Or am I like a guy who can’t smell trying to appreciate perfume?As technology advances, so does the world of dating.Whatever her topic, Gay’s provocative essays stand out for their bravery, wit, and emotional honesty. Remember Galton’s experiments on visual imagination? The people without imaginations mastered this “metaphorical way of talking” so well that they passed for normal.Ozy: Well, sometimes people will tell you a certain food is high-status or healthy or a thing that everyone enjoys, and then I would like it.
I used to say my favorite color was black to be cool, but it is pink—all shades of pink. I read Vogue, and I’m not doing it ironically, though it might seem that way.Working on this one night, I sat in my room imagining a peach. This makes me wonder what universal human experiences I and my friends are missing out on without realizing it. He discovered he was color-blind sometime in his teens. People are always taking Ishihara tests (those colorful dotted circles with numbers inside of them) and discovering they’re color blind.I watched the juice ooze out as I squeezed at the soft fuzz. Going through life with everyone else saying “The light was red, but now it’s green” and thinking it was weird that they were making such a big deal about subtle variations in shades of brownish-gray, but it was probably one of those metaphors. I took a surprisingly long time to realize I was asexual.What’s surprising about this is that I didn’t even know it for the first half of my life. In gardens, I bent down and took a whiff of the roses. I never thought twice about any of it for fourteen years. It took the right stimulus before I finally discovered the gap.Each night I would tell my mom, “Dinner smells great! Then, in freshman English class, I had an assignment to write about the Garden of Eden using details from all five senses. So I guess you can just not be able to smell and not know it. And the people who did have good visual imaginations didn’t catch them. They assumed no one had it, and when people talked about being able to picture objects in their minds, they were speaking metaphorically.So the fact that people talk about what foods they like about a zillion times a day isn’t enough to make everyone realize liking foods is a thing. A high school friend posted on Facebook a link to a really interesting answer on Quora. All my behavior to that point indicated that I had smell. For years I simply hadn’t known what it was that was supposed to be there.It makes you log on, so I’ll copy the relevant part below: I have anosmia, which means I lack smell the way a blind person lacks sight. I just thought the way it was for me was how it was for everyone.But I had to write about smell, too, and I was stopped dead by the question of what a peach smelled like. In retrospect, pretty much every aspect of male sexual culture is a counterargument to that theory, but I guess it’s just really hard for my brain to generate “you are a mental mutant” as a hypothesis.But even bigger than that, I think I might not have had emotions, at least not fully, for about five years as a teenager when I was on SSRIs.