Growing up gay, I always thought that if you were attracted to both men and women, that made you bisexual. But is there a difference between being bi and being “mostly straight”?
The Good Men Project sits down with Dillon, a college varsity hockey goalie, who says he loves the ladies. But.
By his own admission, Dillon says he resides in the “Sexual Netherlands” (his words), a place that exists between heterosexuality and bisexuality. In previous generations, such individuals might have been described as “straight but not narrow,” “bending a little,” and “heteroflexible.” Dillon is part of a growing trend of young men who are secure in their heterosexuality and yet remain aware of their potential to experience far more—sexual attractions, sexual interactions, crushes, and, ocassionally romantic relationships with other guys. Dillon lives these contradictions—seemingly hetero guys who now reject that label, sexual description, and identity.
[...] To the uninitiated, “mostly straight” is a paradox. These young men fracture the heterosexual agenda—or do we call it a lifestyle? If a guy is not exclusively into girls, he can’t be totally straight. Aren’t you supposed to pick a side? If a guy is not straight, not bisexual, and not gay—and yet still falls in love and gets an erection—what the hell is he?
[...] Sizable numbers of young men maintain their “mostly straight” status—not just as adolescents or college students, but as adults. Of the 160 guys we interviewed for a study in 2008 and 2009, nearly one in eight reported same-sex attractions, fantasies, and crushes. The majority had these feelings since high school; a few others developed them more recently. And in a national sample of young men whose average age was 22, the “mostly straight” proportion increased when they completed the same survey six years later. These men aren’t bisexuals in disguise. They’re not closeted gay men seeking the privileges afforded to heterosexuals in society. They’re not simply tired of sex with women. With the words “mostly straight,” they’re describing a unique sexual identity, their complete romantic self.
There are a wide variety of “mostly straight” guys, from guys who only sometimes fantasize about going to bed with a dude to those who would probably be gay were it not for the homophobic culture they were raised in. For me, I always drew a (zig-zagging, incomplete, and prone to be broken) line in the sand between guys who would screw around with other guys but still prefer women, to guys who could actually have a relationship with another guy. And yet isn’t attraction to both men and women the very reason we have the B-word in the first place? Is it time for LGBTQIA-MS?