Men Know My Sexuality Better Than Me

pamelax-wide-communityMen think they understand my sexuality better than I do. At least some of them.

Some are sure I want sex with them even when I’ve said I don’t. Some Mormon guys thought I’d enjoy a polygamous marriage in Heaven. (No. That sounds like Hell.) Another guy thought I’d like to bring in another woman and have a threesome relationship, or at least periodic threeways. That’s because I told him about research showing that women got more genitally aroused by a nude man than a nude woman. Or, that when women watched hetero couples in foreplay through goggles tracking eye movement, they spent half their time looking at men’s faces and the other half looking at women’s bodies.

Later, I wrote about this research in a blog post called, “Women Learn the Breast Fetish, Too” and followed up with another entitled “Women Seeing Women as Sexier than Men.

The strange pattern of women seeing women as sexier is not about sexual orientation. As I’ve said before:

I’m straight, but ask me which image I find more erotic, a nude female or a nude male, and I’ll choose the girl. Many of my straight female students nod in agreement.

But men have “informed me” that I am bisexual. Or that all women are either lesbian or bi:

You are a great person but you aren’t straight.


I’m afraid I don’t agree with you… doesn’t matter if you say that you are not interested in having sex with women, if you feel sexual arousal with female images, it is more than enough to be bisexual… Definitely, women are bisexual.

The comments come often enough that I’m writing this post so that I can simply insert a link in response to future comments because I’m tired of repeating myself.

On the breast fetish being learned and not biological, here’s what I said in one post

Women’s bodies are obsessed over, with breasts selectively hidden and revealed, creating a captivation, leaving us wondering about that which is hidden. The camera gazes, zeroes in on women’s bodies. We talk about women’s breasts as alluring. So they become a sexual signal to both men and women. We don’t treat any part of the male body in the same way.

When cultures don’t fixate on breasts that are selectively concealed they are no big deal. So tribal men, who see them all the time, aren’t especially interested. European men’s attraction waned in the 80’s when topless women appeared all over local beaches and billboards. And men can become numbed to titillation with overexposure to porn.

I could add that mere covering has managed to make women’s hair erotic in the Middle East. A student of mine said that when she lived in Iran she would sometimes draw back her veil to reveal a hint of, shall we say, hair cleavage. It drove men wild.

In a culture obsessed with boobs is it any surprise that both men and women learn the fetish (though hetero women may experience it a bit differently)?

Sexual appeal is a part of being human, but must it be turbo-charged with women and withheld with men?

I’d like to see balance: women portrayed more multidimensionally in addition to sex appeal, and I’d like to see sexuality attached more often to men. But not narrow notions that say you have to look like “this” to be attractive. Variety is the spice of life!

On the breast fetish being no indication of sexual orientation, I have explained to various guys that:

Being a guy you likely associate the fetish with attraction to the woman who’s attached to the breasts. I don’t. It’s the breasts, only, that are arousing. I was in Nice, France, where some women were topless at a beach. I found that arousing but was not drawn to any of the actual women. I suspect a lot of the arousal came from a sexual breach: Topless women in a public place! Scandalous!

Tribal men are the opposite. They are drawn to women but aren’t aroused by breasts. So if they don’t get aroused by breasts they’re not hetero, right?

Now, given the research, some guys insist that all women are either gay or bi. Yet tribal women aren’t aroused by breasts, either. So they’re the one exception to all women being lesbian or bi?

You can’t seem to understand that breasts have been made into such a strong sexual symbol in our culture that they can provoke a fetish response in the West, on some level, among men and women alike, but not in places like tribal societies, where they are not sexualized.

And oddly – or maybe not — it is not uncommon for a woman in Western society to get aroused by seeing her own sexy self through her lover’s eyes. As she imagines his arousal over her body and lives through it, on some level she vicariously makes love to herself. After all, he’s not a sex object to focus on. She is. Yet it’s hetero because she needs his gaze and his lust to get aroused. This may sound strange to a lot of guys, but plenty of women recognize themselves in this.

Meanwhile, I know quite a few lesbians and bisexual women and more than one has offered to have sex with me. But I’m just not interested.

If despite all this explanation it’s important to you to believe that I’m bi, go ahead. No big deal. I’m interested in educating people but I’m tired of trying to explain something that you may never understand.

Now, it could even be that I have a natural ability to be bisexual but that that potentiality is so repressed in our homophobic culture that I no longer have access to it. In fact, one time I found myself rather drawn to one woman, but still didn’t want sex with her. So it just seems weird to me to think of myself as bisexual when I have no interest in actual sex.

But the thing is, the breast fetish has nothing to do with male heterosexuality, either.

In fact, men are more likely than women to like enormously large and unnatural breasts. How could being drawn to something that does not exist in nature be biological? In fact, when some men get so that they can only appreciate large, unnatural breasts, they get less aroused by natural, smaller ones. And that makes perpetuation of the species less likely.

Also, when men have been with a particular woman for a while the fetish disappears. A number of men have remarked on this, some on this blog. A man may still find his partner’s breasts attractive, just as he finds her legs attractive — and new lingerie may help create a sense of newness and mystery — but her naked breasts will not provoke a fetish response in the way a new woman’s breasts would. Or in the way that hers did the first few time he saw them. There’s a reason why men needed a new Playboy pinup each month, back when Playboy was the porn of choice. Guys won’t keep getting aroused by the same woman’s breasts over and over again. And yet, he will continue to be turned on by her, and will still want to have sex with her, over and over again. And to repeat: In tribal societies where women are topless all the time men don’t get aroused by breasts. In 1980’s Europe, when men saw plenty of naked breasts on topless beaches and billboards, the fetish disappeared. Men who are overexposed to pornography stop finding breasts attractive.

What’s arousing is the hiddenness and intrigue behind that which is hidden, heightened by a culture obsessed with breasts as a sex signal.

Apparently, many women are confused about experiencing a breast fetish while being sexually drawn to men and not women. “How is that possible?” they have wondered? So my posts have found their way to various sites like “Yahoo! Answers.” Or, a number of women have found my blog by googling something like, “I’m a straight woman but like boobs.” When I put “Women Learn the Breast Fetish, Too” on StumbleUpon, it received a 97% “like” rating. So there must be plenty of women who can relate. I doubt they’re all bi.

That said, women’s sexuality does seem to be more flexible than men’s, which I’ve written about here. Women’s sexuality is also more repressible, as I written about here. And I have suffered major sexual repression as I’ve written about here. So it’s entirely possible that I’m just out of touch with my sexual self so that these two forces are working at cross-purposes for me. But based on my own experience and the experiences that other have reported to me, women can actually find breasts arousing without desiring sex with a woman.

Being bi would probably make me – and all women — more intriguing. Sorry to disappoint.

Related Posts on BroadBlogs
Women Learn the Breast Fetish, Too
Women Seeing Women as Sexier than Men
Men: Erotic Objects of Women’s Gaze

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 25, 2013, in feminism, objectification, psychology, sex and sexuality, sexism, women and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 120 Comments.

  1. isabellaselvitella

    I found this article particularly interesting, especially when you talked about how women tend to get aroused by other women’s breasts simply because they are viewed as “scandalous.” Though they won’t admit it, I think most women do find breasts arousing, however they do not want to have sexual relations with other women. I think getting aroused by breasts is something that causes a lot of confusion for girls, especially young girls who think that their arousal by breasts makes them bisexual or a lesbian. I also found it interesting how you said that there are some people who think that all women are either bisexual or a lesbian. In media people tend to fetishize female/female relationships, and I think this coupled with some women’s natural arousal when it comes to breasts, makes it very difficult for young girls growing up and trying to figure out their sexuality. Thank you for sharing this article.

  2. I too find it laughable that men imagine we women are attracted to women solely because of our focus on women’s bodies (which, I’m pretty sure is more of a comparative focus, rather than a lust-filled one. For me, anyway). It’s always doubly hilarious when other people try to tell me how they know me better than I do myself. However, I think that the problem here may be with masculinity the subject reminds me of a conversation I had with a male friend in college. I admitted that I have no issue recognizing that another girl is attractive, but my friend retorted that it would be considered gay if he did the same. I remember that it really confused me at the time, but I later realized that it’s true—men shame other men for saying kind things about other men. This doesn’t just apply to their attractiveness, but also their brainpower, sense of humor, anything positive at all. Praise just hasn’t been a part of the patriarchy.

  3. Since arousal towards breasts doesn’t necessarily mean that you and many other women are bisexual or gay, how do you define sexual attraction?

    • There’s a distinction between orientation and arousal:

      Orientation is fairly stable and biologically-based
      Arousal depends a lot on society’s ideas of what’s sexy

      E.g., heterosexual men in tribal societies don’t get aroused by breasts but many Western women do. That’s because the breast fetish is a social construction — society has created a sense that they are sexy, even though they aren’t naturally arousing. So the breast fetish has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

      So a woman could find breasts arousing yet have no interest in having sex with a woman.

      A cultural fetish is created in this way:

      • Selectively hide and reveal — creating sexual tension
      • Declare the body part sexy, and then say, “Don’t look at it!” — creating sexual tension
      • Obsess over the body part: The camera zeros in on it. People talk about it incessantly… Because it is declared soooo sexy.

      Dr. Dylan Selterman, a psychologist who lectures at the University of Maryland, explains that everyone has a sexual orientation, but the degree to which a person is sexually fluid is a separate variable that operates alongside orientation. Some people are highly fluid and others are less so. Sexual fluidity can be expressed as a change in which gender a person is drawn to. Straight — yet you fall in love with your best friend. This shift happens only one time in your entire life and the shift is focused on a specific person not an entire gender, so your basic orientation is heterosexual with fluidity in this one instance. Or fluidity can occur simply as a shift in sexual response: like feeling arousal when seeing breasts yet having no desire to have sex with the person who is attached to them.

  4. I am annoyed by the idea of “all women’s sexuality being fluid.” I feel as if this idea has been forced on women by men who are aroused by the idea of women having sex with each other. I am sure there are many women who have fluid sexuality, but I think people are threatened by women who are 100% sure in their straightness. An example: It is okay in some people’s eyes if they are in a relationship and if women kiss other women, but if they kiss men it is completely not okay. Maybe this has to do with ownership, people believe going to a different man is “dirty” or something. I think there is also an idea that I have heard before about women being gay for attention in college, or college bisexual/lesbian, as if their sexual choices don’t matter, or it’s for men’s viewing pleasure, or relationships with women can’t be serious. Imagine if people said this about gay men, that they are doing it for attention?
    I think the idea of breasts being sexualized has to relate to the idea of people wanting what they can’t have, since they are hidden, it is wanted more. If they are in plain sight they become unsexualized. So when people wear low cut tops, i can see how people believe it is “tantalizing or sexualized,” because women’s breast and breast tissue is so forbidden. I remember hearing about a video where the male breast tissue was transformed into a woman’s breast tissue and it suddenly had to be censored. What is the logic in that?

    • I think it gets confusing, especially for men who have no experience being women. There are reasons to believe that women have the capacity for greater sexual fluidity. But that doesn’t mean that women simply easily move in and out of being straight, bi, lesbian…

  5. Thank you for your reply. By the way, I searched all your blog to find something about ‘straight women kissing other women’. But find nothing . Hope you have a say on that. Thanks

    • I’m not sure what you want to know about it.

      You might want to read Lisa diamonds book on sexual fluidity.

      Some women seemed to label their sexual orientation based on who they were more emotionally/romantically drawn to, and others seem to label their orientation more on who they wanted to have sex with. Of course, most the time those things go together.

      • Ok, I will read Lisa diamonds book on sexuality. But what is your opinion? Do you think straight women will feel nauseate to kiss other women or is it normal among straight women to kiss other women?. As a man I cannot kiss another men, it nauseates me unless he is Justin Beiber. Hope you reply. Thanks 🙂

      • My opinion is that no one can label someone else’s sexuality. And I really don’t understand, Nor have I researched, Women who say they are straight but who want to have sex with women. Other than that I have heard that it is common to see your sexual orientation as rooted in your romantic interests, where there is a conflict. So maybe that’s what’s happening. But they probably also want to have sex with men. Maybe when they are both romantically interested + want to sex with men they feel straight, since they only have a sexual interest in women.

      • Thank you for reply.

  6. Dear Georgia,

    First of all I again thank you for all your reply’s that solved my earlier doubts. You are sent by God to help men like me, who spending time in the the pit of misery, worry , self-loathing and insecure feelings due to this so called ” Sexual fluidity, Lesbian & Bi- sexual women”.

    You know why ?? Because it is scary !! Because it is scary for men to think that, women have the ability to choose who they love and having a wide range of possible lovers (other women) scare men. It is the idea of having 100% control over the genitals they prefer and when they want those genitals. Greed, lust and confusion cross men’s minds when they think of loving a woman who love to suck other women. Having a women would be a very stressful experience for me . I could possibly enter depression if I find out she is sexually fluid and could sucks women on the side , it could really break me because guess what ? I cannot compete with a woman, I am not equipped for that.. I don’t have boobs, hips or soft skin. Instead I am hairy, hard and masculine.

    Now, I believe you are hetero-romantic. Because God gave you a feminized brain. Opposite attracts. That is feminine attracts masculine. That is how God designed men and women.
    But I find it is very difficult for me to believe that your are 100% straight and not bi-sexual.

    You wrote ” thought of genital contact nauseates me. If I were bi that wouldn’t happen. Doesn’t happen with guys”. I think there are two reasons behind that.

    1) You were not emotionally attracted to her at that moment. since emotional connection is necessary for women to get arouse for sex. I am sure that every so called straight women get nauseates by the thought of genital of other random strange men. So it does’t make sense to me, when you saying that you are not bi-sexual just because genital contact with other women nauseate you. I am sure you l’ll feel same with the strange men.

    2) You were not in the mood at that moment. Women need to feel arousal and get in the mood before enjoying sex. I think you might can enjoy to a lesbian encounter under a suitable mood and situation.

    So my personal belief is that women are ‘hetero-romantic and bisexual’. What is you say about those straight women who enjoy kissing other women? I have seen a lot of social experiment in YouTube where a women kiss another random women in street.

    I am ask you apology if any of my saying offend you. I didn’t mean it.. actually I wrote all this to hear valid answers from you.. so I could believe that straight women really exist . Hope you reply. Thanks

    • All I can say is what I’ve said before: it doesn’t make sense to me to think of myself as bisexual when I have never wanted to have sex with a woman. You are free to think whatever you want, especially since I have no control over what other people think about me.

      Meanwhile, humans are highly symbolic — most of the meanings we hold are symbolic. And the breast fetish is a really great example of the symbolism. Culturally, breasts have come to mean “Sexy” so that women and men in our culture learn to respond to them that way, Whereas neither men nor women in tribal societies respond to them as erotic. (but that doesn’t mean that tribal men are asexual.)

  7. I think it’s interesting that people feel the need to tell you what label to apply to yourself and how you really feel about something.
    It seems to parallel some peoples need to convert you to their religion. Why they think it’s ok to do so without being asked just doesn’t make any sense to me.

    • Me either.

      It’s interesting that in Lisa diamond’s research on how sexual minority women (non-straight) label themselves, she found that they typically fluctuated over time, from perhaps lesbian to bisexual to unlabeled. If they were interested in sex with men less than something like two-thirds of the time, they usually wouldn’t label themselves bisexual.

  8. One Hell of a confused girl

    I don’t know if you have addressed this already, so will ask again and you can copy-paste your reply if it has been addressed already.

    Help me here. I am girl and i have a “fetish” for breasts. Not just attraction. I want to see them and touch them, and get aroused by them. This might be social conditioning. However, recently, i am attracted to a girl friend of mine(not just because she possesses breasts).

    This article confused me greatly about my sexual orientation. I have a stable boyfriend and i enjoy having sex with him. But i also don’t get repulsed thinking about sex with my ‘girl’ friend. So I thought i was bi.

    Now here’s the thing, was i born bi? (my homo side got unmasked when i met this girl friend?) Or, is this because i watch lesbian porn and therefore, don’t find homosexual contact repulsive and i am not really bi?

    Somebody posted saying that “I don’t believe that anyone could be bi or gay and not know it.” So i am embarrassed to ask you about my sexual orientation. But i hope you will be kind and sincere in your reply.

    Also, since i have a boyfriend, i don’t intend to experiment with girls to find out. This is plainly about knowing myself. It’s not that i feel sexually unsatisfied because of having access only to heterosexual contact. I feel unsatisfied that i dont know myself.

  9. I’ve had so many doubts about my sexuality because of my attraction to women. I am constantly questioning why I feel so straight but the kind of thing I find visually attractive does not match this at all. These blog posts maybe have just changed my life..

    I think if there was an easier way to like this post it would blow you away how many people your blog has touched. It’s not a topic most girls would want to share either.
    I feel a lot of my anxieties melting away. Thank you so much for writing and sharing your own experience.

    • I’m so glad that I could help!

      I do know that this post often ends up on places like Reddit or Yahoo Answers, and that sort of thing. Also, my blog let’s me know what terms people use to find a blog post, And a lot of times it’s questions like this, “why do I like boobs when I’m straight?”

      I know that when I got into sociology and learned about the social construction of reality (Including sexuality) my experience finally made sense to me. I’m glad that I can help others, too.

  10. I’m a man and I agree with you. A lot of what you say makes sense. Before my wife and I were married, she admitted to me that she found certain women attractive, even though she considers herself straight. She even admitted that she gets aroused watching women kissing and making out with other women. But she said that even though she’s turned on by it, she has no interest in actually doing it herself; that she’d rather be with and make love to a man, specifically me.

  11. You will find lots of bisexual men in bodybuilding both bodybuilders themselves and fans.

    As one books says “it is doubtful that the element of sublimated sexual interest can ever be divorced from the appreciation of muscular development”.

    Of course, most will deny it and even will go aggressive if this is mentioned because most of them are escaping the threat of being perceived as non heterosexual at the same time that they can watch other men nearly naked under the premise that “it is a sport”. Sublimated homosexuality? YES.

    • Wouldn’t surprise me if you did find a lot of bisexual men doing bodybuilding. Partly because that would help to attract gay men — as men seem to be more body conscious. In other words, whoever wants to attract men tends to be more body conscious and workout more. Although with gay and bisexual men, Sometimes a lithe build is preferred.

      And I don’t doubt that many would deny it, Either. In fact, the more homophobic a man is the more likely he is to be a closeted gay man. And I’ve written about this: homophobes aroused by gay porn

      So I’m not sure if you are trying to say that I really am bisexual but won’t admit it. To which I can only say these things:

      1) it doesn’t make sense to me to think of myself as bisexual when I have no interest in having sex with women
      2) men in some cultures don’t get aroused by breasts, but do want to have sex with women — and only women, and they are still heterosexual, despite not experiencing a breast fetish
      3) even women who do want to have sex with women aren’t always clear on how to label themselves if they have any interest in also having sex with men. If they hardly ever want to have sex with men, but sometimes do, They will still often labeled themselves “Lesbian,” because the amount of times they want to have sex with men simply doesn’t seem like enough to think of themselves as bisexual.

  12. As an asexual (no hate), I have to add the point that sexual arousal doesn’t equal sexual attraction. This means it’s possible for women to be aroused by other women but not actually sexually attracted to them.
    P.S The way I see sexual attraction is as the desire to actually have sex with a person.

  13. Hi I have a question about something that is confusing me. You say that regardless of orientation, both males and females quite often are aroused by the female body more so than the male’s because it has been so sexualized, including having learned the breast fetish.

    You state that this is the same for you, though you are straight. It’s tough for me as a sexually open (bi, pan, fluid, whatever.) woman to understand this. There was a time when i thought i was straight; i still clearly liked to look at women’s bodies, but i thought it was out of appreciation or wanting a body like that for myself, not sexual attraction. My understanding now though is that i am very much attracted to females sexually romantically etc. So i no longer remember how it was to say ”im straight but yeah i like to look at girls.” I’ve lost that connection. I definitely want to believe that the women saying so (at least most of them) understand themselves well and are speaking truthfully; that they are not bi or lesbian but just as straight as they claim. Here is where i am confused. Your personal opinion makes a lot of sense to me; you like breasts but genital contact disgusts you; clearly straight. But what about other women? How does this ‘ i like to look at you but am not bi/lez” thing work, if this appreciation of appearance isn’t just Of the breasts or the clothed individual but extends to fully nude images? If i like looking at someone and it extends to not just aesthetic appreciation of beauty but physical arousal; i want them. That is sexual arousal for me. How can s.o. think that a woman has an all around wonderful body, face legs breasts hips butt vagina waist, and after marveling at it say ”im straight”? You say you are disgusted by female/female genital contact. Gotcha, makes sense. But what about women who find the entire female form pleasing, who experience this documented increased genital blood flow when looking at women over men, who then say ”im straight.” Is not that blood flow physiological arousal that indicates attraction and mating desire? I feel such people saying ”you look hot, my body is clearly responding to you sexually, but i’m straight” are stating an outright hypocrisy and don’t understand themselves very well, like they’re in denial of or suppression of their orientation. This is why i am seeking understanding. If it isn’t a hypocrisy, please explain to me in detail how not? Isn’t the gender of your physical And psych. arousal your orientation? if you experience physical arousal but don’t feel it mentally, aren’t you not sensitive to physical cues or not allowing yourself to feel fully what is there? I do recall back when i thought i was straight, the idea of touching or looking or interacting with another’s women’s breasts made me feel awkward, uncomfortable; the rest of the body i was indifferent towards. Now, i love them. After my younger sis came out as lesbian, I spent time deeply rethinking my orientation, and allowing myself to feel w/o judgement. I now see that as long as the individual is healthy, proportional, fairly in shape, that’s what determines my physical attraction. Although truly their minds are what snag me. Psychological attraction is more important- which leads me to another confusing part of this. You differentiate aesthetic and sexual attraction. But what if beautiful prose, songs, and art does get me horny? Being moved after appreciating aesthetics /form does get me really horny. I feel positive, connected, spiritual, marvel at the beauty of life and feel selfless endless love, which bleeds over into wanting to express it physically very easily.

    Btw i don’t believe that all or even most women are bi/lez, and have no desire to believe this. Range of orientation is beautiful i appreciate and love variety of life and individuals, but i just don’t get this disconnect here it sounds illogical. If i look at someone and they look good, if my body responds physically to this visual stimulus with signs of arousal, if i want to touch them: if that person is a man and im a woman, i’m not going to call myself gay. And if that person is a woman and im a woman, im not going to call myself straight.

    This is all confusing. Too much focus on genitalia. Tbh the things i find sexiest regardless of the insignificance of gender are 1. Creative expression, eloquence 2. Open minded ness 3. Positivity 4. Compassion 5. Stubborness 6. Spiritual ecstasy 7. Healthy phyical form

    If i really want to get off, i can warm up with erotic material sure but what really gets me is marveling in wonder at existence, human connection and communication and emotion, the beauty of the life of the individual before me, the clarity of their mind, the function of their body, gratitude for my heartbeat and breath and eyesight etc, the gorgeousness of the natural world around me, and the connected levels of body/ brain, mind, spirit /soul /life energy in the people around me. that i am able to exist and enjoy so intensely with another in this brief mutual experience, a chanced crossing in an endlessly mixing, changing world.

    Does it seem as if i’ve gotten off topic? XD it’s that spiritual ecstasy that I seek. In combination with connected sex it is amazing.

    further still; if vaginal contact disgusts you, how do you feel about your own genitalia? Are you unable to view it through a different lense? Is it in any way disgusting too?

    A close friend i’ve known for a decade finds all genitalia to be disgusting, and i feel sad for her. Certain sets of genitals are more appealing and others less appealing, but on the whole i am able to find both sets of genitalia to be fairly nice looking. I feel sadness in my chest when i think about how my good friend will feel disgusted with her own and other’s genitals when she is engaged in sexual behavior. Should we not accept the natural form of the human body with respect and appreciation? That is how I feel. As if, of she could learn to view human form that way, with acceptance and not rejection, that it would be good for her in many ways. Psychologically, spiritually, in regard to her self esteem and satisfaction. Feeling compassion seems to help everything. That is all, i don’t mean to judge i just want everyone to feel whole, connected, and endlessly loving. It’s a great state to be in and function from.

    • You have a very long question and I have a very short answer.

      (By the way, I generally won’t approve comments this long because it takes me too long to get through them, but I let this one go.)

      All I can say is that it doesn’t make sense to me to think of myself as bisexual when I have no interest in having sex with a woman. And when I have never thought of women “that way.” The arousal is entirely focused on breasts and nothing else. (And they have to be naked. If I’m walking around in the world I never notice breasts.)

      Conversely, tribal men have no interest in women’s breasts but have a lot of interest in having sex with women. The fact that they don’t get aroused by women’s breasts does not disqualify them from being heterosexual.

      While some things are inherently sexual — recognized as sexual and all cultures — breasts are not. Whenever you see cultural variation, you know that you’re looking at a social construction.

      In our culture breasts have become eroticized. That doesn’t mean that a heterosexual woman will want to have sex with someone who owns breasts.

      It illustrates how things that we think are biological often are not. In fact, for humans most of our lived experience is symbolic, and contains no inherent meaning. This is just one small but rather jarring example.

  14. Breast obsession is definitely something unique to certain cultures, especially America. We are the land of large, fake big breasted women after all. It’s interesting to see other cultures where women expose their breast often, never for sexualized purposes, and to observe their attitude towards breasts. I actually had the experience of going to Barcelona this past summer and being exposed to this firsthand. As I plopped on the sand at the beach, I looked around to see old breasts, young breasts, small breasts, big breasts… Just openly exposed with such nonchalance. The full body tan is important and showing your breasts ain’t no big deal. To be a woman coming from a culture that has the opposing attitude, was truly liberating to feel. That day, I tanned like a Catalan woman would, and it was fabulous.

    While breast obsession is a culturally learned thing, bearing no real sexual importance, this can be said for anything an individual finds erotic or remotely sexual. Everything we prefer is either inherent or culturally presented to us to be okay with.

    As the author of this article experienced many comments regarding her alleged “bisexuality”, this raises another cultural perspective on sexuality. Sexuality is generally regarded as a black and white matter, but we are slowly awakening to the idea that it lies within a spectrum. Labels do not always apply.

    Regarding this article in particular, the very point seems to be missed by the commenters. Admitting to liking breasts does not necessarily have to mean admitting to having sexual desires for females, as breasts are a cultural preference with little to no sexual significance.

  15. The notion that all women are bisexual began from that infamous bonobo study or because straight women like experimenting with other women?

    • Probably the Chivers/bonobo study. A number of people have sent me an article in which a psychologist cites that study, and says that all women are bisexual. But did you see the post I wrote that says that the study isn’t a good measure of sexual preference since it may be detecting fear rather than sexual desire? The study didn’t check clitoral arousal, which is what makes women FEEL aroused.

      Are Women Sexually Ravenous?

      And it isn’t right to say that straight women like experimenting with other women. A recent study found that 14% of women had had a sexual experience with another woman. Really, that number isn’t very high. Especially when you consider that some of those are probably actually lesbian or bi. Others may have been pressured by boyfriends to do a threesome, without wanting to themselves. And others experimented and found out they didn’t like it. Like her: In my case, a very attractive woman came on to me and I thought about it. But when I went through all the steps in my head I came out feeling nauseous when I got to the actual sex part, told her I thought she was very attractive, and declined.

      • Is there a similar study about straight men experimenting with men?
        I wonder if the number is the same as that of women experimenting.
        I guess it would be much lower since the media doesn’t portray guy-on-guy as sexy as girl-on-girl thus men probably don’t get wonder about guy-on-guy plus there is no pressure from women demanding men to act on guy-on-guy fantasies or MMF threesomes.

      • I checked out the newspaper article and it said that men were less than half as likely to have had sex with a same-sex partner. So what’s that? About 6%? (since 5% would be nearly a third)

        Of course, men are much less likely to get pressure from women to have a threesome with another man. And because men are less sexualized in our culture, they are probably less likely to think about experimenting.

        So yeah you are right and I suspect for the reasons you give.

  16. I think all attractions whether bi, hetero or homo, are a result of some sort of conditioning. Cause, if you think of Love logically, it has no preference or grading system. And just like our taste preferences in food, I believe attractions are wholly shaped by our culture’s values and environment.

    • We seem to be a mix of natural and socialized sexuality.

      So everyone has a natural sex drive. But how it expresses itself varies from culture to culture. These days in America porn is affecting men’s tastes, so that men are beginning to want things that they have never wanted before. And I’m certain urges can be repressed or enhanced. Maybe someone would be naturally bisexual, But that urge could be repressed by the culture. On the other hand, a culture can punish homosexuality and urge and reward heterosexuality, yet someone who is strongly gay on the sexual orientation continuum cannot change no matter how hard he tries.

  17. I keep surfing your blog and founding these interesting articles that I can relate. If the breast fetish can or can’t be learned by gay men, i want to weigh in:

    I have found myself fantasizing with boobs. Not women, just their boobs. It may be hard for someone else to understand how can you disconnect boobs with gender, but somehow, I can. And it’s not that I want to be a woman, as someone suggested me once, because I dont. I am happy being a guy.

    A straight fella told me I should be bi, which Im not (I love men). He just couldn’t understand how I could think of boobs from time to time and not being into woman. So, I know how you feel.
    However, in my case, I have been exposed to tons of straight porn, which may be the cause I dont find womens nudity repulsive as other gays. Actually, i find female nudity aesthetic and even beautiful. Althought, I dont get off watching it.
    And of course, unlike you, I prefer a naked guy over a naked girl!

    I have heard other gay guys experiences about breast, and other heterosexual situations that they found arousal or, at least, pleasent.

  18. Interesting post. It would be helpful to see a citation for European men in the 1980s not being interested in breasts. Or for men in relationships not being interested in their partner’s breasts. Neither accords with my experience, but I’d like to see the original studies.

    • I do sociological social psychology (micro sociology), which looks at the social construction of reality. (A physical reality exists, and sometimes has innate meaning, but more often it doesn’t–its meaning is constructed by how people intend toward and respond to things.) Not too many people specialize in that area. Most sociologists are structural–looking at how social structures affect us. My area looks at how society gets into our heads. Even fewer people apply micro sociology to the areas of gender and sexuality. So if there are studies on what I’m talking about here, I’m not aware of them. The data is contained in the post.

      But I remember when I took soc 101 and learned that the breast fetish was a social construction and not biological, I was shocked. But it’s obvious that it’s not when you think about things like tribal societies. And some of the other things I mention my post.

      And then I took a marketing class where my instructor told us about advertising strategies in Europe in the 1970s-80s of putting topless women in ads on billboards, magazines and television. They did it because everyone looked – men and women alike. But after awhile it all became blasé. Oh, another topless woman, who cares? Especially since you had topless beaches on the continent too.

      And then I met real live Europeans who lived during that time. They couldn’t figure out why American men thought nudity was such a big deal. If you don’t believe it maybe you can find some way to ask some Europeans yourself. I’m thinking France, for instance. Maybe find a blog of someone who blogs from France and ask them about people who lived there in the 1980s.

      And then I read a book on pornography that told about how men who were overexposed to it were no longer able to get aroused by breasts.

      Men I talked to often said that while they continued to find their partners’ breasts attractive, after awhile – usually a short while – they no longer had a fetish affect. That’s what I was talking about in the post. You are the first one who has said you see things otherwise. Several men have commented on this post, and other posts, saying that they have experienced the same loss of arousal over time – meaning the fetish. Maybe you are different, or maybe there was a misunderstanding. As I said, I didn’t mean that they no longer find their partners breasts attractive at all.

      While these ideas may seem new to you, think about them a little bit. Like 1980s France. Try to imagine living in a world where you went to the beach and you would see your mom and your sisters and your friends breasts exposed on a regular basis. And you are surrounded by billboards with women’s breasts exposed. You don’t think that they would start to be less arousing for you?

      This sort of imagining can be difficult to do when it’s so different from your experience–and from something that feels biological (even if though not).

      Interestingly, people tend to think that what they find attractive is a universal standard. And yet in the 1920s American women bound their breasts to be as flat-chested as possible because that’s what was considered attractive then. In West Africa women try to gain as much weight as a possible because that’s thought of as attractive there. In the 1890s exotic dancers looked like this:

      The Plump Beauty Ideal: Exotic Dancers in 1890

      It can be quite a shock to learn that what you had taken for granted as natural actually isn’t. Some people never really get their minds around it. The way you can tell that it’s not natural is finding cross cultural differences.

      Give it some thought.

  19. Love your blog. Love love it. I like your matter of fact approach to these issues without anger or resentment. I can learn from you as I need help in that area! Thank you!

  20. Ultimately, people have to define this in terms of how it makes sense for themselves.

    I see how you mean this, since some men have “decided” to define you as something you are not. But I don’t think that people defining themselves are always accurate. That goes not only for sexual behaviour but it also applies to everything in human behaviour. I have heard of people lying, mistreating, being rude or anything and actually believing and identifying themselves as being honest, kind. They didn’t think they were lying, they were actually believing it.
    There was a saying by an ancient greek philosopher, it was something like
    “people are more willing to be self delusional than to believe the safe conclusions of their actions”.

    This is not just about straight women learning the breast fetish like yourself but about many “straight” women actually doing something about it.

    their is a poll in that page. The results are interesting.

    • What you say makes sense when you are not in the gray areas. The questions you were asking me were so fuzzy that I don’t know that anyone can label those folks except themselves.

  21. I didn’t say bisexual.
    How about straight-with-upper-body-same-sex-attraction?
    that is more accurate

    What’s the difference between someone who is ‘1’ or ‘2” (somewhere between straight and bi) and one who is bisexual? that’s an honest question.

    But what about those who are willing to go only that far with same sex experiences?
    That doesn’t count as sex?

    that kind of reminds me the story of a famous politician who had oral sex from a woman and claimed that it wasn’t sex.

    • I don’t really get what you’re asking. You’re not asking whether these women are bisexual if they are turned on by boobs but don’t want to have actual sex with a woman?

      • Just to clear there is no missunderstanding, I am not saying that [women who are turned on by boobs but don’t want to have actual sex with a woman] that are bisexuals.

        But if some of these women want to touch, fondle, kiss, etc. the breasts of another woman but still do NOT want to go down on another woman, would they still be straight?
        or more likely somewhere between straight and bisexual?

      • I guess it depends on how you define sex. I just don’t see how “no genital contact” is sex. Maybe someone else does. So it’s a gray area.

        Ultimately, I think people have to define this in terms of how it makes sense for themselves. And I don’t think that anyone outside of themselves can define them.

      • That’s an interesting contradiction.
        As you have said and I agree, sexual orientation isn’t that or the other, but it’s a continuum.
        Let’s keep it women, the same goes for men of course, but since there isn’t a fetish about the male body there isn’t a confusion for men.

        If a women gets aroused and turned on by female body has nothing to do with her sexual orientation. She can still be heterosexual.
        It’s the actual sex that defines the orientation.
        If she wants to and/or having sex with another woman which you said means “genital contact” then that’s a sign of bisexuality
        If she doesn’t want to have “genital contact” then she is heterosexual.

        But that would mean that sexual orientation is either ‘that’ or the ‘other’
        Genital contact means she’s bisexual (or lesbian)
        No genital contact means she’s heterosexual
        What about all those who fall anywhere between hetero and bi ?

        I am straight male and I don’t get turned on by the male body.
        But as you said, even if I did get turned on but I didn’t want to have sex with a man, I would still be hetero. And even if I touched another man as long as there was “no genital contatct” I would still be hetero. But if there was genital contact then I would bi.
        That means that I would be either hetero or bi (or gay)
        where is the continuum?

      • I suppose that “straight” only exists at the poles. The rest is some level of bisexuality I suppose. So some people are easily aroused by either sex so they are right in the middle of the continuum. Some people have tried really hard to stop being gay and can’t. So they are at the poles. And then you have people who seem to have more of a preference for one or the other sex, but to varying degrees.

  22. People who are saying that women are bisexuals (or straight) because of the breast fetish seem to forget that there is a continuum in sexual orientation.


    So straight women do learn the breast fetish but many of them wouldn’t go all the way down with another woman and that means that they are not bisexual.
    But many straight women who learn the breast fetish wouldn’t mind going half way up with another woman. So what does that make them, straight or bi? perharps a ‘1’ or a ‘2’ would be more accurate but since there aren’t labels for those in between they have to identify themselves as ‘straight’.
    A term like semi-bisexual or only-upper-body bisexual is better description than bisexual or straight.

    The biological limits forbid straight women from going all the way to bisexual, but the social learning in western society make them to go to ‘1’ or ‘2’. They still identify themselves as ‘straight’ but men seem to label them as bisexual and that is “generous” of them. If a man was a ‘1’ or ‘2’ then the other straight men wouldn’t label him as bisexual but as fulll gay.

    So saying that all women are bisexuals is an exaggeration and is not accurate.
    But saying that straight women learn to be only-upper-body-bisexual?

  23. I still think its because men are more visual as in, they can operate in a manner to be turned on by women’s bodies without even knowing her name and thats it. Men’s visual nature sexualizes and fetishsizes women’s bodies. Tribal cultures have topless women, but there other parts of women’s bodies that are taboo or more sexual. Gay guys love looking at naked men and get highly aroused, so the fetish sexualized thing doesn’t seem to work here and the factor being men’s visual nature. I get that the symbol of women’s bodies to sex is what probably gets you turned on, but why such a lack of attention to men’s bodies that you supposedly should be so attracted to? What about in person? If you’re at the beach or pool and there are hot, fit shirtless guys out and women in bikinis are you staring and checking out or getting aroused by women’s bodies or ogling some of the hot shirtless guys? if you are, what’s the difference from pictures to real life?

    • Yet a lot of straight women are confused by finding breasts arousing. So are women nonvisual? Or have they just not been offered images of men that would create a visual fetish?

  24. men put their junk in women’s faces which is why its not arousing and the prancince. But sports is another story, a lot of women do check out male swimmers torso. And to summarize the penis is not reallya pretty thing, nor are women’s vaginas compared to boobs and butts. My arousal would not stop towards women;s bodies even if ads stopped showing because my main visual attraction or influence has always been more so in seeing women in person out and a about. Just because a body part isn’t fetishsized doesn’t mean its not arousing, its just not something a person is obsessed about. Women’s butts are still arousing, so are legs to many men. Men still find women’s bodies arousing even in nudist colonies, but they can go with their day without being obsessed because the mystery is gone.

  25. playgirl isn’t so arousing to women, because like women said. The men’s dicks are flaccid and the poses and strippers what many have said are gay. Many of the guy strippers are gay and the they don’t know how to work women’s desire. A lot of women don’t like being tea bagged and men’s junk right in their face, especially men they don’t know. They find that tacky and silly. Plus its perhaps in women’s state to be a bit more cautious, even if the guy is hot to know more about him, since men are bigger and stronger. So a guy putting his dick in her face is more daunting and scary than a female stripper putting her crotch in a man’s face. Plus women dancing and being graceful works better for women than men. Women like men moving and acting in a more masculine manner.

    Seriously, there are a lot of women who watch men’s sports and a lot of it is because of the eye candy. The male swimmers in their speedos and women’s checking their bodies out, these male athelers have great physiques but they are also being active and showing through performance and strength. I don’t think body parts have to be fetishsized to be arousing though, It adds another element, but I wouldn’t be obessed with boobs, but I’d still be turned on by boobs. I know tribal cultures aren’t obsessed with them, but thats because the women are naked all day and its in not sexy moments. But the men still like and find them arousing, but its not something they can’t contain themselves with. While men can go shirtless, its not like guys are shirtless out that much. On tv a decent amount, but most of the time out in public, stores what not, guys cant go into places without their shirts. Its really at their house, beach or pool where man typiacally are shirtless, and this is if its summer and wamrn out as out in the winter that doesn’t happen. My attraction and turn on visually has always been effected more so from seeing girls in person than the media. Even if girls bodies stopped showing up on TV and movies, that wou;dn’t stop my arousal towards womens bodies, as my lust most of the time has been from seeing hot girls out and about in person and not from the media. The fact is men and women aren’t the same, even with men shown more, i don’t think women would be as visual as men, not because of men;s bodies but because of how women are wired biologically compared to men.

    • If erect penises were such a turn on for women, don’t you think someone would’ve figured out that you could make an awful lot of money with pictures of men with erect penises?

      I didn’t get past the first few lines of what you wrote because your comment’s too long. You’re going to need to write shorter comments if you want me to continue responding. See my comment policy. In the future I won’t post anything that I haven’t read. And I don’t read comments that are too long. Or too many.

  26. “Women do find those guys attractive, but not arousing. That’s why Playgirl is constantly going bankrupt whereas there’s a plethora of sexy woman images for men: Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, Barely Legal, I could go on.”

    Go to yahoo answers and read the questions if women can or do sometimes get turned on looking at a hot guys. Just because women don’t stare or act crazy seeing shirtless guy out like guy’s would for a woman doesn’t mean a man’s body doesn’t turn women on (arousing). I never felt the lack of playboy meant men’s bodies weren’t arousing to women or not highly sexually attractivw to women, but women need more to get aroused, not because of men’s bodies but how women in gernal are less visual than men. Plus it seems like arousal and desire might not go hand in hand like it does for men. She might find a men’s body arousing or a turn on, but need to know him more, because wome I think by nature are more selective biologically, because women are the ones that bear children of course and the nesting thing with biology. A man’s body can be arousing to her, but she might not desire sex from him unless she knows him more or theres a connection to him mentally. I believe thats how women overall operate. As far as I can tell, from what I’ve heard lesbians aren’t baning each other left and right and seem to go the way same way. Whereas, theres been std issues and aid issues for gay men, because of how promiscuous gay men are to each toher, because of the simple visual, highley sexual natures, plus both sexes being pursuers.

    You know how many women have fantasized over channing tatums body and found it arousing and his chest and lusted over it and not knowing these guys and going simply by what they see? You think I might be contradicting about that, but even with that arousal, I still believe many women would need to know these guys in their fantasier personally to have sex with them, but those guys bodies are arousing enough to stir lust and fantasy.

    “But the reason that women’s bodies sell more is because their bodies are more sexualized.”

    The reasons women’s bodies are more sexualized, is because of how simple men are to trigger and visual men are thus sexualizing and selling women’s bodies more so than men’s because of the great profit selling sexualized women’s bodies get from men compared to women.

    • “Go to yahoo answers and read the questions if women can or do sometimes get turned on looking at a hot guys. Just because women don’t stare or act crazy seeing shirtless guy out like guy’s would for a woman doesn’t mean a man’s body doesn’t turn women on (arousing).”

      If women see men’s bodies as arousing then why is Playgirl always going bankrupt? (Don’t think it is around anymore.) And why are they so much less likely to search for naked bodies of men to masturbate to? And then you contradict yourself with your last paragraph. Maybe there are a few exceptions, and those are the very few who purchased Playgirl when it was around.

      Interesting question is whether women could find men’s bodies arousing if they were fetishized. No part of the male body is selectively hidden and revealed and culturally obsessed over, so it’ll probably never happen, at least not in the near future. I have no doubt that if the culture celebrated men’s bodies more, that women would find them more alluring. For the most part they’re ignored. I’d just like to see them less ignored.

  27. Gay guy’s aren’t obsessed with women’s boobs and aren’t that affected by all the sexualizing of women’s bodies. So I’m sure straight guys wouldn’t be too affected either even if men’s bodies suddenly started to be advertised all over like women’s bodies or things were reverse. The only thing it might do is make men more self conscious of their bodies. But guy’s are just more direct with their sexuality, and thats why is not effected or I don’t would be. Whereas,women’s turn on seems more about a man’s desire toward her, which is maybe why women are more effect by women’s bodies sexualized. Because women internalzie it more and focus on women’s bodies or their sexiness, because of how it relates to them. So basically women are weird and complicated. Guys are so much more simple, I have to ask what the difference is seeing men in pictures or tv and in person and why its s adifference to women. If a woman and many do, gets turned on seeing a hot shirtless guy at the pool or beach, I don’t know what the difference is with seeing a hot shirtless guy on TV as far as visual arousal. The woman doesn’t know the guy she sees at the pool anymore than the guy on the tv screen. Women being sexualized more than men, is not because women are sexier and I don’t know why the confusion. It’s basically because sex sells and women’s bodies sell more so or greater profit to men, than men’s bodies to women, which is why its lopsided. It’;s all about the $, so more effort toward the greater profit.

    • “Gay guy’s aren’t obsessed with women’s boobs and aren’t that affected by all the sexualizing of women’s bodies. So I’m sure straight guys wouldn’t be too affected either even if men’s bodies suddenly started to be advertised all over like women’s bodies or things were reverse.”

      There’s truth to what you say. But there also isn’t.

      On the one hand, women’s bodies are responsive to EVERY sex signal they see — including bonobos (an ape species) having sex — while men’s bodies are not. And breasts have become a non-biologically based sex signal in our culture, so now women respond to them. Some guys might get confused by this because women don’t tend to be aware of responding to bonobos, but many are aware of responding to breasts. That may be because breasts have become the strongest sex signal in our culture.

      For men the flexibility doesn’t come so easily. They don’t respond to EVERY sex signal they see. Monkeys having sex? No response. BUT, straight men can come to associate VISUAL images of the penis with orgasm (penises jacking off is frequently portrayed in porn), leaving some straight men finding the penis arousing over time. By contrast, I guess gay men don’t come to associate breasts with orgasm.

      “The only thing it might do is make men more self conscious of their bodies.”

      That’s beginning to happen with some men: David Beckham’s Sex Sells

      “Whereas,women’s turn on seems more about a man’s desire toward her, which is maybe why women are more effect by women’s bodies sexualized.”

      But it could be going the other way. In the Western world women learn that they are sex objects and so many – but not all – women can get aroused by experiencing a man’s arousal toward her.

      In fact, it’s most likely going the other way because women in tribal societies don’t have objectified bodies, so how could that happen?

      Also, since nearly 80% of women have poor body image it rarely works that way even in cultures that objectify the female. Instead, the opposite seems to happen. Women get distracted, worrying about how their bodies look to the men they’re with, and then they can’t enjoy sex because they can’t get into it. And among women who think they are hot, plenty of them get distracted by thinking about how hot they look instead of enjoying sex. So it is extremely unlikely that God or nature set things up so that women would get aroused by feeling their man’s arousal of their bodies. See these posts:

      Does Sexual Objectification Lead to Bad Sex?
      Sex Objects Who Don’t Enjoy Sex
      Lose Virginity, Lose Self-Esteem?
      Being Sexual vs Looking Sexual

      “Because women internalize it more and focus on women’s bodies or their sexiness, because of how it relates to them. So basically women are weird and complicated. Guys are so much more simple.”

      For cultural reasons women are more complicated. But they aren’t weird. They’re only weird if you use men as your standard of measure. If you use women as the standard then men are weird. Here are a couple posts on the complications:

      Men Watch Porn, Women Read Romance. Why?
      Who Falls In Love Faster? Men or Women?

      “If a woman and many do, gets turned on seeing a hot shirtless guy at the pool or beach, I don’t know what the difference is with seeing a hot shirtless guy on TV as far as visual arousal.”

      Women do find those guys attractive, but not arousing. That’s why Playgirl is constantly going bankrupt whereas there’s a plethora of sexy woman images for men: Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler, Barely Legal, I could go on.

      In real life, she’s likely to find her partner attractive and stimulating, but not because she has looked at his chest. It’s more about the relationship, who he is for her. So women are much more likely to need an emotional connection in order to enjoy sex.

      “Women being sexualized more is basically because sex sells and women’s bodies sell more.”

      But the reason that women’s bodies sell more is because their bodies are more sexualized.

  28. Its weird how you say this conditioning effects women and this is the cause. But I would bet money that even if things were reversed and men suddenly were posed naked or scantily clad all over and pushed, it wou;dn’t cause me to see things differently or fetishsize men even if a part was fetishsized. I wou;dn’t be looking more at the guy if nudes were shown, but most of my attention to women. And im not trying to act macho as I can tell if a guy is good looking and confident in my sexuality as a straight man, but simply dudes wouldnt really influence or effect me, from my crazy strong, visual attraction, attention to women and their bodies. Andd im pretty sure thats true for most straight guys. So whats up with you then?

    • I’m not the least bit surprised that you don’t think so. But you also don’t know so.

      If I lived in a culture that didn’t fetishize women’s breasts I know for fact that I wouldn’t fetishize them. Say, if I lived in a tribal society. Because neither men nor women do in those cultures.

      And if I lived in one of these tribal societies and someone told me that it would be possible for me to fetishize the female breast if I lived in a culture that did so, I can’t imagine that I would believe that.

  29. Our culture teaches us to be attracted to other women. When you turn on the T.V. the first thing that you see is a girl in a bikini biting a burger or a picture of a man and a woman posing and the woman would be more naked or sexual. Honestly, if there is a woman and a man in a picture I’m going to look at the woman longer… and I am straight. it’s what we are taught and what we are taught is that a woman’s body is more attractive and appealing to the eye.

  30. Peter Pagrefor

    this site is very interesting and clearly shows that there is a breast fetish today established by the modern civilization.

    It’s interesting to see how perception of the human body has changed over the years

  31. Peter Pagrefor

    I am sorry I meant to say “this post” not “this blog”.
    And I do appreciate your work, I’ve learnt many things, that’s why I am still here.

  32. Peter Pagrefor

    Let me rephrase the question

    The women who score 1-2 in the Kinsley scale are considered to be hetero or bi?
    I know anyone can say that he/she is whatever but the actions speak louder than words,
    and since you made a blog about the labels men are giving to you, that means that labels do matter, at least a little bit.

    The Kinsley scale may not be a universal truth but it still helps a bit to come out of this confusion.

    I am a 0 in the scale, you seem to be also a 0.
    But I can guess that the majority of the women are 1-3, and especially 2. There must be very few women in the 0. You must know the statistics better than me.

    So all these women in 1-2, should be considered as hetero or bi?

    the strange thing is that there are some lesbians who score 4-5 and still call themselves as lesbians.
    And some of the exclusive lesbians are insulted that these women label themselves as lesbians, kind of the same way some men are insulted that you label yourself as hetero.
    Isn’t this a kind of ironic

    It seems to me that those in the 1-5 are bi.
    Who could say that I am straight because I am 95% hetero and only 5% bi? or 70% hetero and 30% bi.

    For some reason they don’t want to be labelled as bi.
    They prefer to be labelled either as hetero or gay/lesbians even though in reality they act like a bi.
    It’s seems there is a strong biphobia by both hetero and lesbians.

    • I don’t get this: “since you made a blog about the labels men are giving to you, that means that labels do matter, at least a little bit.”

      What does that mean?

      This blog is mostly about trying to help people understand the social basis of our experience. The only thing that bothers me about men saying I’m bi when I have no interest in sex with women is that the point of my posts is to help people “get” how society is affecting things, like understanding what’s “sexy.” And to help women understand how they could experience a breast fetish when they have no interest in sex with women. The breast becomes such a strong sex signal that it likely affects everyone — unless they repress it (due to homophobia on the part of women) or because they’re too busy worried about how they “stack up.” When I’m in the latter mode, I don’t find breasts erotic at all.

      Also, I’m a sociologist who studies the effects of society on our experience (especially, how we “construct” both reality and our identities). I’m not a psychologist, and that’s not the area of my study. So I would need to look at Kinsey and see what you’re talking about.

  33. Peter Pagrefor

    I can get it why hetero women say they find looking at breasts sexual arousing even though they are not interested in having sex with another woman.

    Now the really confusing part is that there are many women saying they are hetero and straight and they also say they are like kissing and touching other women’s breast and they are planning to do it again.
    Isn’t that consider to be having sex, so technically they are bi?

    I am not talking about those who use the excuse “oh it was just an expiremantion in the past”.

    I am talking about the women that they say they still like having sex with other women and they are going to keep having in the future, still they call themselves as straight and hetero.

    That is really confusing.

    I don’t believe they are afraid to call themselves bi because the world would looked at them weird. If they are not afraid and ashamed to admit openly that they like having sex with other women then that means they shouldn’t care about a characterization.

    Is the breast fetish so powerfull that makes even hetero women having sex with other women?
    That would mean that bisexuality is actually learned.

    or they confuse sexual orientation with being romentically interested and since they only have sex but they are not interested in having a romantic relationship with other women they think of themselves as straight.

  34. Peter Pagrefor

    … or how about a “biceps fetish”.

    Men are really obsessed with biceps and is one of the rare occasions that a male can admire a part of another male without being seeing as a gay.
    Males aren’t ashamed to show their biceps to another male, noone will ever call gay a male, for staring at another men’s bicep.
    Male biceps are everywhere in the media, photos and movies.
    In many movies two actors are shaking hands in such a way that they flex their biceps and show how strong they are.

    Someone could say that also the famous V-shaped back is also admired and portraited but it’s not as much as the biceps.

    Remember and I think it’s important that no man is ashamed at staring at another man’s bicep and admiting that it looks great.

    Every man since they were little boys they were showing off their biceps and pretended to be strong

  35. Peter Pagrefor

    Thanks for the answers and also thanks for tolerating my long posts. I am sorry for that.
    I think that I should quit bothering you with so many questions but I needed answers to get me out of the confusion that “all women are bi”.

    After clearing up the difference between terms like “fetish” and “attractive” I have to wonder,

    isn’t the six pack abs of the male body also a fetish?

    On many magazines there are photos of male showing their abs and in many movies there are actors with lean bodies.
    Are there many women that haven’t watched Fight Club or the movie “300” and so many other movies with guys showing their lean bodies?
    A friend of mine (girl) is watching Vampire Diaries [a tv series] because as she says “there are so many hot guys”.

    Shouldn’t all these photos and images all over the media and movies with ripped male bodies with six pack abs have created an “abs fetish” ?

    • If they were, then women would buy beefcake magazines, and do beefcake internet searches, and masturbate to it.

      Attractive and hot… but not sexually arousing.

      • Peter Pagrefor

        I did’t say that there is an abs fetish.

        I wondered why there isn’t a abs fetish?

        Even though there are so many images in the media and the movies it was never developed as a fetish.

        it’s curious,
        it’s a naked body part that gets a lot of attention by the media and the movies as being sexy but still didn’t get to be sexually arousing. I can’t see the reason why this didn’t happen.

      • Because they aren’t strategically hidden and revealed. And obsessed over.

        Anything naked that you can easily see isn’t fetishized. In tribal societies you see boobs all the time. They’re beautiful, but they aren’t strategically hidden and revealed. And obsessed over as naughty and nice all at once.

      • Peter Pagrefor

        Its seems they are trying but it’s not enough
        like in the “Gardener” – Diet Coke Advert

      • Peter Pagrefor

        that was a joke.

      • Peter Pagrefor

        that’s a link of the advert

        [you may not want post a link of an advert]

        the interesting part is all the comments below the video.
        Some guys accusing this ad of being sexist towards men
        and all of the women thinking that it was a great advert.

        Indeed the media are teliing us what is attractive and sexual arousing.

        thanks again, you got me out of this confusion.
        That’s all from me, I won’t bother you again. Promise :-).

      • Interesting that guys were saying it’s sexist. Think I’ll blog on this (thanks!). For now i’ll just say that I wouldn’t see this sort of thing as sexist if it were applied to both genders, equally, if both were shown multi-dimensionally, and outside of narrow beauty ideals.

      • Peter Pagrefor

        ok, I broke my promise and I posted again lol.

        I thought that it was more interesting to read the responses from the women, many of them seemed to enjoy watching a half-naked male body for a change.
        Some women mentioned that there as so many images of naked female bodies and it was good to see a man’s body.
        No woman said that “it would be more hot if it was a female model” even though most of them would actually agree with that LOL.

        As for the men who thought it was sexist, I don’t why they thought that.
        Personally I liked the ad and it was good to show that men’s body can also be considered sexy by women.

        Well I didn’t like the idea that a group of women wanted to make fun of a guy but he did a good come back LOL.

      • If men were portrayed as sexy like this more often, women would probably be more cued into noticing and think about this sort of thing. And men would seem “sexier.”

      • Peter Pagrefor

        and women are going to meet this model and take photos with him simply because the media told them he is sexy

      • Of course he’d be sexy even with out media.

        But celebrity makes him even sexier — and here, more approachable (what luck for the ladies).

        And, generally speaking, women as a genre are still thought sexier.

        For instance, one guy said this in response to the ad:

        “Imagine a group of guys rolling the coke can to a hot girl, that then gets splattered with coke on her top and takes it off while they stare… yea… id wanna see that commercial”

        But a woman wouldn’t even be able to take her top off without everyone going really, really wild — so much so that it’d be censored. That both reflects the fetish and creates it.

      • Peter Pagrefor

        I see what you mean.

        The most hilarious comment by a woman
        “Whatever the family is doing at the time… If this advert comes on, EVERYONE stops in silence to watch it haha.”

  36. Peter Pagrefor

    8) As for those who keep instisting that they know your sexuality better than you, we have a saying in my country about these kind of people.

    It would be something like
    “they are judging other people’s thoughts and actions through their own perspective”

    9) After some thinking I realized there is something that noone has mentioned.
    The naked female body has indeed being idolized and not the male body.
    But there is an attribute that has also being idolized and is more apparent in the male body than in the female body.

    That is the height fetish.
    Indeed the humankind always had a height fetish which is more prominent now because the people are much taller thanks to better nutrition.

    Most of the guys are into sports. And most of the athletes are tall, no wonder why men are in awe in the presence of a really tall guy. A really tall guy gets immidiate respect from the rest of the males and admiration from the females.
    On the other hand a woman may still be attractive and charming even if they are not tall.
    The most female models are at 5-9 or 5-10 which is pretty much the average height for the men.
    We rarely see very tall women [6′ 2” or more] being portraited as attractive, probably because most of the men would be intimidated by their height. So some men may prefer tall women but not too tall. But when it comes to man, there is not a limit. A 6′ 6” attractive male would seem like a demi-god to most of the women even if they were intimidated by his height.

    The difference is that noone has to get naked to show how tall they are. We can see that with their clothes on.
    So when a tall guy enters a room most likely will get more female attention than a shorter guy, right?

    But that seems to contradict with the research that said that all women prefered the man’s face over the men’s body.

    I would like to hear your opinion on this one.
    If all women prefered the men’s face over the body for either a one night stand or a relationship, how come they seem to prefer taller guys?
    Is it that women may say one thing and mean another?
    they may say they prefer the men’s face over the body but in real life situtation they seem to prefer men’s body over men’s face?
    It may be different for every woman, but don’t forget in the research you mentioned you said that ALL women prefered the face over the body, if there were some women that actually prefered the body that would make some sense, now it doesn’t

    I really enjoy reading your posts, tha’s why I keep posting back, I hope I contribute to the conversation and not mummbling.

    • Hello. It’s good to hear from you but in the future please make your comments shorter. I don’t have time to deal with a lot of comments of this length. See my comment policy.

      I will answer your last two “comments” here:

      First, it’s very important that you make a distinction between “fetish” and “attractive.” You often conflate the two, and that causes you some confusion.

      Women who don’t show skin can be attractive, men can be attractive, children, houses, and landscapes are attractive. Breasts are sexually arousing — fetished.

      Women DO find men’s bodies attractive even though they don’t fetish them – since the culture hasn’t fetishized them. And men DO find women attractive even if no skin is showing.

      By contrast, naked or nearly naked guys can seem “gay” because sexual objects are so targeted toward the male gaze that even men see these bodies through the male gaze. And nothing on the male body has been fetishized and so there will be no fetish distraction to get women aroused, either.

      Just to let you know, I don’t look at women’s cleavage and I doubt that other women do much, either. The research on what women look at came from watching films of naked people. If I’m watching a film I’ll be more likely to notice a nude woman’s body than a man’s, but in real life I never pay attention to women’s breasts or cleavage. For me, the fetish only revolves around actual nudity.

      Phallic symbols are not the same as a fetish. I don’t think anyone gets turned on just because they see a phallic symbol. I don’t see that they have anything in common with a fetish.

      Fetishizing the male penis would have to do more with something like having the camera constantly focus on men’s “packages,” selectively hiding and revealing the penis, culturally talking about it like it’s really attractive and something really exciting. Something that you really want to see but can’t. And real body parts, not some phallic symbol, like a skyscraper. Who gets excited by skyscrapers?

      kind of. A certain body type is more fetishized but due to a natural male interest in women, actual men are interested in a much greater variety of body types them the idealized one.
      Elvis and the Beatles were idolized but not fetishized. They’re very exciting, but not sexually arousing. When I’m sexually aroused I’m not screaming my head off.
      Makeup and fashion certainly add to the sense of women being attractive. That said, I think all of us can find both women and men attractive even without makeup. And faces aren’t fetishized, even though we can all find faces – of both women and men – attractive.

      Height isn’t fetishized any more than “thin’ is fetishized. men who are tall and women who are thin or both.more attractive than men who were short and women who are heavy. But no man is going to get sexually aroused just because a slim woman walks in. And no woman is going to get sexually aroused just because a tall man walks in.

      The height preference for women used to be average, rather than tall. A preference for tall only came when “tall” became associated with models. And models were tall because you could see the clothes better on a catwalk. There is nothing inherently attractive about being tall.

      I also suspect that most women would choose an attractive short guy over a tall “ugly” guy.

  37. Peter Pagrefor

    I hope I don’t bother you by making so many posts but I have to say that I feel relieved reading your blog. Not that I have anything against bi or gay people, but it was really confusing believing that “all women are bi”.

    So some random thoughts and comments.
    I’d like to hear your opinion on any of them. You seem to be… I don’t know the exact word, you have your head together, your thoughts together [is that how you say it in english?]

    Anyway, as I said I was confused about this whole thing “all women are bi” so when I first read what you wrote I have to admit that I also thought “oh great, another bi woman who doesn’t want to admit it”.
    But after keep reading what you have written, it started to make sense. It seems that the idea that “all women are bi” has been established so hard that it’s difficult to think that it may not be the case.

    It won’t be short, there is too much confusion over this matter.

    1) Whenever a man is staring at a woman’s breast or trying to look down at her clevage he is always described as a “creep”. But it seems he can’t help it, I am not justifying his behaviour.
    But what it seems is that even women are staring at women’s breast but they don’t get to be called “creep”.
    So what does that double standard really means?

    We have men thinking that all women are bi because they are staring at women’s breasts.
    We have women calling men ‘creep’ for staring at women’s breasts but they don’t seem to call the other women ‘creep’ for doing the same thing.
    Most likey because a woman would look at a stranger man as a potential threat but at the same time a stranger woman staring at her would never pose as a threat?
    I can guess that most would women [even if they are hetero] would be ftattered if they get attention by another woman.

    2) It’s interesting that you brought Don Draper – John Hamm as en example. You choose him as what women consider to be an attractive male than a half naked male model.
    That also proves the original point that the culture defines what is attractive.
    So in the western culture the attractive male is someone who is good looking, always sharp dressed, looking confident.
    It seems that the “Humphrey Bogart style” is still considered in our culture to be the idea of an attractive male.
    Have you ever notice the men that dance argentine tango?
    confident, slender, sharp dressed, well I am an hetero male and even I think that they look attractive.
    Women have to show some skin to be attractive and men have to show attitude. That’s what we have been taught.

    3) What I don’t get is this.
    The female body has been idolized. It’s everywhere you look so that’s why there is so much obsession with it.
    But the same can be said about the phallic symbol.
    Since it represents power for the male, it is used everywhere. No matter where you look you get hints of phallic symbols. In commercials, in movies, music, magazines and many products look like a phallic symbol. Even buildings are bult to look like phallic symbols, just look at the obelisks.

    If we get this one step forward, many sex toys are phallic symbols, so when women [both hetero and lesbians] are using them that should mean that they should get a phallic fetish the same way we get a breast fetish but women don’t seem to be obsessed with the phallic symbol.

    Why there is this difference?

    I can only guess that the difference is that female body is being pictured as it really is, with no hints, just real naked woman, whereas the phallic symbol is just a symbol, no real naked male, just a phallic symbol that we get it subconsciously.

    I’d like to hear your opinion as an hetero woman.

    4) Men can walk around topless and that just being fine. But women can not have that “freedom” with out getting attention.
    If let’s say in the future, the law and our moral views somehow changed and start viewing the female breast the same way we vie the male breast, that breast fetish would probably dissappear and we probably wouldn’t have both men and women wondering why women find the female body so attractive.

    5) In another blog entry you wrote about a photographer I think that had a show [I don’t know the exact word] about pictures of men and you said that we should get more of this so it would become normal to view the male body just as we view the female.
    I agree with you but I have an objection, [if you can call it objection].

    It’s very difficult to begin with idolizing the male body nowadays, and it’s impossible to do so with the average male body.
    The obsession with the naked female body has been established through showing the most attractive female models.
    A “so called unnattractive” female body is in matter of fact unwanted by men and I guess by women.
    So it’s not just the female body that has been idolized, it’s the attractive female body that has been.

    Again look at the ancient greek statues. None of them were a simple average male.
    As an hetero what I think would seem to be an attractive male body is not the huge bulky bodybuilder type or an average guy with some belly fat or a skin and bones type.
    An attractive male body appears to be [both in ancient times and today] someone with a few muscles but not too much, and a very low body fat percentage [look at Brad Pitt in Fight Club].
    Especially the low body fat percentage seems to be very important, because then the fat dissapears from the face, and the jawbone and chickbones become visibly, the bone structure is what makes a face look attractive or not. It subconsciously gives a lot of information about the genes and the overall health of that peson.
    Google “Jared Leto before after ” to see the difference body fat is making to both the body and the face appearance.
    Or at least that’s what we have been taught to think.
    In France a few centuries ago, overweight women seemed to be more attractive than slim women because that meant they have the resources to be well fed.

    6) Do you remember Elvis and the Beatles? of course you do.
    Do you remember how women were reacting when they were seeing them?
    That’s right, they were idolized to the point where women were getting hysterical and even faint when they were seeing them. They were taught by the media that they should run after them because they are icons. And they never had to show skin to get attention by women.
    That’s how powerfull a symbol can be.

    7) What’s interesting is that even though everyone thinks that women are more attractive than men, nobody seems to realize that a woman has to be “built” with all those cosmetics to appear attractive, whereas men look attractive with out using cosmetics. (I don’t know much about the metro-sexual look and I am not interested in).

    So if we had an attractive female remove all of the cosmetics [we almost never see a woman to portraited as attractive with out cosmetics, after all they must convice women that they need to buy the cosmetics, right?] and we have an attractive male as he really is, would there still be that thought that females are so much more attractive than males?

    Males aren’t suppossed to use cosmetics to look better, and if they do they are called gay. Personally I am not interested in the idea of using cosmetics because I think it’s way too much trouble to spend so much time and because in the long run it would hurt the skin.

    But women on the other are expected to use cosmetics too appear attractive. To the point that even women think they are not that attractive when they have not their make up on.
    It’s like admiting they “cheat” to look more attractive, just like an athlete would use drugs to get a better performance.

    Personally I think that a woman who can still seem to be attractive with using as less make up as possible is a truly beautiful woman.

    So is it really that the females are more attractive or is the females+cosmetics which seem to make the difference? plus the more “airplay” the female models get.

    It was really long but I am glad I found your blog as it cleared many things.

  38. Peter Pagrefor

    I would like to hear your opinion on this one

    • The article makes no sense. It makes me wonder what really happened at the school.

      On the one hand the exercises are supposed to stop bullying of LGBT students and yet it seems it would increase bullying of sexually active girls. I find it hard to believe that the school would have both goals in common, and wonder if the reporting is accurate.

      Since I feel like I don’t know what was really going on, I don’t have an opinion.

  39. Peter Pagrefor

    It won’t be short but you may want to read it, I am supporting your opinion and I am adding some new thoughts.

    Very interesting article and I am glad that there are still women who consciously can say that they are heterosexual and mean it. Many women nowadays are confused because of this breast fetish.

    You should check the culture in ancient greek. There were more statues of nude male than female.
    In ancient Greece the fetish was the naked male body, not a particular part of it like the female breast it is nowadays, but the body as a whole. Let’s not take it to “then all men were gays back then” but let’s see it from an artistic and aesthically point view.
    The statues of the male bodies were sculptered to perfection, presenting the male body with the golden ratio [that’s the ratio of “perfection”].

    You could write an article about that to show that it is the culture that tell the people what is attractive. Nowadays is the breast, in ancient times it was the male body.

    If these ancient statues were presented more and more today by the media as a work of art then probably the naked male body should have begun to appear more attractive to both female and male eyes.

    I am an heterosexual male. Arguably it’s more clear for a male to define the sexual orieantation. Still, probably because I work out, I find appealing watching the bodies of athletes. If I said that to any of my friends they would give me a strange look “dude you are so gay!”
    But no, as you say I have no interest in touching someone from my own gender, in matter of fact I find it repulsing.
    But because I have seen so many fitness magazines in the gym with pictures of bodybuilders I tend to admire their bodies. Just google Frank Zane to see what I mean.
    I repeat I am 100% straight.

    The only difference is that the men on those magazines never show their genitalia but the media always show full naked women.

    The bottom line is as you said, that we are programmed to get aroused in the picture of breasts.

    • Thanks. I totally get it.

      I suspect that homophobia explains why the other guys either “don’t get” what you’re saying about the attractiveness of the male body (due to repressing their ability to see the attractiveness), or do “get it” but don’t want to admit it.

      Yes, I was aware of Ancient Greece, but you make a good point to blog on it.

      • Peter Pagrefor

        I remember once a friend of mine [also heterosexual] he said that he saw a certain basketball player walking down the street.
        He mentioned that because he was playing for the team we were supporting and then he tried to make a comment about his looks,
        I smiled thinking to myself “if someone else heard that he would totally misunderstood it”,
        he saw me smiling and embaressed he quickly replied “ok I will stop it now”

        women admiting that another women is attractive doesnt make them less of a woman,
        but if a man makes a comment about another man’s look then he must gay.
        That’s because the media always present the female body as more attractive.

        But something being attractive doesn’t neccesary mean that someone should get aroused just by watching it.
        Do people get sexually turned on when they see a painting or listening to a piece of music?

        So if, let’s say, a physique like Tyler Durden’s in Fight Club got as much “airplay” as those female models do, would still passed unnoticed by both females and males?

        I am sorry for my english, I hope it made sense.

      • Makes sense, totally.

  40. Elizabeth McMurray

    I find it disturbing that you’ve received so many comments with other people trying to define your sexuality. No one should ever attempt to define someone else’s sexual orientation. Though I don’t agree with it, I can imagine why some people who comment are so steadfast in wanting to label women as bisexual. Imagining myself in straight male shoes, I’d be threatened reading that straight women are more aroused by nude pictures of women than men. I’d rather call them lesbians or bisexuals than straight women, because it’d make me feel better about myself. If I were a straight man, I’d want to feel superior (i.e. I’d want women to think a male nude image was more arousing than a female nude image).

    I’m also left wondering if a couple (definitely not all) of the comments you received are a form of ‘lesbian baiting,’ as an attempt to put you back in your place since you are really showing to what extent our society is male-centered. It is male-centered to such an extent that, even physiologically, straight women react to what’s sexy through the eyes of straight males. Part of the package of ‘lesbian baiting’ is there’s no way for a woman to prove she’s not a lesbian. So even though you’ve been very clear in your posts, I fear you’ll continue to receive comments from people who want to pretend they know your sexuality better than you do.

    • Excellent points. Next time someone lesbian-baits me I’ll have to refer them to your comment.

      Because yeah, lesbian-baiting occurs when women (usually hetero!) “step out of line” and men want to bring them back in.


      • Peter Pagrefor

        I have to agree with Elizabeth.
        I admit that I did tend to think that most (if not all) women were bisexual or lesbians. I must have felt threatened as Elizabeth wrote because I couldn’t get it, how much powerfull of a symbol the naked female body has become.

        Still there was something that couldn’t make sense in the conclusion “all women are bi”.
        I am heterosexual and with out trying to sound cocky, I can say that I am good looking and always I got a lot of attention by women, some of them even came after me [again I am not trying to be cocky, I am trying to make a point].

        So if all women were bi and prefered women over men, why would they bother with men?

        then I noticed something you wrote
        {…they spent half their time looking at men’s faces and the other half looking at women’s bodies}

        so the male body doesn’t appear to be attractive to women,
        but after all men don’t walk around naked so a woman would never have to notice the male body.

        But what about the men’s faces?
        women seems to spend equal time looking at women’s bodies and men’s faces.
        So in everyday’s situtation were everybody is dressed up what is always exposed?
        That’s right, the face.

        So instead of trying to reach to a conclusion about wether a woman is hetero or bi because she falls for the images of women’s bodies, the media are showing we could have another criteria.
        How much is she interested in men’s faces.

        Of course I am not sure if this true since I am not a woman, I’d like to hear hetero woman’s opinion on that, but from my experience I have seen women ogling at men, the same way as men are ogling at beautiful women.

        So with all these new information I acquired reading your blog I realize that as an hetero male I shouldn’t feel threatened because women find women’s bodies more attractive, after all I am average heigthed.
        I tend to think that I should be flattered. Even though the media keep showing the female body as attractive, I still get attention by women, that has to mean something.

        Again I have to say I am not trying to sound cocky or something like that, I just try to understand what really is going on.

        It was quite long, but I wanted to point out that hetero women are indeed attracted to men, or perhaps I am wrong

        Of course personality is what matters the most in chosing a partner but when it comes to physical attraction, do women really notice men’s faces?
        the so called “first impression” or even “love at first sight”

      • Thank you.

        In some other research they asked both men and women to see either the face or figure of a member of the opposite sex for either a one night stand or for a partnership.

        Half the men chose body and half face when they had the possibility of a one night stand. With the possibility of a partnership three quarters of men chose face and one quarter, body.

        All women chose face.

        Think how sexy women think that Don Draper – John Hamm – is. It’s all about his face (and confidence).

        Women can, and do, appreciate men’s bodies and find them attractive.

        But no fetish has been created around men’s bodies. So given a choice between looking at a man’s body and a woman’s body, even though his body is attractive it is not fetishized, and so she will be more likely to look at the woman’s body.

  41. I do feel looking at women’s body is more exciting than looking at men’s body. But how does that mean that I might be a bi? I do have doubt about this. But one interesting part is women like to look at a women’s body even they are hetero, but guys don’t. If they are straight, they feel disgusting to look at a guy’s body. Isn’t that weird?

  42. It is interesting that women like to look at other women’s bodies. It may be because, in the patriarchal world in which they live, they are constantly surrounded by images of sexy women. I wonder if men would like to look at other men’s bodies if our world were matriarchal. It seems very possible in my opinion.

    The world is full of ignorant individuals who like to to judge other people. The men who the professor met are good examples. It is a radical opinion, but I think everyone is capable of becoming a bisexual. Why do a lot of men in prison have sex with men? It is because the idea of having sex with a man is not unacceptable when there are no women. However, because a person likes to look at the body of a person of the same sex, it does not automatically mean that he or she is sexually attracted to that person. When I was watching Warrior, I enjoyed looking at Joel Edgerton’s and Tom Hardy’s body because they were visually pleasing. It is not because I was sexually attracted to them. It is possible for a person to satisfy the need for aesthetic pleasure by looking at the body of a person of the same sex. Why did men like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger so much? One of the reasons is that their muscles are visually pleasing to them. Some men will deny this, which is a lie.

    • Well, with imprisoned men, their sexual orientation doesn’t actually change. And gay men in prison dress to look feminine. They grow their hair out long, take the pockets off of their jeans to show off their curves better. The straight guys are desperate for sex and they pretend they’re with a woman. The minute they get out of prison they’re back to girls.

      If you could change sexual orientation then gay men who are worried about burning in hell, and who try to change, would.

  43. It is not only men, who have told you that they don’t think you are straight. Everything you say about culture and about how things happen are true but still you think that in order to be gay or bi you should be born that way, haven’t you tought that even if you were born with one orientation you can change it? I believe that people have the potential to become bi. Look at the ancient greeks and at the arab men. This would disappoint men, who wish that their mind can never be changed and that the majority of men are comfortably straight, but women are not so that shame is on us, but in the same time is sexy for men, which is sick.
    I don’t think that if women excite you you can still be straight. I don’t find the female body more erotic, it may be more sexualized, but these are two different things. If I see naked woman I either don’t look or get angry or compare myself. Still I don’t like men as much as they like women and I like when I’m the object of desire, but maybe I haven’t gone that far and naked women don’t arouse me, but naked men still do.
    I constantly hear women saying how hot women are, how ugly men are, how hot lesbian porn is and everything, but insist that they are straight. The problem aren’t men, who tell them that they are not straight, the problem are the many more, who tell them they are but in the same time would never accept the reverse . But men, who say that all women are bi are actually the same because both types think the same thing- lesbianism isn’t serious, because women aren’t serious themselves, they are objects for the pleasure of men and will allways be theirs as long as men want them. They just use “bi” in different ways.

    • How can a woman be bi if the thought of genital contact with women nauseates her? And if the thought of a relationship with a woman bores her and can’t hold her interest. That’s non-sensical.

      I’ve often wished I were bi since I can find relationships with men to be angst-ridden, and have sometimes assumed it’s due to gender differences. (Though I’ve heard lesbians say they have problems with relationships with women, too.)

      I’ve said before that if a woman’s reaction to a naked woman is to get angry or compare herself, the fetish dissolves. That happens with me, too. When I’m in that mode they don’t seem erotic. If that’s your habitual mode, you never would. And, based on studies, if you were hooked up to electrical probes, you would respond more strongly vaginally to a nude female than to a nude male. So would you be bi then?

      No evidence that orientation is learned. If it could be then tons of gay men who hate themselves and feel like they’re sinning and going to Hell would be changed through various programs that claim to work but don’t. Plato lived in a culture that valued homosexuality but he was platonic (where the word comes from). Some women are “lesbian” for political reasons but choose not to have sex because they’re actually straight and have no interest in sex with women.

      When people write comments like yours the thing they don’t get is that the breast fetish has nothing to do with male heterosexuality, either.

      When men have been with a particular woman for a while the fetish disappears. I’ve heard a number of men remark on this, some on this blog. He may still find her breasts attractive, just as he finds her legs and the curve of her hips attractive — and new lingerie may help create a sense of newness and mystery — but her naked breasts will not provoke a fetish response in the way a new woman’s breasts would. Or the way hers did the first few times he saw them. There’s a reason why men needed a new Playboy pinup each month, back when Playboy was the porn of choice. Guys won’t keep getting aroused by the same woman’s breasts over and over again. Even though he will be turned on by her, and will still want to have sex with her, over and over again. And to repeat: In tribal societies where women are topless all the time men don’t get aroused by breasts. In 1980s Europe, when men saw plenty of naked breasts on topless beaches and billboards, the fetish disappeared. Men who are overexposed to pornography stop finding breasts attractive.

      What’s arousing is the hiddenness and intrigue behind that which is hidden, heightened by a culture obsessed with breasts as a sex signal.

      [I just edited my blog post above to include these last 2 paragraphs to further clarify.]

      • I’m not sure, but maybe women, who like women think that they wouln’t be with one, because of the mixed messages they get. I really doubt that women like that woudn’t like to have sex with women and there is one way they can find out.
        I have read enough criticism of the researches you talk about. I’m not sure that the technics is good. They show that women like not only lesbian sex but also gay and bonobo sex and I know that this is not true. Women generally don’t like the first(if they are gay they would), very few like the second and I don’t think the % of those, who like the third, is big enough to be discussed. Still those researches showed that women have preferences when it comes to naked bodies. This generally doesn’t make sense, but it may be, because in our culture nude female body= sex. I don’t know what I will show, what I know is that breasts are interesting when there is a man doing smth with them(better to say that the action is interesting, however penis is always hot and not ugly as some women say.
        Maybe not all people can learn bisexuality wich would explain gays and women like me, still many gay people perform femininity only because they are told that they shoud be feminine, also when a man sleeps with a man, he is told that he wants only men and if he doesn’t think so, he is lying to himself, however women are told the opposite. For our society sex with a man is important, maybe because women are not so important themselves, so it turnes out that women are not lesbians/bi if men want them, but men cannot be bi.
        In ancient Greece they totally had gay sex and there is even one joke:”greekes invented sex, romans added women”.
        I absolutely believe that bisexuality can be learned and I’m not sure that you need to have sex with the same sex to be bi/gay.
        I’ve heart about gay men, who can’t have sex with men, because they are told they should not be gay. These are extreme and rare cases but maybe they show smth. Of course nothing can be 100% certain, but as I said, I’m tired of hearing women say that they don’t like men, but women, that lesbians are cool and that they like sleeping with women, but are not gay. This is
        epidemic. I don’t doubt that they are bi and I don’t doubt that it is learned either, this is why the second part of your comment doesn’t contradict with my opinion. First you say that you should be born gay, after that you point out that many of the things are learned.
        As far as I know in the near east it is normal for a man to sleep with a man, it is perceived as smth that men do, still they don’t think that they are gays and marry women. In the west people think that men like that are totally gay, however they don’t remember to say the same about women in our society, who are like those men.
        I don’t doubt that women will stop liking lesbian sex the minute men decide that it is not cool. Well, maybe those, who liked it would continue, but this would’t be trendy anymore and the next generations would’t be like that. This is way I’m absolutely dissapointed in women and I don’t think that centuries of oppression excuse this. Women act as if they were objects, so why would’t men treat us that way. They let men tell them what to like and play with their minds and lives(homosexuality can literally destroy somebody’s live and is still definitely not perceived as normal) as if it is a funny game with dolls. Sadly women like me suffer the consequences too.

      • So you can’t get outside of the paradigm that says: “the breast fetish indicates one’s sexuality.” I get it.

        You don’t get that:

        1) The breast fetish is learned by men and has nothing to do with male heterosexuality
        2) The breast fetish is learned by women and has nothing to do with either female bisexualty or homosexuality

        I give up. If you want to believe that I, and other woman who have experienced the breast fetish are bi or lesbian, fine. I don’t really care.

        PS. In the future please send shorter comments or I may not read them. If I don’t read them I will not post them. And I will no longer respond to repetitive comments on this topic. It just wastes my time and gets boring for readers to hear the same thing over and over again.

      • Peter Pagrefor

        you wrote:

        1) The breast fetish is learned by men and has nothing to do with male heterosexuality
        2) The breast fetish is learned by women and has nothing to do with either female bisexualty or homosexuality

        it would be interesting to see if the breast fetish is also learned by gay men.
        If the breast fetish has nothing to do with sexual orientation then gay men should also prefer watching a female body over a male body.

      • I get certain questions so often that I have a file called, “comments – repetitive”

        So here’s the answer that I pulled from that:

        Why don’t gay men find breasts erotic by learning to do so? Women’s bodies are responsive to EVERY sex signal they see — including bonobos (an ape species) having sex — while men’s bodies are not. Perhaps to protect vaginas from harm thru lubrication. And breasts have become a very strong sex signal in our culture (by being focused on obsessed about, etc). So it’s no surprise that women respond to them.

        For men this flexibility doesn’t come so easily. They don’t respond to EVERY sex signal they see. Monkeys having sex? No response. Yet, straight men can come to associate VISUAL images of the penis with orgasm through conditioning (associating penis and orgasm). I guess gay men never come to associate breasts with orgasm.

        I guess I’ll have to do a post on this sometime.

  44. Fantastic recap. Thank you.

  45. Sometimes I wonder about this as I stare at the butt of the woman walking in front of me in her tightly fitted yoga pants. To me, it’s less of a sexual attraction, more like an observation and admiration of her nicely-shaped butt. If there’s a lot of cleavage and her boobs are nice, I’ll enjoy looking at them too. But those things don’t turn me on. I just like looking at them. So I guess, according to guys, that makes me bisexual.

    Well then, how does that benefit you, man?

    • And it may take actual nudity for actual arousal.

      In one study women filled out surveys asking what turned them on and they said “men.” But their bodies (hooked up to probes measuring blood flow to vagina) said otherwise.

    • All women are bisexual, there is so much scientific evidence. Sorry, but only men are straight….!

      • The evidence you cite in other posts involves women getting aroused by pretty much anything. Including bonobos. Does that make women “polysexual” so to speak? If so, the definition is useless. For one thing, the women don’t want to have sex with bonobos and every sexual signal they see, even if they’re bodies respond. Also, the breast fetish that women learn has nothing to do with wanting to have sex with actual women. So again, the definition you use is useless.

        If you continue to make comments that are nothing new I am not going to post them.

  46. Thanks for writing this. Good job. And now you can post the link as your answer. Say it once and say it well. I’ve had time I felt like I was repeating myself and wondered if I should say “read my article from last spring.” Keep writing. Alice

  47. I don’t believe that anyone could be bi or gay and not know it. To have someone tell you that “he knows best” is utter rubbish. “He hopes most” is probably closer to the truth.

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