I Can Be Bisexual Forever, Even If I Decide To Be Monogamous: Sreepoorna
- IWB Post
- April 15, 2019
“Some men like Jack and some like Jill
I’m glad I like them both but still.”
-Vikram Seth, Dubious
Don’t these lines by Vikram Seth rightly describe the dilemma of the bisexual existence?
While when it comes to the discrimination, we are never really in the position of defining whose struggles are bigger than whom, it is certainly safe to say that the ‘B’ in the LGBTQ community surely faces a unique kind of prejudice altogether.
Being sexually attracted to both sexes? Is that even a problem? Oh, come on, you can play it from both sides, that’s just an added perk, right? That’s just a phase! Oh, that’s not marginalisation, that’s a privilege! All women are bisexual! These are but a few of the nonsensical thoughts liberally (here we get very liberal) thrown at bisexual individuals without trying to understand their situation from the right perspective.
Bisexual individuals are perhaps the most misunderstood, under-discussed, and thus least considered out of the entire LGBTQ umbrella. Here, the most unfortunate part remains that there is a scanty discourse that one can refer to in order to get a larger and more legible perspective.
While of late, a considerable degree of pedagogy has developed around the narratives of homosexual and trans community, this remains lacking in the case of the bisexual community. But wait, is there even a tightly-formed community?
Twenty-five-year-old Sreepoorna, who identifies herself as bisexual, throws light on the same. She feels that bisexual individuals and their sexual desires remain largely invisible owing to the lack of a proper community.
She says, “There isn’t a bisexual community. Even in pride walks and all, while I have seen strong representation from the other communities, that lacks for bisexual individuals. I really wish for bisexual individuals to also come out and be represented properly. There certainly remains a dearth of people talking about bisexuality. The biggest issue is that even within the LGBTQ movement people don’t really feel like giving a lot of importance to the B.”
After the lack of community comes a gross misunderstanding of the bisexual identity. Sreepoorna shares, “People talk about how everyone’s a bisexual and how everyone goes through this phase. They just don’t get it. If everyone’s bisexual then doesn’t that mean that no one is? Such comments make me feel all the more invisible.”
To add to it, come in comments like, “Tera toh sab chalta hai (everything will do for you).” The entire idea even before it is accepted is tainted by the doubt of promiscuity. Funny, that we are gullible enough to believe that we have to be of a certain sexual orientation to be promiscuous. Isn’t fidelity linked to our morality and not our sexuality?
“It infuriates me how bisexuality is seen as synonymous to promiscuity. They somehow have this crazy idea that there is always an orgy going on or whatever. One of the perceptions is that bisexual people go about kissing everybody or sleeping with everyone. But that’s not true. You can be bisexual and you can be monogamous,” says Sreepoorna.
Another question that flabbergasts her is, “Why do you like both men and women?” She explains, “The way I am attracted to somebody is not something that I have learned. It just comes to me naturally. My sexuality is not something that I can mold according to the normative practice or sexual stereotypes of the society. It is my personal experience. Another person can’t experience it the same way I do. I never go to a straight person and ask why they are attracted to the opposite sex?”
To address this dark cloud of misunderstanding, misconceptions, confusions, and stereotypes, Sreepoorna has conceived a monthly zine titled Two For One. The first edition of the magazine was launched last month and the response has been phenomenal.
She shares, “People have been approaching me, some to share their personal experience and some just wanted to talk. One of the guys who approached me was so thrilled to see the magazine since he was dying to talk about this in an open, non-judgmental, and constructive way.” She adds, “The first edition of the magazine is like an amalgamation of my own experience and figuring a way to talk about the issue through the general stereotypes. It also is a union between my photography and the issues that I wanted to talk about.”
Sreepoorna feels that people really want to read more about this as there is not enough information readily available on bisexuality and she has curated the magazine just to fill that gap. “While the law has changed the social norms will change eventually, though only when we talk about it more or engage in it more,” she adds.
Often, when Sreepoorna tells people that she is bisexual, they often respond by saying things like “Oh this is very convenient.” She adds, “Sexuality is not for convenience, it is about how I naturally respond to the world around me.”
She further shares how during her growing up years, sex and sexuality “was something that people wouldn’t talk about. So that generated a lot of curiosity in me. One day, I picked up a dictionary and searched all the words related to sex. That was my first understanding of it.”
Speaking on how she got a grasp of her sexuality, she shares, “After my first experience with a guy, I was like this is nice but I want more and then happened my first sexual experience with a woman. It was born out of a very deep friendship. My first sexual experience with a woman. As a young adult, I didn’t try to limit myself and that helped a lot.”
“Today, sex for me is like happiness. I enjoy it a lot and that certainly is a big part of my life,” she shares unblushingly. She also feels that the entire idea is engulfed in so much taboo because of the lack of discussion around it.
She explains, “The initial shock value dissipates once you talk about it. Even when there are people who are baffled by the topic, I think there is a certain section of society that is ready for it and we need to initiate the conversation and reach out to them.”
Baring her own sexual desires, Sreepoorna shares, “I feel empowered when I initiate something or feel that I am comfortable enough to do it. This is probably why when it comes to communication, it gets a little more complicated with women. Because I hold myself back. It is probably because of heteronormativity.”
But when it comes to feeling attracted to a particular sex, she shares that it works more on an individual level than on the gender of the person. “Right now, I am dating a guy,” she shares.
But again, the problem with exploring the part of her sexuality which abides by the societal norm encourages people around her to advise her to stick to it since it is “normal,” which gets really suffocating at times.
“Asking me to marry a guy is as suffocating as saying that every woman is bisexual,” says Sreepoorna. She also believes that exploring one’s body is integral to one’s sexuality and its understanding. She explains, “It helps you understand what works, what doesn’t work, and what you want. Unless you know how to pleasure yourself, you can’t do it with another person. It opens you to a lot of experiences.”
IWB thinks it is time we put an end to the unsolicited censorship on our words, desires, and lives, but more importantly to the shame that was never ours in the first place. We are taking the pink out of the blush with our campaign UNBLUSHING.
With our partner Lovetreats.in, we embark on our mission to empower women by inspiring them to reclaim their agency in desire and exploring it. No Shame in the Game is our mantra here and, thus, for our campaign UNBLUSHING, we invite you to bring your love/lust stories to find power in the spoken word and set yourself free.
We invite you to share how you listened to your fearless sexually-liberating voice/choice and how it led the way for others.
Here is more to fun, Lovetreats.in is offering a 10% discount to everyone who uses our campaign name ‘UNBLUSHING’ as the coupon code. Now that’s some added pleasure, right?
First published on Oct 4, 2018.