Is bisexuality a choice?

Today we battle for equality on several fronts. One of the most prominent is equality for homosexuals in marriage and overall acceptance in society in order to minimize violence and prejudice against them. As a result many arguements have been made that homosexually is no more a choice than heterosexuality. One is born that way. It’s a biological predisposition like heterosexuality.

This I believe. But I have a hypothesis about bisexuality.

In our motivation to bring equality to homosexuals, we may be prone to label all sexuality as a biological predisposition. It’s hard enough to convince conservatives that homosexuality is a biological predisposition to begin with, no one wants to gunk up the works by throwing a wrench into it and saying bisexuality may not be. At least not completely. Even the slightest suggestion that some sexuality may be a choice, undermines arguements for homosexuality. It will likely prompt conservatives to say that if one can be a choice, the other probably is as well. Something they already believe anyway.

But let’s not be naive, the battle here is for equality, the argument that homosexuality is a biological predispotion is just a single piece of ammunition in the debate. The real debate is morality. One side believes homosexuality is immoral and unnatural and the other believes it is neither of those things. Ultimately it shouldn’t matter if homosexuality is a biological predisposition or not, it should be considered perfectly acceptable simply because it is not our place to tell other people what they are and are not allowed to do in their personal lives. This greater argument applies to any non-harmful predisposition, activity or lifestyle that people are inclined toward. This could be anything from cross dressing and transgender(ism) to wearing a burka as a religious choice. Homosexuality is just one battle in the overall war for greater equality and acceptance of individual freedom.

So with that said, let’s look at bisexuality.

I’m fairly convinced at this point that not all bisexuality is a biological predisposition. For some people it may be. But I think that for the greater majority it’s actually a choice or a situation of influence. I have to be careful when I use the word choice here. I do not mean to say that people simply choose to be attracted to people of both genders (or more). I think there are various influences in their lives that affect them and that these influences can vary not just person to person but also inside the same person, leading to sexual fluidity. Where one day someone can be more attracted to someone of one gender and the next someone of the other. From there it becomes a choice to act on those influences and to further influence oneself to grow that sexual positon and outlook in themselves.

I think that ultimately people are either born with a heterosexual, homosexual, pansexual or asexual bias. This bias affects both their physical sexual attraction and their overall love attraction. That is to say, which gender they are more likely to swoon over, have crushes on, feel embarrassed around, feel jealous of and so on. Now it’s true that some people born with a biological pansexual predisposition really could go any way. They are attracted simply to the person and gender is not a determining factor. They are the opposites of asexuals. Where asexuals are not attracted to anyone of any gender (at least sexually), pansexuals don’t see a gender, only attraction. We could refer to these people as true bisexuals, but I don’t believe bisexual is really the accurate word for them, I think they are likely more pansexual biologically speaking. But I honestly believe these people are rare. The majority of people who claim themselves bisexual or pansexual typically have a biological heterosexual bias.

Most bisexuals/pansexuals/et cetera are created through life experiences/influences and possibly active acceptance and conscious growth of this sexaulity. More like a kink than a biological sexual orientation.

Some examples may be lipstick lesbians who indulge in acts of bisexuality simply for attention or to please a man. Some forms of biseuxality are purely experimental and based on curiousity. They want to know what it’s like to be with someone of the same gender. What we typically call bicurious. From there they choose whether or not to persue that sexuality further in various forms. They could decide they don’t care for it or they could enjoy it a lot want to partake in it regularly. They may decide they only like it in fantasy and not in real life. They may enjoy it from the perspective of being pleased without actually going any further toward a loving relationship. For example an otherwise straight male who doesn’t mind getting oral pleasure from another male, but that is as far as he will go.

This is wholly different than someone who has a biological sexual predisposition. Those predispositions are the ground that people stand on. They cannot switch sides. They can however have certain life experiences influence their overall choices resulting in levels of bisexuality/pansexuality/etc. This could lead to a heterosexual person choosing to be in a homosexual relationship for the rest of their life. They haven’t switched biological predispositions, they’ve simply made a choice based on various influences. They may feel safer in a homosexual relationship. They may feel there is less pressure. They may really love the person they are in a homosexual relationship with and just never found any heterosexual partner that is as good as their homosexual partner. Ultimately they are still heteorsexual, but they increased their bisexuality enough to allow for a loving homosexual relationship.

So I tend to think of bisexuality as a level of our personalities that can either be increased or decreased. Like role playing games where you expand your characters dexterity, magic skills, strength, speed, etc. A hetero or homosexual person can increase their level of biseuxality either through uncontrolled influences in their lives or direct choice to expand themselves. Think of it like fitness and muscle building. There are activities you will do in your life that will build muscle. Even if your intention is not to build muscle it comes as a result of these activites. Maybe you enjoy playing a sport or maybe you work a job that uses certain muscles more than others. Alternatively you can chooce to hit the iron, you can choose to work your butt off at the gym and in the kitchen eating clean and increasing your protein intake with the goal to build muscle. Neither one of these are necessarily biological predispotions. They result either as a situation of circumstance or choice.

So what does this mean?

It means that if I’m right, we shouldn’t look at bisexuality as just another option on scale between heterosexual and homosexual.

The diagram above show how we tend to currently look at sexual orientation. The Kinsey scale. It’s a good scale for determining where someone falls on the sex spectrum between heterosexual and homosexual. The problem is person C. Generally they would be referred to as completely bisexual. But if most forms of bisexuality turn out to be a choice rather than a biological predisposition, then person C would need a predisposition and that is not easily shown on the Kinsey scale.

What I have done with this modified scale is take bisexuality to a whole different dimension on top of someones biological predisposition. Either they are bisexual to a certain percentage or they are not at all. What is nice about this new scale is that we don’t just have to include bisexuality, right next to the 0-100% bisexual scale we could put another scale like gender identity, cross dressing or forms of sexual kink like BSDM.

Conclusion (summary)
I believe most bisexuals have more in common with people who have certain sexual kinks or lifestyle choices (like cross dressing or figure skating) rather than they do with people who are biologically homosexual. Someone one does because it interests them or they have been influenced at some point in their life to pursue it. That doesn’t make bisexuality immoral or wrong. Unless that’s what you believe or what someone has convinced you of. But there is no evidence to believe something humans have been doing forever now is wrong. Especially if it doesn’t harm anyone. It’s no more wrong than have an intense passion in model making or playing in a rock band. So this is ultimately this is a moral debate, not a human sexuality debate. It’s about people trying to tell you that your interest/passion is wrong because they don’t personally like it based on some other influence they’ve had in their life.

If this is true, this is exciting stuff. It means that one doesn’t need to be biologically bisexual, it can be something you learn and build yourself. Which means you can increase your sexual diversity if you keep an open mind. You can be heterosexual or homosexual but have a certain percentage of bisexuality on top of that. This bisexual muscle building could help you gain greater compasion for more people.

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