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How I Realized I'm Bisexual

I wanted to have sex with both women and men. But how could I tell if I was really bisexual, or acting out "Girls Gone Wild" faux lesbianism?

 Who doesn't remember their first crush? I was four years old; she was my Sunday School teacher, tall with pale skin and long sandy brown hair nipping just above her waist. I remember feeling excited by her, romantic toward her. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with her but I had fantasies of grandly sweeping her away to do...something.

When talking with gays and lesbians about when they first knew, it’s not uncommon to hear stories of early childhood same-sex crushes like mine. But I’m not gay, I'm bisexual—and I went on to have lots of boy-crushes, too.

Gemma, another twenty-something bisexual, remembers her early crushes. "When I was in first grade I remember having a dream where I was 007 (yes, James Bond) and I was surrounded by really beautiful women. I remember even then wanting to 'be' with them" she divulges.

I've heard a lot of women defend their heterosexuality by saying that women are just beautiful, like living pieces of art, their bodies are nice to look at. Clarisse has ogled breasts as long as she can remember. "I guess I always thought I was jealous of the pretty girl with the nice ass or perky boobs; it was that I was attracted," she says.

In regards to sex; anger, jealousy and disgust have all shown up in things I unconsciously really want. In high school I had one close friend, Alyssa. I wrote her heartfelt poems and she bought me thoughtful presents. We were so close we even bathed together, once falling asleep after getting out of the bath, side by side on her bed—naked, warm and wet. This relationship drove me crazy... but the madness was all pushed into my unconscious.

One night she went out to a party with a different girlfriend. The next day she called to tell me that she and this girl had gotten wasted and made out all night. I was fuming and felt.... decidedly disgusted. But the disgust barely veiled my jealousy and just beneath that were my sexual desires and intense feelings for this girl.

But was Alyssa also bisexual? We were in high school during the height of the Girls Gone Wild, "faux" bisexuality craze. I reserved a particular hate and disgust for the party girls in high school who made out solely in front of guys. Gemma agrees that the high school consensus was that bisexuals were just attention seekers. "I remember talking about bisexuality in high school with my friends and the agreement seemed to be that bi's were just nymphomaniacs that wanted to sleep with everyone, it had a very negative connotation" she says. Before I was out, it seemed I doubted everyone's bisexuality. Now, like many bisexuals I kinda assume everyone else must be bi and repressing it.

As high school dragged on, my sexuality began to peek out from my unconscious. I began to wonder out-loud in online forums about my bisexuality and flirted with girls on the Internet. Yet I still didn't consider myself bi. Between the negative connotations and seeing “straight” girls engage in more same-sex activity than me, I was very confused about my own sexual identity.

In the book Dual Attraction: Understanding Bisexuality by Martin S. Weinberg, Colin J. Williams, and Douglas W. Pryor, bisexuality is measured by three variables: sexual feelings, sexual activities, and romantic feelings. And just because you don't have all three down doesn't necessarily make you straight. Yet during my teen years, I told myself that I wasn't bi until proven; how could I know unless I had the experience? But in my small hick town where no one in my high school was out, I was scared to make a move on any of the girls I had crushes on.

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