Single? Having trouble meeting a guy who understands your commitment to your kids? Ever thought of dating another mom?
Dr. Wendy Walsh: I know. To some of you, this sounds like a version of the old joke ... "If any of my supportive gal pals grew a certain appendage, I'd give up on men and marry her in an instant."
But today, we are in an era where our cultural taboo against bisexual behavior seems to be lifting for women. Recently, Black Eyed Peas' singer Fergie has said that she is bisexual. Fergie joins other celebrities including P!nk, Lady Gaga, and Megan Fox in coming out as "bi." This public openness about bisexuality may have started with the high-profile breakup of Ellen DeGeneres and Anne Heche, after which Anne Heche resumed dating men. Bisexuality has become a household topic, thanks to Tila Tequila's reality show as well as Katy Perry's 2008 summer hit, "I Kissed a Girl."
So, is this just a provocative celebrity trend designed to grab headlines, or is bisexuality going mainstream? The truth is that sexuality occurs along a bell curve -- that is, the number of people who are 100% gay and 100% straight is relatively small. ("Gay" and "straight" are defined as being loyal to same-sex or opposite-sex in both behavior and fantasy.) The number of people who have the potential for bisexuality is relatively large. In general, everywhere in the world, at all times in human history, it has been estimated that 6-10% of the population experiences attraction to people of the same sex. But these estimates are hard to pinpoint because they are based on self-reports, and too many people lie on sexual orientation surveys. The interesting fact about the current trend of bisexuality is that it seems to be a public freedom enjoyed only by women. The veil has still not been lifted from male bisexual behavior.
Bi-curious? Here are a few things to consider. If your sexual fantasy life has involved same-sex images and you are willing to break out of old habits, then experimentation might be right for you. However, if you have religious beliefs or other emotional barriers that would create feelings of guilt or shame, perhaps bisexual fantasies are your personal limit. Just because something is trendy doesn't mean it's for everyone. Coercive sex is never okay, especially sex coerced by social pressure.
And, if you do embark on a same-sex sex life, don't think you are getting off scot-free from sexuality transmitted diseases. Nope. Now you'll risk a whole new set of bacterial exposure to fun girls. So, continue to practice safe sex and get regular gynecological checkups. Finally, if you do try a same-sex encounter and don't like it, don't beat yourself up about it. There's no one-drop rule to sexual orientation. What you are is a progressive woman who knows herself well. And now you really know that you are straight. And that's OK too.
|Dr. Wendy Walsh holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and her area of interest is Attachment Theory, a psychological, evolutionary and ethological theory that provides a descriptive and explanatory framework for understanding interpersonal relationships between human beings. As a psychological assistant registered with the California Board of Psychology, Dr. Walsh has treated individuals, couples and families for a variety of mental health concerns including personality disorders, anger management, eating and substance disorders, and depression.|
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