“Sexuality” Doesn’t Exist
May 14, 2011 § 2 Comments
Interesting conversations are happening in my living room right now. They started with a discussion of the film Black Swan, which I won’t get into right now. It morphed into an involved conversation about gay/queer identity, sexuality, femininity/masculinity, race, and religion.
I have become a strong believer in the idea that the concepts specifically of sexuality and race are completely empty. They may have definitions, and they may be concepts used in worldwide society, but under scrutiny each term generalizes to the point of forfeiting their weight.
First take sexuality. It has become the norm in Western society to consider sexuality as comprised of categories, although they can be organized in different ways; gay/straight, gay/bi/straight, and queer/straight are the most prevalent categorizations I’ve heard. But stratifying society based on strict definitions involving sexual practice is impossible. There’s the question of whether one thought or experience can change someone’s sexuality – an argument that not only gives the categories fuzzy edges, but makes them almost indiscernible.
Instead I offer that we consider humans holistically as a species. On the whole, humans form relationships with each other. These relationships are sometimes romantic or sexual. Depending on individual preferences, these romantic/sexual relationships can be formed with members of the same sex, members of a different sex, or both interchangeably. There are individuals who assume they are attracted to members of a certain sex but later become attracted to someone outside of their usual preference. I don’t see why it is necessary for the society we live in to separate people based on who they form relationships with or who they engage in sexual acts with. I don’t think any differently of a girl if I find out at a certain point that they date other girls. They’re just like anybody else; the only difference to me is who they include in their dating pool. And that doesn’t change my opinions or perceptions of them as a person.
I’m not even entirely comfortable using the term “sexuality”. I just don’t see how it’s a relevant concept, since I don’t find it applicable to the world as it is. Humans aren’t born categorized by such terms. The idea of sexuality has no bearing on, nor does it reflect, anything about an individual’s personality, values system, or beliefs. Although I understand that it has become something of an important tool in at least Western culture, I feel that is use is contrived and of little real use.
I don’t want it replaced by a more “appropriate” term; I want the idea to be gone as well. People have romantic and sexual relationships with other people. That’s all there is to it.