General Question

_zen_'s avatar

Does Bi-sexuality really exist?

Asked by _zen_ (7804 points ) August 24th, 2011

Apparently so, according to Time

It’s something I’ve always suspected anyway. Homosexuality is a given; it is not a choice – for two very simple reasons – no-one would choose to be Gay – and research has shown that the brains are wired differently from heteros.

Let me rephrase that: I don’t think anyone, at the youthful age during puberty, or before, would choose the difficulty associated with being different that way – or any way.

If an adult chooses to try different sexual life-styles – that is different.

But bi-sexuality means being attracted to both sexes.

Does it exist?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

60 Answers

laureth's avatar

It sounds like Time has answered your question.

iLove's avatar

Yes it does exist and I am a living example. I date people, not a particular sex. I have had boyfriends and girlfriends and no preference for either. To me, its all about the person and to be bisexual gives me a lot of choices!

MrItty's avatar

Being friends with several people – teens through adults – who are bi and have had relationships with both genders, yes, it unquestionably exists.

bags's avatar

Hasn’t anyone EVER read or heard of the Kinsey Report????

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You needed the Time to tell you something many others can, from their own experiences? Of course it exists in the sense that any of our sexualities exists.

stardust's avatar

Of course it does.

kingpinlovesyou's avatar

I’m gay/bisexual myself. I like peas, was it a choice to like peas? Not as far as I’m aware, was I born pre programmed to like peas? Who really cares I like eating peas and that’s how I feel about do I actually like girls, I have no idea if I was born to like men I just no I do and if I was to like girls even if I was born to like girls or not doesn’t matter to me it would just mean I like them.

JLeslie's avatar

My answer is yes it exists. I think some people are from a very young age, going along with what you pointed out regarding being gay from a young age or chooing later to have a rekqtionship with the same sex, which is different than always having been gay and stifling that part of you to fit into societal norms. I believe it all exists, born gay, born bi, born straight, or environmental influences leading to these outcomes, or a combination of biology and environment.

crimsonangie83's avatar

I don’t think sexuality is something that is black and white. Grey areas do exist. So to answer your question: yes.

wundayatta's avatar

This seems so silly, it seems to me. It’s kind of like race. Is there any way of measuring race? Not scientifically. All we can do is ask people what they identify as, or ask others to assign a race to others.

This is the same thing. Is that person bisexual? Let’s ask them. Or what do you think? Is that person bisexual? It’s absurd. What does it mean? What significance does it have? Do we really know anything more about a person when they tell us they are bisexual, or someone else tells us they are bisexual? People might draw stereotyped conclusions, but if you think you know something, it’s highly likely you are fooling yourself.

This research measures physical and reported arousal. I’ll bet a large number of men could be aroused by looking at gay sex, and yet they have no interest in participating in it themselves. Fantasy is much different from reality, as anyone who has ever fooled around online can tell you.

The whole idea of sexual valence is a product of fearful people with small minds. People are free to think what they want, but that may have little to do with predicting their behavior.

So, no. Bisexuality does not exist. It is a figment of people’s imaginations. All sexuality is a figment.

And yes, it is real, but it can’t be taken as a very meaningful thing. What is meaningful is the person, not the label, no matter who applies it.

Leanne1986's avatar

I am attracted to males and females. I don’t decide to be attracted to someone, it just happens. So, I would say yes, bi-sexuality does exist.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Yes.

I’m thinking Zen was just bored and wanted to see what would happen if he poked the Collective with a stick.

_zen_'s avatar

Nope. I think my views on the subject are clear. But it is a new study – which is always a good way to get people to say what they think.

DominicX's avatar

Yes, it does. I have met people who are bisexuality and I don’t doubt their descriptions of being attracted to both sexes; it’s very possible.

But I can understand why some people are maybe more hesitant to believe it exists. One reason is just the simple fact that most people are straight and are attracted to one sex. Even homosexuality is about being attracted to one sex. So the idea of being attracted to two sexes seems to go against the most basic aspect of sexual attraction.

Additionally, many homosexuals use bisexuality as a “stepping stone” because it seems less of a “blow” to admit to being attracted to both sex than to be attracted to the same sex. Many homosexuals also try and convince themselves that they’re still attracted to both sexes even if they really are only attracted to the same sex. This causes people that people identifying as bisexual will eventually admit to being gay. But that doesn’t mean there are “true” bisexuals out there.

King_Pariah's avatar

Yes, it does. Hell, after coming across Bianca Freire, Sarina Valentina, and the like, I had to admit that I am bi rather than straight. (if you go to look up BF and SV, they’re pretty nsfw)

El_Cadejo's avatar

Uhhh ya know in your details how you said “Homosexuality is a given; it is not a choice – for two very simple reasons – no-one would choose to be Gay” yea bisexual is the same thing

lillycoyote's avatar

Yes. I think sexual orientation is a continuum, with some people, probably most people, who are absolutely heterosexual on one end and some people who absolutely homosexual falling at the other end of the continuum; and then, there are all sorts of people falling somewhere along the line between the two ends, not in the absolutely one or the other category. Some in the middle, some closer to one end or the other.

_zen_'s avatar

@DominicX GA.

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Oy vey.

Hey, that rhymed.

Jude's avatar

^^Poet, and didn’t know it until now. :)

_zen_'s avatar

The Bard is turning over slowly…

mrrich724's avatar

Yea. People who are open-minded (or hedonistic) enough not to let the status quo interfere with new mediums of pleasure. I could easily see it being “real.”

I didn’t know it was a legit question until I heard about the report today or yesterday.

efritz's avatar

Yes, I think it exists.

However, when you said “No-one would choose to be gay,” I think you meant to say that no one would choose to be born into a society that represses or even persecutes a certain trait that they were born with. Homosexuality is not the problem. I know you weren’t implying that, I’m just pointing out a better way to phrase it. Peace and lurve.

dreamwolf's avatar

Bi-Sexuality does exist, because it can be practiced. Now, in the order it exists is different. Now just be opened minded about these next statements because if you believe in only a controlled nice little American society none of this is going to make sense. Say for example a girl, likes a boy, but does not belong to that boy, and isn’t their girlfriend, so decides to sleep with a girl. This person is clearly a bi-sexual. Furthermore, a person can turn “gay.” I’ve contemplated it many times. Now, its not a sexual choice, but why not choose a male partner, and live under a roof and make money together and so forth. I could enjoy this persons company, and I have great respect and loyalty to him. Because isn’t what normal people in society call two men who love each other gay? And some people do choose to be gay or bi at an early age. There’s no control over peoples minds, its all perception of what we imagine they are thinking. There is no control, just what we perceive to be right or wrong. Morally and logically if no one is being killed, or injured, then there is no wrong, or so we were raised that way.

asmonet's avatar

@dreamwolf: ...what? Just, no.

King_Pariah's avatar

@dreamwolf what? I love my best friend but am in no way gay with him or even consider it. I am more than willing to lay my life down for him but sleep with him? He may be a sailor and all but that doesn’t mean I go looking for free blowjobs from him.

elaina28's avatar

Definitely. I know I personally am bisexual. I have a girlfriend (I’m a girl) and I’m extremely attracted to her, and find other women attractive, but I’ve also had a couple of boyfriends in the past that I liked (Not as much as my girlfriend, I believe that she’s the one. (: ) but I was attracted to them, as well, and I still find some guys attractive. I think most bisexual people have a slight preference of either males or females. I have a slight preference for girls rather than guys, but bisexuality definitely is a real thing.

Kardamom's avatar

If there wasn’t the stigma associatd to being attracted to the same sex I think that most people would fall somewhere on the bi-sexual spectrum and being either only straight, or gay and only attracted to one sex, would be less common. That’s not to say that most people would simply swing with everyone. I still think that most people would be more inclined toward one sex over the other, although there would be instances where most people would have attractions to both sexes, it wouldn’t be a constant kind of thing. And with people like me, there would still have to be real love, comittment and monogamy (gay, straight or bi-sexual). Swinging would never work for me.

I have found that I am attracted to certain females, and they can arouse sexual feelings in me, but I have never even once, not even for a second thought that I would want or desire to have sex with a woman. It just doesn’t float my boat and maybe it’s more of a desire to want to be like that woman or look like her, or act like her or have her confidence or skills. But maybe that would be different, if the stigmas in our society weren’t in place. Right now, the attraction happens, but then I desire a man, or I want to see that particular woman have intimate relations with a man.

I can’t imagine ever feeling a sexual desire for my best friend (female) or any other females that I know, but certain females (and you all know who she is) gets me in the mood, but not to have sexual relations with her, but to be with a man. I can’t even explain how this works, which is why I’m sticking by my first assertion that people would most likely be bi-sexual if the stigmas didn’t exist.

Take a look at her and maybe you can see what I mean.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
_zen_'s avatar

Damn – can’t it say who attacked whom?!

thebigfella's avatar

Apparently Bisexual is just another word for greedy!!!

digitalimpression's avatar

Homosexuality and Bisexuality is a choice imho. Attraction may be there, but the conscious choice to act on that attraction must also be there. To say that your are biologically predisposed to a type of sexuality is a bit feeble.

[prepares fortress for coming attack]

But to answer the question simply. Yes. It does exist. That much seems pretty obvious. However, the reason it exists is another question.

laureth's avatar

If this is true, then heterosexuality is also a choice; at least, the choice to act on a heterosexual attraction. Yes?

digitalimpression's avatar

@laureth Of course. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an attack on any type of sexuality. My only point is that you can’t blame genetics or biology for choices that the hypothetical “you” make.

laureth's avatar

@digitalimpression – But the attraction that exists before you act on it – that is innate, correct?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@digitalimpression But it’s not about blame, it’s about explanation. Homosexuality is not blameworthy, and neither is bisexuality or heterosexuality.

And I disagree with you that homosexuality, bisexuality, and heterosexuality are choices. These are sexual orientation terms, and sexual orientation is about attraction. All that you are really justified in saying is that sexual acts are a choice (in most cases, at least). I do not think it is technically correct, however, to call any particular act homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual.

What would count, for instance, as a bisexual act? Would it necessarily have to involve at least three people? For whom would it be a bisexual act (e.g., if there are two women and one man, is it a bisexual act for the one man even though he is only having sex with women)? Acts are acts, orientations are orientations.

digitalimpression's avatar

@laureth Potatoes.

@SavoirFaire “Blame” was a bad choice of words. And I agree to disagree with you on the rest.

efritz's avatar

@digitalimpression – I think that a lifestyle is determined choice. Are you saying that sexuality is a lifestyle, not an innate identity?

also, what do you mean by “potatoes”? Sorry for being square :)

digitalimpression's avatar

@efritz Lifestyle is clearly a choice. To my simple farm-boy way of thinking, there is nothing “innate” about it. By the time you are of an age to be thinking about these kinds of things/acts/what-have-you, you are old enough to make conscious decisions. To me, this negates whatever overpowering, animalistic urge we’re talking about that people are “born with”.

efritz's avatar

@digitalimpression – Cool, so we both agree lifestyle is a choice. But how are what you call “conscious decisions” the complete opposite of “animalistic urges”? How can you differentiate practical, conscious thinking from lower impulses – what in your mind tells you that one sort of thinking is more correct and higher than the other? And amidst all this, the endgame of this thread – why do you (consciously) choose certain paths?

digitalimpression's avatar

@efritz CD’s are not necessarily the complete opposite of au’s. That’s why they are, in fact, cd’s.

There is no need to differentiate the two as they are completely separate things. I have the au to punch my boss in the face almost every day, but I make the cd not to. I am not overpowered by this au, nor do I succumb to its insistence simply because I was born with the urge to punch faces.

As far as the rest of your question..We’re skirting the line of the “inherent morality” discussion which would take us way off topic

DominicX's avatar

@digitalimpression

So why, and how, did you choose to be heterosexual? And why would someone choose to be homosexual and subject themselves to rejection, hatred, and discrimination?

These are the two questions that people who think sexuality is a choice can NEVER answer. No one has EVER answered them to me and I don’t expect much more from you. But who knows? Maybe this will finally be the time I’ve been waiting for.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@digitalimpression You say we have to agree to disagree about the majority of my response, but it seems like a very simple point about language to me. “Homosexuality” is a sexual orientation term, and you have already admitted that orientation is not a choice. Therefore, homosexuality is not a choice.

The acts themselves are choices, but so what? Eating rice is also a choice. Until there is some reason offered that eating rice, falling in love with a member of the same sex, or performing sexual acts with a member of the same sex is wrong, I see no relevance to the fact that individual acts are chosen.

And that’s from one simple farm boy to another.

digitalimpression's avatar

@DominicX I never said I was heterosexual.

@SavoirFaire Potatoes.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@digitalimpression Consider this a second request for you to expand on “potatoes.” People are asking you thoughtful questions, so I do not think it inappropriate for us to expect thoughtful replies.

digitalimpression's avatar

@SavoirFaire I made an attempt to agree to disagree. You refused. “Potatoes” is my way of refusing to carry on beyond that point. We are not going to agree. That much is obvious. Can’t we just leave it at that?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@digitalimpression No. What you are proposing is an exchange of sound bites rather than a thoughtful discussion. Go deep or go home.

digitalimpression's avatar

@SavoirFaire I’m perfectly comfortable with sound bites. And I only fluther at home so I guess I’ll take option B.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I’m sad to hear that, @digitalimpression, but so be it. Since all you want is sound bites, here is my last message to you:

“Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
—John F. Kennedy

digitalimpression's avatar

@SavoirFaire We are just talking about bisexuality right? JFK is a big gun for this small potatoes conversation. =) .

Honestly, it’s hard to have anything more than sound bites with those who don’t read what I’ve typed. In your last “rebuttal” you quoted me as having said the exact opposite of what I actually said.

All that said, I would love to bring it back to topic.

@OP You mentioned that you don’t think anyone would choose to be “different” because of the difficulties associated with it. (paraphrasing of course) I wonder nowadays if it’s really even that difficult. I can’t speak from experience, but I would like to hear from someone who can.

laureth's avatar

When you’re not in a wheelchair, getting around in a wheelchair doesn’t look all that difficult. I mean, you have special parking spots really close to the store, and there are ramps made just for you. But spend a day in that chair and you realize – it’s not all that easy.

digitalimpression's avatar

@laureth Ok, well that covers wheelchairs, but what about the subject at hand? I’m just curious what difficulties arise.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@digitalimpression No one is too big for a conversation. Large ideas and small ideas are intertwined. You will have to tell me, however, in what way I have misrepresented your position. Tell me that and we can move forward.

Regarding your question to the OP, you say that it is not difficult today to be different. Leaving aside the fact that people are still killed for not adhering to some idealized view of sexual orientation and behavior, let’s pretend that you are correct about the current situation. You would still need to answer the question of how circumstances changed: why did the first people choose to be different? That could not have been as easy as you think it is at present. Thus it requires its own explanation.

Ultimately, however, there still remains the question of why we should care about whether or not sexual orientation is a choice (or about the fact that sexual behavior is a choice). Even if that were the case, what conclusion do you think we should we draw from that?

The OP asks if bisexuality really exists. Even if it were a choice to become bisexual, the answer to that question would still be yes. People choose to become doctors, but that doesn’t undermine the fact that doctors exist. And as noted above, it does not follow from “x is a choice” that “x is wrong.” So we wouldn’t have the makings of a moral argument either.

What, then, is to be gained from the insistence that bisexuality is a choice?

digitalimpression's avatar

@SavoirFaire
“You will have to tell me, however, in what way I have misrepresented your position”
“Homosexuality” is a sexual orientation term, and you have already admitted that orientation is not a choice. Therefore, homosexuality is not a choice.

“What, then, is to be gained from the insistence that bisexuality is a choice?”

??????
—-

First of all, I have nothing to gain from any of this. We’re just conversing. I have no argument to hammer home, no moral point to earn on an imaginary scoreboard, I’m not waiting for any whistle to be blown after striking the most jabs to the face. I fail to see why several people have become almost violently defensive just for my simple comments. It’s really okay for someone to have a different opinion I think.

“you say that it is not difficult today to be different”
I simply asked for an example of how it is difficult. I have yet to receive one non-proverbial answer.

“people are still killed for not adhering to some idealized view of sexual orientation and behavior”
People are killed every day for a lot of different reasons.

“why did the first people choose to be different? That could not have been as easy as you think it is at present. ”
I don’t know. How is this relevant to today? I’m talking about the present.

“Even if it were a choice to become bisexual, the answer to that question would still be yes.”
Yes. I know. I agree that it exists.

“it does not follow from “x is a choice” that “x is wrong.””
At no point did I imply this. Was this meant for someone else?

shrubbery's avatar

@digitalimpression it may be okay for someone to have a different opinion unless that opinion is misinformed, ignorant, biased, dangerous, whatever. I don’t understand what you are doing here on Fluther if you do not want to have a back and forth discussion or for your opinions to be questioned. That is one of the points of this website.

Also, “people are killed every day for a lot of different reasons.” Um. Okay. So. It doesn’t matter that someone is killed for being bi-sexual because someone else has been killed for some other reason? How is killing in any way shape or form okay? And your statement is irrelevant anyway as we are talking about sexual orientation in this particular discussion, not the multitude of reasons people get killed each day. The fact is that people are being killed for not being straight and that this is wrong. It happens, and we’re saying that why would anyone choose to be persecuted in such a way if they could help it?

So maybe the physical action of acting on your sexually desired impulse is a “choice” (though we are getting very shaky with our understanding/definition of that word) but then it is so for every person, even straight ones. And are you to expect every person to go around being celibate lest they get persecuted for acting on their basic human desires because they know the consequences and so should control themselves? The fact of the matter is that there should be no consequences. We need to stop policing other peoples identities and let them be. If you say you are a bi-sexual then it exists and there is nothing whatsoever wrong with that. It should not even need to distinguished as “okay”. It just is. Simple.

digitalimpression's avatar

I give up. You guys are insatiable.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@digitalimpression You say that I misrepresented you when I portrayed you as having already admitted that orientation is not a choice, but here is a direct quote from your first response to this question:

“Attraction may be there, but the conscious choice to act on that attraction must also be there.”

Sexual orientation is about attraction, and you have admitted that the attraction is innate; this is implicit in the way you contrasted attraction with the part that we agree is a matter of choice—i.e., acting on that attraction. Purposely or not, then, you have admitted that orientation is not a choice.

As to my question of what is to be gained, I was not asking about goods to be won. I was asking about the dialectical ends to which the conclusion you are asserting (but failing to argue for) might be put. This is clear if you look at what I wrote before the sentence you chose to detach and respond to out of context.

So I ask again: if you aren’t trying to make a moral question, and if you aren’t trying to give an answer to the OP, what is the purpose of asserting your view? Why are you so upset that people are disagreeing with you and asking for actual arguments (instead of mere assertions) if you aren’t really trying to make any point at all?

And why are you accusing people of being “violently defensive” when you’ve been treated with kid gloves and merely been asked to be so kind as to clarify and defend your view? Indeed, this is one of the least fervent discussion of this topic I’ve seen on Fluther. It seems to me that you expected to be met with vitriol (as evidenced by the bracketed phrase in your first response) and now you refuse to see anything but what you expected to see.

In response to the questions you posed for me:

(1) You asked for an example of how it is difficult to be different (that is, non heterosexual) today. LGBT times are at least twice as likely and possibly four times more likely to commit suicide than heterosexual teenagers. Between 30 and 40% of LGBT teenagers attempt suicide at least once, often due at least in part to constant bullying. The situation has gotten bad enough for an entire project devoted to the specific issue of LGBT suicide has been started.

Since you apparently think that the murder of non-LGBT people makes the targeted killing of people for their sexual orientation irrelevant, perhaps the fact that other people commit suicide will make you similarly callous to the issue of LGBT suicide. But you asked for the difficulties of being different, and those are evidenced by the higher rates at which LGBT teenagers are committing suicide and getting murdered. This is an answer to your question, then, even if you’d prefer to ignore it.

(2) As for the relevance of why people chose to be different in the first place, it goes to the plausibility of your explanation. You say that people are non-heterosexual today because it is easier to be non-heterosexual in contemporary society. Leaving aside the fact that “easier than it once was” is not the same thing as “easy,” there is the problem that there were non-heterosexual people prior to the present time.

You cannot explain why they are non-heterosexual by appealing to the state of contemporary society. They were non-heterosexual prior to the present age, and indeed it is often due to their efforts that society changed to the degree it has. As such, your explanation faces a regress problem.

(3) The point about “x is wrong” not following from “x is a choice” was not aimed at anybody, and I did not suggest that anyone had said or implied otherwise. It was part of my larger point about the dialectical inertia of your claim.

Finally, I would like to suggest that we are not “insatiable.” We simply are not satisfied by non sequiturs and non-answers. General is a place for in-depth discussions. If you do not give us thoughtful, substantive answers to work with, you will be called on it.

digitalimpression's avatar

@SavoirFaire Well, nothing else is going on. I suppose we could continue to throw vegetables.

“You say that I misrepresented you when I portrayed you as having already admitted that orientation is not a choice, but here is a direct quote from your first response to this question:“Attraction may be there, but the conscious choice to act on that attraction must also be there.””

You misrepresented me by saying “you have already admitted that orientation is NOT a choice” and following that with ”...the insistence that bisexuality IS a choice..” It’s like you don’t even understand what my opinion is.

“Sexual orientation is about attraction, and you have admitted that the attraction is innate; this is implicit in the way you contrasted attraction with the part that we agree is a matter of choice—i.e., acting on that attraction. Purposely or not, then, you have admitted that orientation is not a choice.”

This equation simply does not add up. It reeks of fallacy. The attraction and the choice to act on it are two very different things. To fudge them together in this manner is simply incorrect.

“if you aren’t trying to make a moral question, and if you aren’t trying to give an answer to the OP, what is the purpose of asserting your view?”

The First Ammendment? Is there a fluther law I am unaware of that prohibits me from stating an opinion sans-debate?

“Why are you so upset that people are disagreeing with you and asking for actual arguments (instead of mere assertions) if you aren’t really trying to make any point at all?”

I’m not upset. I’m actually quite placid.

“And why are you accusing people of being “violently defensive” when you’ve been treated with kid gloves and merely been asked to be so kind as to clarify and defend your view?”

Actually you personally threatened to flag me because I said the word Potatoes. Of course.. you edited that part out a minute later…

“It seems to me that you expected to be met with vitriol (as evidenced by the bracketed phrase in your first response) and now you refuse to see anything but what you expected to see.”

I got all the vitriol I expected. Yes.

In response to your stats on LGBT suicides

Thank you! That’s the first answer I’ve gotten that possesses any merit. I wanted an example and you provided one.

“Since you apparently think that the murder of non-LGBT people makes the targeted killing of people for their sexual orientation irrelevant..”

I don’t think its irrelevant. I provided no statistics. It was a blanket comment. With the new information provided I am more than happy to agree that there is something difficult with being non-hetero. What I said originally was ‘I wonder if its difficult’ and it was immediately read by you as ‘It’s not difficult’.

“You say that people are non-heterosexual today because it is easier to be non-heterosexual in contemporary society.”

When did I say that? Now you’re just making things up.

”..We simply are not satisfied by non sequiturs and non-answers..”

Well, I apologize for not having answers or opinions that match your own. Obviously if they don’t match yours they must be “non sequitur”.

mattbrowne's avatar

I have a homosexual friend who married a woman when he was 30 and they now have two children.

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