Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blindsided - 27Oct2011

As a disclaimer, this post will contain some pretty emotionally charged material. Please don't read this if you aren't in a relatively stable emotional state. If you find that the post bothers you in some way, talk to someone about it, journal about it, etc.

Personally, I am terrified to share something like this. It's something that obviously is very personal for me. I am afraid how people will think of me as I share this. At a worse case, I could have information like this exploited. I could be belittled, ridiculed, mocked, and avoided. On the other hand, I could be accepted. Maybe it will help people understand me a little bit better. Maybe it can give some insight for people on how same gender attraction works, at least how my flavor of it works.

I've always heard that it's a good thing for me to exercise. In the past, I've found exercise to be an unpleasant experience. It's not because I'm completely out of shape, but mostly because of the thoughts, memories, and feelings that come up with I'm exercising. These feelings seemed to be more unpleasant if I'm working out with other people, especially men, or if I'm in a gym, or if somehow a locker room experience is involved.

Let it be known that I am not a big fan of locker rooms for various reasons. Part of it is the fact that I don't have a very positive self body image. Part of it is the fact that locker rooms generally involved undressing in front of other men. Part of it is fear around becoming aroused in the locker room where all the other men can see. Part of it is fear around lusting after the other men there.

For the last few months, I've been able to work out about twice a week. I usually go down and run on the treadmill. I go down about an hour and a half before lunch. There tends to be less people in the gym at that time, so I don't struggle with the self-consciousness or tendency to lust so much. Today, I forgot to bring my glasses with me, and I'm wondering if that's a tender mercy.

As I walked into the locker room, I felt a stab of fear and excitement. I heard one of the showers running. Trying to retain my composure, I continued to a bench and started to undress. One part of me hoped that I could change and be out of there before the person finished. Another part really wondered what this person looked like.

I had just barely set my bag down when I heard the shower stop. Immediately I felt my emotions spike. I continued to change, trying to appear "normal", even though what was going inside of me seemed anything but normal to me. Well, perhaps it's a 'norm' for me, but I don't think it's something normal.

Finally, the man came around the corner. Thankfully, he had a towel around his waist. Although something else about him made my heart stop, and I immediately felt attracted to the man. After a brief glance, I continued to try to change and keep my mind off of what I had just seen. Thankfully, I was positioned where I couldn't see him without having to turn around. Although at least once I did glance at him again.

When I'm in a mindset like this, the shame, fear, and excitement are all overwhelming. I often have a hard time remembering what I was thinking about or what I've done. I remember I finished change, and left, looking into a mirror to take in the man for a brief moment before continuing out of the locker room to work out. As I worked out, I found the image of him returned to my mind a few times. I wish I could have gone back and taken a good, honest look at him, rather than a furtive glance at him. I definitely fear about what other men would think if I stopped and stared at them for more than a moment.

What was it about the man that I was attracted to? The man had a generous amount of body hair on his torso. Really, in and of itself, it doesn't seem like much. What matters is, I perceive that body hair, especially chest hair, is something that is masculine. It's an area that I feel a lack in. So, when I see a man with more chest/body hair than me, I almost immediately think that man is more masculine than me. Then I feel inferior. I feel like I can't relate to the person. An attraction to that perceived masculinity in the other man draws me too him. If not managed properly, those feelings can turn into fantasy about the person, or possibly even sexual fantasy.

Really, same gender attraction for me isn't so much something sexual. It's more about me feeling a lack of masculinity and feeling a lack of feeling loved/accepted/wanted around by other men. That for me feels like a large part of my same gender attraction.

1 comment:

  1. Good insights, man! I know there are many like me who are finding encouragement from your honesty here. And as someone who knows you, let me assure you that, no matter what your inner voices say, you are ALL man and you have what it takes! Keep sharing as you process this stuff, brother.