Monday, April 12, 2010

The flipside of not claiming a label

While typing out that last post a few minutes ago I got to thinking about my sexuality again. As I've said before now that I've opened myself up to thinking about romantic and sexual activity with women as well as men. However as I say in that post I have no romantic or sexual experience with either. So what does that make me?

In short confused.

On the one hand when you don't claim a label you are saying that you will not be limited by that label and definitions, assumptions, stereotypes, presumptions, and limitations associated with that label. However by not having a label one could be left feeling like they don't belong anywhere which can get lonely.

I'm feeling like I really don't have anyone I can really talk this out with. Yeah when the conversation is about attractive men and women I'll partake accordingly but I really never feel like I can put it all out there in any of those spaces or conversations. You know a place I can say, "Hey those people are like me. I can probably fit in with them." A since of belonging counts for a lot.

So by not having a sexuality that I can identify with I don't expect myself to always have a -sexual perspective on things (by being male other people usually presume heterosexual but not always...) but it leaves me thinking that I have no perspective on them.

Damn no wonder I feel so empty.


Sparky said...

No-one can say what it makes you but you - but one thing I will say is EXPERIENCE doesn't mean orientation.

I am a gay man. I was a gay man even when I was a virgin. I still identified as gay, I still knew as gay.

I think it comes from a society that assumes heterosexuality so much. We assume everyone is heterosexual - we don't assume soemone is sexuality-less until they've actually had sex - we just assume heterosexuality. We don't generally think of a virgin as lacking in sexuality.

The problem comes when your sexuality is other than straight - because THEN society demands you justify it. Because heterosexuality is the norm, we should all be heterosexual - and if we claim we aren't people will try and refute it or push us back into the straight box. Because of this I think we assume that someone isn't "really" gay/bi/bi-curious/etc until they've had sex because they don't have enough 'evidence' to refute societal expectation, if you know what I mean?

But I think that's succumbing to heteronormative society rather than actuality. Sexuality is about who you ARE, not what you DO. And if you feel you are bi/bi-curious, are attracted to women and other men - then the fact you haven't actually had sex doesn't change that part of you, doesn't change what you are

I think ultimately it's a matter of going down to what a lebal means and what it means to you: and to take the "bi-curious" label or even the "bisexual" label, being attracted to (or curious about) both men and women - not having sex with both men and women.

him . said...

Sexual Orientation is not determined by sexual behavior it is determined by sexual desire. You don't have to do anything other than desire the same sex to be gay, straight, bisexual.

Having sex does not determine your sexual orientation.

Putting your penis in a vagina does not make you straight.
Putting your penis in an anus does not make you gay.

You can have sex with 10 women and still be gay.

Danny said...

I like what you say about societial expectations because I think that may be the case. I'm expected to be something (in this case straight) therefore when I don't fully feel I fit in within that label I begin to look for some "evidence" to justify what I am. This would explain me thinking that I would need actual experience in order to decide what my preferences are.

I think I'm trying to tell myself that since I've had no sexual experience with either men or women I have no way of knowing what my orientation is.

Danny said...

True especially that last line which would explain how a heterosexual couple can be married for years and one day one partner up and tells the other that they are gay.

I often shy away from labels for fear of overthinking them. Looks like I was over thinking them anyway.

Sparky said...

Aye, but that's because of societal pressure. Particularly since a lot of homophobic assumption puts sexuality down as a CHOICE or something you DO rather than something you are. And under that assumption, since you haven't done anything surely you can't be anything?

But it falls down when you ralise that even those who haven't DONE anything are considered straight. We don't consider sex to be a necessary proof of heterosexuality. Which shows we don't believe that sex is a proof of sexuality at all - but attraction and who someone is. It's just that society would rather people be straight and pushes back at any assertion of being anything but straight

And part of it is, I think, as you say. You don't feel straight, but society tells you you should be - there's a sense of needing concrete evidence that you are not straight to counter the assumption. Like you have to prove it to a doubtful world :)

Ultimately you are who you are,. and who you are is based on what you are - not what you do :)