Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Nature of Men

I read of a new research study the other day that is the latest in a long line of studies which find there is no such thing as bisexuality. According to this and other studies before it, men are either heterosexual or homosexual.

Those who consider themselves bisexual are really homosexual men who have not yet come to a place in their lives where they can admit to themselves that they are homosexual men according to these studies.

I guess if I had to sum up what I have to say about this and other so called studies on the matter it would be  a two word term we use often here in Texas -- bull shit!

Saying that there is no such thing as bisexuality is like saying there is no such thing as ice. There's only water. And in a way, that's a pretty good analogy. In fact, there is only water. But water which is a common element can take many forms. It can be liquid, solid or vapor and many other things through applications of modern chemistry.

Such is the condition of human sexuality, especially human male sexuality. The sexuality of the human male is complex to an infinite degree. There are almost as many permutations as there are men. Admittedly, there are men in need of reading well conducted studies to help them figure out just who and what they are; but the men who need such help the most are the least likely to get it by reading some supposedly scientific study.

On the other hand, there are men like me and thousands and thousands like me who don't need some pseudo scientific study to tell them the nature of their sexuality. That is not to say that I and those other tens of thousands of men have been blessed all our lives in knowing ourselves and our sexuality. Far from it.

But it is precisely because we have examined our sexuality personally, intimately, painfully and at great personal risk over a lifetime, that we don't need such studies to know that bisexuality does exist and some of us, more than likely a great number of us, are in fact bisexual men.

The sexuality of men and women are radically different from one another. The difference in a man's sexuality, I think, begins to take shape as a young boy. I know I began to develop my sexuality at least as  young as age 4 and perhaps even before that. Most baby boys are born with an erection. At the moment of birth, the baby boy presents with a solid erection. Much of what makes him a boy and much of what will eventually make him a man centers around that  ability to present an erect penis and the hormonal and physical systems that work in the background of his mind and body to produce it, not just at his will, though he is quite capable of producing it at his will; but also,  just as importantly, capable of producing it against his will and at times he would least want it to present.

Admittedly, boys differ in the timing  of really discovering their penises. I have talked to a  lot of guys about this; and some, like me, discovered it by age 4. Many discovered it around age  6. Some really never discovered their penises as an instrument of pleasure until they were 10 to 12 years of age.

But no matter when the discovery acutally takes place boys grow into men overwhelmingly affected by their penises. It is always hanging there accompanied by the testicles in his scrotum. It is always obvious. It is something that even a young boy learns to  protect and defend because not to do so can cause great pain.

At the same time, because it is always hanging there, most boys, even young boys, discover by accident or design that the penis can easily be made to feel very very good. Does there exist a man who as a boy did not contemplate his penis as he sat naked in the bathtub and began to realize that this was a pretty wonderful thing he had going for himself?  Little boys are told by their mothers to "clean up," to wash themselves. It doesn't take a boy very long to learn that a little soap on his penis can be a very good thing. A little boy may not like to wash his face, but I guarnatee you , given the privacy to do so he likes to make sure his penis is very clean. It is rewarding to do so. At some point, the young man discovers that not only can this remarkable appendage be made to feel good; it can, with the right manipulation send almost unbearable pleasure streaking throughout his body curling his toes, causing him to involuntarily go rigid  with pleasure, even to invountarily cry out. At first, for a younger boy, there is no outward or visible  product  of this orgasm except as described above. But as a boy approaches his tenth or eleventh birthday that is likely to change. The orgasm is accompanied by an emission of fluid from his penis that makes the orgasm even better.

The other thing that happens in the lives of many boys because their penises are always hanging around is that they learn that other boys  have them too and that what can be fun as a solitary exercise can be even more fun when shared with friends. In my case, in the small Texas town where I grew up there was a whole gang of us who had lots of fun together. We didn't love each other, we were not emotionally tied to each other. We were just being boys. We were doing things boys do. We were doing things men do too.

Because we did this things as play, even called it "play," homosexual activity came to have its own place in our lives and in our psyches. For guys, sexuality can be romantic and emotional, but it can also be comletely divorced from romance and emotion. Such is usually not the case with women and their sexuality.

Later, in my case and as far as I know, in the case of all the other boys who played in that little Texas town, a strange thing began to happen. In spite of all the boy on boy play which did not involve emotions or romance, we began to have thoughts of another type of sexual activity which did. We were drawn to it. We discussed it at length even as we had each others cocks in our hands. This new interest was sex with girls. We all had all the sex we wanted with each other. It was a daily thing, but all that sex didn't have any effect on the new interest, the new goal of having sex with a girl, of romancing her and becoming emotionally involved with her.

In my own case, I was interested enough to play kissing games with girls by age 10. By age 12, I was interested in a whole lot more; but in that day and time ,12 year old girls might or might not be interested. Interested or not, they were not going to make anything easily available on a daily basis as my male buddies did.

By the time I was 14, I had a drivers license and access to a car and began to date. By the time I was 16, I had met the girl who was to become my wife; and by the time I was 18, I was married.

My wife enjoyed sex. And she was very very good at it. Nothing I desired was denied to me by her, yet as much as I came to love heterosexual sex and believe me, I love it and as much as I came to love my wife and I do love her, all this did nothing to satiate the desire for sexual activity with guys. And I admit this was a big surprise to me.

It took me 30 years to figure out on my own without the help of so called scientific studies that I was a bisexual male. I don't know what else you would call someone who loves both straight and gay sex. I don't know how else you would classify someone who can and does respond willingly and enthusiastically to both men and women sexually. I don't know what term you would use for one whose desire for one has absolutely no affect on his desire for the other. Such a person is not just heterosexual. Such a person is not homosexual. It seems to me that such a person is indeed bisexual.

Human sexuality, especially human male sexuality is not a place on a line. Instead it is a long length along that line from straight to gay and like any line, there is a middle point on the line of male sexuality. That middle point, one might say even that mid length along the line, is bisexuality.

Without a doubt, there are married men who call themselves bisexual as a matter of convenience, denial  or fear. My first adult male buddy was such a man. Our relationship lasted for ten years. At the time we met, he was not yet ready and indeed he was not yet capable of admittedly seeing himself as a homosexual male.  In his case, and I think it is so in most such cases, he became capable of seeing himself as a homosexual male before he became capable of telling me or anyone else he was a homosexual male. But in the end, he did tell me he was a  homosexual male and that to be happy, he had to find and make a new life with another homosexual male. That was a place I could not go. It was a goal I could not share. Emotionally and romantically, I was tied to my wife, not to metion legally and socially. And that is where the big difference between homosexual men  and bisexual men and heterosexual men presents itself. Homosexual men can relate romantically and emotionally only to men. Bisexual men can relate to either a woman or a man in such a manner and heterosexual men can relate emotionally and romantically only to a woman. For me, what he and I had been doing all those years was the same thing I did as a boy, it was play. In fact it was play for him too. He did not love me. He was not romantically bound to me, though there was a strong emotional tie to me and me to him that lasts to even now. But he needed a romantic sexual partner to whom he could relate and he came to realize that partner would be another man. The day came when he was able to tell his wife, his kids, his siblings and his parents that he was a homosexual man.

Fortunately for him, he was a very lucky homosexual man. Everyone in his family, except for his wife, stood beside him and supported him. That support did not mean the transition was  painless. It was not. I have never talked with any man who  has not had to overcome adversity of some sort because of his bisexuality or his homosexuality. It just doesn't happen. In fact, the adversity that always accompanies  a man's discovery that he is something other than heterosexual is enough reason in and of itself to make the premise that such a discovery is a choice utterly rediculous. Who whould choose such a thing? Who would give up so much voluntarily?

Recently, Pastor Jim Swilley of the Church in The Now, a Georgia megachurch publically announced  that he is and always has been a homosexual. According to Swilley, he was ultimately motivated  to come out becasue of the resent spate of suicides by several young homosexual boys. His action, he said, was intended to join other high profile men in proclaiming to young homosexual men that life does get better and life as a homosexual man can be successful and rewarding. Swilley's announcement to his church is available on line and is worth listening to by any guy who is struggling with his homosexuality or bisexuality. It can be found by clicking  here.

Predictably, the harshest response to Jim Swilley has come from so called Christians, many of whom have gone out of their way to interpret his coming out in the vilest of terms. The Christian Right is always quick to publically proclaim they hate the sin, but love the sinner. I would dread to see and hear the reaction of the Christian Right if they hated Jim Swilley. The manner in which they have expressed their love for him is shocking.

While Jim Swilley's brand of religion is not the kind with which I would be comfortable, his understanding of the Gospel of Christ is much sounder than that of the Relgious Right who have so hatelfully singled him out as one to be reviled. Swilley understands that no one, including Christian Pastors is without sin. Those who revile him are quick to give extra weight to real and perceived sins which they decide deserve such empahsis. Swilley understands that no one can be good enough to deserve salvation. He understand that the Gospel of Christ teaches we all are saved through grace and that nothing separates us from the grace of God -- even homosexuality or bisexuality.

I  don't know for sure why Jim Swilley decided to come out of the closet now after more than 25 years in the ministry.  Since I don't know, I  guess I'll take him at  his word until I'm proved wrong to do so. Why would a man who is at the penticle of his career do something that could destroy it? I think a conscientious man whith a genuine concern for other young homosexual and bisexual men might do such a thing!

Swilley  is certainly not the first Christian Minister to come to the public's attention and he won't be the last. Ted Haggard and others have had their own sexuality publically scrutinized before. In my way of thinking, Swilley is a cut above the others because he didn't say he'd change and didn't ask forgiveness for who he is. Instead, he asked for understanding and he asked those closest to him to think about the fact that he is today, the same man he has always been. Nothing has changed except now they (and everyone) know.

There are other things I think we are all beginning to know. Those who scream the loudest about what the Bible has to say on any give subject are those who know the message of the Gospel least. Those who are the most hateful and vehement in their condemnation of homosexuality and bisexuality are those most likely fighting their own demons and are themselves consumed with fear and loathing of their own sexual thoughts and desires.

The nature of men is such that we all should spend less time condemning one another and more time learning to accept one another. I have heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual friends who are all very dear to me. They all fill a place in my life. Those who are homosexual or bisexual take nothing at all from my heterosexual friends. They give much!

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing message from Pastor Swilley. I really needed to hear that. I could literally hear the angst in his voice as he began preaching. It's been over 2 years since I have been in the sanctuary of a church (excluding C & E), and I listened to all one hour and fifteen minutes of the service. I was emotionally moved to tears a few times. I was so impressed by the sincerity and honesty of the message as well as the testimony from his wife and others in the church.
    Thanks for your post and for sharing the link.



I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

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Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott