TRUTHS & DECEPTIONS - Sexuality and the Zone System
Do we really understand sexuality? In photography we have a concept known as the "Zone System" which is a scale of 11 graduations from zone zero (absolute black) to zone ten (absolute white). Between these two extremes are progressive shades of grey. This brings me to sexuality. The three commonly accepted categories of sexuality (homo, hetero, bi) have been a less than adequate model of sexuality and it’s true nature. We would be better served to think of sexuality as a graduating grey scale rather than three neat categories that society has imposed. The three categories are labels of association for groups of like-minded people but do you really fit the mould? So why the zone system? To apply the zone system to sexuality describes it as a continuous graduation rather than a series of defined categories. However in the case of sexuality the graduations would fall short of absolutes i.e., no absolute black and no absolute white. There is no absolute heterosexuality. Nor is there an absolute homosexuality and I feel it timely at this point of our social evolution to re-think these traditional concepts of sexuality. Our problem to now has been our compulsion to use labels. Labels serve to interpret perceived differences through beliefs and judgements. So that "difference" is interpreted as better or worse, more or less, natural or unnatural. Any and all human experience by virtue of the fact that it occurs can be considered natural phenomenon whether it is socially acceptable or not. There can be no other.
Sexuality is not static either. Throughout the course of one's life and even within a single day ones sexual focus can move somewhat along the grey scale according to visual stimuli. The orientation toward one or the other end of the scale is a result of historically allowing or not allowing oneself to focus upon particular thoughts. In other words ones beliefs regarding permissible or non-permissible thoughts and the acceptance or denial of those thoughts over a period of time. Some will find this a bitter pill to swallow. This is because we have been led to believe that sexuality is a biological imprint upon the species. Yes, but not in so limiting a way. It is also the result of "beliefs" held both collectively and individually regarding the nature of the self and sexual identity. Sexual preference is a psychological phenomenon as much as it is a biologically inherited imprint. I am not speaking of gender but of human attraction. There is no human that can not experience sexual and emotional arousal by intimate contact with selected individuals of either gender. Its time we recognise that there is only one sexuality, human to human. It is our thoughts and beliefs that are the true creators of what we perceive as differences in sexual orientation. We are not so unlike one another as we have chosen to perceive ourselves to be.