The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Obsessed? Who, Me?

Posted on | June 9, 2013 | 20 Comments

Honestly, you start talking about this stuff, and readers in the comments call your attention to other related stuff, and it’s really pretty fascinating. But next thing you know you’re down the Rabbit Hole, lost in Wonderland. So I promise that after this post, I’m going to write something about NSA snooping or the IRS scandal, just to show that I am not personally fixated on this issue. Meanwhile . . .

Not to mimic the Marina Adshade, Ph.D.. methodi.e., nothing is valid unless empirically proven by social science research — but Clayton Cramer notes a bit of data that turns up almost coincidentally in a study that asks, “Why are lesbians usually fat?”

Correlation is not causation, and one sometimes finds two overlapping data points which are in fact both effects of the same cause. Which isn’t to say that I’m buying any particular single-factor causation argument. Having studied the phenomenon as a mere amateur — a journalist who spent years on the “culture wars” beat — I believe that much of what we now think we “know” about homosexuality is not actually true. But this is a criticism of the state of psychology in general.

Whereas once psychology told Americans to recline on the couch and talk about our mothers, nowadays it’s all serotonin-adjusting chemicals and theorizing about the adaptive value of different behaviors in primitive hunter-gatherer societies.

During the Freudian heyday of the mid-2oth century, homosexuality was explained in terms of family dynamics and “syndromes,” and now the brain-science/Darwinism psychobiology theorists have the upper hand among experts, and I think they all miss the mark.

There are different types of gay people who are gay for different reasons and, as a libertarian/conservative, I think all determinist theories of the phenomenon are misguided. For example, there is what I call the “Desire Is Destiny” mentality, wherein anything that stands between the individual and the satiation of his impulses is condemned as oppressive. And this mentality often marches alongside the “Political Identity” conception of sexual preference, where being gay isn’t something you do to get your rocks off, but rather a politicized mantle of victimhood that functions as a grievance “empowering” you to be self-righteously angry at people you don’t like.

You know the type: “Hater! Homophobe! Bigot!”

Try talking honestly to them and next thing you know, they start ranting about hate crimes and gay teen suicide and “no promo homo” and  generally reacting like you’re some kind of door-to-door evangelist trying to ship them off to a NARTH re-education camp.

What you often find, in reading the “growing up gay” memoirs that nowadays litter the publishing industry catalogs (hint: all Manhattan-based industries employ lots of gay people) is that homosexuals will recall “feeling different” in childhood, years before this feeling of differentness manifested itself as homosexuality. Now, I don’t know exactly how the sweater would unravel if you started pulling at that particular thread, but the theme of The Different Child — which an observant reader can’t help but notice over and over again in these memoirs — deserves more exploration as a common trait. Is homosexuality an adaptive reaction to this sense of being a misfit?

Also, I think we need to think about sexual preference as it relates to sexual identities and sex roles. The past half-century of egalitarianism has tended toward a functional androgyny — we are all supposed to be worker drones for whom sex is merely recreation  — and one can well imagine the confusion this causes.

On the other hand, the child’s perception of sex roles (what it means to be a man or a woman) is shaped both by direct observation of adults and by media portrayals, so that the child must be able to imagine himself in his adult role (aspirational identification) in order to have a sense of who he will be when he grows up.

Aspirational identification is no real problem for the vast majority of children — the average, the ordinary, the typical child. But for The Different Child, the one with a sense of himself as a misfit who doesn’t quite belong with the crowd, somehow the regular process of identification doesn’t work so well.

The Boy Who Will Grow Up to Be Gay (and write a memoir about it, because the New York publishing industry just can’t get enough of this stuff) reports that he felt somehow inauthentic, like an actor playing a part, when he tried to relate to others. It wasn’t just that he felt like a fraud when he tried pretending to be romantically interested in girls. The future gay boy also had trouble relating to his male peers in the usual male-bonding way of relating.

Because of the current hegemony of the “born that way” theory of homosexuality, and its attendant “desire is destiny” way of looking at sexuality, there is a strange lack of curiosity toward re-examining the developmental issues involved, perhaps for fear of revisiting all those ridiculous “syndromes” of the Freudian era.

The hyper-radicalization of sexual politics since the 1980s is also an obstacle to understanding these things. The gay-rights mob has created entire categories of Things You’re Not Supposed to Say Out Loud and Questions Nobody Is Allowed to Ask.

Chief among the items in the later category: Can some gay person please explain their aversion to heterosexual intercourse?

Think about this.

Of course, we think of the gay male in terms of his same-sex attraction, but why doesn’t he occasionally say to himself, “Oh, look, here is an attractive woman who seems to like me. We have common interests — she’s into Bette Midler and disco — so maybe I’ll just give that penis-in-vagina action a try. Could be fun.”

Well? Why is this so uncommon? Why is there this single-digit percentage of men (gay males are usually estimated between 2% and 4% of the adult male population) afflicted with what we might diagnose as gynophobia? What don’t you like about the vagina, dudes? And doesn’t this gay-male aversion to heterosexuality occasionally manifest itself as a certain sort of misogyny?

Andrew Sullivan’s Fear and Loathing of Sarah Palin’s Uterus comes immediately to mind in this particular context.

In this same context of Things You’re Not Supposed to Say Out Loud, when are gay people doing to ditch that silly “LGBT” dishonesty? The “B” stands for “bisexual,” and you can ask gay person if there is any such a thing as a “Bisexual Caucus” under the LGBT banner.

Hell, no.

Gay people don’t like bisexuals and don’t trust bisexuals, because “bisexual” is really just a label adopted by (a) creepy closet cases who are really gay, and (b) kinky opportunistic sex freaks.

The married woman who sneaks off for a rendezvous with her former college softball teammate? “Bisexual.” Right. And maybe the teammate is grateful for the lesbian reunion, but it’s not like the “bisexual” partner is showing courageous solidarity, is it?

The cocaine-sniffing party boy with the kinky girlfriend who likes to get together with other couples for “swingers” weekends? Well, yeah, maybe you could call him “bisexual,” but wouldn’t it be more accurate to call him an oversexed pervert?

OK, so I’m libertarian in the “whatever floats your boat” live-and-let-live sense — who isn’t? — but dishonesty bugs me, as does the Orwellian suppression of discourse, which is why I get peeved at that ridiculous “B” in the LGBT acronym.

Peeved, yes. Obsessed, no.

BTW, if any publishers are reading this blog, here’s a working title to consider: I’m OK, You’re a Narcissistic Sociopath: Why People Who Buy Self-Help Books Are Such Pathetic Losers.



20 Responses to “Obsessed? Who, Me?”

  1. David Van Brunt
    June 9th, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

    David Van Brunt liked this on Facebook.

  2. Kerry Dar-Du
    June 9th, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

    Kerry Dar-Du liked this on Facebook.

  3. David Thomson
    June 9th, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

    David Thomson liked this on Facebook.

  4. Mm
    June 9th, 2013 @ 4:44 pm

    I think you can walk and chew gum at the same time – you and others are covering those stories over at And the whole #freeKate imbroglio is a story that desperately needs exposure of the underlying forces at work.

  5. DaveO
    June 9th, 2013 @ 4:54 pm

    “Desire is Destiny” may be accurate, but the original words are “Do what you will.” It is the American Ethic.

  6. Josh_Painter
    June 9th, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Obsessed? Who, Me? #TCOT

  7. AGoyAndHisBlog
    June 9th, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

    If the “B” is disingenuous (I agree), the “T” is intellectual dishonesty on steroids.

    Transgenders have issues associated with GENDER – sometimes genetic, sometimes developmental, sometimes emotional – NOT sexual orientation. The two are completely orthogonal.

    Furthermore, apropos the point, the “T” folks are typically the first ones to get thrown under the bus (usu. by the “L” crowd) when it comes to negotiating with The Man over details of LGBT “Rights” legislation.

  8. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    June 9th, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

    Most gay men seem to have a hormonal difference that makes them oriented that way. Not all, but more than half.

    Many Lesbians, however, seem burned by men. Not all, but a significant portion of them.

    But I agree that the conventional wisdom was wrong when we thought this was purely a moral-nurture issue and wrong when we think of it as a biological-nature issue. It is complex, varies widely individual to individual, and often involves a variety of issues and causes.

  9. K-Bob
    June 9th, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

    (Edit: I frequently forget to let Stacy know I liked the article he just spent his time on. This was another good one!)

    If people just stopped being obsessed with sex, or at least stopped letting it take over their lives, or at the very least of all, stopped bothering the rest of with their stupid obsessions, then most of these explorations would be unnecessary. Besides, everyone with an obsession has some convenient scapegoat on which to blame it. Even when they know it’s a scapegoat, they blame it anyway.

    In fact, I blame Stacy for making me write this, right now. That’s how it works.

    However, I offer a solution: the most brilliant scene in SNL history features everything you need to deal with all your psychological problems, including obsession: Stop It!

  10. Bob Belvedere
    June 9th, 2013 @ 7:18 pm

    That, um, was Mad TV.

  11. K-Bob
    June 9th, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

    Ohhh, yeahhh! I forgot.

    That was back when Mad TV was mostly Phil LaMarr TV, but was really funny!

  12. Adjoran
    June 10th, 2013 @ 2:26 am

    I believe there are extraordinary cases of people who are actually more oriented towards the sex opposite of the one their body is. Like true cases of “multiple personality disorder,” they are extremely rare (probably far rarer than MPD) and roughly 99.99% of the people who currently classify themselves under the “transgender” category would have been better served with psychological treatment or just being a cross-dresser.

    If a man wants his Weiner cut off, or a woman wants one crafted for her out of spare parts, they have MUCH bigger problems than the body they were born with.

    And for the 0.01% for whom there is a legitimate justification for “transgendering,” well, that’s sad. But we are right now allowing children under 12 to die by ruling them ineligible for organ transplants, and the rule is there because there aren’t enough organs and we can’t save everybody.

    Friends, you have my sympathy, but if the kids are expendable, you can cut off your own darned Weiner.

  13. Good Stuff
    June 10th, 2013 @ 3:56 am

    bunch of PC stuff – gay is gay

  14. Ben David
    June 10th, 2013 @ 4:38 am

    Citation please.
    “Born that Way” is the Big Lie of the gay-rights movement. Totally untrue – but accepted by repetition.

    We now know there’s no “gay gene” – after mapping the human genome in the 90s.

    We know there are no hormonal differences – after vetting the gay-rights movement’s misuse of twin studies.

    And geneticists are constantly trying to explain – over the din of PC misinformation and leftie “you can’t help yourself” propaganda – that there is *no* strong biological causation for complex, emotional/moral behaviors like human sexual expression.

  15. julie
    June 10th, 2013 @ 7:48 am

    Love this! And I am trans. And a conservative/libertarian. The debate on what “causes” LGBT (staying away from the B point you make) is immaterial to me and most LGBT people I know — it is what it is, and anything beyond that falls in the let him (or her) without sin throw the first stone category.

  16. Quartermaster
    June 10th, 2013 @ 7:52 am

    The suicide rate among those who have the cosmetic surgery called sex change surgery, is an atrocity. Anyone that has that kind of bodily mutilation is a very sick puppy that needs help, not surgery.

  17. DaMav
    June 10th, 2013 @ 9:21 am

    If people believe homosexuality is genetic why don’t we fund NIH to look for a cure, as well as a marker that would allow diagnosis in utero?

  18. Scribe of Slog (McGehee)
    June 10th, 2013 @ 10:05 am

    Yup. Regardless of whether someone “feels like an X trapped in a Y’s body,” the fact is that medical science can’t give you an X’s body, it can only take away what made it Y.

  19. Scribe of Slog (McGehee)
    June 10th, 2013 @ 10:13 am

    I don’t know whether the person who told me this was full of carp but it seems to make sense to me. I had mentioned that some people respond to “homosexuality is a choice” arguments by asking whether straight people choose to be straight.

    She reminded me about the Garden of Eden story, and how until they ate from the Tree of Knowledge Adam and Eve didn’t have the power to choose between good and evil because they didn’t know what evil was.

    Her point was that most straight people don’t “choose” to be straight, because they’ve never tried the alternative and never will — but that most gay people didn’t “choose” to be gay either because they hadn’t experienced heterosexuality beforehand.

    So, of “choice” and “biologically determined,” neither is correct. According to her.

  20. Freddy At Night
    June 10th, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

    That would add an interesting twist to the abortion debate! I wonder how many expectant couples would give that “reproductive choice” option a little more thought if they knew they were expecting a homosexual