Friday, November 4, 2011

An Inchoate Thought

I've been blogging in one form or another for the better part of a decade and a half. In many ways my blogging has had similarities to my bisexuality. I was a blogger before I knew what that was just as I was bisexual long before I knew what that was.

One of the things I like about blogging and being open to discussions with other men about things that are usually closely held personal secrets is that it gives me great insight into myself and into masculinity as well. Over the past decade and a half I have had the privilege of having hundreds if not thousands of rather intimate conversations with a huge number of men about their most personal thoughts, fears, and feelings. I have shared their sorrows, their guilt, their failures and their joys and triumphs. All in all, it has been a wonderful experience for me; and I take the trust these men  have in me as an honor and a responsibility.

Most of the men with whom I have had these conversations have passed into my life for a brief time and then passed back out of it. Most of them I never met face to face. From time to time I learn, as I did yesterday, that a guy has been following my writing for years and using it to adjust his own thinking and his own views of himself and his sexuality without ever saying or writing a word to me. In many ways, finding out such a thing is, all at the same time, frightening, humbling and the highest of honors.

There are now a handful of guys who tell me not only have I helped to adjust their thinking, but I have saved their lives, the life they were planning to take with their own hand because of their guilt and pain before they encountered me and/or my writing. My ancestors were American Indians; and they believed, to save a life made one responsible for that life. I have to admit I feel that responsibility and sometimes it weighs on me; for I think, who am I to be fooling around in the lives of other guys?

At the same time, I rather quickly came to realize that in a lifestyle that often seemed overburdened, complex and guilt ridden, it soothed some of my own guilt and fears to find there was something good coming out of my bisexuality. Ultimately, I came to realize helping other guys to dig around in their lives helped me to understand better my own bisexuality as the key to the purpose for a large part of my life, helping other married homosexual and bisexual men to figure themselves out. The successes that come along are rewarding beyond anything I can describe, and they have certainly been beyond anything I could have imagined when I started this journey exploration and understanding fifteen years ago.

Over the last few years, the realization that sexuality, male sexuality in particular, is a continuum and not a point on a graph has led to new and better understanding of myself and of other men. One of the most read of all my blog postings is one called "Frot and Frottage" which I posted in August of this year. The Frot Philosophy is not all that well known, but it suggests male/male sexuality is a biologically normal way for men to express themselves with other men for whom they hold a deep bond of friendship. Further, the Frot Philosophy suggests because modern society is so intolerant of male/male friendships and so suspicious of them, the emptiness many men feel in their lives and come to identify as unresolved homosexual or bisexual desires is really just a normal male desire for a significant bonded relationship with another man. Finally, Frot Philosophy suggests Frot activities transcend the labels of "homosexual" and "bisexual" and that even straight men are quite capable of desiring and carrying out a Frot relationship involving sexual expression. Over the last few years the more I come to see and know, the more I agree with this part of Frot Philosophy.

This new thinking for made personal for me about six months ago when I meet a young twenty something year old man here in Houston. This young man was referred to me by a friend of mine who knew of him and knew he was struggling with some sexual questions about himself. He told the young man he should get in contact with me because I could help him sort out his jumbled and troubling thoughts.

We met for lunch one day and it turned into a three hour talk, the first of many more hours of talk between this young man and me. He is no ordinary young man. Even at his young age, he is a very successful man. He owns his own home in a nice neighborhood. He's a professional man working for a well known multi national company with a headquarters here in Houston.

This young man is married, and he loves his wife and he greatly enjoys the sexual relationship he has with his wife. He is an extremely intelligent young man and a very good looking young man that anyone would perceive as being straight. Yet, he was quite upset when we met, because thoughts of guys and sex with guys seemed to be occupying his mind more and more. He didn't feel he was gay and these thoughts were highly unsettling to him.

The more I talked to this young man about all parts of his life, the more intrigued I was with what I found. Here was a young man totally dedicated to his wife and family. He was also totally dedicated to his job, his career and his personal and family success. He admitted that after meeting the obligations he felt for his wife, family and job, there was little time for personal friendships and he really had few friends here in Houston and no really close male friend. Over the course of our talks, the picture that emerged to me concerning this young man was of a man who is definitely not homosexual. He could be bisexual, but I have come to doubt even that. He has no desire for anonymous male to male sex. What he desires is a close male friend, someone he could trust implicitly and confide in with total confidence. He thinks that in such a relationship sex might be one of the ways such implicit trust and total confidence might find expression.

When this picture began to emerge to me, I introduced him to Frot Philosophy. He had never heard of it before, but reading it for the first time was an emotional homecoming for him. He was left with little doubt that he had unknowingly been desiring a Frot relationship.

Although the idea that a straight guy could be involved in male/male sexual relationship with his bonded buddy has only slowly taken form in my mind over the last few years, it is not a new idea at all historically speaking.

Recently, another blogger picked up on this inchoate idea of mine and commented on it in his own blog. The text from his blog, Enhanced Masculinity, follows:

"I extract one or two salient statements from one of Jack Scott's recent posts on his blog.

Jack says: 'For a bisexual man, the need for male/male sex and a male/male bond is real and there is no substitute for it.' I would say exactly the same for an Enhanced Male, perhaps even more so. 'The problems' says Jack, 'come from trying to fit our lives "within the false notions society has about male sexuality and all the implications of male sexuality.'

That is really well said and goes to the nub of the problem. Jack goes on, later, to make an interesting threefold distinction, where up to now I think I only made a double one: 'For men in particular sex has several functions. It has the procreational function which is the only function religion really recognizes as legitimate. It also has the recreational function which society condones within the bounds of heterosexual matrimony. But it also has the male/male bonding function which society does not recognize at all and does not admit exists much less condone.' I think I have been slow to recognize the importance of the male-bonding element that Jack talks so emphatically about: 'If one talks to men who have sex with men, he will hear over and over about the need for bonding. Society simply refuses to recognize the reality of the need.'

Then comes Jack's really prophetic paragraph that I endorse wholeheartedly: 'Personally, I believe society's wrestling with this issue is just beginning. The fact is male/male sexuality has been repressed for some time. But just as the internet and interpersonal communications via the internet have played a part in revolutions around the world in the last several months, I believe the internet is helping to arm a revolution in male/male sexuality. A subject that has been repressed and taboo is now open for discussion in tens of thousands of blogs and groups and one to one male encounters on the internet. Men are quickly coming to see that the urges and desires they have had all their lives are not unique to them. They exist in many if not in most men at one time or another. Knowledge or such a thing cannot be contained. It will spread like wild fire and it already is.'

Having other guys pick up on my thoughts and mull them around in their own heads and in their own blogs is an important part of the process of considering new ideas for me. So is reading the comments of others. Sometimes the comments of others helps me to solidify my thoughts. Sometimes the comments of others are so compelling and well reasoned, they cause me to change what I am thinking. Often I am pleasantly surprised by aspects brought up by others that I have never thought of. All that is what I like about blogging.

Although the idea that essentially straight guys could be involved in male/male sexual relationships with their bonded buddies has only slowly begun to form in my mind over the last few years, it is not a new idea at all historically speaking. Male/male bonding which included sexual expression by men who were the epitome of seeming heterosexuality was common in Hellenistic societies, particularly Greece, Persia and Egypt. Alexander himself, warrior, philosopher, King and conqueror of the known world of his time was a prime example. He was a legendary lover of women but also many historians believe he had bonds with some men around him which included a sexual component. To quote Matt Barrett's A History of Greece, "bisexuality was common place in ancient Greece, but it was regarded as a highest form of human communication, as a sacred bond between men, that lifted them to divine sharing, to refinement of spirit. Philosophers rather than philanderers were born from such relations…. They…do homage to a kind of relationship that they themselves aspired to be as equal to that of their heroes, Achilles and Patroclus."

Alexander ushered in the Hellenistic age, but it survived him by almost 300 years until it was ended by the rise of the Roman empire. But even the Roman empire felt the influence of Alexander, and the Romans were bisexual in much the same way as were the Hellenists. It was simply a part of life for Romans.

Yet, as Matt Barrett points out, because many historians and certainly many modern day Greeks see homosexuality and bisexuality through the lens of contemporary societal and religious norms, the idea that Alexander and the Hellenists were what they were is hotly disputed now by would be revisionist historians. That is easy to understand. Society still tries to deny even modern homosexuality and bisexuality as sexual norms although they are accepted as such by psychologists.

And it is not just ancient Greece and Rome where bisexuality was the norm. Cultural anthropologists found it to be common in many primitive Pacific Island cultures until Christian missionaries began to arrive and began to carry out their cultural genocidal practices. As with revisionists historians and the ancient Greeks, revisionists cultural anthropologists are now trying to discredit the findings of their predecessors, but outside the halls of Politically Correct thinking, it is still widely recognized that these societies considered types of bisexuality as norms.

My thought that essentially straight men may in certain circumstances express themselves and their feelings for another man in a sexual manner is in no way meant to suggest that homosexuality and bisexuality are not real sexual norms for millions of men or to suggest that homosexuality or bisexuality are not appropriate life styles. They are. What I am suggesting is that these labels do not tell all there is to know about male/male sexuality. I have come to believe that in a significant number of instances, straight men are sexually intimate with their buddies and remain essentially straight men. One of these men I know personally is bonded in such a way with his camping buddy. Many men are bonded in this way with their fishing buddy. When they are not with this buddy in a narrowly defined set of circumstances, they are straight men. Often the bonded buddies are well known to each other families and function normally as straight men within the bounds of family friendships.

These kinds of relationships have little chance of being accepted as cultural norms in this country in the foreseeable future. The mere fact that I am suggesting such relationship exist will more than likely set off a howl of protest from the extremists of various stripes who do not appreciate thinking that goes beyond their arbitrarily set social and religious boundaries.  Yet, if one listens carefully to the contemporary media, especially the media aimed at women, he will find the rumor of this norm is already the subject of much discussion and debate. In fact, many thoughtful individuals are coming to see that the religious right and the politically correct movements exist only as a reactionary counterpoint to changing religious and societal norms which they hope they halt. 

The good thing is that through internet blogging and other social contacts, men may come to  understand more about themselves and their own sexuality. That does not mean that living the life will be any easier in the near or even the remote future.

Each man will have to continue to come to terms with his own sexuality and also come to terms with what he is going to share with others and who those others with whom he shares will be.

Jack Scott


  1. An excellent and wonderfully argued post that helps me even more in my understanding of the male on male world and helps me to be even more enthusiastically a part of.

  2. It has been a wonderful experience following your blog, Jack. As with most things in life, I wish what I know now I would have known when I was younger. That's life though. As I discover who I really am, I am discovering a person who has been in hiding most of his life. Society and religious upbringing has kept so many men from being happy and fulfilled. This will probably continue for generations. I recently came out to my exwife and sons. My youngest son (biological) seems the most accepting of my bisexuality. The exwife is seeking counseling. My wish would be finding a local Bi group that was willing to share their stories and experiences with each other on a regular basis. I wish to thank you for being here when I needed someone. Dave

  3. Jack, as always an insightful post. I accepted myself as gay recently and started a jouney (some would say I haven't left the garage yet. lol) to discover myself and how I will relate to the world. This post hit on so many things with me. I have straight guy friends I have known for decades in some cases that I have shared my sexuality with. I never really understood how they could be cool with it. Other than being good friends. I think they understand what you wrote without being able to put words to it. I have long thought men are at a disadvantage when it comes to sharing male specific knowledge. Think about it. With a women, female specific knowledge like when you have kids, your first period, and things like that are often discussed. Too often some some guys might say. But guys just aren't brought up to talk about things. Only now is the subject of prostate cancer a suitable topic for guys to discuss. Viagra made it somewhat acceptable to discuss ED. Imagine, such an important topic and we wouldn't talk about it with our closest buds. I can still remember a conversation with a close friend in 1999 who when the subject came up in a group, closed the discussion with "I don't need something like that" said in a way the just shut the conversation down. IF anyone in the room had a question he wouldn't have dared ask it. My father and I weren't close from the time I was 9 until about 16. Remember back to the questions you had. I had no one to ask. Heck, I taught myself to shave. When I see those ads with the little boy watching his dad shave, I tear up. Inside only of course; It is about time that society realized they are crushing men. Death of a Salesman is a metaphor I think of some of that. At least the common idea of the play. Remember the phrase elsewhere: Men live lives of quiet desperation. Yep and quiet is imho a cause of why we die younger. We need to open up more. We need to be able to be straight and talk to those who aren't without people thinking we are gay. We need to accept that it isn't a bad thing to be bi or gay. If you aren't either. That is fine. Why worry. If you are, those who aren't should worry about you. Yes, I know you might say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. (Thank you John Lennon)

  4. Thanks Westernstock. I appreciate your support.

    Jack Scott

  5. DL, isn't it the truth. If I had known 30 years ago what I know now, it would have saved me a great deal of pain and worry.

    It almost seems like I've just come to understand myself and the best of my life is over.

    I know a lot of guys who share your dream to start a local group. We tried here in Houston and were successful for a while, but it is a difficult task to sustain.

    I appreciate your comments.

    Jack Scott

  6. Skier, glad to hear you are on a journey of self discovery. It can be very rewarding. I am happy to give you some insight into your journey.

    There is no doubt you are right on target about males being at a distinct disadvantage in our society when it comes to sharing male specific knowledge.

    Some of this disadvantage we inflict on ourselves and society and religion does the rest. It's really pretty distressing.

    We need the dreamers as you know and we need the people who will speak up as well as the people who will will look into their own lives and find themselves. I'm glad you're doing all that. Keep your dreams alive.

    Jack Scott


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.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

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