Polyamory

Eight Myths About Pansexuality, Debunked

downloadIt’s hard to deny that ignorances and misunderstandings about pansexuals exist, and the bisexual community is not immune – despite facing plenty of myths of our own.  Myths around bisexuality and pansexuality overlap, but pansexuality also attracts some unique prejudices. It’s time to put them all to bed, starting with eight of the most common panphobic myths.

MYTH: Pansexual is a new term

FACT: We’ve been seeing the word pansexual since at least 1924. It’s shifted in meaning since it was coined, of course, just like the words ‘bisexual’, ‘homosexual’ and even ‘furniture’, ‘girl’ and ‘manufacture’. That’s just how language works.

It was first used by contemporary critics of Freud such as Otto Rank and Wilhelm Reich in derision, as an ironic validation of Freud’s suggestion that “that the sex instinct plays the primary part in all human activity”; or that our libidos either directly or indirectly, drive… Continue reading

“Fancy a 3sum?”: Online Dating As A Bi Woman…

woman-731894_1920Looking for love and/or lust on the internet is hard enough, without having to contend with people’s ignorance about your sexuality. However, on the plus-side, it can be a great way to find like-minded people who genuinely accept you being bi…

The fact that I’m in search of a mono relationship is spelled out in nursery level English on all my dating profiles. Yet I’ve probably had at least 10 direct requests for threesomes just this month. I even had to block a man who took the time to send nine messages, each more fire and brimstone-filled than the last, explaining how my orgiastic lifestyle would land me in Hell.

It hasn’t all been doom and gloom, though. Having the chance to gauge whether or not a date will deal with the “b-bomb” OK is out of the way at the beginning, so by the time you’re at the meeting… Continue reading

Bi, Poly, Parent, Anti-christ: Parenting while bi in a straight, straight world.

identity-683963_1280What do you get when you combine two mums, a dad, fourteen children and a conservative society? Why, a super villain of course! Valarie Clark-Neff takes wry look at the pitfalls of parenting while polyamorous and bi…

Dear children,

Please be advised: Your mom is a supervillain, hell-bent on destroying the patriarchy. She sometimes assumes civilian form and tries to blend into mainstream (straight) society, but much of her time is spent as a misandrist miscreant, fighting against biphobia, homophobia, misogyny, and other forms of bigotry.

You see the society you are inheriting is full of power hungry people who believe there is only one right way to have a family – with the man as the head of the household and the woman and children supporting him in his endeavors. The structure of this ideal family in our society is rigid and doesn’t allow for variation. It divides society… Continue reading

Past the look: What is demisexuality?

love-560783_1280One thing that has bothered me for a while when it comes to LGBT+ spaces is that they are primarily focused on bars and clubs: spaces revolving around alcohol and casual sex. For me, as someone who doesn’t drink, they are only places I would go if I was with a larger group of queer friends. Outside of that however, it is rare that I come across somewhere that is both queer and casual that I would like to spend my weekends.

I have recently been doing some research on the asexual (ace) and aromantic (aro) communities that are included within the LGBT+ umbrella but are very often ignored. One main difficulty the ace community faces is people rebranding the “A” in LGBTQIA as being for allies and not asexuals. This erases them even further as they are replaced by non-queer representation, which is exactly, not, the point.

The problem with LGBT+ spaces being hypersexualised means that queer ace people could feel uncomfortable or unwelcome in queer spaces due to the heavy focus on indulging in casual sexual behaviour, which is totally fine and awesome if you are into that sort of thing, but if you aren’t it leaves you in the cold as to where to find queer spaces and likeminded queer individuals. This oversexualisation of queerness and queer spaces also means that asexuals get forgotten and are sometimes not seen as being “queer enough” to be part of the community. Which is something that to bisexuals sounds strangely familiar…
Continue reading

Activating our Bi-dar: a future for the bisexual community

Radar

Most of us are familiar with the term gaydar.  It is the ‘intuitive’ ability to assess if someone is not straight.  But then, there you have it.  It implies that you can only be gay or straight.  What about all of us bisexuals?  What happens to us when someone erroneously assumes we are straight or gay?  As Shiri Eisner points out in Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution: “Since our bisexuality is not ‘known’ to have any visual markers, we are routinely accused of fraudulence, perceived as invisible, and forced to deal with others’ doubts regarding our identities and our oppression.”

The terms ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ present a simplified and more palatable understanding of how the world works.  In fact, the Western, minority world has a long-standing affinity for binaries – so much so that binarist ways of thinking and acting go unquestioned.  Anthropologists have a term for this: ‘Doxa’ – the stuff that goes without saying.  Good /bad; male/female; child/adult; life/death; straight/gay: are all binarist, seldom questioned, ways of making sense of the world.  Anything in between, that doesn’t fall neatly into one or the other category, is feared and sometimes reviled.

As part of our Judeo-Christian heritage, we tend to divide everything into rigid categories of good and bad so often, we don’t give it much critical thought.  For example, the male/female binary is left unquestioned, and it is assumed to be natural and inherent.  Any person who falls outside that binary is a social outcast.  Puberty, is another example of a liminal state of existence between childhood and adulthood, and as such is often scorned.  Teenagers are depicted in Western culture as individuals who are caught between childhood and adulthood and are therefore unstable and dangerous.  Those stages between life and death are rejected as unnatural and even repulsive because they defy our strict separation between those categories: life and death.  States of being like depression and chronic illness that are between being fully alive and dead, are considered to be something to avoid at all costs.
Continue reading

Janis Hetherington – Part 19: "Marriage"

Marriage-handcuffsJanis Hetherington was the first UK woman in an openly same-sex couple to be artificially inseminated. In this, the 19th part of her exclusive autobiographical series for Biscuit, Janis ponders the issue of marriage.

So, let’s describe my dilemma. Marriage. Like not an agreement but the whole shebang.. crash bang wallop. Suddenly we (myself and my polyamour of 40 years) have a drawer full of invites. The present list alone would sort out Biscuit for life!!

What is it? How can you contemplate it if, like me, you know you are capable of having multiple sexual partners? What are you committing to? The right of equality? Is that all it is? To prove YOU have the right to be equal? But equal to what? As I understand marriage vows in my nearly 70 years on this odd and not so green planet I see it as a contract of bondage not always lovey dovey bliss. We (as playful partners) were supposed to be different. Yes we signed legal contracts over property and wills but nuptials….? Not our bag dear-hearts.

And no I am NOT naïve. I have fought many court cases that I would still have had to fight had I and my children been part of a conventional marriage contract. Equality yes. The right to choose yes. For those of us who’d be throttled by tying the knot, don’t make us look like non-committers. Security? That seems to be the issue. It always was in a failed marriage and those who specialise in the new brand of GAY MARRIAGE I fear will charge a premium when sorting out assets and unfortunately custody.
Continue reading

"Share and share alike": Why multiple partners aren’t just a bi thing

poly2

“Polyamory, open relationships and cheating are tricky for bisexuals to talk about…”

In my experience in a heteronormative world, it’s much easier for me as a woman to find a boyfriend than it is to find a girlfriend. If I click with one of every 10 men who like me, and one of every 10 women who like me, chances are I will meet those ten men before I meet the ten women. Perhaps if I was a little more active in the LGBTQI community and less shy; but I’m not. Men come to me, as that’s how they’re taught to be. And they are always more interested when they find out I like women too.

I’m sure there are women out there who enjoy the male attention they get for being with other women. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with that in and of itself, as long as… Continue reading