01.18.2008  BY EM & LO
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A new study out of the University of Utah claims to debunk the whole "bisexual until graduation" myth. Since 1995, study author Lisa Diamond has been following 79 women who identified as lesbian, bisexual, or "unlabeled" (jeez, you'd think she'd have gone with a slightly larger sample size if she was going to bother studying this topic for 13 years). And her conclusion? Being bi in college isn't a stepping stone on the path to being straight or gay, it's actually its own distinct sexual orientation; more than a decade on, few of the women would identify themselves differently.

"Women who reported bisexual patterns of attraction back in 1995 continued to report bisexual patterns of attraction all the way through to 2005," says Diamond. "Even if they eventually settled down with either a man or woman." The study also claims to poke holes in the idea that bi women can't commit--because the majority of bisexual women were in monogamous relationships that had lasted for five years or more (a much higher number than for their lesbian counterparts). After the jump, we throw our own labels into the mix...

Anyway, if studying 79 women gets you published in Developmental Psychology, a journal of the American Psychological Association, we want in! And our feeling is, maybe we just don't have enough labels. Here are three that might come in handy for future Ph.D. candidates, from our book Rec Sex: An A-Z Guide to Hooking Up (unrated by the American Psychological Association as of press time). You're welcome.

L.U.G. (lesbian until graduation)
The sexual orientation of approximately one-half of college girls. In high school, they identifies as straight, dating the captain of the football team and dutifully submitting to his clumsy and fairly unsatisfying fondling in the back seat of his dad's Range Rover. Once in college, they take a women's studies class on French feminist lesbian lit and subsequently begin to wonder about the same sex--namely, how a woman's lips and boobies might feel. Drunk with their newfound freedom and just plain drunk, they finally kiss a girl (with tongue) in order to a) satisfy their curiosity, b) privately rebel against their Republican "family values" parents, and/or c) challenge society's restrictive "norms" and thus create a more harmonious and beautiful world. It's a phase they outgrow when they put on the cap and gown.

bi-curious
The sexual orientation of every college girl, at least on the dance floor. Unlike L.U.G.s (lesbians until graduation), these bi-triers' primary motivation is the group of Sigma Chis cheering them on from the taproom. In rare cases, this curiosity about the sex one is not instinctually attracted to is acted on by gay people just for the novelty of it, or by straight men who write poetry.

B.U.T. (bi-curious until thirty)
A post-college lifestyle brought on by extenuating circumstances--one's location, occupation, or hobbies--which extends the usual period of bi-curiosity. Geographical influences include hipster communities in urban centers--e.g. the East Village, Williamsburg (Brooklyn), CAKE parties, Austin's South by Southwest festival, all of San Francisco. Occupational categories include starving artists, musicians, actors-slash-bartenders. Hobbies amenable to bi-curiosity include raves, cocaine, and spoken-word poetry. A.K.A. party bisexual.


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Em & Lo, more formally known as Emma Taylor and Lorelei Sharkey, are the self-proclaimed Emily Posts of the modern bedroom.

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