Thursday, January 22, 2009

On Sex, Pheromones, Gender, and Leanings

Some random thoughts on a discussion Lady Gaura and I were having:

If there is a genetic linkage to both homosexuality and heterosexuality, and I believe there is, then the questions are how much and how does it impact.

We know from genetics that genes are “turned on” and “turned off” by various chromosome combinations. Those genes determine what we are made of, how we operate, what can happen to us, and most importantly here, how we instinctively respond and react.

We also know that people react in various states of arousal (or none at all) to pheromones that others excrete.

We also know that that the conscious and unconscious can be in conflict with each other in the mind, and that some people can even be overwhelmed by the struggle.

So, here’s what I think. Keep in mind this is purely speculative and my opinion only. I have no idea if anyone has ever postulated this idea anywhere, so if someone has, it’s genuinely news to me. It is likely to be controversial (keep reading), but I won’t apologize for that.

The genetics of who we are turn on receptors for pheromones in the body at puberty, both for pheromones of the same gender and the opposite gender. The pheromones are excreted at all ages. The level of receptor activation on each can and does vary from person to person, so that a person may have more receptors active for their own gender, the opposite gender, a close-to-even split, or in the case of the asexual person, none at all. I would not be surprised if the receptor levels were measurable and graphed that it would resemble a flipped Bell Curve in terms of sexual preference.

Meanwhile in the mind, the unconscious takes note of this activation and the reactions from each. These unconscious reactions are what feed our sexual instincts and determine whether one is gay or straight or asexual, and to what degrees of each. Meanwhile the conscious mind absorbs all the indoctrination we get as children on the issue, including gender identity, and the social mores of sexuality, or in both cases, the lack thereof.

As we mature both intellectually and sexually, the mind tries to sort out what the conscious has absorbed against what the unconscious has absorbed. This can cause a lot of confusion in people. I would even go as far as to state it can cause gender identity confusion, leading to people becoming transgendered and even changing genders completely, but I think it also can have other, very bad reactions, such as the case of a person who expresses outward outrage at certain sex acts, but then goes and does them themselves. Rape and other violent sexual crime, for example, could easily be explained as the conscious wanting to do the act, the unconscious fighting it, and the result being a mental snap in the anger and violent direction.

I also think it happens for more than just sexual and gender identity. I think it really is the entire process of self-discovery, of casting off the mores and values imprinted on us by our parent figures and finding our true selves.

That maturation process can also bring out latent sexual attractions from the unconscious, which can overcome the conscious indoctrination one has received. I think this is seen most commonly in the bi-curious person, who is attempting to figure out their own sexual identity. It’s also seen in those people experiencing sexual awakenings and sudden surges in interest in all kinds of sex, from the ho-hum to the exotic and off-beat. It also may be an element in the so-called “mid-life crisis.” I truly believe that sex fantasies that people have are simply their unconscious asserting itself from time to time.

Now, mind you, I have no idea if this is even close to accurate. It’s just a theory. But, if it is, that raises a couple of questions (and hence the controversy).
  • Does it mean that there could eventually be a genetic technique to change or turn off the activation of the male and female pheromone receptors, thereby changing one’s unconscious reaction to specific genders? The implication of simply that would be staggering, because it would confirm that one’s sexual preference is genetic, but it would also confirm the idea that it could be “fixed” (I hate that term in that context!). It would also have the potential to increase or decrease the number of active male or female receptors, making one more “gay” or more “straight”, hence the “fix” (or simply more horny, hard to say). It could also be a means to treat sexual predators or addicts by removing the unconscious urge. However, it could also be used to sexually repress all of society, or make everyone a perpetual horndog. (For the Prude Patrol, this horniness is not necessarily a bad thing, since they need to get laid REAL BAD!)
  • Does it mean that there could eventually be a means to stop pheromone excretion on the front end, until such time as they could be turned on again? Since nobody seems to know exactly what else pheromones affect, this would not be a good idea. The logical application of this, should it become a reality, is to tune off the pheromones in children to render them safer from pedophiles. But at what other cost?
All of that aside, this line of thought presents some interesting threads. Specifically, it would explain a lot of the sexual subjugation, conflict and turmoil that people encounter. It certainly would explain how and why people react sexually the way they do—why some people are completely straight, others are completely gay, and other are bisexual leaning one way or another. It also calls on people to examine their conscious sexual mores closely and to see if they really are what their unconscious mind believes. This requires a patient and loving and understanding partner, because it that journey could be rather rough.

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