I saw my psychotherapist today, and we had one topic to cover: sexual healing. I recently had a short affair with a man. It was short, because I ended it. Honestly, I should have never started it. The red flags jumped into plain sight right at the very beginning.
- He disliked kissing. What? But how can a hunk dislike something so sensual?
- He was often unavailable. We had to meet on his schedule, and I had to be ready at a moment’s notice to jump in the car and race to him or receive him at my place.
- He was emotionally needy. Our interaction revolved around meeting his emotional needs.
- He smoked a lot of weed, and he asked me to join. I declined.
In the end, it became apparent through discussing it with a very close friend that he was using me. He was self-medicating negative emotions with weed and sex. I was tolerating the former and providing the latter. He has some serious problems with self-loathing, and I was part of his stress release.
I broke up with him quickly, when he lied about me to another person, and because he needed help with emotional issues that I felt unable to give, and because he needed to make up his mind about his sexuality. He tried to get in touch with me a few times afterward and told me he’d come clean with the other person about the lie.
Today with my therapist, I jumped right to the heart of the matter: with this short relationship and with a longer one many years ago, I let myself be used. In fact, I allow myself to be used in most of my sexual relationships.
In A.A., it’s said that a person stops growing emotionally when they start drinking, and the growth restarts with sobriety. Using that analogy with my sexuality, I can say that I never grew as a sexual being at all, until I got sober. I grew up in a house devoid of sex and intimacy. I have mentioned elsewhere in this blog that to this day, I have only ever seen my parents hold hands once. They never showed affection for each other. Sex was an evil subject.
So, I’m thirteen years old. I’m just starting adolescence. Great. Oh boy. Crap.
My therapist had me do an exercise we’ve done in the past. I imagined my younger self, the thirteen-year-old adolescent, sitting next to me, and I got to talk to him. I don’t hold back in therapy sessions. I learned a long time ago that talk therapy works for me, so I dove in head first. I told my adolescent self, first, that everything was going to be okay. I was going to survive the homophobic bullying in junior high and high school. I told my younger self that my lust for boys was okay and healthy and good. I told this boy it was okay to fantasize about other boys.
I told my thirteen-year-old self many things today, all positive things. I showed my younger self caring. I explained some of the facts of my gay life. I gave love and understanding in a way that I did not receive at the time.
I grew a few years today in my one-hour therapy session. My psychologist encouraged me to keep talking to the young me. I’ve done a bit of that. It feels right.
I don’t have to open my heart and my body to every man who asks. I can be particular in sharing intimacy.
It’s okay to be me.