You'd think the last think these therapists who think a person can "pray the gay away" would want is a gay man hugging another man as part of his therapy. But this contradictory-sounding practice is apparently part of some "rehab" programs.
According to a report from Salon.com, the theory is that men turn gay because of a lack of love and attention from the fathers, "that when boys miss out on healthy same-sex affection, they eroticize all male touch."
So, the thinking goes, if you can recreate the father-son experience, including father-son touching, the gayness will simply vanish.
A self-described "life coach" named Rich Wyler runs a weekend retreat called "Journey Into Manhood" that includes all sorts of man-on-man touching, from bear hugs to wrestling. Salon said writer Ted Cox went undercover at one of these workshops last year and wrote on Alternet:
I sat on the floor between the outstretched legs of a camp guide, my head leaning back against his shoulder. The guide sat behind me, his arms wrapped around my chest. This hold was called "The Motorcycle." Five men surrounded the two of us, their hands resting gently on my arms, legs and chest.
Cox wrote that he felt "the unmistakable bulge pressing through (the guide's) tight jeans." But that is apparently okay, claims Richard Cohen, one of the founding fathers of the practice. He wrote in his book "Coming Out Straight:"
It is natural for us to feel stimulation when we are intimate with either someone of the same or opposite sex.
Do not become hooked on holding. This technique can be addictive.
So in conclusion, touching other men will make you not gay?
Sure, makes perfect sense.