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Friday Night: Bisexual Myths

Same sex affection in public becoming more coming amid stereotypes

 by Kate Kliner
 published on Thursday, March 31, 2005

Gina Aroneo, a high school English teacher in north Phoenix, walks to a Phoenix Film Festival screening in downtown Phoenix. The screenings are free every Friday night and are possibly the best-kept secret in the Valley. /issues/arts/692651
Amanda L. Myers / STATE PRESS MAGAZINE
Gina Aroneo, a high school English teacher in north Phoenix, walks to a Phoenix Film Festival screening in downtown Phoenix. The screenings are free every Friday night and are possibly the best-kept secret in the Valley.
 

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Picture two female students making out at a party.

Amid shouts and whistles from a crowd of drooling men, the women kiss as if they're on a crashing plane.

Whether the women are lesbians, bisexual or are engaging in a random, drunken make-out session to please men, same-sex affection is becoming more common and acceptable, as evidenced in pretty much any MTV spring break special or the scene at parties and bars.

But even with a growing occurrence and acceptance of same sex relations, stereotypes persist.

"In my experiences, when guys find out that I am bisexual, they automatically think I am interested in having a threesome," says communication freshman Lena Le. "But that's not always the case."

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force defines bisexuality as the potential to feel sexually attracted to and engage in sensual or sexual relationships with people of either sex.

Le says when males find out she is bisexual, they react the same way.

"I attract the weirdest guys," Le says. "Many of them assume that since I am bisexual, I'm easy and more willing to have sex with them right off the bat, and that's not true, either."

Women's studies sophomore Stephanie Goldfarb, who describes herself as a lesbian, agrees. She says many men think that when two women are together, it creates an opportunity for them to jump in on the action.

"Many of these women don't necessarily want to be with other men, even though that's what men perceive," Goldfarb says.

She adds that she has noticed being openly homosexual has become more acceptable.

"I have never experienced much overt bigotry from people when I am holding hands or kissing another girl in public," she says. "Younger people are very accepting, but it's mostly people from the older generation who will smirk or stare."

Goldfarb adds that people often don't realize she is a lesbian when she is affectionate with women in public.

"Women in general are much more affectionate than men, so people expect a certain level of intimacy, even from straight women," Goldfarb says.

"However, two men would not be able to hold hands or kiss in public and get the same reactions that I get from people."

Journalism and mass communication junior Rod Reyyes agrees that two women making out would be more acceptable than if it were two men.

"Girls are free to go to parties and make out with their friends and people are OK with it, but you never see guys making out with each other when they go out, because they wouldn't get the same reaction from people," he says. "If it's two girls, everybody's wetting their pants -- even other girls because it's more acceptable and erotic."

He adds, "If they're good looking, it's even better. For girls that are not so good looking, it's not as hot, but it can really go either way, depending on how drunk the crowd is."

Goldfarb says that some girls claim to be bisexual just to get attention.

"Some girls say they are bisexual to get attention, but this doesn't last long, and I usually don't take these girls seriously," Goldfarb says. "And I've noticed this is especially prevalent with women in sororities."

ASU psychology professor Lee Spencer specializes in human sexuality and says that there are more routes to bisexuality or homosexuality in women than in men.

"Women can move in and out of bisexuality throughout their lives, or even get into this type of lifestyle later in life," Spencer says.

"It is a lot more flexible for women than for men," she says.

Spencer elaborates by saying that factors other than genetics can contribute to a woman being a lesbian, which is a contrast to the process in homosexual men.

Political science junior Justin Monnet explains the intrigue of bisexual girls.

"I can see why girls would be attracted to each other because girls are more beautiful than men," he says. "But there's a different stereotype attached to guys when they do it. It's a lot more socially acceptable for girls."

He adds that a lot of the girls making out at parties and bars aren't truly bisexual or lesbians.

"A lot of girls do it for the attention, because it's something guys like to see," he says. "It makes people around them more aroused."

Reach the reporter at kate.kliner@asu.edu.



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