January 05, 2022

Rethinking Sexual Orientation

missourixmas05 064.jpg Is orgasm ever spelled with an "i"?

A friend sent me an article today about rethinking how we look at sexual orientation. According to most sex educators, who we are, sexually, is comprised of a few things. Your OBI is what gives you the basis for your sexuality.

So, what is OBI?

OBI stands for orientation, behavior and identity.

Your orientation is who you are attracted to. Homosexual (same sex attraction), Heterosexual (opposite sex attraction) and Bisexual (same and opposite sex attraction).

Your behavior is who you actually engage in sexual activity with. You can be attracted to the same sex but only have sex with members of the opposite sex. You can be attracted to both sexes but only have sex with members of one group. Your behavior is determined by who you actually engage in sexual activity with.

Your identity is your own, personal perception of your sex or gender identity. It's how you present yourself to the outside world. The difference between your orientation and your identity is that orientation is what you are (even if you choose not to be what they are), and identity is what you choose to tell people you are.

Okay, so now, this article proposes to make it all more confusing. It proposes to expand our thinking about sexual orientation to distinguish between sexual, romantic and platonic orientation.

Here are some examples from the article by Antonio Galarza.

Being drawn to homosocial bonds, meaning that it's totally social (like straight men hanging out together) and there's no sex involved.

Being drawn to heterosocial bonds, meaning a gay man is good friends with a woman, but again there's no sex involved.

Straight in the romantic sense, although I'm not sure what romantic sense means here. Perhaps it's that you like the idea of being wined and dined (but not 69ed) by someone of the opposite sex.

Just reverse that and call it homoromantic.

And then of course it goes back to the good old sexual orientation. Heterosexual, Homosexual, Bisexual or Trisexual (try anything once).

I like the ideas that Antonio presents, but I think a lot gets lost in translation. We already try so hard to label and compartmentalize everything we know, and trying to label things even more than they already are, well that seems a bit tedious to me. Why can't a heterosexual man have male friends and that be that? Why can't a gay male have both male and female friends without being biplatonic, or biromantic?

What is the point of all this? Why can't we just be what we are, or what we want to be?

Posted by jamye at January 5, 2022 03:03 PM