The point in my post with which Alexi took issue was when I insisted that for both men and women, bisexuality leads to men. Generally, I try to shy away from such sweeping generalizations, and if I had to do it over again, I would explain that while I do believe bisexuality exists (and it is rarer than so-called bisexuals would have us believe, though not as rare as biphobes might want to believe), whether it leads to a life with a man or a woman, there is usually a predilection for men.
When I offered this to one reader, she responded by giving me examples of bisexual men she knows who ended up with women, one of them even previously identified himself as gay. What she doesn't know is what she doesn't know: What are these guys doing when no one they know is looking? If I'm skeptical of any guy who goes from "homosexual" to "heterosexual," or a bisexual man who ends up with a woman, it's because sex clubs, saunas, after-hours parks, public loos and Manhunt are full of such men who settle down with women but constantly, obsessively seek out sex with men.
I suspect that bisexuals who end up with men do not actively pursue sex with women. But that's just my honest opinion.
Anyway, here is the transcript of my Facebook conversation with Alexi.
Alexi: I do not agree that "bisexuality" has any particular direction for any gender.
My thinking is that "you are what you say you are." Sex acts do not determine orientation. If someone says they are straight all the while doing homo on the down low, leave them alone to their straight world. I am 100% for letting furtive homosexuals be as "straight" or as "bi" as they want to be. I like to think that truly gay people are honest and courageously participant in the LGBT movement and not hiding in a sexual-orientation closet somewhere.
Jeremy: Alexi, you and I have discussed this before, and I think your point is a good one. That said, I do believe that sexuality depends on more than admitting it to yourself and to others. You are what you are. Sleeping with women and saying you are straight doesn't make you inherently so. And neither does saying that you just happen to be with someone of the same sex at the moment. I believe that what you are talking about is identity, what you identify with. But think about this: If a black person identifies with whites or vice versa, he or she is still black or vice versa. One point I should have more clearly made in my post is that because of the nature of women -- how for them, sex isn't as intrinsically tied to love as it is for men -- I believe that sexuality is more fluid.
Alexi: The purpose of labels is that they communicate information. When someone says I am "gay," they are saying that they are receptive to a certain set of relationships that a person who says I am "straight" would not be receptive to. These statements are not dependent on any action subsequently taken by a person.
Imagine a person who is gay but not sexual. Does that mean they are not gay or unsure? The conflict arises when the actions do not fit with the label. Or when communication is cut off by making unconvincing objections to labels. When this happens, one has to ask what's really at stake for the persons involved.
If one is not personally involved, it is best to just stay the heck out of it and be as wary as you would with anyone whose actions do not fit their words. Trying to apply the label "gay" to someone who says they are "straight" or refuses to communicate at all is insulting to those who struggle to live a healthy and open gay life.
Jeremy: I respectfully agree and disagree. I just do not think "gay" and "lesbian" are clubs where the price of admission is simply admitting it to yourself and others. Someone who is married until age 30 and finally comes out at age 35 was gay at 15. It may be unfair to those who come out at 12 and deal with all the strife that follows, but then life is not fair. Sexuality is a biological fact of life that does not depend on whether one embraces one label or another or none at all. Your argument seems to imply that being gay is, ultimately, a choice based on whether you want to admit it or not, which is probably exactly what the right wingers and holy rollers would like for us to believe.