Thursday, October 30, 2008

"It is not good for man to be alone..."

For those who have been a missionary, remember that little rule called "always stay with your companion"? Well, I think there is real value in that. And I'm not talking about missionaries here.


My wife and kids have been out of town this week. That has left me alone to think and do lots of stupid things - case in point, see the previous two posts. I know I'm not the only one, but even knowing so, and observing what stupid things others have done while they were separated from their wife, somehow isn't enough to persuade me to consider and do things that I would never do if my "companion" were here with me. And knowing the stupidity of some of these things that I and others have done, still at this moment, doesn't keep me from doing them.


I've allowed my mind to go in places that I've never allowed it to go before. I've been thinking of doing things that I've never allowed myself to do before. Hell, I've even thought of getting the massage that was suggested a while back, but not just any massage... no I've found a gay massage therapist and several massage/escort services right here in SLC. And I'm half tempted to click the button and make the appointment right now. Why wouldn't I want a strong and muscular 20 something running his large hands all over me?



I've stopped wearing my authorized underwear this week, purchased some alternates, to sensually experience and see what it feels like to be "free" and to "find myself" and to "take ownership" of my sexuality and to leave all this baggage behind. I've toyed with the idea for the first time of really wanting to find out what it's like, tired of the dreaming and fantasizing and juvenile games I play with myself and those around me... always walking on the edge, but never really allowing myself to step across the line, always fearful of falling off that proverbial cliff. I've considered that now is the time to really "know" what it's like and stop longing.


It's safe. I'm alone. No one will know, right?


I've talked this week with a friend and written another, both of whom are encouraging me to be happy, content with myself, and at liberty to take control of my life. And why shouldn't I? I'm not getting any younger and sooner or later, if ever, I'm going to be so old that no one will want anything to do with me, no matter how much I pay them. Who knows - I'm probably at that stage already. Is that what this has come down to? Is my clock running out? How many more week long opportunities will I have to be alone to work up the courage to do it? Or maybe I should take an extra day or two on the end of the next business trip? After all, it can be arranged out of town as well, right?


I fool myself and have even testified countless times over the course of this hideous blog that all I really want is a close male friendship, an intimate hug, a soft kiss, a little non-erotic bromance, or even yet a bit of erotic, but innocent romance - always denying that I don't want the sex... I'm not in it for the sex. And my friends tell me respectfully and kindly that I don't know what I'm talking about and question how I can be sure what I want if I don't ever really experience it first to find out?


They're right. I don't really know. I'm still at the stage of innocence. I've been innocent all my life. A couple of times I got close to knowing, but something kept me back and I really don't know. I don't know at all what I'm talking about...


These thoughts are haunting me... seeing that I've sacrificed all these years to withhold myself of ever knowing what my body and soul aches to discover, to feel, to know - truly know... and for what?


Yeah, for what?


I'm torturing myself with thoughts, allowing my mind and emotions to gett the better part of me, driving myself insane this week. I've been called brave. I've been told that these adolescent steps are just part of the process. I don't think I'm brave... I've led my whole life as a "good boy", never needing to seriously repent as I haven't seriously done anything - always stopping, always retreating, always failing to actually do anything really brave and cross the line - after all, even if I get on the other side and find it isn't worth it, I can repent, right? That's what the Gospel is all about... Hell, I haven't really even put to practice the Gospel in my life by always being the "good boy", no? Where's the joy in knowing if you never truly know the Lord is there for you when you fall.


The prodigal son was welcomed back with open arms. The "good son" was left scratching his head in bewilderment at the treatment of his sinning brother. Yet, his blessing, his joy was in the fact that all that the Father has was always his... someday. One day...


It's funny, I can't do it... As much as I want to call my friend and have him arrange for me to meet up with a mutual friend, I can't do it... As much as I want to wrap my mind around it and just get to the other side of the line, I can't do it... As much as I desire "freedom" and "ownership" of my sexuality and accept the fact that I'm in charge here and shouldn't be kept prisoner by the laws and ordinances of the Gospel, I just can't...


All I have to do is think about my wife and I can't do it. When I put her out of my mind, it is easier. But with her image in my mind, with hearing her voice on the phone, I just can't do it...


So I change my underwear, and I stop viewing what I shouldn't, and I put away those things that titillate, and I stop dwelling on what I don't have and concentrate on what I do have... and I continue to blog late into the night... alone... still wondering... still longing to know just once...


We all need companions...

38 comments:

Samantha said...

You know, it's not about sexuality, or wanting to know, or longings, or feeling deprived, or knowing you can repent...what you're talking about is betraying someone who trusts you to have no sexual relationships with any others, to remain true to her in thought and deed. And once you betray someone who trusts you, simply to indulge yourself, it's very easy to lose yourself in repeating the process again and again.

If/when the time comes that you feel you must try a new path, I hope that you will not do so until you have taken the necessary steps to tell your wife and allow her whatever dignity is left to her. You would expect the same of her if your situation was reversed. In my opinion, there is never any excuse for infidelity in secret. Divorce is available to everyone, and while it can be hurtful and ugly, that hurt is small compared to the pain of a spouse who finds that the one she trusted with the most intimate, vulnerable parts of herself, has betrayed her trust in a time when he should have held it most sacred.

Bror said...

There is nothing stupid or hidious about your posts bud. They are real, sincere and from the heart. You have the talent to write what we all feel. You have the power to make us laugh and cry about both the good and bad of what we are. I love that. It is such a good thing. Don't change a thing about your posts. I can't wait for you future posts.
I must say, that I am walking a fine line myself. The past two years, I have thought more about giving up what I have for that which I desire. These feelings are stronger than ever. I know they wont go away. It is hard all the time bud. I too get strength from my wife, kids and my moho family to continue on my current path.
I was thinking of writing a post along this line, but you have covered it for me. Thanks again for you honesty.

Bror said...

Oh yeah, by the way, my wife and kids are leaving for 6 days starting saturday. hmmmmm :)

robert said...

ok...get the massage...just do it. there is nothing sinful about a massage and you need it on many levels. If it keeps you balanced and in control of your life, who cares. The alternative is to go crazy in your fear and self loathing? Don't worry, the therapist is not going to expect anything from you. And it helps enormously. Sorry, I am not evil. Just practical.

Scot said...

Ah Beck, what a tough spot your in and have been in the many months I've read your blog. I feel for you, man.

"It's funny, I can't do it"

Could it help maybe to look at it in the light that you don't want to do it? I mean, you've tallied up the possibilities, right? You've realized the hurt you could cause and what you'd miss, and (though, sure, you don't have an accurate model without experience) you've decided that going down that road is not worth it, to you. You want something else more. You may want two opposed actions, but you are free here and you want one more than the other. So it seems "you don't want" to do this, not "can't" and that, at least for me, is a more peaceful way of looking at difficult life's choices.

Anyway :-), I've known LDS men in your position who've done what you're considering. I can't say they are in general nursing regrets but they do often go through a wild phase after feeling so pent up. With that sort of tension, I'd fear a significant weekend step into that other world could cause a break.

Beck said...

SAM: You always see through me. Yes, I know I'm talking about betrayal of trust, simply for selfish indulgences! Have more faith in me!

I know that I am choosing to hold to her that which is sacred. Give me some credit here! If there is an "if", I will do it with more integrity than my thoughts portray. But for now, there is no "if". There is only a desire on my part for her to come home...

Beck said...

BROR: Thanks for understanding me. It isn't fun walking the line, constantly facing temptation, always revisiting the commitments of one's core. It's a hell of a way to live a life.

Good luck with your coming week alone. If I can do it, so can you!

Beck said...

ROBERT: The massage I want (from another gay guy) may not be the best for me at this time. I don't want a massage from Helga, the German nurse. :) And, if I'm going to get the gay massage, it's got to be with my wife's permission - otherwise, it feels so dishonest.

Some, like my friends, say that I own my sexuality and share it with my wife, that she does not own it. I'm trying to wrap my head around that mentality and way of thinking. For me, it is something I share with her, and her only, so she doesn't own my sexuality, I give it to her.

As for self-loathing, I'm not hating myself for these thoughts and feelings and anxieties. I have come to the point of accepting that they are a part of who I am, and I'm really quite comfortable with these feelings. What drives me crazy is the life I lead where I constantly have to push the limits, walk the line and tempt myself to test the level and strength of my resolve, and to put myself in situations to prove whether my internal core has softened to the point of giving in. That isn't loathing, but like I said, it isn't much of a way to live a fulfilled and confident life.

Beck said...

SCOT: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Your insight that it isn't that "I just can't", but that "I don't want to do it" is so helpful. I've been taking the negative spin, and you've seen through it to find the positive spin.

If I really wanted to do it, with the amount of time I'm alone when I travel, or on weeks like this past one, I have the opportunity. I have the resources. I have the desire. But I don't do it! Ultimately, at least in this round of pushing myself and testing my resolve, I CHOOSE not to do it.

I choose her and all that goes with that choice, instead...

Authenticity has multiple meanings. Is it too much to be authentic to one's choices, and one's trust, verses one's desires?

Beck said...

TO ALL: Okay, so, I'm not doing it... I'm okay here. Don't worry, I'm not jumping into a world of infidelity,

but...

why do I constantly force myself, in every opportunity made available to me, to push myself and test the strength of my resolve? Why can't I just walk away and leave it alone once and for all, telling myself that I've already made that choice? Why do I torture myself in this habitual internal battle?

These are the real questions of this post.

Scott said...

Why can't I just walk away and leave it alone once and for all, telling myself that I've already made that choice?

Maybe because you haven't already made that choice? That is, you've always made the right decision when temptation has presented itself, but perhaps you haven't really been able to make a final choice between two things that you really want?

Growing up, they used to always tell us in school and in church that we needed to decide at a young age that we were never going to do drugs. They told us that if we made the decision early, we wouldn't have to agonize over whether or not to cave in when our friends were pressuring us, because we had already made the choice and it was just a matter of sticking to it.

I've been involved in a discussion in another forum where a married gay guy has become reacquainted with an old friend, who turns out to be gay also (and who currently has a boyfriend). The gay friend confessed that when they were younger he had been attracted to the married guy. The married guy wonders if he's courting disaster by renewing this friendship, and several people on the forum have advised him against it.

I try to place myself in a similar situation, and I can't imagine having any difficulty, because I've made the decision that I won't do anything to betray my wife, and I don't think I would be faced with any indecision if things ever got to a point with this friend where there was a potential for anything inappropriate to happen. The decision has been made already.

That isn't to say I'm immune to temptation and desire--far from it--but I've made a decision and I intend to stick to it.

Beck said...

SCOTT: So, in reality, as I've made my decision countless times to not cross the line, I still haven't made the decision NOT to cross the line, otherwise, why wouldn't I just stop approaching the line?

I've been taught the same thing regarding drugs and smoking and alcohol, and those are no temptation to me at all. I made my decision in my youth and they don't even interest me.

Yet, this one still does. Obviously, I haven't made my decision and though I still choose well when push comes to shove, I still wonder and desire and toy with it, just as one may toy with alcohol by hanging out in bars.

As for your married gay friend, I guess it depends on his own resolve and his own decisions and commitments to those, but I'd hate to see him not rekindle a "friendship" just for the possibility of such kindlings sparking an out-of-control fire. There I go again - always attracted to the fire and playing in it!

bravone said...

Beck, Your blog today and the thoughtful responses to it are why I participate in our blog family. Your feelings and longings are similar to those we all feel. As you know, I have crossed the line and thankfully made it back. It is not a path I would recommend for anyone. I trust you and know you won't be as stupid as I was (am.)

The responses today are great. I can't add to what has been said without diminishing it. I guess I will anyway.

"Why can't I just walk away and leave it alone once and for all, telling myself that I've already made that choice?"....not sure, but I think it is because sexuality is a part of who we are. It is internal, unlike drugs, alcohol etc. It is much harder to deal with when you feel like you can't be who you truly are. It is feeling of incompleteness that goes unsatisfied. It is really hard to be gay and not engage in homosexual relations. Those of us who have testimonies of the gospel, our best choice, though painful at times, is to remain true. I am convinced that we could never be happy in a homosexual relationship and still have a foot in the church door. Only when I gave in to alcohol and totally abandoned my faith, was I able to act on my longings. It was pleasurable and sexually satisfying, but ultimately extremely destructive and damning to my soul. I have decided to be "content" in my longings.

Mike said...

Elder Maxwell in a conference talk titled 'According to the Desires of Their Hearts' talks about setting the thermostats for our temptations.

It is so true, we decide how hard our lives are going to be by the thoughts and actions that we make. If we are trying to be good, after a sustained effort, we feel the temptations simmer down from a boil, and although I have never experienced this, they could cool down even more.

I take that back. There are times where I do not feel the desire or impulse to be homosexual. Problem is is that it doesn't stick around, but comes and goes.

Walking the line can feel so good, can't it? I mean you feel in your element and all, but we all know that afterwards the regret we feel when we want to be better.

Don't do the massage, I know it sounds tempting, but you are strong. You have gone this long, right? You can hold on for another week. Replace the temptation with something that can be satisfying in a non-sexual way, like a good nap, or some tasty junk food. It is the lesser of two evils and I never feel guilty compared to what I know would have happened and how I would feel afterwards.

I applaud you, Beck. You are strong.

Mike said...

Oh, and I totally understand about wanting a relationship with a man. I always feel attracted to the men who befreind me and I have to try to seperate the sexual 'need' from the social one.

And Bravone, I agree with why you participate. I do not feel alone anymore hearing the thoughts and feelings of others in my shoes.

Beck said...

MIKE: Maybe it has a lot to do with me thinking about my sexuality too much, maybe it has to do with that I like to play with fire and imagine the other life too much... but for me, I'm not finding the simmering affect with time at all.

When my boil diminished to a simmer was when I totally was immersed in work, immersed in my church calling, and distanced myself from all things sexual with my wife. I became assexual. We survived the 90s in this mode and at the time, I was not "out" to myself.

But, since coming out to myself, since facing the liberation of being "out", I find I'm like an uncorked carbinated bottle that is exploding, or a squozen tube of toothpaste. I can't stop the feelings. Or, maybe I don't want to stop the feelings...

I'm sorry, but there is no simmering going on here, and respectfully, I don't think a good nap or tasty junk food will stop the oozing and get it to flow back into the container!

By the way, thanks for commenting. I've read your blog and think you are wonderful. You've got your hands full with four young kids! Welcome to my blog and this community of fellow MOHOs.

Hugs,

Beck.

Mike said...

Wow, Beck. I am not sure how to respond to that. I feel your pain, I really do. (I don't know why I just laughed when I wrote that, but I think that this is the first time in my life where I can really understand and be understood.)

I understand what it is like to like feeling the way that you do, like the feelings of desire that we do. I don't know if I could do the 'asexual' thing.

I would wager that you have thought a lot about it in the past week and so it would be natural to feel sexually displaced in your feelings. I hope that with the wife and kids being home that you will feel a little better.

Maybe the food thing is something that I grew up on. My family is always about food, and it does make me feel better. :)

Thanks for your support, I would give you a hug if it didn't make me want something that I should not partake in.... ;)

Scott said...

So, in reality, as I've made my decision countless times to not cross the line, I still haven't made the decision NOT to cross the line, otherwise, why wouldn't I just stop approaching the line?

Um... I think that's about what I was saying (and I hope you understand I was only offering a suggestion, not asserting that that's how it is).

I still wonder and desire and toy with it

So it seems like, at least in your mind, you're intentionally flirting with temptation--trying to get as close to the edge of the cliff as you can without actually stepping off it. Is that right?

If you're so often going so close to the edge, that makes me think that perhaps you're happier (not sure that's the right word...) there than you are comfortably away from it--you're an adrenaline junkie... Do you think that's true?

If so, do you prefer being on the edge because you think that you would really like it better on the valley floor, or do you prefer being on the edge because you just like the view? (Maybe you'd rather dream about being down there than actually do anything about it?)

To carry a metaphor way too far... so far the guardrails have kept you from falling, but can you be certain that they'll hold strong when you keep leaning over them to get a better view of the valley?

If so--if they're solidly constructed and solidly embedded in the bedrock--then I'd say enjoy the view and don't feel guilty about it. But if you're not certain they're structurally sound, you might want to consider taking just one or two steps back to enjoy the view. You won't see quite as much, but you'll be comfortably safe from falling off the edge.

I'll weigh in on the massage again, even though I gave my opinion a few weeks ago.

Massage = good.

Massage by a guy = better.

Massage by a gay guy who works for a massage/escort service = possibly not so good? It's likely that the place you found is legal and legitimate, but I'd hate for you to find out that it wasn't when the masseuse offered you a "happy ending".

Scott said...

...I don't think ... tasty junk food will stop the ...

"Tasty junk food" might not, but I've had some pretty sensual desserts that might do the trick. I've even made a few. (Ask my wife about the chocolate mousse from a couple of weeks ago) :)

Beck said...

MIKE said: "I would give you a hug if it didn't make me want something that I should not partake in.... ;)"

Please don't say that... If you take the time to read my blog (which I don't recommend as I don't even go back and read it - maybe I should but that would be a scary thing to do) you'll know how I feel about hugs. I think NOT hugging is a sin! You've got to allow yourself to HUG! I'm dead serious here. We gay guys who are trying to walk this fine line have got to have an outreach of some kind and feeling comfortable and open enough to express oneself with a passionate bromancing hug!

So, with that... hugs to you...

Beck said...

SCOTT: I think I'm a "view" person. I love to take in the view, and if I can get just a bit closer to the edge, the better the view.

My favorite view of the Grand Canyon is where you can dangle your feet over the edge and there is nothing but air between you and the Colorado some 3,000 feet below! No railing.

I'm not a thrill seeker. I hate heights in general (except if there's a great view to go along with them such as the Empire State Building). I hate amusement parks and their adrenaline rush, and I'm quite timid by nature, but I like pushing it to get a bit of a rush...

I don't beat myself up because I like the view. I just have decided that I want it all. I want the safety of family and home. I want the thrill of the alternate life. I want the adreniline rush, but not an overdose, and I want as much view as I can get without completely falling... is that too much to ask for?

As for massage: If I knew the gay guy knew my story and knew how to touch me in non-compromising but sensual ways, wouldn't it be okay? As long as I got Sam's (I mean my wife's) blessing? :)

As for desserts: as wonderful as they may be, they don't quench the urge I'm feeling... sorry.

Mike said...

Beck,

I understand what you are saying, I do. I am a naturally affectionate man who loves hugs. I just feel something more when I hug a man... surprise!

I recently had a EQP who was very attractive, and also a little affectionate. I fantasized for months about him and how he would be the perfect companion for me, if he was gay. Luckily he moved away, because if he was still around I would probably still be thinking about him.

Like I said before, I struggle with seperating sexual feeling with physical affection from men, outside of my immediate family.

I am happy that we are friends now. Thank you for your blog, and your comments. -hug

Scott said...

As for massage: If I knew the gay guy knew my story...

I probably should have phrased things differently. I don't think that a massage from a gay guy is a problem. I think that a massage from a gay guy that you found on the internet or in the back of City Weekly could possibly be a problem. I'm sure that most would not be, and in fact I don't even know that any would be (I'm certainly not at all experienced in the area), but I would be a bit more cautious of a masseuse from a gay escort service than a massage therapist from Massage Envy. Of course, if physical appearance is important, you might be more likely to find what you're looking for from a gay escort service than from Massage Envy. Perhaps a happy medium would be the best choice.

After you've gotten Sam's... er... your wife's approval, of course. :)

Damon In CO said...

Beck...oh boy.

I understand where your urges come from and I completely understand the enticement.

I agree with Samantha that, if you are going to pursue this lifestyle, do it in such a way that gives your wife and your family diginity. Moreover, do it in such a way that you maintain your integrity and diginity.

However, I don't think you're there. I'm not sure that is the choice you want to make...to divorce your wife and date men. But I know your fear. You are afraid of getting old and wondering "what if". And no one can answer that question for you.

You might find, in living a gay lifestyle, that you'd be more unhappy that you are now. That partaking of that particular fruit of knowledge, of discovering what if, would be more than it was worth.

There are few guarantee's in life. Pursuing those relationships doesn't mean you'll find them. Having physically fulfilling relationships (or encounters) doesn't mean they will fulfill you emotionally. In fact, they'll tear you apart. You'd regret it the moment it's over.

Trust me.

Right now you have the love and respect of your best friend and eternal companion. If you give that up, what if you never find it again on the "gay" side of things? Would it be worth it?

I think you know. I think, in part, it's why you've made the choices you have so far.

I love you either way, Beck. And I want you to do what makes you happiest.

Given when you became aware of your sexuality and given the choices you've made prior to that I think that you'v made the right choices to make yourself the happiest. Right now, you just can't over the idea of "what if".

I think there must be a way for you to honor your covenants and also connect to the reality of your homosexuality. This blog is one way and perhaps there are others.

~Damon

Beck said...

BRAVONE said: "Your blog today and the thoughtful responses to it are why I participate in our blog family..."

So, it didn't take long to become addicted...er... I mean converted to this blogging community, did it?
So, can I say: "See, I told you so!"?

You then added: "It is much harder to deal with when you feel like you can't be who you truly are. It is feeling of incompleteness that goes unsatisfied. It is really hard to be gay and not engage in homosexual relations." Okay, so it's hard. I know that - I get it. I complain about it and angst over it unceasingly. However, my question is, why do I keep coming back for more abuse? Why do I want to make it harder than I should on myself? Why is it that I can't leave it alone knowing the hardness of it? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is the definition of insanity (as is often overstated), so why am I content to be insane?

And thanks for your example. I know from where you come and I know you've beaten up on yourself more than I and to see your strength now is more than inspirational.

Beck said...

DAMON said: "However, I don't think you're there. I'm not sure that is the choice you want to make...to divorce your wife and date men. But I know your fear. You are afraid of getting old and wondering "what if". And no one can answer that question for you."

You're right. I'm not there. I don't want a divorce. I want my wife AND a boyfriend! :)

Seriously, I am afraid of getting old... why do you think I'm pounding the weights at my age? And I am worried that my time has passed and I'll never know. And I am always wondering about the "what if".

If I had a special friend come into my life, one who would bring a special mutual attraction, knowing how quickly I make attachments to these situations, I know I'd be willing to go all the way without blinking or thinking - and losing my dignity and destroying my wife's. So, I don't... and I'm left with the "what ifs".

I'm not there yet. But where am I? Lukewarm and thus of no value to anyone?

Philip said...

Beck,

Maybe you did make a choice a long time ago but have been forced to revisit that choice over and over again because the choice you made is not the right one for you.

I remember when the only choices I thought I had was 1) marriage and family or 2) sex with men that would result in destroying my marriage and breaking up my family.

Of course, my wife and kids came first so I would chose them but somehow that choice wouldn't stick and I would soon be struggling again and revisiting the same choices. I would then chose my wife and kids again. It was a vicious cycle.

I found myself going to greater and greater extremes to stay faithful.

Soon I was faced with a third choice. I could keep on going the way I was and eventually go crazy.

What I realize now is that I couldn't choose my marriage and family over sex with men because it wasn't just about sex with men.

Being gay is much more than just about sex but I didn't know that then so I was suppressing much, much more than just sexual feelings.

For one thing I was suppressing the person I was inside.

I was in a jail of my own making and didn't know what it was like to be free.

For another thing I was constantly confused about who I was and what I wanted or needed. I later found out, some things a person learns about themselves can only be learned by interacting openly and honestly with others. So I was confused because I had spent much of my life hiding who I was instead of interacting openly and honestly with others.

My need for freedom and self-awareness alone made it impossible to stick to my choice.

But you are older, more mature and more open than I was back then (at least you have this virtual community of bloggers) so you are probably much further along than I was.

May I suggest you need to do more for yourself than what you are doing now and not wait until your wife and kids are out of town before seriously consider doing something about it.

If you could be more yourself and become more self aware, among other things, while your wife and kids are around then the pressure won't build up so much and you won't be as tempted when they are not around.

Regards,
Philip

Silver said...

Beck:
I've been quitely lurking and following this string, with high interest, all weekend. Time to come out of the shadow and speak...

You said:
"However, my question is, why do I keep coming back for more abuse? Why do I want to make it harder than I should on myself? Why is it that I can't leave it alone knowing the hardness of it? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result is the definition of insanity (as is often overstated), so why am I content to be insane?"

I can't "leave it alone" either. I have been driven myself to walk right up to the edge of the cliff and push on Scott's guard rails all of my life. I have found now however, that I have less drive to do so. I think it is because I've waded in a little deeper and tested the waters. I haven't gone into the lifestyle, but I have formed "intimate" friendships and found comfort and closeness with men without it going sexual. For me, this has filled needs and a great void. I have found a new comfort and much of my curiousity has been dispelled.

For me at least, it is filling a need and that has involved coming out of my comfort zone. Some would argue perhaps that I'm risking it all and crossing boundaries, but for me it is filling a need.

I feel that for me, the need to push the edge, to cross boundaries is coming from a deep wound that originated in childhood and being wounded or neglected by my father and over protected and socialized by the women in my life. My thoughts might not be popular, but please understand that while I believe much of my "gayness" is predisposed and a part of my soul (nature); I also believe that my circumstances and upbringing left me unusually hungry for male affections (nurture).

By crossing lines and dispelling much of the myth, I have found some of those raging needs have been quieted.

Damon in Co, said:
"You might find, in living a gay lifestyle, that you'd be more unhappy that you are now. That partaking of that particular fruit of knowledge, of discovering what if, would be more than it was worth."

I agree, wholeheartedly. You could find yourself in far worse circumstance and very unhappy. I have friends who have made that mistake. I think it is crucial that we use caution and good judgement. The path is laden with danger.

I like Damon's reference to "fruit of knowledge". At times when I have pushed boundaries I have had the "fall" in mind and the concept of choosing one good over another. It is a difficult choice. Could it be that a transgression just might be worth the lesson learned or the knowledge gained? Should I even dare ask such a question?

Some of you know me. Don't fear for my soul. I haven't sold out for a bowl of pottage. I'm still "in the faith", but perhaps my eyes are more open than before to some things that I feared before.

In summary, Beck, maybe you are looking in the wrong place for the answers and that is why you keep coming back to the same dead end. For me, a new path relieved a lot of pain. We all have to find our own way. Could it be a new path might not be the wrong thing? My advice, however, is proceed with caution, it's a rocky slope.

Silver

Philip said...

Silver: I also believe that my circumstances and upbringing left me unusually hungry for male affections (nurture).

Well, being gay is also about needing intimacy with someone of the same sex.

So dealing with the need for male intimacy does fill part of the void for those that are gay whether they think they can go straight or totally accept that they are gay.

Silver: By crossing lines and dispelling much of the myth, I have found some of those raging needs have been quieted.

Don't know what those lines crossed and myths are.

But I do know homosexuality is about needing male intimacy, as well as, needing to have sex with men just like heterosexuality is about needing opposite sex intimacy, as well as, needing to have sex with the opposite sex.

So dealing with one's need for intimacy whether you are straight or gay does address at least some of the need a person has and therefore quiets the rage that would build over time if a person was not allowed any outlet at all.

So, I totally agree that a gay man addressing his need for male intimacy, even if sex is not involved, will go a long way to quieting down the rage. I am proof of that.

By the way could you imagine what straight men would be like if they couldn't have emotional intimacy or sex with the opposite sex? Do you think they would fare any better than gay men regardless of their circumstances and upbringing?

Regards,
Philip

Silver said...

Philip: By the way could you imagine what straight men would be like if they couldn't have emotional intimacy or sex with the opposite sex? Do you think they would fare any better than gay men regardless of their circumstances and upbringing?

Indeed, doesn't take a great deal of imagination. Just turn on the news and check out the murders, suicides and hostage situations that are generated by sexual issues and indiscretions. In reality, does sexual preference really have that much to do with it? We are all emotional creatures with deep needs and wounds that cross all boundaries. Wounds, needs and appetites are not exclusive to Gay or SSA individuals.

Ultimately, I know in my heart that it falls to each of us to negotiate our way through this life by the choices we make in our personal lives. The responsibility we take for ourselves and our emotional health has a great deal to do with how we sit with God and our own values and how faithful and true we are to ourselves, God and our loved ones. It comes down to integrity and personal choice, doesn't it? That's why we look over the edge, but we don't jump off. Intuitively we know the harm that will come. (of course this comes from my perspective as a MOM, a single man might make other choices).

In my case I am checked by other choices previously made that need to be honored. I can seek and find affection, validation and love from other men; but it must be in appropriate ways with boundaries that preserve the integrity of those other covenants. Not easy, not always completely satisfactory; but it has been better than the previous distance and detachment from other men. At least from my current view of things; being connected is helpful.

Philip said...

Silver,

I don't know if we are saying the same thing or not.

I think we agree that it's easier for a gay man if he has emotional intimacy with another man but it's still not easy.

At least I think we agree.

However, I don't know why you brought in murderers or hostage takers.

I would think it would be easy enough to imagine the average straight guy on the street going bonkers if he wasn't allowed any outlet for his emotional or sexual intimacy with the opposite sex.

That was my point...it is unreasonable to expect someone to be totally OK if he or she is not allowed emotional or sexual intimacy with the gender of their orientation regardless of whether that gender is the same or opposite sex.

It would be easier for a straight guy to have emotional intimacy than nothing at all but then it would still not be easy for him just like it would not be easy for a gay guy.

I can imagine that because I equate the two orientations. Homosexuality is a sexual orientation. Heterosexuality is a sexual orientation. No better. No worse. Just different.

Regards,
Philip

Beck said...

PHILIP: So much of my mentality, my culture, my belief structure is made up of "black and white" decisions. You either do this, or you do that. One is right, one is wrong. There is no gray inbetween, no half-truth, no half-right, no what ifs.

But, now I don't see my world in such black and white terms. Some may suggest I'm stepping into apostasy. I'm suggesting I'm just eagerly questioning myself...

It isn't so cut and dry. I'm trying to find some happy medium where I can cling to that which I know and love without going crazy in the meanwhile. How do I find that middle ground, that gray area?

I feel a blog post coming on... :)

Beck said...

SILVER: I see your example of finding other "proper" outreach methods for male-to-male contact that are appropriate. I've had many of these situations in my life - I just happen to be a little low on such connections right now and so I tend to allow my thoughts to boil to the point of thought-infidelity. I need more contacts, more relationships, more bromances... and yes, within the realm of propriety as I see it, with integrity for the choices I've already made.

I concur... But, still, I just want a boyfriend... :(

Beck said...

PHILIP said: "Homosexuality is a sexual orientation. Heterosexuality is a sexual orientation. No better. No worse. Just different..."

I completely 100% agree!

santorio said...

after reading all the comments, and thinking what I might add, i think you should just go back to the first comment. sam has it right.

there is nothing an experiment would tell you that you don't already know.

Philip said...

Beck: It isn't so cut and dry. I'm trying to find some happy medium where I can cling to that which I know and love without going crazy in the meanwhile. How do I find that middle ground, that gray area?


I fully understand. One of the scariest things about coming out was the challenge it posed to my belief system. I could not reconcile my beliefs with what I knew about gay people. At some point I realized I had been lied to about homosexuality. If I had been lied to about homosexuality then what else had I been lied to about. I no longer knew what to believe. It was scary to no longer have a core set of beliefs to fall back on; to be questioning everything.

I found plenty of company in the gay community. Many were trying to figure out what to believe. It was made even more difficult for people like me that didn't want to throw the baby out with the bathwater to see others throw it all away and start over.

However, I'm glad I didn't throw all my beliefs away. In the end I retained most of my old beliefs even many of the beliefs that directly affected me as a gay man. However, I did expand those beliefs to include gay people in the picture and treat them as equals.

Now I would like to warn you about the gay community.

I think the gay community is much more affected by the larger mainstream straight community then it likes to admit.

When I first ventured into the gay community it was like finding an oasis of safety in a hostile world but as time went on I lost the idealism I had and started noticing more and more flaws.

For one thing many people come to the gay community damaged but then continue to stay too closeted to adequately address that damage. A community is only as good as the people in it so the community suffers that damage.

Another thing is that many of the gay people that manage to heal then no longer need the gay community and with all those walking wounded around the community is somewhat of an unhealthy place to be in so they move on. The gay community then losses the very people they need the most.

What I would like to suggest is that you get in contact with those that have moved beyond the gay community but it seems to me that they are so integrated into the mainstream world that they don't stand out.

But the truth is I have never tried to find them so they may be out there in plain view and I just don't know it.

Regards,
Philip

Regards,
Philip

Beck said...

Yes, santorio, I get it... and if you read my response to Sam, you'll note that in reality, I was longing for my wife to come home. When she is here with me I feel stronger, I am able to deal with things better and I feel less desperate...

So, I'm happy to report that she's home and we're fine and back together and I didn't do anything really stupid... just normal stupid. :)

Beck said...

PHILIP: How is one to find the gay community folks who are stable and have moved on beyond the gay community and want nothing to do with guys like me who have way overstayed their welcome in the closet in the first place? If they are mainstreamed to the point of invisibility, how is anyone like me going to find them?

Thanks for your advice. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness as you patiently step me through so many land mines out there!