A lot of prejudiced people think that ALL bisexuals are amoral, perverted, slutty people who want to “have it all” and won’t commit to anyone or anything.
And to those people I say:
We’re not all like that!
… I mean, I totally am. But I’m only slutty, perverted, and amoral in situations that start with “bi,” e.g.:
- when I’m hanging out with Benjamin Franklin (bifocals)
- when I’m listening to Jordan Peterson pretend he’s a free speech hero for not using trans pronouns, even though he never got fired or sanctioned and
- when people ask me if I’m gay or straight (a false binary)
In fact, the term “bisexual” has almost gone out of vogue, perhaps because it seems to imply you like men and women the same. The dictionary definition is “of, relating to, or characterized by sexual or romantic attraction to members of both sexes; also : engaging in sexual activity with partners of more than one gender.” And that doesn’t quite cover how most of us feel exactly, those of us who like more than one gender: most of us don’t like both guys and gals exactly the same amount or in exactly the same ways.
And like Jordan Peterson’s whole existence, the word “bisexual” could also be taken as a diss to the trans community, specifically to non-binary or gender fluid people. The “bi” part implies that you like “both” sexes, both men and women, as if those are the only two options.
(Side note: I suspect most searches for “bisexual” come from the hands of sweaty teenage nerd boys, boys who already feel pretty confident that they know what they like sexually. Same goes for searches of “Jordan Peterson.”)
With that in mind, many people now prefer the term “pansexual,” which apparently just got really popular two days ago when Janelle Monáe. Being pansexual means you are attracted in some ways to all the genders.
Since I’m a contrarian, I can’t really identify with pansexual, because there are a lot of genders out there. I prefer “polysexual” which is not the same as “polyamorous” (though I am that, too): polysexual means I like many genders, but not necessarily all of them.
I mean, how can I even know if I’m attracted to all the genders if I haven’t met people from all the genders?
But truth be told, there are so many terms for people who are neither exactly homosexual nor heterosexual, such as these, and many more:
It’s kind of a lot to keep track of. And though these have significant value for people who want to figure out who they are and communicate with others how they live and love, on another level, if we focus too much on what divides us and not what unites us, it can break our solid chunk of people in the public eye into groups too small to be noticed.
Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t use these terms—I definitely use them. But it’s equally important to have a blanket term we can use to acknowledge that we’re all in the same family. There’s power in that. When we do so, you can see that we’re a bigger part of the LGBT community than some might suspect.
So while I think of myself as “polysexual,” most of the time I just say “bisexual.” And I don’t think of this as a copout, for two reasons:
- Many advocacy groups have found value in keeping their traditional names even after times have changed, e.g. The United Negro College Fund, the NAACP (or for those of you on the Alt-Right, here’s one of your favorites: National Socialism. )
- Technically “bisexual” in a sense covers most or all of the different spots in the graph, if you interpret it NOT to mean being attracted to both men and women but both “hetero” and “homo.”
The prefix “homo” means “the same” and “hetero” means “other/different.” We all kind of like some of the same and some of the different. We like BOTH “homo” (same sex attraction) and “hetero” (anything that is not our same sex) and therefore we are all “bisexual” no matter how many genders we love or are attracted to,
While perhaps being perhaps a rough fit for everybody, that makes “bisexual” a good umbrella term for all the different ways you can be not quite gay or not quite straight (at least, outside of the Ace community):
Now, I can already see the classic liberals and skeptics shaking their heads and tsk-tsking at all this complexity.
“Do we really need this many names? Isn’t this author really an identitarian snowflake? Does this SJW really think his labels and identity issues are more important than the real problems of, let’s say, the female genital mutilation in …. Latvia? Or poor helpless professors who are unfairly dubbed hypocrites just because they play the victim card while simultaneously condemning victim cards e.g. our hero?”
Well, of course our sympathies are aroused for multiple world problems, especially for those of sad, rich,white elites like the poor Jordan Peterson. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have colorful and specific language. It actually helps us get on with our lives rather than just talk about who we do and don’t want to fuck all the time. It’s a lot easier to say “fluid” when someone asks you what you’re into than to pull out a binder and show them your sexual conquests one by one so they can understand the concept.
And reality check: don’t straight cis men have more sexual identities than anyone?
- leg man
- breast man
- ass man
- butterface boy
- Nice Guy™
- pick up artist
- cougar chaser
- cradle robber
- chubby chaser
So yes, we all enjoy the benefits of specifying how and who we love and are attracted to. But if it’s too complicated, you can just call me bi, and that’s fine.