Oprah and CNN take on female-only relationships

29 04 2009

Hrm. Considering the interest garnered by the previous two posts on bisexuality, and the noted lack of talk about women in the referenced articles, I found this on the “Most Emailed” List on CNN this morning.

I eagerly await your thoughts, because, if I know my readers, you have many interesting things to say about it:

Lately, a new kind of sisterly love seems to be in the air. In the past few years, Sex and the City’s Cynthia Nixon left a boyfriend after a decade and a half and started dating a woman (and talked openly about it)…

Certainly nothing is new about women having sex with women, but we’ve arrived at a moment in the popular culture when it all suddenly seems almost fashionable — or at least, acceptable…

But experts like Binnie Klein, a Connecticut-based psychotherapist and lecturer in Yale’s department of psychiatry, agree that alternative relationships are on the rise.

“It’s clear that a change in sexual orientation is imaginable to more people than ever before, and there’s more opportunity — and acceptance — to cross over the line,” says Klein, noting that a half-dozen of her married female patients in the past few years have fallen in love with women. “Most are afraid that if they don’t go for it, they’ll end up with regrets.”

Feminist philosopher Susan Bordo, Ph.D, a professor of English and gender and women’s studies at the University of Kentucky and author of “Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body,” also agrees that in the current environment, more women may be stepping out of the conventional gender box.

“When a taboo is lifted or diminished, it’s going to leave people freer to pursue things,” she says.

“So it makes sense that we would see women, for all sorts of reasons, walking through that door now that the culture has cracked it open. Of course, we shouldn’t imagine that we’re living in a world where all sexual choices are possible. Just look at the cast of ‘The L Word’ and it’s clear that only a certain kind of lesbian — slim and elegant or butch in just the right androgynous way — is acceptable to mainstream culture.”…

“People always ask me if this research means everyone is bisexual. No, it doesn’t,” says Lisa Diamond, Ph.D, associate professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah and author of the 2008 book “Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire.”

“Fluidity represents a capacity to respond erotically in unexpected ways due to particular situations or relationships. It doesn’t appear to be something a woman can control.”

Furthermore, studies indicate that it’s more prevalent in women than in men, according to Bonnie Zylbergold, assistant editor of American Sexuality, an online magazine.

I submit to you without comment … for now, at least.

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