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Thoughts on homo, hetero and bisexuality

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I've been talking to a heterosexual girl the other day and in my attempt to grasp hetero and perhaps homosexuality (I'm bisexual), I ventured to ask this girl what values is she seeking in a man she could love. She mentioned some, such as honesty, tenderness, etc. and then I asked whether she would be attracted to a woman that has the same qualities. She said no, and that she simply does not find these values as attractive in women.

My own position, as a bisexual, is that I do not make that kind of distinction; I find the same values attractive in both men and women. This is why I asked, in a further attempt to understand her distinction, whether that is because many women she knows already possess these values, but again she said no. All in all, she could not explain why she made this kind of distinction between men and women.

I'm a bit at a loss myself here, so I'd like to know if someone already has an answer to this question: why do heterosexual and homosexual people make this kind of distinction? Is this psychological or biological? Is this a choice or predetermination? If you also have some studies that will back up your argument I'd be glad to see them.

Thanks.

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I wish I had some studies to show you, but I have a basic college level understanding of pyschology if that means anything.

My educated guess would be that the distinction is in the physical. Like, I like intelligience and humour in people, but I'm more physically attracted to woman then men so I look for the values I like in the shell I like.

:D

If that makes any sense. By the way, are you male or female?

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As someone who has been bisexual in the past, but whose membership has pretty much lapsed, I've never been able to assign much more meaning to this than to say that it's simply a matter of taste or preference, and probably has a lot more to do with genetics than psychology. Of course, I've always been open minded and willing to try new things, so perhaps a genetic predisposition is not a sufficient condition, but just a necessary one.

I would have to say that while I've enjoyed sex with men and women, there is something about being with someone of the opposite sex that for me is infinitely more satisfying. I think that while most are not, some values are gender-specific (Dan Edge has written extensively and eloquently about this subject in an OO thread). Being with an extremely feminine woman who shares my values and also values me as a masculine man, seems categorically different than being with a man who does not have this capacity. Another way to look at it is that all values, gender-specific and otherwise, come together in a heterosexual encounter, whereas in a homosexual encounter you have all masculinity or all femininity. I suppose the element of psychological visibility is enhanced by being admired by someone who is not of your same gender.

Definitely not a simple issue by any means, but I think the ability to "walk the fence" as the native americans say, only can make life richer.

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I've wondered about this extensively myself. If someone has qualities that I admire and we share the same values, then it is possible to be attracted to them. I think, to some degree, this does occur. There are plently of people whom I admire, but it is simply a platonic attraction, not a sexual one. I find many women attractive because of their values and perhaps their looks, but I never want to pursue a romantic relationship with them. However, the same applies to guys I know. I know a lot of great guys but I don't necessarily want to engage in romance with them. I think it is partly a preference issue. I prefer men, but if I were unable to find any man whom I sexually desired and there was a woman who was perfect in every other respect except her gender, then I could imagine feeling sexually attracted towards her.

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I think that while most are not, some values are gender-specific (Dan Edge has written extensively and eloquently about this subject in an OO thread).
Could you please link to it?

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Could you please link to it?

Perhaps he means Dan's Psycho-Epistemology of Sexuality ones? I really haven't read them but HERE is a link, and in that post of his, are link to Parts 1-5.

I prefer men, but if I were unable to find any man whom I sexually desired and there was a woman who was perfect in every other respect except her gender, then I could imagine feeling sexually attracted towards her.

It's either all or nothing with me now. Even if the male was the most feminine he could be, I still would not touch him sexually, or be attracted to him sexually. I've had some experience in this during my short college dorm experience, and not long after that and even and especially now, I could never see myself doing anything of the like again (pun intended). My philosophy is different than it was then too. I am not afraid to admit the things I did when I was a Satanist, I am secure in who I am now as a man, not to edit any of this out.

Edited by intellectualammo

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My own position, as a bisexual, is that I do not make that kind of distinction; I find the same values attractive in both men and women. This is why I asked, in a further attempt to understand her distinction, whether that is because many women she knows already possess these values, but again she said no. All in all, she could not explain why she made this kind of distinction between men and women.

Well, I'll speak for myself here in saying, that my encounters had to do with hedonism more than anything else. To put it more succinctly (in the words spoken to me by my college roommate) : "A mouth is a mouth, right?" But that misses the entire point, of whose mouth it is. I know that now. I want gender specific values, and gender specific parts along with, as Nathaniel Branden says, "mutual value affinity", and a shared philosophy, and sense of life. I'm not gay, I wasn't bisexual, I was simply a hedonist, a Satanist who just wanted to get off (pardon my language). Where there is choice in the matter, such as in my case, what I was doing wasn't moral (at least now looking back), imo. But I have redeemed myself in a sense. I've come a long way (pun unintended) philosophically, and I never betray my nature in such a manner again, because my code of values has definitely changed. And please, I do not want anyone here to take this in any other sense or context, other than the one that I have presented it in.

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I prefer men, but if I were unable to find any man whom I sexually desired and there was a woman who was perfect in every other respect except her gender, then I could imagine feeling sexually attracted towards her.

I'm confused by this. Do you mean that if there was a man you admired, valued, etc. but did not feel a sexual attraction toward, you could just as easily opt for a woman whom you admired, valued, etc. but did not feel a sexual attraction toward? Also, is sexual attraction a matter of choosing the lesser of evils? I think, should there not be a soul on this earth I were attracted to romantically, a life devoid of sex would be the only rational course of action.

My own position, as a bisexual, is that I do not make that kind of distinction; I find the same values attractive in both men and women.

I think the key issue here is that a woman, no matter how "butch" and no matter how much she denied her essential femininity, could never be masculine. A woman is fundamentally unlike a man. She is not physically, hormonally, or emotionally like a man in any way, and vice versa. So to say you do not make a distinction between men and women is fundamentally flawed. Masculinity, while a value in men, is an impossibility in women, by definition.

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I'm confused by this. Do you mean that if there was a man you admired, valued, etc. but did not feel a sexual attraction toward, you could just as easily opt for a woman whom you admired, valued, etc. but did not feel a sexual attraction toward? Also, is sexual attraction a matter of choosing the lesser of evils? I think, should there not be a soul on this earth I were attracted to romantically, a life devoid of sex would be the only rational course of action.

No, that is not what I meant. If there was a man whom I admired and who shared the same values as I, I would naturally want to pursue a romantic relationship with him.

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I think, should there not be a soul on this earth I were attracted to romantically, a life devoid of sex would be the only rational course of action.

I agree, and I think, should there be a soul on this earth I were attracted to romantically, only a life devoid of sex would be the course of action for me, because I wouldn't settle for anyone less than she, less than the one I'd be in love with. Even in the face of impossiblity, one cannot erase the marks a person has made upon them, I mean the impression they had made upon them. Dare I say, should "someone better come along" the marks would still be there from the first person, but this other woman, may just have the (write) kind of an erasure, so to speak, and those initial marks then may fade in comparison. Until then, the said course of action will, I mean would, continue onward unabated.

Edited by intellectualammo

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I agree, and I think, should there be a soul on this earth I were attracted to romantically, only a life devoid of sex would be the course of action for me, because I wouldn't settle for anyone less than she, less than the one I'd be in love with.

Would you be able to tell between less and different? A person can be very compatible with many other rational people - you just have to find them. I have never thought and stil don't that there is only one person for me somewhere out there but I also do not expect the same. And thinking that way has allowed me to never desperately hang on to another even if I thought they were great - and that was a good thing in my relationships - something which made them healthier.

All kinds of things happen in life, tragedies, loved ones die, we make mistakes, others make mistakes ect, and one has to pick oneself up and move on. It is only your life happiness at stake. I don't consider what you expressing here as heroism. Heroism to me is living your life well, to the fullest, despite obsticles, romantic or otherwise.

Edited by ~Sophia~

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Would you be able to tell between less and different?

My heart beats not a drop of ink for anyone less. I can definately tell. Less, different, same, better, any number of comparisons I can tell.

I have never thought and stil don't that there is only one person for me somewhere out there but I also do not expect the same.

No, not same, that is not enough, better. That's the only possible way to fade marks, since memory refuses too. Being the same, they would only remind me of the former.

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No, not same, that is not enough, better. That's the only possible way to fade marks, since memory refuses too. Being the same, they would only remind me of the former.

Steve, this is true if somehow your choice was imperfect, right? If you somehow had to learn from a previous mistake and incorporating that learning, now new more perfectly what you valued and were looking for. If a relationship ends for arbitrary reasons (let's say one person dies) then better is not necessarily a requirement.

Are you trying to say then that as you learn and incorporate those learnings both into your rational selections and to your automated emotional responses to people that in essence, "there is no turning back". There is no "settling" once you know better?

I'm not sure Sophia that this is at odds with what you say about the progress over the course of a life.

My heart beats not a drop of ink for anyone less.

By the way, just in case you think no one was paying attention, I caught that. ;)

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And thinking that way has allowed me to never desperately hang on to another even if I thought they were great - and that was a good thing in my relationships - something which made them healthier.

Sophia, I'm wondering if this isn't the same thing that Steve and Charlotte are referring to. That is if you put this principle into practice, and you have a standard of what you are looking for in a person, that you don't enter into relatinoships with something less than that standard, simply because you have "time to kill" or don't happen to see Mr. Right on the horizon.

Certainly each relationship teaches you something, but would you see yourself entering in to a relationship with someone who you knew at the start was great but maybe not the greatest, in whom you saw flaws that you'd already learned from previous relationships were probably good signs of later incompatibility? If the answer is no, then doesn't that lead to the course of action that Charlotte describes? Maybe we enter into relatinoships with someone who has the potential to be up to our standard, but for whom we don't have full information, but that is not the same thing.

Having just lived through this mistake, I have to side with Charlotte and Steve. Next must be better (Or the promise of it) by my rational standards or I won't start. No "settling".

And just to get the thread back on track, my partcular perspective is that I'm completely and utterly biased to the idea of gender differences. I can't even conceive of something that is "romantic" without the unique interplay of masculine and feminine. Utter respect for the superlative character of another man? sure. Romance for it? impossible.

That said, I don't understand enough of the psychology behind homosexuality to comment on its source. Interestingly at OCON 05, I took the Kenner/Locke Romance course (both are therapists, and both committed Objectivists), and they commented on it, and their perspectives were split. One thought that homosexuals were defying something specific in their nature. The other thought that there might be biochemical explanations for the phenomena and so could not say that, psychologically speaking, there was something immoral about it.

Edited by KendallJ

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Sophia, I'm wondering if this isn't the same thing that Steve and Charlotte are referring to. That is if you put this principle into practice, and you have a standard of what you are looking for in a person, that you don't enter into relatinoships with something less than that standard, simply because you have "time to kill" or don't happen to see Mr. Right on the horizon.

Having just lived through this mistake, I have to side with Charlotte and Steve. Next must be better (Or the promise of it) by my rational standards or I won't start. No "settling".

Oh, I absolutely agree with you. Settling is not my policy either - neither can I just turn off my feelings at will. What I was arguing against is the notion that if a person is the One it is also the ONLY one out there. That kind of mind set is going to stop one from finding another Mr. Right, if necessary. My point is that there are many Mr. or Ms. Rights out there but people often get stuck by being too attached to trivialities. Yes a specific and precise set of traits may not be replaceable, as every person is wonderfully unique, but finding most of the essential things + similar sense of life is possible and many times over - granted it may take some time.

Edited by ~Sophia~

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Are you trying to say then that as you learn and incorporate those learnings both into your rational selections and to your automated emotional responses to people that in essence, "there is no turning back". There is no "settling" once you know better?

That's it right there! "There is no 'settling' once you know better"!!! Just like what happened to me when I found the right philosophy for living on earth, there was no going back to living it any other way.

Having just lived through this mistake, I have to side with Charlotte and Steve. Next must be better (Or the promise of it) by my rational standards or I won't start. No "settling".

You've lived through it, and oh man have I too. I absolutely agree with you Kendall, save one part: They have to be better already. Not "promising" to be, or having the potential to become better, or that they will change, that never worked with me either. I have wasted time, and learned my lesson. They already have to BE BETTER or I walk. Change now, fulfill the promise now, actualize the potential now, or I walk. Come find me when you have.

And just to get the thread back on track, my partcular perspective is that I'm completely and utterly biased to the idea of gender differences. I can't even conceive of something that is "romantic" without the unique interplay of masculine and feminine. Utter respect for the superlative character of another man? sure. Romance for it? impossible.

Well said. I'll add that that applies for me, to not only romance with the same gender, but also sexual hedonism in that respect as well.

Oh, I absolutely agree with you. Settling is not my policy either - neither can I just turn off my feelings at will. What I was arguing against is the notion that if a person is the One it is also the ONLY.

Settling was my policy, conquering the highest/best is mine now. That's heroism there, even if not achieved. To me loving is more important to me than being loved. I'm just happy that there is one that I can love.

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You've lived through it, and oh man have I too. I absolutely agree with you Kendall, save one part: They have to be better already. Not "promising" to be, or having the potential to become better, or that they will change, that never worked with me either. I have wasted time, and learned my lesson. They already have to BE BETTER or I walk. Change now, fulfill the promise now, actualize the potential now, or I walk. Come find me when you have.

I certainly sympathize with you there. I don't mind dating a potential, and seeing her grow and improve herself by a rational standard is very exciting; but the actual has to be there or it is just too frustrating. It doesn't mean she has to be an expert on Objectivism, but the actual compatibility has to be there in terms of sense of life and specific values, or one is basically starting from scratch.

Also, I think any adult is going to resent someone dating them just for the sake of what they can be made into. I mean, if you don't think I have what you are looking for, then don't try to change me, either. You can introduce me to things I may not have tried yet -- you know, different foods, different cultural outlooks, different types of movies, etc., but don't expect me to grow into something that I don't like from the beginning. And I think this is true for either sex. Love and dating must be based on the actual, with the promise to be fulfilled as something hopeful for the future -- but what are you now that I might want to make you mine?

For example, if I show her the movie The Fountainhead as an introduction to my ideals, and she doesn't have any positive reaction to it at all, then it's probably over. I've hung my hopes on some women too much for me to try to re-write her entire operating system, if you know what I mean.

But I'm certainly willing to date someone who has the good actually and a hell of a good potential, but I have to love the actual and not just the potential. She has to be real to me on that level, or what am I responding to? my own projection of what she might be and ought to be? is that enough for anyone?

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They have to be better already. Not "promising" to be, or having the potential to become better, or that they will change, that never worked with me either. I have wasted time, and learned my lesson. They already have to BE BETTER or I walk. Change now, fulfill the promise now, actualize the potential now, or I walk. Come find me when you have.

You hit the nail on the head, Steve.

Once, a gentleman asked me on a date. I explained to him, gently and without spending too much time on the matter, why I would not and could not accept the offer. His response was, "I know those are problems I have. I was hoping you could fix me." I have not, to this day, gotten over the quiet sense of wonder that fills me at that concept. Wanting to be "fixed" by someone else. Not by your own productive effort, not by the beautiful and honed precision of your mind, identifying and solving problems, but by someone else's influence. What a sad morality that is.

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You've lived through it, and oh man have I too. I absolutely agree with you Kendall, save one part: They have to be better already. Not "promising" to be, or having the potential to become better, or that they will change, that never worked with me either. I have wasted time, and learned my lesson. They already have to BE BETTER or I walk. Change now, fulfill the promise now, actualize the potential now, or I walk. Come find me when you have.

Hi Steve. I think you misunderstood my intent. The only respect to which I meant "the promise" of it was only in the sense that you don't know everything about a person at the start. So then, everything you know about someone IS better, and what you don't know PROMISES to be as well. I didn't mean it in the sense that one starts something hoping to change or improve someone later so that they then are better. Two very different things.

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Settling was my policy, conquering the highest/best is mine now.

Here, here.

To me loving is more important to me than being loved. I'm just happy that there is one that I can love.

This is an interesting statement. Can you comment on it a little more? For me, being loved is almost a reflexive criteria for loving. Sort of co-necessities, if you will. Not quite sure how to put it. Maybe reciprocation escalates something into love, whereas, unreciporcated, it would simply remain or degrade into strong admiration.

I'm not quite sure how you mean your statement.

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This is an interesting statement. Can you comment on it a little more?

For me, being loved is almost a reflexive criteria for loving. Sort of co-necessities, if you will. Not quite sure how to put it. Maybe reciprocation escalates something into love, whereas, unreciporcated, it would simply remain or degrade into strong admiration.

Kendall, words such as "reflexive", "reciprocated", "requited" do not make it onto any of the pages of the book that is me. For you see, my love does not require the knowledge of them, in order to emotionally exist. In other words, they are not a necessary requirement, component, or prereq for my love. If I had such knowledge, and it was not requited or reciprocated, my love would not go out of emotional existence, or "degrade" at all. Nothing changes it like that, because whom I am in love with, has not changed. Nay, they in fact do change, they become even more loveable when I dare let myself peek at them, knowing full well, that the standard will be raised that much more each time... Kendall, the only way such vocabulary will be thought of by me, is when my love is "reciprocated" or "requited", by whom I love. Then things can "escalate" if we want them to. Until then, I think nothing of the sort. I only care that there is a woman that I can love in existence, that I am in love, and I care not if I am actually loved by them, nor by anyone else for that matter. Dare I say, I might not be loveable myself...but to others that is. Regardless, my "loveablity" as such does not change another persons "loveability" to me any...

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Steve... I could not understand a word of your post. But I think what Kendall was saying (and I agree) was that he couldn't fall in love with someone who had no chance of loving him back. Yes, there could be the romantic and sexual attraction all there, but it would be curbed off when someone thought in the long term, about the fact that this person was never going to be attracted to you.

Like Natalie Portman. I used to have a huge crush on Natalie Portman, but I could never be in love with her, because I know she could never love me back.

P.S. I also find this talk about not wanting to go back, after a standard has been set, very interesting. I was thinking about this the other night, after talking to Kendall in chat. We were talking about ex's and learning from those experiences, and I was thinking, that there was something different about Gf #1, compared to all the other girls that I'd just had crushes on before, which impacted how I acted with her, how I acted with Gf #2 and how I'll act in future.

Her sense of life was perfectly attuned to what mine was, at the time. It wasn't so much that we were exactly the same, but that we did pretty much value the same things (besides her whole, you know, Jesus thing!) just in different ways, and we complimented each other in our differences.

Anyway, I learnt from that the kind of joy you can have from having someone who understands you so well, and who fits you better than you thought anyone could fit you. This was reinforced in my second relationship, where I learnt the kind of emptiness and embarrasment that comes from trying to be intimate with someone who you just don't have that with, and who is less than your standards.

Also, what Steve said, about walking away rather than trying to change someone -- so, so, true. It is not worth it, unless the person is ready to commit to change (and that committment will usually have started sometime before you started dating).

Edited by Tenure

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Steve... I could not understand a word of your post. But I think what Kendall was saying (and I agree) was that he couldn't fall in love with someone who had no chance of loving him back. Yes, there could be the romantic and sexual attraction all there, but it would be curbed off when someone thought in the long term, about the fact that this person was never going to be attracted to you.

Yeah, T, that's what I was getting at. Steve, I couldn't understand it either. Is this feeling you describe temporary? Or do you pine away for someone that you know will never be yours?

Like Natalie Portman. I used to have a huge crush on Natalie Portman, but I could never be in love with her, because I know she could never love me back.

Well, I was actually considering making an exception for Natalie (purrrrrrr), but then she's promised to marry me in her next life, so I'm sure that why you must be getting the cold shoulder vibe from her. :thumbsup:

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Steve... I could not understand a word of your post.

Yeah, T, that's what I was getting at. Steve, I couldn't understand it either.

Likewise, I couldn't understand Kendall's post myself here initially, so I actually had to look two words up, and keep in mind the context he had written them in (like you do any words that are new to your vocabulary):

For me, being loved is almost a reflexive criteria for loving. Sort of co-necessities, if you will. Not quite sure how to put it. Maybe reciprocation escalates something into love, whereas, unreciporcated, it would simply remain or degrade into strong admiration.

After looking them up, and trying my hardest to understand it, I strongly disagree with it, for me at least, and that's why I typed a post in response, though the two of you don't understand it...which is understandable. :thumbsup: I wouldn't change what I posted either, the black lead used is very heavy and firm in it's meaning.

Or do you pine away for someone that you know will never be yours?

I do not know such a fact explicitly.

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