Sex! Sex! and more Sex!

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For a change, I thought I’d be honest in the subject line. I really am going to talk about sex, and specifically, about orientation.

If you don’t feel like reading about my personal bidness (which is, frankly, inconceivable) then skip down futher in the blog to where I talk shit about Dune. I just hate that book.

I don’t want to keep my sexual identity secret. Three cheers for glasnost and perestroika! I don’t want other sexual minorities accusing me of secreting it away– though honestly, "lesbrarian" should be a bit of a clue.

Also, this could prove to be a big time-saver. Next time I want to date someone– wait, no, that’s ridiculous. Ms. Kennedy-Rockefeller does not deign to date people. She is saving herself for Johnny Depp. But other people, viz., everyone who meets her, want to date Ms. K-R, and this little essay can clear up some misconceptions for them.

Humor me first in a spot of lecture: Sexual orientation is typically not static. Think of it as a continuum. Allll the way on one side you have 100% straight, and alllll the way on the other side you have 100% gay, and most of us fall somewhere in between. Even better, most of us slide around on that continuum. It can change day-to-day, or it can change over a lifetime. You’ve probably heard a story about a woman who was happily married to a man, and then discovered her lesbian side late in life after he died. It happens.

Unfortunately, not all of us know where we fall on the orientation continuum. Lots of us don’t even question it. I sure didn’t, not for years– this despite finding women physically attractive. Most people assume they’re straight unless there’s overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It’s a function of our society’s compulsive heterosexuality

The catch-all phrase for anyone who is not strictly, reliably straight is "sexual minority." This is cumbersome. The other catch-all phrase is "queer." Some folks still use it as a slur, but the rest of us are tickled pink about it, as it were.

End lecture.

I prefer to identify as queer, because my other option, "bisexual," doesn’t really work. "Bisexual" implies that I view both sexes equally. I don’t.

Oh hell, I need to lecture again. Sorry.

Sex vs. gender: Sex is biological. You have two main choices, male or female. (A tiny fraction of people are transsexual. Because of unusual chromosomes, they fall somewhere in between.) Genitals are a dead giveaway for sex. Secondary sex characteristics such as breasts or facial hair are usually good clues.

Gender is a social construct. It is made up. It is not caused by sex organs. Gender is assigned by society, by parents, by peers. Gender, like orientation, is on a continuum. You can be very girly or very manly or somewhere in between, and you can switch back and forth whenever you want.

Rule: sex is between your legs. Gender is between your ears..

End lecture, again.

Like I was saying, I don’t view both sexes equally. My emotional responses are usually toward men. When I fall in love or get a crush, it’s usually over a man. Because of this tendency, I was 20 before it occured to me that I wasn’t straight.

Physically, I think lots of women and lots of men are hot. Alas, I think lots of them are unattractive.

And sexually, I prefer women. I don’t really enjoy sex with men. Maybe I haven’t met the right man yet. I’m not going to let past disappointments prevent me from future seductions. But women? Totally erotic. Breasts are awesome.

Unfortunately, I can’t stand most women. This is embarassing to admit, what with having a degree in women’s studies. I’m a die-hard feminist and, in theory, I am all about some womyn. It’s just that particular examples can be so very irritating. I have trouble making friends with women. (Obviously.)

My perspective is stereotypically male: I think they’re hot and I’d like to go to bed with them, but dear sweet Jesus I wish they’d shut up.

…Ah. In reading this over, I think I’ve alienated… let’s see here… yes: I’ve alienated the whole human race. I don’t want to talk to women and I don’t want to sleep with men.

Well shit.

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7 responses »

  1. Well, you have not alienated me. And I know a number of other women out there who would relate to this post. In fact, I really enjoyed Jennifer Baumgardner’s book, "Look Both Ways," which speaks somewhat to the dilemma you describe (ie. it’s often complicated to explain your orientation if you are being truly honest with yourself and thinking hard about the matter and happen to have some preferences for both genders).Also, I relate to the whole, finding most women annoying yet being a woman concept — although I think it is more easily applied to the population at large than my friend set per se. That is, I have some close women friends that are not of the Annoying Woman Variety, but I consider them to be shining gems.

    Reply
  2. I’m female, and feel pretty much the same – women are far more physically attractive, but the majority have personalities that completely turn me off (there are very definite exceptions – if I’ve ever fallen in love, it was with an incredible girl). I’ve met more attractive men in terms of character, but like you, don’t seem to be that much into hetero sex. My compromise appears to be to fancy people on the border of the gender line.

    Reply
  3. Jessica (Jesse) Causie

    You are so insightful about orientation. I wish that more people thought like you do. I am in the same wavelength on the gay-straight continuum. Why do penises have to be so ugly? I hope you do write that best-seller, because I would be more than happy to read it!

    Reply
  4. I totally agree that gender is a social construct. I’m always thrilled to meet people who understand that, because although I fall really far over on that continuum (my friends assigned me a percentage: they say I’m 92% straight)I feel like a completely different gender from a lot of the women (ok, most women) that I meet. I can’t even begin to fathom most of the stuff that modern women think makes them girly. I’m pretty sure there are more than just two genders. Sometimes I say I’m a gay man trapped in a woman’s body. So I’m a stranger and you surely don’t care about my gender issues, but like I said, I’m always thrilled to meet someone who thinks like I do about these things, so I might show up here again to hang out and try to be your blogpal.

    Reply
  5. May I recommend a book? You probably more often give recommedations than get them, no? _Sexual Fluidity_ by Lisa Diamond. New in 2008. Fascinating. Takes Kinsey to the next level, and focuses only on women (which Kinsey did not…)

    Reply
  6. Totally agree…women are hot- but I married your Uncle instead…ahh well, at least I have Jack.

    Reply
  7. Dear Uncle Scott masquerading as Kelly: It’s sadly comforting to see that vanity runs in our family…

    Reply

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