Re: Birth vs. choice vs. something else

1

I find the article very sympathetic -- dogmatic statements of the innate, fixed nature of sexual orientation always leave me wanting to stomp up and down sputtering "Ancient Greece! The Royal Navy!" (Also, I liked the shoutout to fa'afafine.)

There's an interesting issue on what it means for something to be innate versus a choice, though. Putting sex to one side for a moment, I'm a terrible procrastinator -- I've never done anything useful without deadline pressure. Everything that goes toward making me a procrastinator is a voluntary action: every morning I choose to open Unfogged rather than do my work. Some of it might be related to a genetic predisposition I suppose, but I think most of it is probably how the sum of my experiences growing up affected me. But while I don't think it's meaningful to call myself an innate procrastinator, I'm really not choosing to act this way. If it were a simple choice, I'd be conscientious and efficient, because it sounds much pleasanter.

This is a bad analogy (and banned, of course), but it seems to me that there's an awful lot of room between sexual orientation being biologically determined from birth, and it being voluntary in any meaningful sense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 11:55 AM
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Also, I liked the shoutout to fa'afafine.

I thought of you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 11:56 AM
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Any free will assertion loses steam pretty quickly, as does any purely deterministic assertion.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 11:58 AM
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2: And then touched myself.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 11:58 AM
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I agree good article, and I think Graff goes some way to demonstrate the three-dimensional quality of choice.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:01 PM
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He's actually arguing that it's one dimensional instead of zero dimensional, isn't he?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:03 PM
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3: One could be a determinist about all choices without losing any steam.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:05 PM
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I have always felt this way, that whether or not or to what degree preference or gender were biologically determined was none of my business and I shouldn't really care.

Endnotes #3 came out in September and I didn't even notice. Uhh, British cell of tiqqun, or close enough

The Logic of Gender

I have to re-read a few times, but as an early stab:

What is "private" belongs to the individual, and is labour-power to be waged and sold or capital to be owned. The private is the economic.

What is public belongs to the commons, the "state" and is naturalised and unwaged, but protected and regulated. The family, marriage, gender, sex, reproduction. "Natural"

(The "abject" falls out of both spheres)

Therefore, if you want LGBT to get recognition and representation and support from the state, you try to naturalize it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:07 PM
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there's a spectrum of leeway on sexual desire - some people have flexible appetites, while others have very little leeway in their desire

Can't this be both true and also not at all a choice? It just reframes the conversation from "you can't choose your sexual orientation" to "you can't choose where on the spectrum of leeway on sexual desire you happen to fall". The latter has, as a corollary: "but maybe, if you happen to fall towards the middle of that spectrum, you actually can choose your sexual orientation". But so what?

I didn't read the article; maybe I'm missing the point.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:10 PM
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6:

I'll defer to you on geometrical terminology; I visualized the prevailing assumption as 2-dimensional, thinking of a decision tree.

May we agree on D+1, whatever our starting point?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:11 PM
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Putting sex to one side for a moment, I'm a terrible procrastinator

You could be the first to declare "procrastinator" a sexual orientation.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:11 PM
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I could, if I got around to it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:11 PM
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This author makes an extended argument that some degree of sexual fluidity is not uncommon, at least among women, and in particular that specific relationships and life-circumstances can matter a lot. But that doesn't mean it's felt as a choice. (Religion is another good example--nobody thinks it's inborn, but conversion narratives are never expressed in the language of 'choice'.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:12 PM
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I am uncomfortable with being labeled an Unfoggedsexual.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:12 PM
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The 'born that way' genetic thing strikes me as almost entirely about trying to make gay rights fit within the existing conceptual framework for civil rights, which came from race.

As LB points out there is huge distance between genetics and choice -- life is full of habits that are not strictly genetically determined but we feel we have little control over.

The emphasis on genetic determinism seems to have been very effective politically, but it really impoverishes the language around sexuality in general. It kind of writes bisexuality out of the picture, for one thing. (Although female bisexuality has sustained market share through the enthusiastic support of the bro market).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:14 PM
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And yet that sense of vague discomfort is at the very core of Unfoggexulaity.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:14 PM
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Unfoggexulaity.

Idp seems to be a reformed Unfoggexul.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:15 PM
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Speaking of gay, does anyone find this pairing of picture and story unfortunate?
I figured Apo would post it eventually.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:19 PM
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Speaking of gay, . . .

Everyone has already seen the German Olympic Uniforms right?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:26 PM
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He's actually arguing that it's one dimensional instead of zero dimensional, isn't he?

I see what you did there.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:30 PM
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(Religion is another good example--nobody thinks it's inborn, but conversion narratives are never expressed in the language of 'choice'.)

Huh? This seems very wrong.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:30 PM
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What I mean is that to the extent that there's a act of decision, it's a decision to accept something that presents itself as simply true or overwhelming--a choice to accept, rather than to believe. Nobody really goes through the Pascal's wager scenario.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:36 PM
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Wasn't "100% innate" kind of an agreed-upon fiction when it seemed politically useful? I'm thinking mostly in the age of "don't convert my children" hysteria, but other similar stuff, too. It lingers in a way if you're a certain age. People were mad at Cynthia Nixon for essentially saying she chose to become a lesbian, and I remember some gut instinct to be angry about it, too, in a "we know it, but don't say it so loud" kind of way.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:38 PM
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Does this mean I can go back to blaming John Hinckley for lessening my already small chances with Jodie Foster?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:43 PM
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19: I had not -- that's awesome.

23: I think the degree to which it's known to be an agreed-upon-politically-useful-fiction is different inside and outside the LGBTQ communities? That makes sense to me, but it's hard to tell if the person you're talking to actually believes something, or if it's just a useful way to fend off the right-wing-maniacs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:44 PM
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24: Buck always has.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:45 PM
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Does this mean I can go back to blaming John Hinckley for lessening my already small chances with Jodie Foster?

Only if he pre-empted the gesture you'd been planning.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:47 PM
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Hey, today is Introduction To The Veldt in the class I'm teaching assistant for this semester. I'll let you know if homosexuality comes up.


Posted by: President Malthus | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:48 PM
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"Innate", as ever, needs better defining. I would think of the kind of thing LB is talking about in 1 as not not innateness.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:49 PM
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Religion is another good example--nobody thinks it's inborn

Plenty of people think propensity to religiousness might be.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:51 PM
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I think that propensity to think that propensity to religiousness is inborn is inborn.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:53 PM
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fa'afafine

Now I have "Psycho Killer" stuck in my head.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:55 PM
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23 is amazing if true, because I had no idea--100% innate is the only message I've ever heard (that wasn't coming from right-wing anti-gay fanatics). So the Gayatollah just directed his followers all to claim that sexual orientation was 100% inate, and everyone just seamlessly got on message? How did the academics fall in line? (Is all the academic research on the genetic bases of sexual orientation a sham??)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:57 PM
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28: Is it possible to run the class along Ray Bradbury lines?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 12:59 PM
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fa'afafine

In the wiki, Maori certainly looks the most different while still being essentially the same word, an observation LB made last week.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:01 PM
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33: I thought it was pretty well settled that sometimes it is 100% innate, which is very different from the claim that sexual orientation is 100% innate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:09 PM
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Plenty of people think propensity to religiousness might be.

Sure, but nobody thinks being Catholic is inborn, right? Which is why I was said conversion narratives; I was thinking about specific religions, not religiosity generally. I should have made that clearer, especially knowing this crowd of little bitches.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:11 PM
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Homosexuality might come up! We are talking about why older men date younger women. When the students were polled on why this might be, somebody charmingly called out "institutionalized sexism!"


Posted by: President Malthus | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:12 PM
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THE HEART WANTS WHAT IT WANTS.


Posted by: OPINIONATED WOODY ALLEN | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:13 PM
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Exactly.


Posted by: Opinionated Joey Buttafuoco | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:15 PM
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I thought it was pretty well settled that sometimes it is 100% innate, which is very different from the claim that sexual orientation is 100% innate.

Again, Graff addresses this in the article.

And isn't Graff female?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:15 PM
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Not reading the articles in innate as far as I go.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:16 PM
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Pictures of the veldt onscreen!


Posted by: President Malthus | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:16 PM
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Also, typos are innate. "In" s/b "is".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:18 PM
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I thought it was pretty well settled that sometimes it is 100% innate

I don't think so, at least not without a long discussion of what innate means. Somewhere inbetween very often and usually not voluntarily changeable, certainly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:18 PM
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I'd think that "usually not voluntarily changeable" works for innate in these circumstances.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:19 PM
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33 --- a large (possibly predominant?) chunk of academic gender/sexuality studies is pretty much dedicated to the proposition that sexual behaviour is a social construct. And gender's a performance. Which doesn't always mean being all voluntarist about being not-straight, but does mean being very wary of "born this way" determinism.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:25 PM
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I've found Richard Posner's Sex and Reason a very useful source on these questions.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:29 PM
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There are different scales to the deterministic-vs-free-to-choose dichotomy. First, on an item-by-item basis, you can debate whether or not you had a choice in your attraction.

But second, there's also the range of available options. You can debate how much control you exercised in ripening certain circumstances and letting other circumstances go fallow, which would be freedom. And you can also argue that systemic forces made certain range restrictions with no input from you, which would be deterministic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:35 PM
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41.last: Graff is a woman, yes.

I have a lot to say about this at a personal level, but I guess much of that comes down to the extent to which it feels chosen or innate, and obviously that depends on the person (and culture and all that, we know!) but I think a lot of this is really about the narrative. And there seem to be a lot more different acceptable narratives these days than even just a few years ago.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:38 PM
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I read The Social Construction of Lesbianism back when I was married to a graduate student in sociology.

This controversial book argues that the shift from 'pathological' to 'gay affirmative' research merely substitutes one depoliticized construction of lesbianism for another. The author contends that the gay affirmative model is fundamentally incompatible with radical feminist theory in which lesbianism is a political statement representing the bonding of women against male supremacy.

So, women have a good reason to choose to be homosexual -- they are fighting against the patriarchy. I couldn't think of a good reason for a man to choose to be homosexual, so I decided to stay hetero.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:38 PM
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47: IME interacting with academic gender/sexuality studies types the standards of evidence are so shitty that the whole field ought to be regarded as sketchier than evo psych.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:38 PM
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I couldn't think of a good reason for a man to choose to be homosexual, so I decided to stay hetero.

I think I can remember a "Current Events" class in college that had us read a piece saying that men choose to be homosexual so they can get more sex because women are picky. I also think I remember that it was written by Michael Huffington, but I don't think real life is ever that funny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:43 PM
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piece saying that men choose to be homosexual so they can get more sex because women are picky

I can't quite get the joke into shape, but someone more committed than I am could wrench this around into "The food is terrible! And the portions are too small."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:45 PM
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Frankly I think the whole idea of "choice" in almost any context is beyond complicated, which I think is what 1 is getting at.

We have incredibly strong pressure in this culture to divide things into binary categories of choice/non-choice -- because that's our entire system of assigning responsibility -- but it's pretty much always more complicated than that when you look seriously at what's actually happening in pretty any given situation.

Addicts in recovery seem to be the only people in our culture who consistently think about, and practice, not framing everything as 100% a choice or 100% not, and I think generally have a better sense of human behavior than most.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:48 PM
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On the veldt, gays had to have fluid sexuality because natural selection.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:51 PM
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54: "The food is terrible! And the portions are too old."


Posted by: Opinionated Woody Allen | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:51 PM
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Does anyone have a link to Standpipe's explanation of 54? I'm not finding it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:51 PM
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58: Woody Allen made that joke about life in general.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:53 PM
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Woody Allen made that joke

Man of the hour.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 1:55 PM
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If 56 isn't offensively reductionist enough, I will admit that I find it hard not to anthropomorphize (completely inappropriately) when reading about some species of wrasses and/or cichlids (I think it isone of those to) that have three male "modes" of behavior (and corresponding body types they can adopt). The first is to control a harem aggressively patrolling boundaries trying to keep out aggressive bounders who come in and attempt to launch some sperm while the patriarch is on the other side of the patch. The second is to be one of the bounders, and the third is to mimic and pass as a female* and let some loose while the patriarch is away fighting off the bounders.

*Many species of wrasse are in fact sexually dimorphic and can change as "needed."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:04 PM
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61 reminded me of the Slate article about Finding Nemo and what it would be like if it accurately depicted clownfish sexuality. Marlin would have turned female after Nemo's mother was killed. Nemo would become male to mate with Marlin.


http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/08/finding_nemo_and_finding_dory_clownfish_are_sex_changing_hermaphrodites.html


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:15 PM
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I read a gay-on-the-veldt explanation whose dubious nature didn't detract from its intriguing appeal.

It goes like this: Men who are gay have been found to have siblings who produce a greater-than-average number of offspring as a result (presumably) of the same genetic inheritance.

It's a kind of half-assed theory whose empirical basis I can't evaluate, but it has the appeal of being plausible. Early efforts in gay-on-the-veldt theory discussed what great uncles gay men are.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:30 PM
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Slate article saying that male sexual orientation is entirely non-fluid and biologically determined.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:30 PM
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My view has been pretty much that of 23, but I was never very comfortable that the consequences of everyone going along with the fiction were positive overall. But the fact of ongoing severe repression was a compelling counterpoint to my knee-jerk "the truth will set you free" position*. And not really my call to make. But glad we are at a point where it is being debated.

*I at times question the rightness of rigidly taking that stance in all matters because it smacks of a certain kind of libertarianism**.

**Which vaguely tempted me at times in the fern bars of my young adulthood so I feel the need to be vigilant in myself against a propensity for absolutist thinking.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:39 PM
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I'm very dubious about an argument that runs "we don't know exactly why something happens, but it must be happening" based on a handful of studies which were set up to answer very specific questions.

I mean, what if there are lots of biologically "homosexual" men who are choosing to be exclusively heterosexual, or celibate, for all the obvious social reasons? Wouldn't that throw all those results out the window?

I dunno if "fluid" is the right word when discussing these concepts, unless we could introduce some corollary attribute of viscosity. Lots easier to slip into homosexual relationships during long months at sea, or years in prison, than if you have to jump through all the hoops in polite society.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:45 PM
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61 does seem like it might also apply at fern bars.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:45 PM
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67: As long as it's not Irish.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:46 PM
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I dunno if "fluid" is the right word when discussing these concepts, unless we could introduce some corollary attribute of viscosity.

Trust me, it's fine to model these things using the Lorenz equations.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:47 PM
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Fern bars are like furries, in that everybody jokes about them, but few have every seen one in person, Natilo said, analogously.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:47 PM
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And let's not even get started on turbulence.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:48 PM
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So the Gayatollah just directed his followers all to claim that sexual orientation was 100% inate, and everyone just seamlessly got on message?

I think it was Madonna actually. No, I don't know. How are any community's political truths propagated? My feeling was always "I don't really know if I was born a proto-gay* but why does it matter?" but I remember having the sense very strongt that this was an idea to be held privately because it hadn't been quite long enough since AIDS jokes and "put them all on an island."

*I loved the ladies when I was four! For god's sake, Alvy, etc.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:52 PM
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*strongly


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:54 PM
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Being gay is innate, except for time travelers.


Posted by: Micah | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:55 PM
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Man, that stupid Slate article is going to be irritating me all day. So, like, if you're "biologically heterosexual" and you have queer sex of some kind, you can't possibly enjoy it, even if you think you do? It's like a stupid Dan Savage column or something. "Bisexuals can't be real because I think women's genitals are grody." Dumbasses.

OR DOES IT EXPLODE?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 2:57 PM
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74: I loved the Ron is Dumbledore theory and can't believe she didn't go that way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 3:04 PM
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64: Was looking for an appropriately-timed Slate article arguing the opposite, but sadly not find one. I did come across a Chatterbox piece from 2001 which had the "Conservatives believe that genes determine everything except homosexuality, while liberals believe that genes determine nothing except homosexuality" line.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 3:14 PM
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Wasn't "100% innate" kind of an agreed-upon fiction when it seemed politically useful? I'm thinking mostly in the age of "don't convert my children" hysteria, but other similar stuff, too. It lingers in a way if you're a certain age.

Yeah, this is an old discussion and IME 20 years ago the 100% birth point-of-view corresponded pretty closely with the position that marriage was the key civil rights issue.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 3:41 PM
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And there seem to be a lot more different acceptable narratives these days than even just a few years ago.

Interesting. I feel like I've seen just the opposite -- that there isn't much room for any but the "born that way" narrative these days, which wasn't the case in the '70's through the '90's. Depends in part on who's doing the accepting, I guess.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 3:47 PM
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So the Gayatollah just directed his followers all to claim that sexual orientation was 100% inate, and everyone just seamlessly got on message?

It wasn't seamless. It was a huge, complicated fight for years and years. A lot of people got on the board the "born that way" train for the political expediencies mentioned above.

How are any community's political truths propagated?

Exactly.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 3:54 PM
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79: I suspect that the difference is more acceptance of a middle ground (not just bisexuality, more temporal shifts) on the gay-to-straight continuum, which makes it more difficult to imagine a genetic tie to sexual orientation (which isn't very biology-savvy, but I think people found it easier to imagine a binary system). I think that makes more narratives available about how people arrived to their present self without disrupting the politically helpful "born this way." Also, political lesbians mostly disappeared, which is the most prominent example I can think of as choosing to be gay.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:01 PM
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The nice thing about "born this way" is that "this way" can be specified with whatever degree of flexibility you want. Even the "born" leaves some room for it -- whatever it may be -- to be something wholly other than genetics without being a DSM-worthy postnatal-onset disorder, or whatever.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:05 PM
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In the search for a Slate article describe in 77 what I *did* find was a Will Saletan column "Fire in the Hole, The lucky anatomy of vaginal orgasms." If that didn't make you throw up in your mouth a little his analysis will:

Enthusiastic conclusions: 1) A scan can show whether you have a G spot. 2) If you don't, you can't have vaginal orgasms. 3) This is an anatomical fact, so don't fret that there's something you should be doing to change it. 4) In fact, it's probably genetic. 5) So don't let the evil drug industry accuse you of sexual dysfunction. 6) However, if you do have a G spot, you might be able to make it bigger with testosterone. Critiques: 1) The "thicker urethrovaginal space" may in fact be part of the clitoris. 2) The thickness may be a result of cultivated sensitivity, in which case every woman has the ability to produce vaginal orgasms ... Cynical view: ... and the obligation.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:07 PM
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83: What compelled you to keep reading after that title? Also, everything he writes is that much creepier with his picture next to it.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:18 PM
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Of course, in the god business, which is some way behind the times, this is presently a huge row. It is absolutely necessary for the gay clergy to maintain the innate line, and for their opponents to maintain the opposite. My own feeling is that homosexuality isn't one thing any more than depression is. Some forms are clearly facultative - see English boarding school traditions - but some people I think just do max out at one or another of the Kinsey scale.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:29 PM
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84: What compelled you to keep reading after that title?

Because my self-loathing is deep and pervasive. Also I'm collecting material on the utter bankruptcy of our souls for the Louis-Ferdinand Céline fanfic that I'll never write.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:29 PM
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Nworb never overuses an end.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:32 PM
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Wait, I take back what I said in the other thread. The Ron is a time-traveling Dumbledore theory is much better than any news about Batroc ze Lepair. I was amused at first, but completely lost it at the part about socks. Never in my life have I seen a surprising theory constructed with such care and attention to empirical evidence.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:37 PM
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88 to 74.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:38 PM
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86 could be a new mouseover.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:40 PM
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||

I want to say hello to Sir Kraab, and ask her if she's read Marilynne Robinson's essay Who Was Oberlin?

|>

Back to ze Lepair; In the mid-sixties I bought and read the New Avengers and also Captain America without any sense I was laying up cultural treasures for my old age.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:48 PM
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88: I have almost as little interest in Harry Potter as Emerson does, but I have to admit that that is some wellcrafted theorizing, and I would like to subscribe to the author's newsletter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 4:58 PM
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God, 86 describes us all, doesn't it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 5:23 PM
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92: I don't know that there was a newsletter, but there was a website. "Knight2King.net" or something. I can't find it now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 5:32 PM
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Until JKR writes something new, she's basically just another shipper, no?

And did the epilogue rule out the possibility of the main-character pairings failing and recombining?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 5:34 PM
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88: What is going on with Batroc? I guess I need to read some other threads.

To 79, I think, I do think that "born this way" is still culturally dominant to a huge degree but what constitutes "this way" is getting a lot murkier and more diverse.

I don't know. Nobody wants to hear about what I find attractive and maybe why, but it's complicated. Also, someone stop me before I follow Stormcrow's horrible vaginal orgasm link. Thank goodness I'm distracted by Batroc mysteries!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 5:37 PM
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Oooh, middle-aged, adulterous, HP fanfic. Hott.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 5:39 PM
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95: she had a novel out in the past year; what do you want from the woman?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 5:46 PM
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Stormcrow's horrible vaginal orgasm

This should be a post-rock band.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 5:47 PM
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On the main topic, we need to approach this as philosophy, not science.

If a man who was innately and completely heterosexual was standing next to a gay man on a bridge overlooking trolley tracks offered the option of having sex with men for one year at the conclusion of which year any woman in the world he wanted to have sex with would have sex with him, would he accept?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 5:54 PM
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I read the stupid article and now I'm mad, surprising no one.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 5:55 PM
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97: 50 Shades of Weasley?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 6:04 PM
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would he accept?

And would he have a horrible vaginal orgasm?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 6:05 PM
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I'm compulsively rereading my favorite book from my teens, Emma Donoghue's Stir-Fry, about a 17-year-old college freshman in early '90s Dublin who realizes her older roommates are a lesbian couple sort of falling apart. From tonight's portion, the 30-year-old who'd now be probably self-identify as pansexual but then doesn't want to be pinned down (and I haven't rereead the other book in which she's a background character recently enough to remember how she does self-define 15 years or so later) says, "'Listen, most of the queers I know love speculating about causes and influences. My own favourite is the Mummy-didn't-love me.'" And then when the 17-year-old is describing her frustration over a boy she thought might like her actually being interested in a friend, she says that it's not that she's upset because she wanted him so badly, "'I keep telling you, what annoys me is that I fabricated the whole thing in my head. I was just looking for someone to fancy because that's what you're supposed to do.'"

Parts of both felt resonant and accurate when I was first reading this at 15 or so, though I can't have been said to have known a lot of queers personally or anything, and was just fabricating it all in my head. But back then it felt scary to be too hung up on the hope that they'd find a "gay gene" because then parents would be wanting to preselect embryos without it and all that, and yet I did feel comforted by news stories saying that my long ring fingers were signs that I was gay because it made me feel like somewhere there was a secret society where I'd fit in and everything would be all right. Identity-creation is hard work. And none of this is insightful or anything, but I've typed it out and so I'll leave it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 7:08 PM
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I had a good one once!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 7:22 PM
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I noticed that Slate recently gave Saletan his own eponymous blog, presumably as a way to keep him away from the parts of the site that people actually read.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 7:38 PM
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it made me feel like somewhere there was a secret society where I'd fit in and everything would be all right

And now you found us! So yay, long ring fingers for the win!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 8:23 PM
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Nobody wants to hear about what I find attractive and maybe why, but it's complicated.

I for one wouldn't mind hearing more about this.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 8:37 PM
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It's weird to me that people so quickly conflate "biological" with "genetic." It's especially weird because the closest thing to a known mechanism for causing homosexuality is developmental (the fraternal birth order effect) not genetic.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 9:31 PM
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Deep down, I think most of the other side still believes in racial telegeny.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 9:48 PM
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How is the long ring finger supposed to correlate?
Mine are much closer to my middle in length than my indexes, which are short.

I know this is putative, I just want to be up to speed with the lore.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 9:52 PM
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Thorn, I also have a long ring finger and I'm pretty sure I read Stir-Fry in high school too, but my high school gf and I spent an afternoon trying to puzzle out why Sarah Schulman was orders of magnitude better than every other contemporary lesbian writer we'd encountered. (We were kind of sullen and cranky, so I think the answer was "because.") I also remember cracking up walking home from the bus stop, realizing that I'd been trying to figure out whether in theory I was attracted to her. Like, if my theories showed that I was "really" "straight," I would just immediately repolarize by force of pure reason. I never spent much time going down that road again.

I do think, for whatever it's worth, that women internalize homophobia a hell of a lot more often than is acknowledged in, at least, the discussions I've seen of female sexual fluidity. I know I did.

William Saletan intoning "Fire in the Hole" is going to haunt my nightmares for years, you fuckers. I reluctantly forgive Stormcrow on the strength of 86.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 10:04 PM
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How is the long ring finger supposed to correlate?

Oh, it's Lamarckian.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 10:06 PM
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112: Also how Woody Allen keeps working.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 10:34 PM
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I'm up waiting for the freezing rain to start.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 10:35 PM
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111: IIRC, it's a very specific measurement, not something you can tell at a glance.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 10:40 PM
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Wait didn't we establish in some thread or other that all men would be more open to the gay if men didn't smell so much like men? I think we did.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 02- 4-14 11:44 PM
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I am never going to be able to hear the phrase "fire in the hole" again without bursting out laughing.

...as long as I stay out of urban warfare, though, that should be OK.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 2:31 AM
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117: Your memory is correct.

It really disturbed my ex-wife when I told her about making an effort to see other men as potentially sexually interesting, just to get a grip on why I was repulsed. She was particularly disturbed when I told her that I narrowed it down to smell by a process of surreptitiously sniffing physically attractive men. Now I'm completely comfortable with the fact that if I met a hot guy who smelled like a woman I'd totes carry his luggage. To Wisconsin dot com.

"Surreptitiously sniffing physically attractive men" had me giggling for a surprisingly long time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 5:40 AM
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Wait didn't we establish in some thread or other that all men would be more open to the gay if men didn't smell so much like men?

This implies that having a bad cold makes you gay. Or at least potentially gay. It's every right-winger's worst nightmare; the homosexuals are out there recruiting, by sneezing on people.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 5:44 AM
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Hmm, the only man I know without a sense of smell is gay. The women I know are straight. So maybe it's easier to be drawn to men if you can't smell them? I think I'll just stick to my initial response that togolosh is fascinating but maybe not representative of everyone everywhere.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 6:24 AM
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For the record, I didn't shower this morning only so I could get extra sleep.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 6:42 AM
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I thought I would get extra sleep this morning because I thought the university would shut down due to massive snowiness. But it hasn't.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 6:56 AM
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"maybe it's easier to be drawn to men if you can't smell them?"

This would explain the popularity of long walks on the beach as a romantic activity. Plenty of fresh air and breezes. And if it gets too much for you despite that, you can always push him in the sea.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:00 AM
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I didn't shower this morning only so I could get extra sleep.

Generally Moby's sleep is disturbed by the hordes of enthralled women hammering on his door. If he stops showering, they gradually drift away.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:01 AM
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123: never, except weirdly twice in the past couple of years. I made the executive decision to stay home anyways. Feel free to stop by for some cocoa!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:07 AM
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Coming back briefly to the point about whether 'it's innate' is a useful political idea... (as I've been really interested by the history and wider context of the concept presented in earlier comments, which I'd never really thought about)

Does it unhelpfully play into the sinister neoliberal / sinister facebook thing of 'individual identity' being 1) the most important thing in life, politics, etc and 2) unchangeable?

This is - obviously - half thought through at most, but there's something that makes me very uncomfortable about the concept of finding one's identity and its usefulness to corporate and political interests ("Please could you tell our advertisers - I mean, your friends - which of the following demographics you belong to. It'd be inconvenient if you changed your mind, so think carefully" and also maybe "Oh dear! I can't join this mass-movement because it doesn't align with every single one of my opinions")

I don't know. I find gender and identity really fascinating, but I worry that some of the themes involved are open to being co-opted. Maybe.


Posted by: seeds | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:08 AM
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We do in fact have cocoa. And would be glad to serve you some with or without a glug of brandy. Open offer to all commenters today, snow day special!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:10 AM
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We had snow followed by rain. I had to slog through so much slush. My feet as so wet I can feel the athlete's foot bugs celebrating.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:14 AM
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Perhaps a more useful contribution to the thread:

I read somewhere that sexuality should be broken down along (at least) three axes: desire, action and identity.

Desire: What you're into
Action: What you're doing
Identity: How you think of yourself / present yourself to others.

And it seems really obviously correct to me that we're all somewhere on the Kinsey spectrum. You can have more than one kink (I, for instance, am into both cakesitting and squish) and so why on earth wouldn't you be into both chicks and dudez, at least to some, possibly smell-related, degree?


Posted by: seeds | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:14 AM
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As s/b are.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:15 AM
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130: Is squish the one where you smash mice?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:18 AM
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Cakesquish parties are hella outré


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:22 AM
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132: I think so. I just picked the first two vaguely weird kinks that I could remember. I'm disappointingly conventional in my true choice of props.

133: Maybe if the cake was filled with four and twenty blackbirds? Or a small, rodent strippergram?


Posted by: seeds | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:27 AM
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It'll be interesting to see how culture reacts when it turns out that one of the biological causes of homosexuality is infectious. (Not that you can catch teh gay, but rather that if a pregnant woman catches a particular infection the baby is more likely to be gay.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:29 AM
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"When" makes me think you've seen some evidence of seasonality in births or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:31 AM
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135: wait, what? There's evidence of this?

130: I'm not about to google it, but cakesitting surely doesn't just mean "sitting on cake". Does it?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:38 AM
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Yeah, when is overstating it. Still it seems pretty likely to me, given that there's probably a large number of causes many of which are probably non-genetic.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:39 AM
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137.2: Frosted butt.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:40 AM
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There's also a general trend (it seems to me) to finding out more things have infectious causes than we thought (many cancers, some heart disease, ulcers, etc.).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:42 AM
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138 and 140 seem right, but the "when" made me think there was something out there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:44 AM
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Probably times probably equals likely is an excellent heuristic.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:46 AM
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Mmm, cocoa is tempting. But I think I have to spend most of the day in meetings that aren't canceled. Also I just got an email demanding that I take a side in the coffee machine wars. Sigh.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:48 AM
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Wait the coffee machine wars are ongoing? Can we have an update?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:49 AM
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142: P*P is less than P (unless P is 1).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:49 AM
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Sounds like there needs to be brandy for the coffee.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:50 AM
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Sounds like there needs to be brandy for the coffee.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:50 AM
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144: Despite the fact that the group collectively spent several thousand dollars on this coffee machine, the professor who doesn't like it is insisting that we get rid of it and buy another one of the Nespresso things with the pods. And has sent a series of emails in the last few days about it, asking everyone to vote. But no one is replying to the emails. So I have been instructed asked to send a reply saying I'm in favor of this plan.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 7:58 AM
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148: oh lordy. Can you just ignore this one?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:00 AM
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It's all in the genes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:00 AM
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145: or 0. And I'd say that "probably" implies a higher P value than "likely" anyway. "Probably" to me is like 0.8 or better. "Likely" is just greater than 0.5.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:01 AM
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Those pod things are supposed to be bad for the environment and such, aren't they?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:01 AM
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148 is best if read in the voice of Kif from "Futurama", interspersed with deep sighs.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:02 AM
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148: My mother has a pod machine! It is NOISY. Perhaps you should suggest a series of experiments with various models.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:02 AM
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151: I guess "likely" is less probable than "probably" in common use. My first reaction was the other way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:03 AM
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Presumptively.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:05 AM
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155: mine too.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:06 AM
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I don't think the question has to be all that thornily philosophical. If we found a genetic pattern that allowed us to predict "have you slept with someone of the same gender"* with 99% accuracy, would anyone deny that homosexuality is genetic?

*Not a perfect measure obviously, since there are so many reasons why someone might want to but not, but close enough.

At the same time, the discussion seems completely irrelevant, so I'm basically fine with a noble lie if that's what it takes to stop discrimination. But I wish there wasn't such an emphasis on putting people in a box. When professional athletes get Inquisited about their sexuality, these days "Haha, I'm straight, believe me, very straight, not that there's anything whatsoever wrong with being gay" has become more popular and more accepted than "Hell no I'm no faggot", which is an improvement, but I always root for them to come out with a straightforward "Fuck off, none of your business."


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:07 AM
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Also, I can't smell, AMA.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:08 AM
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154: We had a pod machine before, and it was okay with this professor. Who claims the particular noise of the new machine instantly induces a migraine.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:08 AM
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Professional athletes have always followed 20 years behind Seinfeld.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:09 AM
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159: who are you having sex with right now?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:12 AM
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And if the answer is "Soon-Yi", go to the other thread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:13 AM
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The trash compactor monster from Star Wars


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:19 AM
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re: 158

Interestingly, when the British olympic diver, Tom Daley, 'came out' recently he was quite careful not to commit himself. He said something along the lines of, 'I am with a man now, it's great. In the past I've had girlfriends. I still find girls attractive.' But he didn't identify himself as gay, or as bisexual, or label his sexuality. It as more, 'I'm with this person, I'm very happy. End of story.'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:19 AM
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165: I was also thinking of Tom Daley and think Maria Bello's piece was along those lines.

I am probably more along those lines myself than not, but "bisexual" never really felt right because I find 0 male celebrities attractive, don't gawk yearningly at men walking down the street or anything, but if I'm intimate in other ways with someone male I sometimes feel sexual interest too. I think this is more common for women in the other direction, plus also the fate I deserve for being privately sort of scornful toward my secret HS girlfriend's insistence that she wasn't attracted to women, just to me. But I wouldn't say that (gender-flipped) either.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:56 AM
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if I'm intimate in other ways with someone male I sometimes feel sexual interest too

Like commenting at the same blog for several years in a row, amirite? Rrrowr.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 8:59 AM
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I find 0 male celebrities attractive

This is hard to believe.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:01 AM
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You're right, urple, because I do remember once being struck by a young Peter O'Toole, though I no longer remember in which movie. I'm not saying I don't understand how appealing aesthetics work, but I'm very close to zero on thinking, "Oooh, he's hot!" or whatever toward anyone I don't know personally.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:13 AM
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And you're right of course, apo. Everyone feels sexual interest in you. Fact of nature.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:15 AM
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Peter O'Toole, like Monica Bellucci, is one of the Permitted Exceptions.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:15 AM
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As is apo, obviously.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:15 AM
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re: 171

Heh.

A friend of a friend used to claim that he was a really jealous guy, and he'd be furious with his wife if she slept with anyone else. Except Viggo Mortensen [as Aragorn], and Henrik Larsson, because those were clearly permitted exceptions.*

* permitted, generously, by him because of some combination of man-crush/admiration and because, clearly, why would she not?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:23 AM
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Actually, it sort of makes sense that gay person might find opposite sex people less attractive than a straight person finds same sex people. My conception of attractive men is built in large part from what I understand that women find attractive... when I say, "wow, that's an attractive man", in some sense I mean less that I find him attractive and more that I'm sure lots of women find him attractive (the lucky bastard). If I didn't care at all what women thought, I'd probably have a lot less of a personal sense of which men I think are attractive.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:27 AM
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173: exactly. Plus, I mean, there are some bragging rights inherent in "she slept with Viggo, but she's married to me. Point to me, I think."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:30 AM
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91: Hi, idp! I've been dropping in and out lately, so I missed your initial reappearance. Welcome back.

I haven't read that essay. I'll check it out.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:31 AM
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Thorn, let me add my voice to those finding your comments very interesting. You're expressing yourself very well, but this:
I think this is more common for women in the other direction, plus
has got me confused. Could you restate it?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:37 AM
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My conception of attractive men is built in large part from what I understand that women find attractive... when I say, "wow, that's an attractive man", in some sense I mean less that I find him attractive and more that I'm sure lots of women find him attractive (the lucky bastard).

This may mean that I'm more bi than I think, but I'm actually terrible at guessing which women are attractive to straight men (once you get past sorting on really obvious criteria). I have strong opinions, but when checked against the perceptions of straight men of my acquaintance I'm generally way off.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:37 AM
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175. Of course, sir.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:37 AM
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once you get past sorting on really obvious criteria

Really obvious criteria! Hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:38 AM
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Sir Kraab:

My son is at that other famous liberal arts college, across the Mississippi, often mentioned as having a similar culture and reputation. I think they're both national treasures.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:41 AM
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177: That if someone were to come on here and say, "I really find men physically attractive, but enjoy making out with a female friend sometimes" people wouldn't find that as surprising, maybe? Or maybe what I said isn't surprising either. I just don't feel like I hear it as often in my direction or with my particular stupid hangups, though I do have a lesbian friend who makes out with her gay male friends sometimes, so there's that.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:41 AM
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178. I'm a straight man and I feel the same way. Also, agree with Thorn about personal acquaintance, or at least the illusion of openness-- I'm much more interested in singers or other musicians than models.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:42 AM
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I'm actually terrible at guessing which women are attractive to straight men (once you get past sorting on really obvious criteria)

But those are, as Moby implies, the only criteria that any of us straight men bother using anyway. So you're well up with the pack on that one.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:43 AM
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the professor who doesn't like it is insisting that we get rid of it and buy another one of the Nespresso things with the pods. And has sent a series of emails in the last few days about it, asking everyone to vote.

Good lord, the professor should just get a little Nespresso machine for her/his own office. Lots of people do that! Two people in my office have them in their own cubes! Though maybe the little ones are really crappy or something.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:52 AM
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182: Don't you think that one's explained by the vastly different levels of negativity aimed at men and women on this issue? For the last twenty years at least, probably more, there's been not much social hostility toward mostly straight women acting on some gay attraction sometimes -- you don't have to come out with a new identity if you say you've made out with another woman on occasion (never made it past second base, myself). For men, though, it's still socially a big huge deal (other than in Apo and McManlypants' college crowd, which sounds charmingly relaxed on the issue).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:52 AM
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180: hah


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:53 AM
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I'm reminded of the famous passage in The General Theory where Keynes compares the knack that makes you successful on the stock market to newspaper contests to pick the prettiest girl in a series of photos. It's not who you think the prettiest, it's who you think others will.

Whom straight men find attractive, as a common collective understanding, has a lot of that quality. Tends to privilege the common denominator which helpfully is exactly where you'd expect a denominator to be.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:55 AM
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184. I don't know-- conventional hotties, even the ones who were into me, have IME been mostly unpleasant. The only ones I know about were younger, since this is remembered experience from my own past, so maybe they just take longer to grow up.

But confronted with say a bikini model and Natalie Merchant who both seemed equally interested, I'd be thinking of nice things to say to NM. That sort of thing happens all the time, so this isn't at all a speculative counterfactual irrelevant to my actual character.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 9:56 AM
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189: Are you sure Natalie would want you to revealing that publicly?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 10:01 AM
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Except Viggo Mortensen [as Aragorn], and Henrik Larsson

Ha, I had never heard of Henrik Larsson before, and when I read this comment my brain turned him into Lance Henriksen. Which seemed a very odd choice.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 10:05 AM
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Henrik Larsson

There's an "Old Firm" joke in there somewhere, but I haven't had enough coffee to make it yet.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 10:09 AM
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191: I was thinking that he must be either the guy who wrote those ludicrous "The Girl Who Wore A Bowler Hat In The Royal Enclosure" books, or someone from "The Killing", possibly the victim's father.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 10:25 AM
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re: 193

[Going local]

You kent fine well wha Henrik Larrson is.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 12:37 PM
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85: Werdna, Do you feel that this is true in the US and Scottish Episcopal church as well as the Church of England.

Acceptance of homosexuality and premarital sex in the US Episcopal church is primarily a regional thing. The dioceses of Pittsburgh and San Joaquin are super conservative. (Well, San Joaquin isn't even part of ECUSA anymore.) I know that Richard Holloway (who used to be a rector at a church I went to--not the Anglo-Catholic one, although it was a pretty Anglo-Catholic church) was pretty forward thinking on issues of sexuality. But then, of course, he sort of gave up being a Christian.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 5-14 1:03 PM
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I find 0 male celebrities attractive, don't gawk yearningly at men walking down the street or anything, but if I'm intimate in other ways with someone male I sometimes feel sexual interest too.

I think this applies to some fraction of straight women too. (not that they don't abstractly concede male celebrities to be attractive, but they don't feel a sexual crush). Not uncommon for sexuality to be very attuned to actually knowing someone, or at least that's what I've had women say to me.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 12:59 PM
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196: I'm sure you're right. I think female sexuality is all over the spectrum in ways that don't get talked about. (That's probably a stupid comment, but even I feel kind of awkward talking about parts of my own experience and orientation.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 6-14 1:33 PM
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Terri Conley's Stigmatized Sexualities Lab has been producing research that's the rare, refreshing exception. A University of Michigan professor of psychology and women's studies, she's systematically debunking the conventional wisdom surrounding gender, sexuality, orgasm, and desire.

e.g., about women being less interested in casual sex than men:

But as soon as we started asking people about their actual experiences -- "What did you say the last time someone asked to have sex with you?" -- the differences were a lot smaller. Close to half of the time, women are saying yes to these experiences. We have a paper under review that says there are no differences between men and women if you control for two factors: pleasure, which we define as how capable they perceive their partner to be, and stigma, which we define as someone believing you're a bad person for engaging in casual sex. I like to think of my research as trying to rule out alternative explanations in a way that evolutionary psychology doesn't bother to do.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:49 AM
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