Friday, December 22, 2017

Let Your Light Shine!

I recently decided to make my story and journey more public by moving the past 5 years of blog posts from Blogspot over to Facebook and post them there. I then sent invites to select online friends and acquaintances whom I trust, many of whom are also gay and/or LDS and can sympathize and understand how hard it is to be gay and Mormon. Perhaps they/you can benefit from reading some of my past posts and the road I've traveled and am currently still on. That you can know you're not the only one who has been through the wringer or who sometimes feels lost and broken.
This is simply another step in me being more transparent and authentic and shedding some additional light on the dark shadowy corners of my life, past and present. It feels good to stand in the light for a change.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Teddy Bear Picnic

To you gay, bi, or same-sex attracted male readers, do you have a definite 'type' or an ideal man that you are attracted or drawn to? In the gay world there are groups/classifications such as twinks, daddies, chubs, bears, bottoms, silver foxes, otters, etc. Usually we ourselves fit into one or more such categories and it intrigues me what type of men we seek out and why. I've noticed my attractions have changed over time. The older and more mature I get the more I know exactly what I look for in a man and what my ideal man type is and who I'm drawn to.

I want someone as tall or taller than me w/ an athletic build and frame, with natural masculinity and rugged sexiness. I want a strong protector with big hands and firm arms and broad shoulders. He should be kind and considerate to others and quiet and reserved with an air of mystery. I want to feel safe and secure and content as I lay my head on his chest or hold his hand. I look for men my age or slightly older than me, but not by more than 10 years. I want him to have chest hair and some scruff on his face with a strong jawline. I want him to be confident yet not cocky or arrogant or shallow. He doesn't necessarily have to be chiseled nor be a gym rat, but he's to not be too doughy either. He takes care of himself and cares about his appearance, but he's not narcissistic. He's to be a reserved, sophisticated, charming gentleman. He loves the outdoors and loves taking risks and adventure. He's honest and trustworthy. He feels balanced and secure and knows what he wants and is self assured.

How about you? Have you ever analyzed what type of men you're attracted to and why?

For me personally, I never had a big brother growing up. Well, I do have an older brother, but he's 9 years older than me and was kind of mean to me growing up. I didn't have an overly affectionate father. My family showed love through sarcasm and making fun. I am the youngest of 3 with a large gap of years between my older brother and sister and myself. Hence, I was pretty much raised as an only child and was spoiled rotten. I was given everything I wanted with a silver spoon. I never had to work or save up for anything. I didn't even have my first job until the end of my senior year in High School. The cars and pick ups I drove were always given to me b/c they were my Dad's hand-me-downs. He paid for all my gas and trips and lessons and other expenses. I had a cell phone before anyone else did in my school (it was a brick phone as this was in '95-'96). I had nice clothes b/c my mom bought them all for me and I was never really taught about budgeting/saving. I had free reign to come and go and do what I wanted, where I wanted, and who I wanted.

One would think I would have been instilled w/ a great sense of self accord and enterprise. But never having to make my own decisions or do anything for myself actually did me a disservice and crippled me! So now here I am, a 38 year old man, who is barely functioning as an adult and is scared out of his wits and has masked it for 30+ years with addiction and sex and repressing emotions and deep thoughts and reality. I feel scared and anxious and confused and vulnerable a lot of the time.

Which brings me back to the purpose of this post: I want a man like I've described above to sweep into my life and take control of me and protect me and provide for me and make decisions for me. Sexually, this would fall  into a 'bottom' role, though I don't consider myself such. But yes, it would occasionally be nice to be dominated by a man, sexually or otherwise. But I know exactly where these urges and yearning come from and it's from my upbringing. Our upbringing and childhood/adolescent experiences are more important and affect us more than we could ever know. It has and will continue to shape and define me and the rest of my life!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Lidocaine on the Brain

Ordinarily we use social media to only post the most magical, wonderful, perfect parts of our lives. We keep the things we struggle with and our pains and weaknesses and fears to ourselves. And why is that? Shouldn’t we all be reaching out more and being real and raw and authentic and vulnerable w/ one another and asking each other for help, advice, suggestions, support, etc!? Why do we paint these glorious pictures and build these facades of our so-called perfect lives and yet in reality it is anything but!?

I’m 38 years old. I’m no longer the 23 year old, taut, social, single nymphomaniac blowing whichever way the wind happens to be blowing that day. I am no longer in my prime or have the world at my feet with a world of opportunities laid out in front of me. I struggle every single day to keep my head above water and screwed on straight. I’m married 13+ years to a wonderful woman who is truly an angel. We have 4 kids that mean the world to me even though sometimes they can be rotten, disobedient turds. I've done the college thing and have now been at my current job for 10 years. I've been disfellowshipped and excommunicated and been rebaptized. Yet, I’m forever stuck feeling like a scared and lost 14 yr old boy on the inside even though I’m now a middle-aged man on the outside! I have major responsibilities and obligations and am looked at as the provider and protector and people may think I have all my shit together. I'm a veritable MAN now. So why don't I feel like it? Why am I so ignorant in so many real-life and real-world things like stocks and bonds and 401Ks and politics and insurance and world affairs and yada yada yada? Why am I so stupid and scared and immature and simple minded? Seriously, I'm quite pathetic when you break it down. Why can't I focus and remember things? Why do I feel so dazed and confused much of the time? Why can't I get a grip on life and reality and make decisions and be strong and bold and brave?

What am I doing? Where am I going? What do I want to do with my life? Am I happy? How do those around me know I love them and do I? How do I love others and show it or feel it or express it? What does that look and feel like? Why do I feel jealous and spiteful and need constant validation and affirmation from others, especially men I am attracted to? Why do I feel so empty and numb and alone and like I'm just floating through my life? How do I move on from my past of decades of abuse and shame and addiction and feel satisfied and content with myself and my life and current situation and status? What’s it going to take? When will I finally ‘get there’ or 'arrive'? And where exactly am I going to that I need to arrive at? 
Will things get or be better when I'm 40 or 50? Do I need to look for a new job? Do I need to go back to school and work toward a Master's degree in idk what or for why? What the hell is it going to take for me to feel satisfied and content or will I still feel this way in another 20-30 years? What am I doing w/ my life aside from trying to be a good father and husband and make memories and a safe, cozy home for my family? What else is there? I am such a basic, blahzay, boring, simple, mediocre person in almost every way. How sad is that!?

To all you young bucks, I'm sorry to say that I don't think things do get better in time or with age. You will still have the same thoughts and feelings and temptations in another 20 years. Getting married, or being sober from masturbation and porn or going on a mission isn't going to change you or "heal" you. You'd think that marriage to a wonderful, loving wife and having beautiful children and getting older and keeping my addictions and same sex lusts in check and attending church every Sunday and paying the bills and being 'responsible' and having a job and being on 40 mg of Prozac and putting one foot in front of another and going through the motions of life would give me those feelings of peace and contentment I desire! Yet I only experience momentary, fleeting snippets of happiness and contentment on occasion. What gives!? It's like I'm floating by myself in a boat w/o oars in a fog bank in the middle of the ocean at night. Am I irreparably physically damaged mentally, physically, emotionally, and/or suffer from chronic, severe depression or brain damage through years of self and chemical abuse and stupid choices and addictions and secrets and lies and darkness? If so will it ever improve or am I doomed to walk through my life here on the earth in this persistent numb state? Why the damn hopelessness and feelings of nothingness and despair and numbness ALL THE TIME!? Is this all there is? Do I just battle my demons and "feel" this chronic blasé numbness yet just continue moving forward and letting the days, months, and years pass by all the while striving in faith to make the 'right' choices and be the best dad and husband I can be all on a wing and a prayer and hope that it will get better or eventually be better in this life or in the next?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

How Bleak the Cookie Crumbles

I haven't written for quite a while. I really haven't felt the need to. I've worked hard to build some good, close relationships and surround myself w/ people whom I trust and love and they love me. So I haven't needed to secretly write about anything stirring or earthshattering as of late.

However, something did happen and I don't feel like I can really tell anyone in person, so I thought I'd write about it here.

Three or so years ago when I was in the midst of yet another acting out/promiscuous/scuz phase, I hooked up w/ a guy from Craigslist. He was a few years older than me and semi-attractive. He was one of those hook ups that I couldn't believe was real b/c he seemed so straight. Why in the world is this guy looking for gay sex? Is this real or is it an undercover sting thing? I had had quite a few of those kinds of hook ups, the kind that surprised me b/c of how straight and "non-gay" the dude seemed. Well, I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least.

Anyhow, we hooked up in the middle of the day at his house. I assumed he was married w/ children or divorced/separated. We went straight into the bedroom and he got naked and laid down on the bed. He had a nice otter-ish type body. I think he wanted me to instigate or at least begin servicing him. So I stripped down and laid beside him and began sucking his cock. He was chubbed, but wouldn't get a rock solid hard on, even w/ me sucking him. I serviced his halfy for 5 or so minutes and then he began fiddling w/ my dick for a bit. Then he motioned that he wanted me to get on top and flip around so we could 69. I guess that must of really did the trick b/c he immediately got rock hard. Now, I've had and seen 100s of dicks in my day and this guy's dick was beautiful and thick and HUGE. He was at least 8" or 9". It's one of the nicest dicks I've ever seen or had. He was so big that despite being in the 69 position and having a good gag reflex I couldn't even take the whole thing down my throat let alone make it to the hilt!

So, we sucked and serviced each other for a few minutes and then he told me he was going to cum. I rarely, and I do mean RARELY, let a guy cum in my mouth but I was so turned on from his massive cock and the situation that I went as far down as I could on it and he began to shoot into the back of my throat. Well, some of his cum went up the back of my throat behind my nose and made me choke and for the rest of the entire day every time I sniffed or snotted or coughed or hocked all I could taste was cum. It was horrible. But the experience and his cock were wonderful and of course I knew I'd want to hook up w/ him again.

After he shot, the hook up was most definitely over. He didn't even finish sucking/jerking me to completion or allow me time to jerk myself off. He was up and off the bed and getting dressed. So I did the same and got dressed. But on my way out of his bedroom I glanced at some bills on his dresser and saw his name. I told him goodbye and that was that. When I got back to work I looked him up on Facebook and debated whether or not to send him a friend request. At that time I didn't.

A few days later I emailed him via the Craigslist ad and asked if he'd be interested in hooking up again. No reply. I tried again the next day and after a few hours he replied w/ "Yea, I'd be interested in getting together again;" but that was all, nothing else. I emailed probably 3-4 times after that over the next few weeks but he never responded again. I decided to be ballsy and send him a friend request on Facebook. It stayed in pending status for a week or so and I reneged it. A couple of weeks after that I sent a friend request out again to him and this time the prick denied it. That pissed me off. How dare he reject me!? So I blocked him. Out of sight, out of mind I guess, right? But I did take satisfaction in at least knowing that he knew that I knew that he liked cock and was queer, despite pretending he was a closeted straight boy ;) And I did relish the memory of our hot hook up and servicing his monstrous cock.

Since that time I have occasionally seen pictures pop up in Facebook b/c an old (girl) friend of mine is coincidentally friends w/ him and his daughters and therefore sometimes they'd post pictures of them doing things together. But I've kept him blocked and have never attempted to contact him again. I am in a completely different place than I was 3 years ago and have grown and changed so much that I wouldn't hook up w/ him now for anything, monstrous cock or not.

Imagine to my surprise when another local friend of mine shared a local news story of a man that had recently been arrested (this was back in June) for 'molesting' a teen boy in his pick up truck and for committing lewd and lascivious acts. The hook up was consensual, but still, the kid was only 16. And who do you think the lewd and lascivious man was? Yep. The closeted "straight" giant cock man who had rejected me multiple times. Well I was positively delighted to read the news story b/c of the wonderful karma that was slapping this guy who had rejected me in the face. What sheer fortune! HA...HA...HA! It served him right!

Fast forward to this past week: my friend shared another news story but this one made my stomach drop to my knees: "Man Accused of Molesting Teenager Dies Days Before Trial." WTF? I couldn't believe my eyes! After researching a bit more, I found out that the dude had committed suicide. Holy shit! So yea, now I feel like an empty bottle of asshole goo right now. Wow. Sure I like it when the tables of karma get turned and someone else gets their comeuppance. But not like this. Not like this at all. :(  Talk about a really sad twist and horrible ending.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Layers of My Onion

We learn at the Journey into Manhood (JiM) and Mankind Project's 'New Warrior Training Adventure' weekends that there are 4 core emotions: Joy, Fear, Anger, Sadness. All other emotions are offshoots of these core 4 and if you think about it deep enough all other emotions could really be broken down, dissected and categorized to fit into one of the core 4 boxes.

In other therapy groups I've attended, I've also learned that we are onions - layer after layer after layer of XYZ that must be peeled away until we reach our core. Use that metaphor as you wish: complexities, emotions, experiences, personalities, etc. But I like to use the onion to metaphorically describe my core emotions. As I have begun peeling away some of the layers of my onion through experiences at these experiential weekends and therapy groups, I have dismally found that my onion is nothing but layers of...


Layer after layer of complete and total ANGER (rage, anger, fury, madness) and SADNESS (hurt, heart break, rejection, sorrow). IDK how many son of a bitching layers I would need to peel away to finally reach the gold at my center. And my dark passenger has taught me oh-so-well how to numb out to those feelings and layers of anger and sadness, to the point that I don't feel much of anything anymore. But when I do "feel" something, particularly anger or sadness, watch out!

Do any of you deal w/ anger management issues? Do you suffer from intense road rage, intolerance, impatience or pure anger and rage at times? Do any of you deal w/ incessant deep, dark periods of sadness and depression and doom and gloom?

I think I need to invest in some punching bags or installing a rubber room in my house where I can scream and rage and cry and sob and hit and punch and throw myself around and weep to my heart's content. What say you?

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Letting More Things Go

My LDS re-baptism and confirmation have come and gone and now I'm feeling a bit like it's the day after Christmas. You know.. those terrible post-event woebegone doldrums. To add insult to injury Satan has been hard at work throwing punch after punch to try and bring my spirits down even more. And he's done a pretty good job. I've had a couple of bad instances of male rejection lately. And when that rejection comes from dudes in the MOHO community, it hurts even more.

Case #1

I first met Guy A at the North Star Conference last Spring (March 2016). There was an instant attraction/infatuation one for another and we grew quite fond of each other's company that weekend. Did I lust after him and him me? I'd be a liar if I said no, but we kept our lusts reeled in pretty well. I actually had the opportunity to stay with him for a few nights at his house in AZ when I was down there last summer. Nothing ever happened, but we did enjoy some good physical closeness (no sex) and we enjoyed our time together. Guy A and I communicate maybe once every 6 weeks or so either via phone or text, so we're not too terribly close and we live 2 states away. I actually invited him to fly to Idaho last fall and stay w/ me for a weekend, but he blew me off and said he couldn't for one reason or another. So, I didn't think much more of it, nor him. Just another patch in my patchwork quilt of MOHO friends.

Fast forward to this year's North Star Conference that I wasn't able to attend. Guy A happens to meet Guy B and there is an instant attraction/infatuation between them. Well, they DO happen to talk and text every day. Coincidentally, I actually reached out to Guy B on a recent trip to Utah to spark convo and possibly a friendship, unbeknownst to me that him and Guy A had become bosom buddies. I didn't even know there was an existing connection there. Anyhow, Guy B and I happen to spend some really good, close quality time that weekend and I really like him a lot. Yet, while spending time w/ him I had to hear about his and Guy A's cutesy relationship and witnessed how often they communicated back and forth one to another. The cherry on the cake came a few weeks later when I found out that Guy A actually went to Utah for the weekend and spent some cozy, quality time w/ Guy B. Therefore, it seems Guy A was so quick to haul his pecker to Utah and snuggle up w/ Guy B yet he couldn't come to Idaho when I had invited him to spend time w/ me last fall? Ouch.

So, I have to ask what's so special about Guy B that Guy A sees in him that I don't have? Is he just younger? Fresher? Cuter? Or is it just the fact he's the more tight-assed and newest piece of man meat on the MOHO market/scene and I guess I'm old news?

That bugged me, and it still bugs me. And I don't know why. Am I jealous of their connection and friendship? Am I jealous that Guy A is pawning all over Guy B instead of me and taking more of an interest in him? Am I jealous that perhaps they are both in the same situation (single and acting out) and they could both get together and have some awesome otter sex while I can't? Maybe all of it and then some :(

Case #2

There is a single, mid-30s MOHO gentleman who lives and works here in town who has made quite a good presence for himself in the blogosphere and North Star Community. A lot of guys who meet him think he's the cat's pajamas and have nothing but good things to say. But I say, au contraire.

I first tried to reach out to DB (short for douche bag) via a FB friend request about 9 months or so ago when I found out who he was and that he was another North Star guy living in my area and w/ whom I could possibly connect with. Well, my friend request sat there, and sat there, and sat there. For a few weeks I let it sit until I finally reneged it. A few months later I put together the Men Finding Peace group here in my area (see MFP post) and decide to reach out to any and all queers I know or suspect and are living in my area. Anyhow, I took a flyer over to DB's workplace w/ my contact information written on it inside a sealed envelope and told the kid I spoke w/ to deliver it to DB. I also sent DB a PM in messenger telling him about the local group along w/ another FB friend request. Again, as in all other instances, crickets. Why???

Well, piss on DB I thought to myself, and again reneged my friend request and put him out of my mind.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I hear stirrings in the North Star community of some poor, sad little soul who had recently blogged about feeling lonely and neglected with no one to connect w/. Outpourings of 'you poor, poor little baby' were coming in by the droves. I couldn't believe it! Well, I was delighted to see that DB has his blog set to public so I knew that was my chance to tell him what I thought of him and his situation. So I did. I told him I didn't feel sorry for him and that I had tried several times to reach out and help him get connected to other good MOHOs in the area only to be met w/ ignorance and rejection.

And while I didn't get a response to my post from him, I know and am assured that he read it and knows what I think of him and how bad he hurt me and called him out on his douche-baggery. And that makes me a feel a little better. It was almost like I was able to FINALLY have my say and tell him what a DB I think he is and he really needs to get off himself.

But still, that rejection remains, and it stings and hurts like hell. In fact, if I were to let it, it would continue to rip my guts apart. So I thought it best to block him on FB and completely and totally put him and the circumstance out of my mind. I never want to hear or see anything related to DB again.

I try and tell myself, no matter; I know who my friends are and those who genuinely love and care for me and who enjoy spending time w/ me. Why do I care so much about being (accepted? validated? acknowledged?) by this DB prick and why-oh-why would I give someone whom I've never even met in person so much power over me!? Give me a break!

Well, no way! Not any more! I am in control of my emotions and my actions and my own happiness. I won't have it dictated to me by ignorant turds or stupid, petty, worthless, insignificant occurrences such as these.

I've come a long way, but obviously, I still have a long ways to go and have more growing up to do.  I guess I'd better eat some more fruits and veggies and stay away from the 'junk' food.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Lot's Wife Syndrome

Tomorrow I'm getting re-baptized a member of the LDS Church. It's a day 3½ years in the making and I'm super stoked and humbled to once again call myself a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. What's even more wonderful is knowing that my God, the Stake Presidency, the High Council, and the Bishopric as well as many of my friends and family all know I'm ready to take this step. They can see the change in my eyes and heart, even though it hasn't been that long ago that I was pretty checked out and dark. But even so, I'm at peace knowing that God knows my heart and my potential and He (as well as countless others on both sides of the veil no doubt) have helped get me to where I'm at today. Tomorrow, I will have the opportunity to be "born again" and renewed in Christ and have the past 30 years of horrendous, heinous, grievous sins washed away forever (symbolically) in preparation of once again having the Gift of the Holy Ghost bestowed upon me.

But someone who isn't thrilled w/ this event? Yep..that ole' bitch Satan who has been uber busy these past couple of weeks whispering loads of sweet lustful thoughts, memories, desires, wants and wishes into my DP's ear. And my DP is listening and TBH I'm struggling to keep my eye single to the glory and keep myself focused and resolute in my thoughts and desires.

My wife and I talked surface-ly about my struggles this week. I told her Satan has been hitting me hard core w/ a barrage of temptations and thoughts. And the more I look and lust, the more Satan seems to provide more things for me to lust over! Does that sound like someone who is ready to take upon them the name of Christ and be baptized? :/ Factor in the sunny spring weather when everyone decides to start shedding clothes or putting on tighter pants and exercising, riding bikes, flexing their muscles, and flaunting their beautiful otter-esque bodies for everyone to see. Oy vey.

Now, I do have to give myself some slack as I realize I'm also a man and us men have that natural instinct in the spring to want to screw. That natural urge to mate and spread the seed doesn't lie w/ only animals; it hits us dudes pretty hard too. In addition, my wife and I are in the midst of building a house and I'm feeling excited yet nervous about that next chapter and my work life is a little bit in the doldrums lately too. I'm feeling disconnected and unappreciated and blah-zay at work and some of my close friendships have been estranged.

Last night I was able to talk out some of the more raunchy, deeper thoughts and feelings I'm having w/ a few friends in my Men Finding Peace group meeting. I talked, quite authentically, about some of those naughty, carnal, lustful thoughts that my wife A) wouldn't understand and/or B) would freak out about if I said those things to her. It's just that inner turmoil of my DP still holding on to that love and desire for pure, worldly, carnal gay sex and lust and realizing I can't do those things anymore. And I love doing them! But I tell myself, what's the big deal? In the end is that 7" penis really going to dictate the rest of my life and eternity? I can still enjoy that connection w/ men and fulfill some of those physical needs. I'll just never again know and enjoy the raw, carnal feelings and sensations and the mega hot ecstasy that is gay sex. I will never again feel the pleasure of having a man inside me. Sure, I can have my wife peg me, but really, it's not the same as being dominated by another male; a bigger, stronger man and be subservient to his lust. I will never again service a guy and taste him in my mouth. Nor will I be able to experience the power of an orgasm through performing or receiving gay sex acts.

I don't mean to trigger you, reader, but these are the real and raw thoughts I have. I've had a lot of gay sexual encounters in my day. And they were awesome. I love gay sex. I always will. Men are my sexual preference and my arousal template. While I do enjoy preforming oral sex on a woman, I would much rather suck a dick. While I do enjoy the softness and tenderness that is woman, I would prefer the scratchy, scruffy, strong touch of a man. While I do enjoy being the dominator in my straight marriage, sometimes it's nice to be dominated by a bigger, stronger man and feel him inside me. While I do enjoy cupping a female's breast, I'd prefer to cup an attractive guy's tight, hairy bubble butt. Are these feelings and desires wrong? No, they're not. And I don't feel shame or embarrassment or guilt in having them. The "wrong" part is when I lose control and act out those desires w/ a man outside of my marriage. While my cross of lust is heavy to bear in this life, God thankfully gave me the ability to carry it and temper it and in a sense 'overcome' it. "There hath no temptation taken hold of you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful; He will not suffer you to be tempted beyond that which ye are able to bear, but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Cor 10:13

I am choosing God and the purity and peace of mind that comes w/ living a "celibate" life from gay sex. I am choosing the beautiful, simple, genuinely happy life I have w/ my wife and my children and the love we share in our happy home. Is riding a cock really more important than all of that? Some would say yes and that I should stop denying myself and just give in and live my life as a gay man. Well, I'm sorry haters, but while that may give YOU happiness in your life, I've come to find and KNOW that my happiness is found in my family, my church, my strength/control and the peace of mind I have when I'm not allowing my DP to take control of me anymore. Sure I'm still a fuck up in a lot of ways, but I'm still trying to fight the good fight and have not and will not give up! And you know what else I've found out? I can still enjoy a man's touch and his company and snuggle w/ him and feel that closeness and bond w/ him. I just need to absolve myself and grieve the fact I won't ever again partake in some of those beloved carnal desires. Sigh. I just need to grieve it and move on.

That being said, I also want to say I have a solid testimony of this gospel and of Christ's true church. Despite some of the flaws of the men inside the church or who hold leadership positions, they are just men, and are full of worldly weaknesses and flaws and biases and judgments and frailties. Christ's gospel offers nothing but peace and freedom and joy and sweetness and warmth. I would much rather have that joy in my life, that is true and lasting, than the fleeting, empty, hollow pleasures that the world offers. Is it hard to turn away and leave Sodom behind? Hell yes it is! I'd be lying if I said it wasn't! There will always be a tiny bit of my heart in Sodom living amongst all the gay sex orgies and hot, otter-bodied men in their tank tops and tight pants w/ their gorgeous bubble butts. But the eternal part of me knows that for me, that life and way of living is death - metaphorically or realistically speaking. Living a life of chastity and loyalty and service and faithfulness to my covenants and to my family is what I must do. And really, it is what I want to do.

That is what the Spirit speaks to me and just like Nephi, I MUST OBEY! So onward and upward! Show me the way to the font!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

5 Year Blogger Anniversary

Really, there is only 1 word to describe my journey these past 5 years...


Do I have regrets? Embarrassments? Shame? Sadness? Absolutely.
Would I change anything? Hell no. I would not be where I'm at today nor have the pure knowledge I have of true, lasting happiness and joy and fleeting, worldly pleasures had I not had these experiences.

Here's to another 5 years of growth and change and faith and wisdom!

2 Nephi 2:22-25

22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.
23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.
24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.
25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Suicide is Never the Answer, Unless the Question is: “What is it Called When you Kill Yourself?”

I came across an article on suicide written by Becky Cavender of the Huffington Post about 3 years ago. At that time I was in the darkest point of my life and suicide was constantly running through my mind. It was starting to become an obsession. I couldn't sleep at night as I was busy planning and running through options and the ifs, whys, hows, wheres, whens, etc. in my head. I had thoughtful, meaningful letters written to my children telling them why I was doing this and how much better we'll all be in the end. I was drowning in the icky darkness and being done w/ my life in my way on my terms seemed like a warm, comforting blanket. I cringe when I think back to that time in my life.

I know sometimes it feels like there's no way out and suicide is the only way. 3 years ago I was there. I couldn't handle the fear, the self-hate and shame, the feelings of worthlessness and sadness. All the heartache and chaos and turmoil I had caused those around me b/c of my stupid choices and addictions was crushing me. The thought, "everyone would be much better off w/o me" began to make more sense and seem right. Sure, they may all be sad and hurt for a while, but eventually they'd heal and move on and they'd see they were happier b/c I wouldn't be there any longer to inflict hurt and agony. My wife would eventually remarry a man who would be a much better father to my children than I could ever have been and a more decent, loyal, faithful husband than I ever was.

But those are all lies, lies, lies told to us in our fragile state by the master deceiver. We're already heavy and overshadowed w/ darkness and pain and sadness, that suicide starts to become a light at the end of the tunnel. Every person on this planet goes through painful, overwhelming, and seemingly impossible patches in their lives. Some are worse than others. But they do eventually get better. I can't and won't say the difficulties or hardships will end completely, but they do improve. It may take a month or 5 years, but the sun will shine through the clouds again. We MUST endure the presumably endless pain and hurt and sadness and trials b/c in the end we'll realize it was all for our benefit! How much more strong and resilient and wise are we when we make it through those terrible, disastrous times!? Doing just that is was this life is all about!

I happened upon the following article by Ms. Cavender as I was researching suicide stories and methods. While it didn't completely pull me back from the edge, it did stir my soul and it still stirs me today as I re-read it. I think it's beautifully written and very touching. Please, please, please share it w/ others as I have done here <3


Becky Cavender
Huffington Post;
April 11, 2014

She shot herself that March. At 14, whatever pain clawed inside her, my cousin believed hunting it down, releasing it with a bullet from the chamber, was her answer. Our family and her friends were left behind to grieve. We took on her hurt and let it explode in anger or confusion. Some still say she was selfish... that suicide is the most selfish thing anyone can do; but she was young and must've truly believed there was no end, except to create her own.

I know what it feels like to paint yourself in a tight, dark corner so when you look down, all you see are thick spirals of injured agony, a deep sadness, the abyss. You think all there is left to do is let yourself fall. You hope there will be freedom from the ache that gnaws and chews your bones. In desperation, you're unsure if you have a heart left. And if you did, it surely would be charcoal.

The word sadness doesn't cut it. It's an all-encompassing pain that ties and wraps around your muscles and bones, pulling tighter, stringing you to the edge where you feel trapped. Alone. Without choice. Exhausted. So tired from feeling so much, that you just want it to stop. You don't know what to do.

If you suffer from mental illness or if you don't have the skills to cope with disappointment -- the knowledge that things don't always stay so bleak -- and if you don't talk to anyone, get help, you won't see yourself anymore. All your bones will have been squeezed so tightly, that they become scarred and wrung out. You believe you're crumbling. That even your skeleton won't hold.

After she died, someone made me promise I would never do the same; I knew I wouldn't keep it. Then I was asked when I would get back to normal, be my regular, happy self. People needed me to be happy for them, they said.

You don't get over someone killing themselves. It stays with you. It's a story that belongs to those left behind. At Thanksgiving when we gather, we see photos of her on the wall. During weddings, we know she should be there. Her life was not supposed to end the way it did: She is supposed to be with us. There was much more she was meant to give to this lovely world. This beautiful world that can sometimes, yes, feel ugly.

At 17, I made a promise I intended to keep. I promised to pay attention. To recognize the dimness that others get in their eyes, the sound of cracking bones. To remember what it looks like to get that close. I promised to remember the crocus, so resilient, budding with snow kissing its petals. It survived and pushed through winter, ushered in spring. In just one afternoon, the sun can shine enough, the temperatures rise enough, to allow for new growth. That fast. That fast. Things change. Nothing, nothing, nothing stays the same. Not even an abyss. And I promised to live like that, breathing, with new perspective, noticing the smallest piece of beauty. To become a collector of moments and keep them wrapped safely in my heart.

You learn that feelings are not necessarily the truth of a matter. They ebb and flow. Wash out to the mighty sea, and are released there. Yes, you will hurt sometimes. You will experience pain that brings you to your knees. You will feel you've already died. Your stomach will cut you up; but after awhile, that terrible pain fades.

This is when you choose to paint over that corner you painted yourself in: And it is just a corner. It's not the whole room, let alone the whole house or the whole neighborhood, the entire world, your life in full: It's just a corner. There is more beyond it. Look. Step over the edge. Paint it white.

That invisible rope that has scratched you to the bone... kiss it off you. Look at your delicate mortality. You have skin. You are not desolate. You are here. You exist. You belong. There are people who love you. And sometimes, that doesn't feel like enough. So you look in. What do you love? You know you love something. There are things you would miss if you were not here. Music. The stars. The sea. The taste of salt on your tongue. Old oaks growing and all the storms they have weathered. They didn't stop. They kept growing and now give you oxygen.

This is the thing: You have to save yourself. You have to believe that there's something worth it. Because there is. There is no one else like you. The world needs you. You need you.

So here you are. You're stronger than you know. You can plant yourself, grow your own roots that spread so deep and marvelous, allowing you to stretch and bloom like a cherry tree. Sprout out from that darkness and lift your arms in the sun. Let it brush against your sweet face that is precious and rare. Put your palms out and allow it to seep in.

Life is a gift. So fragile. So miraculous. So mysterious and exquisite.

You won't be the same. It will take time to heal, to learn new tools on how to cope with life. You'll learn how to think differently -- and that's one of the most important things -- because much of this, how you live, is in your head. You can choose how to think.

You'll give a blessing of compassion to others because you know what it feels like to get through to the other side, that life is not black and white. (It is NOT black and white.) You will help others by not judging them -- because you'll know there is no way you have any right to judge another person. You will see despair on someone's face when others don't notice. You will smile at them. It may save them for one more day -- and you know this. You know the kindness extended by a stranger can save a life.

Daffodils. The beach. Campfires. The smell of babies. A loved one's touch. The wind. Walking barefoot in the grass. A full moon. These are the things that will mesmerize you for the rest of your life. You'll know it's simple, really. It's not the car you drive, the kind of house you have, the job you go to, the clothes you wear, or if you had a hard day. It's your spirit. And it's the things that you can rely on to always be there, these stunning little gifts of magical life. Someone's laugh. The feel, the warmth of a forehead kiss. The smell of the earth after it rains. They ground you. Remind you what a blessing it is to live.

Twenty-four years later, we still think of her. We miss the girl who rode horses in the fog; the tough country girl who scoffed at me -- another country girl -- for not wanting to scale a fish. She could do it with her smile. We still ask questions. There was no note. We have coffee, talk of her, and cry. We tell our children that sometimes life is hard, but it is -- in equal measure, at least -- splendid and captivating. We miss her. We love her.

And the best thing I can think of to do is not just exist, but to love -- really love. To live -- really live. To pay attention. Keep gratitude close by at all times, because that, truly, is what keeps our mind full of wonder. That wonder keeps us here, shining. And that's what we're meant to do. So shine.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Choking the Chicken and Other Such Matters

✊Tossing off...jacking off...beating the meat...spanking the monkey...bopping the yourself a handy...jerking off...flogging your log...waxing the dolphin...whacking your willy...

I could fill pages!
Last month I heard the term "geeking out". I always considered 'geeks' to be those people who are typically into IT, sci-fi and fantasy, Star Trek/Star Wars, comic books, 'magic' games, video gaming, LARPing, Lord of the Rings, and who usually fall short in personal hygiene. Ok, ok...I'm stereotyping a bit, but honestly, in my experience, most of those types of guys (geeks) have quite a number of those things in common. Am I mistaken here?

Anyhow, I thought 'geeking out' refers to when a 'geek' or group of 'geeks' really get lit up and passionate when talking about any of the above mentioned items. It's what ignites the fire w/in. I've been asked what do I geek out about and nothing really came to mind. What do I get really passionate about or obsessed with and enjoy learning about and soaking in as much information as I can get? After a little bit of thought, I realized I do have some things I geek out about...

a) Golden Girls, b) horror movies, c) soda pop, d) DIY projects, and e) playing w/ myself.

Masturbation is one of my favorite subjects b/c I consider myself to be a veteran of it. I started when I was 7 and for most of my life, like many men, have been a complete and total addict. I've never even had a wet dream b/c I've never given my body time enough to build up my juices and naturally release them! Though it sucks to suffer the pains and trials of addiction, experiences like these have changed me and taught me and helped me grow and understand more about myself and my physical, carnal body and the experience I'm having as a spiritual being inside a mortal body while here on the earth. The whole purpose of this life is to learn to master our natural man desires, appetites, passions, lusts, etc. and for some, this comes easy. But for many others, like myself, it takes a life time to master. This is especially the case w/ masturbation!

Unlike an alcoholic who must go to the store or bar in order to purchase liquor, we carry our vice around w/ us everywhere we go and we go to it for soooo many different reasons. Little boys are constantly fiddling w/ their tally-wackers. And why not? He's fun to play w/ and it feels good. Exploring our bodies and discovering ourselves and the things that give us pleasure is a normal and natural part of human development. We love to smell and eat delicious foods, have our backs tickled or scratched, soak in hot tubs, have our hair shampooed by another person, watch colorful sunsets, listen to beautiful music, etc. In the preexistence we couldn't wait to come to earth and receive a physical body so we could have these physical experiences and delight in the things that only a mortal body can do. 

I do believe in something called mindful masturbation: completely emptying your mind and focusing on the sensation of it all; to really indulge in the experience and sensation and purpose. Let it be something special, not something quick and fast and lustful and 'carnal.' Use it to relax, or reduce stress and anxiety, and to free your mind. This is particularly the case for those who aren't married or for whatever reason will never have that opportunity. I can't even imagine going through my whole life w/o having and enjoying the pleasure of sexual relations w/ another human being and then being made to feel like an occasional jerk off is a terrible sin and that I'm a bad, naughty, unclean person. WTF? The first commandment God gave to Adam before any others was to go forth and multiply! Think about this: do you think it's by accident that our arms and hands end at exactly the same point our nether regions are located? Coincidence? HAHA That sexual desire is bred in us from the get-go! It's our natural instinct to have sex or have that experience and release. For men, this is a natural and normal part of ALL our lives. But for some of us, it can become habit forming and addictive. That is where we need to be careful, b/c as we're taught and I believe: the natural man is an enemy to God.
A lot of it depends on the thoughts and actions that are going on whilst you're masturbating and where you're at and what your intentions are and the frequency. Are you doing it 8 times a day? Is it interfering w/ your work or schooling? If you're married, are you keeping it secret and is it interfering w/ your relationship or desire for sex w/ your spouse? Are you viewing porn while masturbating or has it led you to? Are you fantasizing about someone or the porn you've viewed in the past or past experiences you may have had w/ another person ? Are you doing it publicly or in a steam room or somewhere risky that adds to the thrill of the act and ultimately strengthens the addiction? Are you doing it w/ someone outside your marriage or if you haven't yet married are you masturbating w/ another person? Whether they're hands on you or off you aka sitting side by side, that would still be a definite no-no.

I've done it all, and in some instances, continue to do so. But I'm aware and am continually working on it and keeping it in the forefront of my brain. I do not get hung up on masturbation as some LDS folks tend to do anymore. Now, is it something that ought to be controlled and kept to a bare minimum? Yes! When and if you do toss off, should your soul be racked w/ torment and guilt? Absolutely not! We are healthy, vibrant, normal, virile, sexual men! Stop sweating it!
If masturbation is one of the things you 'geek' out to and consider it to be one of the best things since sliced bread like myself, that's swell. But if you're finding yourself overwhelmed w/ guilt and pain after every jerk session, maybe you should stop and take a look at yourself and try and understand why it is you feel that way and why you're masturbating in the first place. Maybe you're jerking off 10 times a day and you feel completely out of control of this addiction and it's interfering w/ your life. Recognize it and try to make some necessary changes. But please try and let some of that guilt go! You are normal. And you are not a terrible person. Just keep working on mastering it and try what I said about the mindfulness and stop obsessing! Similar to the Lord's Word of Wisdom that we Mormons LOVE to pick and choose our judgments on ("herbal" teas, cola drinks, pigging out at buffets, all-meat diets, Veganism, etc.), the whole masturbation topic is a personal thing between you and the Lord or between you, the Lord, and your spouse.

The one and only time my Dad and I ever talked about masturbation, he said this: "Are YOU controlling IT, or is IT controlling YOU?"
Solid, sound advice that I will never forget. And that is my measuring stick.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

SSA vs. Gay... WTH!?

In an online group I'm a member of, someone recently asked the question what's the difference between SSA and gay? Why is there so much confusion and people using both words interchangeably and yet mutual exclusively. Aren't they the same thing?

Here are my 2 ¢:

In the end I think I think it's a very convoluted topic and I don't think anyone really gets it or has the correct answer. We can all toss our opinions and thought on the matter into the pot, but in the end it'll still be messy.

I am under the impression that church leaders may consider SSA to be more of a general unwanted physical/sexual attraction to members of the same sex but it may also imply that the person is not actively having sexual relations w/ members of the same sex or experimenting on those attractions or desiring to pursue them. They simply find themselves as "same-sex attracted."
Whereas I think the term GAY connotates the individual has accepted they are 100% attracted solely to members of the same sex, they can't and won't ever change and will live their lives accordingly and will possibly pursue a sexual relationship. The notion that "I find myself attracted to members of my same sex but it's something I don't necessarily want and won't act on" vs. "yep, I'm gay; this is who I am now and forever so perhaps I need to be pro-gay in all things and consider living my life that way" has fused together in their minds. No longer are they simply just "attracted" to members of the same sex; it has now become an unwavering acceptance which may possibly result in a change of lifestyle and life goals and ideals and actively pursuing homosexual behaviors and sexual relations.

For me personal I do not identify as "gay" nor do I think that's the correct label to slap on me. But I sure as hell am same-sex attracted. But if I were to say I am solely SSA, that doesn't seem right either. Hmmmm
So, in a nutshell: SSA vs. Gay = No sexual behavior and unwanted attractions vs. acceptance and possibly sexually active w/ a change of lifestyle..

What say you?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ok, I'm Out! Now Let's Do This!

These past few weeks have been energizing, exhilarating, and yet also extremely frightening for me. I have had to take some huge steps in regards to publicizing my sexuality and situation. In a previous post I wrote about unmasking myself. Well, I think I can safely say, as of today I'm pretty much officially unmasked. Some people 'come out' w/ a lengthy post on their FB wall and share their experiences or they bake a cake and write "Yep, I'm Gay" in frosting on the top. But my experience has been a little different.

For months, nay years, I've noticed how many LGBTQ LDS folk there are in Utah. However, up here in Idaho, while I know there are a lot that exist, there aren't many who are "out", including myself, or who are ready to confront that part of themselves. So they suppress it, and it sometimes rears its ugly head in not-so-good ways (casual and anon sex, porn, etc) b/c those needs, feelings, desires, etc. need addressed! Come now or come in 20 years, they will eventually want to be heard! For a middle-aged guy like myself it's lonely as hell around here. Sure, I could jump on Grindr or Craigslist or another app and find a whole world of men. But ideally I want friends or a group of friends who share my views, beliefs, wants, desires, and goals. The gay/bi/same-sex attracted, married w/ children, middle aged dudes w/ strong testimonies of the gospel. I knew I had to do something to coax these scared, closeted men out of the closet, even if it would mean flinging the closet door wide open on myself!

I took it upon myself to launch a chapter of Men Finding Peace support group here in East Idaho for LDS SSA men. This would mean I would have to basically come out to the whole world in order to spread the news and message of this group as well as my involvement and support of North Star International. At first I did everything I could under the radar w/o actually outing myself...creating flyers, FB and Blogger pages, putting ads in the newspaper and everywhere online I could think of. But then it came time for me to really step outside of my own safe, cozy closet and share the news of the new support group w/ the world.

So, on 11/28/2016 at exactly 4:34pm I shared my Men Finding Peace East Idaho page w/ the world and since then I have continued to share various events, posts, pictures, etc of my group as well as those of North Star. I have sent messages to people on Facebook telling them about the group and asking them to spread the word to any they may know or who may be in need. I've sent invites of the page to most of my FB friends. Any wonder or question or doubt anyone may have had about my sexuality is now out there. And you know what? Nothing has changed. I've had supportive messages and comments here and there and a few negative ones, but as a whole nothing awful or devastating has resulted in my 'coming out.'

I'm excited to start this next chapter of my life as someone who is secure in his sexuality and his desires, goals, wants and values and who can help support, encourage, love, understand, and advise other men in the gospel/church who need support and brotherhood and friendship and connection.

It's refreshing and worth-while to be 'out' and to be a spokesman and advocate for SSA/gay/bi married LDS men at this stage of my life. I am most definitely a minority amongst minorities, and I couldn't be happier!