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Author Topic: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?  (Read 11391 times)

fayelovesbubbles

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What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« on: 14 May 2018, 18:35 »

Do you think Bubbles was mostly straight until she developed feelings for Faye? Or is she gay? Or bisexual?

I'd like to hear theories. This has never really been explored in the comic. We know that Faye was straight as an arrow until possibly developing feelings for Bubbles.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #1 on: 14 May 2018, 19:36 »

It's hard to tell with a recluse. For all we know she might have been completely asexual. On the other hand, of all the discomfort she's feeling, being attracted to a woman has not been an issue at all for her.
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pecoros7

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #2 on: 14 May 2018, 19:40 »

Bubbles's sexual and romantic interests, to the best of my knowledge, have never been discussed or even hinted at in the comic. It may be that she's never had any sexual or romantic feelings at all before she met Faye. As such, any speculation is pure fancy.
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fayelovesbubbles

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #3 on: 14 May 2018, 19:43 »

I like this answer the best. Bubbles is Faye-sexual. <3<3
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #4 on: 14 May 2018, 19:44 »

I tend to see her as asexual but romantically inclined, aside from her obvious interest in Faye we don't know if she's homo- or bi-romantic. Our understanding of robot sexuality is pretty low, and the only stuff that's been discussed is specific kinks, like Pintsize's...everything, and Roko's bread fetish. And maybe Jeremy and his romantic partner, but it's not really clear what their relationship constitutes. As robot/human relationships are edging on practically inter-species, maybe all the rules go out the window.
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fayelovesbubbles

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #5 on: 14 May 2018, 19:56 »

I mean...Roko, for example...I'd say she's straight, probably. She is clearly attracted to Clinton, though I'm not sure if anything will ever come of that. She's nervous and awkward so that's going to make things difficult. I would really like to see her find someone, though.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #6 on: 14 May 2018, 21:46 »

Bubbles's sexual and romantic interests, to the best of my knowledge, have never been discussed or even hinted at in the comic. It may be that she's never had any sexual or romantic feelings at all before she met Faye. As such, any speculation is pure fancy.

Yeah, this is what I think about Bubbles too. She went straight into the service, probably didn't have anything but camaraderie with her squadmates, and then was too traumatized to have any relationships after that. I would not be at all surprised if this is her first time getting involved in any way with anyone, which would totally explain why she's so nervous and uncertain about it.
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awgiedawgie

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #7 on: 14 May 2018, 22:08 »

This expands a little on something I had said earlier.

Bubbles was not designed for romance. She was designed for combat. It's very likely she has never had any romantic thoughts before, so even she did not know what her desires were. However, having been designed for human interaction, camaraderie, and dedication, romantic development would have always been possible, even if not likely.

When she lost her squad, she blamed herself, feeling that she had failed them somehow (even though it was no fault of hers). So her emotional center shut down completely. Faye was the first person who was caring, patient, loving - and yes, even stubborn - enough to reawaken her emotions. When her emotions awakened, they were far more intense than anything she had experienced before. She had never felt anything like that, so she understandably interpreted the feelings as romance. Whether that's what they really were at that point is immaterial. Even if they weren't, they may have since then developed into true eros (romantic) love. Then again, it may have been a misinterpretation all along, and may even now only be very intense philia (friendship) love. But regardless of which kind of love it is, this is undoubtedly the first time she has ever experienced it at this intensity. Her feelings for Faye are very strong, so she is quite reasonably unsure herself what she is feeling.

Having said all that, since she has likely only ever had feelings like this for one person, even she probably still does not know what her sexual orientation - if she even has one - is.


(And now that I've gone to all the trouble of writing this, I see someone else has just said something similar while I was typing)
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #8 on: 14 May 2018, 23:09 »

Bubbles was not designed for romance. She was designed for combat.

That's inaccurate. Bubbles told Momo that she was just a synthetic-in-the-street who chose to join the armed forces. The only thing that was designed for combat is her current chassis.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #9 on: 14 May 2018, 23:25 »

From today's comic, I'd say she's still trying to srt that out herself.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #10 on: 14 May 2018, 23:35 »

Bubbles was not designed for romance. She was designed for combat.

That's inaccurate. Bubbles told Momo that she was just a synthetic-in-the-street who chose to join the armed forces. The only thing that was designed for combat is her current chassis.
She did not say she was just a synthetic-in-the-street. An ordinary AI would be ineffective in that chassis, because it has features, sensors, scanners, that a civilian chassis does not. (Take Pintsize, for example. Given a military chassis, he discovered he had a laser he could fire at will, but he could not control it, because he was not designed for it.) She felt the call to serve because she was designed for it.
Quote from: Bubbles
I believed I was well-disposed toward such a role. As an artificial intelligence, I possess skills and features that my human counterparts do not. With this body, I am superhuman. A state of the art weapon that can think, reason, and empathize. What better soldier could there be?
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #11 on: 14 May 2018, 23:42 »

Wrong, wrong, wrong. You're totally misinterpreting everything she said to Momo. All she was saying that as a synthetic, she is more able to be an effective soldier than a human (that, indeed, any synthetic would be so) and, with the right chassis, she becomes superhuman. At no point does she even imply she was designed specifically for military purposes. Instead she clearly states that this was a career she chose.

FWIW, it is my belief that any AI can operate any chassis because the chassis operating software is local to the chassis, not something provided by the AI, which acts simply as the client using that software.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #12 on: 15 May 2018, 00:10 »

So far?  Bubbles is apparently Fayesexual. 

Not enough data to generalize. And for that matter there may actually be no generalization at all.
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pecoros7

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #13 on: 15 May 2018, 00:28 »

I'm going to have to side with BenRG on this point. Whatever she was doing before she joined the armed forces, she clearly says she chose to join. That implies that she was not purpose-built for it. It isn't even clear exactly how much control developers have over what properties an AI will have. Consider that Winslow wasn't "designed" to have fingers, yet he seems capable of using them effectively in his new chassis. That's a feat we have a hard time specifically designing robots for, let alone for software to pick up on the fly.

As for Pintsize's military laser? He simply didn't have the correct drivers for it.
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awgiedawgie

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #14 on: 15 May 2018, 00:57 »

Well, we'll just have to agree to disagree.
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fayelovesbubbles

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #15 on: 15 May 2018, 04:08 »

I like this. Bubbles has only ever had romantic feelings for Faye, and Faye's feelings for Bubbles are a first, too. "I've never been attracted to a lady...or a robot."
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #16 on: 15 May 2018, 04:15 »

My understanding is that the AIs are not designed at all. Rather, they are an emergent intelligence.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I don't think that approach will win anyone over to your opinion, just quietly.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #17 on: 15 May 2018, 04:31 »

Couldn't care less.

If she likes Faye, she likes Faye. Nothing else is comic relevant unless an ex or future partner joins.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #18 on: 15 May 2018, 09:34 »

I wouldn't assume Bubbles is 100% asexual (not in robot terms at least) given that she appeared to get a bit flustered over Seven's "three cables" comment: http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3500
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #19 on: 15 May 2018, 10:52 »

Couldn't care less.

If she likes Faye, she likes Faye. Nothing else is comic relevant unless an ex or future partner joins.

There could be dramatic conflict internally if Bubbles had considered herself heterosexual before this. Exploring such a hypothetical situation would be good writing.

That would be almost as good as if Bubbles is discovering her sexuality for the first time and has to figure it out at the same time her first partner is coming into her life.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #20 on: 15 May 2018, 11:42 »

Do you think Bubbles was mostly straight until she developed feelings for Faye? Or is she gay? Or bisexual?

I think that you need a new terminology for the relationships that include AIs. Certainly the terminology of human-to-human relationships is complex enough, but (in Jeph's universe) AIs add another layer to the dynamic.

We discuss human sexual orientation in one of a couple of ways: either as an orientation contrary to a human's chromosomal sex, or in terms of the chromosomal sex of their partners1. However, Bubbles (and Momo and Winslow and Spookybot and Pintsize and Punchbot, etc) apparently do not have a chromosomal sex (XX or XY), and (as they can change bodies "at will") don't even need to be restricted by chromosomal sex. They are not "assigned at birth".

Their "orientation" is irrelevant - some choose partners that we'd expect, some do not, and some don't choose partners at all. There's no need to classify Bubbles partnership (romantic or otherwise) with a human-to-human label, as the relationship is not one that a human can have with another human. Indeed, it may be a relationship (from Bubbles standpoint) that only exists as an AI-to-human relationship.

As a side question: How would you describe a partner for a "straight" Bubbles? Would it be
  • any AI, or
  • any AI that identifies as "male", or
  • any human that identifies as "male", or
  • any sentient (AI or human) that identifies as "male", or
  • any human, or
  • an entity not fitting the above descriptions?

How about "gay", with respect to Bubbles? Or "Bi"?

In other words, what do you mean when you ask about a "straight" Bubbles vs a "gay" or "bi" Bubbles?

1 This is not the discussion I want to contribute here. I have my own views, just as you have yours. They may disagree, but they do not conflict. You go your way, and I'll go mine. I have no beef with you.
« Last Edit: 15 May 2018, 12:51 by ToodleLew »
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #21 on: 15 May 2018, 14:17 »

In situations like that it's good to fall back on functional descriptions even though they are longer. "Into male robots" would be an example. We don't know where Bubbles started with but "Compatible with a female organic" fits. "Fayesexual" is shorter but leaves us in the dark about whether there could ever be a triangle with another woman.

There couldn't be. Bubbles's loyalty would override even sexual attraction.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #22 on: 15 May 2018, 14:26 »

There couldn't be. Bubbles's loyalty would override even sexual attraction.

Taking note of the existence of polyamory and that multiple partners does not automatically mean disloyalty, I still agree with you in this specific case. While sexuality can develop in ways that can surprise oneself (self-evidently, as the comic is showing), Faye has been explicitly monogamous in every relationship we've seen her in to this point, and Sven's unwillingness to meet her in that was the deal breaker. Bubbles we have not seen any evidence either way, but chances are if Faye has monogamy as a red-line, Bubbles wouldn't cross it whilst it was in place.
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pecoros7

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #23 on: 15 May 2018, 18:11 »

We discuss human sexual orientation in one of a couple of ways: either as an orientation contrary to a human's chromosomal sex, or in terms of the chromosomal sex of their partners1.

...

1 This is not the discussion I want to contribute here. I have my own views, just as you have yours. They may disagree, but they do not conflict. You go your way, and I'll go mine. I have no beef with you.

Yet that position is central to your thesis. You have argued that human sexuality labels don't apply because AI lack chromosomal sex. I would argue that you're wrong precisely because we do not define sexuality in relation to chromosomal sex. We define it in terms of gender. Those two things, while correlated, are not the same. Claire and Marten are not in a gay relationship because they both have Y chromosomes. They are in a straight relationship because Marten is a man and Claire is a woman. So in this case, our thoughts on the matter do indeed conflict. If we are in disagreement about how sexuality is defined in relation to sex and gender, then any arguments we make will be based on incompatible presuppositions and we can only talk past each other rather than with each other.
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awgiedawgie

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #24 on: 15 May 2018, 19:28 »

We discuss human sexual orientation in one of a couple of ways: either as an orientation contrary to a human's chromosomal sex, or in terms of the chromosomal sex of their partners1.

...

1 This is not the discussion I want to contribute here. I have my own views, just as you have yours. They may disagree, but they do not conflict. You go your way, and I'll go mine. I have no beef with you.

Yet that position is central to your thesis. You have argued that human sexuality labels don't apply because AI lack chromosomal sex. I would argue that you're wrong precisely because we do not define sexuality in relation to chromosomal sex.
I would add to that... What exactly is chromosomal sex? Human DNA is - in a manner of speaking - software that tells human cells (hardware) how to behave. So human chromosomal sex is, in fact, assigned in our "software", just as an AI's sex is assigned in their software - which basically means that AI's do have chromosomal sex. It's just defined by a slightly different process than in humans. That raises the question of an AI's gender, or sexual identity...

Can an AI whose software says they're female identify as a male? Who knows? We haven't seen any instances of AI transgenderism, but we've only met a handful of AIs. What if an AI whose software says they're female and who identifies as female is transferred into a chassis that appears male? Who knows? What if an AI whose software says they're male and who identifies as female is transferred into a toaster?

As I understand it, an AI's sex is indeed assigned at "birth". But a question that came up recently is whether that is a Read-Only value, or can it be changed - either by the AI themselves, or by someone else (such as when being transferred into a different chassis)? Can an AI simply choose to swap genders? Again, who knows? When Winslow said "I think I'm a boy", did he mean that he identifies as a boy - independent of that software value? Or did he mean that he was actually reading that value?

There are many questions about AIs that have never been answered in-comic, and some questions that even the AIs themselves don't know the answers to.

If one limits their conversation to the scope of their own personal views, or only what they know, they do themselves and those they converse with a great disservice. I have no doubt that my own personal beliefs are vastly divergent from the majority of the members (and in fact, I have no doubt that many of the members have views that are vastly divergent from each other), but I discuss topics in the scope of the entire community. I do not limit it to my own views. I have thereby learned a great deal about people who think very differently from myself. Has it changed the way I believe? No. But it has given me a greater awareness and respect for others.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #25 on: 15 May 2018, 21:50 »

> I have thereby learned a great deal about people who think very differently from myself.

This place is good for that.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #26 on: 16 May 2018, 01:26 »

> I have thereby learned a great deal about people who think very differently from myself.

This place is good for that.

ISN'T it, though!!  :)
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #27 on: 16 May 2018, 10:04 »

@pecoros7

As I said,
This is not the discussion I want to contribute here.

My thesis remains:
I think that you need a new terminology for the relationships that include AIs. Certainly the terminology of human-to-human relationships is complex enough, but (in Jeph's universe) AIs add another layer to the dynamic.

 There's no need to classify Bubbles partnership (romantic or otherwise) with a human-to-human label, as the relationship is not one that a human can have with another human. Indeed, it may be a relationship (from Bubbles standpoint) that only exists as an AI-to-human relationship.


And, again, I ask
How would you describe a partner for a "straight" Bubbles?  How about "gay", with respect to Bubbles? Or "Bi"?

In other words, what do you mean when you ask about a "straight" Bubbles vs a "gay" or "bi" Bubbles?

It appears that some here make the assumption (I've not seen it stated as canon) that AI sexuality is human sexuality. My thesis is that it may not be. My thesis is that AI-human sexuality is not necessarily AI-AI sexuality or human-human sexuality. It may be something more, something different, something else.

As a (very poor) analogy, some people have more than just a master-pet relationship with their animals. Indeed, such an expanded relationship is encouraged among certain groups. So, how would you classify those relationships? Is a dog handler-dog relationship something that you can classify in human terms ("friend"? "colleague"?), or is it something else, outside the terminology that we use to describe human-to-human relationships?

If that analogy doesn't do it for you, then how about Wookie-Human relationships? Human-Vulcan relationships? Is the joining of two sentient individuals of different species "hetero" or "gay" or "bi"? Well?
« Last Edit: 16 May 2018, 10:21 by ToodleLew »
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #28 on: 16 May 2018, 10:17 »

I've just a thought.

Is this topic even appropriate? My feeling is that it is not; I would find it unacceptable if someone asked in open forum what my sexual orientation was, so how is asking about Bubbles sexual orientation acceptable?

Now, I am as guilty as the rest of the posters here. My apologies to Bubbles and to those others that my contribution to this discussion might have offended.
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awgiedawgie

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #29 on: 16 May 2018, 10:37 »

I've just a thought.

Is this topic even appropriate? My feeling is that it is not; I would find it unacceptable if someone asked in open forum what my sexual orientation was, so how is asking about Bubbles sexual orientation acceptable?
I guess I don't see it that way. If I saw one of my friends suddenly getting romantic with someone of their own gender, and I didn't know they swung that way, I would ask some mutual acquaintances if they knew what our mutual friend's orientation was. And if the friend in question walked into the conversation, I would ask them. I know my friends pretty well, for the most part, and I don't think any of them would be offended by the whole thing, regardless of what their actual answer to the question may be.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #30 on: 16 May 2018, 12:15 »

I've just a thought.

Is this topic even appropriate? My feeling is that it is not; I would find it unacceptable if someone asked in open forum what my sexual orientation was, so how is asking about Bubbles sexual orientation acceptable?

Now, I am as guilty as the rest of the posters here. My apologies to Bubbles and to those others that my contribution to this discussion might have offended.
Global Moderator Comment Thought-provoking. For right now, if LGB people still feel included and welcome, it's appropriate because it's part of understanding Bubbles's reaction to understand how she thought she was oriented before Faye.
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fayelovesbubbles

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #31 on: 16 May 2018, 13:02 »

I don't mean any disrespect to Bubbles by asking this. If she was a real person, I might find a more tactful way of asking about her romantic history. That's fair. Maybe I should have worded it differently.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #32 on: 16 May 2018, 13:35 »

Bah, heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual... I think the readers might have missed something due to human bias.

I suspect that bit with Roko and the bread wasn't just a comedy segue, it was foreshadowing, indicating the next conflict after Faye and Bubbles own up to their feelings.

Namely, Bubbles sexuality might not fit any defined human categories, and they might be completely sexually incompatible, or at least very close to it. The next stage of their relationship (after acknowledging its existence) might be gradually feeling out how to make the intimacy side of things work. 

EDIT: For some reason this SMBC comic has been stuck in my head ever since I posted this comment.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2018, 15:53 by SmilingCat »
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Neko_Ali

Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #33 on: 16 May 2018, 13:41 »

I've just a thought.

Is this topic even appropriate? My feeling is that it is not; I would find it unacceptable if someone asked in open forum what my sexual orientation was, so how is asking about Bubbles sexual orientation acceptable?

Now, I am as guilty as the rest of the posters here. My apologies to Bubbles and to those others that my contribution to this discussion might have offended.
Global Moderator Comment Thought-provoking. For right now, if LGB people still feel included and welcome, it's appropriate because it's part of understanding Bubbles's reaction to understand how she thought she was oriented before Faye.

Speaking as someone on the LGB spectrum the topic doesn't bother me for that reason. But I don't see the point of it at all. We have exactly one point of reference when it comes to Bubble's sexuality. She's romantically attracted to Faye. There has been no indication to her romantic or sexual orientation beyond that, past or present. So the entire thread is strictly and literally baseless guesswork.
« Last Edit: 16 May 2018, 17:25 by Neko_Ali »
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Tova

Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #34 on: 16 May 2018, 16:22 »

I tend to agree with this. While the question per se (arguably) doesn't cross the line, because we have so little upon which to base a discussion of the topic, any serious attempt to answer the question quite probably would.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #35 on: 16 May 2018, 17:00 »

I would definitely say that Bubbles' sexual orientation is Faye.

 :-D
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #36 on: 16 May 2018, 20:40 »

Whoever came up with "Fayesexual" should pat themselves on the back.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #37 on: 16 May 2018, 20:50 »

I posted 'Fayesexual' in answer to the thread, then actually read the thread and saw that fayelovesbubbles posted it before I did.

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pecoros7

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #38 on: 16 May 2018, 21:46 »

I've just a thought.

Is this topic even appropriate? My feeling is that it is not; I would find it unacceptable if someone asked in open forum what my sexual orientation was, so how is asking about Bubbles sexual orientation acceptable?

Now, I am as guilty as the rest of the posters here. My apologies to Bubbles and to those others that my contribution to this discussion might have offended.

On this point, I agree with you. As someone who needs a handbag to carry all of my labels, I do get frustrated when my coworkers speculate about my orientation when all they have to go on is my pink phone case (I am not out at work). That is why my initial response to this thread was to reject the premise as pure fancy. The broader conversation about AI sexuality that emerged from that premise, however, is an interesting and valid one.

(click to show/hide)

Fair enough. While I still think conversation will be complicated if we start with different ideas about how we define sexuality, perhaps we can work around it.

The problem with the sci-fi analogies you offered is that they present the various alien species as having fundamentally human properties pertaining to sex and sexuality. They are presented to us as male or female and inter-species romances are couched in the same terms as intra-species romances. Rarely are we presented with romance between humans and a true other. Perhaps a slightly better analogy might be the Asari from Mass Effect since they are stated to be a non-gendered race, but the narrative clearly codes them as women and the relationships in ME are generally presented in those terms.

Generally, the AI in QC are presented in the same way; they have genders and identities that mirror our own. Bubbles, Momo, and May are women. Pintsize, Winslow, and Punchbot are men. That gender expression allows us to rather neatly present relationships in the same terms we use to describe relationships between human characters. Even relationships with AI who don't have a sense of gender can be talked about in the same terms as we discuss relationships with nonbinary people (like me). That same language still works just as well with AI as it does with humans.

But that's another point worth mentioning; that language doesn't always work for humans. Bisexual clearly works as a label for Dora, but does it work for Faye now that she's found herself attracted to Bubbles? Faye might not think so. Erika Moen of "Oh Joy, Sex Toy!" and "DAR" considered herself a lesbian until she met her husband, Matt. Her attraction to Matt seemed to be incidental and not in line with her usual attraction. Is she bi? Or is Matt an exception?

Just look at how the LGBTQ+ community uses its own initialism. Some stick with "LGBT", but you'll also see "LGBTQ", "LGBT+", "LGBTQIA", "LGBTQ+" (as I use), and others. Some people feel left out from the "LGBT" label and add other initials to foster more inclusion. Some people feel comfortable with using "queer" as an umbrella term, others do not. Some people see "queer" as an acceptable umbrella for non-heterosexual orientation only, others see it as an umbrella for all non-cis-het people. I use "LGBTQ+" to include people who feel comfortable with queer as an identifier and also + for people who don't.

Human sexuality is just so dang complicated that no set of labels will adequately describe everyone. Even if you cover the major categories, you still end up leaving a lot of nuance on the table. So we might very well need new labels for understanding human/AI relationships, but I think the appropriate thing to do is to let those labels emerge naturally from those relationships and the people who identify with them
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #39 on: 16 May 2018, 21:59 »

In theory I have nothing wrong with labeling Bubbles as Fayesexual and I do feel that is an accurate way to describe what we've seen regarding her feelings. However in a way it also feels... like a cop out? Hear me out. On paper it shouldn't matter at all if someone is straight or bi or gay or what have you but that's not how it works in the real world.

Even if Faye is the only person Bubbles has and ever will hold romantic feelings for, Faye is still a woman, and Bubbles is still a woman. Bubbles is a woman loving woman. And that's something to be acknowledged. She isn't straight.

I really hope this does not come across as accusatory or rude to you in any way because there is nothing actually wrong with anything with calling her fayesexual. I'm sure it'll be the most common answer and that's fine. I just want to explain why it rubs me the wrong way at first based off of similar discussions. I'm reminded of people reacting to characters in video games that are "playersexual". Saying that oh they aren't REALLY bi or gay or something, they'll date the player character regardless of gender, it doesn't REALLY count.

When I first saw fayesexual my gut reaction was people chirping that oh, bubbles doesn't REALLY like woman, she only likes this one specific person regardless of if Faye is a woman or not, it doesn't count!

Again, it's very clear to me that that's not at all what any of you are arguing. This conversation has been very respectful. I genuinely hope I'm not sounding hostile or anything of that sort. I just perhaps wanted to share a different perspective. (and if it matters, I personally see Bubbles as a lesbian.)
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pecoros7

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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #40 on: 16 May 2018, 22:21 »

...

Your feelings are real and valid and important! Thank you for sharing them.

I think I get what you're saying. Labeling Bubbles as "Fayesexual" feels like erasure. As much as having labels imposed on you by others (especially labels you don't personally identify with) feels like a violation, having people deny you the labels you do identify with feels like denying your personhood. We see it happen in a lot of ways. Bisexual people are sometimes denied their bisexuality by people who would define their sexuality according to their current relationship (she isn't really bi, she's with a man now). Gay and lesbian people are sometimes told they aren't really gay or lesbian if they admit to incidental heterosexual attraction. It's an awful thing to do to people.

It also denies the reality of how this relationship will be seen by the world at large and denies Bubbles (and Faye) the very real lived experiences of people in lesbian relationships. Those relationships carry a lot of societal baggage with them and denying them that label denies the existence of that baggage. It's a real problem for people, so thank you for bringing it up.

Personally, I don't mind people using the term "Fayesexual" because Bubbles being attracted to Faye and Faye being attracted to Bubbles is the only attraction that matters in this relationship. However, I wouldn't use it myself. As I said in the outset, any further speculation about Bubbles orientation is based on nothing. I would prefer to let Bubbles sense of orientation develop naturally and let her decide for herself what label or labels fit her best. To me "Fayesexual" feels dismissive of that process. But, like you, I don't think that is anyone's intention so I try not to mind it.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #41 on: 16 May 2018, 22:37 »

Quote from: pecoros7
It also denies the reality of how this relationship will be seen by the world at large and denies Bubbles (and Faye) the very real lived experiences of people in lesbian relationships. Those relationships carry a lot of societal baggage with them and denying them that label denies the existence of that baggage. It's a real problem for people, so thank you for bringing it up.

That lived experience, now that I think back, made Tai even more well qualified to answer the Code 3. I hope she will help them through the knots. I wonder if Faye could have a useful conversation with her sister.

Faye and Bubbles are going to run into a lot of baggage that they may not be able to share with others. They are the first inter-species couple we've even heard of.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #42 on: 16 May 2018, 22:39 »

Thank you peceros, I think you explained the points I was trying to make even better than I was. I completely agree. Nothing wrong with calling her Fayesexual, but for the reasons listed, I won't be calling her that myself.

Also I'd love to have Faye and Bubbles sit down with Dora and Tai and just talk about their feelings regarding their orientations. Would probably be good for them.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #43 on: 16 May 2018, 22:57 »

May it be so. Now is the time they need connection and support. Marten was wonderful and will be again but all his knowledge of same-sex relationships is secondhand.

Dora and Tai can model a healthy same-sex romantic relationship, and I hope the new couple goes online and finds a Skype-based support group for intesrpecies couples.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #44 on: 16 May 2018, 23:45 »

FWIW, the only other time we've seen Bubbles react with arousal to anything was when Seven told Faye that she and Jeremy had 'burned out six USB cables last night'. That does suggest that she normally reacts only to synthetic erotic imagery and experiences. So, maybe she and Faye really are alike as mutual exceptions - the only ones aside from their normal orientation.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #45 on: 17 May 2018, 00:45 »

We are discussing the sexuality of AIs in terms that precisely mirror those for humans.

My question is, has a form of sexuality similar to that of humans arisen as part of the emergence of the AI mind itself, or has it been (consciously or unconsciously) imposed on them, and if so, by whom - the society in which they have emerged, the author, or us, the readership?
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #46 on: 17 May 2018, 04:45 »

The term “Fayesexual” probably was inspired by the fact that I called Faye “Bubblesexual” in some late-nights ramblings a couple of weeks ago. And I stand by what I said then, which is that while it may be accurate in describing where Faye is at the moment, it’s not really helpful.

It’s human nature to categorize things. It is also, alas, human nature to categorize people. To some extent the analysis is necessary - you need to realize that, due to societal expectations, people in non-heterosexual relationships do have different experiences. So yeah, we break things down to try to understand them better.

The place where we all too often fail, though, is in recognizing that after we have broken things down, we have to put them back together. Otherwise all we have is a pile of discrete categories with no recognition that they are part of a whole. Sure, people in gay/bi/poly/fayesexual relationships have different experiences. But they also have similar ones. They are all human relationships because we are all humans. (I count QC AIs as human because the way Jeph writes them, they essentially are.)

It’s a balancing act. We have to recognize the unique experiences that non-straight people have without putting them into the category of “other”. We can’t go to extremes, because at one extreme lies erasure and at the other lies dehumanization. Reality, as usual, lies somewhere in the middle.

So, in summary: The relationship between Faye and Bubbles is unique, because we’ve never seen an organic/synthetic romantic relationship before, and the fact that they both identify as female adds another layer of complexity to that. It is also like every other mutually romantic relationship since the beginning of time, since it involves two people who care deeply for each other. And if the first part is not in my personal experience, the second part certainly is.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #47 on: 17 May 2018, 05:15 »

I've just a thought.

Is this topic even appropriate? My feeling is that it is not; I would find it unacceptable if someone asked in open forum what my sexual orientation was, so how is asking about Bubbles sexual orientation acceptable?

Now, I am as guilty as the rest of the posters here. My apologies to Bubbles and to those others that my contribution to this discussion might have offended.
Global Moderator Comment Thought-provoking. For right now, if LGB people still feel included and welcome, it's appropriate because it's part of understanding Bubbles's reaction to understand how she thought she was oriented before Faye.

Speaking as someone on the LGB spectrum the topic doesn't bother me for that reason. But I don't see the point of it at all. We have exactly one point of reference when it comes to Bubble's sexuality. She's romantically attracted to Faye. There has been no indication to her romantic or sexual orientation beyond that, past or present. So the entire thread is strictly and literally baseless guesswork.

Pretty much my thoughts. I'm not offended by it, per se, as a queer person. I just think it's totally pointless conjecture.
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #48 on: 17 May 2018, 05:27 »

Do you think Bubbles was mostly straight until she developed feelings for Faye? Or is she gay? Or bisexual?

I'd like to hear theories. This has never really been explored in the comic. We know that Faye was straight as an arrow until possibly developing feelings for Bubbles.

Why does it matter? She loves Faye. That's all we need to know—unless you are curious if she's had other relationships. ;)

Orientation is usually finite (especially for people who are extremes on the Kinsey scale), but not always—especially for those of us who are bi. If we are attracted to multiple genders/sexes, lot of things can influence how we swing—from experiences (positive or negative) to hormones to age to the individual people we fall for. Given that Bubbles is a robot (versus a human with organic functions), can there even be a semi-realistic discussion of this? I think it comes down to that she is at least bi and has let her defenses down enough to fall in love. Whether or not Faye is her first is a big question given it appears she was always a war machine, but whether or not she had relationships before (or even after) her traumatic is impossible to know unless she tells us or we get it from the WOG.
« Last Edit: 17 May 2018, 05:36 by BlueFatima »
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Re: What is Bubbles' sexual orientation?
« Reply #49 on: 17 May 2018, 10:17 »

Interesting that people see "Fayesexual" applied to Bubbles as a pejorative.   My reaction was that it speaks to Bubbles' hard-wired loyalty.   

Is this component of her personality a characteristic of her synthetic nature, something that comes from AIs' being modeled on organics, or is it something that is both and neither, something that will inhabit a sentient host no matter what it's made of? 

Damn, am I describing a soul?
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