Research on CSA and homosexuality

Marnia's picture
Submitted by Marnia on
Printer-friendly version

It appears that intense sexual stimulation in early childhood has some correlation with homosexuality (in many cases). So far scientists have only looked at the possible connection between child sexual abuse (CSA) and homosexuality.

However, we think a more complete picture would be provided if people were asked about intense sexual stimulation at an early age - whatever the circumstances. After all, supranormal stimulation doesn't necessarily entail the participation of another person (one might stumble upon porn, or some particularly stimulating method of masturbation, oneself, or even be unduly frightened in connection with harmless masturbation due to religious views of surrounding adults). And supranormal stimulation certainly doesn't necessarily entail a person old enough to meet the definition of CSA (could easily be a not-much-older sibling).

If the determining factor is becoming hypersensitive to sexual cues (which is a hypothesis because straight men who get hooked on porn find they keep looking for a more and more intense "kick," and often end up viewing gay porn among other "shocking" - to them - themes), then it would perhaps pay to ask broader questions.

Despite the limitations of current research, these findings may be of interest to some visitors:

The impact of sexual abuse on sexual identity formation in gay men.
Brady S.
J Child Sex Abus. 2008;17(3-4):359-76.
Mental Health and Behavioral Medicine Program, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA. sbrady@bu.edu
Emerging data suggests that as children, gay males have an increased risk for physical and sexual abuse. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a significant subset of children abused by clergy identify as gay as adults. However, we know very little about the impact of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse in childhood on the development and psychosocial functioning of gay men. This article describes the incidence of childhood abuse in the lives of gay men and the probable impact of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse. In the treatment of gay men sexually abused as children, including those abused by clergy, providers should use a normative frame for gay identity development such as the Homosexual Identity Formation Model. This treatment model, highlighted with case material, is also discussed.

Childhood sexual experiences and adult health sequelae among gay and bisexual men: defining childhood sexual abuse.
Arreola S, Neilands T, Pollack L, Paul J, Catania J.
J Sex Res. 2008 Jul-Sep;45(3):246-52.
HIV Research Section, San Francisco Department of Public Health, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA. sonya.arreola@sfdph.org
Gay and bisexual men carry the burden of HIV infections in the United States and have high rates of childhood sexual abuse that predict HIV and other health outcomes. This study examined differential effects of forced, consensual, and no childhood sexual experiences (CSE) on health outcomes among a probability sample of adult men who have sex with men (MSM). The forced sex group had the highest levels of psychological distress, substance use, and HIV risk. There were no differences in rates of depression and suicidal ideation between the consensual- and no-sex groups. The consensual- and forced-sex groups had higher rates of substance use and transmission risk than the no-sex group. The forced-sex group, however, had significantly higher rates of frequent drug use and high-risk sex than the consensual group. Findings suggest that forced CSEs result in a higher-risk profile than consensual or no childhood sexual experiences, the kind of risk pattern differs between forced and consensual childhood sexual experiences, and the underlying mechanisms that maintain risk patterns may vary. It is important to clarify risk patterns and mechanisms that maintain them differentially for forced and consensual sex groups so that interventions may be tailored to the specific trajectories related to each experience.

Men's self-definitions of abusive childhood sexual experiences, and potentially related risky behavioral and psychiatric outcomes.
Holmes WC.
Child Abuse Negl. 2008 Jan;32(1):83-97. Epub 2007 Nov 26.
Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, United States.
OBJECTIVES: To estimate how many heterosexual and gay/bisexual men self-define abusive childhood sexual experiences (CSEs) to be childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and to assess whether CSA self-definition is associated with risky behavioral and psychiatric outcomes in adulthood. METHODS: In Philadelphia County, 197 (66%) of 298 recruited men participated in a telephone survey. They were screened for CSEs and then asked if they self-defined abusive CSEs to be CSA; they also were asked about risk behavior histories and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression symptoms. RESULTS: Of 43 (22%) participants with abusive CSEs, 35% did not and 65% did self-define abusive CSEs to be CSA ("Non-Definers" and "Definers," respectively). Heterosexual and gay/bisexual subgroups' CSA self-definition rates did not significantly differ. When self-definition subgroups were compared to those without CSEs ("No-CSEs"), Non-Definers had lower perceived parental care (p=.007) and fewer siblings (p=.03), Definers had more Hispanics and fewer African Americans (p=.04), and No-CSEs had fewer gay/bisexual men (p=.002) and fewer reports of physical abuse histories (p=.02) than comparison groups. Non-Definers reported more sex under the influence (p=.001) and a higher mean number of all lifetime sex partners (p=.004) as well as (only) female sex partners (p=.05). More Non-Definers than Definers reported having experienced penetrative sex as part of their CSA (83% vs. 35%, p=.006). Different explanations about self-definition were provided by subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: Many men with abusive CSEs do not self-define these CSEs to be CSA, though not in a way that differs by sexual identity. The process by which men self-define their abusive CSEs to be CSA or not appears to be associated not only with self-explanations that differ by self-definition subgroup, but also with behavioral outcomes that impart risk to Non-Definers.

Two hypotheses on the causes of male homosexuality and paedophilia.
James WH.
J Biosoc Sci. 2006 Nov;38(6):745-61. Epub 2005 Oct 4.
The Galton Laboratory, University College London.
This note considers two hypotheses on the causes of homosexuality and paedophilia in men, viz. the hypotheses of maternal immunity and of postnatal learning. According to the maternal immune hypothesis, there is progressive immunization of some mothers to male-specific antigens by each succeeding male fetus, and there are concomitantly increasing effects of anti-male antibodies on the sexual differentiation of the brain in each succeeding male fetus. An attempt is made to assess the status of this hypothesis within immunology. Knowledge of the properties of anti-male antibodies is meagre and there has been little direct experimentation on them, let alone on their effects on the developing male fetal brain. Moreover until the relevant antigens are identified, it will not be possible to test mothers of male homosexuals or paedophiles for the presence of such antibodies. Yet until this experimentation has been done, it would seem premature to regard the hypothesis as more than a very provisional explanatory tool. The evidence in relation to the postnatal learning hypothesis is quite different. There is an abundance of data suggesting that male homosexuals and paedophiles report having experienced more sexual abuse (however defined) in childhood (CSA) than do heterosexual controls. The question revolves round the interpretation of these data. Many (though not all) of these studies are correlational and thus subject to the usual qualifications concerning such data. However, there are grounds for supposing that some of the reports are veridical, and there is support from a longitudinal study reporting a small but significant increase in paedophilia in adulthood following CSA. To summarize: most boys who experience CSA do not later develop into homosexuals or paedophiles. However, the available evidence suggests that a few do so as a result of the abuse.

Gay and bisexual men's age-discrepant childhood sexual experiences.
Stanley JL, Bartholomew K, Oram D.
J Sex Res. 2004 Nov;41(4):381-9.
Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada V5A 1S6. jstanley@sfu.ca
This study examined childhood sexual abuse (CSA) in gay and bisexual men. We compared the conventional definition of CSA based on age difference with a modified definition of CSA based on perception to evaluate which definition best accounted for problems in adjustment. The sample consisted of 192 gay and bisexual men recruited from a randomly selected community sample. Men's descriptions of their CSA experiences were coded from taped interviews. Fifty men (26%) reported sexual experiences before age 17 with someone at least 5 years older, constituting CSA according to the age-based definition. Of these men, 24 (49%) perceived their sexual experiences as negative, coercive, and/or abusive and thus were categorized as perception-based CSA. Participants with perception-based CSA experiences reported higher levels of maladjustment than non-CSA participants. Participants with age-based CSA experiences who perceived their sexual experience as non-negative, noncoercive, and nonabusive were similar to non-CSA participants in their levels of adjustment. These findings suggest that a perception-based CSA definition more accurately represents harmful CSA experiences in gay and bisexual men than the conventional age-based definition.

Childhood sexual abuse among homosexual men. Prevalence and association with unsafe sex.
Lenderking WR, Wold C, Mayer KH, Goldstein R, Losina E, Seage GR 3rd.
J Gen Intern Med. 1997 Apr;12(4):250-3.
Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
Of 327 homosexual and bisexual men participating in an ongoing cohort study pertaining to risk factors for HIV infection who completed a survey regarding history of sexual abuse, 116 (35.5%) reported being sexually abused as children. Those abused were more likely to have more lifetime male partners, to report more childhood stress, to have lied in the past in order to have sex, and to have had unprotected receptive anal intercourse in the past 6 months (odds ratio 2.13; 95% confidence interval 1.15-3.95). Sexual abuse remained a significant predictor of unprotected receptive anal intercourse in a logistic model adjusting for potential confounding variables.

Self-reported childhood and adolescent sexual abuse among adult homosexual bisexual men.
Doll LS, Joy D, Bartholow BN, Harrison JS, Bolan G, Douglas JM, Saltzman LE, Moss PM, Delgado W.
Child Abuse Negl. 1992 Nov-Dec;16(6):855-64.
Division of HIV/AIDS, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA.
>From May 1989 through April 1990, 1,001 adult homosexual and bisexual men attending sexually transmitted disease clinics were interviewed regarding potentially abusive sexual contacts during childhood and adolescence. Thirty-seven percent of participants reported they had been encouraged or forced to have sexual contact before age 19 with an older or more powerful partner; 94% occurred with men. Median age of the participant at first contact was 10; median age difference between partners was 11 years. Fifty-one percent involved use of force; 33% involved anal sex. Black and Hispanic men were more likely than white men to report such sexual contact. Using developmentally-based criteria to define sexual abuse, 93% of participants reporting sexual contact with an older or more powerful partner were classified as sexually abused. Our data suggest the risk of sexual abuse may be high among some male youth and increased attention should be devoted to prevention as well as early identification and treatment.

Gay People

Are very hyper sensitive to information such as this and anything that suggests their sexual orientation isn't innate. They would especially get upset to see Homosexuals and Pedophiles being compared to each other.

However, it's no secret that many victims of CSA often struggle with sexual identity issues and compulsive sexual behavior later on.

The term used for when a man with an innate heterosexual orientation acts out homosexually later in life is called "homosexual imprinting".

But I believe this term is also used for innate heterosexual men who experienced intense sexual arousal during early sexual experimentation with other males, which is very much in line with what you're writing about I think. Their brain is "imprinted" with associating homosexual behavior with pleasure. This is often used by "ex-gay" therapists as one "cause" of homosexuality. Even though I think it is true for some men, mostly men who are not and never were gay to begin with. I don't think it's true for all gay men though.

I guess any physical stimuli the primitive brain associates with pleasure, it will remember.

The idea that you have to like and enjoy the behavior or the other person if you're physically aroused is nonsense. Men who were sexually abused reported being aroused physically and reaching orgasm which perpetrators often use as 'proof' to that victim enjoyed it, thus making it not abuse and adding extreme guilt and confusion in the victim. They reached orgasm, even though they found the experience dreadful. A lot of female rape victims reported orgasm during the act. Even though they hated every minute of it.

Stupid beliefs like that are what cause so much guilt, confusion and self loathing in these people. Not to mention, it could also make victims not want to come forth cause "well, I was aroused...so I must of liked it".

Conflict,

I don't think we disagree. By supranormal stimulation I mean exactly what you're talking about...namely that the brain *learned* something because of the intensity of an experience - whether the person registered it as great or horrible, or a mixture of the two.

I don't know a thing about what ex-gay counselors do. But if I were gay, I would be interested in all of the pieces of the puzzle, not just the ones that were politically correct.

I feel the same way about "straight" politically correct points of view. After all, the politically correct view is that orgasm is "pure pleasure," and totally beneficial. This turns out to be wrong. It's part of a longer cycle that has the power to distort perception and future choices if the experience is intense enough.

Independent thought is vital if we're really going to understand what is going on in our sex lives. Narrow minds may be a bigger risk here than unpopular studies.

I think

[quote=Marnia]I don't think we disagree. By supranormal stimulation I mean exactly what you're talking about...namely that the brain *learned* something because of the intensity of an experience - whether the person registered it as great or horrible, or a mixture of the two.
[/quote]

It could be a coping mechanism. To lessen the trauma by turning the pain into pleasure in it.

I've noticed in a lot of chat rooms I've frequented, girls often enjoy being degraded and "used". They like to be called names and treated badly. I'd bet my bottom dollar each of these girls came from an abusive household or suffered verbal and mental abuse early in their life. I've noticed many gay men enjoy fantasy where they are treated the same way by dominate, "straight acting" men. Some men like to dress as the opposite sex and be called a "sissy". Clearly this symbolizes a need of acceptance by the past abuser(s). It's trauma and sadness turned into sexual pleasure. By being sexually used by the abuser, they are then useful to them and obtain their attraction, love and most of all acceptance.

I think this "pleasurable" way of dealing with emotional trauma and "mastering" it, is what kick starts the reward circuity. Numbing the pain of it all temporarily and metamorphosing it into pleasure...is what causes the excitement that kicks starts the dopamine. Then it's all reinforced with the ultimate reward: orgasm. I believe it also contributes the compulsiveness. As it's just repeating the trauma and not solving it.

I do believe sexual fantasies and turn-on's have symbolic non-sexual meanings and often have little to do with true natural and healthy desire for the other person. One you find the meanings of it, hopefully you'll stop associating it with pleasure and handle them in a healthy way. But some never will, because orgasm is king as long as it results in that, it's all good and wonderful. But the negativity is still brewing. Of course, this is all complicated even more once we get hooked.

I really don't know

I'm reluctant to say, since I know some individuals have experienced far worse. However, there are memories of certain events from the past that are still with me to this day. I do know that some would often be present somewhere in the back of my mind while masturbating to pornography, fantasy or a combination of both. One early memory has always stuck, it happened in the sixth grade. I guess that's the period when we're first becoming aware of attraction and begin to develop sexual interest. For graduation that year, boy/girl pairs were to walk down the isles together during the ceremony. After it was announced who would be in pairs together, I overheard the girl I was to walk with say "he has things all over his face!" (in references to my freckles, which were the butt of many jokes and much ridicule already). She was acting really distressed as if her life was ending. She didn't know I was standing right in back of her when she said it, till she turned around. Then she just looked kind of embarrassed and it was very awkward to say the least. It made me feel like a monster and I remember later on in life, having a period where I didn't want to go outside until after dark. I think this, along with other negative comments about my looks plus seeing girls flock to certain other boys who were clearly better looking and in better shape, kicked started a life of feeling just basically worthless, cursed and "not what females want". I also remember one time a girl telling me flat out "you'd be hot if you didn't have freckles"...gee, thanks. Each girlfriend I had, I was abusive to. I just didn't trust them and always thought I was a last resort or a substitute for something better. Porn also caused relationship problems. My mind was so pornographic, my views on the world were. I had paranoid visions of them engaging in group sex and lesbian sex behind my back. Didn't help I of course found these very shocking thoughts to be highly arousing! Which made it even worse.

A while back I was wondering if when I said "Cause I'm not what she wants" in response to somebody that told me to approach an attractive girl, was a sign of repressed homosexuality. But as I type this out, I see the real truth.

It also made me just not want to be me and always compare myself to other men.

It caused me to resent my parents because I saw myself as a reflection of their bad genes and also because they were just blind. I felt I was ugly, but of course a mother will never say that about her own son. It made me think they were ignorant, trying to pull the wool over my eyes with false self esteem or just didn't care. When I would express my emotions and what drove me, they would guilt me for feeling bad. Like because they bought me a bike for Christmas or that Nintendo system for my Birthday, I had no right to feel bad and they were better parents than all the other ones.

My sister swears I suffered deeper trauma at the hands of my mother that I either blocked out or just don't remember. I had a problem during childhood where I would pull my hair out, to the point I had to get crew cuts cause I was giving myself bald spots. I do know this is a compulsive nervous and stress related illness and I still do it, just not badly. She swears it was due to my mother's constant screaming at the top of her lungs and just mean verbal abuse. I think my sister told me my mother told me that I "should of died at birth" when I was around 5 or 6. I don't remember this though.

My sister before I was born witnessed her chop my father's finger off with a butcher's knife, then refused to help him. My sister actually had to wrap the towel around his hand and saw him literal put his finger in his top pocket and drive himself to the hospital, bleeding like a pig.

I think the self esteem issues and tension filled household made me vulnerable to the escapism of the fantasy world that porn offered. That coupled with just the normal curiosity of teenagers.

A little later on in Junior High is when homosexual fantasy started coming into the picture. It just became normal after a while and I guess I just never thought there was any connection between it and my identity. I Just indulged in it and went about my life, never thinking about it.

The most early ones kind of shuck up on me and took me by surprise. I remember they were always kind of abusive and just pornographic versions of a lot of what I experienced at the time. Which was having my masculinity mocked, my sexual orientation questioned and name calling.

I was also heavily into drugs at the time. I used pot + porn + fantasy in isolation to shut out the world, so it was anything goes pretty much. That plus natural teen rebellion and scorn for others, made taboo things (like homosexuality) that others disliked and were disgusted by, ultra exciting.

I used that to find pleasure. So I guess whatever was troubling me at the time, was sexualized. I guess that is trauma manifested into orgasm.

But there was that and there was also the side of me that would say "the best sex is sex with someone you love" and that had romantic/emotional/sexual attraction to females and fantasies of just being a boyfriend to one.

Here is one article that has always been a bit helpful and one I related to a great deal:
http://www.jackinworld.com/library/articles/strfant.html

I think you might find it interesting.

*sigh*

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sorry for what you've been through. This is a tough planet.

For what it's worth, freckles can be quite cute, and kids in junior high can be nit wits. Smile So you may want to rethink that idea that you're not attractive due to freckles. Obviously you *are* quite hot, or would be if you were happier.

Supposedly your subconscious doesn't know the difference between reality and powerful visualization in some respects. (That's why it can so easily react to porn as if it were "real.")

Since you're so visual, why not spend some time visualizing a different, more comforting version of those traumatic events? Like the girl being *delighted* that she was to walk with you. And also visualize centered, healthy parents while you're at it. It could be very soothing to the part of you that had to grow up in that war zone. Some day you will see that your parents did their best, given what they were coping with. They didn't know what was making them hurt, or they would have done better.

Same goes for you, but you're already asking better questions and finding out some answers.

*a big hug*

Yeah...

[quote=Marnia]For what it's worth, freckles can be quite cute, and kids in junior high can be nit wits. Smile [/quote]

One of the meanest things said to me back in 6th grade actually came from the mouth of a teacher, which invoked a lot of laughter in the other kids and was later repeated. I still remember that as well as a common nickname for me, but I will not go into that.

I will say that before my mind was totally consumed with confusion of my sexual orientation, it was obsession with my looks. The feeling that no female will ever want me and that I'm pretty much doomed when it came to the opposite sex. I never mentioned this before, but I do remember shortly before I got hit with the sexual orientation crisis, consciously telling myself to just "not care" anymore about females. Part of my fear in never being with a girl WAS rooted in the fear people would think I was gay and I remember thinking "who cares". I think this was after I do, with some liquid confidence try to win over a girl, but got rejected. I was sick of the feeling of being a loser when going out alone and coming home alone. Feeling like maybe girls just weren't for me. Shortly after, I think this was in my mind when I thought about all the bisexual/tranny/gay porn I looked at. Then BAM...though I am still insecure about my image, I really don't stress over it much.

I did and still do show many signs of having body dysmorphic disorder though.

Supposedly your subconscious doesn't know the difference between reality and powerful visualization in some respects. (That's why it can so easily react to porn as if it were "real.")

[quote=Marnia]Since you're so visual, why not spend some time visualizing a different, more comforting version of those traumatic events? Like the girl being *delighted* that she was to walk with you. [/quote]

Oh, for as long as I can remember I've had fantasies and day dreams of being the sexy stud all the women want and have walked around with this false image as a defense mechanism. At least I think that's what it is...could just be me trying to hide my true homo self?

I'm fantasized about multiple female sex partners, being in a band and having all the women want me, fantasies of being married once day.

I've noticed that when I see a girl I am attracted to, the first thought in my head is other peoples reactions if she was my girlfriend/wife. Like I will automatically picture me and her walking into the house with my family there, or running into old friends when I am with her. Is this common? Or could this mean I just want the appearance of being heterosexual? That the only reason I do want that, is due to what other think and how they see me. Maybe I am repressed and in denial due to family and social pressure...

Hmmm

I suspect those fantasies are common, but I admit they weren't the type I had in mind. They seem to be all about how *others* perceive you with your status symbol.

Maybe try imagining what you would feel as you interact with the girl who is happy to have you chosen to be her partner. Try to visualize what the relationship between you would feel like.

It seems to me that the first set of fantasies are all about testosterone (winning in the mate competition, or dominance hierarchy), while the second might lead you to a taste of the benefits of closer union itself. I know you haven't had enough of the latter experiences to make this an easy exercise. However, as a mammal, you also have this circuit (rewarding feelings from close, trusted companionship) in your brain, too.

The beauty of not having many actual examples is that you have complete freedom to make the encounter as loving and reassuring as you want it. Maybe start by imagining what it is to have a friendship and courtship, and skip the part where she insists you rip of both of your clothes. Wink

Try to get comfortable with having normal, friendly contact first. That's what you're missing right now. That's what would *actually* improve your self-image, too.

That's an interesting insight about giving up on women and then finding trany porn more compelling. See how powerful your mind is? Time to teach it some new tricks.

Use it to imagine connections that improve your well-being, and not your status. (As I said, the latter is normal - look at most ads for booze or fast cars - but it has little to do with a deep connection with another human being. What would one feel like?)

Yeah.....

[quote=Marnia]
It seems to me that the first set of fantasies are all about testosterone (winning in the mate competition, or dominance hierarchy)[/quote]

Like I fantasy about other guys talking about how lucky I am for having her and being jealous. Even though I'd also punch them in the mouth if I heard them talking about her in a sexual way, hehe. But that's only sometimes. The truth is, if I like a girl and find her attractive (my taste in women is not stereotypical...I like girls that don't fit molds). I don't care what others think. I think a lot of it stems from a fear of being perceived as being gay. Cause I KNOW what it is like to be....I've been called fag enough in my life to know. Last time, was by my uncle after a nasty argument that almost came to blows. He's an illiterate moron who's unable to read or write and just tell dirty jokes. So in the end, that means nothing. Anyone better than him is a fag. He also puts so much emphasis on being married and going out of his way to appear macho, I wonder if he's not gay himself.

Him and my whole family always asked "did you get a girlfriend" yet, "there is a nice girl for you". Funny how they all have problems in there relationships. Dependent people I guess go with just "anyone". He hates his wife deep inside and she is a sight for sore eyes. Nothing attractive about her, physically and mentally. So yeah, me watching in with an ultra sexy girl and seeing his dumb face hit the floor is a sweet fantasy.

We also live in a society where gay rumors get fueled easily. "You know Jim never got married, he must be gay". This with all the failed shitty marriages makes me wonder if most men haven't gotten married to not be looked at as gay. Why else would these slugs go around whining about "the old ball and chain" and make their mundane jokes about how crappy life is when you get married. Cause it's something they feel they HAVE to do. Cause society builds bullshit systems and anyone that doesn't follow them, is labeled this and that and is an outcast.

So maybe, it has nothing to do with orientation. I've always said I never wanted "just anybody". I have my types and they aren't easy to come by. Maybe I am allowing myself to feel be victimized by this dumb system I hate so much. I'm not gay, but I'm not some Mr. Smith with the all American dream either who wants to dig a hole for himself, only to bitch about it later and then simultaneously criticize and make assumptions about those who don't.

[quote=Marnia]Maybe start by imagining what it is to have a friendship and courtship, and skip the part where she insists you rip of both of your clothes. ;-)[/quote]

It's hard to do that without the romantic element. Not hot steamy sex, I mean the kissing and the cuddling and the "spooning" (which before joining this site, thought was some really perverted sex act I never fully explored, hehe). I can picture me cuddling and holding while watching a movie. But I can't just visual a friendship...like sitting with a girl watching a movie, the way I would with a male friend or my cousin or something. I think if I was, I'd have um...urges, hehe and I have been friends with girls in which there was nothing romantic and you know? I hated it and it frustrated me and the whole thing becomes a game where the goal is to get her. I also don't think it would help my problems of thinking I am not straight, cause I'd feel like the "gay friend".

I must really be hetero! Cause, I hate to say it...I see little purpose in having a female friend without the flirting and everything else. I used to think I was a woman hater because of this, cause I had a feeling of...if I can't be sexual with her, what's the point of friendship? I read on another website that's a general idea in all guy's heads.

Try to get comfortable with having normal, friendly contact first. That's what you're missing right now. That's what would *actually* improve your self-image, too.

[quote=Marnia]That's an interesting insight about giving up on women and then finding trany porn more compelling. See how powerful your mind is? Time to teach it some new tricks.[/quote]

I found tranny porn a turn-on very early on, just from a few random pics in the back of straight porn mags. I think it was and still is the taboo to it all. Also dammit and I feel no insecurity in saying this, but some are pretty damn attractive and if a man didn't know better, he could easily not know.

I think also (I hope) for many men, there can sometimes be stress in relation to the vagina. What if we loss out erection? What if she is on her period? What if we're not big enough? The taboo of tranny porn + the fact it's psychologically putting us on familiar territory....could be a large part of it. I personally don't put too much emphasis on the interest in it, in regards to my orientation. Because I know real gay/bisexual man are attracted to masculinity. Some would say, even transsexuals themselves are gay men in denial...but that's nonsense. Once again, that's relating everything to sex acts and behavior...love and romance seems to play no role in discussions regarding orientation these days.

Political Correctness

Marnia,

I appreciate your stance that you are in support of research and how our bodies are designed and function and not persuaded by what popular culture or what is politically correct. I certainly have a deep respect for those whose orientation is for the same-gender; however, I do believe and there is research to support that orientation is fluid and can change. In my understanding, all research in this area is inconclusive and I think it would be a mistake for individuals to prematurely forclose on a sexual identity just because there is a cultural persuation or popular belief.

I agree aslanson

I personally feel it's also rooted in laziness. Since it's such a complex and sensitive matter, I think most just deemed it "innate" and "unchangeable". It's a simple and safe solution. This way, the job is easy for the therapist and it avoids the risk of making the person in question feel as if there might be "something wrong" with them. This is political correctness. It's a person is genetically determined at birth to be homosexual, then this is great. However, I do believe some aren't.

It's like if somebody has an unsightly mole on their face that causes them distress and truly isn't pleasant, and you tell them "just accept it as a part of who you are", it's "what nature intended for you". It's an attempt to make them feel better and get on with their life and easier and less harsh them telling them to look into the possibility of surgery. Of course, this is not to compare being gay to being ugly.

Since he is an openly gay man with 20+ years experience as a therapist, I trust Joe Kort.

He writes on what he's deemed "SMSM" (Straight Men Who Have Sex With Men):

"In other words, they are experiencing something like an addiction, a mood disorder, a chemical disorder or some other compulsion that causes them to go against their own will, repeatedly, and is interfering with their life. They cannot accept it, not out of denial regarding their true identity, but because it is not their true nature the way it would be if one were truly gay or bisexual."

Compare this to many of the articles on this site in regards to sex, addiction and the brain. I can't help but to believe him.

Thus the "you were born that way, deal with it" conclusion, especially when based on sexual behavior alone, could be damaging.

The situation

is definitely complex and has many facets. (Thanks for the Kort quote. Makes sense to me.) I agree that it's important for everyone to be themselves...AND that addiction is a great way for people to get stuck in patterns that are not them at all. That goes for alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. No reason it shouldn't be true of some folks with regard to sex addiction.

It would be great if we could all "reboot" and THEN decide where to go next, eh? :) I feel like that's what stepping out of the passion cycle compulsion does, to an extent.

You're right about fluidity. Lisa Diamond wrote a terrific book about it. Here's an article that preceded the book: http://www.reuniting.info/science/romantic_love_not_limited_by_sexual_or...

You're an artist. You see

You're an artist. You see through society's veil. You understand spirit strongly, and you're a sensitive soul. You see the inherent trap in just being 'normal' (cause nothing exists) and living a sheltered suburban existance with a woman and pretending that the world is this 'neat bow.' If I trapped myself like that I'd want to suck some cock too!

Whether gay or not, you are an important member of the human community. You are inherently special and valued, no matter what 'outside society' says, as it's an egoic thing that can only be concerned with itself.

If you are gay though, like me, that would be wonderful. You just have to get over this idea that the majority of people are correct. Just stop sugarcoating 'humanity' like it's some virtuous thing when it's not. Most people are rarely ever right about anything. It's sort of like if everybody jumped off a bridge, would you sort of thing. Of course anything outside the norm draws attention to itself. That's why, for comic relief, we gay men sometimes like to be very showy and draw attention to ourselves. But it's also speaking a greater spiritual truth. That difference and perception aren't 'bad.'

I suggest you watch Sister Unity's 'Hooray for weirdos' vid. It really helped me a lot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSADtT6WOnI

Quote:I certainly have a

[quote]I certainly have a deep respect for those whose orientation is for the same-gender; however, I do believe and there is research to support that orientation is fluid and can change.[/quote]

The problem is that they're not necessarily opposing. You can still be a homosexual male, and find the occasional woman very attractive. And vice-versa. Sexual orientation of course, encompasses lust and love, and emotions- and everything mixed in a balanced perspective. Something actually can be both fixed AND fluid! I prefer men more than women just like I prefer peanut butter over tofu. Of course a girl that fancied me would think my heterosexuality is more than it is, I can do this too to 'hot straight guys' and yeah, it's not fair to people. But I can understand.

The spiritual problem comes with attachment and over identification. Just earlier I had a really good time jacking off to the porn 'Convictions Part 2', with marcus ircon. One of my favorite gay porns. I tried to recreate the magic though but it just didn't work. Life is just like that. I enjoyed what it gave me for the time. The sin is not that I looked this up and enjoyed it, the only sin would be to try and contain and 'bottle the magic down' to always take. That's how addictions happen. Magic and spirit must fly outside ourselves and our own minds. Realize that what empowered you was for that moment and 'in the now' and relying on it to give you the rush doesn't work and just keeps you stuck. It's a lesson of course, we all need to realize.