In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Non-binary Believing Believer – the Bisexual Myth

35 Comments

credit: izquotes.com

Mono-sexism attributes partiality and vacillation to the bisexual.
S/he slides between normative heterosexuality and prohibitive homosexuality, claiming neither but able to inhabit each as opportunity and good fortune affords depending upon the social climate or sexuality growth or transition phase, according to the mono-sexist. These are behaviors generalized, speculated and thrust upon the ones who refuse the binary, those who are iconic and ironic, iconic in merely loving people not genders and ironic in being suspect for loving no one or neither, without partaking of either (Bisexual Imaginary).

From Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.

Non-binary believing believer

There is a world where people are people.
I know it exists.
They don’t have to define themselves on
race
gender
sexual orientation
politics
class
ethnicity
age
dis-ability
religion
nationality
Human is a panoply of factum
each one a case for infant-eye examination.
If we had to assess beings as that infant does
with no data upon which to shortcut rely such as
stereotypes
prejudices
biases
customs
traditions
patterns
norms
we too would sleep all day for the sheer exhaustion
of seeing, hearing and learning anew each one.
If my sexual identity miffs or mystifies
If I don’t act my age
If I look like someone’s ancestors–or don’t
If I defy the conformity to a certain race
If I appear an androgyne without need to choose
Who gives a fuck and why?
I want to know.
Because of habit, fear, and laziness
Because of insecure identity
Because of personal investment
Because of past injury and reward
Because of pictures painted in malleable minds
Because of enculturation and saturation and maturation
and a million other wherefores and therefores and somehows
I must be like you?
I must choose my identity and make it fit?
Or else
Social-suffer.
Why?

35 thoughts on “Non-binary Believing Believer – the Bisexual Myth

  1. “Why?”

    Because it’s the majority. Right in their minds and wrong in yours (and mine), and the weight of numbing numbers overwhelms.

  2. This was informative with the concepts of the ironic or iconic. The last word is Why? First word came to my mind in an instant, we are animals, that’s why.
    It is kind of fun to think some people amongst us are animals, they look human, but they are animals, some are not, and you can’t tell the difference until they act like an animal or a human. The Be Like Me syndrome seems like Little House on the Prairie mentality, small town minds looking for exclusivity on the backs of others.
    Anyone that can truly move beyond the list in this piece is someone who strives to, it would seem to me. But I have to think, you can’t tell a dog by looking at it’s spots. So ultimately is this about acceptance on what level? Or is it about a Utopian concept that cannot separate itself from the animal, as we are talking sex, but has managed to move beyond.
    I can see the point of being totally open and not having references to be judgmental as a baby may. But how can someone know if someone is bisexual without experiencing them or through verbal interaction?
    Ultimately this is a culture question? How else, other than through a culture, and who knows what that really is, could a society or group be this pure, and if it did exist, what kind of personal dynamics might play out, knowing we are still animals. Would there still be wars? Would people outside of this hate it and take action? Exciting concept.

  3. Replying to you both, I refer you to a short but enlightening read at the Bisexual Resource Center for further elucidation and response to your comments:
    http://www.biresource.net/whatis.shtml

  4. I would also add that marginalization and erasure of a group or a community is the result of judgments derived from fear not logic or love, which is largely the matter with the world, why we all can’t just get along. Simplistic but in the greatest sense, true.

    • I agree with that assessment and believe most enlightened people would. However, it is an idealistic concept. The reality is that most people are reluctant or simply unwilling to think that way.

  5. Beautiful, simply brilliantly post that inspired me to write and share. The idea that we can be in love with the person regardless of gender is too mind bending for those who don’t understand. Most men think of the sexual aspect right away but it goes much deeper. I had a very close girlfriend in the 70s and we were so attuned as if we were soulmates and she was and always will be one). We were so close and would travel together and our silences were comfortable, there is something about driving cross country with one in a Karmen Ghia that really makes it or breaks it. But she was a very big love in my life. However, nothing sexual ever happened. I fell deeply in love with my first big love that lasted a decade. He was very jealous as I blossomed to womanhood, and any man who gazed at me was a threat. But of all of his fears, the ONE he never could get past and was obsessed with was the relationship I had with this woman. He actually met with her to find out her feelings and intentions with me. He just could not understand how a woman can be in love with another woman, just as I have been in love with several men. He made things very difficult for her to see me and it was something I will never allow again. He was a powerful man but threatened by this love. The fact that it was not the stereotypic gay/Lesbian relationship only made it worse. He couldn’t categorize it, nor could I. We can’t control love. It takes on so many forms. I would say all my very close relationships (the closest) I am in love with them. Sometimes I meet a woman I connect with immediately and we know and it becomes a deep trusted love, and it is such a different love than for a man. It need not be sexual as I have not experienced that but I believe to limit our love is limiting ourselves and one should be free to love and radiate that feeling. .I can love a few people very deeply (not talking family) but the gender has never been an issue. I have only had one big love a decade ago who understood that and accepted that, as he had men friends he was in love with but he was hetero although I was very attracted to his feminine side (but I just chalked it up to being British) but perhaps he was bi and could accept that type of love. I did suspect he might have been open to that but he loved women so much. It does get very confusing and I find men especially have a hard time understanding the love when it is not between man to woman. It is easier to understand the feelings of love in a hetero way. It takes a very evolved person to understand it.
    In the end, we die and why live a life dictated by other peoples’ judgements? As long as you are not hurting one or they take responsibility for their feelings, then love! How wonderful to be able to feel that emotion and put that out there. Nothing quite like the energy of love and how it emanates.

    • Typo should be FreeGirlinParis….like the song but I changed the gender, lol

    • “In the end we die, and why live a life dictated by other’s judgments.” I just wrote a long piece on this very sentiment, and so I could not agree more. Thank you for this comment truly in the spirit of what I wanted to express.
      I remember reading about the spectrum of human love in terms of mono gender: homo sexual, homo erotic, homo social, and homo emotional, among those I recall. It makes sense to me that with the variety of relationships we have and our capacity to love, we have different loves based on different needs, regardless of gender. When sex gets into the mix, somehow fear and judgment get triggered.
      Robyn Ochs, a writer, professor and activist, noted–and I am paraphrasing–that gender is in the mind while sex is between the legs. Probably pretty close since I read it recently. Sex is an act while gender is a self-designated identity. Given that gender corresponds to the pictures of ourselves, these arbitrary categories of description and action should not weigh so heavily, so all encompassing, in how and who we love.

  6. What happened to the girlfriend? I can’t help ask where these loves went and how they could come to finality. Sorry they did.
    The video was informative in the way it exposes there are binary people who must have things formatted to be acceptable.
    Personally, unless you’ve been called a nigger and treated like one, this guy has not really seen the worst of people’s opinions or comments. Geez, I should be so handsome and acceptable by sight, frankly he has nothing to complain about, but such a well made video does make a nice point. The editing is very good and he does not mess up one word, that’s talent.
    I think working in a corporate atmosphere with a team when I was out of college taught me to accept anyone at face value and my opinion, if I had one, was totally about what they brought to the table, how easy they might be to spend 8 hours a day with for years. Whether gay, bisexual, Chinese, Mexican, Martian or cross dresser, if they were a team player and where friendly, it was a relief to be with them as opposed to the run of the mill redneck, who at times could rise to the occasion, but rarely.

    • When forced to, people can find ways to accept one another at least for the time they have to, and even work up to figuring out how to make the best of forced socialization by finding common interests and ideas, sharing a few laughs or commiserating. Just think if those same efforts were applied daily outside of work.

  7. First to Gaze, I know! I really knew what you meant and it triggers thoughts about my loves. I was just thinking that very thing after I wrote it, that when sex comes into play; the dynamic changes. It is an intimacy of expression in my ideal relationship (big surprise there, lol). Somehow the deep bond and “knowing love” is more powerful than any sexual bond. That is the love you take to your grave. Sex between a man and woman complicates things because of the shared intimacy and our conditioning. It is very hard to share that, and yet it is the mental connection and the emotion from the heart that is deepest. If your love is sick with a disease and cannot have sex, it is the love between you that will carry you both through.

    Jim, I know it was such an unfinished thought and I thought of that after. Now here is the other side to that scenario: She loved me very deeply, people would say “she will miss me when I move away” and that her love was something no one could explain (with innuendo usually). People used to think we were gay as were roommates and inseparable. But she would get very jealous when I would get involved with another man. The flip side of this story ends up being the same. Then when I met my big love of ten years, he knew he had to deal with her. He did everything he could to destroy the relationship. I was meeting her in secret just to hang out and talk, can you imagine? This is painful to write because I stayed in that relationship (it met so many other needs). Then when we ended and broke up, guess where I moved? Into the home of my best friend, my wonderful love. I was only there a year until I moved 3,000 miles away; but she got jealous often when I dated and when I went away I came back to a big fight as she read my journal that I never thought to hide so secretively although it was hidden. So she exhibited the same jealousy that the first love had. We stayed in contact and then we didn’t for a long time and then when I reached out to her on her birthday 10 years ago, we called daily, and it was just like that right into our pattern. But then it got very difficult as perhaps it went against her nature to understand. It was a very intense relationship and I did try to call her this past year but it was disconnected. I think of her from your post but often, and I know she does of me. Although I may not have seen her in a long time due to a fight; if I ever found out she died, I would feel that the world was empty without her in it. She was a splendid person and I was very lucky to have been loved so hard by her.

    I must apologize for my raw writing, I am not as good as you all are in your eloquent style. But I do try to write from my heart and perhaps if it comes out raw, it was meant to.

  8. Afterthought to Jim and Gaze and MPM; I believe that I refused to accept she was gay in the end. I sort of knew but nothing happened and I was afraid if I admitted that to myself; I would lose her because I could not fulfill her needs which led to her jealousy. Here is my question: Can one be “gay” mentally and emotionally, but not physically? Does the definition of being gay mean that sex is involved? I do remember the Sex In The City episode where Charlotte wanted to hang out with all the Lesbians because they were so brilliant. But then one of them came up to her to ask her bluntly if she was gay. She said no but she really liked them. The Lesbian said to her “if you don’t eat pussy, then you aren’t gay.” This was of course done with a hilarious side to it. But is the definition, does it really all come down to sex?

  9. I like that term, homo emotional. Imagine telling that to a date, “well I am homo emotional.” I will check out your site and thank you. I would hate to think that sex was the determining factor, but it ended up not working for my girlfriend. Sex is like the punctuation of the love and closeness, and when that is unfulfilled it causes problems.

  10. Hetero, Mono, Homo, Metro … How many ways ARE there to boink these days?? I’ve loved some pets and had more meaningful relationships with them than most people I’ve encountered. (That most likely says more about me than it does about the people I’ve encountered but some PETA Pundits will agree with me.) I like what FGIP asked:

    “Can one be “gay” mentally and emotionally, but not physically? Does the definition of being gay mean that sex is involved?”

    I never thought of the issue that way before and it’s an extremely salient point. For example, how would a priest or nun or any other religious figurehead be sexually classified if we except the credo that they are to live a life of chastity and celibacy? They are human so it is natural to assume they have sexual thoughts that may lead to masturbation. So, what are they thinking about when they try to get off? Are they thinking of men or women or both? What are WE thinking about what they are thinking? I’ve met many a Catholic who simply (simpleton-ly) believe priests and nuns are NON-sexual and therefore unable to be labeled sexually so they can’t be hetero, mono, bi, gay, metro, homo, bestial, or be partial to plastic blow-up dolls from a sex shop in Times Square.

    Personally, I used to be a TRI-sexual. I’d try anything with anybody 3 times. But now I’m a full-on QUADRA-sexual. I’ll do anything with anyone for a quarter.

    • Survey says you can be gay mentally and emotionally but not physically. That is why there are more specific terms such as homosexual, emotional, etc. We are multi faceted and complex creatures. Labels tend toward the too reductive.

  11. Crying from laughing with MPM first sentence “How many ways are there to boink these days?” I remember I used to use that word and then it shifted to “bopped.” Sounded so much better. But can one be gay or bi without boinking? I read the site you suggested and enjoyed that. But we have all seen those hetero couples who have been with one another for many years (centuries in their eyes) and there isn’t anymore boinking going on there. Did anyone see the movie with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones called Hope Springs? They are middle aged married couple in separate bedrooms, just passing each other in their daily routine. They went to some couples retreat in her last ditch effort to save the marriage which he was resistant to. It was very hard to break the patterns but they went on a date, and yes, there was some boinking involved. It seems sex is the magic glue but it was what led up to the sex that changed everything, the emotional feelings stirred.

    • I didn’t see the movie, but there is a point there. If sex determines your identity or gender, then when you do reach that old couple place when sex doesn’t happen, do you change your gender or identity to asexual?

  12. Wow! that was a great story and reminded me of my gay girl friend, went back and forth with her for 30 years, honest. We lived together for 7 years in our 20’s, then life took it’s course but,…. she kept coming back, just for a quick one or just to see me, I loved her and always will, she was like my first wife or as close to one as I may have had.
    The last time we were involved was pretty final, she had become intolerable. It was just a few years ago, I started with her when she was 17. However, as you say, if I heard she died it would be much more than I care to imagine from my emotional trash bin. It would hurt a lot.
    I lived with a girl couple for the best part of a year. I mean as a thruple. It was who we matched with, funny, but when there are two women it works best if one dominates the other. Stacey was totally under the control of Kelly, they had come out from Detroit together and were inseparable, as you say. Jealousy never came into play, seems odd considering it even now. It was what we were in that moment, our spirits matched within that time, then things changed. Very organic kind of approach, but in the mix I was there were all kinds and it was easy to be anyone you wanted to be.

  13. Thruple, omg priceless Jim. And you were able to accept that she needed to be with women completely and accept her into your arms unconditionally when she returned. But still, there would be some sadness when she left? You must be a very evolved. The thruole reminds me of the 60s & 70s. I believe there are roles with the women (and with men). I know mostly Liostick types so it isn’t like one is butch. But the roles mimic a hetero relationship. Then you take the hetero relationship and some are reversed. The wife is the heavy, the dominance, and the man submissive. Completely unattractive to me but I suspect it all goes back to the man’s relationship with his mother. So here is the last question: that being said, would the fact that one would be homo emotional or homo mental be traced to an inherent need as a child, but no boinking involved?.

  14. Thanks FreeGirl,…. I don’t know about evolved, I loved her and knew she relied on me for emotional support, for that kind of love I think she never got from her parents. It would have been a sin to deny her or myself. Love is rare enough that to questions it’s packaging or appointment time is surely against all that would be granted you by heaven.

  15. As far as answering your question, I have not the scope and have never been able to label or apply borders to sexuality as it’s about the moment or chemistry. You never know where you may find yourself if you’re one to venture out. More importantly, the less people know of your sexuality the more power you have to control it. I always tried to subscribe to no kissing and telling.

  16. I think mystery is seductive. Jim, you said about the moment and chemistry, but the power to control it? Controlled Spontaneity, I like that in a man. Sometimes my boyfriends have a side to them that is like a girlfriend. Men who are so in touch with their feminine side (but not gay) are very appealing. But wow, do I love gay men as friends too. In regards to venturing out, made me think of when I lived alone and would go out till 4am. I remember when I locked my door thinking how exciting it was to just not know where I was going to end up, it was like an adventure.

  17. http://www.lovesedona.com/02.htm

    The above link goes into detail regarding the question of “What does it mean when one says a man is in touch with his feminine side?” I learned more about that from this article and it was interesting the traits from each gender. No wonder it gets confusing. Some men have more and some less.

    To Gaze, I was thinking about the question of being gay emotionally but not sexually. I lost my girlfriend because she was jealous and frustrated that she could not express her love to me physically in the end. I just think sometimes sex is the glue and the ultimate expression where both the emotional and mental closeness leads to. The thing that stops me from doing that with my close woman friends is that I am not gay by society definition, and I do not physically desire them although I admire the woman’s’ body aesthetically. So sex seems to play a role here, but I sure love my women friends and will fiercely protect them.

    I love how one post can inspire one to go deep within and recall things that were stuffed down. Thank you so much.

    • Thank you for all your insight and experience. Blogging is only interesting for the community of thought it produces. I have enjoyed reading the comments immensely.
      I think it is helpful to think of ourselves as fluid beings living in moments within specific contexts and to avoid labels. I wrote something today and posted it, which is includes a statement that I don’t have to be what makes someone else comfortable, someone else’s label. If I love a woman–I love her–not her gender, her sex, but the specific traits that make up her. Same for a man, of course. Only by bowing to society’s normative expectations do I question and label and, sadly, prohibit myself from loving. My point is not merely for tolerance but for acceptance of self as well as understanding self–as well as others.

  18. I read your new post which was gorgeously written, and you know the one thing that jumped out at me and probably more insightful in this thread; the quote you say to your daughters, “Love who can love you the way you need and want to be loved.” How lucky they are to have a mother who shares such wise and caring wisdom. I’m sure those words will resonate with them throughout their lives. I never had that, nor much maternal influence in my life for that matter. Those words are very inspiring of personal self worth. I am sure it is one of so many but to someone who never got that special nurturing maternal guidance, it just hit me, although it was a tiny one line in a long beautiful thought that had so much to offer. …..what typo? I have become so used to mine.

    • Thanks, freegirl (wish someone would call me that, nice moniker :)). I think it is difficult for them (15 and 18) to understand the depth and breadth of the statement, but it is a good thing to keep in mind anyhow, and not just for them. We all need reminding of that simple command–that is so difficult to follow. How to know who can love you the way you need to be loved, if you can even articulate what it is you need in the first place.
      I had an extra word in my response above “is” and “which”. Too quick to pull the trigger.

  19. Well I love my Joni Mitchell and I got the AOL rights on my screen name long ago before we had to put numbers after it. Having recently lost a beautiful loving Father, I find I remember all the things he said to me when even younger than your daughters. I am sure these types of thoughts will be in your daughters’ minds forever. Sometimes we sell ourselves short of that ideal in trade for other things in life and the worst thing is to lose sight of that need. I thought it meant more here in this thread because it may explain my homo emotional love of women. 🙂 or a man who has a string feminine side.
    My iPad makes me look like a moron, it changes all my words so we all have cultivated the new art form of figuring out what word they could have meant to say before auto correct got in there.

  20. Strong feminine side not string…see what I mean?

  21. So many great songs; Down to You, The Blonde in the Bleachers….she is brilliant and talented artist too.

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