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SEXUAL ORIENTATION: BISEXUALITY

by admin - September 27th, 2010.
Filed under: General health. Tagged as: .

One group that has been largely ignored by researchers is the group of men and women who identify themselves as bisexual. That means that they are sexually attracted to both men and women. The ultimate choice of a longterm partner may well come down to broader social factors. Pauline and Sally had known each other for a few months before they decided to travel abroad together. Sally recalled, ‘Our friendship became more and more intimate over the time we were traveling. We spent twenty-four hours a day together and so we got to know everything about each other. The closeness that comes from having to rely totally on each other in a foreign country was just incredible. We had both dated only men in the past, but after it became sexual with us it added a whole new dimension. We both thought this was the most wonderful relationship we could imagine. That was until we got back home. Pauline couldn’t cope with the reactions of some of her friends and she started pushing me away, but she refused to talk about it. Eventually I just pleaded with her to tell me why. She told me she was in love with me and that I was everything she could possibly want in a partner but I wasn’t a man. The only way I could cope was to leave the country and just distract myself. About a year later I heard that she was engaged. It hurt like hell, but I hope she is happy.’

When asked if any of his clients were married men, one male prostitute answered, ‘Yeah, heaps. They open their wallets to pay me, and there are the photos of the wife and kids.’

Woody Allen looked on the positive side when he said, ‘I can’t understand why more people aren’t bisexual. It would double your chances for a date on a Saturday night.’ But the reality is not so easy. In fact it may even be more difficult to establish a sexual identity than for a person who is exclusively heterosexual or homosexual. One of the problems for people who identify as bisexual is that they may not be entirely accepted by either gay people or the ‘straight’ people. One gay man told me, ‘A lot of people who say they are bisexual are confused. They just don’t want to admit they are gay so they fool themselves.’

Oscar Wilde, the English writer Vita Sackville-West, Eleanor Roosevelt and Marlene Dietrich were all known to have had relationships with both men and women, but high profile bisexual role models were relatively scarce until Madonna decided to make a career out of it. The explicit details of her celebrated and varied exploits made it almost socially necessary to have some ambiguity of sexual preference.

Wendy identifies herself as bisexual. ‘I can have a strong physical attraction to a man or a woman but I feel more of an emotional intensity with a woman, so those are the relationships that seem to work best for me. Trouble is, because I have the physical need for both but the emotional energy for only one, I feel I am constantly having to make a compromise. Some people ask me why I can’t be satisfied with just choosing one or the other. It’s hard to describe, but it’s like you have two quite separate libidos, each with needs of its own, and satisfying one makes no difference to the other.’
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