appetizers for the mind

I’ve been posting lots of these long, thoughtful things lately. My hits are skyrocketing and the comments are getting more and more engaged and numerous, so clearly this is a path to keep on following. However, I also think it’s high time to take a break and give you a bunch of little treats instead. I promise I’ll go right back to long and meaty (heh) soon – among other things I’ve got two books to review for you, just for starters. Yum. But for now, a few sex-geeky appetizers:

Did you know that the right-wing French president’s lover is a committed non-monogamist? She’s even got the lingo down. Any heiress/supermodel who can talk about polygamy and polyandry in a news interview and say completely unapologetic things like “monogamy bores me terribly” has my vote, even if her boyfriend’s a turd. Hee hee. (Thanks for the link, P.)

In other news, the Globe and Mail published a story today about a study that firmly recognizes bisexuality as a legitimate orientation (thanks, H). A brief quote from the article:

Bisexuality has not been the subject of much academic study over the years, Dr. Diamond said, and subjects who identify as bisexual are often excluded from studies of human sexuality because researchers do not know how to interpret their results.

“I’ve had journal editors say it would make for a much cleaner study if you just took them out,” she said. “And that’s exactly what keeps happening, so we know almost nothing.”

Neato. The study apparently followed 79 women for a ten-year period, to see if their orientation changed. I really, really appreciate how the study approached this as a question of identity and not of sexual practice – in other words, allowing the women to name their own orientation rather than the researchers looking exclusively at what the subjects did in bed over a given period of time and imposing their own ideas about orientation from there. Now here’s the really interesting bit:

Of the women who identified as bisexual in 1995, 92 per cent identified as bisexual or unlabelled in 2005. Of the women who identified as lesbian in 1995, 66 per cent identified as lesbian 10 years later, 19 per cent had switched to bisexual and 16 per cent to “unlabelled.” None of the women who identified as lesbians in 1995 switched to the heterosexual label.

Fascinating. If anything, that kind of figure points to the possibility that people tend to become more fluid over time rather than less – and that if you start out fluid you’re likely to stay that way. What a thought!

Speaking of sex, did you know that swinging is not about sex? No, really! At least, that’s what a new swingers’ magazine is trying to tell us.

“Most people hear the word ‘swinger’ and they immediately focus on the sex,” says Kasidie’s publishers, Scott and Nicoleta. “But the swinging lifestyle is really not about sex, it’s about sexuality and it’s about friendship.”

Aha, I get it. Swinging isn’t about sex, it’s about sexuality. Gotcha. I’m sure I get the difference… don’t you?

I will spare you my usual rant on people who try to pretend that whatever sexual things they’re doing aren’t about sex, as though sex were dirty and bad and they could redeem themselves to mainstream culture by disavowing them. But I won’t. I’ll just tell you that this is one more example of what I find so unappealing about swingers’ culture. I’m still slogging through Terry Gould’s book The Lifestyle: The Erotic Rites of Swingers, not because it’s poorly written or difficult to understand but because every page makes me want to scream in sheer frustration. But dammit, I’m going to finish this book if it kills me, so that I can provide a fully informed review here and not simply a rant on principle. Wait for it. It’s on the way, I promise!

In somewhat more personal news, I was interviewed yesterday by the Capital Xtra, Ottawa’s gay newspaper. As a freshly minted Ontario resident, I was happy to be informed by my interviewer that the third Monday in February (this year, the 18th) is a new statutory holiday in the province, and it’s called Family Day. It’s one of those things that could be interpreted in a thousand different ways depending on who’s looking, and a cursory Google search turned up nothing about Premier McGuinty’s definition of family, so I’m left to optimistically assume it’s a really wide-open concept for him. Right-wingers seem to really like throwing the concept of family into people’s faces as though it exclusively meant white, heterosexual, middle-class nuclear families with 2.5 children (more if you’re Catholic). But where I come from, family is one helluva larger concept than that – and that’s exactly what the CapX wanted to talk about. Poly family, queer family, leather family… neato. It was a lot of fun to be asked intelligent questions about my concept of family, and it definitely got me thinking about the various circles of people who are family to me each in their own way. The article appears on January 30 – if there’s a link I’ll post it, and perhaps use it as a jumping-off point for further musings on the topic. There’s no shortage of musings these days…

In definitely more personal news, I’m super-excited to note that published an article entitled “Sex and Relationships: New Voices, New Viewpoints” in which they review a bunch of sexuality blogs, and Sex Geek made their list. Woo-hoo! I’m not entirely sure why it is that the reviewer said I chronicle my “life as a single” – not that there’s anything wrong with being single, but I’m about the furthest from single right now that I’ve ever been in my entire life. Though perhaps she’s talking about “single” as in the classic definition “unmarried,” in which case she’s entirely correct. Whatever. She got the rest right, and said really nice things too. And it’s really cute to be reviewed in an article right next to Freaksexual, the brilliant blog written by my most excellent friend/lover/colleague Pepper Mint (check my blogroll if you’re interested). Yay! Life is good.

And last but not least, I’ve been booked to teach two workshops at Venus Envy (Ottawa) in late May – non-monogamy and fisting, specifically. Check my Workshops page for details if you’re interested; registration isn’t open yet but I’ll post when it is. Also, I’ll be giving a BDSM 101 workshop at McGill (Montreal) during their V-Day week, on February 12 to be exact. Much fun! I hope to see you there!

3 thoughts on “appetizers for the mind

  1. “who can talk about polygamy and polyandry”

    I just wish more people knew that polygamy does not strictly refer to the practice of multiple wives but rather to the practice of having multiple spouses. Polygamy includes polyandry (2 or more husbands), polygyny (2 or more wives) and multiple marriage (2 or more of each).

    But yeah, it’s cool to see “monogamy bores me” in print all over the place : )

  2. Indeed. Her terminology isn’t perfect, and the writer of the article didn’t catch it, and funny enough neither did I although I’ve given the same sort of clarification you just did many times in the past. Eek! I’m losing my touch!

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