Jealousy, Friendship, And Bisexual Chopped Liver: The Blowfish Blog


Green_eyesI have a new piece up on the Blowfish Blog. It’s about a trope I see sometimes in monogamous relationships: namely, jealousy over your partner’s friends, when those friends might, in theory, based solely on their sexual orientation, be sexually attracted to your partner. (Jealousy of straight men or lesbians, for instance, when your partner is a woman.)

The piece is titled Jealousy, Friendship, And Bisexual Chopped Liver. And while I do talk about jealousy and possessiveness in relationships, it’s not the main thrust. The main thrust is on this topic:

So what are we bisexuals — chopped liver?

According to this theory, bisexuals could never, ever have any friends at all. We couldn’t be friends with gay men, straight men, straight women, lesbians. And we definitely couldn’t be friends with other bisexuals. According to this theory, the fact that we’re attracted to both women and men makes us ineligible to be friends with anybody, of any gender, ever.

No, that’s not quite true. We could be friends with non-monogamous people, and with single people. But once those single get into monogamous relationships — blammo. That’s the end of that friendship.

I’m not just writing this to point up the stupidity and irrationality of this particular form of jealousy. I’m writing it to point up the stupidity and irrationality of bisexual invisibility.

To find out more of my musings on jealousy, possessiveness, and the contorted logic created by bisexual invisibility, read the rest of the piece, Enjoy!

Comments

  1. says

    This isn’t exclusive to bisexuals, as I’m certain you’re aware; my girlfriend, for example (I’m a straight lad) is jealous of my best friend Drew. He and I have a relationship stretching back to our childhood and she loathes the fact that he and I can have conversations that she cannot be a part of.
    My solution to the problem was to tell her that I wasn’t going to ditch my friends just because I love her and if she didn’t like it; tough shit.
    But then she knew she wouldn’t be able to control things like that when she started dating me; I’ve got a bit of a gruff personality.

  2. Steph says

    Oh, so completely amen on this one. The “you can’t be friends with someone you could theoretically be attracted to” thing is a huge pet peeve of mine. It’s massively sexist in the hetero form (why, going to a basketball game with another man? Obviously you’re screwing around, since there’s no way a man and a woman could simply enjoy doing something together as friends!) and just generally insulting and needlessly restrictive all around. There was a “For Better or For Worse” strip a year or so ago in which Liz discovering that her boyfriend had a woman visiting his house (with nothing even mildly sexual going on) was treated with such a relationship-ending impact you’d think she’d found them in flagrante.

  3. Noahkins says

    I found this post. . . disappointing, to say the least.
    Now, I completely agree with you regarding the fact that this strain of jealousy is dumb, screwed up, and biphobic.
    But, I think that there are two big problems with this post. First, in your analysis leading to the assertion that “the fact that we’re attracted to both women and men makes us ineligible to be friends with anybody, of any gender, ever”, you left out, oh, every gender but two. Bisexuals can’t hang out with “gay men, straight men, straight women, lesbians. And we definitely couldn’t be friends with other bisexuals”. What about genderqueers, or people whose gender is third or fourth, or the rest of the wonderfully gender-interesting people out there? Well, if you’re a ‘bisexual’ in the strict constructionist sense of the word – attracted to two genders (which usually means men and women) – you could, even with the insane jealousy logic, be friends with us. Especially to those of us who aren’t attracted to people of your gender.
    And what if you’re the kind of bisexual person that also has the potential to be attracted to people who are neither women nor men (pansexual/omnisexual)? Then I think that your post should have mentioned people who are neither women nor men in the list of people you wouldn’t be allowed to befriend.
    This brings me to my second, and more interesting, point. People who are neither men nor women should have been in that list, not only because they would be one of the people bisexuals couldn’t spend time with, but because of the nature of your post. To paraphrase you, people who are less than enlightened often ignore bisexuals as part of the queer and trans* movement. But, I think, people who are neither men nor women are ignored more often. So I find it inappropriate that in a post about the neglect of an aspect of the queer and trans* community (bisexuals), you completely disregard a different aspect (people who are neither men nor women).
    -Noahkins
    PS I thoroughly enjoy your blog, and admire you as a writer and a thinker. That’s why I took the time to write this in response. I hope I didn’t show any disrespect and that my comment wasn’t too (for lack of a better word) mean.

Leave a Reply