Sexuality

Up For the Weekend: A Conversation with a Chem Sex Regular

imagesChem sex has been in the headlines recently, but how many of us know what really goes on? Artist and writer Sally Wyatt talks to an ex-chem sex regular. 

“Gay and bi men are being killed by seduction, and sex sites are letting this happen” he said, taking a sip of his skinny latte.

I look at Paul, a social worker in his 30s, who looks like a model from the autumn/winter Gap catalogue. I wonder if I have heard him correctly.

“How do you mean? “  I say.

“Sites like Grindr. People on there. They practically advertise chem sessions.”

“Sorry what’s a chem session?” I ask.

Paul gives me an astonished look.

“You know, where everyone comes, gets high on meth and has lots of sex.”

At this point, I have to confess I’m out of my depth, as I am a complete failure when it… Continue reading

Seven Myths About Asexuality, Debunked

2000px-asexual_flag-svgAsexuality – not experiencing sexual attraction – is one of the least widely understood sexual identities, and myths abound. In honour of Asexual Awareness Week, we’ve rounded up eight of the most common misunderstandings, ripe for debunking.

MYTH: Asexuality is just a made up new sexuality.

FACT: Leaving aside that all sexual identity labels are ‘made up’ at some point, the word ‘asexual’ has been used in its current sense since the 1890s. That’s exactly the same length of time as ‘homosexual’ has been around.

MYTH: Asexuality is just a fancy way of saying abstinent or celibate.

FACT: Abstinence is a behaviour. It is the choice not to engage in sexual activity. People who have chosen abstinence or celibacy still experience sexual attraction. By comparison, asexuality is defined by a lack of sexual attraction and is not a choice.

 

MYTH: Asexual people never have sex.

FACT:… Continue reading

Cultural Erasure: Where’s the B on Our TVs?

willowozA version of this post first appeared on Abigail’s blog, Experience Is To Be Believed.

About two years ago, I partook of some Netflix binges – re-watching all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and powering through the whole ofThe L Word were just too irresistible. Although I can’t deny I hugely enjoyed both of these binges, there was something I just couldn’t get past – the way bisexuality was treated in both.

Since then, I’ve kept them in my mind, and to be honest, I’ve yet to encounter any programmes made more recently which give bisexuality positive treatment, so let’s step back in time.

The year is 1997, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer has hit our screens. (I was only 6, so of course I wasn’t watching it then. But for reasons which will become clear, I feel hugely influenced by this programme, so indulge me.) We… Continue reading

Dear Joanna: “Am I bisexual… or not?”

118HDear Joanna,

I’m so confused and don’t know what to do! I don’t know if I am bisexual or not. I have been through the experimental time as a teenager and seen girls and had an attraction to them but I don’t know how I can find out if I really am without meeting someone and trying it out which is obviously not the way to go about it because someone who is a fully established bisexual would be hurt if I was to use them as an experiment. I have watched lesbian porn as I heard many straight people also do. I just don’t know what to do and I’m scared of telling anyone because I haven’t yet seen what it’s like to date a girl. Please help!

 

This is something many people go through in their life, so don’t worry, you’re not alone in your confusion!
It’s… Continue reading

The best of the #biactivistsaresickofhearing hashtag

You’ve got to love twitter. We use it for networking, maintaining friendships, sharing news and jokes and judging other people’s grammar.  And, of course, we use it for blowing off steam, like today, when a cotterie of frazzled bi activists decided to tweet the most ridiculous, illogical and, unfortunately, ubiquitous things they hear every day.

We kicked off with a few of our own experiences…

… and boy did we hit a nerve. Here are 15 of the best responses.

1. The one where non-binary bi people are completely erased

 

Flirting Without Fear: Your Guide to Getting It On

download (1)There’s one workshop at BiCon that’s always completely packed: Flirting. We did a little flirting of our own and got Kate Harrad who runs the workshop to let us in on a few of her secrets…

Why do people flirt? There’s often a perception that flirting is a bit dishonest, a bit like beating around the bush; if you fancy someone you should just tell them so. But flirting is a vital tool in the pursuit of romantic/sexual connection. It’s not for everyone, but it is incredibly useful, because the fact is, many – many –  people are not confident enough to walk up to someone and say ‘I fancy you, please date me.’

And the truth is, many people aren’t comfortable with being told that, either. It can put you on the spot, and if you’re not good at saying no, you might find yourself going out with… Continue reading

Research Round-up: Why Is Bisexual Mental Health So Poor?

MPOTY_2014_Helping_someone_get_treatment_for_mental_health_issuesBisexuals face many problems, including higher than average rates of interpersonal violence (IPV) and homelessness, but at top of that list is mental health. In a Biscuit poll in February 88% of respondents reported having had mental health problems at some point, with 37% reporting saying that theirs were severe.

But this is only just scratching the surface, as a 2010 study conducted by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission found bisexuals to be around six times more likely to have mental health problems than heterosexuals. The study also incorporated data from a 2002 study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, which reported that rates of mental health issues amongst bisexual people were significantly higher than those amongst lesbians and gay men.

My partners and I constantly argue over whether our mental health is a function of our bisexuality, vice versa, or unrelated. – Phil

A YouGov poll from… Continue reading

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

The Happiness Factor: Bisexuality, Wellbeing and Being Well

800px-Happy_face_high_resIt’s hard to be bisexual, but we can learn to be happy

So much of our experience as bisexual people is characterised by struggle: the struggle for recognition and acceptance in an unwelcoming culture, the struggle against biphobia, and the struggle to challenge the myriad of misguided beliefs about bisexuality prevalent in our society.

It’s right that we engage with these struggles, and it’s right that so much bisexual writing and activism focusses on them.

But if our lives are dominated by struggle, then we risk losing sight of other important areas of bisexual life, such as thinking about how we can thrive and be happy as bisexual people, despite the society we live in.

The kind of happiness I have in mind isn’t necessarily the fabled concept described in self-help books – after all, happiness, in a general sense, means different things to different people.

The happiness I’m thinking… 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