Saturday, 13 June 2009

Completely Different

Some time ago my union sent me a questionnaire to fill in on workplace bullying, this is a topic of some interest to me, as I have alluded to in the past. I dutifully filled in the questionnaire including the very PC, equal opportunities bit at the end, this included the question:

State your sexual orientation:

  • gay
  • bisexual
  • heterosexual
  • prefer not to say

It struck me that this is a totally daft question: what does it mean? It must just be referring to our capacity for sexual love, and at that our capacity for sexual love devoid of higher human feelings. Is the question referring to more that our preferred means of genital stimulation? If it is a higher question than that, then surely we are all bisexual, indeed our capacity for love should not be restricted by age, race or gender. If is is purely about sexual feelings, then surely it is a simply a matter of the preferred means of genital stimulation. How should a Catholic answer this question? I don't think they should.

Heterosexual is NOT the correct answer. We should not define ourselves by the criteria of others. The labels start to stick. Ours in not a world of homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, but it will become so if we let it.

Incidentally, these questionnaire setters think they're so PC, but they forget the obvious, surely in the interests of inclusivity, there should be a box to tick for those that would call themselves Onanists.


Anonymous said...

I read that a large study showed 1% of the population said they were asexual-they might feel they weren't included in the form you were given!

Joe said...

I linked to your post from my blog, and received the following comments. I think you deserve them really, so here they are.

Patricius said...
Doesn't the prefix "hetero" in heterosexual have the same root as "heresy"? If so perhaps "orthosexual" is the term we are looking for?

04 July 2009 18:19
alban said...
During my many years teaching in the USA, I always refused to check any box regarding race; I invariably wrote the word "human" on the final line which was for those designated "other" to complete. Now that I am in the UK, I do the same for the ethnicity box; should I come across one for sexual orientation, I shall write that I am in possession of one. Demographics be damned, I say.

04 July 2009 20:06
Catholic Mom of 10 said...
Yes I don't like the ethnic boxes either..have to think about this one..the word 'normal' comes to mind!

04 July 2009 21:24
Joe said...
I am always tempted to give my ethnic origin as "Lancastrian" ...

05 July 2009 09:52

sanabituranima said...

"Heterosexual is NOT the correct answer. We should not define ourselves by the criteria of others. The labels start to stick. Ours in not a world of homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, but it will become so if we let it."

I have read and re-read this paragraph multiple times. I don't understand what you're talking about at all. Please could you explain it again?

Rita said...

Thanks Joe!

Rita said...


The moment a Catholic defines themselves as heterosexual they are setting themselves up as the "norm" as opposed to the "deviant". I'm very uneasy with this (I've even heard a priest happy to call himself heterosexual). All lust is deviant, same sex or opposite sex.

Falling in love can and does happen between members of the same sex who would never have classed themselves as homo or bisexual. The tempering of this love through the correct and wholesome channels is one of the greatest struggles of our earthly pilgrimage, it is debasing it to call it "homo or bisexual" as in its real essence it is NOT sexual at all.

Hope this helps.

sanabituranima said...

Thank you. I get it now.

big.benny said...

The question doesnt ask about sexual activity, it asks about sexual orientation. Furthermore it asks the reader the subjective question of how they define their sexuality. If you feel uncomfortable answering the question then you're always free to tick the 'rather not say' box. Furthermore there is also an 'other - please comment box' so priests (or anyone else) would be free to answer 'celibate' if this is how they self identify.

Rita said...

Big Benny,

"Other" I'm afraid is just too comical, I'm reminded of honeydew melons, perhaps I've watched too much Rab C Nesbitt.

Sexual orientation remains something to meditate on and ask God to show you the way through, it is not a suitable topic for a questionaire from my union.

I find the modern obsession with quoting ones sexual orientation depressing. It becomes another tag/label, it is not something that feels an inherently Catholic thing to do.

Incidentally your arguments do not hold water because "celibacy" is an activity not an orientation.


Anonymous said...

Just For Your Information: The term "orthosexuality" apparently does exist....


or•tho•sex•ual•ity \ ôr'thə-sĕk'shū-ăl'ĭ-tē\


1. The sum of the physical, functional, and psychological attributes of a gender’s biologically correct, natural, normal or typical sexual behavior, conduct or expression.

2. (Biology) Sexual activity, behavior, conduct or expression that is biologically correct, natural, normal, or typical of the male or the female; the sexual attraction to members of the opposite sex.

3. (Sociology) The sexual behavior, conduct, or response universally considered socially acceptable, proper, normal, or usual.

4. (Psychology) The psycho erotic attraction to members of the opposite sex; the disposition to sexually behave in a mentally sane and biologically correct, natural, normal or typical manner. The quality of being free of psycho sexual (i.e., aberrosexual) disorders such as bisexualism, fetishism, homosexualism, lesbianism, necrophilism, sadomasochism, scopophilism, voyeurism, zoophilism, etc.

5. (Sexology) The biologically correct expression or response to sexual attraction or erotic arousal; the biologically correct expression or response to one's male or female gender, especially vis-á-vis genitalia and reproduction; the biologically correct or proper stimulation, responsiveness, functions of the sex organs.

Synonyms: sexual correctness, sexual appropriateness, sexual healthiness, sexual normality or typicality, also improperly referred to as “heterosexuality”.

Antonyms: sexual aberrance, deviance, or perversion, aberrosexualism, homosexualism


1. Edward thoroughly enjoys and gaily admits his orthosexuality.

2. Only orthosexuality can produce sexually well-adjusted, truly gay human beings.

3. Thomas defends orthosexuality as the healthiest and gayest sexual behavior for all members of society.

4. Psychologists point to orthosexuality as the standard of sane sexual conduct.