Lanterns: A Brief Analysis of Sexual Preference and Disorder


A Brief Analysis of Sexual Preference and Disorder

How do we define our sexual preferences? 

What is the nature of our orientation? 

Well to start with a clue lies in the words themselves, preferences, and, orientation.

Both words are suggestive of the same thing. Choice. 

Let's say, I’m at the grocery store and I see this girl, this young lady in red, above, in the picture.

It goes without question she’s very pretty, in my opinion. 

And since I’m 46 yrs old, she’s also young enough to be my daughter. Now what follows here are two separate and distinct paths I could take. Both are choices willfully and consciously made by me. Nobody made me or forced me to do anything

Either A. I say to myself, ”Wow, that caught me off guard; she’s a pretty young thing.” I then laugh at my indescretionary thought and go about my merry business, and it all ends there.

Or B. I start thinking about this girl, and I don’t let it go. In fact, I start focusing on it. 

Now let's say, I pick B. The girl drives me nuts, and I let my imagination loose, and I start replaying the encounter, and I start envisioning all sorts of things. I’m fantasizing now. And if I fantasize long enough, repeatedly, what I’m doing, it becomes a fixationI’m consciously looking at pics on the internet of girls like her.  I’m actively seeking out images of girls that feed that attraction I’m building. Because building on it is most assuredly what I’m doing. But one thing is certain. 

I want more. 

One of two events must now follow, and both involve choices willfully made by me. 

I, either put the brakes on this thing, rationalize it, however, I wish, and It stops there, or I let that dog hunt. And I pursue a real-life sexual encounter with my desire. I take it out of the realm of fantasy, and into reality. Now let it be granted there are a dozen and one different things that can and will influence my decision,

Is it morally acceptable?

Is it societally acceptable?

Is it legal? Can I be censured in some way? Or punished?

Would there be a personal betrayal involved?

Ultimately, therein lies the key word, influence. These things are influencers; they don’t make that decision for me. I willfully choose or do not choose to pursue my attraction for girls like this.

And what will happen is a process whereby It becomes a habit. 

And habit engaged in long enough becomes nature. 

I don’t even think about it anymore. My mind and imagination edge out of the picture anything or anyone that doesn’t fit the criteria for that thing and forces it to the periphery of desire. I can physically have sex with just about anyone. But nothing else will arouse my appetites except what I have desired. For every step along the way, I consciously and willfully made a choice from here, where I am now, all the way back to the moment I saw that girl in the grocery store. 

Now, I can attempt to excuse my actions in a million different ways. But what cannot be denied, was choice. At the end of the day, the only devil that made me do it was me. For you see, at some point, we all make that choice of preference, be it straight, or gay, or bi, whether we like young girls, or boys, or even children. However far back, and in the murky past, it may be. We may not even remember it. But we made it. And it’s ours to own. There are indeed mental disorders and maladies that exist. And they are for the doctors, and even lawyers to determine in courts of law. But there is also, and always, choice, as well, as a rightness, or wrongness to our doing. There will be a consequence. And of that, we cannot excuse ourselves. 

In Culpa Sumus. – We are culpable 


(The author’s preference in real life seems to be for argumentative Italian women over 40) 

Written by Ben Coleman

Freelance author, historian and Navy veteran. Find him at

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