Degrees of Sexuality
In chatting recently with one of our upcoming authors for the premier issue of Rethinking Everything – SEX, I was exposed to some new information about research and individual associations with regard to sexuality. To preface- I grew up in rural, small town America where everyone (I thought) was heterosexual, had a male and female parent, and there was virtually no conversation or elusion to debate this standard of normalcy. As I grew older, I became aware of the presence of homosexuality in society and accepted that as another facet of human experience. Guess what? In my tiny little high school, there were a fair number of gay and lesbian students who kept that under raps until after graduation and possibly longer. Eventually, in my early adulthood, daytime talk shows enlightened me to the existence of bisexual and transgender association. Huh. Hello world!
So… the new (to me) information? There are varying degrees of sexuality (as determined by Kinsey, Pomeroy, and Martin in 1948 as a result of “research findings that showed people did not fit into neat and exclusive heterosexual or homosexual categories”)! Where have I been? And this makes so much sense (now) and also that these degrees can change over time.
A friend laughed at me when I told her of the hetero-, homo-, bi-, and transgender boxes in which I thought everyone fit so nicely. She told me I live in a black and white world. There is some truth to this… for all of us. I think increased exposure to anything helps to blur the lines in our mind quite nicely such that we are able to think more critically, decrease personal bias, and open our minds to different ways of living.
“It is a characteristic of the human mind that tries to dichotomize in its classification of phenomena….Sexual behavior is either normal or abnormal, socially acceptable or unacceptable, heterosexual or homosexual; and many persons do not want to believe that there are gradations in these matters from one to the other extreme.” – The Kinsey Institute (http://www.iub.edu/~kinsey/research/ak-hhscale.html)
I love this ‘new’ information and the shake up it has instigated in my psyche.
While 1948 information hardly qualifies as new in my world, I am happy nonetheless for this conversation. Assigning labels however (numbers, in this case) to one’s current orientation feels really old school to me. We are born sensual and therefore, sexual, beings. That means that, from birth on, we are desiring, experimenting and learning about the ways we communicate with ourselves and others on a sensual, or sexual, basis.
I actually believe, and have posted it before on our blog, that EVERYTHING we are inspired to do that FEELS good is driven and rewarded by our sexual desire which is sort of the internal flame that keeps us seeking that feel-good feeling. EVERYTHING from feeling a warm breeze on our skin to tasting a juicy, delicious orange to sipping a taste of great wine to reading and thinking about something that intrigues us to test driving a new car to holding a newborn baby to loving conversation with a friend to, to, to…
In the flow of sensual and sexual feeling and desire and then responding to the flame that burns within, everything in life becomes a part of the sexual continuum. How we interact demonstrably with this thing called sex – who we have sex with – is what we’re talking about here. Whether we choose celibacy, masturbation, hetero, homo or poly sex, or one of lots of other variations I’ve never even thought about, the connection to the FLOW of sexuality allows one to be respectful and open to how one feels, open to change – perhaps often and many times – and in support of each other person’s unique connection to the flow and process of experimentation and discovery. When we have the freedom to create a world for ourself that supports FEELING GOOD, dysfunction, disconnection, self abuse and other dis-ease states never, or rarely, come into play.
What are the factors that precipitate a hetero, homo, poly or other lifestyle, or some varying gradation? Aside from our cultural conditioning, which is undoubtably the biggest contributor, it is entirely possible that we are all all of the above. I know so many bright, happy people of all ages who have enjoyed sexual experimentation on many fronts at different times of their lives. I so respect their courage to live freely and true to what feels good.
Check out our websites and sign up for your FREE subscription to one or ALL of our THREE magazines!
Have you shown us some LIKE? Each magazine has its own Facebook page: