Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thoughts on Masturbation, before September ends:

What I really want to say is:

Works every time!!! That's all folks, carry on!

What I'm going to say is:

I used to make a point of never discussing sex in public, but I've come a long ways in the last few months, besides, if anyone really reads this blog it is very likely I've never met them and if I did, I no longer have the same issues, I have learned to discuss and share my life in new and open ways and that is good for me. I discovered masturbation long before my parents had the guts to bring up anything sexual to my attention. Who knew that a body part could bring so much entertainment to a curious kid. For the record (and my mother--even though she has no idea I write a blog), I was curious about males long before I discovered masturbation so the thought that it turns men gay is bunk.

I remember my mom walking into my room once and giving me a great deal of grief over my private activities, although I wasn't even exposed in any way, she just seemed to know what was going on and how to put an immediate stop to it, LOL. I do remember shortly after that my step-dad came to my room and in the most nervous possible way a man can talk to a 12 year old boy muttered something about: "you don't masturbate do you?" and when I answered no, he said, "well, don't do it" and left the room like a bat out of hell--and I wonder why I was never able to connect with the guy in real life about anything, oh well...

That was the extent of my sexual education at home, nothing more, nothing less. A couple of years later my mother (God bless her soul, her ears must be burning now)--dropped The Miracle of Forgiveness in my room--very likely the worst possible published book in LDS genre, but hey, what did I know, I was a master of many things, but not a literature critic--no other book has made me feel like a nasty, evil, dirty human being. I hope S. W. Kimball is roasting in hell on low heat for all the pain, sorrow he has caused the men (and women) of the LDS community with his diatribe. I went through the roller coaster during my teens, could abstain for a few days but would fall again, feeling like no progress could ever be made. I always felt that the bishop could tell about my little dirty secret, but oddly enough I was never asked directly if I masturbated all the way through my teens and my mission, but one bishop did ask me at a student ward-the same bishop to who told me my "Same-sex attraction" would go away if only I just got married...sigh!

The only thing that made me feel more at ease was a pamphlet my health teacher gave me in high school that basically said that it was normal, 95% of boys did it and the other 5% lied--alright, that last part I invented, but it is possibly true too! Finally someone was talking some sense! Of course after married life my habits didn't really change and I was quite surprised that in spite of being able to have sex with my ex-wife (whose ears are now probably burning with no logical explanation ;0) --I still needed to masturbate occassionally.

Well a few years ago I finally stopped feeling guilty about it. I realize that it is a normal function of a human being-male and/or female. I have made a point to explain to my kids that there's nothing wrong with masturbation, it is normal, it is not dirty, but it is to be kept in their personal space and even joke with my son about it sometimes--a far cry from what my parents, the church and Spencer W Kimball did to me. I no longer feel ashamed of it and hey:


Believe it or not, this is the most I've ever talked openly about my sex life--or lack thereof in any forum, public or private, so huge breakthrough here!

OK everyone back to your knitting!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My big fat Mormon weekend...

I was lucky enough to attend this weekend's Affirmation Conference. I really wasn't sure what to expect but was looking forward to meeting an online friend that I had known for many years.

I have to admit that a couple of the classes felt a little too much like being back in Elder's quorum and yet it was amazing to see guys openly hugging and cuddling with their partners. There were other workshops that were very eye-opening and very life and hope-affirming. Not having actively attended LDS services for a while it was interesting to hear the old lingo, references to scriptures and culture in a gay context, but I was very much touched by stories and experiences of people who have been where I have, where I am currently and gave me a glimpse of how things could be in the future for me. I was impressed how easy it was to learn, laugh, cry and not have to feel self-conscious about it and see how talented many of the folks who participated in the conference. I was very impressed by the parents of many of the GLBT community who attended conference to support their children, or to present their points of view, the challenges they faced and the progress they have made with their families and communities. Big thumbs up for these folks!!!

I was especially touched by the Devotional today. Sitting in a room full of men (yeah there were ladies there too) singing with strong voices brought me down to tears as I remembered my old missionary days and sing along to emotional songs like "All Creatures of our God and King" and "Lord, I will Follow Thee"---which oddly enough are some of my favorite religious songs; watching again, partners putting arms around each other's waists, wiping each other tears off their eyes and just a feeling of pure love and good spirit, no one can tell me the attendees couldn't only have access to The Spirit, but share it in a way that I had not seen anywhere else in spite of their life situations.

--Damn Mormons and their way to put tear-jerking services like no one else!! ;-)

So it was a positive experience, making me realize that my Mormon past is a huge part of me, a big part of where I come from and what has helped me shape my life. I see this weekend as a way to tie all of that heritage together and heck, why not, celebrate it!! I kept looking around the room and thinking of many of the GLBT population who have chosen to leave the church (or who have got excommunicated) and can only think of the huge loss for the church and how much it would actually gain if only they considered the possibilities of working together (better decorated Temples and churches come to mind! LOL).

So that was my big-fat Mormon weekend. I had fun, met a lot of nice people from all walks of life, I laughed, I cried, I went home...would I consider attending again? I'll have to see where I am next year, but it never hurts to visit San Francisco and all the goodies it has to offer!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The dog hates my social life!

So I posted a Craigslist ad...

No, it isn't that kind of a CL posting. I actually posted an ad in the platonic section. Someone in their blog had mentioned having the kind of 'bromance' that helps make life easier. So I wrote that I wanted friends---not the kind with benefits---but friends to do some activities, hang, do things and be able have good experiences.

I had to weed through some of the responses, some wanted to meet me right away, some wanted to get pictures and even though I had explicitly posted not wanting to go in the direction of a hook up, several hinted in that direction...ummmhh, no thanks... Well one never knows what might come out of these things and it has been an interesting experiment. Most of the people who responded by now have actually got bored and faded away but I've been able to make friendships with two guys:

One older than I, has grown children, actually attends his home ward but his social life is not in the church--I met him and he is one of the best persons I've found; sincere but fun, serious yet funny and has a lot of great insights in life and how to approach it. He has invited me to a few events where I've met other people with fascinating lives and has been a great experience.

The other guy is about my age, divorced dad and has a partner. We corresponded back and forth for several weeks until we met in person (met his partner briefly too). Although we had exchanged a lot of good thoughts on email, the minute we met in person we became fast friends. There have only been less than a handful of people in my life that the minute I met them it it felt that we've been life-long friends and this guy fell right into this place. Talking to him is way comfortable, no holds barred, nothing shocks him, nothing makes him uncomfortable and the feeling is very reciprocal. He has been where I am not too long ago so he has literally taken the role of mentor in my life, has seen me cry and has made me laugh in a way that I hadn't laughed in a long time. I've told him that I should have my insurance company pay him for the breakthrough therapy and he even was able to coax me into doing something I had always wanted to do, but never had the guts to try (don't worry it is nothing nasty!):


Man... no one had ever accomplished this before, I told his partner that this guy is a keeper! So I was alluding to the fact that the dog hates that I'm not necessarily sitting at my apartment as I did initially and freaking out/wondering how I was going to get through a very difficult time of life. Don't worry the dog still gets plenty of attention...

I've made good online friends through this blog and have met a few fellow Mohos in person who very much helped me take initial steps while I started contemplating coming out, who watched out for me when I went through my separation and check up on me to this day still. I had initially questioned my sanity for posting an ad but if nothing else having met these two fascinating men have opened my eyes in many different ways. So that's probably one of the reasons I haven't posted much--I've been a little busy expanding out of my comfort zone and finding the good friendships and influences that my therapist suggested I get. Not to say that life is bliss now, there are still many daily challenges to face, many things that I've perhaps not even thought about, but having the kind of friends I've been lucky to find makes life easier to deal with.

So I highly recommend that everyone gets one, or two!!! :0)