Savage Love

Quickies

Comments

1

'When someone shows you who they are, believe them the firked time.' (Maya Angelou)

2

@1 WA-HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Congrats again, curious2, on being the Reigning King of FIRDT (firkt), thus leading the comment thread for this week's Savage Love: Quickies installment. Savor the honors and bask in the glory.:)

SECNOD!

3

Spot ON, Dan the Man, for WWYD. Agreed and SECNODED :)

4

NADS is reminiscent of a discussion here from last week. And as old as the hills.

Withnail might be the greatest UK film ever (I've read articles which suggest so); there are few films I love more. None of the many times I've seen it were recent enough to recall more than vaguely that yes, the minor character's gay portrayal is very offensive. I clearly must see it again, and be bothered by that again. You all should too, because it is a film not to be missed by any film lover. But then I'm a film buff.

Dan's response to SADONE is classic, quintessential Dan at his best. Helping the guy redefine the person who hurt him as not worth feeling loss for.

/Break/
My firdtsecret is that I have an infinite number of monkey's sitting at keyboards.

5

I'm confused about LW1 (NADS). How can they know which men are straight and which are bi? Maybe they mean they like men who "appear" straight. Maybe they don't like "flamboyant" men. (Who can still be 100% straight... John Mulaney comes to mind ;)) And all of that is fine enough, but that has more to do with personality and aesthetics than actual orientation. So I would challenge LW1 to consider making this distinction.

(Also curious about her cultural background, where she lives now, etc, as all of that plays a part... I'm also curious if there is any history of insecurity when it comes to bi guys?? Which would be understandable, but worth analyzing and keeping awareness of.)

6

@4 curious2: I had a hunch you had a system. FOURTH! :)

7

As I recall, the film 'Withnail and I' is both monstrously homophobic and ageist. The main relationship between the narrator and Withnail, two men, one glamorous, the other destined to conformity, is intense and homosocial; any understanding of its gayness is fended off by the tragicomic caricatural figure of Uncle Morty, a bumbling old queen who tries (fairly assaultively, if one could take him seriously) to sate his lust for (on?) for the narrator.

The thing is, the film had a massive vogue among progressive and gay-friendly people in the late 80s (I think I had just left school and gone to college in the States; but I'm a former British public schoolboy and the film's world of ripe camp-y innuendo and country-house rogerings is only too familiar to me). I hated the film, and it actually got to me personally. I would argue against it. Knowingly laughing at camp as the language of gay sexual frustration, or not just being able to come out with your desires--or camping yourself up in that British way--is still something that brings me out in hives. It's possible my memory of the film is quite inaccurate. It gets OK for five minutes when one of the guys quotes the 'what a piece of work is man' prose soliloquy from Hamlet in a farmyard with pigs, and you feel the gay theme is getting somewhere, and then the film ends.

It seems my opinion at the time has gained ground in our thankfully more sensitive culture.

Moving to the first letter and response, I'm not sure what 'taking responsibility for your sexual biases' means. Thinking them over--yes, sure. Considering whether you have to hold onto them if they've been formed by a prejudice like biphobia, or a certain fear, like a woman's fear of being left for a man--yes, I can understand that someone could usefully reflect on that. But what about a bias or preference for a certain body type or age range in your partner--what's the sense of saying one should get to grips with that preference?

8

Re: NADS
Similarly to what I wrote just 4 days ago on last week's column, fear of being left for a man. (Though in this case, the leaving would be less not more socially easy.)

In the bad old days, the 'fear of AIDS' explanation was often heard.

9

NADS - What do you find unattractive about bi guys? A feeling of competition with men, the challenge of mixed orientations, being left for a man, or some pop stereotype? As long as you don't show any disregard to bi guys or spread stereotypes, you don't seem to be harming anyone but possibly yourself if you pass on an awesome guy for being bi.

WWYD - Lol. I hope you can still attend other family events and show you are more sensible and civil.

FOW- If you're troubled by it, your son is an odd choice to help hash out your feelings. But fine as long as you're ok if he hates it.

SADONE- What are you going to do to prevent your next boyfriend from both staying with you and moving on like this? Start meeting new people when he starts pulling away.. Or throw yourself into some dream of yours and let him fade away so your heart is open to someone who really wants to be with you.. It might help to develop a plan to prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

CACA- hell yes. older guys can multiple too.

ASPIE- Yes exactly, a cuddly best friend, y'all can dish about your separate sex lives. I think this idea is cute, but what about when one is particularly hard up.. It sounds both attractive and challenging.

10

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/withnail-amp-i-britain-s-best-film-419228.html
""It is an outstandingly touching yet witheringly unsentimental drama of male friendship (friendship in all its full horror, one might say), a bleak up-ending of the English pastoral dream, a piece of ferocious verbal inventiveness in which unabashedly recondite literary allusions sparkle in the knockabout farce like emeralds in the mud... To pronounce oneself immune to the charms of Withnail & I is to declare oneself a philistine, a Puritan and a snob."

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20200526-withnail-and-i-the-ultimate-cult-film

Scanning these two articles refreshed my memories of what a great film it is. Aside from the objectionable minor character. Luckily I have a copy on hand; I wouldn't consider being without a copy. Which is good, because it looks like it only streams on HBO Max right now.

11

Skr Curious - I rather imagine the objectionable minor character is WHY the reviews are so glowing.
xxx
Ms Phile - Yes; I wonder why LW3 is so eager to push the film on her gay son. As for LW1, though, I expect that people hurt themselves more when they try to force themselves to be over a dispreference they think unpopular or unkind.
xxx
M?? Harriet - You give a vivid sense of the target audience.

12

Oof I relate super hard to SADONE today. I'll see if I can apply Dan's advice (and any further advice that shows up in the comments) to make things easier. Yeah, realizing "uh, I guess I've been dumped..." is not a good time.

13

Mr. Venn@11
"I rather imagine the objectionable minor character is WHY the reviews are so glowing."

I understand that from the perspective of your unforgivable trauma and your thus understandable paranoia, that makes sense. However...

You haven't seen the film, so, with respect, you literally don't know what you're talking about. As such, I don't appreciate you talking down to me after I declare it a great film and myself a film buff who deeply loves that film.

I assure you that it's greatness has fuck-all to do with the minor character.

As a lover of both film and music it pains me as much to think someone will miss it as it would pain me to know someone isn't gonna ever bother to hear a song by the Beatles.

It's astonishing to me that more hip people haven't seen it. Perhaps someone else will pop up in the comments whose opinion you respect more.

That said, looking back at the letter, the mother was quite out of line in asking her question without assuring us that her son of unspecified age is beyond extremely comfortable with his sexuality and stating his age. As is quite possible, but she still should have assured us of that. Because it's a film, it's not going anywhere, it'll still be there for him to cherish again and again when he's not a kid anymore.

14

WWYD I'd skip the wedding. Weddings are about the two people getting married and aren't the place to have the confrontations you'd have to be willing to have to hang around with these people and feel good about yourself later. You don't want to be the person who ruined their wedding, even though it would totally be the fault of the idiot who asked if scissoring is a thing or spouted off about pronouns.

That said, I hope you don't boycott all family gatherings. People like your relatives live in ignorant bubbles where they never meet thoughtul people who are different than them. It's hard to demonize people you've had a beer with or watch a youth soccer game with. Go there and be ready to be forceful but respectful when you encounter ignorance. You might change the world a bit.

15

@9 I think some of it depends on your reasoning. If you value monogamy and therefore avoid bisexual men because you don't want to have to force some guy to only be with you, I think that makes some sense. That's not that different than not dating someone who travels for a living or doesn't want kids.

But if it's not something that can be explained but just an "I don't like bisexuals" then you've got something you need to confront.

16

SADONE- The faster you walk away from the frogs, the more likely you are to kiss a prince. When you open up to someone about your more vulnerable feelings, try to see if there's any sympathy and interest, or indifference or even mockery. When someone doesn't respect your feelings they can be dangerous, maybe ok to consensually use each other though? Some people don't say what they really mean but whatever they think will make them feel good in the moment. It may look like a strength sometimes but I think it looks like badly managed desperation, like weakness (when I'm not feeling too immediately hurt by it).

17

WWYD (LW2, woman wondering about attending her wife’s cousin’s wedding)
Dan’s answer was on the entertainment side of SL, and I’ll admit that I was indeed entertained. The “serious” answer to your question is how you and your wife view the relationship with that cousin and her family and how this may play in your child’s life.

That you were invited to the wedding may be a good sign, but as you point out it may also be a pretentious way for the soon to be newlyweds to show off their fake cool credentials.
How close is the wife to her cousin and extended family? Is this a sincere invitation or just an obligatory one, all along hoping you’ll decline? Will either one of you, especially the child, will be subjected to odd moments and uncontrollable smiles if you decide to attend?
Showing presence and reaching out while hopefully breaking walls and stigmas is indeed important, but is the price worth it?
If you don’t feel comfortable attending the wedding yet the wife wants/thinks she should can she go on her on?

Those are some of the issues for all of you to consider. I would still urge you not to send a broken toaster if you decide not to go. No need to burn bridges at this point as people may change, decline politely if the need arises.

18

@15 That's a bit of a weird argument to me. You seem to be suggesting that bisexual people aren't able to be monogamous, and to get them to agree to monogamy would require some sort of force. Everyone who agrees to be monogamous is giving up the ability to date a variety of other people, and I don't think bisexuals have it especially hard in this regard. If you value monogamy, you should therefore avoid dating anyone, because you don't want to have to force them to only be with you?

19

Biphobia is very common, especially among straight women. Yes, she has a prejudice and she probably wants to have a think about her ideas around masculinity, and consider whether there's a disgust towards men who sleep with men. It's all well and good to think about yourself as supportive of liberal causes, but do you have some underlying bigotry?

I think she should seek out whoever she wants to date, but keep her mouth shut about her aversion. It's not kind or useful to go on about it.

20

Well, looks like we've discussed NADS's letter already. NADS, I'm glad Dan put your word "preference" into quotation marks because if you refuse to date bi men, it's not that straight men are your preference, it's that non-straight ones are a dealbreaker. Perhaps this week's debate can be between Dan's advice (and JibeHo's practice) of keeping one's prejudices to oneself versus being open about them so that people who take a dim view of them -- and people who are the targets of them, for instance bi-curious or heteroflexible men NADS may meet -- can avoid people like NADS and find women who are more accepting and therefore compatible.

Oh, SADONE, I'm so sorry you got treated like that. What a coward, to not make a clean, official break with a partner of a year! It's arguably acceptable to ghost after a few dates, but not to end a relationship that way. Your ex is a shitheel and I hope you soon see you are well rid of him.

Yeah, CACA, most men don't come twice. If they did, quick orgasms wouldn't be a problem. More universally applicable advice for non-supermen would be to make sure their partners are satisfied before sticking it in, or to consider dildos to take over if more PIV/PIA is desired. Oh and Dan, why would it matter if a guy like CACA's ex ejaculated again after 10 minutes or 24 hours or not at all, so long as he could get hard and keep fucking? The time it takes to get hard again may be disqualifying for this strategy; the time it takes to come a second time shouldn't.

21

Curious @8, it could just be disgust. As Ork says, some women are disgusted by the idea of "their" man having sex with other men. (Other women are turned on by it.) Though if she finds the idea of sex with men disgusting, why is she doing it?

NADS is afraid of other people thinking she is biphobic. She should, IMO, be more afraid of -being- biphobic. Kind of makes me think of the people who want to hold racist views but not be judged for them. Can't have it both ways, sister.

Phi @9, I get where you're coming from, but I don't think it's fair to put the responsibility for not getting dumped on SADONE. If someone is going to leave, that is their decision. SADONE might have a better idea of red flags now that this has happened, but they can't prevent someone from making their own decision with respect to staying in a relationship with them. (And shouldn't try -- if someone isn't happy in a relationship, it's manipulative to try to keep them in it.)

Ankyl @12, I'm sorry to hear it. Hugs to you.

Curious @13, having seen the film, I think it's more likely FOW is a father than a mother, and I think we can presume the son is the appropriate age to watch a film with those themes. (I've seen it once and wasn't quite sure why it's so beloved. I guess it's like other cult films such as Rocky Horror or Clerks -- if you first saw it at a time when you can relate it to your life, you adore it. Which is why cult films are cult films.)

Larry @15, bigotry klaxon. Wouldn't she be "forcing a straight man to only be with her"? If her reasoning is that she thinks bi men can't be monogamous but straight ones can, that is biphobia. If she wants a monogamous man, she should look for a monogamous man, not a straight one; if she can't face the idea that a partner may occasionally be attracted to someone else, she should stay celibate.

CMD @17, good elaboration for WWYD.

22

curious's quotations @10 show what a big vogue Withnail had and, in all probability, has. For the Independent's writer, only Puritans, philistines and snobs could dislike it. (I have certainly been called at least two out of the three). 'Puritans' is what the 'politically correct' or 'woke' or 'sensitive to homophobia' were called then.

What I disliked about it (if I haven't already said) was that it was compelled to disavow there might be any homosexual feeling in the narrator's identification with Withnail by making actual, avowed homosexuality absurd, farcicial, sexless, the butt of a load of broad and low-grade jokes. The fruit Uncle Morty was drawn more and more into the center of the film. As I recall, the last thirty minutes, apart from the emotionally-replete leave-taking sub-Hamlet scene in the pigsty, were taken up with Morty's increasingly desperate and overt attempts to seduce-cum-assault the young men.

Switching themes, in my experience 'don't hold back the first time' isn't good advice to give men ejaculating prematurely. Increasing age, or just low testosterone levels, can mean coming again is a very distant possibility.

23

@11. venn. This was the mid-to-late 80s, the time, too, of the Rupert Everett/Colin Firth 'Another Country', a film to which I always favorably compared the egregious Withnail. That film shows the English upper classes are bitchy, scheming, hypocritical, incestuous (in class terms), hierarchical, homosocial and homosexual; that homosexuality is shameful (but only caring about it or getting caught); and that young men's political views are shaped by the atmosphere of cold intolerance with which their homosexuality is received. It's basically accurate (I went to a school like the one in the film).

But of course no one I went to school with (virtually) wanted to talk about the film, or admit to its having said something to them; they preferred Withnail and teen classics like Spinal Tap or surfing movies (English public schoolboys are much more interested in far-off cultures, like reggae, dancehall, sometimes the blues, anything 'gap-yah' than anything folk or working-class English). They liked Withnail; but their sisters liked it more. It was seen as non-homophobic, even antihomophobic, in the older fruity gay uncle figure being so foudroyant. But this is the English thing where gay men's creativity in camp is permissible because it's understood as the sublimation, or redirection, of their sexual desires; the on-dit is that they're creative because they're not getting laid.

Uncle Morty is not a minor character but the film Withnail's thematic pivot.

24

@9. Philophile. SADONE's ex behaved like a selfish coward, I think we would agree. How can he avoid something like that happening again? Even if I might say that the onus is not on him, one good suggestion might be for him to try to be explicit about what the groundrules of the relationship are, i.e. exclusive or not? If not exclusive, is it the primary relationship or not? In his partner's eyes, is he a life-partner, a romantic friend he fucks, just a fuckbuddy--and so on--or what is he? Having these conversations would lay out what he can expect in how his partner will behave, and could prevent him caring more, caring too much, when the person he's with might not care in the same way for him.

@12. Ankyl. I hope you get over the pain of your breakup soon.

@17. CMD. I don't see any reason for the lw to go to the wedding as described.

25

@18 and @21 Yeah, that's on me. That was poorly phrased/thought out. I should have been way more specific. I was more referencing bisexual men who want to be in a relationship where they can also have sex with men. Obviously many bisexual people are absolutely capable of monogamy. Apologies that I used some langauge that didn't acknowledge it. I was tired but that's no excuse for not thinking something out.

I guess what I was really trying to say is that if she needs monogamy and that means that she isn't interested in bisexual men who are not interested in monogamy, that's totally fine. "you don't want what I want" is a perfectly acceptable reason not to date someone. I also think that being a bit leery of certain group identifiers while dating is part of dating - I'm not going to tend to pursue people who list religious beliefs on a dating profile because that is very much not my jam and I think that overall, I'd be wasting my time engaging with 95% of those people. But if everything else was there or if I met someone at a bookstore and liked them and then found out they were religious, I'm not going to ghost them.

So yeah, if she's applying some broad filters while surfing through the chaff that is online dating, I think that's okay. But if she is making it a blanket statement about bisexuality and not monogamy and isn't willing to give anyone with that identifier a chance, then she's guilty of some phobia.

Which clearly I was as well. Apologies.

P.S. It might be worthwhile for her to watch some gay porn. If she's like physically revolted by the concept that a man might have sex with another man, that might show that her aversion to bisexual men is based on some ingrained homophobia/biphobia. If she's okay to watch that, then she's maybe making the choice more in the vein of not dating religious people or people who love baseball or people who pretend to like hiking.

26

Larry @25, thanks for your apology. "If she needs monogamy and that means that she isn't interested in bisexual men who are not interested in monogamy, that's totally fine" -- only if she also isn't interested in straight men who are not interested in monogamy. "You don't want what I want" is a perfectly acceptable reason not to date someone; "I'm going to assume what you want based on your sexual orientation" is biphobia. And yeah, there's a difference between going onto the apps and limiting your search straight people -- a preference -- and refusing outright to date a bi person, a dealbreaker.

27

NADS's question puzzled me because I don't think it's a question about bisexuality at all. It's a question about straight attraction. If I say I'm not attracted to houseplants; I prefer 6 foot tall Hispanic men with grey-green eyes, is my question about houseplants?

I'm always bothered when people feel a need to apologize for not being attracted to a group. Gay men for years were put on the spot for not being attracted to women. Now here's a straight woman who's afraid of the bi-phobia label if she's not attracted to bi men.

Here's my advice for NADS. Meet lots of everyone including houseplants. Be friendly with friends and professional with colleagues. Keep your deep dark secret about preferring straight men a secret. When someone is attracted to you and you're not attracted back, chalk that up to some indescribable lack of chemistry and leave it vague as you straightforwardly turn down the advances by saying no in clear terms. With all the things to feel guilty about in this world, don't add a simple and harmless sexual preference to the list.

28

Skr Curious - I apologize for not specifying that my guess applied only to reviewers and not to audience. I tried to make a paragraph of it but just kept the opening sentence, cutting out one that did make it clear I could have no view of the merits or demerits of the film. My experience of film reviewers is that they have a landslide bias in favour of rotten gay representation (look, for instance, at how glowingly most of them reviewed that recent film Prom, which might have had decent L representation - I'll let the women pronounce on that - but the G representation was horrid, not because Mr Corden's character was a flamer but because of the modern twist they found to have him "saved" by a woman).

I even cut an Austenian reference in which I suspected that, were I to see the film, we would disagree because we would compare the offensive character to Jane Fairfax's complexion, a reference to when Emma suggests to Frank Churchill that he admires Jane's appearance except for her complexion (which, to throw off suspicion of their secret engagement, he has pronounced to be lacking in colour), to which he responds that he cannot separate Miss Fairfax and her complexion.

I strongly suspect the offender would spoil the film for me, especially as, which you may have overlooked, my Positively Last Boyfriend was of an age to have been my son, but I am not inclined to require that the character should spoil the film for anyone else whom I might deem right-thinking.

29

Ms Fichu - "Were"? Perhaps it stopped for a while, but the pendulum has definitely swung back again.

30

@24: People don't cheat on others or cruelly dump them because nobody thought to talk about a "don't cheat on or cruelly dump me" ground rule while they're DTRing. Sometimes people will lie to you to get what they want, a lot more often they'll lie to themselves because they'll think it's what they should do, and sometimes they just honestly expect they'll react one way but find out that they feel something else when it's for real. Given human failings, trying to talk through all the minutiae of what could happen isn't anywhere as effective as we'd like to think it would be,

@27: It's a classic story. My reasons for not being interested in you are entirely normal and natural and you shouldn't give me any flak for them. Your reasons for not being interested in me are garbage reasons that make you a garbage person unless you can justify them to my satisfaction. People don't want to feel pressured into dates they don't feel but also want to be able to be taken out on dates by people they like even if they other person isn't feeling it. Which reasons are considered acceptable vs. garbage reasons at any particular place and time generally boils down to who's holding the megaphone then.

31

M?? Harriet - I should perhaps apologize in advance for our being so much in agreement, but among what I deleted from my original post was an appreciation of Another Country, particularly in how it made the zealot the objectionable character and the wide range of characters shown - zealot, urbane, brutal, conscientious, other-faithed, wannabe, and then there was that poor little Wharton who probably grew up to be Prime Minister.

I think I derived some false hope from Another Country in my two favourite Bennett-Judd moments being how Bennett immediately rattled off from the top of his head Judd's accurate Communist problems of conscience with liking cricket, and Judd's speedy recognition and admission in the reality scene, "That was patronizing and unforgivable."

32

M"" Harriet - Oh, I left out Spartan.

33

Fichu @27, but NADS's question is, "I'm attracted to 6 foot tall Hispanic men with grey-green eyes, but I won't date them unless they're only attracted to women." She doesn't say, "I'm not attracted to bi men," she says, "I'm only interested in dating straight men." That isn't lack of attraction, it's a policy. She might be able to say, "I'm only attracted to masculine-presenting men," but not all masculine-presenting men are straight. It's silly to assume she can know a man is bi just by looking at him; it's not like, say, only being attracted to tall men. So what she's saying is, "Even if a certain man is attractive to me, I'm not going to date him if he's not straight." Doesn't seem simple or harmless to me, particularly from the perspective of the bi man who's been rejected for no other reason.

34

Ms Lava - I trust you enjoyed Sr Nadal's twelfth Barcelona title.

35

Chi @30, good point that nobody should feel compelled to date anyone they don't want to date, for whatever reason. I'm sure no bisexual wants someone who's squicked out by bisexuals feeling like they have to date them. To me the question isn't, "Am I obligated to date bi men?" but "Am I biphobic for refusing to date bi men?" The answer to the first question is no; the answer to the second is it depends on her reasons. (But probably.)

36

Larry, I would call "bisexuality are less monogamous that monosexuals" an unrealistic pop stereotype. She could turn down a very monogamous bi guy who generally matches with her for no good reason if her preference is based on a mistaken pop stereotype. And cause harm by spreading unrealistic stereotypes.

Venn, "I expect that people hurt themselves more when they try to force themselves to be over a dispreference they think unpopular or unkind."
I think that we should respect our feelings, preferences and aversions, by exploring them. Until we can explain ourselves calmly in good circumstances, at least. There is a big difference between exploring our aversions and attempting to eliminate our aversions, the former is an attempt to gain more self awareness founded in respect for our feelings, the latter is ill-advised self- performed conversion therapy founded in disrespect for our feelings. If she thinks about it and the reason for her aversion is: "I met a couple bi guys and I wasn't attracted to them", maybe her problem isn't bi guys, it's those two bi guys? If she realizes that she just doesn't want to have to deal with a mate's attraction to men, or doesn't want to have to remind her mate that she's only attracted to one gender and defend her heterosexuality against the bi tendency to accuse monosexuals of gender bigotry, that makes a lot more sense, because it's based on realistic ideas of bi people. But maybe she'll meet a bi guy who doesn't want to date many, or any more guys, or one who is more comfortable with monosexuals and shows perfect respect for her aversion to dating women. She might realize she can be happy with some sorts of bi guys by exploring her feelings further, and thus describe her (dis)preferences more accurately, and sound less like she's inconsiderately rejecting an entire minority. By extension I think that monosexuals should be able to calmly explain their gender aversion, maybe it's about procreation or avoiding procreation, or where one's eyes are attracted, or about genitals, or subversion or conformity to social norms. Just to develop self awareness, not in an attempt to eliminate aversions or attempt self-conversion therapy, our (dis)preferences are important and we've got to trust that they will change naturally without force if it's what we really want, rather than try to deny them or try to force them to change.

Re CACA- a lot of guys don't even try to keep going after they come. Yes sometimes it's hard to do more than kiss or fondle our partner while they finish themselves off, because we were wiped out by an awesome orgasm. But sometimes it feels fine to keep going, unless you are brainwashed by pornos into thinking that sex ends after the guy comes the first time. Keep going guys, what would it hurt to try?

BDF, "I don't think it's fair to put the responsibility for not getting dumped on SADONE."
I suggested that she change her approach in the future, use what she learned to try to prevent future pain, that's quite different. If the next guy physically or emotionally pulls away without ending the relationship, she may have better results by matching his distance than by ignoring his withdrawal or trying to pull him back. If he shows indifference or intolerance toward her vulnerable feelings, it may help to realize this means that he doesn't care about her, he's just using her. That it's not so bad to kiss a frog as to waste time trying to make a frog reciprocate her love. Doesn't she want to find and love someone who loves her too?

Harriet, yes, SADONE could be male, sorry. And I like your suggestions, that she try to verbalize her desires and expectations more. Also, to criticize lovers who were dishonest just to feel better temporarily, can't they figure out how to get what they want and be honest? It may help her to tell her ex that she's hurt, and why.. She thought they were exclusive, she thought they were together because they cared about each other, why didn't he tell her he was dating others for a year? Why did he try to date her instead of fwb if he wasn't that into her? And she can help avoid this ambiguity by clearly expressing her needs and expectations early next time.

37

BDF@21
"it could just be disgust. As Ork says, some women are disgusted by the idea of "their" man having sex with other men."

Yes it could be. And it would make sense that that bigoted explanation wouldn't the the one every bigot would give in public.

"Though if she finds the idea of sex with men disgusting, why is she doing it"

Touché. Because of course when /she/ does it, it's not the SS she's bigoted against.

"you can relate it to your life, you adore it"

I'm sure it was very easy for me to relate it to my life. I can barely keep myself from dropping everything I need to do this morning to watch it again for the Nth time right now. All I can recall right now is that I adored what that reviewer quote must have meant by the "ferocious verbal inventiveness" of the extraordinarily smart dialog, and the themes at once "outstandingly touching yet witheringly unsentimental". And the pervasive drug-fueled hedonism; maybe nothing more than that, lol.

Mr. Venn@28
I do very much appreciate that you responded, because I was feeling extraordinarily insulted.

"I apologize for not specifying that my guess applied only to reviewers and not to audience."

I hear you and appreciate this. As a film buff I imagine myself a reviewer (on top of my being in love with the film), but I will not let that ruin my appreciation of your completely sensible perspective WRT professional reviewer bias as regards gay film.

"I strongly suspect the offender would spoil the film for me...but I am not inclined to require that the character should spoil the film for anyone else whom I might deem right-thinking."

Perhaps it would spoil the film for you. Just as I guess one could add a few discordant seconds to a Beatles song and make all the other minutes of a song unlistenable to some. I do appreciate that you could still feel I am right-thinking despite my still wanting to love the rest of the song anyway.

I can't overstate how much I appreciate your reply.

While you don't know anything about my judgement WRT art, and let's say I don't really know anything about your skill at (is that card game you've mastered called?) bridge, in such an instance between people who otherwise socialize with respect and kind regard, it is polite to assume that one can respect that the other's judgement in the unknown area is a excellent as in the areas one has come to know well.

38

@37 p.s.
"professional reviewer bias as regards gay film."

I should note that Withnail is not a gay film. It's just a film with an offensive very minor character who is gay. It's also a comedy; as we all know, that genre has different rules.

39

Phi @36: "the bi tendency to accuse monosexuals of gender bigotry, that makes a lot more sense, because it's based on realistic ideas of bi people" -- wait, what? You think it's realistic to presume bisexuals have a tendency to accuse monosexuals of gender bigotry? What does that even mean? I don't think bisexuals think monosexuals' lack of attraction to multiple genders is bigotry; most of us understand that some people are gay, and some people are straight, and we're over it. If a bi person calls a monosexual a bigot for not being attracted to all the genders, that person would be an asshole. And if a monosexual blanketly rejects bisexuals because they think we think they're a bigot, then that is biphobia.
I also wouldn't describe monosexuals as having an "aversion" to dating a particular gender. Not being attracted is not the same thing as an aversion, it's just a lack of desire. I wouldn't presume straight women are grossed out by the idea of sleeping with women, they just don't have any interest in it. I don't think this needs to be justified, any more than who one is attracted to needs to be justified.

Re CACA, I agree. Perhaps the guy is hormonally wiped out after an orgasm, but if he's come quickly he should have enough energy to make out until he can get hard again. It needn't be "the end."

Re SADONE, I agree that it seems unrealistic to say up front, "I don't want you to ghost me or to dump me," because nobody will say, "Yes, I'm going to ghost you in a year." Better advice may be to improve one's communication skills so that if SADONE does sense a partner pulling away, they can talk about it, rather than feeling helpless to watch while their interest dwindles. SADONE doesn't say whether their relationship was monogamous; it seems to me as if there was no expectation of monogamy, if Ex Mr SADONE didn't try to hide the new relationship. Be more assertive and proactive, good advice for sure.

40

@36 @26 This is fraught with peril for me to talk about, cis straight guys should probably just shut up. But I've never been smart!

I hear what you're saying and don't disagree. It's dangerous to start generalizing cultures and it's equally dangerous to get in a dichtomy of straight = monogamous and bisexual = not (though I hardly think any women who have dated straight men think they're inherently monogamous!) I don't mean to say that this is some iron clad rule.

That said, I think it's probably generally true (while not being specifically true in each circumstance, which is why you need to get to know people who check off other boxes) that bisexual men who are not monogamous are more able to be upfront about their plans for nonmonogamy than many straight men who (if we're being charitable) struggle with a societal norm that pushes monogamy=family on them or (if we're being real) take advantage of the openness of modern sexuality to cheat and hurt people. She's way less likely to be hurt by a bi man but way more likely to be able to cling to her idealized concept of family with a straight man (even though it's probably going to not be true).

If my wife were bisexual, it would be no issue for me but that's because I'd have no issue with her exploring that aspect of her sexuality. But if I were someone who had issues with that and demanded monogamy as a price of admission, that would be a problem. I would feel bad that she wasn't able to express a part of herself that is pretty intrinsic to who she is. I'd feel like I was forcing her into the closet. I guess if the LW is expressing that feeling, I can see her avoiding bi men and it maybe being a relatively moral thing to do (but let's also say that she's being pretty closeminded and maybe should unpack that with a therapist).

I did get the sense that the LW wasn't some awful person. She presumably reads Savage Love and isn't some conservative piece of shit. She's asking a question that has troubled her, which means she's at least capable of being a little self-critical and looking for biases. She did say she is "only interested" in straight men, which is a problem in that it's pretty black and white. My guess is she's more worried about the societal impact of introducing a bisexual partner to family and friends than someone who has actual issues with it. She might even have met a nice bisexual guy but not pursued it for those reasons. She's still looking for the Disney Prince instead of being more realistic about the variety of great partners out there. That's a sad thing.

This may have made no sense but back to work!

41

I could never understand the phrase "I'm just not attracted to bi men", and I've never once heard a satisfactory explanation. When you press for it, however gently, people usually get defensive and say something like "That's just my personal preference, I don't have to explain it!" Which, yeah, okay, but - how exactly does this work? You can't SEE bisexuality. Preferences for a particular age, race, body type, etc. have a visual component. So however problematic they are, however worthy of self-reflection, they can at least be explained by some lizard-brain attraction or aversion, which is just ~there~, whether you like it or not.

But "not attracted to bi men"? Either these people think they have impeccable bi-dar, and can actually see/sense/smell bisexuality and get turned off by it from the get-go, OR they're saying that they can be attracted to a bi man initially but lose all sexual interest once they find out he's bi. Both of these positions seem pretty iffy and worth unpacking. Perhaps what they really mean is "I don't want to get involved with bi men", which, as we discussed last week, is a different thing entirely.

42

Larry @40, I typed then deleted an observation that bisexuals were probably more likely than straight people to talk about their preference for monogamy versus not, while straight people were more likely to just presume monogamy. I'm biased of course but I think it's much better to have a discussion about whether one prefers/presumes monogamy, as this will lead to fewer misunderstandings down the road. In this way I think heteros could learn from queers.

If NADS's view is that she could take being cheated on with or dumped for another woman, but she could never cope with being cheated on with or dumped for a man, then that strikes me as a reasonable justification to date straight men but not bi ones.

If a straight person is aware that the particular bisexual they are with is not comfortable with forsaking an entire gender as their price of admission -- for instance, if that person has not yet had the opportunity to explore, or their comments indicate they feel resentful -- that would be reasonable justification for taking a pass on that bisexual. (Though it really should be up to that bisexual to not commit to something they don't want to commit to.) Again, though, that is not all bisexuals' situation -- some have sown their oats and are ready to settle down, and shouldn't be presumed inherently less ready or happy to do so just because the all-others they're forsaking have more than one type of genitalia.

Also, this discussion is presuming NADS herself is monogamous, which we don't know for sure.

43

Well, apparently I have a couple of movies to watch.

I read FOW as male, as a straight guy trying to run this potentially problematic movie past a gay man before sharing the movie with his gay son (or at least a movie with problematic representations of a gay character). I haven't seen the film, and a cursory googling shows that it's astoundingly popular/well-reviewed for those who like it (a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes?! That's high praise). And Curious2 certainly sings its praises from a film buff standpoint (the film buff in me is curious too, Curious2). Buuuuut. I cannot ignore Venn's and Harriet's criticisms re: represention and the way that hits home for them and dredges up painful experiences or attitudes they've dealt with. And they both recommend another movie that sounds similar to Withnail, but does a better job with representation as well as making commentary on British societal attitudes of the time.

Long story short(er), I think FOW should do as someone suggested upthread (apologies, I don't remember who first made this point) and ask themselves how they'll feel if their son hates the movie. Or ask themselves why it's so important to them that they share * this * movie with their son. I understand the desire to share something that is important to you with someone who is important to you, to share a film/work of art/piece of music/TV show/etc that has had a profound effect on you as an individual with the people you love the most. But if you find yourself writing in to an advice columnist to ask "is this a problematic movie to show to my gay son?" you've answered your own question by even feeling the need to ask it in the first place.

44

I can understand Dan's quip about the toaster, but why the receipt?

45

Wayne @44, I assume to send the newlyweds on a wild goose chase of trying to exchange the broken toaster :)

46

@27. Fichu. I also wondered whether NADS's question was, 'am I prejudiced in not being pansexual?'. Though it's a question one can imagine a young liberal person today asking themselves, in the end I thought she was asking about excluding bi guys.

@30. ChiTodd. What is the other side of the story here? Would the ex grant he lacked the backbone to make a clean break, and just gave the lw to understand that it was over by fucking someone else; or would he say something like he drifted away, as the couple had a tacit understanding each of them would when either found someone more in-life-terms compatible? If the ex was a manipulative asshole, faking to get what he wanted, the lw does not seem to have seen him in these terms for the year they were dating.

'Establish groundrules' is good advice for SADONE, whether he was as cynically dropped as he says, or whether the story was more complicated.

@31. venn. Yes; the people who don't care (esp. about something like the public stigmatisation of, but covert indulgence in, homosexuality) always understand the people who do care (because they have similar impulses but have made peace with their conscience), while the 'zealot'/'moralist' people like me are left guessing at those who don't care, like the Bennetts of the world.

47

@36. Philophile. The ex isn't who SADONE thought they were, that's all we know. You read SADONE as a woman; I read them homonormatively as a man, perhaps because of other conversations I was having. I thought the ex broke up by dating someone else, but wasn't dating others while with SADONE. You thought they might have been dating others. (I'd now think it's more likely the lw's a woman, a little because of the tone, a little because it's statistically more probable only).

'Know who you're with' seems to be the best takeaway for anyone in that situation.

48

I'm wondering if NADS question has anything to do wih a trend I saw popping up on the bird site recently - "SuperStraights". People proudly proclaiming that they are strictly attracted only to cishet opposite sexers and nobody else. It's just another transphobic dog-whistle, and rather ridiculous, but I wonder if that's what she's implying?

49

Regarding “Withnail and I,” I agree with Dan’s advice – show it to you son, if it’s important to you, but do so with a disclaimer and understand if he hates it. It is a perpetual problem for modern film lovers to know what to do with movies that are problematic for their retrograde presentations of sexuality, race or gender (TCM has a whole recent series in which their critics reassess some examples of “great” cinema by facing their bigoted portrayals squarely). It sounds like the film in question has some unfortunate elements, although it is hard to imagine it being worse than some other canonical films like “Silence of the Lambs” or “The Producers” (especially the original version). Moreover, I think there are plenty of films that in their day were seen and intended to be “enlightened” on matters of sexuality which are actually pretty cringeworthy today. And sometimes it takes questions from people like FOW, who seems sensitized to this problem by the fact that they have a gay son, to make even liberal-minded folks aware of harmful depictions. I note for example, that even as humane a soul as Roger Ebert did not mention the negative stereotype of the predatory gay man in his original review. If he was blind to it, one assumes a great many other decent people were as well. I’ve not seen “Withnail,” but when I do, FOW’s letter may make me more cognizant of its flaws than I otherwise would have been, even if, as seems likely, I’ll appreciate the film’s positive aspects.

50

@48: I've seen quite a few women say that bi men "just aren't manly enough" or that "there's just something off about them". A depressing of whom were open about being bi and/or promiscuous themselves. It seems like a bunch of cultural baggage from taking a dick, which comes up sometimes even from people who have taken their own fair share of dick.

@46: Are you really recommending that SADONE try to reach out to their ex for a postmortem? Does that ever work well, especially when the ex decided to burn the bridge as part of the breakup? I'll be charitable and assume that the ex's head is too wrapped up in their own issues to consider how their actions are affecting others, but even the best interpretation of events still doesn't mean that any amount of pre-talk could have prevented this or that any amount of post-talk can fix it. Sometimes shitty breakups just happen.

51

Lost@41
"how exactly does this work? You can't SEE bisexuality"

Very well-phrased framing, Margarita.

These last couple weeks many of us have said it more abstractly, but that's particularly clearly stated.

52

F.M.Fox@43
I would love to hear what you think of the films.

If you think it's good, I'll watch the other one too. (But I certainly won't just on Harriet's recommendation. I wouldn't take Harriet's word that water was wet. Much of what Harriet presents here is just about getting under someone's skin then playing dumb. And I can't make much of Venn's preference for the one he saw.)

Whether I like a film or not has no bearing whether or not as a film buff I judge it as great. I mean it does resonate extremely well with me, but that's just about my personal enjoyment. I am surprised BDF didn't love it (but neither did she say she disliked it); but that it didn't resonate as much with her is no doubt to her credit.

53

@17 is correct.

I suggest going, at least for the baked ziti and canapés and perhaps some great conversations.

Yeah, and please don't send a broken toaster. Be gracious and polite. Avoid being haunted by the fact that you came across as an asshole.

54

NADS don't worry. Just as it is normal for a gay man to be interested in dating other gay men, and a lesbian woman to be interested in dating other lesbian women, it's pretty normal for a straight woman to be interested in dating straight men. This in itself is not phobic, it's about orientation.

Some folks are quite happy mixing it up and dating bisexual people and trans people - others are not and you fall into the latter category by the sounds of things. Like Dan says, being careful of the feelings of others is important when dating. If you don't want to date bisexual men, it's probably a good idea to find out early on if the guys you are dating are sexually interested in other men or not, then tactfully and carefully screen them out. Some people might think this is biphobic and perhaps it is, but it would be even more wrong to continue seeing someone whose sexuality you were not comfortable with.

Insisting that we all become fine with dating people of all genders and sexualities regardless of our own orientations and attractions seems to be a popular premise at the moment. This is an unrealistic ideal, and screaming bigot or phobic at anyone that does not subscribe to this, is creating a lot of pretense because people are becoming too afraid to be honest about their true feelings. If discourse cannot happen in a non judgemental way, opportunities for learning, growth, and becoming more open minded are shut down. Well done for speaking up on an issue which could potentially make you a target for hate.

55

sanguisuga @48, it didn't read that way to me. NADS says:

"I have a quick question about bisexuality. What if one has a preference for dating straight individuals? As a straight woman, I am only interested in dating straight men."

If it was a #superstraight thing, wouldn't she have said "cis men" there somewhere, or, for a more obvious dogwhistle, "biological men"?

Actually, re-reading it now in light of my earlier comment, she doesn't say she's only attracted to straight men, just "only interested in dating straight men". So it could be a "cultural" thing, as people discussed in last week's comment section: she is straight, and feels that she can relate more to a straight partner, just as a bi person may relate more to a fellow bisexual, etc.

56

Ms Sang - The Super Straight phenomenon was designed to be trans-exclusionary; it would probably fit with this sort of thing but was likely not designed intending to do so.
xxx
Ms Lost - yes, the only way LW's frame would apply would be if she saw a man expressing MM interest and he then made a second expression of interest in her. I'm not sure about losing interest in people once one learns the orientations are mixed (which goes both ways, after all); some incompatibilities matter more to some of us. Where such an incompatibility might rank compared to others regarding music or literature, say, I don't have time to address at present.
xxx
M?? Harriet - You don't identify with Fowler, do you?
xxx
Ms Fan - What X thinks Y thinks X thinks could get to be quite a circle - very like both The Lion in Winter (where Geoffrey and Eleanor have a conversation like this about who knows what) and Poe's story of the Purloined Letter.
xxx
Ms Phile - We seem closer to agreement than I expected to be.
xxx
Skr Curious - There are points you may perhaps notice less readily than those of us who've frequently been on the receiving end (I suspect there are films or books that Mx Wanna or Ms Cute might dislike far more than most gentiles), but I certainly am prepared to defer to you on the overall merits of most of the film.

57

NADS is biphobic, full stop. And dumb.

What do you mean, you're only attracted to straight men? How can you tell? Do they wear a scarlet S on their clothes? Can you tell by looking at a guy whether he's straight or bi?

Do you mean that you're only attracted to manly men? Straight-acting men? Do you equate bisexual with being less masculine, or more feminine? If so, then you're misusing the word. You're filtering with the wrong word. There are plenty of 100% cis heterosexual men who are a little effeminate at times, and it doesn't make them bi. There are also bi men who are super manly men, who are not the least effeminate, who are nevertheless sometimes attracted to men as well as women. If you are filtering for masculinity, then use the word masculinity, not bisexual.

If you mean that you are looking for a strictly monogamous relationship, and assume that bi men won't want to be monogamous, then again, you're filtering with the wrong word. Just be up front in your absolute requirement for strict monogamy, regardless of the sexual orientation of the guy you're dating. If your guy is dating you and only you, and is being monogamous, then who cares if he is also sometimes attracted to other men?

If you mean that you can't stand the thought that your guy has ever thought about sex with another guy, or heaven forbid, actually done the deed with another guy, even if he is super into you, and willing to be monogamous, then you're nuts. You can't control anyone's prior sex life or sexual attractions. Even 100% cis heterosexual men will undoubtedly have done things in the past that are a turnoff for you (unless they are an absolute virgin), and will absolutely have sexual fantasies and desires that are a turnoff for you. We all have lots of fantasies and desires, and not all of them are attractive to everyone else. Filtering out bisexual men won't stop you from dating guys who have fantasies you don't approve of.

By saying you are only attracted to straight men, you are absolutely using a biphobic phrase. And very likely using it for the wrong reasons. You are being hurtful, and spreading inaccurate stereotypes. You should examine what you mean, and why you are filtering out bi men. Find a more accurate way to express your attraction or desire.

58

@40 "cis straight guys should just shut up" - No! You have as much right to voice an opinion as anybody else, why should you just shut up? Don't feel ashamed of what you are.

59

Harriet - "getting to know who one's with" is a skill set as much as a function of random similarities. Thanks for your perspective.

BDF, "If a bi person calls a monosexual a bigot for not being attracted to all the genders, that person would be an asshole. And if a monosexual blanketly rejects bisexuals because they think we think they're a bigot, then that is biphobia."
So if a monosexual starts rejecting all bisexuals, then they are a bigot? I had a bisexual acquaintance who started identifying as lesbian because she developed an aversion to dating men, then is she a bigot too? And then what's the solution, to force her to date men again or call her an asshole unless she can justify her new feelings well enough?

"I also wouldn't describe monosexuals as having an "aversion" to dating a particular gender."
Why would you try to describe how monosexuals feel at all, as a bisexual? Wouldn't it be more reasonable to ask questions and listen to the answers?

I don't think it matters if a person has an aversion to a particular gender or race or orientation, as long as they aren't causing anyone harm. If they're not causing harm, then why judge their feelings rather than actions and call them bigoted? Refusing to date someone to whom you feel averse or unattracted is far less hurtful than forcing someone to date unwillingly, it seems more moral to accept all aversions in dating and try not to take rejection personally. I think of bigotry as business exclusions or spreading stereotypes or trying to justify class aversions or proudly announce them. I don't believe feelings like aversions are moral or immoral, only the way we express them can be moral or immoral. I think aversions are more like vulnerabilities.

"You think it's realistic to presume bisexuals have a tendency to accuse monosexuals of gender bigotry?"
Yes, people often have a hard time understanding or empathizing with feelings we don't share. We often look for reasons for the differences instead of simply accept them (unless they are leading to harmful actions, then therapy). It's a cheap ego boost to assume that our feelings are based on more healthy or realistic or ethical perspectives or beliefs than others. In my experience, bisexuals tend to think their feelings are more fair than monosexuals because they don't exclude a gender from dating. Sort of the same way you're reading "only interested in dating straight men" and concluding that she's probably biphobic and unhealthy @35, when there's no evidence she's harmed anyone, just because she feels differently, and you'd like to think your feelings are "better".

Exploring another's different feelings is best done through lots of questions and listening imo. Accusations and defensiveness is another more forceful option, unfortunately in my experience it's how bisexuals explore my monosexuality.

60

curious2 @1 @4 congrats!

@ CACA / PE letter, Dan forgot to mention PDE5 inhibitors (Viagra etc) can also delay ejaculation in some men. And assist a shorter recovery period in terms of getting hard again (2nd ejaculation may not happen at all).

@ several on preference only for straight guys. I do see how some flexible, bi guys (incl me) can be a bit less traditional on many gendered / orientation traits and so some women might prefer a stereotypical straight guy. I'm often mistaken for gay for instance as I'm more typical on the gay side than straight - don't like football, do like musicals, don't try to perform traditional masculinity. I like to wield a Sawzall on occasion and love power tools - but I partly shop for power tools on how pretty they look.

@ Withnail letter - wouldn't wisdom of a film choice depend on how old your son is? An 8 year boy is going to have very different take away than a 15 yo.

61

TRIGGER WARNING this squicks me out but I thought of it immediately after reading @41 Lost Margarita: "can actually see/sense/smell bisexuality"

So now I have to share it to get it out of my brain:

Of course, Lost, some people can smell bisexuality! Let's say a bi person is at a gender inclusive sex party for people who people who don't believe in soap. By night's end they might reek of cock and pussy on the subway home. Bi BO.

62

And to answer NADS' question, no, it's not bad to have a preference for straight men. It's bad to broadcast any dislike of homosexuality or bisexuality in general, keep it to specific dynamics. And it's bad to spread stereotypes. I'm sorry if it came off as a stereotype that bisexuals will be aggressive towards monosexuals, it's just that their aggression comes out in different ways. I've also dated straight guys who didn't immediately accept that I wasn't interested in dating women, it's more hypocritical when straight guys do it but they tend to stop when you ask how they feel about dating men. It's harder to handle the "you're not as fair as a bisexual, I date all genders why can't you act like me?" attack from a bi guy.

63

Reverse@57
"What do you mean, you're only attracted to straight men? How can you tell? Do they wear a scarlet S on their clothes?"

Kudos. Another clear framing.

64

As yet another Magic Number draws nigh, who is hungry for this week's SL: Quickies Lucky @69 Award honors? Tick...tick...tick....

65

curious2

I love Withnail and I, almost as much as you do. I am in the ballpark of the age of the two male leads, and straight. I think the performances are brilliant and hilarious. "The urine of a newborn baby...We've come here on holiday by mistake...If I medicined you...What is that? Matter!"

But my brother who is 10 years younger, a former aspiring actor, and possibly gay, hated it so much that he did not even want to talk about it. And he talks about everything.

66

The Uncle Monty character isn't a caricature of gay men, it's a caricature of the kind of horny, pretentious luvvie actor that was so common in theatre and film in those days (those days being more so the 60's, when the film is set - Bruce Robinson apparently based him on Franco Zeffirelli). Harassment has always been a big issue in those industries, whether you were male or female.

67

I read SADONE's letter as a case where a DTR conversation never really happened, and both parties were left to assume that things were either more or less serious than the other did. The LW describes the guy as... well, as "a guy [they] liked," "a guy [they] dated for a year." Not a boyfriend or partner. A guy they liked (not loved). I'm not saying this to dismiss SADONE's hurt, just pointing out that the LW's own word choices seem to indicate that this wasn't an explicitly exclusive relationship.

I really dislike slippery terms like "dating" because people seem to have radically different definitions of what "dating" means. To me, dating implies a lack of seriousness/commitment/exclusivity (until the people involved have a DTR conversation and mutually agree to take it to that next level). So, a person could be dating numerous people at the same time, and isn't being unethical (unless they're being actively dishonest about their intentions). So perhaps Mr. SADONE is a dishonest scoundrel stringing a lot of people along, but perhaps he saw his dating SADONE as a casual thing (especially if they never had a "what are we?" conversation). To me, the sound of "dating someone for a year" sounds ridiculous. I would have had a "DTR or stop wasting my time" conversation a long time ago (if it's the type of dating that would give someone an impression of exclusivity, as opposed to an ongoing long-distance thing, for example).

But also we've seen time and again that some folks would rather act awful than just tell another person that things are over. Idk, shrugs.

68

....and this week's delectably Lucky @69 Award winner IS..........

69

Ugh, cheating, but I'm on hell hold with my state's unemployment department, so WAHOOOO!!!

70

Philophile @36 and @59, I've also run into the attitude of "I'm more open-minded because I'm bisexual" and it's awful to be told I'm close-minded for not being interested in men. In my experience, how common that attitude is varies widely based on location and social circles. Living in an area or being in communities where that view is commonly held could make someone more likely to be disinclined to date bisexuals for that reason. While no one is obligated to date anyone, I think it is unfair for monosexuals to assume that bisexuals will be sanctimonious assholes, just as it is unfair for bisexuals to assume that monosexuals will be biphobic assholes. However, it's relatively common for people of one identity who are repeatedly hurt by people of another identity to be wary of relationships with them, and it is an understandable protection mechanism. Plenty of emotions are unfair or unreasonable, but are still valid emotions that we have to deal with. I find it helpful to be able to regard some of my emotions as both unfair/unreasonable and valid, as it shapes how I act in response to those emotions.

And BiDanFan @39, I think the discussion of aversion in regards to attraction is interesting. I agree with aversion being different than a lack of attraction, but I find it common for the two to coexist. Personally, I have an aversion to men romantically/sexually in addition to a lack of attraction to men. There are a lot of other lesbians who also have an aversion and a lack of attraction, but there are plenty of lesbians who simply have a lack of attraction. I don't know the proportion of monosexuals who have both aversion and no attraction vs those that just have no attraction, and I don't even have a guess. (It would be interesting to read a study on this or something similar, if one ever exists.) From what I've heard from lesbians with solely no attraction, they generally find it harder to realize that they are lesbians rather than bisexual or straight because it's more difficult to recognize a lack of attraction that isn't paired with aversion when all of society is telling you that you do have that attraction.

It's also possible to have an aversion and an attraction as Philophile mentioned in @59 (although I don't know the acquaintance mentioned so she may have lost attraction along with developing the aversion). I've most commonly encountered this among bisexual women who develop an aversion to dating men despite still being attracted to them, some of whom choose to identify as lesbians based on their behavior and some of whom still publicly identify as bisexual. Sometimes people lose the attraction as part of the aversion, but many don't. (I also know a straight woman with the same aversion and attraction, but as she is only attracted to men, she just doesn't date anyone. I would guess that this is less common.)

71

Philophile @9 Mrs Fox @43

Regarding Whitnail and I, I agree that FOW should be prepared for the possibility that their son may have a very different perspective on this film and may well hate it for the homophobic angle. And if that happens, FOW should really try to listen to what the son has to say about it (if anything), and avoid jumping in to defend the film (which can be easier said than done if it's a fave). Not because the gay son's opinion is automatically more important than FOW's, but just for the sake of their relationship.

I have a friend, a cis straight guy, with whom I often discuss films and books as we have broadly similar tastes, but also enough of a different take on things to make for an interesting debate. A few months ago, he recommended a collection of short stories called "First Love, Last Rites" by Ian McEwan. I hated the book for many reasons, but mostly for the reams and reams of misogyny, both deliberate and unexamined. I felt like I had no entry point to even start engaging with this work, because the common thread in every story was that women and female children were not people, and there was no critical framing around that (because the author, IMO, actually was/is an unselfaware misogynist). So my friend and I nearly came to blows discussing this book. He kept arguing that I was misunderstanding it, and, in turn, misunderstanding or misconstruing all my arguments in what felt like a really patronising way. In the end, we agreed to disagree and moved on to other topics, but I'd be lying if I said this experience hasn't left a mark on our friendship. I don't think my friend is a misogynist for liking this book (maybe a little? Dunno) but I was honestly kinda startled by his level of privileged obliviousness. It suddenly made me wonder what he really thinks of women, how he treats them in his personal life, when the thought never crossed my mind before.

Perhaps FOW should be prepared for something like this.

72

electrophile @70, you raise lots of interesting points! With regards to aversion/attraction, I think that if one finds themselves feeling an aversion to a category of people they're sexually attracted to, the ethical choice would indeed be to stop sleeping with and having relationships with this category of people (and if that leaves you without a sexual outlet, maybe limit the interaction to adequately compensated sex workers). I'm glad to hear that the male-averse straight and bi women in your examples actually stopped sleeping with men. Don't inflict yourself on the people you hate, even if you still want them.

73

Sometimes language is a hurdle, and NADS clearly meant that she doesn't want to be with bi men. Attraction doesn't necessarily mean an initial reaction.

People are allowed to want to be with whomever, with bonus points for not being an asshole about it.

Personally, I prefer women who drive a BMW and like to be spanked. When I discover these attributes, I'm more attracted than I was at the sight of them. When I discover they don't like Marmite, my attraction wanes.

Don't condemn me for liking Marmite.

74

Fantastic @69: "Ugh, cheating".

Yeah, but... life's ups and downs made you the insightful, compassionate person you are. So there's that.

Congratulations on the @69. Griz will be along directly to bestow the bigly deserved honours.

75

H_b_t_b @ 24
“I don't see any reason for the lw to go to the wedding as described.”
I’m not suggesting they should. As someone who is not privy to the situation, I offered some pointers to look at and hopefully help assess the situation for all involved.
That said, I agree with larrysone007 @ 14 that one should not attend a wedding with the intention to ruin it.

raindrop @ 53 agrees with both of us, and while we did have our skirmishes, I find his comments of late to be both thoughtful and helpful.

76

There is a lot of weird stuff being said here. There is a huge difference between wanting to be with a man and wanting to be with a straight man. One of those things can actually be seen. The other cannot. Whether or not you are bisexual has no bearing on whether or not you are monagamous, want children, what kind of sex you have, or really anything else. I suppose if you are openly bisexual you are far less likely to be a fundamentalist religious person. I'm pretty sure none of them are writing into Dan Savage for advice though.

It's hugely different. The example of the bi women sticking with women is fine because women and men are different. Bisexuals are only different based on who they are attracted to.

77

As for movies, I recently watched Midnight Cowboy, a late 60’s film set in NYC I first saw as a teenager few years after it was released. I thought it was homophobic back then, it scared the living shit out of me knowing I was somewhat different, and I was unpleasantly surprised to find that it still comes across that way nowadays despite learning that it was based on a book written by Jim Herlihy and directed by John Schlesinger, two men who were both fairly open about who they are back in the days.

It is still a great film nevertheless when it comes to directing, acting, shooting, and editing. John Voight and Dustin Hoffman who played the main characters did an amazing job.
The theme song, which I did like back the days, gets fairly annoying when it keeps appearing in the first half. Fortunately, we don’t hear much if any of it in the second.

And touching on this thread bi-line, was Joe Buck, the character played by John Voight, a bi man, or was he only in it for the money?

78

@69 fantastic_mrs_fox: WA-HOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Congratulations on scoring this week's luscious Lucky @69 Award honors! Do you mean cheating on landing on the magic number? No--your winnings are legitimate. You won fair and square. Bask in the highly envied glory and savor your well deserved honors. :)

@74 fubar (re fantastic_mrs_fox, @69): Agreed and seconded, with the Big Hunsky @100 and more to come! :)

@77 CMDwannabe: Although I will openly admit that while some scenes for me are troubling, Midnight Cowboy is indeed, a very powerfully enduring, well directed and acted breakthrough 1969 film pioneering views on gays, bis, and heterosexuals. It won the Oscars for Best Picture, Director, and Adapted Screenplay despite its initial X rating for sexual content and violence; the film has since its theatrical release been changed to an R rating now.
We, the audience, see the sharp contrasts between the wealthy and the plight of those at rock bottom in New York City of the late 1960s. Joe Buck (Jon Voight) and Rico "Ratso" Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) I believe were both straight men. Neither had sympathy for gay men. Joe's interactions with other men (Bernard Hughes, as Towny and Bob Balaban, as the teen Joe encounters on 42nd Street) was purely for the money. Joe came to New York City from Texas with big dreams of servicing lonely rich women that didn't materialize as he had hoped, with the one exception of Shirley (Brenda Vaccaro, who Joe and Ratso meet at the McAlbertson party, and Joe hooks up with afterward). Joe ends up taking care of the ailing Ratso, who, himself has big dreams of going to Florida. In order to fund his and Ratso's one-way exit from New York City to relocate to Miami, Joe robs Towny. I can't help but tear up when Ratso dies of pneumonia on the bus--he makes it to Florida but not quite to Miami. Joe is left alone.
One of many things about the movie that really blows my mind was particularly Dustin Hoffman's amazing ability to ad lib under intense immediate pressure. The famous "I'm walking here! I'm walking here!" scene was not in the script. In one scene where Joe and Ratso are crossing a street, Ratso is almost hit by an oncoming cab (the street had been blocked off for the filming, but apparently the driver had ignored the blocked off notices during the filming. Schlesinger, amazed at Hoffman's quick reaction and upon seeing that Hoffman and Voight were both okay kept on rolling).
For those who haven't yet seen Midnight Cowboy, I would highly recommend it.

79

@78: This to add about Midnight Cowboy: Both Dustin Hoffman, who had top billing in the film credits, and Jon Voight were nominated for the 1969 Best Actor Oscar, but didn't win. It really infuriates me that instead, John Wayne won for his role that year in True Grit, and later in an interview gloated about his victory over a film "about two fags" (!!!) Wayne's criticism of the film and Voight's and Hoffman's roles in it are untrue.
Interestingly, in one scene of Midnight Cowboy where Joe and Ratso are living in a condemned building slated for destruction, John Wayne is mentioned in a line in the film, further emphasizing Joe's and Ratso's obvious heterosexuality. In a hotel room Joe initially checks into shortly upon arriving to New York on a Greyhound bus early in the film, there is a poster image of a young Paul Newman from his 1963 Western film, Hud, taped up on the wall as the enterprising Joe Buck fantasizes of making it big as a hustler after lonely ladies.

80

Harriet @46 and Sangui @48, I think you are trying to read between the lines of a one-line question. About 62% of straight women won't date bi men. NADS is one of those, whose conscience is nagging her that this might not be acceptable. She doesn't ask if it's okay that she's straight; she doesn't ask if it's okay if she doesn't fancy trans men. It's a simple question with a not so simple answer.

Curious @51, seconding your gold star to Margarita for succinctness in challenging the idea of being able to inherently find people of a certain orientation unattractive.

Curious @52, I didn't dislike it either; I may have had my expectations raised too high, when I moved to the UK and acquaintances reacted, "You've never seen Withnail and I!? OMG you HAVE to see it!" A decade and a half after the fact, the gay character had not even lodged in my memory bank, if that says anything about how important he was to the plot. But again, it's been a very long time.

Reverse @57, gold star for you too.
Like I suggested in last week's comments, perhaps NADS and others could substitute the word "white" for the word "straight" and see how that reads? Since the letter is short, I'll do it:
"I have a quick question about race. What if one has a preference for dating white individuals? As a white woman, I am only interested in dating white men. Is that some kind of phobia? Or is it okay for that to be a preference? I've always wanted to ask someone this but I'm afraid of being thought of as having a phobia."
I reckon the responses to that letter would be markedly different.

Also, one question. Dan's usual position is that we should be up front about our dealbreakers, kinks, etc in order to avoid incompatible people. Dan, why do you take the opposite position here -- that she should hide her bias against bi men? (And yeah, as Margarita and I have pointed out, she doesn't say she's not attracted to bi men, which could in fact be a good thing to shut up about to avoid hurting feelings. She says she isn't willing to date them.)

Sandwiches @58, agree! All perspectives welcome, particularly from those who understand they're not directly involved/affected and will not try to talk over those who are.

81

Phi @59: "So if a monosexual starts rejecting all bisexuals, then they are a bigot?"
It depends on their reason, but possibly. (Example, if they -start- rejecting all bisexuals because they dated a bisexual who lived up to the stereotype by cheating or dumping them for the opposite gender, that decision might not be bigotry but self-preservation, similar to SADONE avoiding future partners with characteristics of the man who dumped them.)

"I had a bisexual acquaintance who started identifying as lesbian because she developed an aversion to dating men, then is she a bigot too?" No. Please see Margarita's post @41, she explains the difference.

"Why would you try to describe how monosexuals feel at all, as a bisexual?" Fair. Monosexuals of the board, would you say you have an aversion to the gender you don't desire, or simply a lack of interest? (I guess I don't want to think that the world of straight women and gay men are looking at me and thinking, "Eww!")

"Refusing to date someone to whom you feel averse or unattracted is far less hurtful than forcing someone to date unwillingly." I agree, as I said @35. (I never used the word unhealthy.)

I'll apologise on behalf of the bisexuals who thought they were better than you. (Refusing to date someone because they think they're better than you is justifiable.) In an ideal world we could all accept each other as different but equally valid; perhaps those bisexuals you met had been judged negatively so often that they took on an attitude of "we're not worse, actually we're better!" Or they're just jerks.

You seem to be conflating two questions, "Is something bigotry?" and "Does something cause harm?" The answer to the second question does not need to be yes for the first question to be true. I think this attitude does cause harm, though, because it encourages bi-leaning or heteroflexible men to remain closeted, and isn't being closeted harmful? (I have a close bisexual-but-heteroromantic male friend who listed himself as straight on OKCupid to avoid rejection. I'm sure this is extremely common and I do think it is harmful to the psyches of those men -- not to mention that a closeted bi may be more likely to cheat than to openly ask for ethical non-monogamy.)

82

Delta @61, LOL!

Phi @62, oh yes, the ones who want to pressure you into a threesome. I have been tempted to stay closeted when I encounter one of those.

Fantastic @67, excellent take on SADONE's situation. And congrats on the lucky @69!

Electro @70: "it's relatively common for people of one identity who are repeatedly hurt by people of another identity to be wary of relationships with them, and it is an understandable protection mechanism."
"Plenty of emotions are unfair or unreasonable, but are still valid emotions that we have to deal with."
Two excellent points, gold star for you. Your second point is what I've been trying to put across: If NADS's attitude is biphobia, this does not mean "well you have to date people you are put off by." It just means she should own that.
I actually think a lot of straight people have an aversion and an attraction to the opposite gender. Witness MRAs and incels, and women who routinely trash men on social media. How inconvenient -- it means you either stay celibate or end up dating people you inherently dislike, which seems a source of many unsolvable relationship issues.
Welcome, newcomer -- Fantastic Mrs Fox, you may have some competition for rookie of the year! :)

83

Wow. What can Griz say but---inevitably, red wine notwithstanding, I once again bawled my brains out when Enrico Salvatore ("Ratso") Rizzo died on the bus to Miami. Dustin Hoffman has had me since the Singleman Party at the Taft Hotel (in The Graduate).

84

Ms Fan - Well, you've been busy. I'm inclined to agree that bi-superiour attitudes often develop as a defence mechanism. There is much self-preservation on all sides.

As for aversion, while I suppose I should be set aside as an outlier, I have a strong general aversion to M>F attraction, though to F>M attraction only when directed at me, which fortunately has not happened often, though it has been alarming at times. I can report responding to an advance from my best friend's bisexual daughter with much of the panic response related by many women of the assembled company to unwanted advances. Whether it extends to entire genders I don't know that I'd want to try to say. I'm not sure about your end lumping in straight women and gay men together (not to mention asexuals of any gender). Straight women might want to be you, and I think for the L and G there's something that slots in between the "Ewww!" response and mere lack of attraction.

85

@ 77 & 78. On Midnight Cowboy, it is amazing to me that that film was shown on broadcast television back in the pre-cable days. It was heavily edited, of course, but it is impossible to edit that film in such a way that hides its radically transgressive (to a young me) imagery and subject matter. It is an amazing film. Even the "Seinfeld" parody, with Jerry and Kramer on a city bus at the end of the episode, is moving in its own way.

86

@bidanfan @philophile
I don't think anyone should explain their aversion to anyone. If she isn't attracted to bisexual men, and one who lists it on his dating profile contacts her, she should not respond or send a generic reply.

"I'm flattered by your interest, but I don't think we're compatible. Good luck with your search!"

Likewise for people who aren't interested in men under 6', BBW women, transgender people, women who are A cups, people of other racial backgrounds, or any other category they cannot easily change.

If someone says or does something that bothers you, go ahead and bring it up. Be tactful and kind. If they are rude, don't bother to discuss it, just send a brief note informing them you aren't compatible, or ghost them.

If NADS finds out later that a man she is dating is bisexual, by asking him, or him telling her, she can find a more neutral excuse to break it off.

No matter how kind and tactful you try to be, rejecting someone for something they can't change tends to be hurtful. I don't see any good outcome in it.

87

Apologies in advance for the wall of text. I'm going to forego my first inclination to respond to BDF's call out of my comments to last week's column and try a different tack in response to NADS.

What is a fetish? There have been innumerable discussions on this board regarding how innate and how essential the expressions of one's fetishes are to a satisfying sex life. How many times have we debated how and when people with fetishes should disclose those dealbreakers to their potential partners?

The consensus on this board seems to be that if something is fundamental to your sexuality, you need to disclose (preferably early) because you will need to negotiate with your potential partner how and where you will get those elemental sexual needs met. The term GGG means that in an ideal relationship, your partner will either help you fulfill your needs, or will gladly give you permission to have it met elsewhere.

Few of the regulars here have (in my memory at least) made the argument that the person with the fetish should forfeit their sexual satisfaction indefinitely, since doing so will almost certainly be a relationship killer in the long run.

I'm not implying that bisexuality is a fetish. It is a sexual orientation as intrinsic and valid as homo- or hetero- sexuality.

Not to belabor the point, but given that GGG seems to be the holy grail here, by definition anyone in a relationship with a bisexual would never be considered GGG unless they accepted ENM as the price of admission. I would argue that bisexuality is more intrinsic to a person's sexuality than a predilection for shoes, or bondage, yet it's common on this board (and in Dan's advice) that people who can't get those fetishes satisfied in their primary relationship should find their satisfaction elsewhere (openly or not) in order to salvage the primary relationship.

It isn't that bisexuals are worse at monogamy. It's that anyone (especially anyone who reads SL regularly) will feel that they are suppressing a fundamental element of their bisexual partner's sexual satisfaction if they expect or demand monogamy.

That may be a hard concept for BDF to appreciate, given that she is both bisexual and polyamorous and therefore is allowed to freely express all aspects of her sexuality with restriction or recrimination.

88

@philophile @bidanfan
So far, the men I have been with were usually up for another ejaculation or two.

At least, they stayed hard or got hard again quickly. All were willing to keep going in other ways if their cock didn't rise to the occasion.

Once in a blue moon they were too tired to keep going. I took matters into my own hands, or stopped to rest as well, depending on my mood.

Small sample, one 60ish, one mid-40's, five 30-somethings, two 20-somethings.

If a man routinely stops after he comes, he should do his best to make sure his partner is satisfied first. Otherwise, he doesn't deserve to be with anyone.

Some men can get hard again/stay hard, but get frustrated if they can't come. In that case, they can use other methods to please their partner. Or, try to make sure their partner is satisfied. Or, jerk off if they need specific stimulation the second time.

89

JibeHo @87, that is a hard concept for me to appreciate because it's not true. Some bisexuals are monogamous (such as the friend I referred to above). Some monosexuals are not. Arguing that it is unfair to partner with a bisexual because you are depriving them of the gender you're not is like arguing that it's unfair for a blonde to partner with anyone who may also like brunettes, or that it's unfair for a curvaceous woman to partner with someone who might also like thin women. Monogamy means forsaking all others, and either you want to forsake others or you don't. If you don't, you shouldn't; if you do, you shouldn't be subjected to people telling you that actually you don't because you're bisexual, so, for your own good, they're going to leave you single. How patronising.

90

@bidanfan #21
"Though if she finds the idea of sex with men disgusting, why is she doing it?"

A lot of women don't find the idea of sex with men disgusting, but are disgusted by men who do the same. Likewise for men who use cocksucker as an insult, but want bj's from women.

91

Since my personal life has been brought into this, I have been in two long-term monogamous relationships. The first, my marriage, I was not happy with being deprived of the other gender because I had not yet had the opportunity to explore my attraction to women, to confirm what my true sexual orientation was (straight versus bi). By the time of the second LTR, I had in fact confirmed this, and was fine with monogamy as his price of admission -- or at least, no less fine than anyone else who experiences occasional attraction to people who are not their partner. I did not spend that relationship consumed with desire for the gender my partner was not. After we split a decade ago, I was enjoying casual dating and ended up as a secondary partner to two poly men, and discovered that being solo poly was a better and more enjoyable option in my 40s than looking for another "The One." I can't see having a monogamous relationship now, because that would mean breaking up with two people I love and that's not going to happen. But JibeHo's presumption, even when applied to me in particular, is inaccurate. Glad to be able to clarify.

92

@NADS you haven't given us enough information about why you won't date bisexual men to determine whether you are biphobic.

Even if you are, as long as you aren't mean about it, I think it's ok. We don't always have control over our attraction. Repulsion or disgust aren't good to feel toward any group of people, unless they are behaving horribly (ie racists, child molesters, rapists, etc).

Sometimes we can't control that reaction, or need to work hard to change it. I'm disgusted by watching people eat sashimi, snails, and oysters. If I have dinner with someone who eats those things, I turn away briefly when they take a bite.

If a vegetarian is disgusted by people eating meat, they shouldn't date omnivores. If you are disgusted by bisexual men, you shouldn't date them.

I don't think it means you are automatically biphobic in interacting with bisexual men in other situations. For example, neighbors, coworkers, friends, etc.

I don't think it makes you a bad person, even if you are biphobic, any more than not being attracted to/not wanting to date polyamorous men, or short men, or fat men.

93

I have primarily encountered biphobia from gay men and lesbian women, rather than potential romantic prospects.

"You aren't bisexual unless you:
Eat another woman out
Have had a girlfriend
Have a girlfriend and a boyfriend simultaneously..."

"Since you are bisexual you are:
Greedy
Indecisive
Don't know what you want
Promiscuous
A cheater..."

Nobody argues with me that I can't be heteroflexible!

94

@jibeho
I'm bisexual and a switch. I have been very happy in monogamous relationships with dominant and submissive men. I enjoy being able to express other aspects of myself. I have felt it was worth the "price of admission" to be with him.

95

@bidanfan on further consideration, @jibeho seems to be saying that some people feel it's unfair to their partner to request that they limit themselves. They may worry that their partner will try to change the parameters later.

Sometimes it's worth it to agree not to be involved with anyone else, even when we are bisexual, kinky, polyamorous, etc.

It can be a tough decision, and some people may struggle to maintain it over the years.

96

Anarchist, NADS certainly seems to be perceived as unattractive by a few here although we have no idea what she looks like. But would she really want to date someone who judges her feelings badly, or does she need the approval of every random stranger,.. Why choose to publicly judge her feelings badly? Sure you find her unattractive but why do you want to tell other people when you don't find them attractive? On one hand I feel insensitive to queer women that I identify as straight when the topic comes up in front of them. On the other, how could that guilt help me grow, how the heck can I change how I feel, my favorite ideas, the challenges I want, what I focus on as sexual intimacy and what gets me excited, the things that fit and feel personally right? All I can do is try not to offend any woman or man I don't want to date, and realize it says more about them than about me if they take my feelings personally. (Unless someone behaved unethically, I think it's important not to dismiss any ethical complaint or rejection without discussion or consideration, since I am a big fan.) I understand that you wouldn't date NADS, but why announce your dislike proudly?

Regarding aversions, stronger fears, hopelessness, trauma, betrayal resentments, guilt, rage, confusion, frustration and disappointment, or other general mental pain, it's great to try to heal and feel more secure, but people can prioritize their healing and new growth or hedonism however they want.. Bottom line, I can't control how I feel, I can just try to treat everyone with respect and date and mate how it feels right. I can't see who is being harmed by this idea, so your anger that people don't date how you want and exclude classes of people seems misplaced. Do you date all genders and orientations and religions and political parties and sexual styles? Or are the classes that you don't date ok, but you'll hypocritically announce that feeling unattracted to bisexuals is incorrect?

97

BDF, "So if a monosexual starts rejecting all bisexuals, then they are a bigot?
It depends on their reason, but possibly."
So if a monosexuals starts rejecting all bisexuals then they are a bigot unless they can give a good enough reason? I think that if they are relying on unrealistic stereotypes, then they are unrealistic, and only bigoted if they spread those stereotypes. I think it's always bullying to call someone a bigot, or label them negatively, because of their feelings rather than actions. Even pedophiles, I think they are innocent until they do something unethical, no prosecution for thought crimes or inconvenient feelings.

"Monosexuals of the board, would you say you have an aversion to the gender you don't desire, or simply a lack of interest?"
I think that anyone answering this question by admitting an aversion is just going to hurt the gender they feel averse to dating. I like how Margarita hypothesized that it seemed like sometimes it's an aversion, and sometimes people want to be attracted to every gender but just can't. I don't see why it matters because I don't try to shame people for their feelings. I will criticize their words and actions and debate about harm and ethics.

"You seem to be conflating two questions, "Is something bigotry?" and "Does something cause harm?" The answer to the second question does not need to be yes for the first question to be true."
I think it does, if no one is harmed than there is no ethical problem. I think bigotry is causing harm based on a person's class, in the dictionary it's identified by acts of hatred or intolerance toward a class. I don't think that refusing to date ANYONE is hateful or intolerant, I think pressuring people to date, or change their attractions or other preferences, can cause great harm.

"I think this attitude does cause harm, though, because it encourages bi-leaning or heteroflexible men to remain closeted"
Sure, he may stay closeted if he wants to quickly get into one's pants with deceit if it's a hookup, or maybe hide who he is forever if it's an ltr, but he also still has the choice to date honestly. Lots of straight women would appreciate the group sex opportunities, and lots of bisexuals appreciate dating a more similar person, even if the majority shies away from bisexuality.

It seems like you're saying that anything common or popular causes harm, because people are pressured to fit in. We often have the choice to pretend to fit in or be ourselves. I don't think the answer is for people to change when there is a clear majority, and thus popular pressure. Rather I think it's important to be true to ourselves even if that means losing social approval, when it's not hurting anyone.

If she's not causing harm, then it just seems mean to attach negative labels to her. I wish bisexuals wouldn't take it personally if someone's not into bisexuals. I don't take it personally when someone doesn't want to date me because I'm straight, or a woman, or agnostic. I just hate it when they try to justify their feelings or spread stereotypes about straights or women or "heathens". Why can't you act like me?

I looked up bigotry and prejudice in the dictionary and was sort of surprised. Bigotry seems to happen when you think your negative judgement of a class is objectively correct rather than a personal aversion, and the main definition of prejudice is causing harm to a class by disrespecting their rights. But there's another definition based on feelings, it's prejudiced to dislike a class "without good reason". Who decides which reason is good enough, though? It seems fair to call anyone who feels a dislike for a class "prejudiced", you can just say their reasons aren't good enough. Bisexuals can always call monosexuals prejudiced and be linguistically correct, they just have to assert that a monosexual's reasons aren't good enough for them. Yuck.

98

After weeks of discussion of the attraction to bisexuals thing I had gotten bored. And I just couldn't get motivated enough from the start. But...

fubar@73
"NADS clearly meant that she doesn't want to be with bi men."

True; I think we all know that:
"Attraction doesn't necessarily mean an initial reaction."

We're just saying that while...

"People are ALLOWED to want to be with whomever"

...NADS's own question does deserve introspection and does call for an explanation.

It is possible that NADS somehow fetishizes straight men in a way that no bi men can trigger her attraction, despite having no bigotry towards bi men. This is unlikely.

It is possible that she is fetishizing /other/ people's bigotry, and just role playing power dynamics. (As is also possible for those people who want to have sex with black people and call them the N word etc during.)

But neither is anywhere near as likely as that she simply has effing bigotry inside her. Culture is infested with anti-gay bigotry, and most people are infected even if they have no symptoms the public can see.

Since she is interrogating herself, I want to encourage her to do so, instead of reassuring her that she's just plain allowed to not be attracted to them. She'll most likely find that bigotry is the cause. She might not be able to change it's affect on her sexuality, but she can otherwise address it and benefit herself and in turn her society.

/Break/

//Withnail//
I watched the first half of 'Withnail & I' last night.

Since it is very difficult to get ahold of, I'll get into it now before waiting to finish it. (As a film buff I have quite a collection of films. And as a techie, it is easy for me to acquire almost any content imaginable.)

It is a film for adults.

I envy FOW's son in having a parent who is hip enough to appreciate the film. (I'm thinking that FOW is the father simply because I think the film might be better identified with by men.) However, I'm very concerned about ANYONE who is not an adult seeing that film, unless they are extraordinarily mature and wise. For example, the title character is a raging alcoholic who by ten minutes in has chugged a can of lighter fluid and desperate for more cans.

I think it would be an uncommon parent and child who would be happy to see that film /together/ even as adults.

Uptight people might be very uncomfortable; the aesthetic of the film is squalid.

As for the son being gay, that's another story altogether; please put that on hold, I'll get to that.

What the film is greatest at, is being hilarious.

A decade-ish ago I re-watched the dozen films I thought funniest. None of them really impressed me again. Blazing Saddles has aged very poorly, for example. And even my previous pick for funniest comedy, Monty Python & The Holy Grail, wasn't the same for me (maybe it was the stoggy friends I saw it with for their first time, or that I'd seen it too many times).

I laughed out loud more last night than at any film I've seen in decades.

I watched carefully for what could trigger issues around sexuality.

Made in 1987, set in 1969. The comedy plays with prurience. Very early there's a brief glance at some tabloid headlines; one about a trans person.

I was surprised to find I don't think the creepy Uncle Morty is the thing most likely to give offense. While overweight and stilted, he is not a caricature of flamboyant effeminateness. He is kind and thoughtful, and far more sane than other characters. Most problematic is his apparent thing for young adult men. We see this in a pass to the "I" in the title, but it was not a criminal one (and he had been given silly cause to think it might be welcome).

The anxious "I" character is literally afraid of gay people. That is more troubling. But the film in showing it doesn't endorse it; his anxiety is comically pathetic. And for it the film punishes him with the most traumatic moment (so far): because (long story short) he has doused his shoes with perfume, so a very aggressive anti-gay bigot lout decides he ought to be assaulted (the title characters run away to avoid this). Not something to show FOW's son if he is not only extraordinarily mature and wise, but also very comfortable and anxiety-free. The lout is the villain in a comedy; he doesn't make the film homophobic.

Being a great comedy, the title character Withnail is very funny. Both he and 'I' are actors. Withnail seems to identify highly with his job. In the service of making the film extremely funny, his manner is quite dramatic, even flamboyant.

Now, perhaps because effeminate flamboyance is the stereotype of gay men, some might be triggered at flamboyance alone. (Er, so maybe they aren't the target audience of comedies.)(My best and smartest gay friend tells me that effeminate flamboyance mostly occurs simply because people think that's the way they're supposed to act. In other words it's learned.)

But nonetheless in art effeminate flamboyance means gayness. But does mere absurd flamboyance alone? Certainly not in a comedy.

But it might look that way to someone if they look at the world through a prism that adds that; if their gayness is so essential to every aspect of their being that everything must be seen through it and colored by it. But that is projection telling us about the viewer, not the film.

(They would also probably find the offering of a lone hot dog from one to the other a symbolic act. And that would be a supportable analysis of the film; though NOT the best one.)

I wouldn't suggest Mr. Venn see it. It seems to me that he is understandably a very sensitive person. And one of refined sensibilities; the film's squalid aesthetic alone would I bet be too much for him.

I'm eager for time to see the 2nd half of the film.

99

Opalescent, I need to head off shortly but I want to thank you for each of your comments. Certainly, when rejecting messages on an app one need not, and in fact shouldn't, give one's reasons -- it's unnecessary and could be hurtful.

Phi @97, "So if a monosexual starts rejecting all bisexuals then they are a bigot unless they can give a good enough reason?" In a word, yes. Wouldn't you agree? Isn't holding a negative view of a class of people, without reason, the definition of bigotry? I wouldn't think that a monosexual would suddenly -start- rejecting bisexuals without any reason, but that a monosexual who had always viewed bisexuals as undateable must be basing that on stereotypes, and that indeed is bigotry.

More later -- lockdown is easing and BDF is out two nights in a row!

100

Hunsky?