Understanding bisexuality

  • By Team TDO

Commonly known as “swingers”, bisexual people are those who are attracted to people of either gender. And while the largely conservative Indian society comes to terms with homosexuality, bisexuality is far less understood. There are many people who mistakenly believe that, bisexuality is caused by excessive lust.

Are all humans bisexual?

Innate bisexuality, a term introduced by Sigmund Freud (based on work by his associate Wilhelm Fliess), expounds that all humans are born bisexual. Through psychological development, which includes both external and internal factors, most become monosexual, while bisexuality continues to remain in a latent state.

It couldn’t be farther from the truth. During the onset of puberty, some teenagers get bi-curious. However, only a fraction actually gets around to practicing bisexuality, since there are fears associated with exploring this aspect of sexuality- the fear of being abnormal, the fear of being found out, and the fear of contracting diseases.

Among these, it is the fear of being abnormal or being found out, that deters a bisexual person from bringing his/her desires to reality.

A person may also turn bisexual due to societal pressure, or the lack of opportunity for intercourse with the opposite sex. This is termed “forced bisexuality”.

For example, a woman trapped in a love-less marriage might prefer to have sex with another woman, rather than go through a divorce or an extra-marital affair. Similarly, for a man who might not have enough opportunity to befriend a person from the opposite sex. Rather than going to a sex worker, he might take the “bisexual route” to get sexual satisfaction.

For those in committed relationships with the opposite sex, the question is not one of morality as much as it is that of the risk involved. If the male and female were to confess their bisexual cravings, then there is a possibility that their partners might walk out on them, or even worse, not just walk out but scream from roof tops. On the other hand, not divulging this information, leads to the risk of exposing an innocent person to the possibility of sexual infections, and betraying trust.

It is not aberrational behavior, nor are bisexual people insane. It is just as much as a conscious choice made by an individual, as is heterosexuality.

This quote from Aldous Huxley sums up the matter, “there are not two discrete populations heterosexual and homosexual. Only the human mind invents categories, and tries to force fact into separate pigeon holes. The sooner we learn this, the sooner we will reach a sound understanding of the realities of sex.”


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