I’m not sure she’s really bisexual – she just likes the attention.
There’s no such thing as bisexuals.
All women are a bit bi really, aren’t they?
All of the above statements are utter bullshit.
The main reason they’re bullshit is, of course, because they write off people’s sexual feelings as things that can be easily dismissed rather than things which can shape someone’s entire life. No matter what you believe about sexuality, I’d hope everyone can see why this is the sort of thing that only a total arsehole would do.
However, more subtly, they’re bullshit because they assume that it is easy for us to put ourselves in someone else’s position and make judgments about what it is that floats their boat.
Being a bat
Philosophers and people who are generally interested in this sort of thing will be familiar with a paper on the nature of consciousness called ‘what is it like to be a bat?‘ It’s by a dude called Thomas Nagel and is an excellent intro to the problem of inner qualia – that feeling that it is like to be a thing.
I have massively simplified the issues here for the sake of analogy, but please do read the paper – it’s ace.
I can know that bats ‘see’ using sonar, and I can (if I study a bit more than I have) understand exactly how they do that. But the problem is that no matter how detailed my studies I will never be able to experience the feeling of what it is like to actually be that thing.
More simply: picture something sexual. A slim guy being bear-hug-fucked by a much larger guy, for example. You’ve got an image in your head now, right?
I can look at a number of physical things to try and work out what’s going on – I can see if you’re turned on, I can measure your erection/wetness, and if I have kickass equipment I can even see exactly which parts of your brain are active – the synapses that are firing.
But no matter how much I study I will never be able to fully experience the feeling that you have. I won’t see the same image, nor understand exactly how you feel about this particular instance of guy-on-guy action.
Sexual feelings and consciousness
People have physical reactions to sexual things, which we can measure and replicate. They’re deliciously and delightfully scientific, which is why scientists love them. If you want to find out what someone likes the most simple way to measure it is to show it to them and see if they get hard.
But the problem with people is that they also have opinions and emotions which, to be frank, are a pain in the arse to measure. So what’s the best way, in day-to-day life, to establish what someone likes? Well, we fucking ask them.
And when we ask them, we do have to take what they say at face value. I no more know what’s going on in your head than you know that right now I’m wishing you’d slide your trousers down and start slowly stroking your growing erection.
I don’t know what turns you on. The only possible way I can know is for you to tell me. And you can tell me anything – you like being fucked by men, you like rubbing your cock against fully-clothed women, you like rolling around in a mish-mash of people of all different sizes, shapes, colours and genders – I believe you.
Am I bisexual?
Depends on whether you feel like one. Sometimes I like to fuck women, but it’s quite a rare thing for me to find girls that I genuinely fancy. I have a very specific type of girl, and there are some women who make me giggle and drool and stare longingly at their tits, wishing I could pick them up, have them wrap their legs around me, and push them up against a wall while I bury my face in the smooth warmth of their cleavage.
So I fuck women sometimes. But I’m not bi – I’m straight. I feel straight. I don’t wake up in the night craving passionate lesbian embraces, I wake up in the night sweating and panting and reaching for the nearest cock.
You might have a similar mix of sexual preferences, but think that the occasional fucking of your non-preference gender does make you bi. And that, kids, is absolutely fucking fine. Tick whichever box you like on your equal opportunities form, because only you know exactly what’s going on inside your head.
If you tell me you like a particular sexual act or type of person not only will I believe you but I will march loudly through the streets to defend your right to do it with any consenting adult you choose.
People can listen to you and advise and discuss and disagree, but no one has the right to tell you that you’re ‘not a proper bi guy’ because you’ve never been anally fucked. No one has the right to say that you’re definitely gay because you’ve only ever fucked people of the same gender, despite the fact that you have wide-ranging masturbatory fantasies that include both genders banging you until your body aches. On a personal note, no one has the right to tell me I’m bi because sometimes I look at ladies’ tits.
People can know what you do and are and say, but no one knows the feeling that it is like to be you. It’s unique and individual and brilliant and personal – assuming that I know your exact sexual feelings is like assuming I can navigate Oxford Circus using sonar.
So the next time someone tries to tell you there’s no such thing as bisexuals, or that all women are ‘a bit bi’ or that so-and-so is only bi for the attention, ask them what it’s like to be a bat. Thomas Nagel would like to know. And so would I.