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TRISTAN ASKS...
Submitted 22 Oct 2004

Women or men can arouse me. But I seem to only love younger boys, and so fiercely it keeps me up at night. I have certain crushes. There is no fighting it.

So what do I do? How I do I find any form of happiness or a kind of relationship I want? How do I understand my weird orientation? Would counseling be helpful? I get the impression from society that people like me are sick. I think of killing myself.

And when I think of killing myself, it's not because of my dissatisfaction about myself. In fact I love myself; I am smart, coordinated, and good looking, and a very kind person. I am confident that I could do anything I pursued. It's just my disagreement with the world and my nature being against social conformity that causes everyday of my life to feel like I'm chained down and hated. Am I sick?

- Tristan, 17

Our answers
Submitted 30 Oct 2004

Hi Tristan,

No, you are not sick. Your orientation is part of the natural variation of human sexuality. Our society is only now starting to accept a little bit of this variation, in its acceptance of gays. It still has a long way to go! There are so many different sexualities, many of which are not yet understood or accepted by our society.

You're already on the right track in realizing you're a good person. In fact, you sound like a wonderful young man that a lot of people would like to know.

To understand your orientation further, I'd suggest you read the material here at agetaboo in the information section, as well as at www.mhamic.org. Also, start emailing with other people who are attracted to boys, and get to know them. As you discuss your feelings and ask questions, you'll probably get a better understanding of your orientation. You'll also learn how others have dealt with the frustration that result from society's attitudes and beliefs. It worked for me! Just remember for your safety to use an email account that doesn't reveal your IP number. You can get to know people here at agetaboo.org or at other discussion boards for men attracted to boys.

As for counseling, that's a bit difficult. Most therapists don't know how to deal with this, and may refer you to treatment intended to change your sexual feelings through "cognitive-behavioral treatment" which often requires you to admit that your feelings are shameful and evil, and to say that you have characteristics that you really don't have (like deviousness and lack of empathy for children). There are a small number of therapists that are more enlightened, and it may be possible to find one by emailing some anonymously and asking how they would work with you. On the other hand, you may get what you need (self-understanding, learning how to express your feelings for boys in fulfilling and legal ways, and learning how to deal with societal attitudes) by getting to know other men with your sexuality.

I'd love to converse with you more about this. Feel free to email me.

- Matthew S
matthews@agetaboo.org

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