The question of bisexuality comes back to the question of sexuality in general, and if queer sexualities are made or innate or a third option. In the study of male arousal the conclusion was that, by genital arousal alone, there is no such thing as bisexuality. This also brings up the question of what constitutes a sexual orientation. Are bisexuals people who are only physically aroused by one body type but who are mentally aroused or desirous or emotionally bonded to other body types, or who are indiscriminatory as to the type of body their lover has. If we can learn to be attracted to different body types for whatever reason, doesn’t that mean that everyone could be bisexual? Is it just mental blocks which keep people from being bisexual?
The issues around the term and existence of bisexuality as outlined in (Con)tested Identities are ones which I have muddled around in my brain for quite some time. I am currently with a male partner, though, over the last ten years or so (ever since I had a conscious thought about sexual orientation) I have identified as anywhere from lesbian to bisexual. At the same time, I wouldn’t ascribe to him strictly a masculine gender. A further question: how does gender play into sexual orientation? Is it all about bodies? What about a bisexual who only likes the masculine gender, regardless of body? Would ze be bisexual but monogendered? Do we really need to dig that far into it anyway?
How does bisexual sexual orientation change dependent on the relationship the person is in at the time? I happen to have a female (sort of) lover as well, does that mean that I am a “real” bisexual while others may not be because they practice monogamy? I noticed how this isn’t exactly addressed, though the ideas of promiscuity and fidelity are. Does it make a difference that my partner is also bisexual? Does it matter?
I too have felt distanced from the queer community when I mention I have a male partner, though I don’t openly admit to my polyamory. I use the term partner freely but have caught myself saying “boyfriend” at work instead and realize my aims at using the term, the ability I have to use heteronormative terms to quell the question that my using partner arises. Is this wrong of me? I am invoking heterosexual privilege because I can. I am acting like the bisexual threat to queerness perhaps.
From (Con)tested Identities: “dissatisfaction with existing labels results in the development and exploration of the utility of alternative labels, for example… “pansexual,” “polyamorous” and “polysexual.” A number of other participants also discuss variously using alternate terms like “hetero-flexible,” “gender freak” and “gender non-specific.” This made me think of a couple things, to be explored. The last town I lived in, alternate terms such as pansexual or multisexual were well known in the queer community, however, when I moved here I’ve been asked what I mean when I say pansexual or multisexual or (my personal favorite and invention) intellisexual (which I generally explain before I even have the chance to be asked—attracted to minds not bodies), I was also told “I’ve only heard one other person use that term.” This may just be because that was Southern Oregon (Ashland) and this is Utah, and I think that plays a large part in it, but even in the queer community it is unknown, and this makes me wonder.
Where and how do these ideas travel? Are they simply word of mouth, are they by academic literature such as we are reading? Are they through taking queer oriented classes and questioning? How does the queer community thrive? How are do discursive identities spread?
Also the quote: “And, the irony is that in a second I would bring my girlfriend to, you know, straight events and it’s like, you know, this is, this is my girlfriend, deal with it. Like I’m so ready to do that. But so not ready to like bring a man to a gay function and say this is my boyfriend, deal with it. (PI6)” From what I’ve revealed I would assume it’s obvious where this hits home for me. For the first time in my life, really, I am in a solid relationship with a male which is the longest of my life, and I am also feeling uncomfortable in queer situations. For the first year after I moved here I was rather avoidant of getting into queer situations (bad term), and still rather am. I was the president of the student union at my previous university and the founder of the GSA at my high school, and yet now I’m worried to attend queer events?
Is this simply something in me now? I think part of it is. I feel ashamed that I’m with a male, yet claim intellisexuality or multisexuality or queerness in general. My lesbian butch dyke sister calls herself queer, can I claim the same identity, or is that blasphemous? I really do feel that I am in the middle, unsure of what I can and cannot claim, though knowing that I don’t want to claim heterosexuality, though I jokingly will say that I’m “half heterosexual.”