alice_in_wonderland01

Curiouser & Curiouser: The Strange ‘Disappearance’ Of Male Bisexuality

The recent spate of media reports of the commonness of female bisexuality – and the ‘non-existence’ of the male variety – prompts Mark Simpson to wonder why we seem to be kidding ourselves about the real, red-blooded nature of the ‘bi-curious’ times we’re living in

Male bisexuality doesn’t exist. Or it’s very, very rare. Or it’s really just gay men in denial. Yeah, it’s official: bi guys are freaks and liars as well as non-existent.

Female bisexuality, on the other hand, is almost universal. It’s as natural and as true as it is wonderful and real and… hot!

Or so you would be forgiven for thinking if you had read the effusive reports in the papers about California State University’s recently published sex-research which claims that women are 27 times more likely to become attracted to their own sex than men. I haven’t yet been able to study the research quoted, but any sex survey that claims to have interviewed 3,500 people and show that 0.3% of men are attracted to the same sex compared to 8% of women (as quoted in the Independent on Sunday 12/2/06) is difficult to take seriously. Except as a measure of social attitudes rather than sexuality.

Maybe it’s because some of my best shags are bisexual men, but I’m beginning to get a bit teed off with this drive to make male bisexuality disappear, either into statistics smaller than a micro-penis or obscured behind a flurry of girl-on-girl action. A few months ago The New York Times published an article called ‘Straight, gay or lying?’ which seemed to be a press release for the hilariously cranky research of Dr J. Michael Bailey at Northwestern University.

Apparently this research involves wiring up people’s genitals and showing them dirty pictures and then claiming to have ‘proved’ that male bisexuality doesn’t exist – while the female variety is commonplace. Which seems a much more tenuous conclusion to reach, rather than, for instance: psychologists at Northwestern University are very strange indeed. (Amongst other extraordinary omissions, the article neglected to mention that Dr Bailey has more than one ‘previous’ in his area: he thinks transsexuals are also ‘really’ gay men).

I hate to break it to you guys, but most of the evidence, historical, anthropological and sexological, suggests that if anything, male ‘bisexuality’ – it’s a terrible word, almost as bad as ‘heterosexual’ and ‘homosexual’, but it will have to do for now – is much more common than the female variety. After all, entire civilizations such as Ancient (and according to some accounts, Modern) Greece have been based on it. Not to mention public schools, the Royal Navy and Hollywood….

It’s unquestionable that female bisexuality is today much more socially acceptable than male bisexuality, and in fact frequently positively encouraged, both by many voyeuristic men and an equally voyeuristic pop culture and also, perhaps slightly paradoxically, by women’s new-found desire to assert themselves sexually. What’s more, female homosex has never been legally or socially stigmatized to anything like the same degree as male homosex.

It’s a fond myth that the Victorians exempted female homosex from legal censure because Queen Victoria couldn’t conceive of it (apart from anything else, the young Victoria was a fan of the poet Sappho). Woman-on-woman love action wasn’t legislated against because, unlike male homosex, it simply wasn’t considered of much consequence. It may be difficult for feminists to grasp, but ‘patriarchy’ was always much more concerned about where men’s penises went than women’s tongues.

Straight women now have something to gain and little to lose by admitting an interest in other women. Rather than exile them to the acrylic mines of Planet Lesbo, it makes them more interesting, more adventurous, more modern… just more. For the most part, however, straight men still have nothing to gain and everything to lose by making a similar admission. It renders them considerably… less. Unlike women, men’s gender is immediately suspect if they express an interest in the same sex.

What’s more, any male homosexuality still tends to be seen as an expression of impotence with women. In other words: men’s attraction to men is equivalent to and probably a product of emasculation. A straight man admitting that he finds masculinity desirable – as so many clearly, thrillingly do – threatens to cost him the very thing he values most: not only his own manhood and his potency, his reputation with the ladies, but his lads-together homosocial intimacy with other men.

It’s a nasty, vicious, bitchy trick to play on millions of red-blooded men, but this is what passes for common sense in the modern, Anglo-Saxon world. When a male in public life is outed as bisexual – and, with the exception of controversy-courting David Bowie in the 1970s, who now denies he ever was, they almost never come out willingly – he is immediately represented as ‘gay’.

For a man, unlike a woman, there is no such thing as ‘half gay’. It’s tantamount to being half pregnant. Exhibits A and B: the recent outings of British Lib-Dem Members of Parliament Michael Oaten and bachelor Simon Hughes by the press as ‘gay’ – or rather ‘GAY!’ This despite the fact that Oaten is a married man with children and Hughes’ own careful presentation of himself in his (clearly arm-twisted) admission as bisexual.

All those witty ‘LIMP-DEMS’ headlines illustrating once again that any male homosexuality is seen as emasculation. If a male celeb’s sexuality is ‘questioned’ (a tellingly popular phrase, suggesting his genitals have been taken down the police station) by the tabs, they frequently run front page headlines by some tart claiming ‘HE’S NO GAY! HE’S ALL MAN! WE ROMPED SEVEN TIMES A NIGHT!’

Naturally, a man’s prowess with the ladies is proof positive that he couldn’t possibly be ever interested in men. Hence the popularity of the expression ‘red-blooded heterosexual male’. It goes without saying, doesn’t it, that non-heterosexual men have pink blood. Real men don’t do dick; and if they do, well, they’re not real men. Can I have my professorship at Northwestern University now, please?

Speaking of unreal men, Robbie Williams, the drag king of Britpop, was recently awarded large damages over newspaper reports that he had GAY HOMOSEXUAL SEX with ANOTHER MAN!. Many pointed out his libel action of his over accusations of GAY HOMOSEXUAL SEX was rather odd, hypocritical even, given this former member of gay disco dancing baby Chippendale troupe Take That’s careful cultivation of his ‘ambiguous’ sexuality over the years, and its crucial role in making him seem much more interesting that he actually is. However, Williams’ flirtation with ‘gay rumours’ was probably more a I’m-so-secure-in-my-sexuality postmodern strategy for dispelling the possibility that he was homo at all.

Williams spent a great deal of time and money publicising his affairs with the ladies. This careful investment threatened to be rendered worthless by this story. In keeping with their reflexive denial of male bisexuality, the newspaper allegations of his ‘homosexual affair’ also suggested that his very high profile relationships with women were a sham and that he was a GAY HOMOSEXUAL really. Hence Robbie ‘red-blooded’ Williams had to sue.

When men have sex with one another it is never sex – it is, you guessed it, GAY HOMOSEXUAL SEX! Last week British scandal sheet the News of the World ran a story about a ‘secret’ (i.e. unlawfully obtained) film of two bisexual English Premier League footballers… having sex. The headline for the story used the word GAY in font so large it covered more than half the page. (The words ‘sordid’ and ‘perverted’ and ‘obscene’ were also much in evidence; in a story about bisexual women the words would be: ‘saucy’ ‘steamy’ and ‘sexy’.)

Likewise, Brokeback Mountain was popularly dubbed the ‘gay cowboy’ movie, but in fact both the protagonists are bisexually active, and there’s rather more straight sex than gay sex in the film. Actor Jake Gyllenhaal has felt obliged to tell interviewers how ‘uncomfortable’ it was for him to perform the ‘gay sex’ scenes – despite there being almost none and that this is a film that likes to lecture us, rather tediously, on how awful homophobia is. I suppose some would say we should commend his honesty; but then, this is a guy, remember, who lives in LA and works in a profession where everyone smooches whenever they meet, when they leave, and when they’re feeling especially emotional – like when they win an Oscar.http://www.marksimpson.com/blog/wp-admin/post.php?post=30&action=edit#

And I’m not even mentioning that one of the problems with Brokeback was that Jakey boy was just too gay looking. If you’re a man who loves women, admitting a sexual interest in other men – or even failing to mention how uncomfortable/ill the very idea of it makes you feel – can apparently cost you your virility, and expose you to public ridicule of a kind that people might think twice about if you were actually gay. Partly because a degree of political correctness now protects gays, and partly because gays, unlike bis, ‘can’t help themselves’. And at least you know where you are with them.

You won’t even be praised for your ‘honesty’ as everyone will think you’re ‘really’ gay anyway. Why do bisexual men not come out? Because when a bisexual man comes out people shut their minds. Fear and loathing of male bisexuality is something tends to bring heterosexuals and homosexuals together. Instead of pondering the possibility that public attitudes towards male bisexuality are a truer, less censored indication of what many people actually feel about male homosexuality in general and its enforced incompatibility with masculinity, gay men too often rush to condemn bisexual men and reassure heterosexuals: don’t worry, you’re not being homophobic when mouthing off about bisexual men coz we hate them too!

Gays, when they’re not eagerly cruising bisexual men in lay-bys, saunas and chat-rooms, are too often keen to denounce the ‘dishonesty’ and ‘double lives’ and ‘repression’ of bisexual men – because they have the temerity to not be just like them, and instead lead ‘normal’ lives that happen to include a discreet, ‘deviant’ sideline, rather than order their lives and their wardrobe around their deviation.

In fact, the fetish might be on the other foot. The very existence of male bisexuality threatens to put exclusive homosexuality into a negative rather than a positive light: perhaps you’re not gay because you love men but because you don’t love women. Another, perhaps more elitist gay response to male bisexuality is to insist that men are not ‘really’ bisexual unless they take it up the arse. This seems to me to be a peculiar requirement. Would they also insist that a woman not be considered ‘really’ bisexual until she had fucked a woman with a strap-on? Why privilege some practices above others? Many homosexual men are exclusively active; are they not ‘really’ homo? Besides, it’s not for heteros or homos to define what is ‘really’ bisexual. If it were left to them, there would be no such thing as bisexuality at all.

After all, bisexuality is ‘really’ the parts of human behaviour that undermine the very idea idea of ‘heterosexual’ and ‘homosexual’ – of ‘sexuality’ itself. Male bisexuality may be still officially invisible, but chat lines, mobile phones, chat rooms and the general fragmentation of modern identities has made it much easier for otherwise heterosexual men to discreetly explore their ‘bi-curiousness’ (a recent, erotic paddling-pool coinage which attempts to avoid the plunge-pool identity of ‘bisexual’). There are vast and growing numbers of these ‘bi-curious’ men, especially those under 35 (some of them are probably cruising the chat rooms and rest rooms of California State University).

These are, after all, a generation of men who have grown up with frank discussions of homosexuality in the media and, more crucially, glossy, glamorous images of male desirability rammed down their throats, on billboards, magazines, films, pop music, TV and even and especially on the playing field. Metrosexuality was in large part a response to this – and a socially acceptable, commodity-focussed male complement to the media-generated trend towards female bisexuality which many men, while appreciating enormously, felt somewhat short-changed by. If the sex roles have broken down – nay, been battered down – why should women be allowed to maintain the monopoly on sensuality and men be forced to continue to merely perform? Why the anachronistic division of labour in the High Street and the bedroom? Why shouldn’t men experiment as well, and discover, for example, their own profile – or their own G-spot? Why should Adam not be as curious and as vain as… Eve?

Especially since the arrival of that boon to boundless curiosity as the Internet. This is a generation of men who have grown up with easy access to hardcore porn; which, by the way, means: masturbating over images of pussies and dicks. In fact, dicks are frequently the only constant. Anyone claiming that men simply don’t have a bisexual responsiveness should be made to watch the porn consumed by straight men today. Not only do all the most popular scenes (anal and vaginal penetration, blow jobs and ‘money shots’) star – very large – penises, but more and more frequently, they are attached to young, attractive, smooth, worked out men that the camera lingers over much more than in the past.

Forget the sex-researchers with their clunky electrodes; the porn industry knows what today’s males like. You might counter that the metrosexual male porn model phenomenon is simply a result of the industry’s mostly fruitless attempts to encourage women to consume more porn; if you did you’d be even wider of the mark than those who have tried to explain away metrosexual advertising entirely in terms of marketing to women and metrosexual men entirely in terms of pleasing women. Most ‘bi-curious’ men I’ve met – usually very anonymously and very discreetly – express a very strong desire to try oral sex with a man, often as a result of watching so many women enjoy it.

Or maybe just because most men would suck their own penis if they could, but most can’t, so have to ‘phone a friend’. Or rather, a stranger. More often than not they have had these fantasies for an achingly long time before acting on them; and they definitely haven’t spoken to anyone, especially sex researchers, about them. In fact, they are usually terrified that anyone might find out and this has been the main reason why they haven’t yet acted on these fantasies.

And these, remember, are the most adventurous bi-curious men; the unadventurous bi-curious men simply stay curious. This is probably the opposite for bi-curious women, who, it seems, tend to talk about it a lot before trying it. The most ludicrous aspect of today’s ‘sexist’ taboo on male bisexuality is that, after all, is it really so strange that males who are very interested in masculinity quite often end up interested in men. This is part of the reason why it used be thought of as a ‘phase’ that all male youths went through. There seems to me to be something rather prissy and effeminate about a masculinity that refuses any physical intimacy with men, ever. (Well, that’s what I say to straight men I fancy.)

At its most basic, most ‘rudimentary’, male ‘homosexuality’ is nothing more than a shared wank. All men, however straight, know how to please a prick and have been doing so regularly, for most of their lives – many times more often than they’ve been pleasing pussy.

As for buggery – if God hadn’t intended men to get fucked he wouldn’t have given them a prostate gland. I don’t have any doubt that most of these bi-curious men really love women and always will, and in most cases rather more than they will ever love men. They are not making their first steps ‘out of the closet’ into a gay identity. Many will lose their interest in having sex with another male. And there are, it is abundantly clear to me from my own exhaustive sex-research, several ‘bi-curious’ straight men for every gay man. Exclusive, life-long male homosexuality is the exceptional, not the normal form of male-on-male desire.

Male bisexuality as a phenomenon is here already and is something that society is going to have to get used to, or at least stop pretending doesn’t exist – except when it wants to make money out of it in the form of advertising, fashion, pop-promos, movies and porn. If I was Herbert Marcuse I might argue that reaching for your buddy’s shorts instead of your wallet – choosing the Real Thing over Diesel and Nike – is still verboten because corporations are making so much money selling straight men ersatz homosexuality.

That women are being encouraged to talk about their bisexuality as an enhancement of their femininity and sexuality is rather marvellous – but it also heightens the double standard about male bisexuality, one as pronounced as the double standard about promiscuity used to be (men were ‘studs’ and women were ‘slags’), and makes it more inevitable that male bisexuality – by which I simply mean ‘straight’ male sexuality that doesn’t fit into heterosexuality, and boy, there’s a lot of that – will have to be addressed candidly sooner or later.

The tidy-minded inhibitions which keep male bi-curiousness under wraps are still powerful, but have largely lost their social value, their attachment to anything real; they are mostly remnants from a Judeo-Christian (re)productive, world that doesn’t exist any more, except perhaps in Utah, every other Sunday. Dr Bailey with his terrifying sex lie-detectors is the (slightly camp) voice of the Superannuated Super-Ego. When enough young men realise this – or maybe just the desperate preposterousness of the arguments and ‘science’ deployed against male bi-curiousness – the change in attitudes will occur very quickly and dramatically indeed.

Not least because the ‘bi-curiousness’ of some women seems almost bi-curious enough for both sexes. Women are beginning to talk about their interest in boy-on-boy bonking as loudly as men have for years bragged about their interest in girl-on-girl action. Some are even trying to persuade their boyfriends to return the ‘lesbian’ favour so often requested of them in the past.

A separated ‘bi-curious’ fireman in rural England I met a few times before he went back to his wife recently contacted me to tell me something rather alarming. ‘She found out about you,’ he said. ‘She hacked into my Hotmail account.’ ‘Oh, shit,’ I said. ‘What did she do? Throw you out?’ ‘No,’ he said. ‘She got turned on! She wants to watch.’ The poor guy had to tell her that that this really was a kinky bridge too far for him. That he was too much a traditionalist to go down that path….

However the media tries to deny it, or obliterate it with another feverish discussion of female bi-curiousness, it’s just a matter of time before male bi-curiousness goes mainstream. These are interesting times. What we mean by ‘straight’ is changing so rapidly that the straightest of straight men might soon find themselves having to at least flirt with bi-curiousness – just to lay women.

UPDATE

In 2011 Dr Bailey recanted and very kindly allowed bisexual men to exist.

It's a Queer World

Deviant Adventures in Pop Culture

Saint Morrissey

The acclaimed ‘psycho-bio’ of England’s most charming – and alarming – pop star.

Metrosexy

A biography of the metrosexual.

By his dad.

End of Gays?

What’s left of gayness when the homophobia stops?

Male Impersonators

The book that changed the way the world looks at men.

Sex Terror

This book will change the way you think about sex. It may even put you off it altogether.

31 thoughts on “Curiouser & Curiouser: The Strange ‘Disappearance’ Of Male Bisexuality

  1. This essay is excellent, but it’s truly sad that this stood out the most to me on a first reading: “Last week British scan­dal sheet the News of the World ran a story about a ‘secret’ (i.e. unlaw­fully obtained) film…” oh how prescient.

  2. Actually come to think of it what Bailey misses is everything else. For example ALL of the men I dated were very feminine. I am a big man and athlete. I have been attracted to tone of voice, mannerism, and the sensitivity of some gay men. I also liked dominating and taking them in a way that most women really can’t handle, forcing oral sex, showing my strength against their body, etc. I really consider these men to be women to some extent. And I consider myself bisexual because my lovd of the feminine is not limited to the female body.

  3. It is odd indeed that in Ancient Greece bisexual men (top bisexuals you might say) had priveledged status and was the norm and in contemporary times bisexual men are pushed to the lowest status. I can hardly make claims on the nature of bisexuality in men because I have known only about 5 other bisexual men, two of whom are now married (and now invisible). There may be a grain of truth that bi men may lean more gay or straight, but I have also seen a sort of flip flop phenomenon. I met a psychologist in his late 30’s who said he dated women, only watched straight porn, identified as straight and then found suddenly he was only attracted to men. I asked “your a psychologist how could you not know yourself” he responded swearing there was no indication over the years that he was sexually attracted to men. Another flip flop was of a man who was gay and was in a theater he kissed the female director “just playing around” and they ended up having a 3 year sexual relationship. He them dated both men and women and then got married. He now calls himself “straight”. I have always identified as bi and dated and had sex with mostly women (about 16) and had on occasion 5 times dated men. There has been the phenomenon that I don’t pair bond with men – meaning these relationship though loving, passionate, etc. Last a few months while my relationships with women often last from 1 – 5 years. And I am usually very upset when that bond breaks. I recently met a bi man who has reported the exact opposite! The point is I think bisexual men now need to completely take posession of their experience and existence stop having straight and gay men and women arrogantly tell us what we feel inside and the nature of our bisexuality. We can learn from one another, validate and support each other – because since the Baily article I feel I live in the early days of NAZI Germany and I think we all really need to take this very seriously!

  4. Thanks. I am bi male and have been out for twenty years and often cocky about it. I loved the article it made me laugh. But recently I have been feeling pretty bad as I digest how much crap I have endured. As the man said above being out may be too big of price. Really few straight women will respond to my great online profile. I think straight women often have an invested interest in making sure men are 100% straight as well as I have heard some of the worst from them. As far as gay men they whine and bitch about bisexual men until the can’t find anyone to top them. I actually never chased a man in my life but have been chased and basically relented “all right already if I fuck the shit out of you will you leave me alone!” – seriously! I get not all bi men are dominant types – but there is some strange bi straight fetish and simultaneous hatred. But seriously I appreciate the humour because I am feeling really shitty about being out and visibly when I am suppose to not exist at all.

  5. amazing! will you marry me! lol srsly, that was a joy to read!

    I loved that you noted this

    “Gays, when they’re not eagerly cruising bisexual men in laybys, saunas and chat-rooms, are too often keen to denounce the ‘dishonesty’ and ‘double lives’ and ‘repression’ of bisexual men – because they have the temerity to not be just like them, and instead lead ‘normal’ lives that happen to include a discreet, ‘deviant’ sideline, rather than order their lives and their wardrobe around their deviation. In fact, the fetish might be on the other foot. The very existence of male bisexuality threatens to put exclusive homosexuality into a negative rather than a positive light: perhaps you’re not gay because you love men but because you don’t love women.”

    Only lately and briefly popping myself in the gay-world for a look around this fact just stunned me, it was awesome to have it validated. But everything you said was spot on!

  6. your basic point is obviuos and true. the somewhat vulgar way you did it is the reason for the prejudice.

    it take away from you educating gaol.

  7. I am a closted bisexual man. I prefer women but I enjoy hot sexual times with guys as well. I dontlike kissing guys much but I love to kiss women. Its all about preferences. With the battle of the sexes a constant and the need for power and prowness always in the mix we will always try and put down others. Get over it. Fat skinny, tall short, ugly pretty, male , female, whatever. If you enjoy it enjoy it. There is alot that goes into sexuality and to try and quantify it with a broad stroke ro to vilafy it by any means is short sighted and wrong.

  8. Interesting Sterculius… (What’s up with the feces on your name???) If I may offer any input I would just say that your particular interests just represent yet another facade of the often oversimplified and forsaken concept of sexuality, and it’s interesting to hear. thanks for sharing.

  9. I came upon this article only recently (May, 2010) but it echoes a theme that I’ve been struggling with my entire life. I’m extremely attracted to women, both physically and emotionally. I’ve always considered myself to be very male, very macho in spite of the fact that I enjoy immensely performing oral sex on another man. I’m extremely reluctant to reveal to friends and family the fact that I have a particular fondness for being the willing recipient of a forceful facefucking and that I find delightful the erotically intense sensations of a thick cock probing the depths of my throat and having it flooded with semen. I’m reluctant to identify as homosexual or even bisexual as this is the full extent of my sexual interest in another man. I find distasteful the mere thought of kissing another man let alone engaging in anal sex with him.

  10. This is a work of genius. It was very interesting to me to read about the antipathy to male bisexuality encoded in the male gender role and gender sterotypes.

    Plus as a transman, the existence of bisexual men is a haven. Straight men (usually) just see me as a friend, and gay men don’t even want to consider a sexual/romatic relationship with me, because they assume that I’m “really” a lesbian and “really” after their sperm to have kids. (I rather dislike kids, and pregnancy terrifies the crap out of me- but assumptions are assumptions. Usually, I’m not attracted to gay men either because a lot of them that I know are extremely camp and extremely conformist to what society dictates a “gay man” should be.) So, yeah, most of my dating pool is bisexual men- and I think that’s awesome.

  11. Cool article… while I do not have the time to really back up my point, I might add that the “closet” is always locked from the inside. I would agree that there is little to gain & more to lose from a perceived straight male to open up about his bisexuality, but I dont and that is because I believe (in spite of the resources available via the media matrix) people relinquish; acquiesce their power to identify themselves too easily for fear of being judged. I predict young boys who grow up in this age will be even less likely to explore their options as young boys of the past because of something much broader… like an educational system that does not value emotional maturity as a matter of course and priority, more explicitly for example: getting over the fear of mass exposure due to that same ubiquity of the internet. Anyway I look forward to standing corrected. I wish I could go on… but thank you for adding to the discussion.

  12. i dont find this to be a well written article. It was essentially an opinionated, slandering article that only set out to defile objective research.

  13. Excellent article. I believe with my experience I can contribute to understand more bisexuality. I been working with bisexual men for the last 4 years. I should survey them and try to put a paper together … Sexuality for my point of view is not defined by straight, gay and bisexual … there is a lot in between and many factors are involved like social pressure, childhood traumas and of course fucken religions …. I believe if we “erase” these factors we all will be open to have different experiences without worrying to much about labels … yes agree bisexual men who are comfortable with their sexual identity are the best lovers …. they know how to intimate with another man without the fear of falling in love like many gay men are ….

  14. Excellent article! Exceptional analysis, too. But I’m pleased to hear that young men are becoming more aware – finally! – of their (non-exclusive) options. We have the Internet to thank for being able to hold this conversation _all across this one small world_ – so let’s make sure we keep the internet free and as unpoliced as possible; otherwise the transnational corporations (“big biz”) will win.

    Linus wrote, very perceptively: “because mostly everyone tends to hide (for some good reasons, sadly), the tolerant people don’t get enough chances to be cool about it”. What I’d like is for someone to invent some neat way to make bi-ness truly cool. Until that happens, here’s my contribution:

    Think of it this way: Any guy who can go out and father babies on the chicks, AND also reduce the likelihood of other guys obtaining his sexual release in the same way (because they’re having sex with him), stands to increase the number of progeny he sires; and thus, in Darwinian terms, is the fittest, since his offspring will be numerically predominant. OMG! I’ve just realised, that probably means that MOST men have bi tendencies! Here’s a theory for the “researchers” to test: the “selfish gene” is most likely NOT a “gay gene” at all, but a “bi gene”.

    Let’s praise the bi gene, bi gene,
    That leads to sexual hygiene, (“Hi Gene!”),
    Even tho Doctor Bailey
    Still dismisses us gaily,
    Let’s praise the bi gene, bi gene,
    That makes me call daily
    Two lovely lovers,
    With a “Hi Gene!” and a “Hi Jean!”
    We’re praising the bi gene, bi gene.

    Tom R.

  15. great article…and yes, somehow it is all so weird: you are a masculine guy & fancy women, no problem (I mean, lots of Heteros have also been fighting for sex rights & free love, so why feel ashamed for it!)…you are masculine & into other masculine people? Hey, who cares, we’re all the same, right?
    But you choose a combination of those two (and your are NOT some famous androgynous rock singer) – no way, what were you thinking? Your very own status of masculinity can get denied or almost officially cancelled, although you are masculine and you want to be.
    And there’s so much more strange stuff…that said Dr.Bailey got even paid for his weird “sensors-on-penis-during-porn-watch” thing (I won’t call it ‘research’ until I’ve read about the research design, especially concerning the selection-criteria of the porn involved) & that his weird ‘findings’ are still being referred to in many articles on the net…that apparently many people from the G/L community would like to believe that now they have reached such a mainstreamy point, that the history of sexual orientations has come to a proper end (‘no more orientations needed than 2, anything trans-whatever, please file under ‘gay’, the rest: you are wrong and/or nonexisting in a momentary state of transition – there simply is no bisexuality’)…it’s so absurd to have this unaccepting & existence denying spririt within this sort of unholy alliance between conservative heteros AND certain gay/lesbian people who have just nearly escaped the status of invisibility themselves, thus maybe trying to pass it to someone else…and sometimes you even have girls who enjoy occasionally wild sessions of public french-kissing in the middle of a party or club, while the boyfriend is politely watching without even the slightest trace of a stupid grin.
    But when she finds out about him, boom! Instant scandal & end of relationship…

    The other problem is that because mostly everyone tends to hide (for some good reasons, sadly), the tolerant people don’t get enough chances to be cool about it.
    That fireman from England should have felt really lucky. But he’s incorporated too much of the shame & guilt already…and yes, it is indeed such a long & hard way to admit it in front of a woman, because it is somehow officially labeled as uncool and unsexy for a man (or, a man-man, for whom it may feel like a loss or a defeat of the masculine identity).

    I wondered too after watching “Brokeback Mountain” why in the DVD-Store you would find it under the label ‘films about gay cowboys’; but there’s simply no Bi-Lobby that could have claimed it (instead there is this pseudo-modern notion that about EVERY masculine bi-guy is actually a repressed homosexual who is totally unwillingly forced into relationships & sex with women & would leave that disgusting stuff immediately if he had only enough gay clubs in his hometown…a notion that is maybe supposed to make Bi guys feel bad about the desire for sex with female persons, as if you can’t miss that, too).

    In the end, it’s a deadlock of invisibility, where you have to ask: why does even Bowie feel the urge to deny it…how can it be SUCH a shame?
    (that weird amount of shame is the key issue here; if it only could be solved, it would be sooooo much easier…)

    Like this, you can only wonder if sexual morals have partially evolved backwards, if Bi’s are really considered as too ‘loose’ or as non-existent (hey, it’s 2009! On the other hand, we’re also not flying with Pan Am to the moon yet).

  16. This piece was forwarded to me by a friend during a discussion about sexuality, bi-curiosity, and that phenomenal clause in the (straight penned) gay agenda, calling for recruitment of nice, normal heterosexuals into our deviant lifestyle.
    I am one of those who desire for the mainstreaming of various degrees of sexual orientation. People who identify as one hundred percent straight ad nauseum do not attract me in the slightest.
    Maybe a better way to announce myself would be “gay for anything above a 0 on the old kinsey scale.” “gay for gay” just has a nicer ring.
    It is easy to no end for me to be openly this way as a woman. It would be wonderful for men to be able to be open about feeling the same.

  17. Absolutely great. I love this article. I’m fully bisexual but I haven’t outed because I don’t see the point. I’m ok this way, I don’t want to tell anybody about my “secret” and suddenly start being marginalized by both men and women.

    If I’m discreet about my sexuality, I’ll be able to live it. I don’t think any man or woman would ever like to know of me if I tell everybody openly.

    Once more, brilliant article.

  18. This article is now over 2 years old and it still stands out across the internet as the defining piece on male bisexuality.

    Well done Mark.

  19. Great read, excellent points, perhaps I might link to it in one of my blogs if you don’t object.
    LeeAndrew

  20. “Another, perhaps more elitist gay response to male bisexuality is to insist that men are not ‘really’ bisexual unless they take it up the arse; this seems to me to be a peculiar requirement. Would they also insist that a woman not be considered ‘really’ bisexual until she had fucked a woman with a strap-on? Why privilege some practices above others?”

    add in “or gay” each time you say bisexual and this would be my new favorite Mark Simpson quote

  21. Hi –

    “There seems to me to be something rather prissy and effeminate about a masculinity that refuses any physical intimacy with men, ever. (Well, that’s what I say to straight men I fancy.) At its most basic, most ‘rudimentary’, male ‘homosexuality’ is nothing more than a shared wank.”

    Just a note to say that is one of my favorite quotes of yours.

    I was just having a long, drawn out discussion with some guy trying to run a YahooGroup on ‘masculine psychology.’ Despite the fact that he wanted a pat on the back and a group hug for admitting he found some men ‘attractive,’ he made a big, conspicuous show of hemming and hawing about how he couldn’t bring himself to discuss homosexual sex because it made him want to vomit even writing about it. He was trying to set up revulsion for homosexual sex as some sort of condition of heterosexuality, and even though he was attempting a discussion on masculinity and its boundaries, he thought that no straight man should ever have to talk about so horrific a thing.

    Finally, I asked him why he was being such a pussy. It’s just sex, after all…

    It was obvious that his melodramatic horror was a way he was policing the boundaries of his own sexuality.

    He was probably in his thirties, though (around my age). I do think younger men are already far more comfortable with the topic. It’s hard to imagine, with so much sex available on the Internet, that many of them haven’t been exposed to images of homosexuality that ‘didn’t seem so bad…’

    Perhaps ubiquitous porn will do more to calm straight male anxiety about homosexuality than political correctness ever could. There’s very little mystery about sex these days. You can find things, quite accidentally, in a Google image search that would have shocked and appalled people a generation or two ago. I know of several straight guys who are not even really embarrassed of the fact that they like ‘anal play.’ It’s hard to imagine some guy who likes things in his ass not at least innocently daydreaming about what it would feel like to get plowed by another fella.

Comments are closed.