Today marks the first in a 3-part series on my sexuality: particularly the specific nature of my same-sex attraction. While I share lots in common with fellow YOB authors and community members, I’m better realizing — and maybe this is obvious — how differently wired we all are: different personalities, different proclivities, and yes, even different sexualities. Different spectrums in this same “Side B” universe while still holding to this same traditional belief on sexuality.
This series will reveal some of what I’ve been learning of myself in recent years — the “psychology of my sexuality,” so to speak. Here in part 1, I dive into what attracts me to other guys. Stay tuned for the when and why of my same-sex attraction later in this series . . .
So, what attracts me to other guys? Abs (but not too many). Pecs (but not too pecky). Shoulders (but not too Michael Phelpsy). And dimples (the deeper, the better in this case).
BAM, end of blog post.
Okay, let me circle back. Unlike some of my other brothers in this community, I’ve never watched hardcore pornography. I’ve never been beckoned by romantic trysts or sexual encounters; I’ve never even wanted to have sex.
What attracts me to other men tilts more toward the emotional and physical rather than anything sexual, and I’ve been wired this way my whole life.
So, what does it mean to be physically but not sexually attracted to other men? It’s a question I get a lot, a distinction worth clarifying.
I get the confusion. We live in a hyper-sexualized culture; that someone wouldn’t be drawn by sex in 2019, the year of our Lord, is admittedly confusing — even to myself.
I’m a 32-year-old virgin, and I’m averted by sex — heterosexual or homosexual. Sex just sounds scary and awful with anyone, man or woman. Other mens’ penises disgust me. I don’t ever want to see them.
But that’s a therapy session for another day. Back to my physical attraction.
My earliest memories of same-sex attraction started with a couple boys in first and second grade. They were “cute” to my innocent little 7-year-old heart — often blond and blue-eyed with bright smiles. And they were so cool.
Ultimately, the objects of my fixation were just good guys. They were nice. All the girls liked them, and all the other boys wanted to be their best friend.
No kidding, I remember a childhood conversation with Caleb about Timmy, how Caleb was Timmy’s best friend. Caleb made it clear he was tight with Timmy, even though I don’t recall ever seeing them doing best friend things together.
Caleb loved Timmy, and so did everyone else — the kids, the teachers, everyone. Though Timmy and I never reached “best friend” status as he did with Caleb, apparently, Timmy always caught my eyes. He was cute and cool and really nice to everyone. His niceness only made him cooler and cuter.
Throughout adolescence and even into today, the “Timmys” of my life have followed a similar pattern: nice, cool, and more subtly cute than overtly “hot,” their personality and disposition making up for any lack in physical appearance.
And they were always, always straight.
You see, that’s the thing about my same-sex attractions and how they have worked from the start: gay guys just don’t appeal to me. They have to be straight for me to find them deeply attractive.
I first had this epiphany when a fit, attractive gay guy tried to kiss me many years ago. And I’ve never wanted to be further away from another man.
Of course, gay guys can have abs and pecs and shoulders and dimples and swoopy hair and all the other physical attributes that I admire and envy. I might be initially attracted to a gay man’s physique for the sheer “masculinity” of it.
But if I know a man is gay or same-sex attracted (SSA) or queer or whatever his label, my attraction for him wanes. Any fixation plummets and disappears entirely, usually.
It’s partly why I’ve never had a romantic or sexual relationship with another man — his being into other men kinda “ruins” it for me. But I’ll talk more about that fun dynamic later in the why part of this series.
Beyond the noticeable physical beauty of a man, I’m mostly attracted by a man’s attraction to women. Something I’ve never been able to experience.
I’m an Enneagram Four with the primary passion of envy, and my envy of straight men cuts to the core of his sexuality being opposite my own. I’m so different, so other; how can I get some of that?
Gayness just isn’t attractive to me. Straightness is.
As for more of what attracts me to other guys, I’m not typically attracted to the “hot guy” — those model types who look like photoshopped humanity (their digital images often are).
Those guys are just too hot, too perfect looking. Where’s the vulnerability? Where’s the flaws, the relatability?
How does his masculinity connect to my own?
As a pale, wiry, splotchy faced kid growing up, I’ve long been attracted to bronzed skin and shapely muscles and clear complexions — but not in excess.
A guy with abs, but not too ripply; a guy with pecs, but not protruding like The Rock’s; a guy with broad shoulders, but not the wingspan of an albatross; a guy with a cute face, but maybe with a couple asymmetrical freckles or stray eyebrow hairs or something.
All of these “lesser” physical attributes are more attractive to me than their “utmost” forms, because they represent both something further along yet not impossibly unreachable. Like: I could get a basic 6-pack if I did a few more crunches each night (and maybe each morning, too).
In essence, I find “heightened normalcy” more attractive than sheer “hotness” by the world’s standards. Guys who may work out regularly but simply let their physical masculinity be without ever needing to overwork or over-prove it.
More than anything, it’s confidence: I’m deeply attracted by male confidence, because I lack it more than any other quality, physical or otherwise.
A straight guy who’s mostly normal looking, maybe with an ab or two, but really confident. How deeply attractive indeed.
Years ago, I was attracted to one particular straight guy who really wasn’t all that attractive on the physical front. He had a beaming smile, but he wasn’t in shape, and he was pale-skinned and balding.
Spiritually, though, this guy was a giant. Super wise and super confident of the Spirit at work. He was also extraordinarily funny, a dynamic storyteller, and that always helps from a personality standpoint.
If ever I wanted to be somebody, or at least have a man like that as a best friend in my life, I wanted him. If ever I found an “other,” it was Brock.
Just like Timmy’s “nice guy effect” on me as a kid, Brock’s amazing inner qualities made him all the more physically attractive. So much so that I craved his presence and physical touch to the point of obsession and idolization.
Brock could spend time with me and hug me here and there. But he couldn’t give my heart the full extent of what it so desperately craved: a bountiful masculinity always flowing around and through me.
I often get into conversations with fellow YOB community members about the sorts of men we’re attracted to. It’s funny, I rarely find much crossover in my “tastes” and theirs. I’ve more of an affinity for boyish normalcy than Chris Evans or Zac Efron.
But I won’t name some of the guys I find incredibly attractive like Shawn Mendes or —
Seems I’m wired differently than many other gay or SSA or “Side B” guys. But that’s okay. I also know I’m not the only one wired this way. I’m grateful for those affirmations over the years.
Next post, I’ll dive into the particular moments when I’m attracted to other men. And then I’ll dive into what I believe to be the underlying why of my same-sex attractions.
Learning the psychology of my psame-psex attraction has been something else, y’all. I’m excited to share more of my discoveries in these posts to come.
But for now, I’m curious to learn more about what attracts you to other men. How do you experience emotional, physical, and sexual attraction? Do you experience more of one form of attraction than the others, or do they all work hand-in-hand?