Last time on the adventures of Eugene, I talked about the first same-sex attracted (SSA) Christian man I met. Here’s the continuation of that story with Andre . . .
I had finally returned home to St. Louis after completing my out-of-state temp job for a year. I was sad it was over but glad to be home. My out-of-state friend, Andre, wanted to keep in touch, and occasionally we’d talk on the phone.
During one phone call, things took an unusual turn.
He confided that he’d started talking to a guy from a private Facebook group for men trying to overcome homosexuality. They’d started out on a Skype call together which had turned very sexual. He told me how deeply ashamed this call had made him, and he seemed to break on the phone.
“Am I still a virgin?” he asked. “I feel like I’ve lost my virginity after this. I’ve done something sexual with a guy, and I can’t take it back!”
While I’m not an expert on this issue, I assured him he was probably still a virgin. Sure, his session was a sexual act over a webcam that he shouldn’t have done, but no physical contact or intercourse had taken place.
Despite my best efforts, nothing seemed to calm him down very much.
“I just need to know if I still have innocence left! I want to know if I’m still innocent! I just need to know if I’m still a virgin. I have to know if I’m still a virgin!”
Now, I’ve also had similar experiences with sexual webcam sessions; while I’m not proud of them, I’ve been able to move on from them. I’ve made my peace with God about those things.
I never really felt like I’d lost my virginity from those sessions. I’ve definitely felt regret, but not to the point of my life feeling turned upside down.
As a Catholic, Andre held a higher value of virginity. However, I shared with some other Catholic friends about Andre, and even they were a little perplexed over his reaction and agreed he was probably still a virgin. Andre had indeed gone to confession, but for whatever reason it didn’t seem to make him feel better.
Nothing I told him calmed him down.
“I feel like I have PTSD from the whole experience. In some ways, I feel like that man raped me. Whenever I think back on it, I get tremors in my hands and I feel like I’m going to pass out. I just need to know if I’m still a virgin!”
That’s pretty much where every conversation led.
A little later, he talked to me about another incident. He’d gotten a professional massage at a massage stand in the mall. When the masseuse worked his way down to the glutes, the sensation caused Andre to orgasm.
But this situation caused Andre to realize that accidents happen, humbly accept God’s grace, and find forgiveness in himself — nah, I’m kidding.
“This was physical, and I think I might not be a virgin! I think the masseuse was trying to make me orgasm. I feel like I’ve been raped! I just need to know if I’m still a virgin!”
Yes, it was the same thing all over again. As frustrating as he was getting, I really tried my best to help him out. I tried to listen to his feelings and help him understand he was deserving of God’s love, virgin or not.
But it pretty much went around again in yet another circle. He called me so frequently . . .
Me: “Hey Andre, how are you doing?”
Andre: “Hey, man, I’ve been doing great. How are you?”
Me: “Oh fine, just chilling out for the evening here. What have you been up to?”
Andre: “Not much, work has been a bit busy–”
Andre: “I JUST NEED TO KNOW IF I’M STILL A VIRGIN! PLEASE TELL ME I’M STILL A VIRGIN!”
I think you get the point.
It got to the point where I groaned whenever my phone rang and I saw the caller ID. Eventually, I stopped picking up; his calls were feeling like such wastes of time.
I’m not sure if Andre ever really got over those incidents, but his unwillingness to forgive himself spoke volumes.
I’ve since met some other “Side B” Christians (those holding to a traditional sexual ethic) who also have a hard time forgiving themselves for sexual failures.
But none to Andre’s degree. I haven’t spoken to him in about a year now.
Last we spoke, he thankfully didn’t have another freakout about his virginity. However, he did tell me he was hoping to pursue more therapy soon to fix his sexuality. Even though he was also attracted to women, he said that if he continued to be attracted to men then he “couldn’t live with himself.”
I’m still glad I met Andre, even despite his many phone-freakouts. He’s a genuinely nice and faithful guy who loves Jesus.
It was nice to meet such a person when I was going through a rough stretch in my life.
Meeting him was the tip of the iceberg as I soon met many other men through YOB and the greater “Side B” world, making me less scared to meet others.
The madness Andre expressed disturbed me yet also enlightened me about the many issues gay/SSA Christians experience. I pray that he has found grace for himself, wherever he is now.
Do you struggle to forgive yourself for sexual sins? Have you encountered others who have a difficult time forgiving themselves despite Jesus’ work on the cross?