Monday, July 26, 2004
paging Dr. Kinsey...
I went to St. Joseph's Prep, an all-boys private Jesuit high school in scenic (read: poverty-stricken) North Philadelphia. When I tell my friends this, many of them have the same reaction, "Ugh - you went to an all-guys high school? That must've sucked."
The truth is that it didn't. It was, and I say this with a nearly unblemished record of heterosexuality (save for a couple of Spring Break "How do you know you don't like it if you've never tried it?" incidents), really awesome. Going to school with only guys allowed us unlimited freedom for personal development without having to worry about how we appeared to the opposite sex. We took advantage of this by farting, burping, talking about pubes all day, and by "sacking" people (a game in which a larger man will put his scrotum on a smaller, unsuspecting man).
Being a single-sex school was particularly advantageous in the last quarters of both freshman and sophomore years in religion class. This is when we were taught sex education.
I look back at those days of being taught sex ed and they were some of the funniest times I've ever had. I don't need to get too into detail but suffice it to say that freshman year we learned about the "plumbing" (i.e. overhead projections of vulvas welcomed with high fives, videos of "the miracle of life" responded to with cheers and applause, the useful terms "vas deferens" and "smegma", etc), whereas sophomore year we learned about the physiological elements of sex.
It was this year that we learned about something that blew us away and changed the way we spoke to each other: the Kinsey Scale.
The Kinsey Scale was developed in the late 1940's and early 1950's by Dr. Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues. The Kinsey Scale is, in effect, a measure of sexual preference or orientation. It breaks down thusly:
0 - exclusively heterosexual
1 - predominantly heterosexual, incidentally homosexual
2 - predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3 - equally heterosexual and homosexual
4 - predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5 - predominantly homosexual, incidentally heterosexual
6 - exclusively homosexual
What Kinsey discovered is that few people (less than 4%) are either exclusively straight ("0") or exclusively gay ("6").
This blew our minds. Within three minutes, we were breaking each other's balls:
Me: "Rawls, you're at least a 2, possibly a 3."
Rawls: "Dude, if I'm a 3, you've got to be like a 7."
Me: "It only goes up to 6, ass."
Rawls: "Well, that's only because Kinsey didn't study you, dick. If he did, 6 would be 'exclusively homosexual,' and 7 would be 'Mulgrew.'"
To make sure everyone understands the Kinsey Scale, here are some examples straight from Dr. Kinsey's research (men are the subject of the following examples):
- Your straight buddy wearing a pink shirt to work
Kinsey Scale: 1
- Your straight buddy wearing a pink shirt to a club that plays only Wham, then giving another man a handjob in a nearby Pontiac
Kinsey Scale: 5
- Being very good at fixing cars
Kinsey Scale: 0
- Banging two strippers while fixing a car, grilling some barbeque, drinking Bud out of a 16 oz can, and having a conversation about the development of the offensive line of the Detroit Lions over the past five years
Kinsey Scale: -3
- Confessing to your buddy that one time, when you were wasted, you kissed him on the arm when he was asleep
Kinsey Scale: 3
- Your buddy responding that, not only was he conscious and appreciative when you kissed his arm, but also that last year for Halloween when he dressed up as Blondie he did it to impress you, because he knows how much you love Blondie
Kinsey Scale: 6
- Your roommate liking the song "Material Girl"
Kinsey Scale: 1.5
- Your roommate singing "Material Girl" into his hairbrush while dancing around all nancy-like in his tighty-whities
Kinsey Scale: Like, 20
- Getting into a fist-fight over a girl
Kinsey Scale: 0
- Getting into a fist-fight over a girl who has a penis
Kinsey Scale: 4
So I invite you to study the Kinsey Scale and the examples, and arbitrarily assign numbers to your friends. I, for example, am apparently a 1.8. My roommate Ben, because of his love of romantic comedies and the fact that he cries about love every night, is a 2.1. My roommate Brian, though once a wrestler, smokes a lot of cigarettes and listens to a lot of Led Zeppelin, so he's only a 1.4.
Those of you who haven't received emails from me telling you what I think your number is will be getting them shortly. And Brendan, you picked the wrong day to call me to suggest "learning a Jethro Tull song so we can jam out on it."
Kinsey Scale: 2.7