Sunday, December 23, 2007

Is Public Sex Okay?

After taking the poll if you want to elaborate on why you think it is okay or not please feel free to do so here on this blog. I would love to hear people's thoughts and reactions.

Also, there are reports that men who have sex with men are arrested moreso than if women having sexual relations with men are when discovered by police. Gay groups state that straight folks get a finger shaking warning and are told to go home whereas men who have sex with men get arrested.

Do you believe this? Why do you think this is? Gay groups site homophobia. Is there more to it than this?

Gay men seek straight men in public restrooms

In an article appearing in the Advocate's year end issue by Benoit Denizet-Lewis From The Advocate January 15, 2008 entitled, Public Sex Confidential

Denizet-Lewis asks:

So what is it that still drives some in the gay community out of the bedroom and into the Bathroom?

And the article is a well-researched response to some of the reasons. One is how compelling it is for gay men to find straight men in public bathrooms:

One powerful motivating factor for many gay men seeking sex in public
places is the belief that they will find the ultimate sexual prize there:
“straight” men. You won’t bump into many married or self-identified straight
guys in gay bars, but you will find them in public sex places, where they
believe their anonymity is best protected, and where they can get
no-strings-attached gay sex without the hassle of having to actually talk to gay
people (many public sex encounters are done without exchanging a word).

“The reality is that gay men are tripping over each other in public
places to service the guys that carry themselves in the most masculine way
possible, the guys that they believe will then go home to their wives or their
straight lives,” says Joe Kort, a psychotherapist and the author of 10 Smart
Things Gay Men Can Do to Improve Their Lives.

“Straight guys are the ultimate unavailable man, but for a few minutes
in the darkness gay men can have them. And for many gay men it’s the first time,
and the only real place, where they will feel seen, accepted, and validated as
sexual people by straight men. But in the context of public sex, it’s a twisted
form of validation.”

Undercover cops looking to arrest men engaged in public sex understand
that appearing straight carries currency in parks and bathrooms. Richard
Tewksbury’s study “Conversation at the Oasis” -- published in the March 22,
2007, issue of The Journal of Men’s Studies -- details the following
conversation between a cruiser and an undercover police officer on a park nature

Suspect: You come down here much?

Officer: This is my first time. I just heard about it on the

Suspect: You’re a good-looking man.

Officer: Thanks. My wife thinks so too.

The study surveyed police records of 127 cases of public gay sex in a
California city between 1995 and 2005. Tewksbury found that awareness of the
potential for arrest “does not appear to deter cruising activity,” which might
explain why Couture and others don’t believe that Larry Craig’s arrest will keep
men from seeking out public sex. On the contrary, Couture says. “Thanks to good
old Larry Craig,” he tells me, “every man in the United States now knows exactly
how to go about getting sex in a bathroom.”

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Homosexual Anxiety Disorder

I have posted about Homosexual Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in the past. Although not a formal diagnosis in psychology, there are a growing number of straight men who suffer from this disorder.

I found an excellent resource outlining it at

Homosexuality Anxiety

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Takes Many Forms

involves intrusive thoughts that are unwanted and distressing to
the individual. Sometimes these thoughts take the form of persistent notions
about having a different sexual orientation. For example, a person who has had
many years of satisfied, opposite sex relationships might suddenly start to
worry that he or she is actually homosexual. Some people who have this
manifestation of OCD have taken to calling this "HOCD" or "Homosexual OCD."
HOCD is not a scientific term, but has evolved out of the OCD community as a way
to describe the distress caused by anxieties over unwanted thoughts about being
Clinicians, educators, and people with HOCD can use the table below to
better understand differences between the experience of someone with HOCD and
the experience of someone with a homosexual sexual identity. Note that this is
not a clinical screening instrument as it has not been validated for use in this
manner, and not all items will apply to every person. Furthermore, the second
column applies to a relatively well-adjusted gay person. A homosexual person
with severe internalized homophobia may not be well represented in either

To read the table they created to outline the difference between a Homosexual Orientation and Homosexual Anxiety OCD go to

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Are ex-gays aligned with New Warrior Adventure Mankind Project

The reason for my blogging these articles about MKP is that I want men to know that it is a safe place for all men to attend whether you are gay, bi, straight, questioning or a man who has unwanted sexual attractions to men. Sexual and romantic orientation is not what the workshops are about. It is about becoming mature men who find direction in their personal journey.
Last week Wayne Besen, author of Anything But Straight, a book exposing ex-gay reparative groups, wrote a column about The New Warrior Adventure called, Nude Warrior Adventure, which included some material which was not true.
In the column, Besen discussed the troubling ties ManKind's New Warriors program has with ex-gay ministries, which aggressively tout the retreat in their efforts to supposedly instill masculinity in their clients.

Besen has since learned and now written that this any ties from MKP to exgay groups is false. He has since written a second column about it.
Here is Wayne Besen's follow up column to the first article:

Last week, I wrote about the ManKind Project, a weekend retreat that tries to jolt men into dealing with deep personal issues. In the column, I discussed the troubling ties ManKind's New Warriors program has with ex-gay ministries, which aggressively tout the retreat in their efforts to supposedly instill masculinity in their clients.

It turns out, however, that the love affair may be one sided. The ManKind Project does not support ex-gay therapy and does not believe that their program helps gay men go straight. Indeed, New Warriors has a large gay following and many who attended consider it helpful to their coming out experience.

I received more than 25 letters from gay men who said that the program helped them accept their sexual orientation."The ManKind Project gave me the confidence and wherewithal to finally say, 'I am a gay man,'" said one participant from Wisconsin."The program helped me become a better husband,' wrote another gay man from the Washington, DC area. "As I knocked down the walls, I became more comfortable with myself and able to give 100 percent to my partner.

The program literally saved my relationship."These letters are incongruous with the cheerleading ManKind receives from homophobic ex-gay groups, such as Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality (JONAH) and the website People Can Change. In fact, People Can Change director Ben Newman, who served as a trainee and co-staffer in the New Warrior program, started the ex-gay retreat, "Journey Into Manhood" with several other New Warriors.

So, is the ManKind Project's New Warriors program gay affirming or does it cater to ex-gay fringe groups? I posed this question in a conference call with the group's Executive Director Carl Griesser.

Well-known gay author Joe Kort - a vocal proponent of the organization - was also in on the conversation. Griesser said he was troubled by the way ex-gay ministries had been promoting his group and that his organization did not support the ex-gay cause. He suggested they had misinterpreted what his group meant by instilling masculinity in men."There is a difference between masculinity and sexual orientation," Griesser said on the call. He pointed out that almost every New Warriors training session has at least one openly gay or bisexual man.

Kort, a psychotherapist, passionately defended the organization as a group that helps men "live in honesty and integrity...whatever their sexual orientation is." "Straight men and gay men are all welcome and come together helping each other be part of the male culture even with the differences," explained Kort.

In fact, New Warriors has a position statement that flat out says, "We do not and will not attempt to change a man's sexual orientation." However, this statement is not currently on the group's website, making it difficult to know that ManKind is not an adjunct of the ex-gay ministries. Griesser said he would take this issue up with ManKind officials in a call later this week. I certainly hope that they take this issue seriously, as not to cause any confusion of what the group stands for. In my previous column, I also discussed how the organization had some unorthodox activities.

This includes:** Blindfolded walking tours in the nude** Men sitting in a circle discussing their sexual histories while passing a wooden dildo called "The Cock"** Naked men beating cooked chickens with a hammerWhile this may seem bizarre to outsiders, Kort and Griesser defended the activities as helping men accept their bodies."There is so much shame about the body," said Griesser. "The nudity put me and others in an honest space to deal with the shame...the goal is to take men's sexuality out of the shadows."

Critics also point to the harsher aspects of the program, such as meeting participants with men in dark clothing and painted faces."We want to shake men up," said Griesser. "They can only be awakened if we shake them out of their routine." There is also the problem of a lawsuit by the family of a Texas man who committed suicide after attending the program. They are charging that New Warriors is administering therapy without trained professionals. "This is therapeutic, but not therapy," Griesser said. "It is a legal issue that will be addressed in this case."

Whatever one thinks of the group's tactics, it is clear that many gay men find it beneficial. It is also a relief that what ostensibly appears to be a program sympathetic to ex-gay ministries, is actually opposed to them. However, the ManKind Project must do more to publicly distance themselves from these dangerous groups. To downplay how ex-gay organizations have latched on to them, leaves the ManKind Project naked and fully exposed to criticism it might not deserve.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The Mankind Project's Position Statement on Reparative Therapy

The ManKind Project
Position Statement on Reparative Therapy

The ManKind Project adopts the following position statement:

  1. We affirm that all men are welcome on our trainings and in our communities.

  2. We create trainings and circles in which all men are welcome to discover the deepest truths. We welcome men of all sexual orientations: gay, straight, and bisexual, including those who identify as having unwanted same sex attraction, to do their own work as they define it, to respect the identity and value of others, and to take responsibility for the impact their words and behaviors on others.

  3. We support each man in pursuing his path to deeper authenticity. We do not provide therapy nor endorse any particular therapy, including reparative therapy. Any group or organization that states or implies otherwise does so without our permission.

  4. We do not, and will not, attempt to change a man’s sexual orientation.

  5. We stand firm in support of gay and bisexual men. We support men who believe that homosexuality is a normal part of the spectrum of human sexuality and of mature masculinity.

  6. We will not tolerate proselytizing for any religion or belief, organizing training staff into groups that exclude others, guiding men’s processes in a predetermined direction, or grooming men for the training.

  7. We will not tolerate discrimination on our trainings or in our communities. We support our training and community leaders in identifying and challenging discriminatory language and behavior.