Wednesday, February 04, 2004


How do you define your sexuality? Your sexual orientation? At what point on the Kinsey Scale does one cease to be "straight" and start to be "bisexual"? At what point does one cease to be "bisexual" and start to be just plain "gay"?

I had a conversation about this very topic the other day. The example we used was the one of the classic "College Experimenter". You know her, the girl who sleeps with a bunch of chicks in college, but then doesn't any more. Is she bisexual? What if the only reason she stopped sleeping with other girls was because she became involved in a monogamous relationship with someone who happened to be a guy? Is she still a "bisexual" then?

OK, or what about the guy who always has harbored secret fantasies about other men, but never acts on them? Is he a bisexual? My first answer is 'no', but consider this--a guy who identifies as "straight", but never actually gets any action with a woman is still straight if he dies a virgin, isn't he? So why discount the other guys' desires?

I guess, the key here for me is the extent of the 'desire'. For instance, it was said that our gal in example 1 should not be considered "bisexual" because she had never been involved in a relationship with another woman. But come on, if that was what we used to define a person's sexual orientation, there would be plenty of people out there without any orientation to speak of. That is, there are plenty of people out there who have never been in a real "relationship". If they still feel desire for a person of the opposite sex, we deem them "straight". So what if someone is harboring desire for people of the same sex, yet engaging only in opposite-sex relationships? Are they any less bisexual because of this?

And again with the extent of the desires thing, having a single fantasy doesn't make one a bisexual. But having one day after day after day...wouldn't that be a different story? Even if our guy in example 2 never acted on his fantasies? Is he really any different from the guy in Heavy who fantasizes about Liv Tyler but never consummates a single relationship? I mean, you're still a straight guy if you jerk off to Playboy, even if you never get laid, right?

Any thoughts?

No comments: