Today I had a new thought, a new realization. Our family has been given a wonderful gift, an incredible gift. The gift of the man of the house, the father and husband, being SSA.  Being SSA has many challenges and complications but at the same time parts of those, along with other things that go along with SSA, are gifts.

Will is learning how valuable and important touch is. As a society we have decided that men touching or being physically close is "gay". So men veer away for touching much at all. We have "man hugs". Many other cultures don't share this. SSA men NEED good healthy touch. As they get this good healthy touch their SSA attractions diminish. They don't go away. They will always think guys are cute, but so do I, so I don't see that as an issue. As these SSA men learn what they need and about healthy touch, they will in turn be able to share it with others.

Our children will have been raised learning the healthy touch isn't "gay", it's what men need. I do not believe that most men need as much touch as SSA men but I just have a feeling most need more than they are getting.

I am grateful for the gift of having an AMAZING SSA man that can teach his children and help others around us learn, that some of those "gay" qualities are ones that the world around us needs to have again as the norm.
-Azalea

Posted by Azalea Adamson On 1/28/2013 01:33:00 AM 8 comments

8 comments:

  1. I look forward to when I'm married and I have kids and being able to teach my sons that giving a decent hug is not "gay". I was looking back at an old blog post last night that I'd done over 2 years ago (http://wisepurpose.blogspot.com/2010/11/be-still-and-know.html) and noticed that I wanted to be held in the arms of the Savior. Is that gay? No. Then why is being held in the arms of other men such a big deal? Just thought I'd put that out there :)

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  2. These are wonderful thoughts Azalea. I am grateful that you have realized this blessing, and it reminds me of an incident that I'd like to share.

    Many years ago, when our son was an adolescent (he's now in his 20's, has served a mission, is married to a wonderful girl, and is in college following his dreams), we were in the hot tub outside one evening (just him, his dad, and I)when he started to talk about his weight (he was & still is a big guy) and he was pretty down on himself.

    I was quite careful not to bother him about his weight and usually did not bring up the subject, but since he seemed to be asking us for help and advice, and since I had been learning a lot about nutrition and was concentrating on managing my own weight, I was about to take the opportunity to share some of my knowledge about diet, etc. with my son and thought it was a good time to gently encourage him to eat more healthy, etc. when...

    I had not even opened my mouth when my husband reached out and scooped up his young son and kissed him on the check and gave him a big hug and looked him in the eyes and told him that he was fine just the way he was, and that he was a wonderful child of God and that it was all gonna be ok.

    What a wonderful blessing, Mr. IDM knew exactly what our son needed at that time, he just needed affirmation and acceptance and love. And, how grateful I am that my husband was not afraid to hug and kiss his son (for fear that it might seem 'gay'), and what an amazing lesson to me as well. I always get teary eyed when I think of the beauty of that moment, and I am so grateful that my husband was quick to do the right thing before I had the chance to do the wrong thing.

    BTW - our son, who was at that time growing out... eventually had a great growth spurt and grew up; he's now 6'7" - but no, he doesn't play basketball, or football.... he's an artist, a movie buff, a script writer, and (for the record), he's straight.

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  3. That's really sweet. Thank you for sharing Mrs.IDM.

    What wonderful sentiment Spencer. I think I'll keep that in my repertoire of thoughts.

    Thanks,
    Azalea

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  4. Do straight men who get healthy touch from women have their opposite sex attraction diminish? I don't think that the research bears out that gay men who healthily touch (do you mean touch that is non-sexual?) other gay men have their gayness diminish at all which makes sense since an orientation goes beyond the physical of touch, etc., to who someone is - who they want to be with in other ways as well. Perhaps the church is saying that but that is not a generally accepted theory.
    I can't imagine a straight man being able to regularly hug other women (non-sexually) because he needs that and having it be okay with his wife. It certainly wouldn't be for me.
    If a gay man wants to be held by other gay men, it's not because, I don't think, he wants a brotherly type hug or a fatherly type hug. Is it not because he is gay and his need is to touch other men? I'm not sure that gay men can completely separate the hugging, the cuddling, etc with other men from some form of sexuality. It isn't sex obviously but it is physical intimacy. Again, if a straight married man wanted to be held by other women, how would that be seen?
    It feels like there is a certain form of denial in saying it is okay for gay men to be held by other gay men - hugged, etc, and say that it is completely divorced from a deep seeded need in them to be with men. Perhaps gay men want to hug other gay men because they are deeply attracted to that. Otherwise, why wouldn't just hugging a straight man be as fulfilling?
    and it does seem awfully one-sided - you are, I imagine, not regularly hugging straight men to have your needs fulfilled, are you? It seems like your husband is getting his needs met partly from you and partly from other gay men. It doesn't seem to be about a fatherly or brotherly hug which I totally agree needs to happen more in this society, but rather a much deeper need to be hugged by other gay men and I understand not sexually. if your husband were partnered with another man,, would he have the deep need to hug women? just some thoughts.

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    1. Actually, I generally agree with you, if I am understanding your comments correctly. What I hear you saying is that sexual attraction doesn’t diminish with touch. Additionally that it is delusional to assume that it is OK for me as a gay man to get my needs met through physical intimacy with other men, or to assume that it is even possible, while still claiming to be faithful to my wife. I make the following statement putting aside gender as I don't think it matters to the discussion:

      First, it is possible for two people to share a mutual emotional need that is not sexual that can be satisfied by culturally acceptable forms of touching. Secondly, if there is a strong sexual attraction on either side, it is difficult if not impossible at times to separate out the sexual from the emotional.

      Attraction and emotional needs are complex things. There are people that I am attracted to because of their physical appearance but who I don’t like to be around. There are some that I am attracted to emotionally or intellectually that are not as physically appealing to me. Most people fall somewhere in between. My perception is also that there is some fluidity in this, and that attraction fluctuates to an extent depending on my emotional state.

      I also believe that a key purpose of the physical drives behind attraction, including the need for touch, are to help us get our needs met. Some of these needs are the need for acceptance, for affection, for pleasure, for connection, and for companionship. As a side note, the level to which touch factors into interpersonal relationships varies greatly by culture.

      Again, I believe the statements above are universal and not particular to any gender or sexual orientation. So now discussing those that are same gender attracted, early on I believed out of ignorance that my attractions were some type of condition that could be overcome, given the right medicine. I viewed them as a condition, not accepting or understanding how deeply they were entrenched in my being. It was suggested by some that healthy holding could be a useful tool in emotional healing. While I do believe that touch is important (it is one of the five suggested love languages), I lacked at the time the understanding that you have illustrated by your questions to me. I had to learn and gain this understanding that much of my desire “was because I was gay and [wanted] to be touched by [and to touch] other men,” quoting your words but changing “need” to “want” and adding a bit.

      But the most important distinction to make is that, putting aside the sexual aspects, I truly do want brotherly/fatherly touch from men, just as a straight man wants motherly/sisterly affection from women. Take a look at the following video. The section that illustrates my point starts at about 3:20. The gay man in this video talks about the different feelings of intimacy he feels towards men. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIQ-LcLWQm4

      Is there a difference for me when interacting with gay men as opposed to straight men? Yes.

      From straight men I more readily get a feeling of brotherly affection which is wonderful, but it can feel unfulling in that they are usually unable or unwilling to contribute emotionally to the friendship at the level that I need.

      Gay men, on the other hand, are fully able to contribute to the the relationship in the ways that I desire and need--and then some. If great care is not given to maintaining personal boundaries, brotherly affection and friendship can quickly get swallowed up in stronger desires.

      Is this any different than the interaction of straight men with women? From the discussions I have had with straight friends on the subject, I believe it is the same.

      Do I need close friendships with men? Yes. Do I need to be conscious of how intimate they become? Yes. Do I require sexual interaction with men? No.

      As a final note, these are all my own thoughts and not necessarily the teachings of the LDS church.

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  5. I was in a very similar situation to you, Azalea. My husband and I were married for 15 years, 6 children and I knew since the beginning that he had SSA.
    We have now been divorced for 6 years. Many reasons but mainly, to be honest, because he, as much as he loved me, felt he could no longer be married to me. Like you, he loved me more than anything and we were best friends and lovers.
    Fast forward six years, I am now re-married to a straight man and the difference is astounding. I too told myself when I was married to my gay husband that all marriages had problems and my second marriage certainly has its ups and downs. But it is nothing like my first marriage. Being married to a straight man completely changed my perspective on the difference between being married to a gay man vs. being married to a gay man. I can barely express it in words - with my gay husband I felt loved, with my straight husband I am loved in all ways - body, mind, spirit, soul. It is so hard to put into words.
    My divorce was very difficult and I wouldn't wish that on you or anyone. But on the other side of it now I see so clearly what I couldn't see before - my husband now truly is my soul mate.
    Azalea, I hope for your sake that your marriage does work but if it doesn't, please know that there is so much more out there for you, even what might seem the smallest thing of not having to think of SSA every day of your life or convince yourself every day that it is no different than struggles that straight people face.
    I hope I haven't offended. I wish freedom for you, Azalea and peace.
    God bless.

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    1. I'm glad that you've found such a wonderful relationship. I do feel like I love my wife completely, but of course I'm biased. I will say that while there are some perceived differences in our relationship because of my SSA, we feel very strongly that some of those differences are what have made our marriage work.

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  6. No offence felt, you were sharing your experience and sharing is good. I am glad that you found someone that you can feel the love from, that loves you body, mind, spirit and soul and is your soul mate.

    I had a straight boyfriend for several years when I was teenager. So though not married I know what it is to be loved by a straight guy body, mind, spirit, soul. As Will and I talked about this, we both feel very much that he loves me body, mind, spirit and soul and we very much feel that we are soul-mates. We have felt that since the very beginning.

    I am very much at peace in my marriage and though we have our struggles, SSA is not really one of them. It is an issue at times but I don't feel like it is really one of our struggles. We have enough other struggles in life that have nothing to do with SSA that the SSA issue just isn't big, at least where are marriage and our relationship is concerned.

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