Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Kinsey Scale

Ugh, so this is one of those trendy post/ex-mo/NOM subjects and I'm just not a trendy girl. To a fault. I've avoided talking about this simply because of that. But you know, Boyd Packer asked for it.

So what a better time, yeah?

For those not totally in the know:

The Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale, sometimes referred to as the “Kinsey Scale,” was developed by Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues Wardell Pomeroy and Clyde Martin in 1948, in order to account for research findings that showed people did not fit into neat and exclusive heterosexual or homosexual categories.

The scale is as follows:

0- Exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual

1- Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual

2- Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual

3- Equally heterosexual and homosexual

4- Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual

5- Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual

6- Exclusively homosexual

I'm not totally sure where to stick myself. I have had 2 girl crushes I can clearly recall of people I've known "IRL" and it began in high school. I remember as a younger kid (4th grade or so) going completely tomboy and the way others reacted to it. My grandmother asked me if I wanted to be a boy. Oprah had a show talking about how tomboys inevitably turn into lesbians. And the older I became, the more I heard about how homosexual people or actions are icky.

I took the Oprah show as a challenge. I would not--repeat not--fit into that mold, even though I didn't yet have any indication I felt that way.

I was a late bloomer. Not physically, but in the sense of having crushes. I didn't have my first real crush until I was in the 5th grade. His name was Ryan. I don't know if he felt the same way because I had a bit of a nerdy rep at that school and his friends gave him all sorts of shit about it, so nothing happened. I still remember being in the bus with my best friend Beth and telling her that I thought I liked someone. Once I wrote his name on a paper towel on our kitchen counter...with a sharpie. Oh god, I freaked out. I think I got it all out. Mom never noticed, at least.

There were other boys. Friends of my stepbrother, neighbor boys, etc. I was always oblivious to them. One in particular I really, really liked and didn't realize he dug me, too, until we had lost contact (why are kids so goddamn stupid?). His name was Phillip. He was an idiot, but I think he could've been good for me. In a bad sort of way.

I didn't have my first girl crush until, I think, my senior year of high school. I could be wrong, but she's the first I remember. Her name was Rose. I had a dream about her and that was the beginning of that. Caught me off guard but only in the sense that I didn't know her well or really think of her much. We rarely talked in class, but she was always super nice to me. I thought about her a lot after that. Not that she was the only one to be nice, but whatever. Something clicked. And, I liked how it made me feel. Not that it's any different, necessarily. A crush is a crush, but this was a she. You know? In that way it was different, and though I knew it probably wouldn't and couldn't happen, I liked thinking about it.

After high school I had my first real girl crush. Like, I wrote about her in my diary and wanted to kiss her and all of that stuff. I don't know what it was about her. She was beautiful and fun and I wanted to believe it could happen. I learned soon after that it couldn't, there was no way. I got over her pretty quickly after I learned that. There was always the residual stuff, but I kept everything respectful. If that couldn't happen, I could at least be her friend. And that worked out. Eventually the feelings were all gone. Besides, they had to be once I joined the church.

Mostly, though, I just like the idea. I write about it sometimes, think about it. Wish I could've explored it more. Like I mentioned earlier, my senior year high school boyfriend totally caught on. But I'm not all that hard to read, either. I dismissed him because I didn't want to admit to it, but I don't believe I was all that convincing. He left it alone either way.

I went back to boys after that though. One boy in particular sooooo caught my eye once I began college. We had the same English class, and my crush on him was a little odd. At least how I responded to his behavior toward me. He was gorgeous, though. He had these long legs I wanted wrapped around me. God, those legs. And then he referred to two years he spent in Texas. Opportunity! I spoke with him after class once where he confirmed he was Mormon and we began meeting at a pizza place semi-regularly where he acted as my unofficial missionary, answering my questions and whatnot. I know he had a crush on me, too, but for some reason I chose to ignore it. My friend tried to encourage me, but I was just ridiculously resistant. If I asked him to do something he didn't want to do, he'd do it for me. He also came to my workplace and invited me to do things all the time but I always said no. I think I was afraid of joining the church because of a boy. Also, I knew he always had the missionaries over and that it was probably a ruse as much as it was anything else. Maybe to get me to join so he could date me? Who knows. After I joined, he was always at my townhouse hanging out. Then I was stupid and began dating his roommate (who I had absolutely no feelings for) and he began dating a friend of mine and eventually moved to Utah to get into pre-med stuff.

The whole thing was weird.

And even though I had gone back to boys entirely after joining the church, I did tell a friend of mine that I had "struggled" with "same sex attraction" in a horrendous reply email to him where he came out to me. That was a big step. The first time I had put it into words. Of course, it wasn't something I was dealing with at the time. Ignore it and it'll go away, as Packer so nicely put it. But it doesn't. It comes back, even if not in the form of a crush. You notice someone, celebrity or whatever, and you think dammit. But it doesn't need to be that way.

Over the last few years I've begun to really acknowledge it to myself. It's been a bit of a weird road as far as that goes. I've told a few people, online, but nobody here. Even when I did online, it was always vague. Telling Eric will be a big step for me, putting it into verbal words like that.

Something I feel the need to say about some of the myths is this: it wasn't a choice, but it wasn't easy to admit it to myself, so I didn't act on it. Not to be righteous, necessarily, but because I was afraid. I didn't fully acknowledge it to myself, really, for quite some time. I also didn't admit to myself that I liked it until very recently. It is only a struggle because other people tell you it is. I didn't grow up in a time where people were coming out of the wood work to declare themselves as homosexual or bisexual of any degree.

Also, this doesn't mean I've been crushing on all or any of my girlfriends since. I have had many friends I've loved and admired dearly (perhaps too much) and have thought were gorgeous and fun and amazing but without having romantic feelings for them.

I know! IT IS POSSIBLE. People with homosexual tendencies of any degree are not out to fuck everyone of their own gender, no matter how pretty or handsome you are. Gasp!

So I'm not sure where I fall on the Kinsey Scale. My best guess is probably a 1-2, maybe 2.5. It's hard to say because I don't know what would've happened had I grown up in a more accepting household, environment, or society. I know it's not great now, but it's getting better despite Packer's and Mormon bullshit. Who knows what it would've been had my life turned out a bit differently--if I had gone to the university I had wanted so much to go to throughout high school (UC Santa Cruz)--or, really, any university. If I hadn't joined the church.

It's interesting to think about. And I have so much respect and admiration for those who choose to come out of the closet and respect themselves and have enough self-worth to follow their hearts and emotions to seek out things that aren't harmful.

That said, I don't totally regret joining the church. Like Chandelle said recently in her blog, and among other things, it brought me Eric. He's unbelievably good for me and he swears I'm just as good for him. We had crazy chemistry--I don't know how we waited for marriage. We almost didn't. I knew he was "the one" before I even met him. I saw his picture and something like lightning hit me. I want to tell him about all of this kinsey-crap, but can't help but wonder if he needs to know. Which is the fear talking. I don't know what I think he's gonna do or say, but if I think about who he is as a person it'll be okay. Like I've said before, he knows me better than anyone. This won't shock him.


  1. Im definitely a 6. I love that other people reference this. I love studying Kinsey and sexualities.

  2. I'm thinking BKP is at least a 4. No less than 3. And he masturbates. Obviously.

  3. Konrad: Yay!

    CD: I tend to think if BKP masturbated we wouldn't hear this crap so often. Dude needs to clear his pipes, work his "little factory" in the off-hours. And find a boyfriend. If he hasn't already.

  4. 'Incidentally' no one is a number zero ;)

  5. having your first crush in the fifth grade is "late bloomer" territory?

    For me, it was like...junior year of college. It also started with a dream. And I'm still not sure what happened after.

  6. Suz: Wouldn't you then have to postulate that nobody is a 6?

    I do think it's rather rare, though. Just my uneducated guess, from what I've heard and seen.

    Andrew: I've always thought so. I didn't notice boys that way until that moment in the bus. Everyone else I knew had little boyfriends and girlfriends or crushes before me.

  7. Don't forget Monson in this conversation. Nobody with a masculine name like TOM feminizes his name as frequently or tells as many loving stories about his grandma as "little Tommy Monson" does...without having some tendencies. Just some food for thought.