I have come to know a few people since I opened up this blog--especially during my "raw/authentic" writing period. They have either been introduced to me by others, or found me themselves and left a comment. As we have interacted openly and honestly, we have also become good friends. One such example is Rob, who started to do video-logs not very long after we made contact through my blog. (I mention Rob because he has chosen to be public and visible, and he does not mind me mentioning him.)
In the past 3 weeks, a handful of new guys have approached me via email. They span across the ages from teenager to fifties. One thing in common about these men: they are all moved by my experience of healing and change. Several mention that they are desirous of the relationship I have with Brother A.
I have not made another official Summary Reflection to date, so let me add a short summary of how I have been doing, and the proceed back with my topic.
My eSSA (eroticized SSA, as one new brother put it, or SSsA as I had put it, but I like eSSA better) is pretty much non-existent. I am still attracted to good-looking guys, but there is no longer a need to sexualize it. It is not even a struggle to not sexualize it -- it just will not happen. I think I can still force myself to fantasize if I wanted to (you don't forget how to ride a bike once you've learned), but I have no desire to. Rather, I am in touch with the feeling of "inadequacy" that hits me from time to time. So, in place of the feeling of a need to be sexual with another man, the feeling presents itself as "I am feeling inadequate." I sit with that feeling and just feel miserable for a while, and do other helpful things such as talk to a friend, or journal, or exercise. I have had no interest in porn. As for masturbation, that too has not happened for a while (I have not counted days), but the purity aspect of that is more specifically enabled through spiritual discipline. Believe it or not, having sex with one's wife does not necessarily curtail masturbation.
On the heterosexual side, it has been hard to avoid looking at beautiful-looking women. Wife and I watched Dreamgirls last night, and I had zero identification with any of the women like I had in the past. Rather, I identified with the "brothers" (as they called each other), especially in their desire for the women. The women--especially Beyonce--were very beautiful, and I could have sexualized the thoughts I had for them. But I avoided that. Besides, my wife is also beautiful and she is real. Fantasies cannot meet reality needs.
Brother A and I have further refined and developed our relationship. We relate to each other as mutual friends and brothers rather than our previous mentor-mentee relationship. We also irritate the heck out of each other from time to time, but there is no question that I love him deeply and dearly, and I would do anything for him. Truly, it feels like a David-and-Jonathan relationship!
And now, I come back to the topic with which I started this post: the new guys. You know who you are: JG, EH, CL, and most recently, DA. There is also JoeMn who had contacted me in a different way. I am pleasantly surprised that you have found me through my blog, and I want to get to know each one of you deeply and intimately. But I am finding myself stretched for time as one of you has already complained. So, I am starting to think that I need to do something so that we can more effectively help each other. My present strategy of getting to know you one-on-one in an intimate way will peter out real soon if more people come my way. But I want more men to come and receive help because there is HOPE for change! I just can't help everyone by myself, and it's foolishness for me to even to attempt to do so.
So, for any of you younger folks (i.e. not-married or below 30) reading this post, there is an Accountability Brothers' group on Facebook -- it is an invisible group that you can join, and does not show up on your Facebook profile. If you're interested in that group, ask me, and I will point you in the right direction. I need to warn you that not everyone in that group thinks the same way I do -- not everyone there wants to experience change to heterosexuality like I have, although most would likely agree that purity and/or holiness is a worthy pursuit.
As for the married Christian men (or singles over 30?), I am starting to wonder if it might be time to start a group of some sort? People who have felt a connection to this "hope for change" that I have written about in this blog coming together online--perhaps even with Brother A (!)--either in email or FB or some other form, for mutual encouragement, prayer, exchange? A group that is made up of people who are further along in their journey of change? A group where we can also talk about how to help others who are just beginning to work through their struggles? I don't know. I thought I'd throw this idea out into cyberspace and see what the Lord does with it.