Originally posted by desert
By continuum I mean a line with complete heterosexuality at one end and complete homosexuality at the other. A person who feels equal attraction to
men and women could be in the middle, let's say. Every person falls somewhere on this line. (I guess if a person is "asexual", they would not even
be on this line.) This explanation sure fits my Life's observations.
Mine too. And I've had a lot
of experience. I went to one of those weird old-fashioned boys' schools where sodomy was rife and even gay rape
was not unheard of. At a certain pre-pubertal stage, there was considerable peer pressure to be gay. A lot of boys had homosexual encounters at this
juncture, but in most cases, stopped having them when they left school. Their experiments with gay sex probably helped them find their true place on
desert's continuum of sexuality. It was a straight place, and once they found it, they stuck to it.
So it was for me. I did conceive a vague crush on another boy in what you'd call ninth grade, but neither of us was really gay, so nothing came of
it; instead, we've remained lifelong friends. I suspect there is a fairly strong homosexual component in my makeup, but in the end it's women who
get me excited... far too excited for my own good, I'm afraid.
There were, of course, boys at my school who were gay from the start. This was understood and accepted to a degree that seems extraordinary to me when
I think about it now. The chapel steps -- from where one could see over, and be seen by, most of the 'upper school' -- was the place where the
pretty boys hung out. Nobody harrassed them or beat them up; the straight seniors regarded them more or less as mascots, and protected them. Some of
these boys were the best and funniest talkers, with a fine line in whiplash humour, and that was how they gained acceptance. The school also had a
strong literary and theatrical tradition and many gays gravitated naturally towards these activities. As I was interested in literature and theatre
myself, I made a lot of gay friends in my teens. I kept up these interests in later life, so there've always been gay people in my life. If
being gay really were a choice, I should probably have given it a whirl by now.
As for lesbians... during the Eighties and Nineties I had an nine-year relationship, by far the most fulfilling of my life, with a woman who finally
accepted that she was gay when she was past the age of thirty. The realization collapsed our relationship. I loved her dearly and it almost killed me
when she left me for another woman. The thing is, she loved me just as dearly and leaving practically killed her as well. It was harder for her than
for me; she'd been repressing the fact of her gayness since puberty and the pressure had finally become unbearable. She has another life now, in a
different circle from the one I inhabit, but we remain as close as a non-cohabiting couple can be; a closeness that has caused some of the other women
who have passed through my life since to complain that she still means more to me than they do. They aren't altogether wrong: she is my best friend
and I love her still, though (to my amazement) I have completely ceased to find her attractive in a physical way.
I have met numerous lesbians through my ex. Like her, many of them have had relationships, often quite fulfilling ones, with men. A few move easily
back and forth between male and female partners. I think it's easier for women to be bisexual than it is for men; their sexuality doesn't seem to be
as firmly fixed as ours.
Q, you're right in a way: everyone (or nearly everyone) is bisexual to some degree. These differences of degree form the continuum of sexuality to
which desert refers. The statistical distribution probably isn't a bell curve, though, but something more along the lines of an inverted
curve. Every human being stands on it somewhere, even -- in my opinion -- the ones who would like to believe they are asexual.