This is one of the many things I’ve heard that, as a bisexual, I had to learn to not let flip me out or otherwise make me groan, roll my eyes, shake my head, and other forms of utter disbelief before deigning to explain it starts to give me a headache. When I’ve heard women say this, I’ve cattily asked, “You don’t know a whole lot about men, do you?” When I’ve heard other guys utter such sentiments, I tend to give them a blank look before asking, “You really don’t know, do you?”
I’ve heard the old saw of, “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!” so many times that it stopped being funny after the first time I heard it; have heard the “playing for both teams” crack even more than that as well as a great sense of incredulity coming from those who’ve said it… and as if it really didn’t make sense to them. Of course, given what we’ve been conditioned to believe about sex – in particular – it doesn’t make sense for anyone to want, need, or go about having sex in the same-sex mode of things.
To those people, I ask, “You don’t know how humans work, do you?” We can be hysterically hypocritical about sex. On the one hand, it took us a long time to be able to admit, on the whole, that sex is healthy and natural even though Sigmumd Freud (if I remember correctly) said that the only abnormal sex was not having sex at all. I’m thinking that when he said that, his peers and others started rolling their eyes; probably made a mad dash for their bibles and started thumping them and also probably and metaphorically, thumped Dr. Freud about the head and shoulders for such a ridiculous thing to say.
When I began my quest to figure out this bisexual thing going on with me (and others), it wasn’t that I was finding out a lot about having sex as much as I was finding out about… us. Humans. That pre-programmed biological imperative to have sex that, as it turned out was “explained” in the Book of Genesis when Adam and Eve got kicked out of the Garden of Eden and one of the things God said to them was, “Go ye forth and multiply…” My early investigations showed that, yep, we have sex to multiply… and so much for babies being delivered by storks or left on the doorstep by milkmen and as they delivered their wares. Along with the religious stuff, I was finding all kinds of stuff about relationships, sex and, yeah, homosexuality and the companion terms heterosexuality and, yup, bisexuality and now it all came down to taking all of the stuff I’d been absorbing, albeit in bits and pieces, and putting them together like one really big puzzle to finally see that people have sex the way they do… because they do.
You take the biological imperative and combine with our higher brain function and, well, hmm, the way we go about having sex and other relational things makes sense… until you get a good look at what our morality has to say about it. Discovering this… contradiction was confusing. One the one hand, we were supposed to have sex but, on the other, there was only one way we were allowed to and, hoo boy, practically none of us youngsters were playing by any of those rules. We weren’t just diving into the boy/girl aspects – we were into the others, too, and as it turned out, my “investigations” were showing that this wasn’t as unusual as the adults around us said it was and, of course, warned us not to even think about…
One of the things soaking up all of this information did was to dispel the very weird feeing that I was the only one who had a “thing” for boys and girls and it wasn’t until I started putting the puzzle together that I realized that I already knew I wasn’t the only one. Yeah, big-assed duh on this one; I used to kick my own ass over this particular thing but that was my more adult and mature mind doing the ass-kicking and “conveniently” forgetting that at the time, I didn’t know then what I knew now. I found myself digging into the experimenting thing I’d often hear adults talking about and I’d become quite grateful to have heard this because a lot of adults of that generation still believed that children should be seen and not heard and, as such, many would be talking about stuff like this and totally ignoring the fact that we were where they could be easily heard.
More confusion: They knew we were going to experiment with sex… sure as hell didn’t want us to and, whew, to hear what some would say about what they’d do to their kids if they ever got caught experimenting would, more often than not, induce a great urge to go to the bathroom and immediately if not sooner. The thing that also confused me was their assertion that we didn’t know anything about sex and sure as hell didn’t know shit about doing it… but my peers and I knew they were very wrong about that since, um, we were well and truly very deep into that experimenting that they knew we’d do but wasn’t supposed to.
Given the times at the time, we heard a lot about homos – aka faggots, queers, punks, sissies, and bull dykes – and those rather careless adults would often hold court to talk beaucoup shit about those weirdos who, if male, acted like females and, if female, acted like males. I also learned a lot of interesting curse words “eavesdropping” on such discussions as well as a lot of different terms used to describe having sex and some of them, I thought, were pretty funny like “fudge-packer,” which took me a while to understand that the “fudge” they were talking about wasn’t the kind we could get at the corner store. I got busted eavesdropping one day because this one adult was going on and on about those evil “carpet munchers” and I got this image of someone, well, eating a real carpet and it got me laughing and, oops, someone noticed that I’d been standing not ten feet away from them.
That got me a few very stern talking-tos about sticking my nose in adult business… but it was worth the tongue-lashing because a lot of what they’d be talking about matched up with what my peers and I were doing with each other as well as what I was learning from those outside of my neighborhood. What was clear to me was that there were a lot of adults who firmly believed that not having sex in the boy/girl way was beyond horrible and unholy and when I connected what preachers were yelling and screaming about on Sundays, okay, this was starting to make sense… but I’d not yet put the pieces together that would one day reveal that the answer/response to, “I don’t why you/people have to be like that!” was…
Because we can be and despite what everyone was saying to the contrary, it’s a lot more normal and natural and one of the reasons why our morality about sex says what it says which is, um, don’t even go there… because if two guys or two gals were doing the nasty, no babies were going to be conceived or born. It took me a lot of years of digging to get to this and once I did, everything else really made sense including why religion emphatically stated that having sex outside of a relationship was a sin called fornication… and another word that, when I learned it, made me laugh and even today, it tends to make me wanna start laughing – yeah, I’m just weird like that.
I began paying attention to as many people around me that I could manage to do and while many of them had the same views about this stuff and like the adults of that generation were, for all intents and purposes, losing their shit over, there were many more who were looking at this sex thing the same way I was looking at it, seeing it, and yep, doing. Those “damned homos” were making sense to me even though they were still the most evil people ever born and everyone was so focused on their evil ways that, it seemed to me, they just overlooked or ignored that those “damned homos” were, in fact, doing things in the same way “normal” people were doing… just with someone who was the same sex as they were.
And those of us who played for both teams? Some kid logic kicked in that said, “If a boy can do it to a girl and a boy can do it to a boy, then a boy can do it do a girl and a boy…” and, yup, I’d already proven that… a lot. I didn’t have “all of the answers” but at the ripe old age of 16, I had a lot and knew some stuff that I saw a lot of people either didn’t know or were studiously trying to ignore and, yeah, just say a lot of very nasty shit about. From my own perspective, it was cool to be straight but also gay – and in the terms we understood that to mean – and I didn’t have a problem being both but, yeah, other people did and while some were of a mind that those of us who went both ways were freaks, weirdos, and just plain sick in the head, it was becoming very and disturbingly clear that if anyone had some serious “issues,” it wasn’t me or anyone else who was like me:
It was those people who just didn’t want to hear or believe how humans can really behave when it came to having sex because our morality “made” them this way. I learned that, in actuality, our morality isn’t wrong – it’s incorrect; it’s exclusive and totally single-minded and a rather backhanded way to prevent or suppress a set of behaviors that morality was created to prevent and suppress. I remember being totally pissed off to find that my parents “lied” to me about sex until I realized that they didn’t lie – they just didn’t tell me the whole truth of things and because of what I’d been learning from my investigations and observations, I knew why they didn’t… because they weren’t supposed to.
In my junior year of high school, a group of us… switch-hitters had gotten together to talk about being bisexual and, of course, all of the shit we had to deal with for not being straight or gay and in the exclusive way “everyone” had to be. Us guys were well represented in this group and the ladies were, at the time even more represented as there were more girls in this ad hoc group than guys and almost a 2:1 ratio. We were happy with our sexuality and well adjusted to it but totally bummed out because other people we knew, well, they thought there was something wrong with us. Many spoke about their parents finding out and applying some pretty heinous shit in order to “scare them straight.” That was also around the time when the first whispers of attempts to cure homosexuals of their mental illness started to appear and, man, that was some ugly and, sadly, deadly stuff for some.
One of the things we talked a lot about was keeping this thing about us as secret as possible, not so much because we were ashamed of being bisexual but, clearly, there were people who didn’t know or care that bisexuals and homosexuals were different; everyone not straight was one of those “damned homos” and had to be dealt with and as violently as could be managed. Today we go on and on about being closeted – and a term, I learned, that was coined to describe homosexuals who were very concerned about their safety and not of a mind to let a lot of people know what was up with them. We attribute being closeted to being ashamed when the truth is being closeted is the “only way” to stay safe in a world filled with homophobes who believe that all “homos” had to be put to death or otherwise taught the error of their ways and with a lot of pain involved, both physical and emotional.
I was learning how… dark humans could really be over something they continued to believe wasn’t ever supposed to be done… and how insularly ignorant we can be to be this way when we know that it’s been going on since forever and for so long that a lot of its origins have been lost to history… or just removed; like it’s said, if it’s not written down, it never happened… but it’s also written that history is written by the victors.
So much hate and angst; so much hypocrisy in that, again, we can agree that sex is normal and healthy unless it’s not being done in the prescribed and mandated way and if that’s discovered, one can get to see man’s inhumanity to man up close and personal. And the thing I learned that bothers me is that over all of this time, we have learned nothing about the way we can be or, as it’s also said, those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. We are so… hidebound and institutionalize that we continue to believe something that, clearly, was never true about how we can go about love, sex, and relationships and here comes the phobias; first homophobia and now, biphobia which is really homophobia that has a specific target and lends itself to this air of gross ignorance because here in the year 2021, there are still people who don’t know that homosexuals and bisexuals aren’t the same critters but, yeah, it seemed to me that once that damned NY Times article appeared, no one was “reporting” any feelings of biphobia, well, that I was aware of. Up to that point, I’d say that what I was observing was… mixed; some folks were of a mind that if you wanted to go both ways, okay – have fun with that but leave me out of it, okay? Some folks were “gorilla glued” to their homophobia and it didn’t matter to them that, say, bi guys would and still go out of their way to have sex with women (and those fake lesbians weren’t of a mind to give up the dick they very much liked); when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Once that article came out, the shit got to hitting the fan big time. A lot of people were shocked to find out that, holy shit – you mean to tell me that someone could be both straight and gay? How is that even possible and how can that make any damned sense? I was sitting back and watching all of this emerging; sometimes laughing and sometimes shaking my head in sadness or disbelief to see so many people losing their shit over something that, now, they were saying didn’t exist and wasn’t real and exposing that flaw in our thinking that says people are either straight or gay. As previously related, the part that got me was when it was being said that there was no such animal as a Black, male bisexual – but I knew why that was being said and because of yet another old and very incorrect stereotype that says all Blacks are homophobic… and I knew better than that.
I’ve continued to sit and observe this great clusterfuck and for a species that considers itself to be so civilized and knowledgeable, eh, no – not so much, it seems. Lots of finger pointing about where this angst is coming from and I get to rolling my eyes when a lot of bisexuals say that straight folks are the source of all this hatred when I know – and because I was subjected to it – nah – that’s not where the majority of the dumb shit is coming from. Even I learned that a lot of straight people? They don’t give a fuck if you go both ways and won’t unless you make it personal to them in some way. Likewise, not all homosexuals are on the “we hate bisexuals” bandwagon and the funny yet scary part is that the LGBTQ+ community’s house is in some crazy disarray over whether or not bisexuals should still be included when, in it’s infancy, bisexuals were very much included. I could understand the disconnect; bisexuals are like homosexuals… and not so much and one of the things I learned very early on was what’s called the fear of the other or, if you ain’t like us, you’re against us… and we’re gonna fuck you up because you ain’t like us. This, I learned, is really just human nature and a thing about us that, like sexuality, we’ve not been able to do a damned thing about… but we also hypocritically say that we should all live and let live.
Being “in the middle of things” is an interesting place to be because you get to see how “the other sides” behave and how insular their points of view can be because they are 100% sure that their way of doing things is the best way to do them. I have, historically, gotten more grief about being bisexual from homosexuals than heterosexuals but, yep, I get grief in stereo because of what they believe and, as I’ve been constantly learning, we have a habit of sticking to what we believe even though we can be presented with the evidence that says what we believe isn’t so much wrong… but inaccurate. Incomplete. Lot of plausible deniability going on and even more of that maddening, “Yeah, but…” stuff I’ve heard in my life.
How are you gonna tell me that what I’m telling you about being bisexual makes sense… then turn around and dispute what I said? Oh, that’s right – I do know why: It’s because you believe what you believe and the truth, such as it is, can’t possible be, well, the truth. Cityman and I – as well as others I communicate with – often talk about what it’s going to take to get society to stop losing their shit over bisexuality and what I’ve found is that until we can do something about what we believe – and the source of those beliefs – things for bisexuals aren’t going to get better any time soon. I’ve learned that some people are, let’s say, normally insular, for lack of a better phrase; I can’t count or really remember the exact number of times when I’ve heard someone say, “That’s all well and good… but I would never do some shit like that.” That’s to be expected and more so, I think, because of the way we look at things but not always at a high level of thought, as it were. So people saying that they know that dudes suck dick and all that is what it is but always with the caveat of what they wouldn’t do and, for some, if it’s something they wouldn’t do, no one should do it.
Then some of those same people find themselves doing something that they swore on all that’s holy and right that they’d never do. Beliefs dispelled. Why? There are so many reasons why one would be or turn to bisexuality but at the very root of this is, simply, because we can be and just as we can be straight or gay and, yep, we can – if we wanted or needed to – switch things up to fit our circumstances. We believe that gay folks just 100% hate the thought of things heterosexual… and that’s not exactly true. Gay men and women don’t all have this “opposite sex hatred” and as I heard way back in the 1960s. We can’t seem to conceive or imagine that some folks who are bisexual, um, used to be straight or gay and are of a mind to not believe whatever they say about changing things up for themselves.
As I’ve written, the problem isn’t bisexuality: It’s what we believe and an overall refusal to accept that, yup – there are a lot of people who go both ways. It’s that habit we have of putting more weight on what we believe and so much that we just ignore or do our best to discount what’s really going on with humans, sex, and sexuality. And, you betcha – some bisexuals are spending a lot of time being part of the problem instead of being part of any possible solution; yeah, sometimes, we see the enemy… and it’s us. Why is biphobia such a problem? Because we believe that it is a problem and, as such, just let it fuck with us and get us feeling some kind of way that also includes insinuating a huge wedge of doubt about what we know ourselves to be.
There’s a reason why phobias are defined as irrational fears. No – doesn’t change the fact that if you have a phobia, it’s very damned real to you even when you know that whatever that phobia is, eh, it shouldn’t be scaring the shit out of you. But that, too, is human nature and biphobia is just another stick we use to beat each other with and that’s gotten so bad that there’s an additional phobia attached to bisexuality: Internalized biphobia. I’m guessing what this is supposed to mean that I’m bisexual but with an irrational fear of being bisexual… and I’ll admit it: I do not understand how the fuck that works. Okay, I get that some people aren’t… happy to find themselves having bisexual thoughts and feelings and more so when they believe that they’re not supposed to have these feelings and it’s “impossible” that they do. From where I’m sitting, that doesn’t qualify as an irrational fear so much but what it does do is instill and invoke a lot of fear about what someone else is gonna say to us about this and that’s not irrational: That is some very real shit.
All along my journey of discovery, I’ve approached things with the sense that I could be wrong and, yep, sometimes I am; I really don’t know everything about this but I know what I know just the same. The more I sit, think, and observe the ongoing clusterfuck about bisexuality – and why it exists – the more I’m convinced that I’m not wrong… and I’m not the only one who’s seeing things this way. We – bisexuals – aren’t the problem:
That’s everyone who believes that we’re not what we say and know ourselves to be. If I tell you that I have sex with both men and women and you tell me that there’s no way I could be like that, um, which one of us is right? I’m thinking it’s me since, you know, been there, done that, and sometimes embarrassingly so and with great glee and gusto. You’re really trying to tell me that I can’t be what I’ve proven to myself that I really am?
How does that work? Rhetorical… because I do know how it works and why it does. Many have tried to prove me wrong and many have utterly failed because when I ask them, “Well, how do you explain this if you’re convinced that, somehow, I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about when I’ve been up to my eyeballs in this damned near all of my life?”
And their “proof and explanation” is rooted in that which we believe and have been conditioned to believe… and I know for a fact that this is not the whole truth of human sexuality – and I’m living proof that it isn’t. I hear the same thing today that I’ve been hearing since the 1960s… and that should tell you something that you might find… disturbing because of what it says about us as a species.
Then, finally, there’s this: Nothing anyone has said or done has stopped anyone from being bisexual. Nothing. Every moment in every damned day, someone is discovering that, holy shit – I’m not as straight – or, yeah, as gay – as I thought myself to be. In every moment of every damned day, someone somewhere in the world is taking the plunge for the first time. What’s fucking us up is that there’s no way to tell who is bisexual and we have no clue about who, say, ten seconds from the time you read this, is going to find out that, holy shit – I think I’m bisexual!
We failed to eradicate homosexuality from the human condition. We are failing – and will fail – to eradicate bisexuality and mostly because we still can’t seem to learn from history and are forever doomed to repeat it or, as the definition of insanity goes, we keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. And even crazier? There are bisexuals who will tell you that they’re not the duck they’ve been quacking like and the word just does not apply to them.
Oh, and if, by chance, you didn’t know why? Now you do: It’s because we can be.