GAY GUYS AND PREVENTION OF SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES

Here below you can read the first part of chapter 18 of the Textbook on Homosexuality by Gay Project, you can easily download it here, absolutely free, unfortunately at the moment only in Italian:
http://gayproject.altervista.org/manuale…ualita.pdf
The chapter can also be heard in voice (only in Italian) on the Gay Project Radio website, at:
http://progettogayradio.blogspot.it/2013…zione.html
______________________________________

From “GAY PROJECT HOMOSEXUALITY TEXTBOOK” – CHAP. 18

GAYS AND PREVENTION

It has been rightly pointed out that sex education cannot be reduced to alerting young people to the risks associated with sexuality (unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases) but must take the fundamental task of contributing to individual well-being increasing the value of the pleasure as a means to improve the quality of life. Certainly we cannot disagree with such a statement, however, it remains that, in particular about sexual education of gay guys, the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases plays an absolutely fundamental role. Let us now try to understand why.

We start from data updated to 2012, which come from the Italian Higher Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità):

In Italy in 2011, there are 94.146 cases of HIV infections treated (HIV-positive and AIDS), adding the estimated share of unaware HIV-positive people, the number rises to 156.910.

The causes of transmission of the virus are divided as follows:

37.2% heterosexual relationships
28.5% injective users of substances
27.7% homosexual relationships between males

At first glance one gets the impression that heterosexual relationships are now even more dangerous than homosexual ones but it should be kept in mind that heterosexuals are about 92% of the population, while homosexual males are about 4%, so 92% of population, composed of heterosexuals, contributes 37.2% to the total number of infections, while 4% of the population, composed of homosexual males, contributes 27.7%. As a result, male homosexuals have a statistical probability of becoming infected with HIV which is 17.3 times higher than that of heterosexuals. The number 17.13 represents the so-called risk ratio gay on hetero for male subjects in Italy, but if we look at Europe, the risk ratio goes well beyond this number. In essence, statistically the risk of contracting HIV for gay males is “much” higher than for straight males.

That’s why, for gays, education to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases is absolutely essential.

Obviously it is doctors’ competence to explain in detail the techniques of disease prevention and therefore it is right to refer to the site of the Ministry of health that contains updated information shared by the scientific community. The Internet addresses of the site of the Ministry of Health and of the most accredited Organizations dealing with the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases can be found at the end of this chapter.

I would like to proceed now, on the basis of the experience gained in Gay Project, to analyze three different documents pertaining to the issue of prevention related to different age groups and different personal situations. The first document, very brief, regards the younger boys and their approach to sexuality and prevention, the second is a testimony of how we can move from a substantially dissipated life, spent in the search for false satisfactions, to a life lived with a very solid moral commitment. The third document concerns the fear of being HIV-positive that hangs a guy 19 years old but also witnesses a beautiful friendship born between two gay guys with the only purpose of doing a stretch of their own road together with the certainty of not being alone.

So let’s start from the approach to sexuality of the very young guys.

It happens to me, even if not very frequently, to chat with very young guys who are becoming aware of their being gay. The contents of these chats are often very different from the typical chat content with older guys. With the younger guys I often find myself faced with the need to make people understand:

1) that being gay has nothing to do with “doing this or that” in terms of sex, but it means in the first place to love another guy,

2) that the exasperated research of sexuality in too early age is not a sign of affective maturity but exactly the opposite,

3) that sexuality is not a game,

4) that the couple sexuality is substantially different from masturbation because it is not about dealing with one’s own fantasies but with a real guy and with his psychological reality, that is about creating serious affective relationships,

5) that feelings need time to grow and a guy who, as soon as he knows you in chat, tells you that he is in love with you, isn’t really looking for you but just for a bit of sex,

6) that having sexual intercourses can entail serious risks to health and that the use of condom is always and absolutely essential,

7) that in networked contacts it is necessary to be cautious, we must avoid in the most absolute way to give unknown people cell phone numbers, telephone numbers, home addresses or other elements for personal identification.

If on the one hand it is natural that very young guys tend to explore sexuality, there is on the other the risk that “curiosity” becomes the only or the main motivation towards sexuality. From the interviews it is clear that the youngest gay guys have practically no comparison with reliable adult people on the subject of sexuality and homosexuality in particular. A lot of guys are very shy and embarrassed so that a dialogue (that is, a two-way conversation) is in fact impossible, usually I’m the only one who speaks trying to expose the contents that seem to me of greater interest on the basis of the few words exchanged with the interlocutor. In some cases, about 50%, we get to an open dialogue but not immediately, and it is clear that the guys are not used to talk about sexuality in a serious way. In some cases a climate of trust is created and the dialog becomes less theoretical and much more personal.

When very young guys, who start by setting up all the talk on matters of sexual techniques, feel stopped and brought back to a more serious dimension, or run away or radically change their tone. Those who run away probably do not have the maturity necessary to understand that being gay is something that involves the deep emotional life or perhaps of that deep emotional life they don’t yet feel the need and are stuck to the phase purely exploratory of sexuality. Those who don’t run away but change their tone come to a serious and personalized dialogue. These guys, who certainly have a gay affective dimension already quite defined, don’t try to enhance it spontaneously, but instinctively prefer the sexual dimension by considering it more adult, for them sexuality is still subordinated to the anxiety of growing and sometimes they are amazed by the fact that I give so much importance to the gay affective dimension and that I consider it fundamental, what they consider quite strange, at least at the beginning.

Many guys, even very young, in their anxiety of experimentation of sexuality go far beyond masturbation and begin to mentally build the idea that they must “try with a guy”. The idea of the experiment is sometimes dominant. The couple sexual experience is considered a sort of sexual license of adult life. The “trying” is reduced, however, to try a technique, and the emotional dimension is completely marginalized. In some situations I found myself in front of very young guys who boasted a certain sexual experience and spoke with pride about the number of sexual intercourses they had had and about the sexual practices they had experienced (more or less credible) as it was a real Curriculum to be presented to a competition.

Stopped by me in a drastic way, however, they showed an unexpected will of dialogue. Basically they were facing, probably for the first time, an adult vision of sexuality that in some way fascinated them. In the face of expressions such as “my friends have done it”, or “why not?”, Or “gays do it” I often reacted in a strong way and then tried to resume the conversation calmly. The key thing in chats with very young guys is to listen and make them get to the conclusions by themselves.

Very often, with very young guys I tackle the subject of caution, both in terms of the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, and in terms of prudence on the net. It is clear that no one has ever talked to these guys in any way even minimally serious about these things and that they have absolutely no perception of risk. My insistence on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases has sometimes been the cause of the interruption of dialogue with young guys who didn’t like such things and considered them a just form of moralism aimed only at terrorizing guys to put them in mind that sex is a bad thing. In some cases, following my speech on the use of condoms, I found myself faced with paradoxical answers followed by the abandonment of the chat, as in the following little dialogue between a 16-year-old (his nickname is Nofear).

Nofear – I met him in chat, he’s thirty years old but is very strong, with him we do everything
Project – but always protected?
Nofear – that is?
Project – with condoms
Nofear – of course no condom, I don’t like such things, with a condom you lose the best
Project – do you realize what you say? Look, it’s dangerous
Nofear – those who are not risking don’t even win …
Project – wait … let’s try to reason
Nofear – if you want to preach, please go preach to somebody else, hi

In essence from the chats with the very young guys it is clear that they are completely abandoned by the adult world and that their sexual education, as a comparison with responsible adults on issues related to sexuality, homosexuality and in particular the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, practically doesn’t exist at all.

We now come to the second document, it is an email I received from a gay doctor on 11/27/2011.

“Hi Project, reading your blog I had a jolt of pride and it happens to me very rarely. I am 43 years old and experienced a lot of things that you would not like. I have been publicly declared for a very long time, or better I can say that I have been publicly declared and have passed through the complete succession of what you call, with many elegance, things labeled gay. Fortunately for me I managed to save my health and this comforts me because there are people who have been much less lucky than me.

When I was 18/20 years old internet practically did not exist yet, and I had made my own ideas, a little as you say, the frenzy of trying, believing that going into the circle would have facilitated things and in a sense it was true but from other points of view it was destructive, first of all the news that I was gay quickly spread throughout the city, a small city in the northern Italy where gossip and hypocrisy are always the masters. Fortunately, I was studying in another city and I finished my studies, but when I started the profession I had huge problems because everyone ran away from me (I’m a doctor) and I had to change city, I had to start all over again, not to mention the terrible recriminations on the part of my family that treated me like an idiot without remedy, which pushed me even more to leave.

In the new city, after a while I started going to clubs again, because it had almost become a drug. I met people out of mind that in some cases made me really scared and after five years I had to go again to a different, smaller city, here there were no clubs but I started with chats and even there it was a torment, just like a drug, I knew some guys in the chat, then we met, did a bit of sex and then they disappeared and were reckless guys that when I talked about condoms took me for crazy. I had the frenzy of sex, I was more than 30 years old, even almost more than 32, but I spent all my free time looking for contacts. I felt alone, and I was alone, the relations with my family were completely inexistent. My father and mother no longer made themselves heard after I left home, I called them but they did not answer me deliberately.

The only points of reference were the guys I knew only for sex, one in particular I had fallen in love with, he told me so many sweet things and was a very nice guy but he wanted to come to live with me, which I could not do because I would have ended up not to work anymore and to create a mess of problems with all the people I had around, then he disappeared, but before disappearing I vomited all the possible insults against me, that I was a worm, one who does not have the courage to be what he is and above all that I was a starving man, because he liked to make the good life and with me he could not do it for sure.

This story lasted three years and left me with a sense of rejection and very strong bitterness. Over the years, the young guys stopped contacting me and only the fifties were looking for me but they were people out of mind much more than me, depressed to hospitalize, who thought they were young boys and tried to behave as if they really were, even married men, even people with diseases with a religious background, a variety of humanity that I did not even think could exist. They arrived to offer me money in exchange for sex. One was sick, had a strong asthma and I convinced him to be hospitalized because he was a high-risk patient.

In August 2009 I said “It’s enough!” and deleted all the gay contacts I had.

I changed my mobile number and I threw myself completely into my work, practically I went back to university to do a very demanding and very long specialization that leads me now to deal with aids, I finished the first two years and started the third, it’s a thing very serious and I’m completely committed to this, now I work part time and I earn very little money and all I earn goes for specialization. I am really interested in my studies and I think for the first time that I have made the right choice. I don’t tell you what I see in the hospital, there is a really desperate need for people to take care of these things, I have been reborn and I have found my way. There is a lot to do and not so much in Italy or in Europe but especially in Africa where AIDS, without medicines and in the midst of total ignorance, is a real scourge.

Days ago I found “gay project” just looking for sites that deal with prevention and then I put myself to read also the rest. Project, don’t let the guard down! What you do makes sense. Life has a meaning and it is not in seeking sex but in giving love without conditions, I understood it late but fortunately I understood it. Being gay makes sense and I think that being gay and having experienced everything I’ve been through is the real spring of my underlying motivation. I told you my story in short, publish it if you want, I would like it. Permit me a professional notation, never abandon the discourse on prevention because they are very few to do it and there is a huge need of them. I’ll add the link to the hiv and aids page of the Ministry of Health:

http://www.salute.gov.it/hiv/hiv.jsp which remains a fundamental reference point for finding serious information, even for doctors (see the updating of the guidelines). I would like to devote some time to the forum but now I have other goals for which I ask you to keep my privacy
[signed letter]

The third document is particularly touching and, beyond the theme centered on the fear of HIV, it allows to understand the spiritual depths of gay guys and what it means to love each other. This is an email I received on July 4th, 2007 and I published the same day (in Italian) on the old Gay Project Forum.
The name of one of the protagonists of the story has been replaced with an X for reasons of privacy.

“First I met X through words. For me they were important, they made me feel good and I did not even understand why, I only read and reread them. I made sure to get some courage and ask his msn even if with an incredible difficulty because for the things that I really care about I am very shy and perhaps also of a crazy cowardice. Talking with him gave me so much! He has his own way of seeing things, maybe strange and difficult to understand but he always managed to get me out of my depression, in one way or another gave me a deep sense of serenity. I had a boulder inside, something that I had hidden inside me for years and that took everything away from me. I never thought I’d ever have the strength to tell it anyone. Instead, it came spontaneous to tell X about it and it made me feel good.

Being gay for me has always been an unacceptable and monstrous thing, not the feelings but just the idea of sex. I have a lousy family. They don’t care about me, I have always been the classic useless baggage, after their divorce I have been continually tossed about here and there. No affection, no attention, no dialogue. In reality it was as if I wasn’t there, if I’m away from home they even notice it and when I am taken into consideration it is only to impose, order, claim, offend or worse to beat be. For years I have been depressed and for two years it’s really worse, so that I have no more friendships, I dropped them all, I was rejected at school, I’m always home alone. No, they don’t notice it at all. I’ve always felt lonely, since I realized that maybe I was gay too, it was a crescendo. But now I’m also used to it, because you know when you live without hope, loneliness is not so bad anymore.

But this is not the boulder. What I confided to X is another thing: when I was 14 a guy much older than me, who sometimes attended the company of my cousin and that everyone knew he was gay has abused me. That’s why I hate gay sex. When I fell in love with a guy for the first time two years ago I thought it was for that abuse. I suffered too much. I felt as if something impure had crept into me. For me it was like a contagion. A curse that clung to me. But this is not the worst thing, the worst thing is the fact that one year and a half after what he had done to me I found out from my cousin that the guy was HIV-positive and I knew he had not used any precautions with me. I never saw him again and I didn’t speak to him anymore to know if I too could have become HIV-positive, but then I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do it.

I still perfectly remember what I experienced finding it out. It’s a bit like dying. I was holding the form for enrolling in a creative writing course that I was very fond of and it was the first time I had fought so hard to get something at my house, I started ripping it into smaller and smaller pieces and it was a bit how to tear up my future. Since then, the ice has not left me anymore. I continued to live but only on the margins because everything made me suffer too much.

The doubt I kept buried inside me, as deep as possible, was something I never thought of but that anyway stood there and poisoned everything. Since then I have always been inconclusive, defeatist and submissive throughout. I heard others talk about what they wanted to do and I did not say anything, I did not think about anything. Lately with some I had a little loose. I thought about what I really wanted to do, I did some programs, to a guy with whom I spoke on msn one day I also said that I would go to see him this summer. A little I believed, I hoped it but then my enthusiasm ended in nothing. Yes, in my heart it was like I was already dead.

Talking with X made me feel good. He has a boyfriend and they are very much in love, he is happy and fulfilled, but even if he did not know me at all, even if talking to me was always so difficult and painful, I think, he was looking for me and if he didn’t find me or it was me who did not make me available because I was too depressed, he still wrote me even just a few words that made me feel that at least one person was really interested. Yes, he always devoted so much time and attention to me, a constant and sincere thought, was the only one to really do it and in the most disinterested way possible, to give me a little of himself and without receiving or wanting anything in return. I thought a thousand times that it was very strange that a person could be like that and even more with someone like me. But he is special and UNIQUE.

In the end he also managed to convince me that I had to go and take the test. He did it telling me that he would accompany me. I waited to finish my graduation exam and immediately the next day we met through msn and he came to take me in the city where I live. When I saw him I could not believe it was really him, although I could see that he was really beautiful even from the avatar. Because X is very beautiful but the point is that there are a lot of guys I don’t say very beautiful but certainly beautiful, but X is a thing apart. And then he has incredible eyes, which one would think there could not be two eyes like that. Nobody after looking at them, even the most materialist, could ever be able to think that there is no soul. I fell in love with him immediately.

It’s hallucinating but as soon as I saw him, I no longer thought I was going to take the HIV test, that is, I thought it was a secondary thing. I was too busy with him. I immediately felt beautiful feelings and for me to try them was a natural and right thing. And yes, he also attracted me physically and very much, for me it was really too embarrassing but I managed to hide it well and for the first time it did not disgust me, even that was beautiful and natural and it was fine that way. To take the test we went to a rather distant city, because I wanted so, a stupid thing I know but it made me feel more anonymous and sure, he brought me there by car. I thought I had to go fasting for blood collection, when X knew it smiled to me, I was very pale for anxiety and agitation, he told me “It’s not that you go down right now?” And while we waited, he held my hand tight all the time, under a newspaper folded to the side so that no one could see and I was not embarrassed.

As soon as he got out of the clinic he put his arm around my shoulders and took me to breakfast. But after eating instead of feeling better I was very bad. I was struck in the harshest way by the image the nurse who was taking my blood sample, the latex gloves, the way he sat with his torso all the way back and how he barely touched me, just the indispensable, but above all by the vision of my blood. From that day on which I knew, the thought of my blood has always obsessed me. It was a nightmare that I sometimes did at night; my blood suddenly splashed on my schoolmates while I was in class, the terror of their gaze remained on my mind all day so that I thought I saw it in their eyes. I was afraid and disgusted with my blood. And now that I had seen it go out I felt crazy.

At that point I burst inside. I began to think only of the one thing that felt real to me, of what I could have inside me, of the fact that I had to accompany myself to this foreign and enemy thing for the time that remained to me to live, that I would be a danger, that I would continue to be alone until the end, that I would be kept at a distance but above all that I would have kept everything and everyone at a distance from me not to have to suffer even more. And all this at only 19 years old. Nothing behind and nothing in front. One passes graduation and should start planning his long-distance future. In my case, I felt it made no sense, never had a sense for me. X stared at me but I did not say anything to him and as we walked I moved away and moved further and further.

At one point he stopped me and hugged me without speaking any word and hugged me so tightly! I just said “You know, I always knew I was already dead.” X shook me strongly and made me sick and said “Don’t be silly!! Even if it were, life doesn’t end for this, only changes.” I don’t know how long he hugged me, I wanted to cry but I could not and it’s bizarre because I’m crying every single fucking day, yet at that moment I was dry and that dry was too bad for me. But at a certain point I began to feel X’s body, his breath against me, his warmth, his smell. I held my breath and focused on the beating of his heart to hear it with my ear but also with my skin. I felt an inexpressible yearning that rose from my stomach, something so beautiful and intense that it almost hurt and then, in short, I had an erection. Even if I continued to feel that I was HIV-positive, I felt even more strongly that I was wanting X with all my might and I felt that I was willing to do anything to have him close to me, even being HIV-positive.

I know it seems absurd but in these three months I have discovered that it is real life that is absurd, not that imagined. I tried to move away from him, but it was too embarrassing, and then I thought that rightly he could take it badly. But he did not let me go, and even told me “Do you see it? Your body knows that you are alive and you want to stay alive.” We were still embraced, someone looked at us badly, someone said something. I did not care at all, I would have liked to stay that way forever. X left me at some point and I felt a great emptiness inside, so I spontaneously told him that his boyfriend is the luckiest person on earth, he blushed, smiled and said “Believe me it’s me the one lucky to have him.” I thought he would take me back, in the end I had done what I had to do, instead X still wanted to stay with me. We walked around the city, we did not talk much but we simply walked, sometimes we sat somewhere. We went for lunch but my stomach was closed for him even though I lied to him and said it was still for the test.

X is so beautiful that I will never stop to look at him, has a smile of continuous light in the eyes and then he is sweet and affectionate in words but also in the gestures in a way that makes you feel protected and warm inside. While we were around, he often showed me things that I would never have seen on my own and surprised me and moved me in that way that he has all of his own to look at the world and be happy for certain things that never interest anyone. Every now and then he had a gesture toward me very sweet as touching my arm or a light squeeze of my hand, a separate communication with which he made me understand that he was there. In the evening he took me back to the place where we had arranged to meet.

I was all upset, X told me that he would come back with me to take the result of the test, because they give it to you after a few days and you have to go and pick it up. I felt very sad with that sense of emptiness that grew bigger and bigger. X looked at me, he was tense, worried and said “All right?”. Then I thought how bad all that could hurt him. I had glued on him weeks and weeks of anguish and depression, mine, and he had never avoided all this, but a wonderful creature like him did not even deserve the billionth part of it. I felt petty and selfish in the worst way. I tried to tell him that everything was fine, that I was better but it was evident that he did not believe it at all.

However, we said goodbye and in doing so he gave me a light kiss on the mouth. It was a kiss of a very beautiful sweetness, it had no sexual value, it just said what no words could explain. That he was not afraid of me even though I could be HIV-positive and that I would have had from him anyway the availability, affection and warmth of a true friendship. Nobody has ever given me something more beautiful. That kiss completely filled my soul, I think that I will always carry that feeling inside me. at that moment I thought, and I still think now, that at least I have a beautiful thing and no one can take it away from me, it will be mine until the end.”

At the end of this wonderful document, which I am particularly attached to because I knew the protagonists, I am happy to let you know that the analysis confirmed that the guy who wrote the email above was HIV-negative.

Questions and answers on AIDS and HIV (from the Ministry of health):

http://www.salute.gov.it/imgs/C_17_pubblicazioni_2005_allegato.pdf

__________

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-and-prevention-of-sexually-transmitted-diseases

Advertisements

GAY LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE OVER SEXUAL BIASES

Hi Project,
I would like to have your opinion on a problem that has kept me (for years) in a state of uncertainty. I try to describe the situation in summary. I am 45 years old, my ex-boyfriend (even if this expression is definitely unsuitable in the concrete case) is 29. He is my ex, of course, he had his stories after we broke up, but in the end he could not be comfortable with anyone; he is a guy who has had a very difficult past with moments of deep depression but from all this, or at least from the worst phases of all this he seems to have come out.
We constantly maintained a relationship even when we were no longer a couple. He is a bit neurotic (perhaps a lot) but between us there was always a special feeling that went far beyond sex. I think he is a person of superior intelligence, even if he has always underestimated himself. In studies he lost time for reasons related mainly to his depression and his neuroses, but in the end he obtained excellent results, anyway, apart from the results of the studies, 
I see that he has a profound interest in his field (typically scientific) and this causes him also anxiety because when he applies a lot to his studies and has the impression of not understanding exactly what he is reading or of failing developing the hypotheses on which he is working, he goes into crisis and in those moments is likely to nullify everything. Over the years, however, I have noticed that these crises are always less profound and that they don’t destroy him any more as they did a few years ago. 
I don’t know what he will do in his life beyond studying (which is the thing that seems most suitable for him); until now he has accomplished much more than what he himself would have imagined at the beginning. I want to emphasize that I love him deeply and that there is a communication between us that I have never experienced with any other person. When I stand next to him I never know how to behave, even if now I feel less conditioned. 
Among us there is also some sexual contact, it happens rarely but it happens, especially now that he has not had a boy for several months. I, by my nature, tend to create relationships that are first of all emotional and this happens above all with him who is so much younger than me. I often tend to reassure him, to tell him that I love him, which is very true and he knows very well, but the real problem presents itself on the sexual level, which for him is fundamental. 
He has always had the fear of being put aside because sexuality in him produces almost a kind of frenzy and he is afraid that all of this can put his partners in crisis, and sometimes it happened. I have asked myself many questions but then I realized that his attitudes towards sex are conditioned by his past and I ended up thinking that there was nothing to be really alarmed about. I also had the idea of moving away from him, but only in some very particular and very rare situations, but in the end everything has always been overcome and I think that our relationship, strange as it is, is still very strong. 
He asks me for sexual behaviors that would not come spontaneously to my mind, they are things that don’t upset me at all but a little contrast with my way of being. He says that I have to be authoritarian, hard, that I must use strong manners with him, that I have to humiliate him and it baffles me a bit, sometimes I try to do what he asks me for, but for me it is a game, because being with him inspires me an extreme tenderness and I feel led to embrace him and certainly not to be aggressive or to humiliate him. 
Sometimes he considers my attitude as if I didn’t want to understand the meaning of what he asks me for. We have talked about these things a lot and it is clear that when he asks me for harsh, punitive behaviors towards himself, the memory of his first experiences plays a fundamental role. I would like to remove him from the memory of those experiences and I would like him to enter into the dimension of sexuality made of tenderness and mutual affection, but I realize that the weight of memories for him is very strong and that his vision of sexuality, now at 30, is still deeply conditioned by his first experiences. 
Sometimes it’s like he wants to be punished for something that he has to see absolutely as a fault, for example, the fact that after the end of our relationship as a couple, he had had sex with other guys. I never thought that these things were a fault because I thought that finding a boy who loved him could be fundamental to his life. He is not my possession, he is only a person whom I love and who loves me and I am sure of that. 
The point is this, Project, what should I do? Follow him as he wants or keep an intermediate line, that is to do a little as he wants but without neglecting to tell him that I love him? And then I wonder if my trying to remove him from his memories is a right thing or if it’s just an attempt to force him to close a bracket that for him it is not closed at all. It’s a bit as if he wanted to relive with me, but clearly in a dimension also emotional, some of his old experiences, perhaps reliving them in a different way could free him from the obsessive presence of those contents. 
I would like to emphasize that he has had and still has problems because he has lived a difficult life, but he is not a pathological case. I am happy that he considers me important or at least really a friend and, frankly, if he disappeared from my life I would feel damned alone. Sometimes when he speaks to me about his studies he fascinates me even though he is always ready to point out that things are not clear as they seem. Now I see more self-esteem in him, even if self-esteem has never been his characteristic note. 
I am very fond of him because I feel him very similar to me, I am not a scientist and I lived a very banal life until I met him, but in many of his attitudes and in his ways of reacting I identify myself deeply. He never cheated me, he is generous, rough but also affectionate. I would not like anyone else next to me because we more than a couple are a family. When he calls me I feel happy even if I never know how to behave. 
Years ago we often argued and then we behaved as if nothing had happened, now we do not argue practically any more and the dialogue no longer seems a hard confrontation but a way of telling each other our emotions. I am enchanted by how he manages to manifest his need for sex in a simple and direct way; I don’t know how to do anything like that, but he knows very well that being close to him it is happiness for me and he knows that this is a certainty that will not fail.
I’m waiting for your response, Project, if you consider it appropriate, put this mail in the blog. I have attached my skype contact; I’d like to talk a little with you.
Leonard
___________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-love-and-acceptance-over-sexual-biases

DO NOT JUDGE OTHER GAYS

Hi Project,
I read some parts of your book “Being Gay” and I was struck by the idea of gay morality, that is, the idea of distinguishing between good and bad or at least less good homosexuality. In this way, I believe that you want to highlight what is good about homosexuality, and I can only agree with you on this, but unfortunately, underlining what’s good, you end up also underlining what is or may be negative and here I could still agree with you, but with some significant limitation.

Project, you say you are absolutely secular and I respect you for this, I come from a rather traditional Catholic education, in theory I should have learned to distinguish good from bad but I also learned not to judge and not to underestimate the reasons of others, even those who have very different lifestyles from mine.

I am now close to 70 years and every time I happen to have a serious dialogue with someone who has lived experiences far away from mine I realize that if on one side I keep my tendency to judge, for the other I am strongly held back by the fact that the wrong things, when they are seen closely are much less strange and wrong than they appear when they are viewed only from a distance or are considered only in theory.

I was talking a few days ago with a guy who was not yet thirty and, as my old habit and my fault, I was for the umpteenth time trying to put myself in the chair, but fortunately I stayed and I left room for that guy. He spoke to me with great sincerity of his life experiences and I felt completely disarmed, I realized that my moralistic arguments made no sense when compared to hard experiences such as those experienced by that guy. I felt a total imbecile, one who deluded himself to understand everything without really having any knowledge of what he is talking about. My world seemed to me only a pile of empty talk.

What would I have done if I had found myself in the situations in which the guy found himself? What would I have chosen? And then, I would have had a real chance to choose? That guy was radically different from me in his attitudes because he had a life radically different from mine and much harder than mine. Years ago I would have misjudged guys like him, I would have said that they had the fixed idea of sex, but, after all, I saw more and more clearly the stupidity of these judgments.

The morality of my being gay, or at least what seems to me to be the morality of my being gay, if I want to tell the whole truth, probably comes to me from my Catholic formation, which has somehow preserved me from the hardest experiences, that is, the my being a Catholic made me a gay man in a very particular way, but beware, this is a more prudent, wiser, more controlled way, but perhaps even more hypocritical and less substantially participatory. I did what all the boys do, including sex, even if with caution, I’m not a saint and I reproach myself especially for not doing that little good I could do, then I stop to reflect and I wonder what turned me away, for example, from the search for unrestrained sex, and honestly, thinking about it, I don’t think it was Catholic education but fear, that is brutally the need to save face, which is still very mean, here the border between morality and meanness becomes much less clear.

The need to save face for me was valuable only because I was never really 100% myself and above all I was never put with my back to the wall from situations really stronger than me, as happened to that guy because in that case I would probably have behaved exactly like him. When we go to the substance of things, the morality of people, rather than an individual quality is the result of a context and the same concepts of merit and guilt lose their clear contours.

After all, Pope Francis himself said. “Who am I to judge a gay?” It seemed like an awkward phrase, which wanted to indicate an opening, but it is a phrase that has an extremely serious meaning. I tried to apply that phrase to myself and I came to the conclusion that I have no right to judge. Even those who go in search of desperate and almost neurotic sex can have their own moral and that moral is not worse than mine, and is only apparently different.

From the dialogue with that guy I understood that sex did not bring him happiness at all and that in him the need to be loved and respected for what he really is is very much alive, I would even say that it is much more alive than in me. We were talking for hours and we realized that there was a profound mutual respect between us, a mutual respect that was almost unexpected but absolutely real.

Project, allow me a digression, I, who am a gay man and I don’t want to lose contact with my faith, I greatly admire Pope Francis, because, in my opinion, he has brought Christianity back to its founding values, has not made controversy with modernity but he sought out people and their suffering, essentially he did not judge but tried to make his voice heard in favor of the last ones. Doing something good and concrete without judging anyone, this is his style.

In short, now I feel that my being gay can be truly reconcilable with my being a Christian, at least to a certain extent. I know you have argued the opposite, but you have argued it in other times, and I would like to understand what you think today, after Pope Francis gave a more evangelical reading of Catholicism. Excuse me if I allowed myself to provoke you with this mail but I respect you very much and I’d like to know if you’re always of the same opinion. I would like to emphasize that I really appreciate what you do.
Paul
_______

Hi Paul, I have read your mail with great interest. Yes: do not judge! It is an evangelical principle but it is also a secular moral duty. What you say about that guy, I have happened several times and put me in crisis several times. Now my tendency to judge has greatly reduced and I have recovered the awareness of my ignorance and of my incapacity. I think I still have a lot to learn and unfortunately, at my age, I will not have time to understand many things, but certainly I will keep under control the idea of judging.

As for Pope Francis, I cannot deny that, although I feel radically secular, I listen with the utmost attention to what he says and try to treasure it. I also have the impression that he has brought Catholicism back to more authentically evangelical values. Catholicism is not or should not be an ideology. I would say that he is a pope who has substantially secular attitudes that can be shared by many reasonable people even outside the Catholic Church, he has undoubtedly courage. I cannot deny that, especially in the last few months, I was very impressed by the fact that Francis never emphasizes the divisions but seeks the collaboration of men of good will to make all together something good and concrete. Indeed, Pope Francis did not judge but tried to pursue the good by committing himself to the peripheries of the world. I am only sorry that he is now an old man because his presence could be dismissed quickly after his departure from the scene, and I believe that, if this happened, it would be detrimental to everyone, Catholics and others. Well, I think you can understand pretty well what I think of Pope Francis.

Paul, I thank you very much for your “provocation”! I wish there were so many provocations like this!
Project

__________

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-do-not-judge-other-gays

A TRUE GAY BETRAYAL

Hello Project,
I was very impressed with our last night’s interview and I’ll explain why. You are older than my father and not a few years older, but you are serene, you are not neurotic, you have no angry shots, don’t panic as he does, don’t pretend to change people. I realized that you think in a way different from mine but you didn’t try to impose your point of view and in essence tended to resize the problems, make them become something normal, common things to deal with, but nothing special. You’re reassuring.
 
Tonight I tried to think about what we said last night: you think my doubts are unfounded and that with Mirco there is a solid relationship, that is, it is not at all a thing instrumental to sex. I tell you right away that I think you are right, though for me, to take my doubts out of my head is not easy, they are a bit like a trickle that creeps in depth and is likely to put everything to a crisis, although it is probably only one of my neuroses, a kind of fixed idea that wears me out and that I would like to completely overcome.
 
In fact, I have asked myself several times why he has always been looking for me, because I’m certainly not the best, with me he has always felt free to pull out all his neuroses because he knew he would be accepted anyway and then, especially in the most recent time, he has let go to some affectionate word, it happened seldom but it happened, he has always trusted me completely and this struck me and strikes a lot. He has never had inhibitory brakes with me, he has slowly come to accept that there are also different ways of seeing sexuality between us, he is much more hot, more carried by sex, I am much more for pampering and affection, at the beginning such two worlds seemed irreconcilable, then, step by step, we found  a balance, it was not the earthly paradise but it was something. If I reflect on what there has been between us, well, I cannot say I’ve ever felt frustrated, and presently I have some certainties, I cannot even hear him for a dozen days, but then he gets in touch. When we argue, what happens often, in a way very repetitive and almost ritually, we do not meet for a couple of weeks, but then he reappears, just as if nothing had happened, I tell him that I’m delighted to hear him, which in the end is true, he answers a bit embarrassed, because he doesn’t want to talk about affectivity, but I’m convinced that he is happy to know that he can count on something.
Over time I had learned something, or rather I had passed a block: in my adolescence I was convinced that to really love each other a monogamous relationship was needed and that the so-called betrayal would represent the last beach of a gay couple. I was just convinced, then I saw the story of a friend of mine, a hetero guy, Louis, who married and after a few years divorced but didn’t break his relationship with his wife, they continue to meet and every one has his own stories but they have remained in touch despite everything, they still help each other when it’s necessary and, in a sense, they are still in love. The thing at first seemed to me strange, contradictory, almost impossible. I had in my mind the myth of the exclusive couple, of belonging to each other all life long and so on, etc., and yet I had the sight of the fact that loving someone doesn’t mean exclusivity at all. I was looking for justifications in the idea that at affective level things might work even so, but at the sex level the exclusive relationship was indispensable. Then I ended up to talk about these things with Louis and he told me it happened that even after divorce he sometimes made love with his ex-wife. I asked him, a little puzzled, if the fact that she had another man made it difficult and he answered something I would never have expected, that his ex-wife’s companion knew how things were and left his wife free to behave as she wanted. I would never have imagined such a thing. Louis added that, clearly, both he and his ex-wife took all possible precautions, so as not to create problems as unwanted pregnancies or possible illnesses. I asked him if he often had intercourses with his ex-wife, and he told me that in a year it would have happened 4 or 5 times.
 
The reflection on Louis’s story had started my brain. I was wondering what I would do if Mirco told me he had a another guy … the idea frightened me, but I had been trying to get used to preventing the effects of any such eventuality. Then, a good day, in January 2016, I asked Mirco if he had ever had other guys and he told me that “now” (in January 2016) he had no other guy, but that word, “now”, put me in crisis, did that word “now” mean that he had had a boy before? I tried to ask him and he said that he had one while we were together and that then a thousand scruples had come to him, not because of infidelity, but because he could have been risking me, but he showed me the outcome of the test, one test done at that time and one very recent, both negative, and he told me that this was the only time he had had another guy. He didn’t tell me everything because he was afraid to lose me. I asked him if he was still in touch with that guy and he told me no, because that guy didn’t want to meet him anymore and left him because he said he was too neurotic. I asked him if that guy knew about me, and he replied that he knew I was his ex-boyfriend, but not that we were still in touch.
 
After this confession, I must say that I felt betrayed. I completely trusted Mirco and suddenly I found myself in a state of betrayal that I didn’t even imagine. He looked at me a bit worried and then told me: “It happened but I didn’t do it anymore.” I confess that I felt in a great difficulty. After all, he had really betrayed me, had betrayed my trust, it was not like Louis’s story, Mirco had played dirty. Yes, it was true that he had admitted it, though he could still pretend, but he had betrayed me. That evening we greeted differently than usual, I felt frozen, manipulated, I wanted to be alone, I didn’t want to know anybody anymore. 
 
After 15 days, the longest interval between two contacts with Mirco, I had no news of him, I was panicking, the rage for betrayal had abundantly diminished and I started to feel the void for the absence of Mirco, but I did not call him anyway. The third week without Mirco was really bad, I thought I was definitely alone. After 25 days he called me. He just said, “How are you?” I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t answer, I was silent but I didn’t  even close the phone. He said in a very hesitant voice: “I’m here at the door of your house, would you like to walk a bit?” I just said, “Come on.” He got up and we hugged very tight. Getting him back in my arms seemed to me like a miracle. We have been so at least ten minutes. Then we sat on the couch, he leaned on me and we have been there in silence for a long time to feel the heat of each other. I no longer cared about betrayal, in the end it was something that had made us stronger and I still had my Mirco, and saw his neuroses with tenderness, no need to talk, we understood each other even without saying anything .
 
Of this story I didn’t speak except with Louis, who heard and told me that the love that resists in time is the only true and that Mirco made a mistake, of course, but never stopped loving me. With other friends who are just talking about cheating and betrayal, I don’t even want to talk about my story, for them I would just be the idiot of “cheated and happy”!
If you like, post this mail on the forum. I’ll call you back in the next few days.
 
G.B.
__________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-a-true-gay-betrayal

GAY BETRAYAL AND GAY LOVE

Hello Project,
I like your blog because there are so many things that have the taste of real life. Since reading the blog I have never felt any sense of rejection or even perplexity, I would like to tell you a part of my story that some years ago put me in a crisis and that ended in an absolutely non-standard way. This is to say that abstract behavior rules have no meaning.
 
The subject is betrayal. The story is simple, I had a boyfriend and we also had sex together, even though it was not that trivial, because we understood each other, we trusted each other, and over all we loved each other, then for various reasons he had his experiences but we were still in touch, we were not ex-boyfriends, because we never had been engaged, we just loved each other and it’s a very different thing.
 
At some point he was alone and we got together. I underline that he had always spoken to me very sincerely, I knew the guys he was attending and they seemed to me good guys, that is, guys who loved him. I do not say they seemed good guys because now I think they are not, on the contrary I’m even more convinced now than before that they are good guys. He has never interrupted the relationships (even sexually) with the guys who really had loved him, and I too am among them, I do not even have the presumption to be more important to him than others or more exactly than the two others.
 
When we got together, he was alone in the sense that those guys kept him away, because they would have liked him to have a monogamous behavior, but for him it is practically impossible. And here the alternative in theory is clear, or you really accept him as he is, or you have to go away. Well, that was what I was thinking, but I was really naive. Or rather, I thought I understood the rules governing the affective life, but I didn’t understand anything.
 
One night, at a very late hour, in practice almost in the morning, he comes to my house, with the risk of waking up all my gossipy neighbors, and tells me he wants to have sex with me, but also tells me that he has to tell me something immediately: “Before I came here I was at A.’s home (A. is one of the other two guys) and I had sex with him because I could not help it. Does it bother you?” I replied: “No, it doesn’t bother me, A. is a proper guy, he never played with you and loved you in the true sense of the word.”
 
Then I added that I didn’t I want to have sex with him because I was tired of the previous day. He got up to leave and said, “Okay … I understand.” But he was disappointed. I replied: “You have not understood anything and at this time I do not let you go with the car, otherwise I get a heart attack before time! I prepare you the room, at least you can sleep a little.” It was a speech he didn’t expect, he looked at me happily surprised, then told me:” I would like a cup of tea, tell me where are the things I need and I do it all.” We went to the kitchen, put the water to boil, and as he waited I went to arrange the room for him. Then I prepared the tea, he drunk it then stood up, approached me and embraced me and gave me a squeeze just there, saying, “Okay, it will be next time. I love you B.!”
 
The next morning we talked for a long time and very seriously about his studies, I saw him quiet, much less neurotic than usual. Then we started to meet more frequently, but always stressing that we are not a couple, that we are free and that there are no obligations between us. It was not the world of dreams I wanted at the age of 18, but in my opinion it had (and it still has) a deep sense and then it doesn’t matter to me that he is my boyfriend in the classic sense of the term, we have overcome these things for years, it only matters to me that he is happy, or rather that he feels better with me than if he were alone. He trusts me, he considers me a reliable person, he knows that I love him and this fact is not indifferent to him, although it was not enough to bring him to monogamy, or better to monogamy 100%.
 
When I tried to tell this story to my friends, even to gay friends, I found a reaction that made me very annoyed: they considered me stupid, weak, they told me that I had been fooled, that the rules must exist and those who don’t respect the rules must be removed without regrets. Only a girl understood the meaning of what I was saying, she didn’t give any judgments, but was inclined to think that if I had made such a choice it was not for naivety but for love, because I probably knew more or less unconsciously that he loved me even if in his own way. But the others were all aligned to the idea that couple means something very similar to marriage and those who do not accept such a thing must be marginalized without hesitation.
 
In their opinion I’m just a naïve guy who has been clutched by a guy without scruples, but for me, things are not like that. We love each other, I think we are really important for each other. I never regretted my choices and I would repeat them. They told me I’m throwing away life and serious occasions, but what does serious mean? Should I give up my boyfriend (maybe he is not even my boyfriend, ok) to look for another one? No! Absolutely not! It’s been almost 10 years since we’re “somehow” together, he’s neurotic, angry, and so on, all you want, but he is honest, he doesn’t hide anything, he does not fool me, tells me what he thinks, everything, even brutally, but he, with all his flaws, never really abandoned me, in moments of difficulty I found him close, he did not talk, but he was there and understood how I really felt.
 
Some of my friends have known him and avoid him because when they do their hypocritical discourses, he makes them notice it and so embarrasses them. Sometimes they invite me pointing out that I have to go by myself, sometimes they don’t invite me at all, but I don’t mind, I don’t really give up him to go to a party!
 
That’s the story, Project. He is not perfect, he has many defects, I know it well and then I have many defects too. They tell me that if I am with him I will never be happy, yet it is exactly the opposite. He went and goes  even now with other guys, actually only two and the only two who really loved him, but I cannot really see anything like betrayal, but betrayal of what? He needs sex and even affection, I understand it well and I don’t feel upset at all. We love each other in our own way, the rules of others don’t concern us, in their eyes we can also appear to be two poor naive people who will never understand anything, but for us what people say or think doesn’t matter at all. I add something before closing this mail, Project, I’m convinced that there are many situations like ours, although nobody talks about it. There are no rules when you love someone, feelings are the only possible reference.
What do you think, Project? Obviously you can post this email if you think it’s okay.
Lawrence
__________
If you like, you can participate in the discussion of this post, on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-betrayal-and-gay-love

GAY GUYS AND COMPULSORY MILITARY SERVICE

Compulsory military service in Italy was suspended, in practice abolished, in 2004. Prior to that, all the guys, at the end of the eighteenth year, were referred to the physical for military conscription. There were many legends related to collective nakedness and to the presence of homosexual doctors, with all that this could entail. The embarrassment for the physical, the first physical that included genital examination, was common for years among the guys who were preparing for the fateful moment. Of course, for gay guys the embarrassment was much greater, for many of them this  was the first moment of collective nakedness and hard-ons could become uncontrollable.
On May 3, 2008, I received and published on the blogs of Gay Project the email I quote below translated into English.
_________
 
I was born in March 1986, so in January 2004 I received, last among the last ones, the terrible call card for the military physical. Compulsory military service reform was a highly debated issue in those days, the suspension of the mandatory enlistment seemed a probable hypothesis, but a lot of things were not yet well defined. I had hoped until the last moment to get rid of it, but my precept postcard summoned me for military physical at the beginning of August 2004. From September 30, 2004, military physical has been abolished. In essence, I would have been in the very last contingents for the compulsory military service before the abolition of it.
At school I was a year ahead, just in time for not being able to get a referral for study reasons, I could enroll at the university and I would have escaped military service with the referral, and instead my parents did not want to hear any reason and I hated them for that, but in fact this was my luck, even though I realized it later on. My father always told me that in the army they would make me a man and said: “Who is not good for the king is not good for the queen either!” An old way to say that those who didn’t do military service aren’t good for marriage. I had the terror of military service, of hazing and of all I had heard about these things. I could not say to my dad that I was gay and that if I stated it during the physical I would have avoided the military service, so for me there was no escape.
I think all the guys have read a lot of porn stories on the military physical, well, I assure you that if you read about the military physical when other guys have to deal with it, it can be fun, but when you are the one you have to undergo this experience it makes you feel anguish.
It was not even for the thing in itself, because I had passed some sporting physicals and also with some embarrassing situations because having to lower your underpants in front of the doctor is embarrassing for anyone, but the thing I was worried about was not even that but getting a hard-on, because for a gay guy, in a situation like that, being naked in front of so many other guys and in front of the doctors who could do with the guys whatever they like with the excuse of the medical examination (and someone really exaggerated) well, it does a certain effect and, wanting or not wanting, when a gay guy sees things like that  it’s very easy that he can get a hard-on, but if it happens in such a situation there is not only the embarrassment but they brand you, that is, you cannot really lose control there. 
I didn’t knew exactly how it would have been, it was a common fear to all the other guys who had to get the military physical, but I didn’t know guys who had already gone through the physical. Those older than me had fun telling me terrible things, in short, things similar to that of porn movies. Last week I did a lot  of yoga exercises up to the incredible: checking my breath, posture, standing on one foot, holding my breath for a long time, pulling my belly back and so on because I had read it was something that decreases hard-ons, etc. etc..
The terrible day arrives, I was uncomfortable from the morning. They send us to a waiting room and, waiting, waiting, it’s almost noon; chatting with others, one tells me: “There is one doctor with a beard, if you happen to get examined by him you are in trouble! That doctor is gay and you’ll get a very special physical!” At a certain point a sergeant comes and calls ten guys and me among them, and he gets us into the locker room and tells us to held on just the underpants and to deposit everything else in the lockers. We undress. My heart beats violently, they get us two by two into the medical room and send us at the end of the room where there are two examination tables. I see a very nice blond guy just in front of me. 
Two doctors come in, they both have a beard, the doctor who comes to me has only a goatee, the guy in front of me is now completely naked and the doctor checks all that can be checked: fells the testicles, pulls back the foreskin, and I’m there to see, so I get a hard-on and I cannot hold it back. My doctor makes me lower my underpants and immediately realizes what’s happening, feels the testicles for half a second, pulls on my underpants and sends me rapidly away making me understand with a move of the eyes that I had to get out of the medical room immediately before the other doctor may be interested in me, all this while the other doctor humiliates the blond guy even making comments loudly.
When I went out of the medical room I had a terrible heartthrob, 120 and beyond, then the blond guy explained to me that the pansy (“finocchio”) doctor did not happen to me but to him. I was absolutely certain of the opposite but I could not explain why. Of course, for a gay doctor, doing military physicals should be the best, the doctor who had happened to me, however, did not humiliate me at all and did not take advantage of the situation while he could have done so putting me into a terrible embarrassment, but he, in my opinion, understood how things were, that is, that I was gay, and allowed me to escape the humiliation. The following days there were psychological tests, but they were all shit. At the end: skilled and enrolled! 
The first November they send me to the regiment. There was the atmosphere of a total disarmament, it was the last contingent of compulsory enrolment. I arrive, they incorporate me, then comes dressing and then they send me to the department. The usual embarrassment in the showers (no partitions) but as there were no fixed times, I ate very little at lunch and I was showering in the early afternoon when there was no one. I would very much like to do it in crowded hours, along with so many other guys, but that was too dangerous. Every now and then I entered the showers at rush hour, but that’s all another talk. 
Hazing? I did not see it, I repeat, perhaps because it was the last contingent, and even the officers treated us very elastically. In the early months there was a real discipline, later they realized that we were calm and did not disturb and this was enough for them, it was a rather bland thing. With the other guys things got loose quickly enough. Of course I could not say I was gay but I never felt in trouble because I was on my own. One of the guys was, Bruno, coming from Trentino was a very handsome blond guy, though he was called Bruno (in Italian Bruno sounds like brown) (I have e weakness  for the blondes!), I was always with him, we did everything together except the shower, he was polite, not intrusive, not conceited, a pretty guy but quiet. 
In short I took a crush for Bruno, keeping him close, talking to him, staying with him so long caused me sexual reactions and sometimes I was embarrassed because I thought he would notice it and so happened, he smiled and said to me, “But what are you doing?” I became red like a pepper, but nothing changed between us, we kept going all the time together, then came the talk of the military physical and I told him what happened to me, which in practice meant to make it clear that I was gay, going further on with such subject I was afraid of a negative reaction and I felt very embarrassed, but he was smiling amused by my story, then the unexpected thing, he looks firmly in my eyes and says, “You don’t know what happened to me, I just had a huge hard-on and my doctor, the one with the goatee, told me to leave as soon as possible.” So Bruno was gay too! This was his coming out.
We joked about all the stories of the physical, and then I said, “It’s great to be in the army! Or am I wrong?” Now you can wait for I don’t know what, maybe so much sex but no, there was some kind of total incertitude, both on my side and on his, I dreamed of him every night and when I could, that is when there was a little privacy, I masturbated thinking of him and he certainly did the same but we never spoke about. Once we camped together, near Udine, we were in the tent together but we were in eight and we couldn’t even have a little privacy. When we got to have free exit we were always together, same pizzeria, same walk. We sat on the benches and talked for hours, he told me all his fantasies, even sexual things but just little, then I asked him if he had a boyfriend in civil life and he told me no, I told him that the same was for me, but even after these confessions nothing happened. 
One day I told him I had fallen in love with him and he said to me: “I’m in love with you too, but I don’t feel like I’m starting a story that cannot last long.” He made me realize that he wanted me but he was saying it only with words, no gesture, not even least, not even a caress, we were deliberately going to the showers at different times, but we wanted each other. He was convinced that as we lived 400km away we could never have built a serious thing together, but to stay with him I would have done a thousand miles. I tried to insist, it was evident that he was tempted and was fighting against himself to hold back the idea, he was anxious, I knew that he was working on his choice, that he was basically trying to resist himself but wanted to surrender. 
Day after day I saw his defenses fall and I hoped that the next day he would tell me yes, then I was discouraged and I did not insist on saying that I wanted to have sex with him, reluctantly I was tossed into more generic speeches, that is sexless, in the beginning he seemed very reassured by my decision to lower the tones, then after two days, he comes to me in the morning and tells me, “When are you going to the showers?” I light up a smile at 34 teeth and say, “At two and a half, and there is no one!” He answers: “I come, but look, we just have a shower!” We were in the square and there were people around and so I could not embrace him and I could not even shriek for happiness because they would think I was crazy, I just made the gesture with my mouth to send him a little kiss and he said to me: “Remember you promised, just the shower!” Well, we arrived both at showers a quarter of an hour in advance. 
I was expecting that our meeting would easily turn into a very strong and direct sexual contact, but nothing like that happened. He told me that he was very embarrassed and that he didn’t feel like doing such things, I told him that I could understand it and that I would not hurt him. He hesitated a bit, then said to me, “But at a distance and together, did you understand?” And he walked away from me several meters, placed himself right on the opposite side of the showers’ room. We undressed together and went to the showers not only without touching each other but staying far away, but I could see him naked and it was not a fortuitous thing, he was there for me and on the other hand I was there for him as well. Everything lasted at most three minutes, I think the three most intense minutes of my life, then he said to me: “It’s enough!” We went back to the dressing room and we dressed. It was a thrill experience. 
Once dressed, we put our heads under the jet of frozen water because otherwise we were not in a state to leave the showers and go around the barracks. In the following days the shower rite at two and a half in the afternoon became the rule, he was less embarrassed and I too, but we never touched each other for about two months, then we were discharged and when they gave us the leave sheet and told us we could finally leave because everything was over, well, I went through a moment of profound discomfort, I felt agitated, I was really sad because leaving Bruno seemed to me a terrible thing. He caught it and said, “Do you think it will work?” I answered him as a desperate guy. We left the barracks and began to speak like a couple, now it was obvious that we would not separate anymore, that we would have fought against everything and against everyone to live our lives. It was 1st November 2005. We have been together for two and a half years now and I hope to grow old with Bruno at my side.
__________
If you like, you can participate in the discussion of this post, on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-and-compulsory-military-service

HISTORY OF A DOUBLE COMING OUT

I quote below, translated into English, an email published in the Italian Blogs of Gay Project on December 27, 2007.

________

Hello guys,
nice blog and nice posts. My name is Andrew, 24 y.o., central Italy. I tell you my experience of coming out. My parents didn’t know anything about me until 19 years even though I at that age had done my experiences and had a boyfriend (of my own age), the same that I have now and that I think will be the partner of life for me because I don’t think we could live one without the other (Hi Andrew!) [he has my own name!]. 
We met at school, he was not my classmate. More precisely we met at a school trip. He was very timid, almost more than me, that’s all to say. I omit the details: hesitation, uncertainty, gay or not gay, etc. etc., all during the tour, then one day he takes my hand, I feel like a thrill, we look into each other eyes … Our story started like that.
On April 15, 2002, the last night of the school trip, we slept together (we had double rooms), we were not very convinced, neither he nor me, nevertheless the idea attracted us a lot but I thought that the day after I would have lost him, I don’t know, as if sex could ruin everything between us, but he who never considered himself a nice boy was afraid he could disappoint me, and instead we were fine, hugging tight each other under blankets now completely abandoned one in the arms of the other. 
I think you know what I’m talking about, it’s not just something related to sex, but also to tenderness, a very sweet thing. After, we had a bit of trouble saying that such a thing could not remain a single experience, but we talked about it … and there was no embarrassment. When we got home we were both very sad, it had been the first experience both for me and for him and now we were again separated. We had to find a way to meet and to be together, we could not help it. 
We started studying together but we were in different classes and it was difficult. We met in the afternoon once at my home and once at his, it was a nice thing, but at best we could exchange a caress, people could go in and there was not even a minimum of freedom and of privacy, and then being close, even just touching each other hands, erection came, between us it wasn’t certainly a problem, but when we had to get out of the room it was really a problem. We’ve spent nearly a month this way, we met every day but we could never embrace each other, and even less make love. But we wanted to do it. 
I think you can understand, when you have been in bed with the guy you love and then you cannot make love anymore with him it’s a torture, as far as the physiological problem is concerned you masturbate thinking about him, but you miss him badly, I mean that fantasy can be enough when with a guy you didn’t really make love, but we knew what it meant to embrace hugging each other under the blankets. I mean that making love became an absolute necessity, we only thought of that, we had to find a way to realize our dreams. 
Complicated things like going to the hotel were not conceivable because where we live, in a small town, it is dangerous to do such a thing, going to another town would have been too much complicated … the only possible solution was going to a little house my parents had in the countryside (I cannot tell exactly where), which was the house of my grandparents. Nearby there is a great forest and the pretense of a naturalistic walk was all in all plain. We could go there at most once a week, really too little for two guys like us who were (and are) inseparable, but we went on doing so for two months but it was complicated, the car ride of nearly 70 miles, the chilly home, the need to bring everything cooked, because on Sundays there is nothing there. One night together yes, and then at four in the afternoon all the hustle and bustle of the coming back. 
Then he proposed the idea of telling our parents how exactly things were. For me, in fact, I had never had any particular problems and I thought they would accept it well. He was much hesitant. But we were 19, we were unaware of the consequences and we did that madness. 
My parents seemingly did not react very badly … they were a little cold, however, didn’t embrace me, nothing like that, but at least apparently it was not a disaster. But, on the other hand, for my friend things went wrong. In the house full of frost, parents wanted to send him to the psychologist, he didn’t want and the world collapsed. He was desperate, when we met he was weeping in anger all the time and when he was going to go home for him it was a real torture. 
At some point I talked to my parents because there was the room of my great brother, and Andrew, in my opinion, could have settled there. Probably I was terribly naive then. My parents didn’t want to know about taking Andrew in our house, and for me hell started. Andrea was exasperated, he came out of his house early in the morning, and returned very late in the night to not meet his father and mother. He didn’t even come to my home because he felt rejected also by my parents and spent the day in the cold as a tramp. I brought him food to eat and he spent the day like that. 
At school the exam period was approaching, he didn’t do anything, he was convinced that they would reject him, nevertheless he continued to go to school, at least in the morning he was indoors and hot. School was open until 6pm and we spent our time there, but there were people, a lot of noise, you could not separate yourself from others, it would have seemed strange, and then you have to defend yourself even at school. It was a terrible period. 
Then we took the examinations, the commission was very easy and everything went well. Andrew had applied for a job and I did the same even though I did not think about giving up at university, then found on the Internet that they had called us from the first of August near Bologna. 
Andrew would have gone because he could not survive at his home, even at the cost of abandoning his studies. I did not know what to do, it was the first time I was in great trouble. I told myself that if I really loved Andrew, I could not leave him go alone, and I really loved him. 
Meanwhile, my parents had already digested the bitter bite and they had found a place for me where I could stay (a mini apartment) in a city in Central Italy where I would study Engineering. After all, it was our project, because where I live to study Engineering you have to go out to another city, but I don’t deny that I thought that my parents wanted to send me elsewhere, not to keep me far away from them, but from our town and especially from the gossip of Andrew’s parents. 
Then I went to my parents and said, “I’m not leaving Andrew … I’m going to work with him.” My dad stayed a bit puzzled then told me: “We can give you a maximum of 800 euros a month, we pay you the apartment … then you can share it with whoever you want, you don’t have to tell us … “. And my father embraced me and then told me to make Andrew come home, he did not want to come but then he came and my father told him, “I know you love him … but you have to be cautious … there more than here…”. That’s all. 
Andrea with his parents has had no more relationships and we now live together in a small apartment for students in a small city in Central Italy. In the coming year we should take the specialist degree. We made not just love, we even studied like crazy. Saying family does not mean anything, you have to see what that means in real life, but I and Andrew really feel that we are a family.
___________
If you like, you can participate in the discussion of this post, on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-history-of-a-double-coming-out