March 19, 2013

Penises: Not my Cup of Tea for Some Reason

So, I was talking to this bisexual guy the other day and we happened to get chatting about sexuality in general. I can't remember how we got to that, but I'm sure it was an awesome segue.

He said, 'I don't know how you monosexuals do it; you're cutting your sexual opportunities in half,' or something to that effect. This dissolved into a mindfarty dialogue in which I started to wonder what the hell it was that made me attracted to women and not men. I mean, I do like a bosom. Anyone who knows me will tell you that, even if you don't ask. But is a bosom the only thing that pulls me towards women? Yes No.

I'm going to binerise gender a little bit here as my experience and exposure to the spectrum is limited to the point of negligable. I haven't forgotten those outside of that binary, I just have nothing meaningful to say at this point.

I had a long think about people I had been attracted to, whether or not that led to anything requited. These people are pretty much all women. But these women are scattered across a range of qualities, both physical and personal, and I was struggling to nail a predictable pattern to them. Other than the obvious quality of being able to sustain an interesting or entertaining conversation for more than two minutes is a good start - having common ground tends to make for better coupling - there really wasn't too much to go on. There certainly wasn't anything particularly 'feminine' about their common qualities other than their bodies in any sense that dragged their circle out of the overlap with my male friends. Sure, they'd wear make up and do womenly things, but their interests and expressions thereof were no different to my close male friends.

So is it just a bodily thing? If I took someone I totally fancied the pants off and body swapped them with a man, would I suddenly stop fancying them? I probably would. And that's weird, isn't it? I guess it's not weird in the evolutionary sense in which a heteronormative urge to procreate ends up being pretty useful at the species level. But we humans tend to think ourselves above our biology, smarter than our instincts and gutteral drives, don't we? I don't like the fact that something that simple can change everything for me; it puts me in the position of marionette, with biology working the strings. Am I not allowed to master my own order of attraction?

The further question is: how much of my sexuality is shaped by genetics and how much by societal structuring of sexuality (and heteronormativity)? Kenneth Miller's research with twins has shown that sexuality is influenced by genetics, but how much is left by our early exposure to what one should deem attractive or not? This is all unresearched waffling, of course, but you can see among all ages how people who follow contemporary trends and fashions tend to be viewed as more attractive than those out of step. Look at heartthrobs and sexy peoples as they were in the 80s - they look hilarious and would be near-undateable if they presented today as they did in that fashionably confused decade. Make-up, clothing, body size and hair all undulate from cool to laughable over the decades and centuries and our sense of what's attractive moves with it. So my question is - how much does sexuality tie in with this sense of 'expected attraction'?

I don't have any answers to this by the way, I just want to know why I don't want to touch a penis. I mean, another penis.

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