Study Reveals: Male Bisexuals Exist

More stringent recruiting criteria for participants in a new study on male bisexuality has led researchers to confirm, as opposed to a 2005 study which supported a stereotype of bisexual men as closeted gays, that bisexual men do, in fact, exist, the NYT reports:

Bothways To improve their chances of finding men aroused by women as well as men, the researchers recruited subjects from online venues specifically catering to bisexuals. They also required participants to have had sexual experiences with at least two people of each sex and a romantic relationship of at least three months with at least one person of each sex.

Men in the 2005 study, on the other hand, were recruited through advertisements in gay-oriented and alternative publications and were identified as heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual based on responses to a standard questionnaire.

The results, like a similar one done in March, revealed differences between the participants:

In both studies, men watched videos of male and female same-sex intimacy while genital sensors monitored their erectile responses. While the first study reported that the bisexuals generally resembled homosexuals in their responses, the new one finds that bisexual men responded to both the male and female videos, while gay and straight men in the study did not.

No Surprise for Bisexual Men: Report Indicates They Exist [nyt]

(image source)


  1. JeffIn LA says

    I am a gay man who has had sex with women and enjoyed it. I have also had romantic relationships with women (long ago) and have found FOR ME that I feel complete when in relationships with men. However I still have enjoyed sexual encounters with women and even watch bisexual porn on occasion. I have always believed that sexuality is on a spectrum, and I also believe that love relationships exist on a spectrum as well. I know straight men that have enjoyed sex with other men, but prefer relationships with women. I see these same contradictions in women I know. That doesn’t mean I don’t know gay men who are living as “bisexuals” because they are afraid to come out. I find these studies fascinating, because I’m not sure what they are actually trying to tell (sell) us.

  2. Jason 2 says

    What Nicholas said. People who seriously deny the existence of male bisexuals are idiots. In fact, I think that’s a pretty good litmus test for basic intelligence. Will have to remember that.

  3. G.I. Joe says

    Wow, who could have thought that when you actually take bisexual men for a study, you notice that they exist.

    The people who’ve done the 2005 study should be suspended from their job and forbidden to EVER design a study ever again. Waste of money and time.

  4. Zlick says

    The guys who post here are generally a little more “evolved.” I’ve seen plenty of places where gay guys dispute that bisexual men exist.

    Oh, and [raises hand] here’s one right here, typing at my keyboard. I’m nowhere near 50/50, but I think more of us are somewhere along the sliding scale than people typically imagine.

  5. Robert says

    I’ve done erotic massage for 27 years now. Consistently over the years 70% of my work has been with bisexuals. We are talking thousands of clients in different parts of the country. Yes bisexuals exist and probably outnumber gay men.

  6. david says

    I think Bisexuality is just as natural as homo or heterosexuality and I never understood why there is a need to valid it through sociology studies.

    What is even weirder is their extremely flawed sociology study premise and the underlying logic: a male who gets arousal by watching gay AND straight porn would be categorized as bisexual.

    It is a start to peek into the mind and brains of bisexual males but it is such a poor one. I am completely gay yet I often find straight porn arousing. It is often the sexual act, the act is enough for male arousal instead of the the subject matter. And I personally know gay men who dated girls for almost a year and enjoyed that relationship. Even then, innately, they do not identify themselves as bisexually. How do they distinguish all those? oh yeah, they couldn’t. And then they drew a lame conclusion on something so stone age. I really think the dollars, limited as it is, should be spent wisely when it comes to sexual studies as there are many valuable and useful things to be learned.

  7. Brian in Texas says

    The inherent flaw in any study on sexuality is simply the fact that sexuality is not a black and white issue. It’s fluid and on a sliding scale. Everyone has a different view or opinion of what makes someone bisexual.

  8. Rick says

    Our real–and only–long-term hope for acceptance rather than tolerance is to fundamentally change the male culture in such a way as to liberate men completely from emotional, sexual, and social dependence on women….which means acknowledging that there is a degree of bisexuality in most of the population, expression of which should be encouraged, as opposed to the absolutism of “gay” and “straight”.

    If and when we ever reach that point of liberation, then the taboo against homosexuality (as opposed to effeminacy and other aspects of “gayness”) will disappear completely, but until we reach that point, it will always be there in some form…

  9. corvidae says

    This is just how science goes, someone will use a study to show something doesn’t exist, someone else will show it does etc.
    The error here was that people lie about their sexuality, a lot, and self-definition is not a very scientific criterion.

  10. Rob says

    Kinsey nailed this in 19freakin47. Only half of men have zero same gender desire, and exactly half: 50.00 percent. When you can draw that line with a straightedge that’s scientifically important.

    His sliding scale of same gender desire encompasses this as well, 1-6. Only a Kinsey 6 is seen as gay, and that is coincidentally 6 percent of men. The rest of us (I have kids) move along the scale through our lives. I was a Kinsey 2 in college and am a Kinsey 5 now. We are the unseen because we pass as straight, but we are 44 percent of men.

    It’s why ending DADT was so controversial-it seemed like opening Pandora’s Box. It’s not that same gender desire is rare and exotic, it’s common. 40 percent of WWII soldiers had regular same gender sex, even when women were available.

  11. RaleighRob says

    Yes, Kinsey was definitely on the mark here. Guys and gals can be anywhere on the scale. Some are bi leaning gay, bi leaning straight, and even half-and-half. And they can move up or down during their lives.

    And even some folks can be sexually leaning to one gender but romantically to the other. (That’s more common, I think, than most people realize.)

    I do sometimes feel sorry for bi men because they have harder time being accepted by the hetero community than bi women, and the gays just give them that whole BS of “you’re just not ready to accept you’re gay”. Ugh.

    Actually the most open–and happy–out bi men I’ve met were in the Polyamorous Community. They seem to be the most accepting of it than any other.

  12. jason says

    I truly have a problem with research findings that are based on erectile responses to watching porn. They’re measuring voyeurism, not desire for experience.

  13. Charley says

    While I do not doubt the existence of male bisexuals I am sure that most of those who characterize themselves as such, especially young people, do so because it is a half-step to coming out fully.

  14. anon says

    The irony is that Kinsey’s research, which was deeply flawed, is still the most popular in people’s minds, even though they should give up on it. He’s the Freud of sexology. There is no rational basis to believe that sexual desire is on a sliding scale, or worse that it’s a normal distribution centered on bisexuality. To determine the distribution of sexual desire (where there is any at all), you need very carefully done large scale empirical research. So, while this research indicates that bisexual men do exist, it does not indicate what the distribution looks like (their numbers). It’s also well known that sexuality changes throughout one’s life (though it generally declines rapidly after 40 if you look only at intercourse).

  15. Rin says


    When you say this crap (and it IS crap):

    “Our real–and only–long-term hope for acceptance rather than tolerance is to fundamentally change the male culture in such a way as to liberate men completely from emotional, sexual, and social dependence on women….”

    I become so violently reactionary that I wish I had never campaigned at all or gone door to freakin’ door for gay MALE rights at all in my state. It makes me want to say Please Vote for Lesbians to be Allowed to Marry and screw the men because “Rick” might live in my state and benefit from it.

    Rick, a WOMAN gave birth to you. She was able to give birth to you because some guy actually put his penis in her and ejaculated. Yes, can you imagine?? The horror! Women actually being able to contribute to society in some way shape or form as it applies to men!

    Perhaps, you can find a way to grow an ovary in men and then ship all of us off to concentration camps where we belong!

  16. Alex says

    You all seem to be fairly supportive, and I don’t know if it is just that Towleroad readers are a bit more intellectually advanced than others, but I have faced a lot of criticism and even discrimination because I am an openly bisexual man. Albeit, I am in my mid 20s, I sometimes have felt the pressure to just “be gay” when I am with gay men and “be straight” when I am with straight women, but resist it because bi-erasure is alive and well and I don’t want to contribute to it. This study was really refreshing, especially for someone who has felt sort of minimized by judgments about bisexuality. The truth is, bisexuality in and of itself has many permutations. Some live heterosexual lifestyles while only engaging in brief sexual encounters with other men…some of us (me) can enjoy openly existing in romantic and sexual monogamous relationships with either gender.

  17. Bryan says

    Using whether a person gets aroused by a particular type of porn is a stupid way of measuring sexuality. Not everyone wants to experience the kind of porn they watch. I know gay men who get turned on/get erections by watching str8 porn because of the men doing the f**king, however this men are totally gay and don’t want women.

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