Sexual Fluidity

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  PopeBeanie 1 month ago.

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  • #29478

    Ivy
    Participant

    Is it possible that all men and women are fluid when it comes to our sexual orientation?

    I wonder if sexual orientation is even a “real” thing…

    #29479

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    If you ask me, it’s normal to be bisexual.  People who are all straight are probably in the minority.

    Some men are attracted to Thai lady-boys, as a kind of third gender-orientation.

    #29482

    jakelafort
    Participant

    I doubt it.

    Asexuals are asexual. Strong heteros and homos are what they are. Prison is an artificial environment…if that is makin ya think as you are. And i assume that many prisoners are celibate by design.

    #29484

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    What is the natural variation in any species wrt sexual “preference”. At some point, even in humans, there must be a core natural preference to behave heterosexually, just for the sake of continuing the species. Any deviation from the heterosexual norm is due to either some natural variation or pathology–and in fact some “pathologies” may themselves even be explained by some kind of natural variation built into the species.

    The prefrontal cortex in each of those massive frontal lobes of ours have enabled us to make decisions and behave in ways that override our more primitive instincts, and the natural variation in those possible ways to behave is much wider than in most animals, for better or for worse or in between. Culture/society then places value judgments on such behaviors (whether sexual or not), for better or for worse or in between. IMO, even pedophilia, whether or not it’s considered to be a pathology–(which in a few rare cultures it is not), is surely at least partly explainable in terms of variation in the species, since the age of reproductive abilities of females can vary, and so should it affect male sexual responses to it.

    So early humans, not understanding any of the above, made arbitrary cultural rules regarding such behaviors, even to the extent of making up claims that some divine being sets the rules, and some person or institutional “expert” claims  to know what behavior is or is not acceptable–(name your favorite theology or other political/cultural institution). Meanwhile, even without theology, “experts” and authoritarians will still claim which behaviors are or not acceptable… it’s just that such declarations that seemingly come from a divine source are much more convincing, no matter which god or scripture makes the claim.

    If there’s an easier way to explain a reasonable answer to your question, I don’t know what it is. Bottom line, imo is simply: YMMV, and 1) early humans had no clue how to deal with this question other than to make up their rules based on emotional feelings and intuitions, and 2) early rule makers, writers, and enforcers were almost always men. On the other hand, Mother Nature doesn’t give a shit, and “whatever works” over generations of species just works.

    I don’t personally feel my attractions are “fluid”, nor have my desires to act ever been aggressive. I can’t speak for those people who don’t feel the same way as I do. I just accept that they have their own “true” way to feel and act, and I do not judge, except if/when it causes harm to any other people, especially children or others who are most vulnerable.

    #29485

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    The book “Pleasurable Kingdom – animals and the nature of feeling good” by Jonathan Balcombe, about the emotional lives of animals, is very illuminating on this subject.

    Animals are apparently very fluid in their sexual preferences and don’t care too much how they do it or who with.  They don’t have the social norms that humans do.

    #29488

    Unseen
    Participant

    If you ask me, it’s normal to be bisexual. People who are all straight are probably in the minority. Some men are attracted to Thai lady-boys, as a kind of third gender-orientation.

    In my vast experience, females are much more likely to consider engaging in same sex encounters as within the range of normality than males are, even if they themselves aren’t tempted. One model I worked with opined that “There’s less power dynamic in casual lesbian encounters than in casual encounters with males. I think (this is me again) that once people bond as couples, power relations almost inevitably happen no matter whether the couples are gay, lesbian, or hetero.

    #29489

    Jody Lee
    Participant

    I think society has pushed us to a place where a majority doesn’t even understand the concept of sexual fluidity. We have almost boomeranged back to a place where people can open their mind to it and over time, I think sexual fluidity will become more natural and common.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Jody Lee.
    #29491

    jakelafort
    Participant

    You guys and gals are mostly not addressing Ivy’s question.

    Yes, sexual orientation is real. As pope indicates it is necessary in terms of evolution. Sexual fluidity is also real. However, not all humans are fluid.

    I have not read many studies. But there are obvious ways to investigate the issue: anonymous polls, prisoners and especially lifers, the rest of the animal kingdom especially primates and particularly the super-sexual bonobos.

    #29492

    Davis
    Participant

    Jake has responded best. A lot more investigation has to be done. While I have no doubt more people would be more open to different sexual experiences if it weren’t for cultural conditioning (most especially the horror of the Abrahamic religions that still haunts the world quite viciously in many places). Alcohol and prison does change things but hardly for everyone. I think it’s very extreme to deny that some people could be interested, and solely interested in sexual experiences with one specific gender. There have been multiple studies of men shown sexual images of women and men and by measuring the change in arousal (penis engorging) they found a lot more men were mildly aroused by some images of homosexual imagery. Certainly not all. And moderately aroused does not necessarily translate to sexual fluidity (think of the western “male body worship” or arousal by proxy etc). I think that, from what I’ve read, and until a LOT more study is done on the topic, the best we can say is there is a lot more fluidity that people realize (or admit) but that fluidity is not inherently universal.

    #29493

    Unseen
    Participant

    Is it possible that all men and women are fluid when it comes to our sexual orientation? I wonder if sexual orientation is even a “real” thing…

    It seems obvious that there is an evolutionary bias toward sexual relations that can pass along genes, anything else is frivolous in a sense.

    #29494

    Simon Paynton
    Participant

    I don’t understand why evolution would select for sexual fluidity.  But I know that non-human animals are very sexually fluid.  I guess because the sexual instinct is so strong in itself, and it’s a part of the enjoyment of life.

    Maybe evolution doesn’t select for sexual fluidity, but playful behaviour.

    #29495

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    I don’t understand why evolution would select for sexual fluidity.

    I think most people, by nature, take their own inclinations/orientations for granted, unless prejudiced early on by culture. Not just for granted in fact, but as a primal essence of their self, when given the opportunity to be their genuine self. Growing up, I not only had difficulty understanding why other orientations exist, but felt uncomfortable thinking about other orientations even before realizing my culture’s “shoulds and shouldn’ts” that may have affected me.

    It’s not that fluidity is selected for (imo), but two other proclivities that are selected for above all others: 1) Heterosexuality, obviously, for procreation; 2) cultural or pack-level expectations and learned acceptances, not just among humans. The first proclivity runs very, very deep, as it’s been built into animals and operating for several millions of years and runs deeper than conscious decisionmaking. The second, pack-level sexual expectation is (imo) built in too, but is more fluid such that packs act according to current circumstances, and learn expectations wrt how other pack members act. Recall mating rituals, e.g. male-on-male horns locking in competition with females watching. Complex levels of sexual selection must operate based on how sexes in a species physically differentiate from each other, and then (amazingly) recognize and respond behaviorally to the opposite sex in only their own species, and (especially among humans) must also respond “properly” according to the age of their potential mate.

    This is very, very complex, built-in behavior, and it baffles me how invariant it is in most species. Wider behavioral variation in some species just seems to me to be an inevitable outcome, based on 1) the deep nature of sex drives vs 2) all the supreme complexity of heterosexual behavior that cannot possibly be expected to occur (again, imo) “according to plan”. To almost every one of us, the drive to have sex runs deeper in our DNA than do the various built-in complexities of mate selection. (And that’s why I call heterosexual behavior a behavioral “proclivity” among brain-endowed animals; it’s not even possible for such complex behavior to be dependably written in stone, nor is it 100% necessary for species survival.)


    Imo, the biggest confusions injected in all such discussions like this (with often serious consequences) are the male pre-conceptions of sexual behavior shoulds and shouldn’ts, which go far back for hundreds if not thousands of years. And the pre-conceptions run so deep that it’s easy to declare and spread the belief that specific standards of sexual behavior are divinely determined according to some kind of “perfect” plan. Such kinds of pre-conceptions are human bullshit, but I can’t blame ancient people for their attempt to explain their feelings. I mostly just blame the patriarchal traditions that enforced the pre-conceptions even until our more enlightened modern times.

    #29496

    Davis
    Participant

    It seems obvious that there is an evolutionary bias toward sexual relations that can pass along genes, anything else is frivolous in a sense

    Humans evolved to be sexual WELL outside of their fertile zones. So yeah, you could call it “frivolous” in that sense but it has numerous other benefits than simple procreation. Passing on the genes isn’t enough. Passing on the genes and keeping those children alive until they can do the same is a major part of that game. Having a lesbian guardian aunt who never has a kid can certainly help her nieces and nephews (who has a quarter of her DNA) make it to adulthood. Life-long bonding. Etc

    #29497

    PopeBeanie
    Moderator

    it has numerous other benefits than simple procreation

    It’s now about people (and say, bonobos) enhancing their social connections to each other via sexual pleasure, as crude as that will sound to many people still naturally feeling their strong shoulds and shouldn’ts. I would bet that some day it will even be provable scientifically that such strong social connections in fact enhance survival in some species. (LOL, such scientifically acceptable proof might have to come at first from objective-thinking AI, not burdened with emotional pre-conceptions.)

    So I wouldn’t call it frivolous, except in a fun sense.

    #29498

    Here is an article “Is Gender a social construct”? from  Sunday school Dec. 1st.  Like most debates or arguments it is often down to the meaning we assign to words.

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