Bisexuality is about attraction not action

August 23rd, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Recently I was watching Larry King interview Anna Paquin, who’s said repeatedly that she’s bisexual, and wondered what you thought of it.

Now that she’s married to a man (“happily, monogamously,” she added), King asked if that means she’s a “non-practicing bisexual.” She answered, “I don’t think it’s a past-tense thing.”

I’m a straight married guy and I think pretty broad-minded about this stuff, but I’m confused because I thought the definition of bisexual was someone who slept with partners of either sex.

So what does that even mean, to be a monogamous, married bisexual? If she’s married to a man and never sleeps with women, doesn’t that make her straight? – Confused straight man

The article has an answer, but here’s a shorter one. Your is about whether you are attracted to the opposite gender, your own gender, or both (or none). It is very different to whom you actually sleep with.  You can be bisexual, but happily married to one person and monogamous.

 

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28 Responses to “Bisexuality is about attraction not action”

  1. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    Is there something you want to get off your chest DPF ?

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  2. David Farrar (1,899 comments) says:

    If I was bisexual, I’d say so. I’m not. Despite their many flaws I am fatally addicted to falling for women only :-)

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  3. jawnbc (87 comments) says:

    Gay people will humiliate themselves to get someone of the same gender they think is hawt to like them. Straight people will humliate themselves to get someone of the opposite gender they think is hawt to like them.

    Bisexuals know their odds are better and are much more chilled about the whole thing.

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  4. iMP (2,387 comments) says:

    I disagree. Sexuality definitions are verbs, not adjectives. That is because “attractions” are not exclusive: the same person can be attracted to women, men, teenagers, children and animals or the empire state building (objectaphilia) sexually. What humans DO – ie how they CHOOSE to express one or other attraction, defines their sexuality (which is movable anyway. Ie most gays start out expressing their sexuality as heterosexuals).

    Sexuality if we wish to define it publicly and apportion taxpayers’ money to it, and “rights” re public policy, has to be based on action, not nebulous internal and subjective feelings that are not a constant as we grow, mature and journey thru the different seasons of life.

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  5. Black with a Vengeance (1,865 comments) says:

    if i was bisexual i wouldn’t say so…

    none of anyone’s goddam business if you ask me.

    Though i was hoping you’d say “My boyfriend’s nuts. It’s a crazy problem that’s really weighing me down”

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  6. MH (762 comments) says:

    maybe her husband dresses up for the occasion? I thought the two of them were Bite-sexuals ?

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  7. iMP (2,387 comments) says:

    Then there is the Labour party candidate who was a man, is now a woman, got divorced, but then remarried his wife, so they are now in a lesbian marriage relationship that was formally heterosexual.

    Give me strength.

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  8. Fletch (6,410 comments) says:

    According to some in the gay rights movement, there are very few people who are actually solely homosexual. it is referred to as their “dirty little secret”.

    “Things are more three-dimensional and less compartmentalized than they once were”, lesbian activist Nan Golden wrote in The Advocate. “Maybe that has to do with getting older and understanding the ambivalence of things. At the moment I’m actually dating a man. And I’ve known people who were active in ACT UP and were very defined as lesbian or gay but who were secretly sleeping together. I think people are more complicated than those categories. being gay to me isn’t just who I sleep with, it’s how I live my life”.

    In other words, it’s a political statement, not a true sexual identity. International surveys of the gay community have shown that a staggering 91% of gay men have become aroused and had sex with women. Ninety-six percent of lesbians have had sex with men. It’s the dirty-little-secret that the gay community doesn’t discuss with outsiders, but gay media reports off some insights: “I must confess that I am both elated and terrified by the possibilities of a bisexual movement”, lesbian activist Dr Lillian Faderman told Advocate magazine. “I’m elated because i truly believe that bisexuality is the natural human condition. But I’m much less happy when i think of the possibility of huge numbers of homosexuals (two thirds of women who identify as lesbian, for example) running off to explore the heterosexual side of their bisexual potential and, as a result, decimating our political ranks. What becomes of our political movement if we openly acknowledge that sexuality is flexible and fluid, that gay and lesbian does not signify a ‘people’ but rather ‘a sometime behaviour’?”

    New Zealand’s gay community may not like it, but the book title Queer by Choice sums it up, and it’s author – American lesbian academic Dr Vera Whisman – explains the political ramifications for the “rights movement”:

    “The political dangers of a choice discourse go beyond the simple notion that some people genuinely choose their homosexuality. Indeed, my conclusions question some of the fundamental basis upon which the gay and lesbian rights movement has been built. If we cannot make political claims based on an essential and shared nature, are we not left once again as individual deviants? Without an essentialist foundation, do we have viable politics?”

    http://x.co/5JKJv

    http://x.co/5JKML

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  9. Andrei (2,664 comments) says:

    Good to see a blog posting on really important things like a washed up movie star’s sexual fantasies

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  10. waikatosinger (60 comments) says:

    The attraction definition is a reasonable one. But it might get tricky when it comes to something like paedophilia. I suspect there are people out there who may have found to their horror that they are attracted to children. Are those people paedophiles even if they have never acted on those feelings and would never allow themselves to do so?

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  11. Reid (16,522 comments) says:

    Then there is the Labour party candidate who was a man, is now a woman, got divorced, but then remarried his wife, so they are now in a lesbian marriage relationship that was formally heterosexual.

    And they’re weally weally bwave hewoes iMP. Don’t forget that.

    And that hasn’t distressed their kids if they have any, in any way whatsoever. Either.

    Apparently, around 60% of women aren’t repelled by the thought of having sex with another woman. Number is much lower in men.

    I guess that’s cos we’re not “advanced thinkers.” Thank goodness.

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  12. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    Having a bisexual partner might be like Leggo?

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  13. Longknives (4,767 comments) says:

    She’s probably not actually ‘Bisexual’- It is very,very ‘fashionable’ in Hollywood to be a girl who ‘kisses girls’ (Think Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan etc etc)
    She is probably just rather desperately trying to keep her name in headlines…

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  14. eszett (2,417 comments) says:

    Andrei (2,530 comments) says:
    August 23rd, 2014 at 11:42 am
    Good to see a blog posting on really important things like a washed up movie star’s sexual fantasies

    And good to see you commenting on these really important things, andrei.

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  15. James Stephenson (2,191 comments) says:

    I am fatally addicted to falling for women only

    It is an ex rabbit. It has ceased to be :D

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  16. big bruv (13,935 comments) says:

    Why is it that poofs and semi poofs feel the need to tell everybody about their sexual orientation?

    I believe in equal rights for all poofs, indeed, we are often told by gay rights activists that ones sexual preferences should not matter, and they are right.

    So, given that ones sexuality does not matter why the fuck do poofs still feel the need to broadcast their preferences?

    Sometimes poofs make it bloody difficult for straight’s to support their claims for equal rights.

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  17. big bruv (13,935 comments) says:

    “She is probably just rather desperately trying to keep her name in headlines…”

    Anne who?

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  18. Johnboy (16,722 comments) says:

    I’ve been married for 43 years but somehow sheep attract me! :)

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  19. altiora (279 comments) says:

    I thought this was well known. Kinsey observed the same phenomenon back in the 1950s: there can be a difference between one’s orientation (ie who one is attracted to) and how and whether one expresses that orientation.

    My experience has been that many women are “bisexual” on paper, but choose not to express that in the form of sexual activity with other women, primarily because they are satisfied with their male partner and find raising a family with that male partner more important than “getting it off” with other women.

    So too I know several “homosexual men” who choose not to act on their homosexuality, because they want to devote the energy that would be consumed by relationships and sexual activity to other things.

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  20. Johnboy (16,722 comments) says:

    She’s apparently Wussel’s sister-in-law bb.

    She obviously want’s to try and keep up with the dreadful Lucy and the dreadful Sam Neill as folk of huge significance in Godzone! :)

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  21. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    She voted Green. Of course she’s confused

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  22. MH (762 comments) says:

    as previously stated one day all this bisexuality will come back and bite her in the ask not what the country can do…..

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  23. MH (762 comments) says:

    I wonder if he’s pack’n or as I’ve previously implied one day all this bisexuality will come back and bite her in the- ask not what the country.. ..

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  24. eszett (2,417 comments) says:

    Why is it that poofs and semi poofs feel the need to tell everybody about their sexual orientation?

    She was asked about it, it’s not something that she brought up.

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  25. chiz (1,145 comments) says:

    iMP:

    I disagree.

    Surprise surprise.

    [...] most gays start out expressing their sexuality as heterosexuals).

    You have evidence for this?

    Sexuality if we wish to define it publicly and apportion taxpayers’ money to it, and “rights” re public policy, has to be based on action, not nebulous internal and subjective feelings that are not a constant as we grow, mature and journey thru the different seasons of life.

    So someone who is celibate isn’t heterosexual? If your wife goes overseas for a month and you aren’t having sex do you cease to be heterosexual?

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  26. flash2846 (287 comments) says:

    In my twenties my former girlfriend told me she was now bi-sexual – Worst timing ever!

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  27. Ed Snack (1,883 comments) says:

    Trendy answer for a third rate attention seeker. Why the f**k should we care ?

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  28. Brian (Shadowfoot) (80 comments) says:

    I guess there’s very little difference between a monogamous hetrosexual for finds other people attractive and a monogamous bisexual who finds other people attractive.

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  29. ChardonnayGuy (1,207 comments) says:

    If I could provide a more objective explanation… bisexuals vary in their preferences. There are some that are happily serially monogamous, with one long-duration partner of a specific gender, then one of the other; there are others that are polyamorous and have more than one partner, of both genders, but of circumscribed fidelity. In the latter case, it’s bisexual women who tend to run things. Polyamory is characterised by a strong focus on ethical conduct within circumscribed non-monogamous relationships.

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