Tuesday, November 01, 2011

"Touched"




As noted, while finding myself in the bachelor mode for a week or so, I've felt inclined to look into watching a couple of gay-themed films. I rewatched Latter Days and Brokeback Mountain. I've commented on these in the past and the only thing I can say now after a couple of years, is that how much I feel for the plight of these men portrayed in these films. I've noted before how real Latter Days was for me, having developed a bromantic / romantic relationship (innocent as it may have been) similar to Elder Davis' with a simple hug and kiss... Had it not been for a very understanding companion at the time, I'm sure I could have been sent home as well, and faced some sort of discipline.

With Brokeback Mountain, I was so emotionally charged the first time I watched it. This time I felt nothing but emptiness, even a void of emotions. It was like being suck dry. The only part that really gets to be personally is the deception played between Ennis and his wife and that she knows and when he is caught, what torture I feel inside with the portrayal of real deception.

Upon my search for some other films, I came across this short film called "Touched" that "touched" me more deeply - maybe because it was new to me and caught me off guard, or maybe because I can definitely identify and see myself literally in the main character (a 53 year old pudgy Mormon man with glasses, who was married for 23 years with 7 kids, coming "out" at 45 and now searching for meaning in his life - stopping in a gay bar for no other reason than an exploration of a "spiritual" journey of hoping to "touch" someone or be "touched"). Other than the gay bar and the 7 kids, this could be me most definitely!).

I typically don't clip videos, but this one may be an exception. (NOTE: WARNING - viewer discretion: the language is pretty rough).



What is amazing to me, other than seeing myself in the main character's eyes of a man being attracted to a beautiful young man with a gorgeous young beard and smile, a young man half his age, easily the age of children (now if anything sounds exactly like me - that is me!), is that the biggest desire is to connect, to hug, to simply be held, to be "touched". There is no sex. There is no nudity. There is nothing other than a hug, being held, connecting. As much as the young man needed it, it was wonderful to see the older man offer himself to someone who wanted to hurt him - and being rewarded for the "connection" he needed as well.


Maybe I'm the only one, but in my world, in my situation, with my circumstances of "lack of connection" and "lack of touch", this really registered deeply... more so than with Christian and Aaron, or Ennis and Jack.
How do I do this on my "spiritual journey"? How can I safely put myself out there without going to the "gay bar" or without the deception and hurt of Ennis's wife? Even the guy in this short film had to let his marriage and religion go, to be placed on this journey... I'm not ready to do that (if ever)... yet the yearning is still there.

I'd be interested in your comments as always...

14 comments:

doughamblin24 said...

Beck, You are so inspriring and as a fellow gay mormon I must say that I love you for all of your posts. they are inspiring and do not go unnoticed. -Doug

Beck said...

DOUG: Welcome to this corner of the bloggosphere. I hope you find that you aren't alone.

I am amazed that you can find inspiration from an old fart like me! :)

recover and thrive said...

I haven't felt the need recently, but I know that itch - its hard to get rid of it/supress/fulfill it. Movies can be a good way I think as long as you're in the right, healthy mood. Have a great day!

Trev said...

I just watched Latter Days and Brokeback Mountain myself for the first time just a few months ago.

I totally hear you on the deception between Ennis and his wife in Brokeback Mountain. For me--at least at the time--the thing that got me most about that movie was the portrayal of the women involved in these gay men's lives. Sure Jack and Ennis... whatever... really kind of cliche. But the tension and pain of the women was what stole the show for me and really gave me food for thought.

"Touched" looks interesting. I don't have time right now, but I'll be back. Thanks for the recommendation and for sharing your thoughts.

Beck said...

R&T: Movies can be healthy and good... if I take them in stride and not get myself too caught up in the funk of wishing I were elsewhere or in a different relationship, but learning, instead, from them, and gaining a deeper perspective of the bounty and blessing of the relationship I'm in.

Beck said...

TREV: It is definitely the wives in the film that mean the most to me, particularly the way they cope with the discovery of the secret lives and deception of their husbands.

As for "Touched" don't expect great cinema. It is one of those low-budget, poorly acted short films of marginal quality. However, what hit me the most was the message of the piece that felt real and meaningful.

Miguel said...

The need for intimate connection (not sex)is go amazingly great for some people that it literally hurts not to have it--I think that's what these films are trying to express. Without going into TMI I can tell you what an amazing feeling it is to lay my head on the babe's chest, his arm around me and feel the connection back and forth, it is powerful, uplifting and the best medicine for anything that may be bothering us at a given time.
Hugs,Miguel

Beck said...

MIGUEL: I'm happy for you and babe and the amazing connection you have. Indeed, I'm envious.

I do know that feeling. I crave it. I don't know if it's good to watch movies that speak to that craving, but I'm drawn to that storyline like a summer moth to my front porch light.

Anonymous said...

It's funny but it seems to me that my connection or lack of connection with another human being is the result of something inside me and not the other person. I can't will that connection but when it happens it is something I make happen.

For instance, once in a rare while I connect with my wife in a very intimate way but then just as soon as the intimacy appears it disappears. On the other hand, I seem to be able to connect fairly easily with a close male friend. Again, always when I am not trying.

What's my point?

For me, my sexual orientation is about how I relate to others and I happen to have a much greater capacity for intimacy, including sexual intimacy, with men than with women.

That fact use to make me sad but now I've accepted that it's just the way I am.

I have heard married gay men say that they thought they loved their wives but later decided they were just in love with the idea of being in love.

I believe I love my wife. But the times the love for her pours out of me is usually an emotionally intense time and for that short period of time the love is undeniable. The rest of time I can understand why these gay married men say what they say.

So back to your question...how to connect with men without deceiving or hurting your wife? My only thought is to just be a friend to some man you really care about and take it slow and let the friendship grow naturally.

To be honest I would have difficulty following this advice what with my having so much difficulty connecting with my wife and starving for male intimacy.

Regards,
Philip

Anonymous said...

Beck,

I forgot to mention a movie called "Weekend" about two gay men meeting and forming a close connection over a weekend then parting and how that weekend forever changed the life of one of the gay men.

Haven't seen it but it relates to the topic and sure sounds interesting.

Regards,
Philip

Beck said...

PHILIP said: "For me, my sexual orientation is about how I relate to others and I happen to have a much greater capacity for intimacy, including sexual intimacy, with men than with women."

Well,yes, that describes me..


"I believe I love my wife. But the times the love for her pours out of me is usually an emotionally intense time and for that short period of time the love is undeniable."

Yes, for me, it is much more emotional than intensely physical. She can be away and I don't miss her physical intimacy, but I do miss tremendously her emotional intimacy. Is that horrible to say?

"My only thought is to just be a friend to some man you really care about and take it slow and let the friendship grow naturally."

Yes, I've tried this and the key word is "slowly". Once I know the guy is willing to accept my physical needs, I start speeding up to where it becomes a problem.

"To be honest I would have difficulty following this advice what with my having so much difficulty connecting with my wife and starving for male intimacy."

Wait a minute! I thought you had it all figured out. You can't end your insightful comments with this statement that you haven't made it work! :) Alas, we're still working it out.... heavy sigh.

I'll have to check out the "Weekend" film.. Thanks for the lead.

GMP said...

I've always been kind of scared to watch gay films. I saw "The Edge of Glory" music video for equal marriage rights and as much as I loved its message, it brought out a lot of ugly that I wasn't prepared for. Made me want to scratch that itch, and unfortunately for me, I don't have much self control when I start scratching. Might be repression, but I guess if repression keeps me safe, then repression will have to do.

As per your question, that's water I just can't tread. I used to have a friend and we innocently cuddled and gave each other back rubs and stuff and I became seriously addicted to his touch. There was nothing sexual or even sensual about it, but I kinda went a little crazy when he got married and stopped coming around. But then, I've got a very addictive personality, so maybe you could handle it better than me and still be able to come home to your wife feeling faithful.

Beck said...

GMP: There is that "itch" factor that may be hard to control. Though I do "itch", I have been able to control the itch so far. Yet, I know how easy it may be for me to let it all go and stop the boundary crossing and forget the commitments and core values that are as important to me as the "itch".

Each must find his own limits. Mine are well established in the physical world (though at times I have been willing to play on the edge) and not so well defined in the reality world in my mind.

I find some films that deal particularly with relationships of a longlasting variety to be very therapeutic, satisfying the "itch" instead of stirring it up to uncontrollable scratching.

I hope you, too, can find that happy medium without driving yourself crazy in the process.

tracy said...

Thank you so much for showing part of "Touched". It really hit me in the heart. Those scenes of the men just holding each other, the comfort and connection almost brought tears to my eyes. It was just beautiful.

i don't know how you hold it all together, Beck, but i so admire you. i wish you peace.

Kindest regards,
tracy

Yes, i have seen both "Brokeback Mountian" and "Latter Days" and loved them. i probably should tell you a i am former LDS.