Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Emotional vs Sexual Attraction

Today, I saw an ad on a website. Just a regular financial ad, but it featured a strong, good-looking man smiling and sitting on the top of a mountain.

I immediately felt a sexual attraction towards him. I went back to the ad and looked closely while I examined my own responses. My typical response (subconscious, mostly) would have been:

(1) I am different; I could never be like him
(2) Men like him don't think much of me
(3) I want to connect with him at his most vulnerable state: orgasm
(4) I see us having an orgasm together = He loves me
(5) I am accepted at the very core

Instead of the typical process, I tried something different. I allowed myself to adore the man in the picture, emotionally. I allowed these thoughts to naturally emerge from within me:

(1) "Wow, what a good looking man!" (without feeling shame about it)
(2) "I wish he would be nice to me and like me."
(3) "I wish I could just hang out with him."
(4) "It would be really nice if he would accept me fully just as I am."
(5) "I want to love him and have him love me too."

Paradoxically, when I allowed myself to feel the emotional attraction without any sense of shame or hiding over it, the feelings of sexual attraction subsided. The man in the ad was no longer intimidating and distant, nor an object of sexual fantasy. He was just a good-looking man, and I became fully aware of who I was: a boy-soul starving for male acceptance and love. Allowing myself to feel vulnerable, that is, sitting with my feelings of inferiority as a man, is helping me overcome my same-sex attraction.

Who would have thought this could be a pathway to healing???

Aside: It has some similarities to addictions recovery work. Perhaps I can reflect on that in my future posts. (Here is a blog on celebrating recovery.)

I do have a good-looking, strong man who loves me. My Brother (my straight male friend/mentor/brother). Whenever I have feelings of vulnerability, I don't need to go through the old typical response of dissociating from my vulnerable emotions and sexualizing through fantasy to connect. I simply have to be open and honest that I feel crappy and less than a man. And then remember just how much my good-looking, strong Brother loves me through and through (and would even give me a hug, and may even get sensually aroused by it). My need to fantasize sexually will go away, as it did today and likely in the same way for the past 3 weeks.

And when the old habit loses its grip, I can easily move on towards sexual wholeness.... that is, get myself ready for some really hot sex with my wife! Ok, that might have been a little raw, but hey... I haven't exactly been mincing my words on this blog.

Intimacy and "Sexual/Sensual Arousal"

Brother and I were talking about feelings of intimacy that is accompanied with feelings of arousal in the genitals.

Brother gets what I would call "sexual arousal" when he is intimate with another person (regardless of gender). But he calls it "sensuality," this tingling in the loins. It may even be accompanied with a mild erection and the release of seminal fluid. But to Brother, it is not sexual. There is absolutely zero percent interest in following through his sensual feelings into sexual acts when it comes to men. He is straight. Yet, he gets aroused genitally (whether one calls it sexual or sensual) when he is close and intimate with another man.

I get those feelings with Brother. When I am about to meet him, when he tells me he loves me with those soft yet emotionally strong eyes, and when I think about how much I love him. The heart gets achy and warm, and the tingling in the loins follow, and when I checked the last time, I noticed that I had a spot in my underwear.

Yet what Brother is giving me is permission to feel my bodily responses and not regard them as sexual. In a way, I am being re-trained to focus on the emotional connection without having it be sexual. And I think that may be a big factor in the healing I am experiencing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Male Intimacy and Sexual Arousal

In my previous post, I wrote about the category g0y. I criticized it from a Christian perspective. But thinking about the spectrum of sexuality (hetero to homo) helps me to understand better my own sexual arousal.

I had talked in an earlier post about the "tingling sensation in the loins" when I feel emotionally close to a male person (which I will now refer to as "male intimacy" and "sexual arousal"). Brother said he gets that sensation too, even with men. I didn't know how to think through this matter, but then reading about g0y helped.

In one of the explanations to what is g0y, the author used the Kinsey Scale to substantiate that many men can be sexually attracted to other men. And the author talked about befriending very straight men who like women, and how he slowly got these friends to become intimate, and ultimately to have sex (non-anal) with him.

Note: Very straight men, being sexually aroused through feelings of intimacy with another man.

According to the Kinsey Institute, "Kinsey estimated that nearly 46% of the male population had engaged in both heterosexual and homosexual activities, or 'reacted to' persons of both sexes, in the course of their adult lives (p. 656, Male). 11.6% of white males (ages 20-35) were given a rating of 3 (about equal heterosexual and homosexual experience/response) on the 7-point Kinsey Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale for this period of their lives (Table 147, p. 651, Male)." [source]

Some men can become sexually aroused when confronted with male intimacy or sexuality, even if they consider themselves straight (perhaps anywhere between 1-3 on the Kinsey Scale above). Those who can't are at 0. Perhaps Brother is at 1, and I was at 5, but through his non-sexual love for me, I am becoming more heterosexual. Having the full male intimacy with Brother in which I cannot act on my sexual arousal (I let it pass over) is creating in me a new experience of being able to be intimate with other men and not be overwhelmed by my sexual feelings for them.

Another straight brother (B) whom I am opening up to in a very vulnerable way said that when he feels emotionally intimate with another person, he gets a burning in his chest, but no tingling in his loins. Even with women, the closer he gets to them, the less it is about sex. How different! Maybe one day, I can become like brother B. When that happens, I will be healed, completely.

A New Category: g0ys

"g0ys." It's spelled with a "zero." Not gUy, no gAy, but g0y.

Basically, it covers a wider range of Kinsey's homo-to-heterosexual spectrum than "gAy" does: from man-to-man sexual behavior (anything except anal sex, which is seen as "gAy") to non-sexual intimate connecting between men. The common theme tying together the thread is men who desire to have intimate emotional connection with other men. The main site even argues that the Bible prohibits anal sex, not g0y sex, which can include mutual masturbation, etc.

Someone told me that many Christians seem to be falling for this. I think one of the reasons is because of the appeal of the intimate emotional connecting. Indeed, the idea of a g0y gains more legitimacy given that the definition includes heterosexual men. As one g0y put it: "There are many g0y men who identify as hetero and desire nothing more from g0ys than a good friend, a deep bond with another man, short of sexual involvement." (from the g0y Facebook)

The trouble with this category for Christians is that mutual penile stimulation between men is a sexual thing. No matter how you try to gloss over it or rationalize it with historical argumentation, when a guy rubs his penis on another guy and ejaculates, that is sex, whether or not there is anal penetration.

I'm not trying to be "better than g0ys" here. In fact, the category is extremely attractive. It allows me to retain my homosexual (or should I say, g0ysexual) desires, but align it with heterosexuality short of having anal sex. I can say that I have mutual orgasms with 2-3 guys every month, but I am not gay. I am g0y. I can have my masculinity and eat my homosexuality too (pardon the innuendo).

G0ydom is rationalization, and it's not Christian. If g0y sex is acceptable to the Bible, then my fantasizing about rubbing my penis against a woman's breasts should be acceptable too. In fact, it should also be the case that I can also have multiple intimate emotional friendships with women, not have penile-vaginal-anal intercourse (but everything else, including oral sex), and call it "just deep friendship."

I would love it if I could be g0y. I would love it if I could genuinely say that I can be emotionally connected with some male friends, and have mutual masturbation experiences, share laughter and tears, and then go back to our wives and families as more manly than ever. But the problem is, once I connect my emotional relationship with a man with my sexual feelings, it changes that relationship. It has become homosexual, whether or not it involves anal sex.

I wish I could say that God blesses g0ydom, but He doesn't.

What God is blesses is the one part of the g0y definition that gives it "legitimacy": intimate, emotional male-bonding that is non-sexual.

That is the kind of love I am receiving from Brother, and it is making all the difference in the world in how I see men. I am less attracted to men sexually because Brother loves me deeply, fully, with all of his heart (oh, I could explode from how much I love him!) and is very, very clear that it is not sexual.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Insanity Within


The more I try to sort through my feelings, the more I get caught up in a loop.

I only know this: The same-sex attraction I used to feel is gone, and has been gone now for two whole weeks.

And this: I am scared to hell of what is happening to me.

Other that those two things, I don't know anything else. I don't know if Brother is changing; or if I should visit him; or if I am being too much for him; or if he really loves me; or if I am too much of an imposition; or if he is scared of me; blah blah blah.

Turn Brain On.

I'm going to walk away from my attachment to Brother. Let's see where this will take me. If the same-sex attraction comes back, well, I've lived with it for decades. Nothing new.

Come what may, I am Yours, Lord. I have always been.

- - -

One more thing: I have a hunger right now to go play basketball. I have never felt this before. Ever.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

All This Change

All this change:

It has something to do with keeping my heart open when I look at guys, combined with a deep feeling of being loved and fully accepted by another man in a non-sexual way.

The homosexual feelings become secondary, fading into the background, disappearing completely.

It Is Manly To Care

I'll admit it. I watch Ugly Betty. I'll also admit that I wouldn't profess that publicly before because I was afraid someone would call me out as "gay" for liking that show.

Okay! Now that that's out of the way, I want to reflect about why the ending of Season 3, Episode 14 so moved me tonight.

Two subplots.

- - -


Wilhelmina, the power-hungry co-editor-in-chief of Mode magazine, works hard to hold back from admitting to her powerful and handsome boyfriend Connor that she loves him in order to have the upper hand in the relationship. She warns Connor that she wants all of him, but she won't be second fiddle to his ex-fiance, and she never begs.

Later, realizing that Wilhelmina has actually fallen in love with Connor, Wilhelmina's assistant Marc tells her:

"Waiting for someone else to say 'I love you' first doesn't mean you're more powerful. It just means you're afraid."

- - -


Daniel Meade, the other co-editor-in-chief of Mode magazine, tries to get his assistant Betty to organize a lavish surprise party for Claire's (his mother) 60th birthday. Betty was hard-pressed to find anyone who could say something pleasant and non-embarrassing about Claire given her past alcoholic lifestyle. Claire begins to shoplift in some kind of psychopathic response to growing old and alone. When caught, she confesses to Betty that she knows about the surprise party.

Betty explains:
"Daniel just really wanted to do something special for you."

Claire replies:
"You know what I wish he'd do? I wish he'd give me just a little time alone with him."

- - -

At the end of the episode, proud and perfect Wilhelmina comes forward and vulnerably admits to Connor that she loves him, without knowing what his response would be. Connor turns around, briskly walks over to Wilhelmina while she is still talking, grabs her, and kisses her passionately. Then he replies with a gentle yet masculine whisper, "I love you, too."

In the meantime, Daniel tells his mother Claire that they need to stop by his office before heading to the "surprise" party. Claire protests that they will be late, but he insists. Suddenly, Claire's eyes widen and her jaw drops. "What's this?" she asks. Daniel says, "Surprise." Two well-dressed waiters draw open a set of ceiling-to-floor sheer curtains to reveal a beautifully-set private dinner arrangement for two. Claire breaks into tears. "Happy Birthday, mom," Daniel says, as he raises a glass of champagne to his mother.

- - -

I cried when I watched those two scenes one after the other. I'm not sure why I was so moved.

Was it because I could relate to Wilhelmina's fear of being vulnerable to love, giving in, and then being surprised to find it coming back in full?

Was it because I could identify with Claire for finally getting a bit of the love that she had been wanting so much from her son?


Was it because I was astounded that I had absolutely no desire to be kissed by the strong handsome Connor, and that his gentle yet masculine "I love you" did absolutely nothing for me personally? Or because I felt a deep sense of pride (as opposed to sexualized attraction) over Daniel for doing the right thing for his mother--the kind of pride a father would have for a son?

Connor and Daniel were two men in the show that I had strong sexual feelings for prior to my becoming open to the love that I am receiving from Brother. All of a sudden, I am discovering that I have absolutely no desire to fantasize about them sexually. In fact, the thought of them doing something sexual with me, even kissing, grosses me out a little. (I can imagine them stinking, like brothers.)

Could I have been so deeply moved because I am having a taste of heterosexuality... in ME?

I think I was deeply moved because I am finally experiencing what it means to be free emotionally. And this freedom is showing me that the pathway to manhood is not to hold back my gentle and caring nature, but to embrace it fully. Like crying at a cheesy-yet-touching ending of a chick-flick comedy like Ugly Betty.

My brother who bullied me all of my life had it wrong. I am not girlie because I care about people; I am manly because I care about people. I am more manly--and strong--when I am not afraid of being vulnerable with my emotions. As manly as my Brother is. As manly as Jesus is.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Definite Shift

The love I have been receiving from Brother is unlike any I have ever experienced. He really is not afraid of me "falling in love" with him. He seems to be completely okay with it on a non-sexual basis, soaking in my fondness for him in a... how can I describe it... an ethereal way. He is not freaked out by me telling him I'm falling in love with him. He just welcomes it. My Brother is, truly, the most non-homophobic straight man I have ever met.

I went back to the gym today after being absent for a while. And I experience something that I can describe as a "definite shift" in my same-sex attraction.

For the first time in my life, I saw men differently. Instead of seeing them as objects of desire that I cannot have, I saw them as boys that I can love. It's a very strange shift. Something I did not expect.

After changing into gym clothes, I walked out and saw a bunch of very good looking guys. I found myself naturally smiling at them (even if they weren't smiling at me first). I liked them and wanted to connect with them. But there was nothing sexual about it. I saw them as boys. All of them, the fatter ones, the more muscular ones, the friendlier ones, the chiseled good-looking ones. They were all just boys, being boys. And they were all worthy of being loved as boys.

I don't know if I can quite make sense out of it yet, so I'm going to elaborate a bit more.

It was like I wanted to connect with them, but on a non-sexual emotional level. It was like I looked at them, and I wished them well. The ones that looked more well-adjusted emotionally (not strutting their wares) looked really fine to me. The ones that were less secure (buffed or unbuffed), I felt a sense of pity for them. I wanted to approach these less secure boys and tell them that they are okay, and that I accept them as they are.

One guy was really buffed. Normally, I would feel a little intimidated by that. Yet because of his slightly hunched gait, his downcast facial expression, and that certain something about his mannerisms, I just felt sorry for him. Sorry that he had to get so grotesquely muscular in order to prove his self-worth. It was amazing. I felt no sense of intimidation, and certainly no sense that he could offer me anything sexually. He was LACKING as a man.

Brother, on the other hand, sits on the highest pedestal of manhood in my eyes. He may not be perfect, he can get a little antsy, and he's certainly not the most confident guy with regard to his own physiology. But he has a heart that is more buffed than the hearts of any man I have ever met (and I have met a lot of people). He is truly, the epitome of a man's man at the very core of his being.

Yet, he loves me. He Loves Me! What can these other gym boys offer me compared to the love Brother gives me?


And so, the whole time I was there, I relished in the most non-sexual gym time I have ever had in all of my life. I looked around at every man in the gym, and I loved them with absolutely no desire to imagine having sex with any of them.

Back in the lockers, I felt completely nonchalant about stripping naked and walking into the showers. I had no worries about comparing myself physically with the other guys in the showers. Sure, I looked at them, but each of them looked like just another guy in the shower. It was incredible. I felt, for the first time in my life, completely confident of my own masculinity, and with no need to prove myself whatsoever!

But then, suddenly as I walked out of the showers towards the lockers, I saw what looked like a viking-god from the back. An incredibly attractive male physique: tanned, golden-haired (all over), buffed, six footer with the perfect body shape from his head all the way down to his feet.

I froze for a second and realized that I was feeling a sexual attraction. "Oh oh..." I kept walking.

As I passed him, I turned around and looked at his face. Immediately, the attraction subsided, just as quickly as it had come.


Because I saw another boy. The face of a sad, down-trodden boy, one who needed major love and affirmation. Sure, he had the perfect body. But I saw through his physique into his heart. It was the size of a shriveled prune.

This "viking-god" was not a man like Brother. He needed to be loved and accepted so that his manhood--like mine--could grow and become full and mature.

This "viking-god" had no true manhood to offer me. I get a thousand times more male-affirmation from Brother than I could ever get from imagining myself having sex with a boy like him.

I lost my interest in looking at male porn when I started to accept Brother's love for me. I did not expect that being loved by Brother could also drastically diminish my sexual attraction towards men -- very good-looking, buffed, attractive men (or so I felt, until now).

I don't know how long this will last. But I'm recording it for posterity.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mentoring & Same-Sex Attraction

While searching for something online, I happened upon an article on mentoring men who struggle with SSA by Steven Donaldson and Del Thornton (link). The article summarized so many aspects of what I have been experiencing in my relationship with Brother. Turns out that Brother also read this article--in fact, uses it as a guide in helping people like me.

The authors wrote,

"... a mentor must pursue the relationship with the mentee. The mentee at the core does not trust that the mentor could ever be genuinely interested in him and at the same time, need nothing from him. This is a continuation of the father-child injury. For this reason the mentee will not be the initiator in the relationship. This will be re-enacted in the mentoring relationship. In addition, when there is any confusion or conflict the mentee is very likely to assume he did something wrong and withdraw or devalue the relationship. The mentor is very likely to assume he did something wrong and withdraw or devalue the relationship. The mentor must remember that the withdrawal from or devaluing of the relationship is a defense (usually unconscious) against the intense need and longing for the love and affirmation of an idealized male. The mentor must not take anything personally and continue to gently but actively pursue the mentee."

Brother knew I was beginning to distance. He called it out. Stripping down my defenses. Leaving me naked and exposed. Emotions raw.

Then he pressed in. Searing my inner most parts with the purest, holiest iron-rod of truth. At my most vulnerable state, he looked me deep in the eyes and said,

"I love you."

I responded by wrapping my arms around him and breaking out in deep sobs as he embraced me back saying "what am I supposed to do with that?"

- - -

Son is so much like me. Sensitive. And in his eyes, I must be like my father was to me: that loud, booming voice; that angry analytical frown. Mostly, Son avoids me. Runs to Wife when stressed.

(I remember that: running to mother. They used to tease me about that too. "Everything, mama, mama!")

Like Brother to me, I am also pursuing Son. Cutting through his defenses, making sure that he knows with his entire being that his father loves him through and through. That he is a boy worthy of being a boy in his father's eyes.

But I can't do it on empty.

Wife said, "I thought it would be good for you to go with Son to a retreat. But after thinking about it, I realized it might be better for you to first have a retreat with Brother."

Wife too, knows that I can't do it on empty.

God brought Brother into my life for such a time as this. I will accept him. I will allow myself to be challenged by his deeply intimate yet non-sexual love, as much as it kills me.

I love him so much I could literally explode.

- - -

More from Steven Donaldson on SSA and Mentoring in this article: link.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Moving On: The Next Steps

For the past week, I have been caught in an emotional frenzy like I had not experienced before. An attachment of mostly make-belief. Perceptions.

The attachment is not real, like a door or a shoe. It's all in my head. Just neurons and chemicals. I do not need to let it continue to rule my emotions the way it has, even though the experience has been beneficial. I believe I have learned the lessons that God wanted me to learn.

One. I have a deficit of healthy male-attachments since childhood. It has made me shield myself off from being vulnerable and real with men. When stressed, I isolate and look to porn for comfort. I need to stop that.

Two. I have attached myself to someone who had only committed himself to keep me accountable from porn for a limited time. He never asked to be an attachment figure. I am making him out to be a whole lot more than who he agreed to be with me. I need to stop that.

Three. I look like a man. I smell like a man. I make love to a woman like a man. And I even garner deep respect from many men. I am already healed. Now, I need to walk in my full manhood: honest, vulnerable, strong, and above-all, Spirit-filled. I need to start that.

Moving on.


Today, I called one accountability partner to have lunch with him. Rather than to get frustrated with him given his simple pat answers, I will allow my heart to be soft towards his caring (because he does care) and be vulnerable. If he freaks out, then I'll know it's time to find myself a different brother, one who is indeed called to walk with me.

Tomorrow, I will call another accountability partner. I'll tell him how I felt hurt by his abandonment when I needed him most--how he said he would follow up with me, but then failed to do so. I will tell him what I need in that relationship and ask if he can do it. If he can't, then I'll thank and keep him as my internet-accountability partner, but find myself another brother with whom I can walk much more closely, one who will not abandon me.

Tonight, I found some resources online. I will begin to spend my free time reading all I can about complete healing of my SSA. It's time to put my analytical brain to the task. Scary!


- In His Fullness. Their resources section has a list of recommended readings, including movies.
- Exodus International's Library for prevention and recovery from homosexuality.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Big Brother -- Little Brother

He brings out the little brother in me.

I remember that feeling. From so, so long ago. One of my elder brothers could do that. In his quiet ways, I looked up to him. Almost anything he did was heroic. I was even willing to share the snack that he had half-chewed in his mouth. It was never sexual. It was just how little brothers are to safe, caring, older brothers.

Each time I read my new Brother's email, he reaches the little brother within.

The little brother who goes into hiding so that the angry part of me could come out to defend and attack if necessary.

The little brother who went into permanent hiding somewhere around 15 years old when that elder brother--the quiet hero--started to call me names. He was probably going through hard times himself. But to an adolescent boy starving from male-affirmation, those words etched deep wounds into an already scarred soul.

Will my new Brother do the same to me? Will he, too, reach into the scars and tear open wounds?

Will he be able to see that behind this angry, irrational, less-than-pleasant me is a little brother who is desperate for male-affection, and offer gentle grace instead of harsh rebuke?

Maybe if I let him know how soft I feel whenever I talk to him. Maybe if I let him know that each time I read his emails, I feel completely vulnerable inside, willing to accept the words he offers me, even if they are half-chewed and covered in spit.

Maybe if I tell him that whenever I read his messages, I am on the verge of tears. Like a little brother ready to cry on the shoulders of his big Brother.

Maybe then, he won't reach in and tear me apart.

I desperately need to let him in, but will he hurt me, like other men have hurt me?

Misery Seeks Isolation & Pornography

The past three weeks had been good. Good until today.

For the first time in a week, I thought about looking at porn.

(Thought about. Isn't that incredible? I had not desired porn for a single instant in a whole week!)

But it's here. The desire is back and can be fanned into flame.

The wife. Still going through trauma counseling for her past. Can't seem to get a grip on herself, and so she clings reactively. When she is sad about herself, I can handle it. When she gets anxious and controlling of me, it's like cat claws ripping into my skin. I growl! Show my teeth. She backs off. For a bit.

Home is supposed to be a safe place. So why does it feel like I've left weeks in paradise to come back to hell? At first, it was pure relational bliss; now, it's a field of anxious, controlling energy.

The best thing to do is to go and comfort her. Be gentle. Be loving. Be patient.

But I am so damn tired. And empty. I can't keep giving out of an empty well.

I don't even want Brother right now. In my state of misery, I feel like I just can't rely on anyone. Isolation into pornography feels like the safest option.

I'm going to sleep. In the basement. By myself. Maybe things might get better tomorrow. Maybe.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Deficit of Male Love

It seems that I am not alone.

Scouring through the blogosphere, I found some other men (1, 2) writing about their attachments to straight male friends in uncannily similar ways to what I am experiencing with my straight male friend Brother.

In the past, I would have shrugged off such writings and even avoided such people. "Too gay."

I was in denial. I thought I was different, more straight. But what I did was replace real male intimacy with sexual fantasies and male pornography. Which explains why I could never really kick the porn habit for very long. Like these SSA strugglers, I desperately need love from other men. As one of the authors wrote in the above link, I too, have a deficit of male love in my life.

Sex with my wife was absolutely amazing this week. No pretense, no fantasies. We were passionate, intimate, and experienced a deep vulnerable oneness with each other as we climaxed.

But I still miss Brother.

In some ways, the feeling I have for Brother is not very different from the feeling of deep intimacy I had for my wife that night. I told her about it, and added that there is a slight difference: this longing for a male attachment is something that she could never fulfill for me. Only men can do this.

When I looked at pornography, I would feel coldly distant from my wife. Makes sense. After all, I was "unfaithful" to her by having mental sex with a fantasized image. However, my love and longing for Brother doesn't change my deep love for my wife.

Strange, isn't it?

It is as if a guy can love his guy friend and his wife just as deeply, and there is no conflict. The two loves are mutually independent of one another. (Unless the guy has sex with his guy friend.)

Brother says he loves me a lot. I believe him (I want to). So far, he's always been there for me when he can. And he has always been genuine when he shows up. But he doesn't love me "as much" as I love him. He can't. His attachment to me, while deep, has no bridge to his sexual feelings. Mine does. But healing can only come if I accept his love, not reject it out of fear of my own sexual feelings.

So I cast aside the sexual impulse, careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water, as I allow myself to be engulfed in the warm love of his acceptance.

Come, come with me
Strip down, it's easy
See? All around you
Everyone--the same

Come, wash with me
No one looks
Let's get clean
And join the others

Come, let us soak
And man-talk
Fathers, sons, brothers, friends
Together, all men

Yes, together, all men
Them, me, and you

I miss my Brother so much. I have never felt this whole in all of my life until I allowed myself to become vulnerable to his love. He is, truly, God's love in the real for me. And I am, simply, addicted to that right now.

Allow me to relish. It's good for me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Being Vulnerable with Men

It is interesting how I have had no desire for pornography over the last 5 days. The desire has instead been replaced by a desire for male companionship; for my brother, certainly, but seeing how he has his own life to live, I'm allowing other men to come in as well.

Today, I let two men in. The first was older. I noticed his softness, kindness, and a desire to connect. He reached out to compliment me on something. Instead of putting up my usual tough analytical veneer, I remained vulnerable. Something must have worked because the more we talked, the more physical he got. I did not touch him once, but I counted him touching me with increasing frequency, probably close to 15 times in the 10 minutes of conversation.

I imagined him propositioning me. I imagined what it might be like if he were gay and made a move. Flashing thoughts. I let them pass through. Then, I focused on feeling the acceptance he was trying to give me in a non-sexual man-to-man way. It was nice. Like soft, warm sunshine on baby skin. In the past, I would have scared off someone so touchy-feely with my angry analytical look, and I would have missed receiving the affirmation.

The second man was my age. He was philosophical and abstract. Yet, clearly open to connecting. I made the move this time, asking questions, offering encouragements. I gave him love and acceptance in my usual helper style. He was touched (because he was open to be touched). And I felt good to have been the giver, though no where as nice as being the receiver. There were flashes of sexual thoughts, but again I let them pass through. Focused on the conversation, on just connecting on an intimate emotional level, man-to-man, and non-sexually.

As I lie to sleep, I feel a little less anxious and lonely than I did last night. My brother is not around, and I have no heard from him. Haven't heard from him in almost 24 hours! Can you believe that??!! What is he thinking, treating me as if I am a normal well-adjusted man???Doesn't he know that I'm a needy freakazoid right now and desperately need his affirmation 24/7??!! But I feel okay.

This is a new realization to me: I have been shutting myself off from receiving affirmation from men. I will try to be more open and vulnerable emotionally with other men and see what happens. I know that it means that I will become more vulnerable sexually, but I will trust that the Lord will not allow me to be tempted beyond what I can bear. I trust this is the Lord's leading.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

To An Unknown Brother

Your song has ministered to me in ways that you will never know or understand. At least not here on earth. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for pointing me to the Lord.

I will be strong, and I will take courage in Jesus.

What I Need Is Relational

I have this pattern: when I feel weak and unsure of myself, I go to porn. When my self-esteem is low or I feel nervous about my work, I get a fix by searching out just the right porn clip to masturbate to.

More recently, in moments of weakness and vulnerability, I have found myself missing my straight-male friend brother instead. I no longer want pornography. I want my brother. To talk to him. To enjoy his company. To feel his love for me. To hear him tell me that I am okay in his eyes.

I have become attached to my brother.

This shift tells me that my problem, overwhelmingly, is not sexual but relational. What I need is some deep, intense loving from a male-figure in the real to make up for the years of deficit in male attachments.

That's my grown-up brain talking; offering a cognitive solution to my condition.

My boy-heart?

It just cries. Cries for a father who will love me, hold me, and tell me that he is proud I am his son, over and over and over... until I feel okay.

I can't expect my brother to do this for me. He has his own family, his own busyness. I must find myself more brothers like him. There must be more like him. There must be...

Lord, please bring them to me.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Smell of Brothers

Brothers smell. They stink. Just like me.

Brothers can look good, but they never appeal to me in a sexual way. Even when they splash on the best of colognes, they still stink when you get close.

Brothers have erections in bathtubs together. They laugh about it. Compare sizes. Then they argue and fight--someone took someone's soap. Erections go down. Up and down, their penises, like their crooked teeth and bandaged elbows, are mere physical extensions of their stinky bodies.

I have never fantasized about my brothers. The very idea of having sex with my brothers would make me throw up.

My straight friend whom I love so much is my brother. It should be that if and when I thought of him sexually, I would feel like throwing up.

Man-to-man love may spark feelings of warmth, and even be sensual--like kids in a bathtub. But it should also foster manliness. Talk of sex with women. Connecting at the level of sexual attraction towards women, not each other.

After talking with my friend, and being affirmed again of his love for me in a most nonsexual way, I feel my sexual attraction to him dwindling down and in its place a manly-brotherly love rising up.

I feel stronger. Like an essence of maleness is taking over me.

And it stinks, that male essence.

The kind of stink that women don't have. The kind of stink that women seem not to mind--in fact, long for and lean on. The kind of stink that make men prefer to seek out the natural perfumes that permeate through the soft skin of women...

(...their breasts... their nipples... lovely to the touch... to the tongue...)

I love my straight male friend brother.
And he stinks.
Just like me.
Just the way God meant it to be.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Radical Man-to-Man Love

As a boy, I used to stroke the belly of my puppy. He would lie on his back and enjoy every caress. I also noticed that when I stroked him, he would sometimes sprout an erection.

I am thinking today about how much I love my friend. My straight, male friend who shares with me his very heart and soul, who knows me in all of my vulnerabilities, and yet still accepts me, fully. My friend, who upon hearing how I struggle with same-sex attraction, comes close to me, his body touching mine, looks lovingly into my eyes and tells me that he would like to embrace me in a long, warm bear hug. My friend, who is not afraid to admit that when he feels loving feelings towards others, gets a tingling sensation in his loins. Not a sexual thing, he says. Not a desire to actually have sex; just a physiological reaction of love.

Dare I tell him that I too get the same sensations in the loins when I feel the love I have for him? Dare I tell him that I long for him to stroke me on the belly to the point where I would sprout an erection like an innocent puppy, all giddy and vulnerable?

Alas, I am not an innocent puppy, and I am not straight like him. I have crossed one too many boundaries and I am conditioned to associate male-love with orgasm. Unlike my friend, male-love for me has been sexualized.

How much can one man love another man before it becomes homosexual?

I think my friend lives at the extremes of man-to-man loving, right up to the edge of homosexuality but not crossing over. He has brought me this very edge, and I am teetering, doing everything I can not to fall over the boundary; to embrace his love for me without falling sexually in love with him.

I remember one time, in my adolescence, when I was stroking another dog, and it sprouted an erection. Out of curiosity, I reached out and touched its protruding red penis. I don't remember exactly all that happened after that, but I do remember that its face changed and its happy posture turned into a confused and possibly aggressive one. I also remember feeling as though I had crossed a boundary, and I stopped.

I believe that my straight friend loves me deeply. And I have come to love him back just as deeply, if not more. But it is uncomfortable for me to love a man so deeply and not have it turn sexual. I have only loved one other male figure so deeply and not have it be sexual: Father God.

Such intense man-to-man loving is radical. For me to receive such loving is like having someone open up a huge gaping wound in my heart, pour antiseptic into it, and having me lie there quietly, accepting it all without reacting.

It is killing me.

And yet it may be the only thing that will restore my manhood to me. To experience being fully loved by another man without having it be sexualized. To physically internalize God's masculine, fatherly love for me through the love of a straight man, in the real.

If it be Your will, my Lord, then let me die, that I may find myself resurrected pure and whole in You.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


He wrote back and said three words that landed deep in my heart: I love you.

I struggled to accept the sincerity of those words.  It's not his issue, it's mine.  Years of rejection and abuse from intimate male figures--fathers, brothers--taught me that love does not come from men.  The place in my heart reserved for receiving love from men had been filled in and painted over.

Lies.  All lies.  He said he loves you and he is excited to see you.  This is what you need to hear, and you have no reason to doubt him.

And so I wrote back, "thank you."  Only two words, but they allowed me to taste the possibility at the very core of boy-soul that I am indeed lovable and acceptable as a man, by another man.

Three words uttered; two words uttered back.  The impact?

I was able to help 3 different people with their personal problems today, and still feel that I have more love to give.

I have never felt so full in my heart.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

One Picture Can Say So Much

This blog is now open to the world.

Feeling Down

I'm very low on energy.  I don't sleep much at night, and when I am up during the day, I am tired and sleepy all day.

I have work to do, and I am doing it, but slowly.  There is a sense of fear in approaching this work.  So many ghosts.  Can I do this?  Am I man enough?

Had I not installed the accountability software, I would have gone to porn to get my dopamine fix.  Feel-good chemicals for the deprived brain.  But I can't now.  My friend would find out.

I am feeling needy.  Very needy.  And I hate feeling this way.

I am writing this post, hoping that someone will read it.  But will anyone?  I fear that in my need to "let loose and test my change," in my abandon to porn, I might have driven you away.  In my raw honesty, I have disgusted your holy sensibilities.

I don't blame you.  I know that I tend to judge others when things are going well for me.  So, let me not judge you for your silence.  Let me not depend on you for my salvation.

I can depend only on Jesus, who loves me through and through, from the inside out.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


It had been almost a month since I last wrote. Where am I?

I had to make some changes to my computer more than week a ago and I discovered that I could look at porn without alerting my accountability partner. And so I have been doing that frequently, at first, as an experiment to figure out my software, and then because I wanted to engage in it.

Over the past month, I have been isolating myself emotionally from other men. I have not met up with my accountability partners, have not had open, connected conversations. I suppose this means that I am struggling. Yes, I am. Busyness is a convenient excuse, but the core of the issue is the will. Let me explain.

I am discovering the importance of "choice" in my growth into manhood. My decision to "let loose" on internet pornography (to test my change, so to speak) revealed to me that although I have started to change, the change will not proceed without further effort/will on my part. I need to choose to change.

So, more recently, I have found myself looking at porn of men having sex with each other--something that I had never really enjoyed looking at. With extra time on my hands to surf, I have been able to find ones where there is a semblance of emotional intimacy between the actors, not just the raw act of sex. One could say that I have "gotten worse," but I am not sure if that is the case.

The new feeling of "being one of the guys" has come in genuinely. This has not been fabricated, I am glad to discover. I miss talking with my straight friend. It feels so good to experience his openness and acceptance of me with holy love. Talking with him about sex stuff while having him know the details of my same-sex struggles is one of the most healing aspects of my journey thus far. He loves me where it matters to me most. I miss interacting with him so much more than I want to masturbate to pornography. With him, the longings in my boy-soul is met; porn does not meet the deeper needs of my boy-soul.

I have wanted to write this post for a couple of weeks now, but busyness--and shame of needing to confess my recent porn habit--had kept me from doing so. But I am glad to have forced myself to write this. It is healing. Stops the isolation, so that I can proceed in my journey into manhood.

Once I publish this post, I will go and take care of my software vulnerability. Put a fence around the porn so that I don't tempt myself with awful, unhealthy candy that will rot my boy-soul and stop him from growing.