Knowledge and Bisexuality

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)(This is the fifth in the series on applying Napoleon Hill’s principles for financial success to how we can shape our bisexuality into creating a life that we would truly love to live.)

“Knowledge will not attract (our desire) unless it is organized, and intelligently directed, through practical plans of action to the definite end of (living the life that we love to live)”.[1]

If you are reading this article, it is probably because you are seeking knowledge about bisexuality. But how much do we actually have to know in order to live the life we would love to live? What we are seeking is not knowledge but to actually educate ourselves. The Latin word educo means “to draw out or develop from within”. That knowledge on how to live the life that we would love to live is already there inside of us; we just have to draw it out.

According to Hill there are two types of knowledge – general and specialized. What you are seeking in this article is specialized knowledge. I am a psychologist and a bisexual; therefore, by processing the information I have gathered and applying it to my own life, I hopefully have some specialized knowledge to tell. In truth, yes, I do have some specialized knowledge, but my main goal is to help you educate yourself by helping you draw out what you already know and applying it to your own life.

First of all let’s decide on the sort of specialized knowledge we require and the purpose for which it is needed. Yes, it helps to know that we are not alone, and approximately five percent of men and 15 percent of women heterosexuals have at some time experimented with same sex relationships. If we do the math. one of every ten people may be considered bisexual. Knowledge will also help us know where we can meet other bisexual people for relationship, companionship, and just general support in developing new thought patterns. But what else is really necessary?

What we really want to do is develop our general knowledge. We need to somehow come up with a new thought about ourselves and how we can handle the circumstances of our present situation. If we are burdened with a bunch of negative thoughts and feelings about ourselves, we have to somehow change the way we think. We have to overhaul our general knowledge mechanisms. We need to think new thoughts.  This new thought then has to be nurtured and organized into a new self-concept that we are indeed worthy, powerful, and beautiful.

The place to start is with our discontents and dissatisfactions. What is impeding us from being the people we want to be? We need to take inventory. Every time we have a negative thought about ourselves, we have to challenge it. We need to apply some good old cognitive therapy. For example, “I hate myself,” becomes, “I have a negative feeling whenever I think about gay or lesbian sex”. Okay, we are making progress. Now we can challenge that thought “Why do I feel bad whenever I think of gay or lesbian sex?” The answer might be, “Because my friends make a lot of gay jokes, and if I want to be with my friends, I have to stop having these thoughts.” Aha! Now we are getting somewhere. Where do these thoughts come from? Well they come from our basic biological make up and have developed over time to being a core part of our being. We can therefore conclude, “If my friends are real friends, they will have to love me for who I am, if not they are not real friends anyway.” Whenever we challenge our negative thoughts, we should always come back to the essential core belief of generalized knowledge, namely, “I am in complete control of my mind; I can control and direct all my thoughts; I am powerful and I am beautiful; and my bisexuality is a gift to be nurtured and enjoyed”. All our thoughts have to be in harmony with this core belief.

We can then use the power of our imaginations to organize and put this new knowledge to work. The next step is to take action. We tell our friends how we feel and engage them in some honest discussion. They may respond with their own feelings and fears. Women do this naturally, we men have to work at it to make it happen. Above all, we make a commitment to ourselves to live honestly, walk tall, and speak from the heart. In other words we have “organized, and intelligently directed” our thoughts and formulated “practical plans of action to the definite end” of living the life we would truly love to live.

[1] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publication, Inc. 2015. (Page 64).

My five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. We challenge our negative thoughts and turn them into positive ones.
  2. We develop our self-concept by understanding ourselves, the way we think, and how we organize our thoughts. If our self-concept is negative we change it. If it is positive we celebrate.
  3. We refuse to accept anything that lowers our self-esteem. We actually should learn to admire ourselves for what we have accomplished and the hardships we have overcome or are in the process of overcoming.
  4. We put our new self-concept and our new self-esteem into action. We deal with issues and with our relationships with confidence. We do not fear criticism; we welcome it. It is our opportunity to grow.
  5. We plan our life and take steps to make it the kind of life we love to live.

Auto-Suggestion and Bisexuality

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)(This is the fourth in the series on applying Napoleon Hill’s principles for financial success to how we can shape our bisexuality into creating a life that we would truly love to live.)

According to Napoleon Hill, auto-suggestion is “the agency of communication between the part of the mind where conscious thought takes place, and that which serves as the seat of action for the subconscious mind (higher self).” [1]

Most of us live continuously within our conscious mind. Biologically, it is the constant process of sensing, turning senses into perceptions, and then processing the new information in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). The OFC does this by referring to past mind sets involving memories and emotion. It then sets plans of action and carries them out. Once we have completed the task, the new information is connected through creating neural pathways to past mind sets. Thus we continue to experience and grow. But is that all there is?

Hill suggests that there is another part of us that functions apart from the conscious mind. He refers to it as the subconscious. However, we now know that the subconscious is merely mind sets, or neural pathways, involving implicit and explicit memories attached to strong emotions. Frequently these emotions are based on negative experiences and fears that serve as guides or blocks to taking actions into the unknown. However, we do not grow unless we are willing to take some risks. This leads to my thesis that we have a higher power that drives us on to become better and better human beings. It operates in the realm of imagination and by taking steps into the unknown. It wants to experience and grow.

We can perceive life then as a battle between our conscious mind with its subconscious fears and our higher self with its desire to grow. According to Hill, the way to move from the conscious mind to the higher self is through the power of Auto-Suggestion.  Hill states that we do this by forming a plan under the intuitive guidance of the higher self and developing a procedure to bypass the fears of the conscious mind. He suggests that we put this plan into writing, and repeat it over and over again until a clear picture of the plan is formed in our conscious mind, thereby removing the fear of the unknown. This includes the pleasure feeling of what it would be like to obtain our desires. Instead of fear of failure or the unknown, the conscious mind now has a desire and an expectation for the hoped for outcome. But we still have to battle against the old paragigms of the subconscious mind.

Hill suggests that our ability to use the principle of auto-suggestion will depend upon our ability to concentrate upon a given desire until that desire becomes a burning obsession. Once that obsession is in place we can expect the higher self to connect with the Infinite Intelligence to intuitively provide the conscious mind with a step by step plan. The law of Attraction will then come into effect whereby The Universe will provide everything that is necessary to bring our desires into material reality.

According to Hill we employ the following three-step process for auto-suggestion:

  1. Make a plan including the goal, time limit, and what you will give in return
  2. Create a written copy and post it where you can see it and read it just before retiring and upon arising, until it is memorized.
  3. Repeat this plan vocally day and night until you can see in your imagination the money (desire) you intend to accumulate.

For example, here is the plan on which I am now working:

By June 30, 2019, I will have sold 1000 copies of my latest book, The Room, which is about the emotions and feelings associated with depression. In return I will give readings, book launches, and whatever service needed to market my book. I will then submit my book for provincial and national contests and receive the Governor General’s Award and the twenty-five thousand dollars that goes with it. 

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. We call up our higher self by getting into a state of mindfulness and dreaming up what it would be like to live the life of our dreams. We stay in a state of mindfulness allowing our higher self to formulate a step by step plan  to achieve our dream.
  2. We write and post that plan where we can see it and recite it day and night until it is memorized.
  3. We continue reciting this plan until we can feel what it is like to have the desires fulfilled.
  4. We will begin to receive hunches on what we have to do to achieve our desires, and we immediately act upon them.
  5. We follow these intuitive suggestions step by step until our desires and dreams become a reality.

[1] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications Inc..2015. (page 57)

Bisexuality and Belief In Ourselves

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

(This is the third in the series on applying Napoleon Hill’s principles for financial success to how we can shape our bisexuality into creating a life that we would truly love to live.)

How do we build belief in ourselves? Napoleon Hill seems to have the answer. He calls it auto-suggestion, which is essentially the power of positive thinking, with the emphasis on thinking. Thoughts are bursts of mind energy and therefore powerful tools in building the life we would love to live. Hill suggests that we can change our present reality through repetition of positive thoughts. He instructs us to formulate a positive thought related to a specific goal and “repeat it in audible words, day after day, until these vibrations of sound have reached our subconscious mind.” He further advocates that we make “a simple arrangement of positive thought impulses stated in writing, memorized, and repeated, until they become the working equipment of the subconscious faculty of our mind.”[1]

There are three aspects to this formula that I believe we should underline and note. The first is the faculty of our subconscious mind. Hill was no doubt influenced by the works of Sigmund Freud, a psychologist who believed all the ills of a troubled mind were located in the subconscious. Of course, he was dealing with mental illness, but what about the rest of us that are only half insane? We now know that the subconscious mind is a collection of mind states that involve complex neural pathways based on past implicit and explicit memories that are linked to powerful emotions. Whenever the orbitofrontal cortex is evaluating a potentially threatening situation, it will juggle negative and positive mind sets looking for a possible solution. Because the negative neural pathways are loaded with negative emotion, they will frequently override our positive feelings and desires. As a result, we will be reluctant to pursue a path that could lead to positive outcomes because of the fear that is embedded in our neural pathways.

In order to move forward with our lives, we have to find a way of subduing these powerful mindsets with positive feelings. One of the ways of doing this is through creation of positive thoughts, but these thoughts have to be loaded with the energy of positive feelings. Hill suggests that one way of doing this is to view the desired outcome as though it is already being experienced.

Which brings us to the second point of note which is Hill’s referral to vibrations. In order to make the positive thoughts vibrate at a high enough frequency to overcome the energy supplied by the fear mechanism from the  amygdala, we have to really feel the energy coming from the nucleus accumbens in the pleasure center of the brain.  In other words we have to magnify this vibration by really feeling and experiencing the hoped for pleasurable experience.

I would suggest that we have yet another source of positive energy that is from the higher self,  is spiritual in nature,  and is connected to the ultimate source of positive power that comes from the universal intelligence. This vibration is slower and deeper and can be accessed through mindfulness where we shut down the main function of the orbitofrontal cortex and just experience the feelings of success and well-being which will automatically engage the pleasure center of the brain. While in this mindful state we can engage in positive thoughts about the wonderful person we already are and we can call upon the powers of the universe to bring into physical reality the object of our desires.

The third factor centers around repetition. By repeating these pleasant thoughts and feeling several times a day, the neural pathways are reinforced and become stronger. By constant repetition of thought and feeling, the subconscious mind will automatically access the more powerful pleasure vibration rather than the lesser fear vibration whenever the environment sends us a new problem connected to these thought patterns. We can now employ our subconscious mind to work for us instead of against us.

 

Here are my five suggestions for bisexuals; again we will rely on the suggestions given by Napoleon Hill,[2] but we will adapt them to successful living rather that monetary success.

  1. Through mindful connection with our higher self, we realize that we have the ability to achieve whatever our heart desires. We can now engage our thought energy to accomplish our goals.
  2. Hill suggests that we commit ourselves to spending 30 minutes a day to thinking and feeling what it would feel like to be the person we want to be. I have not been able to sustain 30 minutes, but fifteen works really well for me.
  3. We spend ten minutes a day developing our self-confidence by repeating over and over again that through the power of our higher self we have the ability and the power to do whatever it is we have to do.
  4. We do this day after day until we become the person we want to be, achieve the goal we wish to achieve, and live the life we want to live.
  5. We make a commitment to do no harm to anyone else. We will cooperate with others in reaching their goals. They will believe in us because we will believe in them.

[1] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications. 2015.  (page 41)

[2] Hill, Napoleon. Think and Grow Rich. Dover Publications. 2015. (Page 42)

Bisexuality and the Power of Belief

 

SHIRT & TIE w.out white background (final)You gotta believe. Oh so true. But what is belief? Another word for belief is “faith”, but I am reluctant to use that word because of its religious connotations; however, belief is the same principle that is behind faith and the creation of miracles. The question is, how do we develop the kind of belief needed to live the kind of life we want to live?

According to Napoleon Hill in Think and Grow Rich, “Faith is a state of mind which may be induced, or created, by affirmation or repeated instructions to the subconscious mind”[1] “which proceeds to translate that impulse into its physical equivalent by the most practical procedure available.”[2] According to Hill, when faith or belief are fueled by emotion they create a feeling which in turn brings the thoughts behind the belief into life and action. In other words, it is more than intellectual belief; true belief has to be fueled by the emotions and feelings of love for oneself and for others.

In our Western world, our view of sexuality has become warped and twisted. Our core values as a society are the cause of such things as voyeurism, pornography, objectifying women and men, rape and violence against women and gay men, and the list goes on and on. Nor do I agree with religious fundamentalists who would cover a woman from head to foot to avoid “impure thoughts” or return to Victorian mentality that sex is only for procreation and homosexuality is a mental illness and criminal activity. Is it any wonder that our own core values have also become tainted by the society in which we live?

This leads us to the need to consider beliefs on sexuality that focus on a healthy and pleasure filled experience. This requires an honest look at our own individual set of core values on sex. We have to take a look at the flaws of our rational mind and its thought patterns because our mind will only draw conclusion that are in harmony the core values we have developed under the influence of our parents, the church, the education system, and society.

We have to rely on our higher self to guide us based on the two basic principles which are: love for self and love for others. The higher self will bring these flaws to our attention and then suggest a path to a more wholesome and healthy set of core values. Once we adopt these values into our daily lives we can begin to change our behavior patterns and begin to live the life that we truly would love to live.

When I went through this process I came up with the following.

Flawed Value – I am a Bisexual and I have the right to live with a bisexual lifestyle.

Flawed Value – My bisexuality is a burden that has caused me to loathe myself and the things I have done.

Flawed Value – My bisexual impulses cannot be controlled so I should ignore my conscience and just indulge.

Flawed Value – My bisexuality was the cause of my divorce.

 

Wholesome Value – I am a person with sexual attraction for men and women and I can choose whom to love based on the love I can give and receive.

Wholesome Value – By bisexuality is a gift that lets me see life in a new and beautiful way influenced by my masculine strength and my sacred feminine.

Wholesome Value – I am in complete control of my sexual impulses and I can make a heart decision on when, where, and with whom I will have sex,

Wholesome Value – My bisexuality was not the cause of my divorce. The cause was our inability to love unconditionally and my divorce has led to new opportunities to seek and find unconditional love with another.

My five suggestion for Bisexuals:

Step 1: We can learn to trust our gut. The gut is simply the intuitive voice of the higher self. It will guide and direct our thoughts, help us make the right decision, and direct us in locating and accessing the things we will need to achieve our desires.

Step 2: We use the emotion of love. It is the power or the energy of love that provides the power to attract what we desire and believe. This is the love for the higher self which desires to obtain the desires of our hearts and to form bonds with others.

Step 3:  We can make sure that our thoughts are in line with the universe by simply evaluating whether or not what we desire will be truly good for ourselves and whether there is some good that will come out of it that may benefit others.

Step 4: Put our thoughts into action.

Step 5: Keep a daily inventory. Persist in the belief until it becomes a reality. We have to daily repeat the five step process. We reaffirm the power of the higher self; we check with our higher self to be sure we are on the right track; we employ the power of love from the higher self to connect with the universal intelligence and with others; and we wait for daily instructions on what needs to be done to realize our desires. Then we act upon those instructions.

[1] Hill, 1945 (page,36)

[2] Hill, 1945 (page 37)

Mindfulness and Bisexuality

SHIRT & TIE w.out white background (final)By definition, mindfulness is a meditation technique that involves present-centered awareness without judgment. Mindfulness practices are based on Buddhist meditation techniques that target both thoughts and behaviors. The goal is to change the context of our thoughts. Through mindfulness; we observe what we are observing. If our thoughts are maladaptive, we acknowledge them but change our relationship to them. We do not permit them to lead to negative emotions.

During meditation, or perhaps more accurately, contemplation, we let our mind experience disturbing thoughts and feelings without reacting to them. One important technique is called decentering. We simply enter into a state of meditation. We shut down our mind and focus on our breathing until we enter into a state of relaxation.  Our blood pressure will decrease, our heart rate will slow down, and our brain will gradually cease creating thoughts and emotions. We open our mind to experience the sensations that are happening in the now. Inevitably our mind, without our checks and balance, will begin to bring thoughts based on past failures and other negative emotional experiences. We simply notice, label, and relate to them as just passing events rather than letting them regress to negative emotions about ourselves. By increasing our mindful awareness of our thoughts, impulses, cravings, and emotions, we are less likely to act on them or be ruled by them.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) has become an actual therapy practiced by present day psychologists. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) was developed to treat major depressive disorder. Mindfulness training also includes therapies designed to treat substance use disorder and borderline personality disorder. One large, carefully controlled study found that MBCT was as effective as antidepressant medications in preventing relapse after an acute episode of major depressive disorder (Bieling & others, 2012; Segal & others, 2010). However, the actual practice is so simple that it can be practiced by anyone without professional help.

So how does this relate to bisexuality? I can only relate to my own personal experiences. After hiding my gay impulses from my wife and children for thirty-three years, I inevitably crashed and slipped into chronic depression. I sold or gave whatever was left after the divorce, took an early retirement, and fled to a mountain village in Costa Rica. I started to practice meditation each morning as I gazed on the warm forest and cities below. Inevitably all the blame, guilt and self-loathing would barge in on my meditation. With all these negative thoughts and emotion insisting on occupying my mind, I simply could not meditate. It was then that I decided to face my thoughts and feelings honestly and openly. I let them enter my mind, acknowledged them, wrapped them into a gift of love and sent them to the people they involved. I replaced self-loathing with love for them and eventually with love for myself. I realized that I had done the best I could under the circumstances to hold everything together until my last child and completed college. I was then able to move on, come out of my depression, drop all medication, and heal the personality disorder that I had developed by trying to live a double life. I realized that my trials had made me a beautiful person, thanked the universe for my gay impulses, and accepted my bisexuality as a gift and not a curse.

My five suggestions for bisexuals:

  1. Practice mindful meditation. It may be difficult at first but push through until you are comfortable living in the moment without anxiety.
  2. Once in a state on mindful meditation, allow your mind to bring whatever thoughts it wishes into the present where you sit relaxed and in control.
  3. Accept the thoughts and feelings that go with them but do not accept the negative emotions; in fact, convert them to positive ones. Thank your mind for presenting its thoughts and then release them. I like to visualize them wrapped like a gift and sent back to the ones I love, thanking them for the wonderful moments we had shared.
  4. Keep practicing this mindful meditation until these thoughts eventually cease to return.
  5. Give yourself a great big soul hug. You are a champ, a conqueror of the most powerful enemy you will ever face – yourself.

 

 

  1. Siegel,Daniel,J. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation: Daniel J … 2010.

 

Bisexuality and the Third Gender

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Even though this post is primarily for bisexuals, we should never lose track of the fact that we belong to a broader community, namely, the LBGQT community. Our LGBQT family is not just about sexual preference, but really includes people of a wide variety of gender expressions.  Granted we have genetic predispositions, but these predispositions are then nurtured by a variety of community and cultural norms and practices thus  providing us with a variety of gender variations. These variations ultimately are a blend of the feminine and the masculine.

The one that I find particularly fascinating is the Hijra communities of India. In the year 2014, India’s Supreme Court declared that the Hijra constituted a “legal” third gender  considered neither completely male nor female[1]. Hijras have been noted in recorded history dating back to the Kama Sutra period often associated with castration and the creation of eunuchs. Today they retain their male genitalia, but otherwise take on the female gender role.  They live together in self-sustaining communities, often with a guru. These communities are recognized as a loving and caring society which have been known to attract straight as well as trans gender people.  They  have sustained themselves over generations by “adopting” boys who are in abject poverty and rejected by their family of origin.[2] The are recognized as having special spiritual gifts and make a living by performing “blessing ceremonies” at events such as births and weddings.

The hijra do not consider themselves as male or female but as an entirely different third gender that combines both male and female psychological characteristics. They refer to themselves in gender rather than sexual terms, and in fact, many of them choose to live asexual lives. This bears similarities to us bisexuals who do not consider ourselves as gay or lesbian who restrict themselves to same sex relationships, but as bisexuals opening the door to all forms of sexual expression. But perhaps what we are seeking is at a much deeper level. Perhaps we should view ourselves not only as bisexual but as bigender.  If we dig a little deeper, perhaps what we really want (particularly the men who enjoy the feminine role, and the women who enjoy the masculine role) is the ability to express both our feminine and masculine sides without the sexual baggage that goes with it. Many bisexuals are cross dressers enjoying the feelings that come not only from wearing female apparel but all the walk and talk that goes with it, but they do not want to cross over completely. They still enjoy their masculine side with the plaid shirt and cowboy boots and the swagger.

My friends, it’s time to recognize ourselves as not only the third sexual orientation but perhaps as the third gender. And perhaps it is time to realize that we have spiritual gifts that we can offer to our gay, lesbian, and straight brothers and sisters.

[1]  Nanda, S. “Hijras: An Alternative Sex and Gender Role in India Third Sex, Third Gender: Beyond Sexual Dimorphism in Culture and History. Zone Books; 1996.

 

[2] Hossain, Adnan. The paradox of recognition: hijra, third gender and sexual rights in Bangladesh. Published on line; May, 2017.

 

The Bisexual Continuum

SHIRT & TIE w.out white background (final)In a survey sample of 1,784 individuals on Facebook, Vrangalovaq and Savin-Williams[1] argued that there is a continuous, rather than a categorical, distribution of sexual orientation.  They used a five category classification including heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, bisexual, mostly gay/lesbian, and gay/lesbian.  It is interesting to note that a majority of gays reported some attraction towards the opposite sex. According to my definition, that means we can include most of them as bisexual, or potentially bisexual, depending on the circumstances that they are experiencing.  In addition, a significant minority of heterosexuals also reported some attraction to same sex partners. According to my definition of significant, that means that there are a hell of a lot more bisexuals in the world than is being reported. Again, the survey reconfirmed that women are more likely to engage in bisexual attraction than men.

Let’s take a closer look at these results. Perhaps there are not really five categories of orientation but really only one.  We could possibly all be bisexuals on a sexual continuum rather that a sexual orientation continuum. That might be why there is no gay gene.  With about twenty-five thousand genes in the human genome, you would think that one of them could be the culprit. Perhaps there may be a predisposition but not necessarily a genetic orientation one, but one that might shape our overall sexual needs. There could indeed be prenatal factors involving the psychological and physiological condition of the pregnant mother. Perhaps the mother’s pheromones might be affecting the male pheromones of the male fetus after several pregnancies with male children. Perhaps stress during pregnancy does influence the development of the fetus thus creating a predisposition towards anxiety and the need for soothing and physical connection in the infant. Most research suggests that this predisposition continues on through childhood and forms lasting sexual orientation patterns by the age of five or six. Perhaps these predispositions result in patterns of need, soothing, and behavior with a great need for sexual gratification from male or female partners rather than a fixed orientation.

If we are indeed on a continuum, there are not really five categories but perhaps fifty, or five hundred, or perhaps even an infinite number of possible sexual preferences depending on how our minds find pleasure, soothing, and gratification. Perhaps  this search for soothing and gratification leads to our unique brain patterns and life choices. If that is indeed the case, let’s stop talking about orientation and let’s focus on how we can get the most pleasure out of these wonderful bodies that we are so fortunate to inhabit, without talk of orientation, blame, and shame.

Here are my five applications for bisexuals:

  1. Let’s look at ways we are alike rather than different.
  2. Let’s accept our unique sexual attractions and explore them whole-heatedly without worrying about whether we are gay, heterosexual, or bisexual.
  3. We are not QUEER. We are just different. We are all different. We are all unique.
  4. If we need soothing – so what? It just leads to the need for sexual gratification. What’s wrong with that? That spells pleasure in my vocabulary.
  5. Let’s not forget that we have desires for love not just sex. At the root of the need for sexual gratification is the more basic need of being accepted and loved for who we are regardless of our orientation or our unique place in the sexual continuum.

[1] Vrangalova,z. and Savin-Williams RC. Mostly heterosexual and mostly gay/lesbian: evidence for new sexual orientation identities. Pub Med Arch Sex Behav. 2012 Feb;41(1):85-101. doi: 10.1007/s10508-012-9921-y.(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22327566)

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. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2820045/?tool)

 

Bisexuality and the Bonobos

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)This blog focuses on bisexuality, and as much as I would like it to be more mental and spiritual, it seems to keep coming back to just plain (or not so plain) sex.  And, if you take the ‘l’ out of ‘plain’, plain can become ‘pain’. It appears that one thing the human mind cannot cope with is boredom. If we do the mathematics, plain sex = boredom = pain. That makes the letter “l” very important. and of course. the “l” stands for “love”. Love includes sexual pleasure but it is much more than that.

Why do we bisexual often seek sex without love? For one answer beyond the pure aspect of pleasure, we can look to our fellow primates. As we go from simple to more complex animals (that means a bigger brain), sexual behavior becomes subject to learning and environmental influences and not just reproduction (Buss, 2007a, 2007b). For example, in one species, the bonobos of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, sexual activity can occur at any time, not just when the female is fertile. Bonobos also engage in oral sex, intense tongue kissing, and homosexual and group sex. Among the bonobos, sexual interaction is used to increase group cohesion, avoid conflict, and decrease tension that might be caused by competition for food (de Waal,1995). Bonobos’ behaviors appear to be instinctive for social and stress relief reasons; these lucky fellows can seek pleasure for the sake of pleasure and the instinctive needs of the group. They are not capable of love as we know it.

Are we like our friends the bonobos? Are we just sex craved bisexuals merely releasing our aggressive tendencies so that we do not wreak havoc on society? I think not. You see, unlike the bonobos, we do have the ability to make complex rational decisions. Because of the evolution of our brains, we can hold two or more concepts or mind states simultaneously and employ our powers of reason to compare or combine them to make decisions for the self’s greater good. We can even take that one step farther and combine all our mind sets to create an emotional whole-brain mindset that we can call love. It then can become our guiding force that can control sexual pleasure by bringing it into the mindset as one whole-brain, whole-body experience that is greater and more powerful that the just sex-for-pleasure feeling.

Like our cousins the bonobos, we bisexuals often are out just for the pleasure of sex and to release our sex-based tensions so we can go back to our heterosexual world.  However, without love, sex can become merely an addictive pleasure seeking activity, and like with any other pleasure centered drug, the mind will seek greater and greater “highs”. Sex for the sake of sex will eventually become repetitive and mundane. If our only goal is pleasure, the obvious path is to find someone else who can start us off on a new high. If that fails, we can try same sex pleasure, and if that does not work, we can try fetishes. If that does not work, do we give up on sex? No. We give up on life.  In other words, our sexual desires have to be based on something more than just plain pleasure if we are to truly enjoy living.

Granted, a lot of us pleasure seeking bisexuals choose to follow our drives and not use our brains; however, we do have a choice.  And somewhere along the way, we may come to realize that pleasure for the sake of pleasure is literally a dead end street. And then we can try to put the “l” back into pain and just relax and enjoy good old plain sex with someone whom we can relate to on a mind and soul basis. We can choose to have sex because we love and want to be loved.

My five applications to bisexuality:

  1. Seeking pleasure is a good thing. It’s what keeps the old heart ticking. We can discover what turns us on and go out and find it. All is okay. No self judgement. No shame.
  2. We can use our brain to monitor our sexual drives and notice when the pleasure seems to be slipping. We can add new ideas and positions etc. to enhance the experience. This is also okay, but if we follow this path alone, it may never be enough.
  3. There is nothing wrong with repetition and familiarity. It’s okay to establish sexual patterns – the brain likes predictability. We do not have to work on our technique to increase pleasure, we just have to work on our minds.
  4. We can stop the noise of the mind that equates increased excitement with increased pleasure. We simply shut it down and enter into a sexual experience mindfully, allowing the mind to slowly absorb all the sensations that come from all seven senses.
  5. We can focus on our feelings for our partner and enjoy their increased levels of excitement and anticipation. We can learn to increase our own pleasure by enjoying the pleasure we give to the one we love. [1]

[2]

[1]Buss,DM.. Why Humans Have Sex. NCIB Resources. 2007. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17610060)

[2] De Waal, Frans B.M. Bonobo Sex and Society. Scientific American. 1995. (https://www.scribd.com/document/317081020/de-Waal-1995-Bonobo-Sex-and-Society-abbrev-pd)

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