This post was originally published at therationalqueer.wordpress.com.
As an exercise in full disclosure, I want to make sure my own sexuality is clear, so that the careful reader can understand and weigh the biases which I may bring to the table in my analyses, even against my sincerest efforts. I generally don’t identify with a sexuality. I don’t come out to new acquaintances with “I’m gay” or “I’m bi,” but rather make references to past boyfriends, LGBTQ groups I’ve belonged to, or just letting others come to their own conclusions based on observations of my social life and behavior. As a Kinsey 4-5, I find it difficult to label myself as gay, but bisexual doesn’t perfectly fit either. Instead of trying to label myself, I’ll stick to “queer” (which is the very essence of a non-label), and describe my attractions and history and let you come to your own conclusions. Note: I am male.
I’m broadly attracted to men. Young men, old[er] men, short men, average-height men, light men, swarthy men, dark men, hairy men, smooth men, skinny men, buff men, average men, asian men, black men, hispanic men, white men, dominant men, passive men. The list is long, but it obviously isn’t comprehensive. I don’t like all men. I am afflicted with the near-universal affliction of non-universal attraction. Old men, fat men, very tall men, and men with certain facial features are very rarely attractive to me. Nonetheless, I have a broad and pervasive attraction to the male gender. Men as a whole attract me, and not merely specific subtypes.
I am not broadly attracted to women. This is probably a function of the fact that women don’t fall very centrally on the variability of men. I tend to find women who are swarthier (read: non-neotenous in the context of evolutionary sexual selection), more assertive, and deeper-voiced to be the most attractive. I am significantly less attracted to hairy women and women taller or heavier than myself, however, but these last may be more a function of socialization than anything else. Basically, I like women that skew manly. Facetiously, my being attracted to a woman is often a good indication that she isn’t attracted to men, if I can be pardoned the manly lesbian stereotype.
I have not discovered any consistent trends in my attraction to those not falling easily into the gender binary, other than I generally don’t find the intersex, transgender, or genderqueer attractive. But exceptions exist, particularly among FtMs.
Since there is a distinction, I should clarify that my romantic and physical attractions are very similar. My romantic attractions tend to skew closer to my own age, height, attractiveness, intelligence, and socio-economic status.
My Sexual History
Despite very pleasurable consensual encounters with all kinds of people who happen to be men, women, or other, I have had overwhelmingly more male partners. This stems from the above, wherein I’m more attracted to men: if a rational agent likes Y twice as much as he likes X, it does NOT follow that he will “consume” (to borrow the economic jargon) twice as many Y as X, but rather that he will consume as many Ys as it takes for the Law of Diminishing Margin Utility to reduce the marginal utility of one more of Y to that of the first X. Forgive the cold, calculating jargon, but this is the rational queer, after all, and not the emotional one.
But perhaps more importantly, Rollo Tomassi’s Sexual Marketplace analysis makes it clear that I, as a man in my early 20s, am not particularly attractive to women. This certainly has an effect on why I’ve had comparatively few female partners. At any rate, take my disclosures in stride, and please steer clear of bisexual erasure.
My Power Orientation
This is slightly off the topic of my sexuality, but it is definitely at least as important towards the goal of full disclosure. Power orientation is the term I use to describe the power dynamic that an individual seeks out. It can be applied to anyone, but it is most useful in contexts where a power dynamic isn’t a given, i.e. BDSM and LGBTQ ones v. heteronormative ones.
I generally identify as a vers/top, whenever that is appropriate (read: Grindr, adam4adam, etc.). On the scale of top::vers/top::versatile::vers/btm::bottom, vers/top signifies that I pursue individuals either on a shared-power level or on an unequal level where I wield more power and control. There has been a pronounced secular trend towards more dominance from a vers/btm orientation over the years of my sexual activity. This whole topic deserves and will get a post of its own.