Hi Martin--

ben and i aren't partners, or even dating right now...but i do seem to be "that man" so to speak given everthing below...

i am a 41 year gay male...and my survivor is a 31 year old guy in his first year or so of recovery.

we met nearly three years ago and our pwerful connection happened at first sight...we grew close very fast and had a long courtship that was wonderful, but very confusing for about 6 months. he was tender and emotionally intimate in deeper and more meaningful ways than i had ever experienced before. his love and adoration for me was clear and obvious to everyone, but every time it seemed like we would finally hook up, he awkwardly and abruptly ended the evening and ran home.

suffice it say, eventually we did hook up. the sex was powerfully emotional, and great. so much so that afterward i chuckled about my confusion all that time about whether he was straight or gay, or whether i would be his very fist same-sex encounter because he seemed very experienced and had no reservations.

the next 6 months, however, while a continued courtship that remained loving and deeply emotionally intimate, was only physical one or two more times, and in between he was back to the awkward running away at the end of the evening.

while very slow, and very confusing for me given that the seal had been broken so to speak, i just figured he had some baggage from his past that made him skiddish about commitment or about coming out (which he did not seem to be)...although at the very beginning he identified himself orientation-wise as being "just ben"...which overall made me conclude he was bisexual and was unsure about whether he wanted to be partnered with a man or a woman.

6 months into the post sex period, laying in bed with me in the middle of the night after having declined sex several hours earlier, he told me about the abuse and that i was the only person he had ever trusted and loved enough to tell...and the real journey began.

at that time he was not in counseling, and had not ever addressed the abuse before. over the next several months he continued to bring it up and he told me about his deep love for me, but also about the terrifying nightmares i had triggered and the lostness and despair he was in, and all the other usual things we have all experienced with our survivors.

he told me that i was the first and only man he had ever been with, and that i was the only man he ever would be with. his life before me had been exclusively straight, and extremely hypersexual and hypermasculine...he had slept with countless women, hundreds and hundreds over the years...he had been a player of the most extreme proportion i had ever known.

nevertheless, it seemed clear that i was now the primary most important human to him, and that this was a journey he needed to explore but that i was the one he was journeying from in order to figure himself out...i was the one he always was emotionally intimate with and everything else was simply an experiment to figure out whether this new path of being with a man was indeed the right thing for him.

from his disclosure for about a year there was no sex of any kind. but our mutual emotional intimacy continued to palpably deepen almost every day...he showered me in very personal gifts and love all the time, and his visible in-love feelings were so noticeable that, for example, even strangers commented to us about how wonderful our love for one another made even them feel touched when they were sitting next to us at a bar.

with my gentle encouragement and support, he eventually made the decision to start counseling.

if you need more, the rest of my complete story is in my post earlier today..."rallying to stay, or rallying to go"