Sunday, January 18, 2015

Crazed > Desire

What first sparked my lust for Jon was an incredibly powerful exchange of extended eye contact the third time we met.  Because he hadn't really been on my radar until that moment, I was stunned - and incredibly turned on - when his eyes reached deep inside me and held me captive.

The incident was so exhilarating, and so deeply erotic, that afterward I wondered if what I felt was fantasy.  But over the course of several more meetings, our eyes kept meeting and lingering, and he said and did things that seemed to imply he was interested in me.

One of the more provocative things he did was tell me about the sexual relationship he had with a male friend in high school.  He explained that their cue to each other when they wanted to fool around was to raise their eyebrow.  That was all it took; no words.

When he told me that story I wondered if he was being clever.  He obviously knew about our numerous incidents of provocative eye contact.  Why not play the same non-verbal game with me that he did with his high school friend?

But then there were other things he did that were dismissive.  For example, a short time after he told me about his high school friend I gave him my contact information, yet he never contacted me.  And the last time I saw him, I asked if he was planning to stay longer at the party we were attending, and he said he was, but instead he left minutes later without saying goodbye.

The last three months have been a long and frustrating roller coaster ride with Jon.  I'm constantly wondering if I'm delusional or if he's genuinely interested in me. Unfortunately, I haven't seen him in more than a month and I have no idea when I'll see him again.

Well, a few days ago I thought of a great excuse to email him (and not seem like a stalker since I got his address from a mutual friend and not directly from him).  Given the uncertainty of the situation I played it safe in my email, except for one double-entente, flirtatious sentence.

His reply was polite, much in the same way a co-worker's would be.  He did not respond to my flirtatious sentence, instead he ignored it.  And he let our email conversation drop after just one exchange.  So now I have my answer; actions really do speak louder than words.  He's not interested.  I get it.

What I don't get are all his flirtatious non-verbal signals.  I did not imagine them.  Jon's a smart guy.  When he stares into my eyes, he knows what he's doing.  I suppose there's a chance that such intense eye contact is not sensual for him, but that seems unlikely.  

What frustrates me is that I try very hard to avoid these kinds of disappointing situations. I always assume no one is interested in me until their actions prove otherwise.  Jon's actions, including telling me about his high school friend, were unquestionably suggestive.  Did he lead me on?  Or am I fool?  Some of both, probably.

Anyway, what matters now is not how this experience turned out, but how I deal with it.  

One of the major reasons I've been celibate for more than two years is that I can't take rejection.  When I reach out to someone and they ignore or dismiss me, it cuts me to the core and spawns a multi-week cyclone of depression and self-hatred. If I was 14, that kind of response would be normal, but since I'm 48, it's pathetic.

Once again and true to form, as soon as I realized that Jon was not interested in me, I plunged into depression.  I cursed every aspect of my life, then hated myself even more for being so immature.  The self-loathing was very intense, probably made all the worse because I had several months to figure this out without making this mistake.

After falling into the pit of negativity and self-hate, I really thought I was going to be stuck there for weeks.  But much to my surprise, by mid-morning of the following day I was already feeling better.  My mood improved even more once I realized that my relatively quick bounce-back implied that, maybe, I could try dating again.

I wish I knew what caused my state of mind to shift from negative to positive so abruptly, but I honestly have no clue.  Exercise might be a factor.

Unfortunately, the good news of feeling more motivated to date again was quickly eclipsed.  Something Gabbie did the next day soured that hard-won taste of happiness.  I'll share what happened in my next post.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Flexible Sexuality Test

When you're not exclusively attracted to one gender or the other, it can sometimes be difficult to describe your sexuality.  Love and sex can be complicated.  Sometimes they're connected...sometimes they're not.  That division might be gender-related - or it might because you naturally connect to certain people but not others.  Or your attractions might bounce all over the place.  Or they might come in waves.

Or, or, or...really, the possibilities are endless.

Those endless possibilities are probably the reason that no test or rating scale has been created that captures the many intricacies of not-straight sexuality.  The gray area of the Kinsey Scale is vast and human attractions aren't always simple or easily defined.

Well, I recently stumbled across a website that attempts to clarify the murky area that lies between a Kinsey Zero (strictly heterosexual) and a Kinsey Six (strictly homosexual).  The site is called Flexuality: A blog about human sexuality.

It's an interactive site that encourages you to anonymously answer about 25 questions.  Your responses are then tabulated and displayed on two different scales, Sexual Orientation and Sexual Traits.

The site and the "Flexuality Test" were developed by Dr. James W. Hicks, a psychiatrist, published author (50 Signs of Mental Illness) and medical school professor.  

While Dr. Hicks doesn't promote himself as a sex expert, I'd still say his test is worth taking, if only for the fun of it.

Here's my result:

If my "Sexual Traits" came out as something more interesting than 'slightly transitioning' I might find that result more enlightening.  But that's not what happened.  So, for that reason, I found the second graph to be pretty meaningless.  On a more positive note, I'd like to meet people with high supersexual, macho or restrained scores - mostly to see if those qualities are obvious or subtle.  I suspect they're obvious.

The "Sexual Orientation" graph is a good conversation starter.  To understand it I had to reference Dr Hicks' definitions for three categories:

If you are similarly sexually aroused by both women and men, then you are ambisexual. This is the simplest, classic type of bisexuality: a “Kinsey 3” on the heterosexual-homosexual seven-point scale. The prefix in the word ambisexual puts the emphasis more specifically on the equivalence of desire for both men and women, as distinct from other manifestations of bisexuality, though you may also feel comfortable calling yourself bisexual. The term “AC-DC” has been applied to those who derive equal sexual satisfaction from both sexes, or you might refer to your desires as “50-50.”

Ambisexual is probably the most natural condition, the one that would emerge most commonly if society did not so strongly encourage heterosexuality and pathologize homosexual desire, skewing the bell curve that would otherwise define a population’s erotic tastes.

If you are ambisexual, you may be attracted to men and women in more or less the same ways. You fantasize about both. You physically enjoy sex with both. You might fall in love with both, though that is more common in the flexamorous type. You are independent enough in your thinking, and free of sexual guilt and prejudice, to be able to recognize your natural attractions to both sexes and not suppress either.
You are flexamorous if you are capable of having romantic relationships with both men and women. In contrast to those who are ambisexual, you do not necessarily view your sexual desires as equally strong in both directions. You view each relationship, whether with a man or a woman, on its own terms. You do not define yourself by the gender of your partner, even to the extent of asserting an equal interest in both. You fall in love for a variety of reasons, and sexual excitement is not the defining condition. You are sexually compatible with both men and women, but the sexual component in your relationships may have more to do with physical comfort and affection rather than intense sexual desire.

Flexamorous sexuality is a more common presentation among women than men. Many women who do not define themselves assertively as bisexual nevertheless consider themselves capable of falling in love with both men and women. Perhaps this reflects a cultural expectation that men are primarily interested in sex and women in relationships. In either case, for men or women, this category places greater value on falling in love with an individual, regardless of his or her gender.

This category also captures men and women who may have never questioned their sexuality, and who continue to have sexual desires for the opposite sex, but who have found themselves unexpectedly in love with someone of the same sex.
If you are young or engaged in political and academic discourse about sexuality, you may prefer to identify yourself as queer rather than as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. By calling yourself queer, you challenge the idea that heterosexuality is normative, you imply that the gay-straight and male-female binaries are overly simplistic and restricting, and you assert political solidarity with others who resist being judged on the basis of their sexual preferences or gender identification. You may consider yourself post-gay and beyond labeling. You are open to exploring sexual feelings for the opposite sex.

If you are queer, others might view you as simply gay or bisexual, but your choice of terminology reflects the value you place on the potential for change and variation in sexual matters and your reluctance to fix a restrictive label on complex erotic tastes, emotional ties, gender roles, and behaviors. If you are primarily attracted to members of the same sex, you may identify as queer to reflect your own commitment to remaining flexible, or you may call yourself homoflexible.

Some who identify as queer also feel more comfortable thinking of themselves as androgynous or are attracted to men and women who are not typically masculine or feminine. In that sense, queers reject gender roles and stereotypes as well as fixed sexual orientations.
As I think about the test's questions, my answers and how I've actually experienced my attractions, the results seem reasonably accurate, except that I'm much more flexamorous than ambisexual.  Those scores are backward.  I'm willing to have oral and vaginal sex with women but I don't fantasize about them very often.  For me, sex with a woman will only happen again if the woman is aggressive - and if there's absolutely no chance that fooling around will lead to a relationship.

The more I think about these definitions, the more I realize they're fodder for another post.  SO many "bi" married men say their attraction to men has intensified as they've aged that the idea is now accepted as gospel.  That's not been my experience so I feel like a lonely outlier.  Concepts like being flexamorous or homoflexible, on the other hand, resonate with me.

More about that later.

If any of ya'll want to take the Flexuality Test and post your thoughts about it here, that would be appreciated.  Thanks in advance for sharing.