Over the last 10 years or so there has been a noticeable emergence of people claiming their ‘bi-sexuality.’ Basically, claiming that they are attracted to both sexes. This is different from being ‘homosexual’ in that a true homosexual person is only attracted to the SAME sex, whereas bi-sexual people are attracted to both – sometimes without even a preference for one sex over the other. Many people suggest and even insist that bi-sexuality does not exist – demanding that a preference or choice be made. So, what is the truth – does bi-sexuality REALLY exist – or are the people who claim bi-sexuality really just fooling themselves into thinking they are not homosexual?
BI-SEXUAL, BI-CURIOUS or BOTH?: We have all heard the stories of that good friend who says, “you know, once while I was in college…..” or “I experimented because it was the thing to do…” or “we had a threesome and I really enjoyed being with…..” Everyone probably knows someone who has crossed over the proverbial ‘orientation’ lines and has dabbled in the homosexual arts – they were bi-curious. Many of these people ‘come out’ later as being homosexual, some chalk it up to the immature antics of a bi-curious college student, and still others claim bi-sexuality. So, where does the line between bi-curious turn into bi-sexuality? Or, if you have had that one night of experimentation, does this make you bi-sexual?
The answer is yes AND no... as many of my answers are. IF you have engaged in sexual activity with someone of the same sex, ENJOYED IT and WANTED TO DO IT AGAIN – then you are most likely homosexual or bi-sexual. IF you find a strong preference for one sex over the other – as in you would never want to have a same sex or opposite sex experience again – then you are heterosexual or homosexual. However, if you enjoy being with same sex and opposite sex on almost the same level – then you are bi-sexual.
There is also a whole realm of ‘fantasizers’ who have thought, desired and contemplated being with someone of the same sex – but never take the final plunge. These people are likely bi-curious and may be bi-sexual or even homosexual. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, you can’t really align one way or the other unless you have either tested the theory OR know that you would never, ever want to be with the same sex or the opposite sex. Some people DO know that they are homosexual at very, very early ages. I believe that it is much harder to define one’s bi-sexuality.
Sexuality, in general, runs along a sort of continuum – meaning, it can change and be altered by our personal experiences, beliefs and what we are taught. Many people who are clearly homosexual will never cross over the lines of what is ‘acceptable’ and may spend their lives being unhappy and unsatisfied sexually. These people are clearly pushed into their sexuality by societal or personal pressures. Sometimes people do try same sex sexuality and do not find it their ‘niche’ – and these people then align as heterosexual. Then, those who may try both experiences can not choose. Life happens – and our life experiences not only form the basis of who we ARE, but also provide our sexual foundation.
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PICK A BOX: It seems like everywhere we go, we are forced to ‘pick a box’ – single, married, divorced, gay, lesbian, straight – we are forced to pick a box. Life is not always that simple, and sexuality is a complex thing. We can’t always pick a box. If we were to have boxes for sexuality there would be many: men who have sex with only women, men who have sex only with men, men who have sex with men and women, and men who abstain. There would be equally as man for the women. This is a lot of choices - and truly, shouldn’t we be afforded those choices? We can be a smoker or a non-smoker – but sometimes you just want a drag – does that mean you are a smoker?
Some would argue once a smoker, always a smoker. In sexual terms, ‘once you are with a same sex partner, you are always bi-sexual or homosexual.’ I believe it is not that clear cut – and why should it be? Once again – PREFERENCE and EXPERIENCE lend themselves to making true decisions when aligning our sexuality. Some people do have a same sex sexual experience and never really forget it – constantly wanting to have it again while others would never do it again if the situation presented itself.
Then there are those whom openly admit their bi-sexuality and prefer not to align – or may choose one sex or another with which to have a serious relationship. Are they then not ‘bi-sexual’ if they get married to one sex or the other? I think you are bi-sexual in orientation if you truly have sexual attraction for both sexes – and it will always be so even if you get married.
Do I feel this way? I am a bi-sexual woman, married to a wonderful MAN. I have had more than the casual relationship with women; I have had a fairly long relationship with a woman. I am attracted to women (always will be) and I am also attracted to men (always will be). I fell in love with a man – just the way it happened. It is my love and respect for him that caused me to marry him – not his penis! I would not want to be with a woman now because I love my husband, not because the feelings are no longer there. IF I had to check a box, it would be the bi-sexuality box – but I am a married, bi-sexual woman.
ONE PENIS TOO MANY: There are also many people who believe that women can be bi-sexual, but men have to be ‘gay or straight.’ It is the ‘one penis too many rule.’ What I mean is, a truly heterosexual man will often say, “I could never have a threesome with another dude, that is one penis too many.” They have NO urge whatsoever to see another man’s privates anywhere near them. They have very clear cut sexual orientation. Conversely, there are women who say, ‘4 boobs are too many’ and also have no urge whatsoever to be sharing sex with another woman.
Unfortunately, it is not this clear cut for everyone. Some people believe if a man wants to have sexual experiences with MEN and WOMEN that there is no way he could be bi-sexual, he HAS to be homosexual. The ‘one penis too many’ rule states that no self respecting man who wants to have sex with women would EVER be caught dead having sex with a man. As I have said, it is not that clear cut for TRUE bi-sexual people.
Of course there are those people who are in denial – they are homosexual, but cling to the desire of being ‘normal’ and therefore, hope to be bi-sexual. Most of these people will eventually align with homosexuality – but it may take their whole life to decide to admit it to themselves and to others.
THE PENIS’ HAVE IT: A controversial study done in 2005 at Northwestern University tested self-proclaimed ‘bi-sexual men” by measuring their sexual arousal to pornographic videos featuring ONLY men or ONLY women. These men had a much higher arousal level (and sometimes ONLY arousal level) when viewing the male only videos. This, in the study’s perception, validated that there is no bi-sexuality – at least when it regarded males.
While there have been similar studies that purportedly show different results (and some the same results) I am of the opinion that testing the few to make a judgment for the many is simply not appropriate or accurate. These same people assume that everyone is either ‘gay, straight or lying’ and that, in my opinion, is just ridiculous!
It is not so easy to define our true sexual preferences, especially for women. Women connect on a physical, emotional, intellectual and sexual level. Women will often admit being attracted to the same sex, but never act on it. Are these women bi-sexual, or simply admiring the female form? Sexually and physical attraction are much different, and easier to obtain, than emotional attraction. For many women and men, having that emotional connection is the deciding factor.
Women are bred to be closer with other women. We have strong emotional ties; we hug, kiss and even hold hands. While this doesn’t make us ‘bi-sexual’ or lesbians, it does help to format a very natural bond. This is why in the eyes of society; lesbianism is acceptable, while gayness is not.
Men are not formed to be close with other men. They are told from the very beginnings in most households that ‘men are not to be close or intimate with other men’ and this means intimate in any sense. Men are tough, rugged and do not have sexual feelings for other men or they are ‘sissies.’ Therefore, when a man comes out as being gay or bi-sexual they are looked at as ‘freaks of nature’ doing wrong in the eyes of God or society. Why is this?
SEXUAL MIS-IDENTITY: In the beginning of this article I asked, ‘… what is the truth – does bi-sexuality REALLY exist – or are the people who claim bi-sexuality really just fooling themselves into thinking they are not homosexual?
I think the answer is mainly individualistic – in that no one can tell us who we are REALLY attracted to besides ourselves. However, I tend to believe the truth is that bi-sexuality does exist and always has. As I have stated, I am bi-sexual – I pick that box – and I can do so because I know what my sexual feelings are. If others are like me, then they too know which box to put themselves in.
Some people may never choose the ‘bi-sexual’ box (despite being honestly attracted to both sexes) – and those people are not secure with themselves or their sexual identity. All I can suggest to these people is to try to be true to yourself – and be honest about your attractions – therefore giving yourself permission to be whomever you are.
Our society is changing and growing – especially where sexuality is concerned. It is a wonderful thing. There may always be people who are trying to keep only 2 boxes to check – and claiming the bi-sexual box is sexual mis-identity – but it truly isn’t. Life is not black – nor white – but glorious shades of all colors. I am happy to live in my gray box – and I am sure many others are too!
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