James W. Hicks, M.D.

Posts Tagged ‘ambisexual’


In Flexible People, Media on October 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

The publication of a new biography of — and a new translation by John Ashbery of the poems of — Arthur Rimbaud, the prodidgy of French modern poetry, have been the occasions for several articles about the poet and his life.

Rimbaud was notorious as a youth for his homosexual relationship with the older poet Paul Verlaine, who left his wife to be with him. Rimbaud spoke graphically about engaging in sodomy with Verlaine, and complained that Verlaine sometimes expected him to top, when he would prefer to bottom. But about a decade later, after giving up life as a poet and becoming a trader in Africa, Rimbaud settled down with a local woman.

Disappointingly, the reviewer of these books in the New Yorker needlessly characterized Rimbaud as really heterosexual, suggesting that his earlier homosexual relationship was just a bit of performance art. The reviewer in the New York Review of Books more properly avoided imposing modern assumptions onto the sexuality of either poet, both of whom were clearly capable of having meaningful relationships with either sex.

Visit the archives to see all Flexuality posts!

How Straight Are Heterosexuals?

In The Flex Test on February 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

A gay friend recently expressed bewilderment at how often straight guys hit on him. As he put it, completely without irony, “That’s so gay!”

For this, my 100th post, I looked back at the data I collected last year from the 4,633 men and women who took the original Flexuality Test. Half of them identified themselves as “heterosexual” at the start of the test. But it should come as no surprise to readers of this blog that people who consider themselves straight have often had same-sex desires and experiences.

Here are the percent of “heterosexuals” who reported having had the following feelings or experiences for someone of the same sex:

52% had been physically attracted to…

52% had been sexually aroused by seeing or thinking about…

48% had flirted with…

37% had had a crush on…

37% had fantasized to the point of orgasm about…

28% had made out with…

23% had given or received a sensual massage from…

22% had engaged in deep kissing with…

17% had been aroused by being naked with…

16% had masturbated with…

13% had received oral sex from…

11% had provided oral sex to…

11% had been in a threesome with…

7% had fallen in love with…

3% had engaged in vaginal sex with…

3% had penetrated anally…

3% had been penetrated anally by…

……. someone of the same sex.

Rates of sexual desire were even higher. Here are the percent of “heterosexuals” who would like to have sexual experiences with someone of the same sex:

41% would like to have a threesome with…

40% would like to receive oral sex from…

30% would like to masturbate with…

29% would like to provide oral sex to…

16% would like to engage in vaginal sex with…

14% would like to be anally penetrated by…

13% would like to anally penetrate…

……. someone of the same sex.

And here are the percent of “heterosexuals” who expressed agreement with the following statements:

58% have sometimes wondered what it would feel like to be pleasured by someone of the same sex

52% feel it would be okay for them to seek sexual release with someone of the same sex

38% would be willing to try gay sex

31% would have sex with someone of the same gender if someone of the opposite gender were not available

24% would like to be able to say they have had sex with both men and women

21% sometimes wonder if they are gay

16% could fall in love with someone of the same gender

11% could live their life with either a male or female partner

10% believe sex with a man is similar to sex with a woman

8% are similarly attracted to men and women

Keep in mind that the takers of the test are by no means a random sample of the population. Many who took the original test learned about it from internet forums about bisexuality. Nevertheless, this is only the data from those who consider themselves heterosexual.

If you consider yourself straight but worry about your same-sex curiosity, this data should be reassuring. If you are gay, bisexual, or curious, this data suggests that threesomes, oral sex, and mutual masturbation are the best ways to score with a straight, supersexual, or heteroflexible acquaintance.

Visit the archives to see all Flexuality posts!


In Media, The Flex Test on February 10, 2011 at 6:11 am

Gregg Araki’s New Film Will Make You Ambisexual
Madison Moore
Splice Today
February 4, 2011

In her review of Araki’s new ambisexual apocalypse film, Kaboom, Moore refers to my Flexuality Test, which she characterizes cutely as “a simple, fun-for-the-whole-family game that tells you how gay or straight you are.”

Comedian, Travon Free

In Flexible People on January 18, 2011 at 9:44 am

The young stand-up comedian, author, and former college athlete, Travon Free, has joined the small rank of celebrities who have declared themselves bisexual. His coming out is unusual not only because he is male, but also because he is black. Read his coming-out essay on his blog, which eloquently describes his evolving sense of his sexuality, his challenges and supports, and his relationship to god, religion, the black community, and college friends.

Free describes himself as sexually interested in both boys and girls since he was 14 years old. He’s had relationships with both men and women and is currently in a relationship with another man. He politely resists suggestions that he is “really gay.”

In terms of the sexual types defined in this blog, Free might be ambisexual or flexamorous, two categories which obviously overlap. But why parse, since he is proud and comfortable with the term “bisexual.”

You can also read more about Free on his professional web site, but be sure to read his essay.

Bisexual Beats

In Flexible People on August 26, 2010 at 7:15 pm

The Beats: Pictures of a Legend
Edmund White
The New York Review of Books
August 19, 2010

According to White, “Almost all of the Beats were bisexual and one another’s lovers.” Neal Cassady “slept with everyone” (i.e., supersexual or ambisexual). William Burroughs (author of Naked Lunch) married, but his fiction featured explicit descriptions of anal intercourse with young men from third world countries. Jack Kerouac (author of On the Road) and Peter Orlovsky were straight but would “put out” (i.e., heteroflexible) for Allen Ginsberg (author of Howl), who was gay.

Bisexuality in Fiction

In Media on August 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm

It should not be surprising that the complex reality of sexual desires are captured in some of our best novels.

One of my favorites is Vikram Seth’s 1986 novel, The Golden Gate, which defies all expectations by being incredibly enjoyable in spite of being set in rhyming sonnet verse. Believe me, you have to try it! The book tells the story of several young adults in San Francisco, including Phil, a man who has been left by his wife and is raising a young son, who finds himself falling in love with another man. Phil could be described as open-minded and flexamorous, but his lover is restrained by his religious beliefs that homosexual acts are sinful. The book is a beautiful celebration of the attitudes of the Bay Area in the 80s and 90s.

As Meat Loves Salt, by Maria McCann, is a historical novel set in England during Cromwell’s civil war against the crown. The author not only renders the speech, smells, and tastes of the period convincingly, but also the sexual possibilities in a world before the invention of “gay” and “straight.” The two main characters are both men who are unquestionably bisexual (without thinking of themselves in those terms) in both their physical desires and romantic attachments. The book is stunning, haunting, upsetting, erotic, and an utterly convincing artistic rendering of the expression of bisexual desires in a previously unfamiliar cultural context.

And of course, the international best-selling Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larrson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the last of which came out in English just this year) features an ambisexual, computer-hacking heroine. The series is now being rendered in movies, with fierce speculation about which Hollywood acress will play Lisbeth Salander.


In Media, Sexual Types on August 10, 2010 at 10:04 am

If you are similarly sexually aroused by both women and men, then you are ambisexual. This is the simplest, classic type of bisexuality: a “Kinsey 3” on the heterosexual-homosexual seven-point scale. The prefix in the word ambisexual puts the emphasis more specifically on the equivalence of desire for both men and women, as distinct from other manifestations of bisexuality, though you may also feel comfortable calling yourself bisexual. The term “AC-DC” has been applied to those who derive equal sexual satisfaction from both sexes, or you might refer to your desires as “50-50.”

Ambisexual is probably the most natural condition, the one that would emerge most commonly if society did not so strongly encourage heterosexuality and pathologize homosexual desire, skewing the bell curve that would otherwise define a population’s erotic tastes.

If you are ambisexual, you may be attracted to men and women in more or less the same ways. You fantasize about both. You physically enjoy sex with both. You might fall in love with both, though that is more common in the flexamorous type. You are independent enough in your thinking, and free of sexual guilt and prejudice, to be able to recognize your natural attractions to both sexes and not suppress either.

Janis Joplin was probably ambisexual. She was known to have many sexual relationships with both men and women throughout her life, even when she was in longer-term romantic (and sometimes platonic) relationships.

The ambisexual type is also captured in the character of Capt. Jack (played by John Barrowman) in Torchwood, the Doctor Who spin-off. “He can sleep with man, woman, or alien,” as the lead writer and producer of the show told Blastr.


In Cultures, Media on July 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm

In 2005-2006, the HBO miniseries Rome amazingly recreated the politics and personalities of the Roman republic on the verge of becoming an empire under Julius Ceasar. The acting, sets, music, and story are fabulous.

Among it’s other virtues, Rome portrays several different types of bisexuality in an accurate historical context.

Early in the first season, Octavian is taken to a brothel by the soldier Titus Pullo, where he is offered a range of men and women to choose from. It is taken for granted that men are ambisexual and might want to have sex with both genders.

Octavian’s sister, who has previously loved and been married to a man, is successfully seduced by her mother Atia’s arch-enemy Servilia, an older woman who had previously been in love with Julius Ceasar. (Yes, it’s a bit of a soap opera, but so much more.) Atia’s daughter is flexamorous. Servilia’s feelings are unclear.

Servilia also employs a 14 year old psychopath as an assassin who is supposed to poison Atia. This versatile young man becomes a servant by offering himself as a sexual bottom to the senior slave of Atia’s household, but he also flirts boldly with Servilia. For him it is all about the money.

In one episode, Lucius Vorenus’ fellow mobsters anally rape another man, reflecting the sexual violence that can be condoned within a macho sexual culture. Marc Anthony also rapes a passing woman and expects continuous sex from his slaves. He’s never shown having sex with a man (unless you count the orgies in Cleopatra’s court, where he shows off his new tattoos), but he is presumably supersexual.

Vorenus’ tavern manager in the second season, who becomes Titus Pullo’s girlfriend, is portrayed as atypically (for the time) manly and sexually aggressive, suggesting she might have metamorphic traits.

Julius Ceasar is involved only with women in the series, but the real Julius Ceasar was known in his time to have had a homosexual relationship when he was a young man. In fact, he was assumed to have been the bottom, which could have destroyed his reputation if he were not so strongly respected by his men as a soldier. He might have been flexamorous or ambisexual.

Bisexual Rapper

In Flexible People on July 16, 2010 at 6:49 am

Over the last year, many female entertainers have declared that they are sexually attracted to, or capable of falling in love with, both men and women. But male celebrities rarely acknowledge any sort of bisexuality.

Now a rising star, Imani the Misfit, has marketed himself as the first “bisexual porn star rapper.” In an interview with New York Examiner, Imani reports that he is more attracted to women but has been sexually attracted to men as well since he was 13. He has posed naked and would like to be filmed having sex with men for a pornographic movie.

Imani asserts a masculine image (saying he’s “not a sissy or wuss”) and says that women are turned on by his profession of bisexuality.

Imani describes himself in a manner that suggests he is ambisexual and supersexual. He believes that men who are “freaky” in bed with women have most likely fooled around with men as well.

You can see more pictures and listen to his latest song at the Examiner web page.

Go Girls!

In Flexible People on June 15, 2010 at 11:41 am

Female entertainers have been leaping out of the closet recently.

Christina Aguilera, while promoting her new album Bi-on-ic, told Out magazine this month that her husband knows she’s “into girls… it’s fun to be open and play.” She describes women as more visually attractive than men. However, she goes on to qualify that she could not live without “dick” and cannot really imagine having sex with a woman, because there would be too much “estrogen” in the room. She did not go so far as to call herself bisexual, but her statements reveal flexible thinking. The singer has a young child with her husband of many years.

Anna Paquin, a star of True Blood, the X-Men movies, and The Piano, recently declared herself bisexual for a public service announcement for The True Colors Fund, an organization advocating for LGBT rights. She is engaged to be married to her male co-star.

Lady Gaga told Rolling Stone a year ago that she was bisexual, and confirmed in an interview with Barbara Walters in December that she has had sexual relationships with women. She says her attraction to women is purely physical.

Fergie of the Black-Eyed Peas told The Sun a year ago that she considers herself bisexual. She had previously revealed that she has had sex with both men and women. She is in a long-term relationship with a male actor.

A week earlier, actress Megan Fox of the Transformers also revealed that she was bisexual and had had sex with women.

Which sexual type best describes each of these entertainers? Fergie and Lady Gaga hint at being supersexual. Anna Paquin makes no apologies and might be flexamorous or ambisexual. Christina Aquilera is unafraid to say that she finds women attractive and may be heteroflexible, if not just self-promotional. If anyone knows these stars, please ask them to take the Flexuality Test!

Each of these women deserves applause for leading the way and resisting the pressure to define herself as straight.