Response to a Blanchardist

Saving here in case the comment is never approved. Was commenting here:

I think you are continuing a confusion that was kinda understandable in the 70s or 80s when Blanchard was active, but should realy be consigned to history.

Namely, you take everything that arouses a person and throw it into the same bin under “sexual attraction”. This makes arousal by own body being feminine “autogynephilia”. by own body being masculine “autoandrophilia”, and you assume it has the same nature as attraction to other bodies, with some form of “location error”. Therefore you expect a correlation with sexual orientation. And you don’t get it.

My suggestion is you don’t get it because the entire model is wrong. There never was an “erotic target location error”. There never was an “erotic target” in one’s own body. Rather, there is a separate erotic variable, different from erotic desire for others (which is modelled by the orientation system). Namely the erotic self-image.

We will start with typical cis heterosexual men to explain what it is. These men desire women. However, they also desire to be seen as manly, possessing strength and prowess. Flattery about the man’s manliness and prowess is a rather stereotypical skill expected from female sex workers, for example. The nature of desiring manliness/prowess is also erotic, but is different from erotic desire for others; these men are not homosexual, and usually not bisexual either.

In fact, even back in Blanchard’s time an erotic-natured fantasy of a hypermasculine transformation existed and was aimed at cis heterosexual man. i mean the comic series named “The Incredible Hulk”. Imagining oneself as very strong and muscular and intimidating, free of the entanglement of complicated thought, and yet ultimately “good” was a feeling very successfully marketed. Pop culture outpaced sexology at the time, and Blanchard apparently failed to notice The Hulk.

So, a typical cis heterosexual man can derive erotic satisfaction from seeing oneself as super manly – while still desiring women. Why can’t, then, a male person with pre-existing dysphoric tendencies, whether or not “crossing the threshold” of an outright dysphoria diagnosis, similarly derive erotic satisfaction from seeing oneself as ultra feminine, “Barbie” to stay in US pop culture – while still desiring others, whether women or men? If the Hulk-fantasist is not experiencing “autoandrophilia” why would the Barbie-fantasist be experiencing “autogynephilia”?

A move to cis women in this discussion is made complicated by cultural stigma against strong female sexuality. I would even suggest that most of the alleged difference between women’s and men’s sex drives is cultural, not biological. So it is harder to get the underying eroticised feelings of most women about their bodies. However, kinky cis women often do experience sexual pleasure from being hyper femme – without any reference to partners, and without necessarily being lesbian. (Of course, some modern studies raise the question of whether 100% heterosexual cis women even exist at all).

I would really hope someone like Contra would get some of these kinky cis women on their YouTube channel and interview them about their erotic feelings related to their own bodies. This would tear another one in the old, dated Blanchardist system. which fails to recognize that self-eroticisation is not an “error”, not even a separate “target”, but a normal, organic part of human sexuality.

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