A new documentary short aims to clear up longstanding confusion about what it means to identify as sexually fluid.
Directed by Alissa Torvinen, "Sexual Fluidity: Love Without Labels" profiles three women who have very different experiences with sex and relationships. (One of the women featured is actress Diora Baird, who has appeared in "Wedding Crashers" and "Shameless" and recently revealed that she was in a same-sex relationship.) Though each of the women has been involved with men and women, none feel that the term "bisexual" accurately expresses their sexual identity.
"I don't necessarily identify as bisexual or straight," one woman explains. "I definitely don't feel straight, because I'm still very attracted to women."
Released Oct. 11, the nine-minute film is based on the 2008 book, Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire. Author Lisa M. Diamond is a professor of developmental psychology and health psychology at the University of Utah, and a number of intriguing quotes from her book punctuate the film's narrative. Sexual fluidity, she writes, describes a capacity for your erotic feelings to shift or change outside of your defined orientation based on your emotional attachment to another person. According to her research, current studies show that women tend to be more sexually fluid than men. (Catch the short film in full above)
Two of the film's co-producers, Nikki Weiss-Goldstein and Jill Goldstein, told HuffPost that they felt compelled to make the film based on their personal experiences in relationships.
"Having experienced some confusion with our emotional and physical attractions in the past, and struggling to make conventional labels fit our experiences, we felt a very strong connection to the notion that sexual preferences are not set in stone and can change over time," the women wrote to HuffPost in an email. "Just as one's career undergoes many reinventions as an individual grows and changes, so, too, can one's sexuality. It's this acceptance we feel very drawn to create amongst a larger audience."
As to how they feel those who identify as sexually fluid differ from those who label themselves bisexual, they added, "Bisexuality describes a consistent and stable attraction to both men and women over time. With fluidity, however, the attractions to either men or women are very context specific, often having to do with a specific time, person or relationship."
Interestingly, young people seem more willing to embrace the concept of sexual fluidity than previous generations. Model-actress Cara Delevingne, 25, and actor Nico Tortorella, 29, are among the celebrities who have publicly identified as sexually fluid. (More recently, Tortorella has said he's become comfortable with identifying as bisexual.) Weiss-Goldstein and Goldstein call this perceived shift "a wonderful evolution for our society."
"This younger generation seems to understand what the older more rigid generation doesn't," they said. "People don't ― and shouldn't ― fall into neat little boxes."
Ultimately, Weiss-Goldstein and Goldstein would like to expand "Sexual Fluidity: Love Without Labels" into a feature-length documentary that will include men who identify as sexually fluid, too. In doing so, they hope to encourage "more acceptance of variety within sexual orientation."
"If we can help one person who may be struggling and afford them the comfort or freedom to safely explore who they are and who they love," they added, "then we've made a difference."
If you identify as sexually fluid and are interested in taking part in the planned feature-length documentary that Weiss-Goldstein and Goldstein are producing, you can email them here.
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