Friday, May 10, 2013

Unexpected Pleasures

Unexpected Pleasures: Leaving Heterosexuality for a Lesbian Life  by Tamsin Wilton
Weight: 1.2 lbs
Method of Disposal: Leaving in Decatur, GA

This book was given to me by a woman who chose to leave heterosexuality behind while in college.  She was very vocal about it being her choice, which I thought/think was/is great.  There is some discussion about sexuality as choice in this book, which makes me happy.  It is not just nature vs nurture.  In case you were wondering, I think it is nature, nurture, and/or choice that makes someone's sexuality.  I think everyone has their unique mix up.  I believe I have always felt more intimate and bonded with women and that there is, possibly, a biological, hormonal, genetic cause.  I also know that if given the choice to be heterosexual I would say hell no.  I love loving women.  And, as I got older, I realized that if I felt compelled to I could choose to have sex with men, but I also knew I would never want a relationship with one.  I have never felt a strong bond with a man, with the exception of my high school best friend, Chris, and I was never sexually attracted to him.  I also just don't think I could deal with the outcome of male socialization.  I have no interest in a power struggle or a lack of communication/emotion.  I am aware that there are millions of sensitive, caring, feminist men out there that would probably make wonderful partners, but I do not want to sift through them all when I know I prefer women up front.  I would rather try to find a wonderfully sensitive, feminist woman.  And, while I was a lesbian long before my sexual assault, I do think that being raped will forever inhibit and decrease any interest I might have in being intimate with a man. 

That being said, I am frequently attracted to women whose sexuality is less defined and more fluid.  It is an incredibly sexy quality to have.  There is a certain courage and acceptance that seems to go along with it but, more importantly, I feel like these women have less rigid rules and unfortunate judgements/stereotypes about other women (and men),as a whole.  It is unfortunate that the lesbian community can be so naively dismissive and unaccepting of women with what might seem to them to be a less clear cut, defined sexuality.  I feel like it is getting better with the younger generation, but I still see it affecting women's lives in strong ways.  I was glad that this was discussed in this book.

Unexpected Pleasures is kind of like an intro too and a self-help book for women coming out as lesbians later in life.  I wish it had been slightly more fluid, but the woman who wrote it was a researcher and so I understand she had to narrow her focus.  I would like to read a similar book that included lesbian women who have come out as heterosexual later in life and lot more women who did not identify as one way or another.  There were some components like lesbian sex being better than heterosexual sex as a whole that rubbed me the wrong way, and I had so much I wanted to put forth to argue my points.  We do not have to tear down one to enjoy another.

Overall, though, it was a good introductory, supportive, positive book, and it relied heavily on actual interviews with women, which I appreciated.  I also liked the sources offered in the back of the book. The book was written based on British women's experiences and so the sources were geared to them too, though the author had a few US sources as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment