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Sexual gratification & Sexual attraction
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Written by AnJ   
Monday, 28 July 2008 00:00

“She just turned straight.”
“She was straight… but now she’s with so-and-so…”

I think it’s high time we differentiate sexual gratification from sexual attraction. With all the muddle over sexual orientation and its pervasive inaccurate conclusions, surely we need to know what we really mean when we use words like “gay” and “straight”?

In the “ideal” world, people get attached to those they find physically attracted to. In the “ideal” world, people are sexually satisfied/gratified with someone they find physically attractive. Very ideal… But it doesn’t always happen that way.

Sexual gratification… is just a fulfillment of your sex drive.
We have all heard of sex drives. Those who say they don’t have it are either asexual, occupied/distracted/physically unwell or in huge denial. Sometimes people “self-help” by masturbation. Sometimes people use toys in their sexual activities with themselves or others. Sometimes people just have sex with other people. And then they become sexually gratified.

No one has ever come up with a sexual orientation for those who have sex with toys. Like, “oh, you sleep with your toys? You are toy-sexual” or “touching yourself makes you narcissist-sexual”.

So why is it that a woman who slept with a man is labeled “straight” automatically?
Why do we brand women who slept with other women as “gay” immediately?

What if she’s just “using” him/her for sexual gratification?

I think lots of people just settle for sexual gratification.
Like folks who tell me that partners who look too good give them insecurity. [Well lady/dude, if you looking good doesn't give her/him insecurity, what does that tell you about you?]
Plenty of people say it’s more important to find someone you can “click” with than having a good-looking face. So there, emotional attraction is prized above physical attraction. Since sexual orientation is about physical attractiveness, i would hesitate to label a woman who receives sexual gratification from another woman she didn’t find physically attractive as “lesbian”.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons why people make love in the dark.

Maybe some people are not bi-curious or exploring their sexual orientation. Perhaps they are just interested in a wide array of sexual gratification methods/activities…

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 17:33


# humphh 2010-02-02 20:39

humph said,

July 29, 2008 at 4:18 pm

What about women who are disinterested in sex and have male partners just for the sake of social norms (or one of the myriad of reasons other than finding their partners physically attractive) and have sex just to accommodate their partners/have kids? There are a lot of them. What are they, all asexual/in denial/repressed and/or closetted lesbians? Can one be heterosexual and just be disinterested in sex?
# AnJJ 2010-02-02 20:39

AnJ said,

July 30, 2008 at 1:11 am

They do not have a sex drive? Then maybe they are asexual [which doesn't have any negative connotation].

There are lesbians who accommodate their partners and have sex just for the sake of gratifying them as well. And lesbians who get together with male partners for the sake of norms and kids. They may not be very interested in sex with men. I don’t think these things have anything to do with their sexual orientation.

You can be straight or gay and asexual… so they say. But these “asexual” couples continue to enjoy showing affections and bonding in other ways e.g. hugging and kissing.
# O.Ren 2010-02-02 20:39

O.Ren said,

July 30, 2008 at 2:26 pm

“Toy-sexual” – I love the sound of it.

Ok so if we cannot define someone’s sexual orientation by who that person has sex with, how do we define it ? I mean, sexual orientation can definitely change, and the labels “straight” , “gay”, “bi” , are merely what they are: labels to help us globally understand what we are talking about without going into too much sexology details.

I agree on the fact that gratification and attraction are two different things, I tend to think that when the latter brings along the gratification, you hit the jackpot, but you easily ignored the emotional factor. Ok not ignored, gently pushed aside :) Because after all, it’s the emo side that speaks when someone confuses attraction with gratification, sex as a “drive” fulfillment and sex as a response to “attraction”. (physical or emotional attraction).

I guess people wouldn’t complain about how unfair or plain bitchy it is for someone to “change sides” or to change partners, if feelings were not involved and hurt in the processed. How many times did we hear lesbians say “I don’t date bisexuals” or “She left me to go “back” to guys” and other nonsense like that ? I’m not expert and correct me if I’m wrong, but I would say it has more to do with personal insecurities and feelings than with a misunderstanding of labels and definitions..
# AnJJ 2010-02-02 20:39

AnJ said,

July 30, 2008 at 3:10 pm

Sexual orientation can certainly change?
This will be explored in the IndigNation talk “The science of sexual orientation”.

You are right that being hurt has nothing to do with misunderstanding of labels and definitions. You will be hurt if the partner you love deeply leaves you full stop.
# Nnei 2010-02-02 20:40

Nei said,

July 30, 2008 at 5:53 pm

Can we say ‘the perception of one’s sexual orientation’ instead? Sounds like what she was driving at.
# AnJJ 2010-02-02 20:40

AnJ said,

July 31, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Sexual identity? Yap. Sexual identity can change. It’s just what you think you are… definitely changeable.

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