SPLITTING BETWEEN GAY SEXUALITY AND HETERO AFFECTIVITY

To face the topic starting from a concrete basis and to invite all of you to say your opinion in order to enrich and complete the picture, I report here, with the permission of those involved, some traits of e-mails and some sections of a conversation in chat on the subject. Obviously the names are fictitious. Immediately after, you can read the text of the article GAY SEXUALITY AND HETERO AFFECTIVITY. I think it can somehow be the basis for a discussion, with all the reservations of the case.
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Mail by Albert

[omissis] I grew up in a strange family, my parents think that homosexuality is a psychiatric illness that feminizes you, basically they don’t have the faintest idea of these things, a gay man, so to speak, normal in external behaviors, according to them , cannot even exist, that’s why they not only have never thought about the fact that I can be gay but they consider it radically impossible, because I don’t have anything of effeminate.

The absurd thing of my family is instead the fixed idea, of my mother in particular, that guys have always and only sexual fixed ideas on the girls, it could also be true, but for my mother the fact that her son can have sex with a girl before marriage is really inconceivable, is monstrous.

They think I have a girlfriend. When I talk about a colleague of the university, my mother surely assumes that I have for that girl some kind of sexual interest. Even now she tells me that I have to be careful and that “I don’t have to do stupid things! (sex)” But for her to do stupid things basically means just getting pregnant a girl.

Now she still behaves like that and thinks that I didn’t bring home a girl so as not to give my mother the opportunity to intervene to give me advice on an aspect of my life that she considers so important, always taking for granted that I can only be heterosexual. But when I was younger, 14/15/16 years old, my mother was heavily involved in my female friendships, she invited my female friends to my house and subjected them to a kind of scrutiny, it was something I could not stand. As for the guys, on the other hand, my parents never got involved in anything, they only warned me, but rarely, about those who talked too much about girls, because, according to my parents, they could take me on a bad road. In practice between the ages of 14 and 16 everything about the girls had to go to the scrutiny of my mother while male friends didn’t get involved.

At 14 I had a crush on a girl my schoolmate, that is, I better say I was very good with her but I didn’t feel sexually attracted even because I discovered the masturbation a year later, at 15, a bit late, I know. Anyway at the time of my first crush with a girl I can say that I felt it above all as a beautiful thing, I liked being with that girl even if I didn’t know how to give it an explanation. Then my mother understood what, according to her, was happening and she interfered heavily: “Who is she? Do you know her parents? Why you don’t invite her here at home?” etc. etc., in practice they made me hate her. She was a very pretty girl, but when she realized that I wanted or had to bring her to my house to let my parents know her, she absolutely didn’t want to hear reasons and she looked at me as if my way of doing was strange. Then such a thing it bothered me a lot because I thought I had done everything as it had to be done, that is, as my mother told me. Then I realized that I was perhaps succubus of my mother and that my so to say girlfriend had realized it.

Let’s say that after that I didn’t have any more fantasies about girls and my discovery of homosexuality took place. It happened in the summer when I turned 15, at the seaside. I was camping with my parents and with my sister. We stopped for almost a month in a camping and after a few days I could get to know other guys. I had met another guy who was 16 years old and my parents left me very free because I was with him and they trusted him. Actually he was a very good guy who seemed older than his age. I spent all day with him, from morning to late evening, I was fine, I felt comfortable, it made me feel older but he never talked about girls. He was modest to the incredible, a bit my opposite, I had no problem then to show me naked, perhaps because in the nudity I saw nothing sexual. For him I think it was exactly the opposite. I think it was just this that triggered the spring that made me enter the gay world. We took a bath and then we changed into a thicket near the beach. There I started to tease him because he never took off his swimsuit, he pretended not to hear and then I threw myself on him and ripped his swimsuit away by force, then he reacted and ripped away mine, then we did compare our equipment and he got an erection, I remember everything like it was now, he was red like a pepper, then began to masturbate and I imitated him, in practice I discovered masturbation like that. Then for a few days the thing went on great, so we masturbated each other, but then something happened that I didn’t like at all, he wanted to kiss me and I remember very well that I replied: “I’m not a fagot!” He pretended not to have heard and didn’t insist but our relationship changed radically, we continued to have sex but he was not at ease. After three days in this way we quarreled furiously and we also got into a fight. I realized that he was gay, even if he hadn’t told me it and I disliked very much being pampered by him, it almost made me sick, at least I told him so, even though I continued to masturbate in practice until now on the memory of what I had lived with him that summer. The point is this, I have never fallen in love with a guy. When I see a guy I like him, I would never be able to kiss him or be pampered by him. I read in the forum that many guys like these things even more than sex, but for me it is not so, I don’t see myself spending my life next to a guy, it seems to me an unnatural thing absolutely not mine.

In very recent times there was something important, I met a girl and for the first time I think I feel for her feelings, I like to stay close to her, to flood her of text messages and call her on the phone three or four times a day (I cannot more because we are hours on the phone), for me it’s just a pleasant company but there is a fact, for her I feel tenderness and a lot, but not really a sexual desire like what I feel for guys. Even if, after what happened at the camping beach, I no longer have had physical relationships with guys, I would like to explore the sexuality of a guy, it’s a kind of fixed idea, but for a girl I don’t feel the same things, I don’t know at all the sexuality of girls and I would feel a tremendous embarrassment if I had to have a sexual intercourse with a girl. I tried to masturbate thinking about that girl but it was just a forced thing, I came also to the ejaculation but just mechanically, in practice I didn’t feel any sexual transport. What I think is that I stopped in the middle of the ford, I don’t feel gay because I don’t fall in love with guys and I don’t feel heterosexual because girls sexually don’t tell me anything. I think that I could also stay with a girl but passively, that is, I would accept it but I would let her do everything, admitted and not granted that there can be results then. I feel strange, Project, in a great uncertainty, very unstable. In practice I don’t know what direction I have/want to give my life.
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Chat with Nicola

Nicola writes: ok, now I go to the point, in short, I think I’m straight, you could ask me then why I’m here, if you give me some time I’ll explain, but I would like to start from the fact that I think I’m straight. “I think” it means that in practice I am convinced or almost convinced of it. So, I’ve always had girlfriends since I was little, at 16 I had my first real sexual intercourse with a girl, my first girlfriend.

I have had three girlfriends and with all of them I have had sexual intercourses and from that point of view things have always been all right, even auto-eroticism was all about girls. Now it’s almost a year since I’ve had my last girlfriend. Until recently, having sex with a girl was something missing, but now things are changing. I practice sports, I see a lot of naked guys every day but gay fantasies never went through my mind, this up to a month ago, then a strange thing happened, in the gym came a new guy who is 23 years old , I’m 24, and I began to fantasize about this guy, just on a sexual level, something that had never happened to me before. In the evening I lie down on the bed and I think of him, that is, I think of him and me in a sexual situation and it excites me a lot. In practice I don’t masturbate any more thinking about girls, or very little, while I’m fine even just staying in erection when I think of him without even needing to get to orgasm, it happens sometimes but it’s just thinking sexually of him that makes me feel good, I think that we are in the gym alone and we undress each other and then we masturbate each other, rarely I fantasize of oral sex. I tell you, Project, I never imagined I could think of a guy in these terms.

Project writes: but did you spoke with this guy?

Nicola writes: spoken in the serious sense of the term no, because I’m afraid, in fact I have almost the certainty that he is straight, it seems so strange that it’s me to write something like that, I think that in practice my interest in him is only sexual, I don’t know, but I have this impression.

Project writes: if this guy corresponded to you, that is if he was interested in talking to you, how would you react?

Nicola writes: I would be very happy but I think it’s an impossible thing and then look, I think of him just in terms of sex, this is true, even if hetero fantasies are not 100% finished, but I also think that I would like to embrace him, maybe fall asleep next to him, but to create something emotional two persons are needed and I’m alone and that’s why I settle for a bit of sex. If I imagine a couple relationship with him, I think of it more or less like what happens with a girl, sex, all right, it’s another thing, but I think the affection would be more or less the same, but I don’t know because I’ve never tried and then I think that if I happen to meet a girl who falls in love with me at the end I would always be straight, maybe straight with some gay fantasy but essentially straight. And then with a guy how would I do? My parents would kill me, they always saw me 100% straight and in fact I still think it’s more or less like that. For them the word gay is like saying depraved. Frankly I have never felt homophobic like my parents, I had never felt gay until a month ago and I don’t even feel now, even if I feel something strange but I’m not afraid of these things, if I find out I’m gay it’s okay, what I don’t like is uncertainty and still I don’t think I’m really gay.
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Mail of Federico

I read everything you wrote about the weight of affectivity in the relationship between two guys, frankly it is very nice even if I don’t know how realistic it can be. That is, let’s understand, I speak from my point of view, that is from the point of view of a married 33-year-old man who is going into crisis because he has sexual fixed ideas for a 25-year-old known at work. I underline that I’m and I feel heterosexual, I love my wife and I also desire her sexually, but now it’s more than a year that there is this new fact and it’s something that destabilizes me a lot. I masturbate thinking of a guy. It’s crazy that a married man does these things and yet it happens. At first I felt guilty towards my wife, but now it doesn’t happen to me anymore, I live two parallel lives or better a life and a half, because my being gay is only halfway, there’s the sexual part, the rest doesn’t exist al all. I never considered my 25 year old like a guy I could fall in love with, it’s just that female sexuality is not enough anymore for me, I like it very much but in my horizon there is not only that, in fact I see my 25 year old a bit like a porn actor (he is a very serious guy! Indeed even too serious) that excites me.

Is all this pathological? At first I thought about it but now slowly I got to the point that if I masturbate thinking of him I don’t do anything wrong, he doesn’t know it and will never know it and also my wife will never know it. So where is the problem? What am I doing wrong? Anything! On the other hand, I would never abandon my wife, it doesn’t even pass through the antechamber of my brain that I could put myself with a man. I don’t know how such a thing can evolve over time, maybe in one year I will have abandoned my wife and I will have escaped with him, but it doesn’t seem to me even thinkable! And then, one like me what is he? Is he gay? But from what you say it doesn’t seem realistic. Is he bisex? Frankly I don’t believe it and I don’t feel like it. I think someone like me is straight even if he has some small interest in gay sex, and I only say sex, perhaps I had better to say only at the level of masturbation because I would never go with a man apart from the risk of aids, it’s not really something that seems possible to me. What do you think about Project?
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GAY SEXUALITY AND HETERO AFFECTIVITY

It happens to me quite frequently, in interviews with the guys, to find myself faced with real forms of splitting between affectivity and sexuality. It is not uncommon for guys who experience sexual drives that are strongly or even exclusively oriented in a gay sense, to feel an affective attraction towards girls, for whom, however, they live forms of attenuated or strongly sublimated sexual interest. This phenomenon is found many times also in forum posts and is confirmed by the statistics on sexual orientation of Project Gay. 23.72% of the guys who took the test on sexual orientation of Project Gay (a sample of several hundred guys, but not representative of the general population and with high concentration of gays) claim to have a masturbation oriented exclusively in the gay sense, while only 15.22% claim to fall in love only with guys, but what amazes even more is that compared to a 11.68% of guys who claim to have a masturbation oriented exclusively in straight sense, 27, 26% claim to fall in love only with girls. From the statistics of sexual orientation by age we can deduce that in the same sample the percentage of gay masturbation varies little with age while the percentage of hetero masturbation tends to increase and, at the same time, bisexual masturbation decreases (with sometimes hetero and sometimes gay fantasies).

Sexuality becomes polarized with the years and tends to follow not the masturbatory gay tendency but the affective hetero one. I mean that a percentage of younger guys tend to experience hetero affectivity despite gay masturbation, for them the homosexual dimension has only strictly sexual contents while the affective ones are reserved entirely or almost entirely to girls. The sexuality of these guys tends to evolve over time, the heterosexual affective tendency slowly becomes sexualized and the tendency towards heterosexual masturbation increases. While hetero affectivity is also enriched with explicit sexual content, the gay orientation on the strictly sexual level tends to be recessive. This is the underlying reason for which, to consider gay a guy masturbation is indicative but doesn’t solve the problem definitively and it’s necessary to say that a guy is gay if he has both a gay masturbatory sexuality, and also a gay affectivity, that is, he falls in love with guys.

As if to talk of gay sexual orientation it’s necessary to find together an exclusive tendency to masturbation with gay fantasies and also an affective tendency equally exclusive to fall in love with guys, so to talk about real bisexuality it is necessary that a guy has a masturbation that contemplates both heterosexual fantasies and gay fantasies, even in different proportions, and that he falls in love with both boys and girls. I mean that in a defined sexual orientation, that is stable, gay or heterosexual or bisexual in different degrees, strictly sexual drives are always associated with the tendency to fall in love with the same persons for whom sexual drives are felt.

Bisexuality is not a phenomenon analogous to the dissociation between affectivity and sexuality. Basically, a hetero guy falls in love emotionally and sexually only with girls, a gay guy falls in love emotionally and sexually only with guys, a bisexual guy falls in love emotionally and sexually with both boys and girls. In these situations affectivity and sexuality interact in an organic way and tend to direct a guy in a global way, both affective and sexual, to other people.

The dissociation between affectivity and sexuality is not a form of bisexuality but is a completely different reality. I would like to underline that it’s not a matter of pathological phenomena but of normal realities that touch significant percentages of the population. As it also happens for homosexuality and for bisexuality, the dissociation between effectivity and sexuality can lead to states of suffering, sometimes very heavy, if the social environment is constrictive and adopts rigid sexuality models, but suffering doesn’t come from the split between affectivity and sexuality but precisely from the sexually repressive climate.

Statistically, the dissociation between affectivity and sexuality is a relevant phenomenon, as it’s evident from the Gay Project statistics. The discrepancy between orientation of masturbation and affective orientation is noticeable but tends to decrease with the passing of the years and several guys who despite falling in love with girls had a gay masturbation, tend slowly to orientate even sexually in the straight direction. Approximately 5% of guys between the ages of 14 and 18 who took part in the Gay Project survey on sexual orientation tend to orient themselves definitively in straight direction as time passes. I must underline that the guys generally consider the split between affectivity and sexuality as a form of bisexuality and tend to consider themselves bisexual or even gay, above all due to the gay masturbation. Interpreting these phenomena is not easy because they are things that start with guys who consider themselves essentially gay and then slowly, not realizing their emotional world in a gay dimension, experience affective attraction to girls and slowly also discover a straight sexuality that is rewarding for them.

In the interviews with the guys, elements have emerged that lead me to try to give an interpretation of the facts that could at least in a good percentage of cases be realistic, clearly all of it should be taken with benefit of inventory.

In several situations of dissociation between affectivity and sexuality, in the background can be found the presence of a very rigid family in the sexual field and of children who have felt hyper-controlled during adolescence. Their female friendships were evaluated and judged by the family that tended to exercise control over the sexuality of the children, automatically presupposed exclusively hetero.

Sermons on the way to behave with girls, attempts to know how the child behaves with girls, tendential intrusiveness in the relationships of the child with the opposite sex, and on the other hand no interest in the male friendships of the child since early adolescence. If you go out with male friends, all right, if you go out with a girl you have to tell your parents who she is, where you go, when you come back, etc. etc.. The lack of freedom in the sexual field sometimes leads hetero guys to try to realize their freedom from the family in the environment of male friendships. While for a guy who can have a heterosexual emotional and sexual life basically free from family control, friendships are only a part of actual life, and not the one that polarizes sexuality, for guys who have no freedom in their emotional and sexual hetero behaviors, the friendships with other guys constitute an extremely gratifying environment because it is completely foreign to the family.

It often happens that, even in groups of substantially heterosexual guys, forms of special and very close affection are created that are not necessarily sexualized, the so-called special friendships (the best friend). For a guy who has no other sexual release valves, particular friendships easily take a sexual coloring. Pretty common episodes in the environment of heterosexual teenagers, such as masturbating together watching a straight porn, become, for a guy who feels forced by the family in his sexuality, a way to have his own private in which the family cannot enter, a sexuality which is finally subtracted from family control.

Sexual fantasies about friends and masturbation in a homosexual key end up dominating the scene and for a long time the guy can consider himself really gay, but since this sexual tendency cannot be declared nor shared and it is only experienced at the level of masturbation, the guy clearly perceives the difference between his way of living the para-sexual experiences with his friends, such as the nakedness in the showers of the gym, and the way of living those same experiences on the part of his friends, and this tends to confirm him in the idea of being gay.

However, the sexual morality of the family makes it practically impossible for the guy to accept the idea of an emotional couple relationship with another guy that would involve bringing homosexuality from the level of masturbation to the level of sharing and conscious and courageous choice. Sometimes guys also come to real sexual experiments with other guys but in situations that are not in any way accessible to the family and only with contacts for sexual purposes. From this phase that is from the greater awareness that non-affective homosexuality is not really gratifying, derives a sense of deep dissatisfaction or devaluation of sexuality, which is finally considered just as a technique. These are the most acute phases of the dissociation between affectivity and sexuality. In these situations the guys become again (now they are fully adults, 22, 23, but also 25 years old or more) particularly sensitive to a hetero affective contact. It’s obvious that after having become accustomed through years of gay masturbation to having homosexual fantasies, the approach with hetero sexuality is experienced as problematic, but that approach has a deep and satisfying affective dimension that the guy had not known in the gay environment. Thus begins a path of reunification of sexuality and affection that can last even two or three years, during which slowly but gradually the gay fantasies give way and heterosexual sexuality, combined with the effectivity gains ground.

We must immediately say that the process is delicate and, for example, a traumatic experience in a hetero environment can interrupt it, as a true and profound gay falling in love could also interrupt it. These are important transitional phases of the definition of sexuality in which, even if statistically evolution takes place prevalently towards heterosexuality, it is not at all said that the opposite does not happen. One idea must be kept in mind: sexuality must never be forced. The dissociation between affectivity and sexuality represents an evolutionary phase which, I repeat, has nothing pathological and must be experienced for what it is by following one’s own affectivity and spontaneous sexuality, avoiding to create too many problems and on the contrary setting aside any abstract and preconceived vision of oneself in both a straight or a gay key. Anxiety is the worst enemy of sexuality, so those who find themselves in such situations do not consider them as a problem to be solved. Sexual orientation issues are problems only to the extent that they are considered as such.

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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-splitting-between-gay-sexuality-and-hetero-affectivity

GAYS AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION

In recent days I have had the opportunity to carefully examine a very interesting document of the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization (Federal Centre for Health Education), entitled STANDARDS FOR SEXUALITY EDUCATION IN EUROPE.

The document was published in 2010 and, after presenting an overview of sex education in Europe, defines the standards that should be followed for sexuality education as they went through the maturing of sex education activities already in operation in Europe and throughout the scientific contributions of the many disciplines involved.

Reading this document has led me to reflect on the enormous need for sexuality education and the response of public institutions, essentially nothing, at least in Italy. Sexuality education is effectively delegated to the peer group, religious institutions, and even now on a large scale, to pornography.

A serious sexuality education, built on the basis of information coming from specialists in various disciplines, independent from religious teachings and respecting sexual rights of people is one of the pillars for the improvement not only in the situation of homosexuals but for the increase in personal and collective well-being of all. I emphasize that sexuality education should be compulsory and independent from religious teachings, in the sense that parents should not be allowed for any reason to ask for exemption of children from participation in educational activities, because this would be a violation of the rights of children in the name of parents’ convictions.

Many young guys, gay guys and not only ,have got to experience the absolute lack of preparation of teachers in imparting a serious sex education and even the presence of prejudices and discriminatory attitudes. Contents of sexuality education are often conveyed through other disciplines on the basis of personal feelings of teachers and with no scientific basis, many have found that religion classes often result in areas of indirect sexuality education. A serious sexuality education could have a strong social impact, not only in reducing sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and teenage bullying, but in improving the sexual and emotional relatedness of people in enabling them to make their own choices on the basis of objective scientific information, promoting an attitude of serenity toward sexual pleasure, to increase self-esteem and sense of responsibility. The fact that sexuality becomes, for groups of teenagers and sometimes also adults, an object of ridicule and jokes is a sign of immaturity in dealing with these issues.

The document to which I have referred, precisely because it is open to all, prepares a draft of a general nature.

This post is a concrete proposal. I invite you to read the document and report your past and present need for sex education. You can add a comment to this post or send a mail to gayproject@ymail.com

In particular, I invite you to report on:

1) the sexuality education you received and from what sources.

2) the sexuality education ay school.

3) what did you miss most in terms of sexual education.

Of course you can write what you think better even beyond these indications. I will try to summarize what gradually emerges from the discussion to define guidelines for sexuality education useful to non-heterosexual and to avoid discrimination.

The intention is to define standards for sexuality education related to non-straight people.

As a first contribution, I reproduce below the cap. 2 of the mentioned document, from which I extract three definitions that can be the basis for the next job.

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2. SEXUALITY. SEXUAL HEALTH AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION – DEFINITIONS AND CONCEPTS

The concepts of sex, sexuality, sexual health and rights, and directly related concepts are to some extent interpreted differently in different countries or cultures. If translated into other languages, they may again be understood differently. Some clarification of the way these concepts are used here is therefore needed.

In January 2002, the World Health Organization convened a technical consultation meeting as part of a more comprehensive initiative, which aimed at defining some of those concepts, because there were no internationally agreed definitions. This resulted in working definitions of the concepts of sex, sexuality, sexual health and sexual rights.

Although these definitions have not yet become official WHO definitions, they are available at the WHO website, and they are increasingly being used. In this document, they are likewise used as working definitions.

“Sex” refers to biological characteristics that define humans generally as female or male, although in ordinary language the word is often interpreted as referring to sexual activity.

“Sexuality” – as a broad concept, “sexuality” is defined in accordance with the WHO working definitions as follows:

“Human sexuality is a natural part of human development through every phase of life and includes physical, psychological and social components […]”.

A more comprehensive definition suggested by WHO reads as follows.

“Sexuality is a central aspect of being human throughout life and encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviours, practices, roles and relationships. While sexuality can include all of these dimensions, not all of them are always experienced or expressed. Sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, ethical, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors.”

For a number of reasons, this definition is very useful. It stresses that sexuality is central to being human; it is not limited to certain age groups; it is closely related to gender; it includes various sexual orientations, and it is much wider than reproduction. It also makes clear that “sexuality” encompasses more than just behavioural elements and that it may vary strongly, depending on a wide variety of influences. The definition indirectly indicates that sexuality education should also be interpreted as covering a much wider and much more diverse area than “education on sexual behaviour”, for which it is unfortunately sometimes mistaken.

“Sexual health” was initially defined by WHO in a 1972 technical meeting, and reads as follows:

“Sexual health is the integration of the somatic, emotional, intellectual and social aspects of sexual being in ways that are positively enriching and that enhance personality, communication and love”.

Although this definition is rather outdated, it is still often used.

During the WHO technical consultation in 2002, a new draft definition of sexual health was agreed upon. This new 2002 draft definition reads:

“Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.”

This draft definition emphasizes not only the need for a positive approach, the essential aspect of pleasure, and the notion that sexual health encompasses not just physical, but also emotional, mental and social aspects. It also alerts the user to potentially negative elements, and for the first time it mentions the existence of “sexual rights” – two issues which were almost absent in the 1972 definition. Also, those potentially negative elements are not focused upon as is often the case in HIV and AIDS literature on the subject. In short, it is a balanced definition.

Sexual health is one of five core aspects of the WHO global Reproductive health strategy approved by the World Health Assembly in 2004. It should be stressed that WHO has, since the early 1950s, defined and approached “health” in a very broad and positive manner, referring to it as a “human potential” and not merely the absence of disease, and including not only physical, but also emotional, mental, social and other aspects. For these latter reasons, it is felt that the WHO definitions are acceptable and useful starting points for discussing sexuality education. Thus in this document the term “sexual health” is used, but this includes the meaning and notion of ”sexual well-being”. Sexual health is not only influenced by personal factors, but also by social and cultural ones.

Sexual rights – embracing especially the right to information and education. As mentioned before, the 2002 WHO meeting also came up with a draft definition of sexual rights, which reads as follows.

“Sexual rights embrace human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other consensus statements. They include the right of all persons, free of coercion, discrimination and violence, to:

 the highest attainable standard of sexual health, including access to sexual and reproductive health care services;

 seek, receive and impart information related to sexuality;

 sexuality education;

 respect for bodily integrity;

 choose their partner;

 decide to be sexually active or not;

 consensual sexual relations;

 consensual marriage;

 decide whether or not, and when, to have children; and

 pursue a satisfying, safe and pleasurable sexual life.

The responsible exercise of human rights requires that all persons respect the rights of others.”

Although this is only a draft definition, it is used as a starting point in this document, because it is felt that the elements included here have a broad support base throughout Europe. Furthermore, it is important to note that in this definition the right to information and education is explicitly included.

A note of caution is needed here, however. Clearly, some of the rights mentioned have been conceived with adult persons as the point of reference. This means that not all of those rights are automatically applicable to children and adolescents. For example, it is clear that issues like consensual marriage or right to decide on childbearing do not yet apply to children or young adolescents.

The right of the child to information has also been acknowledged by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was conceived in 1989 and has since been ratified by the vast majority of States. It clearly states the right to freedom of expression and the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds (Article 13); Article 19 refers to States’ obligation to provide children with educational measures to protect them, inter alia, from sexual abuse.

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In summary, we can adopt the following definitions that conform to the recommendations of the World Health Organization:

DEFINITIONS OF KEY TERMS

“Sex” refers to biological characteristics that define humans generally as female or male, although in ordinary language the word is often interpreted as referring to sexual activity.

“Human sexuality is a natural part of human development through every phase of life and includes physical, psychological and social components […]”.

“Sexuality is a central aspect of being human throughout life and encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviours, practices, roles and relationships. While sexuality can include all of these dimensions, not all of them are always experienced or expressed. Sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, ethical, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors.”

“Sexual health is the integration of the somatic, emotional, intellectual and social aspects of sexual being in ways that are positively enriching and that enhance personality, communication and love”.

“Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.”

“Sexual rights embrace human rights that are already recognized in national laws, international human rights documents and other consensus statements. They include the right of all persons, free of coercion, discrimination and violence, to:

the highest attainable standard of sexual health, including access to sexual and reproductive health care services;

 seek, receive and impart information related to sexuality;

 sexuality education;

 respect for bodily integrity;

 choose their partner;

 decide to be sexually active or not;

 consensual sexual relations;

 consensual marriage;

 decide whether or not, and when, to have children; and

 pursue a satisfying, safe and pleasurable sexual life.

The responsible exercise of human rights requires that all persons respect the rights of others.”

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

GAY SEXUALITY AND ANXIETY

This article is aimed at defining the relationship between gay sexuality and anxiety on the basis of the experience gained in Gay Project.

The issues related to sexuality are dealt in general with specific categories different from that used for all other issues. The first reaction, or rather the first public reaction, is demonstrated by smiles, winks, jokes, all attitudes based on the apparent uniformity of the points of view, which is equivalent to saying that “everybody knows how these things go!”

It is difficult, in public, to go beyond the level of formal uniformity. Sexuality is almost always conceived as a private matter, or in public, as a matter of ideology. Precisely for this reason the serious comparison of experiences beyond the limits of formal uniformity takes place in practice only between two people or in very limited groups. There is still a fear of being judged when it comes to sexuality and that’s why speech is, in public, on a very general level, and only in private can start a serious and useful dialog.

I would say that sexuality is the area in which the uniformity is experienced at the highest level. In a group of one hundred people chosen at random, political and cultural elements of all kinds emerge through discussion, but when it comes to sexuality the group seems made up of uniformly heterosexual persons, you may question some external behaviors but not heterosexuality in itself. I cite a concrete example: in a school with a thousand students there are on average eighty gay guys but no one of them can be identified.

The heterosexuality “seems” to dominate the horizon, but in reality, when you start knowing each individual member of the group, you realize that things are not so, that homosexuality exists and that it is not a phenomenon related to very restricted minorities. If, going into the specifics, we talk exclusively with that 8% of homosexual population, we realize that those people are actually not only very far from sharing the general idea to be straight, but also that sexuality is still considered by them as a kind of taboo to be experienced only in secret and guilt, in essence, you realize that gay sexuality is often experienced with anxiety.

While 67.97% of heterosexual guys responded to the survey of Gay Project that they had never lived with anxiety the issues related to their sexual orientation, only 20.45% of gay guys gave the same answer.

Which points of reference can have a gay guy in terms of sexuality? The answers seem obvious, first the parents, then the peer group, then the educational system, etc. etc. . In fact it is already difficult for a straight guy to talk about sexuality with his parents, but for a gay guy the problem is often unsurpassable, not only he wouldn’t probably find on the other side a competent answer but he would face a significant risk of being rejected by his own family. The same could happen with the peer group (classmates, friends, etc.).

The education system in most cases is totally unprepared to provide serious answers in these areas. There are notable exceptions in the countries of Northern Europe but in southern European countries, mostly the United States and in almost all other states, not only there is no form of sex education that includes seriously also homosexuality, but in practice projects are reduced to convey some notion of reproductive physiology leaving entirely aside the emotional dimension and the psychological problems related to sexuality. I had to consider some of the projects of sexual education presented in Italy, aimed at young people aged 16 to 18 years, and I found not only the total absence of any reference to homosexuality, but even the total absence of any reference to masturbation, which is then, today, still a taboo also in the straight field.

To get a detailed picture of the situation we can use the statistics of Gay Project.

The following table compares the percentage of gay guys and straight guys who have never used sex chats or have never used dating sites.

                                        straight            gay
never sex chats             80.47%        61.14%
never dating sites         84.38%        53.14%

It is clear that gay guys do more use of gay sex chats and dating sites than straight guys but the reason does not lie in a greater propensity toward sex as fun or toward quick sex, it is instead a reaction entirely predictable to the marginalization to which gays are forced.

Another significant difference is in the reaction of gay guys and straight guys to the discovery of masturbation:

                                    straight           gay
I didn’t tell anyone       58.59%      80.57%
I told friends                35.94%      15.43%

It is clear that for a gay guy to talk about sexuality is much more problematic. The confidence in the group of peers for a gay guy, on average, is less than half of that of a straight guy.

A similar situation is found with the question “Have you ever told anyone that you used pornography?”

                                      straight        gay
I haven’t told anyone    36.72%    64.00%
I told friends                  56.25%    25.15%

Very significant is the comparison of the number of those who have never had sexual intercourse

                                         straight        gay
I’ve never had sex          32.03%     46.29%
mean age                       26.23         26.25

The overall picture shows that a gay guy has a lot more problems than a straight guy in talking about sexuality with his parents, with peers and at school, and then turns to sex chats and dating sites much more than a straight guy the same age, and also that a gay guy has much less chance to have sexual experiences compared to a straight guy.

Unfortunately, even though it is disheartening, the first source of information on sexuality, for gay guys, is the internet, and especially pornography and the environments of erotic chats and dating sites, which provide images that are often very far from the reality of the life of the vast majority of gay guys. Internet affects gay guys much more than it affects the straight guys. All this makes sexuality a taboo subject for gay guys much more than for straight guys.

I often talk in chat with gay guys having a picture of reality derived entirely from the internet, which means almost exclusively from pornography, sex chats and dating sites. Often these guys are not absolutely at ease with the models they have learned from pornography or chats and end up considering their attitude as something abnormal and deviant to be corrected and for this reason they strive to change their point of view. But if they knew the reality of the lives of other gay guys, they would realize that there’s nothing to fix.

About issues related to sexual performance, anxiety is still common among gay guys and erectile deficit is often considered by the guys themselves as their own personal problem to be solved through the complete acceptance of a pattern of behavior that falsely they consider as the rule of the gay world, but that is far from reality and instead derives almost exclusively from pornography.

There are guys with excellent level of culture and remarkable intellectual gifts that are dominated by anxiety related to the idea of having a small penis or of having problems with sexual response, things that doesn’t exist at all, except as a result of an attempt to integrate at any cost, that is forcedly, in a particular gay scene that they consider to be the typical expression of homosexuality.

There are guys who never use the word gay and avoid all matters relating to physical sexuality. The idea that gay guys can talk seriously even about oral sex or masturbation is still very scarcely spread. In reality, these things should not be considered in any way as a taboo because sexuality is an essential part of life for all guys. A good guy is not just a good student who will make his way in life but to be a good guy should not have sex or should largely suppress his sexuality, no! A good guy is obviously (and it would be absurd to think otherwise) a guy who has his sexuality and has every right to live it in any way he likes, with the only limit of the respect of the freedom of others. A good guy lives his masturbation and couple sex when he has a partner, and it is essential that he lives these things with confidence and in a relaxed manner, without stupid conditioning, because sexuality is one of the pillars of well-being. In sexuality, more than in any other issue, the restriction of freedom has an impact heavily negative.

The idea that sexuality is a normal reality of life for all of us, that is nothing to be ashamed of and that we can speak seriously of sexuality as we speak of all other things, is almost completely lacking, especially among gay guys.

In situations of isolation, that is in a condition where it is not possible or is very difficult to talk about contents related to sexuality, the anxious reaction prevails and behaviors can become risky. The self-esteem itself of a gay guy is often heavily influenced by the perception of his own sexuality as something that he can’t even speak about.

Addressing seriously the issues related to sexuality, putting aside the anxiety, means regaining self-esteem, reducing problems and maintaining a peaceful contact with reality, that is, in short, feeling better about themselves and others.

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

FROM PERPLEXED HETERO TO HAPPY GAY

Hello Project,
From some months now I follow Gay Project that is practically unique throughout the network and allowed me to understand many things and gave a serious answer to many questions.My name is Max, I am 29 years old, luckily for me I have a good job, which is a rarity these days, and I live on my own in a small town in the northern Italy. To accept my being gay it took me so long, I had two girlfriends, the first story was a thing of little weight, but the second was important. I needed a rest, I felt alone, I was 26 years old when it started.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is two weeks that I no longer see my girlfriend, I could not tell her anything and in the end I’m sorry but I do not think she would understand.

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

Max

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-from-perplexed-hetero-to-happy-gay

I’M HAPPY TO HAVE A GAY SON

On December 13, 2008, at 16.40 I got the email you can read below. Today I post here this email translated into English. Thanks Francis, thanks Matthew! What you wrote, Francis, is for me a deep gratification!
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Hello Project,
My name is Francis, I am 45 years old, I live in a little village in a district of Piedmont, and most importantly I’m the father of Matthew, a gay guy 19 y.o.. I’d love it if you could publish this email in your forum. Until last June, Matthew, who is my only child, had always given me great satisfactions, but above all he was good at school had always been affectionate with me and Mom. In short, he was the son every father would have wanted.

He had a girlfriend who was a very talented girl and we liked her a lot and they seemed to be happy, then, at the end of June Matthew was promoted to the fifth year of high school with honors but he was not happy. We tried to ask him what was wrong but he responded in a vague way and tried not to worry us.

In July, he broke relations with the girl, we asked him why and he said: “These things are ours, but we are friends, she doesn’t have anything to blame herself, it’s just we felt no more to go ahead .. Come on, do not worry .. “. A few days later I met Mary, the now former girlfriend of Matthew (our village is small and we know each other) and I tried to ask her and she told me more or less the same words that Matthew had said, I asked if Matthew had misbehaved and she said: “Matthew is a great guy and I wish him a world of good, but we think it’s better that way.”

I did not insist, but I could not understand the meaning of these speeches. Matthew did not seem particularly upset by the fact that he had broken the relationships with Mary and behaved as usually. Usually in the evening my wife and I come back home together and find Matthew at home to study. We work in the same office and we always come back home at around 18:30, because the bus we usually take respects times in a very precise way. One day it happened that we left one hour earlier and we took the bus one hour earlier. We arrived home. Matthew was not there and his computer was on, I was there and I accidentally took a look at his computer that was open on the homepage of your Gay Project forum.

The word gay has upset me, I cannot deny, I felt a blow to the heart. I said, “Oh, Matthew is gay!” I didn’t touch anything, I said to my wife, who was already beginning to prepare for dinner, that I had to go for a moment by a friend and I’d be back after an hour. A lot of thoughts went through my head. I knew nothing of the gays and I had in mind a lot prejudices, I was upset but I didn’t want at all Matthew understand it. I came back home deliberately after the usual time. Matthew was in his room and did not suspect anything. But the name of the site was stuck in my head and the next day during working hours, I went to look for it without being seen by my wife.

At the beginning I felt lost, I was wondering what I was reading, because what I read did not fit at all with the idea I had in mind about gays. In the following days I continued to read secretly the forum and I found stories that I liked very much and I said, “Well, if Matthew is gay as these guys …” And I did not have the courage to finish the sentence, but basically I wanted to say that I would not have seen anything strange there, but, before, I never would have thought I could make a speech like that.

Then I began to follow the discussions on the forum and what the guys had said and they seemed right like my son, I would have been fine that Matthew frequented guys like that, I confess that I read the part for youngsters to understand slowly a bit deeper what it was. You, Project, sometimes also blame parents that go on sites for parents of gay guys and push them to not be hypocrites, this has hurt me a little, I also read things about the therapy to restore gays to heterosexuality, and I was shocked but then I said: “But I would not do such a thing to my son even if I had been forced! But how can people even think of such things!”

I have to confess that I did not know what to do, I felt guilty, I knew that Matthew did not know that I knew and I was dishonest with him. I love my wife but I have not told her, I had found it out by chance but Matthew might want not to tell it to his mother neither to me, it was only he who could authorize me to tell my wife. One day I took my courage in both hands, with the excuse to go to town in the afternoon we went along in the car, I told him what had happened and that I was sorry to have violated his privacy, he asked me if I had told his mother and I said no. He said: “Damn, but you’re more complicated than me and gave me a pat on my hand.

Then I asked: “But do you have a boyfriend?” He told me he had been in love with a straight guy and that it was hard to forget. I asked him if Mary knew and he said, “Of course”. I told him that she had not said anything to me and he told me that Mary is a girl like it should be who had loved him but in the end they realized that they could not go on like this. I told him that I had read the forum and he told me that he had read everything, and that was very useful to understand many things.

Project, Matthew told me he wanted to write to you but did not do so because he felt embarrassed. Then, I told my wife who tried to respond as best as possible but was visibly upset. In the evening she started to read the forum and has been there until late, then she said: “But in that forum there are very good guys..” and she did not want to finish the sentence. In practice, with Matthew it has been formed a climate very very nice.

From a few weeks now, he has a guy, a good guy, this guy knows that we know, is often to dinner with us, then goes out with Matthew. He never wanted to stay the night with us and I can understand that, but me and my wife perhaps could really create problems. Here, Project, this email is for you, you made me understand many things and gave me the serenity and happiness of having a son like Matthew, who greets you, too.
A hug.
[Signed letter]

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-i-m-happy-to-have-a-gay-son

SPECIAL FRIENDSHIP AND GAY SEXUAL EXPERIENCES

This post is dedicated to the concept of “gay sexual experiences”. It is a concept that recurs frequently when chatting online with gay guys.

Gay sexual experiences can be considered in several ways:

1) As a kind of license to have attained the age of majority in gay sexuality on the basis of the theorem according to which masturbatory sexuality belongs to adolescents while couple’s sexual experiences are the passport to the adult sexual life.

2) As an exploration of sexuality conducted in couple.

3) As a sexual gradual approach to another guy to which there is already a real affective attraction but you don’t know his sexual orientation.

The point of view n. 1 assumes sexuality not as a contact between two people, but as an individual skill. Younger guys use expressions like “At my age, others have already done it,” guys about 25 years and beyond express themselves differently: “I still have not ever done it …”. Guys over thirties express themselves in a more melancholic way like “I do not want to miss the train” or worse, “if I don’t do it now I’ll never do anymore.”

Despite the differences in tone it’s evident, however, that these are people who give their sexual initiation a particular value in itself, regardless of who is the person with whom they will have their first experience. Basically there is an underestimation of the affective dimension and an overestimation of the sexual dimension.

In these situations the anxiety of the first time is not the anxiety that takes a guy who is having sex for the first time with a guy with whom he is in love, but just the anxiety to achieve as soon as possible that first experience, even with an unknown guy. People use the term ” weaning” to qualify what happens from the point of view of the guy who allows another guy to have his first sexual experience and “loss of virginity” to allude to that first experience so coveted and finally reached, without any too specific sexual reference.

Very often in such situations you end up being more or less satisfied or frustrated depending on the variety of sexual performances and on their correspondence to a model of gay sexuality derived from pornography. In this sense, expressions such as “we did not do everything” or “we had a full intercourse” hide the idea of sexuality as performance. The idea of being adult or realized through sex dominates, it’s typical idea of guys not yet fully mature in terms of affection, independently of the age.

The point of view n. 2 is already a condition of much more mature sexuality and is more or less genuinely satisfying according to how the dimension of being a couple is experienced in terms of affection.

In fact, each of the two guys who make up the couple may consider the other as a simple tool you need to fulfill sexual fantasies, and here I would say that the affective dimension is marginal, but the idea of sexual experiences as exploratory mode of couple’s sexuality can also be linked to a deep feeling of friendship and mutual respect or affection and also to a transport even more involving, that could be precisely an approach to affective true couple’s sexuality.

I would add that it is not unusual to experience sexual contacts born under genuine emotional relationships with the premise that “there is nothing binding” that slowly and almost imperceptibly consolidate, first for the establishment of a shared custom of sexual contacts and then for the establishment of more complex relationships in which affectivity and sexuality interact. In any case the point of view n. 2 starts with a couple where both guys have definite ideas about their behavior and can deal explicitly in a dimension of authentic sharing, but it is a condition that is not very common for gay guys.

The point of view n. 3 is probably the most common among hidden gay guys to whom a couple’s relationship or just a friendship that provides the opportunity to speak openly about gay sexuality is more a dream than a hypothesis. For these guys, and certainly not just for young guys but also for guys aged over thirty, the physical sexuality does not go beyond masturbation, at least for long periods. These guys live nevertheless their falling in love, even if in many cases the attraction is strictly one-sided. They fall in love with straight guys and more often with guys whom they consider only weakly straight and whose they do not know with certainty the sexual orientation.

It must be said that these particular friendships are much more common than people think and cannot be reduced to the category of gay-straight relationship because during the construction phase of friendship many selective mechanisms operate and the gay guy tends to automatically reject the hypothesis of creating a serious relationship with a guy strongly heterosexual or with a guy who does not offer an encouraging answer at the first attempts to get in contact.

The guy who does not feel gay, on the other hand, lives a close friendship with another guy only if in principle there are no closures to the deep emotional involvement that ties him to his friend. Basically, guys don’t enter by chance into these particular friendships. I must underline that I am referring to deep emotional relationships and very wanted by both sides. The guy who is not gay is anyway fully at ease within this relationship. The gay guy lives the friendship at two different levels, one of friendship and sharing that does not involve anything sexual neither explicitly nor implicitly and one unstated, dominated by sexual attraction.

In particular inside the friendship the gay guy sees the possibility of a love story and the relationship is experienced by him in a developmental dimension towards a sexually explicit story that is often destined to produce frustration. The gay guy lives that friendship in a way highly sexualized, he masturbates thinking about his friend, but he cannot talk about this with his friend. Apparently such a mechanism leads to a stalemate, but in reality things are sometimes different.

In some cases the evolution of the relationship towards forms of sexual friendship is a realistic assumption. As I have said elsewhere, sometimes the partner not explicitly gay of these friendships is a guy sexually confused, apparently straight but with a typically gay affectivity, in other words, is a guy with latent homosexuality; in other cases, is a guy who shows a partial bisexuality, but in most cases guys involved in such friendships are objectively straight guys, available and very open to forms of friendship that can seem, in behaviors, similar to homosexual ones. In all these cases the particular friendship may have not only a deep sense in the terms in which it manifests itself initially but can also present possible developments sometimes unforeseen and unpredictable because it can lead to the maturation process of awareness on the part of the guy who does not behave explicitly gay and it could push forward the boundaries of the relationship to include ways of doing things that are virtually impossible for any pair of straight friends.

A gay guy knowingly engaged in a friendship of this kind conceives sexuality only within that friendship for him sexual experiences are neither a source of pride nor a personal way of living forms of shared sexuality but are an attempt to involve his friend also from the sexual point of view, especially if the hypothesis seems accredited by various behavioral signals coming from the other guy.

If a guy loves another guy in an authentic way and is not aimed only to have sex with him, he tries to corresponds to the needs of the guy he loves, and does not attempt in any way to impose his own point of view or his own sexual categories. However, even when the loved guy appears genuinely straight, the gay guy starts anyway from the assumption that, under the appearances there is something gay. Adapt to the partner doesn’t mean, therefore, adapt to what he manifests of himself, which could result in a stalemate, but promote the growth and the emergence into the consciousness of the submerged part of the personality of the partner. The gay guy, driven by the idea of the latent homosexuality of his friend, cannot anyway stop to deal with him as if he actually was 100% hetero but will build in his mind a gradual path made of gay sexual experiences, more or less explicit, that could awake the homosexuality of his friend. It is usually a real therapeutic path toward homosexuality. In this way, if there is true love of the gay guy toward his partner, are taken for granted certain assumptions:

1) If my friend is really straight I will love him anyway.

2) The path based on sexual experiences is essentially aimed at the good of my friend, I shall be happy to share with him a sexual contact but the purpose is not primarily my sexuality but his.

3) There is no hurry and I have no essential targets, but I will adapt, anyway, to the time of my friend and to his true needs.

These assumptions combine a selfish dimension linked to the personal sexuality with an altruistic motivation of love which is to promote the sexuality of a friend.

The gradual sexual experiences that the gay guy tries to make and suggest derive from the assumption that in his friend there are forms of inhibition of sexuality and so the path will be governed by guiding principles like the followings :

a) Anything that creates or stabilizes inhibition should be avoided: the aggressive behaviors, the insistence, the tones that indicate disappointment or frustration.

b) You must ensure that the behaviors gradually more uninhibited arise spontaneously in a very relaxed way, on gaming and on non-sexual intimate moments.

c) You must avoid inappropriate steps or at the wrong times while the response to the verbal and nonverbal proposals coming from the friend must be immediate and accompanied by a smile.

d) You must show the maximum availability to the friend, both of time and affective response. Devote time to the partner is the greatest sign of attention.

e) The purpose is not to have a sexual relationship with a friend but to allow him to overcome blockages and inhibitions through a soft approach to gay sexuality.

f) When your partner takes a step forward in the size of the acceptance of gay sexuality it must be presented as perfectly normal, expected and obvious. When there is a refusal, a partial rejection or a referral to another time, it mustn’t be accepted as frustrating and the relationship must go on as if nothing had happened.

The path to acceptance of gay sexuality for some guys is long and for guys with latent homosexuality can end in nothing, I mean that unfortunately it usually doesn’t lead to the outcrop of the homosexuality at the conscious level. The path based on gay experiences progressively more explicit, to bring a guy with latent homosexuality towards awareness of his sexual orientation can stop immediately or can be very long and winding and often the dreamed results are not achieved at all. The awareness of this fact, is enough by itself to turn away from the idea to engage in this difficult path the guys who are not really in love, and this path sometimes very difficult and with an uncertain outcome remains the prerogative of the only guys who feel a real deep love interest to their friend. For these guys the true satisfaction is not to fulfill their personal sexual dream but to share with their friend a path, or a path segment, that seeks at least ideally a deeper life community.

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

GAY GUYS AND MORAL

Hello Project,
I’m twenty-one y. o. and live in a big city in northern Italy, until very recently, I considered myself straight in the deepest sense of the term, in practice I had never had any kind of gay thoughts, I have a girlfriend for three years now and I’m fine with her, without sex because I am a practicing Catholic and I consider wrong the idea of sex before marriage.

Let’s say that until two months ago I was what I thought to be, but now I’m beginning to think that in fact the idea of not having sex with my girlfriend for moral issues is just a kind of screen that hides other reasons (do not run to conclusions please). But there’s another thing I have to tell you. I begin to think that also in different situations comes to my mind the idea that I had or wanted to have a screen behind which to hide, I’m talking of auto-eroticism.

I try to explicate better. The Church condemns it and I eventually managed to do without it and, at the end, this is no more a big problem for me, I have always considered this thing a great achievement as the fact that I do not make use of pornography. I have several friends, I think all straight, I’m fine with them and I’ve never had fantasies about my friends and that’s it.

Let’s say that until two months ago everything was fine, then one night, between April 3 and April 4, just the Easter night, I had an erotic dream (what almost never happens to me) and it was a dream themed clearly gay, but it was beautiful, full of sweetness and at the same time of sexual involvement. In practice, in the dream, I think I’ve lived a beautiful love story and I felt deeply involved to the point that I had a wet dream.

The next morning I woke up horrified, I did not know what to think, I felt guilty. It was Easter and I went to confession. The priest was not at all upset and just said that to sin it takes the will to do it and I could not exercise any act of will in my sleep, but in fact I didn’t tell the priest that the dream was a gay themed dream. The speech of the priest reassured me about my possible sin, but in fact it did not solve the underlying problem: why a gay themed dream? And why was it so sweet? I kept inside me these questions and on the other hand I could not talk to anyone.

The images of the dream came back to my mind, I had also some very strong fantasy to let me go to masturbation thinking of those things but I endured and immediately banished such thoughts to avoid falling into dependence on those things. I just tried to avoid the feelings. I went out with my girlfriend but I started thinking that with her I had never had sexual contact not on moral grounds but because I wasn’t interested in her at all from that point of view.

This made me upset. I tried some minimal physical contact with her, as take her hand and caress it, but I did not feel anything, while in the dream making the same gestures with a guy had taken me to strong excitation. Then I also thought of another thing, my friends play sports and they invited me many times to go swimming with them but I’ve never gone for the most diverse reasons, now I’m beginning to think that I do not want to go there because I mut avoid the fear of being in exciting situations. Apparently I told myself that I was straight and that I did not go because I had no time, but basically maybe I did not go just to avoid any possible confirmation about my being gay, what seems far from being evident, but at least it is a hypothesis that I don’t have put aside completely, or perhaps I see it even likely.

Now the problem is big, if it was that I was gay, it would not even be a big deal, but I do not want to give up what I’m, in the sense that yes, I may be gay being also Catholic and I have understand how to put the two things together. This is the big problem.

At the limit, even if it may seem paradoxical I would also be willing to put aside the idea of living sexually a story with a guy, I think it would not be so complicated, all I need is an affectionate friendship. Perhaps what I say may be completely contradicted by the facts, but I think I could live according to the rules of religion. I have read what you have published on “Gays and the Church”, but, excuse me for saying so, maybe you lack the ability to understand things from inside.

I try to follow the rules and so far I have not regretted it and would like to go on living even my gay feelings, if they are really gay, according to those rules. I do not want to sacrifice my values, things that are really important to me that give me certainty and I do not want to live with a foot in both camps, in the sense of playing with the sacraments, to me is a serious matter.

I tell you sincerely that the idea of being gay upsets me a bit, I understand who I am and what I want but I want to keep my principles intact as I have done so far, as far as possible. I often wonder if there may be other guys like me who would also be willing a form of friendship without sex with another guy or if it’s just my imagination. Do what you want of this message, that is, if you think it may be published, publish it, or answer in private.
Bye and thank you for everything.
A. B.
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Hello,
I read your mail. I do not run to conclusions because you’ve come to the conclusions yourself. You are stating assumptions about how to reconcile being gay with your essential moral choices and you seem to have actually rejected the idea of being gay for what the word means in practice, and to transpose everything on a level of a close friendship.

Frankly, even if it was (as you say) that you found a guy willing to sacrifice his sexuality to its moral principles (very theoretical hypothesis) or better to the moral principles of his boyfriend (a hypothesis which I think frankly fiction), it’s very likely that later this kind of relationship will degenerate into a very different thing and so gay sexuality would end up to be mixed with a deep guilt very difficult to remove. You told me you don’t like to keep a foot in both camps, but the hypothesis of a close friendship with a gay guy seems very much like a bridge idea that should let you go towards acceptance of gay sexuality, even if you think that it’s a credible hypothesis. Loving friendship without sex with a guy, for a gay guy, is only possible, if it really is, with a straight guy and frankly

I would ask how your intentions to remain faithful to your principles could stand in front of a real (not hypothetical) affectionate and loving friendship with another gay guy. Seen from outside your behaviors suggest a form of self-repression of gay sexuality that is, for a gay guy, just the sexuality. I can’t asses you motivations because I see them from outside, but I’m very perplexed.

I understand to a certain extent the reasons related to the idea of fidelity to the moral thought of the church, and I wonder to what extent your moral judgment really comes to condemn gay sexuality. Frankly, it seems very unlikely that a guy, maybe gay as you are, can really think that “his” sexuality is a form of pathological deviance. In practice beyond the moral given from outside there’s the internal morality and this internal morality can’t at all condemn being gay as depravity.
Project

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