Have you ever wondered if there is a connection between your taste in men and your sexuality? As in, can your taste in men indicate bisexuality?
Some people seem to think so. For example, some women who are more drawn to feminine men later realize that their attraction to femininity extends to women as well.
But how do you answer the question “how straight is your taste in men?”
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What Does It Mean To Be Bisexual?
Bisexuality used to be defined as being attracted to two genders: male and female. After all, “bi” means “two”. And if this is the definition of bisexuality that’s familiar to you, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
However, bisexuality is more than that. Most people in the bi community now use the definition cited in the Bisexual Manifesto – that bisexuality means being attracted to people of the same and different genders.
This definition is more inclusive, as it no longer reinforces the gender binary in the same way that the old definition did. With this definition, terms like pansexual, omnisexual, and polysexual now fall under the bisexual umbrella or the bi+ umbrella.
But are there levels of bisexuality? Is there actually a way to see how bisexual you are compared to others? Can your taste in men (or women!) indicate bisexuality?
Comphet And Bisexuality
If you’re assigned female at birth (AFAB), you may identify as straight by default – otherwise known as compulsory heterosexuality. Compulsory heterosexuality or comphet is a theory put forth by Adrienne Rich in the 1980s that argues that heterosexuality is imposed on individuals by the patriarchy, silencing those who identify as sexual minorities.
AFABs are the most common victims of comphet, as they are often pushed to marry males and bear children. If you are assigned female at birth, you may never have had the chance to explore your potential attraction to others.
As such, some women who may be attracted to feminine men may be drawn to femininity in general. By extension, this could mean that someone who is more into feminine men could also be attracted to other women. But this should be taken with a grain of salt and not as a definitive answer to the question “how straight are you based on your taste in men?”
Now, the American Psychological Association has stated that “someone does not have to be exclusively homosexual or heterosexual but can feel varying degrees of both.” This means that bisexuality exists on a spectrum. You don’t have to have a 50/50 attraction to people of the same and different genders to be a “valid” bisexual. Some bi women are more attracted to men than women, others vice versa, and others may find some things attractive in men and other things attractive in women.
Your taste in men may not necessarily be a sure sign of bisexuality. But remember that bisexuality is a spectrum or continuum that one can fall on, with different levels of attraction for different genders.
Sexual Orientation vs Romantic Orientation
Most people are familiar with sexual orientation, which describes who you’re attracted to sexually. However, not a lot of people know that your romantic orientation – or who you’re attracted to on a romantic or emotional level or who you can fall in love with – can be different from your sexual orientation.
Just as you can be gay/lesbian, straight, bi, ace, pan, or poly on a sexual level, so can you be on a romantic level. Heteroromantic people fall in love with people of the opposite gender, while homoromantic people only fall in love with people of the same gender. Biromantic people can fall in love with people of the same and different genders, while aromantic people don’t experience romantic attraction to anyone.
Again, your sexual and romantic orientation don’t necessarily have to align. So, you can be bisexual but heteroromantic, meaning that you’re open to sleeping with people of the same and different genders as you, but you can only form a romantic connection with someone of the opposite gender.
Why does this all matter? Because when we talk about “taste”, we need to differentiate between physical preference and ideal characteristics. With all that in mind, your taste or “type” in romantic terms may not have any bearing on your sexual interests.
So, Can Your Taste In Men Indicate Bisexuality?
A 2015 study found that having a certain “type” or particular taste might not even be a real thing. According to social psychologist Lorne Campbell of the University of Western Ontario, people tend to change their preferences once they enter a relationship to match the person they’re currently dating.
Another interesting finding by Campbell is that people tend to put more weight on “ideals and personality” over physical types. This means that, in dating, disregarding the hard differences between sexual orientation and romantic orientation, people will tend to look at a person’s values and characteristics first before their looks.
As summed up by Bustle, “you may find yourself drawn to certain types of people. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you date them. After all, people are just attracted to whoever they are attracted to.”
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Bisexuality is being attracted to two sexes, not two genders. It’s not called bigenderality.
But Gender Religion doesn’t believe in sex or sexes.
That’s why we have “birthing parents” instead of mothers.
That’s not the whole truth. There are some radical trans people who refuse to acknowledge the difference between gender and sex. And they’re very loud about it.
But absolutely no transphobes or conservatives acknowledge the difference between gender and sex. Even if you show them evidence from the 15th century that gender has always referred to the masculinity/femininity paradigm, they’ll insist that the “woke” are trying to change the definition of gender.
Good education could solve so many problems.
It is important to acknowledge the differences between people. Politics should not get in the way of that. While with people who have trans attractions, their attractions to cis and trans people tend to be different types of things.
Really, everything needs to be acknowledged. And we need to stop allowing sociology and politics to get in the way of those acknowledgements. However, Bosch, as much as you like acknowledging things, you seem to still have some blind spots when it comes to acknowledging things like internalIzed phobias from out people, paraphiliacs, fluidity, baiting, exploiting demographics and behaviors and identities for money or ego. If you want everything acknowledged then it starts with you. Also, even if you see sex and gender as separate things, neither is really defined by masculinity and femininity.
“you seem to still have some blind spots when it comes to acknowledging things like internalIzed phobias from out people, paraphiliacs, fluidity, baiting, exploiting demographics and behaviors and identities for money or ego”
You called me homophobic and old-fashioned for suggesting we should appreciate our straight allies. You called me a “pick-me-gay” for defending a boy in a dress.
I know about internalised homophobia, paraphilia, and identifying as fluid, because it is my job to know these things.
And yes, gender is defined by masculinity and femininity. It is literally a scale that goes from hypermasculine and hyperfeminine, with androgyny right in the middle.
I think that much in the same way you conflate sexual orientation with sexual identity, you are conflating gender with gender identity.
hypermasculine *to hyperfeminine
Just because someone doesn’t entirely align with your views and agendas doesn’t mean that you need to start claiming someone said stuff that they didn’t say.
It will be damn near impossible to find a post of mine where I’ve equated identity with orientation. Almost half of my posts here I talk about how identity, sexual dimensions, preferences, lifestyle are different things. I talk about the vastness of “sexuality” (the types and rates of arousal, attraction, desire, passion, enjoyment, comfort, general libido). I talk about fluidity, paraphiliacs, fetishes. I talk about the gender, sexual, affection, romantic attachment, emotional investment, relationship contentment, commitment spectrum. How is any of that conflating identity and orientation?
And yes, I have talked about how “ally-ship”, identities and orientation is one thing. But motivations, ethnics, sociological or money driven behaviors, being a culture vulture or a baiter, internalized phobias, gay resentments, insecurities, privileges- these things are not automatically resolute or absent simply because someone is an “ally” or because someone “comes out”.
You only want to acknowledge nuance when it’s convenient to your agenda, which is part of the problem with identity, sexual, gender politics. And yeah, even someone who is hyper-fem might still be “male presenting” and someone who is hyper-masc might still be “female presenting”. Of sex and gender are separate and “gender” is an identity like you claim then it’s not all about masculinity or femininity. They can frequently have a lot to do with each other. But masculinity and femininity are their own scale. Talk about conflating different things…
Just because someone doesn’t entirely align with your views and agendas doesn’t mean that you need to accuse them of homophobia.
The masculinity-femininity scale has a name: gender.
Tell me, what is my “agenda”?
Nobody accused you of being a homophobe. A few of your posts (including in this comment section) very much read as: “I’m a self-accepting queer, therefore, all my other messy views don’t matter”. And it don’t work that way. Some of your stances have reflected naïveté, internalized phobias, insecurities, “straight” worship, placing hetero-leaning/straight-presenting males on pedestals because of “ally ship”, an unwillingness to acknowledge that internalized phobias are things even for “out” people and that being out does not eradicate gay resentments, queer insecurities, using people as stepping stones, being a leech, being a culture vulture, mental health issues, people not understanding themselves or understanding sexuality or the gender, sexual, affection, romantic, emotion, commitment spectrum.
The reason why I’ve particularly gone at you is because you try to approach things from an intellectual standpoint, unlike most here. But a lot of it still comes off messy. For someone who aims for nuance and intellectualism and being anti-naïveté, a lot of your viewpoints lack dimension and are broad-stroking. This can sometimes be an issue for “bi pride” folks who attempt intellect. While almost no one equates gender identity to mere masculinity or femininity. So, I don’t know why you keep pressing on with that one.
Yes, you called me a homophobe under some Harry Styles article.
“Straight worship”? You’re just trying to offend me now, aren’t you? Appreciating allies is not straight worship. Its an acknowledgement of the fact that the world is full of shitty, bigoted people, and the rare few that are not shitty and bigoted should be valued. But I think you’re just too cynical to value anybody.
You wanna talk about internalised homophobia? Let’s talk about your cynical response to a celebrity coming out of the closet. Let’s talk about your cynical response to a celebrity NOT coming out of the closet. Let’s talk about you always bringing up qualities like “using people as stepping stones, being a leech, being a culture vulture” when referring to gay men. Let’s talk about your 101 ways to avoid calling gayen gay or bi men bi.
So why are you under the impression that I don’t understand “out” people can have internalised phobias? When I can clearly identify them in you?
I’m just gonna exit this conversation. All you really do is list a bunch of dimensions of human sexuality, and then call people names.
You think my opinions are messy? I think you’re messy.
PS – stop conflating gender and gender identity.
I am bisexual in that I am attracted to and have had sexual and romantic relationships with both women and men. WRT men, I find that I like both more masculine and more feminine men– but for different reasons. I also like men who are taller than me and shorter than me– but for different reasons.
Also, I have never experienced the intense sexual revulsion toward the non-preferred sex which I often see in strictly homosexual or strictly heterosexual personalities. I believe that sexual revulsion/disgust should be studied more closely, and included as integral to analyses of human sexuality. For many people, revulsion seems to play as large a part as attraction in their understanding of their sexual identity.
That’s a good observation, and you Carly have a very high sexual intelligence. The phenomenon of sexual revulsion is one of the main reasons that monosexuals can have trouble understanding bisexuals, and vice versa.
Whether or not a person displays evidence of sexual revulsion is also a good indicator of how closely their sexual identity aligns with their sexual orientation.
It can be true in many cases but also not true in many cases. There are plenty of inherently homosexual or heterosexual people who aren’t grossed out by non-hetero or non-homo sexual behaviors. There are many inherently homosexual or heterosexual people that can indulge non-homo or non-hetero behaviors. Revulsion seems to be as much about shit like traumas, experience, sociology, conditioning as it about anything else. A lot of people are now trying to claim that they’re not homosexual or not heterosexual just because they’re not grossed out by certain things. And that’s not how it goes.
In general, there are definitely certain patterns. But there’s always going to be many exceptions to those patterns. That’s why I try my best to peep out certain patterns and tendencies while also trying to make sure that I see people’s sexuality, dimensions, preferences, psychologies, motivations, where they are in the overall spectrum as individual as I possibly can.
Interesting observations, Bosch! To further complicate the issue, I have come to believe that revulsion/disgust is actually an erotic response. I’ve noticed that revulsion can sometimes be a kind of mask, which when stripped off can reveal a desire so intense or dangerous that it threatens personal survival.
ps: who is ‘Carly’?
Oh gosh, I have no idea who she is! Get out of here, Carly!
It was meant to say “and you seem to have”.
Why do I have a feeling that this is a person talking to themselves?
But yes, sexuality and all that stuff is very complicated. Don’t understand this hyper-focus on revulsion though since that has almost nothing to do with the article of the the comments before.
@bachy, you’re right, revulsion can be used as a false alibi by the “shadow” when a portion of one’s sexuality is repressed. Carl Jung has a lot of literature about this mechanism.
Donston, be kind. We’re all on the same side here. If you need to berate someone, go track down our in-house troll.
There’s no need to berate. Just trying to understand why some queers who try so hard to come off complex and educated still employ problematic and basic viewpoints.
Now we’re problematic and basic?
You’re impolite. All you do is hijack every conversation about sexuality by saying “sexuality is complicated and you guys are too dumb to understand”.
Nothing about the conversation I’m having with Bachy is “problematic”. Maybe because you’re a pan-identified bisexual, you don’t understand that to some of us, certain bodies are unappetising.
“some queers who try so hard to come off complex and educated”
Now might be a good time to discuss internalised homophobia…
@Bosch: your mention of Jung and the shadow are very perceptive. I’ve undergone Jungian psychotherapy, and his literature has had a profound effect on my understanding of human sexuality. I find that much of the information that emerges from the shadow is backhanded and counterintuitive; hence my mention of revulsion as a dark reflection of attraction.
Sounds like you’re just promoting conversion therapy. Bisexual homophobes are so tedious. Explains why most gays avoid your kind.
@monty I can see how it looks like there’s an overlap, but shadow work is about uncovering repressed sexuality, not about intentionally repressing it. I don’t think anyone here believes sexual orientation can be changed.
Simple. Whether you like to have someone’s genitals in your mouth or on your face, that’s what determines your sexual orientation.
That can certainly be an aspect but it’s definitely not the be-all of sexuality, preferences, lifestyle, psychology.
Interesting article but also another topic that’s difficult to come to any real conclusion about because of just how varied people are.
There are guys who are turned on by masculinity or femininity and it doesn’t matter much what the sex/gender identity of that person is. There are guys who are turned on by certain body types and it doesn’t matter what the sex/gender identity is. There are guys who are turned on by people that remind of them of children frankly, and it doesn’t matter what the sex/gender identity is. There are guys who only want to date more effeminate guys because they want to feel like the “man” in the relationship not because that’s their preference. There are guys who are in the bi/pan spectrum and date women or trans people because it gives them as ego boost or because of sociology or because it allows them to feel “not ‘gay”. There are dudes in the bi/pan spectrum who mostly date cis males but do so because they want to fit in with “gays” or because they want to use guys for money and opportunities.
We’ve made the mistake of making everything about identities or lifestyle or inherent orientation. And we’ve disregarded preferences, psychologies, ego, fluidity, fetishes and paraphiliacs, motivations, the gender, sexual, affection, affirmation, romantic, emotion, commitment spectrum. There’s just so many different things going on with different people and different things that folks are driven by.
Psychologists, neuroscientists and evolutionary biologists still study and discuss what you’re talking about, but it’s hard to break through the noise when the so-called LGBTQIA+ community and Big Pharma have created this cacophony of identities and a cult-like ideology that actually denies physical reality.
What people seem to be ignoring here in an effort to be politically correct and in line with (very distressingly non-empirical) “queer theory” is that homosexuality overwhelmingly has to do with attraction to those with similar secondary sexual characteristics and genitals. It has much less to do with someone’s chosen gender expression on the culturally dictated masculine/feminine spectrum. Thus gay men may be appreciative of the appearance of transsexual men who are often very “conventionally masculine” in presentation, but are likely to be turned off by female genitalia on these men, despite the benefit of F-T-Ms keeping their biological genitalia in terms of their personal sexual pleasure and responsiveness.
“There are guys who only want to date more effeminate guys because they want to feel like the “man” in the relationship not because that’s their preference.” By definition, that IS their preference, regardless of the reason. That is also the case in your other examples. Taste and preference are not synonymous with orientation.
I have to agree. To me, attempting to straight-wash homosexuality looks like an expression of internalised homophobia. Despite how far we’ve come in reclaiming our place in society, there still seems to be an urge to avoid calling gay things “gay”.
I mean, homosexual means “same-sex”. It doesn’t mean “same-sex, but only if that’s how you identify”. Human sexuality has many dimensions, yes, but sexual orientation is one dimension, it’s measurable, testable, and predictable, and it is not made less significant by the existence of others.
I get the feeling that “queer theory” might be a perfect example of bisexual individuals who do not quite understand the implication and limitation of monosexuality. That can’t be avoided, there are also many monosexuals who have trouble believing that bisexuality is real. Everyone’s understanding of human sexuality is filtered through their experience of their own sexuality.
But our sexual orientation is hardwired in our hypothalamus, and no amount of identity-twisting can change that.
“We’ve made the mistake of making everything about identities or lifestyle or inherent orientation. And we’ve disregarded preferences, psychologies, ego, fluidity, fetishes and paraphiliacs, motivations, the gender, sexual, affection, affirmation, romantic, emotion, commitment spectrum. There’s just so many different things going on with different people and different things that folks are driven by.”
You are essentially confusing/conflating sexual orientation with taste/personal preference. This obfuscates the more basic issue of sexual preference. Heterosexual/Homosexual/Bisexual is who, physically, you are attracted to. Everything else is personal taste and little more.
Now everyone wants to suddenly use the word “conflate”? At least use the word properly. “Conflate” means to combine or confuse multiple things. I’ve actually painstakingly separated multiple things and made sure to point out the different aspects of multiple things. That’s not at all what “conflate” is. I know I’m sounding condescending. But seriously, at least use the word properly.
This article is about looking at the dimensions of people, their sexual makeup and sexual journeys, their psychology, and what drives their lives. All of that affects each other. And yes, a huge part of that includes “personal taste”. That can’t be merely brushed off as much as some like to.
I’m not here to dismiss identities or the importance of being honest about orientation. That’s still key when it comes to sociology and self-understanding. But one of the biggest reasons why identity, gender, sexual politics have become (but really has always been) convoluted and ego driven is that there’s been such little focus on things beyond identities. We’ve been resistant to research and really talk about how sexuality develops. We haven’t wanted to talk about how much events or traumas can affect some people’s development. Some are still resistant to talk about fluidity in an honest and nuanced way. We don’t talk about what “attractions” actually are (is it about genital arousal, or body arousal, or desire, or enjoyment, or sexual comfort). There’s no real consensus around these identities either. And yes, psychology is huge when it comes to what people do and how they present themselves. And yes, the gender, sexual, affection, affirmation, romantic, emotion, commitment spectrum is huge when it comes to what people do and how they present themselves. Ego, sociology, ambitions are huge when it comes to what people do and how they present.
It’s not about trying to erase identities. It’s about a much needed expanding of conversation. You can’t outright dismiss this shit because they’re always gonna be there and always are gonna guide people and how they interact with people. So, they do matter. What I’m talking about will actually help lead to more honesty and self-understanding rather than merely hiding behind words.
“I” for intersex (more correctly DSD) is not an identity at all but a physical anomaly, They’re only forced into the Alphabet Soup so trans activists can (incorrectly) claim they’re some kind of proof that sex is a spectrum.
Wouldn’t you love to know the actual identity of the king, queen or quing of the “LGTBQIA+ community” who decides who gets in and who’s not allowed out?
Inbama, I’m trying to understand what your post has to do with this line of posts. You really need to come up with a different angle other than: “these kids and their silly identities”. You gotta have more interesting things to say. I know you do. I also really don’t care about the “lgbtq+ community” stuff. That’s social media nonsense to me. I care about honest, insightful, non agenda driven, non hateful conversations about psychology, sexuality, gender, sociology, the gender, sexual, romantic, emotion, commitment spectrum. I don’t care about what letters do and don’t get included. If it were up to me I’d get rid of it all. I been stopped paying attention to that stuff. I do feel like all this focus on terminologies and what is or isn’t actually “queer” does distract from a multitude of much needed conversations.
It seems you’re trying to educate people who are already educated.
People don’t care about splitting the sexual experience into a million little pieces or spectrums as you call it.
As I observe you more carefully it would seem you have an almost narcissistic ego driven thrush towards forcing your agenda on those who don’t find such a matrix useful, yet you keep going as if to quench a very tidyly scripted superiority complex sounding smart but coming off vague, with zero examples to support your thesis.
You may want to discontinue all your spectral-analysis-attention-seeking-for-members in this arena and use it on a demograph that cares. How long have you been at this fishing hole with no bites?
It’s a bit distracting and glib to those who are way beyond your angle and fine with the basics.
Queerty writers, Please post more content like this that provokes interesting conversations.
Please do less garbage content that use scripts that fetch reddit comments and tweets.
Lol, Queerty what is this garbage??