By Shashauna P. Thomas (Guest Blogger)
I never consider myself an expert on sex. There is always something new to learn. And I’m sure some of you will agree that learning new things about sex is half the fun. I did however have a belief that when it came to Human Sexuality I at least knew the basics. How could I not, having been born and raised in New York City? New York is one of the most crowded and diversely populated cities in the U.S. There is heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality. I understood that each person as an individual will have an array of different turn-ons, a combination of arousing stimuli specific to them. But I always believed that everyone somehow fit into those three well-known categories. I never considered myself closed-minded, but looking back, I now know that line of thinking was very narrow.
It wasn’t until my first semester at the university where I got my second bachelors when I finally became enlightened on exactly how wrong my thinking was. For my second BA I majored in psychology with a concentration in sociology. One of the courses I had the pleasure of taking was a sociology course on human sexuality. It just so happened that we had a guest lecturer that semester. Now I won’t go in to too many specifics, mainly because it has been a while and I don’t remember the professor’s name nor the exact name of the course. What I do remember clearly was the professor’s main point. He explained that it was a misconception to break down human sexuality into two categories, heterosexuality and homosexuality, or three if you believe that bisexuality deserves a separate class. He went on to explain that instead of two or three static classifications that human sexuality is actually a spectrum.
Homosexual I------------------------------I------------------------------I Heterosexual
Human sexuality is a range with heterosexuality on one end, homosexuality on the other and bisexuality falling directly in the center. The professor went on to say that like most dimensions the majority of people fall somewhere along the line and tend to cluster towards the center. Not near the ends like one would think! This means that the probability of landing on the far ends, completely straight or completely gay, is actually extremely low. When my professor first introduced this concept to the class you can imagine that a number of my fellow classmates found it hard to believe.
He explained that many factors go into consideration when determining where on the spectrum one ends up. A heterosexual woman who finds homosexual acts between woman erotic when viewed, but doesn’t have the inclination to participate herself in a homosexual act with another woman is heterosexual with homoerotic tendencies. She would land somewhere on the right side of the spectrum. This kind of thinking explains the belief that all straight people have some subconscious gay tendencies and vice versa.
When first introduced to the spectrum I didn’t find it as hard to believe as some of the others. I have always embraced sexuality, and with a vivid imagination like mine it wasn’t so hard for me to believe that human sexuality isn’t static but fluid.
It explained why it was so easy for me to imagine two women in the shower together. Soaping each other’s body slowly as they took their time learning every nook and cranny of the other’s curves. Letting the anticipation build before even the first kiss. When the kiss finally takes place the sensation is explosive and travels all through their bodies. Then one woman breaks the kiss to kneel before the other where she slowly begins to lick the cream seeping from the other’s center. The one still standing begins to wobble slightly as she grips the back of the other woman’s head, to stabilize herself and help guide her aching clit to the other woman’s questing tongue. She uses her free hand to play with her sensitive nipples. The woman on her knees begins to lightly suckle on the other’s clit while slowly entering her with two fingers. The standing woman throws her head back and moans in ecstasy as her hips begin to move to the pace of the kneeling woman’s fingers.
I find the previous scene in my head just as arousing as a woman holding hands with a man who is leading her into the shadows behind a night club they just exited. Once alone in the shadows he presses her back up against the brick wall of the building. His lips hover seductively above hers, teasing her, before crushing their lips together in a passionate kiss. His hands grope her breasts through her shirt. Her erect nipples poke the palm of his hand confirming his suspicion that she isn’t wearing a bra. Her hands begin to fumble with his fly in her haste to reach his huge erection. She only gets to stroke his shaft a couple of times before he hooks his hands beneath her thighs and lifts her off the ground. He wraps her legs around his waist as one of his hands sneaks under her skirt to test how wet she is and to move her thong out of the way. Knowing exactly what he’s doing and wanting it as badly as he does, she helps guides the head of his member, lining it up with her opening. In one slow, sure thrust he enters her, not stopping until he is fully embedded inside her. There in the dark alley, she matches him thrust for thrust as they ride each other to that ever looming orgasm.
Both these fantasies excite me because of my placement on the heterosexuality-to-homosexuality spectrum. After my epiphany in the sociology class I not only decided to explore the spectrum, but also to pass along this new-found information to everyone I knew. I mean, I knew I couldn’t have been the only one who thought the way I previously did. During a conversation with a family member where I was sharing what I learned, the individual posed a very interesting question. “If this whole sexuality spectrum idea is true, then where on the spectrum do personal fetishes fit?” I was once again momentarily struck dumb founded. Not by the question but more by the fact that a class of over a hundred students had taken the course for an entire semester and yet not one had ever asked that question of the professor. What about fetishes? What about people who were turned on by feet and high heels? What about sexually submissive or dominant people?
After thinking about it I realized I was once again thinking too linearly. As many factors make up each of our personal sexuality, it’s completely reasonable to infer that there are multiple sexual dimensions coming into play.
Dominant I---------------------------------I-------------------------------I Submissive
Polyamorous I------------------------------I------------------------------I Monogamist
The above two dimensions are only a few of those I believe exist and intercept the first spectrum. They all connect to make a three, four, five, or more dimensional representation of our individual sexuality. Once again the same rules apply with the majority of the human population falling somewhere along the spectrum, tending to cluster around the center, and very few landing at the extreme ends. As we’re all individuals the possible combinations are immeasurable. The only way to figure out where in these dimensions and others you land is to explore your own human sexuality spectrum. Don’t be afraid to test and embrace the limits of your own imagination, sexual daring, and arousal. Discovery is half the fun.
Exploring my own personal spectrum has been the major influence in my own writing. Sometimes the main characters are learning about a submissive side they hadn’t known they had like in my short story La Petite Mort, featured in Xcite Books’ Six of the Best – a Collection of Spanking Stories.
Or they learn instead of suppressing their urge for multiple partners to embrace it and in the end have even more pleasure than they originally imagined was possible. Like in my new book published by Pink Petal Books, Deck The Halls.
They could already know what fuels their fire and have fun exploring the depths of their fetish with another like the main characters as in my short story Flat with a View, featured in Bondage by The Bay - Tales of BDSM in San Francisco from Renaissance.
They might already know what they want sexually, but the way they find it may be completely unexpected. It is of course no less completely satisfying. An example is the main character in my short story Luna’s Mate, which is featured in the hot lesbian werewolf anthology Daughters of Artemis from Storm Moon Press.
When it comes to my writing, viewing human sexuality as multiple interconnecting dimensions always comes into play. As I am definitely one of those authors that believe art often imitates life I believe the dimensions of sexuality play an important role in how we all, authors and readers alike, view sex and most importantly how we view our own sexuality. I am very interested to know if I am alone. Do you agree that sexual preferences are fluid and gradual rather than fixed into categories? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Bio: Shashauna P. Thomas graduated with two BAs before returning to the Bronx where she was born and raised to live with family. It is there that she continues to find inspiration for her erotic novels. For more information on this author, a complete list of her published works, and how to get in contact with her, please check out her new website http://sptpassions.weebly.com. Her author's page on Goodreads, http://www.goodreads.com/shashaunapthomas is another way to reach the author, keep updated on her published works, and follow her blog where she chronicles her experiences as a new author learning the world of publishing.