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Old 06-03-2016, 12:42 AM
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Lightbulb What is bisexuality?

Actually, it's a real question, & one that I've pondered since I started thinking about sexuality at all (like, ~1973).

I'm not intending any definitive answers, but rather unpacking things I've learned. If the thread is better relocated to another forum, I'm fine with that.
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Firstly, there's the Kinsey scale. Briefly, it runs from 0 (not interested in same-sex intimacy) to 6 (interested only in same-sex intimacy).

That would seem at first glance to place "bisexual" at 3... but where does that leave the 2s & 4s? Are the 1s & 5s just outliers of the "true" groupings at either end, or more properly placed with the bisexuals?
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I figure everyone's heard the "one in ten" trope. Used to mean that one person in ten is homosexual, which always seemed like a stretch, & the world might be a better place if it were actually so.

Over the years, it was stretched to include pretty much anyone non-heterosexual, & transfolk as well, so maybe it's a bit closer to reality.

But for anyone who's ever pondered the Klein grid, "sexual orientation" soon looks less like a definitive personal fact, & more like an exercise in particle physics.

Hey, here's OKC's Klein Sexuality Test. Has anyone mentioned this before...?

Somewhere in my jumble of books is an article from the 1970s that (IMO) did a great job of defining the problem, simply to get at a proper population study of homosexuals. I wish I could find it, but to the best of my recollection it defined a "homosexual" person as someone who
Quote:
in the previous three years has primarily had sexual contact with members of the same gender, and intends to continue in this mode.
They found that 8.4% of the people they interviewed fit the criteria.
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In the mid-1980s, Equal Time, the Twin Cities' biweekly LGBTQ paper (since defunct), polled local women who declared themselves lesbian, & found that about 20% had willingly had sex with a male in the previous two years.

In something like 40% of these instances, the male was gay.
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I knew a gay man & a lesbian who were members of the Morris dancing community. They quickly became total bff, & eventually surprised us all by marrying. Last I saw, they were still disgustingly happy together & had three kids.

They consider themselves totally homosexual, & see it as a huge fluke to have mutually found "the only exception."
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Last edited by Ravenscroft; 06-03-2016 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:58 AM
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Seems like I once heard it said somewhere that "We're all a little bit gay."
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:59 AM
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Heteroflexible is a term I've been seeing more and more. I have never seen homoflexible used though.
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Old 06-03-2016, 03:05 PM
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I actually sorta like the Klein grid concept.

I use the word "bisexual" just because it's easy.

I'm attracted to women, admire the beauty of women, and feel an emotional draw to women, but actual desire for sexual intimacy with one...there is something I can only call "a good energy match" and it is so rare for me. So my actual female sexual partners have been very few, compared to the many men I've had sex with.

It feels like men are just "easier." And my sexual desires for them not as picky and particular. For some reason I've been willing to have sex with men many times in the past where the energy match wasn't even good, I had no particular bond or limerance or love or anything, but they wanted to so I went with it. That never happens with women. I have to want them enough to pursue them, court them, work for them...they don't tend to come after me. Women do not tend to make me feel desired.

And honestly, I would like to have more women in my love life and my social life. I have felt a lack of feminine energy and a desire for more of it. So the past/present/idealized future element of that grid thingie was relevant to me.
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:41 AM
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I tend to identify as heteroflexible over bi. I have been attracted to women, and have had relationships with women, but my taste is significantly picker and requires a higher emotional component than when I am attracted to a man. Functionally I'm heterosexual, with exceptions made for individual women.

Tails is similar: he tends to prefer guys, too, but is attracted to individual women. He identifies as bi, as he thinks "homoflexible sounds stupid".

Jaeger is more or less dead center. He has no real preference for men or women. He is more attracted to the person inside.

Basically, I'm fine with people identifying as they would like to be identified. I am no one's sexuality police lol
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Old 06-04-2016, 05:10 PM
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If we fail to identify clearly the terms we use, then it's waaaay too easy to find we're talking right past each other, & soon enough that opposing concepts wind up treated as "the same."

For instance (& as I'll go into someday), back around 1980 it was widely believed that there was a necessary gulf between the gay & lesbian communities -- that they literally had nothing in common & lived entirely different lifestyles.

Us bisexuals were an island somewhere else entirely & generally looked down upon as being "indecisive" or (not exaggerating at all) claiming the coolness & flexibility of being queer without giving up the safety of the heterosexual fold.

In Minneapolis, it was the Wiccan community & the University of Minnesota's well-established gay & lesbian groups (official U-backed student organizations founded in 1969) that actively worked on building bridges instead of walls.

However, our intent WAS NOT to present this as some sort of bland "it's all the same" tree-hugger nonsense, but rather as a coalition with overlapping interests, & loose enough that individuals could find the best place for themselves, at this moment.

That's where "LGBTQetc" came from --being inclusive. Somewhere along the line, as with "BDSM," the "all the same" bullshit crept in & screwed up the conversation.
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Actually, let's step back & see what Alfred Kinsey himself had to say, back in the Dim Ages (1948-1953). (My editing.)
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There is nothing known in the anatomy or physiology of sexual response and orgasm which distinguishes masturbatory, heterosexual, or homosexual reactions.

The classification of sexual behavior as masturbatory, heterosexual, or homosexual, is, therefore, unfortunate if it suggests that only different types of persons seek out or accept each kind of sexual activity.

It would clarify our thinking if the terms could be dropped completely out of our vocabulary.

Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. Only the human mind invents categories and tries to force facts into pigeonholes. The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.

Instead of using these terms as substantives which stand for persons, or even as adjectives to describe persons, they may better be used to describe the nature of the overt sexual relations, or of the stimuli to which an individual erotically responds.

It has been possible to maintain this dichotomy only by placing all persons who are exclusively heterosexual in a heterosexual category and all persons who have any amount of experience with their own sex, even including those with the slightest experience, in a homosexual category... The attempt to maintain a simple dichotomy on these matters exposes the traditional biases which are likely to enter whenever the heterosexual or homosexual classification of an individual is involved.
Which kinda demonstrates why Scheff's "poly homophobia" screed strikes me as terribly, terribly off-base, somehow peeling bisexuals away from "queer" one moment then pretending it's "all pretty much the same."
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Ravenscroft View Post
If we fail to identify clearly the terms we use, then it's waaaay too easy to find we're talking right past each other, & soon enough that opposing concepts wind up treated as "the same."
I guess I don't really see the problem here. One, I don't have an issue with sexual identities being treated the same. Isn't that... kind of the point? If someone is treating people who identify as one thing over another differently, then they need to sort out their priorities.

The only time I could maybe seeing this as a concern is if someone was trying to figure out if they should or should not hit on someone...but they can just ask that, too, or- you know- start a conversation like someone who isn't a creeper and go from there. Being the right gender/using the right gender identifier doesn't mean that hitting on someone is okay anyways. It's not like: "this person like boobs, I have boobs, match made in heaven!".

Two, if someone identifies as "blahblahsexual" and I want more information on what that means to them, well, I can just ask. It's still their right to decline to answer. I don't see it as being any different than asking someone what pronoun they would like to use. If someone only wants to have sex with men and identifies as heterosexual, I'm on board with that. "Not my circus, not my monkeys", as they say.

Holding a strict set of definitions for sexuality feels false to me, in any case. Not everything has to be defined universally, not when individuals can just discuss what their chosen term means to them. Love by itself is not universal in my experience anyhow, and it makes sense to me that if individual emotions are individually defined and labelled, then sexuality would operate under the same set of rules.
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenscroft View Post
If we fail to identify clearly the terms we use, then it's waaaay too easy to find we're talking right past each other, & soon enough that opposing concepts wind up treated as "the same."
Well, yeah, that's what conversations are for. I know I've said many times on this forum that, when dating or thinking about dating someone, it's a good idea to get clear on how each person defines words like "relationship," "commitment," "love," and so on. Of course, if a certain term about sexuality is important to someone, they would definitely do well to let people know why. I don't think there has to be, nor could possibly be, a mutually agreed-upon vocabulary established in advance of having that kind of conversation. And if it's an issue for some people but not for me, I don't need to be a part of figuring it out nor defining anything for them - I'll deal with whatever presents itself in my life. However, it seems to me that inclusiveness would mean everyone is treated the same.
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Last edited by nycindie; 06-05-2016 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 06-06-2016, 12:38 AM
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I have had friends who run the gamut of heterosexual, heteroflexible, bisexual, homoflexible, and homosexual.
And on a slightly separate spectrum, demisexual, sapiosexual, and pansexual.

It comes down to one's personal experiences, preferences, and concept of self.

For myself, I have experienced physical attraction to men, and greatly enjoyed the single, limited experience I have had of another man's body.
But I have never experienced a real emotional connection or romantic attraction to another man.
I have realized over time that, in large part due to my negative relationship with my father growing up and even now, I never learned how to relate to other men, and even my friendships with men nowadays feel stilted.

But I always remain open to finding and forming that kind of connection.
Thus, I choose to identify as "heteroflexible".


I understand the need for objective terms.
It has been a struggle for me to let go of that need when studying the interactions of the Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation spectra.
It comes down to tending one's own garden, and letting others do the same.
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Last edited by BonzaiBlitz; 06-06-2016 at 12:44 AM.
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BonzaiBlitz View Post
It comes down to tending one's own garden, and letting others do the same.
I like that! I just might steal it some time.
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