EP017: Being a Man: Let's Talk About Sex

episodes show notes Jul 24, 2020

I need to get honest with you about sex.

Because I love it, and believe that celebrating mindful, “conscious sex” is essential for gay men’s dignity. 

My last "Being A Man," or BAM, episode was about moving from oppression to celebration; and I barely mentioned sex at all.

After a long discussion with my boyfriend regarding my struggle writing that episode, I realized that I had let my socialized, American, fear about sex, launch me into a clumsy, diatribe about fear itself, and my fear of just talking about what I really want.

So let’s talk about the sex we have and the reasons we can celebrate it.

After all, it just makes sense for a podcast “for gay men” to address the one and only thing that all gay men have in common, the urge to merge, the passion that surges in our balls, our gut, our brains, and our hearts, to seek out and touch other men, intimately.

We talked about:

  • Consent [6:25]
  • Sex and Relationships...
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EP016: The Union of Sex & Spirit with Yogi Joel Benjamin

episodes show notes Jul 17, 2020

Today’s conversation with Joel our first deep dive into the connection sex and spirituality.

Joel helps us try on the ancient Tantra concept that everything about our experience on earth is spiritual -- including our sexual energy.

Prior to the pandemic, I visited Joel’s gorgeous studio in Seattle where I learned to celebrate, cultivate, and conserve my own lower chakra energy. The experience was an embodiment of transforming crotch-centered connections into a heart-centered community. 

Enjoy the show.

We talked about:

  • Tantra yoga [7:53]
  • Union of sex and spirit [17:13]
  • 3 Cs of sexual energy [27:39]
  • Who takes these classes? [40:31]
  • Special Gifts [47:33]

Mentioned in this episode

Find more about Joel here:


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EP015: Rev. Jesse Brune-Horan - Just F-ing Love Each Other

episodes show notes Jul 10, 2020

Rev. Jesse Brune-Horan has been a celebrity chef and a personal trainer, appearing on both Bravo and Oprah. But his true calling is his spiritual work and mission. On this episode, he shows us how celebrating his authenticity as a gay man is key to his spiritual growth. 

Rev. Jesse has a deep sense of personal dignity, a no-nonsense realness toward embracing spirituality, and an ability to give white people concrete advice on advancing social justice for black Americans.

Jesse is a gay man whose connection to his spirituality is his key to true freedom and getting what he really wants

Now, getting what we want is the easy part. Figuring out what that is - is the challenge. Jesse's advice: listen. For the answers are already inside you.


We talked about:

  • Being a Spiritual Leader [1:24]
  • Social Change [13:19]
  • Vulnerability & Authenticity [23:45]
  • Happiness [32:47]
  • Specialness [49:25]


Mentioned in this episode:

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EP014: Brian Mahan - The Wounded Healer of Trauma and Shame

episodes show notes Jul 03, 2020

Today I talk with Brian D. Mahan. He is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. 

I wanted to talk to Brian because he is a treasure trove of information on healing trauma. Trauma is something all humans experience, but gay people and people labeled as “the other” tend to experience more than our fair share of it.

Brian is a self-described “wounded healer” who describes how we can use our bodies as a conduit to the wisdom of our intuition. Since our intuition is where the answers to happiness lives, I wanted to hear more about reclaiming our true selves. I was not disappointed.

We talked about:

  • What is Somatic Therapy?  [1:32]
  • Why deal with trauma? [17:38]
  • Sex and shame [27:07]
  • Feeling Intuition [33:47]
  • Being a wounded healer [39:57]
  • Boundaries [46:37]

Mentioned in this episode

More about Brian D: Mahan:

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EP013: Chris Kuwahara-Smith: Adventures in Brotherhood

episodes show notes Jun 26, 2020

Today’s guest is Chris Kuwahara-Smith. 

I wanted to interview Chris because he creates heart-centered community through his organization, California Gay Adventures. 

During CGA-hosted camping trip in Zion National Park, it became clear to me that Chris is doing something important - something that is both classic and radically different. 

California Gay Adventures delivers iconic American outdoorsmen culture (that’s the classic part)  and he does it specifically for gay men and LGBTQ people. This former boy scout from Idaho finds that idea to be pretty radical. 

Chris has leveraged his love for outdoor activities, to create a space where all kinds of gay men find a sense of belonging. 

His own hero’s journey through college sports and the Mormon faith has left him with some important life lessons that enable him to be the man he is today. He’s a true leader, creating community by being authentic and holding fast to his...

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EP012: Hey Gerle! Father's Day Special: Gifts of the Gay Son with His Dad, Bill Gerle

episodes show notes Jun 19, 2020

Today's is a very special Father's Day episode of “Hey Gerle!” with Mike's father, Bill!

The “Hey Gerle!” episodes are designed to be an “ask anything” Q&A between me and you, the listener. I will normally be doing these with the help of my GerleMen Podcast family, Garrett & Lesley. On this special Father’s Day edition of “Hey Gerle,” my dad and I will both be asking each other questions and answering each other’s questions. My Dad answers questions about what it was like to be a Mormon father with a gay son, and I answer some questions about what it was like to be a gay man with a Mormon father. 

My father and I have been through a lot. It is an intensely emotional interview. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did recording it.

This interview humbles me with gratitude for my father, a man I vilified as a teenager & young adult, who has become one of my greatest sources of strength and inspiration. I...

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EP011: Aaron Ferrante-Alan: Healthy Sex

episodes show notes Jun 12, 2020

Today I talk with Aaron Ferrante-Alan.

Aaron is a very close friend of mine who I deeply respect for his intellect and his bravery, but most importantly, his vulnerable honestly.

He’s a man I consider family and I’m thrilled to have him on the podcast speaking about his professional specialty, sex/relationships, and how all that relates to our mental health.

We talked about:

  • Sexual Addiction vs. Compulsion [4:40]
  • Gay Mirroring and Overcoming Shame [15:00]
  • Open Relationships and Sexual Balance [25:23]
  • Gay Gifts [37:46]
  • Investing in Yourself and in Others [45:33]

Mentioned in this episode

Get connected!


Episode full transcript:

Mike Gerle ...

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EP010: Jai Rodriguez - Queer Hollywood

episodes show notes Jun 08, 2020

I was excited to talk to Jai Rodriguez because I’d seen him on Queer Eye, then I realized I’d seen him perform in one of my favorite musicals ever, “Zanna, Don’t!”

So I was a bit star struck.

I don’t like admitting that, but I was.

Then the real magic happened when we spoke, one gay man to another.

Jai is approachable and tells us how it really is for queer people in Hollywood, how COVID-19 is affecting his sex life, growing up evangelical, and being a mentor. 

This high energy interview that moves very fast, so buckle your seat belts boys! This man is gonna tell you what’s really going on. A queer performer teaching us real-life lessons on racial injustice, finding sex that’s a good fit, navigating COVID-19, religion and how gay mentors might do it better.

We talked about:

  • Queer Eye and racial disparity (2:45)
  • Trans people in entertainment (15:51)
  • COVID boyfriends (25:38)
  • Growing up evangelical (31:26)
  • Being a mentor...
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Bonus: Social Injustice - George Floyd Mattered #BlackLivesMatter

episodes show notes May 31, 2020

PHOTO: In Minneapolis protests intensified in repudiation of the murder of the African-American man George Floyd.


This is my response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. 

I’m 55 years old. I was born in 1965. 

Before I was 5 years old, Martin Luther King would be murdered, Drag Queens and trans women would fight off the police in front of Stonewall, and the United States would launch a rocket that would land men safely on the moon.

In 1992 I listened to the same cacophony of helicopters that are in the air in Los Angeles and many other cities today, as people took to the streets after the brutal beating of Rodney King was caught on videotape. That incident was so frightening to me that I bought a plane ticket and flew to be with my mom in Tucson, AZ. 

Last year I participated in a protest in West Hollywood, CA, against a white man who had killed two black men, Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean, in his apartment, on two...

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EP009 - BAM: Oppression to Celebration

episodes show notes May 30, 2020

PHOTO: Protesters took to the streets in the aftermath of the Stonewall riots in lower Manhattan in the summer of 1969. Stonewall marked a turning point in the gay rights movement.


The diagram above showcases the 5 stages oppressed people move through on the journey from oppression to celebration. We learned how to move away from being oppressed, now we need to learn how to move towards celebrating who we are.


Today’s episode is the 2nd installment of my “Being a Man” series.

This is an intimate 1-on-1 between me and you, the listener. 

I will present ideas on “living” on “being” (as in Being A Man) that I find useful in my own life. Being A Man episodes are part older brother insight, part theoretical sandbox, and part Gay Elder pontificating.

These are ideas I’ve cobbled together from just paying attention during my life, from doing my own personal work with therapists, from writing my...

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