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Confusion? Dispatch from the bisexual corespondent on the last half of the twentieth century


bi_janus

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I was never confused, as many people think bisexuals are. I liked to eat pussy as much as I liked to suck dick (both at the same time is the sweetest spot). I liked to fuck girls and boys and be fucked by both. I wish that the lack of confusion about what I was had extended to how to live what I was, but that clarity was dearly won. I would have benefited from models.

Either sex could set me aflutter and I suspect that I could have made a life journey with one of either sex. The intimacy I have shared with Ann, surging with the physical and the spiritual, was born in early explorations, lessons in trust and ease of caring in the midst of fear, with boys and girls. With all of them, I learned that sex was only one door to intimacy and not always the end of a chase.

I also learned that people are anxious to be themselves with someone who listens and won’t punish them for asking uncomfortable questions. I loved people of both sexes, but I have only been interested in marrying one person, because I discovered a surprising fundamental disposition to pair bonding. Just that simple (is there a font for irony?).

I was to learn later that I was liminal, at a threshold and just beyond reach from either side, seen as betraying both by many heterosexuals who thought people like me could only be gay and deceiving and by many gay men who thought I could only be gay and in denial or passing (no one thought I was straight and just kidding). Sometimes I felt as if I aroused more fear in both camps than did members of either in the other’s camp. Not surprisingly, most lesbians were immediately comfortable with the bisexual model (abstract model, not Victoria's Secret model. Well, maybe both.).

I remember meeting my brother-in-law's friends in St. Louis. My brother-in-law, who among many fine traits is gay, had told them of my complication. They looked at me as they would at an accidently caught coelacanth; they couldn’t quite see what use I had in the modern ecosystem. Or, maybe Ann's presence inhibited them because she enjoyed their discomfort so much. She doesn't suffer impoliteness gladly, and is the unusual wife who, on rare occasions, has recommended my oral talents to other men. No shrinking violet, she.

This is hollow complaining for someone who looked so straight from the outside and was never bashed or bullied (well, I guess if you’re breaking bricks with your bare hands a certain deterrent factor exists). When you are a kid and the other, you feel isolation. If bisexuals can be out, we’ve been out for a long time to the people who matter. People’s usual reaction, before they talk to her, is to worry about Ann. Unlike Diogenes, over a lifetime my lamp discovered a few bisexuals like me, out to wives and in happy heterosexual marriages. Even coelacanths stumble on each other.

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I am not the least bit surprised by your dispatch. I remember a guy explaining to me when I was just an enthusiastic young gay man that the world does not understand those who love both women and men.

I have come to consider that consenting human sexual encounters are all perfectly normal, but we were led to believe otherwise. If we have a homosexual experience at an early age or discover that the male form is sexually appealing then the rule imposed on us, until quite recently, was that we must then be homosexual. If instead we only made love to the opposite sex then we must call ourselves heterosexual...or 'normal'.

I look back and think how I should have seen through that concept; not that I feel any regret or guilt for having lived as a gay man, I don't. No one told us it was possible to gravitate towards loving either or both sexes, and from that, form a bond with one person in love; one person who might be of either sex.

Genetic determination may be no more than a propensity, stronger in some than others, and stronger for one sex or the other. Alternatively, or even additionally, it is possible that genes determine that we love and seek sexual expression exclusively with one gender denying the other, but also influenced by our experiences.

The problem with solely citing the genetic factor for sexual orientation, is that it not only offers the bigoted a temptation to try to alter the determining gene, but overlooks, even denies, the fact that with whom we practise consenting sexual expression is not a sin, but a human right; the inalienable individual human right to love and express that love sexually with whomever consents to join us in that expression. That is what is 'natural'.

Some of us will only want to do that with one gender, others will be perfectly happy to vary their sexual encounters, while I suspect most will find a partner with whom they bond for life, or at least a very long time. Love is the determining factor.

The thing is, that thinking about sex, and acting on our thoughts about sex is different from our natural instinct to have sex. We are as humans, all potentially attracted to each other sexually, in my opinion, but we are told we can only be attracted to one gender or the other, and only more recently has it become somewhat acceptable to like both genders.

I am not referring to being bisexual, or even asexual, just that we are perfectly capable of finding ourselves attracted to each other despite our predilection for one sex or the other, or both.

It may well be that we are still escaping the religious contamination that condemns our natural inclination to make love to whomever will consent to making love with us. Overcoming those religious influences will require a shift in our cultural values, including primitive jealousies, to accommodate our natural sexual expressions as well as finding acceptable models for child rearing whether they be anything from single parent through to biological family to village child rearing.

At the moment I would be happy with a movement that sought to do away with the concept of consensual sex as some kind of 'sin'.

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