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My name is Pam, and I've worked at Condom Shack for 7 years. All I want to do is make the world a happier place, one crotch at a time.

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Kudos to Kinsey

I’ve mentioned previously how bad I am at blogging on a regular basis and I won’t lie, I’ve spent any free time this summer lying in the sun, sitting on patios, and questing out pools for late night swims. I’ve found it harder than usual to get my blog on, but that’s not to say I don’t have lots to talk about. I think my biggest problem is settling on one thing at a time to get my rant on about. But now it’s fall, no more pool hopping for me, and I swear I’m going to do this more often.

A while ago, I saw an Oprah about ‘gay-ness’ that renewed my love of both Oprah, and something called the Kinsey scale. Alfred Kinsey was a doctor who pioneered a ton of research on human sexuality.  His clinical trials gave us much of the information we have regarding female orgasms, arousal phases, and sexual response. The Kinsey institute continues to research any and everything about sexuality; to give us safer, happier sex lives. (Liberation through education!)

This brings us to the Kinsey scale, one of the greatest tools for understanding human sexuality ever created. If you’ve ever wondered why some girls get drunk and make out with other girls...if you’ve ever wondered about the phenomenon of ‘on the down low’ (where straight men receive blowjobs from other men, but don’t consider themselves gay)...if you’ve ever wondered how people can have hetero marriages that last decades, only to ‘realize’ that they’re actually gay...the Kinsey scale will help you understand these seemingly confusing aspects of human sexuality. The Kinsey scale takes away the black and white labels of straight and gay, and replaces them with a vast expanse of grey (or, as shown in this image, shades of pastel).

Society in general loves to label people. Putting people in boxes is just what we do. What’s your age, race, gender, religion, sexual preference? Where do you live, what’s your job? Generalizing people makes them easier to understand, and easier to judge. But by giving people minimal choices by which to identify themselves, we alienate anyone who is not easily labeled. This leads to all kinds of discrimination, for all kinds of reasons.  I think that accepting that we love to put people in boxes is step one, giving ourselves as many little boxes as possible is step two. It doesn’t seem like humans are going to stop labeling and judging each other anytime soon, so let’s just make sure there’s enough little boxes for everyone.

For a painfully large (and politically powerful) part of our population, accepting someone they can’t identify with and understand is really difficult. Have you ever tried to explain to someone who is staunchly heterosexual, that a guy can suck a dick or two on his road to sexual self-discovery, and that doesn’t make him gay? It’s a hard sell. Luckily the Kinsey scale has one safe little box that is 100% heterosexual, just for those uncomfortable with the idea of a non-gender specific sexuality.

 It’s also common for people to identify with different boxes, at different times in their lives (which really explains all that college girl-on-girl experimentation). It’s accepted, even expected, that your tastes in partners will change over your lifetime. As you have relationships, you learn what you do or don’t need/like in a partner, and you grow from that. Why would this learning and growth be limited to one gender when it’s not limited by anything else? It’s not strange to date people of different ages, races, beliefs, careers, etc. over your lifetime. So why does that freedom stop at gender? I think the road to self-discovery should be as broad as possible, with lots of twists, turns, and sidetracking. I’ve never understood the mentality of limiting your human experience with arbitrary rules. By accepting sexuality as fluid, we can expand our horizons as sexual beings. You don’t have to define your sexuality as anything black or white, and you don’t have to define it once for the rest of your life.

Of course, some people will never have any confusion or curiosity about their sexuality. Good for them. Just don’t expect the rest of us to be the same, and my rights should not change with the gender of my partners.

The unfortunate reality of today’s society is that unless you identify as a ‘0’ on the Kinsey scale, your human rights can be compromised.  Basic human rights (like legal marriage, spousal benefits, adoption rights) are different for gay couples in many of the states. That makes this issue so much bigger than just understanding. It shouldn’t matter why, or how, or to what extent people are gay. It’s a reality, and like race or religion, it shouldn’t affect their rights. People are born their race, and choose their religion, but can’t be discriminated against for either. Why is homosexuality any different? I understand that for some people (extreme Christians for example) their ‘Truth’ tells them that homosexuality is a choice, and a sinful one. As much as I respect their right to have their beliefs, I do not respect their ability to affect the lives of people that are not a part of that ‘Truth’. A God I don’t believe in should never be able to affect laws that control my life.

Posted: 11:29, 2009-Sep-29

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