This is in response to a rhetorical question posed by Drew, a small part of a longer post about something else, that for some reason caught my attention.
Finally, as I have written this I just realized I don’t know any bisexual men who are in a primary relationship with a man but have a woman on the side. How odd. I do have multiple gay friends who had marriages/relationships with women but changed teams after some years and none of them want to go back to anything intimate with a woman, but, also, none of these guys identify themselves as bisexual now either. That’s just a curiosity of mine, now. Hmmm.
My original plan was to leave my thoughts on his post as a comment, but while I have a great number of skills I excel at, not-rambling is one I simply cannot do well. A thousand words into the reply, I realized this was too damn long for a comment, and I’d need to write it as a post.
This is just speculation, and I’m not gay, so this may be totally off, and if it is, or if I’m off-base due to ignorance, please tell me. A general rule for dealing with me: Allowing me to wallow in my ignorance is almost as bad as lying to me.
My personal view is that gender is fluid, but because psychology, and because our brains need categorize and label to maintain our sanity, certain parts of that spectrum have been lumped together and labeled. You’ve got Straight, Bi, and Gay.
Obviously it’s not that simple. On one side, you’ve got Straight as an Arrow, Mostly Straight, and Straight-ish (heteroflexible). And even that is a gross oversimplification.
But for the sake of not making this ten thousand words long, we’ll keep it stupidly simple. The gender you’re attracted to can be just as fluid as gender itself, but a great deal of that is decided by your genetics. Genetics plants you on one end of the spectrum. Either Straight or Gay. You’re born predisposed to one side or the other.
Through learning about yourself, developing your personality, reacting to the environment you’re raised in, and figuring out how you feel about yourself and the world around you, that slider starts to slide toward the middle, until it reaches a place where you’re comfortable. You develop a sexuality that is as complex as any other aspect of your personality. Same with gender identity (and again, for the sake of simplicity, we’re going to take out transgender people, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored or disrespected. Really, I know this is going to be long, and I’m trying not to write a damn book).
You develop that sexuality, you learn what fits with you, what makes you feel good, what you enjoy, what turns you on. As you do, that slider moves to wherever it fits on the spectrum. And it can sometimes be cemented in, if that’s what you’re comfortable with, or it can slide all over the damn place, if you prefer.
That’s what should happen, anyway, and I think that’s what we’re wired for. That’s what happens to people born with the slider in the Straight camp.
But for people who are born gay (and we’ll take away psycho religious parents or intolerant parents. Keeping it simple. We’ll say that it is not reasonable to fear that the parents will hate or disown the child for being gay), it’s different. That slider should be all the way to the Gay side of the spectrum, but it’s artificially pushed toward the middle, or all the way to the other side.
And with non-psycho parents, we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was completely unintentional. But they had a hand in it. It’s natural for a parent to assume their child is straight. I’ve had conversations with my four-year-old about whether she wants a husband or a wife when she grows up (because boys have cooties and the only man she wants to allow in her house when she grows up and makes TONS of dollars, like 25 dollars, is her daddy). And I feel like I’ve gone out of my way to leave that gender identity and gender attraction door open for her.
But then, she’ll say something stupid (like saying “I play drums with my butt” when she farts) and I’ll say, “I cannot wait to tell your first boyfriend that.” I don’t even think about it.
Statistically, her slider is probably under Straight. But if it’s not, if her slider is under gay, and she’s always being told she is going to end up with a boy, she’s going to marry a boy, she’s going to be a mommy and raise a baby with a daddy, that pushes it toward the middle.
She’s fucking four. She doesn’t know yet if she’s gay or straight. She doesn’t understand what that means. She doesn’t fully understand what gender is. There’s a lot she doesn’t know.
So she takes my lead, as is natural. My words, my comments, even in passing, color her perception of the world, and what she’s supposed to be. She accepts what I tell her as truth, because she doesn’t know any better. My inlaws tell her that a fat man flies around the world, fits down her chimney, and leaves presents for her, and she believes it, because she doesn’t understand how that isn’t possible. She doesn’t understand the world.
A parent who says (or even just implies) that their child is or needs to be straight has those words accepted as unequivocal truth by their children. And it affects that slider.
Coming out as gay, from what I’ve heard from other people, is almost always terrifying, and emotionally charged. I’ll never forget watching a video, a black woman’s sister videotaped her coming out to their mom. And the lesbian was terrified. She stumbled over her words, she took long pauses and deep trembling breaths, and she barely got it out.
The entire time, the mom stood there, leaning against the wall of the hallway/walkway she was standing in, her arms crossed, her expression unreadable.
Finally, the daughter got it out. The mom paused for a moment, then said, completely calmly, with almost no emotion, like she was bored with the whole thing, “That’s it? That’s the big news you had to tell me? That’s your big announcement? Because that’s not a big announcement girl, I know you don’t think I’m dumb. I know you don’t think I didn’t know this for the last ten years. I knew you were in the closet.”
By now the sister was laughing, and it’s hard to tell, I think the daughter was laughing too. The mom was standing right next to either a supply closet, or maybe the doorway to a basement, so she opened the door and said, “Every once in awhile we’d peek in the closet door and check on you. ‘Hey, you ready to come out? No? Alright then, you stay in the closet.’ [close door.] Then, a little later, [open door] ‘Hey, you ready yet? No? Alright, see you later.’ [close door] So alright, this is your big news. You a lesbian, I’ll send out the family newsletter.”
So with a parent like that, from a strictly logical standpoint, it was unreasonable for her to be afraid of her mom’s reaction. But when someone comes out of the closet, there is a great deal of (justifiable) completely irrational fear.
Because the media, the entire world has shown you that being gay is wrong, how you’re somehow less because you’re gay, that people hate you because you’re gay, that certain countries would imprison or execute you for being gay (which is why I changed my mind about honeymooning in Jamaica. I will never support a country that criminalizes that), that you’re at greater risk for being the victim of a hate crime for being gay, and that countless loving parents turn their backs on their children for being gay.
Fuck yes the fear is stronger than logic. That takes courage to do, and it’s not easy. For years, that slider has been artificially pushed to the right (or left, it doesn’t matter which is which), and when Straight people are developing their sexuality and finding out where they’re comfortable, starting from a neutral position, they can explore and experiment at their leisure. Gay people have had the slider pushed. They may be confused at why the position of the slider makes them uncomfortable, they may feel that’s where it’s supposed to be, but maybe there’s something wrong with them, maybe they already know, have always known, where the slider is supposed to be, but feel guilt because it’s not what everyone else is doing.
I’m not going to speculate on the millions of different methods a person has for realizing the slider is in the wrong place, and the process of both coming to terms with that and figuring out where it’s supposed to go. But that process, somehow, at some point, happens. And that’s not easy, either.
So once someone comes out as gay, they’ve finished all (or at least most) of that. They’ve had to fight for that. Whether consciously or not, it’s been a fight against themselves, against society, against expectations, against fear, against doubt. It may make someone question everything they think they know about themselves. It’s rarely an easy journey.
So they’ve gone through that, they’ve put the slider where it belongs, they can be themselves. When a young Straight person thought about moving that slider to the middle, the general mindset may have been, “Fuck it, let’s see what happens.” It’s a curiosity. It doesn’t necessarily greatly affect who they are.
A gay person didn’t get the luxury of being able to say, “Fuck it, let’s see what happens.” They didn’t get to casually experiment, with the cavalier attitude that a straight person may have had.
A gay person went through all that fucking work to put the slider solidly on the Gay side of the spectrum. After going through all that, subconsciously it may feel like undoing that work if they allow the slider to move to the middle.
A gay man, for example, may have spent the first decade and a half or more of his life being unintentionally told that he’s supposed to be attracted to women. And the whole time that’s going on, even before he’s old enough to be consciously aware of it, much less understand, there’s a part of him deep down that says no. As time goes on, that part of him may be harder and harder to ignore. It may be that same part of him, once he comes out, even years or decades after he comes out, that recoils at the idea of moving that slider back where it shouldn’t have been in the first place.
It’s possible that a part of his subconscious rebelled against where the slider had been pushed. In an effort to protect himself, his subconscious fought against the physical attraction he was being told he was supposed to feel towards women. It rebelled against the idea of having a girlfriend, having a wife. It rebelled against the idea that he was expected to join in with his guy friends when they started bragging about all the pussy they smash, because they’re “real men,” and “real men smash pussy.”
If that’s the case, then it’s understandable and expected that a gay man may discover that he’s more comfortable keeping the slider as far to the left as possible. If that’s the case, then it makes sense that he simply doesn’t find women attractive, and has little to no desire to experiment. He’s already done his experimenting, more or less against his will.
I owned a gay boy once, who was homosexual, but panromantic. We didn’t have words like “panromantic” back then, so trying to describe our relationship was difficult. But while he loved and adored me as his Owner, he could never be physically/sexually attracted to me. His body responded to me, sure. He was fine with me doing things to him, but he could never sexually service me. And he loved when I did things to him. He was a very eager slut.
But I learned quickly where his head was, exactly where that slider sat, and why he could never bring himself to be sexually attracted to me. Being with him helped me understand the mindset of a life and a trial I knew nothing about. And it helped me understand that, for him, there was so much more than “is she hot or not” going on in his head. It wasn’t that simple for him, because he didn’t have the luxury of developing his sexuality casually the way I did.
We’ve touched base a few times over the ten years since we broke up. Last I heard from him, he’d been collared by and gotten married to a loving Dom who took amazing care of him. I’m the only woman he ever belonged to (although he has had a couple of emotional, romantic relationships with vanilla women). That slider never budged for him. And he’s comfortable with that, he’s comfortable with who he is, and he’s happy.
He’s the only gay man whose mind I was able to explore that deeply. I’ve owned two lesbians over the years, only one of which I had the chance to fully explore, and her mindset was similar, although slightly more flexible. She took no pleasure in sexual activity with a man, but would tolerate it if I told her to. And she never once complained about my collared man at the time give her oral while I fucked her doggy-style with a strapon.
She did have a pretty deep love of humiliation, though, so I wonder if that’s part of the reason for the flexibility. Humiliating her by making her suck a man’s cock both repulsed her and turned her on, just as it does for Sounder. The act itself made her cringe, while the rush of humiliation when I fingered her and she came with a man’s cock in her mouth made her hungry for more. And on the rare occasion that I allowed him to cum in her mouth, and made her swallow, when she was already deep in subspace, it reduced her to the sweetest, sluttiest, neediest, most adorable puddle of subby goo. She was petite, so small, and she would crawl into my lap, clinging to me while I gently played with her clit, trembling, completely sated and spent and exhausted. That’s an awesome memory.
So again, my experience is limited to two individuals and my own speculation. I may be wrong, and if so, someone set me straight. But to me, the amateur psychologist that I am, it seems like a good theory.