You know, I write a lot of depressing posts. In general, the brothers here are sharing real, raw stories of their struggles. And that’s a great thing because it is uncommon to have that in the Church.

But I want to write a story that is actually happy. It’s about time I showed joy.

The first person to ever hear my entire story — the complete saga of my struggle with all its nasty details — was John. Yes, my good old best friend John.

Basically, I had just had gay sex, was broken down about it, and was wanting to kill myself.

This will cheer up in a second, I promise.

I decided, in a moment of God-given clarity, to call someone. I pulled out my phone and scrolled through my contacts only to land on John’s name. It was random, but I figured he would work.

I called; he answered. I asked him if he could meet me somewhere. At midnight. For no reason. He agreed. I’m not sure why, considering the extreme shadiness of it all — guess he trusted me enough by that point.
We met up at an all-night Asian fast food joint. I grabbed a soda to drink while John abstained from food or drink.

He asked what was up. I rambled on about this mysterious and dark part of my life that I had never let anyone else see. When I felt that I had stalled long enough, I just said it outright:

I told my best friend that I had literally just come from gay sex in another man’s bed.

I didn’t even know this other guy. I’d found him on the Internet, decided to do the horizontal mambo with him, and then regretted it. This led me to realize that I probably needed help. If I really and truly wanted not to have sex with other men, I needed support.

And do you know what John’s first words to me were?

I’m proud of you.

Here I was — smelling of gay sex and bad Asian food, weeping uncontrollably in front of him after midnight, confessing my darkest secret. And he decides to say he’s proud of me?

The look I shot him prompted him to elaborate. John started to praise me for my courage and strength. That I was willing to come to him fresh from a mistake, asking for help with something I knew I could no longer handle on my own.

To me, I was pathetic. To him, I was courageous.

Following his spiel of encouragement, I told John my whole story. I started from practically Day 1. I told him about my brothers’ abuse, my father’s absence, my fall into pornography, my struggles with gender identity and sexuality, my depression, my salvation, and my fall into another man’s arms.

I held nothing back.

For the first time in my life, I was completely vulnerable with someone. And it was with a straight guy in whom I had no sexual interest; in return, John gave me affirmation, support, encouragement, and love.

And when I left the bad Asian food place that night, I headed home feeling one thing: JOY.

I am still confused sometimes by that. But I clearly remember feeling joyful as I drove home at 1:45am that night-turning-morning.

For the first time in my life, someone saw the worst part of me. And I wasn’t hated for it; rather, I was embraced with the love of Christ as a brother. That’s something I’ll never forget. And it’s the reason John has been such a huge part of my life and my story — even when I try to avoid him. Especially when I try to avoid him.

John and I may not be as close as we used to be. But he’s still my friend. I pray I don’t forget that again. I have a feeling he’ll always be around in some way; honestly, he’s essentially my brother.

And no matter the sh** that comes at me, that’s something to be joyful about.

Have you ever approached a friend/mentor in a moment of desperation, only to receive love and affirmation and ultimately joy? Without being graphic, and if you can be so bold, tell us about the aftermath of your first gay sex experience. How did you feel, who did you tell, who didn’t you tell, and where are you today?

* Photo courtesy nwhitford, Creative Commons.

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  • DUDE!!! This is perfect!!! I kind of had the same experience with one of my friends, when I lost my virginity. Again, you and I almost have the same story but took different paths. Maybe I’ll share my story like this later on. Bro! Thanks for sharing!

    • It is intriguing how we line up in so many ways and yet had such different philosophies, reactions, and feelings during our stories. Hope you share your part of this story soon!

  • Well, my mentor has been incredibly loving and affirming to me. Part of the reason I decided to come out to him is that his best friend is gay/Side B and he has thought about the issue a lot as a result. And, to be honest, it’s really hard to find a Christian mentor who’s actually thought about the practical implications of being attracted to other guys as a Christian. And I have really gotten nothing but acceptance from him. I’m sure if I was off base theologically or something he’d let me know. But where I am now there are not a lot of people I trust enough to just be completely open about my emotions, my doubts, and all the complicated thoughts in my head. Yet to have a couple guys I CAN share this with is nothing short of amazing.

    • That group of guys can make such a world of difference. I’m glad you have that, even in just a few people.

  • Thank God for John’s wisdom and loving response. He sounds like the prodigal’s father. My experiences are all with images on line. My wife has responded in the same way that John did for you.

  • Isn’t it amazing — dare I say supernatural? — how quickly redemption can come after our deepest pitfalls? It doesn’t work that way all the time, obviously, and that’s not to say zero consequences or residue remains from this experience, but what a testimony: having this conversation and time of affirmation with John. You painted this scene so vividly, I could practically see it unfolding before me (as a writer, I especially appreciated your poetic imagery of “smelling of gay sex and bad Asian food”).
    Solid job. Solid story. Solid dude.

    • It was definitely a divine experience, being able to receive such acceptance after falling so hard. It truly was a sign of God’s grace, one I won’t forget. And thank you for the compliment and encouragement on the writing itself. That means a lot coming from you, Tom!

  • Several questions: I guess the first time I had sex with a man, I was just excited about the sexual part of me that was awakened. I definitely had a lot of neediness for male love and affection, so I was just happy for this intimate connection. My relationship with this guy continued for 8 or 9 months and we had sex 9 or ten times during that period of time. By the end of that time, I was very disillusioned with homosexual sex. I didn’t feel loved or valued by this guy. I felt used by him to satisfy his lust.
    I decided that homosexuality was not a lifestyle I wanted to pursue, because I believed it would never satisfy me. So I walked away and have not had sex with another man for almost 40 years.
    Next question: Who did I tell about that first sexual encounter? I told my wife before we got married! It hurt her, but she forgave me and married me anyway. She must be crazy, but I am still married 37 years later. At that time, I had little understanding where my same-sex attraction came from or how it had developed. I told my wife what I understood then, but it was such an incomplete picture. I guess you could say I was bisexual, but honestly at that time my need for same-sex acceptance and affirmation was still largely unmet so my SSA remained and was blocking my opposite-sex attraction.
    Next question: my crisis came many years later…when internet pornography caught me. This addiction was so incompatible with my Christian faith, that I was absolutely miserable. I prayed to the LORD for help to end my addiction and he showed me that porn was only the symptom of deeper unresolved issues that led to my SSA. I found online resources for people with unwanted SSA, and that began my journey of healing. So who did I tell (mentor/friend) in my crisis who gave me support, affirmation and love? First, I confessed my addiction to gay porn to my wife and shared with her what I knew now about SSA that I didn’t understand 37 years ago. Next I told three trusted male friends in that same year and all of them loved me and supported me. Now I have told so many people about my journey into my manhood, that I have almost lost count. When I confessed my SSA to that first male friend, God took away my shame. I am not proud of my past, but I am no longer ashamed. That is so wild! Instead of feeling ashamed, God took my shame away.

    • Thank you for sharing so much of your story, Alan! I’m so glad you and your wife were able to work through such an experience. And how wonderful that you had those three trusted male friends with whom you could share this journey.

    • Alan thanks for sharing your journey. I’m kinda new to this site but have felt profoundly at home reading so many of the posts. As a married Christian man dealing with SSA it’s a relief to hear from other married men. I could write a thousand blogs about it from the married perspective and so appreciate what you’ve shared. It’s good to know we are not alone. Bless you bro!

      • As another married guy here, I have also greatly appreciated Alan’s posts as well as so many of the others. Welcome Jaye!

        • Thank you! Of all the blogs I’ve read or been part of this one has been a lifeline to me already and to hear from so many other married men is encouraging. Seems that married SSA men either pretend it’s no issue anymore or completely fall off the wagon leaving their families for other men. So much to say on the subject. But so glad to be here!

          • I pretended it was no issue for about 15 years with some “success.” There was no sin and little struggle, but also no healing of all that was underneath either. I read something by Dallas Willard about the Christian life having to be more than simply “sin management.” Healing is gradually happening. I just read about your big music event in Azusa. Prayers for the Spirit to be present and powerful. Azusa is near my former stomping ground, though I never really did much stomping.

          • Thanks friend. Azusa was amazing. So many people in one place worshiping was incredible. I couldn’t help but look over the crowd of 70,000 people from the stage and wonder how many were there like me. So I worshipped. Hard. As a declarative statement that no matter the pain of this road we walk, Jesus is still worthy of all my love. It was a defining moment for me. And healing IS happening!

          • Thank God for the healing! And I wish I could have seen the 70,000 from your perspective.

          • I walked away from the behavior early on, but had no idea that all the emotional baggage that caused my SSA needed to be dealt with in order to release it and to find wholeness for my life. My crisis with porn, set me on the path for healing. I am not thankful for gay porn at all, but I am thankful that the crisis it created led me to seek to resolve (not ignore) those issues. In the long range, I see that God did many things for me in the years after I gave up homosexuality and until I had the porn problem. I reconciled with my father and now we are good friends as adults. All of my friends during the years where straight guys–so I had affirmation from other heterosexual males. Both of those things were very important in my journey into manhood.

      • I read somewhere that about 15% of men with SSA are married. It is nice to know that there are other guys who face the challenges of SSA within their marriages. Anyway, welcome Jaye. I hope that anything I write here will be useful to someone. I try to write from my heart and with vulnerability. I have little to hide these days.

  • You write some great stuff dean!
    The summer after my junior year of college was a very dark time for me. I got home from work at 11 most nights and would be in a 5-6 hour porn binge before going to sleep and waking up at 1. I on one of my days off, after one of my binges I ran into a friend on campus. I spilled the beans to him and he hugged me. He touched me. He embraced my body when I felt so dirty, unlovable, and infectious.
    I think that’s what Jesus does. I think that’s (what your friend did for you) what happens when Jesus gets involved. He embraces the filth.
    Good stuff.

  • I think joy is a common feeling for many people when they leave bad Asian food places.
    There are a lot of guys who are total narrow-minded jerks, who can’t empathize with others who struggle with things they can’t understand. They’re macho, egotistical, and homophobic. And sadly, many people — many SSA guys — judge all men based on those, and it creates fear in us in opening up to them. But in reality, there are also a lot of guys like your friend John who are completely straight, but are able to empathize with others, even if they can’t really relate. They listen, they want to help, they care, they love. They are gems in the brush. I’m glad you have found some of these gems, Dean. Treasure them.

  • Sometimes drawing on history like this is honestly the only source of comfort at times….. Remembering “the Lord’s benefits” like David and what he directly or indirectly through a brother did for you and how He showed you kindness…. This post left me tender… I’m personally, this very night, trying to remember and believe in His kindness again… Thanks for sharing… Sorry you had to go through that…. I have a story like it where I had a random hookup with a guy I randomly met while working RIGHT before my last semester of bible school after finding out I was going to be leading a worship team that semester…… I felt so unbelievably unworthy and dirty, and in uncontrollable weeping told a “mentor” type figure from school….. To this day 2 1/2 years later, I’m affected by that night and occasionally have to fight thinking about it the wrong way too much, but it is a source of joy and history with the Lord I draw on regularly…. Bless you Dean thanks for sharing!

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