Sexual Diversity: A Mere
Sampling Of Possibilities
What follows is excerpted
and slightly paraphrased from Epistemology of the Closet by
Eve Sedgwick copyright 1990, Univ of Cal Press, Berkeley
- To some, the focus of "the
sexual" seems scarcely to extend beyond the boundaries of
discrete genital acts; to others, it enfolds them loosely or
floats virtually free of them.
- Even identical genital acts mean
different things to different people.
- Sexuality makes up a large share
of the self-perceived identity of some, a small share of others.
- Some spend a lot of time thinking
about sex, others little.
- Some people like to have a lot
of sex, others little or none.
- Many people have their richest
mental/emotional involvement with sexual acts that they don't
do, or even don't want to do.
- For some people, it is important
that sex be embedded in contexts resonant with meaning, narrative,
and connectedness with other aspects of their life; for other
people, it is important that they not be; to others, it doesn't
occur that they might be.
- For some people, particular sexual
preferences are so fixed in memory and durable that they can
only be seen as innate; for others, they appear to arise later
or feel discretionary.
- For some people, the possibility
of bad sex is aversive enough that their lives are strongly marked
by its avoidance; for others, it isn't.
- For some people, their sexuality
provides a needed space of heightened discovery and cognitive
hyperstimulation. For others, sexuality provides a needed space
for routinized habituation and cognitive hiatus.
- Some people like spontaneous sexual
scenes, others like highly scripted ones, others like spontaneous-sounding
ones that are nonetheless totally predictable.
- Some people's sexuality is intensely
marked by autoerotic pleasures and histories. For others, this
possibility seems secondary or fragile, if it exists at all.
- Some people, regardless of orientation,
experience their sexuality as deeply embedded in a matrix of
gender and all that entails. Others do not.
- These differentiations can occur
not just between people, but within the same person during different