15 July 2007

Changing Orientation vs. Maturing

So...a random but not-so-random thought I've not blogged about yet: to what extent are some of the changes people undergo regarding their same-sex attraction attributable to orientation, and to what extent are they attributable to finally leaving behind the angst and intensity of teenage-style sexuality?

Maybe a tiny bit more explanation is called for. A lot of the time, when I hear guys (sorry, ladies--I haven't spoken with many of you) talk about how they feel like they're changing, it's framed in the context of not wanting sex with every attractive guy at the gym or not fooling around with their gay friends anymore. So because they no longer have a seemingly uncontrollable urge to get it on with every attractive guy they meet, they consider themselves somehow less homo than before.

Now pardon my bluntness, but isn't that simply what we call maturing? I really don't mean this to belittle those changes in any way. They're great, they're very important, and they're huge to the person undergoing them. I love seeing those changes in people because I'm pretty sure their quality of life will improve, and they'll have more control over themselves.

This thought was partially spurred by an old radio interview I heard a part of today in which the interviewer asked the "ex-gay" mormon subject how he reacts when he sees an attractive male. He responded with a sufficiently vague response about being able to appreciate the beauty of all people, male or female, and I just didn't know what to do with that response. It seemed entirely evasive. He and his mom made some valid points about our culture's oversexualization of attraction, but I was just left feeling like the question went completely unanswered, which is how I sometimes feel when talking to people who have undergone reparative or otherwise change-oriented therapy. It seems they have gained control over their appetites but are afraid to then examine their remaining attractions honestly. This isn't the case with ALL people I've discussed it with, mind you. But it most often is.

So I guess that's it--just how much is an actual change in sexual orientation or diminishing of attraction, and how much is simply a maturity most people reach at an earlier age?


Chedner said...

To be 100% honest... I'm still wearing my Church clothes (but that's neither here nor there)...

I thought I'd comment with one of my poems (how gay -- isn't it great!? (yes, you're welcome (and yes, I am using triple parenthesis (I thought it might appeal to your programming-nature... oops, quadruple)))):

The Inner Shell

The thoughts pervading of the dying youth
And things of which they speak: of light, of truth
Will form the inner shell of this, the rising man

playasinmar said...

"our culture's oversexualization of attraction"

What on Earth is that? What else are sexual urges based on?

What does that person think they should be based on? Credit cards owned? Recently read books?

Original Mohomie said...

Thanks, Chedner. You write purty. And quadruple parentheses...well done.

Playa, you may be revealing more about your thought patterns than you intended. ;-) I said "attraction", not "sexual urges". Very different, albeit related, subjects.

Isaac said...

I completely agree with you. I have thought about this a lot, also. And came to some of the same conclusions.

Well said.

By the way, this is the Isaac that you met at the Shell in Cedar City.