Although most men identify themselves as straight, some will say that they are gay, and there are a others who would rather be called “bi.”
I have trouble with these labels, for I am not sure whether a person is talking about orientation or actions. Instead of representing human sexuality as three separate boxes, I believe that sexual orientation can be represented best as a color bar which gradates from yellow (heterosexuality) on one end to red (homosexuality) at the other.
Some men who say that they are straight probably could have a little erotic attraction for men under the right conditions. With the exception of people who are at the gay end of the spectrum, most have had varying degrees of attraction towards the opposite gender some time in their lives.
Just as surely as the color bar has two ends, it also has a middle. I believe that a high percentage of people occupy this middle ground. And most of them don’t even give it a second thought. A few years ago, even men who were quite gay-oriented would marry because that was what a man was expected to do. Orientation wasn’t even discussed.
But with the present awareness of the gay population, these same men will at least experiment with gay sex. And gay sex is addictive. That swells the number of people who are counted in any gay census.
Ministries under the umbrella of Exodus International probably have their best success with people whose orientation is toward the yellow end of the spectrum. There are some people who feel so poorly about themselves that they will go into an unhealthy relationship because they need a friend who will meet their emotional needs. Unfortunately predators, gay or straight, take advantage of such people and lure them into relationships which are more than emotional. This adds guilt and lowers a man’s self-esteem still further.
Can a marriage between a bi and a straight work?
True, some men who are gay have married to prove that they were straight. This is not a valid reason to marry. Such a marriage starts out on the wrong foot and has a high risk of failure.
Of the straight population, over half of the marriages end in divorce. (What excuse do they use for the breakup?) And of the other half, only a few are truly happy. I know of no evidence that gay-straight marriages cannot have at least as high a success rate as straight-straight marriages.
The person who finds himself on the middle ground has to make an intellectual decision to make the marriage work. Without his veins throbbing with hormones, he has a better chance of building the relationship on a more solid footing than the shifting sand of sexual desire. And building on a foundation of unselfish Christian love and mutual commitment will result in a better marriage than the average.
A woman who marries such a man will not have to concern herself about her husband chasing skirts. He just isn’t interested.
First published on the GLOW site by Ralph Seland in 1999. Permission to copy, provided credit is given to author, with a link to this blog entry.
I agree: Don’t have any science to back it up, but my belief is that most people are at some point along the spectrum and very few are at the extreme ends.
This makes good sense, but I would argue with the last sentence. Bisexuals are attracted to BOTH sexes. There is no guarentee a bi husband won’t be attracted to other women, no guarentee a bi wife won’t be attracted to other men. If you are considering a bi/straight marriage, know up front that if you fear they will stray, it could be with a man or a woman. Ask yourself if you are prepared to handle that.