Well, I promised I'd be brutally honest. So, here goes ...
Q: What is your personal philosophy as it relates to masturbation versus the church's stance?
Personally I don't have any problem with masturbation. I think it's a healthy release if done in moderation. Although, like many other things, I think it can be done in excess and become a problem. Basically, if it's interfering with work, relationships, etc. then it's a problem.
As far as the stance of the LDS church - I'm not convinced there is an official stance. There was in the past - but can anybody point to anything official in the past 15 years? I know it's not addressed in the handbook of instructions that bishoprics and stake presidencies use. That said, I also realize that many bishops, who grew up in an era when their bishop asked about it, tend to carry on with the tradition.
An interesting tidbit. When I was in the bishopric, at a monthly training session. A high counselor - who also happened to be a former mission president - shared that a third of the missionaries in his mission talked to him about it, and he estimates that at least another third did it but never came forward. Bottom line, most missionaries do it - and it's not something that will typically get you sent home.
Personally, I think the brethren are becoming more realistic in this regard - boys masturbate! (I suppose girls do too, but I really don't like thinking about that.) I think (hope) we're moving into an era of "don't ask don't tell".
btw, I have a blog post on this topic titled The "M" word.
Q: Have you ever been involved with a man sexually?
With a man? No. With a boy? Yes, back in junior high. I had a friend introduce me to masturbation when I was in 7th grade. Well, to be honest, I had already discovered that rubbing myself long enough resulted in intense pleasure - he just helped me put a name to it and improve my technique. Whenever we had sleepovers we would masturbate together, and often each other. One time he wanted to try oral; I really wanted to, but backed out at the last minute - a decision I've come to regret (again, being brutality honest)
Q: (a) How does your wife feel about you being gay and (b) is she happy with the sex life you two share?
(a) It's more like the elephant in the room. Something we're both acutely aware of but don't really talk about much. But, this year hasn't really been conducive to such conversations - with two children getting married last spring and my son & wife staying with us the last couple of months while they are on summer break from college. In a couple of weeks it will just be the two of us - and I hope to rectify the lack of discussion in the upcoming months
Q: How are things coming along in the teaching department?
Not so good. It seems lots of people in my position (professionals who've been laid off) had the same idea. There seems to be a glut of new teachers entering the profession right now. But, I'm hanging in there and continue to have hope.
Q: Do you have crushes on guys?
Oh yes, although not as many as you might think. Infatuations are more common with me than actual crushes.
Q: If so have you kept track of how many guys you have crushed on throughout your life?
No, not really. There are some I can remember. One in particular, back in high school. His name was Kevin (well, I suppose his name still is Kevin). He was my best friend, and the first real crush I ever had on another person. I even wrote a poem about him titled Unrequited Love.
And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I also remember crushing on a guy I worked with a number of years ago (probably 20 or so). I was married and our 3rd child had recently been born. A really cute guy joined our department and we ended up working very closely together, often going to lunch together and working late together. Fortunately he was straight - because if he had wanted to take the relationship further, I'm embarrassed to admit that I'm not confident that I would have had the strength to resist. Even now I've had occasional homoerotic dreams about him.
Q: Have you become friends with any of these crushes?
The actual crushes I've had were on people I was already friends with. I don't recall befriending someone after I developed a crush on them.
Q: If so does the friendship lessen the crush, intensify it or have no effect?
Hmmm, I'm not really quite sure how to answer this. I think it depends on if the feelings are mutual. Crushing on someone I'm also good friends with could make it worse. We always want to please our friends. And, if they're willing to take things further - and I have a big crush on them and want to please them. Well, that's not a good combination.
Fortunately, for me, I always seem to crush on totally straight guys :)
Q: If your wife to pre-deceases you, can you imagine that you might then enter into a same-sex marriage-like relationlship?
The truth is, I've never been alone my whole life. I've always had parents, roommates, missionary companions, or a wife with me. Sure, there have been times when we've been separated (work travel, her visiting her family, etc.) - for as long as a couple of months at a time. But, we were always in regular contact, and the separation had an end date.
To be brutally honest, I don't think I could live the rest of my life alone. Remarrying another woman would be out of the question - so where does that leave me? Of course, it may not be of my choosing - e.g. an 80 year old man might have a difficult time finding a life partner :) But, if I find myself alone and an opportunity for a same sex relationship arises then I'd have to answer 'yes' - I just might enter into a same-sex relationship.
Q: If so, have you and your wife discussed such a imaginations and what, if anything, has been said or concluded?
No, I've never discussed this with my wife. Nor do I think anything good would come from such a conversation.
Q: Will you share with us Abelard by the numbers?
(a) Yes, here you go. My wife and I had a grand time measuring.
(b) Ok, I've shared what I care to, but come one now, this isn't a dating site.
(c) No, I will not. These measurements are not anyone's business but my own. How superficial of you even to ask.
I think I'll have to go with (b) on this one.
Age = 53
Height = 5' 11"
Weight = I shop at the big&tall store, 'nuff said
Waist, Chest, Arms, Forearms, Thigh, Calf = yes, I have all body parts
Body fat = yes
Penis Flaccid = at times yes
Penis Erect = at other times yes
Ejaculation Frequency = Um, define 'frequently'
Anyting else = I have blond curly hair which is thinning on top and starting to show a touch of gray. Many people are surprised to find out how old I am - I guess I tend to look younger than my age. I certainly act younger and immature at times :)
Q: I was going to ask age
My birthday is in February - in case anybody wanted to take up a collection :)
Q: If a young man with same sex feelings came to you for advice on marriage to a woman, what would say?
At the risk of sounding hypocritical - I think, in general, gay men should not marry women; however, if a gay man truly wants to marry a woman then it should be for the same reasons that a straight man would - because he loves her. If a young gay man finds a girl that he truly loves and believes he could spend the rest of his life with - and if he does so with full disclosure with the girl - then I think it could work. But, I would caution that it will be difficult ... for both parties. And, the risk of divorce down the road is probably greater.
Q: If a young straight woman came to you for advice on marriage to a man with same sex feelings, what would you say?
If a straight woman loves a gay man then I would caution that she really needs to make sure that the feelings are mutual. She needs to know, with absolute certainty, that he truly loves her too - and that he isn't just contemplating marriage because that's what he thinks he needs to do, family/church pressure, etc.
I would also advise that she needs to let him be gay. I don't mean allowing him to go out for gay flings. But, she needs to realize and accept that his eyes may follow a cute guy, that he may be totally clueless when it comes to her needs and desires (even more clueless than straight guys). She needs to accept that he'll likely have gay friends.
If she can say "I love him because he's gay" rather than "... in spite of him being gay" then I think it might work out.
Q: And, if that young man or woman was someone you loved, would the advice be the same or different? If different, how would it be different?
I like to believe my advice would be the same regardless of my feelings towards the person asking. If anything, if I had personal feelings for the person asking the question and felt more comfortable talking about personal things - then I might be even more emphatic with them and brutally honest about the risks.
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Now, the big question for my beloved blog readers - has this been a good thing? Do you still respect me?
Feel free to keep the questions coming ...