Tag Archives: identity

Bisexuality

Introduction

Within both the straight world and the gay world and whatever world you are from there are prejudices about bisexuality. Some of the most common ones are: they can’t decide, spread AIDS, they are not subject to homophobia or heterosexism, they will cheat, they’re in a phase (which sometimes may be the case for transitioning people who are gay), they’re unique cases, men can’t be bisexual, and they are promiscuous. There is also the claim that it is a myth.

According to Kinsey, most people exist somewhere on the scale from 1-5 (see earlier Kinsey post), meaning they are a little bisexual or have had a bisexual desire or experience sometime in their life. Bisexuality or bisexual desire is not rare, but seeing it is a different story. Since monogamy is the default or the norm within society people are assumed to be either gay or straight depending on what partner one may have at the time. Bisexuality also implies sexual and/or romantic attraction to men and women. This does not mean that being bisexual equates to having the same level or intensity of attraction to both men and women. It is not always an attraction that is split down the middle or stays constant and sometimes depends on being attracted to specific individuals, not widely men and women.

Recently, bisexuality has gained a bad reputation because of its association with Katy Perry, experimentation,  Lady Gaga, and pop artists adopting it for the sake of marketing to men who have wild imaginations. There have been a lot of misconceptions about what it is and how long it has existed for. Throughout time bisexuality and the expression of it has been represented differently across time. Today actresses and actors are coming out as bisexual, which is definitely a difference from the days of free love and also the Victorian period. Sexuality across time and geographical location varies. This exploration of it while be more general for the time being.

In this entry I will talk about being bisexual and identity. This is just a short introduction the topic, which I will probably expand on extensively later to talk about topics explicitly linked to people who are bisexual.

Origination of the Word

As is not well spread knowledge, the term homosexuality developed before heterosexuality, but over time the definition and associations have began to mean different things. Along with the term homosexuality and heterosexuality, the term bisexuality was coined in the 19th century.

Being Bisexual

Even though many people have bisexual desires, not many people are bisexual or claim bisexual identity. Many people who I have encountered today who have had a history of being romantic or sexual with both men and women have called themselves lesbians, straight, and pansexual. Labeling oneself bisexual has come to mean something negative because it represents the sexual binary and limits a person. Although this criticism is true and the b is included in the lgbtq acronym that no one can ever remember and is always being altered, the representation of people who are bisexual and express desire for both and have had girlfriends, boyfriends, lovers of both genders/sexes is still incredibly rare and stigmatized. Even more so than homosexuality (I argue).

Identity is a complicated thing. Many theorists argue about this saying the basis of sexual orientation is biology, socialization, and sometimes an interaction of both. I will not profess to understand it at all, because I really don’t, but I like wondering about it because its so complicated. So being bisexual for some is about identity, some about behavior and for some its political. Sexuality in general is a subjective topic.

Many researchers, sex researchers and psychologists, have claimed that men can not possibly be bisexual (a study done in 2005), that people are naturally bisexual (Kraftt-Ebing), and that people can not strictly be categorized as straight or gay (Kinsey). Sexuality is not that simple. Sexuality depends on context and individual and comfort level and arousal and many many other things. Studies inform opinions and may say something about sexuality but should not be absorbed as absolute truth, so I am always skeptical whenever reading something about sexuality, but also interested.

Conclusion

Basically, its complicated. Bisexuality is not simple and neither is homosexuality or heterosexuality. Heterosexism and homphobia affects us all and assumptions always make an ass out of you and me. So read up and get back to me.

Links

Wikipedia is always good: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisexuality

Richard Von Krafft-Ebing thought that bisexuality was the natural state of being: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Freiherr_von_Krafft-Ebing

Recent coming-out of an actress in True Blood: http://www.okmagazine.com/2010/06/anna-paquin-on-being-bisexual-it-wasnt-like-it-was-a-big-secret/

The Bisexual Examiner: http://www.examiner.com/x-3366-Bisexuality-Examiner~y2009m7d15-Bisexuality-101-Am-I-bisexual

Ridiculous quiz: http://www.allthetests.com/quiz19/quizpu.php?testid=1155452146&katname=Test-yourself-in-questions-of-love

NY-Times Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/05/health/05sex.html?_r=1

Religious Tolerance: http://www.religioustolerance.org/bisexuality.htm

BiBasics: http://out.ucr.edu/pdf/BiBasics.pdf

Arousal patterns of bisexual men: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/ps/bisexuality.pdf

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Filed under Education, glbtq, politics, Sexuality

The Heterosexual Questionnaire

Introduction

When searching on google I came across this blog and consequently, this questionnaire. I think it is hilarious, amazing, funny, and fabulous. Queer people have been asked, when they tell someone of their sexuality, “when did you know?”, “what caused it?”, and “do you think you will grow out of it?”. This questionnaire turns everything around that has traditionally been asked of queer people in society today (by anyone…even queer people ask each other these questions. I am definitely guilty of doing so.) to see how heterosexuals would answer them.

For the queer, it is hilarious, a sigh of relief, and sort of like a ha! it’s your turn fools! (that’s how I felt), but who knows, you might not like it for whatever reason, possibly that no one should be asked these questions or why we have to know in the first place where sexuality come from, but I think its interesting to consider even why we ask these questions in the first place, especially of queer people. Maybe, and probably, it’s because heterosexuality is assumed to be caused naturally and so it is assumed that queerness is not, the opposite.

In any case, this questionnaire is interesting to take a glance at.

The Questionnaire

“The Heterosexual Questionnaire was created back in 1972 to put heterosexual people in the shoes of a gay person for just a moment. Questions and assumptions made of Gays and Lesbians that are unfair, are reversed and this time asked to the straight people.

This is a fun survey, but also an activist survey. Please repost this to your email list, myspace bulletin, use it in a group setting, have fun with it but also let the point be made.

1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?

2. When and where did you decide you were a heterosexual?

3. Is it possible this is just a phase and you will out grow it?

4. Is it possible that your sexual orientation has stemmed from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?

5. Do your parents know you are straight? Do your friends know- how did they react?

6. If you have never slept with a person of the same sex, is it just possible that all you need is a good gay lover?

7. Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality… can’t you just be who you are and keep it quiet?

8. Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?

9. Why do heterosexuals try to recruit others into this lifestyle?

10. A disproportionate majority of child molesters are heterosexual… Do you consider it safe to expose children to heterosexual teachers?

11. Just what do men and women do in bed together? How can they truly know how to please each other, being so anatomically different?

12. With all the societal support marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?

13. How can you become a whole person if you limit yourself to compulsive, exclusive heterosexuality?

14. Considering the menace of overpopulation how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual?

15. Could you trust a heterosexual therapist to be objective? Don’t you feel that he or she might be inclined to influence you in the direction of his orher leanings?

16. There seem to very few happy heterosexuals. Techniques have been developed that might enable you to change if you really want to.

17. Have you considered trying aversion therapy?

– Martin Rochlin, Ph.D., 1972″ (http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2008/04/heterosexual-questionnaire.html)

A Response

At first, many of the bloggers who posted on this site thought this response to be a funny response (and I’m still not sure what the writer intended, though the person did write in Anonymously) and it may be, but who knows. See for yourself:

“It’s a reasonable test. Here goes…

1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?
A. God created human beings to be male or female as His means for them to beget children, therefore God “caused” my heterosexuality.

2. When and where did you decide you were a heterosexual?
A. During adolescence I cooperated with my innate God given heterosexuality. I detached from my mother and increasingly identified with my father and began the process of settling into the natural order of male/female heterosexuality.

3. Is it possible this is just a phase and you will out grow it?
A. Not unless male/female complementarity, marriage, and the reproductive continuation of mankind are also a “phase”

4. Is it possible that your sexual orientation has stemmed from a neurotic fear of others of the same sex?
A. Not unless male/female complementarity, marriage, and the reproductive continuation of mankind are now “neurotic.”

5. Do your parents know you are straight? Do your friends know- how did they react?
A. Friends know, parents know, wife knows and child knows. I can’t really say, since ordinary behaviour in the natural order of life is not something people “react” to. It just is.

6. If you have never slept with a person of the same sex, is it just possible that all you need is a good gay lover?
A. Not possible. The true meaning of love is the total self giving of self to the other-which means that all sexual acts are open to the creation of children. Anything else, is a counterfeit-call it like, attraction, distraction, lust-just don’t call it love as the God, the source of all earthly love intends it.

7. Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality… can’t you just be who you are and keep it quiet?
A. Heteronormative behaviors such as marriage and raising a family are a mirror of God’s glory-so one person’s celebration is another person’s “flaunting.”

8. Why do heterosexuals place so much emphasis on sex?
A. A projective leading question. I think if one compares the ad content of a homosexual publication such as “the Advocate” versus a heterosexual publication such as “Parenting World” it’s clear which group emphasizes sex.

9. Why do heterosexuals try to recruit others into this lifestyle?
A. A projective leading question. Normality os not a “style.” Marriage and family are normal, and normal is that which God designed for the good of the individual and society.

10. A disproportionate majority of child molesters are heterosexual… Do you consider it safe to expose children to heterosexual teachers?
A. In raw numbers, true. But false when the statistics are adjusted for incident frequency and group representation in society. According to such valid measures, gays are 40x more likely to commit a sexual offenses against a child, so it is less safe to expose children to homosexuals.

11. Just what do men and women do in bed together? How can they truly know how to please each other, being so anatomically different?
A. Men and women can please each other perfectly because their natures complement one another. Same sex attraction amounts to a mirror of self. Because it centers on the self it is inherently narcissistic and objectifying.

12. With all the societal support marriage receives, the divorce rate is spiraling. Why are there so few stable relationships among heterosexuals?
A. A leading question. Divorce rates are high in secular marriages but never as high as the fleeting relationships of gay relationships or “marriage.” In Catholic marriages for example, the rate of is 200 successes to 1 failure.

13. How can you become a whole person if you limit yourself to compulsive, exclusive heterosexuality?
A. Exclusive heterosexuality os God’s plan for humanity. To cooperate with God is to become a whole person.

14. Considering the menace of overpopulation how could the human race survive if everyone were heterosexual?
A. Overpopulation is a Malthusian myth. 70% of Japan is primeval forest and unpopulated mountain ranges and yet this tiny country supports over 200 million persons comfortably.

15. Could you trust a heterosexual therapist to be objective? Don’t you feel that he or she might be inclined to influence you in the direction of his orher leanings?
A. Unlike same-sex attracted persons, heterosexuals don’t derive their primary identity from their sexual attraction. The risk, therefore, is minimal.

16. There seem to very few happy heterosexuals. Techniques have been developed that might enable you to change if you really want to.
Even if that were true, why exacerbate the problem? The rates of suicide, depression, substance abuse and self-harming behaviors are much higher in same-sex attracted persons.

17. Have you considered trying aversion therapy?
A. I love God, I love my wife, I love marriage and I love children. I have an aversion to therapy which questions what is normal.” (http://queersunited.blogspot.com/2008/04/heterosexual-questionnaire.html)

Conclusion

This is an interesting questionnaire to consider because of its implications and why these questions are even asked (because claiming to be queer, is well, obviously, your primary identity). It can also be a very useful tool to start a discussion among friends, peers, in a family, or in a classroom. It can lead people to question why queer people are questioned and to something more.

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Filed under Education, Humor, Sexuality