General Question

dalepetrie's avatar

I have a couple of strange, but sincere questions for any bisexuals on Fluther.

Asked by dalepetrie (18009points) May 3rd, 2009

First off, I’m going to compare sex to food…I know it’s not a perfect comparison, but both can provide immense pleasure if the preparation is done with care. Even though we’re still talking about 2 choices (male or female….3 if you’re really perverse I guess), bisexuals could be said to have a “variety” of gender based, shall we say, “cravings” What I’m wondering is if those “cravings” and the satisfaction thereof are exclusive to each gender category or if sexual stimulus ends up being more of a smorgasbord . Here’s where the food comes in….is sex more like a buffet, where you could simultaneously crave and/or enjoy a “variety of flavors”, or is it more like 2 mutually exclusive tastes that don’t go well together, such as oysters on the half shell and chocolate ice cream. In other words, does the part of you that is attracted to men go dormant to any degree when you are stimulated by a woman and/or vice versa? Would you derive double the pleasure by being with a man AND a woman at the same time, or is there some sort of “switching gears” required, where sometimes you’re feeling more aroused by men, other times moreso by women, but no so much ever by both at the same time. Again, buffet sex, or multiple courses?

The second question I have is for any bisexuals who are or have been in a committed relationship with one person. I guess do you see yourself as primarily attracted to one sex, wherein when you’re “just having fun” you’d be willing to sleep with men or women, but when it comes/came time to settle down, you only picture yourself with one sex or the other, or could you settle down with the right person of either sex? And assuming that you want to be/have been/are committed to one person wherein you fell for that person without regard to their gender, do you have concerns about/have you run into problems with the feeling that there is a part of you that is now not being fulfilled. I’m just curious like as a straight man, I’m married to a woman with a particular hair color, eye color, body type, personality, etc., but I don’t feel like that part of me that craves a different “type” of woman is going unfulfilled…I’m wondering if that’s how a bisexual person views their sexual cravings. Is it a matter of this person you’re with can’t be all things, but that’s unimportant, or is it like part of you is going unfulfilled because to be sexually fulfilled you need to experience regular sex with at least one person of each sex?

If I had to guess, I’d guess it varies from person to person, just like there are straight people who might get married but never stop screwing around because they need sexual variety, I’ve just always been curious.

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8 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

first off, it is my opinion that there’s nothing perverse about being attracted to people who don’t fit into male/female sex categories or into man/woman gender binary categories…secondly, I suppose I’d fall into your definition of bisexual (whereas I identify as queer, not bi) so I can address your questions…I think the answers will differ person by person, so my experiences are not anyone else’s…because I so dislike gendering people or basing my attractions based on that alone, I don’t ‘switch gears’, in general, other than the switch of gears necessary to be with a different person, in general…you get treated different by OTHERS depending on what sex/gender you’re next to, making out with, but it’s not different for me (I mean obviously certain things are different, a vagina is not a penis, you know but it doesn’t MAKE a difference to me)...I never knew it was abnormal to be attracted to all sexes, someone had to socialize me into that idea and I rebelled always against it…I always dated both men and women and though I’ve never been in a relationship with a person that identified as trans, that’s just be chance not by choice…I’m always MUCH more attracted to people whose gender identity I can’t ‘figure out’...seeing how some of my life and to this day I’ve spent in an open relationship I can still sleep with men or women or otherwise gendered individuals…I know for my partner who puts no labels on his gender or sexuality, he prefers to sleep with people that others would identify as women…even if some of us don’t identify as such…but sex is so much more complex than just a penis into a vagina thing for him, he’s certainly open to being with other sexes….In terms of who I’ve ‘settled down’ with, both of my marriages have been to men (obviously as those are the only, sadly, marriages allowed by law) but I have loved women as well…

dalepetrie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – first off, thanks for the response. Second, no offense intended by the moniker “perverse”...perhaps a bad choice of word, but meant in the standard sense of being a large deviation from what is considered (by society) to be “orthodox” or “normal”. Certainly many still view homosexuality is “abnormal” but I think we’ve reached the point where attraction to the same sex or both sexes even is no longer considered to be all that unorthodox, but even in our new enlightened society where the majority seems to accept different strokes for different folks, hermaphoridites, transgenders, transsexuals, etc. are still considered (incorrectly in my opinion…hell not even in my opinion, just incorrectly, period) to be a large deviaton form orthodox or normal. As for my definition of “bi” I’m not really a fan of labels myself, I just use the term to indicate someone who is attracted to people of both sexes as there is not another universally known word or phrase which carries the same connotation to the world at large. In other words, let me assure you, I meant no offense and am looking for greater understanding and not trying to fit everyone into a neat little package. So again, if I upset or offended you in any way with my use of the English language, I assure you it was not intentional.

So I get what you’re saying completely and I know that many people who do not have “restrictions” on their rules of attraction as it were feel the same way you do. But I think you might fundamentally misunderstand what it’s like to be straight as well, I do not fault you for that, but I do no feel attracted only to women because society said it abnormal to do otherwise, it just is what it is. And I get the concept of it being about the person and not what’s between their legs, but I simply am turned on by one and turned of by the other, not because I’d feel like there was something “wrong” with me if I found a man attractive…it’s just never happened, the male figure is not appealing to me.

So I guess what I’m getting at then is, and I know this might be more of a question of whether you would even consider a 3-way (for many sex is one on one, period…no room for a 3rd person), but if you were open to the idea of a 3-way, whether you are or not, could you simultaneously derive pleasure from both sexes, and from what I hear you saying, it sounds like yes. I just equated it with food, because I can see how some ways in which we are able to derive pleasure as humans might be mutually exclusive, and I was wondering if gender was one of those situations. Like I said, do you like the buffet, enjoy each for what it is simultaneously, or does mixing to incompatible flavors produce diminishing returns. As for the second part of the question, when you were married, did you feel like you were missing out, or not fulfilling something that was a deep imbedded need inside of you by not being able to be with a woman? Like I said, I don’t feel that I’m suppressing a biological need by not having sex with a blonde behind my brunette wife’s back, but I wonder if the difference was less “superficial”...because I have to imagine that sex with a man is significantly different than sex with a woman…I have to imagine that for all the similarities it does hit some pleasure receptors in a bisexual person that sex with a woman does not, or vice versa, so is it a lot like that…where you just feel like it’s another variety of sex partner who is off limits to you now that you’re in a committed relationship, and you don’t miss the “variety” or is it like a deep seated need, where you could never be truly fulfilled unless you had a committed sexual relationship with one of each? Or is sexual satisfaction to you the same no matter how it’s achieved, and you don’t feel like you’re missing out (moreso than a person who just wants to play the field)?

Does that make more sense?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Sexuality is always such a hot topic on here. I don’t mind, as human sexuality has always fascinated me. Someitimes its interesting to see where other people are coming from (no pun intended) when the subject of sex is brought up.

For me, I identify as 80% straight, and 20% gay. I am married to a woman and am more attracted to women than men. That said, I have been physically attracted to men in the same way as I am to women, i.e. saying I’d like to get into his pants, etc. My attraction to men seems to be more physical than emotional. That isn’t to say I couldn’t love a man emotionally, like I do my wife, but it’s just different, somehow. I seem more attracted to straight men like many of my gay male friends are who knows why. That said, I am rather shy when it comes to approaching anyone for a relationship, so the opportunity for a gay relationship is probably rather limited. Even so, it wouldn’t be anything to make me give up being married to my wife, and sometimes, just using role playing or fantasy is enough. The problem with sex is that it can get messy when emotions get entangled in it.

Personally, I don’t see a difference between beef steak and cheese cake, to borrow your food metaphor, it’s just that I like women more than I do men. To be blunt, penetration with a woman is more natural than with a man, in my experience.

Sexual preference is a deeply complex thing, its not cut and dried, and it is not stagnant. Like anything else we humans experience, our views, wants, dislikes, desires, etc., change as we go through life. Being bisexual means that I can enjoy the scenery twice as much.

fireinthepriory's avatar

Well, for me there’s no “switching” involved at all. To me, it’s the same to be in a relationship (and to have sex) with a man or with a woman. Personality differences make up the most of the differences between relationships/sex with different people, no matter their gender. Some people are only attracted to men, some only to women, and can be anywhere in between, but for those who’re in the middle, it seems that most don’t have to have both (I have never heard someone say that they felt like this, although it’s a common misconception about bisexuals). I’ve never felt like I “need” to have sex with a man while I’m dating a woman, or vice versa.

tinyfaery's avatar

I consider myself a bisexual. I became attracted to boys and girls at the same time, the thing is I didn’t realize that I wanted a girl as a girlfriend. Even when I had boyfriends and started having sexual encounters, there was always a girl who I wanted to be near, who I wanted to talk to. It wasn’t until I was about 16 that I realized that I looked at girls the same way I looked at boys. I wanted to be with girls and I was sexually attracted.

It wasn’t until I was 19 that I actually had sex with another woman, and after that one experience I knew that I could be with a woman, relationship and all, in the same way I could be with a man.

As many know, I have been married to a woman for almost 8 years now, but just because I live as a lesbian, does not mean that I am one. Conversely, when I was in a relationship with a man for almost 5 years, I was still not straight.

I still look. I find people attractive. Just because I have a wife does not mean she owns my sexuality. I think Mila Jovovich and Scarlett Johannson are hot, and so is Ben Harper and George Clooney.

So, say there is a table that contains two types of food, let’s say turkey sausage I don’t eat beef. and all types of seafood. In my younger days, I ate everything; sometimes I went through the drive-thru, and at times I ate in a formal setting, But, after gorging myself, I realized that lobster is my favorite, and I like it so much I have no desire to eat other foods. (The lobster is my wife). Really, I could have chosen turkey sausage, but I found this particular type of lobster before I found a type of turkey sausage that I liked so much that it was all I wanted to eat. If something were to happen that took my favorite lobster meal away, and I had to go back to the food table, there is just as much of a chance that I would find a turkey sausage that I like enough to make my only meal, as finding another type of seafood that was enough, alone to satisfy me. Man, that was so bizarre to write.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@tinyfaery well, it was bizarre to read, and if I didn’t just have dinner, I might be feeling a bit hungry now. You explained it nicely though, and I guess that’s all that really matters.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@dalepetrie
I was not offended, thanks for the clarifications, though
With my first husband, because we were monogamous, I did miss out on being with other people and that didn’t mean just women…I learned I don’t want be monogamous, period but it wasn’t because of craving women though sometimes I’d think ‘yes, right now I’d really want some to go down on a vagina’...sex with people that don’t emphasize their sex or gender isn’t fundamentally different, at all…sex with an intelligent, sexy passionate woman is just as exciting and the same as sex with a man that’s like that as well..it’s all about how a person interacts with me and I expect the same from all my lovers, regardless of gender and I suppose it follows that since I tend to be with people that aren’t obsessed with their femininities or masculinities then I don’t sleep with people who would, on the surface, seem ‘one particular way’ because of their gender…anywho, i’m a bit more complicated, i think, but in general, i don’t think bisexual people in monogamous relationships are any more prone to want to be with others just because they are attracted to more than one sex..

dalepetrie's avatar

Thanks all, it’s interesting insight. I don’t even understand what makes me tick, so it’s really interesting to try to figure out what is fixed and what is variable within human sexuality.

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