A Note on Bisexuality

The bliss of bisexuality transforms all of humankind into a buffet of sexual delicacies. Gender is simply irrelevant.

But do bisexuals truly exist? Most certainly they do, but those who put the B in LGBT are far less common than people believe. Remember, this is primarily a blog for Pakistanis, who are generally not well-informed about homosexuality. If you’re a reader from a nation where adequate awareness is being raised about the queers, you might find this post a bit blah. Nevertheless, I’ll try to be entertainingly offensive enough to hold your attention.

If there’s anything we’ve learned from Alfred Kinsey, it’s that the population is not divided strictly into gays and straights. Each of us is attracted to either a man or a woman to a variable degree.  On Kinsey’s scale of 0 to 6, where 0 is an exclusive heterosexual and 6 an exclusive homosexual, a person can lie anywhere in between. At 3 or 4, you’re bi. So yeah, they’re absolutely real.

But only half of the people claiming to be bisexual are actually so…

A boy growing up realizes that the sight, scent and behavior of another man makes his penis act funny. It’s a reaction, he discovers, that most of the other boys have for girls. He is told that boys who are attracted to other boys are “fags”. No, no, no, no, I can’t be a fag!

He cannot argue with his erection, and he knows he’s stimulated by men. But he attempts to convince himself that this is just one part of the story. He is also sexually attracted to women, which means he must be bi. It’s a tactic that allows him to avoid the label of “homosexual”, which carries greater stigma.

Now, how can he convince himself that he’s sexually attracted to girls? If there’s anything we’ve learned from science, you cannot force yourself to want to have sex with somebody. If you’re not aroused, you’re not aroused.

What he does is exploit the Kinsian law of fluidity  Except for those falling in groups 0 and 6 of aforementioned scale, every individual is attracted to every other individual to a variable extent. A Kinsey-5 lesbian is at least mildly aroused by men, even though this feeling isn’t nearly as strong as what she may have towards other women. She may use this fact to trick herself, and others, that she is bisexual.

This, of course, is a blatant lie because in just about any situation, she’d pick a sexual partner of the same gender. While she may be bisexual theoretically, she’s gay for all intents and purposes, regardless of whatever label she may choose for herself.

In a corrosive, homophobic environment, most bisexuals are just partially-closeted gays. As societies evolve to become more tolerant of homosexuals, we’re likely to see a dramatic decline in the proportion of people calling themselves bisexual.

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    • Aiwass
    • October 14th, 2012

    Why do you think we are so intolerant of homosexuality? I’ve lived all my life in Pakistan and what I’ve found – from observation, not personal experience – is that if you’re attracted to men, you can easily make space for that lifestyle in an otherwise normal family life. I’m not talking about transgenders, just normal men who are gay. Some level of secrecy is of course necessary, but it’s not something that carries a significant threat to oneself in case it gets out.

      • loneliberalpk
      • October 14th, 2012

      Awais,

      The only way a homosexual can live a normal life in Pakistan is if he goes around hiding his love like it’s a criminal offense.

      Even among the self-proclaimed moderates it’s fashionable to hate gays. There is very thin slice of the population that would not harass you for your sexual orientation, should it ever be revealed.

        • Aiwass
        • October 14th, 2012

        That’s Aiwass, not Awais. It’s not my real name though.

        I’ll confess. What I said was not based entirely on observation alone. I harbour a semi-secret attraction to young lads. Although in my defence, it’s nothing compared to my attraction to women. Some of my friends know about it. They’re no ‘liberals’, just ordinary guys. We all had a nice chuckle about it, they said they were surprised, and that was it.

        • loneliberalpk
        • October 14th, 2012

        You can harbor anything you want. As long as you don’t act out on these impulses, people won’t bother you.

        A theoretical homosexual is fine, even entertaining. It’s practically being homosexual that can get you killed, if not excommunicated in most parts of the country.

        You may not understand this part fully because you’re straight, even if you’re not a Kinsey-0 heterosexual.

    • Aiwass
    • October 14th, 2012

    The point I was trying to make is that I faced nothing that could even remotely be characterized as harassment from the people that came to know of my hidden impulses. I’m not afraid of more people finding out because I know their reactions will be anything but hostile.

    What you’re saying may be true about full blown homosexuals, though. What is your evidence?

      • loneliberalpk
      • October 14th, 2012

      I’ll give you that evidence if you answer me:

      a) Is homosexual intercourse legal, according to the constitution of Pakistan?

      b) How many permanent Pakistani residents do you know who are openly gay? By “openly gay”, I don’t mean having confessed to two of your most trusted friends.

      c) What percentage of Pakistanis, in your opinion (remember that two-thirds of the population is rural), would disagree with the statement: “Homosexuality is not a sin”. How many of those would agree with the statement, “Homosexuality is a punishable offense”.

  1. This is true for “full blown” homosexuals, as well as bisexuals.

    Remember, the society wouldn’t give you a hall pass for homosexual intercourse if you admit that you’re sexually drawn to women too.

    • Aiwass
    • October 14th, 2012

    (a) I have no idea. My guess is it’s illegal.

    (b) None that I know well. Some faint acquaintances, but I don’t know anything about their personal lives.

    (c) There’s a difference between what Pakistanis say and what they do. If you ask them, most Pakistanis will tell you skipping prayer is a sin. Yet almost none of them prays regularly.

    I’m not trying to convince you that Pakistanis embrace homosexuality wholeheartedly, because I know they do not. I personally have no problem with it as long as you keep it within your own four walls. What I’m trying to say to you is that maybe people are not as averse to it as you think they are. In my experience, homosexuality has been far, far below blasphemy on the social disapproval scale.

    • Khalid
    • October 23rd, 2012

    I was brought up in one of the smaller cities of Pakistan and have lived in the West for only a few years. In over 3 decades of my life I have been able to shed off most of the taboos of my rather conservative upbringing. I have lived secretly as a self proclaimed atheist for a few years, before reverting to being a non practicing Muslim (It helps to have friends high up if you’re a weak person).

    Accepting homosexuality as being normal was the biggest challenge for me. I think the best way to understand homosexuality is to understand how some people suffer to find their sexual / gender roles in this world. There are roles fit and appropriate for them too …. these are LGBTs.

    • Desi liberal
    • October 1st, 2013

    I love your blog. It’s amazing and you are awesome. I’m also another desi liberal girl from another country so I can relate a little. I’ve been wanting to read about similar voices as I am fascinated about Pakistan. Anyway keep strong and keep being you.

    • Desi liberal
    • October 1st, 2013

    You are not alone. We are with you even if we’re at a distance.

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