Originally Posted by Persephone The Dread
Yeah I don't know what my sexuality is (a mess lol,) I think just the idea of it changing bothers me (which is ironic because I'd probably be better off with a different one,) because I don't like change that's random or out of my control (I also don't like the idea of being 'normalised,' because I've had people online suggest I should be and also read lots of disgusting stuff at this point,)
Well, your identity is what you know about yourself (not in a factual sense, but an experiential sense, where you know what it is like to be you even if you can't explain that experience). If that were to suddenly drastically change, you would no longer be yourself. You can't really identify with a version of yourself that falls outside your range of experience of yourself, so that version of you is not "you". If you became that person, the person you are now would "die". So that kind of change should
bother you. And if your impression of "normal" sexuality is that it's a degrading experience, then being normalized is not going to appeal to you.
This seems to be more or less the problem that many trans people experience. If I cannot imagine a future for myself in which I am a man (and I can't in any meaningful sense; there's just a kind of blank void, or some very hazy, fragmentary images which hold no appeal for me whatsoever) then how am I supposed to choose that kind of existence for myself? I can't. The thought of having to choose it is horrifying. Which is why many trans people develop this schizoid split, where they live in a sort of fantasy world internally, picturing a future for themselves that they want, but go through the motions externally. Coming out of the closet heals that split. The future they've been imagining for themselves finally comes inline (as much as it can, which varies from person to person) with the future that they start to build for themselves externally. If you can't imagine a future for yourself in any form that would be remotely tolerable, very often the outcome is suicide. This is why you see high rates of suicide associated with trans people who are rejected by their families/communities.
but I'm also bothered by other people's sexuality changing sometimes but that's usually for completely different reasons and I'm not even sure if it really 'changes.' So much as they just gain awareness and/or aren't settling anymore. But some people describe it that way as changing. If they're actually bi that doesn't bother me, but that's a different thing.
Maybe it's because you're afraid it will happen to you? Fear by identification? I wouldn't want to become a pedophile, but I don't have any reason to fear it will happen, either. If HRT made some people pedophiles, I would probably be afraid of that. I'm not really afraid of only being attracted to men, or only to women, because I'm already attracted to both. I like being attracted to both, but I don't find the thought of being restricted to one disgusting.
Many people with OCD do have a fear that their sexuality will change, though. So I wonder if this isn't related to OCD somehow, like HOCD, trans OCD, etc.
Yeah I'm not sure. I think since religions can last a really long time it's possible, but I mostly don't think the ones they've come up with are likely.
How many kinds of Christianity are there, though? The church can't even get people to agree on what Jesus meant in his sermons. A conspiracy is like a glass that's been knocked off the table. It exists for a time, maybe years or even decades, but it inevitably shatters. Every person involved has their own ambitions and no two of those people agree on what those ambitions should be. I just don't find long-term global conspiracies very credible. At least, not on a scale that would involve the control of billions of people. Someone is going to upset the applecart. But maybe I'm wrong.
Yeah I was thinking as a sort of coping mechanism a bit like how some people sexualise trauma, but also could just be that there's an overlap in the brain between fear and sexual arousal so it becomes sexualised that way. I just notice fetishes are often things that other people have phobias about.
I think a lot of it depends on the kind of neurological arousal you're experiencing at the time some kind of significant event happens. During a traumatic experience, like a car accident, your brain may take note of some random object in the environment and that random object can become a trigger for the emotions you felt at the time of the trauma. So, for example, seeing a bobblehead on a car dashboard might fill you with anxiety.
Sexual traumas are inherently sexual, so the incidents of the trauma may become associated with any kind of sexual arousal. It may be hard not to think about rape when you're aroused if you were raped. That doesn't happen because you want
to think about rape, or because you're trying to master the trauma; you're not sexualizing the rape; the rape was
sexual. It's what you do about those fantasies that can turn them into coping mechanisms. I don't think anyone is consciously thinking: "I know, I'll think about my rape the next time I'm turned on and maybe I can find some way to get over my trauma." They just can't avoid thinking about rape when they're turned on, just like I can't avoid flashbacks of my car accident when I see a bobblehead.
I think there are a lot of parallels between fetishes and phobias because only certain kinds of experiences create a lot of neurological excitement. Spiders create excitement for evolutionary reasons, but there probably aren't nearly as many people turned on by spiders as there are people afraid of spiders; there'd have to be something really unusual about that experience, or how that individual brain responds to certain kinds of stimuli. By contrast, breaking almost any kind of rule will create a more ambiguous kind of excitement; ambiguous because rules aren't evolved predispositions, but social constructs. And ambiguous neurological arousal lends itself to being repurposed. Which is probably why most "fetishes" (in the common sense of the term) involve rule violations of some sort: don't have sex in public, don't let your wife cheat on you, don't wear women's underwear, don't have sex with your sister. The specific fetishes will depend on temperament and life experiences, but a lot of the charge comes from the anxiety associated with being "naughty", getting caught, being publicly shamed, etc.
Idk, it's obviously very complex stuff. There aren't any easy to understand psychological phenomena.
Ah I didn't realise that was a side effect, yeah I can see why you'd want to avoid that. I basically never remember my dreams now which is annoying because some of them have been pretty cool. Sometimes scary things happen but they don't usually last long or I reach a certain level of fear and then either something funny happens or I change whatever is scaring me (or I come back from the dead after getting shot as a sort of zombie and start eating someone etc.)
I remember dreams basically every night. If I want to, anyway. Usually more than one. I often just forget them because they're not worth remembering. I'm sort of ambivalent about it, honestly. On the one hand, a lot of my dreams are horrible and terrifying; on the other hand, they're often really cool, and they make my life feel a lot larger and more interesting than it is, lol. Like, IRL I'm a hermit who reads a lot of books, but when I'm asleep I'm often running for my life from cannibals or assassins or wild animals or something. It's pretty exciting stuff.
I do wish I could change my dreams while I'm having them, though. Just stop them if they get too scary, or turn whatever is scaring me into something that isn't scary. I've never experienced anything IRL that comes close to the kind of terror I experience in dreams. I spent years and years trying to learn lucid dreaming (and I know it's possible, because I've had a couple) but I've never been able to turn it into an actual skill.