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These so-called flexisexuals say that although they are not gay or even bisexual, they enjoy flirting and kissing girls -- but they still enjoy having sex with men. One female senior at Hofstra University in New York said she is apt to turn to women when she's had too much to drink.
The student, who declined to give her name for fear a future employer might Google her sexual escapades, is one of many young women who are more flexible in their attitudes about sex. Experts say they may be influenced by the growing visibility of same-sex couples and more open attitudes about sex in general.
Pop culture, itself, seems to celebrate that flexibility in songs like Katie Perry's, "I Kissed a Girl [and I Liked It]," a song that year-old Alisha Garrison said "made girls be more free to do whatever they want. Flexisexual is also known as heteroflexible, pansexual or queer, all subtle variations that mean they are not closing any doors.
Hollywood has its own examples: Lindsay Lohan, 24, who dated Samantha Ronson, denied she was a lesbian and "maybe" bisexual. She has since returned to men. Angelina Jolie, 35 and now happily ensconced with Brad Pitt, had a sexual relationship with Jenny Shimizu. And Drew Barrymore, 35, has reportedly said, "Being with a woman is like exploring your own body, but through someone else.
There is even a dating site? Flexisexual -- where women can find "sexy, open-minded women looking to explore their sexuality, chat, hook up with and more. For many of today's women in their late teens and 20s, openness to intimate physical relationships with either gender has become a way of life, rather than an "experiment.
This relatively new phenomenon is likely a product of a generation unconcerned with labels. Often, it begins in the enlightened college cocoon, where women can explore their sexuality, though a recent ABC report from San Antonio, Texas, said flexisexuality is also part of the high school culture. Experts say more sexual experimentation occurs when people have not yet found a partner, before they settle into monogamous relationships.
College is also a safe cocoon for self-discovery. Many scientific studies have also confirmed that both heterosexual and lesbian women tend to become sexually aroused by both male and female erotica or have a bisexual arousal pattern.
A study from Northwestern University found that compared with men, women's sexual arousal patterns may be less tightly connected to their sexual orientation and more "flexible. Some girls say this has nothing to do with their sexual identity. And some think it even "indirectly mocks" the gay community, according to Caleb Fox, a year-old from the University of Texas.
And from a feminist standpoint it continues the objectification of women. Lisa Diamond, associate professor of gender studies at University of Utah, has been studying the topic for years, and confirms women are, indeed, more flexible in their sexuality and for a variety of cultural, and perhaps biological, reasons.
Claire, the sister in the HBO series, "Six Feet Under," had a sexual dalliance with a female friend, but decided it wasn't her thing and returned to boys. Diamond said women's capacity for fluidity has always existed, but only now has society had a cultural understanding after collecting data from around the world.
It has taken folks awhile to realize you can have a periodic attraction, but that does not make that sexual identity legitimate. Men appear to be more "rigid" in their sexuality but that may be because society is more judgmental, according to Diamond. If HBO had a narrative with a heterosexual man having an encounter with another man, "no one would believe it," she said.
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Flexisexual: Girls Who Kiss Girls, But Like Boys