Rachel Resnick is the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller Go West Young F*cked-Up Chick and Love Junkie. She has published articles, essays, and celebrity-profile cover stories in the Los Angeles Times, Women's Health, and BlackBook, The Time of My Life, Damage Control, The Dictionary of Failed Relationships, The Best American Erotica 2004, Women on the Edge, L.A. Shorts, and Absolute Disaster. She is also a contributing editor at Tin House magazine. Resnick is the founder and CEO of Writers on Fire, provider of luxury writing retreats both in the United States and abroad.
Question: What role has bisexuality played in your life?
Rachel Resnick: Well, I think it’s gone through different phases, right? If we go back to that was so great that you brought up the Yale years, because that was a really interesting time, that was when I first felt that you could experiment, but I always felt more on this, you know, if there’s a spectrum. I mean, I love sex. I’m very open, I think sexually and I feel very lucky I don’t have any molestation or anything like that in my background, because I think that’s like [ugly], at least I don’t have that, speaking of Dickensian. But I always fell more on the spectrum toward heterosexual, but there was openness and there was, for me, I lost my mother to suicide when I was 14 years old and having had a rapture with her from the get-go, because of her issues, I think that there’s no question that this mother-daughter yearning and unfulfilled relationship played into the dynamic with other women, and that’s not the case for everyone. I became involved with this woman, and I believe that one of the aspects of it that was so different texturally was that I was learning to love myself as a woman and being open to a woman and that goes back to all those cultural stuff we’re talking about and women having this cultural double bind, I also fell in love with the woman with a person, but there is no question that that added another texture and dimension that was incredibly powerful. It was like coming to terms with being a woman and celebrating that.
Question: Was your celibate phase an important development for you?
Rachel Resnick: Certainly, after this experience, absolutely, yeah. I’m not saying that everyone who would want it or could deal with it but there was an openness that was absolutely a gift of recovering and I had two and a half years of celibacy, not intentional before that. I’d been about almost 4 years sober from, you know, again, it’s tricky when it’s you’re not stopping relating to other people, so it’s not as clear cut. I haven’t had a cigarette since, I haven’t had a glass of wine, but I have not felt that [fuzzy] thing in the same way, and I make different choices. But I needed two and a half years, who knew, of pretty much like because the sex really triggers me. I felt like I need two and a half years just to detox and it’s also about pattern. A lot of people make the mistakes that I made in their 20’s but they don’t keep making them, so I didn’t figure out that I was actually addicted to this until I was in my 40’s and had to face “Woh! What happened to having a child? Were of all these decades gone?” And that kind of brought it to the fore.
Recorded on: September 30, 2008.