I would like for those of you who are interested in this to go read this blogger’s blog to get the full gist of what I’m about to start riffing about – I’ll wait.
I read what they included in their blog and I had a lot of thoughts about it which came out in my comments on the blog but I wanted to put here, like, how does one go about scientifically proving any of this and then the thing that got my attention was the article mentioning that bisexuality is an invented orientation created by those who don’t want to admit that they’re really gay.
What the fuck…? Okay, I can get my head around the fact that bisexuality is drawing a great deal of attention these days as compared to when I started on this path of sexuality, lo, all those many years ago but to see the NYT writing something that suggests that bisexuality is a figment of a bisexual’s imagination just makes my jaw be all unhinged because from where I’m sitting – and based on where I came from in this – how can you possibly make up something that existed way before even I was born? I guess someone’s eventually going to say that heterosexuality is an invented orientation because there’s a gay person inside everyone? And if you think that sounds patently ridiculous, well so does bisexuality as an invented orientation. And I noted that in the NYT article, um, they failed to mention who they thought invented this and when they may have done it.
I don’t get it; human history is rife with examples of bisexuality, going back to the creation of the Greek and Roman civilizations – and a time, I might add, that bisexuality was seen as okay until Christianity changed the rules. As far as I can tell, the word ‘bisexual’ was coined in the 1800s (somewhere around 1892) but wasn’t generally used until the 1950s and, of course, wasn’t removed as an official mental disorder until 1974 (about the same time masturbation was also removed from the official list of mental disorders). I know that as a young bisexual who, by the way, was beginning to run on all cylinders with this in in the early 1960s, the one ‘danger’ I had to possibly face was being mistaken for being homosexual and had wondered at one point that if I wasn’t heterosexual or homosexual, what was I? A trip to the library answered that one and I learned a word that was created 63 years before I was born and 72 years before I had my first experience (give or take a couple of years).
Invented orientation, huh?
Back to the science for a moment. I know that I’m bisexual and to what extent I am… but how do I prove it? I mean, if you’re not going to take my word for it, what would I have to do, get put in a room with a woman and a man and let my actions speak for me? Probably not very scientific or ethical but, ha, it would probably produce some very credible results.
Which now leads in nicely to this guy’s blog I ran across last night – http://hallsofthemind.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/diversity-of-male-bisexuality/ – he and I had a rather interesting conversation on the subject and one of the things I asked him – and I’m probably paraphrasing myself – is how does one quantify and qualify something that’s more internalized with someone than anything else? I mean, what a bisexual might do is really only a small part of it – think icebergs, if that helps.
J, as I came to know him last night, was telling me about all the available research papers out there that he used to write the contents of the above-referenced blog and I got to thinking right before I started writing this – the idea for this was rapidly forming – is that a lot of the research stuff I’ve seen is great at doing a lot of things, like putting all the stereotypes, myths, and assumptions out there to be examined and some try to convince the reader that maybe, just maybe, bisexuals are really homosexuals in denial. J did mention that he believes that the data are rather scarce and that’s because bisexuals aren’t all out in the open and, as such, it’s hard to compile any really reliable, definitive data. I get that for those research papers out there, talking to bisexuals probably happened albeit in small numbers but if you read J’s blog as I did, well, I wondered what bisexuals they talked to because they sure as hell didn’t talk to me… not that I have the definitive answer.
Still, I thought J had some interesting things to say in his writing – go check it out.
I just know what I am and how it specifically applies to me because, duh, bisexuality really isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Seriously, how does one prove that they’re heterosexual? How is homosexuality proved? Simplest answer is people are asked, they give their answer, and you take their word for it and then hope they’re telling the truth. I just don’t pretend to understand how bisexuality can be quantified and qualified to the point where someone will once again say, “Bisexuals do exist – and here’s the definitive proof!” because, again, a lot of what makes me bisexual are things I don’t even have words for.
It makes me wonder if there’s a real and serious need to prove that we exist – what’s the real point in this? The one recurring thing I keep seeing about this is the insistence that we – bisexuals – either need to pick a side and stay on that side or that we’re really gay and in need of some serious couch time because we’re in such great denial. Hmm… is that all you got? Is this the best that can be offered? And it is to note that neither of these positions are offered to prove that bisexuality is real – they’re there to prove that it isn’t… and I don’t believe it’s working because my sexuality is very real to me… unless the Matrix really has me and I took the blue pill. I gotta ask, though: If bisexuality doesn’t exist, why go to such lengths to prove that it doesn’t?
And then what difference would any definitive proof make when it’s kinda obvious that the general populace has proven that they’re more willing to believe the perceptions rather than the truth? I suppose that in one sense, science – and the various fields of psychology in particular – would have that ‘documented proof’ that, yep, there really is a sexuality middle ground.
That we’re all supposed to live in a straight world is a given; everything we’re taught kinda proves this out… but it’s also pretty damned obvious that even though we take a “majority rules” approach to sexuality, we do not and never have lived in a straight world. Today, we’ve settled into a rather narrow-minded, Sith-inspired point of view: You’re either straight or you’re gay… and that’s despite the famous Kinsey Report revealing that heterosexuality is at one of their scale and homosexuality is at the other… so just what in the hell do they think is in the middle of these two extremes? Um, what numbers are between zero and six?
To hear them talk about it, there’s nothing there and that’s so fucking egocentric that I’m not even sure I used the right word to describe the absolute lunacy of it all. And then scientists like J wonder why bisexuals might need some time on the couch to help them cope with their sexuality? The sheer fact that there are therapists and other professionals trained to deal with sexuality issues should prove that it exists because how can you treat someone for something that doesn’t exist? Unless, of course, the purpose of such treatment is to convince the bisexual that if they’re not gonna admit that they’re straight, they should admit that they’re gay – that would be a pretty neat Jedi mind trick because, in this blogger’s opinion, that’s what it’s gonna take to make a bisexual believe that he/she is something they know they aren’t; that or some pretty potent and interesting drugs.
You can collect all the data possible, crunch all the numbers there are to crunch, and present the results… but it’s gonna tell you what people think, what they’re afraid of in this, and expose the reader to all known stereotypes… and it proves nothing… but it doesn’t disprove it either; how can you sift through the data and determine that, say, more white men are bisexual than Black men… when it’s said that bisexual men, specifically, don’t exist? Huh? How is this possible? Oh, yeah, and you might note in either of the blogs I referenced here that bisexual women get a bit of a kick in the side but no one’s saying that bisexual women don’t exist, not that I’ve seen. I’ve seen it said that there are a lot of straight girls faking it in order to attract male attention but while there is a faction that isn’t fond of this behavior, bisexual women are well-accepted in our society and I think we all know why that is, don’t we?
Okay, actions speak louder than words, theoretically speaking. One blogger I started following said in her blog that her husband stated that not only was she going through a phase, she wasn’t really bisexual until she actually had sex with another woman, something that she’s not interested in because she loves her husband and believes in their relationship… but she knows that she is. I can accept that because I know one can be quite bisexual and never have or want to have the sex; this lack of action, to me, doesn’t invalidate anyone’s bisexuality. Here’s where the theory falls apart: Straight people who have gay sex and still insist that they’re straight and usually by employing the relationship excuse, as in they wouldn’t want to have a same-sex relationship and as if that’s a hard requirement for bisexuality, which it isn’t if I may be allowed to remind everyone.
In this, their words are supposed to speak louder than their actions, right? So which is it: Is it what we say or is it what we do? Which of these two things can be used to prove or disprove the existence of bisexuality? Ah, but like bisexuality, I don’t believe the answer is either/or… but if you put both things under the intellectual microscope and carefully examine them, methinks you’re gonna be able to prove bisexuality more than you can disprove it; at the very least, bisexuals understand that it’s just as much about how we think and feel as it is what we might do.
Jeez, why can’t they just take our word that we’re bisexual or open their damned eyes and look at the evidence that already exists about our existence? Lord knows it’s been around for a long time. How can anyone look at the data and other information that has already been collected about this and say that bisexuality doesn’t exist and needs to be definitively proven?
Beats me… I just know what I am and to what extent I am and if you can’t, won’t, or don’t believe me, well, I don’t know what to tell you about this.