Last time on, "The Book"
Well, it took another three years before I was to have sex again. I just would not allow myself to get into a situation where the concept of sex would even arise. I would go out in groups and in many overt and subtle ways let the people I was with know that this was only “Just as friends.”
I did keep the girl from high school around as a girl “friend.” I feel as if I was really not overly honest with her. I did not follow through with the unsaid promises I feel I was making. I feel that I kept promising that some great proclamation of love and devotion would come but I never could truthfully make that proclamation. I kept looking for a future with the two of us together, but I really could never see that future. I wanted to feel the fireworks that I had heard so much about but they never seemed to happen.
I have since wondered what part I filled in her life. That she kept hanging around makes me believe she may have had something else to hide also. I don’t know if she was using me as a beard in the same way I was using her. That really doesn’t matter. What matters is that I feel I was not (and I wasn’t) honest with her. I believed there could be something between us, but I could not feel it.
We finally made a break after I was done with grad school but before I got my first job. We went camping with some friends and spend some very good time together. After we got back from camping, I stayed the night at her house and we had sex. (There is a humorous story about driving 15 miles to buy condoms that could be told here but I will refrain!) Again, the sex was not that great. I did manage to have an orgasm, but only after what seemed like hours of stimulation. This time, though, I could not blame it on being drunk.
Being that close to a person, especially a female person, scared me. I, again, felt that I had made a promise that I was not ready to fulfill. Without going into the details, I found a way to provoke her into telling me that she never wanted to speak to me again. So I was off the hook. I was still heterosexual because SHE broke up with me. I didn’t break up with her.
Now, during these three years between sexual exploits, I was not running around being a “happy hetero,” I was still fighting with the demons inside of my head. I had to purposely look away from attractive men. I had to make certain that I did not look at the bulges in the men’s crotches. I couldn’t just live because I had to actively fight against what I was feeling. I actively shut down. I did not allow myself to feel anything. When I started to feel something, I would back away. I would isolate myself so I would not get hurt and I would not have to deal with the anxiety of the things I was feeling.
I can’t ever remember being told that homosexuality was wrong. I know that there were jokes made during school about gay people and comments made about me being a “guy” (said with a limp-wristed action). But I never really understood what it meant. I knew it was something that attracted public scorn, but far as why it was scorned, I was pretty clueless.
I remember a joke that was being told when I was about five or six. It was a joke about three men trying to get into some club or something. Getting into this club involved a test, and that test was to look at a naked woman and not ring the bell that was placed on the end of each man’s penis. The first two men looked at the woman and immediately there was a “ring” from their penises. These two men went back to the locker room in disgrace. The third man did not “ring” when he saw the woman. There was much rejoicing because he could join. But once he went into the locker room, there was the sound of ringing like a telephone.
Everybody laughed; I didn’t get it.
It was explained that men were not supposed to get hard dicks from looking at other men. I still didn’t understand, but that little tidbit stayed in my subconscious.
All I knew was this: the feelings that I was feeling were not ok and if I talked about them, I would not be ok. So I had to keep quiet, even to myself. The unfortunate side effect of repressing my sexuality is that most of my other feelings got repressed also.
For the longest time, I just assumed that I was never going to feel the love that people talked about. I assumed that love was just something that I was not going to experience. So I started to plan my life around being alone.
I could continue down this train of thought but I would be kind of getting ahead of things.
I really don’t know where I learned that God hated homosexuals. When I was in college and had gay friends I learned about the “clobber passages.” And I guess when I first heard these passages, they made sense to me. They seemed pretty straightforward. Men sleeping with men: that seemed pretty unambiguous. Women having unnatural relationships with each other. Again, pretty unambiguous. But this view of a hateful, vengeful God never quite felt right to me.
Again, I am not sure I want to go down this trail right now.
The next part can be found here.