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#7 - PARADOXES OF SAME-SEX ATTRACTION AND SEXUALITY

Updated: Dec 30, 2022

Summarily, in the October 20, 2022, blog, entitled “Homosexuality: Fixed Preference or Adjustment to Untoward Circumstance,” quotations were cited that supported the following generalizations. (Exceptions may be found in any case.)


1. From early childhood, most males are uniformly motivated to have their behavior conform to a standard of masculinity. Generally, homosexual men are drawn to men whom they perceive to be ideally masculine. The attributes they value and pursue are very dissimilar to those defining femininity.


2. It has been found that a high proportion of males who become homosexually inclined have suffered relational trauma in their early years through parental loss or some form of human relational bond injury or disruption. Subsequently, they fail to connect well with significant others, such as with their fathers and/or male peers. Additionally, there is often some form of self-rejection, feeling that they or aspects of their body are inferior, that something is lacking. They report feeling “different” and unable to connect well with their same-gender peers.


3. Relationally traumatized males become developmentally detoured in some measure from experiencing normal, gender-affirming male socialization.


4. Because of relational deficiencies, these men become “male-affect starved.” They are driven to seek the identity securing love of men which they did not adequately receive as infants and young children. They were not comfortably seated in the give and take of their gender role. They did not experience a healthy, sustained dose of chumship or “boy/boy brotherhood."


5. The drive to satisfy the unmet affectional needs of infancy and early childhood persists through succeeding stages of growth. Over time, relational deficiencies are dealt with erotically and romantically.


6. The erect penis, the phallus, symbolizes male potency, “the essence of masculinity,” the strength, courage, resilience, and other virtues that are desirable in mature manhood. It represents gender maturity, powers and competencies boys are to desire and attain.


7. Role-estranged males condition within themselves a homoerotic responsiveness through salving the discomfort of feeling inferior and apart through masturbation and fantasy. They distract themselves from the pain of identity and role estrangement through symbolic incorporation of male potency, by romancing the phallus. They prefer or feel required to employ this worshipful adulation of the symbol of masculinity rather than strive to bridge the gap between themselves and other idealized men socially.


8. Legitimate childhood identity and social/emotional requirements become sought, inappropriately and unsuccessfully, through ritualistic patterns of adult sexuality. Boys need to internalize a mature sense of masculinity as a foundation before they can desire intimacies with those of the opposite gender. The enduring core need of wounded, identity impaired men is the internalization of a valid inner sense of self, of being worthy, competent men. This is a developmentally based social, emotional, and relational need, not anything requiring same-sex sexuality.


9. Same-sex erotic behavior is a counterfeit, promising to meet needs for genuine masculine connection, which it can never fulfill.


10. The promiscuity so often reported by homosexuals speaks to the addictive nature of same-sex sexual behavior. Although the sexual acting out is typically seen as the problem, it is instead, only a symptom. It is a misguided adjustment to the inescapable urge to achieve psychosexual maturity. Like the acholic with his drink, the fix of a sexual encounter promises repair, an infusion of masculinity, but instead sustains the estrangement and sense of inferiority and incompletion.


I wish now to consider further this point that homosexual encounters are fueled more by emotional, social, and identity needs than sexuality per se.


Edward Sagarin wrote a book under the pen name of Donald Webster Cory that was destined to become a classic. It was entitled The Homosexual in America (1951), and therein he argued for the emancipation of homosexuals. These men’s numbers were legion, found everywhere, in all cultural and socioeconomic strata. They were sane, ordinary citizens who needed to be freed from intergenerational traditions of heterosexual abuse and oppression. Cory’s book, calling for gay men to respect themselves and leave the stifling closet of anonymity, earned his being recognized as “The Father” of the gay revolution. Also under his pen name, he prepared an essay entitled, “Homosexuality and the Mystique of the Gigantic Penis.” This paper, published in 1965, was included as a terminal essay in a book produced by prominent psychoanalyst, Albert Ellis, entitled: Homosexuality: Its Causes and Cure.

Cory considered Dr. Ellis’ observation that “male homosexuals are attracted by and aroused by other males who have large penises… Homosexual men are usually seeking males, and very masculine ones, at that. The ‘fairy’ or the ‘nellie’ gets spurned by most homosexuals, not only because of the social stigma attached to being seen with him, but because the gay guy is looking for a man, not for a woman. Wanting a man, he feels reinforced that he has found one if the symbols of manhood are pronounced, even if they are exaggerated.”[1]

In classified advertisements seeking homosexual partner hookups, specifications for respondents to be “straight-acting only” is not a repudiation of femininity. Rather, these parameters emphasize the desire for a companion who appears straight, like the “real” (heterosexual) men gays consciously and subconsciously value and wish to be like. They yearn for union with a man, to become one with the ideals they often evanescently project on strangers. The addictive pattern is cycled repeatedly. After their high of shared sexuality, reality returns, along with recognition that they had simply shared sensuality with one likely as wounded and needful as themselves.

As Cory, Sagarin, was strongly convinced that the compulsion for same-sex sexuality would remain with him and others like him until their last breath. Surely though, it is not sexual drives that primarily and persistently drive men to this physical intimacy. It is the requirement to achieve gender maturity, to become fully the men they were destined to be from birth. This is the urgency which relentlessly keeps pulling men back, back to others of their own gender, to those able to aid their realization of secure manhood. Unfortunately, efforts to connect with other men are frustrated when the identity need is eroticized. As has been noted, “The longest distance between two points is a shortcut.” An acorn, when properly nourished, is destined to become a mighty oak tree. And likewise, the teleological imperative for male children is to grow up and achieve psychosexual maturity. Well grown, boys become capable men, able to participate in the normal cycle of life and propagate those of the next generation.

In their landmark book, the “Bible” of the gay revolution, entitled After the Ball: How Americans will conquer its fear & hatred of Gays in the 90’s, Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen wrote many things for and about homosexuals. A remarkably candid text, it outlines a subtle strategy to craftily modify public attitudes toward homosexuals. Much of their plan hinged upon the use of media campaigns to constantly flood the airways and print with topics concerning homosexuality. This was to desensitize as many as possible to homosexual matters, to the point that being and doing gay would be seen as common, ho-hum issues of no consequence. This is a book concerning homosexuals that heterosexuals need to read as well.

Initially, the media campaign was to focus on homosexuals, their presence and being, while avoiding specifics regarding their sexual relating. They cautioned: “And when we say talk about homosexuality, we mean just that. In the early stages of the campaign, the public should not be shocked and repelled by premature exposure to homosexual behavior itself. Instead, the imagery of sex per se should be downplayed, and the issue of gay rights reduced, as far as possible, to an abstract social question.”[2]

Hunter and Madsen also acknowledged that “Relationships between gay men don’t usually last very long. Yet most gay men are genuinely preoccupied with their need to find a lover. In other words, everybody’s looking, but nobody’s finding. How to account for this paradox?”[3]

I believe it is paradoxical that unhappy (ego-dystonic), obligatory homosexuals view their attraction to other men as abnormal. They think it wrong to be drawn to idyllic specimens of manhood and fail to recognize that their attraction is an urgent call from the depths of being to health and psychosexual completion. Conversely, it is sad that so many activists, emotionally and relationally needful men, fight to have their homosexuality celebrated and accepted as no different than heterosexuality. Paradoxically, their desperate push for license to pursue varieties of same-sex sexuality promises a freedom which is further enslavement. Their compulsive symbolic rapport precludes and renders impossible the establishment of the very real personal growth through brotherly affection and affirmation these men need.

Charles Socarides was a famed pioneer in the provision of psychiatric care for homosexuals desiring change. He wrote, “We know that obligatory homosexuals are caught up in unconscious adaptations to early childhood abuse and neglect and that, with insight into their earliest beginnings, they can change.”[4] He was right in regarding homosexual behavior as being an adaptation. However, his strong commitment to orthodox psychoanalytic theory led him to believe that insight was sufficient to bring about change when it is not. Psychoanalysts remained hung up on believing gay men feared women and were driven to men because of their fear of women’s genitalia and heterosexuality. Further, while homosexuality appears to be an adaptation incident to early wounding, the issue should not be conceptualized as primarily sexual or concerning difficulties with those of the opposite sex. I believe psychoanalysts and early clinicians providing psychiatric care were blinded by the fact of their own heterosexual socialization and orientation. Their explanations were based on what they believed would discourage their erotic responsiveness to those of the opposite sex, if they were gay. (Parenthetically, Socarides attributed his son’s homosexual development to spending insufficient time with his son following his divorce.)

In my opinion, research psychologist, Elizabeth Moberly, never received the ongoing recognition she deserved for her contribution to understanding and resolving the conundrum of homosexuality. Although her professional interests have taken her in a different direction, her articulation of critical facets of the matter will stand as remarkable, even stellar. Moberly upended decades of analytic assumptions when she drew attention to two critical facets of the matter. Indeed, they changed the whole picture. In her three books, two published in 1983 and one in 1985, she helped gay men understand that their unique erotic interests were not primarily related to deficiencies or difficulties regarding the opposite sex, but instead concerned unmet same-sex identity and relational deficits. Further, the problem focused more on social and emotional issues rather than sexuality. She conceptualized the problem as handicaps of disordered childhood rather than in terms of errant adult behavior.[5]

Moberly’s interpretation of the homosexual complex was enthusiastically received by many men who were distraught over their enduring draws to other men. Her explanations accorded with what they felt within. Unfortunately, her insights and interpretations were misused by gays who tried to help others before they had gotten their own lives in order. Their blunders dampened the blossoming movement. Such misuse gave those comfortable with their homosexual lifestyle justification for moving to change America’s sexual mores and make gay okay. Of course, their efforts to normalize homosexuality, while perhaps well intentioned, diluted efforts to identify and provide the nurturance needed, as Sigmund Freud wrote to an inquiring mother of a homosexual son, to breathe life into the “blighted germs of heterosexual tendencies which are present in every homosexual.”[6]

In future blogs, I hope to further explore this topic and consider those healthful interventions that are needed to properly assist men whom Moberly characterized as emotional orphans, among those whom Christ defined as “fatherless,” deserving of special care.




[1] Cory, D. W., “Homosexuality and the Mystique of the Gigantic Penis,” in Ellis, A., Homosexuality: Its Causes and Cure, 1965, pp. 271-279. [2] Kirk, M., and Madsen, H., After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear & Hatred of Gays in the 90’s, 1989, p.178. [3] Ibid, p. 318, [4] Socarides, C., “How America Went Gay, [This article first appeared in America (November 18, 1995). [5] Moberly, E. R., Psychogenesis: The Early Development of Gender Identity,1983. Moberly, E. R., Homosexuality: A New Christian Ethic, 1983. Moberly, E. R., The Psychology of Self and Other, 1985. [6] Letter to an American mother from Sigmund Freud, 1935, Frontispiece, The Puzzle: Exploring the Evolutionary Puzzle of Male Homosexuality, Berman, L. A., 2003.

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