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Pgs. 125 - 127
Shyness & Love: Causes, Consequences, and Treatment
Dr. Brian G. Gilmartin
University Press of America, Inc.

The "Male Lesbian" Concept

     Another potentially useful diagnostic label is that of "male lesbian".
On the surface the whole idea appears ludicrous; everyone knows that
lesbians are female homosexuals who want to "make it" vis-a-vis another
woman. Yet in selecting the men to be interviewed for this research the
seemingly incongruous notion of "male lesbian" kept staring me in the
face again and again. For this reason, I don't think that any book pre-
tending to be complete on the subject of chronic love-shyness in men
can afford to ignore the "male lesbian" idea.
      Specifically, a "male lesbian" is a heterosexual man who wishes
that he had been born a woman, but who (even if he had been a woman)
could only make love to another woman and never to a man. Unlike
the transsexual, the "male lesbian" does not feel himself to be "a woman
trapped inside the body of a man". Moreover, none of the love-shy men
studied for this research entertained any wishes or fantasies of any kind
pertinent to the idea of obtaining a sex change operation. All wanted to
keep their male genitalia; all wanted to remain as males. However, all
deeply envied the perogatives of the female gender and truly believed
that these perogatives fitted their own inborn temperaments far more
harmoniously than the pattern of behavioral expectations to which males
are required to adhere. The following represent some typical comments
from love-shy males:

      "From the time I was very, very young, I had always wished that I
      had been born a girl. I know I would have been much happier as a
      girl because I have always been attracted to the kinds of things that
      girls do. But every time I think about how great it would have been
      if I had been born a girl, I immediately realize that if I had been born
      a girl I would be a lesbian. I have always strongly disliked the idea
      of doing anything with my own sex. I despise men. Just thinking
      about making love to a man, even as a woman, makes me want to
      throw up! But I would also never want to play football or baseball
      or any of the other games boys are supposed to like playing. I never
      wanted to have anything to do with the male sex, on any level. So,
      like if I had been born a girl as 1 would have wanted, I would
      definitely be a lesbian because I'd be falling in love with and having
      sex with girls instead of with men." (40-year old heterosexual love-
      shy man.)

      "To be perfectly frank, I don't think I would be shy at all if it wasn't
      for this goddam norm that says that only the man can make the first
      move with a woman in asking for dates. I mean if both sexes had
      equal responsibility for having to suffer the indignity of having to
      make the first move, I just know I would have been married fourteen
      or maybe fifteen years ago." (35-year old love-shy man.)

      "Well, I don't know if I'd actually like to be a woman. All I know
      is that I've always envied women because they can play the passive
      role and still get married. I think our society is extremely cruel to
      men. It treats them like second class citizens all the time while women
      get treated like prima donnas. When you write your book I hope
      you emphasize the fact that men have feelings too. I mean, men are
      human beings too, and they have feelings just as much as any woman
      does. I think it's rotten and stinking the way it's always the man
      who is made to suffer--like in the military, for example. Just because
      a person happens to be a male he has to suffer all the horrors and
      indignities of the military establishment and the selective slavery
      system. If you're a man you're not supposed to feel any pain. You're
      not supposed to have any feelings. You're supposed to be just like
      a piece of steel and press forward no matter what harm or pain
      comes to you. Well, I was lucky in being able to avoid the military--
      thank God! But when it comes to getting a woman there doesn't
      seem to be any way of getting around these extremely cruel social
      rules that insist that only the man can be allowed to make the first
      approach with a woman .... If I was writing a book on shyness
      I'd hollar and shout on every page that the only way to solve the
      problem is to change these cruel social rules. You tell your readers
      that we've got to change the rules. And we've got to keep telling
      our daughters from the time they are little that they have just as
      much responsibility as men for making the first move in starting
      romantic relationships." (38-year old love-shy man.)

      Male lesbians differ from both transsexuals and homosexuals in that
they cannot conceive of themselves making love to a man. For example,
after sex change surgery the male transsexual almost always wants to
begin making love to a man AS A WOMAN. The male homosexual wants
to make love AS A MAN to a man. The male lesbian, on the other hand,
wishes that he had been born a woman. But he always makes it clear
that if he indeed had been born a woman he would be a full-fledged
lesbian. In other words, he would want to socialize exclusively with
women and he would choose female partners exclusively for love-mak-
ing and for sexmaking activity. In short, a secret fantasy of many love-
shy men is to be a beautiful woman who lives with and makes love with
another beautiful woman.
      The love-shy men studied for this book all reluctantly accepted the
fact that they are males. And none of them had ever revealed any trans-
vestite tendencies. Thus, none of them had ever experienced any urge
to dress up as a woman or to put on lipstick or nail polish, etc. Since
they could not be a woman, most of them visualized themselves as a
man romancing a beautiful woman. And most of them had begun doing
this from a much earlier age in life than had the large majority of non-
shy heterosexual men.
     As the later chapters of this book will clearly demonstrate, many
of the love-shy men studied never liked their own gender very much.
As young children most of them had avoided playmates of their own
sex. And most of them had envied the girls' play groups and play
activities. They had come to view conventional societal expectations as
cruel and callously insensitive because they perceived the girls' peer
groups and play activities as being their "natural terrain". Hence, they
had often thought to themselves that if they could only find a way of
gaining acceptance into the all-female peer group they would find hap-
piness, inner peace and contentment.
      From a very early age in life onward, the love-shys felt somehow
"different" from their male peers. Something inside of themselves told
them that they did not belong around male peers. Male peer group
activities appeared foreign and often totally unappealing to them. And
they tended to view males and their peer group activities with feelings
of total and complete alienation and detachment. As one love-shy man
expressed it, "Whenever I watched the boys in my school playing I
might just as well have been watching a bunch of bear cubs play. I knew
they were having a good time; but I just didn't feel that I belonged to
their species. I knew that I belonged somewhere else, but I did not know
how to find that someplace else." The "someplace else" referred to was,
of course, an all-girl peer group.
      And so the male lesbian (1) does not want to play with males, (2) does
not want to make love to or experience sex with males, (3) does not
have male recreational interests, and (4) does not even want to procreate
male children. The vast majority of the love-shy men interviewed for
this book confessed that if they ever did become fathers they would
want to have girl children only--NO BOYS. In stark contrast, only one
percent of the self-confident, non-shy men felt that way. In fact, the
non-shy men preferred the idea of fathering male children to the idea
of fathering female children by a ratio of almost three to two.