The Bottom Whisperer: Like A Prayer
Now let’s get down to business! We had so many great questions this week!
Dear Bottom Whisperer:
I’m a gay man in college and have been in a fulfilling relationship with my boyfriend for over 9 months now. I’m in a difficult situation now that school is back in full swing and could really use some advice. A year ago, I first came out publicly to everyone in my life, and even though I am completely confident in myself, some of my friends don’t seem to share the same sentiments. While on campus, I continue to run into old “friends” that I made when I was involved in different religious groups on campus. Since I began dating, I’ve been less involved in those groups, since it seemed clear to me that my dating life and previous social life in those religious groups could not mix. I’ve tried to cut them out of my life completely, however I continue to run into certain people and begin to feel like I’m missing something from not having that friendship anymore. How can I respond to these people when I see them, especially when they insist that I rejoin those groups I left?
Just Expecting Better Understanding Socially
The real issue here is that you should be allowed to participate in these types of spiritual groups regardless of your sexual orientation or other life choices. Does your school have groups that come together in a spiritual way but include all walks of life? Let me tell you, I get dizzy with the constant exclusion of GLBTQ folks by the church. Jesus himself hung out with prostitutes, thieves and all kinds of folks who maybe didn’t make the best life decisions, do you really think he’d get so worked up about someone loving another person in a non-traditional relationship dynamic? The guy was surrounded by dudes all of the time. I’m sure he’d think it was no big deal.
Back to your question, you want to know how to respond to people who are pressuring you to get back into these groups. Tell them that when their group starts living more by the principles that they preach you will be the first person in the door for group gatherings. But if they are going to judge you (tell them to look up what the good book says about that) then all bets are off and you will develop your own relationship with God/Buddha/Allah/Higher Power/Gaia/Indra/Ra/Jesus/Zues/Space Aliens/John Smith/Lady Gaga or whoever you choose to worship. If these people are really your friends, they should love an accept you no matter what, otherwise they are hypocrites and should cut the finger-shaking and spend a bit more time trying to be more like the guy they talk about so much in the second half of that book they enjoy referencing so much. Best of luck and happy humping!
Dear Bottom Whisperer,
Huge fan of the column and the site! I have been with a partner for 4 years now. July 2013 will be our 5th year together. We are very much in love and faithful to each other monogamously. To tell you the truth, my situation could easily be taken as naive or simply stupid on my part, given the way most of the community feels. We don’t have sex. We don’t engage in intimate situations. It drives me nuts! I am 10-years younger than him, he is 37.
I wake up every morning trying my best to initiate something but he dismisses it with annoyance and forces me to settle with cuddling. My partner has some previous issues with substance abuse and I think some insecurity about the way he looks. Neither of us would be considered “Hot” by the ridiculous standards of the gay community. When we found each other it was a shocker to realize that our standards were too high and materialistic and that we could truly fall in love with THE PERSON. (Gasp! Shocker, I know right?!) In our second year together we had some more sexual contact but that was years ago. Since then we have not even masturbated mutually and I happen to know that he doesn’t do it for himself either.
I’m sick with a rare disease and starting to cripple. I am young and yearning to have as much sex as I can with MY partner before the time comes that I cant even get out of bed. He has proposed to let me get it elsewhere as long as I take it safely but I cant bring myself and feel that I should NOT have to “cheat” on my partner just to fulfill this key element in any relationship. Cuddling is nice, but after years of doing it and nothing more, and now on a time clock? I feel like I am always on the brink of severe depression and I don’t know what to do. Please help me.
Help Our Relationship Needs You!
Thanks for being a fan of the column. It sounds like you have a lot of great things in your relationship with your partner. If nothing, you are loyal and committed to one another, despite not getting all of your needs met. One lesson I learned in life and has really been hitting home with me recently is that other people’s actions and emotions often have very little or nothing to do with me. It sounds like your partner has something holding him back from enjoying a healthy sexual relationship with your or himself. There are obviously millions and millions of things that could be causing this, and probably none of them have to do with you.
I hate to say this HORNY but if you have been together 5 years and haven’t had your needs met, your options for changing this might be limited. I’m sure you have been very open and honest about your feelings to your partner. I’m curious what his response has been when you discuss these feelings. Is it a flat out no or is there some wiggle room? Have you been a good person for him to open up to about some issues that might be holding him back? Maybe it is the expectations of a sexual relationship that are causing him anxiety. No matter what it is, you two have to come to a common ground on this issue because it is something that is important to you and causing you much emotional distress. In the end, this situation might play out with you two separating and just loving each other as friends and you have to be ready for that situation to happen.
My advice would be to explain what is going on with you, in a way similar to you did in your email. Just tell him you have anxiety about your condition and right now this is something that is very important to you. Ask him if there is any way for you two to make this work. You clearly love each other and I believe if you two can open up and be honest with each other, you can get through this. Don’t put him on the spot and expect an answer right away. Tell him to spend some time thinking about what needs to happen on his end to make this situation happen.
I wish you the best of luck in dealing with this. I think this is a very complex situation and seeking professional help on your own and possibly together should not be taken off of the table here. There clearly is a lot of love between the two of you and by taking pressure away from this and allowing him to come to you with some ground rules for how to move forward taking care of everyone’s needs sounds like the best bet for resolution. And remember to be patient and not sabotage the situation by being impatient or resentful and hurting on another. Best of luck!