27 January 2011

Heteros do it too (and what I really think about most therapy of homosexuality), Part 5

Back to Part 4...

What if we told straight men that going through only two or three years was "giving up" and that it may take many years for the changes to set in, that it would take finding the "right man", and that in the meantime, they had holding therapy and quality friendly time with women to fill their needs in healthy ways, but that they were not to date them? What if he were told that "infatuation" he feels for women on occasion is unimportant and but a hint of the lifelong intimacy he could find with a man? Would we be correct to believe that those who changed had proved that the process can and does work, that they are pioneers of change, or would it only prove that, given enough time and programming, you can convince people of just about anything? Does it even matter which it is as long as they feel 'happy' in the life they find?

The more clever purveyors of the theories insist same-sex attraction doesn't need to be cured: it needs to be fulfilled in healthy ways and is a very natural sign of the need for intimacy all men have. Nevermind that you could say something akin for hetero men who have failed to recognize or seek true intimacy with women in their lives, instead substituting sexual gratification or lust for real intimacy, perhaps partially because they've had no respected role models to teach them how. I suspect that for those who focus on developing their supposedly latent heterosexuality by building their masculine identity, these questions might be interesting but are disregarded as the musings of one who "hasn't experienced it firsthand".

Speaking of experiencing firsthand, I'd be interested to know what it's like on the other side of a mixed-orientation marriage. Maybe, if I lived in that society where same-sex relationships are the norm, I could date, fall in love with, and potentially marry a straight man who was trying to change and be homosexual or at least function in a same-sex relationship to live according to his beliefs. I've been attracted to a small handful of hetero guys, and the thought that one would be trying to change to be with me might be flattering and would probably increase my love for him more as I tried to be the kind of partner he needed to make our relationship work, saw him as needing my help and patience, and educated myself to know his needs and prepare for the challenges ahead. If he seemed really interested in me, enjoyed physical affection, even making out (the mechanics all worked, and he seemed to get passionate), we could talk in a meaningful way, he was honest and open with me...then maybe I'd try it.

I'm sitting here actually thinking I might, especially if I was feeling pretty fed up with trying to find the traits and values I wanted in a gay man. I mean, yeah, if an attractive straight guy who was "my type" and was trying hard to prepare himself for a meaningful same-sex relationship, and he had been sober from women for a while, I'd love to believe that was possible. And it wouldn't matter to me if many men had later gone on to fall back into being attracted to women and had affairs: I'd trust my man to do it right, to do what it takes. I tend to take the experiences of others into account and learn from those, but if I see discrepancies between my situation and theirs, I'm typically inclined to learn from those and adapt while trying it 'another way'. There's something very refreshing and intellectually stimulating about being part of a potentially pioneering group.

I might even acquiesce to my man engaging in holding therapy done safely and to quality time with girls in safe, group settings...eh, but there's where the analogy breaks down a bit for me because there's something inherently different about being with the guys, even other gay guys, where we just relate in ways a typical guy and girl don't. Gatherings of gay guys aren't big ol' orgies: they're just guys' nights, often with froofier food and less grunting, maybe.

Assuming Straightie cared deeply about me, appreciated me, even enjoyed sexual intimacy with me, and loved spending time with me, then I'd be interested in making it work, if I'd fallen for him, even without that sun igniting in his soul as I'd felt, or his heart freefalling, or him wanting to be sexual with me nearly as much as I would with him (in a soul-bonding way, not a simply down-and-dirty way). But I question whether I should deal with it or should have to, or anyone else, for that matter. It seems a bit sad, to me, for someone I care about to be in a relationship with someone who doesn't feel for them what I've now felt, if I know the person I care about has felt it for the other person. But is the less "in love" love really 'less' or just...different? Relationships with completely equal kinds and intensity of "love" are probably rare even among straight folk, and being open to experience it for myself, if the opportunity comes, without deciding ahead of time what kind of "love" I can or will feel. There's maybe no way to know until you've been there, right?

...Continue to Part 6.

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