The lust memes as well as the Angel S5 Joss Whedon DVD commentaries sparked lots of wank about Othering and suchlike, and i think i touched on the latter one when it was current, but i never commented on the former, but sexonastick posted recently, having just realized why the lust memes made her so uncomfortable.
What bugged me about the lust meme (and about the ways some people know act in LJ more generally) was that the kind of "I want to have sex with your brain" sentiment was articulated with lots of ::gropes:: and ::licks:: and suchlike, and while i'm a big fan of physical affection, mixed signals are awful. This, of course, overlaps with my issues with consistency etc. wherein i'm obsessive about owning what you say and being thoughtful and intentional about what/how/where/when/to-whom you say.
Talking about the defenses of the behavior, sexonastick phrased it as "obviously we're just kidding. When girls are affectionate with one another, it's really just a joke, anyway." I had never thought of it that way before, but that makes a lot of sense.
Riffing off that entry and some others, sexonastick later posted about why the statement that sexuality is "fluid" is problematic to her.
Actually, I never interpreted the phrase "sexuality is fluid" as implying that people went from gay to straight and back again. Read that way, yes, it is insulting. And of course since I don't know where the term came from originally and what point of reference it was used in, I can't expound on the author's intent.This resonated with me a lot.
However, I can give my own interpretation of it. To me, it means not so much that you go from JUST STRAIGHT or JUST GAY, nor does it imply that someone can be "a little bit gay" (because fuck me if that doesn't sound insulting.) But rather it seem to mean that people flow from what is sexually attractive one day to the next, changing what sparks them to be interested, aroused, engaged. What I found to be hot and thrilling five years ago is not necessarily the same for me as it is today. The things that have happened to me, the influences in my life, the new experiences and view points that I have been exposed to on a daily basis change my perceptions and my thought processes and therefore change how things affect me. So to me, sexuality is fluid. I am attracted to men and women. I do find certain things about both sexes appealing sexually. I am just as likely to feel lust for a hot girl as I am for a hot guy. I would put the same expectations on a relationship with either sex. I would expect to find that there are the same kinds of ups and downs. And I would expect to find things I like and am attracted to to have nuanced changes as I continue to find new things to be affected by.
In a later comment, lovesong said:
I thought you might be interested that your discussion of sexuality as fluid influenced a reflection paper I had to write for a queer theory class today: "I wonder if when we speak of sexuality as fluid, we are using the wrong metaphor. Perhaps in some other situation, sexuality could be fluid. But in our situation, sexuality is more like a land mass than an ocean – seemingly stable, sometimes staying in one place for ages, immovable and steady, but fissured and bumpy, resting on a molten core which creaks and changes, sometimes shifting gently in one direction or another, and sometimes upheaving, wreaking destruction and possibly bringing new life."