Bisexuality goes both ways, can be orientation or phase

Posted on 24 Jan 2008 at 8:49pm
By Leslie Robinson General Gayety

Recent study shows some women are hardwired to like both sexes, but for this author, it was just a step on the way to being lesbian

I’ve long supposed that some women are truly bisexual. I’ve long known that I’m not one of them.

Such matters are on my mind now thanks to a new study of bisexuality in women.

The study, sure to generate a lot of chatter, followed 79 non-heterosexual women over 10 years. The key finding is that bisexuality appears to be a distinctive sexual orientation, and not a stage women go through on their way to being lesbians.

I do believe that for some women, bisexuality isn’t a transitional phase. It’s who they are.
For me, bisexuality was indeed a stage. I entered the stage door a bisexual and exited it a homo.

Over 15 years ago I was firmly ensconced in therapy, working through, by and around several issues, including my orientation. Though I’d managed to suppress the gay hints over the years, the truth lurked ever closer.

But which truth?

I knew I was physically attracted to men, and also pulled in some sort of deep, mysterious way to women. What did this make me besides addled, of course?

Without ever having been involved with a woman, I accepted that I must be bisexual. Then I settled down to do nothing about it, because of my long-term relationship with a guy.

Mercifully for us both, we split, and I was free to explore my “other side” as we called it, making me sound like a werewolf.

I started attending the local lesbian group, billed as being open to bisexual women. After a few months it seemed to me the group was entirely lesbian-focused, so one evening I screwed up my courage.

I raised my hand, outed myself as bi, and said I hoped this group really did welcome everyone.

One woman whispered to me she was bi, too, and none of the other members threatened my person, so the effort seemed successful.

I’d made the local lesbian group safe for bisexuals. Huzzah.

In those early days I ventured to gay bars with new friends. One club had both male and female dancers on display. Well, the woman danced; the man stripped. I didn’t know whom to look at.

I was there to check out women, but I still felt a sexual pull toward men.

I’d spent a lot of years being hetero-directed; it wasn’t going without a fight. I finally began dating a woman.

At one point she said something about the risk she was taking, dating a bisexual.

It turned out I’d taken the bigger risk, dating a woman with the emotional knowledge of a frying pan.

I did get some important things from that relationship, including the discovery that sex with a woman seemed natural to me.

After all those hetero impulses, I feared bedding down with a woman might send me screaming from the room. Instead, I knew I was on the right track.
I never diverted from that track.

But I had been so mentally and physically entrenched in heterosexuality, and so blooming scared, that I needed this bridge of bisexuality to help get me where I really belonged.

I’m not one for making a quick change. Some 15 years ago, this overanalyzing, uptight gal was more likely to become a Hare Krishna overnight than a lesbian.

But after about a year of being out, I realized I no longer called myself “bisexual.” The word had simply dropped away without any conscious thought.

It no longer applied. “Gay” did.

So ended my bisexual phase. It was a stage I needed to go through at age 30 for the same reason a chicken crosses the road, to get to the other side.

Read Leslie Robinson’s previous columns at www.GeneralGayety.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 25, 2008

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