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Old 09-28-2010, 06:36 PM
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Default Gay, Bi-, Queer Poly Men Gather & Chat Here

My idea for this "thread" (topic?) is to have it wide open for talking about "whatever" -- whatever is of interest at the moment. Topic drift is fine, so long as an effort is made to respect and honor the participants.

This thread is intended for gay/bi-/queer men, but anyone can post here, so long as they respect the purpose--which is to address the needs interests and issues of GBQ men.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:48 PM
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I live in a small SouthWestern city which is widely considered a sort of safehaven for queers/gays.... But I have found it rather difficult to meet other queer men here. I even spent some months trying to address my town's need for opportunities for Q men to meet in a safe and comfortable social atmosphere. The idea was to bring men together for suchlike as picnics and hikes on local trails, maybe camping trips, etc. This was thought to be superior to going to bars, etc.

So I was involved in a sort of outreaching process. But hardly anyone would show up at the picnics, though they were fairly well advertised. And no one attempted to organize other events (it was designed for open-invitation). I gave up when my fellow organizer went nutz and became suddenly impossible to deal with.

It was through this and other experiences that I came to realize that although my town is widely considered Q-friendly, probably the overwhelming majority of Q men here are in the closet to some large degree. Many, many of these are WAY in the closet -- and probably only meet with other Q men for casual/anonymous sex "hook ups". These I have a compassionate interest in, but no romantic / sexual interest (!). I'm interested in real and in-depth intimacy.

My hope is that this "thread" will be somehow helpful to folks like me. Folks like me seem to need to learn how to meet one another and form friendships, etc.

Ideas? Complaints? Questions?
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:28 AM
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I'm really glad you started this thread, River. I've been doing a lot of thinking about my (mostly theoretical) bisexuality lately, and this seems like a good place to express and work through what's in my head, and get feedback.

From a very young age I was attracted to girls; I remember buying jewelry (a nickel each!) from little my sister to give to two different girls I liked in the first grade. I remember wanting to kiss them both. The first of many such unrealized dreams!

In the fifth grade, I discovered my mother's cache of Playgirl magazines and made a startling discovery: although I didn't have much use for men's bodies in general, I found one part of them very exciting. Especially when it stuck out like that! And even many years later, I remember saying to a friend, "I'm not really attracted to guys, but there sure is something sexy about a hard cock."

(A side note, just for fun: I brought the Playgirls to school for the girls in class to check out.)

So for most of my life, I've thought of myself as a somewhat bisexual person, but almost entirely non-practicing. Closeted, not so much due to fear, but out of disinclination to take on the stigma of homosexuality over something that really didn't mean a lot to me. I realize now I always had a sort of horror about the idea of being really involved with a man; even kissing seemed a bit gross to me. Definitely a contrast to how I felt about the idea of oral or manual sex play! (The idea of anal sex still kind of grosses me out, man or woman, but I could see myself getting over that at some point.)

Fast forward several years, to meeting my (now ex) wife. Finding such a strong emotional attachment made me realize how shallow my previous relationships had been. My tendency had been to only value the women I dated as sexual objects. Imagine my surprise when I realized the power that this emotional attachment had for me, that this what I had really needed from a woman! Without ever having been aware of it. She was also the first woman I had ever been involved with, that I told about my bisexual desires. I told her I would very much like to have a really mutually satisfying sexual experience with a man, sometime before I died; I'd only had two previous sexual encounters, both more or less abortive. She accepted and even embraced my bisexuality, while making it clear that she didn't want a nonmonogamous relationship. Sex with a man was off the table; oh well, I'd live.

During the last year since we split up however, I've been giving it a lot of thought. I've been conscious for a while now of not wanting casual sex but rather a deeper connection, with women. How did I feel about casual sex with men, given that I didn't want an emotional component? Was I perhaps making the same mistake about men, that I had made for so long about women? If I opened myself up to the idea of emotional intimacy, could I find myself really into a man?

So for the first time, at the age of forty, I've been considering actively dating men. In fact, I've been thinking about exclusively dating men for a while. When I meet a particularly pretty or sexy woman, I still have trouble really focusing on her as a person; I think I could benefit from a period spent developing female friendships, and friendships only, no matter how attractive the friend.

So... how to actuate this? I'm in a similar situation as you River, but in a very small Alaska town. I'm also primarily interested in real intimacy; that is what I really want to explore, although I could see myself indulging in a certain amount of casual sexual exploration.

Quote:
Folks like me seem to need to learn how to meet one another and form friendships, etc.
This is where I'm at too, River. My thought is, if I can find even one gay/bi friend, I should be able to connect to a larger gay community here. I squandered one such opportunity recently; I ran into an openly gay man I knew from a theater performance years ago. We talked briefly, he seemed quite interested in me (and I found him way more attractive than I had years ago), but I was in a hurry, and though we talked about having coffee sometime, we didn't exchange numbers or make a plan, and he may or may not be in town this winter. Maybe its better though; since I'm mostly wanting to connect to a larger community, he might feel used if he helped me do that and we didn't end up dating for long. There is one other man who seems unusually interested in me on karaoke nights as well; I'm thinking he might be gay, but again I'd feel a little bad exploiting his interest to connect with others. A thought that just occurred to me: I should ask one of my more easygoing new female friends if she knows any gay men in town. And there is always the local biweekly LGBTQ meeting, as well as Craigslist etc. I wonder if I'd get any responses if I posted a M-M personal in the platonic listings!

Wow, this turned into a novel! Hope I didn't make anybody's eyes bleed.


Anotherbo

Last edited by anotherbo; 09-29-2010 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:01 PM
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Anotherbo,

Interesting! You say you want to exclusively date men for a while, and yet you seem quite uncertain that you could enjoy a full-on romantic relationship with a guy. You also seem to remain ambiguous as to whether you find the entire male body sexually attractive. Kissing may not be happening.... Etc....

Curious!

Look, I think you should jump in, really jump in, and find out whether you can respond to/with a man as you can to/with a woman. But please be very considerate toward whomever you "date," and be sure to let him know that you're exploring and you don't know for sure where this exploration might lead. He deserves this honesty. And you do, too.

It's quite very possible that you have some internalized homophobia and some associated repression. You may even have repressed your (unconscious) desire for a man's kisses, and for appreciating his whole body and being turned on with/by that body.

A healthy man will relate with the whole body/mind/spirit/etc. of another healthy man -- not just with his cock. And if you are unable to give in that way..., well, perhaps you ought not to carry on with this experiment too far? Maybe you should really dig in and examine how you feel toward men as whole beings/persons?

Thanks for sharing your story and your process. I hope my words are somehow helpful.

Last edited by River; 09-29-2010 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:17 PM
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Your words are helpful, and I agree with everything you've said. About being considerate and communicative, about the internalized homophobia, about figuring out whether I can have a healthy relationship with a man, and not carrying the experiment too far if it doesn't seem to be happening.

My gut feeling is, if I find a man I can connect well with emotionally, I'll be able to break through some or all of these barriers, and get a better feel for how important (or not) it really is for me to have a boyfriend in my life.

In my life, the close emotional ties I've made have really only been with women. I know I've been repressed when relating to men, straight or gay, and I think that most straight men at least are similarly repressed.

Anyway, to work through all of this stuff is mainly why I'm interested in dating men exclusively sometime soon. The other part is to help me keep my focus in my interactions with women, to keep it a priority to get to know them thoroughly as friends before letting things turn romantic/sexual. My tendency has been to get hot and heavy quickly, and I get distracted so much by the things I want sexually, that I start losing track of their needs as a person. Not to mention, I often end up having rushed into sex with someone I later find I'm just not that into, or who isn't very into me.

I think it will be a bit easier to keep this from happening with a man, since I don't (currently at least) really get that same strong sexual pull towards men I've just met.

Anyhow, thanks for your comments.

And I'll let you know if I pick up any insight into meeting and finding friendships with gay or bi men as I go.


Anotherbo
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:55 PM
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Anotherbo,

Hmm. I'm perhaps even less clear than you are as to whether you are simply wanting/needing deeper general--albeit non-sexual--intimacy with a man or with men ~OR~ whether you are having long repressed romantic-sexual feelings surge into conscious awareness from within the fog of repression.

As you have suggested, a LOT of us guys grew up in an atmosphere of general repression of even so much as non-sexual passionate love -- or even desire for
M-M emotional intimacy/hugs -- of persons of our own gender. This is as much a tragedy for straight men as queer ones. The overwhelming majority of men, as I see it, have been wounded by the popular myths, steriotypes, enculturation, demands... associated with the perverse version of "masculinity". Healing and growing and expanding our capacity for love and joy necessarily involves addressing this wound. And so one notion I have is... Are there any men's groups in your neck of the woods? And if not, might you consider collaborating with appropriate others to form one? There is a worldwide movement meant to address this wound. (And, no, not all "men's groups" are formed with this precise purpose.)
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:04 AM
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As I re-read what I posted above I realized that the phrase "non-sexual passionate love" may ring more than a little weird in some ears. "What the hell could THAT mean?!" But it's clear to me that not all passionately loving relationships have a strong (or any) sexual/erotic focus. (I chose "focus" because I couldn't immediately think of another appropriate word.) ... And so I guess I only go so far with Freud on even this matter. He thought sexual eros was the root of all desire for intense intimacy or closeness. I rather doubt it's quite that simple. Even the term "eros" needn't necessarily refer to sexual desire.

Eros is mainly about passionate desire and/or bonding. It's at the core of all loving in some form or another, sexual or otherwise. Certainly it was there in our relationship with our parents, however healthy or distorted. Anyway, all friendships which are genuinely loving have some passion, some eros. And that's a good thing. If you ask me. But poor Eros has long been misunderstood and underappreciated in our culture. Especially in M-M relationships--friendship or otherwise. Straight men are often terrified of their desire for loving intimacy with men/guys! We're taught that. And not getting the message is to dance with a taboo.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherbo View Post
I realize now I always had a sort of horror about the idea of being really involved with a man; ...
... re-reading ... This stuck out. The word horror. I suspect the horror wouldn't be there if there were not repressed desire for this very same experience. Instead of horror there'd be a soft, dispassionate disinterest. Doncha think?

Were I in your shoes I'd explore that horror as if it were a fuzzy little declawed, toothless kitten in raging massive tiger costume. Welcome that. Let it in. Sit with it and make friends.
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
Hmm. I'm perhaps even less clear than you are as to whether you are simply wanting/needing deeper general--albeit non-sexual--intimacy with a man or with men ~OR~ whether you are having long repressed romantic-sexual feelings surge into conscious awareness from within the fog of repression.
Closer to the second ~OR~, River.

When I met my (now ex) wife, I realized that a deep emotional bond is what I really had being needing in my relationships with women; and having this emotional intimacy really fueled our sexual connection, which was the most intense in my life so far.

Beforehand I was basically thinking of women as sex objects, and didn't value them appropriately. Similar to how my thinking has been in the recent past about men. And I think finding an emotional intimacy with a man would similarly fuel my desire for sexual intimacy. I'm open to that now in a way I haven't been before.

Its only in the last few months that my attitudes have been changing in this respect. Being grossed out by kissing or cuddling or the idea of falling in love with a man, these are already things of the past; I guess my earlier posts didn't make that clear. Even the idea that I might someday consider a man to be "my boyfriend" would have seemed strange to me a couple months ago; now I contemplate this possibility happily.

As for the types of men's groups you mentioned, I have some confused mixed feelings about the idea. But I can't seem to sort out the 'why' of it right now.

Thanks for the continuing input!
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Old 09-30-2010, 12:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River View Post
... re-reading ... This stuck out. The word horror. I suspect the horror wouldn't be there if there were not repressed desire for this very same experience. Instead of horror there'd be a soft, dispassionate disinterest. Doncha think?

Were I in your shoes I'd explore that horror as if it were a fuzzy little declawed, toothless kitten in raging massive tiger costume. Welcome that. Let it in. Sit with it and make friends.
I agree with this River, and I'm already letting it in.
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