Saturday, 5 June 2010

About being bisexual

Hello, and welcome to the start of my blog about bisexuality.

- OED: sexually attracted to both men and women
- Wikipedia: a sexual behavior or an orientation involving physical or romantic attraction to both males and females
- Wiktionary: sexually attracted to persons of either sex

The above definitions are archaic and inaccurate. As everyone knows, sexuality and orientation is not only about physical or romantic attraction, but also attraction on an intellectual and emotional level. Nor is gender, sex, or gender expression, binary. Let's just get that clear from the start. (Google 'genderbread person').

Bisexuals are attracted on some or all levels to more than one gender.

That's the basics of it. It is not better or worse than being hetero or homo, nor are the problems with relationships any easier or difficult. In LGB, they are probably the least understood, and for the majority of straight people (and some gay people) the most confusing. Such questions as "Why can't they choose?" and "Aren't they being greedy, with one foot on each side?" crop up in conversation with people who are monosexual. This blog hopes to clear this up and give some clarity for all readers, regardless of their orientation, age or gender, for sexuality transcends all boundaries of human society and history.

I am a bisexual myself. Please be aware that I am using my own knowledge and experiences (as well as Google searches!) and giving my own personal opinion. I believe that orientation is a result of nature, with only small influence of nurture, but I realise that others believe different. I don't think it can be changed, though I do believe that some people exist with a fluid sexuality, and I don't think falling love can be bad simply because of the gender of the recipient. But I am not using this blog to impose these views on anyone, for we're all entitled to our own views.

Bisexual is a misleading term. Some people, like me, are 'bi'sexuals, in that they are in fact attracted to men and women (the two ends of the spectrum) in a binary fashion, with no preference. But that's not often the case; bisexual in terms of LGBT is used as an umbrella to mean all those who are 'not gay or straight', and that includes people who are attracted to more than two genders, or who are attracted to both but have a preference, or for whom gender is not an issue, or who's sexuality is fluid and the parameters of who they are attracted to change over time. This is one of the hardest elements of bisexuality that non-bisexuals have difficulty understanding. The 'bi' as in the 'two' does not have much to do with what bisexuality as an identity has emerged as meaning since the term was coined.

To put it another way - being heterosexual, a woman has the potential to be attracted to anyone who is a man. I am a 'bi'sexual, so have the potential to be attracted to anyone who is a man or anyone who is a woman. Some bisexuals don't work like that; they don't feel that just any man or woman is potentially attractive by dint of being man or woman - their gender doesn't factor into the equation. They just identify as under the umbrella term 'bisexuality' to show that gender doesn't limit them to one option, they are open to same-sex or opposite sex romantic and sexual relationships. Or they only identify with bisexuality umbrella because most people are even less aware of the other terms for people's sexuality, which often strive to point out an attraction to transgenders, and genderqueer people, or that their attraction isn't based on gender at all (people who identify with this last one most often identify as 'pansexual').

This post gives a basic definition of bisexuality. But it's actually very hard to define, and so it will only be found in all the posts collectively on this blog, which will discuss different aspects of what living this life is like. Every bisexual is different, which I really shouldn't need to say, because everyone is unique, and every hetero is different and every homo is different as well.  Ultimately, it is not for other people to use their own parameters to judge what bisexuality is; if a bisexual identifies as bisexual, that is what they are and other people should accept that.

But anyway. Bisexuality. It's an attraction. To more than one gender.

See also:

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