Why Don’t People Take Bisexuality Seriously?:The Impact of Labels on Our Well-Being

In Dame Magazine’s article entitled Why Don’t People Take Bisexuality Seriously Rachel Kramer Bussel describes the pros and cons of labels:

It’s ironic to me that [discussions on similar gendered attractions] has been less about sex, and more about labels, yet it also makes sense. Labels can help us form community and learn about ourselves, but when they come with so much baggage attached, they can also confuse us and, instead of being liberating, they can feel constricting, especially if we feel we have to hold ourselves up as an example of “what a bisexual person should look like.”

[Bussel] was reminded of this especially by this anecdote of Emmerton’s: “I had a really terrible time in university when I was dating a straight guy but had these desires to sleep with all the people, in all the ways, all the time. Part of me thought I was a terrible slut who could never be loved, the other part thought I was just having some trouble dealing with being bi, but I could not, at the time, reconcile myself to living the stereotype of being bi and poly. I did not want to be the person pointed to when someone said ‘look, you can’t be bi and monogamous, it’s impossible.’” To me, this is where labels can backfire; in trying to make ourselves “look good”—which is, frankly, a lose-lose situation because there will always be someone out there judging your sexual decision-making—we give in to the haters, and thereby give them power over us.

See Article at http://www.damemagazine.com/2015/01/14/why-dont-people-take-bisexuality-seriously

What strikes me is why as humans it is hard to function in our world without labels on some level?  By having a label and feeling good about it we somehow know ourselves better and love ourselves better.  Isn’t that bizarre? I mean I do not think it is so much about what label we CHOOSE as it is that the PROCESS by which we discover and learn about how to love who we are.  As I have said before, we are multifaceted.  Our sexual orientation is a core part of us but it is not all of us.  When it is an issue we are struggling with it is something that seems to be in the driver’s seat of our lives.  It is all consuming because we have not found acceptance yet.  What makes it worse is by staying stuck in our heads trying to figure out what label we are we miss out on getting into our bodies and listening to what it is trying to tell us.  We try to push away the feelings our body is asking us to let out.  This is due to fear.  This is because we internalize the messages from our environment that tell us that being attracted to a similar gender to our own is wrong.  We feel shame and fear and that manifests within our bodies and blocks us from our hearts.  When we are emotionally disconnected like that it shuts us down to ourselves and prevents love from coming in.  Then in that process of disconnect we look for quick fixes to make ourselves feel better like externalizing our misery through blaming others, getting angry, feeling resentment, etc. etc.  To sugarcoat the shame and fear we look for ways to lift ourselves out of it.  For some of us, that short term search for happiness can come in the form of addiction (whether it is drugs, sex, staying stuck in our heads, shopping, gambling, you name it).  Anything that consistently takes you away from your body and allows you to remain disconnected is an addiction.  It takes over your body and your power and keeps you stuck in a self-destructive cycle.

As a bisexual woman my process has been a long and arduous one where I still am racked with uncertainty at times and still doubt myself at times.  I choose to breathe into this uncertainty and doubt and understand that it is rooted in the fear based part of my self that chooses to protect me from the hurt and pain that comes with living in a society that does not accept us.  Having community support to normalize our experiences of being bisexual is essential to our finding self-acceptance.  It is essential that we have other people who empathize with us and who let us know it is OK to be bisexual and it is ok if one person’s experience of bisexuality does not line up with another person’s.

The other thing I find people doing all over a variety of blogs or forums is assessing a variety of attractions they have to multiple genders in an attempt to place themselves in a monosexual category.  I am pained to watch people go through this similar struggle in their lives that I have found myself in during the early years of my questioning.  No matter what age you are it seems vital for people to know where they fit.  This tells only furthers the point of Kramer Bussel’s article which is “people do not take bisexuality seriously.”  This is why I am so grateful to this community and want to continue to spread my love and blessings to all of you in letting you know that you are precious just being you.  You deserve to love you and all the parts of yourself.  Sometimes there is no simple answer and sometimes being out to yourself as “bisexual” does not feel good or right.  How can it be when everywhere you look people are so hung up defining what bisexuality means or is along with just about every other sexual minority label like “gay, lesbian, butch, femme, bear, stud, queer, dyke, asexual, etc.”  I am all for people having the right to express themselves the way they feel it is right.  No one has the right to do that but you.  I am not advocating people choose bisexual as a label but I am advocating that people learn to accept all parts of themselves including those nonexclusive gender attractions that seems to indicate nothing more than you are a natural and normal human being regardless of what way you swing.  That, in its base form, is all we have to learn.  To accept and love ourselves and everything else that comes up for us.

We are all unique and the beauty of bisexuality is it is an umbrella term for all fluid, free identifying individuals who do not experience exclusive romantic and/or sexual attractions to one gender.  If you are equally attracted to more than one gender you belong here.  If you have a preference for a certain gender over another you belong here.  If you are mostly attracted to one gender but had some attraction(s) to another gender at some point in your life you belong here.  If you have fluid shifts (over any span of time) in your attractions moving from one gender to another gender you belong here.  If you prefer one gender for one type of attraction and another gender for another type of attraction you belong here.  If your attractions for one gender generally take longer to blossom than your attractions for another gender, you belong here.

  • If you are a monosexual spouse/partner you belong here.
  • If you are a polyamorous partner you belong here.
  • If you are an ally you belong here.

All are welcome to wave the bisexual flag or any other flag of your liking.  We are an inclusive group that respects each person’s freedom to be who they are with no boundaries and limitations.  We won’t impose any kind of “notion” of what your sexuality means or should be because that is your choice.  We are here to empower you.  That is the joy of community and may be one of the only places where you find support.

-Mercedes Jet, Contributing Author

The Work of my Inspiration: Pema Chodron

Pema Chodron is a Tibetan Buddhist monk who converted to Buddhism in her 30’s after her husband left her.  She was a New Jersey School teacher and mother of two children and recalls hitting rock bottom after her divorce from her second husband.  It was at this time in her life where she came across an article by Tibetan Buddhist Trungba Rinpoche about how suffering is a calling from our souls to use our darkness to learn and grow rather than to run from it.  Her work can be found all over the internet along with books and recording of her teachings at a variety of schools across North America.  Her work has truly changed my life.  One of my favorite quotes by her is “Every Moment is the perfect teacher” because it reminds me to get out of my negative thought cycle, to breathe, and to come back into my body.  It is also a reminder to take time to show loving action towards myself (through doing something relaxing for myself each day) and to also taking loving action towards others in my life (particularly those closest to me). 

The power is in our thoughts and actions.  We manifest and create our own destiny by choosing how to respond to things that come up in our environment as well as things that come up from within our bodies.  One of the most remarkable things Pema Chodron teaches is our feelings are not our destiny.  Just because we feel low or sad does not mean we will fall apart if we choose to stay with those feelings.  Our ego tries to protect us from feeling these dark feelings but without darkness we would not have light.  Both things coexist within us and both things have to be honored if we are to love ourselves.  Truly if you wish for something to happen you can make it happen but you must believe in it and take action towards making it happen without expectations on how it should happen or what it will feel like.  This is a lot harder said than done but it is all about your attitude.  Otherwise it just won’t happen for you.
Below is an excerpt by Pema Chodron on gratitude:

The slogan ‘Be grateful to everyone’ is about making peace with the aspects of ourselves that we have rejected. Through doing that, we also make peace with the people we dislike. More to the point, being around people we dislike is often a catalyst for making friends with ourselves. Thus, “Be grateful to everyone.”

If we were to make a list of people we don’t like – people we find obnoxious, threatening, or worthy of contempt – we would find out a lot about those aspects of ourselves that we can’t face. If we were to come up with one word about each of the troublemakers in our lives, we would find ourselves with a list of descriptions of our own rejected qualities, which we project onto the outside world. The people who repel us unwittingly show the aspects of ourselves that we find unacceptable, which otherwise we can’t see. In traditional teachings on lojong it is put another way: other people trigger the karma that we haven’t worked out. They mirror us and give us the chance to befriend all of that ancient stuff that we carry around like a backpack full of boulders.

“Be grateful to everyone” is getting at a complete change of attitude. This slogan is not wishy-washy and naive. It does not mean that if you’re mugged on the street you should smile knowingly and say “Oh, I should be grateful for this” before losing consciousness. This slogan actually gets at the guts of how we perfect ignorance through avoidance, not knowing we’re eating poison, not knowing that we’re putting another layer of protection over our heart, not seeing the whole thing.

“Be grateful to everyone” means that all situations teach you, and often it’s the tough ones that teach you the best. There may be a Juan or Juanita in your life, and Juan or Juanita is the one who gets you going. They’re the ones who don’t go away: your mother, your husband, your wife, your lover, your child, the person that you have to work with every single day, part of the situation you can’t escape. There’s no way that someone else can tell you exactly what to do, because you’re the only one who knows where it’s torturing you, where your relationship with Juan or Juanita is getting into your guts.

In our own lives, the Bengali tea boys are the people who, when you let them through the front door of your house, go right down to the basement where you store the things you’d rather not deal with, pick out one of them, bring it to you, and say “Is this yours?”

-Mercedes Jet, Contributing Author

Tips for Telling New Friends You’re A BiWife

Hey BiWifeLifers

A reader asked a VERY good question.

How does she approach telling a new friend she’s a biwife?

The reader was concerned about her being judged by this person she was getting rather close with.

This a situation I’m sure we’ve ALL encountered at some point or another when getting close to a new friend we feel we want to really talk to and be free with.

Here’s a few things I’ve done in the past that have worked for me:

  1. Being bluntly honest. I’ve said something like, “Hey, I’m not telling you this because I’m attracted to you (by this time they’ve figured out the next words, lol) but I am bisexual. Does that make you uncomfortable?” a thousand and one times in my life.
  2. I’ve asked my new friends their views on the LGBT lifestyle to find out how they felt about homosexuality overall then taken my course of action from there.
  3. I’ve asked my new found friend early in the friendship “Hey, what’s your sexuality? Are you straight, bi?” If they dodge the question by pointing out they are married I always point out that’s not a defining factor in one’s sexuality. Most people answer honestly.
  4. You can always bring your new friend here to BiWifeLife, show them around, do some reading together (which wasn’t an option for me, lol but now it is for you!) and ask them what they think of being bisexual and married. Continue on appropriately from there.

At some point in time my friend and I will find ourselves out and about and a pretty woman will cross our paths. At that point my natural instincts come out and I will naturally look at the woman with obvious interest. Although I may try to hide it usually I’m unsuccessful.

In my case I have to tell a potential new friend almost immediately.I live in a huge city with many people and it’s very hard to keep my true nature hidden.There are plenty of gorgeous men and women in the city of New York.If I go out with a friend he or she will find out quickly, there’s nothing I can do about it.I’m bisexual and see the beauty in both genders.

My new potential friend should understand this about me and be able to deal with it, or the potential for a friendship isn’t potential at all.

Can you share with us how you deal with this situation?

Your input would be awesome!

-Jay Dee, Founder.

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My Husband is Against My Bisexuality…

So, you’ve done it.

You’ve come out. Your husband isn’t with the whole bi thing and so what.

You’ve decided to be true to yourself…and your heart.

You move forward with your bi crush or love interest.

It’s as great as you imagined.

Hubby decides he’s filing for divorce, you’re cool with that, you’re happy now.

Your lover is awesome, you two decide to become serious or move in with each other.

During the transition the kids start exhibiting behavioral issues, the divorce wasn’t pretty, some friends stuck it out, others thought you threw your life away and stopped talking to you.

So what, they weren’t real friends and the kids will adjust once they realize this is their TRUE mommy.

Your parents are disappointed in your recent choices and are concerned about the kids.

You stop attending your family church because things are just too different now.

Folks at your job are adjusting to your new lifestyle okay but you get a few stares and hear whispers around the water cooler.

Through all of this your relationship holds steady but the allure starts to wear off. Your new relationship is getting old quick under all the pressure of so many changes.

You begin to realize how much easier things were in your life when you were married.

You miss the way things used to be when you were at home with your husband and the kids.

You begin to doubt  your choices and this entire process…but it’s too late to turn back.

Your husband is gone.

Your kids aren’t too friendly right about now.

Things are weird at work.

Your friends are gone, your new ‘friends’ don’t know you well enough for you to really be comfortable with them.

The stress and strain is putting a lot on you and your new lover.

This is a hypothetical situation that could possibly be reality for those who are considering coming out and breaking free from the chains of the oppression of a marriage that doesn’t allow bisexuality.

The reason I wrote this article is because many of us think the grass is greener on the other side of town.

Sometimes that’s just not true.

Our new yard could have brown grass with patches that refuse to grow.

I’ve personally jumped out of the frying pan straight into the fire…and jumped right back in the pan, grateful for it’s comfort.

Now, I always think deeply and reflect even more so before I act on anything that may be life changing.

-Jay Dee

When Things Get Touchy In Your Marriage

No marriage is perfect.

We all hear these stories about those who met, fell in love and stayed married 60 years, had a bunch of kids and grandkids and died together.

That’s the ideal for so many of us. That’s not reality for so many of us.

There are blended families, unconventional marriages, all kinds of relationships out there.

Bisexual married women have issues heterosexual women don’t have BUT our marriages are the same as any other, they require love and attention.

What about when things get touchy in your marriage?

What do  you do then?

How do you work on a marriage when an impasse has been reached?

Say for instance you love women, he understands your desires and your sexuality but will not tolerate sex outside of your marriage.

You push, he pushes, no one budges.

The impasse has been reached and there’s no guide book on how to proceed.

Do you sacrifice what will make you happy to maintain your marriage?

Do you sacrifice your marriage for what you believe will make you happy?

What about a time when all you wanted was your marriage?

Can you see tomorrow not being married?

I sure can’t.

The very thought makes my heart heavy and eyes water with tears.

Then again, I can.

I remember single life and I was pretty okay with it.

The one thing I remember the most was being so lonely and wanting the love I saw in couples all around me.

Sometimes after few years of marriage that love from the early years, those intense feelings we had when falling in love seem to fade.

In some marriages those feelings from the early days only get stronger over the years.

Sometimes people change over time.

Sometimes the two people who fell in love with each other aren’t the same two people who fell in love with each other anymore.

Life can be confusing, sharing life with someone can be even more confusing.

Marriage is not easy and though there are tons of books out there on how to simplify and navigate marriage, you and your spouse are unique individuals and your marriage is unique.

Your marriage is unique in it’s joys and pains.

There is no book written specifically for your marriage.

When things get touchy in a relationship I find repetitive introspection and self evaluation before action of any sort works best for me.

I am a chess player and I know how to ‘see’ a board.

I ponder each strategic move on my part and the part of my opponent which allows me to determine my next move strategically when playing.

Through three marriages and enough relationships to last several lifetimes I’ve learned how to live strategically within relationships.

I ask myself what makes sense and doesn’t make sense. On my part first, then the part of my partner.

I also ask myself what part am I playing in my relationship issues.

Always I look toward self first. Not self depreciating in the least but rather honest self evaluation.

When things get touchy I don’t react if I can help it.

I think.

I think hard with my mind and don’t let my heart guide my first reaction to situations more often than not.

Using logic over emotion I work hard to keep my relationships healthy.

I am an emotional female and I know what life is like when I live by emotions.

It can be chaotic to say the least, lol.

When things get touchy I think before I act and that’s what works for me.

Thinking before I speak used to be a challenge for me. Some things I just can’t let slide but more often than not I just bite my tongue and ponder.

I’m no relationship guru but I’ve been through enough relationships to know what works for me and what doesn’t.

I also know how to choose my battles wisely and though sometimes I can be a slave to my emotions I work hard to control that aspect of my being for the sake of my own happiness and the happiness of my spouse.

Things will inevitably get touchy in relationships, it’s all about how we deal with it.

-Jay Dee, Founder

The Great Things About Being Bisexual (Part One)

According to an online survey conducted by Rostosky, Riggle, Hague, and McCants (Psychology & Sexuality, Vol. 1, No. 2, May 2010, 131-144), bisexuals were asked what they like about being bisexual and said some of the following:

  1. “Freedom from social labels
  2. Honesty and authenticity
  3. Having a unique perspective
  4. Increased levels of insight and awareness”

Freedom from social labels means people do not want to be put into a box because sexuality for most of us is not something that can be easily explained and is not so cut and dry. Many people being surveyed commented along these lines “You’re not being boxed in by one set of expectations or confined to a specific label/role because not everything is cut and dry.  Sexuality is too complex to be broken down into such simplistic terms.  While I swing toward one gender, I can be drawn to another gender.    I do not generally use labels, I sometimes am asked specific questions about my sexuality from people who want to understand this part of me better.  Over the decades I have used the following labels: not straight, bisexual, pansexual, queer, fluid, bisexual lesbian, fluid lesbian. People learn from me that I do not have to be in a box and that it is totally ok to choose no label and I love that.”

Other commenters believed that by identifying as bisexual, it gave them the freedom to dress “how they like and to create their own style – because if they had chosen a gay/lesbian identity they would feel pressured to look a certain way and to ‘code’ a particular way.”  Another person said “I dress based on the energy I want to express whether that be feminine, masculine, androgynous changes from day to day and I do not limit myself just to how I dress when I’m out socializing, I also tune into this energy in the bedroom.”

People also did not feel the need to subscribe to the traditional monogamous relationship lifestyle and could enjoy the freedom to define their relationship in the way that worked for them with more flexibility.

The “freedom to live authentically and honestly” gave one person a feeling of “rather than being ‘this not that’, I am this AND that…I’ve felt like a blossoming flower.  As I become more fully aware and I’m more comfortable with each petal of my identity.  I open myself up and look into the sun…as someone who identifies as bisexual and does not see the world on a multitude of plains, my intellect and creativity, my head and my heart, are just further parallels of how I am able to find myself attracted to and love both men and women.”

This “unique perspective” which is another positive aspect of bisexual identity, gives people self-awareness and insight because by changing the way they look at sexuality, it allows them to be more open to themselves and what unfolds.  This openness is necessary to combat the fear that often gets in the way of people evolving and learning more about themselves as they age.

What do you find love about being bisexual?

Sound off below!

-Mercedes Jet, Contributing Author

Expressing Your BiSelf

How do you put your bisexuality on display?

There are endless ways to create a safe bisexual space that feels good to you in a world where you may feel pressured to hide your bisexuality.  Engaging in a bisexual display provides a sense of authenticity in one’s bisexuality.  Bisexuality is enlivened by writing stories, poetry, or painting or other creative forms of expression involving different kinds of love, sensual feelings, fantasies, or reading erotic stories.  (Hartman-Linck 2014).

Expressing attractions and discussing fantasies with your partner(s) is another way to safely express your bisexual desires.

We connect with ourselves by creating a space within our home like perhaps covering the walls with pictures of people we find attractive, having a library of queer books, displaying pride symbols or flags, reading or having queer newsletters or magazines out on the table for display in our living room, having refrigerator magnets of Bi Pride, hanging the flag in our yards are all ways people have bisexual markers that serve as a daily reminder of being proud of our bisexuality.

For people who have a family, they can introduce their children to queer role models to combat negative stereotypes associated with a homophobic heteronormative society.  (Hartman-Linck, 2014, pp. 178-179).

There are many ways to engage in bisexual display.

What do you do?

Please share below!

-Mercedes Jet, Contributing Author

Street Fashion Stars of 2014

Street Fashion is a passion of mine and has been since I was a child.

I try to always maintain an impeccable fashion appearance outside of my home.

I dress for the occasion from a business meeting to jazz in the park and I’ve always have a unique off trend yet trendy style.

At present with work, family, school life I am unable to indulge in fashion as I once was able to.  😦

I do, however, remain immersed in my love for fashion within my heart…and my google pages, lol.

Here’s a link to a cute fashion blog I found while researching street fashion online.

Check out the HOT designs and outfits on the these serious street fashion stars of 2014

 

 

 

7 Rules for Looking Cute when It’s Cold

We’ve all heard the sayings:

“If you go outside with wet hair…” or “If you don’t cover your chest…” or “If you don’t put something on your legs…” the next words are usually something to the effect of “You’ll catch a cold!” , “You’ll catch a flu!” or “You’ll catch your death!”

Well, I’ve always been a rebel and have done each of those forbidden winter fashion thingies up there.

I did get the flu one year and pneumonia another. -_-

photo credit: hercampus.com
photo credit:designmom.com

I’ve learned how to look cute when it’s really cold, figured I’d share a few tips with you.

  • When shopping for a winter coat don’t just go for style, go for WARMTH. Choose a thicker fabric, insulated with thermal fabric, fur, cotton or goose down. There are even technologically engineered fabrics that are thin but warm such as Uniqlo gear.
  • Do your research and don’t buy just because it’s cute or trending. You’ll so regret it one really cold night! Remember, bring a trusted friend shopping always to keep you in line.
  • When buying boots for the winter always buy ONE HALF OR FULL SIZE larger to allow for thick footed leggings AND thermal socks :). Sexy shoes or boots are a blow when your feet are freezing!
  • When buying sweaters don’t go for price, go for quality. A good quality sweater that cost a a bit more money just might make it so you can wear your cute little leather on a not too cold day this winter. A cheaper priced lower quality sweater may require layers under your coat on a really cold day!
  • Don’t forget under garments! Not talking bra and panties. If you’re not a thermal set type of gal invest in insulated tights (they come in a ton of fabrics, patterns and prints) and lots of tight tees or tank tops to keep you warm under your clothes.
  • Keep in mind those thick tights can be worn under jeans to give a curvier appearance in all the right places 😉
  • Don’t forget a cute hat, scarf & glove sets. I think these are just the icing on the cake as far as winter fashion goes.
  • Remember only buy knitted items if they are lined or insulated. Never buy unlined knit outerwear for really cold weather. It’s nothing but a bunch of pretty interwoven holes if you look at it! How’s that keep you warm with nothing backing it?
  • Don’t be afraid to layer up! It’s okay. 🙂 It’s okay to wear vests, blazers, etc to add one more layer of warmth under your outerwear and make your outfit pop!
  • Have fun shopping!!!

Hope something in here helps you stay cute in the cold 🙂

-Jay Dee, Founder

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