I spent a long while trying to think of what to write for my first sex article for the Daily Nexus, and as I thought about it, I was forced to think about what, exactly, a sex article should cover. There is the obvious: sex and my various escapades in the matter. But without any context I could not really think of a good way to frame my experiences. And so, particularly as a queer male, I think a good starting point would be to try to look critically at this thing called sexuality, try and pin down a good definition for it and maybe establish a solid perspective from which I can write intelligently about the subject.
If someone asks me what my sexual orientation is, I tend to say I’m gay, but this doesn’t come close to covering it. For one, I’ve had sex with women — a decent amount of sex with women — and my fondness for female breasts would have gotten my homosexual license revoked if not for my ability to sing any song from “Wicked” on command. I like sex with girls, yet I still will identify myself as gay. So I asked myself: why not consider myself bisexual? I used to say I was bi, but now I just say I’m gay — why? This brings me to the first aspect of sexuality I want to look at: the difference between sex and sexuality. A crucial difference is the emotional aspect. Getting it on with someone isn’t exactly difficult, and most guys will rise to the occasion with the proper stimulation. But when I picture myself settling down, it’s with a man, and while I have loved many women, the only person I’ve ever been in love with did not have matching chromosomes. That makes me gay, right? Maybe, at least emotionally … for now …
Like I said, I’ve already redefined my sexuality twice: from straight to bi, from bi to gay. Most people, “gay” or “straight,” will say that I took a natural path in coming out. This does not change the fact that out of my last three sexual partners, one was female, and she was easily the best in bed. And while I “came out” last May, my heterosexual escapade happened in December, so maybe I went back to being bi for a while. Or maybe, and I think this is the answer, sexuality can’t be nailed down as constant, at least with respect to me and I assume to many others. A wise man once told me “people are wavelength and varying,” and I am inclined to agree. When you add in the qualifier “people are wavelength, varying and horny,” it seems to be a recipe for some serious sexual ambiguity. This is the same sexual ambiguity that I rely on when it’s a lonely weekend, that straight frat guy who keeps “accidentally” bumping into me is pretty hot and my roommate is going to spend the night with his own lovely lady.
I suppose the point I’m trying to hit home is that from where I’m standing and from where I’ve been (horizontally), physical sexuality seems pretty variable. Controlling for consideration of homophobia, contemporary definitions of masculinity, early childhood conditioning and our country’s puritanical roots, the data would indicate whom you bed is very much in your head. I acknowledge there is a chance people are born straight or born gay, but if I’m forced to acknowledge that, I will, at the very least, demand this quantized system of gay-straight-bi be updated to a continuum model (1-10, with every decimal in between). But that’s not the whole story. If the psycho-socio-bio model explains every other aspect of human nature, why can’t nature only point sexuality in a direction, but have psychological and sociological factors define it? (A topic, perhaps, for another article.)
To summarize and conclude, I’ll leave you with this: my roommate used to tell me a girl’s sexuality is like a wet noodle, to which I would respond a dude’s sexuality is like a dry noodle. Boil it (you can add alcohol for flavor) for a bit and it’ll bend pretty easy. Physical sexuality, dear readers, could be construed to have the structural integrity of pasta. Just think about it — chew it over — is all I’m asking.
I think a lot more fools on campus could stand to have their noodles boiled. Thanks for your work in that field, dear author :)
I support the continuum, let’s keep making people rethink where exactly they may fall on it.
I have argued with people many times that gay/straight/bi are properly labels relating to love not sex. What makes you one of the three is who you love, not who you sleep with. When jerkfaces argue that homosexuality is a choice if it was actually about sex they wouldn’t be wrong. Sexual activity is always a choice. (When not rape.) Going without sex may not be desirable for most people, but is certainly possible. You choose whom you sleep with, if anyone. You don’t get to choose who you love though. I’m a female that identifies as straight even though… Read more »
I soooooo agree with you. I may be in the same place. You should take a look at my new book Love and Text Messages. Much of the last 7 years of mylife has been a Sexcapade. I am totally comfortable with it thought because I enjoy everyone. What’s more important than a label is being true to oneself.