Still Skeptical: My Response To Joannadeadwinter

This post is my response to joannadeadwinter‘s latest post Ooh, Look, A Bisexual! as part of our ongoing and respectful conversation about our views on the topic of bisexuality.  I wanted to say “thanks again” to joannadeadwinter for initiating this discussion and for her thoughtful, intelligent, insightful, and respectful interactions!  Everyone, please feel free to join the conversation, either here or on her blog…


Image: #PicsArt #FreeToEdit

I admit my thinking about sexual orientation has always been rather black and white.

My admittedly strong opinions are based upon my own absolute certainty of my sexual orientation from the time I was a child, as well as my observations over the years of other women I have known, and have known of.

And: in my observations, all of the women who I have known, or known of, who have said they were bisexual turned out to be straight women who ended up with men, including the famous women who have come out as bisexual.

In one comment on a previous post regarding this topic, Chonky mentioned that some lesbians initially said they were bisexual to sort of  “ease into” coming out as a lesbian, noting Martina Navratilova as an example, a fact which I didn’t remember (or perhaps I simply never knew).  This comment added a new dimension to the topic which I had not previously observed/considered (thanks, Chonky!).

My point is: through this ongoing back-and-forth discussion, I am considering aspects which I had not before, and that is always a good thing.

So, on to my response:

Joannadeadwinter makes the following points in her response to me:

“I theorize that very few women (or men) are 50-50% attracted, that most lean one way or the other. That has certainly been the case with me, and apparently, most “Straightbians.”;) This would explain why there is not a population-wide trend towards bisexuals ending up with men vs. women in equal numbers…

…The majority of bisexuals end up with men because the majority of bisexuals lean straight. Just as the majority of humans on the planet are orientated straight, I believe most bisexuals are oriented straight also. This would confer an evolutionary advantage in the event that a large number of humans were dead or otherwise unable to reproduce.”

These are excellent points which help to explain my perpetual conundrum of “Why does it seem that most, even, it seems, perhaps all, women who say they are bisexual end up with men eventually?

Joannadeadwinter goes on to explain:

“My idea is that, to the extent that bisexuals enjoy the non-preferred sex, they are attracted to partners that remind them of their preferred sex.”


“It makes sense that a straight-leaning bisexual targets masculine women and seeks to maximize her partner’s presentation and style of interaction to mimic her preferred love interest-straight men.”

Again, after consideration, I agree that these are all great points which make both intuitive and logical sense to me.  I believe that everyone has, to varying degrees, a certain “type” that we find attractive; so, of course, it also makes sense that we will gravitate toward those who fall into whatever “type” we find attractive.

For instance, I find Butch women attractive and Dirt finds Femme women attractive; so, naturally, we both ended up marrying a partner who fell into our preferred category.  So, even within the broader category of “lesbian”, most lesbians will likely have preferred “types”, and the same general principle for everyone else too. For example, my straight friends definitely have “types” of males they are attracted to.

Joannadeadwinter goes on to explain further:

“Sexuality, in my view, is 50% internal and 50% external. What you are drawn to, what you imagine, and how those attractions and imaginings make you feel comprise the internal aspect of sexuality. A discussion of bisexuality will not make sense without integrating the internal aspect of sex into what makes a person bisexual. So how do you explain self-identified bisexuals who only act on their desires with women? Wouldn’t they just be lesbians?

A bisexual person who is primarily or exclusively interested in partnering with women, and has been for a long period of time (not just the rebellious college girl phase) may still find men physically, intellectually, and emotionally fascinating to the extent that it goes beyond friendship and into love.”


Please note that I am not trying to argue with what joannadeadwinter is saying, because I certainly can’t speak for everyone else’s fantasies and desires (and don’t even want to try to).

But: I must say, as a lesbian, I will admit that I am still having much difficulty conceptualizing how it’s possible for a woman to be primarily/exclusively attracted to women, but yet still have the capability of finding men physically, emotionally, and/or intellectually fascinating, especially to the extent that it could extend beyond friendship into love.

Miep commented on my first post that it is difficult to conceptualize of a sexuality that is different from our own, and while I definitely agree that this statement is true and that it is a part of my puzzlement, I have realized that it is not the entire issue for me.

Something has been nagging at my subconscious, and until now, I just could not pinpoint exactly what it was.

But I think I have figured out, at least in part, the cause of my consternation, and I will attempt to explain my thoughts here:

So, as in the example given above, let’s say a bisexual woman who leans straight becomes involved with a Butch woman because that Butch woman superficially (**See Note) resembles her preferred love interest, a straight male.

**NoteI use the word “superficially” here, because, even though Dirt and other Butch lesbians are frequently “sir’ed” and “pass as male” (even though they are NOT trying to), Butches are most certainly not men in any way, shape, or form. Butches are 100% female; they just “carry female differently”, as Dirt often says.  In fact, Dirt and I don’t like and don’t use the word “masculine” to describe Butch women (although it is commonplace to see that terminology), because Butches are not male and therefore Butches are not “masculine”.

Back to focusing on our hypothetical example, I think the key words that have been nagging at me are “preferred love interest”.

Let’s state our example again, and this time, let’s really, really, really think about the implications of these statements:

Our hypothetical bisexual female’s preferred love interest is male.  This woman in our example has the capability of falling in love with a male, even if she never acts on it

Here’s my deeply felt problem with this scenario: no matter who we are, I highly doubt most people would be comfortable with falling in love with someone who has a preference for, and the capability of falling in love with, someone we are not, and can never be.

I think this gut-level resistance and skepticism explains so-called “biphobia” in the lesbian community, which isn’t really a phobia, but rather a fear of, and an aversion to, having our hearts broken, and to the feelings of insecurity and confusion that would accompany a relationship on those terms.

For a Butch or a dyke who is pursued by our hypothetical bisexual female, who gravitated toward her because of superficial resemblance to the preferred male love interest, the resulting situation can be much more than merely upsetting: it could potentially be devastating.

In the worst case scenario, the Butch or dyke might even be tempted to transition in a tragic, misguided, and ultimately ill-fated attempt to try to become her lover’s preferred love interest, a male.

So, even if I eventually were to come to believe that bisexuality is a true orientation (I am still skeptical and leaning toward bisexuality as behavior rather than a true orientation), I still would feel very hesitant, and very protective toward lesbians who might become romantically involved in such a situation.

Contrary to what some people apparently think, I am not saying that most women who identify as bisexual, or even most Straightbians, are bad people, nor am I saying that they are intentionally trying to hurt lesbians. In fact, I think most are likely well-intentioned and don’t even realize how/why lesbians can be hurt in these scenarios.  

I guess my bottom-line thought is this:  No matter what a woman calls herself, if a woman’s preferred love interest is a male, I honestly believe that she should just stick with dating males.

Why?  It’s not because I am trying to be mean, harsh, and/or exclusionary, but rather because I truly feel that if a woman has a preference to males, I honestly don’t believe that being with any female would ever truly and totally satisfy her, which will inevitably lead to dissatisfaction, even if the relationship lasts.

In our hypothetical example, it is not fair to the lesbian partner to be a sort-of stand-in surrogate to her lover’s preferred male love interest, and it is also not fair to our hypothetical bisexual female to not obtain her actual preferred male love interest.

I truly believe that lesbians deserve to be with a partner who wants us, prefers us, desires us, and loves us wholeheartedly, completely, and unreservedly…as only another lesbian can. 

28 thoughts on “Still Skeptical: My Response To Joannadeadwinter

  1. Outside of the (I kiss girls for guys) “bisexuals” its the ones that have and do use lesbian as their personal playgrounds, that are the fucking problem! These women would rather fuck up a dyke than take a good HARD look in the mirror. We’d be HARD pressed to find one that wasnt sexual abused. And under different circumstances I could be damn empathetic/sympathetic to that level of trauma. But those issues arent dyke issues and dykes arent here to replace the men bisexuals are too traumatized to date/fuck!

    And I say that with the full knowledge that lesbians too get sexually abused, BUT the critical difference in that is dyke brains function on a totally different level than straight females, we handle trauma (life in general) greatly different than straight females and we would rarely have to shift our romantic/sexual attractions (most sexual abusers being male). It is also that different brain function that is so heterosexually glaring in bisexual flirting/dating dykes. Personally I’ve also found it sickening and DICKgusting! Treating dykes or Butches like they’re men violently harms lesbians! I have yet to see ANYWHERE where a bisexual admits let alone even sees that! Why? STRAIGHT BRAINS! STRAIGHT PRIVILEGE!

    The privilege to ignore dyke culture, the privilege to define dyke culture and the fucking privilege to rewrite dyke culture! All the while ignoring their own deep seated mental issues! Instead dyke spaces, dyke time, dyke money (little though we have) is used/abused to fight prostitution (NOT a dyke issue), abortion (not a dyke issue) access to birth control (not a dyke issue) male/female domestic violence (not a dyke issue) and the list could go on and on.

    I’m a dyke, I dont have to date you because your fat, I dont have to date you because your ugly, I dont have to date you because you dont want to deal with/call male partners on their shit, I dont have to be the “daddy” to your “baby girl”, I dont have to waste any of my precious fucking time on your bisexual woes! Yet for the last 25 years this is the shit dyke communities/forums/websites/groups etc have been over run with to the point dykes were ran the fuck out of our own fucking spaces!

    Men cause a great deal of the worlds troubles, but it has been and remains STRAIGHT (bisexuals) women that have DESTROYED lesbians and whatever community we temporarily held. Shits changing ladies, BYE BI!


    Liked by 5 people

    • And my understanding is this type of crap happened a lot on so-called “lesbian” websites, some of which we know are still active today. I was never active on those type of sites, but Dirt was, so she has MUCH more first-hand observation/experience with that particular phenomenon in that context than I do, although I have often witnessed similar issues in other settings.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Funny thing: I actually agree with this totally. And I will give a thorough explanation later in my own post. I think we are conflating several different issues here. My post was exclusively about whether bisexuality exists in the natural, biological sense (my stance is yes) and whether it can be considered an orientation (my stance is no, as bisexuality doesn’t have a true direction.)

    The questions I’m seeing here, which I fully intend to address, are: Does it make sense for lesbians and bisexuals to partner sexually or politically? What if anything separates a bisexual from a straightbian? How does sexism, heterosexism, and gender ideology influence relations between lesbians and bisexuals? It’s fine to say bisexuality exists, and the attraction is genuine, but given the privileges that women who partner with men possess, I think it bears examining how that dynamic affects relationships between the two groups. Maybe in a world where power and privilege didn’t exist and both partners are only dating casually, Les/bi pairs might work. A small mimority might really be meant for each other, an exception to the rule. But so many seem to fall in the category of “Not ideal, but I’ll settle.” Why settle? If you prefer one sex so much you would consider a transgender partner…why not just go for the real thing? Personally, if I can’t get what I want, I just don’t date. And I haven’t for nearly a decade. Women I think are conditioned to be open and go out of their way to please their partners in ways straights and gay men just aren’t. Screw that.

    I also would be concerned for a butch partner dating someone that’s proven to be…less than committed to women. Often there is an ulterior motive and no one wants to be vulnerable to things unseen.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Looking forward to your response, as always!

      Yes, I think the world would be a better place if everybody would abide by your philosophy of “if I can’t get what/who I want, I just won’t date”.

      Because, no matter who we are or what the situation is, I think most would agree that we don’t want to fall in love with anybody who is “settling” for us for any reason. (Even for those who are willing to remain in such a situations, it’s not healthy for either party).

      Liked by 5 people

  3. Way back in the prehistory (for many of you) of the 1980s, when we were urged to add the letter ‘B’ for bisexual to the acronyms of our organizations, a few dissenters asked «why the f**k?». OK, so you’re a bit straight and a bit gay: but it’s not the straight bit of you that gets you socially ostracized, put in a mental institution, or sent to jail. In the end, we shrugged our shoulders and said, if it’s SO important to you, go ahead, it’s little skin off our nose. If we had known we were opening the sluice-gate to the alphabet soup we have now, we might have defended our position more vigorously. Ah, hindsight is a great thing to look back on.

    I think a small minority of humans are naturally, irreducibly homosexual. Certainly Saye, Dirt and myself, but that’s a non-exhaustive list, as the lawyers say, so don’t feel left out. I also think a possibly larger but still small subset of humans are irreducibly heterosexual in the same kind of way. I fear that membership of either of those minorities may blind us to the plight of the vast majority of humanity, for whom social approval/opprobrium plays an enormous role in determining not just sexual bahaviour but also sexual ‘identity’.

    What most resonated for me personally in this discussion was Dirt’s comment. I was born and grew up in a tourist town on a tourist island; now in retirement I live in a different tourist town on a different tourist island. My Mom taught me to always be nice to the tourists, however much we might curse them in private: not just because they were our bread-and-butter, but because it’s
    always nicer to be nice, when we can. Indirectly, that also taught me to be respectful of other people’s cultures when I’m a tourist myself.

    Most bisexuals are tourists on our island. Following my Mom’s advice, I welcome them, provided they recognize that this is a real place, with its own traditions and culture, not some kind of DisneyGayWorld set up for their amusement. I have had some interesting sex with straight men who were either honest or honestly confused. But I am not a fairground ride.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Hi, Not sure what the current stats are, and I don’t trust Kinsey’s stats either (BTW, what a nutball he was!):

        I am curious about the truth too! Let me know if you come across any data.

        The problem with surveys/questionnaires, census data, and most research studies is that they are based on self-report.

        At many points in their lives, all the women we are profiling here would have cheerily replied “Yes, I am a lesbian!”, when they never really were. And then there are the closeted women who would report “I’m straight!” when they are actually lesbian. And all the people who don’t respond or are not asked to participate (so therefore are not represented in the sample). And the people who can’t read well enough to fill in the data correctly. Etc.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I hear you. I also would love to see actual stats that have nothing to do with self-reporting (that’s why the Kinsey Scale is bullshit. It’s nothing but a skewed picture of how people were sexually repressed in the 50’s).

          All I have is anecdotal evidence from comparing open-minded places like Montreal, where gays and lesbians can be visible, and seeing how many of us walk down the streets hand in hand, to places where homosexuality is still not accepted, and people are closeted, so they are invisible. I’ve lived in many different countries and I’ve seen both realities. So, I made my own estimate, trying to consider that, in order to live an open gay/lesbian life, larger towns/cities are probably the places of choice for people who wish to come out, and other factors like age (gays and lesbians tend to come out earlier than up to until, say, 10/15 years ago). So, my estimate is around 25/30% and it’s based upon how many happily out gays and lesbians I get to see and how many more will likely come out as we fight homophobia (more will show up when we get rid of this awful transgender trend).

          Liked by 1 person

        • I think that your data is as valid (and probably MORE valid) than the “formal” studies. I have traveled to many different countries and have seen both realities too and noticed your observations too.

          I was just talking to Dirt about it and she agrees that the true number of gays/lesbians is indeed likely higher than the previous estimates of approximately 10% of the population, based on our own anecdotal observations.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, see, I was born in 1989 so there was never a time in my conscious memory when there was no B.

      I have to agree though…it makes no sense to me, and it annoys me to no end, when self-described bisexual/queer/pansexual people, mostly women, get married to men, have kids, basically live a life indistinguishable from any straight person…but they insist on dominating pride parades, lesbian bars, any and all gay/lesbian spaces and crowing about being invisible and oppressed. Basically mad that for once, it’s not all about them and their straight lives. Maybe this version of the bisexual phenomenon is just straight privilege redressed…kinda like when straight men use transgenderism to claim oppression over women. Too many similarities to ignore.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Hmmmmm; great points!

        I realize that much of my angst about the topic of bisexuality does, in fact, center on the very types you are describing: the ones who self-describe as bisexual, but then after some good same-sex times in college or early-mid twenties, they proceed to marry a man, have kids, have a white-picket-fenced house in the suburbs and a minivan and an apple tree, but yet still feel the need to dominate lesbian/gay space and whine if they feel they are being excluded from lesbian/gay issues/lives.

        Excellent example here:

        Liked by 2 people

        • I saw that article on Purple Sage’s blog and I just found it insufferable. Even mass murder isn’t enough of a reason to stop focusing on Me Me Me (TM). And that is essentially what identity politics is. No bigger picture or solidarity, just me!

          Liked by 2 people

        • Hats off to you and Joanna for reading the whole thing. I just skimmed it, and couldn’t have done more without doubling my blood-pressure medication, and maybe taking an anti-emetic too.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Joanna’s last comment is spot-on. One of the reasons the London Lesbian and Gay Centre collapsed in the 1980s was it’s open-door policy for ‘bisexuals’, and the heterosexual cruising that went on there in consequence. For gay men it was just a minor inconvenience, but for many lesbians who had been led to believe it was ‘our’ safe space, it was truly intimidating.

          Liked by 3 people

  4. I forgot to add, even if bisexuality does have a natural, biological component, that doesn’t mean it makes sense, culturally or politically, for the B to be lumped in with LG. That just makes it okay for straights to crash the party and not only claim oppression, but *worse* oppression because of “biphobia,” or being “hated” by both straights AND gays! Ain’t it awful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • One big problem (that I find with almost every topic I discuss here) is the whole “self-identification” issue.

      Anybody can say they are lesbian, or gay, or bi, or trans, or pansexual, or aromantic, or bipolar, or have Asperger’s, or whatever…but simply saying “I am _____” doesn’t necessarily make it true.

      But regardless of whether it is true/plausible or not, the current culture expects us to simply accept whatever someone self-identifies as and if we don’t automatically do so, we’re called “___-phobic”.

      So, we get special snowflakes who are adventurous & want attention (or whatever) and say they are bisexual or pansexual or demisexual or whateverthefucksexual, when they are really straight. And we get Straightbians who say they are lesbian when they really straight. Etc.

      And all the lies and confusion combine to spread misinformation and turmoil and consternation and make it really difficult to have a rational conversation like we are now.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yesssss! I agree 100% and you touched upon another pet peeve of mine. Those who “identify” as being disabled or mentally ill in some way but have no functional impairment and want to redefine these conditions as “differences,” recast the symptoms of these conditions as personality quirks and get righteously offended when you talk about actual problems associated with actual disabilities. Okay, end rant. I can’t tell you how enraged I get when I see the same thing happening with sexuality. I should not be the only person at a GAY bar that doesn’t have an opposite sex partner, doesn’t want to get married and doesn’t want a test tube baby. That’s not how it works!!!

        Liked by 2 people

        • Amen! I have seen the “identifying as having a disability” thing about as much as I have seen the “identifying as being lesbian/bisexual/trans/etc.” thing, and in fact, people often claim to “identify” in multiple ways, as indicated by bios that read along the lines of: “I am a pansexual genderfluid genderqueer Aspie Rastafarian sex-positive agnostic bipolar parent of 4 learning disabled biracial children, 2 of whom are also transgender”.

          People can’t just “decide to” have Asperger’s or be bipolar or be a lesbian or have a learning disability (etc. etc. etc.), but yet people now seem to think it is okay to just pluck whatever random thing they want out of thin air and add it to their bio.

          Having worked with people with disabilities for a very long time now, and having been a lesbian my entire life, I find it very offensive to see terms being incorrectly thrown around.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Have you experienced being told that you don’t have OCD because you’re not neat, particular, or finicky enough? Yes, this happened to me. I have had crippling OCD since O was seven but I am not picky or organized and can be a right slob. But someone somewhere decided that OCD is a positive personality trait and that it refers to Type A traits such as being structured and organized. I don’t just mean jokingly saying “Oh, I’m a little OCD about that stuff,” although that kinda bugs me too. I have been explicitly told that OCD isn’t a disorder and I shouldn’t seel treatment for it or, also, that I don’t really have it. I have also had documented developmental delays since preschool and got intensive special ed for two years, including spending my summers at a special school. I also have medical problems association with my conditions and am physically slow to develop, hence not athletic. So I resent it when highly social, highly athletic people with no medical or special education history identify as having Asperger’s because they really, really like computers and feel socially awkward sometimes. 😠😠😠. Or identify as learning disabled because they have to work a little harder at some subjects than others and don’t like school. I wish that was my problem. Instead of being treated for my learning disability, I got a steady diet of failure, shame, and educational neglect.

          Even as a “bisexual,” I am solidly, politically associated with lesbians (if you will have me). I wanted to marry a girl since I was four, had my first crush ever on a woman when I was 11, and cried and had a panic attack when I realized I might be…one of them. I was targeted *by parents* when rumor got around that I wasn’t intended boys at 13…and I resent it mightily when a straight woman who has experienced nothing of the kind calls herself queer and gets offended when people don’t recognize her queerness. I hate that whenever I try to talk about uniquely single, or celibate, or lesbian experiences and history because it’s “exclusionary.” Talking about single vocations, political celibacy, fostering and adoption makes it hard for people to relate to me and people ignore me when I talk about this stuff or say things that are out and out rude. But they total deference in return for selfies of their baby bumps, rhapsodies about their shiny new engagement ring and their expensive wedding dress, and don’t bother criticizing the wedding industry, prejudice against single people, mothering culture, or anything related to straight family life because I’m failing to devote 100% of my emotional energy to making them feel good while receiving nothing in return. Buh bye!

          Liked by 2 people

        • I am sorry that you had those experiences of people telling you what you should (or shouldn’t) do/be.

          People who don’t know much often think they are “experts” about something if they read about it briefly on the internet, and then they promptly make assumptions about how people with real disabilities are (or how they think they SHOULD be).

          It not only leads to incorrect self-identification, but even more problematically, it leads to the sort of ignorant judgments and proclamations that you have experienced.

          People in general often seem to be remarkably intolerant of anybody that falls “outside the norm” in any way. People in general often seem to presume that “the norm” is the best way to go and assume that everybody aspires to the same goals that they do, thus the incessant questions to women about when we are going to get married and have babies. Because most people fail to see that there are some of us who don’t think that being straight-and-married-with-children is the very pinnacle of existence.

          I am so glad that you haven’t let people’s narrow-minded reactions stop you from thinking, analyzing, and speaking out.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I must have expressed myself more than usually poorly if infectedbloodcomics took me to mean that lesbians and gay men are very few in number. The ‘small minorities’ I referred to were on the one hand those of us who seem to spring from our mothers’ vaginas already singing the words of «I am what I am», and on the other those heterosexuals who have always been similarly certain of their own sexuality, and genuinely never experienced homoerotic desire.

    But there are a whole raft of people, whether they eventually ‘turn out’ gay or straight or indeed bi, who have to interrogate themselves quite deeply about their ‘true’ sexuality, typically in adolescence, though sometimes later. I am forced by the evidence to accept the truth of this, though it will never be something I can ‘relate’ to on an emotional level.

    If you look at societies in which heterosexual desire is not given any higher moral status than homosexual desire, ancient Rome for example, you see that the general expectation was of what we would call in modern terms ‘bisexuality’. The poet Ovid, who made a big thing about favouring sex with women over sex with men, was regarded as rather ‘quirky’ by his contemporaries, possibly in the way we might regard someone who would only consider dating a blonde, or a dark-skinned person, or a skinny or a fat person.

    If infectedbloodcomics were saying that a good 25-30% of human sexual interactions are homosexual, I would readily agree with her, while recognizing that neither of us have any ‘hard evidence’ to back up the claim. But of the countless married men who stop off in a public toilet or cruising park for a quick wank or suck with another man on the way home, few would check the ‘gay’ or ‘bisexual’ box on a questionnaire, and I suspect few of us ‘core’ homosexuals would be willing to honour them with such a title anyway.

    It shouldn’t be necessary to say this, especially here, but extrapolating from gay male experience to lesbianism seems to have become ‘a thing’ again now, despite (y)our best efforts in the 70s/80s. So of course I’m writing about male sexual experience. I have neither the knowledge nor the chutzpah to extend that to lesbian lives. Whether you agree or disagree with me, it’s up to you to find your own examples or counterexamples.

    Feeling guilty and defensive about feeling guilty and defensive is a good indicator that I should stop writing now, so I do so.

    In solidarity, and with love,


    Liked by 2 people

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