Thursday, April 26, 2007

"Do we nevertheless feel somehow diminished by the reality of the omniscience of God? Does His foreknowledge (which grows out of His omniscience) seem to make us less significant or less free? Does the perfect predictability of our behavior (in God's eyes) seem to squeeze out some of the sense of adventure in mortality? And if so, do we childishly want to play-act just a little longer - risking righteousness and true happiness merely in order to be reassured about our independence?"
Neal A. Maxwell, from All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience

I am back from my business trip to Salt Lake. And although I didn't meet up with a guy, I'm not proud of my actions. As a bachelor, without my wife, there is no way I could make it to heaven. I'm just too weak and stupid. I was supposed to arrive in Salt Lake at 6:30 pm Sunday evening. This was going to give me time to spend the evening out, cruising for guys in some of Salt Lake's seedier places. I didn't have to show up at work until Tuesday morning, so I also had a full day on Monday to live the bachelor life and "play-act" the gay life. However, my plane was delayed three hours and I didn't make it to the hotel until nearly 10:00 pm. So I gave up the evening out idea and decided to go online to a gay chat room to see what was going on in Salt Lake in the gay community. Needless to say, I found a guy, willing to come to my hotel room, but we chatted for so long that he decided to go to bed, with the idea of meeting up the next day for lunch. I was supposed to contact him and let him know where.

The morning came and I slept in. Once I got up and going, I had no desire to meet up with this guy, thanks to masturbating the night before. Normally, I would say that masturbation is not the right thing to do, but in this case, it was better than actually meeting up with the guy. And no, I didn't do it online with him, it was after we signed off. I had a pretty normal day, but there is not much to do in town on a Monday afternoon, so I ended up walking around the city and found myself at Temple Square. I saw the Joseph Smith film at the JS Memorial Building. There were many who were crying, but I would not allow myself to be touched by the spirit, especially after a less than righteous evening.

However, I was still determined to have some fun as a bachelor. So Tuesday night I met up with an old friend. He is gay, but does not know about my SGA. Luckily I am in no way attracted to him. He had seen a play and I met him afterward in front of the theatre when all of the actors and staff were coming out. I made a statement that was overheard by some of the staff. I said to my friend, "No wonder you like coming here, there are a lot of cute guys." Within seconds, one of the guys came over and started talking to us and was obviously hitting on me. I really wanted to ask him to dinner, but I didn't.

Later that evening, we went to meet a new friend of my gay friend. This friend was also gay, and to my near downfall, very hot. If the friend hadn't been on his way to work, we would have ended up hanging out, perhaps going back to the hotel, and who knows what would have happened. I flirted with him a little and wanted to touch him, even if it was just in jest. I kept looking into his eyes. I'm pretty sure he thought I was gay. Then my friend mentions my kids and all my fun went out the window. We left and I went back to the hotel and went to bed.

That was the extent of my few days as a gay man. Close calls, but no major action. However, it was enough to make me feel pretty guilty. I can't imagine how I would feel if things had gone further. I would be devastated. But as it turns out, I'm home, with my family, with a few more days of temptation behind me.


howller said...

Forester, I recommend that you set boundaries that you simply do not cross. Once you "slip up" and cross that line, you may find it impossible to resist repeating the infraction. Just make a firm commitment to yourself where you want to draw the line.

If you start living a "secret" life outside your marriage and public appearance, it tends to breed disfunction and addiction.

But above all, be true to your conscience and be prayerful in all that you do.

Beck said...

Though they may seem fuzzy at times, you seem to know your boundaries and limits and you've proven that you can live within them when it counts, even though desires may blur the sharpness and continuity of the line.

I'm glad you "survived" the trip!

Distinguishing Preoccupation said...

I'm glad you made it through the weekend without hurting yourself or your family.


Loyalist (with defects) said...

I cant add much to what has all ready been said, so i wont.

but I am glad that you are well and have been faithful to your promise.

-L- said...

I totally know what you mean. When I go on business trips without my wife (to medical conferences and the like), there are weird moments where I feel this disconnect from my real life and my real commitments and wonder if I can just step outside of accountability for a few hours. I'm sorry to say that I've looked through the online personals, I've looked for gay bars around the hotel... it's been a scary thing to see myself do.

Add to that the first-hand accounts I've heard of LDS guys getting into trouble on business trips (look at John Galt and Enduring Eric)

I actually started insisting that my family come with me to most of my conferences. :-) That's not a long term solution, but it helped for a few of them. I guess these away times just remind me of the struggles I face and make me glad for the times when I'm not tempted.

gentlefriend said...

All I can say is, "Whew, close call!" I look back in my life at the "Whew" times I have survived and am grateful for survival. How different my life would be if I had crashed!! And I realize that I have to learn from these situations and continually remind myself that "The greatest tragedy in life is giving up what you want MOST in life for what you want NOW." Thank you for your openness. It reminds us all that we are vulnerable. I have sat as a bishop with many, many wonderful people who tearfully wished they had not pushed the limits. I hope that your honesty here helps you as much as it helps me.

Since July 15, 2007