I Am More Than My Desire

Barb Wire

By Karee Santos

I am a woman who desires men, but I don’t define myself that way. Who I am depends equally as much on the parents who raised me, the town where I grew up, and the schools I attended. I am an introverted and somewhat socially awkward intellectual, who likes Renaissance music, science fiction, and macaroni and cheese. I am all of these things and I like all of these things completely apart from my heterosexuality.

I could identify myself as a Virginian born-and-bred or a New York transplant, as a blogger or a lawyer or a stay-at-home mom, but these categories don’t constrain or pigeon-hole me. I was born with the last name Smith and at marriage changed my name to Santos, but changing my name did not change my ethnicity or my identity. On a deeper level, I am a former WASP turned Catholic convert, who believes in a higher power with a special plan in mind for me.

So I don’t post my sexual preference on my Facebook profile, parade it through the streets, wear certain colors on certain days, or join special-interest groups. Because I can’t be reduced to a certain type of longing.

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My sexuality didn’t matter much when I was a child and likely won’t matter much when I’m 90. While heterosexuality is an integral part of my marriage to my husband, our vows to love each other through riches and poverty, sickness and health, encompass far more than a ratification of our desire. And although sexual desire exerts a powerful emotional pull, it is not the most important aspect of anyone’s life. At the most basic level, we humans need to ensure our own survival, which means obtaining food, shelter, and clothing. We want to stay safe from danger, which means protecting our health, our property, and those we love. We need to educate ourselves in order to be gainfully employed. We can do all of these things without sex entering into the picture at all.

Moreover, sexual preference is a slippery thing. It is not set in stone, the way some people would have us believe. Particularly for adolescents who are still seeking a sense of themselves, sexual preference is astonishingly fluid. In fact, some scientific research reports that same sex attraction in adolescents is more likely to change than to remain fixed.

Read more: Mercator.net

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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