Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Michael Musto: "Are Bisexuals Real?"

Michael Musto columnist for the Village Voice has come out with a bi-phobic, anti-scientific column titled Ever Meet a Real Bisexual? questioning the legitimacy of bisexuality.

"Everyone always says they're bisexual, blabbing on and on about how "sexuality is fluid, and I don't really like labels"--but usually I find these are just gay men who are afraid to come out. I know there are real bisexuals out there--mainly because I've heard that there are--and I do think it's a lovely idea to actually crave sex with people regardless of gender. I'm just wondering how real a phenomenon this is, as opposed to a smoke-and-mirrors coverup designed to keep antsy gays in the closet.

Most of the guys I know who say they're bisexual end up doing Bette Davis impersonations after a few drinks, and when you invite them to an all-girl bar, they get excited, thinking you mean Splash. But do you know anyone who REALLY is equally attracted to both men and women and effortlessly glides between those two dating pools without a second's thought or self-consciousness? If so, do you ever suspect they're full of shit?"


Suggesting bisexuality is a phenomenon, or that bisexual men are closeted liars is offensive and outright wrong!

Contact Michael Musto and tell him biphobia has no place in the Village Voice.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with Michael.

Queers United said...

Anonymous, bisexuality is a scientific fact, sexuality runs along a continuum as demonstrated by Kinsey and others. Plus, who is anyone to deny anyone else's right to self-determine their identity and label. What if I said I don't believe whatever your sexual orientation or gender identity is, is legit.

Anonymous said...

Here we go again with people jumping to unfounded conclusions. Musto did not make the statements the author of this blog suggests, those are the blogger's ill-conceived conclusions obviously based on a comprehension problem with what Musto DID write.

You people are so anxious to find something, anything, to be offended by that you've started manufacturing shit just so you can claim you're offended. Get over it. You cheapen the instances of real offenses by your "crying wolf" all the damn time. Just stop it already.

Queers United said...

I'd suggest you re-read his column and it clearly shows no jumping to conclusions. Bisexuality is discussed as a "phenomenon", concept, 'conspiracy' and distortion.

Cerberus said...

I'm going to break this into several parts.

1) The post is his post in full repeated with all the context of his original work, demonstrated by the ability to click a link and read the original verbatim piece in full. Anonymous's "manufacturing outrage" thus is Fox News BS completely demolished by the fact that there was no secret context. THIS IS HIS F-ING QUOTE

bridgeout said...

Of course they are REAL! One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies: "Some things are true whether you believe in them or not."

Cerberus said...

2)Anonymous indulges in the old habit of all oppressors to attack the oppressed for having the bad manners of pointing out social and pervasive injustices in attitude and action (aka the humorless feminist line of attack and the "looking for outrage" line of attack usually leveled against anti-racism activists). Such attacks are also well-documented as means to disrupt a narrative and thus attempt to block critique. It is also similar to the accusations of racism are worse than actual racism lines of defense seen in racism discussions.

Cerberus said...

3) And this is important. Does Michael and his commentators even understand what bisexuality is? It's not being "equally attracted" to both sexes nor does it require one to "effortlessly glide" between both groups. It's an orientation, not an F-ing CHOICE. I mean, does he even get that or what the whole anti-gay line of attack is about? Orientation is who you are, what you are attracted to, not a rock-hard determinism of behavior or your ability to navigate internal and external homo and bi-phobia or your relative comfort levels with sexual arenas. There is a spectrum overall and I would argue that out-bisexuals are probably more likely on average to be higher up on the Kinsey scale than lower because of all the homophobia in this culture (hence why a bi person may be more interested in same-sex, because then they can't just be "bi-curious", indulge in porn or the occasional outlier fling or threesome, or just deny it as easily).

Sabertooth Screaming Lemur said...

How arrogant to think that to be "really" bisexual, one must conform to HIS definition of what it is!
What a jerk.

Cerberus said...

4) Riffing off the last, I guess my SO has been lying her ass off. Never mind that she has sexual attractions in unequal levels to both men and women. Never mind that she is now operating almost entirely in the lesbian community both in dating and activism. Never mind she also has a formerly male life partner and another long-distance boyfriend. Yeah, Kinsey 5 dating hard in the lesbian scene who has two (well, one and a half) boy relationships going on, how his head would spin at the thought (yes, many bisexuals are also fully monogamous and may even be included in the number of "hard" gay people he thinks are super-gay).

Sorry for the staggered post, but this stuff is particularly annoying especially dating a bisexual. Kinsey made this nice report based on deep scientific observations into human behavior and it still seems to woosh over people's heads who should have been the first to clue in. It's like talking to a black homophobe or a jewish racist and scratching your head because you'd expect them to be the first to get it.

Cerberus said...

Oh by the way, I say all this fully disagreeing that sexuality is fluid. The real science doesn't support fluid sexuality and it seems to be being used to try and say all women are bisexual and all men are rock-solid straight or gay which always seemed like a sexist frame that didn't scan with the exact defenses of most sexuality is fluid pushers.

That said, I fully believe that people's recognition and comfort or even understanding and expression of their sexuality is open and fluid and can be radically altered by big stimulae like falling in love with an outlier (say someone you don't even lust for) or finding out that your types stimulae response is higher than your specific gender stimulae. What you are is probably fixed, figuring that out is often a life-long "fluid" process.

Kajivar said...

We're real, I assure you.

Meredith Peruzzi said...

Michael Musto is a complete dick; he likes to be inflammatory and thinks we all hang on his every word. I don't pay attention to pretty much anything he says really.

Heather said...

For those who doubt the validity of bisexuals - Hello. Here I am. I'm a bisexual female and let's clear up some fun misunderstandings.

"But do you know anyone who REALLY is equally attracted to both men and women"

It's usually not a 50-50 split for liking both sexes. Just like you don't like all brunettes just because they're brunette, Bisexuals don't like ALL guys and ALL girls. For me it's liking the person. I tend to be heavily on the girl-liking side but I still like guys. It's just a bit rarer for me to find the particular qualities I seek in guys. But some do have them. :)

"and I do think it's a lovely idea to actually crave sex with people regardless of gender"

Just as being gay isn't just about sex, neither is being Bi. We're not greedy lust-mongers. It's not about lust. It's about love. As in snuggling on the sofa watching a movie. Holding hands walking in the park. Talking late into the night over a cup of hot chocolate. Playing air hockey together. It's about love.

Another fun myth? Bis can't be monogamous. Bi people like monogamy too. There are a lot of polyamorous people who identify as bi ALSO, though. And people confuse the two. They're separate things. Just because I like blondes and redheads doesn't mean I have to date both at once to be fulfilled. It's a difference in who you're attracted to. Not a "must have one of each" requirement.

There are other myths, but that's a start. :)

Now you've all met the mythical Unicorn. ;) My name's Heather and I'm Bisexual. We exist.

Cerberus said...

@ Heather

Nooo! You must be a phantom. Musto said, there are no real bisexuals. You must be a demon from the nether realms to trick my lying eyes. Begone!

I sent him a post...does he not get that he's got the same theory of orientation as the anti-gay anti-science whackaloons?

Queers United said...

I asked him if gay men are real, I told him he may just be a closeted bisexual and that gays are a phenomenon. I then proceeded to say how ridiculous that assertion was, but it was equally as stupid as his column.

T. R Xands said...

Biphobia is so sad, I say this as someone who unfortunately used to engage in it. Bisexuals EXIST, I believe that sexuality isn't just "set". Trying to deny the existence of a whole group like...hey...it's like homophobia! Wow, good going Musto & friends.

KipEsquire said...

That's a line straight out of Torch Song Trilogy. I suppose that makes Harvey Fierstein an anti-gay bigot too.

avi said...

I am not bisexual (I'm gay), and I have never met anyone who said they were bisexual (most of my friends are gay/lesbian/transgendered and a handful are heterosexual. Regardless of this, bisexuality is just as valid as my sexuality. I believe we're all born with our sexuality, and no one has any right to deny us our rights just because some of us weren't born with the sexuality of the mainstream. That's my two-cents.

Avi said...

... And, I personally believe that there are more GLBTQ people in the world than the mainstream is aware of or will admit. From what I've seen (and have met), I think in reality (this includes those who are closeted, in denial, etc.) more than 50% of the world's population is GLBTQ. That's my opinion based on my experiences meeting a great deal of people around the world. And no, I don't mean sexually! :)

Ursophile said...

I think that trying to figure out another person is seldom a fruitful experience. As Gene Roddenberry said: We should rejoice in each other's differences.

I personally am gay but know two bisexuals. One of them initiated the dating process with me, watched me fall in love with him, then dumped me claiming that he was straight but that maybe someday he might turn gay (try to figure that one out!). In the meantime, he wanted to be friends. I freaked out, and no longer have contact with him.

The other one I've never been intimate with. We've known each other for 20 years. He is a good friend who says that he enjoys sex with men and women equally but has never fallen in love with a man, nor expects to.

So, let's not try to figure out what it means to be bisexual if we can never understand it. Let's be glad that all kinds of sexuality exist, and let's just be responsible for our actions, honest about what we want, and glad about the wonderful varieties of human sexual orientation.

Word Geek said...

THIS guy is calling BISEXUALS full of shit? Please, a little irony and self awareness here, Musto!

Charlie said...

I'm real and saying i'm not only leads to the confusion of being a bisexual in a world entrenched in the false gay/straight binary...

WhiteDwarfStar said...

Hi, I'm a bi guy. We're here and we're queer and you WILL have to deal with it, monosexuals of the world. (Kisses and hugs to the non-haters, of course.)

What is it with the biphobia on the part of Musto, Savage, et al? Do they feel threatened? Did old boyfriends leave them for women? What?

The Angry Fag said...

I actually agree with him because it is not a new stance. Dr. Ruth and, if I remember correctly Dr. Joyce Brothers as well, expressed similar opinions in their newspaper columns a few years back.

If you look at it from a relationship stance bisexuals do not exist though. They will either settle down with some one of the same sex and become homosexual or someone of the opposite sex and become heterosexual.

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with Harvey Fierstein in Torch Song Triology: "I'll believe there are bisexuals when I meet one who lives with his boyfriend and sneaks out to see his girlfriend."

Studies are great but my personal experience is exactly what Musto said.

Queers United said...

What several comments here are demonstrating are a failure to understand bisexuality. A monogamous bisexual (which most are) settling down with one gender, does not render them straight or gay. They are still bisexual but have chosen to be with this one partner. They are still attracted to the other sex as well.

neko-chan42 said...

Why would anyone pretend to be bisexual, when that fact is that we are less accepted and more persecuted than gays or straights?! It took me so long to figure out who I was. I suffered though the indecision of my sexuality for years! My parents always told me they'd accept me no matter who I turned out to be and when the time came that I questioned my sexuality, I was so torn! I was attracted to women, but I was just as attracted to men. I waffled for a long time. "Am I a lesbian? No, I'm attracted to that guy, I must be straight. But wait, I think I'm in love with Amanda, so I am a lesbian! (to years later) I'm in love with John, so I guess I am straight." Everyone made me think there was something wrong with me. 'You have to choose one' they said. But sexuality ISN'T a choice. It took me a long time to accept that there is such a thing as bisexuals and I was one. And still no one understands! "Well, you must lean more towards one than the other," they say. No. I don't. "You're just experimenting," they say. No. I'm not! "I guess you can't be monogamous, because you need one of each," No! I don't!

And I am shunned by the gay and lesbian community! They tell me I make a mockery of who they are! I can't talk to girls, because as soon as they find out I'm bisexual, they run away, saying I'll leave them for a man. I made a speech at my GSA club and none of them knew any of this. I even had a previously proclaimed gay man come out during the Q&A as bisexual, crying, saying he'd been hiding and saying he was gay, thinking there was something wrong with him because he liked women too.

This emotional displacement of bisexuals needs to stop and articles like this encourage the opinion that we don't belong.

Steve Tabarez said...

Personally, it is clearthat though many of you advocate discourse and debate, if it does not meet with your conformity view that anyone questioning the validity of any "sexuality" not seen as heterosexual, you pounce, villify, and attach the hate-monger/intolerant moniker to. That is wrong. I think Must raises some pertinent questions, whether I agree with them or not. Many do question this term bisexuality. And what it means in the realm of committed, enduring relationships-yes, monagomy(HUSH MY MOUTH! That is so UN-QUEER). Why is it wrong to question this new sexual-fluidity term that we are being forced to embrace and include our sexual freedom lexicon and atttitude? Isn't doing that the same as acting like the religious right, authoritarian, tyrannical way of shutting down open debate? STEVE TABAREZ

WhiteDwarfStar said...

"New" sexual-fluidity term? Do your homework, Steve. I swear, it's like the 1970s never happened sometimes.

My "conformity view"? Learn to write. And stop trying to kick the "B" out of "LGBT." Like it or not, bisexuals exist, and hetero bigots hate us as much as they hate gays and lesbians. It is STUPID to try to erase us.

Emma said...

Ugh, there are so many things wrong with this article. Other people have mentioned most of them, but one more thing that bothers me is that he seems to think a "real" bisexual "effortlessly glides between those two dating pools without a second's thought or self-consciousness?" Seriously? OF COURSE we're self-conscious about it, when there are so many people questioning our very existence! I always feel weird talking to my straight friends about women I'm attracted to and talking to my lesbian friends about men I'm attracted to. Less so for the latter, but still, my bi friends are the only ones I feel totally un-self-conscious about telling, for instance "wow, that girl is really hot... and so is the guy she's with."

The Bi Avenger said...

@anonymous
"Studies are great but my personal experience is exactly what Musto said."
Haha that's the best piece of stupid shit I've read all day. "Science is great and all, but when it comes down to it I don't care about actual *facts* - my personal experience trumps everything." What a fucking dumbass!

@Steve Tabarez
I don't think you understand what "queer" means. You also have no grasp of history. Go read a book.

Anonymous said...

Typical biphobic trash from the Village Voice and a biphobic gay man.

Yes bisexuality does exist in men. The idea that it doesn't is pure bull shite and bisexual erasure.

No, not everyone is bisexual. Also not all bisexuals are 50/50, some greatly prefer men and can pass as gay but they're not gay/homosexual.

I find it hypocritical that gay men like Musto deny bisexuality when just 20-30 years ago heterosexuals were doing the same thing to homosexuals saying that being gay was really a mental illness, the person was confused, or choosing to be homosexual, and other pure BS that heterosexual society puts upon us queers.

Also, to the person who said that a guy who likes women but just wants some dick every now and then isn't bisexual is an idiot since if a guy is heterosexual/straight he's not going to want sex with a man at all. Stop watching so much gay porn and reading erotic fiction.

I just enjoyed a bisexual man last week: A hot masculine divorced hockey dad who likes a little mansex during off times with his gf. He can suck dick as well as he can lick pussy, and (extra points) he kisses like a Cassanova. I'll take his type anyday over a tattooed, pierced, goateed, or primped gay-ghetto denizen.

Anonymous said...

I wrote him a nice message. Using his "voice" to destroy those who are struggling to be heard is not a funny thing.

Anonymous said...

I believe Mark Simpson said it best:

"Fear and loathing of male bisexuality is something tends to bring heterosexuals and homosexuals together. Instead of pondering the possibility that public attitudes towards male bisexuality are a truer, less censored indication of what many people actually feel about male homosexuality in general and its enforced incompatibility with masculinity, gay men too often rush to condemn bisexual men and reassure heterosexuals: don’t worry, you’re not being homophobic when mouthing off about bisexual men coz we hate them too!"

http://www.marksimpson.com/blog/2006/04/26/curiouser-and-curiouser-the-strange-disappearance-of-male-bisexuality/

Dae said...

WTF?!!! this is absolutely absurd!!! i wonder what he would think of pansexuals...which is what i am!

Anonymous said...

He probably doesn't even know that pansexuals exist nonetheless that a pretty great percentage of "straight" people have had bisexual tendencies once in their lives. What a shame.

Anonymous said...

well they must be real since so many people claim to be bi....but all the bisexuals i've slept with ( we're talking men of course cuz women are a completely deifferent subject) claimed they'd rather suck dick then lick a pussy and it's my test if you don't crave pussy if you don't get arouse by it don't want to do to it all the nasty things that a gayman would do to a huge cock....then i think you're gay and just saying you bi to...well i don't know why that's their problem....
but funny thing is that most of bi men i've slept with have never had a relation ship with a guy and don't really want one but they do want to be in a relationship with a woman though...but they don't crave her pussy they just love her for??...who she is i guess.....
basically with men it's simple and i think deep down inside all bi men are really gay but they're so afraid of it that they've convinced themselves that they like girls and they do!....just in a different way....so i guess they're real

Anonymous said...

Your all idiots. True bisexuality means being equally attracted to both sexes. Look it up. Even the actual research states this. Which is why bisexual is still a controversial topic.

SPS said...

Forget the bisexuality debate (BISEXUALS EXIST, and I much prefer them to gay men for several reasons- one being that I'm a transman, the other being I prefer very masculine men [and I haven't met many gay men who are like that IRL]), I dislike the implication here that a gay man really isn't gay if he isn't either camp or a club kid.

Which puts my metalhead, academically involved ass in the "straight" pile, even though I don't have romatic/sexual feelings for women.

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