Saturday, November 10, 2007

SUDDENLY SINGLE

At age 19 or 20 when I finally figured out that I was gay I was gripped by a fear that created a strong motivation. My fear was that I would die without experiencing truly satisfying sex.

This was the mid-1960s, pre-Stonewall, the thought of healthy, satisfying gay relationships was almost non-existent in American culture.

My dad’s reaction when I told him I was gay wasn’t really judgmental. He was a devout Roman Catholic and fairly moralistic, but his reaction had nothing to do with sin or impropriety. He was afraid that I would have a less happy life than if I were straight.

My mom’s main concern was how I was going to support myself—we both knew what the answer would be: Not very well.

So my goal, pretty much in life, was to experience:

Mutual fulfillment of sexual object and act cathexes (MFOAC).

Object cathexis: The sex object is physically close enough to one’s ideal that he or she is way good enough and one feels lucky to have found a person with such physical attractiveness.

Act cathexis: The sex object engages in all of one’s favorite sex acts. All desired sex behaviors are mutually indulged.

Mutuality: Both people feel lucky to have found the other.

I achieved my goal.

But the relationship we tried to build around this MFOAC was problematic. A listing of my inadequacies would rival the Iliad’s “catalog of ships.” As for me I felt a lack of affection and a lack of emotional support.

It should have ended many years ago, but the tether, the connectedness created by MFOAC is hard to give up.


I ended it last week.

After thirty-four years, with diminishing sexual returns, I realized, sort of like realizing I was gay way back when, that I have a new “relationship” goal:

Mutual affection and emotional support that includes sex (MAESIS).

This is completely pathetic for a 59-year old. But it’s a lot better than waking up at my age desperate to experience MFOAC.

It’s sort of a belated mid-life crisis. I feel almost alive. But, as my mom knew would be the case, I can’t afford a little red sports car, not even a used one.

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10 comments:

sfmike said...

I must say, you certainly are discreet, because I have no idea who that sexual partner would be and I've known you for quite a few years.

As for your new goal, good luck and good wishes.

The Blue Elephant said...

You give a wonderful account of your changes, and I admire your new goal -- and the liberation I sense in the words. I am 70 and I still going through changes about those matters (believe it or not). Human life seems to make its own rules, or has its own way of ignoring rules, and I am still learning. "Trust" was always important to me and so I withheld trust until a boyfriend I had about three years ago who taught me that you can find a state of trust (I guess it's really a state of non-needy wholeness) even before you know whether you are with a person you can trust. I don't know if this makes sense to anyone else -- or perhaps, the opposite, perhaps it will seem obvious to someone else. I am happy for you Willie.

sfwillie said...

Dear blue elephant, Thanks for your kindness and encouragement. Your words are very helpful.

I thought my analysis might seem cold and calculating (revealing that part of myself). I'm glad you found it ok.

Thanks again, Jim.

Jerry Jarvis said...

It reminds me of a song "looking for love in all the ..."

sfwillie said...

Dear Jerry,

It is beyond me to figure out how your comment makes me feel better.

But it does.

I appreciate it.

Sweet Melissa said...

sfwille - you are extraordinary! I am sure there is no shortage of men ready to jump at the chance offer you MAESIS.

Also - thank you for your honesty about something undoubtedly painful.

Anonymous said...

Willie, I know all will turn out right for you. Anyone as decent and as humane as you can't help but find the end of the rainbow. Yeah, I'm a sucker for the Wizard of Oz Over the Rainbow by Judy and a believer, too. r.s.

sfwillie said...

Dear Melissa and r.s.,

Your kind words make me feel better.

Actually, I'm feeling like Sally Field at the Oscars, so I better stop here.

Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

I was really touched by your post, sfwillie. I'm 29 years old, and in a certain way I am like the young gay man that you once were.

I came out to my parents at 22, and their response was strikingly similar to yours. Ever since, my goal has been to have a boyfriend around my age who shares my passions. And of course, I want to have regular sex with someone I know and trust.

I've dated many many many guys over the past 7 years, and I'm still frustrated. I'm sad to admit it, but I've only had 2 boyfriends -- and they each lasted 2 months, four years apart from each other. In other words, I still haven't found that someone.

Beyond (very) briefly dating people, my only other experiences have been sexual hook-ups with people I meet at a bar -- and that almost never turns into anything serious. I'm not looking for a life partner, but it would be nice to be in a 1-year relationship. Even six months would be good.

My last date was this weekend -- with someone I met online. Great guy, and I'm sure if we had first met in any other context besides dating we would probably be good friends.

But now I'm all anxious about whether I screwed up, and the fact he hasn't called me in three days is driving me crazy. Yes, I know, I need to "chill out" -- but that's easier said than done.

When I got home from my date the other night, I turned on the TV and the "Wizard of Oz" was on. It was the first time I'd seen that movie in years, and it's always been one of my all-time favorites.

For the first time, the "Wizard of Oz" me cry.

sfwillie said...

Dear anon,

Thanks so much for your comment. Posting it was a mitzvah.

I wish I had something actually helpful to say. I barely trust the advice I give myself.

You sound like a nice guy. Something really good will happen for you soon. (And you'll think, How did sfwillie know this?)

BTW: You’ve inspired me to rant about the gay “partner” thing.

Thanks again.