Social Question

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Is it possible that bisexuality is treated more as a "choice" than homosexuality or heterosexuality (Please read details)

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (23285 points ) August 1st, 2011

Of course some people still believe that homosexuality is a choice.
Of course some people accept everyone, as they are, regardless of how they got there.
Of course every group of people, whether classified by sexuality or otherwise, deals with their own unique struggles.

Having said that, I was discussing this in PMs with another jelly, and we are both curious to hear opinions from the collective on the subject. Some of the stereotypes that I have noticed surrounding bisexuality are that it means a person is greedy, promiscuous, wishy-washy, and/or unable to commit.

I, personally, have met several heterosexual and homosexual people that refuse to date someone that considers themselves to be bisexual. (I’m not trying to insinuate that it is the norm.)

Do you think that bisexuality is less supported in the LGBTQ community than other groups?
Do you think that certain people are more inclined to stereotype bisexuality as a choice, or an act of promiscuity, over other sexual preferences?

Any other comments or thoughts on the discussion are welcome, I am getting a headache from trying to articulate this very carefully, so I’m leaving it at that.

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77 Answers

Blackberry's avatar

I don’t know how the LGBTQ community feels about it. But I was always under the impression that a bi-sexual wasn’t any different than a gay or straight person. I don’t find it impossible that just like a person could be born gay or straight, that a person could also be born attracted to both sexes.

Yes, I think people are prone to stereotype bi-sexuals more than gays and straights, but I tend to think what society thinks as a whole isn’t very credible, usually.

Mariah's avatar

One stereotype that I’ve heard (and I have no idea if it has any bit of truth in it) is that there are a lot of curious teenage girls who get drunk and kiss their friend and then start proclaiming themselves bisexual….or worse, “I’m bisexual when I’m drunk.” If this happens, I’m sure some of them are “really” bisexual and others are doing it for attention, for “shock value,” etc. etc. The ones who do it for the “wrong” reasons probably give bisexuality a bad name and perpetuate a lot of those stereotypes about promiscuity.

I personally don’t really look at bisexuality differently from other orientations.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Mariah do you think the stereotypes are perpetuated by teenage girls looking for attention, or do you think they believe this will attract positive attention because of the stereotypes?

Mariah's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Definitely the latter.

zenvelo's avatar

There have been articles in local papers here in San Francisco over the years that Bisexuals are often shunned in Lesbian and Gay circles, that they are merely opportunistic and not committed. There are also opinions in both the straight worlds and the LG community to not get involved with a Bisexual person, because you never know when they’ll run off with the other sex.

I know it was a long time before the LG groups became LGB groups.

I personally believe it is just one part of the spectrum from strictly hetero to strictly homo. It is no more a choice than any other orientation.

incendiary_dan's avatar

My friend who is an editor at a bi women’s magazine wrote this blog entry that I think is relevant. Seems this attitude is at least fairly common, if not pervasive. Aside from that, my experience about this particular subject within the LGBTQ community is fairly limited.

Blackberry's avatar

So is this really just a problem of people having an aversion towards “fence-sitters”? Similar to agnostics being shunned by both theists and atheists? Typical tribe mentality, you’re with us or against us.

Jude's avatar

Following

syz's avatar

My own experience is that much of the straight community has a truly distorted understanding of what it means to be bisexual (I won’t be satisfied unless I’m in a relationship with both sexes at the same time, that I can’t make up my mind, that I’ll cheat with one or the other, that I’m promiscuous, etc). And the LGBT community acts as if I’m just “playing” or “experimenting”, and I’m going to wind up married to a guy and popping out babies any day now.

In reality, my own bisexuality means that who I fall in love with doesn’t depend on what’s in their pants. It doesn’t mean that I’m a “fence-sitter”. It’s not a matter of “either, or”.

I have invariable found that when I professed to being bisexual while in a relationship with a man, I was “kinky” or “racy”. When I profess to being bisexual when in a relation ship with a woman, I’m lesbian. Fine. Whatever.

Jude's avatar

I am emotionally and physically attracted to women. I can have sex with men (and enjoy it), yet, there is never an emotional nor romantic connection. What does that make me?

Blackberry's avatar

@Jude Greedy, and a sinner! Just kidding, to be honest I don’t know, but with my limited knowledge, I would say Bi?

redfeather's avatar

@Blackberry haha that’s what my dad says. “They’re not bi, they’re greedy!”

I don’t think it’s a choice, I think it’s just the way someone is. Same with being straight or homosexual. Yeah, I’ve made out with my best girlfriends when I was drunk, but I know I’m not attracted to girls. That was just me being a drunken mess. The girls that are saying they’re bisexual when they’re drunk are just saying that because they think guys think it’s hot.

Aethelflaed's avatar

For many, being bi seems to be perceived a “phase”, especially if you’re under 25. Which, while it might be true, is only ever said to invalidate someone; you’ll notice a distinct lack of people going “You know, for many, being skeptical of what the media says is a phase”. And I don’t know exactly how long something has to be in order to stop being a “phase” and start being, at the very least, a significant part of your life for a long time – can I call my parents quarter-of-a-century marriage a “phase”?

I’ve had both lesbian girlfriends think I was greedy or kidding myself or just toying around with them, and boyfriends who refused to commit because they thought I could never be sexually satisfied with them. Which always seemed weird, because sexual satisfaction (at least for me) isn’t about looking at someone else’s junk and going “awwww yeaaaaaaah”, it’s about how well you can connect with me and I with you and how well we can get each other off. So it seems far more likely to me that a straight woman would cheat on a man who doesn’t sexually satisfy her than a bisexual woman who’s man is fantastic in the sack. It also really hurt coming from that particular boyfriend because there was literally no reason to think that I was in any way sexual unsatisfied; I was and I was pretty vocal in expressing my satisfaction.

So, in short, yes, this is a “thing”. Also a thing: There are no bisexual men. I mean, obviously, I’m not serious, but have you ever noticed that when we talk about bisexuals, it’s the one time women are the default? Men are either straight or gay, but never bisexual. And I actually know very, very few bisexual men, or at least men who let me know that they like both, despite being active enough in the gay community that you’d think I would know more. What’s up with that?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

They’re not greedy. They’re smart. Doubles your chance of action.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe’ post brings up another one: Straight or gay is about biology, whereas bisexuality is a political identity more than anything else.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I believe people who are bi get crap from both straight and queer communities. I don’t think that has to do with whether it’s more of a choice, but more with passing privilege and with unfounded fears that they’re somehow not as likely to stay with you indefinitely, that they will always lack something if they’re just with you. It sucks.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir well my insinuation that people view it as more of a choice falls along the lines of the examples that @redfeather and @Mariah gave. Lots of people seem to assume that because some people appear to “turn it on” when it is most convenient, that bisexuality is a choice overall.
In a different way, I think that several posts above have nailed it, in suggesting that sitting on the fence is just unacceptable in so many areas of society. You know, you’re only bi because you can’t pick a side!~

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Right, I do know of that stereotype. I really don’t get why people can’t deal with grey areas.

redfeather's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf just wanna be clear that I do NOT think it’s a choice. I was just using some examples of the girls I know who tell people they are and make out with girls at bars surrounded by fist pumping frat boys.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Indeed. I knew a few bisexual people in high school whose parents believed that bisexuals were just kids who wanted to have sex without the chance of getting pregnant.

KatawaGrey's avatar

If you consider that an estimated ten percent of the population is homosexual, which means that five percent of the population is gay females and five percent is gay males and thus forty-five percent is straight females and forty-five-percent is straight males, bisexuals only have “access” to five percent more, which kind of shoots down the whole greedy thing in my opinion.

What gets me is when pansexuals and omnisexuals talk down to me because I label myself as bisexual, or they say, “Nah, you’re really a pansexual,” or something like it. It drives me up a wall because when I call myself “bisexual,” I take the meaning of the etymology quite literally. “Bisexual” meaning “two sexes” or, if you want to get really specific which I often have to “two sexual organs.” I am sometimes attracted to people with penises and I am sometimes attracted to people with vaginas. That’s where the “bisexual” ends. It doesn’t describe my personality or “gender” preferences, and no, I don’t think that excludes someone who is transgendered or someone born with multiple sex organs. There are still only two kinds of external genitalia that humans can have. This is why I am a “bisexual” and not a “pansexual.”

As a bisexual female, I have been lucky to have boyfriends who don’t give a flying fuck about who I might be sexually attracted to, as long as I’m just having sex with them. This brings me to my next point. I have never had a sexual experience with a woman and at this point in my life, I hope I never do simply because I kinda want this current relationship to be my last which many people think means that I’m not an “actual” bisexual. This is absurd. If that were true, then by the same criterion, I would have been asexual until the age of 19, when I lost my virginity.

One stupid thing I heard from a fellow bisexual that really made me wince is that bisexuals can be “monogamous” with one of each. Even after a long and arduous discussion about what the term “monogamous” actually means, he still held his position resolutely, and confirmed the suspicions and beliefs of many ignorant folks. Grrr.

Mind you, this was the same guy (who I dated for a few weeks) who told me I would be expected to make out with his friend’s girlfriend, should I ever meet them because everybody’s girlfriend made out with her.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@KatawaGrey What do you see as the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality? I’ve always thought of bisexual as a way to say that you enjoyed both genital formations, whereas pansexual was more of a political stance, a way to say that you’re open to whomever comes along and wouldn’t necessarily discriminate against a certain set of genitals, as well as rejecting the gender binary. But I could totally be wrong, and your post has me wondering if I am (what do these people mean when they say “You’re not bisexual, you’re pansexual”?).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@KatawaGrey I must admit you are the first person to identify as bisexual that I know of to say that your sexuality is centered around person’s genitals. Perhaps as @Aethelflaed, the tension with other sexualities comes from people’s different understanding of what sexuality means. To me, it’s about brains. I’m literally brain-sexual. If someone is intelligent, I want them sexually and after years of identifiying as bi, I began to identify as queer – just feels more me, I suppose.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Half the time, I want to chuck the whole “sexuality” thing out the window and just say that if I like someone, and they like me, I’m open to having sex with them, but there is no sexual identity. And then the other half of the time I like how the sexuality construct helps people figure out quickly if this is worth their time, or if they should move on and talk to someone else (because everyone’s always trying to get laid). And then there’s this third half (which isn’t mathematically wrong, because it overlaps with the other halves) that hates how often someone will identify as totally gay or totally straight and then go and date/sleep with/end up marrying someone of the opposite gender as their identity says they do (a lesbian marrying a man, etc) because it renders the whole construct pointless and meaningless and useless.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Aethelflaed: From what I understand, pansexuality is not about physical sexuality at all, but rather about gender. Also, many of the pansexuals I have spoken to assume that when I declare myself a bisexual, I am excluding transsexuals, people born with both kinds of genitalia, and people who do not identify with the sex which they were born. This is not true. As I said, I am attracted to people who have a penis or a vagina or both, hell, I’m adventurous.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: I’ve always thought of a person’s sexuality as a broad category, not a specific identity. For example, a heterosexual male does not go, “Hm, something with a vagina… I’m going to fuck it.” He goes, “Hm, a person with a vagina… okay, there is a possibility of attraction there. Now, is she kind and intelligent? Does she like Woody Allen movies? How does she treat her mom? Is she a dog-lover?” When I say that “bisexual” I mean that my broad sexual identity identifies if someone has a penis or a vagina, and then I go from there. In my case, “Hm, that person has a penis or a vagina? Okay, do they play Magic? Do they smile a lot? Do they prefer beer or mixed drinks? What kinds of books do they read?” Everyone’s sexuality registers if the genitalia “fit” and then attraction goes from there. This is why a heterosexual male does not want to fuck his male best friend, but may want to fuck his female best friend, who may be exactly like his male best friend.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I agree with the three of you. I’ve said this on Fluther before, but I don’t particularly like to call myself bisexual. It isn’t about genitalia for me, either. I feel like it is the person that attracts me , not what is between their legs. Genitalia is almost an afterthought. I’ve just never felt a different type of attraction to men or women, it all feels very much the same to me.

KatawaGrey's avatar

I think I just have a completely different view of sexuality than everyone here. For me, my sexuality is physical and not automatically connected to love or other kinds of attraction. Obviously, I am not only attracted to genitalia, but it is a factor, for a lot of people. That doesn’t mean that they are un-evolved or uneducated or whatever. It means that physically, they are attracted to people with a certain kind of sexual organs. It’s part of physical attraction.

linguaphile's avatar

I have a friend who won’t call herself bisexual because of connotations presented by society (and because of the aversion to fencesitters like @blackberry said). She says she falls in love with the person not the gender.

On a similar vein, I don’t fall in love with genders either, but with a person’s mind. I can’t love someone if I’m not first in love with their mind—and I’ve had intense crushes on both men and women (straight and gay) because of how I first become attracted to a person. But, I wouldn’t consider myself bisexual because I don’t have sexual relations with women.

My uncle—who is gay—told me while I was in high school that there were 5 different types of attraction: sexual, physical, mental, emotional and social, AND degrees of attraction. He said that I could be crazy-attracted to anyone in any of those 5 areas, but society only defines sexuality based on the sexual attractions. So, I could be anywhere along the in-like to mad-crazy continuum about someone in the mental, emotional, social, and physical areas, but not sexual area… and it still wouldn’t define my sexuality. And… I bet most people are that way, too.

That helped me get through a lot of different types of attractions to both sexes without becoming confused.

wundayatta's avatar

Well it has to be a choice if you’re going to be monogamous, doesn’t it? You have to choose a person who will almost always be either male or female. A bisexual person might choose to be related with anyone. They won’t exclude anyone based on sex. However, at some point they have to choose someone to be involved with, and at that point, they also choose the sex of the person they are involved with.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@wundayatta But it’s not like just because a bi person is with someone considered to be an opposite sex that they become heterosexual. So it’s not a choice.

everephebe's avatar

I’m one of the people who don’t think homosexuality is a choice, I mean I guess it can be but… and I feel the same way with bi-sexuality. I think most people are born with inherent preferences, and those preferences are not necessarily one way or another.

People who are bi-sexual can pick and choose who they want to be with much more than a hetro or homosexual person could right? So I see where it gets confusing for some people. I actually dislike the term bi-sexual it comes from the idea the sexuality is binary. Sexuality is NOT binary! I think bi-sexuality should be called something else. Like do away with the bi part and call it what it is, sexuality.

We’re all sexual beings, and some of us have more defined preference towards one sex or gender. Others don’t, so what?

wundayatta's avatar

Ah @Simone_De_Beauvoir My mistake. I thought the choice was between what sex they wanted to be with. You’re saying it’s about the fundamental nature of the person. I agree. No choice as to fundamental nature, but still, they can choose the sex of their partner, whereas others stick to one or the other.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@wundayatta I don’t know if sexuality is inherent or socialized. Either way, if one is a choice then all are. If one isn’t a choice, then none are.

DominicX's avatar

I’m not sure about “choice”, but I have met LG people who are “wary” of bisexuals. One of the issues is that many homosexual people use bisexuality as a “stepping stone” on the way to coming out because they think that being bisexual is less of a “blow” to their friends and family than being homosexual would be. They later admit that they are fully homosexual and that they only claimed bisexuality to soften the blow or because they wanted to cling to the last thread of heterosexuality that they never had in the first place.

Not only that, according to people in the 14–16 age range that I have spoken to, claiming bisexuality when you are not is a bit of a “fad”, especially among “edgy” teenage girls. It seems that some people think it’s “cool” to be bisexual in a hope that it will actually attract more people to them. Not to mention some teenagers simply want to experiment and use the label of “bisexual” even if they end up not being bisexual in the first place.

What’s interesting is that this so-called “stepping stone” is now being looked upon as a worse option than just coming out as homosexual, because they are afraid people will not take them seriously if they say they are bisexual.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Been following this for a while, but is it possible the bisexual person is more open minded and willing to try either sex rather than ingrained by something, I don’t exactly what to go for just one sex?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DominicX Re: your first reason – it is beyond me why anyone would consider that a problem. That is, so what if someone said they were one sexuality in order to soften the blow for themselves or others or because that’s how they felt for a time or whatever? Who are we to tell anyone how their sexual trajectories might be?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Sorry, I’m having trouble understand that, as well. Glad Simone asked.

DominicX's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

I haven’t had any personal experience with it, but the only thing I’ve heard is that “actual bisexuals” are worried that it’s going to cause people to doubt their sexuality if other people who claimed bisexuality are now taking it back. It strengthens the whole idea of them being “wishy-washy”.

Additionally, another reason people of wary of bisexuals is that they say bisexuals always prefer one gender over the other and they hope that by getting into a relationship with them, the bisexual person is not just “settling” for their less-preferred gender.

Disclaimer: This is all based on what I’ve heard from being on forums for LGBT teens. This does not reflect my personal feelings about bisexuality.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@DominicX I suppose it is frustrating to have people think you’re always in a phase especially if for some people it was phase. As to the settling, all people can worry about that, no?

Blackberry's avatar

For the first reason, I think @DominicX was saying that, some people simply have a hard time grasping their precious son or daughter being fully gay, for example. So if they come out as bi first, the reaction may be “Oh, well at least they’re still attracted to the opposite sex” instead of, “OMG my son is having buttsex” or “OMG my daughter is licking vaginas and using toys!!!”

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Blackberry Well when you it phrase it like that, it’s much easier to understand. lol

martianspringtime's avatar

I personally don’t treat bisexuality as a choice, or think anything negatively about it. So I’m going purely on theory and the impression that I get from people I’ve encountered who do see it as a choice.

That being said, I think maybe some people tend to be more condescending about bisexuality because to them it says “I’m not sure”; they don’t realize that not everyone only limits their interest to either male or female. Some people might be able to understand homosexuality – they feel that it’s just like them, only attracted to the same sex instead of the opposite – but can’t understand the concept of someone being attracted to more than one sex. It bewilders them so they think it must be a choice and not a natural inclination.

Also it seems to me that a lot of people confuse bisexuality with wanting to be in a relationship with more than one person at a time, or think that the bisexual person will just not be able to handle being in a monogamous relationship for some reason. As if being attracted to men and women means that you have absolutely no self control and will cheat on your significant other with everyone just because you can. Bisexuality seems to be linked in most people’s minds to having more sex rather than being attracted to more sexes.

SpatzieLover's avatar

I don’t think it’s a choice, but I do tend to think it’s a spectrum. Just because someone identifies as hetero doesn’t mean they don’t feel an attraction to someone of the same sex and vice versa.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t like to classify sexuality as choice, genes, etc. Why does it matter? So, in turn, I am fine with however someone identifies themselves, straight, gay, bi, and accept them as they are. I have heard the gay community is not very nice to bisexuals, because they believe them to be gay, and giving into social pressures and norms. Straight people who don’t treat bisexuals well, or harp on it being a choice, probably do the same to gay people, probably anything outside of what they consider normal.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@DominicX I have known some girls (when I was in high school) who were just sort of experimenting. Like how “all girls are bi in college”, except it was now in high school. I was wary of those girls, because I didn’t want to get into a relationship with a girl who was going to a) not really enjoy kissing me and b) leave me in a month when they realized that no, they actually didn’t like girls. But this didn’t mean I didn’t like all bisexuals (being one), just that I asked that they have been out for at least 6 months. So it’s not that I’m wary of any particular sexuality, so much as one that is brand new to a person and possibly unexamined. It’s like banks and credit ratings. It’s not that I’m trying to say that you’ll definitely hurt me, just that I would like to see some proof of stability before committing myself to a further relationship.

I think the phase thing is tricky. Some people do go through phases with their sexuality, though I think it’s fine when your younger and even encourage it. But I think it’s somehow really bad to have your sexuality be a phase, or even flexible, because it goes against the party line that homosexuality isn’t a choice. But people aren’t always exactly who they’re going to be for the rest of all time; people aren’t static.

@Adirondackwannabe Yes and no (to bisexuals being more open-minded). People mean different things by bisexual. For me, it’s both a political/philosophical thing and a sexual thing: It’s both that I don’t like the idea of saying “never” and don’t want to limit my possibilities, and that I truly on a gut level find both sexes attractive. You can show me photos of both sexes, naked, and I’ll be all “yuuuummm”. Obviously, not just any people, I have to actually find them attractive, but I find many, many people of both sexes to be really hot. I think, but am not sure, that when it’s a political designation (that you don’t want to limit your options and say never) it’s called pansexuality. I think. And there are going to be bisexuals who would fit some people’s definition of pansexuality, but call it bisexuality.

@wundayatta I think for many bisexuals, it’d be incorrect to say that they start with the genitals in “choosing” someone to be monogamous and go from there. It’s usually more like “Hey, you’re Steve/Jessica, the person I’m in love with and want to be monogamous with, and you happen to have that set of genitals, and luckily they turn me on.” At least that’s how it is with me – but other bisexuals, if I’m wrong, or if that doesn’t apply to you, please jump in.

JLeslie's avatar

I think of the phase thing as only about sex. Anyone can have sex. Sure some people really only want to have sex with a particular gender, but for expirementation or curiousity sake, anyone can fool around. This fooling around does not make someone gay or straight in my opinion, unless the person is compelled over time towards a particular gender.

For me the more important thing is who someone is attracted to in regards to sharing a relationship with. I think each gender tends to add a particular dynamic to relationships. This is generalizing of course, but if I lived with a woman, married to her, I think my household would be very different than living with my husband aside from the sex. How we communicate, what we are interested in. When someone tells me they are gay, my mind does not leap to the bedroom.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@JLeslie You would think so, but it’s really amazing how “masculine” lesbians can be and how “feminine” gay men can be. For the most part, the big differences in the relationships (the ones that I’ve had, anyway) are the physical ones.

wundayatta's avatar

@Aethelflaed I think you misread my posts. I said they would start with the person, and then whatever sex that person is, is the sex they chose.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@wundayatta Oh. Then yes, I did misread them.

Meego's avatar

I don’t believe it is in the genes. I also don’t believe it’s anything to do with greed.

I do however believe whatever life you choose is your choice whether is bi, gay, trans, straight.

Somehow it’s my choice to feel more compelled because my comfortability is with assertive type of guys who tend to be into the music or sports lifestyle definatley tall, meaty, dark haired kind of guys. No chest hair. Was I born that way? No my father was hairy monster.

It’s definatley my choice. But I dont think there is greed.

Am I greedy because I like that kind of guy?

While someone could say yes, I say no lol.

Blackberry's avatar

@Meego Yeah, because choosing the type of woman I like is exactly the same as choosing to have sex with a man…..

Mariah's avatar

@Meego I’m curious. Do you think people are born attracted to people similar to their parents? That’s just the impression I got from your sentences “Was I born that way? No my father was hairy monster.” To me, the fact that your father was different from the guys you’re attracted to now doesn’t prove that you weren’t born with the preferences you have. But I want to make sure I’m not misunderstanding you.

jerv's avatar

TL;DR

I like chocolate ice cream, but I also like strawberry. That is how my taste buds are wired; both taste good. Is it not possible that sexual preference is also not an either/or thing and that one could be wired to like both?

JLeslie's avatar

@meego I don’t think it is that simple. For some it is from the age of nothing they can only remember being attracted to the same sex, to say that is a choice is to ignore deny what is simply a part of them. Whether it be genes or environment, or hormones or whatever, I don’t feel in that case it is a choice, to choose to be only with the opposite gender in that case is to never feel right in their lives, never live the path intended for them. It’s depressing to even contemplate for me.

Carly's avatar

my only argument when talking to friends about this is: whenever you decide to get married (gay or straight), which do you decide? And if you’re bi (which I am, so don’t bitch at me for saying this) do you chose to stay monogamously loyal to that one partner, becoming simply a straight or gay couple, or do you keep up your bisexual nature and have an open relationship to balance things out? This is something I’m not sure how to answer, except to say, you’re still bisexual if you’re still attracted to men and women

incendiary_dan's avatar

@Carly How’s that different from any couple deciding the parameters of their arrangement (i.e. whether their monoamorous, polyamorous, etc.)?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Carly: I am in a monogamous relationship and still attracted to other folks, both male and female, but I do not act on those feelings.

Actually, I consider myself Bobsexual currently because I am only having sex with Bob and I am only interested in having sex with Bob. I have said that before on fluther and people have nastily picked at that statement but I stand by it.

incendiary_dan's avatar

@KatawaGrey That’s okay, Simone’s “brain-sexual” comment had me thinking about zombies almost immediately. :P

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Carly Bisexuality doesn’t mean you actively do both sexes at the same time, it means you are attracted to both sexes. It’s not really that different from if a straight person finds both brunette hair and blond hair attractive, but then the person that they marry only has brunette hair – it’s not like most people are going to go “gosh, I haven’t slept with a blond in awhile, I guess I have to cheat on my spouse in order to fill that ‘need’”.

@KatawaGrey Is Bob your boyfriend’s name, or are we talking @bob_ here?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Aethelflaed: Hah! Bob’s my boyfriend and he makes me sandwiches!

Aethelflaed's avatar

@KatawaGrey Lol ah, that sounds delightful!

Carly's avatar

@incendiary_dan it’s not different, but the situation viewed by others outside your relationship might assume you’ve gotten off the stereotyped “bisexual fence” and decided to go all gay or all straight. I’m pretty sure if I married into a straight relationship, my parents would just think/say that me being bisexual was just a phase, even if I told them it wasn’t. They’d tell me to prove it, and what I’m I going to do, make out with a girl? Of course, I don’t really care what my parents think about my sexual orientation, but I’ve still had people question whether or not I was bisexual after dating only a certain sex of partners for a while.

@Aethelflaed “you’re still bisexual if you’re still attracted to men and women”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Carly One’s bisexual nature doesn’t predispose them any more to polyamory.

Carly's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir no, of course not. I believe polyamory is more of a choice than being bisexual is, but still, when your sexual preferences are bit blurrier than someone who strictly identifies with being either gay or straight, you sometimes run into needing to explain yourself or sometimes, unfortunately, needing to prove to others what you sexually prefer. This doesn’t happen to me all the time, but back to the main questions posted above, I think being bisexual is definitely harder to take seriously in the LGBT community because it’s harder to (for lack of a better word) represent at one time.

But when it all comes down to it, I bet most people who consider themselves bisexual don’t give a crap about what others think about them when it comes to their preferences.

mattbrowne's avatar

I think the most significant influence comes from our genes.

One cannot really choose whether to become aroused by a sexy man, woman, or both.

One can choose not to follow up on that arousal. So bisexual people can choose to live a heterosexual life or heterosexual people can choose to live in celibacy. But arousal in a natural thing. Bisexual people get turned on by both sexes.

JLeslie's avatar

@Carly You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. It is their problem if they don’t believe you, and they are horrible to question it. How does having sex with a woman while in love and in a relationship with a man really prove anything? What? Just to show them? Your going to let outside influences determine if you are in a monogamous relationship or not? I have a realtive who is bisexual, but everyone of her long term relationships have been with men. So? I don’t think anyone should have to worry or define their sexuality to anyone else. Or, maybe I am just interpreting your words wrong, and you are just saying that indeed people do want you to prove what you are? But, in reality you also disagree with that way Of thinking? To me it seems like you can understand why they think that way, I can’t. I don’t understand. If someone is in a committed monogamous relationship, well then that is it. No having sex with others. But, that has nothing to do with who they might still be attracted to. I have been married for 18 years, monogamous with him for 20, but I still meet people I am attracted to, flirt with, have a connection with. My attractions are always to men (although I do find women very beautiful, but I never in my mind imaging sleeping with them or dating them if circumstances were different) being in a relationship does not change who we might be attracted to.

Meego's avatar

I have been sitting here trying to explain what I mean and I just keep erasing and starting over. Things are a bigger blur than before lately, I’m not sure what I mean. So I unfortunately can’t answer. I am really just giving myself a headache trying to arrange what I mean and find the words to explain it. I’m sorry :( my answer sucks.

I think I mean we don’t make the choice consciously but we don’t have a gene that says you will be straight.

If it was in the genes why is my BF the only guy in his family with the gay gene and everyone else is straight?

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Meego: I understand what you’re saying.

Mariah's avatar

@Meego “If it was in the genes why is my BF the only guy in his family with the gay gene and everyone else is straight?” These kinds of questions, especially the one, “if homosexuality is genetic why hasn’t it evolved away?” are puzzling indeed. Can I ask, does your BF have straight sisters?

The reason I ask is that one theory involves, not a “gay” gene, but rather an “I like men” gene. When girls get the gene they turn out straight, when guys get the gene they’re gay.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Meego is he the youngest of brothers?
Studies are showing that it has to do with hormones in the mother’s body during pregnancy that contribute to homosexuality in males.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I was thinking this through and a lot of the gay men and women I thought of were oldest children.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe the theory is that they would be the youngest son. Something about the mother’s body trying to reject them because they are not female, and then over time the body’s ability to feminize the fetus gets stronger. So, the more sons you have, the more likely this is to happen to the youngest son.
I saw it on a documentary recently… I’d have to look it up to be completely sure that it is even true.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I see where the theory would come from, and it appears logically possible, but everyone I know contradicts it.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Here is an article about it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Good article, thanks.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

How about a situation where a male is asked to do a threeway with a wife and her husband?

Meego's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf actually he is the only brother and has one sister who is surprisingly tom boyish but straight.

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