03 March 2010

Moho Madness (Maybe He's Right About "SSA" Guys)

An acquaintance has been blogging regularly (perhaps even incessantly *wink*) about his trouble with "SSA" guys and how straight guys are so much better at friendship and so much less fickle, etc (though he seems to have softened his language a bit). I've been discussing it with him to try to identify what's causing his distress, but after a recent discussion in his comments, I just burned out and let it go.

After a couple of recent experiences, though, I've thought, "Screw it, you know what? 'SSA' guys (particularly the ones trying to reconcile their homosexuality with their religious beliefs) often are a pain in the butt compared to guys from other demographics." This seems especially true during the first couple of years of figuring their stuff out, though it varies and can be extended, particularly for those who have moved into the mohaven of Utah and are therefore learning to grapple with the ample opportunity to...interact...with other mohos.

It's not that there's no possible explanation for "SSA" guys being different: they're wrestling with some pretty intense and eternally consequential questions above and beyond the normal "coming out" social pressures. But explanation or not, SSA guys (myself included) have their quirks and annoying commonalities as a general population. Many are conflicted beyond belief, volatile as can be, self-loathing and self-punishing for having impure thoughts (let alone "acting out"), painfully self-righteous when they think they've got it figured it out, toying with extremes because they don't see any middle ground, horny as hell, repeating cycles of lustful abandon and pious repentance, so unsure of what they want that their mind changes daily, and/or fickle about friendships, dropping friends right and left either because they haven't learned homosexuality isn't all you need to build a friendship and realize these shiny new friendships aren't what they thought they'd be after all, or because they can't cope with pressures and temptations, or they're ashamed of what they have done, or they're not ashamed but refuse to face it when they're "caught" in secretive patterns of compartmentalized behavior, or whatever. All of this adds up to a rather exasperating-to-keep-up-with bunch of dudes (and occasional dudettes).

Then I thought, "But hey, I know a lot of great guys who have gone through some of that and moved on, and we all go through some of it to some degree. And I'm glad people stuck with me and are sticking with me through my more volatile or confusing times." Besides, every subculture has its frustrating or unhealthy aspects. I can learn to look past those to the individual and appreciate the good they offer rather than blanketing them in the behaviors of their peers.

Some recent conversations and experiences have sparked these thoughts, most recently the realization that a Facebook "friend" had deleted me (and several mutual friends). I normally notice the drop in number of friends, but only a very few times have I noticed who it was who dropped me. This moho madness is just commonplace enough that when I notice I've lost a Facebook "friend", one of the first things I think of is, "OK, what moho do I know of who's been acting insecure, self-righteous, extreme, or just generally all over the place?" Sure enough, I sometimes find that someone has done a purge. In this case, he may have purged more than mohos, and it may have nothing to do with his own moho volatility. I recognize that. But I have to be honest: it makes me want to cleanse my life of some "SSA guys" whom I suspect of being less sincere than I initially thought or who are particularly volatile-acting.

So to that blogger friend who's been railing on "SSA" guys and their friendship fickleness, I think I do kinda get it. And I can think of a couple of people I may not approve if they try to add me back (not that I think they will) because in my world, people don't deliberately shut out or discard friends and then reconnect whenever it's convenient without a really good explanation. Even with a good explanation, I'm not likely to play along multiple times. I'll forgive, but that doesn't mean I'll play the role of dutiful doormat by giving you the opportunity to do it again and again. I like board games and night games, but some games I refuse to play along with. Sometimes, you've gotta lose friends to learn that it's not everyone else's problem.

Still, I don't believe all "SSA" guys are like that, nor am I about to eliminate all of them from my life to avoid those few negative interactions. I try not to make rash or generalized decisions based on emotional reactions or transitory feelings, so I'll probably just keep letting everyone else do the deleting as they see fit rather than getting all defensive and beating them to the punch. It might be annoying or make me roll my eyes when I find another moho with whom I used to have 50 mutual friends and now have 2 or fewer, but it's usually not particularly hurtful when I'm among those purged, which has only happened very few times. I try to remember that people going through volatile and confusing times need love and support, too, and though I may not be in a place to offer the kind they want or need, I'll try to avoid shutting them out any more than I would someone who isn't part of the "suspect" population. My dramoho quota is full: newbies need not apply, but I've become a little attached to even a few of the as-of-yet volatile lads I already know, and even though we may naturally be more distant now that we don't share the religious views we used to, I care about many of those cusses to varying degrees. No need to push them away unless they push first, and unless it's a sudden reversal, "not pulling me in" doesn't count as "pushing me away".

Oh, the madness of mohodom. Sometimes I swear it rivals Wonderland.

Unrelated Note: Some of you may have observed that I've posted a lot the last couple of days. And yes, I have several more posts started. I think I started 3 drafts as offshoots of this post, alone. This isn't entirely unusual, but I'm kind of on one, so I'm trying to balance between pacing myself and getting it all out before I lose interest in finishing them. Keep up if you will, skim what you don't care about, comment where you can, but I'm just sayin': I'll probably be blatherin' on for the next few days.


MoHoHawaii said...

For Pete's sake, get a boyfriend already!!!!! You'll be amazed at how having a steady guy will calm your demons.

If you had a steady guy in your life, someone who was yours and yours alone, I bet you wouldn't be counting up Facebook defriending incidents. I bet you wouldn't be forming mini-crushes on unreliable, highly conflicted MoHos.

I recall (I think) that you said you don't want a boyfriend. Maybe that's the case. Maybe not so much. Maybe you'd like it more than you think.

Just my $0.02.

(By boyfriend I do not mean 'sex partner.' I mean a person with whom you share a mutual romantic connection and a person together with whom you could imagine building a life.)

El Genio said...

I don't think I've ever been the victim of a moho purge (thank you California) but I did conduct my own little prop 8 purge ;)

Max Power said...

"SSA" guys are lame. Gay guys are awesome. :P

Original Mohomie said...

Simmer down, there, Hawaii. I'm not tearing my hair out over SSA antics, nor am I gnashing my teeth each time my friend count drops. Most of the time I just pause, think, "Hm, another one bites the dust. Wonder who it was this time? I guess I'll probably find out in a few months somehow," and move on. This was a case of someone I was surprised had done it...but not surprised at the same time.

But yes, mini-crushes on unreliable, highly conflicted MoHos are not rewarding.

As for a boyfriend, well, maybe I'll write more about that. See what you've done? Another post in the works. You're feeding a monster you can't control.

El Genio, I know a few others who did the same. :-)

Max, oh, you want me to go off about gay dudes, I'll go off about gay dudes...

darkdrearywilderness said...

Hehe Max beat me to what I was going to say...my problem must be that I'm trying to make friends with conflicted SSA guys, and I should give regular gay guys a try instead :D

Max Power said...

P.S. I wish to echo MoHoHawaii's first sentence.

I have nothing against being friends with SSA guys (I still have quite a few), but it's so much more relaxing to be around confident gay guys.

Of course, being as how this is O-Mo's blog, I should probably add several paragraphs precisely defining what my definitions of "SSA" and "Gay" are. ;)