Some things are worse than being alone for the holidays

Assortment of blue Christmas ornaments with small red package.
Assortment of blue Christmas ornaments with small red package.
filistimlyanin/DepositPhoto/131355158/licensed to author

I don’t think there’s a lonelier place on Christmas Eve than a moderately-priced, residential hotel like the one I spent a few nights in a few years ago.

I knew that I could not withstand a Christmas at home with my husband, Doug. So, a few days before Christmas, I decided to check into a hotel. As bad as it would be to live alone in a cheap hotel over the holidays, I knew that I would feel shunned if I stayed at home.

When I checked into the hotel, the only other person I saw was the desk clerk. He looked as if he’d volunteered to work because he, too, had no one with whom he could spend the holiday. If there were other guests, I hadn’t seen them.

Mental Health/Relationships/Life

Make the most of the life you now live

Image for post
Image for post
Photography33/Deposit Photo/197641034/licensed to author

I never expected to live as long as I have.

When a person reaches midlife, he or she begins to think, more days lie behind me than days left in front of me. I began to have those thoughts as a child.

My mind always defaulted to loss.

My father died when I was three, and one grandfather shot himself when I was six. My other grandfather had debilitating Parkinson’s Disease, so, I never really knew him. An automobile accident paralyzed my brother when I was nine.

Being a man looked to be high risk. Women, on the other hand, appeared to be indestructible. …

Weight Loss/Self/Mental Health

Intermittent fasting has the same effects as the keto diet but may have additional benefits

Overweight man trying to fasten his jeans.
Overweight man trying to fasten his jeans.

“Well, Loren, You’re healthy for a fat man.” That’s what my doctor said when I went to see him to discuss intermittent fasting.

I loved him for saying that even though telling someone fat that they are fat is a bit redundant. It’s not like I didn’t know it. I love his honesty. I know that he will always tell me what I need to know, not what he thinks I want to hear. Tell me like it is.

He responded to me, “There’s some good evidence that intermittent fasting can lower the risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated lipids, and even inflammation. …


You can learn to forgive your betrayer and it will set you free

Tearful young woman being consoled by guilty appearing young man.
Tearful young woman being consoled by guilty appearing young man.

I should be an expert on betrayal. I’ve been both the betrayed and the betrayer.

We have no control over how others hurt us. The ones we love — parents, lovers, and children — inflict the worst suffering.

A betrayal of trust by someone you love inflicts excruciating pain on us. It disrupts our inner world, and it bleeds into our outer world as well. It’s difficult to concentrate on anything other than our pain.

We do have control over how we hurt others. Unfortunately, we don’t always exercise that control. But we do have the power to apologize to those we hurt and to forgive those who have hurt us. …


More straight men have sex with men than men who identify as gay

Close-up of leather pants with rainbow colors for gay Pride
Close-up of leather pants with rainbow colors for gay Pride
wernerimages/111937942/DepositPhotos/licensed to author

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls men who have sex with men, “Men who have Sex with Men” (MSM).

If you ask some MSM, “Are you gay?” they will respond, “Absolutely not.” If you ask them, “Have you ever had sex with a man?” the response is apt to be “Well, maybe.”

Most studies suggest that gay people make up about 4% of the population. Some researchers have reported that 10% of married men say they’ve had sex with another man in the preceding year. …

But it’s impossible to untell the lies

Older man who looks depressed and guilty, sitting on bed with his wife who looks withdrawn.
Older man who looks depressed and guilty, sitting on bed with his wife who looks withdrawn.
serezniy/DepositPhoto/288966860. Licensed to the author.

“Michael” was desperate when he wrote me this:

I’ve been married for over thirty years, and I have two sons and a daughter. A couple of years ago, I had an affair with a man. Will my wife ever get over it?

My wife and I have hardly had sex in the last ten years, and when we have, she always says something like, ‘Ok. But let’s hurry up and get it over with.’ It makes me feel like she thinks I’m raping her. I’ve always wanted more sex than she does.

Two years ago, I started going to the gym. I met a man there that I started confiding in. I’ve never had close friends to talk to like that. One night when my wife was out, David and I went to his place after working out. We talked about many personal things, and the next thing I knew, we were having sex.


Adjusting to a new life as a gay man was fraught with danger

Chubby drag qeen in blonde wig
Chubby drag qeen in blonde wig
Discovod/19903267/DepositPhoto/licensed to author

After coming out in 1986, my first gay friends were a group of men I met in a support group for gay fathers. In those days, being a “gay father” almost always meant you’d had children with a woman to whom you’d been married.

I had joined the support group to help with the transition from straight to gay. My closest friends from the group and I were all in our early forties and beginner-gays.

Halloween is a special holiday for LGBTQ+ people. It has little to do with its historical roots and customs. For gay people, Halloween has more to do with celebrating our roles as society’s outsiders. It is a way to find humor in life’s absurdities and misfortunes. …

LGBTQIA/Mental Health/Relationships

The most significant challenges are often telling the people we love the most

Mixed media representation of very depressed young man.
Mixed media representation of very depressed young man.
stevanovicigor/63461617/DepositPhoto licensed to author

A few years ago, I gave a talk about men who come out gay later in life to a group of about sixty mostly grey-haired gay men at an LGBTQ community center.

A man I’ll call “David” sat near the back of the room. David appeared to be in his mid-fifties. Nothing about him gave any inkling that he was a gay man. He was large and powerful, a very masculine man with the calloused hands of a tradesman. His jeans, t-shirt, and work boots lent further support to that impression. His hair was thick, and his attempt to control it was only partially successful. His shadow beard seemed more a statement of rebellion than of style. He had a reserved and notably shy manner. …


Your spouse doesn’t think porn stars are hotter than you

Young man who looks sexually aroused sitting in the dark watching his computer screen
Young man who looks sexually aroused sitting in the dark watching his computer screen
TheVisualsYouNeed/231329454/licensed from

If I told you that I only watch porn for research in sociology, you’d likely call bullshit. And you’d be right. My husband and I have been together for thirty-three years. We have what sex advice columnist Dan Savage calls a “monogamish” relationship.

Passionate sex in a new relationship has a shelf life of about one year for all couples. Our story is no different. The things that drew us together still hold us together. Neither of us has any desire to change that.

After all these years, sex has become somewhat routine and predictable. But that’s not all bad. It creates an absolute comfort with each other. Still, at times we both miss the excitement of fresh and unexpected sex with someone new. …


Being “gay for a day” while out on the town may feel liberating when actually it imprisons.

Rainbow flag hanging from man’s jeans pocket.
Rainbow flag hanging from man’s jeans pocket.

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

— Dolly Parton

Sometimes we don’t want to want what we want.

I used to tell myself All I want is a blow job. To achieve that goal, I was going to have to look for it. First, I had a lot of questions: Who does what to whom? How is that negotiated? Where do I go to find it? What would be expected of me in return? What if I like it too much?


Loren A Olson MD

Gay father; Psychiatrist; Award-winning author FINALLY OUT. Chapter excerpt here: Top writer on Medium. Not medical advice.

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