Yup I know what you’re thinking – why is a lesbian asking this question? Do I doubt the validity of bisexuality?
I’m asking this question because I want to know what other people think as I’ve already made up my mind but I wanted to see why people think negatively about bisexuality and, in a roundabout way, explore whether having an experimental sexuality or a transitional sexuality is bad.
Of course I, personally, don’t doubt the validity of bisexuality. Even though I don’t consider myself to have had any bisexual feelings or thoughts I know a lot of people who have and who haven’t had an easy time of it. Seeing them struggle so much made me realise that it was a valid sexuality and that it should be respected.
However, I’m aware that other people don’t feel the same and I want to look at why they don’t. Yes, I have already made up my mind and come to a conclusion for myself but I still hope to look at this topic in a non-biased way and look at the arguments for both sides.
Firstly, the definition of bisexuality (according to Wiki…): “Bisexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behaviour toward males and females. The term is mainly used in the context of human attraction to denote romantic or sexual feelings toward men and women.” Cheers Wiki.
Now, the definition of a sequential bisexual from a website about sexuality: “In this category, the person has a relationship with a person of one sex and following that has a relationship with a person of the other sex. ”
Yes, there are at least two different types of bisexuality. Shock horror.
What does this new addition to the bisexual family mean? I think it gives people another opportunity to criticise bisexuality and say that people are just confused and don’t know what they want and that they are more likely to cheat as they get bored and always want the gender that they’re not currently with.
But, before I get carried away with bisexual stereotypes and their effect on the bisexual community I want to look a little closer at the experimental side of things.
Experimenting is defined as testing theories or hypotheses. Lovely. Put quite simply, it’s a way of seeing what works and what doesn’t and then allows for further changes to be made etc.
At school, I hated science experiments because my illogical mind couldn’t process the need for them. I didn’t want to know how different elements reacted when you mixed them together; I just wanted to have lunch and get the day over and done with so I could go home and nap.
Despite my early negative attitudes towards experimentation I now see it to be hugely worthwhile. Look at the constant experiments happening with regards to finding cures for cancers; no-one can say that it isn’t a worthy cause.
Early experiments taught our ancestors what foods to eat and what to make houses out of and, considering how basic and, in some cases, deadly, these would have been; I think we’ve all turned out rather well.
I think sexual experimentation is particularly important; not only when it includes you but also when it includes others. Yes, I’m going to say it, I think masturbation is healthy and I think a good knowledge of your body and your sexuality can help to build a good relationship and a good sex life.
Thus, I think that sexual experimentation between people of all genders (because, yes, I think there are more than two) is completely normal.
As well as this, bisexual people are more than capable of being in a committed monogamous relationship. Early experimentation does not mean that people will never be able to settle down and nor does it make their sexuality any less valid.
Heterosexual and homosexual people are just as likely to cheat and, in a slightly different way, just as likely to experiment (even if it is just with people of one gender).
However, I can see why there are negative connotations to experimenting. It has been said that bisexual people will “team up with” a straight person or a gay person and use them just to get a thrill or to feel how things work. If this is the case then sure, it’s not an ideal situation and I don’t think straight or gay people should be used if they don’t want to be in a relationship with them for concrete reasons. However, gay and straight people do this too in that they begin relationships with people just for the sake of it for flimsy reasons such as the fact that they are good looking or have a lot of money.
I’m not going to talk about the transitional aspect of the argument much because I think it’s quite closely linked to experimenting and that I’ll end up repeating myself.
I get the impression that a lot of people think that bisexuality isn’t a real sexuality because they feel like it’s a recent thing. But here’s the catch; there have been bisexual people around for ages! Just like being gay, it had a stigma attached to it and that meant that people were afraid to come out.
And then there’s the bisexual stereotype that annoys me the most; “bisexuals can’t make up their minds and they’re just greedy”.
Personally, I don’t find men attractive but I can appreciate a good looking man and I value the company and friendships of men. But, because I’m gay, I struggle to see how people can find people of both genders attractive when they are completely different. But that’s exactly the point –they are completely different and that, I’ve been assured, is very attractive. It’s the same as me being attracted to two different people from different backgrounds, countries and socio-economic groups – it just doesn’t matter as long as I like them. Some people are bi-romantic in that they are romantically attracted to both genders while some are only romantically attracted to one gender but physically attracted to the other. This doesn’t mean they can’t make up their minds, this just means that they are attracted to a range of different people with a range of different qualities.
Onto the greedy stereotype… There’s an assumption that all gay people like everyone from the gender they’re attracted to. So it’s natural to assume that a straight person likes every one of the opposite gender, right? And, if we assume this is true, then bisexual people like EVERYONE! Well that’s clearly not true. This ties in with the idea that bisexual people are incapable of having monogamous relationships. But, as I’ve already said, they are just as capable as anyone else.
I feel a lot better now I’ve got that off my chest.
To round this all up, bisexual people are not the cheating, greedy, experimenting people they are often portrayed to be. I also don’t believe that bisexuality is an experimental or transitional sexuality for the reasons that I have explained above. I hope that, in time, people look behind the flawed stereotypes and understand that bisexuality is just as valid and as important as any other sexuality.