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Belton's Dilemma

Patrick thinks he's holding to the "pessimistic response," but I find that what really gets people in those circumstances down is considering the possibility that they're just kind of girly.

June 30, 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

As a person who's been in Patrick's shoes a few times, and this being a weblog that has often noted the broadscale hotness of lesbianism, I've found a few responses help. These are best given in one's internal dialogue - #1 is probably the best for, you know, actual conversation:

1) Good for her. I'm glad she's discovered what it was in her that made our relationship fail, and I'm sure she'll now be happier knowing her true self.

2) Maybe she'd be interested in a threesome.

3) If she was questioning her sexual orientation at the time, I may have missed the chance for a threesome.

4) There may be something about me which attracts women who are questioning their heterosexuality.

5) If so, maybe I can repeat this, and convince those future women to have threesomes.

That shoudl leave you feeling plenty manly.

Posted by: Andrew Edwards | Jun 30, 2004 4:12:59 PM

Well, from the guy's perspective, right.

This irritates me. If one can change one's "sexual orientation" with the seasons or like a new pair of shoes, then it is actually a yecch, "lifestyle choice". Thr right is using this against the left to prove that homosexuality is a choice. I do not believe it is, but this does not help. Women, overwhelmingly more than male homosexuals, do this stuff.

Sexual orientation can of course be discovered, realized, or accepted at a later age. But the language and concepts should be kept clear.

Umm, this does not mean I look for barfights with people who choose to call themselves lesbians.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jun 30, 2004 4:19:05 PM

The right is using this against the left to prove that homosexuality is a choice. I do not believe it is, but this does not help.

Red Herring! Red Herring!

Of course homosexuality's not a choice. Anyone who knows any gay people knows that. But don't let the right bait you into the 'homosexuality is a choice' argument. The whole point of that debate is to get you to forget the whole point of the thing:

Homosexuality. Is. Not. Wrong.

Choice, not a choice, what the hell do I care? If it was a choice, I think it would be a fine one for a person to make. Not one I'd tend to make, but I also don't like cabbage. So fine, homosecuality's a choice. So what?

Posted by: Andrew Edwards | Jun 30, 2004 4:44:50 PM

Plus, homosexuality is not always a choice. Anyone who knows any gay people knows that. But more to the point, I think that if Patrick's being honest with himself and indeed has no choice about his heterosexuality, he has to acknowledge that the threesome clause surely flashed through his mind.

Posted by: Kriston | Jun 30, 2004 4:47:59 PM

To me, it is just a language complaint. I can no more choose to be homosexual than I can choose to be black or tall. If I am making it with a guy this week, this does not in itself make me a homosexual.

There are plenty of other descriptions to use.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Jun 30, 2004 4:54:29 PM

Patrick doesn't like David Beckham because he's too girly. Maybe he'll have more sympathy now, embrace his own girliness, and break out the sarongs.

Posted by: Anne | Jun 30, 2004 4:55:04 PM

"I find that what really gets people in those circumstances down is considering the possibility that they're just kind of girly."

Apparantly he wasn't girly enough.

A few other points:

- All the best guys date some girls who like girls.

- Threesomes are more fun in theory than in practise. In the real world, they end up requiring a lot of work.

Posted by: Petey | Jun 30, 2004 5:44:20 PM

Happened to me. It wasn't the wondering if I was "girly" that
got to me. It was the realization that I was attracted to
women who were "boy-y".

Posted by: Joe Boxer | Jul 1, 2004 12:05:56 AM

Why is everyone thinking that being gay is either a fixed type of behaviour or a free choice? From what I've read, it's more likely that we're all born with the potential to end up somewhere along a range of sexual orientation, as is the case with IQ and height. Grow up in an enriched, supportive environment, with enough calories and protein, and you increase your chances of being taller and smarter than you would if you were fed poorly and raised in an impoverished, unsupportive environment. (I'm a very short smartass, so I don't know what happened to me.) Depending on other inborn and acquired attributes, plus the influence of culture, people with similar potential to be gay, straight, or somewhere in between, may end up with very different sexual histories.

The original Kinsey scale was a six point scale, but I'll use a ten point scale, where 1 is "totally straight" and 10 is "totally gay". The midpoint is someone's inborn orientation and the range shows how far their sexual behaviour can deviate (in the good, statistical sense, not the bad, judgemental sense!) from that midpoint.

Let's look a person born with a midpoint of 3 and a range of 3. Depending on other personality traits, their environment and life experiences, their expressed behaviour may vary a lot. If the person was born in the 50s, raised in a conservative home and was inherently cautious, shy and wanted to conform to societal expectations, he or she might end up as, say, 1.5, with only the odd dream or glance at a same sex person to confuse them. On the other hand, if this person was born more recently, raised in a more liberal culture, and was more of a risk taker willing to confront conventions, this person could be a 4.5, maybe a flirty young guy who had a great time while at English boarding school, or a young woman who happily slept with both men and women in university. And, of course, a person's behaviour may change through life as their environment and life experiences change.

In contrast, a person born with a midpoint of 9 and a range of 2 is never, ever going to be a happy, natural straight. This person might try to to marry in an attempt to fit in, but probably would not show a great deal of interest in sex with their partner, relying on fantasy to get through if they can function at all.

(Kinsey scale: http://www.lgbtcampus.org/resources/training/kinsey_scale.html )

Posted by: Mary | Jul 1, 2004 2:17:57 AM

25 years ago, the folk singer Holly Near was going to play in the city where I was at University.

One thing that bugged me was the 'fact' (which I confess I don't know is true or not), that she had embraced lesbianism for political reasons.

I didn't and still don't like mixing one's sexual 'preferences' and politics in this way.

Posted by: Dark Avenger | Jul 1, 2004 3:26:10 AM

Mary's right. No, sexual orientation is not a "choice", but I suspect there are very few people who are either a 1 or a 10 on the Kinsey scale (that is to say, perfectly gay or perfectly straight).

And then there's the fact that people get confused. I came out at the end of high school, before I'd dated or had any sexual experiences with either gender. I *really thought* I was gay, but after going to college and learning a bit more about myself, I figured out that I had rushed into an identity because I was "different" and felt miserable.

Now I'm "straight", but much closer to the middle of the spectrum than one side. So does that make me bi? Or does it just mean that I don't give a f*** about labels?

Posted by: yup | Jul 1, 2004 2:35:55 PM

In addition to the optimistic and pessimistic responses, Mr. Belton might want to consider what we could call "the mature response": it might not have anything to do with him at all.

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