Columns Feb 8, 2012 at 4:00 am

Secrets and Lies


Just to set the record straight (HAW HAW HAW) men with wacky hair colour often like females. I have blonde hair at the moment, I've had purple hair recently and I'm heterosexual.
@ 101: I love a naturally-smooth, hairless, *adult* male chest. (Emphasis on adult :-) )

Everyone has a physical fetish. That happens to be mine. I tend to shave my own chest, 'cos I have that knarly, silly-looking Austin Powers-like hair-bra lol. Hairy on my breasts. It looks pretty stupid, actually: hence why tend to shave it off. I wouldn't mind zappin' that shit off of me permanently.

Or something ;) .
Tanned skin, or, someone with skin that naturally tans well, and looks awesome...

THAT'S What I Like!

I'd like to suggest a friendly competition, or a new thread, or somesuch. Let's all contribute the best Santorum headlines we find around the web. The only hitch is, it has to be a real, linkable headline, because dawg knows what we all could make up.

I'll start out by cheating, i.e., no link. Saw one the other day about Santorum's momentum. Ewwww.
Marcelo is being a drama queen here. He doesn't show his face on Grindr even when his friend does and instead tells his friend all about it.

Seriously, dude, grow some balls and show your face.
Re hairy chests, there may be an age factor as well. When I was in college, and most guys didn't have hairy chests, I thought hairy chests were as gross as hairy backs. But as I've aged, and my lovers have aged, now I have a thing for hairy chests (within reason, not popping out at the neckline)...
By way of introduction, I'd like to suggest a new thread or comment line or somesuch. Let's contribute the best Santorum headlines we find on the web. The only rule is the headline has to be real and linkable. I'll start by cheating, i.e., by not providing a link:

"Santorum Momentum Grows"
@ 107: I'd do that, as long as Dan and the site moderators aren't averse to us putting links up to direct the masses to sufficiently curtail the campaign of toxic terror that is operation santorum.

@ 108: Yeah, Marcelo did kind of rip off Chad by not giving him a facial pic, too! I don't relate to the part about Marcelo having to crow about to his friends that he saw Chad in there.. Either boink Chad or leave him be! And be a sport and send a facial pic of yourself in return. Maybe a nice 69 is in your future if you comply lol;).
Marcelo is being a drama queen here. He doesn't show his face on Grindr even when his friend does and instead tells his other friend all about it.

Seriously, dude, grow some balls and show your face.
@ 109, EricaP: Hi. I wouldn't mind my own hairy chest so much if it didn't look so silly in general! Seriously: think of a much less denser version of Austin Powers' hairy manboobs from the movies. I kinda look like that. No hair on the chest or sternum: just titty hair. I may as well be a witch with wiry nipple hairs that are as cold as the tundra winds ;) . Now I just need a crooked, wart-infested schnozz, a few sprinkles of dried toad skin, a raven's feather and some bubbles and ghouls in a simmering pot over a homefire within a cave, as my broom-and-handle vehicle is surgically attached to my inner backside for all of time... Making my witch's brew, with my wart-ridden schnozz and colder than a witch's bitch's tit, with wiry nipple hairs and Austin Powers hairy titties.

Gee, there's a real hard sell at work there, eh?

@ 108 & 112: That's good! To quote you:

"Seriously, dude, grow some balls and show your face."

The *real;)* exchange could also go:

Chad, To Marcelo: "Seriously, dude, lick my balls and let me cum on your face!" :)
@79 &81 First of all, I did say what if.......... I also didn't say we had sex, I said I thought we would have some fun with the girl. Straight? Well I guess that has somewhat to do with being attracted to woman. However gay men do seem attracted to me. I'm flattered but not interested. Why do people have to read into what others say?
@ 115: Were you guys taking Ecstacy or something? It *does* happen: straight guys on 'E' experimenting on one another...

Why do people have to read into what others say?

What else is there to in a site like this one?

Also, @ 115: Some gay guys can find you attractive or be drawn to you, and you wouldn't have to gay for it to happen. I can see that. Also, an edit for the last line of the last thing I posted. I meant to say, "What else is there to do within a site like this one?" :) Thanks!

Damn, did I pick the right name! Nothing like posting casually that you had a typo in your last post, when you again create a typo by forgetting a word. I also meant to say, " wouldn't have to be gay for it to happen..." . Peace!
@ 112: Marcelo just doesn't know enough to shut up and be cool about what he saw with Chad's pic on Grindr. I hate telling anyone else stuff I know of of people *they* also know of. It's bad karma and it bums me out, voluntarily betraying a confidence to liven up a hang-out with other friends. It's not worth undermining someone else's privacy for. Marcelo should either put up (or out lol) or shaddup. He owes Chad a b.j. at the very least, for the drama he created!

+~Electric Mombies Rule Always!! Come To 'Pigeon Park': They Await You...~+
@115, in your earlier post @77 you said you kissed a guy, and "I wouldn't say it wasn't fun at the time," which sounds like it was kinda fun, if a little too rough for you.

Your "what if" also made it sound like you've been thinking about it since then, and maybe you're a little turned on by the idea.

But if you're not at all excited by the thought of sometime fooling around with a guy again, then I guess I did read too much into your original post. Apologies.
Hmm. @ 120 Re: @ 115 Re: @ 77:

It is part of reality that sometimes people you hang out with: even people of the same sex - can sometimes entice you or turn you on, despite yourself.

Like, during a poon-tang drought, a guy who knows another guy friend of his who somehow possesses the kind of personality or presence the other guy is normally attracted to in his girl of choice..

In other words, when there's no good women around, and a male friend of yours somehow;) has the right mix of charm, discretion and naughtiness to go there with you.. That, and sometimes men do get annoyed with some women, for that age old claim of talking too much and not fucking enough. Who knows? People are weird, man. If you're a bird, I'm a bird.


Perhaps the paint on my forehead has absorbed into my plumage, hence, affecting my better, objective judgement.

@121 Someone who is willing to go along with a little same-sex activity during a threesome, or during a drought (as you suggest), I'd call heteroflexible.

Someone who also fantasizes about same-sex activities, I'd call bi (or, I'd say they were "somewhere on the bi spectrum").

Dan says it's okay for such people to round up to straight...I think maybe they'd have more fun if they didn't...
@99 EricaP and & @100 anklosaur: Thanks! It's great to hear from both of you. I guess I'm kinda "quirky nerdy" in an automotive-humanizing sort of way.

@110 pdx: I'm game, but I'll have to get back to you on any actual links.
@ 122, EricaP: See? I remain unhip on the jargon! Heteroflexible..See? I could have known that word and saved us all a few paragraphs ;-D lol. Also, a hearty and warm welcome to Auntie Grizelda, EricaP, Anklylosaur as well as any of the other possible permuatations of my screennames. Cheers, One + All! Have A Great Weekend :) .
Nice to see people showing happiness here. Nice weekend to all, also from the Netherlands.

I could possibly count myself as heteroflexible solely on theoretical grounds, though I've never actually had sex with a man, since I think I wouldn't mind doing a guy as long as a woman is also involved; if I like him I might perhaps even kinda enjoy giving him pleasure; but I certainly don't fantasize about doing that.
Beware Closet case may shut down for awhile so don't be surprised.

I like beard stubble and tongue...lots of it.
That's a truly conflicted depiction of being straight. If you sometimes have sex with other guys (fear not: we'll keep in mind your gigantic rationalizations for what motivates your behavior!) you are by definition not straight. You describe this as business as usual, right? This as opposed to an isolated period of experimentation.

Are you afraid your dick will fall off if you admit to being bisexual? It can't be that you haven't heard of bisexuality so it must be an unwillingness to apply the word. "Heteroflexible" seems like a euphemism to me. Or maybe splitting hairs.
@122 EricaP
It's the drought half of the equation where I draw the line. Guys who have sex with other guys just as a matter of routine-- what was the reason? women are difficult? women are not there at that precise moment of horniness?-- are bisexual. Serial temporary insanity as described in @121 will not be bought by the jury.
Mr J - Colour me confused. Didn't you refuse to pin the B word on Mr Savage recently for remarkably similar behaviour, even with a qualifier that it was past behaviour?
@130 Mr V
Hello, Sir! I must say I don't recall. But do you see the distinction I'm making? Many people experiment at some point in their lives and they may well be straight. That may be the route by which they come to understand their orientation. Many people may have incidental homosexual contact during a 3 way and still be straight.

Yeah, Mr. Savage strikes me as a big, giant homo. Not bi. I often admire you, Sir, in your war against presumption. There seems to be an assumption here (though not by you) that a certain amount of gymnastics to avoid the "bi" label is a worthy goal. I must question whether that's an insult to me. No matter. A man who plans to have sex with other men on an ongoing basis with no timeline for withdrawal (yes,I crack myself up) is not straight.
Calling all straight men: Read @121. He's saying that's what you all do. Can I hear a little, "NO WE DO NOT!"?
@Mr J., I think a lot of straight men, if they were honest and self-aware, would admit that if they were in prison and had no access to women for years on end, they might seek out male sexual companionship.

That's a bit like Dan having a girlfriend in high school so no one would think he was gay. (Or the many gay men who married, and occasionally fucked, their wives.)

I reserve "bisexual" for people who fantasize about both men & women, and who think it likely that they would act on those fantasies if given an appealing & ethical opportunity. Me, I fool around with women during threesomes and sex parties, but they don't enter my fantasies unless I work really hard at it to prove to myself that it's possible. And even then, when I'm actually getting off, I'm thinking about what they're doing with a strap-on...
@133 EricaP
I won't hold my breath waiting for straight men to be honest and self-aware.

You cite some extraordinary circumstances in which people engage in sexual behavior outside of their orientation. The example at hand is clearly normal life, not extraordinary circumstance. I would like to understand that if a person rejects a label it's because the label fails to communicate some essential fact, not because they think poorly of some kinds of people. I see the distinction you make between bi and heteroflexible. I don't understand it though because you're saying that a commonplace component of your sex life doesn't creep into your fantasy life. That's beyond me.
@134 how many people have you interrogated about their fantasy lives? Turns out that people are very different -- for me, there's always an element of creepiness/violence/power, and there's always cock & penetration. Some guys' fantasies are super fantastical with body parts morphing, weird creatures, or things happening in outer space or underwater... I've met a guy who can only fantasize about things that are part of his real life (so he imagines ex- or current girlfriends, in places where he has fucked them, and using condoms if he was using condoms with them). That's incredible to me. But he was surprised that I was so different from him (ie, that my fantasies are almost always about things I wouldn't want to experience in real life).

So anyway, no, to clarify: things from my actual sex life almost never show up in my fantasies. (They're more stranger-on-plane; mechanic-fixing-car, kids'-soccer-coach, FedEx-delivery-guy, that sort of thing - but acting super inappropriate and overpowering me or manipulating me...) The women I've fooled around with in real life don't exude any sense of menace... so there's really not much way for them to creep into my fantasies...
Thinking on this more, I think the problem comes down to the fact that who we'll have sex with (either in fantasies or in real life) is contingent on so much more than gender, that people feel weird with almost any of the existing labels. "Bi" really sounds like one is in the middle, and doesn't express the idea that, say, someone goes for people who are tall and strong, who are usually male, but the occasional tall, strong woman can also arouse them.

My claim to being hetero-flexible comes partly out of my inexperience with women, so I haven't come on to them much, and I tend to feel like I'm going along with what they want, out of (almost) politeness, rather than desire. As I get more comfortable at the sex parties, I'm initiating a bit more -- but, honestly, that's really my exhibitionism speaking, more than any attraction to these women. And I'm still uncomfortable going down on them, due both to my inexperience and because their smell doesn't arouse me.

So -- go ahead and call me bi if that term seems useful to you. But please don't take it as an insult when I say that I really don't feel an internal attraction to women, so it's hard for me to feel bi, regardless of my actions.
To be clear, my own sexual identity feels more like "kinky" than like hetero, bi, or hetero-flexible.
Dan's a dick. If Chad wants his privacy, whose right is it to violate that? And, if he jumps off the GWB the day after Marcelo outs him, I guess it was his own fault. Everybody likes Chad. Chad's not a homophobic jerk, so what's to gain by outing him? And, if Marcelo truly cared about him, he'd take him aside, assure him his secret was safe, but emphasize that thare was a caring, supportive community if he ever decided to come out. Instead, he blabbed to everybody. Some friend. Some community. All a bunch of dicks.
I was speaking about the more general than the specific, i.e. not particular sexual encounters but male or female. Your general behavior is to have sex with both men and women yet your fantasies involve only the men. That suggests that your experience with women is unpleasant or indifferent so it makes me wonder why you keep doing it. Fantasy is something you can actively construct but it also happens by itself. Sex with women is apparently unpleasant enough to keep it from popping into your involuntary fantasies.

You give a lengthy description of your sexual orientation and activity above. It's interesting to read but it's bogged down in details specific to one person. When asked about your orientation you might as well reply, "EricaP." That's not very useful in conversation. I don't have a problem with you calling yourself heteroflexible. That's a term that can be applied and understood generally by lots of people, and you don't use it to specifically avoid or shun "bisexual."

"Your general behavior is to have sex with both men and women yet your fantasies involve only the men. That suggests that your experience with women is unpleasant or indifferent so it makes me wonder why you keep doing it."

I can't speak for Erica but what you just said applies to me also and I have to disagree.

I have had encounters with women before, but I'm not really 'sexually attracted' to women, nor do I fantasize about them ever.

Why do it? Because sex is sex, and I'm not down with celibacy. Also, I guess my shallowness transcends my orientation since I'd pick a good looking woman over an "average" looking man any day. (I'll admit I'm picky, guys most people call 'average' I consider unattractive)

My policy with women was always a selfish one, as in, I'd be good with being on the receiving end but not the giving end (I guess I indentify as straight rather than bi because I really don't have any interest in eating pussy).

You'd be surprised how many bi/lesbian women are good with that deal.

I "round up to straight" because female anatomy doesn't get me going, I've never felt sexual or romantic feelings for any woman, and I will probably never go down on one.

Or to put it a different way. Do you fantasize about masturbating? If you don't would you wonder why you keep doing it?
Oh, mydriasis @140 -- thank you! the line about masturbation is right on target!

Mr. J,
a) sex can be good and yet not enter my fantasies. Everyone fantasizes in different ways; mine are always creepy, so good sex is not likely to show up there.
b) yes, I'm fairly indifferent to sex with women.
c) but I like having sex in public, and at the parties I attend, that leads to having sex with women.
d) public sex does enter my fantasies, quite a bit (in creepy ways).

Any clearer? If not, just go back and reread mydriasis' last two sentences again.
Mr. J @139 "Fantasy is something you can actively construct but it also happens by itself."

Nope. Fantasy doesn't happen by itself, to me.

Unless you count weird, non-sexual, fears of falling down the stairs I'm on, or that the phone will ring with bad news, or that I'll embarrass myself in some way.

What's it like when sexual fantasies just show up?

What's it like when they just show up?
It usually happens to me when I'm in lecture.
do you get specific images of sex with people in the room with you? or is it more like remembering sex you've had recently? Or just body parts?
Sometimes the first two, not the third, but most frequently it's more future tense. Like if I have plans that night/afternoon or etc.
@142 & @143: I seem to get fantasies of me and Brad Pitt in a cheap motel room every now and then. For some reason this seems to hit me while I'm eating chocolate. MMMMMMMMMMM!
@142 EricaP
Okay, I've never heard of that before. Again, that's beyond me.

@140 mydriasis
What do you mean by "sex is sex?"

Yes, I get around to fantasizing about masturbating just as I do ever other thing that my brain categorizes as sexual. Maybe I include more of my thoughts under the heading of fantasy than you guys do. They might be just memories or flashes of possibility to you. I don't know. Then again it's unfathomable to me that a blowjob is not sex to a lot of folks. I suppose if less of my sex life took place only in my head things would look different to me. Walter Mitty strikes again.
@146 auntie grizelda
Me too! And it's always you and Brad. I wonder why that is?

It means what I went on to say, which is - it's better to hook up with an good looking girl who's talented in bed and fun to be around than it is to not have any sex at all. Even if I'm not into women.

It means when you're actually in the middle of getting off, you're typically not pondering the gender of the person who's making that possible.

I'm pretty surprised you fantasize about masturbation, to be honest. Everyone's different eh?
I don't "think of" blowjobs as sex even though I know objectively they are a "type" of sex.

But again... I grew up in the 90's. Blowjobs were sort of metaphorically pitched as sort of the I-can't-believe-it's-not-butter of the sex world.

"I can't believe it's not sex!" If you will.

You get to have sex without having "sex". Very conveinient loophole when you're young.
@148 Mr J: I guess I'm just lucky. The scenerio of filling in for Geena is my favorite fantasy; usually "Kick the Stones" by Chris Whitley plays in the background. Like Wild Turkey, he goes down smooth!
@149 mydriasis
it's better to hook up with an good looking girl ... I'm not into women.
That's a contradiction to me. Mrs. J fits my definition of straight: no homosexual activity ever. Never. Not interested in any way. Repulsed by the idea of it.
@142 EricaP
What's it like when sexual fantasies just show up?
It depends on the context. Sometimes when you're having sex you fantasize about other partners or situations. That may or may not be welcome/helpful. You can consciously steer your thoughts to some other fantasy or attempt to be more in the moment but some fantasies can be hard to push away. Good ones can come at inappropriate times or bad ones can stubbornly keep coming back. You can be making coffee and start fantasizing randomly. It's background noise to some extent.

You appear to have a level of control over your thoughts that I've never heard of. You have exclusively controlled sexual fantasy.

Yes, but what little I know about Mrs. J from your posts - she's not bothered exceedingly bothered by periods of celibacy.

I am.

Some women use vibrators. Are they "attracted" to vibrators? No. But it'll get you off. And that's the point.

So the difference between me and Mrs. J is not attraction (we both share a lack of it) but rather repulsion. She has it and I don't.

In my books orientation is defined by a presence of attraction, not a lack of repulsion.

I guess I could claim to be bi, but I feel it would be misleading. Straight feels way closer to what I actualy am. So I "round up to straight", I guess. Or down, if you prefer.
@156 mydriasis
Vibrators are not people so they are irrelevant to me when talking about orientation. If I ask what your orientation is I'm probably most interested in understanding who you sleep with or fall in love with. We find lots of variations among people here when it comes to sex and love and bisexuality. I don't take issue with that. Round yourself anyway you like. I think it would be clearer for you to say bisexual than it would be to say straight if you bed both men and women, regardless of whether you treat the ladies as sex toys instead of as people. I think that's even more squarely in the bisexual category than someone who behaves exclusively heterosexually yet has bisexual feelings. We can always debate the seriousness of someone's fantasies, i.e. whether they should be acted on or not, but as soon as you try homo and hetero sex, and then decide to keep at both of them, then that's bisexual.

Sorry to quibble but Mrs. J is in fact exceedingly bothered by the thought of celibacy. A low libido is not the same thing as resolving to not have sex at all.
@155 how many people have you talked to about their fantasies? I doubt I'm all that odd, at least among women.

To me, fantasies are narratives whose purpose is to get me to orgasm. They don't jump unbidden into my head. If my mind is wandering idly during sex, it'll turn to errands or anxieties -- not sex. In order to stay on track towards orgasm, I have to consciously direct the flow of my thoughts along narrative lines.

Now, if you count all thoughts and memories as fantasies... sure, I think about sex a fair amount. But my emotional state is more likely to be anxiety, not arousal.

I sometimes see an attractive person and think to myself "he's hot!" or "she's hot!" But that's as far as it goes, no image of sex acts comes unbidden to my mind. It's like seeing a beautiful sunset -- my mind turns to sharing the moment with my husband, rather than to what I could do to that stranger if given the chance.

I'd love to have a thread about fantasy and see what other people do. We talk about dreams to some extent, as a culture ("Oh, I've had that dream" "Oh, you can fly in yours? Cool!") Much more than we share what it's like to fantasize...
"fantasies are narratives whose purpose is to get me to orgasm" - and to stay on topic, if a woman shows up in the narrative, she's wearing a cock.
@159 EricaP
But she's still a she in your mind, right?

@158 Yeah, my mind races in a way that other people's generally do not. That may just be a component of hypomania. There is a seamless quality to it. It was mostly a gift when I was working in research (I have worked at world class institutions where I was described as brilliant) and a curse pretty much all of the rest of the time. Too fucking crazy now to work and play with others;-)
@160, she's a woman, but she's there for affirmative-action purposes, not because I'm honestly aroused by her woman-bits. Yes, I feel guilty for not fantasizing about women, so I sometimes cast them in my fantasies. I know, I'm weird.
They broke the mold.
@161 EricaP
FWIW I understand you to be scrupulously honest in your dealings with them so there's no need to feel guilty.
@Hunt: Yes, actually I do, and have! He and I can't get enough of each other!
We especially love "top down" days with the wind in our hair!

1. Periods of celibacy - not life-long celibacy. To me, that's essentially what a low libido is.

2. If I were willing to go down on a woman or was aroused by them then I'd say I was more bi than straight, but because I find the female anatomy completely uninteresting, I consider myself more straight.

As someone brought up before, do you consider a man who's in prison and resorts to sleeping with men (but would go back to women the second he gets the chance) "bi"? Or straight.

I'd say he's straight.
My mind works in a way intermediate between EricaP's and Mr J's, it seems. I do have to consciously direct most fantasies (they are often elaborate and necessitate some narrative/conflict/background work, as D/s stories often do). I haven't had fantasies unexpectedly come to my mind: they usually need at least prompting from something external (I see someone who arouses me, and then suddenly I want to cast her as a character in one of my favorite fantasies). It has occurred to me to have sexual thoughts pop into my mind at unexpected moments (curiously enough, like mydriasis, that happened mostly when I was giving a lecture), but they usually do have an obvious prop in the environment: an attractive person, some object that suggests a situation I find hot, something. I don't think I have had a fantasy 'suddenly pop into my head' out of nowhere and with no textual coherence with what was going on before or with the surrounding environment.

What does sometimes come to me unexpectedly is arousal, i.e. the desire to engage in fantasizing, which is like suddenly feeling hungry. I may indulge, or I may suppress the desire; but either way, I'll have to start the narrative and take several minutes of storytelling to get to the really juicy parts, and that is all a conscious process.

Mr.J, it is interesting to wonder whether labels (like bi) have to do with who you bed, or with who you fantasize about. Mydriasis does make a strong point that sometimes you may have sex with a certain kind of partner just because it isn't so terribly icky to you ('sex is just sex'), and I do have to agree that this would feel very different from actively being aroused by the thought of having sex with said partner. If you're a guy who doesn't get physically sick by the idea of having sex with another guy and might sort of enjoy it with a sigh while fantasizing about a woman, it would seem you'd be very different from a guy who would enjoy fantasies/masturbation about sex with another guy.

Perhaps there is a difference between 'wow-bi' people who do fantasize about both men and women and 'meh-bi' (= heteroflexible?) people who fantasize only about one sex, even though they wouldn't throw a member of the other sex out of bed if s/he were attractive and happened to be lying beside and ready for action.
@165 mydriasis
Do we want to define things by the exception or by the norm? Prison? What people do on the battlefield is subject to the same analysis. What you do in your daily life matters. So does what you think about it. Call yourself bisexual if you want to because you have sex with both men and women, or even because you simply aspire to do so. But rationalizations like "sex without having sex" (blowjobs) don't change reality. The fact of one's having sex with both men and women is not somehow negated by anything that might be going on in their mind while they're doing it.
@166 ankylosaur
Yes, we certainly all have our unique variations of desires and enthusiasms. "Gay" and "Straight" are absolutes though. Slice up the middle ground however you like, but reserve those other words for the extremes so that we don't end up with "very unique."

Regarding fantasy, perhaps I should clarify that it's not only that the process is seamless, but that it is also very rapid. Creativity is something of a fire hose for me. There isn't a lot of stopping to think which way to go next. There always seem to be multiple ideas instantly available. You could look up bipolar hypomania if this phenomenon interests you. You should see the thousands of words I delete just trying to post comments here.
Komen had every right to stop funding Planned Parenthood. Their mission is against breast cancer and if they decide that the $600K can go to better places (e.g. research, other community clinics, mammogram subsidies, self-exam info, etc.) it is perfectly their right. You people act like PP has a natural right to annual Komen funding for eternity.
Sure, Komen had every right to do what they did. And by the same token the public had every right to tell them they were a bunch of phonies for doing so, and to direct their donations elsewhere. Freedom of action does NOT mean freedom from consequences.

Back on topic: Sex is nice. So are fantasies about sex.
@162 :-)
@168 Most of us find it misleading to use the word 'bi' for everyone in between Kinsey 0 and Kinsey 6. I think most people use it for Kinsey 2s, 3s, and 4s.

Will heteroflexible and homoflexible work to refer to Kinsey 1s and 5s? Or we could use "mostly straight" and "mostly gay" instead... Other candidates?

Here's the scale as given on Wikipedia:
0 Exclusively heterosexual
1 Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual
2 Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual
3 Equally heterosexual and homosexual
4 Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual
5 Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual
6 Exclusively homosexual
X Asexual
@168, my experience is that absolutes are useful points of reference, but reality is usually more nuanced. Besides, the difference between you and mydriasis is not about whether or not there are absolutes, but about where exactly you draw the line that separates members of one group from members of the other group.

To me, there is a big difference between people who fantasize about sex with, e.g., men (regardless of whether or not they actually have sex with men), and people who even do ocasionally have sex with men but never fantasize about it. This seems to me a better place to draw the line between bi's and non-bi's than elsewhere.

It's not simply a point about extreme situations vs. real life. If 'what you do' is what defines bi's, then you have to admit those guys in prison who had sex with other men because of the total absence of women and who would go back to women as soon as they got a chance are bi. It's not a normal situation, granted, but it's one that makes the difference between your viewpoint and mydriasis clearer: if you're consistent in your claims, you'd have to say they're bi, because the fact they're having sex with men only because of the absolute absence of women (out of desperation, as they might put it) doesn't change the fact that they're willingly having sex with men, which, by your definition, for guys who also have sex with women, equals bi. By mydriasis' definition, however, it doesn't: they are straight, but they've been without sex with women for so long that even men start looking, well, fuckable.

@169: Many are angered by Komen's totally chickenshitted caving in to politicians' and fanatically religious groups' bullying tactics, not so much by where the $600k gets funded.
Are you female and in the low-income bracket? Ever miss a period? Ever felt a breast lump? Often Planned Parenthood is the only hope for women and girls in these situations. Until pigheaded popes, congressmen and politicians, largely men desperate to remain in CONTROL, cease and desist from making women's health issues a contact sport, the fight to keep Planned Parenthood will continue.

And yet they didn't decide it could go to better places (with respect to their stated mission which people donate to them for), they decided that they could use their money as a political wedge - that's why people objected.

Also, fun fact - when donating money, one has the ability to restrict how that money is used. For example, Komen could have required that all their money went directly to breast cancer screening (and none of it went to abortion procedures) - which I'm sure they've done with every donation in the past. Yet they wanted to "defend" planned parenthood.

If Komen had withdrawn their money for a legitimate reason, this shitstorm never would have happened.
@171 EricaP
Why not "slightly bi" instead? I believe that question brings us back to the beginning of this tangent. Examine the motivation behind preferring "mostly straight" or "straight"(when rounding or rationalizing) over "slightly bi."

I like Kinsey's scale but it's meant to be experiential only. It's not intended to say anything about physical attraction or love. Lots of people use it more loosely, myself included, but that can be confusing, as multiple definitions of a word always are.
@172 ankylosaur
Again, I'm not talking about inmates. They are irrelevant to what I'm failing to communicate. I'll give up now.
@178, I understand your point. You're insisting inmates are an exaggerated case that has no bearing on your definitions, whereas I think they do. I'm testing its consistency, i.e. I'm checking whether or not you're consistent with your criteria in a non-frequent situation (aka a 'thought experiment'). But you're not interested in it, so yeah, I'll stop.

Bottom line: you think a man are bi if he, besides having sex with women, also has willingly/repeatedly sex with men, no matter what the reason is. Mydriasis (and I think I agree) thinks the reason why he has sex with men, too, is important for deciding whether or not he's bi. In other words, you see 'bi' as a mere descriptive term ('sex with both men and women happens here'), whereas Mydrasis sees it as an orientation ('what is he attracted to?'). Would you say that's a fair assessment?
@175, to me, 'slightly bi' = 'heteroflexible' = 'mostly straight', i.e. they sound like perfect synonyms (though I'm sure people will feel different pragmatic associations with these terms).

I think you're trying to imply 'slightly bi' people who identify as straight are doing so just to avoid prejudice, external or internal. A case of the cup being half full vs. half empty. Is that the point?
@175, but, on second thoughts... I don't know if others would agree, but 'slightly bi' sounds to me like the person would consider sex with the non-preferred sex as a possible source of pleasure, i.e. I'd see a 'slightly bi' man feeling occasionally attracted to other men, whereas a heteroflexible guy wouldn't be; he's just not horrified by it (the way homophobes are) and is OK with doing it as a chore.

It's of course a continuum, though.
@178 ankylosaur
Almost. Not "are" but rather "may be." Depending on the person I may have my suspicions, especially if you fuck men and women and call yourself "straight." But, yeah, mydriasis uses a lot of words more loosely than I do. That muddies communication. She's worth talking to so I'll try to be wary of getting excited over it. That's a challenge for me though.

Anyway, go ask a random person on the street, "As a straight man, do I have sex with women, men, or both?"

When I'm standing in front of you and in that moment you pick a label, then you are telling me something interesting about yourself and your plans for the immediate future. That's what's most informative and interesting to me. I don't care if you behaved trans in prison for 5 years. That was an aberration. Don't get into a long discussion about cannibalism in life boats when ordering dinner. Yes, that happens, but do we need to take that into account at all times?
@ 121, Mr. J: If I may quote you, Thanks:

"That's a truly conflicted depiction of being straight. If you sometimes have sex with other guys (fear not: we'll keep in mind your gigantic rationalizations for what motivates your behavior!) you are by definition not straight. You describe this as business as usual, right? This as opposed to an isolated period of experimentation.

Are you afraid your dick will fall off if you admit to being bisexual? It can't be that you haven't heard of bisexuality so it must be an unwillingness to apply the word. "Heteroflexible" seems like a euphemism to me. Or maybe splitting hairs."

Actually, I've been on the other end of the scenario...where guys (of whatever orientation) chat me up and it becomes evident that there's interest there to wanna mess around with me on the low..

I myself haven't ever messed about with people like that. Maybe it's the fact that my hair is long, I'm attractive-enough when shaved and that I'm not too tall or too short. A lot can play into that. It's flattering enough to me to have anyone be interested in you. Fortunately, I am in love and have been in love with someone for a very, very long time. I'm happy, and no piece of outside strange is worth jeopardizing the great thing I share with the love of my life :) .

Bisexual in spirit. Never bagged a lady in the sack. Gay to the end, man. I know me. I sometimes wish I was more bi, but I'm not (although I do gather why you could say that).

Nine times out of ten, it's guys who identify as straight (and are known to be straight) that flirt with me and kinda occasionally hint at here and there that if we both kept quiet about it and went with it...

Again, it's enough to be flattered by it all, then to keep it moving. I only wanna be a freak in the sack for my bestest and most beloved;).

I don't have sex with other guys. I just jerk off A LOT. I'm in love (with an actual person, not with jerking off per se' LOL), and I never thought I would find happiness ever -- true happiness -- but I have.

Sorry to paint myself as being some straight-guy seducing, in denial about being bi, overly-explaining pseudo-intellectual, or something.

I don't mind being called to task about anything. I'll answer honestly and without b.s. . It's more helpful anyway. Who needs bullshit, never mind from me?


@ Mr. J: Wanna have a drink together sometime :) ? The orange groves in Florida are the best for gettin' fukked up on some citrus goodness! If you're a bird, I'm a bird ;) .

Insanity? Me??? What would ever make you think that? ;-D I *know* I have some screws loose on occasion, but to my credit, I make ample light of that honestly.

Mr. J, I detect some sparks between you and I. Wanna?

@175, "slightly bi" doesn't give any info about which side of the spectrum you're on. If I tell a guy at a bar that I'm "slightly bi," he doesn't know if I'm mostly lesbian or mostly straight. So it's less useful as a term.
@ 183, EricaP: Hi Erica. How are you?

I don't bother with saying I'm bi at all, 'cos I know I'm not.

Actually;), for a time it used to tickle to me to 'fess up to other people that I'm gay. Especially when some people don't tend to believe me off the bat, 'cos I tend to fly under the radar (gaydar?) with how I tend to be, how I carry myself..

If I were truly bi, I would out and proud about it. In lieu of that, I am out and proud as a gay man. That's my truth. Underneath all of the empathy for wanting happiness for any couple of any sexual persuasion.

I'm glad I'm not bi, actually. Who needs all of that additional interpersonal drama? Not me, man!
I found true love eons ago, and I'm happier than I ever have been. Hope that clarifies things some.
@183 EricaP
I agree.
@ Mr. J: All in good spirits, my friend. Take Care, M* ;).
I don't drink. Those other guys you mentioned? They're bi-curious, not straight.
@ 183 & 185: I just tell 'em all straight out (no pun intended) that I am gay: it's sometimes funny to watch people react with barely-disguised discomfort, writhing in their barstool or mild shock. The truth is the truth. That'd be the ultimate bag of steamin' hot bullshit if I were to play the bi card in some bar somewhere. I'm not a good liar and I'm grateful for that.

I honestly don't care who's bi, straight, gay, poly, cis, quasi, transgendered, transsexual, asexual, hyper-sexual... It takes all kinds to make the world go 'round.

Honesty is honesty, and we all have our own truth as individuals. Mine is is that I am totally, 100% a gay man, and I am at peace with that. I've never actually said I was bi before. Before I came out as gay in 1997, I was at best evasive about my sexuality. Then, I just graduated to sticking with the truth and facts that I'm gay. Who needs me putting tension in the air because I can't handle my own truth? That's why I came out: to get rid of the old toxic conditioning and build a better, healthier, more honest foundation for my subsequent life.

Let's all go and have a drink together at the orange grove! My treat! ;)
@ 187, Mr. J: How are you, man? :-)

To quote you: "I don't drink. Those other guys you mentioned? They're bi-curious, not straight."

I don't really drink either. I prefer reefer myself. Yeah... Those other guys are bi-curious. It's not so "gay" if you try to hook up with someone who is a tad androgynous in appearance. It's "safe" to want to experiment on someone who doesn't quite look like one of their golfing buddies or something.

Again, it's flattering whenever anyone else finds you attractive. Having said that, I am genuinely monogamous for my true love babe and it would crush me to ever jeopardize what we share to ever mess around with anyone else.

I'm lucky and blessed enough to have real love in my life. I ask for nothing more. Take what you need and know when that's enough. That's me.

Perhaps dinner together, all of us? :-)
@ 187, Mr. J again: I agree that those guys are bi-curious. Let them be as curious as they want: they're still not gettin' in my pants.

I still believe that those who fuck anything with a pulse, male or female, don't know how to focus in on receiving, giving and feeling deserving of love.

Who knows what goes on in others' minds? I now trust in who I am, and I am true-blue into monogamy. I am already fulL:)filled, and I wouldn't wreck what I share for anything or anyone else in the world. Life is good :-) .
Ms Erica/Mr J - Yes, "slightly bi" unfortunately suggests alternatives too far apart for comfort. But it made me wonder whether it might not be possible, to borrow from crayons, to do something with designations like "bi-straight" and "straight-bi" (and the converse) to indicate equal relationship potential with a preferential lean and then wherever one might want to set the bar as the first standard of unequal potential. Then one might go on from there. It's wildly full of holes, but I like the idea of starting from the centre instead of the ends. Anyone who wishes, please feel free to refine.
I'm gay, but bi in spirit. I guess that makes me "gay-straight" (for I empathize with any walk of life, to be honest. Yet, I'm gay and not bisexual, but think everyone --regardless of what sexuality they possess -- deserves happiness and the same equality as anyone else. How's that?
@191 Mr. V
I knew that I let the right man in.
@191 brilliant! I'd be happy to say I'm straight-bi (and follow up with "straight-leaning bisexual" for those who then look at me quizzically).
@ 191, vennominon: I like this bit, what you wrote:

"...but I like the idea of starting from the centre instead of the ends..."

Absolutely true. I never would have figured out and trusted in who I am had I not looked from this inside-out: from the centre instead of the ends, as you'd say.

Everything falls into place once you adhere to listening to yourself and what you *feel*. What you think matters to, but in my own experience as an example, I tend to be overly-analytical to a detrimental effect sometimes..

Once the compass turns inward readying itself to look outward through your own eyes and soul..

That's where someone's natural style emanates from: where people can tell you're real and genuine, no matter what your truth as a story is.

That's well put, vennominon: "...but I like the idea of starting from the centre instead of the ends..."

Besides, there's way too much to try to focus on if you look from the outside in trying to make it as if you're looking from the inside out through your own eyes, belief and vision.

I say I'm "gay-straight" because I incorporate all of the other variations of sexuality within that. I champion the rights of any person, regardless of their sexual orientation.

So, I guess I would be "gay - (as in through) straight". I honestly don't identify with any movements or political causes. I'm for the individual. Cool question.
@Mr J

"Again, I'm not talking about inmates. The are irrelevant to what I'm failing to communicate."

They aren't irrelevant, though. For most people, being in prison is an extreme case of sexual deprivation. For some people (cough) three weeks is an extreme case of sexual deprivation. Desperate times call for desperate measures - we just vary on when our cutoff for desperate times is.

"Do we want to define things by the exception or by the norm? Prison? What people do on the battlefield is subject to the same analysis. What you do in your daily life matters."

I never said it was the norm. It was an exception. I've only hooked up with three women in my whole life. Last time I did was over five years ago. It may never happen again, who knows?


Nail meets head once more.
I agree.
As to why I say straight instead of 'slightly bi', it just feels more true.

And it's certainly not a prejudice thing. When I was a teenager (the period of time when each of my hookups with girls happened) most of my friends were gay or bi. If anything I would have been inclined to identify as bi because it was 'cooler' in a sense, at the time. But if just didn't feel like me. It didn't feel like who I was, as much as it is more exotic than plain old boring "straight".

If your husband wanted to be monogamous, would you become totally straight?

If your husband said he wanted to be monogamous, would you then become totally straight?
@197, My experience with women was limited to fondling my best friend's boobs in high school -- until my husband encouraged me to go further, as part of his midlife crisis. Now, we go to sex & BDSM parties, where women routinely fondle each other and more. That said, I have three ways of answering your question:
a) if he no longer wanted to go to those parties, I'd worry about his mental health.
b) if he was of sane mind and asked me to be monogamous, I would. (He's my dom.)
c) if, however, he died or divorced me, I'd expect to find myself in a monogamous relationship with a kinky guy.

Or alone, going to the kind of BDSM parties that are heavy on kink, not sex.
199 - I am naive. What does "heavy on kink, not sex" mean?
@196, I thought the difference of opinion between you and Mr J was interesting, and it made me think about a couple of things I hadn't thought about before. Like, is a person's sexual identification a result of said person's preferences, or a result of said person's behavior?

It seems to me Mr J is implicitly claiming that a person's behavior always reflects his/her preferences: if you're not being forced at gunpoint or in some extreme situation (he insisted on excluding prisons and lifeboats), then if you're having sex with men and women it's because you prefer that. So you're bi.

Whereas it seems to me you're pointing out there may other legitimate reasons why you'd be having sex with men and women, other than this being your preference.

If I interpret you guys correctly, Mr. J would find it difficult to believe that you, as a straight woman, might have sex with women just because 'sex is sex' and a warm body lying with you in bed is better than no such thing. To him, if you're "really" a straight woman, this should be impossible: a straight woman wouldn't do that, because it goes against his definition of what straight is. You are "slightly bi" or "straight-bi" or even simply "bi."

Whereas you find it easy to understand that a clearly straight woman (or man) might have sex with another woman (or, respectively, man) if the need was big enough (which, as you point out, is a personal thing: 5 years for some people, three weeks for another), or for other reasons (say, you're sorry for the person and want to do her a favor, etc.). I.e., you think someone can feel, and actually be, straight despite episodes of sex with another person of the same sex, because the most important thing is who you fantasize about and/or feel attracted to; said episodes were more like masturbation than sexual orientation. To you, not behavior, but attraction/arousal ('what excites you') defines orientation.

And personally I find it easier to agree with you than with Mr. J. Even though behavior is usually a very good predictor of orientation, I can imagine situations where it would not, and that is enough for me to see both as independent variables. I can see myself having sex with men, even though I don't think I would have pleasure in it. Some of the situations in which this would happen Mr. J would probably consider "extreme"; others (if I found a guy of the exact right kind -- like Dan's "butch girl" crush) he might consider indicators of me being gay; and others yet I'm not sure how he would classify (say, if I had sex with a male friend out of pity or to do him a favor?). Yet, like you, I would find all these situations irrelevant in determining my orientation, which really is straight: my fantasy world is dominated by women, period.

Still, it was an interesting topic to think about. I had never thought about this, and I'm thankful to both you and Mr. J for a bringing it up.
@Mr. J, Mydriasis, here's another analogy to perhaps illustrate the difference between your viewpoints.

I like WWII movies, but my wife doesn't. She will, however, sometimes watch a WWII movie with me, and maybe even find something interesting in one of the plots or subplots to actually enjoy, even though she clearly doesn't have pleasure with the whole 'war story' genre. So, if you're assessing my taste in movies, you clearly have to include 'WWII movies' -- they're a relevant genre -- but not if you're assessing my wife's taste in movies, even though, because of me (and also because of other guys she was with before me) she's actually watched a number of WWII movies.

Or, a similar example: because my daughter likes (or used to like: now at 9, she's moved on to more complicated things) "Dora the Explorer", I've sat with her to watch quite a number of Dora episodes. I've even sort of enjoyed Dora sometimes; I won't say it was a total waste of time. Yet I would definitely say that "Dora the Explorer" is not something I would have chosen to watch by myself, so all the Dora episodes I watched are totally irrelevant if you're trying to assess and determine my taste in movies, my "cinematographic orientation" as it were.

I think most people would agree that not every movie I watched was chosen only because I liked it, or its genre: most people would agree some of the movies I watched are irrelevant when describing my taste in movies. Wouldn't the same be true also for my sexual orientation? Just as I watched some movies for reasons other than it agreeing with my taste in movies, couldn't I also have sex with people sometimes for reasons other than this person fitting my sexual orientation?
I don't conclude from a person's behavior what that person's attractions are. You can behave bisexually absent attraction. You can feel bisexual attraction absent behavior. Behavior is a fairly simple thing to categorize. You either did/do something or not. Motivation is something that we may never know for certain. Its discovery is contingent on honesty and self-awareness.

I'm happy to roll with whatever you tell me today about your attractions or what sorts of fantasies you have. I also expect those to evolve over the years.

Maybe I'll meet you socially and feel a spark of attraction, and then I'll naturally wonder if sex is possible between us. If you tell me you're straight then I'll drop it. If I find out later that sex was possible, then I'll wonder why you hid that fact by telling me you're straight. Is bisexuality a dirty secret to be kept on the down low?

I love your and mydriasis's relaxed attitude when it comes to behavior. It would be more illuminating to have a similar attitude when it comes to labeling.
@196 mydriasis
Desperate times call for desperate measures - we just vary on when our cutoff for desperate times is.
That's an excellent point. The additional information about your experiences changes my impression a lot.
@200 "heavy on kink not sex" means that I can get beaten, caned, spanked, tied up, etc, and generally put on display as an adorable victim of (pleasurable) torture, without any sexual penetration.

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