For too long, people have treated sexuality as if it were a fact, like the date of a historic battle. Absolutely nothing about a human being is like this; even all the cells in your body are replaced every 7 years. On top of that, an individuals identity is constantly in flux over time. Our sexuality, which cannot be fully separated from our self-identity, is a part of this reality.
By the time I reached college, I began to think of sexuality in different terms. Take note that I am not entirely sure of where I found this concept. Therefore, it may or may not be mine.
Believe in the power of 3! I imagine an individual’s sexuality to be very much like a tree. Although no two trees are perfectly alike, none could survive without their roots.
I have already described how I believe a healthy psychology starts with the individual. If we as individuals cannot understand our relationship to ourselves, that will act as an obstacle when forming relationships with others.
As such, the 3 roots to the tree of sexuality are mostly psychological. They are as follows:
1 – The Sociological Root – Sexuality as defined by the relationships and the societies surrounding you.
2 – The Psychological Root – Sexuality as defined from the perspective of who you are when you are alone.
3 – The Sexual Root – A complete record book of all the sex you have been a participant of. Multiple categories may apply, as decided by yourself.
These three roots are both independent and interdependent. Just like an actual tree, the trunk of this one is formed when the roots meld together near the surface of the ground. Although they branch off deeper underground, they still work together to create the base of an individual’s sexuality. In other words, the base of the trunk of an individual’s tree of sexuality.
However these three roots interact with one another, a clear image of the individual’s sexuality can begin to emerge when they meld together.
This concept allows an individual to approach their sexuality from a fresh perspective. One could then theoretically use this concept to consciously recreate and reconstruct their sexual identity through personal development. As they change, so too could their sexuality. As this is far more dynamic and flexible than the sexual binary, it is better suited for the human psyche.
I am not saying an individual’s sexuality is a conscious choice overall. Ultimately, we will find things in each branch which we will not be able to control. What I am saying is how we choose to interpret and express certain parts of our sexuality can be a conscious choice. I firmly believe that the reality we as individuals experience is subjective, as opposed to objective. What this means is that we have more control than we initially realize.
It is a very different approach from the currently used sexual binary. Let me provide an example. The roots of my current tree of sexuality would look something like the following.
1 – My Sociological Root – Most relationships and societies identify me as gay, which is fine. Some close friends range from being aware of my sexual fluidity to have fully engaged with me about it. My mannerisms are typically more feminine, especially when I dance (where I also have a flirtatious and cheery personality). Unless we met on the dance floor, others usually have to initiate conversations with me.
2 – My Psychological Root – I fantasize sexually about men, women, and transmen (like Buck Angel). Sometimes I like to fantasize about different ways of how I could flirt with whom I am interested in. I love to analyze and think through different things in my head, during which I prefer to walk or pace. Partially due to this, I now identify as sexually fluid. I make no assumptions of how I will identify in the future as my analysis continues to grow and develop.
3 – My Sexual Root – The vast majority of my partners have been male. I have also had one or two partners of other genders. I have had sex in a growing number of places with a growing number of partners that I could not fully list here. I have been sexually active for just over 6 years. I get myself tested regularly despite the fact that I use protection. One of my favorite ways to begin exploring new sexual territory is through porn before approaching others with my ideas.
What do we get when we meld these three roots together? I sound like someone who likes to try to have fun while around others. In more secluded environments I become more thoughtful and dynamic. This means I like being more adventurous in the bedroom and on the dance floor. I choose not to expose this part of my personality to others as quickly in different situations. This gives the image of a sexuality that changes as a person gets to know me better. It also gives the image of a sexuality that changes over time in general.
When I first meet someone I like, I really just want to hang out and have a good time. Once I begin to open up, I really enjoy engaging on a more personal level. More generally, it starts with an attraction and ends with full engagement. From this perspective, which genitalia I am attracted to the most is just a side note.
This approach focuses on integrating sexuality with the rest of an individual’s identity. Humans communicate mostly through non-verbal signals. This is how sexuality can play a major role in human communication during platonic interactions. In other words, attractions people feel can have a strong impact on who they choose interact with and on what level. Not understanding the attractions you feel can create a sexual identity similar to the following image.
The point I am trying to make about sexuality is this; the person behind the genitalia is the most important factor. Even with a one-night-stand this is true. If you cannot even carry a conversation with a person, how do you expect to make it past the casual moments and into the bedroom?
A Frolicker of Sexual Fluidity