The last taxon of sexualist manifestations that we shall examine here
exclusivisms which can be classified
as "orientational". Even if we confine ourselves to defining
sexual orientation in terms of gender, its definition can be
either absolute or relative. In an absolute sense someone
feels, or can be, sexually attracted to male human beings, to
female human beings, to both or to neither. A human being that
feels attracted to men or boys will enjoy meeting and being with
a nice, lovable man or boy; a human being that feels attracted
to women or girls will enjoy meeting and being with a nice,
lovable woman or girl; a human being that feels attracted to
other human beings will enjoy meeting and being with another,
nice, lovable human being; a human being that does not feel
attracted to male, female or human beings, will not experience
the pleasure of meeting or being with a nice, lovable male, female or
human being as far as the joy of erotic interchange is concerned (but
'e may enjoy such a meeting
for purely social, or other, reasons).
These are the four fundamental tenets of love in a sincere sense, whatever
mess the lovers of venomous sexualism may make of it.
Yet, this picture of sexual orientation and satisfaction is
often overshadowed by another conception of sexual orientation.
It is the relative one, according to which someone's
orientation is not defined in terms of females, males and humans but
in terms of members of
'er own sex, the opposite sex,
or both sexes. For example, when describing someone as "heterosexual" it
is suggested that this person would love (or be sexually
attracted to) somebody else as somebody of the opposite sex. A
'heterosexual' boy or man, for instance, would not love girls or
women as females, but only as specimens of the opposite sex.
(Traditional ideologies which are exclusively truth-conditional
cannot comprehend the difference between these two aspects.)
Relevantly described, the boy or man in question is 'gynophile'
and not 'heterosexual', if he loves females because of their
feminine qualities and/or capacities. (It is then only a later,
truth-conditional inference that he is also heterosexual, since
he is both male and 'gynophile'.)
The relative description of the state of love affairs may be germane to
special cases, such as those of people who have only become hetero- or
homosexual because the great majority of their neighbors were heterosexual;
and it may be germane to special circumstances, such as those of monosexual
people looking for a partner or wanting children of their own, but it is a
rather odd conception to stick with
thru thick and
thin, regardless of the context.
Not surprisingly the exclusion and exclusivity of people and
characteristics on the basis of their propensity usually rests on taking
love in this relative way.
It is, then, manifested in all sorts of relative orientational
What has been said of other forms of
interfactorial sexualism holds for
the relative orientational type of it as well.
aggrandizemental component of it involves
an exclusive or disproportionately great emphasis upon discrimination on
the basis of homo- or bisexuality or sexual propensity in general,
abnegational component of it involves a
complete disregard, or disproportionately little attention, for the same
discrimination on the basis of sexual propensity, particularly in
comparison with the attention paid to other forms of discrimination.
dimensional manifestations of
infrafactorial orientational sexualism
follow a pattern similar to that of
For "single-handedness" must, then, be read "monosexuality", for
"ambidexterity" "bisexuality", for "left-handedness" "homosexuality" and
for "right-handedness" "heterosexuality".
Historically there certainly is much more resemblance between the attitude
towards, and treatment of, left-handedness and ambidexterity on the one
hand, and homo- and bisexuality on the other than just the fact that their
formal positions in the two dimensional cladograms are the same.
Abnegational components or operations of homo-, hetero- and bisexual
exclusivism are, for example:
- the belief or feeling that homosexuals are, or that
homosexuality is, inferior to heterosexuals, or heterosexuality;
- uneasiness (possibly hatred, fear, distrust or ignorance)
of a heterosexual with respect to homo- or bisexuals, or homosexuality
(possibly also with respect to his or her own homoerotic
- uneasiness (possible hatred, fear, distrust or ignorance)
of a homosexual with respect to hetero- or bisexuals, or heterosexuality
(possibly also with respect to her or his own heteroerotic by-feelings);
- the use of pejoratives in colloquial language and of
ignorant or stereotypical descriptions in exclusivist dictionaries to
denote homo- or bisexuals.
Since homosexual females and males, and perhaps also bisexual
ones, have always been a minority in larger societies, it is
they who have been victimized most by discrimination on the
basis of relative sexual orientation (particularly when the
object of the supernatural hatred of orthodox monotheists or of
the 'objective' hatred of biological materialists).
In this respect they can be compared to discriminated-against ethnical,
denominational and political
minorities which also used to lack the power to enforce their equality as
They can also be compared to other classes of human beings exploited,
molested or bothered because of particular sexual characteristics or
activities. In the past the attitude of certain parents
vis-à-vis the masturbation of their children, for instance,
has definitely not been more enlightened when it concerned their
sexual relationships with others, for example, when one of their
partners turned out to be 'of the wrong race'. The measures
taken have often only been much worse when one of their partners
turned out to be 'of the wrong sex'.
It was quite predictable that after an era of abnegational
homosexual exclusivism (or antihomosexualism) a reaction would
follow, that is, an attitude of aggrandizemental homosexual
exclusivism as popularized in slogans like Glad or Proud to
be gay. It is this kind of slogans which demonstrates how
exclusivist prohomosexualism, too, fell straight into the trap
of the relative conception of sexual orientation. No-one is glad
or 'gay' because 'e is homosexual or, for that matter,
nonhomosexual, and no-one should have the arrogance of being proud
of 'er homosexuality or other sexual propensity. This merely
provokes a reaction in turn. A homo- or bisexual female can be
made happy when meeting and being with a nice, lovable woman or
girl, and so can a hetero- or bisexual male. Similarly, a homo-
or bisexual male can be made happy when meeting and being
with a nice, lovable man or boy, and so can a hetero- or
(And all of them can be made unhappy when being confronted with the social,
political or legal outpourings of the sexual totalitarians' abomination.)
Whether the person or 'er body concerned is, then, of one or two genders,
simultaneously or in the course of 'er life, and whether the people or
their bodies concerned are, then, of the same or a different gender is
irrelevant in this regard.