A reader wrote: “Hey Paul, love your posts re chastity, masterbation, & your fellow priests staying sexually repressed. I bet it can be hard living a life where one can't express or make love. What turned you on re making use of your cock? A realization, a guy or what?”
My reply to him was: “I came to human consciousness using my cock (as you so gloriously put it) in the sense of masturbating. Really I never stopped even though I was supposed to. I tortured my mind with all sorts of rationalizing and burnt up energy working out how it was not a mortal sin in my circumstances and generally ate myself up with tortuous guilt, or mental self-torment with trying to reconcile my masturbatory practice with my Catholic Religion. I was nearly forty by I decided that I was gay, in the face of advisors who did not want me to be. I had already, in that sense, come out to myself before I had my first sexual experience with another man. I was also involved with a group of gay Catholics trying to research the Church’s attitude to homosexuality. It was in that context that I posed the question, “What is wrong with homosexuality, anyway?” I never got any real answer to that.
That was the turning point. I started thinking out what actually was forbidden in the Bible in the sexual domain and decided it was all about procreation and the conditions in which you brought babies into the world. That fitted squarely into Jesus’ commandment that you love one another. But what you actually did with your cock did not seem to have any place in any morality. So then, I guess I went into another phase of working out what was good about homosexuality and how it was a wholly different reality from heterosexuality. From that context my blog was born.”