A REAL CASE OF GAY-THEMED OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER

We are going now to deal with homophobia in the OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), something that has nothing to do with attitudes of social homophobia, i.e. with the episodes of intolerance towards gays that we read in the press (phobia “against gays”) determined by the ignorance and the incitement to the aggression towards gays, we are properly going to deal with the phobia, but it would be better to say the obsessive idea “of being gay” that manifests itself in the OCD. It is a disorder that can create states of deep suffering and that must be acknowledged and dealt with by adequate means, sometimes and not rarely with the help of a specialist.

Recognizing an OCD with an obsessive idea of being gay is not easy because we are often brought to see all the homophobia, even the apparent homofobia that as “obsessive idea of being gay” characterizes the DOC, as it were a phenomenon of social or cultural origin neglecting the fact that it can be a real pathology that should not be underestimated and that has causes that are not only related to social and cultural environment. As part of the activity of Gay Project, I have often had discussions with young people affected by the OCD with the obsessive idea of being gay. In particular, I exchanged a series of e-mails with a 22-year-old guy, that I’ll call here Mark, which allowed me to clarify a lot of ideas about the gay-themed OCD because he showed me the situation from his point of view, that is from the inside.

What follows is a passage from one of his e-mails.

“If you want to transcribe or publish my story for the sake of other guys, feel free to do it without any problem, the more this evil is known by people, the more genuinely homosexual people understand that “I’m the sick” and not they, the better it will be, I think.”

I would say that this statement is the sign of the human and as well cultural maturity of this guy whom I thank heartily. I have explicitly requested and obtained permission from my interlocutor to publish the contents of our correspondence. In approaching the core of the problem step by step, always in full respect of privacy, I followed the same path that he followed in his emails. I apologize to the reader if the path will be long, but clarifying these things also requires the reader to pay a little attention.

Mark, a university student, begins his first email like this:

“I am writing to you with an anxiety and a terror on me that are almost indescribable but I need to have a confrontation”.

He then tells about his family situation, certainly not easy, strongly conflicting relationships with his parents, an early adolescence disbanded and without reference points, bad moments characterized by rebellion, school failures, dyed hair, fights, light drugs, vandalism, escapes, etc. , subsequently the contact with other people gives him confidence and puts him back in a livable environment.

He enters a path of very deep growth that leads him to build a “personality at least partially independent from everything and everyone” that anyhow summarizes, in his opinion, the best of all those who made him raise “in good faith and with love” and he feels himself in a good part the result of their commitment.

From the point of view of sexuality Mark’s adolescence was rather complex. From an early age he had a passion for the feet and didn’t make too much distinction between man and woman but the female foot for him remained the object of a special pleasure. Growing up, because of the unleashing of hormones, masturbation focused on all the women he knew, including teachers, “to bloom in the middle school with real opportunities to deep the subject” but before he experienced heterosexual intercourse, as sometimes happens, Mark with his friends discovers and experiences the group masturbation on straight porn, “logically doing each for himself”.

One day, however, a friend “a bit effeminate” wants to go further and Mark follows him “doing tests several times, even coming to penetration but always thinking of women, and especially wanting it to happen with a girl as quickly as possible.”

At about 12-13 years, both Mark and his partner of sexual explorations start to look for “a girlfriend” and the moments of experimentation and sexual curiosity between them become rarer but don’t stop.

“I and this effeminate friend had not yet found a woman and sometimes, not yet knowing how it was this intercourse with women, we were nevertheless very intrigued, dreamed of having it, and we continued those experiences without ever having emotional relationships that disgusted us, and indeed we avoided certain contacts because they were annoying and sometimes even caused real disturbances.”

It should be noted that Mark underlines the “effeminacy” of his friend. After these experiences, always considered pure curiosity, Mark and his friend find both a girlfriend. Mark emphasizes that, even during the experiences with his friend, the masturbation was 99% heterosexual and very desired and satisfying but sometimes, as a makeshift, not having the ability to have real girls, the fantasies “fell somehow on a male dimension, in practice we fantasized about what we could have done to women, but doing it among us, nothing more.”

“Returning to the girls, the experiences with them began, the blows of lightning (I always had even at kindergarten so much interest in girls that I was often was put in a punishment because surprised while touching my female peers or anyway I remember dreams about my female friends and the deep desire to have them and smell them), the desire was fierce and uncontrollable, up to make me feel bad, I started living in another world in a way so engaging that I thought with disgust to things done between friends and I had some personal problems.

To make it short, my adolescence broke out with an very strong addiction and hunger for the woman that led me to neglect the study and to fall in love often and always wanting to have a girl, smell her, touch her, lick her, and so on. I had the first serious 4-year history, previously various experiences but tortuous because I often changed targets because I was interested in several girls at the same time and with a continuous and almost uncontrollable masturbation because it was my maximum daily desire.”

I would say, Mark’s adolescence, however agitated, does not present objectively pathological elements, but he himself describes the first appearance of the obsessive idea.

“Among engagements, cuddles, kisses, the desire to be loved by a girl, to be his, to feel his jealousy, to feel myself as her property, to make love, etc. etc., I never noticed, however, one of my emerging behaviors: I tended to obsess me several times on various things, on touching things an precise number of times, on getting up the stairs running otherwise I would felt wrong, on putting in order, on cleaning, on talking saying well determined things, on apologizing to objects, on suffering from absurd things, etc. etc. and from here it began, at the age of 14, my obsessive identity, calm but present, which reached his maximum one day during a holiday in the mountains, while I was hearing a story of a family friend, who spoke of the coming out of an colleague of his beyond suspicion.

I was terrified and afraid that I could become gay and that I would be obliged to go with men and I immediately connected all this to the things I had done years ago, without fear and without any meaning, with my friends, and I began to ruminate: “but perhaps are you gay?”, ” are you sure?” Anyway, unpredictably, over years the thing became more aggressive in some periods and faded in others. In the meantime I started to meet new friends, to go to the gym and to attend people much more beautiful and mature than me for whom I felt envy and even submission because I was not able to compete with them.

My confident and strong personality almost bully went down until I felt myself practically only as a sheep that believes to be a lion, I realized that I was just an inflated balloon and that those qualities I saw as mine were just what I wanted to have but I didn’t have, so I had to “build” everything, brick by brick, physique, mind, sex appeal etc. etc.. So sometimes, I happened to admire some people for their beauty and I felt myself as a slave in front of them: “I’m inferior, they are beautiful, it is not that I’m gay?” And there I began to obsess myself more and more and my mind was playing switching things, all the things that (forgive the frankness) made me sick and bothered me, as the homosexual relationships, appeared as an “obligation” because they were or, at least, looked beautiful and if I was able to notice and appreciate their beauty (always with envy) I had to let myself go and enjoy them and so things went on until this fear became automatic, leading to a real panic, anxiety and almost an anorexic crisis.

Before getting to this I was full of fear but occasionally and in the meantime I kept falling easily in love with female friends and I wanted to find love, have sex, etc. etc. until I met my current girlfriend, whom I met through friends that we had in common. It did not snap like lightning but slowly so that we broke up and I, when she got engaged again, felt as if they had taken something away from me and I wrote to her that I needed her and that if she had broken up again with her new boyfriend, she would have found me there, ready to wait for her … in the meanwhile the obsession that at that time happened very few times and had almost faded was almost no longer present.”

I have to underline that when the obsessive idea recedes Mark lives a fully heterosexual sexuality. Mark continues.

“One day she writes me, she had really broken up with her boyfriend because she was not well with him and because my message had made her think, while I had made my own world and had began to feel good on my own but, as you know, the heart follows only his own way, and so we threw ourselves into this relationship that lasts even now and is very solid so much so that we strongly depend on each other, in the meantime I have continued to change, to grow, to become mentally independent: I understood that I don’t believe in God and I recognized myself as an atheist, I started to love science and to analyze many aspects of life from a logical point of view and no longer following mysterious or transcendent meanings, I put aside my homophobia and made friendships with homosexual people that still persist and are excellent.

In this last year I have made friends with a guy through a common friend of ours, immediately we were in tune as two brothers separated at birth, he was one of those friends who are counted on the fingers, one of the few I had, with whom to share profound topics of life, such as god, science, the meaning of life, etc. etc., a few months ago, however, this friend of mine beyond suspicion (in the meantime I became more obsessed about homosexuality, I was afraid that someone wanted to rape me or that a man forced me to do certain things, I feared and eschewed affectionate manifestations among male friends) reveals to me that he is gay, I calmly tell him that everything is ok and that he must be calm, must be what he is and that I hope I have not behaved badly with some typical joke about homosexuals, everything turns into an even more solid friendship so much so that he tells me his pains of love as if such a thing were obvious, but there in a few days my obsession mounts resulting in an attack of panic, anxiety and deep anorexia, I was not able to sleep and eat for weeks, and then I went on the internet looking “can you become gay?”, “fear of being gay?” etc. etc. and I found a forum that talked about a disorder called “Obsessive-compulsive disorder related to the fear of becoming homosexual” like those behaviors of washing your hands or always checking the gas and I fully recognized myself in the gay themed OCD.

I have been in drug therapy for two months, in psychoanalysis and a bit depressed, I have completely lost myself and the search for reassurance has led me to distort my natural attraction for women with intrusive images of sexual acts and fake feelings of pleasure, as if I had to follow that path, I was obliged, this makes me feel very bad, the drugs already take away my libido and therefore I struggle to make love with my girlfriend (while up to a month before it was hard to me to leave my house because the desire to have sex was uncontrollable) and the ideas in the head become more and more dense and reading on your site of repressed homosexuality, latent homosexuality and so on, I felt more and more terrified until to have real crises of identity; now I feel very down, I have a very strong crisis that doesn’t let me breath, so I wanted to ask you what you can draw from my story according to your opinion and your experience.

I add that I was diagnosed with a OCD, by both a psychiatrist and a psychologist and also by professional friends, the disease that I told you above, I suffer from anxiety and obsessiveness from an early age but the characteristic of this evil is that it tends to make you feel what you are not, to cover other problems, according to the psychologist about my father and / or very painful experiences of my life. I feel really bad because I losing myself and I feel like I can no longer love women and their sex that I need, but this obsession blocks me with thoughts and reasoning that lead me to believe that I became gay.

I conclude by saying that I have erased homophobia because I have understood that it is natural and normal to be gay, I have found interesting people and I’m pleased that they live their lives serenely and I deeply hate all those who condemn these things, so I don’t have according to the definition of my disease, any problems with homosexuality and even more I didn’t have problems with my sexual orientation, but all this has given me a thousand doubts about my whole life and I’m afraid of not being able to be myself.”

At his first email I answered Mark:

“I read your email very carefully. From all that you write it emerges quite clearly the picture of the OCD that manifests itself through the fear of being gay. It seems clear enough to me that this fear is unfounded, none of the things you say, neither pre-teen nor teenage experiences with other boys, nor recurring ideas related to the fear of being gay, are indicative of gay sexual orientation.

I see you very worried, and the OCD can do this, but I would like to say to you that it happened to me more than once to meet guys with this type of disorder connected to the obsessive idea of being gay, in some cases the disorder made those guys feel bad, however, those guys, followed by experienced people, both at the pharmacological level, when necessary, and at a psychological level of support, have seen things change very clearly, gradually and in not very short times, but the weight of obsessive ideas became progressively less, so much so that their relationship life has not really been conditioned.

These guys are not homosexuals and they live homosexuality only as a phobia and as a conditioning. Some observations should be kept in mind, even if I realize that for a guy with the OCD these are arguments that cannot be decisive, in the first place I don’t think you are gay, but admitted and not granted that you were gay, this would not really affect your life. I know a lot of guys who are happy to be gay and feel fulfilled like that. But, I stress it again, I don’t think you have anything to do with gays, and indeed I really enjoy the fact that you can have gay friends and that you give good judgments about them.

You can have obsessive ideas, of course, you can have them and you must try to realize that the situation of discomfort can be greatly alleviated by behavioral therapies that aim to prevent obsessive responses through a rational awareness. Until not many years ago these disorders in fact were not treated except with non-specific forms of psychotherapy, today there is the possibility of resorting to highly specific drugs that help a lot to contain the problem. Unfortunately, situations are complicated for those guys who are left to themselves up to 35/40 years and over, then an effective approach becomes more difficult, but at your age the combination of supportive therapy and drug therapy can really change things that is, it can allow you to live a normal life.

I add one thing, the guys with OCD are usually guys with IQs higher than normal. You are a student of a scientific faculty and the study can help you a lot to find a basic serenity, through the learning of a scientific method of analysis of reality. In the starting of the OCD certainly also counts the family atmosphere and in particular the emotional stress in relationships with parents and you certainly have not experienced from this point of view an ideal situation, you reacted, it is true, but you have also suffered. If I can be useful in something, I will do it willingly.”

Mark replies:

“Thanks, Project, for the email and especially for the afternoon’s chat that helped me to see things from the outside, if I can still steal you some time, I would like to talk with you because, even if you know that my disorder leads me to seek reassurance, information, self-test and so on until I get exhausted (and people who are worried about me say that it is like taking drugs and I should try to stop informing me, test me and reassure me but it’s really hard), I cannot study and my thinking is practically centered almost exclusively on this problem, I would like to remind you again that I have great respect for homosexual people and I don’t even consider them “homosexual” because I start from the concept of personal freedom and therefore, telling frankly, I don’t care what you do in bed, who you love or if you like red or blue, I’m interested in people for what they are and if they are “different” from me, it’s even better, we will have more to tell.

Already now, while I am writing you my mind is bringing me images and feelings that give me anxiety, fear and terror, all because I’m afraid of not being able to love my girlfriend anymore, of not being able to make love as I once did with her, because, I’m afraid that one day all this can end and that I can no longer fall in love with other women, enjoy painful loves or transitory affection (not to say escapades) with any girl who attracts me, and this for all these questions that I’m asking myself, for the crisis I have and for the consequences that day by day I pay”.

Then Mark focuses on drug therapy and it is clear that he has acquired a remarkable ability to interpret the therapeutic meaning of the drugs that have been prescribed to him.

“You have to know that my therapy has been changed, now I take an extra drug in addition to the two of the initial therapy: [omissis] a tranquillizer that “should” keep at bay the anxiety caused by the thoughts and intrusive images that does, poor thing, its meager effect, in the long run, I already notice it, [omissis] this is the novelty that should block the ideation or should help me not to fall into the traps of “asking questions” continuously with the consequent effect of self-conviction and feeling of being what is feared (homosexual, dirty, sick with AIDS, opened gas, not to love one’s own partner, etc., etc.), that is, it should limit the emergence of images and intrusive thoughts”.

Then Mark continues:

“Let’s come back to us, I wanted to expose to you my doubts given what I read on your site, I scanned it accurately, as a true OCDed, as they say in jargon, I read also on the Internet that often they talk about “acceptance”, “latent homosexuality”, to give you an example: from an excerpt of an interview with Tiziano Ferro [well known Italian singer] he declares that he liked women, before, that he was engaged, etc. etc. I have read sometimes of these stories … people who live “rewarding” hetero lives, who then “discover” that they are gays (this makes me feel an anxiety and a panic you don’t even imagine).

I see it a bit strange, let’s see it on the contrary: a heterosexual who is born in a homosexual society will feel “unfit” to the social context and the typical relationships that he likes and morally accepts will be different from those of his peers because he will not be able to do the same experiences that others do, or, perhaps, he will try but he will remain very discontented and scalded (not to say traumatized) so he will soon understand that his happiness depends on some factors very different from those on which depends the happiness of most of the others, that others may not like these things that therefore may not be accepted.

I think this is the path that a person with a certain sexual orientation accomplishes in “understanding who he is” in front of the society, I certainly don’t believe in respect to himself, I try to explain myself better: I never understood that I liked women since I was born until the first crush that gravitated around them, then the nocturnal emissions, the falling in love with girls, the first kiss desired so much (and soon arrives the intrusive image with attached thought “and if I had wanted a first kiss from a man?” .. pain, anxiety and panic), the sexual experiences (removing that small and short experience of self-knowledge in which there was curiosity and inability to resolve it with the other sex, as I told you) became uncontrollable, so much craved and wanted almost more than anything else.

My spontaneous behavior, for family reasons, had no brakes and / or feedback because my family “was not there” and therefore I didn’t have to be ashamed of anything, I went freely to wander up where the my natural tendency pushed me, and it pushed really strongly, and I believe it is the same even for those who have a different trend than mine, it is not that you look in the mirror and you notice a new “pimple” that you had not seen before “Wow, I ‘m gay!” or “Wow, I’m straight!” I think it is the fear of the label, as I read very often, that upsets people who know they have desires different from those of others, but not the relationship with their own pleasure, that I think is indisputable and not subject to doubt, something like this: “I know that I like guys, I’m happy with what I feel but I’m afraid to show myself” or for the most sensitive people: “I like to go with men, but society says it is a disorder, how disgusting I behave!” But the pleasure and desire remains, does not fall from the sky as a drop of rain or I’m wrong here too? In this period I’m studying a subject in which there is much talk about order and laws, about how living “things” don’t respond to chaos but to an order, that in reality, in my opinion, is a different form of chaos, chaos has the purpose of making an equation nonsensical, the order, the opposite, is a bit like the oracle and the matrix architect, do you agree?

Returning to the doubts, when the OCD attacks furious, as in these two days, I spend my time asking at each kiss of my girlfriend what I felt, what I wanted, what I was experiencing, why I did it, “but are you sure?”, “I don’t feel anything”, “if I close my eyes I don’t feel the pleasure I felt when I was in love with her or when I kissed her 4 evenings ago” and so on, until my brain breaks out.

I feel really that I’m sinking in the ground below, I want to be with her as I have done so far, I’ll tell you more, dear project (dear because you listen to me and I wonder how much stuff you have to read every day!) Yesterday evening at my dearest gay friend’s house while seeing a film among friends in addition to the obsessive thoughts and a bit of doc, but controlled enough, I got with my great pleasure even sexual thoughts with relative relentless desire for oral intercourse with a dear girl, friend of mine sitting next to my girlfriend (because of this I felt myself also a traitor, but this has encouraged me a lot) but it happened really with desire, while I felt that the rest was, always with the doubt that gripped the mind, a forced thing, mean, sadistic, intended only to the make me feel hurt.

I conclude this email with two other little things, I believe, project, that we all always know what really makes us happy and what pleases us, love is the undeniable testimony (if you can say) of such things, falling in love, adolescents or of adult age, it is something of which we aren’t usually fully aware but will anyhow in the future our guide, so as to allow us to define ourselves, to understand in which “group” we are, logically it should end there in a really free society, but this is another matter.

I do not think there are “calls” to gay sexuality, similar to the call for the religious vocation or other calls, that sprout from one day to the next, born after years and years of marriage or deep heterosexual relationships, amorous and with desire also painful, I allow myself, without quoting a precise source, to bring to your attention also the casuistry that no one has ever thought to draw but that I mentally did on how many homosexuals have ever discovered that they were instead heterosexuals, I don’t think there is anyone like that, a homosexual is very proud of his homosexuality he is born this way and will die this way, and for a heterosexual it is just the same, and so I believe my problem, my doubts like those of many others in my condition (project, you don’t imagine how many we are and how many suicides come from this evil) are based on a great misinformation made by the gay “partisans” and by the hunchbacked and secular homophobia of some “sophists” who have very personal and distorted beliefs about a very natural condition that they are unable to accept in their minds, they are the only example of those who don’t accept, who are a bit like Islamic fundamentalists, Nazis, etc. etc., the xenophobes par excellence, but speaking among us, between those who are not afraid neither of homo nor of hetero, acceptance means only finding the courage in “a world like this” to behave freely, but has nothing to do with “discovering” something that has always been there but has never been seen, but it is only what has always been there and that has never been seen, admitted and not granted that it exists, what makes me terrorize, what has destroyed in these two days the desire to kiss and make love with my girlfriend (in this the drugs give a deadly blow).

When I hear people saying “I used to go out looking for women and now I just realized I’m gay” I feel upset by the triviality of such a statement, as if they had said: “I just found out now that I had that mole there.” How can you find out that you like men, after having turned 50? And masturbation where do you put it? The falling in love? The erotic dreams? The fantasies in the classroom or at work? And there would be a lot to add to what has just been said, if you have time, desire and without any obligation I would like to compare myself with you. I thank you in advance and I ask you again if I can write you other times so as to have a good liberating and perhaps curative comparison for the problem I have now.”

This was my answer:

“You certainly can write to me whenever you want and I will try to read your e-mails with the utmost care and to answer without filters, step by step. Beyond the things that people tell and that are very little realistic, it is absolutely obvious that in the vast majority of cases when it is said that a guy “discovered that he was gay at age 25” it means only that that guy has accepted his homosexuality at 25.

Sexual orientation has very distant origins and its first manifestations are very precocious, then it matures slowly through masturbation during adolescence, but in substance it is clearly defined as early as 13/14 years. When it comes to latent homosexuality, the speech is a bit different, but I have to premise a very clear concept that certainly puts you out of this category. Latent homosexuality means that a person who ends up recognizing himself as gay can live for years as perfect hetero, but that person through all those years will not be “minimally touched by any doubt” about his sexual orientation. I would like to say that a guy with latent homosexuality lives the emergence of his gay orientation in a problematic way “only when he is fully aware of it”, something that can also be waited for life. I’m not even speaking about doubts on sexual orientation, that when emerges, comes out without oscillations, but essentially about social and behavioral disorientation, when it emerges.

Doubts are a feature that is substantially absent in cases of latent homosexuality both before and after (see “perhaps” by Tiziano Ferro).

The sensations that you feel, manifest, if ever, the awareness of a problem that objectively doesn’t exist, then the exact opposite of what happens to a latent gay for whom “there is no problem”. Put aside the idea of latent homosexuality, which is also something objectively rare (I think I met no more that a couple of such cases in last ten years), it remains that people improperly use the expression latent homosexuality as a synonym of repressed homosexuality, denied, but anyway objectively aware.

The orientation of masturbation is fundamental and a guy knows very well where his spontaneous sexual desires are oriented. The speeches that I hear very often by the repressed gay guys (because repressed guys are many) manifestly show their “effort” present and past to adapt to a straight sexuality that doesn’t belong to them, to force themselves to “love” a girl. The things you write are really different and frankly the idea that you can be gay doesn’t seem really credible.

I don’t tell you such things to give you a sop (which with the OCD couldn’t still reassure you) but because it is clearly what I think. You talk about your girlfriend as a guy deeply in love even if distressed by a thousand doubts, but those doubts basically you know that they have nothing to do with the sexual orientation but are coming from the OCD.

It happened to me years ago to talk with a guy then 19-year-old who had made a dangerously gay life, he lived with a 40-year-old man, he went around gay clubs and keeping also very risky behaviors,

then he met a girl and with this girl he began to feel good. He told me the story and asked me if it was strange that a gay guy could have a straight girl as a better friend. I replied: “A gay guy? But you are not gay!” He insisted that he was, but in fact what he told me about his 40-year-old companion and what he told about the girl were very different things, referring to the partner, he was only talking about sex without a real affective component, while referring to the girl, with whom he didn’t then have any sexual partnership, he used the language typical of true lovers.

After a few months he left the 40-year-old and went with the girl, with whom I also talked several times, and it went very well. I told you this story to emphasize that your talk about your girlfriend is just like that one of that guy. Yours are the typical speeches of a heterosexual guy in love, put in crisis by the OCD.

You have changed therapy and this will inevitably make you a little uncomfortable but in the medium term you will feel the benefits. Among other things some drugs [omissis] often have side effects on the sexual sphere. The typical problem of the use of these drugs is linked to the definition of the equilibrium dosage, because the side effects depend considerably on the doses and the individual variability are considerable. It certainly makes sense that you also have the support of a psychological therapy that can help you in the most problematic moments related to therapy and above all can give you some kind of quasi-affective certainty that will allow you to have firm points on which to count.

From what I understand by reading, your girlfriend really loves you and this is very important. You are not left to yourself, you have around people who love you. It is true that you have also lived under the familiar profile very difficult years but now you are fully aware of it, even if you cannot easily go further, with a bundle of memories like yours.

If you have doubts and you think I can tell you something useful about them, I’m here, for whatever I can do, but I’m here also, if you want, to exchange emails on other issues also not related to sexuality. For the moment I embrace you and send you this e-mail.”

Mark replies:

“Hello Project, Happy New Year first of all. I wanted to chat with you again, my obsession became more independent and I just “saw” it, I feel it coming to hit what is very important for me, but from this situation it takes a lot to get out of it, especially since they told me that it is based on a mental problem and that I must learn to live with it. If I can bore you another time, I wanted to update you on my current condition and have a little comparison with you.

I broke up with my girlfriend, under the impulse of a tremendous desire for new experiences, I wrote to new girls, all of them attract me and for the new year I fell in love with one that is a wonder, I could not take my eyes away off her!!! I had the hormones so much high that I tried to kiss all the girls, making also some stupid things, fortunately they know me, being my work colleagues and some of them are in faculty with me and so they know how I’m actually, I cannot hide anyway that I really would have liked to sex with all of them, but it’s obvious and natural, isn’t it? ha ha ha.

The fact is that I don’t know what to do with my (ex) girlfriend, who was so close to my heart, sometimes I think of her and I miss her, but I think that the desire for adventure and the fact of having felt these feelings can’t coexist with a really exclusive desire towards one single person, isn’t it? So I think it’s over but the idea of losing her forever is something I still struggle to accept. Perhaps the trouble had a bit gone, it was a little calmed or anyway it was controllable even if it hit hurting, today I returned to the routine, and I stalked going to do tests, self-tests, readings etc. etc., and, of course, I happened on your forum. I reread for the umpteenth time the article about guys who find themselves gay after a heterosexual life, who find it hard to accept: “For guys who have experienced a previous heterosexual phase, identifying themselves as gays doesn’t obviously coincide with sexual maturation but it follows puberty even for several years, the great majority of these guys get to identify themselves as gay between 20 and 25/26 years but for some the age is moved even further.” But then one can BECOME gay? I don’t say it with disdain, you know what I think, but are there really people who don’t realize their sexuality? I was clearly and sharply aware it until yesterday the other with tips of obsessiveness but are there really people who take “conscience” of it only at 20-25? I’m 22 years old and I’m a bit afraid of this thing, I don’t want to miss the opportunities with the girls who still attract me, I want the attention of a woman! You have to know that for me it’s a period a bit so, the drugs that I take have destroyed my sex life as I struggle to do everything … masturbation is very rare and I’m afraid of having a relationship with a girl because maybe I wouldn’t be able to get to the end.”

I answered in my turn:

“Hello Mark, reading your last email only confirms that you have nothing to do with gays and that the search for information on discovering themselves gay after adolescence is the result of disorders that unfortunately don’t allow you feel good. Not only in your email are missing gay elements but there are plenty of clearly hetero elements that don’t leave open glimpses to the idea that you can be gay. But here I would stop for a moment, because the ability to transform the possibility of being gay into an obsessive idea derives largely from the negative idea that you have assimilated from the environment about homosexuality.

The OCD induces fears always related to elements seen as negative and intrinsically disturbing, but while the fear of diseases is a fear of things that really scare, the fear of being gay is the fear of a condition (being gay) to which one can attribute a negative meaning only because it has been assimilated by the environment, in which we grew up, the idea that being gay is a calamity and a terrible thing, which objectively makes no sense.

It would not hurt to try to debunk the negative myth of being gay. know many gays and they are very respectable people and in many cases really good people and not at all obsessed or upset by the idea of being what they really are. They’re gay, and that’s it, they live their lives, they have their affections, they don’t even look like what people thinks gays to be, they’re ordinary people who fall in love with people of the same sex. Please note that if a gay is not afraid of being what he is and doesn’t feel upset at all, the simple fear of being gay shouldn’t even exist, in practice it is as if a blond was afraid to become brown, apart from the fact that it is not really possible, it is not clear what it would have to fear, it wouldn’t be an upheaval from any point of view except for the habit of being blond.

The only thing about your mail that gives me some perplexity is the fact that you are putting aside the relationship with your girlfriend, to which you seemed and probably were very close. On the one hand you say that the therapies limit your sex life even at the level of masturbation but for the other you talk about strong sexual involvement, I stress it, always and only towards girls. But you talk about this strong sexual desire in the straight direction just at a time when the disturbance due to the OCD had decreased significantly, which only confirms that, beyond the OCD, gay sexuality is not really part of your horizons. What you say about girls for a gay guy would be absolutely inconceivable.

The OCD conditions you at certain moments, but you know that you see the idea of looking for information on gays more as a temptation than as a really compulsive element. This fact, combined with the fact that you have spent periods substantially without the conditioning of the OCD bodes well because the OCD is controllable and is not violently intrusive to the point of canceling your spontaneous hetero drives, which are there and strongly show themselves. I can tell you that all this seems to me a step forward and even your email doesn’t taste at all like something written under heavy compulsive conditioning because you talk a lot about heterosexual sexuality, which if you were under a strong influence of the OCD would not happen because you would be totally dominated by intrusive ideas.

Basically it seems that the therapies have an effect and all this is very important. I’ll point out one last thing and then I’ll send you this email. You write me very freely and look for a comparison with me through a gay site and all this doesn’t terrify you at all, indeed, this manifests a form of deep respect for me and for what I represent, and all this would not happen if you had also just a thread of homophobia. You are not homophobic not even at minimal levels and yet you see homosexuality as something foreign that can attack you. The weight of the education received, in the deep, remains. These are issues that are in any case under control and it is to be believed that they will not ruin your life because you already have an attitude that doesn’t seem to be dominated by a really obsessive idea. The help of drugs is important, it is true, but becoming aware of the objective groundlessness of one’s own fears is certainly not a negligible element. A hug and still a sincere wish of a lot a serenity for this 2012 just begun.”

The next email from Mark is probably the most interesting because it points out and clarifies the fundamental aspects of the OCD.

“Hey Project, I’m glad you answered me, I was afraid that you could consider my email like the result of the usual “compulsion”, thank you !! You say: “Because the ability to transform the possibility of being gay into an obsessive idea derives largely from the negative idea that you have assimilated from the environment about homosexuality.” What you say certainly happened long time ago, but then I understood that homosexuality was a natural thing, obvious and even worthy of esteem because it’s love exactly as that one between man and woman, I understood all this long before my problem broke out.

I’m a bit obsessive from birth and this came out with the psychiatrist. I’m not afraid of homosexuality as of an evil, ugly and undesirable thing but as something I don’t want because I don’t like it and it doesn’t belong to me! It’s like the poor man who was born in a mountain village where homosexuality is considered as a crime and he feels obliged not to be what he feels, to have to be with a woman, to do things that make him sick, this I say, I’m becoming crazy because my brain speaks to me whispering these things, things that are not part of me, that I don’t like, offers me images about anyone, even about my loved ones, it distorts the feelings towards girls (the girl with whom I fell in love has a brother well quiet, can you believe that while I admired her and drooled, my brain told me “Is it not that you are undecided and you might like both?” And I felt bad for a moment and I tried not to think of what my brain had just suggested to me and concentrate on my heart and my feelings pleasantly satisfied by the girl); the problem is right here, it is something that wants to change me, that mockingly, even if I don’t have problems with homosexuality, and respect it, and even being interested in understanding its world and its problems, turns it against me, making me assume my peacefulness as a unconscious will, and therefore making me think that I’m hiding something to myself and here is the trigger of obsession.

You gave me the example of blond and brown but it is a bit too simplistic, if you take the sexuality, it focuses the individual in a dimension that touches the being in points really at the root: nature and “spirit”, that feel in danger, because there is a force (the obsession or the forcing, in the case of the guy of the country who is obliged) that is imposed and automatic mechanisms of defense start, not because it is bad being blond or brown but because I’M NOT BROWN and becoming it would be a big problem.

Can you imagine a life with a woman, who touches you, has sex with you, kisses you, her smell her presence? I think it’s horrible FOR YOU not as an objective thing, but FOR YOU it would not be desirable, for me it’s the same thing but on the contrary, it’s a beautiful thing that two people love each other, no doubt and, as I tell you, I’m for the free love and that everyone does what they feel, but I don’t feel gay, I have a problem, a pathology diagnosed to me that cannot be deleted with the abatement of the preconceptions about “homosexuality” that is nothing unhealthy in my mind, on the contrary, I reiterate that I have friendships and deep esteem with many homosexual people and as you have said I respect you very much and I consider you a person to whom I wanted to tell my story of which I am ashamed and you don’t imagine how much! I speak alone, I hit myself, I scream, tremble, get nightmares, I have been anorexic, all because inside me something is wrong, my sexuality is intact, my relationship with people who love people of the same sex is accepted and indeed profitable and I’m also proud of it so much so that in my family environment in which the thing is not well seen I defend you with a sword because nobody is in the right to criticize, denigrate another person for his sexual or love behavior, nobody.

As I cannot stand this and I easily infuriate having a very rational view of things and having put the sentimental / instinctive dimension under control, the same I do towards myself and this kills me because I cannot serenely live the crush on a woman because the OCD hides problems much deeper so much so that the first thing that they told me the ones who have had my problem for a long time and my psychiatrist has reaffirmed is the fact that my disease has nothing to do with the conception of homosexuality and indeed the advanced research in this field has shown that homophobia is not part of the disorder but it is sometimes a fictitious consequence for reasons of psychosis and neurosis that then lead to wrong defense mechanisms, but this is another story.

I, Project, am in a crisis that I had never faced before because I’m free to think as I want, I’m independent and open to everyone, wishing everyone’s good, but my heart and my sexuality, having only one propensity, cannot in any case bend to those things, because it would be a problem, I feel bad thinking of having to go with a man and imagine it makes me feel dirty, raped and many other bad feelings, this upsets me, so it’s not a good thing for me to think of myself in those conditions, for me it’s a happy thing to think that two people who love the same sex can do it freely in the light of the sun, that can be friends with heterosexual people and that the labels decay sooner or later and that sexuality is something that, in a free society, can be considered as a mole on the back. My mind is so open that the only case in which collapse occurs is when something is imposed on me and goes against my health, against my being, against my nature. Here’s everything. This has destroyed my image, my strength and my confidence in sexuality, has led me to have strange behaviors and to close a love that was good but was not right at this time, to go wrong at university etc. etc. … Now I end up with the shopping list, because you probably cannot take it anymore, I’m sorry if I went on too much but I wanted the argument to be clear: my primary care physician was the first to not understand the thing and is written in the DSM that my pathology is often difficult to diagnose because it is confused with non-acceptance, internalized homophobia, etc. etc. but this is not so, unfortunately, it is not a cultural question; you don’t know how much I feel guilty about the gay world for the things that I think because I know they are ordinary people, good and without anything to be ashamed of, but a mind that has problems, like mine, you don’t imagine what brings you to think and to do, I sometimes cannot understand if it is fiction or reality what I have around, I feel bad chest and I cry endlessly, because something wants to kill me inside, because I cannot love women anymore, I cannot be loved by them, I can no longer be myself. I know who I am but I feel lost and it’s hard. Thanks for listening, I’m sorry to have insisted maybe a little too much, it was not my purpose. A hug.”

I answered Mark in my turn:

“Hi Mark, I read your last email very carefully and it’s as if my brain had opened up, in practice I began to really understand what you’re talking about and I put aside the idea, objectively very superficial, that your ailments could have a dimension so to say cultural or environmental. Now I also come to understand means the sense of impossible involvement “for you” in a sexuality that is not yours and the general picture is much clearer to me.

I tried to tell you what I thought starting from totally wrong assumptions, now I realize it, but you have corrected me with great clarity and extreme tact, thing of which I thank you very much, because you made me enter more seriously into your world. What I learned from your last email will be very useful in the future to evaluate similar situations less superficially. If you think that I can be useful in any way, I’m at your disposal. You are truly a guy of great human dignity and I feel honored to have met you, I tell you it in all sincerity.”

And Mark answered me in turn:

“Hey Project, I’m happy to have given you an opportunity to get a clearer idea of my problem and maybe a useful testimony for your future in helping people. If you want to transcribe or publish my story for the sake of other guys, feel free to do it without any problem, the more this evil is known by people, the more genuinely homosexual people understand that “I’m the sick” and not they, the better it will be, I think. If you like we can still chat, I find a good response in you. I thank you as always.”

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-a-real-case-of-gay-themed-obsessive-compulsive-disorder

GAYS AND AVAILABLE GUYS WITH LATENT HOMOSEXUALITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GAY GUYS WHO SEE STRAIGHT FRIENDS AS GAY LOVERS

Hello Project, I was pleased to talk with you in the chat, last night, it was an unexpected thing but very positive for me. In practice, the first time that I could talk freely about myself and my sexuality. I was struck by your answers, always very calm, that is, answers that tended to calm me down and make me notice the normality of so many things that seemed strange to me. I decided to send you this email to go even more specifically. I changed the references of the places and the names of the people, but the facts are exactly those that happened to me, so if you want you can post the email on the forum. I proceed by chronological order.

I’ve always been gay in an exclusive way, that is, I have wanted for years, since I was eleven or twelve, to be in sexual intimacy with males, with young peers or a little older. The fantasies of masturbation were always and exclusively gay, but I also had a girlfriend, I even had sex with this girl, we masturbated each other and about ten times we have also had complete intercourse, but I never felt heterosexual. I could even have sex with a girl, but that was not what I wanted. If I could have chosen whether to do it with a girl or a guy I wouldn’t have had the slightest doubt, but the girls wanted me and courted me ruthlessly, practically they offered “what they had to offer” on a silver plate, while of guys I couldn’t even see the shadow.

Even when I was with my girlfriend my masturbation was always and only with gay fantasies, I tried to force myself to use hetero fantasies but it was just a way to rape me, and then honestly I was not in love with my girlfriend, it bothered me when she would send me text messages or when she phoned me and started to chat and didn’t finish it anymore.

When I was with my girlfriend I was 18-19 and it started because I could not say no and, I must say, the thing, a little (but very little) she intrigued me. The first times we had sex, just masturbation, I studied on the internet what to do (I know it’s absurd but it is so), then when it came to having complete intercourse, my tool … refused to do its work, but in the end I succeeded, but, you know, it was a very poor thing. I think that for a straight guy who penetrates a girl, especially the first times, ejaculation arrives early and is powerful, at least that’s what I’ve always heard, for me it was not so, I didn’t have a spontaneous orgasm and the orgasm came only later when she was masturbating me. And I must say that many times I asked myself what I was doing there, anyway we had sex non too much rarely. And it happened about ten times. She was happy and just didn’t realize that the thing told me almost nothing.

Now I am 27 years old, I graduated and I found a job. Towards that girl I didn’t feel repulsion but I felt that having sex with her wasn’t something that belonged to me, and anyhow with another girl I would never have gone, not even at that time, with that girl the opportunity had been created and it has been however unpleasant to break the relationships, because there were resentments, but I was already very determined to do everything to never find myself in a similar situation again.

However, now it’s been over for eight years. And then, once the story is closed with that girl, I didn’t want to know any other girl just because I wanted a guy. I spent the night chatting in search of the right guy, but frankly there was no one who seemed to me the right guy. That was my nightlife, the day life was that of the classic straight guy or rather the classic guy without sexual interests at least apparently, dedicated only to study and friends.

And here I begin to get to the heart of the matter. At university I got to know a lot of guys. First we talk a bit about the university, then we start studying together, then we get to know each other better, there’s pizza together, the sport, which is fundamental for us, then we start going on holiday together, or at least start going out together on Sunday, in short, we become friends and, let’s say, the selection of friends is something automatic. It starts with a small group that becomes increasingly smaller and more tied. Let’s say that when I was twenty I had many friends, but weren’t real friends , while at 23 or 24 I had less friends but between us the relationships were much closer. Let’s say that around the age of 25 a group of 4 guys was formed, who by now seemed inseparable.

We used to have lunch one day at parents’ house of one of us and another day at the parents’ house of another. Our friendship was a public fact and accepted by our families. We had known each other for study purposes and we could have given us a hand over the university. One day it occurred that Laurence (obviously a changed name) told us that we could go to the gym together, in one amateur group of volleyball, it was a sport that all four of us liked and we enrolled in the local volleyball association. Here I have to open a parenthesis. The four of us were fine together, none of us four had a girlfriend at the moment, but all four of us (including myself) had had a girlfriend, but none of us spoke of girls or disco.

It was then that I began to wonder what was common among us that made us feel so good together and I began to get the idea that it was really the fact that we didn’t talk about girls and that we were very often among us. But among us the atmosphere was very loose, we were not four gruff types but four funny guys who have fun acting like crazy and saying bullshit.

With others, or if others there were, we never did so, but between us yes. From time to time we ended up (always between us) talking about sexually, but not about girls but only about masturbation.

We begin to attend the gym, for me a real shock, I had never been in a gym and seeing all those naked guys walking around so casually, as if it were the most normal thing in the world, led my heart to 120 pulses per minute, and then there were my three friends and I could see them naked, even if for obvious reasons I had to be careful not to check them too much. There were also jokes about our attributes, but jokes just to laugh.

With the passage of time, going to training had become a habitual thing for me, or almost habitual, because sometimes new guys arrived that some were really beautiful and I had to force myself not to look at them. One day when a particularly handsome new guy came, I saw one of my friends watching him and I too was surprised by my friends while I was looking at him. And there began the jokes, but also this time, very simple things, without malice, a real game.

Now, my friend Mark (false name), who had turned to look at the beautiful guy, was also the one of the three that I liked best: tall, blond, with an intelligent smile. So I started putting together the mosaic tiles: he doesn’t talk about girls, he jokes about masturbation and not about girls, and he turns to look at a beautiful naked guy . . . what does it mean? There were enough arguments to reach the conclusion: Mark is gay! It seemed to me that having seen him peek at the beautiful guy in the locker room was equivalent to a full coming coming out. And that’s how I began to lose my head for Mark. I tried to put together everything I could know about him (I had never done it before) I explored his facebook, that of his friends, I did all the possible research but there wasn’t even the shadow of a girls.

The idea that he was gay became more and more a certainty and at the same time grew in me the idea to try something with him, to tell him that I had fallen in love with him and that he had become my fixed idea. Making a speech like that, however, was not easy, indeed it was practically impossible.

In a short holiday of us four friends in the mountains, Mark and I happened (not casually) in the same room, I was anxious at the higher level but I wasn’t able to start to put in practice my projects. One day that we had to go out for an excursion we woke up late and we had a shower together, with a lot of reciprocal touchings, I was going in bad erection but he told me that we had to prepare in a hurry and with a mischievous smile, added: “We’ll talk about it tonight!” That sentence hammered my brain all day. I was telling myself that I had seen right and that it was gay and that I could not go wrong, because I see him as a gay just looking at him.

Finally the excursion ends, in the evening we go to dinner and I cannot wait for the dinner to end to be able to go to the room with Mark, but another of my friends proposes the disco and Mark enthusiastically accepts. I was uncomfortable: he evidently didn’t even remember what had happened in the morning. We go to the disco, the other two friends start dancing like crazy but not in pairs, simply in a group, but Mark remains close to me, it is the usual Mark: smart, nice, maybe gay, on the other hand how can you think that a guy is straight if he goes to the disco and doesn’t even dance with a girl?

At a certain point he looks at me in the eyes and tells me: “What is it?” Something wrong? “I say no and he replies: “Do you want us to go back to the hotel?” Of course I tell him no, but he looks at me again and tells me: “I didn’t forget!” That sentence puts my brain in motion. After twenty minutes we were back at the hotel. We go up to the room, lock the door and he throws me on the bed and start to tickle me. We played like two kids: tickling, cushions, doing the fight, obviously all for fun, then I realize that he’s excited. I throw him on the bed and start touching him and he lets me do.

Now I don’t want to go into details as it is usual in red light movies but in short we arrive to masturbate each other and I don’t think at all that this created problems for him. I would have kissed him but I didn’t take the initiative nor did he. Later we have been talking but not about sex, but about when we were children and how we spent our holidays. I was happy, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life, and yet, in the following days I realized that for him the sense of what we had done was very relative.

He never returned to the subject, but not because it had been removed, simply because it had been just a moment, and that moment had passed. We remained friends, even best friends, but two years have passed and that episode has never been repeated. Even now he doesn’t have a girlfriend nor I have a boyfriend. The courage to ask him if he was gay I didn’t have it at that time nor I would have it now, and on the other hand he doesn’t ask me questions.

Why is it so damn hard to speak clearly. If he were gay, would he try again? I think so, but he didn’t and nevertheless now I still feel attracted to him very strongly, he’s the sexiest guy I ever met, is my ideal boyfriend, but this is not enough to make it really my boyfriend. Many of my illusions are completely faded or are being fading over time, in short he is a good guy, I love him, but I don’t think he is gay, and to get to this conclusion it took me years. Today I believe and fear that our strange half-way relationship will go on and prevent us from living our lives as we would have liked.

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-who-see-straight-friends-as-gay-lovers

GAYS AND REPRESSED INSTINCTS

The following is a discussion coming from the Gay Project forum.

“Hello Project, I’ve been reading your site for a long time, it’s a serious matter, an absolute exception on the net, and it is comforting to know that there are such sites, for me it was really useful and I feel at ease there. I’m 23 years old, practically I’m not out with anyone but let’s say I’ve often been on the verge of doing things that would seem completely wrong to you. I read in the forum of guys who know how to control themselves, who can live waiting for a serious occasion, but I feel that I’m going to explode and I will not be able to do what they do for a long time.

It’s about three years that my life has completely changed, I can say that up to 20 years I was totally repressed, a thousand complexes to the limits of the absurd: I never went to the sea, never on the beach, never in swimsuit, absolutely never, I could not sleep with another person in the room, I could not stand the idea of physical proximity, I don’t say the contact but just to be 50 cm away, and this happens both with guys and girls, I always felt uncomfortable with people, as if they could be able to read me inside and understand my secret and above all I tried to repress myself in the most ruthless way, even not eating or drinking to make my body feel not well because this way, according to my opinion, things related to sex wouldn’t have come through my head.

All this more or less until three years ago, then I met a guy and I got a crush on him and I threw away all my taboos and I changed my attitude radically, not in public because I’m afraid of people’s reactions but I don’t repress myself anymore, I feel very strong sexual impulses and I don’t fight them anymore, on the contrary I try to cultivate them.

Before I knew that guy, there was pornography, I liked it but it seemed to me like a false thing and I wanted a real thing. I made a thousand films inside my mind to understand how it would be with a guy, but then there were only films in my imagination. I never said anything to that guy and I will not do it because I think he is straight, but I can see that he doesn’t care about me, but I feel attracted to him just like by a strong magnetic force. I knew everything about him by looking for information around, I even took pictures of him from a distance and he didn’t notice it. You can imagine what I do with his photos. The porn photos don’t excite me, but the photos of that guy fully dressed send me into orbit, apart from the physiological reactions, I live dreaming of being with him in every sense, I try to imagine (all fancy) how he would react if I put into practice what comes to my mind. Sometimes when I’m close to him I feel the irrepressible instinct to embrace him and not only, I think you understand what I mean.

Project, I cannot take it anymore, I know he’s probably straight, I know that I could ruin my reputation and that mine is a homophobic country, but staying close to this guy and stop myself it’s too difficult for me, I cannot handle it anymore. But basically why cannot I tell him that I fell in love with him? A smile would suffice me, it would be enough for me to understand that he doesn’t feel offended. But why do I have to repress myself like that? What if I told him? What would happen If I committed this madness? I asked him if he likes sports, you know, maybe if he had gone to the gym I would have gone too, so, almost casually, but no! He doesn’t go anywhere: study and church, or rather, study, church and girl, but about the girl he’s not enthusiastic, he talks about it as an obvious thing but I’ve seen other guys that, when they talk about their girl, their eyes shine, but he is not so, he seems almost neutral. But how does this guy live sex? Between the church and a girl whom he doesn’t love?

I tried to do some little experiments to see how he reacts but he doesn’t react, maybe he does not give a damn about it, but how does a guy like him drop the opportunities, I don’t say of who knows what, but to talk to me. With me he speaks, he answers me, but he never takes an initiative. But why does such a handsome guy choose to sacrifice his sexuality? And what for? I would do anything for him. Once I saw him with the girl, she scolded him, bossed him around and he let her do, and I felt an anger that I do not tell you. But good heavens! You could enjoy your life and instead nothing! You act like a codfish under a girl who has taken you for her servant cavalier and you don’t even notice that I am melting for you! Am I a fool, Project? But why did I fall in love with this codfish? He has a very sweet smile, but he’s a real codfish and I go on dreaming and throw away my life like that. I’ve been doing this for almost three years, and maybe I’d do well to tell him, so if he sends me to hell, at least, with him, I break my addiction because I cannot take it anymore.

A straight guy declares himself and things go how they must go, but I cannot do it. Well that’s enough, but what have I gained from not repressing me anymore? I understood that anyway nothing will change! I’m very nearly to jump on him and let things go their way. If I think that he could also answer me that he loves me my blood boils. I cannot go on like this! Bye Bye!”

Alyosha answers: I read in your post a beautiful transport that really involved me. First of all, I think it’s nice to allow yourself to live certain things, stimulating and somewhat overwhelming. I write it this way, of course the author of the post will not agree, because the post, when one reads it attentively, seems even too much rational. But maybe you’re following you beautiful codfish as you call him, for so long just because you know he’s straight. I go to explain.

For what I think, or better I see, starting from the things you write, this guy has helped you so much. But maybe you let him help you, maybe you were the one you needed to find, so to say, a “container” into which to pour those impulses, desires and falling in love that were born. The fact that he’s straight can certainly depend on the obvious randomness because there are more straight guys than gays in this world, but I think that’s what allowed you to start to loosen yourself, to let yourself go, at least at the beginning, knowing that a physical contact with him anyway could never have happened. Perhaps this basically relaxed you and put you in the right position to experience new things with serenity and sufficient spontaneity.

I wrote all my reasoning just to tell you that falling in love is a fantastic thing and certainly the driving force for any relationship. But the relationships, so say, unilateral are one thing, the couple life is another. Maybe it happens that the story seen from the outside, it appears just as you see it: he is repressed and she is omnivorous and despot. But it is you who see things like this. In relationships there is always a balance at the end and the balances are never perfect as you would expect, but they work.

In short, I wonder how much you feel ready to live a real relationship with all that this entails. Maybe in this path in stages you should try to take the next step that is then to know those like you, because with a straight guy and moreover engaged, I think there is nothing to do, neither in terms of relationship, nor in terms of escapade. On the rest then it’s up to you to choose how to live your things, and this has a lot to do with what one is and what he wants from life and I think that homosexuality has little to do with this.

On the initial problem that I read, instead, I want to speak only according to my experience and I answer “yes” to your implicit statement: behind this “waiting for a serious opportunity” as you say, there is a fear of being seriously involved. So, in this regard, I say what I think. It is not so much a matter of waiting for a serious story in my opinion. Stories cannot be born serious and expecting that they are serious from the beginning leads in fact to not living anything.

I think that there are not “wrong” things but rather “dangerous” things. And finally that we should rather have a serious way of doing things. I certainly cannot tell you how much all this enchains, forces the sexual drive and the objective desire of the desired person. I don’t even know what remains after, when that absolute transport, binding, deaf to whatever, is faded. What happens next when that passionate bond tries to transform into a couple’s life with his daily life, I certainly cannot tell you. And so I conclude like this, with things I don’t know yet.

Nicomaco answers: I read with interest this new post and the first answer of Alyosha, very shareable. The protagonist of this story has nothing to reproach himself for: he realized he had a crush, he tried to do some little experiments to check how his friend reacts and these have failed. Peace. We need to live with it. It’s not easy. But you have to do it (it happened even to me at least a couple of times). There is no symmetrical relationship and therefore it is necessary to desist. What I too would feel to discourage is to raise the roll and do nonsense (for example: declaring to be hopelessly in love with him), because this would be equivalent to making a jump in the dark without a parachute.

Is there nothing good from this experience? In my opinion, something good remains! And it is to have lived consciously the falling in love, even if unrequited, after a period of strong repression. And then it doesn’t seem to me that a straight guy declares himself always and in any case (and even less to already engaged girls). A straight friend of mine even told me that it was much more beautiful for him to be in love even if he didn’t show it, than declaring it, that it was more beautiful to love that be loved . . . it sounds strange, I know! That’s not all, but it’s already something! And then life is long!

Pavloss answers: Hello, first of all it’s good that you let yourself go writing about how you feel and how you live your affection and sex. It’s good because at least you’re out of a certain isolation that hurts too much. Secondly, I think that what you live is a kind of reaction to a long period of compression and denial. When you open a pressure cooker, after it has been boiling for a while, it could actually burst and that’s what’s happening to you. The strong risk is to project into a person all your desires and your expectations. No, this is not good, especially because you end up obeying your wishes rather than reading reality for what it is. Reality is NOT very much as we want it and maturity consists in knowing how to take note of it without suffering too much. I’m sure you can find a friend, a companion, maybe not under your house, but certainly more open than this guy you talk to, who, most likely, doesn’t care too much about you. It is true that the hetero life, in some respects, is much easier but this should not depress you. You must find your balance in which you love life and you love yourself, in which you can build a network of relationships that make you feel good. I think two opposites are to be avoided: closing yourself up until you get hurt (as happened to you), opening yourself up to the point of projecting unattainable expectations into others. Finding a good guy as a friend or as lover is not impossible but he is certainly not around the corner of the street and perhaps not even in your own city. Conquering what is worth requires some effort and it is difficult but it is normal and is part of life. Courage, therefore, and be proud of the fact that you live authentically, despite the many difficulties we all know, don’t get depressed and go on !! An important detail: you say you’ve been following him for three years … three? If in three years he has not realized practically anything it’s certain and sure that he is not interested in you from that point of view. I too have “lost” years behind beautiful, good, sweet people but with whom I have never combined anything. Don’t make this mistake. One thing is friendship, but you want more, it’s obvious. If you want more, then, don’t insist in a direction that only makes you feel bad. At best you would do well to tell him everything in order to get a clear answer from him and finally get away from him.

Nicomaco answers: Even the last posts seem to me very shareable and balanced. Of course, talking about it in a forum is not like talking about it in real life, what is much more complex. However, if I were in your shoes, I would be prudent to express certain feelings to a friend who most likely has other tastes. You can know only by yourself if this is the right thing and above all if your friend doesn’t have any prejudices about gay affectivity. I say this only to suggest you avoid other suffering, given that for the first time you have experienced a very beautiful moment of falling in love. Instead I would look at the positive aspect of the story. Falling in love means finally opening up to others and being a little more confident. And this should not be wasted, but should be cultivated in other directions.

pavese30 answers: Hello, to be out of the isolation created by you is already a lot, since in reality then you have to deal with the isolation created by the rest of the world that does not accept you much, even if today it’s fashionable to show at least a little bit of openness, I see anyway a growing intolerance in the facts. We must add also the lack of commitment of the youngest people towards the Gay Cause and towards the sexual freedom in general, many of them rely on the successes acquired by assuming that they are definitive. Regarding the guy, I would say that manifesting sympathy is one thing, to be gay inside is another. You yourself know the self-defense mechanisms, which can also become self-destruction mechanisms: until the spark is born, even if he is gay, he doesn’t open. I would say keep him as a friend and don’t expose yourself to gossip of the stupid people of the country, don’t try to get everything by risking everything with the first who made you lose your mind! If the opportunity comes, get it, don’t let it escape, meanwhile look at the rest of the world. Bye Bye!

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

SEX IN GAY-HETERO RELATIONSHIPS

Many gay guys, before being fully aware of being gay or before totally accepting themselves as gays, have had heterosexual experiences, and sometimes have continued to have relationships with girls even after they became fully aware of being gay. Very often the awareness of one’s own homosexuality is acquired by reflecting on the fact that spontaneous sexuality of masturbation is oriented towards guys even if the couple sexuality is hetero. The mere fact that a guy has straight sex intercourses is therefore certainly not enough to qualify that guy as a heterosexual. I would add that when a guy, who will ultimately accept his exclusive homosexuality but is not yet fully aware of it, looks for a girl, due to an unconscious defense mechanism, tends to choose her not very motivated towards sexuality and devoid of sexual experiences, so that she cannot make comparisons between his sexual behavior and that of other guys.

Let’s get on the side of the girl, now. It is evident that in a sexual relationship with a guy, who behaves like a hetero but is not heterosexual, a girl who has a minimum of experience of heterosexual sexuality feels something uncertain, hesitant, feels a reluctance of the guy to her insistence more than a primary sexual desire on the part of the guy. Here is the point. A gay man can also, in certain very special situations, experience sexual interest and even excitement for a woman to the point of having satisfactory sexual intercourses with her, but that is not his primary choice, his sexual fantasies remain gay, his masturbation remains gay almost always 100% even during the sexual relationship.

For a gay, this reasoning, applied to sexual intercourse with a girl, is flawless: the guy is and remains gay, has more or less satisfactory heterosexual intercourses, the girl if she is not very interested in sex can also accept the things in these terms, but a discourse that is in many ways symmetrical to the one just done can also be applied to sexual relations between a straight guy and a gay guy. I mean that assuming that a guy who has sex with another guy is necessarily gay is just like assuming that a guy who has sex with a girl is necessarily straight, things that both don’t hold up. As a gay guy under certain circumstances can experience sexual interest in a girl, a heterosexual guy, under certain circumstances, can experience sexual interest in a guy. That hetero guy will remain heterosexual even if it will have sexual contact with a guy, his primary sexuality, his masturbation and his sexual fantasies will remain directed towards girls almost always 100% even in the period in which the sexual contacts are sometimes realized with another guy.

In the case just described of a heterosexual guy who has sexual intercourses with a gay guy, let’s put on the side of the gay guy, it is obvious that the gay guy will feel that the sexual interest that the hetero guy shows towards him is not symmetrical to his, because the sexuality of the straight guy has been structured over the years on other sexual fantasies that are now extrapolated to the gay field but are not originally gay. I’m saying that while it is quite peaceful that a gay guy can have sex with a girl, it is not as peaceful that a heterosexual guy can have sex with a guy, and it is almost assumed as granted that a guy who has sex with another guy is really gay.

But heterosexuals who have sex even with guys exist and are not very few. To gays they seem gay but they are not, their primary sexuality and their masturbation is and remains oriented towards girls. Exactly like a guy who has sex with a girl he can seem straight to that girl just because he has sex with her but it’s not at all said that he is.

Having premised this. I come to the central topic of the chapter. It sometimes happens that a gay guy falls in love with a friend declared to be straight and, slowly, by insistence, manages to induce him to have some sexual contact with him. This thing that appears to the gay guy an exalting moment, when it happens, shows all its weak sides. The gay feels something unusual, originally not gay, not corresponding to the sexual fantasies typical of a gay guy, that is to his own sexual fantasies. The first element that sounds out of tune for a gay is the disinterestedness of one partner for the other partner’s penis, or a weak interest, more manifested than felt, induced only by not wanting to appear disinterested and often perceived by the gay guy as unnatural and recited.

The hetero guy doesn’t usually masturbate the gay guy, but on the contrary likes being masturbated by him, the straight guy is available for oral sex but only if practiced on his penis while he is extremely reluctant to swap roles. But there is more, sexual intercourse focuses on what the gay guy has less masculine, in practice the gay realizes not to embody the primary sexual interest of his partner and to be for him only the “substitute of a girl”, however, he continues to consider his partner a strange gay rather than a straight guy.

I add that often, after contacts of this kind, gay guys try to insist on creating other occasions for meeting while hetero guys shows strong resistance and certainly don’t take initiatives. It follows that it would be appropriate to remember that as there are gays who, in particular situations, sometimes go also with the girls, remaining anyway gay in all respects, there are also hetero guys who, in particular situations, sometimes go also with the guys remaining straight in all respects.

When a gay guy is faced with a guy who is clearly heterosexual but available to have a sexual contact with him, I’m saying available, which doesn’t mean interested, that is, when a gay guy meets a guy who eventually accepts a sexual contact but doesn’t take initiatives, he think automatically of being in front of a gay guy who is becoming aware of his sexual orientation; he should instead understand that in all likelihood he is in front of a heterosexual guy available to have also gay sexual contacts, in very special circumstances, obviously remaining 100% hetero.

In situations like these, to build a serious relationship something misses, there is a lack of basic reciprocity because the primary sexual interests are different and the hypothesis that you can create a truly important emotional world that can turn into a true couple relationship is objectively baseless. For a gay guy, it’s often very difficult and painful to realize it, because he is forced to understand that a story that seemed to have reached its peak isn’t even a story and that fantasy led him to get away from reality.

Sexuality to be really satisfying must be authentically shared. The sexual balance of a gay couple is based on sexual affinities, that is on a set of sexual desires and fantasies common to the two partners. In general, gay guys are clearly aware of how sexual archetypes of straight guys hare different from theirs own and they perceive it simply talking with their straight friends. But when a gay guy glimpses in one of his friends clearly hetero some glimpse that suggests that this friend could also be available to a gay sexual contact, the gay guy’s mind goes haywire and the projections and increasing expectations dominate the field.

Then when some sexual contact is realized, the gay guy, who hadn’t wanted to take note of the heterosexuality of the other, finally awakens from his illusions and realizes that there is something that doesn’t work.

The tendency to project oneself far away by satisfying one’s own desires ends up legitimizing completely unrealistic expectations. Often, in gay-hetero relationships that also involve sexual contacts between the two guys, the gay guy tends not to see reality and literally stops thinking. The expression: “we had sex together therefor he cannot be straight, even if he always repeats it” is completely superimposable to similar phrases that girls fallen in love with gay guys use to claim that their boyfriend is straight. The mechanisms through which a gay-hetero relationship between two guys in born are completely analogous to those that lead a gay guy to stay with a girl. The story starts from friendship, often sexualized on one side only (the gay guy masturbates while thinking of his friend, but the straight guy continues to masturbate thinking about girls), then there are increasingly intense occasions for intimacy that to the gay guy appear as a clear sign that the other is gay while to the hetero guy appear only as forms of close friendship and nothing more.

It’s easy to get to para-sexual situations, as shared showers in sports environments, casual nudity without embarrassment and the like, to which the gay guy attributes much meaning and that for the hetero are completely insignificant things, and so sometimes it’s also possible to get to a sexual intercourse that is acceptable for a hetero just because he doesn’t see it as a gay conversion (and it is not in fact) but as a trivial thing to which no particular significance is attached, maybe as a form of generosity towards a friend who needs it.

To build a serious gay story it is not enough that the two guys are gay, that is just a necessary condition, certainly not sufficient, but it is a necessary condition, they must really be two gay guys and the fact that between two guys there have been sexual intercourses absolutely doesn’t allow to conclude that they are both really gay. Sexual orientation is not a question of behavior but of drives and desires. In the e-mails I receive and in the chats with the guys, it often emerges not only the idea that a guy is automatically considered gay only for the fact that he accepts an explicit sexual contact with another guy, but even that “if he accepts a sexual contact with me he is in love with me.” Behind this statement there is a tendency to read explicit sex as an “essential part” of a gay relationship and at the same time there is the underestimation of the typically affective dimension.

Whoever says “if he has sex with me is in love with me” takes for granted the identity between sex and love. If on one hand it is understandable that a gay guy in love with a friend tries to get to a sexual contact with him, it is necessary that the guy in love understands that his friend may not be in love with him, and may not even be gay even if he can end up accepting sexual contact with another guy.

Sexual costume is changing and behaviors that were unthinkable 40 years ago now begin to spread and many taboos collapse, worn down by the passage of time. Today the embarrassment in talking about masturbation practically doesn’t exist anymore and the taboo of nudity is largely reduced. From the straight guys the taboo related to sexual contacts with other guys is often exceeded, both at the level of gay games between straight guys and also at the level of sexual couple contacts that are undoubtedly much more similar to a real gay relationship than to simple sexual games. In other words, today for a straight guy the idea of being able to have a contact, even sexual, with another guy, even an explicitly gay guy, is no longer an insurmountable taboo.

I met via chat straight guys who loved a gay friend of theirs and ended up accepting sexual contact with their gay friend. It was often about sexual contacts deeply wanted and desired only on the side of the gay guy and accepted by the straight guy as a kind of gratification to give to his gay friend. In these relationships there is no real sexual reciprocity even at the minimum level. This fact allows the hetero guy to participate in a homosexual contact in some way safeguarding his hetero identity through altruistic motivations.

The essence of these discourses is that a straight guy may very well be involved in sexual contacts with another guy, but the straight guy remains anyway a straight guy, his sexuality doesn’t change because he participated sometimes to some gay sexual intercourse.

Basically a straight guy can accept a sexual contact with another guy for two reasons that are substantially different but that are not mutually exclusive and even sometimes integrate:

1) For play.
2) For emotional reasons.

But why does a straight guy tend to form a strong friendship with a boy more or less explicitly gay? The answers can be many:

1) Because he feels the affection of his gay friend and is gratified, he feels loved and desired and perceives the attention of the other.
2) Because he has nothing better to do or feels a sense of loneliness that is relieved by the presence of a gay friend.
3) Because the gay friend is insistent and courts wildly the straight guy.
4) Because, apart from sexual orientation, between the two guys there is a close affinity of views.
5) Because the friendship between the two guys goes back to early adolescence.
6) Because the gay guy is interested in listening and the straight guy needs to talk.

Too often gay guys tend to divide the world into gay and straight as if this division marks a clear birder line between the two groups and especially between the social behaviors of the two groups. In reality, if this border line exists objectively in terms of sexual orientation, even if not 100% in terms of sexual behavior, as we have seen, it certainly has no reason to exist in many other fields that don’t involve sexuality. It is precisely for this reason that gay-hetero friendships exist and are often very tight; even if they are not symmetrical these relationships can find deep motivations on both sides.

It should be borne in mind that the development of a gay relationship is never the outcome of a one-sided strategy, it is not a chess game and there is no winning strategy. To see a story of love as the story of a conquest means to read it as an unequal relationship in which there is a conqueror and there is a conquered and this is a typical legacy of a culture that is not only heterosexual but properly male chauvinist.

In the gay world, where two guys start on an equal footing, the relationship is built in two, I mean that if you are not really two to cooperate in building a serious emotional relationship, the relationship, admitted and not granted that it can be born, however, is born on very fragile bases. Many gay guys cannot conceive true friendships with a guy and they intend the friendship with a guy exclusively as a necessary step of a strategy of conquest that has as its target the realization of a sexual contact.

Starting from this point of view the emotional dimension is automatically subordinated to the realization of a sexual contact and the sexual intercourse is seen as a necessary condition for the construction of a serious emotional relationship. In this way the natural order of things is reversed, the construction of a serious emotional relationship is postponed and subordinated to sexuality. Obviously these attitudes heavily affect the relationships of gay-hetero friendship and tend to forcibly transform them into something that resembles a couple relationship.

The inability to accept friendship with another guy if not as a first step of the attempt to involve that guy from a sexual point of view, deprives many gay guys of male friendship, in the great majority of cases with straight guys but also with gay guys, and it must be kept in mind that this types of friendships is absolutely essential for the emotional balance of a gay guy.

In a gay-hetero relationship, the attempt to sexualize the relationship of friendship starts from the gay guy who tends to read the behavior of his partner as a path towards the awareness of being gay, that is, he tends to apply his interpretive canons to another guy. Here are some typical reasons:

1) He’s a latent gay, he’s still not aware of being gay but I’ll help him on his way and I’ll let him discover his true nature.
2) After all, he’s gay but he doesn’t want to accept it, a straight guy would never do so many of the things he does.
3) He’s at least bisexual because he has never approached a girl in a serious way and this means something.

It is evident that the attempt to sexualize the relationship presupposes the identification a friend at least as a potential gay. Otherwise the attempt would be a priori condemned to failure.

The point of view of the heterosexual guy who deliberately accepts a sexual contact with a gay friend of his can be roughly summarized as follows:

1) My friend is gay but he is a good guy and I love him. He is in love with me, I don’t feel seriously involved in this fact but don’t feel even rejected by it. If I can make love with a girls I’m not interested in, then I can make love also with him, I’m not interest in him sexually but I feel him very similar from many other points of view.
2) I do it for him, as far as I am concerned, I can only be involved on a physical level, but my sexuality is really another. I don’t feel less hetero for the fact that I can make a friend happy in a way that costs me nothing.
3) With my gay friend in the end there is clarity, he knows I’m straight, I do not think he can feel tied to me in a morbid way.

I report below with some minor changes a mail that was sent to me on June 21st 2009.

“Hello Project, I’m a straight guy 20 years old, I have a gay friend of mine (let’s call him Mark) and I’d like to tell you what happened between us. I state that I have never had doubts about my sexuality. For reasons that you will understand by reading the following I found your project and I read a lot of what you wrote and I saw my idea of being heterosexual even more strengthened. In short, I don’t have anything gay, this to avoid misunderstandings, sorry if I do this remark, I have nothing against gays but I’m not gay.

When we were 19, my friend Mark clearly told me he was gay. This didn’t upset me at all, we were always very close, gym together since we were 14 years old, school mates on the same faculty, study together to do the take the same exams. I didn’t realize then that Mark in confessing that he was gay had tried to make me understand that he had fallen in love with me.

I didn’t understand it at that time and continued to treat it as usual. Things between us, however, were no longer as before. When he was with me he was embarrassed, he was not looking at me, he was much more formal. One day I saw him really bad and I tried to make him talk. I had thought he had an emotional life at least minimal, but it was not like that. We were in the car and when I saw him uncomfortable I took his hand and I held it, he bit his lips until they bleed, then he started crying and told me about himself (and me) open heart. It was a very intense moment, he tended to move away from me and to tell me that I had to go my way, he told me that since I’m not gay, there would never be anything between us, but I loved Mark, like a brother, but I loved him, and I tried to make him understand, but he tended to interpret every affectionate gesture as an element to question my heterosexuality.

In short, it was not easy and it went on like this for months. Then he came to his mind the idea that if I had sex with him I would have realized that I was gay because he told me that only a gay guy could love him as I did. He insisted a lot. I told him that nothing would have changed between us and that I was straight and straight I would stay. He literally begged me to try and I finally said yes.

I had thought, at least at the beginning, that from the sexual point of view our intercourse wouldn’t create big embarrassments. I didn’t know how things would have gone, but in fact I felt that it was not my world and he felt it too. So it ended with a mutual masturbation a bit clumsy then he looked at me and told me that he had understood. The story of the sexual intercourse was over.

Why do I write you this email? The reason is that after that day our relationship is fading, he doesn’t look for me anymore, when I look for him, he escapes me. Once he met me while I was walking with my girlfriend and he changed the road and I was very sorry. I love Mark but I think that what I can offer him doesn’t interest him, when I talk to him he smiles ironically as if to say that it is not what he wants from me, but I can give him only that.

Project, but why do gay guys bring everything back to the common denominator of sex? I don’t want to lose Mark, for me he’s important, what can I do to make him understand that having a friend like him is important to me? Among other things, I think he was very ashamed of having insisted so much to do a little sex with me, he feels guilty and I see it very well, as if he had raped me or something like that, but I never considered this way what happened between us, I would like him to understand it but he doesn’t listen to me. Why cannot he understand that sex is not everything in life? Project, let me know what you think. It is almost absurd that I write to you for this reason but for me Mark is important and I know that you can understand me without misunderstandings.

Andrew”

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-sex-in-gay-hetero-relationships

OCCASIONAL GAY SEX

This post is dedicated to occasional gay sex. Gay sexuality, in its highest expression, that is affective gay sexuality, is a particularly intense form of interpersonal communication that takes place when two guys (I call them boys, whatever their age) come to share their sexual intimacy. This expression, “sharing one’s sexual intimacy”, indicates that gay sexuality, at the couple level, is fully realized only when it is the expression and perfection of a deep affective proximity, it is in fact a wanted and also desired sharing of a dimension very delicate in life like sexuality. In order to overcome the inhibitions and ritualisms learned from the outside and to put aside the individualistic vision of sexuality to move to a vision of sexuality as sharing on a deep emotional basis it is necessary that between the two guys there is a true emotional relationship and that their mutual trust is without reserve.

When two guys love each other so much that the happiness of one is also the happiness of the other, then the sexual contact between those two guys has a really profound sense of sharing. The sexual satisfaction of two boys who love each other doesn’t derive from particular sexual practices, but from perceiving that the reciprocal communication is total and that the experience of the other, even in physical terms, no longer meets any obstacle, which means that mutual availability is total and without reservations.

In other words, sexual satisfaction enhances the sense of communication and reciprocity. Gay sexuality, at a high level, that is, affective sexuality, has an essentially altruistic dimension and is absolutely incompatible with selfish and predatory attitudes or with the exploitation of the other that represents the most radical negation of the affective dimension.

Starting from this conception of affective sexuality it’s easy to understands how occasional sexual practices are a reality that cannot, in itself, be fully satisfying, precisely because occasional sex is devoid of that deep affective dimension that characterizes and makes genuinely satisfying the highest expressions of gay sexuality. No gay guy would spontaneously prefer casual sex to a serious relationship in which sexuality has a deep emotional basis. Why then is casual sex still a common reality and the search for casual sex absorbs a lot of time and lots of mental energy from gay guys?

The answer is provided by gay guys themselves, who are looking for casual sex. These guys say: “I can only have sex like that! I would love to live a sexuality as a result of a deep and mutual love, but that is only a utopia that will never be realized, while occasional sex is a common reality and basically easy to realize “.

In this answer there is some truth, in the sense that the search for casual sex is easy, but there is also something false, in the sense that the search for a sexuality that is the expression of a deep affective life is not at all a utopia although it is certainly not a simple thing to realize. In other words, the road to casual sex presents itself without obstacles and indeed seems the obvious solution to all affective problems, while the possibility of going towards a deeply emotional sexuality appears only as a very remote eventuality, at the limits of utopia. For this reason, many guys renounce to seek an affective sexuality and are content with the occasional sex, experiencing casual sex as a surrogate of actual life, i.e., often unconsciously seeking, in the occasional sex, the affective content of which the occasional sex is intrinsically lacking. Precisely for this reason occasional sex is almost always accompanied by a sense of frustration.

People who have casual sex do in fact give up a satisfactory life, because they consider it unattainable, and they invest all their energies in technical sexuality, for them sex is not a contact between people but a thing to do, in which however, they seek at least a partial emotional correspondence.

Often the search for occasional sex is theoretically accepted as a possible and very rare eventuality even by guys who at least in theory are looking for an affective sexuality. Classical is the expression: “If it were to happen I would not say no.” Apart from the health risks that in the exercise of sexual practices with strangers are definitely higher than in the sexuality of a couple who lives a strict monogamy, occasional sex tends to create a real form of dependence, somewhat similar to that created by use of drugs. The mechanism of illusion and subsequent disappointment are repeated with an exasperating continuity and frustration ends up being the obvious result of every meeting. The sense of frustration doesn’t derive from the inadequacy of this or that sexual practice or from the fact that the partner of the day is not the right one but from realizing that no sexual practice can make up for the lack of an effective and mature interpersonal relationship.

I would like to emphasize that in what I say there is no moral judgment on people, even on people who are no longer young, who seek and practice occasional gay sex. They are often victims of social prejudices and moralism who are deprived of the possibility of living a true emotional life. Evidently for these people the feeling of emotional deprivation is so profound and the prospect of creating a genuine emotional contact is so remote that they feel they can search through casual gay sex for something that at least resembles an emotional life.

I want to clarify that I got to know many gay guys and even no more young who resort to casual sex and, talking to them, I noticed that they are guys who want to talk, to confront, to create real human contacts. I’m speaking about a non-negligible percentage of the gay guys and no more guys and even more numerous are the gays who in their lives cross at least once a period dominated by the search for occasional gay sex that can replace and fill an emotional life that doesn’t become real. In the face of these things, which exist and which influence the lives of many people, because the search for occasional substitute sex often ends up being the main center of interest of a gay guy, the answers of a moralistic nature constitute the most common reaction but also the more deleterious. The phenomenon of the search for casual sex is the effect of emotional deprivation to which many gay guys are already subjected in their family.

Moralism, which presupposes a rooted prejudice, is profoundly immoral because it accentuates isolation and favors the spread of behavioral models derived from pornography that remain the only models proposed to gay guys in relation to their sexuality. Speaking in chat with gay guys I see almost every day the damage that moralism produces and I realize how the models derived from pornography end up taking root in the consciousness of many guys who struggle to break away from a typically pornographic representation of gay sexuality.

I often give many young people answers that are very far from what they expect in terms of casual sex trying to show them the real possibilities of building a true emotional life. About a third of those guys react nervously and then disappear at all but with the other two thirds a real confrontation opens up and it is incredible how much availability and seriousness can be found in these guys who are not used to the idea of being respected and of being able to talk about matters relating to sexuality in a serious way. For these guys, breaking away from the frantic search for casual sex is not easy anyway and requires a remarkable effort of will, which however becomes bearable when the concrete perspective of an authentic and gratifying emotional relationship is presented.

I must underline that when I speak of an authentic and gratifying emotional relationship, I don’t mean to refer necessarily or even essentially to a couple relationship, because the frustrated emotional needs of guys who seek casual sex go well beyond the couple relationship. The rediscovery of the authentic and gratifying affectivity of serious friendships in itself has a profound meaning in these cases precisely because it is the rediscovery of an authentic emotional dimension. The construction of true friendships, in general, has the power to revive even the most frustrated guys and to make much easier their exit from the addiction to occasional sex . Gay guys need above all affection and hope, however paradoxical it may seem, occasional sex is one of the most common responses to lack of affection and hope.

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-occasional-gay-sex

GAYS AND PREVENTION THROUGH TREE DOCUMENTS

It has been rightly pointed out that sex education cannot be reduced to alerting young people to the risks associated with sexuality (unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases) but must take the fundamental task of contributing to individual well-being through enhancement of sexual pleasure as a means of improving the quality of life. I think I cannot disagree with this statement, but it remains, however, that in particular about gay sexual education, the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases plays an absolutely fundamental role. Let’s try to understand why.

We start from data updated to 2012, which come from the Italian “Istituto Superiore di Sanità”. In Italy in 2011, there are 94,146 cases of HIV infections treated (HIV-positive and AIDS), adding the estimated share of unaware HIV-positive people, the number rises to 156.910. The causes of transmission of the virus are divided as follows: 37.2% heterosexual relationships, 28.5% injective drug users, 27.7% homosexual relationships between males

At first sight it seems that heterosexual intercourses are now even more dangerous than homosexual ones but it should be kept in mind that heterosexuals are about 92% of the population, while male homosexuals are about 4%, so 92% of the population, composed of heterosexuals, contributes 37.2% to the total number of infections, while 4% of the population, composed of homosexual males, contributes with 27.7%. As a result, male homosexuals have a statistical probability of becoming infected with HIV, which is 17.3 times higher than that of heterosexuals. The number 17,13 represents the risk ratio “gay on hetero” for male subjects in Italy, but if we look at Europe, the risk ratio goes well beyond this number. In essence, statistically the risk of contracting HIV for gay males is much higher than for heterosexual males. This is why, for gays, education for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases is absolutely essential.

Obviously it is the doctors’ competence to explain in detail the techniques of disease prevention and therefore it is right to refer to the site of the Ministry of Health which contains updated information, shared by the scientific community. The Internet addresses of the site of the Ministry of Health and of the most accredited associations that deal with the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases can be very easily found on the web.

I would like to proceed now, on the basis of the experience gained in Gay Project, to analyze three different documents pertaining to the issue of prevention related to different age groups and different personal situations. The first document, very brief regards the younger boys and their approach to sexuality and prevention, the second is a testimony of how one can move from a substantially dissipated life, spent in the search for false satisfactions, to a life lived with a very solid moral commitment. The third document concerns the fear of being HIV-positive that hangs over a guy 19 years old but also witnesses a beautiful friendship born between two gay guys with no other purpose than that to do together a stretch of their own road with the certainty of not being alone.

So let’s start from the approach to sexuality of a very young guys. It happens to me, even if not frequently, to chat with very young guys who are becoming aware of their being gay. The contents of these chats are often very different from the typical chat content with older guys. With the younger guys I often find myself faced with the need to make them understand that:

1) being gay has nothing to do with “doing this or that” in terms of sexual practices, but it means in the first place to love another guy,
2) that the exasperated research of sexuality in too early age is not a sign of affective maturity but exactly the opposite,
3) that sexuality is not a game,
4) that the couple sexuality is substantially different from masturbation because it is not essentially related to personal fantasies but to a real guy and with his psychological reality, and aims at creating serious emotional relationships,
5) that the feelings need time to grow and that people, just known in chat, who say they have fallen in love with you, don’t are really looking for you but just a for a bit of sex,
6) that sex can involve serious health risks and that condom use is always and absolutely needed,
7) that on the net contacts must be prudent, we must avoid in the most absolute way to give unknown people cell phone numbers, landline numbers, home addresses or other elements suitable for personal identification. If on one side it’s natural that very young guys tend to explore sexuality, on the other side there is the risk that the “curiosity” dimension becomes the only or the main motivation that leads towards sexuality.

From the interviews it is clear that the youngest gay guys have virtually no dialog with reliable adults on the subject of sexuality and homosexuality in particular. A lot of guys are very shy and embarrassed and when a dialogue (i.e. talking in two) is in fact impossible, I usually speak only trying to expose the contents that seem to me of greater interest for those guys on the basis of the few words exchanged with my interlocutors. In some cases, about 50%, it’s possible to come to an open dialogue but not immediately, and it is clear that the guys are not used to talk about sexuality in a serious way. In some cases a climate of trust is created and the discourse becomes less theoretical and much more personal.

When the very young guys, who start setting up all the talk on matters of sexual techniques, feel stopped and brought back to a more serious dimension, or run away or radically change their tone. Those who run away probably don’t have the maturity needed to understand that being gay is something that involves the deep emotional life of a guy or perhaps of that deep emotional life don’t feel yet the need and are yet in the purely exploratory phase of sexuality. Those who don’t run away but change their tone come to a serious and personalized dialogue.

These guys, who certainly have a gay affective dimension already quite well defined, don’t try to enhance it spontaneously, but instinctively prefer the sexual dimension by considering it more adult, for them sexuality is still subordinated to the anxiety of growing and sometimes they are amazed by the fact that I give so much importance to the affective dimension and consider it fundamental: they instead consider strange this reasoning, at least at the beginning. Many guys, even very young, in their anxiety of experimentation with sexuality go far beyond masturbation and begin to mentally build the idea that they must “try with a guy”. The experiment idea is sometimes dominant. The couple sexual experience is considered a kind of recognition of having reached a fully adult personal dimension. The “experiment” , however, limits itself to trying a technique, and the emotional dimension is completely marginalized. In some situations I found myself in front of very young guys who boasted a certain sexual experience and showed techniques and numbers of relationships they had had (more or less credible) as a real curriculum to present to a competition. Stopped by me in a drastic way, however, they showed an unexpected willingness to dialogue. Basically they were facing, probably for the first time, an adult vision of sexuality that in some way fascinated them.
Faced with expressions such as “my friends have done it”, or “why not?”, Or “gays do it” I often reacted strongly and then tried to calmly resume the conversation. The key thing in chats with very young guys is to listen and make sure they come to their conclusions.

Very often, with young boys, I tackle the issue of prudence, both in terms of the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, and in terms of prudence on the web. It is clear that no one has ever talked to these guys in any way even minimally serious about these things and that they have absolutely no perception of risk.

My insistence on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases has sometimes been the cause of the interruption of dialogue with some young guys who didn’t want to hear such things at all and considered it a form of moralism aimed only at terrorizing boys in order to put in their mind that sex is a bad thing.

In some cases, following my speech on the use of condoms, I found myself faced with paradoxical answers followed by the abandonment of the chat, as in the following dialogue between me and a sixteen year old guy (Without fear).

– Without fear – I met him on a chat, he’s thirty years old but he’s strong, with him we do everything
– Project – but always protected?
– Without fear – that is?
– Project – with a condom
– Without fear – condom? I do not like those things, you miss the best
– Project – do you realize what you say? Without condom it’s dangerous
– Without fear – those who don’t risk don’t gain!
– Project – wait. . . let’s try to reason
– Without fear – if you want to preach, you can preach for some other guy. Bye!

In essence from the chats with the very young guys it can be deduced that they are completely abandoned by the adult world and that their sexual education, intended as a comparison with responsible adults on issues related to sexuality, homosexuality, and in particular to the prevention of sexual transmitted diseases is practically non-existent.

Now we come to the second document, it is an email I received from a gay doctor on November 27th 2011.

Dear Project, reading your blog I had a jolt of pride and it happens very rarely. I’m 43 years old and I have behind me a life that you would not appreciate. I have been publicly declared for a very long time, we can say that as a gay publicly out I have gone through everything you define, with a sort of detachment, things labeled gay. Fortunately for me I managed to save my health and this comforts me because there are people who have gone much worse than me.

When I was 18/20 years old internet practically didn’t exist, and I had my own ideas, a little as you say, the frenzy of trying, I believed that entering the circle would have facilitated things and in a sense it was true but from other points of view it was destructive, first of all the news that I was gay quickly spread everywhere in the city, a small city in the northern Italy where gossip and hypocrisy are always the masters.

Fortunately, I was studying in another city and I finished my studies, but when I started the profession I had huge problems because everyone ran away from me (I’m a doctor) and I had to change city, I had to start all over again, not to mention the terrible recriminations on the part of my family that treated me like an idiot without remedy, which pushed me even more to leave.

In the new city, after a while I started going to clubs again, because it had almost become an addiction. I met people out of mind that in some cases made me really scared and after five years I had to go again to a different, smaller city, where there were no gay clubs, but the chats started and even there it was a torment, an obsession, I knew some guys in the chat, we met, did a bit of sex and then they disappeared and were reckless guys who, when I talked about condoms, took me for crazy.

I had the frenzy of sex, I was more than 30 years old, even more than 35, but I spent all my free time looking for contacts. I felt alone, and I was alone, the relations with my family were completely inexistent. My father and mother no longer made themselves heard after I left home, I called them but they didn’t answer me deliberately. The only points of reference were the guys I knew only for sex, one in particular I had fallen in love with, he told me so many sweet things and was a very nice guy but he wanted to come to live with me, but it was impossible to realize because I would have ended up not to work anymore and to create a mess of problems with all the people I had around, then he disappeared, but before disappearing he vomited all the insults possible against me, that I was a worm, one who doesn’t have the courage to be what he is and above all that I was a starving man, because he liked to make the good life and with me he could not do it for sure.

This story lasted three years and left me with a sense of rejection and strong bitterness. Over the years, young guys became progressively less interested in me and only the fifty years old were looking for me but they were sex-addicted people even worse than me or depressed to be hospitalized, who thought they were boys and tried to give themselves a tone, even straight married, even people with diseases with a religious background, a variety of humanity that I didn’t even think could exist. They even arrived to offer me money in exchange for sex. One was sick, had a strong asthma and I convinced him to be hospitalized because he was at high risk.

In August of 2009 I said: “It’s enough!” I deleted all the gay contacts I had. I changed my mobile phone number and I threw myself completely into my work, practically I went back to university to do a very demanding and very long specialization school that leads me to deal with AIDS, I finished the first two years and just started the third, it’s a thing very serious and feel completely committed, now I work part time and I earn very little money and all I earn goes for specialization school. I’m really interested in my studies and I think for the first time that I have made the right choice.

I don’t tell you what I see in the hospital, there is a really desperate need for people to take care of these things, I have been reborn and I have found my way. There is a lot to do and not so much in Italy or in Europe but especially in Africa where AIDS, without medicines and in the midst of total ignorance, is a real scourge.

Days ago I found Gay Project, I was just looking for sites that deal with prevention and then I started to read the rest. Don’t let the guard down, Project! What you do makes sense. Life has a meaning that doesn’t consist in seeking sex but in giving love without conditions, I understood it late but fortunately I understood it. Being gay makes sense, I think being gay and experience all that I have experienced is the real spring of my underlying motivation. I told you my story in short, publish it if you want, I would like it.

Permit me a professional notation, never abandon the discourse on prevention because very few speaks about prevention today, and there is a huge need of such persons. I add here the link to the hiv and aids page of the Ministry of health http://www.salute.gov.it/hiv/hiv.jsp
which remains a fundamental reference point for finding serious information, even for doctors (see update of the guidelines). I’d like to spend some time on the forum but now I have other goals, that’s why I ask you to save my privacy.
[signed letter]

The third document is particularly touching and, beyond the theme centered on the fear of HIV, it allows us to understand the spiritual depths of gay guys and what it means to love each other. It’s an email I received on July 4, 2007 and published the same day on the old Gay Project forum.

“I first met him through words. For me they were important, they made me feel good and I didn’t even understand why, I only read and reread them. I made sure to get some courage and ask his msn even if with an incredible difficulty because for the things that I really care about I’m of a shyness and perhaps also of an extreme cowardice.

Talking with him gave me so much! He has his own way of seeing things, maybe strange and difficult to understand but he always managed to get me out of my depression, in one way or another gave me a deep sense of serenity. I had a boulder inside me, something that I had to endure for years and that took everything from me. I never thought I’d ever have the strength to tell anyone. Instead, to X it came spontaneous to tell it it and it made me feel good.

Being gay for me has always been an unacceptable and monstrous thing, but not the feelings but just the idea of sex. I have a lousy family. They are not interested in me, I have always been the classic useless baggage, after their divorce I have been continually tossed about here and there. No affection, no attention, no dialogue. In reality it is as if I’m not there, if I’m away from home, they don’t even notice it and when I am taken into consideration it is only to impose, order, claim, offend or worse to be beaten. For years I have been depressed and for two years now worse and worse, so much so that I have no more friends, I dropped them all, I have been rejected, I’m always home alone. No, they don’t even notice it. I’ve always felt lonely, since I realized that maybe I was also gay, it was a crescendo. But now I’m also used to it, because you know when you live without hope, loneliness is not so bad anymore. But this is not the boulder I had to endure.

What I confided to X is another thing: that when I was 14 a guy much older than me, who sometimes attended the company of my cousin and that everyone knew to be gay has abused me. That’s why I hate gay sex. When I fell in love for the first time two years ago with a guy I thought it was for that abuse. I suffered too much. I felt as if something impure had crept into me. For me it was like a contagion. A curse that clung to me. But this is not the worst thing.

The fact is that one year and a half after what he had done to me I found out from my cousin that that guy was HIV-positive and I knew he had not used any precautions with me. I have never seen him after and I have never been able to speak to him to know if I could have become positive too, but I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do it. I still remember perfectly what I felt at the moment of finding it out. It’s a bit like dying. I had in my hands the form for enrolling in a creative writing course I was very interested in and it was the first time I had fought so hard to get something at my house, I started ripping the form into smaller and smaller pieces and it was a bit how to tear up my future.

Since then, the ice has not left me anymore. I continued to live but only on the margins because everything made me suffer too much. I kept the doubt buried inside me, as deep as possible, it was something I never thought of but that anyway stood there and poisoned everything. Since then I have always been inconclusive, defeatist and submissive in anything. I heard the others talk about what they wanted to do and I did not say anything, I did not think about anything. Lately I have let myself be dragged by someone. I thought about what I really wanted to do, I did some programs, to a guy with whom I talked on msn one day I also said that I would go to see him this summer. A little I believed it, I hoped it but my hopes vanished. Yes, in my heart it was like being already dead.

Talking with X has done me too well. He has a boyfriend and they are deeply in love with each other, he is happy and fulfilled, but even if he didn’t know me at all, if even talking to me was always so difficult and painful, I think, he was looking for me and if he didn’t find me or I avoided being found because I was too depressed, he wrote me anyway even a few words that made me feel that at least one person was really interested.

Yes, X always gave me so much time and attention, a constant and sincere thought, he was the only one to really do it and in the most disinterested way possible, to give me a little bit of himself and without receiving or wanting anything in return. I thought a thousand times that it was very strange that a person could be like that and even more with someone like me. But he is special and UNIQUE. In the end he also managed to convince me that I had to go and take the test. He made me accept it simply telling me that he would accompany me.

I waited for my graduation exam to finish and immediately, the next day, via msn we arranged to meet and he picked me up in the city where I live. When I saw him I couldn’t believe that it was really him even if, yes, that he was beautiful it was also evident through the avatar. Because X is beautiful, but the point is that guys, I don’t say so beautiful but beautiful, there may be, but X is a something different. He has incredible eyes, which one would think there couldn’t be two eyes like his. Nobody after looking at them, even the most materialistic person, could ever be able to think that there is no soul.

I fell immediately in love with him. It’s incredible, but as soon as I saw him, I no longer thought I was going to take the HIV test, that is, yes, I thought it but it was a secondary thing. I was too busy with him. I immediately felt beautiful feelings, and for me to feel them was a natural and right thing. And yes, he also attracted me physically and a lot, for me this was really too embarrassing but I managed to hide it well and for the first time it didn’t disgust me, it was beautiful and natural, and it was fine that way.

To do the test we went to a rather far city, because I wanted it so, a stupid thing, I know, but it made me feel more anonymous and sure, he brought me there. I thought I had to go fasted for blood collection, when he knew it, X smiled and because I was very pale because of the anxiety, he said “It’s not that you go down?” And while we were waiting he kept my hand tight all the time, under a newspaper folded to the side so nobody could see and I was not embarrassed.

As soon as he got out of the surgery he put his arm around my shoulders and took me to breakfast. After eating, in place of feeling better I felt very bad. I was struck by the harsh image of the nurse who was taking my blood, the latex gloves, the way he sat with his torso all the way back and how he barely touched me, the indispensable, but above all the vision of my blood. From that day when I knew, the thought of my blood has always obsessed me, it was a nightmare that sometimes bothered me at night: my blood suddenly splashed on my schoolmates while I was in class, the terror of their gaze remained on my mind all day as I thought to see it in their eyes. I was afraid and disgusted of my blood. And now that I had seen it go out I felt crazy.

At that point I broke out inside. I began to think only of the one thing that felt real to me, of what I could have inside me, of the fact that I had to accompany myself to this foreign and enemy thing for as long as was left to me, that I would have been a danger, that I would continue to be alone and stay so until the end, that I would be kept at a distance but above all that I would have kept everything and everyone at a distance from me not to suffer even more, and all this at 19 years only.

Nothing behind and nothing in front. One passes graduation exams and should start planning his long-distance future. In my case, I felt it made no sense, it never had made sense for me.

X stared at me but I didn’t say anything to him and as we walked I moved away and moved further and further. At one point he stopped me and hugged me without speaking and hugged me so tightly! I just said “You know I always knew I was already dead.” X shook me vigorously and hurt me and said “Don’t be silly !! Even if it were, life doesn’t end for this, only changes.” I don’t know how long he hugged me, I wanted to cry but I could not and it’s bizarre because I’m crying every single fucking day for to many years, but at that moment I was dry and that dry was too bad for me.

But at a certain point I began to feel X’s body, his breath against me, his warmth, his smell. I held my breath and focused on the beating of his heart to hear it with my ear but also with my skin. I felt an inexpressible yearning that rose from my stomach, something so beautiful and intense that it almost hurt and then, in short, I had an erection. Even if I continued to feel that I was HIV-positive, I felt even more strongly that I wanted X with all of myself and I felt that I was willing to do anything to have him close to me, even accepting to be HIV-positive. I know it seems absurd but in these three months I have discovered that it is real life that is absurd, not the imagined one.

I tried to move away, it was too embarrassing and then I thought that rightly he could take it badly. But he didn’t let me and told me “Do you see it? Your body knows that you are alive and you want to stay alive.” We stayed still embraced. Someone looked at us badly, someone must have said something. I didn’t care at all, I would have liked to stay that way forever. X at some point broke away from me and I felt a great emptiness inside, so I spontaneously told him that his boyfriend is the luckiest person on earth, he blushed, smiled and said “Believe me it’s me the one who is lucky to have him.” I thought he would take me back home, in the end what I had to do had been done, instead X still wanted to stay with me.

We walked around the city, we didn’t talk much but we simply walked, sometimes we sat somewhere. We went for lunch but my stomach was closed because of him even though I lied to him and said it was still because of the test. X is so beautiful that you will never stop to look at him, has a smile of continuous light in his eyes and then he’s sweet and affectionate in words but also in the gestures in a way that makes you feel protected and warm inside.

While we were around, he often showed me things that I would never have seen on my own and surprised me and moved me with this way of looking at the world and be happy for certain things that never interest anyone. Every now and then he had a gesture toward me very sweet as touching my arm or a light squeeze of my hand, a separate communication with which he made me understand that he was there. In the evening he took me back to the place where we had arranged to meet. I was all upset, X told me that we would go together to take the test result, because they give it to you after a few days and you have to go and pick it up in person. I felt very sad with that sense of emptiness that grew bigger and bigger. X looked at me, was tense, worried and said “All right?”

Then I thought how badly that day could have hurt him. I had charged on him weeks and weeks of anguish and depression, mine, and he had never subtracted, but a wonderful creature like him didn’t even deserve the billionth part of all that. I felt petty and selfish in the worst way. I tried to tell him that everything was fine, that I was better but I could see that he didn’t believe it at all.

We greeted each other and in doing so he gave me a light kiss on the mouth. It was a kiss of a beautiful sweetness, it had no sexual meaning, it just said what no words could explain. That he was not afraid of me even though I could be HIV positive and the availability, affection and warmth of a true friendship that from him I would have had anyway. Nobody has ever given me something more beautiful. That kiss completely filled my soul, I think I will always carry that feeling inside me. At that moment as it happens now I thought that at least one beautiful thing I have it and nobody can take it away from me, it will be mine until the end.”

At the end of this beautiful document, which I’m particularly attached to because I knew the protagonists, I’m happy to let you know that the analysis confirmed that the guy who wrote the email above was HIV-negative.

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gays-and-prevention-through-tree-documents