Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sexual Fluidity

As women, it is said we reach our sexual prime in our 40s, yet something else is also happening that hasn’t been talked about much until recently, this notion of love being blind (as in gender) or sexual fluidity.   Two weeks ago Oprah had a show devoted to women who were involved with women or women living without labels.   Some had left men for women and some had been in these “fluid” relationships.

One woman stated “as women, we get older and there is more push & pull (which allows for flexibility).”  This woman had never had a prior relationship with a woman yet ended up mesmerized by Jackie Warner star of the Bravo reality series Work Out.  She simply stated that her man was giving her nothing she needed and Jackie gave her everything and filled every void…she took her breathe away and so the relationship began.  They are no longer together; she now has a boyfriend of over a year that knows all about her relationship with Jackie.  Then there was Comedian Carol Leifer who said “when I turned 40 I had a last desire to tick off my mother, I suddenly had this really mad desire to have an affair with a woman.” She has been with Lori for 12 years now.

In Lisa Diamond’s book, Sexual Fluidityshe discusses the issue of sexual fluidity much more but mentions it's not necessarily that more women than men are likely to be involved with both genders, it has more to do with the fact that women have a greater capacity to respond erotically, under certain circumstances and to particular individuals -- in ways that might be directly inconsistent with their sexual orientation (i.e., lesbian women periodically becoming attracted to men, and heterosexual women periodically becoming attracted to women).  So at any one point in time, they might not -- in fact -- be attracted to both genders, but they have more of a capacity for fluid attractions over the life course.  Certainly, differences in the way that women and men are socialized with regard to their sexuality play a role.  

If anyone out there ever went to an all girl college and acted on their same sex attraction with another girl for a period of time then married a man that is an example of fluidity.  In my understanding fluidity is more than experimentation, it is part of who you are at that point in time.  

I haven't read the book but I do know women who are very in tune with their sexual fluidity (if you will) and those who have changed from preferring men to women and some back to men again.  I always chalked it up to being comfortable with themselves or whatever worked for them.  I had no idea that there was anything called sexual fluidity.  Maybe I'll read the book now.  It actually makes sense to me.  

What do you think about this notion of Sexual Fluidity?  The question is as we get older, as we mature more, find out who we are, likes, dislikes, needs, wants, do we become more fluid?  Are we open to being fluid or do we still deny the fluidity that is within?   Can one be fluid in a relationship?  Do you think women are becoming more sexually fluid because of the lack of quality men or because of the quality of women?  

p.s. Yes, this is a day should know better by now!  


  1. I am currently attending Mills College in Oakland an all-female college, pursuing my second masters and working towards my Ed.d/Ph.d. I chose Mills because the women on campus really uplift women and want us to succeed.

    However, my love, my life and my "love-life-fluid" flows like an Ashford & Simpson's song...

    SOLID---as a rock.

  2. LOL...I hear you. Not everyone at an all woman's college obviously is "fluid".