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    Conversion

    I tried to get interested in the discussions of potential gay “conversion” at The Volokh Conspiracy and couldn’t. I find Eric’s comments on the topic fascinating, though:

    But there’s a real world out there, and when you’re young, hot and horny, and there are other people running around, there are naturally going to be occasions when one of them is naive, yet willing.

    Looking to be converted — to put it in Volokhian terms.

    Such types — apparently heterosexual, but what you might call “bi-curious” — used to regularly come on to me, and they’d scare the hell out of me, because I could not have handled the responsibility. Fortunately, I had a house full of openly gay men which I used to use as a “dumping ground” for the wannabe converts. All I needed to do was get them into the house, sneak out the back door, and drive away. The rest was not up to me.

    Eric’s right, though I think he may overestimate the naive part. A lot of us who are gay were once “straight” guys finding cagey ways to put ourselves in proximity with gay men who might put the moves on us–or not even necessarily put the moves on us, but connect somehow.

    This isn’t the “conversion” or “recruitment” scenario as envisioned by most social conservatives, which involves the seduction of a straight man who’s just kind of confused and horny by either a specific homo or the general normalization of homosexual behavior. Then, through some mysterious mechanism I’ve never seen explained, Straight Man is in danger of becoming addicted to the combination of instant gratification + lack of need for messy emotional entanglements and ruining his life, which result would presumably be all the more tragic because he’s not “really” a faggot.

    Do such things happen? Possibly. It definitely happens that gay men scam on hot straight guys a lot, and sometimes they score. But I find it hard to believe that seriously heterosexual men don’t pretty quickly find themselves thinking something like Blech–I just made it with a guy!…and not doing it again.

    Regarding the rest? Well, you can’t exactly “convert” them to something that’s already inside them, and seduction between adults never goes just one direction. For every caddish homo pestering a straight friend to give him a chance to demonstrate the joy of gay sex, there’s a “straight” man who’s driving a gay friend of his crazy by sending constant flirtatious signals.

    One last thing along those lines: we’re not just talking about “enjoyable” behavior. Figuring out that you like sleeping with people of the same sex is relatively easy. Coming to terms with the fact that you’re destined to mate with someone of the same sex is not so easy. Many, if not most, of us who are confirmed homosexuals went through a period of transition in which we called ourselves bisexual. I don’t deny that bisexuality exists, but “orientationally bisexual but behaviorally heterosexual” really is frequently code for “hasn’t figured it out yet.”

    5 Responses to “Conversion”

    1. Mark Alger says:

      Figuring out that you like sleeping with people of the same sex is relatively easy. Coming to terms with the fact that you’re destined to mate with someone of the same sex is not so easy.

      May seem a commonplace to you, but to a straight storyteller struggling with characters who insist they are gay, an invaluable insight. Thank you.

      M

    2. Have you been holding out on me, or what! So, these gay characters–are they cute? Do they ever find themselves in Tokyo with long, lonely stretches of time they don’t know what to do with? :)

      In all seriousness, I had what we shall euphemistically call “adjustment issues” when I came out. The sex part was acute. The first time my first boyfriend and I slept together, I spent the next day throwing up and taking multiple showers and crying all over the place trying to purge out of me whatever had made me do it and like it. But it was obviously something I needed to work through, so I worked through it.

      The relationship part was chronic. It took a lot longer to work out because I didn’t have any idea there was a problem. I treated my first boyfriend horribly–not by being mean to him, or anything, but by mouthing that I was in love with him while actually treating the relationship as expendable.

    3. Eric Scheie says:

      Excellent!

      The only thing I might add would be along the lines of male vanity. Some of these “guy flys” are massively insecure and want to be appreciated (without putting out, of course).

      There are also genuine social consequences for the crime of straight men having sex with gay men — if they are discovered. There’s a need by gay activists and others (including their ideological enemies) to label, and to “out.”

    4. Both good points. I’ve never quite understood that first phenomenon, maybe because there’s something different about approaching it from my opposing perspective. Which is to say, I find it flattering to have women tell me I’m sexy, but it doesn’t make me feel revved-up and hot in that fundamental way.

      The insistence on labeling I don’t really get, either. It doesn’t much exist here in Japan, BTW, at least not politically. I’ve had quite a few friends who have been strung along by on-again-off-again boyfriends only to be ditched when they decide to get married, but that’s an age-old pitfall.

    5. Mark Alger says:

      Sean;

      Of course they’re cute.

      Emilie is a Lesser elf (think Keebler bakers), Marta is a rail-thin Dutch super-executive. They’ve worked together as corporate troubleshooters for about ten years and have been lovers for about eight.

      Witchlet is a techno-mage gypsy with soulful eyes and waist-length hair. Rowan Leaf is the Crown Princess of Faerie — a High Elf — and very, very butch. They were roommates at college and discovered each other and their sexuality together.

      Georges is a French Canadian working as a corporate assassin. Muscles. Charmingly smashed-in nose. Highly intelligent and cultured. (Reads the classics in the original languages.) Kind and gentle to those he cares about and utterly ruthless toward enemies.

      Alger is a big tease. ::grin::

      M

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