Sunday, April 4, 2010

Rules: The Bad, the OK, and the Wished For

April Theme: The Rules

Old rules that should continue to die - "the bad"
  • If you're gay, do all you can to hide it.
  • If you can't be heterosexual, fake it until you make it.
  • If you marry a woman, the gay will go a way.
  • If you marry a woman and the gay doesn't go a way, then it's somebody's fault.
  • You would be better off dead than gay.
  • All touch is sexual, so don't touch anyone but your spouse.
Existing rules that do apply - "the OK"
  • If you are suicidally depressed, get professional help.
  • If you marry someone and have children, make them a high priority.
  • Care for yourself so you'll be able to care for your loved ones.
New rules? - "the wished-for"
  • Not all touch is sexual. It is OK to touch others in appropriate ways.
  • Married men, whether straight or gay, can benefit from a variety of male/male friendships.
  • Marriage between a man and a woman is the heterosexual ideal, however marriage between persons of the same sex is appropriate for gay people.
  • Same sex marriage is legal throughout the United States. This law is not only good for gays, it is good for society in general.


  1. Yes, but what are the "rules" about touching in non-sexual appropriate ways? What if those non-sexual "touchings" become arousing between two married MOHOs? Then what are the rules?

    And what kind of "rules" should govern "male/male friendships" between married MOHOs? When do such friendhips become inappropriate?

  2. DB: Thanks, David! I appreciate that very much. Speaking of touching, I wish I would have thrown an arm or two around you when we had lunch. That's what I get for being shy. Oh well, perhaps I have learned my lesson. Time will tell. ;)

    BECK: Here are some possible rules to try on for size:

    *You can touch anywhere a licensed massage therapist would touch as long as it is OK with the touchee.
    *If the married Mohos are married to each other, I don't know that any rules are necessary.
    *If the married Mohos are married to other partners, then all parties should have had a prior say in where the boundaries should lie. In other words, some planning and agreement on boundaries should ideally take place prior to an encounter in which arousal may occur. But obviously this doesn't take into account the chemistry that may occur in a spontaneous meeting.

    So what are your thoughts, Beck? How well do you think these rules fit? What suggestions can you offer?

  3. I don't have the answers. That's why this topic of "rules" and what they should or should not be is very difficult for me. I feel like the standard rules shouldn't apply and yet society says that they should. I would like to create new rules, but have no grounds for doing so, and cannot honestly impose such rules on my wife, without some basis of truth behind them, and not just some wishful thinking.

    So, no, I have no answers. It isn't that clear. There seems to be a lot of grey area that should be out there in the black-and-white rule-making world, and grey doesn't work well with rules, otherwise, anything goes. But the black-and-white rules don't seem to apply. Yet, as soon as I say that, I feel like I'm trying to be an acception to the rule (which I am) and ask for special compensation, but I don't want to be an acception or need special compensation...

    Wow, now I'm rambling. I think I'll go disappear now.

  4. I kind of like the eye glasses metaphor here. For many people with simply older eyes, off the shelf reading glasses will do. For those of us with more complicated issues like astigmatism, myopia and presbyopia, custom lenses are required for each eye. Should prescriptions that work for 98 percent of the population be applied to us? For example the "rule" that men should marry women and just make it work? If you're at the eye doctor, she doesn't say "Well this lens should work for you, it works for my other patients. Are you sure you're not trying hard enough?"

  5. What if those non-sexual "touchings" become arousing between two married MOHOs?

    ... So what if they do?

    Arousal isn't a sin. Nor does arousal (necessarily) indicate that whatever you're doing is a sin. Arousal is just a physiological reaction to any of a number of things, many of them completely harmless.

    I've gotten aroused when comforting a friend who was having a hard time. I was certainly not doing anything wrong, or even thinking anything wrong--and I appropriately chose to ignore whatever it was my body was trying to say and focus on giving him the comfort and support he needed.

    We are taught (by society, to an extent, but especially by the church) that arousal is an indication that we're doing something wrong (unless it's with a spouse). That's one of the "rules" that should be discarded, IMO.

    A better rule might be "arousal is a physiological response that is not wrong in and of itself and that doesn't need to be acted on".

  6. I never said or even suggested that "arousal was a sin"! I perfectly understand from many experiences that "arousal is just a physiological reaction to any of a number of things, many of them completely harmless..." What I was suggesting was that maybe arousal between two MOHO guys that are married in MOMs may consider the mutual arousal as a possible crossing-the-line rule, not a crossing-the-line sin!

    Two older MOHOs in MOMs feeling such arousal between them may also signal that both are still "alive and well", which is a good thing for some of us! :)

  7. SCOTT: Interesting choice of words, "comforting a friend who was having a hard time". Didn't notice on the first reading, but now, taking a second glance, I'm surprised I didn't see it the first time. I particularly agree that just because a our bodies respond with arousal, that doesn't mean we have to act on it.

    BECK: I enjoy your insightful questions and the articulate way you express yourself. Thanks, as always, for sharing.