I have two my questions that I’d really love your opinion on.Sponsored
1. If limerence is similar to an addiction and we know that it doesn’t last forever, would we not naturally want to seek out that feeling with another partner once it runs out to get that feeling back? Could that prove that humans aren’t naturally or biologically monogamous?
2. During my first sociology class in college, my professor said something I have never forgotten. “No one is 100% straight or gay.” As I’ve done more research on the “spectrum” or continuum of sexuality, I am wondering if my professor is right about that. Does everyone fall somewhere on the in between of the scale? Meaning, are there people who are actually 100% straight or gay, or could anyone fall in love with anyone, male or female?
I hope my questions make sense. I would love to know your thoughts.
1. I had to look that word up!
limerence • NOUN • psychology
The state of being infatuated or obsessed with another person, typically experienced involuntarily and characterized by a strong desire for reciprocation of one's feelings but not primarily for a sexual relationship.
The poly folks call that feeling—when it is primarily about a sexual/romantic relationship—"new relationship energy," A, or NRE:
New relationship energy (or NRE) refers to a state of mind experienced at the beginning of sexual and romantic relationships, typically involving heightened emotional and sexual feelings and excitement. NRE begins with the earliest attractions, may grow into full force when mutuality is established, and can fade over months or years. The term indicates contrast to those feelings aroused in an "old" or ongoing relationship.
Limerence could be a sign humans aren't naturally monogamous—but there are lots of other and better signs, from ball size to copulatory vocalization to human history and what we can infer from our need to criminalize adultery. (If no one wanted to do a thing you wouldn't have to threaten everyone with death to stop no one from doing it.)
2. If someone were to say, "No one is really bisexual," A, I imagine your professor would object—and he'd probably point to all the bi-identified people out there as proof that, indeed, some people are bisexual. And while it's true that sexual orientation exists on a spectrum, and while it's true that many people fall on some point along that spectrum, it is simultaneously true that most people clump up at either end of the spectrum—with the overwhelming majority congealing around the straight end.
Are there straight-identified people out there who have same-sex desires that they may have even acted on once or twice? Of course. Are there gay-identified people out there who have opposite-sex desires that they may have acted on once or twice? Of course. But the existence of roundups—people who've rounded themselves up to gay or straight—isn't proof that "no one is 100% straight or gay."
And for your professor to suggest that all straight people who profess to have no same-sex desires and all gay people who profess to have no opposite-sex desires are deluded, repressed, or confused bisexuals is every bit as as offensive as suggesting that bisexuals are deluded, repressed, or confused monosexuals.
And even if everyone were to come out as bisexual tomorrow—even if it were true that no one was 100% gay or straight—it doesn't follow that "[anyone] could fall in love with anyone, male or female." Because sexual orientation ≠ romantic orientation and vice-versa, A, as I unpacked here and here and here. (Oh, and since gender is a spectrum too... that means no one is 100% male or female... so no one can fall in love with anyone who's 100% male or female. Don't believe me? Just ask your prof.)
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