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Switch to Forum Live View Evolve or Change sexual orientation?
6 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2008 - 7:54PM #1
abbysenia
Posts: 117
I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine that drifted to Donnie McClurkin. If you do not know, "Donnie McClukin is an acclaimed singer in the genre of gospel music." He made headlines when it was reported that he was no longer gay. May people in the gospel commyunity lauded this annoucement as proof that one can indeed overcome their homosexual desires.  Homosexual activist railed that this was another attempt to deliver false hope to the masses by suggesting people have control over their sexuality.

My friend is openly and unapologetically gay and a Christian.  He just so happens to be associated with Mr. Mc Clurkin. He informed me that Mr. Clurkin simply was stating that he was no longer in the, "Homosexual lifestyle." This statement is open for debate.  My friend and I discussed what this means.  I was told that you can be attracted to the same sex but not act on it.  You can live a celibate life.  This was reinforced with the fact that some heterosexual people also may live celibate lives.  I counter that this is unhealthy and possibly detrimental to one's psychological wellbeing.  My friend said that I was wrong and that it is simply a matter of individual choice.

My friend also said that it was hypocritical   that gay activists would jump to an offensive posture with McClurkin but respond in a nearly celebratory move when the former governor or New Jersey came out.  It is true that the activist only responded in one way to McGovern because his actions met their approval, while MCclurkin's did not? Does a person actually have the ability and choice to not act on homosexual attraction and is that a healthy choice for some individuals?

Are that ANY sucessful homosexual to hetersexual conversion? I can see someone being bisexual and committing to one attraction over the other. I don't see a true homosexual turning into a true heterosexual.
What is a fair response to this political, philosophical debate?
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2008 - 9:29PM #2
PaulaEdwina
Posts: 1,720
I think it's nonsense. I haven't had a boyfriend in years. Guess what; still a heterosexual. Why? I'm still attracted to men. Whether this fellow is having sex with men or not, he's still attracted to them - he's a homosexual.  It is unfortunate that the society in which he lives has pressured him to a point where he's playing such mind games with himself.

Whether you choose to act on an attraction or not is beside the point - the horse has bolted - you had the attraction. He's a homosexual.  If he decides to have sex with a woman, he's a homosexual who is currently having sex with a woman.

Paula
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 13, 2008 - 9:34PM #3
REteach
Posts: 14,747
Sexual orientation is an orientation.  It is who we find sexy and who we fall in love with.

Sexual orientation is not necessarily about with whom we have sex.  Professional sex workers have sex with people without necessarily finding them sexually attractive.  Inmates will have sex with someone who is available, but with whom they would never have sex given a choice.

People can choose not to act on their preferences.  Lots of gay people try to marry someone of the opposite sex in order to fit in or meet societal expectations.  However, what typically happens is that they are not happy and their spouse is writing to Dear Abby wondering why they never have sex--check out the Straight Spouse Network to see the damage that comes from trying to pretend to be what society wants.

Some people are bisexual.  They can legitimately fall in love and enjoy sex with either men or women.  These folks can legitimately move from being in love with someone of the same sex to finding a soul mate of the opposite sex.  They doesn't mean they are ex-gay.

There is no scientific evidence to show that conversion therapy works.  There is evidence that conversion therapy can be psychologically damaging.  One of the posters here has offered a vast sum of money to anyone who can prove he has changed his sexual orientation. 

For instance, we could hook your friend up to a device that measures penile erections and show him heterosexual sex movies and homosexual sex movies and see what happens.  His erections will tell us the truth.

Interestingly there is scientific evidence that homophobic men get erections while watching male/male sex, but nonhomophobic straight men do not.  This tells us an awful lot.  We have seen it here on Beliefnet, too.  Given enough time, the homophobic posters often end up admitting to same sex attractions.  Straight guys just don't do that.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 8:53PM #4
abbysenia
Posts: 117
It's interesting....

However, how much stock can we place into any of this or that?  Dr. Kinnsey's scale is still in use and hasn't be discredited.  According to him sexually was a continum running from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual.  He also said that most people were not exclusively one or the other but between.  He also theorized that people might move on the scale through out their lives.
Your comments on the penile erection are interesting.  I have another friend that attended Howard University in the early 90's and in one class they actually did have an experiment like that in a class.  The professor had the student go and watch various pictures of sexual depictions and wear the device on their members as you stated.  Most of the males in the majority African American class were homophobic.  They would routinely pick on one obviously homosexual fellow student.  However the professor told them that many members in the class had gotten erections from viewing homoerotic pictures.  Of course they all denied this.  The professor would not release the names and said that most of the people clamoring would NOT want him to.

With that said, I consider myself to be a homosexual male.  However, I enjoy heterosexual pornography.  Sometimes more than the homosexual pornography.  Does that make me bisexual? I don't have a great desire to have sex with a woman.  I do have a curiosity, but not the bravado to act on it.  I don't believe I would even be able to perform.  Even with same sex partners I generally take the passive position...but that's another story.  So how would I be listed?

I wonder this about others that claims they are straight... I've been told I'm just sexaul...and that sexual thing will turn me and probably some heterosexual people the same...because it's all sex in the end...
Any thoughts?
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 14, 2008 - 9:16PM #5
leguru
Posts: 167
My experience, and apparently most others experience (Shakeaspere's: Methinks he protesteth too loudly.) is that any who protest too strongly are trying to suppress the inner feelings that they are afraid of and don't understand - not just sexual orientation. And recent history has shown many homophobes that have turned out to be homosexuals who suppressed their orientation (Senator Larry Craig, etc). Most human attributes can be plotted on a simple bell curve, sexuality among them. If something makes you uncomfortable, look inwards to find the true cause of that feeling. Looking at a bell curve, most of us would be bisexual, to some degree or other, so anything sexual could turn us on. Most pornagraphy will turn me on, but I find homoerotic most exciting.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 9:52AM #6
Do_unto_others
Posts: 8,961
Senator Craig is "NOT GAY!!!" He even said so, replete with the exclamation points. Who are we to say he's lying? Besides, what self-respecting gay would want him to be part of "the community"?

Re: heterosexual porn - all of it includes at least one penis. Why wouldn't a gay man enjoy looking at pictures that include a penis?
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 10:52AM #7
abbysenia
Posts: 117
I heard one of the blue collar comedians comment on that. He said everyone's a little gay.  He talked about how men get aroused by seeing a large penis being used on a woman as opposed to a limp flacid one.

Now back to the main topic.  What about women? I've heard it said that the sexuality of women is a little different that of men.  How much of this is science and how much of these is cultural bias? I asked a Lesbian friend about this.  There are Lesbians like gays that have been with the opposite sex and were able to parent children.  However, many Lesbians have stated that they didn't know they were Lesbians till later in life.  Also there are some women that claim to have become tired of men, general from emotional and physical abuse, to the point that they turned to women. Interestingly enough, studies have shown that percetages wise there is a small percentage of women that identify as lesbian versus men.  I haven't heard this as much from men.  Even boys that have been sexually abused by men in early life generally turn out to be straight.  I have only heard from one man, to claim that have become attracted to men because of some type of emotional trauma.  I personally find that to be circumspect, but not impossible.

I've heard it said that you can't make a person gay or straight regardless of the means employed(Force, mental, spirtual).  A child is going to be what a child is going to be regardless of their being exposed to homosexuality or heterosexuality.

So how concrete or fluid are any of these? If it is fluid, then can we control/manipulate it and why or why not?

Someone said something very interesting about bisexuality.  They said that gay man having sex with a woman was still gay, but just currently involved with a woman.  If that is true, then why? If someone starts out being attracted to and having sex with women but then migrates to men, does that make them gay or bisexual?  Is there a term limit to bisexuality or a license that has to be renewed by sleeping with one woman a year? Is heterosexual in a realm of exclusivity that just one experiment makes the person not heterosexual?  How many times does a heterosexual person have to have sex with the same sex to no loger be heterosexual?

I've heard that creating culture/identities around sexuality can be dangerous because of this very issue.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 11:09AM #8
BetteTheRedde
Posts: 2,325
I don't think orientation is variable at all.

I've had plenty of reasons in my life to be absolutely fed up with men. The male gender has been single-handedly responsible for most of the chaos and abuse I have faced in life. I even tried to pray myself lesbian over an extended period of time in my late teens/early 20s. No dice. I'm not even a .5 on Kinsey's scale.

I think any "fluidity" lies in humanity's apparently infinite capacity for self deception.
"Sometimes they are referred to as the 'radical Right.' But the fact is that there is nothing radical about them. They offer no novel solutions to the problems that plague them; indeed, they offer no solutions at all. They are immensely discontented with things as they are and furiously impatient with almost everyone in public office who can in any way be held responsible for their frustrations. But it cannot be said that they hold any clearly stated objectives or have any specific program either in common or individuals. They are fundamentally and temperamentally 'aginners.' And perhaps the commonest characteristic among them is anger. They can fairly be called, if nothing else, the Rampageous Right."

Alan Barth, New York Times, November 26, 1961
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 12:30PM #9
PaulaEdwina
Posts: 1,720
I even tried to pray myself lesbian over an extended period of time in my late teens/early 20s. No dice. I'm not even a .5 on Kinsey's scale.

ROTFLMAO!  I know what you mean, Bette. Not liking men (as in not being able to have a good relationship with one) is not a default for lesbianism. I told my dad that if I were lesbian he'd have grandchildren. Why? I understand women, and my lesbian friends tell me I'm hot (to them). Too bad the fundies are wrong; I can't for the life of me find that lesbo-conversion button.

As for the porn issue; I love watching men have sex with men.

Paula
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 15, 2008 - 12:41PM #10
thefish
Posts: 1,534
Count me in on that too.  I have prayed to change...but alas, I'm still into penises...for the life of me, I can't understand why...because they usually turn out to be "dicks".  ; )

Peace
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