Saturday, October 29, 2005

The BiSexual Man. Is He for Real or Just a Guy Hiding Behind a Mask?

Being Halloween weekend, I thought this subject might be appropriate.

The Kinsey Institue at Indiana University has recently revisited this subject. This is in light of a study published last year raising speculation that there may not be a true bisexual male. That study has led to a lively and open debate on whether the bisexual male really exists. The Kinsey Institute is sheding more light now on the subject.

For the study, a team of psychologists from Northwestern U. and the U. of Toronto examined 101 men, 30 heterosexual, 33 bisexual and 38 homosexual. These guys rated themselves on the seven-point Kinsey Sexual Attraction Scale, hetero score from zero to one, bisexuals from 2 to 4 and queer scoring 5 to 6.

Each man viewed a set of 2 minute, sexually charged films sandwiched between neutral, relaxing videos. The rotic films depicted either two men or two women having sex.

If the men became genitally aroused, mercury-in-rubber guages worn around the mid-shafts of their penises like rubber bands would measure increased penile circumference. The men also had levers to indicate when they felt subjectively aroused.

Gay men registered as expected, so did heteros. But those identified as bi, the results showed that these guys were bimodal, meaning aroused by men or women, but not both. About 75 percent of these so called bi guys tested showed arousal patterns identified to those of gay men.

Some guys such as Eric Demporio, feel that they are truly bisexual and have sought out support groups for bisexual men. He says that arousal isn't the only thing thing that defiens a person's sexuality.

Critics say that the entire bisexual population cannot be represented by 33 sampled men. While studies like this are flawed, they do lend support to the theory that bisexuality may not be just a phase, but something to hide behind.

An associate at Kinsey feels that the Kinsey scale is not being truly represented. He says that a guy can measure his sexuality on the scale based on either physical arousal or emotiona connections, which can be different. He also states that a person's physical arousal to a movie might not be indicative of a person's real life arousal responses. Again it all depends on the movie. If it involves S&M, some guys are turned on, others may be turned off. It's a matter of choice. He also said that it is possible that bisexual men didn't get aroused to the films involving two women becuase there weren't any men in the films to relate to.

One of the Northwestern U's authors, Gerulf Rieger, says that for some of the men in the study, bisexuality might have been a trasnsition phase. A similiar study in 1994 concluded that 40 percent of gay men surveyed said they defined themselves as bi before finally admiting that they were gay.

Rieger says the conclusions of the study was not intended to be proof of the nonexistence of bisexuality.

Everyone who studies bisexuality agrees that more research should be done. By simply talking to guys about thier sexualities is the one guaranteed way to understand different sexual identities. While that may be true, there is always the tendency to lie. Maybe when we as gay men are truly accepted as equals in our society that the truth can finally be revealed.

I continue to believe that bisexuality is a cop out. I never had the notion that I could be a bisexual. I have always been a gay man and one who has learned to be proud of who he is.

I do agree that for some men, even if they both claim to have the same sexual orientation, that doesn't necessarily mean that they feel the same. There are degrees. Some gay men are more effeminate, while others are super charged raw, rugged men who just crave for m4m sex. The measurement of how we feel is all over the rainbow spectrum.

So whatever you dress up as for Halloween, drag, vampy, in uniform, leather, whatever, enjoy it and just be yourself. In my book, you are all woofy men. Big hairy muscle hugs, and this is no Trick or Treat.


Tim said...

Anyone worth his salt as a sexuality researcher has to know that there are as many as 37 components to "sexuality." Physical arousal is only one measure.

Additionally, researchers understand that "bisexuality" is an iffy definition that runs the gamut from 5.999999999 to 0.000000000001 on the Kinsey scale. (Assuming the Kinsey scale is an accurate way of measuring sexuality, and almost everyone now agrees it is not.)

I'm 100 percent gay. But in high school, in homophobic Montana, I slept with a few girls to "pass." Does it make me bisexual? No.

I get hard watching straight porn films (especially those with men with big cocks.) Does it make me straight or bi? No.

I agree that there's value in studies that focus on one aspect of sexuality -- like physical arousal. They can raise some very interesting questions about the definition and nature of sexuality. (Remember the one from the early '90s where the more homophobic, the more you got turned on watching gay sex?)

I just wish the media would stop portraying them as the be all-end all of sex research.

Teddy Pig said...

The thing is that study showed women to be most likely bi-sexual by the terms of the experiment. I think the study did not reflect one thing we all know. Guys seperate emotions from just having sex naturally. So in my opinion it does not surprise me 75% of the guys liked the gay porn at all they professed to be bi-sexual. It also seems rather reasonable to look at those male bi-sexuals in the study as going through a phase of coming to terms with their real desires. What I think the study did not touch on is the simple fact allot of guys do things sexually in the military or jail just to get off but on their terms they are straight and you got to figure that well known fact in.

In other words study flawed by wrong participants. That's my take.

Will said...

I'm uncomfortable with anyone telling someone else what his or her sexuality really is, just as I'm uncomfortable when someone says to me "I know what you're thinking--you think . . ."

Assuming one accepts the Kinsey scale, there are seven numbers. If there were no bisexuality, there would only be two numbers, 1 for straight and 2 for gay. And as for someone "hiding" behind bisexuality to avoid admitting to being gay, why? Those who identify as bisexuals are currently reviled by both straights and gays and get much less respect than either.

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned, no one is bisexual. In fact, I don't even think the term is appropriate to describe attraction. Neither is homosexul or heterosexual. Polysensual makes more sense. Certainly, there are two sexes, and it would seem that attraction should be binary since sex is. But the reality is that attraction is not compartmentalized like that. We just choose to divide it up because it's convenient politically or whatever reason. There are more than two types of individuals existing. Therefore, there are more than two types of attraction. Humans are sense creatures. Sex (genotype) is not perceptible to the five senses, but the physical manifestation (phenotype) is. Phenotype is what creates such a diversity of looks between people. No two people look alike. This is what enables people to be attracted to more than one individual. The person's sex may be constant, however I don't attraction is because of that, but rather in spite of it. Of course some people will disagree saying that this is theoretical, and doesn't make sense. But, I honestly believe that we often program ourselves to have certain psychological reactions to things that remind us of something positive or negative.

jboutandabout said...

Hmmm, it's a difficult one. I'm quite prepared to believe that somewhere there are people who sit roughly in the middle of the sliding scale that runs from "attracted to men" to "attracted to women" but unfortunately the handful of self-confessed "bi" guys I've met have been quite clearly gay and just kidding themselves, either for the benefit of others or because they can't quite come to terms with their own sexuality.

cola boy said...

A great post, Buff. And a hot pic at the top. Is that you?

Maybe men can be bi-sexual. I would just hope they are being honest with themselves. I remember after I came out someone asked me at work if I was gay and I told them I was "bi" feeling it made me less of a target. But I dropped that ruse soon after.

John Russell said...

I think the concept of bisexuality is too simplistic. But I do believe that people can be and are attracted to people of different genders.

So does my good friend Tristan:
Wanted:Bi Guy

Cement Brunette said...

I am rather indifferent about bisexuality. It doesn't matter to me one way or another--as long as the person is having sex with me, I don't care.

And I feel kind of embarassed that the picture you posted makes me kind of hot.

Anonymous said...

Too much thinks - harmful to one's health... :))