Entries in bisexuality (7)


“I Hope My Boyfriend Don’t Mind It”: The Implications of Same-Sex Infidelity in Heterosexual Relationships

Long before Katy Perry proclaimed that she kissed a girl and liked it, heterosexual-identified women were kissing other women. Although the phenomenon of female-female kissing isn’t particularly new, in the past decade scholars have turned their attention to better understanding the multitude of reasons why same-sex physical intimacy occurs between heterosexual individuals.

Generally when committed romantic partners kiss someone besides their partner, this is considered a form of cheating. Yet female-female kissing by heterosexual women does not seem to garner the same negative response, perhaps due to the varying reasons women report engaging in such behavior. Some heterosexual women report kissing other women as part of the college social scene or for men’s attention, while others do so to experiment or explore potential same-sex desires.1 A 2012 study found that both women and men perceive women who kiss other women in heterosexual spaces (for example, bars that heterosexual individuals frequent) as more promiscuous than those who kiss a man, and that women and men perceive such women as more likely to be heterosexual than bisexual or lesbian.2 In some ways, this last finding may suggest that women and men do not always perceive female-female kissing as necessarily an expression of women’s same-sex desire. So then what happens when individuals in heterosexual romantic relationships engage in more extreme forms of infidelity, such as sex, with someone of the same sex?

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Debunking Myths About Sexual Fluidity

I’m a huge fan of Slate Magazine (I read it almost daily). But recently they ran a piece that portrayed sexual fluidity in a way that was less than accurate, and perhaps ideologically biased. In the interest of scientific accuracy, I wanted to set the record straight.

What is sexual fluidity?

The Slate article contained a bold claim that, “there's absolutely no scientific evidence that female sexuality is fluid—at least not in any novel way.” This is incorrect—scientists have found a lot of evidence to support the claim that female sexuality is fluid.

But what exactly is sexual fluidity? It’s a fairly simple concept: people’s sexual responses are not set in stone, and can change over time, often depending on the immediate situation they’re in.

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Switch-Hitters: Sexual Curiosity and What Turns Bisexual Men On

Newsflash: Heterosexual men report they are sexually attracted to women but not men. That’s why they label themselves heterosexual. And when you actually measure their sexual arousal (more on that later), that’s pretty much what you see -- heterosexual men generally respond physically only to erotic images of women.1 What about homosexual men? You guessed it: They report attraction to men, but not women, and they respond physically to erotic images that depict men (and not women).1

But what about bisexual men? You might assume that they’d report being sexually attracted to men and women, and that they’d show signs of arousal in response to erotic images depicting men and/or women. Turns out that it’s not quite that simple.

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Do Bisexual People Experience Jealousy in the Same Way as Heterosexual People?  

Classic research on jealousy in heterosexual couples tells us that women are more concerned about men’s emotional infidelity, because if a man is emotionally attached to a rival woman, this undermines the closeness in the original relationship. Evolutionary theorists believe this is upsetting because the man may spend his time, money, or other resources on the rival, instead of on the original woman and her children. However, men tend to be slightly more concerned about women’s sexual infidelity, possibly to rule out paternity uncertainty if the couple has a child.1 But does jealousy occur the same way in bisexual individuals?

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I Kissed a Girl and HE Liked It: Heterosexual Women and Same-Sex Activities

Have you ever seen two girls (presumed to be heterosexual) making out at a party or bar? If so, you are in the majority. According to a recent study, nearly 70% of college students have witnessed this behavior, and about a third of heterosexual women in this sample reported having kissed another woman in a public place. If you haven’t seen two women kissing at a party or bar, you have surely seen it in the popular media – think Madonna and Britney at the MTV Music Awards or Katy Perry’s hit song “I kissed a girl and I liked it.”

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Bisexuality Myths Debunked by Science

Bisexuality tends to be quite misunderstood. Myths and stereotypes about bisexuality abound, some of which even contradict one another. Straight and LGBT people alike can hold these stereotypes, which compounds the difficulties that bisexual people can have fitting into either group. Luckily, an increasing number of researchers have become interested in bisexuality in recent years, and with research, our understanding of bisexuality is improving.

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I Always Thought I Was Straight, But Now I’m Not So Sure: Can Our Sexual Desires Change?  

Confused and Heartbroken asked the following:

I am a very straight 20 year old girl. I have only dated men until earlier this year. One of my very close friends last spring told me she was bi-sexual. We had become very close already and had developed a very strong friendship. After she came out to me I realized my feelings intensified and after admitting it to her we ended up in a very heated moment and kissed. Things were wonderful for about two weeks when she basically abandoned me and our friendship.

That was the last week of April and the first week of May of this year. We were apart for the summer with very limited communication and I ended up starting to date a very good friend of mine from my hometown. Things are going wonderfully with him but since I've come back to school and been around her I've been lonely and missing her more and more. We've talked and I've finally managed to get some answers to my questions but I'm still in love with her. I don't understand or know why I am attracted to her because I've never found myself attracted to women before and I certainly don't know why I'm still so attached.

Please help me. :(

Confused and Heartbroken

Dear Confused and Heartbroken,

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