sex stuff: Yow!

Greg Nowell GN842 at CNSVAX.Albany.Edu
Wed Feb 10 16:51:55 PST 1999

Sundry,often contradictory thoughts:

1. I too wondered about Chasing Amy. The movie was much better than ordinary trash that I watch when I go to ordinary movies, which is something of an addiction. But you gotta wonder about the AC/DC implications.

2. As I think I've mentioned before, I've never had a gay encounter, but there are certainly men that I've met that I'm pretty sure I'd have banged if I was a woman. And women, had I been a woman. For I think I am susceptible to advetising fetishism and advertising fetishizes women. And were I a woman I surely would respond to that. On the male side, I can imagine being kinda hanging around in antiquity all olive-oiled up studly and hanging around with other oiled up studs and thinking well we're Greeks and this is what we do so let's do it. But--what was the movie about the Taiwanese guy who was gay and got married to please his dad?--there was a scene where the two male lovers, having been kept from each other by their social charade, are momentarily alone and proceed to jump each other. When I saw that scene I knew I was hetero, for sure (or a lesbian in a man's body). Good movie, though.

3. Now, here's the thing, I have spent a lot of time in "recovery rooms" for people that grew up in families with lots of alcohol and in the twelve or so years I've been doing it I have heard uncountable hundreds of tales of woe from everyone about growing up of which one subset was at least a dozen women who were gay and didn't mind saying so. And they virtually *all* told stories of having the crap beaten out of them by men, usually fathers, and some boyfriends. It would be difficult to imagine that these kinds of experiences would *not* have some impact. That makes me wonder about genetics. It also makes me wonder about hetero women who have been beaten and *don't* become gay. But remember the movie "Liquid Sky", with its very cynical observations about sexual relations in general. I have no idea whether if my mother had routinely beaten me it would have made me gay. (I was routinely beaten, but that was by other kids in school.)

4. But in other contexts I've met gay women who hadn't been beaten who were just plain vanilla gay.

5. I know a fair number of people whose relationships with the opposite gender, whether parental or adult sexual, were so traumatic that they have withdrawn into good books and television. And I don't mean for six months or a year. I mean ten to fifteen years, the kind of thing that for women amounts to a decision never to have a birth family.

6. I find it difficult to believe that chemical physicological genetic factors don't affect where men choose to squirt and whether women choose to be squirted and by whom if at all. There was a time in my life when I was not horny. I now fondly recall that as childhood, save for the beatings. There was another time in my life when the hormones raged to the extent that I certainly could understand why other men, under the same pressures, might go insane. In fact I think I was insane but successfully concealed it. In any case there's every reason to expect that hard-wiring accounts for much of the sexual process.

7. Whether we can fine-tune the generic desire to squirt (or to be squirted) to include homosexuality (which in women, to my knowledge, usually precludes squirting) remains open. It raises interesting questions: "Our intra-uterine tests indicate a 90% chance that your son-to-be will be gay. We can do nothing, squirt in hormone XYZ and alter brain development to favor heterosexuality, or abort." Yow!

8. Or: "Our intra-uterine tests indicate a 90% chance that your son to be will be a mindless oversexed beer drinking jock. If we inject hormone XYZ he will be smarter, possibly artistic, more tractable, and probably a chablis-and-brie gay with Siamese cats. Or we can abort." Yow!

9. Was it Randy Stilts or Shilts who wrote "And the Band Played On." A very interesting book. But most intriguing was the observation that one of the principal restraints on male sexual behavior was women. He was discussing the SF bath houses where Aids was transmitted because guys would go and do it everywhere with everyone ten ways from Sunday. Stilts observed that his heterosexual men friends admitted that they wouldn't mind having a similar set up for encounters with women. But that the complexities of getting just one woman into the sack were such that it was inconceivable one could have a bath house arrangement. This passage reminded me of a snide comment made by a friend over 15 years ago, when I mentioned I was going out with a particularly stunningly attractive woman: "Negotiations will be more complex than the Treaty of Versailles," he warned, and he was right. In any case Stilts concluded that there is a male propensity to squirt mindlessly every which way but that it is restrained by women. This raises the possibility that the propensity to squirt every which way applies to men squirting men. But is restrained by them (as a general rule) even more effectively than by women.

10. All of these reflections may say something about our President. For a man, sexual negotiations are easier from a position of status and prestige. I was in Cambridge as a waiter in a cafe and as a graduate student at MIT. Let me tell you this: in Cambridge, you're not even in the game until you get into Harvard or MIT.

10A. Which reminds of the experiment with Zebra finches. They were banded in order to study some kind of mating behavior, unrelated to the bands. Researches noticed that the finches with the green leg bands weren't getting any. They then analyzed the group behavior and found differential mating prefernces according to band color. Which meant that their "neutral experiment" was affecting outcomes. In round two they had to give the same color band to all males. Moreover, it also meant that the Zebra females definitely were of the opinion that a green band finch was a loser and she'll be damned if she'll bear HIS eggs. Poor guys. But it's clear that the red band was the Mark of Harvard in the finch cage.

11. Since heterosexuality is key to species survival and homosexuality is not, we might wonder whether there is some marginal advantage conferred on social groups with gay members as opposed to 100% hetero social groups. I can think of one, in the evolutionary sense. Tribes with a certain % of gay members in a hunter gathering mode might, in times of food shortage, have a survival advantage over those that had no such members. The gay member could bring in food (of whatever kind) but would not be contributing to the population growth. That might leverage the group with higher average calories collected per person. The problem with this is that women can be made to have children even if not inclined to have sex with men (or they might do so voluntarily precisely to get the prestige of having a child), so that gay women might not reduce a tribe's population. As for gay men, in a tribe of 100 or 200 the presence of 10 or 20 gayy men would not reduce the ability of the remaining heteros to engage in hetero sex. So all in all this is probably absurd. But as I say, there may be some survival advantage and it might be worth thinking about.

12. In any case we are a very horny species and horniness has had a definite civilizational impact.

13. Engels' Origins of the Family is a great book.

14. Science News reports cross-cultural experiements which show that "beautiful" means "average." That is to say that no matter what culture, where computer generated faces are presented to people and they are asked to rate them by "beauty," the faces with average nose size, average width between eyes, etc., are the ones that consistently and statistically significantly are chosen as "beautiful." The implication is that the process of "checking out" the prospective babe/stud is linked to some kind of evaluation of likely genetic worth.

15. In the insect world, some dragon fly species, the male will catch a female that is freshly mated and spin her around in the air to shake out the antecedent male's sperm. He then does his thing. This is definitely horniness with a specific intent to transmit his sperm not someone else's. Think about what a phenomenally refined genetic instinctual behavior this is. This isn't just blind desire to stick it somewhere.

16. Cross culturally step-children suffer more physical beatings at the hands of step parents in just about every society.

17. There is a beetle species in which the male, after mating, shoots 40% of his body weight in sperm. Now THAT's what I call a horniness burden. And think of the female that carries it away. She'd probably choose to be gay, if only she knew how. Wouldn't you?

18. Female zebra finches don't sing. They beep. If you flood their l'il brains with male zebra finch juice shortly after hatching, they sing. Poor gals. -- Gregory P. Nowell Associate Professor Department of Political Science, Milne 100 State University of New York 135 Western Ave. Albany, New York 12222

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