VISCOUS GAY RELATIONSHIPS

Hello Project, I’m a 22-year-old guy, from Lombardy, who has felt gay from the beginning, no problem of acceptance. I call you because I think I put myself in a mess. I am in love for two years now with a beautiful guy that I know very superficially, I don’t know if he is gay or not, I tried to understand it, but only spying a bit his behavior. This guy works in a bar near the university. Needless to say that I always go there to have breakfast, he was formal at the beginning, then he started to smile to me a bit and now when he sees me he says hello but we never talked neither a bit. Basically it’s been two years since when I see that guy and every time I see him I feel a knot in my stomach. 
He’s not just beautiful, it’s sweet but sweet as only a guy can be sweet. I’m at the point that if the morning he is not there or he doesn’t tell me that magic hello I’m sick, I miss him, I miss him just so damned. He has a beautiful, sexy voice in the most beautiful sense of the term. In practice it is now two years that I masturbate only thinking of him, the other fantasies have all passed away. I dream of being near him, of feeling his warmth of being able to hug him and then all the rest, I don’t write it but you can imagine it. I think that with him I would be very sweet. I told myself a thousand times that it makes no sense but for me there is only him, that is, I don’t think that any other guy could be able to make me experience what I experience with him. On him, unfortunately rarely, I make erotic dreams of an indescribable sweetness, just the sweetest things one could ever imagine. A smile and a hello coming from that guy make me happy. 
 
But there is another part of my life that really keeps me in anguish. I have a cousin who is a year older than me and who attends my same faculty, let’s call him Mark. Last summer our families went to the beach together and so we saw each other every day. I have known him from childhood because he is my cousin but we didn’t see each other very much because he lived for many years in another city. Once, at the seaside, we started talking about sex. He began to say that he had never had a girlfriend, that he felt alone, that he was afraid that he would remain alone his whole life and things like that, but he was very hesitant, he said that his life would never make sense, he was almost crying, I had never seen him like this.
 
The speech became very engaging I had the intuition that my cousin was gay and then I loosed my self control and I made him guess that I was gay too. We hugged, at first it was instinctive but then that hug lasted a bit too much and was too tight and I began to feel not at ease and I turned Mark away and he felt very bad and got caught up in despair. I didn’t I know what to do, and I embraced him again, but again I didn’t like it but I couldn’t move him away again and then I tolerated it, but I should say that I suffered it. He did nothing, he just hugged me, but there was something excessive that I didn’t like.
 
Then we came home and that day ended there, but only for that day. Mark started to stick to me in all ways, he always wanted to be with me, when I went out with my friends he pouted and it seemed that he felt really bad and maybe he felt really bad and then I sometimes started to give up hanging out with my friends. I had never done it! In practice I could never go out with anyone else, only with my cousin!
 
For a while he limited himself to this, then he began to feel guilty because he fell in love with me and I had to try to tell him that there was no fault in this, but it was not enough for him and he wanted me to tell him that I loved him and I ended up telling him because I couldn’t resist and then he started to analyze the phrases that I had had to tell him by force reflecting on every single word, he told me that I was holding myself back too much and that I had to dare a lot more with him.
 
One day he tells me that he must confess to me a terrible thing and after an endless story (I felt sorry for him) he tells me that he masturbated thinking of me. I tell him that more or less I expected it and that it didn’t upset me too much, but it was not enough for him, he wanted to know if I had ever masturbated thinking of him, but I had in mind the guy of the bar and thinking of Mark as a sexual fantasy didn’t even go through my mind.
 
He asks me who I think of when I do it and I tell him I think of the guy of the bar. He submits me to an interrogation, he wants to know what I did with that guy, I tell him: nothing! At the beginning he doesn’t believe it, then he asks me if he’s gay, I tell him I don’t know and he gives me a whole sermon about the fact that it makes no sense to fall in love with a straight guy. I know that in theory it is so but in the first place the guy of the bar could also be gay and I think he is gay, and secondly, in every sense, an hetero like the guy of the bar is better than a gay like my cousin.
 
After this talk he got a bit detached from me but he started not to leave the house anymore, my aunt was worried, he told me: Mark feels really bad, but what happened to him? But do you know anything about it? I told my aunt that I didn’t know anything, but in the end they forced me out with my cousin sometimes.
 
The embarrassment could be cut with a knife, I just didn’t want him to get close to me and I kept him at a distance and he was very upset. In practice now he comes to class just to see me, not even to talk to me, because we don’t speak at all, but he must let  his presence weigh, it seems to me an emotional blackmailing. He’s always distracted, I don’t think he’ll ever take an exam. He feels betrayed by me, but I never encouraged him, exactly never, he did everything by himself.
 
But the problem is not even the fact that he is nagging but the fact that I see him really bad, he seems one that really suffers. Now, tell me, what should I do? If it were for me maybe I would go close to him and I would try to maintain a relationship, but it would not be the relationship he wants. That is, if I keep him away from me it’s bad for him, if I get close to him, it’s all the same because it’s not what he wants. So how should I behave? I would not be bad with Mark because after all with me he has always been honest and he never put me in really unpleasant situations, but I don’t want to end up having to say (or, worse, to do) things I don’t want to say (or to do). Perhaps my problem is a bit unusual but for the moment it is my real problem.
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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-viscous-gay-relationships
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EXTENDED GAY FAMILY

This post comes from my heart and represents a very serious reflection even if, for those who have prejudices, that is for those who believe they know and doesn’t really know, what I am about to say could sound very strange. 
 
Gay family … ok! Built on the model of the hetero family: a stable couple with the perspective of hypothetical children, etc. etc., yes, everything seems ok … maybe it could also be all right in another world, in another social climate, with another level of civilization and awareness. In reality, at least as long as the situation doesn’t radically change at the social level the hypotheses of a gay family consisting of a stable couple and hypothetical children is an idea that serves only as a symbol of an open road to the future.
 
But what should be the underlying spring that holds a gay family like that together? Sex … yes when you are young it could also seem a sufficient motivation, couple’s affectivity, mutual love and support in difficult situations? Of course this could be a good cement to keep the couple together, but then there is the problem of the children … in test tubes, with mothers for rent they would still be biological children of only one of the couple’s components. But I wonder, wouldn’t it make more sense to think that a gay family should not be based on any preconceived model?
 
Well, I have an alternative model absolutely original of gay family. For me, the gay family should be a group of solidarity and should be built on the emotional experience of loving each other. Do you want to know what my gay family model is? My model is the group of guys that has set up around Gay Project.
 
Tell me whatever you want but I think it’s really a family. We love each other, we support each other, we are friends, we talk freely, we feel accepted and sometimes I would say pampered in a typically family affective dimension. Days ago I criticized the posts of Loki and Fabiomatteo who came out a bit from the limits in which this blog must be maintained. Well I had the fear that this fact could undermine my relationship with these guys, then I talked to Fabiomatteo and I explained my point of view and nothing has gone wrong, indeed we talked in a very serious way and we said goodbye in an authentically affectionate way, with a very heartfelt “I love you!” that was not a courtesy formula at all. Then I spoke with Loki and no problem has been posed. The relationships that I have with these guys cannot go into a crisis because of banalities, the reason is only one, because we love each other and we esteem each other on a human level in a profound way, for me they are part of my family.
 
I mention only them but the discourse involves all the guys in a varied way. With someone, very special habits of trust and mutual attention have been created spontaneously , we share our concerns, we commit ourselves to the same goals, we are in the same situations. I receive messages of a seriousness and depth that I have never seen in any other situation. When I have doubts, what happens to me almost every day, I find an authentic listening, an advice, a comparison. I don’t feel alone, I feel that some bonds have been created and that I’m happy with these bonds.
 
You can tell me that this is not a family because without a couple there is no family but in my opinion it is not true. When I go to work, often in the breaks I think about the guys I know and I feel them present, I know that they are not my fantasy, that they are real guys … and  guys of very height level! Sometimes I feel bad for someone. Sometimes, if I know that there is someone who is not well, I don’t sleep the whole night, if in a situation like this I cannot get in touch  with them, I experience a kind of anguish… but when the contact is re-established and I can get news I feel like I was in paradise and I experience an extraordinary sense of happiness.
 
And what enchants me is that among us there is a deep mutual respect and an extraordinary solidarity despite the sometimes not small differences of point of view. The idea of feeling like a group, of feeling like a family is amazing. A few days ago some guys from Gay Project met and we spent a day together. One said: “It’s incredible the feeling that we’ve always known each other!” Basically meeting in chat and talking for hours has made us a group, a group of friends who love each other … but I would like to use a another word: has made us a family, a family without ties of kinship, a family linked only by emotional ties but a real family in which solidarity and loving each other are the only necessary things …
 
When I come home from work and I switch on the computer and I find a lot of calls in chat and I see so many messages and comments on the forums … I wonder: what would I be if I didn’t have this family that created itself? I would be a small little man, with no purpose in life, one who shouldn’t worry about anything but himself … but now I feel like a lion and when I realize that even the mistakes I make (and I make a lot of mistakes!) don’t are actually destructive because at the bottom of this gay family there is a true emotional bond that doesn’t even collapse in front of my stupidity or my naivety, when I realize that I’m not alone and where I don’t arrive others can arrive, when I realize that these others can do things a hundred times better than I can do and they actually do them … well … then I really feel like a family around, a family that doesn’t judge my mistakes but that understands and loves me, that supports me and comforts me, makes me feel a real affection beyond all possible imagination! Guys! I love you! I dedicate this post to one of us for whom I spent last night without closing a blind eye. I don’t know if he will read this message but I would like to tell him that I love him and that I’m close to him.
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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-extended-gay-family

GAY RELATIONSHIPS WITHOUT AN END

Hello Project, I am writing to you because I am in a situation that makes me feel bad like a beaten dog. I am 46 years old, two years ago a 20 year old guy fell in love with me, or at least he did everything to build an engaging relationship with me: sex, but not only that, for us it was the first time, both for him and for me, you understood, Project, I had never been with a guy. I had the distinct feeling that it wouldn’t work and I tried to do everything to stay away but he didn’t give up and we came to build a relationship that lasted more than two years, then, what I feared has realized and he told me that he had found another guy, that he was sorry that I would have taken it badly but that he needed something else. 
The speech put in these terms would still be simple and all in all clear but things were actually much more complex, because we had created a relationship that went beyond sex, I mean that we loved each other and when we broke up (and we broke up well, I mean in a sweet and affectionate way) we actually both knew that something would have remained and that we would always be there for each other and so it was, in fact we never really left each other. 
We no longer had sexual contacts as before because he had a boyfriend, but there was still reciprocal love between us. Project, tell me what is good for this guy? To dedicate himself completely to his new boyfriend, who is a very good guy, and in this case I should completely disappear or in a sense dissolve myself and no longer contact him, or perhaps it makes sense that I exist, with a role that I don’t even know define? However I feel moments of deep suffering because I miss him violently, I remember the days spent together, I dream of those moments almost every night, but I know that I have to leave him free, his happiness is another, there might even be a place for me, but I would still be a secondary character in his horizon. What does one of my age have to do when a not yet 23 years old leaves him but tells him that he still loves him?
With his boyfriend he can now have a story if not in the light of the sun, at least not to hide carefully as he did with our story. I don’t blame him for this, after all I did the same thing and then he would have been considered as a madman at his house not because he is gay but because he stays with someone who is twice his age, something that, for him personally (not at the social or family level), has never created any problem. 
Project, I read with great interest the chapter on intergenerational relationships on “Being gay” but frankly in my case there is not a real couple relationship, maybe there was, but maybe what brought him to stay with me was something else, that is was the need for affection, the need for reassurance, the need to be accepted. In fact this is not the basis of a typical couple relationship but represents the attempt to rebuild a family that no longer exists. I believe this was precisely the meaning of the bond between us. The sex lived together in a calm and without inhibitions way was just the sign of a mutual acceptance without reservation. 
Ok, all this is true, but now he is not there and I feel really empty and destroyed. I know very well that my duty is not to complicate his life but to let him go or to allow him to manage what remains of our relationship exactly as he wants, even that is a sign of acceptance without reservation. But I feel really badly about it, Project, and he doesn’t realize it, and in a sense, I did everything to make sure he didn’t. When we  talk on the phone or on Skype, I act as if nothing has happened, but when we close the phone I feel like crying because those phone calls are not stupidities or formalities, they are a way to confirm that our relationship still exists. 
Here, Project, what really destroys me: the fact that it is not a matter of a thing that is already over, it is not so for him and it is not for me. At my age, before I knew him, I had thought about definitively put aside the idea of having a boyfriend, then he arrived and he upset my plans and now he’s leaving but he doesn’t leave completely and I feel an anguish inside that I couldn’t even describe: anxiety, fear that he might find himself in some trouble, desire to see him happy at all costs and at the same time a deep sense of emptiness, as if I were falling backwards, as if my life was sliding backwards irremediably at the level of two years ago, but after one has known love or at least sex lived with participation, after one has held in his arms a guy in love, well it is scary to think that all this is about to end. 
Something remains, I know, but it’s not enough for me, I know it should be enough but it’s not enough for me. Sometimes I feel like a fool and I try to download all the faults on him but I know very well that he has no faults, that he has lived and is living his feelings with absolute simplicity. I don’t know what to wish for, maybe it would be better if he forgets me soon but I don’t think it would be easy and on the other hand he also loves his boyfriend and I don’t have the slightest doubt about. I know very well that he will never come back with me and that I have to leave him completely free, but Project it’s damned difficult. What can I do? I swear I’m completely confused.
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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-relationships-without-an-end

GAY AFFECTIVITY

Gay affectivity
 
This chapter was built exclusively on the basis of the experience gained in Project Gay, it is an objectively limited point of view that focuses mainly on undeclared gay guys, the average age of these guys is around 26 years, starting from 16/17 up to 40 and over.
 
The object of the survey is the set of emotional relationships of a gay guy, from familiar relationships to those with friends and those related to the love life, in other words we try to understand what can objectively contribute to individual well-being and what are the factors that for this purpose have greater weight.
 
Family affectivity and coming out
 
The awareness of being gay is not traumatic in itself but because it is hypothesized that being gay involves a condition of substantial separation, even if not always of objective exclusion, from the family and from social environment.
 
A gay guy very often realizes that he is living in an environment with which he cannot have direct dialogue and clearly perceives environmental and family homophobia. In other words, a gay guy often feels himself out of the family environment and out of the peer group, right because of his being “a gay guy” and hence derives the importance that many gay guys attach to the coming out (more or less enlarged) that is supposed to be the keystone for a full integration into the social and family environment of a guy as a gay.
 
All this is based on the often unrealistic assessment that the misunderstanding between a gay guy and his family or a gay guy and his social environment derives from the lack of clarity on the part of the gay guy rather than from ignorance and environmental homophobia.
 
A gay boy blames himself for not declaring himself to his parents and his friends and identifies the causes of his own marginalization precisely in the lack of clarity that he uses towards friends and family.
 
Not declaring themselves, especially in contexts that push towards coming out, is experienced with guilt, as a form of deception perpetrated against family and friends.
 
The push towards the coming out, which appears to be a push towards honesty and transparency, is greatly reinforced by the assumption, or rather we should say from the presumption a priori, that the family and friends are able to really understand and accept the situation.
 
 In totally unprepared environments, the coming out can create situations of serious discomfort, on the verge of intolerability, because usually the reaction is not a clear refusal but a disguised refusal often accompanied by the parent’s feeling of guilt for not having been in able to grow “well” the son. The punishment for this alleged fault consists in having to keep the child as he is and trying to love him “in spite of everything”.
 
Similar attitudes, for the guys who have come out in the family turn out to be more destructive than the sense of generic loneliness and non-inclusion that had preceded the coming out.
 
Friendship affectivity and coming out
 
Even with friends, with very few exceptions, guys soon realize that the coming out doesn’t lead to true integration but to an integration “as gay”, that is, the identification tag objectively makes a difference unbridgeable. After the coming out, often, the situation becomes worse than before and the feeling of marginality and loneliness is exacerbated.
 
Affectivity research and gay sexual research
 
After the phase of the search for family and social integration, the search for solutions oriented towards the gay reality begins. It is realized that with other gay boys a dialogue of another level is really possible, but often the idea of a more direct and immediate dialogue is mixed up with the sexual research.
 
Every effort must be made to represent things in realistic terms, trying to avoid the mysticim of gay affectivity. I mean that not only sexual research should not be underestimated but it must be realized that it is a fundamental element for the growth and emotional stability of any person. The overlapping and integration of affective research and sexual research has nothing pathological and one should be amazed, if anything, by the excess of sublimation on one side and the excess of affective aridity on the other.
 
For a gay guy, as for any guy, sexuality has a fundamental role that must be understood and valued. In the context of sexuality, given the difficulty for a gay guy to find the sexual availability of another guy, masturbation takes on a particularly important meaning, especially when any couple sexual experience is virtually impossible.
 
Even pornography, when it does not create real forms of addiction, should not be demonized. The discovery of online pornography occurs at a very early age and often in a period concomitant with that of the discovery of masturbation. The first contacts with the pornography of preadolescents are frenetic, pornography becomes in practice in many cases a reality that dominates for a while the whole horizon of sexuality, but in the late adolescence needs of affective character mature and gradually lead to a certain devaluation of pornography and even masturbation takes on a more typically affective dimension, that is, it is considered as an integral part, even if projective, of a love relationship.
 
It is a fact that guys and in particular gay guys are very selective in the use of pornography, they are looking for videos that have actors of a few and specific physical types and especially videos that concretize situations that they would like to live in reality. In fact, masturbation with fantasies related to experiences really experienced is much more engaging than that related to pornography because it has a root in concrete experience.
 
While masturbation keeps over time a fundamental role, pornography tends to lose importance over the years and, in a good percentage of cases, certainly not marginal, guys quickly move to the phase of erotic chats and dating sites and here takes place a phenomenon similar to the one that happens at the time of the discovery of pornography: guys realize that having sex on cam with strangers is easy as well as not risky in terms of disease prevention.
 
Then begins a phase of frantic search for virtual sexual contacts. At first the thing is very engaging, even if often accompanied by feelings of guilt, then, over time, guys realize that all this is missing something that is easily identified with the physical presence of the other, the jump towards meeting sites follows, which is objectively much more risky both at the social level and at the level of prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
 
But even the meetings organized in the sites, except for very rare exceptions, are unsatisfactory, often the reason is found in the fact that the other is not exactly the one you were looking for, so you switch to a new experience and then to another and so on. The dating sites are likely to be the arrival station for many people, but in many cases guys ask themselves what is missing in all this and they finally discover the correct answer: in such experiences there isn’t any true affective dimension.
 
Economic model of gay affectivity
 
In what does gay affectivity materialize? The answer should be sought by keeping in mind the common overlap-confusion of two concepts: sex and love that often moves people away from a more complex conception of affectivity. I mean that affectivity can certainly be sexualized but in many cases it presents itself and is objectively completely independent of sexuality. A genuinely emotional relationship is born in a totally spontaneous way and above all it is not conditioned by anything, it exists, if it exists, only for its own strength, outside and often against any mechanism of control.
 
The economic view of affectivity is very common; balance of giving and taking, emotional investment, convenience, emotional failure, are all expressions derived from the world of economics. After all, the economic models dominate in many sectors and it is almost automatic to apply them also to emotional life, hence the idea of marriage and in general of emotional relationship as a “contract” in which one is bound to an exchange of services and offer certain guarantees and also the idea of an emotional relationship based on the possession of the other. In reality, the economic reading of affectivity is the cause of the failure of many marriages and many couple relationships.
 
Weak and gratuitous affectivity – Emotional affinity
 
The affectivity is not totally neither even essentially linked to the life of a couple, it is a much weaker concept, that is much less binding and contractual, but at the same time much more widespread and pervasive. Affectivity is the basis of a deep, spontaneous human relationship and responds to ancestral mechanisms aimed at mutual gratification and at creation of weak but lasting relationships on which the balance of individuals is based.
 
Affectivity tends to be a weak but stable aggregative force because it is independent of external factors and in large part also of the behavioral responses of the other. This identifies the gratuitousness of the affective dimension that gives without asking, even if it is not addressed to everyone but to a fairly small number of individuals who perceive themselves as emotionally similar.
 
Affectivity does not intervene towards people  who are perceived as a potential danger for their unpredictability, but only when the behavior of the other is in some way predictable and judged honest, that is, driven only by affective categories and not by other aims. Affectivity comes into play when there is recognition of a basic affinity in spontaneous reaction mechanisms.
 
Where there is something dissonant, that is, a stranger or not understandable, affectivity doesn’t intervene and the unconscious and subliminal communication mechanisms don’t work, where on the contrary affectivity intervenes, most of the communication doesn’t need words or abstract conceptualizations and people get in touch with each other  essentially through a subliminal communication easily deciphered because the communication code is substantially the same.
 
The affective dimension creates a form of communion-communication for which defensive shields vanish and the learning of behaviors, of ways of doing, of saying, of physically posing of  the other is much facilitated, but all this remains at the subliminal level.
 
Free friendship and instrumental friendship
 
The typically affective relationship is friendship, it is a fundamental and spontaneous interpersonal relationship that does not create bonds but is able to minimize the feeling of marginality and non-inclusion that so many gay guys experience.
 
Unfortunately, friendships are often considered as a kind of technique for the satisfaction of other needs (mostly linked with sexuality), in this way friendship is subordinated to something else and loses its essential character of absolute gratuity. However, it cannot be taken for granted that the intervention of sexuality in a relationship of friendship is always conditioning and destructive, there are friendships that are substantially independent on the sexual involvement that anyhow accompany them, such friendships are not lost when the sexual interest that had been, at least partially, the glue of the friendship, vanishes. However, if the so-called friendship was exclusively instrumental for sexual purposes, when the sexual relationship ends, the relationship of friendship highlights all its weakness and vanishes in a short time.
 
Friendship between gays
 
Friendship does not constrain, does not limit, but opens up a way of communication between people who feel similar. Of course, the affinity can be of various degrees; if this affinity is truly profound, friendship is very firm. In this sense, sexual orientation plays an important role because in a friendly relationship the affinity of experience is a fundamental element. A gay guy uses a communication code that doesn’t coincide with the one used by hetero guys, the messages are different and more cryptic,  the unsaid is much more important than the said, but a code like that for another gay, and especially for another near and congenial gay, is instead understandable and the discourse develops in depth even in the absence of many words.
 
Affective equilibrium
 
The affective equilibrium is a psycho-physical state of well-being that gives the perception of being inserted into a network of protection and therefore also of not being alone anymore. This protection network is not a constraint and above all it does not depend on any condition other than being oneself and triggers itself only when one really needs it.
 
The certainty of the existence of this network of protection derives from the fact that the presence of the other is is something that can not be doubted, it may be missing for a period but neither of the partners thinks, plans or even foresees the end of the friendship. These are not necessarily constant relationships, are often suspended but are anyway real because they reacquire their concreteness whenever the need of them arises. Just a few words, a smile, the availability that does not lack at all, the perception of the attention of the other are enough to prove that the relationship of friendship has not been broken.
 
The construction of true friendships with other gay guys turns out to be the keystone of individual well-being. When a couple relationship goes into crisis, there is a bad feeling of disappointment and abandonment, but if the protection network made up of friendships actually works, if they are true friendships, the crisis is overcome and is not in itself destructive; feeling deprived at the same time of all emotional relationships, lose all friendships and have to start everything from scratch would be quite different. Such a trauma would actually be destructive and would compromise the emotional stability of an individual in a very heavy way.
 
There are no formal affinities of any kind that can constitute deep bonds like the spontaneous bonds emerging from affectivity. To be friends it is certainly not enough to be both gay or have in common a political ideal or a religious belief. There is no associationism that can replace the emotional relationships because such relationships that have their own motivations and their mechanisms and cannot be assimilated to anything else. I add a last but fundamental observation: true emotional relationships, those who create a deep contact between persons, are always reciprocal, are not the result of an act of will and less than ever of an individual act of will. The lack of reciprocity is not a defect of the relationship but a spy of its inexistence. But reciprocity is not reciprocity of behavior but reciprocity of affective dispositions, it is mutual interest, mutual respect, it is perceiving the other as a peer.
 
Sexuality as a substitute of affectivity
 
Talking with gay guys of all ages, I happened several times to realize how sexuality often has in reality a substitute value of affectivity and how this substitution is inefficient and disappointing. I am not sexuophobic, but I don’t believe that sexuality per se represents the basis of a person’s well-being. If sexuality has also a strong emotional, communicative basis of human warmth, then it becomes one of the most powerfully stabilizing elements of the personality, but if it is detached from the emotional dimension it often ends up being the manifestation of an unease.
 
I have seen many times sexually available guys systematically escaping the concrete opportunities to create an important emotional relationship and I asked myself why affectivity can be scary and from what I see the only credible answer lies in the fact that an important emotional relationship is seen as a narrow, constrictive bound imposed to freedom. Behind this way of seeing things there is often the memory of difficult family experiences, in which the affective dimension has been used as a means of restraining and controlling individual freedom, but beyond that there is also the model of couple linked to the traditional idea of marriage as the bond of a monogamous and essentially irreversible union.
 
When overprotective parents, who are unable to really get in touch with sons, experience with anxiety the freedom of their sons who move away from the family, they tend, even unconsciously, to make their sons feel the emotional relationship with them more as a bond than as a security. It is the typical educational model: “If you love me you have to do what I say”.
 
The fear of falling in love is also linked to another concept, namely the idea of avoiding the “compromise” that is very often the basis of the couple life. I mean that guys who avoid building emotional relationships to safeguard their freedom, avoid in practice to enter into relationships of which they are not really convinced, that is, they are much more selective than the average in the search for a partner because they don’t want to pursue the idea of the “couple for the couple” but want a couple that is not based on a compromise.
 
It is often very easy to slip from relationships of superficial knowledge toward very tight and binding forms of involvement that don’t have a really strong emotional basis. The guys who don’t seem to like the couple life tend to follow a reasoning that seems strange from the outside, but that actually has a very precise meaning, they say that one thing is “to love a guy”, even if it is the case, with a bit of sex, and a very different thing is finding a partner. Typical is the expression: “I like him, but I’m not in love with him, while I’m really madly in love with that other guy, and I would stay in couple with him!”
 
The discriminating element between liking someone and falling in love with him is clearly of a sexual nature and this is certainly not a trivial thing. A guy who seems to be afraid of couple life and who generally tends much more to protect his freedom is willing to sacrifice it “only” to build a stable relationship with a guy who involves him very strongly on a sexual level. The reasoning is absolutely straightforward: a basically definitive choice must have a strong motivation at its base and sexual interest is one of the components, if not the essential component, of a really strong interest.
 
Failure of couple life
 
If we look at the reasons for the failure of many couples, when there is a mutual esteem and affection in spite of everything, we find in the first place the fading of sexual interest, in most cases from only one part. A couple made of people all in all serious and balanced, doesn’t work when the sexual drive towards the partner is missing even from only one side.
 
When this happens, one has to wonder if that sexual drive has ever been real or has been replaced by a fragile condescension due perhaps to the need not to be alone. Most likely the couple who goes into crisis after a few months, was couple born on a compromise, in which, on the one side at least, there was no real sexual drive.
 
A few decades ago, it was quite usual to find arranged marriages due to the intervention of the families. In such situations, the couple’s true glue was given by the social approval that didn’t propose but imposed on the spouses a life in which sexuality became a secondary variable aimed at the birth of children. In such situations, on the side of the husband, having a lover represented the tacitly tolerated answer to the enslavement of sexuality in marriage; on the part of the wife, obedience and submission were proposed as a religious and consoling value, taking the total frustration of female sexuality for granted and inevitable.
 
This model of couple life has inevitably been exported also to the gay field. Obviously, given the lack of sons and also the lack of formalization of the relationship in a union basically indissoluble as in marriage, the gay couple born on a compromise is characterized by a greater fragility than that of arranged marriages. It should be added that the low social visibility of gay couples greatly reduces the fear of social reactions (the scandal) that used to slow down the crisis of the marriage or at least to reduce its visibility.
 
Affectivity crisis and non-affective sexuality
 
So far we have analyzed the motivations that cause certain guys to avoid easy emotional ties, it is a matter of strong motivations but, nevertheless, the renunciation of the precarious stability typical couples born on a compromise, especially when family relationships are in crisis and friendships remain superficial or conflictual, involves a sense of emptiness, of suspended life, increases the perception of the passage of time and inevitably leads to the search for values substitutive of affectivity and the only concrete answer is to try to replace affectivity with sexuality but, obviously, with a non-affective sexuality, with a result that seems to re-propose on the sexual level the idea of a couple based on a compromise that had already been excluded on the emotional level.
 
It is true, however, that we are almost never dealing, objectively, with couples arose from a sexual compromise because the basic requirement of stability is lacking, i.e. the constraint that is automatically excluded in the name of the protection of individual freedom and obviously lacks also the exclusivity. I would like to clear the field from moralistic prejudices. The only real risk of these behaviors is sexual promiscuity that, if not accompanied by the systematic use of appropriate forms of prevention, significantly increases the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
 
In terms of social relationships, guys who are not inclined to forming couples based on a compromise often encounter misunderstandings, are considered in some way dependent on sex and, moreover, on a promiscuous sex, because the idea of a couple based on a compromise, on a social level, is considered, let me use the game of words, a good compromise between sexual needs and stability, where stability means adapting to compromise, which is the most condemned behavior in words, and nevertheless the most widespread in reality.
 
The real problem of guys who tend to substitute affection with promiscuous sexuality lies in the fact that the partners they relate to, in general, reason in the most common way, i.e. they tend to create compromise couples, without major problems, when they meet guys sexually available, because they take for granted that sexual availability automatically involves a similar affective availability, what in the situations we are talking about is not realistic.
 
So two very different mentalities meet and the misunderstandings can be profound and lacerating because both partners feel they are judged and misunderstood in things that seem fundamental and obvious to them. It is precisely this mechanism that prevents the consolidation of relationships that are born on the sexual level and fuels the promiscuity of young people who don’t want to create compromise couples.
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A GAY GUY LOOKING FOR THE BEST GUY

Oh! Well …. I know how bad you felt about and I’m sorry … but I can tell you, so, with open heart I’ll tell you: I expected it … but, excuse me, with me it’s impossible, ok, I’m fine all the same, you have a thousand reasons, you haven’t told me in the face brutally why, but I know very well what is that “why” … I must be put aside because “there is something better!”. After our story is over how many other guys did you meet? Six, seven, I don’t know, I’ve lost count. Every time you broke up with some guy the speech was always the same: “There is something better …” I believe that by reasoning this way you’ll make such a collection of frustrations that you will eventually have to recognize that you have thrown away some golden occasions. I’m not saying with me, maybe it would not have worked with me, but with some of those guys you could have built a nice story. 
 
Fabio was really in love with you and he was a wonderful  guy, if he had fallen in love with me I would have felt like the richest man in the world, but he was in love with you and you didn’t want him because you said there was something better and you made him feel bad like a beaten dog and then he came to me in order to lick quietly his wounds. But there is more, you fooled him you made him believe you would spend your life with him. I still remember that time we went out together, you cuddled him so tenderly, you kissed him so tenderly, you were hugged with him all evening and I said to myself inside: “Poor Fabio! He is deluding himself … ” and punctually, after a month, you broke up with Fabio and you went back to the search for the best guy without even telling him it… I, maybe, I’m be stupid … maybe I cannot understand but it is as a kind of irrepressible craving  takes you, for you sex is a drug, you use it just like drugs, you are addicted.
 
You run after a guy like just a lost lover would do, then he yields to your requests and you say he has no backbone, he cannot assert himself, and you pass sentences of any kind … coming so far as to say he’s not good to make love and then at the end of the speech comes the usual sentence: “There’s something better!” … and the game starts again … you make victims and destroy the lives of these guys, who will never forgive themselves for have paid attention to you, you don’t even note such things because you think only of yourself … you don’t even know the damage you do … but in the end the years pass and you throw them away like that. You don’t look for love, you are looking for the “perfect guy”, you are looking for things that don’t exist, you are throwing away the real guys that I don’t say are better than you but at least are definitely at your level … 
You once did a crazy speech that annoyed me a lot: you said you wanted one’s hands, another’s eyes, a third’s smile, and even another’s way of having sex. But who put these stupid things in your head? But you realize that you are almost 30 years old and you know absolutely nothing about what love is, you have made a collection of guys, like English lords who hung in the hall the hunting trophies, you still see love like that … you, at 30, are still looking for the perfect guy. You could say to me: “Why are you telling me it?” … well … we’re friends, aren’t we? 
In fact I think I’m one of the few friends that you still have, all others have broken up with you … you are convinced that you it’s you the one who broke up with them but in reality they are the ones who gave up … in a minor tone, but you have also applied to friends the story of “there is something better” you … you have tried to apply it to me too … and it’s me who didn’t want to give up despite everything. I kept telling you what I really think, that is that you are going towards a total dissipation of yourself, you’re throwing yourself away in a lot of nonsense, going still now, 30 years old, chasing fantasies … 
I think you’re still conditioned by the myth … right from the myth of the ideal guy … at 30 you would like a sweet guy,  good, affectionate, totally without experience because you think you can educate him, but you don’t even say to educate, you say to wean …  You? And what could you teach him? What could you teach a clean boy? Could you teach him how to pretend to be in love … or how do you feel desperate when you pretend to continue playing but you realize that the castle is collapsing? 
I don’t know what you can foresee for your future because you in effect always seek this blessed ideal guy. And then if even this ideal guy existed, do you think he would fall in love with you? So you’re the ideal guy! … of course it’s obvious … look at yourself in the mirror … in fact you’re a nice guy but not so young, you bring with you so many manias and frenzies that a psychoanalyst could work on them a lifetime, when you start with your bla bla you don’t stop anymore … you always say the same things, do you think you are fascinating but you are not and you don’t even realize it, it was you the one who broke up with Mathew? 
You are convinced, but it is not so and you know how they things are really? Mathew has left you … it’s he who has left you and you know why … it’s he who told me: he left you “because there is something better …”. You don’t believe it? How is it possible that there is someone better than you? … Yet Mathew was perfectly convinced … and do you know who taught it this philosophy? You taught him it! Mathew a reasoning like this, before, he wouldn’t have done … I knew him well before, he, before, was looking for a real guy … but after he met you he started to look for the ideal guy. 
Now I told you what I had to tell you … wake up until you’re in time … don’t run after butterflies. If a guy at 30 has not yet understood what it means to love, he must try to understand it quickly because the Mathew who dumped you because “there is something better …” is likely not to be an exception but the first of a long series of guys who will dump you and then you will understand … but then understanding will not make any sense. I tell you these things because I think that they are true … don’t worry, I’m not trying to get back with you … I know that “there is something better!” … but at least as a friend you can still go well.
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GAY MENTAL NARCISSISM

I will try to analyze what we could call “gay mental narcissism”. Not that the phenomenon of mental narcissism is exclusively gay, I would just say that the field of analysis will be limited to gays. Sometimes talking in a chat with gay guys, I happen to come across an attitude that consists in giving to one’s own behaviors always and only motivations of the highest altruistic profile, motivations, if you want, very noble but often not very credible. 
 
As an obvious completion of this way of proceeding (gay mental narcissism) we note the total removal of sexual motivations that are considered less dignified than altruistic ones and are therefore automatically bypassed. I quote some typical example:
 
“I see him disappointed, I see he suffers and I would like to do something for him, I wish he was fine, I don’t even care that he falls in love with me, I swear that I don’t care, I do it for him, though I think if he opened up with me at the end he would feel satisfied and would be better off. I’m not jealous, I know that he’s free and that he can do whatever he wants, but if he doesn’t talk with me, he doesn’t do it with anyone.”
 
“Ok, he didn’t want me, I understood, I suffered as a beaten dog but I didn’t even tell him it, just to not make him feel bad, I also thought that if he felt influenced by me, letting him go would be my duty, I was very hesitant but then I decided and I told him: – If there cannot be anything between us then it is better that we don’t see each other anymore, it’s better for you too.” – But he reacted badly, he told me that I was blackmailing him and that I wanted to force him to say yes but it is not so, I did it only for him!”
 
“I fell in love with him, but when I fall in love it is not the physical attraction that matters, I see him so scared, that is, we talk a lot, I see that he needs me, look, I could find one hundred  guys better than him, but he really needs me and I cannot leave him alone, it would be very bad!”
 
“I think nobody really understands me, I try to be sweet with everyone, to make me be loved, to always be cautious, not to be carried too much by my feelings not to offend those of others, but I have the impression that they don’t give any importance to putting their feet on my feelings , they do it anyway!”
 
“When I fall in love, for me there are no half measures, but he too must be like that, and with friends it’s just the same, I have very few friends, but for them I would be willing to give even my soul, but they calculate me no more than zero, for them I’m just one of many, sometimes when some of my friends are in a bad mood because maybe the girl has treated them badly I spend hours to console them, in those moments, yes, they look for me, but they rapidly  forget me when they don’t need me. I trust them and in doing so I waste my time, because they don’t deserve it. I caught so many of those disappointments, so many of those slaps in the face that you can’t even imagine. But why am I telling you such things? It seams you can’t understand that for me it things are different, I don’t spend so many hours with him on the phone looking for sex, I don’t care about those things! I do it for him, because I love him! It’s a clean thing, sex has nothing to do with it!”
 
The exemplification could continue but these attitudes mask a certain underlying hypocrisy. I don’t mean at all that it is a deliberate and conscious hypocrisy, but it’s certainly hypocrisy, a hypocrisy that manifests itself in a spiritual narcissism for which “I’m good and THEY don’t understand me and treat me badly.” Or rather by enlarging the speech: “I’m good, unselfish, generous, shy, discreet, sensitive, careful not to hurt anyone and THEY don’t understand me, THEY are gossipy, malignant, they treat me badly, they understand whistles for flasks [Italian expression for “confuse one thing with another” because In Italian “whistles for flasks” sounds “fischi per fiaschi” two words very similar], they attribute to me motivations to which I am completely extraneous etc. etc.”.
 
There is no doubt that these attitudes are quite widespread among gay guys, they are disguises of the ego, idealizations of a self-image substantially narcissistic that aims to underline the dimension of the ego as a victim.
 
Often the guys who assume these attitudes feel victims of the guys who do not give them the expected answers in affective terms, they feel marginalized by friends on whom they projected very high expectations, they feel misunderstood and in good substance disappointed by life, but I think it is necessary to point out some things:
 
1) If a guy doesn’t give you the expected answers on the affective level, this doesn’t mean that he is disrespecting you or is treating you badly. What would you say if a guy you do not care about falls in love with you and tries to make you understand that your refusal is bad? Would you change your mind? In all likelihood, you would feel a feeling of discomfort.
 
2) If your friends don’t give you the expected answers in terms of love they are not doing anything wrong, you can, if you want, keep with them a less binding relationship (given the lack of reciprocity) but their freedom of behavior (their indifference) has nothing aggressive towards you.
 
3) Why do you try to sublimate the motivations of your behavior by eliminating the sexual motivations that are not negative things at all and constitute the deepest and most common motivations of affectionate behavior? Telling a guy, “I do it for you!” Is an attempt to feel generous on his skin.
 
4) Emotional blackmail, like “I leave you for your own good”, has the taste of hypocrisy.
 
5) It is difficult to learn to talk about sex in a serious way, but somehow we get there and, good or bad, we get also to overcome the hypocrisies in this field, but it is very difficult to learn to talk about feelings without hypocrisy, without spiritual narcissism, without sublimations.
 
We have always been used to disguising ourselves as those we are not, this can be beneficial in a society where human relationships are based on formality, on hypocrisy, and in common social relations it is almost always like that, but in affective relationships, and especially in those based on sincerity and strong and direct affective exchanges, narcissism and sublimations create major drawbacks.
 
Now try mentally to put yourself in the position of a guy who receives a declaration of love and imagine you receive two e-mails, one from a guy who uses the speech n. 1 and then another from a guy who uses the speech n. 2 and tell me what reactions come to your mind.
 
1) “I wanted to tell you something, but you don’t have to understand me badly, I’m fine with you, that is when I talk with you, I feel comfortable, I’m really fine, sometimes I think you want to open a little with me, but in the end you don’t, I do everything to put you at ease but you run away, you don’t even look at me, nevertheless I’ll tell you it the same, I love you, I don’t know what you’ll think, but I want to be there always for you, I think you can like it, I don’t know at what level, but I think it can please you.
But behind my declaration you do not have to see strange things, here sex has nothing to do, I love you on another level, it’s a serious thing, it’s a deep thing, I’m not playing. But I would like a serious answer from you, that is, I would like to understand how you see it because I want to understand if it seems strange to you, all right, let’s go on, we don’t necessarily have to be friends. I think you would be fine with me, we talked a lot, well, you understood what I wanted to say, but now give me an answer.”
 
2)” I wanted to tell you something, but you’ve already understood, I fell in love 100% with you, I think of you a thousand times a day, that is, I really want you with everything that comes after, yes, you got it right! Come on, now I said it!! Wow, now I said it! “
 
The texts of the two declarations of love are both authentic and have actually been sent to the recipients by e-mail. I know very well that sincerity is often not spontaneous. No one has sublimated and disguised his affectivity and sexuality more than I did in my youth.
 
My speech is not a moral judgment, what is a thousand miles away from my intentions, but it is only an invitation to reflect in order to avoid as much as possible the complications of victimization, spiritual narcissism and sublimation. How I would have been happy seeing such things accomplished in my youth!
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REFLECTIONS OF A GAY OVER 30

Have you ever felt tired of everything? of having the impression that you will never have any real contact with the world outside of you? of realizing that you no longer have even dreams, not even desires because the youth is gone and now you are over 30 for a while and that on the horizon there is only so much desert?

I feel the enormous difference between what my body would like and my real possibilities. I’m alone and I am aware that I will remain alone. I spent my life studying, then working and I think it will continue like this until I’m old, in practice I have not experienced any serious history, or maybe one, but then that is over, it was a flash of light in my life and I had deluded myself, or rather I had done everything to delude myself, but I knew that it couldn’t last, now I miss it but I know it is only a memory, the memory of a short period that is now over.

I always have on skype the contact of that guy, but he never enters, it is very rare that he is online, when it happens I send him a hello and he replies with a smiley face, but maybe it happens once in a month. I do a job that I don’t like and that keeps me constantly anxious, at least I’d like to have friends but I have to dedicate the time left to me to my family who have big problems both economic and of people to be assisted.

For me there are only the intervals that I pass at the PC, much time ago I used to chat, I had a blog, I wrote, now there is nothing more of all this, the blog is still there but I no more write, I don’t a chat for a very long time, I’m not talking about erotic chats but chats just to chat. I use the PC to read above all, to read scientific articles. No social network by choice, I don’t want people to stick my nose into my business. I didn’t even want to have sex, it happened before, now everything is pretty much anesthetized.

Sometimes I go to bed very tired and I don’t sleep anyway, I begin to think how it would be nice to live a love story, have a guy who loves me, who really cares about me, maybe I would be able to give that guy my soul, but I say maybe because I’m not so convinced, I think I would disappoint him in the end, I would not be able to really love him, but I pause to fantasize about how nice it would be to hug my boyfriend and see him smile, to understand that he’s there for me, that he cares about me, that I’m important to him.

Then I think I would have a thousand doubts, that I would begin to make comparisons between that guy and my dreams and I would end up destroying everything. I am alone! This is a fact, I don’t know why but I never had friends, a bit because having straight friends, for one that is not declared, it means playing a role, I have not even found one that I could really trust.

Up to 24/25 years I had a few friends, with one we often met, but then I realized I was only the second choice for him, when he couldn’t go out with the girl or other friends then he called me. In the end I didn’t hear him anymore and I didn’t even try to call him.

Where I work, there are some nice guys, but I see them too much distant, they have their dreams and they have the chance to make them come true, but I don’t envy them, I simply say that they belong to another species and live in another continent different from mine.

Sometimes, when I start thinking, I feel confused, I doubt everything, I don’t believe in anything, I let time flow in my hands because what happens, objectively, doesn’t depend on me. I look at things from the outside and, for example at work, I act like a machine without emotions, like a robot programmed to do certain things without asking any questions, like a robot that I turn on at the beginning of the working time and I turn off at the end.

I’m alone in my family but partly, because they don’t know I’m gay. With my parents there is a deep sharing of the troubles we have to face, sometimes I think that with them I could also say I’m gay, but it would be like adding another reason for anguish to those who already exist and who are many and heavy, so I keep everything for myself. I cannot add another cross on the backs of my father and my mother just because I want to have someone who knows about me, it doesn’t make any sense. I love my parents and they love me and I do not want to anguish them in any way because they have already too many problems.

I’m gay . . . mh. . . but I think that this is now over in the background, what I would like more than anything else is to rest, just sleep for many hours all in a row, I wish I could avoid to think of many things that occupy my brain, I would like a break free from worries, a few days to get away from the daily life and maybe go a day by the sea, even alone, towns on the sea are beautiful this season, the sea is so beautiful, as the oil, in the early morning with the sun rising on the horizon and slowly warming you up. How I would like to share these things and I would like to share them with that guy with whom I may have lived my only love story, how happy I would be if such a thing could happen, but life is a terrible mechanism and we are carried by forces greater than us, each one towards his destiny, forces that in some periods bring us closer and then move us away permanently.

Being gay what has it to do with all this? There is the shadow of a desire and then there is a great melancholy. Yet I’m not depressed, I know that I have many things to do, not to crown my dreams but to help my family survive and it’s precisely this that gives me the urge to move forward. When you’re a guy you learn to dream as a gay, when you grow up you have to understand that it’s just a dream. I hug you. Believe me, I’m not sad.

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