Socialised to suppress, conceal, deny and be ashamed of our inner worlds, for many gay men opening up to one another in human and non-defensive ways is a challenge to say the least. Add to this a shrinking gay scene, the exponential growth of virtual ‘connections’, and the availability of chems often only a few taps away, it’s easy to see why many gay men despair of developing intimate relationships in C21st. And yet we do – brave souls that we are – reaching to each other through the psychological undergrowth and across the divides. This presentation shares some ideas about how gay men are being intimate in the C21st.
Chemsex has been described as one of the most significant public health issues in current times and as a ‘prefect storm’ for the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. In this presentation Christopher will take a critical look at the clinical commentary on ChemSex. What are the harms associated with the various behaviours involved in ChemSex? Is the public and professional concern warranted? What do we know (and not know) from the current evidence and how do we use this to work with the concerns of the men who are involved?
This presentation will explore the meaning of parenthood for gay men. It will examine the transition to parenthood and the challenges as well as the joys this holds for gay men. The findings from research and the experiences of gay men themselves will be used to highlight the contributions they make to their children’s lives. Clinical implications – where these apply – will be outlined and discussed.
How do gay and bisexual male therapists manage their online dating profiles and experiences when they also work with the population they serve? What happens when we meet clients or former clients in a ‘cruising’ context (online or in real life)? Having lived in the West End for over a decade, working with hundreds of gay/bi men and being someone who uses online dating to meet partners, I think this is a challenge for many therapists. Professional guidance is absent, as is published research in this area. This presentation will present some findings from some research I conducted and and seek to offer practical guidance to gay/bi male therapists who use online dating apps.
In this presentation I reflect on interview data that explores trans men’s sexual relationships with other men to expand our thinking about contemporary renderings of gay male sexuality. In particular I look at how the cultural regulation of gender can come to impact on how desires and relationships are experienced, labelled and made culturally meaningful. I will reflect on the therapeutic implications of this and in particular how we can avoid bringing our own presumptions of gender and sexual orientation categories, so that we can support rather than undermine the identities, orientations and desires of our clients.