29 March 2008

The Many Meanings of "Moho"

So, I had a couple of hits to my blog from people who had Googled "my mohos" or something similar. I thought, "What might they have been looking for? I decided to consult the Urban Dictionary. Apparently, there's an abundance of alternate meanings for our quaint little gay mormon term, and not all of them are entirely flattering. I am posting this for the education of my readers to avoid potentially embarrassing situations in the future when referring to yourselves by a term which could have slightly non-virtuous connotations (and nobody wants to be seen as slightly non-virtuous). You can thank me in various forms of payment, preferably involving dark chocolate.

27 March 2008

Settling Or Making The Most

Since the whole idea of whether or how to approach marriage with a woman has been kind of an overarching theme on my blog for some time, I thought I'd post a very interesting and thoughtful entry from a blog I came across regarding the ideas of "settling" for marriage and/or making the most of life regardless of your marital status. I won't offer more commentary on it. I don't think I can say it any better than the author has.

Mountains and Stars (The Counterblog)

25 March 2008

Hot Orca-Men

Abridged from a (VERY) old e-mail to my buddy Tito. I'm totally opening myself up to relentless teasing for my odd dream, bordering on bestiality fetish, but even though I'm not turned on by animals, I thought the dream was just magical.

...oh my, I can only imagine the Google hits that last sentence is going to draw. Yikes.

I was working at a place where we took people out on the water for tours. One day, when we went to the little dock attached to the building, there was an orca right there at the dock. It poked its nose up and even landed itself onto the dock, scooting into the building a little bit, nose-first, as if to investigate us. I was dumbfounded but had always wanted to touch one, so I walked up and petted its nose. It was thrilling. It seemed to respond positively, and we had a little moment of connection. So cool.

But the tour group had to leave--they were going to see something else--and they didn't seem nearly as interested in the orca, so they didn't interact with it.

OK, so in my dream there was a co-worker at the tour place who was a tall, dark, and handsome guy. The next day, I'm at a little work social, my friend [Jane] is there, everything's fun 'n all. This gorgeous co-worker walks into the room looking irritated and mildly hurt, sulking about how the tour group had ignored him yesterday. During the whole tour, they ignored him. He even came right up to see us at the dock, and they didn't spend time with him in the bay.

It was then I realized that HE was the orca--a sort of orca-man? I told him how I spent time with him and I touched his nose and was captivated by him. He seemed to be calmed and contented that I had genuinely been captivated. As we carried on a thoroughly engaging conversation, his attractiveness certainly wasn't in question, but I was pretty sure he was straight, so I didn't entertain the attraction.

Meanwhile, [Jane] was standing next to me, getting closer and closer. Strange since she's not interested in me. As we're finishing up our conversation, the guy says, "I am gay, even though most people think I'm straight by the way I act." Just as he said that, [Jane] planted one on me, on the lips. Just a peck, but precisely timed to coincide with that little revelation. My gaze was on him the whole time, though, as he withdrew. My eyes followed him as he went out the door, looking back momentarily. With my gaze fixed on him, I wiped my lips to get rid of any lipstick she might have left. I had found someone good-looking, sweet, and genuine, and he was also an orca! What's not to love?! As he coyly departed, I stood there thinking about actually dating him...and it was exciting.

Then, while standing there, feeling all contented and twitterpated, I woke up. I was ticked to wake up. You know how you have that moment where you're just waking up and questioning the reality of your dream, thinking maybe at least part of it was real? But when it dawned on me that my new source of twitterpation was also an orca, that pretty much clinched it as "not real". *sigh* No orca-man-riding in the ocean for me.

22 March 2008

Heading It Off

Sleep in the same room but in separate beds. Any formerly full-time missionary is probably familiar with this counsel found in the white handbook. And any formerly full-time missionary has probably had many a chuckle over it.

But I've learned and re-learned the importance of this and similar counsel to make decisions ahead of time, to plan to avoid temptations that may be more than you can resist. I do believe we are not placed in situations we cannot resist. This applies to a lot of different things in life, not just matters of sexual expression. I simply don't buy the idea that we are mindless animals unable to control ourselves in certain circumstances. I fully reject the notion that "it's just the way I am to do this or that." I believe freedom to choose is the reigning principle in our lives.

I have been in situations in which resisting temptation was extremely difficult. I have been in situations in which I have not resisted temptations. I'm not talking about sex and drugs, but events in which I ended up acting in a way contrary to how I wanted to act. Contrary to who I want to be. But I certainly haven't just been thrust into such situations. Typically, I've seen the situation approaching from a mile away but just lacked the conviction, energy, or foresight to say, "Wait...I'm headed for a situation, here, and as much as I may enjoy the idea of experimenting or satiating my curiosity, there are reasons not to go there, and they are significant, and I need to change my direction, to 'head it off at the pass' before I lose the ability to see this situation objectively or lose clarity."

In certain situations, that foresight must come very early, at the first intimation of temptation. In others, it's something to be aware of and ready to act upon but can probably remain just a red flag to be kept in the line of vision in case the situation draws closer.

In giving in to temptations, we will do things which surprise ourselves. We will act contrary to the direction we previously declared we wanted to go. We will find ourselves in situations which provide a rush of euphoria-inducing chemicals, whether adrenaline or 'hormones' or foreign chemicals introduced by needles or smoke, and that rush can become our "god" or "master".

I have learned that when it comes to matters of physical affection, people are weak. Remarkably weak. It feels amazing to be physically close with someone to whom you're attracted, and it makes you want more closeness, more intensity of feeling. It's exhilarating, to be sure. It also can easily cross over from enjoying closeness and sincerely tender affection into a fully sexual experience. And please forgive my bluntness here, but I doubt penetration is required, in the eyes of most mature people, for something to be considered "sexual".

There have been many times when I've been close with someone with whom I would have really enjoyed doing "more". There have been times an attractive friend has cuddled into me, and I've had the impulse, even if briefly, to do something which could escalate the situation quickly into something bordering on lusty and sexual as opposed to "intimate," such as holding.

I'll just interject that I believe sexuality isn't evil. I've gained an appreciation, in fact, for the beauty of sexual expression in certain contexts. I have yet to feel free to fully express it with someone, but the idea is not foreign to me, if that makes any sense.

Many people may have little or no problem with engaging in the more sexual acts of heavy petting and grinding in more casual contexts and may find such things purely recreational, but I'm saying that IF I want to avoid certain situations and the temptation to go farther than I believe I should, then I have to draw my lines and recognize what track I'm on.

But I learned, early in my experience with other gay males, that there's a reason for all of this counsel I'd heard from church leaders regarding setting bounds ahead of time and deciding, prior to the situations, where to stop. Incidentally, the "same room but not in the same bed" counsel is remarkably valid. I've had enough discussions about regrettable actions to know that. I always used to think it was not a huge deal to go on co-ed camping trips or keep the tents separated by gender by a large distance. Now, I realize how necessary that counsel really is (for many people, at least). I'm very hesitant to allow same-sex attracted guests in my place to even sleep in the same room due to so many later discussions of regrettable things that have gone on in such situations.

I'm not going to tell you, my readers, what your boundaries should be. You're big boys and girls and perfectly capable of determining those on your own. But I am completely weary of hearing, "We didn't plan it. It just happened. My brain stops working and my penis starts doing the thinking." It's a convenient excuse, and one to which any normally sexual person will be quite sympathetic, but you took the steps to get to that point where it "just happened". At some point along the way, you decided to go into the situation you knew would probably cloud all judgement. I'll give you one or two such times. Maybe you didn't realize your weakness. Maybe you truly surprised yourself, but after being surprised one or two times, you are perfectly capable of saying, "Wow...I'm not good at resisting this, so if I intend to resist it in the future, there are simply situations I have to avoid entirely." Own it.

Or, on the flipside, just admit to yourself that you want what you're doing and getting it matters more to you than the reasons not to. If you are not setting up precautions to avoid certain situations, then you are, in fact, choosing to do that thing. Your priorities lay in the act you find yourself unable to resist because you are, in fact, choosing to do it by not avoiding it. We've all done things we didn't intend to or feel we shouldn't. But at some point, I think you have to be honest with yourself and either commit to avoiding the very first sign of temptation, or choose not to avoid it and acknowledge that you're so choosing, for whatever reason. I've found it helpful, anyway. I believe each of us has the power to make these decisions. Nobody is a slave to their hormones. Some people have conditions and addictions which require extra help, so I try to remember that and be sensitive to it, but for me, at least, I will insist that I am the one calling the shots.

A quote I like really applies to resisting temptation to act against your own conscience as well as forging your path: "If you don't change your direction, you may end up where you're headed." That statement is both cautionary and encouraging to me, and remembering it helps me make some of the seemingly smaller decisions in life.

20 March 2008

Romance 101, Part 4

Renewed Vision. Emotional Lobotomy.

OK, so you knew SOME analysis was coming, didn't you?

When I started writing my thoughts, this was going to be just a post about what I refer to as "emotional lobotomy", or the deadening of feeling in an effort to make letting go of what you deeply desire less painful. It was mainly about Story 3, the freshest on my mind and the most puzzling to me.

Of course, other thoughts came as I wrote, and other relationships, and with distance from the pain of the situation, other perspectives came into view. I decided to expand it and write this whole stinking novel, mostly as a way for me to put my thoughts in some semblance of order, and also because I realized how much I've learned from different kinds of relationships.

I long for the connection of Story 1, the sweetness of Story 2, and the eagerness of Story 3, along with an internal green light to pursue it if/when it comes along. Each had an element of each in their own right, but each was also not an option to me in the long run for different reasons. I'm sure I'm not the only person in the world who has felt that way. I think that's just life.

Like I said previously, I think much of my emotional turmoil in relation to "Story 3" had more to do with my own emotional state, my own perceptions and perspectives, and my own outlook than with the guy involved. I knew, even immediately following our decision to avoid more romantic connection, this was not totally about him. Don't get me wrong: along with the physical attraction, I had felt genuine affection for him and was attracted to his personality. But the more personal (or interpersonal) details are for my private journal. What I will say here is that much or most of my heartache was probably more about my desires and thought patterns than about him. There were other issues around our friendship, but they were mostly incidental to or independent of a much deeper undercurrent of emotion: letting go of what may be, even if only by my own choice, just a fantasy relationship.

So I found myself accepting, again, that other things do matter more than giddy romance. I avoided trying to fill the void by finding another romance to "replace" it, which was a temptation but which I knew wouldn't actually heal anything but would just mask the void. Besides, I didn't have any desire to further cheapen the relationship or what I'd felt by going in search of a quick replacement. I drew closer to more committed friends. I busied myself with other things. I put more effort into "being" rather than "feeling". I began to accept that life without romance can be enjoyable and fulfilling through work and dedication to other meaningful pursuits, even if it's less exciting in ways I wanted to be excited. I felt worn but somehow wiser. More experienced and a bit jaded. More mature and hopeful in some ways, yet blandly resigned.

Self preservation? Mature understanding? Harmful self-deception? Depends on your perspective, I suppose. Whatever it was that made me feel more accepting of my situation, it was soothing at times, hellish at others. Now, looking back on the whole thing, it seems fairly distant and maybe a little silly I was ever so bent out of shape. But in the earlier moments of sadness, I looked disdainfully on the day I'd look back and consider those moments silly.

I am, again, somewhat accepting of the possibility of never "going there" again while maintaining a fulfilling, happy life. I can certainly find meaning in other areas of life. I will put my energy into serving where I can and trying to leave the world better than I found it. I will try to be kind and loving and selfless. I will seek fulfilling employment in which I can feel like I'm contributing to society. I will invest more actively in meaningful, lasting relationships, and keep the casual or non-productive ones peripheral. I will do these things with or without a relationship of the kind I so long for at times, and life will be rich and rewarding.

I can recognize, better than ever, when I'm beginning to fall for someone and watch for certain red flags to avoid the same pitfalls. I can even accept the idea of being with someone with whom I've never felt that "spark", even if I'm not yet ready to try it. There is so much that is truly lasting in a relationship: investment, trust, active love, commitment, selflessness. Do these make the romantic components pale in comparison? I can appreciate the security and joy of having a wife and raising beautiful children with her. And maybe the rest just won't be as I had always imagined, but isn't that true for most people?

Slowly, gradually, what seemed like such a tragic loss of verve in life begins to lose its sting with a broader perspective and more "realistic" approach. It begins to seem plausible that maybe it's like replacing really great junk food with healthful, nourishing food that's not as much fun to eat but ultimately better for me. And once I've grown accustomed to eating a healthy diet, junk food no longer holds the appeal it used to. But part of me wonders if the "food" I'm talking about really is junk, or whether it's actually gourmet. Sometimes it's hard to know.

When I'm honest with myself in other ways, I'm not, yet, ready to let go of hoping for some way of finding something more "ideal" than a love without romance, hoping to feel what I've felt and act on it. At the time I was feeling the sweetness of romantic affection so intensely, it felt like a true shame that I had gone through so much of my life without such beauty. But that "flame" comes and goes, and the butterflies in the stomach go away. Is that all there is to romance? Or is there more? I know couples who have been married for decades and still light up when they feel they're the luckiest person in the world for having their spouse or still seem to savor that kiss when they see each other after work. Isn't that a lasting version of the same thing? Maybe I would have that even if I didn't feel the spark initially? Or maybe those aren't important things anyway?

I can't help but question my reasons for coming to such an acceptance of the possibility of life without the romantic component as I have experienced it with males. Are the reasons valid? Are they eternal truths or are they cultural constructs which are compelling me to frame it all this way or that? Some of each? What do I really believe? What really rings true to me? I can't help but wonder, at times, if I have achieved a deeper spiritual and emotional understanding of what truly matters in a relationship and in life, gaining greater vision of eternal reality in meaningful self-denial, or if I have effectively lobotomized myself emotionally, going through life with all the eerie acceptance of the end of (the original) Stepford Wives.

Somehow, my inner pragmatist hopes the answer lies in my own free choice: what will my course be? And what will I make of it?

There are so many questions and seemingly so few answers. I'd guess a lot of life's more important aspects are that way. Part of me desires to let go of heady mentality and just live by my heart, letting go of analyses about which I will likely not reach conclusions to instead just fly on a simpler passion for life and a love of the rich experiences life offers, allowing myself my humanity and probably plenty of error. The part of me which almost always wins out, however, is the part which begs reason and consideration before, or sometimes at the expense of, what may amount to hedonistic action. I think there's a balance to be struck, and balance is difficult to achieve, so maybe I need to remember that when I see some people around me leaning away from consideration and caution.

Romance is a difficult arena in which to be dominated by thoughtful deliberation. I long to feel unbridled passion, yet I can't shake the notion that feelings as intense, as rich, and as striking as these must be worth bridling into something magnificent, harnessing their power for love, liveliness, selflessness, and commitment.

Those are my thoughts for now, wrapping up my essay on Romance 101. Maybe I'll have more to write when I've been through Romance 102. Or maybe I'll just skip to an intermediate-level course. That'd be nice.

Back to Part 3.

18 March 2008

Guy Love

I just had to post this. It's so beautiful it made me cry tears of joy. Or laughter. Yeah, it was laughter.

For more background on this, go to the entry on Perfection Pending. Interesting discussion about "Romantic Friendship", which I think is a misnomer, but that's a discussion for her blog. *wink*

Romance 101, Part 3

Facing Reality or Ending Fantasy

True relationships, I think, are more than beautiful feelings and sweet simplicity. There are personalities to mesh, beliefs to reconcile, standards to uphold, social and interpersonal factors to consider. I don't believe that means the romance, delirious happiness, and fun is something to be disregarded. It just means it's something to be directed and weighed against these other factors.

Story 1, Canceling "The Next Level":

We remained close friends like this for a couple of years, and I kept hoping, waiting for something more to develop. Maybe I would feel that same spark I had felt when I first met her. Maybe our emotional bond would give way to a desire for physical expression. There were, in fact, a couple of times when I wanted to lean over and give a little kiss or put my arm around her, to show affection and appreciation and tenderness. But I was afraid of doing something to which she would likely ascribe more depth of meaning than I would be feeling. I didn't want to toy with anyone for my own curiosity's sake. So I refrained and thought, "Maybe I'll get there, to where it really does mean as much to me as it would to her. Or maybe I'll just try it and see what happens." I never did.

After a weekend road trip with her and some other friends during which I had plenty of time to reflect on our relationship, and realizing I was keeping her waiting while I tried to figure out if I was ever going to want more from our relationship, I couldn't stand the thought that I was keeping her distracted while so many other great guys came and went, and she was just waiting patiently for me to pull my head out. I couldn't do this anymore. She was too great a person to be kept on the line while I try to figure myself out with no guarantee of any resolution. And I couldn't stay in a relationship where I simply wasn't as invested, emotionally, as the other person. And...something wasn't right. Something needed to be addressed. It dawned on me that I had some things to face up to and confront head-on for a while. And I finally realized that homosexuality was the most obvious of those things.

Through tears, I told her I couldn't keep her waiting any longer. She deserved to be able to move on with her life, and I just wasn't sure if I'd ever be as fully attracted to her as she deserved. I needed to cut loose while I tried to figure some things out, and while I didn't want to stop spending time together, I supposed we might need to be apart for a while to sort everything out. It hurt so much to be giving up this friendship I cherished, but I loved her enough that I couldn't cling to the friendship at her expense, and I also knew that if I was going to figure some things out, I was going to need to clear my context, in a way, and remove certain pressures from my life while I sorted everything out. Here I was "breaking up" with her, and I was the one bawling. She had teared up as well but was amazingly supportive. I'm sure she could perceive I was in pain, too. I felt stupid accepting support from the person I was letting down, but we cried together.

Our friendship continued, albeit a little strained for a while. The next day after this talk with her, I called my bishop to meet with him, and for the first time ever, I spoke about my homosexuality with someone, telling my bishop about my attractions and my confusion and turmoil. He was great and did his best to be supportive. I laughed through tears as he told me how so much made sense now, like why he had girls coming in to his office perplexed at why they couldn't seem to catch my attention.

After some time to heal over, she and I reconnected, and though we weren't spending as much time together, we could still talk endlessly and have fun together. The friendship remained, and though it is necessarily different now, I hope it will continue over time, even though we now live far apart and she is married.

Story 2, The Relationship Shift:

After a few weeks of maintaining a sort of status quo in our "non-relationship," it became clear to me that we were going to have to make some decisions. We could continue as we were only so long. At some point, we probably needed to either make it "official" and consider ourselves "together" or we needed to take things backwards a bit to a more "friendly" level without the romantic spark. Our relationship was in a sort of permanent limbo, and there's only so long it could stay there, I figured, before something gave. Either we'd end up moving in a direction contrary to our gospel perspective (or change our perspective), or we'd stay in this in-between state, ignorantly pretending all was well while not really making any progress towards marriage or feeling integrated in the church, or we'd need to just try to bring it to a normal male friendship level to avoid letting the relationship get to a point where it could spoil in the long run.

Though it was not easy to do, and it took time, we managed to maintain enough boundaries to keep our friendship intact while backing away from more romantic situations. We set rules and guidelines to keep ourselves reminded not only of what direction we couldn't go in if we were to maintain our activity and ties with the church as we wanted and the gospel as we understood it but also of what ultimately mattered most, at least to me, about our relationship: the trust and intimacy and support we could offer as friends.

I had thoroughly enjoyed the thrill and comfort of these romantic feelings. Yet I had an outlook that it was my "first crush" and I'd be able to avoid doing this again. I'd be fine and move on with my contentedly single life, enjoying flirtation and some affection here and there with a few people but not needing a romantic relationship, per se.

I also had confidence our friendship was deep enough to endure the transition. It was hard sometimes. I had moments when I felt the pain of having to stifle or give up these new feelings, but I also didn't feel particularly torn up about it, probably partly because I figured we'd remain friends, and my tender feelings for him would remain.

I was glad I felt like our relationship was going in a good direction when I moved away. While it hasn't been a completely smooth road since then, we continue as friends, and though my romantic feelings have subsided, I still have a tender love for him and hope he knows that.

Story 3, A Rough Aftermath:

When we "came to our senses" and decided to curb the romantic aspect of our friendship to avoid letting it go where it shouldn't, the friendship seemed to become a casual thing with a shaky foundation almost overnight. Despite knowing this was an infatuation, I was surprised by the sudden change. I had, probably naively, expected to go on as friends who still share personally and hang out fairly often, but when we turned out to be casual acquaintances without the infatuation, and he seemed to prefer group activities to hanging out one-on-one, it hurt. I felt deeply disappointed and confused at how shallow the friendship seemed without the infatuation because it seemed, at least, that I was now more interested in being closer friends than he was.

I was facing the consequences of my recklessness. I knew the possible consequences of entertaining a probably-fleeting romance I knew could go nowhere and which I didn't want to go anywhere. When did the tables turn? I had known the relationship would change when the infatuation wore off, so I decided to just let go and enjoy the ride until then. I hadn't realized how much it would change, or how much I had let my guard down, or how differently we approached things.

I felt foolish for getting myself into this to begin with. What was I thinking? I wasn't. I had been foolish and selfish, letting my "better judgement" take back burner to what felt like a beautiful, romantic euphoria. Was I simply not sure what I wanted anymore?

In addition to whatever else I was feeling, and possibly most significantly, I felt the harsh, stark reality that I might never again allow myself the luxury of being "romantic" with another guy. I know myself. I tend to learn certain kinds of lessons and not repeat whatever caused me to learn them the hard way. The possibility exists that I could decide to let go of long-held beliefs and paradigms and decide to pursue a relationship with a guy. But I also knew there was a decent possibility that I would "wise up" and not repeat this. I'm not just barely beginning to experience this or in my early twenties with many excusable years ahead of me. No, I could chalk this one up to one reckless adventure, but I could not excuse myself again for the same mistakes. I'm supposed to be a solid, stable adult by now. Perhaps it was this realization that I might never allow myself to feel quite this way again which made it so wretchedly painful when it ended so suddenly.

I felt pain I'd not felt before. An inexplicable void. A hollow in my heart that was not just a mere hole but a tight, heavy pain that could be activated by simply seeing an affectionate couple and left me feeling intensely lonely, a bit despaired, and also very much alive.

The juxtaposition of the euphoria of seeing someone most nights for at least a while and being in constant contact and seeing that they seem to be trying to do everything they can to be with you as much as they can, followed almost immediately by the sort of embarrassingly naked, discarded feeling of their sudden, seemingly nonchalant absence catalyzed powerful emotional reactions. The emotions which saturated me through the whole thing, hot-then-cold, made me feel vividly human as few things in my life have done.

I felt my heart hardening its protective shell again to avoid any future roller coasters. It felt like my soul was deadened, or that the parts which had been activated and excited by this small taste of romance were being carefully sliced out as a sort of emotional lobotomy. I felt like I was killing the parts of my heart which had allowed this to happen. On one hand, I knew the relationship had been fairly juvenile and shallow. But on the other hand, parts of me which had come so alive during it now seemed like an adorable, bright-eyed, affectionate child I had come to love, and it tore me up to watch this child being locked up in a closet, never again to be seen or fed, to waste away from neglect. I felt myself falling back from what had felt like a beautifully human, emotional vivacity, into a bleak intellectual acceptance and emotional despondence. Several nights, I cried myself to sleep.

Parts of another journal entry from that time: "I feel utterly and eternally alone tonight, and that's partially, I'm sure, because I'm tired, and partially because I have been repeatedly reminded how little a part of his life I actually am... [...] Why it keeps bothering me, I don't know. I should know better. I never thought I would sound like this: like an emotionally needy basket case pining away for a relationship I didn't have. [...] I feel like an idiot. [...] I went into this more experienced, eyes wider open, but did it anyway. What the @#$% was I thinking? [...] I'm left here feeling lonelier than I have in a long time. Feeling like nobody really understands where I'm coming from or what I'm saying. [...] And I'm not at all interested, right now, in some intangible deity coming to rescue me and make me feel loved. I want a human! A living, breathing human! I'm tired of the ethereal! I'm tired of abstract theories and tentative wishing! I just want here and now for once, damn everything else! I'm sleeping in the middle of my bed tonight (instead of the side). Maybe I can delude myself into feeling less isolated and alone this way. And rely on my dreams to bring me some form of solace and the companionship I want, if only for a few beautiful moments."

Again, some of this sounds a bit silly to me now, and it's a touch embarrassing to admit to having been so distraught in the aftermath of this brief fling, but those feelings seemed very real. And those comforting dreams, where I'd be holding and talking intimately with someone, were also poignantly painful upon awaking to their deception. No, I hadn't shared a bed with him as would probably have happened in most such stories. That wasn't why sleeping alone felt so dismal. Being freshly and keenly alone, romantically-speaking, somehow made sleeping alone more unbearable because I was facing the newly refreshed possibility that I might never have someone dear with whom I was in love to hold through the night. My empty bed was symbolic of feeling bereft of the romance I used to imagine I'd find. The realization felt like a cold knife writhing in my gut, as melodramatic as that may sound now, even to me.

Resolving my feelings for this one took time. I've never felt such affection and disdain for someone mixed together, and I wasn't sure what to do with that. I didn't want a romantic relationship with him, not now, yet it hurt to see him seemingly closer to other people he'd spent less time with than he was to me, showing more signs of affection and enjoyment with them than with me. I seemed to need some kind of affirmation (which I apparently wasn't getting) that we were OK, that I hadn't been just a brief exploration, the likes of which he had no more need or want. I felt stupid for wanting that affirmation. I struggled with whether to remain friends or cut my losses.

I'd not felt so irrational and emotionally volatile in as long as I can remember. Rationality is usually a strong suit of mine. I guess romantic feelings and intrapersonal conflict can do strange things to a person. I couldn't possibly have been emotionally wrapped up in this fling with whom I had so little foundation, could I? Maybe so.

Over time, after each relationship, I went through stages or flashes of sadness, despair, tender memory, bitterness, resolution, and acceptance of mourning the loss not only of the kind of connection I had felt but also the loss of even some of the hope for having that kind of connection again.

On to Part 4.

Back to Part 2.

16 March 2008

Romance 101, Part 2

Falling in Love (With Falling in Love)

I initially wrote more briefly about my experiences, more vaguely, more generally. I opted, instead, to write about three different relationships in more detail. While there is inevitably some comparison to be done, I want to make it clear that each relationship is unique and significant in its own way, and I hope it doesn't sound like my friendship with my female friend matters least because that is absolutely not the case.

In any case, this post became extremely long. So rest up and take an energy drink before proceeding. I imagine only those of you with a more personal interest in me will get through it, and that's quite alright.

Following are some of my experiences with romance as I see it. The peace of intimacy, the thrill of attraction, the need for discipline. These three relationships all explore romance in different ways. While I have necessarily left out many personal details or feelings in order to respect the privacy of those involved and guard that which is perhaps special to me, I hope the experiences here will be familiar to some, eye-opening to others, and illustrative to most.

Story 1, The Non-Girlfriend:

She was visiting her sister at the university I attended, and she captivated my attention from first sight. There was something about her I simply couldn't ignore. Her beaming smile, her sassy playfulness, the spark in her eyes, her confident and well-spoken demeanor, her obvious interest in other people--these all called my attention, and though she was only visiting for the week, I wanted to get to know her, and such desire to invest in a potentially brief relationship is rare for me. I joined the group with which she was playing a game at a singles activitiy in the Institute of Religion and thus began our interaction.

Later, at the student recreation center, she and her sister were walking laps as I was running laps to warm up for a workout, and when I'd pass them, I slowed down, glanced over, ran in place next to them, pretended I was racing them, whatever dorky thing I could think of to play with them. For all intents and purposes, I was flirting. I later learned she didn't think much of my obvious flirtation initially, but somewhere along the way, I grew on her.

She ended up attending the university, and we became friends. There was a certain spark of interest and flirtation initially. The excited, romantic spark, however, wore off quickly on my part. Nevertheless, I really liked and respected her and felt unusually comfortable around her, and I wanted to get to know her better. Over time, we became the best of friends, able to talk about anything and even disagree but carry out our debate with respect and honesty. We shared a lot about ourselves with each other: beliefs, insecurities, doubts, triumphs, silly songs... We were able to level with each other and seemed to have a rare ability to see through each other's facades and appearances. We had both been told by various people that others tended to think of as untouchable, on some sort of pedestal, and sort of robotic or non-human because of our unflinching faithfulness. As one friend of mine put it, "Until spending more time with you, I didn't know I could relate to you and laugh with you like we're doing. I'm just a bit floored you're so...real. I just had a different image of you." My female friend and I saw each other's frailty or humanity, and it was refreshing. We spent a lot of time together. By this time, I had backed off from the flirtatious interaction or the pursuit of romantic involvement. But it was great to have a friend with whom I knew I could talk any time and with whom who I just felt "at home," and I hoped the romantic aspects would come back because this was a girl I could probably seriously consider marrying.

There were rough spots, but most days we could be doing just about anything and we'd have a good time. By most definitions, we were dating, just without the physical expressions of affection and having bypassed, it seems, the "must talk to her everyday and can't stop thinking about her" stage. I did enjoy seeing and talking with her regularly, but I didn't have the giddy feelings, and that was OK. It felt good to be at a mature stage in my life where that sort of thing didn't dominate me and I could approach the relationship more deliberately. I envisioned us making an amazing team, whether business or family. She had most of the qualities of the kind of wife and mother who would work really well with me and my stubborn self. I realized that we had a rare connection, a rare ability to communicate openly and honestly and understand each other. I may not have felt desire to express physical affection or do "romantic" things, but the friendship was rewarding and meaningful, and I figured the rest could probably be built on that over time. Now, it was a matter of waiting to see if those feelings would spark or build over time.

I could imagine a life together, and I was just waiting for...I wasn't sure what. Something which seemed incomplete but puzzled me by its absence. She was an amazing girl with whom I meshed really well. What else should I want or need? Was I really that afraid of commitment? It didn't feel like fear of commitment.

Up until then, I was aware of my attraction to men, but I figured that would pass with time and circumstance, or it would just always be a background thing I could keep neatly in the background. I certainly hadn't discussed it with anyone and didn't plan to. I was the eligible bachelor in the singles wards and intended to keep it that way.

Some friends and family insisted I should not hold out for perfection and that they saw, in the two of us, a rare connection. They counseled me to seriously consider taking this relationship to the next level. I wanted to. Or I wanted to want to. But for now, I was waiting it out and appreciating the friendship we did have.

Story 2, The Non-Boyfriend:

A friend of mine told me he met someone at a conference who was moving to my area and wanted to meet some active, LDS, same-sex attracted guys with whom he could talk and find support. In my vast benevolence, I agreed to meet him. By that point, I had only met two other mohos in person, neither of which were "my type," really, and I'm not theirs, so intense attraction with a guy who could potentially return it had not been an issue. I had my reservations about meeting another moho one-on-one. I wondered whether he might be psycho or looking for action or a "sticky booger" friend (you know, the kind that clings to you incessantly and you can't shake, and they don't really contribute to the friendship in any meaningful way). Aside from those questions, I wondered whether he might be desirable to my as-of-yet untapped homoness. I mean, what if he was a hotty? How would I handle that new situation? I guessed there was only one way to find out. It had to happen sooner or later.

I put my stalking skills to work and found a picture of him online and thought, "Meh, could be somewhat attractive, in a cute-nerd way (by the way, I'm a fan of cute-nerds, male or female--think Ingrid Michaelson or the sidekick guy on National Treasure), but I probably don't have much to worry about. He doesn't look like 'my type.'" But when we met, I was immediately surprised at how 'my type' he seemed in person. Shoot. Now I found myself, rather suddenly, mildly nervous but trying to mask it. This was the first time I'd met someone I knew shared my inclination whom I found attractive in this way. During the course of dinner, I did my usual flippant thing, sort of forwardly but benignly flirtatious, not trying to pretend there wasn't some kind of tension going on 'cause hey, ya gotta keep things real. He commented that I was not at all the awkwardly repressed closet-case he had envisioned. I was glad to hear it.

I enjoyed his conservative mannerisms, his really cute facial expressions, his flirtatious demeanor, our conversation, and his sensitivity so much that I found myself having to remind myself this wasn't a "date," and we weren't going in "that" direction. As we talked, there was a certain vulnerability about him that made him more endearing. We talked about similar likes and dislikes. We talked about our desire to figure this whole same-sex attraction thing out in a gospel context. We talked about our family situations. He gave his leftover food to a homeless person we passed on the street. I remember thinking, at the time, "Wow, that just scored him major points. I wonder if he was just doing it to impress?"

As we continued getting to know each other, his concern for others, his concern for what's right, his playfulness, and his sweetness were all very attractive to me. Our friendship took on a sort of tenderly romantic tone. For the first time that I could remember, I was experiencing this bond of attraction with someone along with a desire for physical intimacy to match it. For the first time in adulthood, I felt a real desire to kiss. Not just intellectual or experiential curiosity or appreciative expression but a strong desire to express my sincere affection and attraction in a physical way. For the first time, I really was exercising discipline to keep boundaries. So this is how people get themselves into trouble if they're not careful!

I felt totally safe with him and trusted him with almost anything, even though I wondered, at the time, how I could be feeling so with someone I'd known less than a month. I always had it in the back of my mind that we couldn't be "boyfriends", and I definitely wasn't ready to toy with that idea much, but whatever our relationship was, it felt really nice to be connecting with someone this way, even while maintaining safe boundaries. We never called it "dating" and were mindful about where it was going and maintaining boundaries, but we were still probably, by all appearances, 'together' as much as any new couple in your local singles ward who are sort of secretly exploring the possibility of a romance. I found myself feeling sunnier, happier in general. A couple of friends commented that I seemed more relaxed, more light. I quietly smiled to myself and kept the reason for my contentedness carefully guarded.

Story 3, The Newbie Fling:

Through a mutual friend, I was introduced to another moho with whom I talked for a while in my kitchen. In the beginning, it was a bit awkward. He was new to the scene and stood as far from me as was possible in the room. I remember thinking how cute it was that he seemed a little uneasy, though he seemed to be engaged in the conversation. I tried to put him at ease and thought, "Nice kid. And he seems less drama- or angst-ridden than a lot of other mohos. More like just a 'normal guy'. We should probably keep him around." But I hadn't felt any particular attraction. I wasn't "on the market", so to speak. I was not looking for romance and didn't figure I was about to find any. I may have been questioning some things, but I was contentedly single and still didn't consider a romantic relationship to be an option.

We hung out a few times, and as we interacted and got to know each other, I became endeared. We have very different personalities, and I found myself attracted to some of these differences. I also was attracted to some of his many talents and activities I had always wanted to do. I began to notice the little things: the unique beauty of his eyes, his adorable laugh, his endearing vulnerability when we talked about personal things, his expression of desire for meaningful work, his respect for the passions of others, the way he'd talk about serious things interspersed with lighthearted quips, etc. Oh crap, I couldn't be falling for this kid, could I? Yup, I was. But in a reserved way. I couldn't do anything about it. I didn't want a "boyfriend." Besides, with him being new to the whole thing, I had no place considering anything with someone so potentially vulnerable and volatile.

But I found myself thinking, "Well, if not me, it'll be someone else. And at least I know I'll not just use him for a little action then toss him aside, as happens to many new guys who become infatuated for the first time in the gay or moho world. I'll be sensitive and careful and keep boundaries while he figures some things out." I know myself and my limits pretty well. I have had pretty good self control where relationships are concerned. So I thought, "OK, what the heck? We'll just hang out, maybe be flirtatious, and sort of go through a 'honeymoon' phase but remain friends and just push the romantic stuff to the back burner until it subsides." It was just a matter of maintaining good emotional (and physical) boundaries. We talked about it some: "why do we like each other so much?" I laughed to myself and shrugged, deciding, for now, to just enjoy it until the infatuation wore off. I was thoroughly enjoying the fun and excitement of this little "fling".

Somewhere along the way, as I exercised some abandon, I fell in love...but not as much, I think, with the object of my affection (though I must admit having fallen for him to some degree) as with the idea of having someone to love, to hold, to talk with, to be excited to see every day. Considering this and other relationships, I wanted someone who brings out shining parts of my personality I had forgotten but which I loved to see again, and I them. Someone who helps me grow and improve, and I them, with an intimate trust. I know the giddy romance wears off, but I had fallen deeply in love with the idea that there could be one person to whom I'd give myself over, emotionally, mentally, and physically, and they to me, with trust and commitment. Someone with whom I'd actually be vulnerable, and it'd be OK because they'd be as vulnerable with me, and neither of us would ever do anything to deliberately abuse that vulnerability. The thought of having such a relationship enveloped me in satisfaction and warmth. I usually am skeptical of romance because of the shallowness of initial attraction, but this desire for more felt deeper, more meaningful, purposeful, even godlike. It felt magnifying. It felt like a pure and beautiful desire.

Ours was not that relationship, mind you, and I knew it, but somehow, it brought alive in me a realization of desire for such a relationship. I realized how much I longed for that kind of intimacy and mutual respect, investment, and affection. And even though I never denied the possibility of finding it with a woman, I couldn't imagine feeling it so beautifully, wholly, and intensely with a woman.

An old journal entry reflects some of my desire, even though admittedly the shallower indications: "Suddenly, I feel like all the love songs and sappy movies make more sense. I get it. I know what it's like to want to just be with someone and not care what you're doing. Just being in the same room is enough. I know what it's like to think fondly about someone throughout the day and just light up a little inside when I wake up to a random text message saying nothing more than 'Good morning! You're amazing!' on my phone, even if I have to remind myself that it's infatuation, not experience, speaking. And I remember, now, the enveloping sweetness of wrapping up in a blanket with someone you just want to hold tight all night and who feels like they were made to fit you. Admittedly, I'm also experiencing the charge of physical attraction to a degree I probably haven't experienced this much in a long time, if ever. I'm a guy. Go fig. But what's more, I've experienced the sweetness of touching each other's faces, looking into each other's eyes and talking about anything." Reading that now, with my freshly jaded perspective, I roll my eyes a little at how goofy it sounds. But at the time, I felt more loving, more forgiving, more tender-hearted, more sensitive to others. I was feeling a lot of excitement about that idea of finding this kind of relationship with someone and actually pursuing it.

My relationship with my female friend is every bit as important to me as the relationships with these male friends. And it has proven the test of time and is a significant factor in my life. I would never want to discount that friendship or make it sound insignificant in comparison to these other friendships because it is, to date, the most solid and lasting of the three. That said, as irrational as it may sound, somehow during these latter two relationships with my male friends, I felt more human, more "normal", more "whole", in some sense, than I remembered feeling in years. But what mattered more to me at the time, what felt most rewarding, was this inexplicable feeling of pure, simple love and contentment. It felt beautiful and warm and enriching. Life had taken on new savor and sweet simplicity with little effort on my part.

Despite knowing there was no future for a relationship unless I was to make some different decisions regarding my beliefs and change some situations, I simply didn't want the feelings to end.

On to Part 3.

Back to Part 1.

13 March 2008

Romance 101, Part 1

Different Attractions

Deep, dark confession time: a couple of my friendships with male friends have turned romantic in the past few years. I know, I know, please stifle your gasps and maintain composure, people. You could call them flings, but don't go thinking we did the nasty. Just romantic flings, you might say, not freaky ones. They were nipped in the bud pretty quickly. I've never been in a "serious" relationship.

Still, feeling the animating, vibrant, heart-quickening excitement and happiness of feeling attracted to a guy who was attracted to me was disarmingly wonderful when I experienced it for the first time a couple of years ago. Both times I've experienced it, I simply didn't see it coming. I just became more attracted as I interacted with these friends, and we "hit it off," During the first of such relationships, I found myself sitting in a charming little creperie on a hill realizing, "Oh my gosh! THIS is why people date! It doesn't have to be a chore. This actually is fun to go out and just get to know someone one-on-one and see where the friendship leads! This is why people actually have to be careful where flirtation leads. For the first time, I feel the need to actually use a little discipline, and I like it!" I knew I wasn't looking for a boyfriend, and the romantic side of things, in both cases, had to be curbed. With this newly discovered romantic connection, my heart felt as clearly and naturally as it ever has, and it threw my mind for a loop because what kind of sense did this attraction make? Could it be real? Was it juvenile? Was it exactly what everyone else had been feeling their whole lives? Was it a positive and beautiful thing? What is this kind of attraction worth?

I've had a couple of intimate friendships with female friends whom I loved on some level and appreciated and with whom I could talk endlessly about anything and felt "connected" in a rare way, but when I discovered that the romantic feelings towards a couple of male friends I had known only a short time were so different, without any history or proven commitment to back up that attraction, I wanted to feel both with someone, and one or the other seemed suddenly inadequate when considering a "real" relationship with someone. Suddenly, I wanted to be open, intimate, and converse endlessly but be vulnerable to the other person as they are vulnerable to me. I'd never known that feeling before. I'd always been the one who was somehow more coolheaded and less emotionally invested. Was it possible that I wasn't as cold as I thought? Could it be I, too, was capable of feeling such warmth and affection towards someone? Suddenly, my female friends' vulnerability made sense to me, and it felt good to know I had a real, probably-breakable heart.

But who knows what a "real" romance would be like? One with all the exciting feelings and a healthy foundation? People seem to take them for granted all around me. Or are most romances every bit as shallow? Do most people just not recognize the shallowness of their relationships? Is that why divorce is so common? Is that why gay men rarely have relationships that last beyond a couple of years? Because selfless dedication to a relationship even when you fall "out of love" just isn't part of today's Western culture? Or is there more to it?

Regardless, I now knew I wanted the kind of romance where you actually feel "in love" and build the relationship. One with the foundation and the romantic feelings, a wholeness of attraction with a true friendship to boot. Not a fantasy, "perfect" friend to just feel giddy with, but yes, someone with whom everything else melts away, at least in a sense. Not in a silly, codependent or teen romance way. I don't think I have many illusions about everything always being rosy or the romantic flame always burning brightly. But I'm thinking of a relationship in which you remain whole and confident, your true self but deeply, fully connected and sharing, even vulnerable to an almost uncomfortable yet somehow comfortable degree...is this a foolish notion to think a relationship should be like that? Somehow, it doesn't feel like one.

I could choose to try to find such a "wholeness" of attraction, connection, and emotional bonding, but I sometimes doubt whether I'll find it in either gender, but I try to remember that everyone is an individual, in addition to being part of a demographic, so maybe I'll find someone and allow myself to experience it.

Nevertheless, most often, I feel OK about not having that and recognize it is what I am choosing. But this acceptance is, or has been, both relieving and disconcerting. And I've not come by it easily. And I'm not sure I fully embrace it. I've had my non-contendedly-single moments, especially after these brief romantic flings which brought out such a desire in me which, with the passing of time, fades again into the background.

When the romantic feelings are fresh in my soul, they seem ultimately important, the richest of emotions and experience, and when they're distant, they often seem somewhat superfluous, fanciful and delirious. Could they be all of the above in different applications? What are these feelings all about? What do I want? What's most important to me in life? Do I really have to choose between mutually exclusive options?

But look at me, going off into more heady analysis. I wanted to share a little about my personal experience with romantic feelings, shallow or brief as it may be. But that's another entry...

On to Part 2.

Back to Preface.

Romance 101, Preface

Personal Story

I've had very limited experience in the arena of romance. I'm somewhat of a novice, really. My title is not intended as a declaration that I am about to expound to you, the reader, the basics of romantic attraction and relationships, but rather a declaration that what is to follow is my notes from my own beginner-level experience in romance. Because I'm almost exclusively attracted to guys, and have beliefs which conflict with acting on that desire in most ways people think of as "romantic", I have had to rely on other people's experiences to gain an understanding of romance. I have had little experience. I didn't really live any sappy teenage love stories, or endure the vulnerability and loss of "break-ups", the blindness of infatuation, the thrill of a first kiss, or the warmth of mutually expressed romantic affection as a teenager. At least, not the way most people did. I felt some intimations of the feelings, but I wasn't "Mr. Discipline" as much as people thought I was. I just didn't want what everyone else wanted as much as I was "supposed to". Though I can pontificate on the principles of true love and what romance means intellectually, the very experience of romance is still relatively new to me, which feels a bit embarrassing to admit, but hey, it's the way it is.

Though I feel I've been pretty fair in my presentation of my conundrums regarding dating girls and feeling unmotivated to be with a girl, or why it seems, at least, so different from being with a guy, I wanted to throw something out there which I haven't done very clearly before: personal experience to illustrate. I will not go into the personal details of any relationships. That just seems inappropriate, even on an anoymous blog. But I will expound some feelings and emotions and a few lessons learned thus far.

No, there's not a lot of religious or spiritual discussion in these thoughts. These thoughts are somewhat raw, natural, concerning here and now. I have found it cathartic to examine such feelings and thoughts without discounting or downplaying them in light of faith or doctrine. Faith plays a role. Belief tempers the emotions and thoughts over time. But whether I allowed my faith to waiver, or whether I simply dabbled in the present at the exclusion of eternity, or whatever the reason and however faith plays a role or does not, the emotions and the questions are real and deserving of attention, in my opinion. And my opinion matters in this little world I call my blog.

I may or may not have more to say on the matter afterwards. Publishing this feels like getting something off my chest.

I may or may not allow comments. I think there's been a lot of discussion already on my blog about the whole "dilemma", and seeing how what I've written may be slightly more personal than what I've published in the past, I may not think it appropriate to have a drawn-out, intellectual debate over it or receive suggestions on how to deal with it.

I just wanted to share what I have experienced in the past, remnants of which I still grapple with somewhat today. It's long, mind you. Only the most faithful of my small blog readership will probably make it through. It's not particularly colorful or fun in its style. It's just conversational and straightforward, I think, in my fairly typical fashion. It's also a rought draft. I may refine it. I may leave it alone. But I wanted to publish it here anyway.

So if you're interested, read on to the additional portions I'll post after this.

02 March 2008

The Virtues of Manscaping

It's a beautiful thing, manscaping. Oh, the fresh feeling of being newly fur-free. It's refreshing, really. Leg hairs stop getting pulled by certain pants. Foot hair no longer caught by socks. I'm just going to say it: even the tangles of certain natural, daily activities involving delicate paper can be improved with a little trimming. I know, I know, not a pretty picture, but don't knock it 'til you've tried it. Armpits stink less. Eyebrows remain properly individual. Nose hairs stay neatly tucked away and make breathing freer and nose-blowing more efficient. There are so many benefits, some of which don't really apply to one such as myself.

No wonder I've sold a few of my friends (of various persuasions) on the virtues of manscaping. It might be kind of a "metro" thing to do, but come on, guys, girls have been doing more than this to a greater extent, and you've probably barely recognized the attention to detail it has required. Is it really too much to ask to keep your body forest a little trimmed and groomed?

There are also purely social reasons, aside from the personal benefits. I mean, some girls (and gay guys) like burly men who barely have the need for clothes, but I'd venture a guess that most girls (and gay guys) appreciate a little deforestation. Just not so much that your legs are smoother than theirs. That's just not right.

So give it a chance. Don't be ashamed. If you need motivational help, see this web site.

Free-Spirited Moments

*** Published, unfinished, 27 Oct 2010 ***

Moments, that's all I get. Usually part of a day every few months. It's nice. Feeling that sense of just loving and experiencing what life has to offer, letting go of reservations, etc...

I Am Not a Piece of Meat!

At the gym, it really grosses me out when some random guy looks at me like a piece of meat. Part of me would like to flatter myself by saying this happens often, but if you know me, you know I'm not especially meaty, so it doesnt. But every once in a while, I apparently strike the fancy of some over-sexualized guy, probably with a pedophilic streak, and it makes me want to vomit a little when someone looks at me like they want me to be their loveslave, especially without ever having talked to me. It's so ridiculously sleazy. It's not really that it makes me feel gross about myself or anything. It just doesn't help their chances of me ever wanting to interact with them in any way.

Don't get me wrong, I admire beauty from afar and have occasionally thought, "Oh wow, I'd like to have fun with that," but that's in a more playful, knuckle-biting way, and I would not actually follow through on it. At least, not without dinner and a movie first. *wink* OK, so actually I'm a prude. All talk.

But I'm talking about the "I want to do all kinds of nasty things to you right now and I think you want me to and I don't care what your name is and I have five STDs" look. It's a touch different from flirtatious glances or "I'm interested in you" eye contact. Maybe these predatorish folks just haven't mastered the art of eye contact and body language. Shall I give them the benefit of the doubt? ...Nah! But whatever the reason, ew.

Straight Mancrushes

I think a straight, married coworker of mine may have a mancrush on me. It's kind of cute. And fun. Because we can kind of sort of say flirty things occasionally without it meaning a darn thing. It makes our female coworkers raise an eyebrow, but I then remind them, "Hey, you make 'sexy' faces at each other, so don't go judging."

Now, a "mancrush" is not like a regular crush. Straight men can have mancrushes, as can gay ones. It's not necessarily sexual or romantic at all. It's like a "friend crush", as one female friend once put it. I've known a few straight friends who have had mancrushes. You can identify them by the almost giddy demeanor when they're around this (usually new) acquaintance and even the occasional remark or glance that could possibly be described as flirty, but not in the usual sexual way, or at least not in a way they'd actually ever consider following through on. Mancrushes don't always include flirtation, though. They may just seem extra happy to see you every time you show up, want to exchange numbers, talk to you a lot more than they talk to other male coworkers, etc.

But I actually enjoy straight guy mancrushes with the mild flirtation element 'cause you can sort of flirt in a completely benign way without worrying whether they will want to follow through with anything 'cause hey, they're straight, and you're not interested 'cause hey, they're straight.

Fun times.

Too Many FTPs

On a ridiculously shallow note, looking around the gym, I realize there are a great many FTPs in this world. And it saddens me just a little. For those of you not in the know on what an "FTP" is, don't worry, something like 4 people are in the know.

I'm Almost Bi?

So I read an entry on ImpossibleK's blog about Epstein's Sexual Orientation Test and decided to take it. It's short and sweet and probably not entirely accurate, but it's fun nonetheless.

The results show two numbers: a mean and a range, being your orientation and your flexibility, to maybe oversimplify.

My Mean Sexual Orientation is 8.5 (on a scale from 0-13, 0 being exclusively heterosexual, 13 being exclusively homosexual)
My Sexual Orientation Range is 3

Now, the questions obviously leave some factors not completely explained, and the results may or may not be totally indicative for most people, but I'm definitely on the homo side, and yet my somewhat narrow range could perhaps offer a glimpse into why the occasional girl actually turns my head...for a moment. *shrug and grin*