• Mon. Dec 11th, 2023

Exploring the Concept of ‘Compulsive Heterosexuality’: A Lesbian Feminist Perspective


Nov 19, 2023

Lesbian Masterdoc, a Google Doc written by Angela Luz when she was a teenager, has made the term “compulsive heterosexuality” go viral on the internet. The document outlines Luz’s own struggles with discovering her identity and highlights the challenges that lesbians face in distinguishing between societal expectations and their own desires.

Compulsive heterosexuality is a concept coined by lesbian feminist Adrienne Rich, who argued that heterosexuality is not a natural inclination of women but rather a political institution that oppresses them. Rich suggested that female sexuality exists along the “lesbian continuum,” where women benefit more from intimacy and relationships with women than from any relationships with men. This idea has been useful for many young women struggling to understand their identity and attraction to men.

However, the term has also been used to exclude and invalidate other queer women, particularly trans, bisexual, and pansexual individuals. Like many (but not all) lesbian feminists, Rich did not include trans women in her feminism, denying that they are “real” women. The term has also been used to invalidate bi and pansexual female experiences. Despite these criticisms, compulsive heterosexuality remains an important concept for many young women seeking to understand their identity and attraction to others.

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