relationships: (abstract)
I truly do not think homosexuality, or heterosexuality, is natural.

I believe the behaviors are natural, the identity is not. The identity is socially constructed.

Society has made this odd determination that we define people by sexual preference.

And really, aren't there a million traits we insist on having or not having in our partners? Things aside from presence or lack of external genitalia and tits? Yet society does not define us as "blondsexuals" or "frecklesexuals" or "leggysexuals"...we have some loose colloquial terms to define us as such ("ass man" or "chubby chaser" or "rice chaser"), but nothing that is steadfastly slammed into our identity as our genital preference.

I find it so peculiar. Of all the arbitrary sexual preferences to include in our identity, why penises? Why vaginas? Why breasts?

And really, in a society in which sex is generally pretty taboo, why is anything about sexual preference included in our primary identity structure? I mean, we label ourselves in fairly widely known terms like "masochist" or "sadist" but these are generally not considered part of our primary public identity (unless any individual one of us makes the choice to express it as a primary facet of who we are).

I guess the truth is, I think sexual orientation is so arbitrarily important, and it really bothers me to see what I view as a massive inconsistency in social identities.
relationships: (sexual)
Before you leap up and scream about how I'm lying to you and tell me all these ancient cultures in which people engaged in EXACTLY what I'm saying.

The identity of homosexuals is a relatively limited concept.

Homosexuality itself exists in plenty of cultures--and animal kingdoms. But the idea of pigeon-holing sexuality is not so universal. Homosexuality used to be considered a behavior--and in many cultures, it still is. Instead of being part of who the person is, it's a behaviour sie engages in.

In many cultures, people aren't labeled for their behavior. It's intrinsic in the language even. In many cultures, there is no literal translation for 'doctor' or 'homosexual'...instead, they describe the person. "He practices medicine," or "She sleeps with women." In fact, this is a point we discussed in my justice department ethics this society, we treat the offender as the crime, and punish hir instead of punishing the behavior. But, that's a tangent.

It wasn't until around the 19th century that it became common to label the people engaging in same-sex sex as homosexuals. Prior to that, homosexual behavior was a sin, and perceived as wrong, but it was a sin, it was not the person. An adulterer, for instance, may be labeled and stigmatized, but it's not nearly as interlaced with the personal identity as homosexuality has become.

Hell, the word homosexual didn't even exist until Kerbeny coined the term sometime in the mid 1800s (and yeah, I know, concepts can exist before they're named--not presenting this as ultimate proof).

We are a society that likes to label. We like things in nice neat little boxes. It's comfortable to us. So we as a society create and impose labels, because to name something is to know it. Not all societies, now or historically, have such an innate need to pigeon hole its people--to many of them, behavior is how a person acts, not what a person is.
relationships: (romantic)
When a good friend finds hirself leaning on hir other friends and getting the support sie needs, do you find yourself jealous that you weren't the one to fulfill hir needs?

Why, then, would you find yourself jealous when your partner gets hir needs fulfilled elsewhere?

What is it about romantic relationships that implies absolute priority?

If I'm out of town and my lover find hirself wanting some action, feeling very dissatisfied with masturbation, should I be happy about that, about hir loyalty to me? Or should I be glad if sie finds fulfillment with another person?

And this is why the concept of a strong monogamous relationship bewilders me.

I am a strong and independent woman. I demand a strong and independent partner. That means neither I nor my partner should flex to meet the other's desires...if my partner wants a girlfriend to watch football with, that's too damn bad, I hate watching football. If I'm a night owl, I shouldn't try to change that to suit my partner's morning schedule. If he hates the idea of rough sex...well, I won't get that fulfilled with him.

This desire to not have a malleable partner leaves me sort of stuck if I find any needs not being met...if my partner accommodates the needs against hir desires, then I feel like I'm in danger of hir becoming codependent, which I would be irresponsible to allow.

So, how's my partner to feel, if I have unmet needs sie won't meet? Should sie be thrilled that I'm loyal to hir even though it means giving up some strong desires of mine?

To me, it makes more sense that sie would be happy to fulfill the desires sie can, but would also be happy if I went to another person (or people) to meet other needs. After all, I'm making myself happier; why shouldn't my partner be glad?

I do not believe jealousy is important to a relationship--quite the opposite, it hinders both partners' ability to become happier.

If an action taken by one partner would cause the other partner distress, the issue should be addressed...say the third person had been romantically entangled with one partner, and the other partner would become jealous upon renewed intimacy, then that could be a legitimate concern, and must be completely cleared up before any action can be taken.

If there is an issue of safety, that must also be addressed--say the third person has an STD, this must be discussed and precautions agreed upon, possibly even including sexual abstinence with the third person.

But I believe a truly secure, loving relationship would allow for nonmonogamous activity, to allow for greater fulfillment of each partner. Jealousy that a partner's needs are being fulfilled outside of the primary relationship is a very backwards concept to me--I'm usually unhappy if my partner's needs aren't being met.
relationships: (Default)
It's amazing how fast we are to label things that...really don't matter. Gender, sexual preference, varieties of relationships, race...why do any of these things mean anything?

I recently read a fascinating book by Wendy-O Matik. The book was called Redefining Our Relationships. It dealt with the emotional aspects of non-monogamous relationships, including even discussions about friendships.

Wendy-O used one term in a steadfast light--her partner. All other terms were interchanged. Lover, friend, sex buddy, family, soul mate...and it got me wondering. I've often pondered the culturally-imposed black-and-white perspective on relationships of the romantic variety, and to a certain extent also thought about friends whom I'm intimate with...but this brought to mind a new concept. Even with the freeing up of concepts within boundaries, I was still imposing boundaries on my relationships--romantic or not. And truthfully, why? They're all lovers, and some are soul mates. Like B, whom I have slept with, and whom I continue to flirt with, who sometimes holds my hand or massages me. Or R, whom I live with, share physical and emotional intimacy with, and the majority of my time. Or S, whom I have slept with in the past, but who now is someone I see or speak to only on occasion, when we have something to say to the other, or we happen upon one another in a given setting.

Why distinguish these people's relationships with me by confining them to labels? Yes, S is my ex boyfriend; but he is not merely that. And R is my boyfriend, but he has also been a friend for nearly a decade before we began dating. These relationships simply don't exist within a definition...they are each unique. To define these relationships within society's narrow ideas would be to cheapen and limit the ability to interact with these lovers, to share the natural love every human has for another.


relationships: (Default)

November 2009

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