Linda and I were talking about a series of books she’s reading (and that I’ve already read) written by J. R. Ward – “The Black Dagger Brotherhood” – where one of the Brothers, who happens to be gay, is wigging out and feeling all bad about masturbating because he believes that if he manually relieved himself, he’d be cheating on the guy who is his boyfriend. Yeah, sounds crazy, doesn’t it, but Linda and I agreed that, first, if you gotta get yourself off, get to it and that it can be fun with your partner watching or participating. We also agreed that parents are responsible for a lot of the sexual misconceptions we grow up with, imbuing us with their idea of what, where, why, when, and how we should have sex and implanting the idea in our heads that masturbation is a bad thing and one that never should be done – you’ll go blind, grow hair on the palms of your hand, will become a sexual deviant, so on and so forth.
Not only is masturbation probably one of the first sexual acts you learn growing up and, yes, one that you probably had to sneak or hide behind closed doors to do, but for some of us, well, get ready for a rude awakening because what you think you know is something very damned different from the way things really are. Linda and I agreed that, yes, there are some reasons why parents want our rug rats to hold off as long as possible before diving into sexual exploration… but that doesn’t mean the little crumb pickers are always going to listen and abide by our words of wisdom.
I know I sure as hell didn’t…
Later in the evening, I was having a “nightcap” of coffee (no, it doesn’t keep me awake) and I got to thinking about folks who are way younger than I am who think they’re experts in human sexuality and bisexuality in particular and I recalled a conversation I had with a 20-something back when I was 40 and how this inexperienced dude was trying to tell me that I didn’t know shit about being bisexual and regaled me with what he thought he knew and his opinion that since I was an old head, there was no way that I had the real facts about being bisexual. I politely asked him if he were finished – he said he was – and I’m sure you can guess what happened next but I’m gonna tell you. I started out by pointing out to him that not only had I been bisexual before he was born, I was bisexual before his parents were born (I had him tell me how old they were) and given that I’d had a lot of actual sexual experience in this – and compared to zero for him – I wanted to know how it was possible that (a) he knew more about this than I did and (b) he totally and completely understood bisexuality in his comparatively short existence. As I suspected, he was just parroting what I called the usual bullshit he’d been hearing from his equally clueless 20-something friends who were, like him, told some bullshit about being bisexual and they bought into it hook, line, and sinker by accepting the misinformation as the gospel truth about being bisexual.
I just have a difficult time with someone telling me that I didn’t know how to suck cock and the person telling me this had never done it, let alone put his hand on another guy’s dick. I get that you can get an intellectual understanding about bisexuality and without having to really get down and dirty in the process but even in this, there’s what you think you know… and then there’s the way things really work and then there’s that moment of… confusion when you find out that you really don’t know shit about something you’ve been told (in some way) to be very afraid of… and even if you’ve been told this at all.
I thought about this while sipping on my cup of Gevalia kaffe (man, that’s some good coffee!) and I felt myself getting a little bent out of shape when I started thinking about the youngsters that are coming up now and how little they understand bisexuality and how they attempt to intellectualize it based on the current mindset about bisexuality… and how they’re not even close to understanding it. What they think they know only barely scratches the surface… and even those folks who have gained a better understanding are still working under quite a few misconceptions about being bisexual, like it’s all about love and relationships – that “hearts, not parts” thing that makes my eye muscles protest mightily when they roll on their own accord. It continues to amaze the shit out of me to read or hear about what they think they know and how leery they are about learning the truth; I mean, if someone with a great deal of experience and knowledge tells you that you’re not looking at this in the way you should look at it, how is it possible that the more experienced person has it all wrong? Okay, sure… there are older people who don’t quite have it right so let’s not get age and experience confused with each other; being older doesn’t always make you wiser, well, not until you wind up getting your mind changed and provided you’re open to having your mind changed – and a lot of older people don’t exactly want to be bothered with it, thinking that you can’t teach an old dog a new trick… and that’s not exactly the truth, either.
It gets frustrating for me to see the current mindset about bisexuality – what folks think they know – and to understand that what they think they know isn’t even close to what I’ve actually learned over all these years, both by doing and, yeah, hitting the books as well. I am often dumbstruck to see this more modern generation of people looking at sex and sexuality from a point of view that’s older than I am and one that remains a rather heteronormative way of doing things, like, you don’t have sex just because you can, you should only have sex with someone you (a) love and (b) are in a deep, meaningful relationship and that if you cannot do things like this, well, you’re just all fucked up in the head because this point of view is, supposedly, the only way to go about experiencing such things. Even in the here and now, so many people have it in their head that gender should mean something, which even I will admit is a new twist being put into the mix because I don’t recall gender ever being an issue, even with those individuals who felt they were born into the wrong body – yes, we had them way back when I was coming up, from crossdressers to transvestites, up to and including some folks who took trips to Thailand to have their bodies transformed because no doctor here in the US would, at the time, every dream about doing such a thing if he cared about keeping his license to practice medicine.
What you think you know might not be how things really are. I’m not sure how someone can discover that they’re bisexual and not wind up having their minds changed about almost everything they’ve learned up to the point where they learned that they’re bisexual; I’m not sure how someone can continue to believe in the hype and the bullshit – stuff that’s still being put out there by those who believe that people should only be straight and that’s being added to by those folks who believe that bisexuals are just homosexuals in denial – and not want to seek the underlying truth that does, in fact, exist. I know my age is showing like a motherfucker when I say that when I was growing up, the most scariest thing to be was a homosexual but today the most scariest thing is being bisexual… and it just fucking amazes me to see so many people drinking the Kool-Aid and not being bothered to find out what’s really in the cup; they’d rather believe what the person pouring the Kool-Aid is telling them it is and why it’s such a good idea to believe them and not the truth that exists.
I said all of this shit to say that you don’t have to drink the Kool-Aid any more than you have to accept a negatively biased point of view about bisexuals and bisexuality. While an intellectual approach to bisexuality isn’t all that bad of a thing, well, it’s not going to be enough to get you by and if you think it will, wait until you get brave enough to jump into the deep end of the pool… and let’s see if you’re gonna sink or swim or, as so many are appearing to do, flounder and thrash around because ya just found out that the deep end of the pool is way deeper than you were led to believe and, oh, yeah, ya find out that somebody’s been shitting in the pool, too. Yes, it makes sense to learn about a thing before attempting to do a thing… but what are you learning? Who are you listening to? Have you bought into the same stuff I heard back in 1960… and stuff that I learned wasn’t the whole truth by 1965… and in 2015? And if you have, why have you? If, in the back of your mind, something’s telling you that what you think you know doesn’t sound or feel right, why aren’t you digging to find the truth of things?
What does this have to do with masturbating being equated to cheating? Everything! If you believe that there’s some truth in this and that you should feel guilty about pleasuring yourself, then what other nonsense are you believing? Yes… there are real people who believe this and if it doesn’t stop them from masturbating, they do it and then feel guilty instead of feeling good… and sexuality is subject to the same kind of guilt trips. And then, if you’re trying to wade through all the shit in the pool, why are you making this harder than it has to be? Bisexuality isn’t about what people who aren’t bisexual think – it’s about what you think and what being bisexual is teaching you and since it does affect you directly, well, which thing would you prefer to believe: The truth as it really is or some cock-eyed perception of the truth? This whole thing sometimes makes me wonder if I’m out of touch or if I’m into the woods so deeply that I can’t see the forest for the trees and the more I think about this, the more I’m convinced that, nah, it ain’t me – I can see the forest and the trees quite clearly… but that’s because I stopped believing the dumb shit about sex and sexuality a long time ago. I learned that hypothesizing about being bisexual is all well and good but until you actually begin to experience what it means to be bisexual, it’s all just theory and if you’re spending a lot of time justifying your sexuality to yourself, then what you know isn’t what’s really happening.
The current mindset paints an… interesting (to be polite) picture of what bisexuality is and what it’s supposed to be but it’s also a picture that makes some bisexuals – including myself – ask, “What the fuck are they talking about?” I look at this picture everyone else is looking at… and, at least to me, it’s not all that surprising that there are a lot of people struggling with being bisexual because the picture that exists today is pretty confusing and more so when I see folks adhering to the dumb shit I heard way, way back in the day; if the shit wasn’t entirely true in 1965 (and it wasn’t), it can’t possibly be entirely true in 2015 and more so since the folks putting the Kool-Aid on the table for everyone to drink aren’t bisexual themselves – that, at least in my opinion, doesn’t make a lot of sense. I’m thinking that if I was bisexual before you were born (and maybe before your parents were born), hmm, does it make sense that I might know some shit about this that you don’t? Yes… I do realize that even I don’t know everything but I do know that what you think you know about being bisexual isn’t the whole truth and that some of the things that might be fucking with your head about being bisexual is just more of the sexuality propaganda that’s been around since before I was born and with some other shit that, when you get right down to the root of things, has little or nothing to do with being bisexual.
And if you have reason to believe that I’m incorrect, I invite you to sit down with yourself and really think about why you believe that I’m not; you’re also invited to make use of the comment box and tell me your views of sex and sexuality and how they’re “different” from that which I learned a long time ago. That’ll get me asking you how you know what you know and, well, let’s just say that the conversation will be more than interesting and educational. Maybe you’ll think about all of this shit I just wrote and see, just as I did, that there’s a pattern of behavior taking place and one that actually hasn’t changed a whole lot since I first became aware of it in 1965 and then, just for giggles, ask yourself why it hasn’t changed in all this time and what’s being said that makes being bisexual a lot more complicated than it really is; maybe you’ll understand that while having an intellectual understanding is all well and good but if you really want to know what it’s like to be bisexual, change into your “swimsuit” and let’s take a dip in the deep end of the pool… or if you’re not ready for that bit of boldness (and then ask yourself why you aren’t), find and ask someone about what’s going on and, preferably, someone who just doesn’t have “book smarts” in this.
Maybe you’ll find – and just as so many other have – that what you think you know isn’t the same as what’s really going on and perhaps what you think does more to inhibit you than it does to inspire you to explore your bisexuality. I’m not trying to tell you what to think… but it would be nice if I could get you to think about what you’re thinking and, importantly, why you’re thinking the way you are and maybe, just maybe, the answers will surprise you much in the same way I was surprised when I went looking for them and found them.