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Coelophysis

Gender and Gender Identity

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I remember seeing a video of a Westboro baptist church protest and there was a little girl, 5 or 6 years old, holding up one of those big "God hates fags" posters. The person behind the camera asked the little girl if she knew what the sign she was holding meant. She looked at it, then looked back at the camera and cheerfully went "Nope"

 

It just makes me so, so very sad that these people are forcing their children into all this too, like they are ensuring the next generation has just as much hate as they did.

Edited by Cecona

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Gender isn't something I thought about much in the past. I knew trans* and genderqueer people and I've always been cool with them, but it was only lately that I've really started reading about gender identity and that kind of thing.

 

One thing I realized is that for me, I've always said that I'm female because that's what I am biologically. I'm totally cool with my body and all that. However, when I try to think what gender I feel I am, I draw a blank. I find I'm apathetic about my own gender and that I don't think I actually feel one, hence why I've always gone by my biological sex.

 

It's been really confusing for me, but I think I might be agender? With female presentation? Agh I just don't know.

 

Also much respect for Equality House, man!

Edited by LadyTwi

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I'm in a relationship with a wonderful girl who just so happened to be born in a male body. I've actually met two other trans girls and all three of them are very sweet but rather prone to being depressive... when they deserve flowers and happiness for being great people.

 

Obvious solution: give all of the trans* people flowers and happiness.

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*loves flowers and happiness*

 

Depression issues are hardly surprising, though. When you wake up every day in a body that horrifies you it's a little difficult. Especially when you have to deal with things related to that bodies sex. Things like shaving, using the loo, having periods... all are horrible reminders that your body isn't right.

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Yeah, I never said it surprised me that they're all prone to depression- it doesn't surprise me in the least. They're just all too nice to deserve it.

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I have another question about transphobia. Earlier today, someone made a remark that if a lesbian didn't want to have sex with a trans woman because she had a penis, that it was transphobia?

I guess I just don't really understand still the boundaries between sex and gender and what makes a woman or man. I mean, I'm a lesbian, and I don't really want to have sex with male genitalia?? I mean, I don't think I would consider them less of a woman for possessing it, but I really can't overcome the fact that it is still male genitalia? I don't understand what is wrong about not finding that sexually appealing. Specifically stating that a person is not attracted to any trans people is transphobic, I know, and if I was single I wouldn't discriminate against dating a trans woman (not like I would know unless she told me anyway), but I just don't understand the idea that I would be considered transphobic if I didn't want to have sex with her male genitalia. As much as I am attracted to the person, I believe I'm also a bit attracted to genitalia as well (like I find vaginas attractive, and penises...not so much?)?

I dunno. I'm getting this pretty confused in my head. I was hoping someone could help me sort this out.

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It's not transphobia if you just plain aren't attracted to the bits they currently have but are still perfectly respectful to them as a person and otherwise acknowledge them entirely as their identified gender, I'm pretty sure. Otherwise that would be dumb.

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I think that's a complicated issue and we can't just look at it and say "yes" or "no" - we have to look at today's society and how it affects us. Anybody who has preferences like that (people who claim to be attracted to a specific race only or more, male Doms/fem subs - preferences that are steeped in societal prejudice and harmful stereotypes), needs to sit down and think about why that is they prefer that. Where did it come from? If you define yourself as a lesbian attracted to women, then go around and exclude women with penises from that - where does that stem from? We live in a very binarist and cissexist society where man = penis and woman = vagina. There's a lot of conceptions that go on with that. Is it possible that not wanting to do anything intimate with women with penises comes down to the fact that society inundates us with these harmful ideas about gender roles that women aren't really women without a vagina and men aren't really men without a penis? Could you not be attracted to trans-women because of a constant barrage of being told they aren't really women because they're trans*? There's an innate bias here that we all have to work very hard to unlearn. I think you're the only one who can answer that question yourself by looking within and figuring out why you prefer what you do. We cannot control our sexuality, no, but we also grew up with very rigid definitions of gender and sex, and that is something we have to work hard at undoing and opening our mind to. And I can tell this is something that you, like me, still need to work on, since you admitted trans-women are women - but then called their genitalia male. Is it really male genitalia if it's on a woman or is that just society's suffocating definition of gender? =3

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Well, my definition of male genitalia stems from the fact that it is a male reproductive organ, or in other words, genitalia. I don't really understand the social aspect to that? And as far as I can coherently put it to words as per my awareness of it, I don't find the penis an attractive physical characteristic. I mean, that does have biological roots? The physical appeal of another body is controlled by the hypothalamus in our brains, and as much as I would like to detach the idea that a penis is not a male characteristic... that kind of goes against everything I've been taught about biology? As cis I know it's a lot harder for me to separate those things.

I would never say that I couldn't date a trans* woman, but how much can I control the fact that I don't find the penis a sexually stimulating or arousing physical characteristic?

 

 

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It's not transphobia if you just plain aren't attracted to the bits they currently have but are still perfectly respectful to them as a person and otherwise acknowledge them entirely as their identified gender, I'm pretty sure. Otherwise that would be dumb.

tbh i pretty much agree with all this? owo;; cant really word it better myself

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From a trans point of view - No, I would not consider that to be transphobic. It's not phobic of any kind to simply not be attracted to a person. It would not, for example, make a person homophobic simply because they did not experience homosexual attraction.

 

As long as you are respectful and accepting of them as the person they are then you are not transphobic.

 

Also, to a certain extent, I disagree with Sock here. Finding certain sexual organs 'squicky' isn't to do with societal conditioning. Rather like Haze a good friend of mine just doesn't do penises. He's non judgemental, he's totally accepting, and he probably *would* go with someone that had had surgery - but a penis, for him, is a deal breaker. It would kill his own sexual feelings. And that's fine. No one should be forced into doing things they themselves are uncomfortable with because of some misguided idea that it's 'phobic' for them not to.

 

Re: genitalia - I, and other trans folk I know, do refer to genitalia as 'male' and 'female'. I'm very upset by having female genitalia, for example, and a lady friend of mine was so upset by having male genitalia that she was at the point of taking a butchers knife to it at one point (she didn't, thankfully). Just because I'm male doesn't mean my genitalia automatically becomes male (much as I would love it to, it doesn't). It's a bit unreasonable to expect society at large not to use terms that transfolk themselves are using.

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I have another question about transphobia. Earlier today, someone made a remark that if a lesbian didn't want to have sex with a trans woman because she had a penis, that it was transphobia?

That's transphobia. Sorry to break it to you, but that's transphobia. It doesn't matter what genitals she was designated with at birth, she's still a woman.

 

Example: I'm solidly lesbian/queer and nonbinary but i could NEVER date a cis guy, they usually have too much masculine issues and are dangerous. But of course I'd be fine dating a trans woman, because she's a woman.

 

I just signed up for the forums and I'm really excited that there's a thread for gender--but I saw a lot of cringe-worthy terminology being used, you shouldn't say "biologically ____" ever. It implies that there are only two sexes, male and female, when that's just not true. It reinforces that there are only two sexes and it erases the experiences of intersex people, both those who do not know their chromosomal status or those whose parents made a choice of sex reassignment surgery at birth before they ever had a choice.. (Check out this amazing article written by an intersex person: How Common is Intersex Status?)

 

The correct way to describe someone's body is by birth assignment.

AFAB/DFAB = assigned/designated female at birth

AMAB/DMAB = assigned/designated male at birth

 

Since that is currently what our systems determine people with. So you could for example describe yourself with "I am AFAB but I am a trans man and prefer male pronouns" :)

 

Like I said I just signed up for the forums and I'm happy there's a thread dedicated to gender politics. To introduce myself, i'm DFAB but nonbinary leaning toward being agender. I prefer they/them pronouns, but he/him would probably be fine too.

 

Dang this got long.

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I don't question that they're women, that's not the issue I'm taking. A penis is a penis-- and as a lesbian, I have no sexual appeal about them whatsoever. Why would it be wrong for me to not desire sexual intercourse with that specific organ, regardless if it was on a man or woman? :S

 

Also the above information sounds conflicting to me from two different trans* people, so I don't really know what to do.... @~@

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aaaahhhh i didn't think it was transphobic at all?? i mean i am transgender too ;n; i mean i know haze i wouldn't consider her transphobic at all she's rly respectful about all of it i don't think she was ever saying that trans* people aren't actually what they identify as?? i think she just meant that she's not attracted to penises and thats all i dont think thats necessarily bad unu

Edited by Switch

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I don't think so either. I think it isn't fair to expect someone to have sex with genitalia they aren't attracted to because the person it belongs to defines themselves one way or another. It's still a penis/vagina. Before someone calls me on that, no, I don't think the genitalia is what matters for determining gender -- I'd still consider a person with a penis to be a woman (If that's how they wanted). But that doesn't mean I want to have sex with another vagina. That doesn't do it for me. I don't think it's any more fair to expect that than it is to expect to not "knock it till they try it" and have sex with men just to "make sure" they aren't into it.

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I didn't gather from ryou's post that they were trans themselves (do you use xie/xir ryou? I find that to be more personal then plurals, but I'll use whatever you are comfortable with). OTOH Switch and I *are* both trans* and neither of us find your stance phobic. (I mean, let's face it, not getting sexually turned on by penises isn't going to change if they're attatched to a woman instead of a man - they're just not a turn-on for you end of story).

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Ahhhhhhhh whoops I'm sorry ;A; For some reason I thought Ryou was trans*, but they said nonbinary. I'm sorry for getting that wrong!

 

 

Also, thanks for giving me your opinions guys. I thought it was kind of strange that it would be considered transphobic, but I understand that saying things like "I'm not attracted to trans people" or certain races, etc, is problematic. I would totally date a trans woman if I was single and I met the right one, but I just don't think I could be sexually aroused/stimulated by a penis. It doesn't matter to me whom it belonged to, I'm just uncomfortable with penises altogether.

Edited by Shiny Hazard Sign

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I didn't gather from ryou's post that they were trans themselves (do you use xie/xir ryou? I find that to be more personal then plurals, but I'll use whatever you are comfortable with). OTOH Switch and I *are* both trans* and neither of us find your stance phobic. (I mean, let's face it, not getting sexually turned on by penises isn't going to change if they're attatched to a woman instead of a man - they're just not a turn-on for you end of story).

Actually, I am trans, I said that I was nonbinary, which is trans. And no, I don't use any plurals besides singular they or sometimes male pronouns. But no, I prefer singular they because it isn't personal.

 

It is transphobic, actually. Using the asterisk at the end of trans itself is problematic in itself, it's transmisogynistic against trans women. It's transphobic and encourages asexual erasure because not every relationship has to involve sex. I don't personally find penises attractive either, but just because someone has something you don't like in their pants you're not going to be attracted to them? Not their hair or face or personality? It's transphobic because you're acting as though their genitals are what's determining your relationship with them.

 

Say that a trans women passed excellently, and you didn't know she was trans, and got to know her over a long period of time and grew to like her romantically, then you go to the bedroom and suddenly you're just not into this woman anymore because of her genitals? How does that not sound transphobic?

 

Society, and especially cisgendered people, need to move past their obsession with genitals when they don't define the person. There are ways to be with someone without having to get nasty if you're really so opposed to her genitals.

Edited by ryoubakura

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Well, my definition of male genitalia stems from the fact that it is a male reproductive organ, or in other words, genitalia. I don't really understand the social aspect to that? And as far as I can coherently put it to words as per my awareness of it, I don't find the penis an attractive physical characteristic. I mean, that does have biological roots? The physical appeal of another body is controlled by the hypothalamus in our brains, and as much as I would like to detach the idea that a penis is not a male characteristic... that kind of goes against everything I've been taught about biology? As cis I know it's a lot harder for me to separate those things.

I would never say that I couldn't date a trans* woman, but how much can I control the fact that I don't find the penis a sexually stimulating or arousing physical characteristic?

I personally disagree with that. For other animals - sure. But as humans we have a whole social construct of gender and it doesn't always mesh up with our rigid definition of sex. Yeah, biology didn't teach it like that... which isn't surprising because education is really behind on anything non-binary. For example - did you know ciswomen experience different symptoms for a heart attack than cismen? We advertise the symptoms for cismen and tons of people could list to you those symptoms. They likely couldn't do the same for the symptoms in ciswomen. And there's basically no info on there on how these symptoms might present for transfolk going through hormone therapy. Which totally sucks.

If a woman has a penis, I consider that female genitalia because she is a woman. But that's me.

 

Anyway. I kinda talked around my point in my first post. I'd like to re-word a little and I think this quote from another article says it much better than I could, especially at 2 a.m.

 

Let's start with some basics:

 

Things which are not transphobic:

Not being interested in, or not dating, a specific woman who happens to be trans.

Not being interested in, or not dating, a specific woman who does not currently have the genitalia you prefer.

Not being interested in, or not dating, a specific woman who just doesn't catch your eye.

Things which are transphobic:

Not being interested in, or not dating, a specific woman because she is trans.

Trans women are women. They are often indistinguishable from cis women. They can't get pregnant, but neither can almost 10% of cis women, and fortunately in a lesbian couple there's usually a womb to spare. (With enough forethought you might not need a sperm donor!) Saying you're "not attracted to trans women" as a blanket statement cannot have a basis in empirical reality, but purely in prejudice. It's not like not being attracted to redheads or blondes or butches, it's like not being attracted to immigrants, children of blue-collar workers or survivors of cancer. "Trans" is, for the numerical majority of trans women, a history which says nothing about the person.

 

Other common fallacies:

I've never been attracted to a trans woman, therefore trans women aren't attractive to me.

Besides the obvious selection bias, the idea that "Trans women look like X" is where this statement goes horribly awry. Trans women look like this, and this and thousands of other beautiful women who just don't advertise their history.

 

If you are attracted to women, you are attracted to (some) trans women.

Ewwww, penis!

You aren't into penii. I get it, and for what it's worth neither am I. To be fair, many trans women who carry that particular anatomical burden are not big fans of it either, so you have that in common at least. But many trans women don't, and many of those who do won't for long. Be careful about using this biased sample to rule out all trans women.

 

Also, would you rule someone out because she had six toes? Whenever I hear a straight man ask how sex works in the absence of a penis, I feel sorry for his girlfriends/wife, because he clearly doesn't understand how sexytimes work; when I hear a lesbian rule out trans women because of the presence of a hidden penis I feel sorry for her partner, because how superficial is that?

 

It's valid to be not into penii. this is, possibly, the only context in which anyone is allowed to care about a trans woman's genitalia. But say as much and don't assert that all trans women == penis. Those who aren't packing a strapless get a little annoyed by the assertion.

 

^ Note especially this last bullet and specifically the last paragraph. It's really more what I was trying to get at. Mine was just badly worded. >.>

 

Trans women are all trans. Lesbians are all women who are attracted to women. This is a tautological definition, but there is no other universal quality. The moment you say (or imply) any other commonality, you're doing it wrong.

 

When you speak up to specifically exclude trans women from your romantic prospects in a context defined by courtship (ie: LGBT spaces), you are implicitly othering them in that community. It's hard to explain why that is so, but it's impossible to ignore.

 

Yar, unlearning oppressive behaviors/actions/thoughts is s00per hard and a lifelong journey. I struggle particularly with gender myself, as well as ableism, and I think it's because I've found less avenues for education on those. And not that there aren't good resources out there, I just haven't stumbled upon many that actively post about these things.

 

Using the asterisk at the end of trans itself is problematic in itself, it's transmisogynistic against trans women. It's transphobic and encourages asexual erasure because not every relationship has to involve sex.

 

Wait, okay, now I feel like I'm missing something. o_O I've always been told that the asterisk was how to be inclusive of all transfolk, so I'm a little confused how it is transmisogynistic and encourages asexual erasure? (Unless the asexual erasure was referring to something else?) Or did you mean "trans* woman" is transmisogynistic? I feel like I got a little lost in this convo. Dx

 

I did recently learn that I should be using "trans woman" and "trans man" or "trans-woman" or "trans-man" instead of making it one word because trans* is a descriptor, not their whole identity (since we use male/female as the default even when we mean cisman/ciswoman), so I could definitely be missing something.

 

EDIT: Huh. My internet is slow, but I did find a tumblr post that talked about this and some other stuff and found this:

 

ultimately i find calls for inclusion suspicious when certain people are assumed to be included, but arent really. it has the net effect of saying that the non-space binary twoc are occupying is too much. that more room should be made for all these other identities. without really considering how the current trans ‘community’ is structured by the exclusion and exploitation of twoc.

 

(Referencing a post which dissected a poster - seemingly made by a cishet white man coopting the LGBT struggle for his own gain - that listed what trans* meant and listed a lot of identities under it.)

Edited by SockPuppet Strangler

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Actually, I am trans, I said that I was nonbinary, which is trans. And no, I don't use any plurals besides singular they or sometimes male pronouns. But no, I prefer singular they because it isn't personal.

 

It is transphobic, actually. Using the asterisk at the end of trans itself is problematic in itself, it's transmisogynistic against trans women. It's transphobic and encourages asexual erasure because not every relationship has to involve sex. I don't personally find penises attractive either, but just because someone has something you don't like in their pants you're not going to be attracted to them? Not their hair or face or personality? It's transphobic because you're acting as though their genitals are what's determining your relationship with them.

 

Say that a trans women passed excellently, and you didn't know she was trans, and got to know her over a long period of time and grew to like her romantically, then you go to the bedroom and suddenly you're just not into this woman anymore because of her genitals? How does that not sound transphobic?

 

Society, and especially cisgendered people, need to move past their obsession with genitals when they don't define the person. There are ways to be with someone without having to get nasty if you're really so opposed to her genitals.

Wait, I started using the asterisk because a trans person told me it was transphobic not to??? I'm really starting to get confused here....

 

I never said that I couldn't be attracted to a trans woman with a penis. I said, specifically, that I am not attracted to penises and are not comfortable with sexual encounters that include them. Why is that transphobic?

That doesn't sound transphobic to me because I'm not interested in penises? I can still be interested in the woman, but that isn't going to change my feelings about that particular sex organ. I would be more than willing to wait if she was going to have reconstruction surgery (is that the right one? want to make sure my terminology is correct).

 

Of course genitals don't define the person. I don't think I've ever stated as such. But genitalia does have an impact on sexual arousal, stimulation, and bonding between partners. I would like to have sex with my partners because it is a significant way to bond with my partner. But I don't think it's fair to expect me to enjoy or desire sex with a sexual organ that I don't find sexually appealing or stimulating. I don't like strap ons for that very reason.

 

I'm not saying, "Ew look, a penis! I can't date you."

I'm saying, "Oh, you have a penis. I'm not comfortable with sexual intercourse right now, but I will still date you."

 

Never did I say I would drop her like a hot potato because she possessed a penis.

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I don't understand why it's "othering" for me to exclude born-as-a-woman-men but not for you to exclude men as a whole.

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Using the asterisk at the end of trans itself is problematic in itself, it's transmisogynistic against trans women. It's transphobic and encourages asexual erasure because not every relationship has to involve sex.

 

Wait, okay, now I feel like I'm missing something. o_O I've always been told that the asterisk was how to be inclusive of all transfolk, so I'm a little confused how it is transmisogynistic and encourages asexual erasure? (Unless the asexual erasure was referring to something else?)

Thank you so much for everything you said, I'm bad at wording things. tongue.gif But you are 100% correct. Trans women don't have "male genitalia". That's an oppressive and archaic mindset. there is no "male" or "female" genitalia, only what we are born with and what is our own.

 

As for the asterisk behind trans, I would be happy to help! Many started using it to include nonbinary identities, however, those fall simply under "trans". Many trans women have made wonderful points on why the asterisk is transmisogynistic. I could never hope to be as eloquent and my words, being nonbinary, do not carry as much weight, so I will simply link some really enlightening posts:

 

Trans with an Asterisk

 

On Trans(Asterisk)

 

The Case Against Trans* and the Politics of Erasure

 

Not required but great response to the last one!!

 

I used to use it too, but it is problematic. I believe it was also coined by Stephen Kleene in 1956, it is out of date and not meant to be used anymore.

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to be honest i never really paid much attention to the asterik at all like i never wondered why it was there or anything but okay i can stop using it

 

i still dont think haze is being is transphobic at all tho

Edited by Switch

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Wait, I started using the asterisk because a trans person told me it was transphobic not to??? I'm really starting to get confused here....

 

I never said that I couldn't be attracted to a trans woman with a penis. I said, specifically, that I am not attracted to penises and are not comfortable with sexual encounters that include them. Why is that transphobic?

That doesn't sound transphobic to me because I'm not interested in penises? I can still be interested in the woman, but that isn't going to change my feelings about that particular sex organ. I would be more than willing to wait if she was going to have reconstruction surgery (is that the right one? want to make sure my terminology is correct).

 

Of course genitals don't define the person. I don't think I've ever stated as such. But genitalia does have an impact on sexual arousal, stimulation, and bonding between partners. I would like to have sex with my partners because it is a significant way to bond with my partner. But I don't think it's fair to expect me to enjoy or desire sex with a sexual organ that I don't find sexually appealing or stimulating. I don't like strap ons for that very reason.

 

I'm not saying, "Ew look, a penis! I can't date you."

I'm saying, "Oh, you have a penis. I'm not comfortable with sexual intercourse right now, but I will still date you."

 

Never did I say I would drop her like a hot potato because she possessed a penis.

As a trans person, I used to use the asterisk too and tell others to use it. They likely did not realize that it is problematic. It's not commonly known knowledge but it is slowly spreading.

 

I'm trying to be civil here but I'm sorry, that is horrifyingly transphobic. I sent a snippet of that message to a trans girl I know and she said it almost made her cry. Just because someone is trans doesn't mean they have to undergo sex reassignment surgery. I know plenty of trans people who have decided they're never going to! Plenty of trans people are happy with their body just the way it is.

 

Society has conditioned us to think "i am a lesbian, therefore i am not attracted to penis" when that's just not true. If you're a lesbian, you're not attracted to men. Trans women are women. Their genitals are female genitals. unless you've had a traumatic experience with a penis there's no excuse!!! And I'm a little horrified right now because there are probably trans women and men who have undergone surgery when they didn't want to so that their partners would sleep with them. That's sad.

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Well, I think we're done here. I'm sure however insulting you find what I'm saying, I find equally insulting to be told that you actually know better than me what I'm attracted to. I know what I find attractive whether you want to bleat about society conditioning me to find it attractive or not, and I find it insulting to be told otherwise.

 

I legitimately do not see what is different about that statement from, "You just THINK you're attracted to other women, but actually nature shows that sex is for reproduction, so ACTUALLY you MUST be attracted to men."

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