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Am I Bisexual? Am I Gay? Am I Straight? A Journey through Sexuality
A Journey Through Sexuality
Being bisexual may not be what you think it is. I'm monogamous. I'm married to a man I've been with for 5+ years. And I'm bisexual. I have never had an STD and I've never had a threesome. I'm certainly not confused, fickle or "unsure" about my sexuality. Bisexuality feels as natural to me as breathing or eating. But it wasn't always that way. Looking back over my life I can see very clearly that I was always bisexual - what was difficult was getting past the social stigma that was coming from the straight and gay camps, my catholic upbringing and society in general.
For many people bisexuality brings to mind thoughts of immorality, rampant orgies, commitment phobia, sexually transmitted diseases, self indulgence, a complete lack of restraint, experimentation and sexual confusion. There may be elements of some of these features in the lives of bisexual people but they are also elements of many gay and heterosexual people's lives as well. Sometimes it feels as if society has dumped all these labels onto the bisexual community so that it can claim purity for itself.
Bisexuality in the News
Let's face it - the only times bisexuality is in the forefront is when some silly drunk celebrity gets photographed having a same sex snog or when you stick that porno in the DVD player so it's no wonder that society often sees bisexuality in this light. For those of us that identify as bisexual it is much more than random experimentation and promiscuous sexual gratification - it's just who we are.
It's hard to sit in somewhere in the middle of the gay/straight continum. We are often ridiculed by gays & lesbians for "sitting on the fence," or subjected to sugestive comments from heterosexual men who fantasise about threesomes. We get approached by bi-curious women who would like to "have a go". And family in particular would prefer you were gay - at least they can talk about that in public.
I'm a lesbian!
My journey started when I was around 14 with my first stirrings of sexual attraction. I'd had a few boyfriends and crushes on male teachers, but when i developed a crush on a female teacher I was thrown into a tailspin. How could this be? I didn't want to be gay. I didn't want to be damned to hell. I didn't want to be rejected by my family and friends. I liked being unique but I didn't want to be that different.
A depression fuelled by these concerns ensued that lasted around a year. With a bit of couselling and a few very nice girl on girl experiences I came out of it believing that I was a lesbian and I accepted that. I definitely didn't want to be bisexual - the ridicule that anyone brave enough to say they were on the gay scene received was certainly enough to put me off that idea! So for a while I was a committed lesbian - I even had a crew cut!
No wait - I'm straight!
That was until I fell in love with a young man about my age while I was at college. Ok, then - so the lesbianism was a phase ......phew .......I could breath a sigh of relief and just be "normal". I took great joy in my normality and there followed a few semi long term relationships with men.
Hold on - I AM a Lesbian!
It wasn't until I was around 21 that a woman captured my heart again. She was bisexual and alongside our relationship she was also having a relationship with a man. We agreed to an open relationship mainly to meet her needs - I didn't want anyone else but I did want to be openminded enough to allow her her freedom. In truth it nearly killed me emotionally. I found the sharing painful and my self esteem plummeted to an all time low. Clearly an open relationship was not for me - I wanted to be monogamous and I wanted my partner to be as well. I did my best with our arrangement for 2 years because I loved her deeply but in the end I was a wreck and we broke up.
Who the F*** am I?
For the next five years I was single and celibate. For some of that time I would have said I was a lesbian with an open mind about whether I would have any future sexual relationships with men, much to the dismay of my lesbian friends. Female friends would often want to "have a go" at a sexual encounter with me but I found it insulting. One such encounter that I did fall prey to after too much alcohol, ended with the lady in question saying that it was "one thing she could strike off her list of things to do by the time she was 40". That hurt! I felt used and I'd let myself down. That wasn't going to happen again!
During my 5 years in the wilderness I did a lot of soul searching and spent three years in therapy. Who was I? And what did I want?
I discovered that: I was not going to be buffered by the social pressures of having to choose whether to be straight or gay because I was obviously somewhere in between. I didn't mind which kind of reproductive organs someone had - it was the person inside that was important to me. I wanted a committed, long term, monogamous relationship with someone who could offer the same to me.
Actually I'm Bisexual!
In all it took me about fifteen years to fully accept the conclusion that I was bisexual. Bisexuality can be a challenging life to accept for oneself and I still find it challenging at times. We're often treated as if we are the dirty dregs in the sexual cesspool and people often react with suspicion and fear towards us in much the same way they used to treat gay people. The other reaction is that we are promiscuous and up for anything. Well for me that's not the case. I'm not dirty, I'm not promiscuous and I'm certainly nothing to be scared of! I'm just someone who had the courage to delve into myself and honestly and openly discover my sexual nature.
The path to finding my truth and accepting my bisexuality was a very long and winding one. It may have been easier if bisexuality was more understood and accepted by both the gay and straight communities - maybe then the journey wouldn't have been so long, but who knows? I'm just glad I got there in the end and can freely say, "I'm bisexual."
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