So the whole debate yesterday about sexuality and gender got me thinking. Now this is just a bit stream of consciousness and I'm not a dilettante so by all means if you're read up on this kind of thing tell me I'm wrong.
I don't have a strong opinion eitehr way but think there's an interesting debate to be had on ''post-sexuality'' (if we should even call it that).
So if we agree that sexuality isn't just the trinity of straight/gay/bi and gender definition is much more flexible that male/female/trans (which I do) then surely the debate yesterday about acceptance homosexuality etc can be extended into all other sexual practices and preferences.
(And let's assume we're always talking about consentual practices here).
Is liking people of the same sex any more or less different than people finding all sorts of different things sexual? And are there not sexual preferences that are considered more controversial nowadays than homosexuality? Now homosexuals have suffered more persecution over the years than people with sexual fetishes so I'm not trying to draw a parallel, just using it as a jumping off point after yesterday's debate into a discussion about socially acceptable sexual preference.
So, starting at the shallow end, what about people who like big girls? I bet (and I've seen) comments on DiS would be quite derogatory and insulting if someone said ''I like fat women'' - much more so than if a guy said ''I'm gay''.
How about female body hair? Remember the shit storm that erupted around the girls who said they didn't shave and the guys who said they liked it?
Going further - what about fetishes? People being dominant or submissive. Girls who like being used and called sluts. People who like being tied up and whipped, girls who like to play rape, girls who like to be hit - and I mean hard, in the face, so it bruises. (Which also gets into the feminist debate about such things, like when that fetish blog was posted here, and I know guys also like those things but the female angle is seen as more... controversial) and things like cutting, water sports etc etc.
These scenes exist and the people on it tend to be fairly secretive unless they are in certain places surrounded by people with similar interests. They might well not be ''out and proud'' and prob wouldn't drop it into casual conversation at work or down the pub.
In fact, often if it got out that thay liked doing these entirly legal things they could even lose their jobs (they could be teachers, lawyers, doctors etc), something that certainly would not happen if someone came out as gay. They would be classed as perverts and that is actually a word that is being reclaimed by that scene, just in the same way homosexuality was classed as perverted and words like queer have been reclaimed.
Are these not all parts of human sexuality we should be embracing and even promoting just like homosexuality? Is there a difference? Are some things just sick and wrong and unnatural - What about (consensual) incest? But surely that's what used to be said about homosexuality which was considered so wrong it was illegal not all that long ago. Do you think at the turn of the 20th Century gay people would have imagined that within a couple of generations that not only would it be legal but also (generally) accepted in the mainstream?
So in summary, are preferences in relation to gender (straight/gay/bi etc) different than other sexual peccadillo's/preferences or are they all just a matter of whatever turns people on and therefore we should accept all kinds of sexual preference in whatever form they take?
tl,dr I know
Sorry if this is all over the place, it's been years since I've written an essay.