Thursday, August 17, 2006

Nighttime thoughts

Thanks to Chanson, who reviewed a book (which I want to read!) about a woman who's ex-husband is gay and the after-marriage life she's dealing with.

I've been thinking a lot lately about sexual orientation. What determines it? How come some people are attracted only to the opposite sex, while some are attracted to both sexes, and yet others are attracted only to the same sex. It's just odd, and insanely interesting.

Another thing: how come you can sometimes know for certainty what someone's sexual orientation is, and then other times you might think you know but you aren't quite sure, and then sometimes you haven't a clue. Weird! Although I guess it could be argued that you never know for sure. But you get what I'm saying.

If I believed in God I'd pray about these things.


Sideon said...

Sexual orientation. I've always hated that phrase. It makes me think of compasses and where ever NORTH is. In this case, it's pointing to where the sexual chemistry is.

I'm sure you've heard of the Kinsey scale, the 1 to 6 scale of hetero or homosexuality. Personally, I think it's too flat and too simple.

Bear with a horrible metaphor here, but I think of sexuality kind of like an orbit. A person's direction/path defines them, but there are subtle influences, attractions or reactions to the other heavenly bodies around them (pardon the bad pun). For some, sexuality is assured as the rising and setting sun. For others, they may be pulled in a number of ways by different attractions in their lives.

Attractions are what they are. I'm going back on what I said about Kinsey: maybe people make it more complicated than it really is.

MattMan said...

For me, I would consider it just another trait, kinda like eyesight, hair color, body style, penis size, breast size, whatever.

In other words, you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. Those who think that people who are not strictly hetero need to be "fixed" or even *can* be fixed really irk me.

You can change your hair color with dye if you want. You could have breast or penis enlargement or reduction through surgery (sorry guys and gals, but non-surgical breast or penis change gimics are all bullshit -- don't fall for it). You could even get taller (or shorter) by having your legs cut and new bone fused or bone removed through surgery if you really wanted. And if you're gay, you could have sex with someone of the opposite sex. But those are just appearances. It doesn't change what really is there underneath.

I haven't looked into the Kinsey scale at all, but the concept is similar to what I think about it. I think there's scale, with absolute homosexual on one side and absolute heterosexual on the other side. Exactly in the middle would be equal attraction to both sexes -- a pure bisexual.

How many points are between the edges of the scale, however, is anybody's guess. I like Sideon's explanation where it isn't so easily definable, that it really depends on attractions, individuals, environments, etc. It just boils back down to the fact that labels rarely fit.

J. said...

I am agreeing with both Sideon and Mattman on a number of points. Orientation is too limited a word. It has such a stigma attached to it that it seems negative overall, IMHO.

Sometimes you have bursts (no pun intended, ;) ) of attraction to the opposite sex. There are times where I know of people (myself included) that go through this, and it definitely upsets the set criteria of the Kinsey scale.

Of course it can be argued that according to the Kinsey scale, people would have 'incidental' episodes. Maybe we fall into that category, for some of us. Mine is more on a dofferent level, but that's another story.

How do you define who a person is by pat behavior when it occurs every so often? Does that give a person a true orientation? Hardly.

As both have mentioned, it's much more complicated than that.

Simeon's Peep Stone said...

I always tried to put myself in gay mens shoes. If the church told me not to love women and that it was evil and not to even think about it, and then told me I could only be attracted to men, I think I'd go crazy. If you are genuinely attracted, whether straight or gay, there isn't anything that can change that. One of my gay friends from high school told me it just didn't feel natural dancing with girls. Although I felt the opposite of him, it was clear that he was really attracted to men and not to women. Being gay is not the same as being tempted to drink alcohol or other sin.

Just one of many said...

I had a lot of good times in college. Spent a lot of needless times in the Bishop's office after I joined the church discussing these "good times". I can honestly say I am a classic bi-sexual at heart...with a preference for men, thus my marriage and children :)! Love and Lust in my life have no absolute boundaries.