The Myth of the Bi-Curious Woman

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Lawrence Lanoff

Many people feel that bisexuals are sluts, or that bisexuality is merely a transitional phase to full-blow homosexuality or full-blown heterosexuality. According to current moral and social thinking, we believe in the sanctity of the heterosexual union. It seems that, in the ultimate bisexual power move, god loves heterosexuals.

This week, the myth that women only experiment in college and then go back to religiously sanctioned heterosexuality has been officially busted. A longitudinal study found that bisexuality was a stable sexual orientation and that bisexuals were as likely as lesbian or heterosexual women to commit to long-term relationships.

When looking at bisexuality from a demythology perspective, this 10 year study on bisexuality and women is refreshing and life affirming. It points to the idea that sex and attraction move, change, and flow over time - without being pined to a specific gender. As a woman's circumstances, attractions, and relationships change, so does her sexual identity to reflect these changes.  Meredith Baxter (the mother on Family Ties) just announced a change in her sexual identity after 3 marriages and 5 children.  At 64, she is seriously dating another woman confessing on the Today Show that she is in fact a "lesbian".

We're social mammals, so it seems to me that bisexuals have a social edge - free to connect with all people regardless of their orientation or gender. Could this be ultimate sexual freedom?
I recently saw the premier of Rehab: Party at The Hard Rock Hotel. A muscle bound party guy passionately makes out with a voluptuous girl "with a secret so dark it turns his world upside down." The dark, horrible secret; "she" was once a "he". Party guy almost went violent.

Why do our strict definitions of gender continue to trigger such strong emotional responses?
One of the interesting findings of this study was that change in sexual identity was more common than identity stability. 67% of the women in this study changed their sexual identity at least once and 36% changed their identity more than once. This finding supports the "sexual fluidity" model, which claims that women have the capacity to be attracted to both sexes. As their life circumstances and relationships change over time, women change their sexual identity to more accurately reflect their personal attractions and relationships.

In reality, human sexuality is fluid - ebbing and flowing throughout our lives. There is no constant - other than sex with ourselves which, technically, is gay sex. I wonder how party guy would feel about that?

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