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 – Seeking Greater Passion

cropped-2016-03-26_0931.pngWhat we all desire, in spite of our orientation, is not just sex, but passion. Sex is fine as long as we are enjoying it at the conscious level, and as long as the goal is not just orgasm for the sake of orgasm. If that is all we want, why not masturbate; it’s a lot less complicated. So what is passion? Sexual passion involves an exchange of sexual energy between two consenting adults for the purpose of mutual pleasure.


I think we can look at passionate sex at various levels. The first level is mutual orgasm. There is nothing wrong with orgasm; in fact, it is one of the greatest pleasures that human beings can experience. There is nothing wrong with wanting lots of it, every day or more than once a day, for that matter. There is nothing wrong with wanting it from the same sex and/or the heterosexual experience. All of these experiences can be a form of profound passion. Unfortunately, as stated in the previous blog, this pursuit of mutual orgasm for the sake of orgasm can become addictive for both partners. . Addictive sex involves a dopamine rush followed by dopamine withdrawal and negative feelings associated with that withdrawal that can lead to a strain on the relationship.


In order to understand the difference between addiction to orgasm and passion, we need to look at one more neuromodulator, and that is cortisone. When there is a perception that there is something wrong or a possible threat with a sexual experience, the brain gives out a stress signal. The body reacts by emitting the hormone cortisone which influences the workings of dopamine and serotonin, putting them on hold until the crisis has passed. But in the case of a mental crisis, the crisis never comes to a conclusion, so the perceived threat just goes on and on. Too much cortisone for too long a period of time is a bad thing. It can lead to generalized anxiety and depression on the mental side, and increased blood pressure and diabetes and all that bad stuff on the physical side.


So how do you control cortisone?  Simply by taking the stress out of sex and altering the perception from threat, shame, and guilt brought on by focus on orgasm, to the mindful pursuit of pleasure through our senses. This includes the natural body aromas that involve the increasing levels of pheromones, the taste of our lover’s body, the sounds of our lover’s passion, and the sight of our lover’s beautiful body. Above all we explore the wonderful sensations of touch, which brings us to tantric sex. Tantric sex is an ancient Hindu practice that has been going for over 5,000 years, and means the weaving and expansion of energy. It’s a slow form of sex that’s said to increase intimacy and create a mind-body connection that can lead to powerful orgasms. To enjoy the full range of pleasures of tantric sex, we need to slow things down and enjoy the subtle pleasures of touch both receiving and giving. We do not focus on orgasm but on delaying orgasm for as long as possible as we enjoy the feedback from all our senses.


So what does this have to do with bisexuality? Everything. As bisexuals, we tend to engage in same sex relationships for pure pleasure (dopamine rush and opiates) and we engage with our heterosexual partner for intimacy and heart-based bonding (may be reversed but is rarer). We have an opportunity to explore our sexuality on various levels, but first we have to take control of our impulses and our frantic drives towards orgasm.


For us men this can be a problem as we are physically driven by the old brain to penetrate and ejaculate. Women are ahead of us in this. In order to reach orgasm they need to focus on the sensations of their bodies, especially touch. So bisexual men tend to seek other men for the powerful feelings associated with orgasm, while women seek women because of the focus on touch that can lead to a richer and prolonged orgasm, or even a better opportunity for multiple orgasms.


Women are already geared for tantric sex whereas men have to cultivate this skill, especially with other men, to avoid the sex and withdrawal and guilt cycle. Bisexual women, on the other hand, often find the same sex orgasmic experience so satisfying that this may lead to breakup of their heterosexual partnership. Again when the pleasure of sex with orgasm wears off, they often find themselves separated from the one they loved, and in the dopamine rush/withdrawal cycle that results in an unsatisfying relationship with their same sex partner.


So how do we escape these dilemmas? Simply put, rather than just focus on the pleasures of sex, we can use sex as a pathway to intimacy. The difficulty is in weaving intimacy into our relationships with both men and/or women, and thereby maintaining our bisexual nature. More of that in the next blog where we will explore the relationship between passion and play.



Bisexuality – The Pursuit of Passion

2016-03-26_0931As bisexual individuals we have an opportunity to experience life, sex and love in ways beyond the imaginations of the heterosexual majority. The key is to move away from the traps of sexuality as associated with the ego and the pains of the past, and move into living in the moment and living by the heart. In other words we have to learn to follow the path to full heart sexuality by seeking the greater pleasures of love rather than the lesser pleasure of sensuality and orgasm based sex. According to Elizabeth Lesser, in her book, Unbroken, “The way of the heart — that inner instinct that draws us creatively into the chaos of life – is ironically the way out of confusion, anxiety and suffering.”

For the next few blogs I want to look at some of the insights presented by Marnia Robinson in her book, Peace Between the Sheets. In her first chapter she talks about the brain chemistry involved in the basic sexual drive. Here is a summary of her theories:

 “The limbic system of the brain, also known as the primitive brain, is programmed to produce a neurochemical buzz that compels us to pursue orgasmic sex, whatever the consequences.”

“Orgasm causes subsequent physiological changes that can easily last two weeks”

“Orgasm can lead to a shift in perception that often makes our partner less appealing and may make us want to bolt.”

“Ancient teachers of sacred sexuality warn than orgasm has negative consequences such as feeling drained, irritability, energy imbalance, health problems, and, most significantly, a growing aversion to one’s sexual partner. They suggest techniques for avoiding ejaculation. “[1]

So how does this apply to bisexuality? First of all, the thought of avoiding ejaculation for men and orgasm for women at first seems to be a deal-ender right there, doesn’t it? After all, is that not what sex is all about, especially for men, and especially for us bisexual men who pursue orgasm like the sacred path to ultimate pleasure.

That is our other brain talking, the primitive brain, whose two major drives are to survive and to reproduce. When we refer to the drive to survive, we are referring to the reticular system involving the flight or fight mechanism, and when we are referring to the drive to reproduce, we are referring to the limbic system.  Both are powerful, instinctual drives that form our natural impulse system. As humans, these drives involve the pleasure/reward center found in the fore-brain which forms the motivation impulses associated with the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine, and the pleasure response associated with the endorphins. In other words our brains are designed for the purpose of procreation and the survival of the human race, and we have a built in reward systems driven to orgasm. For men this is ejaculation and for women it is the contractions that propel the sperm toward the egg in the uterus. In turn, orgasm produces an oxytocin rush that emanates from the female and is absorbed by and combined with a matching dose from the male. It is designed to produce the sensation we call bonding which can be referred to as one form of love. In itself this is a beautiful, divinely inspired system aimed at the birthing of a new human being.

Okay, so what is wrong with orgasm? I believe that this whole process is based on conception. Once conception takes place a second wave of oxytocin is released and then a third at the birthing of the child. These releases reinforce the bond and bring love and harmony between the man and the woman. I think you might agree that the closest you have ever felt to your mate, or to anyone for that matter, is probably during pregnancy. So what happens if there is no conception, especially after several sessions of love making? I believe, like Robinson, that the primitive brain takes over and begins “a process of rejecting the mate causing tension and irritability and a shift in perception that makes our partner less appealing and may make us want to bolt”.  In the short term this is due to the neurotransmitter prolactin which combines with the dopamine rush and then withdrawal to create a mini manic depressive cycle.  In the long term, our systems eventually wear out and we want out for good.

But as human beings we are more than just our primitive brain. We have a wonderful ability from the outer cortex to store and control images and form thoughts and feelings. In other words we build a story around sex that becomes a higher form of love. Our sexual partner becomes important, not just for fertilization, but as a person with a mind and a soul that we find fascinating and a source of self-actualization and intimacy. The sex then takes on a new meaning as we seek to harmonize our souls and our spirits through the sensuous powers of the moment. We seek to build relationship that uses the energy or passion of sex as a reinforcement to our love for our partner.

That brings us to the Love Story. More on that next week.


[1]  Robinson, Marnia. Peace Between the Sheets. Frog Ltd, Berkeley California,2004.(page 24).


Power of a Kiss

logo_2My search for material for these blogs is taking me farther away from bisexuality and into the common experiences of human sexuality experienced by all men and women.  In a recent read of James Thumber, I found the following:


“Many a man who loves spiritually is a weakling — a professor. Many a one who loves physically is a brute. But when the two are mixed, he loves with all the fire and passion of a poet and a cave-man… If I ever kiss you you’ll know that — and you’ll know what a wonderful thing my love is. Kissing seems not a great matter, in a way. And yet in one way it speaks the million things which words can’t… A real girl doesn’t care to be kissed, much, unless real love goes with it”[1].
As a spiritual bisexual, I am not looking just for sex, I am looking for intimacy. When you scroll the meat market, there are two types of bisexuals (and no, I do not mean “top” and “bottom”),  those who want to “get on and get off” and those want to “cuddle and kiss”. Getting on and off is okay just because everything is okay; there is no judgement. However, I find it disturbing when the bisexual man states he does not want to share a hug or a kiss.  There is oh so much more in cuddling and kissing – there is intimacy.

So what is in a kiss? Looking at it from the heterosexual viewpoint, the “caveman” searches for the kiss. Why? Because for him it means the woman is opening herself up to him for sexual exploration. And why is she willing to do that? Simply because she feels something, some connection, some excitement in her body, some stirring in her soul.

And then the kiss.  During the kiss she can sense just what the man’s purpose is.  If it is rough and urgent she may back away unless she already feels urgency and desire in herself for her own sexual needs. The kiss then quickly leads to a ‘quicky’ and both get off and, passion wains, and they usually are left feeling empty. So then, there has to be more in the kiss.  The kiss has to be exploring all right, but not just for sex.  It has to be for wanting to embrace the whole person, body, soul and spirit.

A close friend of mine confided that he has a wife who complains about his love making.  She says he does not make love like a man.  In other words, when it comes to sex, she wants to be made love to by a “brute”; she wants “a cave man”.  My friend is an English Lit “professor” a “poet” and I think, based on my conversations with other bisexual men, most of them are also professors and poets. Oh indeed there are many bisexual men (usually tops) who can be cave men, who can have a brute sexual presence, and as bottoms men we love it when we find one.  But for the majority of us (the three quarters of us who are bottoms), when it comes to making love to a woman, it does not come that easily.  We have more of a female brain.  When we kiss we want to express our inner being and we want to get in contact with our lover’s inner soul.  We want the kiss to be gentle and sensitive.  We want it to start slow and easy and build until it touches the latent caveman inside of us so that we can bring the combined “fire and passion of a poet and a caveman” to our partners. We want what everyone else really wants.  We want body, heart and soul connection.  We want intimacy.  We want to make love, be in love, and love unconditionally.   “If I ever kiss you, you will know that, and you will know what a wonderful thing my love is”.

Now I have to encourage  my friend’s wife to read this, and if I convince her that it is better that a poet makes love to her than a brute, I may convince my skeptic friend to believe in the power of my words.


[1] Thumber, James; White, E.B. Is sex Necessary. Amazon, 2004