Last week I talked a bit about body issues and how I think our puritanical but overly sexualized society has damaged how we view the human form. After writing that post (and reading this) my lack of credibility when talking about body issues for women seemed incredibly strong but I felt I could talk about how we view the form can affect men, namely me. Of course this is all just coming from one person’s point of view but hell, it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.
As my regular reader knows I was raised in a Christian Conservative home in the relatively puritanical United States. The result is that I was raised with the view that the body is inherently sexual (yay society) and that any appreciation of the male form is a sin (yay conservatism). So I basically grew up with a deeply entrenched fear that if I saw a naked man and didn’t feel disgust on a spiritual level then I was going to hell, and some part of my brain included my own body in this grouping. In fact, I remember being in middle school and having a sex ed class where they showed the penis and I instantly felt light-headed, nauseous, and I think I audibly groaned in discomfort. In case you didn’t know, being a 14 year old male groaning in the back of the class at this site of a penis is not a good social move.
All through high school I had body image issues (mostly due to my weight) and I felt incredibly uncomfortable around anyone who didn’t display the traditional markings of a heterosexual. All the ingrained intolerance of homosexuals had created a fear inside me that I might be gay and if I hung around gay people or saw naked men I would no longer be able to fight it. So, I ended up joining the army terrified of gay people, embarrassed of my own body (including my penis), and lacking any appreciation for the aesthetic beauty that is the human form.
At some point all of that started to change though. In regards to my own body I became more comfortable with myself as I spent more time naked alone and did a little internet research. I always knew pornography was fantasy but the internet allowed me to find out the actual average erect penis size (spoiler: it depends on the study but 5.5″ – 6.5″ seems about right) and become comfortable with what I have. Plus, you can do a lot more with a tongue, fingers, and toes than the actual penis most of the time. Size isn’t nearly as important as a connection with a person, being able to feel their rhythm, and adjust your actions to pleasure them. About the same time I became comfortable with my body I was also rejecting my conservative upbringing and becoming comfortable with non-heterosexuality.
I agree with the always insightful Cathy, sexuality is more of a sliding scale that depends on time, place, and individuals… it is not simply “straight, gay, bi”. While I occasionally get asked if I’m gay (usually in a derogatory way) because I so openly talk about the beauty of the human form, am comfortable supporting equal rights for all, and have become someone who encourages exploration of all things by consenting adults, I define myself as pansexual. By that I mean I am sexually attracted to people on an individual basis depending on the time, place, my relationship with them, and how attractive I think they are. I love individuals, I find them fascinating, and if there is a mutual attraction and desire I have no problem with exploring that… everything else is just details.
Though, on the show KinK someone described their sexual preference as “group” which I found funny/accurate.