I read a lot on your forum and also the manual Being Gay and I breathed a sigh of relief, from these readings comes out an image of gay life that is very close to what I live. I had surfed a lot on the Internet looking for something realistic, but frankly I was always disappointed. I also spent a period approaching chats and apps dedicated to gays and there, for me, it was just like going to explore the moon. I wondered: but how is it possible that there are no “normal” gay guys, that is guys not obsessed with sex and no too much engaged with the gay movement, guys who mustn’t necessarily have a flag. I, with one exception that you will soon understand, have never seen the classic next door gay guy. Ok, we are few, even if not very few, but I didn’t see even a single gay guy and I didn’t even perceive a vague trace of them, just zero!
I’m 26 years old, throughout the university period I was very careful to spy on possible gay signals but I didn’t find any, or at least some clues were so labile that I was discouraged from going forward at any level. Then I found Gay Project, there were many beautiful testimonies, but, Project, are all old, even several years old, of this year there is very little, almost nothing, in short, Project, gay guys have escaped also from Gay Project! Where did they go? I think in the apps that explode for how many people you can find there, but it’s a shame, because the forum serves to reflect and understand something of the lives of others and also of one’s own live. However, I close this parenthesis and come to the main motivation for my email. In practice, the story is about my relationship with the chats and some people known in chat, especially with one.
A couple of years ago, after a thousand hesitations, after doubts, scruples and everything you want, I register on a famous app for gay dating, I don’t name it, but I think you understand what I mean. When I enter for the first time I feel like Pinocchio in the Country of the toys. I said to myself: “But it’s all so easy! But how did I not understand it before? I was totally stupid!” I get the first contact. I expect something very rough: four questions and then to the point! But no, I find a very kind guy who asks me how long I have been using the app, what is my name, in which region of Italy I am, etc. etc., in practice a normal chat, then asks me if we can see each other on cam, here I remain very perplexed, a little I had to imagine it, but then and there I felt caught on the counterattack, I finally told him that I didn’t feel like doing it, he tried to insist, but I didn’t change my mind and then he greeted me with a very characteristic phrase: “So what are you doing here?”
However, that experience put me in front of a Shakespearean doubt that I had to solve: “Cam or not cam?” In the end I told myself that app without cam makes no sense and I decided that I would show up on cam (dressed, of course !). At the next contact, more or less the same ritual, a little chatter and then the request to go on cam. I open the cam, but I find myself in front of a guy who doesn’t inspire me: long dirty nails, greasy hair, no! Just repellent and moreover probably over 40! Before making him talk I told him brutally: “You’re not my type, I’m not interested, bye!” He replied with unspeakable insults: “Piece of sh.t … you’re beautiful! Ugly asshole!!” Then I closed and it ended there.
After an abstinence from the app lasted a few days, I try again, at the beginning the script is more or less the usual, we open the cam, well, this time I have to say that the guy gives me a good impression, he’s not the guy of my dreams, but I think it’s worth trying with him, but he immediately freezes me: “No, forget it! You’re not my type, I like more fat guys, I’m sorry, Bye!” After having been put down this way, I deleted the app, but a couple of months later I downloaded it again and this time at the first shot I make bingo, I like the guy, he’s young, he says he’s 23 years old, moreover he’s nice and he doesn’t close the cam but goes on chatting.
We speak, in practice never talk about sex, but he doesn’t even talk about women as happened with a guy I had met in a chat. Let’s say this he was not bad, we spend a week chatting and he never talks about sex, ok, I tell myself that maybe he’s a bit ‘inhibited, on the other hand he’s young, we spend chatting another week and we talk about everything from fractals to quarks, from mandalas to coelacanth but we never talk about sex. I have never endured those who speak immediately about sex, but before or after we must come to the point.
I do not know whether to start the speech, but I don’t even know where to start from, I let him talk, but he starts to talk about Chinese cinema and things like that, so I cannot stand him anymore and I say to him: “But why did you look for me on the app? And he told me, I looked for you because I know you well … ” I tell him that I had never seen him and he answers me in a completely unexpected way: “If you are referring to what you saw in cam, that’s not me, he’s a friend who made himself available … ” I began to be afraid because I didn’t know who I was talking to and I feared something bad, like blackmail or maybe he could also have been a psychopath. He told me: “I know many things about you! I know that this morning you went late to work …”
Here I began to really worry, he could be some of my work colleagues, it seemed strange that someone followed my movements and spied on me, I didn’t understand what motivation could lead to similar things. Then before I wrote my answer he closed. I felt agitated, I didn’t sleep at night. Who could be interested in spying on me? And if the guy knew I was late at work he could only be one of my colleagues. In the morning I go to work, but I have the impression that nothing has changed, the three colleagues with whom I work and sometimes I even chat a bit every day don’t show signs of any kind. Things are not clear at all.
Who could know that I had arrived late for work? The guy does not show up for two days, I don’t know if I feel more comfortable or more agitated, then I get a message: “You’re puzzled eh … I can understand you!” I tried to make myself feel calm and to widen the speech in order to have some more elements to understand what was happening. He replied: “I feel that you are worried and that you pretend not to be, you must learn to recite better.” I was puzzled and asked him: “Who are you? What do you want from me?” He replied: “I’m your conscience! And I want to bring you to think a little bit. I know you, I know that today at the bar you didn’t have the usual breakfast, you chose something different, but why? Maybe are you agitated?” “But I totally ban you and close this shit of an app!” “Certainly you can do it, but the idea of being controlled will remain, there are so many ways … ” And he closed.
I tried to remember who was near me at the bar but I had not noticed anyone, at least I had ruled out that it was a work colleague, because in the morning at the bar there was nobody I knew, but someone obviously knew me. However, in the following days the guy would not have returned to my bar, of this I could be sure. He said he was my conscience and wanted to make me think. Could he be a person I don’t know? But what interest would push a stranger to make all this comedy? However, for every good purpose I banned him and I deleted the app again.
A few days later I went into a chat where I used to go sometimes even before, and I got a call from a stranger with nickname “Mattew92-bis” and it alarmed me because Mattew92 was my nickname. He asks me: “How are you?” I ask him right away if we know each other and he says “Sure!” Then he adds: “You did well to delete the app, but what are you looking for here?” I told him: “But who are you? Because you are becoming an obsession for me!” He replied: “No! Just shut down the chat and I disappear!” And I said to him: “But then I find you somewhere else?” He just said, “We’ll see” and he broke off.
I permanently closed my account on the chat and then I came back to it with a different nick, but he was still there and told me: “Why are you playing with me? What do you do you? You get out and then re-enter?” I insist: “Who are you? If you don’t tell me, I go to the police.” He said to me: “And if I were the police?” I insisted, “Are you a cop?” And he closed. I was really scared and didn’t know what to expect, then I received an email from “Mattew92-bis”, I quote it below.
“Hello Matthew, from now you will not hear me again, I’m sorry if I made you worry, my name is Matthew too, and I was born the same year and the same month you were born, but a few days later. I live in front of your house, you’ve never noticed me but I have watched you for a long time, you leave the window open and you have a mirror behind your back that allows me to see what you do at the PC even if you don’t know, I know you’re gay, don’t worry, because I’m gay too, and I’ll not disgrace you, the day you were late at work I followed you from home to where you work, when you had breakfast differently I was in the bar, but you didn’t even notice me, when you enter the chat I see it immediately and I also know your nick, for the application I have a version a little modified by me, I can detect gays that I have around me but they cannot detect me because my location is fixed and always in the same place. If you look at the window you can see from where I look at you: there is a green tent with drawn circles, one of those circles is a hole and from there I look at you with a powerful telescope. Now probably you too will put a tent behind the window, and I will not have my show anymore, but, instead of chasing guys on apps and chats, why don’t you come visit me? You are really a nice guy, I … well … it’s not up me to judge, but I am attaching a photo of me, so you can understand who I am! I wait for you, now you know where to find me! Please note that I’m not looking for sex, then if sex comes by itself, ok, but I’m looking for a serious gay friend and I know it could be you, if you’ll ever forgive me.”
I opened the picture and it occurred to me that I had seen that guy a couple of times in passing and he was also a handsome guy. I took courage and went to his house. I told him that he had made me worry a lot, and that he finally made the voyeur. He replied: “Yes, it’s true, it started like this, but then you really intrigued me.”
Actually he was not looking for sex, I don’t know if there will be sex sooner or later, I hope so, but I’m fine even without sex, I found a totally unexpected friend. He didn’t want me to go to chats because he wanted me to think only of him, now we see each other every day, because he lives right in the building in front of mine, he’s a guy with a monstrous intelligence and he really cares about me. Where the story will end up I don’t know but it seems like a good story and then, seen closely he’s just beautiful, sweet but also confident, reassuring.
Well, I was not expecting a coming out like that. I didn’t put any curtains at the window, I saw his telescope with which he spied on me, it was a huge, very heavy, professional tool, he told me was equipped with a 35 cm mirror, and you could see everything even the smallest details. He told me that the first thing that had struck him was that in my house there were never girls and that everything started from there, a beautiful guy (he says I’m beautiful), no girls … the thing must be deeply analyzed! And he did bingo! He made me shit with fear but now we are two gay friends! And he is not a pathological case as I had feared!
I hug you, Project, and thanks for your skype contact, I’ll call you soon.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-between-apps-and-cams
The following is a discussion coming from the Gay Project forum.
“Hello Project, I’ve been reading your site for a long time, it’s a serious matter, an absolute exception on the net, and it is comforting to know that there are such sites, for me it was really useful and I feel at ease there. I’m 23 years old, practically I’m not out with anyone but let’s say I’ve often been on the verge of doing things that would seem completely wrong to you. I read in the forum of guys who know how to control themselves, who can live waiting for a serious occasion, but I feel that I’m going to explode and I will not be able to do what they do for a long time.
It’s about three years that my life has completely changed, I can say that up to 20 years I was totally repressed, a thousand complexes to the limits of the absurd: I never went to the sea, never on the beach, never in swimsuit, absolutely never, I could not sleep with another person in the room, I could not stand the idea of physical proximity, I don’t say the contact but just to be 50 cm away, and this happens both with guys and girls, I always felt uncomfortable with people, as if they could be able to read me inside and understand my secret and above all I tried to repress myself in the most ruthless way, even not eating or drinking to make my body feel not well because this way, according to my opinion, things related to sex wouldn’t have come through my head.
All this more or less until three years ago, then I met a guy and I got a crush on him and I threw away all my taboos and I changed my attitude radically, not in public because I’m afraid of people’s reactions but I don’t repress myself anymore, I feel very strong sexual impulses and I don’t fight them anymore, on the contrary I try to cultivate them.
Before I knew that guy, there was pornography, I liked it but it seemed to me like a false thing and I wanted a real thing. I made a thousand films inside my mind to understand how it would be with a guy, but then there were only films in my imagination. I never said anything to that guy and I will not do it because I think he is straight, but I can see that he doesn’t care about me, but I feel attracted to him just like by a strong magnetic force. I knew everything about him by looking for information around, I even took pictures of him from a distance and he didn’t notice it. You can imagine what I do with his photos. The porn photos don’t excite me, but the photos of that guy fully dressed send me into orbit, apart from the physiological reactions, I live dreaming of being with him in every sense, I try to imagine (all fancy) how he would react if I put into practice what comes to my mind. Sometimes when I’m close to him I feel the irrepressible instinct to embrace him and not only, I think you understand what I mean.
Project, I cannot take it anymore, I know he’s probably straight, I know that I could ruin my reputation and that mine is a homophobic country, but staying close to this guy and stop myself it’s too difficult for me, I cannot handle it anymore. But basically why cannot I tell him that I fell in love with him? A smile would suffice me, it would be enough for me to understand that he doesn’t feel offended. But why do I have to repress myself like that? What if I told him? What would happen If I committed this madness? I asked him if he likes sports, you know, maybe if he had gone to the gym I would have gone too, so, almost casually, but no! He doesn’t go anywhere: study and church, or rather, study, church and girl, but about the girl he’s not enthusiastic, he talks about it as an obvious thing but I’ve seen other guys that, when they talk about their girl, their eyes shine, but he is not so, he seems almost neutral. But how does this guy live sex? Between the church and a girl whom he doesn’t love?
I tried to do some little experiments to see how he reacts but he doesn’t react, maybe he does not give a damn about it, but how does a guy like him drop the opportunities, I don’t say of who knows what, but to talk to me. With me he speaks, he answers me, but he never takes an initiative. But why does such a handsome guy choose to sacrifice his sexuality? And what for? I would do anything for him. Once I saw him with the girl, she scolded him, bossed him around and he let her do, and I felt an anger that I do not tell you. But good heavens! You could enjoy your life and instead nothing! You act like a codfish under a girl who has taken you for her servant cavalier and you don’t even notice that I am melting for you! Am I a fool, Project? But why did I fall in love with this codfish? He has a very sweet smile, but he’s a real codfish and I go on dreaming and throw away my life like that. I’ve been doing this for almost three years, and maybe I’d do well to tell him, so if he sends me to hell, at least, with him, I break my addiction because I cannot take it anymore.
A straight guy declares himself and things go how they must go, but I cannot do it. Well that’s enough, but what have I gained from not repressing me anymore? I understood that anyway nothing will change! I’m very nearly to jump on him and let things go their way. If I think that he could also answer me that he loves me my blood boils. I cannot go on like this! Bye Bye!”
Alyosha answers: I read in your post a beautiful transport that really involved me. First of all, I think it’s nice to allow yourself to live certain things, stimulating and somewhat overwhelming. I write it this way, of course the author of the post will not agree, because the post, when one reads it attentively, seems even too much rational. But maybe you’re following you beautiful codfish as you call him, for so long just because you know he’s straight. I go to explain.
For what I think, or better I see, starting from the things you write, this guy has helped you so much. But maybe you let him help you, maybe you were the one you needed to find, so to say, a “container” into which to pour those impulses, desires and falling in love that were born. The fact that he’s straight can certainly depend on the obvious randomness because there are more straight guys than gays in this world, but I think that’s what allowed you to start to loosen yourself, to let yourself go, at least at the beginning, knowing that a physical contact with him anyway could never have happened. Perhaps this basically relaxed you and put you in the right position to experience new things with serenity and sufficient spontaneity.
I wrote all my reasoning just to tell you that falling in love is a fantastic thing and certainly the driving force for any relationship. But the relationships, so say, unilateral are one thing, the couple life is another. Maybe it happens that the story seen from the outside, it appears just as you see it: he is repressed and she is omnivorous and despot. But it is you who see things like this. In relationships there is always a balance at the end and the balances are never perfect as you would expect, but they work.
In short, I wonder how much you feel ready to live a real relationship with all that this entails. Maybe in this path in stages you should try to take the next step that is then to know those like you, because with a straight guy and moreover engaged, I think there is nothing to do, neither in terms of relationship, nor in terms of escapade. On the rest then it’s up to you to choose how to live your things, and this has a lot to do with what one is and what he wants from life and I think that homosexuality has little to do with this.
On the initial problem that I read, instead, I want to speak only according to my experience and I answer “yes” to your implicit statement: behind this “waiting for a serious opportunity” as you say, there is a fear of being seriously involved. So, in this regard, I say what I think. It is not so much a matter of waiting for a serious story in my opinion. Stories cannot be born serious and expecting that they are serious from the beginning leads in fact to not living anything.
I think that there are not “wrong” things but rather “dangerous” things. And finally that we should rather have a serious way of doing things. I certainly cannot tell you how much all this enchains, forces the sexual drive and the objective desire of the desired person. I don’t even know what remains after, when that absolute transport, binding, deaf to whatever, is faded. What happens next when that passionate bond tries to transform into a couple’s life with his daily life, I certainly cannot tell you. And so I conclude like this, with things I don’t know yet.
Nicomaco answers: I read with interest this new post and the first answer of Alyosha, very shareable. The protagonist of this story has nothing to reproach himself for: he realized he had a crush, he tried to do some little experiments to check how his friend reacts and these have failed. Peace. We need to live with it. It’s not easy. But you have to do it (it happened even to me at least a couple of times). There is no symmetrical relationship and therefore it is necessary to desist. What I too would feel to discourage is to raise the roll and do nonsense (for example: declaring to be hopelessly in love with him), because this would be equivalent to making a jump in the dark without a parachute.
Is there nothing good from this experience? In my opinion, something good remains! And it is to have lived consciously the falling in love, even if unrequited, after a period of strong repression. And then it doesn’t seem to me that a straight guy declares himself always and in any case (and even less to already engaged girls). A straight friend of mine even told me that it was much more beautiful for him to be in love even if he didn’t show it, than declaring it, that it was more beautiful to love that be loved . . . it sounds strange, I know! That’s not all, but it’s already something! And then life is long!
Pavloss answers: Hello, first of all it’s good that you let yourself go writing about how you feel and how you live your affection and sex. It’s good because at least you’re out of a certain isolation that hurts too much. Secondly, I think that what you live is a kind of reaction to a long period of compression and denial. When you open a pressure cooker, after it has been boiling for a while, it could actually burst and that’s what’s happening to you. The strong risk is to project into a person all your desires and your expectations. No, this is not good, especially because you end up obeying your wishes rather than reading reality for what it is. Reality is NOT very much as we want it and maturity consists in knowing how to take note of it without suffering too much. I’m sure you can find a friend, a companion, maybe not under your house, but certainly more open than this guy you talk to, who, most likely, doesn’t care too much about you. It is true that the hetero life, in some respects, is much easier but this should not depress you. You must find your balance in which you love life and you love yourself, in which you can build a network of relationships that make you feel good. I think two opposites are to be avoided: closing yourself up until you get hurt (as happened to you), opening yourself up to the point of projecting unattainable expectations into others. Finding a good guy as a friend or as lover is not impossible but he is certainly not around the corner of the street and perhaps not even in your own city. Conquering what is worth requires some effort and it is difficult but it is normal and is part of life. Courage, therefore, and be proud of the fact that you live authentically, despite the many difficulties we all know, don’t get depressed and go on !! An important detail: you say you’ve been following him for three years … three? If in three years he has not realized practically anything it’s certain and sure that he is not interested in you from that point of view. I too have “lost” years behind beautiful, good, sweet people but with whom I have never combined anything. Don’t make this mistake. One thing is friendship, but you want more, it’s obvious. If you want more, then, don’t insist in a direction that only makes you feel bad. At best you would do well to tell him everything in order to get a clear answer from him and finally get away from him.
Nicomaco answers: Even the last posts seem to me very shareable and balanced. Of course, talking about it in a forum is not like talking about it in real life, what is much more complex. However, if I were in your shoes, I would be prudent to express certain feelings to a friend who most likely has other tastes. You can know only by yourself if this is the right thing and above all if your friend doesn’t have any prejudices about gay affectivity. I say this only to suggest you avoid other suffering, given that for the first time you have experienced a very beautiful moment of falling in love. Instead I would look at the positive aspect of the story. Falling in love means finally opening up to others and being a little more confident. And this should not be wasted, but should be cultivated in other directions.
pavese30 answers: Hello, to be out of the isolation created by you is already a lot, since in reality then you have to deal with the isolation created by the rest of the world that does not accept you much, even if today it’s fashionable to show at least a little bit of openness, I see anyway a growing intolerance in the facts. We must add also the lack of commitment of the youngest people towards the Gay Cause and towards the sexual freedom in general, many of them rely on the successes acquired by assuming that they are definitive. Regarding the guy, I would say that manifesting sympathy is one thing, to be gay inside is another. You yourself know the self-defense mechanisms, which can also become self-destruction mechanisms: until the spark is born, even if he is gay, he doesn’t open. I would say keep him as a friend and don’t expose yourself to gossip of the stupid people of the country, don’t try to get everything by risking everything with the first who made you lose your mind! If the opportunity comes, get it, don’t let it escape, meanwhile look at the rest of the world. Bye Bye!
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gays-and-repressed-instincts
Hi Project, I wanted to thank you for everything you do, now I feel really better. I made you spend the night chatting but I understood many things. You’re right, being gay is not just about sex and looking for a guy doesn’t have to become a fixed idea, many other things are needed.
I had never talked about intimate things as we talked yesterday but it was all very easy. For a guy it can be embarrassing because one is used to thinking of certain things only as pornography, in short, as something that shouldn’t be done and that if you do it, you must be ashamed of and you don’t have to talk about it with anyone, you are afraid of being judged badly, to be considered one who doesn’t want to grow up. And then I could not talk about these things with anyone. My mother … I never heard her talk about sex under any circumstances and my father all the same.
Talking with a priest, maybe in confession, but they don’t even listen to you. With a doctor who is also family friend obviously it is unthinkable. With friends it ends up in ironic smiles and stupid jokes. At 21 I never had, and I say never, the opportunity to talk about these things seriously.
I’ve always had a lot of complexes with a word that was a bit my torture from sixteen years old onwards, the word is “normal”. Is it normal what I’m doing? If I react like this is it normal? Etc. etc .. Then the idea of having a guy even if I’m not in love with anyone, having a boyfriend just to have sex with him, because this is normal while masturbate is not normal, it’s a young boys thing, … stuff of this kind. And I think if I hadn’t arrived on your blog I would have ended up looking for a guy anyway just to try to be normal at least as a gay.
I never asked myself whether being gay was or wasn’t normal, let’s say that for me it was not, but it was my way of being and I ended up accepting it, also because the idea of going with a girl for me doesn’t really exist, I couldn’t do it at any level. I never thought of a girl in terms of sex and even as a friend, perhaps, superficially, it could be okay, but as a true friendship, that you can tell her everything, with a girl for me it’s impossible, because a girl understands certain things her way, maybe even a straight guy understands the same things from outside but it’s anyway more acceptable.
I’ve always seen the fact of being gay as a sexual only matter, or rather, I tried to devalue to the maximum the feelings towards other guys or, better, towards male people no longer boys, because my obsession with not being normal, you made me understand it last night, it’s really related to the fact that I fall in love with adult men and I never considered normal such inclination. You don’t know how many times I told myself that I would be left alone because the men I like would never be interested in me. First of all, they’re all heterosexual, they’re married, and then they’d consider me a guy who must grow up.
I tried in every way to get interested in my peers but they seem superficial to me, even gays for what I know, because I don’t know them in person. I fall in love with adult men, even sexually, and this is not normal, I think that maybe if an adult man falls in love with a young guy at the end it can be normal but the opposite just I can’t see it as a normal thing and instead that’s exactly what happens to me.
With my peers I can’t create a real relationship and I don’t even try. Last night for the first time, talking with you about the fact that I fall in love with men much older than me, it seemed to me that it was not abnormal, at least in a sense, that it was something of which I shouldn’t be ashamed, in the end that my sexuality has a dignity, a value even if it’s strange, at the base there are real feelings and not perversions. You don’t know how much it puts me in difficulty the fact that I consider myself a non-normal, that is, not even normal as gay.
I think a normal gay guy if he falls in love with another guy and makes his fantasies and masturbates thinking of that guy doesn’t feel guilty about it, but when I make sexual fantasies about adult men (in practice all my fantasies are about adult men) and I let myself go to masturbate thinking about these things I feel disgusted, it is as if it were the confirmation of the fact that I’m not normal and that I will never share my life with another person. These things dig you deeply. Above all I feel that while other gay guys can look for a guy, they can somehow think about their wishes and put them into practice, I cannot think about it, there will never be anything for me.
An adult man would just go with me searching for sex or he wouldn’t take me seriously, while I need a serious affection, that is, I need not someone who is sorry for me or who considers me a sexual game but someone who takes me seriously and I would be willing to do anything for a man like that. Talking about these things is not easy and in practice they are always kept inside me. Last night, talking with you, I felt respected, treated as I didn’t think it was possible. Yesterday, in fact, we started talking about things related to sexuality but then we ended up talking about something else, about my family, about the relationships I have with my parents and about how I would like them to be and I really broke the ice, we have been talking almost until dawn, time has passed and I haven’t noticed it. I need to talk, to throw out everything that I have kept inside for years.
You say that often from situations like mine one can come out and that over time also sometimes comes a sexual interest towards peers, or at least that could happen so, but on this I have my doubts and I think you told me it a little as a consolation, but I’m glad you told me because you know these things and you might even be right. Sometimes I think that I’m coming out of my mind and that it could also be or become a real neurosis, but for me sexuality is that.
Last night I felt at ease, thinking and seeing concretely that talking about yourself in a very direct way is possible and that it is also possible to be heard and understood and this transmits so much serenity.
And you told me then so many things that I felt that I wasn’t alone on earth, I didn’t feel as the only “abnormal”. It is wonderful to think that my life can really be lived! I don’t know if it will really be like that, but I feel less trapped, it’s as if the future could bring me positive things too. Thanks Project for setting up the project, you don’t know how such a thing is important. I hope to hear from you when I have a little more peace of mind, now I’m also very busy for the exams that are coming but also this period of overwork will pass. See you soon.
p. s. If you want to publish this email, do it, I don’t know what effect it will do to those who read it but what I wrote to you is all true.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-and-sexual-intergenerational-fantasies
Panic and rationality
When a boy, who comes to the awareness of being gay, lives in homophobic environments or has been accustomed to seeing homosexuality as a disease, as a perversion or as a sin , that boy will be led to consider homosexuality as a catastrophe looming over him, able to crush him and negatively affect his whole life. In such situations it is not uncommon for the discomfort to be so deep as to cause him to think even of suicide as the only way out.
For a boy who recognizes himself as gay and lives in a homophobic environment, it is essential to keep in mind that the assessments must be given in cold blood, without being panicked and based on a realistic knowledge of what could derive from the decision. One can also be terrified by the idea of being attacked by the ghosts but objectively the ghosts don’t exist.
First of all, a gay boy must try to know the reality of the gay world, I mean the real gay world and not that of jokes or urban legends, because it is from the confusion between urban legends and objective reality that comes most of the fears about homosexuality. There is therefore a need to always keep in mind some basic elements about homosexuality on which I will now focus.
First of all we try to understand how many homosexuals are limiting ourselves to Italy. Given that the homosexuals publicly declared are an estimated fraction of about 4% of the total, making a data collection that also involves the large mass of not openly gay guys, it’s virtually impossible. Completely anonymous tests have been made (and therefore potentially truthful, on even large samples of the population) on the basis of two distinct criteria, one consists in considering homosexuals those who have or have had homosexual relationships and the other consists in considering homosexual those who consider themselves to be such, regardless of whether they have or have had a gay couple sexuality.
The two surveys, conducted with the two different criteria, give results according to which those who feel homosexual, between 25 and 26 years, are about twice those who have or have had a homosexual relationship. According to Gay Project statistics, at the average age of 25.81, 45.02% of those who consider themselves gay have never had sexual relations either hetero or gay. From the same survey we come to know that in the same sample masturbation takes place with gay fantasies in over 99% of cases. This fact confirms that the fantasies that accompany masturbation are the fundamental index of sexual orientation.
The most reliable estimates of the percentage of those who consider themselves gay are around 8% of the general population. It is objectively a minority but certainly not a small minority. The findings give similar results both between men and women. Homosexuality is therefore a reality that involves men and women more or less in the same percentage.
Saying that homosexuals are about 8% of the general population is not immediately significant, so it is worthwhile to present the same data through examples immediately understandable: in a class of 25 students, on average, there are two homosexual guys, in one school with a thousand students there are, on average, 80 homosexual students, in Italy (about 61 million inhabitants) there are about 4,800,000 homosexuals, counting both men and women, roughly the population of the whole Veneto, this number also includes children who statistically will recognize themselves as homosexuals during their lifetime. It is understood that, being however a minority, gays are still very many.
Compared with the overall percentage estimated at about 4% of publicly declared gays on the total of the entire gay population, it is observed that the sample examined by Gay Project, of average age 25.81 years, has a percentage of publicly declared gays equal to 13.74 %. Although the sample is not statistically significant, the indicated value is certainly higher than that of the general gay population, the fact remains that the younger generations have a greater propensity to declare themselves publicly. In all age groups, the percentage of gays that are not publicly declared remains, however, very higher than that of the declared ones. According to common experience, even if there are, on average, 80 gay boys out of a thousand students, it is practically impossible to detect even just one because homophobia exists and avoiding a coming out in public is considered as the only possible defense.
Summarizing what has been said up to now we can conclude that gays, even if not recognizable, because environmental homophobia pushes them not to declare themselves, are everywhere around us and these guys, even if they are not publicly declared, are still looking for a dialogue and contact with other gay boys, because the first problem of gay boys is to feel alone.
Gays and myth of the charming prince
Before proceeding, it is good to dwell a bit on another kind of preconceptions, or rather, of fables related to the realization of the self. Gay boys, like all boys, grow up with myths induced by the cultural climate around them, one of these is the myth of the charming prince. It is a myth that was created for the girls, to induce them not to lose hope but to hope for the arrival, sooner or later, of the classic charming prince capable of transforming Cinderella into a queen. In reality this myth pushes us not to act, waiting for someone to radically change our condition. A myth of this kind, with the necessary differences, can be easily transposed into a gay key, and among gays causes similar damages to those it causes in the hetero field, prompting guys to dreaming, instead of reasoning, and to expecting miraculous solutions coming from outside for their problems and their difficulties, instead of getting seriously busy engaging in the first person.
Autonomy and economic independence
For a gay boy, rather than for a straight boy, it is essential to gain his own autonomy because, in general, a gay boy cannot rely too much on the support that could come from his family or from the social context. Autonomy is not a myth analogous to that of the charming prince, but it is a concrete and essential reality. True autonomy exists only when there is a real economic independence, which is certainly not easy to achieve. Autonomy intended as independence and therefore as substantial freedom of choice, must be the basic objective of a gay boy.
Those who cannot take too much account of the help of others can react either with passivity and fatalism, letting themselves go to accept any imposition and any adaptation, or instead can look ahead with constructive attitude, planning their future step by step and orienting it before everything to the conquest of a full personal autonomy, that is, essentially, of the economic autonomy. There are only two concrete tools for achieving true autonomy: study and work.
Studying, for a gay boy, has at least two functions, the first is also common to straight boys and consists of broadening their general culture and dominating the ordinary tools of critical analysis and communication and the other, specifically gay, consists in the discovery of the weight of homosexuality in culture, from Plato to Garcia Lorca, from Michelangelo to Pasolini, from Marsilio Ficino to Luchino Visconti. To realize the weight and the sense that the homosexual culture has had and has in history, despite the repressions and the discriminations, means to find again one’s own roots and to recognize himself in a tradition of high culture and great dignity.
Obviously the study also has an instrumental function and allows access to more qualified and paid jobs that can guarantee greater independence. It should never be forgotten that the search for couple life can in no case replace the construction of the self through substantial independence, that is, through economic independence. A guy has to stay in a couple because he feels at ease with his partner. When living in couple is instrumental to other aims, the couple relationship is based on very fragile bases. We are comfortable in a couple relationship when we are there by choose and not by necessity.
Equilibrium between affectivity and practical life
It often happens that gay boys come to realize through study and then through their professional activity, all this is highly positive but in some cases hides the a priori renunciation of affective life. Being gay and trying to achieve first of all one’s own independence does not mean having to give up emotional life, but that emotional life cannot and must not be identified with the totality of life, because well-being, which also has a very strong emotional component, it can in fact be impossible when its minimum requirements are lacking, which in an adult life are inevitably of an economic nature. Just as it makes no sense to focus exclusively on the pursuit of economic autonomy by putting affectivity aside, so it makes no sense to be overwhelmed by affectivity neglecting the material assumptions of individual well-being.
That a young boy can be overwhelmed by affectivity and sexuality is still understandable, even if often inappropriate, but an adult must keep his feet on the ground and must give the study and work an adequate space to allow the effective achievement and possibly in normal times, if not shortened, of the independence. A form of discouragement often arises here, the study appears very difficult, very long, you don’t feel adequately prepared and the temptation to throw in the towel makes its way easily. It is at this point that the will must take over. The results derive essentially from work and personal commitment and, from whatever level you start, it is always possible to go ahead and improve your condition. It’s not the so-called genes who go on, but the people who want to commit themselves and who work hard to overcome difficulties.
Discouragement and commitment
Too often we are led to underestimate ourselves to avoid a serious commitment and in this way we tend to confuse the “I cannot” with the “I don’t want”. Here is the farmer’s metaphor: if in a field there is a farmer who works and in the near field there is one that doesn’t do anything, it is true that the one who works may also lose the harvest due to adverse weather conditions, but the fact remains that almost always the working farmer will have his crop for the winter and the other will be reduced to starvation.
Building, in any case, takes time and effort, which is why shorthand propagandists and sellers of easy solutions are almost always smoke vendors who point to roads that lead nowhere. What is served on a silver plate often hides pitfalls. I refer to dating sites and erotic chats. If it is true that it is possible to find friends and even a partner in these sites, it remains nevertheless the fact that the purpose of these sites is different and that most people don’t visit them to find friendship or love but to look for disengaged sex.
Gay loneliness and gay friendships
The basic problem of a gay boy, the problem of loneliness, has two distinct solutions: the first is to find a boy, the second is to find gay friends. It must be stressed immediately that none of these two things, alone, can lead to individual well-being. While it seems obvious that having gay friends without having a boyfriend should be considered unsatisfactory, it doesn’t seem that having a boyfriend without having gay friends is in itself preclusive of individual well-being, because it is assumed that the boyfriend is simultaneously the lover, the beloved, the friend, the confidant, etc. etc..
Experience shows that, paradoxically, gay friendships contribute to individual well-being even more than having a boyfriend because friendships stabilize the emotional live while love affairs, especially at the beginning, destabilize or can destabilize it very strongly. The emotional dimension must necessarily find support on the two tracks of the bond of couple and friendship and while without a bond of couple you can certainly be well for long periods (and at the limit even for life), without friends you are definitely alone.
Friendship exorcises loneliness and at the same time takes away the fear of homosexuality because it allows a personal and not superficial knowledge of other gay boys, stimulates the comparison and shows us how our friends are setting up or have set up the problems that we are going to face. In friendship, analogously to what happens in love, the difference between the true friend and the one who is not is not evidenced by the apparent initial consistency of the relationship but by its articulation over time and by its ability to resist the moments of crisis and to the misunderstandings that inevitably occur in any relationship.
Gay and possible happiness
When one considers the fact of being gay as a calamity, one doesn’t realize a basic truth whose denial is the basis of every form of fear of being gay, that is, one doesn’t realize that for a gay man today it is really possible to be happy, it is possible to have serious gay friends and it is not difficult either; it is a little more difficult to find a partner with whom to build a relationship that will last, but this is also difficult for hetero people for whom it is not at all obvious that marriage represents the incarnation of the myth of the ideal family.
Even gays must guard against the false myths in the name of which people and real situations are often devalued. Love and friendship are not fables but exercises of reality, that is true gyms in which day after day one learns to love through trials and errors. To truly love means to love a real person and not a theoretical model, but truly love is possible and it is a reality that changes life from within because it involves the profound experience of being in two.
Correcting one’s mistakes
I will dedicate the last part of this chapter to a fundamental question that has often involved gay boys over the years, I intend to refer to the ability to recognize and correct one’s mistakes. Gays, like all the people of this world, are subject to various kinds of temptations. There are young people who can make affective choices subordinate to issues of social role, opportunism or economic utility, others can undermine established relationships for years for an overnight adventure, others may end up adapting to social demands to the point of sacrificing their own sexuality. All these behaviors must be understood “in situation”, that is, from the specific point of view of those who put them into practice and in relation to all previous experience. These are often wrong choices, induced in large part by external factors, which can also cause very heavy consequences.
Let’s start from a premise: one can be wrong, the weaknesses are many. The attraction for money, for the social role or for sex exists and is strong. It should be emphasized that the quality of a person is not found in his never failing, what would not be human, but in the ability to correct their mistakes and make choices. Often, however, to the objectively and subjectively wrong choices, for which one feels also a feeling of moral discomfort, is added the idea that now one cannot go back and that a single failure is enough to undermine a person in a definitive way.
Let us ask ourselves: why is a “word” program better than the classic pen and paper to write a letter? The answer is only one: because using the computer one can easily correct errors and improve the text progressively. Programmers are well aware that mistakes are inevitably made when writing a program of some complexity, and the search and correction of these errors is a fundamental phase of the work that leads to the creation and optimization of a program. This also happens in individual life: mistakes are inevitably made, but it is essential that when, to remain in the computer metaphor, the program doesn’t run, one avoids the temptation to reset everything and destroy what has been built up to that point instead of commit oneself to correct mistakes and adjust the shot.
Reversible habits and choices
Some points must always be kept in mind: first of all the choices, all the choices, even the wrong ones, are reversible and are reversible at any time; secondly: the reversibility of choices is much easier if the correction is rapid because, with the passage of time habits are consolidated and one gets used to the very comfortable idea of irreversibility and therefore of moral irresponsibility. I stop on a metaphor: one doesn’t become obese for having eaten one more pastry, but when the habit of transgression of the rules of the diet is rooted, it becomes particularly difficult to return to the observance of the correct eating rules.
The metaphor also helps from another point of view: eating one more cake can be pleasant and the temptation is great but continuing without rules to eat pastries not only doesn’t lead to individual satisfaction but leads to being sick and to be convinced of being naturally intended to obesity, which in the vast majority of cases is not true. The choices, all the choices, must be made with an eye to the future, trying to foresee responsibly the long-term consequences of what is being done. This discourse is primarily valid for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, but it also applies to couple fidelity and to the tendency to follow social rules at the expense of one’s deep affectivity.
Usefulness of moral discomfort
The situation of moral hardship felt by the one who makes wrong choices shouldn’t be buried and judged a residual form of useless moralism, but must be seen as an alarm bell and as a signal to reflect on to go back before making even bigger mistakes.
The moral discomfort that one feels in front of wrong choices, which in any case are made in life, is precisely the basis of the self-regulating mechanism that allows us to correct errors. Expressions such as: “I cannot do anything about it”, “it’s my nature”, “it’s stronger than me” are the typical expressions that accompany acquiescence to moral surrender, that is, abdication to individual ability to choose. A classic example is related to disengagement in the study that is framed in the light of an inevitability “by nature”, but the same can be said for the tendency to transgression in the couple life or for the passive adaptation to social rules that are not shared.
The word “destiny” should be deleted from the dictionary because it is a convenient excuse for any form of disengagement and of perseverance in situations that are considered wrong. The moral lies in not abdicating one’s ability to make choices and therefore in the ability to go back and change one’s condition through individual commitment.
I would like to point out that, among gays, it is not uncommon to find forms of moral relaxation which, I emphasize, don’t consist of specific wrong behaviors in themselves, but precisely in abdication to one’s capacity for choice and commitment in the name of the presumed unavoidability of a destiny or of a “wrong” individual nature. Morality lies in the ability to react and not to lose one’s ability to choose. Below are two emails illustrating the situation, I have been authorized to publish them from those who sent them to me.
1/4/2012 Dear Project,
I am 27 years old, [- omissis-] Let’s come to the reason that pushed me to write you: I spent a year with a girl because I couldn’t stand the subtle pressure of my parents and also because if I had not done so, my friends sooner or later would have come to understand how things really were.
She is a very good girl and with her I don’t feel too much uncomfortable, at the limit, I think there is also some sexual involvement, but when I see some guys and I imagine how it would be to stay with them, my blood starts to boil, it’s absolutely another dimension, but with those guys I will never be able to stay and then I might as well try to stay with this girl, who is even in love with me.
I’m glad when she looks for me and I’m glad to see her, but it’s not really what I want and I’m sure of that. In practice, when I find myself embracing her, I come to think of how beautiful it would be if in his place there was one of those guys who really attract me. I have the distinct feeling of cheating this girl, the courage to speak clearly with her I don’t have it because I fear that I would end up to disgrace myself in front of the whole country, maybe it would not happen, but just thinking such a thing it gives me the push to keep going on like this but I don’t hide that sometimes I feel uncomfortable because I know I’m just using her.
When we meet, which happens in practice every day, I see her happy to see me and I feel uncomfortable, but what can I do? In practice, I have no chance of choice and so I must go on like that. In the end I think it could also work, or at least I hope so. And then I cannot make radical decisions, it’s just against my nature, I don’t have the strength to make definitive choices, and that’s why I let others do it for me. I cannot do anything, it is stronger than me. I was not born a lion, I’m a sheep and I must follow the flock, I would never be able to go alone against everything and everyone.
11/4/2012 Dear Project,
(- omissis -) I managed to take the first step and I had thought I would never have succeeded. It was very difficult but I managed to talk to my now ex-girlfriend. The reaction has been initially freezing, she did not expect it at all, basically she hadn’t understood anything, and there I felt really bad, then she called me in the early afternoon and asked me to meet because she wanted to give me back the gifts I had made her. I didn’t like it, but I couldn’t do anything about, so I put together the presents she had given me and we met in the afternoon, but she told me that she wanted to keep the ring engraved on the inside with my name. So I gave a spontaneous smile and she started crying, she told me that she loved me but she had understood that my life would have been different and that she would not forget me. We shook hands for a few seconds.
I tried to explain things from my point of view but she said that there was no need and we said goodbye with a hug that I didn’t expect. Actually, I think that I will not forget at all this girl. The next day I expected her to call me but she didn’t and I was uncomfortable, the following Saturday we met with friends and it was a nice thing, with me she was sincere and affectionately, with friends she was as if nothing had changed, except for a somewhat more detached attitude, but probably only the two of us noticed it.
In short, I feel much better, more free and above all the fact that she has understood how things were, makes me feel good. The relationship that somehow exists still now is authentic and I think it will not be lost. This was probably the hardest step but there are still many left. I will look for work away from here. I know it’s not easy to find it but I have to commit myself to the maximum. If I’ll remain here I’ll never find the chance to be myself. I began to send curricula throughout Italy and even abroad, now I hope that some concrete proposal will come to me but, if it happens, the separation from my family and my friends would certainly be very hard. I want to try to take back my destiny, to make my choices and to build my life as I think I would like it. We hope well, Project! [- omissis -].
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-who-understand-and-reason-without-panic