NARTH’s new journal is not a new study

Seeing some of the press out on the recent NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) monograph, one might think the paper is a new study which demonstrates something that was once unclear.

Not so. The first issue of the journal is actually a three part paper which reviews a variety of research studies mixed in with website postings and newspaper articles. There is no new research in the 121 page monograph. The three parts correspond to three claims the NARTH authors, James Phelan, Neil Whitehead, and Philip Sutton, attribute to the American Psychological Association. The claims are:

1. There has been no conclusive or convincing evidence that sexual orientation may be changed through reorientation therapy.

2. Efforts to change sexual orientation are harmful and can lead to greater self-hatred, depression, and other self-destructive behaviors.

3. There is no greater pathology in the homosexual population than in the general population.

To achieve the stated purpose, one would need to limit the review to the highest quality research which directly address each of the points. Particularly on the first two points, the paper does not do this, but rather includes any paper, or even opinion piece which supports the claims. In a subsequent article, I will review the paper in a bit more detail. Suffice to say for now, that there is nothing new in this paper.

I will note one problem that jumped out at me immediately. The NARTH report begins with the claim that scientific evidence leads to

a singular conclusion: Homosexuality is not innate, immutable or without significant risk to medical, psychological, and relational health. (Emphasis in the original)

However, one aspect of this “singular conclusion” – the claim homosexuality is not innate – is not covered in the body of the paper. Despite the fact that NARTH concludes that homosexuality develops after a person is born, they provide no review of the evidence which addresses that topic. From this statement and others, one could get the impression that the conclusion was decided before the review took place.

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  • David Blakeslee

    Advocacy begins in the assumptions; it effects the selection of article to review…it leads to the conclusions that we prefer.

    If Narth were to be more thorough and scientific….

    What would the title of the proposed article be?

    A Comprehensive Review of Same Sex Attraction: Biological Precursors, Environmental Triggers, Maliability and Adaptability.

  • David Blakeslee

    A Comprehensive Review of Same Sex Attraction: Biological Precursors, Environmental Triggers, Maliability and Adaptability.

    i like it.

  • Michael Bussee

    To achieve the stated purpose, one would need to limit the review to the highest quality research which directly address each of the points. Particularly on the first two points, the paper does not do this, but rather includes any paper, or even opinion piece which supports the claims.

    Say it isn’t so! Not NARTH! They’re “scientific”! They would never select “any paper, or even opinion piece which supports their claims” or make “singular conclusions” with “no review of the evidence which addresses that topic.”

    I can’t believe it. Also, they would never cite “experts” like Lively, Cameron, Schoenewolf or Berger in support of their prejudice — no matter how unscientific the “research” or abhorrent their “solutions” might be.

  • Lynn David

    What else is new?

  • Michael Bussee

    As the French would say, when it comes to NARTH, “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose…”

  • Michael Bussee

    From this statement and others, one could get the impression that the conclusion was decided before the review took place.

    That’s kind like what I have been saying about NARTH, right Dr. T?

  • concerned

    No Michael, the science is beginning to catch up to what NARTH has been saying for years.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    concerned – Sorry, can’t let that go.

    What science and which thing NARTH has been saying for years?

    If you have access to the journal, please point out which science is new in the paper?

    concerned, doesn’t it concern you that NARTH makes a statement which they say relates to research but then provides no research? (Ho is not innate). NARTH has been saying this for years with science moving the other way. The jury is out but that makes NARTH’s statement even more irresponsible.

  • concerned

    Warren,

    It is time to refer to all of the scientific research that is coming out looking at brain chemistry, addictions, and the influence of trauma and family of origin not just that that suggests the someone is born with SSA. This does not fit for everyone and should never be used as a basis to begin ones understanding of why someone may find themselves attracked to the same-sex. Most of the more recent research suggests a combination of many factors and therefore it is wrong to focus on only this one and condemn or put down anyone who is looking at the influence of another. That is not the way science is meant to work.

    I agree we do need solid scientific evidence to support all of our claims, but the use of sarcastic and defaming statements such as I have heard many times from people who only want us to believe that this is an innate trait should not be allowed either. That is simply a method to try to shut down any legitimate discussion. Personally I have begun to ignore such voices for the damage that they are doing. This reminds me so much of the non-scientific push that was used by gay activists for years to try to convince the generally non-educated public that 10% or the population was gay, even though the science was saying something very different. Or now we have the gay gene myth that is repeated over and over again to try to convince us that science has found that SSA is innate when in fact no such genetic link has been confirmed.

    Now we see the reverse arguements being used in saying that “Change is not possible”, because no scientific evidence supports this. The problem is that we are not willing to put money into this kind of research, but instead continue to dump dollars into the search for a gay gene. What a useless waste when there are many people who are living with unwanted SSA and would like to know more than anything else they can live happily with some reduced SSA and still be good fathers or mothers or husbands or wives to there existing partners instead of being told they will never be happy until they embrace the misguided idea that they have always been that way. Especially for those that know that abuse or neglect likely had a much large role to play in their self identity that did there genes.

    There is much evidence available if you want to see it. If you do not want to understand how these factor are at play I suspect it does not matter that they exist. Sorry Warren, I can not go along with the idea that the innate arguement is the only one we can examine. It does not hold true in all cases. It may be more inborn in some than for others, but that does not make it right to claim that change is not possible for anyone. For this reason I do believe that NARTH plays a very important role in the real science behind this debate, even though they also must be accountable for the research they are presenting, just as those on the other side must be held accountable. If we want science to truly move forward I will need to see more of an willingness to support science that looks at the change issue with an open mind.

  • Mary

    Thank you Concerned for those remarks. I, too, am get tired of the gay rhetoric and the idea that no one can change mantra.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Concerned and Mary – I am not interested in a debate; rather a discussion. When you talk about science catching up to NARTH, I am asking what science?

    What brain studies? The NARTH paper does not even address the innateness argument. So I am not sure what you are talking about.

    I did not say I thought homosexuality was inborn. This is not an either-or issue. To say that NARTH does not deal with data does not say I think non-NARTH opinions are correct.

    To start a discussion, please simply refer to what science is catching up to NARTH.

  • Mary

    Warren,

    I’m just tired of the constant barage of attacks on NARTH. Seems almost like a vendetta. Granted non one group either side is 100% accurate nor noble. Just really tired of the bickering over it – not debating but bickering. I’m really tired of gay people telling ex gays and ex gay groups or therapists what THEY should be doing. I would really like gay people to give the same consideration to others that they are asking for themselves. Gays for the most part don;t want honesty. They want only evidence, talk, speech, articles that say ex gays don’t exist, ex gays are unhappy, ex gay therapy is a sham etc…

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Mary – I won’t debate whether people are “fair” to NARTH. I am asking and regularly ask for research studies, data, etc. If NARTH produced something truly peer-reviewed in a journal that wasn’t filled with its own board members and authored by the editorial board of the journal, I would applaud them.

    If you are tired of NARTH getting hammered, call NARTH and tell them to stop being an advocacy organization and be a scientific one. Or stop claiming they are a science organization and be up front with their advocacy.

  • concerned

    Warren,

    I do not have the time to list the numberous scientific articles on brain chemistry and addiction and the influence of abuse and trauma on the development of ones identity at this time. I would suggest reading “In the Realm of Hungary Ghosts” by Gabor Matte as a starting point. He is a medical doctor who has worked with addiction for much of his life. It may not support everything that NARTH is saying, but it definitely challenges the whole innateness of human behaviour.

    Otherwise, there is not much more I feel I can say to convince you that neither side of this discussion should be give preference over the other and accusing NARTH of being unscientific and ingnoring the unscientific rhetoric of the progay position is just that.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Does the book deal with sexuality?

    You are going from a particular to a general case. I have no problem with an interactive view; in fact it is the one I hold regarding most human behavior.

    I have for the past 10 years critique the “pro-gay” position and will continue to do so when science is misused. So I have no idea what blog you are reading.

  • concerned

    Warren,

    I do not refer to blogs for my information other than your own. I am looking at scientific writings and critics on so called scientific research such as the work done by LeVay and Hamer. That had such an initial influence on the general acceptance of the gay gene idea and yet have been shown to be lacking in many ways. I realize there are other studies that have come out, but so many of them have such a narrow focus that I do not understand how anyone can see them as legitimate in answer these kinds of questions. I guess what I have come to realize is that this is a much more complex issue than what some still want to claim as far as the genetics or the environmental influence is concerned and as a result it is unacceptable to claim that one has a more solid scientific reasoning than the other if there is a strong political influence on either.

    Please do not try to tell me that there is no political influence on the need to claim an innateness to SSA. I can also appreciate that NARTH cannot claim superiority in the direction they have taken over the years. I just want to see that if you are not allowing NARTHs position to be considered then do not accept the alternative without challenge.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    If NARTH produced something truly peer-reviewed in a journal that wasn’t filled with its own board members and authored by the editorial board of the journal, I would applaud them.

    If you are tired of NARTH getting hammered, call NARTH and tell them to stop being an advocacy organization and be a scientific one. Or stop claiming they are a science organization and be up front with their advocacy.

    Warren, isn’t it a tad difficult for NARTH to do that, given the battles they have fought with the APA over legitimacy for a therapeutic paradigm that differs from what APA tends to put forward? In other words, NARTH formed out of this frustration, according to my understanding. Are there enough “peers” out there to do such a review? You would know far better than I.

    APA looks an awful lot like an advocacy group from some angles to my eyes, FWIW. We both know there are beaucoup problems in the scientific field with many kinds of biases. It seems to me we have to always be ready to apply a filter to what passes for “proof” or lack thereof. Neither NARTH nor APA or any of their cronies should get a pass in this regard.

    “Possible” is a mighty big word. As in “With God all things are possible.”

    I understand the need for you to plow some new ground here rather than replow the old. I appreciate it. Sorry it causes you to have to remind people of your entire spectrum of thought and your past work. But it might help to occasionally bring some of that into the discussion, don’t ya think? Otherwise, it could look like a vendetta against NARTH or Scott Lively, etc. :)

  • Evan

    concerned & Warren,

    Your replies don’t contradict each other as much as it seems. I think they complete each other heuristically. That is, your replies can generate debate, if that was your intention. Anyway, I want to write about one issue that I think you are aware of, just to make sure it was written. In fact, most of this stuff has already been said a number of times, just making sure it makes the borders between passion and monomania even less clear… :)

    In the light of some recent data discussed here too (Safron et al 2007, Savic & Lindström 2008) someone could make a case for early trauma contributing to some degree of feelings for one’s same sex in men. Both studies showed that a brain region involved in fear and anxiety plays a role in sexual arousal in men and is more intensely activated in gay men. Those who support a great role for post-natal environmental factors (like the Narth you mentioned) could make a case for how traumatic events like paternal or peers rejection or maternal abusive/aggressive parenting could impact the development of one’s amygdalae in particularly sensitive kids. The results in the literature on this issue are mixed, though – some found differences in Amy atrophy resulting in mood-related problems after repeated trauma, some didn’t. But we have yet to see any study that says people who went through traumatic events report significant changes in sexual feelings. Arguably, they may not report it.

    I suppose that based on these recent studies it can be made a case for anxiety playing a hetero-inhibiting role in male sexuality, but if that is correct then gay men who undergo treatment for anxiety disorders should experience reduced same-sex attractions. It would be interesting to see a study on that, if it matches the abovementioned results. If researcher’s findings converge on this area, then theoretically anti-anxiety medication should dampen amygdala response. It should also come with a heavy package of secondary effects, some of them related to sex.

    However, that probably wouldn’t create opposite-sex attractions, so I suppose if anyone wants to try and study that should have to choose men with bisexual fantasies and behaviour to make sure they measure objectively if reducing anxiety does reduce homosexual feelings in behavioural bisexuals and if aggressive priming or assertive skills promote heterosexual feelings.

    Here’s an idea for a study. Maybe you two could team up for this one: Select a number of men who report having a bisexual life. Expose them to sexual stimuli (chosen by them), in a few sessions, in order to make sure that they do have measurable bisexual patterns of penis arousal at least in different days, depending on mood or particular people they are attracted to (this is to make sure you’ve got research subjects with clear bisexual potential, because I think you won’t get funding if you ask them to have sex in the lab). Perform a brainscan study on them and record their brain activity during reported both-sex arousal. After that, put them on anti-anxiety medication for a short period of time, provided they agree with the temporary side effects (If they didn’t agree to take the medication right from the start, you might have to wait for the more benign XBD173 anxiolytic to become available). Then Phase 2: put them in an fMRI scanner and ask them to report how attracted they feel subjectively to images of the people they reported to be most attractive to them (both sexes) and measure their brain activity again. Finally, compare the data on arousal on a person-to-person basis, not as a group. If everything goes well technically, then you should be able to see: (1) how does arousal work in non-medicated bisexually behaving men on each sex and preferred attractive person, and (2) if anti-anxiety medication can produce a measurable reduction in homosexual brain arousal in the studied men that is also reported subjectively by them. If you get positive results, the beer is on the Narth guys.

    But you might want to find some billionaire willing to fund this first — if there’s anyone left right now — because I doubt it will get any money from bodies that don’t agree with the idea of testing a hypothesis on changing the direction of sexual feelings using medication.

  • concerned

    Evan,

    I do not even think I would agree with doing a study using medication. I think we already rely much to heavily on the Pharmecutical companies to solve our personal problems. What about changing ones stress patterns or methods of coping with stress as a way of lowering ones anxiety levels. What about prayer or meditation? How acceptable do you think that would be as a way to reduce or redirect ones sexual feelings. Just asking!

  • Evan

    concerned,

    I gave you a reply, but it may take a little while to get posted.

  • Evan

    @concerned

    Warren may be away from the “W” dashboard, so here’s what I said:

    I agree with you that taking pills is not the best way to deal with problems. The study suggestion was meant to test the hypothesis that reducing anxiety can also reduce same-sex feelings, if a few people agreed to go through the procedures (and, maybe, if an anxiolytic without benzodiazepine-like effects were available). I imagine people would be divided on this, if it worked. Some would consider unnatural and not worthy to live a medicated lifestyle, whereas others may give it a try.

    Anything would be better – prayer and meditation included – provided that they can really keep anxiety at bay. I’m not a professional, so I cannot tell you what is the entire variety of therapeutic interventions that can effectively control anxiety, but I’ve seen some research that shows religious belief/attendance and meditation contribute to better mental health. I’m not sure they would have the same power to reduce the brain’s autonomic sexual response as a chemical acting targeted on the brain. But they would sure come without any side effects!

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I’m really tired of gay people telling ex gays and ex gay groups or therapists what THEY should be doing. I would really like gay people to give the same consideration to others that they are asking for themselves. Gays for the most part don;t want honesty. They want only evidence, talk, speech, articles that say ex gays don’t exist, ex gays are unhappy, ex gay therapy is a sham etc…

    Mary,

    Let me address the specifics of your frustration.

    Gay people, for the most part, have never heard of ex-gays. I’m speaking here of the guy or gal that is happily coupled, employed, and living a pleasant life in Anytown, USA.

    They may have a vague sense of there being religious folk who have “left the homosexual lifestyle”, but they’ve never met one, have no idea what they are about, and couldn’t care less.

    Then there are activist folk who are fighting for gay rights and equality. For the most part they don’t much care about ex-gays – other than to the extent that ex-gays bother them. But they are anti-ex-gay because of the actions and lobbying and efforts of anti-gay activist. They are reacting to the political agenda of ex-gays, not to their existence.

    You may decide not to believe this, but it is true: if ex-gays were not used as a reason to deny gay rights, gays would have no more problem with ex-gays than they do with bisexuals. Or asexuals. Or Bulgarians. Or anyone else who isn’t trying to harm them.

    Fine. Go off and be celibate. Hope it works for you.

    But on the day that the ex-gay movement decided that they would testify before congress and the courts and the legislatures that “gay poeple can change and behavior doesn’t deserve civil rights”, that was the day they invited criticism and inspection and exposure.

    And as for your comment that “Gays for the most part don;t want honesty”, perhaps you could clarify. Can you name any gays that don’t want honesty? I don’t know of any, but if it’s “for the most part” then I’m certain that you surely had someone in mind.

  • Mary

    Warren,

    I’m afraid just about every legitimate group scientific or not (in your view) is some sort of advocacy group. And I thought you beat this dead horse a while ago??

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Evan,

    The study suggestion was meant to test the hypothesis that reducing anxiety can also reduce same-sex feelings

    There is an obvious flaw in your hypothesis:

    If anxiety medication had any impact on sexual orientation, we would have already observed it. Anxiety runs across all demographics and there are without question a large number of bisexual people who take anxiety medication. Had any of them experienced a change in orientation (or, as you put it, a reduction in same-sex feelings without a reduction in opposite-sex attractions) this would have been noted. Something so very unusual as a change in attractions would stand out, WAY out.

    You wouldn’t even have to be looking for it. And the community would know about it before there was even a discussion about a study.

  • Mary

    Timpthy,

    but they’ve never met one, have no idea what they are about, and couldn’t care less.

    Gays could care less seems to stand out.

    Fine. Go off and be celibate. Hope it works for you

    Why are you talking about my sex life – you know nothing about it, nor my relationships. Again – not truth you are concerned about.

    And as for your comment that “Gays for the most part don;t want honesty”, perhaps you could clarify

    Need I say anymore?

  • Mary

    Ooops had all my code messed up – but I am sure Timothy you can figure out what I am saying.

  • Evan

    @Timothy K

    I mentioned this possibility in my comment. After all, gay men are more affected by anxiety spectrum disorders and seek more treatment than straight men. But I don’t think attractions are a question of black and white. So reducing anxiety doesn’t mean it would make impossible for someone to get aroused by men or to have passive sex with men in order to stimulate their prostate. How many gay men prefer the passive role in relation to other men? Moreover, I think homosexual arousal is possible to some degree in straight men too, but usually men who hang around men all their lives, especially if they don’t care so much about staying slim or their looks, get turned off by most men. There must be some effect of socialisation on sexual feelings too. I mean, it happens in a heterosexual marriage, let alone when you live all your life affiliated with a team of men who focus on anything else but themselves.

    All things considered, I wouldn’t underestimate the power of personal decisions and physical preferences in the case of bisexually behaving men. I never said that homosexuality must be exclusively caused by a difference in one brain region. Just like so many phenomena originating in the emotional brain (disordered or not), there’s bound to be a spectrum of differences in connected regions. They can have different contributions in different people. The amygdala observation stands out as a major contributor to what is called “same-sex attraction.” It was proven empirically in two studies, using different designs. The next step is to understand how much is inborn and how much is shaped by enviornment. It’s very likely that at least in some, environment, including parenting/peering, must play a role, but it can go undetected in post-factum studies, because trauma during childhood can remain hidden to adult memory — or sometimes because sexuality biases.

    I expect other brain regions like the hypothalamus to play an important role together with other regions that manage memory and the sugary sensations experienced during addictive experiences (making lots of money, taking drugs, having sex, seeing very attractive faces.) However, since the hypothalamus is a “blind” structure (it has little input from the eyes), it must work indirectly, related to internal regulation of body states and smell sensations influencing sexually-relevant memory. It’s also involved in aggression… But I digress.

    There are many things that go into sexual feelings, as I said, and they can vary in people and the same person across time, but some are as decisive as the lever frames used in railway signalling installations, which decide on which track does a train go. The region I mentioned seems to play such a role, according to growing empirical evidence, although individual differences are likely to be continuously distributed in the population (some people may have a harder time deciding which train goes in what direction). Isn’t that what gay people wanted — something biological? Well, it’s there.

    Depending on personal patterns of addictive experiences, some men may be able to get erections and fantasise about women, but they may get stronger arousal in connection with men, because of physical preference for prostate stimulated arousal. If the amygdala atypicality predisposes them to anxiety then it’s likely that they would enjoy a masochistic-feminine type of sexuality better than the other way around, the stimuli impinging on the anxiety pedal to increase arousal created by the bigger sex, the one which can produce more anxiety in less masculinised brains.

    Reducing anxiety may not turn off the learned preference for prostate stimulation or the addiction to high levels of arousal in gay/bi men, but may reduce the panic they feel when they see men — the emotional salience that people usually describe as ‘heartthrob’ in attractions, it must be differently blended in gay and straight men: either with anxiety (left amygdala in gay men and straight women) or with aggression (right amygdala in straight men and lesbian women) — that was seen in one brainscanning study. Lastly, I think one cannot put aside the personal decision and cultural factors in sex relations.

    To quote Catherine Dulac, the professor from Harvard who produced the “one brain, two sexes” discovery in mice: “Humans are very complex. And, especially concerning sex, they lie.”

  • Michael Bussee

    I, too, am get tired of the gay rhetoric and the idea that no one can change mantra.</blockquote

    No one said no one can "change". The question is, “change what?” Change behavior? Change self-image? Change the way you live your life? Of course these things can change! What does not seem to change is — a gay into a straight male with no SSA.

    Do some develop some straight feelings? Yes. Do some establish a happy relationship with a partner of the opposite sex? Yes. Do some find that , even though their “SSA” is still there, that it is less intense and less frequent? Yes. Do some leave a lifestyle that is sexually compuslive and unhealthy? Yes. Do some find a deeper spirituality and an enhanced walk with God? Yes.

    I have never argued that these things are unchangeable. Never. I only point out the facts — and for this I catch all kinds of Hell. But the fact is, male “Ex-gays” are still “SSA”. Straights are not.

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren:

    If NARTH produced something truly peer-reviewed in a journal that wasn’t filled with its own board members and authored by the editorial board of the journal, I would applaud them

    Debbie:

    Warren, isn’t it a tad difficult for NARTH to do that, given the battles they have fought with the APA over legitimacy for a therapeutic paradigm that differs from what APA tends to put forward? blockquote>

    I am so tired of this excuse-making and whining by NARTH and NARTH supporters — “We would produce good science, but the APA won’t let us…” Boo hoo. If they were really scientists, they would do it anyway.

  • Michael Bussee

    This was my comment, not Debbie’s”

    I am so tired of this excuse-making and whining by NARTH and NARTH supporters — “We would produce good science, but the APA won’t let us…” Boo hoo. If they were really scientists, they would do it anyway.

  • Mary

    And how long has it taken the APA to provide real and balanced science?

  • concerned

    Mary,

    You are exactly right. The APA has listened to their own little advocacy group for way too long and only focused their attention on science that support their own position. Sorry that is not scientific.

  • Eddy

    LOL. Just a small thing. Am I the only one who thinks that ‘bquote’ should only be used when you are quoting something that’s already been written or said? I see things in the blue box and start looking for a reference as to who said it and where.

  • Mary

    Geez – I have really messed up the use of the bquote. Ah well.

  • Michael Bussee

    Sorry. I don’t have the hang of the “bquote”

    thing yet. My bad…

    “…listened to their own little advocacy group for way too long and only focused their attention on science that support their own position. Sorry that is not scientific.”

    I am confused, Concerned. Are you speaking of the APA or NARTH? I still am really tired of NARTH’s cop-out: “We would produce good science, but the mean old APA and those darn gay activists won’t let us…”

    Call the “wah-mbulance.” Poor NARTH. They can’t get no respect…

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Timothy, I’d like to address what you said in your response to Mary. Please read carefully what I am saying and understand I bear you no animosity as I say it. I offer it in the spirit of openness and balance in this discussion.

    Gay people, for the most part, have never heard of ex-gays. I’m speaking here of the guy or gal that is happily coupled, employed, and living a pleasant life in Anytown, USA.

    I find it hard to believe that most gays are unaware that a subgroup of folks commonly referred to as ex-gay exists. Nor can I fathom how you know what “they” know. Your parameter of an ex-gay person needing to be “happily coupled” is also problematic. Where does it say in The Rulebook that anyone has to be coupled, happily or otherwise? “Living a pleasant life …”? What meaneth this? Life for a person who has chosen and has worked hard to pursue a different path from the one their genes, predispositions, environment or psyche compels them to pursue is not necessarily a pleasant existence all the time. That doesn’t make it wrong or pathology of another sort, either. It is what it is.

    They may have a vague sense of there being religious folk who have “left the homosexual lifestyle”, but they’ve never met one, have no idea what they are about, and couldn’t care less.

    Again, who are “they” and how do you know their thoughts? Does “meeting” someone like me on a blog count? If so, you’ve got a little problem here. And some of them obviously care a great deal. That’s why Besen formed Truth Wins Out.

    Then there are activist folk who are fighting for gay rights and equality. For the most part they don’t much care about ex-gays – other than to the extent that ex-gays bother them. But they are anti-ex-gay because of the actions and lobbying and efforts of anti-gay activist. They are reacting to the political agenda of ex-gays, not to their existence

    And what, praytell, ought to be the ex-gay response to the gay political agenda? Pretend it doesn’t exist? You see my dilemma here, Timothy? I am quite sure there are folks on both sides of this divide who are deeply bothered by the mere existence of their counterparts. I can read the news.

    You may decide not to believe this, but it is true: if ex-gays were not used as a reason to deny gay rights, gays would have no more problem with ex-gays than they do with bisexuals. Or asexuals. Or Bulgarians. Or anyone else who isn’t trying to harm them.

    Am I trying to harm you, Timothy? Because if you believe that, I need to know in what ways. And what my Christian response needs to be.

    But on the day that the ex-gay movement decided that they would testify before congress and the courts and the legislatures that “gay poeple can change and behavior doesn’t deserve civil rights”, that was the day they invited criticism and inspection and exposure.

    Whoa. I’m sure you are not implying here that gays have not had their substantial place at the lobbying table (check out the current administration) and have fired many questionable shots across the bow of the conservative establishment, which includes a lot of hard-working, God-fearing people who want to preserve their parental autonomy in raising their children and having them educated in the three Rs and not indoctrinated in unnecessary and inappropriate sexual “ethics.”

    And as for your comment that “Gays for the most part don;t want honesty”, perhaps you could clarify. Can you name any gays that don’t want honesty? I don’t know of any, but if it’s “for the most part” then I’m certain that you surely had someone in mind.

    What’s fair for the goose is fair for the gander. Maybe you need to be more forthcoming in this regard. You are speaking in broad generalities but expecting Mary and presumably others to have specifics. Poor debating tactic.

    Let’s be fair and balanced, Timothy. If this is representative of the gap we are supposed to be bridging, then we do have our work cut out for us, don’t we?

    Only God can sort this all out. I would be lost but for His strong hand holding me in place. To the extent that we can meet in the middle with our eyes fixed on our Lord and Savior, we can move this mountain.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    RE: NARTH and getting access to peer – reviewed journals. There has been some censorship over the years that I have seen. It takes places in abortion and sexuality areas. It seems very deliberate in the NASW, a bit less so but very pronounced in ACA and more subtle and probably somewhat less deliberate in APA. Nick Cummings and others have commented on psychology’s blind spots in relation to religious issues. The APA responded, well I think, with a policy on the subject a couple of years ago. However, they blundered badly with the APA report on abortion last summer. The APA Task Force on Sexual Orientation will report in August of this year. I have that this task force will apply the APA policy on religion to the topic of sexual orientation and we will see something better than once expected.

    As one who has peer reviewed papers in APA and ACA journals, I do not think it is impossible to be heard. Chris Rosik is a NARTH member who has been published on the subject. Chris writes well and nuances his work. If NARTH did research which met basic quality standards, it would get published.

    For the black and white among us, please understand, I am not saying that there is no difficulty in getting heard. There is. Especially on issues of life, the APA is very closed to alternative positions. However, I personally see an openness from the APA regarding sexual orientation and religious identity which is refreshing.

  • Mary

    I do see an opening as well – with lots of protest by activists.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Evan,

    You have many opinions. You tend to state them as “there must be” and “I wouldn’t underestimate” and “I expect” and “it must”. But they are nothing more that your guesswork doctored up in pretty phrasing.

    And ultimately, it all comes back to the fact that your guesses have not been observed and it is almost certain that if anxiety medication had any impact on sexual attraction that it would have been observed.

  • concerned

    Warren,

    I do hope you are right on the upcoming report. I also trust your judgement far more than I may sometimes be indicating. I am just getting very tired of one side being able to accuse the other of lacking scientific integrety and ignoring their own lack there of. Maybe it is not the APA that is doing this but rather those that are reporting on the APA.

    Michael,

    I was talking about the APA as I have seen it over the years. My hope is that it is becoming more balance and less judgemental towards religious people and institutions. Just as I would like to see a more fair and balanced approach to the issue of developmental influences of SSA. It is not all about genetics, therefore, that should not be the major focus.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    And as for your comment that “Gays for the most part don;t want honesty”, perhaps you could clarify

    Need I say anymore?

    Nope. You don’t.

    It’s pointless to argue with those who are convinced that gay folk “want only evidence, talk, speech, articles that say ex gays don’t exist” and ” for the most part don;t want honesty”. You’ve decided to hate and aparantly there’s nothing I can do to disuade you.

    So I’ll just dismiss your comments as undiluted bigotry.

  • Michael Bussee

    If NARTH did research which met basic quality standards, it would get published

    And that, my dear friends, is the bottom line. NARTH has no one to blame for their shoddy “science” but themselves. If I had submitted research papers or made singular conclusions like NARTH does, I don’t think I would have passed my basic Research Design and Statistics class towards my master’s degree. They are without excuse when it comes to poor scholarship.

    Add to that NARTH’s surprising willingness to align themselves with wackos and hatemongers like Lively, Cameron, Berger, Schonewolf, etc. — only to quietly remove “links” and “reference” to these folks when they get caught with their pants down. Disgusting.

    If they want respect, they have to act respectable.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Thanks, Warren, for that input. As I said, you would know, and I trust your judgment. I, too, look forward to that August report from APA. Of course, Michael makes some legitimate points. Some things NARTH does are just indefensible. I don’t get it, frankly.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Debbie,

    Perhaps you misread my comment. I’m not saying that no gay persons have ever heard of ex-gays or that none of them care. What I did say was that most gay folk may have a “vague sense” of ex-gays but have “never met one, have no idea what they are about, and couldn’t care less”.

    You may not find me a credible source for what gay people know and think. And that’s fine.

    But I am sure you will agree that I know more gay people than you do, I am part of the community, I talk with gay folk, read publications, attend functions and parties, watch media, and have a much fuller sense of what is part of the current interest of gay folk than you. So if I say that gay people really don’t know much about ex-gays and generally spend ZERO time contemplating ways to deny their existance, I don’t do so out of ignorance.

    And what, praytell, ought to be the ex-gay response to the gay political agenda? Pretend it doesn’t exist?

    Am I trying to harm you, Timothy? Because if you believe that, I need to know in what ways. And what my Christian response needs to be.

    Ex-gays should do what all Christians SHOULD do: love their neighbor and support their civil equality. Christians can believe what they like about my soul, but they should not try to harm my life.

    Now if ex-gays or other conservatives believe that they have some moral obligation to deny gay people the right to serve in the Military, or if ex-gays believe they have some moral obligation to make sure that gay people cannot provide health insurance for their partner, or if ex-gays believe that they have some moral obligation to make sure that gay couples pay higher taxes, or if ex-gays believe that they have some moral obligation to make sure that gay people cannot have access to their own children, or if ex-gays believe that they have some moral obligation to make sure that civil govenments treat gay couples differently than straight couples, or if ex-gays believe that they have some obligation to make sure that gay people can’t have certain jobs, or if ex-gays believe they have some moral obligation to make sure gay people can’t adopt their partner’s children or any children at all, or if ex-gays believe they have some moral obligation to deny housing or employment or services to gay people (while demanding protection for themselves), or if ex-gays believe that they have some moral obligation to insist that schools demean gay parents to their own children, or if ex-gays believe that they have some moral obligation to disallow immigration of gay partners, or if ex-gays believe they have some moral obligation to just plain treat gay people like sh*t, then there are consequences.

    These are all areas in which my life as a gay man is affected. This is not theoretical or theological or disputable or up to debate or reflection. These are real tangible ways in which anti-gay efforts impact the lives of gay men and women.

    You see this as having two sides. But these things don’t impact your life. If you lose some battle over whether gay people can immigrate it doesn’t impact your life even in the very slightest. But if we lose then we don’t just lose the debate or the position, we lose our right to be treated equally.

    So when someone advocates for these things, we don’t see them as just a political opponent with a different opinion. We see them as someone trying to hurt our lives and our families – because that is the consequence.

    Debbie, if you advocate for these things you are my enemy. Not because you are ex-gay, not because you have different politics, but because you are trying to harm me, my life, and my family.

    I would much rather have you as my friend and ally.

    We can agree to disagree about scripture and faith and sin and salvation, but we cannot agree to disagree about basic civil equality.

  • carole

    @Timothy in response to Evan said,

    And ultimately, it all comes back to the fact that your guesses have not been observed and it is almost certain that if anxiety medication had any impact on sexual attraction that it would have been observed.

    When I read Evan’s proposal, I too first thought this. Then, I recalled the doctors who for years never really put two and two together about why HBP medicines weren’t working all that well for some of their patients. Even doctors serving primarily African-American patients just assumed the patient wasn’t eating as he should, exercising, etc. or they simply assumed the meds weren’t working. My point is that in reading about many such examples, I was startled at the lack of coordination in information collection and sharing between primary care physicians and others, especially with those who are engaged in research.

    Another example close to home–in her hometown hospital, in ICU, close to death and needing dialysis, my sister was trasferred to a hospital 15 minutes away by freeway. She was saved by the ICU intensivist, who administered a medication that two hours later started her digestive system working . In her home hospital, they had tried for 4.5 days to achieve that, with no success. In this age of instant communication, I couldn’t understand why her internists at her home hospital didn’t know of that medication, but none of them, nor any of the other specialists working on her case had even HEARD of it. When I asked the intensivist why they hadn’t, he told me this was a common occurrence in the field, lack of communication. Scary.

    Then too, when it comes to pharmacology, everything is dose specific. A certain dose of anti-anxiety meds given for the relief of one symptom may not relieve an associated symptom. This is true of most meds.

    So, while I have no position one way or the other on Evan’s hypothesis, I do see that other factors could hide any correlation.

    @Timothy, you also said to Evan,

    You have many opinions. You tend to state them as “there must be” and “I wouldn’t underestimate” and “I expect” and “it must”. But they are nothing more that your guesswork doctored up in pretty phrasing.

    There’s no purpose in language like this, Timothy, and if anyone is certainly not deserving of it, it’s Evan. Yes, you have a right and all, but it’s so unproductive. To have just typed the second paragraph telling Evan of your concerns would have sufficed and served to foster communication.

    You said to Mary,

    We can agree to disagree about scripture and faith and sin and salvation, but we cannot agree to disagree about basic civil equality.

    This is ironic since “civil” derives from civility.

  • carole

    Correction–I meant that the last quote from Timothy was to Debbie, not Mary.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Actually, they are both based on the Latin word civis, meaning citizen or townsman. If I recall my 7th Grade Latin correctly (it’s been a while), Civilis would be the plural dative declension meaning “for the citizens” and is the word that worked its way through time to become civic.

    :)

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    … though time to become “civil” (and also “civic”)

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Perhaps you misread my comment.

    Nope, read it carefully and asked you to do the same with mine. You glossed over much of it, so how well you read it I cannot say. I will not do any further rebutting as I’ve said my piece.

    I will remind you that I opened my comments stating I bear you no animosity. Ergo, I am not your enemy. I do, however, reserve the right to think for myself and to take reasoned positions on issues of great import to me and mine as well as to you and yours. These are not all simple black-and-white choices.

    When I go into a voting booth to do my civil duty, I will vote my conscience, just as you will yours.

    When I go into my prayer closet to humble myself before my Heavenly Father, I will remember my neighbor and his need, regardless of whether or not I like him or agree with him.

    When I go out in the highways and byways, I will seek to reflect Christ to all I meet. I will do it imperfectly, but will continue correcting my course as the Holy Spirit demands. The written record on this blog will reflect my humility in that regard. I rest my case.

  • carole

    I took four years of h.s Latin–two would have been enough to suit me, but my counselor wouldn’t let me out of the class since there were only 12 students in it; my begging to take Spanish didn’t work. I do remember some basics. I should have known to word my sentence more carefully, but w/out looking it up, I can come back at you by pointing out that “plural dative” is not the “name” of a declension. I do know that a “citizen” was to have acted in a way that fostered a strong and united society . Civility goes a long way.

    We’ve all seen enough blogs to know that most people who visit them hurl inane, childish insults at one another. When I happened upon this one, I saw that it brought together an interesting assortment of people–those who are gay, those who are ex-gay, those who are straight, those who are interested in the politics of the gay movement, those interested in the science of sexual attraction, those who are committed to their faith, those who are committed to their faith but who feel their church has let them down…and I suppose it’s because of this last characteristic, the faith one, that I thought the civility of the blog might be maintained.

    Then, after a while, I wondered if I hadn’t stepped into a hornet’s nest of politics, that instead of just happening upon individuals who wandered here as individuals as I did, I might have happened upon a blog that was being targeted by either one “side” or both “sides” or who knows by how many sides??

    I mean, the thought has occurred to me since in this information age some individuals representing “sides” do monitor sites and organize to shout people down. They don’t exist to promote civil discussion. It’s been years since I have been actively involved in organized politics. My heavy involvement pre-dates the web, but I do know that all kinds of special interest groups involve members in blogging and they have certain tactics they employ.

    I didn’t like that I even thought that a possibility, but I wondered because sometimes communication and discussion seem not to be the motive. That is why Eddy’s comment about winning and losing so interested me. He hit the nail on the head as far as I am concerned.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Debbie,

    I took your words at face value. You wanted to know whether you hurt me and what you could do about it. I told you. You didn’t like the response.

    OK.

    In defense of ex-gay activism designed to harm the lives of gay people, you said something interesting, Debbie. You said that you reflect Christ to all you meet.

    Guess what: some of those who you meet believe you.

    They believe that Jesus Christ wants to deny gay people the right to serve in the Military, to ban them from providing health insurance for their partner, to make them pay higher taxes, to take their children away from them, to have civil govenments treat gay couples differently than straight couples, to deny them certain jobs, to refuse them adoption rights, to provide housing, employment, and services protections for Christians but deny them to gays, to have schools demean gay parents to their own children, to disallow immigration of gay partners, and to have his followers just plain treat gay people like sh*t.

    That’s what Exodus and other conservatives have “reflected”. And that’s what some gay people believe. Needless to say, they don’t have any use for that christ. He’s evil.

    Fortunately, there are many Christians reflecting an entirely different Christ.

  • Michael Bussee

    Debbie:

    Michael makes some legitimate points. Some things NARTH does are just indefensible. I don’t get it, frankly.

    Neither do I. That’s what makes their whining about the APA and gay activists so irritating. What do they expect when they keep shooting themselves in the foot — both “scientifically” and in terms of the “experts” they choose.

    Timothty:

    I say that gay people really don’t know much about ex-gays and generally spend ZERO time contemplating ways to deny their existance.

    I Completely agree. After the EXODUS conference last year, I went to about six of the Palm Springs area gay bars — just to take a sort of “pulse”. I asked folks, “So what do you think of all this press coverage the EXODUS conference and controversy about “ex-gays”.?

    I got this response, from many, people: “What’s EXODUS?” And laughter at the mention of the term “Ex-gay”. Those of us SSA people who really care about “ex-gay” stuff are very, very few.

  • Michael Bussee

    And BTW, EXODUS’s ill-advised detour into conservative Republican politics — or any politics for that matter — is completely contrary to the intent and goals of the EXODUS founders. EXODUS was supposed to be, and still should be, a ministry only.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    carole,

    Your Latin certainly beats mine.

    Your lecture on civility is duly noted.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Michael,

    The frustrating thing is that most of us want to be well informed. But because NARTH has such a bad (and well deserved) reputation, you can’t believe anything they say.

    If they were to come up with some accurate study or new discovery, we’d never know. There’s just no way to fish the truth out of the sludge.

  • Evan

    Timothy Kincaid

    You’re right, it was my opinion and not yet a fact. But you shouldn’t make fun of my English, because I was born in another language and sometimes I may come across as unclear to native speakers. Just ask me and I’ll clear it up.

    I thought about that experiment which it’s not impossible to make, but it’s unlikely it will ever get funded or approved. The idea is based on research that is done by big names in this field of study. So I think their results are solid and they show that gay men feel more anxiety and that that is specific to their orientation.

    I’m familiar with a lot of research on the brain and took a course in brain development last year (this stuff is the IT of tomorrow), but I wasn’t very interested in the molecular workings so I won’t comment much on stuff like that. There remains a valid question why gay/bi men who took anti-anxiety medication didn’t feel or didn’t report any significant changes in attractions. It’s possible that there are many ways medications work, they probably address different molecular targets, and there must be different families of anti-depressants/anxiolytics. The few professionals hovering around this blog can confirm you that. What’s more, the brain regions I mentioned are collections of nuclei specialised in different tasks (they’re not so clear cut as apples and bananas), so medication may target different subnuclei inside the same region too.

    I’ve googled a few names and found on the Psychology wiki listed an anti-depressant which is also used in treating anxiety disorders and social phobia, it’s called phenelzine. If you scroll down a bit you can find a reference to a paper that mentions an accidental change in sexual behaviour due to administration of this anti-depressant:

    Golwyn, D. H., & Sevlie, C. P. (1993). Adventitious change in homosexual behavior during treatment of social phobia with phenelzine: Journal of Clinical Psychiatry Vol 54(1) Jan 1993, 39-40.

    I’ve tried locating the study, but the archive from the JCP only starts from 1995, so I don’t know what they reported there. It could be a fluke. If you find the paper, please drop a link here.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Evan – I have the study in my archives and will find it (if possible) and see if I can make it available. Essentially it is a letter from Golwyn and Sevlie describing this case.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Evan,

    I did not intend to mock your English. I forget at times that it is not your native tongue.

    I did, however, seek to point out that you were making statements of certainty, or near-certainty, which were in reality just guesses.

    I look forward to reviewing the paper.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    In an article on the Evergreen site in which Dr. Throckmorton argues that sexual re-oriention is possible, he summarizes the paper thusly:

    Another dramatic case study involves a 23 year old male who viewed himself as exclusively homosexual. He presented to physician Daniel Golwyn and nurse Carol Sevlie to help treat extreme shyness and anxiety. Initially, he had no desire to make homosexuality an issue in his treatment. He was prescribed phenelzine to help with the anxiety issues. By the fourth week, he was more outgoing and comfortable socially. During the next two months, he began dating women exclusively, enjoyed intercourse and expressed no sexual interest in men. The patient concluded that he became convinced he was homosexual due to being rejected by heterosexual males and accepted by homosexual males.

  • Michael Bussee

    During the next two months, he began dating women exclusively, enjoyed intercourse and expressed no sexual interest in men

    .

    How long did that last?

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Yep, that’s the one.

    Back when I thought one case might be an indicator of the rule; although even then I didn’t make extreme claims for complete change.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    RE: Follow up – who knows how long it lasted? That is one of the big problems with this type of study. Without follow up we do not know to what degree such change persists.

    I am actually working now on reporting my study of SSA Het Married men and finding that lots of little moves take place. People reported going from gay to bisexual and bisexual to gay and spousosexual (spouse is the only opposite sex attraction) to gay, etc. However, only 2 of 190 said they had no more SSA.

  • Evan

    Warren — I hope you will find it. Even if it’s one case, it would be interesting to see if it matches Bailey’s findings on the amygdala from a clinical point of view.

  • Evan

    @Timothy

    No problem. I learned most of the English I know when I was at university, so I am primarily familiar with using formal language. So I usually don’t write in a pretentious way to get a particular effect, it’s easier to do so because my vocabulary was shaped by studying social sciences. It may take a bit of exercise to tell a good joke, for instance. But some of the friends I talk to in English are sometimes rolling on the floor laughing at my jokes, but it may be because they know even less English.

  • Michael Bussee

    However, only 2 of 190 said they had no more SSA.

    And of course, if we had good follow-up data, we might find that those two also reported going from gay to bisexual and bisexual to gay and spousosexual (spouse is the only opposite sex attraction) to gay, etc

    This proves nothing – except that sexual behavior in males can be rather fluid. That’s not news. It certainly is not proof of orientation change from gay to straight.

    SSA men have always made these types of adaptations — for personal, social, economic, psychological and religious reasons. Many marry and have kids. Many experiment with bisexuality. I was ex-gay and I did. “Lots of little moves” does not make one straight.

  • Michael Bussee

    Remember the Pattison study where only 11 guys “changed” and Gary and I were two of them?. I have had follow-up over the years with some of the other men in that study — and they all moved back and forth…

  • Michael Bussee

    “Can gays change?” depends entirely on what you mean by “gay” and what you mean by “change”. The people who say “yes” rarely (if ever) explain what they mean by either term — and they tend to act offended when you ask.

  • Evan

    @Timothy Kincaid

    Re: discussing guesses and hypotheses. If you were around here when Drowssap and I were discussing some ideas on how could results from animal research translate in studies on humans, you might remember that we once debated whether humans might have any remnants of the biological mechanisms regulating gender sense and sexual instincts in mice. It sounds rather extreme to talk about such a topic and we never claimed to have more than an informed opinion. But you know what? The Swedish researcher who published the study on gay-straight-lesbian brain differences, Ivanka Savic, came up with a study which investigated what we were discussing here last year: the possibility that a remnant of the vomeronasal organ in humans might still influence pheromone perception (and thus sexuality, if the same pathways were preserved in mammals). She published the study at the beginning of this year. The results are negative so far, but at least it turns out that our discussion here was timely, because neither of us had any idea that someone was actually doing a study on the subject at that moment. So maybe it’s not so bad when people who are not professionals discuss these issues and come up with some ideas, primitive as they be to researchers, because, as the saying goes in my native language, you never know where did the rabbit pop up from.

    /off-topic.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I am actually working now on reporting my study of SSA Het Married men and finding that lots of little moves take place. People reported going from gay to bisexual and bisexual to gay and spousosexual (spouse is the only opposite sex attraction) to gay, etc. However, only 2 of 190 said they had no more SSA.

    I’m inclined to give a bit more credit to the 2 than is Michael.

    It’s not a large number, but if assumptions that there are different paths towards orientation are correct, it would not be out of the question that some small number of persons could reach the stage where they did not conscously experience SSA.

    I’ve not heard any credible examples of men before (Stephen Bennett doesn’t count) so I find these two interesting.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Evan,

    I don’t know about popping rabbits :) but speculation is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s only disadvantageous when we start believing our own imaginings.

    I seem to recall that there was a pheremone study some years back that did suggest some association with attraction. I’ll have to take a look at your link and try and find what the old one was about.

    I seem to recall that it had something to do with sweat, but that may have been something else.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Back when I thought one case might be an indicator of the rule; although even then I didn’t make extreme claims for complete change.

    He he. I just had to tease a little.

    I did look for a date as the paper did not seem to be entirely reflective of your current thinking but Evergreen only had 2009 at the bottom.

  • Michael Bussee

    OK. I think Timothy’s statement is a fair one:

    It would not be out of the question that some small number of persons could reach the stage where they did not conscously experience SSA

    .

    True, but same could probably be said of some heterosexuals and their “OSA” as they age. My Mom told me she lost all of hers — but it didn’t make her a lesbian. Just like a small number of folks losing their SSA doesn’t make them straight.

  • Michael Bussee

    I’ve not heard any credible examples of men before (Stephen Bennett doesn’t count) so I find these two interesting.

    Not just interesting, but since they would be only two out of countless “SSA-only” men who have tried, It would also make them very, very rare indeed.

    Particularly if they lost all SSA, developed only OSA and maintained that change over good number of years. If you find such a person,please take a photo. I will put it next to my pics of Nessy and Big Foot.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    I believe the date is 2003 but I am not sure. :)

  • Mary

    Michael,

    You are aware that hormone levels change over time? That losing libido is not the same as losing attraction. If hormone levels were raised to levels for a younger man or woman, then their libido would likely increase. You have mixed up two ideas. These people who lose some of their attraction to their own sex over time have not commented on their increased or sustained attraction for the opposite sex.

  • Michael Bussee

    These people who lose some of their attraction to their own sex over time have not commented on their increased or sustained attraction for the opposite sex.

    Exactly! You made my point, Mary. Lots of people, SSA or OSA, lose some of their attraction over time. This doesn’t mean they are attracted to a different gender now. They are just less horny. That’s not an “ex-gay”. That’s a SSA person with less drive. Big deal.

  • Michael Bussee

    So if the question “Can gays change?” is really: “Do some SSA people feel less SSA over time?” The answer is yes.

    If the question is: “Do some SSA people develop some OSA over time?” The answer would be yes.

    If the question is: “Do some SSA people develop enough OSA to make a straight marriage work?” The answer is yes.

    If the question is: “Do some bisexual persons develop more straight feelings over time?” The answer would be yes.

    If the question is: “Do some male SSA persons find a way to live with their SSA without actually having gay sex?” The answer is yes, (if you don’t count masturbation to gay fantasies.)

    If the question is: “Do some SSA persons learn to live a happy, productive, celibate life in spite of the fact that they are still SSA?” The answer would be yes.

    If the question is: “Do some sexually compulsive and self-destructive SSA persons get their addictions under control?” The answer is yes — and so on…

    But if the question is: “Do exclusively SSA males lose their SSA entirely and become completely heterosexual instead? The answer, so far as we know now, is NO.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    You continually confuse and miss the point. A person can change overtime. And yes, their libido will decrease. You have put two events into one. My goodness. Did you really miss that point?

  • Michael Bussee

    @ Mary:

    A person can change overtime

    .

    I don’t doubt it. But, change what over time? The question is not “Do many humans (SSA and OSA) have less libido over time? That’s rather obvious.

    The question is: “Do exclusively SSA males become exclusively OSA over time?” Or, “Are “ex-gay” males now “straight”?

    The answer is NO.

  • Michael Bussee

    There is a difference between how hungry a person is (their libido) and what (which gender) they are hungry for (their “orientation” or “atrractions”).

    A less horny SSA male is still SSA.

  • Michael Bussee

    Or put it another way — the wind has died down to a gentle breeze, but it’s still blowing in the same direction..

  • Mary

    Oh I get what you are saying, unfortunately, Michael, you simply don’t understand that the two events are not inclusive of eachother.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Carole and others,

    Regarding “civility”…it is a utopian goal and worthy of us and our effort. I am glad so many agree.

    It is not the warm mush of “agreeisms.” But firmly and soundly stating facts, perceptions, beliefs and theories which hopefully round out an argument or a topic.

    I think it is hard to remain civil, because it builds rapport with people that profoundly disagree with me…I grow to like them and see God’s goodness in their thinking and efforts.

    God is bigger than all of us, and any of his ideas cannot be represented fully and accurately by just one of us.

    By the way, nice catch on the anti-anxiety medication and the young man with SSA…I think that is a good example of rounding out a point or argument.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Michael:

    But if the question is: “Do exclusively SSA males lose their SSA entirely and become completely heterosexual instead? The answer, so far as we know now, is NO.

    Serious questions:

    At what age do we assess for “exclusive SSA males.”? I am thinking that such a label, applied prior to puberty would be too early, maybe by age 18 or 21, or 25. I think this is a variable that should begin to be strictly controlled in future studies (and defined based up on some sound theory).

    If Ex-Gay is misleading, and therefore cruel to those seeking truth and hope…then is biological determinism equally cruel (if not more) for those contemplating “what should I do with my feelings?”

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary:

    Michael, you simply don’t understand that the two events are not inclusive of eachother

    Actually, I do understand that.

    @David:

    If Ex-Gay is misleading, and therefore cruel to those seeking truth and hope…then is biological determinism equally cruel (if not more) for those contemplating “what should I do with my feelings?”

    Yes, I do think it is misleading, because it implies that the “ex-gay” is formerly SSA, now straight — and that simply is not the case. I don’t think it is always deliberately misleading, but it misleads nonetheless.

    I am more with Alan Chambers, who told me “It’s more confusing than anything and doesn’t accurately decirbe what the change process is really all about. I do not think it is “cruel” — just not completely honest.

    I would prefer “a person who chooses not to act on SSA for personal/religious reasons”. I would have no problem with that — still SSA but maybe with lots of other positive life-changes.

    Why am I somehow against “truth and hope” when I point out the facts? The truth is, they are still SSA. The hope is that positive changes are always possible, though probably not a change from gay to straight.

    I am not arguing for biological determinism. I have no idea what “causes” gayness or straightness — and nobody really knows.

    The question, “what should I do with my feelings?” is a perfectly appropriate question for both gays and straights. I believe that those SSA persons who call themselves “ex-gay” need to ask it — and so do the rest of us.

  • Michael Bussee

    By the way, David, I don’t think we need tightly controlled studies to answer the question I posed:

    Do exclusively SSA males lose their SSA entirely and become completely heterosexual instead?

    All we really need, at least to start with, is a sizeable sample of guys who claim that they have made and sustained this change (gay to straight) for several years. We can’t find even a handful who will make that claim.

    With one possible exception, male ex-gays admit they are all still SSA — not heterosexual. If this complete transformation from gay to straight was actually taking place out there, wouldn’t there be a lot of guys who would announce it? Wouldn’t they be excited? Proud? Eager to tell their stories?

    Why can’t we find any? Where are they? Couldn’t EXODUS find some? Couldn’t NARTH? After decades, why are we still looking for that handful?

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    There is a difference between how hungry a person is (their libido) and what (which gender) they are hungry for (their “orientation” or “atrractions”).

    A less horny SSA male is still SSA.

    Well, yeah, Michael. That is certainly one way of looking at it. I would also resubmit what many seem to continue overlooking: that we do not have to be controlled by our sexual impulses and we are not necessarily defined by our sexuality. It is one strong drive, but food hunger is stronger. We can’t survive without food and water. We (individually) can without sex that does not have procreation (what the human race needs to continue) as its objective.

    What about our spiritual hunger for God — that God-shaped hole in our hearts? Many are seeking to quench this hunger and thirst but don’t even know what or whom they are looking for. If we were created for communion with Him above all other needs, wouldn’t meeting that need trump all others? And if so, could that state not produce a person who formerly was ruled by what they perceived as a dire need but who now sees life through a different lens and has a freedom from those old impulses? If not, then we must throw out the Word of God and its myriad examples and lessons.

    I call such freed folks formers (so did Paul in the New Testament), and that applies to more than just homosexuality. I never have and never will be cowed into believing they must meet certain humanistic litmus-test criteria (absolutely no temptation to their former lust — get real — we are not superhuman) in order to be considered set free from their bondage. Now, I happen to live inside the mind, body and soul of one such individual, so I know this state pretty well. I know who I was and who (and whose) I am. All the nitpicking in the world is not going to change that.

    I do exist, and so do others. Why must we continually bark up the wrong tree? You can’t have it both ways, folks. We can’t be blogging and waxing eloquent one day about “bridging the gap” and then go right back to the old rut of redigging the trench between us. A shovel can dig and a shovel can fill in. Which use are we going to make of it?

    Please know that I grant all who have no desire or plan to walk away from their same-sex attraction the peace to live as they desire. How on earth can I do otherwise? Time does appear to be on their side when it comes to those “civil rights” they desperately desire. But do not be deceived into thinking that, even after those are all granted and that “equality” in the eyes of the beholder has been achieved, the ideological divide will just melt away. Look around you at the racial landscape. Regardless of whether or not the black civil rights movement equates to the gay civil rights push (it does and it doesn’t), no man or woman or movement has the power to change human nature. But God has the power to rebuild us in His image.

    In your 11:45 p.m. post, Michael, you appeared to have a solid handle on this issue. Again, we need to stop obsessing over whether or not any SSA person can totally obliterate those impulses. Because if they have, then I suppose they would be Jesus Christ. The same can be said of all impulses, regardless of whether we consider them to be sin or not.

    Lord, how I do tire of trying to determine how many angels can dance on the head of a pin when folks are dying spiritually and physically right before our eyes. Put any label on me you want. I only answer to the name God calls me by.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    In defense of ex-gay activism designed to harm the lives of gay people, you said something interesting, Debbie. You said that you reflect Christ to all you meet.

    Timothy, this is the only example I am going to submit of your selective reading habit. The examples are legion. I said I “seek to” reflect Christ, and that I do it imperfectly, as we all do. If you don’t want us to take anything NARTH says seriously, then how are you going to get around the fact that we have a similar problem with what you are trying to achieve?

    I’m sorry to be stern here, but apparently it is necessary. “I took your words at face value,” you said. How could you when you cannot even read them properly? Timothy, the time comes when we all have to take a real and honest inventory of who we are and what we represent. I see very little humility in you, and that is of concern if you want to be taken seriously. But it is not my place to shine that light for you. It’s the job of One far above me.

    You have totally misrepresented me and what I have said. So, here we are back at square one. What a surprise! They say insanity is doing the same thing in hopes of seeing a different result. Going in circles is not my cup of tea. And I am far too busy with real life to waste any more time on this nonsense. So, please continue to talk on past each other as it seems to be a favorite pastime of some here. God bless you.

  • Katie Cannon

    On the group for sexually abused men, there have been a number of men who got into therapy which directly addressed their sexual abuse and who now report (years later) that they no longer have homosexual fantasies or behaviors.

    Some throw in a caveat and say things like: “I no longer have sustained homosexual fantasies” — or “I no longer use homosexual fantasy during masturbation”….

    I’d assume that what they mean is that there are still “flashes” or thoughts or feelings…. but they’re fleating and no longer direct their sexuality.

    One of the problems in finding such men is that 1) men don’t like talking about their sexual abuse histories and 2) they don’t like talking about their previous homosexuality because they’re scared to death that girls will reject them, that their friends will view them as gay and that the world at large will too.

    Note: the age of the person seems to matter, which makes sense to me.

    And it also seems that most experience their “bisexuality” in the following way: “When I see girls, I spontaneously feel attracted, but I just can’t get sexual. When I see men, I feel drawn, but not sexually attracted, but I can have sex with them at the drop of a hat”. And so forth….

    So I think what’s missing, in part, from these studies is, not IF people have attractions, but the TONE of the attractions.

    I feel attracted to sado-masochistic sex, and for most of my adultish life, sado-masochistic fantasies have been my preferred masterbatory fantasy. But I don’t think this defines my identity, don’t think I am my fantasies, and certainly never wanted to compulsively act upon them. Frankly, I don’t like them.

    There’s a difference in being drawn to something and liking that something, or having that something be an expression of productive stuff — rather than a reflection of non-productive stuff.

    Anyway, just seems to me that there’s a difference between a guy who feels positively attracted to men and a guy who feels his attractions are non-productive in a very similar way to my sado-masochistic fantasies.

    I COULD go join a sado-masochistic Identity Group, go on marches, etc…. and claim sado-masochism as a part of my deeper Identity. Or I can choose not to. And the reason I choose not to isn’t because of religious reasons or because of internalized sado-masophobia. It’s just that it feels different than my other attractions/fantasies/desires/turn-ons.

    Anyway, I find a pausity of description when it comes to these things. Yet doubt we’ll understand much until we get more into the details of people’s attractions.

    And doubt we’ll have a political environment in which the soul of SSA men won’t be fought for by the various political camps until we do.

    And no matter where people reside in the political debate, it doesn’t seem to me that there’s an atmosphere in which a man can easily find the space for a little self-determination without justifying himself to someone.

    Again, another reason why a previously SSA guy probably won’t come out very easily.

    And I doubt that, for those who do experince change, they do so in an environment which doesn’t overtly target change as a goal — just adds to the obsession it would seem to me: “Don’t think of that Giraffe”….

    Doesn’t really work too well — at least not for me.

    Katie

  • concerned

    Michael,

    The major problem I am having with your list of questions above is that the answer to all of them is in full agreement with what so many who have worked through the issues of unwanted SSA have discovered and are quite happy with, but because the last, single question will not be answered the way you want it answered so you can use it against anyone who tries to overcome the power of SSA over them you are not satisfied. Personally, I am tired of your rhetoric and could careless whether I still have some attraction to other men. Personally, I am thankful that I can find certain men, but definitely not all men, physically attractive. That does not mean I have to sleep with them to be happy and I will also say it does not mean I am gay.

  • Katie Cannon

    P.S. Due to my personal situation, I’ve been more interested in quality of change or shifts in older men. The odds seem much lower with older as opposed to younger men. Much, much lower.

    Still, many older men come to accept their homosexual fantasies more like how I accept my sado-masochistic ones — without shame and guilt, but also not indicating a totalizing identity.

    So for people who say things like: “Well, for a guy to claim change, he has to be free of homosexual fantasies” — I ask why?

    Afterall, I’m not under any pressure at all to identify as a sado-masochist. Why is that? Not even a partial one, or as a person who is bisexually attracted to both loving sex and sado-masochistic sex….

    Why?

    Katie

  • Katie Cannon

    P.P.S.

    The quality of discussion on this group is very high.

    It’s funny because I’ve tried finding a non-religious group with the same level of discussion — can’t find it.

    Which is sort of interesting in and of itself. One would think you religious folk would be more dogmatic than a more secular group….

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Sorry, one more thing:

    The guys on the sexual support group who end up identifying as straight due so largely because their heterosexual feelings are more related to emotional intimacy. Their homosexual ones aren’t.

    Though most still experience homosexual fantasies….

    But the difference seems pretty important to me, and one that isn’t being taken into account.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Just wanted to respond to Evan in regard to the amygdala: I’m pretty sure there’s 3 studies out there on trauma and the amygdala which are pretty good. I recently had a discussion with a researcher in regard to eating disorders who thinks they’re heavily influenced by innate stuff. But when pressed, he admits that there’s an environmental factor.

    So then we began talking about some studies regarding trauma and the amygdala.

    According to him they’re pretty good, with good controls, etc….

    And also according to him, the studies which did some follow-up scans are also pretty good in indicating that the amygdala can increase in volume in response to long-term therapy — which he believes means any good, steady, positive, relationship.

    But when you’re messed up due to trauma, sometimes you have to pay someone to be an intimate for a while :)

    Anyway, again, it seems to me there’s some pretty good studies regarding this.

    And it would be interesting to see a study beginning with this group, find out who does and doesn’t have SSA, grow their amygdalas through positive bonding, and see how they experience their sexuality then….

    K.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Katie, I appreciate your perspectives. They add a most interesting element to the discussion here.

    And doubt we’ll have a political environment in which the soul of SSA men won’t be fought for by the various political camps until we do

    .

    Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be getting around this anytime soon. It is a sad fact.

    And I doubt that, for those who do experience change, they do so in an environment which doesn’t overtly target change as a goal — just adds to the obsession it would seem to me: “Don’t think of that Giraffe”…. Doesn’t really work too well…

    Gee, ya think? Yes, this should be pretty obvious but isn’t. Good point.

  • Michael Bussee

    @ Debbie:

    “…we do not have to be controlled by our sexual impulses and we are not necessarily defined by our sexuality.”

    Are you suggesting that people who accept themselves as gay are “controlled” and do “define themselves” that way? You seem to be arguing that unlike “ex-gays” who fill the hole with God, we “gays” are a bunch sexual addicts, controlled by our sexual desires. Eddy refers to it as “life-dominating” — and who build our identity soley around who we have sex with.

    …a person who formerly was ruled by what they perceived as a dire need but who now sees life through a different lens and has a freedom from those old impulses?

    There it is again. Unlike “ex-gays” who lhunger and thrist for God, we “gays” hunger and thrist after the flesh. We still have a “dire need” and are still in “bondage” to “those old impulses”.

    I have never said you “don’t exist”. Of course you do. I have no problem that some folks choose not to act on the attractions — and no problem with the idea that some of their SSA diminishes over time.

    @Concerned:

    …I still have some attraction to other men. Personally, I am thankful that I can find certain men, but definitely not all men, physically attractive. That does not mean I have to sleep with them to be happy and I will also say it does not mean I am gay.

    There it is again. You are suggesting that “gays” have to, are compelled to, are controlled by their desire to have gay sex. Some are. Just as some straights are controlled by their urges. I asm glad you are happy. But what do you mean by “it does not mean that I am gay”?

    What is the difference between having exlcusive SSA anf being “gay”? Is it the word “gay” that upsets you.? You and I both have SSA. Why am I gay and you are not? You may indeed be happy and may not feel much urge to have gay sex, but you’re still SSA, not heterosexual.

    Once again, the question “Can gays change?” depends ENTIRELY on what you mean by “gay” and what you mean by “change”.

  • Michael Bussee

    Why does it bug you guys so much when I ask you to be specific and not just throw Christianese labels around that (intentionally or not) give the impression that you are saying that you are no longer gay?

    To me, “gay” and “SSA” are synonyms. What do you guys, Debbie, Eddy and Concerned, mean by “gay”? If you can answer that clearly, I would quit hounding you about the term “ex-gay“. Come on, give it a shot.

  • Katie

    Michael Bussey,

    I know this question wasn’t aimed at me, but I thought I’d respond anyway.

    And I think I can only give an indication — rather than a definition or definitive demarcation — between the difference of gay vs. SSA….

    To me, gay implies someone who is capable of a wide range of emotions which get expressed through some level of sexual and/or romantic feelings for the same sex. Anger? Gay. Hostility? Gay. Tenderness? Gay. The wish to hug? Gay. The wish to be assertive? Gay. Submissive? Gay. Happy? Gay. The desire to experience the ugly? Gay. The beautiful? Gay….. etc…..

    SSA, on the other hand, often has a very restricted range of emotions attached to it, and often of rather negative ones. Anger? SSA. Hostility? SSA. The wish to be punished? SSA. The wish for homoerotic humiliation? SSA….. Etc….

    It’s not the presence of negative emotions that matters. It’s the absence of positive ones, especially the desire to experience intimate joy with another.

    To change your question:

    What’s the difference between someone who ID’s as a Sado-Masochist and someone like me who doesn’t?

    I’d assume that for those who decide to come out as a Sado-Masochist and join marches to gain public acceptance, etc…. do so because they find enough satisfaction in that identity: It makes them happy — gay even.

    Whereas for me, having sado-masochistic fantasies doesn’t make me gay. I really don’t like it. And one of the reasons I don’t like it is because of how it FEELS — which is really hard to explain — but I’ll try:

    First of all, my S&M fantasies are non-responsive to changing circumstance, they don’t include the particular loved one in my life. When I have them, I’m involved with a faceless person without personality. A no one or every one — but certainly not a some one.

    When I try to include in my fantasy my loved one, it really just doesn’t work. It grosses me out because my S&M fantasies are pretty gross. Won’t bore you with details, just take my word for it: gross, or sad, or vacuous — just a broken record stuck on the same old theme.

    When I periodically manage to have a more tender fantasy, and especially if I can include my loved one in it — Ah, what a difference. Now I’m in the land of here and now, of the future, of something actually happening. It’s more joyful, hopeful, creative…..

    It’s not that I deny that S&M fantasies are a part of who I am, it’s just that I don’t create an Identity around them. I far more identify with my gayer fantasies. And I have never come across a person who would even contemplate for a second that in doing so I’m delusional or politically incorrect.

    I think where all this back and forth between you and Debbie and others comes from is an assumption on the part of both that what’s partially true of one person is wholly true of all.

    Or at least should be.

    In no other area of our sexuality are these assumptions made other than our choice of either men or women as a sexual partner.

    Which I find weird. And I find it weird that more people don’t find it as weird as I.

    I’m all for gay marriage.

    Lots of gay folk are as healthy and messed up as straight folk.

    But I also think that for some people, their homosexualtiy is more like my S&M fantasies, and that gay folk should respect this just as much as they respect their own loving feelings towards the same sex.

    Besides, I don’t find this a confusing notion at all — the difference between Gay and SSA that is. No more confusing than thinking of my own S&M fantasies.

    I know of at least one gay man who has a similar thing going on in regard to his compulsive heterosexual behavior. He has a long-term male lover, but has sex with female strangers, for lots of reasons, not least of which is that he knows it’s more humiliating for his male lover. And this according to his own words.

    The assumption that all homosexuality is filled with all that light and good is false. Same with heterosexuality.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Debbie and Concerned:

    Am I getting this right? Unlike a “gay” person, you see an “ex-gay” as one who is no longer “ruled”, controlled” or “dominated” by their SSA — a person who no longer has a “dire need” for, is no longer “bondage” to , is no longer “defined” by their same sex attractions.

    A person who used to “have to” sleep with the same sex in order to be happy. A person who used to use gay sex to fill the God-shaped hole. Unlike “gays” who are still addicted, controlled, defined, in bondage and Godless. Is that us?

  • Michael Bussee

    Katie, the man you describe as a “gay man who has a similar thing going on in regard to his compulsive heterosexual behavior. He has a long-term male lover, but has sex with female strangers” is not gay. He is bisexual.

    Definition:

    1. attracted to both sexes: sexually attracted to both men and women, or engaging in both heterosexual and homosexual activity

    Let’s define some terms. I know ex-gays absolutely hate that, but it is necessary. Otherwise we may not be talking about the same thing at all.

  • Katie

    And….

    It seems to me that to really get at the difference of opinion between Michael and Debbie they both would have to share their feelings about their own sexual fantasies/attractions.

    Intellectual debate is great.

    But we are intellectualizing about some of our deepest emotions.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    And if for you being “gay” meant bondage, domination, contol, dire need, being defined by it, feeling enslaved by it, having no room for God because of it — no wonder you wanted OUT.

  • Katie

    Yes, Michael, he’s bisexual — but in what way?

    He’s gay when he’s feeling positive — heterosexual when he want’s to stab his lover in his heart.

    That’s very different than someone who finds both men and women cute and sexy.

    He doesn’t find women cute and sexy minus having a male lover who he feels compelled to cheat on with women.

    So I’m not sure sexual orientation language doesn’t confuse the matter more than it helps clarify it.

    Again, I view this guy more like my S&M fantasies — his issue is one of sexual orientation — it’s more about S&M.

    Get rid of the need to humiliate his loved one, the heterosexuality falls out.

    K.

  • Katie

    P.S.

    The need to say he’s bisexual sort of gets back to my point about how it is that only in regard to our attractions to either men or women do we feel compelled to claim that such attractions are related to Identity, to the deepest aspects of who we are.

    Not so for all other attractions.

    Why?

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Katie: To me being “gay” just means having homosexual attractions, not heterosexual ones. It doesn’t mean the person is happy and it doesn’t reveal why the person acts out in the manner he does. It doesn’t matter why he does it, or if he likes it, feels “positive” about it, or if he finds both “cute and loveable” — he’s bisexual

    I think we make this too complicated. There are standard, English definitions of these terms. Homo = same sex attraction, behavior. Hetero = opposite sex attractio, behavior. Bisexual = both.

    “Ex-gays” in particular, resist these definitions. I had one guy on this blog argue that “having attractions to both sexes” was the “secular definition of bisexual” — as if there is some sort of Christian dictionary with more accurate definitions!

    Are there differences? Degrees? Varying levels of intensity or frequency? Different motivations? Of course.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    You are equating thoughts to actual being. If a man/woman thinks of murder – are they a murderer? Of course not. If a man/woman thinks of sex with their own gender does not make them bisexual or gay. I think you oversimplify and over generalize to fit your own broad definition of sexuality. You have to be specific.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    Like Mary said, your definition of gay, bi, straight, opens up the sexual orientation club to just anyone — even people attracted to shoes, animals and children.

    If you want to open up the phrase “Sexual Orientation” in this way, be my guest. I’m not opposed to it.

    But most people don’t want to, and for good reasons.

    If we want to keep the Sexual Orientation Club open only to those attracted to adult men and/or women, then we have to have a REASON to do so. And it seems to me that that reason is going to be based on things like the ability to feel attracted to another being capable of returning the feelings or not. In other words, it’s going to be connected to the developmental capacity to recognize and respect the subjectivity of the Other.

    So using either men or women as pure objects, like one would use shoes, wouldn’t amount to a sexual orientation any more than a preference for shoes would. It would be an attraction, a sexual preference, a turn-on — but not a fully developed orientation.

    If you don’t like this, then come up with a reason that a Pedophile can’t join the Sexual Orientation Club…. or someone who likes sex with animals, or shoes, or…..

    Katie

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    I resist these over-simplified definitions, and I’m not ex-gay. Not religious. Support gay marriage….

    Find some of the feelings people express on this blog regarding their fear that god doesn’t approve of any form of homosexuality to be painful….

    But still think that your simple definitions make cookie cutters out of individuals. And I have a secular, non-gay, reason for questioning this :)

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary: I do not agree. Homosexuaily/Murder is not an acceptable analogy.

    If one thinksIf a man/woman thinks of sex with their own gender does inded make them bisexual or gay.

    Homosexual=SSA=gay. Heterosexual=OSA+ straight. Bisexual+both..

    That’s what the words mean. I didn’t make up the definitions. If you don’t like it, take it up with Websters.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    But if the question is: “Do exclusively SSA males lose their SSA entirely and become completely heterosexual instead? The answer, so far as we know now, is NO.

    Perhaps a better answer might be: to date we do not see any indication of this occuring with any frequency nor do we know of any effective tools by which this can be accomplished. While it theoretically occur, any claims that it does occur should be dismissed unless they are accompanied with valid evidence.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Kate:

    Like Mary said, your definition of gay, bi, straight, opens up the sexual orientation club to just anyone — even people attracted to shoes, animals and children.

    Pardon me, but, really, this is just plain stupid. Come on. There is no “sexual orientation club”. And I am certainly not trying to suggest that every sexual urge or behavior is an “orientation” — and therefore OK — or that every sort of sexual practice (abuse of animals, children or shoes) should be “let in”.

    I am simply pointing out that words mean something – and that things get confused when “ex-gays” bend the terms (or invent new ones) instead of simply describing the “change” they are talking about -- using the most easily understood, widely accepted, English, dictionary definitions

    Drop the buzzwords, the hype, the Christianese. Drop “ex-gay”, Like Alan Chambers, President of EXODUS, suggested. About the term “ex-gay, he says,

    “It is more confusing than anything… It does reaaly accuratel describe wwat the change process is all about…it’s more confusing than anything.. It should be officially retired…we should see that it is never used again.”

    I am with Alan. Just tell your stories.. If Jesus has changed you, say how. If you are still SSA, tells us how you handle it — don’t lead us to believe that Jesus made you straight.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    If Ex-Gay is misleading, and therefore cruel to those seeking truth and hope…then is biological determinism equally cruel (if not more) for those contemplating “what should I do with my feelings?”

    I think that it is a bit of a distraction to counter with biological determinism. Perhaps the bigger question is whether orientation (SSA) is determined, whether biologically or otherwise. In other words, is the experience of same-sex attraction external to the conscious decisions of the individual.

    And I think we can all agree that this is the case. Even Joe Nicolosi will acknowledge that same-sex attraction is determined prior to any conscious will on the part of the SSA person.

    The debate over whether there is “a gay gene” or whether birth order or hormones or diet other factors are determinant is a bit moot to the fact that there is determinism, whether biological or otherwise.

    It is fact – which I think we all can acknowledge – that some persons will experience same-sex attraction and that this attraction is neither selected by them nor avoidable for them. The only question is in how they should respond.

    David, it appears to me (and correct me if I’m wrong) that your comments about biological determinism suggest that such persons should not accept as true that they have these attractions and that they should instead seek to rid themselves of such attractions. That to tell them that they are SSA persons and likely to always and forever have SSA is “cruel”.

    But if we want to discuss hope then we have to tell the truth. Not the “truth” (i.e. religious doctrine that is not observed in reality) but the fact-based objective truth.

    And that truth is that virtually every male person that experiences SSA will ALWAYS have this as an experience. And that to structure their life under the assumption that it will be irradicable is equivalent to structuring their finances under the assumption that they will suddenly be discovered to be the true heir to the throne of England.

    To encourage such assumptions is, in my opinion, the most cruel of all.

    Any response to SSA men needs to begin with the assumption that this particular person will always experience SSA and then move on to involve moral, religious, and practical responses to this fact.

  • Michael Bussee

    One more time, this time without the typos: Alan Chambers, on the term “Ex-gay”:

    “It is more confusing than anything… It does not accuratey describe what the change process is really all about…It’s more confusing than anything.. It should be officially retired…we should see that it is never used again.”</blockquote>

    How come you guys don’t get upset when Alan Chambers says it?

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    Like all dictionaries, Webster’s uses concise definitions, they don’t claim to get into nuances, but nuances are pretty important.

    If you look up “repression” in Webster’s you’ll get a partial definition compared to, say, a dictionary devoted to words commonly used in psychology. In a dictionary devoted to psychology, you’ll get a longer, more complicated, definition.

    Same with things like straight, bi, gay.

    Anyhow, glad you don’t want to include Pedophilia under the umbrella of “Sexual Orientation”.

    But WHY don’t you?

    Like straights, gays and bisexuals, they’re simply attracted to children.

    This is an important question.

    So, again, WHY don’t you want to include Pedophilia?

    Or, if you prefer, why doesn’t Webster’s?

    There IS a reason — what do you imagine it might be?

    K.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Timothy – I like the nuance in that statement regarding change.

    Michael – I am not you are catching the nuance Katie is bringing. First of all, I do not think her points are stupid, any of them. I think she is raising the points that make this whole area so contentious.

    Independent of “straight by faith” designations, there are people who are kind of mixed orientation. I have been looking for some analogies and mixed race came to me but I am not sure this works either.

    People who are mixed orientation can feel quite emotionally drawn to the same sex but have little to no sexual urges in that direction. Or they can feel like sex would be good with the same sex but have no emotional pull that way at all. Congruence is what most gays and straights feel (attraction, desire and emotional complementarity all goes one way to one sex). However, there are people who are not congruent and vary according to circumstance. You can call that bisexual but within that category there is lots of mischief….

  • Mary

    Michael,

    MOST men and women have had same sex thoughts – MOST people are not SSA.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Mary said:

    MOST men and women have had same sex thoughts – MOST people are not SSA.

    I really doubt that. More women than men, perhaps, but the research I have seen disagrees with that. In our research, anyway, we are not seeing it.

  • Katie Cannon

    Timothy,

    The word’s still out on whether not one single male has ever at one point experienced SSA and at another not.

    Again, on the support group for sexually abused men, there seems to be a few.

    I have no reason not to believe them, though others might have their reasons not to believe them.

    I would imagine that it would be more difficult, not less, to let one’s attractions go where they may when there’s so much pressure to make them go where one feels they must….

    Anyway, seems pretty much like selective attention to pay attention only to “ex-gays” in regard to the possibility of change.

    There’s secular, non-believing, guys out there who also claim to no longer have homosexual attractions.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    ….. and yes, even they might have “residual” feelings — but I’m not at all sure that their residual feelings aren’t the same type of experiences straight men have. Or men who would score 1/2 on the Kinsey scale — or who are viewed as straight enough to be awarded public recognition as straight.

    K.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    RE: Pedophilia – Apples and oranges to compare with adult sexual orientations. Children have no ability to participate as an equal or with consent. Hence, the distinction from adults being attracted to others of equal sexuality. And clearly, socially we need to create bright red lines of distinction.

  • Michael Bussee

    OK, maybe not stupid. It’s offensive. She seems to be saying, “Well gee, if we let in those gays, we will have to let in everybody!”. There is no “club” to open up.

    She seems to be using “orientation” to mean “natural or common, therefore OK”. I do not think that all sexuality is healthy, moral? TO me, “orientation” is a completely neutral term. It refers only to the direction on the desire, not their “OK-ness”.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Warren: This is very wise:

    Congruence is what most gays and straights feel (attraction, desire and emotional complementarity all goes one way to one sex). However, there are people who are not congruent and vary according to circumstance. You can call that bisexual but within that category there is lots of mischief….

    I like the “not congruent” idea very much. Whether or not the attractions are congruent to one’s values or psyche is very important. And as you know, I have no problem with people who find their attractions “not congruent” and seek some sort of resolution so that they they can feel more congruent.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Debbie

    …I said I “seek to” reflect Christ…

    OK. I apologize for the deletion of those two words.

    Please accept my revised comments to read:

    In defense of ex-gay activism designed to harm the lives of gay people, you said something interesting, Debbie. You said that you seek to reflect Christ to all you meet.

    Guess what: some of those who you meet believe you.

    They believe that Jesus Christ wants to deny gay people the right to serve in the Military, to ban them from providing health insurance for their partner, to make them pay higher taxes, to take their children away from them, to have civil govenments treat gay couples differently than straight couples, to deny them certain jobs, to refuse them adoption rights, to provide housing, employment, and services protections for Christians but deny them to gays, to have schools demean gay parents to their own children, to disallow immigration of gay partners, and to have his followers just plain treat gay people like sh*t.

    That’s what Exodus and other conservatives have “reflected”. And that’s what some gay people believe. Needless to say, they don’t have any use for that christ. He’s evil.

    Fortunately, there are many Christians reflecting an entirely different Christ.

    moving on…

    Timothy, the time comes when we all have to take a real and honest inventory of who we are and what we represent. I see very little humility in you, and that is of concern if you want to be taken seriously.

    You’ve spoken before of humility

    The written record on this blog will reflect my humility in that regard. I rest my case.

    I’m reminded a bit of Uriah Heep.

    But yes, it is always important to take a real and honest inventory of who we are and what we represent. I quite agree.

  • Michael Bussee

    It’s the language I have a big problem with…I agree with Alan Chambers. Just describe the change – or if you must coin new terms to describe the “process” or use confusing, vexing, provocative words like “ex-gay”, at least give us the best definition you can. Tell us what has changed. Is that too much to ask?

  • Michael Bussee

    Katie:

    There’s secular, non-believing, guys out there who also claim to no longer have homosexual attractions.

    Really? Where? We can’t even find Christian guys to make that claim. And God can do anything, right?

  • Katie Cannon

    Warren,

    It’s not always a case of apples and oranges: Ted Bundy, etc…

    I doubt Ted Bundy a fully developed heterosexuality, because he didn’t have a fully developed developmental capacity to do just what you say distinguishes adult sexuality from pedophilia — the recognition and respect of the Other’s subjectivity.

    And that’s my point: The notion of “Sexual Orientation” implies this developmental capacity. Period.

    It’s the only thing that creates that clear, red line.

    But you can be attracted to either adult males or females, and still not have this capacity, or at least not much of it.

    Ted Bundy, etc…

    So when someone claims that sexual orientation is defined merely by some attraction or another, irrespective of their developmental capacity to respect the other’s subjectivity, as long as it’s directed at adult males or females, I don’t think they REALLY mean this.

    Or if they do, then they have to explain why it’s a part of sexual orientation to be attracted to killing adult women, but not a part of sexual orientation to be attracted to children….

    But as you answered, and what I think most people mean, is that we assume that attractions to adult humans also implies the developmental capacity to recognize and respect the subjectivity of the Other.

    But it doesn’t always imply this.

    Michael,

    Read what I’ve written a bit more carefully.

    All I’m asking is why we allow Ted Bundy into the umbrella of sexual orientation, but not a guy who likes shoes?

    You might find the question offensive, but that’s just because you want to defend something regarding adult attractions to other adults.

    But I doubt your defense is about adults and adults of any kind whatsoever.

    It’s about defending our human capacity to view others as fully human.

    Period.

    So again, my point is that we assume that sexual orientation is about more than brute attractions to adults — it’s about this capacity to relate to others in a way that respects their autonomy and humaness.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren, I appreciate that you continue to address the facts:

    RE: Pedophilia – Apples and oranges to compare with adult sexual orientations

    .

    And this, about the assertion that most people have SSA:

    I really doubt that. More women than men, perhaps, but the research I have seen disagrees with that. In our research, anyway, we are not seeing it.

  • Mary

    Katie,

    That is a real point. How do we appreciate the sexuality and the person involved in our sexual life. Are they an object or really a human whom we care about? Do we treat them as something for our own gratification or do we enjoy that which we contribute to their whole being?

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Anyhow, glad you don’t want to include Pedophilia under the umbrella of “Sexual Orientation”.

    But WHY don’t you?

    Like straights, gays and bisexuals, they’re simply attracted to children.

    This is an important question.

    So, again, WHY don’t you want to include Pedophilia?

    Or, if you prefer, why doesn’t Webster’s?

    There IS a reason — what do you imagine it might be?

    Katie,

    I believe we have discussed this at length. Remember the compass illustration?

    At some point this question begins to resemble, “why aren’t butterflies a type of flower?” The only answer is: because that’s not what the word is used for.

    Just as “flower” is not the word for ‘all pretty things’, Sexual Orientation isn’t the term for ‘all things one may involve in sexual fantasy’.

    There’s no “why” about it.

    Sexual orientation is not an “umbrella” under which many things are covered. It is, instead, a term that identifies whether the gender of the adult person to whom one is attracted is the same as one’s own, the opposite, both, or neither.

    It does not measure whether you like big butts, whether she’s got hips and knows how to use them, whether you wish you had Jesse’s girl, or whether smoke gets in your eyes.

  • Katie Cannon

    Mary,

    Thanks for not calling me stupid :)

    Michael,

    Mary doesn’t think I’m stupid :)

    But really, this notion is implicit in discussions of sexual orientation, even if it’s not mentioned out right.

    It’s implicit in Webster’s too.

    And to follow up on what Warren wrote about non-congruance — it seems to me that a lot of the guys who are non-congruent are non-congruent because one sex or the other is being taken as a sexual object to a high degree, and that when you look their capacity for mutual relatedness within a dyadic relationship, they’re capacity for mutuality is higher in regard to the sex with whom they don’t have sex.

    It’s often emotional/sexual splitting, which we see all the time in heterosexual and gay people, and aren’t all that mystified by it.

    It’s only when the same type of splitting includes bisexual splitting that we now get all caught up in finding their sexual orientation terribly mysterious.

    But that’s because we’re stuck in assuming that all attractions aimed at adults is the result of sexual orientation, and that our sexual orientation is unique, and completely different than any other set of attractions.

    Which is at least questionable.

    K.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    I think it is legs and knows how to use them (could be hips I guess but then it wouldn’t be ZZ Top).

    Ah, Jesse’s girl – great song.

    All of which made me think of Toto.

    TGIF

  • Katie Cannon

    Timothy,

    But when you create the compass, then define it, then create, then define it…..

    We can ask why we feel compelled to both create the compass and define it in the way that we do.

    Those who are out in the streets fighting for their equal rights to Identify as Sado-Masochists don’t like that the compass doesn’t include them.

    Same with certain groups who promote attractions towards children.

    So, no, Timothy, simply responding that the powers that be both created and defined the compass and that’s all there is to it, doesn’t get it.

    No more than when heterosexuals defined the compass to include only heterosexuality, and dismissed all forms of homosexuality as a fetish.

    So you might feel like it’s an old, already answered question, but you haven’t actually answered the question.

    Accept to point out that the compass which used to hold only heterosexuality now holds any old attraction of any type to any adult.

    K.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Katie,

    I think you misunderstand. The term “sexual orientation” is already taken. It doesn’t “include” anything or anyone, it isn’t an umbrella, and it isn’t another word for attraction.

    If you’d like to coin a new phrase, feel free.

    We could, I suppose, have katiecannonism, which can mean an umbrella that includes Ted Bundy, pedophiles, and shoe fetishists, the disconcordant, those with a capacity for mutual relatedness within a dyadic relationship, and anything else you’d like.

    But as for the term “sexual orientation”, that one isn’t up for redefinition.

    It’s not even questionable.

  • Michael Bussee

    Katie, I don’t think you are stupid. I think your analogy was.

    Orientation only means the “prevailing direction” — as in the Church is built with an east/west orientation. Or the compass needed is oriented north.

    As Timothy has pointed out “orientation” in this context refers to:

    whether the gender of the adult person to whom one is attracted is the same as one’s own, the opposite, both, or neither.

    You are confusing”paraphilia” with “orientation”

    From the DSM:

    “Paraphilias: recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving: (1) nonhuman objects, or (2) the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one’s partner, or (3) children or other nonconsenting persons.”

    People of all orientation, can have paraphilias. They are different things.

  • Michael Bussee

    Warren: Back to your idea of congruence, perhaps we need to look at several, different scales;

    (1) Is the person SSA, OSA or some combination?

    (2) Are these attractions primarily emotional, erotic, romantic? A combination?

    (3) Are these attractions experienced as wanted or congruent with one’s values, self-image, etc.?

    (4) How strong are the attractions? How intense? How frequent?

    I am sure there are many, many more. SSA’s who like it. SSA’s who don’t. SSA’s twho do it. SSA’s who don’t. SSA’s who base their “identity” on it. SSA’s who don’t. SSA’s who already had some OSA. SSA’s that didn’t. Etc., etc.,etc…

  • Katie Cannon

    Timothy,

    The phrase “sexual orientation” was “taken” 30 years ago too, and didn’t include homosexuality, cuz homosexuality was considered a fetish or paraphilia….

    So, now it’s “taken” again…. so one can’t question HOW it’s taken, how it’s used, what it means?

    Come on, that’s silly.

    And STILL doesn’t get at WHAT we mean by the phrase, especially what we implicitly mean whenever we say anything at all beyond “the general direction of one’s attractions in regard to men, women, or both”.

    Michael,

    No, I’m not confusing sexual orientation with paraphilias, though I think most discussions tend to once we get beyond the definition of sexual orientation as being “the general direction of one’s attractions in regard to men, women, or both”….

    Because the above definition does not exclude things like paraphilias, so paraphilias are allowed to sneak in as long as your paraphilia belongs to the body of an adult.

    But we don’t REALLY mean this, because we don’t want to let paraphilias in….

    But if we claim that adult attractions can be pretty much like a paraphilia, then we’re told that we’re prudes, stuck in the dark old days of Victorianism, etc…. And that all our attractions to adults should be freed from these dark shackles because our sex is the most important source of freedom…. etc….

    So….

    Am I confused between the two? I’ll answer differently than above — probably.

    Are you?

    Probably.

    Because I think our whole notion of sexual orientaton is pretty darn confusing, and promotes this confusion.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    And Micheal and Timothy,

    Neither of you have yet answered the question:

    Why do we protect the notion of sexual orientation? Why do we even want to make a distinction between orientation and a fetish?

    Did Ted Bundy have a sexual orientation, or did he suffer from fetishes?

    And before you simply answer with “both” — if he killed both men and women, would he have been a bisexual? Or simply a murderer?

    K.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    No Katie,

    You’re just flat wrong.

    The phrase “sexual orientation” was “taken” 30 years ago too, and didn’t include homosexuality, cuz homosexuality was considered a fetish or paraphilia….

    The phase “sexual orientation” does not “include” homosexuality, or not in the sense that you mean. Not now, not 30 years ago, nor tomorrow.

    It isn’t a bucket. Or an umbrella. It just isn’t.

    And until you realize that the phrase “sexual orientation” is not a collective term that includes various things, your arguments will continue to befuddle and bemuse.

    Sexual orientation was a phrase invented to explain a very specific thing.

    It was not coined to describe all of ones attractions. It was coined to describe the gender of the person to whom one is attracted. It only asks one question (just one). It asks: “same or opposite”. That’s all.

    And there are only four things described because that is the maximum number of answers: 1) Same, 2) Opposite, 3) Both, 4) Neither

    These are answers for which there are also descriptive to go with these four answers: 1) Homosexual, 2) Heterosexual, 3) BiSexual, 4) Asexual

    Homosexuality wasn’t “added” 30 years ago.

    In Iran where they kill gay folk, “same” (homosexual) is still one of the four possible answers. In Sweden, where gay folk can marry, “same” (homosexual) is still one of the four possible answers.

    Because sexual orientation says nothing about societal approval or social standing. It has never – EVER – been used to mean “acceptable attractions”.

    And one of the possible answers to the gender of the person to whom one is attracted is not “shoes”. Because “shoes” is not a gender. Nor is S&M a gender. Nor is “little children” a gender.

    You may really really really want sexual orientation to mean something else, but it simply doesn’t. And the reason is not about acceptablity or inclusion or PC or anything else. It’s because sexual orientation only asks one question.

    If you want to ask a different question you certainly can. You can ask about height or shoes or S&M. You just can’t call it sexual orientation.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    OK, you’ve been asking a lot of questions, Katie. I have one for you:

    Why isn’t “red” a number?

  • Michael Bussee

    @Katie: This is silly:

    Because the above definition does not exclude things like paraphilias, so paraphilias are allowed to sneak in..”

    A definition doesn’t have to specifally exclude all other things not covered by the definition. If it did, we would have definitions like “DONKEY: Equus africanus asinus, is a domesticated member of the Equidae or horse family, and an odd-toed ungulat – not a tangerine.”

    Why do we even want to make a distinction between orientation and a fetish?

    Because they are different things.

    Am I confused between the two? I’ll answer differently than above — probably. Are you?

    I think you are. It helps to consult several different dictionaries if you are not sure what words mean.

    Did Ted Bundy have a sexual orientation, or did he suffer from fetishes?

    From what I have read, he was heterosexual. He was also a socio-path and a serial killer. Once again, your analogies are spurious. See, I didn’t call you stupid.

    If he killed both men and women, would he have been a bisexual? Or simply a murderer

    OK, that’s stupid. If he killed both he’s still a murderer. If he ensnared, raped, tortured and killed both for sexual pleasure, he sould be a sociopathic, sadistic, bisexual murderer.

  • Katie Cannon

    Timothy,

    Sexual orientation is a fairly new term, and while I haven’t read everything written on the matter, there’s certainly been an evolution in it’s use over the years.

    And yes, many people have excluded homosexuality from it’s umbrella, preferring to put homosexuality under the umbrella of a fetish.

    Gee, I can’t spend time directing you to such things, and I’m pretty certain you yourself know this anyway.

    But Freud, for instance, wavered between seeing homosexuality as an orientation and seeing it as more like a fetish, despite the fact that, considering his time and place, he was pretty forward looking when it came to the matter.

    Further, many people, many, many, have, and I think rightly, tried to sort out the difference between an orientation and fetishes, and how fetishes play into, or not, our orientations.

    If a guy is attracted to breasts, and really doesn’t care about anything else about women — not if they’re tall, short, pretty, ugly, nice, mean, etc…. has no interest whatsoever in their personhood, many, many, people would distinguish this from an orientation and call it a fetish.

    Who? Other than me?

    So many people that all I can do is suggest you look up words like “partialism”.

    And undoubtedly things like this get people confused, just as there’s indication that things like this confused Freud’s feelings about homosexuality — cuz he had contact with both gay men and men who had things going on that are more like fetishes than what we now consider to be a sexual orientation.

    Going back to your definition:

    Not everybody accepts it’s simplicity — so it’s not a matter of a Katie-ism. It goes to the heart of much of this debate.

    My own suspicion is that a guy with a more or less fully developed homosexual orientation doesn’t experience a lot of fluidity or change.

    But that change is seen more in men who have “partialism” — or “incongruence”– or not a fully developed orientation to begin with. Or, dare I say? that his homosexuality is more like a fetish — more an attraction to one’s own self-state than an attraction to others in their own right.

    And that true bisexuality is rare.

    I guess I could ask if an attraction to penises is the same as an attraction to men?

    K.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    On the Eastern side of our great land, it is just about quitting time, so this is my last contribution for the afternoon.

    I am somewhere between in the sexual orientation wars. I understand the need and desire for precision but I have problems with the concept of sexual orientation as well. And so do many researchers who often break it down into sexual attraction and sexual preference and sexual behavior, etc. (thinking of M. Bailey in that regard). However, I think the references to fetishes obscures more than it clarifies.

    Lisa Diamond also has some thoughts on the topic and I invite all to read this article (What Does Sexual Orientation Orient….?) which I think is a solid piece.

    Diamond deals with the incongruences that I raise and indicates that the proper understanding of sexual behavior and attraction requires an understanding of the attachment processes which are interdependent with sexual desire.

    Hope everybody stays in one piece.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    I don’t go into reading a bunch of dictionaries, but I have read quite a bit on sexuality, so it’s not that I don’t understand the terms.

    Considering my situation, I’ll take a stab at guessing that I’ve read more than most people about partialism, fetishes, and the like.

    My point is — I think — that when someone claims that for a person to say they’ve experienced a change in their “orientation”, though they still have fantasies of a homosexual nature, we can ask further questions — like — just what attracts them?

    A penis? Irrespective of all other qualities?

    If the answer is yes, is he really still SSA in a sexual orientation way?

    Is an attraction to penises an orientation as long as that penis belongs to adults?

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    And the question is relevant because in my experience, most men who have a penis fetish would rather claim an orientation as bisexual or gay than to claim they have a penis fetish.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    And yes, many people have excluded homosexuality from it’s umbrella, preferring to put homosexuality under the umbrella of a fetish.

    Katie: A feitsh is: Something, such as a material object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification.

    And people of all orientations can have them. They are different things. Only you want to make them the same, for some reason. It seems to me that you are actually saying is: “if we say that homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality are all “orientations”, that means we have to say everything is and anything goes…let everything join some sort of “club:” make everything OK, let perverts sneak in to the party.

  • Katie Cannon

    Warren,

    It can obscure.

    But not dealing with it can also obscure.

    Like I bet it obscured Bailey’s studies, which is probably why he’s now studying fetishes.

    We won’t understand orientation without understanding fetishes, or at least I don’t think so.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Orientation is simply whether the attractions are SSA, OSA or both. Fetishes, paraphilias — mass murderers — are a different subject. Why do you want to equate them?

  • Michael Bussee

    Or put it another way, if I am arroused by men’s black leather boots, then my orientation is gay, but my fetish is boots. I have both — an orientation and a fetish.

    .

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    I’m not making them the same.

    They are different.

    And you’ve totally missed my point, which is either because I”m not very clear or you’re stupid :) Ok, maybe both….

    What I’m saying is that sexual orientation is MORE than brute, any sort-of, attraction.

    It’s an attraction to an Other, to another Subject, to another subjectivity, to a PERSON.

    There’s a developmental notion built into the idea of sexual orientation.

    A valuable one.

    And that when we ignore this implicit notion of moral development, then we loose track of what we mean by the phrase sexual orientation to begin with.

    And this, it seems to me, muddies the waters when it comes to a lot of the research in regard to things like change, etc….

    Studies on the relative levels of anxiety among straight vs. gay men, etc….

    And so on….

    And it also creates a political atmosphere in which it’s very difficult for men who seem to be “bisexual” in an orientation sort of way to be allowed to “change” due to internal feelings, like the simple desire to more fully develop their capacity to relate to others as Subject with Subject.

    And my point is just that simple.

    K.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Ok, I lied.

    Sure, Bailey wants to understand what directs (orients) sexual interest toward whatever (people, things). I do as well. However, sexual orientation as a construct is limited to people. If you mean orientation in the sense of direction then the world opens up. But if you Sexual Orientation as a socio-psycho-legal construct, I think speaking about it along with fetishes is confusing.

    People in the biz want to know what cause neurons to fire upon awareness of a cue – lots of cues under lots of circumstances. However, when discussing pair bonding and relationships, I like keeping it to peeps.

    DId I mention it was Friday?

  • Katie Cannon

    In response to the boot thing….

    And if you’re attracted to penises, but not men qua men?

    K.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Two lies…

    Hey Michael, what if you (not me, well not you but someone) are turned on by men’s boots only when a blond girl is wearing them?

    I really gotta quit…

  • Katie Cannon

    Ah, but there you go again… pair bonding….

    Me too :)

    And this whole issue of pair bonding is pretty darn important, and without it, you don’t get a fully developed orientation.

    And I suspect that most people who experience change in their orientations, didn’t have one to begin with because the stuff out of which we become capable of pair bonding was interrupted.

    But, it’s also the case that I’ve been immersed in the whole issue of sexual abuse, emotional neglect, physical terror, etc….

    And, at least in this population, fluidity and change seems directly related to one’s capacity for intimacy, or pair bonding.

    And that the issue really isn’t one of sexual orientation, but of attachments, or lack thereof.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    And if you’re attracted to penises, but not men qua men?

    As far as I know, they come attached.

    Studies on the relative levels of anxiety among straight vs. gay men, etc….

    Are they anxious because they are gay, or anxious because they have been taught they are not OK if they are? I am sure Jews under the Nazi’s had high levels of anxiety. It proves nothing about being Jewish.

    And that when we ignore this implicit notion of moral development, then we loose track of what we mean by the phrase sexual orientation to begin with.

    Who’s ignoring that? Moral development is not the same as psychosexual development. Sexual oriientation is about direction of desire. Moral development is about distinguishing right from wrong.

    And it also creates a political atmosphere in which it’s very difficult for men who seem to be “bisexual” in an orientation sort of way to be allowed to “change” due to internal feelings, like the simple desire to more fully develop their capacity to relate to others as Subject with Subject. And my point is just that simple.

    What? Who isn’t “allowing bisexual men to change”? I know of know “political atmosphere” that tries to limit a bisexual man’s desire to change anything he pleases — including a fetish, if he has one.

    What on EARTH are you talking about? Everyone, gay, straight or bi would be well-advised to “more fully develop their capacity to relate to others as Subject with Subject.” You implying that gayness is all about objectification — therefore a fetish. Not so.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Katie

    Sexual orientation is a fairly new term, and while I haven’t read everything written on the matter, there’s certainly been an evolution in it’s use over the years.

    And yes, many people have excluded homosexuality from it’s umbrella, preferring to put homosexuality under the umbrella of a fetish.

    Nope. You are talking nonsense.

    Now that sounds rude, but it is no more rude than you insisting that orientation is an umbrella. Again and again. Over and over. Rudely ignoring what anyone else says.

    To address Warren’s reference to Diamond. We can argue about whether orientation is determined by attraction or love or romance or desire, but it is always defined by either being towards the same, the opposite, both or neither sexes.

    And one can argue that one doesn’t like the concept of orientation. But we don’t get to pick and choose what is an orientation.

    As for being attracted to penises, it may come as a surprise but a penis doesn’t have a gender. Nor does a breast. Or an elbow. Or a shoe. Or a canteloupe.

    Katie, I’m beginning to think that you are being contrarian. I think you are just trying to get a reaction. You’re trying to muddy the waters and pretend not to understand and bringing up absurdities all for your own agenda – perhaps because you too dislike the concept of orientation, or perhaps in compliance with the anti-gay talking points, or perhaps just to get a laugh. I don’t know or care.

    Whatever your thing is, I’m done playing your game.

  • carole

    Well, I am incredibly dizzy after reading this, but I think at the very end I understood what Katie was actually saying, and no, Michael, I don’t think she is saying at all that “gayness is all about objectification–therefore a fetish. ” I think she has said that she believes there are homosexual and heterosexual orientations, and I don’t think she finds homosexuality inferior to heterosexuality.

    What I think she is saying is that among some with whom she has worked, (males who have been abused), she has seen some men who until they sought help in the group never had the capability to establish intimacy with anyone of either sex before, and that these men’s sexual identities were hard to figure (homosexual? heterosexual? bi? neither?) because they weren’t wholly and healthily emotionallly developed human beings because of their trauma in youth.

    Thus, I think what she has been saying is that in some of these men she has seen (or been told of ) change. The “change” is that they have moved from being someone with sexual fixations to someone who is forming an actual sexual orientation (it matters not if that orientation is homosexual or heterosexual.)

    Katie, I may have screwed up what you were trying to say, but I gave it a go. Sorry if I am not on target. If this isn’t “it,” I give!!!! LOL.

  • Mary

    If a lesbian uses a male shaped dildo while engaging in sex with her female partner – is she straight?

    If a man recieves / experiences anal stimulation by his wife/or female partner with a male shaped dildo is he gay?

    If my shrink asks me about an experience with a woman and she tries to put herself in my shoes is she gay? Am I gay? Or are we imagining and remembering something?

    If a person has a sexual dream about their own gender and has an orgasm in the course of that dream, are they gay?

  • Michael Bussee

    Give me a break, will ya? Why is this so damn difficult? Why do you want to make is so complicated?

    A person is gay if their orientation (SSA) is toward the same sex, straight if toward the opposite and bisexual if both. EASY. SIMPLE. Even my five year old daughter got it.

    One day, at the park, she said, “You really love Gary, don’t you?” I said, “Yes”. She said, in a very off-the-cuff tone, “That means your gay…” and went back to her coloring book.

    I asked her later, “Do you know what gay means, honey?’ She said, “Yeah, it means you like men, not women.” I didn’t have to tell her this stuff. She got it.

    .

  • Michael Bussee

    Regardling Carole’s comment that Katie may be basing her thoughts on the work she has done with abused men:

    I have no doubt that some SSA men “never had the capability to establish intimacy with anyone of either sex beforebecause they weren’t wholly and healthily emotionallly developed human beings because of their trauma in youth.”

    That’s a subset of SSA men. And I am glad to hear that they have healed to the point that they can now experience such intimacy.

  • Mary

    But there is a lot that is undefined. And in no way would I present these kinds of questions to a child.

    Still, you have avoided answering some basic questions. You say if you’re attracted to the same gender then you are gay. Yet, when confronted with some abiguity you start name calling again and are determined that I (an ex gay woman) don’t understand this part of sexuality?

    Strange.

  • Michael Bussee

    Question for any “ex-gay”, “former homosexua” or “from gay” on this blog: Are you now heterosexual? Be truthful.

  • Mary

    ooop – ambuguity.

  • Mary

    still can’t spell – ambiguity.

  • Mary

    By your definition Michael – no one is heterosexual.

  • carole

    @MIcheal,

    Read what I said a second time:

    What I think she is saying is that among some with whom she has worked, (males who have been abused), she has seen some men who until they sought help in the group never had the capability to establish intimacy with anyone of either sex before, and that these men’s sexual identities were hard to figure (homosexual? heterosexual? bi? neither?) because they weren’t wholly and healthily emotionallly developed human beings because of their trauma in youth.

    I didn’t refer to the men as either SSA or OSA for a reason–because her point was that these traumatized men might be moving in a healthy direction toward an actual orientation, no matter which orientation! That’s what I took her mention of “pair bonding” to mean. I don’t know why you added the “SSA” adjective.

    I take it that the men in that “survivors’ group” which she has mentioned to us several times are men of both hetero. and homo. and maybe bi orientations. It seems to me that her point is that if they move to a healthy psycho-sexual place because of therapy, it matters not if they move to heterosexuality or homosexuality.

    If I am right in interpreting what she was saying, her point is that they “change” by moving to an orientation, something they didn’t have before. All they had before were fixations–my word.

    I was very confused by what she was saying until her post of 6:05. That one I understood! (I think!)

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    Mary,

    I’ll take your questions as though they are serious. And we’ll see if these easily fit the description.

    If a lesbian uses a male shaped dildo while engaging in sex with her female partner – is she straight?

    If a woman is attracted to women then she is gay regardless of whether her partner is using an implement to stimulate her of any shape.

    If a man recieves / experiences anal stimulation by his wife/or female partner with a male shaped dildo is he gay?

    A man who is attracted to women is straight regardless of whether he enjoys anal stimulation or what implement he and his female partner uses.

    If my shrink asks me about an experience with a woman and she tries to put herself in my shoes is she gay? Am I gay? Or are we imagining and remembering something?

    Imagining yourself in anothers shoes does not impact one’s own race, gender, height, or sexual orientation. But it does lend oneself to empathy.

    If this recollection elicits a rush, an emotional tug, a heightened heartbeat, and a sense of longing, then yes you are probably same-sex attracted. Otherwise, I don’t know.

    And yes you are imagining and remembering something. This recollection may not say anything about your orientation. But if it impacts you, it very well might.

    If a person has a sexual dream about their own gender and has an orgasm in the course of that dream, are they gay?

    Well, that would be a pretty good reason to consider that the might be. Dreams are not always literal, but few people who are not same sex attracted would be likely to orgasm to same-sex dreams. If this were a regular occurance, then I’d say that the chances were pretty good.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary:

    By your definition Michael – no one is heterosexual

    .

    No. It’s not my definition. It is the commonly accepted, very widely used, easily understood (even by young children) ,dictionary definition. Not some vague, provocative or vexing term like “ex-gay” that someone made up years ago — to attract media attention — and never got around to defining.

    By the dictionary definition of the English word “heterosexual”, there are billions of them — folks that have OSA, but not SSA. BIllions of them.

    Now kindly answer the question. Are you (ex-gays and former homosexuals) heterosexual or not? If yes, what do you mean by that? If not, why not?

    Anyway, off to beautiful Palm Springs with with my boyfriend (we are both homosexually oriented) to indulge our “fetish”. The weather may be too warm for it (105 today) but we are still taking the black boots. :)

  • Mary

    Timothy,

    I see it very differently.

    A person can think about SSA and become sexually excited just because they are thinking of sex in general. A person who was molested can have an orgasm during dreams that are similar to the molestation. A woman or man can experience an orgasm while being raped and that does not make them a masochist.

  • Mary

    Something that both you MIchael and Timothy have failed to ask is this: What does the person experiencing the event think and feel about it. Besides just physical arousal (which can be done by a machine) there is much more to sexual attraction, orientation and orgasm than just parts.

  • Mary

    I am heterosexual. Sorry to dissappoint you. I remember but do not fantasize nor engage in SSA of any kind anymore. That is not to say that things could not change in the future.

  • Mary

    I have another question: If a man watches two women having sex is he a lesbian or a gay man? Afterall, he is excited by non-heterosexual sex?

  • Lynn David

    Mary opined….. I have another question: If a man watches two women having sex is he a lesbian or a gay man? Afterall, he is excited by non-heterosexual sex?

    He’s a megalomaniacal heterosexual who thinks he’s god’s gift to women.

    .

    He sure as heck isn’t gay. I had to turn that stuff off when it came on Queer as Folk.

  • Lynn David

    Also Mary it’s the same reason straight women like to watch to guys going after each other …. or at least my straight women friends have so told me.

    Bailey (Baily?) did that work on arousal and did find that gay men were not attracted to watching lesbian sex, but could be aroused by straight sex, simply because a man was in the picture. Same reason straight men were turned off by watching two gay men but would watch two lesbians.

  • Katie Cannon

    Carol,

    Yes, you got what I was saying.

    And if I get Bailey correctly, his bisexual studies have naturally lead him to look at fetishes, because, for instance, if a bisexually identified man reports he’s bi, but only gets a hard-on when viewing men, it MIGHT be that the reason is because he gets a hard-on when looking at penises, and as Michael pointed out, penises just so happen to be attached to men.

    Michael,

    I in NO way think homosexuality is a fetish or fixation.

    I do think there are people who have fetishes, and all that other stuff, like relating fully with others, does not direct their sexual arousal patterns very much.

    Timothy,

    You’re often just rude. And when did asexual be allowed onto the compass of sexual orientation? Allowing it on is still a contentious issue in the world at large, and generally speaking.

    But asexuality certain brings up interesting issues in regard to sexuality and sexual orientation, and the ways in which we employ these words.

    Whoever,

    It’s one thing to read studies, they’re really interesting, and have lots to say. I’m particularly attracted to studies on the brain when it comes to these issues.

    But studies don’t take the place of what Mary mentioned: more in depth understanding of a person’s feelings.

    I’ve spent the last 4 plus years engaged with groups for “mixed orientation couples” — 3 groups in this category. A group for “bisexual” people. And 2 groups for sexually abused men, especially one called Malesurvivor.org. I mention it’s name because the posts are public — you don’t have to join to read what people say. And because I believe it was Michael who wondered where I have run across men who claim change in orientation — it’s on this group.

    In the groups for mixed orientation couples, there seems to be some men and women who seem sufficiently engaged with others who are bisexual, bisexual in the full, orientation, pair boding sense of the word. I believe bisexuality exists, and not just in women, though it seems rare — at least among the hundreds of people who join groups for mixed orientation couples.

    Most seem to have an emotional division profound enough that I question if orientation is the right word to use.

    For instance, many of the men are far more involved with penises than either men or women. Many say that if women had a penis, then that would be the best, and they’d be satisfied, and wouldn’t have sex with men.

    Most of the bisexual men use what’s called “outlets” to satisfy their “homosexual” desires, some going so far as pasting penises about the house, and requesting their wives walk around the house with a strap-on. It’s no JUST anal stimulation they want: it’s a working penis, the penis visually arouses them — as well as the idea of being penetrated…. etc….

    Why does this matter?

    To me it matters in the following ways:

    1) When every magazine in America puts out headlines stating that bisexual men are lieing, and are really just gay, it matters. And it seems to me it matter to Bailey as well.

    2) Words are really important, and when you’ve got a guy who can’t decide between a loving relationship with a woman and a penis, then confusing this with an indecision between a loving relationship with a woman or a man really isn’t very helpful. And while we might say that the project to change one’s sexualized longings for love is problematic, I doubt anyone would seriously deny a person’s decision to attempt to reduce their focus on body parts and increase their focus on people — wherever they may lead in terms of orientation.

    Gay people can be overly vitriolic in claiming that the guy just needs to come out of the closet, and straight people can be overly vitriolic in claiming that one drop of “homosexual” interest pushes them permanently into batting for the other team.

    3) While I doubt that such things influences the outcome of most studies which recruit their volunteers from Gay publications, I suspect that this stuff clouds research into bisexuality quite a bit.

    And by the way, while most of the people on the groups for mixed orientation couples and bisexuality are male, there are some women. And even among the women, it’s not the type of bisexuality that gets reported in the press. Yes, there are women who are truely bisexual, but there are also women who’s only desire in regard to sex with women is to go to strip clubs and get lap dances or hire a prostitute. While I have yet heard a woman go on and on breasts in the way the men do about penises, there are women who have no interest in the person of their female sex partner, they’re not after relationship, they’re after a “soft object”.

    While things like penises vs. breasts and hard vs. soft bodies informs all of our sexuality, I’m not attracted to men only because I’m attracted to hard rather than soft.

    And all of this, as Mary has implied, brings out the necessity of including our fantasies, our inner states, our feelings, our histories, our development, our relative capacities for what Buber called an I and Thou relationship — bonding, etc….

    Sexual response patterns alone does not an orientation make.

    Katie

  • Katie Cannon

    Lynn David,

    I’ve known lesbians who’s porn preference is male homosexuality.

    Gay men who watch straight porn and don’t like gay porn.

    Gay men who watch lesbian porn.

    Straight women who watch lesbian porn.

    Etc….

    And straight men who watch lesbian, not because they think they’re god’s gift to women, but because there’s no penis at risk — cuz it’s safely in their own hand, under their own control.

    And some who watch it because they enjoy imagining themselves as a woman.

    And… other reasons too.

    Which again brings up the importance of fantasy.

    Some bisexual men are bisexual in their gender sense as well, and when they feel like feeling like a man, they like to have sex with women. When they feel girly they like to have sex with men.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Timothy,

    Don’t you think that one of the reasons NARTH is annoying is because at least some involved don’t view homosexuality as ever an orientation? They think it’s always a fixation on the lost father figure, an instance of arrested development, etc…

    Yes, they use the words “Homosexual”, “Homosexuality”, “those oriented towards men”, “the Homosexual”, “changing from Homosexuality to Heterosexuality”,etc…

    But if asked whether homosexuality is a fully developed orientation like heterosexualtiy, they’d say no — it’s arrested development, a fixation, etc….

    So I’d disagree with the notion that the word “orientation” has, throughout history, in every instance, by all people, been employed in the same way for all people, no matter which sex (or no sex) they’re attracted to.

    And again, asexuality remains quite contentious as an orientation per se as well.

    K.

  • Eddy

    Not some vague, provocative or vexing term like “ex-gay” that someone made up years ago — to attract media attention — and never got around to defining.

    Since this quote seems related to comments I made to Michael ‘way back when’, I further need to qualify that the motive was not ‘to attract media attention’…it was to pique media curiosity. We already had their attention; when they approached us, we wanted them to ask what we meant by the term.

    It should have been an obvious question for any investigative reporter to ask but it seems like it was years before they did.

  • Katie Cannon

    Timothy,

    Is an exclusive attraction to pre-op transexuals an orientation? And if so, is it an attraction to a woman with a penis, a man with breasts, an ambiquously sexed person, or to one’s own reflection as a being who both is and has it all and needs no other?

    In my experience, it depends on the individual experiencing the attraction to pre-op transexuals.

    In the case of a pronounced narcissistic attraction to pre-op transexuals as a reflection of one’s own desire to possess it all, is this an orientation?

    Where is the compass needle pointing? To an Other? Or merely to one’s own reflection?

    Which brings up the issue of asexuality. Asexuality encompasses many ways of being: No sexual interest in either men or women, but only a romantic interest. Neither sexual nor romantic interest in either sex.

    And no sexual feelings at all, but has romantic feelings. Or no sexual feelings at all, and no romantic feelings at all.

    And an exclusive interest in sex with one’s self, but not with either men or women.

    I’m sure there’s also other manifestations, but this indicates some of the ways of being when a person says they’re asexual.

    I’ve heard a few people say they have absolutely no sexual feelings at all. They never masturbate, they never even think about it.

    I haven’t heard anyone say they are completely lacking in romantic interest, however weak and fleeting it might be.

    And most have some sexual feelings as well, and at least occasionally masturbate, or at least attempt to, often with exclusive focus on their own sensations, sometimes through mirror masturbation, etc….

    At any rate, I’ve never heard of a person who simply has no compass whatsoever. It is pointing, but may not be pointing at the outside world.

    Though there may in fact be at least some cases where there is utterly no compass at all — just haven’t myself come across it. Have you?

    Katie

  • Eddy

    Give me a break, will ya? Why is this so damn difficult? Why do you want to make is so complicated?

    Answer: Because I’ve never liked being rendered invisible.

    A person is gay if their orientation (SSA) is toward the same sex, straight if toward the opposite and bisexual if both. EASY. SIMPLE. Even my five year old daughter got it.

    I wonder if your five year old daughter would have gotten me and where I’m at? But I guess that’s not important.

    Until the late 1800′s, everyone was presumed to be heterosexual with the knowledge that some had sexual dalliances with their own gender. The concept of ‘homosexual orientation’ was first introduced in the late 1800′s; the first usage of the term ‘gay’ was in the 1900′s. It is widely recognized by those who wish to be sensitive and inclusive in their thinking that the term ‘orientation’ can be offensive…some see it as relating to behavior; some to attraction–and many presume that attraction automatically leads to behavior. The distinction between ‘behavior’ and ‘attraction’ is MAJOR to the majority of ex-gays, formers, whatever. While criticising our use of the ambiguous and potentially misleading term ‘ex-gay’, you fail to acknowledge that the term ‘gay’ has multiple meanings (sometimes referring only to men, sometimes to both genders, sometimes referring to behavior while other times including affectional preference) and that ‘orientation’ is also regarded as ambiguous.

    Michael, it is one thing to dismiss such alternate thinking when it’s ‘out there somewhere’ but your insistence that we accept YOUR definitions that fail to acknowledge our unique experience is both offensive and insulting. We are right here and yet you still insist on rendering us invisible via the only terminology you will accept.

    You continue to bash the term ‘ex-gay’ and yet I still haven’t seen you provide or use an alternative. I counter that the terms ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual orientation’ are as misleading and unacceptable as ‘ex-gay’. (It’s simple really: To most people, if I say that I’m gay they think both that I’m attracted sexually to men and that I am pursuing those attractions. The fact that I’m not pursuing those attractions and the reasons why are a pretty big part of who I am.) Sorry, dude, but I won’t be boxed in by a label that doesn’t quite fit and that fails to acknowledge such a significant part of my psyche. Please accept the validity of that objection.

    Why do you want to make is so complicated?

    Don’t so many of these verbal jousts come down to this same point? You insist that we accept the label ‘gay’…that we say we ‘have a homosexual orientation’…that we can’t call ourselves ‘heterosexual’. Why do YOU make it so complicated? Haven’t we acknowledged the reality of our sexual attractions? (You’ve quoted numerous times that I still admit to homosexual attractions.) Why is it so damn important to you that we take on your labels? Why must every conversation take this detour? Isn’t there any way that we can proceed with productive discussion without getting hung up at this ballywick?

    (I apologize for sporadic involvement. Ironically, as as uncle and a brother, I’ve been tending to some typically ‘straight’ sins that are surfacing in my immediate environment. Think “Peyton Place” meets “Desperate Housewives”. Stuff that’s almost ‘off the map’ and enough of it to fuel several seasons!)

  • Michael Bussee

    I am heterosexual. Sorry to dissappoint you

    Mary: Not disappointed at all. Still looking for an ex-gay male who is not SSA.

    @Eddy:

    I further need to qualify that the motive was not ‘to attract media attention’…it was to pique media curiosity. We already had their attention; when they approached us, we wanted them to ask what we meant by the term.

    I don’t see much of a difference here. In any event, too bad you guys never answered the question.

    Your insistence that we accept YOUR definitions that fail to acknowledge our unique experience is both offensive and insulting

    They are not “my” definitions! They are standard, commonly used, readily understood, dictionary definitions of wordds in the Enlgish vocabulary.

    If you want words to mean something else, you have a responsibility to explain the unique meaning YOU give to them. If you don’t like the dictionary definitions, take it up with Websters.

    You continue to bash the term ‘ex-gay’ and yet I still haven’t seen you provide or use an alternative

    I don’t think you can sum up what “ex-gays” mean by this word by substituting another word. “Ex-gay” can mean anything the person using it wants it to mean. It can mean “still having gay sex, but trying not to”. It can mean “I was alredy bisexual to begin with, but now I only act on the straight part”, etc.

    I suggest that you drop the label and simply describe the “change” you are talking about. Or say, “I am a Christian with SSA who regards gay sex as sin — so I choose not to act on it.” — or something that fits your experience.

    To most people, if I say that I’m gay they think both that I’m attracted sexually to men and that I am pursuing those attractions

    Then, make it clear that you are not. Easy. Saying you are “ex-gay” doesn’t make it clear. Like Alan Chambers says, “It is more confusing than anything” and “does not accuratley DESCRIBE what the change process is really all about.”

    You can call yourself anything you like Eddy. Call yourself an egg roll for all I care, but I think EXODUS and “change” ministries have a responsibility to not “vex” and “provoke” by choosing to use confusing labels.

    You insist that we accept the label ‘gay’

    NOPE. Not true. Not inisting you call yourself “gay” is you don’t want to. Just define the labels you use. Make it clear the “ex-gay” is still SSA, not straight. That is all I am asking. It is NOT about accepting “my” labels. It is about being clear and honest about the labels you use.

  • Katie Cannon

    Timothy and Michael,

    And this makes my point.

    I agree with Eddy that both of you have a notion of what is and isn’t an orientation, and then assume that ALL people have the exact same notion. But lots of people have lots of different notions.

    And Eddy left out fantasy. I know Michael would say that if a man has a fantasy about having sex with a man then he must be either bisexual or gay in the deepest, most totalizing, definition of The Truth of our Being.

    Even if he has no immediate attractions to men in real life situations and so never acts on his fantasies just because he has no real life attractions to men — his fantasy is enough to define the Truth of who he is in a totalizing fashion.

    Why? Because, by definition, a short, concise, Webster-like definition, this is so.

    As though it’s not merely humans who write those short, concise, hammer-like, definitions.

    And when you have a hammer, everything is a nail.

    While I’ve heard of a few cases in which men who like anal stimulation, and practice pegging with their wives, say they have NO awareness of a homosexual fantasy when doing so, most admit that there’s some sort of homosexual fantasy.

    Some say things like: My fantasy is to have sex with a woman while having a fantasy of having sex with a man….

    Gay? Bisexual? Or merely straight, because his fantasy is having sex with a WOMAN…. while having a fantasy of having sex with a man….

    Where’s the compass pointing?

    Life is messy, much more messy than a dictionary definition that even a 5 year old can comprehend.

    Does a severely Autistic person nearly devoid of the simplest capacity for human relatedness have a sexual orientation? Or are working mirror neurons part of the brain’s construction of one?

    If the two areas most looked at when it comes to sexual stimuli are not stimulated when a guy acts on his homosexual fantasies, bi/gay in an orientation way?

    I mean come on — we’re putting people in little tiny boxes so WE feel better, the world is easy, we can think like 5 year olds and not deal with the messy. When really, we don’t yet know WHAT an orientation IS — yes, we have indications, clues, but we also have a whole lot more questions to be answered.

    Timothy,

    There are those who would claim more than the 4 orientations you allow onto the compass. Polyamorous, hetero-romantic/homo-sexual, monosexual, autosexual, etc….

    And yes, YOU may not want them aboard, but there are political movements who do want them aboard.

    But there is a move toward a proliferation of orientations, and for pretty good reason in my opinion. Mostly because the 4 nice, neat, categories which you feel comfortable admitting onto the compass doesn’t capture every person’s experience.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy: Please, please define “Ex-gay”.

    Katie:

    I know Michael would say that if a man has a fantasy about having sex with a man then he must be either bisexual or gay in the deepest, most totalizing, definition of The Truth of our Being.

    NOPE. I would not say that at all. Yes, I would say he is gay, homosexual, bisexual or SSA. But that has very little to do with ” the deepest, most totalizing, definition of The Truth of our Being.” It only refers to what sort of attractions the person has.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    Again, I invite you to read on Malesurvivor.org for men who say they are no longer SSA.

    There’s not many, but they’re there.

    Most got into therapy while quite young — 20′s. By 30 and 40, no SSA.

    The guys who get into therapy later, like in their 40′s/50′s, I’ve heard of only 1 who says he’s completely free of any homosexual fantasy — and 2 for whom it’s extremely fleeting, and while still there at times, does not direct their sexuality.

    The numbers are low, even among the younger men. But they’re there.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    But Michael,

    You’re allowing a fantasy to define a person’s sexuality, and thus to define the person — they can’t, according to you, go up to someone and say — Hi, I’m straight. No, they have to say — Hi, I’m gay or bi or SSA.

    That’s what I mean by totalizing — you’re defining how they should identify.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    I know you don’t like this — But as Mary suggested, if a person has a fantasy of killing someone, that doesn’t even begin to define how they should identify.

    You seem to be saying — Yes, but by definition, we’ve decided that sexual fantasies when it comes to genders, is totally different than any other fantasy, and this is so by definition.

    We haven’t come up with an identity word in regard to killing fantasies, so a person who has them doesn’t have to define themselves by their fantasies.

    But we do have have identity words for attractions and fantasies in regard to genders, so everyone must define themselves through them — they must use them. Why? Because they exit…..

    EVEN when it comes to ONLY fantasy….

    Why must a person use identity words merely because we’ve created them?

    But don’t have to merely when we haven’t created them?

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    If I were to say that I identify as a lawyer, and you asked why, and I said because I have fantasies of being a lawyer, but no real desire to actually be one, you’d think I was crazy.

    But if I have fantasies of having sex with a woman, but no real desire to do, you’d say I’d HAVE to id as SSA or bi.

    Why? Because about 100 years ago a bunch of people decided that our sexual fantasies were intimately tied to our identities.

    That’s the only reason.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Timothy,

    Why isn’t red a number?

    Because red is meant to point at something other than number.

    But neither red nor number is involved with notions of human identity.

    And my questions relate to identity more than they relate to what words point to what object by their definition.

    I can have a fantasy of being a lawyer without needing to identify as one.

    I MUST identify as gay/bi/SSA if I have a fantasy of being gay.

    It’s the question of identity that’s really at stake.

    And sexual identity is an historically new concept, largely created by modern medicine.

    Like Michael, it’s easier for me to view Rob as bisexual. It’s simple. It’s neat. And as you suggest, points to some pretty important stuff that’s really real.

    It used to annoy me that Rob wouldn’t just go ahead and id as bisexual. I would accept him as a bisexual person. Probably would prefer it over the complexities.

    But, I understand why he id’s as straight. His story and identificatory practices make sense, though it takes more words than one to get at it.

    And it also takes analogies for most people to break out of the simplicity of simple little boxed-up and boxed-in definitions.

    It also take realizing that not everyone experiences sex and sexuality in the same way, which is why I bring up the extreme.

    But you don’t have to get to the extreme to find out that not everyone experiences sex and sexuality in the same way.

    And that we all make identificatory moves in the direction of embracing as our identity those aspects of ourselves that we like the most, value more highly, etc…

    The ONLY instance in which such moves are not allowed is in the realm of sexual identity.

    There’s really no reason for this. Or at least not that I have found.

    What’s your reason? Or Michael’s?

    K.

  • carole

    From an outsider, straight pt. of view…

    I don’t know what other people who call themselves “ex-gay” state about their sexual orientations because this is the only blog I read that discusses such topics, but here is my impression as one looking in from the outside.

    Some, like Michael, object vehemently to the use of the term “ex-gay” because he feels it suggests to the larger community that men with SSA no longer have SSA. Science and personal stories seem to back him up on that. He asks that men who call themselves “ex-gay” either find another term or be more specific in describing their “changes.”

    I can understand his concern, particularly if some in the larger community believe that SSA can be simply “gotten rid of if only people tried.” I can understand how that attitude would make life difficult for gay men. I assume this is why he objects to its use. I would imagine that these people who claim “a gay can change if he really wants to” are often, although not exclusively, people one finds in fundamentalist religious institutions.

    However, on this blog, I have not read any man who had SSA comment that he no longer has SSA at all. I have not read any say they have moved from homosexuality to heterosexuality in their actual attractions. If I missed one, then I am wrong. So, at least on this blog, it appears no one is claiming what Michael or Timothy persuasively argue is undemonstrated (ie, no more SSA).

    So, if the beef is with men who do indeed claim that they were once SSA but are no longer, as a reader of this blog I am wondering, “Why not take up the beef with them, not with people on this blog who haven’t made those claims? Just asking.

    ***************************************************************

    Next, about the use of the term, “ex-gay.” A long while back, this same argument broke out. Eddy, as I recall, said the term to him meant “out of or from gay.” From the strict Latin prefix usage, yes, that literally makes sense; however, from a figurative, symbolic standpoint I can understand that in contemporary English usage, most people think of “ex” as meaning “no longer.” So, I do understand Michael’s point that “ex” can be very misleading to those who only hear the term. I also understand Eddy’s point that if people would only ask what is meant and listen to the answers, perhaps they’d understand the meaning of term. I will also add this FWIW: most educated Americans don’t misunderstand the term, but that does leave out a whole bunch of people.

    Semantics, then, becomes a source of conflict, as I understand it.

    When I ask myself what different term or phrase those like Eddy might find to describe themselves, I hit a bit of a wall. It becomes difficult to come up with an acronym or a phrase that encompasses all who call themselves “ex-gay” and even more important, one that wouldn’t cause more trouble and conflict than there already is, right?

    For instance, let’s say that Eddy or others came up with” People Who Don’t Want Same-Sex Attractions” or ” People who Want to Live Their Lives Without Acting on Same-Sex Attractions” or “People Who Have Found Happiness By Searching for Their Heterosexuality” or ” People Who Find Homosexual Behavior to Be Against God’s Teachings” or “People Who Wish They Were Straight” or “People Who Are Trying to Leave Homosexuality Behind”.

    All of these “describe” in some way where some of these “ex-gays” are or what their attitudes are. However, huge problems exist with all of them:

    1) each category is too narrowly worded to include all who call themselves “ex-gay.”

    2). The acronyms would never work–too long

    3). Most importantly, I can just see the firestorm of conflict that would erupt.

    Let’s pretend that all who see themselves as “ex-gay” threw away the term tomorrow so that it was never again used. They then chose one of the ones that I threw out, one they feel most described themselves.

    We can all see what would happen. If someone chose “Christians Who WAnt to Shed SSA” they would come under attack as being religious bigots. They’d endure taunts and attacks from others who would tell them they were wrong for believing that Christians can’t act on homosexual feelings. And, then, there’d be a huge doctrinal argument.

    Or, if they chose “People Who Don’t Want to be Gay,” I can see them coming under attack from those who told them they must be self-loathing, weak people bending to society’s norms.

    All of the possible names I think of would be objectionable to some subgroups of gay activists, right?

    Well, there’s this one I just thought of –”Working for Change” or Working Toward Change.” Neither states that change has taken place, but both seem to capture the essence that there are those who do want a change in their own lives and the words themselves are general enough to capture the variety of change that these people might seek.

    How about it: WWC???? Or WFC? Something like that?

  • carole

    WWC? Where’d I get that? I meant WTC=Working Toward Change

    Now, I realize that there’d still be some who made fun of these people who were “working toward change.” They’d probably sarcastically tell them, “Good luck, ” but still, such a term doesn’t contradict any facts that science has so far gathered nor is such a term so narrow that it couldn’t include all who call themselves “ex-gay” right now.

    Therefore, the umbrella term could cover all, leaving each individual to be just that, an individual with his own life’s story and his own particular story of change he is seeking and working toward. This could include women as well.

  • Katie Cannon

    Or maybe we should take a second look at why our sex MUST define all people’s identity, while allowing those who want to identify strongly with their sex to do so.

    Look, there’s nothing like a rock that says this particular identity practice is a natural category — it’s historically contingent, even if attractions and fantasies are more or less stable in individuals.

    You might take a look at a gay therapist’s web site — joekort.com

    He’s gay, out and proud, does gay positive therapy, wrote the best selling book “Ten Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Relationship”….. he’s a card-carrying gay man.

    And — he’s written an article called “Are We What We Fantasize?”, he has a blog called “straightguize” devoted to straight men who have sex with men, etc….

    If one allows that it’s possible for a person to have sexual fantasies that are incongruent with their orientation, then the debate about gay/ex-gay turns to matters other than identity, and probably towards more understanding.

    For instance, Eddy MIGHT experience his homosexual fantasies quite differently than Michael. But we’ll never know if they simply engage in identity wars.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    And it MIGHT be that not everyone has to change anything at all except how they think about identity.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    You’re allowing a fantasy to define a person’s sexuality, and thus to define the person — they can’t, according to you, go up to someone and say — Hi, I’m straight. No, they have to say — Hi, I’m gay or bi or SSA.

    @Katie: No. I am not “defining” the person. I am saying they are same-sex attracted, not straight. The “person” is so much more.

    And I am not expecting anyone to “go up to someone and say — “Hi, I’m straight” or “Hi, I’m gay or bi or SSA.” That’s just stupid. I say, “Hi, I’m Mike…”

    Now, would someone please define “ex-gay”?

  • carole

    Michael said,

    Now, would someone please define “ex-gay”?

    In previous threads and in answer to you, I believe, Michael, Eddy has defined it as he uses it to refer to himself. That is where I first read about this dispute and read his “out of/from gay” discussion.

    Gotta leave the discussion. Exercise time. Hey, how’s Palm Springs? Hot?????

  • Katie Cannon

    Why can’t ex-gay mean that a person who previously had sex with men now only has fantasies, but no real desire to act on those fantasies?

    Michael, I understand that you are trying to not define the person in their totality.

    But you are allowing fantasies to define a person’s sexual identity, otherwise you’d accept that fantasies don’t create identity, though they might — depending on an individual’s experience of their fantasies and how it works with other aspects of themselves.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Responding to Carole:

    Some, like Michael, object vehemently to the use of the term “ex-gay” because he feels it suggests to the larger community that men with SSA no longer have SSA.

    Bingo! It comes across as false advertizing.

    I can understand his concern, particularly if some in the larger community believe that SSA can be simply “gotten rid of if only people tried.”

    Another bingo! In fact, I was told, by EXODUS leaders and many others, that I did not try hgard enough, did not pray enough, did not have enough faith, did not love God enough.

    I have talked to many “Ex-gay Sutvivors” who went through the same kind of painful treatment from those who had previously claimed to love them. I have even been told that I was never saved, am going to Hell and that my father is Satan. So have other ex-ex-gays I have talked to.

    So, at least on this blog, it appears no one is claiming what Michael or Timothy persuasively argue is undemonstrated (ie, no more SSA.

    Another Bingo! And so far, neither will any of the male SSA’s I have met elsewhere, when you press them for deatils. But they will not clarify it unless you really pin them down.

    Eddy, as I recall, said the term to him meant “out of or from gay.” From the strict Latin prefix usage, yes, that literally makes sense; however, from a figurative, symbolic standpoint I can understand that in contemporary English usage, most people think of “ex” as meaning “no longer”.

    Fourth bingo!

    I also understand Eddy’s point that if people would only ask what is meant and listen to the answers, perhaps they’d understand the meaning of term.

    No bingo here. I have asked repeatedly, ad nauseum, for Eddy of anyone else to define it — and they simp[ly won’t. Still waiting after 30 years. I have no problem with the term itself — I just want them to clarify what they mean by it. I ask, “Could you tell me what you mean by “ex”? Could you tell me what you mean by “gay” — “Does that mean you are no longer homosexual?

  • Katie Cannon

    Personally, I think it would be helpful to decide first why we choose to claim that gendered sexual fantasies are a class onto themselves when it comes to identity.

    Then the question of what may or may not be ex-gay might be a little more meaningful.

    If one person claims that fantasies = identity, and another person doesn’t, then they will continue to talk past eachother.

    In a sense, I don’t think Rob will ever be ex-gay or ex-bi, because he was never gay or bi in the same way you’re gay.

    How do I know?

    Because you went to the beach with your boyfriend.

    Rob has never had desires to go to the beach with a boyfriend — no fantasies, no day dreams, nothing.

    So, what would make him “ex-bi”?

    That he no longer has any sexual fantasies?

    But why is gendered fantasy with no desire for relationship any different than any other sexual fantasy when it comes to identity?

    Really, I think you’d enjoy Joe Kort. He’s very cool, and is probably more articulate than I. Plus he’s gay, I’m not. And he really doesn’t like the whole “ex-gay” movement, so agrees with you there.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Katie:

    Or maybe we should take a second look at why our sex MUST define all people’s identity, while allowing those who want to identify strongly with their sex to do so.

    No one is insisting that you define your “identity”. I am only asking you to define the terms you use. That’s all. I am gay, but that doesn’t define my “identity”. Is that what being “gay” meant for you? For me, it just tells what gender I am attracted to.

  • Katie Cannon

    To me, “ex-gay” would have to include no longer longing for a sexually intimate bonding such that one might have with a boyfriend.

    All else is up for grabs.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Once again, the question “Can gays change?” depends entirely on what you mean by “gay” and what you mean by “change”. Why do ex-gays resist this request so stubbornly? They act as thoug people don’t have a right to ask.

    Tell me. I will listen. Someone, anyone give a decent definition of the term. Just tells us what you mean.

    I am waiting for an “ex-gay” to tell me what they mean by “gay” — because it obviously means something different to them than being “SSA.”

  • Katie Cannon

    Oh, and good reasons for feeling they’re now straight — like the spontaneous desire to pair bond with a woman, etc….

    Romantic, tender feelings when thinking about coupling with a woman.

    Things like that.

    And I don’t mean necessarily coupling sexually — but spontaneous positive reactions when daydreaming of petting a woman’s hair while watching t.v.

    To me, Michael, this is more fundamental to sexual orientation than gendered fantasies, because our fantasies can be about lots of different things, and they can be quite cut off from response to reality or the outside world.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Well, Michael,

    I hope someone here speaks up, but it could be that those drawn to reparative therapy aren’t the same group of people who experience significant change.

    But in my experience, men who have homosexual fantasies and yet consider themselves straight do so because they spontaneously have the types of emotional longings for women that you have for men.

    The problem comes in when you claim they’re SSA in some identity sort of way, rather than being straight men with homosexual fantasies.

    Like how I’m a realtor with lawyer fantasies.

    While the fact that they have homosexual fantasies doesn’t lead you to claim they’re straight, it does lead them.

    When all this came out about Rob one of my straight friends said that he could have sex with a man, sort of has wanted to try it — but then what? He has no desire for relationship with a man.

    You might say he’s SSA or bi. He thinks he’s straight with an open and curious attitude.

    And by the way, the guys on the support group for sexually abused men who come out of the straight closet, have nearly as much pain upon doing so as you experienced when you came out — loss of a social network, etc….

    It’s not easy.

    But they do so for good reasons.

    Like one guy who’s lead a gay life for 10 years would wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning and spontaneously have daydreams of kissing a woman, using his pillow as a stand-in — while his male lover was next to him.

    He felt awful, hid his attractions for years. In part because he loved his male lover.

    Does he still have homosexual fantasies? Yep. He has a history of enjoyable sex with men, and in his case, a fairly satisfying long-term love relationship.

    But he now feels he’s really straight, and probably always was. Why? Because of the tonality of the total experience with women as opposed to with men. With men he always felt a bit like he was faking.

    With women it’s deeper and more fulfilling — both sexually and emotionally.

    So, is he ex-gay? He’s at least ex-gay identified.

    Though he still has the periodic homosexual fantasy — which he says feels more like memories than fantasies.

    But you might take them to be fantasies.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Being ex-gay “identified” doesn’t make you ex-gay and being straight “identified” doesn’t make you straight.

    I could “indentify” myself as anything I please — it doesn’t change the facts. “Straight men with homosexual fantasies” are bisexual.

  • Michael Bussee

    If they are not, what does bisexual mean? What do you mean when you use the word “gay”? Is it different than “homosexual” or “SSA”? They all refer to being attracted to one’s own gender, what’s the difference?

  • Michael Bussee

    Something just struck me — why do we only one term for those who are attracted to both genders (bisexual) — but we need three terms for SSA/Gay/homosexuals and three for OSA/straight/heterosexuals? Aren’t these terms synonyms?

  • Michael Bussee

    Something just struck me — why do we only one term for those who are attracted to both genders (bisexual) — but we need three terms for SSA/Gay/homosexuals and three for OSA/straight/heterosexuals? Aren’t these terms synonyms?

    So, is he ex-gay? He’s at least ex-gay identified.

    What difference does that make? So what if he is “ex-gay identified”? He’s still SSA. Still homosexual. Still gay. Not OSA, straight, hetero.

  • Katie Cannon

    And yet, Michael, you claim you’re not using the word to define someone’s identity.

    But you are.

    While you may find this annoying, I’d still like to know what is the difference between my S&M fantasies and gendered fantasies when it comes to IDENTITY.

    Yes, I’m attracted in some way to S&M. No, I don’t identify as having an S&M identity, and I don’t think you’d compel me to adopt one.

    But you do want to compel a person with gendered fantasies to identify based upon them.

    Why?

    And before you say because we have these words in our vocabulary which points to gendered fantasies, and these are by, definition, used to point to identity, there’s a political movement afoot to recognize S&M as also an identity.

    Or if you don’t like the S&M example — pick another: polyamorous, hetero-romantic/homo-sexual, autosexual, etc….

    Rob doesn’t consider himself bisexual because for him his bisexual attractions are disasterous — no relationship of value with either men or women.

    Lets assume that you have exclusive homosexual fantasies which includes being beaten. And you have romantic longings for women, but no ingrained sexual response patterns which respond to loving sex.

    Then you fall in love with a woman, like her, think she’s beautiful and sexy, like being physically close…. but still no sexual response patterns to anything but being beaten by a man.

    Bisexual? Sure. But which aspect of yourself would you most strongly identify with?

    With the aspect that represents some hope of joy?

    Or the aspect that is an endless round of being beaten?

    K.

  • Mary

    I think the big issue that is being overlooked is the individuals idea of himself or herself. Anyone can be stimulated by just about anything if their eyes are closed, their senses except for genital stimulation are blocked. And it doesn’t matter.

    The important part is where does a person choose to be. Michael thinks it has nothing to do with choice – which is what most homosexual activists will say. I on the other hand think it has everything to do with choice as to how a person views themself.

  • Eddy

    Michael:

    The common, understood by everybody definition of ‘black’ is one thing if you are considering paint for your walls or crayons in a box. But, lo and behold, that very common, easily understood word takes on a new meaning when applied to racial characteristics and color. To date, I haven’t met one single black person whose skin color is actually black. I’ve seen some very, very, very dark browns but never a black. That’s my way of pointing out that your appeals to the dictionary clear and simply clarity are rather senseless. I could use the dictionary to point out that many gays are not gay because they experience unhappiness; I could pull a dictionary definition out of context to explain that lesbians aren’t gay. But obfuscation isn’t my game, no matter how relentlessly you try to accuse me of it.

    Both Carole and Katie have latched onto something that you seem unable to grasp. The term ‘gay’ operates both as an adjective and as a noun. In its noun form, it is a label and, by extension, an identity. In most of our discussions, you push for its noun/identity usage without even realizing it. That’s understandable…you don’t seem to be able to grasp the difference between ‘trying to attract attention’ and ‘trying to arouse curiosity’…even after I pointed out that we already had their attention to help steer you to the difference.

    I have labored at great depth to explain that we will not/cannot identify ourselves by the name of something we consider to be sinful…not when we are experiencing some measure of success in not engaging in that sin. I can say that I’m SSA…that set of initials seems securely adjectival in nature…yes, I am Same Sex Attracted. Am I gay? See, there’s that troublesome noun again. And the confusing dual definitions. Attraction-wise, perhaps. Behavior-wise–and, more importantly, identity-wise, no. Am I a ‘homosexual’? Same problem. Psychology’s definition and the bible’s definition differ. The bible says that if I’m not doing it, I’m not it. Since psychology’s definition came along much, much later than the bible’s usage–and since I’ve chosen the bible over psychology–I am not going to submit to psychology’s definition that refuses to recognize my individuality.

    So, what is ex-gay? How dare you claim that I’ve never answered that question…especially when you’ve been quoting portions of my answer all afternoon. Although, like the term ‘gay’ (which can mean men only, can include lesbians, can include well-adjusted monogamous folks and gutter-whores simultaneously), ex-gay can have shades of meaning and variances, I think it is safe to say that an ‘ex-gay’ is someone who has stepped out of their identification with homosexuality. They are, as I’ve said before, ‘from gay’. They used to do gay behaviors; most used to go beyond behavior and fully identify as ‘gay’–whatever localized trappings there were that signified gay identification: loving Babs, a penchant for torch singers, the theatre, risque humor, burlesque performance, the arts…etc. I’m not saying they’ve totally abandoned their appreciation for all of those things but they’re trying to sort out what parts of the appeal came from gay-identification and which parts didn’t.

    Because the level of identification with gay differs per individual and because varying individuals had varying expressions of gay (some inclined to monogamy; some drawn to fetishes; some casual dabblers; some immersed), the ‘gay’ part of ‘ex-gay’ will differ from individual to individual. In a similar manner, ‘change’ differs per individual. Change in behavior is (or should be) common to all but changes in the psyche, in identification, in the degree, frequency and nature of temptation…those are as unique as each individual.

    Michael, do me a very big favor. Our history is that you will now come back and find some misspoken word or phrase and beat me to death with it. Please, even if you do that, first tell me what parts of what I’ve just said made any sense to you whatsoever. Did every single word read as nonsense or did some small part of it actually come across like a thinking person wrote it?

    In other words, let’s discuss not debate. Let’s find out what ground we actually don’t have to cover again (and again and again and again ad infinitum).

  • Eddy

    Mary,

    While I agree with you in essence, the word ‘choice’ is way too loaded to advance the discussion. I realize that you are using it in a different way but unfortunately it’s one of those words that occurred over and over again in ‘clobber speech’ by fundies and, with our history of missing each others intent on this blogsite, I’m sure that discussion involving the word ‘choice’ will lead to swift and sure derailment.

  • Katie Cannon

    Eddy,

    It might help if you also had reasons to be attracted elsewhere, rather than reasons to reject where you’ve been.

    If there are any, and any not having to do with notions of sin.

    While I totally get and respect what you’ve said and think identity is very personal, and that your thus far stated reasons for identifying as you do is good enough for me, I think what – in part – Michael is trying to understand is not the rejection of one identity, but the adoption of another….

    Michael,

    He’s right though in saying you keep falling back into using SSA as a noun, and defending it’s exclusive usage as a noun.

    And that’s what I have a big problem with.

    But don’t worry, I too struggle again not doing so because, like you, I was brought up in a culture in which it’s nouness is taken for granted.

    But it really shouldn’t be — anymore than other forms of attraction.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Eddy,

    I agree with your response to Mary.

    But what I think is necessary is to talk about choice in regard to nurturing either this aspect of ourselves or that one.

    Michael,

    That’s why I asked which aspect you would choose to nurture: Non sexual, but romantic attractions to men — or sexual but brutal attractions to women?

    And once you decide which aspect to nurture, we’re pretty darn close to also choosing which aspects of ourselves we choose to more fully identify with.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Finally! Now we are getting a little closer to a real definition of “ex-gay”:

    I have labored at great depth to explain that we will not/cannot identify ourselves by the name of something we consider to be sinful…not when we are experiencing some measure of success in not engaging in that sin

    .

    Eddy, you could just say so without the confusing/misleading label. I have NO problem with people renouncing things or accoiding things that they believe are sinful.

    I think I understand that when you call yourself “ex-gay”, you do so, in part, because you don’t want people to think that you think it’s NOT sinful — or that you are NOT “having some measure of success” in not “engaging in that sin”.

    Sounds like to you, “gay” means: “I have SSA, I don’t think it’s sin, I like it — and, by God, I’m doing it!” So “ex-gay” might mean: “I used to think it was OK to have gay sex, but now I think it’s sinful — and I am trying not to do it anymore.”

    So here’s a working definition from two men who helpe coin and populatize the term:

    Eddy:

    “An ‘ex-gay’ is someone who has stepped out of their identification with homosexuality.”

    To which I would add this clarification:

    “The term should not be taken to mean that the person who identifies himself as “ex-gay” (1) no longer has SSA, (2) no longer engages in any form of homosexual behavior, or (3) is now “heterosexual” in the standard meaning of that word.”

  • Michael Bussee

    Sorry I meant to type: “Eddy, you could just say so without the confusing/misleading label. I have NO problem with people renouncing “identification with” or avoiding behaviors they believe are sinful.”

    It’s the language I have a problem with — not your decision to live according to your values. Keep in mind, Alan Chambers doesn’t like the term either — and for reasons very similar to my own. That’s a founder of EXODUS and the current President of EXODUS who agree on this issue!

    As John Boswell pointed out so well:

    “Words are fundamental to Christianity. They are a basic means of expressing faith, and, as I pointed out, this is peculiarly characteristic of the Christian religion. You will now be able to see, if you think about it, that words can conceal as much as they reveal. In the Christian moral tradition, great difficulty has been occasioned by inattention to words and their precise meanings.”</blockquote>

  • Michael Bussee

    Now to Katie’s rather odd question:

    Michael, That’s why I asked which aspect you would choose to nurture: Non sexual, but romantic attractions to men — or sexual but brutal attractions to women

    Whether gay or straight, I would nurture romance, devotion, kindness, loyalty and loving sexuality. I would never choose to nurture brutality.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    Ok, you and I agree a bit here, in that it does seem rather important when discussing attractions (even while setting aside labels and identities) to get clear on just what the attractions are.

    If a person has no heterosexual attractions at all, then it seems silly to say they’re heterosexual, or have heterosexual attractions.

    But to get to one of your things you keep bringing up:

    Is change ever possible for anyone, even if they never show up in reparative therapy settings? Cuz frankly, I don’t see that focusing on sin would help much in loosening one’s sexual response patterns. For me, at least, it would simply fuel the attraction, but then again, I’m someone who’s rather attracted to the “forbidden fruit” no matter the fruit — call it forbidden, and you’ve piqued my interest, for better or worse.

    Where I really disagree with you is where there’s attractions of some sort aimed at both genders in some way. Then there’s a choice a person makes in regard to which aspect they choose to nurture…. and thus which to more fully identify with.

    I don’t know how successful men are who are exclusively attracted to men who will their way to being attracted to women. Just doubt it’s very successful.

    In my experience, people who experience fluidity do so a bit more spontaneously than this — even if there’s some effort, it’s balanced by working on accepting one’s spontaneous attractions no matter where they lead.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    It’s not such an odd question when looking into the issue of “change” and identity.

    I’m glad you answered as you did, not surprised cuz you seem like a really nice guy. And I’d make the same choice, I sort of like weird, but mean scares me.

    The reason this isn’t an odd question is because of the whole “bisexual” label, because few men are bisexual in a way in which their dual attractions are both grounded in life-affirming pursuits.

    So they identify with that aspect that feels more life-affirming.

    As you say you would as well.

    K.

  • Lynn David

    Katie Cannon… I’ve known lesbians who’s porn preference is male homosexuality.

    .

    Gay men who watch straight porn and don’t like gay porn.

    .

    Gay men who watch lesbian porn.

    .

    Straight women who watch lesbian porn.

    You know a lot of different people.

    .

    Yes, women are naturally bisexual (according to Bailey) and most straight women and lesbians are eclectic in their choice of porn. I already pointed out that gay men will watch straight porn and why. But gay men who only watch lesbian porn…. now, you’re making things up.

    Katie Cannon… But if I have fantasies of having sex with a woman, but no real desire to do, you’d say I’d HAVE to id as SSA or bi.

    .

    Why? Because about 100 years ago a bunch of people decided that our sexual fantasies were intimately tied to our identities.

    .

    That’s the only reason.

    Fantasies are indicative of identity at an early age – in the first flush of puberty (with no abuse). Later on, people having experienced all sorts of things and learned about what is extant in the world may pile other ‘items’ on top of their base sexual fantasies. But it is that base to which Michael has been referring.

    .

    One may have a novelty fantasy about being gay but it is not the base upon which all of a person’s sexuality has been built. However, as Bailey has pointed out most women are at least emotionally bisexual, so you may be expressing your bisexuality in that respect.

    But that is why your abuse victims have so much trouble it is their base/foundation which has been disturbed early in their years.

  • Katie Cannon

    Lynn,

    I agree. I think Rob would have been straight but for his abuse experiences.

    Yep, gay guy who only watches lesbian porn. Not gay in the more typical way — lots of gender questions too.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    I don’t mean personally know in a face to face way….

    Just have spent a lot of time hanging out in online groups who talk about their sexual fantasies and habits.

    And there seems to be every combination under the sun, even if it’s not common.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    See above Lynn — doesn’t that make sense?

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    If a person has no heterosexual attractions at all, then it seems silly to say they’re heterosexual, or have heterosexual attractions.

    I agree. I just think it’s equally silly to say one is “ex-gay” when one is still entirely SSA. I get what Eddy is talking about. As far as I can tell, he’s entirely SSA but doesn’t like “gay” — because he doesn’t want people to think that it’s OK with him or that he is still doing it.

    Is change ever possible for anyone, even if they never show up in reparative therapy settings? Cuz frankly, I don’t see that focusing on sin would help much in loosening one’s sexual response patterns. For me, at least, it would simply fuel the attraction, but then again, I’m someone who’s rather attracted to the “forbidden fruit” no matter the fruit — call it forbidden, and you’ve piqued my interest, for better or worse.

    Great question. Once again, it all depends on what you mean by “change”. For a male to change from entirely SSA to enitrely heterosexual? Nope. Doesn’t seem to happen. A better question would be, not “Can gays

    change?” but “In what ways do gays change and to what extent?”

    During my time with EXODUS I did notice the “fueling of the attraction” you mention. Many sincere, motivated, Jesus-loving men would come to our prayer/Bible study/support meetings, confess their sin — and then hook up with each other after.

    These guys kept calling themselves “ex-gay” –because they thought it was sin, did not want to “identify” with it — and felt guilty about doing Not all, but a disturbing number. I think that for them talking about it while simultaneously trying not to do it was simply to much to ask.

  • Michael Bussee

    Timothy once suggested an “ex-gay” bumper sticker (or was it a T-shirt?):

    I AM NOT GAY, BUT MY ATTRACTIONS ARE.

  • Michael Bussee

    Katie: This I disagree with:

    Where I really disagree with you is where there’s attractions of some sort aimed at both genders in some way. Then there’s a choice a person makes in regard to which aspect they choose to nurture…. and thus which to more fully identify with.

    This does not seem true of exclusively SSA men. However, EXODUS’s Joe Dallas, a bisexual “ex-gay”, seems to believe, as you do, that we are all “both” — as he explained to Joan RIvers during an appearance on her old TV show:

    The “change” we are talking about is not a change from one end of the spectrum to the other… we are all both.</blockquote> I

    On a radio talk show he clarified that:

    “I don’t think they (people who call themselves “ex-gay”) are saying they are “ex-homosexual” … Rather, it is a convenient way of saying ‘A Christian with homosexual tendencies who would rather not have those tendencies. It just rolls off the tongue a little easier.”

  • Eddy

    Michael:

    I get what Eddy is talking about. As far as I can tell, he’s entirely SSA but doesn’t like “gay” — because he doesn’t want people to think that it’s OK with him or that he is still doing it.

    You don’t have it quite right–neither where I’d now fall on the scale or my reasons for not accepting the label–with our history of miscommunication I feel that’s it’s very offensive for you to speak for my point of my view. There is so much more to my thinking than ever gets expressed here, a much broader picture that I’d like to present of my own personal point of view… but we’ll never get there because you can’t talk beyond your preconceived boxes and your preconceived notions.

    I believe I’ve mentioned that I travel in some circles where I know people perceive me to be gay and I don’t take any steps whatsoever to correct them. I am very strongly against the oppression of gay people and figure I can take the heat and maybe change some attitudes. But, when people have even a basic understanding of psychology, of principles of integration, identity, etc., I raise the bar. I expect and pretty much demand that they see that I don’t quite fit their label…and I will be seen. I will not go invisible. When the conversation involves people who express familiarity with both psychology and religion, I do demand that they recognize my position. I am very strongly against the oppression of ‘ex-gays’ and/or conservative Christians. My motive goes more to championing the rights of others who hold this unpopular ex-gay view than anything else. The term ‘ex-gay’ might not be much but it sure beats the laughable morph definition you’ve suggested:

    “someone who has stepped out of their identification with homosexuality but should not be presumed to no longer have SSA, no longer engages in any form of h-behavior or is now heterosexual by the standard meaning. ”

    Hello all, my name is Eddy. I’m someone who has stepped out of their identification with homosexuality but should not be presumed to no longer have SSA, no longer engages in any form of h-behavior or is now heterosexual by the standard meaning. I’ve got other things to say but I see I’ve used up all my time.

  • Mary

    Eddy,

    Yeah, I thought about that word but that’s how it is. I am not saying that we choose our feelings all of the time (though we do some selection of how we will feel many times) and we do choose how we feel about our feelings. I may be Catholic by tradition and culture and still have Catholic attributes in my vernacular, feelings, and understandings – but it does not mean I embrace Catholicism anymore.

    Unlike many gays who just accept that they are gay as in it is something that their body is… I think sexuality can be nurtured, bent, turned, conditioned, etc….. Our lives, conduct, feelings, being do not have to be left up to the direction of the wind and can be directed by an individual.

  • Michael Bussee

    Don’t be ridiculous, Eddy. No one is suggesting that you introduce yourself this way. I am just saying that when we use the term “ex-gay” in these public discussions (debates) on “change” that we make it clear what we mean by the terms we are using.

    It is not “laughable” in this context to point out that “ex-gay” does not refer to to the absence of SSA and should not be taken to mean the the person who so labels himself is “straight”.

    There is so much more to my thinking than ever gets expressed here, a much broader picture that I’d like to present of my own personal point of view… but we’ll never get there because you can’t talk beyond your preconceived boxes and your preconceived notions.

    Go for it, Eddy, tell us. You have the floor. Don’t blame your lack of specificity on me.

  • Mary

    I dunno MIchael, you seem pretty stuck in your impression of sexuality. That little test I gave you is an example. YOU FORGOT TO ASK THE PERSON HOW THEY FELT ABOUT THEIR OWN BEING AND SEXUALITY. Instead, you fell right in line with telling others what their sexuality is based on your experiences with your own sexuality.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    Yes, it would seem difficult to decide to nurture what isn’t there.

    On the support groups for mixed orientation couples there are many gay identified heterosexually married men. When some of them describe their feelings, they really make me wonder what we – or they – mean by “gay”.

    I’ve gone around and around with a few of the guys, and have just come to accept that there’s some internal reason that is not easily communicated for them to id as gay — though they don’t seem simply gay to me.

    I think you’d more easily accept their self-definition as being gay than you would a man identifying as straight when there seems to be some indication he’s not absolutely straight in all respects.

    However that might be, and picking up on what Lynn said about foundational orientation as opposed to later add-ons:

    If a guy were straight – ie, without any hint of homosexual fantasy – up til he was 50 years old, then experienced rape by a man and developed homosexual fantasies, would he be compelled to id as SSA or bi?

    Even if his homosexual fantasies were just a rerun of his rape?

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary: I did not forget to ask people how they FEEL about being SSA. I assume you guys don’t like it. Am I wrong?

    I am asking if, by claiming you are “ex-gay”, you mean to say or convey that you are no longer SSA or now heterosexual. PERIOD. THAT’S IT. I am asking you to clarify your terms.

    I am not trying to “tell them what their sexuality is”. I am asking what it is. When I do, they get defensive and evasive. Why is that? Don’t I have the right to ask – “What do you mean by that word?” – when it is not clear? I would ask a Spanish-speaker what they meant by “mentiroso” if I wasn’t sure.

    And these definitions, these terms, are not based on MY — repeat – not based on MY experiences — but on commonly accepted, generally understood, English, dictionary definitions of homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality. Crack open a dictionary. Nowhere will you see, “These definitions were created and mandated by Michael Bussee..”

    You guys make up the new words. Therefore, I believe it is your responsibility, especically in this form of public discourse and debate, to clarify your terms. Sorry. but contrary to what Humpty Dumpty said, words do not mean whatever you or Eddy want them to mean.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    Yes, there’s dictionaries.

    But there’s also more in depth discussions to be found in papers and books on the subject.

    There you will find the more simple Webster definitions expounded upon, debated, refined, disagreed with, etc….

    And that’s so with any word relating to psychological states.

    Repression, depression, etc….

    Stick with Websters only and you get a pretty restricted education.

    Stick with pop media, same thing.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy: Be honest. How often do people you have just met ask you about your sexual orientation? No one asks me. If they do, I usually ask, “Why do you ask?” If it seems appropriate to the relationship and situation, I say, “I am gay”. Then they say something like, “I hope you don’t mind that I asked” and I say, “No, not at all”.

    If they asked, “Can you tell me what you mean by gay — is that different than homosexual?”, I would tell them what I understood those words to mean and how I mean them — especially if I knew the term was not widely understood, or I was using it in a very personal or unsual sort of way.

    I would clarify that I am SSA not OSA. I would do this in the same way I would clarify the word “Christian” if they weren’t sure how I was using it. If the conversation went deeper — and they found out that I used to consider myself “ex-gay” — I would explain what I meant by that rather vexing and provocative term, and why I now consider myself to be “ex-ex-gay”.

    In asking, I would not suppose that they were trying to “define me” or my “identity”, “dicate what my sexuality is” — or ought to be. They would simply be asking for clarification, which I what I have been trying to get from ex-gays and EXODUS for the past 30 years.

  • Michael Bussee

    I thought I was making some progress when Alan Chambers told me he thought “ex-gay” ought to be “officially retired”, “was more confusing than anything” and “didn’t really reflect what the change process was all about”.

    Much to my surprise and without my prompting, he suggested that we “do away with it entirely and see that it is never used again”. I asked him if he was serious — and if I could quote him. He said “yes”.

    Of course, shortly after this, Alan went on publically referring to himself as a “former homosexual”, offering no clarification of what he meant by that — or why it was more accurate than “ex-gay”. The linguistic mess flows from the top down — and only you guys can clean it up.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    I am talking about the test questions I asked previously:

    If a lesbian uses a male shaped dildo while engaging in sex with her female partner – is she straight?

    If a man recieves / experiences anal stimulation by his wife/or female partner with a male shaped dildo is he gay?

    If my shrink asks me about an experience with a woman and she tries to put herself in my shoes is she gay? Am I gay? Or are we imagining and remembering something?

    If a person has a sexual dream about their own gender and has an orgasm in the course of that dream, are they gay?

    And your answer:

    Give me a break, will ya? Why is this so damn difficult? Why do you want to make is so complicated?

    A person is gay if their orientation (SSA) is toward the same sex, straight if toward the opposite and bisexual if both. EASY. SIMPLE. Even my five year old daughter got it.

    One day, at the park, she said, “You really love Gary, don’t you?” I said, “Yes”. She said, in a very off-the-cuff tone, “That means your gay…” and went back to her coloring book.

    I asked her later, “Do you know what gay means, honey?’ She said, “Yeah, it means you like men, not women.” I didn’t have to tell her this stuff. She got it

    It’s pretty obvious you have no interest in what the person thinks of themself.

  • Mary

    Only in what YOU think of yourself.

  • Michael Bussee

    OK guys, if you don’t like what you call “MY” definitions, would you kindly offer YOURS for:

    Gay. Ex-gay, bisexual, homosexual, straight and heterosexual.

    Maybe I would not be arguing with you guys if I knew what you meant. Maybe this is just the Tower ob Bebel all over again — with each of assuming that the other person understands our language.

  • Eddy

    1) It is enough to define ex-gay as I have without your additions.

    2) Please stop saying that I haven’t defined it or infer that I make it mean what I want it to mean. I explained it. I used English. You even accepted the definition although you wanted to add your unneccessary disclaimers.

    3) A good definition isn’t all that wordy. Check your dictionary. You seem to be looking for an encyclopedia rather than a dictionary.

    4)

    I am not trying to “tell them what their sexuality is”. I am asking what it is. When I do, they get defensive and evasive. Why is that? Don’t I have the right to ask – “What do you mean by that word?” – when it is not clear? I would ask a Spanish-speaker what they meant by “mentiroso” if I wasn’t sure.

    Pardon me, but this is total bull! You are involved in a conversation involving Mary, Carole, Katie and Eddy. We have ALL made our meanings clear. Why do you continue to speak to and about people who aren’t involved in this conversation and then accuse us of their shortcomings? Please, try to stay in the room.

    5) No, Michael, I didn’t ask for the floor and I don’t have the floor. You’re still coming from debate and I am holding out for discussion. You seem to have missed my point when I made that statement…I have determined that you are of a mindset that isn’t yet capable of appreciating my overall point of view. I’ve tested the waters a few times only to find you locked within your preconceived notions of ‘me and people like me’. Today’s dialogues do not demonstrate any difference in your willingness to hear with an open heart and mind.

    6)

    You guys make up the new words.

    Please name the new words we’ve made up. Even ‘ex-gay’ is a composite term made up of an existing word and a prefix that are both in your dictionary. We seem to be in general agreement on ‘gay’…but ‘ex’ has several accepted meanings and you’re trying to base your huge objection on that. Until you stop using the word ‘gay’ which has at least as many meanings (some ambiguous and confusing) as ‘ex’, you’re playing a game where you’ve set yourself up as umpire…and not a very fair one.

  • Michael Bussee

    It’s pretty obvious you have no interest in what the person thinks of themself. Only in what YOU think of yourself.

    NOPE. I do care how they feel about themselves — but that is a different question than what their attractions are.

    And Eddy, the clarifications ARE necessary. Without them the word IMPLIES “no longer homosexual”. You want to leave that important detail OFF; And that stirkes me as deliberately dishonest.

  • Eddy

    Michael:

    OK guys, if you don’t like what you call “MY” definitions, would you kindly offer YOURS for:

    Gay. Ex-gay, bisexual, homosexual, straight and heterosexual.

    Wasn’t it just a few hours ago that I defined ‘ex-gay’? What, are you hungry again?

    When I elaborated on it’s definition (or was that in an earlier post) didn’t I say that there were definitions for gay–one that spoke more to behavior, another to attractions and even more that sometimes included women and sometimes excluded them? Why do you keep asking the same questions over and over again and yet continue to miss our very important (at least to us) point about the issue that they are labels, they are nouns…that to a Christian, identity is a very basic part of their journey…that the label or identity does not fit if we are not engaged in pursuing those behaviors?

    We are at that point now, Michael. You’ve been asking questions and demanding answers. I want an answer from you to that question.

    Why do you keep asking the same questions over and over again and yet continue to miss our very important (at least to us) point about the issue that they are labels, they are nouns…that to a Christian, identity is a very basic part of their journey…that the label or identity does not fit if we are not engaged in pursuing those behaviors?

    Feel free to rant but do not change the wording of the question. Please answer it as it has been asked.

  • Michael Bussee

    I keep asking the same question over and over because you will not concede that it is very important to make clear that ex-gay does not mean that the person is not OSA or straight.

    Eddy, I can argue your point better than you do. I know both sides of this argument inside and out. You want to LEAVE OFF that ex-gay does not mean “no longer SSA” or “now straight”. You want to leave that impression — which is dishonest. I am trying to get you to stop the BS-ing and tell the truth.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    How many times and in how many ways does it need to be defined for you – let the person who is living the life define for themsleves how they sexually identify.

    I’m just pointing out that you are uncomfortable with others being other when they have same sex attractions. Not everyone who is same sex attracted is gay. Not every lesbian is into male shaped dildos or not into them. Not every married man is into anal stimulation. Not every married man is into women either. Not all gay people will remain to identitfy as gay.

    Niether will all straight identified people today remain so. Some will change.

  • Michael Bussee

    I totally get that you don’t want to “identify as gay”. I want the public to get that EXODUS does not, and has never, made gay men into heterosexuals. The public has a right to know.

  • Eddy

    No, Michael, the clarifications are not necessary. If someone wants clarification, they can ask. If I’m speaking, I make the clarifications in the course of my dialogue. You do know what I mean by ‘ex-gay’ don’t you? And you even have a pretty good sense or how ‘ex-gay’ for me differs from ‘ex-gay’ for Joe Dallas or Alan Chambers. I insist that you stop accusing me and the others who are speaking here on this blog of the inconsistencies you witness elsewhere. We are also concerned about those inconsistencies but we will not be held responsible for them nor we will we continue to answer for them. You are in dialogue with us. You only have the right to hold us accountable for our own words and elaborations.

  • Michael Bussee

    You guys love this concept of “gay identified” or “straight Identified”. I get it. But for ex-gay males, the SSA continues — no matter how they “identify” themselves.

    Say, “I know longer think of myself as gay” or “I prefer not to label myself in that way” — but don’t give the dishonest impression that you are straight. That’s a lie.

    Mary, you have always argued that words mean whatever YOu wants them to mean. No wonder there is so much confusion. From now on when I say “apple” I really mean the Empire State Building — and you have no right to question that, OK?

  • Michael Bussee

    Yes Eddy. I know what you mean by “ex-gay”. And you don’t mean “no longer SSA” or straight. You won’t point that out here, so I have to.

    “Insist “all you want Eddy. I don’t get my permission, or “rights” from you. You are just Eddy. An ex-gay who is not formerly SSA or straight.

    I still think that you want to mislead people. When you admitted to me that you used “ex-gay” to “vex and provoke” the media, I saw red. I still do.

  • carole

    Oh, man, what a mess….

    @MIchael, you just said to Mary,

    I am not trying to “tell them what their sexuality is”. I am asking what it is. When I do, they get defensive and evasive. Why is that? Don’t I have the right to ask

    Michael, way back back up in my post of 2:33 pm, I pointed out that since I have been reading this blog, no gay man on this blog who calls himself “ex-gay” has tried to claim he never has SSA anymore. In other words, my point was that they weren’t trying to mislead anyone about what “ex-gay” means.

    I also pointed out the possible and practical reasons that a name other than “ex-gay” hasn’t been coined. Don’t you think there is validity to those reasons?

    In your post of 3:48, you responded, but I notice that you cherry-picked to what you responded. Is that because you want to “win”? Is that it? There is no winning here. If you think there is, then define what would be a “win.”

    THEY AREN’T CLAIMING TO NO LONGER HAVE SSA– SO WHAT’S YOUR BEEF? AND FINDING ANOTHER “name” has all kinds of problems. So, what you are upset about WITH THEM?

    If there are men on other blogs who claim that they are “ex-gay” AND THAT THEY never, ever have feelings of physical attractions to other men, then why not press them, not the ones on this blog, for the ones on this blog have made no such claim!!!!!!

    Further, the idiots who made you feel as you did, who demeaned you, who told you God didn’t love you, that you were hell-bound, who told you you didn’t try hard enough or pray hard enough are IGNORANT. Don’t let them torture you like this. Don’t turn what they did to you to others. They are ignorant and by ignorant I do mean “without knowledge.” Take heart in knowing that each day more and more people understand that people don’t wake up one day during puberty chosing their sexuality.

    Since “gay” can include meaning “being sexually involved with one of the same sex” I think it’s pretty obvious that when some say “ex-gay” they are saying they no longer involve themselves sexually with other men. A person of normal intelligence would understand this.

    Language is an imprecise tool to explain much in life.

  • Michael Bussee

    Definition for vex:

    annoy somebody: to make somebody slightly annoyed or upset, especially over a relatively unimportant matter – agitate somebody: to cause somebody anxiety or distress – confound somebody: to confuse or puzzle somebody.

    Definition for provoke:

    make somebody feel angry: to make somebody feel angry or indignant – elicit response: to be the cause or occasion of an emotion or response – stir somebody to emotion: to stir somebody to an emotion or response

    Your words for why you did it. Not mine.

  • Mary

    MIchael,

    As well, you seem not to accept people for who they are but rather how they fit into your world model.

    When people speak about themselves – try listening to them without your myriad of gay filters.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary, You get me wrong. I Do accept you for who you are. I know you guys think gayness is sin. I know you can’t in good conscience accept the word “gay”. I know you are trying to please God.

    I know you you are trying to avoid gay sex. I know you are happier now. I am happy that you are happier now. I wouldn’t want to take that away from you for the world.

    I know you are sincere. I know you do not mean to harm people. I know you are good people. I have no quarrel, at all, that you have decide to step out from a “gay identity”. I know that “lifestyle” was not for you.

    Just, please, even though I know you hate it, try to define terms — and realize that even though I know what you mean, young, hurting, confused SSA kids who come to EXODUS for “help” or “change” may think that they are going to become heterosexual.

    And they may be made to feel horrible, inadequate, unloved and worthless when they do not. So, Eddy, the clarifications are necessary. You may not like it, but you owe it to those kids.

  • carole

    @Lynn David said,

    Yes, women are naturally bisexual (according to Bailey)

    And, someone else (or maybe you) said women are “emotionally bisexual” but I just scanned and can’t find it so sorry for the lack of attribution…

    I know that Bailey and a woman reseacher who works with bonobos (don’t know her name) have reported that when they hook up women to their little genital machine and show pictures, women have reactions to all kinds of pics, including those of bonobos fooling around.

    I told my girlfriends one day at lunch of this and told them that some researchers were confounded by the results, even saying that women might be “bisexual.” The five women at the table laughed so hard one of them snorted red wine out of her nose on the white table cloth. We couldn’t stop laughing and the whole restaurant, I am sure, wanted in on the joke.

    We understand why, hooked up to a machine, there might be increased blood flow, thus increasing labial swelling. We can even understand why a man like Bailey would mistakenly assume that such reactions could mean women are “bi-sexual.” (He’s a man and when he sees blue, he sees blue and cannot see it as red.) What we couldn’t understand is why the woman researcher didn’t “get it” or more specifically, we couldn’t understand why she would be surprised by it. We weren’t.

    Men see something and are literal about it–a gay man sees an attractive man–wow, reaction. A straight man sees an attractive woman–wow, reaction.

    Women can be moved to physical arousal by the symbolic, the suggestive, the figurative. We can hear a beautiful piece of music, look at a beautiful painting, watch a touching scene in a movie or an especially funny one in the same movie, and be moved to arousal because we can make the leap from one thing to another—I liken it to the way the brain has connections. Some people have more brain connections than others.

    We women have connective capabilites in this area of arousal that I really don’t think most men have. What we SEE gives rise to other visions, one we construct. That is not to say that certain scenes cannot and do disgust us, but I am convinced that Bailey’s machine doesn’t measure what scene the women has constructed in their head–what connections they made.

    I recall the researcher saying women’s sexual responses were much more complex than men’s–touche. However, I think it is really far off to conclude that those reactions meant women were “bi-sexual.” As for “emotionally bi-sexual”?

    I have no idea what that means. Do you?

  • carole

    Can someone tell me what causes the “your comment is awaiing moderation” to hold up a comment? I re-posted it and the same thing occurred even though an interim post went up.

    Is there a word in the post that causes some kind of alert to hold it back?

  • carole

    Okay, I see it went through–sorry–it’ll double post probably.

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    I am no longer in the ministry. I am here on this blog involved in conversations. Your false accusations re my motives are just that…false accusations. I am trying to lead no one anywhere. I am trying to engage in conversations that lead to understanding here. STOP reading motives that do not exist. STOP being my judge. PLEASE answer my question…the one in bold. It goes to a point I made, Katie made, Mary made and Carole made. It’s a valid question and deserves an answer.

    You are so full of crap! Forgive me, I don’t usually resort to such but crap is crap!

    Yes Eddy. I know what you mean by “ex-gay”. And you don’t mean “no longer SSA” or straight. You won’t point that out here, so I have to.

    WHAT??? Haven’t I clearly stated numerous times that I still have homosexual temptations? Didn’t I just say a few posts ago that people presume me to be gay and I allow them to? LOL. And then you accuse me of not pointing out that I have same sex attractions and that I’m not (conventionally) straight.

    While in the ministry, I spoke of falling in love with my male ministry partner in Bible school and dealing with that. I taught classes on “The Reality of Temptation” and “Lessons for the Battlefield”. I wrote numerous articles dealing with the nitty gritties of facing up to ongoing or recurring homosexual temptations. I’ve spoken of those experiences several times on this blogsite. Your allegations that I’ve taken or am taking part in a cover-up of the reality that SSA will likely continue or that gays won’t become straight are both ludicrous and slanderous.

    So, Michael, I’m not the one that’s slinging the bull. Your pretense that you’re trying to get me to stop with the bs and to tell the truth is the real bs. “Wayward Emotions”, “The Reality of Temptation”, “Masturbation Dilemma”, “Overcoming the Obstacles”, “Reckoning With the Roots”…which of those suggests that an individual no longer has to contend with SSA? which of those suggests that an individual becomes conventionally straight?

    You have crossed a line, sir. Your little word games have now turned into out and out lies…and the proof is staring us right in the face. I have cited several of your lies in this post and given evidence of why they are lies.

    Beyond that, you have chosen to ignore a valid question while you still demand answers to questions we’ve answered several times. You get no more answers from me until you answer the important question I asked of you.


    Why do you keep asking the same questions over and over again and yet continue to miss our very important (at least to us) point about the issue that they are labels, they are nouns…that to a Christian, identity is a very basic part of their journey…that the label or identity does not fit if we are not engaged in pursuing those behaviors?

  • Mary

    Michael,

    And there is some lesbian or gay indentified man who is unhappy in that indentity and they feel they have no choice because people like you insist that gay is gay. I used to believe that.

    I don’t hate you MIchael. I find your circuitous definitions tiresome and innaccurate and debilitating to ex gays.

    Did it ever occur to you MIchael that there is another side to the coin – one in which there are no bad guys and just two different stories simultaneously occuring?

  • Mary

    Carole,

    Your comment at 12:04 is very good. I see something that has the smoothness of a vagina and I think of sex but not sex with women. Men think it has something to do with what is beyond us…uh uh. I think that’s why women’s bedroom that are very feminine are exciting to both men and women.

  • Mary

    Uh oh!! This just in. Breaking news.

    http://www.ktvu.com/news/20021701/detail.html

    Well, I wonder how the reparative therapy is going. LOL!!!

  • carole

    @Mary,

    Uh oh!! This just in. Breaking news.

    http://www.ktvu.com/news/20021701/detail.html

    Well, I wonder how the reparative therapy is going. LOL!!!

    I suppose if they got pictures of those penguins and then showed them to women hooked up to a machine, the women would “react”? LOL

  • Mary

    My goodness. I am surprised and humored as are you, over the “conclusion”

    And I’ll bet many women would react.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy, I was not lying. I was not aware that you have always made it clear that “ex-gay” did not mean “no longer SSA” or “straight”. I have not read any of your publications, but would like to.

    Sorry, but I will continue to add “still SSA, not straight” every time you use the term. I know that really annoys you, but I think it’s necessary — whether you think so or not.

    Why do you keep asking the same questions over and over again

    Because I feel that I do not get a straight answer — forgive the pun. You feel you give it. I have felt you were dodging it — so I kept pounding and pounding. I do appreciate the definition you offered earlier. Thanks. I still think it needs the qualifiers.

    and yet continue to miss our very important (at least to us) point about the issue that they are labels, they are nouns

    I do understand that. I have always understood that. I did not miss the point. You don’t “identify” as gay. That’s fine. “Gay” means something negative to you. To me, it’s just another word, a neutral word, a synonym for “homosexual” or “SSA”. For me, it does not mean the person likes it, does it or identifies with it.

    …that to a Christian, identity is a very basic part of their journey…

    I do understand that, too. I always have. And I think you know that I also believe that “identity” is very important to the journey of the Christian. I try to “idenify” with Christ, as I know you do.

    that the label or identity does not fit if we are not engaged in pursuing those behaviors

    I have always understood that, too. “Ex-gay” means you don’t do it — or at least are trying not to. And more power to you — in living according to your understanding of God’s will and purpose. That is all any of us can do.

    Good night. Sorry for being such an irritant. If we could talk OFF the blog, meet each other — instead of slinging BS and insults at each other on the blog — I think there is a good chance we would not argue very much — and might even be firiends.

    We have MUCH in common. Both love the Lord. Both care about His SSA kids very much. Both understand the struggle to integrate our sexuality and spirituality. Both are still SSA, not straight.

    Enough. I need to sleep. Hope you can forgive my stubborn, snarky, arrogant tone. I will try to be less upset with yours. For some reason, you just really honk me off sometimes. Maybe because I see in you traits I do not like to see in myself (The old speck and beam deal…) Tonight, I will ask the Lord for His forgiveness — and for more patience and kindness in dealing with you.

    PEACE. OUT.

  • Michael Bussee

    Sorry, Mary, wanted to respond to you too. I do see that there are many sides to this coin. It is not all black and white. There are many variations, many layers to sexual attraction and identity. I realize I don’t act like it sometimes, but I do undertsand that.

    You find my “definitions” (which are not mine) tiresome and innaccurate and debilitating to ex-gays> And I find the evasiveness and resistance to answering “what do you mean by gay and what you you mean by change” to be equally “tiresome and innaccurate and debilitating” to gays. Guess we are even on that.

    So we agree onsome things, but on this? No way.

    Men think it has something to do with what is beyond us…uh uh. I think that’s why women’s bedroom that are very feminine are exciting to both men and women.

    Honestly, I have never, never found a woman’s bedroom, even the “very feminine ones” to be “exciting” — and I would guess that most SSA men don’t either. Nicely decorated maybe — but definitely NOT exciting.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    While many gay id’d men have no attraction to the opposite sex, many do. They still, however id as gay.

    Do you have a problem with how they id as well?

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    And you keep saying “You all have religious reasons” and the like.

    I’m not religious.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Carol,

    I find Bailey’s conclusion that women are bisexual silly too. Glad you brought it up.

    K.

  • Eddy

    Michael-

    Sorry, but I don’t buy it. It was in previous discussions with YOU that I elaborated on the titles of my talks and teachings.

    I suppose I can believe that you haven’t read any of my Exodus ‘teachings’ but it sure calls into question your ‘authority’ to speak out against Exodus since you have an inside track. Don’t you think it comes off just a bit insincere that you claim to know Exodus and all of it’s evils but that you haven’t even read the Exodus writings of the one person who engages you in public discussion the most? And, in many of our little talks, you make claims of knowing me and where I come from…even after I make comments that challenge you to stop seeing your generalized picture of Exodus when you speak to me…and now you admit that you haven’t even read the Exodus teachings I’ve mentioned at least 4 times over the course of my dialogues here as examples of how Exodus was presenting a more balanced view than what you keep asserting. Sorry, dude, but that’s simply outrageous.

    Even if you didn’t take the time to read the teachings I’ve cited, I’ve mentioned most of those titles in past discussions. I’ve specifically mentioned the incident of falling in love with my male ministry partner while in Bible school. In fact, I even saw some parallels between that and how your relationship with your Exodus colleague and prayer partner started. How on earth did you miss it? How can you now claim that this is all news to you?

    I will once again say ‘no’ to your suggestion that we chat offline. You continue to quote things I’ve said here on the blog out of context–but there, at least, I have the blog evidence to fall back on and to back me up. I’m sorry but I could never trust you offline. Beyond that, the notion that we somehow have things to discuss that the others can’t hear…well that just isn’t so. Truth is truth. If we labor to tell it as clearly as possible…if arriving at the truth is our shared goal…then we should be able to get there right here in this somewhat public forum. Offline chatting with one who has tried so desperately to discredit me and my words…not a good thing.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    No one here has been evasive with you – not in the least. I have answered you clearly and directly. Stop seeing others when you read my posts – a tiresome trait of yours to mix people up into one category for your easy filing system.

  • Eddy

    I’m still reeling from this revelation from Michael:

    I have not read any of your publications, but would like to.

    It’s not that I’m offended that he hasn’t read any of my publications but rather that I’ve mentioned them from time to time as possible fodder for conversation only to have them dismissed or rebutted. I recall that I mentioned my “Roots” series…approximately a years worth of monthly newsletter teachings…and Michael’s response was that I was trying to take credit for the roots concept itself. Now it’s quite clear. He hadn’t read any part of the series but still felt obligated to take a dismissive jab at me while concealing the fact that he actually didn’t know what I’d written and how it agreed or disagreed with the concept he accused me of ‘stealing it from’.

    If he wasn’t making constant attacks on me and others on this blog for being dishonest and less than forthright, this might be forgiveable. But, for the moment, I don’t see it. Michael has consistently given the impression that he has monitored Exodus closely for years and, beyond that, that he is quite familiar with me and my views. Since I was a key figure in Exodus and an invited teacher at numerous Exodus conferences, this is no small oversight on Michael’s part. (Not only did I publish such radical ideas as “Wayward Emotions”, “The Reality of Temptation” and “Roots” in our ministry newsletter but Exodus recognized the value of such teachings to the point where they invited me to teach them at their annual conferences. This goes directly against Michael’s oft-repeated statement that Exodus pretends that your SSA goes away and you ‘become straight’.) These facts that run counter to his allegations ought to silence them once and for all but I’ll wager that he’ll continue to make his unfounded and untrue allegations.

    Even the olive branch approach smacks of posturing. No admission to lying–which I documented. But rather a circuitous loop and an appeal that perhaps if we could discuss these things offline, we’d be friends. Is the suggestion that he’d be more truthful and forthright offline? More willing to listen to elaboration of concepts (such as roots) before dismissing them summarily? Perhaps the suggestion is meant to be that I’d be more honest offline. While I concede that every one of us would likely be a bit more revealing in a ‘one on one’ rather than a public blog, the suggestion that I’d feel the freedom to be a bit more revealing in a ‘one on one with Michael is an unfathomable stretch. I submit that the olive branch was/is a posture to distract from the fact that he’s feeling quite a draft on his lower half.

    Yes, I know I’m being a bit brutal. I used the word ‘outrageous’ in my prior post. My response to something ‘outrageous’ is outrage. Go figure!

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    RE: Bailey and bisexual women. Not exactly what he proposes. He has said that women don’t have a sexual orientation in the same way men do. Chivers followed that with her “bonobo studies.

    Also, Diamond is cut from a similar cloth in that she believes in the dual process idea of attachment and sexual pathways being separate but related. Women can move more easily into a sexual feeling as a consequence of relationship than men can would be one prediction from this. Is this bisexuality? For awhile maybe. In my work, I am finding men like this too. Not sure how much the prevalence difference (women more than men) is due to biology or social structures.

  • Katie Cannon

    Warren,

    Nice clarification.

    What I see when I read people’s stories is that there are both men and women who both do and do not move across the Kinsey scale in a relatively congruent fashion, for lack of a better way of saying it.

    While I’ve read many more women expressing this experience than men, there are men who also seem to lead with their hearts and the sex follows.

    Or something like that.

    But I also wonder if men who have had a sexual crush on a man at some time in his life would admit this as easily as a woman.

    And also, as you mentioned, where there might be real differences in the rate of experience between men and women, it might be more due to social sanctions, how boys are actively encouraged to divorce sex from love, etc….

    But also, and this is something I have never read a really good discussion about, there does seem to be women who do bisexuality more like it’s claimed men do. It’s interesting to me that this still seems a taboo subject, just as it’s still taboo to look very carefully at women who sexually abuse children. We just really, really want women to lead with their hearts, to be the source of love and nurturance.

    K.

  • Ann

    No longer identifying as gay does not always equate to the absence of same gender attractions, but rather the judgement that something else (which is always personal and unique) is more important than those attractions. Please see the below quote.

    “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” –

    — Ambrose Redmoon

    It is not axiomatic that we label ourselves for a lifetime just because other people think we should. Rather than identifying with a label, what is the matter with saying, if you are so inclined to explain, “I think differently about myself than I used to and right now the only expectation I have about these personal feelings is to continue to learn about myself and see where it takes me.”

    Using a label leaves open the door for a myriad of interpretations – why would anyone, content with or unhappy with, same gender attractions leave themselves open to that kind of scrutiny or judgement or assumptions from others? It is really the source of misunderstanding which has led to so much of the contention

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    Here’s an excerpt from an out gay man who’s now questioning his sexuality. Not for religious reasons, not because he thinks it’s sinful, etc….

    But because of internal reasons.

    And this is NOT one of the guys I’ve had in mind when talking with you. He’s new to the group.

    ——————

    perhaps because you are staight or bisexual? it simply could be a case of CSA sexual confusion and your innate sexual orientation is surfacing through these feelings/fantasies…which would not be unlike some homosexual men who have the similar feelings after living as hetersexuals,( they report feeling like they are pretending or feeling uncomfortable with sex with females and think about male relationships)….its not true that this (latent changes in sexual orientation) only happens one directionally, ei gay to str8 only…i read that many people do go through changes in thier sexual attractions from time to time though these changes might be distressing at times they are not specifically harmful…and there is nothing that says you cannot choose to live the way you want, whatever your motivations…and i personally think there is nothing wrong with wanting kids and a hetersexual life…certainly not any more than it would be wrong to not want it…regardless of the reasons.

    i personally relate because i have the same feelings, and ive lived as an “out” affirming gay man for many years and always felt something not quite right with where i was then…and when i look at my behavior, it seems there were obvious signs that i was not where i should be,..plus ive had sexual attractions toward females, as a kid and as an adult(even while i was in a relationship with a man)…and i still find females attractive and im not at all opposed to having sex with one…though i generally dont fantisize about them sexually now (i did as a teenager though), but im romanically attracted to them… but because of CSA and other childhood issues have made my attractions to females confused and difficult to deal with.

    i have a friend who identifies as gay, but he still routinely has sex with both females and males. though he prefers males over females, but even the males he is attracted to tend to be rather femimine in appearance and manerisms…intersting.

    ———————-

    Who knows where this guy will end up, but this indicates the beginning of the process for the few guys I’ve been in contact with who say they’ve changed in orientation — or, if you prefer, have uncovered their more innate orientation which got knocked off course.

    However that may be, I doubt this guy will ever one day be utterly free of any hint of homosexual feeling in some way or another. He may never be a 0 on the Kinsey scale.

    And of course, it’s far too early to know where this particular man will end up.

    But this is what it looks like when a guy begins to come out of the straight closet — if he does.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    P.S.

    There’s no indication that this guy’s sexual attraction to men is based in an overt fetish either.

    He seems to be able to relate to, and bond with, men qua men.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy: I am done. Will not address you or your comments again on this blog. Done. Done, Done. We get nowhere. You don’t trust me. I don’t trust you. Done.

  • Michael Bussee

    I think we are just equally matched in terms of how obnoxious we find each other. I feel the same way about you that you feel about me. It’s personal.

  • Michael Bussee

    To the rest of you. Call yourselves whatever you please. You don’t owe me or anyone else an explanation. If you think gayness is broken, disordered and sinful, that’s your choice. Live you lives however you desire. Believe whatever you want. I will do the same.

  • Eddy

    Cop-out. Always follows the olive branch speech. Avoids the serious challenge presented, takes a final hit and then walks away–only to resurface with the same old same old when the heat has died down. At least that’s my take on it.

    A beautiful day for lounging at poolside–without the computer. Au revoir.

  • Ann

    To the rest of you. Call yourselves whatever you please.

    Michael,

    I would prefer not to use labels at all to describe someone’s, including myself, personal sexual preferences. That is just what I think and it works for me.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    I was about to rev up the Kumbayah…

    I do hope the views will not go away. I think there is much to be gained (I know my awareness has improved) from the exchange of views.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Michael,

    Take some time away if you must…but consider how hard we are all trying to “get” eachother. Leaving is an option, of course. So is engaging honestly through difficult confrontations.

    Carole said it well on July 11:

    Further, the idiots who made you feel as you did, who demeaned you, who told you God didn’t love you, that you were hell-bound, who told you you didn’t try hard enough or pray hard enough are IGNORANT. Don’t let them torture you like this. Don’t turn what they did to you to others. They are ignorant and by ignorant I do mean “without knowledge.” Take heart in knowing that each day more and more people understand that people don’t wake up one day during puberty chosing their sexuality.

    Since “gay” can include meaning “being sexually involved with one of the same sex” I think it’s pretty obvious that when some say “ex-gay” they are saying they no longer involve themselves sexually with other men. A person of normal intelligence would understand this.

    Language is an imprecise tool to explain much in life.

    In fairness, I think the argument about what “change” was became intensified with Spitzer’s article…and with Joe’s repetitive use of the word “cured.”

    Eddy has been clear as have many others I have known over the years…its about bringing their behavior in congruence with their values (a basic Christian calling for many behaviors we all agree about).

  • Mary

    Yeah Michael, when confronted – you back out and run away. And you have made far too many assumptions about people – far too many. I am sort of tired of how many times Eddy has to remind you of his teachings while at Exodus. Somehow you just move fluidly between an exgay person and some association with Exodus (one which I have never had) You complain to those of us here about being evasive but you duck and roll when confronted with the plain truth that we are not your enemies and your complaint is with someone or something else.

  • Katie Cannon

    This from a guy who experienced rape by a man in his late 20′s. Previous to this, he was exclusively heterosexual. It seems extraordinarily counter-intuitive to see that, even as an adult, a sexual assault can change a person’s fantasies, but early childhood abuse would have minimal impact.

    Over 4 years, I’ve noticed 5 or 6 men come through the group who experienced rape as an adult. Each of them developed homosexual fantasy.

    ————————

    Charlie;

    This topic is such a brain opener for me.

    My fantasies before the abduction/assault I visualized healthy hetro content.

    After the rape and all the years of dealing with the falshbacks and uncomfortable sexual reactions my body went through while my mind was continually being subjected to alcohol and THC. This went on for ten years. I gave up on my dick and went solo in my mid-thirties.

    Masterbation was never a problem for me. I tried men twice after the assault in desparation for sexual gratification, women were equally disapointed as the two men, nothing worked except masterbation.

    My fantasies changed to male/male around the same time and I was disgusted after my solo sessions. For most of my thirties and forties I had intrusive m/m events in my fantasies of me being with a man and I would switch back and forth to women. It was very frustrating.

    I fixed it with test driving the equipment and using a female nudity mag. When a m/m visual scenario developed I shut it down and with practie I was able to move on to the actual m/f sexual relation without the physical and mental interuptions associated with the assault.

    Good topic

  • Mary

    It’s very confusing for a person who has suffered sexual assualt as a child or an adult to put together the response of their body with who they are. I wish more people knew and understood this about sexuality. Just because you have an orgasm or intrusive thoughts does not make you that person.

  • Katie Cannon

    Ok, last one until I find the ones I’m looking for…

    I don’t know Micheal, your definitions demand a person like this to identify with, and thus actively nurture, pain, loss, isolation.

    Of course a guy like this should be politically allowed to id in whatever way allows him some peace of mind.

    Just as your coming out of the gay closet has allowed you to develop a life and go to the beach with a person you care about.

    I really don’t think that you would sit in the same room with this guy and demand he be utterly free of any homosexual/homoerotic something before he can choose to nurture his more life-affirming aspects of himself.

    While you’re a hard nut to crack, you don’t strike me as devoid of a little compassion.

    K.

    —————

    I know in my experience until I got EMDR I was having fantasies about sexual things with my cousin, the perp, while I masturbated or I would have fantasies, especially when I was a younger teenager, about kids who were 5 or 6 years younger than me. As I got older those fantasies really really bothered me, especially because the rest of the time I was thinking about girls I liked and the other stuff didn’t fit in.

    After EMDR for a lot of that the fantasies just stopped. It was also a realization that by revisiting those fantasies or watching gay porn and getting off to it that I was feeling this torn up wrecked feeling afterwards. It got to the point where I realized that I was ripping my soul apart by doing that stuff. Then after reading some words on Joe Kort’s website I realized that it was all related to trying to make sense of what happened, and even if I thought of it as being sexual it was an expression over the anxiety those experiences caused me. I would have NEVER wanted to actually perform any of the fantasies that went on in my head about younger kids, I knew how wrong those were.

    I also think if I hadn’t gotten to the point where things felt so split between who I was and what was happening in my head I could have continued that pattern for a much longer period of time. My abuse ended when I was 9. I started masturbating when I was 11, and for the next ten years EXACTLY everything was so crazy like that. Now at 22 and about a year through this whole journey into the what’s and why’s and how’s and an AWFUL lot of deep introspection I feel that I’ve arrived at a scary place in life, but scary in a good way.

    Scary when you start a new school and you’re nervous about meeting new people, or nervous about all those rumors about upperclassmen stuffing you in lockers or giving you swirlies. For the past 11 years I had been living this life that was confused, broken, and masked. I got so used to wearing a mask and covering up who I was that it just became involuntary. I didn’t want people to know how I felt, I didn’t want to show any emotions. So I put on the goofy joking personality and ran with it. It’s become a part of me to the core now, but it’s existing there because I like that part of me, it’s not a mask anymore.

    Sexually though, I’m at a new place. It’s a fresh kind of discovery like when I was 11 or 12. I’m not being controlled by fantasies that happened because of what my cousin did to me. All the homosexual and homoerotic thoughts and fantasies that felt so opposite of the rest of me fade and dissipate more and more every time I go to EMDR. I make my own choices now, and I can decide what I feel comfortable with and what I like, instead of trying to turn myself into my cousin and reliving my relationship with him along with the abuse in my mind. I feel ready finally to meet a girl or start dating, something that I was convinced I was too broken or damaged to do in the past.

    Allowing myself to be that emotionally open is scary too, because in the past I’ve been very guarded about everything in my life, with the exception of two or three of my best friends who are basically brothers to me. Scared that if I get to the point in a relationship where I do reveal this part of me and my past, that I’ll be left because they won’t understand or be able to handle the emotional baggage. I’d say I feel like I have my life back, but this all started when I was 6. The sixteen years since that have been all I knew in my life, and for most of that time I hid my feelings and repressed my emotions and just put my head down and pushed myself forward. I’m not used to having things so new and opened up. I’m still digging through and finding things that I’ve kept buried for so long, and each time I free those things, I feel happy, but also scared. I don’t know what all this is going to make me.

    Oddly though I feel like it’s simplifying me as a person. All these things I had implemented to protect myself, all these barriers, they’re falling. I couldn’t even tell you what they were, there were so many of them. Good to have em gone, but it’s weird at the same time.

  • Katie Cannon

    Mary,

    Yes, it’s unfortunate.

    And it’s more unfortunate that both the gay world and the straight world demands of such experiences to be classified as sexual orientation, or one’s fundamental identity.

    Hopefully things are changing as more men are speaking out publicly, which takes guts because they also get publicly laughed at and ridiculed.

    K.

  • Mary

    And pushed by others to accept a gay id. Inhumane. That’s why the Michaels of the world need to be educated more on sex, sexuality, sexual violence and abuse etc…

  • Michael Bussee

    OK Eddy. Let’s try again. Tell me. Your rules.

  • Mary

    MIchael,

    How about this for rules:

    1. Stop confusing all ex gay people with Exodus

    2. Stop taking snippets of a paragraph out of context

    3. Start listening to others

    And that’s just for starters.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    I was about to rev up the Kumbayah…

    I do hope the views will not go away. I think there is much to be gained (I know my awareness has improved) from the exchange of views.

    Yes — mine, too. I have scanned some and read some of the posts since Friday. Actually made a few notes yesterday because I wanted to say a thing or two, but to do it in the right light after doing some thinking/meditating and praying. Won’t happen until tomorrow as I am sticking to my resolve to have family relaxation time today. Had a great morning at church.

    So, hi and bye for today.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary, please. Don’t misrepresent me. I am not pushing anyone to “accept a gay I.D.” I have no desire and no right to do so. If they don’t want to think of themselves as gay or call themselves gay — that is perfectly OK with me.

    That’s why the Michaels of the world need to be educated more on sex, sexuality, sexual violence and abuse etc

    Why would you assume that I am not?

  • Michael Bussee

    MIchael,

    How about this for rules:

    1. Stop confusing all ex gay people with Exodus

    2. Stop taking snippets of a paragraph out of context

    3. Start listening to others

    And that’s just for starters.

    OK. That is certainly reasonable. I acknowledge that I have violated rules like these that should not have to be stated. They should just be common courtesy — and I have been discouretous.

  • Mary

    I don’t assume Michael. By your comments, you seem very ingnorant to the variety of sexual experiences and intepretations. You put everyone into three categories.

    For a five year old – that might make sense. But for the real world where there is much more complexity, it doesn’t make sense nor does it seems realistic to anyone with any experience in this avenue. Hence, my conclusion about you.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    I really believe you when you say that you don’t want to shove an ID down someone’s throat.

    And I don’t know how you feel about this yourself, but I feel saddened when people discuss their feelings that homosexuality is a sin, cuz I personally don’t think you’re sinful for wanting to love a man.

    Ouch, that hurts me, if not you.

    But, you have suggested that a guy would have to be devoid of homosexual fantasy in order to be viewed as straight. That the right category would be bisexual, at least. Or at least not heterosexual.

    While I can see that the word “bisexual” makes sense in ALL cases of someone who has overt sexual feelings or fantasies about the same sex in some way, and that it can be a useful word in some way…. it’s not useful as a noun in some cases.

    For instance, I think it’s a good idea that Rob see through the lense of bisexuality when exploring his feelings.

    But in doing so he’s coming to a place of being more sure, not less, that he’s not a bisexual, because in doing so he’s more able to separate out the various meanings and feelings of his bisexual attractions.

    So Rob now ID’s as straight, though he still has homosexualy related fantasies.

    But their repeats of his abuse, down to what’s said, cuz when you hook up over AOL you can write a script, and agree to stick to it.

    Considering his age, I’d be surprised if he gets to a place of never having such thoughts and fantasies.

    According to you, he’s not allowed to ID as straight, or if he does, then he’s being misleading, using words that fit him, but don’t adhere to simple definitions that most simple folk use.

    It took me a long time to sort of get the pain of someone who struggles with their sexuality — be that they’re heterosexually married but gay, or homosexually involved but straight.

    But I think I get it now — to some small degree.

    Just like you, Rob’s at the point in his life that he really doesn’t care if he’s straight, bi or gay. He just wants a life. To get out of the closet and breath and be whoever he is.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    I don’t know Micheal, your definitions demand a person like this to identify with, and thus actively nurture, pain, loss, isolation.

    Boy! Mary, do you have this wrong! Completely and totally wrong. I must have done a really crappy job of stating my poisition on this. I was asking for a clarification of terms not telling you how you should feel or how you must “idenitify” yourself.

    I amit that I can be very pushy, demanding and yesm Eddy, even childish about wanting to nail the words down, but I am not “demanding” that any SSA person, should or must “like it”, “identify with it” or “nurture” it in any way. NO. NO. NO.

    I have no right — and no desire to do that.

    As a Christian and a therapist, I would never demand, suggest or even imply that they should nurture a part of themselves that causes them to feel “pain, loss or isolation.” NEVER. You have me wrong.

    Believe it or not, I would encourage a client who was finding benefit in an EXODUS type program to continue with the program — while being thoughtful and realistic with regards to their expectations.

    Since leaving EXODUS, I have, as a therapist, done this very thing several times. And I never told them my prior involvement with or opinion about EXODUS, unless they asked.

    I told them that as far the reasearch has shown, ex-gays are not heterosexual — and that if that was their hope or expectation, they might be well-advised give that idea some more thought. And I have even given them info on how to contact EXODUS if they didn’t have it — though most have already googled it.

    As a therapist, I never, ever tell a client what they should feel, what they should call themselves, how they should identify themselves or what part of themselves their should nurture. They come to therapy, usually, because they have already decided that they want to nurture healthy parts of themselves. And I try to help them do that.

    Here it is different. Outside of therapy, in public discourse, I am very outspoken. obnoxious, pushy and down-right rude at times. I don’t like it. I try to control it, but sometimes I get frustrated and lose my cool. I should know better. I am not proud of my temper. It is something God is dealing with me about.

    I can be a pis-headed jerk here – about things I believe deeply. In therapy, however, it’s all about them, not me. I provide therapy. Good therapy. They feel better. Clients report it and their doctors notice it.

    I am well educated, well-trained and well-respected for helping clients deal with loss, abuse, addiction, sexuality and other life issues in a caring and ethical manner. And I would be happy to supply letters of reference from three local psychiatrists who are experts in these fields and who know my work on a daily basis who think so.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary, you are quite right in saying:

    Just because you have an orgasm or intrusive thoughts does not make you that person.

    No, it just makes you a person who has those feelings, thoughts or attractions. I understand that your “identity” is all of you — how you perceive yourself, how you feel, what you believe, what you have experienced, what God has created and what you have developed — and more…

    Your “identity” is much bigger than your orgasms or intrusive thoughts. I was trying to clarify the words, not trying to dictate your identity or rob you of it in any way.

    Your “identity” is a personal, even sacred thing, and I have no right, no need and no desire to dictate it for you.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary:

    You put everyone into three categories

    .

    No, I put sexual orientation in three categories, OSA, SSA or some combination. I am talking about which gender they are drawn to — not who they are.

    Who they are is MUCH more complicated.

  • Michael Bussee

    To Ktite:

    But, you have suggested that a guy would have to be devoid of homosexual fantasy in order to be viewed as straight. That the right category would be bisexual, at least. Or at least not heterosexual.

    Yes. You understand. That is what I am saying. In terms of the three broad categories we commonly refer to as “sexual orientation” — homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual — he would be bisexually attracted.

    How he feels about that, what he believes about that, whether or not he chooses to identify as that, nurture that or act on that is a different matter.

    I understand that there are degrees — some guys are 98% hetero. Some are 85% and so on — the categories exist not to force people to be anything but to describe the direction of their attraction Towards the same, opposite or both sexes? I amstrictly referring here to which gender arouses or attracts them, not who they are.

    So Rob now ID’s as straight, though he still has homosexualy related fantasies

    .

    That is fine. I am totally cool with that. I have no interest in telling him how he “should ID”. I am not “allowing” or disallowing anything here. I have no power to do that even if I wanted to. I have never suggested that indiviudals don’t have the right to call themselves or think of themselves in any way they feel comfotable. I don’t think Rob is misleading anyone.

    But, it is different when it comes to public ministries, ex-gay counselors and scientific organizations who offer to help gays “change”. They need to be more careful in how they identify what they do – clarifying their terms — not telling people who they must be.

    Just like you, Rob’s at the point in his life that he really doesn’t care if he’s straight, bi or gay. He just wants a life. To get out of the closet and breath and be whoever he is.

    For his sake, I pray he finds that.

  • Michael Bussee

    Just in case anyone is still in the mood, here’s Kum-ba-yah performed by 44 nuns. Very pretty.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdO3R5MlbxA

  • Mary

    But, it is different when it comes to public ministries, ex-gay counselors and scientific organizations who offer to help gays “change”. They need to be more careful in how they identify what they do – clarifying their terms — not telling people who they must be.

    Michael – this is exactly WHAT YOU do!

  • Michael Bussee

    Quit saying it Mary. It just is not true. I do not tell people what they must be. You can be any darn thing you like and call it whatever you want. I reallly mean it. Honest.

    I was only trying to clarify the meaning of words. You can keep believing that I am telling you to “be” something if you want to, but it is not true. You are misrepresenting me.

  • Eddy

    OK Eddy. Let’s try again. Tell me. Your rules.

    Nope. Not my rules. The rules of responsible, intelligent blog discussion.

    Mary offered a few that I agree with.

    You don’t ‘invent’ ways to thwart the other sides attempts at rational discussion. (Goes back to our discussion of my roots series and the fact that you offered rebuttal without having read it.)

    You occasionally look for ‘common ground’ rather than always seizing on one mispoken word or phrase.

    You don’t dodge a legitimate question…neither do you respond with insinuations about why the questioner would ask such a thing. (You don’t presume another’s motives.)

    It may be okay, under certain circumstances, not to tell the whole truth–particularly if its something very personal. (I realize that I have at times pushed too hard re your relationship with Gary.) But, it’s never okay to lie or to purposely mislead in a conversation.

    It is not okay to hold one side to a higher standard than the other. (Continually bashing those who you deem to be on my side for being less than honest, for being purposely confusing in their dialogues when you are at least as guilty of the same.)

    Michael, I know you have a flair for debate but I have stated very clearly that I don’t wish to debate…I want to discuss. I believe that some of the offensive things you did towards me weren’t done with personal malice as much as they sprang from the debate spirit. But that doesn’t make them anymore true…it doesn’t make them less counterproductive. It may make them less offensive–but not by much.

    The lack of personal respect that I feel from you is overwhelming. To purposely waste my time as you have. Insisting that I answer your questions over and over again, responding to your rebuttals…and then to learn that you weren’t really paying any attention to what I said…but rather were only looking for the flaws to seize upon. I don’t like it; I won’t like it. I see that you still have not acknowledged that you wronged me. I demonstrated untruths that you wrote. You don’t like the word ‘lie’…I get that…but check your dictionary. Telling an untruth is telling a lie. Saying that I hadn’t stepped up and revealed that I still have SSA…that’s an untruth…it’s a lie. Portraying me as part of the evil Exodus machine that obscures the reality of ongoing same sex attractions while making the unfounded promise of straightness…that’s an untruth; it’s untrue about Exodus and it’s untrue about me personally..therefore it’s a lie.

    Not my rules, Michael, the rules of civil behavior. What do we do when we realize we’ve spoken an untruth about someone and they are present? I would expect it to be something more satisfying to the one the false statements were directed at than saying “I wasn’t lying”. What do we do on a blog when someone has nailed us for telling an untruth (whether unintentional or intentional)?

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy. You are right. I was wrong not to read your works. I will have to catch up for lost time. Which one do you recommend I read first? I am convinced now that I was wrong. You have never tried to give the impression that you are heterosexual.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary: Give me one instance where I told you what you must “be”. Just one.

  • Mary

    Quit saying it Mary. It just is not true. I do not tell people what they must be.

    No, I put sexual orientation in three categories, OSA, SSA or some combination. I am talking about which gender they are drawn to — not who they are.

    Who they are is MUCH more complicated

    Calling a man who was raped by another man gay because he had an orgasm and now has sexual thoughts and arousal by that is just wrong. His sexual orientation is no more gay than it is victim.

  • Eddy

    It seems I have one comment awaiting moderation that I wrote before Michael’s 7:13 post.

    Anyway, Michael, it really doesn’t matter which ones you read first. What matters–what I found so offensive–was twofold. 1) I’ve presented the list of teaching titles that I presented today a number of times…in discussions with you…yet, today, it sounds like it’s news to you. 2) In those discussions where I presented those topics (And the ‘Roots discussion’ stands out), you offered rebuttal without having even read them or asking more about them.

    I’m not sure how many of them are still in print. “Lessons for the Battlefield” was never available in hard-copy form but was a taped presentation at an Exodus conference. The ‘Roots’ series was compiled into a booklet and I suspect that it’s still available. (LOL. I saw it on Amazon.com for something like $35; we sold them for $3.50!) A second compilation booklet “Understanding Freedom: The Struggle With Life-Dominating Sin” may also be still available.

  • Michael Bussee

    I never claimed that I was rebutting your published work. I was rebutting what you post here.

    If I can find them — and I promise I will look — I will read them. If they change my mind, I will let you know.

  • Katie Cannon

    I just have to say that I truly admire Michael for his above approach.

    He’s had — how many people jump on him? And here he is admitting he could be a little more, well, don’t know…. something.

    Really Michael, it takes a really good guy to do this. It really does.

    But I have to say that it really does seem that the better question to ask a guy who’s been raped is how it has effected him rather than ask if he’s straight, bi or gay.

    And that in such circumstances, it might be far more helpful to allow the notion that there’s heterosexual folk with homosexual fantasies.

    Among other reasons is the fact that a lot of people who come to such fantasies due to rape are “attracted” in much the same way you’re “attracted” to a car wreck.

    Maybe a better word would be “compelled by” rather than “attracted to”.

    But there’s still fantasies.

    But like my S&M fantasies (a mirror of my physical abuse history), I’m not attracted to them, or find them attractive. I really don’t like them.

    And I’m not opposed to light S&M play acting among people, and don’t think that such things are always connected to a physical abuse history.

    Just that for ME they are, and thus are in no way “attractive”, though I still rely on them at the age of 45.

    It’s really not all fun, fun, fun.

    And nor, do I feel, are they a “natural” part of my sexual make-up.

    Without my physical abuse history I’d imagine I’d be sexually adventurous enough to play at thing like tie me up, tie me down. But such things in real life just really, really, scare me.

    Though still, there’s my fantasies….. fairly extreme S&M.

    And I don’t even watch the news because I have to be very prepared to see depictions of violence – otherwise I get triggered like crazy.

    Yet, there’s these fantasies…..

    And yes, this is a good analogy to some people’s homosexual fantasies, and at least to a few gay men’s heterosexual ones.

    Take care,

    Katie

  • Michael Bussee

    Calling a man who was raped by another man gay because he had an orgasm and now has sexual thoughts and arousal by that is just wrong.

    I completely agree. I never did that. Let me say it again: “I am talking about which gender they are drawn to — not who they are.”

    How he feels about it, whether he likes it, identifies with it, chooses to nurture it or act on it is an entirely different question.

  • Michael Bussee

    Now can we sing Kum ba ya?

  • Mary

    Michael,

    So then you admit that people who seek relief from same sex sttractions can change.

    Either that or you know the reason behind every person sexuality.

  • Michael Bussee

    Katie, I completely agree with this:

    But I have to say that it really does seem that the better question to ask a guy who’s been raped is how it has effected him rather than ask if he’s straight, bi or gay. And that in such circumstances, it might be far more helpful to allow the notion that there’s heterosexual folk with homosexual fantasies.

    And if I had a client who was raped — and I have counseled many sexual abuse victims at hospitals, treatment centers and in private practice — I would never, never “ask if he is straight, bi or gay.” I might ask if this has had any effect on how he sees himself in that regard — and how he feels about that — but that would not be why he was there or why I was there.

    Somehow, I must have given you guys the idea that I would. How I gave you that impression I don’t know, but I simply have not — and would not — do such a thing in therapy. Never. Never. Never. Never have. Never will.

    “The better question to ask a guy who’s been raped is how it has

    effected him…”

    I wholeheartedly agree!

  • Mary

    At the very least can you see how some people who are same sex attracted do not identify as gay. Are not gay?

    How he feels about it, whether he likes it, identifies with it, chooses to nurture it or act on it is an entirely different question

    This is kind of what everyone has been saying. Ex gays say this and you seem to not like that.

  • Michael Bussee

    So then you admit that people who seek relief from same sex attractions can change.

    Yes, Mary. I admit that people who seek relief from same sex attractions can change!

    I have never said they “couldn’t change”. I said that I have never met an ex-gay man who was not SSA.

    Change? Of course they can. Of course they do. But lose their SSA and become heterosexual instead? I don’t think so. After 30 years, I am still waiting to meet just one.

  • Michael Bussee

    At the very least can you see how some people who are same sex attracted do not identify as gay

    .

    Of course. I never said they can’t — aren’t allowed to — or don’t “identify as gay” I have met many, many such persons.

    Are not gay?

    That depends on what you mean by gay.

  • Michael Bussee

    By the way Eedy, when I said that “you have never tried to give the impression that you are heterosexual”, I didn’t mean you couldn’t — I just meant you haven’t so far.

  • Michael Bussee

    Don’t knwo why I keep messing uy your name –Eddie, Eedy. I swear it is my bad eyes and shaky hands — and not intentional. Sorrry, Eddy.

  • Michael Bussee

    So then you admit that people who seek relief from same sex attractions can change.

    Once again, it brings us back to the point I am trying so hard to make. You cannot answer this question without first coming to some common agreement on the meaning of these terms.

    You have to define what you mean by “gay” and what you mean by “change”.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    I don’t know about Kumbayah but how about this:

    Hey, this nails me too so I am not trying to say I am better at this. I am not. I do aspire to be though.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    You still avoid the question. If a person who is raped is not gay – and wants to stop having thoughts and arousal from gay images and thoughts – then what is he to do? Not change? He certainly does not identify as gay.

  • Katie Cannon

    Hey Michael,

    Again, there are at least a few people I’ve come across who say they have no SSA.

    And I know the question would be: Well, were they every REALLY gay to begin with?

    Don’t know, but they sure felt gay.

    This is sort of an interesting question.

    On one of the support groups I’m on there’s a gay id’d guy who says that before he discovered he was gay, he had wonderful, spontaneous, intense, attractions to girls. So this is one thing he says.

    But then he says he was always gay.

    So I’ve asked him why he doesn’t view himself as straight at one point in his life, and gay at another?

    Because, unlike a lot of people who shift in their identity, he didn’t discover that his attractions to women were far less intense than his attractions to men.

    They were intense, full, and very real.

    But, nope, he’s always been gay….

    He’s a really smart guy, and open to being grilled, so I’ve grilled him.

    In the end he believes he was always gay, not due to his feelings, but due to his belief that all gay people are born gay — so he must have been as well.

    Even if he really, truly, felt heterosexual for much of his adult life.

    And no, he no longer has any heterosexual fantasies, though he does still find women attractive — just no sexual fantasies proper.

    And oh, he doesn’t like gay porn. Only straight porn. Go figure? lol.

    Katie

  • Michael Bussee

    If a person who is raped is not gay – and wants to stop having thoughts and arousal from gay images and thoughts – then what is he to do? Not change? He certainly does not identify as gay.

    If a person is raped… I didn’t realize you were zeroing in on vicitms of sexual abuse. As a therapist, I would deal with the abuse. Victims typically blame themselves is some way. I would deal with that mis-conception. They were victims. It does not define their sexual orientation or who they are.

    As a victim of violent crime myself, I would certainly do everything I could to help him stop having intrusive thoughts — and suffering because of them. Perhaps group work with other surivivors of abuse. Individual therapy. Medication. Spiritual and familly support.

    Perhaps EMDR — which has shown some effectiveness in reducing painful intrusive memories. I would never tell the guy that if he had images or got aroused that he must “accept that he is gay.” That would be non-therapuetic, unethical and just plain stupid.

  • Katie Cannon

    Then Rob wouldn’t be misleading anyone in stating he’s gay, though he has homosexually oriented fantasies?

    And Michael, as far as I know, his fantasies are still exclusively homosexually oriented, I don’t think he has any spontaneous heterosexual fantasies, except when we’re making out.

    And initially having sex.

    Then I’m pretty sure he retreats to homosexual ones.

    I’m not sure about this because when I ask him he just stares blankly at me.

    So that’s what I imagine. Not that his staring blankly at me happens only when I ask him this question. It happens a lot when the subject turns in any way to what happened to him as a child and how he now feels about it, etc….

    Blank stare. Absence. Gone. No body home.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Katie:

    Again, there are at least a few people I’ve come across who say they have no SSA.

    Interesting. Sure wish I could meet one.

    And I know the question would be: Well, were they every REALLY gay to begin with?

    Yup. That would be my question. Did the guy have OSA to start with? Was he entirely SSA and now entirely OSA?

    I have to say, I don’t know what to make of the guy who “identifies as gay” but has had “intense, full, and very real” sexual attractions to women. I am completely baffled.

    Now, he “no longer has any heterosexual fantasies”, but “only likes straight porn.” What the heck is he doing while he’s watching the straight porn? Not fantasizing?

  • Katie Cannon

    And oh, he is capable of talking, to some extent, about what happens at moments like this — “Being in a bubble, or somewhere else”.

    Dissociation.

    He dissociates a lot.

    He now believes that his sex with men was done while in a dissociative state, and that his fantasies have the same purpose, to escape, hide, go somewhere else.

    Unlike a lot of guys, he always had the question in his head: Why am I doing this? Etc…

    Or, like one of the posts I posted above quoting the guys — it feels like a foreign power over him rather than originating through him.

    The problem comes when you’ve got gay id’d guys who have lead a gay affirmative life for some time, and who then come to question their life.

    If you admit that sexual abuse victims can be gay one day and then not another day, and allow them to id as straight guys with homosexual fantasy, then this does open the door to others who were not sexual abuse victims, but have other reasons, other associations, different psychological shifts, to do so as well.

    Or so it seems to me.

    Like there might be one man on the planet for whom the lost father really did influence his sexuality, and then he gets this need fulfilled in other ways, and so now shifts his attractions to women….

    I don’t like NARTH at all. But still, there just might be one lone person on this planet for whom their scenerio fits.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    About the gay guy who only watches straight porn — I can’t make heads or tails out of it — and I’ve asked him many, many times.

    He’s very articulate too, but I still don’t get it.

    I tease him about it — he’s the most queer gay man on earth….

    But he does keep saying the same thing over and over when I ask, I just don’t get it, though he’s consistent :)

    People are funny.

    And oh, he’s heterosexually married, very much in love with his wife too.

    If I were his wife I’d just kick him in the butt and tell him to wake up and smell the heterosexuality.

    But, then I tell myself he must have his reasons….

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Then Rob wouldn’t be misleading anyone in stating he’s gay, though he has homosexually oriented fantasies

    It’s not Rob I am concerned about really. He sounds confused and confusing. I am only concerned with therapists, counselors or organizations that claim to “change” gays without clarifying their terms.

    I know it is none of my business and I don’t mean to be rude, but why are you dating a guy whose “fantasies are still exclusively homosexually oriented”, and “doesn’t have any spontaneous heterosexual fantasies, except when the two of you are making out –and initially having sex”?

    Doesn’t that bug you to think he’s not really there? Not really attracted to you? I know is bugged the heck out of my wife — and hurt her deeply to know that I was attracted to my gay fantasies — not her. I don’t know how you deal with it. It must not be easy.

    You say:

    I’m not sure about this because when I ask him he just stares blankly at me. Blank stare. Absence. Gone. No body home

    Sounds like he is overwhelmed. The question is too painful. He is dissociating. Is he getting any sort of therapy? Are you?

  • Michael Bussee

    Dissociation. He dissociates a lot. He now believes that his sex with men was done while in a dissociative state, and that his fantasies have the same purpose, to escape, hide, go somewhere else. And oh, he’s heterosexually married, very much in love with his wife too.

    He’s “very much in love with his wife”? Does she know the two of you are having an affair?

    Katie, with all due respect, why are you dating this man? Frankly, I am more concerned about your emotional health at this point than his. Why are you with a man who is not really with you?

    I would be asking, not “can he change?” — but can you? Why not date a traight guy? Is there something about being with a truly heterosexual man, who has only spontaneous heterosexual attractions to you — as a female — that makes you feel uncomfortable?

    Why a married guy, who thinks of himself as gay and has to dissociate to have sex with you? I suspect that you are dissociating a lot too.

  • Michael Bussee

    Then Rob wouldn’t be misleading anyone in stating he’s gay, though he has homosexually oriented fantasies?

    Sounds like he is misleading himself and his wife.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    Don’t ever be concerned about asking me too personal of a question, I’m pretty open when it comes to this stuff.

    Why am I with him? Because I have no doubt at all that he’s attracted to me, just scared of sexual intimacy. To me, his homosexual fantasies are no different than if he resorted to fantasies of shoes, in the sense that it’s not about men for Rob.

    It’s about escape.

    Do I like it that he escapes? No.

    But life’s not perfect.

    And I love the big goof a lot, and he’s been really good for me. He’s not a burden, he lightens my load.

    And I believe that over time he’ll need to escape less and less.

    But if he doesn’t, that’s ok too. I’m not making decisions based on hopes of change.

    He holds my hand and strokes my hair and rubs my back and cuddles me a lot.

    He’s very affectionate with me — spontaneously so.

    And he gets spontaneous erection just by looking at me.

    So he’s attracted to me….

    It’s the actual sex that’s the problem, then he escapes. But maybe I do too, and so maybe we fit in that way.

    We’re both a bit injured and bruised, broken even. We get eachother.

    It’s been a healing relationship.

    That he’s attracted to the type of sex he’s attracted to is hearbreaking. I don’t like that it also involves men — yuk :)

    But, again, it’s not about men, and he’s not attracted TO men. Doesn’t even get an erection.

    So there you have it: Men = shoes, but yet… still men, yuk, but….

    That’s how I deal with it.

    And just to let you know, aside from Rob, I find two men holding hands cute, but I find gay sex weird. Guess that means I’m not a gay man. Wew! That would cause all sorts of problems….

    Katie

  • Katie Cannon

    Silly,

    Rob’s not married — that’s a different guy!!!! Different story!!!

    Rob’s not married, he’s marrying me.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Katie, frankly, Rob sounds gay. Many gay men who have sex with women, date them or marry them report that they have to dissociate to some extent to have sex with their woman. I know I did.

    I don’t think his abuse made him gay, but I sure think it hurt and confused him. Chances are he was and still is gay. He even tells you he identifies as gay and only has gay fantasies. I would believe him if I were you. I would not marry him or make babies with him.

  • Katie Cannon

    Rob’s the guy I”m marrying, he’s the one who like penises, not men qua men.

    Rob’s the fetish guy, and the guy I’m marrying.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    Rob does not id as gay.

    That’s the other guy.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Katie: Sorry got the two guys mixed up. Have you spoken to any other women who marredi or are now married to gay men? It might help. I also found this on the web. It might be useful.

    http://www.gayhusbands.com/straightwivesbook.htm

    Why am I with him? Because I have no doubt at all that he’s attracted to me, just scared of sexual intimacy. To me, his homosexual fantasies are no different than if he resorted to fantasies of shoes, in the sense that it’s not about men for Rob.

    I know. That’s what my wife thought, too.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    There are times in which Rob and I have intense sex, and he’s all there all the time.

    It’s just not consistent. Has to do with where he’s at in therapy and the like.

    It’s up and down.

    Right now it’s down.

    But to answer your question, yes, he’s in therapy.

    I am too.

    The therapist doesn’t think Rob’s gay at all. And he does therapy with gay men.

    It’s interesting because another therapist who’s on this blog sent me a private message saying he doesn’t think Rob is “fully gay” — I think what he meant is that Rob doesn’t have a fully developed homosexual aspect, and so isn’t truely bisexual either.

    Pretty much what Rob’s therapist thinks too.

    And every other therapist I’ve spoken with, which has been a lot.

    A guy attracted to sex acts involving either a penis or a fist, isn’t attracted to men in the way you are.

    For a gay therapist’s perspective on this, go to joekort.com.

    I’ve done therapy with Kort via phone. He was a life-line in the early days of all this coming out about Rob.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Katie, sorry. Could we give the other guy a name so I don’t get him mised up with Rob? I am afraid that I am getting more and more confused.

    In any event, if you marry, I hope you do so with eyes wide open — both of you — and that he resolves these issues (to the best extent he can) before you say “I do”. I would give it five years or so just to be safe.

    Not saying you must. But from my own personal experience of being married to a woman who thought I was “just scared of sexual intimacy” I think it would be wise. It could save you both a lot of heart-ache down the road. You didn’t mention, do you intend to make babies with him? If so, it could also save a lot of heart-ache for them.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    I’ve been involved with three support groups for mixed orientation couples.

    It’s been great. Among other things, it’s often very clear to me when the husband is truely gay/bi, and when he isn’t.

    While I know that some gay men initially experience their attractions to men in a fetish-like way, etc… are a bit schizoid (the closet can have that effect), the really gay guys don’t do the things Rob does.

    Like get an erection when their wives undress, among other things.

    What I see in the case of splitting is that a guy’s sexuality can’t be determined until the splits heal to a large degree.

    As Rob heals, his sexuality becomes more clear.

    But he’s still scared.

    You might really do some reading on Malesurvivor.org. I think having post after post after post — from a variety of people is really interesting, cuz you get a groove on what’s what in a that’s more difficult to get in dealing with a very limited number of self-reports.

    If Rob id’d as gay and told you that he gets erections whenever he sees his girlfriend naked, can’t wait to hold her hand and kiss and cuddle, you’d question what he was talking about.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    We’ve been seeing eachother for over 4 years.

    No babies, I’m 45, he’s 55.

    Both have all the babies we want.

    I’ve had the concerns you’ve mentioned — big time.

    I still get concerned at times.

    But the better part of myself knows what’s what. No gay man can fake the nuances of our physical communication.

    And the wives married to gay men do NOT experience the nuances. It’s absent, and they don’t understand why.

  • Ann

    You have to define what you mean by “gay” and what you mean by “change”.

    Michael,

    Yes, you are right and I believe these have to be individualized for each person. I always understood your feelings about people who make claims about themselves and that it should cover everyone else too – I have spent time with you and understood then and now how you have been hurt by this – I know what you wanted and how hard you fought to change your feelings through all the things you wanted to believe. I know you are not an activist, rather a man who wants to love his family and God. My request is that the same respect and truth you so rightfully deserve is also given to those who are not content with their same gender attractions and do not want to identify or solidify or justify these unwanted feelings with a label or an explanation. People take different paths to life situations and circumstances and it hurts to hear over and over a blanket claim, usually from someone who is angry, that no one can change any aspect of these unwanted and that they should be accepted as there will never be any change. I mean it really hurts. This is why I do not accept labels or others telling people who or what they are based on something they never wanted to begin with. Would you consider listening to what an individual said about where they are rather than have them identify as either gay, straight, ex-gay, etc.? I have to tell you when I think of you, I never, for a minute, think of you with any of these terms – ever. In fact, I believe I wrote about you once on this blog and if that is re-checked, I doubt any reference to any labels regarding sexuality will be found.

  • Michael Bussee

    I’ve been involved with three support groups for mixed orientation couples.

    I am relieved to hear that. Is he involved in couseling or just you? It is a very good sign that the two of you can talk about it — if indeed you can — but I thought you said that when you try to talk about it he “just stares blankly at me. Blank stare. Absence. Gone. No body home.” That’s not a good sign.

    The really gay guys don’t do the things Rob does — like get an erection when their wives undress, among other things.

    Dont be so sure. I did. But I was thinking about Gary and how it was going to feel — on a purely physical level, it felt good — I was not turned on by her.

    When I was making love to her — and she seemed to enjoy it — I was thinking about him. In my mind, I was “nuancing” him. Felt like I was cheating on her — and I was.

    As Rob heals, his sexuality becomes more clear. But he’s still scared.

    I hope you are scared a bit, too. It could prevent you from making a big mistake now and going through a lot of pain later. My ex-wife and I both experience a lot of pain about it — thirty years later.

    No babies, I’m 45, he’s 55. Both have all the babies we want.

    Huge sigh of relief here. Good that you have known him 4 years. I would still advise giving it another four years or so — with both of you in regular therapy — before you say “I do”.

    Just a word to the wise. Not saying you must do anything.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    Just wanted to say that I like what Ann wrote to you. I haven’t found you annoying because it’s obvious it comes from a place of pain.

    You seem like a really nice, caring person.

    And I understand your desire to protect others from the pain you’ve been through.

    And appreciate you concern for me in relation to Rob as well.

    K.

  • http://trinidadsdagay.blogspot.com Trinidad. Adventist. Gay?!

    I think the word “fantasy” that Katie uses is confusing the issue. A sexual attraction is not a “fantasy”. When a pretty girl smiles at a guy and he blushes (and gets butterflies) that is not a “fantasy”.

    When she leaves his presence he may or may not “fantasize” about being with her, but his spontaneous reaction is not a “fantasy”.

    Secondly, Katie keeps bringing up S&M “fantasies”.

    I ask in all seriousness: would you fantasize about hitting a tree or a rock or a fire hydrant with a whip? Is pruning or breaking up rocks with a hammer arousing in any way?

    Do such “fantasies” purely involve yourself alone? (in other words, do you fantasize about hitting yourself?)

  • Michael Bussee

    @Ann:

    My request is that the same respect and truth you so rightfully deserve is also given to those who are not content with their same gender attractions and do not want to identify or solidify or justify these unwanted feelings with a label or an explanation

    That is both wise and reasonable. I will take your sie counsel and try my best to do that.

    it hurts to hear over and over a blanket claim, usually from someone who is angry, that no one can change any aspect of these unwanted and that they should be accepted as there will never be any change. I mean it really hurts.

    I don’t think I have ever said that “no one can change any aspect of these unwanted feelings, that they should be accepted or that there will never be any change.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    Did you do things like pick her feet up and kiss them, just out of the blue?

    Absent mindedly stroke her hipbone while watching t.v.?

    Say things like “I love your tummy” in the midst of a conversation about where to go to dinner?

    Walk up behind her while she’s doing the dishes and smell her neck and tell her you just love the way she smelled?

    Call her up just to say you love the sound of her voice?

    Search her out to take a bath with in the middle of the day?

    Day dream about her? And feel compelled to call her to tell her so?

    Dwell on the small of her back with the tips of your fingers and say that you just love how it curves just so?

    Tell her that while she’s sitting in your lap that you feel as though you could just take her entire being into yours?

    Things like this?

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Regarding dissociation:

    Things are getting better.

    And yes, we can talk about this stuff.

    Again, at times it’s quite easy.

    Then there are times where he just shuts down.

    Right now I”m not asking any questions, just doing what I do openly — like typing on this blog.

    Then I’ll tell him about it, and sometimes he just opens up. Sometimes not.

    All this stuff was the focus of our lives for about 3 years.

    It’s good that it’s less so.

    Still, I do hope one day that we can both just talk with neither of us feeling scared or at risk.

    And I also hope we get our sex life back on track.

    Rob’s scared that it will never be like it was before all this came out.

    And part of what this means to him, is feeling intimacy during sex for the first time in his life. And I know that back then he didn’t retreat like he does now.

    But now the pressure’s on to “prove he’s not gay”….. and all that stuff.

    K.

  • Ann

    I don’t think I have ever said that “no one can change any aspect of these unwanted feelings, that they should be accepted or that there will never be any change.”

    Michael,

    I never said you did :-)

  • Ann

    Michael and Eddy,

    My admiration for both of you runs deep – I prayed for you today and this verse came to mind.

    Colossions 1:9

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    I never claimed that I was rebutting your published work. I was rebutting what you post here

    .

    I attempted to introduce some thoughts from my ‘roots’ series into a conversation here in an attempt to demonstrate that there were more theories out there than just reparative. Your response was that the roots theory was based on already existing roots theory and I should be ashamed for trying to take credit for it. Hence, you passed judgement on the material that I wanted to bring into the conversation without even having read it and attempted to villify me in the process.

    It’s clear to me that you never will acknowledge that this was wrong and that you never will apologize for doing it or for telling the untruths I cited earlier in this blog. As time goes on, I may speak to the blog in general about comments or statements that you make but I will do my best to avoid speaking to you. I have no further interest in anything you might say to me. It will be understood that if you address a comment to me, you’re really just posturing…pretending to speak to me but, in reality, posturing for the blog. (going for the points)

  • Mary

    Michael,

    The reason I zedroed in on the rape victim (and I hinted at this in a previous post) was to make a point later on. YOU DON”T KNOW WHERE SEXUALITY COMES FROM. MOST OF US DON’T.

    So whether it is from a glaring and identifiable event such as rape – defining a person by what they are “drawn” to is of no use.

    We must look at each individual and let that individual decide for themselves what is their orientation. It is not up to you to decide. If it is osmething they have always felt – be aware that that can change over time too. I’ve heard many many people talk about thier life with such certainty only to change how they view their life later on. And that certainty has changed, too – not to uncertainty – but to a newer perspective and certainty.

    As ambiguous as this is, that is the way it is. When you hear exgays say they have changed – you are right – everyone is telling a different story. And that’s the truth.

    So whether it is a rape victim or a seemingly uneventful life that has “drawn” a person to homosexuality or heterosexuality it is for that person to decide 1) How they feel about it 2) What to do with it 3) Whether or not to “nurture” it and 4) Whether they are gay, straight or bi.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy:

    It’s clear to me that you never will acknowledge that this was wrong and that you never will apologize for doing it or for telling the untruths I cited earlier in this blog.

    I was responding to the ideas you were talking about, not your published works. I should have made it clear that I had not read your stuff. That was wrong. I apologize. I was not telling any untruths. I was disagreeing with the concepts, not rebutting your published works. I am sorry.

    I have no further interest in anything you might say to me.

    Fine with me, Eddy. I feel pretty much the same way about you. No big loss.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary:

    YOU DON”T KNOW WHERE SEXUALITY COMES FROM. MOST OF US DON’T

    You are absolutely right. I have never claimed that I know where sexuality comes from.

    We must look at each individual and let that individual decide for themselves what is their orientation. It is not up to you to decide.

    Again, you are absolutely right.

  • Michael Bussee

    To all of you:

    You accuse me of not listening. I admit I don’t sometimes. But sometimes, you don’t listen very well either. I say “ex-gay males are still SSA, not straight” and you hear:

    (1) No one can change ANYTHING

    (2) SSA people must call themselves gay.

    (3) SSA people must like it, identify with it, nurture it and do it.

    I have never said ANY of these things. You accuse me of saying them because that’s what you want to hear.

    Like me sometimes, you are not really listening.

  • concerned

    Michael,

    You say you have never claimed to know where sexuality comes from but you seem to be pretty clear on where is does not come from, even though many who have experienced trauma or broken relationships in their lives can relate their SSA back to this at some point.

    Seems pretty unscientific to me, but I guess that does not matter to you.

  • Michael Bussee

    Concerned:

    Michael: You say you have never claimed to know where sexuality comes from but you seem to be pretty clear on where is does not come from, even though many who have experienced trauma or broken relationships in their lives can relate their SSA back to this at some point. Seems pretty unscientific to me, but I guess that does not matter to you.

    NO. You are wrong. It does matter to me. Science does matter to me. Contrary to what you are saying, I am “not pretty clear or where is does not come from“. I have no idea where it comes from.

    I also have no idea where heterosexuality comes from. I have my own guesses – but they are just that — guesses. No one else knows for sure where SSA or OSA comes from either. They have to guess too.

    I hear that some people believe that their SSA came from “experienced trauma or broken relationships” — and who knows? That may be exactly right — for them.

    Unfortunately, there is no “science” to prove it one way or another. They may have turned out SSA even if they had great relationships and no trauma.

  • Mary

    But MIchael,

    you have consistently said that a person who does not want SSA or like SSA in themselves should be counseled to acceppt thier SSA because change was not possible. That SSA or being gay was inborn.

  • Michael Bussee

    I felt like I was beating my head against a wall, but I got what I wanted from Eddy and others. Maybe they said it clearly many times before and I just wasn’t listening — or didn’t really want to hear — but I got it. Thanks.

    Ex-gay means that the person has (1) chosen to walk away from a “gay identity”, (2) that they believe gay sex is sin and (3) that they are trying not to engage in it.

    Although the “ex-gay” may have experienced major life changes and even some

    changes in their sexual attractions, the term does not imply a change from gay to straight — and it does not indicate that the ex-gay is no longer SSA.

    I won’t need to ask again.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary:

    But MIchael, you have consistently said that a person who does not want SSA or like SSA in themselves should be counseled to accept their SSA because change was not possible. That SSA or being gay was inborn

    Simply not true. I never said those things. Quit putting words in my mouth, will ya?

    Show me one time where I said this. I have never said that an unhappy SSA “should be counseled to want, accept or like their SSA.” NEVER.

    I would not say that because I do not believe that. It’s what you want to hear me say — but I have not and will not say it — because I don’t believe it.

    Also, I have NEVER said that “change was not possible”. NEVER. I have asked “ex-gays” to descibe the “change” they are talking about. I only have said that ex-gay males are still SSA.

    Lots of changes are possible — changes in identity, attitude, behavior, self-image, feelings, etc. It may even be possible for an exclusively SSA male to become an exclusively OSA male. But so far, there is no good scientific evidence tof that.

    I have also never said that SSA was “inborn”. I know that for me and many others it “feels” inborn. Like I said, I have no idea. It may be. It may not be. It may be some of both — nature and nurture. No one — and that includes me – knows for sure. Right, Dr. T?.

  • Michael Bussee

    I am having trouble locating Ed Hurst’s printed works. I googled his name and found lots of references to Ed Hurst the realtor or Ed Hurst the disabled veteran but so far, only this review otf one of Eddy’s books:

    http://www.ecinc.org/Reviews/rvwntr_1988.htm

    The reviewer claims that Eddy claimed that homosexuality is “curable”. I will keep looking. Maybe Amazon.com will have something.

  • Michael Bussee

    I found this, but not sure if it is the same Ed Hurst.

    http://soulkiln.org/

  • Michael Bussee

    Amazon.com has “Overcoming Homosexuality (Helping others in crisis)” by Ed Hurst, Dave Jackson (Contributor), and Neta Jackson (Contributor) (Paperback – Jun 1987) — 11 Used & new from $3.77

    I will order one. I can afford it.

  • Katie Cannon

    Hey Michael,

    I think I really get what you’re saying. And sometimes I even agree with you because I experience my own personal experiences in regard to this stuff sort of like those pictures where, if you look one way it looks like a vase, if you look another way, it looks like a face.

    On the support groups I’m on for mixed orientation couples there’s lots of men who seem gay and married.

    And then there are lots of men who just really don’t.

    For instance, there’s a couple where the husband has been “out” for years. They have an open relationship. He participates in gay events, sometimes gives talks about being a bi/gay heterosexually married man, etc….

    The world is open to him. He’s permitted to have sex with men, he’s permitted to have boyfriends, etc….

    What does he choose within this openess?

    He loves his wife, and seeks out male strangers who will spank him while he wears his “tighty whities”.

    That’s it.

    No relationship, no boyfriend, no dates, dinners, afternoons at the beach.

    And he’s tried. But everytime he gets to know a man, he loses all sexual interest.

    Just a stranger who is willing to play the daddy who spanks him while he wears his little boy underwear.

    You have said to Warren that you understand that incongruance is a problem.

    I’m not suggesting that all people who are truly incongruent (as opposed to simply not yet out of the gay closet) are incongruent in this fashion.

    I AM suggesting that this is typical of incongruence, common. How common?

    On the groups for both mixed orientation couples and sexually abused men, very, very common.

    So sure, this guy can feel good and positive and accepted by identifying as bi/gay (and he can’t decide between the two, so calls himself bi/gay). And that’s fine with me, we all need acceptance.

    But he’s not bi/gay in the way you are.

    When he dreams of growing old with someone, it’s a woman by his side.

    When he fantasizes about getting spanked, it’s a male stranger. Not a friend, not a companion. That’s a turn-off.

    Focus on fantasy as opposed to dreams can hide some pretty important stuff.

    Like you’re gay, in part because you have homosexual fantasies. But also because when you dare to dream, you dream of men. And considering how long you lived in the closet, I’m sure you can relate to just how difficult dreaming can be.

    Rob? My fiance?

    It’s not just homosexual fantasy. It’s fantasy of being violated. Sex=violation. Violation=sex.

    So, when we have sex, it begins great, then he starts fantasizing of violation and pain, because for him to achieve orgasm, pain is necessary.

    Since I’m not willing to administer pain, he’s on his own.

    He’s written me two “love letters” in which pain is very much confused with love. He loves me so much that I could lock him in a closet and stomp on him with high heals. The other one was a fantasy of me fisting him.

    Incongruence? Yeah, well, someone needs to get to the specifics of just what makes up the incongruence.

    Again, not ALL men are incongruent like this.

    But among the incongruent population I’d bet a million dollars that a very significant minority are, and that a very significant minority also come from either a physically abuse or sexually abusive background.

    Rob’s had lots of chances to come out of the gay closet. And he too has tried. Same thing as the underwear guy — if even so much as names are exchanged, it no longer works.

    Gay? Maybe. But not gay like you are. You blessed with the ability to dream.

    Katie

  • Eddy

    Michael’s search for materials written by me is certainly riveting. I’m not sure I get the point of it though. My previously written materials have not been the topic of conversation; I offered some of the titles to refute his allegation that I’ve inferred that ex-gays no longer have SSA. The book Michael has found is a collaboration and the wording is mostly but not entirely mine mine.

    LOL. The ever open and honest Michael reveals that the ‘reviewer’ says that I called it ‘curable’. Drat. The reviewer failed to used a full quote (we call it ‘context’)or to cite what page had that reference.

    Just like the reviewer, whose goal was to pick the book apart, Michael has brought the use of the word ‘curable’ to the forefront and failed to mention that the reviewer goes on to say that I still admit to same sex attractions. (Michael skims past the part that goes directly to the point I made, that refutes his misstatements in this discussion and only mentions the reviewer’s comment re use of the word ‘curable. Why doesn’t that surprise me?)

    The reviewer, by the way, is Dr. Ralph Blair of Evangelicals Concerned, a man who set himself up in opposition to Exodus even before Michael left some 30 years ago. I’m glad Michael was able to locate such an unbiased review.

  • Katie Cannon

    Eddy,

    Michael’s trying. I think it takes a pretty big person to have stuck in there like he has.

    I like him, in a cyber sort of way.

    How often do hear a person sincerely apologize? In my life, it’s pretty rare, and admirable when it happens. Nice – even sweet.

    Well, that’s my defense of Michael.

    Have a great day all.

    K.

  • Ann

    Michael,

    From what I understand, the term “ex-gay” is used as a way to separate oneself from an identity they no longer wish to be part of. What path the person takes from this point on is personal and yet to unfold but it is clear to them that they want to be separated from an identity that would justify their current or past or stong or diminishing attractions through a same gender sexual relationship or activity. So, should the term continue to be used, my humble suggestion would be to use it in the spirit to indicate a personal separation from an identity rather than use it to describe a new identity.

  • Eddy

    Katie–

    I must have missed Michael’s apology…perhaps he delivered it in a post addressed to me after I informed him that I’d no longer read posts from him addressed to me.

    You and I will have to disagree about the fact that ‘he’s trying’. He’s ‘trying’ alright but in another common sense of the word. What I see him doing is purposely steering every conversation to his bias. Making unfounded allegations and assertions against those who disagree with him; being unresponsive to legitimate challenges; playing to the crowd rather than truthfully responding to those who challenge him; changing the real focus of a discussion when it suits him or when he’s been cornered. As he’s said in the past, he’s a master debater.

    I articulated the misstatements he made about me and the message I presented while with Exodus and all but demanded retraction at least 3 times before deciding I’d no longer be involved in dialogue with him. I further demonstrated his rather dubious tactic of offering rebuttal to my ‘roots’ theory when he hadn’t even read it. His overall pretense all along is that he is rather an expert on ‘all things Exodus’…he uses that to lend weight and credibility to his anti-Exodus statements…yet, when cornered, finally admits that he hasn’t even read the specific pieces he rebutted. LOL. I don’t expect him to know everything that’s ever been said by Exodus or its affiliates…but I see two very serious failures here. 1) He pre-judged the theory that I was attempting to bring into the discussion for consideration using his ‘Exodus expert’ status to lend weight to his unfounded criticism. 2) He is guilty of blogging with a bias so extreme it has caused blindness. How else do you explain that I’ve cited the teaching titles a number of times in dialogues with him–and he missed it!?!! Yes, that’s his defense. He wasn’t lying…he simply missed the key points in my numerous responses to him. It seems like proof to me that he’s not interested in productive dialogue; he will skim right past words of value and significance–he will avoid the very point the person is trying to make–in search of some tidbit, some misspoken word or phrase that he can use to denigrate the person he views as his opponent.

    He and I do tangle alot but that’s mainly because he insists on bashing Exodus–often unfairly–every chance he gets. I was an Exodus insider for years after Michael left; I support the bashing that has merit but I will continue to challenge the misrepresentations and overstatements such as I documented in this blog.

    Not to worry about future entanglements, though. I gave up on my quest for my due apology–both for the misrepresentations of me and for the obstructive and uninformed rebuttal–after 3 attempts to secure it. For me, dialogue with Michael is not worth the effort.

  • Ann

    Eddy,

    I do not like the bashing of Exodus OR Narth – I have been confused and perplexed by both at various times but never to the extent that I felt it necessary to throw the baby out with the bath water.

  • Eddy

    Ann–

    So good to ‘hear your voice’ again!

    I agree! Both Exodus and NARTH have said and done things that are regrettable. Yikes, haven’t we all??? But honest and productive discussion will not be advanced by adding untruthful allegations, exaggerations and characterizations to the list of true offenses. (I have no awareness or association with NARTH other than what I read here.)

  • Katie

    Eddy,

    Really, from an outsider’s perspective, it just seems to me that passions run high. I understand that, my passions run high when people try to claim that abuse doesn’t overly affect people — “cuz, see, it doesn’t affect everyone to a high degree”.

    Yikes.

    I know without a doubt it’s effected me — in both negatived and positive ways.

    And it’s frankly scary to me that therapists don’t address this issue in a sustained, forthright way when working with people with sexual identity issues.

    And, finally, I feel passionately about respecting love where and however it happens. In my world simple acts of kindness are miracles, much less love. Heck, getting out of bed is a triumph.

    So it’s really difficult for me to hear that homosexual love is a sin. It’s heartbreaking.

    And it seems to me, though I could be mistaken, it’s more this issue than anything else that makes people’s blood run higher.

    Again, I could be wrong about that.

    And if not sin, then ala NARTH, always a form of arrested development or unmourned mourning for the lost father.

    And it’s not that I don’t think NARTH is on to something in this regard — for some people.

    I know that part of my heterosexuality is fueled by my ability to mourn and mourn again the lost father, and that my homophobia is fueled by my inability to mourn the loss of my mother. I doubt I’ll ever have the strength for that.

    Still, what they do with this insight isn’t all that could be done, and certainly doesn’t describe everyone. And they refuse to talk about the unmourned mourning when it comes to heterosexual development.

    K.

  • Ann

    Katie,

    I agree with you about abuse – it does matter. I also agree with Mary that the abused can feel pleasure, whether initially or developed, from the unwanted sexual attack(s). Is it a form of self defense? I don’t know. People with multiple personalities become different identifies to cope. I have also wondered if the initial pleasure could be the beginning of same gender attractions in some individuals. Children and young adults that are introduced to sex, either by the same gender or opposite gender, through secretive and manipulative methods, can become desensitized to their shame by feeling physical pleasure, which, of course, can become addictive and exclusive to the gender that introduced them to this pleasure.

  • Katie

    Hey Ann,

    I agree with you.

    And I also think things can get completely turned around from your scenerio, depends up the person.

    For instance, it’s also common in men who were sexually abused by their mothers to have homosexual fantasies and end up with a gendered “Whore/Madonna” like configuration — women are Madonnas, men are Whores.

    And probably more importantly, that the person experiencing such splitting insure that they themselves are the Madonna when it comes to how women perceive them, and who cares about how some strange man does? Non-sexualized love and unloving sexualization. Pretty important when you equate sex with violation.

    So I don’t know, just seems that how the person tries to maintain ties to others comes into play on a very individual level.

    I know when I contemplate the icky feelings I get when imagining having sex with a woman that they’re connected to warding off the type of intimacy that would provoke feelings of loss in relation to my mother.

    Men? It’s much easier for me to get in touch with my feelings of loss in regard to my dad, so I can go there in a way I just really can’t in regard to my mother.

    Every time I get into therapy I can talk about my dad. My mom? Too much guilt, too much loss. It’s simply not a place I can dwell.

    I think some men are like this who experience sexual abuse at the hands of their mother, no matter how much they long for them.

    K.

  • Eddy

    Katie–

    Believe it or not, it’s often difficult for me to imagine why some things are deemed ‘sin’, lol, especially when done in moderation. My basic premise (my bias) is that I believe that ‘God’s ways are higher than my way; His thoughts higher than mine.’

    I believe what adds to the confusion is that MANY have twisted the essence of the biblical directives. The notion of ‘gay/bad, straight/good’ is perhaps the most offensive twist of all. Any thinking person KNOWS that much of what is viewed as straight and acceptable may be straight but IS NOT acceptable according to the Bible. The explosion of the divorce rate and of what we used to call ‘illegitimate births’ (LOL, That phrase is probably not politically correct anymore…) are prime examples of how we, as a society, have strayed from the Biblical norms.

    This blogsite is not yet capable, not yet ready to actually discuss whether or not ‘homosexuality is a sin’. The terminology is too loaded. For example, the term ‘homosexuality’ includes not only behavior (which it appears the Bible speaks to) but also thoughts and attractions. “Thoughts” and “attractions” can include lascivious and lustful thoughts (which are deemed sin) but can also include ‘passing thoughts’, attractions and temptations which may lead to sin but are not sin in and of themselves.

    Going beyond that, though, even if it were concluded that the Bible does NOT deem homosexual behavior sin, it seems clear that the same admonitions regarding lasciviousness and lust that we perceive as directed towards heterosexuals would, by extension, apply to homosexuals as well. Bed-hopping, husband-swapping, cruising the parks, sex in the dark (Humor on that one…I was enjoying the rhymes), non-monogamous partnering, infidelity, objectification, etc. …by extension, these would be sin…even if ‘love’ were involved.

    I know a hetero man who began cheating on his first wife when his ‘first love’, his ‘soul mate’ became available to him once again. There’s no doubt in my mind that this was indeed love…but it caused great pain to his first wife and left two boys with a broken home and a confused childhood. Ironically, after nearly 15 years, the man cheated on his ‘first love’ and ‘soul mate’. That might be a main reason why I challenge the notions of ‘love’ and ‘soul mate’–both terms are actually pretty vague and undefinable and leave out one of the principal elements of the meaning of love…it is a committment that transcends our feelings. (We love our haughty and rebellious teenager not because they are lovable but because we have committed ourselves to loving them.)

    Love that incorporates committment at its core weathers the storms, strives for mutually healthy resolution, accepts that other bonds and attractions may be available but remains committed. Certainly there are viable exceptions…only God and the individuals involved can judge the committment.

  • Eddy

    LOL. It appears that I forgot to undo the italics. They were supposed to end after ‘which may lead to sin’.

  • Ann

    Katie,

    I have often heard that the mind is the most effective and powerful sexual organ we have. Do we use it consciously or does it have a “mind” of it’s own regarding how we use it for our sexual discernment and/or pleasure? I think both. Being aware of the differences, and how feelings and desires are attached to it, can make a very big difference in how we respond. One of the greatest things about an orgasm is how out of control we feel when it happens – it is what leads up to the orgasm (physical desire, emotional love and connection, fantasies, etc.) that would be an interesting pattern to watch and if we feel comfortable with those felings. If not, then no one should feel trapped by unwanted feelings, even if those feelings ultimately produce an awesome orgasm.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Sorry to be drifting in and out of this discussion. Life necessitates it right now.

    I do believe there is a real danger in becoming too absorbed with these discussions, and I strive to maintain a healthy balance so I don’t get tunnel vision. It does happen at times, though.

    I applaud the genuine and honest effort by those here who really struggle (gee, who doesn’t?) with what really constitutes the heart of the matter. Clearly, there are no pat answers to the deeply vexing and complicated questions we tend to raise over and over here. LOL. We are an interesting lot of philosophers, aren’t we? It’s a hoot sometimes, and frustrating at others, but I confess I like this diverse neighborhood and the Mastermind it has become in ways I could not have anticipated. So there’s my confession for the day. Thanks, Warren, for having the guts and the stamina to keep this thing going.

    Some of the questions raised in this particular thread are rhetorical and some aren’t. Any time you open your mouth to attempt to respond or cast some light on the subject, you risk awaking the many-headed philosophical hydra that wants to probe everything ad infinitem. That’s when taking a little time-out is generally in order for me, anyway. Too much navel-gazing.

    Michael did raise some questions for me. Can I answer them to his satisfaction? Probably not. Should I try? Who knows? Michael, we may never grasp the best terminology to define who you are, who I am or the multitude of shades that compose this rainbow of humanity. Language is a whole study in and of itself, and the semantics of this Great Big Discussion are intriguing.

    I imagine you (Michael) would like some of what Alan Chambers has to say in his newest book, “Leaving Homosexuality.” I do. Let’s say I find myself in basic agreement with his parameters of expectations for “change.” You’ve no doubt heard or are aware of him saying these things before, so I am not going to reiterate them here. I’ll see if I can find something to cut and paste as I don’t want to nor have time to write it out for you or anyone else. Harvest House may have put a Search Inside the Book feature on his book at Amazon, which would help those looking for specifics. Or just get the book.

    I do want to try to clarify something once and for all (although I am sure it will be raised again. Sigh). You said, Michael:

    I have never said you “don’t exist”. Of course you do. I have no problem that some folks choose not to act on the attractions — and no problem with the idea that some of their SSA diminishes over time.

    Now, of course I and others are going to infer from that comment that you believe that last sentence describes me. It doesn’t. I do not have any SSA attractions at all. ALL of my SSA diminished over the years to the point that those attractions are gone. And I had many strong ones that raised their heads and caused deep, deep anguish in my life for quite a few years. And nearly wrecked my marriage.

    You seem to be saying that you want to believe but you really cannot believe that this is possible. It is. I know there is the whole female-male differences thing, but how valid is that for an excuse when it no longer seems to be allowed in objecting to homosexuality in the first place (men and women are different — wait, no they’re not)? Reason me that.

    I would advise that we resist trying to find some rule to apply to everyone or even various subgroups of SSA folks. We are all unique, even while being created in the image of a loving God. I just don’t see why we have to keep beating this poor horse to death. We are amazingly resilient beings, but with different built-in and environmental factors that shape us in unique ways. There will never be a one-size fits all approach.

    Michael, I think you are driving yourself nuts looking for answers to questions that may have none (in this life) or searching for meaningful parameters to tie this up in some kind of package. I don’t want to be a party in sending you over that cliff, brother. It’s OK to lighten up over this a bit. Some questions are valid; some are not.

    I could say more, but I think this is quite enough for now. Got tons to do.

  • Katie

    Hey Eddy,

    I’m really glad you wrote this, it lets me know very well who I’m talking with.

    I don’t know, when I think of Rob’s behavior, it’s difficult for me to see it as sin, I see it as tragedy. But then again, maybe the Devil himself is more a tragic figure than a sinful one, or maybe sin itself is the real tragedy….

    Oh, and I’m referring, not to Rob’s homosexual activity — but to his infidelity and objectification of others.

    I have no problem with saying his behavior is wrong, unethical.

    Sin?

    I don’t know. He’s too good of a person. A good person who’s done bad things.

    But I guess that’s why Christians say: “Hate the sin, love the sinner”, etc…

    Sin…. evil…. I think of Hitler, Ted Bundy… etc…

    Rob? Wrong. Bad. Unethical, immoral. And just so very sad.

    Heck, the guy’s so good he walk across the Home Depot parking lot just to put the cart back.

    He’s a true and steady friend, an exceptional father, a trustworthy co-worker. Kind and gentle.

    And sexually messed up.

    Katie

  • Katie

    Michael,

    I haven’t forgotten to provide some posts by the guys who say they are no longer SSA at all, just takes time to wade through hundreds of posts.

    Debbie,

    I suspect that we would accept a woman saying she’s no longer SSA much more quickly, and also allow her continued homo-erotic feelings.

    Men? I suspect that homo-erotic feelings would be construed as unresolved SSA.

    Mary,

    Ditto :)

    K.

  • Ann

    Debbie,

    I believe you and I believe in your ministry and am thankful for your contributions. I like to hear personal stories instead of labels. I wrote an earlier post that made an attempt to distinguish between the decision to separate from an unwanted identity without feeling a need to create a new one to replace it. Only time will tell how one’s personal story will unfold.

  • concerned

    Eddy,

    My feeling is that part of the problem is what we mean by “sin”. I have come to see this to mean, simply “missing the mark”, which in fact is what the original translation of the word is. Simply put, we continue to shoot for the perfect way that God has designed for us, but we so often fall short of this. When we miss this target all our loving God does for us is ask us to pick ourselves up and try again. I guess for me that means not dwelling on how I may have failed or believing that I must not be able to do any better than that so why try, but rather resetting my focus on the target I am aiming at, (for me personally that should be the example Christ has set for me through his life) and taking another shot at it. I suspect I will miss that target over and over again, but I do believe I am getting close with each subsequent attempt.

    How does this relate to SSA? I do believe it is a sin, as I do not feel that acting on those feelings leaves me feeling more fully human, there is still something lacking. I guess the main thing that might be lacking when I act on my SSA is that I am aiming for the wrong target.

    That is just my simple take on the issue of sin, whatever kind it is.

  • Michael Bussee

    Not to worry about future entanglements, though. I gave up on my quest for my due apology–both for the misrepresentations of me and for the obstructive and uninformed rebuttal–after 3 attempts to secure it. For me, dialogue with Michael is not worth the effort.

    OK Eddy, Here it is again. I apologize. I apologize for being rude and pig-headed. I apologize for my childishness and snarkiness. I apologize that I have not read your works.

    But that’s all I can do. I will not apologize for lying — because I have been telling the truth. I cannot apologize for misrepresenting you, because I do not think that I have been misrepresenting you. I also don’t think I have been “obstructive.” Stubborn? Yes. Obnoxious? Yes.

    Uninofrmed, perhaps. I recall that you had mentioned that you had writtin some things — and I should have, at that point, asked how I could obtain these things so that I could read them. For that, I am sorry.

    It is not easy to find ANY reference to them on the internet by the way. You try it. All I could find was the Amazon.com listing for one of your booklets and no mention of anything else. I did not hunt for Raplh Blair’s review to make you look bad. It was the onbly other thing I could find. Did you actually say “curable”?

    Regarding EXODUS and NARTH “bashing”, I will continue to do iot becaue they deserve it.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy, you repeatedy imply or accuse me of lying – and I resent it. I have only said what I believe is TRUE.

    What “untruthful allegations” have I made against EXODUS? Name one.

  • Michael Bussee

    Going beyond that, though, even if it were concluded that the Bible does NOT deem homosexual behavior sin, it seems clear that the same admonitions regarding lasciviousness and lust that we perceive as directed towards heterosexuals would, by extension, apply to homosexuals as well.

    Bed-hopping, husband-swapping, cruising the parks, sex in the dark non-monogamous partnering, infidelity, objectification, etc. …by extension, these would be sin…even if ‘love’ were involved.

    I completely agree with Eddy on this one. And yet, wasn’t it Eddy that said he couldn’t get a gay Christian to admit that these things were sin?

  • Michael Bussee

    @ Debbie:

    Now, of course I and others are going to infer from that comment that you believe that last sentence describes me. It doesn’t. I do not have any SSA attractions at all. ALL of my SSA diminished over the years to the point that those attractions are gone

    I have heard several “ex-gay” women make the same claim — and I believe them. I believe you. What I have said repeatedly is that I have never met an “ex-gay” MALE who could say the same thing. Perhaps female sexuality is more fluid than male sexuality.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Katie:

    Men? I suspect that homo-erotic feelings would be construed as unresolved SSA.

    I don’t get what you are saying. Doesn’t “SSA” mean homo-erotic?

    See why I keep pushing for definitions. If SSA and homo-erotic are different, how? If SSA does not mean “gay” — what does “gay” mean? What does “homosexual” mean? What does “change” mean?

    I am not trying to dictate how people see themselves or how they live their lives. We throw words around here without coming to at least a BASIC agreement on what they mean. No wonder there is so much arguing. It’s Babel all over again.

  • Katie

    Concerned,

    I admit I’d like to hear more of your story, so the invitation to share is open if you care to.

    And I generally agree with you. I don’t know if I had an overwhelming bio-chemical, inborn, stuff that directed my heteroseuxality or not. The only thing I do know for certain is that my experiences have played a very large role in how I experience my heterosexuality — what it’s made up of, etc….

    Where I think we might disagree is, even if it could be proven that orientation is 100% determined by life experience, that gaining insight into ourselves would turn a gay man towards heterosexual strivings — or to at least turn away from his homosexual ones.

    Even if 100% of all gay men are gay because they’ve experienced a lost father, being gay would be a really good way to resolve, in a mature way, that loss. What better way to maintain healthy ties to the lost father than through a loving relationship with a man — as a healthy, adult, man? A man who works through his mourning and comes out the other side to embrace his father – as an adult.

    And this isn’t to say that for someone else the drive might be more like the desire to sit at the feet of a gender master because no gender master was around.

    So honesty and self-reflection might lead one person to better embrace their homosexuality, to grow and meet the future rather than the past, and lead another to attempt to fill that empty spot in other ways.

    Maybe through sitting at the feet of feet — God?

    Anyway, this is my main beef against NARTH.

    And also they ignore the necessity of identificatory love even within a heterosexual relationship. Male dis-identification with women can lead to Ted Bundys.

    NARTH emphasizes difference as the core of healthy sexual relationships at far too great an expense in recognizing likeness as equally important and valuable, and mature.

    K.

  • Ann

    Michael,

    If terms and labels continue to describe, then shouldn’t there be a distinction between an attraction/desire and the actual activity that some chose to engage in?

    My thoughts can turn very lustful when I think of David Beckham – if an opportunity presented itself to have sex with him I wouldn’t because he is married. My discipline keeps me from taking on the identity of an adulterer.

  • Katie

    Michael,

    Homo – EROTIC…. The straight football’s player desire to slap a man’s but.

    A straight man’s desire to embrace his friend in love and feel erotically moved.

    A straight man’s demand that straight porn show only enviably large penises.

    A straight man’s desire to be held by brother, kissed by his pal, etc…

    Homo – SEXUAL — the desire to do all these things plus have sex?

    And yeah, I don’t think there’s a bio-chemical chasm between the two. Which is probably one of the reasons so many straight men are so homophobic. It takes a pretty centered man to embrace his homo-eroticism. And know for sure that the erotic and the sexual aren’t the same thing.

    I feel erotic when I look at a painting I like, but don’t want to have sex with one.

    Music — erotic.

    Looking at my son — erotic.

    I think men in general are afraid of the erotic. It’s one of those emotions we knock out of guys, along with a bunch of others. You know — buck up, don’t cry, don’t lay your head in the lap of your very best friend on earth.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Thanks. Katie. I now understand how you are using the term “erotic”. I kinda like the way you use it. It is much broader that I would use it, but I get how you do. Thanks.

    You see, folks don’t have to accept MY definitions. I just want to know how they define the words they are using.

    Some of the thing you mention “straight” men doing or feeling I would consider “bisexual”. But that’s just the way I use the word, not the way the word must be used.

    Maybe it’s kind of a male thing, but when I use “erotic” I mean “arousing sexual desire”. Music has done that for me and some paintings have. Never looking at my child.

    By the way, some of the football players who like to slap men’s butts are gay. :) Remember David Kopay?

  • Michael Bussee

    There is also what some have referred to as “homo-social” — guys who really prefer the complany of guys — some even openly state that they don’t reall like women and don’t really want to be around them — except for sex.

    I go to the gym almost daily. Every guy looks at every other guy’s genitalia. I am sure that most of them are straight, but they just can’t help looking. Some seem to like to show it off, but I don’t think they are necessarily gay or bisexual — just proud I guess…

  • Michael Bussee

    In case anyone missed it, I know that there are many shades, many layers, many complexities when it comes to sexual attractions or identity. It still seems reasonable to describe three basic “orientations” — homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual.

    I agree, that those categories don’t explain everything, they don’t define a person’s “identity” — and they don’t mean that there isn’t some sort of “flux” or “change” during a person’s liifetime.

  • Mary

    I don’t get what you are saying. Doesn’t “SSA” mean homo-erotic?

    See why I keep pushing for definitions. If SSA and homo-erotic are different, how? If SSA does not mean “gay” — what does “gay” mean? What does “homosexual” mean? What does “change” mean?

    How many times and in how many ways must it be said?

    It is the person who decides and defines for themselves. If gay people were not so insistent on anyone with SSA feelings being identified as gay we would not be having such an issue.

  • Michael Bussee

    Maybe an analogy would help. Three basic categories : tall, medium and short. These labels don’t have to imply any value judgement.

    They don’t have to define a person’s “identity”. There are many variations — what is “tall” in one culture may not be in another.

    But the labels are still useful, especially when trying to pick out your “tall” friend in a crowd.

  • Eddy

    Katie–

    ‘concerned’ may have addressed that word ‘sin’ better that I could have. Another of the twists is that we’ve all had a tendency to develop a ‘sin-meter mentality’…we see big sins and little sins (the Catholics have mortal and venial sins). Folks are quick to point out that it is an ‘abomination’ for a man to lie with a man but they fail to recognize that it’s an ‘abomination’ for a man to lie. (“Lying lips are an abomination.”) As I’ve often quipped, “Some of my best friends are sinners.”

    All–

    I note that Michael has addressed a comment or two in my direction in this most recent flurry. True to my words earlier, I have not read them. If any readers who have my personal email address see that he’s said anything that I would consider significant, please give me a heads up. If it’s simply ‘more of the same’, spare me. As I suggested, more than likely any questions, challenges or statements he directed to me are, in reality, debate-style posturing for the benefit of the blog. I’ll engage in discussion with those of you who care to. Michael can play his debate game with whoever is foolish enough to indulge him.

    For the moment, though, I’ll have to concede that he has control of the playground. Perhaps I’ll stop back later.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    I disagree with your labeling system. If someone is tall medium, or short by their cultural standards then they identify as tall, medium or short.

    You are failing to really hear. There are people who belong to a different perspective than do you. Really. You just have to ask them as cumbersome as that seems to you.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary:

    It is the person who decides and defines for themselves.

    I get it Mary. You think words are completely individual things — and that no one has the right to ask you what you mean.

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master – that’s all.’

    .

  • Mary

    Katie,

    I’m not sure I would call being gay a sin. For me – it just does not fit into my construct of how God intends things for me. I have gay friends and I don’t make a big deal out of it. They have their own relationship with God. I’m just walking my own path. I did not used to believe this way. I was an activist lesbian with my family’s support. I could not imagine that I would ever see things differently. Then slowly over time – I began to change. I still cringe at the religious right that protests against gays in a mean and uncompassionate way. I still cringe at those with bigotted ideas about gays and the awful things said against gays.

  • Katie

    Michael,

    I’m not surprised that for you the erotic and the sexual blend into eachother, and that my description of the erotic is what you would consider bisexual.

    No wonder you guys are so messed up :)

    We girls? I get to enjoy a full emotional/erotic life. And yes, I think if you get rid of the erotic, you reduce all sorts of emotions, make men overly policed and overly self-policing when it comes to an important aspect of life, and one that re-inforces the depth of emotional existence generally.

    Lots of guys who question their homosexual behavior find they really just want a big, sloppy kiss from a guy — not sex.

    But, as you suggest…. what then? Oh my gosh, I’m GAY!!!!! Blah, blah, blah….

    So then you get the guarded citedal, the man imperviouse to letting things in – especially to letting feelings of dependency in. Nope, that’s woman’s lot, children’s stuff…..

    Anyway, homo-erotic, pretty important stuff —– and probably shouldn’t be confused with the homosexual.

    It does damage.

    K.

  • Mary

    No MIchael you don’t get it.

    I don’t think all words are individual things. We see someone with light brown hair and we get an image.

    BUT ON THIS GAY/SSA ISSUE – the person is in charge of the description not the person outside of the individual.

  • Mary

    Michael – I think individuals are completely individual things especially when it comes to sex, sexual identity, and sexual experiences.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary:

    If gay people were not so insistent on anyone with SSA feelings being identified as gay we would not be having such an issue

    Which gay people are “insisting”? I do not insist that all SSA people call themselves — or identify themselves — as “gay”. Some SSA people have very personal reasons why they don’t like the word.

    Heck, I know quite a few “gay” people who don’t like the term. Some prefer “homosexual”, or even “queer”. Some avoid labels altogether, even though they are entirely “SSA”.

    I know that Christian SSA people don’t like “gay” — because implies that they like it, accept it, are proud of it, nurture it, base their “identity” on it — and do it. I totally get Eddy’s point that “ex-gays” don’t feel that way about their SSA

    And I am not saying that they “should” or “must”.

  • Ann

    In case anyone missed it, I know that there are many shades, many layers, many complexities when it comes to sexual attractions or identity. It still seems reasonable to describe three basic “orientations” — homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual.

    I agree, that those categories don’t explain everything, they don’t define a person’s “identity” — and they don’t mean that there isn’t some sort of “flux” or “change” during a person’s liifetime.

    Michael,

    You are right – those categories do not explain everything. The problem comes in play when others, who are unwilling to think like you do, use these labels to categorize and sterotype people who do not wish to be categorized or stereotyped.

    BTW – funny story about the guys at the gym – who knew? :-)

  • Michael Bussee

    @Ann:

    If terms and labels continue to describe, then shouldn’t there be a distinction between an attraction/desire and the actual activity that some chose to engage in?

    Yes. There is a difference between attraction and behavior. I have always said so. I believe “ex-gay” males may cease the same-sex “activity” even though they have no OSA.

    But if I stop eating chocolate for health or religious reasons, it does not mean I am no longer attracted to it — or that I now am “vanilla-attracted” instead.

  • Mary

    So then Michael,

    why do you continue to insist on another definition when pretty much everyone you know has a different one?

  • Ann

    BUT ON THIS GAY/SSA ISSUE – the person is in charge of the description not the person outside of the individual.

    Mary,

    Well said – thank you.

  • Michael Bussee

    Michael – I think individuals are completely individual things especially when it comes to sex, sexual identity, and sexual experiences.

    So do I, Mary. So do I.

  • Michael Bussee

    YOu guys don’t get me at all — Heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual are not words that I have made up or defined. They are words in common use in the English language. If you mean something different when you y ou use them, I am only asking you to explain what YOU mean.

    How many times can I say this. Here is AGAIN.

    No one must call or identify themselves by any word or phrase they don’t care for. No one must accept that they are gay. No one must accept it, like it, be proud of it, nurture it or do it.

  • Michael Bussee

    Why, Mary, do you keep insisting that I am saying that they “must”? You continually accuse me of saying something I have not said. Please knock it off.

  • Michael Bussee

    So, Eddy is ignoring me. Fine. No skin off mine. I will ignore him too. It is pretty clear that we hold each other in equally LOW regard. The conversation here will probably improve without our childish, stubborn, arrogant bantering. No need to email him to tell him I said so.

  • Eddy

    I totally get Eddy’s point that “ex-gays” don’t feel that way about their SSA

    If this were true, if he would totally get it, he wouldn’t keep coming back to the psychological definitions–wouldn’t keep taking Alice in Wonderland jabs at ‘word choices’–when he knows that they are in conflict, to a significant degree, with the religious one.

    We all know words that mean significantly different things depending on the subculture they are used in. (“Nigger” in essence means ‘black’. When it’s used in the black culture, its meaning broadens to mean ‘one of my homies’; when it’s used in many parts of white culture, it’s perjorative…whether emphasis or tone is added or not.)

    The term/label homosexual has the same essential meaning in the varying cultures but its psychological definition (when used as a noun or label) includes behavior and attraction. Its religious definition only includes attraction when that attraction is fed, nurtured, toyed with and/or acted upon. Why is that so complicated? Did I have to explain to my young nephew more than once that ‘nigger’ doesn’t mean quite the same when a white person says it? You know, we just don’t use that word. When we hear it, we try to assess the cultural intent of the person who uses it…but, for the most part, we say ‘black’.

    Let’s avoid using ‘homosexual’ and ‘gay’ as nouns altogether and end this seemingly endless debate. Use “SSA” or ‘same sex attracted’. LOL. I believe it’s construct is such that it won’t easily become a noun and/or identity label.

  • Katie

    Michael,

    I think that if the erotic is equated with the sexual, then there’s always not going to be a meeting of the minds.

    According to the definition you’re using for bi – SEXUAL (in this instance, meaning wanting to have sex with), then there are no straight guys.

    Cuz I don’t care how guarded men are, they probably all have experienced at least a millisecond of homo-eroticism — not to be confused with experiencing the desire to have sex with a man.

    K.

  • Ann

    I believe “ex-gay” males may cease the same-sex “activity” even though they have no OSA.

    But if I stop eating chocolate for health or religious reasons, it does not mean I am no longer attracted to it — or that I now am “vanilla-attracted” instead.

    Michael,

    Exactly – this is what I was saying in my earlier post. If the label (ugh) “ex-gay” continues to be used, can it be used to describe and indicate a separation from a prior identity and activity without the expressed assumption that this separation automatically means an absence of any prior feelings? Separation is the first step and that, in itself, can describe someone who is “ex” anything. What follows, and any subsequent identities or way of living or being, will unfold in time – separation from one identity based on personal reasons and motivations does not always have to equate to automatically assuming a new identity.

  • Michael Bussee

    I guesss Eddy felt compelled to read my comments. Hard to resist, hey Eddy? Did you guys notice he called you “foolish” for debating with me?

    I am not going to stop using “gay” or “homosexual” as nouns — because they can be both noun and adjective. When I say someone is “gay”, I mean only that they are are person with SSA and no OSA. That’s all.

    To some religious folk, the term “gay” is too loaded with implications that the person likes it, is proud of it, bases their “identity” on it and “does” it. So for them, “ex-gay” might mean “I used to feel that way about being SSA, but I changed my mind”. That’s cool

    Eddy keeps referring to “religious definitions”. Is there are “religious dictionary” somewhere? I was once criticized for promoting a “sexual definiton” or bisexuality. Is there a “sacred” one?

  • Ann

    There is a definition for the word marriage, too, but I have to believe that each person who has or is experiencing it would describe it differently. That is because we are dealing with human beings – fearfully and wonderfully made and each one unique in their experiences and perspectives.

  • Katie

    Ann,

    Ok, I really get this.

    I really do.

    And I have had the same question as Michael in this regard.

    But I get it, and can relate such states to my own experiences about things other than sexual identity.

    K.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    Examples of your insistence

    I am not trying to dictate how people see themselves or how they live their lives. We throw words around here without coming to at least a BASIC agreement on what they mean. No wonder there is so much arguing. It’s Babel all over again

    Finally! Now we are getting a little closer to a real definition of “ex-gay”:

    I keep asking the same question over and over because you will not concede that it is very important to make clear that ex-gay does not mean that the person is not OSA or straight

    And there are so many more – I just have some work I must attend to right now.

  • Michael Bussee

    Katie:

    According to the definition you’re using for bi – SEXUAL (in this instance, meaning wanting to have sex with), then there are no straight guys.

    Again, it’s not MY definition. Damn! I wish you guys would quit saying that. The basic defintions of homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual were established and printed in dictionaries before long before I was born. They are not “mine”. I just employ them.

    Katie, you seem to be saying that all or most straight guys have experienced “wanting to have sex with” other guys. I simply do not think this is true. I do not think all men are bisexual to some degree.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary:

    You are failing to really hear. There are people who belong to a different perspective than do you. Really. You just have to ask them as cumbersome as that seems to you.

    But, Mary, I DO understand that. I DO keep asking them. I ask, “What do you mean by change?”, “What do you mean when you say that you are a “former homosexual?” I ask because I really want to know.

    I just seem to have a lot of trouble getting them to answer. They tend to get defensive and act like I have no right to ask.

  • Michael Bussee

    Here it is again. God, I get weary saying this:

    (1) Everyone is an individual

    (2) Everyone has a right to live according to their own conscience before God.

    (3) No one should be forced, urged, co-erced or counseled to “accept, like, nuture, identify or act” on their attactions — whether SSA, OSA or some combination.

    (4) People have the right to pursue “change” — whatever that means to them.

    (5) People have the right to use — or not use — any label they choose.

    (6) I wish people would clarify the meanings of the labels they do use.

    (7) They don’t have to clarify if they don’t want to.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    You fail to understand that the dictionary definition of something is transitory. You desire for me or any one to impose a dictionary definition onto myself (one with which I disagree) is tiresome. You continue to insist that any person with SSA use words like homosexual, gay etc…

    Remember dictionaries are written by people and down way belowe the present understanding of a word is it’s archaic usage, origin, and meaning.

    Someday you will find that homosexual will have such entries because people like Eddy, Ann, and myself are at the vanguard of changing how the world views sexuality.

    Please stop sticking me and others in your tiny little box because you can’t get your mind around the idea that people are flexible and not easily defined.

  • Michael Bussee

    Katie:

    Lots of guys who question their homosexual behavior find they really just want a big, sloppy kiss from a guy — not sex.

    Really? Lots of straight guys want a big, sloppy kiss from a guy? PIck me. I’ll do it! :)

  • Michael Bussee

    OK — maybe I won’t kiss all of them. Just the one’s with black boots.

  • Mary

    It almost as if you just want to hear us say in unison we are gay. I simple cannot say that to you.

  • Mary

    And Michael – we have all clarified here on this blog ad infinitum what we mean. Stop your childish ranting.

  • Mary

    Again – you are confusing them with those on this blog and those on this blog have said almost exactly that you have to ask an individual what they mean when they speak of their sexuality, sexual feelings, etc…

    Is that really that difficult for you to understand?

  • Ann

    Just the one’s with black boots

    =-0

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary:

    Someday you will find that homosexual will have such entries because people like Eddy, Ann, and myself are at the vanguard of changing how the world views sexuality.

    I kinda suspected that’s what you guys were up to. :) You may be successful in changing the standard definitions. Until then, the three broad categories of sexual oreintation are useful in discussion. We need words and definitions of those words to communicate.

    Please stop sticking me and others in your tiny little box because you can’t get your mind around the idea that people are flexible and not easily defined.

    I am trying to define words, not people. I have no desire to stick you — or anyone else — into my “tiny little box”. I completely understand that “people are flexible and not easily defined”.

    I am trying to define the WORDS not the the PEOPLE. That’s the part you don’t seem to be able to wrap your mind around.

  • Mary

    Another example of your insistence and lack of cooperation in understanding pther people

    We need words and definitions of those words to communicate.

    We here on this blog have geiven you the best words we can and all I keep reading is that you don’t like it and it does not satisfy you.

  • Mary

    Michael – you are using words to define people – you are not trying to define words.

    If you were you would have readily and long ago understood that the words you are trying to use gay, homosexual, heterosexual are not working for people like us. We have tried exhathaustively to help you understand that while the word ex gay is not perfect it is closer to the idea that we as individuals have or are moving away from the word gay to describe ourselves.

    We are not gay. Some of us have SSA some of us do not have SSA. Some of us have more hetersexual feelings than others. Some of us have no real sexual feelings anymore etc….and on and on it goes.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary:

    So then Michael, why do you continue to insist on another definition when pretty much everyone you know has a different one?

    Actually most people I know, with the exception of some folks here, seem to share the definition that homosexual means SSA, heterosexual means OSA and bisexual means some degree of both.

    It is only here that people seem so resistant to those three basic categories of sexual attraction. Perhaps that it because they do not want to be “identified” in this manner — for religious or personal reasons.

    The people I know apart from this blog may not like the word “gay” — but they understand that it’s just another way of saying SSA or homosexual.

  • Ann

    haven’t these words, no matter how useful they might be in communication, also brought much misunderstanding, contention, and assumptions? Just like an explanation is requested when the term “ex-gay” or “change” is used, can we also ask for an explanation to the other terms?

  • Mary

    Of course we are resistent to those categoreis. We were told what we were and we did not feel those terms applied. We have spent a great deal of our time and lives learning to be other people than those which are easily categorized by conventional and present day terms. Nor am I a nigger. A common use term for African Americans in our history. Easily understood but oh so full of conotations that do not fit the soul and true being of the person.

  • Michael Bussee

    Mary: What does the word “gay” mean to you?

    It almost as if you just want to hear us say in unison we are gay. I simple cannot say that to you

    .

    NOPE. That is NOT what I want you to say — in unison or inidividually. That is what you want to hear me saying.

    If it doesn’t fit you, don’t use it. Call yourself whatever you want. Call yourself an eggplant for all I care.

    I think I have beaten this horse long enough now to know what you guys mean by ex-gay — and it does not mean (at least for the ex-gay guys) that they are not SSA or now heterosexual.

    That is ABUNDANTLY clear to me.

  • Mary

    Doesn’t it mean more to you than that? after all everyone has written here? Are you really that daft?

  • Ann

    Michael,

    Who are “you guys”?

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary: My statement that we ” need words and definitions of those words to communicate” is “another example” of my “insistence and lack of cooperation in understanding other people?”

    Wow. I was trying to do just the opposite — understand what other people mean by the terms they use.

    I now think I understand what you all mean. Joe Dallas of EXODUS probably said it best, back in 1991:

    “I don’t think that they (people who call themselves “ex-gay”) mean that they are no longer homosexual. Rather, it is a way of saying — “A christian with homosexual tendencies (SSA) who would rather not have those tendencies.” It just rolls off the tongue a little easier…”

  • Mary

    Still is that all you can muster up? After all of this???

  • Ann

    Michael,

    For me personally, I want to acknowledge you for your way of communicating – we don’t always agree, however, I feel safe in any exchange I have with you. You do not resort to calling people names, you are not above apologizing if you feel you have hurt someone, and you do not use every single topic as an opportunity to promote yourself or a cause, all the while assuming anyone who questions you is anti-gay, homophoic, etc. While some others have demonstrated their emotional immaturity with sarcastic remarks, name calling, and plain rudeness, you have distinguised yourself as level headed, sincere, polite, with an obvious desire to come to a place that we can all understand. Like I told you before, we do not have to agree to keep the conversation open. Thank you.

  • Katie

    Michael,

    No, I’m not implying that all men are bisexual.

    YOU are in collapsing the erotic into the sexual. If you obliterate the distinction, then how do we distinguish the straight man from the gay?

    Cuz straight men (all I’ve ever known that it) experience homo-eroticism.

    I think maybe you read too fast, maybe you need to slow down………

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary:

    Doesn’t it mean more to you than that? after all everyone has written here? Are you really that daft?

    I am not daft. Stubborn and a little slow maybe, but I am making some progress.

    Here is what I understand you folks to mean when you use the term “Ex-gay” — although I acknowledge that not all “ex-gays” will mean the same thing since words are entirely personal in this reagard:

    (1) It means that you do not “identifty as gay” — you do not like it, are not proud of it, choose not to idenify by it, nurture it or act on it.

    (2) For most, but not all ex-gays, it means that you consider gay sex to be sinful or not the will of God.

    (3) “Gay” is not what you want to be, how you want to think of yourself or what you want to do.

    (4) You have experienced “changes”. What those changes are are completely individual. They vary person-to-person.

    (5) You may be SSA, but male ex-gays are not OSA, heterosexual or straight.

    (6) Some female ex-gays report that they have lost all SSA and are now entirely OSA.

    Have I missed something? Something important?

  • Mary

    Michael,

    Well, you are coming along.

  • Katie

    And same with some guys :)

    Warren, have you worked with any man who says he’s no longer SSA?

  • Michael Bussee

    Also at Mary:

    Someday you will find that “homosexual” will have such entries because people like Eddy, Ann, and myself are at the vanguard of changing how the world views sexuality

    I am not holding my breath. You do realize, of course, that this means you guys will have to come up with some “definition” of these new “entries”, right?

    That’s going to be hard, seeing as how you think of these words as deeply personal — and regard the attempt to “define words and their meanings” as “another example of ” lack of cooperation in understanding other people.”

    As for “being at the vanguard of changing how the world views sexuality”, I doubt that you will have that impact. Seems a bit grandiose to me.

    I know you might like to think of yourself as having that much influence, but so far, the “world” tends to either be completely unaware, unconcerned or very skeptical about “ex-gays”.

    You and Eddy have a lot of convincing and clarifying to do. Heck, it’s even hard to find any reference to Eddy or his many puiblished works on the internet. Try googling my name sometime.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    I was using our names because I know these people. There are many, many voices out there – you may have chosen to ignore them.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    Katie – I have but then it came back. There are a couple of women who I worked with clinically who made what they said was a complete shift. One woman set out to shift and did and the other did not set out to. There are a couple of guys I worked with who may be at that point but I have not seen or talked to them in several years. Most of any change has been incidental and modest. But then change is a rare objective.

    I know one guy who says it is gone and I have known him for about 10 years. Did not work with him clinically.

  • Ann

    Have I missed something? Something important?

    Yes, my thoughts about it – for me, and I hate labels, it means a separation from a prior identity and that does not automatically have to equate to another identity. The separation from an activity/identity – eating chocolate ice cream, smoking cigarettes or marajuana, same gender sexual relationships, shopping, etc. is good enough to be an “ex” anything – what happens to one’s life after the separation is another story yet to unfold. Sometimes the two are enmeshed – divorce to marry another, etc.

  • Katie

    Michael,

    At the very least there will be a proliferation of sexual identity terms. Queer being one of them.

    Queer Studies is making an impact on at least Academia, if not popular discourse.

    Will it trickle down?

    Who knows.

    K.

  • Mary

    Katie,

    Thank you so much for your input. Your directness has helped me articulate without shame. People are such a variety that we cannot winnow them down to convience. This stuff is messy, difficult, arduous, and at times consuming.

  • Katie

    And I find that the idea of fluidity is being much more widely accepted today than 10 years ago, just in everyday life.

    And fluidity does challenge the notion of strict categories, undermines them even.

    And while I’m not sure if Warren has ever said one way or the other whether he’s come across a guy who no longer has SSA, I do know he’s said he’s worked with men who display “fluidity”.

    And I’ve sure come across a lot.

    K.

  • Katie

    Ah, missed Warren’s response.

    So one man?

    Yeah, I can believe that.

    I’ve asked other therapists their experience. The ones I have also express low numbers — between 1 and 10. And they’ve all been therapists for a long time.

    K.

  • Katie

    A lesbian friend of mine says she has a male friend who no longer has SSA. And he was an out gay man for many, many years.

    His shift was just spontaneous. He’s been without SSA for 15 years or so.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary:

    I was using our names because I know these people. There are many, many voices out there – you may have chosen to ignore them.

    I am not the only one. You guys are losing the battle to change how the world views sexuality. Losing. Badly. Hardly “vanguards for changing how the world veiws sexuality”. T

    Heck, people view the Ellen Degeneres show more often than they view you. They don’t even know who you are — or seem to care much. She has more friends on Facebook than NARTH has members.

    With each passing year, more and more people have decided that gay is OK, that it is not sick, disordered, broken or sinful. More and more people think gays should be allowed to marry. More and more people are coming out and more and more people love them and accept them as they are.

    I am not saying you are useless. I have no doubt that many people have found help and comfort — a new life — through ex-gay programs. But more and more people are coming forward to testify to the harm that these approaches have done.

    In 1999, The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Counseling Association, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, American Psychological Association, American School Health Association, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Social Workers and National Education Association issued a joint statement that: condemned reparative therapy as potentially harmful and of little or no effectiveness.

    You are losing the battle.

  • Katie

    Michael,

    I’m not at all for ex-gay ministies. Not defending their position.

    Like you, I think the trend is in the opposite direction….

    More towards Queer Theory than ex-gay theory.

    But there’s overlap in a weird sort of way.

    K.

  • Eddy

    LOL. Now Michael is trying to make it sound like I’ve ‘caved’ on my decision: (It is of utmost importance to tarnish my image at every opportunity. I must be one formidable ‘opponent’).

    I guesss Eddy felt compelled to read my comments. Hard to resist, hey Eddy?

    Instead he’s provided yet another example of his selective hearing.

    What I said: (with italics added for those who are slow to apprehend)

    It’s clear to me that you never will acknowledge that this was wrong and that you never will apologize for doing it or for telling the untruths I cited earlier in this blog. As time goes on, I may speak to the blog in general about comments or statements that you make but I will do my best to avoid speaking to you. I have no further interest in anything you might say to me.

    So, here I am, speaking ‘to the blog in general about comments or statements that {he made}’ and doing ‘my best to avoid speaking to {him}’. Can anyone rationalize his jibe based on my actual statement? LOL. This is what I said but clearly it’s not what he heard me say. Gee. And it was all in dictionary English and employing common elements of English written communication…yet he seems to have missed all the words that I just italicized.

  • Mary

    Michael,

    I’m not worried about winning or losing. Seems though, you are. I hope and it is genuine that gay people will have the asme rights and privileges as straights in this society, that one day no one takes a second glance at you for being gay.

  • Eddy

    As some cited way earlier in this thread and on others, “Reparative Thereapy” applies to a specific form of therapy and should not be applied to all therapies involving a willingness not to live in accordance with homosexual attractions. Warren’s SIT, for example, is not ‘Reparative Therapy’. Let’s endeavor not to be sloppy with our word choices…we know how troublesome it can be.

  • Eddy

    Mary–

    I wonder if transsexuals should give up their fight to be recognized as a distinct group with a unique label. By Michael’s reasoning, they should just give in and accept psychology’s 3 labels and live with the one that’s the closest fit. Squeeze into it uncomfortably but squeeze in. There simply aren’t enough of you to render you ‘valid’.

    LOL. If one of us dared to suggest that ‘there simply aren’t enough of you to render you valid’, the cries of outrage would be loud and immediate…ah, but to say it about ex-gays…oh, yes, that’s different…yeah, uh, yeah, I see it clearly now…NOT!!!!!

  • carole

    Putting a toe into the hornet’s nest…

    @Katie,

    While I do find that the terms gay, homosexual are problematic for some people because there is a distinction between behavior and attractions (that is why as an “outsider” I rather like the term SSA for some conversations because it doesn’t demand as much explanation) I have to point out that “erotic” means to 99.99999% of the English-speaking population “arousing sexual desires.”

    Thus, “homoerotic” means “arousing sexual desire for someone of the same sex.”

    Frankly, when a straight guy pats his straight teammate on the butt after his teammate has hit a home run that is not a “homoerotic” gesture. We have to be careful that we don’t reach the point that we toss out all meanings of all words.

    I understand that you wish to suggest that men find a harder time touching one another than do women, especially in our American culture. In Italian culture, for example, they do not. However, that doesn’t mean that certain kinds of touching is a form of eroticism. “Eroticism” itself deals with the sexual side of passion, not just any old passion for there are many kinds of passion other than sexual.

    You are not the first person I have heard/read refer to a gesture like that with that word. Those who are “into” what might be termed, for lack of a better word, hard-left feminism and who, coincidentally, argue there is no such thing as gender, that gender is only a “social construct: theses are often the people who term such things as one man patting another on the rear after for example, the sinking of a free throw “homoerotic.”

    These people are, I feel compelled to point out, far out of the mainstream of both social and scientific thought.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Eddy:

    It’s clear to me that you never will acknowledge that this was wrong and that you never will apologize for doing it or for telling the untruths I cited earlier in this blog

    I have apologized for being a jerk. Tell me how I have “telling untruths”. You are calling me a liar. I am not.

    If you can prove that I have lied, I will apologoze in BIG LETTERS and ask you and God — and everyone on this blog — for your forgiveness.

  • Michael Bussee

    If one of us dared to suggest that ‘there simply aren’t enough of you to render you valid’

    Did not say you weren’t valid. Just outnumbered and NOT changing “how the work views sexuality.”

  • Michael Bussee

    I meant to type “how the world views sexuality”. You are not changing the world’s mind.

  • Michael Bussee

    I will not apologize for lying if I did not lie. Would you, Eddy?

  • Evan

    @Michael Bussee — I think the battle is getting useless. Gays and lesbians are winning a battle that only matters to your generation. If you tell someone from my generation that you are gay they’ll go like: OK, we’re totally cool with that, and smile, because you should know you can choose. So we’re cool with your choice. This is the attitude. If you wanna be a “trap” you go that way. It’s kind of outrageous and no one really cares. You’ve got what you fought for and no one cares.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy:

    As some cited way earlier in this thread and on others, “Reparative Thereapy” applies to a specific form of therapy and should not be applied to all therapies involving a willingness not to live in accordance with homosexual attractions. Warren’s SIT, for example, is not ‘Reparative Therapy’. Let’s endeavor not to be sloppy with our word choices…we know how troublesome it can be.

    Sorry for the sloppiness. I acknowledge that there are different approaches to helping SSA folks who don’t want to identify or live as “gay” to live in accordance with their values. I realize that, not all approaches should be referred to as “reparative therapy:

    I don’t know if there is one term to refer to all such attempts.

  • Mary

    Eddy,

    Tell me about it! Most people just nod their head when someone says they are gay. They don’t get into the fray of defining someone else. They could really care less. Gays have had to fight for a definition of themselves and so have transsexuals or transgenders etc… three categories don’t really fit the discussion in scientific terms. It’s sort of like the tree of life. We used to separate animals and plants out by what we could visibly observe. Now we use genetics and dna and have a much more expanded understanding of the “animal” and “plant” kingdoms – seems there is a lot inbetween and some just don’t fit nicely.

  • Mary

    Bianimal? Biplant? Hmmmm Nah….

  • Michael Bussee

    Evan:

    You’ve got what you fought for and no one cares

    ALMOST, but not yet. Still can’t marry the man I love…

    I think the battle is getting useless. Gays and lesbians are winning a battle that only matters to your generation. If you tell someone from my generation that you are gay they’ll go like: OK, we’re totally cool with that, and smile, because you should know you can choose. So we’re cool with your choice

    So it DOES matter to YOUR generation as well. Thanks to “our” generation, “your” generation doesn’t have to worry so much about getting arrested or imprisoned for gay sex, being fired because you are gay, etc.

    Our generation fought — and is still fighting this battle — for “your” generation and the next one, and the next one…

  • Evan

    I wrote something to Katie and my broswer crashed., :|

  • Katie

    Carol,

    Again, you’re using erotic in a restricted sense. I understand that it’s sometimes defined in some texts in the way you’re using it.

    But I’m using it differently — more related to it’s original meaning of Eros. Non-sexual.

    Believe me, I can have an erotic moment with a painting, but I’m pretty sure I have no sexual desire for one.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Evan:

    If you tell someone from my generation that you are gay they’ll go like: OK, we’re totally cool with that, and smile, because you should know you can choose. So we’re cool with your choice

    Which generations do you think helped change the public attitude so that your generation could get the “that’s toally cool” reaction?

    In a way, I think it is very coold that “your generation” doesn’t realize how far we have come or how hard it has been to get there.

  • Katie

    Erotic as in desiring — desiring what is open.

    Many psychologists make a distinction, and probably an important one.

    So, again, I’m not using erotic = SEXUAL desire — just a state of moving toward desire….

    K.

  • Katie

    Evan!! My know the parts of the brain guy….

    I absolutely demand that you write again specifically to me :)

    K.

  • Mary

    Katie,

    I would like to correspond with you away from this blog. Please ask WT for my e-mail. Thanks.

  • Katie

    That would be great.

    How do I ask him? I’m new to computers, just like typing, but cut and paste is something I really have to think about…. and all that stuff. I just know how to type.

    K.

  • Evan

    Katie,

    If the man you’re with has erections with you, then he’s not gay, end of the question. The arousal stuff is more complicated. We men can have “a spectrum” of arousal from the tip of the penis to the back of the prostate. It’s one of the tips some women who make a living out of sex already know and practice with straight-behaving men, when getting to climax takes too much time. The fantasy stuff connected to prostate arousal I think is more interesting, in general speaking. I’m still trying to figure out how this works (I have an engineering mind and I’m curious why). Clearly, if masochistic fantasies are necessary to elicit prostate arousal in some men, then the brain is involved. It might sound the obvious thing to say, but it’s not. Recently figures from the medical world discovered that anxiety is not triggered only by the brain, but also by some parts of the digestive tract. So in some cases, the body can contribute to psychological states.

    Everyone’s got their theory and I’ve got mine. I think this mismatch between arousal-attachment happens because evolutionarily species shifted from one system to another: from the sniffing-based reproduction to seeing-drooling type of finding mates. As a result, the system is imperfect and it combines ancient, blind drives with new ones based on vision. If evolution was straightforward, then we would have already known what was this about long ago. But it’s not, because sex is at the core of evolution. Problem-solving is what makes things evolve.

  • Mary

    Haha. E-mail him from your private e-mail box and he will e-mail back to you my private email address. I don’t like it put out in public.

    Evan: Evolution is never static. Trying to capture sexuality in a jar is like trying to capture wishes in a jar.

  • Evan

    Katie,

    DOn’t let researchers define you, they are behind what’s going on in society.

    Being withdraws from explanation.

  • carole

    @Michael,

    It might help you to know that, at least from a communications’ point of view rather than from a political point of view, that as a straight woman, I found the term “SSA” helpful after I began to read the blog. (Well, helpful after a few posts when I figured out what SSA and OSA meant).

    I found out by reading that there were many on the blog who were not “practicing homosexuals” in that they did not wish to engage in homosexual sex or did not wish to live a certain way or felt they were moving in another direction. I soon discovered that there were many of these people, but few who described themselves or their particular circumstances in the same way….except that they agreed about what “SSA” meant. It’s a useful term, not easily misunderstood.

    Then, I started noticing the use of the terms “OSA” and “SSA” in much of the research literature, including hard scientific literature. So, I guess even researchers are finding it handy because it is specific and not easily misunderstood.

    In the larger society of this country , the terms “gay” and “homosexual” are still the preferred terms and may always be. The way American English works is that we keep terms that do a good job of communicating what we wish them to communicate and we discard those that don’t.

    However, language is always specific to a group of people, and the size and diversity and NEEDS of the group in question determines the language needs of that group.

    Its purpose, however, is that it must always communicate clearly. When it ceases to do that, people find other language that is better at communicating what they intended to say or write. There are specific times I have begun a post and written “gay” and changed it to “SSA” because I knew that “SSA” was a more apt term for that particular sentence. I am not always that careful, I must admit, but getting more so.

    Here’s an old analogy: We Californians for the most part have need for only one word for that white stuff that falls from the sky–snow. However, a subset of Californians–skiers–have a few more words for snow that they find handy because “not all snows are equal.”

    In contrast, the Eskimo or any group of people for whom recognizing the different quality and characteristics of snow are crucial to survival have a myriad of words to communicate some from of precipitation that you ( from SoCal) and I, (from NoCal) would only call “snow.” That won’t do for them. The type of snow is crucial to their survival so the words must be chosen more carefully.

    I think that is what is going on here– many on this blog are like the Eskimos to whom the different words for types of snow matter.

    They would rather the term “SSA” be used as a general term for sexual attraction instead of “gay” or “homosexual” because they realize that the terms “gay” and “homosexual” have, to the average American, more than just a sexual meaning–these terms are perceived by many to be associated not only with attractions but with behavior. For instance, the average American assume, indeed believes, that if an adult says he or she is “gay” or “homosexual,” or “lesbian,” he or she is most likely having sex (since you are an adult) and that you have such sex with a person of your same gender.

    For what it is worth, I have found that most of the time the term “SSA” causes less confusion and misinterpretations and since that is the function of communication, I thought I would point that out.

  • Evan

    M. Bussee:

    Which generations do you think helped change the public attitude so that your generation could get the “that’s toally cool” reaction?

    In a way, I think it is very coold that “your generation” doesn’t realize how far we have come or how hard it has been to get there.

    Man, whatever, we don’t care, you can enjoy whatever floats you boat. You’ve always got a choice.

    A woman I know called her little daughter who was spending the summer with her grandmother at the seaside. Her daughter said over the phone: “Mother? Which one?” She was having so much fun, she forgot which one. It’s the same story with your struggle for acknowledgement. You said you fought for that. Cool story.

  • carole

    @Katie, you said,

    Believe me, I can have an erotic moment with a painting, but I’m pretty sure I have no sexual desire for one.

    LOL! First, I have to tell you that were you a student in my English class and were I reading an essay in which you had written, “I had an erotic moment with a painting” I’d have gotten a good giggle.

    I would have understood, however, what you meant, that the painting had caused a stirring in you, a sexual stirring.

    “Erotic” doesn’t mean “causing one to have sex”. It means “stimulating sexual desire.”

    So, a guy patting another on the butt after a touchdown is not a “homoerotic” gesture for most men who do the patting because it does not and is not intended to stir sexual desire.

  • carole

    “The painting stirred erotic thoughts.”

  • Michael Bussee

    Evan: Wow. Thanks for the gratitude, dude. Keep that in mind when the next generation minimalizes the impact you may have had in making being gay even easier for them.

  • Evan

    Michael

    I don’t think being “gay” will have the same meaning, but it’s my bet against yours.

    I’m in my 20′s so if everything goes smoothly I’ll live to see it change.

    PS. Barack, was that you who brought this CHANGE? :)

  • Ann

    Michael,

    What do you mean by “you are losing” and who are you referring to when you say that?”

  • carole

    @Katie

    Erotic as in desiring — desiring what is open.

    Many psychologists make a distinction, and probably an important one.

    So, again, I’m not using erotic = SEXUAL desire — just a state of moving toward desire….

    I admit to being baffled by what this communicates. First you say “desiring what it open”; Then, “moving toward desire.”

    Okay, yes, “moving toward desire” but it would be “sexual desire.”

    “Desiring what is open” ??????? Nope.

  • Eddy

    I have asked repeatedly, ad nauseum, for Eddy of anyone else to define it — and they simp[ly won’t. Still waiting after 30 years. I have no problem with the term itself — I just want them to clarify what they mean by it. I ask, “Could you tell me what you mean by “ex”?

    Didn’t Carole elaborate (and hasn’t Michael even quoted) my definition that ‘ex’ means ‘out of, away from’. Of course, that means Michael disagrees with my definition but it’s untrue that I simply won’t define it. LOL. Even after today’s rantings (and an admission from Michael that he finally gets it), I am confident that he will make this claim that we are being unresponsive on this definition again. (I’m sure I’ve heard him say “okay, I get it” before. ANYWAY, saying that I’m among those who ‘simply won’t’ define ‘ex-gay’ is UNTRUE.

    You want to LEAVE OFF that ex-gay does not mean “no longer SSA” or “now straight”. You want to leave that impression — which is dishonest.

    I allude to the notion that I still have SSA attractions often and did so in numerous teachings while with EXODUS. (Making this allegation against Exodus is equally untrue since they invited me to teach these ‘Lessons for the Battlefield’ for several years.) The idea that I ‘want to LEAVE OFF’ the struggle part of ex-gay and/or hide the notion that you don’t become automatically straight…that’s also UNTRUE. AND–Michael should not be speaking to what I ‘want’…he can observe my words and behaviors but really has no business assuming or declaring anyone’s motives other than his own.

    Yes Eddy. I know what you mean by “ex-gay”. And you don’t mean “no longer SSA” or straight. You won’t point that out here, so I have to.

    I actually point it out frequently and did even earlier in this very blog. The notion that I ‘won’t point that out here’ is also UNTRUE.

    Each of these may seem like a small fib or a slight misstatement, but taken together with the quotes rephrased Michael-style or used out of context and the other jibes, they amount to a small mountain of distorted characterization of me. Michael may have apologized after I announced that I’d no longer read his comments directed to me. These are the statements I wanted apologies for. The closest I got was an apology for not reading my printed material; that is not an apology for speaking untruth.

    With Michael’s admitted issues with me, I constantly find him ‘tweaking’ what I’ve said when he ‘quotes’ it later. In the past, I’ve begged him to quote me entirely in context but he refuses to do so. It seems he prefers to ‘tweak’ my words…and usually the intent of what I’ve said. Perhaps it’s unintentional. Allow me a little ‘tweaking’ demonstration, if you will:

    Several times today on Dr. Throckmorton’s blog, Michael Bussee admitted he has a thing for men with black booties.

    Okay, this is pretty darn close to what Michael actually said BUT it’s NOT what he said.

    1) I used the word ‘admitted’ and I believe it’s actually unclear whether Michael was making an admission or just inventing an example.

    2) I used the word ‘with’ instead of ‘in’ there near the end. The word ‘with’ opens up even more imaginative speculation–not just socks but sex partners and positions.

    3) I added just two little letters to ‘boots’ to create the ambiguous ‘booties’.

    Okay, it’s taken me awhile to compose this and the inbox has been hopping with new comment notifications.

  • Michael Bussee

    Concerned:

    For what it is worth, I have found that most of the time the term “SSA” causes less confusion and misinterpretations and since that is the function of communication, I thought I would point that out.

    I think it’s an excellent point. I have noticed that I, too, have been using SSA or OSA (is there a BSA — not boy scouts — Both Sex Attracted?)

    Initially I hated “SSA”, since I suspected it might be an ex-gay plot (kidding a bit here, Eddy) to make it sound like a disease — like ED, STD or HIV. Now, I find that I have been using “SSA” pretty often — for a number of reasons.

    (1) It includes more people, without the sense of being “labeled” or “pushed into a tiny box”.

    (2) It does not imply how they feel about it, how they identifiy with it or that they do it.

    (3) It only indicates that the person is attracted to the same gender — nothing else.

    (4) It has fewer “political” or “religious” implications.

    (5) Ex-gays don’t object to it — so it is a chance for coming close to a word that is less vague and confusing, one we can all use the same way.

    I think know pretty well what Mary and Eddy mean by “ex-gay”. I helped coin the term in the first place. I used to use it the same way they use the term — and for pretty much the same reasons.

    I belabor the point now to point out to the reader (and to those who might be considering an “ex-gay” path) that it does not mean they stop being SSA or become straight. That should be stated clearly — up front.

    I know Eddy feels he has always been perfectly cear about that. He hasn’t always seemed that clear to me. Maybe if I had read his widely available and well-known published works…

  • Katie

    Mary,

    I just read your post about how you’ve felt more open to freely discuss your feelings.

    That was very nice of you to say, and as soon as I get the chance I’ll email Warren.

    Is it against the rules to just post my email address directly?

    K.

  • carole

    Evan,

    I just have to ask after reading your posts of today…are you practicing your American slang?

  • Evan

    Katie,

    I think the penis-prostate arousal thing is a cyclical thing.

  • Evan

    carole

    :)?

  • Eddy

    Just when I thought I might be able to forgive Michael, he ends his post to ‘concerned’ with yet another snarky jab at me. He’ll likely respond to my protest with “I was only kidding”. Tell me, anyone…do Michael and I have the kind of relationship where kidding is appropriate at the moment????

    Maybe if I had read his widely available and well-known published works…

    LOL. Considering the fact that the last thing I published was back in the 1980′s, the fact that several of my titles are still available on Amazon is astounding.

  • Evan

    Sorry, was there any slang in what I’ve wrote? I know the term “trap” is kind of new and figurative, but I might be using slang without knowing it.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Evan:

    I don’t think being “gay” will have the same meaning, but it’s my bet against yours. I’m in my 20’s so if everything goes smoothly I’ll live to see it change

    I am betting with you Evan. I pray and believe that you will live to see that. I hope that the word gay will continue to blend in to the English vocabulary as a synonym for homosexual –or a person who is SSA — and nothing more.

    And we will have the generations before me, my generation and yours to thank for it. It will all depend on how we live “gay” out. After a while, I hope it will just mean “that nice person next door who is SSA”.

    …And that no one will be preaching that we are sick, disordered, broken or sinful for being gay. That parents won’t be blamed for “making their kids gay”. That churches will welcome openly SSA folk with the open arms of Jesus.

    –And that all people will have the same rights whether they are SSA, OSA, Queer, Ex-gay — or whatever label “floats their boat.”.

  • Katie

    Carol,

    Just the type of homo-erotic play that Michael described the men doing at the gym.

    Maybe football slaps on the butt isn’t a good example.

    K.

  • Katie

    Carol,

    Like there’s a diference between the sensual and the sexual…. yes, the sensual can lead to the sexual, but doesn’t always.

    K.

  • Eddy

    These are mutually exclusive:

    And that no one will be preaching that we are … broken or sinful for being gay

    .

    –And that all people will have the same rights whether they are SSA, OSA, Queer, Ex-gay

    LOL. You can be ex-gay but if you are ex-gay for religious reasons you can’t use the words ‘broken’ or ‘sinful’. Haven’t I been saying that that’s ‘their’ real goal??? Suppression of the freedom of speech of religious conservatives.

  • Evan

    Mary wrote:

    Evolution is never static. Trying to capture sexuality in a jar is like trying to capture wishes in a jar.

    When you wrote that, I had an image of capturing those wishes in a jar and then manipulating them to create our own evolution. It won’t happen, if there really is an evolution.

  • Mary

    MIchael

    WE’ve heardyou over and over again. Ex gay does not mean straight in the terms of a heterosexual who has never had any same sex arousal (if you can find one) Geez. You are tiresome.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy,

    Of course, that means Michael disagrees with my definition but it’s untrue that I simply won’t define it.

    Actually I like your definition — thank you. It makes it pretty clear that “ex-gay” mainly means a change in identity, and not necessarily a change in sexual orientation — though some ex-gays report some changes in that regard.

    I just add the qualifier because I think it needs to be emphasized. No matter how hard you defend it, the term is still vexing and provocative. Perhaps that is still your intent…

    .I’m sure I’ve heard him say “okay, I get it” before. ANYWAY, saying that I’m among those who ’simply won’t’ define ‘ex-gay’ is UNTRUE

    Hope you are sitting down. Here it comes:

    OK. I GET IT. I ACCEPT YOUR DEFINITON OF EX-GAY. fROM THIS POINT FORWARD, I WILL USE IT AS MY OWN — giving you the credit for clarifying it.

    i WILL GO BACK, COPY THE DEFINITION, SAVE IT AND COPY IT WORD FOR WORD WHEN I USE THE TERM EX-GAY — STATING THAT I AGREE WITH IT

    .

    I AM SORRY THAT I HAVE ACCUSED YOU OF NOT BEING CLEAR THAT EX-GAY DOES NOT MEAN ‘NO LONGER SSA OR STRAIGHT’. I SEE NOW THAT YOU HAVE.

  • carole

    @Evan,

    As a follow-up to my query: I asked that because your posts, particularly those to Michael, do not sound like your writing style in either vocabulary usage, syntax, or tone.

  • Michael Bussee

    Now where IS that definition? Could use some help here. My visual problems make it hard sometimes. I would appreciate it. Thanks.

  • Michael Bussee

    Thanks… I found it. Had saved it.

    An ‘ex-gay’ is someone who has stepped out of their identification with homosexuality — Ed Hurst, July 2009.

    Note that, particularly in the case of male ex-gays, this term is not meant to indicate a change from SSA to OSA — Michael Bussee, July 2009.

    Eddy doesn’t think my qualifier is necessary. I think it is. Other than that, it seems that we are both in agreement that both statements are TRUE.

  • carole

    @Katie,

    Now, we are getting closer. “Sensual” means “stimulating any of the senses” although it is more frequently chosen to refer to the sexual sense, but is not limited to it. The word “sensuous” is more commonly used to refer to any of the five senses.

    “Erotic” not only connotes, but denotes the sexual, not just the sensual or sensuous.

  • Evan

    @carole

    Well, I didn’t smoke anything if that’s what you’re asking. :) I quit smoking a few years ago.

    I think people got a little bit cooped up in here, that’s all. There isn’t much point in arguing over terms. They change in less than half a century. In a century no one will know we ever existed. So we’re making too much of a big deal about terms. It’s counterproductive. It’s a shame people create traps out of words.

  • carole

    @Katie,

    I only remember one reference Michael made to the gym–he said that guys all looked at the genitals of other men. BTW, I was kind of surprised by that as the men I know have always said they try not to look! HAHAHAHA.

    Anyway, I don’t think it’s a “homoerotic” gesture unless they are aroused by it, or unless they intend to show off in order to arouse others. In order to use the “erotic” tag, there must be a sexual intent or response. Just to impress would not be enough to call it “homoerotic.”

    Ahhhhhhh, men.

  • Michael Bussee

    LOL. Considering the fact that the last thing I published was back in the 1980’s, the fact that several of my titles are still available on Amazon is astounding.

    Apparently, no one’s buying them.

    LOL. You can be ex-gay but if you are ex-gay for religious reasons you can’t use the words ‘broken’ or ’sinful’. Haven’t I been saying that that’s ‘their’ real goal??? Suppression of the freedom of speech of religious conservatives

    LOL — you know yuou are misrepresenting me now, Eddy. I told Even I hoped for the day when people wouldn’t say it — because they had changed their minds and hearts on the matter. I am in no way in favor of “suppression of the freedom of speech of religious conservatives”. And I think you know that.

    I believe that people have a god-given right to free speech

    I believe that people have the right to live accroding to their conscience.

    I believe that people have the right to seek help for anything that troubles them.

    I believe people have the right to know what this “help” can and cannot do.

    Please don’t accuse me of not believing these things.

  • carole

    Evan,

    Well, I didn’t smoke anything if that’s what you’re asking

    That IS what I was thinking. LOL.

  • Katie Cannon

    Carol,

    Tried to find a quote using the word in the way I mean.

    Too tired, and not interested enough.

    But we have an erotic life, the totality of which feeds into or fires our sexual desires.

    So, yes, it’s intimately connected to the sexual, but isn’t THE sexual.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Eddy: Whose “real goal”? God, you’re sounding a bit paranoid.

    It is like saying: “You know what “they” “really want”, right? They want to make it illegal for us to tell them they are broken, disordered, sick and sinful..They want to outlaw Christianity…”

    I have not heard of a gay ministry sending a rep to a conference whose attendees want to criminalize homosexuality, punish you for even saying that gay is OK — or force treament on the unwilling. EXODUS did that.

    Yes, Eddy, I know you are not EXODUS anymore.

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    You may use the quote if you like but you may NOT attach my name to it. I blog here as ‘Eddy’ and hopefully that makes it easy for some, when I’m speaking of things Exodus, to figure out who I am. But I really am blogging as Eddy. I am not affiliated with either Exodus or Outpost although I certainly don’t have amnesia about my involvement. I have retired from public life. I don’t want my name back out there.

    Consider that it’s just a definition. Is there any definition in the dictionary that has a name behind it???? I suppose you could say something like “the most clear definition of ex-gay that I’ve heard is…” followed by “to which I would add the clarification….”

    But really, there’s no reason to add either of our names.

  • Katie Cannon

    It feeds into our sexual targeting, but doesn’t dictate the target.

    And to the extent that having another man look at your penis makes you feel powerful, manly, approved of by other men as a man worthy of admiring, and then this makes you feel more sexually driven because it reasures you that you can also pass a female’s inspection, then this is homo-erotic, even though the target of one’s sexual desire isn’t men.

    Sorry if this is a bit garbled, but I hope you get what I mean.

    When I look at a painting and have an erotic moment, I might want to go grab a man to have sex with, not the painting.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    So, yes, the desire for a straight man to have his penis admired by other men is common and life-affirming and contributes to his increased sense of himself as a sexual being capable of pleasing a woman with his penis…..

    Or when he looks at big penises in straight porn and imagines himself with such a tool, and so wants to have sex with a woman…..

    Homo-erotic does NOT = sexual desire for men.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Evan,

    Are you gay?

    Sorry, don’t yet know who’s who.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    You may use the quote if you like but you may NOT attach my name to it. I blog here as ‘Eddy’ and hopefully that makes it easy for some, when I’m speaking of things Exodus, to figure out who I am. But I really am blogging as Eddy. I am not affiliated with either Exodus or Outpost

    .

    Too late, Eddy. Cat’s out of the bag. You said it in open forum and I will use it openly as a definition that you — Ed Hurst — formerly with EXODUS and Outpost — offered and that I accept. If wou didn’t to reveal your idenity, you sure did a poor job of it. You continually make it clear that you are that “Ed Hurst”.

    I will be very careful to make it clear that you are no longer affiliated with EXODUS or Outpost, and that your definition is simply that — your definition — and not an offically authorized one. But try to deny that it’s yours now and you will look pretty foolish.

    I will also add my qualifier — which you believe is not needed> But I will note that even though wou don’t think it should be part of the defintion, that you do not disagree that:

    Particularly in the case of male ex-gays, this term is not meant to indicate a change from SSA to OSA

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    I was pointing out the fallacy of the logic behind your statement. You can’t have a world where people can’t say ‘broken’ or ‘sinful’ and maintain that you are tolerant of ‘ex-gays’. LOL. Ex-gays would have a muzzle on. It’s a commendable utopian view but you can’t have both…they are mutually exclusive.

    Please, don’t tell me it can’t or won’t happen. Championing the right to free speech has been part of my life even longer than the ex-gay involvement. I’ve seen groups silenced; I’ve seen churches crushed; I’ve had myself and others accused of ‘hate speech’ for using the word ‘sin’ in relationship to homosexuality.

  • Evan

    Katie

    Straight since I’ve known myself. My attractions to girls started as early as awareness, I think I was in kindergarten when I first had my crush on a girl (a few ones….). Things got complicated after I turned 19-20, but basically it’s the same stuff.

  • Michael Bussee

    Michael–

    I was pointing out the fallacy of the logic behind your statement. You can’t have a world where people can’t say ‘broken’ or ’sinful’ and maintain that you are tolerant of ‘ex-gays’

    LOL! Eddy, you are deliberately mis-representing me. Now you are lying. I never said that I wanted a world where people CAN’T say it ! I pray for a world where they WON’tT say it — because they ahve changed their minds. Like a world where folks no longer think that other races are somehow inferior.

    Ex-gays would have a muzzle on.

    LOL! Who over said such a thing? Not me. Again, you are misrepresenting me

    Please, don’t tell me it can’t or won’t happen. Championing the right to free speech has been part of my life even longer than the ex-gay involvement.

    LOL! Me too. Imagine that. And if I see any effory to outlaw your right to speak, believe or live as you want, I will stand beside you in fighting it. I would die for your right to call homosexuality “sick, disordered, broken or sinful”. I would hope you would do the same for my right to say it’s not.

    I’ve seen groups silenced; I’ve seen churches crushed; I’ve had myself and others accused of ‘hate speech’ for using the word ’sin’ in relationship to homosexuality

    Which “groups”? How were they silenced? Which churches were “crushed”/ By whom? On whose legal authority? Give me the specifics. Do I know that there are pro-gay zealouts that would like to put a muzzle on religious conservatives, or have accused Christians of hate speech? Sure. I know there have been abuses.

    I am against all such attempts. I was against them as en ex-gay and I am against them now. Do not count me among them.

  • Eddy

    Thanks, Michael. You’re a peach!

    LOL. It really isn’t that big of a deal to me. I really did enjoy being able to blog here without people finding me and I’m certainly not ashamed of the definition.

    What I appreciate the most is that you are so self-serving and so disrespectful that you treat my request in such a proud, haughty and dismissive manner. My chief objection is that it’s embarrassing. It’s just a definition. LOL. It would be like Timothy having that bumper sticker printed up and then signing it “Timothy Kincaid”. He’s not that vain. I’m not that vain. But obviously, you are. And this is just a blogsite. You’re making so much more of it than what it is…and it doesn’t have anyone’s official endorsement. LOL. Does it even have blog consensus?

  • Evan

    Katie,

    I had my first sexual experience with girls before I went to school. Basically, I was never a virgin. :) It was like I went to Candyland.

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    Slow down, take a breath and read what I actually said.

    You said you envisioned a world where all was bliss, etc., etc. What I tried to point out is that it can’t be all bliss. Two of those things can’t coexist simultaneously at bliss level. Either gays are going to hear the words ‘brokenness’ and ‘sin’ occassionaly or ex-gays are going to be restrained in their speech…since that belief is pretty central to their motivation for being ex.

    As to the rest of your rant. Sorry, dude. I was a bit forgiving here and re-engaged with you and you’ve proven to me that I really should have stuck to it. As to those restrictions on freedom of speech I’m privy to…I learned of them and witnessed them sometimes as a counselor and confidant. Now that you’ve revealed that anything spoken here can be published elsewhere by you, I’m going to be extra guarded in things I say that might compromise someone else. Excellent work!

  • Michael Bussee

    LOL. It really isn’t that big of a deal to me. I really did enjoy being able to blog here without people finding me and I’m certainly not ashamed of the definition.

    LOL! Next time,you might want to choose a less obvious blog name and not boast of your past affiliation with EXODUS and Outpost.

    Don’t make references to your published work if you really want to “to blog here without people finding you”. May I suggest “exgaydude” or something similar?

    What I appreciate the most is that you are so self-serving and so disrespectful that you treat my request in such a proud, haughty and dismissive manner.

    LOL! Too bad, Eddy. I know you are being sarcastic. You don’t think I;m a peach and you really don’t “appreciate” it. You are just being snarky — as I often am. I do not care a whit if you think I am vain, self-serving or disrespectful. You may have noticed that I feel exactly the same way about you.

    I have no interest in maintaining your anonymity when you took so little care in maintaining it. You were pretty careless about it. Why should I care if you didn’t?

    I think that EXODUS — inlcuding your involvement in it — hurts people. Not all people. But many. And I will continue to say so — using my real name — in public venues.

    Call me vain for making my name and my views public. You did very little to conceal yours.

    Oh, you might want to use “LOL” less often. It’s a dead give-away that it’s you , Ed H… I mean Eddy.

    LOL. Have a nice day.

  • Michael Bussee

    I’m certainly not ashamed of the definition.

    You should be proud of it. It’s a good one. You see, my “plot”, what I have r”eally been up to” is collecting definitions and comments from current and past EXODUS leaders on the term “ex-gay”. So far,

    Alan Chambers doesn’t like it, thinks it’s confusing, ought to be officially retired and never used again.

    Joe Dallas says it’s a “convience” that “rolls off the tongue” and that it does not mean former homosexual.

    Now you saying that it’s a matter of a change in identity, while acknowledging that it doesn’t mean no longer SSA or now straight.

    That’s three faithful witnesses. The thing has been established. I will never again say that EXODUS claims to make SSA people straight. In fact, if anyone says EXODUS does, I will quote you three.

  • Michael Bussee

    The Spirit just hit me hard that I have not been reflecting the spirit of Jesus — with many people on this blog — but particularly with Eddy.

    I need to sign off for a week and really pray. I will not reveal Eddy’s definition as Ed Hurst’s — as least not now.

    I am sorry. But have no right to hope that anyone will believe that I am sincere..

  • carole

    @Evan,

    This is you, Evan? You are sure that a roommate hasn’t stolen your laptop for some fun??

    If you tell someone from my generation that you are gay they’ll go like: OK, we’re totally cool with that, and smile, because you should know you can choose. So we’re cool with your choice. This is the attitude. If you wanna be a “trap” you go that way.

    Man, whatever, we don’t care, you can enjoy whatever floats you

    boat.


    Cool story.

    Tell me, what phrase or word don’t you think is slang or a colloquialism like “float your boat”?

    Nothing at all “wrong” with any of it, just not your usual language of communication on this blog.

    And, this doesn’t sound like something you would say either. To Katie you said,

    If the man you’re with has erections with you, then he’s not gay, end of the question.

    Whoa! Then tell me how gay men have fathered kids?

    Evan, is this really you?

  • Eddy

    I like the notion of using all three together; it will highlight your schizophrenia.

    Hi, I’m Michael Bussee, I hate the term ex-gay and Alan Chambers agrees with me but, just for the record, I’m going to supply you with a few definitions for the term–one that I helped with– that may make it acceptable.

    If Alan likes my definition, he might come around on keeping the term ‘ex-gay’. That would be awesome. (Remember that his reason for not liking it was that it wasn’t clearly defined and confused some people…so, now that we’ve defined it and ended the confusion–we may have saved the term!) Who would have believed it? (As I’ve said, I don’t think your qualifier additions are necessary so I’ll be passing on my definition only for Exodus to consider but will let them know that it does have your support…that you’ll be spreading it too–with an addendum that you think enhances it.)

    You may think I’m being ‘snarky’ but I’ve been mulling on this over dinner. It’s a good thing…all the way. I never liked the fact that some ministries promised to make people straight myself. I conceded that it was possible but the promise was freedom from sin’s dominion not a ticket to straightland. Some have gone there; some may go there. It’s not up to me quantify their straightness. I celebrate their freedom just as I celebrate the freedom of those who have SSA but are no longer dominated by those attractions.

    And people might find me here but I won’t need to give them my personal contact info. (Boy am I glad I never gave that to you.) So, maybe they’ll just hang out and start participating in the conversation. We could use a few more voices for ‘our side’.

    Snark Warning:

    I will check into blog ethics, though. I have not used my last name on this blog (last name is something that is searchable). You have now used it several times–and in conjunction with my blog handle. I guess once you’ve been a public figure you give up certain rights to privacy. I will remind you of that the next time you plead for privacy re your relationship with Gary. After all, it’s public record. After all, you’ve spoken of it here and made no effort to keep it secret. Fair game! Michael’s rules! Lovin’ it!

  • Eddy

    Was posting mine while yours came in. Thank you, Michael.

  • carole

    @Michael,

    1.) You’ve got me mixed up with Concerned.

    2) I can tell you that Eddy has not claimed since I have been reading this blog (about 6 months) that “ex-gay” means or implies “without SSA”. Plus, that point was made over and over again yesterday.

  • Ann

    Now, I find that I have been using “SSA” pretty often — for a number of reasons.

    (1) It includes more people, without the sense of being “labeled” or “pushed into a tiny box”.

    (2) It does not imply how they feel about it, how they identifiy with it or that they do it.

    (3) It only indicates that the person is attracted to the same gender — nothing else.

    (4) It has fewer “political” or “religious” implications.

    (5) Ex-gays don’t object to it — so it is a chance for coming close to a word that is less vague and confusing, one we can all use the same way.

    Michael,

    I completely agree. I also think if this term is used when referring to a particular individual, that individual should be the person who gives their “ok” to do so.

  • Evan

    carole,

    The Urban Dictionary says that float your boat means:

    whatever "soothes your soul" or whatever "works best" Aka- Whatever you feel like doing.

    Is that slang?

    Evan, is this really you?

    Warren can see my email address in the WordPress dashboard. Yes, it’s me.

    tell me how gay men have fathered kids?

    If they have erections with women, then they’re not 100% gay (provided that they get the erections in connection with their woman-partner). A researcher from your country, Bailey, says that arousal is the only thing about sexual orientation that can be measured, quote:

    The term sexual orientation connotes a mechanism, analogous to a compass, that directs our sexuality. Furthermore, sexual orientation is generally considered to reflect sexual feelings rather than other factors, such as social constraints. Sexual orientation is commonly described in terms of sexual desire, arousal, fantasy, and attraction. Of these, only one, arousal, can be measured directly and independent of self-report.

    So if a man has erections with women, according to this definition he cannot be gay. Bailey also says men learn what sex they are aroused by by their erections. There you have it.

    I could differentiate between arousal as a “subjective” state when someone feels in their brain that seeing something erotic gives them a “sugary” feeling and arousal as expressed in an erection which is not associated with brain arousal. But, for some reason, Bailey doesn’t do it. It is possible to have an erection for a woman, without being brain-aroused.

  • Michael Bussee

    I am truly sorry, Eddy. I don’t know what get into me sometimes. It’s the flesh. I swear it is. But that is no excuse. I feed it. I react to things I see in you (or maybe more accurately project onto you) that I hate in myself.

    I have been way out of line. I will protect your anonymity – what is left of it. If I mention your definition, I will not cite the source. Out of respect for you.

  • Mary

    Yeah Eddy, I caught on to Michael’s lack of privacy rules. Scarey. His moodiness is really scarey and cannot be trusted.

  • Michael Bussee

    Ann, as always, you are a good friend and my best counsel.

    Michael, I completely agree. I also think if this term is used when referring to a particular individual, that individual should be the person who gives their “ok” to do so.

    I will try not be more gentle. If I am genuinely confused, I will say so (or try to) with humility and kindness. I will say, “I am not sure I understand you. May I ask you to clarify that?” If they say, “No, that’s personal”, I won’t push.

    I will say, “Do you mind if I refer to you as “ex-gay”, SSA, etc. If they say, “Yes, I do mind”, I will not push. I will ask them what term, if any, they prefer.

    I will try to do more reflective listening, such as “I think I understand you to mean “X”, is that correct?”

    I have been out of line not to do these things. It’s a matter of respect for the other person. I get it. God still corrects me when I am wrong — and sometimes he even uses people like Eddy to do it. :)

  • Katie Cannon

    Hey Evan,

    I don’t know where Rob’s penis points all the time, and don’t really care.

    I measure his attraction for me in other ways, and most of the time feel secure that it’s genuine and spontaneous and gives him a sugary feeling :)

    I’m not sure if I understand your last paragraph, though.

    And as far as being suspected of being not yourself — hmmm….

    Katie

  • Michael Bussee

    Carole: Sorry for the mix up. Thanks for pointing it out to me.

    I can tell you that Eddy has not claimed since I have been reading this blog (about 6 months) that “ex-gay” means or implies “without SSA”. Plus, that point was made over and over again yesterday.

    You are right. He hasn’t. And you’re right, I did repeat myself many times. I don’t know when to lay off sometimes and just agree to disagree.

  • Michael Bussee

    It’s late, and I feel very foolish. Can we still sing kum ba yah? The nuns are waiting. :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdO3R5MlbxA&feature=related

    Come on, Eddy. We both like to sing… It’s the karaoke in our blood…

  • Michael Bussee

    Just teasing a bit here, but seems like you and I need to find something else to do with our spare time besides tangle with each other. Well, I know I do. :)

  • Ann

    Evan,

    What if a man or woman is blind or blindfolded and someone stimulates them with oral sex that results in an orgasm, does that indicate anything about their preferences? I have never been concerned about how people derive sexual pleasure and with whom – it is the inability of those who want to have the sexual desire for the opposite sex and do not.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary: I did not realize that there was an implied privacy rule about blogging. Thanks for pointing it out to me. From now on, I will ask, “May I quote you on that?” If you say, “no”, I won’t push.

  • Michael Bussee

    Night everyone. Need to pray. Talk to you in a week or so…

  • Ann

    Heavenly Father,

    I come to you with a humble and grateful heart. Please give Michael and Eddy peace tonight. They are my friends and I pray that they both feel your comfort and guidance and love now and always.

    Amen

  • Mary

    Michael – you used Eddy’s last name – that’s all, When you get carried away with things you read over posts without really reading them, stomp on other people, and just throw things around. It is scarey. You know what it is like to want to protect your privacy and then you do something like this. But thanks for the apology.

  • Mary

    Amen.

  • Evan

    @Ann

    I know that question, it’s a very interesting one, but it hasn’t been researched yet. The only study on blind people I’ve seen was done on a number of Dutch teens and it was concerned with their sexual learning/integration, if I remember well. There was no mention of their sexual orientation. They only mentioned that it’s naturally harder for blind people to learn about sex and connect to other people sexually/emotionally. It takes a little more time than for the rest of the people.

    I would have to say that blindfolded, mechanical stimulation of one’s genitals doesn’t say much about one’s sexual orientation, if they get any pleasure from that. The brain is indeed the biggest sexual organ. I think sexual orientation must be in the brain mostly (but you never know how sex might influence the brain). I also think that women can have different patterns of arousal than men (maybe more spread on their bodies, on the peripheral nervous system… because nothing shows in the central nervous system).

  • Ann

    The brain is indeed the biggest sexual organ. I think sexual orientation must be in the brain mostly (but you never know how sex might influence the brain).

    Evan,

    Right – I agree! I’m just trying to distinguish the difference from knowing and not knowing the gender if one is receiving the same physical sexual pleasure regardless of the gender. I know fantasies could also play a part.

  • Katie Cannon

    Evan,

    I know I have full body orgasms. Well, when they’re good :) I’ve never really thought about this, but I don’t when masturbating, then it’s very localized.

    But when it’s with a person I like (don’t orgasm unless I really like them, and I don’t care how good they are) then it’s full body, even difficult, sometimes to localize at all.

    I’ve heard many men express envy about female orgasms.

    I can orgasm without any direct genital stimulation. Not often, but sometimes.

    Patti Smith, the rock singer, says she orgasms when she writes on her typewriter.

    I’ve tried really hard to have a lesbian fantasy, and just couldn’t hold one for long at all.

    I’ve been attempting to get rid of my S&M fantasies, so just don’t go there too much anymore, but I discovered that I can hold a lesbian fantasy longer while having S&M fantasies. It doesn’t fully work, but works better.

    I think this is because in my S&M fantasies I’m utterly passive, just the worked upon by a faceless someone. So I can insert a woman into the fantasy more easily. It matters less, because the focus isn’t on the person, it’s on me exclusively, it’s about me exclusively.

    The stimuli is the act, not something else.

    K.

  • carole

    Katie,

    You’ll have to forgive me, but my career was spent stressing tthe value of words and communication. To simplify this, let’s move away the examples using men and their penises and use what we women have, okay?

    When I was a kid, about 14, I eagerly awaited my monthy Seventeen Magazine. Like most young girls my age, I wanted to see the lastest fashions. My friends and I liked to look not only at the clothes but also at the hair fashions of the models in the clothes. There wasn’t a one of us who didn’t say things like, “Oh, I wish my hair was thick, like hers” or “I wish I had curly hair instead of straight hair” or…..you get the picture.

    In addition to the clothes and hair, we admired the figures of the models. In those days only one issue, the early summer one, showed the girls in bathing suits. Typical of us, we uttered comments like, ” I wish I had a butt like that–mine’s too fat (or “flat” or “wide” or fill in what word you wish)” or “If only a had a bustline like that.”

    Those were not “homoerotic” comments, not unless some of the girls were thinking things I don’t think they were thinking.

    I don’t doubt that there are people in the fields of this or that who use it differently. I’ve read some of the feminist psychobabble. It’s ludicrous.

  • Lynn David

    Evan….. So if a man has erections with women, according to this definition he cannot be gay. Bailey also says men learn what sex they are aroused by by their erections. There you have it.

    I could differentiate between arousal as a “subjective” state when someone feels in their brain that seeing something erotic gives them a “sugary” feeling and arousal as expressed in an erection which is not associated with brain arousal. But, for some reason, Bailey doesn’t do it. It is possible to have an erection for a woman, without being brain-aroused.

    Well, without touch … how? Never heard of a penis with sight, sense of smell or taste, so how?

    Also there are for men mechanical and chemical (even before Viagara) ways around not being aroused by a women and still have an erection leading to sexual contact with them.

  • Lynn David

    Evan…. I assumed you meant ‘natural, unaided’ erections.

  • Mary

    Has any heard that when men think about tools the same area lights up in the brain as when they think about sex?

  • carole

    Has any heard that when men think about tools the same area lights up in the brain as when they think about sex?

    No, but it wouldn’t surprise me. LOL

  • carole

    @Evan,

    1.) Okay, I am convinced it’s you, but for a time there was “USA Evan” which I will now call you when American vernacular hijacks you! LOL.

    2.) Sure, I understand Bailey saying that a man can tell to whom he is oriented by his erections, but I still think there are many gay men, like Michael, who were married, fathered kids, yet had to do mental gymnastics (not to put words in his mouth, but I do think he spoke of that not long ago) to perform with a woman–in other words, when with women, they fantasized about men.

    I would imagine there are SSA men who don’t have to fantasize when they are with women. That is perhaps when the term “bisexual” is used to distinguish betweeen “homosexual”.

  • Katie Cannon

    Carol,

    Again, as I understand the word, eros is an energy. All sorts of thing can be experienced as erotic, like music, paintings, etc….

    It’s really about that simple.

    But people don’t want sex with paintings or music.

    For some strange reason, many people experience their peaks and valleys in regard to their self esteem to be directly related to their libido, or ability to feel erotic energy.

    When I put on a sexy dress, I feel erotic. But I don’t want to have sex with a dress. I feel erotic because of how I imagine I look to others, or something very close to this.

    Etc….

    Again, the erotic says nothing about a target.

    It’s just a feeling.

    K.

  • Evan

    Ann

    Fantasies… what are they made of?

    I contend that part of the sexual arousal must be due to vision being influenced by guessing (blind, possible) olfactory signals. THat is, when someone sees a body part that might trigger an olfactory sensation related to sex, arousal ensues. Humans’ sexual arousal must be a combination of vision and (ancient) olfactory cues.

    Catherine Dulac, the molecular biology professor from Harvard said that if you want to understand how sex works in all mammalian species you gotta start from the base, the smell sense, the (blind) chemosensory perception, the oldest known modality to recognise sex in mammals. I think she’s partially right, in what regards humans. Another researcher, from the UCLA, Sven Bocklandt, speculated he expects pheromone receptors to be involved in human sexuality too (many of them have been preserved in the human genome, but are junk DNA). They failed to find anything definite related to that until now, except for the Swedish neuroscientist’s findings about gay men and lesbian women’s brain arousal to same-sex sex hormones in the hypothalamus. But her findings, Savic’s, are dubious, because they might have been influenced by learning and because she used a tenfold concentration of hormones than anyone would sniff in real life.

    I’m just trying to distinguish the difference from knowing and not knowing the gender if one is receiving the same physical sexual pleasure regardless of the gender.

    I think it works differently for women. Women can get an orgasm by stimulation without knowing much about who did it. That is, if someone did an experiment in which a male voice told a woman he is stimulating her, while a woman was doing it, it would probably get the same effect, regardless of who would be really doing that.

    I think usually women get aroused by fantasies in which they are possessed, but lesbian women might get aroused by fantasies in which they are not passive, but rather active-possessive. If women access sexuality by emotional connection, as some argue, then maybe lesbians’ attraction to women might have something to do with their not being emotionally impressed by men (for different reasons).

  • Katie Cannon

    And aside from extreme left wing feminists, lots of other people use the term in like manner.

    Like most psychologists.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Evan,

    You’re very cute.

    So what do you make of object fetishes?

    K.

  • Evan

    Lynn David

    Erm, I meant getting erections and having full intercourse without having orgasm. I didn’t use “arousal” in the technical sense, like CNS arousal. Michael Bailey says for men arousal/erections signify orientation. But one can get an erection without being in the mood for sex. :(

  • carole

    @Katie,

    The reason I responded at all was because you gave the word and several examples of how you view its usage:

    Homo – EROTIC…. The straight football’s player desire to slap a man’s but.

    A straight man’s desire to embrace his friend in love and feel erotically moved.

    A straight man’s demand that straight porn show only enviably large penises.

    A straight man’s desire to be held by brother, kissed by his pal, etc

    ****************

    I responded earlier to the first example (football player).

    The second sentence is even more confusing because in speaking of embracing in friendship, you added “feel erotically moved.”

    I have to tell you once again that were you to use that, almost 100% of English-speaking people would believe you meant “moved to sexual desire” and that would confuse them and cause them to say “Ewwwww” because when two men “embrace in friendship” they would not view the touching in an “erotic” way, not if they’re straight, they wouldn’t.

    That is because the word means “pertaining to sexual desire.” It comes to English through Latin, IIRC, but was originally from the Greek, as you said, the reference to the goddess Eros, who was the goddess of love. She was not the goddess of a Platonic love, but of a sexual love.

    I have two close friends who are in the field. I will ask them if their use “erotic” is “pertaining to sexual desire.”

    Oh, back to your examples. The third one, about a straight man wanting porn to show a certain size –well, yeah, sounds like it’s an “erotic request” to me, but not the other examples.

  • Katie Cannon

    Ok, bad examples.

    But I still feel erotic when I put on a sexy dress, but don’t want to have sex with my dress.

    K.

  • carole

    @Evan,

    Re: olfaction

    Ask Warren if he’ll send you the T. Binstock paper (or have you read it?)

  • Katie Cannon

    Ask them if erotic is pertaining more to sexual desires for a particular object, or to sexual energy.

    Or something more along those lines.

    But then again, Carol, I get wet panties over most anything, and while maybe lots of women do and don’t connect those feeling states to the erotic, I do.

    Still, most psychologists don’t use the term in a way that is synonamous (sp?) with orientation.

    K.

  • Evan

    Katie said:

    You’re very cute.

    :”>

    So what do you make of object fetishes?

    I dunno, it depends on the nature of the fetish. Feet fetish might be based on olfactory fixations. Michael Bussee kept mentioning black boots… It could be about dominance and/or some strong olfactory cues.

    Like any partial sexuality, fetishism relies on conditioned response to a certain item that recalls the presence of the loved person’s body/gender. It could be due to very strong imprinting events that happened during childhood, like seeing a sister/mother/cousin’s personal effects and getting sexually curious about it. Sexuality is mostly turned on by what makes one crazy about something sexual. It’s about suspending rational control and going exploring for some dubiously happy stuff. What could that be? – it can be so personal.

    Generally, these emotional memories are imprinted in memory. It could be implicit (recorded by the amygdala) and/or explicit memory (recorded by the hippocampus). The amygdala develops first and then later comes the hippocampus. This is why trauma can produce major effects at an early age which are not remebered later by context, because the hippocampus is not yet developed. So, I dunno, but it seems to me that different types of sexuality come into being because different brain areas involved in sexual arousal might be impacted separately, depending on each person’s development and experience.

  • carole

    Of course, I understand.

    And know for sure that the erotic and the sexual aren’t the same thing.

    I feel erotic when I look at a painting I like, but don’t want to have sex with one.

    Music — erotic.

    Looking at my son — erotic.

    The painting provokes a sexual desire.

    The music stimulates desire of a sexual nature.

    The son? I believe you meant it’s your great love of your son that stirs a longing in you for a man. Like Michael said, you certainly don’t have “erotic feelings” for your son.

    (Either you misused the word there or you have feelings for your son that we don’t wish you to have) LOL.

  • Katie Cannon

    Yeah, that’s what it seems like to me.

    Thanks Evan.

    You’re a fount of information.

    How old are you?

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    No, no desire to have sex with my son.

    And his is what it feels like to me — other than just pure pleasure in looking at him.

    That, to the extent that self-esteem fuels the ability to experience erotic energy, then he’s a great source of self-esteem cuz he’s the best child on earth.

    And no, I don’t even get wet panties when I look at him. But personally, I think that’s due to appropriately internalized feelings of protection.

    But he does make my day brighter, and when my days are brighter I feel more erotically tuned into the world in general.

    In a non-specified-target sort of way.

    K.

  • carole

    @Evan,

    I don’t know much at all about fetishes except that men much more than women have them.

    The foot fetish, which I guess is a very common one, is curious. I mean, I accept that some men have such a fetish, but one wonders why. Why would one fetish, like that for feet of all things, be more common than another?

    What in common with one another would men with “foot-fetishes” have?

    And, do SSA men, as a population, have fetishes more than the population of OSA men or are fetishes just more indulged in the homosexual community because no women “must be consulted”?>

  • Michael Bussee

    @Mary (and Eddy).

    Michael – you used Eddy’s last name – that’s all…. You know what it is like to want to protect your privacy and then you do something like this

    .

    I am sincerely sorry. I really did not realize that using his last name was out of order or that he was trying to remain somewhat anonymous.

    I thought he had made it clear which “Eddy” he was — seeing as how he mentioned his involvement with EXODUS and Outpost several times — and recently made reference to his published works.

    I tassumed, I guess wrongly, that he just refered to himself as “Eddy” on this blog to be kinda folksy, friendly and informal. My mistake. I will not mention his last name again.

  • Michael Bussee

    I got angry cuz I thought we had posted a very public definition — and then seemed not to want to “own” it. I know now that it was the privacy issue that crossed the line.

  • Michael Bussee

    @ Evan: I think this is probably right, which lends more support to the notion that SSA and OSA are somehow innate:

    if you want to understand how sex works in all mammalian species you gotta start from the base, the smell sense, the (blind) chemosensory perception, the oldest known modality to recognise sex in mammals

    Michael Bussee kept mentioning black boots… It could be about dominance and/or some strong olfactory cues.

    I have thought about this fetish (I have several) a lot. I think it is primarily olfactory and visual, not much related to dominance. I like wearing them. I like the feel of them. (I dig leather vests, too.)

    The dark color. The patina they develop over time. I have some balance problems so they make me feel “grounded”. I stub my toes less often. They are handsome, functional, male.

    YesI love the smell of leather. I will sometimes go into a country-western clothing store or boot barn — just to take in that aroma. I do the same thing at Starbucks, incense and candle vendors or at tobacco shops.

    Love the smell. I never wanted to see the movie “Scent of a Woman…” The whole concept left me uninspired — if you get my drift.

    The boots are masculine — in a very sterotypic way. I also like baseball caps, board shorts, jeans, work boots, jock straps and cowboy hats — tuxes and suits and uniforms. They all say “male”. Men are just very, very handsome — especially the really good-looking ones.

    In terms of fantasy, I have no desires to hurt or be hurt. (I was beat up too much as a kid). I don’t like bondage, humiliation or domination scenes. They scare the stuffings out of me.

  • Michael Bussee

    Like any partial sexuality, fetishism relies on conditioned response to a certain item that recalls the presence of the loved person’s body/gender.

    Interesting, Evan.

    My Dad never wore them. I have no childhood memories of them. They caught my fancy as an adult — after seeing gay guys in leather at leather bars. Wow. HandSUM!!! Break me off a piece of that.

    I may related the boots to my Dad’s gender on some barely conscious level. I did admire him and his easy masculinity. I wanted to be like that. Had nothing to do with trauma as far as I can tell. It had more to do with admiration and role-modeling. I wanted to be a man.

  • carole

    @MIchael and Evan,

    They say that our sense of smell is the most evocative–yes, we all can, like Michael, identify smells that remind us of ….say, childhood. The smell of the first rain, for example. Every time I smell the first light rain (it is light and thus brings up the smell of dust) I am taken back to my childhood. The smell of heavily waxed hardwood floors (a smell I can rarely find these days for even the new hardwood floors and the “waxes” smell unlike those of old) brings back a certain merchant’s store of my youth.

    Michael, either yesterday or the day before as you posted a great deal, I googled you because you said you were heavily involved in an organization which you now regretted.

    I read your letter of apology, as you termed it. In it, you said that as a kid you were teased, called names, bullied and from what you said (because there was a reference to how you felt about yourself at age 12) I took this to mean you had these things done to you before the age of 12.

    Can I ask or is it too personal for I surely understand if it is….why kids do that to you? I saw you talking in a video and there didn’t seem to be a man who screamed “I am gay” in it. So, what characteristics do you think they saw in you that made them feel you should be the object of their scorn?

  • Michael Bussee

    @ Evan: I don’t know if what I am talking about really meets the criteria for a “fetish”. I am not sure. Tell me what you think.

    I don’t regard my attraction to men who are handsomely dressed and kinda hunky in appearance to be a “partial sexuality”. What about women who like well-dressed men — or men in uniform, or boots, or jeans — does she have a “partial sexuality”? Is her attraction to such guys a “fetish”?

    I don’t need the objects of clothing to experience sexual arousal. I am just as happy when he takes them off. It’s the guy IN the boots, not the boots. Or the boots by the side of the bed. :) Or the scent of him at breakfast the next morning… Love Old Spice too, by the way. And sometimes even cigars — although I usually hate them.

  • carole

    @Michael,

    I think that the things you have listed are not fetishes because you do not need them to experience arousal.

    BTW, all the things you listed are also attractive to most of us women, all but the jock strap. (Well, depends…..HA)

  • Michael Bussee

    To Carole:

    Smells that remind us of ….say, childhood. The smell of the first rain, for example. Every time I smell the first light rain…the smell of heavily waxed hardwood floors — Yes, I remember those too.

    I experience them as you describe the smell. I also like the smell of campfires, wool, citrus (I grew up around it), bread baking, bacon frying, Xmas trees, hot chocolate chip cookies. Incense in a Catholic church, the scent of flowers my great-grandma grew… So many. When my partner leaves, I enjoy the scent of his hair on my pillow.

    Michael, either yesterday or the day before as you posted a great deal, I googled you because you said you were heavily involved in an organization which you now regretted.

    I

    Yes, this is very true — but I would have regretted it less if it had stayed true to the course, remained a minisitry and stayed out of politics. That detour troubled me deeply. It still does.

    The ongoing affiliation with NARTH and the links (sometimes quietly removed later) to some (in my opinion) wackos and hatemongers also bother me. I think EXODUS needs to be much, MUCH more careful.

    Can I ask or is it too personal for I surely understand if it is….why kids do that to you? I saw you talking in a video and there didn’t seem to be a man who screamed “I am gay” in it. So, what characteristics do you think they saw in you that made them feel you should be the object of their scorn?

    You know, Carole, I really don’t know. It started early. Pecking order. Tuff Boys against sissies. I don’t think I acted in a particularly feminine way — maybe just sorta passive — like I would allow myself to be a target.

    One day in fifth grade, after a particularly brutal attack by a gang of the Tuff Boys, I remember promising myself that someday I would be a therapist or psychologist to figure out why bullies do it. I still don’t know.

  • Evan

    I think that …Narth should try aroma therapy.

    :

  • Michael Bussee

    Carole:

    I think that the things you have listed are not fetishes because you do not need them to experience arousal.

    That has always been my understanding, Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps anything we find attractive is a sort of fetish. I guess it depends on how one defines it. Oh no! Let’s not go there again…

    BTW, all the things you listed are also attractive to most of us women, all but the jock strap. (Well, depends…..HA)

    How about it ladies? Are you athletic supporters? I know lotsa straight guys like women’s unmentionables. :)

  • Evan

    People, hold on, I answered Katie’s question about fetishes and just gave her my opinion based on what I know. I’m not an expert on fetishes/sexuality and don’t intend to become one. I could be wrong.

  • Michael Bussee

    all the things you listed are also attractive to most of us women

    Interesting. Makes me wonder if I am somehow “wired” like a woman — to find the visual, tactile, oflactory, auditory and gustatory aspects of a man strangley and powerfully alluring. Sounds like a mating urge, huh?

  • Michael Bussee

    BTW, I am super-impressed by the breadth and depth of Evan’s knowledge and insight on these subjects. How old is he anyway? :)

  • Michael Bussee

    FETISH:

    1. magical object: something, especially an inanimate object, that is revered or worshiped because it is believed to have magical powers or be animated by a spirit

    2. object of obsession: an object, idea, or activity that somebody is irrationally obsessed with or attached to

    3. object arousing sexual desire: something that arouses sexual excitement in somebody, e.g. an inanimate object or nonsexual part of the body

    Like any word, it seems to have many possible layers of meaning. In treatment, we sometimes think of it as something that has become so necessary for sexual arousal that it is causing distress or seriously imparing the idividual’s functioning.

    If it does not, I think we just tend to think of it as a preference — like attraction to blue eyes or good teeth.

  • Michael Bussee

    Evan ~ Jul 13, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    I think that …Narth should try aroma therapy

    Why not? Nothing else seems to help. (Don’t pounce. Just joking…) Really. Just joking….

  • Eddy

    Hello all…

    I went out for the evening and then spent some time familiarizing myself with my ‘new’ karaoke machine that arrived this afternoon.

    Believe it or not, all of the wrangling between Michael and I did not take away my peace. (You would not believe the issues I’ve got going on at home that make the dialogues between Michael and I see tame.) Don’t know what it is…but even those haven’t messed with my peace. (Ann, Mary: I do appreciate those prayers anyway…need to keep the well of peace full to the brim!!!)

    Anyway, Michael, I’m glad you were able to see and appreciate the sense of privacy I’m trying to hold onto. As I’ve said before, this blogspace is the only place I’ve ‘gone public’ since leaving the ministry some 15 or 20 years ago. And, when I started blogging here, it was with a lot of misgivings. I do get involved in discussions where I feel Exodus is being misrepresented but mostly… I’m here for me…an individual with no board or ministry steering my conversations with a lot of questions and interests that don’t quite fit the ministry agenda.

    I appear to be a very outward and social being but I’m a very unique mix. Yes, I sing karaoke regularly but between songs I usually just sit by myself and mull over the song books. Even when I was in the ministry, I could comfortably speak to a group of any size or mix, had absolutely no fear or awkwardness around a microphone…but, once I stepped away from the mike, found it difficult to ask a group if I might join their table for lunch.

    Friends have labelled me ‘The Reluctant Hermit’ and ‘The Most Social Hermit You’ll Ever Meet’…but they do get it. They do the see the very private, hermit side of me. One of the main reasons I embraced karaoke in the first place was that I realized that, without it, I’d likely resort to “Hello neighbor” greetings at the mailbox as my major source of socializing.

    But–no one expects a hermit to be so loquacious or so matter of fact in the way they talk and write. Especially in writing, people read my ‘matter of fact’ and ‘let’s cut to the quick’ style as arrogance. They read anger and hostility when, in my own mind, I’m not wrangling with the other person…I’m wrangling with the words they’ve written. LOL. Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes it does get personal. Today, I mostly stayed with my usual ‘responding to the words’ but there were a few instances (and I think it was obvious) that it got personal.

    Anyway, I’m rambling. (And I’m desperately trying not to say LOL)…but Michael, I do realize that you didn’t realize that mentioning my full name here on the blog was a faux pas. It’s okay. It wasn’t that big a deal…but it really did freak me out for a time. It set off all my hermit alarms. Thanks for agreeing not to use my name in public and for not using it here on the blog. I agree with you that I didn’t create that much distance between my blog name and my former public persona…but I felt that it was just enough distance to allow me to converse without being ‘that guy’ while still being able to speak matter of factly, as an insider, on Exodus related topics when necessary.

    I’ve heard the ‘incoming message’ beep about a half-dozen times while writing this. I’m hoping there’s nothing that calls for my response. I’m ready for sleep!

  • Evan

    carole wrote:

    Warren if he’ll send you the T. Binstock paper (or have you read it?)

    No, I haven’t. But Warren’s probably lurking and if it’s important he might post it some time. Anyway, he is due to appear and say something like: What’s up folks? This topic’s about Narth and… how ya’ll doin’? :)

  • carole

    @Evan,

    Don’t know if you missed my question in a post above, but since you were talking about the primal source, perhaps of attraction, olfaction…did you read the paper by Teresa Binstock?

    If not, Warren has it. Thought you’d be interested. It’s an hypothesis.

  • carole

    @Michael,

    Thanks for responding to such a personal question.

    Yes, passivity in a boy is something another kid, often a “needy” kid, recognizes.

    I read not long ago of a study that found that bullies are themselves bullied. For example, if ta kid acts as a bully at school, it’s likely he has been or is bullied at home by a neighbor kid or, more likely, by a sibling or even a parent.

    There is, unfortunately, a pack mentality that operates in kids, just as in adults.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Hey, how y’all doin’?

    Yep, this thread was about NARTH but I think it is more interesting than anything NARTH has got to say.

    I’ll post the Binstock paper right quick here.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    And David, I like this as well…

    A Comprehensive Review of Same Sex Attraction: Biological Precursors, Environmental Triggers, Malleability and Adaptability.

    My view is that this covers several important bases, but even the title might go beyond the current data. I might stop at a comprehensive review of same-sex attraction.

    If NARTH did that and brought everything to the table, it would have been more credible.

  • Evan

    carole,

    Olfaction must have some indirect, blind, influence on sexual feelings, but there is no positive empirical finding on that yet. I would rather ask Warren about that case of the man treated for social phobia.

    If Warren finds the study/report that says treating social phobia/anxiety reduced same-sex feelings in at least one man, then maybe the same therapeutic intervention can be found to work in another man with a similar history. If it works once, maybe it works twice. It doesn’t have to work for anybody to be a validated result.

    The same intervention may be replicated in other trials, case by case, but this time using physiological measures of sexual orientation. I mean, take a few volunteers with a similar profile, measure their penis response to nude men/women or, better yet, also scan their brains and get them through therapy and check the results again, using PPG and fMRI.

    One reservation I have about this is that anti-anxiety medication has some side-effects related to sex (right?), so if the results are positive for some men, it might be argued that they have less arousal for men because their capacity for arousal has been reduced in general. A true positive result would be if the medication reduced subjectively-felt-SSA and physical arousal for men, while keeping whatever degree of arousal to women there is intact.

    The merit of this experiment would be finding confirmation or rebuttal, from a different point of view, to two brainscanning studies that showed some interesting differences between straight and gay men in the amygdala region.

    I hope Warren will find that report again. Maybe someone will try to replicate it in another study.

  • carole

    @Eddy,

    Especially in writing, people read my ‘matter of fact’ and ‘let’s cut to the quick’ style as arrogance.

    For the record, Eddy, I have always seen you as the very opposite, as someone who sticks to the questions and/or concerns posed, yes, but as someone who is very polite, one who welcomes real discussion, one who remains cordial, even in disagreement.

    Today, yes–a departure from your usual demeanor– but one can see that this has been a very, very long thread and you remained very “blog-professional” for a very long time.

    I think the rest of us can understand the heat.

  • Michael Bussee

    To Eddy:

    Michael, I’m glad you were able to see and appreciate the sense of privacy I’m trying to hold onto. As I’ve said before, this blogspace is the only place I’ve ‘gone public’ since leaving the ministry some 15 or 20 years ago. And, when I started blogging here, it was with a lot of misgivings.

    I am sorry. I dod not realize that was what was going on. It felt like you were trying to back away from something you offered as a definition. I misjudged what you were doing.

    I appear to be a very outward and social being but I’m a very unique mix. Yes, I sing karaoke regularly but between songs I usually just sit by myself and mull over the song books

    I do exactly the same thing. I didn’t go tonight (my usual) because I knew I would just sit by myself and mull over the song books. On stage, I am a different guy.

    Even when I was in the ministry, I could comfortably speak to a group of any size or mix, had absolutely no fear or awkwardness around a microphone…but, once I stepped away from the mike, found it difficult to ask a group if I might join their table for lunch.

    Again, exactly the same. Exactly. Are we twins separated at birth?

    But–no one expects a hermit to be so loquacious or so matter of fact in the way they talk and write. Especially in writing, people read my ‘matter of fact’ and ‘let’s cut to the quick’ style as arrogance. They read anger and hostility when, in my own mind, I’m not wrangling with the other person…I’m wrangling with the words they’ve written.

    Are you describing both of us to a tee or what? Although, sometimes I really am arrogant, angry and hostlie. Really. Honest I am.

    Michael, I do realize that you didn’t realize that mentioning my full name here on the blog was a faux pas. It’s okay. It wasn’t that big a deal…but it really did freak me out for a time. It set off all my hermit alarms

    Again, I apologize for my ignorance in this regard. I should have asked if I could quote you by name.

    I’m ready for sleep!

    Good night, Eddy. I would sit with you and mull over the songbooks — that is if we had met in a different context. I understand you sing very well. Would be nice to hear.

  • carole

    Evan,

    Okay, this is really OT, but thought I’d throw it in: isn’t it amazing that even an animal knows to look us (or a member of another species) IN the EYE?

    I mean, where is the “key” to that? Your cat and your dog and a baby are trained by the parent, one could argue, to look their parent in the eye. Yet, this behavior is species-transferred.

    The cat raised by its mother knows to look the human in the eye as well. The bear met in the wild looks the human in the eye as well. Amazing.

  • Evan

    carole

    Well, I never had pets, so I don’t know about this eye-to-eye communication. But I know women focus a lot on eye contact to guess whether they are impressed or not by a man. And I’ve noticed that they dilate the pupils (?) if they like what they see. It’s like they want to know if his eyes can penetrate hers. A matching of sorts.

  • Evan

    Katie wrote:

    I know I have full body orgasms. Well, when they’re good :) I’ve never really thought about this, but I don’t when masturbating, then it’s very localized.

    But when it’s with a person I like (don’t orgasm unless I really like them, and I don’t care how good they are) then it’s full body, even difficult, sometimes to localize at all.

    I’ve heard many men express envy about female orgasms.

    Yeah, we straight men are doing our job, pretty much in a bovine way, focusing only on intromission. We’re getting ripped off. Women can have full body orgasms, and it’s still us doing all the work.

  • Evan

    One more…

    Both Katie and Lynn David asked me about this paragraph:

    I could differentiate between [arousal as a “subjective” state when someone feels in their brain that seeing something erotic gives them a “sugary” feeling] and [arousal as expressed in an erection which is not associated with brain arousal]. … It is possible to have an erection for a woman, without being brain-aroused.

    The first type is pure brain arousal, that only gives a pleasant subjective feeling without leading to erection.

    The 2nd would be one which leads to an erection without leading necessarily to orgasm.

    So, Katie, taking up your previous point, I wonder how would a scientific researcher classify someone who can get erections with one sex, but have stronger orgasms with the other. Which one would be considered arousal indicating orientation?

    That’s what I meant.

    I’m out!

  • Katie Cannon

    Wow Evan,

    That is an interesting question. From what I gather with Rob, if I could do the sexual acts with him that arouses him, I’m pretty convinced that, in his case, he’d have much more satisfying orgasms.

    I know he likes smelling me – and finds the notion of sniffing a man’s neck just for the enjoyment of sniffing leaves him cold :)

    About the whole straight women fantasize being possesed, maybe lesbians fantasize about being the possessor.

    Among the bisexual women who’ve talked in depth about their bisexual fantasies, a shift in these two roles seems involved to some degree, but what seems more involved is their perception and fantasies about “hard” and “soft” objects.

    Among the heterosexually married lesbian women, however, fantasies of being the possessor (or doer) seems more at issue, and the successfully married ones who feel steady attraction for their husbands seem to be married to guys who are willing to take on the passive role, not just overtly, but in the more nuanced ways as well — like letting their wives kiss them, rather than the other way around.

    With the bisexual men, the shifting states of doer-done seems to be very much at issue, and many express feeling like their penis is straight, but their butts are gay. When they’re feeling straight, they feel very attracted to their wives, some intensely so — love sex with them, etc….

    Then they experience a shift from active to passive, and obsess about being “taken” by a man. And no, for most of them, role playing with their wives doesn’t do the full trick. Even among the guys who seem pretty darn focused on the penis, and don’t experience men as a whole attractive in the way they experience women. They often say that a woman with a real, working, penis would be what they’d really like — but it’s a real penis they have in mind, not a toy.

    Rob? He seems more focused on the sensation itself, as some other men are as well. Still, there is the real penis thing going on as well.

    If Rob were a woman rather than a man, Freud would say it’s just penis envy.

    I read a very funny thing written by a psychologist on penis envy, and how Freud got it all wrong — it’s not women who suffer from it, it’s men.

    About the Amygdala as opposed to the hypothalamus: Like lots of people, Rob experienced sexual abuse at a very young age, young enough that the hypothalamus wasn’t fully on board yet.

    Anyway, off to work.

    K.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Yep, this thread was about NARTH but I think it is more interesting than anything NARTH has got to say.

    I’d have to second that! Where on the planet can you observe and participate in a conversation like this one? The transparency and openness are astounding at times. Yes, some of it makes my Christian-girl TMI filter go bonkers, but it is enlightening and refreshing at gut level. (Katie, I may have to send you a private comment ;).

    Since I have stepped up my own level of transparency — it previously was related to anxiety and depression issues and that part of my past — I can appreciate the mixed-feelings syndrome with regard to going public.

  • Katie Cannon

    Debbie,

    Frankly, I’ve never hung out with religious people — this is as close to going church as I’ve ever gotten, so I’ve wondered how the TMI thing was going, and have been concerned I’d bristle someone’s sensibilities, but I just can’t figure out how to talk about sexuality issues without talking about sexuality issues :)

    But if I ever really offend someone, just let me know.

    It won’t hurt my feelings, and I’d completely understand.

    Katie

  • Katie

    Is it ok to post my email address?

    I don’t mind, just don’t know if it’s against the rules.

    K.

  • Ann

    Is it ok to post my email address?

    Katie,

    I suggest that you do not post your email address. Most of the people who post here are wonderful but I have seen a few who have been abusive and would not want them to write me personally. Dr. Throckmorton can privately exchange addresses for those who request it.

  • http://www.wthrockmorton.com Warren

    There is nothing against the posting guidelines about posting an email. Mine is posted all over creation and it hasn’t been an issue.

    But that is a personal decision.

  • Eddy

    Someone’s blogging, Lord, kum by yah

    Of all the verses I’ve heard over the years, I think ‘blogging’ is one I’d never heard but we can certainly go there.

    Thanks, Michael, I appreciate ‘the extra mile’ you went to in your last post responding to me.

    Thanks, Carole. What you described seeing in my posts is what I strive for and I’d get so perplexed when it wound up offending someone to such a degree.

    I don’t recall ever having the olfactory responses. (Whew! Michael and I weren’t cloned from the same egg. :-) ) I’m a visual responder. For me, it seems to be primarily a ‘blue collar’ look. I often wondered if mine wasn’t a mating response and that I was responding to some ‘provider’ imagery. I do have a domestic side. Buff bodies created in a gym don’t interest me. Neither does a GQ look. Immaculate grooming is a turn-off as is the leather look. (A REAL biker in leather chaps might draw my eye but most men in leather strike me as ‘playing dress-up’.)

    With regard to the opposite sex, frilly and/or fragile turns me off. So does an overly sexy look. (Tart!!!) I doubt that heterosexual marriage is in the cards for me but the type of women I respond to also have a ‘real’ image in my head. I used to refer to it as “Colorado Pretty”…a healthy, outdoors look without too much make up or cosmetic enhancement…breasts that are noticeable but that don’t seem inclined to burst through the clothing, hips with a slight curve but not a ‘bodacious booty’.

    And the eyes…a lively spark or twinkle in either gender gets my attention. Speaking of eyes, it would be interesting given what’s been discussed here to examine the American Indian culture. I understand that in a number of tribes, it is considered offensive to look someone in the eye. I think the belief is that looking someone in the eyes is stealing their soul…or something like that.

    Just an aside: Was a bit distracted yesterday by the turmoil ‘tween Michael and I and never noticed Evan’s slip into slang and jargon. When Carole (I think) provided her examples, it brought big smiles. LOL. Evan, I do remember when you first started blogging here. Your English was ‘immaculate’…even at times, stilted. Your foray into colloquial speech and usage is commendable!!!!

    I think the notion that the brain is our primary sex organ likely encompasses all of our varied attractions. Naturally, I see it as going to my ‘learned behavior’ bias. Something got imprinted that says ‘blue collar’ equals ‘real man’. Even a tad scruffy and a bit of a paunch fit in…which is another reason why I think ‘real’ has some sort of significance to me. It seems to make sense in my world. If I’m out and about feeling secure about myself, I scarcely notice anyone attraction-wise. But if I’m feeling down, confused, incompetent, scared…the attractions are more frequent and more noticeable.

  • Katie

    Mary and Debbie, if you care — here’s my email:

    kcannonc7@yahoo.com

    Actually, anyone can email me. But I’m pretty bad at checking my emails, but I do get around to it.

    Eddy and Michael,

    I’m so glad you two have made up.

    K.

  • Ann

    Mine is posted all over creation and it hasn’t been an issue.

    I’m really glad to hear this – when I read some of the things written from Wayne Beson, Regan DuCassee, grantdale. etc., about you, I still cringe. You are far more generous than I am to be so tolerant and/or understanding when people write abusive things.

  • Michael Bussee

    Morning Eddy. Hope you slept well. I was up til 3. Felt compelled to read Paul’s entore letter to the Ephesians. Talk about conviction by the Holy Spirt — “speak the truth to one another in love…” I have not lived up to those words.

    Hey, I agree with you about leather:

    (A REAL biker in leather chaps might draw my eye but most men in leather strike me as ‘playing dress-up’.)

    I lost my chaps. Now I just have the boots and a vest. But that is enough. I like the “simple” leather look — A white T-shrt and good-fittiing genes will do –and yes, the black boots.

    But the “ove-the-top” leatherman with all the chains and studs and. stuff, not so much. I call it “hyper-masculine drag:” They might as well be dressing up in a frock and pearls. To each his own, huh?

    To my fellow bloggers: I think you will hear — I hope you will hear — a different tone from me starting today. I really don’t have much of any issue with Eddy. We actually agreee on tons of stuff.

    And now that I understand how he uses his language, I won’t have to push the issue. I will just say to myself: “He’s talking about a change in indentity — and that’s a big change — even if it’s not “straight”.

  • Katie

    Eddy,

    I’ve run across women who would love to find a nice not quite straight guy to settle down with.

    Through my young niece I know a couple — he’s gay, she’s not, and they don’t seem to think this is a big deal at all — no oxymoron in a gay guy dating a girl.

    To me, what Warren is doing is getting guys to question an either/or position and to hold paradox. Sorry if I’m way off base here Warren….

    The qustion: what sound does one hand clapping doesn’t seem so strange to non-Western ears.

    I don’t know, but I agree with Evan that the younger generation isn’t going to experience such paradoxes like we do. It will just be life.

    K.

  • Katie

    And Michael, we have both the radical gay movement and the radical feminist movement to thank.

    Hopefully radicalism will soften into a more taken-for-granted thing.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    To Katie:

    Eddy and Michael, I’m so glad you two have made up

    Give us time. I am sure I will say something that will get us going again. But, I will try to do it in a mature and more loving manner. I will try. Expect progress, not perfection.

    More points of agreement:

    Buff bodies created in a gym don’t interest me. Neither does a GQ look. Immaculate grooming is a turn-off as is the leather look

    .

    I agree. The hyper-buff ones look like super-muscular mutant frogs or something. I have noticed that the large muscles do not necessarily mean that other things are… Well, you catch my meaning.

    And immaculate grooming… sometimes, yes. Freshly shaved, great haircut, clean nails, clean clothes — a bit of GQ style, yes. But a little bit of dirt and sweat is even better. I always think: “I bet he would clean up good!” :)

  • Katie

    Eddy,

    And personally, I think more women than men experience fluidity because women are taught to hold paradox more than men are. In part because we’re told to hold, period, more than men — and I mean hold emotions rather than externalize — to be the vessel rather than the torpedo, etc….

    And, yes, there’s probably some drive for women to be more like this because we hold babies in our bodies and then in our arms.

    Still, there’s also no doubt that we’re also trained to do so, and boys are more trained not to do so.

    I think one of the things that’s in play in at least some bisexual men is merely this desire to be the vessel, to take in, to hold, to passively injest. But because boys are taught that this desire is hatefully unmanly, then rather inner spaces, a hole develops and so they develop fantasies of needing to take in masculinity from those they percieve as more worthy than they.

    But, what do I know? I don’t.

    K.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Frankly, I’ve never hung out with religious people — this is as close to going church as I’ve ever gotten, so I’ve wondered how the TMI thing was going, and have been concerned I’d bristle someone’s sensibilities, but I just can’t figure out how to talk about sexuality issues without talking about sexuality issues :)

    But if I ever really offend someone, just let me know.

    It won’t hurt my feelings, and I’d completely understand

    No problem, Katie. You should hear some of the things we discuss in my women’s SSA group. I’m sure you can well imagine. Thanks for the e-mail. I’m glad you hang out here. Sometimes church is done better in places other than inside a sanctuary. :)

  • Eddy

    Katie–

    Your comment reminds me of an observation i made years ago. Some gay-identified friends were discussing who was passive and who was aggressive and it occurred to me that ‘giver’ vs ‘receiver’ (with respect to ‘the torpedo’…lol) was often more appropriate.

    Many ‘receivers’ were labelled as the ‘passive’ partner but were anything but passive. And many a top guy (especially in relation to oral sex) is not aggressive at all but prefers to ‘lay back and let the partner work’.

    Another reason for getting away from labels, especially when it comes to sex–which everybody pretends to be ‘cool’ about but where most of us still have some embarrassment. When I pointed out the distinctions above, my friends agreed but gave me one of those ‘you think too much’ looks.

    Not ignoring the rest of you…got a few distractions going on…some errands to run…calls to make…a new machine to toy with. Might not wax too deep or poetic today.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    I can appreciate the mixed-feelings syndrome with regard to going public

    Quoted my own statement above to bring in a lighter moment. I’m so glad I checked my post before hitting submit as I can’t tell you how many times I’ve typed “pubic” for public in the past. LOL.

  • Eddy

    Yeah, it’s always viewed as a bit strange on a job application when I’ve noted that I depend on pubic transportation.

  • Michael Bussee

    But if I ever really offend someone, just let me know. It won’t hurt my feelings, and I’d completely understand

    Katie: You are among friends. No harm, no foul.

    Back from Mass. I think I am becoming Catholic. Something about the stained glass, the quiet, the prayerful attitude. I’m kinda southern Baptist at heart, but I find myself crossing myself at prayer. Anyway — “The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all…

  • Michael Bussee

    I’ve noted that I depend on pubic transportation.

    Thought that was what crab lice do… :)

  • Michael Bussee

    I was thinking that in some ways, this blog is kinda like EXODUS was at the beginning — and may still be. A place for SSA folk (and others) to struggle with issues like spirituality and sexuality, to discuss, to challenge each other — yes even to argue sometimes — to try to find that balance we seek. Thanks for putting up with me and letting me take part. That means you too, Eddy. :)

  • Michael Bussee

    Many ‘receivers’ were labelled as the ‘passive’ partner but were anything but passive. And many a top guy (especially in relation to oral sex) is not aggressive at all but prefers to ‘lay back and let the partner work’.

    We call that a “power bottom”, right? I have never liked that “passive/active” stuff. I always try to be enthusiastic — never think of it as work. People will ask, “Are you top or bottom?” and I think, “Are those my only choices? Feels like they are trying to define my identity or something… :)

    Might not wax too deep or poetic today.

    Hey, you can’t do it all the time. Have to let the old synapses rest. Me too. BTW, I wanted to say that I have always been impressed by the intelligence and speaking/writing ability of most of the ex-gays I meet. They seem to be a pretty deep and poetic bunch.

  • Eddy

    I lost touch with most of the sexually specific lingo long ago. Never was sure what a ‘power bottom’ was; still confused about ‘twinks’…makes me think of slender and underage.

  • Katie

    I think the word you’re searching for might be “inter-penetration”, which is a state of mind, which has nothing to do with sexual position, doer/done, penetrator/penetrated.

    I’ve though a lot about my feelings re: inter-penetration, what goes on inside when I experience it, my fantasies and such.

    When I contrast how I feel when I reach the level of experiencing inter-penetration, it’s at once a much more complicated and more simple state — like the resolution of the One and the Many. Finding one’s self through the loss of self-awareness. A merging experience that locates the self.

    And I find that it’s a state of expressing various gendered identificaions and projecting them onto my partner, only to once again identify with them.

    It’s a sort of non-gendered moment, where all positions open up, and specified identity melts away.

    And then I’m more myself than before.

    It’s a dangerous place to go, and unfortunately with Rob I feel too strong a drive to insure the boundaries — Rob man, me woman…..

    It seems to me that surrender requires letting go of categories.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    still confused about ‘twinks’…makes me think of slender and underage

    Not confused. I think that’s pretty much the definition. :) Yawn… I like my men with a little bit of grey… Hey, I am describing myself… :)

  • Michael Bussee

    BTW: my email is msbussee@live.com. I am on facebook, too. Would love to show off some of the pics of my Grandson, Caleb. I can’t help it. It’s what grandfathers do…

  • Michael Bussee

    @Katie:

    It’s a sort of non-gendered moment, where all positions open up, and specified identity melts away. And then I’m more myself than before.

    I know the feeling. Pretty wonderful, huh?

  • Eddy

    Don’t any of you be expecting me to post my email address for all the world to see. And I hope all of you will understand if I decline on emails and facebook. That’s way too much kum by yah for me. Got plenty enough right here at Throck’s.

  • Ann

    and I think, “Are those my only choices? Feels like they are trying to define my identity or something…

    Well, there you have it – if a man can feel like it is his idea or experience, it automatically becomes credible :-)

  • Katie

    Carol,

    What most radical left wing feminists mean by examples like women viewing Victoia’s Secret, is that it can be an expression of “psychic bisexuality” as opposed to sexual bisexuality.

    Yes, there are those who are either lesbian or bisexually id’d who go too far, or get too sloppy when talking about this, in that they imply that ALL people are potentially bisexual in the sexual sense, or have secret desires to be so, even if they’re unaware of it.

    But most are really addressing bisexual/bi-gendered identifications, and how these identifications influence our libido, or sexuality, broadly concieved, in most cases, because most people who talk a lot about psychic bisexuality and homo-eroticism, think that the sexual permeates all aspects of life — like Freud did. Everything is sexual, or libidinal.

    Like “Sex sells”, etc….

    I’m not for postulating experiences I don’t experience, or experiencing something behind my back. Just makes experience too murky a proposition for me.

    So when it comes to things like women viewing Victoria’s Secret, I go for saying things like, for some/many women it’s an expression of homo-eroticism, because for many women, appreciating a beautiful woman is erotic, or projectively identifying with a beautiful woman is highly erotic, and feeds into her erotic life generally, and including when she expresses that eroticism with her sexual object of choice.

    Being trapped by the language we have, I find it difficult to express some of my fantasies except through them. For instance, I definitely have lesbian fantasies which I take to my male sexual partners, because I’m straight. And without my lesbian fantasies, I wouldn’t be straight in the way I am. A man’s penis is a breast/penis to me. And if my projections onto him of having inner spaces, of being a vessel, soft and motherly, are rejected, then I don’t find sexual intimacy with him.

    Which I’m positive is why I was initially so hot for Rob — he doesn’t guard against being penetrated, he invites it.

    Ok, maybe too much, but maybe it’s not his problem, but mine — maybe I’m not secure enough in my own identity to withstand having a man who can also be a lesbian…. what would that make ME?????

    So I’m stuck in this silly place of insuring that Rob gets his categories more solid, even though that’s really not what I want….

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    No problem, Eddy. I get enough of you here. (just ribbing ya…) :)

  • Michael Bussee

    So I’m stuck in this silly place of insuring that Rob gets his categories more solid, even though that’s really not what I want….

    Forget the categories and just love each other. Honesty, love and faithfulness are what really count.

  • Eddy

    Re Victoria’s Secret and Men’s Locker Rooms. If we remember that our brain is our primary sex organ AND if we understand that our sexual ‘feelings’ are rarely just a biological urge, we should also consider that our ‘sexual looking’…our fascination with the sexual parts of someone else from our own gender…is sometimes nothing more than checking out how ‘we measure up’.

    If we feel that our own sexual goods are equal to or greater than the image we are looking out, we could have a sexual stirring motivated by confidence or power. Conversely, if we feel that we don’t measure up, we could have a stirring driven by insecurity or misguided desire. (With some males, the type of guy they were attracted to was secretly the type of guy they wished they could be.) Or, to keep up with the vivid imagery provided by the ladies, a man with a small penis might be orally obsessed with big ones…symbolically, in the brain, now possessing a big one.

    These are observations only…not conclusions. Still enjoying the climate of peace and tranquility.

  • Katie

    Michael,

    Thanks, yeah, that’s what the goal is, we’re getting there. Not there yet, but we’ve concluded that we’re definitely stuck with eachother, so better make the most of it.

    Eddy,

    I need to think about what you wrote a bit. Unfortunately this whole “I have to work to make a living thing” stands in the way right now.

    K.

  • Eddy

    Yeah, I still don’t get why ‘they’ need us to work when we are busily solving the world’s problems right here. Just not fair!!!

    That said….I’m off to the pool. :-)

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy: Enjoy the pool. And if it’s a public one, you have my permission to look. :)

    We should also consider that our ’sexual looking’…our fascination with the sexual parts of someone else from our own gender…is sometimes nothing more than checking out how ‘we measure up’.

    I wonder if it is male primate behavior? Do monkeys do it? Guys seem to do it automatically, instinctively, usually just a quick glance — sizing up the competition maybe? I don’t know. I just know it’s true. I used to think it meant that all guys were somehow gay.

  • Michael Bussee
  • Michael Bussee

    I found these comments from the above article fascinating:

    This is what makes bonobo sexuality so intriguing for animal behaviorists: they use sex not just for reproduction, as we expect nonhuman animals to do, but for a variety of nonsexual purposes. They bestow "sexual favors" (as we humans say) for appeasement, to gain food, to show affection and connection or to reduce stress.

    Bonobos suggest that our idealization of private, monogamous sexual behavior might be a relatively recent deviation from our evolutionary heritage. Indeed, our ancient ancestors, like bonobos, may have used heterosexual and homosexual sex on a daily basis to make alliances, trade goods and favors, establish friendships and keep the peace. If so, the breadth of human sexual behavior today needs no special explanation.

  • Katie

    Ah, Bonobos….

    If you ever get around to reading Joe Kort’s page, he gives a long list of reasons why a predominantly straight man might have sex with men, and some of his reasons are pretty Bonobo-like.

    But if you think of Bonobos and contemplate all the reasons they might have sex with eachother, then the idea of a “straight” man having sex with a man falls out. Cuz we’d just all be Bonobos, and straight would be only the expression of our Bonobo sexuality within the confines of heterosexual expression.

    I think what most people who emphasize the variety of purposes sex might have mean when they say things like “straight men who have sex with men” is that if the ONLY reason, as valid and postive as it might be, for a man to have sex with men is to bond in a manly fashion, like how men bond over sports, then he’s expressing only a part of what makes up sexuality (all it’s potential purposes), and so is straight in all other ways than this one.

    So it might not be a case of arrested development, sexual splitting, using and objectification, etc… because the goal or desire is positive and life-affirming, but it also can present potential relationship problems if he wants to express all other sexual purposes with women:)

    So now he can choose to either get his male bonding needs met through sex, or through attempting to sublimate through engaging in boxing and getting his brains bashed in…. gee, I’d choose sex any day :)

    In a way, Freud thought we’re all bonobos, and that sexual orientation was simply how we organized our fundamental bisexuality, or Bonoboism.

    I lean more towards believing something like this. I can tell a convincing story of my bisexuality because that’s how I experience my sexualtiy — it’s just that I choose men for all my potential sexual purposes — even bonding with women.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    So now he can choose to either get his male bonding needs met through sex, or through attempting to sublimate through engaging in boxing and getting his brains bashed in…. gee, I’d choose sex any day

    Me too Katie!

  • Katie

    And oh, I can get really mad at Rob for not viewing me as manly enough, when I veiw him as girly enough to satisfy his homo-eroticism :)

    Most women involved with bisexual men worry that their feminity can’t satisfy, I worry that my masculinity won’t be recognized and eroticised.

    I want to be hard and soft, passive and active, etc…. and recognized as such.

    I want to be ALL. At least in moments.

    I think most of us do.

    So I really think Rob should be able to sexually homo-erotically bond with me :)

    K.

  • Katie

    Eddy,

    You lockeroom/Victoria’s Secret post, I dont’ think we can draw a conclussion — except for those who experience life in this way. Then I think we can affirm their conclussions:)

    Even if all this turns out to be biologically determined before we were born.

    I can’t help but think there’s as much to learn about human behavior and experience in poetry as through science.

    And I noticed you mentioned that you feel more sexually attracted to men when you’re feeling low or anxious or depressed.

    I’m not sure, but I think I feel the same way — sort of. At least anxiety, as long as it’s not overwhelming and all-consuming — seems to make me horny.

    I think Evan mentioned some relationship…. did you?

    But I’ve noticed that this state isn’t one conducive to intimate sex. It’s more about anxiously demanding fulfillment. Not that expressing our more aggressive aspects is wrong during sex. But still, sex during these times just doesn’t seem to do the trick, though it feels like it might.

    K.

  • Katie

    Michael,

    Remember me telling you about a guy who Id’s as gay but only like straight porn?

    Here’s his latest post:

    I don’t express my homosexuality in my marriage, other than being (just about)

    comfortable with the fact that my wife only now, after 4 years post-disclosure,

    acknowledges I am gay/bisexual but will not discuss it further.

    As for sexually (which is I think what you were referring to in your question),

    I am not turned on by gay porn, or have never allowed myself to be. Straight sex

    turns me on. The idea of doing it & fantasising about is much more of a turn on.

    If I watch porn, it is straight porn, but I can’t be turned on if the man in the

    equation is unattractive. Does that suggest I’m watching only the man? Not

    necessarily – the act itself is what turns me on, and the woman’s involvement in

    that is crucial to the overall picture.

    Is all that internalized homophobia? I’m not sure, but I hope it never changes.

    ———————–

    Notice he says: the woman’s involvement is crucial.

    Even when he doesn’t use porn, his fantasies involve a woman, not a man.

    Go figure — he’s gay. And no, after 2 years of writing with this guy, I still have no idea whatsoever why he feels he’s gay. None. Nadda. I absolutely can not figure out what the heck he’s talking about when he describes his attractions or fantasies or feelings.

    He just Id’s as gay….

    So when people say: “No one would want to be gay, choose to be…”…. Maybe this guy? :)

    Katie

  • Ann

    Fantasies… what are they made of?

    Evan,

    This was why I became interested in how blind people (from birth) visualize sexual desires and activity. If they are same gender attracted, what is it about that gender that they are attracted to and how/why would it exclude the other gender? What if they never heard what is preferred by society and chose their sexuality based on desire only – what do they feel to distinguish the difference? I think we would probably get a good answer if we also asked the same of opposite gender attracted individuals who are also blind. It is my limited understanding that any fantasy we have comes from something we have seen or can visualize – otherwise, where does it come from and what does it look like when we think of it – especially when it comes to objects of our desires and sexual activity with them? I understand touch and smell and taste but how is it visualized in blind people and how does it apply to their preference sexually and is it a lifetime preference?

  • Michael Bussee

    OMG! I jjust had a thought. What if, after all this wrangling over definitions, it turns out that there is onlhy one “sexual orientation” — and we are all really “bonoboseuxal?” Yikes! :)

  • Michael Bussee

    If I watch porn, it is straight porn, but I can’t be turned on if the man in the equation is unattractive. Does that suggest I’m watching only the man? Not necessarily – the act itself is what turns me on, and the woman’s involvement in that is crucial to the overall picture. Is all that internalized homophobia?

    Wow. Intersting guy, Katie. This sounds pretty “heterosexual” to me. Seems reasonable. I think most (mainly) hetero men would not want the guy to be ugly – or the women to seem bored – filing her nails or something..

    Like he said: “It’s the act itself “that turns him on. Doesn’t sound like internalized anything to me. I suspect that most people would rather watch a good-looking couple who are both “involved”.

    I forgot, did you say he had gay fantasies? If he does, does he ever focus on them exclusively — in solo masturbation? I think that those private masturbatory fantasies can reveal a lot — since it’s all in the head at that point.

  • Katie

    Michael,

    No private, solo gay fantasies.

    A women must be involved, it’s crucial.

    He loves vaginas and the way women smell and feel.

    Seriously.

    It’s been the mirror image of you with Eddy.

    I’ve grilled this guy, probed, gotten very personal :)

    I have absolutely no idea why he id’s as gay. And he’s been out for 4 years.

    I know he must drive his wife crazy because he demands that she recognizes and accepts him as a gay man….

    And understand that, despite this, he’s crazy for her, is turned on by her, loves her vagina, etc….

    Isn’t this just too funny? Of all the weird things I’ve come across, this takes the cake.

    K.

  • Katie

    And he’s turned off, even in private fantasy, by the idea of having sex with a man. Turned off. Doesn’t like the imagery at all.

    I’ve asked him in what way, then, would he like a man to BE involved…. He’s not sure, but he’s sure there’s something there because….. well…. he’s gay :)

    His wife finally conceded to go man watching with him, so they did. He pointed out the guys he thought were good looking, and she asked him if he would like to have sex with one of them.

    He had to explain to her that he’s not actually attracted to the idea of sex with men.

    But…. he’s gay.

    He worries how being gay will effect their relationship…. How it changes things, can they be happy together, etc….

    It breaks his wife’s heart that he’s gay, but she won’t talk about it.

    He feels very isolated because she won’t talk about it, at times angry with her. So that causes strife.

    But I have no idea WHAT they would talk about???

    Tee, hee.

    Katie

  • Michael Bussee

    Michael,

    No private, solo gay fantasies. A women must be involved, it’s crucial.He loves vaginas and the way women smell and feel. Seriously.

    Katie, seriously, he sounds straight. Stange that he identifies as “gay”. What does that term mean to him? In what ways does he think the terms applies to him since he has no solo masturbatory fantasies, is turned on to women, genitalia, etc.

    He wants to go man-watching. Why? What’s he looking for? Is he thinking of how it would be to see that particular man having sex with a woman? I don’t get it.

  • Michael Bussee

    He worries how being gay will effect their relationship…. How it changes things, can they be happy together, etc….It breaks his wife’s heart that he’s gay, but she won’t talk about it

    Is he wondering what it would be like to have sex with a man? How it would eefect their relationship if he did? And why is he talking to his wife about this? What does he want her to understand? What does he want her to do about it, if anything. If it breaks her heart, why does he insist on saying it if he’s not doing it?

    He feels very isolated because she won’t talk about it, at times angry with her. So that causes strife.

    Perhaps he is angry with her to begin with — over something else — and needs to puniish her in some way by being isolative, or pushing her to talk about it. Does he know how helplessthis makes her feel? Why is he angry with her? Doesn’t seem fair. It’s his problem.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    I don’t either. Really, he doesn’t either, he just knows he’s gay and is trying to figure out what that means for him :)

    He’ll sometimes concede that MAYBE he’s bisexual. But when he plays with the words, he just feels gay fits him more.

    And he’s a smart, articulate guy.

    Mostly I give him the benefit of the doubt that he knows himself better than I ever could, and so assume there must be a reason he has yet to be able to articulate.

    Though it also seems to me that maybe it’s a matter of dis-identifying with his heterosexuality for some psychological reason.

    And over-identifying with the fact he can notice when a guy is handsome.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    Bingo — I think him feeling gay is really a covert way to punish his wife. It’s more about his heterosexuality than it;s about homosexuality.

    And I think this sort of stuff DOES play a part in our sexuality.

    It’s not all reproductive stuff.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    I think Rob’s homosexuality is largely driven to punish the women in his life as well.

    It’s negatively driven, not positive attractions.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    He’s not gay like you are.

    Bonobos and purposes….

    And sure, smells, reproductive drives, etc….

    But also purposes.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Which isn’t to say Rob has NO positive attractions — like positive male bonding, in a rather ungrateful, objectifying way.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    Katie: I keep getting confused. Am I getting this right?

    (1) This is the guy you are dating.

    (2) He is married. He tells you he’s gay and he tells his wife that he’s gay. It’s important to him that both of you know that.

    (3) He has no gay fantasies and no gay sex.

    (4) He only fantasizes about females.

    (5) He is angry with his wife — he says that’s because she won’t talk about it.

    (6) She is not aware that he is having this relationship with you.

    (7) If #6 is true, he is angry that she won’t talk about something important to him — talk openly without getting her heart broken — even though he is not willing to becompletely honest with her.

    (8) You are dating him.

    (9) It causes you some distress that you are dating some one like this — and you would like him to get his categories down..

    Am I hearing this correctly? Please help me if I am not…

  • Michael Bussee

    If his wife does not about you, are you certain you want to marry a man who could do that to a woman? Wouldn’t you worry that he might not be honest with you?

    If these questions are too direct, or insensitive or too personal, please forgive me. I do not mean to be hurtful.

  • David Blakeslee

    I think Bonobos have sex with their young, as well….

    Monkeys are not the best model for human sexual behavior…from harems to dominant males…to anxiety driven sexual behavior.

    Please…lets be smart about this.

  • Michael Bussee

    I think Rob’s homosexuality is largely driven to punish the women in his life as well.

    Maybe his “homosesuality” (which seems prety absent) is not what is driving him to punish women.

    Maybe it’s calling himself gay — to the women he says he loves, knowing very well that it stresses them .confuses them of breaks their hearts.

    Maybe he knows this works. Maybe that is how he punishes them. He may know that it hurts and confuses both of you — and do it purposefully. Deliberately. Even sadistically.

    Why does he tell her? Why does he tell you? And if he is not willing to tell her everything, it seems kinda selfish, dontcha think, to get mad at her that she doesn’t want to talk about his “being gay”. The anger sounds displaced.

    If he expects her to be open, he has to be. Which would break her heart more — to hear that he calls himself gay — or that he is having sex with you? Is he saving that for when he really wants to hurt her? And the whole truth about himself for when he really wants to hurt you?

    If my wife or lover told me that something I said really hurt them — broke their hear — , I might try not to say it — and choose to talk about it with someone else else instead. Not everything that is felt needs to be spoken.

  • Michael Bussee

    I think Bonobos have sex with their young, as well

    So do some humans.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    No, I’m marrying Rob.

    The guy we are presently talking about is named David.

    I threw in a comment about Rob — in that in both David’s case and Rob’s I think that, in part, their “homosexuality” is driven by a flight from women more than a positive attraction to men.

    David, the guy who has never had sex with men is the gay id’d guy who has no homosexual attractions, and has never had sex with a man.

    Rob is my fiance, and has had sex with men.

    And don’t worry about getting too personal. I’m brave when I’m anonymous :)

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    I wouldn’t never have sex with a married man.

  • Katie Cannon

    David Blakshlee,

    I don’t mean to say that Bonobos and humans are alike, was using them more like an analogy.

    What I do think we have in common is that our sexuality has purposes beyond the reproductive. But then again, so do lots of other animals besides Bonobos. Even if it’s still related to raising young in the case of animals, and even more free of reproductive (raising the young) in humans.

    And, it seems, in Bonobos too.

    I however, feel that as humans there’s an essential and unique quality to dyadic relationships rather than Bonobo bisexuality/promicousness.

    A fundamental drive (if all goes well) for what Buber called an I and Thou relationship, which I doubt Bonobos, as smart and as advanced as they are, have.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    I keep getting these two men mixed up :)

    Rob — married? Is David?

    Are you dating both guys? I am really confused. Forgive me. Maybe we could start with: “I am dating a guy named ________.

    He is ( ) Single ( ) Married.

    If married and dating me, the wive(s) s of the guy(s) ( ) know about me ( ) do not know…

  • Katie Cannon

    I am dating Rob. He is not married. Rob id’s as straight, but has a history of sex with men.

    I am not dating the other guy, David. He is married, and has never cheated on his wife. And sincerely believes he never would. David id’s as straight but doesn’t like the idea of having sex with one, cuz he likes women sexually :)

    So…. Rob — fiance, straight, has homosexual sex.

    David — not fiance, gay, doesn’t find men sexually attractive.

    K>

  • Katie Cannon

    Sorry, David id’s as GAY, but doesn’t find men sexually attractive.

    In the above post I accidently said he id’s as straight.

    Maybe because he is…

    K.

  • http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com Timothy Kincaid

    I’m reminded of the famous Abraham Lincoln quote:

    If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, calling a tail a leg don’t make it a leg.

  • Katie Cannon

    It appears pre-natal and post-natal factors play different roles for different people. Beyond that, the subject is still under study.

    Quote from Throckmorton

    I was just reading some old stuff on here and came across this quote. It’s admirably succinct.

    I’m far too wordy.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    About the gay id’d guy w/no homosexual attractions:

    I’ve wondered if it’s not a matter of HOCD, so have asked him if he’s generally obsessive — but while he feels he’s perhaps a little excessive in some areas, doesn’t think he falls over into OCD.

    K.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Michael,

    Sex with children is not a animal model that I think we should emulate as humans…the fact that it occurs “normally in the animal world” does not mean it is a moral good.

    I am surprised that the behavior of Bonobos is still a viable topic of discussion…indiscriminant sex with all members of a group, including young seems like the wrong animal model to apply to SSA.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Katie,

    Animal models for human sexuality are fraught with difficulty; monogamous pairing is rare in the animal kingdom. Child rearing is long and arduous for humans.

    Human sexual behavior is sacred for rational reasons…in addition to the mysterious (unknowable).

  • Eddy

    Katie–

    Been pondering your friend that ID’s as gay. While the tentative diagnosis offered by a few on the blog is certainly plausible, I wanted to come at it from viewing him as sincere.

    If possible, it would be great if you could say to him “Okay, to most people ‘gay’ means you have sex with people of your own gender. To most everybody else it means you at least want to have sex with people of your own gender. But that’s not true for you…when you say “I’m gay” what do you mean?”

    Initially, I’d leave the question right there and wait for his response. A possible hunch is that he has some serious masculine identify issues…likely a strong sense that he is ‘different’ from straight males. I’m wondering if he’s got strong feelings for other males…feelings of need, of want, perhaps for affirmation, acceptance, hugs. Perhaps he views these feelings of need as atypical of a real man. And because the feelings hover very close to his sexual feelings, he may identify them as gay. (I had a client once who termed himself gay when, in reality, his intense need for men never went beyond a great big bear hug and the freedom to cry in another man’s arms. Oddly, he felt overwhelming shame and guilt for having these feelings.)

    Michael–

    Not a public pool. So much better. My one brother and his wife live next door to her parents who have an inground pool. Both backyards run together and end at the woods. Such an incredible refuge! I call it ‘the country club’. This afternoon, I watched 3 hawks lazily circling over the treescape.

    Occasionally, on the weekends, a few ‘hotties’ show up but they’re all family (her side…but still family).

  • Lynn David

    I’ve observed the same appeasement/food acquisition/peace-keeping sexual behaviors among ruby-throated hummingbirds in my own back yard. One dominant male hummingbird will ‘claim’ our hummingbird feeder and will defend it against both sexes unless he gets sexual favors.

    .

    The first time I noticed the same-sex behavior was a bit over a decade ago and I’ve seen it happen much the same way in many years since. That first time I’d just gone out our back door and noticed a male ruby-throat on the feeder. I didn’t think much about until another bird (the dominant male) came around the corner of the house nearly hitting me in the head, making a bee-line for the other male which took to flight from the feeder. The dominant male intercepted subordinant male and knocked it out of flight into the grass and then the dominant male immediately landed on top of the sub.

    .

    I was enthralled at what was going on and walked over to the birds, standing only a yard away. The sub male had his tail upturned as a female should, and the dom male was acting as if the sub were a female and they were rubbing their cloaca together and both excitedly flashing their ruby throats. This went on for about a minute; then their seemed to be a climactic point and the dominant male tried to stab the subordinate male in the eye with his long beak. That’s when I made a quick movement and startled the dominant bird and it flew to its favorite branch in the tree overlooking the feeder.

    .

    Even so, I think the beak went into the eye socket and I was fearfull for the subordinate male. But in a very short time it flew straight up and then over to the feeder and started drinking – seemingly just fine. I stood there watching him and I’d almost swear he looked at me like he knew I was gay, but I digress. I was sure the dominant male would make a run from his limb above the feeder at the sub, but he didn’t. So after about 8 minutes I thought maybe if I go inside it might defend the feeder. But the dom male just sat on its favorite branch and did not ever attack the sub male even though it fed for the next 20 minutes.

    .

    So it’s not just bonobos.

  • Michael Bussee

    @David:

    the fact that it occurs “normally in the animal world” does not mean it is a moral good.

    I completely agree. Iwas not trying to say that “occuring in the animal world” is equall to “morally OK”. That would be silly. Some females eat their mates, and some animals eat their children.

    I was trying to point out that in other primates besides humans, sex is not strictly hetererosexual and serves other functions besides procreastion — just like humans. I am not trying to “apply a model” to SSA.

    The morality issue is a completely different one.

  • Michael Bussee

    If possible, it would be great if you could say to him “Okay, to most people ‘gay’ means you have sex with people of your own gender. To most everybody else it means you at least want to have sex with people of your own gender. But that’s not true for you…when you say “I’m gay” what do you mean?”

    That is kinda like what I was asking about folks who call themselves “ex-gay” even though they are still SSA and may even be having some form of homosexually oriented sex. “When you say “I’m -exgay” what do you mean?”

    I think I didn’t ask it as nicely as Eddy has done here. And I didn’t really wait for the answer…

  • Michael Bussee

    It is important that we ask what other people mean by the words they use. People can mean so many different things — especially with complex issues like attractions, identity and beliefs. This is the part I did not do, though I knew I should have:

    Eddy said, “I would leave the question right there and wait for his response.” Then I might remark, “Gee, I have never heard the word(s) used in quite that way before. They seem to have a personal or special meaning for you… Can you tell me more?”

    Instead, I pounded the guy over the head with the dictionary… I wasn’t listening.

  • Michael Bussee

    @David again. I wanted to make another comment about the “nature”/”morality” issue.

    Some have argued that homosexuality is not “moral” because it is not “natural”. Or because penises fit “naturally” into vaginas — and not naturally into mouths or anuses (which they do very well, by the way).

    it has also been argued by some here that homosexuality can not be “natural” (in the sense of serving some adaptive or survial purpose) because it does not produce offspring — and yet it does

    So, I do this with some apprehension — but here it goes — we are one again confronted with the problem of words — of definitions — of how we use words, how we understand them and how others understand what we might mean when we use them.

    We need to explain the words we use as best we can. And we have to go deeper than what occurs in nature to determine what moral might be. The “nature” model is simply not big enough.

  • Michael Bussee

    @Eddy:

    Not a public pool. So much better. My one brother and his wife live next door to her parents who have an inground pool. Both backyards run together and end at the woods. Such an incredible refuge! I call it ‘the country club’. This afternoon, I watched 3 hawks lazily circling over the treescape.

    Occasionally, on the weekends, a few ‘hotties’ show up but they’re all family (her side…but still family).

    Sounds SO nice! What part of the country? I love yards that blend into woods. I have hummingbirds but no hawks. Tomorrow, seagulls. Taking my sweetheart to Huntington Beach in the morning. Picnic prepared, Bible packed — cuz we are studying Paul’s letters.

    There will be some “hotties” there to be sure. Mine, to start with. Something about a swimmer’s body, a nice smile, a cool pair of board shorts and a tan. Uber-hot. Can I get an amen? The board shorts make the man… huh, Scotters? Looking forward to a wonderful day.

  • Katie Cannon

    Eddy,

    The guy who id’s as gay — oh, he can talk a lot about his feelings in regard to men, and they are basically as you describe. He can clearly state things like: I have a desire to just be held by a man, but no desire to have sex with one.

    And yes, it seems to me that he’s confusing gay with wanting to cry in a man’s arms.

    And because he does id as gay, I’ve asked him whether there’s any role at all he could imagine a man participating in that’s at all sexual. And since he says a woman’s participation is necessary, I’ve asked him about threesomes.

    He definitely does NOT want to watch another man have sex with a woman.

    MAYBE he’d like it if a man watched while HE had sex with a woman, he thinks there’s something to this….

    A males approval/affirmation of his own manliness?

    Could be.

    This guy, who’s name is David, is on support groups for mixed orientation couples. He’s one of the few men on these support groups who actually talks about his feelings and fantasies. Most just say they’re bi/gay and married — and how they arrange their marriages, like is it open to sex with others, or do they stick to “outlets”, like watching gay porn as a couple, etc….

    But most of the guys don’t actually talk about their inner feelings/fantasies.

    So it comes out in snippets and hints — like most bisexually id’d men say they’re attracted to women emotionally/romantically and only want sex with men, and most just want anonymous sex with men.

    And many want sex with men only with their wife’s participation in some way. Though most don’t identify this AS their fantasy. They view it more as an “arrangement”.

    On the support group for sexually abused men, on the other hand, many men recognize their desire to have a woman watch while they have sex with a man AS THE fantasy, not as an incidental.

    They’re more in touch with the triangular dynamic, more willing to explore it, more open about their feelings, thoughts and fantasies.

    More willing to question the ethical implications of making their wives into the Sprite which stays on the sidelines while their husbands have sex with a man who is nothing more than an object used to keep his wife at a distance.

    More willing to accept this as a fantasy, and keep it as such. Nothing wrong with fantasies, it’s what we do with them that counts, right?

    And I find on the support groups for mixed orientation couples that the sole focus is on the man’s homosexual aspects — his internalized homophobia, etc….

    They never turn their attention to their internalized heterophobia, I mean never. Even among the bi id’d men.

    It takes a big man to admit he has fears in regard to women.

    On the group for sexually abused men? Lots of talk about both their heterosexual and homosexual aspects. Fears in regard to both, hopes and dreams in regard to both….

    I once had a bisexual man say to me: “When you’re bisexual you have two choices, go West and join the parade, or go East and see a therapist” :)

    Katie

  • Katie Cannon

    Lynn,

    I just loved the humming bird story. That was great.

    K.

  • Ann

    Huntington Beach

    Michael,

    One of my favorite places – have a good time and wear your sunscreen :-)

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton Warren

    Lynn David and the Hummingbirds.

    Two things.

    1. You have incredible vision.

    2. Dom – Sub. Butch – Fem. Call it the Scott Lively effect. Keep an eye on those Dom birds lest they start organizing.

  • Katie Cannon

    Eddy,

    And I don’t mean to brush all forms of bisexuality with one brush. I’m really talking exclusively about concurrent bisexuality as opposed to merely having dual attractions, or practicing serial bisexuality, or even, developing polyamorous relationships. About the last one? All I can say is that it’s not my cup of tea.

    And I bring up examples like David – the gay id’d guy with no sexual attractions to men for a reason: There are those for whom the categories don’t fit. That’s one reason.

    And the other reason is that, while I do believe there’s innate stuff going on in us, I doubt that it has determined this guy’s experiences of his sexuality. I would imagine something else has.

    One thing I’ve always wondered about, like Ann’s question concerning the blind, is how those with Autism experience their sexual orientation: What effect does “social blindness” have?

    K.

  • Ann

    how those with Autism experience their sexual orientation: What effect does “social blindness” have?

    Katie,

    I have also wondered about the role “instinct” plays, if any, as to who we are attracted to. On another note, one of my friends told me when he was in first grade, one of the other little boys was wearing some kind of cologne and upon smelling it, he (my friend) immediately became attracted to him and in such a way that from that point on, his primary attractions has been for men, usually older ones. Do these early experiences, that we are unable to put into perspective at the time, have the power to control who we are attracted to, especially at the exclusion of the other gender depending upon the attraction?

  • Ann

    Another question – how can instinct, if it is a factor in our sexual attractions, possibly be measured with any scientific accuracy if studied?

  • Eddy

    Ann–

    Not sure if this fits or adds but it occurs to me that there is one smell that is indelibly printed in my mind.

    It doesn’t matter what my mood is, if I step outside and detect that ‘spring rain’ smell, I’m immediately transported to ‘a happy place’. Somehow it’s connected to ‘freshness’, ‘newness’, ‘new beginnings’. I can’t recall the first imprinting but I know that this association has been with me since elementary school.

    Michael–

    I’m now living in what’s known as the Susquehanna Valley in Pennsylvania. (Warren’s across the state in a more mountainous region.) To a Californian, the ‘mountains’ that make this a valley would likely be regarded as ‘foothills’. They’re not that tall or expansive but they do add a nice touch to the northern horizon.

    This area is full of rolling hills, woods and fields. Over the years, the fields have been giving way to housing developments. The woods too. My brother lucked out. Their housing development was built on a hill. Their property is on the last street that could be developed. Their yard slopes down to the woods…where the descent is pretty dramatic with a small creek at the bottom. Thankfully, there are some geographical features that stymie the developers. (My one brother has noted that, around here, a cul de sac means that the developer encountered some geographical (or zoning) obstacle that prevented them from building even more in that direction.)

    My brother with the pool lives just 10 blocks away, as the crow flies. However, it takes a half hour to walk there and 5 minutes to walk or bike. (LOL. The bike time can match the car time because the bike can take advantage of a shortcut that isn’t yet available to cars.)

    The house I live in, our family home, is halfway up a hill. The street in front of our house is approximately even with our basement floor; the alley behind us is even with our second story roof. As a result, we have a front yard, a side yard, the lower back, the upper back and the way back. “Terraced’ might describe the layout but is really too nice of a word to give a proper picture.

    Katie–

    Naturally, I appreciate your point about labels. Rob is such a clear example of how labels (and identities) that are crystal clear to some have a totally different meaning to others. Whether the label be gay or ex-gay or bi or hetero, it’s entirely possible that the label isn’t a true fit or that the wearer of the label sees it differently. Depending on the nature of our relationship with the individual or on the significance of the dialogue we’re having with them, we sometimes need to ask ‘what do you mean by that?’

    If someone came up to me and said “Hi. My name is —- and I’m gay” (or I’m straight), I likely wouldn’t ask ‘what do you mean by that?’…I’d ask, “why do you think I need to know that?’

  • Ann

    Eddy,

    I certainly have experienced times where a certain smell can bring about a strong emotion or awareness in me that I have had before. It can almost be arresting as it stops you where you are and brings a certain memory that envelops you with a feeling or feelings. Is that “imprint” enough to determine who we are attracted to? And if so, is it at the exclusion of the other sex depending on the attraction? A side note that has nothing to do with sexuality – I had very humble beginnings growing up and will never forget the generosity of someone who gave me my first crayon box and how I felt – what I remember most though was how they smelled and to this day, I can be overwhelmed with emotion whenever I come in contact with crayons (usually in volunteer work with children).

  • Katie

    Ann,

    For myself, I’m pretty convinced that my homophobic barrier is at least mostly made up out of neurotic stuff relating to just too much boundary crossing when I was a child and a fragile sense of self, not just in my sexual identity, but more generally.

    For lots of reason, some of them getting back to TMI, like I can get aroused by imagining myself as a man making love to a woman, and, to a lesser extent, when I imagine myself as a lesbian making love to a woman. I only have a homophobic response when I maintain my identity as a straight woman making love to a woman.

    And while it would make sense to me that I might, in a non-neurotic way, never LIKE sex with a woman, like I don’t like tomatoes, it doesn’t make sense that I would have a phobic response — to either women or tomatoes.

    Also, my relationships with women have always been frought with difficulties. I feel awkward around them — to concerned I might say or do the wrong thing, etc… Hurt them in some way. As though I have the power to do so anyway?

    I’ve always felt more comfortable with men.

    So I get what some bisexual women when they talk about their fantasies of “soft” and “hard” objects. I’m much less afraid of either hurting “hard” men or loosing myself in them, than I am with women.

    K.

  • Ann

    Katie,

    I don’t think you would be too alone in your thoughts on sex, to a degree, if more women would share their’s – I admire you for your openess and appreciate your honesty.

  • Eddy

    Ann-

    This is my musing only and clearly has connections to my bias but it does seem logical that if a person had an olfactory imprint–let’s say that ‘Aqua Velva’ or ‘Old Spice’ was an imprint from when they were held very closely by their father–so that fragrance, even though they may not recall when or how it got imprinted, triggers thoughts of security, love, intimacy. In some instances, it might be just a reminder of those feelings but, if the individual were experiencing a vacuum in those areas…if they were feeling insecure and out of touch, for example, the fragrance might trip more than a reminder; it might motivate them to seek out the source of that fragrance to get the security, love, intimacy.

    If they’d follow that seeking to the point where they find a man to love them that much or to hug them that closely, the chances are good that it could lead to sex…even if sex, per se, wasn’t what they were looking for. Now, you’ve got some real confusion. You’ve got love and sex all twisted together in one experience–part of it very satisfying and gratifying, the other part a bit troubling. I would think that the conclusion they draw mentally after weighing the satisfying and gratifying against the troubling (if, in fact, they are even able to separate them in their mind) would likely lead them to self-identification i.e. I’m really gay or I’m really straight. That self-identification would then direct most of their conscious attractions and disattractions whether the smell was involved or not.

    Again, since my bias is that I don’t think it’s necessarily inborn but rather is learned, this is where my thoughts tend to go.

    Footnote: If this pattern is plausible, it is a very strong caution to conservative Christians who pronounce “It’s a choice! You made a choice!” Would the hypothetical man in the above illustration have had any awareness that he ‘chose’ homosexuality? I think not. It would have seemed to him like an ‘aha’ moment….like he’d finally figured something out that explains so much and resolved so much inner turmoil and need.

  • Katie

    Ann,

    Actually, I find my experiences reflected in a lot of men’s experiences as well, when they actually open up and talk — rather than hang out measuring penile response patterns :)

    K.

  • Ann

    Eddy,

    Your “musing” makes perfect sense to me and I have heard and seen this scenario in too many people I know to say it is just a bias. Along with all the other areas being researched, this paticular one, or ones similiar to it, cannot be discounted as a truth for some individuals.

    Would the hypothetical man in the above illustration have had any awareness that he ‘chose’ homosexuality? I think not. It would have seemed to him like an ‘aha’ moment….like he’d finally figured something out that explains so much and resolved so much inner turmoil and need.

    And if a man did not have this awareness, just imagine a child’s lack of awareness.

  • Ann

    rather than hang out measuring penile response patterns

    Funny :-)

  • Michael Bussee

    Toi Ann:

    Huntington Beach. Michael, One of my favorite places – have a good time and wear your sunscreen.

    Thanks, I will. As a gay boy scout, I do it up with style and preparedness. Sunscreen. Shade. Color-coordinated plates and napkins. Picnic of cold fried chicken, Indonesian fruit salad and home-made peanut butter cookies. And of course, board shorts. :)

    To Eddy: Your countryside sounds beautiful. I loved Pennsylvania and up-state NEw York: the woods, the rolling hills, the Amish country and the food. OMG the food in Lancaster County. Those folks know how to cook.

    To Ann, again:

    I had very humble beginnings growing up and will never forget the generosity of someone who gave me my first crayon box and how I felt – what I remember most though was how they smelled and to this day.

    Yeah, isn’t that great? Funny story on not reading too much “psychology” into something: My Mom taught school for 30 years. One little boy only colored with black crayon. My Mom was concerned — and asked him if he did this because he was sad. He grinned and said, “Nope. I ate the other ones…”

  • Ann

    As a gay boy scout, I do it up with style and preparedness. Sunscreen. Shade. Color-coordinated plates and napkins. Picnic of cold fried chicken, Indonesian fruit salad and home-made peanut butter cookies. And of course, board shorts

    So how come I wasn’t invited too? Oh, I guess three would be too many to fit on the blanket :-)

  • Ann

    OMG the food in Lancaster County. Those folks know how to cook.

    Michael,

    They most certainly do and the Amish people I met made the most positive and everlasing impression on me – I will never forget them and am looking forward to going back there in another month or so.

  • Ann

    He grinned and said, “Nope. I ate the other ones…”

    yikes =-0

  • Michael Bussee

    It does seem logical that if a person had an olfactory imprint–let’s say that ‘Aqua Velva’ or ‘Old Spice’ was an imprint from when they were held very closely by their father–so that fragrance, even though they may not recall when or how it got imprinted, triggers thoughts of security, love, intimacy.

    Ah, yes. Old Spice. I think lots of my imprinting was positive, not a lack of something. My uncle and grandfather owned the only barber shop in a small town in Northern Califionria. Very positive memories of visiting, the smell of talcum powder and brilliantine.

    The red chairs. The sports and hunting magazines. The buzz of the clippers. Baseball on TV. The “man talk” — sometimes kinda salty. (The only place besdies camping where I heard my Dad use four-letter words or tell slightly off-color jokes.) I felt at home with the “guys”. Homo-social.

    I get the idea that that these things, coupled with a sort of “male-longing” –especially if the boy does not feel that intimacy — could become sexualized, and might contribute to a boy taking on a “gay” identity. Seems reasonable.

    For me, It happend so early that it all seemed to flow together. The love of masculine sight, sounds and smells, the awareness of my own body, the discovery of sexual feelings. It just sort of unfolded — as I imagine it might for a straight boy and his feelings of attractions to girls. A sort of positive transference and identification. Never a “choice” — more like an awakening.

    Of course, I also loved the sterotypic “female” sights, sounds and smells. But the smells had more to do with food. :)

  • Michael Bussee

    To Ann:

    So how come I wasn’t invited too? Oh, I guess three would be too many to fit on the blanket.

    Nah. Scott and I would make room. As our pastor would say, “All y’all are welcome!”

  • Eddy

    Michael–

    But it’s good that your mom asked. We had a project when I was in first or second grade. We created our masterpieces coloring graph paper. Naturally, there was a lot of symmetry going on guided by the squares. Mine stood out though, resembling a Pennsylvania Dutch quilt or something, since I had colored in every block on the paper and had used orange for the bulk of the color…deemed an unusual choice.

    When questioned though, things weren’t quite what they seemed. In essence, my masterpiece was similar to the others except that when ‘done’, I felt bad for all the neglected blank spaces and didn’t want them to ‘feel’ left out. I had already used most of the colors in my box–except for orange–so to make up to ‘orange’ for neglecting him, I colored in every remaining space in orange.

    Compassion gone wild!!!

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Lynn David,

    Your hummingbird observations are interesting…but might also be reflections of anthropomorphizing.

    Male dogs exert dominance over other male dogs through sexual posturing…again, this is about aggression…

    not love.

    Again, animal models are interesting…but I think my brain and yours are much different than a hummingbird’s brain.

  • Eddy

    My dad’s mom was Pennsylvania Dutch–complete with the bonnet. After returning to PA a few months ago, I began my quest to find those ‘true’ tastes I remembered…the perfect potato chips, the potato salad with just the right blend of mustard and mayo, chicken pot pie, pepper/cabbage (resembles cole slaw except dressing is vinegar, water and sugar mix), pepper/cheese (a spread: green pepper, extra sharp cheese and a touch of mayo to make spreadable), lebanon bologna (akin to summer sausage but not sweet…I thought the main spice was garlic but learned that I was wrong).

    The consummate miser (and now especially weight-conscious), I haven’t had a TastyKake since my return. Butterscotch Krimpets and Peanut Butter Tandy Kakes were my favorites. When I left PA approx 35 years ago, they were 25 cents; now more than a dollar!!

  • David Blakeslee

    Regarding sex and aggression:

    If we return to Sodom and Gomorrah…it was not about homosexuality, but about dominance and using sex as a vehicle for aggression and control (humiliation).

    Kind of like dogs and hummingbirds.

    The argument from the Christian community is that sex is sacred…it has a specific purpose (to give earthly expression to the complexity and wonder of God) in an an act that has powerful creative potential.

    Arguing from Nature, from animal models and so on cannot do justice to this Christian model.

  • Michael Bussee

    Eddy:

    I felt bad for all the neglected blank spaces and didn’t want them to ‘feel’ left out. I had already used most of the colors in my box–except for orange–so to make up to ‘orange’ for neglecting him, I colored in every remaining space in orange.

    That’s a very cool story. Eddy, I really appreciate these self-disclosures. You probably shared some before, but I breezed right by them, in my eagerness to pick apart your “position” and win some “points”. I think, that by doing so I missed a lot. Now, I feel I am meeting Eddy — the man — not just a verbal sparring partner. I could start to actually like you. Oh, no..!!!

    Eddy: It’s not compassion gone wild. It’s sweet. You had a pastor’s heart early on — a concern for the outcast. Ever think of goiig into ministry? :)

    Back to childhood memories of male-ness, and possible links to homosexuality:

    In some instances, it might be just a reminder of those (positive) feelings but, if the individual were experiencing a vacuum in those areas…if they were feeling insecure and out of touch…

    Yes, I can really see how that could happen, how unmet needs could become confused and sexualized. I am glad you said “in some instances” — otherwise, we would have to explain heterosexuality as emerging from that same vacuum, that sense of insecurity and feeling out of touchwith femaleness and our Moms. Who knows, perhaps, to some extent, it does.

    BTW, I caught that in an earlier post, you called me a “master-debater”. Wanted to let you know that I appreciated the compliment and the double-entendre. :)

  • Ann

    I get the idea that that these things, coupled with a sort of “male-longing” –especially if the boy does not feel that intimacy — could become sexualized, and might contribute to a boy taking on a “gay” identity. Seems reasonable.

    Wow – this is so good to hear – I especially like the words, “seems reasonable” – thank you Michael for being so open minded. Who knows where the research will take us, but until we really know, nothing should be ruled out.

  • Michael Bussee

    Well, of to “Surf City” with the man I love. Hope all y’all have a blessed day. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxMyFe81FUg

  • carole

    @Eddy and Michael,

    Eddy remarked,

    This is my musing only and clearly has connections to my bias but it does seem logical that if a person had an olfactory imprint–let’s say that ‘Aqua Velva’ or ‘Old Spice’ was an imprint from when they were held very closely by their father–so that fragrance, even though they may not recall when or how it got imprinted, triggers thoughts of security, love, intimacy. In some instances, it might be just a reminder of those feelings but, if the individual were experiencing a vacuum in those areas…if they were feeling insecure and out of touch, for example, the fragrance might trip more than a reminder; it might motivate them to seek out the source of that fragrance to get the security, love, intimacy.

    Michael added,

    I get the idea that that these things, coupled with a sort of “male-longing” –especially if the boy does not feel that intimacy — could become sexualized, and might contribute to a boy taking on a “gay” identity. Seems reasonable.

    Yes, the reason this particular interpretation of what might stir SSA in young boys does, indeed, seem “reasonable” because it is based on what is our understanding of psychological and emotional needs.

    I’d never suggest that in some % of boys/girls this might not be a contributing factor to attraction.

    However, much as, on the surface, the explanation sound incredibly “reasonable” to me as well, when scrutinized more carefully, the explanation has two big problems:

    1). It does NOT explain the LACK of attraction to the other sex. That is, if such experiences accounted for a large % of SSA, it does not stand to “reason” that it would exclude OSA. (ie, there should be, if this explanation worked, a high % of truly bi-sexual people.

    2). Of all the millions upon millions upon millions of people on earth, just think of the numbers of them who have felt the very same feelings of intimacy/security from a childhood experience that Eddy has described or those who have longed for a “male bonding” that Michael refers to. Yet, SSA does not develop in them.

    These experiences or the lack of these experiences are the stuff of childhood for ….well, for a % of children that simply does not explain the 2-4% of SSA-attracted children. In fact, I’d have to argue that these experiences are the stuff of childhood for almost every child ever born.

    My argument is not meant to suggest that this cannot happen, but it simply cannot explain why 96% of human beings are attracted to the opposite sex for they have had the experiences you mention.

  • Michael Bussee

    It does NOT explain the LACK of attraction to the other sex.

    Excellent point, Carole.

    Of all the millions upon millions upon millions of people on earth, just think of the numbers of them who have felt the very same feelings of intimacy/security… Yet, SSA does not develop in them.

    Another excellent point. So, I strongly agree with with last one:

    My argument is not meant to suggest that this cannot happen, but it simply cannot explain why 96% of human beings are attracted to the opposite sex for they have had the experiences you mention.

  • Eddy

    Carole–

    Some qualifiers are certainly in order.

    1) This was not meant to be a model for all SSA but rather an example of how something non-sexual could morph into a sexual response. (My own bias is that there are many, many imprints–especially from mass media, particularly television and movies–that pass on messages of who we are, who we’re not, if we ‘make the grade’, if we don’t.)

    2) In this hypothetical instance there was an imprint followed by a deep and unmet deficit. There was also the instance of this deficit being met through a love and sex bonding. Followed by a self-identification conclusion. For any individual, there are variables. One might have the imprint and no deficit. Another might have the imprint and succeed at some non-sexual form of male bonding. Another might go the whole route, including sex with another man, but be aware that sex isn’t really what they were looking for.

    3) But, if a person were to go that route and self-identify as gay and/or ‘different from other males’, the self-identification could serve as a filter against hetero impulses. The brain is very powerful in this regard.

    An example: Michael and I had a brief exchange about my life at the pool. In my late teens, my sister in law’s one brother ‘took my breath away’ and was the object of a secret crush. He’s now more mature, more distinguished, more toned…appears shirtless in board shorts. Since we’re now kinda related, we even attempt to bond…smiles, handshakes, occasional hugs, chats. But a ‘no relatives’ filter in my brain shuts down sexual attraction. I think the brain of a man who wrongly identifies himself as gay could similarly shut down attractions or reinterpret them. His penis has been told that we’re not window shopping over here so there’s no point in getting aroused.

    4) In all of this, this is only one scenario. I think that polarization and overall awkwardness surrounding sexual issues has hampered both discussion and study. Even a very obvious question: What makes you think you’re gay? doesn’t get asked. If the question doesn’t get asked, then it’s pretty likely that the confusion (if it exists), never gets discussed. If never discussed, then never resolved.

    5) We’ve long been able to say that people have gotten married by mistake…both men and women, after being heterosexually married and raising children, come to a realization that they made a mistake, that they really weren’t straight (not like Michael’s situation where he was aware of the gay and was working at the ‘overcoming’ angle). It’s logical then to assume that the reverse might also be true…that some may misidentify as gay. Certainly, I believe the numbers would be way lower since there are numerically more heteros than gays and there is more actual support for going hetero than there is for going gay. In either scenario, though, I believe we learn things we’d otherwise miss when we examine the thought processes of these individuals who have changed their identification. The real trick is in managing our bias when we do.

    Sorry, I think this one might have gone off into ‘ramble mode’.

  • Katie

    Carol,

    But instincts don’t seem to explain the phobic response.

    And getting rid of the phobic response, wouldn’t automatically make more people actively like one sex or the other more.

    And just because my experience of riding my first horse caused me a spiritual awakening, doesn’t mean it has to cause any other person on earth to have one to be true of me.

    K.

  • Katie

    Eddy,

    You ramble real good :)

    That was very well expressed.

    K.

  • Katie

    I distinctly remember going through a process, up till about 23, where I wasn’t at all sure what it meant to be either a woman or straight or gay.

    The whole gender thing was something I had to consciously study. I’d go to the mall and study the manequins because I figured they wouldn’t mind being stared at, and because I didn’t have a clue what I should wear, no sense of style, no sense of what a woman should be, what costume to wear. So I’d just buy whatever was on the manequin, cuz I sure wasn’t going to ask a sales person and look foolish, or like I wantd attention….

    I’d look at girls, look at boys, and think about which way I wanted to go.

    Girls were just more scary. I couldn’t figure them out, never could quite fit in.

    So boys …. ok.

    And yes, I was also probably just plain more attracted to boys in an immediate sense.

    Maybe I had to think so hard about it because men too were scary. Afterall, it was my dad, not my mom, who was physically abusive.

    But that also made it easier for me to say: Hitting is not love. My dad does not represent love.

    My mom? Much more complicated, all the boundary crossing wasn’t as obviouse as a kick, so never could figure out the difference between love and hate. Only between love and brutality.

    So women make me more nervous.

    Men, as long as they don’t hit me, seem easier to deal with.

    Or something like this…….

    K>

  • Ann

    Carol,

    I am open to any and all possibilities, including pathogens, especially when it comes to the lack of sexual interest in the opposite gender. I think the scenario Eddy presented is one that cannot be ignored because we know it exists. The possibility of an interference in opposite gender attraction because of pathogens is extremely interesting and more than likely a consideration that I hope continues to be explored. I also think a vulnerability in one area could be the turning point that would feed into another area.

  • Ann

    Of all the millions upon millions upon millions of people on earth, just think of the numbers of them who have felt the very same feelings of intimacy/security from a childhood experience that Eddy has described or those who have longed for a “male bonding” that Michael refers to. Yet, SSA does not develop in them.

    Yes, this is an ongoing observation and certainly true. Like other things in life, I think it is our temperment that determines how we respond to life circumstances. There are more than enough examples of people who grew up in the same family, had the same life circumstances, and yet responded completely differently to it which determined how they are now as adults.

  • carole

    @Eddy,

    This was not meant to be a model for all SSA

    I understood that. I do think there is wisdom in the notion too that “people go where they feel welcome or avoid that where they don’t feel welcome.” They tend to understand when they are either not welcome or not “like” others.

    A child, for whatever reason feeling “not welcome” or not “like others,” might find himself/herself identifying with those who are unlike the others that he/she feels different from. In that case, the child might construct an identity for himself/herself.

    I’d never exclude that some people are SSA because of personal experience because I am a big believer in “never say ‘never’” and whenever I “forget” that reminder, I recall what some Tibetan monks have demonstrated —the ability to lower blood pressure, respiration/heart rate,etc. Yes, the mind can do wondrous things.

    But, if a person were to go that route and self-identify as gay and/or ‘different from other males’, the self-identification could serve as a filter against hetero impulses.

    Maybe. I don’t know if in our brains there is a sort of “switch” (psychological or otherwise), that if one switch is “turned on” the other is automatically turned “off.”

    The research seems lacking in this area. I do think they will indeed find the cells devoted to making the neurotrasmitters that regulate sexual attraction, but that’s my bias.

  • carole

    I am having a lot of trouble typing on this blog today. There is a huge lag time between my typing the letters and their showing up on the screen.

    Then, before I was done with my last post, out of the blue, the comment I was typing disappeared and reappeared on Warren’s blog w/out my even pressing the “submit.”

    These gremlins are driving me crazy so if you respond to me and see no response back, you’ll know why.

  • Katie

    And I didn;t have a phobic response to women sexually until I had resolved some of this stuff, so a pathogen would have to have incidentally hit at the same time that I consciously came to some conclussions.

    K.

  • Katie

    And maybe Carol, we simply need a place of loving connections, and have only two choices — a man or a woman.

    I have no doubt that I project onto women both the sins of my mother, but also my father.

    Why? Because I’m just too hypervigilent around them. Beyond this, it’s too difficult to explain.

    But I know my painting of tree X is a painting of tree X. How do I know? Because I recognize the reproduction of the form.

    K.

  • carole

    @Eddy,

    I’ll try typing this last point. (It’s a chore!)

    I am aware that “imprinting” as a function of human biology is a very controversial topic. I think that the social sciences use the word in ways many hard science people distain. Furthermore, those whose expertise is human biology are careful to point out the distinction between humans and other species. As one example, I am aware that they get upset by those who try to equate the term as it applies to human babies/toddlers and, say, chicks or ducks who are raised by humans.

    I take no position here–just pointing out what I have read.

  • Katie

    Carol,

    Are you suggesting that heterosexual homophobic barriers are also potentially caused by a pathogen?

    K.

  • Eddy

    Ann–

    That’s so very true…and I didn’t specifically address temperament. Your comment took me back to my ‘colored graph paper’ story.

    Consider that I ‘felt the pain’ of those neglected squares and regretted the ‘shunning’ of the color ‘orange’. Now, put me out in the real world…of classroom, of home and family. Was I perceiving hurt when none was intended? Was I oversensitive? Was I more guarded and cautious? Did I have a tendency towards brooding and introspection? Towards being analytical and observant?

    So, when dad said “Sorry, only the older boys can go” how differently did I take that than my more ‘mellow’ younger brother? When some tragedy played out on TV, did I internalize it and/or puzzle over it more than my brothers? And was anyone aware that I was taking things the way that I did?

    A personal theory of mine is that the gay world is top-heavy with men with artistic and compassionate temperaments. Of course, the debate would be which came first…did their inborn gayness lead to the temperament or did the temperament lead to the gay identity. Or neither, I suppose. No cause and effect relationship at all.

    This is somewhat related but goes more to difference in interpretation. I believe I’ve shared it before but not while we were experiencing such major kum by yah…anyway, I have a lazy eye but it wasn’t caught until I was 13. People, including my parents, concluded that I was ‘busy-minded’ and ‘clumsy’ because I’d bump into things and trip over things that ‘anyone could easily see’.

    Now, I didn’t know I had a lazy eye, either. I just assumed that what I saw was pretty much what everybody else saw. I wasn’t good at any sport but baseball was the worst. When a pitch came my way, I saw 3 balls stacked on top of each other. When fielding, I usually couldn’t see the ball at all until it was within 3 feet of my face. The kids would taunt me, of course. And I remember whining plaintively “which one do you swing at” (meaning which of those 3 balls that I see is the real one) to which they replied (ignorant of my visual infirmity)

    “you swing at the one that looks good.” “Smart Asses!” I thought. “They want me to get better at baseball but they won’t even explain the basics.”

  • Katie

    Eddy,

    Your lazy eye story brings me back to wondering about Autism and sexual experience.

    I’ve only read one paer or book, can’t remember which, about this.

    According to the author, many Autistic people are bisexual, not due to what we normally think of as dual attractions, but more out of a socially naive sense of “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.

    According to her there’s also a lot of cross dressing for the same reasons.

    I can relate.

    K.

  • carole

    @Katie,

    I am not talking at this moment of pathogens at all–I was simply responding to the comments Eddy and Michael made about one possible way SSA vs. OSA could develop and the mathematical probabilities of Eddy’s particular explanation explaining a % of the SSA-population of the world.

    BTW, I know that you are particularly interested in understanding the sexual hang-ups of your fiance. I think that when we speak of people who have been abused, we must be careful to separate the factors that might have influenced their sexual development from a general discussion of OSA/SSA.

    Oh, I just noticed that in the lower left corner of my screen the yellow warning exclamation icon is dispalyed and says, “Done–but with errors on page.”

    That explains my problems typing–but doesn’t explain why Warren’s blog is not coming in as it should. Hmmmmmmmm.

  • Eddy

    Carole–

    Well said. In case anyone hasn’t guessed already, I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist, biologist or scientist by any stretch of the imagination. I was an english major, with a speech minor, who excelled in group dynamics, and later got an associates degree in ‘practical theology’ primarily so I could learn to manage some of the more troublesome sin issues of my own life.

    That latter journey had people reckognizing my level of ‘success’ or ‘victory’ and I reluctantly began to ‘peer counsel’ before ‘accepting the call’ to counsel and teach full time in an Exodus-affiliated ministry.

    Anyway, I often use words in their lay-person’s meaning (often the first or second definition that you’d find in a dictionary). Usually, this coincides with a psychology definition but, at times, I won’t even be aware that psychology or science has infused the word with a very specific field-related meaning. I always hope that my tendency to elaborate will demonstrate what I mean by the word I’ve used but I do appreciate when anyone points out a difference in meaning so that we can clear up any confusing from the get go.

  • Mary

    Timothy,

    You may have noticed in these posts that not all dogs have four legs and a tail. Trying to fit all dogs into the same mold just does not work anymore. We’re not talking about shape shifting any ways. We are talking about people who think, feel, react, respond to their environment both internally and externally.

    Your analogy is looking pretty archaic in the discussion of sexuality. And just plain oversimplified.

  • Mary

    Carole,

    My screen shows the same. Done but with errors.

  • carole

    @Eddy,

    When I contemplate the gay men I have known in my life (most of them either classmates of mine in school or students I have taught or men with whom I have taught–admittedly not a huge or diverse sample in scientific terms) I can say that I’d not call them necessarily more creative than others. I would say they were likely to be more sensitive than others in both a positive and a negative way in the same way that we view women in general. That is, “more senstive” describes both the upside of that sensitivity (care about the feelings of others more than most men appear to care) and the downside of that sensitivity (“drama,” excessive emotionalism, hypersensitivity to the point of ego-centered reactions to many common occurrences).

    So, yes..it’s really hard to know if my observations or yours are indeed accurate when applied to a larger sample and really hard to know if it’s a cultural rather than a universal thing (if it exists at all) or most importantly, if it’s a chicken or an egg thing.

    Your story about the orange squares had me laughing hysterically. I identify. Last month I devoted a half hour to bringing back to life a lady bug caught in the sticky web of a spider, a web on our trash can. My husband said she was dead. I won’t detail the story, but you have, I’ll bet, done the same thing. I was successful. There’s a tiger side of me, however. I think the lady-bug saver and tiger are in most people.

    As for lesbians, isn’t it interesting that I only “know” a few compared to the gay men I know: a couple of P.E. teachers I had in high school, one person with whom I worked (the print shop tech) who did her best to keep anyone who offered her cordial conversation at a distance, my best friend’s niece (who was engaged to a guy but who has had two lesbian relationships over the last five years) and one former teacher colleague who was not sexual at all until she met someone at the age of 50 or so. I always heard her talk badly about her dad, who abandoned the family. She didn’t trust men and made derisive comments about men in general (especially what I would term those who were “alpha males” but I got the impression she really had been let down by her dad and projected that distrust onto all men. I noticed that when men treated her in a gentlemanly fashion, when they teased her gently in a flirty way, she seemed mighty pleased. However, most of the time, I think she felt lacking in the attributes that she thought men wanted in a woman–sex appeal, beauty, etc.

    What I am saying is simply that I don’t know many SSA women. Interesting that the one I know best, my best friend’s niece, was born very prematurely, 6+ months. She refers to herself as “coming out of the oven half-baked.” LOL.

  • carole

    @Thanks, Mary. Do you have the same problem typing? Do you think WArren needs to fix something?????

    It’s making it tough to type/post. Other sites seem fine.

  • Katie

    Carol,

    Sorry, but I’m trying to get clear on just the pathogen thing:

    If a pathogen might explain a homosexual’s man heterophobia, then wouldn’t the same possibility exist in a heterosexual’s homophobia?

    K.

  • Katie

    Sorry about the typing errors, I’m tired today and can’t get my fingers to work.

  • Ann

    Consider that I ‘felt the pain’ of those neglected squares and regretted the ’shunning’ of the color ‘orange’. Now, put me out in the real world…of classroom, of home and family. Was I perceiving hurt when none was intended? Was I oversensitive? Was I more guarded and cautious? Did I have a tendency towards brooding and introspection? Towards being analytical and observant?

    Eddy,

    Yes, a sensitive temperment can respond to any given set of circumstances in a different way than those who do not have the same kind of temperment. Put out in a world they are not ready for and the responses can be painful. I like your story about the neglected squares – am not surprised either. I still put the dvd player on pause before shutting it off so it won’t “feel” abruptly rejected.

  • Katie

    Carol,

    And oh, yeah, I get what you say about sexual abuse, it’s an obviouse Mac Truck into the side of sexual development, no matter what pre-natal forces might be at work.

    And as just a note: Rob has two severly Autistic siblings as well, so he might be more pre-disposed to Autistic withdrawal, etc…. than others as well.

    K.

  • Katie

    This group has probably covered this ground, but for those who think the low numbers of homosexual men (or SSA) indicates that there must be a strong pre-natal influence, does the fairly widespread SSA practice of at least upper class Greek men fit into this?

    Or is it assumed that if the culture supposedly doens’t encourage homosexuality that then you get to see the real stats on inborn homosexualtiy?

    Or something like this?

  • David Blakeslee

    Greek same sex practice is nothing similar to current same sex behavior practice.

  • Mary

    Thank you David. Many people overlook that customs and culture are very different.

  • Katie

    David,

    Can you specify a few differences?

    K.

  • Katie

    And more than that, if the cultural practices of Ancient Greece creates a murkey lense through which to see more natural sexual expressions, then what makes our culture less murkey?

    K.

  • Mary

    Has anyone every noticed (in their years of sexual experience) how sexual fads and fashions seem to come and go?

  • Katie

    Mary,

    I’m not old enough to remember, but I believe that bisexuality was rather popular with 70′s rock stars.

    David Bowie did.

    Lou Reed seems to have just made it look like he did to fit in :)

    K.

  • carole

    @Katie,

    And more than that, if the cultural practices of Ancient Greece creates a murkey lense through which to see more natural sexual expressions, then what makes our culture less murkey?

    One way of not making the waters murkey is to just focus on whether someone has OSA or no-OSA. That removes a lot of incidental circumstances that are cultural (upper class, poltically powerful Greek men) or situation-specific (men and women in the US prison system, boys’ boarding schools).

  • Katie

    Carol,

    But when I read about Greece, it’s not at all clear to me that the men either did or didn’t have OSA.

    Considering the little we know about it, it might be the case they didn’t, or not much. Again, just speculation because we don’t have enough info.

    But to the extent that there’s documents left regarding heterosexual relations, then the men preferred have sex with women doggy style and not seeing her face.

    Conversely, homosexual sex was to be done face to face, or in a spooning position so that eye contact could be achieved.

    I’m not saying this settles the matter, because we certainly only have the documents we have — which is only a small number of Ancient Greek documents.

    K.

  • Katie

    But the standard of no OSA leads, it seems to me, back to no SSA in heterosexuals — or the homophobic barrier.

    Is the homophobic barrier psycho-social, or a result of a potential pathogen?

  • carole

    @Katie,

    Are you suggesting that heterosexual homophobic barriers are also potentially caused by a pathogen?

    1.) No. I’ve not been talking about pathogens at all. The discussion has been about how we can’t discount in every SSA person their individual reaction to very individual stimuli. (ie Eddy’s story in his comments)

    2) As to “heterosexual homophobic barriers”…. I don’t know what you mean by this phrase. If you mean that in some cultures men are not encouraged to show love/warmth to one another in the form of non-sexual hugging, etc. then I understand.

    On the other hand, if you mean that a heterosexual man is “homophobic” in not desiring another man in a sexual way, then I’d take issue with your use of the word “homophobic.” (Same for women not wanting other women in a sexual way).

  • Katie

    But I would imagine a goodly number had some OSA, and the “don’t look her in the eye” rule probably had more to do with Medusa’s head floating about…. :)

  • carole

    @Katie?

    Where did you get the term “homophobic barrier”?

    Do you believe that most homo sapiens are “wired” biologically to lust after members of both sexes? (I used the word “lust” on purpose because it strips away things to their core).

    Because if you do, forgive me, but it sounds as if you are lost in the silly Freudian notions, even the Kinsey notions of a different era.

  • Katie

    Oh, I’m sorry, I could have sworn you mentioned something about potential pathogens to explain no OSA….

    But I’m not talking about the preference to have sex with the opposite sex in an exclussive way.

    I’m talking more about the more phobic response have when contemplating doing so: the grossed out, icky feelings, many people get.

    K.

  • Katie

    No, I’m not using it in a way to describe lack of lust.

    I’m using it in a way to describe feelings of panic.

  • Katie

    No, I don’t think, alla Freud, that we all are secretly lusting for both sexes.

  • carole

    @Katie,

    I feel compelled to add an addendum to a previous post:

    Not only do I feel that a heterosexual person is NOT “homo or gynophobic” because he/she doesn’t desire sexual contact with a member of the same gender, I also do NOT feel a homosexual person is “heterophobic” for not desiring sexual contact with a member of the opposite gender.

    If you do, then I’d have to say you and I are waaaaaaaaay apart on biology as well as psychology.

  • Katie

    Carol,

    I agree.

    But I’m really addressing feelings of panic, which not all, but some, people feel.

    But that’s not really the issue either.

    The issue is actually moot because I was wrong in thinking you postulated a potential pathogen to explain no OSA in exclussive SSA.

    But it seems I was wrong about that.

    K.

  • carole

    @Katie,

    Yes, the “Ewwwwwww” factor, the “yuck” factor?

    Yes, perfectly understandable that a heterosexual reacts that way to thoughts of homosexual sex and perfectly understandable that a homosexual reacts that way to thoughts of heterosexual sex.

    If each didn’t react that way, we’d all be bi-sexual, right?

  • Katie

    But let me clarify — I’m addressing feelings of fear, or panic, or more disgust than is warranted by simply preferring to have sex where a person prefers.

    K.

  • Katie

    Carol,

    No, I don’t think so. Like I don’t like tomatoes, I feel disgust at the thought of eating one, sure — yuk.

    But I don’t feel threatened, or feel disgust, just by looking at one.

  • Katie

    Or touching one…

    Just don’t want to eat one.

  • carole

    Katie said,

    The issue is actually moot because I was wrong in thinking you postulated a potential pathogen to explain no OSA in exclussive SSA.

    On other threads, yes, when we have discussed the etiology of exclusive SSA in most men, I have said I do believe the ablation of cells makes the most sense, but in today’s discussion, we have been examining a different psycho-social explanation for some individuals.

  • Katie

    Touching a tomatoe doesn’t gross me out.

    Just don’t want to eat one. Yuk.

  • Katie

    Ah, so the same thing with heterosexuality? The ablation of cells?

    Lol, And I have no idea what that is — wish I did though.

    I love science geeks.

  • Katie

    Are you the only Carole that particpates here, are is there another one?

  • carole

    I think I am the only Carole here.

    Ah, I think that because I mentioned neurotransmitters I threw you off.

    They are just brain chemicals that tranmit and regulate (more, less, etc.) certain brain signals. For instance, a neurotransmitter that is in the news a lot is something like serotonin which, in ways we do not really understand, is involved in the regulation of mood. Another is hypocretin, which regulates sleep in some way. Narcolepts lack the neurons that make hypocretin or they lack enough neurons to make enough of it to keep them awake. Narcoleptics are people who share the same HLA type, and just last month Stanford researchers confirmed after ten years of suspecting it, that narcolepsy is an autoimmune problem. Now, researchers want to find the triggering mechanism for the immune reaction.

    So, chemicals like this are produced by specific brain cells–again, we know only a tiny bit about how they work. It’s not a stretch to say that our personalities, in large measure, are the product of our brain chemistry, right?

    So, while I did mention that I felt that neurotransmitters will be shown to be involved in sexual attraction, that does not have to implicate pathogens. We all have these brain chemicals. How they work is the mystery. New technology is changing rapidly the speed of our discoveries.

    Brain chemicals (how and where they are produced, in what amounts, and how they get from one place to another) is one big thing researchers are studying. They’ve been hoping it leads them to the understanding of depression.

    At one time researchers were convinced that hormones HAD to explain the difference between SSA OSA men, but researchers have not had success so far in establishing what they thought would be “differences.” They are still looking. Those who thought they’d find hormonal differences in adult OSA men and adult SSA men, haven’t so they have been looking at possible differences in hormones in the womb. So far, no answers, really.

  • Evan

    @carole

    No one proved that straight men and women are disgusted by the prospect of same-sex acts, whether it’s only about watching or getting involved in it.

    On the contrary. Some evidence shows that both straight men and women don’t feel disgust, but they’re not enthusiastic about it (especially men).

  • Evan

    Eddie — Thanks. I was still working in politics at the time when I arrived on this blog and I was used to debating policy-related topics, which was the reason why my comments were formal in style.

    Once I became a regular here, it got more relaxed.

  • Evan

    Michael Bussee

    Bonobos… Are not our relatives. They are more distant from us than chimpanzees, and chimps are not very sexual. Try finding some evidence that chimpanzees have same-sex behaviour. I never heard of that.

    Anyway, bonobos are not just pansexual (pun intended), they are unusually sexual. Human sexuality might be less special than we think, but not easily comparable to that of other species.

  • Evan

    Michael B

    I meant the common chimpanzee, not the dwarf one..

  • Eddy

    Okay, just so I’m consistent: …Evan, it’s Eddy (like a small whirlpool) not Eddie. I’d sure hate to have dominion over Ed, Eddy, Eddie, Edward and any other derivative of my name. Here on the blog, I’m Eddy. :-)

    i did a fast read this evening through the comments that popped in whilst I was lounging at poolside. One comment caught my eye in particular:

    Yes, perfectly understandable that a heterosexual reacts that way to thoughts of homosexual sex and perfectly understandable that a homosexual reacts that way to thoughts of heterosexual sex.

    I think this one might need a qualifier. Many a straight man will claim to have the yukk reaction to homosexuality but really only means two guys together. Pop in a video of two women ‘going at it’ and the yukk factor will likely not surface. It seems it’s not a reaction to ‘the unnaturalness of homosexuality’ as they would claim but rather some insecurity about their own penis somehow being threatened in a male/male homosexual act. (Count this as just another observation with an unfounded (but possibly correct) conclusion attached.)

    Katie–

    My one brother (still single, BTW) has that aversion to tomatoes too! He can do spaghetti sauce, lasagna, catsup, etc. but can’t get a fresh tomato anywhere close to his nose or mouth. This was great news for me…a lover of tomatoes. We’d get homegrowns every August from my uncle and that simply meant more for me.

  • Evan

    Katie,

    I’m not a geek. Last time I considered pursuing some studies in a brain-related field, I fell asleep watching a young woman psy-reseacher doing an experiment. She had so much patience to go through all the elaborate protocols. ..I fell asleep. I was mostly looking at her, tbh.

  • Evan

    Eddy

    I must be tired. My mistake!

  • Evan

    MIchael Bussee

    On the bonobo comparison. We humans have a threefold bigger brain then bonobos and it’s not just physical size difference (they’re lighter), but we’ve got four times more gray matter. That says a lot.

  • carole

    @Evan,

    I just said the “Eww” factor was “understandable.” Both OSAs and SSAs share the “Eww” response, men and women alike. We have spoken of it on this blog before.

    I’ll let you in on a little secret, although as a young, hip man, you may know this anyway. Curiosity is such that all but the most prim of women over a certain age in this country, I think, have seen straight porn out of curiosity. It’s my experience that what they say about porn and women is true–we look, we see, we are interested briefly because we have heard of it, because it’s “taboo” and like all which is taboo, we want to see, but after that–what the heck is the big deal? It’s just boring very quickly–all the same. Our response is, “Go figure men.”

    My mother would be 92 if she were alive. She wanted me to rent an “X-rated ” video for her (this would have been when she was about 74) so she could see what the heck porn was. I did. She laughed her head off. I had fun watching her laugh.

    My sister, now over 70, and excrutiatingly “prudish” (not like Mom), got curious after she got a computer several years ago. She asked about porn. I told her she could get it on her computer. We typed in something, got it. She screamed, then spent over an hour looking, then by the next day was bored when she typed in the site again. “How stupid, ” she said. That was it.

    Since the advent of the internet, I would suspect many women have seen gay porn as well. My friends and I typed it in one day just to see. In unison, our reaction was, “Ewwwww, gaaaa-ross” yet we did watch for a while. After a short time, it’s like watching anything to which you are not accustomed–it’s titillating at first, if only for the shock value, then very boring. It’s like what you are seeing is not actually real, you know? The guys didn’t seem real and what they were doing didn’t seem real to us. They weren’t still photos either, but videos of actual acts.

    No wonder porn dehumanizes–it relies on something personal being strutted around so that the personal is no longer with dignity. Maybe that’s why we laugh. There is no dignity to any of it. I think most women look at porn the way they view cartoons and cartoon figures–stupid. Men and boys like cartoons. Go figure.

    Well, that’s what the researchers have found too about women and porn, right? We don’t really get addicted to it the way some men do. Men love the visual. They can get in the mood in an instant–not so with us.

    I am not sure, but maybe we women manage to construct the images we like in our heads, but whatever the reason, for most of us, porn is just like eating a piece of cardboard after a bit of a look. It’s without taste, unstimulating, and most often just downright funny! We laugh. We laugh at the men and how proud they seem of their organ (always a source of humor among women when we are not in the mood,) and we laugh at the women in the pics, and we laugh at the horrible scripts or situations or whatever you call them. I don’t mean to put anyone down or to insult men because I love men, but most women laugh at porn and the people in the porn. I suppose there are some women who, for the sake of their men, pretend to like it, and I guess there are some who like it, but not that many, do you think?

    Oh, forgot….when our computer lab at school was finally up and running years ago, but before the school district got the ability to block websites, the boys in the computer lab would often forget to log off the porn sites they had discovered. Someone who would use the computer next would find the sites. It was very common for my 16 and 17 year old females students to call me over to “look!” Sure enough, porn, and the girls’ reactions? Laughter and “God, guys are stupid!” LOL.

    When it comes to sex, the human mind is very curious. So, I just wanted to explain the diff. between curiosity, intrigue, and that which actually stimulates in a positive way–for most women.

  • carole

    @Eddy,

    Yep, you are sooooooooo right about two women, two attractive women together and a straight man’s reaction to that.

    I finally was able to understand it when my son, of all people, explained it:

    “Mom, it’s cuz we imagine ourselves in between them…or something like that, you know? We put ourselves into that scene. Get it?”

    I got it. Finally. And I understood why that works for men–because they see butts and breasts and hair and skin and body parts and not people who mean something to them. They can separate the act(s) from the people in the act. Culture and biology allow them to.

    I actually think that women can feel the same way if they’ve gotten the “slut” image out of their heads. However, once they achieve that (and I think many women of a younger generation have), women still don’t like the idea that one nude man might even be in the same room with another nude man because it makes the men seem gay. Does that make sense? And a guy that is gay doesn’t appeal to women. Once we think of him as gay, he loses his erotic appeal.

    So, two guys pleasing a woman is not an uncommon fantasy for many straight women, but it takes some mental gymnastics to keep the guys apart.

  • Ann

    Has anyone every noticed (in their years of sexual experience) how sexual fads and fashions seem to come and go?

    Mary,

    I certainly have.

  • Lynn David

    David Blakeslee…. Your hummingbird observations are interesting…but might also be reflections of anthropomorphizing.

    Male dogs exert dominance over other male dogs through sexual posturing…again, this is about aggression…

    not love.

    And just where did I say love? I digressed with one comment just to speak to my own feelings at the time. However I pointedly said it was appeasement/food acquisition/peace-keeping sexual behaviors that occurred between a dominant male ruby-throat and both sexes. It was those behaviors Michael mentioned concerning bonobos and I simply mentioned they happen in another animal also. If you read what ornithologists say about this behavior in hummingbirds it is much the same. My guess was at that time and still is that the stab move to the eye was to destroy the breeding possiblities of the other bird by creation of a flaw which a female would then see make the other male an unworthy mate.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Katie:

    The traditional Athenian homosexual relationship involved an older man (the erastes, or “lover”), and a younger boy or man (the eromenos, or “loved”). These names are modern; the Greeks did not distinguish them so precisely. The younger partner would be anywhere from 13-20 years of age. The erastes would court the young man with gifts and admiring words. The eromenos would become enamored with the older man’s wisdom and experience, but would never take an active role in the relationship. The eromenos was always the one sought, the one pursued, the one penetrated. K. J. Dover has likened the eromenos to the role of a young Victorian woman, who was never supposed to initiate courtship or sex, but simply be an object of admiration and desire. Together, the two would form a mentor-pupil relationship. This could have practical benefits, as the erastes could educate the eromenos in politics and civic life, and use his connections to ensure the eromenos would find success when he got older.

    This is probably a sanitized version…if you were of a lower political class and were chosen by one of the elite, the benefits of submission could be extraordinary.

    This relationship was largely exclusive…going outside the relationship was punished legally (similar to prostitution).

    The younger routinely left the relationship when older to form opposite sex bonds.

    This was a relationship primarily initiated by the richer classes.

  • Lynn David

    Warren….. I have good glasses. And once you get to know your backyard and wildlife there (lizards, snakes, chipmunks, flying squirrels, red squirrels, coons, birds of all kind, and the occasional wild turkey, fox, coyote and deer) then you know how to spot them. I just wish they were as good. I almost got hit by a hen turkey one fall that was flying about 6 feet off the ground along the back of the house.

  • David Blakeslee

    @ Lynn David,

    Thanks for reminding me of what you actually said.

    I am responding a bit for emphasis sake…not on your mischaracterizations per se.

    Animal sexual behavior has often been likened to human love…

    The examples cited (bonobos and hummingbirds) have nothing to do with courtship, emotional bonding and so on; necessary requirements for healthy, adult human love.

  • David Blakeslee

    It seems this thread has gotten quite far afield…

    Narth is not even part of the conversation.

    What is part of the conversation, interestingly, has been certain gay affirming myths: from animal models of sexual behavior to reference to a Greek superclass that may have exchanged political and training experience for sexual favors.

    There are many myths in the popular culture, encouraged by some in the gay community, which are similar to those described above. Some of these may have been encouraged by the scientific community.

    The scientific community should be better than this.

    Narth should set the standard for dealing with the distorted myths encouraged by those who hate people with SSA.

    It should set the standard by being scientific.

  • Lynn David

    Evan…. Bonobos… Are not our relatives. They are more distant from us than chimpanzees, and chimps are not very sexual. Try finding some evidence that chimpanzees have same-sex behaviour. I never heard of that.

    .

    I meant the common chimpanzee, not the dwarf one..

    I don’t know where you get that. Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are a chimpanzee (genus Pan), common chimpanzees are Pan troglodytes. The two species split about a million years ago, if I remember right. The Congo River which separates them and is thought to be about 1.5 my old (chimps don’t ‘normally’ swim). Bonobos and other chimpanzees have similar genetic relatedness to man and both are our closest animal relation (94%+ or 98%+ depending on who you read and bonobos differ by 0.3% from common chimps).

    .

    I’m not sure what you meant by the last statement.

  • Katie Cannon

    Lynn David,

    I seem to remember reading something by one person who’s done genetic studies on Chimps and Bonobos, and they seem to be saying that they’re so closely related that they should be thought of as more along the lines of different races than species — I think this is what they said anyway.

    Anyway, is their relationship something more like this?

    Katie

  • Lynn David

    Katie Cannon….. seem to remember reading something by one person who’s done genetic studies on Chimps and Bonobos, and they seem to be saying that they’re so closely related that they should be thought of as more along the lines of different races than species — I think this is what they said anyway.

    I don’t doubt it. I have seen them described as ‘subspecies’ by other researchers. The definition of a species is a homogenous, interbreeding group of individuals. Since the two species of Pan are separated by the Congo River which they cannot cross and they have rather different socialization, they easily fit into the definition as separate species.

    The races of man are much closer genetically, virtually the same, because of a possible bottleneck (there are other ideas concerning this) that occurred in the development of Homo sapiens about 50-60,000 years ago when the population was thought to have been decreased perhaps a few thousand individuals. The species of Pan are thought to have separated much further back than that (800,000 years ago).

  • Evan

    That’s what I was saying, Lynn David:

    The bonobo is the dwarf chimpanzee, the sex-crazed one. The other one is the common cimpanzee, which is more aggressive and less sexual. Only the first one is known to use sex to negotiate social relations. Until now, there is only preliminary evidence from genome analysis that humans are closest to the common chimpanzee (doi:10.1038/nature04072). The bonobo genome sequence has just been finished this year in March, at the Max Planck Institute, so it might take some time to have a genome-wide comparison between humans and bonobos and compare it with the human-common chimp analysis I referred to, because there are genetic differences between common chimps and bonobos too (doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030066, see Table 3).

  • Katie Cannon

    Carol,

    If I stand back as an observer, I”m either somewhere between intrigued and bored by lesbian sex.

    It’s only when I get real up close, bring my self or identity, in a personal way, that I have a phobic response to lesbian sex.

    It’s like the difference between standing 10 feet away and 1 foot away.

    Prior to my experience with Rob, I never had experienced a homophobic response.

    Lesbian sex was boring, gay sex was pretty darn interesting, and straight sex was exciting.

    But no homophobic response.

    I’ve noticed that lots of women who find out their lovers are really bi/gay go through a period of their own sexual identity crisis, and this gets expressed through homophobia — panic, fear, disgust, etc… as in phobia :)

    And most of the women weren’t in touch with homophobia prior to this.

    So I’m not sure that if we’re not threatened, then we’d experience homophobia.

    But it does seem to me that the low level reaction of – yuk might sometimes indicate that, if threatened, there’s a potential for more than – yuk.

    And it doesn’t seem to me that you NEED yuk in order to structure exclusivity.

    Merely strong attachments COULD structure exclusivity. Like right now I’m exclusively interested in sex with Rob. Not because I find Fred yuky, but simply because I’m positively attached to Rob.

    Why wouldn’t sexual exclusivity be more like this?

    I don’t know Carole, think more’s going on than the natural outcome of either exclusive OSA or SSA. Like the NEED to insure structure, guard the boundaries.

    As far as where I’m coming from since you assume I’m behind the times both scientifically and psychologically: I have nowhere near the science background you do. And when I do read science, I manage to catch the drift, not the details.

    As far as psychology, I like attachment theory and relational theory, especially the really good writers. I don’t tend to read it as science, but more like poetry, or a novel.

    I like a lot of the older psychoanalysts too, for similar reasons. Andre Green can move me to tears. Is he right? For me, that’s like asking if Sylvia Plath is right.

    And oh, there’s some small number of women who find gay men very exciting, think they have a well developed inner gay man themselves.

    And in my experience, lots of women find images of gay sex intriguing because it breaks the boundary of men being “submissive” and penetrated.

    But I think I might be of a younger generation from you, one that might be more willing to express their desire to turn the tables and let men be “submissive” for once.

    Most just don’t want THEIR man to be gay :)

    K.

  • Mary

    Ann,

    Sometimes I think that to articulate the sexual journey in a christian atmosphere is stifling and gets in the way of healing and discussing in conferences or seminars the strategies for healing. Thankfully my therapist is a couples counselor – I’m sure she has heard a lot. (eyes rolling)

  • Evan

    Lynn D

    Just a small fraction of genome differences ==> huge behavioural differences between chimps and bonobos.

    A bigger difference between chimps and humans ==> how much relevance would have the comparison between their sexual behaviours?

    That’s why it’s a stretch to use comparisons between non-human animal behaviours and human ones.

  • carole

    @Katie,

    I have never seen lesbian sex–never even occurred to me to think there was such a thing as lesbian porn. Thinking about it, I guess I have the same reaction to thoughts of it as my husband has to watching a snippet of gay porn–no thanks.

    BTW, yes, it does involve a revulsion–I don’t call that “homophobic” or “gynophobic” as we commonly think of the layperson’s use of the terms but perhaps you do.

    I have to admit that I don’t understand half of what you say, no disrespect intended at all.

  • Lynn David

    Evan….. The bonobo genome sequence has just been finished this year in March, at the Max Planck Institute, so it might take some time to have a genome-wide comparison between humans and bonobos and compare it with the human-common chimp analysis I referred to, because there are genetic differences between common chimps and bonobos too (doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030066, see Table 3).

    So you mean this statement of theirs concerning Table 3?

    A particularly intriguing feature of the allele frequency differentiation results is that the allele frequency differentiation between bonobos and western chimpanzees is higher than that between bonobos and central or eastern chimpanzees (Table 3). This likely reflects greater genetic drift in the western lineage since divergence, as has also been suggested by an analysis of resequencing data [17].

    Western common chimps are therefore the ‘odd chimp out’ as not being closer to that chimp ancestor which was more akin to man (and according to some researchers, interbreeding with that line which led to man). It is the central and eastern band and even the bonobo which is thus closer to that ancestor. So?

    And as I stated the genomic difference between bonobo and common chimps (all such chimps?) is only set at 0.3%. The western common chimps differentiated from other common chimps about 500,000 years ago, the rest – eastern and central bands differentiated about 250,000 years ago. Bonobos differentiated about 800,000+ years ago. Or is it that the common chimp left the bonobo? The bonobo may be a more ‘ancient’ form of chimpanzee and thus closer to man. The genome should tell.

    .

    However it seems to me that all species, subspecies of Pan are pretty much our closest relative, and differentiating between them is nit-picking. I suppose you offered this up because you might fear the idea that early homoninas (humans – homonins other than Pan and Gorilla) might have been socialized like the bonobo.

  • carole

    Katie,

    So I’m not sure that if we’re not threatened, then we’d experience homophobia.

    Well, if you think about it, the fight or flight instinct is our most basic and it involves physical fear and psychological fear. So yes, one could liken a refusal to watch such acts a flight from what they know they find distasteful. That leads to the question of our “hard-wiring” (for lack of a better term).

    To watch something one finds repulsive is not against our nature. I think you complicate things too much. Watching someone on Survivor swallowing a live insect is repulsive to many, including me. Not too complicated.

  • Michael Bussee

    I was at the beach and missed all of this. Had too much fun to think now. Will catch up tomorrow…

  • carole

    But I think I might be of a younger generation from you, one that might be more willing to express their desire to turn the tables and let men be “submissive” for once.

    Have to disagree with you here. Because of my former profession, I still spend a whole lot of time with people much younger than I. They share a lot.

    Where I do think we differ is in our cohorts, and it seems to me that much of what you see may be in the process of being shaped by your involvement in the world of the sexually abused.

    In addition, I know that where I live is abundantly more open and liberal in both action and thought than the rest of the country. Do you really think that what you have been saying in this thread would be accepted as the norm of thinking about sex, sex roles, etc. among 20-somethings in the vast middle of the country, even among the college-educated, in places, like say, Springfield, Ill or Tulsa, Ok or Scranton, Penn. or or Dubuque, Iowa or Bowling Green, Ohio or Reno, Nev. etc.?

    I find what you are saying to be at the center of psych courses or fem studies courses in universities like UC Berkeley with which I am very familiar since it’s close by.

    Also, I’ll add that it was my generation that first called for men to find their “feminine sides” and to involve themselves in child birth and child-rearing in ways their fathers hadn’t.

    Again, hope you don’t take offense.

  • carole

    @Evan,

    That’s why it’s a stretch to use comparisons between non-human animal behaviours and human ones.

    Yes, I think David pointed this out many posts ago. I was reading some literature that pointed out that while all the great apes share more than 90% of our DNA, that is virtually meaningless when we are looking for data that helps us understand human behavior. The point was impressively made by pointing out the DNA that natural siblings share: look at how different they are from one another.

  • Lynn David

    Evan….. Just a small fraction of genome differences ==> huge behavioural differences between chimps and bonobos.

    Huh? Do you think all behavior is genetically programmed in animals but not in man?

    A bigger difference between chimps and humans ==> how much relevance would have the comparison between their sexual behaviours?

    I consider socialization and some behaviors to at times have its own ‘evolutionary path’ outside of that demanded by genetics.

    That’s why it’s a stretch to use comparisons between non-human animal behaviours and human ones.

    So the work of Jane Goodall and others is totally ridiculous?

    You could have said what you said above and not demanded that the common chimp is closer to humans than bonobos, which we do not at this time know. You obviously had a reason for saying it. As far as a genetic trigger for a homosexual orientation goes, that could be turned off and on as species evolve for any of a number of reasons. Being closer to another animal which does exhibit homosexuality doesn’t necessarily mean that another species will also exhibit homosexuality (meaning have a homosexual orientation extant in the species).

  • carole

    @Katie,

    Forget everything else.

    Bottom line: Have you been essentially “studying” human sexual reactions/practices, etc. in order to make sense of your fiance’s sexual problem? In order to determine if he can ever in his eyes and yours “get well sexually”? In order to determine the wisdom of your decision to marry him?

    Because if so, it appears you have tied yourself up in an academic knot.

    What you want to know is if the guy you love is one day going to go out and have sex with someone else, sex with a man, right?

    Has he been faithful for the 4 years you’ve been together? Does he want anyone else? Can you be happy with him AS HE IS? Do you trust him? Does he trust himself?

    No amount of digging for psychological explanations of his mind-set can answer those questions for you.

  • Katie Cannon

    Carol,

    I trust Rob as much as I’d trust a completely straight guy not to go have sex with someone else.

    My concern isn’t so much about cheating or not as being content or not, and not just in the sexual realm — but in a variety of ways.

    Coherts — I suspect we might just have different coherts, or different people with whom either of us has talked intimately. And no, I don’t mean my coherts are the sexually abused, but my unabused friends as well.

    I suspect our differences are more along the lines of the latest exchange between Lynn and David.

    And also your greater knowledge of science.

    For instance, Me? I just speculate, with no ability to ground such speculation, that if what physicists are saying about dark matter and dark energy is true, then there’s a limit to human knowledge built into the structure of the universe itself.

    Again, however, I have no ability to actually debate the specifics of dark matter and dark energy. My 9 year old son understands it better than I do.

    K.

  • Katie Cannon

    And in part what I meant, isn’t a political stance taken by this or that generation…. Or liberalism vs. conservatism.

    But the fact that, for instance, my generation grew up with porn mags in every 7-11. Your generation saw women fighting for “sexual freedom”, my generation experienced more profoundly the double edge sword of the freedom, where if you don’t say “yes” you’re a looser.

    My generation of women have, to a large degree, felt compelled to view porn at least sometimes if for no other reason than to insure their ‘coolness’, or not express their differences with men.

    My generation of women was more prone to count the scalps of their conquests, much like it’s assumed all men do.

    It seems to me that your generation was more about fighting for the right to do such things if one chooses.

    My generation wasn’t sure it was a choice or not to express as many sexual impulses as possible, but a necessity to prove they fit in.

    Etc….

  • Katie Cannon

    And from what I can tell in the present teens, early 20′s generation, is that among the kids who value doing well in school (which has it’s own coolness now), choosing to not be promiscuous is cool, and needs no further justification, either religious or political.

    And not just for the girls, but the boys as well.

    At least to a higher degree than when I was growing up.

  • Katie Cannon

    My generation is more apt to think we’re still fighting Victorianism, and that freedom equals freeing our sexual impulses.

    It doesn’t seem to me that my nieces and nephews worry so much if they’re stuck in Victorianism — doesn’t seem to be an issue, or at least much less so.

    Just my impressions.

    Carole,

    People have different experiences. For instance, Eddy said something about gay men being more creative. You replied that when you taught Creative Writing (or Lit.?) that you didn’t find that to be so.

    But in my experience, gay men are highly over-represented in the visual arts and the world of antiques.

    My dancer friends make the same observation.

    Same with my friends who were/are involved with acting, etc….

    Why we would have such different experiences of the matter, I have no idea. But my recent involvement in sexually abused adults wouldn’t explain such difference.

    I’m trying to get an impression of over-representation in the language arts…. Sure, there are gay poets and novelists, but I have no impression one way or the other if they’re over-represented in the way they seem obviously to be in the more visual arts.

    K.

  • David Blakeslee

    There are many myths in the popular culture, encouraged by some in the gay community, which are similar to those described above. Some of these may have been encouraged by the scientific community.

    The scientific community should be better than this.

    Narth should set the standard for dealing with the distorted myths encouraged by those who hate people with SSA.

    It should set the standard by being scientific.

  • carole

    Warren ,

    I asked an IT friend of mine what the yellow triangle in the lower left hand part of the screen with the notation “done but with errors on page” means. She said: “The little yellow triangle in the right bottom corner of your browser is indicating that there is an error in the JavaScript code on the page you are viewing. It’s not harmful to your machine. It may explain the difficulties you are having trying to type though so someone should notify the webmaster.

    Can you tell your webmaster? I am having to type on an email account, then cut and paste onto this blue typing box.

  • Katie

    Eddy,

    I’ve been thinking about how such a little thing like double or tripple vision can impact upon someone.

    My son, who’s nine, has strabismus (where the eyes don’t track at the same time). As he gets older, he’s more capable of controling it. But he grew up with a lot of double vision.

    He’s been diagnosed with various developmental delays/learning disorders — from Asperger’s, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, Sensory Integration Disorder, etc…. He doesn’t seem to fit any of the boxes, so lots of diagnosis depending on who sees him.

    He’s doing great though. In his case his prognosis is very good.

    He just may never learn to tie his shoes.

    Very poor fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination. Yet he’s super good at video games and playing the drums. It seem it’s sort of like a person who stutters yet can sing.

    It’s amazing to me how greater awareness of learning disabilties are changing things. He’s certainly a potential target of being teased, but his class mates just seem to accept that he’s different, with different strengths and weaknesses.

    He does, however, get asked if he’s from Britain. Which is sort of funny.

    K.

  • Evan

    @Lynn David

    The deeper we go into this subject, the more we can see that there is no definitive knowledge on it. It’s a shaky ground that doesn’t permit any conclusions on whether there is any link between bonobos’ sexual behaviours and humans’ or not. It is probable that the western chimp separated from the common ancestor some X thousand years, it is probable that there was no gene circulation between them, and so on.

    You could have said what you said above and not demanded that the common chimp is closer to humans than bonobos, which we do not at this time know. You obviously had a reason for saying it.

    The reason was that that was what I remembered it was the case, last time I checked (next time I’ll check before I write). I don’t spend my time checking each day the state of knowledge on chimps and bonobos.:) I remembered that scientists believed the common chimp to be closest to humans. As we got deeper with the arguments and I checked the info, a more complex picture emerged: unbeknowst to me they finished sequencing both genomes and they already did a genetic comparison between humans and common chimps. I could say that this is the evidence we are evolutionarily closest to (but still far from) the common chimps, because the evidence is lacking right now for the humans-bonobos comparison. But we have to wait and see what a complete analysis, one that would include bonobos, will reveal. It’s still odd that two so closely genetically related species from the same genus have such different sexual and aggressive behaviours. What is more — they are evolutionarily more distant from humans then they are from each other, but people in this debate use them as an example supposed to be revelatory of human behaviours.

    Do you think all behavior is genetically programmed in animals but not in man?

    Not in the case of complex behaviour. Not even the much-studied rodents have 100% genetically programmed sexual instincts – it’s the sexually naive that use only pheromone sex discrimination, the more mature specimens learn to rely on other cues too. So that smell-based error-free system seems like a default program, put in place in case a mouse is unable to properly identify members of the opposite-sex and reproduce. But mice, chimps and bonobos don’t have adolescence, right? That’s one big difference right there. Humans take a longer time to develop and after that the outcome is still open-ended.

    Let’s not get too focused on this… I think we both agree there is not enough information to use the bonobo argument either way, OK?

  • Katie

    Debra and Evan,

    I don’t care who’s right, I just really enjoyed the discussion.

    If anyone wants to debate the difference between the genome and the epigenome, go for it.

    I’d love to hear.

    K.

  • carole

    Katie,

    People have different experiences. For instance, Eddy said something about gay men being more creative. You replied that when you taught Creative Writing (or Lit.?) that you didn’t find that to be so.

    But in my experience, gay men are highly over-represented in the visual arts and the world of antiques.

    My dancer friends make the same observation.

    Same with my friends who were/are involved with acting, etc….

    I mentioned that in my years of teaching I wouldn’t say they were “more creative.” I added that this personal reflections were definitely not scientific.

    Here, more specifically, is what I observed: for most of my career (not the last decade) students were tracked by skill level. My area was English –literature, composition, speech, etc. Of course, in some classes such as calculus or the honors’ or AP courses in any discipline, the very nature of the courses retained the tracking aspect. Thus, yes, I taught many courses in which all the kids were bright and had high skills, but I also taught many in which the kids were slow and were lacking in skills.

    Gay kids performed as did their straight cohorts. The work of the bright ones in high level classes could not be distinguished from the work of the straight ones in high level classes. Similarly, the work of the slower ones could not be distinguished from that of the slower ones in the lower level classes.

    Electives such as drama and art classes? Yes, you found a higher % of gay kids in those electives than you did in the electronics, shop, or phys ed electives. In the drama department, you’d see kids that were probably gay in higher percentages than you’d find them in the other departments.

    So? What do my observations tell me? Who knows? Probably nothing much because it’s not a scientific sample. Up above, we were speaking anecdotally. Obviously there were gay kids we didn’t identify so there’s a number that are not even accounted for in my anecdotal evidence.

    However, if I had to guess, I’d say that it’s like it is for all minority groups: we tend to remember those who stand out, whether it’s for good behavior or poor behavior, whether it’s for top-notch work or really rotten work.

    I think there’s a tendency to see gay teens as involved in certain fields because in those fields they are allowed to express themselves (drama) and are thus more likely to be recognized. The gay kid sitting in the middle of the room in a middle level math class is not likely to be remembered or even recognized.

    Then too, certain fields are more welcoming of what is often called “eccentricity” so one could make a point that certain fields are appealing and welcoming to a kid who feels different more than other fields are perceived to be. I wonder how many gay boys were scared off from some of our other electives because they perceived they’d not feel comfortable there?

    For example, at our school, at one time there was a very good selection of classes in metals and plastics. Kids got to build things. The teacher was top-notch and the money was flowing–thus materials were easy to come by. (No more). The classes combined the technical with the creative, and many of what I would call “jock types” took the classes because they could build their own kayaks and canoes although there were other choices for projects. The kids in the metals classes created beautiful sculptures, but again, the class was popular with the “jock” culture as well as with others so I wonder if some gay boys nixed those courses ? A possibility.

    When it comes to performance, kids who perform at a high level, whether it’s in math, drama, music, writing, sports, are the ones who are noticed, and all the ones who are non-exceptional? Forgotten.

    Females went into teaching and nursing for over a century. How much of that was because of lack of ability in other areas? How much was due to societal/cultural restrictions that didn’t allow them to explore other fields? How much might be the result of “natural inclinations” or cognitive functions specific to females in general?

    Why did so many girls eschew sports and simply sit in the bleachers as children, watching alongside their parents as their brothers played ball? Because–there were no avenues for their participation. Today, my neighborhood park is filled with as many little girls and teenagers playing soccer, T-ball, softball

    as boys. Why? They have felt welcome. They have been encouraged from a very young age.

    To date, our measuring devices and data from such devices do not allow us to conclude much .

  • Michael Bussee

    Too much to catch up on. Just wanted to say that even though I think it’s reasonsable that some people may i”dentify” as gay or engage in gay sex because of some sort of “maleness deficit” (that has become sexualized), I don’t think this explains all or even most homosexuality.

    Maybe we should be talking of “homosexualities” (plural), not “homosexuality” – since there seem to be so many variations and possible explanations for them. There are degrees and types. No one explanation fits all.

    BTW, yesterday at West Street Beach in Laguna (the “gay” beach), we were watching the (presumably) gay guys who were taking in the sand and surf. Many hotties, but no stereotypic “gay” behavior in sight!

    In dress, language and behavior, it seemed as though these boys were making a deliberate effort to not appear “gay” — even at a gay beach. In other words, no effeminate behavior allowed.

    My lover, Scott, commented that “Straight is the new Gay”. I know guys have had tried to “cover” in the past, but this seemed to be something new, more obvious, for this generation of gays.

    For this generation, it’s the appearance of being gay, not actually being gay, that is the issue. No one seems to care if you are gay — as long as you are a “dude”. Being a “straight” gay is more acceptable and more attractive to other “straight” gays.

    I think Scott and I are going to get a couple of T-shirts made: “Straight is the new gay”… :)

  • Katie

    I agree.

    As soon as I wrote the thing about more gays into antiques, I started to wonder, “Is this really my experience?” .

    And you know what? I really don’t know when I really think about it. I can say this, antiques attract a flamboyant crowd, both straight and gay, so maybe it seems there’s more gay because you just remember them more due to their flamboyance.

    What grades did you teach?

    K.

  • Katie

    Michael,

    I agree – re: homosexualities.

    Also heterosexualities.

    K.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    I stopped by this old thread for a bit. Curiosity, I guess, and I had a little more time today than I’ve had recently.

    Carole, I was particularly interested in some of your comments. I wonder, for instance, about your musing on porn, gay or otherwise. It may be generationally different for women, as you allude to. But I have to tell you I was one of those women who did get sucked into it (all kinds) for a while. I don’t know how representative of others I am, as I have not polled folks on this. Nor would they all answer honestly, I think, if I did ask.

    If I could have a do-over of one thing in my life, I’d pick the porn phase. Highly damaging and so very hard to wipe those images off your memory. Way harder than (mostly) forgetting an actual liaison.

  • carole

    @Michael,

    So, your comments provoke an interesting question or two:

    1) In previous generations of gay men (say, in this country) was behavior that we normally call a bit “feminine” (not just interests, but behaviors such as gestures) an act of sorts that a gay boy who had become a man developed in order to distinguish himself from straight men? That seems unlikley since such behavior often caused danger in the male straight world.

    2) Bailey and others have identified gender-atypical behavior as a child as a predictor of later SSA. So, if the guys you saw at the beach were not exhibiting any of the behavior that evidently you and your partner associate with gay men, then my question would be

    —Was the kind of fem behavior of some gay men in the past purposeful affective behavior (ie, an act?) and if so why was it adopted at all considering its high risk?

    OR

    –Was the kind of non-fem behavior you witnessed yesterday an act?

    OR

    –Could there be biological reasons for the difference? (I know….no one really has the info necessary to answer this one

    Anyway, the observations raises very interesting questions? What’s your take?

  • carole

    @Debbie,

    From what I have read, it’s unusual for women to be interested much in porn. It’s unusual for them to get addicted for sure.

  • carole

    @Michael,

    I asked,

    Was the kind of fem behavior of some gay men in the past purposeful affective behavior (ie, an act?) and if so why was it adopted at all considering its high risk?

    I meant “purposeful affected behavior”…

    This typing problem is driving me crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I’ll check in later…it’s off to lunch.

  • Eddy

    Katie–

    It was weird that I never thought of my eye thing as a ‘disability’ or considered other ramifications…but it took me years to learn to tie my shoes. Now that you’ve mentioned it, I’m wondering how my focus issues played into this. It might also explain my slowness or apprehension re thinks like bike-riding (I was 12 before I learned how) and driving (late 20′s). I’m now wondering if my vision issues, while mostly corrected, aren’t aggravated by fast-movement…focus gets messed with.

    An optometrist finally explained to me one of the dynamics of lazy eye. You can correct both eyes to 20/20 vision but they don’t. The brain learns to ‘see’ with the good eye and to ‘supplement’ with the lazy eye. So, if you’ve got uncorrected lazy eye, they’ll weaken prescription for the lazy one to ensure that it doesn’t try to dominate perception. Since the brain is pretty amazing, most of us wouldn’t even notice this difference. With me, I notice mostly on that one eye test where they put a red line in front of one eye and a red dot in front of the other and they want you to tell them when they cross. My brain NEVER crosses them. It’s either/or. I also can’t use binoculars worth a hoot. My vision keeps wanting to focus from one side or the other but won’t put the blended picture together.

    Debbie–

    Here’s a little trick you may not have considered re the porn image memories. Remember that the people who appear in the porn are real and that they’ve likely led some rough lives, likely don’t have too many people praying for them. Next time a porn-image memory pops up, begin praying for the people behind the image.

  • carole

    @Michael,

    Some thought before I go–still thinking about your observation. It raises the interesting question about how any of us, male or female, gay or straight, learn to walk, talk, gesture, speak, etc. How much of our mannerisms are due to our modeling other people’s behavior, how much due to other factors, or to no factors at all. I have not read any research about this and don’t really know how much behaviorists have even studied it.

    I do know that my son went through several phases where he imitated everything his daddy did. As we sat at the dinner table, my husband and I often stifled our giggles as we saw our son staring at the way my husband sat. When my husband said something, a few minutes later, my son repeated it…that kind of thing. I used to watch him walk behind his daddy trying to walk the way my husband did.

    I am sure we all remember in elementary school, the girl in the class who ran “like a prissy girl.” We had games organized by the teacher–you know the one where the kids are put into teams and they stand in a line, awaiting their turn. They had to race down the blacktop to pick up an Indian club, one at a time, and run it back toa teammate. Simple–fastest team wins. Now, even the girls in the class had to bite their tongues to not criticize the girl who ran with feet and legs flapping off to the side, arms bent at the elbows, with palms skyward. We just didn’t understand how that could be perceived as a natural way to run. It’s not that we were upset such a girl was slow–we just couldn’t believe that that way of running came naturally. It’s as if we believed (and maybe we were right, I don’t know ) that she wanted to run that way. Who knows?

    So, I was thinking about what my cousin, who spent years teaching second and third graders and sometimes fourth graders said–many (certainly not all) of the boys who she knows later were gay boys, had problems with large motor skills at a very young age. She thinks that is the reason they didn’t like physical activities at that age–not that they weren’t interested in such simple things as running and the games associated with running, but that they simply weren’t good at it yet. They had not yet developed large muscle co-ordination.

    I just throw that out as an observation with no conclusions.

  • Evan

    @Michael

    I have a parable on this. Before Michael Jackson rose to stardom in the 80′s, many black artists were complaining they didn’t get enough exposure on TV (especially MTV). His success created a breakthrough for black artists then, but for some reasons he gradually changed the colour of his skin. For someone with worldwide exposure, that was very significant. Even if what he claimed was true (that he had a skin condition), I think many perceived him as the pop superhero who went beyond his nature to look like he was white. It seemed like a feat worthy of a pop superhero figure, who couldn’t be tied down to ordinary rules.

    What happened more recently is that with Obama’s ascent to power in your country, perceptions changed and, according to some opinions, we enter in a post-racial era. The game changed and Michael Jackson was left in the offside.

    A similar reversal takes place in what is considered typical for a straight and what not. In my generation, which is more dramatic and primarily communicates using emotions, going out of your way to look masculine is a sign of gayness.

  • Evan

    I posted an image in the post above, but it didn’t get displayed.

    ..Meh, Warren keeps IMG tags locked.

  • Evan

    Michael Bussee & everyone around

    I present you a ‘typical straight’ guy from my generation:

    Paul Griffiths, a hipster from London

  • Katie

    Very funny Evan.

    You’ll have to say again — where are from?

  • Katie

    Eddy,

    It’s been sort of interesting with my son, Jason.

    The professionals I like the most don’t think he has a learning disability at all.

    They think it’s more physical, including the strabismus, and that his physical disabilities are interfacing socially in a way that mimics developmental dissabilities, like Non-Verbal Learning Disorder or Asperger’s.

    And also because he’s very smart and so has interests which are unusual for his age. Just to brag, he’s currently watching a college level lecture series on dark matter and dark energy.

    I sort of watch it with him, just to get the drift.

    If I have a question, he explains it to me.

    So he seems like an Asperger’s “little professor”, but doesn’t have the typical obsession with routine, is more gregarious, etc….

    But physically and in vocabulary he seems Asperger’s.

    Overall, I think the strabismus effects him the most. Not only because he misses social cues, but also because when he looks at people they don’t feel he’s meeting their gaze, which can be very off-putting.

    But, like some of the debates here, the debates surrounding learning disabilities, how to classify who, etc…. is no easy task. And not yet a science, there’s still a lot of art involved.

    K.

  • Katie

    Oh, Eddy, do you have lazy eye, or strabismus?

    When I read it again, it sounds more like strabismus.

    The bike riding, etc…

    How’s your balance now?

    K.

  • Eddy

    Katie–

    If I don’t watch out these musings could send me on a serious detour of introspection. What I was famous for was being this ‘tiny adult’. (I was also hyper-short…even now, I’m only 5′ 1″ but that was after the growth spurts of my teen years.) But I digress. Even at 6 to 8 years old, besides devouring every book that I was allowed to get my hands on, I was known to knock on an adult neighbor’s door ‘just to chat’. (Don’t get weird images…it was several and they were all known to my parents.) And they humored me. I’d have all sorts of ‘meaning of life’ questions.

    As a teenager and part of a church group, several of my friends made an issue of the fact that I never looked anyone in the eye…as if I was always looking just over their shoulder at some imaginary person behind them. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that that might have been connected to the lazy eye. I assumed it was some deep-seated insecurity playing out and worked like hell to correct it. (Now I’m wondering if I wasn’t accidentally looking from my lazy eye and somehow shifted the intensity of focus to the good one.) LOL. And after all these years, does it really matter?

    Re: gay men and femininity

    I don’t have any conclusions but

    1) we sometimes brand things as ‘feminine’ simply because they aren’t ‘masculine. A limp wrist, for example, is actually neither masculine or feminine.

    2) some, but certainly not all, feminine physical traits on gay men are affectations. Yes, they could set us up to be bullied or harassed but they also helped us to connect with other gay men. Often the hoped for connection (not necessarily sex, just connection with like-minded people) outweighed the harassment risk.

    3) besides affectations that we purposely take on, there is the realm of unconscious modeling. You watch a few too many femme fatale movies and find yourself holding a cigarette just so and delivering dramatic goodbyes.

    There’s obviously so much more to the issue of gays and feminity but I thought I’d add these musings to themix.

  • Eddy

    LOL. It’s been diagnosed as lazy eye…never tested for the strabismus thing…yikes, now I’ll have to look that up. Maybe I have both!

    But, the lazy eye for sure! If I take my glasses off, my left eye immediately takes a turn for the corner.

    Re balance. I like to think that I’m spiritually balanced…nah, I get what you’re asking. I think I’m normal there (or close to the norm). When I first mount a bike, I’m not as sure as most. Couldn’t just leap and go…have to steady it until I get one foot securely planted on a pedal and still start our wobbly. But I can walk a curb or a railroad track for a reasonable distance without losing it. I think I managed a rail for about 130 steps before losing my footing. (Yes, I do play such games as an adult.) No trouble whatsoever with the diving board at the pool.

  • Katie

    Strabismus is just an eye thing. But it’s a little different than lazy eye — or sometimes it’s meant to refer to the same thing.

    But you probably should look it up. It’s kind of interesting.

    There’s a whole movement out there advocating visual therapy based on thinking about strabismus (often called lazy eye).

    Strabismus is a brain-based thing.

    Lazy eye is more about the muscles in the eyes.

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    The question seems to be, “Why would anyone violate a cultural norm (like masculine/feminine) – and risk punishment, even risk their lives — if they could help it?”

    Here are some possiblities:

    (1) Some can’t help it. They may just have a stature, voice or facial features that people tend to think of as “girlish” or “feminine”.

    (2) Some don’t want to help it. Some enjoy making a statement, or attracting attention. Some are activley challenging cultural norms, trying to change them. Some like the shock value.

    (3) Some of it you just “absorb” without realizing it. I stayed two weeks in Alanta. When I came back, some folks here commented on my accent — and asked if I was doing it “on purpose”. I also had developed a liking for catfish and hush puppies.

    (4) For some, it is theater. They do it for comic effect — even I do it for that reason. It’s “camp”. Think Paul Linde on Hollywood Squares — or Milton Berle in a dress.

    I am sure there are many other variations. And we should keep in mind that concepts like “masculine” and “feminine” are largely defined by culture — and time. “Manly” men in some tribes wear the make-up and extravagant adornments to attract the most “feminine” females. “Manly” men used to wear powdered wigs and stockings.

    Which is why I have always had trouble with Paul’s condemnation of “the effeminate” and “homosexuals” in First Corinthians chapter 6. Partly based on this passage, some are CERTAIN that God will send unrepentant gays to Hell, but they can’t really tell you why the “malakoi” (effeminate) should burn. When you ask, they kinda give you a blank stare…

  • Michael Bussee

    BTW, Some gay men speak of their alter ego — or “drag persona”. MIne is “Edith” the public health nurse. I dressed up as her once for Halloween.

    Poor Edith. She is sexually uptight — Republican — and she has hair problem — but she is sweet and caring. People like her — in spite of the chest hair and 5 o’clock shadow. On the dance floor, she cuts loose.

    I like her. Sometimes, a costume helps you discover parts of yourself you didn’t know you had.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    Here’s a little trick you may not have considered re the porn image memories. Remember that the people who appear in the porn are real and that they’ve likely led some rough lives, likely don’t have too many people praying for them. Next time a porn-image memory pops up, begin praying for the people behind the image.

    Thanks, Eddy. That’s a good suggestion. Fortunately, they don’t come up as much these days as they used to. Time does help.

    Carole, I have seen studies suggesting that women are more into porn these days than we tend to think. I wouldn’t say I had an addiction, and I have very rarely seen Internet porn as my problems went back to pre-Internet days. It took a lot more to view porn before the Internet explosion, thankfully.

    Eddy, as regards your possible lazy eye problem: I am quite familiar with this condition as I was born with it. I had surgery when I was four on both eyes. My vision was 20/20 for a long time and I wore ugly bifocals until I was 15. Didn’t need glasses again until middle age, for reading mostly. I can’t look through binoculars worth a toot either, and my right eye is still dominant. I always thought lazy eye was a congenital condition that showed up early. Maybe not. My cousin had it and did not have surgery. She is legally blind in her weak eye.

  • Eddy

    I’m not quite sure how we took the detour re my lazy eye condition but I am glad we did. Thanks, Katie, I did a little research and it seems clear to me that I do have strabismus. I doubt that it will change anything but it is good to know.

    I did have to wear an eyepatch occasionally as a young teen. (You can bet there were no feelings of awkwardness about that. :-) ) And, I bought one a few years ago that I occasionally employ when I feel that the lazy one isn’t even stepping up to his usual duties. The other night, after the intense two days online, it took about an hour or two for me to regain normal focus. My eyes could do it at the computer but then when I changed the field of vision…outside, street signs, neighbors faces, etc….it took them awhile. Most of the time, though, I forget that I have a problem.

    I got two good things from the articles I read. 1) It explained my issues with depth perception and now I’ll be more forgiving of myself when I parallel park and find that I’m 2 feet from the curb and 3 feet from the car behind me. 2) I’ve had a vague memory of over-hearing my eye doctor tell my mom that I could go blind in one eye. And it’s been a recurring source of fear and dread. Now, I think I understand what I overheard better…and don’t need to live in fear that I’ll wake up some morning blind in one eye.

    Debbie–

    I did have surgery as well but it wasn’t until I was age 13. The results of the surgery were not as good as they hoped and, without my glasses, the lazy eye will immediately drift off to the corner. Even with my glasses, if I’ve been under a lot of visual strain, it can drift just slightly off center.

    LOL. I do have some rather odd perspectives on life. I still don’t consider this eye condition as a disability. The brain processes fascinate me and I wouldn’t have known of them if I didn’t have the condition. (That trick with the line and the dot…where most people’s brains will merge the two…I found that fascinating.) The peculiarity of not being able to use binoculars (unless I close one eye) oh–and trouble with those ‘hidden image’ posters that were so popular about 10 years back. Every once in a while, I could actually see a hidden image but usually, even though I understood the concept, I simply couldn’t see them. Oh, and the illustration of miscommunication in my ‘which one do you swing at’ is priceless as a life lesson.

  • Michael Bussee

    One more thing about my alter ego, “Edith” — she is a difficult one to categorize. She has pushed sexual feelings so far down that she is hardly aware of having any. She fell in love with a man once, but he left her shortly before they were to be married — for another man.

    She is a a very private person usually. She does not think of herself as gay, straight or bisexual. She is too busy as a public health nurse to think about such things. She would resist any and all efforts to label, classify or define her. But she loves to “dirty dance” after a couple of vodka gimlets.

  • Katie Cannon

    Eddy,

    I used to live in fear of Jason going blind in one eye. So I would periodically take him to different vision experts, because how to deal with strabismus is contraversial, and so you get different therapy recommendations.

    So… eventually I took him to Bascomb Palmer, one of the world’s leading vision clinic’s.

    Finally, I was told the scoop about going blind: The numbers of people who loose vision in one eye over the age of 5 or 7 is extraordinarily small. Can’t remember the exact age.

    But it’s young, younger than Jason was when I took him at age 8.

    So the odds of you going blind at your age is pretty much non-existent.

    Jason plays a huge amount of video games. I’ve been told that it’s actually very good therapy for him. Wew, less guilt on my part that I’m not more restrictive about his video game habits.

    Katie

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    It’s good to know that you’ll never be alone because you’ll always have a lady friend. So I guess when you have sex with yourself you’re straight :)

    K.

  • http://theformers.wordpress.com Debbie Thurman

    I did have surgery as well but it wasn’t until I was age 13. The results of the surgery were not as good as they hoped and, without my glasses, the lazy eye will immediately drift off to the corner. Even with my glasses, if I’ve been under a lot of visual strain, it can drift just slightly off center.

    Same thing happens to me, Eddy, when I am fatigued. I wore the patch when I was little before my parents opted for surgery. I have had issues with depth perception, but I don’t sweat it. I can shoot as straight as an arrow, so it can’t be all that bad. I like sporting clays, FYI. Gonna get to indulge that little passion next week. I also was an expert marksman in the Marines.

  • carole

    @Michael,

    Like my good friend Rob said regarding fem behavior, “After all, all gay guys have their gay moments!”

    I understand your “possibilites,” but in thinking about kids under 14, it’s likely #1 and #3 (modeling someone in the family, maybe?)

    Mostly it’s interesting to me from a neurological perspective. That gay boys grow up into gay men who find a cultural niche that sometimes mocks by engaging in high or low camp or through farcical enactments (Edith!) is not surprising.

    However, the behavior of young boys who are still years from finding “their tribe” or their “family” raises questions about brain differences between SSA kids/OSA kids.

  • carole

    @Evan,

    1.) That’s the kind of guy teenie-boppers, pre-adolescents, go for–he is androgynous, thus sexually unthreatening for the very young girls. There are, I know some college-aged girls attracted to that hypo-masculine look.

    2.) The hypermasculinity exhibited by gays was noted in California going back to the Venice muscle Beach guys (like Arrrrrhnold)—what was that, the late 60s or 70s? Most or at least a lot of those guys were gay.

    Stereotype or not, women always felt that a guy that paid too much attention to his looks or at least dressed to draw “too much attention” to himself or to development of his body (unless he was an athlete working out) made his sexuality suspect. That kind of behavior was viewed as vanity, a woman’s purview! Things have changed a bit but only a bit.

    Commercials/advertising promote the 6-pack abs look, but not too many non-jock males actually make a serious attempt to achieve it. They see it as the Calvin Klein underwear boy look and it screams gay to them.

  • Katie Cannon

    Eddy,

    From what I understand, the odds of loosing sight in one eye over the age of something like 5 years, is extraordinarily rare — to non-existent.

    K.

  • carole

    Eddy,

    I am stupefied that a teacher didn’t pick up on your “Which one do I swing at?”

  • Michael Bussee

    @ Katie”

    It’s good to know that you’ll never be alone because you’ll always have a lady friend. So I guess when you have sex with yourself you’re straight.

    I’m straight? Wow! Finally! And I have Edith to thank! And after all those years of trying to become ex-gay… :)

  • Katie Cannon

    Michael,

    See? It’s all so simple. You were just looking at things all wrong :)

    K.

  • Michael Bussee

    IKatie: I have been looking at a lot of things wrong. I was thinking this was a “fight”, a contest — and all of you showed me it’s a discussion, a round tabl — more like a panel discussion than debate..

    Thanks to all of you — Mary, Katie, Ann, David, Warren Timothy, Evan, Concerned, Carole and Eddy (AKA exgaydude) — (did I miss anyone?) — for allowing me continue to participate — in spite of my pig-headedness. And I mean no offense to pigs… :)

  • Eddy

    As I understand it, ‘arsenokoita’ likely refers to your, by our definition, straight guy who has sex with a man as a man…i.e. he’s dominant and assumes a typically masculine role. ‘Malakos’, meaning ‘effeminate’ likely referred to one who always assumed the feminine or receptive role in a homosexual liaison and may have been a homosexual male prostitute. The context isn’t totally clear. Lots of questions have been raised. But I do doubt that the notion that ‘malakos’ referred to ‘camp drag’ has any substance.

    I’ve always been very tolerant of drag and amused by it but something in tonight’s descriptions seemed to shout that it was meant to be a perversion…a twisting. Surely that’s where the humor is. But what struck me was a reminder of a book I’d written before I ever entered ministry. I wrote the book–a children’s story–and another man did the illustrations. I had a female rabbit character in the book named Jenny. Of all the illustrations he came up with, Jenny offended me. His artistic portrayal of her made her look, to my mind, a tart rather than the innocent and demure Jenny I envisioned. As creator of the character, I was offended by his portrayal. It makes me wonder whether ‘drag’, which is intended to be a spoofing, sometimes a mockery of traditional femininity, might not be offensive to the Creator of women.

    It’s so difficult to fathom in our day of ‘openness’ and ‘permissiveness’ whether we’re evaluating things from an earthly standard or God’s. Whether that earthly standard has been unduly influenced by the Prince of Darkness…whether the ‘God standard’ isn’t overzealous conservative Christian thought. So, I make no conclusions or judgements, I simply wonder aloud. (My own recurring Halloween Costume has been ‘hippy chick’…some see Mama Cass; others see Janis Joplin…so I let her be just ‘hippy chick’.)

  • carole

    @Eddy, Michael,

    Thanks for the comments.

    Eddy said,

    besides affectations that we purposely take on, there is the realm of unconscious modeling. You watch a few too many femme fatale movies and find yourself holding a cigarette just so and delivering dramatic goodbyes.

    And since you both have posts mentioning drag –

    From Michael on “Edith”

    She would resist any and all efforts to label, classify or define her. But she loves to “dirty dance” after a couple of vodka gimlets.

    and from Eddy

    It makes me wonder whether ‘drag’, which is intended to be a spoofing, sometimes a mockery of traditional femininity,

    Why is it, can either of you explain, that in the gay man’s world there is an interest in or a need to mock/spoof/ any form of femininity or women?

    Other women and I have wondered: one would think that it might be the world of men, “traditional masculinity” that would be the target of men who felt different from the “average Joe”. After all, it is these straight men, not women, who were most likely to have teased, bullied, isolated gay boys and it is girls and women who were most understanding.

    Thus, the drag and the camp, it seems to me are especially cruel to women in many ways.

    What am I missing here? It has never made sense to me.

  • Michael Bussee

    My own recurring Halloween Costume has been ‘hippy chick’…some see Mama Cass; others see Janis Joplin…so I let her be just ‘hippy chick’

    .)

    LOL! That I would love to see… :)

    @Ca