From here on out, posts like this one are ones I don’t want to write. I’m going to feel so stupid even writing these out. Do I feel shame about this post? Probably. I feel more like I’m a fake. Why? You’ll understand in a little bit. Let’s flash back to three years ago . . .

I arrived at a pizza joint to meet some friends and my one friend, George. It was a summer night, and George wanted to discuss something. Something to get off his chest.

George was starting to get serious with his faith, and I, along with a few others, took it upon ourselves to disciple this guy. He was very intelligent with a hunger to know more about Jesus. He asked really good questions, even articulating some that most of us had never considered.

He knew about my sexuality, and I felt safe with his knowing I was gay. I really appreciated his questions and challenges as we became friends.

George got us some pizza and drinks as we started to talk about the usual stuff, God and life. As the conversation passed, we hit a point regarding his interest in a particular girl, Annie. I gave him a weird look, mostly surprised like a “whatcha talking about Willis?”

I knew my friend was still in the baby stages of his faith, and he was kinda girl-crazy! I asked him why he was interested in asking her out. Of course, he gave your typical straight guy answer: “She’s pretty, funny, intelligent, blah, blah, blah…”

After he explained why he liked her, George asked what I thought. As you guys might guess, I was pretty straight up with him. I told him that I didn’t see a guy like him dating a girl like Annie. They were two totally different people with different interests, desires, and spiritual states.

I told him he still had a long way to go before becoming a spiritual leader in dating someone like Annie.

He shot back. “Why do you still see me as a little kid? I have so much to offer, yet you guys think I’m immature. I’m more than that! How am I supposed to grow and become a spiritual leader if you guys are always going to treat me like a little kid? I’m not stupid!”

He made a good point! I’d seen him grow, and I was holding him back, treating him like a little kid when he had so much potential!

But something inside me still didn’t trust him. As if my conscience were telling me that he was going to sleep with her, then leave her once he had his way.

I expressed my concerns. I told him that Annie was a very special woman. Unlike any other woman I’d known. Someone who loves God so much with an innocence about her that I didn’t want him to corrupt. I was very abrasive in saying that if he did anything to her, it would be on his head.

I also stated that she had been in a relationship that ended six months prior, adding that he give her time to heal. I hoped that was a good excuse for George not to ask her out on a date.

As our hangout came to a close, I told George I wouldn’t view him as a little kid anymore. I thanked him for being vulnerable with me and challenging me. Though I still didn’t trust him that much, I knew I had to; it was the right thing to do.

We left the pizza joint, and on the way to my vehicle a thought popped into my brain: “You like her!”

The thought stopped me in my tracks.

Me, like a girl? What?

I shook it off and went back home.

What a ridiculous thought! Dude, I’m gay! I’ve never liked a girl in my life! What the heck?!

But as the years passed, at random times, that thought popped up, again and again, especially when Annie came around me or our small groups. Again and again, I’d swipe the thought from my brain, because it just didn’t make any sense.

Flash-forward to three years later . . .

As I drove down the base of the mountain after listening to a sermon and enjoying some prayer, the thought once more popped into my head: “You like Annie!”

I wanted to swipe away the thought again, but this time I actually considered it. Maybe I could like a girl?

I finally arrived home, drained and ready for bed.

The next day would be different.

The feelings for my crazy thought would come. I wasn’t about to be done with my hellhole; it was going to be next level!

Have you experienced attraction of any level for the opposite sex? Did the initial thought or feeling surprise you or scare you? Have you dated (or married) a woman with success?

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  • Well, never say never! And don’t put yourself in a box about these things. None of us should. It’s genuinely surprising what’s possible once it happens. Circumstances combined with individuals are truly unique. And there’s plenty of room for a man and a woman to date and be married in a pattern of life that works for them, for who they are individually, which fits reasonably under the generally broad and simple parameters of the natural God-given institution of marriage. That’s something far simpler and more manageable than the extra baggage loaded down upon “marriage” by the consumerism and romanticism of our present culture. For many years, I didn’t think it would be possible for me to marry, given the trained social expectations I’d received about what I had to be emotionally etc. toward a wife. But I encountered the right women, the right in-laws, the right pastor, the right circle of friends, and so on that made it all plausible as a vocation. And it works. It is what it is. And when you live into any way of living the habit of it forms you to the vocation. And that’s a blessing. :-p

  • The biggest mistake I ever made (so far) was not to tell my exwife I was gay. I got with her, trying to be straight; a few weeks later she told me she was pregnant. I did the right thing, being a father to my own children. Not having grown up with a father, I had no idea what I was doing, but did not make the mistakes my own biological father did. My wife however did not seem to want the kids, and pretty much left the parenting up to me. Then provided some uncomfortable and amusing incidents when it came time to tell my daughter about the facts of life.
    I tried to be attracted to my wife, and even made love to her a few times (I always had to imagine I was with another guy). Still it wasn’t enough. There was no love there, and I certainly couldn’t fake it after the stroke. She finally left in September of this year. The boys didn’t even notice; she still doesn’t call or text them. I thought things would change when she left, but the only thing that did was the house getting cleaner. I still attracted to guys and still alone, even though I have a piece of paper that says we are married. I feel twenty years have been wasted, except when I see my kids.

    • Despite the mistakes and regrets you’ve named, it sounds like you’re committed to being a faithful father to the best of your abilities. That’s very commendable, and says a lot about who you are or who have become in the way you’ve lived out life.

  • Have you experienced attraction of any level for the opposite sex? Yes.
    Did the initial thought or feeling surprise you or scare you? No.
    Have you dated (or married) a woman with success? Yes, well partially.
    While I don’t like labels, I imagine the “bisexual” might apply to me. I would say that I was 5 on the Kinsey Scale which would be primarily homosexual attraction with incidental heterosexual attractions. I dated women in high school and university. My best friend in high school became my wife after a period of 7 years. I loved her as a friend and romantically. At the time that I got married, I was conflicted with my sexual attractions. That is why I gave the “partially” answer to your third question.
    When I say I was conflicted in my attractions, I don’t mean that I wanted sex with a guy or that I was acting out sexually with other men. I didn’t and I wasn’t. I had sex with a man before I got married, but I have never been unfaithful in our marriage of almost 40 years.
    But, I doubted my masculinity or my ability to be a good lover and this was directly related to my SSA. So, there was a lot of fear and shame especially about sex.
    We have worked through difficulties through the years. All marriages require work and adjustment. All marriages have challenges and difficulties. SSA is just one of many challenges that a couple may need to work through. I am happy in my marriage. I wouldn’t make a different decision, although I would seek help with my SSA difficulties much earlier. I started a journey to find my authentic manhood about 6+ years ago. After therapy, support groups and a lot of reading, my attractions today are heterosexual. I know that is not the experience of many guys with SSA. In fact research shows that about 1/3 of the men with unwanted SSA who go through therapy may become totally heterosexual, about 40% will see a major reduction of the strength of their SSA and about 1/4 of the men don’t experience any change in attraction.
    I think the emotional and romantic attraction I had from my deep friendship was the seed of the eventual sexual attraction.

  • As a matter of fact, I was taken by a slightly older girl in middle school, but the relationship was short lived. In retrospect, I came to believe that I was simply infatuated and in love with the idea of having a girlfriend. Believe it or not, when I was younger, I had a serious ego problem. For whatever reason I had such an inflated opinion of myself, I thought that because I was who I was in the social hierarchy that I needed to have a girlfriend. This egotism was mostly the result of my low self-esteem and abuse at the hands of my fellow classmates. I spent quite a bit of time with the school counselor ironing out my own value and self worth. Despite my social hardships, I grew up with the classic “girl next door.” She was more self confident than me and didn’t yield to bullying like I succumbed to during own shared childhood. Since being her friend for so long, she knew me better than any other woman. Well, except maybe my mother. When we finally graduated high school, I “informally, untraditionally and improperly” asked her to marry me. I didn’t even have a ring. I didn’t ask beforehand for her father’s blessing. I was 18! Stupid teenager! SO WRONG! As you might have guessed, she turned me down. Not because she had such keen insight as to my sexuality. She turned me down because she said: “You don’t want to marry a girl like me.” I knew she wasn’t perfect and she had other boyfriends in her lifetime. It just came across as if *she* wasn’t good enough for me. Imagine that! I knew she’d been intimately involved with other guys, but I didn’t care at the time. She knew me and I knew her for years all the way back to kindergarten. I didn’t think I’d find another girl like her who knew me so completely. From last I heard she was still living the single life much as I was. I could guess that marrying her so young and under additional circumstances would have tarnished our relationship. Today I’m happy she is living her life on her own terms despite the hardships she experienced. She’s a tough cookie, but still sweet.

  • Thanks for sharing this part of your story too, Matt. I have felt attracted to certain women on occasion, for brief seasons of life, and I think I’d actually have a harder time talking about it publicly than attraction to a man. It actually feels more vulnerable–I guess I’m worried Side X folks will come out of the woodworks to say “A-ha! See! Your claims of sexual orientation are meaningless! Stop saying no to what God has for you and go get a wife!” To be clear, it’s less that I fear that conflict and more that I’m just so tired of all that discourse.

  • Matthew, thanks for sharing. Yes, I have successfully married. For thirty-eight years now. I have 3 adult children and 6 grandchildren. I have SSA bad, but I always, always wanted a wife and children. My goal in life. After falling in college with my best male friend I stopped doing that. God showed me my possible wife. Yes, I was attracted to her, but not as much as the other. I got two erections while dancing with this woman. So I thought, “Maybe I can actually do this”. My wedding night was fraught with fear-could I perform? To my delight I did-in fact I suffered from premature ejaculation and she didn’t get much for herself. Yes, it is very possible for an extreme SSA man to find love and happiness with a woman!

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