28 April, 2008

Are you bisexual?

Q Is there any way to tell if you're bisexual?

A People sometimes ask this question because they are having bad heterosexual experiences. It is also raised by those trapped in single-sex institutions such as private schools, prisons, armies and religious orders with nowhere else to turn.

But we are NOT born with this information tattooed on our foreheads.

Sigmund Freud said everyone had bisexual potential because we enter the world with the capacity to enjoy any kind of pleasure ("babies just want to be cuddled").

This may well be true but we're also conditioned from birth to channel our experience in one direction or another - and occasionally in both. Genuine behavioural bisexuality seems confined to those who, while bonding naturally with mates of one sex, still crave ongoing physical and emotional contact with the alternative sex.

We can all love people regardless of gender. Many of us go through a stage of crushes on our own sex during our teenage years.

But, mostly, we're persuaded to express physical bisexuality only when deprived of other possibilities.

If you have a question for Alex Hooper-Hodson, email sexpert@dailyrecord.co.uk

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