Katy Perry and the Art of the Double Standard
Presumably you're reading this because you're a man wondering if you're attracted to other men. If so, clicking on this article may have been one of the hardest things you've done.
For some reason, male bisexuality is still unaccepted by popular culture. Female bisexuality seems more accepted, even encouraged. It's hard to imagine a time when there'll be a hit song about a guy kissing another guy the way Katy Perry's song, "I Kissed a Girl" stormed the charts. But this article isn't for the ladies, it's for you.
It's not easy for a guy to question his sexuality, but it's something almost all guys do at some point. Exploring your sexuality is a human right - and it can even be a lot of fun!
A Brief History
In ancient times (the 1940s) there was very little scientific data on human sexuality. Sure, they had figured out where babies come from (spoiler alert: not from two guys gettin' busy), but little else was known. The father of modern sexology, Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, began his research by interviewing over 18,000 people and getting their sexual histories. In 1948 he published Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. In that seminal work (sorry, couldn't resist the pun) he introduced the Kinsey Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale. It ranks a person's sexuality on a scale from 0 to 6, with 0 being exclusively heterosexual and 6 being exclusively homosexual. In between, 1-5, are varying degrees of experiences with, and desire for, hot guy-on-guy action.
Kinsey found that 11.6% of white males aged 20 to 35 ranked a 3, or equally heterosexual and homosexual. Of course the options are not just gay, straight, or bi; this not a 50/50 thing. Most people find they are closer to one end of the spectrum than the other.
Incidentally, I have my own heterosexual-homosexual rating scale. It goes from "Guys I'd Sleep With" to "Guys I Wouldn't Make Sleep In the Bathtub" to "Guys I'd Avoid At All Costs Unless It Was At a Glory Hole And Then I Wouldn't Know Anyway So You Can't Really Blame Me." But this isn't about me, it's about you!
There is no Kinsey "test"; it is based on self-reported activity and desire. However, if you Google "Kinsey Scale Test", you’ll find plenty of websites that have turned it into a quiz - including insightful questions like, "Have you ever done it with a member of the same sex?"
Where Do You Fit In?
One of the criticisms of Kinsey's scale is that it's too one-dimensional; desire is more diverse. Dr. Fritz Klein suggested seven different factors to consider:
• Sexual Attraction
• Sexual Behavior
• Sexual Fantasies
• Emotional Preference
• Social Preference
• Lifestyle Preference
This can be a good way to conceptualize your desires. For example, you might be attracted to men sexually but not emotionally. Or you might prefer to be emotional with women but social with men. Or you might find yourself attracted to a certain cock only to discover you can't stand the guy its attached to (a problem I have quite often, but I'm shallow that way).
Now, between the Kinsey Scale and the Seven Factors of Highly Bi-successful People, it can get a bit confusing. So try thinking about desire like this: Some guys like vanilla ice cream and some guys like chocolate. Maybe you've always liked vanilla but lately you've been dreaming of chocolate. It looks so delicious, all dark and forbidden, smooth and glistening. There's nothing wrong with giving a chocolate cone a lick.
Maybe you won't like chocolate. Or maybe you'll like it but like vanilla more. Try to get in touch with your feelings and imagine what flavors you'd like to try. One safe way to do that is through fantasy, which brings us to our first myth.
Myths and Misconceptions
Myth 1: If you fantasize about guys you must be gay.
We all have fantasies we don't want to make real. Lord knows I do. I mean, just the cost of constructing a Roman bath and finding 100 conquered Spartans who must show me their devotion makes my fantasy unobtainable…but this isn't about my fantasy life, it's about yours!
Fantasy is a great way to explore things you might never do in reality. That's what makes it so much fun! But maybe you want to make that cock-sucking fantasy real. This brings us to our next myth:
Myth 2: Bisexuality is a stepping-stone to homosexuality.
Yes, some bisexuals eventually "go all the way" and realize they are gay. However, many go all the way with men, and then all the way with women, and then with men again, on and on in a rich orgy of experience. That is to say, being bi is not necessarily a stage you are going through.
Instead of thinking of people in terms of "gay" and "straight," open yourself to all the possibilities of life in between. Bisexuality is an orientation in its own right. There is even a bisexual movement, with songs and organizations (and really, really fun parties). Now, you may be thinking bisexual parties are such fun because:
Myth 3: Bisexuals Are Attracted to Anything That Moves.
If this were true it'd make getting a date a lot easier! But in reality, bisexuals are not attracted to everyone. Just like straight guys are not attracted to every woman out there, bisexuals are not attracted to every person they meet. Many are very picky, even though a lot of people think:
Myth 4: Gay People Are Different From Straight People.
If you are counting only sexual attraction, then yes. But in all other respects this myth is not true. Dr. Kinsey said, "Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats." Let's just not think about who Kinsey thought were the sheep and who were the goats…
But popular culture sees "gay" and "straight" as having certain personality characteristics. For example, straight men love football and gay men love musical theater. So logically, bi guys must want to go see Football: The Musical!
But this isn't true. Plenty of gay men hate musical theater and plenty of straight men hate football. They just won't admit it in public. Remember, everyone is an individual.
So You Like Chocolate and Vanilla?
Now that we've separated the myths from the realities (and the sheep from the goats) you may be thinking you're bi. This may be more difficult to admit to yourself than to other people. You may worry what your straight friends will say, or what a future girlfriend might think. At the same time, it's important to consider if you want people in your life who don't approve of who you are.
Challenging the way you are "supposed" to live can be very scary and involve certain risks. But it's also a risk not to live your life the way you feel it was meant to be. Most of life is trying to find the right balance between doing what you want and doing what is expected of you.
And this isn't a journey you have to take alone. Most cities have support groups for people who are bisexual, bicurious, or questioning. Most professional therapists have experience helping people figure out their sexual orientation. In addition, there are numerous online resources and communities. Googling "bisexual support" gives you a host of resources. Try adding the name of your town or the closest city and you'll see local resources and people ready to help.
Taking Your First Lick
After you decide that you may, possibly, could be bi, you might be ready to try some chocolate ice cream. One of the first things you'll have to decide is whether you are looking for a relationship or just sex. Of course, there's nothing wrong with wanting only sex, just like it’s OK to acknowledge that you have emotional needs – we have feelings too! Just make sure you know what you want before you bring someone home. It's an awful feeling to end a sexual encounter with a quick "thanks" when you were hoping for some snuggling.
Most cities have a gay community. Even if you are in a town that seems like Straightsville, USA, there is probably a gay bar. But gay culture is not always accepting of bisexuals. Some gay men see a political value in the view that the world is divided into gay people and straight people. Bisexuals can muddy the political landscape and, some feel, make it more difficult for homosexuals to be accepted and afforded equal protection under the law.
However, there are lots of gay men that are very accepting of bisexuals, and gay bars and clubs can be a great way to meet men. While many are nothing more than meet markets (yummy!), others have a very relaxed, accepting atmosphere that is quite a relief from the straight world.
Swingers are people who get together for recreational sex. Yes, swingers really do exist, and not just on HBO or in the 1970s. Since they have a very sex-positive, if-it-feels-good-do-it mentality you might think it'd be a good place to explore your sexuality. Unfortunately, swingers are often unwelcoming to bisexual men, which can be frustrating because they are rather accepting of female bisexuality. But as so often happens in life, men get the shaft.
However, there are swingers who are accepting of bisexual men – just be clear with the organizers before you visit a party!
In this Internet age you'll probably begin your search for a playmate online. There are numerous social networking sites and personal ads. They can be a good way to get to know people before meeting them in person, although people can be very different once you get to know them "in the real world." So don't spend too long chatting only to meet and discover there is zero chemistry.
Whether you are looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now, you need to think about safer sex. Read up on safer sex practices and decide what level of risk is acceptable. No one should object to using a condom for whatever activity you want. If your partner is unwilling to use a condom it's probably a sign that he is not someone you want to be having sex with.
And remember, bi sex is hot; and anything you want it to be. It doesn't have to include oral or anal, it can be jerking each other off. Or whatever you and your partner dream up. Try including whipped cream and some chocolate and vanilla ice cream!