Gendered Sperm and Atom Perceptions.
To The Seminal Truth? Table of Content.
Bibliography: The Seminal Truth?
Schizophrenia - Sexualities - Identities
Semen Meanings / Conclusion 

Reisner, Andrew (1994). The draining fantasy in male schizophrenics and in normal Sambia Males. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 11(1), 63-75.

"Is it mere coincidence that some schizophrenic males associate semen with milk, and they fear being 'drained' of this 'semen/milk' during sexual intercourse, while across the globe, among the Sambia in New Guinea, men are apprehensive about being depleted of their 'limited supply' of semen, which they equate with mother's milk? Unlike Sullivan (1954) who suggested that schizophrenics are not 'startlingly different from anybody else' (p. 206), many would prefer to complete dichotomize that which is 'schizophrenic' and that which is 'normal'... Karon (1992) suggested that professionals may defend themselves against understanding schizophrenics partly because it makes them uncomfortable to see any similarity between themselves and those afflicted with this serious condition" (p. 63).

Schizophrenia and homosexuality? What is the link? About 20% of young adult schizophrenic males homosexually active? Maybe perceptions of semen is a factor? Are "perceptions of semen" (meanings) significant for many gay males for whom the ultimate form of desired sexual rapport involves the giving and/or receiving of semen? For a challenging perception of a certain group of individuals deemed to be schizophrenic, see: Save-The-World Factor: Part 2 - 'Pathological Grandiosity' in Schizophrenia and Other Disorders.

Alter, Joseph (1997). Seminal Truth: A Modern Science of Male Celibacy in North India. Medical Anthropology Quarterly (New-Series), 11(3), 275-298.

"The internalization of truth as semen - where 'real' selfhood is thought to be biologically located - is in many ways a radical, and some may say radically paranoid, attempt to control female sexuality by defining it as not only dangerous but as antithetical to truth... ...the discourse on male celibacy is effectively and self-consciously silent on the subject of female bodies, while loudly evoking the danger of heterosexual sex and blaming women for erotic passions that men are not able to control. The insidious nature of the discourse on seminal truth is of course that it is insipidly gendered and almost pathologically male... my concerns is to show how truth - distorted, essentialized, a reified - can be powerfully embodied" (Alter, 1997: 279).

Herdt, Gilbert (1997). Male birth-giving in the cultural imagination of the Sambia. Psychoanalytic Review, 84(2), 217-26.

"Rebirth and procreative symbolism are essential in New Guinea ontologies of ritual secrecy because they suggest ultimate matters - who controls birth, reproduction, and death. Men are concerned with acclaiming their powers over these vital processes, especially birth. Here we have a real challenge to anthropological models of embodiment that invite more attention to meaning systems and the personal symbols of development that go beyond culture to the unconscious" (p. 224).

Herdt, Gilbert (1999). Developmental Discontinuities and Sexual Orientation Across Cultures. In: Sambia Sexual Culture: Essays from the field.

Like Freud, Herdt believes in the human bisexual potential. The concept of "discontinuity" with respect to sexual orientations is generally ignored in research and discourses. "Take note that being and acting gay and lesbian remain a developmental discontinuity in our society" (p. 236). "Likewise, Herdt and Stoller (1990) have shown a range of diversity in the sexual subjectivities of Sambia men and women. However, this diversity does not translate into sexual identity concepts..." (p. 239) "Too much emphasis was placed upon assumed continuity in sexual behavior and experience. While this assumption is plausible in the biological real, it tends to evade the psychological and symbolic reality of human development" (p. 241).

Comment / Conclusion: - Over the years I have recognized many factors making it nearly impossible for most individuals to understand anything about humans and how they develop their historically notorious identities rooted in a persona such as "Christ" (learned concept varies), ideologies like Nazism, one's sexuality (there are many, including so-called 'sexual orientation" which is gender based), being defined "schizophrenic," one's learned perception of semen, etc.. Acquired / learned identities, however, involve an interplay between the conscious / unconscious aspects of our minds which continue to defy human understanding, possibly because any understanding will seriously threaten all that we are (think we are), as a product of socialization.

Herdt (1997) hints at the important role of the unconscious in the 'making' of semen into an icon masculinization substance for Sambia males. This over-evaluation of semen then results in great fears of semen loss, as also manifested chronically by some males in Northern India and Sri Lanka. In the western world, semen loss has a long history of being associated with many negative consequences. The research question would be: "How did so many males from so many cultures develop / invent concepts which gave their semen such great value?" Not long ago, when many (most?) male-desiring males were into the 'trade' system, the major part of the (often paid for) transaction was the outcome of a 'heterosexual' male experiencing  an orgasm: the ejaculation of semen into the fairy / fag / queer / poofter / etc..

This fact therefore indicates that some males in the western world have a history of "needing semen," meaning that the substance was highly valued in their minds. What, however, was their 'learned' meaning of semen? Did they perceive all male semen to be the same, or was the semen of socially defined highly masculine males of the greatest value? If so, what would this mean about their inner perceptions of semen? Why would a male (often with a history of perceiving himself as a lesser male, or even a non-male), desire to incorporate within himself the semen of other males culturally defined to be the most masculine?

Many gay males (and a lesser percentage of heterosexual identified males) likely know what their inner meaning(s) of semen is / are, with a range of awareness existing depending on one's sexually stimulated state. As indicated by my experience with many males becoming sexually stimulated and ejaculating, one's meaning(s) of semen may become more apparent (even blatant) under high sexual stimulation, and the meaning(s) may also be verbalized. Some males, however, are troubled by this aspect of themselves and keep it out of mind in non-sexually stimulated states, while others remain fully conscious of their desires for semen - including related meaning(s) - and they will speak on the subject with individuals they trust. Some gay males I know have reported ingesting their own semen for reasons I have not yet begun to explore.

The North American males most at risk for contracting HIV are the ones who "need" to receive the semen of other males anally and/or orally, and receiving semen anally places an individual at the greatest risk for contracting HIV. Without doubt, the ongoing AIDS epidemic in western gay communities would end if semen was not being transferred from one male to another, thus making the understanding of "semen perceptions" and related "semen transfers" between males "an imperative" if anything significant is to be done to effectively address the AIDS problem in gay communities. This may not mean ending semen transfers, however, but it is possible that understanding "the meanings of semen" would cause the most "at risk" gay males to become more conscious of their "semen needs" and acting accordingly in ways to minimize (even eliminate) risks for HIV infection.

Remarkably, the so-called experts in HIV epidemiology (safer-sex educators) have generally ignored the "semen need" factor in HIV transmission, but three individuals known to each other (Odets, 1995; Johnston, 1995; Rofes, 1996) did note the importance of "receiving semen" for many North American gay males, and the same was reported in Norway (Prieur, 1990). Furthermore, many gay males do not perceive their likely eventual death resulting from contracting the HIV virus as not being "negative" enough to offset the perceived / experienced "positive" result of receiving the semen. Sadly, although "the meaning of semen" factor in HIV transmission was expressed in various ways by these authors, none ventured into what "exactly" were "the meanings of semen" in the minds of the most at risk gay males. For them, feeling a man coming inside of then, and even their need to have a man's semen in their ass, is central to their sexual identity, but how was this gay reality constructed?

Males who have been the most honest with respect to their semen desires / needs have the most to teach us:

[Frank Ruggero: My seed is in you]  "There are times when I want cum so badly that I fantasize going to a straight man who is uninfected or a gay man who is uninfected and asking him for his cum... I have fantasies of getting cum from a 16-year-old kid who has never had sex. I hate to make it sound like I an addicted to the substance" (Johnston, 1995: 212).

"Don't swallow semen (though you deeply want that man's essence inside you). Don't let him shoot up your bum (even as you're moaning inside, 'Come in me, come in me!')" [Bebout, 1999].

The follow-up questions would be: "What does receiving cum anally and/or orally mean to you? Why is it important for you to feel a man coming inside you? What are your feelings knowing that this man's cum is now within you?

Are North American gay-identified males "in need" of semen, at least ingesting semen orally? The answer to this question seems to be apparent at least to one gay male who reported on the results of many safer sex conversations with American gay males?

[James Douglas, a post HIV test counselor] "Just about every gay male friend has told me that they have had at least one episode of unsafe oral sex within the last year. These are guys who know a lot about HIV. If that is so, then in any group of gay men, a lot have been having unsafe sex within the last year, but very few are willing to talk" (Johnston, 1995: 266).

Your comments will be appreciated. One objective of these "semen" web pages was to take the topic out of its all-to-often 'freakdom' status. Many consider the "insemination of boys" Sambia et al. tribes of Melanesia to be a "tiny minority" occurrence without significance in the understanding of male homosexuality in the western world. Ditto for the Dhat Syndrome in Northern India. Yet, "semen loss" fears, and the beliefs in resulting pathologies / illnesses, has a long history in the western world, but this is also ignored by believing that we are now so much less ignorant than were our forefathers. Maybe, western males have continued to acquire over-valued perceptions of their sperm / semen, which is certainly the case for some gay-identified males.

The historical and cross-cultural "over-evaluation of semen" by men hints at the possibility that men still generally over-value their sperm / semen, but most males (including gay-identified males) have remained silent on the subject. It would therefore be unwise to think / believe that modern western males to not ascribe "meaning" to their sperm / semen, and this fact becomes apparent when we learn about how "learned masculine gender roles" have affected reports on the behavior of sperm (The Gendered Atom / Semen-Sperm). What else, however, do men in our culture perceive their sperm / semen to be / do which is at odds with the reality of what sperm / semen happens to be?

How did  a significant number of gay-identified males acquire their perceptions of semen and related desires / needs for the substance? Most, important, why have so few (no one?) been asking related questions and investigating the meaning of semen in the western world given the high risk for contracting HIV by gay males via semen transfers? Seeking "the seminal truth" may well lead to an important "seminal truth," and not only about gay-identified males. Gay males somehow acquired their perceptions of semen from the dominant culture which is still ruled by heterosexual-identified males, but they have remained the most silent about their perceptions of semen.

Maybe this is related to their general unspoken and unacknowledged bisexual potential of all males (Tremblay, 2000). Their silence may also be related to their inner unspoken reasons for "needing to ejaculate in females" which is the 'obvious' reason for contraception having become a male-imposed female responsibility. Fully understanding the "semen meanings" in the minds of gay-identified males may therefore be predicated on understanding the "meaning of semen" in the minds of the ruling 'heterosexual' males, but gay males may not be ready to consider the self-implications of hearing a straight male insult another by stating: "You know where your fuckin' dinner is hanging!"

Women (and gay males) have much to learn from 'heterosexual' males who think in such ways.  They would also learn the most if they asked 'heterosexual' males how they would feel about another male ejaculating in them anally and / or orally - followed by the question: "Why then are you so sexually stimulated by the idea of ejaculating in other humans called 'women'? Why are you so turned on by doing to others what you would consider so devastating -  producing "universal feelings of fear, anger, shame, humiliation, and degradation" (Odets, 1995: 189) - if the same thing was done to you? Socratically deconstructing traditional "male heterosexuality" would be a lot of fun, but not for heterosexual males, and probably not for gay males who have wanted to be just like heterosexual males.

Gendered Sperm and Atom Perceptions.
Bibliography: The Seminal Truth?

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