This therapy doesn’t seem homoerotic at all...
So, now we know who is really to blame for homosexuality.
Well, more specifically, dads that weren’t very affectionate and loving. Proponents of cuddle conversion (real name) think that the reason men are gay is because of a lack of healthy same-sex affection that they missed out on as a child. Therefore, as adults, they eroticize all male touch.
“Life coach” and founder of “People can Change” runs a ‘Journey Into Manhood’ weekend retreat in which men are encouraged to wrestle and cuddle and give each other bear hugs. That’s right. A bunch of gay guys cuddling and wrestling in order to help cure them of their homosexuality. Clearly, this therapy works!
Writer (and my new hero), Ted Cox, went undercover last year at one of these retreats and described his story to Alter Net:
“I sat on the floor between the outstretched legs of a camp guide, my head leaning back against his shoulder. The guide sat behind me, his arms wrapped around my chest. This hold was called "The Motorcycle." Five men surrounded the two of us, their hands resting gently on my arms, legs and chest.”
Cox said that while in this position, he felt “the unmistakable bulge pressing through [the guide’s] tight jeans.”
But, have no fear! Erections are all part of the process!
Richard Cohen, cuddle converter and former president of Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays (PFOX) wrote a book called, Coming Out Straight, in which he warns of the addictive nature of cuddling.
“It’s natural for us to feel stimulation when we are intimate with either someone of the same or opposite sex. But, do not become hooked on holding, as this technique can be addictive.”
Cohen has since been ousted from the ex-gay community after he gave a series of embarrassing interviews, including one on the Daily Show, in which a male corespondent had the “parental position” demonstrated on him.
This clip garnered so much negative press that PFOX has deleted all references of Cohen from their site. But, the practice of cuddle conversion is still very much alive and well.
It makes me so sad to think that there are people out there that are so afraid to be who they are, whether it be because their lifestyle doesn’t coincide with their religious beliefs, or whether they fear friends and family alienating them, or whether they just can’t come to terms with being who they really are, that they feel as though the only option is therapy to ‘cure’ them of being themselves. These people are vulnerable and perfect prey for someone like Cohen and his believers to attach themselves, too.
There is no evidence to suggest that anyone’s sexual orientation can be changed, and for Cohen to perpetuate myths of living a straight life when you are a gay person is just wrong and hateful. Many ex-gay watchdog groups have documented stories of men who tried for years to “turn straight” and ended up killing themselves.
My other issue with Cohen and those who work towards converting gay people to straight, is “why do you care so much?”
Even if you are gay, and even if there is a God that is going to send you straight to hell, that is your problem, not Cohen’s or anybody else’s . I don’t understand why these people feel it is their duty in life to worry about what is going on in your bedroom.
My only thought is that Cohen is gay, himself, and is feeling so guilt-stricken and depressed because his orientation doesn’t jive with his religious affiliation, that he has projected his feelings of frustration on to others who he believes need cured.
The only cure needed is one to rid us of the mentality that there is something wrong with being gay.