03: Sexuality cont’d

with 2 comments

Owning such diverse sexual realities is not about sexual confusion: indeed, it is the complete opposite. While Kinsey suggested that a lot of this “experimentation” happened earlier in life, this may be due to our opportunities at this point, and that we are less conditioned and regulated by society’s expectations (the conspiracy) than in later years. The more mature our sense of self, the more we are likely to realize our complex and diverse sexual nature.

If the dissolving of polar thinking in terms of the values assigned to the masculine and feminine and the gay/straight binary is taken seriously, what does masculine sexuality look like? In short, the answer is whatever you want it to look like: certainly not one of two choices, rather as the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze suggested, “a thousand tiny sexes.” To suggest otherwise is to be subject to the conspiracy whose business it is to define and regulate masculinity, not to bear witness to the diversity of what it is to be human.

It might be that after exposing the conspiracy, the way masculine sexuality looks to you is a lot like that of Lawlor and Deida. This is an objection often raised to me: hey, Gelfer, if you’re all about diversity, then the types of masculinity you critique are equally valid, surely? This is true, but the fundamental difference is that once the conspiracy is exposed, Lawlor and Deida’s presentation of masculinity is simply one choice among many, not a definition of what masculinity is supposed to be about. That’s a really important distinction, so if you didn’t get it, read it again.

The real question then shifts from defining what masculine sexuality should be about to how to appropriately go about the business of masculine sexuality. We may end up with all sorts of interesting sexual inclinations after breaking through the conspiracy, but they may not all function well within the ethical and relational contexts in which we live. For example, I can imagine the appeal of polyamorous relationships, but the practical fallout in most stable relationships is destructive. Of course, there may be (probably very rare) circumstances where everyone involved is on the same page and happy with the reality of polyamorous relationships, in which case I heartily wish you well on your journey.



Written by Joseph Gelfer

August 1, 2010 at 12:49 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I think there is ample evidence that sexual monogamy is intricately entwined with the rise of literacy, commerce and private property. Previous to that there is very good reason to believe that humans lived in egalitarian groups where food, shelter, and sex was shared. We evolved as quite sexual beings and part of “the conspiracy” is that we have clamped down on a “natural” part of us which have consequences.


    August 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    • I agree with some of this (i.e. commerce and private property), but as I point out in the earlier chapters,I am suspicious of the idea that there is some “natural” thing to which to return and also the hidden agendas often behind such calls.


      August 4, 2010 at 6:52 pm

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