Friday, December 21, 2007

I've developed a close relationship with a guy over the past two years. I helped him through a divorce (his second) and have been helping him come to terms with his membership in the church and his beliefs. We have become very close friends and I have told him on occasion that I loved him and am grateful for his friendship. Yesterday, I went to his house to hang out for an hour or so on my lunch break, which at times can turn into three or four hours and lots of shopping, driving, hiking, etc. But lately, we have been seeing each other less often. He is not gay, extremely good looking and knows that I am gay.

Yesterday, before lunch, we sat on his couch. He was on his cell phone, sitting forward on the edge of the couch. I was leaning back, reclined, giving me the advantage of looking at him from behind. I had an incredible feeling of wanting to lean up against him, lay my head on his back, or at least put my hand on his back, but I knew I couldn't. He would react negatively. Instead, I just moved my hand closer to his leg on the couch, wanting to touch him, but I didn't. I just moved it as close as I could get without touching. We sat there for a few minutes while he talked on the phone. What would be so wrong about rubbing his back or putting my hand on his back? Why would he take offense? If I tried to touch him, would I then lose his trust?

Before I told him that I was gay, he had no problem undressing - dressing in front of me. One time he asked me to put lotion on his back. We were at a park and I was so uncomfortable doing this in public that it eradicated any pleasure I might have had in feeling his bare skin. On another occasion, he was trying on some of my shirts to borrow one. He wasn't wearing any undershirt and it was incredible to be next to him, so close. This was soon after I told him that I was gay. He noticed something was wrong and asked me what it was. I told him the truth - that I wanted so much to touch his chest. He handled it very well, but he has never taken off his shirt in front of me again. If I were straight, we would hug more often like we used to, we would have more contact and we wouldn't worry about it like we do now. In this respect, I hate that I ever told him I was gay - not because I want to take advantage of him in a sexual type of way, only because I want to be close to him, like we used to be. I thought coming out to him would make us closer, and I guess in some ways it has, but in reality, I feel further away from him.

Yesterday, when he finished his phone conversation, he stood up and turned to look at me. He immediately looked down at my hand and for an instant realized how close it had been to him. He didn't say anything, but I could see in his eyes his disapproval. At lunch he asked why we hadn't been seeing each other as much as we used to. I told him that because he was now through the divorce and remarried that he hadn't needed me as much. He stated that he didn't want us to have to need each other in order to be friends. I just sat there silent, not telling him how much I depended on that need as an integral part of our friendship. I couldn't tell him that. The risk of seeing that disapproval in his eyes again would hurt too much.

8 comments:

Beck said...

My heart goes out to you! How I weep for your pain, your unfulfilled desires, your innocent need for touch. Change the names and you have me.

If anything, this story reveals that I shouldn't come out to my straight friend... it would change everything as I fear it will. I feel your regret. I'm sorry.

I would hope that straight guys could understand that all touch between guys (with one guy being gay) isn't necessarily sexual, but is healthy affection between friends.

santorio said...

i'm sure that i have unconsciously torpedoed potential male friendships because of an inner fear that i would say or do something stupid--something suggestive.
the result is very few male friends, a great emptiness in my life.

One of So Many said...

They are hard to make, harder to get them to accept you, and really hard to get them to be supportive in the "weird" ways you need them to.

That's it. I need a hug. Time to call my best vict...er...friend.

October Rising said...

:(

Clark said...

This is so tough. I can recall very clearly feeling similarly around this guy my freshman year of college. He just loved hanging out with me so much and that alone was a little strange for me for some reason. I had a lot of gay friends and a lot of female friends, but not too many straight guy friends (except my brothers). Anyway, there is this innocent longing that I remember so well, and I really feel for you. On one hand I understand what you and beck are saying about wishing you hadn't told, or not coming out to these hot straight friends so you don't freak them out.. but on the other hand I don't think we can absorb the benefits of any friendship without a certain degree of transparency. This transparency is of course very dangerous, but I think its important. When I was really into reparative therapy books I remember Nicolosi always talked about the most important kind of relationship for the masculinization of a gay man.. it was a relationship with a straight man who you are attracted to who knows you are gay. In his opinion this was the most "masculinizing" kind of friendship-- its the theory that were gay because we lack something.. and that something we will find in ample amounts in this sort of friendship. Now I don't believe AT ALL anymore that Im gay because I'm lacking something. I believe that I am whole. But it is interesting to look at how these sorts of relationships do or do not benefit someone in your situation. Do you find it beneficial or just frustrating? A couple of years ago I worked with this straight guy who was so STUPID but so freaking cute and it drove me insane to hang around him in a way.. and in a way I loved it. He knew I was gay, but I never told him what a huge huge crush I had on him. I wonder if I should have. If I had to do it again I probably wouldn't tell him that I liked him in that way.

Anyway, you are great and your feelings are so palpable when you write. Thanks for continuing to share your journey with all of us.

J G-W said...

Forester - I am blessed to have a number of close straight male friends. We are able to hug, even kiss each other on the lips, put our arms around each other.

I think the reason they are comfortable with that kind of contact is because they know I am committed to Göran, and have no desire to be sexual with them in any way. They can accept the warm physical contact for what it is -- a token of friendship. I am certain that that dynamic would change if any of them ever thought that I was sexually interested in them.

It's the same in my relationships with a number of close straight women friends... I hug and kiss them, sit comfortably on a couch with my arm around them. If I ever felt one of these friends saw me as a potential sexual partner, I would probably recoil from that kind of physical contact. I would be afraid to give them the wrong idea about how I felt about them.

One of So Many said...

You still alive Forester?

Sean said...

Forester,

sorry I've been gone for such a long time. I saw your post over on Beck's latest post and wanted to let you know your still cared for and appreciated.

I dont want to get too personal in your comments section, I know how you are feeling with regards to touch and intimacy with your wife. My wife and I deal with the same sort of issues in that regard. If you would like to talk further drop me a line at truebleu(at)gmaildotcom

take care

Since July 15, 2007