Ask Angelo - Angelo Pezzote

Angelo Pezzote
M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.
 Gay Men and Their Porn
 plus Guys Run When I Talk About Feelings!


Dear Angelo,

Every time I tell a great guy just how much I like him after a fair amount of dates, they just lose all interest, and for lack of better words, run. How do I break this habit, or deal with this ssue?

Signed, They Run

Dear They Run,

I recently had the unexpected opportunity to experience the selfless unconditional love of Amma ( at the Manhattan Center in NY. Amma is Sanskrit for "Mother." Many consider her to be Divine or an enlightened being. Amma was giving her "darshan," another Sanskrit term describing an "audience with a sage." To Amma, "Love is the basis of the universe." As I witnessed her darshan, I became aware of the power of her mission. While her work is multifaceted, to put it simply - she is here to give love. Thousands of people took off their shoes, got to their knees and waited hours for a love hug from Amma. Amma is estimated to have hugged over 20 million people to date worldwide. Sleeping sometimes only 2 hours a day, she lives to serve through love.

It struck me that thosands of people all came to this one place over 3 days to receive pure love. To be held in a truly selfless loving embrace. During my hug I certainly felt Amma's embodiment of unconditional love. It was moving, healing and beautiful. Yet it was sad. Sad that so many people were there seeking this love. I found myself asking, "why's it so hard to freely love one another?"

In my work with children, I observed how they make friends so easily. "Hi, wanna come play and be my friend?" That's all it takes. It's a done deal. What happenes to us as we grow older? How often have we wanted to walk over to someone and say, "Hi, wanna be my friend?" But we just don't. What stops us? Social rules? A line in the movie Wedding Crashers says it all - "They say we only use 10 percent of our minds. I think we only use 10 percent of our hearts."

I have columns in my archives ( on this topic about how self protective fear, masculinity and homophobia all factor into keeping gay men apart. These things make us run. But rather than explain them, my advice to you today is to simply continue to love others. Continue to extend yourself and reach out. People do run away from love to protect themselves from more pain. For in love we become vulnerable and risk being hurt. But it's love that we need and love that willl heal us. Your love offering can make a huge difference. It spreads. Just continue to be yourself.

Dear Angelo,

My long term BF caught me looking at porn recently and has reacted badly to this. We are in a monagomous relationship and I love him very much. He asks if I need porn now, what will I be doing in a year? Do you have any advice on how I can recover our relationship?

Signed, Ashamed

Dear Ashamed,

Please try not to be ashamed of some parts of who you are. Don't judge yourself. Porn use, in and of itself, within normal limits, is not bad or wrong. An individual using porn in this way does not necessarily have a problem. But in a couple, if one partner is bothered by porn use, then porn use is a problem in the relationship for both of you to work out together.

It sounds like your BF is fearful that you may eventually cheat. There can be many reasons for this. But one positive way to view it, is that this is beautiful, as it tells you how much he loves you. His reasoning is like AA's idea of slippery slope. Slippery Slope means that one seemingly benign thing (just having one nonalcoholic beer with a friend) often leads to progressively higher levels of risk over time that can end in tragedy (having a real beer, having yet another, getting intoxicated, driving drunk, blacking out, killing someone).

Porn use for gay men can be very complex. Our society lacks images of men touching sexually. Because it's so available, porn is often our first exposure to our gayness. In private we encounter our taboo secret with porn. Through gay porn images we can identify with our same sex feelings. We can see part of ourselves reflected. There is often an element of danger that adds to the rush. Our bodies release chemicals in this excitement and we may feel high. We usually masturbate pleasurably too which tops off the positive reinforcement. The concurrent use of alcohol and drugs augments this. Thus several layers of powerful links to porn are set in motion. Further, we have few rituals as gay men into manhood. Our initiation into gay manhood is often sexual. In this way, porn can be a port hole of induction. Many gay men like porn. But others detest it. For some, it can put their own internalized homophobia in their face. Or maybe they dislike it for personal, moral or spiritual reasons. Porn can also be addictive, demeaning and destructive. (See if you think you might have issues with porn.)

I don't know what porn means to you or your partner. But I recommend you talk openly and honestly with your partner about what porn means to each of you. Share what each of you want in your relationship. If you don't get a solution, don't be afraid to seek couple's counseling. It works. I have even had successful consultations about this over the telephone for folks who live outside of my NYC private practice area ( What gives you the greatest pleasure sexually reveals important information about you. Translating your sexual fantasies into nonsexual reality can help you find parts of yourself you're looking for. A competent therapist can help you decode this information to make the unconscious conscious. This enables healing of childhood wounds.


Angelo Pezzote, M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C.

The Gay Man's Therapist

Would you appreciate a safe, supportive environment to talk about personal concerns? Get useful tools from a specialist who understands.

Manhattan, NY Office Tel: (917) 673-5003. Worldwide Telephone Consultation Also Available.

Angelo Pezzote, M.A., N.C.C., L.M.H.C., All Rights Reserved


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