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Coming out

First Visit to Clothing Optional Resort

Dr. Olson,

I’m very new to all of this.  In fact, I’ve never been with a man sexually, although I’ve thought about it for a long time.  I find myself vacillating between excitement and nervousness over the anticipation.  I made eye contact with someone at the gym today but wasn’t sure what to do next.  I’m considering a weekend at a clothing optional resort, hoping to explore the gay community a bit more. I’m looking for one that isn’t too seedy but one where I can have some good conversations with other like-minded men.

Of course, you’re nervous as well as excited. All very normal.  Cruising goes on everywhere.  Eyes meet, when a glance is held for a bit longer than the look between heterosexual men.  It’s the initial communication of some interest. Once you’re aware of it, you become a participant without even intending to.  It’s a learned response, and once learned, it never goes away. All it means is that you’ve developed some comfort in looking at another man.  Heterosexual men are usually uncomfortable with it and will look away quickly. Continue reading

Delving Deeper into Suicide among Mature Gay and Bisexual Men

My essay “Mature Gay and Bisexual Men and Suicide” in Psychology Today drew these questions from a reader: What drew you to psychiatry? Why the interest in suicide in mature gay and bisexual men? What accounts for their high rates of suicide and mental health issues, and are the rates different among younger gay and bisexual men? How does race factor into this? What can be done to combat high rates of suicide among mature sexual minority men?

I have always thought of psychiatry as a calling rather than a choice. To be successful, one must be able to accurately empathize with patients’ emotional pain. Our training allows us to step back from that pain and then apply some objective, rational thought as to the most appropriate intervention. Healing occurs through genuine warmth, accurate empathy, and unconditional positive regard for each patient. Continue reading

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