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.

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