Friday, February 8, 2013

FFAQ--V

Wow, I'm just rounding out an incredibly intense two weeks, and the intensity doesn't seem to be dying down. Tonight, I move my office from Auburn, WA to Renton. And then next week is going to be craaaaazy busy as we'll be filming for something (I'll probably talk more about that later). I didn't get a weekend last week because of my training, and it looks like my weekend is blown this week too.

C'est la vie.

Anyway, before starting my day of clients, I wanted to throw this up.

It's that time again, folks. Time to post your questions, or get your ditto on.

For those who are new here, Friday's Frequently Asked Question is your opportunity to ask me anything you want. If you like a question that has been asked, then leave a comment saying "ditto". The question with the most "dittoes" will be the one I answer next Friday. And then then the next Friday we ask again, and the next I answer, and so on and so forth in to perpetuity.

Get those questions rolling!

Update: All right. Voting is closed. Thanks for the awesome questions!

71 comments:

  1. I posted this question last time and didn't get enough dittos. I'm going to try again because I'm really curious!

    Everything that I’ve read or heard from you and Lolly about your situation has been positive. Is it all rainbows and sunshine all the time? I know that you’ve made the best decision for you and your family, but aren’t there times when it’s hard?

    A parallel to my own life: I know that eating healthy is what’s right for me, but sometimes I just want ice cream, darn it. But I can occasionally indulge without hurting my loved ones and ruining my life.

    Do you face frustrations with your lifestyle, and if so, how do you deal with them?

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  3. Maybe this one won't go over so well, but here goes: What are YOUR thoughts on the BSA stuff in the news the last week or two? I'm an LDS scoutmaster, and I honestly would have no objections to either having a gay scout or gay leader in the troop: as you've made so clear the last few months, identity and behavior are two very different things. I've come to learn that my opinion is very much not a popular one. However, your thoughts? Man, I cannot think of a more relevant opinion to the matter than yours. I'd really like to hear what you have to say about it.

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  4. Do you have any thoughts about openly and honestly discussing being gay with a person (namely, my mom) who firmly believes that "Homosexuality is unnatural, and it is a choice." Funny thing, she believes that asexuality (and of course, heterosexuality) exists, but according to her, homosexuality/same-sex attraction is not even a possibility.

    I've sent her things written by people like yourself, Mr. Weed, who are *not* sexually promiscuous and who *are* stable and loving, but she says that they are living in sin and finding excuses for their sin. I don't know how to convince her that just because she has never experienced SSA, that doesn't mean that SSA does not exist.

    Finally, several years ago, she said to me, "If any of you kids were gay, I would wonder what I had done wrong as a parent." This does not bode well for a good, healthy discussion, sadly.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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    1. Obviously, you are not asking me.

      But, I have to ask if you are LDS.

      If you are, it might be helpful to point out the new website and stuff to her. Maybe if she realized that the First Presidency didn't feel the same she did, it would encourage her to rethink her views.

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    2. My advice would be to start telling your mom something about herself that is contrary to what she says. Then don't let up. No matter what she says. Contradict her mercilessly and tell her your knowledge comes from a reliable source. Also make sure she knows how unacceptable her preference is. If she objects to this treatment, shrug. Tell her you didn't invent the rules.
      Hope that helps.

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  5. I don't have a question but the "throw this up" sure make me think about Lolly and your vomit stories!


    How is it you can make even a vomit story positive? lol oops, I guess that's a question, but I plan on "ditto-ing" one of the aboves.

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  6. Do you ever fall in love with fictional characters?

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    1. Ha I'm gonna ditto this one cause its funny.

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  7. Have you researched homosexuality in history? I've often wondered about the seemingly large amounts of gay and lesbian (or bisexual, or transsexual, or transgender, or anything else) people there are right now. Have there always been large numbers and it was just hush hush until now? Did most get married heterosexually anyway? Are the numbers exaggerated because of widespread and unprecedented media? I've heard of a Native American berdache (a man that prefers women's clothes and work) but that's it.

    I've also wondered if the availability of pornography has encouraged and heightened sexual interest that may never have had opportunity to sprout and grow. I thought you might have some insight on this because it seems you have a high likelihood of being born gay, but does media and salacious materials aggravate your efforts to live heterosexually?

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    1. Check out the ancient Greeks. (Amongst hundreds of others of societies). In Ancient Greece it was expected (not just accepted, but expected) for men to have a wife AND a boyfriend.

      Of course, we whitewash that a lot in school /K12 in this country (In the UK, and other regions where homosexuality was dealt with ages ago / is a non issue now... History surrounding homosexuality is taught just as it was.)

      CLASSIC example: Achilies did NOT storm the palace to rescue a girl, but to avenge his lover, Patroclus. The Romans hated the Greek attitude in this area as in others (That's so Greek ... Was a euphemism for homosexual behavior). That the ROMAN Catholic Church is what set forth most of the doctrines surrounding codes of behavior in modern Christianity, makes the issue something of an "Oh. Huh." thing, yes?

      -grey!

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    2. The Greek Orthodox Church has the same traditional beliefs.

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  8. Still wanna know!

    1) Tell a person you're considering dating that you're gay/SSA/etc. = good practice.

    We here that over and over. Be honest. Be upfront.

    ?) Then what?

    I would cheerfully date someone who was SSA -if and oy if- we could have a good sex life once married. Sex is VERY important to me. Not just on a procreation level ... Cause that can be done in a lab.

    But law of chastity = no sex before marriage.

    Problem.

    Not asking what you & your wife did...
    But for others, who are being asked out by someone awesome enough to be honest from the get go.
    What's a straight (or bisexual, etc.) person to do in considering dating someone / marrying someone who may NOT be able to participate in a rich and healthy sex life?

    Some gay men/women CAN operate in adverse conditions. Some CAN'T.

    The only way I know of to find out is to try.

    I'm just sitting here thinking THAT would be an awkward conversation with my bishop.

    "So, we'd like special dispensation..."

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    1. I realize this question is for Josh, but I'd like to share a few of my thoughts regarding the subject.

      (reminder for those who don't know our story - I did not know about my husband's attraction to men until 10 years into our marriage. After 30+ yrs of marriage, and all that we've lived through, we feel a great need to share our experiences and especially feel compelled to be open and honest about some of the issues, such as this, that seem to be hard for many to discuss)

      When my husband, Mr. IDM and I were dating, I had actually already had two different boyfriends who I was sexually active with (at two different times in my life), so I was quite aware of the 'making out' process and what it could lead to.

      Mr. IDM and I did not have sexual relations before we were married (I had repented and changed my life, and he was a newly returned missionary, and we were both committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ) but,... we certainly did plenty of kissin and 'making out' and we both knew where to draw the line, and, it was often extremely hard to wait, but we did because we were each committed to waiting until after our temple marriage.

      My point is that through the typical physical closeness and 'making out' process of two people in love, it was clearly evident that we 'both' were READY and ABLE but we were just not willing to go all the way.

      I have never understood why people talk about the necessity of 'try before you buy' as if a couple who are in love and genuinely turned on by making out (before marriage)would somehow find that the process would, for whatever reason, come to a screeching halt somewhere along the way (after marriage). I realize that I'm not an expert, and possibly there are some who do experience such a road block (after marriage), and I realize that there are certainly those who might discover road blocks (inability to be turned on from kissing and making out) before marriage - and I would think that that would definitely be considered the time for some serious contemplation. But, for someone who discovers 'everything works and feels right' from kissing and making out..... then I would sincerely think that is a green light for their future fulfillment possibilities.

      I would assume that a young man with SSA would know his body and be able to determine what his capabilities are. If, he feels like he CAN have a complete sexual experience with a 'GIRL', (especially a girl that he is in love with and has done some kissin and makin out with) then he probably can. And, furthermore, his girlfriend (especially when aware of his SSA) would definitely be able to sense if the kissin and makin out felt good and natural and acceptable to her as well.

      I just want to share my personal feelings, that before we got marriage, I had done probably more than my fair share of kissin and makin out, and my experiences of that nature with Mr. IDM were just as pleasurable and felt just as natural as with the other guys. I will however admit, that as I look back, I do think that (at times - not always) there was a little tiny bit of awkwardness related to 'kissing' but I don't think I really noticed it at the time, I just realize it in looking back. At the time, I was 'all in' and I dare say 'so was he'.

      Now, having said that, I will honestly say that during the years of Mr. IDM acting out on his SSA and when he was unfaithful to me, our sex life did suffer.

      However, now, things are wonderful and amazing in this department, so I feel extremely compelled to share this with those who are interested, worried, or wondering. Certainly, our story is just that, our 'one' story.... but we are living proof that it can work and it can be great.

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  9. I guess my question is that you have been open about being gay with your church family. Have you been treated differently by them, that you have been able to tell at least?
    Since I am pretty computer illiterate so I don't know how to change my ID from anonymous, but my name is Angie. I am LDS also :) Thank you for putting your life out in the open like this. You have truely helped me and I am sure untold numbers of people by you and Lolly being so open and honest!

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  10. As a mental health professional in training who is also a sexual minority, I am wondering how you balance your very open and public story and experiences of being a gay and your clinical/professional identity and role. Do you find it difficult to navigate this with clients?

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    1. This is the one that I really want to Ditto!

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    2. As a client... Ditto!

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  11. Josh, In light of all the sex addiction conferences you've been attending, I wondered what the current research is/your opinion (if you're comfortable sharing) about masturbation. I've heard different opinions even within the LDS culture: 1)that it's akin to pornography, is at best selfish (and divisive in a marriage), and at worst addicting or 2)that it's a natural and healthy way to keep the law of chastity. Thoughts?

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    1. One Mormon prophet (who shall remain nameless here) said masturbation can cause homosexuality. If that were the case, wouldn't over 90% of men be gay lol?

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  12. These questions are so interesting, one wishes you could answer them all. (I like the one about the fictional character, even though my ditto went elsewhere.)

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  13. How do you feel about the LDS church's active political involvement in gay issues like marriage (ex: Prop 8 in CA a few years ago? Do you feel homosexual marriage should be legal? Do you think the church gives the wrong message about how to treat gay people by so actively lobbying against something the majority of the gay community is passionate about?
    Do you think gay marriage undermines the sacred nature of traditional marriage?

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  14. Just realizing.... My "ditto" really IS. As in I ditto more than once as cool questions come up. But someone mentioned that they used up their ditto.

    Waaaaaait a minute. In the spirit of knowing the rules before breaking them (or not following the rule on accident).

    Is this a one shot kind of thing or can we break out the mimeo machine and crank out as many dittos as we like?

    -grey!

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  15. This might open a can of worms, but, in response to your previous post comment here http://www.joshweed.com/2013/02/ffaq-answer-mission-for-gay-guy.html?showComment=1360124705805#c1666555848941211050 do you feel your homosexuality is a byproduct of your childhood "pathology" or that your so-called "pathology" was a byproduct of already being predeterminedly gay? Which caused which? Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

    Reparative therapists believe that homo-erotic desires are an involuntary byproduct of unmet emotional deficits in "pathological" male-to-male relating in childhood that leave you wanting, empty, emotionally frustrated and unaffirmed as part of the male collective. Then, at puberty, involuntarily, while you're still wondering about the mysterious world of other boys that you struggled to fit into and feel affirmed by (which you elaborated on in your last post), you--like the girls around you who also view them as mysterious--involuntarily develop erotic attractions toward them (exotic becomes erotic -- look up EBE theory on Google).

    Your "pathology," or your thwarted emotional need to identify with other boys but frustrated inability to do so *unwittingly* involuntarily created homoerotic attractions at puberty. For straight girls, the non-identification with boys is normal, because they aren't, after all, boys--they're girls; for straight girls, erotic feelings toward the opposite sex is just natural at puberty, but for the homosexual boy, according to reparative therapy theory, it's more than just erotic sensations--it's an emotional past with a longing and emotionally stymied desire to connect to boys as a boy among boys.

    Reparative therapists believe that addressing your childhood issues relating to other boys/men in therapy and in life can resolve your frustrated lack of affirmation among the male collective and thus help eliminate or reduce your erotic attractions to men, and develop an authentic identity as a man among men, then develop attraction to the opposite sex as a *natural* extention of that. Most men aquire this identity naturally as boys (as a boy among boys), but for a few, it gets stymied and unwittingly creates homosexual attractions, according to this theory.

    I don't have any problem intellectually with this theory, but I do have an issue with reparative therapy that I'd like to bring up. Where I think they miss the mark (wondering how you feel about it, too), is in the role of biology regarding sexual orientation. Sex is an instinct IN AND OF ITSELF, and is not a psychological or emotional phenomenon in essence, as unromantic as that may sound (although our emotions do get wrapped up in it--but only secondarily). It's categorized with hunger and sleep as an instinct in the rest of the animal kingdom, and works involuntarily, as do sleepiness and hunger. Our instinctual drives, shared with the other animals, function independently of consciousness, subconsciousness or even unconsciousness (don't we continue to breath while asleep?). It's possible, in my mind, that atypical (or "pathological"?) social relating to the opposite and same sexes (in humans), during childhood, might "trick" the lower brain into a homosexual orientation where the lower animal brain *unwittingly* and innocently has interpreted atypical childhood emotional responses to the same sex as species-typical responses toward the *opposite* sex; but I'm not so sure that once sexual orientation and erotic desire are "locked in" by the primitive brain that it can be reversed; how can *psychological* intervention alone (or at all?) fix what now is not *only* a psychological phenomenon, but an animal-instinct phenomenon run by the sexual reproduction part of the brain that we share with lower animals? [Continued in Part II…]

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  16. [Part II…] In other words, the reparative therapist might be right in deducing the cause of your homosexuality, but he might be incapable of evaluating an authentic "fix" since he sees through a bias of psychology and psychological counseling only, with little or no understanding of or empathy toward biology's potential role in creating and "cementing" sexual orientation.

    This may explain why reparative therapists have such a vague or low success rate in reversing orientation. Even if they're correct about childhood environment contributing to the initial development of one's sexual orientation, sexual orientation, once it is assigned, is probably "locked in" by the primitive instinct-regulating (nonpsychological) part of the brain to ensure what it actually "believes" is a *heterosexual* orientation and a chance to pursue procreation and perpetuation of the species. Reparative therapy's methods to "fix" gays, then, becomes like using psychology to treat what is now a "heart arrythmia," metaphorically speaking--treating a biological issue with psychology. Treating a broken heart in the emotional sense won't necessarily fix a broken heart in the physical sense.

    Unfortunately, it could be for gays, that they inherit *two* problems once puberty hits...a troubled childhood psychology, *and* a biological "parasite," so to speak, feeding on the original emotional issues which preceded puberty. But this is a parasite you can't make go away because it's designed, under heterosexual circumstances, to remain permanently--to make us want to procreate. It's just unfortunate that the body/mind doesn't know when it's unwittingly created a homosexual orientation, or maybe just never evolved a way to reverse such a biological "error"; it *can't* evolve one since the error almost never gets passed on to the next generation, or hundreds after it to take the *time* needed to evolve one! Reversing orientation is the last thing on a heterosexually successful species' "mind." *Maintaining* orientation (what it always assumes to be heterosexual) is always first on its "mind!"

    If this theory is right, you are no longer treating just software after puberty (i.e., one's childhood psychology), you are dealing with a "hardware" issue added onto that (the mating instinct); yet the reparative therapists insists either that software treatment can fix the hardware "mishap" or that hardware doesn't really have a role in sexual orientation in the first place. If it didn't have a role, I don't think orientation would be so obstinate in its persistence. No wonder gays are driven to suicide. If frustrated efforts to change only required going *psychology*-deep, they wouldn't be so profoundly disturbed in their efforts. Most guys trying to change probably don't realize they're trying to also tap into that most primitive part of the brain (via good-intentioned but insufficient *psychologically* induced efforts) which could be a dead-end effort ultimately, and explain the high rates of depression when leaving the therapy and not feeling any different sexually speaking from when they went in. [Continued in Part III…]

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  17. [ Part III…] Though someone might find resolution to childhood *emotional* issues in therapy, erotic desires (being turned on by another man's body or eyes, or the way he smiles, etc.) may continue to beguile an individual but not because he wasn't successful in therapy, rather because psychology alone couldn't access that part of the brain which shaped and "locked in" *erotic* attractions at puberty, preventing sexual attraction from being altered (with well-meaning evolutionary purposes) regardless of efforts to integrate one's self nonsexually into the "fraternity" of men among men and desexualize one's relationship with the male collective.

    I think it would behoove the religious community to consider these ideas when insisting that 1) people choose to be gay (they don't!) or 2) admitting that people *don't* choose to be gay but insist they can change with just enough effort; and have some compassion on what might be an unfortunate double whammy thrown at them at puberty, a stubbornly irreversible trait only making their original "pathology" (as Josh put it) more troubling and heavy to bear. One burden placed atop another. There's a complex combination of factors potentially involved in the development of homosexuality and an even more challenging puzzle trying to undo any of them. It should cause us to ask whether it's wise to continue encouraging gays to try to change in the Church when it may not be realistically possible for most in spite of "righteousness" or sincere efforts. The secular community has already recognized how damaging this pressure placed on gays can be, the religious world should be ahead of the game in their perceptiveness on this issue, not behind it.
    So, Josh, your thoughts? Did your "pathology" make you gay or did gayness already "pre-exist" and contribute to your pathology? Or did society's prejudice make you pathological? (That's what the gay affirmative camp would say.) And why do you not like reparative therapy (if not for the same reasons I don't)?

    See Josh's basic stance on reparative therapy here http://www.joshweed.com/2012/07/reparative-therapy-video.html

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