My guy pals have been telling me for years that young urban women who play with other women on the side are "going through a bi phase" but will "outgrow" it. (Or they assume the girls are just doing it to tittilate them.) According to Alex Zola, familiar to my readers: "These girls will end up married in Scarsdale [upscale New York City suburb] hoping the kids don't figure out what was going on with that girl in the photos, the one hugging Mommy." Uh huh. You hold that thought, Babe.
The Bi-Girl may move to Scarsdale with a husband and have some kids, but that's not neccessarily going to be the "end up" of her life story.
Women are leaving men for women--and some of the bolters are long-married women. The trend is so significant that O (Oprah) magazine has an article on the subject in the current issue. This publication is not known for cutting edge sex journalism. If O is onto the L Word, it's not news, it's part of the cultural zeitgeist.
"Cynthia Nixon did it. Lindsay Lohan's doing it. TV shows are based on it. Is it our imaginations, or are wives and girlfriends ditching their men and falling in love with other women? New science says that sexuality is more fluid than we thought."
Yes, women's sexuality is more fluid than men's. Publicized studies on homosexuality in the 1990s focused on men and concluded that sexual preference was hard-wired. Then researchers began looking at women.
A landmark 2004 study at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, found that female students, straight and gay, were aroused by both heterosexual and lesbian erotica. That introduced a new phrase into the lexicon: sexual fuidity. More studies followed. Five years later, mainstream women's magazines are using the term.
Mary Fisher's article is a well-written, entertaining and comprehensive look at a newly possible sexual lifestyle. Choices! Women have so many of them now; and let's celebrate that.
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