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By Edmund Coleman-Fountain

This ebook contests the concept that lesbian and homosexual different types are disappearing, and that sexuality is changing into fluid, through displaying how teens use them in a global within which heterosexuality is privileged. Exploring identification making, the publication exhibits how outdated modernist tales of sexual being entwine with narratives of normality.

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Sample text

This echoed Anna’s discussion of kissing, although for Liam, as sexual practices went beyond the ‘safe’ terrain of kissing and other forms of experimentation, a greater degree of risk was introduced. Indicating the way gay men’s engagement with sex has been transformed post-HIV/AIDS, Liam’s account of becoming sexual was shaped by the perceived importance of making responsible choices. Adolescence is a time when young people come to terms with the way society sees them as sexual. Often this is shaped by heterosexual values that set perimeters for sexual experiences.

But I knew in my head and like every part of myself knew I was gay when I was doing this thing but there was this niggling doubt. I thought ‘I could possibly be bisexual, how hard can it be to be bisexual’ and I think there was a part where I thought I could maybe kind of convert myself. The British philosopher Gilbert Ryle (1990) said that, whilst also referring to something that people think of, the phrase ‘in the head’ also establishes a nearness to the body. Likewise, Will’s use of the phrase demonstrated the ‘nearness’ he felt between himself and his (undisclosed) gay identity.

It has been argued that young women have historically been denied a language of desire (Fine, 1988). This denial, Karin Martin (1996) argues, alienates young women from their bodies. Responding to this, Tolman (2002) says that young women should be equipped with a language of desire to make sense of their bodily feelings. In the stories the young women told, this absence was not so marked, and feeling was central to the stories they told about coming to identify themselves as lesbian. For example, Jess, another student of 19, switched between identifying as a lesbian and identifying as bisexual, debating her identity on the grounds of feeling: Edmund: What would you say your sexuality was?

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