AskMiriam About Bisexuality
Question: Do you feel like there is an inherent bias in the poly community against bisexual men? I don’t identify as bi, though I’m aware how fluid everything is and I am occasionally curious. I just feel like there is a very small bi male population, at least that is visible. The ratio of bi females to straight females is nearly the reverse of the ratio for males. Why? Is this indicative of something or just a reflection of our culture at large?
Answer: This issue comes up again and again. With regards to the poly women I have met, most of them tend to identify somewhere on the queer spectrum, which includes bi. I myself identify as someone who’s attracted to the person, not the gender (Check out this book for that sort of label: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674032262). I don’t think we need to restrict ourselves when it comes to who we get involved with and I like having the freedom to be with men, women, and anyone else on the gender spectrum. The poly men I have met tend to be straight. I do believe that part of this is social conditioning; it’s completely acceptable for women to be sexual together, but for men, it’s much more complicated. It’s only been fairly recent that homosexuality of any sort has become socially acceptable. Unfortunately, I think that women are often sexual together because it’s a fantasy of a man they’re with, however there are many of us out there who genuinely want to be with more than one gender. It could also be the fact that women tend to be more attractive in general, so perhaps there’s more reason for a woman to be attracted to women than for a man to be attracted to men.
There’s also something else going on here: Many of us poly women like questioning the status quo; we do it everyday if we are poly. If we question traditional relationship structures, why not question our sexuality? Of course, poly men also question the status quo, but men have much more at stake in the traditional societal structure than women. It is to their disadvantage to question their sexuality because that means questioning a society that has traditionally supported them. Back in the 1950s, Kinsey posited that sexual orientation was on a spectrum and I think human sexuality is much more fluid than most people think; we are sexual beings after all. I sometimes get into arguments with Ben about this issue because he very much identifies as straight. Of course I trust him, but I wonder what would happen if men were more encouraged to question their sexuality.
As I have written before, I have a unique perspective on all of this because of my gay father. Sometimes I wonder the extent to which he had feelings for my mother before they split up. My mother had no idea he was gay, so I suppose he put on quite the act, but I wonder if any of it is genuine. He also said to me recently, sometimes I think it would be easier just to be with a woman. When he was young, it was very difficult to be gay and I think he felt like he had to hide who he was. I do feel thankful that I was born, but I wish things had been easier for him.
If you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Eve is currently visiting Ben and I and once she leaves, I will write about the visit.