Erasing the Bisexuals

I am a bisexual woman, and have been for as long as I know, even before I was explicitly aware of it.

I have been in a long-term relationship with another woman for fourteen years. This does not make me a lesbian. This makes me monogamous and committed. I am still bisexual, and always will be. Being with a woman for over a decade doesn’t make me gay. I do consider myself very much a part of the queer spectrum – I am not straight. I’m not heterosexual. But I’m not a full-on lesbian. I exist.

Not long ago, there was a certain kerfuffle in our literary blogosphere regarding the presence of het sex in gay fiction, and one of my first reactions was “wait, are they pretending bisexuals don’t exist?” Because, believe it or not, that happens. A lot.

There is a broad, wide market out there, a rapidly-expanding niche that–I thought–was becoming ever more inclusive across the QUILTBAG spectrum. Now, preference is one thing. I understand expressing a preference for a certain type of story, or a certain kind of erotica, and that’s all well and good. Where it becomes unfair, insulting, and even harmful is imposing that standard on the genre as a whole. Because, really, are we just the M/M genre now? We don’t make room for trans*? We don’t abide lesbians? We do not suffer the bisexual women and men to live and love?

It’s one thing to state “I don’t like reading scenes with heterosexual sex.” That’s totally valid, and I support that. Depending on the characters, I may not enjoy it and would skip it myself.

It’s another thing to state, “heterosexual sex doesn’t belong in the M/M genre.” It should be labeled. It is a squick. It is an insult to M/M readers. Get out of my sandbox, you have your own.

Okay, wow. So what about your bisexual men?

They don’t exist, detractors cry. That brings us round to my point to begin with–once again, supposed allies are erasing the bisexuals.

One of the things that made it so difficult to come to terms with my sexuality, personally, was the complete dearth of bisexual representation anywhere. Media, news, conversation, you name it. Growing up, the concept of bisexuality was not shown to me anywhere as something I could be. You were one or the other, straight or gay. What I wanted, what I was, did not exist. It’s been important to me, as a writer, to show that yes, we do.

Out of the three novels I’ve had published so far, two of them feature main characters (men) who are bisexual. In one of those, it’s something of a plot point, even, with Lucas’s struggle to come to terms with the fact that he can be bisexual and committed to another man. In the other, Alex is so fixated on Nik that no one else matters–but he has a past with women, and at one point it does come under scrutiny.

I’m guessing that this has been deemed acceptable, that this has passed muster in the genre, because there weren’t any scenes that depicted the men having graphic goings-on with anyone other than their love interest, who was also male. But what if they had? What if that had been an essential element of the story? Cut it, these reviewers would say. Your audience doesn’t want to see it. The audience doesn’t want a graphic relationship between a man and a woman. There’s already a robust market for that; it’s the hetero romance genre. Your het sex scenes are not welcome here.

Does this sound familiar? “You can do _____, so long as I don’t have to see it.” “Well, it’s your business if you like _____, as long as it’s in private and you don’t rub it in my face.” That doesn’t sound like tolerance, to me. That sounds like veiled hate speech. You can do that thing I find repulsive, but it doesn’t make it right. So do it somewhere else. When you consider this may apply to bisexuals and their relationships, it starts to sound like bi-phobia to me.

Where is the market for the people who swing both ways? The recent outburst from the reviewing sphere suggests that “het scenes” have no place in the “gay market.” That makes it amply clear, once again, that I and people like me don’t exist, or we’re not supposed to. Or we can hook up with opposite-sex people, so long as it happens out of sight. If we want to have sex onscreen, it had better be with the partner whose genitals match up with what our audience is expecting.

To me, this kind of thinking is not only unnecessarily stifling, creativity-wise, but it’s exclusive. We are so much more than a narrow slice of uniformly handsome white men getting it on with other equally handsome white men. We are disabled trans*men, and capable bisexual brown women, and devout Muslim men who sleep with women but fall in love with other men, and chubby girls with vitiligo and a penchant for polyamory saving the world with their adoring wheelchair-bound genderqueer sidekick, and androgynous asexual vampires finding their one true love in a girl with PTSD. We are women falling in love with men falling for men who OTP women and so on, ouroborous unending.

Or maybe we’re not there yet. But authors ought to be able to write it, if that’s the story they want to write. And it’s still queer fiction.

Blanket directives to keep certain content such as–dare I say the blasphemous concept, heteronormative erotica–out of the genre are oppressive and they exclude those of us who cross genre constraints, whether we’re bisexual or not. They exclude certain types of characters, including bisexual and trans*, and erase or otherwise heavily edit those characters’ experiences.

When I was younger, I thought the story of Casanova was that of a bisexual man, who romped through the ranks of the attractive men and women of court. Boy, was I disappointed to find that he kept his charms solely distributed to women. I was young and ignorant but even then, looking for portrayals of someone whose attractions transcended sex or gender. In this day and age, we ought to be able to get that bisexual Casanova. And if someone from the QUILTBAG genre were to write his story, it should be the whole unedited glorious romp. Messy, “undesirable” girl parts and all.

Because we exist, and our stories deserve to be told, too–including the sex we enjoy on both sides of the “street.”

22 comments

  1. I love you so much for this post that I can’t even begin to find the words to express it, much less tell you why, except to say that it’s validation. And I appreciate it more than I can say. It took me a very long time to start coming to terms with who I am and situations like what you describe here feel like getting slapped in the face. I remember signing up for JDate at one point and contacting the mods because of the lack of a bisexual option. I was basically told… “Oh. Yeah. That. Huh. Sorry? Check back in a few years?” Guess what? Still no bisexual option on JDate.

    And let’s not even get into how it feels like we don’t belong anywhere among the community and if anyone speaks up about it, we basically get told that others have it worse and we should just be quiet. We have an opportunity to be “normal” so it’s easy for us, right? Well, certainly, others have it worse… but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt to be told you don’t count and you don’t have a right to speak up.

    We do. We should.

    Bless this post and you for writing it.

    *big hugs*

    ^_^

  2. I’m bi, too, and I only recently came to terms with it, not because my family and friends wouldn’t have been okay with me being gay, but because bisexuality was so far out of my sphere of thinking that it may as well have not existed. I had bi friends, but they were exceptions, I thought. This is really important, to me, because I’ve found exactly two anime/manga/stories-in-general where they accept that both heterosexuals and homosexuals even exist, and only one where people who’re bi exist, and in that it’s only that the drama can be upped a whole ton. I’d never really had an example of someone (whether real or a character) who was successful and bi (friends didn’t count, since they were my age or younger). I agree with you completely that this is a huge problem in LGBT fiction as a whole, but especially in LGBT erotica. I think in the real world, being bi is accepted more just because being gay is accepted more, but there’s also the fact that we don’t really belong in either the straight or homosexual category, we’re somewhere in the middle, and therefore are often ridiculed by both groups, or told “Being “bi” is code for “I’m gay but don’t wanna accept it yet.” Thank you for writing this post – it’s a very important subject, and I’m glad someone’s addressing it ^-^

  3. I find it confusing and ridiculous that bisexuality has such a bad reputation in the genre. Especially when writing stories with historical or semi-historical settings I find it really challenging not to write bisexual or pansexual characters. For most of human history there hasn’t been a clear distinction between gay and straight only certain times and situations where you were expected to have sex with someone of the opposite gender and then times and places where it was okay to have sex or a romantic relationship with the same gender. Thus most of my characters end up experiencing both and finding both meaningful to them. For instance in my upcoming book Like Fire Through Bone one of the main characters, Markos, as had three long term, committed relationships in his life, two of them where with women. Out of those three relationships two of them were love matches and one of those was with a woman. I couldn’t imagine his character or story line being particularly realistic any other way.

    I haven’t been part of the m/m romance genre very long but it is my understanding that the genre used a lot more rigid only allowing stories that portrayed one kind of gay man (in a particularly heteronormative kind of a way actually. My sister who reads m/m romance always says that the queer community is a lot queerer than it gets portrayed in the genre. which is a different rant for another day.) I think it is growing and changing through, becoming more queer romance instead of just m/m. Or at least I hope so.

  4. I see fiction and books this way — anyone can write whatever they want and anyone can read (or not read) whatever they want. This is about tastes and tastes differ.

    So, to make it easier for readers to find the things they want to read (or avoid), there exist genres and labels and warnings and so on. Personally, I don’t want to read any heterosexual content at any point not even something as small as a makeout session. Just as I don’t want to read boring details about geological research or microbiology or the drawn out techniques of operating a submarine. Not even if those things are integral to the plot, because if they are that important the book should be labeled differently. I’m going to cringe or roll my eyes and skip whole chunks of text I do not want to read and am not interested in. Because when I choose a book labeled under Romance, primarily, that is what I want to read about and if it is labeled as M/M then it’s only natural to expect just that.

    The way I see it, M/M Romance is — Male/Male Romance. Two males. In romantic relationship. So when I choose a book in that genre naturally that is what I want to and expect to read about — two men in a romantic and/or sexual relationships, not het scenes. If I wanted to read about something else, I’d look for it. It’s what labels, warnings and so on, are for. I understand the frustration, I do, but at the same time I don’t think that M/M Romance represents, or even should represent, the entire spectrum of the LGBT genre. Precisely because it is Male/Male Romance and it should stay that way, in my opinion. So therefor, I would agree that heterosexual sex doesn’t really belong in Male/Male Romance category even if the main characters have engaged in it, it doesn’t have to be depicted in the book because the books under that label, should be about male/male romance, not whatever else. Otherwise, it should be in some other section. I don’t know of a good example to show what I mean, but imagine you went and bought a tub of chocolate and banana ice-cream, only to find that a large chunk of the tub is pure vanilla. And you hate vanilla. Joy. Obviously, that isn’t what you wanted, isn’t what you paid for and now, you’re disappointed.

    To me, it’s incredibly frustrating to suddenly stumble upon het sex in a Male/Male Romance book and chances are I won’t ever buy a book by such an author again. Because one, I feel a little cheated and two, it’s absolutely not what I was paying for and wanted to read. I don’t want to waste my time and my money on things I don’t enjoy and I don’t know of anyone who does.Therefor, labels, genres and warnings should be applied correctly. If there isn’t such a genre as Bisexual Romance, then someone should create it, not try and find a place for it in Male/Male Romance. There is, after all, F/F Romance, M/F Romance and M/M Romance, so instead of trying to find a place for everything that doesn’t fit in and shove it into those genres anyway, wouldn’t it be better for everyone, to create a new, separate genre? Maybe, Pansexual Romance, or something that’d cover just about everything. Gay men do not represent the entire LGBT community, do they? So why should M/M books represent the entire LGBT genre? I don’t really agree with that.

    In real life, I have nothing against bisexual or heterosexuals or anyone at all, really. However, when it comes to fiction it’s not what I want to read about. Just like I don’t want to read about many other things such as speleology for example. So this has nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with personal tastes and interests.

    1. So basically what you’re saying is ‘I’m okay with bi people and straight people, but I don’t want to have to read about them because that’s boring and gross and needs to stay out my genre that I am strictly defining as cis-male on cis-male and everybody else should go play on a different playground so they don’t contaminate our playground’. You are literally saying ‘cis men here’ and ‘all other colors of the rainbow go here’.

      You’re exactly the kind of bigot that hurts the genre.

      1. Yes, that’s right I don’t want to read about them and why should I have to? I pay for a book, I spend my money and my time on it so of course I want to be able to choose what I read. Everyone does. Therefor, categories and genres exist so people don’t have to waste time and money on things they don’t like. Not wanting to read about straight people and bisexual people doesn’t make a bigot. Thanks. I’m just saying, that there should be a separate genre for bisexuals. Because M/M is still Male/Male and if a book features one or several heterosexual scenes, it no longer files under just Male/Male. Bisexuals are not gay, they’re not lesbians, they’re not straight. They’re bisexual. If an author wants to write about them – great, but I don’t want to read it and I sure as hell don’t want to pay for it.

        I don’t see how I’m hurting the genre, I’m just a reader and I have a right to read what I like and no, it doesn’t make me a bigot. A book is a product and should be advertised correctly so that consumers can know what they’re paying for. Authors that don’t understand and disregard that concept hurt not only the genre but the entire publishing industry. Because dissatisfied and disappointed readers are not likely to purchase more and more books. No one wants to waste their money.

    2. I think you’re missing the point of what she’s say and are–by degrees–part of the reason a post like this even needs to be made.

      The labeling of a story as m/m means that the primary, focus relationship will be m/m and that, at the end, the two male characters will be together. To me, that doesn’t imply a definition of the sexual content. To do so belies the concept or possibility that one or both of the male characters could be bisexual. And by that, it denies the author an ability to give an accurate accounting of a bisexual character’s sexuality or his sexual past/history.

      No, you’re not obligated to read a m/m story that features scenes or moments of m/f content, and you’re entitled to prefer not to. However, to say (or imply) that it doesn’t belong or has no place or “I have nothing against it, but I don’t want to know about it” is discriminatory.

      1. No, I didn’t miss the point, I just didn’t agree with it and I’ve explained why. I think that if the character’s bisexuality plays such a big part in the story that het scenes are a must, then it should be in a different category than M/M. The author is allowed to write and focus on whatever they want but I am also allowed to not want to read it. I already explained this but the thing is, you’re all only seeing it from the author’s perspective. Try seeing from a reader’s instead. I don’t want to read about bisexual men engaging in heterosexual sex and I don’t see how that is so very important in an M/M book, no matter how you try and justify it, the fact is – it can still be skipped and readers like me, who had the misfortune to stumble upon such books still skip those chunks of text. I don’t read it and don’t see why I should be forced to not only read something I absolutely do not want to, but also pay for it. Therefor, I think that there should be a separate category for the bisexual romance because no, M/M Romance is not exactly the place for it. Just like F/F and M/F Romance genres aren’t the right place for it either. Or at least the author should label it and put a warning so people like me don’t have to waste time and money. Or do you think it’s fair to mislead readers and are you happy to get one star ratings and angry reviews? I don’t see anyone winning in that situation.

    3. So if you were reading a book that was marketed as fantasy and there happened to be a scene involving microbiology, would you expect a disclaimer on the back of the book saying “Warning: this novel contains a scene involving microbiology”?

      1. It was an example. You’re making a straw man argument. If that part is all you took from what I said, there’s no point in even trying to explain anything to you.

      2. The point is that not all books fall perfectly into one genre. Sometimes they contain aspects of other genres, and the author is not obligated to provide a disclaimer or a warning for that content. As long as the majority of a book falls under one genre, it’s going to be marketed as that, but it’s not required to contain only content that fits specifically into that genre.

    4. What you’re essentially saying here is “my discomfort and preference trumps any point you’re trying to make about erasure of identity.” Do you not see how problematic that is? If you don’t, then there’s no further discussion we can have here.

      1. I am commenting on the “het sex scenes do belong in M/M books because bisexuals!” point. Your entire rant seems to be a blend of real life frustration over erasure of your identity – which is absolutely valid – and then it jumps over to fiction where you make that point – which I don’t find valid. Fiction =/= real life. I also don’t like reading drama so does that mean I am erasing real life when I avoid the entire drama genre? Nope.

        You rant over bisexual people being erased, not being represented and acknowledge and yet when I say that there should be a separate genre for them as they’re not gay or straight, you somehow find that problematic? What. How does that make any sense to you at all? Especially when in your rant you say that there’s no representation anywhere of the bisexual people. Making a separate genre in fiction would be a start. Instead, these characters are placed either in M/F, F/F or M/M but they’re still not gay, not lesbian and not straight.

        Do gay men represent bisexual people? No. So why should a genre that is labeled Male/Male Romance represent bisexual people and feature books depicting their lifestyle?

        Like I said, you have the right to write whatever you want and I have the right to not want to read it. However, when authors fail to or simply don’t want to correctly label their books, then people like me are forced to pay for and read something we don’t like or want to read. And that’s not okay, nor is it fair. Do you want to waste your time and money on something you absolutely do not want to read? I very much doubt it.

        I don’t have any discomfort concerning the het scenes, I just don’t want to read them so why should I read them? It’s easy to say “oh you don’t have to” but when authors have a view like yours and think it’s okay to put those scenes in M/M books and not in any way make note so readers know about it, then I am forced to read them. I don’t think it’s fair, especially because I pay money for books and it’s already hard enough to find a good book.

        If you can’t understand that taste vary and that people have the right to choose what to read then I will agree that there’s no further discussion to have.

    5. You know, reading your replies on this reminds me rather strongly of the startled gasps and raised eyebrows I received when people in my neighborhood found out my parents let me (and my little sister, then in the 7th grade) go to Save the Last Dance. Because *gasp* *shock* and *horror* that was about a white girl dating a black boy—it was interracial! OMG, the horror!

      And my parents were ok with that. Ok enough to let me take my younger sister with me. tsk tsk

      Replace your ranting opinion about bisexual characters having no place in m/m, f/f, or m/f fiction with the opinion that black characters have no place mixing with or being in relationships with white characters. Replace your insistence that Tay’s point about bisexual erasure isn’t as valid in fiction with the insistence that the denial/removal of interracial couples isn’t valid in fiction. Take your opinion that bisexual romance should be combined to its own separate genre and not dirty up m/m, f/f, or m/f fiction and replace it with just as adamant a conviction that romances featuring black characters should be confined to their own genre/shelf, away from those featuring white characters. Go ahead and swap out your assertion that bisexual romance isn’t the same as m/m romance with the insistence that a black or interracial couple isn’t as valid/real as white couple.

      It’s on part with that level of bigotry. You’re just labeling the water fountains according to sexuality instead of race.

      Bisexuality isn’t something that needs to be warned for. And publishers and authors are under no obligation to warn, label, or tag simply to accommodate your narrow-minded opinion on what m/m means.

      You’re perfectly entitled not to want to read m/f sexual content. And I suppose if you’re that sensitive and find vaginas and vaginal sex that offensive, you’re even entitled to think you wasted money on it.

      But to imply that it’s not real m/m because one of the characters is bisexual instead of just gay is dense, bigoted, and offensive. To demand that bisexuals have no place in the m/m sandbox and should go find their own to play in is dense, bigoted, segregationist, and offensive. To say that bisexual erasure is not a valid point in fiction because fiction doesn’t equal reality is moronic and short-sighted.

      Saying that it’s not a valid issue in fiction is problematic. Saying so because fiction doesn’t equal reality is even more so. If you’re ok with segregation in fiction, if you’re ok with saying that bisexuals in fiction don’t constitute “real” m/m, you’re implying the same holds true in reality as well. Such strong wording and phrasing can’t imply anything else.

      You are exactly the reason posts like this even have to be made, and you’re exactly the reason that people are allowed to get away with thinking that bisexual erasure is ok. It’s a shame that a community that’s supposed to be supporting of and striving for unity and equality is made up of narrow-minded assholes like you.

      1. No, race is a different subject and it’s idiotic to compare racial issues to sex scenes (which is what I’m talking about). Some people don’t even want to read any sex scenes at all, so what then? If it’s not their cup of tea you’re going to have to respect that and the fact that tastes differ but instead you’re so quick to jump to false conclusions, twist around everything I said and pronounce me a moronic bigot and a narrow-minded asshole. When you run out of arguments, turn to insults, right?

        I am not against bisexual people in fiction (or in real life) nor do I deny their “erasure” in general, both in real life and in fiction. The point I was arguing against is this, “there’s place for het scenes in M/M”. No I don’t think there is. I’ve explained why and if you fail to understand that, too bad.

        Not being interested in reading about het sex does not make me a bigot. It’s fiction and people will read what they enjoy, what interests them and there is nothing wrong with wanting to avoid certain genres or subjects or kinks. Nobody is going to call me a bigot if I don’t find sci-fi interesting or if I don’t particularly enjoy reading about cowboys. So why is it people are so quick to jump and yell bigot if I don’t find fiction containing heterosexual romance and sex scenes interesting, is beyond me.

        You keep imposing that I must find het sex scenes gross but have I said that, anywhere in my posts? I don’t find them of any interest and absolutely do not wish to waste time and money on that and I have that right. It doesn’t make me a bigot no matter how hard you want to try and paint me as one. Just like you have the right to pick what you want to read and pay for. I don’t think I should be forced to or obligated to read those scenes but when the author doesn’t label or make any note that those scenes might be there, I am forced to either read them or skip the pages. Pages I pay for. I don’t find it fair.

        Male/Male Romance implies just that – two men in a romantic and sometimes sexual relationship. A het scene features a woman and is the opposite of a romance between two men. Obviously, if I pick up an M/M book that it’s only natural that I’m not looking to read het scenes or about a relationship between a man and a woman. Is that so difficult for you to grasp?

        Yes, men can also be bisexual but sex scenes and sex in general doesn’t define bisexuality. If the only way an author can portray a bisexual man is by throwing in a sex scene with a woman than that’s a failure on all accounts. It basically means that bisexual people are only defined by who they have sex with which I disagree with. Bisexuality isn’t only tied down to sexual preference but also to the emotional aspects and to the possibility of falling in love with any person be it man or woman. Anyone can, in theory, have sex with men and women but if the feelings are never there, and the idea of a relationship isn’t either, those people are not bisexual. Therefore, I don’t see how a het sex scene is an absolute must and integral in depicting bisexual people, especially if the book’s main focus is a relationship between two men. So I agree that it can be cut out from an M/M book and no, it doesn’t mean total erasure of bisexuals it just means that it isn’t relevant to the main subject of the book, so what is the point of it? What can a het sex scene possibly have so important to contribute to the plot and character development of an M/M Romance? Oh he had sex with a woman I get it, he’s bisexual. The author might just as well mention that the character is bisexual, it would do the same. I’d come to the same conclusion without having to skip through pages of uninteresting sex scenes with a woman, which don’t advance the main plot in any way, shape or form.

        Male/Male Romance is largely considered to be Gay Romance, just like F/F is considered to be lesbian and M/F is heterosexual. Nine out of ten people would go for those definitions, whether you like it or not. Yes, technically you can place bisexual characters in all three categories but that would be pretty much equal to people filing bisexuals under those labels in real life, which as I’ve surmised, most bisexuals are strongly against. They will vehemently say that they’re not gay, not straight and not lesbian, so why are they represented in those genres in fiction, then? No, it makes no sense to me and there’s pretty much no way you can spin it to make sense.

        Why would you argue against creating a separate section and genre for bisexual romance? It would only highlight, once again, that they’re different and shouldn’t be lumped in the gay, lesbian and straight categories no matter who they’re currently dating. In real life, there is a category and a word for those people and I don’t see you arguing against that.

        Again, if I don’t want to read het scenes, it doesn’t make me a biphobe or whatever else you want to call me. It’s the same thing if I’m friends with a couple, yeah I know they obviously have sex but do I want to see it? Nope. It doesn’t make me a bigot or whatever-phobe. Gay, lesbian and bisexual people protest all the time about the state trying to meddle in whatever they get up to behind closed doors and say that it’s none of anyone’s business who they sleep with. Correct. But then, when someone says oh hey I’m not interested in reading about the het-gay-bi sex, it’s suddenly oh you bigot how dare you not find it interesting you must be a homo-hetero-bi-phobe! You must find it gross! You must be a narrow-minded asshole!Yeah right. Nice try.

        This is the last reply to you, I doubt you have any real arguments just more insults coming, anyway.

  5. I’m not that deeply involved with M/M fiction publishing these days, so I can’t speak much to the debate about content, but I deeply sympathize with that struggle to recognize or claim one’s own bisexual identity. I remember attending LGBT meetings in college and hearing several of the other women say “I identify as lesbian when I’m with a woman and bisexual when I’m with a man” and being utterly bewildered by that. Weren’t they bisexual all the time, regardless of the gender of the person they were involved with? I think experiences like that were part of why it took me several years to accept myself as bisexual.

    1. I have a friend who sometimes calls herself a lesbian and sometimes calls herself bisexual. Once, when she was dating another female friend of mine, I asked her what she identified as. She said, “Well, I’m with Megan, so I guess it’s settled now!” I think what she meant was that she planned to be a with a woman for the rest of her life, therefore that made her a lesbian, but… that makes no sense.

      It is a conundrum. On one hand, I think she should be allowed to use whatever label she likes. On the other hand, how does committing yourself to one partner have anything to do with sexual orientation? Even when you’re committed to one partner, you still have the potential to be attracted to people of either sex. I mean, I’m a woman married to a man, and I’m certainly not straight.

  6. Interestingly, this kind of made me think of Lisbeth Salander in the Millenium trilogy. In terms of the romance, it is undoubtedly m/f, and it was marketed as such. HOWEVER, Lisbeth does have sex and a semi-relationship with a woman in the story too, and her bisexuality is an important aspect of her character. If someone were to come along and say that the f/f scenes shouldn’t be in there because “it’s a straight romance” and they don’t want to see f/f, don’t like it, etc, that would absolutely be considered biphobia and attempted bisexual erasure. Someone saying they don’t want m/f in a story that is primarily m/m is the exact same thing.

    1. That’s exactly what I’m trying to say! \o/ I didn’t expect the point to be so difficult to get across.

      Preference is one thing, but saying a bisexual’s experiences should never be in “a m/m story,” full stop, when m/m means “male/male,” is leaving no room for bisexual men whatsoever.

  7. Thank you so, so much for writing this. I’ve never understood the idea of changing your sexual identity based on who your dating (unless your identity has, in fact, changed, which is a whole different thing). My gf and I were talking about this last night, and neither of us can really comprehend this demand to label someone in a way that doesn’t correspond with how they see themselves.

    I see you for you, and I love you for you, and I stand with you to prevent the erasure of any persons from our world.

  8. It seems that after Amanecer’s last comment, no one try to argue the point, but it nagged at me and I’d like to throw in my thought just for future discussions.

    I agree with Amanecer that heterosexual sex, that is, the actual act of having sex between a man and a woman should not be a focus in a book that is about a relationship between men. I read a book that is labeled M/M romance because I want to read about men in love with men, and sometime, to read how they have sex. This is not about their sexual orientation. The men could be gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, transgender, it doesn’t bother me, as long as in the book, they are described to be male (physical or mind) and is in love/seeking a relationship with other men. That person could be with a woman before or after the story, sure. That was mentioned, or even a crucial part of the story plot and need to be included, why not? But a sex scenes between a man and a woman? Described In details? That span several pages? I was not looking for it and I have to admit that if I happen to stumble upon such books that have those scenes, I would feel cheated.

    Also, from my personal experience, after a while, you lose interest in the sex (be it homo, hetero, or anything in between and beyond), and focus more on the up and down of a relationship, the everyday life interaction between the characters, and the plot. I am a member of this forum whose motto is “Love doesn’t mean sex” and they don’t accept stories that have any sex scenes (or to put it simply and crudely, porn).

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