#1
I have been thinking a lot recently about this Adrienne Rich essay about Compulsive Heterosexuality. It was written in 1980 when there was a lot of focus on lesbianism and feminism.

BUT with the current revelations about Harvey Weinstein, the music industry, USA gymnastics and Sam Kriss I feel there is a much-needed discussion to be had by everyone regardless of how they identify or are attracted to should have about compulsive heterosexuality.
Adrienne Rich argues that heterosexuality is not "natural" or intrinsic in human instincts, but an institution imposed upon many cultures and societies that render women in a subordinate situation. Meaning that the everyday relationships we have are founded on pre-imposed gender and sexuality roles.
It was written to challenge the erasure of lesbian existence from a large amount of scholarly feminist literature. It was not written to widen divisions but to encourage heterosexual feminists to examine heterosexuality as a political institution which disempowers women and to change it.

Now with the rise of online dating and internet culture and how myself and other millennials use it as a coping mechanism, it has helped disrupt and create relationships beyond anything before. With heterosexuality as a political institution how can we dismantle it and what would society look like with it as a whole?

I would argue that compulsive heterosexuality affects everyone, it subjects all women regardless if they are lesbian, bi or straight to be submissive to men and never to object their advances, while for gay men it orders them into some bizarre roles of male dominance and submissiveness. As for bisexual men, they are in the unique position of being able to take the role of being the dominant male with women (and other men) or the submissive other half to other men. And as for straight men well, they hate gay/bi men for potentially being able to treat and objectify them the way they treat women.

#2
lesbian theory is all very good, but perhaps the answer is...queer heterosexuality

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/sandra-jeppesen-queering-heterosexuality
#3

overfire posted:

lesbian theory is all very good, but perhaps the answer is...queer heterosexuality

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/sandra-jeppesen-queering-heterosexuality

oh for the love of pete. i am making an anemic attempt to get my lovely but extremely liberal but actually read+gets adrienne rich already friend to make an account and post here abt it with a bunch of fail-HIV-positive communists

#4
[account deactivated]
#5
ok done *placeing big tick next to "read COMPULSORY HETEROSEXUALITY AND LESBIAN EXISTENCE by Adrienne Rich"*
#6
[account deactivated]
#7
if u havent read anuradha ghandy's "philosophical trends in the feminist movement" then, uh, well, um, you should just read it, and also everything else she wrote

https://rsmtoronto.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/brave-new-world-philosophical-trends-in-the-feminist-movement-by-avanti.pdf
#8

littlegreenpills posted:

fail-HIV-positive communists

the connection implied here has not yet been proven

#9
This has been lovely so far I am glad we're so civilised
#10

littlegreenpills posted:

"to get rich is glorious" - deng xiaoping

#11

littlegreenpills posted:

my lovely but extremely liberal but actually read+gets adrienne rich already friend to make an account and post here abt it with a bunch of fail-HIV-positive communists

are you calling me a fucking liberal

#12
IMAGINE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITHOUT THIS FUCKING SOCIETAL IMPOSITION OF MALE DOMINANCE THAT FUCKING SEEPS INTO EVERY FUCKING THING IMAGINABLE
#13

Cuntessa_Markievicz posted:

IMAGINE SEXUAL RELATIONS

ive fallen at the first hurdle

#14
Also here is something I found the other day while researching American GIs in the UK and their relationships with British/Irish women.
Many of these women fell pregnant and few married the Americans so in a lot of cases the children that were produced as a result of their affair were legally/illegally adopted or their mothers married other men and the kids never knew any different (this was incidentally found after a raid on a gay bar in the 1930s in London so much to consider here)
#15
Everyone's poly or nonspecifically "queer" nowadays... Seems like just a way for boring straight people to pretend not to be boring
#16

Meursault posted:

Everyone's poly or nonspecifically "queer" nowadays... Seems like just a way for boring straight people to pretend not to be boring

I think what Adrienne Rich hypothesizes is that they are poly or nonspecifically queer because heterosexuality is an institution that they reject. So maybe it's more of a way for boring ordinary people to be thoughtful and honest.

#17
the local polyamorous scene is sorta straining between olds who want to continue to abbreviate to 'poly' and 20-somethings who are pushing for 'polyam' after a tumblr post brought up the fact that white people were making it hard for Polynesians to find Polynesian culture sites. seems reasonable as a personal change but i dunno about drawing a line in the sand on the question
#18
I would be very wary of using the term "queer" because thanks to a wide variety of things you get fucking straight men that like to be pegged now IDing as "queer" and straight women who do this to their husbands also ID as queer and somethimes they have group sex with other married couples but mainly only with members of the opposite sex, bar from maybe the wife kissing other females while they are engaged in swinging. Before they go back to their average everyday lives.

In a way, with Adrienne Rich's analysis, I feel that with how queer theory has become what I have described above that compulsive heterosexuality has in a lot of ways infected with how people use the term queer to describe themselves
#19
#20
Thanks for the recommendation OP. I am really thankful for this concept of a 'Lesbian Continuum'.
#21
ground floor of a good thread
#22

swampman posted:

Meursault posted:

Everyone's poly or nonspecifically "queer" nowadays... Seems like just a way for boring straight people to pretend not to be boring

I think what Adrienne Rich hypothesizes is that they are poly or nonspecifically queer because heterosexuality is an institution that they reject. So maybe it's more of a way for boring ordinary people to be thoughtful and honest.

yeah, not much anyone can do about the straights' bedroom, and I say get kinky, it's when they start speaking on behalf of lgbtq people that is a problem. not that there's a membership card nor same set of experiences but there's a loose sociality fighting for representation at the least and when it's straight people like Broad City mimicking it it's always going to be problematic

#23

Cuntessa_Markievicz posted:

I would be very wary of using the term "queer" because thanks to a wide variety of things you get fucking straight men that like to be pegged now IDing as "queer" and straight women who do this to their husbands also ID as queer and somethimes they have group sex with other married couples but mainly only with members of the opposite sex, bar from maybe the wife kissing other females while they are engaged in swinging. Before they go back to their average everyday lives.

In a way, with Adrienne Rich's analysis, I feel that with how queer theory has become what I have described above that compulsive heterosexuality has in a lot of ways infected with how people use the term queer to describe themselves

Love how queer is supposed to be an umbrella term but actually means "straight couple but the woman has blue hair"

#24
did you ever hear anyone claim that tho or are you just making it up. like, how is that a problem? this is like shitty alt right discourse
#25

did you ever hear anyone claim that tho or are you just making it up. like, how is that a problem? this is like shitty alt right discourse

I dated a woman who got very angry that I wouldn't refer to her relationship with her ex boyfriend as queer. It's more common than you would be aware of unless you're in "queer" or gay spaces a lot.

#26
i tend to call people what they want to be called when it comes to that stuff. this is possibly violence.
#27
fwiw 50% of the people i know atm who identify as queer is a woman married to another woman and afaik neither has a Y chromosome
#28
Ah, my mistake
#29
yeah to me, it's always up to the person to define their past and it reveals a lot about who they are actually. I don't see a problem with that person defining their past relationship which they forayed into new discoveries unless it was like you were there and you feel they are being completely delusional . But even then it's like who cares, it's up to them to figure out
#30

overfire posted:

Cuntessa_Markievicz posted:
I would be very wary of using the term "queer" because thanks to a wide variety of things you get fucking straight men that like to be pegged now IDing as "queer" and straight women who do this to their husbands also ID as queer and somethimes they have group sex with other married couples but mainly only with members of the opposite sex, bar from maybe the wife kissing other females while they are engaged in swinging. Before they go back to their average everyday lives.

In a way, with Adrienne Rich's analysis, I feel that with how queer theory has become what I have described above that compulsive heterosexuality has in a lot of ways infected with how people use the term queer to describe themselves

Love how queer is supposed to be an umbrella term but actually means "straight couple but the woman has blue hair"

i am straight, in terms of who i want to sleep with, so feel free to laugh and throw tomatoes at me or whatever, and also i did not read the linked books. i was just thinking earlier this week that it seems like there isn't a good way to be not fully gender normative all the time, or find people who are also like that, without having to brand yourself as Queer, which would feel like a sham to me. i and my partners and all of my closest friends since almost the beginning of time have been people who reject various roles of their assigned gender and have very strong character traits which are generally not associated with their assigned gender. but i am still physically male and i'm attracted very strongly to female physicality.

i'm not complaining, i am not looking to get some validation or like Blue Haired Straights Day or something. i just found myself imagining growing up now. it seems that all these new definitional boxes we have are actually just more limitations, and it seems like it would be confusing to be a young kid right now. what if I am a male but I want to wear cute unicorn shirts all the time and glitter, and still like women? or dislike sports and sing Taylor Swift songs really loudly? or dance around in what is sometimes called "an effeminate manner"? does that kid then think "well, now I'm Queer, I guess! I better sign up for all these other cultural signifiers of Queerness, because I'm Not Straight! wow!", or do they think "but... i am attracted to women and i have a penis! I better bottle all of this up completely because any possible thing that could fall into the unimaginably huge variety of things that are now called Queer means you are Definitely Queer, and i... am not????? i guess??"

obviously the best thing would be if everyone could just do whatever they want and dress how they want and be how they want without any of this garbage in the way, but irl, there are these Terms and Spaces. anyway. just thinking out loud.

#31

overfire posted:

I dated a woman who got very angry that I wouldn't refer to her relationship with her ex boyfriend as queer. It's more common than you would be aware of unless you're in "queer" or gay spaces a lot.

omg i used to have this casual relationship with an anarchist guy that now describes himself as queer cause he enjoys getting his prostate massaged. after his announcement on social media that he was queer i asked if was in a relationship with another man, out of general curiosity cause my experience with bisexual men tend to be nicer and more understanding to women. he then told me that while he was not attracted to men he was IDing as queer because he preferred his female partners to be more dominant in the sack while he would take a submissive role.... and somehow this is disrupting the heteronormative roles in our lives and hes queer????

#32
basiclo EVERYONE DISRUPTS THE HETERONORMATIVE ROLES WE IMPOSE ON EACH OTHER IN OUR OWN WAY WHILE WE ARE ALSO SUBJECTED TO THE SOCIETAL ROLES THAT HAVE BEEN FORCED ON US FROM FUCKING BIRTH
#33
The Invention of Heterosexuality

The 1901 Dorland’s Medical Dictionary defined heterosexuality as an “abnormal or perverted appetite toward the opposite sex.” More than two decades later, in 1923, Merriam Webster’s dictionary similarly defined it as “morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex.” It wasn’t until 1934 that heterosexuality was graced with the meaning we’re familiar with today: “manifestation of sexual passion for one of the opposite sex; normal sexuality.”
Whenever I tell this to people, they respond with dramatic incredulity. That can’t be right! Well, it certainly doesn’t feel right. It feels as if heterosexuality has always “just been there.”
A few years ago, there began circulating a “man on the street” video, in which the creator asked people if they thought homosexuals were born with their sexual orientations. Responses were varied, with most saying something like, “It’s a combination of nature and nurture.” The interviewer then asked a follow-up question, which was crucial to the experiment: “When did you choose to be straight?” Most were taken back, confessing, rather sheepishly, never to have thought about it. Feeling that their prejudices had been exposed, they ended up swiftly conceding the videographer’s obvious point: gay people were born gay just like straight people were born straight.
The video’s takeaway seemed to suggest that all of our sexualities are “just there”; that we don’t need an explanation for homosexuality just as we don’t need one for heterosexuality. It seems not to have occurred to those who made the video, or the millions who shared it, that we actually need an explanation for both.

While heterosexual sex is clearly as old as humanity, the concept of heterosexuality as an identity is a very recent invention

There’s been a lot of good work, both scholarly and popular, on the social construction of homosexual desire and identity. As a result, few would bat an eye when there’s talk of “the rise of the homosexual” – indeed, most of us have learned that homosexual identity did come into existence at a specific point in human history. What we’re not taught, though, is that a similar phenomenon brought heterosexuality into its existence.
There are many reasons for this educational omission, including religious bias and other types of homophobia. But the biggest reason we don’t interrogate heterosexuality’s origins is probably because it seems so, well, natural. Normal. No need to question something that’s “just there.”
But heterosexuality has not always “just been there.” And there’s no reason to imagine it will always be.
When heterosexuality was abnormal
The first rebuttal to the claim that heterosexuality was invented usually involves an appeal to reproduction: it seems obvious that different-genital intercourse has existed for as long as humans have been around – indeed, we wouldn’t have survived this long without it. But this rebuttal assumes that heterosexuality is the same thing as reproductive intercourse. It isn’t.
“Sex has no history,” writes queer theorist David Halperin at the University of Michigan, because it’s “grounded in the functioning of the body.” Sexuality, on the other hand, precisely because it’s a “cultural production,” does have a history. In other words, while sex is something that appears hardwired into most species, the naming and categorising of those acts, and those who practise those acts, is a historical phenomenon, and can and should be studied as such.
Or put another way: there have always been sexual instincts throughout the animal world (sex). But at a specific point in time, humans attached meaning to these instincts (sexuality). When humans talk about heterosexuality, we’re talking about the second thing.
Hanne Blank offers a helpful way into this discussion in her book Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality with an analogy from natural history. In 2007, the International Institute for Species Exploration listed the fish Electrolux addisoni as one of the year’s “top 10 new species.” But of course, the species didn’t suddenly spring into existence 10 years ago – that’s just when it was discovered and scientifically named. As Blank concludes: “Written documentation of a particular kind, by an authority figure of a particular kind, was what turned Electrolux from a thing that just was … into a thing that was known.”

Oscar Wilde's trial for 'gross indecency' is often considered a pivotal moment in the formation of the gay identity
Something remarkably similar happened with heterosexuals, who, at the end of the 19th Century, went from merely being there to being known. “Prior to 1868, there were no heterosexuals,” writes Blank. Neither were there homosexuals. It hadn’t yet occurred to humans that they might be “differentiated from one another by the kinds of love or sexual desire they experienced.” Sexual behaviours, of course, were identified and catalogued, and often times, forbidden. But the emphasis was always on the act, not the agent.
So what changed? Language.
In the late 1860s, Hungarian journalist Karl Maria Kertbeny coined four terms to describe sexual experiences: heterosexual, homosexual, and two now forgotten terms to describe masturbation and bestiality; namely, monosexual and heterogenit. Kertbeny used the term “heterosexual” a decade later when he was asked to write a book chapter arguing for the decriminalisation of homosexuality. The editor, Gustav Jager, decided not to publish it, but he ended up using Kertbeny’s novel term in a book he later published in 1880.
The next time the word was published was in 1889, when Austro-German psychiatrist Richard von Krafft-Ebing included the word in Psychopathia Sexualis, a catalogue of sexual disorders. But in almost 500 pages, the word “heterosexual” is used only 24 times, and isn’t even indexed. That’s because Krafft-Ebing is more interested in “contrary sexual instinct” (“perversions”) than “sexual instinct,” the latter being for him the “normal” sexual desire of humans.
“Normal” is a loaded word, of course, and it has been misused throughout history. Hierarchical ordering leading to slavery was at one time accepted as normal, as was a geocentric cosmology. It was only by questioning the foundations of the consensus view that “normal” phenomena were dethroned from their privileged positions.
The emphasis on procreation comes not primarily from Jewish or Christian Scriptures, but from Stoicism
For Krafft-Ebing, normal sexual desire was situated within a larger context of procreative utility, an idea that was in keeping with the dominant sexual theories of the West. In the Western world, long before sex acts were separated into the categories hetero/homo, there was a different ruling binary: procreative or non-procreative. The Bible, for instance, condemns homosexual intercourse for the same reason it condemns masturbation: because life-bearing seed is spilled in the act. While this ethic was largely taught, maintained, and enforced by the Catholic Church and later Christian offshoots, it’s important to note that the ethic comes not primarily from Jewish or Christian Scriptures, but from Stoicism.

As Catholic ethicist Margaret Farley points out, Stoics “held strong views on the power of the human will to regulate emotion and on the desirability of such regulation for the sake of inner peace”. Musonius Rufus, for example, argued in On Sexual Indulgence that individuals must protect themselves against self-indulgence, including sexual excess. To curb this sexual indulgence, notes theologian Todd Salzman, Rufus and other Stoics tried to situate it “in a larger context of human meaning” – arguing that sex could only be moral in the pursuit of procreation. Early Christian theologians took up this conjugal-reproductive ethic, and by the time of Augustine, reproductive sex was the only normal sex.
While Krafft-Ebing takes this procreative sexual ethic for granted, he does open it up in a major way. “In sexual love the real purpose of the instinct, the propagation of the species, does not enter into consciousness,” he writes.
In other words, sexual instinct contains something like a hard-wired reproductive aim – an aim that is present even if those engaged in 'normal' sex aren’t aware of it. Jonathan Ned Katz, in The Invention of Heterosexuality, notes the impact of Krafft-Ebing’s move. “Placing the reproductive aside in the unconscious, Krafft-Ebing created a small, obscure space in which a new pleasure norm began to grow.”
The importance of this shift – from reproductive instinct to erotic desire – can’t be overstated, as it’s crucial to modern notions of sexuality. When most people today think of heterosexuality, they might think of something like this: Billy understands from a very young age he is erotically attracted to girls. One day he focuses that erotic energy on Suzy, and he woos her. The pair fall in love, and give physical sexual expression to their erotic desire. And they live happily ever after.

It was only at the turn of the 20th Century that thinkers began to divorce sexual desire (depicted here in Rodin's The Kiss) from reproduction
Without Krafft-Ebing’s work, this narrative might not have ever become thought of as “normal.” There is no mention, however implicit, of procreation. Defining normal sexual instinct according to erotic desire was a fundamental revolution in thinking about sex. Krafft-Ebing’s work laid the groundwork for the cultural shift that happened between the 1923 definition of heterosexuality as “morbid” and its 1934 definition as “normal.”
Sex and the city
Ideas and words are often products of their time. That is certainly true of heterosexuality, which was borne out of a time when American life was becoming more regularised. As Blank argues, the invention of heterosexuality corresponds with the rise of the middle class.
The invention of heterosexuality corresponds with the rise of the middle class
In the late 19th Century, populations in European and North American cities began to explode. By 1900, for example, New York City had 3.4 million residents – 56 times its population just a century earlier. As people moved to urban centres, they brought their sexual perversions – prostitution, same-sex eroticism – with them. Or so it seemed. “By comparison to rural towns and villages,” Blank writes, “the cities seemed like hotbeds of sexual misconduct and excess.” When city populations were smaller, says Blank, it was easier to control such behaviour, just as it was easier to control when it took place in smaller, rural areas where neighbourly familiarity was a norm. Small-town gossip can be a profound motivator.
Because the increasing public awareness of these sexual practices paralleled the influx of lower classes into cities, “urban sexual misconduct was typically, if inaccurately, blamed” on the working class and poor, says Blank. It was important for an emerging middle class to differentiate itself from such excess. The bourgeois family needed a way to protect its members “from aristocratic decadence on the one side and the horrors of the teeming city on the other”. This required “systematic, reproducible, universally applicable systems for social management that could be implemented on a large scale”.
In the past, these systems could be based on religion, but “the new secular state required secular justification for its laws,” says Blank. Enter sex experts like Krafft-Ebing, who wrote in the introduction to his first edition of Psychopathia that his work was designed “to reduce to their lawful conditions.” Indeed, continues the preface, the present study “exercises a beneficent influence upon legislation and jurisprudence”.

The anonymity of city life in the 19th Century was often blamed for freer - and more 'immoral' - sexual behaviour
Krafft-Ebing’s work chronicling sexual irregularity made it clear that the growing middle class could no longer treat deviation from normal (hetero) sexuality merely as sin, but as moral degeneracy – one of the worst labels a person could acquire. “Call a man a ‘cad’ and you’ve settled his social status,” wrote Williams James in 1895. “Call him a ‘degenerate’ and you’ve grouped him with the most loathsome specimens of the human race.” As Blank points out, sexual degeneracy became a yardstick to determine a person’s measure.
Degeneracy, after all, was the reverse process of social Darwinism. If procreative sex was critical to the continuous evolution of the species, deviating from that norm was a threat to the entire social fabric. Luckily, such deviation could be reversed, if it was caught early enough, thought the experts.
The formation of “sexual inversion” occurred, for Krafft-Ebing, through several stages, and was curable in the first. Through his work, writes Ralph M Leck, author of Vita Sexualis, “Krafft-Ebing sent out a clarion call against degeneracy and perversion. All civic-minded people must take their turn on the social watch tower.” And this was certainly a question of civics: most colonial personnel came from the middle class, which was large and growing.
Though some non-professionals were familiar with Krafft-Ebing’s work, it was Freud who gave the public scientific ways to think about sexuality. While it’s difficult to reduce the doctor’s theories to a few sentences, his most enduring legacy is his psychosexual theory of development, which held that children develop their own sexualities via an elaborate psychological parental dance.
For Freud, heterosexuals weren’t born this way, but made this way. As Katz points out, heterosexuality for Freud was an achievement; those who attained it successfully navigated their childhood development without being thrown off the straight and narrow.
And yet, as Katz notes, it takes an enormous imagination to frame this navigation in terms of normality:
According to Freud, the normal road to heterosexual normality is paved with the incestuous lust of boy and girl for parent of the other sex, with boy’s and girl’s desire to murder their same-sex parent-rival, and their wish to exterminate any little sibling-rivals. The road to heterosexuality is paved with blood-lusts… The invention of the heterosexual, in Freud’s vision, is a deeply disturbed production.
That such an Oedipal vision endured for so long as the explanation for normal sexuality is “one more grand irony of heterosexual history,” he says.

Alfred Kinsey may have relaxed the taboo around sex, but his reports reaffirmed the existing categories of homosexual and heterosexual behaviour
Still, Freud’s explanation seemed to satisfy the majority of the public, who, continuing their obsession with standardising every aspect of life, happily accepted the new science of normal. Such attitudes found further scientific justification in the work of Alfred Kinsey, whose landmark 1948 study Sexual Behavior in the Human Male sought to rate the sexuality of men on a scale of zero (exclusively heterosexual) to six (exclusively homosexual). His findings led him to conclude that a large, if not majority, “portion of the male population has at least some homosexual experience between adolescence and old age”. While Kinsey’s study did open up the categories homo/hetero to allow for a certain sexual continuum, it also “emphatically reaffirmed the idea of a sexuality divided between” the two poles, as Katz notes.
The future of heterosexuality
And those categories have lingered to this day. “No one knows exactly why heterosexuals and homosexuals ought to be different,” wrote Wendell Ricketts, author of the 1984 study Biological Research on Homosexuality. The best answer we’ve got is something of a tautology: “heterosexuals and homosexuals are considered different because they can be divided into two groups on the basis of the belief that they can be divided into two groups.”
Though the hetero/homo divide seems like an eternal, indestructible fact of nature, it simply isn’t. It’s merely one recent grammar humans have invented to talk about what sex means to us.
Heterosexuality, argues Katz, “is invented within discourse as that which is outside discourse. It’s manufactured in a particular discourse as that which is universal… as that which is outside time.” That is, it’s a construction, but it pretends it isn’t. As any French philosopher or child with a Lego set will tell you, anything that’s been constructed can be deconstructed, as well. If heterosexuality didn’t exist in the past, then it doesn’t need to exist in the future.
I was recently caught off guard by Jane Ward, author of Not Gay, who, during an interview for a piece I wrote on sexual orientation, asked me to think about the future of sexuality. “What would it mean to think about people’s capacity to cultivate their own sexual desires, in the same way we might cultivate a taste for food?” Though some might be wary of allowing for the possibility of sexual fluidity, it’s important to realise that various Born This Way arguments aren’t accepted by the most recent science. Researchers aren’t sure what “causes” homosexuality, and they certainly reject any theories that posit a simple origin, such as a “gay gene.” It’s my opinion that sexual desires, like all our desires, shift and re-orient throughout our lives, and that as they do, they often suggest to us new identities. If this is true, then Ward’s suggestion that we can cultivate sexual preferences seems fitting. (For more of the scientific evidence behind this argument, read BBC Future’s ‘I am gay – but I wasn’t born this way’.)
Beyond Ward’s question is a subtle challenge: If we’re uncomfortable with considering whether and how much power we have over our sexualities, why might that be? Similarly, why might we be uncomfortable with challenging the belief that homosexuality, and by extension heterosexuality, are eternal truths of nature?
FF
In an interview with the journalist Richard Goldstein, the novelist and playwright James Baldwin admitted to having good and bad fantasies of the future. One of the good ones was that “No one will have to call themselves gay,” a term Baldwin admits to having no patience for. “It answers a false argument, a false accusation.”
Which is what?
“Which is that you have no right to be here, that you have to prove your right to be here. I’m saying I have nothing to prove. The world also belongs to me.”
Fewer than half British 18-24 year-olds identify as being 100% heterosexual
Once upon a time, heterosexuality was necessary because modern humans needed to prove who they were and why they were, and they needed to defend their right to be where they were. As time wears on, though, that label seems to actually limit the myriad ways we humans understand our desires and loves and fears. Perhaps that is one reason a recent UK poll found that fewer than half of those aged 18-24 identify as “100% heterosexual.” That isn’t to suggest a majority of those young respondents regularly practise bisexuality or homosexuality; rather it shows that they don’t seem to have the same need for the word “heterosexual” as their 20th-Century forebears.
Debates about sexual orientation have tended to focus on a badly defined concept of “nature.” Because different sex intercourse generally results in the propagation of the species, we award it a special moral status. But “nature” doesn’t reveal to us our moral obligations – we are responsible for determining those, even when we aren’t aware we’re doing so. To leap from an observation of how nature is to a prescription of nature ought to be is, as philosopher David Hume noted, to commit a logical fallacy.

As gay rights are increasingly recognised, many people also describe their sexual desires as lying on a spectrum
Why judge what is natural and ethical to a human being by his or her animal nature? Many of the things human beings value, such as medicine and art, are egregiously unnatural. At the same time, humans detest many things that actually are eminently natural, like disease and death. If we consider some naturally occurring phenomena ethical and others unethical, that means our minds (the things looking) are determining what to make of nature (the things being looked at). Nature doesn’t exist somewhere “out there,” independently of us – we’re always already interpreting it from the inside.
Until this point in our Earth’s history, the human species has been furthered by different-sex reproductive intercourse. About a century ago, we attached specific meanings to this kind of intercourse, partly because we wanted to encourage it. But our world is very different now than what it was. Technologies like preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are only improving. In 2013, more than 63,000 babies were conceived via IVF. In fact, more than five million children have been born through assisted reproductive technologies. Granted, this number still keeps such reproduction in the slim minority, but all technological advances start out with the numbers against them.
Socially, too, heterosexuality is losing its “high ground,” as it were. If there was a time when homosexual indiscretions were the scandals du jour, we’ve since moved on to another world, one riddled with the heterosexual affairs of politicians and celebrities, complete with pictures, text messages, and more than a few video tapes. Popular culture is replete with images of dysfunctional straight relationships and marriages. Further, between 1960 and 1980, Katz notes, the divorce rate rose 90%. And while it’s dropped considerably over the past three decades, it hasn’t recovered so much that anyone can claim “relationship instability” is something exclusive to homosexuality, as Katz shrewdly notes.
The line between heterosexuality and homosexuality isn’t just blurry, as some take Kinsey’s research to imply – it’s an invention, a myth, and an outdated one. Men and women will continue to have different-genital sex with each other until the human species is no more. But heterosexuality – as a social marker, as a way of life, as an identity – may well die out long before then.

#34
[account deactivated]
#35

cars posted:

fwiw 50% of the people i know atm who identify as queer is a woman married to another woman and afaik neither has a Y chromosome

#36
Thank you i hadnt read that before! It was good. This is a minor gripe but it was the only thing that bothered me,

Part of the history of lesbian existence is, obviously, to be found where lesbians, lacking a coherent female community, have shared a kind ofsocial life and common cause with homosexual men. But there are differences: women's lack of economic and cultural privilege relative to men; qualitative differences in female and male relationships - for example, the patterns of anonymous sex among male homosexuals, and the pronounced ageism in male homosexual standards of sexual attractiveness.

Theres a bunch of second-wave feminist writing where they're sort of shady about how slutty and gross fags sexuality is, and today i see lots of second-wave-aligned feminists on the internet who are really into being mean about that stuff (i guess just on tumblr though 😜). Not a huuge deal but it's already really common to think that faggots are gross, so i don't see the point of going out of your way to mention it in lgbt literature. It felt especially unnecessary here too. I hope this doesnt come off like whining about "misandry" or something like that.. its just, Someone has to look out for the sissys.

#37

overfire posted:

lesbian theory is all very good, but perhaps the answer is...queer heterosexuality

https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/sandra-jeppesen-queering-heterosexuality

with lovers, we tend to do lots of special little things for them, like [...] making DIY zines

Im glad i'm not an anarchist, it sounds like a lot of work!

#38
i fucking love zines

\and yeah a lot of 2nd wavers particularly the straight ones seem to have this weird obsession with lesbian relationships and just a mega misunderstanding of what lesbians relationships are actually like or can be. and well so many 2nd wavers discovered themselves as being lesbians so their perspective is a bit surreal tbh at times i find cause im just like hmmmm is that an accurate analysis or just your judgement
#39
so for some bizarre reason since hitting the quarter of a century milestone in my life earlier this year, i have become increasingly broody and longing for a relationship. i dunno if this is literally as cosmo mag would conclude that my body clock is ticking or im just a victim of compulsive heterosexuality beyond my control. and while i am attracted to women and would describe myself as bi i dont use it publically due to the sexualisation of bisexual/lesbian women and the creeps that come with that (ie men in general, couples looking for 3 somes mainly etc)

SO ANYWAY i have decided to make the most of what i have got and im going on a lot of dates mainly through okcupid and christ on a bike the men i am communicating with and meeting are just basically so fucking emotionally stunted. like jeez fucking lousie you aresholes, i am not a mother replacement figure there for you to unleash all your emotional repression onto? or theyre mega horny and yeahhh lol i dont respond well to that unless i know for definite we have mutual chemistry, they respect me, and are pro choice

but yeah i cant understand my sudden obsession with trying to "meet a man" and why i continue to subject myself to them. also a guy who i know through mutual friends randomly messaged me today after we chatted at a party on friday that he was looking for a hook up cause hes still a virgin..... i do not understand why he felt to tell me his after i suggested a gallery he should see via fucking whatsapp

but i know the root of this current desire fundamentally comes from the source of a lot of pain in my life from growing up in a single mother family and having so many financial precarities due to not being a stereotypical nuclear family. not because i genuinely feel that my happiness in relationships are with straight men

revive political lesbianism basiclo
#40
as an emotionally stunted man myself,