The emancipation of gender and sexuality is a battle that, despite passionate resistance, disgusting incidents and conservative notions, is nearly won. It is my conviction that it won’t take another 100 years for everyone on this planet to be able to be free, within one’s self and in the place you happen to live in. Until that day comes, I want to make a case for being free by choosing to keep things for yourself too. For me, this is about bisexuality.
When boys grow up, sexuality is almost never in play. My first introduction to the fact that other boys would get hard every now and then, just like me under the blankets of my childhood bedroom in the morning, was after a gym class in the first year of high school. Showering was mandatory and we all undressed. Our bodies were sweaty from an enthusiastic game of football. We concentrated on being quick because there was a line. When I washed my hair I looked to my right and saw Antoine. Our eyes met and the next thing I saw was this amazing, perfectly sculptured cock. Big, proud and fully erect. I notice the hint of panic in his eyes, but also relief because I reacted without saying anything. Perhaps he noticed I was in awe.
A Delicate State
Obviously, it only took a second before others noticed Antoine’s delicate state. An uproar thundered through the shower hall. “Antoine has a hard-on.” Laughter echoed through the building and poor Antoine tried his best to get dry and dressed. It would be my first introduction to that one word, used as something negative.
I will never forget how his impressive wood turned his underwear into a tent. The thing just would not go down. That night, in the seclusion of my bedroom, I fantasized of helping him get rid of it. I had just learned how to handle that myself months before. But I never thought of a boy while doing that. That was brand new.
Was I gay?
In those early years I felt ashamed, especially after orgasming on the thought of having sex with a boy. When I grew up and got into relationships with women, it slowly faded from existence. I was engulfed by routine, working hard, minding my business, having vanilla sex on the weekends and be an all-around good citizen. When sexual liberty came on my radar as a preferred subject to write about, it automatically introduced me to a broader view. Heterosexuality seemed the norm in the world, but obviously any form of sex within the boundaries of law and good taste is just … healthy. The important thing too was that I had changed. Gone was the boy with doubts, his place was now taken by a mature man without doubts. This man had only questions and he would go out seeking answers.
Experiments in private
The introduction of all kinds of apps on the smartphone made it possible to clandestinely experiment in all directions I preferred. No-one needed to know, and after many deep breaths I one day just jumped in the deep end. I discovered many things. Preferences, boundaries, needs. As the years progressed, I found much relaxation in being in the company of men. It felt liberating to be out of control for a while. Where I am dominant and active with women, I find myself being fine with being unexperienced with male initiative.
Where does this leave me? In the liberal circles I find myself in, the subject is touchy at best. Some reactions: “You sleep with men too? You’re just gay but won’t admit it to yourself.” Other reactions (from gay men): “You sleep with women? You’re just gay but won’t admit it to yourself.” Everybody wants to pull me into a camp, give me a label, pigeonhole me. Why can’t I just be me?
‘Bisexuals do not care for coming out’
I found the results of research in the Summer of 2018, done by social geographer Emiel Maliepaard of the Radboud Universiteit in The Netherlands. The headline read: ‘Bisexuals do not care for coming out’. Point being, people who are bisexual don’t think coming out adds any relevance to their being. Even though researchers say that your sexual development is completed when you come out, most bisexuals disagree. And so do I. It’s not a secret if anyone asks me, but I am perfectly content keeping it to myself. Even more so since it has lost relevance because monogamy with a woman has become a sexual preference which offers exciting new challenges. What does anyone gain by knowing my sexual preferences? Why should I care if my neighbor asks his wife to be tied up like a hog every night? To each its own. Sexuality is a thing of change. I am perfectly fine without any label.
Photography: Mark Mitchell