An academic.

Here’s an academic talking about shyness and male sexuality.  Some of my readers may find it boring.  Nothing against Dr. Gilmartin, whom I know nothing about, it’s just that the subject of involuntarily celibate men, I think, can summon people’s inner Bill Hicks – “who the hell invited Mr. Gloom-and-Doom?  Get the hell out of here!”

There’s an “ick” factor to the whole subject.  I’ve made some allusions to gay rights throughout this blog, but of course the analogy is imperfect.  The difficulties homosexuals have faced have been entirely caused by society’s homophobia; the involuntarily celibate man is always in his predicament in part because of his own flaws and shortcomings.  So why not stop painting the blogosphere with a can full of ick and share my thoughts instead with a psychiatrist?  Because the experiences of the sexually isolated man reveal something about the sexual culture, and in particular male sexuality.


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3 Responses to An academic.

  1. humbition says:

    I believe people should learn to value diversity in all dimensions. And often, this begins with their own diversity, as against others. Seeing oneself as primarily “flaws and shortcomings” is not conducive to a good life — though maybe there is an exception if you’re so thoroughly Protestant Christian that you see people in general as basically sinners, “in the hands of an angry God.” Well, considering as we’re messing up the planet, there’s a case to be made.

    But on an individual level, we have to learn to appreciate difference and diversity, not merely on the basis of demonstrated oppression, but simply on the basis of there being different kinds of people who are worthwhile. And no, I’m not meaning that anyone should run out and take it upon themselves in a martyr-complex way to “give someone a chance” sexually — that’s not my point. Rather, this idea that one has to live up to other people, to what they think one ought to be — why?

    Another thing: one has to take oneself as one finds oneself, today. Maybe you can change your character, slowly, to something that you yourself aspire to. But you have to start by accepting yourself today. And that means not swallowing whole what other people think you have to be. You can pick and choose, if it is the still, small, calm voice within you that is doing the picking and choosing. If it is your sense of inadequacy that makes you want to change, if you want to change to please someone (or even to “get” someone) — this tends not to go well.

    You don’t have an “essence.” If you give yourself a diagnosis and identity that signifies as lesser-than, you are stereotype-threat-ing your own self, and this is counterproductive. No less than when others do it. Diagnoses are risky things. You don’t know what your potential is.

  2. Lynet says:

    For the record, Miguel, I don’t think you’re icky.

    Not sure if that’s relevant, but I thought I’d mention it.

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