HETERO-GAY AND GAY-GAY MODELS OF SEXUALITY

Hetero-gay relationship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hetero-gay relationships and feminization of the gay

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

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

The seduction in the hetero-gay relationship

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

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

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

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

Evolution of hetero-gay relationships

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

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

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

1) Rob

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2) Tony

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

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

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

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

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

3) Andrew

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

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

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

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

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

Sexual behavior and perception of sexual Orientation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Birth of pornography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gay-gay relationships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Homophobia and homologation reaction 
As we have already observed, guys who recognize their sexuality as homosexuality inevitably feel, in many countries over the world, that for others their sexuality is object of jokes or at least that to others it seems strange and that the judgment that others give it is negative. These guys, since very young are fully aware that in order not to incur reactions of intolerance or homophobia, both at the level of friendships and social ambition, one must keep his homosexuality hidden. Since, generally, seeing the behavior of a gay guy it’s not practically possible to understand what is his sexual orientation, and therefore gay guys can be identified as such only if they speak specifically of their own sexuality, in the great majority of cases these guys don’t publicly declare themselves gay and don’t show any behavior that can allow others to identify them as gays but rather tend to conform externally to generally shared hetero behaviors. Therefore, gay guys not only do not talk about guys with their friends or in the environments they attend but sometimes they act as heterosexuals so as not to be identified as gay and to be integrated into the peer group.
 
Familial homophobia and defense strategies
As often the speeches heard in the family contain homophobic messages, a gay boy realizes the need not to reveal anything of his homosexuality even in the family or rather especially in the family. But since a gay boy lives and must continue to live with his family, at this point he takes the worry not to leave traces and therefore, for example, to erase the chronology on the computer, not to buy books or newspapers that talk about homosexuality, to erase the memory of the phone or to memorize the numbers using acronyms and not the real names of his friends and to avoid watching TV broadcasts such as films or debates on the theme of homosexuality, together with his parents. 
In the rare case in which parents exert an explicit pressure towards heterosexuality with classic questions like: “Do you have a girlfriend?”, A gay boy is led to elaborate a strategy that allows him to circumvent the question without attracting attention. Probably, however, for a gay boy the most serious discomfort  resulting from the homophobia of his parents, consists in not being able to attend the boys who he would like to know. To indicate the condition of gay boys who don’t declare themselves gay, it’s commonly used  the expression “being in the closet”,  that is, being closed in the closet and well protected.
 
Coming out and outing
For a gay boy it is not easy to keep everything for himself and not to confide completely with anyone, in fact, a gay boy often perceives by intuition, right from the speeches made with friends, that a male friend or a female friend of his probably would not react badly after learning that their friend is gay. The gay boy then enters a difficult phase of transition in which the emotional and communicative needs, related to being able to talk freely about oneself, collide with the need to avoid becoming an object of ridicule and of other people’s gossip. So he gradually matures the idea of being able to confide at least with a person he trusts a lot, it is used to say that he matures the idea of making “coming out”. 
Almost all gay boys, sooner or later, come to a coming out limited to one or a very few people chosen with the utmost caution. Obviously if a gay guy does not trust anyone and carefully monitors all his behavior, no one can come to understand that he is gay, while if he confides, even only with a person, he runs the risk that the person who is aware of his homosexuality can spread the news even without realizing it. When this happens, we are faced with what we call “outing” (which could be translated as “being pulled out” of course from the closet). A gay who comes out, even with only one person, therefore runs a risk of outing, but if that person is a serious and reliable person the risk is minimal even if it is never completely null. A young person, therefore, carefully choosing the recipient or the recipients of his coming out, can minimize the risk of “outing” very effectively.
 
Declared and undeclared
It is commonly used the distinction between “not publicly declared” gays and “publicly declared” gays, very often most synthetic expressions are used: “declared” and “undeclared”, implying the adverb “publicly”, because it is assumed that all gay boys, sooner or later, make a limited coming out with people they totally trust. As we have observed, the overwhelming majority of gay boys donot declare themselves gay publicly, it is estimated that in Italy the gays publicly declared are about 4% of the gay population, in other countries the estimated percentages are very variable because of the social sanction against homosexuality. In countries where homosexuality entails the death penalty no one declares gay, in those in which gays are entitled to marriage with people of the same sex and to adoption of children, gays publicly declared are certainly a fraction consistent of the gay population. 
In general, between a declared gay and an undeclared gay there are strong differences in the interpretation of the concept of “being gay”. However, these great differences are largely due to the cultural environments that can be very different. In essence, declaring oneself or not is a choice strongly influenced by the social environment precisely because the level of riskiness of declaring oneself is enormously variable from situation to situation. Often, undeclared gays are led to think that the declared ones have declared themselves in order to have easier access to sex by attending gay-labeled environments, while the gays declared are led to think that the undeclared are essentially cowards who don’t have the courage of their actions. In both cases these are biases that have no basis, precisely because they don’t not take into account that the environments around the guys can be and are in fact very different. 
The family environments, even before the social ones, in which gays live are so radically different and so influential on the choice whether to “come out” or not that it makes no sense to compare individual situations related to non-comparable contexts. Today, in Italy, that is in a country where homophobia is still deeply rooted (the parliamentary path of the anti-homophobia law, which has not been approved, is enough to realize it), except for exceptionally favorable situations, the generalized “coming out” is not advisable. Many boys are led to think, and sometimes they are even led to think so by gay associations, that the generalized coming out is a moral duty, a demonstration of courage and in some way a due act. In reality we must never forget that coming out is in itself a risky act. 
Homophobia at school, at university and in the workplace is evident from many episodes of chronicle and moreover many homophobic discriminations are carefully hidden behind other motivations just to avoid them appearing as homophobic discrimination. It should never be forgotten that the generalized coming out is a gesture from which one can not go back, no matter what consequence it may derive from it, and therefore it is essential to reflect very carefully on the risks that must be faced before declaring oneself publicly gay.
 
Coming out with parents
A very particular type of coming out is the coming out with parents. In this regard, many variables must be considered with the utmost care. It must be taken into account that, if and when it arrives, the coming out with the parents is the last chronologically. Parents, however good parents they may be in other respects, can be absolutely unprepared for a son’s coming out and radically incapable of evaluating things in a realistic way because they are influenced by various conditioning and preconceptions. Taking for granted the ability of parents to understand and accept the homosexuality of the son is very imprudent. 
If a coming out with a friend is not taken in the right way, it is possible to interrupt relations with that friend, but when it is the coming out with the parents not to be taken in the right way, cohabitation must continue and can definitely become unpleasant. There are still situations in which parents come to deny their son economic assistance during his studies (two parents who had a gay son who was studying in another city, had  rented a mini-apartment for the son and payed monthly the rent for him, once they knew that their son was gay, they stopped paying the rent and forced their son to give up his studies). In some cases, an adult gay son has been removed from home to separate him from the brothers because the parents thought it could be a danger for the brothers. 
The situations of radical rejection are actually quite rare. In most cases, however, to the coming out with the parents follows the establishment of a cold climate, the homosexuality is censored and removed and parents pretend that nothing has happened or get behind the classic negationism with phrases like: “You will see that it will pass! It’s just a phase” or “You just say it to provoke me!”
The medicalization reaction is quite common: “Tomorrow we’ll look for a good doctor and we’ll see if we can do something” or refer to the psychologist, usually a psychologist indicated by parents. In all these situations it is evident that parents are unable to understand and accept and that the coming out was a hasty choice. Often the parent feels guilty and attributes the homosexuality of the son to an educational error or considers the homosexuality of the son as a kind of condemnation resulting from some fault of the parent himself.
Sometimes, over time, the situation improves and when the parents realize that their son’s gay friends are boys like everyone else and that being gay is not synonymous with getting into trouble, they end up getting over their fears and accept the homosexuality of the son. It should be borne in mind that seeing parents talking quietly about homosexuality and maybe even seeing that they have gay friends, doesn’t offer any guarantee in relation to their ability to accept their son’s homosexuality. Speaking of homosexuality in general, considering homosexuality as something foreign and far away, and accept to have a gay son are two absolutely different situations.
Often gay boys, who have not explicitly declared themselves with their parents, think that parents have nevertheless come to understand that they have a gay son from some of behaviors of the son himself and from some of his speeches that the son himself considers as implicit declarations of homosexuality. These are generally presumptions that don’t correspond to reality, because a parent, in front of his son’s explicit discourses, puts the so-called “defensive interpretation” into play, that is, he interprets the implicit discourse according to the direction that minimizes the problems from his point of view. In this case the parent tends to avoid the interpretations that would lead to the hypothesis of the homosexuality of the son. Classic is the example of the interpretation of the fact that the son doesn’t have a girlfriend:
 
“My son didn’t have a girlfriend but he had some female friends and went out with them too, he had nothing against girls, girls frequently courted him but he has always been very serious and always put his studies in the first place. He had to graduate and couldn’t waste too much time. He studied every day with a friend and then they took exams and passed them and I was happy. Those very rare times I tried to talk to him about girls he told me that at the time he had other problems for his head and that he wanted to finish his studies first. I didn’t see anything strange in this whole speech.
Later when my son told me that he was gay I just fell from the clouds and he didn’t know how to explain it because he thought I had already understood everything because he had made me half a speech, but I hadn’t understood anything from that speech.”
 
Unintentional Coming Out
So far we have talked about a coming out as a result of a more or less meditated and conscious decision but as a result of a decision. It happens, unfortunately quite frequently, that the strategies adopted by a gay boy to protect his own privacy don’t work because of unforeseen events, in these cases the boy incurs, when he least expects it, in the unpleasant experience of an involuntary coming out, in which to the classic problems of the coming out must be added the fact that it is an absolutely unwanted event of which the guy becomes aware when the damage is already done. Classic examples of involuntary coming out consist of leaving the computer open on a gay site or leaving a chat conversation visible on a gay topic or not realizing that a gay-themed book has slipped under the bed. In these situations the coming out results from factual data and denying it is something completely meaningless. The boy who has stumbled into an involuntary coming out (very often with his parents) can blame only his own carelessness.
 
Privacy violations and forced coming out
When a gay boy who does not want to declare himself publicly gay behaves imprudently, especially in the family, and gives no explanation of behaviors such as going out and returning at any time, neglecting old friends, passing a lot of time on the internet, parents can start to suspect and can begin to cautiously investigate their son’s behavior. In some cases, parents arrive to secretly read the text messages of the son stored in the phone, to listen to his conversations, to enter their son’s computer to read his e-mails and the texts of his dialogues in chat.
Sometimes from these investigations the homosexuality of the son clearly emerges and all his acquaintances also emerge. In these cases we come to a showdown in which it seems that the guy is forced to declare his own homosexuality, but in fact the parents are already fully aware of it. Situations of this kind, precisely because they are preceded by an intrusive investigation in violation of the privacy of the son, lead to the definitive collapse of any possibility of dialogue between parents and sons and are very heavy for the boys.
However, if a boy foresees a possible investigation by his parents, he usually manages to take adequate measures, such as entering password protection, calling friends on the phone only from outside the home and other similar measures. In these cases it often happens that the suspicion of the parents doesn’t lead to anything concrete, but a parent, arrived at this point, is not led to think of the possible homosexuality of the son but of objectively dangerous situations such as the use of drugs and the involvement of the son in unreliable friendships. When it comes to the showdown, the gay boy must face the so-called forced out coming that, while being unpleasant, is generally welcomed by parents as a release from much larger fears.
 
Coverage relationships and defensive coming out
When a gay boy, to avoid being identified as gay, comes, more or less consciously, to have a girl for reasons of coverage and slowly pushes himself to delude that girl, as if it were a real love story, it is not uncommon for the boy to end up being a victim of his own defensive game, that is to say he ends up feeling trapped in the story with the girl, a story that inevitably, sooner or later families will come to know and almost always accept and that will start to raise expectations of various kinds and therefore to create ties gradually closer. In this way a gay boy is very likely to go progressively, step by step, towards the official engagement and long-term marriage. When these situations become too tight, it sometimes happens, as an extreme choice, that the boy resorts to the so-called defensive coming out, that is, to telling the girl that he is gay and that things cannot go on just for this reason.
Obviously the families, both of the girl and the boy, are immediately aware of the thing but, paradoxically, the outcome of the defensive coming out is very often incredulity, in this case the gay boy, who had managed too well to convince the others that he was hetero, will struggle hard to make understand that his coming out is authentic and is not a vulgar pretext invented by a hetero to save himself from an unwelcome marriage.
 
Coming out addressed to a guy with whom one is in love
A very particular type of coming out is that addressed to a guy with whom one has fallen in love in the presumption that he too is gay and can respond with the desired phrase: “I’m gay me too!” If in general it is difficult to evaluate “in advance” the possible consequences of a coming out with friends and family, it is much more difficult to evaluate the consequences of a coming out addressed to a guy with whom one has fallen in love because here the judgment is easily distorted by the fact that there is a deep sexual and emotional involvement that leads us to see things as we would like them to be more than as they really are.
I would like to emphasize in this connection a very particular aspect, which is clarified by the following example.
 
“My boyfriend and I started dating only as friends, then everything came naturally, he never told me he was gay nor I told it him, there was absolutely no need, I never asked myself nor he asked himself,the classic question : “But is he gay?”  or rather I have asked myself and maybe even he asked himself but we never had the idea of coming to a forcing, that is to force spontaneity to know immediately, or at least soon, how things were, and then there are two facts, first of all I didn’t want to lose him, even if he was just a friend, and then he is very shy and I didn’t want any forcing, because he would have taken it as a “if you’re not gay I don’t care of you” while it was not like that. I knew that he was gay from the fact that being together was fundamental both for him and for me, there was total reciprocity from the beginning.”
 
In practice the coming out towards a boy with whom one is in love, means forcing the other to come out in turn. Apart from the fact that the odds of being in front of a straight guy are still high, even when you are actually facing a gay guy, in the context of a truly mutual relationship, there is no need for any explicit coming  out because in these situations a gay boy comes very easily to decode the behavior of the other that goes in the desired direction. I must stress, however, that presuming that, if the other is gay, certainly a beautiful couple relationship will be born is quite unrealistic, because the well-known theorem “gay + gay = love” has nothing to do with reality.
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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-coming-out

BEING GAY, GAY MANUAL: – UNDERSTANDING TO BE GAY – BISEXUALITY

I am pleased to announce that today, May 13, 2018, I have completed the English translation of the first two chapters of the “Being Gay” Homosexuality Manual: http://gayproject.altervista.org/be_gay.pdf
Below is an index of chapters published in English:
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CONTENTS
About this book 1

1 UNDERSTANDING TO BE GAY
1.1 GENERAL OVERVIEW
1.1.1 The discovery of masturbation
1.1.2 Gay discomfort
1.1.3 Gay falling in love and frustration
1.1.4 Sexual imprinting
1.1.5 Religious education and homosexuality
1.1.6 Pornography and educational pressure
1.1.7 Masturbation and sexual orientation
1.1.8 False indices of sexual orientation
1.1.9 Awareness and mechanisms of removal and underestimation
1.1.10 Difficulty of acceptance

1.2 DOCUMENTS
1.2.1 How I understood I was gay
1.2.2 I realized I was gay at 26
1.2.3 Feeling gay and reborn
1.2.4 Gay only when I masturbate
1.2.5 A difficult path to acceptance of my being gay
1.2.6 Affection for a girl and love for a gay guy
1.2.7 How to understand that you are not gay
1.2.8 Fear of being gay
1.2.9 Get to the awareness of being a gay in love and rediscover sexuality
1.2.10 Sublimated hetero love and gay masturbation
1.2.11 I discovered I was gay at the age of 30
1.2.12 Heterosexual experiences of a gay guy
1.2.13 From pretended straight to gay at age of 30
1.2.14 A gay guy in love
1.2.15 Gay games of straight guys
1.2.16 Anti-gay therapy

2 BISEXUALITY
2.1 GENERAL OVERVIEW
2.1.1 Dichotomy between affectivity and sexuality
2.1.2 Hetero-Curious and sexuality of escape
2.1.3 Bisexuality and masturbation
2.1.4 False bisexuality in the obsessive compulsive disorder
2.1.5 Degree of gay propensity of bisexuals
2.1.6 Bisexuality as a transitory category
2.1.7 How many are bisexuals?
2.1.8 Polarization of bisexuality
2.1.9 Bisexuality and problems arising from exclusivity
2.1.10 Devaluation of bisexuality by partners
2.1.11 Problems of the heterosexual modeling of bisexual sexuality
2.1.12 Periodic bisexuality

2.2 DOCUMENTS
2.2.1 Maybe I’m gay but I love my former girlfriend
2.2.2 Periodic bisexuality?
2.2.3 Exchange of emails with a hetero-curious
2.2.4 Exchange of emails with a bisexual almost gay
2.2.5 A married bisexual
2.2.6 Bisexuality in an online interview
2.2.7 From hetero to bisexual to gay
2.2.8 A 36 years old guy between gay and bisexual
2.2.9 A gay between a straight and a bisexual
2.2.10 Bisexuality without trauma
2.2.11 Bisexuality, prejudices and ostracism

GAYS AND DYSFUNCTIONAL SEX

Ego-dystonic homosexuality

In the classification of mental and behavioral disorders contained in the 10th formulation of the World Health Organization (WHO) document for the classification of diseases (ICD-10), homosexuality is no longer considered an illness in itself and is recognized the existence of dystonic forms of all sexual orientations. Echo-dystonic homosexuality is a homosexuality recognized by the subject but not accepted. If a homosexual, fully conscious of being homosexual, comes into conflict with his sexual orientation for religious, moral or social reasons and wishes to change sexual orientation,  his homosexuality is called ego-dystonic homosexuality. This category is now outdated and ego-dystonic homosexuality is no longer classified as a mental disorder, but as a simple discomfort due to cultural or social reasons.

The ICD-10 was approved by the 43th WHO Assembly in May 1990 and has been in use in the WHO member States since 1994. The release date for ICD-11 is 2018, and any reference to homosexuality, even the ego-dystonic one, is expected to be completely eliminated.
Two points must be underlined:

1) the excess of psychiatrization has arrived to overcome the limits of the ridiculous (and really of the pathological) with the description, in the XIX century, of a presumed disease, the drapetomania, a “disorder of slaves who have the tendency to escape from their owner due to an innate propensity for the desire to travel”. Psychiatry, starting from the assumption that slavery was a normal thing, has come to consider pathological the tendency of slaves to flee!

2) maintaining the category of “ego-dystonic homosexuality” has fueled the thriving market of conversion therapies aimed at bringing back homosexuals to heterosexuality, because these aberrant practices were officially considered forms of treatment for a “disease” and therefore were repayable by health insurances or national health services, if any.

Homosexuality had been deleted from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (APA)) since 1973, after a very tortuous path in which ideological resistance, political opportunism and economic interests were intertwined in various ways, in a border territory in which science (psychiatry) risked losing even the appearance of objectivity. In this regard, I refer to a fine article by Jack Drescher: Out of DSM: Depathologizing Homosexuality which illustrates the path that led to the de-pathologisation of homosexuality by the APA.

Let’s leave aside, with all the reservations of the case, the category of ego-dystonic homosexuality,  and let’s come to the specific object of this article, that is the dysfunctional gay sexuality which is something profoundly different.

Gays and dysfunctional sex 

The cultural tradition has accustomed us to the association of sex and pleasure, endorsing the identification of sexuality with the gratification that can derive from it, but the experience teaches that in some cases sexuality, far from being associated with pleasure and gratification, becomes an expression and sometimes a non-secondary cause of depressive states that are inconspicuous but subtle and even dangerous.
 
The association of sexuality and sense of gratification is not a necessary constant but is induced by sexual imprinting and the first approaches to adult sexuality that act in a varied and complex way on the components of the personality in formation and mold it. You can get to experience sexuality as a real obsession, that is, as an invasive and pervasive dependence that deeply affects the whole personality, you can get to experience sexuality as self-punishment, as a self-imposed form of moral degradation or as constantly accompanied by feelings of guilt associated with an unstoppable impulse to repeat. In other words, sexuality can be a dysfunctional response to the discomfort that not only does not relieve it but can weigh it down in a conditioning way.
 
When there is a spasmodic exercise of sexuality, particularly when sexuality is divorced from the affective component, the legitimate suspicion arises that this is a dysfunctional sexuality.
 
I give a very simple but very meaningful example: when a guy lives a very active sexuality but accompanied by a sense of satisfaction and gratification, there is no reason to suspect any form of discomfort, if instead the overactive sexuality is accompanied by depressive feelings, a drop in self-esteem or the perception of a sense of dependence, it is legitimate to ask oneself if there is or not a form of unease behind it.
 
Sexuality as a manifestation and component of discomfort is more easily encountered in homosexuals and in particular in those homosexuals who, for reasons of social conformity or for facts linked to individual history, live in conditions of repression or present forms of sexuality that are not easily accepted, not even in contexts otherwise welcoming, such as intergenerational relationships.
 
As it’s obvious and as I have been able to find on several occasions that having suffered in childhood or even in early adolescence forms of sexual abuse predisposes to dysfunctional sexuality but does not determine it in a necessary way.
 
At the base of dysfunctional sexuality we often find the idea of transgression and of involving others in transgressive behaviors, which often means trying to get out of isolation and share an intimate and at the same time anxiogenic aspect of one’s personality.
 
I would like to point out that dysfunctional sexuality often has its roots in areas of individual experience that have nothing to do with sexuality but which have strong effects on self-esteem and are often linked to the context of the family the individual comes from.
 
The patrimony of sexual intimacy represents one of the most important and at the same time most fragile dimensions of the personality, an invisible but present dimension on which each person measures the social integration at the deepest level. Of course sexual intimacy can be related to many feelings of guilt, linked to the tendency to invade the sexual intimacy of others or to dispel one’s own with abnormal or excessive behaviors.
 
From what I have been able to see the dichotomy between affectivity and sexuality, which many times seems original, is often strongly accentuated by experiences of rejection, that is, stories with an emotional-sexual background begun with enthusiasm and ended by manifest incompatibility.
 
The repeated experience of affective incompatibility leads to the shift of emotional investment towards non-affective sexuality. The archetypes emerged from sexual imprinting thus become models to be repeated continuously and progressively less gratifying. The idea of transgression begins to weigh more than that of sharing, behaviors become ritual and stereotyped and a sort of script is formed that must be recited more or less identical regardless of the personality of the partner.
 
This mechanism, which in fact creates an obsessive dependence, is initially experienced as a mere unease but tends gradually to become compulsive. The emotional components are withdrawn from sexuality but don’t disappear at all from the individual horizon, they remain only in a dimension separate from sexuality. Guys who live in conditions of sexual dysfunctionality have a very deep affectivity that can manifest as such in all its potential, which can be enormous, I mean that those guys can live important friendships, can have, on aspects that don’t touch sexuality, a very rigid moral code, but when it comes to sexuality they will end up feeling dominated by the compulsion to repeat the same behaviors and to try to involve others in behaviors that they consider transgressive and in any case to dissociate affectivity and sexuality.
 
I must observe that many of the behaviors considered by those guys to be transgressive, are in reality quite common variants of sexual behavior that, when they are not accompanied by a sense of dependence and compulsion to repeat or by the tendency to focus only on them, don’t express and don’t create discomfort at all.
 
I report a significant example: intergenerational relationships created on an emotional basis are not expressions of discomfort but those relationships, lived without affection and almost self-imposed, manifest an unease that can be profound, the same is true for example for anal penetration that has nothing to do with discomfort, when it is experienced as rewarding and spontaneous, but instead is a sign of a discomfort that can be profound when it is experienced as self-imposed by people who in their sexual fantasies have never considered that particular sexual practice. The same could be said for the use of a particularly provocative, vulgar or aggressive language in sexual encounters and so on. It happens in these cases a little what happens in the OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), a behavior that in itself would not have anything transgressive, if lived in an emotional, playful and otherwise collaborative dimension and without fixed roles, i.e. with criteria of parity and in a light way, is instead considered transgressive and is experienced as compulsive, but the reason is not in the objective transgressive character of that behavior or in its intrinsic compulsiveness but only in the mind of the subject that associates those behaviors with a situation of discomfort.
 
Some criteria tend to prevent dysfunctional sexuality as far as possible:
 
1) Absolute respect for the privacy of the child or adolescent in matters related to sexuality
 
2) To try to prevent sexual abuse of minors, which have a profound effect on adult life
 
3) To create an environment that tends to promote self-esteem and develop an affective climate, in particular by providing examples of the association between affectivity and sexuality.
 
Let us now analyze synthetically each of these points.
 
I understand very well that in the age of the internet, where children and adolescents have easy access to the network and all its contents, parents may be worried about the child’s access to pornography, which in some ways is inevitable; it is however opportune that this access takes place at an age in which there is already a substantially adult sexuality (14-15 years), so that models of behavior are not exclusively imitative, because a model of exclusively imitative sexuality is substantially devoid of affectivity.
 
Parents are often afraid more than of pornography, of special friendships of their children, that instead have the undeniable merit of encouraging the growth of affectivity and the integration of affectivity and sexuality. Parents can and must talk about sexuality with their child but only avoiding calling him directly into question. Attitudes of an inquisitorial type or of real espionage, like looking through the child’s private cards or tampering with his computer are perceived as invasive and violent and break the trust relationship between parents and children.
 
The prevention of child abuse is a very delicate subject because the overwhelming majority of abuses are perpetrated precisely by the persons to whom the child is entrusted or in any case by family members or by those who habitually frequent the child’s home. It is obvious that under these conditions the repressive intervention of the penal law risks being completely circumvented. The golden rule to reduce the possibility of abuse is to never “entrust” the child to others and, if necessary, to entrust him to grandparents or to other family members whose behavior can be certain, and never in a systematic way or for long periods.
 
Creating an environment that tends to promote self-esteem and the development of an affective climate means in practice creating a family life in the full sense of the term, spending a lot of time with children, playing with them from an early age, gratifying them in comparison with adults and showing them concrete examples of affection between adults. There is nothing that can promote self-esteem and the development of the child’s affectivity, such as seeing parents experiencing an emotional and collaborative atmosphere among them. I mean that the child’s discomfort is very often the expression of a family hardship.
 
I have often asked myself about what can be done when a form of dysfunctional sexuality has been rooted for years and here I can only expose my thoughts that are far from indicating a concrete way of proceeding. Naturally I didn’t ask myself what a psychologist can do, because a psychologist takes on a determined role that has its own rules, but just of what a friend can do. The variables involved are many and it is very difficult to arrive at a synthesis, I will limit myself to explain the most recurring problems. I will indicate with the letter “A” the guy who experiences a condition of sexual dysfunction and with the letter “B” his friend.
 
A typical situation: A has a fairly frank dialogue with B and slowly gets to talk with B about his sexuality, manifesting also the aspects that he considers transgressive. In this way A intends to evaluate above all the fidelity of B and his reactions. If B will be annoyed by those speeches or if he will go away not to be seen again, A will live the thing as another refusal towards him and this will confirm him in the idea of marginality and social isolation. If B will listen to A’s speeches in a patient way without reactions of amazement and will try to underline that the transgressive aspects are actually minimal, admitted and not granted that they exist, A will go on to a later phase, he will try to involve B beyond the level of dialogue, he will try to provoke him, to convince him to try some sexual contact, even very superficial, even by telephone, but it will be a sexual contact with those characteristics of transgression that B had considered little or no transgressive at all and here B will have the problem of accepting or not to take this step forward, because if B will accept, almost certainly A will try to take another step forward to involve B more and more, but if B refuses, A will take the opportunity to further depress and to further decrease his self-esteem. At the end of this process, which may take months, B will ask himself whether it is appropriate to give in to the insistence of A and here the answer is not at all obvious, B would not however have the prospect of starting a romance with A, since A is interested in B only on a sexual level, while B could prove a deep emotional involvement for A. B, however, is now aware that the relationship with A is played at another level and that, even if A is not involved at an affective level, or better in terms of couple relationships, B’s answer can be very important precisely for A’s personal balance, or better for his self-esteem and for overcoming depressive attitudes. B, on the other hand, knows very well that yielding to A once means inducing A to repeat that sexual experience an infinite number of times but always without couple affectivity.
 
Among the one-way answers: always accept the proposals of A, or say no clearly even if in the least aggressive way, there is a third way, that of an agreement limited especially to periods of maximum stress of A. The purpose of B cannot consist in trying to create a relationship with A, but must be identified in allowing A to achieve greater serenity and greater self-esteem and therefore to live, even towards B an emotional dimension “without couple relationship” but anyway strongly stabilizing. As it’s obvious in this path there are many possible variations and decisions don’t belong to B but are taken together by A and B not with agreements made of words but through significant behavior, as it happens in every important interpersonal relationship.
 
I would like to end my discussion on dysfunctional sexuality with a clarification: dysfunctional sexuality is often found in people in other respects realized despite their low self-esteem and, I would add, in people who are forced to live lives very different from what they wished, even if they have achieved, in these unwished lives, notable social and economic successes.
 
With these people it is certainly possible to build affective relationships sometimes very important, that their characteristic non-aggressiveness and their tendency to maintain stable relationships, even if not close, make in fact often very pleasant and gratifying.
 
If there is one thing from which in any case, it is necessary to refrain it is from judging, because this would further decrease self-esteem and lead these people to more clearly depressive states. 
Speaking both with people with dysfunctional sexuality and with their friends, I noticed that respect and affection subsist between them. I have also noted that some problematic situations tend to resolve when, on a general and not specifically sexual level, self-esteem rises and with it the substantial level of socialization. The real danger is the state of abandonment in which the individual is absolutely alone with his depression because then the incentives to reevaluate oneself and to understand that one is really important at least for someone are completely lacking.
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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gays-and-dysfunctional-sex

GAY-THEMED OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER

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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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-themed-obsessive-compulsive-disorder

GAY DISCOMFORT, UNRELIABLE ADULTS AND MYTHS OF VIRILITY AND MASCULINITY

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.
Danny
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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.
Project

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-discomfort-unreliable-adults-and-myths-of-virility-and-masculinity

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.

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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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