Thursday, April 9, 2015

Sexual Lust and Choices

In G2A So Much for Tolerance and Freedom we got to the same old positions...
  1. We are Homosexual People, Bi-sexual People, Heterosexual People, Transexual People?
  2. We are all just People who engage in different sexual behaviors and relationships?
I think that Joel and Sean are fully commited to position 1, and I lean there. Though there is little to no science supporting this position, an increasing number of American's are growing to support it. As they become de-sensitized to many sexual interactions that used to be taboo.

Regarding position 2: I noted that many committed long term husbands, including myself, can feel lust towards women who are not our spouse and choose to not act on it.  And as Jerry often mentions, there are many examples of couples with kids that broke apart when one of the "heterosexual" spouses decided that they wanted to pursue "homosexual" relationships.  And Lord knows that Bi-sexual by definition seems like a choice, not a type of "People".

So Joel posed the following comments:
"If your sexuality is not innate, how do you know to find those other women attractive? What thought process do you go through to make such a determination? Or is it immediate and visceral?

I'm trying my best to understand what seems to be a huge disconnect between the way you experience sexuality and the way you seem to perceive other people, particularly homosexuals, experience their own sexuality."
Unfortunately I am going to give a terrible answer.  I don't know how much is innate and how much is environmentally conditioned...  Is our society, publications, etc responsible for my preferences and behavior?  Our is it something innate that I was born with?  The world and I may never know.

The reality is though that as a human, I always have a choice to give in to my lusts or give in to them.  In fact every Spring I get an over powering urge to buy a new shiny vehicle, and for the last 10 years I have chosen to keep my 2002 Suburban.  Does this mean that I am one of the "New Car People", or one of the "People who likes to drive new cars"?

Thoughts?

47 comments:

jerrye92002 said...

"What difference, at this point, does it make?"-- Hillary Clinton

I've always disagreed with Jimmy Carter, who admitted to the Biblical sin of "lusting in his heart." I don't care whether he was lusting after women, men, new cars or great wealth. Nor do I care how he acquired that lust, through genetic predisposition, social influences, bad drugs or choices. What I care about is what behavior he chooses to act (or not) upon those lusts. At that point, societal norms and even the law become involved in judging those behaviors.

John said...

I think it makes a pretty big difference...

If #1 is true then I whole heartedly agree that LGBT folks deserve full protected class status like women, minorities, age, religion, disabled, pregnant women, retired military personnel, etc.

If #2 is true then I think they do not deserve protected class status anymore than Liberals or Conservatives. Or any other group that makes a lifestyle choice.

jerrye92002 said...

You're going to hate this answer. Let us assume that sexual orientation is inborn. I will even make an equivalence that it was acquired someplace in youth. I see no reason why a gay man cannot pay the rent, buy a cake, or hold a job. Discrimination based on your private thoughts and leanings isn't possible, reasonable or, in many places, legal.

Here's the but: But if a homosexual orientation can be inborn or acquired in youth, and (presumably) cannot be changed, then do we not have to make the same accommodations for pedophiles, Shades of Grey types, rapists, those who want a harem, and sheep fanciers? YES, we do. But where we draw the line against all of these is when they engage in behaviors that we don't, as a society or individually, approve of. We discriminate personally and often, legally.

To reiterate, I don't care what your lusts are in your heart nor how you came to have them. I care only about what I can see, which is what you choose to do with them behaviorally.

Anonymous said...

"YES, we do."

NO, we don't.

pedophiles: there is a victim, and no consent

Shades of Grey: as if such behavior doesn't exist within marriages

rapists: again...victim, consent issues

those who want a harem: There are inheritance issues, among other problems, but if society can work out those issues, who am I to say it's not right? It was perfectly fine for cultures in the past.

sheep fanciers: animals can not give consent.

Try harder.

Joel

Anonymous said...

"I care only about what I can see..."

In other words, you're free to be homosexual, but you're not free, because I have hang-ups about sex, to freely be homosexual.

Anonymous said...

John-

You misstate, as do most people, the nature of bisexuals.

It simply means they can be sexually attracted to males or females. Their sexual attraction is not limited to a single sex.

Joel

John said...

Jerry,
People have pictures of their other sex wives/husbands up at work and no one is concerned. Whereas "LGBT people/behavors" have been harassed and/or fired for putting a picture of the partner up. So they have been harassed for doing nothing improper at work.

What is your obsession with comparing LGBT activities to crimes? There are 2 willing adult participants and most of our societal laws allow their behaviors/actions, whether between hetero or homo partners.

Joel,
If one is that indifferent then the behavior is certainly a choice.

jerrye92002 said...

I compare gay behavior to criminal behavior because both are behaviors. What drives those behaviors doesn't matter, nor does it matter how those drives were acquired. You are telling me I cannot discriminate based on behavior, but that's exactly what the criminal law and "societal norms" do.

I'm also telling you that I'm not going to punish people for their thoughts. For example, adultery is generally frowned upon. It doesn't matter if you think about it, and it doesn't matter WHY you think about it-- what your drives are. It doesn't mean it doesn't happen, either, but what matters is when the behavior intrudes on public sensibilities. Sure, society is becoming more tolerant all the time. I don't think it should be forced to do so.

John said...

The reality is that most of our society is becoming incredibly supportive of "LGBT people/behavers" as is shown by half the sitcoms and talk shows out there. And I would say that 50+% Americans are supportive LGBT relationships.

My point is that social norms, criminal laws and the majority of citizens used to be against "LGBT people/ behavers", however now it has now reversed.

I am happy to support the freedoms of the RR to "discriminate based on behavior" however the shifting social norms are putting the RR folks on the side of the minority on this topic.

Anonymous said...

"Joel,
If one is that indifferent then the behavior is certainly a choice."

John, what are you responding to?

jerrye92002 said...

John, I hope you don't think Hollywood and TV are an accurate reflection of the society. And I don't think "acceptance" is the right word. I think it's tolerance or live and let live. I think the LG "community" would find it more effective to let society change on its own, rather than forcing the issue.

John said...

I was replying to Joel's comment.

"You misstate, as do most people, the nature of bisexuals.

It simply means they can be sexually attracted to males or females. Their sexual attraction is not limited to a single sex."

John said...

Jerry,
Of course main stream 7 PM to 9 PM sit coms are a pretty good picture of the USA's social norms.

Just think:
First Father Knows Best.
then All in the Family
then Will and Grace

Advertisers will not fund shows that are unpopular with the current society.

That is why "Big Love" was on HBO... Not NBC...

jerrye92002 said...

OK, Will and Grace... half of the characters are gay. Reflective of US society? Both of the main male characters are gay. What will the "society" look like in 20 or 30 years if that is true for the US as a whole? It's a COMEDY. The laughs come from the improbable situations.

Anonymous said...

How do you see being attracted to either sex as being indifferent?

Joel

Anonymous said...

"OK, Will and Grace... half of the characters are gay."

You make it sound as if a TV show has to have the same demographics as the country as a whole, rather than simply showing a slice of American life.

It's a story about a gay character who, in real life, is likely to have a gay friend.

I lived with a single woman for four years. It's completely realistic in that sense.

Let take your statement and switch it up a bit:

OK, The Cosby Show... ALL of the characters are black. Reflective of US society? What will the "society" look like in 20 or 30 years if that is true for the US as a whole?

Perhaps you now have an idea of how ridiculous and bigoted you sound.

Joel

John said...

Joel,
Being "equally attracted to" or

Being "indifferent to"

would indicate that their sexual adventures are purely by choice.

Not someone with a strong urge that would make their life awful if they went one way or the other. It is likely their sensitivity to typical social conventions are weaker.

Two people coupling of all types are becoming socially normal. But I don't think 3 ways, swapping and orgies have made the main stream yet, however at the rate we are relaxing our norms, it may occur sooner than later.

Anonymous said...

John,

One doesn't follow from the other. Your logic is flawed.

"would indicate that their sexual adventures are purely by choice."

No...it indicates that they form a relationship and have sex with someone they are attracted to, that is, ONE someone, just like any (most) human being(s).

And then you make the odd logical leap to 3ways, swapping, and orgies, which have no intrinsic connection to bisexuality.

Joel

John said...

sex with someone they are attracted to"

As Jerry would say, know one would no you are bi-sexual if you were not flipping and flopping from one sex to the other.

John said...

So unless you have a "partner" who has both sexual organs, multiple partners are involved.

Either sequentially or at the same time.

Laurie said...

The poll, conducted April 6 to 8, also found that 52 percent of Americans support allowing same-sex couples to marry, far more than the 32 percent who oppose it.

The poll found solid opposition to allowing businesses to refuse services or refuse to hire people or groups based on religious beliefs.

Fifty-four percent said it was wrong for businesses to refuse services, while 28 percent said they should have that right. And 55 percent said businesses should not have the right to refuse to hire certain people or groups based on the employer's religious beliefs, while 27 percent said businesses should have the right.

John said...

Hi Laurie, Do you have a source and who they polled?

Laurie said...

Most Americans side with gays in religious freedom disputes: Reuters/Ipsos poll

John said...

I think we should find a better poll. Apparently only online people were surveyed, which could significantly bias skew the results based on who is "online".

"For the survey, 892 people aged 18 years old and over were interviewed online. The Reuters/Ipsos online poll was measured using a credibility interval. It has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points."

John said...

Aleteia
Fox News: AFP Poll
Wash Post

John said...

Weekly Std: Multiple Polls

The Left sure likes the results from the Reuters Poll
Salon

John said...

Pew Research LGBT Page
Gallup

After quickly reviewing these. I think it varies by location, question wording, age, etc...

jerrye92002 said...

So, the answer depends greatly on what question is asked, and of whom?

Quelle surprise!

Anonymous said...

"So unless you have a "partner" who has both sexual organs, multiple partners are involved.

Either sequentially or at the same time."

Having multiple partners is not unique to a particular sexual orientation. But again, we're talking about attraction. You have admitted to finding women other than your wife attractive. Now. Imagine a man, happily married to a woman, finding a person other than his wife attractive. The only difference is that the other person might be male OR female.

I think your biggest failure in this argument, John, is that you do not notice how much people of different sexual orientations are alike. I've been trying to get you to see that homosexuals and bisexuals are experiencing sexuality almost exactly as you are, only the object of affection/attraction is different.

Joel

John said...

Joel,
I am trying to get you to acknowledge that attraction though relevant, really isn't the only thing that matters.

People make choices in their life regarding what they will believe and how they will behave. This is what makes us different than other beings on earth.

I may feel angry at someone, yet I do not need to yell at them or hit them. I may feel lust towards that hot or special person, that does not mean I need to pursue and/or partner with them.

That is why this is such a fascinating topic, the LGBT folks seem to be certain that their urges control their lifestyle, not the other way around. And the RR folks seem to think LGBT people should resist urges in the name of propriety.

Please remember that I am a very analytical logic based person, so the idea of going with a whim / feeling is a pretty foreign concept.

John said...

One of the books on my list tells the story of husband who was going to divorce because he had fallen out of Love with his wife.

The author reminded him that love is a verb and that those feelings could be rekindled if the man started loving his spouse through his beliefs and behaviors.

I think too many modern American's forget that they can control their feelings and urges by watching and controlling what they are thinking. What a crazy idea...

Just try it someday, when you are feeling sad, frustrated, etc. Just start focusing thoughts intensely on good things, positive self talk, the 3/4 full side of your life, etc... Your feelings will soon follow.

Anonymous said...

It's really offensive for you to call the love that my boyfriend and I have for each other a whim or just a feeling. As your story illustrates, love is a verb, and I assure you you are not experiencing anything novel as compared to gay people and their love relationships. EVERYTHING you just described is as true of gay love as it is of hetero love.

I have to wonder how many gay people/couples you know.

Joel

John said...

Well, I am in Shanghai and have access. Yippee.

"the love that my boyfriend and I have for each other a whim or just a feeling"

Well make up your mind, is it your feelings "making you" date him, a "free will decision" to date him and/or some combination there of. I am hoping for your sake that it is more than passion and love, because those will likely rise, fall, cycle over the decades.

By the way, I don't think I wrote anything specific about LGBT or straight couples. I think my comments were very generic to all relationships.

By the way, are you one of those hopeless romantics who thinks there are one or few perfect matches out there for each of us?

Anonymous said...

"Well make up your mind, is it your feelings "making you" date him, a "free will decision" to date him and/or some combination there of. I am hoping for your sake that it is more than passion and love, because those will likely rise, fall, cycle over the decades."

I honestly have no idea how my previous comment was unclear.

I 'feel' love.
I 'have' love.
I 'choose to' love.
I love.

From your response, I have to presume you've never 'felt' anything for your wife.

Joel

John said...

Over 30 years and raising 3 kids together I have had many varied and extreme feelings towards my wife. And by her comments and behaviors I am pretty sure she has had just as many towards me and my actions.

Ultimately I still believe that choosing one's life partner is a choice, whether love, passion, or practical criteria are used to make it. The question is does one stay committed to the choice they made even when things get rocky and the feelings fluctuate over time.

If fate had led me to choose a different spouse, I am certain I would have been committed to and loved them also. Even when at times I was feeling the desire to scream or cry. Maybe the divorce rate and single parent problem wouldn't be as big as it is if more people honored their commitments and used their heads a bit more.

Anonymous said...

The question is: Would you have ever considered a man as a life partner?

I highly doubt the answer is yes. I also doubt that you ever gave it any thought.

Joel

John said...

Of course not, that would not have been practical at all... LOL

If I lived in a alternate universe where male/male was norm and I had been conditioned so, who knows?

The question I have is would you have been miserable with a female partner? Do you truly find women that repugnant in bed and in interactions?

It will be nice when they figure out what drive this animal magnetism part of our physiology.

Anonymous said...

Gay people live in a culture where man/woman is the statistical norm and have been conditioned...and yet they are attracted to and desire relationships with people of the same sex. In your alternate universe, what happens to you if you happen to have the 'abnormal' attraction to someone of the opposite sex?

The question I have is would you have been miserable with a male partner? Do you truly find men that repugnant in bed and in interactions?

"It will be nice when they figure out what drive this animal magnetism part of our physiology."

Why does it matter?

Joel

jerrye92002 said...

"It will be nice when they figure out what drive this animal magnetism part of our physiology."

Let's see. How about a half-million years or so of evolutionary biology? Somewhere along the line, evolution discovered that sexual reproduction was better than the other way, and millions of species have been created as male and female ever since, with the natural urge to reproduce. Only in the last twinkle of time have some humans chosen to ignore or even reverse that biological imperative. But it IS a choice; our species would not survive otherwise.

Anonymous said...

"Only in the last twinkle of time have some humans chosen to ignore or even reverse that biological imperative."

Since we like to ask for proof on this blog, please provide it.

Joel

Anonymous said...

Also, please explain why you believe that every member of a species needs to reproduce in order for the species to be successful.

Joel

John said...

"The question I have is would you have been miserable with a male partner? Do you truly find men that repugnant in bed and in interactions?"

I really don't know... Since I can't tell the difference between the nature vs nurture part of my response. By the way, you didn't answer my question.

"It will be nice when they figure out what drive this animal magnetism part of our physiology.

Why does it matter?"

Of course it matters. It would resolve once and for all with facts and data if there are LGBT/ Straight People or just People Who Choose to Practice Different Sexual Behaviors.

I am all for protecting "Types of People" with the laws. Not so keen on protecting beliefs / behaviors at the cost of someone elses beliefs / behaviors.

Anonymous said...

I assume you mean this question:

"The question I have is would you have been miserable with a female partner? Do you truly find women that repugnant in bed and in interactions?"

Women are fine people. I've just never...and I do mean never...felt a twinge of sexual or romantic interest in one. Much like I imagine you've never felt a twinge of sexual or romantic interest in another man.

It must be strange not knowing if you were ever attracted to your wife.

Joel

John said...

I know I was attracted to my wife and other women over the years.

I just don't know how much of that drive was nature vs nurture.

What draws men to "hot sexy" women over "plain over weight" women? Is social conditioning or some innate "improve the species" need drive? And the opposite for women...

jerrye92002 said...

"Since we like to ask for proof on this blog, please provide it."

The proof: Humankind continues to exist, therefore sexual reproduction has taken place for eons. It isn't necessary that all participate and in many species, some are left out, while the species survives. To my knowledge, only humans CHOOSE to opt out.

John said...

Food for Thought:
Wiki Homosexuality in Animals
NG Gay Animals

jerrye92002 said...

Thanks for that wiki article, John. It certainly refutes the claim that homosexual behavior is a "sin against nature." And yet…

– Per church doctrine, animals cannot sin, only humans can.
– The only reason we have these studies is because the behavior is "not normal."
– Most of these studies were done on captive populations, and even among humans "prison sex" is different. And in a few cases, the homosexuality was chemically induced. That's not natural.
– The closest any of these studies come to proving a homosexual "orientation" is from observing the behavior and assuming that it requires orientation to drive it. Some humans want to claim the opposite, that orientation requires behavior.
– Almost all of the interactions described as "sexual" are also describable as domination or other social interactions.
– None of these behaviors seems to affect the survival of the species, since most of the individuals involved are either bisexual, or there are plenty of others reproducing. In no case do exclusively homosexual pairs pass on that genetic predisposition to their offspring.