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Author Topic: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?  (Read 5797 times)

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Offline Trieste

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Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #50 on: September 22, 2010, 06:05:17 PM »
thanks for clearing that up for me. I guess it's kinda a lack of decision thing for me, do people really just go around their entire life not knowing what they want. I think at some point people need to settle down and make a firm decision. I just do not get why so many now-a-days don't make the choice. But maybe i'm the only person here who thinks that.

You're welcome. :)

I'm wondering if you're confusing bisexuality with bicurious-ness (and I could be mistaken here, so please correct me if I'm wrong). There are a lot of people who identify as bicurious (including a not-insignificant number of young ladies who like the appeal of seeming like they might kiss a girl, especially for their boyfriend, who call themselves bicurious) who are in general people that haven't really made up their minds as you describe. They can usually be considered as 'still experimenting'.

Most of the folks who identify as bisexual, however, aren't really unsure. They just... enjoy both sexes for their relationships. It's a little bit like enjoying chocolate chip cookies as well as brownies; it's not that you're unsure which one you like, it's that you really do like both. There are also those who don't really care about the physical aspect of a person; they most often find themselves attracted to people regardless of sex, though it doesn't always have to be a purely mental attraction.

Does that make sense?

Offline King_Furby

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #51 on: September 22, 2010, 06:11:10 PM »
I may have been confusing it, not sure

Offline Jude

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #52 on: September 22, 2010, 07:45:17 PM »
Everyones view comes from their own cultural environment, even yours. I shared my view i dont expect everyone or anyone to agree. but i expect the right to share what i think.

I agree that the study is flawed by not including women
It wasn't my intent to demean your opinion -- I think monogamy is a very healthy, good thing (then again I don't look down on people who aren't monogamous or associate it with morality in any way).  I can understand how monogamy and bisexuality can be seen as being at odds:  if you have to choose one person to be with, then there is a choice being made between the sexes ultimately that you have to make.  There is also an argument that can be put forth that questions whether or not someone can be truly polygamous in a sense of equal attraction (which I personally think isn't possible for reasons of chemical-interactions within the brain).

It wasn't a slight against your opinion -- I can sympathize.  No two things are equal; I suppose you could say if your attraction to one gender exceeds the other, then you're either gay or you're straight.  It just seems like it's overthinking the problem for the sake of being needlessly judicious.  There is nothing to be gained, as a species, to define things so narrowly other than the alienation of your fellow man.  So I don't see the point.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2010, 07:47:27 PM by Jude »

Offline Trieste

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Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #53 on: September 22, 2010, 10:00:53 PM »
Out of curiosity, Jude, do the same chemical interactions that (theoretically, anyway; the brain is so damned complex) prevent one from being equally attached to two lovers also prevent one from favoring neither sex over the other? I'd be interested in the chemical literature if you have it.

Offline kylie

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Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #54 on: September 23, 2010, 04:53:18 AM »
Quote
I can understand how monogamy and bisexuality can be seen as being at odds:  if you have to choose one person to be with, then there is a choice being made between the sexes ultimately that you have to make. 
          Unless you happen to land someone who is medically designated intersex, or in that ballpark.  At least until someone in the medical industry finally caves and admits that so very many birth certificates have long  been based on wildly inconsistent penis standards.  Since most people are thinking about average ranges of body shapes or certain stereotypical bio shapes of various features:  Anyone could land someone who they happen to interpret as something besides exclusively male or female.  All it would take is applying that same sort of fluid principle the doctors have been applying to thousands of penises (edit: and not a few "unusual" vaginas), to other parts of the body -- parts that are more visible in daily life by far -- and noting a few that make one think twice.  Since experientially, orientation as such is not only about what's socially available.  It's also about what one is subjectively looking for.

        There is the gay gene sort of argument that a certain percentage of object orientation is genetically driven, but that doesn't fully account for the vast range of very specific body types people can and do choose to pick over in hunting for partners.  I think that would also logically open up the possibility that any "natural" ability to identify a biological sex might also be confused through others' variations.  Plenty of individuals just are not shaped to cue the usual bio-sex readings...  Does one "really" like this woman because she's seen as masculine, or was one actually searching for more signs of a male body per se?  I'm doubtful that we have the means to evaluate where pursuit of gender ends and where pursuit of bio-sex begins, consistently across the population.  Plus, that is assuming that people actually operate in the way that orientation suggests to begin with:  Only making choices based on perceived bio-sex and not based on gender. 

        Generally speaking:  If we had to look for some externally measurable, "legitimate" orientation apart from claims of the person in question, could we tell?  Sure, we can strap people down to chairs and measure their responses to images -- Or is that more their response to being strapped down and fed any image whatsoever?  Heh.  And then the ethical dilemma!  This goes off in various messy directions if you think it through, both scientifically and politically.

        Of course what's totally pure and honest reporting for one is not approved as socially "legitimate" according to so many others.  Noisy moralizing minorities and oversimplifying, complacent majorities may reject whatever individuals say about their orientation.  Particularly when the individuals in question take the more politically threatening choices, such as bi.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 04:57:46 PM by kylie »

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #55 on: September 23, 2010, 07:30:11 AM »
I think polygamy (polyamory? What's the proper term anyway?)  and bisexuality are two entirely different topics. You could be one without being the other, and I don't think there is necessarily any relation between the two.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #56 on: September 23, 2010, 08:21:41 AM »
I think polygamy (polyamory? What's the proper term anyway?)  and bisexuality are two entirely different topics. You could be one without being the other, and I don't think there is necessarily any relation between the two.

Polygamy is the act of having more than one wife (usually practiced by fringe religious groups, and commonly associated with dubious attitudes towards women, child-marriages, and eviction of younger/less-powerful males).

Polyamory is the act of loving more than one person.  It's perfectly possible to be straight and polyamorous - partners are not obligated to be intimate with all other partners - although people new to the concept frequently try to hunt down the mythical HBB.  (That being the Hot Bi Babe/Boy, who is not only attractive to both partners, but also happens to be 'into' both of them.  Meeting the first half is less of a challenge than meeting the latter.)  Mr. Oniya and I are polyamorous, but neither of us identify as bisexual.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #57 on: September 23, 2010, 08:40:56 AM »
Yeah, that's kinda what I was thinking.

Offline Jude

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #58 on: September 23, 2010, 01:53:24 PM »
I was trying to say that if you define bisexuality as equal attraction between the sexes, then I can see how his point of view makes sense, then I was trying to point out how defining it like that is of no actual utility:  it just makes people upset.  Theeen I was making the point that you could apply the same logic to polyamory (wherein it does nothing but offend people again).  I wasn't trying to criticize polyamory, but I will clarify my views on it for the sake of discussion...
Out of curiosity, Jude, do the same chemical interactions that (theoretically, anyway; the brain is so damned complex) prevent one from being equally attached to two lovers also prevent one from favoring neither sex over the other? I'd be interested in the chemical literature if you have it.
I think I may have accidentally misrepresented my stance when I made my last post, making it sound more factual and less theoretical (and personal) than intended.  The only science involved in the formulation of my opinion was a study about "chemical love" and married couples wherein they found that after about 9 months most people fall out of "chemical love" and into a different sort of bond (though there are some unique and rare couples who continue to experience that same chemical reaction long-after).  If you're interested in seeing the sourcing of that, I can dig it up for you.

But I guess if I had to describe what I think, it's this:  relationships have two stages, the intense chemical beginning (passionate love - highly chemical in nature) and prolonged commitment (often referred to as duty love - more of a social and personal connection).  I've experimented with and observed polyamory before, and it always seemed to me that in the mind of an individual there is only enough room for one chemical romance at once, and the other partner is relegated to the prolonged commitment which is associated with a lesser state of attraction (though a greater degree of fidelity, it seems).

I'm wary of polyamory in a personal sense for that reason:  if I'm with someone I don't want to be relegated to sharing half of that bond, as rare as long term relationships that preserve chemical love are, that's what I'm looking for in a mate.  But that is merely my opinion on what is best, I don't look down on people who feel different than I do -- to each their own.  I'm not trying to make a moral or factual statement, as I said earlier, I don't think polyamory is wrong.

I wasn't trying to pass my views off as fact, I apologize for anyone I offended with what I said about polyamory.  I was just sharing my personal experiences and thoughts I've formulated and I completely recognize the very real possibility that either:  a)  I am totally wrong b)   My observations only apply to myself and the people who I've had relationships with, not everyone.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2010, 02:25:51 PM by Jude »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #59 on: September 23, 2010, 02:48:54 PM »
Wasn't offended in the least :-)  The two 'poly's are a commonly confused pair of concepts, and so I attempted to clear up the differences.

There's actually a term used in the polyamory boards for that 'chemical romance' (pun intended) that you describe - namely 'NRE', or 'New Relationship Energy'.  I wouldn't be at all surprised that one could only sustain one 'NRE-level' connection at a time, but polyamorists in a general sense believe that it is possible to sustain multiple prolonged commitments.  I have a slight twitch about calling it 'duty love', since that makes it sound like a chore, but I'll acknowledge the more social/personal aspect of it, compared to NRE.

Offline Zaakmaal

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #60 on: September 23, 2010, 04:43:54 PM »
I consider myself to be Bisexual, but I know if I took that test I would probably come up as either straight or gay (probably gay). Although most of the time my thoughts are all about men, there are other times where my brain does a complete 180 and I like women for awhile. I almost never prefer men and women equally at the same time, but I always default back to men. When i am in a straight mood I have little desire to look at guys and while in a gay mood I don't care about looking at women. I would say I am gay 90% of the time, but if I took the test while I was in the opposite mood the result would be different. I don't know if I am the only one like this, but if I'm not then the test is flawed.

Offline kylie

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Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #61 on: September 24, 2010, 09:23:06 PM »
          I wouldn't buy that anything about bi absolutely "requires" self-identification as poly by any means.  I'm still looking askew at that initial term, "legitimate."  The only limits upon the number and type of categorical boxes that various other people might publicly push to get one officially categorized as, are the social trends of the day.

         Here's a blurb about the relative probabilities of non-monogamy by orientation and sex.  I'm posting an image of the excerpt, because I can't seem to turn this particular PDF's data into pastable text.  The quote is from:  Wosick-Correa, Kassia 2010.  "Agreements, rules and agentic fidelity in polyamorous relationships."  Psychology & Sexuality 1(1):44-61.


          For what it's worth to the discussion...  I gather from this that the going understanding is that while only a few bi's actually are poly, bi's are more likely as a group to identify as poly than those of other orientations. 
« Last Edit: September 24, 2010, 09:25:20 PM by kylie »

Offline Wolfy

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #62 on: September 25, 2010, 01:44:50 AM »
Hmm..O_o..what's the term for having more than one husband...o3o

Offline Oniya

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Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #63 on: September 25, 2010, 09:04:59 AM »
I've seen it referred to as 'polyandry', but the term isn't terribly common.

Offline Wolfy

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #64 on: September 25, 2010, 09:44:18 AM »
I've seen it referred to as 'polyandry', but the term isn't terribly common.

Well..I think that's because most people think Men are evil perverts who want several women to sleep with while women are pure and only want one mate in their life at all times....buuut that's just me. :D

I also wonder why Gay men don't get their own term.

The word "Gay" can refer to either a man or Woman, as can Homosexual. Lesbian, however, can only refer to a gay woman. Who do Gay men not get their own term? O_o (Outside the nasty, hateful, idiotic ones, that is.)

Hmm....

Offline Trieste

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Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #65 on: September 25, 2010, 10:52:23 AM »
*points Wolfy to his woolgathering thread* These posts belong there.

Offline Nyarly

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #66 on: September 25, 2010, 11:17:03 AM »
I also wonder why Gay men don't get their own term.

The word "Gay" can refer to either a man or Woman, as can Homosexual. Lesbian, however, can only refer to a gay woman. Who do Gay men not get their own term? O_o (Outside the nasty, hateful, idiotic ones, that is.)
Isn't "gay" actually the term for homosexual men? I know that in English it gets used for men and women, but in German the word "schwul" (the German for gay) is only used for males. Also, I read somewhere that using the word to describe lesbian is actually wrong, because it is exclusively for male homosexuals.

At least, it seems that it was originally only used for males, but somehow it became a word for lesbians too.

Offline King_Furby

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #67 on: September 27, 2010, 05:27:37 AM »
I think maybe it isn't a sexuality at all but more just a life style choice like say picking to be a vegetarian.

Cause if you become loyal to just one person then technicaly you're no longer bisexual right? Technically if your a vegetarien then eat a burger can you still call yourself a vegtaren?

in this age we need new terms i think. what do you call it when someone is married to two people each of different genders?

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #68 on: September 27, 2010, 06:55:41 AM »
Cause if you become loyal to just one person then technicaly you're no longer bisexual right?

How on earth do you figure that? The fact that you're not acting on your desires doesn't mean they've changed any.

Offline Host of Seraphim

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #69 on: September 27, 2010, 09:59:01 AM »
Cause if you become loyal to just one person then technicaly you're no longer bisexual right?

I like brownies and cookies.

I just ate a brownie for breakfast. It was delicious.

Doesn't mean I don't like cookies anymore.

I like men and women.

I am in a committed relationship with a man. He is delicious.

Doesn't mean I don't like women anymore.

Offline King_Furby

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #70 on: September 27, 2010, 01:25:56 PM »
If bisexual means getting with both genders then once your in a commited relationship  then the term no longers applies, right or wrong? I am now just questioning the term, cause i'm not sure if its even correct to use gay, straight, bi, as sexuality. isn't it just relationship status or you status when doing it?

thoughts?

Offline Will

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #71 on: September 27, 2010, 01:27:16 PM »
It's a question of attraction, not involvement.

Offline grdell

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #72 on: September 27, 2010, 01:43:38 PM »
As a bisexual male, I find the question inherently absurd. I am attracted to men. I am attracted to women. What am I if not bisexual? They can take their so-called "studies" and shove 'em.

Just my two cents, of course.

Offline Will

Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #73 on: September 27, 2010, 01:46:32 PM »
As a bisexual male, I find the question inherently absurd. I am attracted to men. I am attracted to women. What am I if not bisexual? They can take their so-called "studies" and shove 'em.

Just my two cents, of course.

*laughs* I think this is just about the only thing that really needs to be said.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Is Bisexuality A Legitimate Orientation?
« Reply #74 on: September 27, 2010, 01:56:54 PM »
If bisexual means getting with both genders then once your in a commited relationship  then the term no longers applies, right or wrong? I am now just questioning the term, cause i'm not sure if its even correct to use gay, straight, bi, as sexuality. isn't it just relationship status or you status when doing it?

thoughts?

Back in the day, there were thousands of highly-closeted gay men out there who married - and stayed committed to - women, just because of the social stigma that came with being gay at the time that they got married.  Many of them found a woman who didn't want/couldn't have children, so there wouldn't be a question (not that people talked about such things) about why this married couple wasn't having sex.  Does that mean that they were not gay?