Dan Savage: Cool With Drinking Piss, Weird About Bisexuality

Illustration for article titled Dan Savage: Cool With Drinking Piss, Weird About Bisexuality

We've had our issues with Dan Savage. Actually, I've had my issues with Dan Savage, personally. There's certainly a place in America for a columnist who assures you that your kinkiest kinks aren't so bad and you can still be loved for them, so get some therapy and practice safe sex! And, at one point not terribly long ago, I was happy that that person was Dan Savage. But then the more I read of his columns and his "vaginas are terrifying" and his whole "women are double-standard having bitches" thing that he likes to harp on sometimes I am like, wow. And now he has on display some pretty heteronormative thoughts about bisexuality: it's great in girls and most of us do it, but it's virtually non-existent in boys. Gross.Here's what he says:

As for [the writer's male cousin] "playing for the other team" at college, ACK, that can indeed be just a phase-but for women, not men. Heterosexual and homosexual women, if legit scientific research is to be believed, "tend to become sexually aroused by both male and female erotica, and, thus, have a bisexual arousal pattern," according to the results of a 2003 study conducted at LUG-infested Northwestern University. Men, on the other hand, prefer erotica that plays exclusively to their professed sexual orientation. Which means, of course, that female sexuality is a fluid and male sexuality is a solid. Or something. And ladies? Pointing out your fluid sexuality isn't an insult. It's a compliment — hell, it's a freakin' superpower.


Hmm, seems to me I covered the topic of what turns on the ladies before and found that the scientist who wrote the most recent studies on this said:

To conclude that women are bisexual on the basis of their sexual responding overlooks the complexity and multidimensionality of female sexuality.

Also, if you don't have time to go back and read it, (statistically speaking) women get minimally aroused by watching pretty much anything fuck — including monkeys — but that doesn't make us all bestialists either. Sexuality isn't about who you want to watch fuck, it involves who you actually want to fuck. And if men don't or —in my opinion, more likely — can't express as wide a range of bisexuality as women, maybe that has more to do with the taboos around male hetero- and bisexuality than anything else. I've known bisexual men and they have it hard (heh) from both ends (sorry, can't stop) of the spectrum. A close friend of mine in college was bisexual, and gay men didn't want to get into a relationship with him, convinced he would leave for a more socially-acceptable female life partner, and women often didn't want to sleep with him knowing he'd had a guy's dick up his ass. I've heard plenty of gay men comment that they wouldn't want to get involved with a bisexual man. I've had one of my close gay friends admit that he is (years after coming out) still attracted to women here and there but that it was usually too much trouble to date women because of the lack of acceptance from certain quarters in his social circle. Bisexual men and women are often considered "really" gay but trying to fit in, rather than there being a wide acceptance that they are actually bisexual. And Dan Savage is a good example of this stereotype, as he tells his reader that the cousin is obviously just a closet case but that, perhaps, his fiancée is the kind of woman who likes a gay guy (as though having a bisexual open relationship is just soooo weird). It's such a weirdly and disturbingly normative answer for a columnist who is all about letting people know the safest way to drink other people's urine. Oh, and about how female bisexuality is a superpower? Yeah, if playing at or displaying an attraction to women for the sake of titillating men is super, or a power. Maybe us bile-spewing ladies just get annoyed when everyone keeps telling us we are bisexual, Dan, because some of us aren't and the ones who actually are aren't doing it for anyone's benefit but their own. Ladies, Pointing Out Your Fluid Sexuality Isn't an Insult, It's a Freakin' Superpower [Village Voice] Savage Love December 5, 2007 [AV Club] What Women Want (Maybe) [New York Times]



I'm not sure Dan's answer really has anything to do with bisexuality, per se. The person asking the question wanted to know if it was likely, or even possible, that the man in question was just banging dudes in college as a "phase" and has really given it up for life. Dan responded that guys don't seem to have "gay phases" - if they like to have sex with men, chances are they always have and always will like it. In other words, that a woman can be a LUG but otherwise straight, but there isn't a male equivalent.

That doesn't mean they can't be bisexual, it just means that 'ex-gay' straight guys are a myth. I can't say for certain that's true, but I find it plausible, given the differences in male and female sexual response.