Tuesday, August 3

How I deal with overwhelming urges

Every guy who is attracted to guys knows what I'm talking about when I say "overwhelming urges." It's a powerful physical / sexual attraction to another guy that makes it hard to think about anything else. It can be triggered by anything - a passing brush, eye contact, gym showers or locker rooms, or even just seeing a guy on the street. It's not something you can control... and neither does it come or go even if you will it.

Each time the urges come, I'm faced with two options. Follow them, or try something else to make them dissipate. I know that being with a guy will never fix my problems. And it won't really fix the urges, either - just help them subside temporarily. Then the drive will increase and it'll get worse... and worse. And so, for me, finding something to make them dissipate is the only option.

 At this point, where I'm at plays a major role in how I deal with my body. If I'm at home someplace quiet, I kneel and pray for help. Really. I ask God to help me have the strength to control my mind and body, and I just keep praying. If I'm on the street, I voice a prayer to Heaven and try to hum my favorite hymn. For some reason my mind has gotten really good at multitasking, and humming just one hymn doesn't always do the trick. So I try to hum one and think the words of another. If I'm in the shower at the gym, then I have to pull out the big guns. I turn the water ice-cold, trying counting backwards by 14's or doubling numbers, and think a couple hymns. In most cases, nothing works as fast or effectively as I would hope. Ice-cold water does nothing to dampen my drive; humming hymns takes a long time before it even seems to do anything; they're more coping strategies to let my hormones level out than anything else.

Other things that help me are giving service, going out to do stuff with friends, talking with people (not necessarily about my feelings), making food, playing sports, or going to practice music. Anything really uplifting helps.

Ultimately, though, overcoming urges is a test of willpower and faith. Am I strong enough to do what I need to do in order to stay clean? Sometimes it means turning off the computer and not turning it back on. Sometimes it means dropping to my knees. Sometimes it means literally running from a situation or doing everything I can to change it. It always takes a lot of work. But, after it's over, I feel clean. Strong. Loved. And I know that I am that much closer to God... that much closer to being the man I truly want to be.


  1. I am finding your blog fascinating and uplifting. I do not have SSA but I have always believed that we all have things that are very hard for us to overcome. We all have our struggles in life and they are HARD. I know I have mine. I have done and thought things that I am not proud of. Those thoughts still creep up now and again and I have to overcome my urges just the same. It is so refreshing to read your blog and know that there are Gay people out there who understand that, even though it is really hard, you can be a good LDS member. Other LDS members don't HATE you! In fact we love and support you! (or at least we all should) I want you to know that even though your particular struggle is a little different than mine, and has a specific name, that you are not alone. We all have to overcome different urges but it is worth it!! It is totally worth it! Thank you again for your blog and sorry for the ramble. Take care!

  2. I guess it should be the same for any sin we are trying to overcome. I've never thought about trying that hard and going that far to truly root it out of me. Thank you for sharing your experience and your life. As different as I can be from you in my struggles, your answers have been just what I needed to hear.

  3. Wow, just found your blog and I am very impressed and, also, grateful. I cannot even imagine the struggles you face every day. But the fact that you do it anyway gives me so much hope that I can overcome MY addictions and problems and everyday struggles. Thanks.

  4. I just found your blog and I give you props for having the guts to open yourself to the world :) I too struggle with same-sex attraction, I'm married and have 3 kids. Life is tough, but God is tougher. I will continue to read your blog for strength. Thank you.

  5. I'd just like to point out that SSA is not a sin, it is acting upon those urges that is where the sin lies. I applaud you for struggling through this, and would like to thank you for writing about it so openly.

  6. I came across a link for your blog on facebook shortly after Elder Oaks conference talk in Oct 2010. I really appreciated your point of view, your strength and testimony. You are very inspiring and uplifting to anyone… dealing with SSA or not. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Hope this isn't too rated PG-13 for you to publish, but I learned something from an LDS Japanese friend that you may find useful...according to Eastern medicine, cold showers actually stimulate the sex drive. The groin area wants to stay at a certain temperature to remain reproductively effective, so you may have noticed that when you swim in a cold body of water that the scrotum tightens and the testes rise closer to the body to stay warm. This very bodily response occurs naturally, too, during sexual arousal, so in reality you're actually INVITING sexual arousal with a cold shower! Westerners have it all wrong, my friend said. The best way to "destimulate" yourself under running water is take as HOT of a shower as you can. It will make you sweat and feel more relaxed, both mentally and physically, causing the testicles to drop, which is the opposite of what they want to do when aroused. From sweating under the heat, you will feel tired therefore less energized to feel sexual at all--it may even make you feel depleted and impotent if you spend enough time under hot water! Cold makes the body FIGHT back, and the groin area is one of the first areas to protect itself with a vengeance, trying to keep the sperm cells warm, alive and potent. You're only inviting arousal and more struggle with a cold shower. Japanese men, incidently, will often splash cold water on their groin after spending time sitting in a natural hot spring to reinvigorate their sperm cells back to healthy reproductivity before drying off and dressing. Hope this made sense and is helpful.


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