I've had relations, with girls from many nationsI've made passes, at women of all classes And just because you're gay, I won't turn you away If you stick around, I 'm sure we can find some common ground
Billy Bragg - Sexuality
I had an interesting chat with an online friend about sexuality yesterday. As a result of this, I thought I would see if I could make sense on a blog post about this subject. The quote above is from Billy Bragg, and while I will confess I have only had relations with girls from two nations, the rest I think is damn accurate for me. My thesis is that many more people than feel comfortable admitting it, are closer to the term bi-sexual or pan-sexual. It is not my intention in this post to go into the arguments around these two terms and what their points of difference are. For the purposes of this blog, bi-sexual means open to attraction to anyone regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. I should also preface this post by saying this is not based on scientific research, but merely my personal observations.
Anyway, I was chatting yesterday about the need to be heterosexual, gay or bi-sexual. I guess, in essence the need to be pigeon holed. Firstly of course society pressures us to fit in to one of these neat slots, and if we identify with anything other than heterosexual, to effectively step outside the "norm". I suspect many more people are closer to the term bi-sexual than would feel comfortable admitting it but that we choose the option of confirmed heterosexuality as it is safest, easiest and what we are brought up to believe is the normal way. However to paraphrase a good friend, I see sexuality as a continuum, and we are all somewhere on this continuum. Where we lie on this continuum can change during our journey from puberty to the grave. We have the capacity to be attracted to anyone and everyone.
I am in fact uncomfortable with the term bi-sexual. It is just more evidence of the need to label our sexuality. I am fast coming to the conclusion that we are in fact merely sexual. Most of us are sexually inclined and active. We will have either a strong predominance to one sex or the other, sometimes in rare cases both equally, but we are all somewhere on that continuum. I do think we would be healthier as a society, as a race, as a planet, if we could accept this.
It would also be wrong to imply that this pressure to define oneself only exists in the heterosexual predominant world. I know from conversations with close friends that a similar pressure exists within the gay communities to be out and defined. Bi-sexuality is often seen in these communities as a cop out. That you are not ready to admit. This makes perfect sense of course for a community that has a long tradition of fighting for their rights and needing to in many cases be militant. Gay and proud is a common catch phrase.
Lastly, accepting or realizing that you can be attracted to anyone, does not mean that you are about to become unfaithful to your partner. There is an all to common misconception that if someone is gay, they are going to hit on you as soon as they can. Your sexual orientation does not change your loyalty or feelings towards your chosen partner unless you are just in fact not attracted to them anymore. At this point you are talking about the end of attraction to a person, nothing more, nothing less. Just as identified heterosexual men and women can be married and still find other people attractive but not be unfaithful, so too can someone of one who is open to attraction regardless of gender. The state of your relationship and what you choose to do or not to do have nothing to do with your sexuality. They are about who you are as a person and what is acceptable to you or not.
So in conclusion, and before this blog becomes an attempt at a Psychology masters thesis, I put to you that most of us are somewhere on the continuum. This does not mean you are gay or otherwise. It means that you are a living sexual being. You may spend your whole life down one end of this continuum, and that is ok. To relinquish the term heterosexual, gay or bi-sexual does not change who you are or what you are attracted to. This is not an attempt to accuse anyone of failing to be anything. This is an urge to be open to the concept that there is nothing wrong with sexuality, whatever your particular flavour is and there is nothing wrong with you or anyone else if they drift on the continuum during their lives. Just my thoughts, but there you go.