How labels make for terrible sex


I understand the importance of labels.  Really, I do.  If someone tells you they’re a doctor, you know not to ask them about a joint pin knock.  If someone tells you they’re a mechanic, you know not to ask them about your recent diagnosis of prostate cancer.  In fact, don’t bring that up to your local mechanic (unless your local they’re a loved one); it’s depressing.

You know what else is depressing?  The blatant obsession our society has with sexual preference.  These days, it seems people are not defined by their values or actions or beliefs but by whom they want to curl up next to when the lights go dim.

Let me begin with a common scenario.  Picture your basic office setting.  A suit and tie and sensible pumps are standing at the water cooler.

SP:   Have you met the new guy?

S&T:  Not sure.  I might have seen him around.  What’s he look like?

SP:  Well, he’s uh… (She looks around, and then supplies a gratuitous limp wrist) Uh… you know. 

S&T:  Oh!  Him!  Yeah, I’ve seen him.  (Shared laughter)

This particular scene – in one version or another – has occurred over and over in movies, TV, books, personal lives, etc.  But why is it necessary?

Perhaps the judgmental woman could have replied with, “He’s the one with the Yosemite Sam tie.”  That would have successfully described the newbie.  I’m not saying gay men, exclusively, like Looney Tunes.  What I am saying is that we should get into the habit of referencing the tangible description, rather than the assumed description.

People adore labels: lesbian, gay, straight, bisexual, polyamorous.  But I present a question:  What if we could love a person because he or she is kind or intelligent or funny or British? What if we could desire something other than a reproductive organ?  What if we could all just stop worrying about fitting into neat little boxes?

Love is love is love is love is love.  I am a firmly believe that we fall in love with whom we fall in love with and it doesn’t matter if it’s a man or woman.  When have you ever heard the phrase, “their genitals beat as one?”  I bet you never have…until now.  That’s because we embrace a person’s heart or soul over their sex. 

I recently broke up with a man because he was convinced I was a lesbian and that I was fooling around with a girl friend from school. (For the record, his accusation was baseless and completely incorrect on both parts.)  It didn’t upset me that he thought I might desire a woman.  Far from it.  I’m open-minded enough to accept an attraction, if there was one.  I was hurt because he assumed I would develop a relationship behind his back.  There was a reason I was with him. Now there’s a reason I’m not. 

I’m not saying sleep with everything and anything that crosses your path. If you’re not attracted to someone, fine.  Good.  This practice isn’t to force something on you but to suggest that you have an open mind.  If you’ve only ever been attracted to one gender your whole life you may actually only be attracted to that one gender your whole life. I’m just offering the idea that your situation might change. Leaving the option open simply makes sure you don’t discard any potentially fulfilling connections.

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