Bisexuality as asexuality: biphobic people, biphobia

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1,000 word rant on biphobia

I'm so weary of the beatings - albeit mostly in online chatter - bisexuals are constantly subjected to. Bisexuality is real enough, affectionate enough, and no threat to you.

Bisexuality equals asexuality?

My friend William kindly sent this to me from an Evolutionary Psychology list:

Does anyone really, really believe that bisexuality exists?

My many gay friends all agree that 'bisexual' is just a polite way of saying "rather sexually uninterested" -- used for people who don't feel much in the way of genuine sexual desire, who are roughly equally unexcited by both sexes.

Poor bisexual men and women. Some think they are as preposterous as poltergeists and perpetual motion.

I went through my bisexual phase. Unlike hasbians I didn't repent my twofold sexuality and return to the comfortable embrace of monolithic sexual preference. A latish erotic satori showed me that there are more than two genders, social reality if not biological fact. The weblog isn't called Pansexual Sodomite because I'm a fan of obfuscation.

Bisexuality can be damned surprising

Some years after I decided that I was a faggot I found my penis moving in a familiar way in an unfamiliar place: a woman's vagina. Nothing special about that, many - most? - gay men can have sex with women. When they aren't being obliging they'd rather not. To paraphrase Casey Stengle: sex is 90% mental; the other half is physical. In my case nothing seemed missing in heterosex (or maybe it did, this is a polemic and the woman was a wonderful person).

After she was gone I'd sometimes lust after women in my heart. At least the ones on TV. In meat life it was always the boys I noticed. When I went on my online dating binge a few years ago my feelings for women became warmer. Not that I met a woman online. Came close but most of them were too nervous in the early days of cyber-dating. And the word bisexual sent the siren blasting and red light flashing.

For a short time I did think of myself as a bisexual man. The main reason I rejected the label was discovering a more adequate description in the word pansexual. I was grateful; the bisexual men I met online were creepy adulterers. And monosexual people didn't like to know that you found a different sex lustworthy. Heck, even many of the nice folks don't like to know that your sexuality doesn't match their purity checklist (I've been just as bad).

Biphobic Heteros

I have to wonder if the fellow quoted at the beginning of this entry has gay friends. Biphobic gay men mostly think of a bisexual man as someone who won't admit that he's gay (they are too often right). "Get off the fence!" is their motto. (Sometimes being a person of two worlds is a pleasure.)

Homophobia can be attributed to religious upbringing, masculine insecurity, or rejected homoerotic desires. Does biphobia mask a similar pathology? In a man is it just another manifestation of fear of one's suppressed desires? Probably for heterosexual males. Is there a special fear of people who are drawn to both genetic sexes? Why would anybody care? But that would be my response to 97.3% of most people's sexual fears.

Both gay men and straight women assume that bisexual men will be unfaithful, that they'll stray to the other sex. Why? I don't know, probably simple-minded insecurity. That someone can enjoy both sexes won't be willing to settle for just one. Or that he really prefers whichever sex they aren't.

Biphobic Queers

Gay men who've been deserted by a bisexual man can't help but fear involvement with them. Impossible to not sympathize. There was a kindly nelly guy, near my own age, that I expected to meet. He saw an entry where I mentioned the sexual beauty of man black women. That put the fear in him. His last lover had left him for a woman. Despite my assurances that I'm a man committed to fidelity some trivial thing I said shortly thereafter gave him an excuse - that I think he wanted - to refuse to meet me or even reply to my emails. He was such a sweet guy it was a rejection that hurt. (And who wants to be reduced to a mere category?)

Biphobic Straight Females

Heterosexual women 'know' bisexual men are likely to give them AIDS. Homophobic bitch is all I can think. Just because I've been in another guy's ass doesn't mean I'm careless or don't care about the health of my sexual partners.

The fellow on the Evolutionary Psychology mailing lists sureness that bisexuality is a way of hiding a lack of sexual passion must be fucked up, no? Assuming that he's merely monosexual why would someone with more sexual options than he'll ever have be thought to be less impassioned.

Straight female biphobia may be an extension of the distrust conventional heterosexual women have of their men's capacity to be faithful. A premise steadily reinforced by lowbrow pop culture. TV shows and movies reconfirm the image of males as helplessly randy. I've had few women friends so I've mostly known the straight men who were betrayed by the straying female. All the old wicked enforcements of female chastity were born of a fear of women's capacity for sex, particularly multiple orgasms. The childish idealization of female sexuality that took too deep a hold in the 19th century made straight men look worse than (I imagine) most of them really are (or are capable of being, can get away with). Women have paid a steep penalty by being expected to live with ill-fitting appreciation of their own sexuality.

Bisexual people are the victims of invisible sexual prejudice. Gay men, who should know better deride them. Feminine guys who should be even more ready to accept others despise them. (Some anyway. And they have good reason too: a gay boy who is happy to be a gay boy isn't to be treated like a faux woman - of course boys who would be girls should get whatever they want.)

I've been meaning to bitch about this for a time, glad I finally got around to it.

[Listening to: Marc Almond: Meet Me in my Dream]

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Comments

Transferring over a comment from Live Journal:

Sometimes I wish people would distinguish between a bisexual lifestyle and bisexual feelings.

I’ve always felt like a bisexual lifestyle was a transient state of affairs. Once someone settles into a monogamous relationship, they have to choose a side of the gay/straight divide, because the lives of gay people and the lives of breeders are so different, especially if children are involved.

Bisexual feelings, however, I think are common in people who identify themselves as gay and str8, and live in all kinds of ways. I have a friend, who is currently dating a drag I know, and I’m sure he’s had sex with more women than men, but he likes pretty nancy boys too. I’m certain he has bisexual impulses and they probably play into his attraction to my friend in some ways too.

I think if people drew these distinctions, a lot more interesting conversations about what bisexuality means for people would happen.

My reply:

I don’t know there really anything you can call the bisexual lifestyle. I don’t feel any differently about Charles than I did Siobhan or treat him differently. People you love are people you love.

As you say bisexuals live in all kinds of ways. I wonder how many practicing bisexual men are in the closet in the sense they often don’t tell one gender that they like the other.

Of course my identification as bisexual may have been only a matter of months if not weeks.

Very original thought! As someone battling labels I love the distinctions you have drawn.

Congratulations, and my deepest thanks to you.

Eric

Reply to an unquoted LJ comment:

I’ve assumed for a long time that there some gay men identify strongly with women. I don’t mean clothing or role. Possibly less so than nowadays. When I was first meeting gay men the almost exclusive preference for female singers and intense admiration of actresses (very much the case with Charles) struck me as mystifying.

Until I realized that in pop culture only women were shown loving, being frustrated by men. At least I’ve tended to guess that was the cause.

It might be my own myopia: I’d like to be (in a sense - as charming as) Hugh Grant. I don’t lust after him. Take out sexual attraction and it always actors that I identify with.

Eric:

It is always disgusting to find yourself defined by cheap and easy labels.

Great essay on the whole bi thing. Sometimes a pair of bouncing breasts just catches the eye more than any pectoral ever could - or long, flowing, fragrant hair… I’m amazed at the open-mindedness ‘The Community’ demands of conservatives when there is a whole ‘nother layer underneath the LGBTQ acceptance. Do what you wanna do, do who you wanna do.

Minorities are all too often unempathetic of other minorities.

African-Americans, gay folk, Jewish people have often been at odds with one another despite common foes. Insularity and exclusionary attitudes are more common than not.

Thanks.

What someone cannot understand or comprehend, always scares and befuddles them. So therefore, They usually say that behavior is “wrong” or “confused”.

To me, for instance, bringing a Man or Woman to Orgasm orally, is Equally erotic, stimulating, satisfying, and SENSUAL! One is not “better than the other” or “wrong”.

my boyfriend is bisexual, im having problems with him, he seems to love me but he still has his past….i lovehim also, but i cant deal with this anymore, i need help so i can understand him better and be more supportive without ruin my life, i want to be happy with him

Isn’t the real question whether he is faithful or not? I lived with a woman for five years and never cheated on her. I live with a guy now, have for three years. I’ve never cheated on him.

If your partner loves you then it doesn’t matter who he has slept with. If he is cheating on you it doesn’t matter whether he is straight of bi.

Hey, I’m Bisexual and enjoying it best of both worlds, Bisexuals as Asexuality, Ha! that’s a bunch of crap. I wish that people just mind their own business and not diss on Gays,Lesbians,Bisexuals,Straights. Now what I’m seeing now is just awful, their are some gays that hate lesbians, and lesbians hating gays and they have this battle of the double standard were gay men say “Oh! it’s ok for men to kiss each other and do each other, but when women do it, it’s just nasty and perverted.” Same thing with lesbians “It’s not right when guys do it, but women it’s ok. Gee! Can’t we get along?? Who cares? What are we here on earth for? to get laid.

Disapproving of and distrusting people different than yourself is one of the primary pastimes of the human race.

Your feelings?

Please share your feelings about Bisexuality as asexuality: biphobic people, biphobia.
Thanks,
Richard

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