Heteroflexible vs Bisexual

A couple weeks ago I posted about being heteroflexible.  After that, I had an interesting conversation with a friend, who said that, for her, relationship status has no bearing on her definition of sexuality.  If I understood her correctly, the only thing that has bearing on how someone (or rather, she) defines her sexuality is whether or not she is physically attracted to someone.

Regardless of whether I understood her correctly, I think that’s an interesting idea.  That the depth of attraction to someone doesn’t matter as much as the attraction itself.  This matches up with another post I read a month ago about being bisexual.  The entire post is very interesting, and I recommend reading it, but the part that stuck out at me was this:

“Like many other people who identify as bisexual, I am not “attracted to people of all genders and gender presentations independent of gender and gender presentation”.  Gender and gender presentation is very much a part of the attraction process for me.  I am, for example, more attracted to women than to men, and more attracted to people who present masculinity and femininity simultaneously than I am to people who eschew gender signifiers altogether. ”

Because while I didn’t 100% believe it at that point, I did still have the notion in my head that if you were bisexual you were 50% attracted to men and 50% attracted to women — as in, completely even.  So heteroflexible appeared to me on a gradient of sexualities as being someone who wasn’t completely heterosexual, but was more often attracted to people of the opposite gender than people of the same gender.

The kicker line at the end of the post just reinforced the new idea that maybe bisexual didn’t have to be 50/50.

“I leave you with the definition of bisexuality given to us by bisexual activist Robyn Ochs:
“I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.””

And that’s when I started thinking more strongly that maybe I could/should/wanted to identify as bisexual.  And that’s when I started thinking about the degree of attraction, and does that make a difference for me?

Obviously, in my last post, I stated that it did.  After thinking about it for some more time, I’m not completely sure.  Because how can you be sure about the degree of attraction until you’re in a situation where you’re faced with that degree?  Maybe it’s not degree that matters, it’s just attraction.

And there’s a whole slew of things that affect not just attraction, but level of attraction.  Lust can happen with many people, but love with few or many.  Lust is easier (for me, at least) than love, but it’s also therefore easier to dismiss.

Up until a couple years ago, I had never fallen in love with a guy.  I had been in relationships, but hadn’t had that degree of attraction, of connection, with someone else.  So if I was talking to myself a couple years ago, would I put love and lust on different levels when deciding whether I was heteroflexible or bisexual?  At that point I hadn’t fallen in love with a guy or a girl, so would I have thought there was a difference?

I read an online story years ago that just came to mind.  In it, one of the characters (a woman) marries another woman after dating guys for a long while.  When someone asks her about it she says, she figured out that it was the person that was important to her, not their gender.  And I remember that that struck a chord with me back then, that I could understand what she was saying.  (And that kind of opens up a discussion about pansexuality that I’m not getting into here.)

So maybe I’m splitting hairs here.  And maybe heteroflexible is a way to say bisexual but also sound like you’re “fitting in” more, and not have to deal with all the baggage that saying you’re bisexual comes with.

I still like the idea that heteroflexible is in the middle of the sexuality spectrum, (or maybe it’s a sexuality globe — I once drew a sexuality globe with a friend, it was complicated), somewhere between bisexual and heterosexual.  But liking an idea doesn’t necessarily make it real…

But I feel like there is a difference.  That heteroflexible means you’re willing/want to have lust-driven or attraction-driven interactions with someone of your own gender, whereas bisexual means you’re willing/want to have both lust and “something more.”

I’m running in circles, so I’ll stop here.  This will take some more thinking…

 

(You might want to check out my newer post Heteroflexible vs Bisexual part 2)

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About mybodymystory

Looking at things differently. I write about my personal experiences with society, especially regarding what messages I, as a woman, have received over time. I write about my body, not the body the media thinks I have or wants me to have. I write about my responses to sex, relationships, and political issues. This is my story of my body. There are a lot of things I write about that I believe overlap with other women. Come check out my story and see if you agree. Feel free to disagree, just be respectful about it.
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30 Responses to Heteroflexible vs Bisexual

  1. kdaddy23 says:

    I’ll begin my reply by saying that when I say “you” I mean “you” in the general sense – I’m not picking on you as the author. Just wanted to clear that up before the fact!

    As a bisexual, I can tell you that it’s not a numbers game; it’s not really an attraction game in that sense because while I very much love having sex with men, I’m not attracted to them at all… and that’s the ‘mistake’ people make about being bisexual and why they feel being ‘heteroflexible’ is something different when, in fact, there is no difference. Indeed, I’m not even thinking in romantic terms when I’m about to have sex with a guy although I will admit that if having sex with him is good, I wouldn’t be opposed to having sex with him again… but me and him aren’t going to be setting up house in any foreseeable future.

    I’m not going to say that for some bisexuals – male or female – it’s not all about being attracted romantically or sexually because some folks do have that affinity… but that’s some and not all and it just sucks that this generalization persists. As I’m fond of saying, being bisexual isn’t an either/or thing – it’s liking the sex that can be had with both so trying to ascribe percentages is, and I beg your pardon here – a joke because your feelings and desires for sex aren’t that static.

    It’s not what you do or when you do it… it’s simply the fact that if you can do it, you will do it. That’s why whenever I ‘hear’ the word heteroflexible, it just makes me roll my eyes with disbelief because this word’s only purpose is to get away from the literal definition of being a bisexual… and as if that definition actually applies to everyone who is bisexual… because it doesn’t.

    What you prefer to do doesn’t mean squat; it’s not about liking someone who’s the same sex as you are in the way you’d like someone of the opposite sex… except liking them enough to get naked and sweaty with them, of course. It’s not even about how often you sneak over to the other side of the fence… but it is, again, purely about the fact that you have done it and if/when everything lines up right for you, you will do it again.

    If there is a difference, it’s semantics and even then, at least in my opinion, it’s being nit-picky by trying to diss any romantic possibilities and declaring that frequency or some other qualifier is the important factor here… and if that makes someone who says they’re heteroflexible feel good about themselves, well, okay… but I feel this perception is an incorrect one because if you’ll have sex with men and women if and when the opportunity presents itself, you’re bisexual and, yeah, you are even if all you confess to is liking the sex. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck.

    Anything else, in my opinion, is just being in denial and trying to convince yourself and others that the duck you hear quacking isn’t really a duck.

    Thank you for sharing this writing; as you can see, it’s something I’m rather passionate about!

    • BLake says:

      If you aren’t attracted to guys at all why do you consider yourself bisexual and have sex with men?

      • kdaddy23 says:

        Because I am; you assume attraction is a given and is a specific value to everyone when that’s not totally true; if anything, I’m attracts to the sex, a guy’s personality, but his looks do not mean a whole lot.

        You can disagree all you want; I know what works for me.

        • BLake says:

          While I think we’ve already worked that out. But since you asked

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_attraction
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attractiveness

          I just figured if bisexual= attraction to both (in various ways in various degrees) a person who says they aren’t attracted to one side is a direct contradiction even by definitions you’ve given me, but I’ve already came to the conclusion that you’re attracted to men for what’s on the inside.

          Just like how I’m attracted to Brian not physically but to his beliefs and heart. So I actually do understand how you feel with regards to your attraction to men.

    • BLake says:

      If you aren’t attracted to men at all why do you have sex with them and call yourself bisexual when it by definition means someone ATTRACTED to both?

      And I think flexible is different, but not in the way the author feels, it is a matter of attraction.

    • BLake says:

      “I will admit that if having sex with him is good, I wouldn’t be opposed to having sex with him again… but me and him aren’t going to be setting up house in any foreseeable future.”

      But that is almost exactly what hetero flexible is. And if you are having sex with him in the first place doesn’t that imply some attraction?

      • kdaddy23 says:

        I dunno… Does it imply anything other than I’m horny and game and so is he? Some says the attraction is implied and necessary for sex – I say it isn’t.

    • Blake says:

      ” it’s liking the sex that can be had with both ”

      That’s not true, you’re using the term bisexual or attraction wrong then

      https://www.google.com/#newwindow=1&q=bisexual+defintion

      If that were true, many closeted gays who pretended to be straight and had wifves are really bisexual.

      ” and as if that definition actually applies to everyone who is bisexual… because it doesn’t.”

      But then they literally aren’t bisexual. The way you define sexual oreination is compelty wrong. Your defintion would make a lot of escorts actually bi when they aren’t.

      • kdaddy23 says:

        There’s the literal definition then there’s what it means to me and how it applies. Again, you don’t have to agree with how I see things but it’s how I see it and have seen it for a very long time and through many experiences.

        It works – for me if for no one else; we – bisexuals – are not all the same, are not motivated by the same things, aren’t attracts to the same things and, to me, that’s the beauty of it.

        Too many people treat bisexuality like its heterosexuality and it isn’t. It is not always about romance and not always about same-sex relationships; not saying those things don’t happen but it is not a given or a requirement. People put their stock on physical attraction, not that they’re wrong but not everyone gives a damn about physical attractions – I know I don’t and I’m not the only one who doesn’t.

        And they say they’re bisexual, too, and I don’t disagree with them. You like sex with men and women but looking at a nice looking guy doesn’t rev your engine? Still bisexual.

        You don’t agree? It’s your right to not agree but you can believe that I know what I’ve been doing for five decades and why i do it even if no one else agrees on what they think I’m doing. Like heteroflexible? Can’t stand the word, but if you wanna call yourself that, go for it; I’d never use the word to describe myself.

        • BLake says:

          But when you first saw the definition of the word how did you feel it applied to you? At that point isn’t it just misusing the word? Even if it does work for you? Like If a gay person called themselves straight yet were openly gay.

          • kdaddy23 says:

            As I mentioned before, it took me years to figure out how the literal definition fit me and it’s not a precise fit, not for me or a lot of people – but for some, it is a precise fit.

            So it’s not a misuse of the word and gay men have called themselves straight when they’ve had to because for the longest time, it wasn’t safe to call themselves gay in certain locales. There are gay men today who say they’re straight-acting. Doesn’t mean their not gay, does it?

            And because guys don’t make me go ga-ga doesn’t mean I’m not bisexual. It’s the way I am and I once questioned it and found my answers. Like I explained to you, the things I find attractive about anyone cannot be easily seen – but if you were the homeliest guy in the room but you wanted to have sex with me, I probably wouldn’t tell you know because I find the sex alone to be damned attractive.

            I say I’m bisexual, some say I’m not – and it’s odd that the people who say I’m not aren’t bisexual themselves, like the straight guy who insisted I wasn’t bisexual because I’m no longer a fan of anal sex. I mean, really? Or the homosexuals who still to tell me that at 60, I’m going through some phase and that I deny being homosexual.

            And the end of any day, and as it has been through the almost all of my life, it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks I am as long as I know what I am. I’m bisexual. I’m not dictionary perfect but who is? And if I’m expected to exactly match the definition, well, somebody’s gonna be very disappointed.

            • BLake says:

              “when they’ve had”

              Well I was talking about a non closet case that says “Yeah I’m attracted to the same sex, but I’m still straight”

              I’m not doubting your bisexuality. I accept you’re bi. I just understand your attraction to men is different than most people What I’m arguing is that based on what you’ve told me “not at all” isn’t the most accurate way to describe it. Which is how I can see what caused the young lady such confusion.

              May I ask, what lead you to reply to this post since we already had our talk via email?

              • kdaddy23 says:

                I wanted to. Other people read my blog, read the comments, and maybe more clarity is needed? I knew we’d discussed this but who else knew that?

                Besides, Borderlands: The Pre Sequel was kicking my ass and I needed a break before I go back to kicking its ass…

                • BLake says:

                  I like to think of flexible as “monosexual but open to expect ions” or a w “weak bisexuality” or a kinsey .5 something like that.

                  Like say someone who likes meat pizza but will only eat veggie pizza if they are really really hungry enough and only with the right vegetables from the right pizza place cooked a certain way.

                  Or think of someone who is a lady gaga fan, but likes a couple of madonna songs but isn’t really a fan of her. I guess it technically is bisexuality, but a more accurate label. It’s why I don’t use bisexual but rather “gay with bisexual tendceies” because i’m only bi on occasion. But yes bisexuals these days do try to hard to say they aren’t.

                  Also what do you think of this article’s content?

                  https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/the-gay-men-who-have-sex-with-women

                  Oh wow, you’re sex positive and a gamer. That’s awesome.

                  • kdaddy23 says:

                    Very sex positive and definitely a long-time gamer; matter of fact, I finally got my Xbox One a few days ago!

                    The article doesn’t surprise me one bit; I know lesbians who have had sex with men and still maintain they’re lesbian – even though their sisters in Sappho says they aren’t, like the lesbian woman who has sex with a guy tonged pregnant because she can’t afford to go to a clinic to be artificially inseminated.

                    Just like there are straight guys who like dick from time to time but say they’re straight; doesn’t sound like they’re all that straight but people, I’ve learned, tend to think in terms of what they’d normally do; normally, a gay man has sex with other men and if he screws a woman – and for the reasons the article says – okay, they screwed a woman… but they’re still gay because of what they do in the majority of times.

                    Whatever works… but I kinda think people in this category may be mindfucking themselves. I could say that I’m heterosexual with bisexual tendencies and that’s nitpicking… and I’d rather not pick nits. If a gay man likes having sex with women, okay, whatever floats your boat but to anyone else, they’d say he was bisexual; otherwise, um, why are you screwing a woman when you don’t even like pussy?

                    There’s nothing logical about this and these days, people are like, “Don’t pay attention to what I’m doing – pay attention to what I’m telling you! Yes, I screw women from time to time… but I’m still very much gay!”

                    Um… okay, if you say so. That would be like me insisting that I’m Caucasian… when I’m obviously not. Or as patently ridiculous as my telling you that I’ve had sex with hundreds of men – but I’m very much straight.

                    I know some guys who started out screwing women but found it wasn’t to their liking but being gay was. I know a woman who asked a gay friend of hers to have sex with her so she could get pregnant and he screwed her a few times before she learned she was sterile and couldn’t get pregnant.

                    Her gay friend never spoke to her again.

                    • BLake says:

                      See, and I hate that. I find it really silly when people try too hard to say they aren’t bisexual or some variation of it. Would you consider the men in the article bi? I do, forget whatever they think, what do you think they are?

                      “and I’d rather not pick nits.”

                      I can see how it’s nit picking, but for me I find it necessary as I don’t want to give the world the impression that women have a decent chance with me then guys, because they really don’t. Which is what I feel saying I’m bi is.

                      “Her gay friend never spoke to her again.”

                      Was that because he ended up fucking her for nothing? I wonder how he got it hard then.

                    • kdaddy23 says:

                      I’d say they were bi but that’s me. She told me that there were times he couldn’t get it up and when he did, it was because she had him watching gay porn. She said that he said it was the most distasteful thing he’d ever done but he did it out of their deep, longstanding friendship, which got trashed.

                      I’d think it would be simpler just for you to say you’re gay and leave it at that… unless you believe it’s possible a woman could stand a chance with you? Most women wouldn’t expect a gay man to sleep with them… unless she somehow knew he wasn’t gay. I know of a couple of guys who have pulled the gay card just to stop a woman from chasing after them – and they weren’t even gay.

              • kdaddy23 says:

                Crap… “I’m attracted to the same-sex but I’m still straight.” That doesn’t sound right, does it? Someone says this to me and I’ll ask them if they could be bisexual because they fit part of the definition. However, I also understand that a guy can be attracted to guys – but not sexually or, if they do get a boner checking out some hot guy, they wouldn’t have the sex – they’re happy sticking to sex with women.

                And that’s fine… but I know I wouldn’t say I was straight because bisexuality and be emotional, physical, or both. Again, the perception is both things have to be in play to be bisexual and that’s just not the truth.

                • BLake says:

                  And that’s thew kind of guy that might get called heteroflexible. But my theoretical person was suppose to be an example of a person just flagrantly misusing words.

                  • kdaddy23 says:

                    A lot of people do it, although the why of it doesn’t always make sense to others. Again, if I told you that I’m a white man, you’d think I was nuts, right? Yeah, so would I.

                    The real question is why would someone say they’re same-sex attracted but insist they’re straight? The “obvious” answer is they’re in denial about being bisexual even if only emotionally.

                    The “B-word” scares a lot of people and more so when we all know society demands that we all be heterosexual… even thought that ain’t even close to the truth.

                • BLake says:

                  “’I’d think it would be simpler just for you to say you’re gay and leave it at that… unless you believe it’s possible a woman could stand a chance with you? ”

                  If someone were to ask me my sexuality or if I was mentioning it in passing Yeah I just leave it at gay, but if they want details or if the discussion needs it I give the little caveat. Maybe a woman does have like a 1% chance, but nothing to act on.

                  Ever since that incident, my attraction to men has intensified. When I get a decent body have have sex with 10 guys 6/10 and above I’ll make sure to let you know of my progress, thanks again Rob, and keep sucking dick XD

        • BLake says:

          Also, I’m not doubting your bisexuality. I accept you’re bi. I just understand your attraction to men is different than most people

          • kdaddy23 says:

            What I think about, say, bisexuality versus heteroflexibility is an opinion; I read the definition, hear what heteroflexibles say about it and, yeah, I do wonder how that’s any different from being bisexual – and I just don’t see any difference in their actions, which gets me laughing at the hypocrisy that goes along with that old saying, “Actions speak louder than words” – except in this, the word “heteroflexible” means more than what the person is actually doing.

            Seriously?

            I don’t like the word, just like many people don’t like the word bisexual; I don’t run and hide from the word even if I don’t behave in a typical or expected manner. And I don’t have a problem writing about my dislike of the word or how it seems that bisexuality has changed over time and the biggest change is people behaving like bisexuals and saying that they aren’t. They seem to expect some sort of equal behavior, like, if I love women (and I do), then I should feel the same thing for the men I have sex with – and I don’t, except for one time in my life that taught me that love is possible… but I don’t have to be in love with you to give you a blow job.

            I don’t have to be into you; I just have to like you enough and trust you enough, which in my mind, is the minimum “requirement” needed because I love having sex and I try my best not to make it hard to have sex. Yes, I’ve been questioned about my lack of attraction… doesn’t change what I am, what I’ve always been.

            Just amazing…

  2. Thank you for adding your opinion to this discussion — I’m definitely interested in how different people define bisexuality, or really, sexuality at all.

    Yes, ascribing percentages to being attracted to someone does sound kind of silly, but the idea I was putting forward was that I thought if you’re bisexual you have to be equally as attracted to men as to women, and that there wasn’t room for being attracted more to one gender than to another. Which, after more research, there obviously is.

    The one, well, maybe two, things I would disagree with are that you seem to be saying that your definition of bisexuality is the only True definition. And I don’t really think there is a True definition right now, and there might never be. It’s up to the individual to define themselves how they feel the most comfortable and with the words they think fit them the best.

    I’m not sure I really understand what you’re saying when you say you have sex with men but you’re not attracted to them. Is being attracted to someone not an important part of wanting to have sex with them for you?

    The other issue I have with what you’re saying, is that it only matters what you do, not what you feel. I think what you feel is an incredibly important part of a sexuality definition and distinction, because there are many reasons you might do something, and it might not be because you specifically feel lust or attraction. What about asexuals who have sex with long-term partners who aren’t asexual, because their partner wants it? It sounds like you’re saying that those people aren’t actually asexual, because they had sex.

    • Blake says:

      That’s the problem with his post and definitions. Also think about closeted gay men who marry and successful have sex with women in the past, are they really bisexual?

      Sexual orientation is EXCLUSIVELY about attraction. I cannot stress how wrong this supposed bisexual is.

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  5. Stephen H says:

    I am Hetroflexible and I go under the ter “bi” because I feel that hetroflexible is a branch of being bi. Like there are branches in religion or even government. I often say I am bi,and if they ask more I explain what hetroflexible is because not a lot of people know the term at all.

  6. BLake says:

    I like to think the flexibles as a “weak bisexual” if you will.

    “But I feel like there is a difference. That heteroflexible means you’re willing/want to have lust-driven or attraction-driven interactions with someone of your own gender, whereas bisexual means you’re willing/want to have both lust and “something more.””

    And there lies the problem.

    There are such things as hetero romantic bisexuals, those who are attracted to both but only want relationships with the opposite. You confuse bisexual heteroromantic with heterofleixble.

    The latter is someone who is only sometimes homosexual

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