Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life by Marjorie Garber

By Marjorie Garber

"Bisexuality is set 3 centuries past due . . . however, the following it truly is: a discovered, witty learn of ways our curious tradition has controlled to get every thing improper approximately sex."
-Gore Vidal

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In this particular week in April, chosen virtually at random, the historical personages who "almost certainly seem to have been gay" according to the book's title are thus, almost to a man or woman, "bisexcal" according to the author's own account. This is a good lesson, not so much in human history (though it is that, too), but in the functioning of classification. "Gay," in 1982 when the first version of the Gay Book of Days was published, included "bisexual" and made it, from the point of view of the title, the cover, and the advertising for the book, invisible.

39 81 W A Y S : C U L T U R E , POLITICS, H I S T O R Y Labels perform different functions for different people. " "I thought I had to be either gay or straight," one woman told sociolagists Martin Weinberg, Colin Williams, and Douglas Pryor when they surveyed members of a San Francisco Bisexual Center. Another reported, "My feelings had always been bisexual. " "The first time I heard the word, which was not until I was twenty-six, I realized that was what fit for me," said a bisexual man. "I had sexual feelings for both men and women.

Of the flexibility of fantasy. Having Kirk and Spock together sexually but not "as" homosexuals "allows a much greater range of identification and desire for the women: in the fantasy one can be Kirk or Spock . . "62 And why is this? " It is this bisexuality that permits, and indeed encourges, "a great variety and range of identifications. . " 63 If the sexual imagination is "bisexual," then the surprising appeal to straight as well as lesbian and bisexual women of a male-male popular culture sexual fantasy scenario is not so surprising after all.

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