Unrealized sexuality: heterosexuality
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You never know who might wander this way so I'll post this caveat. This personal note does not imply that gay men can become straight. Or that I am heterosexual. Read carefully or go away. If you'd like to know my feelings about what is called the "ex-gay" movement find the longest list of cuss words you can and say them ten times.
(Never got this going where I wanted. But I wrote it so I'll post it.)
In sorting through my earliest memories of attractive women I remember liking Barbara Bain - but would I if she hadn't been part of the cast of the original Mission Impossible? Not that her husband, Martin Landau, wasn't good to look at.
Enjoying Diana Rigg's "m. appeal" seems more like acknowledging the natural order of the universe than expressing sexual preference. I've never had an Emma Peel sexual fantasy, even when she was in the getup from the Hellfire Club episode.
And while I never watched any of her movies I enjoyed looking at Raquel Welch, the supreme sex star of the 1960s. But she was exceptionally well knit and almost every American submits to the lure of high cheekbones, good hair and attractive eyes.
From adolescence these girls have always remained in my mind. One was very much a girl next-door edition of Welch. Another's body always made me think of fairy princesses: yeah, my typical drippiness. The last was a skinny refulgent with sexual promise: but I always re-imagine as a boy.
Not a one of them invoke the warm flush of one blonde boy from 9th grade.
Still I fantasized about women, though those masturbatory interludes are lost among the thousands of solitary hours of self-indulgence since.
Heterosexual possibilities were present. They fled the instant I discovered the joy of the handsome guy. Years after coming out I found myself in bed with a woman and enjoying it.
Maybe I could've been just a straight guy. On and off I've wondered how my life would've been different. There are scary scenarios: discovering the sexual beauty of men after years thinking myself just hetero. Scary only because of a nervous fear I'd have been a creepy "bi guy." You may have met them. You or a friend of yours might've dated one. I like myself to think I'd have gone that route. (Though a couple of overly nervous gay men would have nothing to do with me when I confessed my sexuality. A couple of women as well.)
Much of my general nature was established by the time I came to identify as queer. If I'd thought myself as hetero and pursued women in many ways I'd have been the same man.
My life would've been different. No way to know how. With individuals as with history there's a fuzzy undiscoverable line between the broad forces and the specifics. If Ralph Nader hadn't entered the 2000 election Al Gore would probably be president. We wouldn't be in Iraq. But American culture would still be pretty much what it is with the beady-eyed guy in the White House.
If my youthful lovers had been women I probably wouldn't be living in Durham, NC. Different individual actions would've rippled out leading to other paths. The same would be true if I'd never met Charles or any of my boyfriends.
Would I be wiser, stupider; more or less happy? No equations can calculate the alternate paths I might've followed.
Heterosexuality might be one of my unrealized possibilities, meaninglessly so.
Earlier I celebrated my feelings for the erotic joy that I might've found in women: Queer praise of womanly beauty.
And I expressed my discomfort at the images presented by the idea of myself as a straight man: What a queer sense of sexual identity
Calling myself pansexual wouldn't be meaningful if there weren't a part of me that finds women sexually attractive. I can enjoy looking at a playmate with golden balloons suspended from her torso. Though the woman I might most like to sleep with right now if Charles were a part of my life is utterly plain looking: no frills, no flashy symmetries. But I do enjoy talking to her. Well, that was how I found myself in bed with a woman the first time.
Whatever your sexuality - unless of course you are too paranoid for relationships, too timid to take a risk, or just a raunch-driven hedonist - nothing beats liking the person.
(This is a series of sorts. Once I deal with masculine men I'll be done.)