Sebastian Zearing

how to be progressive without being a stupid liberal

Tag Archives: behavior

Power Orientation

This post was originally published at therationalqueer.wordpress.com.

Power orientation is an aspect of one’s sexuality that is reminiscent of, yet decisively separate from, what is classically known as one’s sexual orientation. Sexual orientation demarcates the gender(s)/sex(es) one finds sexually arousing. Romantic orientation is also often bundled with sexual orientation, even though it relates to higher-level emotional arousal and attraction. Power orientation is, broadly, the degree to which one seeks to direct a sexual encounter. And just like sexual orientation, it can be paired with a higher-level orientation that relates to romance and pair-bonding, rather than just sex: one can enjoy (or be unaware that one might enjoy) directing or being directed in a relationship. Power orientation undoubtedly has many correlates, but the one most clearly bespoken by the gay community is penetration. Power orientation varies from dominant to submissive, where in the gay community dominant partners are very likely to be “tops” who are the insertive partners in anal sex and submissive partners are very likely to be “bottoms” who are the receptive partners in anal sex. Furthermore, an even larger portion of the gay population may very well be “versatile” and enjoy both aspects of penetration. (And of course some gay men refuse to engage in anal sex altogether.) Still, though the correlation between power orientation and penetration exists, they remain distinct things: one is a personality trait, the other a behavior.

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Should

This post was originally published at therationalqueer.wordpress.com.

The Problem

A Nice Guy says “I should have a girlfriend by now.” A Feminist says “You’re not entitled to any woman!” A tirade ensues.

The misunderstanding lies in the multiplicity of meanings of the word “should.” It¬†generally means one of three things:

  1. There’s the deontological “should”: “You should respect everyone without regard to their ethnicity.”
  2. There’s the utilitarian “should”: “You should invest in Vanguard index funds.”
  3. And there’s the rarer epistemic “should”: “You should be fine after drinking lots of water and resting.”

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My Sexuality

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.

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