Originally Posted 11/14/2015
There have been many articles on bisexuality in females in the last few years. There was the study that showed women vaginally respond to images of lesbian, straight, and chimpanzee porn. Lisa Diamond has also done a lot of studies on female bisexuality and sexual fluidity in women.
Most of the studies in the last few years of homosexuality and bisexuality show that female bisexuality is much more common than lesbianism. Now 1/3 to almost 1/2 of younger people identify as not completely straight. I think these claims are greatly exaggerated. Personally I’ll believe it when they are actually sixty-nining a girl and liking it. Then we will talk. Also, just being aroused at images or even touch doesn’t really make someone bisexual. Plenty of straight or gay people may mess around with their non-preferred sex at some point and not totally hate it. Truly bisexual people tend to be pretty motivated to engage in same-sex behavior unless they come out to themselves after they are married and in a monogamous relationship which does happen. And some fall as hard in love and lust with same sex partners as lesbians or gay men.
Again, as someone who had to have sex and relationships with women when I came out I don’t take this very seriously. However, I do think this explains why a straight women will sometimes fall hard for another women to the point of leaving a husband and why there are some bisexuals with a fluid sexuality that may lean more lesbian or straight at different points in their lives. And also why this seems less common in men. (There are actually a lot more men willing to have sex with other men that don’t identify as bisexual so actual numbers of bisexual men are debatable. And even if men aren’t responding to different kinds of porn as women are there still seems to be some evidence males have some fluidity as well. It’s complicated).
So one interesting thing about this study is that homosexual females, aka lesbians actually exists.
“Research has found that though lesbians are much more attracted to the female form, most women who say they are straight are in fact aroused by videos of both naked men and naked women.”
The results, which were based on elements such as whether their pupils dilated in response to sexual stimuli, showed that 82% of the women tested were aroused by both sexes.
This was in contrast to lesbians, who showed much stronger sexual responses to women than to men.
The researchers said lesbians were the most like men in their responses because it is usually men who show distinct sexual responses to their favourite sex.
Meanwhile of the women who identified as straight, 74% were strongly sexually aroused by videos of both attractive men and attractive women.
This is the same finding in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that involved the bonobo porn. The lesbians weren’t that into the men but the straight women responded to the women.
Lesbian identity and culture is pretty marginalized in some ways right now in Western countries. I don’t mean marginalized in the same way as gays and lesbians are in the Middle East or Africa. It’s a first world gay problem. The dominant message now it that women are all sexually fluid. But many women who like being women and love women exclusively are feeling that their identity doesn’t really have a voice in the larger queer culture. They may be gold stars or they may have had sex with men on their journey to discovering what they really want. But “sexuality is fluid for women” is the new mantra and some women whose sexuality is not fluid are tired of hearing it. This is one of the reasons I think it is important for lesbians who have sex with men to identify as what they are. Bisexual. Or fluid, homoflexible, not into labels, a whatever, bi when tipsy and be comfortable with that identity because there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It really is just important to some lesbian women to be able to have their own label as signaling a total disinterest in men. And it is nothing but the internalized and externalized biphobia that exists for gay leaning bisexuals that causes this. Some people don’t think labels are important, and they aren’t as important as other issues going on in the world. But it really is just all about respect.
Another interesting point about lesbian identified women in this study. Butch/femme presentation is not correlated with a lesbian identified women’s arousal to any images of men. I think there is a stereotype in the lesbian community that femmes are somehow more likely to be bisexual but that is not what this research showed.
“Dr Rieger also said his study showed that lesbians who may dress in a more masculine way may not have more masculine behaviours.”
“Although some lesbians were more masculine in their sexual arousal, and others were more masculine in their behaviours, there was no indication that these were the same women,” he said.
“This shows us that how women appear in public does not mean that we know anything about their sexual role preferences.”
So yes, lesbians defined as people not interested in men do exist. And there are actual or potential bisexuals out there too. Let’s respect and celebrate all of the diversity of our alphabet soup.