In an extended, but thoughtful, rant today on human sexuality, R.S. McCain questions our modern notion of sexual expression:
. . . with the Desire Is Destiny theory of sexuality, promulgated so relentlessly (first by Kinsey, then by Hugh Hefner, and then by damned near everybody) that we cannot think about sex in any other terms. What is overlooked is that this liberationist theory denies the power of human will and human choice. If we desire someone, the liberationist argument would have us believe, we must act on that desire or else suffer psychological trauma as a result of the (harmful) repression of our desire. The only “moral” standard by which any such pursuit may be judged is whether the resulting sexual encounter is between consenting adults.
Read the whole thing. I don’t say that because I agree with everything Stacy has to say, but believe he has made an important contribution to the current debate begun when allegations were leveled against a certain presidential candidate’s spouse. And, well, given his style, it’s always a delight to read his posts. (Familiar with his puckish nature, I know that he seeks to engage rather than offend.)
We do have a choice. And sometimes in refusing to act on our desires, we strengthen another bond, a bond which often helps secure our own happiness. Frustrated desire does not necessarily make us miserable.
His critique of the modern notion of Desire as Destiny dovetails nicely with my thoughts on the fluidity of our sexuality. Both of us take us issue with societal assumptions about sexuality. He that we need indulge our every desire, I, that our sexual orientation is fixed. For some of us, it may well be, but it’s important to keep an open mind about these things.
How many of us know straight men who, like the linked blogger, are attracted to numerous women, yet choose to be faithful to just one? A good number of such folk find that fidelity conducive to a good life, a happy life. Is it possible then that a man could be attracted to other men yet find happiness in a monogamous union with a woman, even if that relationship lacks the sexual spice of many different-sex unions?
At the same time, many gay men and lesbians, while remaining attracted to many of their own sex, find happiness in monogamous unions with same-sex peers. And some, it seems, who once delighted in same-sex sexual exploits, find happiness in a monogamous bond with a member of the opposite sex. And perhaps even vice versa.