Recently I finished reading Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desires by Lisa Diamond. In it, she posits the theory that women’s sexual orientation tends to be less fixed than men’s, and that often women find themselves falling in love with other women (or men, if they identify as lesbian) at various points in their lives. Nicentbatcardta There can be many reasons for this; some of the women considered themselves bisexual from the get-go, others found themselves in circumstances where they developed a close relationship with a person different from the gender they were usually attracted to, still others fell in love because of who the person was, not what they were. The conclusion is that for women, relationships are complicated (well, duh).
As a straight woman who spent the better part of her adult life alone, I spent many years wishing that I was sexually attracted to women. While it’s true that the grass is always greener, it seemed like being able to have more options is always a good thing when it comes to sex (not to mention that it highly increases opportunities for fun and pleasure in many different configurations). And at least one of the factors Diamond discusses in the book is already present for me: I have incredible, intimate, beautiful, deep friendships with many of my women friends. It seems like it would be simple to make that leap from friendship to something more erotic.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem to work that way for me. I’ve had more than one situation where I was sexually attracted to women friends, but when I tried to act on it, there was no erotic charge. I describe it as two magnets pushing away from each other. It just doesn’t seem to work for me, much as I would like it to. Diamond talks about male sexual orientation being more hard-wired, that men seem to not have this fluidity in their sexuality (or perhaps it’s just suppressed by our society’s general discomfort with intimacy between men).
I do think, though, as a concept, sexual fluidity among women is one that can gain some serious traction. Every day I talk to women around the country who are frustrated with their lack of prospects in the dating world. I have many beautiful, successful friends and acquaintances who are left asking “what’s wrong with me that I can’t meet someone?” Mostly it seems to be a supply and demand problem: huge supply of eligible women making a large demand on a small supply of eligible men. Couple that with the fact that with online dating, women in their 40s and 50s are now competing with women in their 20s and 30s for the same pool of men, and it starts looking sad.
I especially think the idea of having women as partners is an appealing one for older women who have gone through menopause and have found their sex drive disappears. Of course this doesn’t happen to every woman – many women find their sex drives going up when the specter of pregnancy is out of the picture – but for those who have little to no interest in sex, why not open things up a bit more? It seems like many women would have better luck at finding someone who was a good companion, shared their interests, was emotionally supportive and had many of the qualities they were looking for in a partner if they were going for women. This especially makes sense when women get much, much older: personally, I don’t want to be competing with 9 other women for 1 man in a nursing home. This concept was popular in the late 1800s in the form of Boston Marriages, where single women living in the city would share a home and resources because they couldn’t afford to live on their own. Some of them were likely lesbians, but I’m guessing that many of them were doing it for other reasons.
I guess the old paradigms die hard. Earlier this year, my boyfriend and I talked about getting married so I could get on his health insurance (a very good reason to marry, in my book). Inevitably when I mentioned this to my women friends, their eyes would light up at the thought of us having a big, romantic wedding. It’s entirely possible that it will go down that way, but both of us have already done that, and are looking at things from a more practical standpoint. For many years, marriage was a business contract, but we have moved very far from that idea. Women now spend all their time dreaming about a big wedding, while neglecting to put much thought into the marriage that will come after it. domain information . Sadly, a fancy wedding rarely guarantees a happily ever after outcome….
Having a relationship for a woman would, I imagine, look like failure for many. The practicalities of partnership often take a back seat to romance in the mind of many. I can understand why this might be – after all, we are spoon-fed stories about Prince Charming from the time we are young. travel tool But perhaps it’s time to be more realistic. There’s a whole lot of Cinderellas out there who are waiting for the dude with the glass slipper to show up, and they may end up waiting a very long time….