Q&A: Is There A Test I Can Take To Find Out If I’m Bisexual?

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QUESTION: I’m a man who likes looking at men and seeing men have sex with each other. However, I also like seeing women do the same. I know I like having sex with women but I want to know if having sex with a guy would be something I’d like, too. Is there a test to tell whether I am bisexual or not?

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bisexual stick figures on a bathroom sign

Photo: mteson (flickr)

There are a lot of people who identify as bisexual and who insist that their natural inclination is to be romantically and/or sexually attracted to both sexes.

Although many people have their own theories and ideas related to sexual orientation, there is no true “test” that one can take to determine whether they are bisexual, heterosexual, homosexual or some other evolving identity. Not to mention, not everyone likes to label their sexual orientation with these commonly used terms.

Dr. Alfred Kinsey’s Research

Dr. Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues, in their 1948 book Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, wrote about the possibility that people may be quite fluid in their sexuality. Over the course of a person’s life, their sexual fantasies, attractions and behaviors may shift at different points.

Dr. Kinsey also wrote about the possibility that more people would express an interest in both women and men if there weren’t so many societal taboos around being sexual with members of one’s own sex.

The Trouble With Labels

Even now, there is some stigma around people who label themselves as “bisexual”. Some people believe that labeling oneself as bisexual is almost a cop-out – and that it’s just a transition period before a person comes out as gay or lesbian. Other people strongly disagree with this idea and are more accepting of the range of ways in which people experience their sexuality.

After all, there are quite a lot of people who identify as bisexual and who insist that their natural inclination is to be romantically and/or sexually attracted to both women and men. Research supports the idea that both men and women can be attracted to people of both sexes though it remains unclear what influences a person to be attracted mostly to people of their same sex, another sex or to both sexes.

More Information

If you would like to learn more information about bisexuality, check out the American Institute of Bisexuality’s web site. Another good resource for support and information is Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays.

Finally, the book Getting Bi – which is a collection of stories of people who identify as bisexual – may be of interest as well.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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