Do Sexual Preferences Make You Racist, Homophobic, Sexist etc?

I’ve been meaning to talk about this topic for a while. A few months ago Tyler Oakley tweeted this:

tweet

Just the other day, Riley J. Dennis, made a video (it will be embedded at the bottom of this post if you want to watch it in its entirety) that said if you wouldn’t date a trans person that you’re discriminatory. She also said that you can control who you’re attracted to.

Anyhow, I thought this would be an interesting topic of discussion. I’m going to give you my take, and feel free to give me yours in the comment section.

I think both Riley and Tyler are wrong. Here’s why.

I think everyone does this. Everyone has sexual preferences. I’ve met people who only like to date tall guys, people who look at a person’s teeth first to make sure they’re intact, people who like overweight people and people who only like athletic types. They actively weed out possibilities with those preferences in mind, and I see nothing wrong with that.

As for Tyler, if I say men just aren’t my type, does that make me sexist?

No one has the right to tell me who I should have sex with.

Riley opens her video asking whether I’d date certain people. So before moving forward, I’ll answer those questions really quick.

Would you date someone who was:

  1. Trans – No
  2. Fat -Yes
  3. Black – Yes
  4. Disabled – Yes

Telling me that I have to be open to dating someone with a penis or else I’m some sort of ‘phobic’ is blatantly ridiculous to me. I’m not going to dislike someone based on whether they have a penis or not, how they choose to dress or whether they feel like a male or female, but when it comes down to having sex, I don’t want penis. Telling me that I must be willing to want penis makes me think you feel entitled to have sex with anyone, despite how they may feel.

People are complex. We like and dislike all sorts of things and thankfully there are all sorts of people out there who like the opposite of what I prefer in a partner. There are people who prefer Asian people and some who prefer white people. There are some who prefer large people and some who prefer small. Some who prefer blue eyes and some who prefer brown.

Also, science suggests that we are attracted to certain things (in general) for specific evolutionary reasons.

For example, facial symmetry can play a part:

However recent research suggests that there are universal agreements about beauty which hold true across all cultures and even throughout the animal kingdom.

Probably the most important is facial symmetry. Having a face which is equal on both sides is a biological advert which tells prospective partners that good genes will be found in this body.

And body size matters as well:

Women are unconsciously looking for a man who has a waist-to-hip ratio of 9:10 and are attracted to a partner with a big jaw, a broad chin, an imposing brow. The angle between their eyes and mouth, cheekbone prominence, and facial length all play a role as well as does facial hair. Most women prefer heavy stubble to either a beard of clean shaven. However men with full beards are viewed as better fathers.

The perfect man should also have body fat of around 12 per cent which is an important indicator of how well the immune system works.

Bottom line to me is that people don’t get to tell me or any other person who they should sleep with. Sex is a very complex thing and no one should be able to shame another simply because they have sexual preferences.

I think my favorite part of the Riley video was when she said that if you are attracted to penis or vagina, you’re basically objectifying them based on their genitals. She called this ‘genitalifying’.

I kid you not.

Anyhow, what are your thoughts? Are sexual preferences racist, discriminatory etc?

As always, thanks for reading.

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60 Comments

  1. That’s a very good question. I am attracted to my own race, not sure if that’s because I have been raised in a small village in the Alps or if that’s normal.

    We are going to celebrate our 33 rd wedding anniversary soon, I didn’t date too much and still think my husband is the sexiest man on this planet. So, I can’t really answer that question with certainty.

    I have black friends, Asian friends and they come in all form and sizes.

    I just recently met a transgender woman who I consider to be a man in women clothes. I feel for them, I cannot imagine what they feel. Would I date a woman who thinks she is a man? NO I couldn’t take them serious enough -what is my bad I suppose.
    (Sorry for the novel) Liked the post and the questions.

  2. “She also said that you can control who you’re attracted to.”

    Isn’t this basically the same silly thing Christians have said for years ??? That you can can teach someone to control their homosexual desires and make them heterosexual ?

    Can’t have it both ways Riley…….

  3. Maybe I can be more clear. Riley: My sexuality is NONE of your business (unless I am breaking the law, like a pedophile). I am comfortable with who I am. I suspect you are not. Deal with it. Leave me alone. I am not confused. I don’t have a need to be someone I’m not. Do you. Mind your own business…YOU are obviously the one with the problem.

  4. This is a difficult one. Attraction is am interesting thing. I think it’s possible to be attracted to a trans person and then if you get hot n heavy you discover you are put off by what’s underneath their clothes. That’s also possible with anyone you should find yourself attracted to. I think what the person in the video is calling for is open-mindedness, but I think it’s OK to know you don’t want to have sex with someone with a penis (or vagina).

    • Thanks for your thoughts. I think everyone is entitled to figure out for themselves what they find attractive and act on it accordingly.

      ” I think what the person in the video is calling for is open-mindedness, but I think it’s OK to know you don’t want to have sex with someone with a penis (or vagina).”

      Yes. I’ve watched quite a few of her videos and I think she comes from a good place, but often those good intentions lead to bad conclusions in my opinion. Thanks Quixie!

  5. As kcchief1 noted previously, there’s an almost exact correspondence between xtians saying you have a choice between being attracted to men or women, and Tyler (whoever he is) saying that not being attracted to someone is racist.

    One point Tyler, Riley and other PC types seem to miss is that being racist or sexist is defined by one’s actions and words, not by one’s attractions. This is yet another example of the self-flagellating PC left being all too eager to flagellate others, not for hateful words or actions, but for not doing what the PC left _thinks_ they should be doing — never mind that, in this case, attractions are involuntary.

    Both holier-than-thou fundamentalists and holier-than-thou PC leftists should mind their own damn business.

  6. Sorry to be a bit simplistic, but how do you know in advance who will attract you, sexually or otherwise. We can all have preferences, and some of these may have been shaped by past experiences. But then life can present you with someone who just rings all your bells, and for reasons quite beyond any of your prior inclinations or presumptions. Remember Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot 🙂

  7. I assume that “attraction to” in this context means sexually, physically. I have known gay men that I found terribly sexy (alas they did not, for obvious reasons, return the feeling), and I have also found that Im not so much attracted to body parts (although body parts at a later stage might be the deal breaker) as I am scent, voice, attitude, humor.
    If someone smells acrid or like old bread dough, forget it. I’ve known men and women both who–to me–smelled like spoiled bread dough, and sure enough, I didnt like them much either.

    Racist or sexist has no place in it at all, except I don’t expect to be attracted to lesbians, not because they are lesbian, but because I am not.

    And oh, it would be nice if we could control who we are attracted to, life would be fraught with far less agony, if we could just walk away. Or never get in that mess in the first place.

    • I think smell is a huge deal. I like a clean smell as well. I’m also very sensitive to smells.

      “And oh, it would be nice if we could control who we are attracted to, life would be fraught with far less agony, if we could just walk away. Or never get in that mess in the first place.”

      True that. I completely agree.

  8. Another intriguing and sensitive (hyper-sensitive?) post GC. Can I borrow your Magic Hat, birds, and rabbits? 😉

    There are several restaurants throughout the U.S. where you dine in complete darkness. One of the obvious benefits of this pitch-black dining is to suspend our visually preconceived ideas of others. Can you imagine what your dinner date would be if you had both decided to meet at one of these restaurants after only exchanging emails or written letters — no voice recognitions or internet pictures of each other? Only the written words (from their heart & soul) as each other’s initial introduction and interactions. Would it be possible to be “attracted” to someone without sight or sound before and during the dinner date? Of course it is… and the more you do it, the more you’d fall into something of attraction! This demonstrates how horribly flawed our preconceived notions — and the capacity to overcome them — dominate our behavior on levels we don’t even realize.

    The mind/brain is the most powerful, erotic, sensual, and passionate organ in or on our body. The rest is only temporarily complimentary. 🙂

    That said, if I’m perfectly upfront and honest, being the health-nut that I am — soccer & sports all my life — I do believe that caring well-to-exceptionally-well for our bodies DOES greatly compliment the physical-sexual experiences, BUT only AFTER the mind/brain soul connection is established. That’s my own personal method.

  9. I’m not mad about it. My dating preferences are discriminatory, with good reason. I’m already married, so I won’t be dating anymore. But if I were dating, I would discriminate. Against violent criminals for example, or people much older or younger than me, or against people who’s wealth has caused them to be unrepentant assholes. Discrimination in these ways is not a bad thing, so I guess discrimination is not inherently negative. Which does open up a whole can of worms doesn’t it? This is a really interesting topic.

    kcchief1 pointed out that Riley contradicts herself by saying that gay conversion therapy doesn’t work, but we should eliminate our dating biases when it comes to genitalia. good point, kcchief1.

    judy makes a great point about the way people smell. Science has shown that pheromones (and corresponding smells) have a strong effect on attraction. I once went on a blind date with someone who I liked talking to online, and was attractive to look at, but I couldn’t get past the way he smelled. It wasn’t bad at all, but a huge turnoff all the same. And I never spoke to or saw him again after that first date.

    This topic is giving me a lot of food for thought.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the topic, HG. Sorry I’m late responding. Got caught up making a video.

      “But if I were dating, I would discriminate. Against violent criminals for example, or people much older or younger than me, or against people who’s wealth has caused them to be unrepentant assholes. Discrimination in these ways is not a bad thing, so I guess discrimination is not inherently negative.”

      All very solid points.

  10. if you wouldn’t date a trans person that you’re discriminatory.

    Fuck that. We’re allowed to have preferences and be discriminatory about who we date and sleep with.

    you can control who you’re attracted to.

    I guess people should just stop being gay, then.

    Telling me that I have to be open to dating someone with a penis or else I’m some sort of ‘phobic’ is blatantly ridiculous to me.

    Yeah.

    Date whom you want, sleep (consensually) with whomever you want, but fuck (not literally) anyone who tries to push their or anyone’s sexual preferences onto me.

  11. I think she is wrong the way she says it, but perhaps I understand the bigger picture that Tish and Professor have alluded to. I think we live in a society with fairly strict guidelines for gender. Given that there is nothing unnatural about being affectionate with any gender, there is nothing unnatural about being intimate emotionally with any gender, given that many species in the animal world including humans have sex for non reproductive purposes it’s not out of the realm that any one of us might be willing to have the occasional fling with someone of a gender we are not primarily attracted. If we lived in such a society without those barriers and grew up in it, then I think that we’d find humans are much more on a spectrum towards gender preference rather than binary. As my mind has opened from my youth where I feared homosexuals simply because I had never known any, compared to now the difference is stark as to what I’d feel comfortable to do with a man that would have felt repulsive as a teenager. I don’t think I’m at a stage where I could see myself having sex with another guy, but who knows in the future! lol The point is that the society we grow up in shapes are views about relationships so much, that many of us are programmed to a point where we can’t break out of it. And I think that’s okay, but I would like to pass down less boundaries to the next generation, because they’d only gain more love and pleasure, and there is nothing wrong with that. To label people as racists, or bigots is really unnecessary, and not fair, and counter to the more inclusive attitude I assume she would want to foster.

    • I generally agree with everything you are saying, Swarn. But the ideas in the original post also make me think about the boundaries that I’m not ready to let go of, for example my boundaries when it comes to age. I’m not willing to expand my ideas about adults dating or marrying children. That is undoubtedly wrong to me. There are cultures, however, where it is normal and acceptable for girls to marry when they begin menstrating, at 12 or 13 years old. But those are just children! In the U.S. we’ve seen cases of teachers and students who claim they are in love and fight the courts for the right to be together. But again, to my judgement those are still children, not old enough to make adult decisions.

      So that is an example of a boundary that I feel strongly about keeping. Given that, who am I to judge other people for the boundaries they feel strongly about keeping, whether it be gender, sexuality, or even race? And if I were to promote the idea of Them loosening their boundaries, would it not be equally reasonable for me to loosen my own boundaries regarding age?

      I don’t know the answer. These are just questions brought to mind following this subject.

      • Good thought HG. I am with you on the age thing. In a moral society it’s not only about consent, but informed consent. Something that it’s very questionable a 12 or 13 year old can provide. Or let’s just say the actual adult in the relationship can easily manipulate somebody of that age. The door is open for too much uncertainty, and I would say any adult should question themselves at least a little if they feel a strong sexual and emotional connection to someone that young.

        And I agree with you that judging others for their boundaries is counter productive, I think loosening boundaries happens when you demonstrate how well other types of relationships work. When people have the courage to loosen their own boundaries and find happiness and meaning in relationships unexplored before, this has a much better chance of success in opening doors for more people to walk through.

        • When people have the courage to loosen their own boundaries and find happiness and meaning in relationships unexplored before, this has a much better chance of success in opening doors for more people to walk through.

          Excellent point Swarn. BAAM! (mic drop)

          Why box (trap?) yourself in a Starvation Economy, when an infinitely diverse reality & life exists, i.e. an Abundance Economy…unless your paradigm is a Fear-based paradigm!? 😉

    • ” given that many species in the animal world including humans have sex for non reproductive purposes it’s not out of the realm that any one of us might be willing to have the occasional fling with someone of a gender we are not primarily attracted.”

      Hi Swarn!

      Yeah, I agree. I think it’s likely a spectrum for people, but it’s up to them to figure out where on that spectrum they fall.

      Really great points. Thanks for making them.

  12. I may be wrong, but I looked at that video, and sorry, but Riley looks a lot more like a guy with great hair than a woman–and the voice is that of a young man, not a young woman…

    But, hey, what do I know, right

  13. I’m going to separate the two ideas here–race and gender–because I think things get murky when you try to lump them together.

    With regard to gender, I’m of the opinion that most people are on a spectrum of sorts when it comes to which gender or genders they’re sexually attracted to. Given the right person and the right circumstances, we might find ourselves attracted to someone we never thought we would be.

    Now, race is the trickier issue. You mentioned a lot of evolutionary traits that humans find attractive–facial symmetry, hip to chest ratios, facial hair, etc. Well, don’t those things apply to all races? If those things are universal, then shouldn’t we not find people who aren’t attracted to an entire race? And yet, those people certainly do exist.

    So what am I to conclude? Well, maybe a) people who say they aren’t attracted to a particular race are simply lying for whatever reason. Or maybe b) they do find other races sexually attractive, but don’t find the corresponding cultures attractive and thus would never date outside of their own race. Or some other explanation I haven’t thought of.

    But there does seem to be some kind of a disconnect between the idea that there are universal features we find sexually attractive from a biological standpoint, yet can still claim an entire race is unattractive, AND claim that race has nothing to do with it.

    Not to say we should be trying to force people to be attracted to certain things, which is really what this post is getting after. But there’s something here that seems a bit off to me. I just can’t articulate it very well at the moment.

  14. I will answer specifically to the racial preference. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having racial preferences in attraction and with dating. The problem is when you say you won’t “ever” date someone of a different race or that you are only dating someone of a different race because he/she is of that race. For example, a black man may not be generally attracted to white women. There is nothing wrong with that, but if he finds himself attracted to a particular white woman and he enjoys being around her and feels as if they connect well and he uses her race as the single factor in not dating her, that is problematic. Similarly, when black men say that they will ONLY date white women (as many successful black men say) and that they could never be with a black women (often based on stereotypes) that is also a problem. I am engaged to a white woman and i’m not with her because she is white or because I refuse to be with a black woman. It is only a problem when it is used in absolutes (never, always..ect).

  15. Who’s Tyler Oakley? Never heard of him. And I why should I care what he (or anyone else, for that matter) thinks about my personal preferences when he hasn’t even cracked open a dictionary to read the definition racism? Not here to argue! Just informing!

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