Father Tony

Guilty When You Sneeze?

Filed By Father Tony | October 29, 2009 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: public sex, sexual guilt

Dear Father Tony,

Please take off your pope hat for a moment and put your shrink hat on for a moment. I don't feel guilty about being gay. I'm proud of who I am. A 100% gay man. But I do feel guilty every time I have sex and I want to keep it a secret. Is this weird or what?


(Update: sorry about the setting glitch - comments are now accepted)

Dear M,

I think your circumstance is quite common. We are now at a time in history when we can march down the street proclaiming our gaiety, but we would be hesitant to have gay sex on that same street with those same people watching from the sidewalks. This is ridiculous but telling.

People, in general, are weird that way. Last year, I was thinking about this when I read a book about Cuba in the 1950s. Respectable married American tourists would come to Havana in droves, flocking to those clubs that offered dinner and a live sex show! These same folks would never dream of actually having sex - even with their own spouses - outside the "privacy of the bedroom".

Also, I've just returned from a week in Key West where straight and gay people alike seem to have shed many fears and prohibitions about displaying all available body parts, about sexual joking in even the most respectable of formats and about having sexual contact in public and semi-public places. With nary an eyebrow raised!

The question is this: Is it natural and good to keep sex private or is it an unhealthy repression that ought to be discarded?

Surely in the earliest days of our race, cave men and women didn't go to a private area of their caves to have sex outside the view of the kids. I'm not an anthropologist but I have always suspected that sexual privacy co-evolved apace with males taking possession of females and wanting to own the sexual rights to females. Now that females are equal and liberated, perhaps it is time to liberate consensual adult sex from the needless restrictions of privacy and province.

Here is my advice to you. When you are filled with a desire to have sex - or when you've just had it and are beginning to feel icky about what you just did - you should reframe your view of what your body is feeling. Understand that sexual yearning is at the root of a normally functioning body. No less than and very much like sneezing, ejaculation serves an important purpose that is perfectly natural and efficient. When in public, you should cover your sneeze for obvious reasons, but you should never feel guilty about having sneezed. Follow the same rule with ejaculation. We will know that we have finally matured as a race when strangers say to you "God Bless You!" whenever you ejaculate carefully in their presence.

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All I can say is: Thank you God for leading me to this site. Fr Tony, yours words really help my own hang ups!