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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Making sense of my sexuality


By Jaye Touray

A few weeks ago, in a conversation with a friend, she stated she may be sapiosexual. The mention of the word sapiosexual got me intrigued, for two reasons. First, to know that she is familiar with the word. And, second, because I just recently identified with it, again, so to speak.

A week prior to the above-mentioned conversation, a colleague of mine sent me a flyer entitled “Memorial of Jesus’ Death”. On it, it was stated “This year, the memorial will be held on Tuesday, April 4, 2023”. Because I missed the ‘memorial’ in this statement, I sent the message: “Do you a kind of commemoration on April 4th?”.  She responded, “I don’t really understand the question”.  So, I wrote back, this time round putting the ‘have’ I skipped in the first question I sent her: “Do you have a kind of commemoration on April 4th?”. After sometimes, I sent her the following message: “No doubt you can’t hang out with me. You too slow, I would have to be explaining everything I say, and would have to say every word in a statement for you to vibe with me. Time is life, being intelligent is sexy, being smart is attractive. #sapiophile, #sapiosexuality.”

I first came across the word ‘sapiosexual’ sometime back while watching a true crime documentary. On this particular episode, it was stated that a lady got attracted to a particular man—whom she ended up killing—because of his intelligence; that, the lady was a sapiosexual.  I had to pause the movie to look up for the meaning of the word ‘sapiosexual’. And, wow! It was a revelation.  It resonated with me. At some point in life, I was very much a sapiosexual. However, I didn’t know it then though. Until this movie, I didn’t even know a word for such type of attraction existed.  All I know is, growing up, from primary school on, I have always been attracted to the most intelligent girls or ladies in my class or batch. 

However, in the recent past, I have been experiencing what I would describe as fluidity in sexuality. Or simply put, a changing sexuality.  In the late 2019, I told a group of friends that I didn’t find females sexually attractive as I was used to. This, some of them found intriguing given the ‘belief’ they have had of me as being ‘hypersexual’, or libidinous. I regard such kinds of beliefs about me as misconceptions as they are not reflective of the reality of my life. “Thank God, our prayers are being answered now”, one of them said. To some, the feeling I have had would be temporary as it may have been due to the professional cum social stress I may have been undergoing at the time.

However, after all this time, this feeling still lingers on. Now, when I tell people I don’t find females sexually attractive as such, the first question I would be asked is “are you a gay?”.  To this I would say no; and then ask why that question. I would be told if I don’t find women attractive, then it must be men I would find attractive. To these people, it is not possible for a human being not to have sexual desire cum attraction.  This is a kind of thinking I see as one of the tragedies of the kind of socialization we have in our society. People are brought up not to appreciate diversity, or difference. That, one’s kind is the best. Anything different is an aberration. An abnormality. A tragic product of herd mentality. Human behaviour is not black and white, there are many gradations to it. And so is sexuality.

There are many shades to sexuality. There are those who are sapiosexual. There are those who are demisexual.  There are those who are abrosexual. There are those who are adipophiliacs. And, there are those who are asexual— and just because they are in the minority, does not make them abnormal. They are just different. Difference is but an enrichment of human diversity.

I describe myself as a sexual libertarian. I tend to believe that consenting adult individuals’ private sexual choices should not be restricted by law. They should be free to explore their sexuality. For all those moralists who would want to come after me with moralist daggers, I am shrouded in a shield of amorality. Morality is not objective reality. Moral facts are not necessarily natural facts. Nonetheless, when it comes to relationship with the female folk, now, I tend to be much more interested in the content of the conversation. The intellectual nourishment that would be put on the table for mental stimulation as means of daily sustenance for intellectual wellbeing. 

Finally, sexuality is diverse and complex. It defies the simplistic characterisation it tends to be defined by in our society. An individual can have a combination of its variations. To whom one is attracted is primordially individualistic, inborn. However, the environment in which one is socialized has a great influence in shaping it.  The environment’s influence on it can be akin to its influence on beauty cultures in different parts of the world. One just has to look across the world to appreciate how diverse what is considered appealing and desirable, and therefore, sexually attractive are in both females and males, from Asia, Europe, Africa to the Americas.

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