Saturday, April 23, 2011

Emotional vs. Sexual Attraction

Okay, so I've got this friend called Toby.  I've talked about him before a little.  He and I had a coming-out sesh together a few weeks ago and since then our friendship has been really weird.  For a few weeks, we held hands and cuddled together (thinking about his warm hands on my neck still makes me melt a little bit) and I had/have a crush on him for a bit.  My emotions tend to mirror my actions, so when I'm acting like someone who is emotionally attached, i.e., holding hands, cuddling, etc., I tend to get emotionally attached.  He acknowledged to me after a few weeks of our cuddling that he felt like he was leading me on and that he was attracted to me and thought I was cute, but wasn't interested in a relationship of any kind.

Then our friendship got even weirder, after a fight we had the night before Spring Break resulted in me feeling incredibly ambushed and violated (not by him so much as his friends and not sexually) and him feeling like I was judging him unfairly and hypocritically.  I see his point on that last part, but I'm not convinced he sees mine.  We talked before I left for home for the week and he apologized, as did I, and we decided to take the week off to see if we should be friends or what.  And then he went to Mexico and spent the week drunk on a beach, so I'm not convinced he did as much thinking as I did.

I kinda resent him for that a little bit.  I really want to know exactly WHY he's sorry for that night, as he said he was several times before I left on Spring Break, but he spent the week hammered and probably doesn't remember we even had a fight.

Regardless, my relationship with him has led me to a few conclusions.

One, I'm not looking for sex.  I don't want casual hookups or fooling around with men.  I am a sexual being and I'm sure I would love having sex from a purely physical-pleasure standpoint, but sex without love wouldn't be worth the sacrifices I'd have to make on the family, school, and church front.  At my core, I think (hope?) I'd be honest enough to withdraw from the BYU sisterhood of schools and accept disfellowship from the Church if I were sexually active with a man, and those consequences don't seem worth the pleasure that sex might bring.

Therefore, my relationship with Toby is going nowhere.  I know I'm strong enough in my testimony to keep him off me even if he ever became that predatory.  And while I know that holding hands and cuddling with men is a poor decision, I also know that with him, I can draw the line.  For heaven's sake, we've never even kissed.  His motivation is sexual and mine is emotional, and if he can't satisfy those emotional needs, he's not worth leaving the Church and foregoing some of the blessings that it brings.

The second conclusion is really more of a confusion.  I know I'm not looking for sex, but in my weak moments of fantasy, I see Toby and myself with a life together.  As I've said, I'm a little hung up on him right now and he gets to star in my dreams a little bit more than I like.  I see him and me living together in a committed and loving relationship and it scares me for how much I want that.  I'm giving up hope on his being a part of that life I want, but it gets me thinking about what if I find someone who has some of those same goals?  Someone who isn't interested just in sex but in commitment and love?  What then?

My therapist Max once told me that someday I would meet someone who reciprocated my attraction.  She said that not as a reassurance, but as a warning.  We had been talking about how even though same-gender attraction gets me down and used to charge my pornography consumption, it probably wouldn't ever lead to anything dicey because most of my crushes were straight males I knew and was friends with.  I knew that even if I was exceptionally weak and wanted to break some of the rules, I'd still have the safety net of the object of my affection not being attracted to me.

That's when she warned me that my lifeline wasn't enough, because someday I'd meet someone who liked me as much as I liked them and that then the decision would be mine and mine alone.  She said that I'd need to pick a side, because even though repentance is always an option, it's rarely an easy one, and I'd need to know fairly certainly what I'd be willing to give up to have either emotional fulfillment or faith in the truthfulness of the Church.  She said that I'd have to be sure that the Church was either true or incomplete for either life decision to make sense.

That's where I have trouble.  I'm nervous for what might happen when I meet that someone who has those same goals.  I've said that sex isn't enough to get me to leave the Church, but what about emotional intimacy and attraction?  Do I love the Church enough and have sufficient faith in its teachings to give up that higher relationship goal I have?

Thank goodness it's just a worry for now.  I'm glad I don't have to make that decision right away and I should probably stop concerning myself with it since it hasn't actually happened yet.  But, for the life of me, I have no idea how I'll react if it does.

How should I reconcile that desire for emotional satisfaction with my faith in God and His Gospel?

1 comment:

  1. I've enjoyed reading your posts and can completely empathize with your concerns and struggles. I wish I had some wisdom for you but it seems that "we" have paths that we have to follow by ourselves. keep writing though, I've found it helps me with my life issues..Adrian


Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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