The connection between sexual abuse and obsessive content related to sexuality deserves further study. I will consider two different situations, the first concerning a gay guy who has been abused in childhood and who presents a gay sexuality deeply conditioned by the experience of the abuse, the second concerning a straight guy who has been abused in adolescence and has developed a gay-themed OCD (I will only deal with the case of a OCD that had already manifested before the abuse). The situations, despite their substantial differences, have a fundamental aspect in common: the identification of the victim with the abuser. Let’s start with the first situation.
1) A gay guy, who has been sexually abused in childhood, has a gay sexuality that in the first meetings with his partners does not present particular problems but, if the relationship deepens, the guy gets to confess to his partner that he has been sexually abused, nevertheless he does not tend to feel as the victim but almost as the co-responsible if not as the promoter of the abuse, he tries anyhow to involve his partner in his obsessive fantasies concerning the abuse with insistently (obsessively) repeated questions about the circumstances of the abuse, asking him what he would do if he found himself in similar situations; faced with evasive or patently disinterested responses, the guy seems incredulous and attributes the lack of interest in sharing that particular sexual fantasies on the part of his partner to an alleged moralism of the partner himself, however the insistence does not cease even in the face of an obvious lack of interest but becomes even more pressing, as if the guy wanted to obtain a confession analogous to his own. The obsessive insistence on the partner goes as far as to induce him, in more or less long time, to distance himself and interrupt the relationship.
It is evident that the memory of the abuse has become a sexual archetype from which it is difficult to get free, and here a mechanism characteristic of the abuse is triggered: the victim imagines himself in the role of the abuser, situations of discomfort even very strong are created this way, because the victim sees himself as a potential pedophile and develops pedophile fantasies in which he assumes, in an oscillating manner, both the role of victim and abuser.
Basically the projective identification with the abuser and his behaviors favors guilt feelings and strongly weakens the possibility of rationalizing the memory of the abuse and of living a sexuality not deeply conditioned by the abuse itself.
2) In the case of the straight guy with a pre-existing gay themed OCD, the abuse in adolescence creates objective complications that cannot be ignored because it does nothing but feed the OCD, even though it cannot actually destroy the guy’s straight sexuality. The mechanism of identification with the abuser, in this case, cannot lead to true gay sexual fantasies (because the guy is a straight guy) but only to obsessions and gay compulsions which, as is usually the case in the OCD, remain, at most, at the level of masturbation and, in almost all cases, never materialize in real sexual relationships. The gay-themed compulsions and obsessions are perceived as deeply disturbing compared to the true sexuality that is and anyway remains straight.
The identification with the abuser can however be more complex when the abuser is not really a gay man but he is a married man or a man who has children, that is when the abuser is or appears to be a straight adult, with whom the straight guy with OCD can easily identify on the basis of the following projective mechanism: ”He is straight because he is married and has children, but if he abused me it means he also had gay fantasies and could not refrain from putting them into practice, but I am straight too, because I have a girlfriend and I have sex with her, but I also have gay fantasies, so in the end I won’t be able to stop myself and I’ll end up needing to have sex with a man. How can I be with a girl if I already desire men and know that sooner or later I will betray her with a man? I am fooling my girlfriend into believing that I am straight, but it is not so!”
In this case the identification mechanism acts through different paths but it is no less disruptive than in the case of the gay guy and creates the risk, sometimes lived obsessively, but objectively not very concrete, to lead to the breakdown the relationship with the girl.
The deeper identification with the abuser leads to two closely related consequences:
1) the responsibility of the abuser appears to be much lighter;
2) even if in such situations it’s evident that in any case no responsibility can be charged on the victim, the victim himself overestimates his own presumed responsibility up to the point to consider his own behavior decisive, and consequently to experience guilt feelings objectively unjustified.
In the two cases presented, the most suitable conditions to overcome obsessive thinking are realized when the guys have their ”real” emotional life, that is:
1) in the first case, when the gay guy lives not a unilateral falling in love but an authentic love story with a guy with whom a relationship is created that is completely independent of the fantasies related to abuse, fantasies which can also remain but marginalized and spontaneously not shared, fantasies that are not considered as a taboo but are very rarely argument of conversation. In essence the stories that materialize or tend to materialize only or mainly in terms of more or less spontaneous sharing of fantasies linked to abuse are not true love stories and therefore do not contribute to the overcoming of obsessive thinking;
2) in the second case, when the straight guy lives a love story in which the girl knows that the guy has been abused and realizes that the obsessive thought linked to the OCD can cause the guy to question his heterosexuality. The OCD has a strong conditioning capacity in two cases:
a) when the girl tries to ignore obsessive contents, pretending that they do not exist;
b) when the girl emphasizes the obsessive contents and offers them a sound box that amplifies their effect.
OCD must be tackled with awareness but without dramatization.
If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-sexual-abuse-and-obsessive-contents
I was really pleased to be able to talk with you last night, I absolutely needed it and I enthusiastically welcome the idea of summarizing yesterday’s speech into an email that you can then enter in the forum.
I am 31 years old, in my life I have always been convinced of having a thousand problems, from the idea that I would never find a guy who loved me at the idea of not being physically and psychologically up to a serious partner and many other things. For those things I felt bad, I felt like a nothingness and I thought I had experienced the worst, the most problematic situations of life, then I met a guy and slowly, gradually, we began to love each other. I don’t know what brought us to get together but it happened.
For a long time we couldn’t live together because we didn’t have the chance, in theory we were only two good friends, but in reality we were a couple. We didn’t see each other every day, and it happened that maybe in a week we saw each other only once, but when we were together we felt really well, we learned to love each other, to understand each other, to trust each other.
I thought I had found my serenity and surely he too thought it, but suddenly he started to accuse some disorders, he went to the doctor who sent him to the specialist and he did some very thorough instrumental examinations and it became clear that my boyfriend had a very serious health problem. I don’t go into details, but it was really a bolt from the blue.
At the moment he has quite bearable disturbances, but it will not always be that way and we have been told it, now he has begun his path of illness, which, apart from the gravity of the thing in itself, will create great problems even with work, because he is employee of a large private company and when he will have to go to the hospital for therapy he will be absent from work and so he will risk dismissal. Fortunately for me I have a good job and if it were to serve I could give him a helping hand.
At the moment he has not said anything about the illness to his parents, who are elderly, have a lot of health problems and live with him, he doesn’t want to alarm them, but sooner or later they will realize that something is wrong.
My parents know my boyfriend, who has been to my house many times with them, but they thought he was just a friend of mine. Some time ago, my father, who is 70 years old, looked at me in the eye and said: “I see you’re not quiet, what’s wrong?” And I told him everything, that I was gay and that my boyfriend was sick and he hugged me and told me: “On me and your mother, you can always count and for anything.” I felt a little comforted but I’d have preferred that it was my boyfriend to feel comforted, but he can’t even talk with his parents.
My father asked me about the hospital where my boyfriend goes, and about doctors who take care about him and he said they are serious people, he knows those environments because he too has had oncological problems, now under control.
I modified my working hours to be close to my boyfriend as much as possible, I accompany him to work and I go to take him back, I always accompany him to the hospital, the doctor who takes care about him has been told that we are a couple and didn’t make a grimace. My father at one point called Steven on the phone and Steven came to my house for lunch, it’s something quite usual for us, but this time my father told Steven something that he didn’t expect: “Louis told me everything and we (i.e. he and my mother) thought that you and Louis can feel more at ease enjoying your privacy in this apartment, I and my wife can go to a little house we have in the village nearby, which is only 15 kilometers from here, but your parents would remain alone and maybe they would take it badly, I don’t know … What do you think about?” Steven was puzzled and didn’t know what to say and I too, actually. He should have left his parents’ house and it seemed unrealistic. My father, given the perplexities, didn’t insist and said only: “The proposal is always valid, if you decide to put it into practice, it is done in two days at most”.
When I took Steven back to his house and we parted, he thought that if he had been with me in the same house he would have been calmer, even for the illness, because his parents knew nothing and in case of need they wouldn’t have known what to do. He told me: “I have to try and get my parents to accept it, but they also have my sister and they wouldn’t be alone anyway … let’s see what happens.” After not even a week, my parents went to live in the village and Steven moved to my home. He was happy to be with me, it was also a way to realize a dream, but at the base of everything there was a terrible melancholy. I saw Steven smiling and seemingly quiet but I was worried about the passage of time, everything seemed to me ephemeral and frighteningly unstable.
At the moment the situation is this, Steven goes to the hospital for checks every two months, the doctors don’t talk too much, they decide what to do step by step, I bring inside me a terrible anguish and I think about what Steven is experiencing, we speak about everything, but not about the disease, which means that he is trying to remove it and not to be too much conditioned by it.
I feel embarrassed especially for sex, I swear, Project, I never know how to behave, before we had never had problems, it all came spontaneously, now to launch the idea seems inappropriate, but in the end this is also a stupid problem. He occasionally takes the initiative, we rarely get to sex, in most cases we just smile and move on. It’s different for cuddles, now there’s a lot more tenderness than before, a little to compensate for the decrease in sexuality and mainly, I think, because now we have our intimacy, we have our own home and we can nestle one against the other to see the television or just to feel that we are there and that we love each other.
Project, I would never have thought of having to face a situation like this, which puts me to the test in a violently emotional way. I am terrified of the future, doctors don’t encourage but don’t even discourage, talk about the phase of therapy towards which you are going but never talk about long-term prospects. I don’t ask questions when we go to the hospital together. Steven asks some questions and I try to memorize the doctor’s answers and to put together the pieces of the puzzle to understand something more. We have decided not to read Wikipedia and let the doctors do their work.
Sometimes in the morning I wake up next to Steven and I start to pray for Steven, and I have never been religious, but now I find comfort in the ideas of religion. Of this I cannot talk with Stephen, not so much because he is radically rationalist and unbeliever, but because for him it would be like a further confirmation that I consider his health problem insurmountable. He too, in my opinion, doesn’t see any favorable prospects at all, but he never talks about it. Sometimes, when we hug, I wonder what he is thinking but obviously he doesn’t say anything. Those moments of silence are very intense, our way of shaking hands is already very eloquent. This too is being gay and I had never imagined it.
Now I realize how absurd the problems I had a few years ago were, now I took a bath of reality that put me in touch with human nature in its fragility. I’m learning very hard lessons, I only know that I love Steven, and I will never leave him alone, I don’t want to think of a future without Steven, this idea is terrible for me and makes me cry, because I see Steven who calmly shakes my hand, I hear his voice a little hesitant and I also see him smile, it is he who tries not to make me think and to give me courage.
Now we are at this point, Project, and no one knows what is to come. I feel profoundly melancholic, I feel like a feather carried by the wind. My parents try to be present to calm the atmosphere a little, they treat Steven as if he were a son of theirs, this consoles a little, but the underlying terrible melancholy remains. I love Steven also because he has a dignity even in this situation, and doesn’t close himself in himself, on the contrary he accepts to share his anxieties with me, without too many words but with a lot of love. I stop here, Project, because I can’t go on.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-a-gay-couple-in-a-terrible-ordeal
I took a quick look at the book Being Gay, it is truly monumental, from small tastings it seems interesting to me and it is extraordinary that it can be downloaded at no cost. You have done a useful job, I don’t add other adjectives.
I am a 25-year-old guy, I live in Northern Italy, so in an environment that should be gay friendly. Here there are gay associations but, if I refer to that mythical 8% of gays, I have to conclude that those who attend associations are a small minority and I don’t tell you the comments I hear about them by a lot of people.
Where are all the other gays? I don’t see them anywhere, so even here gays are scared, and I think they do well to be afraid because the social climate is not good at all, and actually it’s even worse than it was a few years ago.
At school I didn’t know a single gay guy, no one declared himself, and exposing himself too much was dangerous. The dating sites and the App, which everyone talks about, are not for me, they seem to me a squalid thing. My gay life, let’s call it so, started at university.
I attended and I’m finishing up attending a faculty with few students, not even forty the first year and then around 30 or even less until the end, they are almost all guys, girls are quite rare, in my course I think they are only five, well, a few weeks after the start of the lessons of my first year I realized that, let’s say, I was not alone, and that the compulsory attendance was not only useful for the exams but also to build relationships with the other guys.
In practice, the university works on two levels, one formal, official, in which there are relationships with teachers, objectively very technical and very limited, even if we are very few, because the courses are short and are very dense with content, and the other underground, but not too much, in which the very fact of being together from morning to night creates in us, young people, a climate of collaboration that favors the birth of friendships, and, in some cases, even something more.
In the morning we start the lessons at 8.00 and then, with various intervals we finish around 17.00. We eat at the canteen, perhaps at different times, depending on the lessons, but it is a very small service, only for our faculty and we study practically all together, even if divided into groups. Even those who live close to the university don’t come home, because together we feel good. I do not speak of large groups but groups of three or four guys, we have two study rooms for each year of the course and these rooms are also well equipped. Groups should be formed on the basis of uniform interests, and that is what has happened, but in general it is not a matter of study interests.
I don’t even know how it happened, but it happened, I found myself with two other colleagues, we chose each other instinctively, we were fine together, at the beginning we didn’t know at all that we were three gays, for me, it was a completely new world to be discovered, I felt that with those guys the relationship was different from what I had with others, there was no competition, there was only a great desire to be together, to work together and even more.
The two guys of my small group of study, Louis and Antony, were very different, Louis was a nice guy, but he was not my type, he was pleasant, reassuring, but physically attracted me little, while Antony was very insecure, always hesitant, he was tall, blond and with blue eyes, with hair a little longish, he was a bit neurotic and complexed by the fear of being out of place, to annoy, he apologized for everything, even for very trivial things, with him I too felt a little anxious because I didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable.
I knew almost immediately that Louis was gay, because it was he who told me it: “to avoid misunderstandings”, he added. I avoided to tell him that I too was gay. Louis was fine with me and with Antony, but from what I understood he had a boyfriend and so he had his life, we were his study friends and maybe we would have also become friends of confidences, but his basic interests were elsewhere.
With Antony things were very different, when we were alone together we felt a certain embarrassment, we often talked about Louis or other guys. At one point Antony told me: “Do you know that Louis is gay? He told me it this morning …” I replied that I knew, I saw a moment of perplexity on the face of Antony, I think he wondered why I hadn’t told him, but he didn’t comment and I think he appreciated my discretion. I was hoping that the dialogue on the subject would widen but it didn’t happen and it ended there.
We felt very well when we were there, the three of us, but when I was alone with Antony I didn’t know what to say or what to do, he had an embarrassed and embarrassing behavior, he never spoke of girls and even less of guys but it seemed to me that a good relationship had been created between us.
When we had to separate, in the evening, none of us took the initiative, and a quarter of an hour after a quarter of an hour we came home very late almost every night, but we didn’t talk too much, we spent almost all the time in silence. Among other things, when I was alone with him I was also embarrassed because I was almost always in erection and I was afraid that he would notice. From what I saw, he didn’t even give a minimum sign of erection and I didn’t like this thing at all.
The hypothesis that he was gay didn’t seem too realistic to me despite the fact that he tended to stay always with me. I feared that our relationship could turn into a relationship of dependency but in a sense I felt very attracted to Antony. I came to think that I should tell him that I was gay, because if he had found out it by himself or if he knew it from others he might feel uncomfortable.
One of the long nights spent walking back and forth around the city, I took courage and told him it, he answered me: “Don’t worry, I had understood it for some time” I asked him how he had understood it and he told me: “When you stay with me you’re hard all the time …” I asked him: “Does this embarrass you?” He replied: “If I felt embarrassed I would not be here …” Then he continued: “You want to know if I’m gay too? “I nodded and he said:” Yes, I feel gay, or at least I don’t feel straight but sex is a bit of an obsession and a bit of a frustration for me … ” And then we finally entered the topic.
This was more or less the speech:
“I’ve never fallen in love with a girl, while when I’m close to you I feel at ease, and I feel at ease even if you are in erection and perhaps especially for that. You will tell me that I am stupid, but I am really complexed by these things, I think I am very feminine, I don’t feel like a woman, but I think I have female physical movements and attitudes.”
“Who? You? No! Not at all!”
“You also saw Louis, he too is gay, but he is very masculine, no one would take him for gay …”
“No! Antony, no! Take these things off your head! You’re a beautiful guy, and you’re very masculine, you’re not rough, you’re not massive but thin, but rest assured that you’re 100% masculine … ”
“Well … maybe … ”
“But why do you feel conditioned in sex?”
“For me, sex has never been a simple thing, I’ve never been with anyone … ”
“Not even me if this is the problem … ”
“Yes, but you go into erection when I’m there, I on the contrary feel only embarrassed, I’m completely stuck, I think I would feel totally uncomfortable being with a guy … ”
“I think these are just fears, when it happens you will realize that it’s a very simple thing … ”
“I don’t think it will ever happen … ”
“But at least when you do it by yourself … there are no fears … ”
“When I do it by myself, as you say, and it’s a very rare thing, afterwards, I feel sick … ”
“But why? There’s nothing wrong … ”
“I’ll tell you something that nobody knows … I as a child, not even as a child, as a boy, because the first time it happened I was 14, I was raped by an uncle, and the story went on for a month, I was really afraid of him, at the end I couldn’t stand him anymore, I threatened him that if he came back I would have told my father and he disappeared. He was 44 years old and I have been really raped from behind … I don’t tell you how I felt when I experienced my first gay feelings, something disgusting, I don’t want to be gay, being gay sucks me … now maybe you can understand … ”
“Oh my God I would never have imagined, if you want I take you home, I don’t want to create difficulties of any kind … ”
“Please shut up! … Let me go on with what I’m saying, I am a victim of homosexuality and I don’t want to be gay, I don’t even know if you can understand such a thing, but even if the memory of those things really disgusts me, I ended up becoming gay just for that reason … ”
“No, Antony, now it’s you the one who has to shut up … but which “to become”? And then you say that your uncle was was gay but I don’t think so.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m gay, I have the pleasure of being near you, even sexual pleasure, it’s like that and I’m not ashamed at all of this, but I never imagined penetrating a guy from behind, really never.”
“That’s because you were been given an education.”
“No! This is because I’m gay!”
“I didn’t understand … what does it mean?”
And there, dear Project, I took my smartphone and I had him read a piece of your book where you talk about these things. He was initially perplexed, then he went on to read, after a few minutes he looked at me and asked me: “So then my uncle could even be straight? … ” I told him that he probably was, because what he did was not a gay behavior. He was perplexed, confused, he insisted on asking me if I had ever had fantasies of that kind and I told him that it really had never happened.
The speech didn’t seem to him according to what he had seen in some videos in which anal penetration was always present in practice. I told him to read all your article and also the part of the book about the hetero-curious and I drove him home. He was puzzled, very meditative, but occasionally he made some gesture of satisfaction and even a few sketchy smiles.
The day after everything went on easily at university as if nothing had happened; immediately after 5.00 pm he asked me to take him home, but we went around in the car until late at night. He had read the book and seemed to have discovered a world, he told me: “Reading the book I got the very clear impression that my uncle was not gay at all and I realized that instead my fantasies are really gay. My uncle paid no attention to my penis, just zero, he never masturbated me and I was over 14 years old and I would have reacted but he never did, but he wanted me to have oral sex to him, but never did it to me, and above all there had to be the anal penetration and there was also something that I didn’t understand at all, that is the attention to my nipples, a really anomalous thing, to the nipples yes and to the penis no! Actually the overall picture was very different form that of real gay fantasies, isn’t it? Even I have never had fantasies of anal penetration but I thought it was something only mine, a refusal due to the abuse, but it seems that it is a very common thing among gays”
Since Antony was talking to me so freely I too felt obliged to do so and he was very intrigued by that speech that he didn’t expect at all. It was now night and there was little light, he asked me if I was hard, I said yes, he asked if he could touch it from outside, I said yes, he touched it for about ten seconds, then he looked at me and said: thank you! He apologized for the fact that he could not reciprocate, because he wasn’t in erection, then he thought just a second and told me: “Come on, check it, it’s right that we’re on par!”
In the following days we talked a lot less because the exams were coming and we only studied, in three at the university and then in two at my house, a single-room apartment where I lived alone because I was away from home. He came to stay at my house, because it is within a stone’s throw from the faculty. We studied a lot, we slept together in the same bed, but between us there has never been sex, not even at the minimum level. After 15 days of overwork we passed the three exams we had planned. I expected him to move back to his house but he asked me to stay, I obviously said yes.
We had long evenings to spend together and we talked a lot in a totally free way, we talked about our families, our desires and obviously also about sex. I could understand that the memory of the violence troubled him deeply and even if he too began to accept the idea that his uncle was not gay at all, still he still had many doubts about it, he asked me to talk to him about my sexual fantasies and I did, he listened to me with the utmost attention, told me that the penis seemed to him an undesirable thing, associated only to violence and this fact tore him because he also experienced homosexual fantasies but mixed with feelings of rejection. I asked him if he had felt feelings of repulsion when I had made him touch it from above my trousers and he simply replied: no!
He told me he was happy to be with me, even because I had never pressed him for any reason and that I was a positive image of gays, and finally he added: “if you are gay, I too can be so”. I liked this sentence very much and I told him enthusiastically but he replied that anyway it wouldn’t have been easy for him, that he needed time and that I had to be patient, even if we slept in the same bed.
One day, after a day of intense study we went to sleep. We turned off the light but I felt that he had not turned the other way as he always did but had remained turned towards me. At a certain moment he asks me: “Are you hard now?” I say yes and he asks me if he can touch it, I say yes and he touches it very gently, after a while he says to me: “Touch mine!” And I feel that he is hard too. He tells me that it’s the first time that this happens to him spontaneously and that he doesn’t feel rejection neither touching me nor being touched, then he adds that he doesn’t want to go any further and we stop touching but we keep talking, he tells me he’s happy but that he doesn’t want to delude himself too much and above all he doesn’t want to delude me.
We get up, get dressed, I put myself on the sofa and he lies there, resting his head on my legs. He asks me: “Do you mind?” I only answer him with a smile and he says: “I have to get used to the physical contact … I have never done such a thing.” It is very late and falls asleep on my knees, I don’t move him. When it starts to dawn I take him in my arms and bring him back to bed. He’s really a nice guy, or rather, it looks beautiful to me. I lie in bed next to him and I fall asleep too.
In the following days he seems to have completely forgotten about what had happened between us, I don’t say anything but when I sit on the couch to see the TV he almost always comes to lie down on my legs and I feel his warmth. One evening, before going to sleep, he asks me to show me naked because it has never happened before, I smile and I completely undress in front of him and I start to get a hard-on, he tells me I’m beautiful, then he undresses and he too is in erection, he comes close and hugs me tight, but very tight, almost hurting me, then asks me if we can sleep naked, of course I say yes, I put only one more cover on the bed because it’s a bit cold. We hug tightly in bed and we stay like this for very long minutes.
The next day it was as if nothing had happened between us, not in the sense that there was disinterest, but as if what had happened was absolutely normal. There was certainly more physical contact between us, there were more hugs, we stroked our hands, we leaned against each other when we were sitting on the couch, but there were no sexual contacts, nevertheless, despite this I felt happy, I saw him smile, play, make jokes, it was a beautiful thing.
One evening I see him very discouraged, he keeps me at a distance, I try to understand why and he tells me that he tried to masturbate thinking of me but that the thing didn’t arrive to its obvious end because he felt a terrible sense of rejection, something very strong, not for me but for the idea of sex in itself, it seemed to him like a dirty thing almost a way to do violence against me, to play with my image, something like a lack of respect. In short, he was really uncomfortable and I had the distinct feeling that there was very little to do and that he would never have abandoned the obsessive memory of violence. I hugged him, but he was totally passive, then I said to him: “I love you, Antony!” He replied: “I’ll never have sex with you …” I told him: “I’m just worried about losing you and this would be devastating for me … ” He told me: “I cannot do anything, I tried, but I cannot … ” I didn’t know what to say, maybe a few days before it seemed all too easy, but slowly I was beginning to doubt that with Antony I could create a story, let’s say so, a normal story, that is even with a bit of sex, I don’t say much, but at least a little to convince me that he loved me and didn’t consider me only in relation to the memory of violence. I was beginning to understand that the problem was more serious than I had imagined.
We continued to live together but we removed any behavior that could have even a vague sexual implication, we continued to sleep in the same bed but always wearing pajamas, even during the summer, and he stopped lieing on my legs when we see the TV. We are good friends, yes, true friends, friends who talk about everything with the utmost sincerity, I love him deeply but slowly I lost the confidence that Antony can become my boyfriend. It’s been years, almost four years now, Antony and I still live together, sometimes there was even a minimal attempt to sexual approach between us, that has brought more frustration and disappointment than anything else. I think Antony has in fact put aside the idea, I don’t know if we will ever come to share sex, I have many doubts about it, but I know that without Antony I would feel lost.
I never imagined that I could live my life like this, and yet I feel that this is my life, I always hope that things can change, but the first rule, for me, must be the absolute respect for Antony and his problems. For me it is not a renunciation, I have made my choice and I don’t think I would be able to live a different life.
Antony and I really love each other and we are still young and something could always change, but our love will not fail under any circumstances.
I embrace you, Project, or I hope your work will be useful for Antony as it was useful for me.
In conclusion, I must state that the e-mail above is reported in the forum with the consent of both protagonists of the story. The text is in the form of an email but has been agreed so as to avoid any risk for privacy and to be as clear as possible. In particular, the references to the faculty have been significantly modified for reasons of privacy. I must emphasize that, if it is true that this story deals with the consequences of violence and sexual abuse, the situation described is certainly not the worst, because violence and sexual abuse can really have tragic consequences. The two guys mentioned in the story you read, have built a very strong emotional relationship in which sexuality, even if limited and denied is somehow strongly present. I have to underline that I happened several times to talk with guys who had suffered violence or abuse and I could see how much these episodes have weighed on their sexuality and their emotional life.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-and-rejection-of-sesuality
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.
If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-latent-homosexuality-and-marriage