Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Good News - We Do Exist!

The term "bisexual" is a relatively new one and it is a disputed one. Bisexuality is a problem. There is no doubt of that. It is a problem for those of us who are bisexuals. It is a problem for our wives or husbands who are straight, and it is a problem for society.

Unfortunately a problem cannot be solved by just denying it exists, and that is what society has tried very hard to do for quite some time.

For those with an agenda, there are, of course, good reasons to deny bisexuality exists as a biological norm. The radical Christian Right doesn't yet even accept homosexuality as a biological norm. Many of them, including such current headliners as Michele Bachmann think it can be "prayed away."  See link.

The Christian Right cannot accept homosexuality as a biological norm because to do so would be to admit that homosexuals are created by God. The implications of accepting that would bring down the Christian Right's entire house of cards concerning what defines a family and a marriage.

But bisexuals are considered by the Christian Right to be an even greater threat to the Christian Right. A threat so dire they cannot even openly talk about it. At least homosexuals are becoming more and more self identified. More and more they can be easily observed in society; and they can still be fairly easily thought of as "those people," at least by members of the radical Christian Right who do not have a son or grandson who is one of those people; or if they do have a son or grandson who is such, they can label him as simply sinful because he won't pray away his sinfulness.

Even in this relatively enlightened age members of the radical Christian Right can and do ask homosexuals who refuse to participate in "having their gayness prayed away" to leave the church. Some who are not quite bold enough to ask an identified homosexual to leave can accomplish the same end result by making it clear to the offender that he is not welcome.

It's not so easy with bisexuals. Bisexuals exist among us in almost total invisibility. They appear to be perfectly straight men and women. They value their traditional families, their normal suburban lifestyle and their marriages. And they don't value these things as a "cover". They actually value them as a real needed part of the straight part of their lives.

Anyone who has been as active in the bisexual community as I have over the past almost two decades knows that bisexual men are everywhere. They are lawyers, doctors, computer technicians, pastors of radical Christian Right churches, Sunday school teachers, school teachers and anything else you can think of and in all these professions, they are invisible. That fact alone, is enough to scare the crap out of the radical Christian Right.

But it is not just the radical Christian Right who has an interest in denying the existence of bisexuality. The thankfully small radical homosexual community has often been quick to deny the existence of bisexuality also.     The motive of this group is easy to understand. It is even somewhat based in reality. The small group of radicals within the much larger homosexual community are hung up on the feeling they have been on the front lines of the fight to win recognition, acceptance and equal rights. They feel they have shouldered this burden while other homosexual men have conveniently hidden behind the title "bisexual" and remained invisible and safely out of the fray in the straight community.

They're right. Many men have done exactly that. They knew they were homosexual, but married at a time when that was the only real way to have a family, build a career and live the American dream. They used the term "bisexual" to describe themselves simply because they were married to a member of the opposite sex, yet desired or participated in sex with members of the same sex. But I think that just as many, and perhaps more men, were truly confused about their true identity in the latter part of the 20th century. I think many, in their confusion fooled even themselves with their denial of their homosexuality.

But what the more radical members of the homosexual community fail to understand is that their own prejudice has blinded them to a greater reality. Just because some men incorrectly, even knowingly, mislabel themselves as bisexuals does not mean bisexuality does not exists any more than the fact that many homosexual men label themselves as straight men means that homosexuality does not exist.

I can't speak for all bisexuals, but I assume that many of them shared my experience. As a young man, I didn't even know the term bisexual existed.  Yet by the time I was 12 years old I was beginning to know that something strange was going on. I was attracted to both girls and boys. I had fantasies about my good looking female teachers just like every boy does. I also had fantasies about my good looking male teachers! As a perpetually horny teenager I chalked this up to just having "sex on the brain." I figured it would go away. By the time I was 20 years old, I had been married more than a year to a woman who loved sex and made it available to me in great quantity and quality, but the fantasies concerning males had not gone away. I had embarked on the decades long journey I would spend in recognizing, accepting and then effectively dealing with my own bisexuality.

A recent study finally bears out what I and many others like me have known for years. I do exist as a bisexual man! The authors of this study did an amazing thing. They made it a point to find people to study who not only said they were bisexual, but lived the life of a bisexual. Sounds simple but it had never really been done before.

If you're a bisexual man,  you'll want to read the report of the study below. If  you're a straight or homosexual man, you should read the report of the study for your own edification.

No Surprise for Bisexual Men: 
Report Indicates They Exist

Published: August 22, 2011 

In an unusual scientific about-face, researchers at Northwestern University have found evidence that at least some men who identify themselves as bisexual are, in fact, sexually aroused by both women and men.

The finding is not likely to surprise bisexuals, who have long asserted that attraction often is not limited to one sex. But for many years the question of bisexuality has bedeviled scientists. A widely publicized study published in 2005, also by researchers at Northwestern, reported that "with respect to sexual arousal and attraction, it remains to be shown that male bisexuality exists."

That conclusion outraged bisexual men and women, who said it appeared to support a stereotype of bisexual men as closeted homosexuals.

In the new study, published online in the journal Biological Psychology, the researchers relied on more stringent criteria for selecting participants. To improve their chances of finding men aroused by women as well as men, the researchers recruited subjects from online venues specifically catering to bisexuals.

They also required participants to have had sexual experiences with at least two people of each sex and a romantic relationship of at least three months with at least one person of each sex.

Men in the 2005 study, on the other hand, were recruited through advertisements in gay-oriented and alternative publications and were identified as heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual based on responses to a standard questionnaire.

In both studies, men watched videos of male and female same-sex intimacy while genital sensors monitored their erectile responses. While the first study reported that the bisexuals generally resembled homosexuals in their responses, the new one finds that bisexual men responded to both the male and female videos, while gay and straight men in the study did not.

Both studies also found that bisexuals reported subjective arousal to both sexes, notwithstanding their genital responses. "Someone who is bisexual might say, 'Well, duh!' " said Allen Rosenthal, the lead author of the new Northwestern study and a doctoral student in psychology at the university. "But this will be validating to a lot of bisexual men who had heard about the earlier work and felt that scientists weren't getting them."

The Northwestern study is the second one published this year to report a distinctive pattern of sexual arousal among bisexual men.

In March, a study in Archives of Sexual Behavior reported the results of a different approach to the question. As in the Northwestern study, the researchers showed participants erotic videos of two men and two women and monitored genital as well as subjective arousal. But they also included scenes of a man having sex with both a woman and another man, on the theory that these might appeal to bisexual men.

The researchers (Jerome Cerny, a retired psychology professor at Indiana State University, and Erick Janssen, a senior scientist at the Kinsey Institute) found that bisexual men were more likely than heterosexuals or gay men to experience both genital and subjective arousal while watching these videos.

Dr. Lisa Diamond, a psychology professor at the University of Utah and an expert on sexual orientation, said that the two new studies, taken together, represented a significant step toward demonstrating that bisexual men do have specific arousal patterns.

"I've interviewed a lot of individuals about how invalidating it is when their own family members think they're confused or going through a stage or in denial," she said. "These converging lines of evidence, using different methods and stimuli, give us the scientific confidence to say this is something real."

The new studies are relatively small in size, making it hard to draw generalities, especially since bisexual men may have varying levels of sexual, romantic and emotional attraction to partners of either sex. And of course the studies reveal nothing about patterns of arousal among bisexual women. The Northwestern study included 100 men, closely split among bisexuals, heterosexuals and homosexuals. The study in Archives of Sexual Behavior included 59 participants, among them 13 bisexuals.

The new Northwestern study was financed in part by the American Institute of Bisexuality, a group that promotes research and education regarding bisexuality. Still, advocates expressed mixed feelings about the research.

Jim Larsen, 53, a chairman of the Bisexual Organizing Project, a Minnesota-based advocacy group, said the findings could help bisexuals still struggling to accept themselves.

"It's great that they've come out with affirmation that bisexuality exists," he said. "Having said that, they're proving what we in the community already know. It's insulting. I think it's unfortunate that anyone doubts an individual who says, "This is 'what I am and who I am.' "

Ellyn Ruthstrom, president of the Bisexual Resource Center in Boston, echoed Mr. Larsen's discomfort.

"This unfortunately reduces sexuality and relationships to just sexual stimulation," Ms. Ruthstrom said. "Researchers want to fit bi attraction into a little box, you have to be exactly the same, attracted to men and women, and you're bisexual. That's nonsense. What I love is that people express their bisexuality in so many different ways."

Despite her cautious praise of the new research, Dr. Diamond also noted that the kind of sexual arousal tested in the studies is only one element of sexual orientation and identity. And simply interpreting results about sexual arousal is complicated, because monitoring genital response to erotic images in a laboratory setting cannot replicate an actual human interaction, she added.

"Sexual arousal is a very complicated thing," she said. "The real phenomenon in day-to-day life is extraordinarily messy and multifactorial."


Duh, every bisexual man has known for some time that bisexuality is "extraordinarily messy and multifactorial." 

It's a big part of why the radical Christian Right fears bisexuality even more than it fears homosexuality. It's much harder to see and it has all the impact on their views of what marriages and families that homosexuality does and more.

And unlike Jim Larsen who is quoted in the above report as finding the study insulting to bisexuals, I don't agree at all. I agree the study might be seen as a study of something that is self-apparent, at least to bisexual people, but the fact is there are many segments of society who need to be hit over the head with many such studies. 

I think the gay community, except for its most radical wing, is coming around to view bisexuality as a reality even if some homosexuals do hide behind the label of bisexuality.  I know I have a number of homosexual friends and none have ever seriously questioned by bisexuality. 

Studies like this one will only help open minded people to see reality. Unfortunately, such studies will not help the radical Christian Right to see anything because they are not open minded.  They live in a world where an historical book, The Bible, is deified (against The Bibles own teachings, I might add) and in which scientific fact is vilified. They live in a world where religious legalism is used as a tool to make their view of what the world should be a dogmatic requirement; and in so doing, pervert their own faith and subvert their own intellect.

Even as a Christian myself, I find nothing to admire in the radical Christian Right's views concerning science and reason. As a bisexual man, I glad to know that the scientific community has taken another step forward in recognizing my existence. 

Bisexuality is problematic in many ways. Even today, there are things about my bisexuality and acting upon it that trouble me. Dealing with it ethically absolutely requires one to redefine what it means to be faithful in a marriage. But even such redefining when it can be accomplished by a married bisexual man, more often than not, leaves his wife unaware of and  in disagreement with such redefinition. 

There are a few men, like myself, who are married to women who know of our bisexuality and who have come to understand the redefinition of fidelity. Perhaps that provides hope.

Jack Scott


  1. For the record, I absolutely believe that bisexuals exist. And I agree that the Christian Right and some gays are unfairly dismissive of bisexuals and bisexuality. But I also think society's growing acceptance of homosexuality pushes the responsibility for greater understanding and acceptance of bisexuality squarely onto the shoulders of bisexuals themselves.

    What percent of gays and lesbians are out to their parents? What percent of bisexuals are?
    Part of the reason bisexuals get a bad rap is because they are perceived as greedy liars. They want it all - sex and love with both genders, but no social stigma. In order for bisexuals to be accepted they need to stand up and be counted. They need to educate their friends and family. Homosexuals are sick deviants - until your best friend from high school comes out to you. Bisexuals are imaginary - until your cousin explains what it's like to want both genders.

    I think you're doing your job for The Cause, Jack. Spreading word about this study is a good thing. Being honest with your wife is too. But the vast majority of bisexuals would rather hide than educate. Their relatively few and timid voices are drowned out by far more obnoxious nut jobs in both the straight and gay communities.

    So, yes, blame the nut jobs. But ultimately, the buck stops with the many members of the bisexual community itself.

  2. Thanks Two Lives. You know, I don't think I can argue with your point of view.

    You're a perfect example of why I blog. You've contributed a compelling hypothesis that deserves a great deal of thought and consideration.

    Your thoughts on why bisexuals attract a bad rap lay out a line of reasoning I've never seen stated in such simple, yet compelling, words.

    I appreciate your comment greatly.

    Jack Scott

  3. I agree with TwoLives, and it's very much the same as ghosts. No one believes in them until they've had an experience.

    But when you think about all of this, the problem is exclusive relationships however they exist, whether it's marriage or dating. Everyone expects to have an exclusive relationship and living happily ever after.

    Who is willing to share?

  4. I am the wife of a bi-sexual man and I am also bi-sexual myself - We are often told we are lucky to be able to be ourselves and also have the honesty that we have with one another. It makes our lives that much more fulfilling. Being who you are is so much easier than keeping it quiet. How I wish that my family weren't the radical Christians you speak of, however, they are so we will continue this awesome life without our families knowledge. My husband and I speak frequently of how we wish society as we know it today were not so close minded. Thank you Jack for sharing the study as it does validate us. I can hardly wait to show my husband!

  5. Mitzi, it was so good to read your comment. I completely understand when you talk about your life as being fulfilling because you are in a situation where both you and your husband understand yourselves and each other. I see some hope for the future. Radical Christianity is getting more radical right now because they know they are fighting a loosing battle. People, even Christian people, are just not buying into the radical legalistic crap anymore. Young people are somewhat more openminded about sexuality these days. It'll take more time, but time itself is on our side I think.

  6. Two Lives I agree, I have been out for 20 years it has been really difficult though. I have pursued both same sex and opposite sex relationships with a stronger pull towards women as primary partners so I have been out in the straight community. I am now politically active and really angry that all the men I know in the art world who are married refuse to be seen. In the art world there is less stigma but stigma none the less and few bisexual artist will actually say yes that's me.

    But so you empathize a little bit it has been a daunting task dealing with biphobia in relationship with straight women, and gay men. My best relationships have been with bisexual women and I am now in a new relationship with a biwoman. But I really had to digest the fact that common interests aside MOST women will not want to date me if they know this info before hand. In my twenties I was out but did share yhatvingo on a first date or as I was flirting. Gay men usually know before hand and most don't want to get involved with "my kind" or will flat out deny my existence. But I have been lucky to found one guy I loved dearly.

    Luckily many women I dated were open - at least to a point. I don't think they cared so much accept they hated my outness and did in some cases did not want to share the stigma.

    So to get bi men out is not merely about stigma it is about the degree of marginalization. Remember the gay community was built on desire. Well the same applies here. Men are pursuing their desires and the easiest way to pursue those desires is to be discrete.

    Oddly this discretion has also happened in the gay community too. A bi man in a same sex union had an open partnership and his partner agreed he could date and have sex with a woman. So he did and returned to his partnership and told his partner "please don't tell the guys". He them overcame the shame and came out as bisexual to all of his gay friends and those who said he didn't exist -he said then we can no longer be friends.

    So a great deal needs to be done on both sides really. For me personally the real issue has been the relationship rejection, and to be called gay and in the closet after years of being out! And the harassment from even some respected peers. Seriously there is job discrimination and harassment.

    BUT it is nothing compared to being punched and having my apartment vandalized by a straight homophobe. But that straight homophobe did not deny my existence he actually validated it (he knew I was bisexual - and I think it hit too close to home for him.)

  7. I did not really KNOW that I was a bisexual man until after I had been married for a while. I saw men in porn and got turned on but there were so many naked females that were turning me on, I kind of figured that all men were like this but didn't talk about it. I knew I wasn't to go to work and talk about it. I realized that I was Bisexual the night my wife picked up some actual bisexual porn by mistake and we were sitting there watching it. It's enough to say that when I watched the two hot guys with that cute redhead, it was very apparent to my wife and I that something new was going on. Looking at the cover of the video and seeing the words "Bi-..." was the first time I had ever heard of it. Many of my close Military buddies now know as well as my buddies in school. Many people at work have asked and I gave honest answers. Sadly my parents don't know. My own father would disown me and even as an adult, I am not ready for that. If I told my mother, I might as well tell my dad. My wife has asked me not to tell her family or let them find out. I have decided to respect her request. I know that I am in love, madly in love with my wife. She is not nor has she ever been a "Cover" and I hate that a few people have said as much. Bisexuality is messy because I don't know what it really means or why I am a bisexual man. I have never cheated on my wife and never will. I promised her monogamy and that is what she will get. We use porn to stories which act as an outlet for me. Some days are less bi than others. I always think that if its this confusing to me, how much more it must be for other people. Yeah being bi is messy.

    1. I'm glad you got your bisexuality figured out Jay. Sounds to me like your well adjusted and happy and in a relationship that works for you. What more could one ask.

      There should be plenty of reading here on BisexualBuddies Blog for you to learn more about bisexuality. There are also many links to the blogs of others.

      Thanks for your comment.

      Jack Scott

  8. Jack Scott,
    I do not mean to offend... I just want to understand..
    How is it that being bi means that redefinition of fidelity is ok? Marriages are between two people and cement a relationship with complete faithfulness. How is it that because you're bi, your wife doesn't get to have a husband who will only ever have sex with her?
    If it is ideal for you to have sex with both men and your wife (and not simply your wife), then why isn't her ideal of having a man who only wants her sexually, satisfied? Shouldn't she then be entitled to have extramarital sex with a straight man? Many sources say that bisexual men who are committed can ofcourse be faithful and happy with their spouse while controling their dick and not having sex with anyone but their spouse? Would you be ok with your wife having sex with a straight guy seeing as you have extramarital relations to satisfy your ideals? I've been of the opinion that a person who can't stick to just the one person shouldn't be married...

    1. Anonymous, I appreciate your comments. Chances are, a number of people feel the same way you do.

      I don't think I've ever said it is ok to redefine fidelity because one is bisexual. What I have said is there are societal and religious ideals and then there is reality. Reality usually wins over ideals. Just look at the current Presidential Election Campaigns for confirmation.

      So it is with marriage. There is the ideal and there is reality. If the only way to cement a relationship was with "complete" faithfulness, there would be VERY few cemented relationships. About 78% of men cheat and almost that number of women. Most of these people are straight people, not homosexuals or bisexuals.

      Your sources are right. Some homosexual and bisexual spouses can and do control their desires for sex with same sex individuals. Unfortunately, that does not mean they have a good marriage much less a "cemented" relationship.

      I agree with you though. A bisexual married man should try to remain faithful to his wife. It is the safest and simplest way to handle his situation. However you must remember that doing that is not easy. It would be exactly the same as saying a straight person should refrain from sex with his marital partner, easily said; not easily done.

      Jack Scott

    2. Thanks for replying.

      If you could just answer these questions though:

      Why isn't your wife's ideal of having a man who only wants her sexually, satisfied? Shouldn't she be entitled to have extramarital sex with a straight man if you can have your extra sex? Are you ok with the idea of your wife having sex with a straight guy seeing as you have extramarital relations to satisfy your ideals?

  9. While I appreciate your comments about upholding the existence of bisexuality, you don't need to constantly slam the "Christian right" when doing it. You have your beliefs and dedicated conservative Christians have their beliefs--who are you to judge that they are less open and tolerant? You actually prove yourself to be intolerant and less open to others by the words you choose to use toward evangelical Christians. If you are truly Christian the way you claim to be and want others to be open to your thoughts then you will be open to their thoughts. They may just be right. You are not God--you do not have the answers nor do you know the absolute truth. True Christians are all on a journey together trying to discover and live the truth on earth. Those of us who are bisexuals are struggling to live that truth every day, so open your ears and eyes instead of condemning the thoughts of others. Thanks.

    1. Good letter Anonymous. Thanks for sharing your comment. You're absolutely right. I have my opinions and beliefs and you and others have theirs.

      As for the question of who am I to judge conservative Christians? I'm the kid who was burned by their mistaken views of God and redemption for the first 18 years of my life. I was the kid who decided going to school and working for the future was a waste of times since the world was about to end anyway.

      I'm also the adult married to a professional psychotherapist who spends much of her time undoing the damage that conservative Christian preachers who do not know what they are talking about do to their congregations.

      I'm the adult who sees that Conservative Christians are doing more damage to the universal Church than is the devil himself. People are simply too well educated now to put up with the tyranny that the church has held over heads for the last 2000 years.

      You are correct. I am NOT God; but neither are you. I do not know the absolute truth; but neither do you. I might just be right also and as you say so may the conservatives.

      You are right too that true Christians are all on a journey (of faith) together and trying to live the life Christ would have us live.

      Where you mess up is just where you accused me of messing up, you condemn me and suggest that you are more Christian than I.

      I lived almost two decades as a Conservative Christian. I got out to avoid the condemnation of others they exhibit continually. I guarantee you I am the least person Conservatives have to fear to condemn them. If they are happy, I'm happy. I just get unhappy when they try to sell their opinions as the word of God. I've never suggested mine are.

      Jack Scott


I deeply regret that I must reinstate the verification process for those who want to leave comments on my blog. This is due to the intolerable amount of spam that spammers are attempting to leave on the blog.

At the same time I am changing settings so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will not have to have your comments moderated. My hope is this will encourage more readers to take the time to comment. The fact is I want to read comments with those of you who disagree with me as well as those of you who agree with me. All I ask is that you keep your comments clean and non-threatening.

The only reason I take the time to write this blog is to spur your thoughts and comments. Please do not let the spammers cause you not to comment. I know entering the verification words and numbers is a pain in the ass, but I hope you will not let the spammers cause you not to comment.

I still very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott