I have been dealing with homosexuality for many years and, through Project Gay, who has been online for more than 10 years, I often had the opportunity to exchange e-mails with gay guys of all ages and to chat with them many times also in person, however It should be emphasized that a substantial proportion of the mails I receive, about 30%, do not come from gay guys, but from guys with gay-themed obsessive compulsive disease (gay-themed OCD).
I must point out that I am neither a psychiatrist nor a psychologist but only a person who has met many gays and who full-time looks after gays, often for many hours a day and even on holidays. The guys with gay-themed OCD who contact me are looking for my knowledge of the gay world because they feel obsessive doubts about their sexual orientation and compulsions that push them to test themselves to verify their sexual orientation and therefore want to have a comparison on these elements.
With some of these guys I have been exchanging literally hundreds of mails, even ten on the same day, when the OCD became more aggressive.
It is certainly not my task to talk about diagnoses and diseases and, obviously, when the problems become serious, it is useful and appropriate to contact specialists, but the fact remains that, in general, in situations of gay-themed OCD, an objective comparison with people who know well the homosexual reality is very useful because this way, guys with OCD are able to know of the weak aspects of their obsessive thinking. I will avoid any general discourse on the OCD and I will immediately and specifically deal with of the gay-themed OCD.
I start from some statistical observations.
In the experience of all (or almost all) guys with gay-themed OCD there is a heterosexual past free from OCD, often it is a non-linear past but still objectively and strictly heterosexual. Let me explain better, the guys who present a gay-themed OCD have lived the emotional, effective and even sexual experiences typical of heterosexual guys, that is they have been attracted in a clear way by girls, they have fell in love with girls, without ever questioning the fact of being heterosexuals, they have masturbated thinking about girls, very often they have had a girl and have had sexual intercourses with her, sometimes they have had more than one girl and a more complex sexual life but always heterosexual.
In the vast majority of cases sexual relationships of these guys were very strong and very engaging but the emotional dimension, in many cases, was marginalized, the dialogue with the girl was considered secondary compared to having sex with her. Sometimes and not rarely, performance anxiety phenomena are found. The absence of dialogue with the girl often led to the end of the relationship, followed by a sense of frustration.
It should be emphasized that for younger guys, who have never had sexual experiences, the picture, although essentially projective, often repeats models similar to the one just seen: I fall in love with the girl but in the end I’m afraid she doesn’t want me, doesn’t understand me. In this case, however, the dynamics are all internal.
In the experience of many straight guys there are sometimes memories of childhood or early adolescence linked to exploratory games with sexual background made with their mates, memories that generally don’t create any embarrassment and that are often completely archived because clearly not significant, when heterosexual attraction develops as adolescence progresses. Boys with a gay-themed OCD tend to improperly give those memories the value of an indicator of sexual orientation.
The gay-themed OCD emerges almost always in a sudden and totally unexpected way, very often because the guys, in the use of pornography, let themselves go to watch gay-themed videos and on that occasion they feel like they are experiencing some curiosity, some interest, or even at least a partial erection. It is common to hear phrases like: “If I had not gone to see that gay porn, all this disaster would not have happened!”
The gay-themed OCD as all the forms of OCD can present at different levels and the mails of the guys reflect the degree of obsessiveness of their thinking. Some mails are very articulate, deal with several issues and then address the topic of the OCD, others are clearly monothematic, in the sense that from the beginning to the end they speak only of OCD or better of the belief of being gay, others show signs of panic at the limit of loss of control. But one thing should be emphasized: guys with gay-themed OCD, in practice, never undertake homosexual experiences and don’t even have casual homosexual intercourses, all of their speech is independent of real relationships with real boys, both sexually and on an emotional level.
I try to clarify the concept: a gay guy falls in love with a real guy, a friend of his, a colleague of studies, in other words, his sexual interest is directed towards a well identified person, so it is a fact, not a mere hypothesis. A guy with a gay-themed OCD fears he can get excited about homosexual content, the concern is only about the technically sexual aspect. There is the fear of reacting sexually with “a guy” who is never a concrete guy but a generic male person. So these are abstract fears, which at most can be connected to a gay video, but never to a real person. In gay-themed OCD we find both obsessive, intrusive, recurring thought, and the compulsion to test to get a definitive answer about sexual orientation. Testing means practically verifying one’s sexual reaction (partial erection, hard erection, ejaculatory stimulation and more or less complete voluntary masturbation in the face of gay sexual content).
Obviously, as is typical of the OCD, the test “never” provides a satisfactory answer and this leads to the endless repetition of the tests itself. The tests tend to reproduce the situations that characterized the first manifestations of the OCD. In practice, during masturbation dedicated to a girl, or in front of a hetero porn, there is an intrusion of disturbing contents of homosexual type. I emphasize that these contents are not conceived as pleasing but as intrusive and capable of destroying the pleasure of heterosexual sexuality.
In the mails of the guys with gay-themed OCD there is almost always a loving attitude towards the girls who are described with tenderness, though often the real emotional relationships with those girls have been problematic, despite the intensity of sexual relations, in other words there is an involvement towards the girls well beyond the sexuality elementarily understood, these guys feel the emotional need of the girls, even if often they struggle to build truly gratifying emotional relationships with girls. These are problems typical of hetero sexuality but they are interpreted on the basis of a scheme suggested by the OCD: I cannot build an emotional relationship with a girl because maybe I’am gay! 99% of the problems of heterosexual couples have nothing to do with homosexuality and the difficulties of certain guys to create emotional relationships with girls does not depend at all on a hypothetical homosexuality but probably depend on the obsessiveness itself (which also manifests in heterosexual relationships), which the girl feels and pushes her to distance. A classic mechanism of “substitution” is realized, the true motivation of the problems of heterosexual couple is replaced by the idea that the motivation is just one: the homosexuality. It is very significant that guys with gay-themed OCD tend not to ask themselves questions about their unsatisfactory hetero affective relationships and shift their focus exclusively to the hypothetical homosexuality.
It has happened to me several times to have the impression that for these guys it is extremely difficult to accept the idea that their emotional relationships with girls can be problematic for reasons completely alien to homosexuality, it is as if the gay hypothesis were the only possible motivation of the difficult emotional relationship with girls.
I also often thought that these guys tended to give sexuality without affectivity (both hetero and gay) an excessive meaning, as if a couple’s relationship were just the sum of two single sexual entanglements, or rather the sum of two sexualities in which each of the two partners finds in the other the realization of his/her sexual fantasies, without the creation of a couple unity that goes beyond sex.
Another fundamental question is linked to the fact that the guys suffering from gay-themed OCD are brought to consider themselves gay repressed, or latent gays, or bisexuals. All this is significant because in practice they never identify themselves as strictly gay, but as guys who have “even” gay interests. For a guy strictly gay being gay is a value, a characterizing element that does not conflict with anything, except with the ignorance of families and of the social environment. A gay guy does not in any case tend to safeguard his more or less hypothetical heterosexual dimension, simply because that dimension is completely absent. Obviously the categories of repressed gays, latent gays or bisexuals have nothing to do with OCD. Let us now try to understand why.
A gay repressed is a gay to all effects who tends to repress his homosexuality almost always for environmental and educational reasons, but he is a 100% gay, he can practice gay masturbation with the sense of sin and transgression, but certainly does not feel it as something alien and disturbing, does not certainly feel it in conflict with a hypothetical hetero sexuality, which does not exist at all for him. A repressed gay guy can also come to “want” to experience heterosexual sexuality, either in masturbation with hetero fantasies or with videos of girls, or even with heterosexual relationships, but these things constitute a forcing, absolutely not spontaneous and certainly not gratifying, it is obvious that these forced attempts at hetero sexuality are self-imposed and have nothing to do with the true sexuality.
The concept of latent gay deserves a separate discussion. Latent gay means a guy whose homosexual interests are hidden, but not in the sense that they are hidden from others but well present to that guy, but in the sense that they are unconscious, that is, that boy has no awareness of them. A latent gay does not consider himself gay, he feels heterosexual and does not even consider the hypothesis of being homosexual. Latent homosexuality becomes concrete, beyond the hypotheses, when the guy leaves the latency period, which can last many years, and there is a real homosexuality, but these are rare cases. I add that one can “suspect” a latent homosexuality through symptomatic elements of a discomfort in heterosexual relationships, that may be not always fully satisfactory. Obviously those elements of discomfort can be interpreted also in quite different ways and it makes sense to refer to latent homosexuality only when, after the latency phase, a true homosexuality has occurred.
As for the bisexual category it must be said immediately that a bisexual guy experiences both heterosexual and homosexual interests, often in different degrees, with the prevalence or of the heterosexuality or of the homosexuality, but the guy experiences both considering each the two forms as a positive experience, none of the two forms of sexuality is seen by bisexual guys as a disturbing element of  the other neither is accompanied by anxious manifestations or compulsions.
In practice, the totality of guys affected by gay-themed OCD tend to identify themselves with “a gay who does not accept himself” and the ambiguity of this concept favors this identification. A gay man may have a big grip on declaring himself publicly gay, given the widespread ignorance about sexuality, that can cause unpleasant reactions in the family or in the social environment, but the prudence in external behavior has nothing to do with sexual orientation. A gay guy who is not publicly declared and does not behave externally in ways that allow him to be identified as gay, is just a wise gay guy, he’s not a gay guy who doesn’t accept homosexuality, he’s not a gay guy fighting against his gay identity. There may be times when a gay guy tries to suppress his sexuality to adapt to what the society and the family expect him to be, and in some cases gays also get married, but they remain gay guys that have forced themselves to a hetero life, they are not hetero at all, because they, also as married guys,  maintain an exclusively gay masturbation, that is, they have sexual intercourses with their wives, but when they experience sexuality freely in masturbation they clearly manifest their true sexual orientation.
Guys affected by gay-themed OCD, for what I can see, never show forms of homophobia, have or have had gay friends, they recognize to gay people the same rights of heterosexuals and also have a deep respect for homosexuality that disturbs them not as such, but only as an element that manifests in an intrusive and obsessive way in their hetero sexuality and in this sense conditions them, proposing them obsessive models of behavior that are alien to them, are unnatural, not against nature in the abstract, but against their individual heterosexual nature.
It must be clearly underlined that guys with gay-themed OCD have a decidedly unrealistic picture of the gay world, which does not come from their personal experience, because they are not gay, but from mass media and so it is built on stereotypes often very far from reality. I try to list some of these stereotypes: gays think only or especially about sex, they are sexually interested in all men and all guys, or at least in all gay men and all gay guys, gays are naturally effeminate, they dress so flamboyant, they only practice anal sex and tend to put it into practice with anyone, gays do not like team sports, have no friends, are melancholic, etc. etc..
Guys with gay-themed OCD tend to identify themselves as gay on the basis of their presumed conformity to these stereotypes and when, talking with me, they know that homosexuality is something quite different from what they have imagined, they experience moments of perplexity.
An important reflection must be made on the different frequency of gay-themed OCD cases in the various countries. It should be kept in mind that the OCD tends to polarize obsessive thoughts on a content that is particularly anxiogenic for the person affected by the OCD itself. The gay-themed doc is very rare among mature men or among the elderly who experience other types of obsessive content, while it is common in young people, this is certainly not surprising because for young people sexuality is a fundamental theme. We are instead struck by the fact that the gay-themed OCD is widespread especially in southern European countries (Italy and Spain), where the integration of homosexuals is still problematic, it is much less common in Germany, in the North of France and in England, where the culture of integration is much more widespread (especially in large cities) and is practically absent in the Scandinavian countries, where a precocious and well-managed sexual education allows a real integration of homosexuals who are no longer considered as a human category to watch with suspicion or concern.
From this reasoning it turns out that the real problem of gay-themed OCD is not being or not being gay, because the obsessive doubt about one’s sexual identity is substantially inspired by social intolerant attitudes towards homosexuality, the real problem is represented by obsessiveness in itself and by compulsiveness in itself.
In the experience of guys affected by gay-themed OCD very often obsessive elements, ritualisms of various kinds and unmotivated fears appear from childhood or early adolescence. In the approach with Gay Project the guys read that the fantasies that accompany masturbation are the first indicator of sexual orientation and as they experience in their masturbation the intrusion of gay elements are induced to think that those elements are true symptomatic elements of homosexuality. If it is true that masturbation fantasies are the first indicator of sexual orientation, it is not true, however, that all the homosexual contents that can come to mind during masturbation are really masturbatory fantasies. It should be noted that masturbation fantasies should not be confused with two other typical categories of homosexual content, that is, with abstract thoughts and phobic-obsessive contents. Let’s try to characterize these categories in order to make them easy to identify.
1) A sexual fantasy is a fantasy, usually associated with sexual arousal, that is to erection, or which would lead to erection if there was no rational control to repress it. Sexual fantasies are experienced as gratifying, both on a physiological (erection) and on a psychological level. The sexual fantasies are induced by concrete situations experienced as sexually involving or by the memory of similar situations or by episodes that make the memory resurface. Sexual fantasies are cultivated by the subject who spontaneously and voluntarily dwells on it, precisely because he experiences them as gratifying.
2) A masturbatory fantasies are sexual fantasies that accompany masturbation. These are therefore particularly exciting sexual fantasies, in relation to which the erection during masturbation is maintained for a long time. Gay guys who “do not accept themselves”, in spite of everything, perceive their gay sexual fantasies as pleasing on a sexual, physiological and psychological level, see them as fantasies against which they “must morally” resist but towards which there is no feeling of deep repulsion or of spontaneous rejection, I mean that a guy who does not accept or struggle to accept himself not only does not feel repulsion for gay sexuality but is attracted to it. In a sense, he is led to resist “rationally” to the temptation of gay fantasies, which for him have a considerable attraction. The emergence of gay sexuality is experienced by the guy as the realization of something new with which he must deal, but never as a repellent or disgusting reality, much less as a foreign reality that has become invasive and pervasive.
3) An abstract fantasy is a representation of a situation that “theoretically” could result in sexual involvement, i.e. that for other subjects would constitute a sexual fantasy or even a masturbatory fantasy, but that in the present case is not accompanied by any form of sexual excitement. Abstract fantasies are the manifestation of non-repellence towards certain sexual contents, but they do not at all constitute indicators of involvement or sexual orientation. Abstract fantasies are not produced by sexually engaging episodes or by their memory, they are a purely rational birth and do not involve physiological sexuality. It often happens that gay guys who “do not accept themselves” try to validate their hypothetical hetero identity based on abstract fantasies. It should always be kept in mind that abstract fantasies, even if they concern situations potentially involving sex, do not have any specific sexual value for the subject that feeds them. It is evident that abstract fantasies are not experienced by the subject neither as gratifying nor as disturbing, they can at most be reassuring but only at the rational level, generally on an emotional level they do not serve to resolve anxiety.
4) Sexual contents of a phobic or obsessive type are, in fact, contents that occur automatically and uncontrollably in situations or sexual fantasies with which they are not immediately correlated. They are contents that the subject fears, of which, wrongly or rightly, is afraid and which tends to recur in an obsessive and deeply disturbing way. Contents of phobic-obsessive type are not object of sexual fantasies, in the sense that the subject does not deliberately cultivate them searching for gratification, rather sees them as a foreign disturbing element whose presence tends to slowly invade all the sectors of affective and relational life. While sexual fantasies have a deep root in previous experience, the phobic-obsessive contents emerge unexpectedly and tend to stabilize creating states of considerable psychic suffering. The negativity of the obsessive phobic content is often linked not to individual experience but to educational archetypes that have consolidated over time as deeply assimilated prejudices. It should be emphasized that the negativity of such contents when the subject refers them to himself, does not mean at all intolerance or rejection of analogous situations not referred to himself. For example, a straight guy, very open to gays and with gay friends, who therefore does not present any kind of homophobia or social intolerance towards gays, can very well develop phobic-obsessive contents related to fear / conviction of being gay. To clarify the situation let’s examine two examples:
Situation n.1
A 25-year-old guy, who has a clearly heterosexual affective and sexual history behind him, writes: “I’m afraid of being gay because for some time I have gay sexual fantasies, I imagine that a man takes me with violence but for me the idea of being with a man is really repellent. Maybe I’m repressing my homosexuality, but when I’m starting to think about a girl that I like, inevitably the idea that someone is there who takes me by force comes back to me and I cannot even masturbate thinking about the girl because the idea of being gay is taking hold of me, but I never thought of a man as a sexual interest, at any level.”
Analysis of the Situation n. 1
a) The guy is afraid of being gay.
b) What he calls sexual fantasies are actually phobic-obsessive contents, absolutely non-gratifying and deeply disturbing, experienced as extraneous elements that invade the field.
c) In conclusion, the picture seems to exclude that the guy is a gay who struggles to accept himself.
Situation n.2
A guy 21-year-old writes: “I’ve always been hetero, but it’s a bit of time that I watch the guys with another eye and such a situation is becoming almost an obsession, if I think I get excited, I try to repress myself in every way but sometimes I cannot do it and I masturbate thinking of a guy and then I feel terrible, because I don’t feel gay and when I think  of my future I see it in my family. And then thinking about my life with a girl makes me feel good, that’s exactly what I want.”
Analysis of the Situation n. 2
a) Although the guy talks about an obsession or something similar, the thoughts to which he refers are true masturbatory fantasies against which one tries to resist rationally in the name of an alleged heterosexuality.
b) Heterosexuality is present only through abstract fantasies such as seeing oneself in a family in the future or feeling comforted by the abstract thought of the life with a girl.  
c) In conclusion, the picture seems to indicate that the guy is really a gay guy who “does not accept himself”.
Among the most frequent causes of the presence of gay phobic-obsessive content in the sexuality of heterosexual guys can be mentioned:
a) The prevalence of the sexual dimension over the affective one in the context of a heterosexual relationship, which makes the relationship unsatisfactory and fuels performance anxiety.
b) The rejection encountered by girls from whom the heterosexual guy was strongly attracted. Rejection depresses self-esteem.
c) Having spent childhood and adolescence experiencing the discomfort of being held up as gay in a way totally unrelated to reality.
Both in case a) and in case b) the suspicion insinuates that the failure may derive from some form of latent homosexuality emerging. The guy before go to a sexual contact with a girl or before masturbating, feels that the phobic-obsessive contents are there lurking and this fact implies that the sexual experience is heavily conditioned by anxiety with outcomes of failed or unsatisfactory erection and weak emotional participation that contribute to consolidate phobic-obsessive contents.
Sexual tests are also frequent in these situations. The guy tries to test the response of his sexuality in both heterosexual situations and in similar gay situations, tries for example to masturbate with similar fantasies both in the gay field and in the straight one. Since it is not a question of true sexuality because it lacks the spontaneity that is the backbone of sexuality, these tests are also disappointing and sometimes lead to a real rejection of both gay and straight sexuality. In such situations it is counterproductive to push the guy to go deep into the search for causes. It often happens that sexuality is the target but not the cause of phobic-obsessive contents.
If the phobic-obsessive disorders are reactive, that is, they are born by reaction to very anxiety-provoking and stressful situations, they will disappear when the cause that produced them ceases to exist. Classic examples are those of guys who have such disorders when they live in the family and who overcome them when they are for example in a university college. Often causes are to be sought in areas not related to sexuality: loss of work, fear of losing girlfriends, difficult family relationships.
As in many situations of psychological distress, it is advisable to encourage socialization in order to leave as little space as possible to obsessive thinking so that it is not perceived as conditioning for the entire relational sphere. Basically the way to deal with phobic-obsessive content can be summarized in one example: many are afraid of ghosts and because of this they don’t  leave their home, ghosts don’t exist, but the fear of ghosts can be paralyzing. How to cure the obsessive fear of ghosts? The answer is only one: “Experiencing that the ghosts don’t exist!” Bringing back the reasoning to the obsessive idea of being gay that haunts some hetero guys, how is it possible to overcome it? There is only one way to go, that is to say that sexual contents against which guys are fighting are not sexual fantasies, sign of homosexuality, but just phobic-obsessive contents in which homosexuality is present not as such, but as fear of homosexuality. And where homosexuality does not exist in objective terms, it makes no sense to be afraid of it.
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Hello Project,
there is something I like about your forum, there are no jeremiads, laments, and various forms of victimism. After all, gays have so many problems and in some countries they are actually persecuted, but in Europe or the United States, they have to endure just the weight of ignorance, still very high, and the preconceptions that are the biggest obstacle to a true gay integration. Many of the gay problems stem from the fact that they are not a majority, they cannot impose anything but have to be accepted by making others grow and slowly leading them to overcoming preconceptions and homologation.

My bigger problem when I was younger (now I’m 45) was to recognize gay guys in a crowd of guys where they did everything to hide and become invisible. In practice, the internet has made things a lot easier and, let’s just say it, has also put aside many squalid individuals who have built their fortunes on homosexual encounters. Now  are conceivable and possible a lot of things that 25-30 years ago were unthinkable. So there is less reason to complain, but the increased level of confidence among gay guys in various social circles has also diminished risk perception. Many guys trust too easily, if not the first guy they meet, at least the institutional figures that are close to them, first of all their parents, and then the teachers, coaches, priests, and so on, all people who “should” have a propensity to substantial dialogue but who are not really aware of their roles and are not culturally or even humanely capable of fulfilling their duties. I just quote one episode.

A guy in school said he was gay to a teacher, the teacher was gay too. In such a situation, the first rule, the truly indisputable one, should be to respect others’ privacy. It is already absurd that a teacher who has received such a confidence does not respect the confidence of those who have trusted him, but it is far more absurd when also the teacher is gay! Yet these things happen. I saw university professors make ironic comments during the lesson to a gay student, a coach who boasted of being a tombeur de femmes, ironizing on a gay guy trained by him. I also saw a priest tell, according to him to good, to the parents of a boy that his son was homosexual after having learned it in confession. I have seen more than once psychologists unable to respect the privacy of those who were addressing them. An attitude that always seemed to me very stupid in adults, is that to feel above the boys, as if the years really were a guarantee of maturity. Two teachers who speak grinning of a gay student think they joke but do not realize that their behavior, basically infantile, can cause terrible damage. It is as if adults were brave to be adults, as if such a thing was a merit, and in some cases, that is, but when one truly lacks intellectual and moral maturity, being adult makes it particularly serious.

I’ve seen guys suffer a lot from the stupidity of those around them, people really should change their mentality … no laments anyway! After all, it is not necessary to ask who is the responsible for such a widespread stupidity. Many adults, instead of receiving sexual education, have grown up with a lot of preconceptions, forced in a way more or less explicit to align themselves with the dominant thought, and this may partially excuse them.

Tell me, Project, how can we start, at least start to change things a bit. Or maybe we have to resign ourselves to keeping it so?

I look forward to your answer.

Hi Danny,
Last night, reading a post of a gay black therapist who told how his father intended to teach him what virility is (with the bangs and the rejection of any form of dialogue), I wondered what enormous effort made this person to get rid of such a conditioning. For gays, the two concepts of virility and masculinity have always been the cause of various problems, because the common way of thinking attributes to gay people a kind of hypothetical natural effeminacy that cannot be suppressed and makes a gay recognizable. As if a gay was not virile or male just as gay, as if being gay meant to belong to a kind of third sex, intermediate between men and women. I can say that I admired the author of the post I read last night, because he managed to get rid of prejudices and internalized homophobia and had the courage to post a story that I think can help many people feel stronger than the prejudices.


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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.
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Dear Project,
today for the first time I had the evidence of the stupidity of some guys and I also sent one of them to hell, not to say worse, even though he was a very good guy in many respects and I liked him a lot. I’ve always been afraid of sexually transmitted diseases and I’ll explain why, and some of the things you’ve told me have accentuated my fears. I do not think that happiness can be achieved just though sex, though sex is still a thing that creates a true dimension of intimacy, however, thinking of ruining life for five minutes of unprotected sex with an unknown guy seems to me the classic behavior of a totally irresponsible person. 
I had a friend, or better, luckily, I still have a friend, he is a guy of Irish origin, I’ll call him Patrick, even though this is not his name. Patrick has become HIV positive for underestimating the risks. It is true that now being HIV positive does not turn immediately to AIDS because there are antiretroviral drugs that control the situation well enough and that’s why the outlook is far less terrible than a few decades ago, but Patrick’s life will be permanently conditioned by the HIV. I’ve seen how Patrick changed after the diagnosis and everything he needs to do for therapy and related clinical controls and are not at all banal things, and anyway HIV is not definitely eliminated. 
Talking to Patrick causes me distress and it causes me also rage because no one has ever made him reason, on the other hand I too didn’t even do it, I thought he was very careful about prevention but it did not happen, and I cannot even blame him because he did not have risky behaviors or at least he did not seem to have risky behaviors. He had sex only with his partner and his partner didn’t know he was HIV positive. So, in essence, no one and not even his partner is really guilty of what happened. You could try to figure out who has infected his partner but you would end up tracing back the infection chain without any real utility. 
The only way to avoid what happened would have been to test before having sexual intercourse and repeat the test after the window period without having sexual intercourses between the two tests, but it’s a long thing, not easy to accomplish and people end to neglect it with the terrible consequences that Patrick is now facing. I must say that I am very informed about HIV (I study Medicine) and I have continued to attend Patrick, but many of his friends, having known that he is HIV positive, abandoned him completely and this has greatly aggravated his psychological situation. 
After I saw how Patrick’s life changed (because of these things I often talk with him), I became absolutely uncompromising in terms of prevention, I would say almost maniac. At that time I had not had already any sexual intercourse with anyone and I was quiet for my personal situation, but later I also had a boyfriend. Until a few months ago, I was with a guy who unfortunately got tired of staying with me and has gone, but from the perspective of prevention he was a guy with the brain in the head. When we thought we could have sexual intercourse, we went together to test and another time four months later for the window effect, clearly we went together to test and retire the results, so as to take away any doubt, therefore, when we had sexual intercourse we did not have in the background the ghost of the fear of HIV. 
There is not only HIV but there are several other sexually transmitted diseases, which make perhaps less frightening but are able to cause anyway serious damages. And then, if one goes to test, he becomes also more careful and learns that prevention is a fundamental thing. Of course we waited four and a half months to have sex, but when we did, we could only think about sex and not about the possible risks. Okay, this was my ex-boyfriend, and losing him caused me trouble, because he was not the type of sexual escapades, he had met Patrick, and Patrick had shown him very closely that the risks really exist. Anyway my ex-boyfriend left because we were thinking about other things in very different ways, however he left, and bye! 
But since then it had been over a year and I was slowly falling in love with another guy, a very nice and very sweet guy, a guy I loved very much. We started chatting, then we met in the evening to talk a bit (he lives somewhere near my home). Then, inevitably, sexual expectations were also created. I told him about my story and he told me about his. At this point he thought we would come to sex immediately, because in our stories it didn’t seem to be any risk of sexually transmitted diseases, but in such things I don’t accept at all the word “seem”, and I told him that we had to do the double test before having sex, as I had done with my old boyfriend. He was very weirded by this speech. I quote here a piece of a mail about the subject:
“I felt treated like a leper. You do not trust what I tell you. But why should I tell you something false? Do you want to use the condom? Okay, that’s fine, but using it for oral sex just seems absurd. But you do not even need this, you just want to do the test and you want to do it twice! But so we have to throw away five months to wait. But do you feel right? And It’s all for a matter of principle, because you know that you can trust me. Please, try to think serenely and put aside absurd complexes!”
Obviously I could not give in, I told him I did not want any risk and our relationship began to crunch. We met another couple of times, the second time I told him about Patrick’s story because I thought that the story would cause him to reason but that didn’t happen at all and he reacted in a way that annoyed me and probably from here on our relationship went into crisis. I told him that Patrick had only had sex with his boyfriend and that his boyfriend did not know he was HIV positive. I had told him so because that was what really happened, but he started to do strange faces, almost insinuating that Patrick probably had had sex with so many guys and that he probably had infected his partner, but such things were all completely devoid of sense, because he had heard Patrick’s name for the first time just 10 minutes before. Then I became the target of his frustrations, he considered me a psychopath. In the end he put an ultimatum
“or tonight we do it and as I like, or our story is over. I think you’ll be happy.”
I cannot stand ultimatums, and even less that someone judges without knowing what he is talking about, nevertheless I tried to make him understand my point of view and said:
“But how can you not understand that it is not a psychological problem but a real risk? Patrick trusted his boyfriend and came out devastated. You do not know him, you know nothing about him and you think you can judge him, but you don’t know how he is now, you should meet him and understand so much more. Anyway I do not blame you, before I saw closely Patrick’s story, I too considered these things very superficially, it was he who taught me to reason and not to trust. I’m not full of complexes about sex as you think, I’m not trying to get away from anything, before I knew you, I had a boyfriend and we had sex a lot of times, but it was safe sex. I’ve seen more than once worried guys for having had unprotected sex, guys who have been waiting for the test results with a terrible anxiety, they felt extremely worried because they felt as if they had played a game similar to the Russian roulette. In the end, things have gone well for them, but your answer: “So why should not go well to you?” It seems completely absurd, because to Patrick things went wrong. But, sorry, is it not better also for you to have security at another level? It’s about waiting, and then we can be well together even without sex, not forever, but only for a while.”
After this message he disappeared altogether. Now he is not with me, but there is not even fear in the background. I told Patrick that this guy was gone and he said to me:
“He has had a really childish behavior, if he really wanted to, he would have understood, but he preferred trying to force things and impose his point of view, and this is already not a good sign and in fact he has tried to impose an imprudent behavior, which means that it underestimates the risks and as he did it on this occasion he could have done the same in the future. I think that if the guys could see closely the problems caused by HIV they would use much more brain and with a serious education on prevention, the risk of AIDS could be slowly eliminated.”
If you want to post this mail, post it, I think you should absolutely publish it because making the guys aware of the risks of unprotected sex might be equivalent to saving their lives.
A hug.
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This post is to point out the mechanism of self-repression of homosexuality.

Sexual orientation is not a choice but a matter of fact, this is not the place to ask what caused it, what concerns us here is that sexual orientation has nothing to do with the personal choices, you are straight, gay or bisexual or you are not but certainly you don’t choose to be or not to be.

In dealing with issues related to sexual orientation a guy starts from unconsciousness to  reach consciousness of being gay, and then comes the acceptance of being gay, if there are not external disturbing factors the transition is gradual and not traumatic and can be done with a time pattern extremely variable. There are guys that at 14 have fully accepted their homosexuality, and there are adult men who are unable to accept it even over 50 and we will soon see why.

Factors that may affect the process towards the awareness and acceptance are many and vary widely depending on age and individual condition, all of them slow down or prevent the acceptance of homosexuality and are factors of spontaneous repression of sexuality.

Before puberty it is improper to speak of homosexuality, the term has a specific meaning only after puberty when a boy begins to experience physical sexuality and discovers masturbation. This is where come the first forms of repression of sexuality, both heterosexual and gay, based on feelings of guilt related to masturbation. These are the years in which a boy considers masturbation something very private and forbidden and tries to find out spaces that allow privacy needed for a sexual exploration not put at risk by disturbing elements. The moralistic religious awareness and education, which sees sexuality as something abnormal, can repress sexuality in the bud and tie it firmly to guilt. These mechanisms apply to all boys, straight and gay, but while around 11/13 for heterosexual boys peer group tends to present heterosexual sexuality, and in particular hetero masturbation as a transgression that somehow you need to afford in order to become a man, and this relieves the repressive capacity of faith-based or family-based mechanisms and strengths the sense of belonging to the group, based on having the same sexuality of the other boys, for gay boys peer group acts in the opposite direction because gay sexuality is heavily branded with epithets of various kinds. A gay guy does not identify himself in sexual experiences of his comrades and realizes easily that while they can talk and boast about their experiences in order to be considered adults, this possibility for him is ruled out. These are the terrible years of high school, probably the most unpleasant for a gay guy who has to realize that his sexuality is not only different from that of other guys but is considered degrading and dirty. This fact often doesn’t lead to radical forms of repression of gay sexuality of younger men, but only to repression of its visible manifestations. At 14, a boy, however, does not court explicitly another boy because it affects social reactions, but usually gay masturbation sexuality is not at all conditioned by social attitudes. I should note that in most cases not even religious repression can produce feelings of guilt in younger guys about their being gay. The kids who go to church, confess that they had masturbated, not that they had masturbated with gay fantasies, that means they feel guilty the act and not the fantasy that determines it. Many kids are spontaneously so far from considering homosexuality a sin in itself that when they realize that the church condemns homosexuality, they are strongly perplexed. Basically I mean that homosexuality discovered through masturbation after puberty is influenced by constraints that hamper its external manifestations but still cannot blame it in the eyes of younger guys.

So far we dealt with children who have lived their childhood and their pre-adolescence smoothly and without any lack of affection. The speech is certainly more complicated when children grow up in stressful situations or are subjected to traumas (watching scenes of violence, suffering physical violence from family members, be unwittingly involved in sexual activities by adults). About these situations, and about children who show significant forms of anxiety or markedly depressive tone already in adolescence or about those with disorders characterized by recurrent ideas from which it does not seem possible to be free, we should broaden the discussion a lot. The period from 11 to 14 is really delicate, boys put the bases of emotional and psychological aspects of sexuality and this must happen in a calm atmosphere, free of tension and examples of family affective relations can be reference points.

But leaving aside these much more complex situations, we have to ask why the mechanisms of self-repression of gay sexuality acts more heavily on older boys and adults than on younger boys. To answer this question we must keep in mind that young boy’s sexuality should be structured and built without the need to demolish anything, an older boy and an adult, who already have a structured sexuality, freeing the development of its gay sexuality, may require a process of destruction of their previous sexual identity, that means of the previous consciousness of a different sexual identity. In other words, an older boy or an adult to accept his gay sexual identity has to demolish the concept of himself as a heterosexual and has to be able to replace it with a different sense of himself as gay and all that meets considerable resistances.

Generally gay guys who have felt gay from the beginning don’t experiment stronger forms of self-repression of homosexuality, on the contrary those who have formed a consciousness of themselves as heterosexuals and are in the position of having to undermine much of the structure of their personality are usually strongly self-repressed. In essence, the real mechanisms involved in suppression of homosexuality are something that aims to protect a sexuality already structured in another way. The question that arises is, however, why a gay guy can end up structuring an hetero sexuality, that is having an image of himself as a hetero? Here the mechanism is not repressive and stems essentially from a series of errors of interpretation in which the guy falls or is induced to fall for the fact that we are immersed in a society that emphasizes heterosexual signals and neglects all those gay .

Let me give an example, considering only two symmetric situations, the first a boy who considers himself like a gay and nevertheless feels straight sexual feelings, the second a guy who considers himself heterosexual and fells sexual gay feelings. We will see that if there can be misinterpretation in both cases, the sexual repression works only in the second case, that is for the guy who has considered himself heterosexual and feels sexual gay feelings.

A gay guy, that is, a guy who has a gay masturbation, which is in a sexual situation involving a girl, goes to the erection, can experiment sexual desire for that girl, may even get to have sex with her, even engaging sex. Based on the model of interpretation related to the sexual “behavior” all that leads to the deduction: “I can have sex with a girl in a pleasant way, so I’m straight!” This reasoning is comforting because, inter alia, shall release the boy from complications of being gay and is reassuring in terms of social acceptance. Underestimating gay masturbation sexuality in favor of heterosexual couple sex in order to identify sexual orientation does not operate any form of repression.If we consider a guy who has always felt straight, that is, with masturbation and with a couple sexuality consistently straight, and hypothesize that this guy starts to feel sexually attracted to another guy, to the point of masturbating thinking about that guy or even have sex with him, we’ll “not” automatically deduct: “I’m sexually attracted to a guy, so I’m gay!” because in this case the deduction would be destabilizing, and to accept it the guy should deconstruct  the vision of himself as a heterosexual to replace it with a vision of himself as gay. These are the typical situations in which triggers the repression of gay sexuality. The guy who thinks he’s hetero stops to meet the guy who awakes his sexual responses because this way the risk of destabilizing his own sexuality decreases, but usually this is not enough, he even forcibly stops masturbating because his masturbation would be gay, something that undermines his sexual straight identity.

I want to emphasize a key element: repression of gay sexuality has two complementary aspects: the first is expressed in avoiding every occasion of gay sexual arousal and the second manifests itself in a heightened level of heterosexual couple activity, the latter mechanism leads often to neurotic reactions because it is not desired for reasons of sexual affection but related mechanisms for confirmation of sexual identity. In some cases, the repression of sexuality leads to irrevocable decisions as gay marriage, which is considered in these cases like a medicine of homosexuality, it makes no sense under any point of view. Homosexuality, however repressed, ends up sooner or later to return to the surface.

I add another important thing. To push forcefully toward heterosexuality gay guys who repress their homosexuality in favor of a possible couple relationship and of a heterosexual marriage are often girls who do not have the foggiest idea of what homosexuality really is and who feel ready to lead, or trying to encourage their guys to exclusive heterosexuality on the basis of women seductive arts. These things, at first, seem also to be successful because the elimination of gay sexuality is compensated by a more intense and hetero sexuality and heterosexuality is more socially accepted and encouraged and gives the feeling of being really straight. But by far the mechanism is worn and often the same girls who have encouraged their gay guys to the marriage find themselves in positions of stark contrast with their husbands they can not in any way accept like homosexuals. A heterosexual woman marries a man because she thinks that he isn’t gay or at least that is no more gay, because she identifies the guy’s sexual orientation with sexual behavior she can see and not with the sexual desires that she cannot see, when she discovers that her husband is actually gay and that in a marital situation he feels uncomfortable she gets angry with her husband and considers him like a marriage traitor, but really, if the guy said how things were before marriage and the girl came to her decision to marry the same, often family members and personages of various kinds are involved, they not knowing anything about homosexuality are as trusted advisors in such a sensitive area.

A final consideration. From the repression of homosexuality tied to the mechanisms we have described above it’s possible to exit only if the environment is favorable and if a gay man has the courage to say the truth, what can never be taken for granted. There are people who prefer to repress or perhaps don’t have in fact any choice. In any case you cannot replace a repressed gay and try to get him out of his sexual repression on the basis of your way of seeing things. Get out of self-imposed sexual repression is not easy. And you can’t take for sure that it could have always a positive result without the required conditions.


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