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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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-that-thin-rubber-wall

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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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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-form-pretended-straight-to-gay-at-age-30

FEAR OF BEING GAY

I saw on the forum the section “understand to be gay” and I would like to ask Project to put this story in that section. I don’t think my story is very common, now I know in person some gay guys but they have very different experiences from mine, in the sense that they have always felt gay. For me it was not like that. I grew up in full conviction of being straight and I brought this idea with me in practice without any failure until the age of 21 and beyond. 
I had my first sexual contact with a girl around the age of 16, at 18 I had my first full intercourse with a girl and I liked it as do all the straight guys. I loved sex with girls, and I also loved them on an emotional level. In short, they were the only real object of my sexual fantasies. At 19 I got engaged with Martina (the name is invented) the same girl with whom I had my first intercourse. Together we were very well, even on a sexual level. I felt really satisfied. I don’t say it just to say, it was exactly like that. I was born in September and then I was already 21 years old. Martina gave me the best gift I could wish for. We went out together three days and they were dream days! This is the premise.
I come back from the three days with Martina on Sunday evening, the next day I go to university and I come to know that the professor of genetics with whom I had to do the thesis would no longer have been our teacher. It bothered me. I tried to understand what an end I would have done. All the students in my group would have been assigned to the genetics professor of the other channel who was not specifically a molecular geneticist. However there was not much to do.
The first lesson would have been the next day at 9.00 in the morning. The next day at 8.30 I was in front of the classroom and, according to my old habit, I looked around searching for the most beautiful colleague. I see a pretty good girl, I follow her, I sit next to her and I try to have a chat until the professor arrives, then, turning around casually backwards, I cross the gaze of a guy I had never seen, probably one of the other channel. I don’t pay any attention to him at the moment, then the thing is repeated and I notice that the guy watching me, as soon as I turn away immediately looks away. He is farther behind me so he can watch me carefully while I cannot turn around … but I know he is there and he is watching me. But what does he have to watch? 
Then the lesson ends, I turn around but he is gone, I feel almost upset for this, then I turn to my pretty colleague, but I’m distracted, significantly distracted. I’m not thinking of the guy … but not even of the girl. I didn’t know why, but the thought of that guy comes back to me from time to time, I wondered if I had already seen him elsewhere but I didn’t think so, I tried to find a reason why he was watching but I could not find any but I kept thinking about the situation. Then I forget these things, in the afternoon I go back to my usual things and don’t think about that guy for a while … then in the evening all the tory comes back to my mind, I say to myself: “But what is he looking for?” 
The next day I see him again, he is much more cautious, obviously he doesn’t want me to catch him while he observes me. The game of looks distracts me even during the lesson. I don’t know what to do, it bothers me that you look at me like that … I promise to make him understand … I turn a bit while the professor is turned to the blackboard and I catch him looking at me, with my hand I wave him, as if to say. “What do you want?”, He makes me understand that he will tell me at the interval … and I wait for the interval to understand what it is … the bell sounds the end of the lesson. 
I go out, he approaches me, I ask him: “But we know each other?” And he answers me “Unfortunately no …”. I don’t even understand the meaning of that “unfortunately” and ask him: “But why do you observe me?” He replies: “Because you are a beautiful guy …” and in saying so he becomes red and turns his eyes to the other side. I didn’t expect at all an answer like that … I just told him: “What are you talking about?!” and I left but all the situation disturbed me deeply. I felt a bit like a whore to have been approached in such a direct way and then, with my parameters of that time, that a guy could tell another guy something like the one that he had said to me, it seemed to me completely absurd … I had never hated gays, for me they simply didn’t exist, he was the first gay guy I met … and he made me a half declaration … I was upset, agitated, almost offended, I felt dirty because I had been desired by another guy, it seemed a strange thing, unnatural … 
In short, I thought about it all afternoon … then in the evening I saw Martina, I have said “I saw” her just to say that we have withdrawn to save our privacy as we always used to do. Between us the confidence was total, I told her the story and she replied: “Well … He’s just a pansy!” And she said it in a tone that I didn’t absolutely like. For a moment I hated her, but, afterwards, the anger has passed and we made love … but while we were making it, occasionally I remembered that guy and this thought bothered me. I didn’t say anything to Martina because I didn’t like her previous reaction. How strange are things! … With a girl you go to bed and then you don’t tell her what you think! But it was exactly what was happening to me. 
I came home angry with myself … it was the first time I didn’t tell Martina all the truth and why? For an idiot who told me something in a gay language … I didn’t understand why such a thing could happen, I couldn’t be influenced by stupid things like that … but in fact he had said only a few words, stupid as you want but just a few words … it was me who was going into crisis because of those stupid words. The next morning I saw him at the university, he didn’t approach me and pretended nothing and I was sorry … I said to myself: “No problem! This guy tells everyone what he told me!” But I was angry that he pretended not to see me and then I took the initiative, I approached him and greeted him with a hello, he replied with a smile, as if to say: “I’m here … don’t worry”. 
There was a kind of challenge between me and him. Martina is not in my faculty, but in my faculty there was a girl I liked very much, Anna, when I saw that guy approaching me I almost instinctively hugged her and she said to me: “What are you doing?” After a couple of weeks like this and after some discomfort with Martina for stupid reasons, I decided to talk with that guy and tell him to leave me alone. One day at the end of classes I stop him because I wanted to get to some sort of settlement, I ask him to talk, we go to public gardens, given the time there were few people. 
I tell him he must leave me alone and he looks at me and tells me: “What have I done to you?” I don’t know what to say … I tell him: “You don’t have to tease me! Do you understand?” He says to me: “I would never do it” … I tell him: “And do you remember what you said to me that day?” He replies: “Ah, ok, that you’re a nice guy … “. I ask him: “Are you gay?” He replies: “Yes”. I reply in turn with a lot of determination: “Not me! And I don’t care about you! I’ve got a girlfriend and I’m fine with her!” He says, “So where’s the problem?” As I spoke I watched him. 
He was not a flashy guy but he was sweet … I wanted to touch him, he had very nice hands … and an incredible smile. I smile at him in turn and say to him: “Do you think a gay and a straight can be friends?” He replies yes with his head and smiles. We talked a bit, then we exchanged cell phone numbers and we said goodbye. I was happy with how things had gone. I liked that guy. I said to myself: “But it’s really a nice guy …” and immediately afterwards I thought: “What the hell I’m going to think …”. 
In the evening I thought to tell everything to Martina because otherwise I seemed to betray her trust. I did it and she replied: “What have you done!?” I told her: “But look, I didn’t go to bed with him …”, she looked at me with a sense of repulsion and said: “My God! Are you gay too? … no! it’s impossible!” I then felt 100% straight, I hugged her, etc. etc. but I did it only to show that I was not gay, in the end she melted and I was happy: for me that was the first time I made love because I had to make it … but she didn’t notice it. 
The next day I see Mark at the university, he accompanies me with the car, I tell him that the night before I made love with my girlfriend and that it was beautiful, he looks at me and says: “I envy you … to me nothing like this has ever happened … “. I asked him and he told me about himself. No sexual experiences! He says that he really tried with me because I inspired him a lot, he says that I have not disappointed him and that having a real friend is beautiful, even if he is straight because maybe some straight guys understand you more than gays. The speech strikes me a lot and I decide to tell him the truth. I tell him: “What I told you is not true … yesterday I made love with my girlfriend but I did it by force, to show her that I’m not gay, because I told her about you and she reproached me and told me that if I want to be your friend I’m gay too …”. 
Talking with Mark was reassuring because he tended to say that I could only be straight, but I had several doubts on my mind and then I liked Mark physically, so, only on an aesthetic level. We say goodbye. In the evening I had to see Martina, I call her and tell her I’m not fine, she’s perplexed and tells me: “But is it perhaps for the story of that guy?” I say “No!”. Inside of me I knew it was not true. The next day I see Mark who takes me back home in the car. 
When we are near my home he stops and we start talking. I get excited, it was the first time I had an erection just by being in the car near Mark. I was very embarrassed, I made a shield with the raincoat and I went down the car … He didn’t notice anything. I said to myself: “Damn! So that’s true! … But I don’t love him, I know almost nothing about him, this is just gay attraction without love and then I don’t want to be gay, it makes no sense that I can be gay, I cannot psychologically depend on Mark … “. 
But while I was doing all this reasoning, I had him always before my eyes and not only, the erection didn’t  show signs of decline … in short, I masturbate thinking of him, then I think I should be worried, anguished … but no! No way! In my mind there was only the idea that it was beautiful and that he would like being with me and that he had never said nonsense about my previous hetero life. 
The next day I see him and I tell him how things went, I expect his enthusiastic response and instead he is very cautious, he is happy but tells me something that I never would have expected: “Luke, I love you, but it’s not a game, you don’t have to prove anything to me, I love you even if you’re straight, I love you as a person because you treated me with respect and because gay or straight I fell in love with you, but you don’t have to go wrong you have to do always and only what you spontaneously feel you have to do … “. The only gesture he did was of tenderness he took my hand and hold it very tightly between his. Everything started like this.
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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-fear-of-being-gay

HOW TO UNDERSTAND THAT YOU ARE NOT GAY

Hello project,
I am a 23 year old guy who doesn’t know what to think about himself. For some time now the idea of being homosexual is wandering in my mind. I’m a bit effeminate and I must say that I cannot deny that I have some homosexual drive (and perhaps also a gay love) but the problem is that I’m not sure, if I have to mentally define the person that suits to me defining also his/her sex, I have many difficulties, I had a guy with whom there was an intense “friendship” (also resulted in sex) ended because he didn’t accept what he felt for me (while I would have done everything to be with him in an official way), I was there ready to do my coming out when, however, reasoning on (although at the moment I had no obstacle in front of me) I decided that it was not the time and that I had to keep living in uncertainty. 
But a year and a half ago, through a friend of mine of the university, I met a girl and more and more started to feel for her a new affection, an affection that grew to become love, a beautiful love, complete, sexually satisfying. But in me I felt that even though I was very well with her my past (the phantom of the story lived with the guy) could ruin everything, and furthermore I must add that when I felt anguish for that event I also experienced strong homosexual drives (I masturbated thinking alternately of my girlfriend and of that guy) I alternated moments of serenity with myself at times when I was (and am even now) restless. The restlessness became stronger and stronger when it was becoming increasingly possible that my girlfriend and I (she is still my girlfriend) went to live together in a new city, just she and I, and I had not revealed my ghost to her. 
So I started to think that it was time for me to tell her the truth and so it was also because the guilt was now wearing me down, I tell her everything in tears with the fear of losing her (even now the only idea of losing her makes me feel bad). Yet it is time for me to put a point to my life and finish my limbo, but understanding is difficult, you tell me that masturbation is the strongest element to understand my tendency, well now I cannot have sexual fantasies and, believe me, the most frustrating thing is that even if I have an erection while I masturbate I have no erotic thoughts while I do it, I also try to focus on one or the other sex but if I come it’s practically by inertia. On the contrary I must say that I still make love with my girlfriend, it is one of the things that manage to calm my anxiety and not only because I feel less gay but because I am with her, her hug, and kisses, her caresses calm me down and make me feel loved and happy. With her I have reached for a year the ataraxia of the senses, I felt complete, satisfied, happy. 
Now her presence makes me serene, quiet, I speak with her, I laugh with her, I exchange cuddles with her and make love (nice, tender) with her, and nevertheless the fact of not being able to give me a “label”, to put a point to my sexual orientation makes me restless, on the one hand I would strongly like to be gay, selfishly and paradoxically I find it easier than being in my limbo. I would also like to be heterosexual, but also here for a mental process of acceptance of my homosexual part I try to leave out the hetero side focusing on the homo one, then there is the problem of the bond with my girlfriend, I really think I love her, I miss her when she’s not there and when I’m sick she’s the person I want most next to me. 
The idea of being able to leave her hurts me and the idea of being able to share her with others hurts me even more, I love her viscerally, possessively (even if I have to say not morbidly), she knows that there is a part of me that would strongly be gay and yet at the very idea of having to lose her I could paradoxically feel more discomfort than if I discovered to be homosexual in itself, it is such a strong love for a woman, so visceral and sexual at the same time that, if I have to think about love with someone, she is certainly at the center of everything. 
Apart from the emotional component (quite confused since always) because I have always been surrounded by so many girls and a few male figures of reference (I lost my father at age 8) and because I have few male friends (not for fear of being able to fall in love but because I can’t stand the machismo of many guys), I feel my few male friends as really friends because they have a strong sensibility like me. Things are even stranger on a physical level. 
Female breasts turn me on, touching them, licking them, griping them, etc. and I like to explore with my fingers the female genitals, I really like anal and oral sex, while I practice less the vaginal one for practical reasons (and here you will blame me for sure, I don’t use condoms and I prefer to “come” inside) and also for reasons of sexual desire (I have the penis a bit small and not very big in diameter, and therefore I feel more excitement in the anal canal because it is smaller). As for the guys, instead, 
I have to say I tried to have passive anal sex (I tried only but I didn’t really) and I have to say I didn’t feel pleasure, I don’t enjoy anal self-stimulation (the feeling of pleasure is very minimal indeed is definitely less strong than the “normal” feeling), the only pleasure I felt (and that comes close to the feelings I feel when I’m with my girlfriend) is to suffer fellatio, I practiced fellatio but it didn’t excite me much, the naked body of a man doesn’t really excite me but the sex between two men excites me. In all this there is my difficulty in physically falling in love with a person or rather I am struck not by the beauty but by the sensitivity of people. 
The sexual fantasies too, let’s say that it is very conditioned not so much by morality but by the fact that I don’t have real erotic fantasies (it must be said that I generally have difficulty imagining anything), I practice sex frequently, but after I have been cuddled for a while (at least when I’m with my girlfriend), with that guy I have to say it was more an outburst in response to the frustrations of the situation (all obviously hidden) and sometimes the excitement of the forbidden. The partial (because at the time I had no qualms) repulsion, and the love I felt for that guy, led me to live the thing with increased feelings. 
I had the same sensations magnified at the same time with a girl, now with my current girlfriend, but what I miss is the sense of complicity that you have between guys and male hugs (but here I must say that I didn’t have the paternal figure for all the years of adolescence and puberty and this increases the decompensation and the lack). Sorry if I was very long and very paranoiac, I’m one of those who think a lot even when not needed but who have the habit (unfortunately) of getting tired at some point of doing things rashly (and here I’m afraid to declare myself homosexual, simply because I got tired of feeling bad).
p. s. Another important thing: my family and some friends of mine know my doubts and I had the impression that none of them accepted me, but they often tell me “I don’t care what you are, but your being well”. I conclude by thanking you.
p.s. the mail is also my msn contact in case you want to talk to me live (and I would) add me. Thanks again.
 
The following is my answer.
 
Hello, I read your email twice, but frankly I too would have doubts in considering you gay. You have built an affective relationship with your girlfriend that seems really deep and you live with her a satisfying sexuality, which would be almost impossible for a gay. You may have had gay instincts in the past, you can have them even now and you may have them in the future, but frankly assuming you are really bisexual, possible but not too likely hypothesis, the impression is that heterosexuality is still clearly prevalent. 
You say you fell in love with a guy once and you would have done everything for him but when the thing was over, you didn’t find another guy but a girl and with that girl you lived and live now a relationship of sexual tenderness, but as you describe it, it looks like a relationship that has a remarkable affective depth. I wouldn’t even worry so much about the fact that masturbation sometimes has gay orientation because it doesn’t seem related to a true emotional dimension but to other motivations. 
I have some doubts because you say that you miss male hugs, which makes me think that you are not wholly heterosexual. But, let’s be clear, a guy’s sexuality cannot be pigeonholed but it’s what it is. It is all about not considering it anxiously, living it in a true emotional dimension and, from what I read, your true emotional dimension is clearly hetero. Never create too many problems in terms of sexual practices, when you are two and you get along there are never problems. 
On one point, however, you absolutely must be careful, especially for the type of sexuality that you practice, I talk about prevention! I tell you for you and your girlfriend, doing the test is easy and then if it’s negative and if you have not had intercourses with other people in the last six months you can be 100% free and serene. If you like, we can deepen the speech on msn, I added you on msn, however this is my contact [omissis] You can call me when you like “even if you don’t see me online” because on msn, to be able to devote myself to chats with guys without receiving too many calls, I must set to “invisible” i.e. I never appear as online even if I’m online almost from three in the afternoon to two in the night and often beyond. If by any chance you don’t find me, because maybe I had to go out, don’t worry, the opportunity to meet in chat will not fail anyway. 
A hug. 
Project
 
CHAT WITH MARK
Mark writes: hello Project are you there?
Project writes: Hello! Nice to meet you! I read your mail
Mark writes: my pleasure, first of all thank you for answering me so quickly
Project writes: Don’t mention it! In fact I was late because today there was a chat storm
Mark writes: I guess, there are many people who have problems of this kind, sentimental I mean 
Project writes: yes, look, even working 10 hours a day I can barely keep up with everything
Mark writes: anyway your email has been very important. It made me understand things that I wouldn’t have understood by myself
Project writes: Look, in the matter concerning sexuality the fundamental thing is to never be taken by anxiety, not to test yourself just to test your own reactions, don’t think that there are a priori definitions to which we must correspond, the fundamental thing is serenity, true sexuality has only one enemy and it is anxiety
Mark writes: well then I must struggle hard because I have always been anxious especially in emotional ties, I tie myself with very few people because the biggest fear for me is that of abandonment
Project writes: not only for you, I would say that for all serious guys it is so. Mark, as I told you in the mail, what you write doesn’t have much of gay 
Mark writes: many people tell me so, in fact they say that during this period I have accentuated the gay component of my being, leaving the straight one and I admit that I did it and in my mail I concentrated all my doubts, while I didn’t talk about the certainties for example that while I was with that guy I felt the need for physical sex with a women and even when I masturbated.
Project writes: this fact only confirms that, if you are not 100% straight, the gay part is however clearly the minority share. But which gay guy who has a boyfriend would masturbate thinking of a girl?
Mark writes: or things such as the fact that I don’t live anxiously the friendship with a gay indeed I have to say that I don’t feel anxiety at all because many of the gays whom I know are serious, I really like talking to them but I don’t feel any sexual drive towards them.
Project writes: this is a further confirmation that there is very little gay
Mark writes: then add, in the relationship I had with the guy, the component of the lack of the male reference figure, at that time I had replaced it with him
Project writes: how old was the guy?
Mark writes: he was my age but was much more mature than me
Project writes: I don’t see him very much as a substitute figure anyway if he had had  10/15 years more than you, perhaps it could have been still possible.
Mark writes: the problem is that in him I saw first and foremost and strongly tried to save the friendship that bound us because we began to talk and to get closer precisely because after a friend of mine had lost his father I relived what I had passed, the trauma of abandonment for death and I looked for a masculine figure that could somehow act also as a brother (I don’t even have older brothers) 
Project writes: if this guy, being a coetaneous, had a reassuring value for you, at the limit. . . as a brother ok it’s possible.
Mark writes: I then add that I came from a period when I was feeling emotionally quite alone and that the more I talked to him the more the desire to end up together came out, while interest in him was growing up at the beginning only at emotional level and then also at sexual one, I realized that he was becoming a reference model almost absolute for me in the sense that I wanted to be like him, I almost venerated him
Project writes: but you say that for this guy you have felt the emotional and even sexual interest growing up, but how did you realize that for you he was not just a friend? Did it all come spontaneous or did you feel it strange and maybe you tried to reject it?
Mark writes: reject it no, I would say that I followed the evolution of my emotions, the desire to hug him or rather to make him embrace me, to be pampered at first a bit like a loving father do with his child, only after I unconsciously started to feel it as something sexual, when I realized that nobody mentally managed to get close to me as he did, I thought he really understood me, then even if I had strong male friendships, his friendship was linked to the fact that he accepted me as I was (only later he tried to change me)
Project writes: in what sense?
Mark writes: in the sense that I have some skeletons in the closet, one of these is that I come from a family of those that are object of suspect and this for me was always a very big shame, when I told him this thing, he accepted me, he also accepted what I called diversity, a point of distance from the affection of the other people (because since always even if my family is questionable, or rather doesn’t have a good reputation, I have always been a type who saw in the degree and in education the goal to be reached in order to wash myself the shame of being the son of questionable people. He accepted me, in fact he found me nice, interesting, sensitive and at the same time free from mental schemes, almost a progressive. I felt accepted and somehow linked to this person who had managed to go beyond what many people unfortunately couldn’t overcome. You can understand that having a person who finally made me feel good and with whom I felt myself could only please me. For a guy who has always lived his sexuality related to affectivity, it was natural that the sincere affection I felt for him could turn into love
Project writes: The thing was born in a true emotional climate
Mark writes: yes
Project writes : a question, but before this guy how did you perceive your sexuality? That is, has the gay attraction begun with him or there have been previous episodes with other guys?
Mark writes: please, define attraction for me
Project writes: did you try, before him, sexual urges and strong affective interest for other guys?
Mark writes: mmm. . . no affective interest, sexual impulses like the desire to kiss or embrace or make love with a man… yes … or better no
Project writes: I didn’t understand
Mark writes: affectively I have never felt bonded to other guys if not for normal friendship, and I not even felt sexual impulses such as wanting to hug, kiss, shake hands and so on for a guy, no… never 
Project writes: when you met that guy how old were you?
Mark writes: 22 or rather 21
Project writes: and up to 21/22 years your masturbation ad been exclusively in hetero key?
Mark writes: yes
Project writes: this is a very important thing that still confirms the idea that there is very little gay 
Mark writes: I must say I also tried to masturbate thinking of a guy then, but I didn’t get excited
Project writes: these are all elements that go in the same direction and at 22 sexuality is already well defined and was totally straight
Mark writes: but I must say that some think that I was a bit effeminate from the beginning and that’s why I felt the anxiety of being gay, anyway never repressed, sometimes I tried to force myself concentrating on guys and trying to enjoy such fantasies but the only thing that I achieved at most was that objectively the guy seemed nice to me, but as for sensations nothing at all
Project writes: very clear
Mark writes: that is, I made myself doubt because in my kind ways and in my privacy some saw the characteristics of the gays
Project writes: yes, okay but the speech doesn’t make sense
Mark writes: I know. But you know how it is, tell it today and tell it tomorrow…
Project writes: a gay is a guy who feels emotional and sexual attraction to guys and being gay has nothing to do with the fact that people expect you to be so
Mark writes: I know
Project writes: it is something that strictly affects the emotional and sexual sphere and not the social one
Mark writes: then there is the fact that if they asked me if I was gay, a bit for challenge and a little because I didn’t like to answer questions that I felt intimate, I answered “for the moment no, maybe then who knows”, but this is not the important thing, anyway I have always experienced homosexuality as something that doesn’t frighten me and prejudices frighten me even less.
Project writes: yes ok, but don’t be afraid of homosexuality, having gay friends and so on doesn’t mean to be gay
Mark writes: among other things to defuse the homosexuality I have to say that I often find a serious gay guy much more like me than a macho but I don’t want to fall into the gay-artist paradigm
Project writes: just like many gay guys get along well with their straight friends but not with some gay friends
Mark writes: there are gay guys with whom I can talk freely about my true political interests, art and history
Project writes: ok, let’s go back to the guy, so in such a serious emotional climate, you who were not afraid of homosexuality have come to a sexual contact with him, ok, and did such a contact create problems, feelings of guilt or things like that?
Mark writes: the feelings of guilt were born only because then I put myself with a girl and for more than a year I kept the thing hidden.
Project writes: feelings of guilt towards the guy or the girl?
Mark writes: towards her, the girl, the guy is a nasty born, damn him, excuse the outburst
Project writes: why did the relationship with that guy change?
Mark writes: but I gave him so much, he didn’t accept what he felt for me, but I was willing
Project writes: Do you mean he felt hetero?
Mark writes: yes and no
Project writes: I didn’t understand
Mark writes: he said he was straight, I don’t have the gayradar so I cannot tell if he was really gay I just know that he felt much more revulsion than me, rather I have to say the truth, perhaps he instilled in me the feeling of disgust at the time for what was or seemed to be really inside me, because to self-convince that he was not gay he wanted me to not to be either  
Project Writes: who of the two led the other slowly towards gay sexuality?
Mark writes: we got there together, I was the most uninhibited in the sense that I was not interested in the judgment of others nor if I could do something that I would have been blamed for, I wanted to live in serenity the affection I felt for him and that’s why I had no longer moral problems
Project writes: in essence it was a sexual drift not foreseen but accepted, at least by you and less than him, more than a real sexual interest
Mark writes: then as his frustration with what was happening had bothered me a bit and anyway I felt that in our relationship I lacked the female physicality (I told you that even if I don’t consider sex too much important, I’m not asexual and I live platonic love up to a certain point) I started to have real relationships with girls, in particular with one with whom, in addition to feeling physically attracted, I noticed a certain mental understanding, but always thinking that if he had wanted to take the big step with me I would have followed him, then it must be said that a bond as strong as that I had with him I didn’t want it to end, so, after a soft aut aut (like “if you go with that girl our relationship will inevitably change, you will neglect me and I will have to turn away from you”) I could not think of a life without his presence, I interrupted my search for “sexual” and “affective” pleasure with the girls, dedicating myself to him, accepting toads like: “Wait for me I must first try with girls” or “We must stay only friends” and then in October he started to break away from me, he said I was sticky and stressed, so we decided only to stay friends, but in December, after he deceived me (in the sense that I wanted him to be present at my confirmation, he promised it but didn’t do it), I asked him for explanations and he told me that he didn’t want to be my best friend anymore, but that if I wanted we could be just friends of a group. I had sacrificed so much for him and also inhibited my hetero drives because of him and started a psychological therapy of self-acceptance of being homosexual, nevertheless I decided to permanently break the relationship with him and now we still barely say goodbye to each other
Project writes: but also all this story seems rather an experience “to try” in a pleasant affectionate climate, at least at the beginning, of course, that then took a “very relatively” sexual meaning
Mark writes: later I started to deepen the friendship with the girl, until  this afternoon when I told her that, even in my identity crises, even as a gay, I could never live without having her close to me as my girlfriend and that to her (always in the grip of my crisis) I was giving myself completely and she had the power to determine my life. I know I have exaggerated, life is mine and I have to hold on to it, but the only idea that I can lose such a rare good (as she is) makes me live the tension of not having a future. Today I also said to myself out loud “I’m gay” just because she told me that in order to start our relationship again she wanted me to clarify what I was and because I’m too honest with her I said I was gay because I don’t want self-deceive in the sense that I don’t want to be heterosexual if I’m not but at the same time I could not tell you that I could be “gay convinced”
Project writes: I would say certainly you are not
Mark writes: believe me, sometimes these days, I wanted to be gay because, excuse frankness, but I find being gay easier than being bisexual, and it’s paradoxical, certainly this is because usually one tries to take refuge in bisexuality to hide his homosexuality, but I wanted to shelter my sexuality in homosexuality
Project writes: direct question: but now is your masturbation totally dedicated to your girlfriend?
Mark writes: mmm. . . yes I would say yes, when I masturbated thinking of him it was only because I wanted to recover the feelings I felt for him and if lately I tried to excite myself thinking of guys I did it only to understand what I was, but I have to say something, 70% of my masturbation I do it to download the anxiety, I find it a good anti-stress
Project writes: you said it in the mail
Mark writes: what? Ah yes I remember, yes yes, not because I don’t have a sexual desire, is that masturbation is relaxing and often has no subject, it’s just a mechanical act (degrading I know)
Project writes: can you find a motivation for your masturbation only physical and without fantasies?
Mark writes: it relaxes me, I’ve always lived it like that, you know some say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, for me masturbating every now and then is a release from stress that can be university, problems with the girl, with the family, and I come to the absurd that I can even masturbate while I study for an exam, it’s strange, I know
Project writes: well in a similar situation there are few sexual fantasies
Mark writes: in fact, 70% of my masturbation is linked to the simple opportunity to do it without even a sexual desire, simply because handling my dick makes me feel more cheerful after and relaxed. 30% is instead related to what I do with my girlfriend and if you don’t mind listening to descriptions I tell you that often when I do it thinking of her in the end the prevailing idea is that it would have been more satisfying if she had been there. That’s all. Anxiety is perhaps the element that pushes me more to think of labeling me and doesn’t allow me to live my relationship serenely. 
Project writes: I can tell you something
Mark writes: tell me
Project writes: namely that if before, only from the email, I had thought that you could be bisex with strong hetero propensity, after talking with you in chat I’m going to convince that you have nothing gay, that is to date you have a 70% neutral masturbation and totally straight for the rest, so no trace of gay fantasies, before the story with the guy you were 100% hetero and history with the guy doesn’t even seem a sexual story but only a friendly relationship, and maybe a need of affection that has sexualized, but I don’t find the typical way of reacting the gay guys, your affectivity is now totally polarized on your girl and from what you say it seems just (and I see no reason to question it) that you are satisfied even on the sexual level of the relationship, drawing conclusions, apart from the anxiety, I see nothing real that leads me to think that you are homosexual even at the minimum level
Mark writes: well, yes
Project writes: you have just the way of behaving of a typical straight guy and a straight guy not frustrated. I don’t see doubts of sexual orientation in objective terms, I don’t want to diminish things that may seem to you to be problematic but being gay with the things you live now but also with the story of the guy as you lived it, has very little to do
Mark writes: however there is another thing that I have always in mind about my sexuality since I lived the story with the guy and it is that I have gay friends, ok, but if I had to see something sexual between two guys, the memory would bring me to what I’ve done and I’d feel (now, after I engaged with my girlfriend) a bit strange, sometimes, rarely, and it depends not so much on the gesture but on the sexual tension that is felt between the two people, I can also get hard, but it also happens if I see something sexual between two normal hetero partners or two lesbians, what excites me is not what I’m seeing but the feeling of sexual tension that I perceive between the two protagonists
Project writes: did you ever use pornography to masturbate?
Mark writes: yes, but it’s not a very developed side.
Project writes: only straight porn?
Mark writes: to test what I felt with that guy I also saw some sequences of gay porn but for example the naked body of the man or the man who masturbates had no effect on me, I saw them at most (because anyway a side that distinguishes me is curiosity) because I found the whole very strange. I also saw orgies and there I sincerely closed the porn felling badly disgusted, not so much for the protagonists but because I don’t think I’m the guy for the ménage a trois or even more  
Project writes: but you know pornography with real sexuality has very little to do, anyway I’m more and more convinced that you have nothing to do with gays, in the things you say there is nothing that makes me ring the bell
Mark writes: yes, in fact, I am enough anti-pornography because the porn gives an image of sex and love pretty bad, I’m not a puritan and I think you’ve got it but I’m a bit romantic
Project writes: those gays who in practice don’t have the opportunity to find a guy use a lot of pornography, it is a heavy conditioning and not perceived as such and leads them, especially the younger guys, to an imitative sexuality and not at all emotional. There is one thing of what you say that strikes me a lot and I really appreciate it and it is the fact that in all cases for you sexuality and affection have come together, there was never dissociation, which is instead a very common feature, that is, in what you say there is a serious way of conceiving sexuality, which is the right one, that is the affective one
Mark writes: I am not puritan, I have had sex without love, but now, after my first sexual experience made without love, I link indissolubly the emotional sphere to the sexual one
Project writes: Mark, I think that you can really live your heterosexuality without any problem
Mark writes: thank you very much
Project writes: I tell you and I am convinced of it Mark writes: and thanks again for the chat
Project writes: sometimes I talk with guys who want to be told that they are straight, but in fact they are not, for you is precisely the objectivity that sets for a clear hetero orientation.
Mark writes: I needed this conversation
Project writes: so be quiet!
Mark writes: ok, I will be one of the few cases of people who want to be told that they are gay
Project writes: don’t see ghosts that are not there! . . . but you didn’t even want to hear that, if you allow me, this discourse didn’t help clarify things about sexual orientation that were already clear but to put aside anxiety and hear a voice different from yours, basically a confirmation
Mark writes: well yes, I must admit, I wanted to hear from a gay (who better than him!) what I could be and in the choice I chose one of those who seemed to say things very directly
Project writes: I thank you, I’m glad you think so! 
Mark writes: well, I must say that before I contacted you I read many of your posts and in many of them I saw that you used to speak strongly and I’ll tell you that the fact that you don’t use too much the category of bisexuality made me lean for you, just because I knew that you would have been very direct and hard if necessary, or better rather objective than hard, not politically correct.
Project writes: I tell you, the real bisexuals are not many, they are not as numerous as gays, there are bisexuals with periodic trend, i.e. people who for years have been perfect heterosexuals and who become perfect gays for years and then change again. Contemporary or intermediate bisexuality often exists at transitory level in the sense that you see it in the phases of increasing awareness of being gay, we can say even in full adult age if a guy recognizes that he is gay late, but lasts 6 months, a year at most and then sexuality polarizes. Except for very particular situations, at your age, sexuality is already polarized for a while. Of course, being bisexual is much more complicated than being gay. I have seen bisexuals with periodic trend that in hetero phase got married and had children, then passed in the gay phase, they left the family and went with a man who then they left, years later, to go with another girl, these things are really destructive, but they are quite rare and you have nothing to do with bisexuals.
Mark writes: yes, in fact, my fear was just that in being in the middle I would not have created a stability for me but above all I feared to hurt other people
Project writes: an intermediate bisexual is a perpetual dissatisfied and he would never say what you say about your girlfriend, at least not so convincingly. A bisexual with periodic trend lives very bad periods of transition and has long periods of stability lasting for years and in those periods he is or clearly straight or clearly gay. Frankly everything you say is typically hetero both at affective and sexual level, so, putting anxiety apart (anxiety leads to fear of ghosts that don’t exist), you have absolutely no reason for uncertainty
Mark writes: thank you very much, you have been very helpful and if my experience can help someone else you can post it in the forum
Project writes: tell me what I can publish and I will gladly do it
Mark writes: there are no names or places, neither in the email nor in the conversation, if you want to publish this part too, the important thing is that you change the name.
Project writes: of course!
Mark writes: after all, it is a beautiful love story with my girlfriend, and also about a betrayed friendship.
Project writes: yes and I think it can have a value for several people.
Mark writes: in the end helping someone is always a good thing
Project writes: thanks for the permission, it will take a little time to rearrange everything but I will certainly do it shortly
Mark writes: and I especially appreciate you, you’re really a great person
Project writes: this flatters me!
Mark writes: and if I knew you in person almost I would kneel in a sign of reverence
Project writes: but come on! Don’t tease me!
Mark writes: believe me I know how difficult it is for gay people to understand and accept their homosexuality I told you I have gay friends and I see them, and a person who can help to facilitate everything can only do well because the family can fail understanding, and it is quite common, I thank my family, perhaps my parents have many faults but as soon as I have confessed my doubts they have only ascertained that I was doing good for myself without mental conditionings, the only thing I heard was not to feel ashamed for what I was and for whatever I had done and I must also thank my girlfriend, she with her love waits patiently for me to escape from this impasse
Project writes: a sign that really she loves you! Mark writes: I found a jewel of rare beauty and the thing is reciprocated she is a great person that must take on these thoughts. Project, I know you have other people to help, so now I leave you Project writes: then good luck and above all I wish you to be able to live your heterosexuality with your girlfriend in the most beautiful way possible! A hug Mark, happy to meet you !!
Mark writes: thank you very much, happy to meet you !
Project writes: Thanks to you!
Mark writes: I will come every now and then to visit you on the forum
Project writes: it would be a very welcome thing! You’re always very welcome!
Mark writes: yes also because I have to see if my story will be useful to someone
Project writes: I really think so!
Mark writes: Good night Project!
Project writes: Good night Mark!
____________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-how-to-understand-that-you-are-not-gay

A DIFFICULT PATH TO ACCEPTANCE OF MY BEING GAY

Hello everyone, 
I am a 20 year old guy from Campania (a Region of southern Italy) and I attend the Computer Engineering course at the university. Nice to meet you! Why am I here? Obviously I didn’t sign up for fun. I am a guy who has discovered his being gay about a year ago, and has spent most of this year to consider himself bisexual and to refuse at all costs to call himself gay, a guy who was afraid, but now, starting about a week ago, wants to put an end to the great inner problems experienced in these months, and to accept his homosexuality, because he couldn’t go on that way. Inside I felt I was just trying to delude myself in some way … I decided to deeply analyze my situation and I understood that girls didn’t interest me at all, and I’m also supported by the fact that I had a gay relationship that lasted for eight months and I was fine, I had some small gay experiences and I felt good, I feel a strong gay desire and I’m fine, while on the other side I never felt really comfortable with girls and I realized recently that I didn’t feel any kind of interest for them …
 
I hope not to bore you, but at this moment I have some small doubts to which I want to find an answer, I try to accept myself for what I am, but unfortunately the doubts come back every now and then, much less than when I wanted to be bisexual at all costs … In particular, I really don’t understand why for 19 years I never thought I could be gay … Now if I think back to what happened to me in the past, I understand better why and I understand what I really want inside me. Certainly I feel much more confident of myself, I feel a fire inside me, that boils, but at the same time I feel small stabs that don’t make me still be right with myself, and I would very much that this period passed quickly … Moreover, I am visibly worried about how my future life will unfold, I am afraid of being marginalized for what I am doing, of being judged simply for my sexuality and even if I tell myself I should not care, I cannot do it serenely. I hate being so sensitive … I hope that you who are in this forum can help me and comfort me, even if I have already been able to talk about myself with some of my close friends, I feel that I need to talk about it with someone far more expert, in particular to analyze my past, on which I still have little doubts to which I am trying to give meaningful answers. Thank you so much for those who will read this post and who will give me a hand. I would like to talk to you about my personal story, which is still being defined today. I will start from the beginning, for what I can remember …
 
I think I was about 11-12 years old, maybe already about 13, when I discovered masturbation … My father told me about it and I saw it was very nice to do … In those days I didn’t have a precise idea about what I was masturbating, I probably had no really exciting thoughts, but I did it simply because it was so relaxing and nice to do …
 
I discovered pornography soon after, at about 13-14 years of age, of course hetero type … even if I vaguely remember I also used gay pornography, but on a marginal level, and it was not too clear that it was gay … Even because I have tastes a bit special, I never really enjoyed watching videos or porn photos with humans in the flesh, but I soon turned to hentai and other forms of designed porn … Then I masturbated in a way very … strange: I imagined myself on the side of the woman, and I imagined that a guy had sex with me … and I masturbated in different ways, using my fingers too, I don’t know if you can understand … I never excited at the idea of myself having sex with a woman, but the idea of doing it with a man excited me a lot, but I didn’t imagine myself as a man, but as a woman, or anyway with a vagina … My personal idea is that I did it to hide my homosexuality in this “inverted roles game”… Anyway, according to my memories, at least initially I always did it this way, then less and less, but such a particularity has never disappeared …
Returning back then, around 13-14 years, while I felt very lightly sentimentally attracted towards girls, but nothing sexual (in short, it ended so quickly as it started), I wanted to try something with a guy, a friend a year older than me … I saw it as something very serious, I really wanted to do something, but he saw it as a simple game and it didn’t satisfy me at all … And then, back home, realizing what I had done, I felt guilty, dirty inside, and when this friend of mine asked me to do it again I opposed myself and said absolutely no. Slowly the memory of what had happened vanished. In the meantime, more or less in the same summer, I found myself vaguely talking in chat about my “particular” way to masturbate and I quickly realized that it was something seen as absolutely abnormal by other guys, and I understood that something in me was different from what the other guys felt … They were excited thinking about girls, I felt much more satisfied imagining myself as a girl, and I didn’t understand why … but I began to repress myself and tried to conform to others, even if I was not very convinced, also because I was pushed by my father, who always reproached me that I didn’t go with the girls … In short, I behaved for a few years as an unconvinced heterosexual, a person who had no sexual desire and no interest in getting engaged with a girl … And I didn’t even have any crush on girls. 
But then I didn’t worry about the problem, I was fine as I was and I was happy, even if I didn’t have many friends to be with, in fact I was a very lonely guy. At home, I continued to masturbate without thinking about someone male or female, I thought only of those images that I saw online and that idea, that often returned, to imagine myself in the role of a woman having sex … I want to clarify that it was an exclusively sexual thing, I never thought of having a wrong body, in short, as a man I’m fine. From that period I only remember the occasional teasing by the scout friends, who jokingly teased me with words like “pansy”, to highlight that I had never shown a real interest in girls and that I often tried in various ways to avoid them, as if I didn’t want to confront them, first for fear, then for disinterest … I remember that I was very angry when they told me such things … 
The years passed and I continued this way, until I had a last crush towards a girl, in my last year of high school … a friend pointed her out and pushed me to try with her, but I could never do it, perhaps out of fear, perhaps it was something that I didn’t feel inside, I didn’t feel that absolute need to push me to try with a girl at all costs … I tried to think of her in a sexual way, but then it didn’t involve me at all … So, I realized that the crush, as usual, had quickly disappeared as fast as it had arrived, and then, in the summer that followed (2013), I began to ask myself the first questions: why didn’t girls attract me? Why didn’t I feel a strong sense of attraction towards them while my friends were sobbing with them? Why didn’t the female mentality interest me and I only had male friends? Why had I never tried with girls? Was it fear of being rejected and nothing else? I began to inform myself on the web, but above all I met someone who was decisive in my discovery: on the internet I met by chance an American gay friend on chat, to whom I exposed my doubts, my uncertainties, and talking to him, at least at the time, I thought I was straight. But my doubts were strong and I expressed them when, speaking of girls at a scout camp, they asked me if I was gay, and I replied “I don’t know, I don’t think I am, but boh … I have to think about, really”. 
It was a symptom that something was changing, and informing me on the web I discovered something that I thought depicted me: pansexuality. If you don’t know what it is, it’s like bisexuality, but a pansexual person, unlike bisexuals, is also attracted to people who don’t fall into the classic gender dichotomy, such as transgender or intersex. I started to define myself pansexual, even though I was far from understanding myself: at the end I still behaved like an unconvinced hetero, and I made my American gay friend understand that I didn’t think I was attracted to men … This friend told me that if I felt pansexual, I would have to start seeing gay porn too, to “balance the two parts of my sexuality”, this happened at the beginning of 2014, when I began to see gay porn with increasing insistence, and to masturbate on those porn, and I quickly realized that my tastes were turning upside down, that I was directing towards gay sexuality, and I really understood it when I had a crush as short as intense for that American gay friend … he was the first guy to whom I revealed my feelings, but my feelings were not reciprocated, and I was discomforted … 
When I realized what was happening I began to think “but at this point … it is not that I’m gay?” In saying so, I was very scared, I wanted to refuse it, and I did everything to do it, but over the months I felt a strong internal contrast within me: I said I was pansexual, but inside I felt a little voice that told me I was gay, and this little voice continued to make herself heard for a long time … In the meantime, I fell in love with a guy for the first time. We got together and we were a couple for eight months, during which, between highs and lows, we had a great time, even if the difficulty of seeing each other (we live 60 km from each other) made us suffer, especially me, and at the end we realized that we were not compatible enough, and about a month ago we broke up … in the meantime, my doubts and the contrast that I had tried continued … And so, in this month, I thought about what happened, and a week ago, after having compared myself with other guys who considered themselves bisexuals before and who had then accepted their being gay, I realized that I had to stop making fun of me, and I told myself what I had understood for months but I didn’t want to accept because I was afraid: I’m gay! 
These days, slowly I’m normalizing the thing inside of me, but I feel sometimes strange, sometimes desperate. I’m happy to be the way I am, happy to have understood who I am, but at the same time I have little doubts, even if I think I have understood a lot of myself in this year and a half. I also recently had my first gay experiences (in fact, with my ex, we never managed to do something in bed) and I liked it. Right now, as I said, I have little doubts, I still don’t feel very well with myself, but in my heart I know I did the right thing for me. Now I’m trying to accept myself 100%. I hope someone has understood something … I’m sorry if I messed up these things, but ordering ideas is not easy, especially when emotions are at stake … What I’m saying is mainly due to an analysis of the facts, and looking at the facts I can say firmly that I am gay.
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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-a-difficult-path-to-acceptance-of-my-being-gay

AUGUST VON PLATEN HOMOSEXUAL ACCORDING TO RAFFALOVICH

With the chapter titled “Platen or the superior uranist”, André Raffalovich closes his book “Uranism and Unisexuality”. It is certainly not a case. Raffalovich has always shown a remarkable sympathy for von Platen and for his conception of homosexuality, which is celebrated by him at the end of the chapter with accents of genuine enthusiasm as well as moral sharing. It should be said immediately that Raffalovich, in his overview on remarkable homosexuals of the history and literature stopped at the first ‘800, with the only exception of Wilde. In his work therefore don’t appear some fundamental characters of the history of homosexuality such as John Addington Symonds, Edward Carpenter and the Raffalovich himself, who belong to the second half of the ‘800 and in some cases have extended their activity to the first decades of ‘900.

Platen, like Grillparzer, Motitz, Goethe, and Byron himself, belongs to a period, in which the debate on homosexuality is still something utopian and vague to be placed in a future of which it was impossible to foresee even the dawn.

The destruction of the memories and of many letters of Byron after his death is a sign of how the idea of the homosexuality of the author was considered unthinkable.

Grillparzer and Moritz were very careful in defending their honorability from the risk of accusations of homosexuality. All these characters (with the exception perhaps of Byron) went through periods of doubt, oscillations and uncertainties about the real dimension of their sexuality because they were totally or almost totally lacking in evidence that could put the dominant prejudice into crisis. They all experienced heterosexual stories in which the emotional participation was really minimal and that today would not be difficult to identify as coverage relationships.

Byron, who had behaved more freely, was forced by gossip to leave England and never returned.

Before Platen, the signs of homosexuality had to be found in little known biographical elements or in the ambiguities of the works, where they were almost always transcribed in heterosexual key. For Platen it is not like that. It could be said that Platen is the first homosexual in the modern sense of the term, because he recognizes his homosexuality, at least in front of his friends, who don’t disown him for this, and affirms his right to love and be loved as a friend of noble soul, because his feeling has nothing to be ashamed of. Raffalovich interprets the fact that Platen considers his homosexual love something dignified and high by hypothesizing the idea that it was a love without sex or almost without sex, and anyway with an extremely sublimated sexuality, a hypothesis that could perhaps be proposed for young Platen, but sounds quite unrealistic for the Italian period of the poet’s life.

It should not be forgotten that Italy, for the whole ‘800, was for the rich homosexuals of northern Europe a true earthly paradise, totally devoid of English moralism and German hypocrisy in matters of sexuality.

Certainly Platen, it seems, even in Italy didn’t live a wild life to the level that will then be typical of Wilde and seems to maintain moralistic attitudes even when he condemns very libertine poets who intend to create a relationship of friendship with him.

But Platen is modern also for another reason: his not to surround his life and his poems of too much caution exposes him to gossip and he ends up being a victim of very heavy and vulgar personal attacks, obviously on charges of homosexuality, advanced in the most vulgar ways by a character like Heine, in other respects an excellent and fine literate of Hebrew origins.

The controversy between Heine and Platen arose for reasons of literary pride, it seems that Heine had not much appreciated a poem by Platen and had expressed about it a very critical, if not scornful, judgment, Platen replied by bringing into play Heine’s Jewish origins. Heine answered letting himself go to insults against Platen related to his homosexuality.

The story of the quarrel between Platen and Heine is the sign of how much the accusation of homosexuality was (and still is today) a weapon that is kept in store and can be unleashed whenever the opportunity arises.

Thomas Mann dedicated a long essay to Platen who, in his solitary death in Syracuse, by cholera (perhaps), is the inspirer of “Death in Venice”, on which Luchino Visconti based his cinematographic masterpiece. But Mann’s work on Platen, rather than representing a hypothetical fight of Platen against homosexuality, embodies in Platen the similar and far more grievous struggle of Mann against his own homosexuality. Today, after the complete publication of Platen’s diaries, the reading of the character made by Mann can no longer be shared. Platen, unlike the great majority of cultured homosexuals of his generation (and also om many of the later ones) had accepted his homosexuality and considered it a value that could not be set aside in any way. Of course, in a world where homosexuality was heavily criminally persecuted and denial was the only attitude of all, including homosexuals, a man like Platen spent his life between disappointments and frustrations, falling in love with heterosexual friends with a lot of misunderstandings, but for him homosexuality was a form of love with capital L and certainly he would not have lowered to the idea of mercenary sex, he’s a character who has maintained high, even as a homosexual, the level of his morality.

Let’s leave the floor to Raffalovich. Below you can read my translation into English of the chapter dedicated to Paletn in “Uranisme et Unisexualité” by Marc André Raffalovich, 1896. My translation into Italian of the entire work can be downloaded without any formalities on the page: http://gayproject.altervista.org/uranisme_et_unisexualite.pdf

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PLATEN OR THE UPPER URANIST

I would like to present in a clear way the noble, interesting and melancholic figure of the poet Auguste, Count of Platen-Hallermünde.

He is for excellence the born uranist, destined, self-assured, upright, complete, courageous, elevated, all dedicated to his love for poetic glory, for poetic art, for intellectual and physical beauty, in the most lively way in which he feels it, because he feels it in accord with his dignity as a man. He strongly loved his friends, Count Fugger, Liebig, A. Kopisch, Gustav Schwab, etc., and raised hateful hate. Even today, the Munich library holds the eighteen volumes of Platen’s diary, and this precious deposit awaits a respectful and intelligent publication, which von Laubman and L. von Scheffler have promised.

In 1860 Engelhardt published some fragments of the diary that stop in 1828 – Platen was born in 1796 and died in 1838. It is with the help of this autobiographical fragments, of his works, his letters and the publications of his friends that I will try to show his physiognomy.

Auguste, Count of Platen-Hallermünde (or Count of Platen, as he preferred to be called) was born October 21th, 1796 in Ansbach where his father was in the service of Prussia. The first Count of Platen, Franz-Ernest, had received his title on July 20th, 1689 by Leopold I.

Platen’s father, born in 1740, had married Miss von Reitzenstein in the first marriage, and from this marriage were born six children, one male and five females. The marriage was unhappy and led to a divorce. Count Platen remarried in 1795 with Louise-Friederike Christiane Eichler von Auritz. They had two sons, the first was the poet, the youngest died at the age of three.

Auguste von Platen, or Platen as I’ll call him, when he was still very young, had a long illness, the famous doctor of Erlangen, Hildebrand, considered it incurable; but the child grew up despite the disease, bred with simplicity, and as happened to most of the noble children born after the French Revolution, he was taught to be on familiar speaking terms with his parents and to feel free in their presence: they never spoke to him about his noble birth.

Platen recalled that his early childhood friends had been Simon Langenfoss and Jeannot Asimont, sons of a French teacher, and two Liebeskind. He also often went to the castle to play with the princess, daughter of Prince Louis of Prussia, brother of the king. He met there also the aunts of the little girl, the Queen Louise of Prussia, and the princess of Thurn und Taxis.

Platen’s father made so many small trips to visit the forests to which he had to supervise and the child remained alone with his mother. She read for him loudly and made him love reading. He soon preferred books to his many toys. He also learned to write early. The first book he read alone contained childish comedies. He loved the theater, he went there as much as possible, he recited some comedies with his companions. In his seventh year he wrote a pastoral comedy and sent it to a young friend.

He wrote many small parts in verse, full of fairies, witches and wizards. Even mythology took possession of his imagination, but the stories of love left him indifferent. He considered love only a theatrical artifice. Despite his fondness for fairy tales, he was rather skeptical. He replied to a professor that there was no hell. It meant that there was no place where souls were roasting.

His mother withdrew completely from the world to take care only of her son. She pushed him to work. She had him write letters to an English girl his age, whom he had never seen, daughter of a childhood friend of the Countess. A young girl, Caroline von Gemmingen, soon came to live with them. Platen and her were always at war.

In 1806 the child, in his ninth year, saw the defeat of the soldiers of the Emperor of Austria, Bernadotte passing through Ansbach and the fall of Prussia; and he became very interested in all these events.

In the same year, General Werneck, the head of the Cadets in Munich, a childhood friend of the father of Platen, offered him to incorporate the boy among the Cadets. The father accepted and the mother took the child to Monaco.

The separation from his mother was a great pain for him, and the rigid and heavy clothes bothered him, but the novelty amused him, and what reconciled him with his new style of life was friendship.

He remained for four years among the Cadets. He described very well the life as it was organized there – the Cadet school had been a Jesuit monastery. There were a hundred Cadets. They almost were not allowed to read, their readings and their correspondence, were rigorously examined. The Cadets were constantly supervised: during the lessons by the teachers, during the recreation by the officers, at night by the servants. They were never left alone. They taught them Mathematics, Geometry, History, Geography, Style, Latin, Religion, French, language to which great attention was paid, Fencing, Dance and almost all musical instruments.

Cadets used to make fun of his verses. At mealtimes he was always at the table in the middle: there were three tables on which the food was proportional to the progress or to the relapses of the students. – Comedies were recited; the number of comedies was limited due to the lack of female roles. Platen never recited such comedies. In his tenth year he probably overcame his childhood illness, because he remembered, not without pleasure, of a trip on foot made during the holidays with some companions and some teachers, a trip to the Tyrol. The Tyrolean people seemed to him kind and considerate. The Cadets slept on straw, but they were well fed. He spent the rest of the holidays at home, happy to be free. The constraints of the college were unbearable. His obstinacy attracted so many punishments on him that they ended up aggravating this trait of his character. He soon found himself on bad terms with the military authorities and with the professor of Lutheran Religion. Platen, although he was a Lutheran, had defended Catholicism in a spirit of contradiction. His stubbornness, he himself says, was punishable, but it was also the beginning of his independence of judgment.

Friendship, after all, made the college bearable for him. Friendship was the goddess of the Cadets. Each one could look for and find a soul similar to his own, and despite the external constraints, a Cadet could be linked to a friend for life.

His first confidant was Friedrich Schnizlein, to whom he entrusted his first writings. He was a perfect confidant, but he was not in favor of the fervor of sentiment in friendship.

Ludwig von Luder, he too Protestant, also received the literary confidence of young Platen. He was older and very intelligent, a lover of science, without disordered inclinations. He always remained Platen’s sincere friend, and their discussions were only about politics.
Among the Cadets in his class he often saw Ernst Wiebeking, Count Sprety, Kasimir Baeumler, Tettenborn, etc .; among those of the other classes, Karl and Alexander Welden, Krazeisen, Brand, Kaeser, Normann, Wilhelm and Joseph Gumppenberg.

Max von Gruber particularly attracted him. He was not very gifted, but full of will, a mathematician lover of poetry, just, solid and without prejudices. He would forgive Voltaire his atheism if Voltaire had not so often denied it; he did not blame any of Napoleon’s evil deeds if they were part of his role as conqueror. It is understandable that the young Platen, who had to feel different from others, clung to Max von Gruber, honest and full of respect for the essential differences between men of value or genius. They always remained friends. Gustav Jacobs, son of the philologist, was also very closely linked to Platen; he was a simple, open-minded boy, he hated pedantry, hardly loved by the authorities, he blamed Platen’s lamentations but praised his poems and was interested in them.

The two Fugger brothers loved Platen too, and Friedrich, the eldest, enthusiastic about Goethe, will remain in the history of German literature related to the name of Platen, honored by his long, tender and modest friendship.

Friedrich Fugger was linked above all to Wilhelm Gumppenberg and joined to him by his love for music. Count Fugger later put many of Platen’s poems into music, and in college he already shared his aversion to drinkers’ songs.

But of all these friendships, the most tender was that for Joseph Xylander. They had met in college for three years, before getting to know each other better. They had this happiness in March 1810, and until the autumn of that year, when Platen left, they enjoyed an almost romantic friendship.

Platen wrote for him many poems that Xylander never saw. He also wrote a hymn to friendship, novels and a comedy, parodies and satires, which made him unwelcome in the environment.

All these attempts were destroyed before the end of 1810. The reading of Homer enthused him and transported him to the Greek world. that was so dear to him.

The war of 1809 with Austria taught him to keep quiet.

The Bavarians loved Napoleon: Platen would have preferred the success of the Austrians, and when Munich was occupied by the Austrians and the Austrian officers came to visit the school of the Cadets, Platen hid his sympathies.

In September 1810 Platen left the Cadets and became one of the king’s Pages. Before joining the group of the Pages he spent two months in his father’s house. He had suffered greatly, leaving Xylander.

At the age of 14, Platen’s character seems to have been well defined: love for poetry and friendship, friendship for young people of his age, educated, serious, and at the same time an exclusively sentimental attachment for someone a little younger than him, and then a lot of stubbornness, sensitivity and ability to suffer, a solid patriotic point of view and a desire to love, to be loved, and to get better.

This is the boy who twenty years old will write in his diary that God, chastity, friendship and learning are the basis of his system.

He rested in the group of Pages from 1810 until 1815. His first impression was sad: he had no friends. They looked at him with indifferent eyes. He had no one to confide in. Little by little he found himself well. Count Kuenigl, whom he knew, came to his aid. Among the Pages there was much more education than among the Cadets, there was more freedom, more cleanliness, the food was better. The clothes were more beautiful, and you could change clothes when you wanted. They were treated like elder boys. You could work on your own and you could read all the classic books.

He loved Latin and Greek, Italian and English. He always wrote a lot and destroyed what he had written. The king was very good with the Pages, and court ceremonies were fun for them. Platen slowly made friends, but not a close friend. A certain Count Lodron Laterano was of some importance to him, making him love Italian. Baron Perglas, a young man with an iron zeal, stimulated him at work, as well as the Counts Gajetan Berchem and Saporta. But he had above all confidence in a certain baron Massenbach, a very honest boy. All were useful for his education. He was weakly religious and prayed fervently only in the unpleasant moments, but he never completely forgot to pray decently, without mumbling. His first communion in 1811 gave him many good intentions.

Professor Hafner, the most important man in the school of Pages, did much to amuse and grow the Pages. He took them to the museums at the Academy, read for them aloud, and when the Pages were in bed he told them stories.

In 1813 Platen decided to become official, not out of affection for the military state, but because this state, according to him, involved more free time and more freedom.

His poetic future always tormented him, he wanted to write a tragedy on Corradino, the friendship of the young Frederick for Corradino had to fill more than one good scene. It is interesting that at the age of seventeen he felt obliged to add a girl in love with Corradino, who followed him disguised and unrecognized to Italy.

He had not yet found his literary path.

A few years later, he resumes the theme of Corradino , finds the friendship of Frederick and Corradino more than enough and no longer needs to invent a girl.

Two days before his seventeenth birthday, Platen begins his diary – and will continue until his death, for twenty-five years. – There are some diary pieces in French, others in English, Italian and Portuguese.

He had the passion to read poets in their own language, and he learned Spanish, Swedish, Danish and Persian.

In his eighteenth year, he thinks he is in love with a young Marquise Euphrasia, the most beautiful girl in the court. He goes to live in the same house, he sees her from time to time, but he realizes in the same year that he was wrong, and leaves the good widow, where he is staying, and the mother of this excellent person, with much more regret than that he felt in leaving the Marquise Euphrasia.

He notices this sentimental error, the only one of his life, it seems, and quickly dissipated. I don’t think any other woman really interested him after that. This passing interest in Euphrasia is a curious and instructive moment in the history of Platen. The need to focus on someone and be interesting, the idea that one should be tenderly in love with someone, the monotony of his life, give him this illusion.

Not many unisexuals have let themselves be so easily illuminated as Platen; the collapse of an ordinary superficial love made them seek out insistently the feelings and emotions that the woman can give, but Platen did not restart at all. He already had enough desires, enough aspirations. He wanted to see foreign countries, Italy, London, Rome.

On March 31st, 1814 he became a lieutenant. He does not like the company of the officers. He comforts himself reading a lot, working a lot. He is quite upset by the license of the costumes around him. He learns that a young poet, named Hesse, sent verses to Goethe and received a reply from him. He is very impressed, he wonders if his verses are worthy of such an expedition.

In the middle of his imagination for Euphrasia a sudden friendship for a young man, Issel, is enough to show the most lively interest of Platen for friendship.

Issel is a young painter and the Grand Duke of Darmstadt makes him travel. At the beginning (the friendship begins on May 28th and ends in June: therefore, above all, it didn’t last long), Issel did not interest him, then he noticed in this painter a great variety of interests, a pure taste in art, a lot of cordiality, lots of attention. Issel would have left after eight or nine days.

Knowing that Platen is interested in poetry, Issel tells him that he had received from young Voss a curl from Schiller’s hair cut after his death and offers to share it with him.

Left together by the friend who had made them meet, they spoke of foreign languages, of Goethe’s works, of such a short life and of such a long art. Issel lives by Nathan Schlichtegroll and advises Platen to get to know him. Then they discuss the reform of the mystical school of Schlegel, of Werner that Issel knows. Issel asks Platen to accompany him to Italy. Platen doesn’t understand how a man of so much spirit can be interested in him.

They often meet after this first meeting. One day Issel begs Platen to read to him some poems [1] and reads to him his own. The next day, Platen reads to him several other poems but then regrets having done so. He feels sad, he thinks he has profaned the paradise of his thoughts having introduced there a stranger. It is possible that Issel (mediocre poet after all), had not appreciated Platen enough. Platen promises to stop writing the verses and frowns at the thought of the loneliness that awaits him. The next day comes the reconciliation: they spend a nice evening together.

Isssel begs him not to abandon poetry, and the next day sends him Schiller’s hair and receives a poem in return. On June 6th Issel tells him he wrote a tragedy (whistled in Frankfurt, about the Countess Platen who played an important role in the court of the Duke of Brunswick, father of George I of England). On the same day, Platen learns that he must bring carts with tents to Battenberg in Tyrol. Issel comforts him, offering to accompany him. The same evening he drinks to his brotherhood with him and Schlichtegroll.

The 9th, Issel and Platen leave together, discussing abuot Dr. Gall, whom Issel knew, reading Wallenstein.

The 10th Platen is happy to see a so beautiful landscape in such a dear company. The same day they have problems. Issel hurts his self-love, then accuses him of curiosity, indiscretion, etc.. Platen finds it offensive to justify himself. They don’t talk any more.

Anyway, climbing up a hill, he meets Issel, who descends, who shouts to have engraved the name of Platen on a stone. When he and Issel leave permanently, Platen regrets having set him aside for his irritable mood and admits that his stubbornness will make him unhappy and will remove many men from him. And he spends two days after Issel’s departure to write several songs.

On June 17th he returned to Munich.

I told this episode in detail, because we can find there what characterizes and strongly distinguishes Platen: his enthusiasm for his young friend, intelligent, cultured, or who wanted to teach or learn. Naturally melancholic himself (since he had left his father’s house), the joy of those he likes, the sweet and calm mood, the laughter of his friend, make him jump with joy. Issel was elder than him, it’s true, but Platen was very young then, he was eighteen.

Later, when he gets to a higher degree of maturity, his friend will be a little younger, young enough to give him the impression of a beautiful youth, but big enough to resemble him, to share his tastes.

Platonic love (philosophical or honorable) has always delighted Platen; for those different from him he had friendship, affection, gratitude, respect. But his passion was directed towards those who seemed to him similar, more beautiful and with more virtuous grace.

This episode of Issel did not last long, but shows Platen at 18 as at 12, who fell in love immediately, expecting to find everything and not always finding great things (as in this Issel) but in any case not finding happiness.

This is the love at the same time intellectual, passionate and sentimental that has made him suffer so much, but that has also kept him intact and dignified. When he wrote the rules of conduct at the age of 20, one was to forget what is sensual in him; another was avoid to study the mystery of physiognomy in the people who interest him, not to think of the absent, to perfect himself, to improve himself.

Even if he says that we must not think of those who are absent, we should not believe him indifferent to his friends; on the contrary, he has been faithful to them, but it is to whom is more than a friend that he tries not to think too much to be able to work and live.

We can already see the difference between Platen and a dissolute; he never seeks rare sensations, but a lasting and fascinating love.

He would have retreated in horror to the loves of Oscar Wilde, in front of the venal loves that are not the quintessence of two noble and manly existences.

In the middle of 1814 he did not recognize himself neither as a man nor as a poet, he is not interested in Euphrasia enough for her to inspire or occupy him. The military state does not suit him, he is advised to study the sciences, poetry still doesn’t belong to him, he goes groping, he has not found himself. His friends are not in Munich, they dispersed. He doesn’t have time to read enough. Nature doesn’t fascinate him when he is alone or bored. However, he reads a lot and in many languages, Petrarca, Dante, the Pastor Fido, Pope, Corneille, Voltaire, Racine, Boileau, etc., and always Goethe. You could apply to Goethe, he said then, what about Goethe said Hamann: “His works are often sibylline books that are understood only when we are in the same situation as the poet.” And we see, for example, Platen at different times of his life who reads and re-reads Goethe, with so much profit as admiration. And as he is in different situations, the same work of Goethe becomes increasingly clear, true and moving. For example, “The natural daughter”, which he doesn’t appreciate at all at the beginning, and which he later admires for its spirit in 1814, becomes for him in 1821, after the tragic sinking of his great passion for Otto von Bulow, a precious mirror of his own pain.

Now he is consoled of his emptiness and of his boredom, of his life that he waits with the discouraged impatience of youth, reading and writing in English with Perglas, reading with him also Virgil and Tasso, skating, concentrating on policy. When Napoleon returns from the island of Elba, he feels a patriotic enthusiasm but Wiebeking spoils this feeling: “If you were to go to serve as a simple soldier for the freedom of Europe you could claim a small part of glory, but you are an officer, and there are many officers. It would be very easy to replace you. You could serve your homeland in a more useful way.”

On November 30th, he reads in a newspaper some maxims drawn from oriental poetry, and copies a certain number of them, struck without knowing why, excited as you can be vaguely in the presence of an important event. Persian poetry was about to express after a short time his secret ideal.

In the spring of 1815 he feels happier, he goes to the English garden every morning to pick up daffodils and to read the Pastor Fido. He writes patriotic poems that serious men read with pleasure. On April 15th, his regiment sets off and arrives at Fontainebleau on July 19th and Platen is back in Germany in November. He seems to have well endured the discomforts of the march, the oppressive heat. His diary is very nice and likeable. He is kindly interested in the good people he meets, he reads very much Petrarch, Jacopone da Todi, Goethe, Eulenspiegel, Eloisa and Abelardo by Pope, that he continually re-reads. He admires gardens, flowers, envies calm and familiar joys, he would like to have with Goethe only a conversation about the destiny of humanity and the spirit of Christianity; then he finds the true letters of Eloisa much more beautiful than those of Pope, and so true. He reads his mother’s letters with great pleasure, writes in prose and verse to Xylander and other friends. The French peasants fascinate him, their kindness, their language enchant him. He is quite isolated among the officers, he totally hates their excesses and their lascivious conversations that he does not take part in. A poem shows how much he suffered from the unpleasant immorality of his companions. At Bar-le-Duc, he is also shocked by the corruption of French books he has found in his room, and his landlady amazes him by saying: Read, my friend, because it is the reading that educates young people.

In Châlons he has the joy not only to meet his friend Schlichtegroll, but also to meet a young German, the secretary of Barclay de Tolly, who tells him that he already knows him very well through Schlichtegroll’s stories. Platen is quite impressed with this observation. In Nemours, he is also happy in the garden of a certain doctor Micheleau whose wife is no longer young, but is so sweet and caring. He speaks French with her with pleasure, and speaks English with an old English lady who lends him some English books. He leaves these kind people with regret and even an old 86-year-old curate, very realist, who says Mass every Sunday, with no other company than his dog and especially his canary, which had been given to him by a certain Rouxelle, a radical, anti-Christian, separated from his Catholic wife, and who lives with his servant, without baptizing his children. “One can be a good man, said the curate, without being a Christian.”

He likes a lot the sub-prefect of Tonnerre, a delightful city, who is a charming young man, the most beautiful model imaginable for a young Roman. On October 6th, he gathers with some old comrades and other young educated men, and Platen can sincerely rejoice by taking part in an intelligent conversation, unambiguously and in a pure dialect. On November 2, he writes in his diary that shame is natural, the shamelessness is acquired. It is certain that Platen was fundamentally modest and full of modesty. On November 3rd, in Troyes, he buys Bérenice, his favorite Racine tragedy. And he notes that in a shop of a rich shopkeeper he saw a clerk, who looked a lot like his friend Xylander.

Back in Germany, he tries to build a system of morals and conduct based on: God, a severe morality, the desire to learn, the love for friends. Without these principles, how can you be happy? How can we fail to aspire to what is higher, how can we do without the chastity of the body and the spirit, the love of study, the friends? And he finds more and more that he cannot argue with young men who speak only of horses, dogs and pleasures, who have neither seriousness in their character nor the desire to perfect themselves and to improve themselves. He feels enriched by everything he has seen, read, thought during this year.

In 1816, he went to Switzerland; in 1817 in the mountains of Bavaria. He still reads a lot of Pascal, Ariosto, Homer, Horace, Alfieri (with whom he finds several similarities) [2], Tasso, Goethe, Byron, Camoens, Calderon, etc.. He makes many projects of tragedies, heroic poems and other things, with all the effervescence of a talent that wanders. He recognized himself in a book on temperament in the chapter: “The sensual melancholic”. There are many impulses of friendship-love that lead nowhere, and yet he is fierce against those who seek him. He has a very masculine nature in its virtues, as in its defects. He must be the one who loves, who discovers, who distinguishes, and demands a sympathy that he doesn’t find at all. You can see, comparing the published fragments of his diary and his poems of that time, as some friends, such as Voelderndorf, worried him and interested him. He reports in the diary every time he meets a young man, polite and kind; he no doubt builds a scaffold of hope every time. He notes in a beautiful poem the sudden emotion of a friend at the sight of Platen and wonders if he is the poet who made his friend’s heart beat, or if it is a coincidence.

At that time, Platen would settle for very little, but he would not be surprised to get everything. He believes he has become very reasonable, he believes he has renounced the dreams that made his life bearable. He is full of modesty, of distrust, he doesn’t believe in his vocation, he is grateful when he is encouraged. He would like to have an advisor, he has too much false shame to cultivate those who could help him. He finds a passage in the Confessions of Rousseau that applies to him, the union “of a very ardent temperament, of lively passions and of ideas slow to be born, embarrassed, and which don’t show up except in hindsight.” He thinks is own merit consists in his struggle to arrive at truth and goodness. Journeys are an exquisite distraction for him. I think it is impossible to read his impressions of travel without feeling sympathy for him.

The day before his twenty-first birthday, one of his poems is published, he immediately sends copies to his parents, to Max von Gruber, to Fugger, to Dall ‘Armi, to Perglas, etc.. His friend Schlichtegroll, who had twenty-five copies, sends one to the painter Issel, and Platen receives from him a leaf grown on the tomb of Virgil.

Despite his friends, who all love the letters and the sciences, for him the life in Munich becomes unbearable and the desire to know, to learn grows so much in him, that he gets by the king to be sent to a university, first to Würzburg and then to Erlangen, first for a year and then for a longer period. The king paid him 600 guldens a year (it was a privilege granted to some of the Pages), his father gave him 300, and he received 12 monthly as an officer. After six months in Würzburg, Schelling, whom he had known as a child, kept him in Erlangen. Platen stays there until 1826.

As soon as he arrives in Erlangen, the change of environment, the professors who are interested in him, the students around him, the ardor of work, make him eventually find his poetic path. He starts writing admirable songs that only injustice has made less known than those of Heine.

Platen must now be pervaded by his masculine ideal, by his masculine love. He loves in silence, he declares himself. “You call me to a painful duty. Yet for one last time I would embrace you, don’t remember me anything before. Who could approach you with indifference, who could coldly see the beautiful, the divine figure, the divine, the beautiful form. Study my life; examine it to see if I have ever been burned by a guilty love, it is only your Dionysiac presence that has conquered my heart.”

“You say I was wrong, you swear to me, but I know you loved me, but now you don’t love me anymore. Your beautiful eyes burned, kisses burned even more, you loved me, confess it, but now you don’t love me anymore. I don’t count on any return of your love. Just confess that you loved me and you don’t love me anymore.”

It is impossible to know to whom these verses are addressed, but they are easy to decipher. Platen, always looking for a fraternal and passionate soul, must have had several disappointments; he was loved calmly, superficially, but not with passion, and probably those who would love him with passion, physically, would not have attracted him. Because in him the senses were confused when the imagination became inflamed.

In 1820 he writes (February 24th): “Never investigate my secret, you must not deepen it, the sympathy will reveal it to you, if we understand each other. Don’t ask what separates us. It is enough that we are separated from one another. What surrounds me, does not understand me and overwhelms me and pushes me, but if I try to console myself in poetry I find myself completely.”

Platen, finally understood his unisexual love and has not been damaged or depraved by this fact.

He is 24 years old, he is ardent, in love, and wants to love only in his own way and only the one whom he thinks worthy of being loved.

He wants passionately to find him, throws himself to his search, recovers, and then is happy with the rest of his heart and his job. On May 10th 1820: “Spring has invited everyone, but not me. He saw me as a prisoner, I was attached to his cheeks, to that face. Now I am free, now spring arrives, only now I can fully enjoy it, even if I’m calmer and calmer than streams and roses.”

In July, he feels again in love. But in the month of August he finds that only the echo has remained. His heart asks for love but he doesn’t know whom to love. This condition of uncertainty of desire tears off him many of the most beautiful poems of German literature.

He is very interested in Persian, studies Hafiz, writes fascinating Ghaselen very well received and appreciated, then comes to his great passion for Otto von Bulow in 1821; on July 13th he makes his acquaintance. He was a young dragon officer in Hanover, who had been given permission to spend a year at the University of Erlangen. He was joyous, light, without affectation and without arrogance, always kind and lovable.

Platen, melancholic in nature, who noted with joy and amazement the two friends with whom he had laughed a lot during his life, falls madly, passionately, platonically in love with Otto von Bulow. He reads Shakespeare’s sonnets greedily and finds there all his affection for Bulow. Full of Hafiz and his love, he finds finally the dreamed and desired ideal, we cannot be surprised by the speed with which the passion of Platen was exalted for his “beautiful friend”, as Fugger calls him in his letters to Platen. The poet’s literary activity naturally increases a lot; he studies oriental books and literature, books are brought from London, Vienna, Munich. He reads Calderon and Sophocles, and welcomes the profound religious sentiment that penetrates Ajax. During a brief absence of Bulow, he writes a poem about him where the name of Bulow is found in each stanza. We see his glory but also the fear that Bulow on the chest of a beautiful girl, is perhaps making fun of his friend. “I should die if I did not write to you; forgive me, Bulow, to love you so much. Who would not be chained by these eyes and these cheeks? Who would not like such joy, but above all a heart so honest? The beautiful Bulow doesn’t give it if not to goodness.”

This happiness (I think it is ridiculous to doubt the chastity of such an eloquent and exalted love at that time) did not last long. In early September, Bulow is recalled to his country and Platen accompanies him to Goettingen.

There, abandoned to his despair, he composes most of the “Ghaselen” of the Hafiz Mirror, which exclusively reflects Platen’s love for Bulow. He reads Cervantes, Persiles and Sigismunde, and other books in different languages.

He meets Goethe, and others, but without making any profit, because he receives a letter from Bulow telling him he is forced to stay in Hanover. The despair of Platen appears in his letters to Fugger. He swears he will no more write poems before he sees Bulow again. The delicacy of heart and spirit of the faithful Fugger is recognized by reading his letters. He doesn’t try to console his poor friend by recommending him resignation or oblivion. Instead, he advises him to hope for an encounter with Bulow; Bulow, he says, cannot forget him or stop being grateful [3]. Fugger also comes to spend some time with Platen, in Erlangen, to distract him.

In December 1821, Platen dreams of making a long trip during the Easter period to see Bulow again. He would have traveled on foot, spending about two guldens a day. He would not have had enough money to see Bulow for long, but at least he would have seen him; he could also go to the beach with him.

He reads the Bible every night in bed, and on January 1st he gets the idea of writing a drama about David and Jonathan, which he had already thought of in the past.

On February 3th, he sees the charming Liebig and makes his acquaintance on 17th. The famous scientist was not yet 20 years old and was then, as a long time later, extremely attractive. A tender friendship immediately linked him to Platen. On February 17th Platen writes: “He has clear ideas in everything and knows what he wants; the more two men approach each other, the more they try to reveal themselves to each other, the more they become enigmatic, and only a superficial man can believe that two men really know each other.” He writes verses for Liebig. Liebig left Erlangen almost immediately and in May spent a couple of days with Platen in Darmstadt; he never saw Platen again, but they continued to write, to love each other, to respect each other, and Liebig later publicly witnessed his friendship for Platen. The latter did not go to meet Bulow, for reasons I don’t know. Was it because of lack of money, or did Bulow get too cold for him? In any case, he announced to Fugger, when he returned from his trip, that he only went to Cologne. Explanations were given verbally.

A new passion seems to have taken possession of him, or rather it is the same passion for an ideal that cannot tame or hold back. It is Cardenio whom he considers the new symbol, the new incarnation of his idol. On July 22nd 1822, he wrote an epistle in verse, another on August 19th. He wrote several Ghaselen and in 1823 seven sonnets in Cardenio, and on March 13th a Ghasele (to Krieger, a student in Erlangen), which seems to close the episode: “The edifice of hope is dissolving – and yet we were so well together – dark hair, my face … ” the poems dedicated to Cardenio are among the most autobiographical and clearest.

Platen denies always to burn of a forbidden love, [4] and complains about the cruelty of his friend. Cardenio is cold and proud, thin and sweet. – In the evening Platen saw him working with his curly hair illuminated by the lamp. Cardenio is his last hope, there are times when he thinks they both suffer the same way. He cannot understand if he inspires hatred, a predilection for him or indifference.

Ah! if he could only rest on Cardenio’s beloved breast. Ah! No, because a more beautiful head rests on his chest; “Take this letter, give it to your beloved so that he can ask himself if he feels in himself a consistency like mine.”

He wishes to be the pipe between the lips of Cardenio, who receives his perpetual kiss, envies his cap, he who almost never could touch his hair. He was illuminated one winter evening by Cardenio who wore a torch, and this memory inspires a beautiful sonnet. – After long trials and long doubts, it seems that the enemies of Platen (the poets have always enemies, especially those sober, those closed and those austere who don’t allow themselves too much) have indisposed Cardenio against his friend. A casual fact left them alone all night, and Platen dared to put his arm around Cardenio and confess his love. Cardenio did not seem shy at all, and did not retreat, seemed to be acquiescent with his silence, and Platen left him, drunk with love, believing that their souls were melting, that their hearts went to beat one beside the other, believing that Cardenio belonged to him, but the following days Cardenio became colder, harder and harder, and Platen let himself go to the love lamentations. If his wish had been guilty he would have understood that coldness; all sadden him; he had a spotless mirror in which to look at himself, now he cannot be reflected in what is dead, and hide all the pains that are being prepared for him.

Platen’s wishes are specified: rest on the chest of an intellectual friend, handsome and trustworthy seems to be Platen’s amorous ideal. Three years later, in 1826, the same ideal will be found in the sonnets in Karl-Theodor German, and also in the great triumphal sonnet that is near the end of the sonnets.

This loving aspiration without a sexual purpose pronounced or admitted made the furious and trivial Heine call Platen “tribade man”.

In any case, Platen’s desire, in his orientation and intensity, is absolutely uranian, platonic, unisexual. Sodomy, sexual intercourses are very far from this love; and this is probably what helps him to recover, in Platen’s eyes, what makes him call it an innocent love. From the point of view of religion or the code of social conventions, obviously, one could say that this type of chastity is dangerous and reprehensible, but how can the lover judge in this way a tyrannical love, which asks nothing of what the debauchery demands?

“My love may not be praiseworthy, says Platen one day, but it seems foolhardy to blame it.”

Platen has never been false or hypocritical; and when he proclaimed his love for Otto von Bulow and for Cardenio, he sincerely believed he loved in an elevated and dignified way. He believed in decentralizing the sexual instinct, transfiguring the senses, making them feel spiritual sensations, and consoling the soul by teaching it bodily emotions. “I am for you what the soul is for the body, what the body is for the soul, I am for you what the woman is for the man, [5] what the man is for the woman” He says in a Ghasele, and so frankly expresses the nature of his love. It is the passion of similarity, of homosexuality, which pushes Platen.

The uranism, the unisexuality are different in him in this way: put aside the female sex, his love is addressed neither to the effeminate, nor to the very young, nor to mature men.
Platen has always been in one piece, direct, and as such has also been treated by many illustrious men, with respect and consideration. The list of contemporaries who have paid homage to his character and talent is long and contains noble names. “I, who have never loved art or half-beauty, have the right, he says, to make accents rarely heard”, and it is certainly what his friends thought. Goethe has made a point of honor to publicly pay tribute to Platen and to assert his superiority over Ruckert.

In 1823, after the disappointment of Cardenio, Platen wrote with inspiration and ease several poems, and thanks to the letters of Liebig, thanks to the friendship of Professor Engelhardt, of Schelling, of Bruchmann, of the scientist Doellinger, of Kernell, a young hectic with whom he studied the Swedish, saw splendid days. This is the culmination of his stay in Erlangen. In Platen, who has nothing of the erotomaniac or degenerate, the sufferings of love are followed by a great intellectual activity, as happens to all superior men who don’t seek oblivion in dissipation or pleasure.

He writes in five days “The glass slipper”, a fairy tale. The Swedish phlegmatic Kernell was so fascinated that he threw himself at the Platen’s neck; and the story, read to friends and their wives and sisters, was very successful.

The last Ghaselen were very well received. Platen receives an interesting letter from Cassel, from Ludwig-Sigismund Ruhl, [6]. Ruhl tells him that sympathy is a mystery that he does not want to deepen. The first verses of Platen had already made him known a sympathy that we feel for a few people. He seems to have understood Platen before Platen understood himself and didn’t hesitate to tell him. If they will ever meet, Platen will be able to convince himself of the relationship between their minds and their lives. He wants an answer. Platen asks for his portrait and receives it accompanied by an enthusiastic letter.

Dramatic poetry now interests Platen. He writes the Treasury of Rhampstnit, Aucassin and Nicolette. On 21st August 1824 he goes to Venice. His first volume of comedies earned him 154 florins. Hanover’s aunt sent him six gold louis.

Venice inspired him the admirable Venetian sonnets, and he was enthusiastic about Italian painters, for the gospel of beauty. His artistic taste is perfected and matures progressively.

Venice makes him forget his past life, and he lives in a present without yesterday.

The October 24 he celebrates his birthday in Venice going in the morning to see the Barbara by Palma in the church of Santa Maria Formosa, then Tiziano and Bellini in S. Giovanni e Paolo, then the Cristo by Campagna in San Giuliano, then goes to S. Crisostomo to see Piombo, then to San Samuele to see the “Sebastiano” by Veronese, I don’t continue the itinerary. On November 9th, he leaves Venice and on the 19th he arrives in Munich after seven years of absence. He thinks that he had been happy, unknown and busy there. He goes to see Xylander and his wife and other friends, old and new. He is celebrated, his sonnets are applauded.

He sees again after seven years Euphrasia, whom he had believed to love, and that no other woman had come to erase in his mind. He comes back to Erlangen which now bores him, is punished militarily for having passed his period of military leave, and remains from January 2 till to March 22th at the arrests in Nuremberg. He reads a lot in this period and writes in prose and verse.

On March 23th, he receives a letter from a melancholic poetess, in love with Platen. He does not like Erlangen anymore after Venice and Munich. His friends are too busy, and he needs to see new faces, new places.

On June 14th in Erlangen one of his plays is staged (Aucassin and Nicolette) with great success in front of a young and friendly audience.

He’s acclaimed by the public and is brought to the scene almost in spite of himself. Schelling after the show gathers friends to honor the poet.

Here the fragments of the diary that we owe to Professor Engelhardt and Karl Pfeufer stop. [7]

In 1826 Platen wrote a comedy in the style of Aristophanes and also twenty-six sonnets in Karl-Theodor German, sonnets and elegies, of rebellion, of desires, of passion. In a letter to Fugger, he says that the author of the play is the most unfortunate of men.

These sonnets in Karl-Theodor German are among the most beautiful in German literature. Platen in the sonnet flies above all German poets, including Goethe. The perfection of form, the poignant and sumptuous emotion is reflected in them perfectly. The feeling is the same as Shakespeare’s sonnets (with the personal note) and the form is that of the Italian or French sonnet. Platen in his sonnets has reached one of the peaks of poetry. He apparently received no hostility and evil from this German, but was once again persecuted by his unhappy choice. Those he loved the most were taken away by the absence or never belonged to him. He was always ready to love faithfully, constantly, always, and never had the opportunity to prove his sincerity, but he kept at least one promise, to give immortality, celebrity.

Who would know Otto von Bulow or Karl-Theodor German without the great poet?

The last sonnet (the twenty-first) [8] of the poet soaked in bitterness ends like this: “How tired I am of my country!”

And in the same year he went to Italy where he stayed until his death in Syracuse, with the exception of a trip to Munich to see his beloved mother who became a widow.

The collection of ninety seven sonnets ends in a surprising and unique way. After having consoled himself of his sufferings of love, remembering that he has always restored the balance of his life with all the strength and all the dignity of his soul, the poet who has so loved and suffered so much, ends with an epithalamy of unisexual love victorious and with his own epitaph, saying calmly what he did, boasting that pure style that has not been overcome, his odes and sonnets, and his influence on the German language.

He arrived in Rome on the thirtieth anniversary of his birth and died in Syracuse December 5th 1835.

This is not a biography of Platen, nor even his literary history. For this reason, a few lines will suffice. Having had great success (and being conscious of it) in the Ghasele, in the song, and in the sonnet, the ode is the only lyrical form that enchants him and he writes odes ever more complicated and formally rigorous. Now he knows himself thoroughly. What amuses the others down there in his country does not amuse him. Nature, for his suffering, honed his hearing and allowed him to use music to perpetuate all pain. He has been slandered and, despite his silence, he suffers a lot. Even in politics (and politics interests him more and more) he cannot say what he thinks. We must therefore put aside (he tells in an ode) the mantle of illusion, the embroidered garment of the senses.

And the following ode, with its love melancholy of honey kisses, its sighs and its looks, messengers of happiness, perhaps, and the silence and darkness, show that the poetic sentiment did not even sleep in this attractive Italy. Did he not then frequently see a young Italian artist, the most beautiful creature he had ever met? But soon his goodness, his affection and his desire to be useful bind him to August Kopisch, musician and poet, who himself expressed his gratitude to his illustrious friend.

“Our bond is not like the most part of the bonds, said Platen, our witnesses are the sea and the earth. The image of your image for a long time was in me, from the moment in which the vocation to friendship had awakened in my soul that longs to see itself again, but more noble, in another person. Chest against chest, servants of love, let us build a new Rome to that love.”

After 1829 the love poems cease. That year the Romantic Oedipus appears, a great comedy in the style of Aristophanes; then, in 1833, a history of the Kingdom of Naples from 1414 to 1443, then the League of Cambrai; then, in 1834, the beautiful poem in nine songs, the Abassids; then, in 1854, the second edition of his poems. After his death his political poems were published.

The climate of Italy, his many Italian friends, the Germans who traveled there, the admirers who wrote to him, his friends in Germany who always loved him, and the absence of the coercions he had undergone in Germany, certainly made him more happy the years of Italy. And one can be sure that even in this voluptuous Italy and less hypocritical than his Bavaria, Platen didn’t renounce either his principles or his dignity. The pleasure without love never inspired him, and a poet so autobiographical would have surely sung the beautiful bodies and the classic caresses if venal love had played an important role in his life. And a man so honest and truthful (his mother, who survived him, said he never told a lie), if he wrote, he would write the truth. Before 1829 there are still very beautiful odes of love, and one would be surprised if after suffering so much to love without body, Platen had not been tempted by bodies without souls; tempted, but not defeated.

When it will be decided to publish Platen’s complete diary, I think that morality, psychology and literature will gain a lot.

Platen is, in my opinion, clearly the male poet and uranist of the enthusiastic friendship and higher uranism. And, as he himself said, if it is impossible to praise his conception of love, it is foolhardy to blame it. He wanted to satisfy in the most intellectual and ideal the needs of his delicate and ardent nature, always seeking the image he had within himself, trying to find this very noble mirror, not content with any other consolation that friendship and art, when he lacked love. Because you must not confuse his friendships and his loves. His friendships were lasting because they were based on his solid virtues; his loves were not because they were an illusion, an ideal to be pursued, of symbols of worship.

“Are there two souls that understand each other completely? He said; man must seek the answer to this enigma, looking for men like him, until death, until he can seek and die.”

In a letter to Schwab Guslav, from Rome, February 16th 1828, Platen talks about a young Waiblinger who had written a poem for him and wanted one. The poet refused because this Waiblinger repelled him too much. “He has talent, but not enough. His stay in Italy is fatal. His poems are no better because he puts inside the Pantheon, the Colosseum, etc. .. But how do you want him to became a Sophocles when he lived like a pig, which he admits every day, because his frankness, he is not afraid of be disgusting. Lord Byron, it is true, was able to give some credentials to the libertine geniuses, but certainly he did not behave badly not even a half of what they said, and then lived in luxury and did not need to attend taverns and brothels.”

Relationships between truthfulness, lies and sexual life are tight. The effeminate people are liars at all levels, from the meticulous perfidy to the unconsciousness, to the incontinence of falsehoods. They observe things badly and report badly what they have observed. The exaggerations of lies and sexuality are well known from hysteric, sick, criminal, insane people.

The courtesans or the independents, Ninon de l’Enclos and her followers have sometimes boast to be honest, which is very difficult for many effeminate men, and even impossible for a certain number.

The uranist, the unisexual male, like Platen or Michelangelo, who is sincere with himself and with others, is in a particular position as regards his sexuality, once he has reached the age of reason. His fiery, lively, flammable temperament makes him want furiously a complete love without fear, without restraint and without suspicion, the determination in love, at the same time, has an ideal of which it would not know how to do without. He cannot pretend to love someone who doesn’t seem worthy to him just to achieve the sweetness of illusion. The effeminate, the presumptuous, the greedy, the fickle, the curious man, those who would abandon themselves to appearances for a little fun, cannot understand the position of the uranist whom truth and truthfulness defend from frivolous pleasures, from deceiver passions, from relationships that don’t last, and that give too much to do, too much to hope for, in order to get drunk with the pleasures of the street Eros.

Let’s teach first of all truth, veracity, sincerity, if we want the sexual man, heterosexual or unisexual, do not stumble under the weight of his sexuality.
________

[1] Subject of these youthful poems is the love of a girl for her beloved.
[2] The same timidity, the same “taciturna natura” (“taciturn nature”) [in Italian in the text], the same slowness and “ritrosità” (“backwardness”) [in Italian in the text] towards new knowledges, the same stubbornness, the same obstinacy. He was pleased, like him, to be noble because he could more easily despise the prejudices of his caste without being accused of envy. He didn’t even like dance. He could not get used to military coercion, and always felt a certain melancholy when he didn’t like someone or something.
[3] Once again I have to neglect several interesting nuances and several delicate shades.
[4] Like Michelangelo in many poems.
[5] Heine has committed the vulgar action of mentioning only this hemistich and not the next.
[6] A biography of this interesting man is desirable.
[7] Published in 1860.
[8] To K. T. German.

____________
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MARRIED GAY GUYS

This post is dedicated to married gays. I will leave aside all the considerations linked to sexual orientation related to guys who have a straight sex life at the couple level and have a typically gay sex life at the masturbation level, because these considerations have an important meaning only before getting married. I will start here from the situation of married gays, as it showed itself to me through the chats with people living this condition.

The totality (or almost totality) of married gays arrives at the wedding with the full awareness of being gay. These are guys who have been masturbating for years exclusively with gay fantasies, that is, thinking about guys, who often have lived sexual experiences with other guys even after 15/16 years of age and even in adulthood, after 20 years of age, and have considered these experiences as “something that everyone does” (including hetero guys) and therefore not indicative of a gay orientation, even if in reality the involvement of a gay guy in a group masturbation session is very different from that of a straight guy. All this, ignoring seemingly minor episodes, such as experiencing erection in the presence of certain guys or the desire to see them naked in the locker rooms of gyms or swimming pools.

The pressure towards heterosexuality (conscious or unconscious) exerted by the environment on these guys has been so strong as to bring them to stop their gay instincts at the level of masturbation and to orient themselves at the same time towards a couple heterosexual sex.

Generally when a guy who suffered a strong social pressure towards heterosexuality, despite his being gay, that is even though oriented in his free sexuality (which manifests itself in masturbation) towards other guys, experiences for the first time a sexual intercourse with a girl his reaction is not necessarily bad at all and, whatever the level of sexual involvement in the contact with the girl (even minimal) is, that sexual intercourse becomes the typical sign that “the gay problem is overcome”. A gay man is a gay man, not an impotent and, especially when he has lived for years in a situation of substantial sexual deprivation, if he is close to a girl in love with him, in a situation that pushes him to a heterosexual intercourse that has at least some features of intimacy and non-superficial warmth, can very well get to have a heterosexual intercourse somehow satisfying. It is clear that such a intercourse has nothing to do with the expression of the free sexuality of that guy who, even feeling terribly guilty, will continue “episodically” to masturbate thinking about guys, or will eventually completely repress his free sexuality forcing himself to put aside masturbation altogether in the belief that masturbation is the cause of the homosexuality.

The first straight intercourses of a gay guy lead him to the idea of having finally overcome the “gay phase” and to have found a “mature sexuality”. Often, for these guys, the fear that gay impulses will forcefully return to be felt is a push to intensify heterosexual intercourses and to go to marriage quickly. It’s the typical idea: “You saved me from homosexuality”, or: “If I get married and can have sex with her every day I will not think about masturbation and my gay impulses will disappear”. Often, therefore, gay guys who go to the marriage, experience periods of intense heterosexual activity, which however are characterized by a deep sense of ambiguity because in almost all cases, these guys, even making love every day with their girls (or with their young wives, if they have already married them) never talk with their mates about their sexual orientation problems. With wives, in principle, at least for some years after marriage, gay husbands do not even mention the problem of homosexuality, there is therefore no real interpersonal communication between husband and wife, who have daily sexual contacts but without an adequate level of trust and mutual communication.

In a percentage of cases around 10%, the guys talk to the girls openly about their doubts of being homosexuals, doubts that are automatically underestimated by girls, who having a straight sexuality are led to think that their boyfriends, by the simple fact that they have sex with them, can only be straight. Generally, a girl is more afraid of her boyfriend’s infidelity with another girl than of the fact that her boyfriend is gay. In some cases the girl thinks she can sexually reorient her boyfriend towards an exclusive heterosexuality by “sexually cuddling” her boyfriend exasperatedly, what results usually in a very quick and clear reaction of rejection. These attitudes as “Red Cross nurse of love” are lived by the guys as aggressive and not respectful towards them.

In the situations described above, the girl still remains convinced of the substantial heterosexuality of the guy but, in some cases at least (rare but not sporadic) the girl has instead full awareness of the fact that her partner is gay and she accepts him as such, that is, the girl, who is really in love with her boyfriend, consciously agrees to stay close to him without any sexual contact or with a sexual contact limited only to the purpose of conception of children, children who may also be explicitly desired by the guy. These attitudes that have something heroic (in a sense at least) are linked to the fact that the solitude of each of the two spouses with respect to the outside is so strong that they must bind each other with a kind of very close symbiosis in order to survive.

It should be emphasized that when a hug is too tight and too long-lasting it risks taking your breath away. In situations like the one described, mutual dependence is very strong and is felt as a bond that sooner or later ends up becoming constrictive. There are couples, and I have known some, who consciously married only to have children, and there are cases (and I have seen some examples) in which a heterosexual wife helps her gay husband to live like a gay man, an attitude in which the boundaries between pleasure and suffering are very fragile. In all these cases, however (about 15-20% of the total married gays) between husband and wife there is still a frank dialog and at least a relationship of friendship and mutual respect. When a gay guy marries a straight girl and they have no children the problems connected to the possible separation are above all of social and patrimonial nature.

Often a gay guy agrees to be with a girl by excluding in his mind the hypothesis of having children and when he realizes that this hypothesis for his wife is essential, the marriage becomes a kind of imposition for him. When there are children the problem of the relationship of a gay married with his homosexuality is extremely more delicate. The emergence of a homosexual tendency is experienced by a gay man who has children as something that can jeopardize the relationship with the children and the feelings of guilt can be very profound. I met a 49-year-old gentleman a few months ago, who had never had a conscious perception of his homosexuality (an exception in the field of married gays), he had a son more than 20 years old but nevertheless he realized that he had a sexual interest for a work colleague. When this gentleman contacted me in his words I felt a deep anguish, due to the fact that he had never suspected he could be gay and was scared of such idea, because his knowledge of gays derived only from reading newspapers and from attitudes typical of the mass media. This gentleman, whom I had the opportunity to hear several times, sincerely loved his wife and son and came to speak openly with both his wife and his son who accepted it and, paradoxically, this form of sincerity has strengthened family ties. That gentleman agreed to live his sexuality as a very private thing exclusively in terms of masturbation and fantasy, totally giving up the idea of looking for a mate and as people say in such situations of “making a new life”.

The solution may seem like a compromise solution to gays who have not been married and who have never had a heterosexual satisfactory family life, but for that gentleman radical choices would have involved a violent cut with the previous life and would have had very little prospect of leading to realization of a new life with another man.

In most cases, however, the family situations of married gays are quite different and much heavier. The lack of sincerity on the problem of homosexuality involves the establishment of a series of formal relationships and under them a series of conflicts, affective life becomes over time a sort of recitation or due act. With his wife, if she requires a frequent sexual intimacy, a married gay ends up pretending, which usually involves many problems, such as the lack of erection that can worry the wife but doesn’t worry her husband who knows that during masturbation with gay fantasies erection is all right. These problems touch the sphere of sexual intimacy of the couple and can be disruptive. Generally, at first a married gay guy tries to repress his homosexuality but over time this attempt is useless and the illusion of heterosexuality turns into a fiction of heterosexuality. The gay impulses are strengthened as the relationship with the wife deteriorates.

It is only right that I explicitly break a spear in favor of the wives who are often completely unaware of the true motivation of the deterioration of the relationship with their husbands and who live, also themselves, really difficult moments. Basically, even if their husbands acted in good faith or did not really realize what they would do with marriage, these women were misled about the true sexual identity of their husbands, who, moreover, were also confused about the matter. The fact remains that at a certain point, a woman who has married a gay man without being aware of it, understands that relations with her husband are substantially frozen, sexual intercourses are completely absent, dialogue is completely lacking, at least on important issues, and marriage is in crisis. When there are children the problem becomes difficult to manage, because in case of separation there is the problem of the entrustment that creates further conflicts between husband and wife which are often resolved in court.

How does he live his sexuality a gay married who has passed the phase (which in many cases doesn’t even exist) of the illusion of being heterosexual? Here the answers are the most varied:

1) The husband accustomed to sexual repression up to play the part of the heterosexual, limits himself to live a gay sexuality in terms of masturbation and porn sites found on the Internet. Such situations are, at most, compatible with the preservation of marriage, at least on a formal level, where there are children, because the external aspect of the family doesn’t change. Often this is the state of affairs to which things stop. The husbands can get to forums like Gay Project or other serious gay sites and simply look for friendships with other gays, often married too, in chat and at a distance. This solution allows a married gay to find a safety valve that puts him in a position to talk openly about his problems and also to find serious answers. It is obviously a compromise solution, but in situations such as those in which a gay married and with children lives it is a situation that is in many respects acceptable, since in most cases we are speaking about men who are no longer young and are totally lacking knowledge about the true life of gays. It should be borne in mind that for a non-young man the chances of finding a “serious” companion (that is, not the one-night experience [risk of aids!]) are not very high and moreover few gay men would be available to build an affective, stable and serious relationship with a man who has a family, has children and therefore has a number of other very strong emotional bonds.

2) If the husband thinks he has to regain lost time looking for a companion with whom to live his affectivity and his sexuality, and the husband is still thirty or so, he can experience situations similar to those of the so-called “frenetic phase” of sexuality of those who discover themselves gay or finally release their gay sexuality at a fully adult age. These guys are not content to masturbate looking at a porn site but sign up for erotic chats and dating sites, giving credit to the idea that the problem of finding a partner is actually a problem that can be solved easily “with a little effort”. Through the chat they get to sexual encounters, often even at risk of AIDS, because a user of dating sites can also have over 100 different partners in a year! Apart from the risk of AIDS, occasional sexual encounters generate feelings of disgust and frustration after the first times. However, it does not follow a rationalization of the behaviors but only the repetition of other attempts with other partners. I emphasize that in these situations the emotional dimension, which is essential in a gay’s emotional and sexual life, is practically completely absent. After a little practice of erotic chats and dating sites, a depressive phase takes place that depending on age can be more or less heavy.

3) There is however a third path followed by married gays towards their gay identity, and it is a path that can only be done in two. I state that the concrete realization of this third way, which is that of “loving friendship”, is not the result of an individual initiative, but is connected to the idea of being already really in two, that there is an “original affective couple reciprocity” and that a real relationship of affectionate friendship already exists, on which an explicit sexual dimension can also be inserted. Given that married gays who end up in a marriage crisis are not very young and are not only undeclared as gay but are declared as hetero, for them the idea of living their sexuality and their affectivity in a strictly private dimension is fundamental. In dating sites and erotic chats there are often people who don’t have too many problems to declare themselves gay, to go to gay clubs and to be seen around with mates clearly gay. Such things are very embarrassing for a married gay, for whom therefore the option of the amorous friendship remains substantially the most desirable. If that friendship is lived with great discretion, it allows the marriage to be maintained at least on a formal level and in some cases even the wives are not in principle opposed to such solutions that allow a stable relationship between the gay father and the children, avoiding putting their emotional growth at risk. I saw, in about 30% of cases, the development of a loving friendship between a married gay and a friend of his, also gay and undeclared. These relationships, even if they occur between fully adult men, have the freshness and genuineness of the first affective contacts between adolescents, allow the two partners to live a deep affective dimension and to integrate sexuality with moments of non-sexual intimacy, linked to totally sincere dialogue and openness and to mutual trust without restrictions, all things that have an enormous value and help not to trivialize sexual intercourse.

For the moment I stop here. I await further input from readers to be able to broaden and deepen the discussion. I would like to point out that the statistical sites show the constant presence of readers who use on the Google search engine keys to Gay Project as “married gays”. The problem exists and it is not statistically irrelevant as usually believed.

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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-married-gay-guys