The theme for this month’s Carnival of Aces is fluidity.
I talked about some things I experienced as a teenager last month. I also keep on changing the way I interpret my experiences- and possibily distorting them (then again, my ignorance as a teenager might have made its own distortions in my memory!) However, I think the change in perception/interpretation is far greater than my actual fundamental change. In other words, the description is changing much more than what is actually happening on the ground.
I am open to the possibility that my orientation as an asexual or my understanding will change (maybe I’ll discover that I’m a demisexual). However, I think the most likely scenario is that it won’t.
There’s one kind of fluidity which is extremely obvious – the transition from childhood to puberty. Some children are aware of their sexual orientation at a very young age, so apparently there are people whose orientations have extremely low fluidity during the course of their entire lives. But there are also many people who do not realize what their sexual orientation is before puberty. Maybe it is nothing more than a lack of awareness, but something might actually be changing. And even among people who are aware of their sexual orientations all along, it is very rare for people to act on sexual impulses at the age of, say, five. That means there really is some big sexual change between the age of five and fifteen – and therefore there is some kind of fluidity.
And then there are the ‘late bloomers’. They are real, and I know one of them – my mother. That’s also a form of fluidity.
It seems that most discussions about fluidity are not about honoring what is true, but defending one’s agenda. For example, many homophobes claim that sexual orientation is fluid, and therefore a) homosexuals can ‘recruit’ people and b) homosexuals can be ‘cured’. I think this assertion is based on their beliefs, not on carefully gathered evidence. Many queer rights activists counter this by claiming that sexual orientation is not fluid. I understand why they make this response, and I think it’s true in the sense that sexual orientation cannot be chosen, but I still think this is a claim more motivated by politics than a search for the truth.
Likewise, tons of people claim that asexuals are just ‘late bloomers’ … but none of them base this on research about asexuality vs. late bloomerhood. It’s all about defending their beliefs about sexuality.
In other words, if a sexuality threatens you, claim that it is fluid, and therefore can be fixed. If you feel that your own sexuality is under attack, such as being homosexual or being asexual, claim that it is fixed, and cannot be changed. I am much more sympathetic to people whose own sexualities are under attack than people who feel threatened by other people’s sexualities.
I think all consensual sexualities are valid. Whether or not they are fluid is irrelevant. I want to respect what is there, fluid or not.
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“That means there really is some big sexual change between the age of five and fifteen – and therefore there is some kind of fluidity.”
The onset of puberty…