Me and my female tweeny friends sitting around on the quad for “lunch”, which at that time consisted of a can of Barq’s Root Beer and a small bag of crunchy Cheetos – because I did eat that unhealthily at that age, but I digress…
So picture this group of tween/teen girls sitting in a circle in the shade, all of us relatively grunged out in flannel shirts and holey jeans because this was the 90’s.
The topic of discussion on this particular day was suggested by the nominal leader of our pack, Hannah. Her question was, “What type of man do you want to marry when you grow up?” and we went around the circle in no particular order giving our answers, and the rest of the group generally ridiculing each and every answer because no two girls answered the same and tearing each other down was what the group did.
First answer was from Misty, who instantly declared at the top of her screechy lungs, “Kurt Cobain!” And without thinking, (because I often spoke without thinking when I was twelve) I piped up, “Really?!? You would want to marry a suicidal drug addict? That guy isn’t going to live that much longer. Seriously.” *Note: I have super powers. I can tell the future.
From there the rest of the group proceeded to ridicule me into silence in their agreement that Kurt Cobain would be an awesome choice for a husband and that I was stupid.
After that, I sat there quietly while the rest of the group called out similar answers for guys they would consider to be appropriate mates, none of which I thought were good choices – but I kept my opinions to myself. Then Hannah, in her position of authority, turned to me when all the other girls were done and asked in the snidest possible tone, “And how about you? Who would you pick since you’re so fuckin’ smart? Huh?!”
And I answered, “Indiana Jones.”
Now this broke down into the whole group again ridiculing my opinion and going off about, “He’s so OLD!!!” and the like; so I just shut my mouth and let it blow over. Later on at home I spent a lot of time thinking about this and began to come to the conclusion I’ll make further down in this post. But my main thought to myself at that time was, “When I’m an adult, I’ll pick an adult man. Not some skinny man-child and no way will I ever pick anyone with a drug problem.”
Fast forward two years to high school, and this question came up again amongst a totally different group of girls. This time we were speculating on the high school boys walking past in the hallway, and again, each one of us had a different favorite that we would have picked.
This got me thinking (a dangerous prospect, I know) and here’s what I thought to myself:
- No two of us girls is alike. Not even the twins are identical; not in their habits or tastes or what they like or who they want to be or their goals for where they’re going in life.
- So why would I expect that any of us would want the exact same type of man?
- Seems like each one of us is a different unique human being, and we each want what we want, which is different than what the next girl wants.
Over the course of the following weeks this idea circulated in my mind, coming up over and over again under the onslaught of sexual teasing and bullying that went on in my high school. *High school sucked.
The general conclusion I came to goes something like this:
Look at the incredible variety within the human species. No two people are exactly the same. We all like what we like, we all go after our own unique desires. So it stands to reason that each unique person has within them a unique set of sexual preferences – I like big thick tall alpha male resourceful capable in-charge type men. I can look around at my adult friends and look at their husbands and say, “Well, he’s not my type, but I can see why she goes for him.”
Go even further, and I can generally assume that what I like in the bedroom as far as how I want to get down and dirty will be different from what you like, whatever that may be, which is none of my fuckin’ business.
So; I established that what I want in a man and/or sexually is different from each of my friends desires – we each want what we want, which isn’t exactly what anyone else wants. And if I’m humble, I should recognize that it’s not my place to judge or condemn my girlfriends for preferring a different type of man than what I would choose, because seriously; look at the span of human evolution – if we were more limited about choosing what type of person we each mate with, we probably wouldn’t be the dominant species on the planet now would we?
You like what you like. I like what I like. If those two things aren’t identical; that’s fine by me.
Now let’s take the next step with this and discuss alternate lifestyles beyond general heterosexuality.
At my high school, the prevailing form of persecution was to accuse others of being homosexual. Generally it was the jock guys going around calling less-cool kids ‘fag’. We all know how that goes.
One particular afternoon a trio of guys approached me and asked a question about one of my friends – “Do you think Erin looks pretty today?”
In my mind, I thought the guy asking me this question was interested in Erin and was seeking my opinion. She was a friend, and I wanted to say nice things about her. I knew Erin had been crushing on this guy in particular based on the aforementioned conversation about what guy we would each have picked, so of course I wanted to encourage him to like her in return. So I answered, “Of course! She’s beautiful, and she’s a beautiful person.” *It didn’t occur to me that his question had been a set-up.
Two beats later, this guy and his bros are calling me a dyke at the top of their lungs, and the whole hall of teenagers stops to stare at me like I’m a freak. “I knew you were a fuckin’ DYKE! You wanna lick her stinky snatch and munch rug you fuckin’ FAG!” and hoots and hollers and more of that sort of thing.
Now, not being the type to knuckle under, (got over that after the junior high social group) I got right up in his face – not hard to do since I was as tall as him. What I said went something approximately like this:
“Well aren’t you just the biggest ass-hole in school today? Just so happens I’m not homosexual, I actually have a huge crush on Zack, and all my friends including Erin already knew that you fuckin’ dickweed! Yes; I can see that Erin is pretty. Because I can tell a pretty person from an ugly person because I’m not fucking blind! And having the ability to tell pretty from ugly has nothing to do with whether I’m sexually attracted to the person; those are two totally different things. Finding someone to be attractive doesn’t mean I’m attracted to them. That’s fucking stupid!
Then I pointed at guy #2 and continued,
“You’re dating … right?
Then I pointed at guy #3 and said,
“And you’re dating… right? Well, Those two girls are nothing alike. They’re very different. You like brunettes with big tits. And you like a thin redhead with legs for days. But you’re not gonna hate on each other for liking different things, are you? Of course not! If we were all attracted to the same exact person, that’d make life really difficult really fast. So what the fuck are you doing walking around this school judging anyone else for what they like, and especially calling people out and assuming things about what they like or what they would do when it’s none of your fucking business in the first place?
When I get lucky enough to find someone to love, I’ll be proud to love that person, and I won’t give a shit what you or anyone else has to say about it. Because it’s not about YOU! It won’t be your relationship, it won’t be your life, it won’t have anything to do with you and I couldn’t care less about your judgmental, condescending opinion about that future relationship because you won’t be a part of it!”
This is the point that a teacher was running over to get involved, just as several similarly persecuted people were beginning to call out in agreement with what I was yelling in ass-hole #1’s face. So, you can imagine that the jock trio were collectively stunned, blushing, stammering, not knowing what to say because someone had finally stood up to their bullshit.
Now let’s fast forward to the present day:
Given everything I’ve put into this post so far, I think it should be easy enough to see that I’m not homophobic or even remotely judgmental about other people’s human sexuality. I’ll judge you in all sorts of ways if I see you making bad life choices that harm yourself or others; but I’m certainly not going to tell you that you can’t love so-and-so for such-and-such wrongheaded reason.
I will, however, advocate for keeping personal private business private. By all means; it’s nobody elses’ business what you do in your bedroom; and if you’re living any form of alternative lifestyle it’s just common sense that if you go walking around being all loud and proud with it you’re going to face some condemnation, persecution, bullying and negative judgement from others who feel themselves entitled to tell you how your natural born-this-way sexuality should be functioning when you have very little control over what turns you on, if any.
No individual can help being attracted to whomever they’re attracted to. We do not have control over our hormonal chemical impulses that tell us, “Dude! That chick is hot! Go nail HER!”
The point at which conscious decision making and self-control enter the picture is AFTER we’ve experienced physical attraction, and we’ve realized it, and then we get to figure out what to do with those chemicals coursing through our veins and giving us that raging hard on for that person in particular. Do we act on it? Do we go with it and flirt awkwardly utilizing our best bad pick-up lines? *Nice shoes. Wanna fuck? THAT is when you get to start making life choices regarding your natural human sexuality.
Please note here that I am not getting into any aspect of religious belief in my argument above. If you firmly believe you have a right to hate and condemn another human being for being exactly the way God created them to be; that’s your own problem and I’m not going to attempt to fix your dumbassery. You can refer to this previous blog right fuckin’ here for that shit.
I’m also not getting into the process behind seeking out sexual fulfillment by hitting the bars specifically looking for a hook-up, or trawling the internet for your particular preferred variety of strange and deviant porn. I’m speaking purely about the unexpected spontaneous physical attraction that happens when interacting in general social situations – spotting this weeks’ love of your life across a crowded room – that.
So isn’t it unusual that I taught myself about accepting other human beings’ sexuality and freedom of personal preference and choice when I was fourteen years old? Seems so to me.
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