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.