SSA vs. SGA

08 June 2008
It seems like I am getting close to the end of my blogging career. I am not sure what to write about anymore and it seems like what I write about is useless to myself and others. This may change, but this is how I really feel right now.

I have never expressed my thoughts on both of the terms SSA and SGA. I have talked why I decided to identify with SSA in this post and this post and how SSA can be a gift or a curse. Other than those posts, I have not said anything about them. So here are my thoughts. I believe that Same Sex Attraction (SSA) and Same Gender Attraction (SGA) are separate terms and cannot be mixed, but a person can experience some of both of them. Sex is defined as the biological attributes of male and female while gender is defined as the social construction of male and female. Can you see the difference between the two?

SSA is about being attracted to the biological aspects of men. In other words, you are attracted to penises, facial hair, body features, and whatever other physical and biological attributes men have. It is the changes in puberty that causes boys to turn into men that attract you. SGA is about being attracted to the social definitions of men. This means that you are attracted to men that are so called "masculine," that can provide, protect, and procreate, and those who meet the social definitions that society creates of what men are supposed to be like. This is the "man code." It is what causes men to be men in society's eyes. As you can see, these definitions cannot be mixed. They are mutually exclusive, but all too often we consider them to be one and the same.

For me, I experience more SSA than SGA. I am attracted to penises. I love men with stubble-so much fun to make out to. I love the muscle structure of men, especially the "swimmer" body. I am attracted to men with body hair in certain regions, but it has to be trimmed and managed. Everything about a man's body is just considered hot to me. These are all parts of SSA. My SGAs are limited. I am not attracted to men that are more feminine than masculine and I can really care less if a man is super masculine, in fact it really turns me off if they are that way. Personally, I would like a healthy balance of femininity and masculinity. I am also not attracted to a man that can provide, protect, and procreate. I can do all of those myself and I do not need someone to do those for me. I would rather be the protector and the provider. I am also not attracted to most social definitions that are placed on men (there are too many to discuss here).

There are differences between SSA and SGA, but they can be both experienced. I think that the Church and everyone should see this and use both terms. I know that the Church mainly uses SGA and it should also start using SSA because it describes me and many others better than SGA. I know people probably think that it does not really matter, but I think that it does. I think that if you understand what you are attracted to and where your attractions come from, then you will understand yourself better. It may also explain why reparative therapy works for some people (those who experience SGA more than SSA) and why it does not work for others (those who experience SSA more than SGA). It may also explain why some attractions are linked to genetics (SSA more than SGA) and why some attractions are not (SGA more than SSA).

So I ask all of you the question, which do you experience more, SSA or SGA?

8 comments:

A CROW'S VIEW said...

I was about to try to answer your question but I think I'm still sorta in shock needing to recover from one of those "too much information" moments. UMM! No one will ever be accusing you of being too descriptive about what you like.

One of So Many said...

To me, the use of either of those terms sterilizes the significance and emotional connotation that is really behind them.

"Gay" is also inadequate because it brings to bear a negative political agenda and all the related stereotypes.

I want a word that doesn't sterilize this issue that brings to bear the emotional anguish and torment of those dealing with this but without the political negativity that may otherwise be associated.

Original Mohomie said...

Ha, I know what you're saying, here and made the same assertions when I first started participating in discussion groups. In strict psychological terminology, you're correct. Most people speaking in layman's terms have never heard of that distinction, and in regular, daily speech, "sex and gender" are truly interchangeable, so for most, it's not a big deal.

But since this is terminology describing a psychological and/or physiological phenomenon, some precision in nomeclature is probably called for. Ah well.

As for me, I'm attracted to males, and I'm generally turned off by "effeminate" males (though I've crushed briefly on a couple of fairly "gay-acting" guys), as they are often called. But I generally stick to "same-sex attraction" when describing it in myself.

Max Power said...

I prefer the word "fagtastic".

Abelard Enigma said...

To be perfectly honest, until I read your blog post, I had never given much thought to any subtle distinctions between SSA and SGA. I know some people prefer SGA because they don't like putting the emphasis on 'sex'. But, for most people, they are synonymous acronyms.

Personally I don't like either of those terms. They are too clinical - makes it sound like I have some sort of disease or something. I prefer to think of myself as simply 'gay', but I agree that, for many, it has negative connotations. My logic is: If someone chooses to associate being gay with promiscuous sex, drugs, etc. - how is that my problem?

I guess, if I had to choose, I would have to say I'm probably more SSA than SGA - by your definitions. However, for me, while there is a certain amount of physical attraction to the male form, it is the idea of male intimacy that I tend to yearn for - and I don't mean gay sex. I mean holding hands, hugging, etc. Where does that fit into your SSA/SGA distinction?

Ryan said...

Wow, funny I should happen to read this today. I was thinking about this today and a bit yesterday asking myself questions like: Why do I seem to prefer the term SGA over SSA? Is there a difference? Which one describes my experience? I pretty much came to the same conclusions as you in defining the terms.

Something funny along these same lines, I realized I'm not really attracted to gay men. How weird is that? As far as I know, all the men I find attractive are straight. Out of all the gay men I know, I am attracted to none of them. That leads me to believe I am more SGA attracted - attracted to societal definitions...

Michael said...

I'm definitely SSA. I have no special affinity for masculinity or sterotypical male roles. I'm also rather turned off by effeminite guys. So I think it's more the physical than the societal definitions or cultural norms that attract me.

But I'm also with Abelard, I yearn for love and romance as much as(if not more than) sex. I also use 'gay' to identify myself often, although I'm not really a fan of labels. I'll confess I do it a little for the shock value too... ;)

October Rising said...

I'm definitely both. I wonder if that could be dubbed Same Sex Gender Attracted or SSGA? haha.