SEXUAL ABUSE AND OBSESSIVE CONTENTS

The connection between sexual abuse and obsessive content related to sexuality deserves further study. I will consider two different situations, the first concerning a gay guy who has been abused in childhood and who presents a gay sexuality deeply conditioned by the experience of the abuse, the second concerning a straight guy who has been abused in adolescence and has developed a gay-themed OCD (I will only deal with the case of a OCD that had already manifested before the abuse). The situations, despite their substantial differences, have a fundamental aspect in common: the identification of the victim with the abuser. Let’s start with the first situation.

1) A gay guy, who has been sexually abused in childhood, has a gay sexuality that in the first meetings with his partners does not present particular problems but, if the relationship deepens, the guy gets to confess to his partner that he has been sexually abused, nevertheless he does not tend to feel as the victim but almost as the co-responsible if not as the promoter of the abuse, he tries anyhow to involve his partner in his obsessive fantasies concerning the abuse with insistently (obsessively) repeated questions about the circumstances of the abuse, asking him what he would do if he found himself in similar situations; faced with evasive or patently disinterested responses, the guy seems incredulous and attributes the lack of interest in sharing that particular sexual fantasies on the part of his partner to an alleged moralism of the partner himself, however the insistence does not cease even in the face of an obvious lack of interest but becomes even more pressing, as if the guy wanted to obtain a confession analogous to his own. The obsessive insistence on the partner goes as far as to induce him, in more or less long time, to distance himself and interrupt the relationship.

It is evident that the memory of the abuse has become a sexual archetype from which it is difficult to get free, and here a mechanism characteristic of the abuse is triggered: the victim imagines himself in the role of the abuser, situations of discomfort even very strong are created this way, because the victim sees himself as a potential pedophile and develops pedophile fantasies in which he assumes, in an oscillating manner, both the role of victim and abuser.

Basically the projective identification with the abuser and his behaviors favors guilt feelings and strongly weakens the possibility of rationalizing the memory of the abuse and of living a sexuality not deeply conditioned by the abuse itself.

2) In the case of the straight guy with a pre-existing gay themed OCD, the abuse in adolescence creates objective complications that cannot be ignored because it does nothing but feed the OCD, even though it cannot actually destroy the guy’s straight sexuality. The mechanism of identification with the abuser, in this case, cannot lead to true gay sexual fantasies (because the guy is a straight guy) but only to obsessions and gay compulsions which, as is usually the case in the OCD, remain, at most, at the level of masturbation and, in almost all cases, never materialize in real sexual relationships. The gay-themed compulsions and obsessions are perceived as deeply disturbing compared to the true sexuality that is and anyway remains straight.

The identification with the abuser can however be more complex when the abuser is not really a gay man but he is a married man or a man who has children, that is when the abuser is or appears to be a straight adult, with whom the straight guy with OCD can easily identify on the basis of the following projective mechanism: ”He is straight because he is married and has children, but if he abused me it means he also had gay fantasies and could not refrain from putting them into practice, but I am straight too, because I have a girlfriend and I have sex with her, but I also have gay fantasies, so in the end I won’t be able to stop myself and I’ll end up needing to have sex with a man. How can I be with a girl if I already desire men and know that sooner or later I will betray her with a man? I am fooling my girlfriend into believing that I am straight, but it is not so!”

In this case the identification mechanism acts through different paths but it is no less disruptive than in the case of the gay guy and creates the risk, sometimes lived obsessively, but objectively not very concrete, to lead to the breakdown the relationship with the girl.

The deeper identification with the abuser leads to two closely related consequences:

1) the responsibility of the abuser appears to be much lighter;

2) even if in such situations it’s evident that in any case no responsibility can be charged on the victim, the victim himself overestimates his own presumed responsibility up to the point to consider his own behavior decisive, and consequently to experience guilt feelings objectively unjustified.

In the two cases presented, the most suitable conditions to overcome obsessive thinking are realized when the guys have their ”real” emotional life, that is:

1) in the first case, when the gay guy lives not a unilateral falling in love but an authentic love story with a guy with whom a relationship is created that is completely independent of the fantasies related to abuse, fantasies which can also remain but marginalized and spontaneously not shared, fantasies that are not considered as a taboo but are very rarely argument of conversation. In essence the stories that materialize or tend to materialize only or mainly in terms of more or less spontaneous sharing of fantasies linked to abuse are not true love stories and therefore do not contribute to the overcoming of obsessive thinking;

2) in the second case, when the straight guy lives a love story in which the girl knows that the guy has been abused and realizes that the obsessive thought linked to the OCD can cause the guy to question his heterosexuality. The OCD has a strong conditioning capacity in two cases:

a) when the girl tries to ignore obsessive contents, pretending that they do not exist;
b) when the girl emphasizes the obsessive contents and offers them a sound box that amplifies their effect.

OCD must be tackled with awareness but without dramatization.

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If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum:  http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-sexual-abuse-and-obsessive-contents

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GAYS AND SEXUAL EDUCATION

This post will try to summarize the effects of sexual education on gay sexuality.

First of all it is necessary to define the concept of sexual education. We start from a premise: the development of studies indicates that sexuality has a genetic-epigenetic base which is substantially defined already in the uterus and at most in the perinatal period. This genetic-epigenetic imprint determines not only the sex, that is, gender belonging in anatomical and physiological terms, but also the gender identity, that is, the perception of gender and sexual orientation.

The awareness of sexuality, its models, the more or less repressed manifestations of sexuality over the years, and the consequences on an individual psychological level, are instead largely determined by that familiar and social interaction, which we can call “sexual education” and which is not limited to just a single part of life, but follows the evolution of the individual according to the progressing of age.

The fact that sexuality, understood in its most profound aspects, is closely connected with the affectivity induces to consider sex education as an integral part of affective education.

A concept, in the educational field, should never be forgotten: education acts on the basis of an individual biological genetic-epigenetic substratum but is also linked to the stages of development, to possible pathologies and many other factors. Education means to develop the potential of an individual “respecting first of all the biological identity”. A good gardener knows that by placing an apple tree in the ideal conditions for the cultivation of an apricot tree, not only we will not be able to obtain apricots from the apple tree, but it will suffer a lot and may even die. Cultivating a tree means understanding first of all what tree it is and then providing it with the appropriate care for that specific tree. This is also true for people.

Let’s start from the family dimension, i.e. from emotional-sexual education inside the family.

The family is the first environment in which a child begins to build relationships. In order to begin to feel an affective gratification, the child must perceive the sense of acceptance and affectionate care from the parents. If the child is the subject of confrontation (unwanted children, doubtful parenthood, a child that has become an object of contention between parents and grandparents or between the parents themselves), he easily becomes aware that he’s not the center of family life and begins to experience the sensation of marginality and abandonment yet in tender age.

Perceiving the disagreement between the parents is inherently traumatic and transmits automatically, by imitation, a model of behavior that is not emotional but competitive, stimulates aggressiveness in one direction and sense of frustration in the other. The child also instinctively senses the discrepancy between words and behavior. Cuddling a child for a while and then leaving him alone in the walker or in front of the television not only causes a sense of abandonment but also provides an initial model of falsehood: “I love you so much, but you must keep calm and stay aside because I have other things to do!” The speech is basically inconsistent and false because it brings together declarations of affection and behaviors that show disinterest.

Often the frustrations of parents, their claiming attitudes, their blaming of this or that, their justifying only themselves, transmit to the child the feeling of unreliability of the parent who begins to be a faltering reference point. Nothing is worse than raising your voice to impose your point of view, and I don’t even want to talk about the possible physical violence in the family, which is experienced by the child in a devastating way: a father who tugs at his mother, who slaps her, a mother who plays hysterical scenes and screams at her husband, represent models that the child will certainly internalize, or by imitation or contrast, identifying, according to the situations, as an aggressive person or as a victim, and this will move the child away from the emotional contact, which is the true purpose of emotional education.

There are several other behaviors, apparently neutral, which transmit a sense of insecurity to the child:

1) A parent who speaks in the singular setting himself against the other (“I … while your mother …”) . The use of “we/us” conveys the idea of affective family, harmony and solidarity.

2) To talk too often about money or about who brings home money, or about social hierarchies that don’t see parents at the same level.

3) To speak badly about other people the child knows.

4) To show that it is difficult or impossible to speak with the other parent, that he/she has defects, that doesn’t care for the family and, worse of the worst, doesn’t care for children.

The presence of parents in the life of young children, up to preadolescence, should be constant, affectionate, dialoguing and never abstractly normative.

A particular consideration must be given to managing family conflicts that may arise, and indeed inevitably arise in the family over the years. It can be the conflicts of the parents with other relatives, of between parents themselves and also of the conflicts between parents and children. The management of conflicts must always be discursive and shared, no form of violence, even verbal, can be admitted for no reason. Recognizing the other’s reasons and seeking conciliation doesn’t indicate weakness but the exact opposite. The child must realize that the parent can see things in another way and you can talk to find a point of equilibrium without coming to breakage.

Affective education suffers a violent trauma when the parent-child relationship is dominated by the fear of the parent’s violent reactions. Even worse is the idea that a parent invokes the presence of the other parent to induce fear in the children, such in the classic: “I’ll tell your father!”
As one grows, one element takes on particular importance: confidence, which must be accompanied by confidentiality on the part of the parent. If a parent receives a confidence by the child, he must keep it for himself, if he doesn’t, he would induce the child to immediately interrupt the relationship of confidence with the parent that will anymore be resumed. Any attitude that shows the tendency of the parent to abandon himself to gossip, devalues him in the eyes of his son and reduces the possibilities for dialogue.

A general criterion must always be kept in mind: education operates through the example, not through words: children tend to assimilate and imitate parents’ behavior, not to put into practice what parents say in words but don’t do themselves.

What has been said so far, as it is easy to understand, requires from parents a substantial affective maturity that too often is taken for granted, assuming that the parent is always substantially up to the task of education and that at most he needs a training aimed at the conscious rethinking of contents and methods of education. Sometimes however, and not very rarely, these assumptions don’t occur, in some cases because parents themselves have been in turn educated (assuming that this word can be used in these situations) with completely improper and substantially non-educational methods, and in other cases because one or both parents can be psychopathological subjects (for example paranoid or perverse narcissists). While in the first case it is possible with regard to the parent a concrete action (even if of long duration and with uncertain outcome) of reorientation or re-education of the adult, in the second case such action is essentially impossible and the parent-child educational relationship can turn into a framework of family violence and abuse, up to the most extreme consequences. It should be emphasized that violence and family abuse practiced by paranoid or perverse narcissists parents are often not visible on the outside and create very deep suffering in the children with unforeseeable consequences even in the long term.

Sex education of the child

Today, children are bombarded starting from an early age with images more or less erotic and very often begin to take an interest in sexuality in a very abstract way well before adolescence, so they assimilate, in a very tender age, banal visions of the sexuality as a “forbidden game”. Pedagogues have often been concerned with how to convey to children a more correct concept of sexuality: typical is the model of the flower, the pollination and the fruit, but in this way there is the risk, for gays far from being indifferent, to provide only the concept of sexuality aimed at reproduction, this will also convey the concept of sexual role, of the boy and girl as society conceives them, and of typically male and typically female behavior, taking for natural and obvious cultural attitudes often very questionable.

Accustom a little girl to the idea that femininity involves high heels and makeup means distort the concept from the beginning, like to think that the boy should be interested necessarily in football and in certain types of games is in itself misleading. It is very easy to see that in a school class of children who are not yet pre-adolescent, boys tend to play “boyish” games with each other, and girls tend to play “girlish” games with each other and this is the result of an education for sexual roles, how society understands them, starting from an early age.

The child before puberty sometimes shows an embryonal hetero affectivity, which involves interest in being with little girls, talking with them, playing with them, or an embryonal gay affectivity, which involves interest in being with other boys, talking to them and playing with them. These behaviors are the first manifestations of sexual orientation, they are not yet conscious, but they are elements on which we should reflect a lot and to which we should pay the utmost attention, but, I must say very clearly, never a repressive attention. I would like to point out that the transmission of role models deforms and often stifles these spontaneous tendencies altogether and tends to let the tendency towards homologation prevail, based on the fear of marginality within the peer group.

In the memory of many gays, the recollection of the first affectionate friendships with other boys and often the worried attitudes of the parents in front of such manifestations remains well imprinted. We are talking about friendships between children, not yet pre-adolescent who, if not totally conditioned by education, begin to show signs of homo-affinity or hetero-affectivity.

Parents, who often lack a broader horizon on sexuality, consider themselves as the only possible model for the sexuality of their children. The idea that children are not and cannot be a photocopy of parents is still struggling to get accepted. It is precisely for this reason that some children’s behaviors alarm parents and trigger a short communication circuit that ends up disrupting trust and establishing suspicious attitudes.
The child who plays with dolls or puts on his mother’s high heels or wig or dresses up as a woman generally raises questions in the parents, and this happens even more strongly if two children develop a very close friendship. Apart from the fact that these are completely different phenomena, because the first refers to gender identity and the second to sexual orientation, it is very probable that the child experiences in these situations the concern of the parent that manifests itself through limitations, prohibitions or simple removals.

The basic criterion of a good sex education is to promote the spontaneous development of affectivity and sexuality, avoiding a repressive sanctioning behaviors. The parent facing behaviors that are not what he would have expected believes that it is his duty to “correct”, to “guide” the child’s behavior, to “defend” him from dangerous influences, this attitude, which is perfectly understandable, is acceptable , positive and necessary, if “to correct ” means to demonstrate by example how one can have affection and respect for friends, without demanding too much and without running away from one’s duties towards those friends, if “to drive ” means to explain, to make the child understand the meaning of affective relationships even in adult life, for example by receiving friends cordially and affectionately, if “defending” from dangerous influences means to accustom children not to trivialize, not to exploit friendship, to take it seriously and to respond adequately when the need arises, but “to correct” means for many parents only to repress, “to drive” means to remove freedom and “to defend” means to segregate.

I would like to stress that the signs of homo-affectivity are generally very precocious and repressing them means inducing the guilt and submission of the child who begins to consider himself wrong. The repression of infantile homo-affectivity sometimes manifests itself explicitly, and sometimes through a systematic attempt to remove the child from contexts in which that homo-affectivity tends to manifest: if the child has developed a strong friendship towards another child or even towards a boy a little older during the summer holidays at the sea, the next year instead of going to the sea the family will go to the mountains.

A very delicate subject in this area is the prevention of sexual violence and abuse. Clearly, the child’s segregation reaches the goal but at the cost of a total repression of the individual freedom. The real problem lies in avoiding the risks (which are not only fancy) leaving the child a freedom commensurate with his age. Leaving a child (under 12-13 years ) alone for the whole day together with his playmates exposes him to objective dangers, which he may not realize. But if sexual abuses perpetrated by external pedophile subjects are generally the most feared, experience teaches that abuses are practiced only exceptionally by strangers and for the most part they rise from a family environment. Parking children by relatives or friends from morning to night means abandoning them to situations that can be objectively risky.

Before 12-13 years it is good that the child finds its spaces for the most part with the presence of the parents: the parents speak in the living room, the children play in the next room. Parents in this way give their children an example of socializing and leave them freedom spaces according to their age.

Beyond the age of 12-13, the risk of abuse doesn’t cease because abuse can also be committed toward adolescents or preadolescents both by family members and by educators, priests or teachers, especially in contexts where the minor cohabits with other peers for education or care purposes. Particular attention should be dedicated to the education of responsible use of the web for the risks of priming to which minors are exposed on the net. It is important to be vigilant in order to catch any signs of disturbance, alarm or exaltation in children, talk to them about it, if it is possible, and contact the postal department or the local Police Office to receive assistance when faced with dangerous situations. Obviously, the best prevention of priming risks on the net is realized right through risk awareness, the habit of always thinking before acting, and the habit of protecting one’s own privacy and that of others, and on these aspects education has a decisive influence.

When a child manifests the first forms of curiosity in relation to sexuality, it should be taken seriously, avoiding trivializing and manifesting evasive attitudes. It is essential that sexuality is never detached from its affective implications and is not reduced exclusively to procreative purposes. The child must become familiar with the idea of a sexuality that is not a forbidden game but a manifestation of affection for another person. Many parents never show explicit emotional behaviors in front of their children, for example, the father and mother don’t hug each other in front of children and avoid any physical act with each other, even the simple caresses, others instead let themselves go to forms of more or less sexual play in front of their children who in this way feel themselves excluded from the relationship with their parents. Of course

It’s necessary to find a balance between these opposing attitudes: the spontaneous caresses and affections between parents, the cuddles, which end up with the involvement of the children in the affection of the parents themselves are extremely positive in stabilizing the mood and in developing a harmonious character in the children. The double bed must become a non-exclusive environment, reserved for the parents only, but must be an environment in which children can also be admitted. The physical contact with parents, commensurate with the age of children, must lead to the idea of the affectionate embrace between adults, which expresses participation and sympathy.

Let’s come now to one of the key points of the speech: how to deal with the issue of homosexuality. The parent who is explicitly dealing such an argument with the child for the first time, must never forget that if one takes for granted that one’s son is hetero, in 8 cases out of 100 he is mistaken. Sending positive messages about homosexuality certainly doesn’t induce heterosexuals to become homosexuals, but can help homosexuals to grow accepting without complexes their homosexuality. Many parents believe that the specifically sexual education of children is not up to parents and should be delegated to school, church, doctors and other educational agencies, as if sexuality were an object of study or a question of faith or health protection. Obviously all these aspects are not foreign to sexuality, which, however, is a very complex reality that cannot be considered only under sectoral perspectives.

Sexuality is a component of the ordinary life of all of us and one of the essential contents of a serious educational relationship. I have been dealing with homosexuals for many years and I have often seen gay adult men, still deeply conditioned by the conflicting relationships with parents due to homosexuality. The vast majority of homosexuals not publicly declared, speak about their own homosexuality just with a few trustworthy friends, while those who talk about it openly in the family are very rare, perhaps today less than ten years ago, but it is still a narrow minority. For a gay boy, talking to his parents and finding their respect and their affection even in an atmosphere of clarity is absolutely essential and stabilizing. On the other hand, misunderstanding and rejection leave deep traces and greatly complicate the achievement of true autonomy on the part of the children.

I add a fundamental thing: a gay boy who feels accepted within the family will not need to go and look for other environments in which to find understanding and tends to develop his affective life without hiding and for this reason objectively also running much less risks. When a gay guy presents his boyfriend to his parents (what was once unthinkable and now becomes more and more possible) he realizes at 100% the dimension of the normality of his affectivity-sexuality. Surprised, reticent, perplexed or hostile attitudes of parents severely undermine their children’s self-esteem and create often irreparable fractures.

I would like to touch on a very delicate last subject. Sometimes the boys who grow up, whether they are heterosexual or gay, find themselves instinctively experiencing drives that alarm them, classics are examples of sexual fantasies about much older people, pedophile fantasies, sadistic or masochistic fantasies and erotic drives addressed within their own family. It is objectively very difficult that topics of this kind enter explicitly in speeches between parents and children regarding sexuality, because if the fear of negative reactions to homosexuality is already strong, the fear of negative reactions to those contents can be much more alarming. The issue of pedophilia can be responsibly tackled by highlighting the very serious objective damage that those behaviors can cause but stressing nevertheless the fact that those tendencies can exist even in very good people who would never put them into practice. If there is an attitude that a parent must show in front of such things, it can only be to clearly distinguish the fantasies that one cannot control, from the actions that can and must be taken under control. A similar argument can be used also regarding sadistic and incestuous fantasies.

With regard to intergenerational relationships it is necessary to avoid confusing them with larval forms of pedophilia, because intergenerational relationships are relationships between consenting adults even if of very different ages.

A correct attitude in the face of all these things helps people feel understood and accepted and enhances their morality and their capacity for discernment and this is the basic premise to accept themselves and to be able to self-control. It should be emphasized, however, that pedophile fantasies, of which people almost never speak in a scientifically correct way, are a reality very complex and difficult to manage. In many cases these fantasies are found in adults who have in turn been victims of violence or sexual abuse. It should be clarified that, although fantasies and actions are distinct things, it happens that fantasies are or may be prodromal to actual or possible behaviors, which, even if only considered merely as hypotheses, can cause levels of profound suffering.

Slipping from fantasies to pedophile behaviors can sometimes become easy and almost obvious. The sex tourism, for example, can lead the adult to look for more and more young partners of one or the other sex, producing a slow but effective slip towards pedophilia. The use of Internet child pornography should be considered as a sign strongly indicative of a dangerous corroboration of fantasies, prodromal to possible pedophile behaviors. According to what I learn from people who experience pedophile fantasies I’m led to believe that slipping into occasional pedophile behaviors, which can be the origin of recurring pedophile phantasies, also of obsessive types, is certainly possible even for people who have never had previously this kind of fantasies.

A person who experienced this kind of fantasies told me: “I had never had such fantasies before, then it happened to me an experience in which it would have been easy to come to the action, but it didn’t happen, but taking a step without return would have been very easy. And since then, such fantasies remained strongly stamped in my mind. I don’t like them, that somehow compromised my sexuality for years because I think that I wouldn’t even talk about such things with my partner, because he would react badly.”

I will not analyze here the possible compulsive aspects of pedophilia but because many men who have pedophilic fantasies are aware of it and are afraid of being able to practice pedophile behavior, in some countries (in Germany, in England and in the US) there are support services who deal with prevention by providing specialized psychological support to those who request it because they experience pedophile tendencies.

At the general educational level there is still an ancestral fear towards psychologists and psychiatrists that should be eliminated, leading people to understand that they are health workers who can provide psychological and even pharmacological support if necessary. Prevention education, which deserves a detailed examination, is not only carried out in providing information on sexually transmitted diseases, but also in the prevention of other risky behaviors for oneself and for others such as pedophile ones.

Certainly less sensitive are the themes related to the couple’s relationship structure: monogamy, indissolubility, socialization and formalization of the couple’s relationship, relationship between friendship and love. Insisting on the legitimacy of a single behavioral model collides with the reality of affective life which is often not monogamous, not unbreakable neither reducible to structure. The meaning of the couple relationship is usually assimilated by imitation already in childhood and, according to the general rule, is transmitted through the behavior of adults and not through their speeches. The relational aspect of sexuality should never be overlooked, according to this relational aspect the fundamental satisfaction in a sexual relationship derives from the realization that our partner is really involved and is in turn gratified by the relationship. Needless to say, these must be relationships that are actually wanted consciously and freely by both partners.

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If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gays-and-sexual-education

IS HE A LATENT GAY?

Hello Project, I just read your article about gay guys who have a sexual friendship with guys with latent homosexuality who will never admit that they are gay. I found what you wrote quite similar to what I experienced, in the sense that I have this friend, even engaged (with a girl), I meet each summer on vacation, and it is thanks to him that I came out of my latency, even if I’ve been trying to find a definition of my sexuality for three years and I cannot find one that fits me, I called myself bisex, but only because I happened to have feelings towards girls, despite my masturbations are in a gay key and just a little hetero. That is, during masturbation I tend to spontaneously have hetero fantasies, but I need to conclude in a gay key.

However I said that I found myself in the article because it is three summers that I end up sleeping with this friend of mine, in crescendo, it started with mutual masturbation and every summer we add something more, but the kisses are forbidden, and cuddling etc. Every time after having behaved the usual way he starts to denigrate me and begins to say phrases like, “it is getting too pleasant”, “it take me a lot of time to come”, “I came too little, with my girlfriend it is more pleasant, you’re dangerous, we don’t have to do such things anymore” . . . but in the meantime we do it every time, he says he is straight, but by texting he asks me if I’m active or passive, he probes the ground, he asks me to come and visit him in his university residence where he lives alone. And every time we do it, then, he pretends nothing, tries to make me understand that he is just a friend, showing off with his girlfriend, not calculating me at all if I look at him, as if nothing had happened between us, because for him it’s just a thing without meaning. Because he cannot afford to be gay.

This September I chose not to call him, and he complained that I never call him. I told him that I needed to think, and he was strangely understanding and told me: okay, when you want, call me. After two months I decided to contact him again but because I love him and I would really like to be his friend, now I no longer expect him to wake up and stay with me, because now I have lost hope.

Also this time the same problem, if I try to be a friend, he starts talking about sex and asks me questions to probe the ground, even flirting. Every time we meet, he shows himself half naked, and I see him bare-chested and cannot resist, I don’t understand anything anymore and I always fall back on it.

It’s a friendship that has lasted for more than 10 years, and I’d be wrong to have to cut it off and not hear him anymore. And I no longer know what to do, because I don’t like anymore this relationship, where there are no cuddles but only denigration; I prefer a normal friendship at this point. What do you advise me to do?
A hug. Richard

Hi Richard. The first question that arises is whether we are really facing a guy with latent homosexuality, what is possible, or a guy who is really aware of his homosexuality or at least bisexuality, perhaps with a strong hetero prevalence. The discriminating element (of which only the person concerned is aware) are the masturbation fantasies: if that guy was really a latent homosexual, his masturbation would be exclusively hetero, if instead there were “also”, perhaps episodically, gay fantasies, then the category of latent homosexual should be totally put aside, because, in practice, the latency of homosexuality means that the same subject is not aware of it; and in essence in all cases the consciousness of one’s sexual orientation is obtained precisely from masturbation and, paradoxically, not from the couple sexuality.

I add a corollary to the basic theorem: if the sex he did with you has not become the object of his masturbation fantasies then there is in practice the certainty that he is a latent homosexual but, I have to stress it, latent homosexuality is a rare thing. In the other hypothesis, if the memory of what he lived with you is instead the object of his masturbation fantasies, perhaps episodically, then you can think that you are facing a guy who is at least partially bisexual and who is in strong condition of sexual repression. If this guy is really a latent homosexual, well, either he wakes up by himself (something unlikely and in any case not predictable or controllable) or there is little to do, the situation will remain that of a friendship, perhaps episodically sexualized.

If instead a homosexual component really exists, well, then it would make sense, more for his own sake than for yours, to arrive at a clear discourse, because marriage for a bisexual means having to give up the other half of the sky, what isn’t certainly a simple thing, unless it is an almost straight bisexuality; if then his gay component was important (and the fact of having a girl, in conditions of social obligation is really not significant), i.e. if he was bisexual with a strong gay component or even a gay that has adapted to have a relationship with a girl (what is not so infrequent), then the marriage would be really to be avoided, because it would be like being shut up in a cage with the prospect of remaining there for a lifetime.

Then there is a third hypothesis, not to be neglected at all, that is that of the hetero-curious (and there are many), it is about men or guys, usually frustrated in their straight sexuality, who seek a gay contact exclusively on the sexual level, excluding any emotional implication, because their affectivity is fully dedicated to women. The hetero-curious are the biggest users of so-called gay pornography. The hypothesis that this guy is just a hetero-curious (who will always consider himself heterosexual and will consider his own gay sexual adventures only as adventures) finds support in the fact that, in your relationship, on his part, it is systematically underlined that his true sexuality is straight, and in from the fact, anything but marginal, that he asked you if you are active or passive, a question that is typical of the hetero-curious (of which are full of erotic chats) and that a true gay would not ask because gay sexuality is not an imitation of the straight one.

I summarize here for you a story I have seen closely and that best configures the relationship between a gay and a latent homosexual. We’ll call “G” the gay and “L” the latent gay.

L knows that G is gay. G has had several girls, and is known to be able to do a lot with women, girls themselves who have been with him say it, but he is not engaged and has never had a stable girlfriend. All his girls come from the same group as G. G and L go to the mountain sites together with the girls of the group. G and L are usually in the same room together. L is very uninhibited, when he is in the room with G he wears only the briefs, physical contact with G is frequent, tests of strength, fighting, etc., but also cuddles in the same bed. Over the days G becomes more enterprising and L lets him do and gets to get masturbated by G (but L doesn’t masturbate G).

G thinks that L is gay and after many uncertainties comes to the idea of making him explicitly understand it. G speaks clearly and the whole story ends, L leaves before the end of the holidays and disappears at all. For him, being masturbated by his friend was just an uninhibited game because on a conscious level his sexuality was radically hetero and it was precisely this that allowed him to behave so freely with his friend without particular problems. Therefore, maximum caution and above all, keep your feet on the ground! Be cautious with flights of fantasy!

So let’s sum up. Maybe my answer may seem strange to you, but I would stay away from him, because if he’s just a repressed, if he’s a repressed gay, then ok, it makes sense, but if he’s a repressed bisexual who wants to stay straight, well, even taking away the repression there is not much to be satisfied, because a bisexual will never build a strong and above all exclusive relationship with you.

The hypothesis that he is a repressed gay is the only one that could give you an adequate motivation to go on, but in that case he should also have the courage to overcome the things that repress him, perhaps not in public, but at least in private, and should begin to understand that going on with girls means enter a road that leads straight to marriage, which for a gay is the worst trap. If you stay away and he really cares about you, he will not let you go, but I wouldn’t follow him, because to build something as a couple you have to want it in two! A hug.
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-is-he-a-latent-gay

HOMOSEXUALITY AND FEELINGS OF GUILT

Concept of feeling of guilt

This chapter is dedicated to a reflection on the relationship between homosexuality and feelings of guilt. When a person has profoundly assimilated a code of behavior and performs actions that according to that code of behavior are reprehensible, that person experiences feelings of guilt. The feelings of guilt are the sign of the irreconcilability of having to be (behavioral code) and of being (actual behavior).

Function of the sense of guilt

It must be emphasized that the sense of guilt has a very important function in the maintenance of individual morality because its fundamental function consists in reorienting behaviors, leading them towards the respect for the rules.

An example can help to understand the concrete meaning of these concepts.
A guy receives a secret from a friend, then, with extreme lightness, he talks with other guys violating his friend’s privacy, gossip follows. The guy realizes that he has failed in the duty of confidentiality towards a friend who trusted him, he feels guilty for this, ad also feels the need to tell his friend to have stupidly told what should not have been told. The friend, seeing the real repentance of the guy forgives him. The story seems to end here, but in reality the guy who had transgressed the rule of confidentiality has learned a lesson in morality and when he will find himself in similar situations he will behave correctly. This is concretely the “physiological” function of the sense of guilt and, as we can see, it deals with fundamental psychological mechanisms of self-correction of one own behaviors.

Codes of behavior and individual well-being

In the example we have just seen, a condition has been taken for granted, that is that the violated code of behavior is a deeply assimilated and consciously shared code of behavior on the part of the guy who violated it. It is precisely this condition that leads to “physiological” feeling of guilt, that is, functional not only to restore respect for the behavioral code but also to improve the individual well-being of those who have transgressed it.

Respect for the code of behavior and individual well-being are often things very difficult to be implemented jointly or even irreconcilable and this happens when the code of behavior is not really assimilated and shared by the one who should put it into practice.

Let’s consider another example.
A guy had been induced, not to say forced, to tell his parents what his brother is doing because his parents wanted to know with whom the brother was usually talking on the phone or chatting. That guy, the first times, had adapted to the demands of his parents but then he began not to tell anything about what his brother was doing and this way he also felt the pleasure of transgressing what had been ordered by his parents. In reality the sense of guilt, anyway very relative, consequent to the transgression, was amply compensated by the conscience of having fulfilled a duty of solidarity which was considered to be of a much higher moral level than blind obedience to the parents.

It is precisely on the basis of mechanisms of this kind that even authentic acts of heroism are justified and motivated by soldiers who disobey orders in the name of respect for fundamental moral rules.

There is therefore a hierarchy of codes of conduct for which the violation of lower-level code provisions generate feeling of guilt only if the lower-level rules are compatible with higher-level moral principles, otherwise the lower-level rules are understood as substantially immoral and therefore the transgression to those norms is lived not only without feelings of guilt but even with the gratification that results from the transgression of an unjust norm.

Moral freedom and feelings of guilt

To judge a behavioral standard assimilated from the outside it is necessary to have a criterion of judgment that resides in a moral principle of a higher level, that is, to judge a norm of behavior assimilated from outside, a true free individual moral conscience is needed.

The freedom of the individual moral conscience is conquered over time and following a sometimes tortuous and difficult path.

Let us now try to take particular account of what a lot of gay guys experience every day. From a very early age hetero-centric education presents to children a well defined code of behavior for which heterosexual sexuality is the norm and gay sexuality is a deviance, heterosexual sexuality is physiology and gay sexuality is pathology. The result of this constant and subliminal process is the assimilation by all boys of a code of sexual behavior substantially heterosexual, this code will be functional for guys who will actually develop a straight sexuality but will inevitably be dysfunctional for the guys who will develop a gay sexuality.

The code of heterosexual sexual behavior, deeply assimilated by gay boys, in a phase in which there is not yet a real moral autonomy, ends up creating feelings of guilt, since a gay boy can’t however adhere to a behavioral code that is born for other needs.

Here is shown the discrepancy between the hetero norm and the individual good of the gay boy, that is not compatible with that norm. I would add that at an age in which individual moral autonomy has not yet been consolidated the rules of the hetero code will prove to be totally incontestable for the gay boy and in substance will be the only parameter of his moral judgment. Obviously the feelings of guilt will be profound and the frustrations arising from the impossibility of conforming to a code of behavior considered indisputable will produce environmental misadaptation and anxiety.

Dysfunctional attempts to overcome feelings of guilt

The mechanism mentioned above is not an abstraction and is observed systematically in younger gay boys who grew up in very religious settings. The code of behavior that that is proposed to them is slowly perceived as incompatible with the development of individual sexuality.
This results in frustrating attempts to align oneself with a sexuality that is not one’s own and, at sometimes, in real attempts to put all sexuality aside, which in turn result in heavy feelings of guilt and discouragement. Classics are attempts by gay boys to avoid masturbation or to focus their sexual fantasies on girls.

The conquest of moral freedom

Over time, however, the individual moral conscience gradually gains strength and the guys come to question the rules received from the outside and begin to feel them in contrast with other principles and above all with the principle of freedom and with the idea that “evil” is what causes real suffering in other people and not a generic transgression to a moral code supposed indisputable.
As the individual moral sense matures, guys begin to feel no more guilt related to the transgression of norms that are not compatible with their own individual moral principles. The feelings of guilt continue to exist but only in the presence of transgressions with respect to the moral principles of the guy himself, in this way the sense of guilt return to assume its physiological function as a mechanism of self-correction of individual action, which guarantees observance of the principles of a free individual morality.

Self-degradation

We now come to consider an attitude that is not very common but neither uncommon among gay guys and that is self-degradation, the conviction of having big problems to solve and being unable to solve them, but I don’t intend here to refer to the problems arising from shyness or self-expression, I intend instead to refer to the self-degrading attitudes experienced by guys with rather free sexual behavior.
I am aware that what follows may cause perplexity and that someone will consider it an objective overturn of the most common way of thinking on the subject, but I think it is worth taking this risk.

Dangers of behavior patterns

Let’s start from a premise: we all tend to follow models of integration between affectivity and sexuality and models of couple relationships, these models can be points of reference but can also be the cause of a discomfort perceived by the guys in terms of impossibility or presumed impossibility to adapt to those models. It should be emphasized very clearly that the models of affection-sexuality integration, such as the models of couple life, represent precisely models which are often very difficult, if not impossible, to follow, i.e. models that are purely theoretical and substantially far from reality.

I try to present the concept through a concrete example. It is obvious that, at least in theory, the perfect integration of affectivity and sexuality is highly desirable, as is a couple’s life in which fidelity is absolute but, in fact, achieving full integration between affectivity and sexuality is very difficult as is maintaining an absolute couple fidelity, in particular when the couple’s life presents some tensions or when the choices at the base of the couple relationship have not been done completely freely and consciously or when the emotional exchange with one’s partner is not really deep. I mean that in order to achieve a perfect integration between affectivity and sexuality and a total mutual fidelity in a couple relationship, some preconditions must be verified, that often are not verified.

A relationship born with some original flaw will not realize the ideal models of couple life and this is not anyone’s fault but it is implicit in the premises. Often, however, gay guys are very negatively evaluated on the basis of the failure to achieve those goals and according to such evaluations they make a further logical leap, originally recognizing themselves inadequate.

Feelings of guilt induced by theoretical models

Even and especially for the most uninhibited guys, there is the idea of being somehow obsessed with sex and of being unable to live it in an affective dimension according to the commonly accepted theoretical models. Here it is necessary to define clear reference points. Sexuality is a fundamental interest for all guys, thinking about sex is a natural thing, not a pathological fixation. There are also addictions to sex but this category should be uses with great caution to avoid a too easy psychiatrization of behaviors that originally have nothing pathological but are experienced as pathological because of the fact that they are presented as such.

Homosexuality itself was considered pathological until a few decades ago and still today certain behaviors are often considered as pathological paraphilias. Exhibitionism and voyeurism have been considered pathological behaviors but, let’s understand each other well, a guy who is pleased with his own sex and shows it off online to another guy, perhaps in a sexually involving situation, has nothing to do with people who go around compulsively to show themselves in the nude to people completely unaware, and the same way a guy who spies on his friend (no matter if male or female) who takes a shower has nothing to do with pathological voyeurism.

Extrapolating these two examples, many behaviors in the field of sexuality, even if they don’t fall within the typical models of sexuality-affectivity integration and in the typical models of couple relationships, don’t however have anything pathological. I add an observation. We all grew up in a climate where the sexual dimension is clearly overestimated, both positively and negatively, there are sexual behaviors from which happiness is expected, but from which happiness doesn’t follow practically under any circumstances, and there are other behaviors to which we are brought to theoretically attribute a power destructive of the emotional life, even if such destructive power is not at all said to manifest actually.

Infidelity: the roots of betrayal

The spontaneous sexual fidelity is undoubtedly a symptom of the couple’s well-being. When a guy betrays, and even more when he repeatedly betrays, he is inclined to give about himself strongly negative judgments, to feel guilty for having gone to look for sex outside the couple. Rather than being dominated by feelings of guilt it would be useful for him to re-examine one’s couple life in search of what is wrong.

Betrayal very often does not result in a better psychological condition than the previous one, it doesn’t lead to building a new relationship but above all, if not only, manifests the intolerance towards the old one. And, I add, betrayal is not an unreasonable act or worse an act born of a pathological tendency to infidelity, but has roots, motivations in real life, which should be understood before thinking of being able to give any assessment of the betrayal in itself.

The real problem of the self-degradation of gay guys lies in hypothesizing their own original and somehow pathological inability to react according to the theoretical models commonly adopted and deemed indisputable, thus giving an ontological evaluation of themselves as incapable, unreliable, traitorous, etc. etc..

Frantic sexuality and emotional needs

Often the restless search for sexual contact has very little to do with sexuality in the technical sense and is the transposition on the sexual level of other needs of a largely affective type. The sexualization of affectivity on the part of a guy, especially in an environment where it is difficult if not impossible to find affective contacts, is a common reality and a guy who frequently seeks sexual contact is almost never dependent on sex but instead shows in that way his desire for affection and it is often a desire that has been frustrated for years.

The behavior of these guys appears to themselves as completely centered on sexuality but in reality, when the conditions for creating or maintaining sexual relations are not met, the emotional relationships that these guys have built up starting from sex, continue anyway, what would not happen if sexual interest were in fact the only drive to keep the relationship going. It often happens that a guy who has lived a difficult life is judged only on the basis of his formal behavior, completely neglecting all the facts that led him to those behaviors. In this way, seeing things exclusively from the outside, one can pronounce on that guy many judgements substantially unjust using abstract and moralistic categories completely inadequate to understand the substance of the problems underlying those behaviors.

Often, for a guy, the search for sexual contact is anything but a form of superficial recreation and instead has the meaning of getting involved altogether, asking the other for a real effort of understanding and participation, that is, asking the other to get out of the abstract categories of moralism.

What may appear to be a trivial sexual approach is sometimes a request for help, for understanding, a way to ask not to be classified with formal and superficial categories. A guy who, exasperatedly and I would say very emotionally and uneasily, looks for a sexual contact, certainly doesn’t want to be misjudged, he wants us to identify ourselves with his own point of view and to get to share something deeper with him.

Often, however, these guys get reactions of refusal or, worse, contemptuous judgments on the verge of immorality or even of mental illness. The discomfort in these cases can become very profound because it is experienced as a refusal of the person as a whole, generally follows a sense of inadequacy, ineptitude, inability to respect the rules that leads to self-degradation.

Internalization of the prejudice of others

A boy who feels his sexual behavior as not in line with the models of sexuality-affection integration and with the typical models of couple life, who lives a couple life in which the so-called betrayal is frequent and unsatisfactory, tends to react by blaming himself and feeling somehow unrecoverable, but the feelings of guilt are certainly not the best way to react.

One should ask oneself what is there upstream that does not satisfy, drawing the right conclusions. If the couple relationship is really lived as a value, it is possible to exit the chain of repeated betrayals, if on the contrary the couple relationship is radically unsatisfactory it is good to avoid carrying forward situations that generate more worries than gratifications. In a completely similar way a guy who tends to sexualise affectivity can feel deeply hurt by the judgment of others and can end up applying pathological categories to himself by introjecting the judgment of others, a judgment that in reality has nothing to do with the real motivations that guided that guy’s actions.

Having betrayed your boyfriend or seeking sexual contact as a substitute for emotional contact is not considered in itself a good thing, but such facts cannot and should not be considered superficially and above all cannot and must not permanently destroy, from within, the self-esteem of the guy who has betrayed (often inappropriate word) or who tends to sexualise affectivity.

Any situation can be changed profoundly if you really want it. Often, however, one gets the impression that the easiest choice is to abandon oneself to a basically passive and fatalistic position like: “I’m like that, I’m not trustworthy, I’m not worth anything!” Having betrayed your partner, even repeatedly, or having repeatedly sought sexual contact outside the couple doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t feel affection for that guy or that you don’t have a deep affective life, it could also be so, but it could also be exactly the opposite. One thing should never be forgotten: that for a guy, before sexuality there is the need to be loved in the family, to be respected and sought by friends and to find around him a dimension of understanding and constant attention.

Moralism and inability to understand the betrayal

People often show very biased and moralistic attitudes with regard to betrayal, but such attitudes are also very schematic and superficial and certainly don’t aim to understand what there can be behind betrayal.

These attitudes are generally deeply internalized by the guys who have betrayed the partner and thus produce self-condemnations without appeal, sometimes followed by depressive states that could be avoided by seeing betrayal as a sign of the couple’s discomfort and not as something that definitely brands the person who betrays with a kind of indelible stamp. Something very similar happens with the tendency to sexualize the affectivity that is too easily judged with completely inappropriate moralistic categories that are internalized and create profound suffering.

Self-esteem and feelings of guilt

Self-esteem is one of the pillars of individual well-being, but it is a pillar whose strength depends strongly on individual experience. One of the worst things that can be done is lower the self-esteem of a guy and paste on him a label of unreliable, sexual maniac or serial traitor. The reality is often completely different from how it is represented through these appellations.

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-homosexuality-and-feelings-of-guilt

GAY THEMED OCD AND NAKEDNESS AT THE GYM

The following email is a particularly important document, it is not about a gay guy, but about a straight guy with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) characterized by the obsessive fear of being gay. Guys with gay-themed OCD submit compulsively to tests of erection in environments or situations of gay interest, and/or to tests of masturbation with gay fantasies, in order to determine their sexual orientation. Obviously for these guys the climate of the locker room of a gym is generally strongly anxiety-inducing. The hetero guy who wrote the email, very well followed at a psychological level and now about to exit OCD, has begun to attend the gym and the relative locker room and has managed to have, even in that environment, an excellent control of anxiety.

“Hello everyone! I have not written for some time, lately I’m quite absent from the forum, even if I’m in chat almost every night. Many times, in recent years, I happened to feel bad and I came to the forum to open a topic and ask for help and some advice on how to get out of the black moments. This time, however, the situation is opposite, I’m writing to you because I’m finally beginning to understand and accept myself for what I’m, a straight guy, without asking myself too many questions, without making too many problems. My self-esteem has greatly increased, both thanks to psychotherapy, where I put into practice with all my will the therapeutic strategies of my psychologist (I must thank him too, because without him I would never understood the mechanisms and automatisms of thought that had almost taken control of my mind, settling themselves within me), and thanks to my openness to experiences, where I also made many mistakes, but I learned from them.

Unfortunately, today I still suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and I don’t deny that when I’m anxious, negative thoughts start to burst and this sometimes makes me very nervous. But the positive thing is that I finally recognized this automatism, and when the thoughts arrive I try to accept them for what they are, that is “thoughts”, as the word just says, which are images, words that are not real in that moment. The fact is that the thoughts provoke emotions, positive, if the thought concerns a beautiful thing and obviously, they cause negative emotions if the thought is negative. I now try to tolerate them, because I’m aware that a thought is a just a thought, and cannot represent reality. I take my life as it comes, with the positive and negative sides, and I try not to make a drama if someone tells me something rude. The negative thoughts are for me (but I think for everyone) a wake-up call, for example if I’m doing something and I start to fell anxious and I negative thoughts appear it means that I don’t really want to do it. I must thank these thoughts, I must thank the anxiety, which on one hand made me suffer like a dog, but on the other made me understand that the life I did until a few months ago, didn’t belong to me, I acted a character that I was not, and I did things I didn’t really want to do.

My life is changing, and positively, of course I have my black moments (like everyone) but I’m beginning to manage them effectively, and above all I try not to emphasize certain situations, which in reality are nonsense. I‘m becoming more elastic mentally, I accept my parents for what they are, I don’t judge them, even if they have judged me in the past, but in my heart I have forgiven them.

I am beginning to listen to myself, my real needs, my body, my sexual drives, I accept all this as normal things. When I’m among the people, I feel like them, neither superior nor inferior. In the past I tended to feel inferior, I judged myself as an incapable, a clumsy. Today when I talk to a person I look at that person straight in the eyes, sure of myself, I pronounce the words well when I speak, I feel at the same level. I don’t judge myself negatively if I don’t have any real friend yet, with whom I could go out on Saturday night.

I always say to myself that everything has its own time and that I must not be in a hurry. Already the fact that I can interact with people and especially with my peers (before I was afraid of my peers), is a big step forward for me and I’m happy for it. I’m sure that if I keep going on this way, showing myself for what I am (and I’m not just talking about my sexual orientation, but I mean everything), I’ll finally be able to find people who have the same sensitivity and with whom I can share good moments. I can finally see the positive aspects of life and I dwell on them, and when I can overcome my fears, I congratulate myself.

A month ago I joined the gym to improve my body and my mood. When I’m there I feel at home, it’s a beautiful environment, there are many quiet guys (and also very nice!) And sometimes I exchange a few words with them. The first few times, I didn’t want to take a shower there, I preferred to do it at home, because I was afraid of having an erection watching other naked guys, then a few weeks ago I decided to overcome this other fear of mine. This morning after the training I took a shower there, before entering the locker room I had a little anxiety, then I took courage and I entered. I started to undress, I took the bathrobe and the bubble bath and went in the shower. After the shower I went to put the underwear clean, to dress, dry my hair etc. etc., in short, all things that normally people do after physical exercises. But all this (apart from the initial anxiety) was accompanied by a sense of absolute freedom, I saw other naked guys and I felt a bit of sexual excitement, but only psychological, in the sense that physically I didn’t have erections.

But if I had had an erection, of course, I would have felt embarrassed, but just because I’m accepting sexuality for what it is, I would not have made many problems. While I was taking a shower and soaping my body and hair, I felt free from all fear, I felt the warm water on my body sliding slowly, the perfume of the bubble bath, the steam that surrounded me. I really relaxed and felt so natural, I was naked along with other naked guys, doing normal things, free from any negative thinking and from any worries. I was so at ease that I was a lot of time in the locker room, I did everything calmly, because there were a few guys, sometimes with the corner of the eye I looked at some penises but I’m very prudent and no one noticed it!

Then, when I was almost completely dressed, a gentleman of about 40 (maybe even less) entered, a sculpted and attractive physique. Even before, when I was doing the exercises in the gym, he had glanced at me and I had returned the glance, then in the locker room he started chatting: “and even today we trained…” and so we talked for a couple of minutes. Then, I finished dressing, I put the jacket on, we said goodbye and went away. When I got into the car, before starting the engine, I said to myself “very good, it went very well!!” and I came back home happy! Often, many of our fears are completely unfounded. The human mind is often a double-edged sword because (as said before) we listen to our thoughts and the famous “anxiety” arrives.

For example, this morning I was very worried about the shower in the gym, I even imagined scenes in which I had an erection in the locker room and someone made fun of me. Instead I experienced the exact opposite, but then again, an erection could happen in the future, but I will not make a problem because it is not. Living well with oneself and with one’s own sexuality is a wonderful thing, feeling one’s own instincts and having one’s own erotic imagery as a sort of private garden where we can only access ourselves with our imagination (this applies to everyone, gay or not) means to know yourself and feel good about yourself. I conclude with two thoughts that I wrote these days in moments of serenity:

1) “I feel good, but not because I’m all right, but because I accept the things that don’t go well without making a drama.”

2) “The charm of life is characterized by the mystery and uncertainty of every day, which are scary to each of us, but at the same time make life more beautiful and intriguing. I am convinced that if each of us knew his own future at the start, he would not even taste every little moment of life. Doubt and uncertainty are and MUST ABSOLUTELY BE PART of life, without them we couldn’t open ourselves to experiences and we couldn’t afford to make mistakes. In my opinion, a man who is not wrong, or doesn’t admit to having made a mistake at least once in his life, cannot be called a man.”

I wish all of you a good evening and happy Christmas holidays! A hug!”

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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-ocd-and-nakedness-at-the-gym

THAT THIN RUBBER WALL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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FORM PRETENDED STRAIGHT TO GAY AT AGE 30

Hello Project, 
31, almost married, I say almost because in the end I did not get married, it was impossible for me, my girlfriend and I had planned our wedding in six months. I used to think that the idea of marrying would put an end to my problems, but I was beginning to feel trapped, I hadn’t said anything to my girlfriend. According to her all things  were going very well because I was able to have satisfactory sexual intercourse with her, but I imagined I was with a guy and that was the only way I could get excited. In practice I imagined her completely devoid of her femininity and also endowed with male sexual attributes. The more I realized that it was not so, the more I felt disappointed. 
She wanted me and did everything to excite me, there was some physical response but she didn’t really excite me at all. We have never had penetrative intercourses, I would not have really made it, in short I felt almost a sense of repulsion, I felt it quite as a violence on myself, and so at six months from the final choice I told her, but also to her family and mine, that I didn’t feel like getting married. My God! What happened! My mother thought I had another girl and my now ex-girlfriend thought it too, they bombarded me with questions of all kinds, they thought of everything, but the idea that I could be gay didn’t even touch them, perhaps only my father had some doubt. With my ex-girlfriend and her family the break could not be more traumatic than it was, with my parents things went differently, for my mother my ex was right to think that I betrayed her, from my father, the response was that if I didn’t feel at ease I did well to break before the marriage.
Now they expect (my mother certainly) from me that I bring home another girl, according to them such a thing is obvious and necessary, but in reality I not only have no girl to bring home but I should bring home a guy and moreover much younger than me, ten years younger than me. If I did something like that I don’t even imagine the reaction. They certainly don’t suspect at all that I’m gay (some doubt “maybe” my father) and that I can be with one who is ten years younger than me, even if my father is 16 years older than my mother, but they are straight and this is considered normal. 
I met my boyfriend a year ago. We met on the train, during a trip to Hungary. A good part of the trip was at night, in an almost deserted train, on the carriage there would have been 5/6 people and we had a compartment just for us. We talked a lot, then he fell asleep on the seats and it was just beautiful to be in front of him, by the way, is also a nice guy. Then he woke up and we started talking again, inevitably about girls (speech started by him) and told me that “it was not his kind”. I looked at him in amazement and he asked me: “And you?” And at that point I told him the truth. 
The embarrassment but also the mutual interest was enormous, he asked me about my experiences on a sexual level and I told him that I had never been with anyone, except for a bit of petting, even pushed, but with girls, and he replied that he too had never been with anyone but that he wanted it to happen only if he really fell deeply in love with another guy. We exchanged cell phone numbers. He told me so many things about the family, in short, a nice climate has been created. We spoke until arrival. He got off the train before me. 
That journey literally shocked my life. I was hoping with all my strength that he would call me and it happened, then we met often when he returned to Italy because he lives in a city that is 20 minutes by train from mine. So we always spent Sunday together. I felt for him an infinite tenderness and I wanted him and also on a sexual level but given what he had told me I never took a step that could put him in trouble. At first I had not told him anything about my ex-girlfriend, but then I had to tell him and there I understood that he had fallen in love with me. 
He reacted with panic, he was very worried, he told me that I should not get into trouble but he always talked about me and never about himself, in the end he told me clearly that his dream would be with me, because I had shamelessly tried to get in touch with him, and he kissed me for the first time. After two days I truncated with my ex-girlfriend. I really wanted to have sex with him but for months I never did it because I felt like I was somehow going to do something wrong. We saw each other, we went out, we were fine together, I was very tempted but I tried to avoid, then we finally got there. He took the initiative and I let him do. 
It was not a thing of sex, it was a deep need both his and mine. When I hugged him, I felt a total transport, I never had the slightest doubt that my boyfriend could only be him. With me he is very tender but also very determined, has its ideas in mind and I really like this, we can say that I am also happy that in practice the choices are made especially by him, because in the end he does what I would do even if maybe I would not have the courage to say it. I’m fine with him and I think he’s fine with me (he knows about this mail, I made him read it). 
But what will we do now that we have arrived at this point? I think we are now a real couple but he is at university and will have to study for a few years. How can we think of a couple life? His parents don’t know anything about us but wouldn’t take it well, especially since I’m 10 years older than him. In practice we still need the support of our families for quite a few years. He doesn’t seem worried about this, he says that what matters is that I am there and that the fact that others know can only be one more problem, not an extra freedom. 
He does not even want to hear about a possible coming out or even about making plans too long. I would always like to have him with me and instead we see each other at most once a week. I don’t complain, for heaven’s sake, in fact I consider myself very lucky but I dream of being able to live with him, in a house of ours, fallig asleep in his arms, but now the situation is stalemate and will remain so for years. A I feel inside bit of melancholy, because I found a wonderful guy but I cannot live with him the life that I would like and he too would like. And it could be so easy to experience total happiness! 
If you want to publish the story, he agrees. A hug, Project. 
Former solitary traveler
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