The Sexuality of Twins

We had an interesting discussion in class last week regarding twins, and the sexuality of twins.  I was particularly interested in the unique way that identical twins are sexualized by people interested in hooking up with them, and why this might be. Although there is a clear difference between Siamese twins and identical twins, there seems to be a related fascination.

This fascination in Siamese twins can be seen in women’s reactions to Chang and Eng, the original Siamese twins, as well as the reactions of men in the book Geek Love to Elly and Iphy.  Siamese twins are two people with one body, two minds in a single body, and this is, apparently, highly fuckable.

Identical twins are two people in two bodies, two minds in two bodies, but I think there’s something similar in the way people react to identical twins.  This is just a half-baked idea and I haven’t done any research yet into potential theory behind this, but I think that identical twins may act as a way for people to explore multiple-person sex fantasies more freely because there is the illusion of it being one person.  There is an illusion of mental and emotional sameness because of the physical sameness, and I think maybe this bridges the gap between fantasy and morality.  It’s like being with one person and two people at the same time.  I think this is what appeals to people when it comes to Siamese twins as well.

I think this is also how the twin fad in gay porn gets around the icky feelings most people have regarding incest.  I doubt there would be as much interest in fraternal twins making porn together, because it would more visibly cross those strong moral views regarding incest.  (Then again, there’s a wealth of erotica to be found online and probably in printed compilations that deals specifically with incest, so it’s clearly a fantasy that more people have than we might like to admit).

This might also explain the frequency of clone fantasies, and the idea of fucking yourself.

And all of this reminds me of Donna Haraway, and cyborgs, and blurring all the lines between natural and unnatural.  I think twins perform that blurring (although obviously not in the same way that Haraway’s cyborgs do) and by blurring identity and self they create a safer space for sexual fantasy.

The sexualizing of identical twins may also provide women with a way to indulge multiple-person fantasies without claiming the slut label that would attach itself so stickily to someone who expressed an interest in multiple-person sex.  Saying you’d like to hook up with those twins is a slightly different thing than saying you’d like to hook up with those two unrelated people.  I’m not sure how this would factor into the twin thing happened in gay porn, though.  Slut-shaming is used as a weapon against women far more frequently than it is against men (and that could be a whole other post but instead I’ll just link to this post on Feministe about the difficulty with defining sluttiness and how the term is used as a weapon).

If I’m on the right track, I would say then that twins function similarly to the triangle that Eve Sedgwick describes, where two men fight over a woman and the woman acts as an intermediary for unspoken/unspeakable the desire between the men.  The twins would create a safe space and a buffer around the unspoken/unspeakable desire for multiple-person sex.

Obviously this is a little problematic because multiple-partner sex doesn’t carry quite the same stigma as homosexuality (or does it?  Am I just sheltered in my little sexually deviant world from the horrors of all the things that are not acceptable?)

Anyway, these are all just half-baked ideas but I’m interested in the sexuality of twins and I think it might warrant further thought and research.


~ by Gloom Fairy on May 27, 2010.

One Response to “The Sexuality of Twins”

  1. I’d say there are grounds for your siamese twin theory: more comfort deviating from hetero-normative sex with the illusion of one body. The siamese twins occupy somewhat of a liminal position because of their physicality as two beings in one body, and the ability to stray from the “norm” seems less daunting with a 2 in 1 deal. I wonder if they would then serve as a bridge to more deviant fetishes? A way of breaking the seal to unspeakable desires and fetishes?

    It also raises gender concerns – I was looking at my partner’s medical text books for some stats on conjoined twins, and the vast majority are female (approximately 70%). More complicated, however, are conjoined twins of the opposite sex. Obviously they would then represent two bodies, rather than one, or would they? How would conjoined twins of the opposite sex further complicate the incest fetish?

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