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Fantasy Vs Reality

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by Bastion, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. Bastion

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    Yes but from what I understood there is strong evidence and proof of that. A lot of people agree and are aware of the spectrum.
     
  2. Nickw

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    Of course sexuality is a spectrum. I’m just saying that it is rare (not sure it is possible) to swing from one end to the other. That’s where we use denial to move the needle.
     
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  3. justaguyinsf

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    I think some people of both genders can change the expression of their sexuality, and that the plasticity of the brain affords some change in the "baseline" as you aptly put it. But I think you're right that the baseline probably can't be changed completely. While I understand the political usefulness of promoting a gay/straight dichotomy, I think it's not helpful to people who find themselves able to and wanting to have different experiences or to have a partnership with a person who fits the bill on all counts except for their sexual baseline. Nowadays folks are able to adopt a gender identity that is not consistent with their chromosomes, which seems to be a much more solid baseline than sexual desire and expression.
     
    #23 justaguyinsf, Aug 6, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
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  4. Chip

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    There's a huge difference between a spectrum, which absolutely exists, and fluidity, for which there's little to no credible evidence.

    In other words, only about 10% of the population, from what we know, is at the far end of the spectrum in either direction (straight or gay) and everyone else is somewhere on the spectrum, though most tend to cluster toward one end or the other.

    But where someone is on the spectrum tends to stay stable over time. People don't change from straight to gay or gay to straight. For those who don't figure out they're gay until later in life, invariably, once they come out, they are able to look back much earlier in life and realize there were clear signs and indications that they simply ignored or denied. But that isn't the same as actual fluidity.

    Now... how someone chooses to express themselves certainly can change. Someone may want to dress in all black, goth-like, during one period of their life, and very colorfully at another time. Likewise, some folks identify with a given gender norm and express that through clothing and hair and so forth, and then may express a different one at a different time. But that has nothing to do with sexual orientation.
     
  5. Nickw

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    @Bastion

    it is interesting to me to go back and read my first posts on the forum. Another poster, @SiennaFire, really pushed me on my sexuality. I was claiming I was a 1 or maybe a 2 on the Kinsey scale. I truly believed that my same sex desires were just a little bit. Now, I know that I was just not really understanding my sexuality.

    I subscribed to the fluidity theory for awhile. But, this changed once I started having intimacy with other guys. The light came on. Those brief, but intense desires were there my whole life.

    My thing is that my attractions for a man are much “narrower” than for a woman. In other words, there are lots more women out there that I am attracted to than men. But the right guy will light my fire as much as, probably more, than any woman because that guy is so rare.

    That’s another thing that affects the “perception” of my sexuality...accessibility. If there are no handsome men around, I’m pretty content with the women.

    As you work through the “discovery” of your sexuality, you will, likely, find what I did. Many of us that are really questioning our sexuality find that we might be a bit higher on the spectrum to gay than we thought. There is something that compels is later in life and we should look at why that is. Likely, not because we are a 1 on the scale if it’s that important.

    As others have mentioned. There is choice in how we express our sexuality. And, I think there are times in life where that expressing of our sexuality is more important than other times. We can also be a 4 on the scale and be happily married to a person of the opposite sex because as @justaguyinsf mentioned, there may be other reasons to be with that person.

    You have, so far, not gotten into the Kinsey rating game for yourself. I think that’s a good thing. Because we tend to hold on to those sorts of labels and numbers and it can affect our growth.
     
    #25 Nickw, Aug 7, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  6. JessNC

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    Thanks for such a thoughtful discussion, people. I'm 61 and have been quite amazed at how this kind of topic and conversation have developed in my lifetime. From a time when anything other than hetero fantasy and engagement was wrong to now when so many see human sexuality as human capacity as diverse as styles of artistic expression. Of course, this is contested claim and many want put/keep sexuality (and gender) in a hierarchical binary arrangement. Still, the space for discussion and expression are not what they were in my suburban west coast US high school days in the 70's.

    As I have been engaging/unpacking/analyzing/questioning my own sexuality and gender histories over the past decade the topic of sexual fantasies has been of more than a passing interest to me. I resonate with much of what has been said in this thread and have found published research and speculation at times helpful. Two things that haven't been touched on much are things that have been at the front of my thinking at times. First, it seems clear to me now that to think there might be one way of thinking about sexuality that would apply equally to all humans is unlikely at best and harmful at worst. Western culture has spent too much time under the sway of the myth of the singular (usually cloaked in an applied hierarchy that benefits the folks at the top) and getting past it is not easy. Second, my own what I will call physical attractions have rarely been about the broad category "woman" or "man" but usually specific aspects of a person--face, hair, ass--but I would not allow myself to admit this because it was not "nice". When I realized with the help of dreams, fantasies, images, that I found particular things turning me on, so to speak, is when I became more aware of being open or drawn to humans who identified as male. And these dreams and fantasies were not simply delivered to me from some core identity but developed as part of my individual mix of desires and imaginations.
     
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  7. DecentOne

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    I think of it as the bisexual me came roaring forward in later life and said “pay attention to me!”
    Due to this personal experience I’m more comfortable with the idea that we can shift. And if I’m paying attention I notice I experience the bi-cycle day to day or week to week.

    Because of the strength and frequency of those male/male fantasies, I know I’m bisexual. And no, I am not on a continuum between straight and gay. I am both/and and something different entirely. About two thirds hetero, and 2/3rds homo on the Michael D. Strong Model.
    https://forum.emptyclosets.com/index.php?threads/idr-labs-sexual-orientation-test.478540/
     
  8. Snowqueen

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    I had fantasies and then the feelings of attraction started, then 40 years of denial, before finally accepting I'm gay and always have been.
     
  9. Contented

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    I can say without a doubt I once considered myself 100% heterosexual right up until I started to feel an attraction to another man. That attraction grew and it caused me to do a significant amount of work on who I really was. As I came out as gay I realized that over many years there were signs that I either missed or more likely chose to ignore. For me a scale is not important however how I feel is vitally important. Even in early adolescence I can now see evidence that I was gay. I remember gay fantasies of my next door neighbor who was my age. Towards the end of my heterosexual relationship it was only the gay fantasies that allowed me to become aroused and be intimate. I will say that while I was always selective in dating women I am even more so in my interest in men. I have been able by working on who I am and what I really want ,to quantify what I find attractive in men. It has been an eye opening and pleasurable experience to honestly (perhaps for the first time) analyze the essence of who I am, what I want and who I want it with.
     
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  10. JessNC

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    I appreciated your perspective, Contented. And I have had a similar experience in that as I grew into accepting my desire to be sexual with men I also felt like I was learning myself in ways I had not done before.
     
  11. justaguyinsf

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  12. Bastion

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    I agree with many of the ideas brought forward by@justaguyinsf.
    i believe that human sexuality is a complex thing even for science to completely understand and we have to keep an open mind. Because sexual labels are generally speaking I feel are dividing us into “we” and “them” . No matter our choices and inclinations shouldn’t we consider opening our minds to all sexual orientations.

    For me personally. The thought of having a baseline never crossed my mind. It was more like I was attracted to specific attributes in a guy or a girl. If it got further than that, things would work out on it’s own. If it didn’t then the friendship will be there or we just drift apart and go our separate ways or hang out or socialize with other people.
     
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  13. Bastion

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    So I was not far off when I mentioned the continuum in sexuality.

    This is a direct quote from the research “Male sexual orientation is expressed on a continuum rather than dichotomously“