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Epiphany, Confession, and the Sexuality with Choice


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When I was growing up being gay was a sin and I was raised to (mostly) believe that becoming gay was a choice. There was some pushback to that idea from some teachers and sources but on the whole I believed it was a choice. Plus President Kimball was backing me up. I have long since dismissed that idea as a myth but I never really questioned where it came from or why i believed it so easily back then. Actual gay people rarely believed it was a choice. And why would heterosexual people pontificate on some kind of a choice being made when they never made that choice? Hence the laughs when you ask the homophobe when they decided to be straight.

A few weeks ago I was reading through an old High School journal and came upon a time I had a crush on a girl I knew. I smiled at the memory as it was a doomed crush and was even more doomed with the benefit of hindsight. What I didn’t write down (I knew even then not to write this stuff down) but memory brought back was that I also had a crush on that crush’s one year younger brother at the same time. I remembered little deeply closeted bisexual me deliberately choosing to pursue her instead of him because it was the right thing to do. I was chuckling at naive me and then suddenly my eyes went wide as I realized what I had done and the reasoning behind it and why I so easily believed homosexuality was a choice growing up. For me IT LITERALLY WAS! I don’t mean the choice to be attracted to guys was a choice. It never was and probably never will be but I had another attractive option and I could “CHOOSE THE RIGHT/stRaIGHT”

So I started looking at it and ran a thought exercise and realized that if younger me were inexplicably asked to give a sermon on avoiding gay relationships I would have framed it as a choice between choosing the good wholesome approved attractions and ignoring and shunning the bad attractions. Is it the fault of bisexuals this myth came to be? If I leaned more towards attraction to guys it probably would have been a little more desperate of a sermon about how tempting the sin was and that choosing the right is hard and may seem unrewarding. If I favored women more it might have been written more about how only the weak fall to this inferior temptation. Bisexuals are almost perfectly designed to create this narrative.

When I was a teenager I couldn’t conceive of monosexuality. After I hit puberty I assumed everyone had crushes and were attracted to boys and girls and pretty much everyone was ignoring their attraction to their own gender. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that this wasn’t normal and I wasn’t normal. They weren’t just really good at controlling and hiding their attraction. That weird mockery of homosexuality with guys flirting with each other was not secretly expressing themselves but was (usually) genuine scorn. Shame that. I secretly loved it because it was a chance to let part of myself out for a short time. Knowing that most guys just literally weren’t attracted to guys at all was a huge shock and it took me years to admit what it meant.

Were the preachers and culture warriors fighting homosexual acceptance a bunch of closeted bisexuals fighting their inner demons and trying to cheerlead others to do the same? I am now much more curious at all the people who froth against the lgbt community and claim to see the threat. Is that threat really the tiny minority out there fighting for equal rights or is it some inner demon they are wrestling with and the whole thing is them projecting their own inner struggle?

One aspect of bisexuality that is not very commonly known is something colloquially called the bi-cycle. Basically a lot of bisexual people have their level of desire for men and women fluctuate. To some it is fast shifts and to some it is a slow up and down. Some are boy-crazy one day and girl-crazy the next. For some a cycle can last a year. It is not universal but it is pretty common. Most of the time the attraction in a romantic loving relationship is immune to the bi-cycle. The bonding keeps that individual attraction strong. Now suppose a single Christian or a Christian with no strong relationship with their spouse or partner hits the bi-cycle hard and suddenly loses attraction to their spouse and the one ‘allowed’ gender and the ‘forbidden’ gender starts looking mighty attractive. It would be easy to cast this as devilish temptation and the shift back the other way as God delivering you from the demons of homosexuality. How many reported gay cures were just that cycle reversing? How many of those political and religious firebrands denouncing the evils of the gay agenda and then getting caught expressing the sin they denounced were bisexuals hating their own attraction but unable to fight it when it grew strong. I can even see drag queens and gender bending of other kinds being seen as evil deceptions. A lot of bisexual people (but not all) find androgyny attractive. The femboy vs. tomboy debates are serious business but they always end with everyone wanting both.

So while I have no authority to speak for anyone I am sorry that my sexuality may have been responsible for so much stupidity and persecution. I do still wonder how the hell heterosexual people ever would have believed this narrative. Why did you believe it? Straight people typically have as much trouble envisioning someone being attracted to multiple genders as bisexuals do trying to imagine how you can just not be attracted to an entire gender. In spite of this you still framed it as a choice? Why? How? I still find it hard to understand monosexuality. My gut reaction is still: “Really? Have you not seen all the hot men out there? All the hot women? How can you not want them? What is wrong with you?”

 

 

The irony if this is true is that the one group that actually experiences homosexual desire like homosexuals do is the one that threw homosexuals under the bus. I am sure I am not the first to throw this idea out there but as far as I know I have never stumbled across it.

If you suspect some homophobe of being bisexual try to watch them when they are sitting down. Everyone knows bisexual people cannot sit up straight. They say it is made up but I know better and have never sat down like a normal human in my life unless I really concentrate or am under severe duress.

That brother or sister in church that looks like they are trying to have future back problems while sitting and talks about the dangers of homosexuality a little too often? They really need a hug.

 

 

 

Note: For purposes of what I wrote “bisexual” includes pansexuals, omnisexuals, and the all the other groups within the larger umbrella. It was not intended to take a stand on the bisexual vs. pansexual debate over what the difference between the two are. It is a minor issues plus everyone knows the pansexuals are just jealous that our bisexual flag looks better. I don’t hold a grudge though. I hope to see the schism mended and we split the difference and call ourselves pisexuals. Think of all the math puns and how we are clearly attracted to at least 3.1415 genders. We also get to claim pies as part of our cultural heritage and can bring back old-school pie throwing at homophobes and biphobes. Also aren’t you pansexuals tired of the endless cookware jokes?

“JOIN US AND WITH OUR COMBINED STRENGTH WE CAN END THIS DESTRUCTIVE CONFLICT AND BRING ORDER TO THE POLYSEXUALS!”

Okay, that got weird.

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4 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I would have framed it as a choice between choosing the good wholesome approved attractions and ignoring and shunning the bad attractions ...

It wasn’t until much later that I realized that this wasn’t normal and I wasn’t normal. 

You have literally just described what has been normal for the vast majority of the people who have ever lived -- though the 'choice' amongst competing attractions would have been framed within a bewilderingly diverse array of culturally constructed 'good' and 'bad'. The only constant is the biological reality that procreation requires both male and female gametes.

Fixed, gendered, sexual attraction is the cultural/historical novelty.

Quote

If you suspect some homophobe of being bisexual try to watch them when they are sitting down. Everyone knows bisexual people cannot sit up straight.

:blink:

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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5 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

You have literally just described what has been normal for the vast majority of the people who have ever lived -- though the 'choice' amongst competing attractions would have been framed within a bewilderingly diverse array of culturally constructed 'good' and 'bad'. The only constant is the biological reality that procreation requires both male and female gametes.

Fixed, gendered, sexual attraction is the cultural/historical novelty.

:blink:

How does your point impact his experience about the very real messaging people give which labels anything other than fixed, gendered, heterosexual attraction as undesirable.

Iow your information about historical context does not mitigate the impact of derogatory messaging told us about non-straight perspectives.

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8 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

You have literally just described what has been normal for the vast majority of the people who have ever lived -- though the 'choice' amongst competing attractions would have been framed within a bewilderingly diverse array of culturally constructed 'good' and 'bad'. The only constant is the biological reality that procreation requires both male and female gametes.

Fixed, gendered, sexual attraction is the cultural/historical novelty.

Good points, these.  We end up where we began originally, which is that each of us - regardless of how much sexual attraction is innate (versus learned / influenced / chosen, etc.) - must adopt a set of sexual ethics.  Parameters which demarcate boundaries between acceptable and appropriate behaviors from unacceptable and inappropriate behaviors.

There are some sexual behaviors that are nearly universal (culturally) in being unacceptable/inappropriate.  Nonconsensual sexual behavior and pedophilic behaviors, for example.

Conversely, there are other sexual behaviors that are nearly universal in being acceptable and appropriate.  (Consensual) sexual behavior between a husband and wife, for example.

There is, in between these two, substantial divergences of opinion as to many other iterations and types of sexual behavior.  This is where people can and do disagree.  This is where "choice" becomes most pertinent.

Thanks,

-Smac

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5 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

@The Nehor: I've noticed you speaking up about being bisexual lately. I don't remember this from previous years. Did I miss it? Or did you come out recently? Or are you just more vocal now? I'm just curious as to the (apparent) change. You don't have to answer if you don't want to.

I have been out for a while to a lot of people. Many don’t know but I will tell anyone who asks. I have actually even come out here a few times but for some reason people always assume I am joking. Maybe because it was framed as a joke? It was becoming a game to put in occasional mentions of it and see if anyone caught on. A few people did and messaged me. One I think caught some of my more subtle jokes in that direction but not sure.

I got tired of the game and just kind of fell out here.

Being open is definitely a contributing factor as to why I am still single and definitely one of the main reasons I have given up on dating.

Edited by The Nehor
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3 hours ago, smac97 said:

There are some sexual behaviors that are nearly universal (culturally) in being unacceptable/inappropriate.  Nonconsensual sexual behavior and pedophilic behaviors, for example.

May want to check on those. Even the Old Testament legitimizes rape as often being a civil offense and if you like the slave girl take her. While the marriage laws of medieval Europe for a long time required “consent” for marriage you could also kidnap a woman to coerce them into that consent and be fine.

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12 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

You have literally just described what has been normal for the vast majority of the people who have ever lived -- though the 'choice' amongst competing attractions would have been framed within a bewilderingly diverse array of culturally constructed 'good' and 'bad'. The only constant is the biological reality that procreation requires both male and female gametes.

Fixed, gendered, sexual attraction is the cultural/historical novelty.

:blink:

Not really. While the cultural setups alter the permissible bounds of activity they don’t change attraction. Much of the culturally mandated or permitted same sex activity is not about actual attraction. It is often the modern equivalent of sex toys. The idea that modern concepts of attraction are new does not mean the attractions themselves have shifted over time. Their expression is filtered through the culture.

Edit: And the thing about bisexuals not being able to sit like a normal person is a long-running joke. It might be a case of observational bias but it seems to also be oddly accurate. I have some theories about why but I don’t have a lot of data to back them up.

Edited by The Nehor
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4 hours ago, Kevin Christensen said:

The question is "Which is the first and great commandment?"  If the answer is "Thou shalt follow thy sexual impulses with all thy heart, mind and strength, whenever, and wherever they happen to be pointed, regardless of the personal risks and social costs," that demonstrates idolotry of a kind.  If the answer is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, might, mind and strength and the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self.  On this hang all the law and the prophets," then a person has to deal with both the personal boundaries and social tolerances that a loving God calls for.  "If ye love me, keep my commandments," is I notice, an instance of love stating the conditions, rather than claiming that love has no conditions. Those who taste that fruit have to deal with the inevitable pointing and mocking from the Great and Spacious, as well as the presence of forbidden paths that lead elsewhere.

FWIW,

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA
 

Thanks for the mini-sermon but I was looking at an idea of where the idea that one can choose who they are attracted to may have come from and not looking to know which are  permitted by God.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Plus the probability of actually anyone going to jail for rape isn’t that high even in the US. 

Is that because an estimated 60 percent of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to police and there are arrests in only 50.8 percent of reported cases? I wonder if that is more a fault in our criminal justice system and liberalization in the prosecution of violent crimes in general than it is an indicator of social acceptance. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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2 hours ago, The Nehor said:

The idea that modern concepts of attraction are new does not mean the attractions themselves have shifted over time.

There is a growing body of academic literature exploring how and why Western people keep coincidentally but conveniently discovering that the 'universal' human experience exactly matches their own.

The very concept of 'attraction' is culturally determined and, when it occurs, is culturally bound. When it exists, it is not universally constructed as 'sexual'. And even when 'sexual attraction' exists as a category, it often is one amongst many competing attractions and is not universally privileged.

Western attempts at colonising the imagination, whilst reasonably successful, remain far from hegemonic, and it is still possible in 2022 to walk into societies where one can ask a person whom s/he is sexually attracted to and encounter complete non-comprehension.

This was much easier 40 years ago, and the fact that historians, anthropologists, and linguists can trace, in detail and in real time, the ability of newly dominant Western ways of thinking and being to shift and then replace competing/alternative ways of thinking and being is instructive and literally meaningful.

Ascendant discourses always succeed by obscuring their genealogies behind a veneer of historical and cultural universality/inevitability.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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@The Nehor (can I just call you "The" for short?), that took... um... courages.  And yes I picked up on some of your earlier hints, at least some of the not-so-subtle ones. 

I'd never heard of the "bi-cycle" before, well maybe I did but without understanding what I was hearing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MEKBdpLv3Q

I have a hard time seeing anything wrong with you drawing a more inclusive circle than I am able to.  I'm working on much less challenging stuff this go-round. 

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20 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Is that because an estimated 60 percent of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to police and there are arrests in only 50.8 percent of reported cases? I wonder if that is more a fault in our criminal justice system and liberalization in the prosecution of violent crimes in general than it is an indicator of social acceptance. 

Conviction rate of rapists has always been in the toilet, usually the victim would get accused of wanting it, etc. if there wasn’t any physical injury in the past.  Similar to the OT where if the woman/girl didn’t cry out in a town, it was assumed consensual.

When only 25 out of a 1000 perpetrators of sexual assault end up in jail, it is a cultural issue, imo.  

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Is that because an estimated 60 percent of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported to police and there are arrests in only 50.8 percent of reported cases? I wonder if that is more a fault in our criminal justice system and liberalization in the prosecution of violent crimes in general than it is an indicator of social acceptance. 

They are often not reported because the victim is too humiliated. That and if the victim knows anything about the justice system that the victim will get to re-endure that humiliation multiple times. Rape not being reported isn’t a new thing either. If anything it was even more difficult to report in the past.

Liberalization of prosecution of violent crimes? What are you smoking?

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57 minutes ago, manol said:

@The Nehor (can I just call you "The" for short?), that took... um... courages.  And yes I picked up on some of your earlier hints, at least some of the not-so-subtle ones. 

I'd never heard of the "bi-cycle" before, well maybe I did but without understanding what I was hearing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MEKBdpLv3Q

I have a hard time seeing anything wrong with you drawing a more inclusive circle than I am able to.  I'm working on much less challenging stuff this go-round. 

Oh, trust me. Every bicycle joke has been made by now. At least I hope so. There are so many of them.

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

The very concept of 'attraction' is culturally determined and, when it occurs, is culturally bound. When it exists, it is not universally constructed as 'sexual'. And even when 'sexual attraction' exists as a category, it often is one amongst many competing attractions and is not universally privileged.

Western attempts at colonising the imagination, whilst reasonably successful, remain far from hegemonic, and it is still possible in 2022 to walk into societies where one can ask a person whom s/he is sexually attracted to and encounter complete non-comprehension.

This was much easier 40 years ago, and the fact that historians, anthropologists, and linguists can trace, in detail and in real time, the ability of newly dominant Western ways of thinking and being to shift and then replace competing/alternative ways of thinking and being is instructive and literally meaningful.

Ascendant discourses always succeed by obscuring their genealogies behind a veneer of historical and cultural universality/inevitability.

You would get non-comprehension if asking about sexualities. These cultures usually still have people with same gender desires. Your conclusions go way beyond the evidence and these digs into the past to try to minimize people’s experiences are silly.

I didn’t have any concept of bisexuality when it first popped up in my life. I didn’t know the word. I knew straight and gay (and a few other words I won’t use). Yet somehow I had sexual attraction to men and women. I would have been confused if you asked me if I was bisexual since I would have had no idea what it meant. If you explained it I probably still would have said I was straight because I assumed my feelings were perfectly normal. I take that back. The only encounter with bisexuality I had early was in a church class. I am guessing I was 11 or 12. The story of Sodom came up and the teacher found himself fumblingly trying to explain how the people of Sodom wanted to rape the angels. Then Lot offered his daughters. Some wiseass (it might have even been me) asked why would the gay mob want Lot’s daughters. The teacher stumbled and basically said: “They liked both flavors.” There was a general and loud “EWWWWWWW”. This didn’t impact me at all and I didn’t think it applied to me.

It was later in an online discussion where someone was naively trying to share how they were attracted to men and women and suggested it was normal and others pushed back that I started to question. Only then did I run across terms and learn that the “EWWWWWWW” from that class would get turned on me. To be fair bisexual women tend to get it worse. An “EWWWWWWW” is a fast dismissal. Women sometimes get the disgust but they also might get to be fetishized and often seen as a path to a potential threesome. Even the ones into threesomes are put off by it.

So if I didn’t really have a concept about it beyond “EWWWWWW” shouldn’t it have faded away into the ether since culturally it had no outlet? Instead when I finally began to accept my differences from normality and found “my tribe” we could all tell similar stories. Yes, they were all tied up in our culture but I didn’t learn them from it. I didn’t participate in it. I recognized the story but I denounced it all as sinful and walked away. I accepted it but saw it as a fight to just wage alone.

Later I felt God committed the worst act of betrayal against me that I had ever experienced. In gospel terms I went off the rails, left the good ship Zion, wandered strange paths, let go of the iron rod, etc. In many ways it was the happiest time of my life but this also the part where the story gets irrelevant to the point I am trying to make.

That point being that anthropologists are not going to explain away sexuality for the church and make it go away. I suppose if you give them enough power they could but they could also explain away the Church with the same logic.

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23 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I got the hints, and must I say and I think people will agree, I think you should be a writer and wish your post could be in a magazine that many closeted people could read over. Did you miss your calling in life? It's never too late!

The being okay with polyandry thing tipped my hand a few times. 😏

I still help out in some ways. Particularly helping “baby” bisexuals and gay people trying to figure themselves out in some corners of the internet. In many ways though I am not a good role model in both the gospel and the secular sense.

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5 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

Your conclusions go way beyond the evidence and these digs into the past to try to minimize people’s experiences are silly.

It looks like I edited my post whilst you were responding, adding the following:

Quote

There is a growing body of academic literature exploring how and why Western people keep coincidentally but conveniently discovering that the 'universal' human experience exactly matches their own.

 

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19 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Were the preachers and culture warriors fighting homosexual acceptance a bunch of closeted bisexuals fighting their inner demons and trying to cheerlead others to do the same? I am now much more curious at all the people who froth against the lgbt community and claim to see the threat. Is that threat really the tiny minority out there fighting for equal rights or is it some inner demon they are wrestling with and the whole thing is them projecting their own inner struggle?

It is also possible that they could also be on the asexual side or a similar aspect.  If you don't see women or men to be "hot", then you do have to make a choice when you are expected to marry.

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

Conviction rate of rapists has always been in the toilet, usually the victim would get accused of wanting it, etc. if there wasn’t any physical injury in the past.  Similar to the OT where if the woman/girl didn’t cry out in a town, it was assumed consensual.

When only 25 out of a 1000 perpetrators of sexual assault end up in jail, it is a cultural issue, imo.  

Again, I question whether failures in the criminal justice system is an indicator of societal acceptance. Many people disapprove of low prosecution and conviction rates but are at a loss as to what they can do about it. 

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4 minutes ago, webbles said:

It is also possible that they could also be on the asexual side or a similar aspect.  If you don't see women or men to be "hot", then you do have to make a choice when you are expected to marry.

Yeah, i probably should have used the word bisexual in an even broader sense. In the early days of sexual identity asexuals were often included under the bisexual umbrella.

Asexual people generally have an easy time in the Church in their youth and then when it is time to marry they often break themselves and/or anyone who marries them. So many sad stories.

Bisexual people are often fortunate in the Church. Unless they heavily favor same gender relationships just the sheer volume of potential heterosexual partners over homosexual partners means heterosexual pairings are more common. Add the lack of trust many in the gay male and lesbian communities have for bisexuals and we often date each other or straight people and we quite often hide our  identity because straight people generally don’t trust us. We are often a nightmare walking amongst them. Gay males and lesbians too often see people abandoning them after experimenting or just wanting back into heteronormative culture and bisexuals are literally the people who will do that with no malice if a relationship ends. It feels like a betrayal even if it is not. Straight partners who know a partner is bi often get paranoid about not being enough or that their partner is secretly gay or lesbian and just straddling the halfway point or that no friendship their spouse has is “safe”. Of course this is not universal. I have known mixed orientation marriages and relationships that work very well.

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11 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Again, I question whether failures in the criminal justice system is an indicator of societal acceptance. Many people disapprove of low prosecution and conviction rates but are at a loss as to what they can do about it. 

They may disapprove but they disapprove very mildly and in a democracy the difference between mild disapproval and toleration barely registers at all in government.

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