Hello Project,

about a month ago, while surfing the internet, I found gay project which surprised me because it is something unique. At first I was impressed by the simplicity of the sites and by the absence of erotic advertising, then I started reading and I was amazed by the fact that I was reading a lot of things very similar to those that have happened to me and this, for me , was very important. That’s why I decided to write overcoming so many doubts and resistances. My life does not have anything very important, I’m an engineering student, I come from a normal family after all. My father and my mother more or less get along, my sister got married last year and no longer lives with me. My parents do not know anything about me, and I’ll absolutely avoid to tell them how things really are because for them I think it would just be a trauma, I do not think they would be able to understand, they are good parents, not too invasive, according to the their way of seeing, nor too selfish to care only about their own business. I will not speak with them in order to avoid them to stress uselessly, the idea that children should adapt to be the image and likeness of their parents is too deeply impressed in their own head. I cannot say whether or not they are believers, and to what extent, they go to church on Sunday and I’m going with them as if it were a natural thing because they expect it, my mother goes to confession every so often and receives communion, daddy never, but at least they have the common sense not to put pressure on me about such things. Luckily for me I’m still young and they think that I should hurry to graduate and so the fact that I do not have a girlfriend takes second place, because it would be a distraction from the fundamental purpose. My father and my mother have attitudes toward gay people that make me very angry but I have to tolerate discomfort for a quiet life: they know nothing about such things but they believe they know and understand everything, they are sympathetic to gay people just as priests are, they are inclined to forgive the vice for the weakness of the flesh because “also gays are people” (what a great concession!) but they would never admit that two guys can love each other because “it’s so nice to follow nature” and “between two men or between two women love does not make sense.” I let them talk because they need to be convinced that they are right. By saying so I mean that practically the relationship with my parents doesn’t exist at all but they don’t even realize it, for them it’s much more important to be right. Breaking away from the mentality of my parents and beginning to think with my head it was not so easy. At age 18 I went to confession for the last time, I told the priest that I was gay and I was in love with a guy, the priest didn’t even conceive the idea that it could be a true and deep feeling, and started to repeat certain things that offended me deeply, and I thought that what he said was patently false and immoral so much that I got up and I went away. I do not accept the idea that a feeling that I consider the most important thing in my life can be outraged by those who don’t even understand what they say and think they are speaking in the name of God. I have not had second thoughts, sometimes in church, I hear homilies that I cannot stand absolutely but I act as if I was just thinking of something else, exams, university, etc.. In high school I still had many doubts, not doubts about what I was, but doubts about how I had to behave. I remember a specific fact, the penultimate year of high school the Italian teacher assigned us as a task to compose a short essay on violence. I thought of speaking about violence against women, racism and the usual things and also about homophobia, but then gave up the idea completely, when the teacher gave us back our works classified in the commenting on one of them said to a student: “You have considered many aspects of the problem: religious intolerance, violence in stadiums, homophobia, violence against women …”, at the word homophobia I felt myself freeze and the eyes of all the guys have focused on the student with whom the teacher was talking and there have been mischievous smiles. That guy is definitely not gay but the word homophobia caused a particular reaction among my classmates, for them it is only an allusion to homosexuality, something more or less ridiculous that they only know from jokes and has been interpreted just as a joke. Obviously I had been right not to talk about homophobia. I don’t think that my classmates were homophobic, for them the problem did not even exist, for them gays were a kind of tribe on the edge of reality, for them a gay guy had to have many characteristics that are recognizable, they didn’t even realize that someone could be hurt by the fact that they were laughing at the word homophobia, in the end they were not homophobic, they were just superficial (stupid) and had no need to understand, because it was something that they weren’t absolutely interest in. Instinctively I have always kept away from groups, from too close friendships and from the gossip and this helped me to finish my high school, maintaining the my reputation of fake straight. In high school I supposed that one of my classmate was gay, but my assumptions were totally wrong. In college I found myself immersed in a completely different world. I had gone to the classical high school, with a strong majority of women (more than 2/3 of my classmates were girls), in the Faculty of Engineering there was instead a strong male predominance, and in particular in my courses. For a gay guy who came from the experience of classical high school, being in an engineering classroom was just like being a child entering the pastry: a huge temptation, an environment that created a community almost entirely male. Some guys were very handsome. If ever I had some little doubt about the fact of being gay this doubt vanished soon after I begun to attend engineering classes We went to classes together at the canteen together, to the study rooms in the library together, we spent together intervals between classes, and inevitably there we would agree to spend free time together as well. I should add that the environment was not gossipy and the guys were not talking only about tits and asses, on the contrary, when it occurred, rather rarely, some speech that touched even homosexuality there weren’t giggles, jokes and things like that but serious talk very far from the stereotypes, nevertheless, despite the high number of guys who attended the faculty there was not even one openly gay, a sign that those who were there did not trust to come out of the closet, exactly what I did. After the first few days began to form stable study groups. The basic element of aggregation was the level of knowledge and skills of individuals. Those that were obviously ahead of the others tended to congregate together and so the selection was made, so to speak, on academic merit. After a few days, and after the results of the first tests of profit, the number of students has decreased quite dramatically, in practice about 40% changed their courses of study and two groups were formed, one of the geniuses always in the front pew during lessons, always with maximum scores, but we are talking about a dozen boys in all, highly motivated but in practice these were young people who lived exclusively for the study, and a second group, let’s say mid-level, with more or less twenty students, and then the group of those who took it for granted that they would not have finished their studies without losing at least one year. I was at the boundary between the first and the second group, I was coming from the secondary school of classical address and at the beginning it was very hard for me but then I went ahead well. Prior to joining the faculty I thought it would have been so much easier, then I realized that to stay afloat at a good level I had to struggle a lot. Those in the first group did not send a shot wide, sometimes I tried to enter their group but I didn’t held the pace and, objectively, they were at levels far more advanced than mine. There was another thing, those guys lived for the study, admitted that they had a girl, they probably saw her for up to an hour on a Sunday afternoon and, because I felt like the a child entering the pastry, I did not want to end up like them, I don’t say that I wanted to make a feast of sweets, but at least I wanted to taste one. In practice I was there certainly to study, but certainly not just for that. I decided that I would be among those to intermediate level, because with them the afternoons were not exclusively to study, there was even talking. I have read on the forum something about gay radar, well, in fact, when one is, or better when a gay guy is in an environment like that one where I was, the first thing is to go by eye, that is, look for the guys who are more attractive, but if this were the only guideline it would be easy to miss the target. And there began, about four or five guys, the exhausting game: is he gay or not? And since the first purpose was just studying and no one used to speak about different things, it was extremely difficult to give an answer about the gayness of my colleagues. At this point there has been an unexpected phenomenon. A guy who didn’t belong to the group of geniuses nor to that of handsome guys and not even to that of supposedly gay guys asks me for my notebook of class notes. I would not have given my block of notes to anyone for all the gold in the world because my notebook was my lifeline and I used to handle it with maniacal care, but that guy was asking for my notebook, I show it to him, then he asks me if he can photocopy it and I say yes, he smiles at me and says something complimentary, more or less that I would get them back the next day. At that time I thought I was wrong to give him my notebook, but I was also happy because it was the first real opportunity to hook a guy, I started to wonder how it would have been if that guy had been gay, but he was not one of the handsome guys, yes, he had a beautiful smile, but it was all there, I just lent my notebook to a guy who had a beautiful smile! Project, now you might think that that guy is now my boyfriend, but no, because he gave me an appointment for the next day to give me back my notes and then showed up accompanied by his girlfriend! I was like an idiot, my brain had begun to go on his own, but fortunately the situation became evident almost immediately. Project, in essence, the child entering the pastry, with his mouth watering has been left empty-handed! According to statistics of gay project among my colleagues there should be at least five or six gays, one is me, then let’s say four or five but they are well hidden, I wonder if they too are like children in the pastry or already have decided to devote themselves exclusively to the study. I would not exclude that some of those geniuses who know everything, then underneath are gays terribly frustrated. Then the second year came, we are further decreased in number and hierarchies based on the results of the examinations are now well established, I stay in the second group, I go forward, but I’m not the new Einstein and frankly I don’t even want to be. My dream is to live a love story, I do not know if I would be able, however, it is certain that I’d try. Until now it has not happened. Project, that’s all, it’s trivial, I know, no overwhelming loves, neither depressing disappointments, so many dreams just too big and a lot of very small achievements. Post this e-mail if you want. I think I’ll send you another e-mail tonight with three or four things that I did not understand very well. You are a great, you did a monstrous job that is really useful!

Gay Hunter (but in a good way!)


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Dear Project,
I got to talk to you several times via msn but I think you cannot easily remember me without a more precise reference. Twenty-eight y. o. madly in love with a guy twenty-three with whom I believed to have built a great relationship, then I was abandoned by this guy last summer but in a way that I could not explain, I talked to you for a whole night in the month of September (Nick name: sad). I called you because I needed to get out but talking to you instead gave me a strange feeling, I realized that your way of reasoning and seeing things was extremely different from mine or maybe different from how I had tried to figure out my relationship with that guy.
The thing that struck me most was your vision of couple’s life. I have kept logs of conversations:

Sad wrote: Hello Project, are you busy?

Project wrote: Hello Sad, nice to meet you!

Sad wrote: Maybe you remember, I had written at the end of June, twenty-eight y. o. madly in love with a twenty-three, (he and I had been together in the mountains for Christmas)…

Project wrote: Ah yes … and he had lost his wallet at the hotel and they had given it back to him?

Sad wrote: yes yes exactly! Just that!

Project wrote: Yes, I remember now! A good story, a story that struck me very much. And now, how are you now?

Sad wrote: now I’m single again, the story is over!

Project wrote: but what happened? It seemed that everything was fine…

Sad wrote: he behaved with me in an unworthy manner, treated me with no respect, I had tried to do everything for him and make sure he was okay but he left me as if I were worth nothing to him

Project wrote: but now he’s with another guy?

Sad wrote: no, I do not think

Project wrote: so why is gone?

Sad wrote: I do not know, I did not understand, he told me that he felt too tight, that he did not feel able to make choices, I asked him to meet me but he said no and there was nothing I could do to make him change his opinion, then we just had a fight badly and I sent him to hell and I also think that he took it very badly, but with me, if you want to do something serious it is fine but, if you are just dithering even over fundamental choices, it does not sit well with me at all. It is as if he had used me when he needed me and then had only just left me when I was most in need of him. I thought that at least between us there was a strong relationship, I thought I could rely on him but things were different.

Project wrote: but when it happened?

Sad wrote: more or less a month and a half ago

Project wrote: and after you broke up did you meet again or he disappeared altogether?

Sad wrote: yes he called me, he seemed to want to go back, he told me he loved me but when I asked him if he wanted to go back with me he told me that he did not feel so and that he had not called for it but to know how I was and then I lost my temper and told him to go to hell.

Project wrote: and that was it?

Sad wrote: no, sometimes we also talked on msn but I cannot be on a roller coaster this way, I cannot be exposed to his mood swings, because he basically does not want to be with me and this seems clear to me, I need stability and to him this is not good, that is, the stability seems to him to be a way to give up other things, like if he was closing himself in a trap, and so things cannot go on. I know he is younger than me and maybe he wants to have his experiences but at some point he must also make a clear choice, the fact that now he is alone depends only on him and I do not give a damn, I cannot ruin my life running after him and after everything that comes to his mind. He has a vision of things too different from mine

Project wrote: but is it really true that you do not care about?

Sad wrote: however I cannot tolerate the fact that I have been treated with no respect, let’s face it, Project, now I’m really bad, for me it’s a failure, I need stability, if he doesn’t care at all, I will try to find another guy so that it could be something stable, quiet, with him it would not be so in any case, what do you think about, Project?

Project wrote: are you sure that he wants to break the relationship??

Sad wrote: No, but now I want to close the matter, I cannot go on like this! I’m tired, Project, and I’m disappointed, I had overrated him, I thought that he really cared and instead he proved to be selfish. When he needed me I was there all the time but when I needed him, he didn’t care at all

Project wrote: things you told me long ago about this guy were very positive, just at the level of person, and I’m sorry if, I tell you, but at that time I had the impression that you had a very rigid way of seeing things.

Sad wrote: what is it?

Project wrote: wait, I’ll try to explain, you had in mind a model of close couple and probably the mentality of this guy is not compatible with that model. When you are in love with a person, there is always the risk of actually seeing only some aspects and to complete other aspects according to our desires, but falling really in love means to love a guy for what he is, that is love him even in the aspects that we cannot understand, that usually have deep motivations and are not stupid attitudes, it is possible that couple’s life is not good for him, or not good as you imagine it in the sense of close couple

Sad wrote: it means that he really does not love me! Because he is not willing to give up anything for me

Project wrote: no! Do not say so, really love each other does not mean having to give up something necessarily neither to accept a model of close couple; it’s a whole different thing. I think you could find yourself choosing between the model of close couple and this guy. I would not give for granted that you should give up on this guy and even that the story is over, maybe it’s over the possibility of living with him a story in the way you imagined it and on the other hand does not make sense to think that one must adapt to another, it is possible to find a balance for both but if I have to say what I think, I do not think the story is really over and anyway you do not seem really disappointed.

Sad wrote: I don’t know what to tell you, Project, but now at least for a while, I don’t want any more to know anything about him, then what it means to love one another if you do not feel comfortable as a couple?
Project wrote: I do not know, it’s all to be verified; sometimes we pretend that people adapt to our models, but people and not our models are the absolute value. It is true that this argument should also apply from his point of view, but I think he too may have felt very uncomfortable. Maybe he thought he was accepted as he really was, with all his uncertainties, his contradictions and his need for freedom and not as a guy who had to adapt to what his partner wanted, I will say, however, not to keep rigid positions with him. A relationship doesn’t exist when there is no affection, not when things don’t go according to our plans and here I don’t think that there is no affection and even love.

Sad wrote: well … basically I love him, but it is too difficult for me, no, Project, for me this is not good. I need a minimum of security.

This was our conversation of September and since then many things have happened, I tried to be with other guys, but practically it was impossible because I always had him in mind. Our contacts were not interrupted, he called me several times and was talking to me very seriously, but never wanted to get back together not to deceive me, he said, not to let me think that things could come back as before. He treated me with respect and affection, what I did not expect, even if he did not want to go back to a couple’s relationship with me as before. I do not know if he is in love with another guy, but I don’t think so. With me he is very clear, as he always has been, never good statements and positions always very clear, we have also met in person and more than a single time.

Undoubtedly when I see him I’m taken back to the idea of living with him as a couple, and sometimes it was difficult to accept that it would not happen. He tells me that he needs freedom, to try to live his life, whatever it could be, but that he loves me and I begin to think that it is true, indeed I do. Sometimes we hug and this causes me a strange feeling but it’s a positive felling, I feel that I have not lost him; however, certainly I have to resize my dreams. It’s a bit as you said, Project, I find myself deciding between this guy and the kind of life that I had imagined with him. It still seems very difficult to me to accept that he could be free and could love me even though he fell in love with another guy.

This summer it seemed to me quite inconceivable, now I find it difficult to accept but I do not see it as an absurd hypothesis. In fact, if a guy loves another guy and therefore he doesn’t love you at all because he only thinks of the other guy, then certainly you cannot maintain any relationship, but if the guy could as well continue to love you, even though he is in love with another guy, it would make sense to say that it is better to send everything to hell? I really don’t know, Project.

Evidently, they put us in mind behavior models according to which love must be exclusive, i.e. either with me or with another, but perhaps these models are complications that are not needed at all to love one another. Maybe now it seems to me that I could adapt because in fact now he has not another guy, probably if he had one I could not accept it. In practice, I hope to be everything for him, so he would not need anything else and I would find my peace of mind, in practice a bit as before. That is, now, even if he went away from me, he is still in love with me because really there is not anyone else. Or maybe it could work well even if he really was in love whit another guy? I really don’t know.

With me he was always sincere and I feel that we are really good together. Probably I’m not really everything for him, I’m not enough for him but not in the sense that he devalues me but in the sense that he also needs other things that I cannot give him, I cannot because maybe they are things that I do not understand or just because he also needs affection of others.

In recent times I have the impression that he wants to be close to me, that he cares what I say and what I think and especially that he cares to show me that he loves me but avoiding deluding me. But how can I, Project, to think that maybe we go back together, because it probably will happen, or at least somehow will happen, but how do I then think that he might even have another guy? I’m not saying he could not love me, because I do not think this will happen, but how could I accept not to be everything for him anyway? This thing upsets me. Project, and if, after accepting such a thing, I were worse? And if maybe I’m the one who deceives him because I’m not able to comply with his rules and then I expect it to be business as usual? I think I can find another guy, but it is not what I want.

When I tried to approach other guys I expected from them his reactions, his answers, and instead I found myself in front of quite different things, things from which I was barely involved, in practice I was not involved at all because I thought those guys were not like him. When he’s around I feel his presence very strong and it is not a matter of sex, even arguing with him is another thing. He never tells me I’m right when he thinks that I’m wrong and discussing with him it’s a true discussion, both of us at the same level. After all he has not kept pace but loved me anyway and I have no doubt, but he loved me in his own way. I do not know if we would be back together, it’s probably something else that does not involve the classical concept of couple.

Project, do you understand in what kind of problems I’m involved? It is a situation that previously I would never have accepted for any reason, I would have rejected on principle, but I do not want to be without that guy, certainly the situation in these terms will make me live in anxiety, and I think that the sense of uncertainty will be unavoidable in the future. You really think that it’s possible to find stability this way? That I can be happy even so?

If you want you can publish this e-mail.

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Hello Project,
we already knew each other and about you I keep very positive memory that dates back more or less to a couple of years ago, when I used as a signature “lovethemusic”, we exchanged some mails, not few, and for me it was an important experience, even if I understood the real meaning only later.
At that time I felt weak and hesitant, today, luckily for me, things have changed and in a sense I think I have understood the true meaning of the things you told me in the mails two years ago.

It is now a year and a half that I’m with a guy, who is six years younger than me, it’s a lot of time, it is true, but since we’ve been together my life has changed, it has changed for me the meaning of the word “love”, my way of being gay has strongly changed. For the first time at the age of 29 I realized how they can be strong the feelings between two guys and for the first time I discovered the meaning of a deep human contact.

We both attended our church, I mostly out of habit, he probably because sincerely believer. We met because we both accompanied a group of young people (14-16 years old) to a summer camp, then he was 21 and I 27. We had already known by sight and a little more even before camping but at the campsite we got to talk a lot and our love story basically started there. I was enchanted by the charm he had on the boys. I was older and the boys with me didn’t familiarize too much, but he joked with him as though he was 15 y.o., and he was perfectly at home in their midst.

We started to talk a bit in the evening when the boys went off to sleep and we remained with the other two camp counselors to refurbish common rooms. At that time I thought that John was straight, because everything made me think so. He hadn’t a girl, I knew it well, but in the end he was very young and had many female friends with whom he was extremely casual. John is a nice guy, I liked him, but I considered him like many other straight guys I had met, in practice a separate world with which I would never had any contact.

The first few days we talked a lot about the church, the boys in the group, the study, the work, but not about the emotional life. I saw that he liked to stay and talk to me and it was always me that I had to stop the conversation because it was too late and we had to go to bed. The camp lasted for around ten days.

Eventually we became friends. I thought that for him, our relationship was a friendship but nothing more. With me he was casual but nothing gave the impression that he could nourish strong feelings for me.

Back in town we started dating, first only through the group linked to our church and then also for our business. In our conversations, only two subjects were completely absent: love and sex. At first I thought it was a sign that it was only a friendship but it did not make sense because in general two friends who already know each other talk a lot about these things. I could observe, however, that slowly our relationship had taken a dimension of everyday life and extraordinary spontaneity, things were developing on their own, we did not even need to agree, any proposal for one of us would automatically be accepted by the other. The smiles and the looking in the eyes had become common things and there was a minimum of physical contact: the hug when we said goodbye was not just a greeting, to invite me to come he took me by the hand, and sometimes he leaned his head on my shoulder or winked as if to say that he knew what I was going to say or do. I tried to be very careful not to expose me, he fascinated me but I tried to avoid him understand it but he must have realized it anyway.

At one point he began to indulge in forms of physical contact more meaningful, such long hugs, sudden and for no apparent reason, accompanied by expressions of happiness when he hugged me. The more I tried to pull back and get things back to usual level, the more John gave sign of feeling frustrated by my behavior. At one point, to fix a moment of embarrassment that had been created, he took the initiative and kissed me, I tried to say no but he replied: “Shut up!” And we remained kissing for 10 minutes. The next day I felt guilty, as if I had taken advantage of him, I told him but I read in his eyes the need to move on, that’s why I put apart every hesitation and hugged him strongly, that night we had our first timid sex. I do not think there’s anything more exciting than being in love with a guy and seeing that that guy wants you deeply. I basically understood what is the true sexuality. He hugged me very strong and had no inhibition, his spontaneity was total and, strangely for me, even my spontaneity was total.

Things went on like this for a few days, then I returned to the usual scruples and started to keep him at a distance. I believe that John has felt totally rejected and it was terrible, he insisted that he loved me but I did not want that between us there was sex anymore and I kept him at a distance for a while, then we restarted our meetings, but we made a pact between us, we decided that we would meet without physical contact. We spent long evenings talking and I began to learn more about John. I was amazed that he acted that way with me even if I wanted to distance. Then I was no longer able to tolerate to see him suffer and we newly began to have sex but the expression is not adequate because in reality, it was true love. For him, sex was a bit a response to his need for affection, was like to realize that his need for affection was much more important than my inhibitions and that in the end I could understand how he truly felt. I never thought that sex could have such an ability to soothe, to reassure that can have an affective so deep meaning.

When I was with him I felt no guilt, it was all so natural, so beautiful, so full of feeling that the idea that it was not a good thing never crossed my mind. But sometimes later, when I was alone, I was reminded that religion condemns these things and then beyond appearances, what we were doing was not a way to be good, but was actually a bad thing, that was a way to hurt him for some reason that I couldn’t even understand. I tried to tell John these things and he listened, puzzled, and yet I knew that he was a believer, but I lived religion through a thousand scruples, he lived it as something liberating. He looked at me with a strong sense of concern and asked me: “Do you really think that we are doing something bad?” And I did not know what to answer, and in those moments I saw him again alone in his solitude, the solitude to which I had forced him, then I took his hand and felt all his hesitation and in that moment it seemed terribly unfair to keep him away from me and then I hugged him strongly.

I knew the weakness of John, his need for love, I felt him close to me as I haven’t felt any other person and slowly I began to put aside my scruples, and I came to understand that our love was true.

Sometimes, when I read things that people say about gays, it takes me a sense of despair, because now for me it is clear that those people do not understand at all what is the gay love, the love between two men. Me too, for a long time indeed, I had strong doubts that between two men could exist a real love, I’ve probably learned this kind of mistrust by the environment in which I lived and for me to go over it was not easy. I started to put aside certain forms of psychological addiction to religion and I began to wonder what for me was good and bad, beyond any preconception and now I have no doubt, and I think that only love has the power to free us from our fears and give us the courage to finally be ourselves.

It remains only one fear that is the fear that my relationship with John can finish. Objectively there is nothing on which to base this fear, but the fact is that the love of John effectively became the cornerstone of my life and think of living without him would not make sense.

In our relationship there have been also moments of misunderstanding but when it happened I never had the fear that our relationship would end. We repeated to each other this thing a thousand times. Today, after a year and a half, I’m a happy man. We do not live together because our families do not know that we are gay and by mutual agreement we decided not to say anything, not for reasons of selfishness or distrust but because we both think that our parents would not understand and every day we receive confirmation from the speeches that we hear at home. In addition to putting in enormous difficulties our parents, we could also expose our relationship to strong tensions but we want to live as a couple in peace of mind. Now I have a job, but it is a job with fixed-term contract and John still studies, if things go on like this, in a few years (I hope) we could be truly independent and we could move in together.

The relationship with religion, in the sense of our community, went into crisis. Obviously in that environment nobody knows about us, therefore nobody can marginalize us but since we know what is the way to see things for the people that live in that environment, we prefer partridge outside to avoid having to pretend a communion of thought which does not exist no longer. But we kept a set of values related to religion and also a great hope that God is better than men and has reserved for us a place in heaven. It is not a figure of speech, it’s a form of faith, I think, we’ll never lose.

Project, now I understand the meaning of many things that you told me and I realize that they were true!

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Hello Project,
I don’t know if you remember me, 25 y. o. then, now 26, I give you a clue, we also talked about fencing, I wrote you several months ago when I was affected by a great sense of depression and fear, especially fear because I was getting into trouble but you made ​​me understand it, we talked almost until the morning.

Well, I want to tell you that things have changed and that the cold shower that I got that night was good for me. I abandoned all clubs and dating sites, it was not easy because even if that environment was for me depressing, it was essentially the only outlet for me and actually I was about to enter a real phase of addiction. I started to attend my old friends, all straight but all good guys. I graduated and I also found a job, unfortunately only fixed-term but somehow it’s a job. I had to fabricate an imaginary girl living in another city to ward off the attentions of my co-workers (clearly female co-workers) and especially the gossip, but this is not very important.

I am writing to tell you about another story that has really changed my life. You know that I live in a small village about 30 kilometers from my home town. At that time I still had to make the final exams and to discuss the thesis because I was back to study and I wanted to come to the end as soon as possible. I had an appointment with my teacher at the University to 9.00 in the morning, so I had to leave home at 7.30. I go out, and go by car because of bad weather (October), just after one of the three villages that I have to cross to get to the city it begins to rain heavily, I see a guy on the side of the road without umbrella and looking for a ride, I stop and I do him get in the car. He was hooded and I had barely caught a glimpse of him. He gets in the car all wet and bathes all over the seat, he doesn’t even apologize but immediately asks if I’m going to town, we did not even shook hands, he seems to me quite unkempt, beard of a few days, long hair, nails not very appealing, etc. etc..

During the ride (about 20 minutes) we were in silence without saying a word. When we were close to a porch he asked me to stop and got out of the car, but said nothing. I had to go to the University and it ended there. About a week after, more or less exactly the same thing happens again, this time it pours and we stop for a few minutes to wait for it to pass the time of the most intense rain but almost without saying a word. I just said that in practice I was going to town by car every day at the same time. He didn’t even respond. Then the rain falls and he gets out, but the day after he is in the same place but not hitchhiking, I have the distinct impression that he is there waiting for me.

To reach a minimum of meaningful discourse it took us more than a month but then it happened. We were in the car talking for half an hour. He is 28 years old, I’ll call him Paul, he lives in a village 10 km away from my house, a little village, now he is unemployed because it is very difficult to find a job, to me the matter of work went well but it’s really hard today. In the past worked as an agronomist in a farm. The dialogue with him is very difficult, he tends to see things in a negative way, then at some point the conversation ends, he thanks me in a very ritual way and leaves. In the following days I found him in the same place and at the same time.

And here’s the story of the Sunday. Obviously I do not go to town on Sunday, but a particular Sunday it happened that I had to go and he was there in the same place, even though it was bitterly cold. This time we talked a little more, I asked him what he was doing in the city every day, he said he used to spend the day in a large shopping center because at least it was warm. So he went to town every day, even before we met, and this made me think that maybe he just wanted to get a ride by car, but there is an extra-urban bus line that comes right when I come and I often find the bus just before my car, but he does not take it, perhaps before we met he used to take a bus but now he doesn’t and waits for me. He is not a particularly nice guy and I was not interested from that point of view even if I wanted to understand why this guy was waiting for me in the morning (also on Sunday) just to spend twenty minute with me, if things were really that way.

Project, do not expect sensational endings to this story, at least externally nothing has happened, I know almost nothing about him, he doesn’t tell me and I do not ask questions, but I go out every day to go into town (also on Sundays) in order to spend with him twenty minutes, it is paradoxical, I know. Since he doesn’t even accept my proposal to go to breakfast together. The only change I’ve seen in his habits is a little smile (the smile of someone who is not used to smile). I don’t know what to think about his (and also my) somehow strange behavior, I thought of anything, from the most tragic to the most stupid things but Paul is not superficial. I think he is studying me, I think he’s trying to figure out how deeply I’m interested, probably just as a friend, but the word friend is not reductive. I don’t know if he is gay, I do not know if I would like him to be gay, it’s all so incredibly undefined and yet it is something that intrigues me deeply.

I mean that I expect something from this guy, at least that this friendship will go on like this, that is, that will not end in anything, because for me, little by little, it became important. It was just the fact of thinking continuously of Paul that allowed me to live a real emotional life. Between going to a gay bar and meet people that only are searching for sex from you and thinking constantly of Paul to try to understand a little more about this guy, there is a huge difference, I have the impression that something has been created between us, even though I’m afraid that bring out the speech explicitly can actually make everything collapse.

Between us now there is some hint of a smile and some rare word but very significant and painful, nevertheless I have the impression that things are meaningful and between us there is also an encrypted but very serious dialogue, I do not know yet exactly what is the meaning of our dialog but Paul is now part of my life and I warn very clearly that my life has found its way. I think I’m fond of this guy, I’m fond of (I don’t speak about falling in love) and in the end I do not care whether he’s gay or not, it is as if I felt to be important to him beyond words, it does not matter why I’m important but I realize that I’m really important, I’m not just a piece of the puzzle as I was with other guys, but I’m important as a person.

I realize that what I say is heard and remembered, and that the words he says to me, even if rare, have been planned for a long time because they are especially dedicated to me. If one morning I didn’t find that guy in the same place as usual I would hurt, I would feel abandoned but it never happened and I make sure to never miss to that appointment and then there’s that smile. He may be just a depressed guy who needs a little attention but even this way I would be fine. I know that our silence has a deep meaning and that there is the pleasure of being together twenty minutes a day. For me those twenty minutes set the tone for the day.

Project, I do not deny that I have many doubts and especially I don’t know how to behave because I live in a kind of exhausting waiting for something to happen that never happens and I’m afraid to take the first step. Yet we are not kids, we should have put aside these hesitations now. I do not even know if I feel a sex drive for this guy, certainly for other guys I felt much stronger sexual involvement. He interests me in other respects, more complex and less easy to understand.

Project, I remember when we talked, you were trying to emphasize that the important things come when you least expect them and follow their own logic that has nothing to do with models that everyone can create in his head. I have no plans about this guy, I’m interested in him as a person, I just want to see him smile, maybe even with a girl. He is giving me a lot and I hope I can do the same for him. Project, I’m rediscovering what it means to love someone and it’s something that makes me feel good.
With affection.

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum:


Hello Project,
From some months now I follow Gay Project that is practically unique throughout the network and allowed me to understand many things and gave a serious answer to many questions.

My name is Max, I am 29 years old, luckily for me I have a good job, which is a rarity these days, and I live on my own in a small town in the northern Italy. To accept my being gay it took me so long, I had two girlfriends, the first story was a thing of little weight, but the second was important. I needed a rest, I felt alone, I was 26 years old when it started.

I was used to let myself go with this girl, at least a little, then I realized the reason but I didn’t realize at that time. I had sex with her, but in a very strange way, I never took the initiative, such things didn’t event come into my mind, she had to do everything, I abandoned myself just passively and she brought me to orgasm as well. The first few times, that’s what I understood later, it seemed important to me to have an erection with a girl because this drove away the fear of being gay. When I reached orgasm I fell a sense of disappointment, as if it were something completely stupid and in fact for me it was just a physical reaction. She was used to give great importance to the fact that I had reached orgasm, she felt really proud of that.

Only a very few times I’ve been to stimulate her, but she had to basically teach me everything because I had no idea of how a woman could get excited. I think that in general a 26 year old guy knows very well what to do to a woman but I did not know. She wanted me to try penetration but I never did, a little out of fear that she became pregnant and a bit because for me it was not a spontaneous thing. So, according to her, things were going very well and I was just a little clumsy but I knew that it was not the case and that I was forced, as you say, I was “doing an experiment” on myself to see if I could eventually adapt to living with a woman.

The fact of having sex with her, however, gave me the feeling of not being gay and things went on like this, and here comes my discovery of your blog, in fact I had then also another sex life, I masturbated but always just watching gay videos or making fantasies about guys I met at the gym. Frankly these things, then, hadn’t any great significance for me, I said to myself that it was to make comparisons just like, I think, all the straight guys do and then, after all, it didn’t even happen so often.

I never made fantasies about girls but then it seemed to me obvious and almost meritorious because I had a girlfriend who had sex with me. With my girlfriend I had a very special relationship because her parents didn’t even know that we were somehow in love, or at least I had not ever wanted them to know because, I think, subconsciously I was afraid of getting bound, instead friends knew, both her and mine and, after all, that my friends knew it, for me, was an important thing. I had told her about a lot of strange things, about why I didn’t want to marry her and didn’t even want to have children, all these things seemed absurd to her and she was quite sure that she could change my mind.

Sometimes I thought that she considered me as a person of very little importance and that she was only interested in me to involve me into her life in order to complete her project of life, however, I can say that sex between us had become a habit, we were together also to have sex and I liked it, or at least tolerated it, but then when it was over I forgot the whole thing and did not think about until the next time and basically I didn’t want it really. I remember that when we were together she was totally focused on sex on the contrary I was thinking about something else and I was wondering why I was having sex with her.

We weren’t used to talk about us, but always and only about her projects that in fact did not concern us as couple but our being a couple in the eyes of other people, we were talking about going here or there, doing this or that, nothing more. I was surprised that nevertheless she felt in love with me but I think she really felt.

A couple of years ago I happened by chance on Gay Project and I began to read. The more I read, the more I opened my eyes. At one point I said: but then I’m really gay! I was used to think that the fact that I had never done those things that are said to be typical of gay guys was a clear evidence that I was not gay, and in addition I had sex with a girl. Then by reading more and more your blog, this reasoning was beginning to seem absurd, I began to think to the fact that sexual fantasies are a serious matter and slowly, I can say, I started living that things with more awareness, but at most I could consider myself bisexual, that was the idea I had formed of me, but then that idea has been shattered, but I didn’t like the idea of being gay.

The forum helped me a lot, but now sex with my girlfriend had become a habit and frankly I thought it would be still better to have sex with a guy whom I fantasized about but I thought it was absolutely impossible for me as a concrete experience. Let’s say that I had reached a balance, a compromise, certainly unstable but reassuring.

Then three months ago things have changed, I met by accident a guy 21 y. o.. He came where I work and had some work problems to be solved, things were rather complicated and he asked me if I could help him. The way he asked me and his appearance made me come to a heart attack. I was enchanted. I had other work to do but I invited him to sit down and I closed the door. He began to tell me about various problems and I tried to find the best solution concentrating at most. Not all problems could be solved immediately, for some things we needed our attention and time.

We met again in the following days. We were experiencing more and more a wonderful climate. I went to work just to see that guy. I asked myself a lot of questions and he did the same thing. Slowly the atmosphere became very pleasant, he called at home to get information and always we ended up chatting about things that with the work had nothing to do. Both were trying to prolong the conversation as much as possible. It took a little to start a conversation less formal and more friendly, then came the first pizza together and the first evening spent talking in the car, then he asked me how I figured out and accepted it, I told him that everything happened without any problem, all came very natural, and he told me about himself and even that he had spent long nights to read blog posts of Project.

The day when we told each other everything was beautiful, I think it was something absolutely unique and I felt very happy. When I looked into his eyes and I saw his smile I was the happiest man in the world, I wanted to hug him but I did not have the courage neither had he, I was afraid that even the slightest physical contact could break the spell. We met for almost three months, and then he told me that it was his first time and he wanted to make love with me, I told him all my fears, insisting that I had a girlfriend although frankly I wanted to be with him only. With him, I could also talk about my sexual fantasies.

Sometimes it seemed impossible that a guy like him could be in love with me, but things were just so. I felt a sexual attraction to him but also a strong total tenderness, I loved him just as a person, he made me feel loved, made me feel that he loved me, trusted me completely, we were happy together and we are still. Project, what you write about gay affectivity is absolutely true. Recently, I spent two days with him and I do not think I could do without it.

It is two weeks that I no longer see my girlfriend, I could not tell her anything and in the end I’m sorry but I do not think she would understand. When we had the opportunity to talk about gay people she replied as one who takes no offense but with “them” just doesn’t want to have anything to do.

I believe that I have never been so happy as today. It is not a matter of sex, it’s that I feel just totally in love with this guy. In everything he does and says there never was a discordant note and such a guy is in love with me! Guys, before meeting him, I was convinced that my life would have been to have sex with a woman without any real involvement and act like I was in love with her, I thought I’d never have a boyfriend, I took it for granted, and then at age 29 the possibilities decrease, but no! As you say, Project, when you meet the right guy, life changes. And I love my boyfriend totally, I like him in every way, just as a person because he’s truly a good person, a honest guy who wants to love and be loved. I want to tell everyone, do not put in your head that love does not exist and you will not find it because when you least are waiting for him, a guy looks into your eyes and your life changes! A hug to everyone! And one very special to Project (now I really understand the deep meaning of what you said!)


If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum:



Let me to start with an analogy derived from physical chemistry, in my opinion really appropriate to introduce the subject. The potential energy of a body in a field of gravity as the terrestrial one we live in is proportional to the height of the body, to bring a body upwards a certain amount of work must to be done that is stored in the form of potential energy in the body and can be returned as kinetic energy when the body falls from the highest position to return to the lowest. All bodies have a natural tendency to occupy the lowest positions that they can reach, i.e. to be located at the minimum possible level of potential energy. Observing the curve of the figure, imagine that we have a body at point A, the minimum point of a curve (a bond) over which the body can move. If the stretch of the curve from A to C had not a maximum but was constantly decreasing, the body naturally would slide in position C and there would remain stably because the point C would be for it the lowest point reached. If, however, between A and C there was a maximum point B the body to pass from A to C should first increase its potential energy by climbing up to the point B and then decrease it down to the point C. The difference in height between A and C represents the difference between the initial state and the final one, if the height of the point C is less than the height of the point A, we can say that the final state C is more stable than the initial one, but whether to move from A to C the body must exceed the maximum represented by the point B to a height greater than the height of A, the body to achieve a more stable final state (C) must move through an intermediate state (B) more unstable (at higher potential energy) compared to the initial A. The difference in height between A and B is the activation energy of the route between A and C, if the body which is located in A does not arrive first in B charging potential energy cannot fall into C markedly decreasing its potential energy compared to the starting point A.

If the body of which we speak cannot receive energy from the outside, the passage from A to C takes place only if there is no activation peak B, and is an irreversible step, the body falls, loses its kinetic energy in the impact and stays there because he cannot regain it. To move the body from C to A it would be necessary to supply power from outside and this was excluded by assumption, the body remains then permanently in C.

If instead it is assumed that it is possible to supply energy to the system from the outside, fails the concept of irreversibility, the body that is located in A must receive from the outside an activation energy equal to the difference in height between A and B (relatively small) to get in C (hypothesized to a lower level of A) and returns energy equal to the difference in height between B and C, higher than the activation energy, the process then, at the end, leads to a decrease in potential energy and to greater stability. If the body was in C it could return to A, but just getting from outside energy equal to the gap between C and B, activation energy of the transition between C and A, and returning at the end a share of energy corresponding to the difference between B and A, lower than the activation energy, in this case the process would result in a final state less stable than that of departure. These concepts have a general validity in many fields and are the basis of the theory of stability.

Let’s apply what has been said in the world of affectivity. Imagine the stress put on the ordinate and imagine the abscissa represents a series of possible states for a guy, from the condition of single “stable”, who don’t even imagine to have a life together with another guy (stretch before the point A) to the single “who is moving towards a couple’s involvement” (stretch AC) up to reach the condition of a couple’s partner in unstable condition (stretch over C). The curve is the so-called curve of stress. Assume that a guy is in state A, the point of minimum stress and then of relative stability. If the peak represented by point B there was not and the stretch of the curve from A to C was constantly decreasing, the way toward a less stressful situation C would be natural and spontaneous. The guy gradually passing from A to C would reduce his stress gradually to the new situation of stability. However it happens very often that the curve of stress presents a maximum between A and C, in this case, to pass from a situation of relative minimum stress A to another relative minimum of stress, inferior to A, represented by point C, is required energy (stress) of activation, i.e. is required an increase in stress leading to overcome stress peak represented by point B, in order to be placed in a final situation of greater stability C.

Suppose that the point A represents a subject in condition of being single in equilibrium and the point C represents the same subject in living couple’s condition in equilibrium. Let us assume for hypothesis that C is a less stressful condition than A, if the curve AC is always descending the transition from A to C is spontaneous and does not present any problem in terms of increased stress, if between A and C there is a maximum B, to move from A to C the activation stress is needed. The higher is this activation stress, the more the process is difficult. Furthermore, if the peak B does not exist, the one that is located in A sees the prospect free up to C, i.e. understands where he is going, and then if the final situation will be of greater or lesser stability, but if the peak B exists, and then the moving from A to C needs an activation stress, the one that is located in A is not able to see what is beyond the peak B and therefore cannot understand at the outset if the overrun of the stress peak B will be advantageous or disadvantageous, because the point C may also be higher than A and the situation of married life could be more stressful than that of single.

For a hetero, typically, the AC stretch presents no points of maximum between A and C, the subject understands from the beginning towards where he is moving and can therefore realize from the beginning the fact that his condition in situation of couple’s life in some cases would be worse than that of single (C higher than A). For a gay guy, instead, activation stress of the process that leads him from being a single to the couple’s condition does really exist and is represented by social problems and the partial acceptance of homosexuality that must be overcome to get to married life. Moreover for a gay guy it is not predictable from the beginning, for the very existence of the peak B, if the final result of the attempt to reach the condition of couple’s life will be stabilizing (less stress) or further destabilizing (higher stress). Assuming, hypothetically, to simplify the discussion, that the couple’s life is less stressful than single’s life (C lower than A), to move from state A to state C there are many possible ways all different from one another, some of them have very high activation stress, others much lower. Chemists know that the presence of a catalyst causes a reaction with strong activation energy, which thereby tends not to occur, can instead easily take place through a series of intermediate steps all at low activation energy. So in the affective life, thinking to move from a situation of single to that of couple in one step is unrealistic (high activation stress and high uncertainty about the stability of married life compared with the condition of single) and so we try to create a series of intermediate steps, all low activation stress, which can lead to the final result. Inter alia by evaluating the increase of stress step by step you can get an idea of the convenience of the entire process. It starts by creating a contact, then sympathy, then a friendship, a friendship ever closer and with every step you evaluate the opportunity to take the next step.

I come now to the idea of identity and complementarity. A gay guy can fall deeply in love with another guy when he feels really similar to him, in this sense, the fact that the other is gay is a necessary but not sufficient condition. It is not enough to fall in love with a guy, otherwise it would not even be homosexuality, but he must also be a gay guy, because without this condition reciprocity is theoretically impossible. Basically starting from all “guys”, we are limited to the subset “gay guys”, but the progressive restriction of the field goes further by imposing the condition that he is a “gay guy congenial” i.e., one that we can perceive as profoundly similar. Here’s an example of restrictive condition, a hidden gay guy directs his research among the “hidden gay guys.” And yet, a gay guy who has a life experience linked to a strong sense of religion is predominantly oriented towards guys with similar experiences. It is then natural that a guy is orientated towards guys whom he perceives that have a sexuality similar to his own, that is based on similar fantasies and sexual behavior, condition without which the sexual equilibrium is actually very difficult. It is certainly easier to find couple’s harmony between persons closely similar that share the same type of sexuality and for this have no particular inconvenience in couple’s sexuality, that does not require, in these cases, adaptation efforts on the part of either. These identification mechanisms are the basis of the relations of friendship and also apply in the hetero field but in the hetero field sexuality has inevitably well-defined gender roles and then, in a couple’s sexual dimension strictly heterosexual, identification has a very relative sense, while for a gay guy it remains an important value in the strictly sexual field. Why a guy can feel more or less at ease in Gay Project? Why can he be more or less able to make friends in this area? The answer comes by itself, the greater is the degree of affinity with other guys, the higher is the is degree of integration and gratification. For a gay guy towards guys apply rules similar to those that govern the relationships of a straight guy with the girls: there is no defined border between friendship and love, but serious friendship is the minimum condition for any genuine relationship as a couple. I would add that the roles, and do not talk about sex roles, but about familiar ones, for a hetero guy have a meaning also in relation to children, in these situations the differentiation between the male and the female in the couple is automatic and spontaneous. Among gay people instead the condition of substantial equality is one of the few guarantees of equilibrium and stability. The more the relationship is unbalanced, the more is fragile. I should add that among gay people identification mechanism also acts deeply within the couple already established, if it is a real couple: sometimes a guy assumes the attitudes of the other or the attitudes of the face and body, ways of expression, and also of reasoning are shared and, over time, if the relationship goes on well, each guy actually perceives the other as the other half of himself. These mechanisms act in the same way in loving friendships, more or less unilaterally sexualized, and in so called best friendships that for a gay guy can be a step “low activation stress” to more engaging relationships.

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum:


This long post contains an exchange of emails between me and a guy, a 22 year old student, on the issues of gay sexuality. My partner has authorized me to publish the texts anonymously (Mark is a fictitious name), what I do willingly, because it is a very serious correspondence that also helped me to reflect on many aspects of gay sexuality.

By Mark to Project – Saturday, March 6, 2010 22:16:55 +0100

Hello Project, I didn’t get an email from you from about fifteen days … are you okay?

I wanted to know whether the considerations I expressed about your work were helping or not.

I saw on the website that you have responded to a guy about 20 y. o. who did not know if he was straight or gay.

I could not help but notice, again renewed in this case, your strong dedication to the consideration of the masturbatory sexual component as an essential component of the self-identification as gay guy … And, I tell you honestly … I felt bad.

I felt bad because for a moment I had the impression that you could have some hesitation in the answer (now that is quite a bit that I don’t receive your emails) just for the fact that I almost reversing your thinking, focused my attention on the emotional components rather than on the sexual ones (what seems the pivot on which you base your idea of sexual orientation) …

Please tell me that I thought wrong. I care a lot to be able to build this Project with you, and with anyone else who wants to join our strength to build a place for people to be able to call it “home.” In truth I tell you that I do this for the most part because I’m not belonging to anything in this world for me void of affection.

If you do not belong to any reality, to any person, and most do not even have a way to help others to feel part of something good (to have a “home” in which to return), you feel even more lost, weak, sad.

I do not know if you can understand what I mean. And a little I feel guilty because of all this so “noble” talking only for the salvation of my soul. But I am a human being limited as much as all the other men who tread this earth. I live for my desire to live and my happiness, even before that of others. I’m restless, I’m really afraid of what I might happen in the future.
I’m afraid of losing also that little feelings I live.

I’m afraid of not being able to financially support my family now that it’s needed. I’m afraid that I’m never going to be happy with another guy (even at the level of deep friendship). I’m afraid of tears that are streaking my face now, afraid of all the horrors and weaknesses that I hide.

Forgive me for these long complaints, but I need to vent to someone and you’re the only one with whom I can freely talk about these things. Forgive me if I use you. I did not want to write all these things, but in the end I did it to myself and to tell things clear and round.

Hello Project, please answer me. Even if you were mad at me for anything, because I appeared cold and arrogant in my technical speeches, or anything else, please answer me. Alone I cannot really take all this weight on my shoulders. Please.

By Project to Mark – Sunday, March 7, 2010 08:54:50 +0100

Hello Mark,
I’m not at all angry with you and would love to continue to work with you on the testing of the Project, it’s just that now I’m swamped with work, that I have a lot of things to do that I cannot even begin and I have deadlines coming and there is no procrastination. The email I posted on the blog is not recent, I got it when I had time to devote to these things. And I’d love to have some more. To the question about the relation between masturbation and affection, frankly, I do not see why the two should not go together. Physical sexuality and emotions are not separate things, masturbation is a way to live affective strong couple’s feelings when you cannot really live them in other ways. When a guy falls in love with another guy, he begins to masturbate thinking about that guy, and this thing has exactly the value of a deep desire for intimacy with that guy. It’s obvious that sexuality without feelings is meaningless and cannot be rewarding, a typical case is that of sex with strangers who you will never see again, but masturbation dedicated to a guy you love is a sign of deep involvement, sexual and affective together, towards that guy. I do not think at all that you’re wrong to base things on the affective dimension, I rather think that masturbation is the expression of a deep drive, emotional and sexual together, towards another guy, somehow it’s a concrete affectivity that is also expressed at genital level. Frankly I do not think that what you say is substantially different from what I say.

I am very sorry instead of reading the last part of your email, because you seem quite discouraged and I do not want that to happen at all. I’m not gone, and I’m not going to disappear but I feel crushed by the enormous amount of work that I have to do and I cannot postpone. I will try to be more present, but, I repeat, I’m not going to disappear, away.
A strong hug and be courageous! You must go on!
See you soon, Mark!

By Mark to Project – Monday, 8 March 2010 00:11:58 +0100

Hello, I’m sorry for the discouragement that I have expressed in the email. It’s just that lately there are so many bad things happening all at once and I feel that I often lack the inner strength to cope with all the chaos of my life. I’m sorry I made you truly feel the weight of my tears, but unfortunately I couldn’t stand it anymore, and I felt the need of venting with someone who could understand me. Forgive me really, I did not even look so weak in your eyes, because I would be much stronger now to face not only my problems but also those of others (or at least that’s what I want). If by chance you ever need any help from me, or just want to take something out with someone, you can easily talk to me because I am here to listen. At least this is just to make it clear that this is what I really want. It’s something that goes beyond the fact of lending you a hand just for “sense of duty”.

As for the speech about masturbation I have to say that I agree with you that masturbation fantasizing of another guy is a sign of wanting to become more intimate with that guy, of wanting to love that guy. On the other hand, however, I perceive that something is wrong in this statement. It’s a perception that I feel, it’s not a kind of certainty that I’m convinced of, anyway I’ll try to explain. . . no doubt that a guy who likes another guy may live through the masturbation his affection for the guy he is in love with. But, besides the fact that I think that the masturbation comes from affection but affection never comes from masturbation, I want to expose my personal feeling: I could never masturbate thinking about the guy I love, because I feel that I would make him “dirty”, or at least it would seem to me that I’m diminishing the affection and the respect I have for him because I imagine him in sexually exciting situations. It’s like I’d put some partition wall to prevent sexuality to touch things I love, because I deify that things and do not want them “lose value” reduced to a sexual fantasies suitable to my simple physical satisfaction.

At the same time I see the idea of sex between people who love each other as something right and good, and I allow that starting from the affective feelings they could end up to step forward towards more explicit sexuality (but not lived to oneself through masturbation, like I said before).

I cannot describe my feelings better, but I think they are already quite understandable. What do you think? a) These ideas are just mine? b) Is there some truth in my speech? or c) I’m at some stage of rejection of sexuality or so d) Other?

Perhaps I don’t know how reality is experienced by other gay guys, or rather I am becoming more and more a aware of that. And based on what I see, I would say that there are guys who quietly masturbate thinking about guys they like, in full awareness of all the sensations you feel to masturbate thinking of the loved guy. [Is it so or not?]

For me sex is just an extension of the affection I feel for a person, it is not mandatory that there is, and it is by virtue of that that it seems to me to deflower the purity of the guy I love while I figure him in erotic situations. Such things are not necessary to convince me of the goodness of the affection I feel for that guy, but I also consider selfish in itself the idea of reducing at my mercy another guy (in the erotic fantasies of course) to reach orgasm.

I don’t know, what do you think about? Am I the only one who thinks so or there are many young people who think like me? If we were a lot of people thinking so, what element of truth to be learned may be found in our thinking? Or maybe in the end I’m just a person with a frigid sexuality? [Although I’m not so for various reasons that I don’t list here]

I await your response [maybe in a week. . . no, obviously I will not urge you to do things in a hurry. Simply I’d like to hear from you as soon as possible to be able to think about in turn and then * I think * that a week would be enough to think about what to say and find the time to tell me it] [I would also like to know what you think about what I said in my email regarding your future test on sexuality: whether you have criticisms to make, whether you share fully what I told you … always within the limits of your possibilities of time and energy that you can spend, of course]

Hello again and thank you very much for the loving care that you give me. I hope for you that the problems at work are not too heavy. I would really be friendly closer to you.
See you soon.

By Project to Mark – Tuesday, 9 March 2010 06:55:46 +0100

Hello Mark,
first of all you do not have to apologize for anything, we do not need formalities, I’m sorry to hear you a little discomforted, I wish you could feel another way. Not only you don’t create problems of any kind but in the end this exchange of emails is a bit a pause in the midst of the absurdity of social life and work, a rare moment in which I can be what I’m and I can say what I think. For me these emails have the meaning of the safety valve and are things that I live like good moments to which I’d like to spend more time.

But let’s get to the question of masturbation. It sounds crazy, but still in the twenty-first century we are on the subject of deeply rooted prejudices and conditioning. Physical sexuality today not only is lived without serenity but is loaded with many mythical meanings and is conditioned by many taboos. It is the legacy of centuries of Catholic culture, convictions and repression. There is little to do, the damage remains. Einstein said that it is easier to break an atom than a prejudice! The distinction affection/sex repeats the distinction soul/body: all that is noble comes from the soul (affectivity), all that is “dirty” comes from the body (sex). This suggests that sexuality intended not for procreative purposes is “dirty” and that a love interest ennobles the person you love, and a sexual interest degrades that person. In fact, the distinction between body and soul does not make sense, it is an indissoluble unity, and so it makes no sense the split between affectivity and sexuality. Beyond the divisions inherited from a bipolar culture (good/bad, soul/body) there is a unitary dimension to which should be given the right value. We agree about the fact that it makes no sense to think of a sexuality without affectivity, such things dig a rift between affectivity and sexuality, but in the same way does not make sense an affectivity without sexuality. When a guy falls in love with another guy, if between the two there is not and there cannot be any physical contact (typically the case of gay-straight relationships), this does not mean that the relationship is desexualized. Certainly it is not desexualized on the gay side, but, if sexuality is considered as a form of physical pleasantness rather than as a genital reaction, some sexual involvement also exists on the hetero side, this is the case of all forms of camaraderie, which are not read as something related to sex but as something related to friendship, but they probably have to do with sexuality much more than we think. So we can talk of relationships that do not have obvious sexual manifestations, but not of relationships that do not involve sexuality which is a ubiquitous reality that accompanies the life of an individual in all its manifestations.

Given the above, if making a mental operation we for a moment put in brackets preconceptions about physical sexuality, there is no reason to give it a negative value as it was something that can contaminate and destroy. The physical sexuality is one of the manifestations of affectivity and should not be demonized. There is still the idea that the sacrifice is good while the pleasure is bad, but it’s nonsense. Add that sexuality is too often suppressed in all its forms, and about masturbation, it resists the idea that it is a form of sexuality not emotional and not related to the couple’s life but almost exclusively selfish and for the individual pleasure. These concepts have no basis in reality.

Through the masturbation we tend to create mentally and physically the contact which in the reality cannot be created. This is certainly an activity that involves in an essential way the image of another person, which prefigures a sexual partnership or even tends to relive it in a less abstract form that that of pure memory. No one can be dirtied by the masturbation or by the fact of being part of masturbatory fantasies of another guy. In fact masturbation is a sign of deep both sexual and emotional involvement. You cannot deny that when a guy masturbates thinking of another guy at the base there is a strong emotional relationship, that is a dream of love (and sexuality) that is not reducible to pure physical outlet.

Mark, I do not want to add more. Try to stay calm, I tell you by heart although I understand that it is difficult. A hug.

By Mark to Project – Tuesday, 9 March 2010 16:34:40 +0100

Hello Project,
first of all, before I forget it: I noticed that you’re writing with the same character in the same size. . . it’s not necessary if you do not like. Not that I have sight problems or something it’s just that I like writing more substantial, especially if the emails I write or read are particularly articulated.

That being said I thank you for reminding me of the deep emotional need that sexuality sublime, also through masturbation thinking about the guy you love. Not having had much experience of life in general I easily forget that sexuality is above all this. As you rightly say it is not true that the sacrifice can only be a good thing and pleasure on the contrary an evil thing. But I also wanted to let you know that my difficulty in masturbating in this sense does not come from a religious background [my religion does not meddle in my sexuality], but from my view of the moral values that briefly says “I do not want mix the physical to the spiritual for the simple fact that I want to think about that guy for what I really love of him, that is his soul. His body attracts me, it is true, but I feel in love with his spirit that for me is worth a lot more and do not want to draw attention away from the soul to look at a (physical) beauty that is naturally lower than the first beauty.”

Now, I imagine that you will easily emphasize that affection without sexuality is something of a trunk … and certainly the reality is exactly as you say. But I come up with an anecdote which I consider much more convincing than my own version of the facts to clearly explain: Have you ever read (or better do you remember) the Divine Comedy? Something very strange happened in the great book of Dante Alighieri, I have never been able to explain, to give it a meaning, a dimension of justice true and irrefutable. I am referring to Dante’s journey in the group of lustful persons. . . as we all know there dwell the souls of Paolo and Francesca. . . and I never understood why. I wondered why. They loved each other with a love pure and worthy to exist… but then why? Even my teachers never gave me a good explanation about that. It’s true that they were marked by the assassination of her husband, but the man was a horrible person and their souls still had to end up among the murders, right? But according to what Dante says I’m wrong. Even now I cannot understand why, but it happened to me a few years ago to see the reading of the passage by Roberto Benigni and he taught me that you shouldn’t look at the beauty of the body, but to that of the soul, the only true and eternal. If you remain watching enraptured for too long ephemera (here the beauty of the body), you end up losing sight of the true beauty that lies within all things: to be too materialistic leads to not being able to reflect on the beauty and rarity of a rainbow (as actually happened), not to look beyond how things look; for example: if a person is physically bad for us, it doesn’t matter if has a beautiful soul. If we don’t refine our soul by looking to the true spirit of things, that person will remain for us always a bad person, although maybe it is the sweetest person in the world. . . and also in the case in which we know that that person is a sweet person, we don’t stop, however, to take into account only and exclusively the physical appearance. It may seem impossible, perhaps, but this is the reality: I personally know people who think this way. They do not have the slightest idea of what beauty is.

I also add one thing that I really happened: there was a time when I was constantly drawn to the physicality of the guys. … and I invariably ended up not being able to see all the beautiful things that life offered me. All missed opportunities. All opportunities for growth as a person, as a human being with a valid level of humanity, relentlessly lost. Do you understand what I’m saying?

Let me be clear that I am not saying that sexuality is something “dirty” [despite the fact that I had mistakenly introduced this concept in my previous mail], but that I’m a guy who maybe also gives too much significance to affection reducing the sexual aspect.

More precisely, I masturbate easily on pornographic images I find on the net, but not thinking about the guy I’m attracted to: it is obvious that I do not feel affection towards the porn and then I have no problem to masturbate using the support they give me.

In conclusion of the speech I’m probably slightly sexually deviant (in the sense that it’s hard to restrain me to the normality and that my abnormalities arise from some difficulties between me and sex)

I close my speech leaving it open to all your considerations that will be warmly welcome.
I hope that in the future will be better also our problems for study, work and family.
Bye, see you soon.

By Project to Mark – Tuesday, 9 March 2010 18:09:14 +0100

Hello Mark,
well, I do not deny that reading your email I thought a lot about a form of sublimation of sexuality. This emphasis on the separation between the spiritual and the physical, and the idea of masturbation on pornography but not on the guys you’re attracted to, even if not immediately, come from religious education are inevitably affected by that climate of which there are still heavy traces even in places where we least expect to find them. You attenuated expressions, in the sense that you do not speak any more of “dirty” but of losing sight of the spiritual, but the substance looks the same. It makes me think that you said that when you were more attracted to corporeality of guys you missed opportunities. Frankly I do not understand why a physical attraction should end up to turn away from the spiritual-emotional contact with a guy. As you can read in many parts of the forum, there are many guys who use the word “dirty” when they masturbate thinking about a guy, and the more that guy is important for them the more they live with the guilt that they masturbate thinking of that guy. Although this thing appears to me at first sight as a consequence of a repressive form of education, I cannot deny that this mechanism is not at all uncommon. At the end pornography is something much more neutral and less addictive but I wonder if this way you do not end up removing all of the emotional dimension that masturbation should also have. I do not understand why physical sexuality cannot be a vehicle of emotions. At the end the use of pornography demeans masturbation because detaches it from real life and helps to create models of sexuality completely divorced from the experience and substantially devoid of emotions. Then when it comes to the couple’s life problems emerge connected right to the division between affectivity and sexuality. Living a couple’s life between two guys is to live in a perfectly integrated union of affectivity and sexuality. A guy needs an affective sexuality and being used to a non-emotional masturbation can create difficulties. It is clear that there may be many situations in which there can’t be any sexual outlet and in such situations perhaps the sublimation of physical sexuality and the confinement of masturbation to a purely technical activity on the basis of pornography may have very specific reasons, just because in those situations affectivity and sexuality must be distinguished.

Sexuality formed on a masturbation dependent on pornography has also another aspect that can create difficulties: it prevents the development of spontaneous sexuality, that is not conditioned by models. Because in the life of a couple the sexual satisfaction is linked precisely to the fact that we can fulfill at a greater or lesser extent fantasies already experienced during masturbation, it’s found that young people who have developed a spontaneous sexuality not affected by pornography, generally live couple’s sexuality with significantly higher levels of satisfaction, precisely because of their spontaneity. Between guys who grew up on pornography and those who never used pornography, sexual archetypes are quite different and this means that the couple’s incompatibility between a guy growing up on pornography and a gay stranger to pornography is much more pronounced. Reflecting more closely on the sublimation and the separation between affectivity and sexuality I come to the conclusion that, because it is a very real phenomenon and quite common, there must also be some very serious reasons that ultimately suggest a choice like that, at least in certain circumstances. Frankly, I’m inclined to think that it is the real impossibility of living the physical sexuality in a spontaneous way and free from taboos that leads to sublimation which essentially derives from the need not to dream of things that would not be possible to obtain. Probably things are more complex and deserve a more serious analysis from other points of view.

Mark, you never degrade. Your email has been pleasing me and I responded right away because I found the time to do it and especially because I was glad to do it. A hug.

By Mark to Project – Saturday, March 13, 2010 00:45:35 +0100

Hello Project,
I’m sorry because I’m going to send my email just now, I hope you will not be worried about me or whatever. . . However, I thought a little about the speech on masturbation / sublimation / emotions / sexuality. Meanwhile I answer to your statement “It makes me think that you said that when you were more attracted to corporeality of guys you missed opportunities. Frankly I do not understand why a physical attraction should end up to turn away from the spiritual-emotional contact with a guy.” Maybe I was not very clear, but I did not mean by the words “lost opportunities” that I have removed some “spiritual-emotional contact with a guy”. The opportunities that I missed are those that I explain later, that I had lost the ability to value the good things we have / are-around. I was no longer able to understand their beauty because I was completely taken by something that took away the time and the desire to feel the presence of the rest of the world around me.

But beyond this I wanted to add a point to your talk about the division between sexuality and emotions. I wanted to say that as you say you should do a more thorough investigation to discover the nature of this psychic phenomenon (especially because I think that this “choice” that many guys make is not really one but there are several different choices from guy to guy). Also reflecting on the things I’ve written I feel compelled to make explicit my thoughts: in all honesty I had a bad start by introducing the concept of “sin” related to affective masturbation … because what I fill is really something larger, and I feel that a guy can get into trouble in front of this particular masturbation exactly because it “dirties” the other. In reality is that you cannot spontaneously masturbate thinking of the loved guy if the affection you feel towards the other guy has its origins in a genuine interest toward the personality of the other. In other words, “I have built a special relationship of friendship, trust and affection with the guy, and I realized to feel love for him. I want to live all the emotions I feel for him. My heart loves him desperately, I desperately want to love him and continue to love him indefinitely.” Be madly in love is an action that involves not only the continuous love, but also the desire to love above all. This love is a tyrant, in the sense that claims for itself all the emotional space in the mind of the guy, and this because feeling affection for each other takes here the connotation of maximum realization of our emotional fulfillment. So we can deduce that: feel affection = maximum happiness, so masturbation is excluded because it is not loving the guy’s spirit, but only want his body, this way we are diverting us from the aforementioned “greatest happiness”. If in such a situation of “falling in love” you should realize that your body (or rather your subconscious? / Es? / Instinct? ) Is not so much addressed to psychic satisfaction but, in turn, aims to find a vent, that’s where the needs of the person resulting from “emotional thinking” (love the soul) collide with the needs of the “physical attraction” (love the body) and it comes out quite a conflict of priorities. Could this be an explanation, despite its “sordid” aspect? Consider that my hypothesis could be corroborated from the obvious annoyance factor to a healthy emotional development represented by pornography and, more generally, by the commodification of sexual messages that is shown every day by the media and repeated by behaviors / attitudes / speeches made between the guys. This disorder can occur especially if you re-read the codes supplied to us by pornography and the media through the already secularized reading key of dualisms “good / bad” – “body / soul” – “purity – sin.” [Ergo: if you mix the message of pseudo-religious moralistic nature with that of debasement of morality provided by the “dimension of pornography” added to that of the “gospel of popular culture, according to the media” you definitely get a lot of people who find it difficult to give the due weight, natural and cultural, to their sexuality, or rather I say, to sexuality itself as definition and as fact].

There’s a sentence you wrote the meaning of which I have not understood: “It is clear that there may be many situations in which there can’t be any sexual outlet and in such situations perhaps the sublimation of physical sexuality and the confinement of masturbation to a purely technical activity on the basis of pornography may have very specific reasons, just because in those situations affectivity and sexuality must be distinguished.”

You have not explained why “… affectivity and sexuality in those situations must be distinguished.” Unless you tell me your point of view I cannot understand what you mean.
Greetings and thanks again for everything,

By Project to Mark – Sunday, March 14 2010 09:06:36 +0100

Hello Mark,
to be honest I noticed a delay in your reply and I was going to write but just opened the pc and I found your mail and then, as usual, I’m answering late.

I start from the end. There’s a thing I notice in chat with guys: the sublimation of sexuality often accompanies falling in love with a straight guy. A gay guy falls in love with his straight friend, in the end, apart from the very remote hypothesis that the friend could discover himself gay, he knows that his friend is and will be straight and that with him he is allowed to live at most a good relationship in affective key (What really happens, sometimes), but he also knows that with his friend there can be no sexual contact. In these terms, it is almost obvious that the physical sexuality is put in brackets, but I’m talking about couple’s physical sexuality. Frankly, it seems almost impossible that a gay guy in love with his straight friend sublime even the sexuality of masturbation,

I would say that in general what it is impossible to live at the level of couple can be lived through masturbation and the image of the friend will be the dominant sexual fantasy. Of course there is a dimension of frustration in all of this but it is accepted because of the fact that with his straight friend he creates a virtual physical relationship through masturbation.

You say that it’s impossible to masturbate thinking of a friend when the interest towards that friend is a genuine interest in his personality, well, frankly, it’s not what I see, because saying that “masturbation is excluded because it is not love the guy’s spirit, but only want his body” is a true removal / sublimation, dualism here comes again. Those conflicting priorities come just from thinking soul and body as two different things including the need to establish an order, but from what I see things generally follow other logics. Masturbate thinking about a friend and even more share with that friend a sexual intimacy is to feel a bond, a deep connection that cannot be reduced at all to the only physical involvement but also involves and very strongly the sphere of sentiments. I have seen many times gay guys deeply in love with a friend of theirs, which of course masturbated thinking about that friend or even had sex with that friend, who, when the opportunity came, have shown total dedication to that guy and there was nothing in the emotional level that was set aside or that has been lost because the friend was the subject of masturbation fantasies. I’m not inclined to think that physical sexuality may itself have a negative value but I think that I’d not say the negative value, but also the simple need to establish a hierarchy between sexuality and affection, as if they were separate things, is no more than the result of the culture of repression, which can be felt everywhere.

Think of the school, which is attended by guys aged 14 to 19 years, where teachers talk about everything from Greek tragedy to the theorems of mathematics, well in high school teachers never talk seriously about sexuality, which is a contradiction, and even less talk about masturbation, as if it was something that simply doesn’t exist, while these things are objectively fundamental for the guys are. It is clear that those who grow up with the idea that about some things it’s impossible to speak except in jokes, end up with the idea that the feelings and physical sexuality are different things but in reality it is not so, I’ll take an example, why do you think people fall in love so deep, with real forms of suffering and addiction, when they are young, 20/30 y. o. and these things do not happen when they are 50/60 y. o., or if happen, they happen so much more bland? The answer lies in the fact that the physical and hormonal substrates are different and in the fact that for a young man falling in love depends largely on his sexuality that is in his full power, sexuality and emotional entanglements follow the same curve over the years because are substantially the same thing.

Then there is the problem of religion, another powerful boost to dualism and the removal of physical sexuality, which, however, now has a weight not very high in a very significant percentage of cases.

The real core issue of sex education is that it is in practice totally entrusted to pornography, and this is clearly demonstrated by surveys of Gay Project, this fact means that the word sex will become almost synonymous with pornography. For a twenty year old guy today, think about an affective sexuality is less straightforward than in the past because for him the sex has little to do with friendship and love, and is strongly conditioned by pornography.

There are gay movies, not pornographic, with explicit sex scenes framed in a deeply emotional story truly engaging, these films are experienced by gay guys with deep emotion because guys see the emotional value of sexuality. The problem of pornography is not the fact of showing explicit sex scenes but the fact of showing “only” explicit sex scenes, as if the sexual intercourse between two people was just that. I wrote gay novels in which there are the lives of gay men, and where of course there is also room for physical sexuality among gay men because physical sexuality is a normal part of life. Well, of those novels I have published online several chapters, with cuts for reasons related to the fact that I have published them on a website without restrictions, that is open to everyone, in any case, the physical sexuality is strongly present. The guys who have read these chapters sent me emails to tell me beautiful things because they have read a love story, something they can dream about, which also involved physical sexuality, but a true love story, that has put “together” physical sexuality and feelings.
A hug Mark. See you soon.

By Mark to Project – Sunday, March 14, 2010 22:19:37 +0100

But in fact, I’m sorry if I insist, Project, what I was trying to say in the first email is just that the dualisms “soul – body”, “sex [whose idea is borrowed from pornography [and that is seen as dirty] – love [pure, so full of feeling that makes us feel good about themselves and with each other]” are concepts really very popular. The destructive power they have on the emotional lives of many guys is disarming and can easily lead people to feel uncomfortable where it should not happen.

I have set the first case of a guy who likes another guy and considers masturbating on him as something “dirty” … and I think that goes for all the guys, if you love a guy you feel a certain degree of physical attraction to him, but at the same time if you feel that masturbating thinking about him is “dirty” then you suppress this desire. . . But inevitably it happens that the part of you that gets excited thinking about him begins to act against your conscious will of repression of sexuality. And this is the “conflict of priorities” that I mentioned before: the conscious yourself (as Freud would say the EGO) and the subconscious yourself (to quote Freud, the ES) fight each other … and the EGO will come out easily defeated in this war if para-moralistic conditionings derived from SUPER-EGO (a term coined also by Freud) meddle in the Battle. And this is what I mentioned earlier.

As for my personal situation, I tell you that I could not masturbate thinking about the guy I love because I cannot give the masturbation those affective meanings you underline so strongly. The truth is that you say that masturbation “should” have an affective origin, but unfortunately it happens that is not experienced this way by people, including myself.

I masturbate in my solitude, alone, because of my personal desire for sexual satisfaction. No one is there with me when I do it, and I never developed the desire to live that moment with someone else to give each other pleasure through mutual masturbation.

The core issue is that pornography is my only strong reference model to sexuality.
But also the lack of positive experience with a guy in terms of living masturbation with him and with affection makes me feel impossible to masturbate thinking of another guy, what I consider “empty in itself”, I would almost say “dirty” (because if you empty the practice of masturbation of affective values, the only thing you do when you masturbate becomes exploit the thought you have of that guy whom you love for your pleasure only selfish).

I repeat and I remind you that I understand your logical discourse on the fact that masturbating thinking of a guy you love is a sign of affection towards him. I understand that at the level of discourse, but for the reasons mentioned above it is impossible for me to live this situation. I am not able to feel anything that can lead me to affective masturbation (because I do not have a single affective memory associated with that person at the level of intimacy), but I aim only to my sexual satisfaction (because for me masturbation has only this meaning).

In addition, there is one thing that left me badly and I do not agree: you say that love is felt most powerfully by young 20/30 y. o. than in the 50s for natural reasons due to hormonal changes … I’m sorry, but I cannot share this idea with you. I do not doubt the fact that young gay men are more active on the sentimental level because of hormonal factors, but I do not feel right to give Mother Nature all this weight on less passionate loving ability in more mature men. What is the value of the various psychological and / or social conditionings? For example the fact that men aged 50 or more may have gained a certain experience in this field than that brought them to diminish the need of “falling in love” (because they have lived longer and have done a lot of bad experiences, or even only so many experiences and so have come to “be bored of love”), and I say instead that yes maybe young adults are more passionate, but perhaps adults are more aware of the meaning of “loving and be loved”, and that depends on the person’s inner experience and how the person acts and reacts during life? [Trivial example: the fact of being forever young even at advanced ages] … You have narrowed the individual capacity of falling in love to a mere function of the greater or lesser presence of hormonal storms in the individual … Your exact words: ” sexuality and emotional entanglements follow the same curve over the years because are substantially the same thing ” … Don’t you think this statement is excessive?

Sorry if I was a bit vehement in saying things, but the ideas came to my mind like a torrent. Think well on some of these, in particular those relating to the destruction and lack of emotional values that the pornography leads to and those about the fact that avoiding strong affective experiences can trigger mechanisms for “blaming the masturbation of being mere act of self-fulfillment.” I think it is very important to analyze these points in order to try to understand the patterns of affectivity and sexuality of gays, both young and mature.
A big hug to you too,

By Mark to Project – Monday, March 15, 2010 18:49:28 +0100

And just because I wrote my ideas without putting them in order and without meditating on them step by step, reading the mail, I noticed that I wrote some things badly …

1) Where I say that EGO is easily defeated I mean that the tensions that ES and SUPER-EGO create, between each other, contrasting tensions because the “moralistic reasons” of the second attempt to repress the impulses of the first, can lead the EGO, that is the guy with his impulses, to feel pain because he is behaving “so dirty”.

In other words, being divided between the desire to love freely (which includes masturbation) and the dualistic conception of “pure – unclean” is really overwhelming. It’s a thing that at opposite ends can lead to painfully stretch the psycho-sexual balance of a guy, or can be resolved more often in denying masturbation through moralism. In any case, the two are both wrong and deeply unfair.

2) When I say “masturbation is not lived in affective sense by people” it’s obviously a very big generalization. I am convinced that many people are able to feel that little bit more in this particular type of auto-eroticism.
But this does not diminish my belief that many other gay guys like me find rather serious difficulties in this regard.

Well, I just had to send the mail with these corrections … no, mostly because rereading what I had written before I said to myself “but if someone reads these things can consider me madman!”

Is it okay to express your point of view, of course, but surely we must be moderate and thoughtful in doing so. Be fundamentalists does not lead to anything, except perhaps if you are absolutely right (but perhaps even in those rare cases where you are absolutely right it is better to be moderate, for many other reasons)
Okay, I greet you from again. [And if you find other things that you consider outside the lines, wrong, or just have criticisms of various kinds, never hesitate to let me know, please. I want to maintain a relationship as more honest and productive as possible with you]

By Project to Mark – Tuesday, 16 March 2010 09:06:36 +0100

Hello Mark,
I begin by telling you one thing. This exchange of emails is making me think about a lot of things I had not considered and about many that I had taken for granted. I must say that the level of analysis and comparison is extremely serious and eventually helps, and not a little, to understand things better. For this reason, I had thought that these e-mails, maybe suitably revised so as not to put absolutely at risk the privacy, could be published because they could really help many guys to understand more deeply the meaning and complexity of sexuality. I’d like to know what you think about. Of course, If you think for any reason it is not appropriate, of course emails will remain private.

As to your last email, I start from the end. Through Gay Project I happened to speak with many people of many different ages, but the vast majority were between 18/20 and 30 y. o.. If you look at the people who fill out and submit the form of the online interview on gay sexuality you can see that the average age is 24.76 years. People over 35 are few, the over forties are rare and I knew only three people over the age of fifty, in over three years of operation of “Gay Project”. Explain these data with the fact that more mature people are not used to using the internet is misleading. Basically the interest in sexuality and also in the affective dimension decreases with age. I could say that the more time passes the more decreases the interest in building an emotional and sexual life with another person. A gay man aged 40-45 years has lost in large part his enthusiasm and begins to grow in him the belief that in the end the loneliness, but we should say being single, it’s not something so tremendous, and that building stories solely to overcome loneliness is something to avoid. Of course on the evolution of emotional and sexual history of people weigh very much personal experiences and also the idea that in the end undermine the individual traditional way of life to try to build a little forcedly a story that may in fact appear like another complication, maybe not worth it. The question is similar to the problem of the classic ” You need to find settlement” that mothers say to straight guys who are not really inclined to marriage. At a certain age, the building of a relationship no longer has a really deep emotional and sexual motivation but is designed to meet abstract and rational and much less instinctual motivations, both emotionally and physically. Beyond a certain age, couples are essentially forms of mutual assistance, that have a dignity, all right, but with sexuality and sexual emotions have little to do. Not that I want to belittle the affective dimension that can be experienced when you are aged 50 years or more but it’s objectively different from that of a guy aged twenty. A twenty-something living in love feels deep feelings of enthusiasm and even shocking deprivations, for him sexual dimension is really fundamental to the point that imagine to deprive a guy aged twenty of a sexual dimension, even livable individually through the masturbation, would mean impose on him a heavy sacrifice. For a man over fifties it’s certainly not the same thing, sexuality gradually loses weight with the passing of years to the point that chastity is not even a sacrifice, given that in fact the drives to hold are very milder. A love story between two men fifty y. o. has little to do with an apparently similar story between two guys in their twenties. There is not only a different physical sexuality, but as a result of a different way of living physical sexuality, much more sporadic and far less compelling, even affection somehow degrades and is replaced by other values, most worthy, however, such as fidelity and mutual respect in a dimension of conservative rather than creative affectivity. A twenty y. o. who falls in love creates, begins an affair, experiments, compares, experiences, grows, a 50 y. o. must first put aside the habits, needs to adapt to upset at least a little daily rhythms of his life and it is not absolutely easy, the weight of established ways of life remains as a substrate beyond the emotional story that is built.

I began to write this e-mail before receiving your clarification in the night of 15, and even before receiving it the things you’ve written about masturbation seemed to me not only acceptable but definitely realistic. In fact, the emotional masturbation is a corollary of falling in love and its meaning is understandable only if you have experienced it directly. The absence of deep emotional experiences related to masturbation and the conditioning coming from pornography clearly removes from the masturbation its affective value as an experience that even if physically individual is at least mentally affective and related to the couples’ life. Gay couples, when they are forced to a temporary separation continue the couple’s relationship living it through masturbation that is useful to strengthen and not to weaken the sexual relationship of the couple. In a gay couple mutual masturbation is a normal part of sexual contact and also in this way strengthens the sense of masturbation as a couple’s experience, this time related to the couple’s relationship also physically. In these situations it is not the climax that matters but sharing a profound intimacy even sexually, having no more secrets for each other also physically. It is clear that so masturbation makes a sense eminently affective and this is what allows guys to live it as a real sexual experience, both physical and emotional.

According to the statistics, the correlation between emotional satisfaction and sexual satisfaction in masturbation is largely evident. The more intense is the level of emotional involvement in masturbation the greater is the satisfaction drawn from it at sexual level. In the absence of a genuine affective participation masturbation is not focused on a real guy, with his physique but also with his emotions, but on pornography. It is basically just the spread of pornographic model, which replaces the spontaneous and emotional masturbatory fantasies, which reduces the effect of masturbation to pure physical individual outlet.
A hug and see you soon.

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