By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
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By Stephen Lemons
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"You'd never ask a question like that for guys," he says, laughing. "It's clear some women do have a sexual orientation: They're so into women, or into men, that they could never consider going another way. But the interesting thing is that there's a big group in the middle. And now we're wondering: Maybe it's not that their orientation is fluid -- but that they just don't have one."
It's easy to see conservative Christians seizing on such findings. If orientation is fluid, after all, it shouldn't be hard to straighten everybody out, one Exodus program at a time. Indeed, one of Diamond's studies now pops up on a Web site that pushes therapy to help gay people re-orient as straight.
She's careful to caution against such interpretations. As her study makes clear, just because women change their orientation doesn't mean their attractions change. Bi-curious women who settle into heterosexual couplings, she says, are still going to be attracted to women.
Sincero is also reading from The Straight Girl's Guide at Changing Hands, 6428 South McClintock in Tempe, on Monday, September 19 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
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Still, she knows the new research is going to change the paradigm. When it comes to women, you just can't argue anymore that homosexuality is as simple as biology.
"There are certainly people in the gay community who will acknowledge that we've taken the biological argument and pushed it beyond truth or usefulness because it served the political agenda," she says. "It's a bargain with the devil that the gay community has made."
Diamond believes gay activists will need to abandon the biology argument for a new thesis: One that focuses on sexual freedom.
After all, the research contradicts the idea that gay people are doomed to be gay. But it also shows, clearly, that it's not just lesbians; most women are attracted to other women on some level.
It's not about being a victim to an innate preference. But it is about picking from a smorgasbord of options and finding one that fits. Every woman, the idea goes, should be able to enjoy the freedom to choose.
It's an interesting argument, and it certainly makes sense to most bi-curious women. Still, it's hard to see it playing in Peoria.
Two years have passed since the poster girl for bi-curious love ended her Sapphic affair, and Jen Sincero hasn't dated a woman since.
She won't talk about "Amanda" -- which isn't, of course, a great sign. Her book seems to hint at the problem. "If you wind up having an emotional connection with someone, it can get very confusing, which can hurt you or her or both of you," she writes.
Sincero thinks she probably won't date a woman again.
She wanted to be into women, she says. She wanted to believe that her confusion about her relationship with Amanda was mere cultural brainwashing. But in the end, even her 80-year-old Italian father came around and accepted her decision to date a woman. "It's good to experiment," he said. Her married sister wrote a long e-mail confessing she wished that she'd had the guts to give women a chance.
Eventually, Sincero had to admit something fundamental about herself: She prefers men.
Still, every day, she gets e-mails, e-mails from people who've read her book and found her site. They don't always have questions. Often, they just want to share.
"You were right about how incredibly soft kissing chicks would be," one wrote. "Mmmm . . . that part actually weakens my knees! No guy has ever done that! I thought that was just a saying until now!"
"My problem is this," another woman, a recent divorcée, wrote. "I am totally in love with my neighbor and am wondering if there is anything I can do to get her to have sex with me?"
And then there was the married woman who wrote that she was about half finished with Sincero's book.
"I will be 70 in two weeks," she wrote. "When I was 64 I fell hard for a woman I had known for awhile. . . .
"It was the best thing that ever happened to me sexually."