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  1. #71
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I read the article and its comments more carefully, and there is a consistent problem with taking anecdotal evidence and conflating it into universal assumptions.
    Indeed.

    It is quite difficult to answer the underlying question in this topic: To what extent do males who are gay benefit from male privilege? This is a complex question without a single answer I suspect.
    Is it even a question worth asking?
    I would have said that until quite recently, it was a fear of a loss of privilege/status/acceptance that kept gay men leading tortured existences in the closet. If it is now possible for them to come out without losing those things, I call that progress, since it points to increased tolerance, and that has to be good for everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    I think a lot of these "gay" men are just pretending to be gay in order to get closer to women and be able to do things to them they normally wouldn't be able to get away with
    That happens for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    I would think that in some gay men effeminacy is an affection. I mean that, I don't think "effeminacy" and being attracted to men are linked. Most of the gay men I'm friends with don't fit the idea of the flamboyant gay man.
    Just because not all gay men are effeminate, doesn't mean that where they are it's an affectation. There are effeminate straight men too. And feminine lesbians (as well as butch ones). Given this variety, your next statement doesn't ring true.

    Since society has a sort of a stereotypical mold for what a gay man looks/acts/sounds like I would think that some guys out their feel like they have to imitate that to fit in. Just like some women feel they have to imitate certain ideas of femininity.

    I'm probably biased though. Most "feminine" traits ring false to me coming from women let alone men. It's probably that I "just don't get it".
    I don't really get it either, but I don't doubt it can be an authentic way of being.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    I think the most interesting part of the original article was the suggestion (implicit, but there nonetheless, I think) that effeminacy in gay men - the quality that makes them feel as though it's more okay for them to touch women's bodies and blah blah blah, like "one of the girls" - is not natural. It's unconscious conforming to heterosexist categories in which it's recognized that because of the power imbalance between men and women, it is not okay for a straight male to in any way avail himself of a woman's body, but since a gay male is 'like a woman' in a sense, it is perfectly inoffensive for him to touch a woman's body like an equal.
    I didn't pick up on that ( if it's there at all). Anyway, the reason it's not ok for a straight male to "avail himself" of a woman is not as subtle as a recognition of power imbalance, it's because of the very real threat of rape/sexual assault, which (the assumption is) doesn't exist with gay men or women.


    There are clear cultural (as well as individual) variations in what is considered normal or acceptable in terms of personal space violations. You might shake someone's hand in one country as a greeting, bow in another or kiss them 4 times in yet another. I see the discomfort some women have expressed here in that light - just a clash of cultural norms. I personally have never had the inclination to go to a gay club/bar, simply because that scene isn't appealing to me and I might well be sending the wrong messages just by being there. When in Rome...
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  2. #72
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Indeed.

    Is it even a question worth asking?
    I would have said that until quite recently, it was a fear of a loss of privilege/status/acceptance that kept gay men leading tortured existences in the closet. If it is now possible for them to come out without losing those things, I call that progress, since it points to increased tolerance, and that has to be good for everyone.

    That happens for sure.

    Just because not all gay men are effeminate, doesn't mean that where they are it's an affectation. There are effeminate straight men too. And feminine lesbians (as well as butch ones). Given this variety, your next statement doesn't ring true.

    I don't really get it either, but I don't doubt it can be an authentic way of being.

    I didn't pick up on that ( if it's there at all). Anyway, the reason it's not ok for a straight male to "avail himself" of a woman is not as subtle as a recognition of power imbalance, it's because of the very real threat of rape/sexual assault, which (the assumption is) doesn't exist with gay men or women.


    There are clear cultural (as well as individual) variations in what is considered normal or acceptable in terms of personal space violations. You might shake someone's hand in one country as a greeting, bow in another or kiss them 4 times in yet another. I see the discomfort some women have expressed here in that light - just a clash of cultural norms. I personally have never had the inclination to go to a gay club/bar, simply because that scene isn't appealing to me and I might well be sending the wrong messages just by being there. When in Rome...
    Did you miss the "some". "Some gay men", "some women"

  3. #73
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    When I think about inappropriate critiques / breast squeezing, these two immediately come to mind. Check out the insanely mixed messages in the intro to this show: "love your breasts!" "your boobs look like shit!" I don't really understand how they don't get lamped.
    That was hilarious and awesome.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  4. #74
    Senior Member bedeviled1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Ok, so it seems that these days a lot of women make out with other women (to whom they are not sexually attracted) because this is generally accepted as exhibitionism of a heterosexually appropriate variety. Yeah...go figure. Blame porn.
    Actually, this is one of the best examples of men genuinely owning women's bodies, or more explicitly, their sexuality. A lot of young women seem to think that sexuality is about "being sexy" about performance and appearance rather than a genuine connection with or expression of their own sexual desire. It's a deeply tragic state of affairs.

    I certainly do not believe that men are inherently less flexible in this regard. If anything, they are probably more flexible (since sex is often more mechanical for them). Just think about Ancient Greek pederasts or the behaviour of "straight" men in prison, and you will see a "flexibility" that is unrivalled. However, (perhaps because of this flexibility) they are more constrained by society about how they go about expressing their sexuality. Which often leaves them very conflicted and fucked up. Just the other week here another young man murdered a bartender he met and confided in about his homoerotic desires, they had sex, then he killed him. It's hard to imagine a woman being similarly distressed about homoerotic desires, but then women are encouraged to express any and all sexual desire - even when they don't feel it.


    More mechanical for them...and, I have you know, I am pretty dang flexible for a...uhumm...middle aged guy.
    "May you live all the days of your life"

  5. #75
    Senior Member bedeviled1's Avatar
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    Beauty is also in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone likes Fords, chocolate ice cream and Seinfeld. To each his own. Everone will not like or even see your qualities. The ones that genuinely do are worth your time and effort as friends.
    Ps.
    Sorry for wandering from the topic.
    "May you live all the days of your life"

  6. #76
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I certainly do not believe that men are inherently less flexible in this regard. If anything, they are probably more flexible (since sex is often more mechanical for them). Just think about Ancient Greek pederasts or the behaviour of "straight" men in prison, and you will see a "flexibility" that is unrivalled. However, (perhaps because of this flexibility) they are more constrained by society about how they go about expressing their sexuality. Which often leaves them very conflicted and fucked up.
    While I agree that cultural forces place more limitations on men expressing same-sex attraction, I think that studies generally show that men are less flexible than women. For example, one study shows that women tend to be turned on by videos showing a sexual situation regardless of the gender of those involved, while men only do so if someone of the gender they are attracted to is visible (which makes sense, considering men are more visually oriented sexually than women are).

    Other studies shows that women tend to be more bisexual the greater their sex drive, while men tend to be more monosexual the greater their sex drive:

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia-Bisexuality
    Recent research suggests that, for most women, high sex drive is associated with increased sexual attraction to both women and men. For men, however, high sex drive is associated with increased attraction to one sex or the other, but not to both, depending on sexual orientation.[52] Similarly for most bisexual women, high sex drive is associated with increased sexual attraction to both women and men; while for bisexual men, high sex drive is associated with increased attraction to one sex, and weakened attraction to the other.
    Other longitudinal studies (like this one) show that women tends to be more fluid in their sexuality over their lifespan.

    Again, I agree that some expression of bisexuality (and homosexuality) in men gets squashed by cultural factors, but I think current research is pretty clear that women are more flexible sexually than men, on average. Of course with all these studies, we're talking about correlations, so they don't say much about specific individuals.

  7. #77
    Senior Member bedeviled1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Indeed.

    Is it even a question worth asking?
    I would have said that until quite recently, it was a fear of a loss of privilege/status/acceptance that kept gay men leading tortured existences in the closet. If it is now possible for them to come out without losing those things, I call that progress, since it points to increased tolerance, and that has to be good for everyone.

    That happens for sure.

    Just because not all gay men are effeminate, doesn't mean that where they are it's an affectation. There are effeminate straight men too. And feminine lesbians (as well as butch ones). Given this variety, your next statement doesn't ring true.

    I don't really get it either, but I don't doubt it can be an authentic way of being.

    I didn't pick up on that ( if it's there at all). Anyway, the reason it's not ok for a straight male to "avail himself" of a woman is not as subtle as a recognition of power imbalance, it's because of the very real threat of rape/sexual assault, which (the assumption is) doesn't exist with gay men or women.


    There are clear cultural (as well as individual) variations in what is considered normal or acceptable in terms of personal space violations. You might shake someone's hand in one country as a greeting, bow in another or kiss them 4 times in yet another. I see the discomfort some women have expressed here in that light - just a clash of cultural norms. I personally have never had the inclination to go to a gay club/bar, simply because that scene isn't appealing to me and I might well be sending the wrong messages just by being there. When in Rome...

    " the reason its not ok for a straight man to 'avail himself'...its because of the very real threat of rape..."

    Hmmm. First, that's not the reason a straight male shouldn't treat a woman like a whore.
    Second, are you defending such actions of gay men?

    "When in Rome..."


    Third. The place of this inapropriate "touching" was not in another country so defending this behaviour is equally wrong.
    "May you live all the days of your life"

  8. #78
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    ^No. And I can't be bothered to explain myself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    Again, I agree that some expression of bisexuality (and homosexuality) in men gets squashed by cultural factors, but I think current research is pretty clear that women are more flexible sexually than men, on average.
    I've seen that stupid arousal study cited countless times. It doesn't prove anything at all about the sexual orientation of women. There are so many problems with it I don't even know where to start, so I won't bother. I'll just counter with a whole bunch of studies that directly contradict your assertion. In the initial study 37% of men experienced homosexual orgasm (compared to just 13% of women) of which only 4% claimed to be exclusively homosexual. That means ~1 in 3 men are pretty damned flexible.
    Over time, as cultural norms have changed, more women report homosexual experiences than in the past, but men are still overwhelmingly better represented.
    If we extend the scope of sexuality to cover perversions - like bestiality, pedophilia, necrophilia, etc - do you still hold to your assertion that women's sexuality is more "flexible"?
    You also see plenty of evidence for male sexual ambiguity in the animal kingdom - suggesting biological, rather than cultural origins. I think the (on average) greater strength of the sex drive in males, coupled with the largely mechanical nature of sexual stimulation and orgasm accounts for much of it.
    I'll grant that women's sexuality is more complex (biologically speaking), and I'll grant that women are more likely to use sex as currency (without arousal being a condition of exchange) but I do not accept than women are inherently more sexually ambiguous / fluid than men are and neither does an unbiased examination of the literature support such a view.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  9. #79
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    ^No. And I can't be bothered to explain myself.I've seen that stupid arousal study cited countless times. It doesn't prove anything at all about the sexual orientation of women. There are so many problems with it I don't even know where to start, so I won't bother. I'll just counter with a whole bunch of studies that directly contradict your assertion. In the initial study 37% of men experienced homosexual orgasm (compared to just 13% of women) of which only 4% claimed to be exclusively homosexual. That means ~1 in 3 men are pretty damned flexible.
    Over time, as cultural norms have changed, more women report homosexual experiences than in the past, but men are still overwhelmingly better represented.
    If we extend the scope of sexuality to cover perversions - like bestiality, pedophilia, necrophilia, etc - do you still hold to your assertion that women's sexuality is more "flexible"?
    You also see plenty of evidence for male sexual ambiguity in the animal kingdom - suggesting biological, rather than cultural origins. I think the (on average) greater strength of the sex drive in males, coupled with the largely mechanical nature of sexual stimulation and orgasm accounts for much of it.
    I'll grant that women's sexuality is more complex (biologically speaking), and I'll grant that women are more likely to use sex as currency (without arousal being a condition of exchange) but I do not accept than women are inherently more sexually ambiguous / fluid than men are and neither does an unbiased examination of the literature support such a view.
    Yeah, I actually read an article in Psychology Today recently that suggested the original arousal study was flawed because it was only capable of measuring vaginal arousal and not clitoral arousal, and there is evidence elsewhere that clitoral arousal is more...discriminatory than vaginal arousal.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  10. #80
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I've seen that stupid arousal study cited countless times. It doesn't prove anything at all about the sexual orientation of women. There are so many problems with it I don't even know where to start, so I won't bother. I'll just counter with a whole bunch of studies that directly contradict your assertion. In the initial study 37% of men experienced homosexual orgasm (compared to just 13% of women) of which only 4% claimed to be exclusively homosexual. That means ~1 in 3 men are pretty damned flexible.
    If you are arguing that men (in general) don't always employ a great deal of judgment or require a great deal of emotional investment when horny, then that's pretty demonstrable. I'm certainly not arguing that men are more cautious sexually, or won't (in certain states) get off about any way they can.

    I was referring to the prevalence of same sex-attraction and bisexuality, and specifically that women's sexual orientation (and attraction) seems to be more fluid over the lifespan. For example, one longitudinal study (of which there are precious few) demonstrates that:

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond
    Among the women who identified as lesbian at Tl, 70% acknowledged attractions to both sexes at that time, despite their predominant interest in women. By the fourth interview, all of the Tl lesbians acknowledged occasional attractions to men. Thus, consistent with studies cited earlier, nonexclusive attractions were the norm rather than the exception among these young women. A similar pattern emerged for sexual behavior: Nearly two thirds of the Tl lesbians ended up having sexual contact with at least one man in the ensuing 8 years.
    aa
    Looking at The Social Organization of Sexuality, page 295, there are also fairly clear signs that women's sexuality is more fluid in adulthood: If you look at reported same-gender partners after 18 years of age, men and women report fairly similar percentages (approx 5% men, vs 4% women). However, the percentages are fairly different for same-gender partners reported at any age (approx 7% men, vs approx 4% women). Conversely, if you look at same-sex partners in past 5 years, it's approx 4% men vs 2% women. Therefore, it looks like most of the men who report having a same sex partner after 18 have had a same sex partner in the past 5 years (5% vs 4%), while for women it's a more significant difference (5% vs 2%). Also, homosexual : bisexual identity ratios are higher for men (2.5:1) than for women (1.8:1).

    Also, (looking at p300-302) if you look at people who answered yes to having experienced non-straight desire, and/or identity after the age of 18, people who reported having at least one of the three: 22% of men reported having only same-sex behavior, vs 13% of women. Conversely, 59% of women vs 44% of men answered having desire only (without behavior or non-straight identity). 15% of men vs 24% of women reported having all three. 6% of men and 13% of women report having behavior and desire without identity.

    So, I think there are few interesting things there. First, men are more likely to have participated in homosexual behavior without reporting homosexual desire or identity. Secondly, women are more likely to have reported same sex desire (only) without acting on it. Finally, women are more likely to have same-sex attractions and behavior without an associated identity.

    So, men are more likely to have had a same-sex sexual experience before 18 than women, but after 18, a same sex experience for men seems correlated with a recent same-sex partner. This is much less the case for women, which seems to indicate a more fluid adult sexual identity over time.


    Then, looking at an attempt to reproduce the sexual arousal study, the study used VPA (vaginal pulse amplitude), which has reasonably high construct validity. In order to reject VPA's construct validity, one would have to come up with an alternative explanation for increased vaginal pulse that correlated with sexually explicit visual material, but had little to do with being sexually aroused.

    There are some interesting things here "One striking difference between female and male genital arousal data is that there is a much lower concordance between genital and self-reported subjective arousal measures for women than for men (Chivers, Seto, Lalumiere, Laan, & Grimbos, 2006). That is, when men are genitally aroused, they usually report that they are subjectively aroused as well. This is substantially less true for women. We do not currently understand why this unlinking of genital and subjective sexual arousal occurs in women."

    The study also included trans women, and found a male-like response pattern (that is, high genital response to videos that included their preferred sexual partner gender). This study did not find a bisexual sexual around patter, but a later study did find out, by using a better metric for bisexual (which helped weed those claiming a bisexual identity without having had a significant relationship with someone of each gender).

    Again, this study replicated the earlier study's finding that men are aroused by depictions by their preferred sex in sexual situations, while women are turned on more generally. Note that reports of conscious arousal were closer to what would be expected (although women still showed greater conscious arousal to their non-preferred sex than men did, even if not nearly to the degree of the VPA results.)

    All this fits well with my personal experience (which I admit is in the realm of anecdotes), since I have met a number of one-time lesbians who have ended up with men as spouses (sometimes still identifying as lesbian or queer). I have met fewer men who have transitioned from same-sex relationship to a long term opposite-sex relationship (although I have known a few).

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Over time, as cultural norms have changed, more women report homosexual experiences than in the past, but men are still overwhelmingly better represented.
    More men are non-straight in general, but of the non-straights, a greater proportion of men identify as homosexual rather than bisexual (compared to women), and a greater proportion show a more fixed sexual identity after the age of 18.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    If we extend the scope of sexuality to cover perversions - like bestiality, pedophilia, necrophilia, etc - do you still hold to your assertion that women's sexuality is more "flexible"?
    Again, I was more referring to sexual orientation. I think I conceded the point that horny men often show little judgment (esp young horny men).

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    You also see plenty of evidence for male sexual ambiguity in the animal kingdom - suggesting biological, rather than cultural origins. I think the (on average) greater strength of the sex drive in males, coupled with the largely mechanical nature of sexual stimulation and orgasm accounts for much of it.
    While other species are interesting, I think generalizing across species is pretty fraught. I agree, once again, that men show less discretion, in general. However, I think that doesn't necessarily say much about sexual orientation in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I'll grant that women's sexuality is more complex (biologically speaking), and I'll grant that women are more likely to use sex as currency (without arousal being a condition of exchange) but I do not accept than women are inherently more sexually ambiguous / fluid than men are and neither does an unbiased examination of the literature support such a view.
    I disagree here. I really don't have a big ideological investment in this, but both my personal experience (yes: anecdote! I know) and what I've run across in various studies, indicates that women's sexual orientation and identity tends to be more fluid over the life span. Perhaps there's a greater mental/emotional component for women that mediates conscious sexual attraction and desire and that explains part of it. Certainly women report being more about "the person" and less focused on looks and sex acts than men do.

    I say this as a pretty monosexual (Kinsey 7-ish, I suppose) gay male, but one who is distressingly lesbian-esque when it comes to needing a personal connection. I blame the INFP.

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