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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    Women and their sexuality.
    GuardSquealer posted:
    Something someone else said in another post made me wonder about women and their sexuality. I guess I have to wonder if all women, if in a certain set of conditions would become lesbian.

    I don't mean that in a bad way necessarily. But my observations having worked in a womens prison for a long time is that a huge majority would.

    It seems to me that women need a different type of support from others then most men do. They need someone to comfort them and to be touched.

    Most of the women that were here for any length of timed eventually became involved in a relationship with another woman. Maybe just a very close friendship, but they seemed to be more than that. And usually they took on the roles of spouses. Sexual contact is against the rules, but often took place.

    The individual that eventually convinced me that almost all would eventually give into their needs for support and comfort had been in for several years. She shot a man that had been stalking her and her daughter, and it seemed the judge railroaded her. She had community support and it always seemed she was about to get out. But then she wouldn't. After about two years she went to the parole board and everyone thought she would be released, but the gave her 3 more years. The next day she had a girlfriend and they stayed very close the rest of the time she was in. She seemed like the last woman that would ever get involved with another woman.

    But eventually she needed the support of someone that could offer her touch and caring that she couldn't get from the outside.

    So what do you think? Would the majority of women eventually give in to some basic needs that another woman can offer under these type of situations? Are they more inclined than men to do so?
    Spankyrae responded:
    I think the environment of prison puts a whole different context into the question. It seems like it is embraced as a means of coping and it makes sense.

    And don't men also engage in homosexual activity in prison, who otherwise claim to be heterosexual? Perhaps that is an entirely different reason, such as a means of dominance or "survival."
    GuardSquealer replied to Spankyrae's response:
    Yes the men do engage in this type of behavior. Seems to be more sexual in nature. And not as wide spread as with the women. I understand prison changes a lot of things, but that is what I am curious about, is does it and similar situations change it for almost everyone? Is it more in a womans nature?
    BalconyBelle replied to Spankyrae's response:
    In addition to Spankyrae's excellents points, I'm of the opinion that that human sexuality is based on upbringing, genetics, development, life choices, ect...but human sensuality is something different, and far more basic. The need to touch and be touched is visceral; and human body is built with an enormous capacity for giving and receiving pleasure--women seem to get the better end of that stick more often than not.

    When forcibly deprived of the possibility for human companionship, friendship, intimacy, ect with the desired gender, rather than continue to do without the fulfillment and expression of some visceral human needs, some women will choose to explore their only remaining options to cope, while others internalize it. When removed from such a limiting, restricted environment, they may return to their original preference. I don't consider such behavior as a true change in sexuality, purely for the reason that the switch most likely would not have happened outside of those extreme conditions, and it often only endures as long as the restricted environment. However, I do consider the behavior to be an expression of human sensuality.
    queston replied to BalconyBelle's response:
    I think prison is an extremely poor case study in sexual orientation. Some people like to use the prevalence of same-sex sexual expressions in prisons as evidence that sexual orientation is a choice, not something innate.

    I'd be inclined to view it simply as evidence that humans are inescapably sexual beings, and will adapt to extreme conditions in whatever ways are necessary.
    3point14 responded:
    If this was sparked by my saying I'm not hetero, surprise! Heh, I came at my sexuality from the exact opposite perspective as you describe, it was only by happy accident that I discovered an attraction to men at age 14. I'd always considered myself gay.

    I think it's insanely insulting to basically say that women who don't get their "first choice" (men) might as well just go gay for a while... By that reasoning, shouldn't all ugly women be gay, too? I don't think sexuality is determined by what one can or can't get. I think it's just a part of a person.

    I would argue that as much as prison is prison, it's also an insular community in which normal social mores take a backseat, and could provide men and women with an odd sort of comfort enough to show their "actual" sexuality, which according to the whole Kinsey scale thing is probably not 100% gay or 100% straight anyway. Or one could argue that when you take away everything from a person they try to latch onto anything that gives them a feeling of control and of acceptance. The rates of gang membership are very high in prison also, and that's kind of the same concept: protection, stability and control.
    GuardSquealer replied to 3point14's response:
    No it wasn't sparked by anything you said Pi. It was sparked by something that FCL said to queston about his wife. She asked if his wife was questioning her sexuality. But she wasn't necessarily talking about sexuality in the way that I mean in this thread.

    I am not making a statement that women should do anything. What I am asking is are they more inclined to do it. Is it necessarily a sexual attraction versus a need for a certain factors that make them feel loved or wanted or needed or just cared about?

    I realize that prison is the extreme. But there are a lot of women that may be here for only a short time, say three months yet they have a girlfriend in here and keep their boyfriends/husbands on the outside.

    It causes a lot of problems when they are about to get out as their usually friends get extremely jealous knowing they will be returning to their SO on the outside.

    Personally I know that I could never be attracted to another man in that manner. Just not in my nature. Can be friends but I wouldn't cross the line.

    And to me it seems more natural it to happen with women because it does seem to be more of a support thing than a sexual thing. Where it seems more sexual with the men.

    My next question would be how do the more manly individuals start to take on male features like facial hair?
    BalconyBelle replied to GuardSquealer's response:
    LOL, Guard...If that was a serious question, here's the answer:


    It's not necessarily that they're 'taking on' anything, they've just stopped hiding it. Think about it this way--If a woman is pregnant by a hairy beast of a man, that man is supplying half the genetic material to ALL their offspring, male and female. If the dad (or mom) was exceptionally hairy, chances are the daughter will be a little more furry than she'd like as well.

    I had some friends in HS with just that situation. The son was thrilled to start getting 5 0'clock shadow in 8th grade; the girls...not so much. They started using nair, shaving gel, razors, and bleaching kits religously at 13 to hide the fact that they had mustaches, sideburns, and other unwanted body hair.

    Some of the inmates may be making the conscious decision to let those particular grooming habits which case, they're not taking on anything; they've merely stopped hiding and suppressing what was already there.
    Spankyrae replied to BalconyBelle's response:
    This is very true. We all possess different levels of both estrogen & testosterone in our bodies; some more than others in the typical sense that differentiates us as men & women, but sometimes there is an "imbalance." I think that is at play with individuals who believe they're transgendered? Or if a woman, for instance, has a hormonal imbalance, she can start growing facial hair when she didn't before.

    And then there's also genetics in terms of ethnicity. My sister & brother are half-Arab, and they are both hairy as all get out. It seems to be common for Mediterranean & Arab ethnicities? But then, myself & my other brother are pretty Caucasian and also very hairy; it's just less noticeable because it's lighter.

    Pi makes a great point too about being 100% hetero or homo & the Kinsey scale.

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