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khafra comments on Procedural Knowledge Gaps - badger.com on lesswrong.com

124 Post author: Alicorn 08 February 2011 03:17AM

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Comment author: khafra 08 February 2011 05:30:47PM 37 points [-]

The way to become bisexual is to regularly extend your exposure to erotic stimuli just a little further than your comfort zone extends in that direction. I'll use drawn pictorial porn as an example erotic stimulus, but adapt to whatever you prefer: start with Bridget. Everyone is gay for Bridget. Once you're comfortable with Bridget, move on to futanari-on-female erotica, male-on-futanari, then futanari-on-male, paying attention to your comfort levels. You'll run across some bizarre things while searching for this stuff; if any of it interests you, just go with it.

By now, you should be fairly comfortable with the plumbing involved, so it's just the somatically male body you need to learn to find attractive. Find art featuring bishounen types, then pairing them with other male body types, and pay attention to what feels most comfortable.

It may take a while to go through this process, but I believe it's entirely achievable for most people who don't view heterosexuality as a terminal value.

Comment author: David_Gerard 08 February 2011 10:28:38PM *  22 points [-]

The Bisexual Conspiracy commends your insidious efforts at propagating memes advantageous to us and has sent you several HBBs of assorted gender orientations by overnight delivery.

Comment author: oliverbeatson 09 February 2011 01:47:52AM 6 points [-]

I wonder how much this would work for a homosexual male.

I've actually been trying this essential thing, although with less persistence as it requires a certain amount of effort to attend to something that just seems so immediately boring to myself. Perhaps living in a hetero-normative culture ensures that when a man decides that he's gay, he is more likely to have discovered a roughly immutable biological fact?

Comment author: TheOtherDave 09 February 2011 02:34:42AM 10 points [-]

Two related thoughts come to mind.

One is that male anatomy is more familiar, and therefore presumably less intimidating, to straight men than female anatomy is to gay men.

Another is that in a heteronormative culture, men who aren't strictly monosexual are more likely to identify as straight than as gay. If what this technique actually does is make men who aren't monosexual more aware of their non-monosexuality, then I'd expect it to get more noticeable results on men who identify as straight. (I'd also expect there to be a wide range of effectiveness among straight-identified men.)

Comment author: David_Gerard 09 February 2011 12:13:35PM *  8 points [-]

Despite subcultural normativity being strongly biased against bisexuality, really quite a lot of gay-identifying men have experimented with heterosexual behaviour, but are - ha! - closeted about it.

Comment author: oliverbeatson 10 February 2011 02:19:53PM 1 point [-]

Alas the benefits of being open about a very slight sexual curiosity are probably not often great enough to make complete honesty seem worthwhile. Also such curiosity tends to signal a lack of self-knowledge and thus to an extent lack of trustworthiness, probably hence the vague stigma that many people have against dating bisexuals.

Comment author: David_Gerard 10 February 2011 06:44:39PM *  4 points [-]

The Bizarre World of the Bisexual - it's all 100% true! [1]

[1] Statement of 100% truth may not be 100% true.

Comment author: khafra 09 February 2011 02:02:39AM 1 point [-]

If you're finding it boring, you may be trying to go too straight too quickly, or you may not be using your preferred form of erotica--I used hentai as as example, but I could've used textual fiction, videos, etc.

Or you could just be immutably gay; I am generalizing from just a few examples.

Comment author: oliverbeatson 10 February 2011 01:45:34PM 1 point [-]

Hmm, I'll experiment with a variety, and report back if I make findings.

Comment author: Nick_Tarleton 08 February 2011 10:35:26PM 5 points [-]

I take it this is a process that's worked for you?

Comment author: khafra 08 February 2011 10:39:27PM 9 points [-]

Accidentally, but yes. I've also seen it work on other people who frequent /b/, both for bisexuality and many paraphilias.

Comment author: Matt_Simpson 09 February 2011 01:12:02AM 16 points [-]

heh, I had a suspicion that /b/ had something to do with this

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 09 February 2011 01:40:41PM 6 points [-]

I suspect how well this works probably depends on exactly how hetero- or homosexual one was from the beginning. (I'm basing that on personal experience with regard to both bisexuality and various fetishes.)

Instead of a strict straight/bi/gay split, I prefer to think of it as a spectrum where 0 is completely straight, 5 is completely bisexual and 10 is completely gay. I'm guessing it's possible for you to shift yourself a couple of points towards the middle of the spectrum, but not an arbitrary amount. E.g. if you started off at 0 you might shift yourself to 2, or if you started off at 8 you could shift yourself to 6.

I'd also note that there's a difference between sexual attraction and emotional compatibility. I'm rather mildly bisexual and using these techniques, could probably become a bit more so. But my main issue with pursuing same-sex relationships is not the sexual attraction as such, but the fact that I find it a lot easier to relate and connect to women on an emotional level. These techniques probably wouldn't help in that.

Comment author: Peter_de_Blanc 09 February 2011 06:15:07PM 23 points [-]

Instead of a strict straight/bi/gay split, I prefer to think of it as a spectrum where 0 is completely straight, 5 is completely bisexual and 10 is completely gay.

Hah! You're trying to squish two axes into one axis. Why not just have an "attraction to males" axis and an "attraction to females" axis? After all, it is possible for both to be zero or negative.

Comment author: Cyan 10 February 2011 01:50:50AM *  3 points [-]

You're trying to squish two axes into one axis.

Dimension reduction is not automatically an illegitimate move. That said, I grant that in this case it's worthwhile to keep at least two axes.

Comment author: Strange7 28 August 2011 06:58:40PM 2 points [-]

I would say there are more than two axes which could be meaningfully considered, here. Male and female body types, personalities, and genitals can exist in a variety of combinations, and any given combination can (in principle) be considered sexy or repulsive separate from the others. For example, there are those who prefer [feminine/curvy/penis] having sex with [masculine/buff/vagina] over all other thus-far-imagined pairings.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 09 February 2011 07:55:12PM 2 points [-]

In a similar spirit, many discussions of sexuality separate "attraction" from "identity" from "experience" onto different axes to get at the differences between a man who is occasionally attracted to men but identifies as straight, vs. a man who is equally often attracted to men but identifies as bi, or various other possible combinations.

Comment author: AdeleneDawner 10 February 2011 01:28:24AM 2 points [-]

Something related is common in the asexual community: Many asexuals identify as hetero/homo/bi/pan/a-romantic. I could certainly see someone being hetero- or homosexual and bi- or pan-romantic, or bi- or pansexual and hetero- or homo-romantic.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 09 February 2011 07:00:02PM -1 points [-]

An excellent point.

Comment author: Desrtopa 10 February 2011 07:10:41AM 4 points [-]

Instead of a strict straight/bi/gay split, I prefer to think of it as a spectrum where 0 is completely straight, 5 is completely bisexual and 10 is completely gay. I'm guessing it's possible for you to shift yourself a couple of points towards the middle of the spectrum, but not an arbitrary amount. E.g. if you started off at 0 you might shift yourself to 2, or if you started off at 8 you could shift yourself to 6.

By this metric, I started at a zero (unable to find other males sexually attractive,) and ended at a zero. My attempts to influence myself to have a sexual interest in men achieved null results.

I have no problem finding other men attractive, but they're still about as sexually appealing to me as plants.

Comment author: JoshuaZ 09 February 2011 07:10:39PM *  3 points [-]

The scale you are talking about when used by psychologists and others when discussing sexuality is the Kinsey scale. Under the standard scaling it goes from 0 to 6 with 0 being complete heterosexuality and 6 being complete homosexualty.

Comment author: TobyBartels 10 February 2011 07:04:40AM -1 points [-]

It should be 0 for female-attracted and 6 for male-attracted (or the reverse, but I'll go this way since Kinsey used it first on men). The idea that homo- and hetero- are the basic orientations is asinine, but surprisingly common.

I'll admit to being a 2 on the scale that I just described, but I refuse to be placed on Kinsey's scale at all.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 09 February 2011 07:51:41PM 6 points [-]

I would be surprised if the kinds of gradual-exposure techniques khafra endorses here for making same-sex partners more erotically compatible didn't work equally well (or poorly) for making them emotionally compatible.

Of course, in that case you wouldn't want to use erotic stimuli.

I'm not exactly sure what stimuli you would use, because I'm not exactly sure what you mean by relating and connecting to people on an emotional level... but whatever it is, I suspect you could test khafra's approach by identifying specific activities that qualify, and then looking for the closest thing to that activity involving men that you find easy, and attending to that thing.

Let me stress here, though, that I'm not asserting you ought to change anything. There's nothing wrong with being heterosexual, and there's no reason you should feel like your heterosexuality diminishes you in any way.

Comment author: Kaj_Sotala 09 February 2011 08:58:05PM *  6 points [-]

I would be surprised if the kinds of gradual-exposure techniques khafra endorses here for making same-sex partners more erotically compatible didn't work equally well (or poorly) for making them emotionally compatible.

Umm, no. To make erotic stimuli more attractive, it's enough that you think about the stimuli often enough and learn to like it. It may be slow, but there's relatively little risk. Learning to bond and relate to the kinds of people you've always had difficulty bonding and relating to requires you to open yourself up to them in an attempt to connect with them. At worst, you can end up embarassed and hurt and have an ever harder time trying to connect to them in the future.

It's also a lot more complex, since it's not enough to modify your own reactions. You also need to learn how to get the right responses out of other people.

I'm not saying it can't be done, or that you couldn't apply similiar techniques as you would to developing an erotic attraction. But those are techniques are only a small part of it, and it's a lot harder.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 09 February 2011 09:19:08PM 0 points [-]

Agreed that learning to get the right responses out of other people, and risking social penalties, are eventually required for this sort of social conditioning. (Though not necessarily initially required.)

It seems to me the same thing is true of erotic conditioning of the sort we're talking about. That is, if I want to train myself to respond erotically to X, sooner or later I have to stop exclusively interacting with pictures or books or whatever and start actually interacting with X, and that can be difficult, and risks social penalties. But I don't start there.

That said, I'm pretty much speaking hypothetically here; I've never actually used this technique. So I could easily be wrong.

Comment author: Blueberry 09 February 2011 08:29:52PM 1 point [-]

That shouldn't be as much of an issue, because there's so much variation in emotional compatibility with men. If you're sexually attracted to penises, it shouldn't be hard to find at least someone you're emotionally compatible with who has a penis. The main problem is getting attracted to the "other" set of genitalia. If you're attracted to one penis, you're probably attracted to all of them, whereas emotional compatibility is more complicated and subtle.

There isn't really a one-size-fits-all emotional compatibility with men, the way there is with sexual orientation.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 09 February 2011 08:47:00PM 0 points [-]

If Kaj_Sotala tells me that emotional compatibility is more of an issue for him than sexual attraction, I'm prepared to accept that... I don't see the value in challenging his observations about what "the main problem" for him really is.

That said, like you, I don't consider it likely that this describes very many people. Then again, I also don't find it likely that "If you're attracted to one penis, you're probably attracted to all of them" describes very many people.

Then again again, the world is full of unlikely things.

Comment author: Blueberry 09 February 2011 10:08:27PM 2 points [-]

Well, think about it like this. I also get along better and generally find it easier to get closer to women than to men. But there are some men I can connect with as well, because there is so much variation in men's personalities. So the problem here is just finding the right ones.

Now compare this to sexual compatibility, which requires the right sex organs. This is a much bigger obstacle. I'm attracted to female genitalia and not male ones. Unlike with personality, this is a binary issue: you either like male genitalia or you don't, and if you don't, this rules out half the population.

Then again, I also don't find it likely that "If you're attracted to one penis, you're probably attracted to all of them" describes very many people.

Really? Why not? I would think it obviously describes everyone. You may not be attracted to the person attached, but you're either sexually attracted to male genitalia, or you're not.

Comment author: TheOtherDave 09 February 2011 10:22:38PM 2 points [-]

Well, the short answer to "Why not?" is "Experience."

The longer answer is, I suspect, longer than I feel like giving, since it's clear that you and I have very different models of how attraction works.

Suffice to say that there are various attributes along which individual genitalia vary, to which I expect different people assign more or less value, resulting in different judgments. For many people I expect that this list of attributes includes the contexts established by the attached person.

Comment author: Blueberry 09 February 2011 11:56:58PM 3 points [-]

I may not have spoken clearly. Let me try again, and tell me if this makes sense to you.

A lot of people are strongly monosexual: that is, no matter what a person looks like, what their personality is, or how emotionally compatible they are, if the other person has the "wrong" genitalia, this will preclude any possibility of dating, sex, or a relationship, because they won't be able to sexually connect.

If you think about dating as going through a series of hurdles, the first and most important hurdle is having the "right" genitals. After that, there are other attributes, like looks and personality, which I think is what you're talking about. But if someone has the "right" genitals, there is at least the potential for a sexual connection. That doesn't mean there will definitely be sexual attraction.

Does that seem right? Am I missing something?

Comment author: TheOtherDave 10 February 2011 12:49:51AM 6 points [-]

I think you're being clear; I just don't agree with you. Yes, I think you're missing things.

For one thing, you treat gender as equivalent to having particular genitalia. It isn't. Even people exclusively attracted to men sometimes find themselves attracted to people without penises.

For another, you treat all genitals of a particular category as being interchangeable for purposes of attractiveness. They aren't, any more than all voices or all hands or feet or all eyes are interchangeable. You may not care about individual differences in a particular category, but that doesn't mean other people don't.

For a third, your whole structure of "the first hurdle" and "the most important hurdle" strikes me as arbitrary. The idea that someone to whom I am not attracted is someone I have a "potential sexual connection" with simply because they are a particular gender, or have the proper genitals, is a perfectly legitimate perspective... but to privilege that dimension over the myriad other parameters that allow or preclude attraction is not obviously justified.

Comment author: Blueberry 10 February 2011 02:58:44AM 4 points [-]

For one thing, you treat gender as equivalent to having particular genitalia.

No, I was thinking of gender as a separate hurdle. For instance, a straight cisgender male is most likely primarily attracted to persons with vulvas, whether they identify as men or women. He might secondarily prefer women, but that's a lesser "hurdle". that is, there would be a possibility of sexual attraction to a FtM (gender = man, bio-female) but not a pre-op MtF (gender = woman, bio-male) because of genital incompatibility.

I don't think the attraction is "exclusive to men" as much as it is "exclusive to people with specific genitals." Though this is probably very variable, and monosexuals may well be divided on whether genitalia or gender is more important to them. I'd be curious to know the breakdown.

For another, you treat all genitals of a particular category as being interchangeable for purposes of attractiveness.

to privilege that dimension [genitals] over the myriad other parameters that allow or preclude attraction is not obviously justified.

I was thinking like this. Suppose you are a monosexual on a desert island with one other person. You will likely want sexual contact. At least for me, the most important quality of your island-mate (for purposes of sexual contact, that is) is that they have the "right" type of genitals; while other qualities may be unattractive or undesirable, they can be overcome if you want sexual contact enough, but having the "wrong" type of genitals can't. To put this another way, as a straight male, someone I am not attracted to who has a vulva may be less than ideal, but still sexually satisfying; someone without a vulva couldn't possibly be.

I had thought this would be universal for monosexuals; your comments lead me to think I was wrong, and it's more complicated than that. I'm curious how common my view is, and the specifics of other views.

(BTW, I wish I could upvote you several times just for using 'myriad' correctly.)