Friday, November 21, 2008

-sexual and -curious

I like words. Words are fun. Prefixes, suffixes, root words. Synonyms, antonyms, homonyms. Word games, etymology, portmanteaus, palindromes, and so on and so forth.

Sometimes I like to play semantic games. (That’s s-e-m-A-n-t-i-c. Not s-e-m-E-n-blah-blah-blah. I probably should have found a really bad pun or a clever semen joke to put here, but I couldn’t think of one. Sorry.)

Today I’ll be talking about the suffixes –sexual and –curious. –sexual as in heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual. –curious as in bi-curious. [Yes, I know that –sexual isn’t a suffix. Hetero-, homo-, and bi- are prefixes. But I’ll be treating –sexual as if it were a suffix. I can do that, because I’m playing with words. Plus, it’s my blog. I can do whatever I want. (Except, apparently, get laid.)] These suffixes have a lot of potential, but aren’t used as often as I think that they could (or should) be. Let’s take a look . . .

First there was heterosexual and homosexual. One liked the opposite sex, one liked the same sex. Then there came bisexual. Bisexual took the middle ground, liking both the opposite sex AND the same sex. That’s all fine, and makes good linguistic sense, and I have no real problems with it.

Then along comes bi-curious. Bi-curious is another fine, upstanding word, and I have no problems with it, either. Until it first went up for sale in the word store and people started taking it home and using it. (Or however it is that words end up in our day-to-day vocabulary.) I’m not going to say that people misuse the word, but I can’t honestly say that I think they use it as correctly as they should.

Bi-curious. You’re curious about being bisexual. Curious about liking both sexes. That’s what it means. But people only ever seem to use one of the several possible examples of ‘bi-curious’ that the definition offers.

Normally, people who label themselves as bi-curious are basically heterosexual people who are curious about homosexual sex. Straight guys fantasizing about cock. Straight women dreaming about participating in a little girl-on-girl action.

It seems to me that an equally viable definition of bi-curious would be homosexual people who are curious about heterosexual sex. Gays wondering what it would be like to play with tits and pussy. Lesbians with the occasional fantasies about cock. I’ve never heard bi-curious used in this way, but I have to assume that it is.

I’m bi-curious. But I actually qualify my particular form of bi-curiosity as yet a third definition of the term. Similar to the standard form, I consider myself primarily heterosexual with an interest in homosexual sex. But the difference in my case is that in addition to not yet having confirmed or denied my partial homosexuality, I also have yet to confirm (or deny, I suppose) my base heterosexuality. I haven’t had the straight sex that is the baseline from which most straight-leaning bi-curious people emerge.

When the event of my Loss of Virginity finally rolls around, it’s technically possible that at the moment of truth I’m going to slide my erect penis into that (seemingly mythical at this point) warm wet vagina . . . and then immediately pull out again, screaming, “Ew! Gross! Yucky!” Then run off and become a sexual hermit or something, having discovered that sex is disgusting. (I very much doubt this, but under the philosophy of ‘anything is possible’ I acknowledge that there’s at least a slim chance that it could happen.) So, as a bi-curious virgin, I really haven’t yet qualified anything about my sexuality.

(Actually, I know enough about myself to know that I’m either heterosexual (I like girls) or bisexual (I might like guys, but not as much as girls). And if I’m bisexual, I’d be surprised if the ‘gay half’ was actually anywhere near as high as 50%. But I’m playing semantic games and juggling semi-abstract concepts here, so it’s just easier to pretend that I have equal interest in both cock and pussy for the purposes of this post.)

I could make the argument (especially if I were in a particularly weird righteous and/or indignant mood) that my form of bi-curiosity is the truest or purest form of bi-curiosity. Bi-curious. Curious about both. Not ‘confirmed in one aspect and therefore only curious about the one remaining aspect’. Nope. Curious about both.

If you wanted to be accurate (and somewhat label happy), you could further differentiate the various forms of bi-curious as: Bi-curious (Hetero-Based Homo-Curious), Bi-curious (Homo-based Hetero-Curious), and True Bi-curious.

(Wow . . . if bisexuality is a neutral state between heterosexuality and homosexuality, then you could state True Bi as True Neutral. Now I want to regraph sexual preferences over the Dungeons and Dragons alignment chart. I won’t, but mainly because I’d have to assign values like good/evil or lawful/chaotic to heterosexual and homosexual, and I don’t like the social stigma implied in placing evil or chaotic over one of the two sexual choices.. But still . . . ‘True Bi-curious’ sounds like something that I should have a d20 in my hand when I say.)

Now here’s where my thought process goes all curveball on me. Let’s say that I had no interest in man-on-man sex whatsoever. Pretend that all of my interests and fantasies were 100% heterosexual. If a sexually active hetero-based and homo-curious person is labeled bi-curious instead of bisexual because they haven’t confirmed their bisexuality (by having the actual homosexual sex necessary as a qualifier), then could a 100% heterosexually interested version of me truly be called heterosexual if I haven’t yet “done the deed” and confirmed my heterosexual status? No. Since I’m still a virgin, my sexual preference would have to be listed as hetero-curious. (Or straight-curious. Bi- is pretty much universal, whether used between hetero- and homo- or between straight and gay/lesbian.)

[And does it seem right to you that even in hypothetical situations, I’m still a virgin?]

And if so, then from there, the terminology just runs wild. Young homosexual virgins become labeled homo-curious or gay-curious/lesbian-curious.

In fact, virgins in general, regardless of presumed sexual orientation, could call themselves sex-curious. (Sexually-active amnesia patients who don’t remember being pre-sexual could be virgin-curious . . . okay, that’s probably too weird of an example to actually happen. Never mind.)

You could actually go overboard on the use of –curious and apply it to every sexual act of interest you haven’t yet managed to accomplish. Like all of those guys who are anal-curious, but whose girlfriends/wives refuse to take it up the ass to accommodate them.

I’ve called myself a foot fetishist for years. But as far as getting off on toe-sucking goes, I could technically be said to have simply been fetish-curious up until the night of Darklady’s Polyween Party. NOW I’m a fetishist. (Fetish-sexual?) (And looking for more pretty bare suckable female toes, if anyone’s interested in providing same.)

From what I can tell, a lot of BDSM ‘newbies’ are simply BDSM-curious. It looks like it might be good. But they really aren’t sure. Attending a play party or two gives them confirmation or denial, and then they’ve either tried it and gone back to vanilla, or are now eager new members of the lifestyle.

Okay. Those are (the majority of) my thoughts on –curious. Now what about –sexual? Like I stated at the beginning of this post, the classics are heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual. I didn’t mention transsexual, which instead of liking both sexes is being both sexes. Or transitioning between sexes. Or having already successfully transitioned between sexes.

Are there others?

Of course, there’s always the one-liner, “I’m a trisexual . . . I’ll try anything”. That one doesn’t count, as it’s a joke. (Sure, jokes are wordplay, but not the same kind I’m going for here.)

Science-fiction brings us the term omnisexual. Captain Jack Harkness (from “Doctor Who” and “Torchwood”) is credited as being omnisexual. Captain Jack will pretty much fuck anything or anybody: male, female, human, alien, robot, etc. Omnisexual counts because it’s a viable concept, even if only a science-fiction one. It could also count as a modern-day attitude. Do you know someone who only stopped at bisexuality because of the lack of a convenient third sex? Yeah. That’s omnisexuality.

Although now that I think about it . . . if you take the traditional gender list of male and female and go ahead and add in hermaphrodite, she-male (tits and a dick), reverse she-male (no tits and a pussy), and any other transsexual option, I suppose that an attraction to each and every one of the gender classes on that list would qualify you as omnisexual, wouldn’t it?

If you’re only interested in masturbation – or sex with self – could you be considered a suisexual?

I’ve heard the term pre-sexual humans applied to little kids. (Which, in this day and age, isn’t always an accurate description, as sad a commentary as that is on society.) I’ve never heard the term post-sexual humans, but then since the invention of Viagra, why would I? But I think that both presexual and postsexual deserve usage on the list.

Asexual. (Not the biological term, but the characteristics of lacking in desire for sex. I actually knew a guy once who was more-or-less asexual. Sure, when I was much younger I knew people who didn’t see what the big deal about sex was, and were thus a-curious. But this guy started out hetero-curious, had sex several times and decided, “Nope. Not for me.”)

Morphosexual. (Don’t worry if you’ve never heard the term before, it was coined during a conversation I had long ago about desire and gender.) Morphosexuals would be attracted to transsexuals. A morphosexual sees a transsexual as someone who was so incredibly secure in a sexuality/gender they didn’t currently possess that they went through Hell and high water to become that. Which is appealing to morphosexuals. Appealing, arousing, sexy. Very sexy. (And if morphosexuality isn’t a big fetish now, I’m sure that it will be in the future.)

Yeah, morphosexual probably sounds like it should mean that you’re attracted to shapeshifters. It also sounds too close to anthropomorphosexual, which would be people in fursuits that only have sex with other people in fursuits. (Or, a hundred years from now, people with spliced animal DNA who only have sex with other people with spliced animal DNA.) ‘Morphosexual’ was only ever meant as a placeholder word. I was never able to come up with anything better. (Never really tried all that hard.)

And yes, the sexual preference morphosexuality could also just as easily be listed as the fetish morphophilia. (In fact, I even referred to it as a fetish paragraph before last myself.) I could go either way on it’s classification. Which might make me a bi-classificationist. (I don’t know.)

There are (at least) several desires that I could argue should be moved from the ‘fetish’ category to the ‘sexual preference’ one. Changing the official suffix from –philiac to –sexual.

But that’s a topic for another post. (Probably entitled “–philia”.)

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