Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On gay love

Gay love, by its very definition of sameness, and from the bi-modal gendered society we live in, often manifests itself in different ways to straight love. Straight love is often constructed around ideas of difference which reflect the stereotypes and differences of male and female. For the gay person, a lover might not only be an object of desire but a competitor, a role model, a reflection of ourselves or a validation. Such aspects may play a role in straight relationships, but only in gay love are the acts of wanting someone and wanting to be someone so cryptically intertwined. Sometimes the two desires are difficult or impossible to separate.

A strange twist on this happened to me in high school. I had a desperate crush on a friend M. I don't think I ever wanted to be M; however I was extremely jealous of his sister. I didn't know her well because she was in a higher grade. However whenever her name was mentioned I felt this huge flush of jealousy - I wanted to be M's sister. It's all very weird and even now I can't explain it fully. She was particularly smart and also a dancer, and at the time I wanted to be a girl because I believed it would be impossible to express my true self fully as male (at uni I learnt otherwise). This goes some way to explaining my jealousy; however some aspect of it was related to her being my crush's sister - that bit I can't explain.

Crushes I have had since then have reflected all sorts of things - but I have often loved people who have aspects that I don't and I am jealous of. My boyfriend R in London was strong-willed and spontaneous - if he wanted something he just went for it, without a second thought. The consequences were sometimes exciting or entertaining. Although I did learn a lot from him, ultimately the behaviour was destructive for me.

Recent crushes have been on people who laugh at my jokes - there seems to be no greater aphrodisiac for me (although I don't fall for everyone who laughs at my jokes). I suppose this is a natural part of being an extrovert. However I feel like I have these "buttons" in me that can be pushed, which can easily make me completely infatuated with someone who isn't suited to me as a partner in other aspects. My heart can take over my head in a really inconvenient way.

What part of me needs validation to the point that it becomes unhealthy for me, and why? How do I separate my natural extrovertedness and joy at being a clown with a dependency for attention that can cloud my judgment? Why am I so attracted to impulsive, spontaneous and unpredictable people yet frustrated by the same character traits in a practical way?

I know what turns me on and pushes my buttons, but what I truly want in love and a relationship is less clear.


Mary said...

I found this a very interesting post. I wonder how much research has been done in this field.

There are certain core qualities that I find attractive (essential?) in a partner. However, other (peripheral) things which turn me on, differ depending upon whether the person is male or female.

Michael said...

I've written a sort of a response here