Home | Download | Discussion | Help | Site Map | New Posts | Sign in
Replies: 37 (Who?), Viewed: 7984 times.
Page 1 of 2
*shrugs*
staff: moderator
Original Poster
#1 Old 12th Aug 2011 at 10:55 PM
Default What goes into a person's sexuality? What factors into its definition?
Is there a definitive or "most agreed upon" criteria for a particular sexuality? How exactly does someone determine their sexuality or that of someone else? I don't mean this to be another "Do you believe X is a choice, caused by genetics, or something else?" thread because I'm not asking how a person came to be a certain way but instead how they might decide that they are that way. I understand labels can be controversial and often messy for some people, but labels can be used as reference points to serve as a foundation.

I have often heard "He/she can't be gay because he/she is married to a woman/man and has a child" in regards to a particular person who behaves in a way consistent with people's expectations for a stereotypical homosexual. Maybe the person really is gay, maybe the person isn't. Certainly it would not be impossible for a homosexual person to marry into a heterosexual relationship and procreate. But to what extent could something such as marriage really affect or reflect their sexuality or its definition? (I'll expand or explain the marriage example soon.)

My understanding, in simple terms (please forgive me if they're too simple), has been that: a heterosexual person is attracted to and desires a member of the opposite sex; a homosexual person is attracted to and desires a member of the same sex; a bisexual person can be attracted to and can desire a member of either sex.

However this seems to only take into consideration physical and emotional desires/needs but nothing else. Do you think there are more criteria? What about personal, aspirational/lifetime goals such as marriage and having children? Do you think one factor outweighs another? (For example, would physical attraction outweigh emotional as a deciding factor?)

Consider a woman who feels physical attraction and an emotional longing for other women. Although she is not really attracted to men physically, she desires to marry a man who shares their mutual love for one another ("soul-mates") and with whom she can have children because she wants to have a family in a heterosexual, "traditional" context. She doesn't necessarily want children via adoption; she prefers her own children with a male partner to be the father figure and to help raise them.

Could she be a heterosexual because she desires to marry a man, have sex with him, and start a family in the context of a heterosexual relationship? Is she really a homosexual because of her physical and emotional desire to be with a woman? Or would such a scenario make her bisexual because her desires are not limited to one end of a hetero-/homo-sexual spectrum? Is she a homosexual who wishes to be heterosexual? Or might she be feeling some kind of subconscious pressure to fit within a particular social norm? How might such a woman balance a desire for other women with having a family involving a relationship with a man? She could marry a man, but could she necessarily be as happy as if she had fully engaged in a "women-only" direction?

I point out such a scenario as this because it doesn't seem to necessarily fit neatly. It is more complicated. Here it seems there is more to a sexual orientation than just physical and emotional attraction. She might have a "rational" or "aspirational" attraction to men for the sake of her goal or desire to procreate within a heterosexual marriage. But is such a desire really necessarily relevant to her sexuality?

Of course, anyone can say they are of a certain orientation, but a person could also be in denial for whatever reason. How might one know for certain? If there are definitive deciding factors, what are they? Are they the same for everyone? Where might you draw the line in some of the more vague areas or scenarios? How might you determine if a person is being honest with you or their self about their own sexuality?


Obviously, I don't mean anyone any offense by any statements, assumptions, or anything implied in this rambling prompt. I just want to know what others think.

I don't mind if you call me "MSD" or something for short.
Perhaps someday I'll have leisure time back...
Advertisement
Forum Resident
#2 Old 12th Aug 2011 at 11:10 PM
I'm not sure about the details, but one simple test to figure out sexuality is this: What would you stick it in? What would you have stuck in you? That's your sexuality.

"Given enough time, hydrogen starts to wonder where it came from, and where it is going." - Edward R. Harrison
Née whiterider
staff: administrator
#3 Old 12th Aug 2011 at 11:51 PM
I disagree - it's not nearly that simple. Sure, sexual desires play a significant role, but even they aren't simple. I know gay men who don't want to have sex with men - what does that make them, these men who are attracted to and ogle at, date, fall in love with and engage in relationships with men? What, are they asexual now? What about lesbians who like playing with dildos - that's not an attraction to a natural female bodypart, it's certainly an emulation of male bits to some extent... are they then heterosexual?

And let's take it a little further. You say "What would you have stuck in you"... well, I'm bi, but there are plenty of men (and women) who I would never allow to stick anything in me. Your test would include that as part of my sexuality: does that mean I'm selectively bi? If so, aren't straight and gay people also just selectively bi - selecting by gender rather than other features? Is there also such a thing as no-skinny-people-sexual, or blondes-and-black-hair-only-sexual?

There's no simple test or criteria. I've seen so many variations on sexuality that I can't keep track, and honestly I think it's a fool's errand to try. Labels are useful, but they're general and ignore a great deal of variation: honestly, as long as someone is willing to be honest with themselves about who, and whoever, they are or aren't attracted to (whether physically, romantically, emotionally, rationally, or whatever else), I'll accept them as being whatever sexuality they say they are. And if they're not, I'll still accept whatever they say, because I'm not in their head (or other bits. Usually).

What I lack in decorum, I make up for with an absence of tact.
Instructor
#4 Old 13th Aug 2011 at 1:04 AM
I think sexuality is not as rigid as people think. While I agreee most are heterosexual, thoughts and feelings aren't always so neat. I think there is a lot more fluidity than both the heterosexual community and the gay community want to believe.

There are also people who are simply attracted to an individual regardless of their gender. I think they are omnisexual?
Forum Resident
#5 Old 13th Aug 2011 at 2:05 AM Last edited by Element Leaf : 13th Aug 2011 at 3:01 AM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiterider
I disagree - it's not nearly that simple. Sure, sexual desires play a significant role, but even they aren't simple.
Truth be told, it's just an oversimplified joke. Sexuality is odd in that 99% of it has little to do with sex. After all, we're going to get roughly the same stimulation no matter (barring that some people are better in the sack than others) who we're having sex with. For a heterosexual man, it's more about the idea of humping an attractive woman that is great, not the fact that she is an attractive woman making it great. Er, if that makes sense.

Quote:
And let's take it a little further. You say "What would you have stuck in you"... well, I'm bi, but there are plenty of men (and women) who I would never allow to stick anything in me. Your test would include that as part of my sexuality: does that mean I'm selectively bi? If so, aren't straight and gay people also just selectively bi - selecting by gender rather than other features? Is there also such a thing as no-skinny-people-sexual, or blondes-and-black-hair-only-sexual?
When I wrote that, I was considering all of those other factors, too. It just appears you didn't see it come off that way. Perhaps I should have used "who" instead of "what". Sexuality is ultimately "who's going to stick it in me" or vice versa, it's just a lot of factors that lead up to it which make sexuality so complex.

EDIT: I'd like to hear from the people who apparently disagree with me and whiterider.

"Given enough time, hydrogen starts to wonder where it came from, and where it is going." - Edward R. Harrison
Mad Poster
#6 Old 13th Aug 2011 at 10:48 AM
Sexuality is complex and can change or at least develop as the person develops - no, I really don't think there is any simple, or indeed any particular, relationship between how someone appears to behave socially and what they desire sexually.
Scholar
#7 Old 13th Aug 2011 at 1:22 PM
I think it's more simple than that, sexuality is what floats your boat on a given occassion. Some days you want a salad, some days you want a steak. I'd hate to think that beings with brains the size of ours are so restrictive in their tastes that they'd only want salad every damn day.

Beware! The day I get a Featured Upload on MTS is the day you will be able to ice skate in Hell!
Forum Resident
#8 Old 13th Aug 2011 at 4:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairycake89
I'd hate to think that beings with brains the size of ours are so restrictive in their tastes that they'd only want salad every damn day.
...

Tell me more about this salad fetish of yours.

"Given enough time, hydrogen starts to wonder where it came from, and where it is going." - Edward R. Harrison
world renowned whogivesafuckologist
staff: retired moderator
#9 Old 13th Aug 2011 at 5:13 PM
Well... personally, I identify as bisexual. I feel sexual attraction to both men and women - obviously, not all of them, and what I look for in an attractive man vs. an attractive woman is VERY different - both physically and in personality. I've had multiple enjoyable sexual encounters with both men and women.

But I wouldn't identify as "bi-romantic" - that is, I only carry on actual relationships with men. I'm friends with women but I have zero desire to date, live with, or marry them. Kind of irrelevant as I'm in a monogamous marriage to a man, but even if I weren't, I would only be interested in being in actual relationships with men - I might sleep with women, perhaps even women I was also friends with, but I don't want a girlfriend at all. Not sure why that is, really - I think just... what I'm looking for in a "mate" is not a woman, though I find them aesthetically pleasing and sexually attractive.
Site Helper
#10 Old 13th Aug 2011 at 5:33 PM
From my talks with friends, who you have sex with seems to have very little to do with how you define yourself. There are a lot of people who define themselves as homosexual who have had more heterosexual relationships than homosexual ones. Some people who define themselves as homosexual have never had homosexual sex. Most people, if pressed, will admit to having had pleasurable sexual relationships with both sexes, yet few of them define themselves as bisexual. Even people who define themselves bisexual may have biases: "I prefer to have sex with men and relationships with women" or "I want to be married to a man, but sex with women is much better".
Lab Assistant
#11 Old 13th Aug 2011 at 5:55 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairycake89
I think it's more simple than that, sexuality is what floats your boat on a given occassion. Some days you want a salad, some days you want a steak. I'd hate to think that beings with brains the size of ours are so restrictive in their tastes that they'd only want salad every damn day.


I personally dont bother about silly gender labels. If I meet someone, male or female, who I want to hook up with, I'll at least try.

I am a woman trapped in a mans body and I get people saying to me 'You want to be a woman, but you are sexually attracted to women? I can't figure that out!'

People say that transsexuals SHOULD be attracted to other men. The majority are but not every single one of them. Ive got a friend who is a T-Girl called Lily and he, I mean she, has a girlfriend who is understanding and supportive. Lily has no desire to be with other men.

In the LGBT community, that is perfectly understandable. I don't know how to explain it nor do I worry about how or why I ended up like this.

It's hard to explain but, like you say, in this day and age there are really no boundaries for sexuality other than the limits of the individual.

I meet women who are attracted to me, and plead with me not to got through with a sex-change operation because they are attracted to me as a man. My insticts tell me a relationship just simply wouldn't work with these women even though I wish to god it would.
Mad Poster
#12 Old 13th Aug 2011 at 8:47 PM
Some fascinating comments here - katy, I don't think you need to explain, you just made it very clear that people can have quite diverse sexual tastes and that has nothing to do with whatever gender role they take on. For my part, some individuals have assumed in the past that I was lesbian because of how I relate to women and because of my political ... um ... leanings, I guess. I like women, I like women a lot, I think women are great. I make long-term friendships with women (I've known my oldest friend more than 40 years) which often have deep emotional connections and I was an 80s feminist (went through the whole comradeship, protesting and lobbying thing). But the fact is, I am only attracted to men sexually - always have been and suspect I always will be. This sometimes got me in trouble with the more radical elements of 80s feminism. Still, I wasn't alone. <shrug> I've been married nearly 20 years. He's my best friend.
Forum Resident
#13 Old 13th Aug 2011 at 8:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by katy perry
I am a woman trapped in a mans body and I get people saying to me 'You want to be a woman, but you are sexually attracted to women? I can't figure that out!'




Just kidding, yo. I suppose I found it confusing when people said this, because it muddles up any clarity about one's sexual orientation. However, it makes sense when you think about it. Your sex and your sexuality are two different things, and though we typically combine them as a society (with a fresh pile of gender roles and other happy fun stuff), they really don't have that much to do with one another. It may help if the term "transsexual" didn't sound like it was in the same category as "homosexual" and "bisexual", but I'm guessing that's why the term "transgender" is being pushed more.

"Given enough time, hydrogen starts to wonder where it came from, and where it is going." - Edward R. Harrison
Née whiterider
staff: administrator
#14 Old 13th Aug 2011 at 9:32 PM
It's not just a social thing - there are several Australian jurisdictions whose anti-homophobia laws protect "heterosexuals, homosexuals and transsexuals" (I don't remember the exact wording, or which laws contain that wording - I still have the paper I wrote on the subject, but it's on a hard drive in another country). While I'm all for anti-transphobia legislation, it really does go to show how confused the term "sexuality" can sometimes become - explain how transsexuality can be in any way a predictor of whom a person will be attracted to, and I'll put a video of Shakespeare (the real one) dancing the macarena on youtube.

What I lack in decorum, I make up for with an absence of tact.
Instructor
#15 Old 13th Aug 2011 at 9:38 PM
This is why I completley stopped believing in sexuality. That's why in my mind there is no "gay" and "straight". Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if a man finds beauty in another man or a woman to another woman. So be it.

Me and Ritchie have a story blog now!

Francesco & Ritchie's Sim Stories
Lab Assistant
#16 Old 14th Aug 2011 at 9:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fraroc
This is why I completley stopped believing in sexuality. That's why in my mind there is no "gay" and "straight". Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and if a man finds beauty in another man or a woman to another woman. So be it.


I think thats why I love the Sims so much. They dont care about the gender boundaries it's like how society should be. I often talk with my psycologist about it because it shows how we make simple issues so complicated.
Lab Assistant
#17 Old 15th Aug 2011 at 12:55 AM
well to determin it, its the gender who feel more comforable being around in that way, the one you also feel more attracted to as well.

When you see a fallen officer... HELP HIM/HER UP. Or suffer the wrath of thors hammer! GRRRRR
Lab Assistant
#18 Old 15th Aug 2011 at 4:04 PM
Maybe it's just this kind of town where I live, people here are very backward and the church has too much influence over the local council. I'm starting to realise that the majority of christians at large have nothing against gays but like I said customs and beliefs here can be quite old fashioned. In places not far from here you're not even allowed to hang your washing up on a Sunday, I mean, WTF is that all about?
Instructor
#19 Old 15th Aug 2011 at 5:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by katy perry
I think thats why I love the Sims so much. They dont care about the gender boundaries it's like how society should be. I often talk with my psycologist about it because it shows how we make simple issues so complicated.


I like this too. I like the fact that my sim's son or daughter could prefer a gender on his/her own, and I really like the fact that gays and straights can marry and its no big deal at all.

However, EA took a step back with the romantic rep feature, which I feel is too judgemental for my tastes. I'd rather break up my sims on my own and decide if my sim is a cheater, wtihout the game passing judgement. Fortunately, there is a mod now for that.
Lab Assistant
#20 Old 16th Aug 2011 at 4:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronrogers
well to determin it, its the gender who feel more comforable being around in that way, the one you also feel more attracted to as well.


I think it's in one of Twallan's mods Sims can actually ask each other their gender preference. But in the end it still doesn't matter.

Sim A is male and gay

Sim B is female and gay

It could still work even though their gender preferences dont match, just like when star signs dont match. Who really cares about star signs matching in reality? Is there a reason why we apply so much consideration to gender preference?
Instructor
#21 Old 16th Aug 2011 at 9:02 PM
I view all sims as being omnisexual. With the exception of female sims getting pregnant there aren't any gender differences between the sims, and I rather like it that way. I prefer a more equal social structure.
Lab Assistant
#22 Old 17th Aug 2011 at 11:19 AM
I think theres a way male sims can get pregnant too using a cheat or a mod. And also I read somewhere once - cant remember where though - that scientists are looking into ways for male gay couples to have their own children. Their findings suggested that sperm could develop in the male gut.
Banned
DELETED POST
21st Aug 2011 at 5:50 AM
This message has been deleted by Extensa5420.
Forum Resident
#23 Old 21st Aug 2011 at 6:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by katy perry
I think theres a way male sims can get pregnant too using a cheat or a mod. And also I read somewhere once - cant remember where though - that scientists are looking into ways for male gay couples to have their own children. Their findings suggested that sperm could develop in the male gut.
A baby can't be created in a "tummy" or gut. It's the same reason women can't get pregnant from -ahem- swallowing sperm.

Creating a sperm-like cell is one thing. Creating an area for a fetus to develop within the human body is another thing entirely.

"Given enough time, hydrogen starts to wonder where it came from, and where it is going." - Edward R. Harrison
Fresh fruit from the bigot tree
#24 Old 21st Aug 2011 at 6:29 AM
I find all of this as being even simpler than anyone could believe. In fact, I can resume it in only a few points.
1) A fact: there is evil people in the world, and they do evil things (of course)
2) If they ever got discovered being evil (just a simple example: cheating to not pay taxes), they bould be punished
3) there are smart people that could discover them, and they know it.
So what they can do to avoid being punished for harming others? Distracting everyone, of course? And there is an easy way of archieving that: confising them.

So just convince a group of people they are something, something fun, taboo, and secret, and they will want to believe it. And then, others will follow, because they want fun, or are rebellious, or like to be into "exclusive" groups. When they are enough, the idea of being different will appear. Then, they will assume they are being discriminated because the world never took into account ideas that never existed before.
So get up and become activists, demand rights, change history to prove your point, and get young and defensless children to agree with your new ideas by getting them into mandatory classes thay have to take. Convince yourself that their parents are against your ideas because they hate you and take action to leave these retrograde people with no power over their own children.
Get some more rights, this time exclusive for your "minority" group.

While you do activism for inexistent "needs" you are doing the dirty job of some jerk out there, by distracting people from what he is doing, and confusing everyone on the way.

So I think that is why this "there are tons of genders wanting to be discovered, and the only wrong one is straight" is that susessful. If we are paying attention to it, someone out there is free of doing whatever they want without fear of being caught.
I agree this "gendering" thing is confusing, and here you have a good reason for it to be that way. I tried to write it with very simple words so everyone can understand, but you are free of correcting my writing to make it more accesible.

Do not install pescado's mod. It is the one producing the errors it warns you about. Get Twallan's instead. It cleans your save file and prevents glitches.
Née whiterider
staff: administrator
#25 Old 21st Aug 2011 at 11:17 AM
Er, how's that relevant to the topic?

What I lack in decorum, I make up for with an absence of tact.
Banned
DELETED POST
21st Aug 2011 at 12:19 PM
This message has been deleted by Extensa5420.
Page 1 of 2
Back to top

Section jump