Challenging the notion of contemporary sexual orientation labels
For me, the human body is fascinating and it’s so interesting to see how our species approach potential ‘mate’ selection. We are also the sole exception to majority of ecological laws and rules we’ve tried to put into place on the animal kingdom, due to our unique circumstances (language, mass media, technology, etc.).
I would love to officially challenge our contemporary understanding of sexual orientation labels. For a lot of the public, it’s either “straight” or “gay”. Get a little further than that, you can tag on bisexual to it as well. Overall, there is not a lot of the population who acknowledge pansexual/omnisexual as well as the asexual spectrum.
Alfred Kinsley is basically the “father” of sexology (at least for the USA). He did great with jumpstarting research, but his data is ‘primitive’ in the sense that, our understanding of human sexuality has moved beyond just who you masturbate and/or watch pornography too.
Human sexuality, as a whole, includes things like: how do we pick potential partners (both socially AND biologically), mono vs poly when it comes to number of potential partners, how long does one “put off” sexual relationships (if they happen, at all), how do we actually define “sexual orientation” (hint: even experts still debate among themselves as to how to define this), your body’s responses to sexual stimuli, etc.
We try so hard to put things into boxes. The reason is because of our nature. We WANT to put things into boxes, for the sake of organization, because it breaks it down into easier to understand concepts. Humans, by nature, “fear the unknown” because it could potentially kill us (our brain still hasn’t learned to flip that switch off, or at least tone it down). This is why people shriek in horror when you introduce new sexual orientation terms, because it’s “new/different” and therefore, “unknown” and potentially, “dangerous”.
Whenever we ask people “What is your sexual orientation” we follow it with, “It is who you are sexually attracted to.” BUT WHAT THE FUCK does “sexual attraction” mean? Pornography? Masturbation? Feeling your heart skip a beat? Your palms get sweaty? What if it’s an automatic response (aka you are not consciously aware of what your body is doing)? How do fetishes play into it?
You ask 20 different people what is “sexual orientation”, and you are going to get 20 different answers. I believe that we need to further dive into sexual orientation, to better connect to each other. Also, to make it easier to understand, not just be some random abstract concept that we suddenly expect everyone to understand.
Am I suggesting we get rid of the LGBT+ string? No. I think it’s a good STARTING POINT. But that is it. It is a starting point, to dive further into understanding ourselves. Human beings are extremely adaptable as well as malleable. We start thinking deeply about ourselves and we suddenly find ourselves going “Oh shit….is that really it? Is there more to me?” This is why (warning: unpopular opinion) I truly believe VERY FEW PERCENTAGE of the population is “actually” some variation of a monosexual term (heterosexual, gynephilia, androphilia, skoliophilia, homosexual/gay/lesbian, etc.) or bisexual (”2″, NOT 3+, NOT all, “2″, going SOLELY off of linguistic definitions,PEOPLE!). Asexuality, in its “pure” form (it sounds elitist, but bare with me), “having NO sexual attraction for ANYONE” is also exceedingly rare in the population. The gray spectrum? Yeah, we have people all over that. However, “having NO sexual attraction for anyone, ever” is exceedingly rare.
We acknowledge that there’s 3 sexes (female, male,intersex) and limitless gender identities. This is why I believe it is exceedingly rare for someone to be mono/bi without ever having thoughts/feelings regarding their own sexuality to 3+ identities.
I could honestly write a novel about this, but to save my reader’s a book, I’ll conclude this with this: please be open minded when it comes to human sexuality. LGBT+, as I said earlier is great, AS A STARTING POINT. Do I think as we learn more about ourselves, the lingo might be thrown out? It is very possible. It is possible we will create new terms to be reflect our understanding of the complexity of human sexuality.