The occasional snippets of my wondering mind.
motivated by values. distracted by dreams.
hi. well, my name is andy. i'm 44 years young and over these years i have developed quite an eclectic, yet rooted approach to life.
eclectic in that i am always in search of new ideas, perspectives and ways of approaching this complex world.
rooted in that for me to take any of these new ideas seriously, they have to have certain criteria in common. in short, i try to take control of my mind and not the other way round (harder than it sounds) and try to infuse my life and thinking with the precepts put forward in the buddhist dhamma.
the main areas of interest for me are:-
buddhism, psychology, self-improvement, history, simplicity & internationalism.
i try to spend some of time:-
walking, jogging, meditating, cooking, reading
and i am, in brief:-
single, celibate, intellectual, green, a window cleaner & am to begin an open university course in the spring - the arts, past and present. this being the first module towards an open degree in the humnaities.
thanks for visiting and taking time to read a little about me. please do say hi and i will be happy to extend you the same courtesy.
Why am I celibate?
As a traveller of the buddhist path, I have found great difficulty in reconciling my physical pleasure through sex (with another and/or alone) with my developing understanding of the dhamma and attachment. It also presented me with problems around whether I was really showing true compassion towards a partner by having sex with him.
Having spent the last few days on a kind ‘home retreat’, I have been clarifying ‘where I am’ now and why I am there. One of the main facets of my current lifestyle is the fact that I am celibate and having shared the following on another forum, I felt that different parts of the following may be of some help to others in some way.
Why am i celibate?
Well, the easy answer is that I want to deepen my practice of the dhamma. This is very true, but as most Buddhists will know, I had to arrive at the decision through honest appraisal.
Well, the journey began some 23 years ago, when, aged 21, I was raped by another guy. Now, I want to be clear that this DID NOT in anyway ‘lead’ to me being gay. I was at a party with my boyfriend, so was already fully aware of who I was. We argued and so he stormed off home and I spent the night at the hosts house, on the sofa.
In the middle of the night, he appeared in the dark and ‘did the deed’. Now it may sound pretty sad that a 21 year old guy was unable to stop this from happening. He wasn’t violent. Well, these days, thankfully, I think the acceptance and awareness of, not just the sexuality spectrum, but also young people have of themselves and what acceptable behaviour and boundaries are, has moved on massively since the early 80’s, which is when this happened. Back then, I had no idea what the ‘rules’ were for gay men. What was acceptable or not, etc, etc. All I had to go on were the false perceptions of society at large. Back then this was full of stereotypes and misinformation.
Anyway, I just froze. I didn’t even acknowledge that what had happened was rape for about 15 years. I broke up with my boyfriend, moved and went back into the closet for about 3 years. when I did once again emerge and started living my ‘gay life’, I was, little did I know, completed messed up about my identity.
At 21, I hadn’t really developed any kind of physical sexual fantasies. I don’t think this comes naturally to gay men (can’t speak for anyone else). They only develop, I think, through experiences, viewing porn, etc. This is perhaps why there tends to be a relatively high number of short lived younger/older relationships between gay men. The younger guys seeking ‘experiences’.
I think that gay guys are naturally of a certain temperement (masculine, feminine or versatile) but as to what that translates into physically is learnt.
Well, I now realise that my temperemant is of a more gentle, feminine hue and this has, indeed, been pointed out to me by a few true friends who have glimpsed the true person.
I however, thanks to the rape, developed an aversion to expressing this in any way intimately. The idea of being vulnerable to another guy was a big no-no, and as such I began to develop a more masculine persona, especially sexually.
I’ve always noticed that I need to create a kind of narrative in my head to have sex. It’s like I need a context to put it in, whereas I have also noticed that the majority of guys (at least those I have been with) only need to be touched to get hard. I always just thought that this was just part of ‘who I was’. now I think I can see the ‘why’ behind it.
Anyway, this ‘narrative’, even though it was only going on in my head, wasn’t always pleasant. Think along the lines of ‘take that’ rather than ‘I love you’. Because, as I now know, I was playing a part and not really being myself, this was the only way I could ‘get it up’.
I have never managed to overcome this and it is so engrained in my psyche that my only ‘true love’ (back in the late 90’s) ended up with a sexless relationship for over a year before it was just not enough for my partner. You see, because I loved him, I couldn’t reconcile my thoughts (however private) during sex with my true emotions about him.
So this, at last, brings me to my decision to be celibate.
Having experienced enough of the dhamma for myself to know it’s truth, for me, I find it impossible to entertain the idea of having sex with anyone, since the kamma I would be creating would be so intensely bad (through my thoughts, which is as potent a creator of kamma as any action or speech) that I couldn’t do it. The same holds true of any fantasyland I might go to to masturbate, so, that too must go.
Others have suggested that I could, over time, come to accept my more receptive nature and learn to find pleasure in letting the other guy take the more dominent role.
I have, however, caught a glimpse of how liberating it is without any attachment to sex, so I really don’t see that as an option worth pursuing. Why would I want to spend years, perhaps including long therapy sessions, changing one kind of attachment (in the Buddhist sense) for another when, in the end, I would still be left with a carnal/spiritual dilemma.
Phew…. That became quite an epic. Sorry I went on so long and if you have reached this far. It feels really good to have given all that some air, so thanks for reading it.