I like to think of myself as someone who's focused, determined, single minded and sure of what they want. I don't need to be asked twice what I want for lunch, what I want in life and what I want in the bedroom.
I've never really been one to flip-flop from one decision to the other, to change sides or to "hunt with the hounds and run with the hares" (as my grandmother used to say), but recently I found a diary of my 18-year-old self, and it made me question my feelings, my perceptions and my attitude towards people who quite happily sit on the fence when it comes to their sexuality and their bedmates.
As an adult I have never really given bisexuality much thought. When people described themselves as being bisexual I automatically assumed they were gay (if male), trying to make themselves more interesting (if female) or desperate to broaden their appeal and fan base (if famous).
I thought saying you're bisexual was just a cop out, just like saying you're a Liberal Democrat.
Bisexuality always seemed a tad worthy yet at the same time totally non-committal to me.
"Oh, you're bisexual? That probably means you also only drink fair trade coffee, ride a bicycle and recycle your newspapers every second Tuesday doesn't it?"
For me, bisexuality didn't cut the mustard, butter the bread or go anywhere near to floating my boat. Rather than conjuring up images of sex parties and all out hedonism, it left me with visions of wet Wednesdays (and not in a good way), unshaven armpits and mohair sweaters.
I have never suffered indecisive people. You make a choice and stick with it. Good or bad, wrong or right, back door or front door, you better know your way in and your way out and just get on with it. Bisexuality seemed lazy rather than greedy. I couldn't imagine anyone who would be thrilled finding out that their partner didn't really mind if they were Jack or Jill, unless, of course, they were both being taken up the hill together.
But then I found my diary, and in it I'd written all the thoughts, feelings and experiences of my 18-year-old self. I thought it would be an easy read, it would be light hearted and it would just be the same me as I am now, except less aware or open to experiences. I was wrong.
My 18-year-old self wasn't sure of himself at all. Sexually I had no idea where to stick my emotions, my heart or any other piece of my anatomy BUT I was open to all. I had no preconceived notions and I wasn't willing to align myself to any side, nor tick a certain box. I was feeling my way around and although youth had a huge part to play with regards to my innocence and fear, it also made me aware of so many choices that I wouldn't even consider now, but the sad thing is, I didn't go forward with them or act upon them.
I know that it is expected that we experiment when we are young, but I grew up in an age when HIV/AIDS was a very real and deadly threat. In the late 80s and through the 1990s the threat of Aids was publicised on television by government funded ads of icebergs just below the surface of a blackened sea, of red lasers hitting random people between the eyes in dark and seedy nightclubs and by skeletal men dying in hospital beds on Benetton posters.
Sex was scary and HIV was the slasher movie to end all slasher movies, so for almost all of my late teens and some of my early twenties, I steered well clear of anything that meant I could end up being post coital.
I missed out! I was the product of an age where it was okay to have the dream but if you really wanted the drive you best cover yourself from head to toe in rubber and be fully aware of your sexual inhibitions and hang ups.
So what's changed now? HIV and Aids are still as deadly, even if we don't think they are, but people's attitudes to heterosexuality / bisexuality and homosexuality are more blurred. Now, it's fashionable to kiss a girl and like it. It's okay to admit you may have had a dalliance with Jim when you're really into Jessie and it's not frowned upon if you can get it up for Belinda when you're getting down with Bill.
Bisexuality is en vogue, it's the new black and it's the boy/girl thing that's on every boy and girls lips.
Apparently, it's become more than fashionable to become more than just hetero or homosexual.
Choosing a gender you're sexually attracted to and sticking to it is so last year, so passé and frankly, so limiting to your life experience. Girls can do boys who do boys like they're girls and no one will raise an expertly plucked eyebrow or even shake a hairy fist.
It's the age of being open to all and open all hours.
It's just such a shame I missed it, by almost 20 years.Suggest a correction