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Are Bisexuals Real?????!??!

1

by thepleasurechest

munch pain and suffering

Following yesterday’s New York Times Magazine article about “The Scientific Quest to Prove Bisexuality Exists,” we just have to ask why.

Why do we need to prove that bisexuality* exists?

Okay, so some people think that it doesn’t exist. A lot of gay people once identified as bisexual in order to soften the coming-out process, or because they weren’t ready to face the idea of being gay, or even because they were interested in a wider range of people back then. That’s cool. Maybe you’ve been that person, or known that person, or dated that person.

Let’s say that you’re bisexual, and that person – the one who used to be bisexual before they realized that they were Actually Gay All Along – comes up to you and tells you that you are not bisexual, and that no one is really bisexual.

You argue with them. You roll out your sexual history, your crushes, your large archive of straight porn and slash fan fiction.

Why are you arguing with this person?

Okay, here’s another hypothetical. (Stay with us here.)

You’re a kid again. Another kid comes up to you on the playground.

“I saw your mom yesterday,” the kid says, “Eating dirt in the empty lot next to the laundromat.”

“That’s not true,” you tell the kid, “My mom was at home with me.”

“Don’t lie,” the kid says, “I know it was her. She was picking up fistfuls of dirt and eating them.”

“No, she wasn’t!” you exclaim, getting upset. “She was at home.”

“Prove it,” says the kid.

You have options. You could tell the kid exactly what your mom did yesterday, at home. You could say that you played crazy eights three times, and that she won twice. You could describe the meal that you ate together, where she burned the grilled cheese sandwiches.

But really: why are you arguing with this person?

You know that your mom wasn’t eating dirt. You know that you’re bisexual. The person that you’re arguing with is a bully, or is, at best, too invested in their own point of view to be worth arguing with.

The New York Times article includes a section about a study that the American Institute of Bisexuality is funding and that vomitous researcher J. Michael Bailey is running. In it, Bailey and members of the A.I.B. discuss what kind of pornography to include in a study that measures its subjects’ genital arousal while watching different kids of porn.

Why? When our own desires and patterns of arousal are so complex, so emotional, so tied to our individual memories and associations, why do we assume that someone can make a definitive statement about someone else’s sexuality just because they had increased blood flow in their genitals after looking at a few porn stars?

Want to prove that bisexuality exists? If you’re bisexual, keep being bisexual. If you want to come out, and you feel like you can come out, then come out. If you’re not bisexual, and someone tells you that they are, believe them. If the schoolyard bully tells you that you (or your friends, or your favorite TV actor) are not bisexual, tell them to stop being ridiculous and then go talk to someone better.

Do you want studies? That’s great, studies can be really interesting! Read about scientists measuring people’s genitals, pupils, whatever, but always take what you read with a grain of salt. Then, go read about people’s sexualities in their own words. What you read there will be less quantifiable and more true to life.

*We decided to use the same language as the New York Times, for clarity, but feel free to substitute in your preferred term (queerness, pansexuality, etc.). 

1 Comment

  • Deb

    I love this. Thanks for writing the exact words floating around my head!

    Deb,

    Bisexual

    ReplyMarch 22, 2014 at 2:53 am

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