Serena Gaia

Make love the ecology of your life

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4 of 4: EcoSex @ U Conn – Ryan and Jetha’s Sex at Dawn – Student Responses: Rhiann’s Take

Dear Earthlings:


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.  Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha’s Sex at Dawn was one of two cultural-theory theory books.  We got five responses: from Adam, Michael, Alexandra, and Rhiann. 


Here is Rhiann’s take:

Response to Sex at Dawn

The topic I felt most compelled to respond to in the text, Sex at Dawn, was the section titled, “The Famously Flaccid Female Libido.” The section starts with a quote by Charles Darwin. 
It states, “the female… with the rarest exception, is less eager than the male…” The authors go on to say that, “hundreds, if not thousands, of studies have claimed to confirm the flaccidity of the female libido” (Ryan 52). A 1989 study done in Florida State University was explained to illustrate where the assumption that women are sexually flaccid derives from. In the study, an attractive college student would walk up to members of the opposite sex and offer a compliment and ask them to go to bed with them that evening. About 75% of males said yes and many who said no suggested a different night. On the other hand, not one female said yes to the same proposal. This study supposedly concludes that women are not interested in casual sex and do not have a sex drive. The text also suggests that these results are conducive to theories that woman “instinctively barter sex to get things from men” and in order to maintain said value of intercourse they abstain from casual sex (Ryan 52).

            My reaction to this passage was negative. I believe the authors would side with me and wrote this passage to shed light upon this assumption. I felt smothered as I read the quotes of these great thinkers. As I read this section, I realized that my personal struggles with my sexuality can be considered a product of these assumptions. The theory that women do not have a strong libido that has been proven by men and weak studies has shaped culture so much that it’s effects are reverberating through my life today. I personally, feel the need to make sure that my “number” of sexual partners is very low because I do not want to be perceived as promiscuous. On the other hand, I struggle with cognitive dissonance. Part of me wants to keep the amount of people I engage in intercourse with low and part of me wants to explore my sexuality. I find myself to a have a sexually open personality but have yet to attempt to explore this because I feel as if there is a societal demand to keep my “number” particularly low. I struggle with these two opposing thoughts all the time. After reading this section, I now realize how deep and old this assumption is that has affected how I perceive myself and monitor my own sexuality. To me, this is unfair to myself and all women. I can only hope that through this class I will start to let go of the societal demands I and other women succumb to on a daily basis.

Rhiann Peterson
Published with permission

WGSS 3998 – Ecosexuality and the Ecology of Love
Prof. Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
U Conn, Storrs, Spring 2013

Dear Earthlings:
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.  

Namaste,
 
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about loveProfessor of Humanities
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Join Our Mailing List
   
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3 of 4: EcoSex @ U Conn – Ryan and Jetha’s Sex at Dawn – Student Responses: Alexandra’s Take

Dear Earthlings:


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.  Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha’s Sex at Dawn was one of two cultural-theory theory books.  We got four responses: from Adam, Michael, Alexandra, and Rhiann. 


Here is Alexandra’s take:

Response to Sex at Dawn

          

The following is a response to The Pervert’s Lament. The idea that testosterone increases libido is valid. That being said, estrogen, also increases libido. Thus, claiming
that men have a higher sex drive than women based on their hormones, which is implied by the man’s statement, “The most overwhelming feeling was the incredible increase in libido and change in the way I perceived women… Everything I looked at, everything I touched turned into sex… I felt like a monster… It made me understand men.” I do not deny that the man, recently undergone a sex change, felt this way. I argue that he either was experiencing the placebo effect, or had higher testosterone levels as a man relative to the testosterone levels he had as a woman. Men are not inherently “monsters” due to their biology, nor are men more sexually inclined than females. Thinking this increases a belief in a destructive social more that is often cited as the cause of rape culture. “Boys just can’t control themselves,” people say. This then excuses men from acts of rape and also demonizes them as the monsters who would partake in such acts. This is a self fulfilling prophecy. If we raise men to believe that they are inherently more sexual than women, they will act more sexual than women.
 While I agree that sexual oppression sparks many suicides I would argue that men commit more suicides than women not because they are more sexual than women, but because social standards for masculine gender are much more rigid than social standards for feminine. In a recent poll men and women were asked what they most feared. The majority of men said humiliation, while the majority of women said rape or murder. This reflects the intense pressure placed on men to fulfil a specific role in society. Humiliation stems from failure in business or in bed, and thus reflect failure of showcasing oneself as a man. This makes men more susceptible to small irritants and lower self esteem and happiness levels. Furthermore, men are not “allowed” to fear rapes or murders because it would reflect a certain unmanliness. “If you are strong, as legitimate men are, then you will be able to easily fend off assaults,” states society. I believe that such rigorous social constructs for the male gender create engendered rage. Men, feel trapped in a stagnant identity. If they try and escape said identity they are ridiculed not by females, but by other men. Men hate “feminine” characteristics in other men because they fear the “feminine” characteristics that rest in their own souls. This explains the high rates of homophobia in men. Thus, men both control and are slaves to societal norms. The only way out? Suicide.

Questions: Which do you think are more intense- gender norms for men or females?

Do you believe in inherent personality differences between men and women based on “sex” (biological aspects)?

Alexandra Mayer
Published with permission

WGSS 3998 – Ecosexuality and the Ecology of Love
Prof. Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
U Conn, Storrs, Spring 2013

Dear Earthlings:
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.  

Namaste,
 
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about loveProfessor of Humanities
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Join Our Mailing List
   
Follow us in the social media
Poly Planet GAIA Blog: 
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Be Appraised of Ecosex Community Project PostaHouse  Become a Fan: www.facebook.com/GaiaBlessings 
Author’s Page/Lists all books: 
YouTube Uploaded Videos: http://www.youtube.com/SerenaAnderlini
 

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2 of 4: EcoSex @ U Conn – Ryan and Jetha’s Sex at Dawn – Student Responses: Michael’s Take

Dear Earthlings:


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.  Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha’s Sex at Dawn was one of two cultural-theory theory books.  We got five responses: from Adam, Michael, Alissa, John, and Rhiann. 


Here is Michael’s take:

Response to Sex at Dawn

           

I enjoyed Sex at Dawn as it provides an interesting bridge point between a lot of the ideas discussed by authors like Margulis in terms of evolutionary history and the history of

cooperation and those of authors like Diamond and the broader readings about eco-sexuality, polyamory, and sexual fluidity.

            One aspect that permeates the book though that I don’t necessarily agree with is their arguments about selfishness and cooperation and their criticism of Richard Dawkins’s seminal work The Selfish Gene. While Dawkins certainly does extrapolate his arguments about genetic evolution to explain selfishness in individuals, I think they misrepresent his article. The fundamental selfish actor in Dawkins hypothesis is DNA. He sees the ever-increasing complexity and superfluousness of genetic sequences in organisms as being the selfishness of DNA. He isn’t saying that humans possess a gene that encodes selfishness, but rather that life is the consequence of nucleic acid bases wanting to propagate themselves selfishly and that any selfishness we exhibit is a consequence of that.

            I further disagree with their notion that selfishness and cooperation aren’t both engrained into us on an evolutionary basis. Early humans had to cooperate within their clans but ultimately treated competing clans in a manner we’d deem selfish. I think ultimately it would be most beneficial if we treated everybody as a clan member and cooperated, but a selfish desire to propagate our clans DNA over that of another clan is something I think that has been a part of our nature for a long time and that we cannot escape.

Do you agree with their interpretation of jealousy in popular music?

Mchael Maranets
Published with permission

WGSS 3998 – Ecosexuality and the Ecology of Love
Prof. Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
U Conn, Storrs, Spring 2013

Dear Earthlings:
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.  

Namaste,
 
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about loveProfessor of Humanities
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Join Our Mailing List
   
Follow us in the social media
Poly Planet GAIA Blog: 
http://polyplanet.blogspot.com/ 

Be Appraised of Ecosex Community Project PostaHouse  Become a Fan: www.facebook.com/GaiaBlessings 
Author’s Page/Lists all books: 
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1 of 4: EcoSex @ U Conn – Ryan and Jetha’s Sex at Dawn – Student Responses: Adam’s Take

Dear Earthlings:


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.  Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha’s Sex at Dawn was one of two cultural-theory theory books.  We got five responses: from Adam, Michael, Alexandra, and Rhiann. 


Here is Adam’s take:

Response to Sex at Dawn

            I had already purchased and owned “Sex at Dawn” years before I knew it would be on the list of readings required for a college class. Probably my favorite book that we
have read so far, “Sex at Dawn”, by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá, is informative, multi-disciplinary, well-written, and ultimately a funny read which caused me, at multiple times, to sit back, look at myself and my surroundings, and reflect.
            Sex at Dawn” discusses both the evolutionary and cultural roles of sex through time, much like Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan did in “Mystery Dance”, though Margulis and Sagan might be annoyed that the authors primarily only looked at the sexuality of primates. In addition, the book covers an emotional/psychological perspective, similar to the way that Deborah Anapol does in “The Seven Natural Laws of Love”. The healthy dualism sprinkled with feminist perspectives and ideals made “Sex at Dawn” truly enjoyable for someone of my background and beliefs; I could identify with much of what was brought up with ease.
             Many critics say “the book downplays ways that monogamy can be evolutionarily adaptive,[1] and that the book over-exaggerates human promiscuity and similarity to bonobos” (Wikipedia article on Sex at Dawn), points with which I disagree. The authors never say that monogamy is essentially wrong or estranged from the human condition; they merely make the argument that we evolved from polyandrous roots and, in many ways, still have polyandrous needs and desires. To the “similarity with bonobos” argument, the authors say that we share an obscene amount of genes with bonobos, generally have similar social tendencies, and that, until about 200,000 years ago, were likely indistinguishable – all points with which I agree.
            In the beginning, one of the authors, presumably Christopher Ryan, recalls a story in which he temporarily reverted back to his primal, animalistic defense instincts in order to protect himself and his girlfriend from an attacking monkey. My question is – do you distinctly recall a time or times when you succumbed to your base, primal instincts? And if so, how did you feel and what were the responses of those who witnessed your exhibition, if any people did?

Adam Kocurek
Published with permission

WGSS 3998 – Ecosexuality and the Ecology of Love
Prof. Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
U Conn, Storrs, Spring 2013

Dear Earthlings:
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.  

Namaste,
 
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about loveProfessor of Humanities
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Join Our Mailing List
   
Follow us in the social media
Poly Planet GAIA Blog: 
http://polyplanet.blogspot.com/ 

Be Appraised of Ecosex Community Project PostaHouse  Become a Fan: www.facebook.com/GaiaBlessings 
Author’s Page/Lists all books: 
YouTube Uploaded Videos: http://www.youtube.com/SerenaAnderlini
 

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5 of 5: EcoSex @ U Conn – Diamond’s Sexual Fluidity – Student Responses: Rihann’s Take

Dear Earthlings:


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. 


Here is Rihann’s take:

 

The section I chose to respond to in Sexual Fluidity regards attraction as unbiased by gender schemas. I’ve always thought that I was more attracted to people’s souls and the mental connection

that I have with said person. However, I had never listed the things I like about my intimate partners before and analyzed the characteristics in terms of gender neutral. Many of the characteristics I consider myself attracted to are gender neutral as well as personality based. However, I have never found myself sexually or romantically attracted to a woman even though the things I like about the men I’ve been with are not specific to men. This concept really made me think. In my life time, could I one day find myself interested in a woman? I had never contemplated this before. To be honest the question makes me a little uncomfortable that I do not know the answer. I wonder if my peers had similar reactions to this section or have experiences with being attracted to the person not the gender.

            Additionally, Sarah’s story really struck me. There’s something special about female best friends that live together. I do have a very deep connection and relationship with my roommate. Although, I have never been attracted to her sexually, the things I like about my lovers and intimate partners I also like about her. I also recognize that she is an attractive woman. It’s weird to think that these premises match the premises of Sarah’s story. Again, it makes me uncomfortable to relate our relationship to Sarah and Nadine’s. I assume that this is because I come from a very heteronormative background and have never considered being anything else. Ultimately, their story made me think and look at my relationship with my best friend and roommate. I noticed how much our relationship resembles as dating relationship minus a sexual aspect. It’s interesting to me to contemplate our bond in concordance with attraction. These were my reactions to the text and I look forward to elaborating on them. I’m very curious to hear about my peers relationships and attraction to their best friends and lovers.

Rihann Peterson
Published with permission

WGSS 3998 – Ecosexuality and the Ecology of Love
Prof. Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
U Conn, Storrs, Spring 2013

Dear Earthlings:
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.  

Namaste,
 
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about loveProfessor of Humanities
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Join Our Mailing List
   
Follow us in the social media
Poly Planet GAIA Blog: 
http://polyplanet.blogspot.com/ 

Be Appraised of Ecosex Community Project PostaHouse  Become a Fan: www.facebook.com/GaiaBlessings 
Author’s Page/Lists all books: 
YouTube Uploaded Videos: http://www.youtube.com/SerenaAnderlini
 

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4 of 5: EcoSex @ U Conn – Diamond’s Sexual Fluidity – Student Responses: John’s Take

Dear Earthlings:


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. 


Here is John’s take:

I found this book to be very interesting, albeit a little bizarre in the self-referential aspect. As a male, reading a book that declares its intention to broaden the horizons of female

sexual identity, it was hard for me not to read it with my own experiences in mind.

Pretty much universally, I liked reading it. Lisa Diamond has a nice voice that makes her concepts easy to understand, however they are a bit long winded. She makes a compelling argument for looking at sexuality, females in particular, as a fluid rather than an identifiable label such as heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. Being the big grammar nerd that I am, I’m typically of the opinion that if you have sexual contact with only the opposite sex, you are heterosexual. If you have sexual contact with only the same sex, you are homosexual. If you have sex with both, then you are bisexual. I don’t see the problem with this classification linguistically, but the problem with “bisexuality” as a concept is that it is culturally understood as a transitional form of sexuality, rather than an actual category. I can’t find the page number, but there’s a section where Diamond asks the reader to identify which of her examples comes off as bisexual, and I would say all of them. I don’t find anything derogatory with saying that. It’s just the word itself for me. I identify as heterosexual because I cannot ever see myself in a sexual relationship with another man. In a world and in a life with so many uncertainties, I’m at least glad to have that down.

What’s the real goal of the book’s reorientation of labels? At the end of the day, if “the women who kept the same identity for the whole ten years proved to be the smallest and most atypical group,” (65), then aren’t we all really sort of sexually fluid? Or just the women? What’s the point of sexual identity if that’s the case? We seem to be moving in a direction of no labels: an area where identity is so entirely individual and personal that there’s nothing substantial there to replace it.

That being said, I can appreciate fully the value of her science and the book’s purpose. Because life doesn’t necessarily follow logical or clear-cut lines (like along grammatical boundaries) so why should sexuality? No one wants to be looked at as “developing” if they’re settled into a bisexual (or as Diamond calls it, non-exclusive sexuality) framework that they believe is a permanent state of being. Nor do they want to be stigmatized for being “confused” if “queer” will give them more credibility in the alternative sexuality community.

But I don’t feel satisfied with this book. It seems to be the inverse of Dr. Anapol’s “The Seven Natural Laws of Love.” Anapol’s Laws can really apply to any situation. All of her laws are applicable to family, friends, lovers, animals, even the Earth, but there’s a distinguishable difference between the love one feels for a parent and the love one feels for a lover. It’s pretty universally established that one cannot love a parent in the same way as a lover. Diamond’s “Sexual Fluidity” seems to follow this same path, just in a physical, rather than esoteric, way. For example, Diamond’s subjects have to “decide whether their sexual identity was better categorized by patterns of “love” or patterns of “lust,” and they had to fore- cast what sort of relationships they might desire in the future,” (77). She goes on to conclude that lesbian or bisexual identities are more about degree of attachment (love vs. lust) than about a personal commitment to one sexual exclusivity or the other.

I don’t even know how to formulate my question. Ok, so sex doesn’t matter when determining a mate. Or at least, it shouldn’t. I really enjoyed the chapter “Attractions to ‘the Person, Not the Gender,’” because it opened all sorts of new understandings about falling in love with a person, with their gender in the background as opposed to the conventional “boy meets girl” narrative. I think this is important, and it would be interesting to see a comparative study on men.

I think I’m in the minority of men in that I don’t typically like to hookup. The few times I’ve actually had sexual encounters that were short lived, they were unsatisfying and not experiences I was eager to repeat. I prefer to at least know my partners at some level. Once, I went home with a girl I met, and it was supposed to be a one-night stand. It was sex. Fine whatever. But we traded numbers, got to know each other, and while I don’t know if we fit all of Dr. Anapol’s laws, the sex certainly became more intimate because we were attracted to each other as people, not as sex objects.

I like the book. It was geared toward women as a study in women’s sexuality. It was very interesting, I’m just seeing how Chapters like 6 apply across the board. 
John Nitowski
Published with permission

WGSS 3998 – Ecosexuality and the Ecology of Love
Prof. Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
U Conn, Storrs, Spring 2013

Dear Earthlings:
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.  

Namaste,
 
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about loveProfessor of Humanities
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Join Our Mailing List
   
Follow us in the social media
Poly Planet GAIA Blog: 
http://polyplanet.blogspot.com/ 

Be Appraised of Ecosex Community Project PostaHouse  Become a Fan: www.facebook.com/GaiaBlessings 
Author’s Page/Lists all books: 
YouTube Uploaded Videos: http://www.youtube.com/SerenaAnderlini
 

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3 of 5: EcoSex @ U Conn – Diamond’s Sexual Fluidity – Student Responses: Alissa’s Take

Dear Earthlings:


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. 


Here is Alissa’s take:





 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?

Alissa Maus
Published with permission

WGSS 3998 – Ecosexuality and the Ecology of Love
Prof. Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
U Conn, Storrs, Spring 2013

Dear Earthlings:
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.  

Namaste,
 
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about loveProfessor of Humanities
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Join Our Mailing List
   
Follow us in the social media
Poly Planet GAIA Blog: 
http://polyplanet.blogspot.com/ 

Be Appraised of Ecosex Community Project PostaHouse  Become a Fan: www.facebook.com/GaiaBlessings 
Author’s Page/Lists all books: 
YouTube Uploaded Videos: http://www.youtube.com/SerenaAnderlini
 

Find us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our profile on LinkedInView our videos on YouTubeVisit our blog 

http://polyplanet.blogspot.com
Please follow and like us:
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2 of 5: EcoSex @ U Conn – Diamond’s Sexual Fluidity – Student Responses: Michael’s Take

Dear Earthlings:


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. 


Here is Michael’s take:

Overall, I found Sexual Fluidity to be a fascinating book to read. The early chapters discussion of the various sexual orientation studies were particularly interesting for me because I had

never realized the degree to which these studies had focused on male sexual orientation and excluded the experiences of women because they confounded the data. Similarly, I was also engaged by the books discussion of the genetics of sexual orientation and particularly the hormonal doses in utero and the effects these had. Given that all of this discussion was an application of epigenetics I found it to be particularly compelling from a scientific perspective because Diamond’s findings seemed to indicate there were a plethora of yet undiscovered interactions between which genes are activated by androgen hormones and what effect the over-expression or inactivation of these genes by differing levels of androgen have on the genetics of human sexuality. This early groundwork certainly helped direct me towards her subsequent research with curiosity and a more open mind, confident of its grounding in the biology underlying her research.

Once I had finished reading the book, I think I connected to the idea of the attraction to the person and not the gender. While I certainly agree with Diamond’s idea that certain characteristics that we may find attractive are gender neutral, I think there is a lot of truth to her claim that the individuals she studied could be attracted to the person and not the gender. I think this is true to a degree even amongst those who are less fluid in their sexuality, either because they are males or are not attracted to both genders. There is certainly plenty of anecdotal evidence of fleeting attractions by otherwise non-fluid individuals in a direction more analogous to the fluidity that Diamond investigates.

Do you agree with her general hypothesis regarding women’s sexuality being more fluid than males?




Michael Maranets
Published with permission

WGSS 3998 – Ecosexuality and the Ecology of Love
Prof. Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
U Conn, Storrs, Spring 2013

Dear Earthlings:
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.  

Namaste,
 
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about loveProfessor of Humanities
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
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1 of 5 – EcoSex @ U Conn – Diamond’s Sexual Fluidity – Student Responses: Adam’s Take

Dear Earthlings:


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. 


Here is Adam’s take:

            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?
Adam Kocurek
Published with permission

WGSS 3998 – Ecosexuality and the Ecology of Love
Prof. Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
U Conn, Storrs, Spring 2013

Dear Earthlings:
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.  

Namaste,
 
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about loveProfessor of Humanities
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Join Our Mailing List
   
Follow us in the social media
Poly Planet GAIA Blog: 
http://polyplanet.blogspot.com/ 

Be Appraised of Ecosex Community Project PostaHouse  Become a Fan: www.facebook.com/GaiaBlessings 
Author’s Page/Lists all books: 
YouTube Uploaded Videos: http://www.youtube.com/SerenaAnderlini
 

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4 of 4 – EcoSex @ U Conn – Anderlini’s Gaia – Student Reports: Alexandra’s Take

Dear Earthlings:

The EcoSex course at U Conn is in process.  It’s a great experience.  We are reading amazing books.  Thinking out of the box and across disciplines.  Students are sending their responses in, with discussion questions.  In class, we connect the dots: a holograph of what we’ve read together, the “required readings.”  Multiple perspectives and good synergy.  Here, we offer a glimpse.  Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio’s Gaia and the New Politics of Love was one of three cultural theory books.  We got four responses: from Michael, Alissa, John, and Alexandra.  

Here’s Alexandra‘s take:

Response to Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio’s Gaia and the New Politics of Love: Notes for a Poly Planet

 

I was intrigued by the idea of separation in this book, specifically the separation of sex and

gender. I have always been confused by the body. I find it absurd that we have such rigid social constructions of gender and sex that certain individuals need to switch their biology to feel natural. Natural, however is a social construct. The feminine and masculine ideals paired with their respective sex labels dumbfound me. Still, I realize that there are a list of traits titled feminine and a list of traited titled masculine. It is not my intention to swipe away these labels, rather I would love for these labels to be independent of sex and or biology, as well as avoid mutual exclusivity. What I mean by this, is that someone with a penis should feel okay wearing a dress, and society should not be shocked by this phenomena. The biologically “male” being should not have to label himself “female” or “male” or “trans,” he should simply be able to explore what it is that intrigues him, whether that be football or high heels or both. I believe that there are infinite ways in which “gender” can be expressed. In an idyllic society, we would halt labelling genders and succumb to the fact that individuals are just that-individual. They do not have to fall into a specific category, though some will. Earth, or Gaia, happens to fall under the category “female.” I support this, for earth has many of the characteristics that fall under the title: she is perceived as loving, nurturing, and emotional. The idea of Gaia as feminine gives power to traits generally considered “weak.” I do not believe in “weak” traits. Thus, I adore the equalizing of qualities that are not detrimental. The idea of Gaia, however, extends beyond Earth as a feminine entity.

Gaia is a theory of love. It showcases the connection between all beings. I first felt to be a part of Gaia on a recent trip to Patagonia. Engulfed by the glory of mountain passes and crystal waters, I couldn’t help but to feel infinitely small, for amidst nature’s grandeur the individual is rendered utterly insignificant. This taste of insignificance, however, spurred a comprehension of connection. I forgot about the body that confines me and surrendered myself to Mother Nature, realizing that I was part of earth itself. The atoms that compose me once ebbed and flowed within a myriad of the universe’s creations. Matter cannot be created or destroyed. We are thus infinitely recycled– as flowers, as waterfalls, as elephants, as humans. We have been, are, and will be everything. All of this knowledge, learned in various classroom lectures, crashed and rippled over me, and for the first time I truly understood. We are one.

    The idea that we are one spurs love. To love the earth is to love yourself. To love a friend is to love yourself. To love an animal is to love yourself. This, in turn means that to hate anything is to hate yourself. Gaia therefore spreads love. Love, in turn fosters kindness and care. This theory also questions monogamy. Why do we feel that love is a depletable resource? Why do we hoard love, choosing to bestow it on some, but not others? I have come to find that I can love infinitely. We live in a world submerged in beauty. Somehow, long ago, a compact spot burst into a infinite slew of planets, stars, and matter. In this endless stretch, Earth, but a speck within the universe, managed to host a plethora of diverse ecosystems and beings. A miracle. A scientific theory. A story. Thinking of this, I have no choice but to surrender to the glory of it all, totally and completely awestruck. I have no choice to fall in love with every tiny creature, plant, speck that earth has to offer. Of course there are different types of loves. A love for a sister is different from a love for a plant, which is different from the love for a lover. Still,  I do not believe we need to limit love within the forms themselves. I believe we can love many siblings equally, many friends equally, many animals equally, and even many lovers equally.
    There are of course stigmas and negative connotations surrounding many of my believes. Social constructs halt self expression and love. These societal standards, however, are changing. Bit by bit, the collective conscious is shifting. There is an objective reality, but none of us are able to see it. We all then view the world though the events that have shaped us, the DNA that has made us, and maybe even the souls that possess us. We in turn, make our own realities. Therefore, if our collective consciousness were to transform, these concepts would not only be accepted but the “normal” would be disbanded. The Gaia theory can spark this shift.

Published with permission


WGSS 3998 – Ecosexuality and the Ecology of Love
Prof. Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
U Conn, Storrs, Spring 2013

Dear Earthlings:
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 to appear every Tuesday.  Book Reports to be scheduled soon, every other Thursday.  Check out our summer offerings:  Ecosexuality in Portland, OR, July 17-21.  Info and Registration here! 
Namaste,
 
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about love
Professor of Humanities
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
Join Our Mailing List
   
Follow us in the social media
Poly Planet GAIA Blog: 
http://polyplanet.blogspot.com/ 

Be Appraised of Ecosex Community Project PostaHouse 
Become a Fan: www.facebook.com/GaiaBlessings 
Author’s Page/Lists all books: 
YouTube Uploaded Videos: http://www.youtube.com/SerenaAnderlini
 

Find us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our profile on LinkedInView our videos on YouTubeVisit our blog  

http://polyplanet.blogspot.com
Please follow and like us:
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