Sunday, December 27, 2009

Controversy over sexual addiction

Many of you who read this blog know that I specialize in both sexual addiction, sexual compulsivity and sexology. I try to look at sexual practices, fantasies and behaviors from a positive perspective as much as possible. The debate around sexual addiction is growing. Sexologists and sex addiction therapists often disagree with one another.

Can there be a middle ground? I think so.

To find this middle ground we have to look at all the issues around sexual addiction and compulsivity as well as those individuals who are acting out their own narcissism, childhood sexual abuse or simply are immature and want to have a lot of sex without regard for others.
In my practice I see much more of those who are experiencing loss of control over their sexual behavior and are horrified by those they have hurt around them--including themselves.
First there was this article in a blog called, "The Salon"

By Tracy Clark-Flory

It's spawned a VH1 show and an excuse for Tiger Woods. But some experts balk at the idea of being hooked on nooky.

Since the term was coined in 1983, "sex addiction" has become so embroidered in
our self-help vocabulary that most of us stopped questioning it. The term gets
bandied about whenever Bill Clinton logs extracurricular time with an intern or
Eliot Spitzer gets caught having sex in his socks or David Duchovny separates
from his wife. Recently "Sex Rehab" host Dr. Drew Pinsky made headlines by
suggesting that Tiger Woods has a sex addiction. It's become the go-to defense
for extramarital affairs (I'm not an asshole; I'm an addict!) and been sold to
"Oprah" viewers eager to diagnose their porn-loving husbands as both addicts and

A problem with news reports and journalism on sexual addiction or any other controversial issue is getting the facts correct. So another journalist posted a correction of what the, "The Salon" reported.

Fact Checking Sex Addiction Coverage
by Benoit Denizet-Lewis

Every couple of years, when a celebrity actor goes to sex addiction
treatment or a celebrity golfer sleeps with dozens of women who are not his
beautiful model wife, the media “rediscovers” sex addiction. Predictable
questions are bandied about: Is sex addiction real? Can someone be addicted
without a substance? Isn’t sex addiction just a clever excuse for whoring
around/irresponsible behavior? What’s next—an addiction to reading blogs?

In recent days, Salon and Slate—online magazines that I’ve contributed
to—have entered the fray. Slate published a piece that covers familiar
arguing that “our enthusiasm for labeling new forms of addictions
seems to have
arisen from a perfect storm of pop medicine,
pseudo-neuroscience, and misplaced
sympathy for the miserable.” Salon’s
story, which quotes me, strives for some
pseudo-balance but is still deeply

There have been many
articles/television segments
about Tiger Woods/sex addiction in the last week,
but one man can only take
so much lazy, knee-jerk journalism. For the sake of
time, I’m restricting my
analysis to the the Salon piece, which is far from the
worst but which
quotes several anti-sex addiction “experts” who don’t know what
talking about (on this issue, at least). In bold are portions of the
followed by my analysis.

Whatever is decided to call this problem, the truth is that it exists. It causes men and women to behave sexually in ways that are out of integrity with themselves and their lives.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Mitch Albom opposes guys kissing--I guess?

In Mitch Albom's Dec 6 column he writes about celebrities doing outrageous things for fame. He lumps Adam Lamberts "guy-kissing" as one of them.

This is one of the very things that causes heterosexual men to not come out and disclose their sexual behaviors with other men. It also causes gay and bisexual children, teenagers and adults to feel shame for wanting to be a "guy-kissing" man.

John Corvino writes"what is wrong with that" at

The article ends with "...somewhere, some seventh-grade boy with a
pre-articulate crush on a male classmate is reading Albom’s column and thinking
that there’s something shameful about “guy-kissing.”Shame on you, Mitch. You
should know as well as anyone that words matter.

I agree with Corvino! What do you think?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

When sex gets in the way of your relationship

with Joe Kort, MSW and Tammy Nelson, MS

In this course we'll explore a differentiated view of pornography use, assessing for addiction and compulsive use, as well as defining when porn is used as recreation and its possible meanings in different relationships, of all sexual orientations.

We will define monogamy, fidelity and exclusivity as it relates to pornography use in couples and look at the pathological perspective of pornography use as it desensitizes and/or traumatizes viewers.

We will also see how porn can re-eroticise relationships when there has been erotic neglect.

Participants will learn the three reasons people go on the Internet to look at porn and will find ways to assess, treat and intervene when porn is a problem.


WHEN: December 7 - 1PM to 2pm EST
COST: $25 (Intro class does not include CEs)

To REGISTER: Click the link to below to register, pay by MC/Visa and receive the number and info to join the class.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Depathologizing Porn: Why Can't It Be Just an Acceptable Diversion?

Usually this site is only about straight men who have sex with men. However, I have an article featured in a national psychotherapy magazine and I thought it would be of interest to readers of this blog.

It focuses on a heterosexual couple where the husband is caught using pornography by his wife. I illustrate how I work with the couple. The way in which I treat this couple is similar to how I would work with couples entering my office for the men who are caught viewing online male on male pornography.

Depathologizing Porn
Why Can't It Be Just an Acceptable Diversion?

by Joe Kort

In more than 25 years of practice, I've heard hundreds of stories of how pornography use can damage people's sex lives profoundly and ruin their marriages. I've personally had many couples describe the shame and secretiveness of one partner's involvement with porn. Time and again, I've treated people for whom viewing porn has become a compulsion and who've come to prefer it to being with a partner. Yet I've worked with many for whom porn isn't destructive to their relationship, but, in their view, offers a source of excitement and satisfaction they wouldn't otherwise experience.

Of course, these days, it's impossible to grasp the impact of pornography on relationships without considering the role of the Internet. Years ago, finding new and titillating erotica was a time-consuming chore.In the last couple of decades, though, the range of graphic material available online has exponentially accelerated the appeal and use of porn. Trying to explain the effect of the Internet on porn consumption, sex researcher Al Cooper has written that the driving force is the "Triple-A engine of Access, Affordability, and Anonymity." While it may take alcohol 30 years to ruin an alcoholic's health, only a year's worth of heavy cocaine use can lead to a total mental and physical collapse. Now, for some porn users, the Internet has become a kind of virtual cocaine.

Yet, despite the undeniable harm that porn can do, we therapists need to bear in mind a fundamental fact: the overwhelming majority of people exposed to it don't become addicts. Patrick Carnes's research shows that sexual addiction affects three to five percent of adults, suggesting that porn use isn't about to turn us into a country of addicts glued to their computer screens. Further, assuming that porn inevitably leads to addiction can blind us to understanding its nonpathological appeal to so many people—most of them men who are quite normal in every other way.

It can make it harder for us to accept that, in many relationships, porn use may satisfy needs that have nothing to do with psychological pathology or sexual dysfunction. In fact, noted sex researcher Helen Fisher argues that the brain-inhibiting effects of antidepressants pose a much graver threat to couples' sexuality than porn. She even advises couples to go on the Internet and look at porn as a kind of hormone booster, arguing that porn "drives up dopamine levels, which drives up your testosterone."

To be sure, porn use is permeated with a sense of the forbidden that triggers intense emotion, but as therapists, we need to understand it on a case-by-case basis and be careful to separate our own biases from our clients' needs. To begin to see porn in a more normalizing light, it can be helpful to understand the ways in which porn can be incorporated into a relationship without secretiveness or shame.

To continue reading this article click here

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Why Does THAT Arouse me?

Why Does THAT Arouse me?

Come and join us Wednesday, October 28 at 8:30PM EST and learn the hidden meanings behind what turns you on. Fee: $15.00 Click here to register. After registering, you will receive the call-in number by email.

All sexual fantasies are healthy. There are some that should never be acted on because they might be putting the person who has them or someone else at risk. I don’t believe there’s any pathology in our sexual fantasies or desires. Instead, I see them as a positive story about ourselves that’s trying to be told. Learning what the nonsexual meanings of our fantasies are can be very helpful.

For example, you might have a fantasy of being dominated and spanked. There’s nothing wrong with that fantasy and there’s nothing wrong with doing it. But what I would want to help someone do is explore why they have that fantasy. Not in a negative way but in a positive way. What does that mean about you?”

Kort learned the benefit of helping people explore the origins of their fantasies through years of work with men who are addicted to sex and from those who have been sexually abused. By "cracking the erotic code" and learning the narrative of what the sexual desires mean can help you feel better about your sexuality and learn more about yourself.

Come and join us
Wednesday, October 28 at 8:30PM EST and learn the hidden meanings behind what turns you on.

Fee: $15.00 Click here to register. After registering, you will receive the call-in number by email.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Psychologists repudiate gay-to-straight therapy: CHANGE IS IMPOSSIBLE!

The following two articles are concerning people who have a homosexual
orientation but do not identify as gay or lesbian. In other words, an
affirmative identity for them as a gay person would cause a lifetime of
depression rather than coming out of the closet.

Professionally I
really think this is great! I have worked with so many men and women who cannot
consolidate a healthy gay or lesbian identity for so many
faith being one of the main reasons.

I realized years ago that it is not
for me to push them into a gay affirmative identity. It is my job to help remove
homophobia and shame and understand what is best for them. I was doing damage I
realized when I pushed for an acceptance of
their sexual and romantic
orientation when--for them--they could not choose their orientation over their
faith, family, morals and personal values.

I started for
straight folks having sex with same gendered individuals and I am going to make
it for those people who are of homosexual orientation and choose not to live
that way and for them would be leading a life of depression to idenitify as gay.

Still I think the problem is the religious institutions imprinting
homophobia and lack of acceptance of a gay identity and if these children--now
adults--would not have been imprinted with self-hate we would not have this
issue in my opinion!So this is great of the APA to acknowledge these folks.

Most important is that it is being reinforced that sexual orientation
be changed but how one lives their lives can be. The work below by
psychologist, Mark Yarhouse of Regent University is highly
questionable as it is
not scientific but rather from a religious

I would say that the people he "claims" are not longer gay but identify as
straight are simply people who were not gay from the start. They are people
have has sexual contact with other members of the same sex for many reasons that have nothing to do with homosexuality.


Psychologists repudiate gay-to-straight therapy
AP National Writer

The American Psychological Association declared Wednesday that mental health professionals should not tell gay clients they can become straight through therapy or other treatments.

Instead, the APA urged therapists to consider multiple options - that could range from celibacy to switching churches - for helping clients whose sexual orientation and religious faith conflict.

In a resolution adopted on a 125-to-4 vote by the APA's governing council, and in a comprehensive report based on two years of research, the 150,000-member association put itself firmly on record in opposition of so-called "reparative therapy" which seeks to change sexual orientation.

No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the report, and some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.

The APA had criticized reparative therapy in the past, but a six-member task force added weight to this position by examining 83 studies on sexual orientation change conducted since 1960. Its comprehensive report was endorsed by the APA's governing council in Toronto, where the association's annual meeting is being held this weekend.

The report breaks new ground in its detailed and nuanced assessment of how therapists should deal with gay clients struggling to remain loyal to a religious faith that disapproves of homosexuality.

Judith Glassgold, a Highland Park, N.J., psychologist who chaired the task force, said she hoped the document could help calm the polarized debate between religious conservatives who believe in the possibility of changing sexual orientation and the many mental health professionals who reject that option.

"Both sides have to educate themselves better," Glassgold said in an interview. "The religious psychotherapists have to open up their eyes to the potential positive aspects of being gay or lesbian. Secular therapists have to recognize that some people will choose their faith over their sexuality."

In dealing with gay clients from conservative faiths, says the report, therapists should be "very cautious" about suggesting treatments aimed at altering their same-sex attractions.

"Practitioners can assist clients through therapies that do not attempt to change sexual orientation, but rather involve acceptance, support and identity exploration and development without imposing a specific identity outcome," the report says.

"We have to challenge people to be creative," said Glassgold.

She suggested that devout clients could focus on overarching aspects of religion such as hope and forgiveness in order to transcend negative beliefs about homosexuality, and either remain part of their original faith within its limits - for example, by embracing celibacy - or find a faith that welcomes gays.

"There's no evidence to say that change therapies work, but these vulnerable people are tempted to try them, and when they don't work, they feel doubly terrified," Glassgold said. "You should be honest with people and say, 'This is not likely to change your sexual orientation, but we can help explore what options you have.'"

One of the largest organizations promoting the possibility of changing sexual orientation is Exodus International, a network of ministries whose core message is "Freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ."

Its president, Alan Chambers, describes himself as someone who "overcame unwanted same-sex attraction." He and other evangelicals met with APA representatives after the task force formed in 2007, and he expressed satisfaction with parts of the report that emerged.

"It's a positive step - simply respecting someone's faith is a huge leap in the right direction," Chambers said. "But I'd go further. Don't deny the possibility that someone's feelings might change."

An evangelical psychologist, Mark Yarhouse of Regent University, praised the APA report for urging a creative approach to gay clients' religious beliefs but - like Chambers - disagreed with its skepticism about changing sexual orientation.

Yarhouse and a colleague, Professor Stanton Jones of Wheaton College, will be releasing findings at the APA meeting Friday from their six-year study of people who went through Exodus programs. More than half of 61 subjects either converted to heterosexuality or "disidentified" with homosexuality while embracing chastity, their study said.

To Jones and Yarhouse, their findings prove change is possible for some people, and on average the attempt to change will not be harmful.

The APA task force took as a starting point the belief that homosexuality is a normal variant of human sexuality, not a disorder, and that it nonetheless remains stigmatized in ways that can have negative consequences.

The report said the subgroup of gays interested in changing their sexual orientation has evolved over the decades and now is comprised mostly of well-educated white men whose religion is an important part of their lives and who participate in conservative faiths that frown on homosexuality.

"Religious faith and psychology do not have to be seen as being opposed to each other," the report says, endorsing approaches "that integrate concepts from the psychology of religion and the modern psychology of sexual orientation."

Perry Halkitis, a New York University psychologist who chairs the APA committee dealing with gay and lesbian issues, praised the report for its balance.

"Anyone who makes decisions based on good science will be satisfied," he said. "As a clinician, you have to deal with the whole person, and for some people, faith is a very important aspect of who they are."

The report also addressed the issue of whether adolescents should be subjected to therapy aimed at altering their sexual orientation. Any such approach should "maximize self-determination" and be undertaken only with the youth's consent, the report said.

Wayne Besen, a gay-rights activist who has sought to discredit the so-called "ex-gay" movement, welcomed the APA findings.

"Ex-gay therapy is a profound travesty that has led to pointless tragedies, and we are pleased that the APA has addressed this psychological scourge," Besen said.


August 6, 2009

Psychologists: Don't try to reorient gays
Nicole C. Brambila
The Desert Sun

Conversion therapy for gay clients can be harmful and is scientifically unfounded, The American Psychological Association declared in a report released Wednesday.

The APA instead is encouraging therapists to consider other coping strategies such as celibacy or switching to gay-accepting churches to help clients conflicted over their sexual orientation because of their faith.

“What we found is people altering a sexual orientation identity, but not altering their sexual orientation,” said Judith Glassgold, Ph.D., chair of the American Psychological Association Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation.

“Right now, we're all in the dark about what causes heterosexuality and what causes homosexuality. It's still not understood.”
The adopted resolution reflects a systematic review of conversion or reparative therapies began more than two years ago, as reported Wednesday on

The report looked at more than 80 studies conducted from 1960 to 2007 and concluded no solid scientific evidence exists for purporting that individuals can change their sexual orientation, and that reorientation efforts could induce depression and suicide.

“Compelling evidence of decreased same-sex sexual behavior and of engagement in sexual behavior with the other sex was rare,” the 138-page report stated.

“Few studies provided strong evidence that any changes produced in laboratory conditions translated to daily life. Thus, the results of scientifically valid research indicate that it is unlikely that individuals will be able to reduce same-sex attractions or increase other-sex sexual attractions through (sexual orientation change efforts).”
Conversion supporters said the report was disappointing.

“I don't think that this affirms anyone's religious beliefs,” said Alan Chambers, president of Exodus International. “My hope was that they would reaffirm a person's right to self-determination.”

Formed in 1976, the Orlando-based nonprofit is a worldwide network of more than 350 ministries that promote “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ.”
Locally, psychologists praised the report, saying it was long overdue.

“It'll probably serve as a major brick in all the data that is more clearly delineating the reality that sexual orientation therapies do not work,” said Nick Warner, Ph.D., who as a clinical psychologist in Palm Springs has been counseling for 35 years.

Reparative or conversion therapy emerged in the 1970s and since then thousands have attempted to change their sexual orientation.

Elizabeth Moberly, a British theologian, proposed the root cause of homosexuality was the result of a detached and/or broken relationship with the same-sex parent.

A 2001 study by Robert Spitzer widely disputed by mental health professionals found 11 percent of males and 37 percent of females successfully reoriented, although the scientific community largely disputes those findings. The study is widely disputed by mental health professionals.

Homosexuality was once considered a mental disorder, but was removed from the diagnostic manual as such by the American Psychiatric Association in 1973.

Now all major American mental health associations affirm homosexuality is not a mental illness.

Conversion therapy success claims have long been disputed without a systematic review, making the APA's report Wednesday unique.

“People whose religious beliefs support conversion therapy, they're not really working from a scientific framework,” said Jack Drescher, M.D. renown for his work on sexual orientation and task force member.

“The American Psychological Association is a scientific organization. They can't tell people what to believe, they can only say what the science says.”

Monday, August 3, 2009

Can you be gay for pay?

Can you be gay for pay?

Read and watch this blog posting at Huffington Post by Mike Alvear, Host of HBO's The Sex Inspectors and author of Men Are Pigs But We Love Bacon.

What are your thoughts about this?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Is “Heteroflexible” the New Gay?

Is “Heteroflexible” the New Gay?
by Brent HartingerJuly 21, 2009

This is a great article by Brent Hartinger in and illustrates the increasing awareness that straight men can have sexual relations with another male and still be straight!

Hartinger talks about a few entertainment projects in which straight men have sex with other men.

But it might also actually mean something – namely that America is finally
growing up somewhat when it comes to the topic of guy-guy sexual behavior, and
might even be taking a major step forward on the general understanding of the
fluid nature of human sexuality.

Friday, July 24, 2009

STRONGHOLD: In the Grip of Wrestling

STRONGHOLD: In the Grip of Wrestling

This documentary examines the growing number of men who wrestle as adults, and the social stigmas they encounter.

It talks frankly about wrestling homoeroticism and homophobia, historically
through today, and the many reasons why wrestling has become such an
underappreciated sport in America.

All styles of wrestling are included: amateur wrestling, pro wrestling, and submission grappling.The documentary pulls no punches when talking about sensitive subjects.

Several men discuss how they have been sexually attracted to wrestling since they were kids, and how the age-old fear of getting an erection in a singlet prevented them from wrestling as teens.

They talk about sneaking peeks at library wrestling books and wrestling magazines, watching it on TV and being mesmerized by the guys in tight trunks, or getting aroused while wrestling their friends.

Many grew up with shame for these feelings, and now think that they have to hide their wrestling as adults. Through the Internet and nationwide wrestling events for adult men, thousands of guys are discovering they are not alone.

Award-winning filmmaker, Victor Rook, wanted to make sure that the documentary was all-inclusive, so wrestlers both gay and straight-identified, single and married, were interviewed.

The documentary takes you back stage at a pro indy show, inside amateur wrestling tournaments, a jiu-jitsu school, and several wrestling events specifically geared for adult men.

He even pulls people out of bars and truck stops to wrestle in a portion of the film noted as "The Great Wrestling Road Trip."Watch the entire documentary online or buy the 2-Disc DVD set at

Contact Victor at

Pornography Use

I just listened to an excellent talk radio show with a friend and colleague of mine Tammy Nelson who authored, Getting The Sex You Want. The relevance for this blog is that so many of the straight men contact me about their concerns regarding whether they are gay or bisexual given that they watch gay porn. This is beneficial to listen to in my opinion.

I find this radio discussion about pornography and fantasy is very balanced including sexual addiction and compulsivity, statistics, normal use of both pornography and fantasy along with the problems it is causing for younger males who are starting to view porn online at the age of 11!

And the porn they watch is very different than the Playboy and even Penthouse magazines male teens found under their father's beds and dresser drawers. This earlier exposure to pornography reinforces that for those who view pornography early one it can shape their views of what men and women do sexually.

I agree with that 100%. I just don't necessarily believe that for every adult they are at risk. The numbers and statistics of those addressed in this radio show sound like what I have always heard and read.

Click here to listen to the show

Love to hear what others think about this.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Are you Heteroflexible? Calvin Klein makes room for you.

Today an ad was placed on a billboard in Manhattan, NY.
When I saw this ad I immediately thought about the homoeroticism that existed in the picture. What struck me the most was the "heteroflexibility" of the men. I appreciate Calvin Klein's illustration that men can have sexual feelings toward other men and still be interested in women.

These men are called, "Bisexual", "Bi-Attractional" and the new word is "Heteroflexible".
The Urban Dictionary defines Heteroflexible as:
A primarily heterosexual person who's not opposed to occasional same-sex trysts
when circumstances permit.
The Urban Dictionary also describes "Heteroflexible" as:
A person who enjoys sex with both male & females but considers themselves
heterosexual in the sense that they do not relate with the same sex for an
emotional relationship like a bi-sexual could. Heteroflexible is a heterosexual
person that is beyond the bi-curious stage but would never engage in an
emotional relationship with the same sex.
Many people are protesting and criticizing the picture because of the eroticism depicted in the picture.
I heard one person today say it reminded them of a Cuddle Party. A cuddle party is: event for adults to get together and explore affectionate touch and
communication without it becoming sexualized. At these events, we create the
safe space to talk about and explore what our needs are as adults when it comes
to affection, intimacy and welcomed touch. In other words, CUDDLING!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Straight people forming gay relationships and gay sexual contacts

I am noticing more and more that the concept of straight women involved sexually and romantically is gaining popularity. Oprah's March issue of "O" had an article on Why Women Are Leaving Men for Other Women.

Oprah also did a show on this topic.

The NYT on January 22, 2009 did an article called, What Do Woman Want, By DANIEL BERGNER.

I am currently working on research to validate my findings as well as treatment of straight males who are engaging in sexual behaviors with other males.

Perhaps this is a taboo topic STILL! and it is easier to understand that women are doing this so it is receiving more public exposure.

I am going to make sure that this topic of SMSM's stays in the public eye through this blog. All over you can find these straight men looking for other men so it does exist and cannot be denied.

What are your thoughts as to why there is so much exposure for straight women involved with other women (SWSW) but not the same is being exposed about straight males involved with other males?

Monday, April 6, 2009

New Audio for men who have sex with men

I have added 2 ***NEW*** products to my website.

1. First is a teleclass I did for therapists working with heterosexual couples where the male partner is having sex or sexual fantasies with other men. I make the distinction between whether the men are gay, bisexual or straight and how the couple can talk about and understand what this means for the relationship.

Click here to listen to a preview of this audio on straight men who have sex with men in relationship with women and also if you wish to purchase it.

2. Second is a teleclass I did for therapist working with heterosexual couples where the male partner is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I talk about how it manifests within the relationship and the signs and symptoms behaviorally in the male partner as well as treatment recommendations.

Click here to listen to a preview of this audio on male sexual abuse in relationships and also if you wish to purchase it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Joe Kort talks about Straight Guise on Oprah and Friends Radio

I was interviewed on Oprah and Friends Radio by Dr. Laura Berman on "Better in Bed". The topic was straight men who have sex with men who are not gay or bisexual.

If you would to hear the interview go to and click on Radio and then click on
Dr. Laura Berman. There you click on archives and the show is listed under:

Sexuality and Single Moms on 3/5/09.

As always I like to hear your comments so please feel free to comment as I take each entry very seriously and into account.

I know there have been some readers worried that I am helping deeply closeted men remain in the closet by doing this work because those men fool themselves into thinking they are straight when, in reality, they are gay.

If you read through this blog and the website I talk about the differences between a man who is gay and bisexual and a man who is straight.

Straight Guise is not intended to be for the closeted gay or bisexual man.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Truth about Ted Haggard

You might remember Ted Haggard, a former evangelical preacher who last year was outed as having homosexual sex with a male prostitute. He entered treatment and was discharged saying he was “completely heterosexual”. News about his has resurfaced as his new documentary is currently airing repeatedly on HBO – "The trials of Ted Haggard."

In his interviews, he states that he believes his sexuality is “complicated” and that he wants to stay married to his wife and does not see himself as gay. He admits to having same-sex attractions but believes he is heterosexual.

Nobody knows the truth about Haggard but Haggard himself!

I don’t know Haggard personally, but I can see how his sexuality might be complicated and that he might not be gay at all. I have treated hundreds of men like Haggard who are not gay and engage in same sex behaviors.

People have a hard time with men who have sex with men and are still


Here are just a few reasons people have difficulty with Ted Haggard which I totally understand:

1. Politically

Using the false belief that gays can change stops people from being willing to grant rights and freedoms to gays and lesbians. Lesbians and gays have fought hard to teach that one’s sexual orientation and behaviors cannot be changed.

Politically laws against GLBT use the concept of “you’re making a choice” to block obtaining freedoms like getting legally married, keeping a job and not being a risk of being fired just because you’re gay as well as keeping your house and not being kicked out simply for being gay—all of which can happen still in 2009 in most places around the country.

My problem with all of this media attention around Haggard is the absence of scholarly lesbians and gays and spokesmen who are not given time to talk about these issues. If this were an African-American issue, the media would bring on Black scholars and writers to address the political consequences of what is happening around Haggard's story.

2. The Bible.

Haggard has a history of as a preacher, for condemning gays and urging them to change.

Haggard still feels the Bible is not okay with homosexuality as he said on Larry King live.

But Haggard and others who interpret the Bible about homosexuality are wrong.

Scholar Rabbi Chaim Rapoport wrote a book called, Judaism and Homosexuality: An Authentic Orthodox View. In this book it is written that, “the Torah forbids homosexual activity as such: that much is clear from the testimony of both biblical and post-biblical literature. It does not condemn a homosexual disposition, because the Torah does not speak about what we are, but about what we do”.

Rabbi Rapoport position is clear in his book that the bible only talks of homosexual behavior, not of a gay identity or homosexual disposition. It never addresses those men and women who are oriented solely to a same sex attraction. He argues that while the Bible is against performing homosexual acts it never takes into account that one could be gay and lesbian and therefore expressing their true nature. Given this the Bible, from a contemporary point of view, does not address lesbians and gays.

While Rabbi Rapoport writes that the Torah forbids homosexual activity, he goes onto say that “there does not seem to be, however, any reference in Torah literature to the phenomenon of a ‘homosexual orientation’….”

Given this one cannot use the bible against homosexuality if there was not any room for it to be an identity which, today, we know it is.

For Haggard and men like him, it may not be his identity and so for him, his interpretation of the Bible might be useful. It is not useful for those who are GLBT's.

3. Bisexuality

Why can’t Bisexuality be what is happening for Haggard? Some men like Haggard choose to self-identify as Bisexual because they are sexually attracted to both men and women. Bisexuals will tell you that they are often emotionally more attracted to one gender over another. For others they are equally attracted sexually and romantically to both.

This is a self-identifying term and if he chooses not to lable himself in this way than he has that right. However, as a media figure he has the obligation to ensure that he is not speaking for bisexuals as well as lesbians and gays.

4. Gay Identity

For lesbians and gays, staying closeted was fraught with lying to themselves that they were essentially straight, with simply a “kinky” side or that their sexual interests were just that—sexual—and not about their identity. They now have great remorse over the lost years when they could have lived as openly gay men. The trauma of staying closeted was so painful that it strikes a nerve to learn that it’s possible to go through all that and still be straight.

I understand their strong reactions: The trauma of suppressing their identity is so profound that watching someone like Haggard remind them of their horrors they experienced while being closeted and of all the deprogramming it took them to understand they were truly gay.

We must make room for men and women like Haggard. Whether he is hiding, lying or telling the truth, there needs to be a place for men like him

What there is no place for is his anti-gay rhetoric that lesbians and gays can change, that the bible is against homosexuality and teaching young gays and lesbians that same-sex attractions are bad and wrong. They might be for the Haggard’s of the world, but to those who are truly gay and lesbian they are not!

Haggard's story need not be about attacking him, attacking GLBT's or using this as reasons to hate, discriminate and judge. That is what the Nazi's were all about wasn't it?

This needs to be about understanding and being curious about how complicated sexual behavior and identity can be!

There are many other reasons straight men have sex with men and are not gay which I write about at

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Safe Sex

I have not blogged here for a while. I have been busy with some other projects.

I was recently exposed to this commercial for condoms which is both humorous and educational. Men who have sex with men need to be wearing condoms at all times when you do not know each other or have concerned that one of you is not trustworthy in terms of playing safe. It is always safer to wear a condom!!

Studies show that straight men who have sex with men are least likely to wear a condom and use protection because to do so means they would have to anticipate and plan their sexual encounters with another man which would indicate to them they might be gay. If they do it "on the downlow" and it is spontaneous they can then compartmentalize it as if it is not part of their lives.

This is not rational. You should always wear a condom especially when have anal sex as the receptive role in a sexual act (i.e. the partner who is penetrated) . Studies show you are less likely to get HIV from oral sex and being the penetrative role in an anal sexual act.