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 http://samesexattraction.org/ 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,