DETOXIFICATION OF A 32-YEAR-OLD GAY GUY

Hello Project,
I’m 32 years old, and I think I’ve finished the so-called “most beautiful period of my life”, assuming there was ever something like that in my life. I look at the young boys, the twenty-year-olds, they are young, they are beautiful, they are full of wishes and hope, but I watch them from afar, they believe that sex can change their lives but I have already overcome this stage, I have had my experiences and in the end there is nothing left. I have been hunting guys on dating sites, I met a lot of them, I had sex with so many of them (prudently, that is, without putting myself at risk) and I came to the conclusion that it is good to think of something else.
With a couple of guys I even deluded myself, it lasted a few months, but then it all ended according to the general rule: better alone than badly accompanied! Every guy has his dreams, his ghosts, his pathologies, more or less evident, every guy follows his fantasy and the idea of building something together doesn’t exist at all.
Project, I don’t accuse others of doing so, because I’m the first who follows those rules, I’m the first one who isn’t so inclined to share his life. Going to bed with a guy, ok, some sex doesn’t hurt anyone, but then bye! I go back to my house, I don’t want to share anything with anyone. I should be happy to wake up in the morning near a stranger I know nothing about. Ok, we may have had sex together, but that doesn’t mean anything. What do I have to share with that guy? Our stories had nothing in common for thirty years, then we spent a few hours together and this should have changed our lives?
Project, I can also understand and accept that you don’t share my way of thinking, that you consider it stupid, but which would be the alternative? What should I believe in? The world of fairy tales no longer interests me, it is a bit like I had become indifferent to sex. I don’t know how long it will last but for the moment I want to be alone, I want to sleep a lot, I don’t want to think, I don’t want to chase unlikely dreams.
Project, I didn’t have bad experiences, I didn’t find guys who betrayed me or things like that, maybe I could change my mind, if I found (but I won’t look for it) a guy with whom there is another level of communication, then, maybe, I could change my mind, but I’ve been waiting for  the Charming Prince  for more than ten years now, and I’m tired of waiting.
There are so many better things to do! As you say, I could devote myself to the “others” in a generic sense, depersonalizing relationships, going out of the obsession that pushes me to know gay guys with the prospect of creating with them who knows what.
I also have longstanding straight friends, but I neglected them a lot, and what for? I neglected them to run after gay guys, wasting a lot of time without any result either for them or for me. With my family I broke off relationships years ago, since I became economically independent I left home … and what should I do? Should I go back to my parents’ house, even if they think I went to live alone to live with a girl? Because this is the level of communication that there is with my parents!
I left to try to be free to build my own life, I mean a couple life, but then what did I build? I became addicted to pornography for years, I had a bit of sex, which is nice only before, because afterwards it leaves you nothing! This was the meaning of my youth. Certainly there have been my studies, then my work, which is a concern but it is not really the obsession of my life, that is, it gives me something, at least economic independence.
By now the guys I have known I don’t even remember them distinctly, sometimes I confuse the story of one with that of another, they are “my ex-boys” but I consider them not as singles  but as a group, for me they don’t have a personality anymore  and I think they hardly remember me, but it’s not a big problem!
What is the use of living, Project? There is really no purpose. It’s a trivial thing. We are used to believing that we are special, that we have a profound meaning for others and for the world and instead we are nothing, just a little dust that will be swept away by the wind. Those who dedicate themselves to others probably don’t get anything, except in terms of self-esteem, but they certainly don’t lose anything, this is a great push towards love of neighbor!
I imagine what effect the reading of this mail can have in you. You’ll think that I’m depressed, inclined to renounce, disgusted by the world and by my fellow men, but it is not so, I want to look at other things, my life has been dominated for at least 15 years by the word gay, but this is not the only word in the vocabulary. I’m gay, but my being gay mustn’t become an obsession, I mustn’t find myself a partner at any cost and certainly he cannot be the first guy I meet in the street, I don’t seek any husband, I don’t deny anything and don’t reject anything a priori but I’m tired of chasing fantasies and thinking of having to settle for a bit of sex and with the risk of ruining my health.
I have never found a guy who loved me and on the other hand I have never been able to really love a guy, selfishness has always been the dominant value and this is not how married life should work.
You talked to me about “light couples”, that is without too many expectations and without too many obligations, but it’s not a thing for me, I need, or better, I absolutely need stability. Perhaps I have assimilated a model of a couple of almost matrimonial type or perhaps I’m not yet mature enough for a true couple life, that is for a couple life in which compromise and the search for quiet life dominate.
I wouldn’t accept my boyfriend making love with another guy, because I would like to be his boyfriend, not a friend of his. I’m not looking for a sexualized friendship, I’m tired of these things, I’d like a guy to share life with, but if I don’t find such a guy, I prefer to stay alone.
Don’t worry about me, Project, I’m fine, I’m not depressed, I started working on many of my projects, I joined a football club and I really like going there. Do you know why? Because they are all straight guys and when they talk about sex, they talk about girls and they don’t mind my own business. They welcomed me as a friend but we are “just” friends, it is so obvious that they are all straight that they are not at all a sexual interest for me, what we really have in common is the interest in football, everything else is part of their and my private.
I feel good in a hetero environment, of course, if there were girls too, it would be much more complicated but there are girls only in Sundays in the audience, in the gym there are no girls. It is as if I was detoxing myself from the excess of gay things, as if I were slowly releasing myself from an addiction. It’s nice to find a normalcy again.
__________
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KEEPING GOING ON AT A MINIMUM LEVEL WITH A GAY GUY

Hi Project,
I write to you because I have exhausted the list of possible recipients.
It’s more a way to let off steam than anything else, if you are there and if the forum still works, ok, otherwise it will be like having put a message in a bottle that has been lost in the ocean, but anyway I would have lost just a little time writing.

I’m 36, friends … just someone, real friends … I don’t even know. There is a guy who interests me, he is not my boyfriend, I’m not in love with him, I don’t know if I would do anything for him, maybe not, but somehow I like him. Incidentally, I never understood those of “all or nothing”, lost lovers and things like that, for me the fundamental person is always and only one: myself.

I never had a real boyfriend, that is I never lived a couple life, I did a little sex, and just a little, but then no crazy enthusiasm. I’d like to be with a guy but first of all in order to fight a battle together, to collaborate in everyday life, even to have sex, but if we reduce everything to that, well, then this guy or that one it’s all the same, more or less. I was talking about the guy who interests me, … what can I say?

He fascinates me but I realize that a real dialogue is not possible, he’s always angry with the world, anxious, resentful (not with me, or at least with me only very rarely). Sometimes he calls me and I like it but I don’t understand why he calls me. What do you want from me? Sex? Project, please note that he’s a handsome guy and on the contrary I’m not handsome at all.

For him, it wouldn’t take too much commitment to find a bit of sex and sometimes it happens, when he has no one there is me always or at least sometimes available, certainly it’s not a problem for me, by now he doesn’t even make me more proposals, he tells me that I always say no (it’s what I usually do), but if he’s the first one to tell me in the face that he doesn’t want to feel bound, why does he look for me?

But then of the fact that he has other guys honestly I don’t care at all, but I wish he had more respect for me, for example I can’t stand when he tells me that the next day he will come to see me and then he doesn’t come, or when we have to meet but then he skips our meeting because obviously he has more interesting proposals. But all this, ok, it’s his business, I’m not his boyfriend, but a bit of respect, I don’t say loyalty, but he really should have at least a minimal respect. He tells me to call him and then he puts the answering machine and he never answers.

One day he asks me to drive him to another city, almost 200 km away, he could go by train, but he suggests that we go together, I insist on going with my car, he finally accepts. We leave early in the morning, obviously he doesn’t even tell me what it’s going to do. We talk a bit in the car, but he seems unnerved. We arrive at the destination, he gives me an appointment in the center for two in the afternoon, then he goes down to take the subway.

Obviously, at two o’clock he doesn’t arrive and not even at three o’clock, his phone is disconnected, he doesn’t answer until 9.00 pm, then he sends me a text message and tells me he had nerves and took the train to came back home. He must have left at least three hours earlier, but obviously he hasn’t warned me. I went back alone and I can say that the trip made me reflect!

I must regain my autonomy. At 36, I must understand that certain things make no sense. Note, Project, that I speak of a simple friendship, but even a simple friendship should be something minimally serious, otherwise one lives much better alone! Once at home I called him back and he told me he didn’t have time because he had a job to finish, and I also regretted calling him back.

Of course, solitude is a value! I know it very well, and then when he calls me we end up with clarifications and recriminations, he tells me that he can’t feel comfortable because of me, because I’m anxious and neurotic and I transmit my anxiety to him. I know that he has so many problems and also very serious ones, but if he tells me he was wrong to tell me about it, why does he call me first? But if he talks to me about something I have to tell him what I think about and not what he wants to hear and from there the piqued answers or better the total absence of answers.

We have two very different ways of looking at life, he tells me that I was born old and that I will be alone all my life, but then what will he do? He is now 31, and when you have had many guys it is like not having had one, but he thinks I will be the only one who will remain alone, he accuses me of reasoning like his parents, of avoiding risks even at the cost of living less intensely, he accuses me of always running away, of not deciding, of being ambiguous, of keeping one foot in two shoes. Why can’t I have a minimally serious dialogue with this guy without ending up in endless squabbles?

He is as he is, now I can only adapt, and then why does he get angry with me? Because probably when he talks about nonsense or sex all guys follow him, but when he enters the melancholic tone (which often happens to him) then no one listens to him or sometimes people give him reason just to make him feel happy.

I wonder, Project, what has all this to do with the fact of being gay? Certainly anyway there is some link, because I would clearly not be following a girl like I follow him, that is, putting apart also my dignity! But why do two gays end up having these problems? And then starting from things of life in general, which have nothing to do with sex or emotional life. But maybe all these things are somehow linked!

Project, I’m tired, very tired, I can’t take to repeat the same speeches over and over again, maybe I’m just old inside and I’m learning not to hope for anything and to let things go as they must go. I know it would be much more hygienic and healthy to end this relationship, if it is a relationship, but it is not easy even to end it. What problems! Ten years ago I used to think it was easier! And people are always talking about gay marriage! The real problem is being able to get along with a guy even at minimal levels.

Hi Project and if you are there, make you heard.

___________

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FROM GAY COUPLE TO ENLARGED FAMILY

Hello Project,
we don’t know each other but I know you a little because I’ve read the forum so many times and I still read it now and I think it’s my duty to tell you my story because you also have something to do with it.
I’m 32 years old, I don’t know if they are many but to me they seem truly many. I can say I’m lucky because life has been very generous with me. I have parents I love, who are getting old, but it’s inevitable, they never really made me feel alone.
I never had any problems with my homosexuality, or rather, I had no problems accepting it, for me it was an obvious and natural thing, I have been involved in a few stories, but of little meaning, just when I was very young, then I dedicated myself to work in almost exclusive and I put aside my emotional world for a while. I also met gay guys but, frankly, I didn’t feel attracted to them.
Then, when I was 26, I met a guy, whom I will call Fulvio here (because he is a bit red in hair [in Italian the adjective “fulvo” means “reddish”]). I met him at work but he wasn’t a colleague of mine, he was working for a company that lives producing semi-finished mechanical components for the company where I work. When we met, I have to say, I didn’t feel involved with him, for me he was just a guy I had met by chance and with whom I had absolutely nothing to share. For work reasons we had the opportunity to meet several times and so we started talking a little, but about everything and nothing in particular.
In hindsight I can say that he probably understood a lot more about me than what I understood about him. Still for work reasons we continued to see each other often and I noticed that when it happened, for me it was a pleasing thing and probably for him too, and so our mutual knowledge gradually deepened. He is a nice guy but not exactly a handsome guy, or at least he didn’t look like a handsome  guy to me, so I didn’t feel attracted to him in that sense. 
One day he was very angry, really furious, he was depressed, but very troubled, upset, aggressive, and he began to attack me, of course, only verbally. He unloaded his anger against me and I didn’t understand why. I must confess that for this reason I was uncomfortable, I did not understand the reason for his aggressiveness.
In the following days he didn’t change his attitude and then he disappeared, I never saw him again and I didn’t know what to think. I kept going to his company, always for work reasons, but in his place there was a middle-aged lady and I missed Fulvio. In the end I took courage and asked news about him. They told me that he had quit his job and that he never showed up again. I didn’t have his cell phone number, I asked the lady but she didn’t give it to me and I was very upset, but one day, while I was waiting for the lady in her office, I saw that there was an open agenda. Since I knew the guy’s name I looked for it and found it, I memorized the number and then, when the lady arrived, I acted as usual, as if nothing had happened.
When I got home I called him. He immediately asked me who had given me his number and I told him that I had stolen it, he started to set off his aggressiveness and attacked me badly and, shortly after, he closed the phone in an abrupt manner. I felt a total fool for having looked for him and I have been in a bad mood for most of the evening. Then, at around 11.00 pm he calls me back, apologizes, always a bit brusquely, asks me if I live alone or if there are others at home, I tell him that there is no one, he asks me where I live exactly, I tell him where and he replies that he will come to my house after a few minutes, I just say: ok!
He arrives, looks around, then asks me: “Why did you look for me?” I tell him that I hadn’t seen him for a few days and other such banalities. He stops me and says: “People don’t steal a phone number if there is no serious reason!” I feel a little put at the corner and I try to digress, he apparently changes the subject: “Do you have a girl?” I answer him: “No! And you?” He hesitates, then says, “No!” But he goes further: “So why did you look for me?” I reply in a deliberately neutral way: “Because I was fine talking to you.” Then he asks the question I never wanted to hear: “Are you gay?” I feel terrible embarrassment, but I say to him: “Yes” and I immediately add: “And you?” He waits a few seconds and then says: “Yes, but I don’t want a guy.” I answer him: “But I’m not in love with you, you’re not my type, you just seemed like an interesting guy … ” He interrupts me: “And what do you want from me?” I tell him that if he comes under my home at night there will be a reason, he looks at me with a defiant attitude: “You think you have understood everything, but you didn’t understand a shit! You only make me angry!”
Well, our relationship began like this, in practice somehow as a fight. Nothing tender, nothing affectionate, absolutely nothing sexual. He stayed at my house until after two, I suggested he could sleep at my home, obviously not in my room, but he didn’t want to hear about such proposals. His behavior destabilized me. In the following days I called him on the phone several times but he never answered. After a week he came back to my house late at night, I thought he wanted to talk a little, but he asked me if he could stay the night and he retired to the guest room and in the morning, very early, I heard he was closing the door of the house, I went to see, he had left and had left a note, with only written: “I’ll call you”.
Our relationship proceeded this way, apparently without a goal and without meaning. I didn’t understand anything about him, I didn’t know anything about him. I wondered why I had got into such a mess, I felt used and at the same time marginalized. Then a traumatic event intervened, but not at a psychological level, right at the physical level: I had a serious car accident and ended up in the hospital in a reserved prognosis for a few days. I don’t remember anything of those days, I only know that when I woke up, or better at my first re-emergence to consciousness, I had my parents and Fulvio around me. Then they told me he had been there every day as long as they allowed him to stay by my bed.
My recovery was slow, it took me almost three months to get back into acceptable conditions, that is to walk more or less normally and he stayed three months at my house to assist me, day and night, and the first times it must have been something really heavy. But he didn’t just assist me, he sat next to me and we talked a lot, he treated me with affection. Slowly I learned to understand his world, and it was a difficult world, so difficult that I didn’t believe that such a world could exist.
We slept in the same room, I on the orthopedic bed and he on a cot. I asked him why he had quit his job and he told me that he didn’t quit his job but they fired him because one of his bosses had tried something sexual with him and he had sent him to the hell. He told me that he stayed at my house also because he could no longer pay for the room because, without a job and without money it was absolutely impossible, and therefore he had also taken the opportunity to find a temporary accommodation. This speech struck me a lot.
He told me very briefly about his family, if we can call it this way. His father hadn’t recognized him and, in practice, he almost never saw him, his mother died of an overdose when he was a child and he was entrusted to his grandmother who lived with a very minimal pension, then, just a few days after he turned 22, his grandmother died too, he had just found a job and shared a rented room with another guy, but shortly they fired him and he had to leave the room.
Fulvio is extremely proud, he has a dignity, he has never talked to me about money and this means that, if he stays with me, very likely he is not there for money or to find an accommodation, even if he tells the exact opposite. Among other things, in the last period of my convalescence he found another job. Precisely for this reason we were forced to arrive at a clarification. He told me he could be autonomous again and that he would leave. I began to be afraid, I knew I could not ask him to stay with me on the grounds of economic utility because such a thing would have infuriated him. He didn’t want to depend on anyone, he said to me: “Now you don’t need me anymore.”
It was precisely to respond to that statement that I told him I had fallen in love with him. He looked at me right in the eyes and said, “Don’t lie! I know that it’s not true!” Then I had to correct my sentence: “Well, I think I could fall in love with you, but, please, don’t go away!” He stared at me for a few seconds: “At least you didn’t say lies.” And he stayed with me. I feared that he wanted to set a deadline, for example that he would say to me: “I only stay a month.” But I immediately noticed that he had set no limits, but obviously I pretended I hadn’t noticed it, and said nothing about this. Our life together began this way.
With the new job he had big problems, they wanted to fire him because he didn’t want to close his eyes in front of very deep forms of malpractice if not of real scam. Then he changed job and the new job was widely better, requited more time but was even better paid. For a certain period (two or three months at least) I thought that Fulvio had found a guy, because he spent a lot of time away from home, I was worried but I didn’t have the courage to ask him anything, I saw him very tired, stressed, almost physically destroyed by work.
At one point I thought that he really had serious problems because he was home only at night and for a few hours, I could no longer bear not knowing what was happening and I asked him what he had. He looked at me, he meditated for a moment and then he said to me: “It’s right for you to know it: I have a boyfriend, if you want, I pack my bags today and leave.” I stopped him and told him: “Ok, you have a boyfriend, but why are you so stressed?” And he replied: “Because Claudio has huge problems and we are trying to solve them, I work from morning to night, I do double shifts and I can hardly see him …” That’s what he told me about Claudio, then he added: “he’s a boy refused by his family and who is coming out of bad circles, who ran away from his city because he was really afraid of the criminals who forced him to … well, you understood … “
He told me that Claudio had a bed for rent and that he didn’t work because he was in very bad shape. I told him: “But make him come here! With a minimum of sacrifice this house can be enough for the three of us, then we’ll see what we can do.” He looked at me quite perplexed, then said: “Do you realize what you are saying?” I replied: “Maybe not perfectly, but let’s not waste time, let’s go get him.” Claudio was really upset: skin and bones, two hours later he was at home with Fulvio. 
I gave them my room that had a double bed and I moved into the small room, they didn’t want to, but I forced them. The same afternoon we took Claudio to a very good doctor who prescribed him a series of tests and explained to us how to do in order to make Claudio be taken on charge by our region’s health service, since he comes from another region. Obviously Claudio also did the HIV test and since he hadn’t had sex for quite some time, the window period had also passed. The test gave negative results and we calmed down, after a few days we had all the clinical results in hand. In practice, Claudio carried the consequences of an untreated bronchopneumonia and full recovery would take time. Everything else was in order. 
Claudio was then 23 years old, he was very tall but he already had a bent back and was very thin. We took care of him and saw him slowly bloom again. Fulvio was madly in love with him and seeing them together aroused great tenderness in me, with me they were absolutely natural and casual. Sometimes we used to watch television together, I in the armchair and they crouched together on the sofa. I, who in theory should have been jealous, I felt happy to see them like this.
Almost five years have passed. We still live together, we are now a family, they are a very tender and very real gay couple, I don’t know what I am, at the beginning I was a bit of a nanny, now I’m “only” a true friend who loves them. Now Claudio also works and we share all the expenses, they have placed it as a mandatory condition to continue being together. My way of being gay is certainly strange but nevertheless I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world: their happiness is my happiness!
I have to add one more thing that seems very important to me. One day I was at my parents’ house, I took courage in two hands and told them the whole story. I didn’t know how they would take it. My father looked me straight in the eyes, then he stood up, he said to me: “Come here!” And hugged me tightly, then he exchanged a look of understanding with my mother and told me: “Sunday the three of you must come to have lunch here with us!” There were no other comments of any kind. On Sunday, when Fulvio and Claudio came to my parent’s home, I tell you it almost with tears in my eyes, my parents were just as happy as two kids and Fulvio and Claudio had a great time. Now every now and then mom goes to my house, cleans the house and brings us something already cooked to eat. Fulvio and Claudio have a beautiful relationship with my parents, in practice we are an extended family.
That’s all, Project, of course you can put the email where you like better because there are no identifiable elements and the names have been changed. Fulvio and Claudio greet you, they too have heard of you!
___________
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GAY GUYS AND THE ANXIETY OF WAITING

Dear Project,
it was good for me to talk to you last night, but the underlying concerns remain and I hope that in the end they can vanish, because if it didn’t happen, it would really be a nightmare. 
One considers certain things always distant and almost impossible, then you realize that it can happen, and that the fact that it doesn’t happen to you personally in the end only consoles you a little. It can happen to the people you love and if it happened it would be destructive. 
You tried to get the guilt complexes out of my head, somehow you succeeded because those were not really problems, I know very well that, whatever happened, it is not immediately attributable to me, but this doesn’t make me feel better.
We will have to wait another few days and I pray to God that there will be no terrible news. Of him I spoke only with you, in complete anonymity, first of all out of respect for him and then because my friends would understand nothing, for them when a story is over, is over, if a guy is your boyfriend, then you have some duties, but if he is no longer such you are totally free, but for me it has never been so. He is no longer my boyfriend for years now but I love him anyway, and thinking that he may be sick knocks me out. 
For a long time we didn’t hear each other, and I was quiet, that is, I thought he was okay, then he called me with those doubts on his mind and put me in crisis. My guts are contorting, I’m afraid, afraid for him. It’s not a rational thing, waiting for the results it has a bad effect, and if it’s so for me, I imagine how it can be for him. We had talked so much about being careful, not getting into trouble, but now he has doubts and has physical problems. I can only stay close to him because being sick and alone must be really terrible. 
With whom could he talk about it? With parents? Mh … no, not really possible, to his partners? They would dodge him like a leper. Project, at the moment these are all hypotheses that could very well be completely wrong and I hope they are, but I feel anxious, worried and I don’t know how to make him feel better. We have a series of medical checks in the near future and I can only hope that there will be no bad news. 
He could also have problems that have nothing to do with sexually transmitted diseases, but I see him in crisis, he is not in his normal state, it’s true that anxiety can be destructive, and I hope that it’s only that. We loved each other, then he started to look for something else, and I can understand him, but between us there is still respect and a deep affection. 
Project, I feel the anxiety of waiting, the exact opposite of a rational attitude, even if we have planned everything in the way that seems most rational, I feel uneasy, I have the feeling that human life is carried by the wind like the leaves. For what little I can, I have to try to be close to him, if I let myself be taken by anguish I make him feel even worse. Project, I was amazed by your attitude in chat, you didn’t trivialize as people do, you didn’t say the classic: “you will see that it will be nothing” no! You said to me: “However things go you have an irreplaceable role” and this phrase has remained in my mind.
I embrace you strongly, Project, I’ll call you back on skype in the afternoon.
_________
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GAY COUPLE AND CATS

And well … and what have I to say? … I’m ashamed to talk about these things, these are our own things, they are private things and then why should I talk about it with you? So you write them and then someone reads them? … and what does Peppino say? Did you ask Peppino about? …

Well, he always says yes, he never said no to anyone … he’s a good man, no, no … I really can say this … he’s a really good man … but sometimes he exaggerates a bit … now in our building people take him for crazy, but he’s not crazy at all … no, no … it all started with the story of cats … yes, yes, cats … we had a cat, just one, to keep a cat at home is something that many do, then he came with another cat, a newborn kitten, he says that that the kitten was abandoned, had no mother, and would have made a bad end … and what does he do? … He thinks that he can be the mother … yes, yes, the mother of the kitten, yes … do you believe that a newborn kitten is like an adult cat? … he had to nurse the little kitten with a dropper and not once … seven or eight times a day … in short, the story was that he put aside whatever else and took care only of cats …

Then, when the little kitten had not grown up yet he brought me another one … and what was I supposed to do? We took also this third cat! And what should we do? I told him … and what do you want to do? Did you become a cat-keeper? You must think of me, not of cats! If I was a cat you would take care of me even more than how you really do … but now you have to think of cats! … And he felt like a beaten dog and I said: And smile a little! On! You are my cat-keeper! … In short … we have arrived to have eight or ten cats at home … eight! Did you understand? … Alright then! But this way he was happy … and what had I to do … in short, we took them …

Then another story came to his mind … that there were other cats at the municipal park and that nobody thought of them … so I said … “Listen Peppi’! … but it is not that now we want to bring home all the cats in the city?” And he said: “Absolutely not! … You don’t even have to think about it … ” … but the fact is that now the little kittens had grown big and he used to go out in the morning to bring food to cats at the municipal park … and it is not that he brought the leftovers … no , no … in the evening he cooked … yes, yes! … He cooked especially for cats and all good stuff that I would have eaten it too …

Now you know how it is people here … in short, that they are always busy but not with their own business. They saw him go out with the bags in the morning and they all knew where he was going … when he passed by they said: There, see there? The cat-keeper is there! … and I had become the friend of the cat-keeper.

At the beginning he used to leave the food for cats near the building in the center of the municipal park … then once they put a fine on him … because they said that he used to dirty everything … in short, that there was danger that the rats would arrive … in short, 150 euros! Did you understand?

But do you believe that those of the municipality have ended it so? … certainly not, that those employ so many people, a lot of people that are there without doing anything … and because people called him “cat-keeper” … what did they do those good people of the municipality? They sent the social worker … a woman … but I told her … “But what are you looking for here?” That I never thought it was for cats, in short you have understood what I thought … and what had I to think? .. So she began a preach … and hygiene … and the house dirty … and spy behaviors … exactly so … but what? That it was she the spy … not my little Peppino, who has always been a good Christian! …

So you know what the social worker did? … she gave me a book … and said that the municipality had done it … but now it was not really a book … in short, a small thing, a booklet … the Handbook of Eco-cat-keeper! Eh! Yes, yes! … the Eco-cat-keeper Manual … did you saw what they do at the municipality? … and then people say that municipal employees do nothing! … So just to start the conversation I told her … “But if you ever have to give me the cat feeder handbook you would have to avoid arguments such as spy behaviors”, but she was getting nervous, in short, we took this booklet … but that was a crazy thing! And it says he had to clean up before putting the food … and then he had to collect everything, everything … saucers … in short, everything … and it said that if the cats left excrements nearby he had to remove them with the shovel, and had to put them into a closed bag, but then it says that you cannot throw such waste in the dumpster … in short, what had he to do? Had he to bring excrements home?

Now they have made that law that if you have a dog and the dog poops on the ground you have to collect it from the ground… and that’s okay … but now also that of cats? But how is it that before, when Peppino did not go there, there were excrements on all sides and no one worried … and now that he goes there the social worker comes out of the blue? She certainly doesn’t go there to clean, she only comes here to annoy us …

Three or four months ago Peppino got sick and was hospitalized for 15 days … My god! How terrible have been those 15 days! … I didn’t understand anything about cats … he was at the hospital, but he didn’t worry about what illness he had … no! He thought only of cats … do you understand? … And what could I do? … in the morning and in the evening two hours and two hours with him at the hospital and all the other time I was cooking for the cats, to keep those at home, that those were about ten, and then I had to go to the municipal park … to bring food to the cats that were there … and clean up first and clean up after …

And then there was a policeman at the park … who was there just because he had to check that I did everything according to the cat book … and what do you want to do? … there are so many jobs in this world … and he had to control me … he was always there!

Then Peppino came out of the hospital and thank God everything went well … and I felt happy! Yes, I had some little things to do but he was the chief of the army! He took all decisions … you know those things that you have to understand if the cat is sick … if you have to take it to the vet … that little pension money we get monthly we spent it all to feed the cats and take them to the vet …

But now all this story what does it have to do with you? … Ah, ok, … Now, look around! … Are there cats at home? … Neither one! Peppino took them to the board … as there are the boards for Christians … there are also for cats … and do you know how he was convinced? … Well that’s another good story … in short, one day another social worker comes … that when she said “social worker” I was already closing the door in her face … I said to her: But another time with the history of cats? She looked at me and said: “What?” … the social worker of history of cats had nothing to do with her! …

She told me that it was for an application that Mr. Giuseppe had sent to the municipality … but what application? I didn’t understand anything! I told her: “Excuse me … but what question? I don’t know anything!” She pulled out a card, which was just as Peppino writes. So in the end she told me that he would have to show up at the hospital’s pediatrics on Monday morning and she left me a card … then she looked at me and told me: “But did you understand correctly?” Exactly her words … And I replied that I am an old man, and I’m also an invalid, but I’m not stupid … well … and so she’s gone …

When Peppino came home with the bags of cats, looking at that card he become more and more cheerful and then he explained it to me … he said he had sent the application to be a volunteer at the hospital … I told him: “But what can you do? You’re not a doctor, you’re not a nurse … you cannot do anything! … but what are you going to do there? You can only annoy them” … I told him just like that … well, you have to see how he became dark, it seemed that the world had collapsed on him … and what had I to do? … well, it was too hard for me to see him this way and so I told him a little bit of good things, you know, what you tell when you have to be forgiven … I told him he was a good man … that Peppino is really a good man, that it’s always better for Christians that for cats … that also those are poor beasts … however, but the Christians are another thing! Then I told him: Would you like a coffee? … We never quarrel, but when there has been some disagreement … because in many years there has been some disagreement … when we made peace we had a cup of coffee together … In short, we had this coffee and he was newly all happy … that when Peppino is in a good mood it’s a beautiful thing to see! …

Now he didn’t know anymore what he had to do with cats … those at the municipal park were alone before and would have been alone even after … but he sent a nice letter to the social worker and explained to her everything clearly, that he couldn’t anymore care of the cats and that she should have taken care of the cats herself … the social worker! She would have to became cat-keeper herself! Then he thought of our cats … I told him: let’s keep one! We have always kept a dozen cats at home … even they are beasts deserving care! … And he told me that cats carry diseases and that you cannot work at the hospital and keep cats at home … and now the world has turned up-down!

So he did so much and said so much, that our dozen cats have been settled all of them: three or four by people in the building … he said that so he could see them, four or five other, the younger ones, by our friends and two or three to the sister. Those he had given the sister were those who were the sick ones and had to be more looked after … I will not tell you how the sister reacted! She said: “Do you want to give me some cats? … but at least give me two cats cats! Not those who can’t even stand up! But Peppino … was about to devour his sister! “You must love the beasts, that if you treat a beast this way, when it will be your time the others will treat you the same way!” … well in the end the sister has taken the old cats … and now Peppino has already gone to annoy his sister many times because he had to know how the cats were! …

Well, then he did the medical examination … they found a little bit of high blood pressure and the doctor said he was lucky that they measured the pressure and now he takes some pills … some small ones for the pressure … anyway they accepted his application and considered him suitable … He was frightened that they could not accept him for the story of the pressure … then they made him attend a course … and what an interesting thing it was … I too have looked at all the things they gave him … you know, all the things of hygiene and then how the hospital is organized and how to receive the relatives … in short, all such things … but there were a lot of bad things about the diseases of children … there were certain … my God! But in short, you must know some things if you want to be a volunteer … and then if he has to work at the hospital he must know how to behave … then, after the month of the course, because it lasted four weeks and he was there three afternoons a week …

In short, after the course I don’t tell you what he did on the first day he went there, he had not slept for three days, always thinking he had to go there … he was all stunned so that in the morning it was I the one who had to make coffee, he could hardly stand up and I said, “But now that you go to the hospital why don’t let yourself be hospitalized? But don’t you see that you cannot stand up!” But he looked like a spring, jumped on one side and the other … I accompanied him to the hospital but he didn’t let me in and we said goodbye by the gate. I went home and I prepared lunch … something very appetizing … because he was doing something important … at least that was how he considered it …

When he got home he couldn’t refrain from talking … and this and that … he had found what he wanted to do … that we don’t have children, that if we had had children, they would have become old too … that he was at ease among the children that they called him grandfather and he was happy … but also told me how some sick children were … My God! How does Peppino find the courage to stay there? Those things are bad, are just things that make you heart hurt … what you say? … an old man … and that’s fine! But a baby! Jesus! But why? Those haven’t even started …

So let’s leave aside the bad stuff … in short, Peppino was really happy … then he got the idea! He looked at me and told me: But why don’t you come you too tomorrow? I thought he wanted me to go with him … and I said: “Okay, let’s go tomorrow together” … And he smiled at me but you had to see! He made himself red rand gave me a kiss … something that is really rare between us … I was asking myself: “How is all this history?” Then I understood … Peppino wanted me to became a volunteer too! … but I hadn’t understood anything! … and now? And what could I do? I couldn’t tell him: Look! You didn’t understand anything, I thought I had to accompany you and not that I had to do what you do … And no! And how do you do? A thing like that? … and no! Peppino a thing expected and I … what had I to do? … So I told him that the next day I would send the application form. He was happy … but now, you don’t have to tell Peppino about this misunderstanding … no! Otherwise you put me in trouble! You don’t have to write this! If you don’t want to make me really angry! … So, we understood each other? … okay …

So I was saying that then I sent the application form but I have not been considered suitable … now if it’s good or not good I don’t know, but in the end I think I would have been well there … yes, yes … ok, it’s over this way … all right … well I had done it for him … but I too somehow liked it, before I didn’t have such idea, but then, slowly … So now Peppino goes there three times in the morning and three times in the afternoon and I stay at home … I have to go to the municipal park to take care of cats there … but he bought me a plastic suit … when I come back I have to wash it right away … you know, the hygiene! … but now it’s me the one who takes care of cats … and do you know how he calls me? When he comes home he tells me: “You are my handsome cat-keeper!” … And smiles happy … and what had we to do? But now he’s really happy …

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GAY COUPLE WITHOUT CONSTRAINTS

Hi Project,
tonight I feel overwhelmed by thoughts of tenderness. My ex called me this afternoon to tell me that he wanted to make love with me. It’s not a strange request, sometimes it happens. He came to my house, as beautiful as the sun, we are not kids, I am 42 and he is 31, but if you saw him you would be entranced. I think I’ve never seen a nicer guy! I don’t describe the evening, you can only imagine it, to say that it was sex it is reductive, I would say that it was just a form of total tenderness, of intimacy, of wanting to be there. We are not a couple, Project, he has his life, he sees other guys, but I don’t think he is acting with them as he does with me. The meaning of his making love is never reductive, it involves you.

Generally, years ago, after having spent an evening making love with me, he experienced moments of rethinking, rejection and deep melancholy. Maybe it happened this time too, but it was a barely perceptible melancholy, we went together to get a pizza, a very rare event for us. He didn’t want to be accompanied home (he lives very close to my house). The atmosphere was very sweet, perfect. I looked at him, I was enchanted, I looked at his clear eyes, I listened to his voice, I saw him much less neurotic than other times, a bit melancholic but also available to smile at least a little.

I wondered how it is possible that he finds gratifying to make love with me, whot is certainly not the best option. It is true that he has other guys, but he doesn’t belong to anyone, he needs to be accepted, wanted for what he is. Now in my room there is his scent and I feel happy. Years ago we have been together, like a classic couple, but only for eight months, but in substance, later, we never separated. He calls me when he wants and knows that I would never say no to him, not out of generosity towards him, but because I’m fine with him, I’m totally fine. I’m not jealous, I’m looking for love and I don’t think that the fact that he loves others succeeds in stealing something from me, and in fact every time we see each other we don’t have to patch anything up because there’s never been a rip.

I cannot say that he “knows that I have always been faithful to him”, because this expression is meaningless, he has been my only true friend, partner, and lover, for years now, in my life there is no one else, and my faithfulness costs me nothing, it is something natural, I’m not searching for experiences with other guys, I know I will not lose him, I know that sooner or later he will contact me again and I don’t feel at all alone. He treats me with respect and affection, he knows that he can trust me! When I really needed him, he was next to me.

The sex, the real one, that is, what makes you feel the guy really close, I learned it from him and he had patience because I was a problematic learner. He tells me that I don’t put him in a crisis because I never say no and at the same time I do not give sex an absolute value. He tells me that in a couple, a guy fixed with sex is enough, but if I make comparisons between his way of being fixed with sex and the way of considering the sex of some that I knew before him, the difference seems to me stratospheric. He asks, he insists, but he doesn’t force me, he tells me he wants to see me convinced. Lately he also sometimes tells me incidentally that he loves me and such things are new and somewhat unexpected, but he never tells me it when we have sex.

It’s been ten years since I started to hope him to tell me “I love you!” And now it begins to happen. He asks me if I would do the same things I do with him with other guys, he asks me such questions because he knows the answer very well: he is he and the rest doesn’t exist, it is not a way of speaking. Today he told me something that I liked very much: “in sex, the best thing is to see the other who lets himself go totally freely”. He in sex is loose and spontaneous, unpredictable, I’m sometimes tired, not because of him but because I’ve worked all day, and he understands it and tells me he doesn’t want to force me to do anything I don’t want to do, and it’s exactly so and so we just stay in bed until we fall asleep.

So many times I feel full of complexes in front of of him, as if I were not able to truly correspond to his needs, because if it is true that I never say no, I never even take the initiative. I know that he also needs something else and I don’t have to be possessive. Sometimes I thought that, paradoxically, in my way of having sex, he could especially like the hesitations, the indecision, his ability to be a teacher, which he does with extreme sweetness. The early days I feared that he might get nervous if sometimes I said no, and sometimes it happened, then over the years he no longer limited himself to asking me to understand him, but he was the first to understand me and avoid insisting. Our relationship has been going on for more than ten years and shows no sign of weariness. I still have the fear of disappointing him, and it is in a sense symmetrical to his fear of insisting too much.

I don’t know if it has been him who has changed me or it was me who have changed him, probably both are true. Apparently our relationship is based on sex, but things are much more complex. When he calls me he tells me that he wants to be with me, that he has his life but that he doesn’t want to be without me, because he doesn’t see reasons to limit himself, since it’s he who wants it. He does not really like stupid speeches, those that people do just to say something, if he has something important to tell me about, he doesn’t use half words. Sometimes, years ago, it happened that he got angry with me, now it almost never happens, he just desists, but without claims or frustration. I just wish he smiled more, because he’s always serious, he always has a veil of melancholy in his face.

He has achieved great professional successes and in his world he is an esteemed person, yet he doesn’t give these successes any value, he sees them as a way not substantially different from others to earn a living, it is as if his life were elsewhere, especially in the world of affections, but in that world has received a lot of rejections and has encountered a lot misunderstandings. Frankly I cannot understand how a guy can do reject someone like him, perhaps it is precisely the attempt to force things and to build with him a classic couple relationship that eventually destroys the relationship itself. If you ask him for an absolute monogamy, you try to put him on a leash and certainly love cannot be built on obligations.

If you don’t ask him anything he is likely to give you his soul, but if you try to constrain him in some way, then he goes away and doesn’t come back anymore. I don’t understand jealousy, Project, to love and to possess are very different things. I love him, my friends tell me that I’m happy with too little things, but it’s a stupid phrase, I love him, I want to see him smile, I want him to be happy, I want the veil of melancholy that he carries become thinner and thinner, until it disappears completely. It took me many years to understand what I was looking for and to detach myself from models that substantially are not mine.

If our relationship really went into crisis, if there were any real misunderstandings, then yes I would feel bad, but such things never happened. In many things he is very different from me, I am calm, often undecided, I am used to long times, he is a decisionist, instinctive, neurotic, anyway we have been for many years a point of reference for each other. He always told me about the guys he fell in love with, and basically he knew that nothing would change between us.

He never told me that he was in love with me, he just shyly starts to tell me he loves me, but I know it’s different, and it’s not different in terms of sex, I think the real difference is in terms of acceptance. The guys he had fallen in love with wanted to change him at their image and likeness, he, after all, would have been forced to play a role in front of them. I want him as he is because he wanted our relationship founded on total clarity: “I tell you what I am, if you want me, take me like I am, otherwise it is better that each one goes his way.” Now after so many years I feel him closer than ever before!

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A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO GAY SEXUSUALITY

Hi Project,

I’ve been reading the gay project forum for years, which was very useful to me to hear a different voice from those I usually hear. I am 29 years old and I have never had problems with my sexuality, at least according to the most common models.

Already at 18 I had my first experiences and, the first times, even without protection, then I panicked, I did the test but luckily nothing happened, and since then I have been much more cautious. I don’t think I’m addicted to sex. Up to now I have only had five partners, with all of them there is a friendship and some know each other. I have never promised anyone sexual fidelity and I think that having sex with a guy doesn’t mean betraying another guy, if things are said clear from the beginning. Let’s say that if there is one thing that for me has existed only partially, it was mutual attention, that is, I always thought that the relationships with my five friends made sense only or at least especially because I could have sex with them.

I’ve had a lot of sex, but always a bit too much technic because I grew up with pornography. I don’t like anal sex and I think no one of my friends is interested in it, I’ve never had no pressure in that direction. This is also why I stopped looking for other partners, because with my friends there is more or less a consonance of tastes and they are attentive to health. I mean that if they were at risk they would tell me. It happened more than once that they said me no because they had doubts and had to redo the test, and I really appreciated that. Let’s say that I had found my balance anyway, I’m fine with my friends from that point of view, they understand me, don’t make me sermons, don’t gossip, I can trust them. So far it’s not exactly a classic story but I think there are many guys doing like me.

At the end of the summer, about the beginning of September, at a meeting of comic collectors (my second passion after boys), I meet Andrew (this is not his real name), 26, not beautiful but more, so sexy that I cannot take my eyes off him. He notices me, he looks at me in turn and flashes me a smile and from there we start talking, first about comics and then about a thousand other things, we exchange mobile numbers, I’m happy but I don’t give too much weight to the thing, then there we say goodbye. A couple of days later he calls me and invites me to go out,

Somehow I certainly was looking forward to such an invitation, and what is more, the fact that he is so beautiful pushes me to the idea of trying a new conquest and this excites me a lot, brutally I start to get a hard-on just thinking about it.

We go out. I expect him to make a proposal but nothing similar happens, nevertheless it is not a trivial evening: we talk a lot and also very seriously, it’s still hot and you can stay around until late at night. When I come home I feel strange: “What have I tried with Andrew? Sex? Yes and no. Friendship? Maybe”. It had been a strange evening: “What did he want from me?” I couldn’t give plausible explanations. After a couple of days he called me back and we spent another strange evening, but anyway very intriguing.

Then I didn’t hear him a dozen days and I was already missing him and then I called him and I proposed him to come to my house, he thought about it a bit and then, when I told him that I live alone, he told me yes. He arrives at home with a package, I would have expected a bottle, since I had invited him to dinner, but it was a wooden object, or rather a small wooden sculpture, not even very small, the base was 20×15, there I was perplexed , but he told me: “That’s you!” And in fact there was a certain resemblance. I told him: “You’re very skilled! An artist!” He told me that he had been sculpting wood for years and that I had inspired his work.

The gift had upset all my projects, I felt stupid to read things that were happening as a sexual approach. He walked around the house, then he said to me: “I guess I had guessed right! There are no references to a girl, and I know your books very well. Ok, it seems clear to me that you do not have a guy …” This speech seemed to me inappropriate and invasive of my privacy, he realized it and tried to balance his statement: “I’m single too and I don’t have a boyfriend, of course it’s not a proposal, even if I’ve never been with anyone.”

I thought that in the evening he would have unlocked but nothing similar happened, as usual we talked a lot before and after dinner and I was really happy with him: no sex, but I was fine, somehow even better than with my friends. Andrew was not naive at all but he was calm, he didn’t have the frenzy of sex that when it takes me I cannot control it anymore. I asked him how he was doing for sex and he told me that “Ireland” helps him. “Ireland” sounded to me like a girl name. I told him: Do you have a girlfriend? He looked at me smiling and said: “The helping hand” but once again I didn’t understand and I thought that the friendly hand meant the hand of a friend and he looked at me shaking his head and told me: “But in wich world do you live?” Then I understood and I felt totally stupid!

Andrew’s presence made me very embarrassed because I was always in erection and I tried not to get up from my chair for fear of showing it too much. He stayed with me until after midnight. To say goodbye I had to stand up and show my erection. He simply said: “Don’t worry, so many times it happens to me”. I asked him: “Even now?” And he replied: “No, not now, because there are too many things that I don’t understand well, I need to have clearer ideas”. When he left I didn’t know what to think, what to desire. I wondered if I would see him again, and I saw him again after a few days.

He called me and we were on the phone for over an hour. Over time our meetings became regular, almost fixed appointments, he used to come to dinner at my house, he even slept there sometimes but no sex. I also felt quite demoralized: I was courting a guy who seemed totally disinterested. I have never wasted time on sex, but with him it was happening. I talk to one of my friends and the reaction surprises me: it tells me that maybe, finally, I’m really falling in love! I’m in love with Andrew? This, ok, could also be, but him? Just chat and then stop! Or love is another thing.

What is sure is that sometimes I find myself doing things that I would have never imagined, I seem to be gone back 10 years, I feel naive, I expect something from a guy and I don’t even know if I expect sex or anything else. If he had been ugly, this wouldn’t have happened, most likely. I’m in a difficult situation, he fascinates me but at the same time I feel him too far under many other point of view.

If It’s possible to come to a sexual contact, even minimal, at zero risk, ok, it would be good, but if such things are impossible, and in my opinion there is a risk and also very concrete that they are truly impossible, what should I do? Should I wait for the Charming Prince to decide? And it could happen in 10 years! I never thought I would find myself thinking about such things but that’s what’s happening to me.

What do I think about, Project?
Obviously you can publish the email if you like.

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