Suppressing Sexuality

It always amuses me when people are accused of “suppressing their sexuality”. What the person who says this often means is that the person they are labelling is somehow “denying” who they really are and are living a lie about their real emotions and attractions.

In reality, some of the healthiest celibate homosexual testimonies you will hear are actually totally honest about what their attractions are. If you stand up in public and say “I am attracted to people of the same-sex”, what exactly are you suppressing?

Here’s Sam’s testimony from the Living Out site.

Now what exactly is he suppressing here? He’s perfectly open about his sexual attractions so nothing is hidden away or pushed down.

Is it perhaps that when people are accused of “suppressing sexuality” as though that’s a bad thing what they’re actually being accused of is not wanting to enter into an erotic relationship. But if this is a bad thing, what about all the avowed celibates? What about monks and nuns? What about single parents who are too busy raising their children to get into relationships (however much they would want one)?

Ultimately the accusation of “suppressing sexuality” is actually an angry response to seeing someone not live the life that you want them to. Instead of allowing people to make healthy and Biblically loyal choices about their relationships and sex-lives, some people have to attack them because those healthy choices undermine the attacker’s own world view where same-sex attraction has to be acted upon otherwise somebody would be emotionally restricted. Problem is, when you find someone who isn’t emotionally restricted and damaged because they haven’t acted on their same-sex attractions, how do you handle it?

It appears, by attacking the person who challenges your paradigms.

Now excuse me, I have a busy afternoon of sexuality suppressing to do. It exhausts me don’t you know…

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  • lyndsey

    Lovely Peter!

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  • Joe_R6

    So true. There is a difference between suppression and rejection.

  • James Byron

    “Ultimately the accusation of ‘suppressing sexuality’ is actually an
    angry response to seeing someone not live the life that you want them
    to.”

    Not so. It’s an angry response to suppression being imposed on people against their will. If celibacy were optional, I believe the overwhelming majority would live and let live.

    If you value the right of people to live a life according to their own conscience, will you support the repeal of Higton at the Church of England’s Synod?

    If you want tolerance, that’s tolerance: if you don’t want tolerance, what do you want?

    • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

      Who’s imposing what on who? Can you explain how one preacher saying that you should constrain yourself in order not to sin (oh, the pressure to conform) is different from another preacher saying that you should not “suppress” your sexuality but rather enter same-sex relationships (oh, the pressure to conform)?

      As for repealing the 1987 motion, you need to be addressing that question to those with a vote.

      • James Byron

        Calling gay sex a “sin” is the real issue, not the merits of celibacy in general. Gay people are singled out in a way that straight people aren’t. If preachers went around saying “celibacy is great for some people, regardless of sexual orientation” very few would care. I certainly wouldn’t.

        As for the 1987 motion, I’d be interested to know your opinion, regardless of your voting status.

        • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

          No James, ALL sex outside marriage is sinful. It matters nothing whether it is heterosexual or homosexual.

          I think the 1987 General Synod statement remains the mind of Synod until it is changed.

          • James Byron

            Yup. My question is should it be changed? (I say yes.)

            Since the only type of marriage the framework allows is hetrosexual marriage, this clearly discriminates against lesbian and gay people. Those who don’t believe that gay sex is sinful will be angry if that “discipline” is imposed. And rightly so.

            • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

              On that basis it also discriminates against polygamy and consensual incest.

              • James Byron

                Yup, sure does. Substantive reasons can be given for both (power-imbalance, etc), and neither’s a sexual orientation.

                Polygamy, of course, is a thoroughly biblical position, so the church could adopt that without problem.

        • Fiddlesticks

          I’ve got to say, when I was single I found the ‘celibacy is great for some people’ argument really irritating. Don’t get me wrong. I think there are lots of positive things about single life (I wish I’d appreciated them more at the time), but when people said ‘maybe you have the gift of singleness’, what they tended to mean was ‘This is really easy for you. I’m off to have sex with my boyfriend’. What you look to your preacher to do is to tell you what’s good and what’s bad (to the best of his ability), not give you more options and say ‘take your pick’.

          Perhaps if we got away from this suppression/non-suppression paradigm and think in terms of options. Our society tends to think that the more options we have the more free we are. But sometimes taking options off the table can be very freeing. If marriage isn’t an option for you in the foreseeable future (for whatever reason), and you’ve taken all the other options off the table (living with someone, sleeping with someone at the weekend, finding someone of the same sex you feel more comfortable with, sleeping with lots of different people in the absence of someone you like enough to want to make a long term commitment to, forgetting about guys altogether and having a baby by sperm donation, joining the Children of God – the list could go on), you’re only other option is to make the most of your life as a single person – and this can be very freeing.

          • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

            Very good point. In my 20s I took “marriage” off the options list and got on with being single. The end result was that “marriage” almost barged it’s way back onto the list in due course.

  • Father_Ron

    ” ALL sex outside marriage is sinful. It matters nothing whether it is heterosexual or homosexual.”

    I realise that this is your thesis. However, there are those who disagree with you – especially those who have found out about their own sexuality through sheer experiment. Would you say that nocturnal emissions are evidence of sin? Or do they just happen, naturally?

    • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

      I suspect you know the answer to that question and don’t actually need me to respond . Of course, if you are just being facetious I suspect the subject matter is probably your specialism.

      • Father_Ron

        Interestingly, in one of your other posts, you feature the comments of a young man who speaks of his homosexuality as ‘A Gift’ from God. If this is so, why is it put out of sight and left unused. OR, is it meant to be deflected into a demand for ‘A Gift’ of heterosexuality – like that assumed by people like yourself, who claim to be ex-Gay, acting ‘against your given nature’ by taking up the exercise of heterosexuality?

        • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

          I’m sorry Ron, I have no idea what connection that has with the first comment. Do enlighten us. Shoot it out. I’m sure you’ve had lots of practice.

          • Father_Ron

            I suppose the real connection with my first comment, Peter, is that you seem to be labouring under the profound misapprehension that all intrinsically gay males can be ‘converted’ from their natural sexual orientation to become ‘natural’ heterosexuals

            The evidence is that most cannot. I admire your own decision to act differently from your given nature by marrying and having children. However, this is not possible for an intrinsically Gay person – except for those who deny the reality of their inbuilt sexual nature, and embark on the path of parenthood. Only inherently bi-sexual people are capable of this path. Intrinsically Gay people are just not so equipped. It would be contrary to their true nature.

            • http://www.peter-ould.net Peter Ould

              I refer you to the questions under “Sexuality Change” on FAQ.

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