Sep 4, 2007

[Pink Culture] The Myth of the Bisexual Male

Flickr: Royal Olive - Pride2007 43 copy

As distracting as that image is, that's not the main point behind this article. This all stems from an episode of Sex and the City that I was watching on ETC 2nd Avenue before shift - you know, the one with the bisexual twenty-something guy who took Carrie ice skating. Well that got me thinking about the whole notion of bisexuality all over again since it seems it's an issue that never really gets old.

So for the record, let's explore this item here on the Geeky Guide, eh? Humor me, this is supposed to be a guide to Nearly Everything after all.

To be really geeky about all this, we could start with Google definition search, a Wikipedia reference or a Word Source quick definition for good measure and you generally get the same thing - the notion that bisexuals are folks who are attracted to both sexes, whether romantically or sexually. However this entry is just focused on the bisexual male, for reasons obvious to lovers of Sex and the City. Oh come on, haven't you been paying attention?

In the episode, it turned out the guy Carrie was dating was an open bisexual so of course the girls got together for lunch to discuss this latest personal complication. Once Carrie reveals the truth about the guy Sean, naturally get into discussion about bisexuals and how rarely are there bisexual men since they end up liking other guys more than women. This is the same lunch where Samantha uttered that unforgetable line, "I'm a trisexual. I'll try anything once."

I have to admit it's certainly a notion I tend to agree with - the bisexual one and not the trisexual one, haha. What I mean to say is it's pretty rare to find true bisexual guys out there who are into getting involved with both sexes. You have to admit that most of the guys who refer to themselves as bisexuals are probably confusing the term with being somehow discreet or straight-acting in a queer context and have never had (and probably never will) a sexual thought involving the opposite sex. A lot of people pay lip service to the term if only for the purpose of feeling their way into the gay scene while leaving some sort of a safety line leading back to the world of women.

In my life I've met very few people who seemed to be truly bisexual based on tehir history and how they can seriously switch-hit in discussions about sex with either men or women or even both. While I don't know them to continue to be involved with both sexes since eventually either settle down or tend to go after one sex more than the other. Bisexuality has never been about equally liking both sexes, it just means that you have the ability to do so.

It's probably even more confusing here in the Philippines because of the misuse of the term as described two paragraphs ago. Just hit the IRC channel #bi-manila and try to find someone who's seriously into "seafood," if you catch my drift. Hence there are loads of guys who act like total queens yet call themselves bisexual and when you ask them if they're into women, they look at you like you've asked them if they're into human sacrifice or cannibalism. Go figure.

Why is bisexuality in males so hard to believe? I have nothing against them, mind you. I'm just trying to understand all this for now. Think about it - we're a bit more ammenable in most cases to the notion of women "switching sides" then and again. Heck, some folks (usually straight guys) would pay to see that sort of thing and tend to encourage it. However when it comes to guys, we are somewhat more inclined to believe that he is only capable of choosing one side indefinitely.

How does one determine true bisexuality anyway? Should it be a matter of frequency? How often the person exercises his tastes for both sexes and not just stick to one? That seems overly simplistic, I must admit, but I'm trying to prove a point here.

In a world where nearly anything under the sun can happen at least once, there appear to be a near-infinite number of possibilities when it comes to sexual orientation. One extreme can be separated by innumereable degrees of sexual freedom that become harder and harder to define as the numbers increase. Naming things is just our way of trying to generalize these patterns, to try and begin to understand them by first identifying them as part of a larger whole. It's something practically instinctive for humanity at this point. We're not always perfectly correct about things but we certainly try to be.

Let's weigh in your thoughts on the matter - are bisexual men so rare that they border on myth? How would you define bisexuality in this case? Your comments and ideas are more than welcome.

Photo linked from Royal Olive's photostream.

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