Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When Fiction Comes To Life

The Kinsey Scale

One of my favorite slash awards categories is “but I thought I was straight”.  I love reading those stories!   My very first slash story involved a very confused popular ladies’ man named Jasper who questioned everything he ever knew when he fell hard for a man named Edward in All I Ever Knew by manyafandom .  Then there was Edward, who had a steady girlfriend, yet fell for Jasper in Secrets and Lies by OCDJen and in Masks by HopelessRomantic79

Then there is gay Jasper who only dates straight men and who snares Edward in

So are these scenarios possible, and do they happen in real life?  Just ask gay Will and an actual “but I thought I was straight” RJ…

Such a sweet couple!  They actually went as a “pitcher” and a “catcher” for Halloween this year.
But does a straight person “turn gay”?  Well, not exactly, not if we study and understand the Kinsey Scale, a sexuality indicator from 0 – 6 developed by Dr. Alfred Kinsey.  This concept was discussed in The Kinsey Scale by Pastiche Pen, written for the intheclosetcontest

Personally I think the Kinsey Scale is pure genius.  It was revolutionary in its day.  It was a major breakthrough in studying human sexuality.  Genius, revolutionary, and breakthrough….  but only the tip of the iceberg.   It is so complex, and there is so much more yet to discover.  However, since our society is just barely coming out of the dark ages in this regard, we have only just scratched the surface.

The Kinsey definitions of the scale can be found at

And much of Kinsey’s research continues on:

And there has been some attempt by Dr Fritz Klein to expand on the basic principal:

To understand the history of the Kinsey Scale a little better, there is a 2004 Movie about Dr Alfred Kinsey:  “Kinsey” (available at Netflix).  It is excellent and offers a great appreciation for just how far ahead of his time Dr Kinsey was.  There is also a PBC documentary:  “Kinsey: American Experience” that I have not seen yet, but is on my list.

I find it very frustrating when people appear ignorant of the Kinsey Scale.  Sometimes they claim that straight people can be turned gay, or that gay people can be “cured” (as if there is anything wrong with them in the first place).   Recently one such person who promoted gay “therapy” showed us all just how well it really works…  see the plight of George Rekkers

I think ZJemptv provides a very nice summary of Kinsey scale:

Of course seeing ZJ brings other questions to mind!  I think it is important to note that
sexual orientation does not dictate gender identification and vice versa.  Nor does cross-dressing.  For example, Drag Queens are not necessarily transgender, nor are they always gay for that matter.  Those are topics for another day.

In the meantime, there is a very sweet story about a cross dressing Edward in The Measure of a Man by PolkaDotMoma

So where does the population tend to fall on the Kinsey Scale?   That turns out to be another very frustrating question.  Generally experts do not even agree yet.  I suspect it can still be pretty hard to get accurate information from people.  The following is the most recent study numbers I’ve seen, and it does not even incorporate the Scale:

I think most people don’t even understand the Scale, or their own sexuality, well enough yet.  I don’t think they can determine where they are on the scale; much less provide accurate information for a study.   There is still just too much left to learn.

So our favorite Twi-slash characters did not actually turn gay instantly.  They were probably low on the Scale (between 1 and 2 maybe?) and just happened to meet that one special person who rocked their world.  Have you ever played the game “who would you go gay for?”  Then you probably aren’t at “0” either.  Personally I believe we are all born with our own unique spot on the Kinsey Scale - which makes for a lot of decimal places....   and for a very interesting world.   

What do you think?


Posy said...

Great post and not just cuz my story was mentioned. :) I know many people have tried to refute the Kinsey scale but it's one of those things that simply makes sense to me. We are rarely only one thing or another. Boxes that we place people in are simply a method we've used since we were young children (blue blocks in a pile, red blocks in a pile...) to make sense of our world. But as we age, we realize that there is a lot of grey. Yet we are forced to check boxes every day and that simply reinforces that we are one thing or another.

That's the joy of reading fan fiction. We are exposed to things that are rarely available in popular press. It's a place where we can go to challenge ourselves and our assumptions. I know my opinions have changed dramatically over the years. Some of that is aging and hopefully wisdom. ;) But it's also being exposed to different people, life styles, and ideas and experiencing some of those things for myself.

Thanks for writing such a thought provoking article.

LovelyPenguin said...

Thank you so much for your comment Posy. I love to hear what others think. It is so complicated!!

I was kind of wishing I had featured more stories, but I am just forgetful.

I didn't include any stories currently in progress, but there are 3 great ones (that I am remembering so far)

What Matters by Strae

Hidden Thoughts by Nisa Cullen

Since by MizzHyde

I know there is more....