So he says, and he's reportedly threatening legal action over being defamed as "gay". Goodness gracious, has anyone bothered to ask him, then, if he "experiences same-sex attraction"? I mean, everyone knows "gay" means "actively seeking same-sex romantic and/or sexual companionship or partnership", which has nothing to do with arousing but non-sexual rub-downs by attractive, young luggage assistants for 10 days in Europe. Getting touched by a hot stud isn't "sexual" if nobody ever climaxes, never mind whether certain manparts are "at attention" because we all know that just "happens" and needn't be considered "erotic". Why don't people get that?
***waiting for the one or two of you who just said, "Amen!" to notice my tongue firmly planted in my cheek...***
Don't get me wrong: I, myself, have insisted that just because Mr. Perky says, "I'm ready!" doesn't mean you're intent on going at it, nor that what you're doing is necessarily "sexual". For example, I got all hot and bothered once while sitting on a full couch watching a movie with my mostly exposed arm pressed against the really buff, mostly exposed arm of an acquaintance with a hot physique, but you could hardly say sitting on the couch next to each other was sexual activity. Had he made a move (even if there hadn't been 5 other people there), I would've pushed him off and yelled "rape!" because my heart and brain didn't really want to go there, regardless of Mr. Perky obeying only my raging hormones. But when we're talking about nude massages daily, with genital caressing and persistent arousal throughout (a claim reportedly made by the hired young man in a phone interview with a well-known blogger), that's a whole different story, folks.
This is a bit much to defend, assuming anything the escort is saying is actually true, which is likely since Dr. Rekers, himself, hasn't denied it and has evaded clarification by using words to which he probably ascribes non-standard definitions, such as "sexual" (messy), "inappropriate" (unable to be justified against the inerrant word of Baptism using contortions of motives and pliable word definitions), and "gay" (Pride prancer).
In all seriousness...or at least sincerity, I can easily believe Rekers doesn't have "sex" ("that which finishes in spilled seed") with his escort(s). I can believe he considers their massage activity "non-sexual" by his own conscience-easing definition (as above). I can believe he hoped to teach the young man the joy of leaving the homosexual lifestyle (and instead paying for massage by hot young guys for the rest of his life). I can believe he hoped to share the "gospel" with the young man (ask any repressed BYU boy: it's much more comforting to test boundaries with someone who shares your beliefs).
I know it sounds like crazy excuses to a lot of people, but most people don't "get" the mind of a repressed, conservatively religious homosexual. He may very well be sincere. Now, if what the escort claims really occurred, it is certainly not "normal" behavior. But what's "normal" isn't always right or best or healthy. Sometimes, what's abnormal is healthy or helpful for someone in abnormal circumstances. Truly. I can even believe he might not view nude massages including genitalia as "inappropriate", which brings me to my concern. Yes, there's a point to all of this rambling!
I think one big reason I'm so interested in this story is that while Dr. Rekers' justifications or "explanations" sound foolish to many people, they're not entirely unlike lines of thinking I've heard among certain individuals in gay LDS circles. While part of me wants to defend him and tell people to stop being so presumptuous in assuming he actually had sex with the guy, as if nobody would ever hire an escort and not do the nasty with them, another part of me is concerned that some friend or acquaintance of mine may, one day, find himself in the kind of mess this man is in, either not seeing how very abnormal his behavior is or lying about secret behaviors in a double life (again, assuming what the escort describes actually happened).
Despite being skeptical of certain underlying theories, I don't oppose certain practices, such as (theoretically) therapeutic holding, which may seem "weird" to people who don't understand the circumstances, context, and underlying theory. And to be clear, "holding therapy" is a totally different ballpark from genital massages. I don't think everyone who subscribes to reparative theories or certain therapies of homosexuality is simply justifying getting his jollies and calling it "male bonding". There are practices which don't involve odd behavior and which may be helpful in certain ways despite my skepticism of the theories behind them. But some acquaintances have exerted so much effort immersing themselves in repressive lines of thought, or seeking out contact with other men in ways which definitely bring motives into question, that I worry they'll be lulled into the kind of self-deception which heaps on layers of masks and eventually reveals itself decades down the road in scandals like this. Let's just make sure we're trying to be honest and accountable with ourselves and with others and trying to keep our motives in check, OK boys? OK.
Enough about this. I'm going to the gym to hang out at the hot tub for an hour then sit in the locker room sauna facing the showers for another hour to connect with the men who chat with me. Then I'll watch an uplifting movie and spoon semi-nude with a friend for some intimate, non-sexual bonding time, and we'll caress each other while discussing how there is no joy in same-sex relationships...
Note: FYI, NARTH has released a statement on the issue.
Update: I couldn't NOT post this video from CNN's AC360: