Friday, March 16, 2012

In which Brett Explores the Dark Side of Sexual Repression

There is a trend, I think, toward believing that choosing celibacy is a legitimate option. At the very least, there seems to be a trend toward feeling like suppressing your own homosexuality is desirable. I don't want to tell you how to live your lives anymore than I want you to tell me how to live mine, but I would like to share a story with you.

Jonathan and I, a little more than a year ago, moved in with a guy a named Eric, who was renting out a spare bedroom in a condo he himself was renting. Standard sort of shady Craigslist roommate search. Well, Eric gave off a gay vibe from the very beginning, but we decided we'd probe it gently. He was super evasive, so we wound up getting more direct, to no avail. He once answered a question of "do you like boys or girls" with "um, girls are good."

Well, one evening after we'd been living with him for a couple of months we were out for drinks, which was a semi-normal occurrence for us, and Jon and I decided we would go and hit a gay club after. Eric decided he wanted to come with us, and we didn't see any harm in it. Having a straight friend at a gay bar is kind of fun, right?

Not exactly. I spent the first hour or so telling Eric how to avoid accidentally flirting, and coaching him on all the gay lingo he might come across. Turns out it was totally unnecessary. He went home with a guy that night, turns out he's a total bottom.

Eric was raised Baptist, not Mormon, but a lot of the same ideas apply. He was wracked with guilt, just like he always was after he got laid. We figured out that every time he came home from a vacation and went on a cleaning spree that lasted a week, it was because he had had sex.

And that was his pattern:
1. Do everything you can to be straight and celibate.
2. Decide that you can never have a meaningful relationship with a man.
3. Opt for anonymous sex with a stranger instead.
4. Go on a cleaning spree to begin repenting
5. Reaffirm your commitment to abstinence and heterosexuality.
6. Start over.

I'm not saying this is the definitive pattern that every guy will go through if they try to repress themselves. But I do think it's important to realize that you may not be as strong as you think you are, and you're fighting a powerful force of nature. Eric was good kid, but he had some really unhealthy self destructive habits. With time we were able to help him break out of that, but it took a lot of work to get him to the point where he was able to realize that a health, committed relationship with a man was better than having sex with strangers all the time.

Given the choice between the two, don't you think you'd prefer the one to the other?

1 comment:

mohoguy said...

your comments about Eric are so true and so common to those of us raised in religious environments. It reminds me of a line from the movie "Latter-days", where one of the guys explains that he had a Mormon boyfriend and every time they had sex he would throw himself out the window. "It was hell on the azaleas". Regards, Brad