Looking at Bisexuality
HubMob Weekly topic : LGBT issues
LGBTQ : (wikipedia source) : widely known acronym generally recognizing a culture or community itself - Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning. Another variant includes I, U, and extra Ts for intersex, unsure (basically 'questioning'), and transsexual, transvestite, and so forth.
Bisexual : Literally "two"-"sexual" - attraction to both genders. This could speak of bisexual behaviors but heterosexual leanings, or bisexual as a whole attraction to two genders itself.
Much Ado About Bisexuality
The issue of LGBTQ has always been something I enjoyed observing. The broad range of it is so diverse that one could never get bored exploring issues of LGBTQ; from politics of terminology to historical facets to scientific discoveries to mythological LGBTQ figures to social issues to comparative societies of animals and humans to .. well, it could go on and on.
My focus has always been on bisexuality, though. The reason is because it is a personal thing for me. This does not mean I dismiss the importance of everything else on the spectrum. First, to really put things into perspective, the importance of the whole thing must be observed. I generally begin with personal sexuality, personal boundaries, and understanding the terminology.
Understanding personal sexuality and boundaries is really a good place to start before delving into much else, so I introduce Musings on Sex and Love.
Aside, you'll see that I have terminology laid out as I explore various issues of bisexuality in this hub by looking at myths, assumptions, and statements that have been made.
Sexual Orientation Spectrum
"Heterosexual-homosexual continuum sometimes referred to as the sexual continuum, is a psychological and philosophical understanding of human sexuality that places sexual preferences on a continuum from heterosexuality to homosexuality. This concept stems from Alfred Kinsey's 1940s surveys of sexuality: significant numbers of Kinsey's subjects reported bisexuality of varying degrees, rather than the strict heterosexual/homosexual division that had been previously assumed." - Wikipedia.
The Kinsey Scale is used to emphasize continuity on sexual histories between homosexuality and heterosexuality. It looks like this:
Rating / Description
0 Exclusively heterosexual
1 Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2 Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3 Equally heterosexual and homosexual; bisexual.
4 Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5 Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6 Exclusively homosexual
“These girls who kiss each other and play with each other only for the boys' benefits are giving bisexuals a bad name”
I don't think there is such a thing in that scenario as giving the bisexuals a bad name. Before you protest, I know what bisexuality is. I have experienced it and I know I am on that spectrum of being attracted to both genders. However, I did mention spectrum, didn't I?
There are enough people who exhibit bisexual behavior for their own pleasures or others, but are very much mentally and sexually heterosexual. This can easily slide over into actual bisexual attraction on the spectrum, while still maintaining predominant heterosexual behaviors and feelings.
Now, consider then, that people are often defining these LGBTQ terms to suit their own difference. You could also be making a huge assumption on what they are really doing. They could be merely experimenting. These girls might actually enjoy what they are doing, they are turned on by what they do to the boys, they most likely have their own take on what they consider bisexual, and you can't quite tell them that what they are doing is wrong. Because, honestly, is it? The word technically is bisexual. This includes sexuality with both genders.
The word 'true bisexual' is a very dangerous word to take on. Look at religion, there are already judgments enough in there with the term 'True Christianity'. People are condemned if they choose their own beliefs on Christianity, and thus are not considered 'true Christians'. I would not judge others while I already have judgments thrown at me for my attraction to two genders.
“People think just because I am bisexual, they automatically think I will be attracted to any of them.”
It is a little funny. I remember in high school, I observed that most genders (or those without gender) are self-conscious or self-aware. These two are distinctly different. Both sides will exhibit behaviors of self-consciousness where they're not quite sure if they could be attractive to anyone. As well as there are those with behaviors exhibited by both sides that they are self-aware (or confident) enough that they could attract people. I was one of those who were a bit in the middle.
See, you could be attracted to anyone, they don't know. People do make that assumption for heterosexuals, too. Anybody could get attracted to you or them. The difference is that for bisexuals, lesbians, or gays, this is different to them and they are curious as to who attracts you. So, assumptions here will be made until corrected or otherwise. It can seem insulting, and in a lot of cases, it can become pretty insulting. This is born out of ignorance or curiosity - it can be innocuous or underhanded.
The idea of seeing someone being bisexual (or anything besides the default heterosexuality of our culture) and automatically making assumptions isn't a new one. Assumptions are made over just about anything under the sun and the moon by humankind in general. There will be those who want to make a noise and say, “I hope you aren't into me, because I'm not like that”. There will be those who say, “Come on, you're bisexual, why aren't you into me?”
The last group usually consist of those who will make any kind of excuses to get into a relationship or to get laid, not just bisexuality. Those are the kind of people who disregard boundaries, personal ethics, and warning signs, in their pursuit of being obnoxiously persistent. Those are the same people who you might most likely hear coming out of their mouths, “I know you're lesbian, but you've never had the likes of me” or “I can convert you back to being straight, I'm good like that”.
But not all of them are like that, obviously. One bad egg does not necessarily have to spoil the whole bunch. Through observation and self-awareness, I think this becomes less of a concern. The more they know you and the more you act natural as if bisexuality isn't a big deal (and it really isn't), the less of an issue it truly is. I also take it in stride as something humorous when it comes up and let them know what's what with me, then move on.
“Bisexuality is an annoying trend”
along with variations of “I was there first” and “People just say they're bisexual to get attention”.
First, I'd like to note there are interesting patterns to sexuality throughout the history of not only humankind, but the animal kingdom. Let's start with reproduction. For many who believe firmly in the sacredness of man and woman, the usual argument is family and reproduction. Underneath the on-going modern life of being liberated sexually and breaking out of traditional gender roles or assignations, there is still an instinct for reproduction, child rearing, and/or nesting/roosting. There are also other interesting instincts.
In past times, for humankind and animal kingdom, an interesting thing occurs when there is an overpopulation of a species. There is an increased bisexual or homosexual activity, tendency, or wiring in and between the members of the species. Speculation on that could go in any direction, but it is my personal observation that people are meant to be who they are or who they are going to be in any case.
So, that said, trends come and go. I don't mind if bisexuality is one of those because once the trend passes by, there are still those who are bisexuals in the world. Society undergoes its own patterns as they recognize and fight over sexuality issues. Teenagers like to recognize something different from their own parents and take it on for their own generation. Many experiment to find what is right for them and what their label is. It's an insulting generalization to point and say, “you're just saying that to get attention” when most have declared their sexuality in order to find others like them and to find acceptance in a society of default heterosexualism.
In fact, it's truly getting to be where there is more advocacy for LGBTQ in general, even if there continues to be huge controversies that come up on the issues. What people worried about it becoming trendy is now becoming simply a common orientation amongst the youth and adults alike. It is more known, so there is less need to yell out, “Hey, I'm bisexual/homosexual/pansexual/asexual/etc! Is there anyone out there like me?” Well, okay, I'm not too sure about the other sexual orientations as they are lesser known, but there is progress so far!
“Bisexuals just want to have their cake and eat it, too.”
Basically, this statement means: Bisexuals wants to enjoy both sexes because they, um, are attracted to both sexes. Why this is used as an insult is really beyond me. In all actuality, I can't imagine having a cake and not eating some of it. Silly phrase.
Okay, okay, seriously, to stay on topic here, the insult lies in the accusation that the bisexual folks want to have a boyfriend and a girlfriend at the .. cue drum roll... same time. I am going to be blunt here. I do not see a thing wrong with that. This is actually called polyamory. There are heterosexual folks who engage in polyamory lifestyles, so I do not see a problem with bisexuals or homosexuals also engaging in it. In fact, I wrote about Ethical Non-Monogamy, so let that one help you out. Let me take a quick moment here to tell you that this is not to be confused with polygamy. Polyamory is basically a word for having more than one partner. Polyamorists often are in triads/triangles or network of more than two romantic and sexual partners.
I do know that people who have no problem with different gender orientations so far while reading this may balk at this one. One statement I have had thrown at me about this one (even from a few bisexuals or homosexuals themselves) is: “What about the sacredness of love between two people, regardless of the gender?” I actually did a dumb look the first time this happened. Are you kidding me? Let me rewind and remind you of one irritating question you've heard all the time: “What about the sacredness of love/sex in relationship/marriage between MAN AND WOMAN?” Mmmhm, marinade on that one a little bit. In all honesty, for those who identify as polyamorous, they believe in the ability to love more than one.
However, in defense of the monogamous bisexuals, they actually go one at at a time, thank you very much. Maybe they will strike up romance with a female in one relationship, and when that ends, they will strike up another with a male. For the most part, what happens here is that the person who identifies as bisexual will find him/herself getting into a relationship with a person because that is who attracted them in the first place, may it be male or female. They are not comfortable getting into two different relationships with two different genders at once.
One Last Thing...
"Bisexuality is just a phase!"
Actually, you know, I don't really have to touch on this one. It's pretty, hm, self-explanatory. And, my dear readers, I have found an article that says it all for me!
Here's an excerpt:
"Despite our modern day and age it's amazing how persistent some of the negative stereotypes about bisexuality have been. There are still even some researchers, as well as lay people, who are not really sure that it really exists, who have viewed it as a transitional state on the way to lesbianism, or viewed it as just something that some confused heterosexuals will claim about themselves," Diamond explained in an interview.
Amazing, indeed. Here is the article: It's Official: Bisexuality is the Third Sexuality.
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