Friday, November 30, 2007

Mankind Project's New Warrior Adventure: The Best Program for all Men!

Lately the New Warrior Adventure--sponsored by the Mankind Project (MKP)--has been getting some negative press. The false belief that is being written is that it promotes reparative therapy and helps gay men turn straight. This is the promise given by some reparative therapy groups and therapists. However, this is completely untrue. The MKP teaches men how to be and live as better men--whatever their sexual and romantic orientation is.

I should know. I was initiated through the MKP in 1999 and am proud of it. I have referred hundreds of men through my book, 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do To Find Real Love, in which I talk throughout the book of my experiences in MKP and how it helped me and healed me. I have recommended to my male clients that they go and they have returned with nothing more than positive results.
The New Warrior Training Adventure provided me with a group of men, mostly straight, whose mission in life is to help men become better and more mature. Still, I went to this workshop not knowing what to expect—and I’m glad I didn’t. That is exactly what made it so powerful for me. This workshop changed my life, liberated me as a man among men, and opened up new possibilities for me.

Here I was, able to have straight men love me, hold me, and help me feel part of the male culture. It is what I’d wanted and waited for all my life. It helped me heal some work I needed to bond and attach reciprocally with other men.

I can hear a reparative therapist right now saying, “See, it was too late. If Joe had had this experience earlier in life, he wouldn’t have turned out gay.” The truth is that as children, the other men attending also had suffered at the hands of male peers, and most were straight.

To believe that mistreatment makes you gay, you would have to go back and look for the reasons why—first assuming that there’s something wrong with being gay. When heterosexual males suffer mistreatment, no one bothers trying to establish through research that it made them straight.

When I was ten, I went on a camping trip with my uncle and his two sons on a sort of Boy Scout trip with boys and their fathers. I recall dreading it, since I knew this uncle didn’t like me and disapproved of my “sissy” behavior. I remember him talking to my mother and the other adults about me, and most of them in fact agreeing with him!

My own family referred to me as a “mama’s boy.” So to please my mother and those trying to “make a man out of me,” I went on this trip, which turned out to be one of the worst experiences of my life. For the canoeing part of the trip, everyone was paired up except me.

Somehow I was separated from my uncle’s boys and got partnered with Uncle Alvin himself.
I recall both of us in life jackets, and feeling the boat tip one way and then the other as my uncle shifted in his seat behind me as he paddled. Being that I was a skinny ten year old and he weighed at least 300 pounds, my uncle’s weight rocked the canoe. I became frightened. Most of the time, I couldn’t see the bottom of the lake. We were alone, with no other canoes in sight.
Sure enough, he leaned too far to one side and we tipped over.

I went under. When I surfaced with the help of the life jacket, I saw the canoe overturned and my uncle trying to right it. I knew we were in deep water, since I couldn’t touch the lake bottom, and I was afraid I would drown. My uncle looked afraid and not in control, which only scared me more. The next thing I recall is both of us back in the canoe, and my uncle yelling at me because I was crying from being scared. For what seemed like hours, he said cutting things such as, “You will never amount to anything. You are a sissy! All you like to do is play house and play with dolls! You are a crybaby, a mama’s boy!” He shouted these patronizing, contemptuous epithets at me, over and over.

As a child you believe what adults say. To a child, adults are always right; so the child makes himself wrong.If the child is right, then the adults in charge must be wrong—and to a preadolescent, that is too overwhelming. So the child unconsciously agrees to be wrong in order to get along with the adults. When we arrived back on land, I was too humiliated to tell a soul about Alvin’s barrage of verbal and emotional abuse. It was as if he’d said aloud what I knew others thought about me—and, in fact—what I felt and believed about myself. I had been crying hard, and my cousin, Alvin’s son, still tells me how shaken I looked when we returned. All I wanted was to get away from him and everyone else.

For years afterward, this incident was the topic of much of my own therapy. Initially, therapists thought this had contributed to my homosexuality—that Alvin’s verbal abuse contributed to and cemented the homosexual identity taking place during my early years.

Today, reparative therapists (and even some other professionals) would say that all of this trauma made me gay; but this would mean that you can shape sexual and romantic orientation. But it doesn’t, because this type of mistreatment happens to any male who doesn’t fit the image of how men should look and act; it doesn’t shape his sexual and romantic orientation.

The fact is, gays and lesbians who raise their own (or adopted) children almost invariably have sons and daughters who grow up straight. Growing up in gay or straight families doesn’t impact children’s sexual orientation either way—but mistreating a gay or effeminate little boy certainly creates low self-esteem, which makes him feel less than a man. Again, this is separate from one’s sexual interests. What makes things worse for gay men is the covert cultural sexual abuse that allows men to be violent to gay males as if we were less than human.

Trying to heal that abuse from my uncle and male peers in therapy did not make me straight. But it did help me understand how those incidents traumatized my masculinity, not my sexual orientation; these are two related but separate entities.

I highly recommend all men who feel they want to improve their lives to attend the New Warrior Adventure and see for themselves the hope, the help and the love that these men who--other than the leaders--volunteer their time and efforts to make these workshops happen--

Monday, November 26, 2007

Over one-third of former American football players had sexual relations with men, study says

A new scientific study performed by Dr. Anderson in the UK of former high-school American Football players has found that more than a third said they had had sexual relations with other men.

In his study of homosexuality among sportsmen in the US, sociologist Dr Eric Anderson found that 19 in a sample of 47 had taken part in acts intended to sexually arouse other men, ranging from kissing to mutual masturbation and oral sex.

The 47 men, aged 18-23, were all American Football players who previously played at the high school (secondary school) level but had failed to be picked for their university’s team and were now cheerleaders instead. They were at various universities from the American south, Mid-West, west and north west.

Dr Anderson, now of the University of Bath, UK, said the study showed that society’s increasing open-mindedness about homosexuality and decreasing stigma concerning sexual activity with other men had allowed sportsmen to speak more openly about these sexual activities. He found that this sex came in the form of two men and one woman, as well as just two men alone. He said that the sexual acts described differed from acts of ‘hazing’ or team-bonding that often include pretend-homosexual acts.

"These findings differ from previous research on North American men who have sex with men, in several ways. First, previous research describes heterosexual men in heterogeneous group sex as men symbolically engaging in sexual practices with other men. However, I find informants actually engage in sexual activity with other men. But this does not mean that they are gay.

“Second, my informants do not feel that their same-sex sex jeopardizes their socially perceived heterosexual identities, at least within the cheerleading culture. In other words, having gay sex does not automatically make them gay in masculine peer culture.”

Dr Anderson, of the University’s Department of Education, said the same situation was also true for the UK.

“Men have traditionally been reluctant to do anything associated with homosexuality because they feared being perceived gay,” he said. “There has been pressure on them to conform to the notion that being male is about having traditionally masculine traits, in terms of dress, behaviours and sexual activities. “But as more men are open about their varieties of sexuality, it becomes less stigmatized to be gay or to have sex with men. It is increasingly not a problem to act in otherwise non-traditional ways.

“I see this in other areas of my research too, including how men behave in straight nightclubs, where I find that university-aged men dance as much with each other than with women, and how heterosexual men are increasingly free to wear clothing styles or colours that once were taboo for them."
The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. In 15 subject areas the University of Bath is rated in the top ten in the country.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Website for Men on the Down Low:

In the Detroit Free Press on October 18, 2007 an article appeared with the heading:

THERAPY ON THE WEB: Secret sex lives addressed online
Web site created for down low culture

The group's interactive Web site -- -- is designed to let people seeking help, or their loved ones, get therapy over the phone or online, via chat rooms and e-mail.

Welcome to Catharsis Online

Their mission is:

To help persons overcome that which holds them in psychological pain and retards
personal growth. Our specific purpose is to address the needs of those who
cannot reveal their true sexual identity – i.e., those living on the “Down

Additionally and importantly, we believe that loved ones of those
living on the “Down Low”, or those who may suspect their loved ones have
sexuality identity issues and may be hiding them deserve the same access to our
services. Their suffering and confusion is deserving of acknowledgement,
clarification and resolution – a voice.

While we recognize that within any
normal and healthy life emotional ebbs and flows are experienced and hopefully
put in to proper perspective, it is certain change that are deeply conflicting
with cultural morals that is our main area of focus: sexual confusion, self
esteem and/or image issues, unresolved grief, guilt, depression, or anxiety
associated with questions of sexual identity.

This might be a good resource for those who want to remain confidential and explore this side of themselves with healthy anonymous discussions.

Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited

This article, Straight, Gay or Lying was in the New York Times in July, 2005. I disagree with the experts who say bisexuality does not exist. I think it does. And as you can see from this blog I believe that more straight men engage in sex with other men that are bisexual. However, for discussion I think it is important to have articles like these that explore the whole concept from straight to gay and everything in between.

Some people are attracted to women; some are attracted to men. And some, if
Sigmund Freud, Dr. Alfred Kinsey and millions of self-described bisexuals are to
be believed, are drawn to both sexes.

But a new study casts doubt on whether true bisexuality exists, at least in

The study, by a team of psychologists in Chicago and Toronto, lends
support to those who have long been skeptical that bisexuality is a distinct and
stable sexual orientation.

People who claim bisexuality, according to these critics, are usually
homosexual, but are ambivalent about their homosexuality or simply closeted.
"You're either gay, straight or lying," as some gay men have put it.

In the new study, a team of psychologists directly measured genital
arousal patterns in response to images of men and women. The psychologists found
that men who identified themselves as bisexual were in fact exclusively aroused
by either one sex or the other, usually by other men.

And perhaps this observation is the most poignant of all regarding straight men who have sex with men who are not gay or bisexual:
"There's a whole lot of movement and flexibility," Dr. Diamond added. "The fact
is, we have very little research in this area, and a lot to learn."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Joe Kort on Air America--The Lionel Show

I was interviewed by the Lionel Show on Air America in October, 2007 about Larry Craig and the concept of straight men who have sex with other men.

My segment is 11 minutes.

What do you think of my comments? Let me know on the blog. Do you agree? Disagree? Something to add?

Please feel free I think it could be a lively discussion.

Warmly, Joe

Sunday, November 4, 2007


For most bisexuals, there are at least four steps or stages to fully acknowledging and becoming comfortable with their identities as bisexuals.

Confusion over sexual orientation.
Most bisexual people start out feeling very confused about their attraction towards people of both sexes, questioning their own reality, and wondering "Is something wrong with me?" Some spend their entire lives in this stage, hiding their sexual orientation, feeling isolated and alone with the inner turmoil over their dual attractions.

Many go through life identifying as straight or gay/lesbian in order to be accepted and make sense of their sexual orientation. Because their own experience does not conform to either community, they feel intense external pressure to choose one and identify with it. Without any language to frame their own reality, and no visible role models or community available to them, bisexual people must have sufficient self-confidence and belief in their own identity in order to eventually transcend this stage.

Discovery of the bisexual label and choosing to identify as bisexual.
Almost all bisexual people acknowledge that discovering the label "bisexual" was pivotal in understanding and accepting their sexual orientation. Most experience extreme relief when they hear the word "bisexual" for the first time, because they finally have a word that mirrors their experience and feelings.

For some, the negative stereotypes of bisexuals as "promiscuous" "fence sitters," neurotic, or vectors of AIDS prevent them from identifying with the label or claiming it for themselves, but most agree that it comes closer than any other language to describing their lives. Instead of rejecting the label, many bisexuals invent their own definition and create bisexual lifestyles that fit their individual lives.

Settling into and maintaining a bisexual identity.
For many bisexual people, this step is the most difficult. Intellectually, they feel good about being bisexual, but emotionally, they experience extreme conflict living in the real world as bisexual. Often scorned by family and friends and rejected by spouses or potential partners for being bisexual, they find that to develop and maintain a bisexual identity requires inner strength, self-reliance, confidence, and independence. Many overcome these obstacles by forming their own community, finding accepting friends and lovers, and staying out of the closet despite the consequences.

Transforming adversity.
For most bisexuals, coming out and staying out of the closet is an on-going process which must be repeated with every new social situation, workplace, friend, and lover. Many see this process as the most important form of political action, creating visible role models and a cohesive bisexual community. Because most bisexuals have suffered through the first three stages alone and in silence, they want to make it easier for other bisexuals to recognize and embrace their sexual orientation without years of inner turmoil and loneliness.

Many also get involved in bisexual political organizations as a way to increase bisexual visibility and promote bisexuality as a viable identity. Just as gay men and lesbians were only able to win some rights through fighting in both the social and political arenas, bisexuals will only win political and human rights through coming out of the closet and developing political clout.

What does this mean for you?

Does any of this sound familiar?

Are you struggling with ambivalence or confusion over your sexual orientation?

Or are you ready to embrace a bisexual orientation?

Are you seeking community to share your developing identity with others?

If so, reach out for support now. Check out one of the many bisexual and questioning support groups listed in this blog, to find a safe place to express your feelings and meet others who are going through similar experiences.

One-to-one counseling or therapy can also be helpful in sorting out feelings and gaining clarity and self – confidence. Be careful to seek out a non – judgmental therapist who is supportive of bisexuality and has expertise in bisexual issues.
And joining bisexual social or political groups is also a great way to see visible role models and to allow your bisexual identity to evolve in a way that fits you. And last, but certainly not least, there are now many excellent books on bisexuality, which help you understand and fully embrace your sexual orientation. - Dr Elna McIntosh, Health24 sexologist)



The Bisexual Option by Fritz Klein

13 Types of Bisexuals

In an article entitled, Getting to grips with the various types of bisexuality, it talks about the various types of bisexuals that exist.

Many people are 100% gay or lesbian and are drawn sexually and emotionally only to partners of the same sex. Others are completely heterosexual, bonding in sexual and intimate relationships only with people of another sex.

But what about everybody else?

A significant percentage of people do not fit neatly into either of these categories, because they experience sexual and emotional attractions and feelings for people of different genders at some point during their lives. For lack of a better term, they are called bisexuals, although, many people prefer to call themselves “pansexual”, “non – preferential”, “sexually fluid”, “ambisexual” or “omni – sexual”.

The Kinsey scale

The Kinsey scale of zero to six was developed by sex researchers to describe sexual orientation as a continuum. Heterosexual people are at zero on the scale, gay and lesbian people are at six, at the other end of the scale and everyone in between, from one to five, is bisexual. According to Kinsey, people who fall at one or two on the scale have primarily heterosexual sexual and affectional relationships and desires, but have some attraction and experiences with same-sex partners as well.

People at three on the scale are approximately equally attracted to both men and women. People at four and five on the Kinsey Scale choose primarily same-sex partners, but are not completely gay or lesbian and have some heterosexual tendencies and relationships as well.

Who is bisexual?As you can see, there is no simple definition of bisexuality, and bisexual people are a very diverse group. Some bisexual people are committed to monogamous, long-term relationships, others have more than one partner concurrently in a variety of arrangements. There are several theories about different models of bisexual behavior. J.R. Little identifies at least 13 types of bisexuality, as defined by sexual desires and experiences. They are:

1. Alternating bisexuals: May have a relationship with a man. When that
relationship ends, may choose a female partner for a subsequent relationship and
may go back to a male partner next.

2. Recreational bisexuals: Primarily heterosexual but engage in gay or lesbian sex only when under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

3. Motivational bisexuals: Straight women who have sex with other women only because a male partner insists on it to titillate him.

4. Circumstantial bisexuals: Primarily heterosexual but will choose same-sex partners only in situations where they do not have access to other sex partners such as in jail, in the military or in a gender-segregated school.

5. Concurrent relationship ­bisexuals: Have
primary relationships with one gender only but have other casual or secondary
relationships with people of another gender at the same time.

6. Conditional bisexuals: Either straight or gay/lesbian, but will switch to a relationship with ­another gender for financial or ­career gain or for a specific
purpose. They include young, straight males who become gay prostitutes or
lesbians who get married to men to gain ­acceptance from family members or
to have children.

7. Emotional bisexuals: Have ­intimate emotional relationships with men and women but only have sexual relationships with one ­gender.

8. Integrated bisexuals: Have more than one primary relationship
at the same time, one with a man and one with a woman.

9. Exploratory bisexuals: Either straight or gay/lesbian, but have sex with another gender just to satisfy curiosity or “see what it’s like”.

10. Hedonistic bisexuals: Primarily heterosexual but engage in gay or lesbian sex only when under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

11. Isolated bisexuals: 100% straight or gay/lesbian now but have previously had sexual experiences with another gender.

12. Latent bisexuals: Completely straight or gay/lesbian in behavior. Have a
strong desire for sex with the other gender but have never acted on it.
Motivational bisexuals: Straight women who have sex with other women only
because a male partner insists on it to titillate him.

13. Transitional bisexuals: Temporarily identify as bisexual while moving from being straight to ­being gay or lesbian or going from being gay or lesbian to being
hetero­sexual. Many of these people might not call themselves bisexual
but because they are attracted to and have relationships with men and women,
they are bisexual.

While literally millions of people are bisexual, most keep
their sexual orientation secret, so bisexual people as a group are nearly
invisible in society.

Gay men and lesbian women have long recognised the
need to join together, create a community and organise politically. Long years
of hard work have led to significant gains in political and human rights and a
visible and thriving gay and lesbian community.

Social isolation Many bisexual people say they feel like outsiders in the straight and gay/lesbian worlds and that they can’t fit in anywhere. They feel isolated and confused. Studies have shown that bisexual people suffer from social isolation more
than gay men or lesbians because they lack a community where they can find
acceptance and role models.

Many gay men feel that bisexual men are really gay, that they are in denial about being gay and they should “just get over it.” Many straight men are homophobic and hate and fear bisexual and gay men, often victimising them with harassment and physical violence.

Many straight women reject bisexual men out of misguided fears that they have Aids and admonish them to “stop sitting on the fence and make up their minds”. Bisexual women are often distrusted by lesbians for “sleeping with the enemy”, hanging onto heterosexual privileges through relationships with men and betraying their allegiances to women and feminism.

Straight women often reject ­bisexual women fearing that they will make sexual overtures and try to “convert” them to bisexuality.

Bisexuality an authentic sexual orientation

The straight and gay/lesbian communities seem to have only two possible models of bisexuality, neither of which represents bisexual people accurately.
The first is the “transitional model” of bisexuality. They believe that all bisexuals are gay or lesbian but are just on their way to eventually coming out as gay.

The other is the “pathological model”. These bisexuals are seen as neurotic or mentally unstable because they are in conflict, trying to decide if they are straight or
gay/lesbian and that they just can’t make a decision.

Both models see bisexuality as a temporary experience or a “phase” born out of confusion rather than an authentic sexual orientation equally as valid as heterosexuality or homosexuality.

Bisexuals cannot conform to the ethics of the gay or straight
world or they would not be bisexual. ­Instead, they must re-invent personal
lifestyles and relationships that serve their needs although they don’t fit
anyone else’s rules.

Bisexuals must invent their own identity Some researchers have noted that being bisexual is, in some ways, similar to being biracial. Mixed-race persons generally don’t feel comfortable or accepted by people of either ethnic group. They feel they don’t belong or fit in anywhere as their existence challenges the very concept of race.
Like bisexual people, they spend most of their lives moving between two communities that don’t really understand or accept them.

Like biracial people, bisexual people must
struggle to invent their own identities to correspond to their own experience.
Forming a bisexual identity helps bisexual people to structure, make sense
of and give meaning and definition to their reality.