Exploring your full sexual potential,‭ ‬part‭ ‬12:‭ ‬OSA-game‭ ‬#1

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Nothing is more fun than playing games with old feelings that haunt you.‭ Kids play games with mingled feelings all the time, and it is a great way to get over them. ‬One of those spooks is the opposite sex, the elusive feeling for women.‭ Here is‬ a game which helps to get to the bottom of your feelings:‭ ‬the Opposite Sex Attractions Game,‭ ‬number‭ ‬1.

It is a slide show that we have created, consisting of more than one hundred images of a man and a woman engaged in exchanging kisses in a romantic way.‭ ‬Each image is shown for‭ ‬5‭ ‬seconds,‭ ‬then the next image comes along.‭ ‬The background music is put in an endless loop.‭ ‬No nudity,‭ ‬no porn‭; ‬just a very close-up view of the exchange of intimate kisses.

Click here: OSA-videogame#1.exe.zip to download the slide show for Windows. ‬Unpack or unzip the program, double-click on the exe-file, and use the Esc button to end the tiny program.‭ ‬It is a stand-alone slide show,‭ ‬which will not harm your computer.‭

If you are using any other operating system,‭ ‬then download the zip-file here: osa-game-#1.zip , and unpack the‭ ‬103‭ ‬images and the music file into a directory on your computer.‭ ‬Put the sound file in an endless loop with an audio program on your computer,‭ ‬and watch the images in an image viewer.‭ ‬Go to the next image every five seconds.‭ ‬Do not go faster‭; ‬let it sink in.‭ ‬It is not a race‭; ‬to the contrary,‭ ‬it is contemplation.

The game consists of playing the slide show once a day and then writing down the feelings that emerge,‭ ‬together with the date.‭ ‬I need you to do this for two months.‭ ‬It is a sort of archaeological excavation to old but genuine feelings.


Some results with OSA Game‭ ‬#1
I asked Ramses from Egypt to play OSA Game‭ ‬#1,‭ ‬and to send me his emotional response.‭ ‬Below I have commented on his initial reactions.‭ ‬After a few days he started showing less resistance,‭ ‬but his initial response is still very worthwhile analyzing.

‭(‬Perhaps it is wise to play the game once yourself before reading on‭)‬.

On the first day,‭ ‬Ramses played the game and sent me his emotional reaction:

“‬I have now played this game watching the slide show.‭ ‬Started bawling deeply about‭ ‬6‭ ‬minutes into it,‭ ‬then decided to keep going to the end and I watched another‭ ‬6‭ ‬minutes or so.‭ ‬I am not sure what happened‭ ‬-‭ ‬at some point I started being afraid for him‭ (‬the guy in the various pictures‭)‬,‭ ‬that he would get hurt.‭ ‬She would hurt him.‭ ‬She wouldn’t mean it,‭ ‬maybe she would,‭ ‬but she would hurt him anyhow.‭ ‬He ventures bravely into the unknown,‭ ‬propelled by his desire for her,‭ ‬and she unknowingly kills him.‭

Here I grieve again as I write.‭ ‬Poor guy.‭ ‬He didn’t know what was in store for him.‭ ‬When he’s dying,‭ ‬she is alternately pleased‭ (‬drinking his delicious semen/lifeblood‭) ‬or saddened and shocked at what has happened,‭ ‬not realizing that she caused it.‭ ‬She is grieving along with me. SERVES HER RIGHT‭!

And in round‭ ‬2‭ ‬of watching the video I started getting judgmental.‭ ‬To the guy,‭ ‬I thought you’re stupid.‭ ‬You’re foolish for following your desire.‭ ‬You should have known better.‭ ‬Serves you right.‭ ‬The two of you can go make your love,‭ ‬you’ve got nothing to do with me. And I’m left feeling angry and somber and getting depressed.‭ ‬I see my mother in this drama‭ ‬-‭ ‬she hurts the guy‭ ‬-‭ ‬me,‭ ‬my father.‭ ‬I see my father getting hurt.‭”


On day‭ ‬3‭ ‬of playing the game,‭ ‬Ramses sent me this reaction:

“‬With the women,‭ ‬I found myself angry,‭ ‬wanting to push them out of the way.‭ ‬I don’t trust them.‭ ‬Once I acknowledged that,‭ ‬I didn’t feel it much anymore.‭ ‬At times,‭ ‬I found myself paying more attention to them.

But I was fixated on the guys more,‭ ‬though I didn’t feel very strong feelings this time.‭ ‬Maybe I’m tired,‭ ‬maybe I’ve done this too many times already.‭ ‬What do you think‭? ‬Should I keep going‭? ‬I found myself most fixated on the guy here.‭ ‬Full view of graceful,‭ ‬vulnerable chest muscle and nipple,‭ ‬strong arms.‭

I go limp.‭ ‬He can be strong instead of me.‭ ‬He can have the girl instead of me.‭ ‬I can just sit on the side and watch.‭ ‬Like my life,‭ ‬as far as love is concerned.‭”


Our comments

This first OSA-game has clearly provoked strong emotions in Ramses,‭ ‬and he is very articulate in expressing them.‭ ‬That is exactly the intention of the game:‭ ‬to get to the heart of matters immediately without beating about the bush.‭ ‬There are three things worth pointing out about his emotions and that I would like to elaborate on:

1.‭ ‬his profound sadness after a mere six minutes of viewing romantic male-female couples with soothing background music

2.‭ ‬his deep mistrust in the women in the slides and his fear that they will hurt the guy

3.‭ ‬his ultimate switching off,‭ ‬disengaging from the feelings that he has himself and from the heterosexuality out there that he is viewing.‭ ‬He says he chooses to retreat to the sidelines in order to leave the couples to it.‭ ‬Regrettably he says:‭ “‬I can just sit on the side and watch,‭ ‬like my life.‭”

These three phenomena are found very often in men with SSA in relation to heterosexuality and to women:‭ ‬grief,‭ ‬mistrust and switching off.‭ ‬Not in all men of course,‭ ‬but nevertheless,‭ ‬Ramses is so kind as to let us peek into his inner world.

The feelings must be very ancient.‭ ‬They stem from within,‭ ‬because they clearly have nothing to do with the slide show itself.‭ ‬The woman is not killing the man,‭ ‬and nowhere is the man showing signs of impending doom or awareness of an oncoming death.

They are projections,‭ ‬meaning that they are the feelings that Ramses owns and that he is casting into the pictures he sees.‭ ‬It says nothing about the pictures,‭ ‬but all about Ramses.

1.‭ ‬Sadness.‭

Ramses says he bawled his eyes out after six minutes.‭ ‬What does this mean‭? ‬Paradise lost‭? ‬The man in the slide show who he could have been,‭ ‬but did not become‭? ‬Why so upset‭? ‬After all,‭ ‬it is merely a slide show.‭ ‬What the heck‭?

The sadness stems from early childhood and is still dormant under the surface.‭ ‬It is as if you are poking a stick in a pond covered with green algae and muck,‭ ‬and as you do that,‭ ‬a big monster thrusts himself upward towards you.‭ ‬You had merely brushed over the water surface,‭ ‬causing ripples,‭ ‬and before you knew it,‭ ‬out he comes,‭ ‬the monster from the depths.

Why so sad‭? ‬Was he hurt as a child‭? ‬Was he neglected as a child‭? ‬Is the topic of love and intimate affection a tricky subject to deal with‭? ‬Did he receive sufficient male affirmation way back then in order to feel comfortable as an adult in viewing another guy kissing a beautiful woman‭? ‬Many men with SSA’s complain of experiencing envy towards other men.‭ ‬It drives them crazy,‭ ‬becoming an obsession even,‭ ‬a compulsive drive,‭ ‬a compulsive disorder.‭ ‬Always on the mind,‭ ‬under the surface.‭ ‬It takes just one corny slide show,‭ ‬and boom‭!

Okay,‭ ‬I admit the music is rather New Age and romantic,‭ ‬a tear jerker even.‭ ‬But it is not‭ ‬THAT good.‭ ‬It is something else.

Sadness is often not sadness,‭ ‬but a twisted expression of anger or aggression turned inwards.‭ ‬You probably know the kind of parent who is extremely angry about a child,‭ ‬and then says:‭ “‬I am so sad about your behavior.‭ ‬No,‭ ‬mommy is not angry,‭ ‬I am just very disappointed‭”‬.‭ ‬

To make matters worse,‭ ‬a hint of a tear does miracles to add to the dramatic effect.‭ ‬We call them dry tears.‭ ‬It is a form of emotional manipulation.‭ ‬Spouses can do it too:‭ “‬Your behavior makes me so sad‭”‬.‭ ‬Then the spouse turns away,‭ ‬feigns to search for a handkerchief in order to dry the tears which are about to flow abundantly down the face.‭ ‬Of course,‭ ‬those tears don’t come,‭ ‬but the drama of it all‭! ‬The greatest show on earth,‭ ‬and it works like a charm.

This so-called sadness hides the core problem:‭ ‬he or she is angry as hell‭!

So,‭ ‬I would like to consider the possibility that Ramses is not sad,‭ ‬but that he is angry.‭ ‬He has aggressive feelings.‭

Now the problem with‭ ‬displaying‭ ‬signs of aggression means you can be,‭ ‬and probably will be,‭ ‬held accountable for what you are conveying.‭ ‬Showing anger means you have to explain yourself.‭ ‬But if you‭ ‬play the victim card,‭ ‬then you are not held accountable.‭ ‬The‭ ‬alleged‭ ‬victimizer must be held accountable,‭ ‬and it is up to you to frame someone.

So, in therapy situations,‭ ‬feelings of sadness‭ ‬may also‭ ‬prove to be feelings of aggression and anger,‭ ‬but parceled in a neutral packaging.‭ ‬We‭ ‬therefore‭ ‬need to consider this verdict before‭ ‬we start to‭ “‬support‭” ‬someone in a supposed victim stance.

What is Ramses so angry about‭?

2.‭ ‬Fear of women.

Ramses lived,‭ ‬like most men with SSA,‭ ‬in Squaw Camp.‭ ‬He never managed to let go of his primary identification with the mother,‭ ‬which exists from birth.‭ ‬He keeps holding on to this identification,‭ ‬and fails to connect to his father adequately enough.‭ ‬His mother is dominant.‭ ‬I know from other emails that the mother of Ramses is a strong and assertive person,‭ ‬setting her mark,‭ ‬married to a sweet and kind,‭ ‬complacent husband.‭ ‬She can have quite a tongue.‭ ‬Especially in the marriage.‭ ‬His dad is clumsy,‭ ‬socially awkward,‭ ‬but a hard working dedicated husband leaving her to run the family in the way she insists.‭ ‬After all,‭ ‬she can nag,‭ ‬disrespect boundaries and barge into the lives of others in her assertive way.‭ ‬She feels others are clumsy and,‭ ‬highly intelligent as she is,‭ ‬gives advice and counsel,‭ ‬and even takes over when she sees others are fumbling and procrastinating.‭ (‬Especially her husband).

Ramses hates this predicament.‭ ‬He feels sorry for Dad,‭ ‬and starts slowly and surely to build up a grudge against this all important figure in the family life:‭ ‬Mom.‭ ‬She means well,‭ ‬of course,‭ ‬and is misunderstood.

But Ramses has grown to despise her just the same.‭ ‬Of course behind her back.

And now in this corny slide show,‭ ‬these ancient and neglected feelings emerge and burst into the open.‭ ‬See how he writes:

“‬…but she would hurt him anyhow.‭ ‬He ventures bravely into the unknown,‭ ‬propelled by his desire for her,‭ ‬and she unknowingly kills him.‭”

This is how the small child Ramses saw his parents‭’ ‬marriage.‭ ‬Did it really go that way‭? (‬It does not matter actually‭; ‬he FELT it that way and that is all that counts‭)‬.‭ ‬Was Dad really so hopeless and helpless‭? ‬Did she really kill him‭? ‬The kid was far too small to make sense of it all,‭ ‬but he did so in his own way.‭ ‬And in OSA game‭ ‬#1,‭ ‬the deeply ingrained feelings bubble up.

He is blaming his mother for his father’s lousy predicament,‭ ‬for dad’s perceived lousiness.‭ ‬He is angry with this father who was too weak to come and save him from Squaw Camp and take him into the world of braves.‭ ‬And little Ramses has figured it all out:‭ ‬it is HER‭! ‬Had it not been for her,‭ ‬life would have been great,‭ ‬Dad would have been great,‭ ‬and Ramses would be riding the horses with the braves,‭ ‬instead of playing with the girls,‭ ‬almost being one of the girls.

It is HER,‭ ‬so he feels.‭ ‬Watch out,‭ ‬Dad‭! ‬Watch out,‭ ‬everyone‭! ‬Watch out for the squaws‭!

And so in his mind,‭ ‬Ramses unites with his dad after all.‭ ‬Although Dad does not hear him,‭ ‬see him,‭ ‬acknowledge him.‭ ‬How can Dad not see him,‭ ‬not realize that little Ramses too is a victim of the squaws at Squaw Camp with their all encompassing power,‭ ‬with their sharp tongue,‭ ‬with their smothering love‭?

Dad,‭ ‬you deserted me.‭ ‬You did not see me.‭ ‬I cried out to you,‭ ‬but you told me to behave.‭ ‬To dance to the tune of the Supreme Squaw:‭ “‬Ramses,‭ ‬do what your mother tells you‭! ‬Give me a break‭!” ‬Dad,‭ ‬how could you desert me this way‭?

And so sensitive little Ramses came to hate the pair of them.‭ ‬Yet another building block of late-onset sadness and depression,‭ ‬seen so often in men with SSA.

I asked:‭ ‬what is Ramses so angry about‭? ‬This is what Ramses was so angry about.

3.‭ ‬Switching off

Men with SSA are renowned for their habit of switching off.‭ ‬Being frustrated,‭ ‬Ramses switches off,‭ ‬so he tells us.‭ ‬Can you blame him‭? ‬He loves the squaws,‭ ‬he hates the squaws‭; ‬he loves the braves,‭ ‬he hates the braves‭ (‬they become a paradise lost‭); ‬he loves his peers and he longs for them,‭ ‬but he hates his peers‭ (‬who scorn as they see him playing with the girls instead of with them‭)‬.

Ramses switches on,‭ ‬Ramses switches off.‭ ‬On/off,‭ ‬on/off.‭ ‬We call this ambivalence in the attachment to others.‭ ‬It starts as a defensive move to help distance oneself from the pain of frustration or despair,‭ ‬but in doing so,‭ ‬it also triggers a cycle of events which only make matters worse.‭ ‬It destroys the feelings of self-esteem.‭

Here is the cycle which can occur after switching on and off.

When a man with SSA switches off,‭ ‬he is emotionally not available,‭ ‬does not reach out any more,‭ ‬and can even be passive towards the attempts that others display to connect to him.‭ ‬Here is the cycle,‭ ‬expressed as lines in a computer program:

1.‭ ‬I switch on
2.‭ ‬I switch off
3.‭ ‬I switch on
4.‭ ‬I switch off
5.‭ ‬I am not perceived as a trustworthy person,‭ ‬because I frequently switch off and people cannot reach me
6.‭ ‬I see that others see me as an untrustworthy person,‭ ‬they are retreating from me too
7.‭ ‬I know I am not a trustworthy person for social interaction
8.‭ ‬I know I cannot be trusted
9.‭ ‬I can’t trust myself either,‭ ‬to be honest
10.‭ ‬I cannot be proud of myself in social interaction
11.‭ ‬I cannot be trusted;‭ ‬therefore, I am not confident
12.‭ ‬My self-confidence diminishes
13.‭ ‬My self-esteem becomes low.
14.‭ ‬I have no self-esteem,‭ ‬so I do not reach out to others enough
15.‭ ‬go to line‭ ‬5

Now,‭ ‬a man who is sometimes referred to as ever-straight,‭ ‬does not have the predicament of having had to say no to an overdose of squaws in Squaw Camp,‭ ‬because he does not live there.‭ ‬He does not say no to Dad,‭ ‬because he was able to identify sufficiently with him not to get frustrated about it.‭ ‬So he is positive,‭ ‬and rarely switches off.

His computer lines go like this:

1.‭ ‬I reach out to others
2.‭ ‬They reach out to me
3.‭ ‬I can handle a negative reaction,‭ ‬because I feel good about myself
4.‭ ‬I handle and manage negative interactions,‭ ‬but I do not switch off.‭ ‬My connection to others is not conditional.
5.‭ ‬I am glad I can handle strife and disagreement.
6.‭ ‬I remain positive about myself during negative interactions,‭ ‬and I become good at it,‭ ‬all the time remaining in contact
7.‭ ‬My self-confidence is a learned trait,‭ ‬and by trial and error it gets better all the time
8.‭ ‬go to line‭ ‬1

So we see a totally different outcome.‭ ‬The man who does not make it a habit to switch off,‭ ‬goes into a positive spiral‭; ‬a man who keeps on switching off during interactions and who does not keep up faith in the good outcome of interaction,‭ ‬goes into a negative spiral.‭ ‬His self-esteem goes down the drain.

This is a sad predicament,‭ ‬because the incessant switching off from others is very understandable,‭ ‬and it has become a defensive reaction,‭ ‬which is soothing and protective in the short term.‭ ‬But it is a damaging habit in the long term.

4.‭ ‬What can Ramses do to become a happier person‭?

He needs to substitute his computer line‭ ‬#2‭ (‬I switch off‭) ‬with the ever-straight’s computer line‭ ‬#1‭ (‬I reach out to others‭)‬.‭ ‬He needs to end his isolation because it is damaging his ability to handle social interactions.‭ ‬His isolation is a self-inflicted circumstance‭; ‬he created it himself and he needs to end it himself.‭ ‬It was his doing;‭ ‬therefore, it needs his undoing.

Many therapists will feel he needs to be supported by other people,‭ ‬the poor guy.‭ ‬I disagree.‭ ‬I refuse to see and treat him as a weak or vulnerable person,‭ ‬and I insist that he gets to see what is no longer beneficial in his dealing with other people.‭ ‬He needs to change it himself.‭

I feel he must not be made dependent on others, who entice him to lean on them.‭ ‬I feel you need to say to Ramses right from the start:‭ ‬Ramses you can do this.‭ ‬You are a great person,‭ ‬you are willing to learn,‭ ‬willing to be vulnerable and you can do it.‭ ‬Why‭? ‬Because you can,‭ ‬that’s why.‭ ‬You are not an invalid,‭ ‬and I feel it is not wise to treat you as such.‭ ‬Ramses is great,‭ ‬and you are learning to live in a social world of mutual acceptance.‭ ‬You had a bad start,‭ ‬I will grant you that.‭ ‬But I need you to see that the way that you came out of your youth‭ (‬for example with SSA’s‭) ‬does not define you forever more,‭ ‬no matter which behavioral trait that we are discussing.‭ ‬

You need to stop switching off.‭ ‬You need to recognize it when you do it,‭ ‬learn to forgive yourself,‭ ‬and step back into the boxing ring of life. When this is said confidently and genuinely, it is bound to work.

To be continued.

Job Berendsen,‭ ‬MD.