November 1, 2010

My Sexuality: What it Doesn't Mean for YOU

[Ed. Note: This is our new blogger Xan, Everyone :) Aaaand I'm pretty sure this is my favorite post intro ever.]

While this is my first time writing for the blog—and perhaps this is not the best way to start out—I cannot help but be 100% me. Always. That being said, I write about what I feel, what I know, and about what I think. So excuse me for ranting. I’m sorry. Now let’s move on.

For the past two weeks I’ve been feeling very objectified. Perhaps it’s been my rainbow wristband or my “Love = Love” shirt, but I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about my sexual orientation. My response? Yes I’m bi…what’s it to you? After the look of excitement in their eyes simmers down, these straight males try and play it off. Oh nothing, that’s cool. So…And then it begins. Their limited range of understanding starts searching for the “advantage”. How can this new information be of use to them?

Little do they know, it’s of no use at all. I know heterosexual geared pornography tells straight men that lesbians and bi-sexuals simply live to fulfill their erotic dreams BUT for some reason I thought Duke would breed men of higher intellectual caliber. Apparently not.

However, it isn’t just straight males. I was asked to “hook up” (which I confess I have no idea what that really means) by a female I had known for a short 5 days. This made me wonder if we (we being non-heterosexual women) help perpetuate this negative concept of fluidity. I was really offended by the request and it reminded me of the falsely confident straight men who had the nerve to ask…So would you ever have a threesome. My response? For all those who care to know, I have made a quick list of things that my sexuality does NOT mean for others:

1. I am NOT an outlet for your sexual fantasy
2. I am NOT an easy sexual target
3. I am NOT promiscuous
4. I am NOT a hook up

I hope you, however you identify, would agree and hold yourself to the same standards.


  1. Duke's got a lot of this:
    "BUT for some reason I thought Duke would breed men of higher intellectual caliber. Apparently not."

    And it's not just the men.

    I think the real problem lies in our expectations of people. The thing to keep in mind here is that there is definitely a difference between "intellectual" and "intelligent" (something that my roommate and I discuss at least once a week because there is ALWAYS something that happens that prompts the "didn't expect that at Duke" sentence lol).

    Another facet of the problem, aside from media telling people to expect this from bisexuals, is the(minority? majority?) of bisexuals telling the public that this is who they are. That they are all of those things you so explicitly outlined you're not. That's what they want to be, and they overshadow other bisexuals who aren't like that because the media finds them more interesting.

    Until the media stops portraying bisexuals 'that way', promoting the lifestyle that some overly, sexually zealous bisexuals choose to lead, and objectifying women (because we do know that it is the combination of these two things that makes bisexual women pornographic gold) we, the invisible majority (minority?), just have to reenforce our self-respect constantly. And CERTAINLY, never break and become what they want us to be.

  2. YES. to this whole blog post!!

  3. Generalizing men at Duke based on your limited experience with a few is being just like the people you complain about.

  4. well I think the hook up thing is part of the Duke culture in general rather than limited to some expectation from bi women specifically, but that's just my experience in my 4 years here.

  5. To the individual who is concerned about my generalization of men:

    The point of my post was not to generalize men and quite frankly if that's all you took away from missed the real issue.

    I would expect men at Duke to be of a higher caliber, so when they are not, I am disappointed. This is not to say that all Duke men are disappointing. I prefaced the blog by saying that I would only speak on my experiences. Thus, I was speaking specifically about my "limited experience".

    Also, I hoped that people would take my rant for what it was and recognize that it was not a bash against men nor an attempt to generalize them.

  6. Understood, I get your point, I'm just sensitive to getting thrown under the bus due to the actions of bad apples, similar to how expectations are unfairly projected on you based on your orientation. I realized that your rant wasn't focused on generalizing men, it just left a bitter taste and I was unable to ignore the part of the message as generalizing men, which for me caused a lack of focus on your core arguments. It's a tough line to walk, but maybe a qualifying statement about this would have caused the issue to be a moot point, but you shouldn't let that take away focus from your main points.
    Good piece, I'm glad to have read it, and thanks for your comments.

  7. I enjoyed this. However, I have one comment. I'm not sure that a woman wanting to "hook up" with you has anything to do with your sexuality. Yes, a man wanting to for the erotic dream of two men is understandable as frustrating to your sexuality. But every gender and sexuality hooks up, it is not unique to you being bi. You have every right to be upset that someone just wants a hook up, but I do not see it as a reflection of your sexuality.

  8. Well said. I think the fact remains that, despite the academic caliber of our university, we are still a college campus full of people who are still growing and developing as people. Raging hormones likely play a role, but the point is that many people here lack social finesse. In navigating our own sexuality and sexual desires, not only do we conflate sexual impulse with orientation (though certainly orientation is much broader than this), we conflate working on our own sexuality with that of others.

    As such, boundaries blur, especially social boundaries for how a person may respond to or think about another person's sexuality. In my opinion that is partly why we need campus groups like BDU.

  9. Hey Xan-

    Love that you're on the blog =)

    I guess my comment will differ a bit from those before me, because while I def think your values are admirable and work for you, I don't know if we should hold anyone to our own standards of not being 'promiscuous' or being a hook up. Different people have different needs, wants, desires, and sexual styles.

    A huge part of my sexuality is freedom. For me it overshadows being queer, bi, or w/e 'orientation' I call myself. I want to be able to explore, express, and fulfill my sexuality in whatever way feels appropriate to me- which I think we all, on this blog, do. If that means having a casual hook-up, or sex with someone Ive known for a few days, I don't want to be judged for it. I'd rather not have anyone assume I have lower standards than them, only different ones.

    I like the title of your post because it's about you owning your sexuality, and understanding who you are and what it means for you, and what it does and does not mean for the people you come into contact with. But we're all different and have different standards. It SUCKS to feel objectified, I'll be the first to agree. I do feel like for me, the way a person hits on me will determine if I'm offended or not. Sometimes being asked for a hook up can feel flattering, but in the case of guys asking for 3somes that's usually been pretty ignorant in my experience as well, though not always =D.

    Anyhoo, thanks again for sharing

  10. Hearing people go on about lesbians/bi girls as "hot" grates so much. So, so much.