SEXUAL ABUSE AND OBSESSIVE CONTENTS

The connection between sexual abuse and obsessive content related to sexuality deserves further study. I will consider two different situations, the first concerning a gay guy who has been abused in childhood and who presents a gay sexuality deeply conditioned by the experience of the abuse, the second concerning a straight guy who has been abused in adolescence and has developed a gay-themed OCD (I will only deal with the case of a OCD that had already manifested before the abuse). The situations, despite their substantial differences, have a fundamental aspect in common: the identification of the victim with the abuser. Let’s start with the first situation.

1) A gay guy, who has been sexually abused in childhood, has a gay sexuality that in the first meetings with his partners does not present particular problems but, if the relationship deepens, the guy gets to confess to his partner that he has been sexually abused, nevertheless he does not tend to feel as the victim but almost as the co-responsible if not as the promoter of the abuse, he tries anyhow to involve his partner in his obsessive fantasies concerning the abuse with insistently (obsessively) repeated questions about the circumstances of the abuse, asking him what he would do if he found himself in similar situations; faced with evasive or patently disinterested responses, the guy seems incredulous and attributes the lack of interest in sharing that particular sexual fantasies on the part of his partner to an alleged moralism of the partner himself, however the insistence does not cease even in the face of an obvious lack of interest but becomes even more pressing, as if the guy wanted to obtain a confession analogous to his own. The obsessive insistence on the partner goes as far as to induce him, in more or less long time, to distance himself and interrupt the relationship.

It is evident that the memory of the abuse has become a sexual archetype from which it is difficult to get free, and here a mechanism characteristic of the abuse is triggered: the victim imagines himself in the role of the abuser, situations of discomfort even very strong are created this way, because the victim sees himself as a potential pedophile and develops pedophile fantasies in which he assumes, in an oscillating manner, both the role of victim and abuser.

Basically the projective identification with the abuser and his behaviors favors guilt feelings and strongly weakens the possibility of rationalizing the memory of the abuse and of living a sexuality not deeply conditioned by the abuse itself.

2) In the case of the straight guy with a pre-existing gay themed OCD, the abuse in adolescence creates objective complications that cannot be ignored because it does nothing but feed the OCD, even though it cannot actually destroy the guy’s straight sexuality. The mechanism of identification with the abuser, in this case, cannot lead to true gay sexual fantasies (because the guy is a straight guy) but only to obsessions and gay compulsions which, as is usually the case in the OCD, remain, at most, at the level of masturbation and, in almost all cases, never materialize in real sexual relationships. The gay-themed compulsions and obsessions are perceived as deeply disturbing compared to the true sexuality that is and anyway remains straight.

The identification with the abuser can however be more complex when the abuser is not really a gay man but he is a married man or a man who has children, that is when the abuser is or appears to be a straight adult, with whom the straight guy with OCD can easily identify on the basis of the following projective mechanism: ”He is straight because he is married and has children, but if he abused me it means he also had gay fantasies and could not refrain from putting them into practice, but I am straight too, because I have a girlfriend and I have sex with her, but I also have gay fantasies, so in the end I won’t be able to stop myself and I’ll end up needing to have sex with a man. How can I be with a girl if I already desire men and know that sooner or later I will betray her with a man? I am fooling my girlfriend into believing that I am straight, but it is not so!”

In this case the identification mechanism acts through different paths but it is no less disruptive than in the case of the gay guy and creates the risk, sometimes lived obsessively, but objectively not very concrete, to lead to the breakdown the relationship with the girl.

The deeper identification with the abuser leads to two closely related consequences:

1) the responsibility of the abuser appears to be much lighter;

2) even if in such situations it’s evident that in any case no responsibility can be charged on the victim, the victim himself overestimates his own presumed responsibility up to the point to consider his own behavior decisive, and consequently to experience guilt feelings objectively unjustified.

In the two cases presented, the most suitable conditions to overcome obsessive thinking are realized when the guys have their ”real” emotional life, that is:

1) in the first case, when the gay guy lives not a unilateral falling in love but an authentic love story with a guy with whom a relationship is created that is completely independent of the fantasies related to abuse, fantasies which can also remain but marginalized and spontaneously not shared, fantasies that are not considered as a taboo but are very rarely argument of conversation. In essence the stories that materialize or tend to materialize only or mainly in terms of more or less spontaneous sharing of fantasies linked to abuse are not true love stories and therefore do not contribute to the overcoming of obsessive thinking;

2) in the second case, when the straight guy lives a love story in which the girl knows that the guy has been abused and realizes that the obsessive thought linked to the OCD can cause the guy to question his heterosexuality. The OCD has a strong conditioning capacity in two cases:

a) when the girl tries to ignore obsessive contents, pretending that they do not exist;
b) when the girl emphasizes the obsessive contents and offers them a sound box that amplifies their effect.

OCD must be tackled with awareness but without dramatization.

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If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum:  http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-sexual-abuse-and-obsessive-contents

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GAY COUPLE AND CATS

And well … and what have I to say? … I’m ashamed to talk about these things, these are our own things, they are private things and then why should I talk about it with you? So you write them and then someone reads them? … and what does Peppino say? Did you ask Peppino about? …

Well, he always says yes, he never said no to anyone … he’s a good man, no, no … I really can say this … he’s a really good man … but sometimes he exaggerates a bit … now in our building people take him for crazy, but he’s not crazy at all … no, no … it all started with the story of cats … yes, yes, cats … we had a cat, just one, to keep a cat at home is something that many do, then he came with another cat, a newborn kitten, he says that that the kitten was abandoned, had no mother, and would have made a bad end … and what does he do? … He thinks that he can be the mother … yes, yes, the mother of the kitten, yes … do you believe that a newborn kitten is like an adult cat? … he had to nurse the little kitten with a dropper and not once … seven or eight times a day … in short, the story was that he put aside whatever else and took care only of cats …

Then, when the little kitten had not grown up yet he brought me another one … and what was I supposed to do? We took also this third cat! And what should we do? I told him … and what do you want to do? Did you become a cat-keeper? You must think of me, not of cats! If I was a cat you would take care of me even more than how you really do … but now you have to think of cats! … And he felt like a beaten dog and I said: And smile a little! On! You are my cat-keeper! … In short … we have arrived to have eight or ten cats at home … eight! Did you understand? … Alright then! But this way he was happy … and what had I to do … in short, we took them …

Then another story came to his mind … that there were other cats at the municipal park and that nobody thought of them … so I said … “Listen Peppi’! … but it is not that now we want to bring home all the cats in the city?” And he said: “Absolutely not! … You don’t even have to think about it … ” … but the fact is that now the little kittens had grown big and he used to go out in the morning to bring food to cats at the municipal park … and it is not that he brought the leftovers … no , no … in the evening he cooked … yes, yes! … He cooked especially for cats and all good stuff that I would have eaten it too …

Now you know how it is people here … in short, that they are always busy but not with their own business. They saw him go out with the bags in the morning and they all knew where he was going … when he passed by they said: There, see there? The cat-keeper is there! … and I had become the friend of the cat-keeper.

At the beginning he used to leave the food for cats near the building in the center of the municipal park … then once they put a fine on him … because they said that he used to dirty everything … in short, that there was danger that the rats would arrive … in short, 150 euros! Did you understand?

But do you believe that those of the municipality have ended it so? … certainly not, that those employ so many people, a lot of people that are there without doing anything … and because people called him “cat-keeper” … what did they do those good people of the municipality? They sent the social worker … a woman … but I told her … “But what are you looking for here?” That I never thought it was for cats, in short you have understood what I thought … and what had I to think? .. So she began a preach … and hygiene … and the house dirty … and spy behaviors … exactly so … but what? That it was she the spy … not my little Peppino, who has always been a good Christian! …

So you know what the social worker did? … she gave me a book … and said that the municipality had done it … but now it was not really a book … in short, a small thing, a booklet … the Handbook of Eco-cat-keeper! Eh! Yes, yes! … the Eco-cat-keeper Manual … did you saw what they do at the municipality? … and then people say that municipal employees do nothing! … So just to start the conversation I told her … “But if you ever have to give me the cat feeder handbook you would have to avoid arguments such as spy behaviors”, but she was getting nervous, in short, we took this booklet … but that was a crazy thing! And it says he had to clean up before putting the food … and then he had to collect everything, everything … saucers … in short, everything … and it said that if the cats left excrements nearby he had to remove them with the shovel, and had to put them into a closed bag, but then it says that you cannot throw such waste in the dumpster … in short, what had he to do? Had he to bring excrements home?

Now they have made that law that if you have a dog and the dog poops on the ground you have to collect it from the ground… and that’s okay … but now also that of cats? But how is it that before, when Peppino did not go there, there were excrements on all sides and no one worried … and now that he goes there the social worker comes out of the blue? She certainly doesn’t go there to clean, she only comes here to annoy us …

Three or four months ago Peppino got sick and was hospitalized for 15 days … My god! How terrible have been those 15 days! … I didn’t understand anything about cats … he was at the hospital, but he didn’t worry about what illness he had … no! He thought only of cats … do you understand? … And what could I do? … in the morning and in the evening two hours and two hours with him at the hospital and all the other time I was cooking for the cats, to keep those at home, that those were about ten, and then I had to go to the municipal park … to bring food to the cats that were there … and clean up first and clean up after …

And then there was a policeman at the park … who was there just because he had to check that I did everything according to the cat book … and what do you want to do? … there are so many jobs in this world … and he had to control me … he was always there!

Then Peppino came out of the hospital and thank God everything went well … and I felt happy! Yes, I had some little things to do but he was the chief of the army! He took all decisions … you know those things that you have to understand if the cat is sick … if you have to take it to the vet … that little pension money we get monthly we spent it all to feed the cats and take them to the vet …

But now all this story what does it have to do with you? … Ah, ok, … Now, look around! … Are there cats at home? … Neither one! Peppino took them to the board … as there are the boards for Christians … there are also for cats … and do you know how he was convinced? … Well that’s another good story … in short, one day another social worker comes … that when she said “social worker” I was already closing the door in her face … I said to her: But another time with the history of cats? She looked at me and said: “What?” … the social worker of history of cats had nothing to do with her! …

She told me that it was for an application that Mr. Giuseppe had sent to the municipality … but what application? I didn’t understand anything! I told her: “Excuse me … but what question? I don’t know anything!” She pulled out a card, which was just as Peppino writes. So in the end she told me that he would have to show up at the hospital’s pediatrics on Monday morning and she left me a card … then she looked at me and told me: “But did you understand correctly?” Exactly her words … And I replied that I am an old man, and I’m also an invalid, but I’m not stupid … well … and so she’s gone …

When Peppino came home with the bags of cats, looking at that card he become more and more cheerful and then he explained it to me … he said he had sent the application to be a volunteer at the hospital … I told him: “But what can you do? You’re not a doctor, you’re not a nurse … you cannot do anything! … but what are you going to do there? You can only annoy them” … I told him just like that … well, you have to see how he became dark, it seemed that the world had collapsed on him … and what had I to do? … well, it was too hard for me to see him this way and so I told him a little bit of good things, you know, what you tell when you have to be forgiven … I told him he was a good man … that Peppino is really a good man, that it’s always better for Christians that for cats … that also those are poor beasts … however, but the Christians are another thing! Then I told him: Would you like a coffee? … We never quarrel, but when there has been some disagreement … because in many years there has been some disagreement … when we made peace we had a cup of coffee together … In short, we had this coffee and he was newly all happy … that when Peppino is in a good mood it’s a beautiful thing to see! …

Now he didn’t know anymore what he had to do with cats … those at the municipal park were alone before and would have been alone even after … but he sent a nice letter to the social worker and explained to her everything clearly, that he couldn’t anymore care of the cats and that she should have taken care of the cats herself … the social worker! She would have to became cat-keeper herself! Then he thought of our cats … I told him: let’s keep one! We have always kept a dozen cats at home … even they are beasts deserving care! … And he told me that cats carry diseases and that you cannot work at the hospital and keep cats at home … and now the world has turned up-down!

So he did so much and said so much, that our dozen cats have been settled all of them: three or four by people in the building … he said that so he could see them, four or five other, the younger ones, by our friends and two or three to the sister. Those he had given the sister were those who were the sick ones and had to be more looked after … I will not tell you how the sister reacted! She said: “Do you want to give me some cats? … but at least give me two cats cats! Not those who can’t even stand up! But Peppino … was about to devour his sister! “You must love the beasts, that if you treat a beast this way, when it will be your time the others will treat you the same way!” … well in the end the sister has taken the old cats … and now Peppino has already gone to annoy his sister many times because he had to know how the cats were! …

Well, then he did the medical examination … they found a little bit of high blood pressure and the doctor said he was lucky that they measured the pressure and now he takes some pills … some small ones for the pressure … anyway they accepted his application and considered him suitable … He was frightened that they could not accept him for the story of the pressure … then they made him attend a course … and what an interesting thing it was … I too have looked at all the things they gave him … you know, all the things of hygiene and then how the hospital is organized and how to receive the relatives … in short, all such things … but there were a lot of bad things about the diseases of children … there were certain … my God! But in short, you must know some things if you want to be a volunteer … and then if he has to work at the hospital he must know how to behave … then, after the month of the course, because it lasted four weeks and he was there three afternoons a week …

In short, after the course I don’t tell you what he did on the first day he went there, he had not slept for three days, always thinking he had to go there … he was all stunned so that in the morning it was I the one who had to make coffee, he could hardly stand up and I said, “But now that you go to the hospital why don’t let yourself be hospitalized? But don’t you see that you cannot stand up!” But he looked like a spring, jumped on one side and the other … I accompanied him to the hospital but he didn’t let me in and we said goodbye by the gate. I went home and I prepared lunch … something very appetizing … because he was doing something important … at least that was how he considered it …

When he got home he couldn’t refrain from talking … and this and that … he had found what he wanted to do … that we don’t have children, that if we had had children, they would have become old too … that he was at ease among the children that they called him grandfather and he was happy … but also told me how some sick children were … My God! How does Peppino find the courage to stay there? Those things are bad, are just things that make you heart hurt … what you say? … an old man … and that’s fine! But a baby! Jesus! But why? Those haven’t even started …

So let’s leave aside the bad stuff … in short, Peppino was really happy … then he got the idea! He looked at me and told me: But why don’t you come you too tomorrow? I thought he wanted me to go with him … and I said: “Okay, let’s go tomorrow together” … And he smiled at me but you had to see! He made himself red rand gave me a kiss … something that is really rare between us … I was asking myself: “How is all this history?” Then I understood … Peppino wanted me to became a volunteer too! … but I hadn’t understood anything! … and now? And what could I do? I couldn’t tell him: Look! You didn’t understand anything, I thought I had to accompany you and not that I had to do what you do … And no! And how do you do? A thing like that? … and no! Peppino a thing expected and I … what had I to do? … So I told him that the next day I would send the application form. He was happy … but now, you don’t have to tell Peppino about this misunderstanding … no! Otherwise you put me in trouble! You don’t have to write this! If you don’t want to make me really angry! … So, we understood each other? … okay …

So I was saying that then I sent the application form but I have not been considered suitable … now if it’s good or not good I don’t know, but in the end I think I would have been well there … yes, yes … ok, it’s over this way … all right … well I had done it for him … but I too somehow liked it, before I didn’t have such idea, but then, slowly … So now Peppino goes there three times in the morning and three times in the afternoon and I stay at home … I have to go to the municipal park to take care of cats there … but he bought me a plastic suit … when I come back I have to wash it right away … you know, the hygiene! … but now it’s me the one who takes care of cats … and do you know how he calls me? When he comes home he tells me: “You are my handsome cat-keeper!” … And smiles happy … and what had we to do? But now he’s really happy …

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If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum:  http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-couple-and-cats

GAY COUPLE WITHOUT CONSTRAINTS

Hi Project,
tonight I feel overwhelmed by thoughts of tenderness. My ex called me this afternoon to tell me that he wanted to make love with me. It’s not a strange request, sometimes it happens. He came to my house, as beautiful as the sun, we are not kids, I am 42 and he is 31, but if you saw him you would be entranced. I think I’ve never seen a nicer guy! I don’t describe the evening, you can only imagine it, to say that it was sex it is reductive, I would say that it was just a form of total tenderness, of intimacy, of wanting to be there. We are not a couple, Project, he has his life, he sees other guys, but I don’t think he is acting with them as he does with me. The meaning of his making love is never reductive, it involves you.

Generally, years ago, after having spent an evening making love with me, he experienced moments of rethinking, rejection and deep melancholy. Maybe it happened this time too, but it was a barely perceptible melancholy, we went together to get a pizza, a very rare event for us. He didn’t want to be accompanied home (he lives very close to my house). The atmosphere was very sweet, perfect. I looked at him, I was enchanted, I looked at his clear eyes, I listened to his voice, I saw him much less neurotic than other times, a bit melancholic but also available to smile at least a little.

I wondered how it is possible that he finds gratifying to make love with me, whot is certainly not the best option. It is true that he has other guys, but he doesn’t belong to anyone, he needs to be accepted, wanted for what he is. Now in my room there is his scent and I feel happy. Years ago we have been together, like a classic couple, but only for eight months, but in substance, later, we never separated. He calls me when he wants and knows that I would never say no to him, not out of generosity towards him, but because I’m fine with him, I’m totally fine. I’m not jealous, I’m looking for love and I don’t think that the fact that he loves others succeeds in stealing something from me, and in fact every time we see each other we don’t have to patch anything up because there’s never been a rip.

I cannot say that he “knows that I have always been faithful to him”, because this expression is meaningless, he has been my only true friend, partner, and lover, for years now, in my life there is no one else, and my faithfulness costs me nothing, it is something natural, I’m not searching for experiences with other guys, I know I will not lose him, I know that sooner or later he will contact me again and I don’t feel at all alone. He treats me with respect and affection, he knows that he can trust me! When I really needed him, he was next to me.

The sex, the real one, that is, what makes you feel the guy really close, I learned it from him and he had patience because I was a problematic learner. He tells me that I don’t put him in a crisis because I never say no and at the same time I do not give sex an absolute value. He tells me that in a couple, a guy fixed with sex is enough, but if I make comparisons between his way of being fixed with sex and the way of considering the sex of some that I knew before him, the difference seems to me stratospheric. He asks, he insists, but he doesn’t force me, he tells me he wants to see me convinced. Lately he also sometimes tells me incidentally that he loves me and such things are new and somewhat unexpected, but he never tells me it when we have sex.

It’s been ten years since I started to hope him to tell me “I love you!” And now it begins to happen. He asks me if I would do the same things I do with him with other guys, he asks me such questions because he knows the answer very well: he is he and the rest doesn’t exist, it is not a way of speaking. Today he told me something that I liked very much: “in sex, the best thing is to see the other who lets himself go totally freely”. He in sex is loose and spontaneous, unpredictable, I’m sometimes tired, not because of him but because I’ve worked all day, and he understands it and tells me he doesn’t want to force me to do anything I don’t want to do, and it’s exactly so and so we just stay in bed until we fall asleep.

So many times I feel full of complexes in front of of him, as if I were not able to truly correspond to his needs, because if it is true that I never say no, I never even take the initiative. I know that he also needs something else and I don’t have to be possessive. Sometimes I thought that, paradoxically, in my way of having sex, he could especially like the hesitations, the indecision, his ability to be a teacher, which he does with extreme sweetness. The early days I feared that he might get nervous if sometimes I said no, and sometimes it happened, then over the years he no longer limited himself to asking me to understand him, but he was the first to understand me and avoid insisting. Our relationship has been going on for more than ten years and shows no sign of weariness. I still have the fear of disappointing him, and it is in a sense symmetrical to his fear of insisting too much.

I don’t know if it has been him who has changed me or it was me who have changed him, probably both are true. Apparently our relationship is based on sex, but things are much more complex. When he calls me he tells me that he wants to be with me, that he has his life but that he doesn’t want to be without me, because he doesn’t see reasons to limit himself, since it’s he who wants it. He does not really like stupid speeches, those that people do just to say something, if he has something important to tell me about, he doesn’t use half words. Sometimes, years ago, it happened that he got angry with me, now it almost never happens, he just desists, but without claims or frustration. I just wish he smiled more, because he’s always serious, he always has a veil of melancholy in his face.

He has achieved great professional successes and in his world he is an esteemed person, yet he doesn’t give these successes any value, he sees them as a way not substantially different from others to earn a living, it is as if his life were elsewhere, especially in the world of affections, but in that world has received a lot of rejections and has encountered a lot misunderstandings. Frankly I cannot understand how a guy can do reject someone like him, perhaps it is precisely the attempt to force things and to build with him a classic couple relationship that eventually destroys the relationship itself. If you ask him for an absolute monogamy, you try to put him on a leash and certainly love cannot be built on obligations.

If you don’t ask him anything he is likely to give you his soul, but if you try to constrain him in some way, then he goes away and doesn’t come back anymore. I don’t understand jealousy, Project, to love and to possess are very different things. I love him, my friends tell me that I’m happy with too little things, but it’s a stupid phrase, I love him, I want to see him smile, I want him to be happy, I want the veil of melancholy that he carries become thinner and thinner, until it disappears completely. It took me many years to understand what I was looking for and to detach myself from models that substantially are not mine.

If our relationship really went into crisis, if there were any real misunderstandings, then yes I would feel bad, but such things never happened. In many things he is very different from me, I am calm, often undecided, I am used to long times, he is a decisionist, instinctive, neurotic, anyway we have been for many years a point of reference for each other. He always told me about the guys he fell in love with, and basically he knew that nothing would change between us.

He never told me that he was in love with me, he just shyly starts to tell me he loves me, but I know it’s different, and it’s not different in terms of sex, I think the real difference is in terms of acceptance. The guys he had fallen in love with wanted to change him at their image and likeness, he, after all, would have been forced to play a role in front of them. I want him as he is because he wanted our relationship founded on total clarity: “I tell you what I am, if you want me, take me like I am, otherwise it is better that each one goes his way.” Now after so many years I feel him closer than ever before!

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If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-couple-without-constraints

GAYS AND SEXUAL EDUCATION

This post will try to summarize the effects of sexual education on gay sexuality.

First of all it is necessary to define the concept of sexual education. We start from a premise: the development of studies indicates that sexuality has a genetic-epigenetic base which is substantially defined already in the uterus and at most in the perinatal period. This genetic-epigenetic imprint determines not only the sex, that is, gender belonging in anatomical and physiological terms, but also the gender identity, that is, the perception of gender and sexual orientation.

The awareness of sexuality, its models, the more or less repressed manifestations of sexuality over the years, and the consequences on an individual psychological level, are instead largely determined by that familiar and social interaction, which we can call “sexual education” and which is not limited to just a single part of life, but follows the evolution of the individual according to the progressing of age.

The fact that sexuality, understood in its most profound aspects, is closely connected with the affectivity induces to consider sex education as an integral part of affective education.

A concept, in the educational field, should never be forgotten: education acts on the basis of an individual biological genetic-epigenetic substratum but is also linked to the stages of development, to possible pathologies and many other factors. Education means to develop the potential of an individual “respecting first of all the biological identity”. A good gardener knows that by placing an apple tree in the ideal conditions for the cultivation of an apricot tree, not only we will not be able to obtain apricots from the apple tree, but it will suffer a lot and may even die. Cultivating a tree means understanding first of all what tree it is and then providing it with the appropriate care for that specific tree. This is also true for people.

Let’s start from the family dimension, i.e. from emotional-sexual education inside the family.

The family is the first environment in which a child begins to build relationships. In order to begin to feel an affective gratification, the child must perceive the sense of acceptance and affectionate care from the parents. If the child is the subject of confrontation (unwanted children, doubtful parenthood, a child that has become an object of contention between parents and grandparents or between the parents themselves), he easily becomes aware that he’s not the center of family life and begins to experience the sensation of marginality and abandonment yet in tender age.

Perceiving the disagreement between the parents is inherently traumatic and transmits automatically, by imitation, a model of behavior that is not emotional but competitive, stimulates aggressiveness in one direction and sense of frustration in the other. The child also instinctively senses the discrepancy between words and behavior. Cuddling a child for a while and then leaving him alone in the walker or in front of the television not only causes a sense of abandonment but also provides an initial model of falsehood: “I love you so much, but you must keep calm and stay aside because I have other things to do!” The speech is basically inconsistent and false because it brings together declarations of affection and behaviors that show disinterest.

Often the frustrations of parents, their claiming attitudes, their blaming of this or that, their justifying only themselves, transmit to the child the feeling of unreliability of the parent who begins to be a faltering reference point. Nothing is worse than raising your voice to impose your point of view, and I don’t even want to talk about the possible physical violence in the family, which is experienced by the child in a devastating way: a father who tugs at his mother, who slaps her, a mother who plays hysterical scenes and screams at her husband, represent models that the child will certainly internalize, or by imitation or contrast, identifying, according to the situations, as an aggressive person or as a victim, and this will move the child away from the emotional contact, which is the true purpose of emotional education.

There are several other behaviors, apparently neutral, which transmit a sense of insecurity to the child:

1) A parent who speaks in the singular setting himself against the other (“I … while your mother …”) . The use of “we/us” conveys the idea of affective family, harmony and solidarity.

2) To talk too often about money or about who brings home money, or about social hierarchies that don’t see parents at the same level.

3) To speak badly about other people the child knows.

4) To show that it is difficult or impossible to speak with the other parent, that he/she has defects, that doesn’t care for the family and, worse of the worst, doesn’t care for children.

The presence of parents in the life of young children, up to preadolescence, should be constant, affectionate, dialoguing and never abstractly normative.

A particular consideration must be given to managing family conflicts that may arise, and indeed inevitably arise in the family over the years. It can be the conflicts of the parents with other relatives, of between parents themselves and also of the conflicts between parents and children. The management of conflicts must always be discursive and shared, no form of violence, even verbal, can be admitted for no reason. Recognizing the other’s reasons and seeking conciliation doesn’t indicate weakness but the exact opposite. The child must realize that the parent can see things in another way and you can talk to find a point of equilibrium without coming to breakage.

Affective education suffers a violent trauma when the parent-child relationship is dominated by the fear of the parent’s violent reactions. Even worse is the idea that a parent invokes the presence of the other parent to induce fear in the children, such in the classic: “I’ll tell your father!”
As one grows, one element takes on particular importance: confidence, which must be accompanied by confidentiality on the part of the parent. If a parent receives a confidence by the child, he must keep it for himself, if he doesn’t, he would induce the child to immediately interrupt the relationship of confidence with the parent that will anymore be resumed. Any attitude that shows the tendency of the parent to abandon himself to gossip, devalues him in the eyes of his son and reduces the possibilities for dialogue.

A general criterion must always be kept in mind: education operates through the example, not through words: children tend to assimilate and imitate parents’ behavior, not to put into practice what parents say in words but don’t do themselves.

What has been said so far, as it is easy to understand, requires from parents a substantial affective maturity that too often is taken for granted, assuming that the parent is always substantially up to the task of education and that at most he needs a training aimed at the conscious rethinking of contents and methods of education. Sometimes however, and not very rarely, these assumptions don’t occur, in some cases because parents themselves have been in turn educated (assuming that this word can be used in these situations) with completely improper and substantially non-educational methods, and in other cases because one or both parents can be psychopathological subjects (for example paranoid or perverse narcissists). While in the first case it is possible with regard to the parent a concrete action (even if of long duration and with uncertain outcome) of reorientation or re-education of the adult, in the second case such action is essentially impossible and the parent-child educational relationship can turn into a framework of family violence and abuse, up to the most extreme consequences. It should be emphasized that violence and family abuse practiced by paranoid or perverse narcissists parents are often not visible on the outside and create very deep suffering in the children with unforeseeable consequences even in the long term.

Sex education of the child

Today, children are bombarded starting from an early age with images more or less erotic and very often begin to take an interest in sexuality in a very abstract way well before adolescence, so they assimilate, in a very tender age, banal visions of the sexuality as a “forbidden game”. Pedagogues have often been concerned with how to convey to children a more correct concept of sexuality: typical is the model of the flower, the pollination and the fruit, but in this way there is the risk, for gays far from being indifferent, to provide only the concept of sexuality aimed at reproduction, this will also convey the concept of sexual role, of the boy and girl as society conceives them, and of typically male and typically female behavior, taking for natural and obvious cultural attitudes often very questionable.

Accustom a little girl to the idea that femininity involves high heels and makeup means distort the concept from the beginning, like to think that the boy should be interested necessarily in football and in certain types of games is in itself misleading. It is very easy to see that in a school class of children who are not yet pre-adolescent, boys tend to play “boyish” games with each other, and girls tend to play “girlish” games with each other and this is the result of an education for sexual roles, how society understands them, starting from an early age.

The child before puberty sometimes shows an embryonal hetero affectivity, which involves interest in being with little girls, talking with them, playing with them, or an embryonal gay affectivity, which involves interest in being with other boys, talking to them and playing with them. These behaviors are the first manifestations of sexual orientation, they are not yet conscious, but they are elements on which we should reflect a lot and to which we should pay the utmost attention, but, I must say very clearly, never a repressive attention. I would like to point out that the transmission of role models deforms and often stifles these spontaneous tendencies altogether and tends to let the tendency towards homologation prevail, based on the fear of marginality within the peer group.

In the memory of many gays, the recollection of the first affectionate friendships with other boys and often the worried attitudes of the parents in front of such manifestations remains well imprinted. We are talking about friendships between children, not yet pre-adolescent who, if not totally conditioned by education, begin to show signs of homo-affinity or hetero-affectivity.

Parents, who often lack a broader horizon on sexuality, consider themselves as the only possible model for the sexuality of their children. The idea that children are not and cannot be a photocopy of parents is still struggling to get accepted. It is precisely for this reason that some children’s behaviors alarm parents and trigger a short communication circuit that ends up disrupting trust and establishing suspicious attitudes.
The child who plays with dolls or puts on his mother’s high heels or wig or dresses up as a woman generally raises questions in the parents, and this happens even more strongly if two children develop a very close friendship. Apart from the fact that these are completely different phenomena, because the first refers to gender identity and the second to sexual orientation, it is very probable that the child experiences in these situations the concern of the parent that manifests itself through limitations, prohibitions or simple removals.

The basic criterion of a good sex education is to promote the spontaneous development of affectivity and sexuality, avoiding a repressive sanctioning behaviors. The parent facing behaviors that are not what he would have expected believes that it is his duty to “correct”, to “guide” the child’s behavior, to “defend” him from dangerous influences, this attitude, which is perfectly understandable, is acceptable , positive and necessary, if “to correct ” means to demonstrate by example how one can have affection and respect for friends, without demanding too much and without running away from one’s duties towards those friends, if “to drive ” means to explain, to make the child understand the meaning of affective relationships even in adult life, for example by receiving friends cordially and affectionately, if “defending” from dangerous influences means to accustom children not to trivialize, not to exploit friendship, to take it seriously and to respond adequately when the need arises, but “to correct” means for many parents only to repress, “to drive” means to remove freedom and “to defend” means to segregate.

I would like to stress that the signs of homo-affectivity are generally very precocious and repressing them means inducing the guilt and submission of the child who begins to consider himself wrong. The repression of infantile homo-affectivity sometimes manifests itself explicitly, and sometimes through a systematic attempt to remove the child from contexts in which that homo-affectivity tends to manifest: if the child has developed a strong friendship towards another child or even towards a boy a little older during the summer holidays at the sea, the next year instead of going to the sea the family will go to the mountains.

A very delicate subject in this area is the prevention of sexual violence and abuse. Clearly, the child’s segregation reaches the goal but at the cost of a total repression of the individual freedom. The real problem lies in avoiding the risks (which are not only fancy) leaving the child a freedom commensurate with his age. Leaving a child (under 12-13 years ) alone for the whole day together with his playmates exposes him to objective dangers, which he may not realize. But if sexual abuses perpetrated by external pedophile subjects are generally the most feared, experience teaches that abuses are practiced only exceptionally by strangers and for the most part they rise from a family environment. Parking children by relatives or friends from morning to night means abandoning them to situations that can be objectively risky.

Before 12-13 years it is good that the child finds its spaces for the most part with the presence of the parents: the parents speak in the living room, the children play in the next room. Parents in this way give their children an example of socializing and leave them freedom spaces according to their age.

Beyond the age of 12-13, the risk of abuse doesn’t cease because abuse can also be committed toward adolescents or preadolescents both by family members and by educators, priests or teachers, especially in contexts where the minor cohabits with other peers for education or care purposes. Particular attention should be dedicated to the education of responsible use of the web for the risks of priming to which minors are exposed on the net. It is important to be vigilant in order to catch any signs of disturbance, alarm or exaltation in children, talk to them about it, if it is possible, and contact the postal department or the local Police Office to receive assistance when faced with dangerous situations. Obviously, the best prevention of priming risks on the net is realized right through risk awareness, the habit of always thinking before acting, and the habit of protecting one’s own privacy and that of others, and on these aspects education has a decisive influence.

When a child manifests the first forms of curiosity in relation to sexuality, it should be taken seriously, avoiding trivializing and manifesting evasive attitudes. It is essential that sexuality is never detached from its affective implications and is not reduced exclusively to procreative purposes. The child must become familiar with the idea of a sexuality that is not a forbidden game but a manifestation of affection for another person. Many parents never show explicit emotional behaviors in front of their children, for example, the father and mother don’t hug each other in front of children and avoid any physical act with each other, even the simple caresses, others instead let themselves go to forms of more or less sexual play in front of their children who in this way feel themselves excluded from the relationship with their parents. Of course

It’s necessary to find a balance between these opposing attitudes: the spontaneous caresses and affections between parents, the cuddles, which end up with the involvement of the children in the affection of the parents themselves are extremely positive in stabilizing the mood and in developing a harmonious character in the children. The double bed must become a non-exclusive environment, reserved for the parents only, but must be an environment in which children can also be admitted. The physical contact with parents, commensurate with the age of children, must lead to the idea of the affectionate embrace between adults, which expresses participation and sympathy.

Let’s come now to one of the key points of the speech: how to deal with the issue of homosexuality. The parent who is explicitly dealing such an argument with the child for the first time, must never forget that if one takes for granted that one’s son is hetero, in 8 cases out of 100 he is mistaken. Sending positive messages about homosexuality certainly doesn’t induce heterosexuals to become homosexuals, but can help homosexuals to grow accepting without complexes their homosexuality. Many parents believe that the specifically sexual education of children is not up to parents and should be delegated to school, church, doctors and other educational agencies, as if sexuality were an object of study or a question of faith or health protection. Obviously all these aspects are not foreign to sexuality, which, however, is a very complex reality that cannot be considered only under sectoral perspectives.

Sexuality is a component of the ordinary life of all of us and one of the essential contents of a serious educational relationship. I have been dealing with homosexuals for many years and I have often seen gay adult men, still deeply conditioned by the conflicting relationships with parents due to homosexuality. The vast majority of homosexuals not publicly declared, speak about their own homosexuality just with a few trustworthy friends, while those who talk about it openly in the family are very rare, perhaps today less than ten years ago, but it is still a narrow minority. For a gay boy, talking to his parents and finding their respect and their affection even in an atmosphere of clarity is absolutely essential and stabilizing. On the other hand, misunderstanding and rejection leave deep traces and greatly complicate the achievement of true autonomy on the part of the children.

I add a fundamental thing: a gay boy who feels accepted within the family will not need to go and look for other environments in which to find understanding and tends to develop his affective life without hiding and for this reason objectively also running much less risks. When a gay guy presents his boyfriend to his parents (what was once unthinkable and now becomes more and more possible) he realizes at 100% the dimension of the normality of his affectivity-sexuality. Surprised, reticent, perplexed or hostile attitudes of parents severely undermine their children’s self-esteem and create often irreparable fractures.

I would like to touch on a very delicate last subject. Sometimes the boys who grow up, whether they are heterosexual or gay, find themselves instinctively experiencing drives that alarm them, classics are examples of sexual fantasies about much older people, pedophile fantasies, sadistic or masochistic fantasies and erotic drives addressed within their own family. It is objectively very difficult that topics of this kind enter explicitly in speeches between parents and children regarding sexuality, because if the fear of negative reactions to homosexuality is already strong, the fear of negative reactions to those contents can be much more alarming. The issue of pedophilia can be responsibly tackled by highlighting the very serious objective damage that those behaviors can cause but stressing nevertheless the fact that those tendencies can exist even in very good people who would never put them into practice. If there is an attitude that a parent must show in front of such things, it can only be to clearly distinguish the fantasies that one cannot control, from the actions that can and must be taken under control. A similar argument can be used also regarding sadistic and incestuous fantasies.

With regard to intergenerational relationships it is necessary to avoid confusing them with larval forms of pedophilia, because intergenerational relationships are relationships between consenting adults even if of very different ages.

A correct attitude in the face of all these things helps people feel understood and accepted and enhances their morality and their capacity for discernment and this is the basic premise to accept themselves and to be able to self-control. It should be emphasized, however, that pedophile fantasies, of which people almost never speak in a scientifically correct way, are a reality very complex and difficult to manage. In many cases these fantasies are found in adults who have in turn been victims of violence or sexual abuse. It should be clarified that, although fantasies and actions are distinct things, it happens that fantasies are or may be prodromal to actual or possible behaviors, which, even if only considered merely as hypotheses, can cause levels of profound suffering.

Slipping from fantasies to pedophile behaviors can sometimes become easy and almost obvious. The sex tourism, for example, can lead the adult to look for more and more young partners of one or the other sex, producing a slow but effective slip towards pedophilia. The use of Internet child pornography should be considered as a sign strongly indicative of a dangerous corroboration of fantasies, prodromal to possible pedophile behaviors. According to what I learn from people who experience pedophile fantasies I’m led to believe that slipping into occasional pedophile behaviors, which can be the origin of recurring pedophile phantasies, also of obsessive types, is certainly possible even for people who have never had previously this kind of fantasies.

A person who experienced this kind of fantasies told me: “I had never had such fantasies before, then it happened to me an experience in which it would have been easy to come to the action, but it didn’t happen, but taking a step without return would have been very easy. And since then, such fantasies remained strongly stamped in my mind. I don’t like them, that somehow compromised my sexuality for years because I think that I wouldn’t even talk about such things with my partner, because he would react badly.”

I will not analyze here the possible compulsive aspects of pedophilia but because many men who have pedophilic fantasies are aware of it and are afraid of being able to practice pedophile behavior, in some countries (in Germany, in England and in the US) there are support services who deal with prevention by providing specialized psychological support to those who request it because they experience pedophile tendencies.

At the general educational level there is still an ancestral fear towards psychologists and psychiatrists that should be eliminated, leading people to understand that they are health workers who can provide psychological and even pharmacological support if necessary. Prevention education, which deserves a detailed examination, is not only carried out in providing information on sexually transmitted diseases, but also in the prevention of other risky behaviors for oneself and for others such as pedophile ones.

Certainly less sensitive are the themes related to the couple’s relationship structure: monogamy, indissolubility, socialization and formalization of the couple’s relationship, relationship between friendship and love. Insisting on the legitimacy of a single behavioral model collides with the reality of affective life which is often not monogamous, not unbreakable neither reducible to structure. The meaning of the couple relationship is usually assimilated by imitation already in childhood and, according to the general rule, is transmitted through the behavior of adults and not through their speeches. The relational aspect of sexuality should never be overlooked, according to this relational aspect the fundamental satisfaction in a sexual relationship derives from the realization that our partner is really involved and is in turn gratified by the relationship. Needless to say, these must be relationships that are actually wanted consciously and freely by both partners.

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A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO GAY SEXUSUALITY

Hi Project,

I’ve been reading the gay project forum for years, which was very useful to me to hear a different voice from those I usually hear. I am 29 years old and I have never had problems with my sexuality, at least according to the most common models.

Already at 18 I had my first experiences and, the first times, even without protection, then I panicked, I did the test but luckily nothing happened, and since then I have been much more cautious. I don’t think I’m addicted to sex. Up to now I have only had five partners, with all of them there is a friendship and some know each other. I have never promised anyone sexual fidelity and I think that having sex with a guy doesn’t mean betraying another guy, if things are said clear from the beginning. Let’s say that if there is one thing that for me has existed only partially, it was mutual attention, that is, I always thought that the relationships with my five friends made sense only or at least especially because I could have sex with them.

I’ve had a lot of sex, but always a bit too much technic because I grew up with pornography. I don’t like anal sex and I think no one of my friends is interested in it, I’ve never had no pressure in that direction. This is also why I stopped looking for other partners, because with my friends there is more or less a consonance of tastes and they are attentive to health. I mean that if they were at risk they would tell me. It happened more than once that they said me no because they had doubts and had to redo the test, and I really appreciated that. Let’s say that I had found my balance anyway, I’m fine with my friends from that point of view, they understand me, don’t make me sermons, don’t gossip, I can trust them. So far it’s not exactly a classic story but I think there are many guys doing like me.

At the end of the summer, about the beginning of September, at a meeting of comic collectors (my second passion after boys), I meet Andrew (this is not his real name), 26, not beautiful but more, so sexy that I cannot take my eyes off him. He notices me, he looks at me in turn and flashes me a smile and from there we start talking, first about comics and then about a thousand other things, we exchange mobile numbers, I’m happy but I don’t give too much weight to the thing, then there we say goodbye. A couple of days later he calls me and invites me to go out,

Somehow I certainly was looking forward to such an invitation, and what is more, the fact that he is so beautiful pushes me to the idea of trying a new conquest and this excites me a lot, brutally I start to get a hard-on just thinking about it.

We go out. I expect him to make a proposal but nothing similar happens, nevertheless it is not a trivial evening: we talk a lot and also very seriously, it’s still hot and you can stay around until late at night. When I come home I feel strange: “What have I tried with Andrew? Sex? Yes and no. Friendship? Maybe”. It had been a strange evening: “What did he want from me?” I couldn’t give plausible explanations. After a couple of days he called me back and we spent another strange evening, but anyway very intriguing.

Then I didn’t hear him a dozen days and I was already missing him and then I called him and I proposed him to come to my house, he thought about it a bit and then, when I told him that I live alone, he told me yes. He arrives at home with a package, I would have expected a bottle, since I had invited him to dinner, but it was a wooden object, or rather a small wooden sculpture, not even very small, the base was 20×15, there I was perplexed , but he told me: “That’s you!” And in fact there was a certain resemblance. I told him: “You’re very skilled! An artist!” He told me that he had been sculpting wood for years and that I had inspired his work.

The gift had upset all my projects, I felt stupid to read things that were happening as a sexual approach. He walked around the house, then he said to me: “I guess I had guessed right! There are no references to a girl, and I know your books very well. Ok, it seems clear to me that you do not have a guy …” This speech seemed to me inappropriate and invasive of my privacy, he realized it and tried to balance his statement: “I’m single too and I don’t have a boyfriend, of course it’s not a proposal, even if I’ve never been with anyone.”

I thought that in the evening he would have unlocked but nothing similar happened, as usual we talked a lot before and after dinner and I was really happy with him: no sex, but I was fine, somehow even better than with my friends. Andrew was not naive at all but he was calm, he didn’t have the frenzy of sex that when it takes me I cannot control it anymore. I asked him how he was doing for sex and he told me that “Ireland” helps him. “Ireland” sounded to me like a girl name. I told him: Do you have a girlfriend? He looked at me smiling and said: “The helping hand” but once again I didn’t understand and I thought that the friendly hand meant the hand of a friend and he looked at me shaking his head and told me: “But in wich world do you live?” Then I understood and I felt totally stupid!

Andrew’s presence made me very embarrassed because I was always in erection and I tried not to get up from my chair for fear of showing it too much. He stayed with me until after midnight. To say goodbye I had to stand up and show my erection. He simply said: “Don’t worry, so many times it happens to me”. I asked him: “Even now?” And he replied: “No, not now, because there are too many things that I don’t understand well, I need to have clearer ideas”. When he left I didn’t know what to think, what to desire. I wondered if I would see him again, and I saw him again after a few days.

He called me and we were on the phone for over an hour. Over time our meetings became regular, almost fixed appointments, he used to come to dinner at my house, he even slept there sometimes but no sex. I also felt quite demoralized: I was courting a guy who seemed totally disinterested. I have never wasted time on sex, but with him it was happening. I talk to one of my friends and the reaction surprises me: it tells me that maybe, finally, I’m really falling in love! I’m in love with Andrew? This, ok, could also be, but him? Just chat and then stop! Or love is another thing.

What is sure is that sometimes I find myself doing things that I would have never imagined, I seem to be gone back 10 years, I feel naive, I expect something from a guy and I don’t even know if I expect sex or anything else. If he had been ugly, this wouldn’t have happened, most likely. I’m in a difficult situation, he fascinates me but at the same time I feel him too far under many other point of view.

If It’s possible to come to a sexual contact, even minimal, at zero risk, ok, it would be good, but if such things are impossible, and in my opinion there is a risk and also very concrete that they are truly impossible, what should I do? Should I wait for the Charming Prince to decide? And it could happen in 10 years! I never thought I would find myself thinking about such things but that’s what’s happening to me.

What do I think about, Project?
Obviously you can publish the email if you like.

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AFFECTIVITY AND NON-EXCLUSIVE GAY SEX

Hi Project, I’m sorry, but more than an email addressed to you, what I’m writing is a tribute of gratitude to a guy I’m learning to love. I have never appreciated the guys who think too much about sex and I lived more of dreams and tales than of reality, I felt quiet this way, almost detached from sex, then, at 34, things changed for me,

I had never had a boyfriend and I wanted one, I know that it seems like a childish reasoning, but I still thought so at 34, then I met him (let’s call him Mark), he was 11 years younger than me and he was a really beautiful guy, we met by chance for work reasons, then we began to chat on skype. It struck me very much the fact that it was not me the one looking for him but it was he the one who was looking for me.

I wasn’t looking for him because I thought that he couldn’t really care about me but instead it was precisely what happened, I felt courted, wanted, let’s say it: loved. Between us we talked a lot, Mark trusted me and I trusted him, it was a very nice thing, or at least it seemed to me so, then slowly we got to have more and more physical complicity among us even if there wasn’t really sex. When he understood that I would accept it, he told me clearly: “I want to have sex with you and you understand it very well, but I don’t want you to fall in love with me, because I’m not in love with you, you attract me a lot on a sexual level but I’m not in love with you, I want my freedom, I need something else too.”

This speech has frozen me, but anyway we have continued to see each other and talk a lot about very intimate things. He had had and in a certain sense he still had other guys who he sometimes met to have sex, he was also in love with one of those guys, but this guy didn’t appreciate him too much: sex yes, but no couple life.

In short, after putting the cards on the table without hiding anything both from his part and mine, we decided that we could try, I asked him to take the hiv test before starting and he accepted, then he told me: “I will not have sex with other guys for two months, so you can feel comfortable, I would never put you at risk, and anyway I’m cautious … “

We did the test (me too) and then, one evening he came to my house. Well, it was an unforgettable thing, we were perfectly comfortable, we knew each other very well, even at the sex level. I never thought that spending a night with a guy could be such an engaging experience. In the morning I had to go to work and he to the university, I told him a few things that seemed to me to be sweet and he stopped me. “Don’t tell me such things! You don’t have to fall in love with me, don’t forget that for me it’s just sex, it’s real sex, serious sex, but I’m not in love with you, I’m not your boyfriend.” I expected a similar response.

For the two months of which he had spoken to me, we had sexual contacts practically every day, towards the end of the period he told me: “Next Saturday will be the last night I come to you, there is a guy I fell in love with and I want try to see how things can go on with him …” I replied: “Ok, it was in the pacts, but don’t forget me.” He smiled at me and hugged me tight. Then I didn’t see him for a few weeks, but he called me on the phone every two or three days, even if for a few minutes, he didn’t disappear.

The story with that guy went wrong and we started to meet again, he told me that he occasionally went to another guy and that he couldn’t give me the safety of the first time in terms of prevention but maybe he would like, sometimes, to sleep with me, without sex, only with a little intimacy, and so it was, but even so I was fine with him, and I began to feel in love, but he told me: “Don’t tell me sweet words, I’m not your boyfriend, if you fall in love with me you’ll feel very bad.”

We continued these sporadic contacts, we can say “without sex” or with zero-risk sex, then there was another two-month period of exclusive sex between us after the test, it was beautiful, but inevitably came to an end, and he went back to have sex with some of his friends once in a while and sometimes even being with me when he felt the need. In addition, anyway we never lost contact but by now I had very clear the idea that he would never be my boyfriend.

And here begins the second part of the story. I’ve had big problems of which I prefer not to talk. My friends came to see me and repeated the usual speeches of circumstance, some have just turned away and I haven’t heard them anymore.

I hadn’t heard from Mark from a few days, then he called me, I told him how things were and there I understood what it means to have a real friend. I was alone at home and I had not told my parents anything about my problems so as not to make them worry, he came to my home the same afternoon, he immediately realized that the problems were serious and I couldn’t handle them by myself. He moved to my home, put a cot near my bed and slept there. He took care of everything: relationships with doctors, supply and administration of medicines, paying bills, doing laundry, in short, everything.

One day, when I started to feel better, he told me that he had taken the test and that maybe doing a little sex would have been good for me too and that I could feel comfortable because there were no risks. So we resumed having sex and the thing went on quietly for three months, then I told him: “You told me that you were not in love with me …” And he replied: “I’m not in love with you but I love you”

Now I’m much better and I’m autonomous again, he’s come back to his house and every so often he comes to see me “without sex”, he has a guy with whom he seems to have built something solid, I see him calmer, less neurotic . Well, I can say that I learned a lot from him, above all I learned that sex, even it is not the couple one or the one made when you are in love, can have a deep emotional value, and then I found a friend that I think I will not lose anymore.

Mark I love you!

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A GAY SON PROUD OF HIS FATHER

Hi Project,
I am a 55 year-old parent, unfortunately a widower for five years, who found himself in these days to discover that his son (his only child) is homosexual. If I still had my wife I could discuss with her, but unfortunately this is not possible. I have practically no knowledge of what homosexuality is and on what it may entail and I cannot talk to anyone about it because then they would ask themselves why I talk about it and I would risk to undermine my son’s privacy. My son is 21 years old, he has always been an exemplary guy, studious but also cheerful, sporty, I would say happy with his life. He never had a girlfriend, this is true, and I probably underestimated it, but he had female friends who came home to study with him, in short, it didn’t occur to me that he could be gay, he never had any effeminate attitudes, physically is a nice guy, normal and nobody identifies him as gay, at least according to what I think.
You’ll wonder how I got to know he’s gay, since he never mentioned it. I never spied on him, I would never have done it, but I didn’t even really have any reason to do it. One day when I had to work in the afternoon, I see Matthew go out to go to university. I go to the kitchen to prepare a cup of tea, before entering the kitchen I see a piece of paper on the ground, or better a note of those accompanying the gifts, there were a few written words: “You’re my sweet puppy!” [The reader must keep in mind that in Italian, the language of the author of the email he’s reading, the masculine nouns are easily distinguishable from the feminine ones and the adjectives must be used in the masculine or feminine form according to the nouns to which they refer. In Italian, if you are addressing a man or a guy you have to tell “Cucciolo docissimo”, if you address a woman or a girl you have to say “Cucciola dolcissima”, in English it would be said in both cases “very sweet puppy”.] The thing that came absolutely spontaneous to me was to think that Matthew had a girl and that that note was a note that the girl had sent him, then I looked Attentively at the writing and I said to myself: “But this is Matthew’s writing!” Instinctively the first thing that came to my mind was to put everything back exactly as I had found it and leave the house, because I would never have wanted my son to feel embarrassed, and so I did, I returned late in the afternoon, when I knew that Matthew had to go to swim, and I noticed that the note was no more on the ground, evidently Matthew had returned, he had found the note on the ground and had reassured himself. But I was totally upset. I considered all of the possible hypothesis, but the ticket didn’t allow other interpretations: Matthew had written it for a guy! It didn’t seem likely that it was a joke, in short, the conclusion could only be that my son was gay. But how could such a thing be possible, he has missed his mother since he was 16, his father has always been present and even too present. I was comforted by telling myself that anyway the note was the only clue that led me to that conclusion and that it was a weak clue, but a minute later it didn’t seem so weak to me. I didn’t say anything to Matthew and everything between us continued exactly as usual. I had the idea of spying on him, but I put it aside immediately, because it seems to me an unworthy behavior, I know that the best thing would be to talk to Matthew and tell him exactly what happened and tell him that the note I had put it back on the ground after reading it because I felt agitated and embarrassed, but taking a step like that is not easy because Matthew could also feel embarrassed, and then I started trying to get an idea of what the homosexuality is. At the beginning I was literally upset by what I found on the net. I’ve read about some apps that allow gays to recognize each other, I read something about dating sites, but they were upsetting things. The biggest fear was for the HIV because I read that the risk of HIV for a homosexual is much higher than for a heterosexual guy. After a bit of research I arrived on your forum and read a few testimonials from parents. I must say that finding Gay Project has comforted me a lot, but unfortunately sites like your forum are a very rare and on the contrary there are a lot of risky situations. In short, I think you can give me some useful information on how to behave with Matthew. I’m not homophobe, I would like to help my son be gay but I don’t know how to do such a thing, I would like him to understand that I just want his happiness, I don’t want to make him straight, I just want him to be happy with his father.
I thank you in advance.
Guido
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Hi Guido,
I think that Matthew has every reason to be happy with his father! It would be very nice if there were many fathers like you! I understand very well that a father who doesn’t know the reality of homosexuality, can remain doubtful and agitated in discovering that his son is gay. If the writing is really that of your son (more than likely, because usually guys speak in the family of their girlfriend and don’t speak at all about their guys) there is no doubt at all, but the content of that note, even if very short, makes us think of a serious relationship, that is, of a relationship that has at its base a form of affection, of tenderness. The fact that your son is calm, has a good relationship with you and has never had problems with school or university suggests that he is a prudent guy and also aware of the risks that sex can involve and anyway, certainly  a guy doesn’t write: “you’re my very sweet puppy!” to a guy found in an erotic chat! So, instinctively, I would say that Matthew knows what he does, I could even be wrong but he doesn’t have the attitude of the guys who end up in trouble. What to do? You found the solution yourself: talk to Matthew, tell him exactly how things went, I don’t think he can take it badly. He is a guy, yes, but he’s also an adult and you have to treat him as such and then, from what you write, there is no doubt, you love him. Don’t be afraid of your son! And above all, be sure that he will be proud of you! A hug!
Project
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Hi Project,
I spoke with my son last night. When I finished telling him about the note, he opened his arms, smiled and added: “I was afraid you would have taken it badly, oh God, I’ve had the idea of telling you that but I thought it would upset you … , but now the problem is over.” Then he told me about the guy, who is a university colleague who has also come to our home and met me sometimes and that I always thought was a very special guy. I told Matthew that I wrote to you and he stayed there wide-eyed, he said: “Did you write to Project? But do you know that I know him in person?” And then it was my turn to stay wide-eyed. He told me that he wrote to you several times (signing as Matthew97) and he met you in person with two other guys of the forum). I feel very reassured and then what you said to me happened: he patted my cheek and told me. “Fathers like you are few!” I don’t hide that I was happy.
Guido
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