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In some of the subcultures Ward studied, straight MSM were able to reinterpret homosexual identity as actually strengthening their heterosexual identities. One way they did so was by seeking out partners who were similar to them. In other words: As Juzwiak put it: But still: Whatever else is going on here, clearly these men are getting some companionship out of these relationships.
But there are sturdy incentives in place for them to not take that step of identifying, or identifying fully, as gay or bi. They're clues to the past. Often they're unsuccessful attempts to resolve problems from childhood that are somehow eased in the erotic realm. I began to see Paul's sexual contacts with men as an attempt to resolve the conflictual relationship with his father. As he attempted, unconsciously, to master the abuse and humiliation he received from his father as a child, he placed himself in sexual situations where he was at risk and felt humiliated all over again.
With the other man in control, Paul was "helpless. Paul soon began to understand that he was "returning to the scene of the crime" for several reasons. First, he realized that he was not only angry at his father, but also "hungry" for the father he'd never had. He'd sought sex with men as a way of finding the nurturance and male acceptance he never received from his father. He tried to talk to his father about all the anger he'd accumulated since his childhood, but his father—still an active drinker—just laughed and called him weak.
Fortunately, he was able to feel my empathy for him and my sorrow for what he'd been through. He allowed me to "father" him in appropriate therapeutic ways. For example, he didn't have a lot of money, so he couldn't come more than once weekly, but I thought he needed more frequent sessions. So I allowed him to call me outside the therapy hour on my cell phone if he felt like going out and having sex with a man, so I could help him withstand the urge. He needed to feel that I was there for him when he experienced anxiety and traumatic feelings, and was overwhelmed with what he felt was my sincere interest in being available to him.
His calls never lasted more than 15 minutes and were never more frequent than twice weekly for several months. He brought in his journal and left it with me to read, and I didn't charge him for my time. Ultimately, Paul was able to hold his mother and father accountable for their negative behavior toward him in childhood.
He needed a safe place to explore his sexual behavior without being labeled gay, bisexual, or even questioning. This wasn't a case that revolved around whether he was gay, but rather what his original trauma was and how it could be resolved. Had Paul not been heterosexual, his gay identity would have surfaced during treatment. Therapists who work with this population have to follow their clients' leads. The work is as much about education as psychotherapy. It's crucial to give each man who has sex with men information about homosexuality and the coming-out process, sexual abuse, sexual addiction, family-of-origin issues, and mood disorders that could contribute to the desire to have sex with males.
However, as the work evolves, it's up to the client himself to decide if this is the beginning of the coming-out process, a sign of early sexual abuse, a sexual addiction, or some other form of acting out.
It could also just be that once-in-a-while sex with men is something that a man might want, and means nothing more than that. As Freud is often said to have remarked, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar! This blog is excerpted from "Gay Guise" by Joe Kort. How to Create a Successful Private Practice. Want to read more articles like this? Subscribe to Psychotherapy Networker Today! Understanding Straight Men Who Have Sex with Men There's growing evidence that many men who have sex with men aren't all gay or bisexual. Why Men Have Sex with Men For straight men who have sex with men, same-sex encounters aren't about romance or sexual attraction and desire, but about sexual and physiological arousal—"getting off" with another who's male and accessible.
Links with the Past In subsequent sessions, I asked Paul about sexual abuse because it can lead to homosexual behavior not homosexual orientation , but he denied it. Coming Out Straight Therapists who work with this population have to follow their clients' leads. Your email address will not be published. Website URL.
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Saturday, June 24, Kort's thoughts on the topic of male sexuality, I cannot emphasize enough how confusing and inadvertently painful some of his comments are to the population I work with almost exclusively -- individuals and couples in which a spouse comes out as or is discovered to be LGBT. The normalization of "forbidden desires" is healthy and helpful to our clients, and I strongly support Dr. Kort in that. However, I interact with hundreds of "straight spouses" every day online and in my office, as well as with some of their LGBT partners, and I see firsthand how articles like this can muddy the waters and make navigating a couple's "new normal" all that more challenging.
In the interest of full disclosure, let me state that I am a former straight spouse myself, having been briefly married in the 80s to a closeted gay man. My experience, while painful, gave me a depth of insight into both sides of the equation. I supported, and continue to support, my ex-husband and his thirty-year relationship with his partner. He was in tremendous pain trying to live the life expected of him, when in fact he never should have married me or anyone else. But I got off relatively easy because of the short length of the marriage and the fact that we did not have children.
I have no dog in this fight one way or another because I genuinely understand and have empathy for both sides. His conclusion is that "calling oneself bisexual is often a transient phase on the path to an openly gay male identity," as the men in these studies were primarily aroused by other men. My clinical experience is consistent with this finding.
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The anecdotal evidence suggests that married men who engage in same-sex contact may initially identify as bisexual or bi-curious, but when all is said and done, they ultimately identify as homosexual. Let me clarify that I am NOT making a statement as to the existence of true bisexuality; I am speaking only of married men who identify as bi. To suggest, for example, that your average heterosexual man who craves anal stimulation but is embarrassed to request it from his female partner would then seek it out from another man defies logic.
Certainly there are women who would be happy to satisfy that desire; why wouldn't a heterosexual man reach out to a willing woman? Quoting Dr. Kort from another article, "the anus doesn't have a sexual orientation. However, it is attached to someone who does.
The devastation for the straight spouse is real, and is only amplified when others don't "get it. The stories are all different The sex often stops after the birth of the last child.
The Straight Men of the Rural Midwest Who Have Sex With Each Other
The women wonder what's wrong with them, why they're not desirable. A wife might stumble across M4M penis pictures on Craigslist or multiple visits to male porn sites on her husband's computer, or even an ad placed by the husband himself. There might be a new male friend who appears on the scene. It is the rare scenario in which the husband initiates a conversation about his sexuality or homosexual fantasies prior to acting on them.
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