Questioning My Friend’s Sexuality

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This is my third post featuring the wild ride of my friendship with Jake. Check out Part 1 and Part 2.

After Jake started trusting me, he opened up and shared his inner thoughts and difficult past experiences. I began to wonder if he was same-sex attracted when he talked about not having a girlfriend.

Jake told me that he wondered if some of his issues with girls were connected with a past experience he’d had with a guy: he told me he’d once been drunk at a party when an older gay guy started paying attention to him. Jake decided to experiment, so he “lied” and told the older guy that he was gay.

They started making out, only for Jake to realize he did not enjoy it, telling the older guy to stop. They stopped and moved on, neither talking to the other anymore.

But Jake could not get this encounter out of his mind, and he wondered if he had “messed up” his sexuality.

His story sounded eerily familiar to me. Then I remembered what my older SSA friend, Jeremy, had told me years ago, a story about a sexual encounter with a younger guy. Could Jake be the “younger guy” that Jeremy had told me about?

When I asked Jake if he knew Jeremy, he freaked out.

“Who told you? Who else knows?”

I told Jake that Jeremy had told me the story himself without ever mentioning Jake’s name. I never knew the younger guy was Jake until right then. I didn’t think anyone else knew.

Jake seemed relieved, but now I started getting a little concerned. Had Jake been underage when he’d had that encounter with Jeremy? Was I legally required to report it as child abuse?

I did the math and determined that Jake had in fact been older than the legal age of consent in our state. I felt relieved that I could keep this whole thing quiet so Jake or Jeremy wouldn’t have to deal with any more trouble.

Jake kept privately questioning his sexuality but also continued calling himself “straight” to most people, even though he couldn’t bring himself to date a girl.

He kept asking me about my feelings of same-sex attraction and what I felt tempted to do with guys.

While navigating his sexuality, Jake often spent time at my house that I shared with several roommates. I kept clear boundaries with him, never sleeping in the same room.

One hot summer morning, he walked into my bedroom wearing only his boxers and closed the door behind him. I was sitting at my desk as he lay down on my bed, putting his hands behind his head, flexing his biceps.

“I need to talk!” he said.

Even though I was tempted, I got up and opened the door again. “Go put on some clothes and then we can talk!”

Obviously, Jake’s behavior was not safe for a guy like me with same-sex attraction. In the end, I concluded that only a trained therapist could really help Jake sort out his feelings.

Somehow I was able to handle all the dangerous temptations and not do anything sexual with Jake.

Again, I cared too much to walk away.

To be continued . . .

Has one of your friends ever questioned his sexuality, or have you ever questioned a friend’s sexuality? Were you able to help him work through his questions? Have you ever found yourself in any precarious situations because of such a friend?

* Photo courtesy massics, Creative Commons.

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  • I find it much easier to deal with young people going through same sex attraction when they are far away or it is in a controlled environment, like a restaurant or other responsible people around. I found I could council others about SSA as long as they were not in the same room as me, because of my weakness. The first guy I was able to help was in Australia (I’m in America) and did not want to take advantage of him (I probably would have in my younger days). I even said I probably would have to him. I told him how horrible the gay life was, and what to expect if he had gay sex and the feelings of separation from God. He didn’t (thank God!) We still communicate regularly by email, and is doing well.
    Because I can recognize my own limitations, I can now help others who are going through the same crap I did, without taking advantage of them.

    • Bradley,

      Yes! It is so important to be in some kind of public setting when I talk to a young attractive guy about SSA. Other housemates were at home when I talked to Jake that day, so I thought everything was okay. I learned.

      Even though I did not take advantage of Jake in any way,  it was still bad. The place should be so public that these kinds of tempting situations can’t happen.

  • mike

    Marshall, you are to be commended for your unselfish caring for Jake and how you have set boundaries and maintained them. That must have been difficult.
    In the ‘straight’ world close guy/girl friendships are rare and even off limits for the married. Inevitably, romantic feelings develop in one or the other creating problems. So too, with two SSA’d guys a close friendship can be hazardous! That has been my experience such that while I will chat on blogs, public places, or in group settings with SSA’d guys I avoid close friendships with them because for me invisible strange buttons get pushed and weird temptations arise that I don’t want. For me, desensitization to reduce such temptations doesn’t work. I take literally that Pauline exhortation to flee sexual sin by fleeing sources of such temptation. I think my straight friend is better equipped to minister in such a setting. I marvel as well how some of the YOB brothers live together and avoid such temptation. I know that I wouldn’t be able to…

    • Yes, Mike, I agree it is better for me to have straight male close friends. My closest friends are in that category.

      Still, there is great benefit in having SSA friends too, as long as there are appropriate boundaries.

  • Joshua Johnson

    It kinda goes without saying that most gays/SSA guys that I’ve seen, whether they’re believers or not, are indeed attracted to young’uns. I know I am. Makes me feel gross that I do. Appreciate your honesty, Marshall.

    • I know I am, which is another contributing factor in my celibacy. I don’t want to carry the label ‘pedophile’. I recently found a picture of my exboyfriend on the sex offender website; he was caught with child porn. I don’t believe him to be a pervert. I believe he downloaded something he shouldn’t have and got caught. “There but for the grace of God go I.”

    • Joshua, I want to make it clear that I am not sexually attracted to children, just younger men. Also, if they are not attracted to me, which is usually the case, then I have no desire to go against their will to do anything. The problem for me happens when there appears to be mutual attraction.

      • Joshua Johnson

        Children, no.

        You: “The problem for me happens when there appears to be mutual attraction.”

        I have the same issue. Same with my attractions to older men. :/

  • george

    If my straight friends knew I am SSA, they would avoid friendship with me. At least most of them would do, because they would think I am attracted to them.
    So strange, osa people know that they are attracted to each other, but both sides love being in the same room, same car. Observing my teen students they are so happy to be together, boys and girls. And parents know this and have no problem.
    Teenage SSA boys and girls…my heart Cry’s for them..thinking of my self…they either must be with girls(SSA boys) or with other SSA people, that gives more chance them to be ‘tempted’.
    Its not fare and I don’t know why loving God allows that.
    Here most of us are older..20 +….I don’t know if anyone is a teen on YOB. And I know why.

    • George, my closest straight male friends all know I deal with SSA and definitely want to remain friends. One guy even said that he would remain my friend if I develop an attraction to him! He would be willing to talk through it with me and set whatever boundaries are needed.