1 of 5 – EcoSex @ U Conn – Diamond’s Sexual Fluidity – Student Responses: Adam’s Take
The EcoSex course at U Conn is complete. It was a great experience. We spent time reading amazing books. And here we resume posts to be shared with you. Thinking out of the box and across disciplines. Students had been sending their responses in, with discussion questions. In class, we did connected the dots: a holograph of what we’ve read together, the “required readings.” Multiple perspectives and good synergy. Here, we offer a glimpse. Lisa Diamond’s Sexual Fluidity was one of two cultural-theory theory books. We got five responses: from Adam, Michael, Alissa, John, and Rhiann.
I found “Sexual Fluidity”, by Lisa Diamond, to be an interesting read that takes a courageous position on a subject many people do not feel comfortable discussing – women’s sexuality. However,
though this book is primarily about the sexual fluidity of women, its implications for the sexuality and behaviors of men are ever-present, as well; Diamond’s work and theories, I felt, could be connected to my own personal set of feelings, as a man, while keeping the central topic of discussion the sexuality of women.
Diamond claims that there is a link between gender atypicality and same-sex sexuality. This made me pause and reflect; I do not often express typical ‘masculine’ gendered traits, not so in my mannerisms or my dress style, though I also would not say that my ‘natural’ behavior is noticeably and remarkably feminine, either. I do not identify as heterosexual, I prefer to distance myself from labels; in this, I noticed that I fell neatly into Diamond’s theory.
Diamond’s argument for sexual fluidity forced me to look at my own sexual identity, an identity which I feel has never been very concrete; I have gone back and forth between heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, and even asexual labels. As I read, I was reminded of pansexuality, a label with which I was familiar, but never considered applying to myself. However, as I was recollecting all the feelings I had ever had, I was forced yet again to re-examine my sexuality, a topic that has always been difficult for me to confront. Though I have had physical and psychological attractions to men, I have found that biological sex is not as much of a limit for me as I thought it was. It has only happened twice, but I have been physically attracted to women who exhibited masculine gender expression (both were lesbians). In addition, it is with women with whom I have developed deep emotional attachments and relationships, never with men. Though I still consider myself to be unlabeled, if I needed to provide a concrete answer, I would now choose pansexual over homosexual.
My question is – how can the concept of female sexual fluidity be presented meaningfully in a way that would be more difficult to misconstrued and misuse by those who merely wish to subjugate, in a western world that is obsessed with strict labels?
Let “nature” be your teacher in the arts of love. Education is the heart of democracy, education to love. Come back for more wonders: Students Responses have resumed, to appear now every Tuesday. More Book Reports to be scheduled soon, every other Thursday.
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia,Eros, and many other books about loveProfessor of Humanities