Friday, January 1, 2010

"Which is the stronger drive: sex or identity?"

We're starting off the year with a quote and question to ponder.  

"When you think someone is beautiful and awesome, is it because you admire them and want to be like them, or because you're attracted to them and want to have sex with them? Which is the stronger drive: sex or identity?"

I 'd be interested in your answers for this from
  1. childhood
  2. junior high & high school
  3. the present 
(How) Has your answer changed?  (Why or why not?)


  1. I read this when it was first posted, and I have yet to come up with a very good response, but I feel like trying anyway, so here goes.

    I don't really like the question; initially, I thought, when I think someone is beautiful and awesome, I want them to pay attention to me and like me. And I couldn't figure out whether that was a sex drive thing, or an identity thing, or something else. As a kid, and probably even as a teenager, what I wanted most was emotional/intellectual intimacy. During that time I certainly liked flirting- teasing and joking, and rough-and-tumble horseplay, the kind of thing that (when it involved members of the opposite sex) could easily enough have been some kind of precursor to sex drive. But I wouldn't have wanted sex with someone I thought beautiful/awesome unless I knew they really *liked* me, which is to say, they thought I was beautiful/awesome, which seems to indicate that I must have wanted to be like them. Except being the opposite sex I wouldn't want to be like them. So I can't seem to untangle the two, where eligible members of the opposite sex are concerned. But I've also met people I thought were beautiful/awesome that I would want to be like, that I definitely wasn't at all sexually interested in (members of the same sex, or say grandpa-type figures, or others I'd look up to).

    Maybe all of that's to say, I can't untangle them, or I'm more complex than the question allows for.

  2. Sorry. :) Hooray for dichotomies, false or otherwise. Even if they frustrate you, they make you think.

    Thank you for your thoughtful response and your complexity. And for not answering "yes," which is how I usually answer "or" questions. :)

    With our culture's increasing emphasis on fluidity of gender and gender roles, I wonder if that makes the question easier or harder to answer.