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Human Sexuality 101

by Melanie Anne Phillips

There are four aspects to Human Sexuality. They are:

1. Anatomical (physical) sex
2. Sexual preference
3. Gender Identity
4. Mental Sex

I'll briefly describe each one, hoping to clarify the Mental Sex concept. Mental sex is the one unique to Mental Relativity: it is what we have added to this list that most people see as only having the first three items.

1. Anatomical sex is simply what body you are in: male or female. But it is really not all that simple. There are hairy women and very slender men. Facial features can range from more "male" to more "female" regardless of what's between one's legs. In addition, there is the chromosomal nature of being XX, XY, or even XXY. On top of that, we have hermaphrodites. So, all things considered, each and everyone of use cannot truly be seen as simply male or female physically, but truly occupy a range on a spectrum. And, such things as body building can alter the overall physical impact we have, meaning that we can alter our physical sexually characteristics (short or long hair, nose jobs, sex change surgery) so that the line blurs even more. True, most people gravitate to one end of the scale that the other, which creates an inverse "bell curve". However, the line from one side to the other is truly unbroken, with more that a few people right in the middle.

2. Sexual preference. This one comes in four flavors: same, opposite, both, or neither. Regardless of anatomical sex, any individual might be any one of these four. What's more, most people find their sexual preferences depend on context and may shift depending on the situation or the person. For example, a man who sees himself as attracted to the opposite sex might not be at all attracted to a female body builder. If he were honest with himself, he would probably find some level of attraction to a very pretty boy. It is the cultural training we have that leads us deny and not even experience the capacity to shift our perspectives here.

In addition, people change over time as well as in different contexts. Some start out being hetero, then shift to bi, then to same sex, then give up altogether and then jump back in somewhere else. With the spatial and temporal flexibility in this area, each of us is fluid. But in the range of people as a whole, regardless of where you fall on the anatomical sex scale, any individual might at any time have any one of the four sexual preferences.

So, since anatomical sex does not determine sexual preference, the two factors are independent and can be multiplied together to determine the range of human sexuality on these two points alone. Already we can see there are a tremendous number of combinations!

3. Gender Identity describes where on the scale of masculine and feminine behavior an individual falls. Clearly this is a range. What's more, each of us changes in context as well. Men who are very macho on the weekend playing tackle football with friends might be very demure during the week at their job as a bank teller. And, over time, we all change. Most men start out more masculine than they end up at age 80.

Gender identity four any one of us ranges in a segment of the masculine/feminine line. Which segment we define depends on our conditioning as a child and "locks in" somewhere between age 3 and 5. Then, for most of our lives, we move up and down that segment, feeling uneasy if we get close to one of the ends of our personal range.

Now, since masculine or feminine is a range and does not depend on sexual preference or anatomical sex (we all know masculine women and feminine men) then we can multiply that in as well and create an ENORMOUS number of combinations of human sexuality.

4. Mental Sex. Finally, we get down to the nitty gritty. Mental Sex is the only one of the four aspects of human sexuality that is truly binary. Here is how it comes to be that way:

In the 12th to 14th week of pregnancy, a developing fetus will get a wash of hormones over its brain. Boy babies get a flush of testosterone, girl babies get a flush of estrogen. Testosterone has a direct impact on the level of the neurotransmitter Seratonin in the brain. As Testosterone goes up, Seratonin production goes up.

Seratonin is an "exciter" which stimulates the firing of the neurons. When they fire, the neurological activity of the brain takes center stage, and the biochemical aspect of the brain steps a bit into the shadows.

Let's stop for a moment to describe four aspects of the Brain:

1. Networks of neurons in the "ganglia" 2. Neurons connecting the ganglia 3. The biochemistry within the ganglia 4. The biochemistry between the ganglia

Ganglia are little groups of perhaps 4,000 neurons, connected together in a tight pack. The neurons in this group communicate with each other much more frequently that with other ganglia. Other neurons carry communications from one ganglion to another.

Inside each ganglion is a "micro-climate zone" of biochemistry that is a "density" of chemical interactions. The specific chemistry of each ganglion "leaks out" into the biochemistry of the brain as a whole, interacting with all the other ganglia's biochemistry, creating an interference pattern of currents and eddies in biochemical composition and density.

So, there are four different aspects of the brain, from which our capacity to sense Mass, Energy, Space and Time, are created.

When Testosterone is present for that 2 week period before birth, the neurology is favored and that affects the "focus" of energy in the brain to favor the spatial view.

When Dopamine is the hormone wash over the brain of the developing fetus, neurological activity is suppressed, focusing the energy in the brain toward favoring the temporal view.

After two weeks, the hormone wash recedes, leaving behind no physical trace, but instead a "dynamic" impact that forms a bias which is the foundation of self-awareness.

Before the wash of hormones, the brain neither favors space nor time. As a result, information coming in through the senses is equally handled and distributed by both sides, leading to an unbiased "view". But without bias, there is no "point" of view, and hence, no mind.

The hormone wash acts as an ocean wave on the shore, wiping out all existing information, and then receding, leaving a clean slate in its wake. But during that two week period, there is a biochemical bias toward the neurology or the biochemistry which then allows for an orderly handling and distribution of information, favoring either space or time. Once the wave recedes, the biochemical bias is gone, but the dynamic bias caused by "choosing" one method of organizing data over the other remains, forming the foundation of consciousness.

So, there are two kinds of consciousness on this planet: those of a spatial foundation and those of a temporal foundation. They are as unalike as two alien species.

Spatial thinkers look outward and first see things in terms of their arrangement and where it leads. Temporal things first look inward and see things in terms of what they mean and how they are going.

If that's all there was to the human mind, men (the spatially biased thinkers) and women (the temporally biased thinkers) would find no common ground for communication. But, Mental sex is only one aspect of the mind.

Let me draw an "L" shaped image here:

1. Anatomical Sex 2. Sexual Preference 3. Gender Identity 4. Mental Sex

That forms the vertical arm of the L.

Now, at the same point as Mental sex, let us create a horizontal arm for the L, as if we were using the X and Y axes of a geometric graph.

1. Pre-conscious 2. Subconscious 3. Memory 4. Consciousness

Mental Sex is only found in the Preconscious. It is the PRE conscious because that spatial or temporal bias filter everything else that follows.

If we are spatial thinkers, no matter how much we try to get into our emotions, we will always have some aspect of logic blended in. We can't help analyzing, even when we aren't aware of it. If we are temporal thinkers, no matter how much we try to be logical, we will always have some aspect of emotion blended in. We can't get rid of our passion, even when we think we are being absolutely reasonable. Beginning to sound like men and women to you?

But on top of that Pre-conscious are three other aspects of the mind.

The Subconscious is made up of the "mean average" of all of our experiences. We cannot see in it specific images, but only feel the pull of attractions and repulsions it engenders. Suppose we observe with our consciousness a set of vertical parallel lines. We file that away in our memory, then observe a set of horizontal parallel lines. We file that in memory. Consciousness has observed it, memory has stored it. Whenever we want to access it, we can call upon our memory and "pull up" either the vertical or horizontal lines, whichever we want.

But the subconscious gets the "drift down" from the memory. First it experienced the vertical parallel lines. Next it experienced the horizontal parallel lines. The two images are blended rather than being held separate as in memory. So, the subconscious is most affects by the points at which the two sets of lines intersect, creating a "double dose" of exposure at the four points where the lines intersect.

The subconscious, then, will be more sensitized to any observation involving four points, even though four points were never observed in reality. This is where creative thought happens.

The point here, is that the subconscious, through the averaging of personal experience (though exposure to parents, peers, and the media) can end up more "pulled" toward the spatial or the temporal, regardless of Mental Sex. Similarly, specific training or memories may make the responses we have more geared toward the spatial or temporal. And finally, at any moment, each of us can decide that it is best to view things either by how they are, or how they are going.

So, Mental Sex itself is only a bias, not a black and white either/or situation. On top of that, our specific life experience may result in a bias more toward spatial or temporal attractions in our subconscious. Our training and conditioning may lead our memories to be more "triggered" by and more fluent in spatial or temporal imagery, and our momentary situation may bend our consciousness more toward the spatial (logistic) or temporal (emotional).

Emotions are just as accurate for temporal issues as Logic is for spatial issues. Male and Female Mental Sex determines which one is most clear to any individual. The other three levels of the mind my match or mismatch that bias, creating, level by level, as complex a mental process as the four levels of human sexuality create in our relationships with one another.

Copyright Melanie Anne Phillips

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