relationships to be physically pleasurable and how important sex is to their overall happiness. Over three quarters of men (82%) and women (76%) agreed that satisfactory sex is essential to maintain a relationship and the authors concluded from their findings that despite substantial cultural variation in sexual norms and values, subjective sexual well-being was associated with overall happiness in both men and women.

A White Paper published by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA, 2003) in cooperation with the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality extensively catalogues the scientific evidence demonstrating the health benefits of sexual expression. Taken together, the studies cited suggest that partnered sexual activity and/or masturbation can be associated with improved longevity, immunity, pain management, self-esteem and a reduction in stress.

In sum, sexual pleasure helps to cement the primary kinship structure of the couple relationship, contributes to the overall happiness in life of both men and women (whether they are in partnerships or not) and is associated with various aspects of good health. Seen in this way sexual pleasure is not frivolous or unnecessary: it is essential.

_________

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GAY SEXUALITY AND ANXIETY

This article is aimed at defining the relationship between gay sexuality and anxiety on the basis of the experience gained in Gay Project.

The issues related to sexuality are dealt in general with specific categories different from that used for all other issues. The first reaction, or rather the first public reaction, is demonstrated by smiles, winks, jokes, all attitudes based on the apparent uniformity of the points of view, which is equivalent to saying that “everybody knows how these things go!”

It is difficult, in public, to go beyond the level of formal uniformity. Sexuality is almost always conceived as a private matter, or in public, as a matter of ideology. Precisely for this reason the serious comparison of experiences beyond the limits of formal uniformity takes place in practice only between two people or in very limited groups. There is still a fear of being judged when it comes to sexuality and that’s why speech is, in public, on a very general level, and only in private can start a serious and useful dialog.

I would say that sexuality is the area in which the uniformity is experienced at the highest level. In a group of one hundred people chosen at random, political and cultural elements of all kinds emerge through discussion, but when it comes to sexuality the group seems made up of uniformly heterosexual persons, you may question some external behaviors but not heterosexuality in itself. I cite a concrete example: in a school with a thousand students there are on average eighty gay guys but no one of them can be identified.

The heterosexuality “seems” to dominate the horizon, but in reality, when you start knowing each individual member of the group, you realize that things are not so, that homosexuality exists and that it is not a phenomenon related to minimum minorities. If, going into the specifics, we talk exclusively with that 8% of homosexual population, we realize that those people are actually not only very far from sharing the general idea to be straight, but also that sexuality is still considered by them as a kind of taboo to be experienced only in secret and guilt, in essence, you realize that gay sexuality is often experienced with anxiety.

While 67.97% of heterosexual guys responded to the survey of Gay Project that they had never lived with anxiety the issues related to their sexual orientation, only 20.45% of gay guys gave the same answer.

Which points of reference can have a gay guy in terms of sexuality? The answers seem obvious, first the parents, then the peer group, then the educational system, etc. etc. . In fact it is already difficult for a straight guy to talk about sexuality with his parents, but for a gay guy the problem is often unsurpassable, not only he wouldn’t probably find on the other side a competent answer but he would face a significant risk of being rejected by his own family. The same could happen with the peer group (classmates, friends, etc.).

The education system in most cases is totally unprepared to provide serious answers in these areas. There are notable exceptions in the countries of Northern Europe but in southern European countries, mostly the United States and in almost all other states, not only there is no form of sex education that includes seriously also homosexuality, but in practice projects are reduced to convey some notion of reproductive physiology leaving entirely aside the emotional dimension and the psychological problems related to sexuality. I had to consider some of the projects of sexual education presented in Italy, aimed at young people aged 16 to 18 years, and I found not only the total absence of any reference to homosexuality, but even the total absence of any reference to masturbation, which is then, today, still a taboo also in the straight field.

To get a detailed picture of the situation we can use the statistics of Gay Project.

The following table compares the percentage of gay guys and straight guys who have never used sex chats or have never used dating sites.

                                        straight            gay
never sex chats             80.47%        61.14%
never dating sites         84.38%        53.14%

It is clear that gay guys do more use of gay sex chats and dating sites than straight guys but the reason does not lie in a greater propensity toward sex as fun or toward quick sex, it is instead a reaction entirely predictable to the marginalization to which gays are forced.

Another significant difference is in the reaction of gay guys and straight guys to the discovery of masturbation:

                                    straight           gay
I didn’t tell anyone       58.59%      80.57%
I told friends                35.94%      15.43%

It is clear that for a gay guy to talk about sexuality is much more problematic. The confidence in the group of peers for a gay guy, on average, is less than half of that of a straight guy.

A similar situation is found with the question “Have you ever told anyone that you used pornography?”

                                      straight        gay
I haven’t told anyone    36.72%    64.00%
I told friends                  56.25%    25.15%

Very significant is the comparison of the number of those who have never had sexual intercourse

                                         straight        gay
I’ve never had sex          32.03%     46.29%
mean age                       26.23         26.25

The overall picture shows that a gay guy has a lot more problems than a straight guy in talking about sexuality with his parents, with peers and at school, and then turns to sex chats and dating sites much more than a straight guy the same age, and also that a gay guy has much less chance to have sexual experiences compared to a straight guy.

Unfortunately, even though it is disheartening, the first source of information on sexuality, for gay guys, is the internet, and especially pornography and the environments of erotic chats and dating sites, which provide images that are often very far from the reality of the life of the vast majority of gay guys. Internet affects gay guys much more than it affects the straight guys. All this makes sexuality a taboo subject for gay guys much more than for straight guys.

I often talk in chat with gay guys having a picture of reality derived entirely from the internet, which means almost exclusively from pornography, sex chats and dating sites. Often these guys are not absolutely at ease with the models they have learned from pornography or chats and end up considering their attitude as something abnormal and deviant to be corrected and for this reason they strive to change their point of view. But if they knew the reality of the lives of other gay guys, they would realize that there’s anything to fix.

Issues related to performance anxiety are still common among gay guys and in these cases the erectile deficit is often considered by the guys themselves as their own personal problem to be solved through the complete acceptance of a pattern of behavior that falsely they consider as the rule of the gay world, but that is far from reality and instead derives almost exclusively from pornography.

There are guys with excellent level of culture and remarkable intellectual gifts that are dominated by anxiety related to the idea of having a small penis or of having problems with sexual response, things that doesn’t exist at all, except as a result of an attempt to integrate at any cost, that is forcedly, in a particular gay scene that they consider to be the typical expression of homosexuality.

There are guys who never use the word gay and avoid all matters relating to physical sexuality. The idea that gay guys can talk seriously even about oral sex or masturbation is still very scarcely spread. In reality, these things should not be considered in any way as a taboo because sexuality is an essential part of life for all guys. A good guy is not a good student who will make his way in life but to be a good guy should not have sex or should largely suppress his sexuality, no! A good guy is obviously (and it would be absurd to think otherwise) a guy who has his sexuality and has every right to live it in any way he likes, with the only limit of the respect of the freedom of others. A good guy lives his masturbation and couple sex when he has a partner, and it is essential that he lives these things with confidence and in a relaxed manner, without stupid conditioning, because sexuality is one of the pillars of well-being. In sexuality, more than in any other issue, the restriction of freedom has an impact heavily negative.

The idea that sexuality is a normal reality of life for all, which is not nothing to be ashamed of and that we can speak seriously of sexuality as we speak of all other things, is almost completely lacking, especially among gay guys.

In situations of isolation, that is in a condition where it is not possible or is very difficult to talk about contents related to sexuality, the anxious reaction prevails and behaviors can become risky. The self-esteem itself of a gay guy is often heavily influenced by the perception of his own sexuality as something that he can’t even speak about.

Addressing seriously the issues related to sexuality, putting aside the anxiety, means regaining self-esteem, reducing problems and maintaining a peaceful contact with reality, that is, in short, feeling better about themselves and others.

_______
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THE BIRTH OF A GAY COUPLE

Hello Project,
we already knew each other and about you I keep very positive memory that dates back more or less to a couple of years ago, when I used as a signature “lovethemusic”, we exchanged some mails, not few, and for me it was an important experience, even if I understood the real meaning only later.
At that time I felt weak and hesitant, today, luckily for me, things have changed and in a sense I think I have understood the true meaning of the things you told me in the mails two years ago.

It is now a year and a half that I’m with a guy, who is six years younger than me, it’s a lot of time, it is true, but since we’ve been together my life has changed, it has changed for me the meaning of the word “love”, my way of being gay has strongly changed. For the first time at the age of 29 I realized how they can be strong the feelings between two guys and for the first time I discovered the meaning of a deep human contact.

We both attended our church, I mostly out of habit, he probably because sincerely believer. We met because we both accompanied a group of young people (14-16 years old) to a summer camp, then he was 21 and I 27. We had already known by sight and a little more even before camping but at the campsite we got to talk a lot and our love story basically started there. I was enchanted by the charm he had on the boys. I was older and the boys with me didn’t familiarize too much, but he joked with him as though he was 15 y.o., and he was perfectly at home in their midst.

We started to talk a bit in the evening when the boys went off to sleep and we remained with the other two camp counselors to refurbish common rooms. At that time I thought that John was straight, because everything made me think so. He hadn’t a girl, I knew it well, but in the end he was very young and had many female friends with whom he was extremely casual. John is a nice guy, I liked him, but I considered him like many other straight guys I had met, in practice a separate world with which I would never had any contact.

The first few days we talked a lot about the church, the boys in the group, the study, the work, but not about the emotional life. I saw that he liked to stay and talk to me and it was always me that I had to stop the conversation because it was too late and we had to go to bed. The camp lasted for around ten days.

Eventually we became friends. I thought that for him, our relationship was a friendship but nothing more. With me he was casual but nothing gave the impression that he could nourish strong feelings for me.

Back in town we started dating, first only through the group linked to our church and then also for our business. In our conversations, only two subjects were completely absent: love and sex. At first I thought it was a sign that it was only a friendship but it did not make sense because in general two friends who already know each other talk a lot about these things. I could observe, however, that slowly our relationship had taken a dimension of everyday life and extraordinary spontaneity, things were developing on their own, we did not even need to agree, any proposal for one of us would automatically be accepted by the other. The smiles and the looking in the eyes had become common things and there was a minimum of physical contact: the hug when we said goodbye was not just a greeting, to invite me to come he took me by the hand, and sometimes he leaned his head on my shoulder or winked as if to say that he knew what I was going to say or do. I tried to be very careful not to expose me, he fascinated me but I tried to avoid him understand it but he must have realized it anyway.

At one point he began to indulge in forms of physical contact more meaningful, such long hugs, sudden and for no apparent reason, accompanied by expressions of happiness when he hugged me. The more I tried to pull back and get things back to usual level, the more John gave sign of feeling frustrated by my behavior. At one point, to fix a moment of embarrassment that had been created, he took the initiative and kissed me, I tried to say no but he replied: “Shut up!” And we remained kissing for 10 minutes. The next day I felt guilty, as if I had taken advantage of him, I told him but I read in his eyes the need to move on, that’s why I put apart every hesitation and hugged him strongly, that night we had our first timid sex. I do not think there’s anything more exciting than being in love with a guy and seeing that that guy wants you deeply. I basically understood what is the true sexuality. He hugged me very strong and had no inhibition, his spontaneity was total and, strangely for me, even my spontaneity was total.

Things went on like this for a few days, then I returned to the usual scruples and started to keep him at a distance. I believe that John has felt totally rejected and it was terrible, he insisted that he loved me but I did not want that between us there was sex anymore and I kept him at a distance for a while, then we restarted our meetings, but we made a pact between us, we decided that we would meet without physical contact. We spent long evenings talking and I began to learn more about John. I was amazed that he acted that way with me even if I wanted to distance. Then I was no longer able to tolerate to see him suffer and we newly began to have sex but the expression is not adequate because in reality, it was true love. For him, sex was a bit a response to his need for affection, was like to realize that his need for affection was much more important than my inhibitions and that in the end I could understand how he truly felt. I never thought that sex could have such an ability to soothe, to reassure that can have an affective so deep meaning.

When I was with him I felt no guilt, it was all so natural, so beautiful, so full of feeling that the idea that it was not a good thing never crossed my mind. But sometimes later, when I was alone, I was reminded that religion condemns these things and then beyond appearances, what we were doing was not a way to be good, but was actually a bad thing, that was a way to hurt him for some reason that I couldn’t even understand. I tried to tell John these things and he listened, puzzled, and yet I knew that he was a believer, but I lived religion through a thousand scruples, he lived it as something liberating. He looked at me with a strong sense of concern and asked me: “Do you really think that we are doing something bad?” And I did not know what to answer, and in those moments I saw him again alone in his solitude, the solitude to which I had forced him, then I took his hand and felt all his hesitation and in that moment it seemed terribly unfair to keep him away from me and then I hugged him strongly.

I knew the weakness of John, his need for love, I felt him close to me as I haven’t felt any other person and slowly I began to put aside my scruples, and I came to understand that our love was true.

Sometimes, when I read things that people say about gays, it takes me a sense of despair, because now for me it is clear that those people do not understand at all what is the gay love, the love between two men. Me too, for a long time indeed, I had strong doubts that between two men could exist a real love, I’ve probably learned this kind of mistrust by the environment in which I lived and for me to go over it was not easy. I started to put aside certain forms of psychological addiction to religion and I began to wonder what for me was good and bad, beyond any preconception and now I have no doubt, and I think that only love has the power to free us from our fears and give us the courage to finally be ourselves.

It remains only one fear that is the fear that my relationship with John can finish. Objectively there is nothing on which to base this fear, but the fact is that the love of John effectively became the cornerstone of my life and think of living without him would not make sense.

In our relationship there have been also moments of misunderstanding but when it happened I never had the fear that our relationship would end. We repeated to each other this thing a thousand times. Today, after a year and a half, I’m a happy man. We do not live together because our families do not know that we are gay and by mutual agreement we decided not to say anything, not for reasons of selfishness or distrust but because we both think that our parents would not understand and every day we receive confirmation from the speeches that we hear at home. In addition to putting in enormous difficulties our parents, we could also expose our relationship to strong tensions but we want to live as a couple in peace of mind. Now I have a job, but it is a job with fixed-term contract and John still studies, if things go on like this, in a few years (I hope) we could be truly independent and we could move in together.

The relationship with religion, in the sense of our community, went into crisis. Obviously in that environment nobody knows about us, therefore nobody can marginalize us but since we know what is the way to see things for the people that live in that environment, we prefer partridge outside to avoid having to pretend a communion of thought which does not exist no longer. But we kept a set of values related to religion and also a great hope that God is better than men and has reserved for us a place in heaven. It is not a figure of speech, it’s a form of faith, I think, we’ll never lose.

Project, now I understand the meaning of many things that you told me and I realize that they were true!
Matthew

_______
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STATISTICS ON GAY SEXUALITY

I am pleased to announce that now (January 24, 2013) Statistics on gay sexuality by Gay Project are finally available online. The statistics show the status of data at the time of interrogation. Since statistics are mostly about hidden gays, who clearly cannot be reliably detected, it is impossible to create samples that can be said representative in a statistical sense (Gay Project statistics represent the picture of those who have completed the questionnaire), the statistics are nevertheless very important because they are practically the only tool that provides an objective survey of gay sexuality extended to hidden gays.
The service is offered in both Italian and English language.
I invite you to complete and post the questionnaire to contribute to the development of the project (all indications are available on the page linked below):

STATISTICS ON GAY SEXUALITY

Here bellow you can read the complete questionnaire:

1) My age
Use integers only

2) My marital status
I’m single
I’m engaged to a girl
I’m married
I am separate
I’m divorced

3) Sons
No children
I have only one child
I have more than one child

4) Family pressures
My family has never affected me in matters related to my sexuality
I think that my family in the end would let me free to follow my emotional/sexual orientation without major problems
My family expects me to be straight
My family would not accept at all that I was not straight

5) Social expectations
The social context in which I live has virtually no weight on emotional/sexual choices
The social context in which I live I think that in the end would be entirely indifferent to my affective/sexual orientation and I would not cause big problems
The social context in which I live would not accept me easily as gay
In the social context in which I live, as a gay man I would have life impossible

6) Why are you doing this test?
I do the test because I have some doubts about my sexual orientation
I do the test because I’d find confirmation of what I already know in practice on my sexual orientation
I do the test out of curiosity

7) Anxiety and sexual orientation
I’ve never lived with anxiety the issues related to my sexual orientation
At the beginning I lived with anxiety the issues related to my sexual orientation but It doesn’t happen anymore
I still live anxiously the situations related to my sexual orientation
I think that the issues related to my sexual orientation are wrapping me from several points of view

8) Have you done before other tests concerning sexual orientation?
I’ve never done before other tests concerning sexual orientation
I’ve done other tests on sexual orientation but only for fun
I’ve done other tests on sexual orientation and I was not satisfied in the sense that I was not given any definite answer

9) Have you read books or specific articles on sexology or sexual psychology?
I have never read books or specific articles on sexology or sexual psychology
Sometimes I read specific books or articles on sexology or sexual psychology but only out of curiosity
I’d like to read specific books or articles on sexology or sexual psychology but I really don’t have time
I tried to learn seriously reading different specific books or articles on sexology or sexual psychology

10) Have you ever consulted a psychologist for reasons related to sexuality?
I have never consulted a psychologist for reasons related to sexuality
Once I consulted a psychologist for reasons related to sexuality but then I gave up because I thought it was not useful
Once I consulted a psychologist for reasons related to sexuality but then I gave up because it was too expensive
Once I consulted a psychologist for reasons related to sexuality but then I gave up because I did not feel at ease
I have consulted a psychologist for reasons related to sexuality but I haven’t gotten any results
I have consulted a psychologist for reasons related to sexuality and it was definitely useful

11) Have you ever consulted a psychologist for reasons other than sexuality?
I have never consulted a psychologist for reasons other than sexuality
Once I consulted a psychologist for reasons other than sexuality but then I gave up because I thought it wasn’t useful
Once I consulted a psychologist for reasons other than sexuality but then I gave up because it was too expensive
Once I consulted a psychologist for reasons other than sexuality but then I gave up because I did not feel at ease
I have consulted a psychologist for reasons other than sexuality but I haven’t gotten any results
I have consulted a psychologist for reasons other than sexuality and it was definitely useful

12) How do you perceive your sexual orientation
At the beginning I also had a straight period but now I feel much gay
I’ve always felt gay from the beginning
I’m gay, but sometimes I also feel straight impulses
I’am gay but I’m not sexually indifferent to the girls
I’m bisexual with a high gay prevalence
I’m bisexual with a slight gay predominance
I feel bisexual with no particular orientation gay or straight
I felt fully heterosexual or fully gay depending on the time
I’m bisexual with wit a light straight prevalence
I’m bisexual with a high straight prevalence
I’m straight, but the I’m not sexually indifferent to the guys
I’m straight, but sometimes I also feel gay impulses
I have always felt straight from the beginning
At the beginning I also had a gay phase but now I feel much straight

13) Openly/Hidden
I’m openly gay to everyone
I’m gay but only a few friends and my family know
I’m gay but only know a few friends know but at home no one knows
I’m gay but I act straight with my family
I’m gay but I act straight with everyone
I’m bisexual and everyone knows it
I’m bisexual but only a few friends and my family know
I’m bisexual but I only a few friends know but at home no one knows
I’m bisexual but I act straight with my family
I’m bisexual but I act straight with everyone
I’m straight

14) How other consider you in relation to the sexual orientation
My sexuality is not a mystery to anyone
All consider me 100% straight
I think my sexual orientation doesn’t interest anyone
I’m always on my own and other people don’t deal with me
Maybe others have some doubts about my sexual orientation but don’t talk about
The others have doubts about my sexual orientation but don’t talk about in front of me
I think that others think I’m gay
They think I’m gay, and they tell me it clearly

15) Affective orientation perceived
At first I fell in love with girls but now I tend to fall in love just with guys
I tend to fall in love just with guys
I tend to fall in love only with guys but I think I could fall in love with some girls too
I tend to fall in love only with guys but with some girls I’m just fine
I tend to fall in love almost exclusively with guys but also with some girls
I tend to fall in love with both guys and girls, perhaps more with guys
I tend to fall in love with guys and girls equally.
I tend to fall in love with guys or with girls according to the time
I tend to fall in love with both boys and girls, perhaps more with girls
I tend to fall in love almost exclusively with girls, but also some guys
I tend to fall in love only with girls but I’m just fine with some guys
I tend to fall in love only with girls but I think I could fall in love with some guys
I tend to fall in love only with girls
At first I fell in love with guys but now I tend to fall in love only with girls

16) Couple’s sexuality
I’ve never had sex neither heterosexual nor gay
At the beginning I had sex with girls but now I have relationships only with guys
I’ve only had sex with guys
I have sexual relations only with guys despite some straight fantasies
I have sexual relations only with guys but I’m also attracted to girls
I have sexual relations with guys almost exclusively, but sometimes also with girls
I have sexual relations mostly with guys but also with girls
I have sexual relations with guys and girls equally
I have sexual relations with either boys and girls according to the time
I have sexual relations especially with girls but also with guys
I have sex almost exclusively with girls, but sometimes also with guys
I have sexual relations only with girls but I’m also attracted to the guys
I have sexual relations only with girls despite some gay fantasy
I’ve only had sex with girls
At the beginning I had sex with guys but now I have relationships only with girls

17) My ideal couple’s sexuality
The ideal, for me, would be a stable couple openly publicly declared, marriage style
The ideal for me would be a stable couple declared only to family and close friends
The ideal for me would be a stable couple declared only to close friends
The ideal for me would be a couple with a minimum of flexibility but with a stable emotional relationship
I don’t seek a stable partner, I don’t even think it makes sense to try

18) My possible project of couple’s sexuality
I think for me it is possible to achieve a stable couple openly declared, marriage style
I think for me it is possible to achieve a stable couple declared only to family and close friends
I think for me it is possible to achieve a stable couple declared only to close friends
I think for me it is possible to make a couple with a minimum of flexibility but with a stable emotional relationship
I think for me it is not even possible to have a stable partner and not even tried to find

19) Orientation of masturbation
At the beginning I masturbated with straight fantasies but now I only do it with gay fantasies
I masturbate only with gay fantasies
I masturbate only with gay fantasies, sometimes I even have heterosexual fantasies but not connected with masturbation
I masturbate with gay fantasies but I think I could do it even thinking about some girls
I masturbate almost exclusively with gay fantasies, but very rarely also thinking about some girls
I masturbate mostly with gay fantasies but sometimes thinking about girls
I masturbate thinking is either the boys and the girls
I masturbate thinking about boys or girls depending on the time
I masturbate mostly with heterosexual fantasies but sometimes also thinking about guys
I masturbate almost exclusively with heterosexual fantasies, but very rarely also thinking about some guys
I masturbate with straight fantasies but I think I could do it even thinking about some guys
I masturbate only with heterosexual fantasies, sometimes I also have gay fantasies but not connected with masturbation
I masturbate only with heterosexual fantasies
At the beginning I masturbated with gay fantasies but now I do it only with heterosexual fantasies

20) Variability of masturbatory fantasies
My masturbatory fantasies are almost always the same
My masturbatory fantasies seldom change
My masturbatory fantasies are highly variable

21) Use of pornography
I never use pornography
Sometimes I go on straight porn sites t but just out of curiosity
Sometimes I go on gay porn sites but just out of curiosity
Sometimes I go on porn sites both straight and gay, but only out of curiosity
I use mostly straight porn sites to masturbate, I do it often, but I don’t feel affected
I use mainly gay porn sites to masturbate, I do it often, but I don’t feel affected
I use porn sites both straight and gay to masturbate, I do it often, but I don’t feel affected
I use only straight porn sites to masturbate, I do it often, but I don’t feel affected
I use only gay porn sites to masturbate, I do it often, but I don’t feel affected
I’m partially heterosexual pornography addict, I’m on all the time I can
I’m partially gay pornography addict, I’m on all the time I can
I’m partially both straight and gay pornography addict, I’m on all the time I can
Straight pornography for me is a kind of obsession, practically all my time on the internet is dedicated to straight porn sites and I cannot help it
The gay pornography for me is a kind of obsession, practically all my time on the internet is dedicated to gay porn sites and I cannot help it
All pornography both straight and gay for me is a kind of obsession, practically all my time on the internet is dedicated to porn sites and I cannot help it

22) Why I use pornography
I don’t use pornography
I use of pornography because I can’t freely express my sexuality and pornography is practically the only sexual outlet I have
Concrete occasions of sexual involvement in every’s life are few and pornography helps to live at least a virtual sexuality
I might as well do without it but I don’t see why I should, since if you do it with intelligence it doesn’t harm

23) How often do you masturbate using pornography?
I never masturbate using pornography
From 0% to 10%
From 10% to 20%
From 20% to 30%
From 30% to 40%
From 40% to 50%
From 50% to 60%
From 60% to 70%
From 70% to 80%
From 80% to 90%
From 90% to 100%

24) Have you ever gone on a pay porn site?
I’ve never been on a pay porn site
I went on a pay porn site only once
I went on a pay porn site from 2 to 5 times
I went on a pay porn site from 6 to 10 times
I went on a pay porn site more than 10 times
I often go on pay porn sites

25) How many porn sites do you visit regularly?
Usually I don’t visit porn sites
Usually I visit a single porn site
Usually I visit from 2 to 5 porn sites
Usually I visit from 6 to 10 porn sites
Usually I visit more than 10 porn sites

26) Sexual interest polarization
My sexual fantasies focus on a single person who has strong emotional meaning for me
My sexual fantasies focus on two people who have strong emotional meaning for me
My sexual fantasies focus on a small group of people who have strong emotional meaning for me
My sexual fantasies focus especially on people whom I know and attract me sexually
My sexual fantasies are mainly focused on episodes particularly exciting in terms of sex that I happen to live day by day
My sexual fantasies are mainly focused on past memories very exciting in terms of sex
My sexual fantasies are derived mainly from pornography

27) Frequency of masturbation and emotional state
The frequency of my masturbation is practically constant
The frequency of my masturbation tends to increase when I fall in love and to decrease when I’m depressed
The frequency of my masturbation tends to increase when I’m depressed and to decrease when I fall in love

28) What I think about masturbation
I consider masturbation something completely natural
I consider masturbation like a behavior that should go away if you really fall in love
I consider masturbation as a fact that eventually is accepted but is morally reprehensible because in fact exploits the image of another person
I consider masturbation a vice from which you should release because sexuality is a serious thing

29) Masturbation and affection
I consider masturbation and emotions are closely linked and when you fall in love you live in a different way
I think that masturbation and affection are two things that may also have something in common but generally masturbation is just a physiological outlet
I think that masturbation and emotions have nothing in common

30) How do I consider sexuality lived as a couple
I think that the couple’s sexuality is a manner to express love
I think that couple’s sexuality should be a manner to express love but in the end it trivializes the whole
I think that couple’s sexuality is still accepted but is morally wrong because in fact exploits another person for selfish

31) Attraction to the nakedness
I’ve never watched the nakedness of anyone, neither guy nor girl
I watched the nakedness of unaware girls
I watched the nakedness of other unaware guys
I watched the nakedness both of unaware other guys and of unaware girls

32) Causing sexually embarrassing situations
I’ve never done in a way that neither boys nor girls find themselves in sexually embarrassing situations
I acted in order to put other guys in sexually embarrassing situations
I acted in order to put girls in sexually embarrassing situations
I acted in order to put both other guys and girls in sexually embarrassing situations

33) Reactions in situations of collective non-sexual nakedness (locker rooms)
I’ve never been in situations of collective non-sexual nakedness
I made sure that I am not ever in a situation of collective non-sexual nakedness (locker rooms)
When I’m in situations of collective non-sexual nakedness (locker rooms), I feel embarrassment and try to be there for the shortest time possible
I like being in situations of collective non-sexual nakedness (locker rooms) but I try in every way to control my erection that is almost unavoidable
I like being in situations of collective non-sexual nakedness (locker rooms) but I try in every way to control my erection that is almost inevitable if there is any guy that interests me
I’m comfortable in situations of collective non-sexual nakedness (locker rooms) and if you get an erection in the end nothing happens
I’m comfortable in situations of collective non-sexual nakedness (locker rooms), I’m used to and I’m not any more effect
The situations of collective non-sexual nakedness (locker rooms), are for me totally indifferent

34) Heavy sex jokes made in group to other guys (e.g. forced stripping)
I never happened to be present at a heavy sex joke made in group to another guy (e.g. forced stripping)
When I happen to be present at a heavy sex joke made in group to another guy (e.g. forced stripping) I feel embarrassment
When I happen to be present at a heavy sex joke made in group to another guy (e.g. forced stripping) I get excited but I do not take part in the thing
When I happen to be present at a heavy sex joke made in group to another guy (e.g. forced stripping) I take part easily because, it’s just a joke
When I happen to be present at a heavy sex joke made in group to another guy (e.g. forced stripping) I take part easily because it is a sexual game and I like such tings

35) Do you talk about your sexuality with your friends?
My friends and I never talk about my sexuality
With my friends I act 100% straight
With my friends I try to avoid the subject and I don’t say to be gay but not even to be straight
My friends and I talk quietly about my sexuality

36) Do you go to sex chats?
I never go to sex chats
Sometimes I go to straight sex chats but just out of curiosity
Sometimes I go to gay sex chats but just out of curiosity
Sometimes I go both to straight and gay sex chats but just out of curiosity
I happened sometimes to go to straight sex chats because I was trying to contact girls but I never contacted any girl in person among those I met in sex chats
I happened sometimes to go to gay sex chats because I was trying to contact guys but I never contacted any guy in person among those I met in sex chats
I happened sometimes to go to straight sex chats because I was trying to contact girls and then I met in person some of those girls
I happened to go in sometimes to gay sex chats because I was trying to contact gays and then I met personally some of those guys
I happened several times to go to straight sex chats because I was trying to contact girls but I never met any girl in person among those I met in sex chats
I happened several times to go to gay sex chats because I was trying to contact guys but I never met any guy in person among those I met in sex chats
I happened several times to go to straight sex chats because I was trying to contact girls and then I met in person many of those girls
I happened several times to go to gay sex chats because I was trying to contact gays and then I met in person many of those guys
I regularly go to straight sex chats and I know this way many girls in person
I regularly go to gay sex chats and I meet this way many guys in person

37) Do you go to dating sites?
I never go to dating sites
Sometimes I go to straight dating sites but just out of curiosity
Sometimes I go to gay dating sites but just out of curiosity
Sometimes I go to dating sites both straight and gay, but only out of curiosity
I happened to attend sometimes straight dating sites because I was trying to contact girl but I never met any girl in person among those I met in dating sites
I happened to go sometimes to gay dating sites because I was trying to contact gays but I never met any guy in person among those I met in dating sites
I happened to attend sometimes to straight dating sites because I was trying to contact girls and then I met in person some of those girls
I happened to go sometimes to gay dating sites because I was trying to contact gays and then I met in person some of those guys
I happened several times to go to straight dating sites because I was trying to contact girls but I never met any girl in person among those I met in dating sites
I happened several times to go to gay dating sites because I was trying to contact gays but I never met any guy in person among those I met in dating sites
I happened several times to go to straight dating sites because I was trying to contact girls and then I met in person many of those girls
I happened several times to go to gay dating sites because I was trying to contact guys and then I met in person many of those guys
I regularly dating sites straight and I know so many girls in person
I regularly go to gay dating sites and I meet this way many guys in person

38) Have you ever been in a place openly gay?
I’ve never been in a place openly gay
Sometimes I was in a local openly gay but just out of curiosity
I happened sometimes to go to a local openly gay because I go there with friends
I happened sometimes to go to a local openly gay because I was trying to contact guys
I went several times to a local openly gay because I go there with friends
regularly go to the gay locals

39) Straight falling in love and masturbation
I’ve never been in love with a girl
When I fall in love with a girl I avoid masturbating
When I fall in love with a girl I masturbate thinking about her but after I have feelings of guilt
When I fall in love with a girl I masturbate quietly thinking about her
When I fall in love with a girl I masturbate thinking also about other girls but then I feel guilty because I seem to betray
When I fall in love with a girl I masturbate thinking also about some guy but after I feel guilty because I seem to betray
When I fall in love with a girl I masturbate quietly even thinking about other girls
When I fall in love with a girl I masturbate quietly even thinking about some guy
When I fall in love with a girl I masturbate just thinking about other girls, if I did thinking about her I’d feel guilty

40) Gay falling in love and masturbation
I’ve never been in love with a guy
When I fall in love with a guy I avoid masturbating
When I fall in love with a guy I masturbate thinking about him but then I feel guilty
When I fall in love with a guy I masturbate thinking quietly about him
When I fall in love with a guy I masturbate thinking also to other guys but then I feel guilty because it seems to me to betray him
When I fall in love with a guy I masturbate also thinking about some girls but after I feel guilty because it seems to me to betray him
When I fall in love with a guy I masturbate quietly even thinking about other guys
When I fall in love with a guy I masturbate quietly even thinking about some girls
When I fall in love with a guy I masturbate just thinking the other guys, if I did thinking about hit I’d feel guilty

41) Falling in love, sex chat and dating sites
When I fall in love I don’t go to sex chats and dating sites
When I fall in love I try to avoid sex chats and dating sites but don’t always succeed
When I fall in love I continue to go to sex chats and dating sites
I never go to sex chats and dating sites

42) Falling in love and pornography
When I fall in love I don’t need porn sites to masturbate
When I fall in love I try not to go to porn sites to masturbate but sometimes it happens
When I fall in love easily go on watching porn sites to masturbate
I never use pornography

43) Your first memories of episodes that had some sexual coloring for you
The first memories I have of episodes that had some sexual coloring are lost in the past, are distant and irrelevant in practice
The first memories I have of episodes that had some sexual coloring, for me, are not pretty
The first memories I have of episodes that had some sexual coloring, for me, are pleasant

44) The first episodes of your life that had some sexual coloring
The first episodes of my life that had any sexual coloring were about gays younger than me
The first episodes of my life that had some sexual coloring concerned girls younger than me
The first episodes of my life that had any sexual coloring were about gays almost my age
The first episodes of my life that had some sexual coloring concerned girls almost my age
The first episodes of my life that had had some sexual coloring concerned guys older than me
The first episodes of my life that had some sexual coloring concerned girls older than me
The first episodes of my life that had some sexual coloring concerned adult men
The first episodes of my life that had some sexual coloring concerned adult women
The first episodes of my life that had some sexual coloring were related to groups of only guys almost the my age
The first episodes of my life that had some sexual coloring were related to groups of only girls almost the my age
The first episodes of my life that had any sexual coloring were related yo mixed groups of guys and girls almost my age
The first episodes of my life that had some sexual coloring were related to groups of only guys older than me
The first episodes of my life that had some sexual coloring were related to groups of only girls older than me
The first episodes of my life that had any sexual coloring were related to mixed groups of guys and girls older than me

45) The first episodes of your life that had any sexual coloring
The first episodes of my life that had any sexual coloring were homosexual
The first episodes of my life that had any sexual coloring were heterosexual

46) At what age did you discover masturbation?
Answer an integer

47) How did you discover masturbation?
I discovered masturbation alone
I discovered masturbation by speeches of friends
I discovered masturbation with another guy
I discovered masturbation with a girl
I discovered masturbation through masturbation in common with friends
I discovered masturbation through pornography

48) How did you react to the discovery of masturbation?
After the discovery of masturbation I felt panic
After the discovery of masturbation I felt uncertainty
After the discovery of masturbation I tried to suppress it
After the discovery of masturbation, I found it immediately attractive but I lived it with guilt
After the discovery of masturbation I had no problem and I lived very quietly from the beginning

49) The fantasies of your first masturbations
The fantasies of my first masturbations were straight
The fantasies of my first masturbations were gay
The fantasies of my first masturbations were mostly straight
The fantasies of my first masturbations were mostly gay
The fantasies of my first masturbations were both straight and gay

50) Whom were your first masturbations dedicated to?
My first masturbations were always dedicated to guys I had met in real life
My first masturbations were always dedicated to girls I had met in real life
My first masturbations were always dedicated to guys I had seen by accident
My first masturbations were always dedicated to girls I had seen by chance
My first masturbations were always or almost dedicated to pictures of guys coming from pornography and sometimes to guys I had met in real life
My first masturbations were always or almost dedicated to pictures of girls coming from pornography and sometimes to girls I had met in real life
My first masturbations were dedicated both to guys and girls but mostly to guys
My first masturbations were dedicated both to guys and girls but mostly to girls
My first masturbations were dedicated both to guys and girls much or less the same way

51) After the discovery of masturbation did you talk anyone?
After the discovery of masturbation I did not talk about to anyone
After the discovery of masturbation I talked about with my parents
After the discovery of masturbation I talked about with a priest
After the discovery of masturbation I talked about with a psychologist
After the discovery of masturbation I talked about with some older friends
After the discovery of masturbation I talked about with some friends my age

52) At what age did you have your first contact with pornography?
Answer using an integer

53) How did you come to pornography?
I have never come to pornography
I have come to pornography to mimic the behavior of friends
I have come to pornography on the suggestion of friends
I have come to pornography just out of spontaneous curiosity

54) How did you react to the discovery of pornography?
After the discovery of pornography I reacted with excitement
After the discovery of pornography I reacted with feelings of guilt
After the discovery of pornography I reacted with uncertainty
After the discovery of pornography I reacted by trying to avoid it
After the discovery of pornography I found it interesting from the beginning but I was living it with guilt
After the discovery of pornography I had no problem at all and I used it very quietly from the beginning

55) Have you ever told anyone that you were using pornography?
I’ve never told anyone that I was using pornography
I told my parents that I was using pornography
I told a priest that I was using pornography
I told a psychologist that I was using pornography
I told friends older than me that I was using pornography
I told friends my age that I was using pornography
I never used pornography

56) At what age did you first had sexual contact with another person?
Reply 0 if it never happened

57) Who was the person with whom you had the first sexual contact?
I never had sexual contacts
The person with whom I had my first sexual contact was a guy younger than me
The person with whom I had my first sexual contact was a guy my age or so
The person with whom I had my first sexual contact was a guy older than me
The person with whom I had my first sexual contact was an adult man
The person with whom I had my first sexual contact was a girl younger than me
The person with whom I had my first sexual contact was a girl my age or so
The person with whom I had my first sexual contact was an girl older than me
The person with whom I had my first sexual contact was an adult woman

58) How did you get to have the first sexual contact with another person?
I got to have my first sexual contact in a situation that was as a game
I got to have my first sexual contact in a situation that was to me a strong sexual interest
I got to have my first sexual contact in a situations of physical or psychological coercion
I have never had sexual contact

59) Your first sexual contacts were completely episodic or were repeated?
My first sexual contact was entirely episodic, it happened only once
I would say that my first sexual contacts were sporadic, they only happened a few times
My first sexual contacts for a while have become a habit
I never had sexual contacts

60) Satisfaction of your first sexual contact
I really liked my first sexual contact
My first sexual contacts were like a game or so to me
I didn’t really like my first sexual contacts but I didn’t even feel unpleasant
As for my first sexual contacts, I was not displeased but I felt guilty, I said earlier to reject them but then I ended up accepting
I never had sexual contacts

61) Evolution of masturbatory sexuality
My masturbatory fantasies were and still are always gay
My masturbatory fantasies were and still are always straight
My masturbatory fantasies tend to become progressively more gay
My masturbatory fantasies tend to become progressively more straight
My masturbatory fantasies have always been more or less variable

62) How did you meet your current partner or your last partner?
I’ve never had couple’s partners
I met my current partner (or my last partner) at school
I met my current partner (or my last partner) at the university
I met my current partner (or my last partner) at work
I met my current partner (or my last partner) through friends
I met my current partner (or my last partner) via dating sites
I met my current partner (or my last partner) through erotic chats
I met my current partner (or my last partner) attending locals
I met my current partner (or my last partner) randomly through the internet

63) How many guys have you had sexual contact with during your life?
Indicate 0 if it never happened

64) How many girls have you had sexual contact with during your life?
Indicate 0 if it never happened

65) On average, how long endured your straight relationships? Indicate an average in months
Indicate 0 if it never happened

66) On average, how long endured your gay relationships? Indicate an average in months
Indicate 0 if it never happened

67) How did you behave when you weren’t engaged?
When I wasn’t engaged I tried to find a girl
When I wasn’t engaged I tried to find a guy
When I wasn’t engaged I didn’t try to find neither boys nor girls
When I wasn’t engaged I tried to find both boys and girls

FROM PERPLEXED HETERO TO HAPPY GAY

Hello Project,
From some months now I follow Gay Project that is practically unique throughout the network and allowed me to understand many things and gave a serious answer to many questions.

My name is Max, I am 29 years old, luckily for me I have a good job, which is a rarity these days, and I live on my own in a small town in the northern Italy. To accept my being gay it took me so long, I had two girlfriends, the first story was a thing of little weight, but the second was important. I needed a rest, I felt alone, I was 26 years old when it started.

I was used to let myself go with this girl, at least a little, then I realized the reason but I didn’t realize at that time. I had sex with her, but in a very strange way, I never took the initiative, such things didn’t event come into my mind, she had to do everything, I abandoned myself just passively and she brought me to orgasm as well. The first few times, that’s what I understood later, it seemed important to me to have an erection with a girl because this drove away the fear of being gay. When I reached orgasm I fell a sense of disappointment, as if it were something completely stupid and in fact for me it was just a physical reaction. She was used to give great importance to the fact that I had reached orgasm, she felt really proud of that.

Only a very few times I’ve been to stimulate her, but she had to basically teach me everything because I had no idea of how a woman could get excited. I think that in general a 26 year old guy knows very well what to do to a woman but I did not know. She wanted me to try penetration but I never did, a little out of fear that she became pregnant and a bit because for me it was not a spontaneous thing. So, according to her, things were going very well and I was just a little clumsy but I knew that it was not the case and that I was forced, as you say, I was “doing an experiment” on myself to see if I could eventually adapt to living with a woman.

The fact of having sex with her, however, gave me the feeling of not being gay and things went on like this, and here comes my discovery of your blog, in fact I had then also another sex life, I masturbated but always just watching gay videos or making fantasies about guys I met at the gym. Frankly these things, then, hadn’t any great significance for me, I said to myself that it was to make comparisons just like, I think, all the straight guys do and then, after all, it didn’t even happen so often.

I never made fantasies about girls but then it seemed to me obvious and almost meritorious because I had a girlfriend who had sex with me. With my girlfriend I had a very special relationship because her parents didn’t even know that we were somehow in love, or at least I had not ever wanted them to know because, I think, subconsciously I was afraid of getting bound, instead friends knew, both her and mine and, after all, that my friends knew it, for me, was an important thing. I had told her about a lot of strange things, about why I didn’t want to marry her and didn’t even want to have children, all these things seemed absurd to her and she was quite sure that she could change my mind.

Sometimes I thought that she considered me as a person of very little importance and that she was only interested in me to involve me into her life in order to complete her project of life, however, I can say that sex between us had become a habit, we were together also to have sex and I liked it, or at least tolerated it, but then when it was over I forgot the whole thing and did not think about until the next time and basically I didn’t want it really. I remember that when we were together she was totally focused on sex on the contrary I was thinking about something else and I was wondering why I was having sex with her.

We weren’t used to talk about us, but always and only about her projects that in fact did not concern us as couple but our being a couple in the eyes of other people, we were talking about going here or there, doing this or that, nothing more. I was surprised that nevertheless she felt in love with me but I think she really felt.

A couple of years ago I happened by chance on Gay Project and I began to read. The more I read, the more I opened my eyes. At one point I said: but then I’m really gay! I was used to think that the fact that I had never done those things that are said to be typical of gay guys was a clear evidence that I was not gay, and in addition I had sex with a girl. Then by reading more and more your blog, this reasoning was beginning to seem absurd, I began to think to the fact that sexual fantasies are a serious matter and slowly, I can say, I started living that things with more awareness, but at most I could consider myself bisexual, that was the idea I had formed of me, but then that idea has been shattered, but I didn’t like the idea of being gay.

The forum helped me a lot, but now sex with my girlfriend had become a habit and frankly I thought it would be still better to have sex with a guy whom I fantasized about but I thought it was absolutely impossible for me as a concrete experience. Let’s say that I had reached a balance, a compromise, certainly unstable but reassuring.

Then three months ago things have changed, I met by accident a guy 21 y. o.. He came where I work and had some work problems to be solved, things were rather complicated and he asked me if I could help him. The way he asked me and his appearance made me come to a heart attack. I was enchanted. I had other work to do but I invited him to sit down and I closed the door. He began to tell me about various problems and I tried to find the best solution concentrating at most. Not all problems could be solved immediately, for some things we needed our attention and time.

We met again in the following days. We were experiencing more and more a wonderful climate. I went to work just to see that guy. I asked myself a lot of questions and he did the same thing. Slowly the atmosphere became very pleasant, he called at home to get information and always we ended up chatting about things that with the work had nothing to do. Both were trying to prolong the conversation as much as possible. It took a little to start a conversation less formal and more friendly, then came the first pizza together and the first evening spent talking in the car, then he asked me how I figured out and accepted it, I told him that everything happened without any problem, all came very natural, and he told me about himself and even that he had spent long nights to read blog posts of Project.

The day when we told each other everything was beautiful, I think it was something absolutely unique and I felt very happy. When I looked into his eyes and I saw his smile I was the happiest man in the world, I wanted to hug him but I did not have the courage neither had he, I was afraid that even the slightest physical contact could break the spell. We met for almost three months, and then he told me that it was his first time and he wanted to make love with me, I told him all my fears, insisting that I had a girlfriend although frankly I wanted to be with him only. With him, I could also talk about my sexual fantasies.

Sometimes it seemed impossible that a guy like him could be in love with me, but things were just so. I felt a sexual attraction to him but also a strong total tenderness, I loved him just as a person, he made me feel loved, made me feel that he loved me, trusted me completely, we were happy together and we are still. Project, what you write about gay affectivity is absolutely true. Recently, I spent two days with him and I do not think I could do without it.

It is two weeks that I no longer see my girlfriend, I could not tell her anything and in the end I’m sorry but I do not think she would understand. When we had the opportunity to talk about gay people she replied as one who takes no offense but with “them” just doesn’t want to have anything to do.

I believe that I have never been so happy as today. It is not a matter of sex, it’s that I feel just totally in love with this guy. In everything he does and says there never was a discordant note and such a guy is in love with me! Guys, before meeting him, I was convinced that my life would have been to have sex with a woman without any real involvement and act like I was in love with her, I thought I’d never have a boyfriend, I took it for granted, and then at age 29 the possibilities decrease, but no! As you say, Project, when you meet the right guy, life changes. And I love my boyfriend totally, I like him in every way, just as a person because he’s truly a good person, a honest guy who wants to love and be loved. I want to tell everyone, do not put in your head that love does not exist and you will not find it because when you least are waiting for him, a guy looks into your eyes and your life changes! A hug to everyone! And one very special to Project (now I really understand the deep meaning of what you said!)

Max

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