I had a conversation with a heterosexual friend (a mobro?) a few weekends ago in which he probed with questions about how much I put myself in situations where I could connect with a girl to whom I could potentially be attracted. He talked about his marriage and how he didn't have some of the chemistry, perhaps, with his wife that he has had with other girls, but that he is fully committed to the relationship and how it's the communication and commitment that matter most. He talked about how men tend to objectify and focus more on the physical aspects of relationships than is helpful or healthy and that those are going to fade anyway. He mentioned some other things. What he said was good, and most of it rang true, even if the application was hazy.
I told him I understood what he was saying, and on an intellectual level, it makes a lot of sense. I understand choosing to invest in a relationship and basing it on deeper principles of communication, trust, commitment, respect, pure love/affection, etc., and letting go of the transient, temporary feelings of "chemistry" and infatuation. I think, at least, I understand that.
But I also told him that it's not just the physical that is different. It's the most obvious, describable difference, but it's not all there is to it. Why is this so hard for so many people to understand? They think it's just a sexual preference, nothing more, and since sexuality fades with age, why not just stick to what's important? Is that all it is? Really?
It doesn't feel like it. But is that mainly because I've had that "sexual preference" for so long that I've trained myself to wrap up all romantic attraction and point it in the direction of my penis? Or has it just taken this long to strip away the cultural constructs enough to realize that my attraction to members of my gender is more than a sexual thing?
Maybe that doesn't matter. In the end, isn't it really the part of us that chooses which determines our direction and places value in that in which we invest?
Still, my friend had mentioned that he had a friend with whom he seemingly effortlessly connected, and they used to joke about how life would be easier if only they were gay and didn't have to worry about finding a girl, and how that was an example of how you can have a great relationship without a sexual component (because, being straighties, they didn't feel a desire to get it on with each other). I asked him to consider what it might take for him to marry this close male friend and make babies with him (assuming physiology cooperated with such an endeavor), then, if that's what his religion and society demanded. He didn't seem stunned by the thought, but he didn't have much to say about it, either. I'm sure we would've continued the conversation, which I was finding very intriguing, but we ran out of time and each had to go. Maybe later.