Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Collection of Posts on Male Bisexuality

When I first began to question and try to understand my gender identity, bisexual didn't really seem like the right word, and it still doesn't. Back then, I used it anyway because having some kind of label was important to my 20-something self. To complicate matters, my sense of the issue had a lot to do with androgyny - I saw myself as androgynous and I was drawn to androgynous people romantically - not girlie-girls and not manly-men.

If I have to define my sexuality at all, and would rather not, I now prefer the prefixes omni- or pan-sexual - both terms essentially mean that gender is not an issue in choosing romantic partners. My feeling is that calling myself bisexual is to affirm the gender binary that I do believe to be useful anymore (at least for some of us).

I understand that my sense of this is different than many others - I'm probably just making this sh!t up on my own, which is cool.

There have been several articles of late (which means in the last month or so) that address male bisexuality in one way or another, so I thought I'd share them here. I suspect many men are not strictly heterosexual (maybe most men, since extremes seldom exist except in our imaginations). Nevertheless, I have no desire to force my views on someone else - but I would like to create more tolerance and understanding among the various sexuality "camps," and I use the word camps because sometimes it feels like war.

My gay friends used to tell me to quit messing around and get fully out of the closet. My straight friends figured I was already "weird," so what's one more thing. My family never spoke of it again after I told them, but my sister never left me alone with her children after that. Most of my gay and lesbian friends will not date a bisexual, so the bis I know end up with other bis (less often) or in apparently "normal" binary relationships. Transgender folks (including transsexuals and transvestites, among many other groups, including my favorite tribe, the gender queers and gender fuckers) seem to have a hard time in either the gay or the straight world - the gay world sees them as a political liability, and the straight world is, I think, scared of them. Transgender people cause straight folks to think about their own gender identity in ways that make them uncomfortable.

You know, the other thing that seems silly to me, is that the LGB community still largely buys into the heteronormative sexual identity (you're either gay or straight, or one of those weird bi people who like both) and the binary gender identity - it's either male or female. And then there's polyamory, which I do not buy into, but many other pan or omni folks do.

Anyway . . . .

First up, however, is an integrally inspired article from Beams and Struts a couple of months back.

Not Gay Enough: Closing the Closet Door on Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Individuals

Written by Abbie Kopf

Young liberation movements are consumed by the act of defense – fending off attacks on character and, unfortunately in many cases, person. Marginalized groups spend the formative years of their crawl into mainstream acceptance combating the propaganda of legislators and moral leaders, who warn “normal” folks of the impending moral apocalypse, brought to you by the unmentionables. For the LGBT community, our identity has been defined by outsiders through the incendiary characterizations that we’re child molesters, abominations, mentally ill, incestuous, vulgar, sex-crazed, perverted, subversive and unable to control ourselves. Fortunately, in excruciating increments we’re gaining victories and reticent support across the ideological and political spectrum. Far from accepted, yet light years ahead of where we’ve been, we’re hurtling towards unprecedented visibility not as scourges of humanity but as people who simply want to love freely and equally.
uncle samDon’t Ask Don’t Tell’s recent repeal highlighted the dissolving effectiveness of the tired arguments which have, for so long, weighed us down in nonsense. Those in favor of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell came out swinging with the golden oldies, explaining that if gays were allowed to serve openly in the military, unsuspecting soldiers would be raped in the shower, unit cohesion would be obliterated and the barracks would turn into a giant orgy. Yet curiously, and perhaps for the first time, the public wasn’t buying it. In fact, an overwhelming 67% of Americans supported the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.
As we win these landmark battles with greater frequency, our identity will be less defined by fanatical homophobes and we can begin the arduous task of self-defining who we are. So far, our simple explanation has been that we’re just like heterosexuals, with the exception that we’re gay. We want the same things as our breeder brethren: a spouse, job security, a nice house and maybe some kiddos. We just want it with the same sex. In essence, we’ve made heterosexuality and homosexuality two sides of a coin which, regardless of how it lands when flipped, is joined by a common sexual structure.
Read the whole post.

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This last one comes from Rachel Rabbit White. And for the record, dang, those guys in the photo below are skinny as hell.

Who’s Afraid of Bisexual Men?

14thJun. × ’10
I’m sitting on the edge of the bed. The room is dark, filled with the sound of flesh smacking flesh and throaty “ahhhhhs.” Next to me are huddles of middle aged men, standing, pants-off, half-hard. I’m sitting upright, purse in lap feeling a bit overdressed.
In front of me is a triple set of couples, all in the doggy-style position, fucking in front of a mirror. Guy on girl, guy on guy, guy on girl. The earthy smell of anal sex filters the air.
It’s a swinger party. Or “lifestyle party” if you prefer. But something here is different. This party is Chicago’s first and only all bisexual lifestyle party. Usually, guy on guy sex is sort of not allowed.
I’m here undercover, doing a story for Gapers Block (click for entire story) In the lifestyle, I’ve learned, male bisexuality is taboo. Just like on TV or in small towns or high-schools.
I admire bisexual men. Not only do I find them strong and courageous and cool but I have a thing for them. They’re my “type.” Or, everyone is secretly bi and I just pull it out of the guys I date. Okay, I don’t *really* believe that, but because I’m bi, I tend to assume everyone else is too.
Read the whole article.

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Finally, the Sexuality, Gender, and the Body blog posted an article on the basics of bisexuality. Nothing new, but they did offer some good links at the end, which I am including below.



Sage said...

Great Collection Bill!

For many years now I have referred to myself as queer. There are a number of reasons I do this:

1. In my mid-30's I fell in love, deeply and genuinely in love with a woman. By that time I had been living as an out gay man for more than 20 years. This experience let me know there was more than this whole thing than I had previously suspected.

2. I came to realize that the idea of being "gay" had more components than just the "who I fuck" component. I began to understand that there was a gay, male culture so to speak. I also simultaneously discovered I did not have much interest in what I viewed as the gay, male culture and it seemed I had vastly different values that those I saw as being a part of this culture.

3. I fell in love with a second woman.

4. For a number of years I existed in this no label netherworld where I did not have a name for what I viewed as my sexual orientation.

5. I began to really appreciate the political and other implications of the word queer. I took on that word as my "label." I also found that many people were confused by what I was meaning by the word "queer" and that suit me just fine.

6. Eventually I connected with the Radical Faerie community and by and large found a tribe I believed I could really relate to. To me, so much of the radical faerie aesthetic is about moving beyond labels and queer felt like it more or less achieved that for me.

Thanks again for a great collection of articles!

John Wagnon said...

Thanks for this posting, Bill. I would definitely call my life "queered" in some way. I identify strongly with the GLB community and feel at home with its members. I can see how my own sexuality is fluid and could have developed in many different ways. I do think of myself as bisexual, although in practice I think I've only ever seen a handful of men I was sexually attracted to. Its only through open discussion and inquiry that we discover these things about ourselves and learn to understand them to any degree.