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Review: "Why I Slept With My Therapist"

"Why I Slept With My Therapist, How One Gay Man Tried To Go Straight" by Brian Anthony Kraemer

I read this book last weekend. I had planned to make it a more leisurely read, but once I got into it, I felt like I needed to finish it. This is not a pleasurable read: I found myself simultaneously fascinated and repulsed by the events as they unfolded.

I was not completely unexposed to the notion of “ex-gay” therapy, and the strange rituals that people go through in the attempt to turn straight. I knew of men holding each other, of talking and/or hitting their way through their mother and father “issues.” I knew of the twisted logic that ex-gay therapists use and instill in their clients. I knew that many stay in these programs all their lives, thinking this is God’s will for them, and that the “homosexual lifestyle” isn’t “God’s best.” I knew of the damage done to people in these programs: the depression, the low self-esteem, strained relationships with parents, based on trying to fix imaginary issues, while possibly ignoring real ones. I knew of the women who unwittingly married these men, then blamed themselves when their husbands didn’t seem to find them alluring.

I still was unprepared for the journey this book took me through.

In addition to struggling with the notion that his homosexuality seemed in conflict with his Christian beliefs, Brian Anthony Kraemer had another undiagnosed problem: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This made his journey even more difficult than most. It left him with an emptiness that nothing seemed to fill. It also led him to document EVERYTHING that happened.

Doctors, therapists, and clergy are just some of the people who are fully trusted by many of us. Unfortunately, that trust is sometimes woefully misplaced. Kraemer put his full trust in this therapist – who had likely gone through the same program himself. Who could be more qualified, after all?

What resulted can only be described as sexual abuse and manipulation, despite the fact that genitals were never touched (Reading this gave me insight into how George Rekers was able to rationalize an erotic massage by a Rent Boy as “non-sexual.” If Rekers hadn’t ruined so many lives, some from early childhood, in his many years as a therapist himself, I might feel a little sorrier for him).

This book is difficult to get through, but if you want a real understanding of the “ex-gay therapy” world, this will enlighten you. However, you may feel the need for a long shower afterwards.



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