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



Understanding the Bisexual Man

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

An excerpt from my book “Bi – A Bisexual Man’s Transformational Journey”.


For everyone out there that is confused by bisexual behavior, it is helpful to try to understand what it’s like to be a bisexual. Prior to the 1980’s when I was growing up, bisexuality was considered just a transition stage from heterosexual to being gay. It was not until the mid-1980’s that science took a serious look at bisexuality because of the AIDS epidemic that was spreading from the gay to the heterosexual population. Most of us did not see the third choice; our struggle was between being gay or staying heterosexual and trying to live a “normal” life.

In my experience, bisexual men, particularly men with a feminine side to the gay side of their personality, seem to experience greater levels of social anxiety during childhood and adolescence, which coupled with their feminine enhanced psychological nature, makes them vulnerable to rejection, particularly by fathers, older brothers, and by potential male friends at school and in the community. Some cover it over by trying to hide behind a strictly masculine persona. Either way, they often grow into adults with serious issues related to their sexuality.

What is it like to be a bisexual man and what is the relationship, if any, between bisexual orientation, social trauma, and mental illness? It is not easy for bisexuals to deal with their gay side. A study by Susan Cochran[1], indicated that gay and bisexual men have significantly higher rates of major and recurrent depression, generalized anxiety, mood disorders, and higher rates of suicidal thoughts. Contrary to popular belief, this new generation is not coping any better. Research indicates that the bisexual population in American high schools has grown to three to six percent with an additional three percent who are unsure of their sexual orientation[2]. About one in four experience bouts of depression and attempts at suicide.

The occurrence of mental issues is even higher for married bisexual men. How does a married bisexual man with children deal with compulsive overwhelming drives that compel him to engage in behaviours that he knows will destroy his life and his marriage? They have to deal with the issues of the gay side of their sexuality while trying to maintain their social heterosexual image. The occurrence of suicide is very high; however, the exact numbers are difficult to establish, because the bisexual motivation for suicide is often concealed from the public eye. Bisexual men appear to have anxieties that may last a lifetime.

Most bisexuals that I have interviewed do not allow themselves the privilege of open and carefree gay sex. They avoid gay relationships because intimate friendships may interfere with their heterosexual lives. They seek out places for anonymous encounters, such as parks and bathhouses, where they may engage in multiple sexual acts on any given day or night. They make anonymous contacts through gay dating services and pickup gay bars. They do not care if these encounters result in intimacy or relationship. They just need gay sex as a release valve for their suppressed gay desires. Based on my observations, many bisexual men continue to lead this life until they reach a crisis point brought on by discovery of their lifestyle by their spouse, or by reaching a point where they crash and have to make the decision to accept their gay orientation and seek a relationship with another man.

In my experience, the bisexual person not only has to deal with typical gay issues, but he also has to face the mental issues brought on by repression and denial. In extreme cases, this repression can lead to a gender identity disorder which seems to involve a significant segment of the bisexual population. I believe the term “sexual identity disorder” does not exist in isolation; it has to be included as part of a personality disorder where a person denies their own identity with their own wants and needs. The sexual orientation then becomes an impossible complication to their already fragile identity.

My observations suggest that the bisexual man frequently has no self-identity or has two conflicting identities. He tends to use his gay orientation as a means of self-abuse, self-punishment, and self-destruction. Because he cannot face his true sexual identity, his sexual drive may become a compulsion that is based on fear and the subconscious emotional pain from denial and repression. This may lead to an addiction where there is only one stimulus available that can break through the hopeless feelings of self-imposed withdrawal, and that is to seek out another gay sexual rush. This compulsion, if unchecked, will eventually lead to sexual addiction, with a cycle of stimulation, action and then withdrawal, which can eventually lead to a mental collapse and suicidal desires.

[1] Cochran, 2002.

[2] Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),2016

Bisexuality and Fluidity

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)

Our bisexuality is not a static orientation; it changes; however, we consistently perceive and interact as bisexual over time.  Lisa Diamond of the University of Utah, using a subset of participants from a longitudinal study, measured variability in same-sex and other-sex sexual motivation over a span of 10 years, during which women also provided saliva samples for the assessment of their estrogen levels[1]. Using a dynamic wave approach rather than a static model she was able to place processes of change at the center and discover multiple processes responsible for stability and change over time. She concluded that we adopt different sexual identities at different stages in our lives, and that these identities may shape our subsequent awareness and participation in same-sex and other-sex relationships. In other words, the label affects the behavior, as well as the opposite, that the behavior affects the label. Although her research applies mainly to bisexual women, there is some indication that her findings may apply to bisexual men as well.

Diamond’s research provides the first empirical examination of competing assumptions about the nature of bisexuality, both as a sexual identity label and as a pattern of nonexclusive sexual attraction and behavior[2]. The findings demonstrate considerable fluidity in bisexual, unlabeled, and lesbian women’s attractions, behaviors, and identities over the life span. The notion that bisexuality is a transitional stage that women adopt “on the way” to lesbian identification, or is an experimental phase among heterosexual women, is not consistent with the results of this study. Women who entered the study with bisexual or unlabeled identities were significantly more likely to subsequently change their identities than were lesbian women. Most of these changes were between bisexual and unlabeled identities, and not toward either lesbianism or heterosexuality.  Furthermore, these women showed no evidence of progressive changes in their ratio of same-sex to other-sex attractions over the 10 years of the study. They were (and remain) sexually attracted to both men and women, but they label these attractions differently now than before[3].

I find her conclusion to be quite fascinating:

“The overall number of women adopting bisexual or unlabeled identities did not decline over the course of the study. If bisexuality were a temporary stage, then one would expect fewer and fewer women to maintain these identities as they moved into adulthood. Yet, to the contrary, the percentage of women claiming a bisexual or unlabeled identity hovered between 50% and 60% at each wave of the study. Even more interesting, by the end of the study, 80% of women had adopted a bisexual or unlabeled identity at some point in time. These results do not rule out the possibility that some women adopt bisexual as a transitional label, but this pattern appears exceptional rather than normative.[4]

One of the interesting outcomes in the study was the use of labels. The “unlabeled” category was the most frequently adopted identity in the entire study. This suggests that bisexuals may adopt this label for different reasons at different times. Some bisexuals appear to be uncomfortable with the label and when they enter an opposite-sex or same-sex relationships they tend to identify as gay, lesbian or heterosexual, but these labels do not stand up over time as we tend to change our sense of our own awareness and our sexual practices over time and come back to the bisexual or unlabeled category. Most bisexuals appear to be uncomfortable with the use of any kind of label, preferring to view sexuality as something beyond the political and intellectual discussion of the rest of the LGBTQ community.  The most common label, “Unlabeled” (which has ironically has become just another label), may represent a state of being attracted to the person, not the gender. It also demonstrates our willingness to be open to change in erotic experience, not for the sake of kink or erotica but as an exploration of a sexual relationship with another human being. But regardless of the label or the “unlabel” the fact remains – we are and remain bisexual.

Another interesting findings is that most women had settled down into committed monogamous relationships. When women were in their teens and early 20s, they tended to be involved in multiple successive experiences; yet 10 years later the majority had settled into long term relationships.  This provides a notable counterpoint to the popular stereotype that bisexual women are incapable of committing to a single partner. Not only did bisexual women tend to pursue exclusive, monogamous relationships over time, but they were more likely to do so than either unlabeled or lesbian women. This again leads to some interesting conclusions about bisexuality.  It appears that we do not just seek sex for the kink and pleasure but more as a process of finding significant intimate connection.

In my review of the literature, I found reference to another survey of 394 men and women, but unfortunately, I was unable to track down the actual study for more intensive scrutiny. Apparently Desmond found that there are almost as many men who decide to identify as bisexual, queer, or “unlabeled” after identifying as gay earlier in life as there are men who first identify as bi, then as gay. The researcher originally assumed women are more sexually fluid than men but found that bisexual men also maintain a fluid sexual orientation. This again seems to be contrary to the popular belief that lesbian and bisexual women seek relationship whereas gay and bisexual men tend to be promiscuous.  It would appear that this is just another example of prejudice against gay and bisexual men. If the finding are correct, we are not just sexual deviants, but we too seek meaningful relationships and genuinely are searching for meaningful expression of our sexual bodies and souls.


[1] Diamond, L. M. (2012). Female Bisexuality From Adolescence to Adulthood: Results From a 10-Year Longitudinal Study Lisa M. Diamond University of Utah The desire disorder in research on sexual orientation in women: Contributions of dynamical systems theory. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41, 73-83.

[2] Diamond, L. M. (2008). Female bisexuality from adolescence to adulthood: Results from a 10-year longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 44, 5-14.

[3] Female Bisexuality From Adolescence to Adulthood: Results From a 10-Year Longitudinal Study Lisa M. Diamond University of Utah

[4] Female Bisexuality From Adolescence to Adulthood: Results From a 10-Year Longitudinal Study Lisa M. Diamond University of Utah


Statistics and Bisexuality

SHIRT & TIE [small] (final)Statistics consistently indicate that bisexuals outnumber gays and lesbians. In a comprehensive study of scientifically accurate surveys from around the world, Gates[1] concluded that among adults who identify as LGBQ, bisexuals comprise a slight majority, 1.8% compared to 1.7% who identify as lesbian or gay. However, when you factor in people with sexual orientation issues (presumably bisexual?) the numbers clearly indicate that bisexuality is a major factor in the lives of a growing number of people today.

Gates found that estimates of those who report any lifetime same-sex sexual behavior and any same-sex sexual attraction are substantially higher than estimates of those who identify as LGB. He discovered that an estimated 19 million Americans (8.2%) report that they have engaged in same-sex sexual behavior and nearly 25.6 million Americans (11%) acknowledge at least some same-sex sexual attraction.These last figures indicate that people who have some attraction more often than not act upon these impulses. Some of these then choose to live bisexual lives while others use these experiences to determine their true wants and desires.

So what can we take from this data? Bisexuality is the largest component in the LGBQ community, and yet, we receive the least attention. Two question arise from this – “Why?”, and  “Is this a god thing or a bad thing?” Frankly, I think this is a good thing. We do not need the label, and we do not need special political considerations. These viewpoints just cloud the issues and focus on the bi nature and not the human aspects of our sexuality and how it affects our general health and well-being.

The “Why?” is a little more complex. Samantha Joel, in her article “Bisexual Myths Debunked by Science”[2] used science to discredit three myths: Bisexuality Doesn’t Exist, Bisexuality Is Just a Phase, and Bisexual People Can’t Be Faithful to Their Partners. I believe that society has created these myths out of fear of the greater implications of bisexuality. If we are not gay or lesbian, and if we are not straight, then we are somehow a threat to both. Gays and Lesbian hold to myths 1 and 2 because they need to believe that if you have same-sex tendencies than you must be gay or lesbian in denial or repression. After all, sexual orientation must be biological and probably genetic, and therefore, there is no room for a third grouping. Straight people hold to Myth 3 as a warning to straight people to stay away from this dangerous and unpredictable group in society. There is also the belief by both groups in myth 2, in that bisexual people are just confused with loose morals and need erotic experiences; therefore, they must be just going through a sexual exploration phase. They can therefore be devalued and ignored.

At the root of it all is fear for the greater unasked question and the subsequent response. We engage is bisexual activities because we enjoy it. We have stepped outside the sexual boxes imposed by the heterosexual and gay explanations of sexuality and declared that we are our own sexual revolution where sex is a pleasure of the body that can be explored without morals or gender bias. We have stepped into the realm where gay, lesbian, or heterosexual sex is perfectly normal, enjoyable, and open to everyone.

And if we have sexual freedom that is just the tip of the iceberg. Then we have the potential to be free from all of the other restrictions placed on us by society. That makes us even more dangerous.  That means we are out of control. It actually may lead to a deeper level of brotherly love free of political and religious restrictions. It might even mean that we might destroy the planet as the majority know it and subsequently save it by helping to usher in a new paradigm based on universal love, acceptance, and freedom.


[1] Gates, Gary. “How many people are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender?”. Williams Distinguished Scholar, April 2011 (The Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law)

[2] Joel, Samantha. “Bisexual Myths Debunked by Science”. Science of Relationships, file:///C:/Users/User/Documents/My%20writing/Blogs/Bisexuality%20Myths%20Debunked%20by%C2%A0Science%20-%20_%20-%20Science%20of%20Relationships.html