This is one of my pet peeves when talking to some folks about being bisexual and, yes, I’m still talking about this! I was doing my author thing on Cinnamon’s swinging advice site and I was reminded of this peeve and got inspired to write this. Okay, we’ve been through the whole “Bisexuals Exist!” thing, which was good for a laugh if nothing else, but there’s this general perception that bugs the shit out of me: People who are not bisexual think that being bi is an either/or thing for us. I got the thought that the reason for this is some attempt to stuff us into the straight or gay boxes and overlooking the obvious… that we like, in one form or another, both sexes.
It’s not either/or – it’s both. It implies that we should – not could, mind you – do one thing or the other and that our capacity and ability to want and/or do both is discounted. I see this a lot when talking to other swingers, especially those straight folks who want a crack at us and assume that because we’re both bisexual, it’s an either/or type of thing for us or, “Since you’re bi, that means you can go either way, right?”
Yes… and no. In this, we get peeved because they seem to ignore the statement in our profile that we want to do both and it was put there to avoid any, uh, confusion about what we want to do and how we want to do it. But I’ve also seen this outside the lifestyle as well and I can’t help but think that this is some unconscious attempt to, again, put bisexuals in one box or the other and keep us there.
I’m sure that the practicing bisexuals out there have heard this many times: “Do you prefer men or women?” I hear it a lot and my answer is always, “Yes.” I also love the look on their faces when I answer like that, by the way. Even in asking that question, that’s an either/or kind of thing and, again, suggesting that we have to have a singular preference and totally ignoring the fact that we can go both ways.
I’ve heard questions like, “If you had a choice between a man and a woman, which one would you take first?” Again, it’s limiting; it’s “forcing” a choice between one box or the other. My answer usually is, “That depends on how I’m feeling at the moment.” I will further baffle them by saying, “I might go for the woman first… but I wouldn’t say no to the dick!” And, yes, I’ve been known to reverse that answer only because it’s true and sticks to my original, default answer to this: Depends on how I’m feeling.
It’s not men or women… it’s men and women – it’s inclusive. I used to ask myself why some people didn’t understand this but then I kinda figured it out and instead of getting angry, it does make me roll my eyes and even laugh because they don’t get the distinction here. Instead of us dealing with sexual doors that only open one way, ours is more like a revolving door, to put it like that.
To the budding bisexuals out there, my advice to you (if you wanna call it that) is to not let your peers try to stuff you into one box or the other; to the not-so-budding bisexuals, if you can laugh at it, this works and, hell, who knows, maybe you can enlighten someone who has that either/or mentality about bisexuals?
Another question: “Does it make a difference?” My answer: “No; should it?” I mean, really, if I’ve told you that I’m bi, the fact that it doesn’t make a difference is implied here. The questions sometimes calls for a crude, if not effective, answer at times: I like pussy and dick. Now, a legitimate question or questions would be along the lines of how much I like dick and, oddly enough, any questions on how much I like pussy are instantly moot – haven’t quite figured that one out but I think that’s because since I’m a guy, pussy is assumed to be my default choice and, of course, the only guys who don’t like pussy are gay men (as far as I know).
It’s kinda nuts to know that, yeah, we can swing both ways… then “insist” that there’s some preferred order involved. Folks attempt to quantify this by pointing to the number of times you have bi sex versus the number of times you have straight sex and while this is kinda telling in some ways, frequency has nothing to do with it.
As I’ve said a few times here of late, this either/or thing is Sith thinking – it’s an absolute; bisexuals don’t act this way and they sure as hell don’t think that way. Perhaps this is because, as another blogger put it, society doesn’t want bisexuals to exist but since we do, we have to be given the choice between one or the other; we’re to choose between being straight or gay even when it’s clear that we choose to be both and neither in our thinking and doing – how hard is this to figure out and, more, how hard is this to understand?
Now to be honest, we do kinda make a choice in our heads when we get horny along the lines of what we’re horny for at that moment. To that end, you could call that an either/or thing – but it’s one based more on availability than anything else. There are times when I get horny for dick and that’s what would satisfy me… but if there’s pussy available, okay, that’ll work and vice versa. You could call it an either/or thing simply because, unlike straights or gays, we have a choice in a sexual partner… but it’s not really an either/or thing because if either is available – or can be made available – at that moment, well, someone’s going to get turned out either way, huh?
For a lot of us, it’s not a thing of us liking men in the same way that we’d like women; it’s about the sex we can have and, indeed, a lot of the more “modern” bisexuals don’t like, say, men, anymore than what’s necessary to get into their underwear. To this end, I think both straights and gays tend to look at this in terms of having a relationship and, yeah, while this is possible and does happen, for the most part, having a relationship in the traditional sense with a member of the same sex isn’t usually on the menu and if it is, it’s strictly for the purpose of getting each other off and has nothing to do with romance.
Another question: “Why do you feel you must have both?” My answer: “Because I do – are you suggesting that I shouldn’t?” Is there any benefit in being either straight or gay? Maybe there is… but, duh, bisexuals don’t think so; otherwise, we probably wouldn’t be bisexuals, huh? My other answer to this question: “Why should I put limits on my sexual pleasure?”
The answer to this one is easy: Because society and our morality says I should put those limits in place – and it’s an answer I don’t accept. It says that I should put the responsibility for my sexual happiness and pleasure in one place or the other and just make one gender bear the burden in this… and that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me if, ultimately, I’m responsible for making myself happy when it’s time to get naked and all that.
So, no: Either/or doesn’t work for me in this nor does it work for other bisexuals. When you get right down to it, it’s about having options that straights and gays don’t have or want to exercise – and that’s fine… just stop trying to drag us into either of these boxes when we clearly don’t want to be there.
My roommate in the Air Force was gay and, in private, made no bones about it. It didn’t take long for us to become lovers and that was fine. One night, I came back to the apartment we shared off-base from a date with a woman and he got pissed about it – well, even more pissed I should say – because I came home smelling like coochie. We wound up having a literal fight about it (which he lost badly) and as I patched up his battle damage, I asked him what the big deal was and more so since he knew I went both ways. His answer, which I had expected to be one based on possessiveness, was anything but – he felt that I should give up going both ways in favor of just being gay because to him, nothing else made any sense.
He even gave me an ultimatum: It was either dick or pussy and I couldn’t have both because, yeah, he wanted me all to himself but, again, felt that I should be gay. For me, it was the first time I’d ever run into this mindset… and it allowed me to see it in other people I eventually wound up meeting. And, if you’re wondering, I told my roommate that I wasn’t going to accept his ultimatum and he didn’t speak to me for a week… but we did “kiss and make up.” The “funny” thing here is that he didn’t accept my rejection of his ultimatum because my being bi made sense to him – he accepted it because he didn’t want me to whip his ass again; you really shouldn’t pick a fight with someone with two black belts in two martial arts and who has a nasty temper…
This either/or frame of mind makes it hard to talk to straight or gay folks who can accept us being bi because we really don’t have a complete and shared frame of reference; imagine trying to explain to a gay guy why you like pussy and you’ll see what I’m talking about here. Like, I can talk to gay guys about sex with men but if I mention coochie, I can see them tuning me out because they’ve either never had some of that stuff or they have some innate hatred along those lines.
Maybe the mindset exists because it’s simpler to be one way or the other? I’ve learned over the years not to get totally irate over having either/or tossed at me… but it’s still one of my pet peeves.