Get Naked with Your FRIENDS

Get Naked with Your Friends

 

Now that you’re starting to get excited let’s talk about getting naked with your friends. By now you’ve probably figured out that I don’t mean that literally but if you’re a nudist, or you want to be one, maybe that is what I’m talking about. After all if you can’t be naked with your friends who can you do it with. But, showing up starkers at your best bud’s next dinner party is probably gong too far.

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As I mentioned earlier coming out is a multi-level process. That first step, letting people know about your sexuality, can open the door for even more honesty, which will ALWAYS strengthen your relationships. So remember, we’re talking about all of you here not just about being gay, or bi.

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We aren’t talking about new people either. We’ll talk about them later when I share a secret about getting naked with strangers. For now, focus on the people that are already in your life. After all they’re the people you’ve invested time and energy on already.

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Are you being COMPLETELY YOU with your friends or are you keeping your relationships superficial? Do you talk about red carpet outfits, or your favourite dance track, instead of what really matters? Are you keeping secrets, being silent about your desires, keeping your fears to yourself, hiding your flaws, even from the people your closest to?

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Do your friends know about your sexuality, or do you just avoid the topic altogether, hoping they don’t notice you blushing? Maybe you’re hanging out with a group of creative types who have no idea that you have a passion for business. Are your friends aware that you hate being a doctor, just like them, that you’ve always wanted to leave it all behind and hike the Himalayas? Do they know that you’ve always wanted to go on a gay party cruise, or have a leather experience?  Have you shared how frightened you are that they won’t accept you because you’re different from them? Do you play Mr. perfect because you dislike yourself so intensely that you think they d0 too?

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How honest have you been with your friends? Even in the areas that you have discussed do you find yourself holding back? Is fear of rejection keeping you from getting closer?

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How many of your friends know anything about the real you? There may be important people who you haven’t been open with. I know it’s always hardest for me to open up to the people I’m most invested in. That might be true for you too. But they are often the ones who are most supportive and understanding.

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Embracing friends who love, and accept you, just the way you are, is critical if you want to be more successful, and enjoy your life. By the way it’s not enough to have only queer friends. The straight people in your life are important too. After all your sexuality is a big deal but it isn’t the whole deal. You have other interests and passions. Why limit your exploration of those other important parts of yourself by only having other queer men in your life? Why not leverage the relationships you already have. You’ll be able to explore expanding your circle when the time is right but the people who are in your life now are the right place to start.

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My most valuable secret for having great friendships with ANYONE? You have to be realistic, and give people lots of time, and space, to deal with your news, whether its about your sexuality or needing out of the family business. Most of us are so self-absorbed and afraid of what’s going to happen, that we don’t put ourselves in our friends’ shoes enough.

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Let’s face it, some of your fiends are gonna freak out when this new you suddenly shows up. It’s going to be dramatic sometimes. But, don’t let your imagination run wild. It’s really easy for us, as gay men, to see and expect nastiness everywhere. But that’s just the result of years of insecurity, loneliness, and being superficial with the people closest to us. Sometimes the world IS like that, but many times it’s because we’re projecting our nightmare fears onto others.

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Back in junior high I met a guy who would be my closest friend though high school. By the time we met I knew that I was gay but really didn’t know what to do about it. I was just getting comfortable with myself. I wasn’t ready to TELL anyone. For a few years we were inseparable. One day we were hanging out in his parents basement. He got up and started dancing…. very seductively. I just pretended that I didn’t notice all the while wondering if he was gay too. But, it was the only time it ever happened, so I left well enough alone. A few years later when my coming out was in full swing our relationship changed. He seemed uncomfortable with me and avoided being alone with me. He said that he had no problem with me being gay, but I knew that wasn’t true. When I first figured out there was something wrong I was devastated. He was the last person I thought I would loose. Then I remembered  that day in his parents’ basement and I realized his issue wasn’t with ME being gay, HIS issue was with himself.

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Will everyone love and accept you when you tell them your truth? Maybe not. But the strongest negative reactions will always come from other people who are hiding, or struggling to figure themselves out.

Give your people time to digest the news, and come to terms with the new you.

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How to do this is different for everyone. It’s important that you move at your own pace. A good coach will help you while respecting your needs and boundaries. Together, you can figure out how, when and with whom it’s best for you to start. Getting help will keep you moving forward and making things better and better.

 

Click here to explore Getting Naked for Love and Sex

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