Of all the shit I’ve ever heard about being bisexual or even homosexual, that people call it a phase is one that cracks me up because it’s generally used to explain youthful experimentation but I’ve never been sure how that works or applies to anyone who’s an adult and more than capable of deciding what they want to do and why they do.
Even in my youth, I always wondered if the adults in charge of us actually knew what we were up to whenever they couldn’t see us and when they’d say, “Y’all better not be doing anything you shouldn’t be doing!” was their way of letting us know that they knew and if we were – and a lot of us most certainly were – we’d better not get caught doing it.
Being “invisible” to some adults, I’d often overhear them talking about, well, us in general and they did seem to know that there was a good chance that we’d start experimenting with each other and while some promised to make good on their promise to make us wish we hadn’t experimented, many would say that it’s just a phase and to not worry about it because we’d eventually grow out of it… but, yeah, if we got caught, our asses would be grass and they’d be the lawnmowers.
I was confused. Why tell us not to do something that you knew we were mostly likely to do? If adults “wondered” why we thought they were crazy, it was something like this that gave us that impression. The question that plagued me about it being a phase and something we’d grow out of was what if we didn’t grow out of it? Yeah, I was “that kid” who had a gazillion questions and always asking, “Why?” and usually to my detriment when I’d start asking questions about stuff I wasn’t supposed to know about yet like if the stork delivers babies, how come nobody ever sees a stork around here?
Grown into adult- and parenthood and when talking to other parents they, too, would talk about “The Phase” and in the same vein I’d heard in my youth. It was to be nipped in the bud before the rug rats even got the thought in their head – and with the same dire punishments I heard back then – but, at the same time, they were convinced that experimentation would happen and they’d better not get caught and/or they’d better not hear any complaints – then all holy hell would show up by the busload. Yep… those parents also said not to worry about it because if they did experiment, they’d grow out of it and be like everyone else…
Which would make me get a look on my face at their apparent naivety because while some do, in fact, grow out of any same-sex experimenting, um, some don’t… and I never did and it was safe to say that I wasn’t the only one. I got to thinking that this wasn’t so much of a phase as it was a cycle, a particular behavior that has been repeated over all this time and why, over the generations, “boys will be boys” meant a lot more than our penchant to get into trouble and do stupid shit to injure ourselves; the meaning that was implied or just not spoken about was that “boys will be boys” also meant that we’d have sex with each other.
If it is a phase of any kind, it’s a part of the learning phase we all go through; it’s a part of growing up, not that all boys experiment with and on each other but, still, it does happen and the thing that would tax my brain was how did we know what to do with each other? Word of mouth when one guy found out it could be done and passed it along to other boys he knew? Quite possible but that didn’t explain how two guys could be talking about it and there was no apparent word of mouth thing going on to put the idea in their head? Even as an adult, I’d wonder about this because I’d hear so many guys say that they experimented but in their first time, neither of them knew what they were doing… but they were doing it just the same and, well, one of these things had to be wrong… didn’t it?
But given that this has been a cycle of sorts, hmm, maybe it is a phase… just not one that a lot of people think it is as in something that’s done for a small period of time and then permanently discarded… except that doesn’t always happen and it sure as hell doesn’t explain how and why an adult – and one who should “know better” – gets it into his head to “experiment” with having sex with a guy and then, at times, referring to it as a phase…
And I’m not sure that it really is and the tripping point is that I don’t think there’s a way to prove that since, apparently, boys have been boys ever since there were boys to begin with or at some point thereafter. Sure… males having sex with each other goes way back and much of it has been lost to history; it wasn’t “written down,” and just may have been “erased” or removed from documented history before it became known that the Greeks and Romans were into this but older cultures were into it before the Greeks and Romans famously – or infamously – were.
To tell a bisexual that they’re just going through a phase is a “nasty” way to dismiss their sexuality and, I think, a backhanded way to tell them to grow up and don’t even bother going through this phase and, yeah, a lot of bisexuals get pretty upset over having this word used as a stick to beat them with. I know whenever I’ve had this particular “stick” swung in my direction, I’ve just ducked while rolling my eyes at how clueless those who might wield the stick tend to be. Again, yes: Some experiment either a little or a lot and then just leave it alone; some (like me) never do; some actually – and as I say – return to the party after a long absence and some, much later in life – and I mean those who are around my age – are just now getting into something that, if it truly was a phase that youngsters go through, they should have gone through and walked away from way before now.
I’m not a label hater but I’ve always thought and felt that the word “experiment” is the wrong word because it doesn’t really cover what’s going on and that the word, “explore” is a better word to use or, yeah, maybe both words fit the bill and serve to describe this cycle of sexual behavior we call a phase and one that we still think has a time limit or expiration date… and that’s not even the case.
Can you still call it a phase if one started out as an early adopter and never gave it up? Can it be called a phase if someone mentions that this is how they’re feeling but having the sex hasn’t even really crossed their mind or isn’t a consideration? And if this is truly a phase in human behavior and no matter when one may enter into it, um, what’s all the bitching and moaning all about? It occurred to me – and I might be wrong – is that the people who use this as a stick to beat us with either never explored sex in this way… or they did and carrying around a vineyard full of sour grapes or, more likely, is just doing what everyone who has some angst toward anyone who isn’t straight but is supposed to be because, you know, religion says so.
Yep – I’m the guy who think about stuff like this and more so when I’ve heard so many ask why it’s called a phase and if they get an answer, it’s probably that well-worn one that gets summed up as “boys being boys” but it is to note that when the phase is being talked about, I’ve yet to hear someone say that it’s also girls being girls, too. Well, yeah, they do say that in the context of experimenting with heterosexual sex and while they, too, are strongly advised when they’re young to not even think about going there, yeah, they do… but I know that’s not the only sex they experiment with and something they don’t give up and something they might go back to and, yep, have reason or a need to go there in the here and now.
I know; y’all might be thinking that I have way too much time on my hands and, well, I actually do… but this is something that’s been on my mind for a very long time since this phase tends to be, generally, dismissed out of hand and something that we know about; we know it’s quite possible to happen while, on the other hand, still bringing the fire and brimstone about it better not happen and ya better not even think about it… and how, exactly, does that work with adults who are of a mind to feel, think, and believe that the dire warnings is a bunch of bullshit and you don’t have the right to tell them who they can have sex with as long as both parties consent to it. Does it stop being a phase when adults are, by and large, making an informed decision and based upon whatever information they may have acquired and more so when I’ve heard adults say that they’re not sure how to do a thing in this, they sure do know what they’re doing… and something else that just tends to trip me out to have heard adults declaring with great certainty that their child would never do some shit like that and, besides, they have no idea or clue about sex to begin with.
Is that so? Yeah… no wonder why so many adults would be totally shocked to find out that their offspring not only knew about it but were doing it like it was going out of style any moment now. This being a phase could just be the correct way to put it as it very much seems to be a phase of our development but the expectation that one will grow out of it and be totally heterosexual, well, hmm, methinks that anyone who thinks like this deserves a wakeup call because that’s not what always happens and, again, I just do not think this… assessment applies to adults.
And I could be wrong… I just don’t think I am and more so when it’s been generally assumed and believed that only youngsters go through this phase… and I know better than that… and they apparently don’t until, of course, they get blindsided by the truth associated with this; if it is truly a phase, it’s one that anyone can go through and at any time and for any reason that makes sense to them and if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else, well, that’s their problem for believing that (a) only “kids” go through this and (b) they’ll always grow out of it if they, ah, participate and (c) they really don’t know what they’re doing. Adults do so, again, is calling this a phase in this context valid?
I’m not sure that it is but, yeah, maybe it is – and always has been – just a part of being human.