Mythbusting Bisexual Men

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Hugo Schwyzer

Hugo Schwyzer has taught history and gender studies at Pasadena City College since 1993, where he developed the college's first courses on Men and Masculinity and Beauty and Body Image. He serves as co-director of the Perfectly Unperfected Project, a campaign to transform young people's attitudes around body image and fashion. Hugo lives with his wife, daughter, and six chinchillas in Los Angeles. Hugo blogs at his website

Comments

  1. Although out for twenty years and having a similar experience as the author, the degree of discrimination has so upset me in this last year that I am depressed. I am dating a biwoman now but I am still depressed over this reality that I am perceived as non-existant. I tried to never let it bother me but some how now I can’t help the fact that it really upsets me as if finally I have allowed myself to feel the grief of being marginalized. In all reality bisexual men have nearly everything to loose and little gain by being out. I have experienced job discrimination, harassment, assault, insults, but worst of all that is having partners reject you. I am glad I am with someone who accepts but truly the depression still lingers.

  2. Matthew says:

    And as far as Dominick’s comment stop being a sexual orientation Nazi. Although I have more often dated women (nearly 4 to 1) and fallen in love with women, my relationships with men were loving and rewarding. And I have realized that “falling in love” is an irrational phenenon while choosing to love is a conscious and aware. I have a circle of friends and family and peers and collegues in the art world where NO ONE CARE IF I WERE GAY or had a relationship with a man forever. The point is why do I have to mutilate my sense of self because gay men can not conceive of my existence? Or even in a relationship that I am told by outsiders that I am a liar or coward. In 1972 YOU Dominick were considered a Disease by “science”. Do you get the fascist hypocrisy!

  3. I believe that a far greater than we think number of men are sexually attracted to other men to some degree. In my opinion this number of men is probably even greater than the number of gay men. I think sex between two men is very different from het sex and expresses itself naturally in customary male ways: it’s about power, competition, and consumption.

    If the social conservative wing feels threatened by the social acceptance of relationships between two men, just wait until the time comes when it’s more accepted for guys to like both oranges and apples. I think the coming acceptance of “spectrum sexuality” for men will be far more upsetting to their fantasy world than gay relationships are now.

    And just to comment on the writer’s point that the sticking point of accepting male bi-sexuality revolves around fidelity, I agree but I think there is more to it than that. I think more people would be threatened by the implications of finding and acknowledging male-male desire and consumption, i.e., the thing that most in the majority find immoral and disgusting about the gay community, within the larger group of heretofore presumed straight men. Husbands, sons, and even fathers might be thought of differently.

  4. Yes, bisexual men do exist, even genuinely bisexual men who are attracted to both men and women in nearly equal measure. But not as many bisexual men exist as gay men who claim to be bisexual.

  5. “I have experienced job discrimination, harassment, assault, insults, but worst of all that is having partners reject you. I am glad I am with someone who accepts but truly the depression still lingers.”

    I will go out on a limb here and argue that all of the above happened for reasons OTHER than your “bisexuality”. And I happen to be gay, and I speak for a lot of gay men for have dated openly bisexual men in good faith, fallen in love with these guys — and then get the inevitable “I love you, but I’d rather be with a woman”…and then you see these guys in the arms of another man several months later.

  6. “But the flip side is the continued insistence that male sexuality is static, simple, and comes in only two distinct flavors: gay or straight.”

    And with that, we welcome Exodus International and the National Association for the Repair and Treatment of Homosexuality (NARTH), and all other religious conservative nutball organizations that argue that sexual identity is a “choice”, and therefore “homosexuals” are “immoral” because they consciously make the “wrong choice.” I mean, if they were right with “God,” they’d be straight, no?

    My own experience is that women’s sexuality is very fluid, and I’ve seen lesbians who’ve gone straight — without the need of therapy or religion — and I’ve seen straight women get into lesbianism. But I know very, very few gay men who — despite all their best efforts — get turned on to women, and as for straight men — considering how aggressive the male sex drive is — if more straight men truly had a “bi-curious” dimension, it would have come out in society a long time ago. I myself can speak from painful and humiliating experience of hitting on my straight friends in my youth, indulging in that same wishful thinking that Hugo Schwyzer does, that many straight guys are really “bi.” They are not, just as most gay men are basically gay.

    • Actually, according to Diamond’s study about “female sexual fluidity”, it’s not that fluid contrary to the term. It seems like just most women define their orientations by their emotional preferences of partner, not sexual feelings. From my experience, most men define themselves by their sexual feelings. And since as those studies suggest that “emotional feelings” are far less stable than sexual attractions (which basically during those 10 years of study remained in the same range), it’s no wonder why it often looks like “lesbians go straight” or “straight women go gay” – but in fact either they were always into that gender sexually, or just fell in love with one particular person (it’s separated issue from sexuality).

    • I have had many many of my straight friends come out and some come onto me. Yes many straight men are actually bisexual. My best friend finally said after ten years “I made out with a guy but I didn’t want to go there because it would complicate my life. In one case a “straight” guy asked me to have sex with him and his wife and I did. The thing is I am 6’3″ muscular 220 lbs x football player and out as bisexual. They look at me and see me as “straight” not “gay” and when I tell them I am “bi” I usually get a strange mixture of homoeroticism, curiosity, identification, and homophobia. If they become homophobic I put right back in their face and usually get an instant outing of a “straight” guy. I have no idea why gay men want to keep their head up their ass that a good number of “straight” men are actually repressed bisexuals. This is true not a fantasy. I came out to my football team as their captain and guess what half the team “felt as I did” I want to blow the lid off and expose the fact that “straight” is pretty damn queer. As a “straight” guy in highschool I saw my straight friends play with each other and blow each other. Pretty queer behavior for “straight” guys. Gay men are not privy to this because they were cast out as “sissies” etc. While “straight” men enjoy mansex with each other.

    • Many straight men are bi and they don’t feel comfortable coming out. But they have come out to me! Gay men are often so divorced from straight men that they don’t get it. And guess what it comes out in the culture ALL the time. Male bonding rituals of all sorts are a way of sublimating homoerotic feelings. I am bisexual and a football player for 12 years, have you ever seen how a football team behaves in the locker room? Men laugh and emulate homoerotic positions, etc. But these guys have confessed to me how they really feel, it is not a joke. It is the only way they express their homoerotic feelings. After seeing years of this behavior I decided to get it for real.

  7. BTW, portrayal of those studies about arousal is not accurate. It’s not true that they showed only exclusive arousal to either gay or lesbian porn. Bailey (who’s BTW well known for raging transphobia too) artificially divided results into two groups that they could resemble results of “gay” and “straight” men. I remember other studies done by the same author, those which suggested that women are equally aroused by everything (in fact, only on group average, because there were particular women who were exclusive – and more so in lesbian group), and even though men there were only self identified Kinsey 5 and 6, quite a big number didn’t show exclusive arousal – about 1/3 of straight men were only a bit more aroused by lesbian porn, the one and only research participant who truly showed equal arousal was “straight” man, and 2 gay men (for about 20) were even a bit more aroused by lesbian porn.

    That last sentence should be interesting to Rick S. – so apparently 10% of gay men are more aroused by women.

  8. I love this post. I think in the last seven years the contoversy of the reality of bisexual men is forcing us to push back and say “WE ARE HERE”. I fankly won’t take anymore shit anymore. I am trying to do it in a way that just simply calls it out as biggotry. But I also want gay support on the issue frankly and it is few and far between. I have faced homophobia from some straight people. But in the realm of “liberal” urban straight and gays, straight people support me and don’t care while I get hassled a lot from gay men. But I have few gay friends who support me. And as my xboy said “I support you, because the gay community has a serious shortage of tops.” I rolled with laughter hearing him say it.

  9. An interesting point to ponder. Frankly, the idea that men who say they are bisexual is either gay, straight or lying is rather sexist. Why can’t men enjoy women and men like women who enjoy men and women?

    I like that you pointed out that it has to do with the perception of faithfulness. Where did the idea come from that women don’t cheat? I’ve heard of married women who cheat on their husbands with their ex-girlfriends. So how?

    *grin*

  10. How many binary thinkers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

    Depends on if its a “Good” light bulb or a “Bad” light bulb. A “Democratic” light bulb or a “Republican” light bulb. A “Black” light bulb or a “White” light bulb. A “Straight” light bulb or a “Gay” light bulb. Etc ad infinitum. Because as long as we continue to look for the solution through a binary lens, that light bulb ain’t never gonna get turned on.

  11. This blog has helped me a great deal, as a wife of a bisexual man It’s difficult to hear people say that that Bisexualism does not exist. After 12 very happy years together and two children I know that he loves me, and our healthy sex life shows me he is also physically and sexually attracted to me. He is however sexually attracted to men. It was difficult for me to accept initially but his bisexuality is another part of his personality and something else that makes me love him. I was disappointed in my reaction as I myself have had moments with girls and women during my teenage years, but I think it was the shock and the fear of loosing him!. In 12years we have had one indiscretion in that he had an encounter with another man – and like any person after an extra marital affair I was crushed – but we worked things out and have moved on – like any couple. Its dangerous for people to use bisexuality as a get out of jail free card, a free pass to screw around. If your not happy in any relationship then you need to look at what you can do to be happy, don’t use your sexuality as an excuse – its unfair on the majority of bisexuals who live happy lives with partners however long that relationship will last. Yes some bi men and women can’t be happy with one person but the same can be said for gay and straight people! I am proud of my husband and I love all of his traits, we now talk openly about his feelings – and my own and look forward to the future together :)

  12. This blog has helped me a great deal, as a wife of a bisexual man It’s difficult to hear people say that that Bisexualism does not exist. After 12 very happy years together and two children I know that he loves me, and our healthy sex life shows me he is also physically and sexually attracted to me. He is however sexually attracted to men. It was difficult for me to accept initially but his bisexuality is another part of his personality and something else that makes me love him. I was disappointed in my reaction as I myself have had moments with girls and women during my teenage years aand have always considered myself openminded and non judge mental, but I think it was the shock and the fear of loosing him!. In 12years we have had one indiscretion in that he had an encounter with another man – and like any person after an extra marital affair I was crushed – but we worked things out and have moved on – like any couple. Its dangerous for people to use bisexuality as a get out of jail free card, a free pass to screw around. If your not happy in any relationship then you need to look at what you can do to be happy, don’t use your sexuality as an excuse – its unfair on the majority of bisexuals who live happy lives with partners however long that relationship will last. Yes some bi men and women can’t be happy with one person but the same can be said for gay and straight people! I am proud of my husband and I love all of his traits, we now talk openly about his feelings – and my own and look forward to the future together :)

  13. This hit home on so many levels… Intellectually, I know that I’m not alone, yet it’s fantastic to read someone’s views that so closely match my own. Thank you, Hugo!

  14. Great article, Hugo! Thanks for discussing this topic! It’s also worth noting that the the one drop rule is often used on bi women, just the other way around. If she says she’s bi or has had a relationship or experience with a man, she’s really just straight and lying.

  15. love this article, when you hear so much that bi sexuality is a myth you start to believe it. nothing drives me crazier than this thing. why do people just not want to believe it exists? Someone is straight or gay so they figure everyone else has to be. amazing such a huge part of the population has such trouble with anyone who is different than themselves. I hate how it is assumed that we just havn’t figured it out yet, we’re in some sort of denial. don’t act like I don’t know myself, nothing worse than that..

  16. I am the girlfriend of a bisexual man and i’m the only girl he’s ever slept with. Weirdly enough he said the identical thing about the difference between love and sex.. when i met him he had been in a gay relationship for 3.5 years, but hadn’t kissed anyone for over a year. People make comments at me sometimes, that it’s weird that he still wanks over boys and other things like that.. but if i’m honest, him having slept with men means that he’s more understanding about a lot of things.. i.e the true horror of having a cock shoved down your throat… he’s not stereotypically gay-acting (if there is such a thing) he doesn’t like sport THANK GOD but apart from that he’s just like any other straight guy. but better. because he’s gorgeous and clever and mine!

  17. I am glad things are changing culturally on this subject. A therapist once told my bisexual girlfriend who I was only briefly involved with that “if he is bisexual he is gay and in the closet and you should not be involved with him.” I had mostly hetero relationships. It hurt tremendously deeply. I told her it wasn’t true and the therapist laughed and said ” there is no such thing as a bisexual man.” The therapist was gay. I too only fall in love with women. I felt found loving friendships with my male partners, but it was never the same. Oddly the “gay and in denial” thing is the whole culture has been in denial of bisexual men and bisexual feelings in men in general. Biphobia is a form of homophobia that both the straight and gay culture colude with. For straight is a way to “keep the gay away” for gay – I don’t know it seems perhaps it sows seeds of doubt in the minds of many gay men. But really it is NO threat at all.

  18. Good article but the premise is flawed in one way. It assumes that to be the preverbal “good person” you have to be “faithful”.

    Some Context;
    “Being Faithful” in traditional terms is more of a social religious doctrine and not really suited for a modern society among intelligent homo-sapiens. This is mainly because religion and intelligence can’t go hand in hand. Yes, there are “smart” religious people out there but I have yet to meet an intelligent man or woman of a religious nature. This is because people of “faith” have a fatal flaw in their ability to think and reason for them selves, they place their values and morals in the church, bible and god which are all logically and fundamentally flawed at their core.
    A quick example: Morals
    Ask anyone who believe in god if the believe in god and if so is gods word absolute? As soon as they answer yes they become morally bankrupt because the next question is what do you do when god orders you to kill your child or loved one?

    So back to the premise of this response, “traditional faithfulness” has nothing to do with being a “good” or “moral” person because my girlfriend loves me being bisexual and we find other bisexual men to join us in our love making. I am not faithful and neither is she but we are both honest and moral people, way more moral than any religious person could ever hope to be.

    Why would anyone truly want to have sex with one person, I’ve done it in my first marriage and I lost 15 years of my life which I can never get back because there is no other life than the one you are living now. That being said the only logical conclusion is hedonism or the pursuit of hedonism.

    There are basic shades of bisexuality, bisexuals that will lean more towards one gender or another and those that are straight down the middle. I could NEVER have a “relationship” with a man, I love woman but I have a strong drive to have sex with both men and woman and the key is honesty. You tell your lady upfront and honest about everything, not on the first date but at least early on in the relationship so nobody invests too much time in to a relationship before making an important decisions. Basically you have to sell it, own it and be honest about it.

    • Maybe for you that’s the case, but if you say that’s the case for everyone you come off judgemental and pushy.
      If neither side of a relationship wants fidelity from their other half, then that’s their right. but when one side of a relationship wants monogamy and the other side wants to sleep around, THAT’s where the problem is.

    • As someone who is bisexual and has lived both monogamously and polyamorously, I would argue that one is “unfaithful” when they willingly violate the terms and agreements of their relationship/s, whether those terms dictate monogamy or otherwise.

  19. forgot to mention above
    The Grey’s of Bisexuality for both men and woman

    There are men who prefer women and have sex with men
    There are men who prefer men and have sex with women
    There are men who prefer both men or women equally and these are generally the one’s that will have relationships. This is not always true, I’ve known or heard about every combination

  20. High-five for this article, Hugo.

    For what it’s worth, I know a bisexual man who has only ever had sex with his wife.

  21. I think that we are all just sexual. Not hetero not homo not bi, just sexual. You love who you love, you are attracted to who you’re attracted to whether male or female. Monogamy or fidelity is a different issue. I think, no, I know that there are men and I’m sure women, that are happily married for years, and one day they come across someone of the same gender that ignites something in them and they find themselves feeling that they must be with that person no matter what. Even though they have never had a same sex attraction in their lives. If that’s what you’re mind and body want, who needs to label that? You just want to be sexual, not homo hetero or bi. Just my opinion

  22. My man keeps cheating one with men denies it promises he loves me and will not happen again we have been together 6 yrs and a baby girl later. He says his been with but it was just a phase yet I still find things on his phone talking flirtatious with men when I confront him he says he doesn’t want to sleep with men he just likes attention from both sexes and he doesn’t want anyone but me his excuse is I don’t show him
    Enough attention what should I do so fed up

    • He loves you, though he wants to have this cake and eat it too?
      I would not trust the guy,he’s impulsive and acts out on his sexual urges.
      He does not respect you, love you, nor care for you.

  23. Thanks for writing this piece. It can be very lonely to be the only “out” bi man anyone knows. I have come to accept that mentioning orientation or history will bring on a litany of the same questions I always get to answer.
    In ancient Greece and Rome, it was only the weirdos who wanted sex with just their wives and mistresses. We are genetically nearly identical to those people. I think that same level of near universal bisexuality finds expression now in the way the advertising industry has tapped into using sexy male bodies to sell products to men.

  24. I’m dating a bisexual man, and I’m a man. I must admit its the chemistry that brought us together, still after 2 years I feel for him– never loved someone as much as him. He wanted a break, moved out of state,came back and cheated on me. He’s a workaholic, and I initiate everything from dates, events, and sex. He’s not romantic, doesn’t surprise me, doesn’t go down on me, and I’m sick of hearing about his fucking houses and his lame jobs. When it comes to sex, its always quick blow jobs, and we have to run out the house. He doesn’t blow me, he won’t go all the way with me, and he won’t let me go down on him all the way either. We don’t go out, because he’s too tired, and he’s canceled plans on several occasions at last minute. He leaves town out of the blue to go out with buddies, and makes fucking excuses. And I can’t pinpoint that he’s cheating on me, though daily I feel he’s messing around. I can’t trust him, and I’d like to see things change. Though I don’t know if i can deal with bisexual men anymore.

  25. Fastidious answers in return off this query with solid arguments and explainbing all regarding that.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] viewed as weak.  Sometimes, entering into a relationship with a man comes with worries about their promiscuity—will they [...]

  2. [...] Mythbusting Bisexual Men [...]

  3. [...] viewed as weak.  Sometimes, entering into a relationship with a man comes with worries about their promiscuity—will they [...]

  4. [...] Mythbusting Bisexual Men. Apparently people believe that bisexual men are rarer than unicorns. [...]

  5. [...] published at The Good Men Project – republished with [...]

  6. [...] important issue for me because I’ve known I was bisexual since my teens, something I wrote about here. One of the things about experiencing sexual desire for both men and women is that I learned early [...]

  7. [...] important issue for me because I’ve known I was bisexual since my teens, something I wrote about here. One of the things about experiencing sexual desire for both men and women is that I learned early [...]

  8. Website Trackback Link…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]…

  9. [...] yet. With guys? Ohhhhh no. No makin’ out here. As Dan Savage has said and Hugo Switzer pointed out here, suck one cock, son, you are gay-ed for [...]

  10. [...] a man often makes it easier to devote his life to God if he does not marry.Powered by Yahoo! AnswersGeorge asks…God created women out of men… in the Bible. In evolution theory how does female spec…t of men… in the Bible. In evolution theory how does female species created? Why does?men fall in [...]

  11. [...] folks do not really keep up with the pop culture you create do you? Who says bi guys can't stay faithful? — The Good Men Project __________________ "Those people who will not be governed by God will be ruled by [...]

  12. [...] as weak.  Sometimes, entering into a relationship with a man comes with worries about their promiscuity—will they cheat?Gay men not only internalize negative cultural messages about being [...]

  13. [...] as weak.  Sometimes, entering into a relationship with a man comes with worries about their promiscuity—will they [...]

Speak Your Mind