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Twenty-Two Sexes Aren't Enough...

By Alex Gross

A non-scientific and light-hearted attempt
to describe and loosely categorize
the many sexual types displayed by
human animals in the course
of their lifetimes. Published
one year before Stonewall
in the Dutch-English underground
paper SUCK, 1968.

One of the best effects of the recent hassle over Russian athletes has been to make some people realize that the two sexes are nowhere near so distinct as some other people would like to think. One man's cock is another man's (or woman's) cunt, and many are the ways of fucking, sucking, plucking, mucking and ducking. The notion that there are only two sexes may in fact go down as one of the sublime self-deceptions of this prehuman age of history, a monument to man's (and woman's) faulty perception.

Not even three or four are enough to describe the complex patterns of the sexual interaction going on at all sorts of times and places, and at a quick jot I have arrived at no fewer (and perhaps many more) than twenty-two sexes. These are not merely sexual types by way of Ellis or Kraft-Ebbing but separate mating species who cry out for their counterparts as tumultuously as an elephant for another elephant, assuming neither one is kinky. In some cases the physical equipment may appear to be similar, but the psychological and hormonal systems of the twenty-two can be irreconcilably different.

Here, for the sake of those who want to enjoy life by finding their counterparts—or perhaps cultivate a richer form of suffering by hunting out their natural enemies—are one person's rough notes on a subject that concerns many others. These sexes are distinct but, unlike those favored by society, not necessarily permanent—changes do occur.

This list can certainly be improved upon—future generations may be lucky enough to be taught the definitive list while still children. And even if some may argue that some of these are just sexual types and not truly different sexes in any final sense, their power over us remains enormous. But enough apologies—here goes:

(1) — "MALE" — This deserves a laugh and like all these labels must be kept caged up in quotation marks. In any case, this is the more usual (forget about "normal") triple-hung animal bearing that name. Fucks girls, doing it once or twice a week, worries slightly that he ought to be doing it better or more often, has same slight knowledge or experience or fear of homosexuality. But given the girl and the right circumstances he can do it, and that's more or less what counts.

(2) — "FEMALE" — Counterpart of (1), is fucked by him. Occasionally feels that something is missing and that she or he ought to be doing things differently. She may not find him perfect but will regret it if she tries a few of the following numbers.

(3) — "QUASI-MALE" — A real trouble-maker, but let's be objective. Can make it with girls but just barely, does it a few times a month. Aggressively and defensively masculine in his manners, hates queers, frightened by offbeat-looking girls. Goes to whores more often than (1), tells himself he has to because he is more "masculine."

(4) — "QUASI-FEMALE" —Counterpart of (3), is lucky if she is stuck with him, though she also feels something is missing. Finds most other types on list frightening or unappealing. May take a stab at lesbianism, but this does not quite work either. (Perhaps 80% of all westerners belong to these first four categories or to (9) & (10)).

(5) — "HYPER-MALE ADAPTABLE" — Very highly sexed. Puts the heat on for everyone else, makes them think they should be like him. Does it five times a week or once a day or more often. Has to do it, prefers women, but doesn't care that much about the sex of his partner. The True Bisexual.

(6) — "HYPER-FEMALE ADAPTABLE" — Counterpart of (5) but doesn't always meet him. Needs the exercise. Can still, in this century, end up a prostitute. Has good orgasms, no relation to supposedly frigid nymphomaniac of legend, who is usually changing from (10) to (2) or (8). Bisexual, enjoys females and males almost equally.

(7) — "ULTRA-MALE" — Same type as (5), except that some quirk or trauma has tuned off his taste for men. Very "masculine," but without swagger, enjoys swimming in freezing water, etc., can't understand why others aren't like him. Makes a first-class pimp but is usually able to find other work.

(8) — "ULTRA-FEMALE" — Counterpart of (7), likes men only, can usually find The right ones. Turns off (1) and (3) by looking either too predatory or too innocent.

(9) — "NEUTRO-MALE" — Not very highly sexed, not very concerned about it either. Can marry and have children, but really out of it.

(10) — "NEUTRO-FEMALE" — Counterpart of (9). Unfortunately for men, she can sometimes be quite attractive.

(11) — "DOMINANT GAY MALE" — Dominant with respect to (12). No, you can't always recognize him.

(12) — "PASSIVE GAY MALE" — Passive with respect to (11). Likewise, not always easily recognizable. One (11) may become a (12) for another (11). Or may not.

(13) — "DOMINANT GAY MALE ULULANS" — The noisy kind, sometimes criticized even by gay groups. You usually can recognize him.

(14) — "PASSIVE GAY MALE ULULANS" — Counter-part of (13). Likewise. One (13) may become a (14) for another (13). Or may not.

(15) — "BUTCH GAY FEMALE" — The familiar truck-driver of song and story. Worthy of respect and not to be tampered with.

(16) — "FLUFF GAY FEMALE" — Counterpart of (15). For men like (1), (3), and (7) often painfully lovely.

(17) — "GAY MALE ADAPTABLE" — Prefers men, but will accept women in marriage or otherwise if need be.

(18) — "GAY FEMALE ADAPTABLE" — Usually a fluff. Prefers women but can adapt.

(19) — "PSEUDO-BISEXUAL MALE" — A (1) or (3) who through circumstances has turned to homosexuality. He also like girls and may or may not finally revert to them.

(20) — "PSEUDO-BISEXUAL FEMALE" — Comparable to (19), but upside down.

(21) — "AUTISTIC ONANIST" — Responds not to people hut to things, whether clothing, carpets, or grand pianos.

(22) — "HABITUAL VOYEUR" — Responds to visual sexuality, whether live, printed, or imagined. Reads or creates much pornography. Fornicates for variety and to avoid losing touch.

At this point some readers may already be adding their own categories (send them in on a card!), which merely proves the point of our title—twenty-two sexes aren't enough. What is important is that there are many more than most people realize—to insist on just two is to breed neurosis, psychosis, and, quite possibly, world-destructive tendencies.

In one sense we're all somewhat lucky. It happens fairly often that approximate counterparts find and recognize each other—the trouble starts when they don't.

In a better-arranged society we might all wear signs or buttons with our sex numbers or descriptions (this may already be on the way via T-shirts, gay mating signals, etc.) to help counterparts find—or avoid—each other, whichever they prefer. At least there would he a chance of people knowing who is doing what and to whom. It might then turn out that we preferred the confusion of the present—if so, even that would be an important discovery.

The main point is to focus a clear beam of light on an area where for ages people have been groping around in the dark, so to speak, uncertain of what they may find.

This list is only a start—it is merely descriptive, not an absolute guide of any sort, and no one should try to 'score' themselves on it. Above all, no one should feel guilty about it, or the whole point will have been lost.

Which is once again that there are, quite simply, a great many sexes (or at the very least sexual types), and no one should be ashamed of ANY of them. Ideally, an atmosphere should be created where no one is afraid to come into the open about his—or, obviously, her—sexual orientation.

This list has not been entirely designed to titillate, however funny some may find it in passing, but to begin the job of describing certain common hormonal differences which may really be running society. If there are 22 sexes, then we definitely ought to know about them.

It is quite possible, leaving all Marxist and Freudian dogma aside, that the real conflicts in the world take place between people who simply don't understand how each other's bodies (and their minds as a side-effect) feel or work. The psychologist William Sheldon made a start towards understanding these conflicts when he divided people into ectomorphs, endomorphs, and mesomorphs, categories which are obviously too broad. This list is an attempt at greater refinement, which means it may describe a good deal besides sex.

One of the elements which appears to be omitted, but hasn't been, is Motherhood. For many this alone has been the main criterion of femaleness through the millennia, but we have now come out sufficiently from the shadows (I hope) to realize that this is not the only one. Just as there are many beautiful mothers, so there are many equally beautiful women who by no stretch of the imagination, although they enjoy sex to the fullest, are meant either physically or mentally to be mothers. At the other extreme one may find some lesbians who are frightened out of their wits by pregnancy and others who want nothing else from a man but a child.

All these people are real and in no sense perverts (there can be no "perverts" on any valid list), though they are often made to bear a medieval burden of guilt and suffering because of society's insistence on only two sexes, who MUST have children.

Too often couples are forced to have children, or they decide to have them because they don't know what else to do with themselves. Many children owe their existence to the Quasi-Male (3), who may even insist that a girl risk pregnancy as a means of debasing her and proving his own masculinity. He has a female equivalent.

There is also the thorny question of nationality, missing from the list for a good reason. One need not search very deeply in the popular literature of any nation to discover that either

a) every country pictures its own men as super-masculine and foreigners as effete, or

b) —depending on who is trying to prove what—every country pictures its own men as behaving normally and decently to women and foreigners as depraved fiends, or

c) —as among some female intellectuals—its own men are held up as useless and all foreigners, or some elite group thereof, as magnificent lovers.

One way or another, it all adds up to a remarkable lot of ignorance.

There are, however, some indications that sex may be linked to temperature or climate or heating, and an English Marriage Counsel Committee recently warned newly-weds not to attempt to consummate their unions in unheated bedrooms. [For those not familiar with conditions in England, it should be added that British bedrooms are usually the least heated area of any house--and sometimes not heated at all.]

It would of course be a terrible blow to any number of national egos if any clear relationship between climate and libido were ever proved, and it is to be hoped that nationalism will wither away before this can happen.

Perhaps the most optimistic aspect of this list is that changes are possible from one of the 22 sexes to another—in fact, it happens all the time. Adolescence, maturity, and what is now called 'old age,' a new girl- or boyfriend, a new apartment, or a new diet, an illness, improving health, temptation, opportunity, pure luck—all of these contribute towards changing a person from one number to another. It happens continually, if not to yourself, then probably to someone you know.

The problem is predicting how to bring such changes about—some use LSD, some hatha yoga, others are food-faddists or weight-lifters. No one method has the same effects for all people. Almost anything can influence the hormones, most of which are only incidentally connected with sex.

Thus, it is not surprising that one of the few books [of 1968!] dealing directly with this question, Dr. George Belham's "The Virility Diet" reads very much like most books on nutrition, though there are a few differences. Modern Medicine has yet to do any real research into these problems, although (or perhaps because) their solution could do away with much of Modern Medicine.

With the possible exceptions of Sexes (5), (6), (7), and (8), almost everyone thinks he (or she) might he happier with a different sex out of the twenty-two.

This may or may not be illusory, but the man who could devise a foolproof system for making even limited changes from one sex to another would not only become a millionaire but would help free human beings to look inside each others' minds and bodies. The resulting flexibility of attitudes could be earth-shaking.


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This book excerpt is Copyright © 1968
& 2000 by Alexander Gross. It may be
reproduced for individuals and for
educational purposes only. It may
not be used for any commercial (i.e.,
money-making) purpose without
written permission from the author.
All Rights Reserved.

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