BISEXUALITY

 

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Bisexuality Updates

September 2016

 

Bisexual Rock Anthem

Advocate: 25 Bisexual Celebrities

Huffington Post: Six Truths of Bisexuality

Bisexual Resource Center: What is Bisexuality?

NBC News: Bisexuality 101 Breakdown

Psychology Today: Continuing Controversy Over Bisexuality

Bi Any Other Name: 25 Years of Bi Life

NY Times Mag: Proof That Bisexuality Does Exist

Andy Mientus: Encouragement for Bisexual Kids

Eliel Cruz: Here's Why I Claim Bisexuality

Psychology Today: Myths About Bisexuality Debunked by Science

Advocate: Bisexuals Lack Support

Five Scientific Facts About Bisexuality

 


Bisexuality Defined

Bisexuality can be described as an emotional, affectional, romantic, or sexual regard for both men and women.  A bisexual person possess the potential to feel sexually attracted to and to engage in sensual or sexual relationships with people of either sex.

 

a.   men

b.   women

c.   all of the above

 

If a person is bisexual, he or she is can be attracted to both genders equally, or he or she can be attracted to one gender more than the other, and the degree of attraction may vary over time. Therefore, the gender a bisexual person is attracted to more depends on the person himself or herself. One cannot say that he or she has to be attracted to this particular gender more than the other. The fact remains that most bisexuals actually look at the person and not the gender.  You might sometimes hear bisexuals described as, "going both ways."

 

 

As an understanding of bisexual behavior developed, other terms have been used to help define bisexuality.  Some individuals may describe themselves as "pansexual," "omnisexual," or "heteroflexible."   Some individuals may characterize their sexuality as "fluid."  One source describes bisexuality as, "the gift to love someone for who they are regardless of gender."

 

Bisexuals should not be thought of as "sexually confused," "undecided," or "on the fence."  Bisexuality is not a transition phase where a person is still trying make up his or her mind or trying to decide whether he or she is gay or lesbian. Instead, it is separate sexual orientation and people should accept that fact.

 

   

 

The famous, controversial ‘Kinsey scale’ invented by Alfred Kinsey in the late 40’s presents the idea that most people fall somewhere between 0 (totally heterosexual) and 6 (totally homosexual) on a sexual “preference” continuum. Kinsey’s scale suggested that ‘heterosexual’ and ‘homosexual’ are not opposites, but rather two possible positions on a continuum of sexual “preference.” There are other theories on the variables that play a role in determining sexual orientation. In fact, researchers are finding that many people have transitional phases of heterosexuality or homosexuality in their coming out process as bisexual.

 

 

 

Self-perception is the key to a bisexual identity. Many people engage in sexual activity with people of both sexes, yet do not identify as bisexual. Likewise, other people engage in sexual relations only with people of one sex, or do not engage in sexual activity at all, yet consider themselves bisexual. There is no behavioral “test’’ to determine whether or not one is bisexual.

 


Bisexuality Updates

September 2016

 

Pride: Coming Out as Bi is Better Than Passing as Straight

Bisexuality: Some Questions Answered

Five Things I Learned From Dating a Bi Guy

Slate: Bisexuality is Really Not That Complicated

Andy Mientus: Ending Stigma Around Bisexuality

Psychology Today: Bisexuality Not an Addiction

CNN: Bisexuality on the Rise

American Institute of Bisexuality

Pride: Why is the Bisexual Label so Daunting?

Five Outdated Myths Everyone Still Believes About Bisexuality

 


Bisexuality Research

 

September 2016

 

According to Isaac Archuleta, writing for the Huffington Post Queer Voices, "After studying human sexuality for years, learning of its complexity, and observing its fluidity among the nearly 4,000 clients with whom I’ve worked, I’ve learned 6 salient lessons."

1. Men who are sexually active with men can also enjoy sex with woman, and vice a versa.
2. Falling in love, for many, is not predicated by they physical body, but rather the emotional connectivity between the two.
3. When one sleeps with men and women it doesn’t mean they are somehow afraid of commitment or hypersexual.
4. If a bisexual person falls in love, they are equally capable of monogamy, just like the rest of society.
5. Bisexuality is not the manifestation of relational cowardice.
6. Bisexuality isn’t just a thing; it’s a biological phenomenon in the same manner and fashion as heterosexuality.

 

LINK:

 

Huffington Post: Six Truths of Bisexuality

 


Informational Resources

 

28 Celebrities You Might Not Know are Bisexual

Michelle Rodriguez: Coming Out as Bisexual

Commentary From Musician Bonnie McKee

Huffington Post: Bisexuality FAQ

The Star: Late In Life Lesbian Love
Medical News: Research Findings on Bisexual Women
Bisexuality: A Unique Sexual Orientation
NGLTF: Bisexuality a Distinct Orientation in Women
Huff Post: Broader Acceptance of Gender Non-Conformity

What is Flexuality?

Bisexual Celebrities
 


Bi Comments

 

"Bisexuality means I am free and I am as likely to want to love a woman as I am likely to want to love a man, and what about that? Isn't that what freedom implies?"
—June Jordan


"Bisexuality isn't more complicated than that: attraction to more than one gender. It's not incompatible with identifying as gay, either. Bisexuality is proof that sexuality isn't either/or, it's and.
—The Bisexual Index

"Is bisexuality a third kind of sexual identity, between or beyond homosexuality and heterosexuality? Or is it something that puts in question the very concept of sexual identity in the first place? Why, instead of hetero-, homo-, auto-, pan-, and bisexuality, do we not simply say sexuality? And does bisexuality have something fundamental to teach us about the nature of human eroticism?"
—from Vice Versa: Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life, by Marge Garber

 


Scientific Facts About Bisexuality

 

January 2016

 

Bisexuality is a widely misunderstood sexual orientation about which there are numerous myths and stereotypes. In light of this, I thought it would be useful to put together an article that explores some of the key findings that scientists have uncovered to date about bisexuality that are not only informative, but can also speak to some of the biggest misperceptions about it.

 

 

1.) Bisexuality is real, and it’s not the same as being gay or lesbian. A lot of people deny the existence of bisexuality and assume that everyone who identifies as bisexual is secretly gay; however, the results of several studies reveal that bisexuality involves a distinct pattern of sexual interest and arousal compared to homosexuality.

2.) Women are more likely to identify as bisexual than men. The results of several national U.S. surveys have consistently found that more women than men identify as bisexual. For example, according to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, 2.6% of men identified as bisexual compared to 3.6% of women.


 

3.) Bisexuals experience prejudice from heterosexual persons, as well as gays and lesbians. Bisexual persons are frequently the targets of prejudice, particularly bisexual men. They are often stereotyped as being sexually confused and highly promiscuous.

4.). Bisexual people do not necessarily have higher sex drives than everyone else. One of the most common stereotypes about bisexuals is that they are an extremely horny bunch. However, a 2007 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior that featured a sample of over 200,000 participants revealed that bisexuals have sex drives that are pretty similar to everyone else.


5.) Being bisexual does not necessarily mean that you are equally attracted to both men and women. Being bisexual involves a capacity for attraction to men and women, but attraction to each sex does not necessarily have to be equally strong.
 

(From Dr. Justin Lehmiller / Sex and Psychology)

 

LINK:

 

Justin Lehmiller: Five Scientific Facts About Bisexuality

 


Bisexuality Research

 

October 2011

 

In an unusual scientific about-face, researchers at Northwestern University have found evidence that at least some men who identify themselves as bisexual are, in fact, sexually aroused by both women and men.

 

The finding is not likely to surprise bisexuals, who have long asserted that attraction often is not limited to one sex. But for many years the question of bisexuality has bedeviled scientists. A widely publicized study published in 2005, also by researchers at Northwestern, reported that “with respect to sexual arousal and attraction, it remains to be shown that male bisexuality exists.”  That conclusion outraged bisexual men and women, who said it appeared to support a stereotype of bisexual men as closeted homosexuals. The new study was published online in the journal Biological Psychology.

 

LINK:

 

NY Times: Bisexual Men Exist According to Report

 


Bi Questions Answered

 

Q: So what exactly is a bisexual?   A: A bisexual person is someone who is sexually and/or emotionally attracted to people of all genders. Many people who experience a wide range of feelings towards both men and women use the term bisexual.

Q: So they’re equally interested in men and women and trans/intersex people?  A: Not necessarily. One’s feelings may or may not be equally strong for different genders. Some bisexuals are attracted to men and women in different ways (i.e. seek different relationships from different genders), others say gender just isn’t relevant to who they’re interested in.

 



Q: Does being interested in all genders mean bisexuals are less interested in any one specific gender?    A: Most bisexuals will probably say that when they are interested in someone, they focus on the person, not their gender. Like before, the level of emotion and attraction bisexuals feel for a certain gender varies person to person.

Q: Aren’t people really either heterosexual or homosexual?   A: No. It’s well recognized in medical and psychological circles that bisexuality is a very real and genuine orientation. Many bisexuals can attest to this.

Q: Is bisexuality just a phase?  A: No more than being heterosexual or homosexual is.

Q: Isn’t being bisexual a process of making up one’s mind whether to be homosexual or heterosexual?   A: Don’t make the mistake of assuming there are only two options to choose from. There is a wide spectrum of feelings and identities people experience, not just straight or gay. Bisexuality is an option in its own right. Some lesbians or gay men may “come out” as bisexual first, but most bisexuals remain bisexual for the rest of their lives. A lack of information about bisexuality is probably the cause of most of the confusion.



 

Q: Why would someone not want to identify as bisexual?   A: Some people think being heterosexual is more “normal,” and identifying as someone who is GLBT is still not accepted in all social realms. So if someone is still attracted to members of their same sex, it is easier to just say, “I’m straight.” Others, for political and social reasons, may wish to identify with the lesbian & gay communities. Also, bisexuals often feel ostracized from both straight and gay communities because they’re “in the middle.”

Q: To be bisexual, does a person have to be with a man and a woman at the same time?  A: Absolutely not. Just because someone has the capacity to be attracted to more than one gender, does not mean they are involved with more than one at any given time. Monogamy is no different to bisexuals as it is for anyone else.

Q: Suppose I have had some feelings for both genders – does that mean I’m bisexual too?  A: Strictly speaking, maybe. But what you call yourself is up to you. Some may feel the attraction they feel for one gender isn’t enough to call themselves bisexual. Others look past gender when considering a deeper relationship. There are many reasons for why people identify the way they do.

(From Bisexual Resource Center)

 


13 Ways of Looking at Bisexuality

 

By David Halperin / Journal of Bisexuality

 

I shall not purport to say what bisexuality really means or try to indicate how it should be understood. I’ll content myself with merely noting that the reason there has been so much argument over the meaning of bisexuality is that the word signifies different things to
different people. Even more important, it keeps getting used in different ways, or to refer to different things. In particular, I can think of 13 different definitions of bisexual. At least, as the word is currently employed—at times without an explicit awareness of the slippages or confusions among different definitions of it—bisexual can refer to at least 13 different types of people. Bisexuals, then, are variously defined as people who...


--are sexually attracted to males and females;
--are not prevented from being sexually attracted to anyone because that person is male or female;
--are sexually attracted to the individuals they are attracted to, whether those individuals are male or female;
--are sexually attracted to their own sex but have a sexual history that includes sex with persons of the other sex;
--are sexually attracted to the other sex but have a sexual history that includes sex with persons of their own sex;
--are in a stable, long-term, sexual and erotic relationship with someone of their own sex but are also sexually attracted to persons of the other sex;
--are in a stable, long-term, sexual and erotic relationship with someone of the other sex but are also sexually attracted to persons of their own sex;
--have sex only with persons of their own sex who are gay and persons of the other sex who are heterosexual;
--have sex only with other bisexuals (men or women);
--have sex only with persons of their own sex but identify as bisexual;
--have sex only with persons of the other sex but identify as bisexual;
--have sex with males and females but identify as gay or lesbian;
--have sex with males and females but identify as heterosexual.

 

LINK:

 

Journal of Bisexuality: Article by David Halperin

 


First Bisexual Pride Day

 

September 2012

 

Berkeley became what is thought to be the nation's first city to officially proclaim a day recognizing bisexuals, a sexual minority that often complains of being derided as sexually confused fence-sitters. The City Council unanimously and without discussion declared Sept. 23 as Bisexual Pride and Bi Visibility Day. Since 1999, bisexual activists have claimed the date to celebrate their community, and bisexual pride events routinely are held in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and other cities across the nation. Councilman Kriss Worthington introduced the resolution, telling his colleagues ahead of Tuesday night's meeting that it was important for the city to support an occasion "conceived as a response to the prejudice and marginalization of the bisexual persons by some in both the straight and greater LGBT communities."  "Increasing bisexual visibility is a way of saying, yes, they do exist, and they deserve our support and acceptance," Worthington said.

 

LINK:

 

Huff Post: First Bisexual Pride Day

 


Understanding Bisexuality


Bisexual Identity
Some people believe that a person is born heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual (for instance due to prenatal hormonal influences), and that their identity is inherent and unchangeable. Others believe that sexual orientation is due to socialization (for example either imitating or rejecting parental models) or conscious choice (for example, choosing lesbianism as part of a political feminist identity). Others believe that these factors interact. Because biological, social, and cultural factors are different for each person, everyone’s sexuality is highly individual, whether they are bisexual, gay or lesbian, heterosexual, or asexual. The “value” placed on a sexual identity should not depend on its origin. Many people assume that bisexuality is just a phase people go through. In fact, any sexual orientation can be a phase.

Humans are diverse, and individual sexual feelings and behavior change over time. The creation and consolidation of a sexual identity is an ongoing process. Since we are generally socialized as heterosexuals, bisexuality is a stage that many people experience as part of the process of acknowledging their homosexuality. Many others come to identify as bisexuals after a considerable period of identification as gay men or lesbians.
 

A recent study by Ron Fox of more than 900 bisexual individuals found that 1/3 had previously identified as lesbian or gay. An orientation that may not be permanent is still valid for the period of time it is experienced. Bisexuality, like homosexuality and heterosexuality, may be either a transitional step in the process of sexual discovery, or a stable, long-term identity.

How Common is Bisexuality?

It is not easy to say how common bisexuality is, since little research has been done on this subject; most studies on sexuality have focused on heterosexuals or homosexuals. Based on research done by Kinsey in the 1940s and 1950s, as many as 15-25% of women and 33-46% of men may be bisexual, based on their activities or attractions. Bisexuals are in many ways a hidden population. In our culture, it is generally assumed that a person is either heterosexual (the default assumption) or homosexual (based on appearance or behavioral clues.) Because bisexuality does not fit into these standard categories, it is often denied or ignored.
 

 

When it is recognized, bisexuality is often viewed as being “part heterosexual and part homosexual,” rather than being a unique identity. Bisexuality threatens the accepted way of looking at the world by calling into question the validity of rigid sexual categories, and encourages acknowledgment of the existence of a diverse range of sexuality. Since there is not a stereotypical bisexual appearance or way of acting, bisexuals are usually assumed to be either heterosexual or homosexual. In order to increase awareness, bisexuals have begun to create their own visible communities.

 


Bi Resources
 

Bisexual Resource Center
American Institute
of Bisexuality
PFLAG: Bisexuality 101
Wikipedia: What is Bisexuality?

Bi Net USA
Religious Tolerance: Neither Homosexuality
or Heterosexuality
Bisexuality Basics
Rush PR News: Researchers Puzzled About Bisexuality
Coming Out:
Realizing Bisexuality in a Straight World
Journal of Bisexuality
Happy Soulmates: Bisexual Men
Jennifer's Index Page About Bisexuality
Getting Bi: Author Robyn Ochs

 


Bi Books

 

Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World by Robin Ochs and Sarah Rowly

Bisexuality: A Reader and Sourcebook by Thomas Geller

Bisexual Option by Fritz Klein

Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics by Jennifer Baumgardner

 


Famous Bi People

 

Among prominent people who have announced that they are bisexual are famous men and women in a variety of areas.  Recent disclosures have revealed many bisexual persons in the entertainment world.  Among bisexual musicians are David Bowie, Fergie (lead singer of Blacked Eyed Peas), Pink, Nelly Furtado, Hailey Williams (lead singer of Paramore), Laural Holloman, Billie Joe Armstrong (lead singer of Green Day), Kim Cooper, Duncan James (from Blue), Amy Winehouse, Azealia Banks (rapper), Vanessa Carlton, Clive Davis (Music Executive), and Kate Pierson (lead singer of B-52s).

 

Among bisexual actors are Anna Paquin, Whoopi Goldberg, Andy Dick, Margaret Cho, Michelle Rodriguez, Angelina Jolie, Lindsay Lohan, Drew Barrymore, Megan Mullally (from Will & Grace TV Show), Olivia Wilde, Kim Zolciak (from Real Housewives), and Megan Fox. 

 

Also included in the list of famous bi people is fitness expert Jillian Michaels.

 

 


Bisexual Relationships

 

Bisexuals, like all people, have a wide variety of relationship styles. Contrary to common myth, a bisexual person does not need to be sexually involved with both a man and a woman simultaneously. In fact, some people who identify as bisexual never engage in sexual activity with one or the other (or either) gender. As is the case for heterosexuals and gay men and lesbians, attraction does not involve acting on every desire. Like heterosexuals and gay people, many bisexuals choose to be sexually active with one partner only, and have long-term, monogamous relationships.

 

Other bisexuals may have open marriages that allow for relationships with same-sex partners, three-way relationships, or a number of partners of the same or other gender (singly or simultaneously). It is important to have the freedom to choose the type of sexual and affectional relationships that are right for the people involved, whatever their orientation.
 


Biphobia

 

Bisexual women and men cannot be defined by their partner or potential partner, so are rendered invisible within the either/or heterosexist framework. This invisibility (biphobia) is one of the most challenging aspects of a bisexual identity. Living in a society that is based and thrives on opposition, on the reassurances and “balanced” polarities of dichotomy affects how we see the world, and how we negotiate our own, and other peoples lives to fit “reality.”

Most people are unaware of their homosexual or heterosexual assumptions until a bisexual speaks up/comes out and challenges the assumption. Very often bisexuals are then dismissed, and told they are “confused” and “simply have to make up their mind and choose.” For bisexually identified people to maintain their integrity in a homo-hating heterosexist society they must have a strong sense of self , and the courage and conviction to live their lives in defiance of what passes for “normal.”

 


What Does Biphobia Look Like?

 

What does biphobia look like?

 

Assuming that everyone you meet is either heterosexual or homosexual.

Supporting and understanding a bisexual identity for young people because you identified “that way” before you came to your “real” lesbian/gay/heterosexual identity.

Expecting a bisexual to identify as heterosexual when coupled with the “opposite” gender/sex.

Believing bisexual men spread AIDS/HIV and other STDs to heterosexuals.

Thinking bisexual people haven’t made up their minds.

Assuming a bisexual person would want to fulfill your sexual fantasies or curiosities.

Assuming bisexuals would be willing to “pass” as anything other than bisexual.

Feeling that bisexual people are too outspoken and pushy about their visibility and rights.

Automatically assuming romantic couplings of two women are lesbian, or two men are gay, or a man and a woman are heterosexual.

Expecting bisexual people to get services, information and education from heterosexual service agencies for their “heterosexual side” (sic) and then go to gay and/or lesbian service agencies for their “homosexual side” (sic).

 

 

 

Feeling bisexuals just want to have their cake and eat it too.

Believing that bisexual women spread AIDS/HIV and other STDs to lesbians.

Using the terms “phase” or “stage” or “confused” or “fence-sitter” or “bisexual” or “AC/DC” or “switchhitter” as slurs or in an accusatory way.

Thinking bisexuals only have committed relationships with “opposite” sex/gender partners.

Looking at a bisexual person and automatically thinking of their sexuality rather than seeing them as a whole, complete person. Believing bisexuals are confused about their sexuality.

Assuming that bisexuals, if given the choice, would prefer to be within an “opposite” gender/sex coupling to reap the social benefits of a “heterosexual” pairing.

Not confronting a biphobic remark or joke for fear of being identified as bisexual.

Assuming bisexual means “available.”

Thinking that bisexual people will have their rights when lesbian and gay people win theirs.

Being gay or lesbian and asking your bisexual friend about their lover only when that lover is the same sex/gender.

Feeling that you can’t trust a bisexual because they aren’t really gay or lesbian, or aren’t really heterosexual.

Thinking that people identify as bisexual because it’s “trendy.”

Expecting a bisexual to identify as gay or lesbian when coupled with the “same” sex/gender.

Expecting bisexual activists and organizers to minimize bisexual issues (i.e. HIV/AIDS, violence, basic civil rights, fighting the Right, military, same sex marriage, child custody, adoption, etc.) and to prioritize the visibility of “lesbian and/or gay” issues.

Avoid mentioning to friends that you are involved with a bisexual or working with a bisexual group because you are afraid they will think you are a bisexual.

 

(From Bisexual Resource Center / www.biresource.org)

 


Relevant Information

 

Gay

Lesbian

Transgender

Asexual

Intersex

Pansexual

Polyamory

Queer

Questioning

 

 


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ALGBTICAL

Association for Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama