Sexual Guilt Caused by Religion

I made a new friend recently. He seems like a great guy. We met through Grindr and I was intrigued because his profile indicated that he was straight and looking for friends. Grindr is generally used for gay men to interact with one another, in some capacity or another. When I contacted him, he mentioned that I was the first person that didn't offer sex. I generally pay attention to, and respect what people write on their profiles, so, if it says that you're looking for friends, I'll assume that's the case.

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We chatted for a short bit on Grindr, then exchanged numbers, and have been chatting via text pretty frequently. As we've been talking, I've been trying to probe his brain and see what makes him tick. I wanted to see what motivated him to look for friends on Grindr. He had told me that gay friends were more loyal, in his experience. I know that's not true, so I figured that there was more to it than that. 

As it turns out, he seems rather curious about guys. The more we talk, the more comfortable he gets in talking about it, and, well, it seems like he's trying to figure himself out. 

We met in person for the first time just a couple of days ago. We were both super tired and it was very early in the morning, but we had been texting all night and decided we'd go to breakfast. During all this sleepy talk, though, we talked about more personal things and he seemed to come to the conclusion that he wasn't entirely straight. I don't want to say an actual declaration was made that he's bi, or gay, or anything like that, because I'm not really sure. I'll let him figure that out. 

He and I have been talking about how I go about getting laid and he's always extremely interested, and I basically told him that I'm just going to have to corrupt him one day, and show him how I go about it. Show him where I go and what I do. He's intrigued, but he's also expressed that he feels guilty about all of this - about all of these feelings. 

It turns out that he grew up as a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints. He was a Mormon. Mormon's are not exactly accepting of non-straight sexual practices. Hell, they're not very accepting of most sexual practices. While he's no longer a Mormon, he still has this well-established guilt mechanism built in. 

As he was telling me about this, I was reminded of my own youth, and my more religious days, and how I felt guilt about masturbation, and about my attraction to other guys. I had to do mental gymnastics to work through reconciling my orientation with my beliefs, and I was only a lukewarm believer. It took years of beating myself up about all this before I came to realize that I didn't really believe any of the religion I was raised with, and that there was nothing wrong with who I am, who I'm attracted to, and what I do with my own body. 

I want to help my new friend get past his guilt, and I think that will be fairly easy, especially since he's already lost his faith. I think he only feels guilt because he's finally dealing with how he feels about his attractions. He's decided to stop denying it, which means that he now has to face it, and accept it. Once he is more exposed to it, and sees that the life of a gay, or bi, man isn't messed up somehow, and that we're worthy of love, and, as he begins to partake in more... well, more sexual activities, and sees that the world isn't going to fall apart, and that people will still stick around in his life, I think the guilt will slowly dissipate. 

I don't intend to make my site about religion, at all, but I will say that one of the major downsides of religion is that it makes you feel terrible for pursuing normal, healthy, sexual desires, which harm no one. I have a hard time with that. Viewing sex has a taboo subject is not healthy. Making people feel bad about themselves, for how they feel, is simply terrible. So, the sooner I see an end to that, the better.