Ask Angelo - Angelo Pezzote

ang103106
Angelo Pezzote
M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.
 S.O.S. - Rescue Your Love Life
 Mr. Softy

Dear Angelo,

I am so fed up with gay life. I am stuck in a real rut. I don't even bother to go out anymore. What's the point? I'm so bitter and jaded and I'm only 27. It seems impossible to meet someone for a relationship. I'm tired of all the attitude. What can I do?

Signed,

Giving Up Hope

Dear Giving Up Hope,

It's important to remember that it's not just you. Being gay can be hard. First, we find ourselves up against the world, and then we can find ourselves up against each other. From the hardships we face as gay men, we can carry baggage that gets between us. But don't let this obstacle stop you from trying. There's a lot of nice guys out there who are just as eager to meet as you are. It's absolutely possible for you to still find love.

It sounds like you're in a real deep funk. A good way to bust out of a funk is to start doing the opposite of what you'd normally do. This takes you out of your comfort zone into something new and exciting. This stimulates you back to life.

I gave that suggestion to a deeply depressed client of mine that lives in Chelsea, who was going through the same thing you are. He has a friend who'd been trying to get him to go out for a while. But he never went. One Saturday night he got in his robe as usual and went to bed at 10 PM - hating all gay men. He felt inferior, down and hopeless. He wanted sleep to take his troubles away - at least until morning. This had become the negative pattern that he'd gotten himself into. But one night, out of the blue, he "heard" my suggestion. He found his inner strength and forced himself to get out of bed, shower, dress and call his friend. His friend took him to a few bars he'd never been to in a neighborhood in Queens - a 25 minute train ride from Chelsea. This was somethng he wouldn't ordinarily do. He ended up having a fantastic time. This one affirming experience rejuvenated him back to life.

You may not live in New York City, but you can still do something different for yourself. Go to a different bar where you live, try another coffee shop, gym or bookstore. Break away for a weekend and go somewhere new. Join a group, volunteer - just try some new stuff and present your best self. Wherever you are, you can shake up your routine.

So get shaking babe. Help yourself by forcing yourself to take new action, and watch your reality change.

All The Best, Angelo.

Dear Angelo,

I met this guy I really like and well, it's embarrassing, but I can't get an erection. I don't understand it because I'm really attracted to him. It doesn't make any sense. Any ideas?

Signed,

Deflated

Dear Deflated,

This experience is normal, but having it happen can still dampen your ego. Don't let it. Let go of any macho stuff and don't beat yourself up.

Sounds like you're just nervous since you like him so much. This level of intimacy can make us feel very vulnerable. Unfortunately, the body chemistries for stress and erections don't mix. They actually defeat each other. When you're stressed, your "prehistoric" mind thinks there's real danger and still puts your body into problem solving mode. It's not time to make love when you're a cave man in trouble. Your body prepares to fight, run or freeze instead. So the erection goes dead. You have to be relaxed to produce an erection.

Your erection will be back once you trust him enough - when you're feeling emotionally safe and comfortable with him. Meanwhile, I suggest you talk to him about it, practice visualization - see yourself having an erection with him, focus on nonsexual things that build intimacy like cuddling, back rubs or eye gazing, and lastly, you can check with your doctor about Viagra.

All The Best, Angelo.


ang103106
Angelo Pezzote, M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.

The Gay Man's Therapist

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