Op-Ed: My sexual awakening was the first black hole photo

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Last Wednesday, astronomers made history when they released the first ever image of a black hole. After a collective effort of mammoth proportions including a Silicon Valley collaboration, eight high powered telescopes, and “the data equivalent of 1.39 billion copies of ‘Old Town Road’ by Lil Nas X”(Inverse) Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity was finally confirmed in the form of a blurry, triumphant photograph. While this project is an incredibly impressive feat, the final image was unsurprising to many scientists who had already mathematically predicted its shape. But although scientists were lucky to have their hypotheses confirmed, the black hole dubbed M87 may have had the inadvertent consequence of undoing your hypotheses about your own sexuality. I know I’m not the only one when I say that M87 was personally responsible for sending me spiraling into sexual turmoil. I want to assure you that fitfully waking up in the middle of the night sweating bullets, having your heart rate rapidly increase when your friends bring *it* up in casual conversation, and obsessing about it for hours on end is perfectly normal. Don’t be shamed by others, and don’t be afraid to say it, loud and proud: M87 turned me on. Anyone can fall prey to this seductive image certainly in part due to its maddening, stirring ambiguity. What you find as you drink in the seductive image of M87 lies in personal preference. The alluring ovoid center will assume whatever form of genitalia the viewer so desires. Although this discovery may mark a remarkable turning point in astrophysics, M87 has bestowed upon humanity something even more valuable: a faultless, contemporary Rorschach Test for sexuality. The black hole’s fiery color works to further heighten the wanton, libidinous feelings you may have experienced when gazing into its sensual abyss. In short, one stolen glance at M87 can do the arduous work of figuring out your sexuality for you. Up until this point, my sexual awakening felt like it was 55 million light years away, but the black hole pic was so sexy that it literally forced me to reckon with my own sexual repression.

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