Probably my most popular and well-known YOB posts are my several blogs on cuddling and nudity. Some people have praised these posts for articulating their own feelings, while others have felt I’m “playing with fire” and leading others to sin.

Some say these posts have made YOB look less interested in following Jesus, obsessing only over cuddles.

It’s now been three to four years since I’ve written those blogs on cuddling and nudity, and I’ve shared many cuddles since with guys I’ve met through YOB. But have any of my thoughts changed since I wrote those posts?

I’ve maintained a lot of wonderful, platonic cuddling with friends. Other friends have shared that their experiences with male touch to be loving and very beneficial.

On the other hand, I’ve talked with others who have felt such touch was too arousing for them. I’ve also heard from a handful of people whose cuddling experiences went into overtly sexual territory.

Results from cuddling seem to be uneven with a lot of variables.

My own cuddling experiences are all over the place. I’ve had instances where I felt strong emotional warmth and love, more than anything sexual — a pure emotional euphoria, if you will, sometimes extremely relaxing.

And I’ve also had instances where cuddling with other men has felt more arousing.

I’ve often pondered the variables in cuddling. Perhaps it depends on the person, or maybe what mood I’m in at the time. The latter seems to happen most often when I’ve been going through emotionally hard or stressful times at work or whatnot.

I’ve heard some unfortunate stories of people going too far and messing up with their physical affection, or trying to justify acts that are very questionable. Perhaps boundaries have been crossed lately as people finally meet up after a year of miserable isolation from COVID-19.

Beyond this past year’s pandemic difficulties, I want to reexamine some things about cuddling and nudity.

As celibate gay/SSA Christians in this community, we agree that the Bible forbids gay sex. But how does one define “gay sex” and what touch to pursue or avoid?

One helpful thing, at least, is our belief that Scripture completely eliminates sexual intercourse with other men — that is, anal and oral sex. It’s good news that we do have a clear “black zone”; after that, though, there is a lot of grey.

What concerns me is that I see people trying to justify some physical acts by saying, “Well if it’s not intercourse, it’s not sexual!”

Trust me, I wish things were that simple. One group of Christian men out there believes only anal sex is off-limits, while literally everything else (yes, including oral sex) isn’t “gay” — it’s just “good male bonding.”

Yeah, needless to say I find this particular group’s views deeply hypocritical and homophobic. While many Side B friends wouldn’t agree with their philosophy either, I sometimes see people tip-toeing that line.

I could write a book on the number of websites and blogs I’ve come across that claim to be a celebration of brotherhood and male bonding. At first I’ve found myself quite on board with them as they challenge society’s restricting views of “proper affection” between men.

Much to my dismay, though, the images shared on these sites have grown more and more risqué to the point that I realize I’m looking at gay porn disguised as “bromance.”

The general view adopted by most folks in the Side B world is more or less forbidding of any “genital expression” between unmarried people, be they gay/SSA or straight. This makes sense to me. I don’t have the time or word-space to go into the biblical exegesis, but if you want to do further research I recommend Preston Sprinkle’s book People to be Loved (link on our Resources page).

This belief still leaves ambiguous room with cuddling and nudity. Indeed, many straight men will say, “Pff bruh that’s gay. I wouldn’t cuddle or be naked with anyone other than my girlfriend.”

And yet history shows us such attitudes weren’t always that way. I’ve also met a few straight men who defy conventional gender norms and don’t mind those things.

Social norms and customs do muddy the waters. I often wonder if my sexual pulls toward things are mainly due to my not being used to them, similar to how a gay/SSA guy with “daddy issues” might be attracted to older men.

Did my adolescent lack of affectionate touch from male friends sexualize things later in life? This gets complicated as it starts to resemble Side X or “ex-gay” theology, and many Side B folks will balk at that.

But something I’ve found very fascinating about gay men is that many of them are drawn to nudism or exhibitionism, some to extreme degrees: from the secular gay world, and across the Side A, Side B, Side X, and Side Y belief spectrums. I find this curious.

It seems even non-believers want to reclaim more innocent, non-sexual experiences among men.

If anything, I’ve learned that sexuality is far more complicated than people think. Most people, gay and straight, seem to think you are either gay, bi, or straight, and that’s it: gay people act this way, straight people act that way. The end.

However, there are a lot of grey zones with sexuality. Take me, for instance.

I’ve blogged about the asexual side of my sexuality. It does give me a huge advantage in that my cuddling or shared nudity doesn’t turn sexual.

But if I’ve given the impression in my blogs that “cuddling is so easy a gay caveman could do it,” I do apologize. In my defense, I hadn’t fully articulated that side of myself while first writing those posts years ago.

On top of that, everyone is different. What may be no big deal with cuddling or nudity to one person may be very sexually charged for another. For example I don’t think twice about using a urinal in a public restroom, but I’ve spoken with other guys who find it deeply arousing and/or terrifying.

The one common denominator I’ve found is that guys who have sexual histories with other men or hookup addictions often have a very difficult time not sexualizing cuddling. 

At the end of the day, are cuddling and nudity “playing with fire”? I don’t engage in these activities with other men or recommend doing anything with someone simply to see “how far you can go” without things turning sexual.

“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”

“Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

2 Timothy 2:22 (NIV & NLT)

While I’m at peace remaining single and celibate, goshdarnit I need physical touch. Living without touch feels deeply unhealthy, and it’s made me feel like a zombie. Touch is a need for me, not an indulgence.

I also have a genuine curiosity to explore and challenge masculinity norms, as well as the grey zones of sexual orientation. I am certainly not doing so recklessly, as I want to do what is loving for my brothers, what is healthy for me, and what is pleasing to God.

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.”

1 Peter 1:22 (NIV)

I don’t want to be the “affection police” dictating what is okay and what isn’t for people to do. Everyone is different, and I want to encourage my readers to be responsible adults who carefully work out what’s best for them with God’s guidance.

Avoid black-and-white thinking at all costs, be it “this behavior is gay and this behavior isn’t,” or “this behavior isn’t sexual intercourse so it isn’t sexual” on the other end of the spectrum.

It’s such a tightrope act between prudishness and sexual debauchery; what culture says and what the heart says; love and lust; context and true intentions.

Always remember, there’s a difference between challenging gender norms and violating boundaries for selfish gain.

Where have you landed on issues like cuddling and nudity with other men? Have your beliefs and practices changed over time based on personal experience? Does cuddling and/or nudity contribute to a healthier masculinity, or do they cause you harm?

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  • Dang, good post. What’s funny is locker-room nudity has never bothered me much. It has given me mainly an “oh were all in this together” sense and the sense that I saw naked men and didn’t hyper sexualize it made me feel more secure. At the same time, this wasn’t very intimate. So, my intimate longings weren’t helped much really, so nudity alone for me has been cool, but not deeply helpful.
    I’ve never really cuddled, though I have had my arm around straight friends for an hour -during counseling sessions. THAT has been amazing and for days after these experiences, I had a greatly increased sense of my masculinity, so much so that, at times, I had the confidence, to pass the gift onto others, to ‘bestow’ if you will, what had been ‘bestowed’ to me. I didn’t feel needy for men for days. I WAS the man, now. But it wears off.

    • Thank you Michael! Man, I would kill to have the latter experience. That sounds so wonderful. I also have had some more simple physical touch (like a friend putting his head on my shoulder) be the most affective opposed to big ol snuggles on the couch. Its funny that way. But yeah sadly those feelings fade after a while. I wonder how different I would be if I got this sort of thing more frequently.

  • thanks for the write up Eugene. I too have gone back & forth with this issue. Unfortunately, for me…cuddling can arouse me too easily. I love hugging so much & do it a lot. I’m ok with it too. It’s more of cuddling on the couch or elsewhere that does me in. I couldn’t live without touch either – even the past year of Covid didn’t rob me too much as in Kenya it wasn’t too prevalent. Unfortunately, recently it has become a huge issue here… but I do have my double jab.
    I find your writing very intriguing. Keep it up bro.

    • Thank you very much Greg! I sometimes get arousals as well but they come and go. I don’t freak out about them too much as long as it isn’t overwhelming. Just saying its not uncommon. But its good that you at least get hugs in, gotta at least have that touch since its healthy.

  • Cuddling for me has been life-changing. Being held in a safe situation seems to have really helped me overcome PTSD triggers and flashbacks. Nudity is no longer a terrifying experience. There’s a difference between curiosity and lust that I now appreciate.

    • That’s wonderful, Tristan! Touch is truly a powerful thing, and it is also mentally and emotionally healthy. Studies show you literally need touch to keep you healthy.

  • This was a fun “time capsule” post. Thanks so much for looking back and writing this one, Eugene. This blog really exemplifies the “navigating” in our site tagline.

    I’ve been all over the place with touch, especially cuddling, over the years. Even if we’re not the ones course-correcting ourselves on any number of issues, it’s always good to look outside our bubbles and recognize how/why others are course-correcting along their own journeys.

    • Thank you Tom! Yeah its definitely good to go back and clarify things. Physical touch is a great thing but like all things in this world it can be spoiled by sin.

  • “While I’m at peace remaining single and celibate, goshdarnit I need physical touch.”

    Join the club! 😁 I too have also accepted the fact that I will remain single and celibate for my lifetime. Yet if I could simply engage in simply hugging another man for a prolonged time, that would go a ways in filling my emotional fuel tank. However, you (Eugene) asked if my “beliefs and practices changed over time based on personal experience?” They have to a degree. Unfortunately I have taken part in being physically intimate (not sexually nor overtly sinful) with another guy and it didn’t turn out well. I traveled to his town and met with him to spend some quality time together as he was feeling lonely and isolated. We held hands and “shoulder cuddled” while seated in my car. Very PG rated stuff up to that point. But then it got uncomfortable fast. I wasn’t planning on staying overnight, but he suggested I get a hotel room and so we could spend more time together the next day. But my sixth sense suggested to me, he wanted to have a one night stand with me at the hotel. I managed to decline his advance and drive back to my home city that day. Physical touch and intimacy can be a wonderful thing, yet caution, certainly in this case, is warranted.

  • So longtime lurker on YOB, and now that comments aren’t on disqus anymore, I can actually comment.

    How often have I desired to express love, care, and friendship with other guys through physical touch? If a buddy or even not-all-that-close friend puts their arm around my shoulder for a REAL length of time, it’s like permafrost begins to finally melt, and I might start to feel alive again. Feel loved again. I’d do just about anything to have this (hopefully regularly) in my life. My guess is that empathy + physical (not sexual) touch from a close male friend would change nearly everything in my life for the better. And my desire is for my brother to feel loved deeply too.

    Closet SSA here – Please don’t even attempt to persuade me to go public. It’s not a good idea for countless reasons in my life. It would shut too many doors. I’ve also not seen public disclosure of SSA do much to improve the lives of people I know who have disclosed.

    For me, SSA mainly manifests as emotional (unmet) needs for close friendships and physical touch with other guys, preferably brothers in Christ. I’ve never desired to have sex with a guy or to kiss a guy (both completely repulsive), and the idea of having a “boyfriend” makes no sense and never has entered my mind. But I deeply desire physical touch. Eugene, I completely resonate with you when you say you NEED it. Sure we can survive without it. But I ask the question personally to myself, “Is my life really that worth living, absent of physical touch?” No I don’t want to die or end my life, but living without having this kind of love present in my life, it’s barely living at all. What’s the point?

    I believe Jesus designed us to need REAL and CLOSE relationships with others in the Body of Christ. We’re supposed to be a CONNECTED body. But this is barely talked about.

    But it would change my life if I could mutually embrace another guy who:
    A. has mutual empathy, he and I.
    B. Isn’t selfish or conceited
    C. Takes reasonable good care of themself (health & hygiene)
    D. Is open to cuddling and actually wants to cuddle

    And I consider myself an alright guy. Reasonably extraverted, but not intimidating to introverts. I’m humble though, and I do fight for my friends. It rarely comes back my way though. And secretly I feel like I’m slowly dying of loneliness. Yes I pray about this. Yes I’ve told others I feel like I’m dying of loneliness. Nothing seems to be changing. I feel tortured at times by it all.

    And I know there are other guys out there just like me. I just wish we had a better way of finding one another, and that we all lived in the same town. If I knew a guy felt as lonely as I do, and felt loved by physical touch, I’d probably tackle him to the ground with my hug.

    I hope you forgive the venting, but this is very real to me. -Adam

    • Adam, I totally resonate with this comment and how you mentioned that Jesus has designed us for close and intimate relationships in the body of Christ. It is tough when this gets neglected. I am finding in my church, though, that there are definitely guys who are looking more for this. If you keep your eyes open to the opportunities around you, you never know who God may place in your path.

      I also understand the longing to find a brother who gets you in these areas. We know, as you said, that they exist, but finding them is a whole other matter. Have you told anyone in your life about your ssa? I know you mentioned not going public, but letting someone know whom you trust may be very helpful for support. If you want to talk through this with someone, just let me know. My desire is that no person would feel alone in this battle.

    • Hi Adam, thanks for your heartfelt comments. I’m also another long time lurker. I get every word that you said and everything that you expressed. I think for many years, I confused SSA as something more sexual. I have had a few sexual experiences with men and they often left me unfulfilled. As I’ve gotten older, I now know that it isn’t an unmet sexual need for me. It’s a need for masculine intimacy, for brotherhood, for acceptance, and for physical touch and closeness with another masculine male. Like you, I’m often frustrated. I love your idea that we could all live in the same town. This site has been a God-send for me to help me understand that I’m not alone in this. I have many friends in my life, including many great guy friends. Many Godly men in my life. I’m fortunate for that. But I crave having one great masculine friend in my life who “gets” this part of me. Someone with whom I could share a great, legitimate friendship. But also someone with whom I could be comfortable in my own skin, be comfortable hanging naked around, and be comfortable with mutual touch and cuddling.

    • Beautifully said Adam! Your post really, really resonates with me, and you expressed it far better than I could. The last time I got a hug from a guy was nearly 4 years ago, if I remember correctly.

      So yes, I feel like I am similar in thinking. Thanks so much for sharing…just reading your post made me realize I am not alone like I often feel.

  • Thank you so much for tackling this topic. I am also SSA Christian who wants to have celibate life. I met a guy who is also SSA but called to be celibate Christian 2 years ago. We started to develop our friendship so beautifully but then the romantic feeling started to kick in. We got attracted to each other physically and mentally. It was a real genuine love but had a romantic feeling behind all the cuddling and touch we started to enjoy (holding hands in the car and movie theater etc). We started hug each other very tight and I felt so great so healed, while we both felt arousal. After several months, while we were sitting on the sofa at my place, we started to cross the line. Kissing, spooning, embracing each other body without shirts, then kissing with tongues and completely naked exposure in the bed, and yes we had sex in the end…. We repented our lustful sin later but realized that we could not enjoy this relationship or even cuddling with secure feeling. We started to keep distance, which was very painful. I loved and still love him genuinely but if I meet him now, I am sure that the temptation will get too strong to keep chastity again – even with the slight touch or hug. This is my particular weakness and brokenness that I developed in my past – I had several relationships which involved the sex very actively. I feel I can not simply enjoy cuddling and hug from someone attractive whom I might have fall in love. Strangely, I tend to resist to get a intimate hug from someone not attractive to me. I feel awkward to touch hands of someone whom I don’t really love deep enough. So knowing this behavior that I developed, I am wondering if I might not get any touch nor cuddling in my life, which makes me sad and hopeless. I know I should seek God for the real love affirmation but my body sometimes need the REAL touch, the REAL physical affirmation. I hope I can develop something non-sexual, non-romantic to receive this kind of touch more freely. But at this point, it just seems very hard to reach that.

    • I am not sure what to say, because I am never really sure what will be helpful. This is really painful and really difficult. I hope that God shows you what you need to do in your life to find fulfillment and not be stuck anymore. I still do not understand the intricacies of attraction and love, romantic or otherwise… it doesn’t seem fair at all, sometimes, though I know that’s not a helpful perspective to have. But your story has captivated me, and I can say that I would like to hear how it turns out. I wish all the best, internet neighbor.

  • I don’t think I could ever cuddle with another man and not think it will turn sexual in the end. I am not a touchy feely guy. At my church not many men hug one another and I don’t think I would feel comfortable with it.

  • It sounds like you have thought through this pretty well Eugene which is a good thing. Physical and emotional connectedness with other guys can definitely be a tricky subject to navigate through when dealing with ssa. It is a balance of being in close relationship with other guys, while also keeping these relationships healthy. Loving a brother in Christ in this way is definitely possible.

    I know personally that I experience some very healthy touch from one of my friends in the form of hugs. It is really cool because we have been roommates for a couple of years now and have really bonded in a healthy way so that we mutually support one another, care for one another, and push each other to growth. We have communicated what we need and when we need it. At this point, we don’t even need to say anything to tell if each other is having a tough time. When this happens, we encourage each other through the means that we’ve communicated to each other that helps when going through a rough time. For example, if he notices I am down, he naturally just gives me a hug and holds it for a good while. I support him with what I know helps him too. Mutual brotherly love that is giving in its nature is awesome. When you don’t even have to say what you need because someone already knows what it is and gives it, this is such a wonderful demonstration of Christ-like love.

    I know many guys are looking for mutual brotherly love, both those who do and do not struggle with ssa. I’d encourage all of us to be intentional about giving to others in a loving way, whatever this looks like and to communicate with others about what helps us as well.

  • As for me, I would recommend to reduce cuddling with other SSA guys, unless they really are your brothers and completely unattractive. In my culture, straight men are very macho, but hug, touch and put their arms around each other. (No nudity though.) However, I was raised with a close mom and a distant dad, so I identified with my mom and sisters. The boys and men were scary, manly, so I avoided their frequent manly touches, even though I craved them. I never had a close dad or positive father figure to show me how to be a man among men, so I didn’t know how to fit in. Yet, I hid this inside and was straight-passing. In puberty, when I sexualized my longing for male touch and developed SSA, male touch became even more complicated, because it turned me on. So I kept avoiding it. Until I made some cool friends that are very straight, very confident in their masculinity, and love me as a brother. Their touches do not arouse me, because they feel like my brothers (off the market). So I finally get male touch and closeness from guys, which affirms me own masculinity and reduces my interest in sexualizing guys. I’m careful, though, not to become co-dependent or needy!

    • Well Petro, the sad thing is that here in the USA men are not like that at all. Physical touch between straight men is very frowned upon. There are some here and there who break this mold but they are sadly a needle in a haystack. I need physical touch for my own well being, and it only SSA men can provide it then I’m still going to take it. I’ve had lots of cuddles with other SSA men that have not turned sexual. For me, healthy boundaries are fundamental for helping this touch keep from turning into something it shouldn’t.

  • Hi, Eugene… The subjects you discuss in your posts are very pertinent for men in the Side B community.  I think YOB fulfills its mission by addressing issues remates to our concrete everyday existence. Thank you.

  • Interesting article, Eugene. I’ve been lurking on this website for some time, but I felt compelled to comment on this particular article. Because, I’m one of those men you alluded to without directly referring to us, Christian men somewhere in-between Sides A and B (but closer to A) who recognize that all the Holy Scriptures condemn in the context of male homoeroticism is sodomy. I can see where you guys are coming from, I was Side B myself until about a year ago. I’m both sexually and emotionally attracted to women, and my interest in men is largely emotional and only barely sexual – but that sexual component of my interest is just large enough for me to be unable to fully ignore, and large enough for me to be able to comprehend what an SSA man like yourself experiences. Now, onto my apologia:

    “…while literally everything else (yes, including oral sex) isn’t ‘gay’ — it’s just ‘good male bonding.'” I think what matters isn’t whether a sexual act between two dudes is gay or not, but rather if it creates a dominance/submission dynamic (which is when the act ceases to be normal act of bonding between males, at least in our view). Non-penetrative acts do not create this dynamic; they can still be enjoyed by gay men and therefore be ‘gay’ in that context, but what matters is that if we do them no-one gets ‘bitched’. Oral is a bit trickier; I think it can swing both ways. Overall, what matters most for us is that the act doesn’t create a dynamic in which one partner is subjugated for the pleasure and benefit of the other, it’s just cringe in our view and something that we would not want our bonds to be polluted by. Dom/sub also feminizes one of the men and makes him a proxy for a woman during the act. And, since we’re Christians and all we would rather not do something that our Holy Book clearly condemns, and even if it didn’t, we still wouldn’t be ok with it for the aforementioned reason (and also because buttholes are yucky). You may wonder why bonding with our genitals is necessary. It really isn’t. Bonding between men who are close friends can take many forms, from the more mundane stuff like drinking and playing sports together, to wrestling and fist-bumping and shoving and slapping, to hand-shaking and hugging, to cuddling and hand-holding, to even kissing and all that lay beyond. In my view, a close bond between two dudes can still be incredible and fulfilling without any ‘genital expression’ as you call it. However, if the friendship gets to a point where such is now desired, that isn’t anything to fear or to run from but to be embraced as yet another potentially wonderful addition to the bond that already exists. The main reason this normal evolution of a close bond towards ‘genital expression’ sometimes ruins friendships is because of the notion that it’s something terrible and ‘gay’. If your deeply held religious principles can’t allow you to enjoy the same-sex activity (that you at the same time crave), then don’t go for it.

    “Yeah, needless to say I find this particular group’s views deeply hypocritical and homophobic.” You calling us homophobic is neither here nor there, it means nothing, you guys on Side B could also easily be slandered by secular and religious gays (and maybe even by us) as self-hating immature homophobes. As for you thinking of us as being hypocritical, I’m going to assume that you were referring to us not considering ourselves to be gay despite being attracted to men. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, gay could be defined as, ‘of, relating to, or characterized by sexual or romantic attraction to people of one’s same sex’. And, those on my Side who are 100% homosexual would have no issue with labelling themselves as gay based on that simple definition. So, none of us are denying any physical or emotional attraction towards our fellow men, exclusive or otherwise. What we’re actually denying is being involved in gay culture and disavowing it completely – ‘gay culture’ referring to participation in or acceptance of anal homoeroticism, male effeminacy and rampant promiscuity. It’s actually possible for a man to be same-sex attracted and not feel the compulsion to engage in stereotypical gay behavior. Plus, not all of us are 100% homosexual, so the term ‘gay’ still wouldn’t apply to a good number of us. Many of you Side B guys call yourselves ‘same-sex attracted’ to assert that your sexuality doesn’t have the social and political baggage that comes along with the term ‘gay’ and that it doesn’t align with your principles and ethos and stuff, yet you see nothing wrong when you guys do it. Needless to say, I find that to be a bit hypocritical.

    I could continue going, but I think I’ve written enough in defense of the group of men I belong to.

  • Hi there, I am very intrigued by this. I have such a craving for cuddling with other guys but see no opportunity in my immediate sphere. One of my love languages is touch and current am struggling a lot in this area. Do you have any tips on how to approach this with people?!

    • With straight men its very much a needle in a haystack, I wish I had better advice in that area. There are some out there who are open to touch but its just so rare. I think you would be better off finding other Side B believers in your area who will more likely be open to touch.

  • I haven’t cuddled with a guy yet in the way described (and I really do crave it) but one thing that is great about church culture in South Africa (where I live) is that straight men love to give hugs to other men. I have received so many hugs from super straight guys and I really love it. Even in non-church culture (often in the rugby-playing culture) bro-hugs are perfectly fine and encouraged. COVID messes with everything but I still every now and again feel some guy give me a soft touch such as a hand on the elbow or something. I do that myself, greet guys with my one hand and put my other hand on the guys elbow. That is maybe one way to initiate some touch for those who crave touch but who don’t experience that in their church culture.

    • Thank you Philip! I have to say that you are really lucky to live in such a church environment. This does seem to be a heavily culture-based thing on how people of the same sex interact. I really appreciate the perspectives of different cultures on this.

  • I do not know if I am not touch-oriented or simply so touch starved that I’m no longer aware of my hunger for it, but I generally don’t come in physical contact with other human beings very often, nevermind fellow males. Touch is tricky. I seem to want it, but then avoid it when the opportunity shows itself. Maybe it’s something to do with my past or self-esteem, I’m not sure.

    What would physical connection to a male look like? How would it feel?

    We know that physical/ emotional attraction and connection in this manner is normal and even celebrated in the Bible (David and Jonathan, John and Jesus).

    Romance (in terms of connection, not foreplay), is actually a rather modern idea; and, if you think about it, shares many of the same elements as close friendship (mutual affection, self-sacrificing). The intentions and boundaries may be slightly different, but loving another man’s soul as though it were his own [1 Samuel 18:1] under Godly covenants of the heart is beautiful and something to be cherished.

  • While I am Jewish and neither dealing with what you gentlemen refer to as same-sex attraction issues, I have a background in theology and many Christian friends who, due to their faith, wish to live similar lives. I am a masculine man, and I had wonderful male friendships all through life (still do). Growing up I had two particular best friends, one from kindergarten through high school, another from college onward. The earlier one–we shared everything together as we grew up with one another. While I ended up with an affinity to bike riding, he was a tennis player. But despite an athletic outer shell, it never dawned on either one of us that when we stayed over at one another’s home–which happened most at time–we should stop sleeping together in the same bed as we once did when we were 5-year-olds (and always in a small twin). We would sleep in briefs and wrapped in each others arms and against either one’s breast. But he married after high school as I went off to further my education.

    When I met my other friend it was a similar friendship, maybe a bit more intense. We did everything together (it was dorm life): shared one another’s clothing, ate together, showered together, and we also slept in the same bed together, but this time without clothing.

    This is happens far more often than you think. Heterosexual men in the past always did this but never talked about it. There might have even had a little bit of sex or what you are classifying as “crossing over the line,” perhaps (it often comes in the form of horse play with mutual masturbation and seen as just “blowing off steam”). Today the younger generation is just more honest about this behavior among hetero relationships. It’s not a homosexual thing, per se, because it doesn’t happen in the “homosexual” group. It happens among the “straight” men and is just part of life.

    From a married buddy who enjoyed the fact that we can camping and he can have a chance to skinny dip and be nude in the company with another man’s body (he is surrounded by girls in his house) to another best friend who likes to come over and watch TV in shorts or sometimes underwear with me. Why? His wife doesn’t like. He has to be clothed all the time. I have den in my basement and since my wife passed–I’m a young widower–it is a great viewing room for movies. Nothing else happens, but it is a great male bonding experience for him (the guy can’t have a few times in his shorts or underwear in his own home!).

    Don’t beat yourselves too much when you are trying to find your way. While I might have different views, in the end I think you are onto something when you recognize you are human. We are also sexual beings. Thus everything we do is, in a way, also sexual. You can’t divide humanity into parts. You can, however say: “No, I am only going to do this with that person and not do that with this person.” But you are always going to be sexual with everyone in some manner to some degree because you are always going to be a sexual being.

    • Hello Caleb! I just wanted to say its great to hear the perspective from someone who is outside of our usual demographic. Thank you so much for weighing in. I have to say, your comments are very fascinating. I’ve shared your comment with several of my friends and folks in our YOB community, has sparked quite a bit of discussion.

      I’ve always felt that a lot of my longings for intimacy with men never intuitively “felt gay.” It has often felt more like a deep longing to connect with other men as a man, not inherently sexual. There’s a lot of ambiguity and grey zones in trying to figure out when something crosses over into objective gayness but that’s like trying to decide when dusk crosses over into night. The obvious line is gay sexual intercourse, but still.

      I’m just curious though, could you clarify on the people being “sexual beings” aspect? You mean like there’s an inherent sexual drive for platonic connection or like its something subconscious?

      Its all still fascinating though and I would love to talk more with you about this subject. Either if you wanna keep commenting here or email me, that would work. Would really love to keep talking about this.

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