“Internalized Homophobia” — or God-Instilled Conscience?

Recently we came across the following question posed to “Ask the Therapist” at the pro-homosexuality “health and wellness” website, GayHealth.com (created by “gay” doctor Stephen Goldstone):

Q I’m attracted to other men and am always a top. I don’t ever bottom with anyone. The problem is that when I’m in a relationship I tend to feel awkward and after sex, even disgusted and I want to get up and leave. I’m not a one night stand kind of guy, however. I want to hold someone close and not distance myself and feel suffocated. Sometimes I wonder if I’m not supposed to even be with guys. What’s my problem?

Glen A. Heiss, PhD, gave the following advice:

A I don’t know whether you are “supposed” to be with guys or not, but to ask the question that way implies that there is a right answer to the question, “Who do you find attractive?”

The fact is, we are attracted to whomever we happen to be attracted to. When we’ve internalized messages that tell us those attractions are somehow wrong or bad, it is very difficult to get close to without becoming uncomfortable.

From what you write, you can enjoy sex with another man, but other kinds of closeness with a man are uncomfortable. The “awkward/suffocated/disgusted” feelings you experience most likely stem from your own mixed feelings about being in a relationship with another man. If those feelings are especially strong after you have sex, they are probably being caused by shame you feel about the sex you‘ve just had. And if you are invested in keeping this part of your life a secret, that’s going to make it more difficult to try to integrate your sexual feelings for someone into a more complete relationship with him.

If you want to do something about this, I would recommend that you try to talk with the guys you are dating BEFORE you have sex about the unpleasant feelings you tend to have afterwards. That may reduce some of the worry or dread that you may have about what will happen after you reach orgasm.

You are likely to find that the men you are dating have struggled with this same issue in their own ways. They may be able to offer help about how they have worked to resolve such difficulties, allowing you to develop some of the closeness you say you want even as you talk about how that closeness can be difficult at times.

We can agree with exactly two sentences of Heiss’ response: “The ‘awkward/suffocated/disgusted’ feelings you experience most likely stem from your own mixed feelings about being in a relationship with another man. If those feelings are especially strong after you have sex, they are probably being caused by shame you feel about the sex you‘ve just had.”

Shame is the correct response of a sinful man’s conscience toward God. Being “proud” about homosexual behavior offends the Creator while being contrite about any sin — sexual or otherwise — draws us closer to Him. (For more on the Bible and homosexuality, see Pittsburgh Theological Seminary professor Rob Gagnon’s website.) In that sense, this writer’s shame is a good thing and something that all (religious) homosexual advocates could use more of as they strive, with futility, to “please” God even as they rebel against His wonderful created order. — Peter LaBarbera

P.S. The Bible is an infinitely more reliable guide for this struggling soul than any pro-homosexuality website. But it must be read with the humble understanding that we are to conform to its truth, rather than pretend that its Author, a holy and all-powerful God, must conform to our thoughts and feelings.

This article was posted on Friday, February 16th, 2007 at 12:58 pm and is filed under A - What does the Bible say about homosexuality?, Mental Health, News, Physical Health. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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