Sexuality is about responsiveness and orientation, both of which are determined before we are born. Among the genes we inherit from our parents are those that determine responsiveness and orientation. Any child can potentially be born homosexual. Likewise, we are all born with varying degrees of responsiveness. Responsiveness is a measure of the frequency with which a person’s mind responds positively to eroticism in such a way that causes arousal (blood to flow to the sex organ). When we focus on enjoying our mental arousal, in conjunction with stimulating the phallus, sexual tension builds until it is released as nervous energy, called orgasm.
There are three key aspects to responsiveness: biological, emotional and intellectual. The most important aspect is biological since this is the physiological response. All men orgasm (with varying frequencies) because male orgasm is the physiological trigger for ejaculation of semen. Ejaculation is a male glandular emission related to men’s territorial instincts to dominate and fight for possession of resources. Male mammals mark out their territory by spraying glandular emissions over landmarks to deter competitors. Female mammals do not exhibit these territorial behaviours.
Reproduction relies on a man impregnating a woman through intercourse. So sexual activity is crucial to men’s sense of emotional well-being. Most men engage in regular sexual activity throughout their active lives. Most (but not all) men enjoy masturbation and fantasies. But men usually need a partner to enjoy the best erotic satisfaction. The need for regular penetrative sex with a lover is emotionally significant to men (important to their state of well-being). A man is incentivised to protect a woman who offers him regular intercourse. The term emotionally significant has nothing to do with the emotional aspects of intercourse women may enjoy. Orgasm and sexual activity do not have the same critical importance for women. Even if a woman is responsive, her enjoyment of orgasm is an occasional pleasure.
Research indicates that when men are isolated (in prison for example) most men experience little arousal. So responsiveness is split into two distinct phenomena. Firstly there is the biological capability that an individual has. Then there are the opportunities we have. If a man lacks a partner or has no access to erotic stimuli that arouse him, he may not be responsive at all.
No one teaches us how to orgasm. We discover orgasm because we have the capability. Orgasm is a significant response that we definitely realise we have had. Naturally we are naturally pleased when we have our first orgasm but we don’t tell our parents or our friends about it. Our instincts tell us (if the general embarrassment over sex doesn’t) that orgasm is a personal experience. Even later on, orgasm is a pleasure that we keep private. Those who truly orgasm (men for example) don’t typically boast about it.
Like sneezing or coughing, the triggers for orgasm are the same regardless of gender and orientation. After adolescence, a responsive person discovers that when they think about erotic scenarios, blood flows to the sex organ. This physical arousal motivates a responsive person to massage the sex organ and discover orgasm. Clearly, those who object to eroticism have never experienced arousal. Sexual phenomena (such as masturbation or gay sex) hold little interest until we discover that we enjoy them personally.
Our orientation is defined by who we are attracted to, for example, the same sex or the opposite sex. Most people are heterosexual, which means that they are attracted to people of the opposite sex. Some people are attracted to people of their own sex. When this is exclusive (they are never attracted to the opposite sex) we say that they are homosexual. A person, who engages in sexual activity with people of either sex, is called bisexual. Being gay (homosexual) is completely normal and accepted in most societies today.
There is a biological precedent for heterosexuality because intercourse between a man and a woman is the basis of reproduction. But human sexuality is much broader than a purely reproductive function. Although it is usual for people to be heterosexual, it is not abnormal for someone to be attracted to a person of the same sex either exclusively or just occasionally.
We have no choice over our orientation. It is just the way we are. Orientation is not a life-style choice. We do not become gay because of the people we associate with or because our parents raised us in a certain way. Our sexual orientation (whether we are aroused by or amenable to sex with a lover of the same or opposite sex) is innate (we were born that way).
Sexual orientation is just one aspect of ourselves. Orientation does not change how we are as human beings, our personalities and talents. Men are more likely to identify their orientation because men are responsive. Most men deduce their orientation during puberty because of the fantasies they have. Orientation is less significant to women because of their lack of responsiveness. Many women never have sexual fantasies. A woman may feel different to other women but not understand the reason why. Lesbians often marry and have children before realising years later that they are gay.
Far from being a disorder, low libido is just the natural state of affairs for many women. (Bella Ellwood-Clayton 2013)