DETOXIFICATION OF A 32-YEAR-OLD GAY GUY

Hello Project,
I’m 32 years old, and I think I’ve finished the so-called “most beautiful period of my life”, assuming there was ever something like that in my life. I look at the young boys, the twenty-year-olds, they are young, they are beautiful, they are full of wishes and hope, but I watch them from afar, they believe that sex can change their lives but I have already overcome this stage, I have had my experiences and in the end there is nothing left. I have been hunting guys on dating sites, I met a lot of them, I had sex with so many of them (prudently, that is, without putting myself at risk) and I came to the conclusion that it is good to think of something else.
With a couple of guys I even deluded myself, it lasted a few months, but then it all ended according to the general rule: better alone than badly accompanied! Every guy has his dreams, his ghosts, his pathologies, more or less evident, every guy follows his fantasy and the idea of building something together doesn’t exist at all.
Project, I don’t accuse others of doing so, because I’m the first who follows those rules, I’m the first one who isn’t so inclined to share his life. Going to bed with a guy, ok, some sex doesn’t hurt anyone, but then bye! I go back to my house, I don’t want to share anything with anyone. I should be happy to wake up in the morning near a stranger I know nothing about. Ok, we may have had sex together, but that doesn’t mean anything. What do I have to share with that guy? Our stories had nothing in common for thirty years, then we spent a few hours together and this should have changed our lives?
Project, I can also understand and accept that you don’t share my way of thinking, that you consider it stupid, but which would be the alternative? What should I believe in? The world of fairy tales no longer interests me, it is a bit like I had become indifferent to sex. I don’t know how long it will last but for the moment I want to be alone, I want to sleep a lot, I don’t want to think, I don’t want to chase unlikely dreams.
Project, I didn’t have bad experiences, I didn’t find guys who betrayed me or things like that, maybe I could change my mind, if I found (but I won’t look for it) a guy with whom there is another level of communication, then, maybe, I could change my mind, but I’ve been waiting for  the Charming Prince  for more than ten years now, and I’m tired of waiting.
There are so many better things to do! As you say, I could devote myself to the “others” in a generic sense, depersonalizing relationships, going out of the obsession that pushes me to know gay guys with the prospect of creating with them who knows what.
I also have longstanding straight friends, but I neglected them a lot, and what for? I neglected them to run after gay guys, wasting a lot of time without any result either for them or for me. With my family I broke off relationships years ago, since I became economically independent I left home … and what should I do? Should I go back to my parents’ house, even if they think I went to live alone to live with a girl? Because this is the level of communication that there is with my parents!
I left to try to be free to build my own life, I mean a couple life, but then what did I build? I became addicted to pornography for years, I had a bit of sex, which is nice only before, because afterwards it leaves you nothing! This was the meaning of my youth. Certainly there have been my studies, then my work, which is a concern but it is not really the obsession of my life, that is, it gives me something, at least economic independence.
By now the guys I have known I don’t even remember them distinctly, sometimes I confuse the story of one with that of another, they are “my ex-boys” but I consider them not as singles  but as a group, for me they don’t have a personality anymore  and I think they hardly remember me, but it’s not a big problem!
What is the use of living, Project? There is really no purpose. It’s a trivial thing. We are used to believing that we are special, that we have a profound meaning for others and for the world and instead we are nothing, just a little dust that will be swept away by the wind. Those who dedicate themselves to others probably don’t get anything, except in terms of self-esteem, but they certainly don’t lose anything, this is a great push towards love of neighbor!
I imagine what effect the reading of this mail can have in you. You’ll think that I’m depressed, inclined to renounce, disgusted by the world and by my fellow men, but it is not so, I want to look at other things, my life has been dominated for at least 15 years by the word gay, but this is not the only word in the vocabulary. I’m gay, but my being gay mustn’t become an obsession, I mustn’t find myself a partner at any cost and certainly he cannot be the first guy I meet in the street, I don’t seek any husband, I don’t deny anything and don’t reject anything a priori but I’m tired of chasing fantasies and thinking of having to settle for a bit of sex and with the risk of ruining my health.
I have never found a guy who loved me and on the other hand I have never been able to really love a guy, selfishness has always been the dominant value and this is not how married life should work.
You talked to me about “light couples”, that is without too many expectations and without too many obligations, but it’s not a thing for me, I need, or better, I absolutely need stability. Perhaps I have assimilated a model of a couple of almost matrimonial type or perhaps I’m not yet mature enough for a true couple life, that is for a couple life in which compromise and the search for quiet life dominate.
I wouldn’t accept my boyfriend making love with another guy, because I would like to be his boyfriend, not a friend of his. I’m not looking for a sexualized friendship, I’m tired of these things, I’d like a guy to share life with, but if I don’t find such a guy, I prefer to stay alone.
Don’t worry about me, Project, I’m fine, I’m not depressed, I started working on many of my projects, I joined a football club and I really like going there. Do you know why? Because they are all straight guys and when they talk about sex, they talk about girls and they don’t mind my own business. They welcomed me as a friend but we are “just” friends, it is so obvious that they are all straight that they are not at all a sexual interest for me, what we really have in common is the interest in football, everything else is part of their and my private.
I feel good in a hetero environment, of course, if there were girls too, it would be much more complicated but there are girls only in Sundays in the audience, in the gym there are no girls. It is as if I was detoxing myself from the excess of gay things, as if I were slowly releasing myself from an addiction. It’s nice to find a normalcy again.
__________
If you like, you can participate in the discussion of this post, open on the Gay Project Forum:
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GAY SEX AND VIOLENCE

Hello Project, last night I told you in the chat something of my story and I liked the attitude you had, you have not shot judgments and you’ve been listening and in the end you also told me things that I didn’t expect, so I have rewritten my story, if you think it can serve something, let publish it, but I would still like you to read it and let me know by e-mail, privately, what you think, put it on the blog, on the forum, where you like, but don’t comment it, then I’ll explain to you why. Don’t get angry if I didn’t give you my contact, but I don’t know you well yet and I prefer to go slowly, but I thank you for giving me yours. Last night I felt more relieved. I think I will contact you again. If you want to publish this mail do it but anonymously. Please, before publishing it, correct the errors that I have certainly made. Thank you.

Letter signed with name and surname.

I’m a guy 22 y. o., call me Julius, it’s not my name but I like it. I’ve always been gay, since I remember something, let’s say 13-14 years old. I do not have a good relationship with my parents, they are good people and they think that I’m only a rebel, someone who will end up badly anyway, they really think so. My father at the beginning got angry with me a lot of times, now he doesn’t do it anymore because he thinks it’s completely useless. I feel like a rebel, sometimes I would like to break everything, I cannot stand hypocrisy and instead I have to live in the middle of hypocrisy. My parents know nothing about me, I’ve always been very aggressive with them, but I’ve never talked about my private facts.

Already at the age of 16 I left home for a while without my parents know, I got some money from my parents (I stole them in practice) and hitchhiked around. Then I came back home after spending all the money to have fun, to drink and more. When I got home, my father stayed there like an imbecile, I expected him to beat me but he didn’t, he was afraid, he behaved like a coward. At school it was a disaster, they sent me to an absurd school but I did not give a damn and I almost never went there, but at the age 20 I was able to take pass my graduation exams.

Even if I smashed everything and I was also violent I always dreamed that someone would take me with sweetness in spite of everything, to one of this kind I would have given the soul, but I found only people who screamed against me and chased me away badly. I was assuming the worst possible behaviors, just to provoke people.

I’ve dreamed of having a boy since I was 14 but I’ve never had one, I fell in love with somebody but they got scared and they were not able to understand what I’m under the peel, because I think I can really love a guy in a very strong way. I live in a seaside area and not far from my house there is a campsite, they opened it four years ago and access in practice is free for anyone. I used to go there for a walk several times because there are often young guys at the campsite and I dreamed that some of them could fall in love with me. And then, I say it clear, I used to go there because I liked being among those people, a half were foreigners and at sea site they disrobed outdoors in an absolute natural way. These things made my blood boil.

I didn’t have any chance with foreigners because I don’t speak any foreign language, with the Italians sometimes I was brave and tried to approach. I am from the south, but between those of the south and those of the north I prefer those of the north, they are less nosy, they are really guys I like a lot physically. I’m dark haired and a little dark of general complexion but I like very much the guys from the north.

Going to the campsite and the beach, sometimes I happened to have interesting meetings. Three or four times they invited me to eat with them, we had a bath together, even without swimsuit, and then we were singing on the beach until late at night. These guys told me that I was very sweet and I liked it very much. I have dreamed so many times to be able to have sex with some of these guys but it never happened, with me they were casual, friendly, but maybe they were not even gay, even if I always put myself in groups where there were no girls.

Once I found a gay man and I thought that something could be done. I did something I had never done, I told him I was gay and he told me he was gay too, then I tried a very hesitant physical approach, but he told me he didn’t want to do that, he had a boyfriend in Mantua and that was the guy he loved. I told him that this guy was really lucky.

He gave me only a small kiss, then he left the next day, now we are still in contact on msn. It was the best thing that has happened to me in my life, even if it was a refusal. I admire the guys like him.

In the village people knew that I was doing only what I liked better, that I didn’t come home in the evening, and slowly a kind of legend of the monster was created. If you add that they had never seen me with a girl, I became the gay monster of the country, to the point that they really avoided me, the mothers thought I was going around rape the kids and when they saw me they ran away. I went on like this until I was 21. At the age of 21, they gave me a job in a warehouse of building materials, with a salary to die of hunger, but for me it was very much, I never had had any money.

The owner was a gentleman whom you could hardly see, he had a nice car and when he came he was very respected, he was about 45 years old, married with two sons, a 18-year-old boy, who was very handsome, and a girl 10 y.o.. The owner’s son’s name was Salvatore, I had seen him a couple of times, but he was the son of the owner I was the last of the keepers, so there was little to do. We exchanged a few glances and maybe that guy wasn’t absolutely at ease with his father, we even exchanged a few words but only a couple of times.

The first time the father had left do and we talked more, Salvatore was respectful to me, he treated me on a par, he told me that he was very uncomfortable with his father. I told him that I was gay and I saw that he had a flash in his eyes, he didn’t say he was gay too but I perceived clearly that he was interested. Then they called me to send me with a truck to unload and we broke up.

The second time, when he saw me he smiled at me, then his father came and called his son in such a violent way that I felt uncomfortable for him. The owner didn’t say anything to me but later I didn’t see either the father or the son.

For me, no love at all, not even sex, nothing at all, now there was no longer even the campsite, I had just to work as a slave from morning to night.

Once in the village a man began to tell false things against me offending and threatening me, one got in the middle and defended me. I really didn’t expect it. After a few days I saw him again, we talked a little, he’s married, he’s 41, but he was nice to me, he treated me well, on a Sunday he invited me to lunch outside. It seemed strange on his part to leave his wife at home to go out with me but I was glad, nobody had ever done such a thing. I told him I was gay and he replied that he knew it but that it didn’t cause him any problems. In short, it was not my type and I did not feel really attracted to him, after all I knew where it was going to end and basically accepted it.

With me he was kind, I felt loved. I do it shortly, because where it ends up is clear. One day he tells me if I want to spend with him Saturday and Sunday. Saturday and Sunday also meant the night together, I had understood very well, but for me it was the first time and the idea that maybe such an occasion would not have been created any more I had it. So I went there. He took me for dinner to a restaurant very far from where we live and then we went to his house in the country, a nice place very well arranged. It was obvious that we had to have sex there, we went there on purpose.

He starts to come forward but in a way that I don’t like at all, seeing him in that situation really makes me sick. I tried to tell him in every way that I didn’t feel like it. First he tried to insist with the good manners but given that I tried to avoid him in every way at the end he really beat me violently and forced me to stay there anyway, in practice I was raped by this man. It is true that I had somehow pushed him in every way but he didn’t have to behave like that. A couple of days after, I thought back to a detail that seemed to me very important to calm me down because I was terrified of the fear of diseases, when he decided to do what he did he told me in dialect: “You are a fagot of shit and you made the worst filth with all those like you, but I don’t want to take your ills … ” and he wore a condom.

It was a terrible experience, something I would not wish even for my worst enemy. When he finished he reloaded me into the car with violence and dumped me under my house.

I still carry inside me the sense of deep disgust I felt and I think I will never forget it. This was my first sexual experience with a man. For me it is like a kind of nightmare that always accompanies me. The man, after, has stayed away and did well, because if I had found myself in front of him I don’t know what level of violent reaction I could have put into practice, but surely I would react violently. Of this fact I spoke only to three people: to the guy I had met at the campsite, to a straight friend who has always respected me and to Project, and Project had the dignity of being quiet and not making comments. I feel like a fool because it was I the one who entered that mess without foreseeing where it would end up or, what is even worst, the one who accepted it as a fool, but when everybody leaves you and you don’t know where to bang your head you can do the most crazy things. I don’t know if I can ever accept gay sex as a positive thing but I think it will take me years and even when I’ll find a guy who really loves me, I’ll will be heavily influenced by the nightmare I experienced that made feel worse than a worm, and has deeply humiliated me, also because I’m a fool, it’s true, but everybody left me completely alone. That’s all.

___________

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

GAYS AND PREVENTION THROUGH TREE DOCUMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GAYS AND SEXUAL FIDELITY

Hello Project, I have to ask you a question: but do you think that to love each other, sexual fidelity is indispensable? Now you will think that I’m looking for excuses, but it is not so, I have not betrayed my boyfriend, it is he who betrayed me, but I have to explain well, speaking of betrayal does not make sense, because he didn’t cheat me at all, he told me it before in a sense he wanted a permit from me and I gave it to him, I only hammered him on one point, that is, that he had to be careful about health.

Project, maybe it will seem strange to you, but at the moment I thought that he needed something else, if I had told him no he would not have done it, but he would have felt forced, so instead he felt free and I frankly didn’t I felt upset because I was not afraid of losing him and in fact I didn’t lose him, with that guy it lasted a month and then it was over. Of my boyfriend I love the sincerity, he doesn’t cheat me, I never doubt that he can hide something from me.

Among us there is also sex, of course, but there is esteem, there is affection, we love each other. For me he’s like the sun, I could not do without him and he has no secrets with me. We’ve been together for five years, and in the last five years he has had two short adventures, or maybe I should say two short love stories, but in the end he could not adapt to the mentality of those guys who were very possessive and very badly lived the fact that he kept seeing me too.

So he closed the stories with those guys, and one of them remained his friend and mine too. After his adventures we waited the necessary time and we had the test before having sex again between us, even if I was sure that he had put into practice all the criteria of prevention, after the test, however, the sexuality between us came back very strong, after a long period of abstinence or at least of very controlled behavior.

I am in love with my boyfriend and I think we are really a couple destined to last. Speaking with other guys anyway I feel an extreme distrust of me and of my boyfriend, they consider us strange, almost heretical, tend to see him as a traitor and me as a cuckold and the thing, if from a certain point of view amuses me on the other hand, I don’t like it, because in order to integrate ourselves among our gay friends, in practice, we have to act, to pretend.

Even among gays there are fixed patterns of behavior and there are very strong prejudices, they don’t understand that we love each other without preconceived schemes. It particularly annoys me when they see us as an open couple, that is, like two who want to have fun and who in practice pretend to be together. Perhaps we are strange, Project, but I would not give up my boyfriend, as he is, for all the gold in the world, he has no schemes in his head and is honest at all.

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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-sexual-fidelity

A DIFFICULT GAY RELATIONSHIP

Hi Project,

I’m 18 years old and I would like to talk about something that has happened to me and that makes me feel very bad. It’s a complicated story, but please be patient and tell me what you think.

In early January this year I felt terribly uncomfortable, because I was alone and I didn’t have a boyfriend. I cannot be alone and I missed a guy a lot, I had fallen in an awful love, but then I saw the guy in question with a girl and such a thing had torn me to pieces, but I knew that there was nothing to do. I spent my days fantasizing about how nice it could be to have a guy who understands me, to talk with, reasoning like me and who loves me, I also wanted him nice, that is not beautiful, but as I like him, a sweet guy, affectionate.

At school, at an assembly I see a guy that I like a lot, let’s say I didn’t notice him before, but I thought he was beautiful. After the disappointing experiences I had had with others, I didn’t delude myself very much, partly because I’m not as nice as him. But he approached me and started talking to me, I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t want to delude myself but I liked him.

In February, after the report cards, we went on a school trip, we ended up in the room together, just the two of us. I swear it was not a planned thing, but it happened. In short, when we went to bed, after a while he got out of his bed and approached me and asked if he could get into my bed. I didn’t know what to do, I wanted it, but I didn’t know what would happen, I told him yes and immediately afterwards I asked him if he was gay and he said yes.

It was beautiful, we touched each other and masturbated each other, I was in orbit and he was very fascinated too. We were careful not to do dangerous things because he confessed to me that he had done it with other guys. I was happy, as I have never been in my life. The next day we did it again and he insisted on going further, but I didn’t want to, he finally had oral sex to me but not me to him, even if the desire was so great, but I masturbated him.

Then the trip ended and we went back to Milan and my anxiety started there. He didn’t call me, he didn’t answer my messages, but he wanted me to go to his house when his parents were not there (they work in the afternoon) to have sex, for a few days I went there but, after sex, everything was over. I would have liked a bit of tenderness, but if I caressed him, he would look at me strangely and would tell me that he didn’t like those things. When I sent him some text messages he got angry because he told me that his parents could find the messages, but when his parents were not at home, he demanded me to go to him.

Once, I could not really, because I had grandma at home and I didn’t go and he got angry, black, he raised his voice, then it passed. Well, now for a few days I cannot stand him any longer, he always asks me if I like what we do and things like that, I try to tell him that I’d like something with a little more feeling and he replies to me that he’s very keen on me, but I have the impression that it is not like that at all. In short, I think that for him I’m worth something only because I run to his house to have sex whenever he wants, and our relationship ends here.

Project, now I’m at the point where I cannot bear him anymore. At the beginning I masturbated thinking of him, now I don’t do it anymore and when I’m at his house I wonder: What the hell am I doing here? I’m going to have a little sex, it’s true, but if we have sex this way it seems to me just a mechanical thing. I think I should get away from him, yesterday I tried, but he got angry, he raised his voice, he began to say that I exploit him and use him when it suits me and then I think I can throw him away like a rag, he told me that if I say no, between us everything is over forever and I don’t deserve him, but you could see that he was uncomfortable.

I didn’t know how to react because I didn’t want to hurt him and in the end I gave up and we had sex like the other times, but I really had the brain somewhere else. I honestly think that being told no makes him a terrible effect and I don’t want to hurt him in the heavy sense, because after all I love him and I don’t know what to do.

I send you my skype contact (omissis), because I would like to talk a bit about it, since I cannot talk about it with anyone.

Alex

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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-a-difficult-gay-relationship

GAY GUYS AND PREVENTION OF SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES

Here below you can read the first part of chapter 18 of the Textbook on Homosexuality by Gay Project, you can easily download it here, absolutely free, unfortunately at the moment only in Italian:
http://gayproject.altervista.org/manuale…ualita.pdf
The chapter can also be heard in voice (only in Italian) on the Gay Project Radio website, at:
http://progettogayradio.blogspot.it/2013…zione.html
______________________________________

From “GAY PROJECT HOMOSEXUALITY TEXTBOOK” – CHAP. 18

GAYS AND PREVENTION

It has been rightly pointed out that sex education cannot be reduced to alerting young people to the risks associated with sexuality (unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases) but must take the fundamental task of contributing to individual well-being increasing the value of the pleasure as a means to improve the quality of life. Certainly we cannot disagree with such a statement, however, it remains that, in particular about sexual education of gay guys, the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases plays an absolutely fundamental role. Let us now try to understand why.

We start from data updated to 2012, which come from the Italian Higher Institute of Health (Istituto Superiore di Sanità):

In Italy in 2011, there are 94.146 cases of HIV infections treated (HIV-positive and AIDS), adding the estimated share of unaware HIV-positive people, the number rises to 156.910.

The causes of transmission of the virus are divided as follows:

37.2% heterosexual relationships
28.5% injective users of substances
27.7% homosexual relationships between males

At first glance one gets the impression that heterosexual relationships are now even more dangerous than homosexual ones but it should be kept in mind that heterosexuals are about 92% of the population, while homosexual males are about 4%, so 92% of population, composed of heterosexuals, contributes 37.2% to the total number of infections, while 4% of the population, composed of homosexual males, contributes 27.7%. As a result, male homosexuals have a statistical probability of becoming infected with HIV which is 17.3 times higher than that of heterosexuals. The number 17.13 represents the so-called risk ratio gay on hetero for male subjects in Italy, but if we look at Europe, the risk ratio goes well beyond this number. In essence, statistically the risk of contracting HIV for gay males is “much” higher than for straight males.

That’s why, for gays, education to the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases is absolutely essential.

Obviously it is doctors’ competence to explain in detail the techniques of disease prevention and therefore it is right to refer to the site of the Ministry of health that contains updated information shared by the scientific community. The Internet addresses of the site of the Ministry of Health and of the most accredited Organizations dealing with the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases can be found at the end of this chapter.

I would like to proceed now, on the basis of the experience gained in Gay Project, to analyze three different documents pertaining to the issue of prevention related to different age groups and different personal situations. The first document, very brief, regards the younger boys and their approach to sexuality and prevention, the second is a testimony of how we can move from a substantially dissipated life, spent in the search for false satisfactions, to a life lived with a very solid moral commitment. The third document concerns the fear of being HIV-positive that hangs a guy 19 years old but also witnesses a beautiful friendship born between two gay guys with the only purpose of doing a stretch of their own road together with the certainty of not being alone.

So let’s start from the approach to sexuality of the very young guys.

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

1) that being gay has nothing to do with “doing this or that” in terms of sex, but it means in the first place to love another guy,

2) that the exasperated research of sexuality in too early age is not a sign of affective maturity but exactly the opposite,

3) that sexuality is not a game,

4) that the couple sexuality is substantially different from masturbation because it is not about dealing with one’s own fantasies but with a real guy and with his psychological reality, that is about creating serious affective relationships,

5) that feelings need time to grow and a guy who, as soon as he knows you in chat, tells you that he is in love with you, isn’t really looking for you but just for a bit of sex,

6) that having sexual intercourses can entail serious risks to health and that the use of condom is always and absolutely essential,

7) that in networked contacts it is necessary to be cautious, we must avoid in the most absolute way to give unknown people cell phone numbers, telephone numbers, home addresses or other elements for personal identification.

If on the one hand it is natural that very young guys tend to explore sexuality, there is on the other the risk that “curiosity” becomes the only or the main motivation towards sexuality. From the interviews it is clear that the youngest gay guys have practically no comparison with reliable adult people on the subject of sexuality and homosexuality in particular. A lot of guys are very shy and embarrassed so that a dialogue (that is, a two-way conversation) is in fact impossible, usually I’m the only one who speaks trying to expose the contents that seem to me of greater interest on the basis of the few words exchanged with the interlocutor. In some cases, about 50%, we get to an open dialogue but not immediately, and it is clear that the guys are not used to talk about sexuality in a serious way. In some cases a climate of trust is created and the dialog becomes less theoretical and much more personal.

When very young guys, who start by setting up all the talk on matters of sexual techniques, feel stopped and brought back to a more serious dimension, or run away or radically change their tone. Those who run away probably do not have the maturity necessary to understand that being gay is something that involves the deep emotional life or perhaps of that deep emotional life they don’t yet feel the need and are stuck to the phase purely exploratory of sexuality. Those who don’t run away but change their tone come to a serious and personalized dialogue. These guys, who certainly have a gay affective dimension already quite defined, don’t try to enhance it spontaneously, but instinctively prefer the sexual dimension by considering it more adult, for them sexuality is still subordinated to the anxiety of growing and sometimes they are amazed by the fact that I give so much importance to the gay affective dimension and that I consider it fundamental, what they consider quite strange, at least at the beginning.

Many guys, even very young, in their anxiety of experimentation of sexuality go far beyond masturbation and begin to mentally build the idea that they must “try with a guy”. The idea of the experiment is sometimes dominant. The couple sexual experience is considered a sort of sexual license of adult life. The “trying” is reduced, however, to try a technique, and the emotional dimension is completely marginalized. In some situations I found myself in front of very young guys who boasted a certain sexual experience and spoke with pride about the number of sexual intercourses they had had and about the sexual practices they had experienced (more or less credible) as it was a real Curriculum to be presented to a competition.

Stopped by me in a drastic way, however, they showed an unexpected will of dialogue. Basically they were facing, probably for the first time, an adult vision of sexuality that in some way fascinated them. In the face of expressions such as “my friends have done it”, or “why not?”, Or “gays do it” I often reacted in a strong way and then tried to resume the conversation calmly. The key thing in chats with very young guys is to listen and make them get to the conclusions by themselves.

Very often, with very young guys I tackle the subject of caution, both in terms of the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, and in terms of prudence on the net. It is clear that no one has ever talked to these guys in any way even minimally serious about these things and that they have absolutely no perception of risk. My insistence on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases has sometimes been the cause of the interruption of dialogue with young guys who didn’t like such things and considered them a just form of moralism aimed only at terrorizing guys to put them in mind that sex is a bad thing. In some cases, following my speech on the use of condoms, I found myself faced with paradoxical answers followed by the abandonment of the chat, as in the following little dialogue between a 16-year-old (his nickname is Nofear).

Nofear – I met him in chat, he’s thirty years old but is very strong, with him we do everything
Project – but always protected?
Nofear – that is?
Project – with condoms
Nofear – of course no condom, I don’t like such things, with a condom you lose the best
Project – do you realize what you say? Look, it’s dangerous
Nofear – those who are not risking don’t even win …
Project – wait … let’s try to reason
Nofear – if you want to preach, please go preach to somebody else, hi

In essence from the chats with the very young guys it is clear that they are completely abandoned by the adult world and that their sexual education, as a comparison with responsible adults on issues related to sexuality, homosexuality and in particular the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, practically doesn’t exist at all.

We now come to the second document, it is an email I received from a gay doctor on 11/27/2011.

“Hi Project, reading your blog I had a jolt of pride and it happens to me very rarely. I am 43 years old and experienced a lot of things that you would not like. I have been publicly declared for a very long time, or better I can say that I have been publicly declared and have passed through the complete succession of what you call, with many elegance, things labeled gay. Fortunately for me I managed to save my health and this comforts me because there are people who have been much less lucky than me.

When I was 18/20 years old internet practically did not exist yet, and I had made my own ideas, a little as you say, the frenzy of trying, believing that going into the circle would have facilitated things and in a sense it was true but from other points of view it was destructive, first of all the news that I was gay quickly spread throughout the city, a small city in the northern Italy where gossip and hypocrisy are always the masters. Fortunately, I was studying in another city and I finished my studies, but when I started the profession I had huge problems because everyone ran away from me (I’m a doctor) and I had to change city, I had to start all over again, not to mention the terrible recriminations on the part of my family that treated me like an idiot without remedy, which pushed me even more to leave.

In the new city, after a while I started going to clubs again, because it had almost become a drug. I met people out of mind that in some cases made me really scared and after five years I had to go again to a different, smaller city, here there were no clubs but I started with chats and even there it was a torment, just like a drug, I knew some guys in the chat, then we met, did a bit of sex and then they disappeared and were reckless guys that when I talked about condoms took me for crazy. I had the frenzy of sex, I was more than 30 years old, even almost more than 32, but I spent all my free time looking for contacts. I felt alone, and I was alone, the relations with my family were completely inexistent. My father and mother no longer made themselves heard after I left home, I called them but they did not answer me deliberately.

The only points of reference were the guys I knew only for sex, one in particular I had fallen in love with, he told me so many sweet things and was a very nice guy but he wanted to come to live with me, which I could not do because I would have ended up not to work anymore and to create a mess of problems with all the people I had around, then he disappeared, but before disappearing I vomited all the possible insults against me, that I was a worm, one who does not have the courage to be what he is and above all that I was a starving man, because he liked to make the good life and with me he could not do it for sure.

This story lasted three years and left me with a sense of rejection and very strong bitterness. Over the years, the young guys stopped contacting me and only the fifties were looking for me but they were people out of mind much more than me, depressed to hospitalize, who thought they were young boys and tried to behave as if they really were, even married men, even people with diseases with a religious background, a variety of humanity that I did not even think could exist. They arrived to offer me money in exchange for sex. One was sick, had a strong asthma and I convinced him to be hospitalized because he was a high-risk patient.

In August 2009 I said “It’s enough!” and deleted all the gay contacts I had.

I changed my mobile number and I threw myself completely into my work, practically I went back to university to do a very demanding and very long specialization that leads me now to deal with aids, I finished the first two years and started the third, it’s a thing very serious and I’m completely committed to this, now I work part time and I earn very little money and all I earn goes for specialization. I am really interested in my studies and I think for the first time that I have made the right choice. I don’t tell you what I see in the hospital, there is a really desperate need for people to take care of these things, I have been reborn and I have found my way. There is a lot to do and not so much in Italy or in Europe but especially in Africa where AIDS, without medicines and in the midst of total ignorance, is a real scourge.

Days ago I found “gay project” just looking for sites that deal with prevention and then I put myself to read also the rest. Project, don’t let the guard down! What you do makes sense. Life has a meaning and it is not in seeking sex but in giving love without conditions, I understood it late but fortunately I understood it. Being gay makes sense and I think that being gay and having experienced everything I’ve been through is the real spring of my underlying motivation. I told you my story in short, publish it if you want, I would like it. Permit me a professional notation, never abandon the discourse on prevention because they are very few to do it and there is a huge need of them. I’ll add the link to the hiv and aids page of the Ministry of Health:

http://www.salute.gov.it/hiv/hiv.jsp which remains a fundamental reference point for finding serious information, even for doctors (see the updating of the guidelines). I would like to devote some time to the forum but now I have other goals for which I ask you to keep my privacy
[signed letter]

The third document is particularly touching and, beyond the theme centered on the fear of HIV, it allows to understand the spiritual depths of gay guys and what it means to love each other. This is an email I received on July 4th, 2007 and I published the same day (in Italian) on the old Gay Project Forum.
The name of one of the protagonists of the story has been replaced with an X for reasons of privacy.

“First I met X through words. For me they were important, they made me feel good and I did not even understand why, I only read and reread them. I made sure to get some courage and ask his msn even if with an incredible difficulty because for the things that I really care about I am very shy and perhaps also of a crazy cowardice. Talking with him gave me so much! He has his own way of seeing things, maybe strange and difficult to understand but he always managed to get me out of my depression, in one way or another gave me a deep sense of serenity. I had a boulder inside, something that I had hidden inside me for years and that took everything away from me. I never thought I’d ever have the strength to tell it anyone. Instead, it came spontaneous to tell X about it and it made me feel good.

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

But this is not the boulder. What I confided to X is another thing: when I was 14 a guy much older than me, who sometimes attended the company of my cousin and that everyone knew he was gay has abused me. That’s why I hate gay sex. When I fell in love with a guy for the first time two years ago I thought it was for that abuse. I suffered too much. I felt as if something impure had crept into me. For me it was like a contagion. A curse that clung to me. But this is not the worst thing, the worst thing is the fact that one year and a half after what he had done to me I found out from my cousin that the guy was HIV-positive and I knew he had not used any precautions with me. I never saw him again and I didn’t speak to him anymore to know if I too could have become HIV-positive, but then I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do it.

I still perfectly remember what I experienced finding it out. It’s a bit like dying. I was holding the form for enrolling in a creative writing course that I was very fond of and it was the first time I had fought so hard to get something at my house, I started ripping it into smaller and smaller pieces and it was a bit how to tear up my future. Since then, the ice has not left me anymore. I continued to live but only on the margins because everything made me suffer too much.

The doubt I kept buried inside me, as deep as possible, was something I never thought of but that anyway stood there and poisoned everything. Since then I have always been inconclusive, defeatist and submissive throughout. I heard others talk about what they wanted to do and I did not say anything, I did not think about anything. Lately with some I had a little loose. I thought about what I really wanted to do, I did some programs, to a guy with whom I spoke on msn one day I also said that I would go to see him this summer. A little I believed, I hoped it but then my enthusiasm ended in nothing. Yes, in my heart it was like I was already dead.

Talking with X made me feel good. He has a boyfriend and they are very much in love, he is happy and fulfilled, but even if he did not know me at all, even if talking to me was always so difficult and painful, I think, he was looking for me and if he didn’t find me or it was me who did not make me available because I was too depressed, he still wrote me even just a few words that made me feel that at least one person was really interested. Yes, he always devoted so much time and attention to me, a constant and sincere thought, was the only one to really do it and in the most disinterested way possible, to give me a little of himself and without receiving or wanting anything in return. I thought a thousand times that it was very strange that a person could be like that and even more with someone like me. But he is special and UNIQUE.

In the end he also managed to convince me that I had to go and take the test. He did it telling me that he would accompany me. I waited to finish my graduation exam and immediately the next day we met through msn and he came to take me in the city where I live. When I saw him I could not believe it was really him, although I could see that he was really beautiful even from the avatar. Because X is very beautiful but the point is that there are a lot of guys I don’t say very beautiful but certainly beautiful, but X is a thing apart. And then he has incredible eyes, which one would think there could not be two eyes like that. Nobody after looking at them, even the most materialist, could ever be able to think that there is no soul. I fell in love with him immediately.

It’s hallucinating but as soon as I saw him, I no longer thought I was going to take the HIV test, that is, I thought it was a secondary thing. I was too busy with him. I immediately felt beautiful feelings and for me to try them was a natural and right thing. And yes, he also attracted me physically and very much, for me it was really too embarrassing but I managed to hide it well and for the first time it did not disgust me, even that was beautiful and natural and it was fine that way. To take the test we went to a rather distant city, because I wanted so, a stupid thing I know but it made me feel more anonymous and sure, he brought me there by car. I thought I had to go fasting for blood collection, when X knew it smiled to me, I was very pale for anxiety and agitation, he told me “It’s not that you go down right now?” And while we waited, he held my hand tight all the time, under a newspaper folded to the side so that no one could see and I was not embarrassed.

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

At that point I burst inside. I began to think only of the one thing that felt real to me, of what I could have inside me, of the fact that I had to accompany myself to this foreign and enemy thing for the time that remained to me to live, that I would be a danger, that I would continue to be alone until the end, that I would be kept at a distance but above all that I would have kept everything and everyone at a distance from me not to have to suffer even more. And all this at only 19 years old. Nothing behind and nothing in front. One passes graduation and should start planning his long-distance future. In my case, I felt it made no sense, never had a sense for me. X stared at me but I did not say anything to him and as we walked I moved away and moved further and further.

At one point he stopped me and hugged me without speaking any word and hugged me so tightly! I just said “You know, I always knew I was already dead.” X shook me strongly and made me sick and said “Don’t be silly!! Even if it were, life doesn’t end for this, only changes.” I don’t know how long he hugged me, I wanted to cry but I could not and it’s bizarre because I’m crying every single fucking day, yet at that moment I was dry and that dry was too bad for me. But at a certain point I began to feel X’s body, his breath against me, his warmth, his smell. I held my breath and focused on the beating of his heart to hear it with my ear but also with my skin. I felt an inexpressible yearning that rose from my stomach, something so beautiful and intense that it almost hurt and then, in short, I had an erection. Even if I continued to feel that I was HIV-positive, I felt even more strongly that I was wanting X with all my might and I felt that I was willing to do anything to have him close to me, even being HIV-positive.

I know it seems absurd but in these three months I have discovered that it is real life that is absurd, not that imagined. I tried to move away from him, but it was too embarrassing, and then I thought that rightly he could take it badly. But he did not let me go, and even told me “Do you see it? Your body knows that you are alive and you want to stay alive.” We were still embraced, someone looked at us badly, someone said something. I did not care at all, I would have liked to stay that way forever. X left me at some point and I felt a great emptiness inside, so I spontaneously told him that his boyfriend is the luckiest person on earth, he blushed, smiled and said “Believe me it’s me the one lucky to have him.” I thought he would take me back, in the end I had done what I had to do, instead X still wanted to stay with me. We walked around the city, we did not talk much but we simply walked, sometimes we sat somewhere. We went for lunch but my stomach was closed for him even though I lied to him and said it was still for the test.

X is so beautiful that I will never stop to look at him, has a smile of continuous light in the eyes and then he is sweet and affectionate in words but also in the gestures in a way that makes you feel protected and warm inside. While we were around, he often showed me things that I would never have seen on my own and surprised me and moved me in that way that he has all of his own to look at the world and be happy for certain things that never interest anyone. Every now and then he had a gesture toward me very sweet as touching my arm or a light squeeze of my hand, a separate communication with which he made me understand that he was there. In the evening he took me back to the place where we had arranged to meet.

I was all upset, X told me that he would come back with me to take the result of the test, because they give it to you after a few days and you have to go and pick it up. I felt very sad with that sense of emptiness that grew bigger and bigger. X looked at me, he was tense, worried and said “All right?”. Then I thought how bad all that could hurt him. I had glued on him weeks and weeks of anguish and depression, mine, and he had never avoided all this, but a wonderful creature like him did not even deserve the billionth part of it. I felt petty and selfish in the worst way. I tried to tell him that everything was fine, that I was better but it was evident that he did not believe it at all.

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

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

Questions and answers on AIDS and HIV (from the Ministry of health):

http://www.salute.gov.it/imgs/C_17_pubblicazioni_2005_allegato.pdf

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PROBLEMS OF A DISSYMMETRIC GAY LOVE

Hello Project,
I thought so much before I wrote to you. I had read your manual “Being Gay” with much interest and also many of your posts on the Forum. In short, you seem to me a person of considerable experience and therefore I think that consulting you may be useful. I go to the specific, which is very delicate matter.
I’m 51 y. o., in my life I had sex with a single guy. The story is complex but I think it was important to both of us. When we met for the first time he was twenty, I was 43, the age difference was great. At first I did not think I could have sexual sex with him, frankly, at that time and even later for some months I didn’t even consider such hypothesis. By the way, I’ve never had big sex interests. In my youth it attracted me much, but more to the level of imagination than of any possible sexual relationship with a guy.
We knew each other for the sake of pure chance in an environment that had nothing to do with gays, we started to talk, then the thing went on. It was understood that it was an important thing but none of us had told the other to be gay. He knew I was not married and that I didn’t have a woman, I knew he didn’t have a girl, but the talk stopped there. We began to attend more assiduously, and we came to the point that we met almost every day but just to do the most common things of everyday life, to go shopping, to go to public offices or just to spend an afternoon together. Sometimes people took us for father and son and I felt proud of all this. 
He was studying at university (he is a guy of a monstrous intelligence). During the exam period he came to study at my home, I did not disturb him, because I worked until 17.00, at night we talked a bit, but just a little, then I accompanied him back to his home. He said to his parents that he was studying at the university library. Months have been spent together for the whole day and a few times even at night, and there has never been sex between us. There was no physical contact of any kind, not even shake hands. 
He had a terrible relationship with his parents and occasionally gave some sign of depression, I do not say at a pathological level, but he tended to depressed mood: not to see prospects, to devalue and to consider himself a nullity, which does not exactly match reality. I thought he had adopted me as a dad and I felt very proud of it. I think I’ve been one of the very few people with whom he had a non-superficial dialogue. 
Then the dialogue became more straightforward and he told me that he was gay, and until this it was more or less what I was expecting, he told me of his falling in love with a former schoolmate who wasn’t at all worried about him, then he expanded the talk and told me that he had met also the boy’s father and had felt strongly attracted to him, and that the interest in mature men had also manifested on other occasions, it was not exclusive but was still very strong, much stronger than that in boys. And in the end he added that he also felt this interest in me and that for a long time had been uncertain whether to say it or not. 
He told me he had perfectly understood that I was gay because no one would have cared for him in that way if he hadn’t been gay and for that very reason the attraction towards me was very strong because in the end to feel attraction for a straight man doesn’t make sense, because he will never match you, while with a gay man there is some chance. I was literally speechless. By the age of 43 I was certain that my life would be devoid of sexual experiences and that I would never have a partner. The guy’s speech stirred me, for one side I was in love with him, but on the other hand the age difference seemed so huge that the only thing to do was to get away and let him create his affective life, at least as far as possible. 
I told him that I loved him, but that I wanted our relationship to remain what was from the beginning, but obviously my answer was not very convincing, and so he began very carefully to look for physical contact, at the beginning really minimal and then, increasingly stronger. It took more or less a month. To try to avoid what was now inevitable, I told him that I was afraid of sexually transmitted diseases, he asked me very seriously if I had had sexual intercourses with someone and I told him that it never happened and he told me in a way more convinced that he had never had any relationship with anyone and frankly I had no doubt about, so our sexual intercourse began, I was 44 and he had 21. He obviously kept sleeping almost always at his parents’ home. 
They were incredible days, I was happy, but I hid in the most secret part of the soul the fear that all this could come to an end because he sooner or later could have experienced the need to fall in love with a coetaneous. Obviously I could not talk to him about this, but the fear was always present. Our relationship has been going on for two years and a little longer, then he met another guy, a little older, and talked to me about him. At that moment I realized I would lose him in a short time. He practically talked to me almost to ask me permission to stay with that guy. 
I’ve done everything to make him detach from me as less painfully as possible. I told him that I loved him and that I didn’t feel betrayed at all and that I always would have loved him. We said goodbye and for a couple of months I did not have any news. Then he called me again, he was fine with his boyfriend, at least so he said, but he wanted to see me again to make love with me, I didn’t know what to do. He insisted to the extreme limit and I did not dare to tell him no. We met and we made love taking all the precautions. He was happy, but I think he was most happy to have not been refused. I have had great guilty feelings over both his boyfriend and himself, because I had made him realize that that state of affairs was, after all, possible. 
In the following months, such behaviors repeated several times, more or less at intervals of a couple of weeks. Then he broke the relationship with his boyfriend, who I think was a great guy who loved him, and went looking for other experiences, from what I understood, just sex. I’ve seen him become more and more cynical. With me every now and then there was a bit of sex, with no risky and hyper-protected behaviors because I knew he had other guys. But with me there was not only sex, many times we talked for hours and very sincerely. He trusted me and he told me a lot of things about when he was a kid and then a teenager and I think the experiences he has gone through, really heavy, leave an indelible mark on him. 
Things have been going on in this way for some years now, he has his “contacts” (let’s call them so) for sex, and I’m among those contacts, and then with me every now and then there’s another kind of dialogue, sometimes with some very difficult moments when we both think it would be better not to meet anymore. I don’t call him, but when he calls me, what always happens at most within 10 days, dialogue resumes as if nothing had happened. 
He always tends to devalue the affective side and I tend to devalue the sexual one. He doesn’t like affectionate tones, at least so he says, and I don’t like the idea of being above all, though not just a “contact” for sex. About two weeks ago we came to harsh tones and I thought very seriously that the best thing would be to disappear altogether, but, I must tell the truth, I keep thinking about him, if I saw him quiet with a guy, that is if I saw him happy with a guy I’d be happy myself and I’d put me aside with peace of mind, but I’m objectively worried about him, I fear that he could let himself go too much and such a thing scares me, and then when he calls me, as it happened this morning, I feel that the contact between us has a profound meaning and I think it can be really important to him. I love him, sometimes I don’t understand him at all, but between us there is a strong bond, far beyond sex. 
Today he called me to propose a sex meeting, I told him no, but loosely, then we talked a bit, and frankly I was happy about his phone call. When we greeted he said, “I love you!” And it’s something he never says.
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