Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Slowly but surely, I am "working the program" in my 12 step journey with sexual addiction. Slowly being the operative word.

Surely it is a difficult road for straight men, but I know this one gay boy is having a very difficult time. Since time immemorial, masturbation has been "close at hand," (no laughing please, well, don't laugh too much.) And when that evolved to hook-ups with men, it was down hill from there.

I have been off the drug for almost two weeks now. Not since I was in the hospital in 1972 have I gone that long. Never. Always, it's right there, easy to use, free for the taking. And I am feeling it. Withdrawal.

And with no more drug, the emotions have run the gamut. Anger, sadness, fear, and more fear. Resentments of all sorts. I've always "managed" my feelings rather closely. They aren't permitted to get out of hand. If they do, that's when I get out my hand. Nuff said?

There is a part of this that seems so unreal. I'm not a sex addict, just a gay man getting it where he can, trying to get over years of frustration; trying to find solace in this closet I've kept myself in . . . . . . right? Now, I'm wending my way out of this closet. All those woofy men around (and, God, there are some very woofy men around!). Is all the looking and leering something I have to give up, too? Not yet, I hope. I was just getting used to looking without all the shame and guilt from years of peaking through the cracks in the door.

One day, I will drink it all in, and act it all out, and play around with whatever takes my fancy (or other parts). But not today. Not today. Just for today, I will surrender it, because I really can't do it on my own. Really.

Surrender is such a slippery thing (no puns, please). It is something I must decide to do, yet is not something I can just will. With so much of my life out-of-control, there is much yet to surrender.

My sponsor tells me that it all sounds like a normal progression. What most people experience in their early stages of withdrawal. I've not often thought of myself as "normal," so guess that's comforting to know.

Onward, upward, but at least not downward.

Shalom & Cheers, Joe.

PS, I hope this comes up with a picture in it. Thanks to Picasa.
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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mine, not yours.

I received this comment on a previous post and wanted to share it and respond to it. I would ask its author but have no way to contact him.

Joe - you seem to be linking this 'obsession' with sex, with being gay. Believe me, its not about being gay so much as about being male. There are plenty of hetero men out there doing the same. It's just with gay men, you get two men who want the same. Don't make this part of your reconciliation with being gay. Sexual behaviour is just that, and its only, I think, easier to find an outlet as a gay man than as a hetero man, since the girls don't seem to be quite so inclined (ok, I know, some girls are), but treat it as a 'sexual problem' not a 'gay' problem, or you just add to your woes. that's what I think anyway.

I appreciate the author's concern and care. It would be easy to mix up the gay stuff and the addiction stuff. In fact they are closely intertwined, but not inextricably so. Part of this journey into recovery is about separating them.

I know heteros do the same thing. Most of the folk in the 12 step group are straight. And, some of the straight men have acted out with other men - we know where it's easy to find. No commitment, no name, sometimes no face, just a hole in the wall.

My struggle with being gay is still there, but it's not about the addiction. I know that I am gay, and I am even coming around to being grateful for it. Yes, sometimes I wish I were straight, but then I wouldn't be me. And, my "wishing" is mainly about my family, my wife and children. God knows I don't want to hurt them in any way. But sometimes the truth is painful. Living monger with the Lie would be much worse. The truth is the only thing that will set us free.

Thanks, L, I hear your comments as supportive, and I appreciate them.

And another thing . . . . .
My addictive behavior is mine. I know now that is what it's been. This is about me. This is NOT intended as commentary, judgment, or ridicule of any one else or any body's behavior.

Is it OK to hookup with some hot guy now and then? to have a "fling", to have an orgy? I don't know. It all sounds hot to me, and I hope one of these days . . . . .
But my acting out has been obsessive. It takes over my life. It takes me out of reality and into a kind of trance state. And, I want more. And more. The trance state sneaks in, it keeps me from doing my job, I think about it, obsess about it. Then the Internet porn search starts. Meanwhile, hours -hours - have gone by and there I am, building up, edging, backing off, continuing the search, the high, waiting for the climax.

It has begun to control me. That's the problem. I'm not judging those activities. I think they can be OK, sometimes. But for me, it's gotten out of hand. (no puns, please).

Today has been a difficult one for lots of reasons. My wife and I have been talking more and more about details of separating this summer. It is so painful. One day at a time.

Shalom to all, Joe.

PS: I still can't add pictures, so you all will have to do with my pitiful writing. J.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Progress, Not Perfection

I've started attending a 12 step meeting for sex addicts. The more I hear from others, the more I know I'm in the right place. Surrender is difficult. Not sure I can do that, really. But I'm OK in the higher power department. That part is not a stretch for me.

For so long, I've thought I could handle this, I could manage it. But I can't. And that is a foundation of the twelve steps. Knowing you cannot. But that doesn't mean it can't happen. It's about relying on God to make changes in me, to transform me, little by little.

Of course, one would think I'd already tried that, and I suppose I have. I've prayed for years about it, and nothing seemed to happen. But I'm not sure if I really wanted it to happen. Or, I expected magic. OK God, wave the wand and let's get this over with.

Miracles do happen, but I don't think miracles and magic are anywhere close to one another. God makes things happen, but what we really want is magic.

I just can't find my wand. (No, not that one!)

Cheers, Joe.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Came to believe

Being gay means a great deal more than just "sex with men." But we know that is part of it. For me (and, I suppose, for many), that was where our journeys started. I can't say I recall ever understanding that I had an "attraction to men." Since men aren't wired to have sexual attraction to other men, then I couldn't, right? Ha! Who knew? Not me.

But, from about the 4th grade on, I learned something that would ease the pain. All those years of compulsive masturbation. The drug that helped me sleep. And then, orgasm, ejaculation. OMG. What was that? Surely the lining of my kidneys were coming out! Ha.

I didn't know about straight sex till I was a little older. I just masturbated. A lot. Then, discovering some other men, masturbating in a restroom at the mall, I was overjoyed. I wasn't the only one! Then they came out of the stalls. The wanted to see mine. My what? Then . . . well . . . . they had their way with me. I didn't know men did that sort of thing with each other. OMG. This can't be happening. Oh, but the feeling. The drug. Even stronger than before. And they wanted me. Me.

But, with no way to process this information (even though I was sixteen at the time), I slumped into depression. And there was always masturbation.

Being a large, older-looking teenager, I discovered book stores. Of the adult variety. And glory holes. Then rest stops and, in grad school in the big city, sex clubs.

I knew something was amiss. But still, I would never have said I was "gay." Any time I engaged in such activity, there was an almost trance-like state that came over me. It was the drug my body produced, the neuro-chemical reaction. O god, what a high! I was lost in bliss, and completely without the help of any outside drugs. Just the ones I made myself. (Except for nicotine, which I learned to ingest at an early age, too).

And, after that voluptuous high, the fall was all the greater. The guilt, the shame, the humiliation. The unbelievable incongruity of this nice, caring, prayerful, good Christian boy with this dark, sensuous, pornographic demon who possessed him from time to time.

Over all the years, all the prayers, therapy, etc., it still didn't occur to me that I was, in fact, gay. Is this what it meant to be gay, what kind of a life was that? I didn't want to be gay (still don't, sometimes). I just want to be the nice, caring, prayerful, good Christian boy who's normal, with the nice, normal family.

So, marriage, children, stable job, very active in the church. It didn't go away. I was just running away from relationship. It was a problem with intimacy. It's just an activity to which I have habituated myself. Addiction, maybe. Oh, and then the Internet came along. OMG! All that stuff online. The drug I can produce myself, and no need to leave home, even. Well, every once in a while, on the road by myself, the trance sets in. I go looking, and well-trained to finding it.

Hours spent looking. Lies to cover up "why I'm so late." Excuses. Guilt. Shame.

It's all in my head, right? With courage, I can work through this, right? Guess again.

So, I finally come to terms with it in my 49th year. And now, I must come to terms with more than just being gay.

Even though I have broached the subject with myself before, once again I have come to the point of understanding that I am an addict. Oh, yes, I am gay. This is not another ploy to fool myself in that regard. But now I have come to see that gay is not something I chose, nor is it just all that filthy, dangerous, anonymous, sex; in rest rooms, and bushes, and parks, and bookstores.

My deeper self does want relationship, intimacy, companionship, and sex. Being gay is more than what I knew. And still, I hear the call and have the desire to be Christian. But wait, look! There are myriads of other gay Christians out there! I am not alone! Though difficult, the journey is one toward the desires of my heart, not just the wantonness of my gonads.

But addiction is there. I have come to believe that. I've seen how my behaviors, past and more present that I want to admit, are not about being gay. they are about lust, the drug, the high, the all-too-temporary release.

I have come to believe that I am out of control. Oh, not all the time. I can control this, manage this, keep a handle on this, put a lid on this. Then, the trance starts, the buzz, the chemicals that surge through my mind and body as I begin the search. I start looking for it. Wanting it to such a degree that judgment is suspended. There is nothing else. Fear of disease, arrest, humiliation, disaster, all melt into the back ground. I am an addict. And I want my drug.

Insane. Out-of-control. Putting myself, my family, my career, everything at risk. Serious risk. This is the dark, incongruous side of this nice, Christian boy. And still it lurks in me.

So, near the bottom of the pit, I must do something. But I can't control it. But I have come to believe that there is One who can restore me to sanity. The journey takes another very unexpected turn.

Shalom & Cheers, Joe.