New Year’s Resolutions for Bisexuals

shirt-tie-w-out-white-background-final-13 The best advice I can give regarding New Year’s Resolutions is, “Don’t do it!” If you are striving and hoping to change your sexual behavior, “Stop trying!” Why? Because our brains do not work that way.
       Let me explain. Our brains are designed to avoid pain and seek pleasure, and seeking pleasure is ten times (I made that up) more powerful than avoiding pain. But it does not stop there. There are two kinds of pleasure: the activation of the quick route through the pleasure system of the brain, and the process of setting goals and achieving them.  They both go through the same pleasure system, but one is short term and leads to pleasure, and the other is long term and leads to happiness. 
       So what is the difference between pleasure and happiness? Pleasure is easy to define; it is biological; more specifically, it is chemical. It has two purposes: to excite and then to soothe, thus completing the pleasure circuit of the brain. Our bisexual brains have decided that the quickest and most powerful way to activate the pleasure system is gay or lesbian sex. This is how it works. We are feeling down and need a fix; we need to get a high to escape the low. All drugs work this way including that wonderful hormone mix of testosterone, estrogen, oxytocin, epinephrine, and adrenalin. Together they not only  excite the body, but they  also serve as neuromodulators to excite the brain. Now the combined hormone/dopamine rush is on with the goal of a pleasure bath through sex. There is one other thing to consider. Having sex with our life partner is great and usually provides a high; however, if we are really down, we may need a greater high. This is where going out on the hunt, or to a lover on the side, comes into play. You see, the novelty of finding a new partner or the feeling of crossing a forbidden boundary actually adds to the charge – namely a more intense flow of dopamine and a greater adrenalin rush. At this point, desire becomes an obsession, an intense dopamine and hormone flow that can only be alleviated by accomplishing our goal – new and exciting sex. Unfortunately, there is usually no soothing after we literally come back to our senses. There is usually pain in the form of guilt and shame. Oops, no soothing. Back to anxiety.
       Now let’s look at happiness which is much more complex and almost impossible to define because it means different things to different people. The closest we can get to universal agreement on happiness is intimacy. This is where sex with a life partner comes in. We look across the room and see our lover and our neurons begin to fire. We are not likely looking just for a fix. Usually, the goal is intimacy. Whenever we feel a little down or we have a hard time seeing the connection with our partner, within ourselves, with life, the world (whatever), we can connect all those dots with sex with our partner (a very clever design because it has the potential to create one more human being and save the human race one more time). This type of sex in usually slower, seeking connection as well as pleasure. This combination of connection and pleasure creates intimacy and intimacy is a form of happiness. To celebrate this reconnection with our partner, our world, and our self the brain now releases a flow of serotonin creating a soothing type of contentment and quiet pleasure; in other words, happiness. The circuit is now complete.  No anxiety.
       Which brings us back to New Year’s Resolutions. They simply do not work. Our brain will refuse to abandon its favorite sources of pleasure without a very good reason. So all the “I will stop” resolutions are worse than useless. They create anxiety, and unsoothed anxiety is a form of pain which the brain wants to avoid. These types of resolutions are doomed to fail, and repeated failure is another form of anxiety and pain. What about the “From now on I will…” resolutions? In this case, the brain has another objection. You see, the pay-off or reward has to be perceived as attainable and perceived as a significantly greater source of pleasure. In other words, we have to firmly believe that being “happy” will be a greater reward than the sought after pleasure. The second factor is that we also weigh the amount of effort (employed anxiety) it will take to achieve the goal. If the cost is too great the brain will not engage the dopamine achievement pleasure system. It takes a strong dopamine charged circuit to change a behavior, and the brain simply does not want to expend the energy it takes to prune and develop the circuits needed to change the behavior.
So what is the alternative? Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:
  1. We do not make any New Year’s Resolution. We do not try to change our behavior. Instead, we aim to evolve into higher human beings. If we can learn to appreciate and enjoy who we are, we will be “happy”, and as long as we are happy, we will no longer have out of control anxiety, and we will no longer have the need for a sexual high to counterbalance our emotional lows.
  2. We can do this by awakening our higher self. It takes no effort, so our brain will be happy. We simply change our paradigm. We simply choose to accept ourselves and love ourselves just the way we are, with all our flaws. This includes our sexual orientation and our sexual desires and behaviors.  They are what they are. There is no blame there is no shame.
  3. We continue to seek pleasure. It is a wonderful gift from the universe. Whenever we have sex we enjoy every minute of it. Every smell, every touch, every taste, every “I love you”, and how beautiful our partner is. We plan to indulge all our senses. No blame no shame. After sex, we stick around and come down together, thus releasing all our tensions and enjoying our body’s serotonin bath.
  4. We do not stop at pleasure, we seek happiness.  This means getting rid of guilt and shame once and for all. If we have a partner, we work things out together. It will mean honesty and compromise. If we cannot work it out, we may have to make plans to part. Whatever path we choose, we have to free our sexual behavior from the guilt and shame pattern. Sex was meant to be enjoyed and to be a part of our pleasure and happiness circuits. It is too powerful a force to have working against us, and it is too precious a gift not to be enjoyed.
  5. We seek deeper and deeper levels of intimacy. Good sex with a partner leads to bonding, intimacy, contentment, purpose, and to feelings of control rather than helplessness. It establishes a firm base. It is that one guiding principle that our brain can understand. It is willing to try anything, any new adventure or risk as long as it adds to its feelings of intimacy and contentment.

Bisexuality, Anxiety, and the Cerebellum

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Using national data and the criteria from the DSM 4 to identify people with Anxiety Disorders, a group of researchers[1]  concluded that men who reported lifetime sexual behavior with both male and female partners had the highest rate of every mood and anxiety disorder. This was matched, but by a lesser degree, with women who reported both male and female partners. In some truly significant numbers, 46.5% of bisexual men experienced some mood disorder in their lifetime, compared with 26.8% of men who reported only same-sex sexual partners, 29.3% who reported no sexual partners, and 19.4% who reported exclusively female partners. These numbers are highly significant from two perspectives, first we bisexual men are almost twice as likely as other men to experience clinical anxiety, and secondly, almost half of us have experienced some form of severe anxiety during our lifetime.

So what is happening in our brains? Converging evidence suggests that the culprit may be the cerebellum which was traditionally thought of as the part of the brain responsible for motor control, voluntary movement, and balance. New information based on brain scans suggests that it may be much more than that. One of the surprising areas seems to be associative learning. Remember Pavlov’s dog and conditioned responses? Well it appears our anxiety may be related to conditioning. I read an article once (can’t find the source) that described gay and bisexual lives as death by a thousand cuts. We apparently are subconsciously responding to a lifetime of mini-traumas and now exhibit symptoms of PTSD. It’s like we have been in the trenches waiting for next call to charge the enemy through a mine field. In other words we suffer generalized anxiety because we feel that we are living a life where our sense of security is constantly being threatened.

The cerebellum also forms neural circuits with the thalamus, the hypothalamus and the amygdala. In other words it connects to the limbic and reticular systems which are associated with the two powerful emotions of attraction and fear.  This links whole body involvement with the dopamine pleasure seeking drive and the alert hormones of the sympathetic system.  Therefore, for those of us who have learned to live with generalized anxiety, it is not hard to understand why our whole body seems to be involved in our anxiety and not just our minds or genitals.  I am sure as bisexuals at least half of us have experienced that elephant on the chest, the frequent occurrence of shallow breathing, and mental fatigue that accompanies generalized anxiety.

Generalized anxiety involves the whole body, and therefore the relief has to involve the whole body. In the past the fastest and most effective way to get into my body was through same sex encounters. Unfortunately that was only temporary relief. I would walk away with a hollow feeling akin to depression and a gradual rebuild up of anxiety. The involvement of the cerebellum suggests that these anxieties have passed on beyond mind control and have become a part of my implicit memory and subconscious response systems. In other words I am now stuck with a chemical imbalance that is beyond the scope of psychological therapy. Typically that means medication with all its possible side effects, and that only provides relief for the symptoms and not the cause. It’s like taking a Tylenol for cancer. I have spent the last fifteen years of my life leaning to deal with my anxieties and in the process have found a new way of life that uses my anxiety as nervous energy to accomplish amazing things including this amazing blog.


My five suggestions for bisexuals on how to deal with anxiety by controlling our bodies:

  1. We can get in touch and stay in touch with our bodies. It’s simple – meditate. Fifteen minutes a day where we shut down our mind and concentrate of the sensations of our bodies. In the process we will find an inner presence that is interacting with the world around us. It will help us stay grounded.
  2. Practice soothing activities whenever we feel anxious. We simply become aware of our breathing. Deep breath in from the belly, hold, let out slowly and completely.
  3. Practice touch. Touch the area where we are feeling the anxiety and then bring the touch down to the heart and hold it there until the anxiety subsides.
  4. We sooth by talking to ourselves. We acknowledge the fear and its source thus bringing it from the subconscious to the conscious level. It is best done out loud. Then tap your heart and say “There. There, now. It’s all okay. I am here to protect you.”
  5. Whatever our sexual practices, we have a right to experience it without shame and remorse. If you feel that empty feeling, take charge of it and emphatically claim the right to seek pleasure anyway you so choose.
[1] Bostwick, Wendy B.;  Boyd, Carol J.; Hughes, Tonda L, and  McCabe, Sean Esteban. Dimensions of Sexual Orientation and the Prevalence of Mood and Anxiety Disorders in the United States. Am J Public Health, v.100(3); Mar 2010. (


Bisexuality and the Problem with Statistics

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Are you tired of statistics on bisexuality? I am. Yet another survey has shown that bisexuality is on the rise, especially among women[1]. A whopping 17.4% in the current survey have had some bisexual contact compared with 14.2% in the 2006-2010 survey. Higher numbers of both women and men identified as bisexual, 5.5% of women and 2% of men, compared with 3.9% and 1.2% respectively in the last survey. And you can be sure that number is higher for men as most of us to not want to disclose our bisexual tendencies.

So what? Why do we want to know that there are more and more of us? It reminds me of the Matrix Trilogy where Agent Smith keeps reproducing himself by thrusting his hand into someone’s chest. In the case of us bisexuals, we thrust our hand into someone’s pants and avoid the heart. It is time to step back and realize that we are all more than just programs in a worldwide sex-video game. Quite frankly I have no desire to just be another Agent Smith.

It seems that everyone wants to get in on the act. International popular TV series have taken up the torch. Bisexuality needs to be understood, and by god, they are going to show us what it is really like. However, this is not some glamorous Hollywood show where networks are competing with each other to see who can get the most views by depicting yet another example of bisexuality where marriages are broken and people are murdered because of unnatural passion. And quite frankly, I no longer want to compete with other bloggers to see who can get the most views on bisexuality. I do not want my life and my mind and my soul reduced to a statistic or another episode, book, or blog.

Did you know that only one of forty-six chromosomes is dedicated to male or female sexuality, and they cannot even find a half a chromosome, or for that matter, even one of twenty-five thousand genes, that can be nailed down for same seek attraction?  And yet sex, especially bisexual sex, seems to be a preoccupation of our western world, and it seems everyone is now encouraged to experiment with same sex attraction.

Women seem to be more attracted to same sex experimentation. When women engage in sex, their brains lights up like a Christmas tree as the pleasure center, the Nucleus Accumbens, is immediately activated, connecting with the sensory processing lobes, particularly the somatic processor which is associated with touch. Women are lucky, they immediately experience the pleasure. They take a little longer to get wound up which allows for more pleasure and more time for intimacy or attunement with their sex partner. This also allows for a second level of appraisal, and therefore,they are more likely to say “no” even after arousal.  Why do almost one in five women give up on sex with  men as their main source of sexual pleasure? Could it be that they are looking for more than sharing the “rush” provide by men? Could they be looking for something “deeper” (pardon the puns)? Could they be looking for the kind of intimate attunement that is much easier to get with another woman?

For us bisexual men, the pleasure sensation is delayed as the sexual rush is connected with the dopamine drive and the powerful emotions from the Limbic System. We get our pleasure by reaching our goal through orgasm, and only then does the Nucleus Accumbens suddenly connect with all the sensory processors to create a powerful pleasure surge similar to a hit of heroine. There is very little desire for intimacy as it merely delays the rush we so desire, but we do play along with our female partners hoping for the additional rush of mutual orgasm. When we are with men, it is all about the drive. And quite frankly, once another man touches our penis, we are literally driven to seek that hit.  We have our own built in addiction center. Sex is so simple with men. There are no mind games. There is no desire to delay orgasm because our pleasure is not in the play but in the outcome. We can just close our eyes and enjoy the anticipation of the oncoming rush with no thoughts of anyone else. There is no waiting for a partner. No guilt if the partner does not orgasm. It is so reassuring to know that once the game is on  our male sex partners have no intention of saying “wait” or  ”no”.

For many of us bisexual men, especially if we are married or in a relationship with a woman, gay sex becomes guilt and is compounded by addiction withdrawal. Our addiction demands that we do it again. However, our tortured minds are trying desperately to control our drives. The only thing that can stop our addiction is the prefrontal cortex, particularly the orbitofrontal cortex, but quite frankly, once the drive is on, it is very ineffective.  But it is our source of second evaluation, or as Freud would say, our super ego or our conscious. It attempts to employ checks and balances to prevent same-sex arousal, halt addiction, and regain control over our sexual impulses. It employs cultural and religious beliefs that come in the form of layer upon layer of mind sets shaped by past negative experiences that involve shame and guilt. In order to gain control, it has to compartmentalize; it has to put sex back into its Pandora’s Box.  As bisexuals, we have to willingly choose to place our sexual drives in a nice safe compartment that we can access when appropriate so that we are not raping and pillaging or spending all our waking hours in bathhouses.

If we choose to fight the addiction, we may eventually arrive at the conclusion that we are much more than the oxytocin and hormonal impulses coming from our genitals. This realization has the power to bring us to our higher self, our soul, to a deeper level of living. Our spiritual desire and spiritual energy can then be put in control of our impulses so we can generate ideas and thoughts and beliefs to make this world a better place, something a bit more than a worldwide video game where the winner is the one who can screw the most people during a life span.

Sorry for the rant. But for us bisexuals who were born with our bisexual impulses, this is not a game or something to experiment with. This a very powerful part of our mental and physical anatomy. We really do need to control it or it will destroy us. Personally it has literally screwed up my life. I wanted to be a good husband and a good father and, in fact, I was a great husband and a great father for 33 years before everyone I cared about suddenly knew I enjoyed having sex with other men. I lost my marriage and respect from my children which, quite frankly, were more important to me than another same sex orgasm. So let’s not glamorize this thing. Let’s not encourage more and more young people to experiment with bisexuality. If they are bisexual, they will know it because it is so powerful that it will eventually come out into the open. For us, sex is not just another source of pleasure that we can experiment with. So there is no rejoicing here to learn that other men and women are experimenting with bisexuality. Getting involved with bisexual men and women is like playing with fire. We have to take the box of matches away from the juveniles.

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. For those of you who are thinking about experimenting with bisexuality – you don’t have to experiment. If you are gay, lesbian, or bisexual, you will know it without experimenting. Even if you are seriously considering it, it probably means you are bisexual. You still have a choice. The question is do you really want to start a bisexual lifestyle with all the issues it will bring into your life? Think it through. Done the right way, it can be a very powerful and satisfying life choice.; done poorly can lead to a great deal of pain.
  2. For those of us who are truly bisexual my advice is TO BE CAREFUL, and that does not just mean having safe sex.
  3. Care for yourself and have the courage to make the right decisions that will lead to a more conscious and more joyful way of life.
  4. Beware of the addictive powers of casual sex. Avoid porn, sex shops and other places that you can get a quick fix.
  5. Listen to the voice of your higher self. Seek relationship. It can be a man or a woman or both, but it has to involve relationship. Look for love.

[1]. Copen, Casey E Chandra; Anjani; and Febo-Vazquez, Isaedmarie. Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attraction, and Sexual Orientation Among Adults Aged 18–44 in the United States: Data From the 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth Division of Vital Statistics. National Health Statistics Reports Number 88, January 7, 2016



Bisexuality and the Virtue of Gentleness

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)“The finest qualities of our nature, like the bloom on fruits, can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly,” Henry David Thoreau.


This “delicate handling” is the result of developing the virtue of gentleness. Sensitivity leads to gentleness, first with ourselves and then with others. When we have developed the virtue of sensitivity, we become aware of our own feelings, motivations, and emotions, and then we become aware of the feelings of others. We realize that positive interactions are part of the flow of universal love and negative ones come from a person’s body of pain. We react to love with love and to pain and anger with gentleness.

Gentleness comes from the spirit, or the higher self, and is based on love of self.  If we ask our spirit for guidance it will always respond and show us the way to care for and be gentle with our bodies. When our bodies are in harmony with our spirit, we enter into a place free of anxiety. Our heart rate slows, our blood pressure drops, the sugar and salt levels return to the optimal levels. This allow the body to tap into its source of positive energy to  increase its immune system and repair damaged cells.

The first step is to know, sense, and feel the positive energy and movement of our spirit. It is always gentle. It always brings peace and inner joy. It always directs by bringing us the feeling that what we are doing feels right. If we learn to hear that gentle voice, it will empower us to eat the correct foods, exercise daily without harming our body tissues, and become aware of our abilities and limitations. It will reveal harmful practices like unsafe sex, use of legal and illegal drugs, and high risk activities. It will teach us to love and protect our bodies as a precious gift from the universal creative spirit of love.

The second step is to allow the spirit to spread its influence throughout our mind or ego. We tend to be hard on ourselves, expecting the impossible, and then berating ourselves for not attaining it.  The ego sets unrealistic goals and then employs the neural dopamine pathways to achieve those goals. It uses the power of the emotions attached to blame and self-criticism to keep us pushing on towards those goals even though it may not be in our best interest to do so. This creates a constant alert state fueled by anxiety and dangerous levels of adrenaline and epinephrine.

To be truly gentle we have to silence, or rather, redirect, the self-critical voice of the ego.  We do this by consciously inviting the spirit into our decision making process. It will work with the ego or the mind to reveal ways to understand and be gentle with ourselves. The ego is not the enemy of the spirit, but rather a partner and part of the soul. The spirit will always be gentle with our ego never chastising or blaming. It is always ready, when asked, to show a better way, and that way is always gentle in nature. It will never demand that it gives up pleasures or sources of joy. It will merely, gently, show how to bring those pleasures into harmony with the higher self.

Once we have achieved this harmony of body, ego, and spirit, we will then be able to extend it to others. We will be able to sense the feelings behind their actions. With love ones, we will always be able to see the other side where the ego is acting out of this nebula of pain and emotion. We will be able to respond to the desires behind the feeling rather than to the emotions of their wounded egos. We will be able to gently dissolve these emotions and redirect them to the issues causing the pain or, perhaps, just show a gentle understanding of where they are coming from and open the door to future positive interactions. Once we achieve true gentleness through “delicate handling” of ourselves and others, we can begin to enjoy the fruits of self-actualization.


Here are my five applications for bisexuals:

  1. As bisexuals, our life path often leads to pain and turmoil. Our natural tendency is to blame ourselves for the pain inflicted upon us. We have to be gentle with ourselves. We are not to blame for our actions brought on by our sexual orientation. There is no blame. Period. Not god, not our parents, and certainly not ourselves. The blame game only leads to more pain and suffering.
  2. We can be kind to our bodies. We can avoid self-destructive behavior like unsafe sex and S and M and humiliation fetishes. Inflicting and enduring pain in role play just deepens the wounds. It may provide a temporary release, but that feeling of self-abuse will just come back stronger than ever.
  3. Rather than abuse our body, we can love it. We can look at our naked body in the mirror and realize just how beautiful and wonderful it really is. And we don’t have to ignore the genitals which are a source of amazing enzymes and hormones connected with the passing on of life itself.
  4. We should avoid excessive use of masturbation. . It is seldom done gently and lovingly. There is always a connection with desperation and anxiety. There is nothing morally wrong with masturbation for the realization of unfulfilled needs and the release of anxieties, but we should always be aware that it can be harmful if it leads us away from genuine relationship.
  5. We can be gentle with those we love. When we see our partners strike out in anger or frustration, we can choose to look for the feelings, needs, and desires behind their words and actions. We can remind them that they are loved and that we are willing to help them meet those needs.

Bisexuality and the Virtue of Sensitivity

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.” Edgar Allan Poe[1]

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)We cannot be too sensitive, but we can learn to direct our sensitivity so that it becomes a virtue rather than a source of confusion and pain. If we honor our sensitivity, we are on our way to self- actualization.

These next five blogs are about our becoming the best we can be. Maslow in his hierarchy of human values believed the ultimate goal was self-actualization which he associated with finding meaning and purpose in life. In his study, he looked at people he believed had special qualities that made them special people. I believe that being special is developing the five major virtues that allow us to live life the way it was intended to be according to some universal principles that are beyond the scope of meaning and purpose. It is about being rather than doing.

As human beings, we have a natural sensitivity that over time gets dulled and repressed due to harsh and sometimes painful life experiences. To reach self-actualization, we have to reawaken our natural sensitivity and develop and perfect it so that we can use our feelings for guidance and the pursuit of joy.

Our brains naturally are built to take in information from all our senses and to combine the information to form feelings that lead to the pursuit of happiness. The self-actualized person learns to select and enhance the positive feelings and to evaluate and process the negative ones. Physiologically that includes using the frontal cortex and the dopamine pathways to solve problems and then returning to the pleasure center and the serotonin pathways which are free of constructive or destructive anxieties. We are not built to linger in the anxiety that comes from the front of our brain; our main purpose is to pursue and enjoy pleasure in all its forms through our senses.

The greatest source of pleasure from our senses is rooted in love, including intimate love with a partner and the love of life. I go around my yard every morning thanking the flowers for sharing their beauty with me. I wait for my beloved to wake in the morning and greet her with a warm embrace and an “I love you.” I open my day in meditation where I sit on my front deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean and shut down my mind and concentrate on all the senses my beautiful body is providing, including the smell of vegetation, the feel of the sea air on my face, the sound of the birds, and the taste of a hot cup of coffee. I think about my children and grandchildren and my close friends and allow my feelings of love to build and flow out to them. I plan the day, things I have to do and things that I can ask the universal life force to do for me. I concentrate on completing my tasks and then return to enjoying my senses with a walk or a bike ride along the beach or reading a good book on a bench in my garden. I thank the universal love force for each day, and for each moment of each day. I pursue happiness through my senses and use my wonderful frontal cortex and dopamine neural pathways to plan ways to keep me in a state of bliss.


Five applications to bisexuality:

  1. Sex is a great source of pleasure. It includes all our senses. Learn to use them all, not just the sense of touch. We can open up our sense of smell to include scents and pheromones. Our sense of smell is directly linked to the old brain and the limbic system and the amygdala. We can enjoy taste, touch, and sight, and listen to the heavy breathing of our lover. We can make making love truly making love.
  2. We can love life and love our body. It is a gift. We can explore it and enjoy it, and not just the genitals. If we limit masturbation we can let our whole body enjoy loving touch. We can hug ourselves and touch all the parts of our body and thank these parts for doing their job and adding to our pleasure. We show our body that we love it.
  3. Seeking the sensations of sex with a new partner can be exciting but it is nothing like the joys of familiarity that comes from working on expanding the pleasure we can enjoy with a steady partner. We can seek to develop that one special relationship where we can share and explore together without the rush of an encounter with a stranger.
  4. Our bisexuality is more than just a sexual orientation. It is an ability to sense things at a deeper level. We can employ the full range of feminine and masculine characteristics. We have a wider view of life. The key is to follow our feelings and let them lead us to all aspects of pleasure.
  5. Expand our senses. Meditate but not in mindlessness. There is more out there to enjoy than just the sound of our own breathing. We can use this time to explore all the sights and sounds and smells around us and then thank the source of universal love and life for the privilege of just being alive.

[1] Virtue Science.

Bisexuality and the Virtue of Passion

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Passion – vice or virtue? According to the major religions, we have two competing forces – good and evil, vice and virtue. However, if we realize there is actually no evil, just us, walking either a path to self-actualization, or floundering in our own fears and self-defeating negative behavior, we begin to view passion as neither a vice nor a virtue; it just is a part of who we are as humans. Religious study of the virtue of passion is obsessed with defining passion as the choosing of good over evil, serving others rather than ourselves, avoiding pleasure and pursuing some form of altruistic stoicism.  Passion as the pursuit of pleasure is regarded as a vice. However, there can be no passion at all without the pursuit of pleasure.

Passion is usually listed as the fifth cardinal virtue. Aristotle’s term ‘passions’ covers our bodily appetites (for food, drink, sex, etc.), our emotions, and any feelings accompanied by pleasure or pain. On the physical level, passion drives us to self-gratification, and this is as good thing. Our bodies and brains are rooted in the pursuit of pleasure. We are driven by the dopamine based neural pathways from the forebrain which give us our drive to experience challenges and achievements. These pathways, when the circuit is complete, activate the pleasure center of the brain, which releases the neurotransmitters endorphins which inhibits pain, including thought-pain, and gives us a feeling of euphoria. When the goal is physical love, and the joining of two people is accomplished through copulation, the neuromodulator oxytocin is released aiding in the development of powerful neural and hormonal pathways that we can refer to as bonding.  This bond in the basis of romantic passion.

Freud believed that this sexual passion was at the root of all our passions, and I tend to agree with him. The forming of passion for anything, such as politics or even the game of golf, employs the same pleasure seeking bonding system, but without the oxytocin. These dopamine drives are part of our alpha-seeking system which have sexual links, making us, especially males, seem more attractive. When we achieve alpha in any area, it is assumed it will attract others to serve us in the pursuit of spreading our alpha genes and passing on our accomplishments to the next generation.

But passion is more than just enjoying the pleasures of the senses. We also have a trump card, the frontal cortex, the administration center of the brain, which gives us the ability to choose which path we will pursue. It in turn overrides the primitive brain and takes over the dopamine drive and the endorphin reward system. In other words, we can choose to do “good” deeds strictly for the pleasure of it. Usually this leads to self-actualization based on the desires of the ego.  This is good (unless a person gets pleasure by inflicting pain on others) and is the beginning of passion as a virtue.

Beyond the cortex, or perhaps including the cortex, we somehow arrive at the higher self, which I believe involves the energy system of the soul that we can refer to as spirit.  We now begin to create our own love story, which means we are operating from the heart. The heart-passion is a desire and drive for good based on love, but it is still connected to our own selfish, pleasure seeking pursuit of self-actualization, but on a higher level. We get to a new kind of love-pleasure based on the energy flow of combined body, mind, and spirit. This leads to pleasure by connection with others and to the source of all goodness. Self-actualization is now much more than body or ego based passion. Through love we now take pleasure in helping other towards their own self-actualization, which then becomes a collective pursuit of what is considered the universal good. Our romantic passion also takes on a new dimension. We pursue intimacy rather than just sensuous pleasure.

Here are my five applications to sexuality, particularly for us bisexuals:

  1. We can be passionate. We can let our passions free to just be without the restrictions of thought and shame. Our body passions are “good” in themselves; they are the energy system of a healthy body’s needs and desires. Without dopamine passion we slip into repressed drives which leads to chemical imbalance or clinical depression. Without the dopamine-oxytocin drive we become impotent which again can be a symptom of depression. It is natural and good to release and enjoy our passions.
  2. We can employ our minds to choose when to let loose use our passions. We can rely on our egos to choose what is best for us as a sentient being. Sometimes this means delaying self-gratification.
  3. As bisexuals, through consciousness, we can use mindfulness to expand the sexual sensations to involve the full body, mind, and soul, including all our senses and feelings. We can use our sexuality to build more than one love story and we can harmonize these stories into a whole new way of life that involves intimate relationships with both men and/or women, or we can choose to be monogamous and focus our love passion on one individual.
  4. We can expand our passion to include altruism, keeping in mind that we should also derive some form of physical or sentient pleasure by serving others. When we are making love we should be conscious of a partner’s experience of pleasure and take pleasure from our partner’s pleasure.
  5. We can use our relationships to reach out to a higher form of love that includes sexuality as a spiritual experience that binds us to humanity in general and to the universal flow of love. Passion is the love energy that we can learn to use for the universal good.

Bisexuality and the Virtue of Desire

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

Aristotle understood that action depends on thought plus desire and that reason and thought by themselves can achieve nothing (Nichomachachean Ethics, 1139a). He goes on to describe desire as the engine for directing “the right thought” which is the basis of higher thinking. In her book,  Li Zhi, and the Virtue of Desire, Lee describes Li Zhi’s insights about the role of feelings and how feeling involve the virtue of desire.[1] Crucial to Zhi’s ideal of the good life is the ability to express one’s feelings, as the articulation of feelings leads to clarity, and clarity leads to new desires. In other words, the virtue of desire is at the foundation of all our actions and even our private thoughts and feelings. Desire is a natural and necessary drive that helps us formulate thoughts and feelings which eventually will lead  to a progression of thought and action. But is desire by itself a virtue? Not necessarily. To become a virtue, desire has to be directed by the higher self, thus leading to higher desires that will set us on the path to self-actualization.

Desire is often omitted from religious inventories of virtues. There is constant reference to controlling our thought life and our desires. Christianity and Islam consistently talk about controlling the desires of the flesh and According to Buddhist belief, the goal of life is to live without any desires at all, because desires result in stress and anxieties that lead us away from a life of peace and contentment. However, this begs the question – can we truly be content without desire? Would we not be conflicting with our basic human nature which is to perceive something greater, some pleasure, some dream, some goal, even the goal of living a life of contentment free of anxiety and stress? What would we be without desires?

Desires are part of our basic brain structures. We see what is not and we ask why? We think of something that might give us pleasure and ask why not? Then the brain sets up a neural pathway that involves a goal that is intrinsically linked to the acquisition of this possible pleasure. A dopamine rush is then set out to motivate the body and the mind to obtain the pleasure. Once the goal is achieved we experience a serotonin rush that engages the pleasure center of the brain and sets up a neural pathway to enjoy this pleasure again in the future.

Human beings are creators, the motivation is desire, and the reward is pleasure. Ester Hicks through the voice of her spirit guide, Abraham, in the book Ask and It Is Given, states that desire is “the delicious awareness of new possibilities. Desire is a fresh, free feeling of anticipating wonderful expansion.” She goes on to say that we will “revel in the conscious awareness that you (we) have deliberately molded your (our) desires into being”[2] and “when you (we) go with the flow of your (our) own desires, you (we) will feel truly alive and you (we) will truly live)[3].

In conclusion, it appears that desire is indeed a virtue and life itself is based on wholesome desires of the body, the mind, and the soul. Our bodies and our drives lead to desires for feeling the pleasures of our bodies which includes sexual experiences. In fact, they lead to body, mind and soul connections with other human beings. They are simply a statement by our bodies that we wish to experience pleasure in its deepest forms. The mind wishes to experience life so that it can expand its knowledge of the world around it. It seeks to understand life in all its forms. The soul longs to dream and make its dreams come true. To reach self-actualization, we can follow our desires to experience the pleasures of our bodies; we can explore life in all its forms, and we can dream and let our dreams lead to desires that motivate us into making the dreams come true.


Here are my five applications to bisexuality:

  1. The desires of the body are part of human reality. There is no sin in desire. It is there to lead us to connection with others through the powerful sexual sensations of the body.
  2. The mind will try to evaluate if the desire is good for us. It will attempt to protect us from doing things that may be harmful, such as engaging in unsafe sex. However, the mind is also vulnerable to opinions, because it feels it needs to live in harmony with others. Therefore, it will try to abide by the mores of the society in which it lives. We may wish to override these mores from time to time and engage in activities that will bring pleasure to our being. We need to be conscious of what we are doing and why we are doing it. If we feel the pleasure is a healthy expression of who we want to be, we should set aside the restrictions of the ego and fulfill our desires without guilt and shame.
  3. The higher self is the best judge of what we should and should not do. It directs by feelings. If it feels good at a spiritual level it is automatically good. If it feels bad it is probably bad. We should get in touch with our higher self and learn to listen to the inner voice. This is not the voice of the ego; it is a voice without words. We shut down the mind and reach for the feelings from within.
  4. Our sexual desires usually lead to deeper desires. We seek connection. This is body to body through sex, mind to mind through shared knowledge and desire for learning, and a desire to spiritually vibrate and resonate with the spiritual vibrations of another. These vibrations are enhanced through body, mind, and soul connection. It can just be a full warm hug or it can be whatever we both want it to be.
  5. All paths should lead to self-actualization. It is the desire of the soul to experiment and experience, and move on from experience to higher knowledge and increased love energy. Pay attention to your desires and enjoy.


[1] Lee, Pauline C. ; Li Zhi, and the Virtue of Desire. Suny Series in Chinese Culture and Philosophy, Amazon. 2013.

[2] Hicks, Ester and Jerry. Ask and It Is Given. Hay House. 2004. (page 120).

[3] Hicks (page 123)

Controlling the Thought Life

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)“Who or what would I be without this thought?”[1] For us bisexuals, our thought life can be our greatest enemy. To truly enjoy our sexuality, we have to take control of it. Byron Katie, in her book ­­­, Loving What Is, presents the simplest and most effective method of mind control that I have yet encountered and experienced. She suggests we ask ourselves the following questions:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Do I know for sure it’s true?
  3. How do I react when I think that thought?
  4. Who or what would I be without that thought?

One of the thoughts we often entertain is that we cannot control our sexuality, that it at times is an overpowering impulse that we cannot contain. We have looked at the background of these impulses in previous blogs, but the root cause, even though it is important in understanding ourselves, is not essential in changing behavior. We have also looked at the neurology involved and the need to refire and rewire in order to change thought and behavior patterns.  This is exactly what we are doing with Katie’s questioning techniques.  We are consciously building new neural pathways. I have tried it, and it is remarkably effective.  Let’s just apply it to a scenario to see how it works with bisexuality.

Thought – I need to go find someone and have sex.

  1. “Is it true” – perhaps “yes”, perhaps “no”. The feeling of desperation is usually true due to unresolved issues, probably going back to infancy and early childhood. At this time, we may be feeling low and may feel we need a brain boost. We are wired to proceed.
  1. “Do I know for sure it’s true?” A definite “no”. I know I really do not “need” it. In fact, I may believe that it is the last thing I need. We have now brought in an element of uncertainty and allowed our admin center the time and the means for a second evaluation. We now have a chance to rewire but the impulse is still to proceed.
  1. “How do I react when I have this thought?” In my experience I feel I have no choices. My body and my mind are now engaged to run with the dopamine/endorphin rush. I feel I am betraying myself and I know I will feel the shame after the dopamine withdrawal. At this point, there is a hesitation, but my brain is still wired to proceed.
  1. “Who or what would I be without that thought?” Here is the essential point in the questioning strategy. I now have an opportunity to rewire to positive vibrations. I know that I would be my joyful self, enjoying the moment, the beauty around me, the fresh air, and the smell of the ocean breezes. I would feel peace inside my inner self and would feel my own strength and inner beauty. I would feel in control of my own life and seek deeper relationships and intimacy instead of raw passion.  I have now rewired into my positive circuitry and release serotonin that can slow down and balance the dopamine rush. I can now choose what is right for my inner self.

It seems too simple but it really works. When we learn to question our thought life, we learn to control our thought life, and we learn to control our sexuality. We may still choose to go for a date and have sex, but it will not be for all the wrong reasons.  It will because we want to experience the joys of sexuality without the withdrawal and guilt. Chances are though, we will look for intimacy with someone who cares for us as much as we care for them and make love instead of having sex.  Or perhaps, we may choose to enjoy a pleasant evening alone and content with just our own beautiful Self.


[1] Katie, Byron; Mitchell, Stephen. Loving What Is – Four Questions That Can Change Your Life. Amazon. 2003.

Bisexuality – Sexual Addiction or Passion

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Is your bisexual sex drive a passion or an addiction?  It depends on whether you control the drive or the drive controls you.  In his book Scattered Minds[1], Gabor Mate talks about the nature of addictions.  He states that “the real object of addiction is the thrill of plunging into the behavior, not the love of it…. The addiction, in a strange way, makes the addict feel more connected to life” (page 302). He goes on to note that the brains of people who are prone to addiction are biologically predisposed by some imbalance of brain chemicals particularly caused by under supply of dopamine and endorphins. This chemical deficiency, and the empty space that goes with it, creates a constant source of anxiety. Addiction is therefore a drive to overcome anxiety and generate and experience the excitement and pleasure of a dopamine/endorphin rush.

I believe some of us bisexuals with addicted personalities often have no idea what our true needs are, and we use sex as a means to overcome our feelings of worthlessness and poor self-concept. We need to feel wanted, even if it is just for a few hours with someone we may never see again. These feelings are the product of implicit memories developed in our years from conception to around age two. They are buried somewhere in the subconscious mind. So how do we overcome these feelings that seem to be beyond the  control of our minds? How do we turn unhealthy addiction into healthy pleasure seeking passion? Quite simply we focus on and take control of our sex drive instead of letting it control us.

The first step is to strive for ownership in what Mate calls “compassionate curiosity”. It requires that we get rid of our defenses and explore and accept ourselves with courage and honesty. This includes our negative thoughts and feelings that are at the basis of our drives. We can focus on our behaviours and the feeling related to them by consciously seeking to know and understand them. We do not judge our behaviors but we simply accept them and try to understand the feelings that accompany them. We watch to make sure that the nature of the inquiries are carried out with a caring and loving tone.

The second step is self-accepting. That means owning the unconscious pain that comes from the implicit memories that come with the feelings. We have to get in touch with our unconscious griefs, which may be the truest part of our inner self. We embrace the griefs, own them, and acknowledge their importance in making us who we are. We also study our anxiety patterns and welcome them as a guide to doing something about our negative inner feelings. We follow the path to the cause of the anxiety and re-examine the way we perceive and think about things. We then take ownership and control of our situation thereby releasing the major cause of the anxiety.

Nor do we run away from guilt but accept it as a natural product of our desire to hold onto the relationships that we have sensed as essential. Our fragile inner child  wants to please significant people in our lives and therefore experiences a sense of shame when we are doing something that we believe will isolate us from that relationship.We must control the guilt feelings not just give in to them. We acknowledge the guilt and learn to live with it but make a conscious decision not to dance to its tune. If we are partnered, we need to have an open relationship. Secrecy will just lead to guilt again as we shift our shame and guilt from our parents to our partner. It helps to have a partner that understands our needs and accepts them as part of the person we are.   We have to love our self and understand our needs and do what is necessary to live a life where we control shame and guilt.

The third step is not to punish ourselves for what we are thinking and doing but to be kind and compassionate with ourselves. Even though we set out to make positive changes, there may be failures.  We can choose to perceive them as not as failures but as an exploration of our feelings and desires. We can also leave some room to occasionally give in to our compulsions, especially when resisting them seems to drain us of our ability to function, but we do so at a conscious level.  It is a choice we make, a choice we have a right to make.  We can then look at the results of the choice and try to gain some insight on why we felt the compulsion and the effect it has had on our heart and soul.

Above all, we have to have fun. We have to build in opportunities to have a good laugh at and with ourselves. A night on the town to indulge our need for a dopamine/endorphin rush is not the end of the world. We acknowledge the need, make a decision to go with it and go out and have a great time. There will be lots of time to look at our behaviour and make plans to meet our needs in healthier ways tomorrow.

[1] Mate, Gabor. Scattered Minds. Vintage Canada. 2012

Controlling Passion

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

Are bisexuals slaves to their passions?  Before we answer that question, we need to take another look at the nature of passion.  New information seems to be arriving daily, good solid scientific information about human neurology.

We are just beginning to understand the full power of the passion that comes from the old brain which operates on sensations and near instantaneous perceptions. These perceptions are formed by basic circuitry involving the hind brain, mid brain, and the hypothalamus and amygdala in the fore-brain. When a sensation comes in, we have about one tenth of a second to form a perception. Based on this perception, we simply ignore; we engage the Reticular System of fight, flight or freeze, or we enter the Limbic System which is the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification.

So what happens in the Limbic System when it comes to sexual gratification? It takes less than a second to perceive someone as attractive, and to enter into the first phase of arousal.  For most of us, this might mean mild interest, or for others, like us bisexuals with a heightened sexual sensitivity, we may already be engaging our hormones and releasing dopamine for hot pursuit. It is not until this stage that the frontal cortex kicks in.  The administration section simply re-evaluates on the basis of past experience and either gives the red light to cease and desist, or the green light to fully engage. The time for this decision-making is still somewhere in the range of just one to two seconds.

For most people this is an amber light which means proceed with caution, but for bisexuals, especially when in pursuit of a same sex encounter, we are already operating on full green. At this point the whole brain is functioning with full dopamine overload in pursuit of the opiates we feel from our dopamine, and testosterone/estrogen rush. This creates anxiety and the release of  the neuromodulator, cortisone, which prevents a change in the brain chemistry until the goal is achieved. There is no motivation for re-evaluation. We are hell-bent for orgasm.  This is passion at its basic old brain animal level.  But it is very real.

Which brings us to the second level of passion.  How do we build in a runaway lane for our out-of-control, fully-loaded semi on a downhill run?   The way to do that is to re-engage the neuromodulator, oxytocin, which results in increased serotonin and the reduction of dopamine. Wholistic Health Expert, Nancy Lee Bentley, provides us with some insight on how the dopamine/serotonin balance affects passion:

“Serotonin may actually be involved in the “love versus sex” divide. When serotonin is low, (and dopamine is high) researchers say, it also tends to increase sex drive; whereas higher serotonin levels are also associated with an increase in oxytocin, the so-called “love” hormone. This seems to reflect women’s preference for more bonding, cuddling and lovemaking versus men’s noted penchant for straight physical sex. Ample amounts of serotonin make for more “loving” feelings.”[1]

Contrary to popular opinion, men, especially bisexual men, also create the love-making hormone. It brings about a change in our perceptions and refocuses our intent on concern and pleasure for our partners rather than on orgasm itself.  We can start the process through intimate touch like an intense hug. This increases serotonin which in turn produces a sense of well being that reduces the anxiety brought on by cortisone. The administration section of the brain in now able to function again and re-evaluate on the basis of the greater good – the oxytocin/serotonin feeling of intimacy.

Whenever you are in pursuit of sex with a man or a woman learn to see the person as a potential soul mate rather than just a sex object. Seek intimate connection through non-sexual touch and experience the beginnings of a deeper level of passion. Learn to relax and enjoy intimate contact while it happens. If this passion leads to sexual intercourse, we can engage in the glow of oxytocin and serotonin and the endorphin afterglow that follows, free of stress and anxiety. We form neural pathways connecting these experiences to the pleasure mechanism of our brain. We refer to these connections as bonds, human to human bonds, that urge us on to deeper connection rather than just the dopamine rush  and withdrawal that leads to regret and possible shame.

When we learn to control the passion, I believe we begin to enjoy the journey, mutually and fully. We now employ sexual passion to lead us to intimate passion that can become the ultimate reward in our brain systems. This may or may not lead to sexual gratification because the goal is not the passion of the dopamine rush, but the glow of intimacy. This passion involves not only the genitals but also the heart. In other words, we have to use our sexuality to pursue the greater passion of intimacy that can lead to the greater pleasure of making love rather than just having sex.

Can these bonds with lovers exist within a monogamous (marriage or partnership) relationship? That is the question of the ages. More on that next week.


[1] Bentley, Nancy Lee. How Serotonin Affects Your Sex Drive. May 2014.