GAY LOVE BEFORE AND AFTER

Hi Project,

I have read many articles on gay couples, from those of a scientific-sociological type to those of gossip, to those of couple sexology, in those articles we can find everything: sex, sexual fantasies, the possible accomplishments of those fantasies, social roles, tolerance and of course beauty and charm, etc. etc., but in my opinion we always lack the fundamental element, that is loving each other really. Loving will also be a matter of sex, I don’t deny it, but in my opinion it is much more.

I don’t know why with some people it happens and with other people it doesn’t happen at all, but loving each other means first of all to respect each other, to understand each other, also in one’s own diversity. The other is not another myself, in him I don’t love myself but something different that I feel similar, sure, but not identical, I love his freedom even when it pushes him away from me, I love his being different from me and his loving me in spite of everything, a love that enhances me and makes me feel alive, appreciated, gratified.

Couple is good only when you really love each other, when you want the good of the other, when his happiness matters more than yours, but to love each other it is not necessary to be sexual partners.

I had a beautiful story with a guy I loved so much and who loved me so much, we’re not together anymore, but we still love each other, because the respect, the affection, the understanding that existed between us have remained the same, sexual exclusivity has failed, and yet we continue to love each other, even if he has a new partner and then, who said that you can love only one person at a time? If my ex needed me, I would do anything for him, because I love him, and I’m sure his current partner would not be jealous and would be the first to push me in that direction, among other things we know each other and estimate.

The only thing that could have put in crisis the relationships between me and my ex-partner would have been the deception, telling one thing and doing another, but that’s exactly what has never happened between us.

Legal obligations cannot create feelings. I never understood the guys who hate their ex-boyfriends, if they hate them “after” it means they didn’t love them “before”. I always considered my ex a great person from all points of view, I totally trusted him. Now we are no longer a couple but I continue to consider him an excellent person, I have not changed my thought about him because we are no longer a couple. In my opinion, we all, and in particular we gays make ourselves fascinated from the traditional model of marriage, which contains objective absurdities.

I try to explain better: when a man and a woman get married, at least when they marry with a religious rite, they promise eternal love, meaning for love not only respect and dedication but even exclusive sexual involvement and in promising something of this kind they commit to guaranteeing something that is not in their power. I can promise respect and assistance in case of need, these are the things I can promise, as for the exclusive sexual involvement, which is not a choice but is something free and spontaneous, I can at most say that that involvement exists now, but since it is not a voluntary act, I cannot promise anything for the future.

But perhaps traditional marriage is independent of love, does not oblige me to love a person for life but only to abstain from sexual relations with other people, which means that it forces me to behave absolutely not spontaneously. Now, perhaps in the hetero field such behavior can make sense because there are the interests of the children to be safeguarded, admitted and not granted that it is better for the child to have a parent legally committed to sexual fidelity, which seems to me to be all absurd, or at least I consider it as an undue simplification because it aims to guarantee forcibly what is not coercible. But for a gay couple, with no children, the marriage model makes no sense, because the only thing that matters is love, which is different from sexual fidelity.

I am not a boy, I am 55 years old and my ex-partner is just a little younger. Two years ago I had a heart attack and I was in danger of ending up badly. I no longer had close relatives and I was entrusted in practice to voluntary associations. I had not said anything to my ex-partner so as not to create any obligations of any kind.

He came to know that I was in hospital from other people and he immediately came to see me at the hospital. It was summer and he was on vacation with his partner. They broke off their holidays and came to me right away, they both came, and they did the shifts so as not to leave me alone until I was discharged from the hospital, then they came to stay at my house, they just moved to my house, as long as I have been convalescing, that is, for about two months and returned to their home only when they saw that I could be self-sufficient and, even after, they came often to see me and still do.

I saw that my ex was happy and that his partner was a very serious man. I felt loved by them. I know that this is not the kind of love that generally people consider more important, yet for me, this kind of love was the only real push towards the exit from my problems, that is the only real push towards life. I add one thing: since then we spend the holidays together and I can only say that we are fine.

Thirty years ago I would never have imagined such a situation. Thirty years ago I had many models in my mind and I dreamed of things that seemed beautiful to me, but they were totally unreal and I was not able to value the things I actually had. Then, slowly , I began to realize and understand what it really means to love each other. I understood it, in practice only as an old man.

Think, Project, that when I decided to separate with my ex-partner, I thought we would not see each other anymore, because in my opinion, the alternatives were just two: or perfect love (the fable) or total indifference, if not even hatred. But it was not like that at all. I never felt betrayed or cheated, I never thought I had thrown away the years of my life, none of this, simply, I learned to understand how beautiful can be live a relationship that remains a relationship of love, of respect and mutual affection, even when sexual attraction fails.

I am not an advocate of free love in the sense of experiencing sexuality superficially with the first guy you can find and just after Bye-Bye! No, none of this, but love is free and, if it is true love, it doesn’t fail even when sexual attraction vanishes. I tried to tell my experience to young gay boys but they looked at me with suspicion, as if I were a pathological case, for them there are a lot of models and I think this is the reason that causes them so much dissatisfaction. If I deeply internalize the models of fairy tales and confuse them with reality, I will end up being always disappointed by reality.

Reality must be understood, we must learn to see its positive sides, which are many even if they are not so evident. It took me years to overcome the behavior patterns of the matrimonial type but I can say that now I feel much freer.

I must say, however, that I don’t believe that my experience is easily generalizable, because my ex-partner is really a special person; if I were in love with a superficial person, incapable of true feelings and conditioned to the point of having to react always and only in the standard way, probably in those schemes I would have become entangled too. I do not want to be a teacher, because I was extremely lucky, but I have to say that my out-of-scheme experience was not a failure and it was in practice the discovery of a new world, much less conditioned and much more authentic. If you think it’s appropriate, publish this email, maybe for someone it could be useful.
Laurence

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GAYS AND SPECIAL FRIENDSHIPS

This post is devoted to an often underestimated aspect of interpersonal relationships and in particular of gay interpersonal relationships, namely the value and meaning of deep gay friendships.

To introduce the topic, I quote a mail I’ve received by a thirty-two-year-old guy.

“I don’t have a boy, that is, I don’t have a couple story in the sense that this expression commonly has. I have had occasions but it was not exactly what I wanted. Bet just on one person, if things are fine, can lead to happiness, but if things go wrong or just don’t go good as hoped, it leads to long periods of stress when the relationship crises and slowly falls. I have experienced such things a couple of times and, frankly, I don’t intend to repeat it. I don’t know if this is a renunciation, a way to put apart the idea of finding love, but frankly I don’t think so. The myth of the ideal companion of the so-called blue prince does not convince me and frankly I think that my personal well-being depends essentially on me and on what I do more than on another person who should give me happiness, or rather the other person can be important, but if the relationship works, the story must be built together and one cannot expect everything to rain from the sky with the arrival of the blue prince.

At present, as I said, I don’t have a boyfriend, but I have a special friend with whom sometimes there is a bit of sex, but it happens rarely, we are essentially two friends who love each other, who appreciate and respect each other, who understand that they can very well have each one his own live, but first of all we speak clear to each other, we don’t tell lies, and I think it is for this reason that our relationship goes on. Since the last meeting when we had sex, two months passed, in these two months a couple of times we had sex by phone, I know it looks shabby, but it has never been so for us, it’s useful to confirm us in the idea that there is also that kind of interest between us, but I would like to emphasize that it is not for sex that we are, so to speak, together. Our relationship is based on other things, which, viewed from outside, may seem stupid and of no significance, such as our way of communicating security to each other about the fact that we continue to love each other, and above all, to speak clearly. When he felt the need to stay with another guy, he told me it the simplest way. I frankly knew that this fact would not crush our relationship, which went on, for a while without sex, but with the same mutual attentions, with the same emphasis on the idea that we are happy to be together. He has spent a long period of trouble with the university and has lost a couple of years, if I have to tell the truth, this fact has created me many more problems than the fact that he was with another guy, a very serious guy who really loved him. When he came out of the negative period and began to study, he made me know, without much emphasis, that things had changed for the better, because he knew that this would make me immensely happy. I believe that at the base of our relationship there is the certainty that we will continue to love each other, of course without any kind of constraints, but we will certainly continue. I know he will not forget about me and that there will always be our highest sincerity. When I hear him by phone, I really want to close the phone call pointing out that I’m very happy to have spoken with him, and I’m really happy, he is less expansive, but he knows I’ll always be fine with him. In fact, we’ve known each other for 10 years now and our relationship has never really gone into crisis. In short, we are a certainty for each other. I do not know if this means being a couple, in a way we are, but only in a way.”

Another testimony can highlight the central value of the so called small things.

“Dear Project, for me today it’s a beautiful day! A few days ago I had a chance to know a little closer a beautiful guy I knew even before but very superficially. We talked and he somehow surprised me. I asked him if he had a boyfriend and he told me no and added that he wasn’t looking for boyfriend but for something else, that is, he was looking for real friends. I don’t doubt that this answer has cooled my enthusiasm a bit, but then we talked about so many things and I appreciated a lot what he said. We talk many times on skype, we joke, we’re together for hours, but we always say that it’s just a friendship. I find it difficult to consider him just as a friend, for me he is much more, but he insists that we are only friends, although friendship is not at all trivial, certainly there are no sexual prospects but I realize that he in a way loves me really. He told me one thing that made me think a lot: “I’m gay, but I’m just looking for a true friend, you are a very good and affectionate guy, and I’m fond of you but I’m not in love with you, I’m just fine with you” I wondered what’s the difference. Is the difference in having or not having sex? I don’t know what to think. One night he comes under my house unexpectedly and we go for a pizza and then we stay in the car talking, I think we’ll have some sex, but it doesn’t happen, I tell him I’d be expecting it but he answers: “I told you, I’m just looking for a true friend, if you’re not ok with this, you have to tell me clearly.” I think I offended him and probably he wouldn’t call me again, but that’s not the case, after three days he comes another time under my home, I come down to him and he tells me, “Just friends?” and I tell him, “Ok!”

A third interesting testimony comes from a forty-year-old single who created a relationship of friendship with a fifty-year-old single.

“He’s ten years older than me and he did his experiences, but I also had my stories, and as a result we tried to avoid getting together like a couple just dreaming to realize what we hoped for, we chose to stay on low profile things, simple but real. We often call each other on the phone, we often talk about work, because we work in very similar areas, mostly when we feel in times of difficulty and when we need to vent a little. He has problems with his older parents and has to deal with them because he has no brothers or sisters. I see him rarely, I can hear him by phone every day, but we never end up in ritual or repetitive phone calls. We start from work problems and then talk about anything else. Occasionally I propose a pizza, but rarely we can go really to have a pizza because he is bound by the family and then we talk by phone only and sometimes talk just a little. We never talked about the possibility of transforming our relationship into a true couple relationship, first of all because it would not be possible for logistical reasons and then because it is a hypothesis that really does not interest either him or me. We just feel that way. So things work. There is the phone call at least once a day and occasionally there is a pizza, but when there are serious problems we always talk and even for hours. Perhaps it will be an attempt to remedy solitude, but somehow it works and we experience the positive effects of such things. He tells me that he feels quiet now, that he no longer has the feeling of having failed in his life, that he has recovered a prospect for the future so that he will not age completely alone. I tell him I feel comfortable with him, and that’s true. Certainly this was not my dream of so many years ago, but my dream had nothing real, while my friend (I do not even say my companion) really exists and is a fundamental point of reference.”

These three documents, which represent different but not standard ways of experiencing gay affection and sexuality, are quite common situations far beyond what people believe; are actually three different answers to the crisis of the traditional couple model. Relationship models inspired by traditional heterosexual marriage have been in crisis for many years in the same heterosexual field and the attempts to apply them to the homosexual field have proven to be functional in a relatively small percentage of cases: stable and rigidly monogamous homosexual couples exist and in the time of HIV it is certainly not a negative fact, but gays who no longer seek a couple’s relationship of that type are now very numerous. New models are being formed, as the three mails clearly show. Let us now try to understand what is behind these new models.

It is first noted that sexuality is not the determining factor of the relationship, in some cases it is present in a sporadic way, that is, it is not excluded a priori, in others it does not explicitly enter into the relationship and is indeed deliberately kept far away. The basis of these relationships is the affectivity, and the central value is always speaking with the utmost clarity, namely, not hiding anything from your friend-companion. Sexual fidelity is not a founding element, but the honesty in declaring one’s own feelings is it.

Secondly, the absence of formal ties is often stressed: the relationship is totally free, it resists precisely because it is wanted and renewed day by day. Paradoxically, stability stems from the absence of formal ties.

Third, affectivity is cultivated through a series of reciprocal attentions that show an interest to the person of the companion. That interest may be sexual, but it can also be simply affective, it can sometimes result in a love without sex, in a relationship that is an “almost family relationship”.

The apparent internal weakness of such relationships makes them more rare and more stable than almost matrimonial relationships based on sexual fidelity. In other words, in order to create affectivity-based relationships, you have not to conform to models but you must have a certain experience of affective life, but that is why, when these relationships arise, they are the result of a well-meditated choice made by people who have now gone beyond mythical visions of couple’s life.

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GAY DISCOMFORT, UNRELIABLE ADULTS AND MYTHS OF VIRILITY AND MASCULINITY

Hello Project,
there is something I like about your forum, there are no jeremiads, laments, and various forms of victimism. After all, gays have so many problems and in some countries they are actually persecuted, but in Europe or the United States, they have to endure just the weight of ignorance, still very high, and the preconceptions that are the biggest obstacle to a true gay integration. Many of the gay problems stem from the fact that they are not a majority, they cannot impose anything but have to be accepted by making others grow and slowly leading them to overcoming preconceptions and homologation.

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

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

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

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

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

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THOUGHTS OF A GAY OVER 50

Hello Project,
you wrote so many things on gay guys! Just an infinity. In many of those things and in many of the stories you’ve published I’ve found something I’ve experienced, but I think you miss something, which is perhaps trivial, but for me today represents the last stage of my being gay. At age 51, dear Project, I feel I have come to the destination: I don’t have a companion and I never had one, I dreamed it, that’s true, but I never worked hard to have one, and if it was that is to say that my interest in the couple’s life was, in the end, quite superficial. If I see really nice men or guys, I still look at them, because they are objectively nice, but now I have no more fantasies about couple’s life. I have my stability, my work, my banality, my daily life, and really I’m not looking for anything else.
 
About ten months ago, I met unexpectedly a guy a lot younger than me, who was not yet thirty, and for a while we have been dating, but then I realized that it was he who wanted our relationship to go on and that I hadn’t the interest that should have had. It was a difficult situation, he wanted us to go on but I just didn’t feel like it, I would have liked it to be a quiet friendship without any other implications, so I would have accepted it but he wanted something else and didn’t understand that in those things you cannot pretended. We went on for a couple of months and then our story was over, and I’m a little sorry because he’s a good guy, but I wouldn’t go back to those days. Here it is, my state of mind now is this, I want to be quiet, I’m convinced that basically I can live better alone, in theory it’s also possible that I make a meeting of those that upset your life, but these are only theoretical hypotheses.
 
What’s left of gay at age 51? A bit of porn, just when I want to, which in practice means at most one night a week, a bit of masturbation that same night, and that’s all. Perhaps also the pleasure of reading some themed books, which tell gay stories that end up well. Obviously I have nothing against other gays, which for me are just an unknown planet, now my interests are more vulgar, now I think about making money but not to get rich, something that will never happen, but to have a quieter retirement age. I often think myself at my present age, as the caretaker of another older myself, when I will really need a caretaker, caring for myself! It’s a bit like a form of social security, I’m working more today to be able to repose more quietly tomorrow. I have read stories of men much older than me, but athletic and used to having to do with guys. Frankly, these things seem to me pathetic: there is a time for each thing and the time of the hormones to the highest level has been a long time since! I do not feel one who threw the sponge but one who does not want to pretend to be what he is no longer.
 
What puzzles me is that a serious friendship, which for me would be great, actually does not seem to interest anyone, that is that a sexless relationship, at my age, is considered pathological, more or less the typical behavior of a loser. But I think that what I read on the web about these things is not the attitude of gays but only of those who are deluding or want to delude themselves to have eternal youth. When I was 40, I was already out of a lot of situations, and I had the clear feeling that the time to fall in love was over. Now that I’ve passed the 50s, the feeling has become a certainty that is corroborated by the facts. I don’t know if I’m a pathological case, it might also be, but I stopped experiencing illusions many years ago and I think I live a lot better.
 
I like to read your forum, it’s very well done and it’s about real things. If you want, post this mail too, perhaps someone like me could appear looking for a quiet friendship, but probably if someone appeared, I would retire in good order as it always happened. 
 
Hi Project and thank you for everything you do.
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A TRUE GAY BETRAYAL

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

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

GAY GUYS AND COMPULSORY MILITARY SERVICE

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