Thursday, July 3, 2014

Did You Know: Same Sex Attraction and Modesty

First off, a new post is coming out today on Our Hearts Unhindered about long-distance relationships.  My boyfriend encouraged me to share our experience, and I hope some people will find encouragement and wisdom.  That is to say that I sure hope wisdom is in there.  Be sure to like the Facebook page for updates.

So I could swear that a couple semesters or more ago, I went to a talk given by a guy who had struggled with same sex attraction for years.  He talked about the difficulty, how we should help those we know with same sex attraction, and a little about the politics of it.  It was an interesting talk and I wish I could remember a more about it.  Especially because he also talked about his healing.  I don't mean spiritual healing; I mean sexual attraction healing, if I may call it that.  He said that counselors in school are not allowed to do anything but encourage students with concerns to pursue their same sex attractions; but he actually sought therapy and with time, he wasn't attracted to men like before (not that it never crosses his mind – habits don't like to die).

When I try to figure out who he was and get some factual information, I can't find him.  Hardly surprising since it is such a delicate topic – I admire him for talking to a bunch of students about it.  But the truth is, it's hard to find anything about counseling for the condition.  My browser is beginning to pick up on what I'm looking for and has put the pieces together, but so far, all the hits are of Catholic or Christian websites, mostly that I've never heard of.  I was very interested to find, however, that the url is about helping those with unwanted attraction recover – how did they manage to snag that one!

I found it particularly sad when I read this article.  I was very impressed by it, but I also honed in on: "Us folks, who have SSA, we struggle with a lot. Among those things are body image, father wounds, bouts of depression, feeling less masculine, and a lot of us aren’t good at sports (which makes it harder for us to bond with other men)."  What I noticed was that many of these complaints are treatable.  A document I found on the EWTN website said this:
A number of therapists have written extensively on the positive results of therapy for same-sex attraction. Tripp chose to ignore the large body of literature on treatment and surveys of therapists. Reviews of treatment for unwanted same-sex attractions show that it is as successful as treatment for similar psychological problems: about 30% experience a freedom from symptoms and another 30% experience improvement.
[I didn't read the whole article.  The part on Therapy is intriguing, however.]

And other sources, again mostly Christian, insist that is is possible for some individuals to find relief.  I don't know if the author of "Why I Chose Love" has sought treatment or help of any kind, but many, many individuals don't know that it is available to them.  This breaks my heart.  We are hearing many more stories about people who struggle with same sex attraction resolving to remain chaste (and ultimately celibate) – and I bet no one has even mentioned this possibility to them.

I am absolutely no expert on homosexuality – I can't even pretend to know a little bit about it.  I learned some in a psychology class once, and then in talks, and from various Catholic literature.  My question is: what do you know about it?  Have you heard about this option?  Do you know anyone with same sex attraction and do you think they could benefit from therapy of any kind (for depression or self-esteem or what have you)?  I would really appreciate some feedback.  I'd like to share "Why I Chose Love" on Our Hearts Unhindered but I prefer to write my own brief two cents to go with it.  If you have personal experience with anything like this, I'd love to hear about it!

Also, I am currently reading an interesting book called A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit.  It is really fascinating and I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to explore the practical definition of modesty.  Among many other points, she suggested that we are not just beginning to recognize and admit female desire for physical intimacy.  She had some quotations that seemed to support her point.  But the part that really caught my attention was this: some quotes even suggested that not only do women have a strong desire for physical intimacy, but it may even be stronger than men's!  The difference is that women have an innate sense of the holy, if you will, and are cautious, want their physical intimacy to be special and safe.

So here's my question: how does that strike you?  If you are female, do you think women have at least as strong a sexual drive as men?  Could it be different in some way?  Please feel free to keep your comment anonymous.  I'll share my own thoughts in a post on Our Hearts Unhindered if I can get a sense of how others feel; but know this: I felt relieved by the possibility that women in general have a strong sexual drive.

I won't quote from your comments without your permission, if at all (depends on how fantastically brilliant your comments are, I guess); but I may give an overall summary of my findings and a link back to this post if I find it necessary.

Thanks for anything you can give me,


  1. I come from a liberal background, and I am not religious, so I have very different views. I don't want to seem too forward in my opinions but I decided to share my views on the subject.

    Homosexuality is a sexuality, not a condition or some kind of disease. It doesn't matter how much therapy or whatever else you do to make it go away, it will still be there. The same way a straight person can't change their sexuality either - it's an innate part of you just like your race, or anything else. If you don't want to be in a relationship, you can always just be single. But the attraction will always still be there, nothing can really change that. Heterosexuality and homosexuality are just two of many sexualities, though. There's others, like:

    - Bisexual (Attraction to males and females)
    - Pansexual (Attraction toward people of any sex or gender identity)
    - Polysexual (Attraction to multiple genders and/or sexes)
    - Asexual (Capable of falling in love, but not interested in having a sexual relationship and does not feel sexual attraction to anyone)
    - Demisexual (Only feeling an attraction to someone if they have formed a strong emotional bond with that person, some people don't think this should be counted as an actual sexuality but there are people who identify with it so I think it should be)
    - There's also queer and questioning, but I don't know very much about them

    I think the only way to find peace with oneself is to accept oneself for who one is. Rejecting one's own sexuality is rejecting a part of ourselves and it is not healthy. Of course a person would be liable to things like depression if they were doing that.

    Also, does anyone who believes that homosexuality can be cured, ever think about how much hurt and harm is done to the straight women who end up with repressed gay men, and are made incredibly unhappy? (this has happened to a lot of women actually)

    I think it would be easier to explain a gay person's perspective if straight people imagined what it would be like if the tables were turned. Does a straight person decide to be straight? No, they were born that way, that is their sexuality. Same goes for gay people. Can a straight person change their sexuality or stop being attracted to the opposite gender? No, and someone who is gay cannot change their sexuality either. They can repress their attraction, but that doesn't mean they aren't gay anymore. It's not something that can simply go away. A person's sexuality is not a disease with symptoms. Imagine for a moment that homosexuality is the more common sexuality, and straight people were deemed unnatural. Imagine people telling you that there is something wrong with the way you are, and that you need to repress that part of yourself. Imagine being told to simply stop being attracted to the other gender, as if that were possible.

    I think maybe the only way to understand someone who is different from you is to put yourself in their shoes. People fear what they don't understand. In my opinion, people should accept that gay people exist and move on. Everyone's a person, why should it matter what their sexual preference is? Why is it wrong just because it's different? A gay couple's love is just as real and true as a straight couple's. I don't understand why the gender of either person should matter. I understand that some people may have different views on the subject because of religious beliefs, so I hope I didn't cause too much offense.

    1. Thanks for your feedback! It's very helpful. I'm afraid that you may not like my resulting post though…. But if I get around to writing it, I encourage you to fight it if you're up to it. I like to explore what I think I know and I think it's good to challenge what other's say. Persuasion is beneficial to both the listener and the speaker.

  2. Oh wow, I didn't realize my comment was that big O_O sorry about taking up so much space. And once again I hope I didn't cause offense.

  3. Sexuality is not something that needs to be "fixed". People can't control their sexuality. It just is. Saying that someone's sexuality needs to be changed because it doesn't fit your viewpoint is like going out to shop for shoes and forcing someone else in the store to buy sneakers instead of the heels they wanted, just because you don't like heels, so you don't allow anyone to buy or wear heels. It's stupid.

    Personally, I'm an asexual biromantic. I'm fine with that. Just because I'm not interested in having sex doesn't mean I'm "broken". It simply means I'm not interested in having sex! Frankly, I think the concept of having sex is absolutely disgusting, but that's my personal opinion. I don't force my opinion on sex on straight people, why should straight people force their opinion on sex on me? That's bullying, not helping.

    And as for your question about wether females have as strong a sexual drive as men, yes, they do. At least the ones who aren't asexual do. Just because guys get a boner every five seconds from not being able to keep their minds out of the gutter doesn't mean they have a stronger sex drive. Females can have just as many dirty ideas, and can get just as wet. Just because it's not as obvious for us doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

    Before you write your other article, may I suggest you do some googling and read up on some blogs by people who are otherwisely sexual? The best way to write is by researching all sides of the story first.

    1. Thanks for your feedback!

      I'm curious though. Both you and Banrion An Gheimhridh express your entire belief on this subject seemingly based on the root idea that people just ARE this way, and furthermore, that it's not something they can change, that it's not something they can control. Whether that's true or not makes as huge difference, so could one of you explain to me how YOU PERSONALLY know that? It is because that's what everyone has told you (and did they have reasons), because you feel that way yourself, because a large number of people feel that way? How is that proof in your eyes? What makes sexuality different from other ways we feel that we still accept as a little wacky? Or should we not condemn any kinds of behavior or thought? (Ah, except you must in order to disagree with me so tread carefully.)

      Forgive me for asking so many questions but I do not take this subject lightly. I know it is of serious importance to many people and I don't want to be a fool unnecessarily. The biggest thing that gets me is that everyone tells me the same thing, but most people can't offer a shred of proof. There is some scientific evidence that could suggest that you're right, but there is also evidence that you're wrong; and either way, no one seems to care.

      See here's the main problem I see with your "people can't control their sexuality." Some people are strongly attracted to children, or like violence, or whatever. I know people who have been abused by family members, for example. Is that okay? Is there no help for them? They just feel how they feel and must go on feeling that way? Lock them away or else they must at least abstain for the rest of their lives?

      And to be clear, I'm not forcing a "viewpoint" on anyone. I want to show people the facts. My blog post, if I ever feel wise enough to write it, is not going to be persuasion to "join the dark side." Well… we don't consider it the dark side, but let's not quibble about details. What I want to do is educate people. There is a possibility that you and many, many others are being brainwashed. If your "viewpoint" is correct, then fine. But how do you know? And there IS a chance that many people could recalibrate their desires. But nobody knows that.

      I'm looking for the truth. I'm looking for an informed decision. Knowledge that goes beyond the surface into the very deepest, foundational truths of creation.

    2. I'm also deeply disturbed by the huge gap between Christians and non-Christians in this discussion. The Christian gives a dissertation in theological terms that makes perfect sense to him because he knows the background and is familiar with the premises behind the phrases. But to the general public, it makes no sense. They are neither enlightened, nor challenged, nor able to make an equal reply. But on the other hand, the general public comes from such a different standpoint that it is hard for Christians to combat them efficiently. Do you know what I'm talking about? Do you have any experience with this?

    3. I am a Christian, but I don't do all the theological stuff because, frankly, I'm a simple person. Theological wording confuses me to no end.

      Anyway, as to how I know that sexuality isn't something that can be changed, it's from personal experience. Like I said before, the idea of having sex is disgusting to me. I can only see it as a biological hazard from the mixing of bodily fluids. Nothing can be done to change that. It is what it is. It doesn't mean that I never think someone is physically attractive, and I can still be romantically attracted to someone, but I don't have a primal urge to have sex.

      When you bring up being attracted to children or liking violence, you're confusing one's sexuality with urges to have sex. You cannot control your sexuality, but you can control who/what/when/where you have sex. Sexuality is the gender of the people you are attracted to. Urges to have sex can and should be controlled, because sometimes it's wrong. The way I look at it, if someone will be hurt in any way by you carrying your your urge, it's wrong. I know that's extremely simplified, but I find that it's the easiest way to explain my opinion.

      Lastly, I'm not being brainwashed. I spent the past year reading different articles about sexuality before finally coming to the conclusion that I'm an asexual biromantic. For a long while before that I thought I was just a screwed up hetro. Finally knowing what my sexuality is doesn't change who I am. I'm still the same person I always was, but now I have a definite label for my lack of a sexual attraction.

    4. Okay, so your definition of "sexuality" is limited to the gender that a person is attracted to. That's very helpful, thank you.


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