SL Letter of the Day: Phased Out

Comments

1
Part of the job of an educator seems to be to comfort the sexual misgivings of one's students. As a classicist, I would imagine I'd rather not know--none of my fucking business anyway.
2
Hah, reading the rest of @1's comments to try and figure out what the hell he was on about was a hoot.

Anyway, the letter-writer's story is pretty much my own. I feel totes guilty for not having more gay sex before I got into a monogamous longterm relationship. On the other hand, the cock I have now, I wouldn't give up for the world. And the guy's not bad either.
3
I have a friend who discovered her attraction to women in her sixties. MOSI could find herself swinging in that direction again later on in life.
4
She doesn't say if she has come out to her toosoontotellbutmaybethisisit BF. If she hasn't, then she has misrepresented herself to him with potentially disasterous consequences. But then who knows, he may be down with it. FMF threesomes anyone?
5
For some reason the headline had me hoping there was something in this about Star Trek.
6
Beam me up, Scotty.
7
Shouldn't that be edited to: "you can continue to identify as bisexual even if skewed ratios, imbalanced numbers, and white-hot fear caused you to miss out on ever being in an SAME-sex relationship"? Or am I missing something?
8
I've never liked identifying as bi because everyone projects their own narrow definitions onto it. Bi means a 50/50 split in preference. Bi means gay but in denial. Bi means straight but going through a phase. Bi means slutty about 3 ways. It's ridiculous! For me, bi is a kaleidoscope. Sometimes you pick it up and it looks predominantly blue, sometimes it looks more red, and occasionally it's straight up purple. Sexuality is fluid and you identify however seems closest for you, NOT to match someone else's arbitrary definition.
MOSI, no one is going to come along with a red pen and mark your answer wrong. This isn't a test.
9
@8 Eloquent.
10
@8: On the rare occasion it comes up in conversation for me, I always just say, "Eh, gender really isn't a tie-breaker for me." End of conversation. I wish I didn't have to avoid the "b" word, but like you, I've found that it carries so many definitions for so many people it's meaningless.
11
I like charlie (#8)'s take on it. It seems that this is more of an internal issue than anything else. MOSI, you are who you are, still, whether you're sleeping with men or women, and you don't need the label for others or for your own sense of identity.
In a sense, you are still that 17-year-old who called herself bi, no matter how many men or women (or how few) you've had sex or relationships witn. And in another sense, you aren't that 17-year-old self at all anymore, as none of us are exactly who we once were, labels aside. We grow, we change, yet some fundamental things might remain.
Or as Wordsworth said, "the Child is father of the Man."

Don't let others define you by whom you are attracted to or whom you sleep with, and don't define yourself by those details either. You are more than that. Or as a poet from the other side of the pond (Whitman) said, "Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes."
12
I'm a Kinsey 4 -- I'm a bisexual who prefers the same sex, but it's not a super strong preference. Even leaning more towards gay than straight, I've STILL had more relationships with men. It's not just the numbers, although there certainly are a hell of a lot more straight and bi men than gay and bi women. It's not just that there are a lot more locations where it's acceptable to flirt with a man than with a woman. There's also the fact that men have been socialized to make the first move, and women have been socialized to hold back.

When you get two women who've both been socialized to hold back, it can be hard to tell if she's actually interested or not; meanwhile, she can't tell, either. This is often referred to as "Lesbian Sheep Syndrome." Funny name, maybe, but it's not funny to experience when you're in it. If I show interest in a man, boom -- he's right there. If I show interest in a woman ... does she like me? I dunno. I don't want to be a pushy creep...

*sigh*
13
yeah, I could have written this letter too. I am very out about being bi, in all my stay at home mommy glory. it's been an eye opener for random people around me, if LGBT issues come up during a baby story time at the library (for example) I will speak up and mention that in fact, they are not talking about abstractions, here I am folks! I'm the "B" you all are talking about! I've had several people tell me that it was a big deal to meet someone who was out as any kind of sexual minority and it did help them think differently about it.
14
Loved Dan's response to this letter. Being bi-ish or straight-ish can be pretty difficult. I self identify as straight-ish as I've only had long term relationships with women and my same-sexcapades have been limited to rolling around naked with a few dudes. I get some shit from people for that, especially my brother who likes to chalk it up to me loving attention (which I won't deny, as that picture of my bum a few pages down would make that difficult).

The best response to that point of view I've seen was on a t-shirt at rally: "Not Confused. Not Greedy. Bisexual"
15
@12, I share your woes about gender socialization and dating. Hell, even on OKcupid, people keep messaging me to be friends first. And yet if I were to make my profile any more forward (it already says I'm here most of all to date) it would feel too... Too forward. Dammit.

MOSI, how about trying on queer for size? It keeps your community connection and allows for fluidity that gets around some of bi's issues. If it doesn't fit, please wear bi proudly. We need more people in your life situation to be out and visible. Who you're with =/= who you are.
16
Many good points so far and @8 is why i personally like to use "queer" rather than "bi." As for "LSS" agh! Mix it in w ppl assuming a platonic same sex friend is your new lover -- it's an excellent way to pretzle your brain. *sigh*
17
I nominate this most inane SLLOTD ever! One of those letters I know is real but I'd take a fake about a pervert with caca issues over this any day. Serioulsy, it's barely one up from couples fighting about the dishes.
18
@1 The owner of Rancho Bravo is a big naysayer about it.

It's all a bunch of hooey, and restaurant owners need to realize that a food truck experience is totally different from a restaurant experience. If anything, it will get people outside and walking around more, and when they see a food truck line that's crazy long, they will think, "Hm, maybe we should just check out that restaurant?" No one's gonna make plans to go to a restaurant and then decide, "Screw it, let's just eat at that food truck." Scenario A involves going from less comfort to more comfort. Scenario B is the opposite direction (more comfort to less comfort). People aren't going to choose that.
19
HOLY CRAP, Sorry guys. I don't know how that happened! Obviously meant for the food truck post.
20
Thank you, Dan -- from a definitely bisexual/queer woman who has those same misgivings about dating men.
21
You know, I'm honestly in the exact same boat as this woman, and I really appreciate your response, Dan, I think it's spot on.

For out bi women, it's easy (and exceedingly common) to end up in a LTR with a man. Straight men are 80% or more of the population (as much as ninety, depending on whose statistics you're reading) and the opposite goes for bi and lesbian women--there's just plain fewer of them out there. With the dating pools skewed like that, the venn diagram overlap of "people you want to date" and "people who identify as female" is just plain going to be smaller inevitably. That's just plain statistics. It doesn't make us less bisexual, it doesn't lessen our attraction or openness to women, and it doesn't mean anything about who we are or what we're "allowed" to identify as. It does, however, contribute to bisexual invisibility, and by being out and sticking to that identity, MOSI, you are helping fight the good fight.
22
@12: "Lesbian Sheep Syndrome"

Ha! I can relate to that scenario, and I'm a dude.

@8: Seems like it's time for the Savage Lovers to coin a new and improved term for "bi".
23
This post is just a Random Rambling offered up for entertainment, but please don't everyone shoot it down lest it turn out to be one of my Cassandra Moments:

I am unconvinced that more bisexual people in opposite-sex relationships being out as openly bisexual would reduce anti-nonstraight bigotry. It might seem that way at first on the surface, but there would be a backlash when some unprincipled right-winger with a brain did a little math and suddenly realized that, as (s)he might frame it, The Straights Are Winning the Tug-of-War. Instead of applying a variant of the One Drop Rule in which the vast majority of the Kinsey Clearly-Over-Zeroes were dismissed as Irretrievably L/G, they would instead adopt the Schlessinger Strategy, a variation on a theme once advanced by the doctor herself, in which she was quite prepared to grant and accept bisexuality, her simple take being that anyone with a brain and retrievable morals capable of an opposite-sex monogamous marriage would surely be sensible enough to choose a life that would find eternal favour with one's deity than a life that wouldn't. Marry a Bisexual campaigns would be rampant, coinciding with the Phyllida Principle, on the theory that, get as many bisexual people as possible into safe marriages (in much the way that Phyllida Trant, eventually to become Phyllida Erskine Brown, was granted a seat in Chambers at Number 3 Equity Court) and load them with children, and they would be as happy to slam the door in the face of all the other nonstraights Left Behind as Miss Trant was eager to keep other Lady Barristers out of Chambers, where they might lay assault to her list of male admirers. The end result would very likely be increased success for anti-nonstraight initiatives, as there are enough Zero Sum Believers who could be conned into thinking that oppressing alternative families or even redefining them out of legal existence would help their children. We have all, have we not, seen examples of how nonstraight people, however idealogically pure, once given access to Usually Straight Weapons of Mass Oppression (or Individual; I just liked the way the phrase sounded with Mass better), are only too quick to use them?
24
MOSI, you are bisexual. You can present yourself to the public in any way that works for you, but if you are attracted to both men and women, you are bi. Even if you never touch a woman for the rest of your life, if you are attracted to them, you are bi, at least to some degree. This is not a phase.

The real questions are: how do you act on your feelings, and how do you want to present yourself publicly?

Even if Mr. TSTTBMTII really is the one for you, that doesn't mean you'll never be attracted to another person. A relationship does not make you blind. If you are occasionally attracted to women now, you will still find yourself periodically attracted to woman even if you are deeply in lurv with Mr. TSTTBMTII. You can acknowledge that attraction, even if you never act on it. Or not, if you choose not to.

I can't speak for how you would feel, but I can't imagine going back in the closet. If you are comfortable presenting yourself as bi, then you can continue to do so, even if you end up marrying Mr. TSTTBMTII. I've known several bi friends who have ended up in straight marriages, who continue to identify as bi. I see no problem with that.
25
Ooh, apologies - I was sure the long paragraph had been divided up. And in case anyone wonders, I have had about periodical Cassandra Moments - nothing quite so dramatic as Trojan Horses, but times when something I've said off the top of my head didn't make any sense to anyone only for events to prove it an accurate forecast of what was to come. If it weren't for my not wanting to know the future, I could probably have trained up to be quite decent at some sort of psychic pursuit.
26
This SLLOTD looks familiar. Have there ever been any others on the subject of hand-wringingly bi women?
27
I could have written this letter as well. I am probably more attracted physically to women in general than I ever have been to men, all of my sex dreams are about women, and I have a very specific physical type I like in women. But for all that, I tend to befriend men more easily, and so I find myself in a LT relationship with another bisexual who happens to be male. I find myself mourning the lack of a serious relationship with a woman (there were dates and some making out a few years ago when I was "single" but nothing long term). And it's a little upsetting. I just like my current partner a lot, he's been my best friend for almost the last decade. I really like the sex we have and yet, somewhere in the back of my mind, I still want to lick some clit. Someday. Maybe it'll happen, maybe not, but I'm not looking for it actively right now. But I'm still very much bi.
28
@ 18 and 19 And yet strangely apropos. Even without the envitable taco jokes.
29
@28 Sorry that should have been "inevitable".
30
@17: At least it's not another "I'm in a completely perfect relationship except that we never have sex. What should I do?"
31
Among my friends at work the expression is "on the continuum" to refer to anyone who is between far-straight and far-gay. As in, "I dated this wonderful man last weekend; he says he's on the continuum" or "My best friend just mentioned that she's on the continuum." It may sound a little odd to use that particular word, but the point is that "bi" doesn't have to mean 50/50. It can just as easily include 80/20 (whether in desire OR experience). It's up to the individual to determine his or her ratio.
32
LOL @28, I thought so too.
33
Thank you @31!

For me, bi- means if you like someone enough to boink them, what they have under their clothes is fine. Besides, here in SF, I suspect we have more T in the LGBTQ than most places. I got frustrated after hearing the, "Before we go any further, there's something I need to tell you..." speech that I just say, "Look, I'm not fussy about parts. Just take off your clothes and surprise me.."
34
MOSI, your story is eerily similar to mine. Life-changing relationship with girl in high school; activism in college; an adult love/sex life mostly with men. My relationship resume probably makes me seem "straight but fluid" or "bi with a preference for men," but I know internally that those descriptions aren't true. So I continue to identify as an honest-to-god bisexual, and I continue to be out to significant others of both genders, friends, family, any coworkers who take the slightest interest in my personal life, chatty strangers in bars. I'm vocally out.

I think that's what you should do, too (although maybe not so vocal if it isn't your personality). You'll be contributing to a general atmosphere of awareness and acceptance for the bisexuals of the future, who will then be able to have a more gender-varied love life than we've had (the more visible bi women are, the more easily they can find each other; the more accepted bi women are, the more lesbians will be open to dating them). But most importantly, I think that if you relinquish your bi identiy and your out-ness, you won't feel quite whole. I know I wouldn't.
35
It is so refreshing to see all of these people, including MOSI, who have a similar experience and viewpoint on being bisexual as I do. Growing up in a conservative state and later attending a very conservative college, it was difficult to come out and to even find relationships with gay or bi women, thus I have had a lot of straight relationships.

However, it's all in what you feel comfortable with. I know I'm more sexually attracted to women, but the mental and emotional connection I have with men makes the sex just as good if not better. I'm sure that if I had had strong relationships with women, I would've felt more comfortable with creating that mental connection, but so it goes.

Besides, most of the girls I've been attracted to have ended up being bitches. So I guess I can chalk it up to poor taste in women and great taste in men!
36
It is so refreshing to see all of these people, including MOSI, who have a similar experience and viewpoint on being bisexual as I do. Growing up in a conservative state and later attending a very conservative college, it was difficult to come out and to even find relationships with gay or bi women, thus I have had a lot of straight relationships.

However, it's all in what you feel comfortable with. I know I'm more sexually attracted to women, but the mental and emotional connection I have with men makes the sex just as good if not better. I'm sure that if I had had strong relationships with women, I would've felt more comfortable with creating that mental connection, but so it goes.

Besides, most of the girls I've been attracted to have ended up being bitches. So I guess I can chalk it up to poor taste in women and great taste in men!
37
Maybe it's just the mood I'm in this morning, but I just don't understand what the LW's hand-wringing is all about. Honey, you're a woman. Lots of women are bi, and people (especially men) are generally nowhere near as skeeved out by that as they are by male bisexuality. Women's sexual identities are so fluid that I, for one, assume that any open-minded-seeming woman I meet either has some bi experience in her past or has 'bi' potential somewhere in her future.

In other words, you're normal.
38
I agree with Dan that being out and proud as bi is a good thing. There's nothing like knowing someone in a minority group that you have some opinion about to help ground that opinion in reality.

As for all the comments about labels I would just say that bi people get to define bi, not anyone else. I don't give a shit about what misconceptions others may have about my sexuality. Why would I let ignorant people define or influence me?
39
My first reaction to reading things like this as a lesbian is annoyance. I'm reasonably attractive in a "straight" way (long blond hair, fashionable, whatever), and also friendly. So many bi girls or bi-curious or whatever the hell meet me and seem to sigh with relief - oh! a pretty girl who's fun, we can make out and she can also be my BFF! And they assume that I automatically want to do this! Um, thank you but no, sweetie. Every bi girl I've dated has spent so much time crowing about being bi, and ALWAYS runs back to men after whatever we had is over because it's "easier." Then I feel foolish. After about 5-8 tries in this arena, no bi girls anymore. I am not the common denominator here, my lez friends have experienced this. I know that I am part of the problem though, on why bi girls have a hard time finding girl-on-girl action.
40
"I just LOVE hiking!! But it's such hard work...and you have to drive all out away from the city and everything...and there might be a grizzly bear!!! (scary!) I've only done it once, when I was in high school. Therefore, I proudly identify as a hiker!"
41
@kristijo and you continue the bi people are not real myth, don't you read the columns here? Bi-women exist, bi-men exist, and both can end up in a hetero or homo relationship, that is what bi means.

If every biwoman you are with drops you and picks a man next, I would not seek to find fault with THEM.
42
Women are way hotter than men. The ratio of women to men I'm sexually attracted to is probably 9:1.

But being in an emotional relationship with another woman? That has proven to be more work than I can provide. The simplicity of men complements my personality so much better.

(Yes, these are all very generalized. There are exceptions, etc.)

So I guess I'm a straight girl who enjoys having sex with women. Or a lazy bisexual. I don't really care what my label is.
43
P.S. I applaud anyone--man or woman--who is in a successful relationship with a woman. That shit aint easy.
44
I AM THIS WOMAN.

Not literally.

But my life pretty much matches this woman's and I understand how she feels. I still round up to bisexual with everyone. If I'm not comfortable mentioning that aspect of me (I recently moved to Texas, so I feel a bit more cautious than I did in Portland), I just don't bring it up, so I never actually "round down."
45
This is a really fucking boring letter of the day. Do I need to send you some good shit Dan?
46
"I don't really care what my label is."

That makes two of us. Another non problem "problem"--the kind that threatens to be really boring (as in this case), but is better suited to Dan's style of advice.
47
@43: Hilarious! Your comment reminds of the kinds of "guy problem" conversations straight women have always enjoyed with gay men.

It's a shame straight guys and bi/lesbian women don't seem to get together much and commiserate over girl problems.
48
@42&43 - Thank you! I agree on all counts. I'm exactly like you. Except for I'm a straight married male, so I'm nothing like you. Which makes total sense, of course. I'll go contradict myself in private now.
49
@39 - with these bi/bi-curious chicks, do you have hot sex? Or just fun make-out sessions? I call myself hetero-flexible (Kinsey 1-ish) because I'm happy to touch and kiss women if they're up for it; I've done and received a little oral, but I've never given or received an orgasm with a woman. How serious does the sex/relationship get before they run back to men because it's "easier"?
50
I was probably one of those bi girls @39, though I dated three women in a row after I came out. But you know what, if they'd left you to go to another woman, you'd not be commenting on it. As already said, straight men are far more plentiful so the odds are they will be with a guy next. So did they leave you to go off with a guy because it's easier, or did you just break up?!

I've had full on sexual relationships with these three women before I apparently "ran back to men" but actually I just met someone and fell in love. He happened to be a man. You can see it as running back to men but that ain't how I see it AT ALL.

You see the problem?

AND I have to cope with odd ignorant acquaintance of his who hears about my female ex saying that clearly he has "cured" me. Jeez. Many times have I wished I was just lesbian to avoid all this crap.
51
@42, 43: Men are jerks and women are crazy. Welcome to the world.
52
Wow, did I get drunk and write this letter? This has been my internal monologue for some time.
53
"There's no such thing as 'The One.' There are only '.64's that we round up 'The One.'"

Will you still need me
Will you still feed me
If I'm just .64?
54
@ 44, as a former Portlander who is now an Austinite, I think it is all the more important to be out in a [relatively] conservative area. Assuming you're in a major metro area [not in Amarillo or similarly crazy place], I have found people to be civil.
55
This letter and subsequent comment (@8 ftw!!!) make me think that I too should be more bold about myself, just to increase the visibility of those of us "in-between."

I"m a 35 year old woman who's had sex with only 1 woman but a teens-ish (?) number of men, so I have found it hard to claim the label bi-sexual, especially when I think critically about what turns me on and doesn't. The former is really about disposition--I'm sent aflame by folks who are curious, open, adventurous, kinky and I'm turned off by folks who are rigid about needing to have gender roles clearly defined. (Case in point: I sometimes debate to myself who I'd like to fuck more: Eddie Izzard or Rachel Maddow.)

I learned this lesson the hard way (and a lesson i definitely needed to learn) when I started hanging out with a group of lesbians in grad school who were very frustrated-some overtly threatened-by the fact that I look so feminine (long blonde hair, big boobs, make-up, etc.) but that my personality is stereotypically masculine in that I'm argumentative, analytical and pretty fierce. I found this particular group of women stiflingly boring to hang out with, not to mention that I grew really tired of the ever-present fear around questioning whether or not I was really "one of them." I understood that fear--that I was just doing a drive-by in gay town until landing a man--but I realized that these folks were of a very different philosophical bent than i was.

As I aged ,what I settled on was that the best term for me was probably "queer," because I'm drawn to other queer folks and I'm really turned on by folks who fall in the middle. I just don't ever bother telling people that, so people presume that i'm straight and mistake my sexual politics as a that of a straight ally.

This just reminds me that I need to be even more fierce about who I am in my interactions, whether I'm currently fucking a man, a woman, both or no one at all. I agree that the more of us are honest about who we are, the more tolerant the world becomes for all LGBTQ folks.
56
I consider myself more than just a bit curious about women, but have never taken up the numerous opportunities I've had to sleep with another woman. I've been hit on many times, gotten a couple of phone numbers and made out with 3 friends of mine- 2 of those times could have led to sex but I couldn't do it. I've never actually hit on a woman or initiated a make out session, but I sort of like it when they hit on me or make a move b/c it's an ego booster. It makes me feel like I must be really sexy for all these cute women to be trying to get in my panties. When attractive women hit on me it presents a dilemma: it's like- hmmm....I'm curious about that, but then since I've never been able to go through with it I don't want to string anyone along. However, I fantasize about it often and look at lesbian porn nonetheless. What I don't know is if I really am actually attracted to women or if I just like being chased. I've had a few girl-crushes, but those are always about liking another woman's style or like, wanting to emulate her- they're not really sexualized crushes. When I crush on a girl it's more like "I want to shop with you" rather than "I want to see you naked". It's only sexual for me when I am the object of desire. Maybe that's b/c it's taboo for me and if I were going to have sex with another woman, having her pursue and seduce me would take away my responsibility for letting it happen. So I think I am not 100% straight but the breakdown for me would be about 95/5. If it ever happens I could probably get into it, but if it never does I'm happy with only getting dick for the rest of my life. Watching lesbian porn every so often satisfies that urge without me actually acting on it.
57
I like the point Ms Universe makes. There's definitely a difference. Once upon a time, the gold standard used to be that the departing half of the couple would choose to depart by announcing his/her engagement to the stunned dumpee. I have known of this happening five times among my acquaintance, although only two of the engaged couples actually married, and both divorced within three years. Among the ill-behaved quintet are the only two people whom I have ever heard with my own ears claiming that mixed-sex boinking wasn't or shouldn't be counted as cheating.

At any rate, I do hope, Ms Universe, that your beau responded as you wanted to any disgusting comments about his having "cured" you.
58
Mr J - I am entirely in favour of bisexual people being the ones who get to define bisexuality, although I'm not entirely sure it can be done. It's very irritating not to have at hand whatever it was Mr Szymanski wrote eight or ten years ago trying to get a major bi group going in which he lamented that any room with six bisexuals in it would produce five different definitions of bisexuality, or something to that effect.

On an individual level, the problem on both sides could well be those who would deny autonymy. It would be one thing, say, for someone to think privately that (and I hope she enjoys being an example) Ms Erica is "really" bisexual, and quite another to challenge any way she presents short of embracing the B. (As far as that goes, I'm sure I could find people who would make claims on Mr Savage Himself.) This may not be as common as people trying mentally to erase the B from the Nonstraight Alphabet Soup, but I've definitely seen it in action. Personally I'd be delighted with more categories, as many as can be crammed into the telephone booth, given enough sufficiently widespread working definitions. I applaud Flexibles of all stripes.
59
This is MOSI, and you guys/gals are AMAZING!!! I didn't even know if Dan would use my letter (thankyouthankyouthankyou!!), and not only are his thoughts just awesome, but I'm totally overwhelmed by the empathy of all of the commentors. I had no idea how common this internal dialogue is! I was always comfortable continuing to identify as bi, but I was nervous that people might think I was just looking to fit this identity without actually living it, and other people (straight and gay) would find that pretty hypocritical. And I don't at all want to take away from the challenges that same-sex couples face by living their lives openly and mine would be more "hidden" if I was half of a hetero couple and benefited from all the assumptions/straight privilege that brings.

You are all amazing, and I'm only sorry that I waited so long to write! I've certainly been thinking about it for years!
60
@58 - I don't mind being used as an example :-) And I don't mind other people calling me bisexual if they like, but I don't use it for myself. At my ripe old age of 41 I think it incorrectly suggests that I know what to do with female genitalia besides my own. I have a little bit of experience with such, but not much.
61
Hi MOSI!
62
Hi MOSI,

If your sexual preferences lead you to a person with whom you're happy, of either sex, isn't that success? If it helps, think of yourself as lucky!

Peace.
63
I used to be one of those people that didn't really believe in bisexuals. But this letter and many of the comments have opened my eyes to the ignorance of my ways.

I would say to the bisexuals out there, who really cares what me or some other loser like me thinks of your sexuality. Good for you for embracing it.
64
I identify as sexually indiscriminate.
65
@58 Mr. V
Hello, Sir. I hope you are well today.

Yes, there is indeed a spectrum of sexuality identity, hence the example you cite. I like the Kinsey scale very much although it is intended to describe experience not desire. Personally, I feel free to extend it to desire and encourage others to do so. That moves us towards that phone booth as you put it.

A multidimensional classification scheme would be useful. I have suggested to social networking sites in the past that they institute more informative scales for a variety of factors: gay to straight, female to male, mono to poly, Dom to sub, etc. Most traits are viewed as a binary checkbox if at all.

@60 EricaP
You've never sounded bisexual in your comments. But the choice of how to describe yourself is entirely yours and not a matter of my standards. I don't see why others get so excited over labels. The label I choose for myself is based on communicating the true nature of what I am as I understand it. I wish to be seen and understood.
66
@65, like I said, I don't call myself bisexual, alhough I have fucked & gone down on women (and been fucked, and been gone down on by women). And I intend to in the future. If I do it enough to get good at it, and/or if I start fantasizing about women, I'll probably start calling myself bisexual. For now, hetero-flexible works for me.
67
Oh, LW, Lisa Diamond's "Sexual Fluidity" was written for you.
68
I'm glad you pointed out that part at the bottom about how bi people in straight relationships should be out to everyone because I missed the post it was originally from. I'm in a relationship with a guy, but all my friends and my sister know that I'm bi. I haven't, however, told the rest of my family--although I'm sure my mom knows and just hasn't confronted me--but I've been getting closer and closer to it, and it almost pops out of my mouth then I decide not to. The fact that there are 12 year olds coming out, and I'm a 24-year-old chicken shit that can't tell her parents makes me feel like a loser, and besides, I'm at a point in my life where I'm tired of hiding who I am -- to anyone. A few weeks ago, I added my aunt to my Facebook, where I have it that I'm interested in men and women, and post things related to LGBT stuff here and there. I haven't heard from her and she hasn't returned my emails. . . Maybe that was wrong of me to do? I didn't want to privatize or delete half my interests "just in case". . . I don't know. I feel like a middle school kid all over again. Does anyone have some advice?