A theory that I have held for most of my life: everyone is gay. I try to operate with the thinking that everyone is gay or a bit queer until proven otherwise and, while I more often proven otherwise, everyone’s a little gay. Like pooping, sexual flexibility is universal. I can guarantee that there is something in the not-heterosexual world that you would enjoy. We’re all gay.
Funny enough, it sounds like that theory is becoming a reality: we’re all a little gay. Thanks to a study that will likely be ripped apart very soon, being “straight” is probably not really real. Ritch C. Savin-Williams of Cornell University has been studying sexuality in men and women in various ways and a big part of this has to do with the eyes. In his experiments, eye dilation—an uncontrollable eye movement that can express sexual desire—can illustrate sexual arousal. Since arousal can be expressed in myriad ways across a scale of intensity, these little eye movements are kind of a big deal.
Why is this important? Because it’s showing that you might not get a full on boner as straight dude looking at dudes having sex but you might have some sexual arousal in some capacity. I’ll let Diana Tourjee of Broadly explain:
Savin-Williams explains that the motivation for individuals to inaccurately self report their desire is a consequence of restrictive social influence: the norms that determine how individuals are perceived and treated. He’s been working on an idea that he calls the mostly straight male. “We’ve always recognized mostly straight women, that is, women who mostly are straight but if the right woman comes along, well maybe she’ll try it out. We used to think that was only a female phenomenon.”
“We show straight men a picture of a woman masturbating and they respond just like a straight guy, but then you also show them a guy masturbating and their eyes dilate a little bit. So we’re actually able to show physiologically that all guys are not either gay, straight, or bi.” The various parts of Savin-Williams’ study collectively address sexuality in both men and women, showing that boring ideas, such as that people are either 100 percent straight or gay, don’t endure under objective, scientific scrutiny.
Ding ding ding: we have a winner. The eyes have it! Yes, this is still being studying and Savin-Willians’ work is mostly dealing with women now—but he’s interested in ripping apart everything having to do with sexuality and how it is expressed. I say bring it on. You show any person some genitals or someone fairly attractive doing something sexual and they will get aroused. I can promise that will be scientifically proven one day. As long as you aren’t including closeups of spread intimate parts like buttholes and clitorises, a person will probably be turned on. Maybe everyone is gay? Yes, probably.
That also means that everyone is straight, too. Oh boy. There’s always two sides of every scientific queer coin, right?