[MAKE SURE TO READ THIS LINK FIRST IF THIS IS YOUR FIRST TIME VISITING ENGLISH MANIF.]
I have been getting some comments and questions from people who are worried about our Phase 4 guys. These are the guys who cleared all the hurdles from Phase 3 and are now dating women. Basically, the big news from the dating scene is, things are really rough out there.
It seems that one of the problems ex-gays encounter in Phase 4 is not necessarily that they are bad at dating women, but they are too good at it for their own good. I know this is going to sound crazy, but this is a pattern I see developing. While we do as much as we can to put our gay past behind us, men who came out of the gay scene tend to have a very developed sensual side. They also tend to be more comfortable taking risks and braving rejection.
While straight men complain incessantly about the dating scene, there are still large numbers of available women, especially in their thirties. A lot of ex-gays have decided not to lose too much time chasing after girls in church, for understandable reasons. Christian girls with strict doctrines about sex are not necessarily interested in men who spent years in the gay scene. Ex-gays tend to be a little less narrow about what they consider "attractive." They seem to be less judgmental about where women are at, and why women are unattached in their thirties.
So there's a good news/bad news dilemma that faces some ex-gays in Phase 4. They have to go slow with women. Often they are dating women who are experienced, liberal in their thinking, and sophisticated. So sometimes when you're out on dates, she really wants you to go further than you intend to go, sexually.
One thing I would suggest is to be flexible with your own timetable. I speak from my experience. I never imagined that I would find the woman I wanted to marry so quickly after breaking out of the gay scene; it was literally after just one year of dating women that I met the future Mrs. Lopez, and only 16 months after that, that we got married.
If you meet a girl in Phase 4 and it moves quickly, that might be because she's the one. Be open to that possibility. Don't fret and get stuck on timelines. You're not in a position where you have to have a huge, expensive wedding and put your photos in the local newspaper. Do what seems right, as long as you are sure this is the girl you want to marry.
But don't move quickly for dumb reasons. For instance, you may find yourself thinking that you're suddenly at a place where you thought you'd never be -- you are living almost 100% as a straight man -- and you think it's time you had the full experience of a straight man. Don't jump into something serious based on that! Your sexual responsiveness to women is not necessarily totally healthy just because it's part of having become straight. Please, hold off, and get to know her.
Also, you may find yourself desperate to show a woman that you're not gay, so you want her to know you are feeling real arousal, and you are in a hurry to do something intimate to prove it to her. That's a bad reason to speed up. You are putting yourself in a weak position.
Generally, my theory is that sex with women is much less dangerous in terms of diseases, but it is much more dangerous emotionally. You can't jump into an intimate relationship with a woman and then stay detached and in control of yourself, the way you may have, when you were with men. I'll just base this off my experience: when I lost sight of things and threw caution to the wind and went all the way with a woman I was obviously falling in love with, I was completely freaked out. It was an immense level of pleasure I had never experienced before. But the incredible closeness and connectedness of the two bodies in straight sex just made me lose my mind. I just remember my heart racing all day, my thoughts completely obsessed with her, even when I was trying to do things totally unrelated to her or sex or anything romantic. If I closed my eyes I would be back in the sex act with her.
This was all fantastic. But it was completely irresponsible on my part. She could have gotten pregnant and our careers would have been thrown off kilter. If she had not been as in love with me as I was with her, she would have seriously broken my heart. I was still a fragile boy inside and had no idea how to regain my footing so I would be in charge of the relationship. (I figured out how to increase my ability to take the lead in the relationship over time, but I was playing catchup, and the way it played out made me feel nervous and out of control.)
Worst of all, we were not married. I had gone from homosexuality to fornication. I had gone from being immersed in sex acts where I felt detached and remote from men who were trying to get close, to being immersed in sex acts where I felt every corner of my mind and body had been invaded by emotions, thoughts, and senses I had no control over. I honestly think it would have been better for me if I had just waited until we got married. The early years of our marriage would have gone more smoothly, and I would not have fallen into the rough patch we went through ten years into our marriage. (We recovered and are very happy now.)
I hope you can learn from others' experience and go slow. It can be thrilling when you are on a date with a girl and all of a sudden you realize you are attracted to her and it's real, and you have made it to a milestone--you really feel straight and you want to do what men do when they love women. In a lot of cases, since you guys cannot necessarily date girls from church and you have to go out with liberal women, you are in a fraught situation because your burgeoning emotions combine with the full-fledged sexual desires of a woman who is not bound by religious pieties.
But just, please, slow down. It is hard, but if you can be a man and take control of the situation and find a gentlemanly way to get her to ease up on you a little, it will be better in the end. You are still emotionally fragile. You are, I hate to say, very easy prey for a woman who may want to manipulate you. You may still feel insecure and too eager to prove something, which will make it easy for her to take advantage of you and get your heartbroken. And if you lose control of the situation, you may end up making love to the wrong girl because you went too fast and didn't give yourself the chance to meet the right one who was right around the corner.
I was terrible at controlling my sexual impulses with a woman, but my best advice is this. Get really good at the four things English Manif sets as the Phase 4 gifts: kissing, caressing, footsie, and cuddling. Keep her clothes on. Keep your pants on. If you can keep her happy with the safe physical contact while you get to know each other, you will be able to slow things down so you don't make the mistakes I made.