Scott: I don't find that 2005 study of just 33 self-reported bisexuals very compelling --esp. when 1/3 of test subjects of all orientations didn't register arousal to *either gender* by the standards of the study. Let me turn it around: are you saying that 1/3 of the self-avowed gay subjects were kidding themselves If you were among that 1/3, would you call that proof that you were not gay, but kidding yourself? Or are you just assuming that would never happen to you?
However strong your sexuality, it certainly *could* happen to you, if the criteria were poor. A test that fails to detect any orientation (much less the correct one) in 1/3 of subjects is *less* accurate than self-reporting, however strong its rationale seems to you. Quite a few people in your NYT article noted this flaw, and it's well established that that response to *visual* stimulus is absolutely NOT the sole determinant in men. We simply wish it we had a good objective physiological response that was convenient. (we don't -- objectively measuring a subjective quality is tough)How would you objective measure subject responses to a panel of personalities or caresses or "being chatted up at a party"? Bisexuals, like anyone else, use many, often unconscious, criteria when choosing each successive partner in their lives. To say "what turns men on visually is all that counts" would be to say "men always choose the prettiest partner they can get".
I know that's not true of myself or most men I know of any orientation. The difference is: to bisexuals, gender would be just another option, like race (which was/is an equally viscerally unthinkable or "unnatural" choice to many people).
I can appreciate that, in our culture, your orientation carries challenges or burdens that mine does not. I ask, however, isn't it at least plausible that people who are forced to defend and justify their orientation against a culture that ranges form questioning to ignoring to denying to sometime reviling their preference ... might perhaps have a vested stake in asserting the immutable "objective fact" of their orientation to the point of rejecting any (to them) intermediate state?
I certainly note that anti-bisexual view is stronger among the gay I know than heterosexual men -- and *logically* (i.e subtracting the cultural factor above) a strictly gay man has no more claim to superior expertise on actual bisexuals than a straight man. That would be like a straight man passing judgment on gays based on some adolescent experiments (of course some people would call him gay whatever *he* thought) To refute another common meme mentioned in your NYT article: gay men often claim/believe they are straight before they realize/admit they are gay -- yet straight men still exist!
What people who AREN'T bisexual say/do/believe has little bearing on those who ARE
I'd let a bisexual decide their own orientation as I'd let anyone else. I certainly wouldn't presume to assert that a certain choice is so unnatural as to be nonexistent or extremely rare. I could easily see a bisexual finding that offensive.
You may not be aware of men involved in homosexual relationships who "cheat" with women, but I am aware of such cases. It would be easy to "define them out of existence" by simply arguing that they "weren't really gay", and I've often heard both hetero- and homosexuals make that kind of remark. Once you remove marriage from the picture (and were still nowhere near the point where that is a symmetric measure, then your argument with insdcate that man who is having serious ongoing relationships with both a man and a woman may well be cheating on the woman, but not cheating on the man because "that never happens". I'd argue it was cheating on both, and I'm aware of exactly such cases even if it doesn't happen to be common in your social circles or routine duties.
Since you deny the existence of bisexual men, you must not know any, nor hang in their circles. Those would be the people who would best know about the kind the situation you deny. The unthinkable often turns much less so, once you become familiar with it. I've pulled out a man's still-beating heart and held it in my hand -- and had him thank me later . In my circle, it was merely an interesting story, but most would intuitively consider it an impossible threat or lie. "Straight sex" seemed more than a bit implausible/unpleasant when I first heard the exact details (I was actually less taken aback when I heard the details of gay sex, years later) yet I'm really rather fond of it now. YMMV
 I wish I'd been the one to answer the concerned phone call when my son proudly repeated that sentence at kindergarten lunch. Suffice it to say: threats wouldn't have worked well in our family -- how could I top that?)
Edited by Orpheus, 17 January 2008 - 11:28 PM.