Does your bisexuality include attraction to individuals that fall outside the gender binary?

Gdom Gdom
I've had a lot of discussions over the years as to what being bisexual actually amounts to. On the one hand, you could take "bisexual" to refer to attraction to two different sexes (presumably XX and XY--just to avoid the "male"/"female" language that gets bound up in gender identity as well as biological sex). Since virtually all humans are either XX or XY (the exceptions being some rare genetic abnormalities; even intersex individuals are generally XX or XY), "bisexual" in this sense would seem to include possible attraction to any sort of person, irrespective of gender identity. Admittedly, this seems closer to pansexuality than most modern conceptions of bisexuality; at the very least, if this were the true definition of bisexuality, then pansexuality would be obsolete as a category.

But most self-identified bisexuals that I've met seem to hold a more identity-focused definition of their sexuality: they are attracted to self-identified women and self-identified men. But in this case, if an individual falls outside the gender binary--say, someone who identifies as intersex or a third gender--then such a bisexual isn't going to be capable of being attracted to them.

Now far be it from me to say that it's wrong to be attracted to just two gender identities as opposed to all of them; after all, straight people are attracted to just one and I wouldn't want to hurt their feelings either. Personally, however, there's something about a bisexuality that ignores intersex and third-gendered individuals that just rubs me the wrong way.

So, what do you think? Does your personal bisexuality include attraction to individuals that fall outside the gender binary? Why or why not?
08/29/2012
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KrissyNovacaine KrissyNovacaine
I am attracted to either end of the gender spectrum not the middle. I am stupid open minded about gender issues, but I just can't be attracted to the middle ground on it.
08/29/2012
Gdom Gdom
To be clear, a person that identifies as third-gendered is very likely NOT in the "middle ground" of any spectrum between male and female; in other words, being third-gendered doesn't always (or even generally) have to do with having some sort of male-female hybrid identity. It very often involves different qualities of identification altogether.

To use a rough (and, admittedly, kind of stupid) example, apples, oranges, and kiwi are all different sorts of fruit, but it doesn't make sense to say that the kiwi is "in the middle" of the apple-orange spectrum. It's just another fruit entirely! Sure, it may have some things in common with apples or oranges, but it's unique enough to constitute its own separate object. And putting so much emphasis on (or framing everything in terms of its relation to) an "apple-orange spectrum" and comparing everything against it ignores the fact that plenty of fruit falls completely outside that narrow spectrum.
08/29/2012
KrissyNovacaine KrissyNovacaine
Quote:
Originally posted by Gdom
To be clear, a person that identifies as third-gendered is very likely NOT in the "middle ground" of any spectrum between male and female; in other words, being third-gendered doesn't always (or even generally) have to do with having ... More
I understand what you are getting at, and when using vague generalizations, someone is left out or slighted. Your post also left out the gender fluid and those that DO identify somewhere in the middle. I have known many people that aren't trans, but prefer to present themselves more towards another gender. Gender *is* a spectrum because it is fluid and there are so many different shades of it. Gender is *not* binary. I used the word spectrum to mean all the different possibilities. Let me give you a slightly different example. I am bisexual, so I am attracted to both masculinity and femininity. That does not mean an "equal" split. I am more physically attracted to women than men, but I am not a lesbian because I will happily be with a man I find attractive. I also emotionally click with men better and my relationships with them tend to last longer and be healthier. That doesn't make me straight either. I mostly prefer feminine women and masculine men, but I have had exceptions to that. I have dated women who have presented themselves very stereotypically masculine. I have dated men who cross dressed in public.

Bisexuality isn't binary. Sexuality in general isn't binary. Also, your implication that we are wrong for what gets us off is just like radical social conservatives saying that people choose to be gay and it is evil. Less severe, but the same thing. What gets me wet is what gets me wet. I don't choose.
08/30/2012
Zandrock Zandrock
I like male and female. Not really the middle ground.
08/30/2012
geekkink geekkink
Lets break some thing down here. There indeed are spectrum's, everything is a spectrum, you can sit and tell me how much I shouldn't see things a certain way but the point of the matter is I do, we all do. Lets use race as an example because that works. Obama is considered the first black president, but he isn't black he's mixed. People will associate him as teh race that is predominate in his features. Gender works very much the same way. If you dress act and look like a woman I will consider you to be female, no matter your parts, and vice versa. If you are wearing a skirt have breasts, and leg hair as thick as a shag carpet, it'll gross me out, this is my attraction, what I consider to be masculine and feminine, these opinions are set forth by society of what, the majority of people, in the US consider to be male or female.
Fausto-Sterlling a very famous social psychologist gave us the theory of the Five Sexes, she is also based heavily in Fucco's work on gender but, she was able to simplify the idea and categorize, or give definition to five genders. Many other psychologists and sociologist have identified more genders and can break down these categories even smaller. (( have a link link ))
I am Bi sexual, that literally means attracted to two sexes. If you consider yourself something that is neither male nor female my sexuality does not obligate me to be attracted to you because you consider yourself both gender. You are one completely separate different gender. At best you are Bi gendered, I am attracted to men and women, not bi genders and I don't have to be either. My Bi sexuality isn't a thing people get to mandate, just as I would never mandate your gender.
Since a lot of people like to use Kinsey cause they saw that movie but have no idea what he actually said. The Kinsey scale is what almost ever psychologist and sociologist uses to mark bi sexuality, no where on the scale is ever mentioned, shemales, trans genders, transsexuals, or anything else, Kinsey has other work on that exact subject. The Kinsey Scale specifically covers males and females, nothing in between or outside off. I am Bi I go on that scale, a three if you care to know meaning I am equally attracted to either gender.
That is just arguing the logistics of bisexuality which I could hardly do in a post on Eden that's what research papers are for and vastly smarter people than myself have already done that work for me. I suggest you look up what they have said. Kinsey's writings are a good start. But, lets talk about the rules of attraction, who are you to tell me that I am to just be attracted to you because I am anything? If I was completely strait do I have to be attracted to a woman just because she is a woman? No, if I was gay would I have to be attracted to a man just because he is male? No, and no one would ever say that, so because a person considers themselves both genders and I like both genders I instantly have to be attracted to them because hey two birds one stone right? That's a ignorant and illogical assumptions, I have indeed dated shemales, why because if anyone tried to guess their gender they would have assumed female. I would fuck Buck Angel because as long as he has pants on that is clearly a man. That is what I need to express here, attraction is still attraction. A lot of people thing Ryan Reynolds is sexy, and for some reason I literally can not explain every time I see him I just want to punch his damn face in. My sexuality doesn't determine attraction, it just determines the size of my pool.
08/30/2012
Khanner Khanner
In theory, I could have the capacity to be attracted to non-binary and intersex people. That I know of, I haven't met anyone offline in those categories. I think the reason they may be under-represented is that, statistically, there are just a small number of non-binary identifying and intersex individuals.

Another thing is that intersex conditions and how a person identifies can be unnoticeable to invisible. My cis boyfriend could be intersex and I'd never know without a genetic panel and a CAT scan. And if someone only identifies as non-binary but otherwise behaves in a way that is not clearly taboo-breaking, you'd never know either.

To be honest though, I don't really care about the differences between the labels of bisexual, pansexual, and queer. So I may not be the best representation of all bisexuals.
08/30/2012
Gdom Gdom
Quote:
Originally posted by KrissyNovacaine
I understand what you are getting at, and when using vague generalizations, someone is left out or slighted. Your post also left out the gender fluid and those that DO identify somewhere in the middle. I have known many people that aren't trans, ... More
I'm afraid you've substantially misinterpreted what I was trying to convey. I don't mean to be adversarial, but just so my position is clearly understood, I'd like to politely submit a few corrections to your characterization of my points.

First, I did not, in fact, leave out the gender fluid and those that identify in the middle. I used third-gendered persons and intersex persons as EXAMPLES, not as an exhaustive list of those that fall outside the gender binary. So, just to be clear, gender fluidity and "being in the middle" are totally within the realm of what I'm talking about even if I didn't use them as examples to begin with.

Second, if by "spectrum" you really did just mean "all the different possibilities," then I don't have any problem with that. The reason I took issue with that language is that a "spectrum" is generally defined as a continuous range between TWO points (I'm just going off of standard dictionary definitions--I just looked this up to be sure). And THAT kind of spectrum still involves a sort of gender binary, even if there's some flexibility in the middle, because everything is defined in terms of their relations to those extremes (in this case, "man" and "woman"). But if that's not the way you were using the term, that's all fine with me.

Finally, you say that "your implication that we are wrong for what gets us off is just like radical social conservatives saying that people choose to be gay and it is evil." I'm honestly not sure where you're drawing this from at all. I certainly don't think anyone is "wrong" for having particular sexual preferences; at most, I said that excluding intersex, third-gendered, and other sorts of persons from MY bisexuality is an idea that rubs ME the wrong way (that's a statement of a personal preference or visceral reaction to the idea and precisely NOT an ethical claim). It was a way of stating my personal preferences and not an attack on anyone else. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear about that earlier (although I thought I was plenty clear to begin with), but if something I've said sounds outrageous and offensive, you might want to ask me to clarify it next time before you start comparing me with social conservatives.
08/30/2012
KrissyNovacaine KrissyNovacaine
Quote:
Originally posted by Gdom
I'm afraid you've substantially misinterpreted what I was trying to convey. I don't mean to be adversarial, but just so my position is clearly understood, I'd like to politely submit a few corrections to your characterization of my ... More
I was using the anthropological term of spectrum since I am working on an Anthropology degree. link

You state "Personally, however, there's something about a bisexuality that ignores intersex and third-gendered individuals that just rubs me the wrong way." This implies that there is something wrong with my sexuality. You imply that it is somehow offensive or wrong to you. That's not much different than a social conservative stating "I think that homosexuals are repulsive". Those are both "I" statements.

It rubs me the wrong way when a groups or individual who is trying to advocate for acceptance... well, isn't accepting.
08/30/2012
charletnarouh charletnarouh
Quote:
Originally posted by Gdom
I've had a lot of discussions over the years as to what being bisexual actually amounts to. On the one hand, you could take "bisexual" to refer to attraction to two different sexes (presumably XX and XY--just to avoid the ... More
I think what is being ignored in this post, and I'm surprised no one has brought it up yet since it gets batted around the threads on Eden quite a bit, is that bisexuality and pansexuality are two different things. Bisexuality does, strictly by breaking down the literal definition of the word ("bi" means TWO) exclude those who are outside of or in between the binary. Bisexuality doesn't negate the POSSIBILITY of gender identities outside the binary or along the spectrum but it does, typically, identify an attraction to individuals on either side of a binary. (see: BIsexual/BInary) Pansexual, by definition, is all inclusive. There is NOTHING wrong with either identity, anymore than hetero or homosexuality is. Pansexuals generally accept the possibility of attraction everyone along the gender spectrum and outside of it. Really, we're splitting hairs here though because who the hell cares? And a sexual orientation, gay, straight, bi, pan, etc. does NOT EVER obligate someone to be attracted to EVERYONE who falls into the categories of folks identified by their orientation. I am a lesbian, but I'm not somehow obligated to be attracted to every woman or even every lesbian I meet, nor is a straight man obligated to be attracted to every woman he meets. A gay man is not obligated to be attracted to every man he meets. I could go on here, but you see where I am going with this. Bisexuals are not obligated to be attracted to genderfluid, thirdgender, intersex, trans, or any other gender or sex, nor is a bisexual required to be attracted to every cisgendered man or woman, the whole idea is ludicrous. By the same token, a pansexual individual is not obligated to be attracted to every person, nor every identity. I think it's very possible to say, I'm pansexual, but I have a preference or am more inclined towards...(insert one or more identity here) or I'm pansexual, but I'm not usually attracted to folks who are...(insert one or more identity here). But there is nothing wrong with ANYONE not being attracted to ANYONE they're not attracted to. There is nothing wrong with ANYONE not being attracted to any category of persons. There is nothing wrong with ANYONE adopting any sexual orientation they choose and that orientation in no way obligates them to ANYTHING.
09/05/2012
geekkink geekkink
Quote:
Originally posted by charletnarouh
I think what is being ignored in this post, and I'm surprised no one has brought it up yet since it gets batted around the threads on Eden quite a bit, is that bisexuality and pansexuality are two different things. Bisexuality does, strictly by ... More
Oh my god thank you.
10/06/2012
pix pix
Quote:
Originally posted by Gdom
I've had a lot of discussions over the years as to what being bisexual actually amounts to. On the one hand, you could take "bisexual" to refer to attraction to two different sexes (presumably XX and XY--just to avoid the ... More
Personally - I haven't yet been attracted to someone outside the gender binary, but I don't want to limit myself by saying that I never will be
10/09/2012
tiniest bird tiniest bird
You do have to keep in mind that the term bisexual was coined during a time when non-binary people really weren't acknowledged, even inside the queer community. And even in the queer community now, many people don't know about/acknowledge nonbinaries.

However, I know several people who identify as bisexual who have experienced attraction to nonbinary people. I am nonbinary and id as bi as opposed to pan. I, and other the bi people i know who are attracted to nonbinary people, think of bisexual as essentially meaning "two sexualities", or both homosexual (attracted to the same gender) and heterosexual (attracted to other genders).

Personally, being trans, I'm more leery of pansexual people than bisexual people. It is from pansexual people, after all, that I have heard statements like "I'm pan because I'm attracted to men, women and trans people" (when many trans people are men and women, and not some third gender) and "I don't see gender!" (when my gender is very important to me).

Finally, there's just plain nothing wrong with not being attracted to nonbinary people. Straight people don't have to be attracted to us, gay people don't have to, and bi people don't either.
10/09/2012
novanilla novanilla
I like anyone.
10/09/2012
Gdom Gdom
While this thread seems to have died a long time ago, for posterity's sake, I'd like to make myself perfectly clear on two points:

(1) The fact that "bisexuality" includes the prefix "bi-" does not automatically end the discussion of whether bisexuality includes attraction to more than two genders of persons. The "bi-" can still be read in two different ways: (a) two GENDERS (in which case it follows that bisexuality entails potential attraction to only two genders of persons) or (b) two biological SEXES (in which case it follows that bisexuality entails potential attraction to effectively all persons, since most all humans are either XX or XY, and therefore, to more than two genders).

(2) When I say that something rubs me (emphasis on "me") the wrong way about a bisexuality that leaves out third-gender folks, I'm not saying that I think anyone is bad or wrong for not being potentially attracted to third-gender folks. You're bisexual and not attracted to third-gender persons? Great! The fact that YOU identify that way doesn't "rub me the wrong way" or bother me at all. It's only the idea of ME identifying that way that I don't like (which, conveniently enough, is why I identify as inclusively bisexual).
02/28/2013
Gdom Gdom
Oh, and just one more thing:

(3) It's not entirely clear that pansexuality is actually distinct from some forms of bisexuality. But don't take my word on it. Just check out the intro paragraph of the wikipedia page on bisexuality: "Pansexuality may or may not be subsumed under bisexuality, as the terms are often treated as synonyms and people may consider bisexuality, like pansexuality, to encompass romantic or sexual attraction to all gender identities or romantic or sexual attraction to a person irrespective of that person's biological sex or gender." (Citing no fewer than four articles on the subject) That's not to say that all versions of bisexuality are equivalent to pansexuality--you're welcome to identify as a version of bisexual that is distinct from pansexuality--but at least one definition of bisexuality is indistinguishable from pansexuality.
02/28/2013
oneeyedoctopus oneeyedoctopus
I find people attractive who make me feel comfortable and make me laugh. That's what matters to me.
05/02/2013
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