SL Letter of the Day: Am I Bi or Not?

Comments

1
I can't tell if I'm bi or straight or gay bc I've only ever orgasmed masturbating thinking about my genderless fetish. I think im into everyone but cis dudes, but there's so much cultural and political influence there IDK if it's an inherit identity. Sex, people, etc. don't turn my vag on (although cute/awesome/attractive people make my stomach drop)only my fetish does. So IDK what I am either
2
Being bi (or gay or straight or whatever) sounds like being christian (or buddhist or muslim or whatever). Nobody but you really knows what you feel or what you believe. Your telling people is merely announcing something so they know a little bit more about you (sometimes only for a fleeting time).
3
CRAP, my first piece of advice is to forget your discussion with your parents, particularly if you're feeling like an idiot for mentioning your feelings. Next, I would recommend you reframe this issue from figuring out whether you're straight or bi, to exploring what arouses you and what gets you off sexually. Go to the big city and have fun, but don't put pressure on yourself to engage in any specific sex acts, unless you're really feeling it in the moment. The big city will always be there, so if you don't get to try everything on this trip, you can always go back again. Once you've begun to explore what same sex acts appeal to you, then you can think about how you would like to label yourself to family, friends, and sex partners.
4
Dan, I think you misread, "They don't seem to believe that I'm bisexual, despite my father being a trans woman" as CRAP thinking there was a causal relation between trans-women father and bi son.

He just meant it was ironic that they didn't believe him. Which, yeah, it is.
5
I was amazed to discover how many gay and trans people aged 60+ have a real problem with gender fluidity and even with bisexuality (not everybody, of course!). I understand that they had to adopt a "this is the real me" stance in fighting so hard against discrimination. But it resulted in a kind of essentialism that requires you to choose, and sometimes only from a very limited number of options.
LW, you are doing just fine! You just don't fit your parents' categories.
6
@4 the LW says:

"Some days I don't feel the urge to have sex with men at all, and I feel silly for coming out. I worry that this is something to do with my feelings about my dad."

That was probably why Dan clarified that the bi question had nothing to do with the dad.
7
I read the headline ("Am I Bi Or Not?") and the first sentence ("I'm a 26-year-old guy") and answered YES.

Next question please.
8
@1: Cool story bro.
9
I'm trying to figure out why a trans parent would doubt a child's coming out announcement. What does reacting badly in this instance consist of? I'm guessing not beating him up, kicking him out of the house, and sending him to conversion therapy.
10
I don't think the LW should feel he has to go through with anything, with any sex act he isn't enjoying, because he declared himself as bi. He has always fantasised about men ... but it came as a surprise when a nonjudgemental bi woman suggested he could be bi himself? Why did it come as a surprise? Did he know or believe, deep down, that the fantasies were not of things he would ever want to act out? Was it more that living somewhere rural he didn't believe he would have the opportunity to act them out?

Personally I can't imagine not enjoying sucking cock. It's the apple pie, or maybe the rum baba, of sex acts for me. But some people don't like apple pie (I'd have it without cloves--whatever that means). So let him give it a go and not always feel a need for his actions and identification to align perfectly.
11
I get the idea that CRAP created a scenario in his head where he'd come out to his parents, and his all-knowing, all-wise parents would react in a way that would make everything clear-- along with some rainbows and orchestral music in the background. He'd see the light, and everything would be alright after that.

Turns out his parents talked to him about a subject that he himself brought up. Turns out he still has some doubts, some thoughts, some feelings, some insecurities, that didn't go away with honest discussion. 26 is a little old to be surprised by that, but we've all been there.
12
I'm a bi man, 43 years old. Sometimes people you've been out to for years will forget, or just assume that you're not bi anymore due to the gender of your spouse. Sometimes people will tell you to your face that bisexuality, especially in men, isn't a thing. Sometimes respected, smart, well-read, gay, advice columnists, will continually cite a flawed study called "Gay, Straight, or Lying".

None of that matters. The only test you need for your identity is how you choose to self identify. Don't let your parents convince you you're not bi, and don;t let your girlfriends convince you you are.
13
@Fichu @9:
> I'm trying to figure out why a trans parent would doubt a child's coming out announcement.

Because the parent doesn't think the child is bi? They've known him for a long time, and formed some impression--they may well be wrong, of course! But given his own hesitations, they may not. I think it's okay for them to indicate doubt, so long as they don't do it with a pile of judgmental crap. And so long as they come around if it turns out they're wrong. I dunno, I don't think "not immediately agreeing" is the same as "being unsupportive."

To me this is the downside of labels, much as we all love them these days. Now the kid is all stressed about "what he is" instead of just being himself. I'd say, to the extent that you can, just be yourself, engage (safely) in those sex acts you want to engage in, and don't worry too much about "what" exactly they make you. They make you human.
14
13-ciods-- I believe you're right. That's the conclusion that came to me slowly in the hours after I posted.
15
Honestly you probably should have waited to have and enjoy a sexual experience with another man (well, assuming that was an option for you) before coming out. Sometimes fantasies are better enjoyed as fantasies.

As for your parents, well, it turns out that you don't get "woke" simply by having a status that is something other than straight-white-male - ask gay people in California!
16
Venom @8: Commenter @1 is clearly a sis, not a bro.
And now I am wondering what the fetish is.
I know at least one person who is asexual and a fetishist -- gunge, in his particular case. He has no desire for contact with other people's genitals, of any gender. So it is possible to be both.

Fichu @9: I'm trying to figure out why a trans person would oppose same-sex marriage or donate to Repulicans, but Caitlyn Jenner has done just both. Cis folks don't hold the monopoly on bigotry.

Harriet @10: I grew up before the internet, but I was reluctant to come out until I'd had a same-sex experience. What if, as you say, the fantasies were just fantasies and I didn't like the reality? Not being able to take the leap that CRAP took held me back. In a way, perhaps it's better to come out, have the experience, then (possibly) decide one was mistaken than to stay closeted just in case the experience is a let-down. I wish CRAP luck.
17
CRAP, if you invented your own acronym, in fact you CAN retract your "coming-out party" if yo want to, and there's no need to panic. As Dan says, you can always round down to straight if you find that your real-world same-sex experiences don't measure up to your fantasies. You can also round up to gay if it proves to be as good or better than any hetero experience you've ever had, even with the awesome bi girl. Or you can continue to own the "bi" label and gradually grow into whatever it means to you, or go with the more general "queer" and defer any too-nosy questions with "It's complicated."

If anyone gives you grief about changing your mind about being bi, you could always say, "Because you had your entire life sorted out at age 26 - right?"
18
@8 rite I'm like "oh these random commenters would love to weigh in"lol
19
@13. ciods. I would think that the young man's father fears she (as is now) has bequeathed a legacy of upsetting sexual or gender confusion to her son, feels guilty and is at pains to dispel this.

There are trans people for whom gender is a spectrum (these would be the trans / post-op people I know, who encouraged me to express my feminine side) but also some trans women for whom it remains, in practical terms, a binary. They were born in the wrong gender (or sex, they might think) and are now in the right sex. It’s possible the LW's father has quite a stark conception of gender and sexuality. He (then she) observed her son was straight (possibly with relief that s/he hadn't fucked up a 'normal' relationship to sexuality for her son) and is concerned, in her mind, to sever cultural manifestations of gayness or bisexuality, like effeminacy or not being masc, from what she supposes his underlying orientation. But the lesson for her must be that we are all confused in life, for multiple reasons. Confusion and self-doubt are not cause for unhappiness. She should try to find some way to row back on her earlier incredulity, just by saying something like 'I didn’t know you had thoughts about men'.
20
@16. BiDanFan. I tend to agree that you are what you feel, not just what you do, at least at an early stage. This is so long as what you feel includes doing things in the political sense, like going on Pride marches and standing up for other queers.
21
LW, if you've always had fantasies about men then in your fantasy world, you are bi. I'm kinda bi in my fantasy world too, though only bi towards the top half of women, which means I don't even have a category. Just labels, LW.
22
5 & 12 nailed it. In my experience, it's not unusual to take a longer time than your average monosexual to fully acknowledge one's bisexuality, even to be quite oblivious to it in some cases. Growing up I wasn't aware there was a 3rd option, so rounding up to straight was easier and frankly less scary from a teen's point of view. It's surprisingly easy to file it as "just fantasies" and I feel the need to get "confirmation" in action, but that can take a while to happen. The self-doubt mixed with casual bi erasure and bi phobia coming from the LGT+ community is the worst. Trust me, if you think you might be, you probably are. That first experience will bring reassurance but ultimately it's not some magic wand, you're already there, just as valid as any other bi, queer or questioning folk. For the sexy bit of trivia @lava I didn't know exactly which sex acts I wanted to do with women, until I did, I just knew I wanted to be close to them, I mean that's the definition of attraction. Pussy can be an acquired taste. @18 and why not?
23
" Sometimes respected, smart, well-read, gay, advice columnists, will continually cite a flawed study called "Gay, Straight, or Lying"."

{snicker}
24
J.W.Strange; @22, I don't need to be especially close to women, bar a few close friends. This young man could shake all this confusion out of his head and relax. Be open to experiences and don't judge himself or crave a definitive label.
25
@24 That's probably the difference here, between bi or straight, straight people are utterly uninterested, while bi people who aren't fully out and comfortable with the full spectrum of their attractions are curious and keep having these nagging "fantasies" that are hard to just set aside and "relax" about. They just keep coming back. But I agree anyone in this position should go ahead and face their curiosity through experience.