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.
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.
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.
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.