Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sports, Physical Pain, and Masculinity

People tell me that I'm really strong. I am. And I am not.

Emotionally, I've survived through all kinds of hell. But physically, I'm a wimp. Break my heart and I'll compose a most brilliant piece of work. Stub my toe and I become a pathetic baby.

Or stub my thumb... my right thumb, to be precise.

I'm going out to play a game of real basketball with real players.

:manly woo hoo:

I discovered two things. (1) Jogging at one's own pace is not the same as sprinting up and down the courts. I was breathless after 10 minutes. (2) I can hardly function without my opposable right thumb. (I told you I'm a wimp! Cut me slack already.)


My experience today brought back childhood memories.

Football, we call it. Where fast balls slam into your gut or hard shoes smash against your shins while you're breathless and coughing and sweaty and itchy and dying. Add to that a strong, fast, sporty elder brother who is yelling at some useless, fat-assed faggot for missing a ball, or running too slowly.

Who? Me? pant... pant...

No wonder I went into music instead. And also hanging around girls, drawing pictures of princesses with them.



Scholarly question #1: How many men with SSA grew up with gender identity disorder?
Answer: Many [ref 1,2].

Scholarly question #2: How many boys with gender identity struggles did not play sports with other boys because they were very sensitive to physical pain?
Answer: ____


While icing my thumb joint, I seriously contemplated quitting.

Brother B called. (Don't remember him? He's one of my straight friends who knows about my struggle and is teaching me to play basketball. Here and here.)

"Hey, so did you enjoy basketball today?"

"Well... yeah. I found out that I'm either allergic to something in the air or I'm asthmatic. Also, I injured my thumb a couple of times." And then I forced myself to get out of my self-pity thumb-pain funk and eeked out a "but overall, I enjoyed myself."

Because, damn it, I did! I just wish I didn't have this asthma/allergy thing, and learned how to handle a basketball better so that I wouldn't hurt my thumb.

"I saw you. You did pretty well. I mean, you went in there and did some good moves."

"Hmm. Hum. Well. Yeah."

Thanks, brother B, point guard extraordinaire. I guess I didn't do too badly given that it was my second time playing basketball. After all, these guys really did know what they were doing.


I think part of embracing maleness is to embrace physical pain. I don't know why I am so sensitive to it. I see it in my son. He is so afraid of getting himself hurt, while the other boys around him take all kinds of physical risks. And he is also, at the same time, incredibly emotionally sensitive--a gifted artist, for sure.

There is something to this. I need to think more on it.


In the meantime, it's confession time. I did it again. Looked at pornography. This time, I even masturbated to it. Heterosexual porn, though. Seeing men's goodies alone just don't cut it for me anymore. I need to see naked women and hear their moans. This is the third time it's happened. But the heterosexual porn does not feel as emotionally charged as I remember the gay porn felt. It's lonely being a heterosexual man. I can't quite explain it. It's a lot more lonely somehow.

Note: I am not sanctioning looking at porn or masturbating to it. The above is a *confession*. I see it as sin and I have repented of it, and told my wife about it (I also confess to her *every time* I fall with porn or masturbation). I am processing authentically with the hope that it will lead to greater transparency and healing... somehow.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Saw a very good looking guy last night who eyed-me out from head to shoe. There was an attraction there for me (emotional, and bordering on sexual). I stayed with it. Looked back at him. Undressed him with my mind [ref]. Saw his face when he took off his hat--he looked tired. He became all of a sudden, just another guy. The aura of the mysterious masculine left him, and my attraction for him, both latent sexual and emotional, dissipated.

But it was a close one. I was tempted to "white knuckle" and avoided the temptation to look. Had I done so, I think I would have been defeated. Face the mystique of the masculine head on, and you'll soon find yourself staring into a mirror.

Sex with wife was not the most passionate last night. Combination of tiredness and also the event with that good-looking guy. But she thoroughly enjoyed it, she said. I am glad! Not every sexual union has to have royal fireworks... for me.

Spent the morning fellowshipping and praying with wife while walking and exercising. Talked about all the new friends that I've made since starting this blog and joining another SSA-support online group. (Yes, she knows all of you by name, real or made-up!)

I found myself letting her run on the inside of the curb, so as to protect her. Something that felt really natural and manly to do, that I would not have really thought about doing before. Oh, last week, I also bought some materials and started to wash and polish my vehicles by hand. Another thing that I would have never done before but now love to do. Something about washing my cars by hand... feels so right... especially around the curves.

I am starting to be less and less interested in blogging like I used to. The need for it is gone. I told wife that there are two new directions to take now: (1) learning about manhood; (2) learning about fatherhood.

I am not so naive to think that SSsA will not come back to me. I am ready if that should happen and will chronicle it. But I think future posts will be more about entering into a discovery of what is manhood and what is fatherhood, from an experiential perspective (as always).

I need to get a few hours so that I can do my Summary Reflections #2.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fast Forward: Farewell Brother A

I had never anticipated that it would come so quickly.

I had thought six months? A year?

Certainly not now. Not after having fallen head-over-heels in love with him only three months ago.

But it is here: I don't need him anymore.

The last 7 days of grieving did something tremendous within me. Like a raging fever, the grieving burned away all the relational-sick of my past. Someone reached into my stuck six-year-old inner self and pressed the "play" button...

...without a warning, everything fast-forwarded.

Three entire decades of emotional life zoomed pass me in one quick instant: zzzz..................... pp! And I suddenly arrived.

New, different, and fully my age.

I looked into the mirror. A very mature man stared back at me. I have never seen such confidence. Such knowing. So sure of himself. So forty something.

Just like that, I am a man.

And Brother A? He seems smaller now. More my size. Like all the other men that I used to adore and fantasize about, his allure has dissipated. The good-looking men are still good-looking. But now, they are more like shiny plastic food displays: nothing of value beneath the skin.

I have internalized Brother A. His smile is my smile. His chest is my chest. His penis is my penis. And most of all, his secure-male-self is my secure-male-self. And no one can take that away from me.

I bid farewell to Brother A because I don't "need" him anymore.

Things will be different for us now. Different, healthier, better.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Short Update

I was supposed to write my second summary reflections. But each time I try, I end up spending time replying to emails or Facebook messages instead. It's good that I am finally getting to know more people in the world of SSA strugglers. On the other hand, my work has been taking a back seat, and that's starting to leave me a little edgy.

I've been grieving for over a week now. I'm happy to say that this morning, I woke up feeling slightly better. Yet something has happened to me that is really, really hard for me to admit. I've been avoiding writing about it because I was hoping the feeling would go away.

But it hasn't.

I don't know if I have the courage to write about it.


(Okeeeee, obviously not today.)

We'll be back. Promise.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Grief Continued

That same grief is still here. And it hasn't lessened.

Sometimes, it looks up to God; sometimes it longs for a long hug from safe, loving brothers.

It aches the death of something within. Like facing an old, old wound. Rotting flesh, long forgotten.

But I can't turn around or walk away. The truth stares at me with open eyes, sad and compassionate. And I have to stay here, looking right back at it, even if I don't do anything.

When my father died, all that I thought was important faded away. Only the most crucial things remained: people and grace. Make amends. Make peace. Life is short.

That is how I feel now. Nothing is that important. Not even homo vs. hetero sexuality. It is not that important. Love. That's what matters. Just love.

Love and God will move hearts. His hand will reach into places so deep -- desolate, forgotten places. And if we let Him, He will begin to move His hand in that deep place. Ever so slowly and gently. Yet when He does, the churning will be great. And we will never be the same again.

God's hand has moved. The skeletons deep within have been stirred. And the smell of death has resurfaced.

Oh, how it aches.

But I know this: only in death can new life emerge.

All the way my Savior leads me
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His faithful mercies?
Who through life has been my guide
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort
Ere by faith in Him to dwell
For I know whate'er fall me
Jesus doeth all things well

All of the way my Savior leads me
And He cheers each winding path I tread
Gives me strength for every trial
And He feeds me with the living bread
And though my weary steps may falter
And my soul a-thirst may be
Gushing from a rock before me
Though a spirit joy I see

And all the way my Savior leads me
Oh, the fullness of His love
Perfect rest in me is promised
In my Father's house above
When my spirit clothed immortal
Wings it's flight through the realms of the day
This my song through endless ages
Jesus led me all the way

- Rich Mullins

[Note: I noticed a sense of grieving on Wednesday, four days ago. It started the day after I made the decision to fully embrace my change.]

Friday, May 22, 2009

Grief Reflected

I did not expect this change to happen.

I did not expect the emergence of anger to come about.

And I never expected this grief to hit me, so hard.

Yesterday, Brother A asked me to pray. I could not utter the words. Before long, I was a blabbering, sobbing mess. Deep pain.

Today, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, prayed a prayer on the radio for his staff members during his final dying days. I started to sob again, tears streaming uncontrollably down my face, my heart wrenching.

I don't understand this grief. So the rest of this post will not make sense. I only want to put down some disconnected thoughts. Perhaps it will come together, later.

When my father died, I went into slow motion. I spoke slowly, smiled slowly, moved slowly. I was numb. Something deep within me also died. But in its place a new freedom birthed: all that we think is important is not so important after all. And for a little while, I appreciated the grass, the trees, the little everyday conversations of everyday people.

Something within me has died. All those years of pain. The travail. How my father travailed and fought to keep his empire going while he battled his illness. And suddenly, it's all over.

Let the empire crumble now. And let the grasses and flowers and trees and little wild creatures grow all around it. Let the name of the empire be forgotten.

It's over. The battle is over.

And I weep.

Years of pain come together, congregating in my chest, and gushing out in heaves through my sobs.

I have nothing left to battle.

And something new has birthed.

When I sob, the pain echoes out of a place of intense thankfulness. How I have travailed over all these years. How I have fought to stay true to my decision not to give in to a homosexual lifestyle. How hard it had been to put on a grown man's face everyday over these years. How tired I am. How good God has been to me all of that time.

Second Timothy Chapter Four Verse Seven.

And now, my crowning glory.

Yet, I am barely able to stand and wear it.

: more sobs :


How are you doing, boy-soul?
How are YOU doing, champ?
I am tired. So tired.
We know.
We? Who is we?
Me, boy-soul, and all of your other little childhood selves. We, know. And we are all here.
We are all here for YOU, champ!

Boy-soul, and all my little childhood selves. They look so tall, so grown up, so masculine, so together. And they are here for me? I don't have to keep up with external appearances to protect them anymore? My inner child(ren) have grown up?

The battle is over. And I sob.

Why did I sob over Bill Bright's prayer?

Because he prayed as a father. Because he prayed over his "sons" in ministry. Because his "sons" were ready to take over the mantle of his ministry. Because he prayed that they will be men of God. MEN of God. And because God wanted you to hear that prayer, and so you did, and you received it, into your heart, oh MAN of God.

"Father, Father, Holy Father. We bow in reverence before Your majesty. We are in awe of Your greatness. When we think of who You are, we realize how little we are, how small in comparison. And yet even when we were yet in our sins, You died for us. You love us. You delight in us. And I thank You that in Your sovereignty, You chose Dennis and Bob to do what they are doing. And You've anointed them and given them favor, and great blessing. And I ask Holy Father, You'll keep them pure. Keep their motives pure, their hearts pure. Their attitudes, their desires, their actions above reproach. That they, Bob and Dennis, will be MEN OF GOD after Your heart. There will be no sin in their lives that will hinder Your working in and through them. That as they speak day after day, to millions of people--and that number, oh gracious God, I pray will increase by the millions--they will be channels of Your love, Your forgiveness, Your grace to the multitudes of earth. I pray for the day their ministry will literally encircle the globe. Where millions upon millions will be drawn closer to You, will love You, and trust You, and obey You because of their influence. Lord Jesus, bless their families... their families and the children's children's children yet unborn. That they may always love You, serve You, trust You, obey You. And that the legacy of these men will go on and on until You return. Blessed Holy Father, thank You once again for these men whom You've chosen, whom You've anointed, whom You've empowered. And may all glory, honor, worship and praise go to You. For we pray it in the name of the One whose name is above every name, the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen."

[Actual interview and prayer can be downloaded here.]

I feel the Lord saying to me: Well done, good, faithful, and broken servant. You are now ready to serve Me.

Anything You want, Lord. I am and have always been Yours. Now more than ever before. Anything You want.


A deep, deep grief has hit me.

As I nuzzle more securely into Brother A's love for me, an old, lost pain is finally emerging. I don't even have a specific memory associated with the pain. It is just an old, old pain from deep within.

And so I cry sobs of anguish. My heart wrenching with each gasp.

No words.

No memories.

Just deep pain and sadness.

I don't deserve such love.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You, Boy-Soul, Are God's Original Masterpiece (A Testimony)

Why this video moved me so much: A short testimony.

I started having same-sex sexual thoughts since I was 7 years old. It was a constant struggle into my teen years because the feelings were so strong, and yet I loved God so much. By age 19, I couldn't take it anymore. If I couldn't stop my homosexual thoughts, then I might as well die. I got severely depressed and I wanted to crawl into a small, dark hole and die in it. For weeks, I woke up every morning crying. Finally, I decided to end it all. But God intervened and brought me a couple of men who counseled me out of ending my life.

That year, I committed my life completely to Jesus, just like the guy in the video (start: 6 mins 55 sec). I considered that I had already died, and that the life I lived from that day onward was totally dedicated to Jesus. I didn't know if God would heal me from homosexuality, but I was willing to live a celibate life in service to Him. The same-sex struggle continued, even into marriage. Still I hung on to my commitment and never gave myself fully over to homosexuality.

Today, More than 20 years later, God has finally healed me of my homosexual desires. There is still some processing that needs to take place before I am more secure with my same-sex emotional attractions, but I know that the sexual attractions are gone.

I am healed. There is no longer any doubt in my mind about it.

Sometimes, it is only when you have reached the other side that you realize how hard it was to cross the river. While you were in the river itself, all you could do was focus on surviving. I had forgotten that I had been struggling for over three decades. I had allowed the struggle to define me: "I am a man who struggle with SSA."

But now, I am starting to see the emergence of God's original masterpiece: the original straight and manly me. So much chiseling has taken place over the years, and I finally see the original shape emerging. I praise Him for it.

I am glad I stayed with the pain. Now, looking from the other side, I can truly say that it was well worth it.

This Feeling-Down Feeling

In the past, this "feeling-down" feeling that I am feeling now would have led to homosexual thinking or activity of some kind. (I know I used the word "feeling" three times in a row. I'm feeling down, okay? Cut me some slack.)

In the midst of my downness, that wanting-to-sexualize-men feeling came pretty strongly.

But I didn't.

I don't want to go back to that vomit.

This pang of pain in my chest is a loneliness to be accepted by other men. To be affirmed, to be encouraged, to be okay in the eyes of other men. Not to trade bodily juices with them.

And so, I sit, writing, waving my little "This Feeling-Down Feeling" banner, and talk to boy-soul.

How are you doing, boy-soul?

I am sad.

Why are you sad?

I don't know.

Are you feeling lonely?


I remember that feeling, when we were younger.


Sitting on the swing, elder brother had just rallied a whole bunch of cousins against us because we were fat and ugly.


Or at least, he made us all believe that.


But we're not fat or ugly.


No, we're not. We're fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God.

We are?



Brother A thinks we're very good-looking. Remember how he always calls us "stud?"


You know what?


I think Brother A's opinion is a lot better than that of a mentally-ill 12-year old brother.



And so, with boy-soul's hand in mine, we get up and start to walk again in our journey towards manhood. And I whisper into boy-soul's ear. "Tonight, we're going to have a good time with the wife in bed. It'll be fun!"

: sunset scene :

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This Change IS Real

The following is a pretty graphic post. If you get easily offended, stop now and don't read any further.

- - -

I did it.

I went online and looked at images of nude men.

This change I've been talking about? It's real. I've given it yet another test, and...


The most incredible looking guys still look good. But they don't have anything to offer me.

Their bodies remind of me Brother A's body. I have access to Brother A's body. He'll let me touch him, look at him closely, and after all that, he'll give me the biggest, warmest, most loving hug and kiss on the cheek. For all of my insecurities, he loves me fully, no matter what, like I am his own son.

The mystique of the "perfect-male-other" is gone.


What these images once offered me were "pathways" to deep, emotional connection with men. But now that I have Brother A fully, it seems I don't need these pathways anymore!

In fact, what's really interesting is, I looked at a couple of images of men masturbating and ejaculating. Instead of wanting to be with them, or masturbating them, or having them masturbate me, I saw in these images, straight men desperate to put their penises in a vagina and ejaculate inside a vagina. As a result, it excited me, not to be with them (because I have the same penis and sperm), but it got me excited about having sex with a woman.


(I must confess, however, that I also looked at images of women.

Dangerously seductive. That's all I can say.

I did not dwell on them though, lest I become unfaithful to my wife in my mind when I am next having sex with her.)


I am amazed. I am truly amazed. I thought that it might be too dangerous to "tempt" my change by going to look at sexual images of men. But I'm okay. In fact, when I saw some good-looking erect penises, I thought to myself: "Good for you! A healthy, erect penis. That's what a man is supposed to be like."

In summary, I am not only not tempted sexually, the images move me towards heterosexual thoughts, PLUS I am able to celebrate their maleness, as I identify with them, as part of God's wonderful creation.

What a strange and new revelation!

Here's the last thing I need to do now: fully accept this change, and don't fight it anymore.

Lord Jesus, I thank You for the change that I am experiencing. It has come from You, and it is REAL. I have no more doubts that this is real. If it doesn't stay, so be it, but as far as I know, it is real, and I rejoice and FULLY ACCEPT this change. I have prayed for this since I was 13, and I had given up hope that change would ever come. But it is here, and I embrace it, fully. Make me the new straight man that You want me to be. I want to me molded into Godliness as a man, and allow my adolescent male sexuality to be honed by Your Word and Your ways. Thank you for all of the brothers that You have placed in my life, and especially Brother A. I don't know what You would like me to do with this change, but I am willing to do whatever You desire. Guide me, lead me, show me Your desires. I am, Your servant, Your child, Your man.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Unbridled Adolescent Male Sexual Energy

Christian authors writing on sexuality talk about sex as more than genital sex (i.e. erotic sexual behaviors) but also gender. There is something "sexual" about just being male.

It is in this context that I used the term "sexual" in "unbridled adolescent male sexual energy."


Over the last week, I have woken up with an erection four times. Along with that is the desire to masturbate and have an orgasm. And along with that are images of naked women swimming in my head.


I don't even know who I am anymore.

Thank God I have a wife who can satisfy my new heterosexual libido. Otherwise, I think I WOULD go out and find a girl and do it. Over and over again.

I never understood how men could do it before. This "wham, bam, thank you ma'am." How can anyone have sex with another person, and then it's all over and they want to go away?

I once asked Brother M what his constant desires for women was like, and he said, "it's just a pure thrill." Kind of like riding a roller coaster. "How shallow," I replied, as the haughty more-sensitive-than-thou SSA man.

But I understand it now. I see women, I see their sex, and I want them. Just for plain sex. Not intimacy, not love, just plain sex. Yah, yah, it's intimate and all, but NOTHING like the warm, fuzzy, oh-love-me-all-over feelings that I used to get when fantasizing about men. Now, it's just a raw, sexual, I-just-want-to-hump-you feeling.

How shallow, this new me.

Anyway, because my wife and mother-in-law are the coolest women on the face of this planet, I told them how I was feeling.

And mom said, "you know, what do adolescent boys think about? They just want to score! It's kind of like that, isn't it?"


Remember over the last two posts, I talked about anger, and this wanting to compete and to fight? Well, I think it's all part of the same package. I think what I am experiencing is unbridled adolescent male sexual energy.

: Wolf-like howl! :

(Thanks, mom-in-law, yous da bess.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

An Anger Brewing, Redux

The previous post here.

My apologies for swearing. I know it hurts some of your sensitive eyes to read ef-words and aitch-words. But I wanted to get my point across. I was feeling anger, and I wanted to write authentically out of that place.

But after some reading, I am starting to think that what I am feeling is not so much anger but... another natural element of my emerging manhood, which I alluded to as "testosterone" in my previous post. I got this revelation thanks to a new online friend who pointed me to Van Den Aardweg's writing.

In the final chapter of his book, The Battle For Normality, Aardweg writes:

...let the homosexual man, when the occasion offers itself, participate in a competitive game like soccer, or baseball and really try to do his best, even if he is anything but a star on the field. And without self-pity; persevere and fight. Some have afterward felt wonderful; a sportsmanlike fight - meaning a victory over the "poor me" self - can make one feel deeply that one is "a man".

That's exactly what I want to do out of this "angry" feeling I have inside: a desire to go out and have a good fight! In ancient times, robe on an armor and go fight a dragon. In today's terms, take up a ball and jostle in the courts. Or maybe even put on some gloves and beat the shit (yeah sorry, ess-word) out of each other--all in good competitive [read: manly] fun.

It's like I don't exactly have a specific someone or something I am angry at. I am just feeling aggressive, and I want to let out my aggression.

Aardweg also wrote this, which is incredibly comforting to me:

Heterosexual feelings come only in the wake of restored feelings of manliness... There should be no 'training' in heterosexuality, however, for that would feed the inferior self-image: 'I have to prove my manliness.'

No need for training in heterosexuality, the feelings seem to just "wake up." This has been my experience exactly!! Brother A's unsexualized yet deeply intimate and fatherly love for me has smashed into bits the huge boulder that blocked my heterosexuality from emerging. Now that the blockage is gone, the natural (yes, NATURAL) tendency for heterosexuality is emerging without my trying.

PRAISE GOD! WOO HOO! PARTY ON... and all that unbridled adolescent male sexual energy.

[I have more thoughts about these and other feelings that I am having as fitting into "unbridled adolescent male sexuality." But I'll blog about it in another post tomorrow.]

An Anger Brewing

There is an anger brewing deep within me.

I don't really understand what it is yet.

Something to do with this change I have been experience. Something to do with anger at homosexuality and gay-advocates. And also anger at all of my years of loss.

I am starting to get sick and tired of people questioning my change experience.

If you don't believe that my experience and what I write is authentic, then get the fuck off my blog. It's that simple!

And where the hell are the people who are supposed to be experiencing change? Why am I the only one experiencing it? Why is it that so many "Ex-Gay" people say that they are still able to be tempted and then they add that "but my temptations don't define who I am?"

What the hell?

If you are a man who is still tempted sexually by another man, then you are homosexual. Don't try to complicate matters.

As for me, that sexual attraction is gone. GONE!


The only thing I have to replace the warm fuzzy orgasms I used to have fantasizing about being made-love to by a strong, handsome, muscular man is... A N G E R.

I don't understand it.

- - -

Wait... it just came to me.

This anger.

I got it.

It's anger at men.

It's anger at not being able to connect with men.

It's anger at years of not being able to be accepted as the man that I am feeling I am now.

The anger says, "Yeah, you want to fight? Okay, I'll show you who's the man around here, you pussy!"

Oh my god.

Is it testosterone?



[Note to self: Before this anger came, there was a sense of "emptiness" for several days in place of my SSsA. See this post.]

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Wanted: Ex-Men

I feel alone. This change is so unique, I don't really have anyone to talk to, to fellowship with, to exchange notes with.

I want men. Ex-gay men who no longer have homosexual feelings, but now have only heterosexual feelings. Men who can mentor me through this transition as I mutate from Same-Sex sexual Attraction to Other-Sex sexual Attraction.

Mutate. That's exactly what this change feels like. Someone pumped adamantium into my sexuality and turned me into a straight man.

For the past few mornings, I'd wake up with a huge piece of morning wood. Images of women--my wife especially--flood my mind. All I want to do is to hump. Have sex. Not make love. Just have sex.

I am becoming like my other straight male friends, I want sex with women just for the yahyah of it. The need for warm, fuzzy, orgasmic love with a man has retreated into a place I can't seem to access anymore.

I never imagined that such change for good would feel so uncomfortable, so foreign, so isolating.

I need a Xavier.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Brother's Love

All of this change would not be possible without Brother A's deep, deep love for me.

Brother A, I love you so much I could literally burst!


Undressing Men (Alternate Title: Everyday-Sized Nuts)

It's commonly said that if a person felt nervous when doing public speaking, he could try to imagine his audience naked.

I never understood that advice. I had always felt that to imagine a bunch of people naked would be more of a turn-on than an anxiety-reliever. Especially if there were good-looking men in the audience.

But I experienced something new today.

Today I undressed three different guys with my eyes. Strip! Strip! Strip! They were completely nude, right down to their willies. Handsome devils, every one of them.

Strangely though, I was not turned on. In fact, I think I did it as a way to turn myself off my attractions to them. (It was a pretty unconscious process. It just happened.)

All three guys had something in common. I wanted to draw close to them. They had a certain look with which I associated strength, masculinity, security, support, comfort, warmth.

By stripping them down completely nude, I exposed them. Seeing them naked in my mind unmasked the myth of "the perfect man" that I had attributed to them. Instead, I saw their boy-souls, tasted their insecurities, smelled their bodily stench, and sensed their own quivering need for male affirmation. Their need for male affirmation.

Male affirmation. God knows every man needs it. Even my almost-perfect Brother A!

Speaking of Brother A, he was, in fact, the first Alpha male who was undressed before me. Come to think of it, he actually undressed himself before me. He took the initiative to expose himself completely to me: physically, emotionally, spiritually. And I, in turn, let him see me too, all of me. First physically, then emotionally and spiritually.

And it has all been good. So good, in fact, that I believe this has been one of the prime factors in my change experience.

So this is my new experience when I see strong, good-looking [read: intimidating] men with whom I want to connect. In 5-Easy-Steps:
  1. I strip them naked in my mind.
  2. They become fully exposed. Their fantasized god-like phalli shrivel down to realistic everyday-sized nuts, dangling awkwardly. Just like mine!
  3. They become, all of a sudden, completely approachable [read: no longer intimidating].
  4. My attraction towards them fail to sexualize. (The emotional attraction remains though. But I'm okay with that. Because, as I said, God knows every man needs affirmation from another man.)
  5. I feel okay again in and of myself. I am, in essence, just like them.
My experience today feels like further development along a thread of experiences I've had before: here [A Definite Shift, 3/25/09] and here [Emotional vs Sexual Attraction, 3/31/09].

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

That Grossed-out Feeling (alternate title: Brotherly Love)

Tossing and turning in bed. Trouble sleeping.

In the past, I would have fantasized about being sexual with men, leading to masturbation in bed. I'd even hold on to a pillow closely to my chest, pretending it was a warm male body.

I did the same last night--held to a pillow to my chest, that is. But there was an invisible fence.

It was okay to hold on to the pillow, feel the comfort, imagine holding on to a brother in intimate embrace. But once if I even began to sexualize it in my mind, I felt sick. Sick to the stomach. Like I wanted to throw up. Like I had crossed an invisible fence that set off a repulsion within my body.

On the plane a few days ago, I saw someone watching the movie, Milk. I looked and wondered if the guy watching was gay. Suddenly, there was a kiss scene between Sean Penn and some other male actor. The scene faded to black. Then the guy watching shook his head. He turned his head just enough for me to see that unmistakable look in a person's face: disgust.

Brother A gave me that face too when I explained to him once about a sexual male scene when I first met him. At the time, that look felt like an affront to me. I felt rejected. His disgust was not just a disgust over a concept, it was a disgust over me.

Now, I feel that same disgust myself. The thought of making out with another man. The stink, the sweat, the skin-guck of another man upon my body in a sexual way.

I want to throw up.


I still feel that need to connect with my good friends: my Brothers. To share openly, to be vulnerable, to pray for one another, to be hugged (with clothes on, for a long time). I long to know that I am okay. Okay at the very core.

True, holy, vulnerable, brotherly LOVE. That is what I crave.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Homoemotional Heterosexual

More and more, I am hearing from other guys coming out of SSsA that they want to relate with men intimately but not sexually.

I feel the same way.

When I meet men who evoke a sense of secure masculinity, sensitivity, and a caring nature, I feel drawn towards them. I want to let boy-soul out to meet them. Be completely vulnerable. And have them embrace me. Not just emotionally, but physically. I would love to be hugged and touched. Not sexual, but sensual. Physical touch that is not sexual, but deeply emotional, deeply healing.

When I get a good dose of such loving, especially from Brother A, I find myself "recharged" as it were, a deposit of "I am lovable" put into my heart. A deposit that would fuel me to love my wife and kids more, walk with a happier gait, and in essence, become more manly, like the man who loved me.

But I need it, constantly. Like these other men coming out of their SSA, I am desperate for that male affirmation.

If I had Same-Sex Sexual Attracted (SSsA), that sexual attraction has been replaced by Same-Sex Emotional Attracted (SSeA). I wonder how long it will take until this SSeA diminished to the point where I am no longer needing male affirmation so frequently?

It has only been a little over 8 weeks since I first met Brother A in person. 8 weeks of radical man-to-man love from Brother A is certainly not enough to make up for decades of deprivation.

I didn't blog this earlier, but I should note it down. Last week, I masturbated. When I did, fantasies of having sex with women came to mind. A mixture of my wife and other nameless, faceless but gorgeous women. It felt really good. And it felt natural.

Wierd, right? To need male affirmation emotionally, but then want women sexually?

Wierd, but that's what's going on in me. I write it as I experience it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Holding Hands - It's About The Heart

During prayer, I held two men's hands. The one on the left was a young college student. The one on the right was an elder of a church (I'll call him William).

Several weeks back, I talked to elder William about my struggle. I was completely open. Like Brother A and brother B, William also was not afraid of my SSsA. When I told him that Brother A moved closer to me and wanted to hug me after I "confessed" to having sexual feelings for him (exactly 8 weeks ago today!), he smiled and felt like he could identify with Brother A. He really was not phased by my SSsA. But elder William is pretty busy so I have not had the chance to pursue deeper intimacy with him the way I have with Brother A.

As we prayed today, I was very aware of elder William's hand holding mine. It was not much bigger than the student's hand to my left. Yet, I felt a great deal of loving warmth coming from elder William's hand (and nothing from the student's hand).

Then, it dawned on me that this connection through hands is not so much about hands per se or the student's hand would have illicited a similar response. It is all about how I feel towards the person. Like Brother A, elder William has also accepted me fully in all of my vulnerabilities. Having him hold my hand felt incredibly safe, warm, and comforting. Like the assuring hand of a strong, loving father.

Happiness Is

... holding on to your happy big-eyed stuffed turtle while having your father hold on to you and tell you that you are the most important boy in the whole world to him.

... feeling like you are the most beautiful princess in the eyes of your father.

... being woken up by a hunk-like husband with loving caresses and being made-loved to first thing in the morning after a good night's rest.

... being completely raw, vulnerable, and child-like with an elder, winsome Brother, and still be loved by him.

... running for 30 minutes at high speed and feeling completely exhilarated and not exhausted.

... being focused and productive at work, and not having emotional ghosts clawing you for unhealthy attention.

... following in the footsteps of Jesus.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

That Being-Loved Feeling

Finally connected with Brother A. We talked for a long time, and prayed at the end with open eyes, peering deep into each others' souls as we connected with our Father God.


Boy-soul was not very willing to come out at first. Angry. Hurt. Not willing to trust Brother A after the long time of felt distance. (You know, that whole defensive detachment thing.)

Brother A reached in, kept at it, pushing at times, pulling back at times. He let boy-soul talk. Air his frustrations, his insecurities, his hurt, and his deep need to be reassured.

Boy-soul softened after a while

Hooray Brother A -- you did it!

(That was my Adult-self talking.)

(Don't worry, this is not multiple personalities. Just metaphors.)

Boy-soul let Brother A in again. In to that soft, vulnerable place to which only God has access. Boy-soul needed it so much. We needed it so much.

And now, despite all the tiredness, all the helping-other-people's-problems, we are feeling good again. I am feeling good again.

Brother A loves me. I needed to know that. I needed to feel that. And now that I do, everything is okay again.

Not porn, not sex. Like a young boy desperate for the love and attention of his father, what I needed was love from a man I respect and with whom I can feel completely safe and vulnerable.

Brother A, we love you. All of us: boy-soul, adult-self, professional-self, caregiver-self, and most of all, brother-self.

Now, I am ready to go watch Star Trek.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

That In-Between Feeling (Again)

Long day. Long night. It's 2:41am. I'm helping everyone else, but me.

Who's helping me?

No one.


the Lord.

Where's the Lord?

I don't know.

I'm going to sleep.

Enough of this effing fishing for pity.

I'm going to sleep.

Did I say I'm going to sleep?

I am going to sleep.

(And no, I don't expect tomorrow to be any better.)

I'm in such a bad mood, this post gets *no* labels!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

That In-Between Feeling: Damn You!

It comes at the end of a busy period. Sometimes at the end of a busy day. And it seems to precede a time of lull.


It has a voice and a message. It says,

I am tired.
I am worthless.
Nobody loves me.
There is no future.

The mind, the will, they know what to do: Take a shower. Read a Psalm. Pray. Go to sleep.

The body, the emotions, get more attention: The devil beating them up, taunting, bullying, jeering, pushing the mind, the will, into the background.

- - -

Saw Brother A for a few minutes. He asked me how I was doing. I knew he had to go. I knew I was not feeling the best.

When you feel bad and the person you need most to talk to shows up and then has no time for you... you feel like ramming your head against the wall.

I let him go without going into how crappy I felt.

Last night, it was my wife. Tonight, it was Brother A.

Last night, I fell to porn. Tonight, I will beat up the devil who is trying to beat up my body and my emotions. I will say, "you've been damned to hell!"

And I will go take a shower. Have a glass of wine. Listen to something soothing. Do some lectio divina. And go to sleep.

I'm Yours

This song captures what I've been feeling, in music, and in text (with a little poetic license).

Well you done done me and you bet I felt it
I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted
I fell right through the cracks
Now I'm trying to get back
Before the cool done run out
I'll be giving it my bestest
And nothing's going to stop me but divine intervention
I reckon it's again my turn to win some or learn some

I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait, I'm yours

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find love love love love
Listen to the music of the moment people dance and sing
We're just one big family
It's your God-forsaken right to be loved love loved love loved

So I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours

I've been spending way too long checking my tongue in the mirror
And bending over backwards just to try to see it clearer
But my breath fogged up the glass
And so I drew a new face and laughed
I guess what I'm be saying is there ain't no better reason
To rid yourself of vanity and just go with the seasons
It's what we aim to do
Our name is our virtue

But I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Cause our time is short
This oh this this is out fate, I'm yours!



When was my last post? I can't even remember. That's a good sign. I'm getting into my work. I am finding myself making some head-way. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.


I'm also handling a lot of relationship conflicts. These are going well, improving. I'm glad that it's my area of competence and I can do it well, but it is tiring work. Still, it is necessary. Relationship problems don't go away by themselves.


Did not connect with Brother A for a couple of weeks. Finally connected. It was good, yet different. I am very aware now of boy-soul within, who comes out whenever he is with Brother A. Pretty needy, still, that boy-soul. I am trying to parent him more myself. He wants to hide within Brother A's embrace, but he also knows that Brother A is very human.

We (me and boy-soul) are allowing ourselves (1) to continue to be very open, tender, and vulnerable with Brother A, and (2) to begin exploring by taking little steps towards the "outside." Boy-soul is scared that if he should come out, he will get bullied. Poor thing.

It's okay, Boy-soul, I'm with you. God is with us. And Brother A is good for keeps.


This 90-day fast thing is not working. Last night, I fell to porn again. Not the anxious Boy-soul driven need to sexualize male intimacy, more of a self-pity anger reflex from trying to be intimate with wife on the phone, and having the conversation go sour. Nothing worse than getting all aroused and ready to climax, and then not be able to because of an argument.

There is a part of me that is afraid to look at porn of naked women alone (i.e. without a man present). Even in all of my risk-taking, that is a floodgate I am not willing to peek into. After confessing to wife later, I also told her that I'm still not masturbating to nude women alone, and I won't do so until she gives me permission.

Wife: Err... you mean give you permission to masturbate to sexual thoughts of other women? Oh! You mean like all of my Christian women friends give their husbands permission to masturbate to porn of nude women?

She makes me smile when she's funny like that.

A man and a woman: moaning with pleasure in intimate sexual and emotional embrace.

Turns me on. Big time. Will be me. And my wife. A few more days. I can't wait.

In the meantime, it's another Day 1 today. (Groan.)

Gotta get that Covenant Eyes installed. But I am so unwilling to pay for it.