Friday, December 29, 2006

"Eew! Can't fuck a sick man!"

When I was younger (until 28 or so) the knowledge of a more-or-less serious disease in a sexual partner or a potential sexual partner used to make me recoil from them sexually in a short-lived but strong and completely irrational way. I don't mean any kind of disease that has any kind of immediate bearing on a person's sexual desirability, and I don't mean the perfectly rational calculation like "I don't want to attempt a lifetime relationship with this guy if he is likely to be disabled by 50", but a totally irrational "eew! ugh!" feeling upon learning that an attractive guy has, for example, diabetes, which (the feeling, not diabetes) usually passed in a day or two and never actually prevented me from having sex with the guy or at least trying to. The feeling of disgust was purely sexual, too, in the sense that it did not prevent me from touching the person in a non-sexual way and it never appeared when I learned about diseases of people about whom I did not think sexual thoughts in the first place.

(The same went for fresh injuries and missing parts, except that, of course, unlike diabetes, etc., they actually do reduce a person's sexual desirability and sometimes ability as well.)

This phenomenon was extremely strong when I was really young, lessened with age and disappeared by 28 or so.

The sociobiological explanation for this is rather obvious, but I am curious to know how common this is or isn't.

I know that some people are grossed out by the look of fairly fresh injury in any case - I once had a car accident after which my face looked pretty bad for a few months and I have actually gotten requests to hide my face somewhere until it heals up from a person who was (I certainly hope) not thinking of me sexually. I wonder if this is a part of the same phenomenon.

(A note for the socially inept: being grossed out by someone's visible injury is quite OK and possibly quite normal; actually telling a person who has just been in a car accident "eew, you look horrible, I don't wanna look at you, can't you go somewhere or at least cover your face with your hair or something" is, however, not going to earn you a lot of social points. But this is a topic for a whole different post.)

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