By Annie Zidek
I grew up in a strikingly conservative family. Consequently, we never talked about sex; it was taboo for my Reagan-loving parents, so there was a mutual understanding that “sex is bad.” Attending a Catholic grade school and a Catholic high school also had its sexual pitfalls: the extent of sex-ed in school came from religion teachers who carved abstinence into our horny thighs. And no one ever spoke of sexuality.
Then at the meek age of 15, there was the illustrious `~*internet*~`. Smashed into the center of it all, I suffered in my poor attempt to untangle the webs of sexuality. Now at 18, with gossamer all over, I accept the fact that I’m sexually fluid. But in the clusterfuck that is sexuality, people can’t help but wonder what sexual fluidity is.
Before we even talk about what sexual fluidity is, let’s talk about gender. Look at how our society has manipulated us into believing in these binaries: growing up we are pushed to create these ideas of “femininity” and “masculinity” through our experiences. Young girls are taught to hide their livelihoods: their blood and their milk and their hair. They’re told to dress in the color of their flushed cheeks and speak with timid tongues. On the other hand, boys are steel, strong and cold. Leaky eyes and dents in their skin call for demolition, the ultimate demise. Society created these—essential—categories to put people in to make life simpler when in reality these constructs are incredibly complicated. Simply, people can be gender fluid and fall anywhere between the social constructs of “female” and “male.” They are the color black. Neither pink nor blue. Neither boy nor girl. Black bleeds into black; there are no lines.
Since people view gender in this non-binary way, they are open to all sorts of people sexually thus identifying as sexually fluid. Many young people, like Lily Depp, Kristen Stewart, and Cara Delevingne, have brought this idea to the forefront, openly rejecting sexual binaries. In fact, in an interview with Nylon magazine, Stewart—the queen of chill and authenticity—references the parameters of her sexuality and says “I am an actress, man. I live in the fucking ambiguity of this life and I love it.” She refuses to conform to any standard of sexuality, placing her in this grey area.
With these prominent women “coming out” as sexually fluid, one may think others will choose to identify as sexually fluid simply because celebrities are doing it. This is not a fad. This is very real. People genuinely feel they fall somewhere in between on the Kinsey scale—the scale of sexuality. In a survey conducted by YouGov, one in every three young American says they are not 100% heterosexual and not 100% homosexual. Since this generation is more progressive than their parents, they embrace the unknown, accepting the fact that they don’t conform to the sexual binaries society created.
The whole point of sexual fluidity is sexual algorithms don’t come into play: these people, myself included, leave their sexuality open to anyone. We aren’t stuck in a sexual limbo. We know what we’re doing, and we embrace our blurry sexual parameters.