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Bisexual, but Only on the Internet.
May 27, 2007 7:12 PM   Subscribe

Bisexual, but Only on the Internet : Could this be a new 21st century version of LUGs and hasbians?
posted by grapefruitmoon (72 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
[Full disclosure: I am a hasbian.]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:12 PM on May 27, 2007


I still have a hard time believing people "cyber".
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:20 PM on May 27, 2007


werd. I cant imagine how cyber-ing is even remotely close to the real thing...
posted by subaruwrx at 7:28 PM on May 27, 2007


Hey, I'm ANOI: Always Naked when On the Internet!

But then I put on my clothes and step back into the real world.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:34 PM on May 27, 2007


I still have a hard time believing people "cyber".

I would assume it requires a good imagination.

I find it no more strange than people having phone sex or reading trashy novels.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 7:41 PM on May 27, 2007


I still have a hard time believing people "cyber".

What are you wearing? (sorry)

As far as this phenomeon goes, ..well, some people get a kick out of being desired,no matter the source, and some people discover that about themselves via the internet. No big revelation really.
posted by jonmc at 7:55 PM on May 27, 2007


Some ... describe their lesbianism as a meaningful but finite phase of their lives, like listening to a lot of Morrissey or campaigning for Dukakis.

Cheeky, but enjoyable -- thanks for posting this.

I would assume it requires a good imagination.

Yes, people do "cyber" -- it requires that, a strong writing "voice," a wider vocabulary and more deft prose style than one often finds in chat sessions, a certain verbal nimbleness in think ahead yet reacting to the partner's responses, an "ear" for perceiving that person through the text replies, and finally the ability touch-type rapidly when, um, somewhat distracted. Think of it as pillow talk crossed with a sportscaster's play-by-play description, only delivered in the first and second person.

I know of someone who was sufficiently well-received at it that that person's partner said s/he was superior to reading Nicholson Baker et al. and suggested s/he consider seeking to make a living performing chat sex.

I can't imagine how cyber-ing is even remotely close to the real thing.

Sex fundamentally is communication, which is why "intercourse" is one word for it. Sometimes the "real thing" isn't terribly communicative, come to think of it. Mostly sex is about what's happening in people's heads as they respond to what's happening with their bodies.

Okay, enough explaining; back to the article...
posted by pax digita at 7:56 PM on May 27, 2007 [4 favorites]


Why people keep confusing sex with masturbation is beyond me.
posted by IronLizard at 8:02 PM on May 27, 2007


With actual sex, you know the gender and appearance of the person. The physical contact helps, too. You can observer body language and hear the person's tone of voice. You can obeserve and hear the quickness and timing of reactions and responses. You can tell if they are creative and have a good vocabulary.

With phonesex, you have a pretty good idea of the gender and age of the person you are taling to. You can hear the tone of voice. You can hear the quickness and timing of reactions and responses. You can tell if they are creative and have a good vocabulary.

With cybersex, you can tell if a person is creative and has a good vocabulary.

Count me in the "don't understand cybersex" column.
posted by flarbuse at 8:03 PM on May 27, 2007


“I was completely ostracized. They said I was polluting the community because I was exposing myself to HIV through having sex with men.”

How much of an issue is female->female HIV transmission? Never thought about the mechanics of it much -- I've had GLBT friends but we rarely talk about who puts what where when or how.

-------

On preview: "Don't knock masturbation; it's sex with someone I love." -- Woody Allen
posted by pax digita at 8:03 PM on May 27, 2007


This is interesting for me as well. I realized I was a lesbian pretty early on in life, but didn't come out until college. Old insecurities, the combination of the lack of an immediate lesbian network to plug into and a fear of talking to women in general led to many, many, many failed dates and crushes on straight girls. I had a number of close male friends, very few female friends, and realized if I could bring myself to stand dudes life would be easier, if painfully bereft of the female body. So I tried it with my best male friend, and a year later am in a relationship with him. It's been an interesting experience. It took months, but eventually I began to find his body attractive in its own right. And very recently I've even been able to start noticing other guys as attractive as well, though I still have no desire for any kind of relationship with them.

I still am much, much more strongly attracted to women. It can be frustrating sometimes, because I am looking for one thing physically and my current partner is exactly the opposite. When we eventually go our separate ways, I will be returning to Lesbian Land. But the relationship is fulfilling in so many other ways that right now I am very, very happy to remain in it. The experience has not only provided the growth and maturation that a good relationship does, but it's helped me expand my horizons.

Regarding the explosion of bisexual experimentation among young women, like the author I believe taking on the power of the male gaze has something to do for it. But I don't think we can discount women acting out for the male gaze--men think women kissing women is hot, so women engage and internalize the behavior because they are taught to submit to the male gaze.

Nor do I believe women are immune to the increasingly intense sexualization of the female form in our culture. When you're surrounded by media telling you from the time you are born that women are sexy, sexy, sexy, that this is where sexual energy comes from, that the female form is what's attractive (and girls are exposed to this as much as boys), then I don't believe sexuality is so set in stone that some of these messages wouldn't be internalized. Not wholesale, but enough to make a bit of a difference.
posted by schroedinger at 8:05 PM on May 27, 2007 [10 favorites]


I mean, look at Ancient Rome and Greece. The male form was the source of sexual energy there, and you saw a whole lot more male homosexual activity as a result.
posted by schroedinger at 8:06 PM on May 27, 2007


schroedinger: I would also return to Lesbian Land were my current relationship to end, but the difference for me is that I felt an immediate physical attraction to my now-husband, enough to cause me to have a bit of an existential crisis. (Well, more than a bit seeing as how I had declared myself unable to get excited about a penis.)

I know of several other women to whom this has happened - otherwise lesbians who have settled into a single long-term relationship with a man. And yet, I've never heard about this happening to men - either a straight man falling in love with a man or a gay man falling in love with a woman.

As for straight women falling in love with women, well, there's always Anne Heche.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:17 PM on May 27, 2007


I, too, have wondered at times why the bar seems lower for lesbians to cross over, either temporarily or permanently. Are women just more secure about themselves than men, on average? I've known only one (pathologically promiscuous, by her own admission) straight woman who's said that being in a lesbian situation would freak her out entirely, but I sense that you wouldn't have to look far to find a straight guy who'd have a huge problem with the possibility of a homo situation. (I'm excluding childhood/adolescent experimentation and highly abnormal situations like jail, however.)
posted by pax digita at 8:29 PM on May 27, 2007


This all seems a bit ridiculous. Maybe we need to stop defining identity based on what body parts people like to touch.
posted by papakwanz at 8:30 PM on May 27, 2007


Grapefruitmoon: Yeah, the higher incidence of female bisexual activity over male is where I feel culture and social conditioning, rather than biology comes into play. Not to say that your love for your husband or my love for my boyfriend are societal construct--that's just insulting!--but that women in general are more socially conditioned to be open to fluid movement between the genders than men.

Male and female animals all engage in homosexual/bisexual behavior, approximately equally if I'm not mistaken. And if you look at non-Western cultures homosexual experimentation among men is surprisingly common where you'd think it wouldn't be (there is a long tradition of it in the Middle East), though the practicioners would in no way characterize themselves as anything but 100% heterosexual. As a sidenote, there are a number of non-Western thinkers who feel that the demand for people to establish solid hetero, homo, and bisexual identites are another example of Western cultural invasion.

I think males are less prone to bisexual activity now, but I think that's more a matter of socialization. In other places during other times (like in Sparta or Athens), that behavior was encouraged and people absorbed it into their sexual identities. Now casual female homosexual behavior is promoted and casual male homosexual is denigrated, and you see the corresponding switch in sexual behavior among genders.

Sexuality is a curious, funny thing.
posted by schroedinger at 8:32 PM on May 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Er, that should be "societal constructs" in the first paragraph, and "casual male homosexual behavior" in the last.
posted by schroedinger at 8:34 PM on May 27, 2007


I like to watch.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:42 PM on May 27, 2007


Just to add to the chorus, this is a very interesting read. I too am a lesbian who had a brief, but fun fling with a man about a year ago and man did it ever freak me out.

Shortly thereafter I decided to stop caring and let love come from wherever it may be hiding.

Thanks for the post.
posted by aclevername at 8:44 PM on May 27, 2007


Sexuality, like sex, is over-rated and over-thought. And I should know: I'm a retired bisexual slut.
posted by davy at 8:46 PM on May 27, 2007


I still have a hard time believing people "cyber".

Sometimes a man and a woman love each other very very very much, but they're thousands of miles apart, and they just logged into the same chatroom and the woman is actually a 66-year old retired CitiBank middle manager named Winston and the man is a bot named SxUuP111.
posted by Kattullus at 9:28 PM on May 27, 2007 [5 favorites]


I'm not entirely sure why, but I've always found Regina Lynn's column to be profoundly annoying. And a little bit creepy.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:32 PM on May 27, 2007


I still have a hard time believing people "cyber".

Oh yeah, aight. Aight, I put on my robe and wizard hat.
posted by daninnj at 9:48 PM on May 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sex fundamentally is communication, which is why ‘intercourse’ is one word for it.”

Someone must have elided that part of its etymology from my copy of the OED.

“Sometimes the ‘real thing’ isn't terribly communicative, come to think of it. Mostly sex is about what's happening in people's heads as they respond to what's happening with their bodies.

That's an impressive bit of rationalization of what is basically a sad, pathetic activity with all the nuance of a twelve inch throbbing cock, the authenticity of a porn star's breasts, and the literary value of Penthouse Forum.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:50 PM on May 27, 2007


Hell, a lot of non-virtual sex is pretty sad and pathetic, when you come right down to it (like, as it were). Judge not lest ye be judged, sez I.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:05 PM on May 27, 2007


the literary value of Penthouse Forum.

A friend of mine must recite poetry to receive oral sex. He continues to receive as long as he doesn't mess it up. Next on his memorization list is the Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
posted by luftmensch at 10:06 PM on May 27, 2007 [2 favorites]


That's an impressive bit of rationalization of what is basically a sad, pathetic activity with all the nuance of a twelve inch throbbing cock, the authenticity of a porn star's breasts, and the literary value of Penthouse Forum.

That's some nice generalization there. You're denigrating an entire practice with your wide brush. It would be pretty foolish to sneer at novels in general, even if all that you've read is Tim LaHaye.

Cyber can be genuine and nuanced if you're with the right person. It can also be a valuable space for exploring fantasies.

n.b. My experience is somewhat colored, since I've never done it with someone I didn't know beforehand.
posted by Rictic at 10:11 PM on May 27, 2007


That's an impressive bit of rationalization of what is basically a sad, pathetic activity with all the nuance of a twelve inch throbbing cock, the authenticity of a porn star's breasts, and the literary value of Penthouse Forum.

I also don't get "cybering" but if people enjoy it and it doesn't disrupt their lives, who cares? Is masturbation as repulsive to you?
posted by maxwelton at 10:36 PM on May 27, 2007


That's some nice generalization there. You're denigrating an entire practice with your wide brush.

Well, sure. That was the point.

Hell, a lot of non-virtual sex is pretty sad and pathetic, when you come right down to it (like, as it were).

Yes, that's true. That's what makes the stunningly sad and pathetic nature of cybersex so noteworthy.

Judge not lest ye be judged, sez I.

I'm on MetaFilter. I'm judged more frequently than a Bush appointee with a legal fund. I'm entitled to express a little scorn now and then.

Is masturbation as repulsive to you?

Not at all. Masturbation is a normal human activity. Qwertysex is not. But, hey, I don't really find cybersex that upsetting. I'm just reacting to pax digita's absurdly florid defense of it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:46 PM on May 27, 2007


I still have a hard time believing people "cyber".

Do you have a hard time believing people read porn? Cyber is interactive porn.
posted by pracowity at 11:48 PM on May 27, 2007 [1 favorite]


I once had a brief but intense cyber-affair with this guy from New York who claimed to be a paramedic. He told me these stories, these incredible stories about riding along in the back of an ambulance and trying bravely to save the life of a junkie, a cop, a businessman, a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

He related to me, over the phone and in letters, the traumatic story of his brush with death as he tried valiantly to perform chest compressions on a dying elderly man and the fear and shock that consumed him as his ambulance was broadsided by a truck that ran a red light.

I consoled him over the phone as he cried first for the old man and then for his mangled legs. I consoled him all the way to a cheap stain on his comforter.

And sometimes I wonder if perhaps he was a woman. After all, his voice was suspiciously high and he knew all the right buttons to push. But in the end iy doesn't matter. Because man or woman, paramedic or basement-nerd, he gave good cyber-head and really, isn't that all that matters?
posted by LeeJay at 11:51 PM on May 27, 2007


I've never heard about this happening to men - either a straight man falling in love with a man or a gay man falling in love with a woman.

Tom Robinson?
posted by Phanx at 1:15 AM on May 28, 2007


I know of several other women to whom this has happened - otherwise lesbians who have settled into a single long-term relationship with a man. And yet, I've never heard about this happening to men - either a straight man falling in love with a man or a gay man falling in love with a woman.

Worked with a guy several years back who was still dealing with the fallout from this -- a gay man who fell for a woman, and married her (I say gay and not bisexual because that's how he described himself -- zero attraction to women until that point)

But isn't the rarity of this the thing? It's not that gay men don't sometimes mess around with women, or that straight men don't sometimes mess around with men. Gay men don't seem to decide one day that they are no longer gay, no longer attracted to men. Ever. Whereas I have known several women who have not only decided (yes, after undergrad) that they not only adored their new boyfriend/husband, but that their previous desires had been "a stage". Either they're lying to me, lying to themselves, or there's a real difference there.
posted by dreamsign at 1:35 AM on May 28, 2007


...or a gay man falling in love with a woman.

Really? This is pretty common. For example, my best friend fell in love and lived with a woman for several years before he realized that he was, ultimately, dissatisfied. A large portion of gay folk, both men and women, become romantically involved at one point or another with someone of the opposite sex. Even if a person is very strong homosexual, there's so much social pressure to be heterosexual that, when the right person comes along, there's a real temptation to experiment with "normality" and see what happens.

At any rate, I disagree with most people commenting here and I think that male and female sexual attraction differs in many respects and orientation is one of those things. Research shows that women are far more flexible with sexual attraction than men are. They are much more prone to be bisexual than men and more prone to be sexually happy in a long-term relationship with a particular person independently of whether or not that person fits their dominant sexual orientation and interests.

That said, I lost as a friend one of the most amazing people I've known because she was a lesbian yet we fell in love with each other. Complicating this, I think, was that she was an early 80s radical feminist with a lot of anger toward men—all told, her attraction to me and our relationship deeply confused and threatened her. In the end she basically dumped me in a sudden manner that was, ironically and sadly, quite similar to how her heterosexual female best friend had dumped her after their brief dalliance. Of course, my angry protestations that she "experimented" with me like her friend had "experimented" with her only cemented the bad feelings between us.

By the way, this was the impetus for my vow to never have a sexual involvement with a friend. When I first met my previously-mentioned best friend 17 years ago, I was explicit with him from the outset (that is, once we realized that we were becoming the very best of friends) that even though I was theoretically sexually flexible, and even if I decided I liked him very much, I'd never risk that friendship by experimenting with it sexually. And we haven't. Although, frankly, I love and respect my friend so much that I often wish I were bisexual or gay and could fall in love with him and all that. But I don't actually feel any sexual attraction—even though we are deeply sympatico, have almost two decades of close friendship, know and trust each other more then anyone else in our lives, etc.

As I've written before on MeFi, I'd be bisexual or gay if I could be. Preferably bisexual, of course, but I can also see some benefits to being gay over being straight. But my two experiments with gay sex were just mostly meh, though not entirely unpleasant, and in all my life I think I've only identified in myself a "crush" on another man once, maybe twice. In contrast, I crush on women constantly and sexually I'm just as smitten with women as I was when I was an over-hormoned adolescent. All this is to say with regard to the post, that in my own case I find that my sexual orientation is quite fixed and doesn't budge according to either my intellectual and practical views or to being very emotionally close to another man. Even within the context of heterosexual attraction, I find that what turns me on lies outside my ability to influence it by choice, or by practical necessity. All these things feel very "hardwired" to me—though it could be the case that the wiring was socially instilled at some earlier age.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:04 AM on May 28, 2007


davy writes 'Sexuality, like sex, is over-rated and over-thought. '

I'm on Metafilter, and this plate of beans looks like a plate of clitorises to me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:24 AM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Kinsey would've loved this post.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:39 AM on May 28, 2007


Huh. I thought I was explaining cybersex, not defending it. As for "absurdly florid," as we used to say back home...I'll consider the source.
posted by pax digita at 6:26 AM on May 28, 2007


Some people are bisexual but monogamous, and short of marrying a hermaphrodite, that means being exclusive with one gender or another. It doesn't make them any less bisexual, any more than being celibate will make you not gay or not straight. It's about who you are/can be attracted to, not who you actually sleep with. Otherwise every virgin on the planet has no orientation.

/really pissed off at the insult of "hasbians", and very happy as a monogamous bisexual woman.
posted by jb at 8:36 AM on May 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


That's an impressive bit of rationalization of what is basically a sad, pathetic activity with all the nuance of a twelve inch throbbing cock, the authenticity of a porn star's breasts, and the literary value of Penthouse Forum.

Umm. Unless you're, say, into Firefly-theme roleplay or something. Don't ask me how I know about this, 'cause I can't reveal who I heard it from, but let's just say strawberries and "oh yes, Captain!" come into it a lot, apparently.

Not everyone is into the stereotypical Penthouse Forum-y crap. And unless you could somehow convince Nathan Fillion to go out on a date with you...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:12 AM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's about who you are/can be attracted to, not who you actually sleep with.

In both directions: who you don't sleep with and who you do sleep with. That seems to be a truth that escapes many, many people. I recall a whole bunch of people being adamant about Chasing Amy that Alyssa could not possibly be a "lesbian" as she claimed because she slept with and fell in love with a man. But it was clear this was very exceptional for her—that was the whole point of the movie. In the end, she knew she was a lesbian, not bisexual. But I encountered in real life and online many people who claimed that just by virtue of sleeping with a man, Alyssa had "become" bisexual.

Similarly, there's the whole thing about how I am very open about my own experience with gay sex. I say that I'm very straight and this causes a "doesn't compute" for many people because I also say that I've slept with another man. They're especially confused if I don't say that I was repulsed and when I say that some aspects of it I enjoyed. But if we were talking about preference for food, or music, no one would think in these terms. I know what kind of food I like and don't like—much of the food I don't like, I've tried. And, in some cases, there were a few pleasing aspects of food I didn't like—though not enough for me to enjoy the food.

I think I've mused on this on MeFi before, but it seems to me that it's more accurate to separate several distinct things that go on with romantic and sexual attraction in order to think clearly about orientation.

First, for many people their ability to physically respond and enjoy sex with one sex or the other may be quite distinct from their ability to fall in love with someone of one sex or the other. Second, both sexual and romantic response can be strongly positive, to neutral, to strongly negative. One person's orientations might be more defined by their strong dislikes than it is their strong likes. Third, these orientations and responses for some people are invariant throughout their lives, for other people change regularly over time, and for still others may change irregularly. I think that if you look at all those factors carefully, then you'll be able to describe someone's orientation in a way that actually makes sense.

For example, here's a description of my orientation in these terms:

HetLove: strong positive, invariant
HetSex: strong positive, invariant
HomLove: neutral to moderate negative, invariant
HomSex: neutral to moderate negative, irregular slight variant

posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:30 AM on May 28, 2007


insult of "hasbians"

I identify myself as a "hasbian" not as an insult, but as a joke. Also, because it makes sense. I'm not bisexual. I am not attracted to men and women. I am attracted to A man (ok, two if you include Johnny Depp) and women. Before meeting my husband, I dated women. If we were to separate, my next relationship would be with a woman. There's no doubt in my mind. (Unless, of course, post-divorce, Johnny Depp showed up on my doorstep.)

To me, this is very different from being bisexual. I don't find myself attracted to both genders - itself a weird distinction when you think about the spectrum of gender presentation from male to female to MTF to FTM, etc. I am attracted to women, but I fell in love with this one dude.

Like Ethereal Bligh says about "Chasing Amy," I didn't automatically become bisexual just because I have one relationship with a man. That's just silly. I scored a whopping 4.8 on the Kinsey scale and never even so much as fantasize about other men (though I do have fantasies about women all the time). In the extra-marital crush department, 100% of the time my crushes are on women. There's really not much "bi" at all to the amount of sexual that I am. It's just this one dude I'm in a long-term monogamous relationship with... and a harem of ladies in my mind.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:09 AM on May 28, 2007


Lotsa interesting discussion in this thread. I have a question about this line from one of the linked articles:

Lesbians who live in the lesbian ghetto and hang out in lesbian bars named after dog food and cat food...

I've hung out with lesbians and heard a lot of stories (and stereotypes) from all sides, but this one has somehow escaped me. Are there a lot of lesbian bars named after dog food and cat food?
posted by languagehat at 10:56 AM on May 28, 2007


I'm sitting here trying to imagine a lesbian bar named "Little Friskies." It's just not happening.
posted by pax digita at 11:23 AM on May 28, 2007


Meow Mix and Alpo.
posted by Kattullus at 11:33 AM on May 28, 2007


"This all seems a bit ridiculous. Maybe we need to stop defining identity based on what body parts people like to touch."--papakwanz

I agree. I see a lot of grief on this site about people stuggling to fit themselves into predefined labels.

It reminds me of a friend of mine from Iran, who said that in Persian there are more categories to describe someone's sexual orientation. There is one word that means that the person prefers to have sex with either sex, or any object, or any thing, as long as he/she is getting an orgasm.

What you are is most likely much more complex than any word like "straight" "lesbian" "homosexual" "bisexaual" can describe. Don't freak out trying to define yourself into these predefined straight-jackets.
posted by eye of newt at 11:55 AM on May 28, 2007


I'm on Metafilter, and this plate of beans looks like a plate of clitorises to me.

Judy Chicago?
posted by dhartung at 12:48 PM on May 28, 2007


oh, i agree with that, eye of newt.

i can't label myself very well. i too am in a til-death relationship with a man, when i spent a goodly part of my young adulthood as a lesbian-separatist, and have far more interest in women than i do men. (non-active poly, i guess we are.)

i now call that period "when i was trying to be a lesbian." i think i've always been bisexual, but was afraid of "not picking a side." my lesbian friends definitely pre-judged bisexuals as threatening. and my last girlfriend was very very pissed when i broke up with her in part because i was experiencing crushes on men.

ah, long long story. but i certainly found these articles interesting.

it's funny, because when i was going through that transition back from separatism, i thought my whole world was falling apart. and yes, i got the usual criticisms about "bringing AIDs to women's land" and a healthy dose of "you've betrayed us." i've lost all those friends, though I did also move away and get interested in ... well... not separatism. i like the company of men. i like the company of women who don't generally find men distasteful or inherently the Enemy.

the main problem with that part of my life, with enjoying being with women, is that i missed out on a lot of it because i came to it too late. i "became a Lesbian" at around the same age that i became more discriminating in my sex partners. a whiff of major incompatibility was now enough to put me off. or more honestly: i would never just fuck a woman whereas i'd never had trouble with having a one-nighter with a man.

sigh. so i never sowed my wild oats at all, being all grown-up and shit.

i hope Shroedinger looks me up, if she ever dumps him.

With cybersex, you can tell if a person is creative and has a good vocabulary.

but YEAH.
i have never cybered, but big words, excellent spelling and fast typing have always turned me on more than anything. which is why i've always avoided it. a particularly heinous misspelling would totally kill the mood.
posted by RedEmma at 1:32 PM on May 28, 2007


I, too, have wondered at times why the bar seems lower for lesbians to cross over, either temporarily or permanently. Are women just more secure about themselves than men, on average?

I think it's because women have the option of being selective. They don't need men, except for a few minutes sex should they desire pregnancy. They can leave the man and keep the kid. Heck, they can even hook up with a woman after that, and fulfill both their procreational and companionship needs.

Men do not have that choice. Until recently they've been unable to raise infants (no milk) and abandoning the kid with the mother is no guarantee that it'll be cared for and raised to adulthood.

Women have all the options, men have few.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:50 PM on May 28, 2007


There is one word that means that the person prefers to have sex with either sex, or any object, or any thing, as long as he/she is getting an orgasm.

Yeah, it's called "being a frat boy." Ha! Sorry, couldn't resist. Either that or "being those weird YouTube kids who had an orgy with an ottoman" (No, I am not making that up. Belieeeeve me).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 2:12 PM on May 28, 2007


With cybersex, you can tell if a person is creative and has a good vocabulary.

And that's much more of a turn-on than just being "hot".

Really, it's no stranger than erotic novels or spicy love letters.
posted by Many bubbles at 2:25 PM on May 28, 2007


Meow Mix and Alpo.

Oh yeah, Meow Mix, of course—the trouble is I think of it as a lesbian bar, not a brand of catfood.
posted by languagehat at 2:31 PM on May 28, 2007


I think it's because women have the option of being selective. They don't need men, except for a few minutes sex should they desire pregnancy.

Whoa now, when I started dating my current guy pregnancy was the last thing on my mind. Actually, I'm not sure what pregnancy has to do at all with this--are you saying women switch over from women to men when they want babies? Or women switch to women when they don't? It doesn't make sense.

Research has be shown that women are more sexually flexible. But that research was done in our current era. I wonder what the results would be if done in Rome? Or even in a non-Western culture? I argue that women are not genetically predisposed to be any more sexually flexible than men, and it is differing social expectations of women and men that encourage female sexual flexibility and discourage male flexibility.
posted by schroedinger at 2:56 PM on May 28, 2007


gfm, although I have nothing substantial to add (if anything, it would be that I am a lesbian trapped in the body of a heterosexual man) I thoroughly enjoyed the article and this thread. Thanks for posting this.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:58 PM on May 28, 2007


Now, if I were a hasbian trapped in the body of a heterosexual man, that would be something. Carry on.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:01 PM on May 28, 2007


label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label label

label
posted by Twang at 4:23 PM on May 28, 2007


schroedinger: Whoa now, when I started dating my current guy pregnancy was the last thing on my mind.

And I've never been one to consciously wish for children, too.

But I have no doubt whatsoever that there's a low-level biological apparatus in my body that has some serious input on things. It's a little flap of frontal lobe brain tissue versus the rest of me.

I was taking a guess at what that biological basis might be.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:43 PM on May 28, 2007


Some high-latency cyber.

Seriously, man. Pre-Tristero communication was so slow.
posted by sparkletone at 6:10 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


if anything, it would be that I am a lesbian trapped in the body of a heterosexual man

if i had a nickel for every time i heard that phrase from a man, i'd be a thousandaire. and if i had a dime for every time i heard women snicker derisively to each other after hearing it, i'd be a millionaire.

i roll my eyes at you so far back i hurt myself.

yeah i'm bad at math. so what.
posted by RedEmma at 9:33 PM on May 28, 2007


from that high-latency cyber:
Nora, my faithful darling, my seet-eyed blackguard schoolgirl, be my whore, my mistress, as much as you like (my little frigging mistress! My little fucking whore!) you are always my beautiful wild flower of the hedges, my dark-blue rain-drenched flower.

swoon.

i'd hit it. or both.
posted by RedEmma at 9:40 PM on May 28, 2007


Yeah, the higher incidence of female bisexual activity over male is where I feel culture and social conditioning, rather than biology comes into play.

The "higher incidence of female bisexual activity over male" is a myth. Social surveys show that both homosexual and bisexual identity as well as behavior are much more common among men than women.
posted by dgaicun at 9:40 PM on May 28, 2007


That may be true, but research also shows that women are more bisexually aroused than men.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:51 PM on May 28, 2007


EB speaks truth.
posted by NortonDC at 10:52 PM on May 28, 2007


Properly interpreted: women have a reflexive physical response to generic sexual imagery, and this is not related to their sexual behavior or their subjective feelings of desire. (it's probably simply an evolutionary mechanism to protect their genitals from injury during intercourse they aren't that thrilled about)

Physical arousal for women does not track subjective arousal like it does for men. For instance women are also disproportionately physically aroused by videos of animals having sex and child pr0n, but that doesn't mean women are more likely to desire or engage in bestial relations or pedophilia. Just the opposite: women are less subjectively aroused by same sex, animal, or child imagery.
posted by dgaicun at 11:07 PM on May 28, 2007


Not so much, dgaicun. It's explicitly describing psychological reaction as well as physical: "...both homosexual and heterosexual women showed a bisexual pattern of psychological as well as genital arousal."

The original article is available via the Wayback Machine.
posted by NortonDC at 11:26 PM on May 28, 2007


The American sexual survey and other datasets that ask women about their desires are much larger than these small experimental studies and demonstrate women are less subjectively interested by the thought of homosexual encounters and that their behavior is consistent with that.

The researchers who did the older study in your link have performed more studies since then to test these ideas and their viewpoint now would essentially be mine: In no significant or genuine way are women "more bisexual" than men.
posted by dgaicun at 11:44 PM on May 28, 2007


You're really just repeating that female arousal by homosexual imagery/fantasy is distinct from actually desiring to participate in homosexual activity. And I don't disagree with that.

But I think it is unlikely that these different arousal responses don't result in some behavior differences. The arousal studies are important because they remove identity from the context—and identity is socially constructed.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:45 AM on May 29, 2007


Oh, and:

In no significant or genuine way are women ‘more bisexual’ than men.

That's a sentence with many loaded words and a loaded phrasing. It sounds like you have some emotional investment in women not being "more bisexual than men".
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:48 AM on May 29, 2007


I'm a Kinsey 6 (100% lesbian). There aren't very many of us. Nearly all self-identified lesbians I've met have had one or more sexual experiences/relationships with men. Increasing numbers have married and had kids before they fell in love with a woman. Are they "bisexual"?

I couldn't help but notice that the cyber-sex started: ... We began a little performance for the men in the chat ... How much "hot girl-on-girl action" really is performed for guys?

“It’s the tragic part of being gay (or thereabouts) that I don’t want any part of, honestly,” writes Baumgardner. “It’s not so much that I am afraid of it. It’s more that tragedy is not the whole story and, like focusing on back-alley butchers to justify abortion rights, it’s over-told.”

Baumgardner can ignore the "tragic part of being gay." She can forget Mathew Shepard and Sakia Gunn and Teena Brandon, etc. I can't. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" won't bring those gay people back to life.
posted by Carol Anne at 6:43 AM on May 29, 2007


But I think it is unlikely that these different arousal responses don't result in some behavior differences.

Again, women are physically aroused by all generic sexual stimuli. Research shows that women aren't more likely to desire, identify with, or engage in homosexuality, pedophilia, zoophilia, etc. This is not unlikely - the pieces converge on women having much more 'conventional' sexual desires and behavior than men.

It sounds like you have some emotional investment in women not being "more bisexual than men".

Only to the extent that I get emotional about people sticking with feelings against evidence. Girls Gone Wild, porn and other cultural messages and stereotypes (the "college lesbian") have convinced people that women are more likely to have homosexual feelings than men, when real research simply shows the opposite.
posted by dgaicun at 9:34 AM on May 29, 2007


The studies you're referring to rely upon self-reporting of identity and/or behavior. The self-reporting of behavior isn't that reliable; the self-reporting of identity is even less so (with regard to behavior). Also, the studies I've looked at since you posted your comment show similar rates of homosexuality for men and women, not greater for men as you claim in your most recent comment.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:43 AM on May 29, 2007


The National Health and Social Life Survey is the largest and best study of American sexuality. For the majority white population the numbers are (page 18):

Homosexual Behavior
Male 9.6%
Female 4.7%

Homosexual Desire
Male 3.7%
Female 1.9%

Homosexual Identity
Male 3.3%
Female 1.8%

Similar in the General Social Survey (behavior only) and other large datasets. The sexuality researcher who designed the arousal study you were thinking of earlier writes:

"Female homosexuality has been studied less, in part due to the fact that there are many fewer lesbians than gay men, and in part because many people find female homosexuality to be less problematic than male homosexuality."

I also bold the second part because it is relevant to your suggestion that women are simply lying way more than men on their self-report. That just is not plausible: male homosexuality carries a much larger taboo and social stigma than female homosexuality.

There are no good reasons to believe women are more likely to be bisexual than men, and good evidence to suggest they are less likely to be bisexual/homosexual. Pornography has influenced people to think a certain way about this, but pornography is not evidence.
posted by dgaicun at 2:36 PM on May 29, 2007


Other people can identify as what ever they feel like. I don't care. If you are attracted at times to members of either gender, but choose to identify as gay or straight, well, I wouldn't define that as gay or straight for myself, but if you insist on it, who am I to tell you otherwise?

What I do care about, passionately, is other people imposing their ideas on me and on others. And that's exactly what some people calling other people "hasbians" does. If someone wants to call themselves that, great. But it's still insulting to say to anyone else. I have never claimed to be a lesbian, never wanted to be a lesbian; I am bisexual, and always have been and always will be. Gay people have no more instinctive understanding of bisexuality than straight and, frankly, I've encountered just as much prejudice and ignorance in the gay/lesbian community about bisexuality as in the straight.

Of course, I've always felt that Amy was clearly bi before she met Holden and after. She never said she was a lesbian in the film - he (and the audience) just assumed (and the wrongness of that assumption is a major theme in the film). There was no turning anyone anything.
posted by jb at 5:14 AM on May 30, 2007


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