The genes that cause us to be homosexual arise in random individuals throughout the population. Homosexuality is a completely harmless and natural state for anyone to have. For those people who are gay, homosexuality is quite normal. There is a misconception (particularly among women) that being gay is a lifestyle choice and the result of a conscious decision. No one chooses to be gay. It’s just the way they are.
It is a misconception that gays look or behave differently to straight people. Some people naturally have mannerisms that are associated with being gay. There is no guarantee that a butch woman is lesbian or that an effeminate man is gay. As people, gays are no different to anyone else but they may choose to differentiate themselves by dressing or behaving in certain ways.
Research indicates that some people engage in gay sex just once perhaps as a form of experimentation when they are young. Others are embarrassed that they are aroused by people of the same sex and consciously avoid homosexual contacts. Others are more relaxed about their relationships and have sex with people they find attractive regardless of their gender.
Orientation is determined by who we are emotionally attracted to or who we are aroused by. Men’s orientation depends on explicit turn-ons: specifically, male or female anatomy. Given few women have erotic fantasies, their orientation is determined by those they form an emotional connection with. Women are generally unresponsive and so a woman may choose to live with another woman without ever engaging in sexual activity.
Women are attracted to a female partner because of her lack of responsiveness. This means that a female lover understands the value of a non-sexual emotional connection. Many women conclude that men are like animals. Men are like male animals (or mammals) just as women are like female mammals. Women are not aroused by genitals so they often consider genital stimulation to be disgusting. Women are not aroused by a lover’s body. So women always see other people as non-sexual beings. Nor do women need sex in the way that men do. Women obtain their emotional rewards from enjoying affection and companionship with a lover. Women enjoy the non-sexual intimacy, of spending companionable time, that goes with sex. Women’s love for a partner is based on their nurturing instincts.
To anyone who is responsive, it’s fairly transparent that women are not responsive. Women very evidently do not respond positively to eroticism. But heterosexual men are so self-absorbed in their sexual fantasies that they can’t think straight. Gay men appreciate that women are social beings and this is why they are not aroused by them. So there must be some biological mechanism that causes heterosexual men to see women as sex objects. Similarly, a paedophile’s brain causes him to see children as sex objects.
Parents may not want their children to be gay because they hope their children will have families and be part of normal society. Gay men are often victimised and threatened by heterosexual men. Today it is now becoming more common for gay couples, both homosexual men and lesbian women, either to adopt or to have children that have one of the partner’s genes. Many heterosexuals believe every child (regardless of orientation) should have heterosexual parents. This is the biological and social precedent but other parenting issues may be more critical to healthy child development.
Two people of the same sex cannot engage in vaginal intercourse so gay people are obliged to use more explicit genital stimulation. Heterosexual society hides behinds the respectability of intercourse, which is justified by our reproductive biology. Yet men want intercourse much more frequently than can be justified on reproductive grounds. Many women are shocked by the idea of genital stimulation and so few couples explore sex play.
Few people object to lesbians, who are viewed as slightly odd but harmless. It is men’s desire for penetrative sex that makes gay men a sexual threat. Not that long ago, orientations other than heterosexual were considered to be a mental illness. It was believed that people could be cured. Homosexuality is becoming much more acceptable in society, so they may choose to come out by admitting their orientation to parents and friends.
Some men are aroused by both sexes and many men (37%) have had at least one gay encounter that ended in their own orgasm. Many of these are one-offs or sporadic. There is a social bias in favour of heterosexuality but some men may enjoy the proactiveness and explicitness of homosexual sex play. Bisexuality in women indicates an ambivalence to a lover’s gender.
Women typically get on well with homosexual men. Gay men often have the social skills that women appreciate but straight men lack. Homophobia is largely down a certain kind of heterosexual man, who disrespects men (and women) for being on the receiving end of penetrative sex. Some men have mannerisms that we call effeminate because they are more typically associated with women. Effeminate men are not necessarily homosexual.
… there are a great many males who remain as masculine, and a great many females who remain as feminine, in their attitudes and their approaches in homosexual relations, as the males or females who have nothing but heterosexual relations. (Alfred Kinsey 1948)