Craigslist, from my perspective, was never that important; there were always other ways to me up with people, often better ways. Number one is the high incidence of male-female couples entering my office because the woman thinks her man might be gay. And theyre reenacting the abuse. Who does the man want to go to dinner and a show with, who does he want to spend the holidays with, who does he want to wake up next to in the morning?
What advice do you give to these couples? This can be tough for the woman to understand because male and female is so different.
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It seems desperate, and a lot of times, it was. I am pleased that Joe has written this book, as I have had to deal with these questions in my own practice relatively often, as have many other therapists. And thats too gay for them anyway. Several men responded in kind. I came up with a convincing excuse to meet Tom: I was going to rendezvous with a long-lost high school friend, one whose standing with my mother was good. The reason is that the guy really is gay and he wants to express that sexually and romantically. A gay guy wants to do all of that with a man, a bisexual guy might want a man or a woman, and the straight guy wants to only be with a woman in that way. A lot of times the gay men never even make it to me (without prompting from their wife, anyway) because theyre riddled with homophobia and Im too gay for them. And in the final third, half stay together long-term and half still end in divorce. I do not mourn the loss of Craigslist Personals as some kind of thing that meaningfully wove goodwill into the fabric of gay culture. So anal sex isnt about sexual orientation.
So I try to help them understand that this is about sexual abuse, or father hunger, or kink, or some other unexpressed need. My response is, As a sex therapist, I have a duty to tell you that your anus doesnt have a sexual orientation. Even if hes confused and doesnt want to come out as gay, this is who he is and over time that will come out.