Maybe I’m not the only one who has a tough time really getting my head around what the idea of sexual fluidity means in people’s day-to-day lives. On one hand, I’ve seen over-inflated estimates of orientation change give way to the awareness that such complete shifts are rare. But on the other hand, in the world of queer theory the idea of fluidity seems readily accepted and though while more common for women not precluded from the experience of men. It seems to be a general consensus in the queer community that to try to experience shifts in your experience of sexual attraction through therapy is harmful – but if it happens all on its own – then so be it. I suppose one of the challenges is that we really don’t have any sense of how common experiences of fluidity are – nor to whom they will occur – or particularly why they occur.
But as a person of faith, who engages with people experiencing same-gender attraction who share faith convictions, this whole area of fluidity raises some questions. For someone who feels deeply convicted that same-gender sexual intimacy is not God’s best for them, is there a healthy way to explore the potential of their own fluidity? Not out of self-loathing or driven by fear, but from a place of mature self-acceptance?
I’ve heard enough painful stories of people who unsuccessfully tried to exploit a marginal sense of bisexuality to conform to Christian standards, to not be overly naïve. And while I know of many stories of couples who divorced upon the disclosure of same-sex orientation, I also know of couples in mixed orientation marriages with devout faith commitments who are making it work with honesty and integrity. And not only is it working, but they experience joy and fulfillment in their life together. Is that sexual fluidity at work? Or is it the fruit of commitment?
Because this whole area of sexual fluidity raises the question of the place of fidelity. For a person of faith, commitment within covenant is a reflection of God’s character. Without question such fidelity is deeply broken across the board – significantly seen among heterosexuals in our current divorce rates. But one does wonder how this interfaces with the concept of fluidity.
I came across this comment on a blog post about sexual fluidity: