Yes, this is likely going to turn into me ranting into the void of my blog, which some find amusing and of vague interest. But I find it helpful to organise my thoughts. So here we both are.
Sexual fluidity. Similar to gender fluidity, where someone's gender doesn't statically conform to one gender and often changes and grows as they do, sexual fluidity is where someone's sexuality doesn't remain static and changes as they person does. This can manifest itself in multiple different ways, and every sexually fluid person's experience with their sexuality is different. Some people undergo a single, sudden change in their life while others undergo more subtle changes often; it doesn't matter how it changes, all that sexual fluidity defines is that it does indeed change.
For many of you, this term will be new. Why? Because it's invisible in almost all forms of media. I identify as sexually fluid, meaning I'm more susceptible to hearing the term and therefore notice it more often, and I've never seen, read, or heard it in any form of media ever. And yes, it really sucks. I don't know why sexual fluidity isn't more recognised, as it's actually kind of interesting when you think about it and makes for an interesting fictional character. But the term itself never gets mentioned. I've read a few romances, specifically straight-gay MM romances, where I personally reckon they're sexually fluid, if I had to put a label on it, but it's never talked about, identified, or really considered beyond the "guess I like men now" storyline.
What Does Sexual Fluidity Look Like?
This really does differ person to person, and I can only speak of my own experiences, but sexual fluidity is more than a little confusing for the person, but in my own experience, the more you try to label it or conform to society's categories, the harder it becomes to breathe. I considered the term bisexuality for a long time, since I'm attracted to both men and women, then pansexuality, since I don't think I care about gender identity and I would probably happily be with a transgender or gender fluid person, but really, the defining feature of my sexuality is that it really does change. And not in the way that your food preferences change, where you fancy a burger Tuesday night and pasta Wednesday night. But in a more concrete way. My interest in women when I was younger was more . . . a light tickle in the back of my mind. And not due to denial or anything like that, but because I was genuinely more interested in men. They caught my eye more often, they're what I thought about more often, etc. But slowly, over the course of about three-four years in my late teens and early twenties, that preference shifted. And it's now the other way around.
I didn't come across the term sexual fluidity until I was about 22/23. And I think I read about it in a blog somewhere. So until then I just didn't care about a label. I didn't think about it often enough for it to become a problem. I've always been comfortable in my sexuality and the knowledge that my family and friends wouldn't and don't care. But I'll admit to feeling relieved when I came across a term that described my weirdness so beautifully, like I had finally found a small place in the world where I can exist without feeling different to everybody else. Another piece of my puzzle solved.
Why isn't it Mentioned More Often?
The truthful answer to this is that I don't know. It's likely because that lovely little '+' at the end of LGBTQ+ acts as a shield, covering up all of the minority sexualities that exist inside of it. And I'm sure lots of people feel this way. (That being said, I actually am okay with the plus sign existing because it would become ridiculous trying to fit everyone in, and it does make more sense for the letters to represent most queer people). Minority sexualities are often left out, including asexuals, aromantics, and pansexuals, but sexual fluidity in particular seems to be one people have never heard of. And that makes me so sad. There are probably hundreds, thousands even, of people out there who feel strange and different because they have never heard of a term that describes them so well. And I would never want to deprive someone of that.
So I think we should all make a more conscious effort to include minority sexualities in fiction--even in small ways--because you never know when that one scene in a book/movie/TV show might save someone's life. Might change their very existence for the better.
That's my entire rant and story, for anyone interested. It's less of a rant and more of a personal story, which I'm never fond of sharing, if I'm honest, but here we are. Now I should really get on with writing that book. Have a good day!