Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Axiom 1: ‘People are different from one another’

Even identical sexual acts mean very different things to different people

Sexuality makes up a large share of the self-perceived identity of some people, a small share of others

Many people have their richest mental/emotional involvement with sexual acts they don’t do, or even don’t want to do

For some people, it is important that sex be embedded in contexts resonant with meaning, narrative, and connectedness with other aspects of their life; for other people, it is important that they not be; to others it doesn’t occur that they might be

For some people, the possibility of bad sex is aversive enough that their lives are strongly marked by its avoidance; for others, it isn’t

For some people, sexuality provides a needed space of heightened discovery and cognitive hyper stimulation. For others, sexuality provides a needed space of routinized habituation and cognitive hiatus

Some people like spontaneous sexual scenes, others like highly scripted ones, others like spontaneous-sounding ones that are nonetheless totally predictable

Some people’s sexual orientation is intensely marked by autoerotic [masturbatory] pleasures […] sometimes more so than by any aspect of alloerotic [or heteroerotic] object choice. For others the autoerotic possibility seems secondary or fragile, if it exists at all

Some people, homo-, hetero-, and bisexual, experience their sexuality as deeply embedded in a matrix of gender meaning and gender differentials. Others of each sexuality do not.


Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Epistemology of the Closet, p. 325.