Wednesday, July 26, 2006


I think I really did break my rib! I haven't been able to sleep for two days now. I need to keep myself propped up with pillows in a semi-sitting / semi-reclining position. I can't roll onto my side without pain. I can't breathe deeply without pain. But otherwise I'm doing fine.

Maybe I should explain... I was just standing there at the Pioneer Day ward breakfast in the Bishop's backyard. There were a hundred ward neighbors and friends gathered around socializing over runny eggs, pancakes, sausage, catelope cubes and orange juice. It was another 24th of July in Utah! I saw HIM and we made eye-contact. I didn't do anything more than that. HE gave me a heart-melting smile back. I didn't approach HIM or talk to HIM (I was with my wife and kids after all). A while later after we had eaten and my wife had gone off talking with some other sisters in the ward, I was engaged in conversation with the Bishop's wife, HE came from behind and wrapped his strong arms around me and proceeded to squeeze the life out of me with a bear-hug from behind. As I quickly stopped breathing and assuredly turned red, I naturally resisted, twisting and squirming helplessly like a rag doll, and then I felt something pop. We wrestled to the ground, me screaming to be let go. HE looked down at me on the ground smiling. The pain I was feeling disappeared magically as I looked into his eyes. I smiled back at him, realizing I'm on my back on the grass looking up at him with infatuating eyes, with 100 ward members staring at us.

As I've thought about it since (with the help of a couple of blogsters recent entries as well), each time I get a sharp pain on my upper left side, I've realized a couple things:

1. I'm not getting any younger - and I don't like it!

I'm in my mid 40s. I sometimes act half my age, particularly around HIM. HE makes me feel young again. HE is half my age and twice as strong. HE's an athletic rock-solid 6'-6" beauty of strength and I'm old enough to be his father - but we don't have the father / son relationship (I'm still not sure what kind of relationship we have but I don't see him tackling, hugging, being affectionate with any other older men like me - we're buddies / confidants / friends). I mistakenly try to be 22 again and find out I can't do it. And it depresses me.

I'm always ATTRACTED to younger guys. I think it's because I feel young and alive around them - it reminds me of my youth and the experiences that I missed out on, and the desires to be connected and enlivened by young guys (early 20s) makes me feel young again myself - a chance to reclaim something I lost or am still seeking or missing in my life.

I don't want to go flabby, grey and decayed. I want to be strong, blonde and vibrant. I've dreamed of finding a bottle of pills on a beach somewhere and taking them and slowly returning to age 22 within a week's time. Is that moronic or what? I've started counting my grey hairs and contemplating dying my hair (at least I still have a full head of thick hair to work with). I've started noticing my middle expanding into a soft ball... (Now I'm not fat. At 6'-3" and 185 lbs I don't think anyone would call me fat - but I'm not as firm as I once was, and my shape is reshaping itself with gravity and time) so I've decided to get serious and do some weight training and exercise for the first time in my life (but I'll start as soon as I heal from this broken rib thing).

I've chalked it up as envy - desiring something young and beautiful and perfect as the image I have of HIM. HE's everything I want to be and would wish that I was when I was 22.

I've also chalked it up as LUST - HE's young and beautiful. I'm gay. So where's the problem?

My fear of getting older is also based in the fact that I'm gay and realizing this fact MUCH LATER than most and that so much time has gone by and to come out at this point as a middle-age greying soft dude is suicidal. Who's going to want me? I'm beyond prime - I'm not young meat any more and never will be again no matter how much I work out, lift weights, or dye my hair. (And then there's my wife's point of view that loves my little soft belly and cherishes my grey hair - why isn't that good enough for me? How come I can't accept that as being satisfying enough?)

2. This is just another in a long string of infatuations.

In GM's blog, (I don't know how to link to it) he linked to an article that defined infatuation:

"The answers to these questions will tell you there is little happiness in infatuation itself, precious little daily satisfaction is possible while we are acting the Fool For Love. That is because the state of infatuation thrives on distance and frustration. It flourishes under difficult circumstances. It is not magnified by consummation and familiarity."

My relationship with HIM is DIFFICULT (we are seldom alone and the few times we've been I've desired to take it to the next level - he hasn't resisted my advances - and then I get scared and a voice tells me to back off and rethink what I'm doing). It is based firmly on DISTANCE (we only see each other at Church, ward functions, or the occasional coming over to the house) and on FRUSTRATION (knowing that he is straight as an arrow and I'm as gay as a closeted married Mormon can be). My desires are not ever magnified by consummation and our familiarity isn't based on a relationship of reality - it's based on my foolish FANTASY of the "what if...".

HE makes me feel wonderful inside! I sparkle at HIS sight! HIS smile melts me! I have transfered these emotions of folly onto him - HE has become the personification of what I wish I was. I call this LOVE. I've told him I love HIM in more ways than HE will ever realize. HE tells me HE loves me, too. But the LOVE I seek isn't something HE can give me.

SO, I'm seriously working on realizing all these things and staying in control, anchoring my feet on solid ground. I seek male-to-male emotional, physical, social bonding with HIM. If I can do it in a healthy way, maybe I can overcome my feelings of lost time, lost youth, lost love.

Meanwhile, I've got a broken rib that tells me I better start working out with those weights soon or I'm going to be killed in the next wrestling match!

Monday, July 24, 2006


As a follow-up...

My mind has wandered and I vividly remember an event during my time as an MTC teacher. I was teaching my district of missionaries the discussion on the commandments. They would memorize and organize their thoughts and when they were ready to "pass off" that particular discussion, I would take them one by one or two by two (depending on time and the situation) and do a role play, where they would "teach me" in the language without any use of English, and I would play the investigator - only speaking the language. I would occasionally get them off-script just to see how they would handle the situation and to prove to them that they could answer questions or concerns even if the answer wasn't memorized. It was a lot of fun and I tried to make it as real as possible.

One time, I was being taught the Law of Chastity by a beautiful sister missionary. She was quite sharp, intelligent, with gorgeous blonde hair and a smile that could melt anyone's hard heart! I'll call her Sorella M. Sorella M. was doing just fine and I was playing it pretty cool... Then, I remembered the situation of the 18 year old sax-playing student who loved "Chicago" and his bet of us finding any virgin his age. I don't know what possessed me, but I started impersonating him. I started going flippant on her as Sorella M. taught me to stay morally clean.

"You can't expect me to live like that!" I shouted in the language. "You have no idea of what you're asking me to do!".

At first, Sorella M. didn't quite know what to do, but I could tell in her eyes that she was following what I was saying and the true meaning behind my explosion of emotion and was getting caught up in the role play. She tried to explain that this was something that the Lord expects of his children...

I went ballistic and started throwing a tantrum, using my hands in disgust that she couldn't expect the Lord to expect this of me.

And then, not thinking what I was doing I stared directly at her in character and point-blank fired: "Are you a virgin?"

In any other situation, I would never have asked such a question of a sister missionary. We were alone, the door to the corridor of the classroom opened, but still private.

She was stunned! It was as if I had hit her in the gut with my clinched fist. At first she didn't say anything - she didn't know what to say. I was so into character that I didn't realize for a minute what I had asked. I wondered if she had understood the question.

Oh, yeah, she understood all right. Tears started forming in her eyes as she tensed up with emotion and tried to stay controlled. I finally realized what I had done. Thoughts of "what if she's not?" or "what if she had been sexually active?" or "abused?" etc. started racing through my insensitive brain.

Still in character, I told her she didn't have to answer that question and it was inappropriate of me to ask.

But, she interrupted me and said... "No!" she wanted to answer. Tears now flowing down her cheeks, she looked at me with her intense blue eyes and stated emphatically "Si'". Yes, she was. The spirit was so strong that I will never forget those emotions and intense feelings of that moment.

We broke the role play. I told her how sorry I was. She said that she was caught up in the moment as well, and thought "What if I couldn't answer 'yes' to that question if posed by an investigator?". And she was emotional because she was grateful to have been able to answer "Si'". She had the CHOICE. It was still hers to make. She had the perspective or basis of comparison to realize the blessings of having made that choice that I as the 18 year old sexually active student would never understand. She had knowledge. I had experience.

I tell me young daughter to not play in the busy street, to stay away from the burning stove; so many things that I want to protect her from harm! Does she really need to place her hand on the stove to KNOW that it is hot? Of course not, but what is it that keeps her wanting to try?

Why do I want to KNOW so much what it feels like to go beyond emotional bonding and into the realm of physical bonding with another man? Is it too much to ask to KNOW, to experience for myself? Can I gain KNOWLEDGE any other way?

Do I really need to place my hand on that stove?

I am the one who will ultimately choose.

P.S. HAPPY PIONEER DAY! I'm off to the Ward Breakfast at the Bishop's back yard. I wonder if any "hotties" will be there? :)


p.p.s. He was there. We smiled at each other from across several tables making eye contact on the side. I tried to stay away from him, purposefully not talking to him... but I couldn't keep my eye off of him smiling at me. While talking to someone, he came from behind and started wrestling me to the ground, squeezing all the air out of my lungs... I think he broke one of my ribs. He smiled as we got up, me a bit surprised and frazzled.

What was that all about?

Keep thinking about the stove! It's awfully hot out there!

Sunday, July 23, 2006


I remember having numerous discussions on my mission with my companions, particularly those who were recent converts, about how their perspective of the Gospel was different from my own - me being raised in the Church by an active family in the protection of Utah. Because they had different backgrounds, and many experiences living outside the Church and outside the commandments and guidelines of the Church teachings, their perspective and approach had a totally foreign angle or view to my own. Undoubtedly, such discussions of comparisons would lead to my companion saying either: 1) the superior attitude for having tasted the forbidden: "You just don't get it because you haven't experienced "the other side", or 2) the envious attitude with a twist: "I wish I were like you and didn't have to have gone through what I went through", or 3) the you-can't-really-be-a-good-mormon-from-Utah attitude: "You've had it too easy your whole life with the gospel around you, I'm sure you've taken it for granted."

Of course, at times, I would rebut with something like: 1) my superior attitude: "Well, I can feel the joy of worthy living", or 2) my trying-to-seem-not-so-perfect attitude: "Well, I've gone through some hard times, too!", or 3) my Utah-isn't-always-easier attitude: "Well, it's actually HARDER being a TRUE believer surrounded by the take-it-for-granted lifestyle". (I would get that a lot at BYU from the my-life-is-harder-than-yours crowd).

With people investigating the Gospel, the commandments would be taught and similar arguments would arise. I remember once teaching an 18 year old graduating high school student. He played the sax and loved the group "Chicago" and had posters of them all over his room. He was quite talented and quite a 'golden contact'. He was very interested and intrigued by what we taught. He was willing to accept everything, including the Word of Wisdom, tithing, Sabbath Day, etc. He was reading the Book of Mormon and following the spirit. But, when it came to the law of chastity, I remember vividly his response: "YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS!" He was amazed that we (my companion and I) were still virgins. He challenged us that he would be baptized next Sunday if we could find ONE VIRGIN young man his age within the city (65,000 people). He was so convinced that he was right, that it was a pretty sure bet... and we were pretty well convinced that he was right. He couldn't relate with - no, he couldn't even comprehend our perspective and we had a hard time expressing that he was wrong not KNOWING what he knew about SEX, though we tried to show the MORAL SUPERIORITY that having been pure brings "blessing unmeasured". He couldn't see those blessings. His basis of comparison was so different that the discussion could not continue. Needless to say, we never found another 18 year old virgin, and he never got baptized.

In my last post, Sam wrote:

"It's interesting for me, because I know what I have, and I also know what I'm missing, the basis of comparison is available. You have only the knowledge of what you have, and the fantasy of what you think you're missing - a different basis of comparison.

"How I would love to be in your shoes. How I would love to have the opportunity to tell the Savior, "I wanted something, but I didn what you asked me to do, instead." I don't have that option anymore. Regret is an ugly master. Choice is a sacred gift."

This has made me think a lot this week about the choices I'm making. I know I have a different perspective on this internal struggle I'm facing, a different basis of comparison:

1. I'm coming 'out' to myself at a much older age.
2. I've never been sexually active with another man (though I've come close a couple of times).
3. I've always been the good-boy. I'm the 18 year old virgin.
4. I fantasize over what it would have been like, or what it may be like... regrets.

You see, I have regrets as well. Yes, I have the power of choice and have made "good choices" to date, but these fantasies and feelings, these desires and passions want to have some basis of comparison in reality - not just fantasy!!!

For some, this may be a sorrowful and silly debate - seeing what I have given up, not having tasted the fruit of same-sex passion, and missing out on the "joy". For others, an envious one, having tasted the fruit and experienced the lie or bitter results of that choice, and wishing never to have done it, never to have "known".

So which is better? Who has the upper hand? What perspective, or what basis-of-comparison is superior and ultimately worthy of pursuit of living my life?

I guess I'm glad (in a smug sort of way) that there is still a choice before me, and I'm sad (in a regretful sort of way) that I'm missing out.

I don't know...

There are many paths.

But, there is only one gate...

Monday, July 17, 2006


In Sacrament Meeting yesterday, the speaker quoted a scripture that I had heard countless times before. His message was about "being prepared". But, somehow, I didn't hear that message. As I read and reread the scripture, I got lost in my own thoughts about this internal angst I'm dealing with about my same-sex struggles. The speaker wasn't even close to addressing my current prayers and thoughts, but there before me was the written word of the Lord speaking to my concerns of fear, of indecision, of differing and loud voices!

"I tell you these things, because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear."
-- D&C 38:30

I had a cross reference redlined in the margin and now, totally lost in what the speaker was saying, started my own scripture study right then and there and flipped to it:

"For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of the sound mind. Be not though therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, not of me his prisoner; but be though partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God."
-- 2 Timothy 1:7-8

I had this one marked as well, obviously for a different reason and in a different context.

Now, I don't have anything profound to offer here, but these scriptures got me thinking about my fears and about feeling weak, about my listening to a lot of loud and enticing voices, and about being ashamed of my testimony.

I am not a weak person. I do not view my being 'gay' a weakness. But I do feel that there are a lot of voices out there, very loud ones, with images portraying beautiful love between fantastically chiseled young men, that confuse me and make me doubt and divide me against myself, and thus make me question my testimony and my very essense - that I really am a Child of God.

I am who I am. I am a Child of God. God loves me. He wants me to be happy. He doesn't want me to be afraid. He wants me to be strong, to stand for what I believe in, and to be the person I was intended to be by CHOOSING. I have years of "treasured wisdom" of spiritual experiences if I but choose to remember them. The alternative voices are enticing and exciting, speaking to me louder than the "shaking earth". But I'm not afraid!

The life of sexual promiscuity with another or several male partners seems to be exciting and promising - and I'm sure wonderful - but will it bring happiness? I doubt it. Will it bring me strength? I doubt it. Though I desire this companionship (a same-sex monogamous relationship similar to that which I have in my marriage), I can't see how it can bring me any closer to God and eternal happiness even if I am "discovering the real me" in the process. And I'm not even sure that such a relationship is truly real or even possible for me (See LDSwithSSA most recent blog)though I certainly hope for some it can be and is.

But for this moment (maybe not tomorrow) I am pricked by these scriptures. I am strengthened in my thinking. I feel power in my choices of what voices I'm listening to, even though the images of young fresh meat still entice and probably always will and "shake me to the core"... But I am still in charge here and it is still my choice to remain faithful (not just "technically faithful" as noted in my previous post). Some will say that I ultimately am still afraid of the choice to embrace this different path, and maybe so, but right now I don't feel afraid.

I'm not the bear shaking in fright at the top of the tree. I'm the cat calmly sitting on the ground and, for this moment, in control without fear!

Thursday, July 13, 2006


-- Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Let's say that I didn't cheat on my wife because I was afraid she'd find out and leave me, G-d forbid. What's the difference? I'm still not cheating, so the outcome is the same, right? Or is it? When you look a little closer, you realize that, in fact, when you are motivated by the fear that cheating on your wife will result in disaster, the marriage is still in jeopardy. In this scenario, you're not running toward intimacy, you're running away from the humiliation and hardship that would come from being discovered. You may not cheat, but you and your spouse certainly won't be drawn closer together. If you're faithful simply because you're afraid, your decision not to cheat doesn't beget further intimacy; it creates a little room in your mind that's cordoned off from your wife. Of course she's going to notice that you're keeping secrets from her, that you're not as open to her as you once were, and she'll be hurt and damaged by that - even though you have technically remained faithful. You're still hiding your desire to be unfaithful. Since there's a whole part of you that you can't share with her, you'll start to feel guilty and resentful, and this will manifest itself in your behavior toward her and the family. The fear-based resolution not to cheat weakens rather than strenthens your marital union.
-- Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

I've been thinking a lot about what I really want. I realize the choice is mine to make this decision. I realize I can't have this decision be made by my BLOG friends (though I cherish and love all the advice, criticism, love and adoration I can get), my therapist (though I'm still working on this one), my Bishop (nah... I don't think so...), or anyone else. I obviously am in a quandary because I don't know how to decide. I want the proverbial "cake and eat it too" scenario - I want to be married, stay technically faithful to my wife and family and covenants, and yet I also want to embrace, love and explore these gay feelings that I am recognizing as being essential and central and crutial to my sense of being. Such a request is totally impractical, irrational and unfulfilling. Having my feet in both worlds makes me neither hot or cold, so by default I'm nothing but lukewarm - and as the the scriptures imply - I'm spit out for naught by both! (For those interested, see Revelation 3:15-16)

As the Rabbi's quote demonstrates (though it was written for a heterosexual audience and context - yet, oddy and aptly very applicable to my situation as a GAY MARRIED MORMON MAN), I have many fears that keep me technically faithful. I have never broken the technical requirements of faithfulness in the sense of physical infidelity, but I've obviously kept a "whole part of me" from my wife and allowed my heart to be unfaithful, allowed my thoughts to be lustful, allowed my desires to wander from ethical fidelity. Though I've opened to her about these feeling (and tremendous hurt and pain has resulted from that confession), I can't shrug them off. My gayness is who I am recognizing I am! I am recognizing that I love who I am and I don't want that to necessarily "change" in any way... I am recognizing that I no longer hate myself for these strong feelings. (I also don't hate myself for my strong religious convictions either - and just as with my gayness, my religious feelings and convictions are also a valid and essential part of who I am!) Fortunately, or unfortunately, I've already made my bed, and it's hard to say I no longer want to lie in it because I do, "technically" I am being heterosexual with her. But, my "technical faithfulness" is keeping me from being hot or cold, and certainly not "running to intimacy" in my marriage and being compatible and comfortable with my religious convictions - I'm just lukewarm... and thus, I've "never lived, because I've become someone else".

When you look into my eyes, what do you see hidden behind this facade of lies and double-dipping? What do you see inside the eye of my soul?

Who am I?

What kind of man am I?

What do I really want?

I know I must choose, but...
How can I choose?

How can I have it all? I can't. It's selfish and shortsided and hurtful to desire the ALL of it all. I can't have my right arm snuggling around my wife on one side of me sitting on the bench in the chapel in Sacrament Meeting and my left arm wrapped around my "want-to-be-lover" beautiful, hunky, "main squeeze" young man on the other side of me and me in the middle happy as a lark! And I reach over and give each of them a kiss and a squeeze. (I can to a degree - it's tricky and such a balancing act and sooner or later I'm going to screw up and my act will crumble - as I am living this lie of hopes to a degree right now - but what a tangled web of confusion).

I guess though I want it all, I can't decide to have it all. There - I decided something: It just can't be!!!

So, do I choose to live, or do I continue living in fear?...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


So what are my fundamental issues???:

* I'm gay.

* I'm married and have children. This has been a long-term commitment over two decades - not a just an immediate deal.

* I love my wife and children.

* I like my family life.

* I try to be "in love" with my wife - it doesn't always work. There is a difference between loving my wife and being in love with my wife.

* I have a firm belief and testimony of the Gospel.

* I have doubts and concerns about the Church.

* Though I have experienced "joy", I'm too conflicted to be joyful right now.

* I still believe there is a right and a wrong.

* The line between right and wrong is getting fuzzy.All of the above create major conflicts in my life.

* All of the above create major fears in my life.

What are my fundamental fears??:

* I fear that I will never be truly happy.

* I fear that I am losing hope.

* I fear that I will never know what it is like to truly love another man as my heart desires, to be held by him, romanced by him, kissed by him, treasured by him.

* I fear that cyberspace is becoming too important and reality is becoming less significant.

* I fear that I will never make my wife truly happy and once the kids are gone we will have nothing left to hold onto, even though we both treasure our covenants together and hope for eternal blessings.

* I fear that my children are missing out on an active and engaged father in their lives because of my confusion.

* I fear that I will deeply hurt, confuse, and disappoint my children and even lose them if I were to come "out" to them. I'm not willing to risk that right now. I don't know if I ever will.

* I fear that I am too old and no one will find me attractive. I'm attracted to those younger than me and that puts a distance between us in a potential relationship. I dream of being younger all the time - and I tell myself it's a midlife crisis kind of thing - but I'm sure that it is more than that. I'm very insecure about getting old. It has nothing to do with facing death - it has everything to do with potential LOST opportunities of relationships.

* I fear that if I embrace one aspect of my life, I'm giving up a tremendous treasure of the rest of my life.

* I fear that my insecurities and internal comflicts keep me from truly bonding with anyone or embracing life.

* I fear that my testimony is waning. I don't feel good about that and it worries me.

* I fear (respect, honor) God for I know that I am his Child and He loves me and this life is a gift and I'm feeling like I'm about to screw it up.

* I fear my fears are making me selfish.

* I fear I worry about my fears too much. I heard a friend say that he believes that if he worries hard enough, his worries won't come true.

* I fear what others may think of me if they knew I was gay. Though I have come to personally appreciate my "gayness", I fear being shunned and hated for it by neighbors and ward members.

* I fear being found out.

* I fear that one day I will make a mistake and will be forcefully outed.

* I fear that I am beginning to become addicted to porn.

* I fear that I like it.

* I fear that I no longer regret my gay feelings and instead I really, really like them!

* * * *

The combination of all of these things came together in Church on Sunday. It was after Sacrament Meeting. The very fine service just ended with the closing prayer. My "friend" had been sitting a few rows ahead of our family. I had watched him throughout the meeting and couldn't keep my thoughts from wandering to him as I tried to concentrate on the speakers and musical numbers. I had been sitting with my arm around my wife, my kids at our sides, the image of the "perfect Mormon family", and here I was thinking erotic thoughts about HIM.

After the prayer, he stood up (all 6'-6" of him) and turned around to exit and our eyes locked! He smiled a gorgeous grin of happiness as we stared at each other. My wife didn't notice, fortunately, as a sister member in the row in front of her started talking to her. We remained seated and I kept my right arm around my wife.

HE came toward me and I knew he was coming for me! I jumped inside! My son stood up and left toward the back of the chapel, so there was space just to my left side on the bench. HE slipped into that small vacant space next to me and gave me a tight hug and squeeze. I squeezed him back with my left arm and pulled our faces together. We squished our heads and cheeks together for several seconds (at that moment I wanted to give him a quick wet one right then and there). He didn't pull away and seemed to enjoy our physical contact - all the time my right arm is now resting on the back of my wife as she leaned forward to engage in a conversation with the sister in front of her.

For a few moments, I was smack dab between my two "loves", my eternal companion, and my eternal lust. He started talking about his life and what was going on as we continued to squeeze each other tighter and tighter. I was now getting nervous that my wife would notice, but a funny thing happened... I didn't care. I felt so excited to be with him, even in that very awkward arrangement. He wondered how I was doing and I didn't know what to say... I just turned my head to him, our faces very close together and I just stared into his eyes and began to swell up. I didn't say anything! I couldn't say anything! For a fraction of a second, I truly wanted him to carry me away in his strong muscular arms and take me off into the sunset right then and there to a place where we could live happily ever after.

Of course, my "happily ever after" was sitting on my right side and we both knew it. Soon it was over, our "moment" together, a stolen bit of excitement where my heart raced with joy. I wondered if I would ever feel that way about my wife. As I said, I love her dearly, but I'm not sure I'm "in love" with her. She wonders and now so do I, if I ever was. I think I was. I want to think I was. I want to think that I can be again...

I know my relationship with HIM is safe. I know it isn't real. But for a few minutes, it was pretty ironic as we sat together the three of us. I wanted so much for it to be different. But I know it can't.

I'm too old. I'm too confused. I'm too conflicted in my beliefs and in my situations.

I'm too afraid.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


I have another theory about this concept of being attracted to those whose relationship is inherently SAFE...


Just maybe...

It is, after all, the whisperings of the "still small voice"...

Trying to keep me safe.

I wonder, even in my fallen and corrupt state,

Can I still hear the Holy Ghost speaking to me,

Counseling me,

Admonishing me,

Comforting me?

I know His voice.

I recognize it as I tune in the dial.

Of course, there are many voices,

Some loud and garish, bright and brassy,

Some soft and subtle, delicate and restrained.

Of late, my tuning skills are quite fuzzy and unrefined.

I still have the skills and have not forgotten the station.

Which voices do I choose to listen to?

Am I past feeling?

Just another thought.

I really don't know.

I remember once knowing very clearly.

Remember, remember those promptings.

* * *

I still think it's based in FEAR.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


I've been thinking...

I know that is a dangerous thing to do, especially when I'm not all that philosophical and I claim no real skill in deep reasoning - that is why I'm all messed up in the first place.

But, I'm realizing that my overall problem is that I'm allowing my life to be lived by FEAR.

I've mentioned in the past how I'm afraid of heights and how that has kept me from approach the edge of the cliff - literally, as in the trip to Lake Powell. Well, this 'height' of homosexuality is another cliff for me.

Now, I guess it can be argued that FEAR can be a good motivator. It keeps us from doing stupid things in the first place. Some may say that we naturally fear certain things for our own good and protection. I guess, in some senses, this may be true as we instintively fear harm and hurt. (And I say that FEAR of God, as the term is used in the scripture - is a good thing, too... but this fear is a "respect, awe, reverence, honor" for God, recognizing something greater than oneself - but this is another topic for another day).

But when fear keeps us from risking to try, to reach out, to embrace, to live... then it can be detrimental to the soul.

* * * *

NOTE: My wife gave me a book called "FACE YOUR FEAR" by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach. I'm just starting to get into it. Though it wasn't written with someone like me in mind, I find the context intriguing.

He makes statements like:

* When you are motivated by fears and insecurities they become self-fulfilling prophesies.

* The moment you fear something, you give it power over you.

* Our greatest fear should be not that we will lose our lives, but that we never lived because we became somebody else.

* Fear is the emotion of conformity. Nothing is more responsible for the erasure of our uniqueness than fear.

* By freezing us in place, fear prevents our reaching out to the things we really want and being the people we really want to be.

I'm sure there is more to come as I keep reading...

* * * *

In my "gay" life (as it certainly warrants quotation marks - for I still don't feel like I have any real concept of what I'm talking about here), I've always sought male attention, male friendship, male companionship, male affection, but I've been seeking it from a generally safe distance. SAFE is the key word here. I say I really want to KNOW and FEEL what it is like to have a true male-to-male relationship, but I have never allowed myself to let go and not be afraid and do it! Maybe what I'm really wanting is for someone to say to me or give me the permission to say "it's okay"... but until that someone is ME, it ain't going to happen!

I admit that I was much more open, carefree, and fearless in my relationships with my dear friends I met on my mission and developed "relationships" afterward - as mentioned in previous blogs. And I always go back to those experiences as being the most rewarding, most genuine, most real... because they were innocent, fearless and void of worry (of being caught, of being found out, of even being concerned of what was going on) of any kind. I wasn't analyzing whether I was gay or not. I didn't care. It was amazing... a feeling that I've rarely felt again in my life. A feeling of truly NOT CARING or WORRYING ABOUT what others may be thinking of me! Nothing in the world mattered to me at the moment except for my attachment to my friends - my male friends - who loved me completely and weren't afraid, concerned, or worried about the affection or attraction. They were just happy that we were together.

But since then, my experiences have been guarded, protected, secretive, and SAFE as I've lost that innocence and come to except the fact that I'm gay. This realization has scared me into hiding. (And hiding in a heterosexual life in suburbia Mormon Utah is about as hidden as you can get - no beaches, no clubbing, no weight rooms or gyms, no cruising the streets). Some may say that this is a good thing - this is my conscience speaking to me, the 'still small voice' if you will, that is keeping me in check and in control. Instead of openly seeking relationships like I had with my European buddies, I catch glimpses, steal looks, and fantasize about what it would be like to be in a 'relationship' with that good looking guy, or that one over there.

When I travel for my job, I pass through many airports and take numerous flights and I find myself "rating" guys and carrying on a dialog with myself about whether I'd "do it" with that guy or that guy. I'm always ALWAYS in search of the PERFECT MALE. It's a game. Good or bad, I play it in my mind constantly. It's not unlike the guys at Helaman Halls at BYU who were constantly rating the girls 1-10. I saw no point in their 'frivolous' and 'shallow' behavior, and thought myself superior to such 'childish' games. But here I am 20+ years later still trapped in this frivolity and shallowness (though my ranking scale is 1-5, with 5 being the HOTS!)It's entertaining, but shallow nonetheless... and it's SAFE!

I am finding myself slipping into the world of seeking "attraction" through the SAFE distance of the Internet. I've found myself searching for the PERFECT MALE through images of athletes, male models, body builders and fitness models, etc. Why do I do this? It somehow superficially addresses my needs of male attraction, but in a safe and unattached and therefore dangerous way. There is distance and anonymity. But in that comes the danger of slipping to porn. I fool myself into thinking that I'm SAFE. But I'm really not.

I have been seriously and frightfully attracted to a couple of young guys in my ward as they've grown into adulthood and returned from their missions. We have become very close and intimate friends. I have allowed my "attraction" for them to grow. My attraction for them is very real and very strong. Though it's been very difficult to do, I've admitted this to my wife and though it has caused deep heartache for her, I'm glad I've done it for it helps me to keep it in perspective so that I don't go off and do something really stupid...

But, my point is, THE ATTRACTION INCREASES BECAUSE IT'S FORBIDDEN AND I KNOW IT WON'T HAPPEN. BECAUSE OF THAT, IT'S THERE EVEN MORE. AND IT'S THERE BECAUSE THERE IS A CLOAK OF SAFETY AROUND IT. I don't think I'd ever really do something stupid with them because they, individually speaking, are not in the least bit "attracted" to me in the same way. They are completely straight. And though we've been very affectionate and open in our physical expressions of "love" for each other over the course of many experiences and through the years now (which has been an amazing development in and of itself for typical American guys just aren't that affectionate with each other was we have become), I know deep down that they aren't going to take it to the next level no matter what, nor no matter how much I want to. As much as I say that I desire that they would, and I've fantasized time and time again that they would and that I WOULD respond with open arms to that 'next level' - it's a false desire, because I know that this won't happen. They just don't think this way! (Believe me - I've tried). So, I thank God for the amazing relationships we do have and am pleased that they accept me and my need for affection in an open and fearless, innocent - and dare I say "beautiful" way. Our relationship is unique and beautiful - but fear keeps it safe.

But, I seek these kind of guys and have sought them time and time again, because I know there is no HOPE for anything more, of anything developing into a true romantic or physical relationship, and so by default, I'm held in check and keep myself within the bounds of security, the bounds of propriety, the bounds of the covenants I've made within my beliefs.

And I think... Aren't I wonderful. I'm staying in check! This isn't so hard!

The irony of it all, and it goes right to the point... there is another young guy from my ward who has had the same feelings for these same two guys that I've had. I've watched him FALL for each of them just as I did. And over the course of the last couple of years, he's confided in me and has COME OUT to me and we've discussed our gayness openly with each other. We've been affectionate with each other as well and there is a kindness, a gentleness, a tenderness and compassion for each other as we walk this tight rope balancing act of being active Mormons and gay at the same time. But - and here is the amazing thing - there isn't a physical attraction there between us. Here we are both openly out to each other - he's young and good looking and intelligent and fun to be around - and yet, there is nothing there but friendship. I mean nothing! If either of the other two guys came to my door, or passed me on the street, or in the hall at Church, my heart flutters and skips a beat and I know I still have this indesribable THING for them that makes me continue to realize this 'gay' thing isn't a passing fancy, but a lifelong companion. But I don't have it for the guy who is available and seeking the same thing I've sought. It's like we both know that our availability and desires make this something that we might pursue, and so we don't. The fear kicks in. This is too real, so the attraction is diminished, even extinguished!

I don't know if it's the concept of the human tendency to always want what you can't have, but fail to realize what you do have and not want it?

And then there are the occasions in my life when OUT OF THE BLUE - BAM, BOOM, KABLUEY!!!! I get hit over the head TOTALLY UNSOLICITED with lust from the guy walking by at the sidewalk cafe during the business lunch, the young stud stripped naked with a towel low around his waist at the locker room in the temple of all places, or now this beauty on the tour to the light house on the coast that still haunts me a week later... or countless other guys that just BLOW MY SOCKS OFF!!! I fantasize about them after I've studied and basked in their beauty and manliness and perfection and make up feelings like I want to be kissed by them, held by them, romanticized by them... for in a certain and sure way, I will NEVER see them again, and it's a relationship that I can have from a SAFE distance - no chance of ever developing into anything. Just safe!

All of these psuedo relationships aren't real. Sure, the safety within each type gives the allure for more and more. It's like how far out on the edge can I go to get these feelings of attraction satisfied before truly falling off the cliff. I seek these relationships, these attractions, these fantasies because I know I'm safe.

It's a dangerous game.

I'm aware that in the process, I'm living a life of delusion. I'm living a life of deceipt or the commonly used / even over-used phrase: I'm living a lie! And... I'm really not living life at all.


In this sense, fear and safety are destroying my life.

* "When we experience fear, we curl up and revert to the embryonic position. Our human development proceeds in reverse: we devolve instead of evolve". -- Rabbi Boteach

I mostly feel like I'm devolving faster than evolving. Well maybe not completely - I mean, I've come to accept my feelings and I really LIKE THEM! I don't want to lose them! But I'm doing it in the security and safety of the walls I've placed or I've allowed to be placed around me where there is no risk.

Risk... risk hurt, risk boundaries, risk life! Now that's a concept.

If some great guy came up to me today and caught my eye and I went BAM, BOOM, KABLUEY and all twitterpated inside, and he actually initiated his intent to want something more of me, and there were no safety nets, no walls, no artificial stops... would I go for it? Would I risk it? Would I be attracted? Or when I realize that there is no safety net, I avoid the attraction and run away? Or will the attraction no longer exist because it is no longer safe? Which would I do? I wonder...

I wish I had that opportunity to truly know...

Any takers?

Does any of this rambling on make any sense to anybody else?

Monday, July 03, 2006


It was our anniversary so we decided to get away from it all and go to the coast for a few days. With all of the stress and emotion of our current relationship in the air, with pain and tears so close to the surface, it wasn't clear if being alone together - away from the kids - and trying to commemorate our marriage and to remember why we are married - was such a good idea with so much other baggage dealing with the "issues" at hand. I was nervous. Would we fight? Would this be it? Would I be able to "perform" the way I wanted to and the way she wanted me to? Would we be committed to each other despite everything?

Needless to say, there was skepticism on how this long weekend would work out. But, I was willing to give it my all in devoting time and effort to her and to our relationship. She wanted to do the same for me and let our past struggles be in the past, at least for this trip.

Being willing to go to counseling (even though it didn't click with me), but just the act to do SOMETHING, really opened up our discussions and allowed us to communicate more freely. That communication helped us to get past our worries and frustrations with each other and be free to express intimacy in a way that showed commitment, bonding and love. Friday night went fantastic and I was able to BE THE MAN that I wanted to be with her and without "thinking other thoughts" during the act. She was beautiful and wonderful and amazing - like the woman I once married two decades ago. I concentrated on her and she on me and it worked! It was great and I was excited and she was excited and for a moment, we were healed.

That night we watched an incredible, stunning sunset over the calm ocean cuddling together on the sandy beach. It was magical and I felt in love with her! I truly did! And, I really didn't even look for "hotties" on the beach. I was concentrating on her and on the moment and it felt good and I realized I really wanted her for my eternal companion. I mean, I've always felt this way, but for this moment I felt this way again. For someone who doesn't live by the ocean, seeing those mesmerising waves is hypnotizing and so soothing - maybe I was under some kind of hypnotic spell! For those who live along the coast, I'm sure you don't get why tourists will come just to watch the waves... maybe it's a "taken for granted" kind of thing. But, whatever it was, there was a peace and comfort, a complete satisfaction that we were together and happy to be married despite everything. No words of whys or how-comes etc! No painful comments about wasted years. Just us, as we are, together, right here, right now!

Like I said, that night was incredible and the next morning was great as well. We lounged in bed and talked about our intimacy and working to relax and be less stressful with each other. We admitted that that is harder to do than to say. I mean, it's easy to say that we won't "worry about our issues", when it only takes some kind of difficulty to present itself and then the flood of the past neglect and pain, hurt and misunderstanding rushes to the surface.

Saturday we drove down the coast and found a light house that was open for limited tours and timed it just right to get in. We had to hike up to it on the rocky outcropping and it took 3 hours to do the full tour - but we felt spontaneous and joined in with a small group of maybe 15 people.

Then, disaster struck... at least internally within my warped, homosexual mind. A gorgeous guy was on the tour with us. At first I tried to keep my eyes off of him, but I couldn't. He was perfect - young, blond, deep blue intelligent and intense eyes, slim yet athletic, tall (6'-4"), broad shoulders, new beard, and extremely attractive. I couldn't keep my eyes off of him as we'd hike the cliff or we'd stand and listen to the tour guide, or whatever... I stopped looking at the scenery at large and just looked at the scenery up close and personal. I even took a picture of him - now how moronic is that????
(I really wanted to photograph him from top to bottom) but I was too shy to ask for him to "pose" and I didn't want my wife to suspect the turmoil going on inside of me - especially after such a great day). I started imagining what it would be like to be his boyfriend, to be kissed by him. I began to hate myself for these feelings, particularly on such a nice weekend. But there it was - in all its glory. I had eternity at my fingertips, and yet my lustful desires wanted something more, wanted this totty!

I'm pathetic! But not enough to resist staring at him and fantacising about him the entire time... and that led to my falling into the trap of fantacising about him loving me that next night when I should have been fantacising about my wife!

I hate myself! I tried so hard to do it right. I want so much to seek and obtain eternal life with my wife, yet my natural lusts are so easily swayed away from those lofty goals just by the simple sighting of a fantastically beautiful young man! I don't have the strength any more to turn away. I hunger to know what it feels like to be loved by someone like him... and yet I know it is wrong in my situation to live this way. I can't have it both ways and it isn't fair to even ask for such a dual existence.

Fortunately, Sunday came and we were in sequence again and I calmed down and was back in control. My mental fling of internal lust was over. But I feel unfaithful. I feel like I'm cheating. I feel so weak and out of control. I feel so stupid.

But as I think about it even today, it's an irony. Here I was concentrating on my wife, my marriage, my eternal commitments, and doing a dang good job of it, too... I mean we were close and feeling good in each other's arms, even making out on the street and in plain view of others - loving the excitement of loving each other like newlyweds again (we were making out in some woods and a couple came by on their bikes and said "ooooh... sorry" as they went by taking in the view of us going at it - my wife commented later that weren't we acting a bit forward for a couple our age and I responded... "who cares" - let them stare! And I loved every minute of it) AND THEN,


In one view, I'm swept away completely off my feet, my heart racing at the thought of this forbidden love. I mean, what is wrong with me? What am I thinking? Do I have that little self control? Am I that much of a slut?

I keep asking myself...isn't the hope of eternity, and living with God and my family and wife forever good enough?

Apparently to my physical desires, it isn't... And that torments me inside!

Man I'm a mess...