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The bisexuality double standard isn’t fair to anyone

Sara Dobie Bauer is a writer, model and mental health advocate with a creative writing degree from Ohio University. Her short story "Don't Ball the Boss" (inspired by her shameless crush on Benedict Cumberbatch) was nominated for the Pus...

Why is a bisexual man called gay, but a woman is OK to experiment?

With popular female stars coming out as saying they're bisexual, why aren't men as open? I interviewed a virile, American male who identifies as bisexual. Let's call him Ryan. (Name changed for privacy purposes).

According to Ryan, "Sexism is alive and well in 2014 America. Girls are soft and pink, and boys are tough and blue. It's crap. It's only OK for women to dabble because of the collective male fantasy of being between the women when they do."

Most girls will cop to "experimenting" in their younger days. I personally spent several months of college head over heels for a lesbian with long, red hair and a lip piercing. Even now, as a married woman, I wouldn't blink at inviting a woman into my marriage bed. There are few dudes who would say the same of another man.

There is that double standard. Some straight men believe there is no such thing as a bisexual man, and I quote a friend of mine: "There are gay men; there are straight men."

When I asked Ryan if all women could be considered bisexual, he was astounded. "The idea to me is preposterous," he said. "That's like asking if all people named Josh have outie bellybuttons."

In response, Ryan explained, "Sexuality is a fluid concept that can take on many properties. It's difficult to define it. I used to hate onions; now, I like them. Maybe tomorrow, I won't prefer them. Am I an onion hater or onion liker?"

True, people aren't onions, but he makes a valid point. Society would have us think bisexuality is a phase. It's just an experiment you try when you're young and drunk. Right? But for many, the experiment never ends. I'm lucky to have a respectful, adoring husband who will point women out to me at parties and say, "She looks like your type."

Why do we experiment? Ryan said it's all about knowledge: "The desire to learn something new about the self or the surrounding world is a driving force behind humanity in general. Sex and sexuality are taboo but shouldn't be. It's as natural as eating and sleeping. It's what we do. Why not find out if there's more to it than missionary coitus on a wedding night for the sole purpose of procreation?"

And Ryan has definitely tested the waters. All of them. He has given oral sex to another man and received oral sex from another man. He dates women for the most part, but he's not adverse to man-on-man flirtation. Ryan values the person more than the genitalia. He has friends who have fallen in love with individuals as people, ignoring the gender definitions of male or female.

Amber Heard talks about bisexuality: "I wasn't ever ashamed"

Isn't that what we should be valuing anyway? The media would have us believe bisexuality is newsworthy, when really, love is at the base of the issue. I'm not discounting lust (never!), but love is love, gender bending or not.

Ryan admitted, "I've kissed many close male friends, and though it was affectionate, it was never passionate. It was slightly more intimate than a close hug." So OK, maybe Ryan is a bit more laid back than most men in the physical department. Still, he has some good points.

Maybe in the future straight men won't be so grossed out by bisexuality within the bounds of their own gender. While we wait for society to evolve, Ryan will search for misses (or mister) right. It's all about the love, baby.

More on sexuality

Adele dumped by bisexual boyfriend? Rumor has it!
James Bond bisexual? The mano-a-mano tension rises
Anna Paquin wants bisexuality to be normal and mundane

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