During my second year of college, I took a jump and studied abroad for a semester. Since I was continuing my French studies, the choice made plenty of sense — and opened an easy door for a double major. My fourth semester, I flew across the Atlantic and arrived in Orleans, France.

Had I ever been overseas before? No. Did anybody else come from my university? No. But my naive self convinced himself that this would be an exciting six months.

The intensity of the first week or two wore me out. Constantly hearing my second language that I “knew,” taking placement tests, and touring the dorm, campus, and city. Not to mention navigating a new culture.

My bed welcomed me as soon as I could get back to it each evening.

I began my search for community as soon as classes began. The Americans quickly formed into two groups with two slightly different ways of approaching our semester. I landed between the two and discovered that nobody else put a high priority on Jesus.

So, I then searched for fellow Protestant Christians in a Catholic country with freedom from religion on campus . . .

Easy, right?

Eventually I did find a church, although it was an effort to get there — a tram and bus ride about 40 minutes. But I found a church that felt right. Through this place, I found some college students who met most weeks for Bible study and/or fellowship.

I am forever grateful for those friends and the support, encouragement, and hope they provided.

But my struggle to reconcile my attractions and faith while navigating this culture, language, and new friendships expended me more than I expected.

My classes sapped much of my energy. The rest of my energy went into surviving all these new places and people while trying to enjoy what I could. And also attempting to stay connected to friends and family back in the US.

As one friend warned me, there comes a time near the middle of a semester abroad called the “Three Month Slump.” That moment when the place you reside dulls and the place you are from seems distant.
With strained friendships in both places, I hit that slump hard.

I remember asking a friend who dealt with depression about any warning signs, because I worried that I might be depressed. I was frustrated that none of the signs lasted “long enough.”

At some point I considered my gloomy state and looked at the other Americans to figure out how they spent time and enjoyed being in France; the answer, it seemed, was alcohol.

I accepted their next invitation to join the fun. Some of us gathered at a friend’s apartment to chat over wine before heading out. I actually had a good time dancing at the discotheque, chatting with folks, and trying new drinks.

The second or third night, our group lost track of time and wandered back to campus in the middle of the night because we’d missed the last tram of the night at 1am.

One evening I didn’t feel great, and my dorm was the furthest away. I asked to stay with one of the other guys, and he agreed to let me crash in his single bed dorm room.

Looking back, it is difficult for me to know what my (or his) intentions were. I’d like to say that I’d intended just to sleep on the couch, but that may not be accurate because I knew he also liked guys . . . and was decently attractive.

I snuggled up in the twin bed with him. It felt good to be close to another man. And yet, was it “right” (healthy, faithful, acceptable) to like this?

As we whispered, trying to get to sleep, I found that my body wanted to stay awake.

He sensed this as well, and we began more intentional cuddling.

He felt my body, and I felt his.

Is this what acceptance in a physical sense felt like? Was it okay for me to find pleasure in these touches?

Sparing the other unnecessary details, eventually we masturbated each other. And it felt great.

Except that shame hit me almost instantly afterward.

This isn’t right. You would have never done anything like this in America. Drinking? Naked cuddling with another guy? What are you doing?!

After falling asleep from exhaustion, I awoke with those questions and more whirling in my mind. How could I begin to process what had just happened? Nobody understood me in this place, and I could feel impending judgment from my communities in the States.

How would this experience impact my faith?

I felt lost with no real direction.

I wrote pages and pages in my journal over the next few days, trying to make sense of what I had done and what I should do next. Jesus’ presence was near, but I didn’t know what to make of it at the time.

To be continued . . .

Have you ever done something you didn’t see coming? Have you questioned your physical actions with another man, and how did you overcome the shame? When have you felt physically close with another man in a healthy way?

About the Author

  • Each time I come to read the articles in YOB, I am consistently struck by the astonishing courage that appears in each article. Some of the things you wrote about, Kevin, I would have never typed nor said out loud myself, but would have nodded in agreement if asked about certain things. For example, “Have you ever drunk alcohol, even when you knew your group disapproved?”…Nodding. The article was not about the dangers or merits of alcohol, although there were some collateral effects. The questions centred around affection, expressing affection, receiving and creating a healthy environment for affection or closeness. Scriptures constantly guide us to avoid turning to the left or right, but keep a straight path; to live with a stable, serious, or sober appreciation for spiritual dangers around us and pray for ways to escape them…and then look for those doorways. Oh, how I wish I had heeded my own advice here. I yearn to undo actions I had taken that resulted in more harm than good. Kevin, I hope that as you talk to others about your experiences, using the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to guide you, that you will continue to demonstrate the bravery you showed here to guide other men alongside of you to walk well, following Jesus. If we were sitting down over tea (oh, how I love tea!), I am sure I would reach across the table, clasp your hand and say, “Thank you for telling me your heart and bringing up points which I need to talk about with the Lord!” You are my hero! May great good come of your life and testimonies to others.

    • Paul – If anybody could have seen how long it took me to pen/type this blog. There was much angst and thought and prayer about what / if / how I should share this part of my story – but here it is!
      I think we all look back at moments that we wish we could have done differently. I catch myself in the moment even sometimes thinking – is this REALLY what I should be saying? doing? It’s only through Jesus (and his followers) that I’ve learned (and continue to learn) about grace and forgiveness and….
      Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. The me that was studying abroad would never have imagined this story being told, even less that somebody would call me a hero! Maybe someday (or in heaven?) we could enjoy tea and sharing stories of how Jesus worked in our lives. Blessings!

  • Kevin,
    You have made yourself very vulnerable here, to judgment, to scrutiny, and to prying eyes…Thank you for sharing your struggle. There are several words of advice that I want to share. The first is that we are all broken and will sin. This is not to make excuses for sin but to recognize that it is simply part of who we are. In my faith tradition, we recognize that there are different types of sin…sins that come out of our weakness and those that come out of malice. Those that come out of malice are the worst. Your sin was not one of malice but of weakness. An example of malice is wanting to hurt someone for revenge. The key to dealing with sins of weakness is gentleness and patience with yourself. Don’t make excuses for sin, but when it happens, and it will, ask for forgiveness, try to understand where things went wrong and then move on. Particularly when we are young and need relationships we uncover our limits, strengths, weaknesses and areas where we must build fences to separate us from “falls” and this takes time.You need time to discover all the buttons that others can push or where you need to guard yourself. You need time to outgrow passions or learn to deal with them so that falls come fewer and further apart. Another issue that Christians often suffer from is pride. They are deeply pride that they don’t sin and are viewed as righteous before God. This pride separates us from trying to bond with others and God: as C.S. Lewis describes quite eloquently in Mere Christianity, it wraps our hearts deeply into a cocoon…it is better for us all to make mistakes in attempting to find love, support, closeness and encouragement, than to wrap ourselves tightly in a cocoon that protects us and isolates us from others because we are afraid of getting our hearts broken. You may make the same mistake again, under different circumstances. If so, repent and try again. I made many mistakes over the course of my life. There is no point in living in regret or remorse. I have sinned and am a sinner…thank God for my Lord Jesus Christ who delivers me from sin every day. Some sins, I have not committed in years and others never. Praise be God for the grace He gives each day to live in His light. He loves me and I depend on Him. Know that you are loved and when you fall and repent, His arms are there to enfold you. It is not so much about avoiding sin and learning to love God and others.
    Peace my brother,

    • Dan – Thank you for responding this part of my story. Would have been great to hear it back then… maybe even more so! And yes, so much of Christian life is learning from the failings. This story happened a decade ago, so I’ve learned a lot since then. That being said, this was easily the toughest blog to write thus far. Plenty can be assumed of me or my beliefs. But, it’s my story with Jesus that matters most. Plenty of failings and learning and running from since the semester abroad – but life with Jesus is more of a journey to me.
      (love the image of Jesus enfolding me btw)
      Glad to have you here!

      • Glad that you have journeyed past this. You are right…the story with Jesus is what matters most and your growth in your ability to love. Jesus’ love is always bigger than our failings. What did you learn about relationships as a result is more important? Did you ever speak to the guy? How did you treat each other? How did it affect your relationships with other men? These are the deeper questions. I really enjoyed the blog but, even though it was hard to write, the story of growth afterwards is more important because it can provide light for those who are behind you on the journey. Blessings of Christ.

        • Dan – I have neglected to respond, because you asked such good questions! And I think much of them will be discussed / processed in the next blog. Know that I will use these to help direct as I write. To answer briefly – that guy and I had some conversations, but after we returned state-side, never talked again… And yes, this has ripple effects on male friendships in the future.

  • Proud of you, Kevin. You’re so authentic, you’re so courageous, and you’re so loved. Thankful men like you share your story so others know they aren’t alone. Proud to be your other brother!

  • Brother, this was very vulnerable of you, and I can understand why it was so hard for you to write. As one journaling my way through my own story, I know that feeling.
    And there is something else that I know all too well. That feeling of guilt and shame that you describe. I found myself reading and picking up the bread crumbs along the way and thinking, “Oh, no! I know where this leads! Oh, I hope he doesn’t do what I think he—“, only to find it ended up like it did for me so many times! I felt the shame and guilt as I read it. I was hoping beyond hope that your story wouldn’t end like that, because I’ve been there.
    And so you, my brother, found yourself where I did, though I was much younger than you, and my failures were born out of sexual abuse. Yet, even though I was abused, I put myself in situations far more than I would like to admit. So, yes, even I, a victim of childhood sexual abuse, had plenty to repent of when I came to Jesus Christ.
    That guilt, that shame, they are our friends. I thank God a thousand times that I felt them. That my conscience was tender and I could feel what I did was wrong. There are myriads of people who sin with impunity and never feel any compunction of conscience at all. The guilt and shame brought me at last to the foot of the cross, where my life was gloriously changed and I found the grace of God sufficient to hold my soul in life and keep me in constant victory over the sin that would have so easily beset me.
    I know that this is not the end of your story. And it doesn’t have to be the end for anyone else who finds himself in a similar situation. May His name forever be praised. I look forward to reading more, as you are able to write.

    • Kirk – Thank you for continuing to share your story and journey with me/us. I look forward to your comments/thoughts.
      I think if I could gather my thoughts and stories and channel some Jesus, there could be (maybe will be in the future?) a post or two about guilt and/or shame, I’ve experienced these feelings often, but also have learned from them.

      • Conviction for sin is a precious thing. Sometimes I have to marvel at the grace of God that appears unto all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. I mean, what chance did I have? A boy from a broken home, dirt poor, with no real understanding of godly things…. How did the grace of God reach me? How could it teach me? I alone out of all my siblings. How? I understand in a deep way what motivated Charles Wesley to pen the words, “Oh for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise!” It is hard to express my wonder and gratitude with the one little tongue I have.
        But, yes. His grace reaches and teaches. And it keeps us from falling. I am unworthy of it all.

        • Kirk – Those questions!! This only makes me more grateful to have you journey with us, and more excited to hear more of your story.

  • Hi Kevin. Thank you for sharing this. I honor you for being so vulnerable and honest. It looks to me like you learned through experience the importance of caution. However, as I started reading, I thought about how much our religious culture focuses on caution rather than focusing on the good things that can come from our experiences with touch.
    With caution being a plain old given, I think a lot of what you have written about is right and good. Now I’m nowhere near naked snuggling (Korean Spa? You betcha!), But there is some sort of unexplainable positive energy in being close to another man. If it weren’t for my struggle to sleep (snoring, bed space), I’d probably share my bed with guys more often.
    In other words, I think it’s ok to like being snuggled up with someone, especially when you can talk about mutual interests and mutual faith. For me, it helps me feel more *me* and closer to God. I can’t say that I imagine sharing a bed with Jesus, but I can certainly imagine Him holding me, holding my hand and letting me rest on His shoulder. Why should it be any different with men? In a special way, I think God blesses same-sex friendships and can make them holy as they keep Him in the picture.

    • Alex – Yes. I think there are good times/places for physical touch. But that jumps WAY ahead in my story…. it will take little Kevin a while before he begins to learn that and heal…
      Honestly still feel strange about Korean spas, but that may be a preference thing. Thanks for sharing your growth in PT.

  • Thanks for this amazing post, Kevin!
    To answer a few of the discussion questions, I’ve certainly questioned my physical actions with another man–wondering “wait, was that sexual? How sexual was that?” I’ve talked to folks who seem to have a clear sense of sexual vs. non-sexual, but those feel like very blurry categories to me. I think I’ve been growing out of shame surrounding that by recognizing that it’s a pretty human experience.

    • I Majorly have trouble with sexual – non-sexual touch. I crave it so
      much and have sexualized it all that it is hard to draw a distinction. I recently shared a hotel room with a straight coworker. Separate beds and no touching, but I had a hard time not sexualizing things.

    • Ryan,
      As you know I have fairly clear ideas about what kind of touch is sexual and what is not. I do not hesitate to go beyond the social norms for men in our culture, but I won’t go close to sexual touch either.
      Last Sunday one of my same-sex attracted friends talked to me after church about his fears for the future. I knew he needed my emotional support so I affectionately hugged him tightly. We held the embrace for around 2 minutes in front of a crowd of people from church. Neither of us cared what others were thinking and we both walked away encouraged and free from guilt.
      That is what the right kind of touch does. If you are pointing someone toward God’s love, joy, and peace, and pointing them away from fear and selfishness it is good touch, not sexual.

  • Such a brave post. Thanks for being bold with your story, Kevin. It’s been a long confusing and ultimately redeeming personal journey with physical touch. Stories like yours and many of mine remind me of the power in touch. The power to comfort and the power to cripple. But thank God this crippling need not last forever.

  • Kevin, like other comments are saying, what you shared reads true, about what a challenge fitting in new surroundings is and doing new things that sometimes don’t go as planned. I don’t know if you would go back and change all of it, or what came of it made it valuable. Your next post(s) are really going to add a lot to your story.
    I’ve never cuddled with another guy but I can’t think of being any more physically accepted than being invited to lie naked in a twin bed. Maybe there is a way for that to be non-sexual and healthy but I’m not sure how, maybe if you’re straight? Playing sports and showering is a way to be physically exposed and find acceptance, but that’s at a different level than what happened to you.
    The one time I ever had someone invite me to share his bed I turned it down and slept on the floor. I got freaked out because there were rumors he was gay and I was still figuring things out and wasn’t being honest about it. The few times I’ve been with another guy was after drinking cause I didn’t have the nerve sober and I didn’t want to remember. It’s neither a healthy or honest or courageous way of dealing with anything, and no escape from shame. Taking Jesus seriously meant giving up drinking and with that being with guys, but I still have trouble dealing with ssa openly, being completely honest. Sometimes it feels like I use faith now like I did drinking then.
    I’m grateful for your post Kevin which is so honest, and really for the other writers here who have the courage to face things well. It helps me to be a better man.

    • Bluzhawk – Know that we are glad to have you here, journeying with us (even if it is via the internet). Part of what makes this space so good is the “navigating” portion. We are all on the journey, and are learning, growing with/from each other. So, thank you for reading and sharing with us.
      Without giving away much of the coming post, I think in the moment I absolutely would have changed what happened. Now, a decade later, I don’t think I would. The pain and growth from those days has been beneficial.
      And your story about sleeping on the floor makes me think of many times during college, camp and even post college where there were offers to be close (even with straight guys) and I turned them down because I didn’t know how to handle…ME in that moment. Again, stories to come as I make the time to write them.
      May you be renewed as you walk with Jesus today.

      • Hey Kevin, kind words man, thanks. Funny thing about that sleeping on the floor, it was the ‘right’ thing to do but it didn’t make me a better guy. Fear of doing the wrong thing isn’t the same as having the courage to do what’s right. Even so, with all the challenges and opportunities and even defeats that guys here face, it all works out well if we keep following Jesus, doesn’t it? We get to the place where the good we do is what we’ve become. I’m still making my way.
        You write really well Kevin. I’m looking forward to more of your posts. Merry Christmas to all reading this.

          • Merry Christmas back atcha MI. I’m glad they’re working out for you. It’s good when things can work out, they don’t always. Hey man, I’ve screwed up alot in my life and made things worse for others and myself not handling it well. Sometimes you look for the light at the end of the tunnel without realizing you’re in a mineshaft going deeper. And you end up in a worse place than when you started. It makes the hope of a Christmas morning all that more welcome. Merry Christmas!

          • thank you sir! I was really speaking with the “eyes of faith” as there are still shadows and disappointments all about, and I certainly read the headlines.

          • Hey Bluz! I agree. I was looking with the “eyes of faith” when I said that. I am still surrounded by shadows and inching forward with trembling knees, but I do see the finish line. And it is b****in’!

          • I’m guessing you mean bitchin not bedouin, but you never know. 🙂
            If you see a finish line, press on MI.

          • Ok, this was an almost mildly humorous comment when I spelled out MI’s word which rhymes with kitchen or smidgen or crickets (ok not crickets). But now it’s just kind of dumb, except thinking of a 7 letter word that starts with b and ends with in sorta redeems it somewhat. For the record, the word means extremely or excellent….which is in fact, b****in.
            Happy New Year y’all!

          • Thanks Bluz! I feel like I have written this three times, but it keeps getting erased? The “working out well” is seen through the lens of faith. I am still surrounded by shadows and disappointment. My son is still gravely ill. But Christ and Christmas morning are shining through it all.

  • Thank you for sharing your story and being vulnerable Kevin. I guess this is a case of cuddles gone wrong! But I can totally relate. That feeling of being far away from home and having a terrible time trying to find community and friendships. That longing leading to bad places where people want more than just cuddles from you and more than you bargain for happens. Its not a fun place to be. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.

    • Ah, yes. Cuddles gone wrong indeed. At this point in my story I was very anti-physical touch for many reasons. So, this whole scenario was WAY out there for me. Yet, there was definitely part of me that wanted it, right? Hard to reason when there was part of me that wanted the experience… but that gets into the next blog.

  • Wow Kevin…I have great admiration for your honesty here. It opened up a flood of memories for me…
    Growing up in a very formal home where there was little to no affection shown, I see now how vulnerable I was. Shortly after college, I went to serve at a Christian service organization. I was alone in a big city. The organization provide our room and board. There was another guy there who was the same age. He was very friendly and talkative and had a gift of getting others to talk.
    I had a very, very low self-esteem, so when he started to pay attention to me, I was overwhelmed. But, being naive and trusting and dumb, it did not occur to me that he had other intentions besides being a friend. He had something I didn’t have…he could “charm” his way into others’ lives and get them to do what he wanted from them. So…one night, he came to my room to talk….
    I am chocked up right now…I gave in to what he wanted…
    I am still very vulnerable in this way…I must say. I learned a lot about the Lord and His heart since then…I am still a work in progress. I can relate, Kevin, to what you shared…thank you so much…

    • Oh, WaveDave, bless your heart. I’m so sorry this happened. Thank God we can live and learn from our weaknesses and mistakes. Sounds like you’ve learned a bit about yourself through this. Knowing ourselves is important. When we pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” we can trust that God will answer that prayer. And then, with our knowledge of our own weaknesses we can take steps to make straight paths for our feet.
      These things are hard to talk about. There is something precious in being confessional like this. Not merely for the comfort of commiseration, but in order to know we are not alone, to learn how others have arisen from their failures and conquered. And to point people to faith and confidence in our Heavenly Father, who always causes us to triumph in Christ.

    • WaveDave – thank you for being here and sharing your story with us. I’m sorry this happened and this way to you. If only my story were less of my own doing! There was much of me that wanted some intimacy with another guy, even if I didn’t know much what that looked like or meant.
      We are all works in progress. And my hope is that sharing my story here will continue to show that. Yes, we learn, but we are constantly re-learning, and leaning on Jesus. Love you brother!

  • Man- this was one of those stories that is so challenging to process. 1) Amen to be able to share this and have a safe place to do it in a Sanctifying way. 2) I can just sooo relate to the heavy desire you must have had -sexually, spiritually, relationally
    3) how often I have longed for that kind of intimate male friendship … can it still happen?
    Thanks for sharing – looking forward to reading more as I have newly found this great spot

    • Bill –
      1) Yes, this was the toughest blog for me to write. It stirred up more in me than I expected. But also yes, glad to have a space/community to process it with.
      2) Oof. That was such a weird time in my life – that semester as a whole, but especially that week or two. So much was new, my tendency to isolate only magnified by being on own, yet still longing to connect in healthy ways.
      3) Not sure if there is an easy answer here. I think there is flexibility in what healthy, intimate friendship looks like. This crossed the boundaries many times for me. But I think being physically close can be possible for friends. And I think close friendships are possible without the physicality. Hope you are able to find some of this as you journey!

  • I’ve only told this story to my therapist. In my early days, on a holiday trip to Indiana, I was feeling a bit starved for physical affection. On the trip, four of us guys shared a room together at a hotel. We were there with several other schools/chapters, but all part of the same Christian college organization. Long story short, I placed my arm atop the guy I was sharing a bed with. I wasn’t trying to seduce or violate him in any way. I just wanted to touch and feel him near me. There was no expectation on my part for him to reciprocate. Sadly I got caught by another one of the guys coming in late that evening. He laughed it off as me unwittingly and inadvertently rolling over to the other side of the bed vying for more space. I let him believe that. However, I don’t think my bed mate didn’t shared the same jovial impressions. He opted to sleep in a separate rollaway bed in our room for the remainder of our visit. As for the shame of the incident, I don’t I ever got over it, but I know it was never my intention to violate him in any sexual manner. It has only been recently when I took a trip to Texas that I asked the guy I was staying with if he wanted to bro-cuddle as Eugene mentioned here. We got to bro-cuddle more than once during my stay. It was awkward at first, yet we kept holding each other and occasionally talking to one another throughout the cuddling. The feelings during the time together were a lot like how Eugene described them — warm, safe and loved. I felt fortunate as well as I could be physically intimate in a healthy way by giving this guy and receiving from this guy loving affection.
    As for what transpired, I’ll admit I was shocked to hear it; however, I still love you as a brother and friend Kevin. It’s been a sad shortcoming of mine to think with greater regard or better of others than I do myself. That sounds terrible as to my own self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence to think everyone is better than me. What I can say is you’re still a child of God and He loves you and forgives you.

    • Mac – Thanks for sharing your story with us. It’s unfortunate how something platonic can so easily be misconstrued. I do feel like our culture is slowly becoming more accepting of male affection. Slowly. And as far as physical touch and bro cuddling…. I may have a post about that in the future. Physical touch has always been confusing for me. But I definitely get how healthy/healing it can be.
      And yes, I’m shocked too ;P. It’s easy to think that somebody else doesn’t struggle as bad (whatever that means) as us. Or that since I blog or somebody has written a book that they’ve “made it” and didn’t have as messy of a journey somehow. But we all have shortcomings and are all on a journey to better know God, ourselves and the people GOd has around us. Thanks for being here!!

  • Kevin, I had a similar experience in Italy. I had several roommates… One was George, a Romanian bar tender at an English pub in Italy, ikr?!?! I’d wake up before him and go tumble into his twin bed for some snuggle time… No PC though. I’d say, “stai bene?” (Are you ok?) And he’d always say, “sì”. Then I’d say, “vuoi che mi sposto, ti lascio?” (Do you want me to move? Leave you?) And he’d always say, “no…” It was a great time for me/him and i miss that closeness so much!

  • Kevin, thank you for sharing this. Your vulnerability is to be commended. I didn’t see it coming-kinda. I developed a best friendship in college. We were Christian brothers, strong in the faith. We never told each other, “I love you”, but somehow we both felt bonded as men and brothers. We began to wrestle in the pool and in his bedroom-you know-horseplay. I always got an erection from that interaction and he didn’t say anything about it or seem to mind. Because of my SSA I would cop-a-feel occasionally and he often got an erection, too. It made me think, “Maybe he is like me?” The Monday afternoon after he moved into my apartment we found ourselves watching TV in our gym shorts, and I coaxed him to wrestle. We both had erections, so I did the unthinkable. I pulled everything off of him to see what he would do. To my surprise he got up and sprawled on the bean bag chair. He was going to let me handle him-and I brought him to completion. Afterward I felt terrible, guilty, shamed. It was awful-I had dishonored my brother and God. I chocked it up to teen curiosity and put it under the Blood. Unfortunately, the next night he thumped me with his foot as I got into my bed. I knew what that meant. We both went at it this time. I knew, he knew, it was wrong as Christians, even though we never talked about it. The guilt and shame and wanting to hide this was huge. But, the exhilaration, the pleasure, the excitement, was unfortunately greater than our guilt. Somehow I justified it as helping a friend, not sex, we didn’t penetrate anything. After about 30 times I was hooked and wanted more, but God told me if I didn’t stop I would become a homosexual and I would never get married. He scared me to death. I finally said no more. That was my last experience ever with a man. My friend and I never ever talked about what we did until several years ago (I am 62), and I apologized for leading him down that road. It made him uncomfortable, but he forgave me. We are still best of friends, Christian brothers living a 1000 miles apart. I still remember the guilt, the shame, and I have very deep regrets for that chapter in my life. But God has and is healing me. You asked about having a “right” physical relationship with another man. I cannot have a physical relationship with another man outside of just a hug. My SSA is too strong even at my age—I would be afraid again to cross a line—so, even though the desire would be strong, it could not be a road I could travel.

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