“How do you identify?” is the chorus these days, as young people scramble to decide which category of preferences and pronouns best defines them. There is, as usual, a light side and a shadow side to this thing.
Expanding our definition of sexuality beyond the two crowded options of the binary (recently invented, by the way) homo/hetero code is a great boon for people whose natural proclivities don’t match that. It’s even liberating to those of us for whom that code is a slightly better fit because, when it comes to sex, a continuum is nature’s design, which is happiest when there’s some wiggle room.
So, obviously I don’t have a problem with creating some elbow room for greater sexual freedom of expression. The problem lies in the insistence upon identifying, because the act of doing so creates additional baggage that just weighs us down and actually restricts our options.
This is because sexuality is all about responding. Responding is a very internal subjective thing that needs freedom from impediments and suspension of judgments in order to convey its simple truths and pristine pleasures. Identifying is a mental activity of delineation that involves quite a lot of discriminating thought. Somehow, amidst the frenzy of apparent inclusion, people are missing this part.
Sexual exploration is about discovering the who, what and how of our own unique sexual responses. When identity fixes the mind on a carefully delineated idea of who it is we’re supposed to be, sexual exploration loses a vital level of flexibility and that data is limited and probably distorted.
Sex and sexuality is intended to be fluid, particularly at younger ages when we’re just beginning exploration. But the grand PC movement around redefining sex and gender finds these kids trying to squeeze themselves into an identity before they even really know anything about sex. Of course, the irony lies in inventing distinctions in order to fit in. It’s fashionable to be fringe, uncool to be too vanilla. And yet… everywhere is still so much darn vanilla! Which is fine and natural– as long as it’s, well, fine and natural, and not something forced upon everyone as a mandate.
Ultimately, what we all need is freedom from imaginary parameters and self limiting ideas, not more of them.
This means we should be going about undressing the ego of its cumbersome layers of self-identifications. This means putting aside the frivolous pursuit of being somebody (or, as is often the case, being somebody else) in order to manifest again the capacity for simply being. Who we are. As we are. What we are.
We want to find ourselves dressed down all the way to the birthday suit. That is, after all, the most suitable attire for having sex!