My Mom has been dead for more than twice as many years as I knew her. Yet, in the few short years she had to share her own wisdom about life with me, she had a tremendous and lasting impact on my life and my outlook on life. It was she who taught me that I should be audacious in the best meaning of that word. She felt that one should think deeply and have the courage to stand by the convictions they came to embrace. Never let anyone discourage you from reasoning out your own philosophy, she would say to me. But never be afraid to carefully consider new paradigms either.
My struggle with my own sexuality began to ease when I applied my mother's advice to the problem. First, I began to reason out the facts as they were, not as I wished them to be. I began, in other words, to deal with the issue realistically instead of wishfully. I searched for allies in literature and found there were many who had written pertinent things about the kind of struggle I had been facing. This surprised me because had thought all those years that I was the only married guy in the world that had sexual thoughts about men.
The next thing I had to tackle was building the courage to stand by my new philosophy in the face of those who choose to see bisexuality and homosexuality as perversions. Here again, I found allies. Psychologists have long recognized bisexuality and homosexuality as normal expressions of human sexuality. They have long recognized bisexuality and homosexuality are not choices but genetic and environmental predispositions. Speaking from a religious viewpoint, they are gifts of God; and I found that even my bisexuality could be reconciled within my faith. Significantly and unexpectedly, I found that embracing my bisexuality actually brought me closer to God in my own personal life.
Before, God had always been almost an enemy because He would not answer my prayer that He take the thing away. Having embraced it, I came to see it rather quickly as something that would give purpose to my life through helping others deal with what I had been forced to deal with all alone. If I had had someone to talk with, I could have cut a number of unhappy years of struggle from my life. By having the will and the courage to talk with others about my own experiences, I found that sometimes I could give those years to other men. God became my helpmate and a true part of my life.
Living with a psychotherapist is an experience most people never have. In a way that is unfortunate. It is a fascinating experience. Psychotherapists are, of course, bound by strict ethical rules which forbid them from breaking the confidentiality of their patients, and my wife holds fast to those ethical standards without fail; but, as with any married couple, we know a great deal about each other and each other's lives. One of the things I have come to be aware of through my own life experiences but which has only been put into full perspective by my wife's experiences is how much unhappiness there is in the world. True happiness in life is a very rare thing. Unfortunately, it is something that relatively few people ever come to know. That is a tragedy of devastating proportions bringing untold human misery and other consequences.
We Americans live in one of the richest and greatest countries the world has ever known. It is not that there are not other great countries in the modern world. There certainly are, but I believe that American exceptionalism is simply a fact. In its relatively short history, America and its people have saved the world from Naziism, Communism and imperialism. We are currently working with other first world nations to save the world from terrorism. It is certainly true that America did not do all these things on its own. The courage and the will of the British people during World War II exhibited in the person of Winston Churchill played a signifiant and vital role. The unyielding French resistance fighters who refused to yield French sovereignty to Adolf Hitler and his hordes also played a vital role. But it has been America with her vast resources in the will of her people and the bounty of the country that have time and time again been the catalyst for spreading freedom throughout the world.
Yet, in arguably one of the greatest and richest countries ever to exist on the face of the earth, too many people feel a sense of hopelessness and unhappiness. In the midst of our busy and successful lives, many men still feel something is missing. Even men in loving and emotionally strong marriages too often feel something is missing from their lives, something they cannot lay a finger on yet know the feeling of need. And this vague feeling of unease, of something missing, is not getting better. It is getting worse. It is becoming more and more prevalent.
There is no lack of reasons for this discomforting reality of modern life. We live in the best of times. We live in the worst of times. We communicate with almost any part of the world instantly. We outlawed slavery in this country more than 150 years ago, yet the average American has the equivalent of many slaves making our everyday existence comfortable. Our morning coffee is ready for us when our alarm clock informs us it is time to get up each morning. Our clothes are washed and ready to wear courtesy of our machines and our chemistry. Our automobiles carry us to work surrounded by creature comforts such as hands free cell phone communication, air conditioning or heating, comfortable leather seats and FM, AM and Satellite radio. Throughout each day, our machines do much of our work for us easing our burdens and making us more productive than any people have ever been in the history of the world. For this productivity we are paid relatively well with the medium family income approaching $60,000 a year. Yet, in the midst of all this productiveness and income, too many of us are unhappy.
Human sexuality is complex. Male sexuality is exponentially more complex than female sexuality. And being males, we don't often willingly make use of directions though we live in a world where information of every sort and type are literally at our fingertips. And way too often when we do listen to directions, we listen to the wrong directions. I'm a firm believer in women's liberation, but somewhere along the line women's liberation took a devastating and unfortunate turn. Somehow as a people we became mistakenly convinced that the liberation of women could only take place if their liberation was extracted from the liberties of men. It's as if we somehow came to believe there was only so much liberty to be had and women could only get their share of it out of the liberty men had been hoarding for millennia. This is not the truth of the matter. Liberation is not a zero sum game. Liberty for women does not have to be gained at the loss of liberty for men. At some level, I think we all know this, but we don't act like we do. We often see very powerful and successful women in our country. There is nothing women are not doing. They are CEO's of our biggest companies. They are helping to fight our wars. They are successful entrepreneurs. In today's world women are more highly educated than men and educated in greater numbers than are men. They hold a very substantial part of the total wealth.
Yet women and far too many men continue to believe that women can be successful only if men let them be or unless they are given special help to give them a leg up on the system. Nothing could be further from the truth. Women have long since reached the point in this country that they can do whatever the wish without help from any man. They are full and equal citizens and they assert well their rights and privileges as such. The trouble is men are more and more yielding their own rights and privileges. Men are now obtaining college degrees in fewer numbers than women. This will ultimately lead to the pendulum swinging back too far and find too many men making less money than their wives. I'm all for equal pay for equal work for men and women, but I also understand the reality that dictates that the person who makes the most money in a relationship generally has the greatest control of that relationship.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying men should always be in control of their relationships. Largely, I think control should be a mutual thing. In some issues in some relationships men would be smart to submit to the control of their wives. In other issues in other relationships women would be smart to submit to the control of their husbands. The thing that disturbs me is that more and more in America men are abdicating not only control but also responsibility for everything other than bringing home a paycheck. He brings home a paycheck. Everything else is deferred to his wife. That is not the way it should be.
If one looks at historical records closely he will find there were many cases in which different families were bound together for their common good. These families would occupy adjacent farms and help each other to successfully farm their acreage. When it came time to move further west to take advantage of new lands and new opportunities these families would all move together as an expanded unit. In such an atmosphere men worked together for much of their lives. They formed common bonds and common attitudes and common outlooks on life. Civilization itself would not have progressed and the human species would not have survived with out the proclivity for male bonding. Male bonding provided labor when labor was hard and necessary. Male bonding provided for the defense of one's home and the fruits of his labor. It was a vital part of life.
Today, that is not the case. Somehow along the way, male bonding became a suspicious thing. Not so for female bonding. Females still bond quickly and easily with their peers and more importantly females defend their right to bond with other women vigorously.
Not so with men. Men no longer bond easily. It does not appear to be a necessity any longer. Labor these days means sitting at a computer or standing on a manufacturing line doing one's job. Labor is a solitary thing with occasional highly structured group meetings and consultations. Worse, because male bonding has become suspect to women, too many men no longer even try to defend their right to bond or understand why they need to bond with another man. This is most unfortunate for men are genetically wired to run in packs and to bond with other men
The number one most read blog post I have ever written is "Frot and Frottage." I wrote the blog post in August, 2011. Every week since it was posted it has been the number one most read post. I think that say a great deal about men, what they want, what they fantasize about and what they need. I believe the male need for male comradery is so basic that many men fear themselves to be bisexual or even homosexual simply because they misunderstand the needs they are feeling. What they are needing is a male friend, not a male lover. Sometimes close friendships between males lead to frot activities. This is just another part of male bonding. Simple frot has no bearing whatsoever on how a guy feels about his wife sexually.
My own needs and my own life are what I know best of course. I have had great success in finding and maintaining great guys for long term relationship. This is what a huge number of men want to achieve. A few of these relationships have had a sexual component to them. A greater number have not had a sexual component. I find both types of relationships enhance my life and my sense of well being. However, while one of the relationship has lasted 16 years and for the first 10 years had a very active and highly satisfying sexual component, the truth is I have never found a male buddy who could come close to taking me to the sexual heights that my wife could take me. Given the choice between sex with a great buddy and sex with my wife, I'd choose my wife every time.
My experience tells me that it is not just the sex with a guy that is the need. Rather it is the relationship, the sense of comradery that is important. Men simply have to have this male/male companionship to feel whole. Yet at the same time women have come to feel that their husband should be their best friend and have no need of other friends. If other friends are needed, wives often feel their husbands need for friends can be met by sharing her friends. This just isn't the case. Each guy needs to find his own friends and be allowed time in his life to associate with them. It is a basic need of every man, and too many men are either forbidden to for some bonds or feel guilty about forming then and do not.
I can tell you that I was never truly fulfilled and at east inside my own skin until I found a buddy to share with. If you have not found your own buddy I recommend that you do so.
I talk with a huge number of men. Many of these men have ended up changing their lives for the better. Several of them have found happiness they never thought they would find, some as gay men, some as bi men and some as straight men.
The simple truth is it scares guys to think about their sexuality. They shy away from thinking about it and they certainly shy away from discussing it. Some that do get up the courage to talk about it don't give themselves time to bring about a change in the way they have been thinking. They want instant results and instant results are just not possible. Before one can change paradigms, he must understand both the old paradigms and the new ones. That takes some time. But taking the time to think things through is worth it. Take it from me. I've been satisfied with my own life for more than a decade now, but through this blog and through conversations with the many guys I talk with, I'm always learning new things that help me to understand myself better.
Guys can and do make all kinds of excuses for refusing to try to get to know themselves, their wants and their needs better; but the truth is a guy can never be everything he needs to be to his wife and to his family until he is everything he needs to be for himself.