Innate bisexuality: Is everyone actually bisexual?


#1

Freud believed everyone is born bisexual. I think it’s a fair assessment. But you never hear this in the media. I wonder if this is a highly censored fact in some grand conspiracy to keep people consuming and fueling the “impress the opposite sex” culture that defines our economy. Cars, houses, and all sorts of status symbol goods are marketed this way.

Here’s a good article recommending that we just drop the labels and start thinking of everyone as simply “sexual”.


#2

This is an interesting theory that i support in some ways, however I do believe that people are entitled to choose a label if they want to. If someone adopts the label of gay or straight or neither or both then it should be fine if they want to do that. I know some people that are definitely gay and definitely straight and there is nothing innately wrong with either of those things.

Its all about not restricting others sexuality. I would argue that a lot of people would be some level of bisexual, but that is up to them to discover for themselves.


#3

i think that while people underscore just how much of modern western society involves like, making people heteronormative and trans people sort of by default shake up a lot of preconceptions about what it means to Like Dudes or Like Ladies or even Like Both, i don’t think that dropping the labels is a feasible or even necessarily good thing?

it isn’t simply a matter of just going “yeah everyones bisexual” or even “well either you’re sexual or your not” bc thats just not true? people definitely have preferences and while it can definitely be argued that those preferences do not necessarily actually have anything to do with someones sex or gender, they’re unfortunately the best and fastest ways to get some ideas across of what those preferences are,i feel.


#4

Queerness exists on a wide spectrum and though it can be easy to make fun of hyper specific sexuality/gender orientation labels, the reality is that they’re as functional as anything else. A way to say “Hi, I’m X and I’m into Y. If you’re compatible, then hit me up.” Some people want very specific things and it’s useful to have a label that reflects that.

Personally, I sometimes struggle with whether to call myself a bisexual or a lesbian; not because I’m uncertain about my orientation, but because the number of men I would realistically want to pursue a sexual relationship with is very small compared to the number of women, and I don’t want to give off the wrong idea.

So while I do think it’s true that if most straight people were being honest with themselves, they would find that they’re sexually attracted to at least a couple members of the same sex, I don’t think that’s a good reason to throw away sexuality labels all together.


#5

Probably not. Freud started off a lot of good talking points in psychology, but was later proven to be pretty misogynistic and kind of a massive tool. It’s why, while a lot of his theories are taught to start people off on a basic understanding, none of them are rigidly adhered to anymore.

While there’s something to be said for the rigidity of modern standards, stripping away people’s right to ascribe to certain labels isn’t going to help the persecution of queer people. What it does is erase our choices and straight up dismiss people who identify staunchly as gay or lesbian, who definitely wouldn’t appreciate the attention of people they aren’t attracted to. We’ve struggled in the modern era to be able to even have these labels, and we’ve had to reclaim the more informal ones (queer and gay as notable examples) from the very people who oppressed us and used them as insults.

Queerness is on a spectrum, but labels serve a purpose and the fact that Roberts thinks we’re close to being able to do away with them is honestly as insulting as it is hilarious. When you consider the political climate of the world today–think about what’s going on in Russia, Chechnya in particular, and how hostile the climate for queer and trans people has gotten in America since the 2016 election–it’s pretty clear that that he comes from a place where he has the privilege of thinking things are getting better. From my perspective, they’re mostly just staying the same, and the ‘same’ they’re staying is still pretty fuckin’ bad.


#6

I feel like Ron White had a good point.


#7

Freud thought a lot of things though. I feel like at this point his greatest contribution to psychology is as a case study.

all that being said, I sure don’t feel bisexual. I guess with sexuality being a spectrum if you define heterosexual and homosexual as the endpoints of that spectrum and everything in the middle as some degree of bisexuality then I guess everybody is, but at that point I would question whether that was a really a useful definition of terms.


#8

When you assume any form of sexuality is innate then you automatically discount those with uncertain or no sexual identity. Discounting asexuality merely to fit most people more broadly is still deplorable.

Furthermore, I also dislike the the notion of taking away one’s choice to identify with specific labels. People choose to identify with them to various degrees themselves; taking away words won’t stop people judging others but it will remove a path many people find useful with understanding their own sexuality.


#9

Queerness is a spectrum and I can think of some people who are so deeply unmovable in their spaces that this theory sounds absurd to me and Freud is never a good place to start when talking about anything but damn it, as a bicurious man who will likely have to someday settle for admitting that he’s just a heterosexual with good taste in guys, I wish this was true.


#10

i’m bi and i don’t buy (sorry pun) this at all. as others have pointed out, this attitude is almost always an excuse to dismiss queer peoples’ ways of describing our own sexualities. obviously the way we talk about sexuality is as socially constructed as anything else, but that doesn’t mean those categories aren’t important or significant for people.


#11

also to be real, bisexuality is as much a socially/historically specific sexuality category as any other


#12

I don’t really have many personal thoughts to add here, but I did read an interesting article on the BBC website about how Heterosexuality in its current definition didn’t come about until the early 20th Century.
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170315-the-invention-of-heterosexuality


#13

Yeah, also queer (multisexual) here, and I’m not a fan of the way the modern Discourse ™ seems to throw aces under the bus at every possible opportunity. I don’t think people are innately anything. To suggest that something is the default state for humans and that everything else is an evolution, a regression, or just some sort of warping away from that is deeply uncomfortable to me.


#14

it’s generally a solid policy to disregard anything Sigmund Freud said, I think


#15

I think this a mix of sexuality on a spectrum (it is), environmental pressure and conditioning towards binary definitions (it does) and the “Psychic Realm of The Real” theorised by Lacan which is based on psychoanalytical theory.

Freud had some interesting jumping off points and ideas but they were better theorised by others.


#16

I don’t think so. Anecdotally at least I’m extremely gay and I don’t think this idea explains anything recognisable about my upbringing.

I also don’t like the idea in general that everyone is at least a little bit bi. Even if it’s technically true, like a straight guy might in the right situation be very slightly attracted to another guy, vice versa, etc. I don’t think that amounts to anything more than pedantry, isn’t a useful way to be using the term and in fact probably helps erase bi identity.


#17

Agreed. It’s like saying race or gender doesn’t really exist. It could be true, but that totally ignores that historically, entire classes of people have been separated from “polite” society and treated as lesser because of these divisions, and pretending like they’ve never existed does nothing to address that trauma. Saying “everyone is really bisexual” does nothing to change the fact that I can still be fired for the gender of my partner.

To me this not only erases bi identity but also queer identity totally and comes from a place of privilege. Minority communities have always found strength and solidarity and community in claiming the labels they’ve been given by society and I’m not comfortable with the idea of ditching all of that.


#18

viewing bisexuality as somehow in the middle of the spectrum is kind of old and overused way of saying bi people are half gay half straight which isn’t how a lot of bisexual people view themselves.

personally im bisexual with a preference but i’m still bisexual, its a label i find useful.

i also think its kind of historically fucked up to say that all lesbians have the capacity for attraction for men (no matter how small) bc of the ways heterosexuality has been forced on lesbian women.


#19

Yeah, I… feel like I have a hard time sitting here and saying “Nah, Freud was wrong as hell,” as much as that tends to be my baseline reaction to… Freud.

As, someone who is very… non binary in how I feel about myself, and who has almost no romantic/sexual aspirations, I feel most comfortable not touching this whole thread with a 9 foot pole.

Time to revel in all that is an alias which isn’t even my usual alias online, as impersonal as it gets.

I was born, and raised male. I’ve had a very… negative relationship with my body. I have a very negative relationship with my gender, both internally, and to a lesser extent externally, in terms of making friends/bonding. I was the only “male” (certainly in expression at the time) in my peer groups all through middle school, high school, etc. For the most part, I was just one of the girls, who, nobody else really saw that way. Prior to that, I was lucky enough to be in an environment where playing with dolls with female friends/children wasn’t questioned. (In the same way, I’m grateful, my complete absorption into games wasn’t questioned.)

I don’t know what that background really helps with, aside from context, and serving as an invitation to ask more specifics if anyone has need for some. But I’ve always been… more or less asexual? To some degree, perhaps an extension of gender dysphoria, (which is apparently not a word according to the forum software?) and I think to large extent, just not something I’m not interested in? BUT, I’ve almost only ever experienced finding women attractive. (But not exclusively, there are/have been men I can step back and go “damn.” So, I “got away” with passing as just another straight male dude for the most part. Challenged only when I spent time with a male friend fairly often, and NEVER having a girlfriend. (Which, actually led to a very odd take on a beard… non-relationship, but very intentional public rejection at a homecoming game?) But… I guess…

My point in saying all of this, I suppose being that, I don’t have an experience of exclusive sexuality. Ranging from “no” to “ladies” as someone who, by all external appearances, that means straight, (but who also like… Have you seen the Hemsworths or David Tennant?) but internally feels like I’d give any and all worldly belongings and power to- leaving track again. Those fields of attraction would likely contribute to, a personal understanding of bisexuality, which is where I become argumentative, or enter the “debate” of this thread, while externally, those would also put me into bisexual territory. Conveniently on a similar like “4-5 percent interested in women, 0.1 percent interested in men” sort of range.

Fuck. what am I posting about? I guess all I can/am really aiming to say is, I agree with two aspects of the discussion so far very strongly. The first is that, as someone who is somewhere on the spectrum of bisexual, even if just slightly, or with specific instances of interest in the gender I’m not generally interested in, with an overarching disinterest in sexual interest, I find myself in the camp Freud describes. It isn’t a binary. Nothing. Ever. Is. Ever. Fucking. Ever. Nothing. Just not a thing biology does.

But also - I think there’s value in… terminology. If people who identify as bisexual feel like people suggesting everyone is bisexual is in any way harmful to the understanding of their identity, there’s value which should not be trampled in that.

I think in a perfect world, we just wouldn’t. Straight wouldn’t be a thing. Gay wouldn’t be a thing. Bi wouldn’t be a thing. Trans wouldn’t be a thing. Cis wouldn’t be a thing. We just, fucking, wouldn’t. The creation of sub-groups and divisions within humanity has almost exclusively done harm. (The “almost” being that, organization, and art, and resistance, etc. to bigotry and hate is amazing, and inspiring, and feeds hope for a better tomorrow.) BUT - the baseline othering, and bigotry, and disgust with which people being themselves is met, is fueled so massively by these definitions, categories, and the potential for othering, and bigotry, and hate it opens society up for.

But we do.
Because we do, I have no interest in saying “Hey, what Freud says lines up to some degree with my experiences!” if ANYBODY says that’s harmful to their identity.

Fuck. This post took… a couple hours, and involved at least some alcohol, and lots of self doubt, and going back, and editing, and redacting, and re-writing, and I’m sure it’s rife with errors more than it’s rife with useful or good takes on the subject matter at hand, but I felt like commenting on a thread, which had a title to which my immediate response was “fuck yeah!” and my post-reading response was “hmm… I… hmm… I dunnno.”

It feels like… Freud might not have been wrong, but we just don’t really exist in a global society in which ignoring, or dismissing individual experiences/expressions/definitions is productive. Maybe someday? Hopefully?


#20

Bisexuality (as in people who are not completely straight, gay, or ace) is staggeringly underrepresented - being that everything is a spectrum then you’d expect not a massive amount of people on the very fringes. It’s pretty much a social programming thing that pushes the scales around (society is extremely heteronormative and cisnormative and both make it impossible to actually understand anything like an “underlying” population distribution - we only know the numbers at the other end of deeply coercive processes). The 3 year old child is told their gender and who they are attracted to - invented concepts from the adults around them projecting their own biases which they got via indoctrination programming over any innate desires they may have developed.

Being straight, even the other side of all that coercion, is not normal. But people will likely exist throughout a spectrum and all those points (including gay and ace people) are valid. Pretty sure “everyone is bi” is a pretty crappy concept that’s punching down (or, at best, sideways) against everyone except the str8s.