"This report is used with permission from a (non
Christian) website. (3)It is presented
'as-is' and is not necessarily endorsed in every detail."
This topic is not normally discussed in sex-education
literature or in health classes, and probably not among
most heterosexual male friends. However, in reality, it's
more common than most straight guys care to admit.
Straight mens' fantasies about other males can be
attributed to several factors; some of these are normal
and very common, while others are more profound and
signal a deeper sexual issue or unfulfilled social need.
Note: While reading this article, keep in mind that
fantasies are very different from actions. Straight men
may think of other male bodies or even sexual contact
with other males while masturbating, but most are not
willing or able to perform sexually with another man in
real life. Usually, the fantasies remain fantasies and do
not predict future actions.
First are the factors that arise from events during
adolescence -- the period beginning at the onset of
puberty, through the growing years into young adulthood,
until total independence from the parents. When the body
and mind are growing and developing during this period,
it is very common to have fantasies about the same gender
during masturbation sessions. Young men frequently wonder
if their friends are developing as fast as they are. They
may question whether their friends masturbate as well, or
if they have had sexual intercourse. New feelings and
changes in the body can create quite a bit of curiosity.
This is sexually arousing to many people simply because
the thoughts revolve around sexuality and sex organs. At
the same time, adolescence is a time for the development
of a person's identity. When developing an identity, we
tend to take a very close look at those around us of the
same gender. In doing so, certain males will be more
appealing to us than others. The males we would like to
be similar to will appear more attractive. Although we
may not want to actually have sex with them, at a time in
life when just about anything can be erotic, this emotion
can manifest itself as sexual arousal.
The second factor is simpler: Most males really enjoy
being male. Let's face it -- having a penis is awesome!
We all have certain physical features in common with
other males. Depending on the individual, this pride of
masculinity may cause a varying degree of arousal when a
guy looks at another male. Even though we may have no
desire for actual romantic or intimate contact with
another male, it can still be an erotic image. We may
wonder how a fellow male masturbates or how he has sex,
because we find these things enjoyable when we do them
ourselves. We may think about masturbating while looking
at another guy who is doing it at the same time. However,
basic admiration or "looking at another guy" can be very
far from a desire to live a gay lifestyle with him.
Nearly all gay men would agree there is more to
homosexuality than that. When considering sexual
preference one has to take into account the balance of
desire for physical intimacy with the two genders, also
taking into consideration the desire for emotional
intimacy -- love from companion-like relationships. It's
important to mention, too, that many people do not
develop a strong desire for opposite-sex intimacy (or
same-sex intimacy, for that matter) until late in
adolescence or even afterward. Overall, predictions
cannot be made, because we all have individual
perceptions and different feelings that contribute to our
thoughts and actions.
The sexual spectrum
Sexuality is not confined to just three little categories
of homosexual, bisexual, and heterosexual. The "Kinsey
Scale," developed by Alfred Kinsey, has been used by sex
researchers since the 1950s. The scale ranges from 0 to
6, with a person who is 100% heterosexual being 0 to a
person who is 100% homosexual being 6. The original scale
took into account only actual physical contact with
partners -- but updated versions include fantasy, love,
and self-identification. This scale is necessary for
scientific research, but even a 7-point scale seems a bit
too rigid and defined to apply to an individual's complex
personal life. Reinisch, Kinsey Institute New
Report on Sex, 1990.
Preference vs. orientation
To better explain our own personal feelings, we should
distinguish between "sexual preference" and "sexual
orientation." Sexual preference considers desired sexual
actions with a partner, while sexual orientation
encompasses all the thoughts, feelings, fantasies, and
emotions that cause us to become aroused. Although the
population is about 90% exclusively heterosexual in their
preference, on the spectrum of orientation most of these
people fall somewhere other than entirely heterosexual.
Therefore, many of us are bisexual in orientation but not
in preference. To complicate matters, according to
several findings (including our surveys) close to half of
all adult males have had some kind of sexual experience
with another male at some point in their life -- yet most
remain heterosexual in their overall lifetime preference.
In some cases strong, recurring same-sex fantasies can
indicate a deeper social or sexual need. For example,
loneliness and lack of identity can cause an erotic
reaction to thoughts of other men. If we are not
satisfied with who we are, how we present ourselves, how
we look, our degree of masculinity, or even the
appearance of our genitals, it is very possible that we
can develop same-sex erotic reactions.
Problems can occur when there is a lack of male friends.
There's a reason why we normally have platonic male
friends: They help us develop and maintain our identity.
If they aren't there, a craving can develop. Everyone
needs a different amount of this type of friendship and a
different level of acceptance from it, and we can never
say how much is enough for any particular person, because
everyone is different. This is certainly not to say that
if you are lonely, unhappy with your identity, or worried
about the appearance of your genitals that you are going
to end up gay -- almost everyone has gone through these
feelings at one time or another. Nor is it at all
accurate to say that all gay men are gay because they
were somehow deprived during adolescence. However, it's
never unhealthy to get involved in activities, sports, or
hobbies. Unfortunately, many males frequently seek their
identity through friends in gangs or drug subcultures
because there's a lack of opportunity to be involved in
more socially acceptable activities.
Sometimes a "jealous passion" can develop for other
males. This is when we desire to actually become another
guy. The obsession can then carry over into our sexual
fantasy life. Lack of acceptance of ourselves is the
issue here. If this is a concern for you, it may help to
fantasize about yourself or imaginary people rather than
fixating on peers, celebrities, or porn stars.
An unfulfilled adolescent need in adult men can be a
factor. Issues such as chemical dependency and alcoholism
(either in the individual or the family) can also inhibit
some individuals. Nobody has a "perfect" adolescence, and
most people can deal with unfulfilled needs in their
adulthood. However, these issues affect some more than
others. If there is an overwhelming problem with any of
these issues, consider seeking out professional therapy.
Sexuality can be thought of as a complex "spectrum of
fingerprints." Every individual has a unique sexuality
that's different from those of his peers. Sometimes there
are things we can do to change our feelings, and
sometimes we just have to learn to accept ourselves as
the way we are. By A. Patcher