Tuesday 8 November 2016

Fluid FAQs: 'What Is Sexually Fluid?' And Other Things You Probably Wanna Know

I'm probably going to end up using a lot of lousy metaphors here. Because explaining fluidity to people who aren't fluid isn't exactly straight-forward guys, so bear with me - I'll do my best!

Also, fluidity is, by it's nature, not something that can be set in stone.

These opinions and experiences are my own - someone else who's fluid may say something completely different and we'll both be right. That's just the way it works.

Also, I may have a completely different view of my own in a week or so's time, who knows?

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If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I'm planning on writing a few more posts about being sexually fluid.

My poll showed interest in FAQs and day-to-day experience. I figured we'd better get the basics out of the way first!

Some of these are questions I myself have answered more than once, and some are questions/assumptions that I see a lot online:

What is Sexually Fluid?

There are several types of sexual fluidity.

One type is a movement from identifying as one label to identifying as another.

For example, a gay man may find, over time, that he is also attracted to women, and feels more comfortable identifying as bisexual. This is a form of fluidity.

Then there are people who identify as one thing, but also realise that they have some variation within that.

So lesbian-fluid (also known as homoflexible,) for example, would be a lesbian who sometimes feels attraction to men, but not often enough to feel that they identify as bisexual.

And finally, there are those of us who identify as sexually fluid. Like me. We don't feel like we identify with any one part of the sexuality spectrum more than another.

I am lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, heterosexual, asexual, and probably other things besides, and I am also none of them.

I have the potential to be attracted to, and fall in love with, anyone on this planet who is not related to me.

Addition 26 Nov: I failed to mention abrosexual when I initially wrote this post. Abrosexual is a label that's more often favoured by people with high levels of fluidity. It tends to (but not always) include a high rate of change. I do not identify as abro, but both abro and sexually fluid are valid.

UPDATE 10th July 2020: Sometimes I ID as Abrosexual. (But then, sometimes I ID as everything.) Sexually Fluid/Queer are my main labels, other labels may vary. Me + boxes = laughable.

Isn't that confusing?

No, actually. It's just... me.

What's confusing is trying to stick myself in one box and stay there. What's confusing is trying to be what some unwritten societal rule expects me to be.

Growing up fluid is confusing - because you don't understand why you don't fit in one box, and it just never occurred to me that I could be more than one thing.

Society doesn't think like that. Society wants everyone neatly sorted into separate containers. And I can't do that.

Just being me, though? That's not confusing.

But aren't you denying the Born This Way stance?


Don't you dare accuse me of that.

Just as you were born whatever way you were born, I was born to be changeable. Respect that.

Will you always be fluid?

I don't know. I might be. I might not be.

It's perfectly possible that I will settle into identifying with only one label. It's also perfectly possible that I won't.

So, you're questioning your sexuality?

No. I know exactly what my sexuality is. My sexuality is fluid - changeable.

What's the difference between sexually fluid and genderfluid?

I'm really sick of these terms being mixed up - it's not fair on either sexually fluid or genderfluid people.

Genderfluid means fluctuating between genders; sexually fluid means fluctuating between sexualities. It really is that simple.

Don't you just mean that you're [insert label people have heard of, and are therefore more comfortable with, here]?

No, I don't. Sometimes I am those things. Sometimes I'm not.

Using other labels feels like wearing borrowed clothes. In short, it feels like I'm telling a half-truth at best, and a lie at worst. I'd rather be honest.

How do you feel about terms like LGBTQ+ or queer?

I'm personally more than happy with both of those terms. I know some non-heterosexual people feel alienated by umbrella terms like these, but I actually feel more included.

Sometimes I can feel like an outsider both in heterosexual and non-heterosexual communities. Because I'm both. And neither. Terms like LGBTQ+ and queer feel more inclusive to me.

I happily identify as both queer and LGBTQ+, though I can be uneasy about using these labels sometimes because, unfortunately, some people within those communities can be less than welcoming.

What about bi/pan+ or the bi/pan 'umbrella'?

I don't have a problem with those terms per se, but I think the + sign and the word umbrella are the key parts there.

Bisexual and pansexual have their own definitions, if you're going to use them as umbrella terms, please make that clear.

Otherwise it just feels uncomfortable. I'm not bi except when I'm bi. I'm not pan except when I'm pan. Even then it goes back to that 'borrowed clothes' feeling.

Are you promiscuous?

No. Please stop confusing sexual acts with sexual desire.

I'm not promiscuous. Neither am I a wh*re, a sl*t, or a sl*g.

But if your sexuality is so subject to change, what about long-term relationships?

Honestly, I believe I can fall in love with anyone. And if I love you, I will find you attractive.

That said, some fluid people are happier in polyamorous relationships - but I think this has less to do with sexuality, and more to do with having enough love to go around. Polyamory isn't the same as just having lots of sex, after all.

How long have you been fluid?

I was about 8 when I had my first girl-crush. I've always been the spectrum-surfer I am today. I just didn't know that that was what I felt, so I kept my mouth shut and let people assume I was straight.

OK, I hope that cleared some stuff up for you!

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  1. Thank you for this post Cee! It was very informative :) I'll admit there was a lot of things I didn't know about sexual fluidity before today, I think this post could help combat the ignorance!

    1. I hope it was clear enough! Some things seem so obvious to me, that I don't know whether they're things I have to explain or not, and some things also seem like "how do I say that to someone who doesn't *know*?" So I just kind of did my best! :)

  2. Thanks so much for writing this up. I had a vague idea of what being sexually fluid meant, but now I understand it much better. I certainly never conflated it with being gender fluid!
    I assume many cishet people will have a harder time understanding or accepting sexual fluidity, and even Queer people can be stubborn, but I'm here to say that I accept and value you as you are. <3 Your post makes perfect sense to me!
    I look forward to the others. :)

    1. Thanks for this comment - it's so lovely! <3 <3 <3

      You'd be surprised how many people confuse it with gender fluidity *face palms* but then I actually saw someone online the other day say 'if your sexuality is a woman' to describe being female, so... yeah, education is needed.

      I don't mind people not understanding - I get that it's quite a complex and new concept for some people, but not accepting, denying, and/or just being horrible is where I draw the line!

      Luckily, there are people like you around too :) <3 <3 <3

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  4. Thanks for your articulate explanation of sexual fluidity, this is really helpful.

    1. Thanks for reading it! I'm always happy to hear some of my older posts are still helpful - and it's uber-important to me that more people learn about sexual fluidity :)

  5. Thanks for clearing up some terms. I feel so ignorant not knowing about being 'fluid'. I have heard of the term but never took time to look into it. I am feeling 'old' and need to keep up with the times with terms and abbreviations. :)

    1. Lol, no worries. People generally don't expect you to know everything about everything, but there is a problem when people assume that just because they don't know about/understand something, then it's 'not a thing' or is worthy of ridicule. (Not that you'd do that, ofc!)

    2. I guessed ofc is of course, but I googled it anyway to make sure.

      You're keeping me on my toes. As you can see I don't get out much! lol

    3. Ha, most of my life is virtual, so no worries! ;)


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