Good Questions

change Nov 24, 2019
“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”

Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead

What follows are a number of questions I've asked myself over the last year. Departing from my usual pattern, I'm not providing the answers I came to, but I found the questions quite useful and have been thinking they'd be good to share.

  • What is attraction?
  • What are the components of attraction?
  • What makes a sexual attraction different from other ways of being attracted to another person?
  • Does there have to be a difference?
  • How much does choice play in to how I perceive any feeling I have?
  • Does thinking another person of the same gender is beautiful mean that I am sexually attracted to them?
  • The feeling that I label as attraction - would I experience it differently if I put a different label on it or if I chose to interpret it in a different way than what I have done in the past?
  • Why do I have an erection at certain times? Is what I have always thought it means actually what it means?
  • How much does a poor relationship with my wife have to do with our sexual relationship?
  • If I chose to spend more time building my relationship with my wife, how would that affect our sexual relationship?
  • Does the narrative I've adopted to describe my life experience actually fit with that experience?
  • Do I remember all my past experiences well enough to know how I have felt at any point in time?
  • How much does society's story about homosexuality have to do with my perception of my feelings?
  • If I had never heard a narrative for these feelings that included homosexuality, would I have ever interpreted my feelings in that way?
  • What does "sexual orientation" mean?
  • How would life be different if I didn't believe "sexual orientation" were a real thing?
  • How would life change if I chose different meanings for the feelings I feel?
  • Is there a chance that the only appreciable difference between me and other men is that I've chosen a different interpretation for the feelings I feel?
  • Why do other people think that singing and dancing have anything to do with homosexuality?
  • How much effect do the labels I chose have on how I perceive my life experiences and on the possibilities I believe are available to me?
  • Can I think of other explanations for why I feel the way I do?
  • If I believed those other explanations instead of the ones I currently believe, how would life change?
  • Why do I want a hug from other men?
  • Does wanting a hug from other men mean that I am gay?
  • Are there other explanations for wanting hugs that also work?
  • How would life change for me if I believed those other explanations instead?
  • Do I have to believe that I was "born this way"?
  • How much did societal stories about how gay men act and what they like influence my unconscious perception of myself and my "sexuality"?
  • How does having a broad vs. narrow interpretation of what behaviors and expressions are included in "sexual orientation" affect my perception about myself?
  • How does the way I understand "sexual orientation" affect how I interact with other people?
  • Why did I think it was weird for my dad to hug my friends?
  • Why do I avoid building relationships with other people?
  • Why do I unconsciously sabotage new relationships?
  • Are there really homosexual/heterosexual people?
  • Does the "homosexual" identity really exist?
  • If I define sexual behavior as "homosexuality" rather than people as "being homosexual", how does that change my perception?
  • What does friendship mean?
  • How is friendship different from romance?
  • If I can't seem to take my eyes off someone of the same gender (the "wow" experience), does that mean I'm checking them out? Or does it mean something different?
  • What role does not having friends of the same gender play in the "wow" experience?
  • What is it that I find attractive about other men?
  • Why do I find certain things attractive about other men?
  • Have I really felt this way "all my life"?
  • How much do other people's stories influence how I tell and perceive my own story?
  • How often do I find myself adopting phrases from other people's experience to describe my own experience?
  • How and when do I adopt other people's experiences or their explanation of their own experiences to describe my own?
  • If I had been born 200 years ago, when the word "homosexuality" didn't even exist, and when sex with men was an act, not an identity, how would I perceive myself?
  • How do I change the narrative society has handed to me in my own head?