by Niall Doherty

Question everything, right? That’s one of the main messages I try to get across here at Disrupting the Rabblement. It doesn’t so much matter what everyone else is thinking, doing or believing. You need to figure out what thoughts, beliefs and actions work best for you.

One thing I often encourage people to question is their diet. Because if your eating habits have remained pretty constant all throughout your life, how can you be sure there’s not a better way of doing it? For all you know, your vehicle may well be running on inferior fuel. Test out some alternatives and in the end you might feel like you’ve upgraded from a Lada to a Lexus.

Many folks inevitably offer objections to such a suggestion. They just know that a vegetarian (or vegan, or raw food, or paleo, or whatever) diet isn’t for them. And I can’t help but respond…

Maybe, maybe not. But you’ll never know for sure until you try it.

I’ve always known though that there was a flaw with this response. It was open to a discomforting counter argument, one that I’d avoided thinking too much about. But I suspected that eventually someone would call me on it.

Well, eventually arrived earlier this week. I received an email from a reader. The gist of it…

Hey Niall,

I was thinking about how you do life experiments and how you are pretty open minded, and I have an interesting experiment for you:

Can you turn bisexual?

Are you straight simply because you’re not sexually attracted to guys, or is it because society has programmed you to only feel sexual attraction to women?

The easy answer to something like that would be to say, “Sorry, gay sex just ain’t my cup of tea.” But then you could turn my own prior words against me…

Maybe, maybe not. But you’ll never know for sure until you try it.

Damn you, integrity!

I’ve backed myself into a corner here. And so, in the name of leaving no stone unturned in this Question Everything philosophy, let’s go ahead and talk about gay things.

I’ll note first though that my thinking about all of this is still a work in progress. I haven’t come to any definite conclusions, and I’m in no hurry to do so. I’ll throw out what’s running through my mind, including a few contradictions, and I’d love to hear your take on it all in the comments.

Planet Swing

Imagine you were born on Planet Swing, located about a hundred billion light years from Earth in the Androgynous galaxy. On Planet Swing, humans are the dominant species. And those humans are just like you and me.

Except every single one of them is bisexual.

No matter your own gender, on Planet Swing you can choose to have sex with a man or a woman and it’s no big deal. Sex is sex. Orgasm is orgasm. Love is love.

Growing up on such a planet, do you think you’d be opposed to gay sex?

I suspect not. You’d be dating Harrys in between Sallys, just like everyone else.

Robot sex

I’ve been to gay bars before, mostly while in New Orleans. I’ve had guys hit on me. I even woke up that one time with a hairy hand down my pants.

That last one really freaked me out at the time. It just didn’t feel right.

But, I wonder, why didn’t it feel right? Was it because everything I identified with as a heterosexual man was suddenly being violated? What if I didn’t cling so closely to that identity? Maybe I could have had a good time that night if I’d been born on Planet Swing.

Some guys lock themselves in a room and use mechanical sex toys to get their rocks off. I can’t help but think: Isn’t it a little more strange doing it that way, getting your kicks from a robot, than it is from another human being, even if that human being has the same sexual organs as you?

I guess it’s all in the visualization.

Sorry, Brad

I’m comfortable admitting when a guy is good looking, but as yet I haven’t noticed any accompanying sexual urges when a tall, dark and handsome strides into the room.

I was hanging out with a random guy last Saturday in Budapest and he was like an Australian Brad Pitt. I found myself gravitating towards him, but not like I’d gravitate towards a beautiful woman. With Aussie Brad it was more like admiring a work of art. Besides his looks, I could also appreciate that he was a cool guy and had a strong sexual presence.

And yet he still failed to float my sexy boat. Not even a fathom.

The advantages of being bisexual

I have to admit though: I sometimes wish I was bisexual. As Billy Connolly once remarked, women need to feel loved to have sex, while men need to have sex to feel loved.

Something’s gotta give.

But if you’re a guy who’s into guys, then you’re already on the same page with the appropriate half of the population when it comes to sex. Same with girls who are into girls.

Barriers begone, let’s get it on!

Both of you are after the same thing. And you both know how to make each other feel good because you’ve been holed up with a same-sex brain and naughty bits since you hit your teens. I imagine it’s like tying someone else’s shoes.

And that’s just the advantage of being gay. Bisexual is even better because you always have more options. Whether it’s ladies night or a sausage fest at the local hot spot, you can go ahead and get your flirt on.

Nature vs. Nurture

The above begs the question: If you had the power to turn yourself bisexual, to just flip some hidden switch inside of you that would make you attracted to both sexes, would you do it?

Given the advantages, I’m pretty sure I would.

That said, I still find myself with a lot of resistance to trying anything sexual with men.

I’ve often joked that women are the number one reason I’m not gay. And that’s a pretty easy out for me here: Why would I ever want to have sex with a guy when there are women around?

But I wonder if this non-attraction to men is something hardwired within me, or is it just the result of growing up on a planet where same-sex couples are the norm? Is that heterosexual preference ingrained in my DNA, or just in my psyche?

As that reader/emailer suggested, I could probably find out for sure. I could experiment with flirting with guys, push through the initial discomfort of it all, and see if I eventually begin to feel any kind of sexual attraction to musk and stubble.

Maybe I will try an experiment like that some time, but at least for the foreseeable future I plan to keep my sexual focus on the female of the species.

And if I’m being completely honest, I have to admit that I’m leaning more towards the nature side of the argument. Methinks the resistance I feel towards dancing horizontally with another dude is less about fear and more about simply not having the genetic desire to do so.

The best comparable model I’ve come up with for this is introversion/extroversion. There’s a scale, just like there is with heterosexual/homosexual. And usually you’re stuck in the same place on that scale for life.

You might be shy when you’re a teenager but you can still be an extrovert underneath all that social anxiety. Likewise, you might only have heterosexual relationships until well into your twenties, before finally accepting that same sex relationships are more your thing. But your position on that scale would remain the same all along.

Two guys, one girl

One part of all this that really baffles me: I love the idea of having a threesome with two women, but I’m uncomfortable at the thought of having a threesome involving another guy. Even if the other guy would be completely heterosexual, the scenario still doesn’t appeal to me.

Why is that?

Is it a sense of inadequacy? Am I not confident enough in my own sexual prowess? Do I need to be the only guy in the room to perform?

(Jesus, I hope my mother doesn’t read all this. But in case she does, Happy Christmas!)

Your thoughts

I have more questions than answers above. And I’m okay with that. I’ve gotten comfortable with this whole uncertainty dealio, the shades of grey, the fuzzy nature of reality. It’s all good 🙂

Now I’m interested in your take. If you have anything to share related to these topics, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.