I am a bisexual – I did not choose it, I was born with it. I do not even really have a choice on whether I will be attracted to a male or a female. It comes and goes almost like a bipolar experience, but I hate to use that comparison because there is an unspoken feeling out there that bisexuals are actually mentally unstable (my apologies to the wonderful and stable bipolar friends out there). We are not. We are just delightfully unpredictable, even to ourselves. So what does bisexuality mean? Is it strictly sexuality or is it more?
My daughter was having an evening out with female friends and discussing sexual behavior among young women when the host’s fourteen year old daughter chimed in. She stated that most of the girls in her school feel comfortable having sex with either guys or gals. My daughter and her age 35 + friends were shocked. This new sexual freedom among young women seems to be confirmed by a study by researchers at Boise State University that found that in a group of college heterosexual women, 60 percent were physically interested in other women, 45 percent made out with a woman in the past, and 50 percent had fantasies about the same sex.1
Is this bisexuality? Depends on your definition of bisexuality. If you mean sexual attraction and sexual experiences with both men and women, then it is bisexuality. But that reduces bisexuality merely to sexual behavior. I choose to believe it is much more than that, at least it certainly has been in my own bisexual life.
I could not find a similar study that identified the percentage of heterosexual males that experienced same sex attraction. Even if there was one, it would probably not be reliable because of male confusion and lack of disclosure. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Boise State researchers also found that men were more likely than women to report being “100 percent heterosexual” or “100 percent homosexual” continually throughout their lives. Most of the time we are lumped into the gay population. Most of the combined gay and bisexual statistics range from 2 to 5 percent. My guess is that gay would be 2% and bisexual males an additional 3 to 5%, but certainly not in the 40 to 50% territory. On the surface, this suggests a definite difference among bisexual men and women; however, my guess is that most of these young women eventually will gravitate to one or the other leaving a similar smaller population that continues to experience swings (pardon the pun) from one gender preference to the other on an ongoing basis for the rest of their lives.
I think we can safely conclude from these studies that there are a large number of people (mostly women) who experience a same sex attraction. We can call them bicurious and perhaps even bisexual, but not bioriented and certainly not bigender.
A true bisexual man is at least bioriented. At times we experience strong biological impulses to meet and mate with someone from our own sex. As a man, it gives me a sense of leaving behind my ego-mind and slipping into my biological, hormone based body to respond to the smells, feelings, strength, and pheromones of another man. At other times, I feel attracted to a well-shaped woman walking in front of me. Certainly when I am with my wife and we begin to cuddle and kiss, the lamp lights and my hormones are pushing me towards copulation. I need to feel the pull of my masculine sexuality, the need to dominate her body sexually as our sexual passions blend together. In other words I have a biological biattraction and biorientation towards both men and women.
But my bisexuality is so much more than biological attraction and sexual orientation. At times I feel an overwhelming drive to experience the feminine side of my being physically, emotionally, and sexually; in other words, I flow into my feminine gender is a full body and soul experience. This is when I feel a need to flirt and express my deeper emotions with my male friends. This is when I sometimes need to reach out and hold and hug a man from the heart in the hopes of feeling a magical moment filled with a sense of wonder and completion. This is when I feel the need to feel intimacy with a man and tell him “I love you”. But “I love you” means something different when I am with my wife. I also seem to have a need for a masculine biological/psychological base. I need to feel the power flow through my body as I reach out and hold my woman and feel her face against my chest and my arms wrapped around her body. I need to feel that I am the protecting husband and father.
I cannot truthfully even attempt to know how bisexual women experience their bigender but from studies I have read I believe they are more likely to seek a sexual/psychological base in either a same-sex or heterosexual relationship. They also appear to be more likely to seek deeper relationship in their “other” gender experience, rather than engage in casual sex like their male counterparts. In both cases bisexual men and women seem to need an intimate gender base that meets their needs for relationship, love, and family while maintaining a parallel drive for sensuous and even erotic pleasure in their other side. We do not seem to operate well on our own without a base. The world becomes too chaotic with constant confusion and pulling from the two sides of our nature. The hard part is to find a mate that understands our other side and is willing to give us the freedom to experience our bisexuality as a basic need of our bisexual gender. So there is a tendency to be dishonest and hide our bisexuality from our partners, and of course that leads to suffering and pain. On the other hand, as bisexuals, we are faced with the constant struggle to be true to ourselves, or should that read – to be true to “both selves”?