I was sitting here with this whole “gender related to bisexuality” thing I’ve been reading about for a while on my mind and I was thinking (dangerous, yeah, I know…) that I’ve had sex with women, with men and, in today’s terms (I guess), one transgender… although the word “transvestite” was the word being used. There’s a lot of talk about being attracted to gender and it makes me wonder if the people throwing this word around are aware of the definition of gender which is, simply, “the state of being male or female” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
One of the more complex things about being bisexual is having to figure out what is attractive in men and women and in this I mean attractive enough to get one’s juices flowing sexually and/or what gets their hearts going pitter-patter in a deeper context, like they might be relationship material. I know that trying to pin this down in a general sense is damn near impossible because I don’t believe you can generalize a bisexual’s behavior in this because this whole thing is always in motion, always changing and not prone to just ‘standing still’ long enough to get a general kind of feel.
So, y’all know that I’ve said that I like men and women or, when I’m feeling a little naughty and crude, I like pussy and dick. I don’t get into which I like more than the other even though – and probably like a lot of male bisexuals – I’m more drawn to women for sex and things romantic than I am men even though I’ve been in a relationship with a man and have felt more than just friendship with a guy. While things like nice breasts, a slamming booty, and maybe even a nice print in a guy’s pants are nice things to look at and even play with, when it comes to taking things past just looking at people, I – right along with everyone else who is bisexual – have a process, a checklist, if you will, of what’s going on with them that makes them attractive and desirable, if that’s on the menu as well.
It’s about the person and, yes, there are some differences in my process depending on whether it’s a woman or a man because, duh, men and women are different and I know this is oversimplified but it still has to be noted and more so since gender actually never crosses my mind and, yes, I know that just because someone looks male or female doesn’t mean that they’ve adopted the role that they’ve been born into, like the transvestite/transgender I encountered all those years ago and as can be evidenced by all the effeminate gay men I’ve run into and, yeah, even straight guys who have ‘effeminate’ ways about them. This includes all the tomboy girls I’ve ever met, the couple of butch lesbians I know, and the seriously girly girls I’ve known. I also know – and because like a lot of people I learned the hard way – that just because the cover is slamming doesn’t mean that the person underneath the cover is just as spectacular; your eyes will deceive you so you shouldn’t believe them at times.
That process begins with, “What is it about them that I like?” Sure, a study of the cover is warranted and, more often than not, dismissed because at the end of the day, it’s not about what they look like more than it is what’s going on inside their heads, what makes them the person they are and what, if anything, is going on with them that I can find attractive or, at the least, interesting about them… and right along with trying to figure out why they managed to get my attention in the first place – that’s usually not so difficult to figure out but it is to note that their gender isn’t really of great interest… although I will “write” it down in my mind, like, “She’s all woman” or “He’s a manly man” or some other mental notation that probably only makes sense to me and that’s because there probably aren’t any words available that I could use – a lot of intangible stuff going on in the old noodle.
Maybe my interest is just aesthetic – they look nice, are dressed nice, their body language saying things to me – stuff like that; maybe I’m doing my job as a Certified Dirty Old Man and letting my view of them get all in the gutter and undressing them with my eyes (and without appearing to do it)… and all of this is all well and good because, um, I’m not dead yet and such things ‘confirm’ that I like men and women even if not for the exact same reasons. Am I thinking about gender? No, not really – I’m thinking about the person I’m looking at or the person I’m talking to and, again, trying to sort out what it is about them that I might be drawn to and, yeah, even if it’s just sexual.
I’ve never thought that gender, as defined, really mattered in my choices or decisions about what’s attractive or even sexy/sensual about a person. Now, having said that, y’all know that effeminate gay men drive me nuts and especially the ones who behave as if they’re more woman than the real thing and, yep, I’ve said that I prefer my men to act like men… but it doesn’t mean that I couldn’t find them attractive because attraction – at least for me – goes much deeper than how someone behaves. You look male but act like a female? Okay, what else is going on with you besides this? You look female but act like you’re more of a man than I am? Okay, I think that’s funny but, um, what else is going on with you that’s interesting? Maybe it’s the fact that the cover and the inside pages aren’t the same things that can be attractive in some way… but you never really know until you can get that good feel for a person.
And even if it’s just sex on the menu, gender still isn’t an issue in my mind although when it comes to this, the gender roles seriously come into play and while this dynamic is interesting, it still doesn’t mean a whole lot to me as a bisexual; I don’t see any sense in invoking gender in any of this. Sure, it’s interesting to engage someone who doesn’t subscribe to the gender binary and more so if you’re like me and are interesting in what makes people do the things they do and, honestly, the only people who truly ‘confuse’ me are those folks who say that they’re neither male nor female when it comes to gender; I seriously have no idea what’s going on in their head that makes them think like this… but this is only a part of the whole and I’ve learned not to just look at one part of a person and make important decisions based on just one thing about them – how many of us have screwed the pooch doing that?
I’m trying to figure out just why gender is being made an “important” part of being bisexual – why does it matter? Should it matter? None of the stuff I’ve been reading here of late doesn’t say anything to convince me that no matter what you look like or what you think you are, people are either male or female… and sometimes neither if that’s what floats their boat. To take an interest in someone – and for whatever reason that might be – you have to look beyond such things if you’re able to and I don’t feel that all this talk about gender identity is helpful to a budding bisexual when it’s time for them to make whatever choices they’re gonna make in this. Could someone fall in love with a woman who was born a man but changed to become a woman? Sure they can and it’s not their gender identity that’ll make this happen – it’s the person they are, what makes them tick and other important qualities – and qualities that are unique to every individual and regardless of their sexuality.
What I find interesting is that I’ve not seen this discussion about gender roles when it comes to homosexuals even though it’s kinda obvious that there are homosexual women who are masculine and homosexual men who are feminine… and maybe I’ve not read anything relating gender to homosexuality because it is kinda obvious – one just takes this as a given and goes on about their business. I’m thinking that if this truly isn’t an issue with homosexuals, why would gender be an issue to a bisexual? I read the other day where a blogger said that “bisexual” is too simple a term to describe bisexuality and that considerations about gender removes the simplicity in being bisexual… and I muttered, “What the fuck…?” It is simple: If you’re bisexual, you like men and women and there’s a lot of fluidity in this – it’s not always a 50-50 kind of thing – and the complexity comes into play when you ask a bisexual why they like men and women because, again, big fucking duh, we’re different in our approaches to dealing (a) with people and (b) our sexuality… but does gender considerations really play a role in the minds of all bisexuals? Sure, guys who act like girls makes me nuts… doesn’t mean I can’t like them and it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t have sex with them and I learned that it doesn’t mean that I couldn’t be in a relationship with such a guy. Still, the thing that makes this possible, at least in my mind, doesn’t have shit to do with gender and more so if you care to accept the definition as given in your favorite dictionary… or whatever one you happen to have handy.
I know that it’s never played into any choices I’ve made and given how confusing some of the stuff I’ve been reading is, I’m very happy that it doesn’t because if I were a newbie bisexual today and trying to figure out what this means to me, trying to factor in all the gender stuff would shut my brain down. I can tell you that getting your head around being bisexual, feeling that pull toward both men and women, is daunting enough without having to add more confusing shit to the mix and, thus, making it even more difficult for a bisexual to make choices when it comes to this.
Just my thirty-five cents on the matter…