Bisexuality and Loneliness

bisexual_216pxFinally some scientific evidence to support what I have known since my first teenage orgasm. My bisexual life was one of a deep sense of aloneness. There was no one I dared talk to, no one who would truly understand my deepest thoughts and feelings. I was very popular on the outside, but no one knew how lonely I was on the inside.

A recent study by Mereish etal. (2017)[1], indicates that loneliness is a contributing factor in a bisexual individual’s poor mental health leading to a possible greater risk of suicide. As expected, this study confirmed previous research that bisexuals were more likely to experience prejudice from heterosexuals and other members of the LGBQT communities. This can lead to feelings of isolation that contribute to loneliness.

Of special interest, however, are the findings that bisexuals with internal stressors, such as desires for heterosexuality and orientation concealment, were also more likely to report loneliness. The amount of spare time to ruminate and possibly engage in self-loathing mental gymnastics was also a factor. Being a student or unemployed or part–time employed contributed to a feeling of loneliness. Individuals who were single were also more likely to conceal their orientation which is another contributing factor to loneliness. And the catch twenty-two, bisexuals with post graduate degrees were less likely to conceal. and therefore more likely to come out, and therefore more likely to experience prejudice and subsequent professional isolation and loneliness.  There is no correlation between the internal and external stressors; in other words experiencing prejudice is not necessarily related to internal struggles for bisexuals (although such is not the case for other members of the LGBQT community). We can experience both but one does not necessarily lead to the other; yet, both can lead to a feeling of loneliness and therefore mental anxiety and suicide.

Feelings of experiencing external and internal prejudice and loneliness are compounded by the lack of resources that are designed for bisexual individuals. Our needs are often overlooked, possibly because of external factors like prejudice, but more likely due to the fact that we do not express our needs and are often unwilling to have our needs made public.  We are reluctant to join support groups or enter mentorship programs because of our needs for privacy. What is needed is an on-line program that protects anonymity while being able to share and experience connection with another individual or group of individuals. We need to be heard and understood before we will begin to listen to and understand ourselves.

(Please note: my on-line program will be up and running in a few months so stay tuned.)

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. If we are experiencing internal stressors and cannot seem to escape them – we should get help. I strongly suggest you try my on-line program that will be up in a few months. It is designed to build up our self-image and self-concept as bisexuals. It centers on the belief that we have a higher self with an unlimited source of power to live amazing and satisfying life. It focuses not on our problems but on our resources in the form of twenty virtues that we can develop to bring unending joy into our lives.
  2. It would appear that internal stressors may be equal to or an even greater source of anxiety and depression than experiencing prejudice. It would appear that it is worth the possible sorrows that may come from coming out rather than suffering through the loneliness of concealment. We should consider accepting, acknowledging, and telling significant others about our orientation and believing in them and our relationship. It may take time but we will be better off in the long run.
  3. If we have not done so already, we can admit to ourselves that we are bisexual with desires for sexual relationships with both women and men. We are not heterosexual but we can engage in heterosexual relationships. Likewise, we are not lesbian or gay but we can also engage in lesbian or gay relationships. We have a choice. If we are single we can indulge but we should be seeking love as well as sex.
  4. If we are in a relationship, and we are struggling with desires and occasional encounters, this concealment can be a major source of mental anxiety and can lead to a complete collapse. If we share our desires, hopes and failures with our partner, we can convey to them that we love them and are sharing this information in the hope that we can have a more honest and satisfying relationship. If they choose to leave, we have to be prepared to let them go.
  5. Above all else, we have to be true to ourselves. Once we learn to love and care for ourselves, we can begin to enjoy ourselves regardless of prejudice and what others think of us. We are worth it.

[1] Mereish, E., Kzrz-Wise,S, and Woulf3,J..Bisexual-Specific Stressors, Psychological Distress, and Suicidality in Bisexual Individuals: the Mediating Role of Loneliness. Crossmark. 2017.


Bisexuality and the Virtue of Thriving in Uncertainty

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Uncertainty cannot be a virtue, but the way we deal with it sure can. The feeling associated with uncertainty is based on fear, especially fear of change. We like things the way they are, even when they are filled with fear and turmoil. We resist change and build up defense mechanisms including religion, acquiring material goods and wealth, seeking knowledge, delving into the arts, and seeking experiences with beauty. “In short, we try to make meaning and order of what might otherwise seem a chaotic existence”. [1]

Our greatest fears are death and living a life without meaning and purpose. We set up belief systems to explain the inexplicable and to provide a comfortable degree of certainty where there is no certainty. We develop stories employing the old spiritual standbys of faith and hope. In the case of religion, we strive for group stories filled with justice, including rewards and punishment. These stories are always on the far end of rational thought, just close enough that they make sense with the application of faith and hope. Don’t get me wrong; I also operate on faith, and, if we are honest with ourselves, we all do to some extent. The key is to know and understand that they are just stories that may be based on fiction rather than truth.

The opposite of faith is pessimism. We see the uncertainties of the world around, imagine a worst case scenario, and then learn to live with it. Frankly, I would rather live by faith than pessimism, but I believe there is a third and better way.

“In quantum mechanics, the observation effect states that the photon used to locate and measure a particle actually changes the particle’s position. The observer actually changes the state of the object perceived.” Our thoughts are in truth a release of creative energy from the electromagnetic and chemical activity of our neural pathways. We can create a story that is in fact real and ever changing with the electronic and quantum power of our thoughts and beliefs. Applied to our response to uncertainty, we can, in fact, affect not just the perception, but reality itself. Once set in motion, our thoughts have the power to change and alter reality, provided that they are consistent, passionately powerful, and loaded with creative energy.

Let me explain through a story, a true story. When my wife was giving birth to our son, the doctor arrived and examined her, told us the baby was turned the wrong way, and it would be hours before it would be born. Meanwhile, he was going to go home and get some sleep. After he left, I placed my hands on my wife’s abdomen and asked god (this occurred during a time when I had traditional Christian beliefs) to turn the baby. At that precise moment, I felt the baby turn in my hands and immediately start down the birth canal. He was born half an hour later. The doctor had just enough time to come back and cut the cord. So what happened? Was this a random coincidence? Perhaps. Did god turn the baby? Perhaps. Did my mental energy turn the baby? Perhaps. Or perhaps it was my higher self connecting with a higher power that transferred the higher energy from my hands to her body thus turning the baby? I choose to believe the latter, but the answer to that question will depend upon our belief systems. The fact remains: the baby did turn, and I believe I was an agent in the process because I felt the power pass through my thoughts and hands.

This brings us back to the question of life and death. What is life all about? Are we just a random occurrence in the universe? Logic would say that we are. Logic would also say that the typical after-death experience of walking towards a bright light is just a final burst of energy from our dying brain. What about reincarnation which is the favorite belief my intellectual friends and associates, who perhaps have developed a rational system that goes very easy on an enlightened ego.  And what about regression? Are they a real recall of a past life or just a creation of the imagination of people who want to believe? Is there a god? And if there is, is he a personal god like the Christians believe, the all-powerful patriarch of the Muslims and Jews, or that universal esoteric presence sought after by the Buddhists and new age intellectuals? The answer to these questions is that there is no answer, all is uncertainty.

It is only by recognizing that life is full of uncertainties that we can then walk the path to self-actualization with creative thought and spiritual confidence. We embrace the only certainty that we have: I am; I breathe; I think; I understand; therefore, I am. The key is to truly know and understand, and yes, believe that this is enough. We embrace the uncertainty. We live each moment as if it were the last. We seek the truth and the joy that life presents to us every moment of every day. If there is another life after this, we know that it will be good. If we search our inner self we will realize that there is no evil; there is no hell. There is nothing to fear, not even death itself. If this life is all there is and the bright light gradually fades and disappears, we will have lived a life full of the creative power of love energy that will continue to shine as long as there is human life on this beautiful planet.

Because we believe life is precarious, and because we strive to fill it with our love energy, we will naturally embrace and help each other.  We will build real stories around family and fellowship, and we will call it love. The natural consequences of our feelings and actions will be the development of a sense of compassion for ourselves and for everyone else who fears the unknown. When we open ourselves to the continually changing nature of your own being, we embrace the reality set before us.  We enjoy our capacity to live a life free of fear. We increase our capacity to be, to enjoy, and to love. We care for other people. We begin to really live a life with endless opportunities to create and enjoy a better world.

My five applications for bisexuality:

  1. We are now beyond gender issues. In the world of uncertainty even our sexual orientation is uncertain. Whether we are attracted to males or females makes no difference. We are one human being connecting with another through the passion and sensuality of our bodies.
  2. We embrace our uncertainties as opportunities to experience something new, something that will lead to greater knowledge and deeper levels of experiencing and feeling.
  3. We realize that our expectations are just our attempts at finding certainty and usually lead to disappointment or to the realization that out strongest desires cannot be fulfilled,  So we reduce our expectations, set goal only on  essential matters, and open ourselves up to the possibility and excitement of change.
  4. We have no expectations of others. We just accept them the way they are at that moment, knowing that they too are searching for their own sense of self-actualization.
  5. We realize that self-actualization is not an end in itself but a process. We continue to explore, build, and feel until the last breath of this uncertain life. We have no expectation of an afterlife but we are open to all possibilities. There is nothing to fear. It may be only the last peaceful breath or the possibility of endless possibilities.

[1] All quotes in this blog are from Greenfield, Susan Celia. The Last Lecture: the Virtue of Uncertainty. (!)