July 13th, 2014

Shaman - Horse

The Challenge of the Bisexual Label

Intimacy is tricky. Attraction between people can be even trickier. What of people who seem to be attracted to both sexes: the opposite and their own? Here we visit the sometimes controversial realm of bisexual attraction. Some time ago a friend on a non-Facebook blog said, “I think a lot of people mistake being bi-attracted as being bi-sexual. A lot of people are attracted to those of the same sex, but they won't actually have sex with them or have a relationship with them. Bisexual, for some people, is a misnomer.“

I thought this was a good good point. Attraction is a funny animal. It can so easily transcend gender identity. It also comes in several forms. A guy or gal can say "that person (of the same gender) sure is good looking", and just leave it at that. I would hope there is a fair amount of that going on. The outcome of the "boy they are good looking (attractive!)" more manifests in emulation or a desire to be their bud.

Is there a practical difference between bi-attraction and bi-sexual? I think the tipping point would be to imagine / fantasize sexual congress with a same gender person. They might ponder a relationship beyond friends? That is where attraction crosses over. There is still no actual sex, but the unrealized potential is more there.

However, things may not be that simple. Strong emotions cloud our easy labels. Consider why we are attracted to people at all. We desire intimacy in our hearts of hearts. As I've written elsewhere, that intimacy can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Can a person be bisexual if their attraction is strongly emotional? Too often we put emotional ties into the same box as physical intimacy. That is a good question. I suspect the classic label of bisexual would not apply if a people of the same gender had a VERY strong emotional connection, while being clearly attracted to the opposite gender. With that said, It would be nice to have emotional intimacy with people of all types, and not be forced to have that intimacy stuffed into labeled boxes.

Healthy emotional, spiritual, and physical intimacy should transcend boxes, be they heterosexual, bi-sexual, or homosexual. I approve of this approach because it takes all the labels off of the table. There would still be confusion because we don't understand another person's life experience, but at least we can honor their tricky intimacy.