3 of 5: EcoSex @ U Conn – Diamond’s Sexual Fluidity – Student Responses: Alissa’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.
The concept of sexual fluidity is not a concept I had been familiar with previously, but
the author explains the topic in a convincing manner than exposes many unknown studies and ideas that she has learned through her own longitudinal study. Lisa Diamond’s study I find to be very interesting because society is so concerned with labels and classifying people that people just assume sexuality is black and white, you like men or you like women. Society has trouble accepting that a person may not be sexually attracted to a specific gender or that they may be attracted to both. I like how the author was able to include quotes and bios about the various people in her study because it brought up scenarios that people would not necessarily have thought of.
The most important idea that I think this novel focuses on is the idea that each person defines their sexual orientation differently and that sexual orientation should not have parameters, but people should rather love who they love. Being confined to a label conflicts people more often than not because they do not feel that they are living up to what a true lesbian is or what a true homosexual is. Sexual fluidity allows people to change who they are attracted to and their orientation without having to put a label on their feelings. I never made the distinction that those people who considered themselves bisexual felt that it was not a right fit because it implied having an equal attraction to men and women. The average person in society with minimal knowledge of sexual orientation would think that bisexual, homosexual, heterosexual, and even pansexual would cover all the areas. On the other hand, putting any label on sexual orientation conflicts people for their circumstances may seem abnormal and they would just prefer if they were not categorized with a specific group.
A subject area covered in the novel that was new to me was the idea that men’s and women’s sexual identity can be separated further since they do not react in a similar manner. For example the author talks about how women tend to have more periods of fluidity throughout childhood and adulthood whereas men tend to be more settled with an orientation later in life. Another piece that was odd to me was how homosexual men and homosexual men would be sexually aroused by respective attractions, but in the case of women they responded to all of the videos that were displayed. This concept makes me believe that women are more open to other types of attraction, while men to have more stability in their orientation.
Why do you think the term sexual fluidity applies more to women than men? Do you think this has to do with the personalities and qualities that are stereotyped as masculine and feminine?
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