Gay celibate dating
It’s not trendy to admit this, but I didn’t experience a sexless adulthood to be a fate worse than death, in part, perhaps, because I tried not to rev up my libido by seeing how close I could get to the line of intercourse without stepping over it.
I didn’t look at porn; didn’t install any hookup apps on the smartphone I eventually, well into my thirties, acquired; didn’t try to make out with the other celibate gay Christians I ended up befriending after my book was published.
Marriage, I argued, was intended in God’s plan to be “male and female”—Jesus says as much when he reaffirms the teaching of the book of Genesis—and any sexual intimacy outside of that marital bond missed the mark of God’s design for human flourishing.
But, as I also made clear in that book, I didn’t harbour that theological belief because I had experienced any diminishment of my longings for same-sex love.
I wouldn’t date men, wouldn’t have sex with them, wouldn’t marry one of them, wouldn’t build a home and adopt children with one.
The next day I would board an airplane for home, having managed, in some way I can’t now fathom, to finish my master’s-degree thesis while stumbling through a darkening depression that left me almost unable to read. We had once shared a house and talked sometimes about doing so again in the future.
The occasion of that darkness was my friend’s new romance, and my experience of it was almost entirely defined by a deepening jealousy. And so, fingering the cellphone in my pocket, I tried to forget for a moment that I wanted him single again, wanted him all for myself.
Little did I know what that self-denial would do to my longing.
Bargaining for Friendship For a long time, I found abstinence relatively easy.