Magical Influence on Sexuality

I’ve been thinking about gender recently. This has come out of the
question of the meaning of gender when the intelligent being in
question has no sex. With the added complication of these sex-less
beings making up half (exactly half, actually) of a race, where the
other half is sexed1.

A question popped into my head on Friday while musing a new story: If
a straight person switched sex through vague magical means,
would this person be straight in the context of the new sex?2

I can think of three examples off-hand of this sort of thing.
Ranma 1/2 and Misfile are two of them. The characters in each story go
through a sex change, but their minds remain the same. They make the
assumption that a person will be attracted to the same gender through
an unwilling sex-change. The implication is that their attraction is
mind or personality based.

The other possibility is that the characters in question did not
re-examine their physical desires post-change. That is certainly true
of Ranma, who denies sexuality as part of the show’s premise. Misfile
is a little more clear on this point; Ash is either still attracted to
girls or he’s still uncomfortable around them as if he is. The
possibility that s/he is now physically attracted to boys is not
explored.

This seems counter to some of my own observations3. Sexuality is
as much physical, if not more so, than a product of the mind. A
person’s past experience and memories may indicate a preference for
one gender, but what happens if one’s body no longer responds in the
same way? This would cause quite a cognitive dissonance.

I see three ways of resolving this cognitive dissonance. The first is to
assume it is part of the change. The other is to deny the physical
evidence and continue with the mental experience of their
attraction4. The third is to decide the experience has caused
him/her to be bisexual.

The third example I mentioned is Danny Blender. The story has not
reached a point for me to comment on it in this regard.

This line of thought has been occupying my mind of late. I’m not sure
where it will lead, or if it will lead anywhere. The idea of this sort
of character piques my interest, it does not make for a very
interesting basis of a story, or even a character, on its own. Beyond
what I’ve written here, I don’t see much I can add to the genre. I
could probably write something as a social commentary or some such,
but I am entirely uninterested in such an endeavor.5

At some point I will have to finish the other essay I have alluded
to. It is somewhat more pertinent right now, given that it is a
significant feature of the novel I am currently working on.

Footnotes:

1 This is a topic of a post/essay that
is half-finished, and not the subject of this particular post.

2 Since these changes are supernatural in nature the laws are
entirely subject to the creator. This essay is not meant to be a
criticism in any way, merely a thought-experiment. The post-change
sexuality in each is based on the needs of the story rather than any
sort of social commentary and should be taken as such. In fact, I
would recommend each of these; I highly enjoy all of them.

3 Keep in mind that my observations are entirely subjective. Nor
do I pretend to be an expert on this subject. In point of fact, I
would say that my observations and knowledge are somewhat limited as I
haven’t had a chance to talk to many people about it. Any knowledge I
have is through observation, reading material and my own thought
experiments. Gender and sexuality are interests of mine, though not in
the deeply personal ways it is in some other people I’ve known.

4 This reminds me of people denying their physical sexuality due
to social/familial pressures.

5 In fact, I’ve received the criticism that by having characters
with a negatively charged viewpoint (ie – prejudice), especially the
protagonist, is paramount to endorsing the viewpoint.

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