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Hi Project,
I recently discovered Gay Project and in the panorama of gay content sites on the network it seems unique to me and if I had met it about ten years ago I think I would have avoided getting involved in many useless problems which, on the other hand, have conditioned me a lot. Reading the forum in the sex section and in the couples section, I found stories not far from experiences that I have also lived and this confirmed me in the idea of not being a rare exception. I’m 32 years old, luckily for me I can still undertake quite well the passage of time and I show less than my years. Currently, at least in a sense, I’m single, partly by choice and partly because my ex-boyfriends, let’s call them so, after a few months, get tired and needed something else. I understood this and didn't even try to hold them back. I've lived a free life since I was twenty, I left home as soon as I could because I couldn't stand the daily contact with my parents anymore and I needed to live my life. At the beginning I went through periods of strong disarray, bordering on depression, I thought that no one would ever fall in love with me and this seemed to me like a tragedy, today, objectively, at least looking from the outside, nothing has changed, it no longer seems to me like a tragedy and I stopped looking for a guy, at least in the sense that is usually given to this expression. I haven't stopped looking for sex, because I think it's impossible to stop, but I put aside the idea of making my sanity depend on a single guy, but by reading the following you will understand what I mean.
Up to the age of 24-25 my couple experiences were devastating, perhaps also because I dreamed a lot and I felt very frustrated and disappointed, I had in my head several models and preconceptions that conditioned me. At the age of 25 I met a guy, whom I will call James here, who in a sense, little by little, made me change my way of thinking. The beginning, with him, was only physical. I was attracted to him and tried to repeat with him the same script I had used with the other guys: close couple, eternal love blah blah, but he didn't let me do so from the first attempt. James was different from the other guys, he didn't play a role, he was very disenchanted, a bit the opposite of me. He dismantled all my traditional vision of couple life setting right from the start and told me brutally, but seriously: “I like having sex with you, but I don't know you, for the moment I like it but it's just sex, I don't know if I'll fall in love with you, it could happen, but at the moment it isn't." For what I was then such a speech was destructive and I started to feel bad almost immediately, but I liked him a lot and I followed my sexual instinct, putting aside my emotional frustrations.
In sex James was very direct, he didn't say stupid things. It may have been just sex, as he used to say, but he liked me, he wanted me and I must say that I understood only with him what it means to make love with a guy. On a sexual level, things worked very well between us, the understanding was practically perfect, we used to think the same things and at the same moments. I have never had a guy interested in totally uninhibited sex and far from any acting like him, at least from that point of view I lacked nothing, but there was a but, he told me that in any case he felt free to go with other guys too and he really did, but they weren't betrayals or things done in secret, he also used  to talk to me about his guys and I felt terrible. He once said to me: "I'm like that, if this doesn’t suit you, you are free to leave." These expressions at first sounded aggressive, as if he wanted to control or dominate me, but then I realized that it wasn't like that. He was looking for me a lot, he had the attitude of a seducer towards me, or at least it seemed so to me, he enhanced my sexual performances and this way he gratified me, but he always said that for him it was "only sex", and I don’t hide from you that for this expression I hated him, even if hating James was practically impossible. He almost didn't want me to fall in love with him sentimentally, sex didn't frighten him but he couldn't stand the entanglements that he considered sticky, he used to say that when you understand each other you don't need words. He used to say “you understand each other”, not “you love each other” because he systematically avoided the affective plan.
This expression: “it's just sex” has been somehow my obsession for the past six years. But I have to be honest, told like this the story seems very reductive: he is the cynical and insensitive tyrant and I the victim subjugated by sex, but things were actually very different and much more complicated. There were a lot of cynical and overly rational attitudes on his part, but there were others as well that seemed to go in an entirely different direction. Despite his behaviors, he was not a sex hunter, he was free in his behavior, he had had many guys, he was a bit cynical in these things, that's true, but he didn't think only of himself, he wasn't aggressive or vindictive, when we had some conflict he had no problem giving in first and sometimes he felt seriously hurt, but he would never try to hurt you, perhaps he may disappear, if he thinks he's not welcome. He never tried to force anyone to do anything, he didn’t use emotional blackmail of any kind and above all, when he went away because he had met another guy, he didn’t disappear for too long periods and then, despite appearances, he was very vulnerable on the emotional level and perhaps his being cynical, at least in appearance, was a method of defense.
Every time he entered a new story I used to feel terrible because I was terrified of losing him permanently, but things never went that way. Let's say that some of his ex-boyfriends left the scene precisely because he considered them unreliable, with others he maintained non-superficial contacts. I want to specify that when I say that he considered certain guys untrustworthy I’m not referring to the fact that they only had sex with him or anything like that, these things were practically indifferent to him, for him the unreliability consisted in not speaking clearly, telling lies, having two faces, saying one thing and doing another. He just couldn't stand these things and on the other hand he didn't do them. With ex-boyfriends that he considered reliable people he also had sex episodically, always underlying that "it was just sex" but it seemed to me that a much more complex relationship was created with those guys, let's say something like a true friendship even with a little sex .He behaved like that to me too. From him I learned the meaning of sexuality.
At the beginning, when he said to me: “I'm with you only for sex”, I considered the expression in a reductive way, then I realized that saying “only for sex” was not actually an understatement. Sex for him was also, and I would say above all, a way to be accepted without preclusions.  I understood that sometimes he really needed to have sex with me, it was a very important end liberating form of communication. Sometimes after sex he would have moments of deep melancholy and he would cry in front of me, other times when we happened to meet, he seemed very cynical and aggressive but if he could live sex in a liberating way in the end he was better.
As time went by, I understood more and more clearly that saying "it's just sex" wasn't an understatement at all. With the expression "only sex" he wanted to exclude all the ritualism, the sweet platitudes and the small hypocrisies of which are often studded the so-called love stories. The distinction between love and sex made no sense to him, for him sexual attraction was the trigger of a sexual story, precisely in the sense of "sexual story", of course, but also of prudently affective story. In a sense, he overturned the common order of things: for many it starts with friendship and then ends with sex, for him it starts with sex and then it becomes possible to understand whether or not it is also possible to build a relationship of friendship. He often told me something that I struggled to understand and that is that at the basis of true friendship, that is, of trusting one another, there is always a strong mutual sexual attraction, which is a necessary condition, but obviously not sufficient, to build a friendship. For him, friendship was more than sex, or rather it was almost another step forward towards a more complete sexuality, a level no more sublimated but deeper, that is, with a deeper level of interpersonal communication. A friend to him was one he could trust 100% and that trust had to be mutual. He had no ritual friendships, he never remembered birthdays or anything like that, he never gave gifts, not to save that money he didn't have anyway, but to avoid entering the dimension of the ritual, of what one does because it must be done.
For him, a friend is someone who doesn't say no, if you go to visit him because you need to have sex with him at one in the morning. This is sex, of course, but it is certainly not "just sex" in the reductive sense of the term. He also has another characteristic that I have always liked a lot and that gives a further meaning to his way of saying: "it's just sex". He connects sex "exclusively" to a dimension of instinctive attraction, sex for him mustn’t be polluted by anything else, i.e. it must be "just sex!" because "only sex" means real sex, not mixed with interests of any other kind, and ultimately real sex is the premise of serious friendship. He told me something else that at first irritated me a lot: "if someone doesn't welcome you into his bed when you need it, he's not a friend because for him rules matter more than you." Today I'm starting to think he was right.
Over time we see each other less and therefore we have less sex and now, in the virus period, we talk  from time to time on the phone, but not very often, when it happens, however, the phone calls are very long. He finally asks me if I got aroused and it actually happens every time. Lately he told me that he has many "friends", but as for "true friends", that is, those with whom he can speak freely, he has only three. A few years ago, this speech would have made me feel bad because I would have read it only as a clear sign that for him I was not the only one, neither as a friend nor as a sex partner, since, for him, friendship also includes sexual availability, but today this doesn’t really put me in crisis anymore.
For more than a year now we have not seen each other "only" to have sex but "also" to talk and to talk in such a serious way that I have never found anything similar in different situations and with anyone else. At the beginning I used to feel a clear difference between his way of seeing sex and personal relationships and mine, then little by little the differences began to fade, little by little we built a common ground, yielding a little to each other's principles. He is now much less cynical and is also starting to talk about sex as an expression of affectivity and I have ended up putting aside the idea of couple, not because I think there is something wrong, but because I don’t see it suitable for me, I mean for us, me and James. We have found our balance, which is not the classic balance of a couple, but it works between us. So I feel better, I feel much more at ease and somehow, I don't know whether to say that I feel loved, but I certainly feel much more respected and understood.
Lately it also happened to me to call him because I felt the need to have sex with him, he just told me: “I'll wait for you, come as soon as you can." It was only five words but it was easy to understand that James was glad that I had asked him it. I went up to his house, he let me in, he undressed, while I did the same, then he lay down on the bed and opened his arms and we hugged naked. I stayed with him all night. In the morning when I woke up I asked him: "Is it just sex?" He smiled at me and ruffled my hair. Please note, Project, this is not the beginning, of a perhaps late classic couple story, it is just "a moment" of our relationship, which must be taken for what it is. Saying this I realize that it is as if this time it is me the one who says that "it's just sex", even if it's certainly not "just sex". In reality I knew very well that after that episode I wouldn’t have seen him perhaps for four or six weeks in a row, I was aware of it and I didn’t want and shouldn’t delude myself. The relationship between James and me would certainly not have ended, and in fact it has not ended, but it would never have been a classic relationship.
I asked myself several times, from a selfish point of view, if "for me" it would have been better to look for another guy or "also" for another guy. I don't think that in general James would have considered it as a betrayal, he would probably have accepted it as the most normal thing in the world, because he too was used to do such things normally. The real problem would come with the other guy who would find himself involved in things other than the classic couple stories and feel betrayed. However, since I've known James, I've never fallen in love with other guys. Now he told me that he fell in love with another guy he likes a lot, and he's devoting himself completely to this guy, but generally James's stories don't last long because guys want him all to themselves and don't accept the fact that you can't build relationships with him.
For slightly different reasons, both James and I have difficulty building relationships with guys, their model of emotional life is different from ours, because they are used to saying one thing and living another. Those guys, when James tells them “it's just sex”, they feel relieved at first, because they think “it's just sex” for them too, but when they see James telling them he's fallen in love with someone else, then they realize that for them it’s not really "just sex" and so they begin to feel terrible and to feel betrayed, because they are unable to put aside the idea of exclusivity in order not to lose James. They want to be with James but they think that the kind of relationship is worth more than the person: better a couple relationship with another than a different kind of relationship with him. I understand that you can be perplexed if you hear your partner saying that "it's just sex" but to be with a guy because with him you can build the kind of relationship you want it means that in the end "it's not even sex, but convenience and habit.”
Sometimes I fear that James, despite everything he has said, might actually fall in love with another guy and end up accepting even a standard couple life with that guy. I can guarantee you that if that happens I'd be happy. At first it might be difficult to accept, but in the end I would be happy. I don't know if in a similar situation he could forget me, frankly I don't think so. Perhaps the episodic sexual contacts between us, which characterized our relationship, would end completely, but we would still love each other even so, and at least he would have no reason to repeat that "it's just sex".
I receive the following email at 2.25 am on September 1st 2020, with a request for publication.
Hello Project,
I'm the James mentioned in the post “Gay Guys Looking For Sex”. Here I will call Paul the author of that post, who is one of my closest friends. To some this expression may seem trivial and stupid but for me it is not at all. Paul loved me for who I was, he never frowned like so many guys from good families who were looking for a mate they could take home to have their parents' blessing. If Paul had taken me to his parents I think they would have kicked me if they knew who I was. Paul didn’t ask questions, he didn’t demand conditions of any kind, he was patient, he never posed as a teacher, he was a true friend, and I think few people know what this expression means. There are many aspects of me much worse than what Paul told in the post, indeed, he almost sanctified me, but he also accepted the worst in me, he didn't run away like so many others. Now I feel much less as a drifter than before, but not because I found eternal love but because I learned a lot from Paul and still have a lot to learn. I have other friends I trust, but with him it's different, he's an exceptional man and he knows I really think so. I never understood what he could find in me, because someone like him could have found guys a hundred times better than me, and he had the opportunities to do it but he really cared about me. He had a vision of sex very far from mine but he didn’t run away, he didn’t get scared. He talked about the night he came to me, and said he called me to be with me, but he didn’t say that he did it mainly because we had talked on the phone in the afternoon and he had understood that I was really in a bad situation. I had longed him to come and he called me and came to me and came here so as not to leave me alone with my paranoia, for me seeing him was like seeing the light again. He said that as soon as he arrived we immediately went to bed together but it didn't happen at all like that, I was confused and he made me a cup of tea, then he cleaned the kitchen and made me some dinner that he had brought from home, because I hadn't eaten for two days, then he sat next to me and held my hand until I was better, then we also made love but by now dawn was breaking. I have learned to live or rather I’m learning to live a normal life and I thought that I would never succeed, and instead I’m succeeding because there is Paul. I don't know if he will ever be my boyfriend, these categories seem absurd to me, I owe him a lot and I'm not ashamed to say it. I'm changing my life because Paul didn't abandon me when anyone else would. I don't know if I'm in love with him, in the end in love is a word like any other. I just want to tell him that he was the one who made me realize that it's not just sex. He knows what is between us and on the other hand I think it is impossible to explain it in words.

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