I sometimes see stuff on Twitter about being able to help bisexual teens with whatever’s bothering them about being bisexual and I was just thinking that this is good… but not all young bisexuals “wait” until they’re teenagers (and I’m evidence of this and I’m not the only one, of course).
I’ve often written about the things I had to put up with while going batshit crazy have sex with guys and gals and top among that list was being someone that our village elders had great disdain for: Homosexuals. Funny that I had heard and learned the meaning of that word before I stumbled across the word “bisexual” but, given what I’d been told and was hearing, no, I wasn’t a homosexual since I was having a field day having sex with any girl who’d let me do it to them.
It made not getting caught pretty damned important since what might happen could be pretty unpleasant because many of our elders didn’t have a sense of humor about homosexuals and punishments could be very severe. So my male friends and I had this to contend with but we also had to contend with guys and gals our age – but not necessarily a “bona fide” member of our peer group – who were, for all intents and purposes, told to hate homosexuals and avoid them and it wasn’t that much of a stretch to see that since we were told that homosexuals get punished, well, some kids in the area could be on board with meting out some punishment of their own because of this and on top of just being mean.
The only help or support we had was each other. Most of us couldn’t go to our parents or another adult and tell them anything about how we were feeling about sex, boys, girls, and stuff like that. Even though my own parents were pretty cool in my eyes, nah, if something was bothering me about (a) being sexually active and (b) with boys and girls, I had the sense that while they wouldn’t lose their shit – and like other adults tended to do when their kid was found to be active and boys were included – I would be told (again) of how evil it was, how bad and dangerous sex was, and whatever I was doing needed to stop immediately if not sooner.
My problem was that I knew they would tell me the right things… and they weren’t right because it was just too much fun and so very pleasurable to have sex with a boy. Given the mental impacts that can be involved, I’m surprised that this didn’t mess my head up and like I had seen it do to others, not because they were being harmed but this, as it turned out, is some complex and complicated stuff and, all along the way, a lot of people were being very vocal about their angst for homosexuals… but those of us who were going both ways and with unabashed glee did understand that, again, we weren’t homosexuals.
We didn’t know what we were… but it sure was fun being whatever we were. Word on the street was that there was a kid who lived a few blocks away whose parents either found out or determined that he was gay… and he vanished. I remembered seeing him one day and a couple of days later, there was no trace of him, and no one seemed to know anything but, yeah, the word finally got out that his parents totally disowned him and sent him away and I would say today that as bad as that was, the poor guy wasn’t even a teenager yet.
I remember us talking about what happened to this guy and realized that if we got caught, it could happen to us. While the prospect of this was very scary and some of the, ah, participants in our unauthorized debauchery gave it all up, for the rest of us, it just made the mantra of not getting caught much more important. We knew that, um, we should stop the “guy part” of this and I kinda remember us doing that and that the “walkout” lasted a whole three days when one of my friends was hanging out with me and confessed that he wanted to do it to me so bad it wasn’t funny – and I wanted him to do it to me so bad it wasn’t funny… and off we went.
So much for walking away from it, huh? It was very addictive and, no, I’m not sneaking in a pun by putting it this way. I often felt conflicted when a guy would ask if I wanted to do and I would say no but, at the same time, I knew I wanted to, and it was like I had to. The older we got, the greater the chance of getting caught or suspected of doing something we knew we had no business doing, let alone knowing about. I look back at those early moments of my sexual life and I’m now very much aware of the peer pressure a lot of us were under and tried to avoid, only to find that there was no real escaping it in some form or another and having sex, wow, lots of peer pressure involved here and not just being aimed at girls.
It was one thing for our localized peer group to indulge in some peer pressure and in the form of dares and bets; it was pretty normal for us and I cringe to think about how the Band of Horny Brothers would, at times, put pressure on a new guy to join us in some way and the only thing I can say about it that I’d consider good is that we never employed violence to convince a guy that he should join in with us; we’d just tell a new guy that if he didn’t want to do what we were doing, he couldn’t really hang out with us.
Go be a chicken by yourself. There was always that sense of wanting to belong, to be a part of whatever was going on and I got to see some kids who were “outsiders” in a lot of things we did and learning how bad they felt because they were on the outside looking in, from playing games and stuff to, yep, having sex. I would, one day, hear that some of the nastiest, most evil people on the planet are… children and with pre-teens and teens being the worst of the bunch.
And they were right about that. I’d say that while we put “mild” peer pressure on each other, it was nothing compared to what I would often run into outside of our village – that would be the area that was defined as our specific neighborhood. I’d hear of guys being made to have sex with a guy – or guys – under the threat of being beaten up; I’d hear of those guys being pressured like this deciding that getting beaten up was better than being forced to have sex and, yeah, some guys were of a mind that it was probably better to just do it than to get their ass kicked because coming home with the evidence of being in a fight would evoke a lot of questions that one didn’t want to be asked and with the understanding that if a parent asked you a question, you’d better answer it and you’d better not lie to them because all that would do would be to get your ass beaten – again.
By the time I got into junior high school, we had… guidance counselors whose job it was to make us the best students we could be as well as preparing us for high school and all that. They’d often find themselves being therapist because if a student was having any kind of problems, their guidance counselor could be a confidant and could do some stuff to make problems go away… but they were ill-prepared to deal with sexuality issues. In high school, anyone who was thought to be gay was catching a very bad break – and that was on top of the very high tensions already in place due to the race riots that broke out in the city after Dr. King was assassinated; indeed, the high school I chose to attend got their fifteen minutes of fame for having the biggest in-school race riot ever.
After a bunch of fights that had broken out – including the one involving my gay friend – our guidance counselors were asking us how we felt about it and they wanted to know if we were being bullied and, gasp, being made to have sex in ways it wasn’t supposed to be done. My mandatory talk with my guidance counselor was… epic. Was I being bullied? Eh, no more than anyone else was since they’d find out in a hurry that I could fight and like nothing any of them had seen or heard of before. Was I being accused of being gay? Sure, nothing new about that and I told her that I wasn’t gay… but I told her that I was bisexual – and I’ll be damned if I know why I did, by the way – and, well, the look on her face was beyond precious. She didn’t know what to say after that but since I wasn’t being affected by the bullshit going around the school, I guess she didn’t have much else to say or, more likely, didn’t know what to say to me about that.
The funny part? She wound up being my advisor in college. And, yes, she asked if I was still, um, the way I was in high school and I said, “Yeah – why wouldn’t I be?” She was cool, though and I’ll admit to having a huge crush on her because she was breathtakingly beautiful.
Growing up in my teenaged years and as a bisexual wasn’t “that hard” for me but not without its difficulties and, again, the social angst against homosexuals wasn’t the problem; it was dealing with age peers who were conditioned to be homophobic and violently so and just like so many, I had to figure out on my own how to deal with this. I could have gone to my mom and talked to her about it, but I knew her well enough that she would tell me to handle this the best way I could while avoiding the violence. Now, in this, I still believe that she knew I was bisexual before she told me that she knew and more so since, um, she did catch me in the act. I knew she’d understand and would very likely be cool about it but I would say that my ego insisted that I could handle this but smart enough to know that if I got in over my head, time to talk to mom about something that I really didn’t want to talk to her about all that much.
So, I just handled it and, might I be allowed to say, handled it very well. I think it helped that I was deemed to be one of those quiet kids you did not ever want to mess with. I think about having the quiet label plastered on me and I laugh because, if they only knew the real me! Yeah, I’d sometimes get into fights but after a few of them, I just had the added reputation of being, again, one of those quiet motherfuckers that it wasn’t smart to mess with.
Worked for me. If nothing else, my teenaged high school years found me in a different kind of tribe and one that consisted of other quiet kids and many of them, as it turned out, were bisexual just like I was… and we had each other’s back and, um, yeah, we were having sex with each other because it was such a relief to be able to let our sexuality “out to play” without having to deal with the shit going on about homosexuals and all that. We supported each other; we let each other know that it was very much okay for us to be the way we were and would trade “tips and tricks” on how to avoid being bullied and other related stuff.
Sometimes, it does take a village but I found that in this, being able to deal with being bisexual came with the help from members of the bisexual tribes that could be formed because there was always safety in numbers and in a lot of situations that happened, if you messed with one of us, you messed with all of us… and there were was a lot of us and we definitely outnumbered the bullies and homophobes.
I had it… easier as a teenaged bisexual and, again, probably because I had that quiet reputation and had proven that, oh, hell no – if we’re gonna fight, you’d better bring a lot of friends with you because you’re going to need them. In this, I would say that I might get my ass kicked… but I wouldn’t be the only one. But my bisexual peers often didn’t fare well and on top of being very aware that they were different from everyone else and that included the gay kids and, yeah, some of them didn’t like us all that much and would often start rumors out of sheer spite.
I would come to understand that the psychological pressures that were in play were… fucking intense. It seemed to me that the more guys “figured out” that if they couldn’t fuck a girl but they could fuck a boy, the more pressure there was but the problem was that you could be damned if you did and damned if you didn’t. After moving to another part of the city, my new village was rife with talks of gangs in the area and the stuff they’d do to either recruit new members or go on rampages to secure their turf “internally” while always being on guard for other gangs intruding on their turf. Rumors of guys being raped by gangs abounded and if it was “bad enough” to be bisexual, it was even worse knowing that you could run into a gang and they might think it’s fun to take you somewhere and have their way with you against your will… and stories of guys who just went with that because it was better than what that gang would have done if they hadn’t complied.
I had an… interesting way to deal with this. A bunch of gang members rolled up on me one day and figured they could fuck with me because I didn’t look tough or whatever. They said that if I didn’t join their gang, they were going to beat me up but, ah, if I wanted to avoid that, I had to suck all of their dicks – but if I didn’t, I was going to get beaten up. There were six of them and my martial arts skills were very good but not good enough to take on all six of them. I knew they were trying to scare and terrorize me, so I did the one thing they didn’t expect me to do:
I said, “Okay – who’s first?”
They left me alone. They agreed that I was crazy. I was quite scared and very damned relieved when they just walked away. Here’s the thing you might be wondering: If one of them had stepped forward and pulled their dick out, would I have sucked it? Yes, I would have… but not because they were trying to make me do it. You see, not only did none of them know me, but they also didn’t know that I was a bona fide cocksucker and had been for a whole four years at that point.
And it took a bit of self-reflection for me to admit that not only would I have sucked off all six of them, but I would also have had fun doing it and realizing that if I had, shit, they still might have carried out their threat to beat me up. The worst part of being a teenaged male bisexual wasn’t the social angst against homosexuals – it was being a teenager among a whole lot of horny teenagers and some of them weren’t what anyone would call nice about (a) wanting to have sex and (b) feeling one way or the other about someone who wasn’t straight.
I will never forget the horrible beating one of the gay guys handed out because some high school bullies wanted to beat him down for being gay.
Twitter talks about educating parents on how to deal and relate to their bisexual child and there are services and outlets for teens who are having problems… and I wish they had existed when I was young, not because I needed them, but I knew a lot of guys and gals who did. I would hear guys bad-mouthing girls who refused to fuck them and those idiots calling those girls lesbians; amongst guys, if you even looked like you weren’t “tough” and manly, well, you had to be a faggot and one who liked to be fucked and if you were, you needed to have your ass kicked or otherwise bullied and terrorized.
And if we couldn’t support each other or find others who we could really relate to and with, being a bisexual was a nightmare that some couldn’t “wake up” from. While I knew about some gay kids who were said to have committed suicide, I never heard a word about any bisexual kids who did but, then again, I think that because you really couldn’t look at us and know what we were, while there was pressures and concerns, they weren’t even close to what gay kids had to deal and suffer with.
And many of us – including myself – were quite okay to not get the kind of attention our gay peers were getting and having to deal with and, besides: For some of us, having to get our heads around being bisexual was “bad” enough and, more often than not, not getting much in the way of help from parents and other authority figures. Surprisingly, we didn’t talk about sex all that much, but we’d often talk more about how we were being looked at by others and how bothersome that was. Or like wanting to tell a friend about it but being afraid to do so and, yeah, telling someone and heads rolling and finding out that the person you thought was a friend wasn’t all that much of a friend.
Yeah, we all agreed that being able to have sex with guys and gals was amazing. It was so… liberating and this was something we all agreed about how we felt about being bisexual. The increasing angst toward homosexuals was a problem for us and in back in the 1970s, there were a lot of people who didn’t know the difference between a bisexual and a homosexual because all they could see and pay attention to was the homosexual side of us. We were just in great denial of really being gay and we needed to pick a side and stay on it and, yeah, all of the bullshit that bisexuals today are losing their shit over was very much alive and well before many of them were even born.
All of this serves to confirm to me that being bisexual isn’t the problem: It’s all those people who have a problem with bisexuality. I would share my sexuality story with others, and they’d often be taken aback at how young I was when I jumped into the pool and then be taken further aback when they’d said that it had to be hard for me being so different and I’d tell them, “Yeah, it was but not really that hard and not like other kids I knew had problems with.” I would think that because of the “homophobic mindset” that going around, being bisexual subjected me to the same homophobic shit that true homosexuals were being subjected to. Some bisexuals I knew were very much subjected; me, not so much but I had my moments and just like others did – just not a whole lot of them.
I’d hear some say, “I’m sorry you had to learn about this at such a young age!” and they’d get this look on their face when I’d replay, “Thanks… but I’m not sorry so you shouldn’t be sorry for me…” and learning so much about why they felt that way. They could understand the concept of boys being boys and even in this very sexual context but what I felt confused them was that I wasn’t gay. Or they’d get confused to say that I must really like guys and me telling them that I really liked having sex with them, but I didn’t like guys like gay guys liked guys even though I did like a gay guy very much – but that wasn’t so much the point as it was the perception others had about bisexuality and bisexuals and there not being much in the way of what I’d call real understanding of it.
Because I grew up in a time where it was said and believed that people were either straight or they were gay and all that shit about bisexuals being confused and being in denial, so on and so forth. I think the thing that helped me in my teenaged years was knowing that I wasn’t confused nor was I in denial of anything. I knew what I was and, hell, yeah, I liked being what I was. It sucked to come across anyone who didn’t like what I was and, like I said yesterday, preaching to me about some shit that I well and truly knew already and/or telling me that I had to be something I knew I wasn’t and didn’t want to be.
Many of my teenaged peers didn’t “discover” bisexuality until they were teens. The teenaged years are the ones where we’re “expected to experiment with sex” and – let’s call it gay sex for lack of a better term right now – if someone was “experimenting” with being gay, well, okay as long as (1) it didn’t get out of hand and whatever the fuck that meant, (2) it didn’t draw any unwanted attention to the family and (3) you gave that shit up and the sooner you did, the better.
And the teens experimenting in this was lucky to be told this (or being aware of it) since a lot of families “historically” were 100% against anything that looked like homosexuality and experimenting in this would be bad – and that’s being really nice about it. From what such kids would share with me, it wasn’t being bisexual that bothered them but what might happen if their family found out and more so when horror stories of gay teens being disowned and sometimes literally thrown out into the street abounded and were real. And some weren’t so much terrified as this and enjoyed being rebellious and defiant of the sex/sexuality rules.
Like the one guy who told me that he hoped that his parents would find out that he was having sex with boys because it was fun for him to be a “problem child.” And I was dumbstruck by that at the time but, later, I kinda understood it later on; I knew there was friction between him and his parents and whatever they told him not to do, well, he’d do it and out of spite in most situations… which wasn’t all that unusual, as I would also learn.
I think that as far as some adults were concerned, being a teenager, well, you were just expected to “get into some shit” and unless it became a problem, you could get a “get out of jail free” card for whatever sex you were having… but you’d better give up the same-sex stuff before you became an adult. As a teen, sex was… everything. You either wanted all you could get, or you avoided it at all costs. Girls were seriously funny about giving it up but, um, who didn’t know that there were guys who would give it up and, really, not all of them were gay and if the other guy wasn’t gay, well, that worked – being gay was the worst thing to be.
Some teens I knew were “defiantly bisexual” while others were cautiously so, and some were quite open about it. Acceptance was problematic and just as it is today but, again, we could find that acceptance with each other and had each other’s back and as much as possible. Teenaged boys, as we all know, are notoriously horny due to that huge hormonal rush and, well, hmm, any port in the storm worked for a lot of guys. I’d not say that a lot of them considered themselves to be bisexual but if their only recourse was to have sex with a guy, well, okay – how bad can it really be?
In interacting with other teens, I had the advantage of knowing that it wasn’t that bad way before they’d get around to finding that out. While some were 100% against such things, many more were understandably curious: What is it like to do it with a guy? If you get fucked in the ass, does it really hurt as bad as everyone says it does? And for some guys – and guys who pretty much had zero luck with girls – the only recourse they had was to be able to find a guy who’d want to have sex with them and even if, in today’s terms, they wound up being a bottom.
Because when you were horny and prone to getting blue balls and jerking off wasn’t getting the job done, some guys would do anything to have sex with someone and if it was another guy, oh, well – I won’t tell if you won’t. Like guys with acne – we called that “dick bumps” and it was a way to poke fun at a guy because he had those bumps because he wasn’t getting any pussy – and getting pussy just made the acne go away. But for the guys who couldn’t get any pussy – and we knew who those guys were – it would get interesting to see such a guy one day and… no acne. If he wasn’t getting any pussy… that meant he must’ve been getting some dick and especially those guys who could go through gallons of Clearasil and it didn’t do anything to their acne problem.
Even as teens, “kid logic” was still pretty powerful and often spot-on. Guys would razz each other and, yeah, I’d get razzed and more so when I never had acne… but, um, I’d been having mucho sex both ways since I was nine so that connection between acne and having sex to alleviate it just passed me over but, uh-huh, it was just “good-natured” fun to imply that if a guy didn’t have dick bumps, it was probably because he was getting some dick because there was no way they were getting pussy or much of it.
Again, peer pressure. And you either learned to deal with it or you didn’t and, again, this all by itself, made being a bisexual teenager harder than that stupid social angst did. If you didn’t have someone you could confide in, you were left to your own devices trying to deal with this and, sadly, it wasn’t even easy for some teens I knew of. One girl spoke to her parents about liking boys and girls, was deemed to be a lesbian, and shipped off to a therapist with the hopes of “curing” her from her homosexuality.
“Even the therapist said that there was nothing really wrong with me,” she had told me. “Parents can be so stupid!”
I agreed with that, but I understood that they were only passing on the things that was passed on to them about sex and how not to have it. We’d heard about gay teens being sent off to be cured and, oh, my god, we’d hear or read about gay teens committing suicide because of this supposed cure and those of us who were bisexual? Didn’t want anything to do with that and, really, how do you cure something that really isn’t something to be cured?
The hardest part about being teenaged and bisexual was not letting too many people know about that and that puts a lot of psychological pressure on to boil. I handled it well… but many of my teenaged bisexual peers didn’t because there were no services or other outlets and winding up in therapy didn’t always produce desired results and I heard stories of therapists insisting that they should be straight or gay… but don’t be gay.
You coped… or you didn’t. Sink or swim. It was being a teenager when I realized that the worst thing about being bisexual was… not having a soul you could talk to about it and you were damned lucky to find someone you could talk to about it… and they’d understand it.
Okay – I know this is seriously TLDR but my thoughts for today is that this has to be talked about because there are teens today who don’t seem to have a problem being bisexual but are being made to have problems… because we still believe the same shit that was believed when I was growing up. It’s just a good thing that steps are being taken and services are appearing to help teens who may be troubled with their bisexuality, and I’d consider them to be the lucky ones because for my generation, there was no such help. Lots of talk about the need for mentors and I’m totally on board with that one because I grew up with a lot of guys and gals who could have benefitted – and been better about what they were – if there was such an animal as a mentor in these things.
It’s a lot to write and I do apologize for how long this one is… but someone has to speak about this and tell it like it was to be able to tell it like it is now. Shit, I can’t even do my usual sigh at this point. Being young and bisexual was a bitch for those who couldn’t figure out how to deal with it. From adults who didn’t even want to talk about sex in a positive way to the great peer pressure one could find themselves subjected to.
I was one of the lucky ones. I figured it out; made it through my teenaged years pretty much unscathed compared to the many guys and gals I knew who got put through the wringer and had to go find their head so they could put it back on… or not. Metaphorically speaking but sometimes, literally so and all because we, on the whole, didn’t want to understand anything about bisexuality and treating us like we were homosexuals.
Now I can sigh… and put this to bed.