MY STORY – CRISIS OF A GAY COUPLE

Let’s come to the topic, the one that is closest to my heart. You will be scandalized by what you are going to read, everything that is written is the pure truth, I never really told anyone, but now I’m really tired, I’m already sufficiently disgusted by myself, and I think I touched a point of no return, because I don’t deserve all this at all. I firmly believe that my story has really come to an end but I still cannot decide what to do.

My partner and I have been together for 9 years, until two years ago things between us were very different, I felt loved, courted, desired and well-liked. What I cannot feel now. I have loved my partner for a very long time, I loved him with an authentic and unconditional love, accepting his faults, his paranoia, his anxieties.

In July of 2102, however, everything changes. I find out that he frequents chats such as grindr, bender planet romeo and so on. I find out that he has met a guy. I’m very upset, my odyssey begins here. We talk about, I have to get the truth out of him with my teeth, he sees me suffer, he don’t seem to care so much. I want to save the relationship, he says he is so by nature. In the meantime, he loses his job. I see him becoming colder and more and more distant. In order to keep him with me, I went down to doing things that I would never have done otherwise, because they go against my nature, for example three-way relationships, I did it because I loved him so much and I thought that if I had accepted these games he would have understood the scope of my love for him and that the serene weather for us would start again.

It was not so but quite the contrary. Although I asked him to be honest with me, to tell me if he was dating other people, that I didn’t care and I could understand him after so many years together, he always hid everything from me. Two months ago, for a case that has nothing to do with all the story, we have had a very strong confrontation in which I slammed in his face all his indifference, the fact that I feel like a person unwelcome and hardly endured in his house, that I don’t feel loved at all, that I feel deeply lonely and sad. Something clicks inside me, however, in the meantime. From that moment on he starts telling me that he’s not sure he’s in love with me, he wants some time to think about it. These have been the most terrible days and at the same time the most beneficial and healthy of my life. In those days when he was clarifying his ideas I examined many times my conscience, I understood many things and above all I realized that I was wrong. I was wrong to base my happiness on another person, I was wrong to base my world on another person, I was wrong to go down to similar compromises just to be loved by him. And I understood a lot of other things.

I realized that I don’t like the cold and false person that he is now in my regard, that all this love that I feel for him is wasted and that he doesn’t deserve it. Once I was a happy person, always cheerful, sunny, optimistic. I had very few reasons 10 years ago to be happy but I was happy all the same. Now I’m not anymore. Controlling his phone I discover continuous betrayals while, even now, with me sex has been off limits for three weeks and even more, he was cold and detached the few times we did it.

I find condoms all over the place, hidden in the bedroom. Yesterday afternoon he even came out with a box of condoms, thinking that I didn’t know that they were there. I could not resist anymore and I sent him a message where I told him to have fun wherever he was. Naturally, he closed himself up again, but something changed in me. Whereas before I felt anxious and terrified at the idea of losing him, now I would like him to tell me that everything is over between us, that I have to leave.

I’m literally disgusted of what I did and accepted just to stay with him. In all this chaos there is another person, known by me on the same chats on which he is registered, a person I had met two years ago and who spoke to me about feelings, about things I would have wanted with my boyfriend and this person now contacted me. He told me again about the things that made me think if it is really worthwhile to still be tied to a man who says he loves me and who attributes all his shortcomings to the loss of the job but instead proves to be more than active sexually and more than available to a possible story with others.

Perhaps it would be better to turn definitely page, leave him, since he doesn’t want to take the first step. I feel that the feeling I feel for him is going away and that disgust and anger are replacing love. I told him that for how I am, for my way of being, I need to be loved both physically and psychologically. I also need sex, I admit it candidly, I have never betrayed him but I cannot go on like this anymore. In this relationship I see only mistrust, anger, disgust and indifference and at the same time I realize that two years ago I met this other guy who instead deserved everything that I could give him and if in two years I never managed to get him out of my head, it means that I felt something for him and now I’m hoping I can get in touch with him again.

Why all this? Has anyone been in such situations before? What should I do? Leave him with the risk of repenting then of having done it? Have I to know and attend this other guy? Doing so in spite of what my partner thinks and giving him back the favor? Have I to wait and hope that this phase passes and that he finally realizes all that happened? But how can he not notice it? I’m 35 years old, I am beautiful, physically and inside, I’m a profound, intelligent and sensitive person, I’m sweet. I am one who doesn’t hold back, when I love I manifest my love, I give so much in a relationship. I’m determined and reliable, a cornerstone in a history. If he has not yet noticed all this, it means that he doesn’t care at all.

Three or four people have already told me that they don’t understand how a man can get tired of a handsome and young and intelligent, sensitive and sensual man and what is worse, they don’t understand why I want to remain attached to a man who so clearly treats me badly and despises me. I don’t know, I don’t understand it either. I only know that I’m full of doubts and fears.

__________

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-my-story-crisis-of-a-gay-couple

GAY COUPLE AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONING

This post is dedicated to a reflection on the conditioning, in the relationship between two gay guys, deriving from different backgrounds and different social conditions. Generally, when a gay guy falls in love with a guy, whose he doesn’t know the sexual orientation, the question that immediately arises is “is he gay or not?” If on the one hand it is true that it is a fundamental question which automatically conditions all the rest, it is also true that this is not the only question. Often, once a gay guy has ascertained that the guy he is in love with is gay too, after the first moments of enthusiasm the first perplexities arise, but not deriving from a lack of mutual sexual attraction but from the objective difficulty in building a deep relationship because of very distant starting points. Building a relationship between two gay guys is not something essentially sexual, it is necessary to build a relationship between two people that is made of mutual trust, affection and respect. Two variables intervene at this point, which in general are often neglected in the initial phase:

1) The difference in education
2) The difference in social condition

In order to build a relationship of serious love, a condition of equality is indispensable and forms the basis for the subsequent building together. The greater the differences in education and social condition are, the more difficult it is to start something really shared on an equal footing. In any case it is possible to do so but on the basis of a renunciation of one’s role and habits on the part of one of the two guys, made in order to avoid to condition the other, but these sacrifices often hide mental reservations that sooner or later come to the surface with all their disruptive power.

Let’s start from the differences in education between guys who live more or less the same social condition. Among them the differences are manifested in the habits of life, in greater or lesser freedom in behavior and in discourses, in the greater or less inhibition in facing sexuality. It is a question of conditioning but the awareness of one’s homosexuality almost always leads to overcoming educational constraints or to devalue them from within, in the name of the possibility of living an emotional life as a couple. A classic example: the guys who have had a religious education. These guys, when they overcome the problem of religious conditioning, either go beyond radically or remain in that environment in a formal way, and in this choice the education has a fundamental meaning. Differences in the social level are a real and powerful barrier that can arise between two gay guys and can prevent them from living a real life as a couple.

Below are some of the typical symptoms of social distress through very indicative phrases:

1) When I go out with his friends I don’t feel at ease, it’s another world
2) He with my friends is not at ease, I don’t know what takes him, he seems clumsy
3) My friends don’t like him, he talks about things from another planet
4) He has a concept of fun that I don’t understand, for him it’s a ritual, according to me he just acts a role.

Social unease manifests first in external things and then gradually into the others:

a) What was the need for sunglasses of 300 euros?
b) We don’t see each other for a month because he has to go on holiday with his parents, but I think he prefers so
c) But what do I care to see the photos he did in New York!
d) When I propose to go to take a pizza somewhere that I like, he always distorts the mouth
e) At his home? With his mother talking with her sibilant “s”? Let’s forget it!
f) He tells me that I have the southern accent
g) He talks too much about things that don’t interest me
h) He tells me that he would be willing to do anything for me, but he went on vacation with his family
i) Is an engineer, ok, but why does he have to repeat it a thousand times?
j) He tells me that I should get back to school but he’s not telling it for my sake, it’s because he’s ashamed of me

Very often in the conversation there are misunderstandings related to the fact that the two communication codes are different. Just an example: a guy can say anything about his parents but he will not tolerate the negative opinion of of his partner on his parents.
The first guy speaks badly of his father: “My father has always done his thing, he says that it is obvious because he is the one who pays. I cannot stand him, since he knows I’m gay he’s really hateful.”
The second guy adds his critique: “Actually, even Monday he behaved just like an asshole”
The first guy starts to defend his father: “But if didn’t do so people would put him under their feet!”

The true sign of social unease manifests through the absence of the design of a common life, through the underlining that the relationship will go on “as long as it lasts”, “as long as we want”, but also and over all through the absence of total mutual sincerity, as if the other guy were a person with which we share, and only partially, only sexuality. This is the so-called false couple, that is, the couple who shares only a few moments in life and keeps all the rest separate. Often the false couple on the sexual level works well, its weakness emerges only in long times when in moments of eclipse of the sexual interest it is understood that there is not a real community of life.

A characteristic of false couples is the declared idea of maintaining an “open and free” relationship, an idea behind which there is an affective emptiness and a substantial willingness not to be bound.

Often, during the discussions, the boys who find themselves in a false couple tend to maintain their positions and not to give in, the discussion becomes harsh and in principle and it is not rare that they arrive at even bitter quarrels because there is no mutual esteem that is the basic element of a couple’s life.

The rupture of the false couple is in the great majority of cases definitive and not remediable, while in true couples who share deep levels of affection the crisis is overcome and is in fact an element far from negative for the growth of common life.

Lads of high social level are generally unwilling to sacrifice their social position or put it in brackets in the name of homosexuality. There are significant exceptions but, despite everything, what matters most is not how A feels the problem but how B believes that A feels it and often misunderstandings are inevitable.

The real problem is to be two at a substantial level, to have the same perspectives, to behave like an “we” putting aside the individualistic dimension.

Particular attention must be paid to the problem, typical of the couple, of constructing a common sexual world by also putting aside one’s own needs in relation to the other. Shared sexuality means common sexual fantasies, it means living a sexuality built together, discovered together, in conditions of absolute parity.

I happened to see guys who have been living together for years for whom sexuality is in the most evident way an emotional exchange that is aimed at showing the other guy that you want to share his life with him in the deepest sense. It must be said, however, that those guys had realized a real project of common life and that the difficulties linked to misunderstandings by families and by the social environment had only put their relationship to the test and substantially stabilized it.

The sexuality experienced in these terms is really a way of loving that has realized a true community of couple. Getting to these results is not easy and when there are problems of very different education or very different social level overcoming the difficulties requires very strong feelings and very determined choices.

____________

If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-couple-and-socio-economic-conditioning

A NON-STANDARD GAY COUPLE

Hello Project, this morning I’m happy! It doesn’t happen often, but today I’m happy and this is because I made love with my puppy! A love that could seem made out more of cuddles than sex, if we want, because my puppy is a bit particular with his behavior and then you have to be careful not to force him, but he knows it and tries to adapt, but it was beautiful anyway. I didn’t really expect it, in fact the last time I had heard him on the phone, it had seemed a bit chilly and then it had been almost three weeks.

When I feel him cold, when I feel that he cuts short, I feel uncomfortable and then I distance myself, the first days I’m glad not to hear it, because I think I would have nothing to say but then I start to miss him and then I start thinking about him a thousand times a day, it is a sort of abstinence syndrome, but not from sex, but from its presence that is able to make me feel good. I know that he has his life, that he sees other guys, whom I also know, that he makes love with them, but this doesn’t upset me, I think it is also right because the relationship he can have with me, after all, cannot be truly capable of satisfying all his needs.

in recent days he came to my mind on many occasions: places where we had been together, a way of smiling, a joke, in short, I really needed him. This morning I go to have breakfast at the bar and I see him in front of the front door of my house. He asks me if I’m busy, I answer him with a toothy smile, we go home and he wants to be cuddled, I hug him tight and I can see he’s happy, he says, “Do you still want me?” I answer than I loved only one guy all my life long and then looks at me puzzled and tells me: “Only me? Never with anyone else? Has nobody ever tried with you?” I say to him: “Only you! Never anyone else!” It almost seems like he does not believe it, but I really fell in love just once in my life. With him I lived the most beautiful experiences of my life, for almost three years, then, in a sense it’s over, but I think that in reality it never ended, he has had other guys, but he kept anyway a relationship with me and very seriously, he never archived me.

Every now and then he came to me, more than to have sex because after all it’s a bit different, just to be together in intimacy, we cuddled: dinner together, then cuddling endlessly, he curled up tight to me like a cat, I hugged him tightly, there was also a bit of sex, of that not dangerous, and it was just fine like that. I’m still in love with him. His way of looking for affection melts me inside, I don’t think I would ever be able to stay with another guy, also because, despite the different behaviors, his sexuality feels very similar to mine. If I see a guy I like in the street, it’s because he has some detail that reminds me of him. He is the best for me and then, what has always struck me is that he doesn’t forget me, he doesn’t archive me and when he is with me he is happy to stay there and I see it. I would like to live with him but I would suffocate him and he needs freedom. Deep down he knows that I love him and that this will not change, it’s something certain, so he feels desired and when we’re together he is 100% himself, he doesn’t play a role. Today we were embraced for more than an hour and he fell asleep in my arms. I felt like I was in heaven, I stroked his hair and he would open his eyes every now and then, smile at me a little and then hugged me again.

Now he’s gone and maybe I will not hear him for two or three weeks but I know he’s there and then sooner or later, he will contact me. I feel in love and I think it’s important for him too. He trusts me, knows he is safe with me and on the other hand I trust him too. Sometimes he scrambled me but they were things that didn’t last long and then everything passed. I’m so happy, he’s the guy I want, only him! And he is there, in his way, but he is there and he has never cheated me. In short, Project, today I’m happy! I don’t know if this way of living is more or less classic among gays, but that’s what happens and it’s beautiful! If you want, publish the email.
Carlo

I add a second email from Carlo, that arrived in the evening.

Today I have been thinking about my boyfriend for hours, I know that he is not my boyfriend and that he will probably never be the boyfriend of anyone, because a guy like him cannot be caged even out of love. I never understood what love was, the real one, the one that makes you suffer, until I met him and entered a totally new dimension and the novelty consisted in the fact that our love was mutual, but mutual in the true sense of the word, as I had never happened before and it never happened to me later, it was true love but it was not exclusive and even on this we understood each other very quickly and without any problem.

We are not a family, we will never be a family, to be a family it is a common opinion that an essentially exclusive relationship with another person is needed, but we have never felt this need, and then it is not true that the exclusivity of the relationship is necessary to provide mutual assistance if needed. I would do anything for my puppy and I think he would do the same for me too. Sometimes it has already happened. I call him puppy and he calls me exactly the same way . . . no roles at all! Our strength is reciprocity. He knows that when he looks for me he makes me happy and I know he loves me, that in his world I have a place is somehow important. I don’t care if it’s the first place, I know it’s not, I’m interested in the fact that I have my place inside his heart and he will continue to be there over the years and so far it has been like that.

My boyfriend fascinates me because he is not only a handsome guy but he represents the incarnation of my ideal guy and then because he understands me without needing me to speak and respects me. On the other hand, I recognize his great dignity, his great basic honesty, his true morality. Not what people mean by morality but morality understood as the ability to not subordinate emotional relationships to anything else. The emotional relationships for him are in the first place and must be managed without compromises.

We like to speak clearly, always, even when the discourse becomes unpleasant, but even in the less pleasant discourses respect was never lacking, his reproaches were not reproaches made out of hate but out of love. So many times he put me in front of my hypocrisies, unmasked before my eyes so many of my little falsehoods, so many my inabilities to be sincere to the end. So many times I must have made him really angry, he must have considered me a mediocre one, ready for any compromise, and basically he told me it explicitly, but he told me it just to make me think, to take away the classic slice of ham from of my eyes. Above all, he has never made me miss his presence, sometimes I don’t see him for weeks and if we greeted each other affectionately I’m calm and I know that I will hear him sooner or later and that it is only a matter of time, but if we have greeted badly, then he gets soon in touch with me or sends me a smiley face by sms, and he does it to free my head from the idea that something between us has gone into crisis.

I discovered sexuality with him. I used to think that I would at most be able to want a guy and that maybe that guy would not have said no, but anyway I saw myself in the role of the lover and the other as someone who in the end doesn’t say no. I didn’t really consider the idea of being able to be sexually desired by another guy and instead it is precisely what happened with him. That we loved each other I had understood it for quite some time, but he wanted me at least as much as I wanted him. It was exactly this that amazed me, and it was a real and very strong sexual desire that not only didn’t undermine our emotional relationship but made it much more complete and profound. For me it was not obvious to put together the categories of sex and of love and it was my puppy who taught me how to do it. Let it be clear that I call him puppy because he makes me a huge tenderness (as I think it’s for him too) but I know very well that he is a man, an adult who makes his choices and that several times has put me in crisis by opening my eyes on many aspects of reality that I had not very clear.

I really like his way of living sex: it is not hypocritical, it is extremely direct and sometimes I see that he is just pushed by an irresistible enthusiasm but always with sweetness, with a smile, with self-irony. When we embrace, he abandons himself completely in my arms and yet he has enormous strength when he takes me in his arms. The best thing is to stay hugged naked, the feeling of intimacy and mutual trust is very strong and heady. In his way of having sex there is never anything schematic and prefabricated, he is totally spontaneous and then he is very attentive to my reactions, tries to make me feel as happy as possible, sometimes, when we are a bit tired, I follow him less, and he says to me: “Come on, come here!” and he smiles at me, squinting and I melt completely.

So many times in our evenings of pampering we stop to talk and I’m delighted to listen to him. He reasons in a very different way from mine, but, in my opinion, more linear, more direct and even more profound way. Sometimes he has days of profound melancholy and we remain embraced to caress each other in silence and slowly he becomes calm and for me it is as if I saw the sun rise. We are not a couple, I believe that for us a model of matrimonial type would not work at all, we have no bonds of any kind beyond the fact that we love each other. Between us there is a loyalty, which is that of continuing to love each other, even if each of us has his way. Would I like to live with him? Of course, but it is something that would not work and that would risk undermining the substance of our relationship, which has its time and its ways to be realized and which cannot be reduced to schemes of any kind. I spent many hours thinking about my puppy and I feel happy, I know that he is there and will not go away, I had never experienced such a beautiful and above all such a true thing!

__________

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

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

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