"Male to Male: Sexual Feeling Across the Boundaries of Identity" is a book that shows that feelings of intimacy, love, and sexual attraction are not confined to the boxes that this society has constructed for them. It shows that when ordinary "heterosexual" men--and women-- felt safe enough to disclose their inner thoughts and feelings, it turns out that many of them--about a third of the women and forty-five percent of the men--were consciously aware of some degree of attraction toward the same sex. But this book is not a book about "bisexuality" either, because that just becomes a third box--alongside of "heterosexual" and "gay"--that separates people from each other. Rather, "Male to Male" is about the fluidity and variety of human sexual feeling and how setting up boundaries of identity to separate people from each other falsifies the reality of human sexual feeling. The words of the heterosexually identified men in this book who spoke to me show that the capacity for same-sex attraction is a deeply embedded part of normal male psychology. Their words also show that their same-sex feelings and those of men who identify themselves as gay differ only in their intensity and in the recognition on the partof the gay men that the completion of their inner lives requires physical closeness with someone of the same sex.

While the central focus of “Male to Male” is men’s feelings  about each other, it places the exploration of these feelings in a broader context: women’s feelings for each other; the relation between sexual attraction and emotion; men’s feeling for women; the capacity for movement and change in sexual feelings over time; and the image of the body in art, dreams, and sex.

In addition to interview data from ordinary men (and women)“Male to Male” offers two in-depth case studies. The first is on Clark, an African-American man who moved into sex with men while in prison. The second is on Zack, a gay police officer. Zack’s story explores the different dimensions and meanings of men’s feelings about each other as these unfolded in his own life, while telling about the heterosexually identified men who “came out” to him about their
own same-sex feelings.

"Male to Male" is about the relationship between sexual feeling and meaning. By clicking on "Chapters," you can scroll down the page and read excerpts from the chapters that explore that relationship. Clicking on the Image of the Body link will take you to a page where you will find two sets of images. The first set consists of the images of the body and the role they have played in how we think about the sacred. (Image of the Body: Art and the Sacred.) The second set consists of images of people. Here the focus is on ourselves as "embodied beings" who work, play, and love through our bodies. (Image of the Body: People.) You can choose to look at one or both of these sets of images.

Key Words:  Sexual attraction between heterosexual men, Male bonding, Bisexual feelings in men, Male to male feeling, Bisexual feelings in men, Sexual identity, Image of the body, Religion and the body, Sexuality and the devil, Heterosexual identity, Male-male intimacy, Symbolism  and the body, Image of the body in art, Ganymede, Sexuality and meaning, Sexuality and the sacred, Censorship of  images, Culture and the body, Tantric images, Sexuality in classical civilization, Sexuality and spirituality, The body and emotion, Archetype of the Double, Sexuality and culture.

“Male to Male: Sexual Feeling Across the Boundaries of Identity” is a book that shows that feelings of intimacy, love, and sexual attraction are not confined to the boxes that this society has constructed for them.  It shows that when ordinary “heterosexual” men—and women—felt safe enough to disclose their inner thoughts and feelings, it turns out that many of them—about a third of the women and forty-five percent of the men—were consciously aware of some degree of attraction toward the same sex. But this is not a book about “bisexuality” either, because  that just becomes a third box—alongside of “heterosexual” and “gay”—that separates people from each other. Rather, “Male to Male” is about the fluidity and variety of human sexual feeling and how setting up boundaries of identity to separate people from each other falsifies the reality of human sexual feeling. The words of the heterosexually identified men in this book who spoke to me show that the capacity for same-sex attraction is a deeply embedded part of normal male psychology. Their words also show that their same-sex feelings and those of men who identify themselves as gay differ only in their intensity and in the recognition on the part of gay men that the completion of their inner lives requires physical closeness with someone of the same sex.