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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gender love.

Big surprise to you regular readers, I had an interesting conversation with someone the other night. Since you couldn't be there with me, I'll try to summarize it for you now.

I ran into a casual friend who is a bit of a sexual enigma to me. Without a lot of boring detail, I suspected he was at the least bisexual, possibly homosexual, and I knew he enjoyed cross-dressing at times. I finally decided to get my questions answered the other night and ask him quite directly about his sexual orientation.

After a bit of discussion we ended up talking about our feelings toward the opposite sex and our bisexual experiences and feelings about the same sex. It was then that my friend told me, paraphrased, that he has emotional and sexual relationships with women but only sexual relationships with men. When I pressed him a bit for more detail he bluntly told me that when it came to sex with men it was all about the penis. He didn't care about their face or body and would actually prefer to not know their names or even have conversation with them. If they had a nice penis, he was interested in having sex with them.

Initially I had a hard time with the concept. It seemed contradictory to me that he could have sex with someone and not have an emotional connection. Let alone know their name, which only made the concept feel somehow cheap and dirty. It took me a moment to set aside my own feelings and try to view what he was saying impartially. Obviously he enjoys sex with men but does that necessitate an emotional connection?

Breaking this one down I started with the sex component.
Is it possible to have pleasurable sex with someone without having an emotional attachment to that same person? Been there, done that, so I have to say yes, it is possible. Not preferable, but possible. That led to the next question; is it possible to enjoy sex with a specific gender while never having an emotional attachment. For my friend apparently it is possible, but for me it is not. This was as far as I got with this one because obviously my friend and I are wired differently and I can't completely understand his perspective.

We did talk a bit more though and he did say not only does he have no interest in a loving emotional relationship with another man, he has never encountered another man who gave him the feeling there could be a loving emotional relationship.

That's where it started to make more sense to me. There is a difference between denying something out of logic or dislike, and not having had something because it has never appeared. I do enjoy the male form and appreciate the beauty and sexuality at times but personally I'm not attracted to a lot of men. While there have been a couple of men in my life to which I was attracted, with both I felt a desire to not only have a physical relationship, but an emotional one as well. For me this is a somewhat consistent behavior in that I desire an emotional relationship with a woman before allowing a physical relationship. At the same time, I have been physically attracted to women with whom I've had no interest in an emotional relationship. (Angelina Jolie is a perfect example of this). So again, I can't deny that it is possible to have a satisfying sexual encounter with someone without having an emotional attachment.

Thinking about it some more, I've heard women talk about their bisexuality and how they can be with a woman but only want relationships with men. I guess if the girls can do it, why not the guys.

Now to be fair, I have to admit I've had casual sexual encounters without an emotional connection. I've pretty much left those ways behind me and need an emotional connection in my relationships these days. But thinking back I did approach sex at times fully knowing I didn't want an emotional connection with the person. For me, it was a decision made based on the person, not their gender. Because of that I have a hard time understanding the blanket rejection of the possibility for a relationship with an entire gender. I can still understand someone not being attracted to the opposite sex, but being physically attracted while not being emotionally attracted still doesn't compute.

What are your thoughts on this one? Think you can explain it to me?

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