See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Why do 'straight' men go to parks?



Is that dad's picture in the paper?
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So anyway, why do 'straight' men engage in gay sex?  It's a controversial question, and a huge mystery to every wife, son or daughter, friend, parishioner, and anyone else who has ever discovered that someone they thought they knew, sometimes even their significant other - the straight guy - engaged in anonymous gay sex in public parks, rest stop toilet facilities, the men's room at the airport, or even in the office building stairwell downtown.
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Loneliness or gayness?
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A friend asked me that question.  I'm no expert - no psychiatrist or therapist - but I have to say I think the activity is often more about loneliness and maybe a sense of powerlessness than anything else.  Of course it is also very real sexual temptation, possibly overwhelming - which is what real therapists like to call sexual addiction. For some guys, sex outdoors is like peeing out doors - it's sort of rebellious. 
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That said - outdoor sex has always been part of homosexual 'underground' culture, a carry over from the old days of never speaking the word - I've seen Elizabethan illuminations illustrating outdoor homosexual encounters.  I think an element of gay culture just enjoys the adventure, the stalking, hunting-gathering dimension of the process.  I also think an element of gay culture sees it as a way - consciously or unconsciously - to exploit closeted gay men and their otherwise straight counterparts troubled by homosexual temptation.  Today this is an unpopular thing to suggest and activists would say it is a lie - but I think many out front gay types really enjoy this type of anonymous encounter such cruising areas enable.  
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To be sure the behavior is a nuisance crime, and disgusting to encounter, and unthinkable for decent people.  It happens however.  I seriously doubt that men like the local priest recently in the news, is a predator.  I doubt these types would ever be interested in minors or kids.  I think more often than not these guys are simply seeking same sex intimacy, along with a sort of 'hands on' affirmation of their manhood and person - strange as that may sound.  That doesn't discount a sort of obsessive-compulsive pull of sexual temptation and taking advantage of an opportune location and encounter however.  In other words, I think in general it is a sin of weakness rather than malice.  We need to remember an otherwise good man, especially one who is fiercely battling temptation can fall in an instant. 
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It goes with out saying such behavior is sinful and when performed in public, it not only offends moral sensibilities, it is also a civil offense.  Yep, it is deviant behavior.  I'm not approving it or making excuses for it - just offering some possible insight on an otherwise perplexing problem.
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I don't know any way out of this type of thing except by conversion, prayer, the sacraments, and perserverance.  Therapy can help, especially to understand what emotional problem underlies the acting out - but I believe in free will - with God anything is possible.

24 comments:

  1. Interesting post.

    When I taught at a comprehensive school in London, I gathered from a Turkish teacher that in Turkey, married men would engage in homosexual activity when they felt like it. This was considered 'normal'.

    Normal perhaps. Immoral definitely.

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  2. I have no knowledge or experience of this but certainly the secular world that we have been living in for the past 40+ years where entertainment and media promote "anything goes" surely has much to do with it.

    That coupled with families that have been pulverized to a point not recognizable: Open marriages, serial marriages, living together outside of marriage, fatherless families, abusive boyfriends beating the crap out of children, etc.

    Some men are looking for love and affection and they haven't found it, even in their "marriage." So they are willing to experiment with sex with another man to see if that will work.

    The Communicable Disease Center in Atlanta doesn't use the word "homosexual" any more in their analyses and reports. They use the term "Men having sex with men", MSM, and that might be once, occasionally, or exclusively.

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  3. Great post, Mr. Terry!
    This is a most complex situation...
    I'm afraid the "contraceptive mentality" has a role to play in the sheer magnitude of this problem; in other words, sexual gratification is something that is separated from conjugal love that is open to life.
    The whole area of "feminism" (not the authentic rights of women as upheld by the Church), but as this crazy dichotomy between men and women that causes men to feel inadequate and somehow inferior might, just might be some kind of catalyst for seeking "anonymous" and clandestine encounters where the "battle of sexes" is not present; I don't know...this whole thing is completely alien to me, personally...I have dealt with it somewhat in confession and spiritual direction and there is no real love between anyone, it's just pure physical pleasure and release...the anonymity of it all is just beyond my comprehension;
    nevertheless;
    there is a definite sense of wanting to "connect" with someone; wanting the physical encounter to "be more than it can really be"...
    immature, addictive and just plain immoral...yes.
    But somehow, the "human connection" is being sought here because it is not available in another venue; sad and something to take account of...when people "feel loved", they will not seek out these kind of sexual encounters.

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  4. “…The whole area of "feminism" (not the authentic rights of women as upheld by the Church)…”

    Our Priests need to stop being afraid of girls.

    Whoever heard of the ‘authentic rights of women as upheld by the Church’ before feminism raised its ugly head? The Traditional Sermons of Priests don’t stutter or choke on the words ‘Women, be submissive to your husbands in all things.”

    Each and every modernist I have ever heard gets the vapors just thinking about those words.

    We know from traditional Church teachings the stories of Ruth, and Esther, and Judith.

    Judith cut the head off King Holofernes; her name by the way means “Lady Jew” or “Jewish woman”.

    Matilda of Canossa:
    Her body now lies in St. Peter's Basilica – she is one of only three women entombed in the Vatican, and she was the first non-Pope/non-Saint person of any gender to be interred there.

    Properly stated, women have had a strong place in History. There is no reason to apologize for their position as companions to and submissive to men.

    That’s the way God made it.

    This post contains the results of many problems combined causing this and several other problems.

    I hope to sit on the sidelines and see how your readers respond.

    *

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  5. Calm down, Pablo.
    I'm absolutely in line with you and the teachings of the Church.
    I was speaking of "false feminism" which basically "castrates" males and makes them feel inferior and like little boys.
    So, we're on the same page, bro.
    Really.

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  6. And believe me, I'm not "afraid of girls"...
    I grew up in a family of "mulier fortis"...
    and respect women in every way, shape or form...
    and do not think they should "take the place of men".
    So, please calm down, and read my post over again.
    Sheesh!

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  7. NP said, "But somehow, the 'human connection' is being sought here because it is not available in another venue; sad and something to take account of...when people 'feel loved', they will not seek out these kind of sexual encounters." good insight and i think that same unfulfilled desire is what is fueling the political will for state recognition of same-sex marriage. somehow if it gets society's seal-of-approval, those seeking the fulfillment of same-sex desires need not hide or seek to have them fulfilled in deviant ways. that's the mindset, i believe, behind the gay activists, conscious or unconscious. same-sex attraction in and of itself is not wrong. i believe it's a legitimate, wholesome need from our childhood to identify with the same-gendered parent and same-sex peers. when that legitimate need for same-sex affirmation and affection is not fulfilled, it gets sexualized in puberty and one continues to seek that fulfillment ... often in illegitimate ways. it's a powerful drive. prayers for all those suffering in their brokenness.

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  8. Thanks DB.
    I'm just trying to make some kind of "connection" between what is deviant behavior (according to Catholic teaching) and the real life experience of so many who are "lost" and trying to find their way.
    Same sex coupling can never be the way to holiness nor to true human fulfillment; but we have to understand the nature of our human longings...so much abuse, neglect and just plain wrong behavior contributes to all of this confusion.
    We have to be willing to say with confidence that the Church's teachings are true; human failing is inevitable, yet it is to be redeemed by the Blood of Jesus, offered in His Sacraments; with compassion and correct teaching.
    Otherwise.
    We're just plain Calvinists.

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  9. Anonymous4:12 PM

    Forgive me for posting anonymously, Terry, and know that I'm an everyday reader of your blog and an often commenter. But for this post I just had to be anonymous. (You may be able to figure out who I am from your site meter to see that I am real and honest.)

    I used to have a very, very close gay man as a friend, and he had a boyfriend for many years. Guess where they met? Cruising the public bathrooms at the mall.

    Even though they were in a "committed" relationship, my friend would confess to me that he would cruise parks to pick up men for anonymous sex. I didn't believe him. So one day he took me along and I crouched down low in the backseat. Sure enough, about ten minutes after he parked at the "known" location at a certain park, two guys approached the car, which had headlights lit even though it was still light out. Nothing happened, of course, because I was there, but I can tell you I was stunned at how fast it all happened and how available these encounters were.

    My gay friend liked women and was even married to one for a time. I know he was mostly ashamed of his homosexuality, especially since he was Catholic. I often wondered about why he was doing what he did. (And note, he was doing this while he was married, too.) I came up with two theories:

    1. There were no hassles with anonymous sex like he had with his wife. She was demanding in every way and he resented it, even while he claimed to love her deeply. He always felt he had to have sex to keep her happy or do something for her or buy something for her if they weren't having enough sex for her taste or to her exact liking. Is this feminisim gone awry? I don't know. But it seems like a "demanding" woman presented a great obstacle to my friend. He was likely a person who could have totally related to the Catholic concept of a chaste marriage and made that work, but it takes two to make that happen.

    2. My friend was sexually abused by a priest when he was a teen. While this experience can't be simplified, I do believe that the secretiveness that comes with such a situation conditions a person to want more of the same, the thrill and furtiveness of it all. (It's just like any first/initial sexual experiences, we take them to heart and learn how to function sexually from them, even if they are incredibly dysfunctional, abusive, or immoral "lessons.") So since my friend's first sexual stirrings and awakenings were tied to secretiveness and chance, I believe he continued to search for similar encounters in his adult life.

    Then again, maybe all he really wanted was to "get off." I think there is value in trying to understand this behavior, but when it comes down to it, it's just plain sin.

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  10. Anonymous: You have given a very clear story of what I was trying to communicate.
    So sorry, so sad.
    The conflicted reality of these kinds of experiences (secretive homo-sex; attempted marriage) situations are not so uncommon, I'm afraid.
    Thank you for making this known.
    Prayers for all involved.
    The sexual lives of many are covered over in secrecy, shame and downright horribleness.
    Jesus ultimately makes it right; through repentance, conversion and reparation.
    We need to be in awe in the way the Lord makes things right; He is the Lord.

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  11. My apologies Padre Nazareth Priest if I was a bit rough.

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  12. Pablo: You're a great guy.
    Prayers and blessing! FrJM

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  13. Then you have this articlepublished by KSL over the weekend which states that 44 percent of Utahns believe someone with homosexual tendencies can be "changed.."

    http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=13177966


    I've seen some of their attempts to 'reprogram'..it is NOT nice...

    Sara

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  14. Mr. Terry:
    Once again you hit the "nail on the head".
    So much confusion; so much sorrow; so much alienation.
    My heart is so heavy...so much longing for people to feel love, to be loved, and anonymous sex is not the answer.
    I'm so sad.
    It's just this sick culture we live in; men and women feel so absolutely alienated and unloved.
    I've held in my arms young men who just wanted someone to love them...not sexually; just as being "who they are"...as sons...as beloved children of the Father.
    And so many seek this out in this kind of clandestine activity; so many become unwed fathers seeking the love they were deprived of in their families; so many are taken advantage of by priests, teachers, whomever who would be kind, loving and affectionate...
    in the wrong ways, unfortunately.
    It's just so sick, sad and absolutely preventable.
    Mothers and fathers: love your sons, especially. Let them know you love them physically, emotionally, spiritually...hug them, love them, let them know you want them, care for them, have them as the "apple of your eye".
    Really.
    So many young men are destined to this kind of horrid enactment of "deprivation" and lack of love if they do not really feel loved.
    I'm sorry, but it's a fact.

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  15. Anonymous9:02 PM

    And nazareth priest, as someone who wasted many years addicted to "cruising" I can assure all of your readers, you hit the nail on the head.

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  16. Thank you, Anonymous.
    That took a lot of courage to say this.
    And I commend you for it.
    Jesus just wants us to love and be loved; not be to taken advantage of and abused.
    Love...yes.
    Abuse...no.

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  17. I'm sorry. But I have to say one more thing.
    This whole issue just makes me sorrowful unto death, so to speak.I'm crying as I write.
    This is so absolutely pitiful and degrading...how have we, as a community of Christians, allowed this kind of thing to happen?
    Where men are degrading themselves to this kind of activity?
    It doesn't happen in just a vacuum, folks.
    There is a definite lack of love, of communion, of connection...why?
    Why does this happen?
    It's so damned easy to accuse the "homos" of this; but where are the wives, the mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters in all of this?
    Do you think this happens because of just lust?
    Well, the studies on this say, "no".
    It is because of all kinds of lack of love, affirmation and just human kindness that makes this kind of aberrant behavior so enticing.
    So...maybe an examination of conscience is in order for the "normal folks"...have I been overly negative, disregarding, lacking in affirmation to someone?
    For spouses: have I been overly critical, lacking in compassion, withholding affection because of my grievances, rather than addressing them directly? For parents: have I been requiring certain behaviors, achievements, or otherwise lacking in affirmation because I don't feel my son is adequate in some way or another?
    Maybe this kind of examine might help to stem the tide of the "anonymous sexual encounters" in the park.
    Just sayin'
    Be careful about what you blame and who you blame...you might be the one who is the cause of this man or young man to "cruise"...

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  18. Are you more outraged by the fact that married men meet other men for anonymous sex or that married people do?

    The only person who partakes of same sex acts who can change and only be sexual with opposite sex people are bi-sexual.

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  19. Charlene,
    I completely disagree with that last statement.

    Sexuality is much more complicated that putting it into little definition boxes like that.

    Trust me, I would know personally.

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  20. Charlotte is correct.

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  21. Original Sin has caused all the illness and suffering in the world.

    God's grace can cure all that is caused by Original Sin.

    There is a demon of homosexuality.

    Here is assigned by Satan and given much power in order that he helps cause the downfall of many souls.

    We need to look not only with science, (which actually boils down to a law of averages), but to the spiritual nature of things.

    Each demon is assigned a different task.

    Those people that meet together against God and His Christ, use fallen Priests to provide consecrated Hosts that they may summon these demons. The demons are given the tasks these Lodges want done in order to extend the kingdom of Satan. That work always entails smashing Catholics. The demon of homosexuality seems to be one of their favorites.

    Diabolical disorientation happens to people who would otherwise not have done things like meet in parks, or drive aimlessly at night, and so on. They have been chosen by evil to be victims.

    There are many people that have much pleasure and contentment being homosexual. None the less, they are victims of Satan.

    If you think men meeting in parks and parking lots is a great amount of people, how about having women weigh in on why they go have sex with someone, then drive home wondering, "Why did I do that?" This is another form of diabolical disorientation that is occurring.

    We used to say the Saint Michael prayer at the end of Mass before Vatican II stopped that practice.

    When we stopped imploring his help, all Hell broke loose.

    *

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  22. Pablo: Hell is more responsible for all this craziness than any psychologist could ever sort out.
    I say it again, and again...deprivation neurosis...the lack of love between sons and fathers/mothers/peers is the source of this shit, folks.
    And the demon "homosex" wants y'all to blame genetics.
    Well, just let me tell you.
    If you love your sons, brothers and husbands as the Lord intends you, won't have so much of this "backyard" homosex.
    I mean it.
    Love them properly.
    And teach them well.
    The effects of original sin are always amongst us; but this pandemic of "outdoor sex" with anonymous males is just outta control; and it's because we don't love our youngin's the way we should.
    I mean it.

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  23. What I am posting may not be suitable for tender ears/ eyes...use personal discretion...


    Not being a psychologist bit around a bit in the ways of the world...but when I was in the military there were LOTS of people who engaged in anonynmous "sex" if you will call it, with both sexes, even though they were married...one thing I heard alot is that oral sex is not "real" sex ie intercourse --the Bill Clinton defense--yeah it doesn't matter, guy or gal, you "get off" and it is a tension/frustation relief, much like masturbation I guess...

    Another--and this is even worse I think--is "this is JUST SEX..no emotion involved..but I MAKE LOVE to my wife/husband....the first thing is a frustration/tension release...again "getting off"...these folks had no problem paying hefty sums of money to prostitutes...they don'tconsidere these affairs or cheating because there is no emotion going..it is just a business transaction...

    I would think it would make you rsoul grow cold...

    Sara

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  24. God has realized that man is sinful by nature.

    Christ told Saint Methilde it took everything from the Blessed Trinity in an attempt to change man's heart.

    Jesus wept at Jerusalem because the leaders of the Temple had abandoned the Faith and became sinful.

    Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus because man chooses sin. That Lazarus was several days dead in the tomb is an example to us of how we are dead in mortal sin, yet Christ will raise us if we but call upon Him.

    God realizes we are sinful but He is satisfied with our hearts given to Him.

    He will give us the graces necessary through the Dispenser of Divine graces if we but ask.

    Satan and his demons help man in his sin.

    Satan’s lament is that no one realizes just how high he had gotten before he fell.

    It drives him crazy to think God, who lowered Himself to become a man, could put and end to his magnificence, to his earthly kingdom that was given to him when he lost Heaven.

    In that crazed state, he goes about like a lion, seeking all those he might devour.

    Man is not capable of having invented homosexuality.

    It is a device of Satan; the brutality and the evil of sodomy and other homosexual acts causes the angels of Heaven to cry out for revenge.

    Any man or woman that says it is their free will to be homosexual is completely ignorant of Satan’s ability as an Archangel, the Father of Lies.

    It is more proper for these people to say “I have abandoned all hope, and have surrendered my free will to Satan.”

    Diabolical disorientation is another way to spell homosexual.

    Let us look to the Saints for their words on this subject in the next comments.

    *

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