In a recent Modern Love essay in The New York Times revealing her relationship with another woman, the actress Maria Bello wrote, “My feelings about attachment and partnership have always been that they are fluid and evolving.” Before marrying Bill de Blasio, Chirlane McCray identified as a lesbian, which has become part of the progressive credentials of New York’s first family.Mr. Daley is Tim Daley, a British Olympic diver who made this video about his relationship with a man.
Male bisexuality, by contrast, is more vexed,
and much of the skepticism comes from gay men. In the aftermath of Mr. Daley’s announcement, Ann Friedman wrote a post for New York Magazine’s The Cut blog predicting that male bisexuality would become more visible as gender mores evolved. “Traditional definitions of masculinity — which tend to go hand in hand with homophobia — are going through a real shake-up,” Ms. Friedman wrote. “More hetero men are tentatively admitting that they’re turned on by certain sex acts associated with gay men.”
The gay conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan swiftly countered on his own blog, The Dish, saying, “I suspect, pace Friedman’s dreams, that there will always be far fewer men who transcend traditional sexual categories — because male sexuality is much cruder, simpler and more binary than female.” He called Mr. Daley’s claim about liking girls “a classic bridging mechanism to ease the transition to his real sexual identity. I know because I did it, too.”If male attraction to other males really is more straightforward and decisive, why would male bisexuality be considered "more vexed"? I think Shulman means that the idea that there is much male bisexuality is questioned. Shulman, by the way, is manifesting the tendency — frequently noted on this blog — to characterize whatever is true of the female as good. So if female sexuality is "fluid" and "open-ended," that that a positive characteristic and a basis for calling male sexuality, which is different, "vexed."
Shulman's article goes on to talk about Dan Savage, who, like Andrew Sullivan, is a gay man who writes about sexual orientation. Savage, reacting to criticism, has adjusted his message about bisexuality.
Part of what tripped up Mr. Savage, he explained, was a 2005 study in which researchers at Northwestern University cast doubt on whether male bisexuality truly exists, after showing subjects erotic imagery while monitoring their genital responses. Six years later, a follow-up study at Northwestern concluded the opposite: male bisexuality is real.Because bisexual interest groups demanded respect?
Why the change?
Whereas the first study advertised for subjects in gay-oriented publications and included men who identified as gay, straight or bisexual, the second recruited from places catering specifically to bisexuals and selected only those who had seriously dated both men and women.Better science?!
Advocates, a touch exasperated, applauded the new results...The applause of advocates isn't the test of science, but it's nice to see these concepts juxtaposed so cleanly for once. I like the truthiness of that.
... though some pointed out that physical stimulation is only one ingredient of sexual orientation, which also stems from emotional intimacy....And the studies have only been done on subject who submitted to scientists writing up their genitals wired up and looking at whatever porn said scientists have selected to confront them with. I'd say this submission itself is an aspect of sexual orientation.
There, now, are you sufficiently vexed?