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
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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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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-and-prevention-of-sexually-transmitted-diseases

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GAY LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE OVER SEXUAL BIASES

Hi Project,
I would like to have your opinion on a problem that has kept me (for years) in a state of uncertainty. I try to describe the situation in summary. I am 45 years old, my ex-boyfriend (even if this expression is definitely unsuitable in the concrete case) is 29. He is my ex, of course, he had his stories after we broke up, but in the end he could not be comfortable with anyone; he is a guy who has had a very difficult past with moments of deep depression but from all this, or at least from the worst phases of all this he seems to have come out.
We constantly maintained a relationship even when we were no longer a couple. He is a bit neurotic (perhaps a lot) but between us there was always a special feeling that went far beyond sex. I think he is a person of superior intelligence, even if he has always underestimated himself. In studies he lost time for reasons related mainly to his depression and his neuroses, but in the end he obtained excellent results, anyway, apart from the results of the studies, 
I see that he has a profound interest in his field (typically scientific) and this causes him also anxiety because when he applies a lot to his studies and has the impression of not understanding exactly what he is reading or of failing developing the hypotheses on which he is working, he goes into crisis and in those moments is likely to nullify everything. Over the years, however, I have noticed that these crises are always less profound and that they don’t destroy him any more as they did a few years ago. 
I don’t know what he will do in his life beyond studying (which is the thing that seems most suitable for him); until now he has accomplished much more than what he himself would have imagined at the beginning. I want to emphasize that I love him deeply and that there is a communication between us that I have never experienced with any other person. When I stand next to him I never know how to behave, even if now I feel less conditioned. 
Among us there is also some sexual contact, it happens rarely but it happens, especially now that he has not had a boy for several months. I, by my nature, tend to create relationships that are first of all emotional and this happens above all with him who is so much younger than me. I often tend to reassure him, to tell him that I love him, which is very true and he knows very well, but the real problem presents itself on the sexual level, which for him is fundamental. 
He has always had the fear of being put aside because sexuality in him produces almost a kind of frenzy and he is afraid that all of this can put his partners in crisis, and sometimes it happened. I have asked myself many questions but then I realized that his attitudes towards sex are conditioned by his past and I ended up thinking that there was nothing to be really alarmed about. I also had the idea of moving away from him, but only in some very particular and very rare situations, but in the end everything has always been overcome and I think that our relationship, strange as it is, is still very strong. 
He asks me for sexual behaviors that would not come spontaneously to my mind, they are things that don’t upset me at all but a little contrast with my way of being. He says that I have to be authoritarian, hard, that I must use strong manners with him, that I have to humiliate him and it baffles me a bit, sometimes I try to do what he asks me for, but for me it is a game, because being with him inspires me an extreme tenderness and I feel led to embrace him and certainly not to be aggressive or to humiliate him. 
Sometimes he considers my attitude as if I didn’t want to understand the meaning of what he asks me for. We have talked about these things a lot and it is clear that when he asks me for harsh, punitive behaviors towards himself, the memory of his first experiences plays a fundamental role. I would like to remove him from the memory of those experiences and I would like him to enter into the dimension of sexuality made of tenderness and mutual affection, but I realize that the weight of memories for him is very strong and that his vision of sexuality, now at 30, is still deeply conditioned by his first experiences. 
Sometimes it’s like he wants to be punished for something that he has to see absolutely as a fault, for example, the fact that after the end of our relationship as a couple, he had had sex with other guys. I never thought that these things were a fault because I thought that finding a boy who loved him could be fundamental to his life. He is not my possession, he is only a person whom I love and who loves me and I am sure of that. 
The point is this, Project, what should I do? Follow him as he wants or keep an intermediate line, that is to do a little as he wants but without neglecting to tell him that I love him? And then I wonder if my trying to remove him from his memories is a right thing or if it’s just an attempt to force him to close a bracket that for him it is not closed at all. It’s a bit as if he wanted to relive with me, but clearly in a dimension also emotional, some of his old experiences, perhaps reliving them in a different way could free him from the obsessive presence of those contents. 
I would like to emphasize that he has had and still has problems because he has lived a difficult life, but he is not a pathological case. I am happy that he considers me important or at least really a friend and, frankly, if he disappeared from my life I would feel damned alone. Sometimes when he speaks to me about his studies he fascinates me even though he is always ready to point out that things are not clear as they seem. Now I see more self-esteem in him, even if self-esteem has never been his characteristic note. 
I am very fond of him because I feel him very similar to me, I am not a scientist and I lived a very banal life until I met him, but in many of his attitudes and in his ways of reacting I identify myself deeply. He never cheated me, he is generous, rough but also affectionate. I would not like anyone else next to me because we more than a couple are a family. When he calls me I feel happy even if I never know how to behave. 
Years ago we often argued and then we behaved as if nothing had happened, now we do not argue practically any more and the dialogue no longer seems a hard confrontation but a way of telling each other our emotions. I am enchanted by how he manages to manifest his need for sex in a simple and direct way; I don’t know how to do anything like that, but he knows very well that being close to him it is happiness for me and he knows that this is a certainty that will not fail.
I’m waiting for your response, Project, if you consider it appropriate, put this mail in the blog. I have attached my skype contact; I’d like to talk a little with you.
Leonard
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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-love-and-acceptance-over-sexual-biases

A TRUE GAY BETRAYAL

Hello Project,
I was very impressed with our last night’s interview and I’ll explain why. You are older than my father and not a few years older, but you are serene, you are not neurotic, you have no angry shots, don’t panic as he does, don’t pretend to change people. I realized that you think in a way different from mine but you didn’t try to impose your point of view and in essence tended to resize the problems, make them become something normal, common things to deal with, but nothing special. You’re reassuring.
 
Tonight I tried to think about what we said last night: you think my doubts are unfounded and that with Mirco there is a solid relationship, that is, it is not at all a thing instrumental to sex. I tell you right away that I think you are right, though for me, to take my doubts out of my head is not easy, they are a bit like a trickle that creeps in depth and is likely to put everything to a crisis, although it is probably only one of my neuroses, a kind of fixed idea that wears me out and that I would like to completely overcome.
 
In fact, I have asked myself several times why he has always been looking for me, because I’m certainly not the best, with me he has always felt free to pull out all his neuroses because he knew he would be accepted anyway and then, especially in the most recent time, he has let go to some affectionate word, it happened seldom but it happened, he has always trusted me completely and this struck me and strikes a lot. He has never had inhibitory brakes with me, he has slowly come to accept that there are also different ways of seeing sexuality between us, he is much more hot, more carried by sex, I am much more for pampering and affection, at the beginning such two worlds seemed irreconcilable, then, step by step, we found  a balance, it was not the earthly paradise but it was something. If I reflect on what there has been between us, well, I cannot say I’ve ever felt frustrated, and presently I have some certainties, I cannot even hear him for a dozen days, but then he gets in touch. When we argue, what happens often, in a way very repetitive and almost ritually, we do not meet for a couple of weeks, but then he reappears, just as if nothing had happened, I tell him that I’m delighted to hear him, which in the end is true, he answers a bit embarrassed, because he doesn’t want to talk about affectivity, but I’m convinced that he is happy to know that he can count on something.
Over time I had learned something, or rather I had passed a block: in my adolescence I was convinced that to really love each other a monogamous relationship was needed and that the so-called betrayal would represent the last beach of a gay couple. I was just convinced, then I saw the story of a friend of mine, a hetero guy, Louis, who married and after a few years divorced but didn’t break his relationship with his wife, they continue to meet and every one has his own stories but they have remained in touch despite everything, they still help each other when it’s necessary and, in a sense, they are still in love. The thing at first seemed to me strange, contradictory, almost impossible. I had in my mind the myth of the exclusive couple, of belonging to each other all life long and so on, etc., and yet I had the sight of the fact that loving someone doesn’t mean exclusivity at all. I was looking for justifications in the idea that at affective level things might work even so, but at the sex level the exclusive relationship was indispensable. Then I ended up to talk about these things with Louis and he told me it happened that even after divorce he sometimes made love with his ex-wife. I asked him, a little puzzled, if the fact that she had another man made it difficult and he answered something I would never have expected, that his ex-wife’s companion knew how things were and left his wife free to behave as she wanted. I would never have imagined such a thing. Louis added that, clearly, both he and his ex-wife took all possible precautions, so as not to create problems as unwanted pregnancies or possible illnesses. I asked him if he often had intercourses with his ex-wife, and he told me that in a year it would have happened 4 or 5 times.
 
The reflection on Louis’s story had started my brain. I was wondering what I would do if Mirco told me he had a another guy … the idea frightened me, but I had been trying to get used to preventing the effects of any such eventuality. Then, a good day, in January 2016, I asked Mirco if he had ever had other guys and he told me that “now” (in January 2016) he had no other guy, but that word, “now”, put me in crisis, did that word “now” mean that he had had a boy before? I tried to ask him and he said that he had one while we were together and that then a thousand scruples had come to him, not because of infidelity, but because he could have been risking me, but he showed me the outcome of the test, one test done at that time and one very recent, both negative, and he told me that this was the only time he had had another guy. He didn’t tell me everything because he was afraid to lose me. I asked him if he was still in touch with that guy and he told me no, because that guy didn’t want to meet him anymore and left him because he said he was too neurotic. I asked him if that guy knew about me, and he replied that he knew I was his ex-boyfriend, but not that we were still in touch.
 
After this confession, I must say that I felt betrayed. I completely trusted Mirco and suddenly I found myself in a state of betrayal that I didn’t even imagine. He looked at me a bit worried and then told me: “It happened but I didn’t do it anymore.” I confess that I felt in a great difficulty. After all, he had really betrayed me, had betrayed my trust, it was not like Louis’s story, Mirco had played dirty. Yes, it was true that he had admitted it, though he could still pretend, but he had betrayed me. That evening we greeted differently than usual, I felt frozen, manipulated, I wanted to be alone, I didn’t want to know anybody anymore. 
 
After 15 days, the longest interval between two contacts with Mirco, I had no news of him, I was panicking, the rage for betrayal had abundantly diminished and I started to feel the void for the absence of Mirco, but I did not call him anyway. The third week without Mirco was really bad, I thought I was definitely alone. After 25 days he called me. He just said, “How are you?” I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t answer, I was silent but I didn’t  even close the phone. He said in a very hesitant voice: “I’m here at the door of your house, would you like to walk a bit?” I just said, “Come on.” He got up and we hugged very tight. Getting him back in my arms seemed to me like a miracle. We have been so at least ten minutes. Then we sat on the couch, he leaned on me and we have been there in silence for a long time to feel the heat of each other. I no longer cared about betrayal, in the end it was something that had made us stronger and I still had my Mirco, and saw his neuroses with tenderness, no need to talk, we understood each other even without saying anything .
 
Of this story I didn’t speak except with Louis, who heard and told me that the love that resists in time is the only true and that Mirco made a mistake, of course, but never stopped loving me. With other friends who are just talking about cheating and betrayal, I don’t even want to talk about my story, for them I would just be the idiot of “cheated and happy”!
If you like, post this mail on the forum. I’ll call you back in the next few days.
 
G.B.
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GAY GUYS AND COMPULSORY MILITARY SERVICE

Compulsory military service in Italy was suspended, in practice abolished, in 2004. Prior to that, all the guys, at the end of the eighteenth year, were referred to the physical for military conscription. There were many legends related to collective nakedness and to the presence of homosexual doctors, with all that this could entail. The embarrassment for the physical, the first physical that included genital examination, was common for years among the guys who were preparing for the fateful moment. Of course, for gay guys the embarrassment was much greater, for many of them this  was the first moment of collective nakedness and hard-ons could become uncontrollable.
On May 3, 2008, I received and published on the blogs of Gay Project the email I quote below translated into English.
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I was born in March 1986, so in January 2004 I received, last among the last ones, the terrible call card for the military physical. Compulsory military service reform was a highly debated issue in those days, the suspension of the mandatory enlistment seemed a probable hypothesis, but a lot of things were not yet well defined. I had hoped until the last moment to get rid of it, but my precept postcard summoned me for military physical at the beginning of August 2004. From September 30, 2004, military physical has been abolished. In essence, I would have been in the very last contingents for the compulsory military service before the abolition of it.
At school I was a year ahead, just in time for not being able to get a referral for study reasons, I could enroll at the university and I would have escaped military service with the referral, and instead my parents did not want to hear any reason and I hated them for that, but in fact this was my luck, even though I realized it later on. My father always told me that in the army they would make me a man and said: “Who is not good for the king is not good for the queen either!” An old way to say that those who didn’t do military service aren’t good for marriage. I had the terror of military service, of hazing and of all I had heard about these things. I could not say to my dad that I was gay and that if I stated it during the physical I would have avoided the military service, so for me there was no escape.
I think all the guys have read a lot of porn stories on the military physical, well, I assure you that if you read about the military physical when other guys have to deal with it, it can be fun, but when you are the one you have to undergo this experience it makes you feel anguish.
It was not even for the thing in itself, because I had passed some sporting physicals and also with some embarrassing situations because having to lower your underpants in front of the doctor is embarrassing for anyone, but the thing I was worried about was not even that but getting a hard-on, because for a gay guy, in a situation like that, being naked in front of so many other guys and in front of the doctors who could do with the guys whatever they like with the excuse of the medical examination (and someone really exaggerated) well, it does a certain effect and, wanting or not wanting, when a gay guy sees things like that  it’s very easy that he can get a hard-on, but if it happens in such a situation there is not only the embarrassment but they brand you, that is, you cannot really lose control there. 
I didn’t knew exactly how it would have been, it was a common fear to all the other guys who had to get the military physical, but I didn’t know guys who had already gone through the physical. Those older than me had fun telling me terrible things, in short, things similar to that of porn movies. Last week I did a lot  of yoga exercises up to the incredible: checking my breath, posture, standing on one foot, holding my breath for a long time, pulling my belly back and so on because I had read it was something that decreases hard-ons, etc. etc..
The terrible day arrives, I was uncomfortable from the morning. They send us to a waiting room and, waiting, waiting, it’s almost noon; chatting with others, one tells me: “There is one doctor with a beard, if you happen to get examined by him you are in trouble! That doctor is gay and you’ll get a very special physical!” At a certain point a sergeant comes and calls ten guys and me among them, and he gets us into the locker room and tells us to held on just the underpants and to deposit everything else in the lockers. We undress. My heart beats violently, they get us two by two into the medical room and send us at the end of the room where there are two examination tables. I see a very nice blond guy just in front of me. 
Two doctors come in, they both have a beard, the doctor who comes to me has only a goatee, the guy in front of me is now completely naked and the doctor checks all that can be checked: fells the testicles, pulls back the foreskin, and I’m there to see, so I get a hard-on and I cannot hold it back. My doctor makes me lower my underpants and immediately realizes what’s happening, feels the testicles for half a second, pulls on my underpants and sends me rapidly away making me understand with a move of the eyes that I had to get out of the medical room immediately before the other doctor may be interested in me, all this while the other doctor humiliates the blond guy even making comments loudly.
When I went out of the medical room I had a terrible heartthrob, 120 and beyond, then the blond guy explained to me that the pansy (“finocchio”) doctor did not happen to me but to him. I was absolutely certain of the opposite but I could not explain why. Of course, for a gay doctor, doing military physicals should be the best, the doctor who had happened to me, however, did not humiliate me at all and did not take advantage of the situation while he could have done so putting me into a terrible embarrassment, but he, in my opinion, understood how things were, that is, that I was gay, and allowed me to escape the humiliation. The following days there were psychological tests, but they were all shit. At the end: skilled and enrolled! 
The first November they send me to the regiment. There was the atmosphere of a total disarmament, it was the last contingent of compulsory enrolment. I arrive, they incorporate me, then comes dressing and then they send me to the department. The usual embarrassment in the showers (no partitions) but as there were no fixed times, I ate very little at lunch and I was showering in the early afternoon when there was no one. I would very much like to do it in crowded hours, along with so many other guys, but that was too dangerous. Every now and then I entered the showers at rush hour, but that’s all another talk. 
Hazing? I did not see it, I repeat, perhaps because it was the last contingent, and even the officers treated us very elastically. In the early months there was a real discipline, later they realized that we were calm and did not disturb and this was enough for them, it was a rather bland thing. With the other guys things got loose quickly enough. Of course I could not say I was gay but I never felt in trouble because I was on my own. One of the guys was, Bruno, coming from Trentino was a very handsome blond guy, though he was called Bruno (in Italian Bruno sounds like brown) (I have e weakness  for the blondes!), I was always with him, we did everything together except the shower, he was polite, not intrusive, not conceited, a pretty guy but quiet. 
In short I took a crush for Bruno, keeping him close, talking to him, staying with him so long caused me sexual reactions and sometimes I was embarrassed because I thought he would notice it and so happened, he smiled and said to me, “But what are you doing?” I became red like a pepper, but nothing changed between us, we kept going all the time together, then came the talk of the military physical and I told him what happened to me, which in practice meant to make it clear that I was gay, going further on with such subject I was afraid of a negative reaction and I felt very embarrassed, but he was smiling amused by my story, then the unexpected thing, he looks firmly in my eyes and says, “You don’t know what happened to me, I just had a huge hard-on and my doctor, the one with the goatee, told me to leave as soon as possible.” So Bruno was gay too! This was his coming out.
We joked about all the stories of the physical, and then I said, “It’s great to be in the army! Or am I wrong?” Now you can wait for I don’t know what, maybe so much sex but no, there was some kind of total incertitude, both on my side and on his, I dreamed of him every night and when I could, that is when there was a little privacy, I masturbated thinking of him and he certainly did the same but we never spoke about. Once we camped together, near Udine, we were in the tent together but we were in eight and we couldn’t even have a little privacy. When we got to have free exit we were always together, same pizzeria, same walk. We sat on the benches and talked for hours, he told me all his fantasies, even sexual things but just little, then I asked him if he had a boyfriend in civil life and he told me no, I told him that the same was for me, but even after these confessions nothing happened. 
One day I told him I had fallen in love with him and he said to me: “I’m in love with you too, but I don’t feel like I’m starting a story that cannot last long.” He made me realize that he wanted me but he was saying it only with words, no gesture, not even least, not even a caress, we were deliberately going to the showers at different times, but we wanted each other. He was convinced that as we lived 400km away we could never have built a serious thing together, but to stay with him I would have done a thousand miles. I tried to insist, it was evident that he was tempted and was fighting against himself to hold back the idea, he was anxious, I knew that he was working on his choice, that he was basically trying to resist himself but wanted to surrender. 
Day after day I saw his defenses fall and I hoped that the next day he would tell me yes, then I was discouraged and I did not insist on saying that I wanted to have sex with him, reluctantly I was tossed into more generic speeches, that is sexless, in the beginning he seemed very reassured by my decision to lower the tones, then after two days, he comes to me in the morning and tells me, “When are you going to the showers?” I light up a smile at 34 teeth and say, “At two and a half, and there is no one!” He answers: “I come, but look, we just have a shower!” We were in the square and there were people around and so I could not embrace him and I could not even shriek for happiness because they would think I was crazy, I just made the gesture with my mouth to send him a little kiss and he said to me: “Remember you promised, just the shower!” Well, we arrived both at showers a quarter of an hour in advance. 
I was expecting that our meeting would easily turn into a very strong and direct sexual contact, but nothing like that happened. He told me that he was very embarrassed and that he didn’t feel like doing such things, I told him that I could understand it and that I would not hurt him. He hesitated a bit, then said to me, “But at a distance and together, did you understand?” And he walked away from me several meters, placed himself right on the opposite side of the showers’ room. We undressed together and went to the showers not only without touching each other but staying far away, but I could see him naked and it was not a fortuitous thing, he was there for me and on the other hand I was there for him as well. Everything lasted at most three minutes, I think the three most intense minutes of my life, then he said to me: “It’s enough!” We went back to the dressing room and we dressed. It was a thrill experience. 
Once dressed, we put our heads under the jet of frozen water because otherwise we were not in a state to leave the showers and go around the barracks. In the following days the shower rite at two and a half in the afternoon became the rule, he was less embarrassed and I too, but we never touched each other for about two months, then we were discharged and when they gave us the leave sheet and told us we could finally leave because everything was over, well, I went through a moment of profound discomfort, I felt agitated, I was really sad because leaving Bruno seemed to me a terrible thing. He caught it and said, “Do you think it will work?” I answered him as a desperate guy. We left the barracks and began to speak like a couple, now it was obvious that we would not separate anymore, that we would have fought against everything and against everyone to live our lives. It was 1st November 2005. We have been together for two and a half years now and I hope to grow old with Bruno at my side.
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GAY GUYS AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES

Dear Project,
today for the first time I had the evidence of the stupidity of some guys and I also sent one of them to hell, not to say worse, even though he was a very good guy in many respects and I liked him a lot. I’ve always been afraid of sexually transmitted diseases and I’ll explain why, and some of the things you’ve told me have accentuated my fears. I do not think that happiness can be achieved just though sex, though sex is still a thing that creates a true dimension of intimacy, however, thinking of ruining life for five minutes of unprotected sex with an unknown guy seems to me the classic behavior of a totally irresponsible person. 
I had a friend, or better, luckily, I still have a friend, he is a guy of Irish origin, I’ll call him Patrick, even though this is not his name. Patrick has become HIV positive for underestimating the risks. It is true that now being HIV positive does not turn immediately to AIDS because there are antiretroviral drugs that control the situation well enough and that’s why the outlook is far less terrible than a few decades ago, but Patrick’s life will be permanently conditioned by the HIV. I’ve seen how Patrick changed after the diagnosis and everything he needs to do for therapy and related clinical controls and are not at all banal things, and anyway HIV is not definitely eliminated. 
Talking to Patrick causes me distress and it causes me also rage because no one has ever made him reason, on the other hand I too didn’t even do it, I thought he was very careful about prevention but it did not happen, and I cannot even blame him because he did not have risky behaviors or at least he did not seem to have risky behaviors. He had sex only with his partner and his partner didn’t know he was HIV positive. So, in essence, no one and not even his partner is really guilty of what happened. You could try to figure out who has infected his partner but you would end up tracing back the infection chain without any real utility. 
The only way to avoid what happened would have been to test before having sexual intercourse and repeat the test after the window period without having sexual intercourses between the two tests, but it’s a long thing, not easy to accomplish and people end to neglect it with the terrible consequences that Patrick is now facing. I must say that I am very informed about HIV (I study Medicine) and I have continued to attend Patrick, but many of his friends, having known that he is HIV positive, abandoned him completely and this has greatly aggravated his psychological situation. 
After I saw how Patrick’s life changed (because of these things I often talk with him), I became absolutely uncompromising in terms of prevention, I would say almost maniac. At that time I had not had already any sexual intercourse with anyone and I was quiet for my personal situation, but later I also had a boyfriend. Until a few months ago, I was with a guy who unfortunately got tired of staying with me and has gone, but from the perspective of prevention he was a guy with the brain in the head. When we thought we could have sexual intercourse, we went together to test and another time four months later for the window effect, clearly we went together to test and retire the results, so as to take away any doubt, therefore, when we had sexual intercourse we did not have in the background the ghost of the fear of HIV. 
There is not only HIV but there are several other sexually transmitted diseases, which make perhaps less frightening but are able to cause anyway serious damages. And then, if one goes to test, he becomes also more careful and learns that prevention is a fundamental thing. Of course we waited four and a half months to have sex, but when we did, we could only think about sex and not about the possible risks. Okay, this was my ex-boyfriend, and losing him caused me trouble, because he was not the type of sexual escapades, he had met Patrick, and Patrick had shown him very closely that the risks really exist. Anyway my ex-boyfriend left because we were thinking about other things in very different ways, however he left, and bye! 
But since then it had been over a year and I was slowly falling in love with another guy, a very nice and very sweet guy, a guy I loved very much. We started chatting, then we met in the evening to talk a bit (he lives somewhere near my home). Then, inevitably, sexual expectations were also created. I told him about my story and he told me about his. At this point he thought we would come to sex immediately, because in our stories it didn’t seem to be any risk of sexually transmitted diseases, but in such things I don’t accept at all the word “seem”, and I told him that we had to do the double test before having sex, as I had done with my old boyfriend. He was very weirded by this speech. I quote here a piece of a mail about the subject:
 
“I felt treated like a leper. You do not trust what I tell you. But why should I tell you something false? Do you want to use the condom? Okay, that’s fine, but using it for oral sex just seems absurd. But you do not even need this, you just want to do the test and you want to do it twice! But so we have to throw away five months to wait. But do you feel right? And It’s all for a matter of principle, because you know that you can trust me. Please, try to think serenely and put aside absurd complexes!”
 
Obviously I could not give in, I told him I did not want any risk and our relationship began to crunch. We met another couple of times, the second time I told him about Patrick’s story because I thought that the story would cause him to reason but that didn’t happen at all and he reacted in a way that annoyed me and probably from here on our relationship went into crisis. I told him that Patrick had only had sex with his boyfriend and that his boyfriend did not know he was HIV positive. I had told him so because that was what really happened, but he started to do strange faces, almost insinuating that Patrick probably had had sex with so many guys and that he probably had infected his partner, but such things were all completely devoid of sense, because he had heard Patrick’s name for the first time just 10 minutes before. Then I became the target of his frustrations, he considered me a psychopath. In the end he put an ultimatum
 
“or tonight we do it and as I like, or our story is over. I think you’ll be happy.”
 
I cannot stand ultimatums, and even less that someone judges without knowing what he is talking about, nevertheless I tried to make him understand my point of view and said:
 
“But how can you not understand that it is not a psychological problem but a real risk? Patrick trusted his boyfriend and came out devastated. You do not know him, you know nothing about him and you think you can judge him, but you don’t know how he is now, you should meet him and understand so much more. Anyway I do not blame you, before I saw closely Patrick’s story, I too considered these things very superficially, it was he who taught me to reason and not to trust. I’m not full of complexes about sex as you think, I’m not trying to get away from anything, before I knew you, I had a boyfriend and we had sex a lot of times, but it was safe sex. I’ve seen more than once worried guys for having had unprotected sex, guys who have been waiting for the test results with a terrible anxiety, they felt extremely worried because they felt as if they had played a game similar to the Russian roulette. In the end, things have gone well for them, but your answer: “So why should not go well to you?” It seems completely absurd, because to Patrick things went wrong. But, sorry, is it not better also for you to have security at another level? It’s about waiting, and then we can be well together even without sex, not forever, but only for a while.”
 
After this message he disappeared altogether. Now he is not with me, but there is not even fear in the background. I told Patrick that this guy was gone and he said to me:
 
“He has had a really childish behavior, if he really wanted to, he would have understood, but he preferred trying to force things and impose his point of view, and this is already not a good sign and in fact he has tried to impose an imprudent behavior, which means that it underestimates the risks and as he did it on this occasion he could have done the same in the future. I think that if the guys could see closely the problems caused by HIV they would use much more brain and with a serious education on prevention, the risk of AIDS could be slowly eliminated.”
 
If you want to post this mail, post it, I think you should absolutely publish it because making the guys aware of the risks of unprotected sex might be equivalent to saving their lives.
A hug.
James
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GAY ENGINEERING STUDENTS

I’m a student of engineering at the Michigan University and I’m proud of this. My parents, grandparents and brothers, did work hart to let me go to this engineering college. Now I’m here and have to show them that  I will be able to come back home graduated. Here everything seems perfect, our tradition has to be honored and  for a student  who is less more than a stranger here, life is very hard, I have to deal with teachers who are scientist and with students  who come from the best schools of the country, some of them are geniuses and I’m afraid I could not be at their level.  When I arrived here everything was new for me: buildings, teaching organization, laboratories, but also how to deal with other students. I was on the verge of coming back home because everything was difficult for me, also writing in a correct English , or speaking English fluently like other guys. But the real treasure of this college are the students and living together with such guys is really fantastic, they will became engineers and well refined engineers but they hare clever guys also in many other things. I’m gay, ok, nothing special, but till now I have experienced a lot of disgusting situations because of this. Here, in college, my roommate knows but for him there is no problem. I have to underline that a lot of guys seem indifferent to the homosexuality of  a friend of theirs but when they are in private with just other hetero guys, they let out a lot of criticism about their gay mate, they are somehow double faced: the politically correct face in public and that one really spontaneous in private with other hetero guys. My roommate Andrew is not this way, we chat a lot, also about sex. His thoughts  on this subject are very similar to mine, clearly he speaks about  hetero love and I about gay love. But the two of us talk about love, not just about sex. Andrew is not only a clever guy but also a very handsome one and perhaps he doesn’t understand  exactly how I can react in some situations that are for him  absolutely neutral. Is he so open minded exactly because he is not able to understand what being gay exactly means? It’s a question to keep always in mind! But yes, Andrew is handsome and his behavior with me is the same that he holds with hetero guys. For example he gets out of the shower completely naked and I have to turn my eyes elsewhere. I’d like him get out completely dressed but obviously I cannot tell him  such a thing because for him nakedness is quite natural. Nevertheless I like Andrew, we use talking a lot at night about science big problems like the second principle of thermodynamics or the strange laws  of quantum mechanics.  We talk also about  religion, the big questions about God. I’m fascinated by the brain of Andrew, he doesn’t repeat what he has read or learned somewhere, on the contrary tries to get reed of too much complicated calculations, he has to see in his mind, to imagine  how things have to be, to change and to find their own settings. That’s why he’s an engineer, something more directly related to material things. Well, Andrew has a girlfriend, another student of the same engineering  college but in different sectors of engineering. Sometimes, on the weekends, they go out of campus , I think they have their sexual life and I’m happy for them, But I’m gay and I have to stay alone in the weekends, to study and to get acquainted with a lot of things. There are also a lot of gay guys here, but they, so to speak, are completely out and I don’t like to be considered gay. In my old country I had to keep calm in the closet, now I could feel free but for me it’s too much difficult. My friends in the university are also my principal sexual interest, but they are completely unaware of all this, and I prefer so. Only Andrew knows about me, but I trust him completely and got a lot of proofs that he holds this secret for himself. The life of a gay student is very complicated here. Many many guys and a lot of handsome guys  and also of gay guys but I’m here to study and I don’t want to deceive my family.

Philip

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MANUAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY

Gay Project has just published in Italian a “Manual of homosexuality”: http://gayproject.altervista.org/manuale_di_omosessualita.pdf, that is a guide to know and understand the real problems of gay guys. The manual has 22 chapters. I present here the first chapter in English, in the coming weeks I will publish the next chapters.

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CHAPTER 1 – UNDERSTANDING TO BE GAY

Let’s start with a concrete example.

A boy 12 year old (seventh grade) experiences for the first time the spontaneous swelling up of his penis (erection) while he is in the locker room along with his mates and while concentrating his attention on one of them who is undressing. The experience is pleasant, the guy comes home, sits back to think about his mate, goes quickly erect, the feeling is newly nice, the guy starts a long manipulation of his penis (masturbation) at the end of which he feels a strong contraction of the testes (orgasm) that makes a white substance (semen) squirts up from his penis (ejaculation), immediately after the guy experiences a strong feeling of relaxation, as if all the tension caused by sexual arousal had been discharged (post-orgasmic phase). Throughout all this procedure, the imagination is concentrated on the image of the mate undressing in the locker room (masturbatory fantasy).

Let us now analyze this example. It is the discovery of masturbation, that is the first real sexual experience. In this experience, there are two different components linked together, the physical one (erection, masturbation, orgasm, ejaculation, post-orgasmic phase) and the imaginative one (masturbatory fantasy).

It is usual to call masturbation also the whole physical-imaginative process we have just described. During masturbation the guy brings to mind the images that had caused the erection spontaneously, because focusing on those images (masturbatory fantasies) he can easily get an erection (sexual arousal through masturbation fantasies) and the erection is more vigorous and all the process of masturbation is strongly addictive. If the masturbatory fantasies of a guy are directed towards other guys  we use to say that masturbation is gay oriented, if masturbatory fantasies are directed towards girls we use to say that masturbation is hetero oriented. When the masturbatory fantasies are really spontaneous, they represent the fundamental indicator of sexual orientation: a guy who masturbates in an exclusive and consistent way with gay fantasies is to be considered a gay guy.

Now we go further with exemplification.

The same guy that we talked about before, listening to his mates about masturbation becomes aware that they experience something similar to his own experience in the physical aspect but different with regard to the masturbatory fantasies, and realizes that his mates, during masturbation, don’t focus attention on other guys but on girls. Back home, the guy tries to masturbate focusing on a girl, that is, using the same masturbatory fantasies used by his mates, but those fantasies do not produce results and are on the contrary experienced as something alien and not really exciting. The guy then comes back to masturbation fantasies focused on his mates and the physical response is rapid and convincing.

Let’s analyze the example.

This is the first perception, by a gay guy, of the fact that his sexuality is not similar to that of other guys. The thing in itself would not cause any problem, but the guy, speaking with his mates, becomes aware, with a growing awareness, that his sexuality is considered by his mates as an object of ridicule and as something quite offensive to joke about and begins to connect to his sexual orientation words like gay, fag, queer, fagot and so on, that people use as an insult. This way the guy perceives for the first time the discomfort of being gay, which is not caused by the fact of having a sexuality different from that of the other guys but by the contempt shown by other guys.

But let us proceed with the examples.

The guy that we talked about in the previous examples starts to feel the presence of the guy who is the object of his masturbatory fantasies as something very pleasant, he is happy while being beside that guy, talks to him for as long as possible, appreciates his voice, his physical presence and smile and tends to create a relationship with him. At first that relationship seems to have the typical characteristics of friendship but really differs from friendship because that guy is also the subject of masturbatory fantasies.

All the process described above represents a typical gay love affair, in which there are two components: one affective, which consists in creating a relationship of proximity and affection with the other guy, and the other strictly sexual, which consists in being sexually involved by the other guy assuming him as object of masturbatory fantasies.

For the other guys, who leave similar experiences, but oriented towards girls, the natural outcome of being in love is the declaration of love to the girl they love, that statement is usually taken by the girls like something  however flattering. The gay guy understands on the contrary that, for him, declaring his love for another guy carries the risk of being identified as gay and thus being branded with offensive epithets by his mates and also by the guy he is in love with. In essence, the gay guy realizes that he’s a gay guy in a group of guys who have a different sexual orientation and concludes instinctively, that not to be labeled as gay by his mates, he has to pretend to be straight.

So far we have presented a very simple model of getting aware of being gay applied to a 12 year old gay. In reality, this scheme can be complicated by many disruptive factors. Let us therefore examine the most important factors that interfere with the awareness of homosexuality. Consider an example.

A guy 11/12 year old is involved in sexual games with a girl slightly older than him, his first erections are not really spontaneous but are induced by the interplay of sexual manipulation by the girl, which is especially rewarding because allows the preadolescent to perceive himself like a man. The guy will repeat on his own the handling of the penis and will arrive at the discovery of masturbation and, at least apparently, his masturbatory fantasies will be oriented toward girls, but in this case during the masturbation the spontaneous sexuality cannot emerge just because the first erections are not spontaneous but are induced by a girl through explicit sexual advances (the manipulation of the penis or the intimate caresses). The sexual imprinting , that is the first real sexual or para-sexual experience, in this case, has been experienced by the guy “in a straight atmosphere” due to external elements (the girl) and thus was not the result of the sexual spontaneity of the guy, but nevertheless such sexual experiences are not superficial. The hetero imprinting can induce quite easily masturbation fantasies related to the imprinting, i.e. hetero fantasies, rather than to spontaneous sexuality. Following an hetero imprinting, even a guy who, if he could spontaneously develop his own sexuality, would manifest a gay sexuality, can present  a straight masturbation for years. Gay guys sooner or later come certainly out of the constraints that derive from the hetero imprinting because in the long time spontaneous sexuality comes always afloat.

Much more complicated and problematic is the situation of guys who have been subjected to violence or sexual abuse. I would simply point out that sexual abuse can leave on anyone who has suffered it very heavy consequences, particularly if it was committed with physical or psychological violence or by a close family member.

Let us consider now much more common disturbing elements that can interfere with the process of getting aware of being gay. We start here with an example.

An 8 year old guy is part of a larger group of friends and hears them speak with great interest about pornography on the Internet. For him, 8 years old, genital sexuality is still something to come, but he is induced by what he heard to go and see what it is. In this way, the guy discovers pornography, which means, in the vast majority of cases, heterosexual pornography, before having sexual maturity to understand the real meaning of sexuality. In this way, the guy gets a form of pre-orientation toward sexuality almost always towards heterosexuality, which tends to stabilize the guy because using pornography he feels integrated with the group of older guys. Over the years the tendency to imitate the sexuality of the older guys leads that guy to the discovery of masturbation that takes place in a straight atmosphere and therefore manifests a heterosexual orientation. This not spontaneous hetero orientation, precisely induced by the described mechanism, just because it is not spontaneous, may not coincide with the deep sexual orientation and therefore, also in this case a young guy with an exclusive hetero masturbation may be, with the passing of time, having to deal with the subsequent emergence of a spontaneous gay sexuality.

We come now to another important point, namely the education that a guy receives about sexuality, and as usual we consider a concrete case.

A guy has been accustomed from childhood to attend Catholic circles, typically the parish. In that environment he feels comfortable, the family has confidence in the priests and is happy that the child attends that environment because even the parents grew up in that environment and feel it as safe and suitable for the growth of the child. Gradually, from childhood on, that guy has assimilated the values ​​typical of a Catholic environment that are related to the idea of ​​family (father, mother and children), seen as the center of the life of an individual. This model does not create any problem to the guy before his first contact with sex life and indeed is regarded as quite natural because, before discovering sexuality, a guy identifies himself only in the role of child and not in a possible role of father. But there are also other things to take in account, a guy, before discovering sexuality considers as natural the idea that sexuality, which he still does not know concretely, is aimed exclusively to the procreation and that any other use of sexuality is wrong. When the guy discovers masturbation and the horizon of real sexuality, he is brought automatically to suppress the new feelings and to feel guilty about the fact of not being able to do without what he believes to be absolutely to avoid. Up to this point the conditioning of sexuality operated by the religion is practically the same for both gay and straight guys, but for gay guys there are also other problems. In religious circles in general people tend to take for granted that all the guys are heterosexual and the existence of homosexuality is considered as a manifestation of disease and sin. The priests who care for older kids only talk about relationships between guys and girls and these behaviors lead gay guys to stay as far as possible away from homosexuality, considered like a very serious sin but avoidable. Let us pause to reflect on the situation we have just described.

The Catholic Church considers heterosexuality as the only natural form of sexuality and considers homosexuality as a pathological tendency, something against nature, which must be repressed. The Church considers a grave sin every homosexual act, that is, all forms of sexuality shared with someone of the same sex and also considers masturbation a grave sin. The World Health Organization has recognized for several decades homosexuality as a “normal ” (i.e. non-pathological) variant of the human sexuality and homosexuals has been recognized in many states the right to join together to form a family, a family formed by same-sex partners,  in some states, it is also granted to homosexual couples the right to adopt children exactly as it is granted to heterosexual couples. The same World Health Organization has explicitly acknowledged the value of masturbation not only as a fundamental element for the formation of sexuality in adolescence but as a positive element that produces pleasure, accompanies the entire sexual life of an individual and also involves married man and women, who clearly have also a sexual life as a couple. The World Health Organization has included education to masturbation as part of sex therapy aimed at the well-being of the person as an individual and as part of a couple.

The teachings of the Catholic Church in matters related to sexuality and especially homosexuality and masturbation, are not only not universally shared but are completely incompatible with what the scientific community says about the same subjects.

Sexuality education in accordance with the dictates of the Catholic Church or other religious groups with similar attitudes, promotes feelings of guilt and leads to the repression of sexuality and especially homosexuality, which is seen only in the dimension of sin and not as a natural and spontaneous behavior.

What are the consequences of all this for a homosexual guy? The guy tries to force himself toward heterosexuality and considers homosexuality as a vice to be eradicated, seeks to create a relationship with a girl that can reassure him by giving him the illusion that his homosexuality will disappear if he will be able to resist temptation particularly avoiding masturbation, so in fact the feeling towards a girl will grow “pure” that is not tainted by sex. In repressing masturbation, which would inevitably be gay oriented, and in building a relationship with a girl chastely, that is, without any trace of sexuality, the guy sees a merit, a victory over himself and the sign that his “heterosexuality” is true love and not vice because it is not contaminated by masturbation. In fact the apparent “pure” falling in love with a girl is not really falling in love because is missing entirely any sexual involvement. That apparent falling in love allows the guy to pretend to be straight, relegating homosexuality to the rank of marginal vice that will pass easily, over the years, when he will go to the wedding. It is in essence a problem of removal of homosexuality that is denied and minimized. In some cases, starting with these concepts, when the first attempts to couple sexuality with a girl are successful, the guy can get easily even at the wedding.

The expression “sexual imprinting”, in the strict sense, is used to denote the first sexual or para-sexual experience (nudity, physical contact) that induces, through sexual arousal, the initial orientation of masturbation towards guys or girls. It is quite common to speak of sexual imprinting also about the discovery of pornography and even about the educational pressures. While the discovery of pornography, particularly if very early, can effectively determine the initial orientation of masturbation, and therefore can constitute a real sexual imprinting, the educational pressures act mainly through deterrence. In general, the removal of homosexuality as a result of education does not lead a gay guy to hetero masturbation but to abstinence from masturbation, in this case we can speak of sexual imprinting only in very general terms.

Here it should be clarified that as a guy who lives a straight imprinting can masturbate, for a period of time at least, with heterosexual fantasies, even if he is not straight, so a gay guy, in situations of particular emotional involvement, can have a sexual intercourse with a woman. It should be borne in mind that the true sexual orientation is the “spontaneous” sexual orientation of a person, therefore a guy is gay if, without any conditioning, his sexuality is focused on guys, and similarly a guy is straight if, without any conditioning, his sexuality is focused on girls, but that does not mean that a gay guy, that is a guy who, without any conditioning, focuses his sexuality on guys , cannot, under specific conditions, i.e. with strong constraints, respond to heterosexual stimulation. Similarly, a straight guy, who is spontaneously led to a hetero sexuality, in some particular situations, may also respond to homosexual stimulation. It is precisely for this reason that, in the presence of strong environmental constraints, when the orientation of masturbation does not coincide with that of couple sexuality, the true sexual orientation is what emerges from masturbation because during masturbation the weight of the constraints is enormously less and there  is no expectation to satisfy on the part of the partner. The fantasies that accompany masturbation are, for these very reasons, the fundamental index of sexual orientation.

It should be noted that, given that 92% of the population is composed of heterosexuals, environmental pressures that push toward heterosexuality are very strong, while those that push towards homosexuality are virtually nil. That’s why there are many gays who have problems, even for long periods, about their being gay, while it is very rare to find a straight guy who has problems about is being hetero.

About 30% of the guys who end up recognizing themselves exclusively gay have had before periods in which they considered themselves to be heterosexuals and some of them, and not a few, also had sex with a girl and also with more than just one. Those guys are not heterosexuals who have become homosexuals but they are homosexuals who have been induced to pretend to be heterosexuals by environmental pressures or by an education for nothing respectful of sexual spontaneity and typically have lived long and troubled periods of uncertainty about their sexual orientation. It is significant that most of these guys, even when they have a girlfriend and have sex with girls, continues to practice masturbation with gay fantasies.

Let us now deal with elements that can appear but are not indicators of sexual orientation. Let’s consider an example.

A 11 year old guy goes for swimming and compares his penis with that of his peers. In this case it is true that there is an interest in the penis of other guys but it should be clear that for the guy this is only an element of comparison for assessing his own sexual maturation in relation to that of other guys, the same is true when considering physical development, height or strength in relation to the similar characteristics of other guys. All this has nothing to do with homosexuality.

Let’s move on to another situation which is incorrectly related to sexual orientation or gender identity, that is the feeling of being a man or woman. A child about 5 or 6 year old sometimes puts on mum’s shoes, plays with dolls with girls and not at soldiers with his male mates, is at ease with the girls better than with his male mates, does not like to play football and so on.

Such situations are not indicators of sexual orientation or gender identity (feeling of being male or female) but can sometimes express forms of discomfort to integrate into the peer group, often caused by a very rigid education or simply by shyness. Adults should avoid to negatively emphasize these behaviors with attitudes amazed or worried that can really cause insecurities that are likely to remain unexpressed and unresolved.

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