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Location: Takoma Park, Maryland, United States

I'm now a 52-year-old American male raised as an Episcopalian, veteran of submarines, Peace Corps, and State Department. I like teaching people about what they can do with computers and have gotten by as an independent Microsoft trainer teaching networking, but I really hope to someday find a way to make a living traveling on my motorcycle, camping, and writing about places and people I meet along the way.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Bisexual: What does it mean?

Most people think that bisexuals are promiscuous. This is a bit like the opinions some have that all homosexuals are pedophiles, or that all priests are. True, there are promiscuous people of most orientations, and there are sexual predators of all orientations, but orientation alone does not determine morality. We can talk about the need of some to believe they are more moral than others due to their orientation some other time. Fact is that most Bisexuals do not think of themselves as bisexual and try to conform to being either straight or gay. Most have things to think about in life other than sex.

Relationships are not all about sex, either. How about love? It is not so impossible to love and admire a person of ones own gender and for that to lead to a desire for greater intimacy. Many bisexuals say, "We fall in love with the person, first. Gender is irrelevant."

The probability is that not all people who say they are 100% straight or 100% gay really are at the extremes of the Kinsey scale. The liklihood is that there are vast numbers of people who are bisexual and either do not realize it or will not admit it.Well, part of the reason that I make a point of expressing my bisexual orientation is because others need to know they are not alone. They need to know that one can be bisexual and still enjoy a monogamous relationship, especially if love is the foremost desire. They can accept their nature of their orientation and still consider themselves good people.

I believe it is the case that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of nature and nurture. The gay person has no control over the fact that he or she find their own gender most attractive. Neither does the heterosexual. This, precisely, is the reason that sexual orientation is not a matter of virtue. The orientation of our sexual desires, where we are on the scale, is something pretty much beyond the individual's control. Probably, the notion that it is a matter of virtue is driven entirely by people for whom it is a matter of choice: bisexuals who are insecure about their same-sex feelings, presume all others face the same choices and are perpetually at odds with those who state that their orientation is not a choice, thinking all to be like themselves.

This is unfortunate as orientation is irrelevant. The struggle of virtue is not about sexual orientation. People of all orientations must decide the extent to which they will govern their passions or be governed by their passions. Virtue is created not by orientation, but by what the human being brings to and adds to their own human condition. Can one govern ones passions so they are not a distraction to the need to help others? Certainly, passions can lead us to predatory behavior hurtful to ourselves and others if they are not managed well.

Many do not like such thoughts because they require work. Beneath them is the hint that you are not more virtuous just because you like to sleep with the opposite sex, even by becoming a parent you are not automatically more virtuous as we can find many examples of bad parents. Yes, participating in birth and parenthood can lead one to become more virtuous, but it requires us to respond appropriately. It is that response to our human condition accomodating the needs of others among the demands of our own desires that is the beginning of virtue.