MY NORMAL GAY LIFE

I wondered what I could do for this forum after nine years since my forum registration. Nine years ago I came across this forum by chance reading a post by Ennis that even today excites me everytime I read it. He was 21  and I was 28 and I couldn’t help but see in his story my own story not as it had gone but like it should have gone.
At 21 he had been able to tell himself that he was gay and had found the courage to write in this forum. For me it was different. When I discovered my attraction for males I was only 17 years old. At that time the internet was not there and that bit of porn that I saw, I saw it secretly in the back of the newsstands or it was that porn that I happened to find on the street.
It may seem absurd now. It is so easy now to have images, video, information and everything else, but back then it was different. There was no one to talk about such things. You had no way to understand if your feeling was envy, curiosity or true attraction. I remember that then I started throwing my eye frequently in the bathrooms, I often went down to the station where it was easy to meet “people” like that. In short, it was really difficult to understand and the simplest thing ultimately was to retrace my steps. I talked about this to my female best friend, but then they were just doubts and remained such for many years.
The Internet has changed everything: access to porn, but above all to information. Reading about homosexuality from the point of view of other homosexuals is not simple. Homosexuality is often emphasized, made sclerotic in stereotypes. You can find the normality of being gay just  in a few places. I remember that I spent hours and hours reading the various testimonies, the responses and Project’s comments. The forum was a real drug. The more I I was there reading, the less I felt alone, the more I continued reading, the more I felt at home.
Then there were the fatigues, my personal fatigues, I mean those needed to overcome many of my resistances to go out in the correct way from a virtual space and open up to reality. 
I used to get angry with Project and with the things he used to write here, but in reality there are objective difficulties to reconcile one’s own being gay, not with the normality of friendship (old and new) but with gay chats and all the rest. I visited very little the gay environment, just enough time to win some of my objective and stupid resistance.
In those days I thought it was enough to go to see a gay-themed movie to tell the world that I was gay. Now I think about it and it seems absurd to me, yet it is a problem that I often read in the posts of those who have acceptance problems. We live with the idea that those around us have as their first thought find out what we are doing, but it does not work like that.
However the declared gay world has so many complexities that I thank with hindsight to have discovered myself when I was 28 and not  18. It is too easy to let yourself be drawn into that vortex of emotions, of meetings, of disordered stories, but it is very complicated to get out of them. Today I believe the path of homosexuals is more downhill. We talk a lot about homosexuality, it is almost imposed on the media level as “mandatory content”. In almost all television series for boys there is a gay protagonist or at least a gay friend. In other words, now things are very different. But I feel these times already distant from me.
Nine years after, I can only tell you that it ended well for me. Six years ago I met my current boy, with whom I live practically from day one. It is not all roses and flowers, it is no longer that storm of loving feelings of the first months, it’s everyday life, it’s normality, quarrels, hugs and awareness.
I remember exactly how it started, I remember that first meeting around in my city. I met my old friends and spent our first outing with them. That was the normality I needed. I was with him and my old friends always having a beer, laughing and joking all together. I remember We made love three days later. And I still remember the first time he asked me to come to my house next time. Cabbage!! [a common exclamation in Italian] I was preparing my thesis and I was in trouble, I had to finish it. I then remember that he came to my house and sat on my bed looking at his cell phone while I was writing my thesis. After a while he fell asleep. Then he helped me write the thesis, we continued to go out with friends who gradually understood. And shortly six years have passed since that day.
I’ve always been certain we’ll stay together in spite of the many moments of crisis, quarrels and difficulties of these six years. Every time, from some of his behaviors, I have always had an illumination that started from my stomach and not from my brain: we are bound together by an intense and deep thread!
Couple life is not always simple, personal stresses inevitably mingle up with couple life and transform the relationship. It is not easy to continue to stay together whenever your personal situation changes. Many problems are more material and concrete than one might believe, for example your work if it does not satisfy you, your house if you don’t like it, can become problems. I believe that beyond feelings, life as a couple is a vocation, a life choice. If you don’t have it as a priority, you will soon become tired of your life.
This is not the case for me. I spent many of my years crucifying myself because I couldn’t have a story, writhing in bed because it was always too empty. I believe that from life I don’t need anything else to be happy.
I told you this whole story as a personal testimony: a normal life is possible, a gay daily life too, and it’s also possible to put one’s own homosexuality in its right place. Homosexuality doesn’t create our identity, we are not homosexuals. Homosexuality only identifies our orientation, but has nothing to do with how we are made, with our problems, our needs, our visions of the world. But unfortunately the need to emerge, to fight against prejudices etc. it makes homosexuality something pervasive in our existence.
Now I can read the forum stories differently. I read them and I find only stories of guys, with their problems, their relationship difficulties, in short I see mostly the homosexuality in the background and people in the foreground.
Well I’ll stop here. I hope that in some way my story may be useful to you.
By Alyosha
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If you like, you can participate in the discussion of this post, open on the Gay Project Forum:

GAYS AND AVAILABLE GUYS WITH LATENT HOMOSEXUALITY

It often happens that a gay guy creates a strong emotional relationship, sometimes with sexual implications, with guys who present themselves as straight, but don’t have the typical behavior of heterosexuals, i.e. with guys who demonstrate a certain sexual disposition towards gays; I refer to the hetero-curious guys, bisexuals, latent gays and repressed gays.

The order of these four categories is not accidental: the hetero-curious guys, who are very numerous, are properly hetero, but because of strong frustrations in their straight sexuality, they go in search of exclusively sexual adventures in the gay field; the bisexuals, much less numerous than gays, have a true gay sexuality and a true gay affectivity, well integrated, but also present a true hetero sexuality and a true hetero affectivity, bisexuality can present the two components, hetero and gay, in all the possible proportions; latent gays, who are very less numerous even than bisexuals, consider themselves exclusively hetero and behave in all respects as 100% hetero guys, even in masturbation, which is always hetero oriented, their homosexual tendencies are manifested in behaviors of considerable disinhibition with other guys, and also with other gay guys, the freedom of behavior reaches the point that a latent gay, considering himself 100% hetero, doesn’t feel any discomfort in getting involved in openly sexual games with gay friends, up to be masturbated by them, and this happens because these behaviors are not seen by latent gays as gay behavior but as sexual camaraderie; the gays repressed are instead fully gay on a conscious level, with a masturbation exclusively in gay key, who have adapted to live also relationships with girls, including sex, because pressed by families and the social environment, these guys are essentially forced to play the part of the hetero.

When for a guy sexuality is split from affectivity or when sexual orientation is not univocal, signs of discomfort may appear. We must bear in mind that the union of affectivity and sexuality in a relationship in which there is emotional and sexual reciprocity between two guys leads to psycho-sexual well-being and satisfaction in sexuality. When there is no real reciprocity in a couple relationship, there is the typical sense of frustration that gay guys who fall in love with straight guys know very well. In that case the discomfort comes from an objective “couple impossibility “. When the complementarity of affectivity and sexuality is lacking in one of the two partners, the discomfort is not originally interpersonal but is created in the first instance inside the subject, a clearly unresolved subject.

There are guys who, because of the heavy influences suffered through education, which has conveyed to them profound sexual taboos, despite experiencing homosexual drives, continue to live a straight sexual life. If for these guys, homosexuality remains under the limit of conscious thought, in these cases we speak of “latent homosexuality”.

Let us dwell now in particular on guys with latent homosexuality; they generally have characteristic traits:

1) They have a frenzied hetero sexual life, they have many girls and they change them often, and this increases the fame of these guys as heterosexuals, but they have never had a steady girl for long periods (years), what is typical of the heterosexuals. In other words, they live a frenetic sexuality with the girls but without constructing truly meaningful emotional relationships. Their affectivity is addressed elsewhere. Heterosexual sexuality experienced by guys with latent homosexuality is often unsatisfactory due to erectile impotence or difficulty in achieving orgasm. It should be emphasized that guys with latent homosexuality masturbate thinking about girls, which confirms them in their presumption of heterosexuality. These guys don’t have usually, not even partially, gay masturbation fantasies, their homosexuality is totally latent. That is, it is not lived on a conscious level.

2) They have an emotional life focused on a very small number of friends, all or almost male, and often have only one long-standing friend who is their real point of reference on an emotional level. This decisive friendship has such a weight that the same sexual choices of the guy with latent homosexuality, despite being in a hetero direction, are closely linked to the dominant friendship in the sense that the guy tends to choose the girl in the group frequented by the best friend, in this way on the occasions in which he meets the girl in public he doesn’t lose contact with his friend anyway. It should be emphasized that guys who are latent homosexuals often choose girls who are very friendly to their special friend. These guys sometimes fall in love with the girlfriends or the ex-girlfriends of their special friend.

3) The friendship between a guy with latent homosexuality and his special “hetero” friend often goes far beyond the boundaries of a common friendship between two straight guys. It is an emotional or even a loving friendship whose limits are dictated essentially by the hetero guy and are easily accepted by the guy with latent homosexuality. If the limits are narrow, the relationship, even seen from the outside, has no sexual meaning, that is, homosexuality remains totally latent.

4) A friendship between a guy with latent homosexuality and his special “gay” friend instead presents a completely different dynamic and this is what I intend to deal with later.

Let’s consider now two typical non-infrequent situations.

Case A
Two friends (whose friendship dated 30 years ago) both had heterosexual intercourses, both had been considered heterosexual for years and had always lived forms of emotional complicity only in a heterosexual key. Let’s say that one of them, let’s call him Mark, arrives at the awareness of his homosexuality through the most natural way, that is, falling in love with his friend, let’s call him Andrew, who continues to show only a straight sexuality (latent homosexuality). In this case, the old relationship of friendship, on the side of the gay guy, acquires a new value and is experienced as a relationship of love and all the moments of intimacy that can occur between two straight friends, like the nudity in the showers of the gym, or sleeping in the same bed, will have for Mark a sexual value that will not have for Andrew. The dimension of intimacy can still increase at least within certain limits because Andrew’s emotional attachment to Mark will lead Andrew to accept Mark’s particularly free behavior without too many difficulties, and this is a sign of the explicit though unconscious sexual interest od Andrew towards Mark. In real situations of this type it is possible to come to true sexual games in which Andrew will accept “in the form of a game” even Mark’s openly sexual behaviors. Andrew and Mark can take a shower together even going into erection and laughing at this fact, can cuddle themselves for hours on the couch or even in bed without openly sexual gestures, can live substantially the life of a gay couple with a limitation: sexuality, that must remain latent.

Case B
Two young guys (18/20 years old), friends from childhood, one (Mark) comes to recognize himself gay, while the other (Andrew) remains in a state of latent homosexuality. Mark falls in love with Andrew, the mutual disinhibition is stronger at the level of gestures than at the level of words. Mark and Andrew never talk about sex explicitly. Mark perceives Andrew’s resistance to admit that the relationship that has established can have some homosexual meanings, on the other hand Andrew shows himself always available towards Mark, seeks him, sends him text messages, spends evenings with him in chat, tells him affectionate phrases that are formally in the limit of a tender friendship but that that Mark tends to interpret in another key. It happens in a completely unexpected way that Andrew lets himself go to a drift of situation increasingly gay, up to even accepting sexual contacts (intimate caresses) without any embarrassment, but without any attempt at reciprocity. Sexual intimacy can even become habitual and in these terms doesn’t create particular problems for Andrew who accepts it as something now normal (sexualized friendship). Andrea falls in love with girls who are Mark’s friends, tries to create a group in which Mark is always involved and combines without apparent contradiction a straight couple sexuality with the sexual friendship towards Mark. Andrew’s heterosexual sexuality is an assumption of principle and Andrew, while living daily sexual contacts with Mark, masturbates only thinking about girls.

In the case A there is no homosexual behavior of Andrew, in the case B Andrew is involved in real sexual activities with Mark but framed in the dimension of sexualized friendship and not of homosexuality. In both cases the guy conscious of his homosexuality (Mark) finds himself in situations of deep affective contact with his friend and of partial sexual contact. What pushes Mark (a gay guy) to continue his relationship with Andrew (a guy with latent homosexuality)? The possible answers are many:

1) Marco waits for Andrew to take autonomously an awareness of the situation, which in Mark’s eyes is unequivocal.
2) Marco hopes to be able to take, in small steps, Andrew towards an explicitly gay sexuality.
3) Mark is in love with Andrew and is willing to sacrifice his sexuality in order to remain close to Andrew whose emotional warmth he cannot do without. In this regard, experience teaches some things which it is always good to take into account :

a) Latent homosexuality is generally not a stage that is a prelude to conscious homosexuality. Latent homosexuality can last and often lasts a lifetime. The exit from the latency is linked in most cases to absolutely new and unexpected factors that pose a guy quickly in front of reality, it is usually a meeting with people not previously known or unexpected episodes with a homosexual background that begin to be the object of masturbatory fantasies. This is often the first spark that leads to the exit from latent homosexuality. Generally the gay guy who falls in love with a guy in a state of latent homosexuality is extremely cautious for fear of losing him and this makes it more unlikely that the other guy can get out of latency.

b) Gay guys who fall in love with guys with latent homosexuality often say they are totally satisfied with the relationship they live but, going deeper, they realize that frustrations are many in the first place because a gay guy, in this situation, is forced to curb his own sexuality and then because there is no possibility of addressing the discourse explicitly. A guy with latent homosexuality reasons in all respects as a straight guy, in other words his homosexuality is unknown even to himself and manifests itself only in the amorous friendship that he interprets exclusively as a simple and deep friendship. The frustrations of gay guys involved in relationships of this kind last for years, they are forced to sublimate sexuality and to make a constant effort of self-control.

c) Within a couple consisting of a gay guy and a guy with latent homosexuality, precisely because it is impossible to get to an explicit dialogue on the subject of sexuality, the possibilities of misunderstanding and false interpretations are enormous. Basically the two guys decode the sexual gestures and behaviors in a completely different way, but the situation is much more complicated than that which is created between a gay and a heterosexual because the guy with latent homosexuality shows a very wide emotional availability and somehow even a certain sexual availability that confuses the gay guy. These relationships, precisely because of the availability of the guy with latent homosexuality, are initially very inviting and rewarding for a gay guy who expects his friend to show a clearly gay sexuality in short terms, however very rarely the expectations of the gay guy have the evolution that the gay guy wants. For the above it is good to take into account the time factor, considering that many gay guys have waited for many years and needlessly for their friend to came out of latent homosexuality.

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gays-and-available-guys-with-latent-homosexuality

LATENT HOMOSEXUALITY AND MARRIAGE

This paragraph is the re-elaboration of a response to the message that appeared on the Gay Project guestbook and you can read here below.

“Hi, I would like to understand more about latent homosexuality and how it can be revealed. My husband, 43, would have recently discovered his bisexuality but the constant mutability and uncertainty of his cultural and professional choices, his attachment to me (also sexual, for years, and passionate) the involuntary and occasional aesthetic interest for other women, the coincidence, moreover, of his coming out in concomitance with the obvious need to take on more mature commitments compared to a past in which only I took charge of the common life project, always involving him, his chasing me when I walked away, make me feel a lot puzzled. I would painfully respect his choice, if I could believe that it is unavoidable but I suspect a semiconscious pretext. Our environment has always been free and open, we have always frequented gay friends, our dialogue was profound and he had no reason to hide for almost twenty years. I would be very grateful for an opinion.”

I will try to answer on the basis of the experience gained in Gay Project, using an authentic documentation, consisting of pieces of e-mail that I have been authorized to publish. Let’s start with a premise: with the expression “latent homosexuality” we mean a homosexuality of which there is no awareness. It is not a matter of consciously repressed homosexuality but of a reality that operates below the levels of consciousness and manifests itself through a series of phenomena that are interpreted by those who observe them in themselves on the basis of categories totally alien to homosexuality.

Let’s move on to the examination of the first e-mail I received from a 43-year-old whom we will call Marco.

“Hello Project, I would like to ask you an opinion on some issues that gave me a lot of problems. I must make a necessary premise, I am a married man and I have a daughter almost 19 years old, I have always been heterosexual, the girls have always looked for me and I liked them very much, unfortunately sometimes I’m really stressed and maybe there is a bit of performance anxiety, so sometimes I live sexuality in a way not quite serene, but with my wife I’m fine, she cares about me very much, with her I feel at ease and then it is not something essentially sexual we really love each other. Since I started being with her I don’t feel anymore the need to masturbate because I have sex with her quite often, on the other hand masturbation has never been a fixed idea for me, I was able to do without it even before.

When I started my story with my wife I would never have believed I could live sexuality with her, that is, the thrust I felt towards her was not that, then things came slowly by themselves, I had a little fear that vanished over time and now things are going well.

As for friends, I also have gay friends and I have no preclusion of principle against them. I still do sports, not competitive, I have the opportunity to see my teammates naked a lot of times but I’m completely indifferent, I never thought I could have sex with a guy. I have a friend with whom I feel great, a straight friend, a teammate, we often talk and the dialogue between us is very nice, he tells me about his emotions and I talk to him about everything, including sexual problems, it happens that we often go out in four, I, he and our wives, I often talk to this friend but for me his presence has not and has never had any other meaning, he is a friend and that’s it. I told you at the beginning that sometimes I feel a bit tired and I think that this compromises a bit my relationship with my wife, sometimes when I’m with her I remember the problems of work and I don’t like this, because this makes me loose the best moments, but it will pass, I’m sure of it.”

Let’s move on to the analysis of the contents of this passage which is the beginning of the first e-mail I received from Mark.

Heterosexual phenomenology (weakness of hetero sexuality)

Mark has or may sometimes have problems with erection when he has sex with his wife, tends to get distracted during hetero sexual intercourse, he lives heterosexual sexuality as a response to his wife’s initiatives, he didn’t masturbate (or did not do it often) thinking of his girlfriend even when he hadn’t frequent intercourses with her, tends to spend more time with his friends or with a friend of his than with his wife. For him, heterosexual sexuality doesn’t have the value of a primary instinct but plays the role of a complement of an emotional relationship, that is, sexual interest is not the first push to create an affective contact, but, on the contrary, sexual availability derives from the primary emotional choice. Marco does not have in mind a physical type of girl who arouses immediate sexual interest in him, that is, he does not have a female sexual archetype. In adolescence he was always looked for by girls (he doesn’t say he was looking for them) with whom he had some form of sexual contact but didn’t take the initiative. Adolescent masturbation was not frequent.

Homosexual phenomenology (absence of gay sexuality)

Mark has never had sexual reactions related to the presence of another guy, he attends gyms, swimming pools or changing rooms and takes the shower together with others guys without any sexual response, he doesn’t feel any embarrassment in addressing topics that deal with homosexuality, he also has gay friends with whom he has a relationship very similar to what he has with his straight friends, he was never even remotely touched by the idea of being able to masturbate thinking of a boy.

We continue now with the text of Mark’s e-mail.

Elements of crisis of the hetero identity and acceptance of bisexuality

“Project, you will tell me, then where is the problem? And here I start not to understand well. I love my wife, I’ve shared everything with her, she’s a notable woman and did a lot for me, she even went against her family to marry me, because the family wanted her to marry another guy (whom her parents knew) but she imposed herself and we got married. I want to emphasize that it was not a choice of opportunism at all but a marriage of love, especially in the early days, I shared wonderful years with her, I needed nothing else, when we got married I was 23 and she was 21, the following year our daughter was born and I could not have been happier than so. I’ve been married for 20 years and for 19 of these 20 years I’ve had only my wife in mind, I’ve never cheated on my wife, such a thought never crossed my mind, then suddenly a situation presented itself that upset me.

We hosted in our house a nephew of my wife, a guy 22 years old, let’s call him Luke, a nice guy, I think my daughter fell in love with him, and so far there would be no problem. The fact is that one night when my wife was not there because she went to her mother, I did one of the rare erotic dreams (a wet dream) of my life and I dreamed of Luke, I dreamed that he wanted to be hugged by me, and we ended up to the intimate caresses and I have arrived to the orgasm. In the dream it was all very nice, but when I woke up and I remembered what I had dreamed of, the world collapsed on me, I felt dirty both because it was a homosexual dream and because Luke is 22, almost my daughter’s age. And then I was thinking of my wife, I was wondering if I should talk to her or not about such a thing and I felt really bad. Then I told myself that dreams don’t mean anything but this was not enough for me, because in the dream I had experienced violent sexual emotions that I had never felt before, as a kind of super sexuality.

In the morning I saw Luke, who called me uncle, I felt like a traitor to the trust of that guy, even a kind of pedophile, I felt very bad but I forced myself not to show anything of what I carried within. In the evening my wife returned and we made love, it was beautiful, I would say that I seemed to be back in the early days of our marriage, I felt comforted because between me and my wife nothing had changed and if it had changed had changed for the better. I felt the nightmare of being homosexual less looming. When Luke came back to his house I felt relieved, as if the danger was over. However, I didn’t say anything to my wife because I didn’t want to shake her and also because I thought it was a passing thing. For two months I returned to my usual life.

Then, during the summer, on vacation, I found myself with a guy slightly older than Luke and I realized that I was led to observe him, he seemed beautiful, smiling, with a smile that I never saw in a girl, I remembered his voice, his gestures, his big, beautiful hands, with perfect skin. This guy, whom I will call Silvio, became fond of me, he came to our house by the sea, my wife thought he was interested in our daughter but it was not like that. Silvio came to stay with me and I was fine with him, I looked for different ways to spend some time with him, for a while it was very pleasant but then I started to be afraid to push myself too far. There has never been anything between us and Silvio treated me like a father but for me things were not exactly like that. I didn’t think of him in sexual terms and this made me feel comfortable, I tried to put aside the idea of being in love with Silvio but in fact it was so, but I repeat, no sexual fantasy about him, never, I don’t know, maybe I was repressing myself, but Silvio made me feel good. Also this time I didn’t say anything to my wife and basically I had nothing to say to her, there had never been anything between me and him, not even in a dream. But with Silvio I was less afraid of being able to discover that I was bisexual, let’s say that I took it into account at least in the abstract. I don’t speak of being homosexual but bisexual because with my wife sexual intercourse were still going well or at least passably.

In the fall a new practitioner about 25 years old came to my studio. I started doing sexual thoughts on him and my terror has begun again. I ended up to ask to be transferred to another office, but then I needed to see him and I went back where he was but he never noticed anything, even with this guy there has never been anything
but he was the first guy on whom I made erotic fantasies, in one way I was scared, but for the other I said to myself: why not? After all, such a thing doesn’t destroy my marriage, these guys don’t even know anything about it, so why deprive me of something that basically doesn’t hurt anyone? I’m bisexual, ok, I take note of it. And in the end these things are all in my imagination because it doesn’t come to my mind that I could put in crisis in my marriage and the relationship with my daughter for a sexual fantasy.

Let’s say that this is the stage where I am now, my real fear is that of escalation, that these things, which didn’t exist before and that I have gradually accepted, can then evolve presenting me the bill and maybe pushing me in some adventure that could put me in great difficulty. Until here I feel like accepting what is happening to me but I’m terrified that it does not stop here. My wife does not know anything about this and among other things I don’t know how to make her understand something like that.”

Beyond the example I have reported, situations occur in which the maintenance of the balance as it was before the emergence of homosexuality is objectively impossible. The evolution in those cases doesn’t go towards a bisexuality predominantly heterosexual, in which it is possible to contain homosexuality in the limit of episodic gay masturbation, but towards forms of exclusive homosexuality that undermine marriage and inevitably lead to separation.

In the case of Mark (the one cited above) the wife is completely unaware, but in cases where latent homosexuality evolves into exclusive homosexuality the role of the wife becomes critical because in these situations the husband intends marriage as a trap and the conjugal relationship keeps only negative aspects.

In general, husbands who come out of situations of latent homosexuality speak with their wives only if they feel the impossibility of continuing the marriage bond and in these cases, even if the husbands qualify themselves as bisexuals, it is to be believed that they are instead exclusive homosexuals.

It must be said that generally the wives consider the behavior of the husband as a result of a choice, but this doesn’t correspond to truth, it is instead the emergence of a latent sexuality, which often entails, for those who live these situations, states of deep discomfort.

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

HOMOSEXUALITY AND FEELINGS OF GUILT

Concept of feeling of guilt

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

Function of the sense of guilt

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

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

Codes of behavior and individual well-being

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

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

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

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

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

Moral freedom and feelings of guilt

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

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

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

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

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

Dysfunctional attempts to overcome feelings of guilt

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

The conquest of moral freedom

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

Self-degradation

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

Dangers of behavior patterns

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

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

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

Feelings of guilt induced by theoretical models

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

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

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

Infidelity: the roots of betrayal

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

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

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

Frantic sexuality and emotional needs

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

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

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

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

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

Internalization of the prejudice of others

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

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

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

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

Moralism and inability to understand the betrayal

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

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

Self-esteem and feelings of guilt

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

____________

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

ONE HUNDRED PERCENT GAY

Hello Project, I am writing to push you to go on with “gay project” because I’m convinced, and I know it because I have experienced it in first person, that it is a fundamental tool of sex education, in practice the only tool in network that allows gay boys to have serious answers on many things that they couldn’t face anywhere else. 
 
I’ll tell you my story (I wrote you a long time ago and we talked through msn), if you want, publish this email, I think it would make sense because I believe that many guys have gone through similar things to what I’ve been through.
 
I am 25 years old, I’m not really young but I can tell you that I’m only now learning to appreciate the fact that I’m gay and to live homosexuality in another way. I’m from the computer generation and I’m an only child, among other things a child of elderly parents, my father is almost 70 years old and my mother is a bit under 60. Of my parents I can only say well. In my house I’ve always felt at ease.
 
My parents worried about me but they always left me substantial freedom. At 19 I was traveling around Europe in a tent with my friends, they never anguished me with the classic questions like “do you have a girlfriend?” or similar, with them the topic of sex was always taboo, it’s like if they had in mind that they had to stay apart from those things and up to a certain point I agree with them.
 
I had already my pc when I was 14 and I fiddled around a lot. My parents a little because of their mentality, according to which they would never go rummaging through my things, and a little because they don’t understand anything about computers, they would certainly never enter my computer and I used it at the beginning only for school and I didn’t even put a password, then, driven mainly by the stories of my classmates, I started to search, on google, words like sex, pussy, and the like. What comes after you can imagine it.
 
I saved the sites and then I thought it’s risky and I studied how to put the password, I spent two hours to understand how to do but then I succeeded. I had just turned 14. I waited for dad and mom to go to bed and then: sex without brakes! Endless masturbations on straight photos and videos, that is with a boy and a girl, up to high night, but all apparently strictly in a straight key.
 
I say this because now I know it very well, a straight porn can be very interesting also for a gay boy, because there is not only the girl, but at that time I didn’t come to this kind of reasoning, for me if there was a girl on the video, the video was straight and therefore I was fine and I felt allowed to use it.
 
For a few days it went on like this, I felt like a “man” because I was thinking about sex, in the morning, at school, I was so dazed that I fell asleep in class. I arrived to masturbate three or four times a day. In practice, pornography monopolized me completely, I had reached the point that my penis hurt and I thought I had created problems only by insisting too much, but fortunately it was not so.
 
I was a bit succubus of these things and a little I began to think that it was too much and it could compromise my health and then I began to reduce the number of masturbations but at the same time I wanted them to be a powerful thing and then I chose with care the photos or the porn to use, even if at that time the porn was very short.
 
A lot of times I ended up in sites that became impossible to close and I had to close everything turning off the computer, there was no ADSL, and there was the risk of the dialer, that loaded the bill with high figures, but fortunately I have never stumbled on such things, then since I knew that with the ADSL there was no risk of the dialer, I did change my subscription and I put the ADSL, at least from that point of view I was safe.
 
I had just turned 15 and I had noticed one thing, that is, that even if I masturbated using hetero porn sites, in fact, I wasn’t interested at all in girls, and without internet, when I tried to go only with my fantasy on the girls, I didn’t even get a hard-on. I remember that at the time I was very worried, I went to read articles on impotence and I seemed to have all the ills of the world.
 
Then something happened that really upset me. At school, my class was almost entirely male and we were a lot, we did gymnastics without girls at the first two hours, the girls did it with the other girls in the afternoon.
 
At the end of the second year, at the beginning of May, the teacher tells us that the following Monday he would have taken us to the municipal stadium of athletics and tells us “Bring everything with you, even soap, shampoo and towel because at the stadium there are the showers”. At school, on the other hand, there was nothing but a football pitch and a gym, but still with all the wooden tools attached to the walls, like many years ago.
 
The following Monday arrives, well let’s say that it really changed my life. There were not only my classmates but also the older boys of the fourth and fifth (18-19 y. o.).
 
The showers were huge and in the locker room there was a go and come of naked guys, and immediately I had an erection that I couldn’t hold back. Obviously I didn’t take a shower, I was not really in a possible condition, I was the first one to enter the locker room and the last one to get out of it, then at the end of the morning, when I saw someone who went back to the showers, I rushed there and came out after the last of my classmates. Luckily I had the shoulder bag, and instead of putting it on my shoulders I put it on my neck so that it would fall on the front to cover the erection. In practice I had no more doubts, I was not yet 16 years old.
 
Since that day I no longer used straight porn sites, now I felt completely gay. I have to say that I had no problem accepting it, because it was absolutely natural for me and, even without porn, I masturbated easily using fancy, I was fine because the memory of the morning at the stadium was and still is one of my fixed sexual fantasies.
 
Here begins the second part of the story and perhaps the most unpleasant. I had just started to surf gay sites, and many things seemed to fit perfectly with my way of fantasizing about the guys: caressing, hugging, kissing, and wanting to see and touch the other boy’s intimate parts and also let him do exactly the same, all this didn’t create any problems, and spontaneously I had already thought many times even about mutual masturbation, after the famous morning at the stadium.
 
As for the oral sex, ok, it was never a spontaneous thing, but in a sense I told myself that in fact I would have done it on both sides, but many porn videos, practically all, went on with the penetration and frankly it was something that not only had never crossed my mind but sincerely seemed repellent to me, not for a matter of moralism but I just could not conceive of it.
 
The idea of oral sex was a different thing, not spontaneous, but in the end it was possible also for me, but I considered the penetration something extraneous, both on one side or the other. From here I began to wonder if I was really gay,
 
so many jokes about gays alluded to that thing, in porn it was a frequent thing, not really always present but very present (99%). I began to make a selection of videos by eliminating all those that ended up with the penetration and saving everyone else, and then I saw only those that I had saved because I felt them more suitable for me. Then I began to reflect almost obsessively about the fact that I was immature, because I read that when gay guys say “complete intercourse” they allude to anal penetration and I told myself that if there is to be forced, I don’t like it, it is a sign that I’m not really gay, but so what am I?
 
I am one who prefers to stop at an incomplete thing and therefore am I afraid of true gay sex? I tried to masturbate forcing myself to fantasies on the anal penetration but I felt it just like something completely extraneous. This fact for me was very conditioning, in practice even if I had friends who I thought were gay I had never even tried to break the ice and to every attempt on their part I replied in a very cold way because I didn’t feel fully gay and I thought that it would not work anyway, that maybe I would have to adapt, what I did not like at all. Then I ended up on your blog, and there was a link to the novel “Andy”. I was intrigued and I started to read and the more I went on the more I liked it, the text was censored but nevertheless was still understandable. I said to myself: “You have just to wait and these guys too will end up there! (I meant to anal penetration)”. I arrive at the end of chapter 3 and read this passage:
 
– Mark, but you stay with me just to look me in the eyes and to prepare breakfast for me?
– No, not just for that.
– And what else? Say that! Don’t feel conditioned!
– Well, also because I’d like to have sex with you!
– Oh! Finally! And what does it mean for you to have sex with me?
– Well, you know!
– No, I do not know, you must tell me!
– Come on, don’t embarrass me!
– But if you feel embarrassed for this, tonight, I think, we will have very little sex! Come on! Tell me what you’d like to do! Come on, do not make a fuss! [… omissis … (Andy tries in any way to induce Mark to confess what his sexual fantasies are, what he would like to do with Andy.) Mark reticent, at first, then, always using a language that is not directly sexual, talks about his fantasies, but the list of sexual fantasies of Mark is very short.)]
– And then? –
– That’s all!
– No, tell it all without hypocrisy!
– No! That’s really all!
– No! It’s not true, tell all the story!
– No! it’s totally true!
– What did you say?
– Nothing else! finished! There is nothing more!
– Don’t be ashamed, Mark, and the rest?
– There is nothing to add!
– What does nothing mean?
– It means that I don’t like sex from behind. . . how have I to tell you?
– Are you teasing me?
– No! That’s exactly so, if it’s not fit for you I’m sorry, I could also try to adapt but it doesn’t come naturally to me, it would seem to me a forced thing, in my fantasies these things have never existed.
 
Andy became more serious.
 
– Are you sure, Puppy?
– Certainly, keep calm! I know my fantasies well, but why are you grimacing that way?
– Because it never even crossed my brain.
– Don’t make me worry, Andy, tell me the truth!
– I swear, I never thought of making love that way, it’s an idea that has never even touched me.
– Andy, don’t make fun of me on these things, they’re too important!
– No, Puppy, it’s all true! When I looked at porn movies and arrived at that point I closed the video …
– Damn! Is it possible? We are similar also from this point of view!
 
Project, I swear to you that the reading of this passage has really sent my heart to a thousand. So I told myself: “There’s a gay novel about two gay guys who have the same idea of gay sex that I have! And they are gay, they are the protagonists of a novel where there is written: “gay novel”.
 
So I wrote to you, maybe you’ll still remember it, I was “Maybegay”, we talked through msn and you told me that the story of “Andy” is a true story. I didn’t even tell you why I was so interested, maybe you’ll remember, I asked you if you think Andy and Mark are really 100% gay and you were puzzled and you told me: “But why? Can you be more gay than that?”
 
By now I had understood that gays “my way” not only exist but maybe they are not rare, but I had the idea that I would never have found a guy like me, with my way of seeing the things of sex, gays of this type could also exist but I would never have found one.
 
After some time I met a guy at university, we studied together, he didn’t have a girlfriend, he didn’t talk about girls and I saw that he really cared about me, but I didn’t have the courage to break the ice. Fortunately it was he the one who did it, I, on the contrary, with my usual doubts, avoided doing even the slightest step forward, at the end we explicitly said to each other that we were gay and that we liked each other. I told him though that to have sex with me he would have to do two things, I told him: “The first is the aids test” and he told me: “Ok! No problem, I’ve never been with anyone! And the second?” I replied: “You must first read a novel and you must tell me what you think about it, ok?” He said to me:” Of course! Which one?” And I gave him the link to “Andy”, he read it in two days and then we met again. I was very anxious and I asked him: “What do you think of the novel?” He told me: “It’s beautiful! One of the most beautiful things I have read!” I asked him:” But do you think Mark and Andy are gay?” He replied: “If they are not, I don’t know who could be gay!”
 
And I told him : “But they do not have sex from behind.” He looked at me puzzled and told me: “But for you it is so fundamental?” I replied “No, and for you?” He didn’t know what to say, then he said:  “If I must be honest I never understood what people find there. I see it as a something forced, it’s something that never came to my mind.” I told him he had lifted me from a heavy weight and that now we just lacked the test, then I asked him if he felt 100% gay or maybe he felt gay only up to a certain point. He looked at me right in eyes and said: “But who put all these stupid things in your head? Of course I feel 100% gay! Who considers anal penetration as a fundamental thing can do what he wants, it’s his business, do you think perhaps that I have to feel less gay for this? But it would be just absurd!”
 
Well, he’s been my boyfriend for quite a few months now, sex with him is wonderful, but we don’t really think too much about it. We have to finish our studies and find a job in order to live together, because our dream is that. Now, Project, of this email, do whatever you want, but know that “Andy” made me and my boyfriend happy. I’m very grateful to Gay Project. Even my boyfriend has read this mail and we send it to you together. There are many people who love you even if they don’t know you in person.
__________
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-one-hundred-percent-gay

CHRISTMAS EVE: A TEXT NOT SEXUALLY CONNOTED

The text that follows is devoid of connotations (masculine or feminine) that allow to understand the sex of the protagonists. This story (like others with the same characteristics) can be used as a projective test. The heterosexual reader is led to read the story in a hetero key and generally doesn’t realize that it is a not sexually connoted text, the homosexual reader instead usually realizes that the text is not sexually connoted and, precisely for this reason, is less inclined to project himself into it.
_________

My dear,

This is a passage of my diary of “that year”:

« We have been friends for long time now. It’s a good feeling to have someone to call if sadness takes over, or just to talk with. Do you remember?

It was Christmas Eve. Neither of us was busy with friends and parties, total loneliness, and I called you to wish you a merry Christmas, I did it without any purpose, just as usual, but then it was different, we have been talking for over half an hour. It was nice to hear your voice. I didn’t know what to do, I thought I was making you waste time and I said: “Well, it’s better I go, otherwise perhaps you’ll be late … I think someone is already waiting for you somewhere…” and you answered: “No problem, nobody is waiting for me.”

I was perplexed, it seemed impossible to me, and that was the moment that the a fool idea flashed in my brain. I asked you: “Would you like to came here?” Your answer seemed to me very strange: “I would but I thing I wouldn’t fell at ease among your friends, I think perhaps it’s better another time.” But I was about to spend a Christmas Eve alone and I told you that I had no friends at home, I was completely alone. Everything started this way.

No more than an hour later we were in front of each other chatting in a very embarrassed way. Everything sounded strange. We put on a CD of Christmas carols just to ease the conversation and to make the long silences shorter.

My fridge was empty because I hadn’t programmed anything for that night: no wine, no sweets, in practice nothing but canned beans and rice and a bottle of tomato juice, salt and pepper. You told me: “Let’s start, I’m a little starving and you?” In practice we have spent all the time before midnight cooking. You are very well at cooking like you were a cook very refined .

Sometimes you were singing following the King’s College choir, like you were a chorister. You remembered by heart the text of those carols.

While shepherds watch’d their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.

“Fear not!” said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind.
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind.

There was a magic atmosphere, you seemed really exalted by that celestial joy, and I was there looking at you, looking at your flashing smile. I was happy, friendship seemed to me something wonderful. We were no more than two friends spending together Christmas Eve but it was wonderful. Or better it was normal, we were like a couple even if such a word was very far from our dictionary at that time, we were a family, with no children but just a family and the embarrassing feeling of the beginning vanished while a calm serenity took its place, as if time had stopped for a little to let us experience something new, something special, something that had been created abruptly, unexpectedly, but was nevertheless enjoyable, pleasant, I’d say absolutely particular.

The dinner was minimal, but the atmosphere was special. You had put aside every embarrassment and I was looking at you noticing for the first time haw you are beautiful, your hands, your skin, your eyes, you hair. Not that I hadn’t noticed such things before, but in those magic moments I felt upset … but no, it isn’t the right word, I felt a certain restlessness, the need to be near you, to think less and stay close to you as much as possible.

But you kept yourself at a distance, you didn’t move away from me but you didn’t encourage me and I didn’t know what to do. I wondered many times, on that Christmas Eve, what you were thinking, how you considered our strange relationship, our sharing good feelings while we were together. I expected a gesture from you that could take away all my doubts, but that gesture didn’t come. Nevertheless you were extremely happy, you were playing, you were joking, but that gesture didn’t come, and a certain discouragement began to make its way inside me.
Then the time has passed and even midnight has passed with all his emotions and best wishes and you asked me if you could stay and sleep at my house. I liked it, but at the same time I would have liked better a different epilogue. We didn’t even talk about sleeping together, I made you a bed in the room where I usually work, and you went to sleep after hugging me. It was not a formal hug, no, it was a different thing, you hugged me tightly, in a way that is certainly not that of friends but it resembles the way of lovers. It’s nice to hold the person you love in your arms, that’s undeniable, but I wondered obsessively what that embrace meant to you.

The next morning you came out of the bathroom with your hair in the wind, a very beautiful image, and with your usual smile you said: “I really enjoyed everything, I don’t think I could have spent better Christmas Eve.”

I feel really comfortable when I’m with you, it’s like I’ve always known you, it’s really a very beautiful thing. When you greeted me I wanted to hold you back, but I knew I didn’t have to do it. You hugged me again and for a few seconds more, that gesture contained a strong and clear message that didn’t need words.

You left smiling and waving your hand as if to say hello, even if we didn’t give ourselves an appointment. After five minutes I got a text message: “I love you!” »

Do you remember the first non-work mail you sent me? I kept it because I was really moved, here it is:

« How beautiful Christmas night was! The pleasure of being with a person who takes care of you, who transmits you serenity, calm, peacefulness, you feel happy, you feel you are the object of special attention, of affection, I would say almost love. When I decided to come to your house I didn’t know what to expect, in a sense I accepted the risk. My dreams could have shattered, but I also had to understand something more. I had to understand what I could be for you, what it means to you to love a person.

You have not reduced anything shattered, you have been there, I saw that you were fine but you never crossed the limit, you’ve never been intrusive, and I began to love you for this very reason. I am a person with many problems and I cannot promise you things that I could not keep, but I would like you to know that on Christmas night I was really free, in practice I felt happy and this almost never happens to me. I don’t know if we will ever be a couple in the classic sense of the term, but I believe that there is already some form of love between us, I don’t think this word is exaggerated.

You will have to be patient, I must learn what it means to feel loved, because I don’t think it has ever happened to me, but this time things could really be different. In short, if you think it is appropriate to start believing in something better, well, then I too think that we can try.»

Now I greet you, I needed to feel you somehow present, and write this mail made me relive some very nice things!
I’m waiting for you as soon as possible! When you’re not here I miss you very much!
Bye.

__________

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OK I’M GAY BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO

Hello Project, I wanted to thank you for last night, you have infinite patience and above all you have the ability to make me feel less agitated. One like me, who at 25, after so many back and forth, comes to the conclusion that being with a girl is not for him, he feels quite destabilized: what to do with the girl? What to do with parents? And then, gay, ok, but this at the moment only means that I have fantasies about guys, but then how should I move? I don’t know anything about it and you can understand that I’m so scared that sometimes I get the very strong temptation to say: well, I’m gay, but it’s just a fantasy and it will never change, there will never be anything concrete, then I might as well go on acting the role of straight guy, I did it for so many years! 
 
In the end being gay is too complicated, I’m not used to all the things I read in the forum, prudence, acting, let’s say that until now I did but unconsciously, basically up to a few months ago, I had a half idea of being really straight, but now I should just act consciously and then what do I do?
 
Admitted and not granted that I find a guy, I take him home and I say to my parents: “He is my boyfriend!”? I believe they would call psychiatric service because they do not expect it at all such a thing. And then, even assuming that I can solve calmly with the girl (obviously inventing false motivations, what gives me tremendous annoyance, because she has always been very transparent to me), what does it mean to find a boyfriend? Finding a girl I know what it means, or better, I know what it means being found by a girl, and the complications are not too many, but looking for a guy must be something different.
 
What do I say to a guy? “How beautiful you are! I would like to eat you with kisses!” But how do you woo a guy? I just cannot imagine it. In short, all these things we talked about last night at the time reassured me, when we said goodbye I felt euphoric, then this morning I said to myself: I spoke with Project, it’s true, but for me, in concrete, what has changed ? Just nothing! I talk to Project but in the end It’s I who have to deal with my problems and here’s the problem, because I’m really afraid of not even knowing where one has to start from. The guys who felt gay from the beginning, have slowly learned these things, but me? I read the forum to try to understand what it actually means to be gay and the result is that it seems a lot harder than I thought before. I’m still scared, I think we’ll hear each other soon.
 
You did a very important thing, you took away from my mind a bit of crazy ideas that seemed to me absolutely obvious, you know, a greenhorn doesn’t even know the a b c, for example about the coming out, I filled my brain with this idea, even if I couldn’t really understand how to do something like that, but I liked the idea and I felt less than others because I unconsciously knew it was not for me. Now at least I feel less inept and more gay, so to speak, normal, after what you told me. Then the problems of prevention! Damn, Project, I was just about to throw in the towel. With my girlfriend practically at most a bit of petting, so zero risk, but with a guy I hoped to do a bit of sex. Well at certain times last night I said to myself: Project exaggerates! Maybe he does so for good, but for him this story of prevention is just a fixed idea. But then to think that maybe for a little sex one can really get into big trouble shows things in another way and I had never thought about it!
 
Anyway, let’s say I think I would not have put myself at risk, but now I’m sure I’ll be even more careful.
 
Another point, I need to understand how other boys live their homosexuality (what a horrible word!) Because I’ve never fallen in love with a guy and I think that my basic doubts are all coming from there. Sexual fantasies yes and many, but in love with a guy never! And how is it that if I’m really gay and I’ve never fallen in love with a guy? It seems to me that I could have a relationship of pampering with a girl but with a guy, I don’t know how it could be. Maybe it’s all about roles, maybe it’s something that is much simpler than I think, but at the moment I don’t really see myself cuddling another guy.
 
I often thought that I could do all my fantasies, I mean sexual fantasies, about a guy, but if I really knew him then I would be unable to live in reality that sexuality, maybe that guy would be a friend, even the best friend, as it happened sometimes, but you know how it is when you are friends the relationship becomes almost familiar and sexuality has nothing to do with such things, at least I think so, I have never fallen in love with my friends, indeed I have never fallen in love with anyone.
 
And then there is a guy sweet like a girl? Maybe if such a guy existed I could also fall in love with him, but I see certain guys that make just fall my arms, no sweetness at all, just superficiality and pure stupid brutality. In short, well, a gay doesn’t fall in love with all the guys but with only one, but the thing has just a statistical meaning, there are those who have had 10 guys and those (like me) who have not had and will not have not even one.
 
And if I stay alone (what is very likely because in terms of courage I’m a rabbit), gay and lonely! What a nice mixture! Wouldn’t it be better (fake) straight guy and alone! I could always say that I didn’t find the right woman, which is at least one thing that can be said. I am afraid, Project, to have put me on a path that will only bring me trouble. If I find a guy who loves me, ok, then it makes sense, but it’s something that seems very unlikely. The last doubt that came to me last night: are there many guys in my condition? And generally how does it end? Thanks for the patience, Project, I’ll contact you Friday night.
 
Italian Hamlet
p. s. If you think this email may make sense even for other people, post it in your blog.
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