Monday, June 18, 2018

MONDAY TIP: GOODBYE TO THE CLEARANCE LIST!!

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Remember the Clearance List that allows you to get past Phase 3! It is important not to jump into dating too soon. So this hiding period in Phase 3 is not to be taken lightly! Here is your checklist to be "cleared for dating":

1. Is your living arrangement safe and well-kept?


Check this off if you have a good living arrangement as discussed in this post


2. Are you off social media?


Check this off if you have followed the guidelines about social media in this post.


3. Are your physique and grooming right for dating women?


Check this off if you are no more than 5-10 pounds below your ideal body mass or you are no more than 30-35 pounds above your ideal body mass. To check this off you should also have gone through your grooming standards as discussed in this post.


4. Is your job stable?


Check this off if you have held down a job, course of study, charitable pursuit, or creative art for at least two years straight. Consult this post.


5. Are you ready to become a father if you and a woman you are dating lose your caution and move too fast?


Check this off if you have prayed or meditated on accidental fatherhood as discussed in this post


6. How is your concentration? Are you able to pay attention to what people say and listen without your mind drifting off?


Check this off if you have passed two bimonthly checks on listening in a row, as discussed in this post.


7. Do you have a track record of sticking with your game plan for life?


Check this off if you have at least $1000 in the bank as discussed in this post and you can honestly say you have not had much backsliding during Phase 3.


8. How is your overall confidence and ability to handle rejection or hostility?


Check this off if you can say you feel confident and you are able to deal with rejection. The video below provides one self-testing exercise, which involves purposefully submitting applications for things and forcing yourself to read rejection letters, etc. 


9. Is your car in good shape?


Check this off if you have a car and it looks decent. Watch the video below for more details!


10. Have you been able to go without watching any porn and with near-abstinence of masturbation (at least 90-180 days between times you masturbate) for a healthy period of time?


If you have made it through the last 180 days masturbating no more than twice and you have not watched any pornography at all, you can check this off.


If you can check off all ten, then congratulations, scout! You are cleared for dating. Tune in this week as we embark on Phase 4, DATING!


Sunday, June 17, 2018

SUNDAY TIP: FATHER'S DAY IS THE DAY TO REMEMBER WHY THIS JOURNEY IS SO IMPORTANT

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Father's Day is a fraught day for many men with gay pasts. Many of us had difficult relationships with our own fathers. And many of us felt turmoil because our own sexual desires, at one point, vexed our inner urge to become a father.

On this Father's Day, no matter which phase you are in, in your journey, remember you are doing the right thing. The urge to become a father is a natural urge, far more God-given and innate than any sexual orientation. If you embarked on the journey from gay to straight because you felt a powerful call to fatherhood, remind yourself that this is good. This is often how God works on us. 

If you want to be a father, you must also feel called to be a good father. As a father you must follow the cue of our father in Heaven, after all. It is crucial that you set aside the propaganda in our society that justifies gay male couples raising children.

Be humane to children raised by gay men, because they did not choose to be placed in such a dilemma. But understand with clarity that it is wrong to separate a child unnecessarily from his mother. It is wrong to deny a child the experience of having a mother. It is wrong to force a child to respect a second male who is not a biological parent as a "second father," because the child's love and obedience to such a person are unnatural burdens and cause the child confusion and distress.


Lastly, it is wrong to deny a child the chance to grow up seeing a man and woman love each other.

So if you are in Phase 1, reflect upon Father's Day and consider the heavy weight that fatherhood bears in your calculations as to whether you want to go straight.

If you are in Phase 2, reflect upon Father's Day and remember that you cannot build yourself up to court women, until you have cut ties with the gay community and your old gay self has withered away.

If you are in Phase 3, reflect upon Father's Day and remember that you have to be marriageable and worthy as a mate to find a wife, so you must go through this period of self-improvement. Otherwise you will not become a father.

If you are in Phase 4, remember that you want to be a father, but in the right way. You need to find a good woman to be mother to your children, so the dating period is a period that matters a great deal. Go about courtship with purpose and anticipation.

If you are in Phase 5, love your wife so your children see that their father and mother love each other.

And watch this video for more tips:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

SATURDAY (2): MY RESPONSE TO KAREN SWALLOW PRIOR

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I thank Dr. Prior for agreeing to the interview and providing thoughtful responses to the questions I posed to her (see post preceding this one).

Certainly in weeks to come her answers to the 8 questions will receive close scrutiny from both critics and supporters of the Revoice conference.

In private communication with her, I sense that we have improved our ability to engage in discourse on many of these difficult social questions. Our common mentors tended to instruct me, some twenty years ago, by telling me that the greatest honor you can pay to someone is an honest and engaged reply to their ideas. So I have recorded this response to Dr. Prior's interview:




I just talked through it instead of writing it because I wanted the inflection of voice. I would like to thank Dr. Prior once more for agreeing to the interview.

SATURDAY IN SOCIETY: FULL TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW WITH KAREN SWALLOW PRIOR ON REVOICE

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In a past post I provided readers with the full, unedited interview I had with Tim Bayly, editor of Warhorn Media. Below is the full, unedited interview I had with Dr. Karen Swallow Prior. Dr. Prior teaches English at Liberty University and serves as a research fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. She agreed to speak with me on the record regarding Revoice, a conference to take place July 26-28 in St. Louis.

Interview in full follows:


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1.    Please tell me your understanding of the Revoice conference's purpose. Is the organization and staging of this conference making an argument, in your understanding? If so, what is the argument that the organizers are making?

Conferences exist to bring people together around a common interest or purpose. I do not know that any, including this one, make an argument. The purpose of the conference, as its stated mission puts it is “Supporting, encouraging, and empowering gay, lesbian, same-sex-attracted, and other LGBT Christians so they can flourish while observing the historic, Christian doctrine of marriage and sexuality.” The implicit argument of the conference is that Christians who experience same-sex attraction can and should live in obedience to scriptural teaching, and benefit from the support of the church in doing so.


2.    Given your response to #1, do you agree with the argument that Revoice is making? Is it an argument you feel called to make to the public at large?

The reason I endorse the conference is that I believe Christians who are attracted to those of the same sex can and should live in obedience to scriptural teaching. I think that is becoming increasingly difficult in today’s culture to do so because of so many who say, wrongly, that homosexual behavior is not a sin. If the church does not support those in the midst of this struggle who are trying to live biblically faithful lives, they are at greater risk of giving up and embracing the false teaching purporting that homosexual behavior and Christianity are compatible. They are not.

3.    Did you consent to have your photograph and endorsement posted on the Revoice website? Did you intend this to signal to the public that you agreed with the conference?

Yes. I believe strongly that the church needs to support those who struggle with homosexual attractions yet want to live lives in obedience to scripture whether through celibacy or biblical marriage between a man and a woman. The power of Christ is sufficient to remove such desires, but for whatever reason, God does not choose to remove struggles and ailments for some of us on this side of heaven.

4.    Did you anticipate the resistance to Revoice that has arisen?

Of course. We live in a cultural climate defined, unfortunately, by the suspicious, hostile spirit of the “culture wars.” This spirit of the age makes it harder for Christians to think less within modernist, culturally constructed categories and more within biblical ones that transcend these. If there were not such resistance to helping our brothers and sisters in this struggle more effectively, there would not be a need for such a conference.

5.    You are listed as a "research fellow" for the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which is funded by Cooperative Program funds taken from Baptist church members. Do you feel that public stances on issues such as the theme of Revoice require you to answer to Southern Baptists who take exception to them? Who holds you accountable as someone speaking with authority to Southern Baptists?

Yes, of course, I must answer to them. You are the first to take the time to question me directly and candidly about it. So, I thank you. I answer directly to the head of the ERLC, who answers to the trustees of the ERLC, who answer to Southern Baptists.

6.    What is your understanding of the criticisms of Revoice from some Southern Baptists and from some Presbyterians? Have you read through or listened to the essays and interviews in which these critics express their reservations? Whose? Do you see any truth in their concerns?

Yes, even some of my colleagues in the ERLC have written in opposition to the conference. I share some concerns about the language and terms used by some of the conference speakers. I think some terms are unclear, ill defined, and perhaps unfortunate. However, the need to understand what people mean by these terms and how they are used within the context of their endeavors to honor God and the scriptures through sexuality that is in submission to scripture points to the very need for such a conference. The aim of the conference is biblical faithfulness even amidst the struggle, and that is why I endorse it. That does not mean I endorse every speaker, every panel, every presentation. Again, I want to support those who are attracted to the same sex but choose obedience to God rather than indulgence to self.

7.    On June 13, Russell Moore stated to a messenger at the convention's annual meeting that he did not know about Revoice. Can you state that you never spoke with Dr. Moore about your involvement with the conference and your open endorsement of it? Have you spoken with him about Revoice at all since that event? Has he asked you to withdraw your endorsement?

I have not spoken at all with Dr. Moore about ReVoice, either before or after the convention’s annual meeting.

8.    If the Southern Baptist denomination determined that same-sex-attracted identity of any kind corresponds to "homosexuality" as defined in its past positions, and that the identity is itself is a sin rather than, in your words, something that needs to be "supported" as a manifestation of Biblical principles, which of your positions would you choose? Would you renounce publicly the arguments of Revoice figures such as Wesley Hill, Nate Collins, Eve Tushnet, and Greg Coles? Or would you vacate your post at the ERLC?

I suspect that a definition of “identity” is too modern and too fluid a philosophical and ontological category for Southern Baptists to agree on in a resolution. If they did, I would have to consider how they define the concept before making such a decision.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

FRIDAY (2) TIP: MONEY

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It's a painful truth but I will have to break it to you: women like money. You need money to date women.

Long gone are those days in the gay world where nobody asked you point-blank what was in your savings account, you could take turns picking up the check at dinner, and the only thing that mattered was how cute you looked in a tank top.

No more! You are nearing the end of Phase 3 and about to meet Girls! Girls! Girls! Yes, Phase 4 approaches. And in Phase 4, you are going live on the dating market. Quickly you will find that everything requires money. And as I explain in this video, you may find situations in which you need a chunk of big money to close the deal because your dream girl has arrived sooner than you thought.


(Another scenario, which we will discuss in next week's spotlight on Phase 4, is you are dating a girl you really like and you haven't gotten her to go exclusive with you yet, so you have to find a way to get rid of your male rivals who are dating her. Often a great thing to do is to surprise her with tickets and take her on a trip, which comes with big price tages.)

This is unpleasant business but it's important to go over.

To get out of Phase 3, you should have between $1000 and $3000 in the bank.

The low end, $1000, is for guys who are younger and/or in entry-level jobs. Women are not going to expect you to be rich but they want to see you are a hard worker and they will love it if you don't have debt. They'll think it's cute if you handpick wildflowers in the city park and make a bouquet out of them. The higher ranges are for guys above the age of 28, or who have professional jobs. Women will know if you make decent money (they notice stuff like that in ways you can't predict) and they will find it troubling if you can't put savings away despite how much you earn.

Watch this video for more:

FRIDAY TIP: YES, YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT TO GET READY FOR DATING WOMEN! YOU CAN!

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I am the world's least reliable expert on dealing with being too skinny. I think I was skinny for a few days in 1975. But that was probably just a Kodak glitch. I've always struggled with weight gain. I've spent a lot of my life fat, obese, or morbidly obese. 

 So I am probably the world's most reliable expert on how to lose weight. I've done three huge weight drops at roughly age 29, 37, and 46. Even with a history of being fat, I managed to get through basic infantry training with 18-year-olds when I was 39-40 years of age. It can be done!

So I have made this video message just to give some help to the guys in Phase 3 who need to lose weight to get cleared for dating.

Remember, to get out of Phase 3 and start dating (Phase 4), you should be no more than 30-35 pounds above your ideal weight according to the BMI charts. That's not exactly impossible! I give guys more latitude at the high range because women seem to respond to chubby guys better than they respond to skinny guys, especially if the chubby guys have some strength to them.

Nobody promised you that Phase 3 was going to be short! If you have to lose 90 pounds, Phase 3 might be 2 years, but you need to do it any way.

And the thing is, you want to have the best chances for success when you start asking girls out on dates. If you are fat, you are increasing the chance that your first impression will cause most girls to say no when you ask them out. Also, if you are so fat that a girl keeps noticing your body shape on your first date, you will have a high chance of being told there will be no second date.

Also, next week as we start talking about Phase 4, we will talk about physical intimacy (I'll get into this in baby steps.) If you're very fat, you may find that girls will not enjoy the four approved forms of intimacy for Phase 4: kissing, caressing, footsie, and cuddling. Some girls are chubby chasers but most don't want you to be huge. (I would even encourage hyper-muscular bodybuilders to lose some weight.) If you're fat you may have excessive sweating and/0r heavy breathing, which will turn her off. Lastly, as things move along with a girl in the dating phase, she has to keep her shirt on but you can take your shirt off. The "torso reveal" moment can be a clincher for getting a girl to want to invest in you long term. And it's okay if you are chubby but a fat build will ruin that moment.

Given that you are starting with a disadvantage already, you want to minimize the risk of disappointment burnout, which will possibly cause you to give up and go back to being gay.

You may see a lot of straight guys who are walking around with tons of fat, but they're happily married. Good for them and their wives! But that's not where you are. You are trying to make yourself marriageable and going up against stiff competition on a tough dating market. You absolutely cannot let yourself go until, at the earliest, after you've already made it to Phase 5.

Listen to my quick tip on weight loss:

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

WEDNESDAY TIP: WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIPS SHOULD EX-GAY MEN HAVE WITH EACH OTHER?

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I tackle today a difficult question, which you will likely confront in Phases 2-5. Should ex-gays be close friends with each other? What kind of relationships do they owe to each other?

I run English Manif the way I do, in part, because I find safety and comfort in the distance between myself and other men who struggle with this unusual life experience. Like many other men I have met, I did not feel called to join a fellowship specifically for ex-gay men. While I find common cause with ex-gays and want to help them, I do not enjoy a lot of social interaction with them in groups. In the video message below, I explain why.

The Ex-Gay Landscape Has Changed

Your proclivities will depend on your personal experience, of course. Here I share my views knowing you may see things differently. I can say, however, that the ex-gay landscape feels much better than it used to feel. The collapse of Exodus International looked tragic as the organization fell apart, but now I see its demise served many good purposes. Without a centralized network dictating to the whole world what ex-gay experience was, people like me had freedom to put forward our own solutions and share the insider tips we kept secret before, for fear of breaking with the seeming consensus projected by Exodus. 

Until the point of Exodus's collapse, I did not use the term ex-gay. In reality I fought the term, which is why I left behind many essays calling myself "bisexual," a term I foolishly believed would spare me having to associate with the life history encapsulated by "ex-gay." But with Exodus gone, and with many of its former leaders exposed as people who had grossly exaggerated their own virtue and not flourished under the methods they sold to others, I found freedom. I realized my experience and knowledge was not only legitimate, but better. And I felt more confident to come forward with what I knew.

Back in the 1990s, when I left the gay scene, "ex-gay" was a rare and new term. Exodus International was the only major organization that talked about the lives of ex-gays. This organization fell prey to very poor management and collapsed as gay activists exposed some of its leaders and infiltrated its boards. Exodus was heavily Christian and due to its prominence, the only acceptable ex-gay narrative for a long time was a story of finding salvation from homosexuality through Jesus Christ. Conversion to Christ was synonymous and simultaneous with being "saved" from homosexual desires.

To summarize it honestly, I must say that I did not find salvation from homosexuality. I found an exit, or escape from it. I escaped it not by praying but by changing my physical habits and eventually gaining the confidence to pursue women. The key moment for me was my first experience engaging in sexual relations with a woman. I converted to Christianity later, as a heterosexual man.

For many years I did not know how many men got out of the gay scene the way I did. I felt shame when I was in groups of ex-gays because I could not share the same story and did not fit their mold. Sometimes when I felt judged, whether or not other ex-gays judged me, I responded by getting judgmental to them.

It has been 20 years since I left the gay scene, and now I must say that I have healthy friendships with a lot of other ex-gay men. Mostly I feel called by God to share my own blessings with others and help other men get out of homosexuality, so I feel this common purpose with activist ex-gays keeps us generally upbeat and positive toward one another. Certainly I have luckily felt none of the infighting or mutual bitterness that I hear happened, behind the scenes at Exodus.

But my friendships with other ex-gays now are not intensive. We know each other through common media contacts and I do not depend on them for emotional support, particularly since I have a family of my own. In my view my course has been healthy. I broke from the gay scene and found a deep freedom from it because I developed strong friendships with other people who shared things other than my gay past as common grounds. Getting away from all things gay, including ex-gays, helped me redefine myself along lines that had nothing to do with that difficult past.

Some of you may decide to build fellowship with other ex-gays so you can be each other's support as things grow difficult. That may work for you. I have found what worked for me--breaking away decisively, and reaching out to ex-gays as a fully developed heterosexual man with a wife and children, decades away from the roller-coaster ride of the gay scene. 

The video embedded below offers more thoughts.