Dual-Sex Courtship & Bisexuals
Bisexual Identity, Recent Quizzes, & some GamerGirl Fun 🎮
Once again, straight #tomboys were seen as the least romantic (p < .001).
Table of Contents (click to fast travel)
Plural Courtship → Monogamous Coupling
The notion that bisexuals engage in dual (or plural) courtship shouldn’t be surprising when you consider that monosexual daters regularly engage in poly-courtship when dating but not facebook official. Women/men may be dating 3+ different people before they become official with one.
Bisexual Courtship adds the nuance of Dual-Sex Courtship, but plural courtship itself is the norm.
BiCupid is the best dating site for heterosexuals with a bisexual preference (A Public Literature Review)
#GamerGirl: Bunnyfran, did you cut your hair because short hair deconstructs the male gaze & threatens one of the phenotypic pillars of patriarchy the way tall women do?
Bunnyfran: I cut it because the dominant aesthetic codes of ‘‘looking butch’’ are ones against which lesbians are most strongly evaluated as being either queer or not. Having short hair means I’ll rank higher on the beauty scale due to its recognizability as a cue within the lesbian community (Hammidi et al., 1999).
Is your long-haired bae lesbian or is she bisexual like you?
GG: She’s lesbian & I love her long hair just like I loved Catbae’s short hair
Femme/feminine lesbians who can ‘pass’ as heterosexual may make the utilitarian decision to do so (Maltry & Tucker, 2002). Visibility brings vulnerability, and even though she may be criticized by other lesbians for failing to disavow a heteronormative appearance (Winn & Nutt, 2001), she’ll be safer from the dangers that butch lesbians are more likely to be at risk of (e.g., Eves, 2004; Krakauer & Rose, 2002).
Bunnyfran: But shared appearance is important for the creation of safe communities, especially outside of places like CA/NY (Eves, 2004; Krakauer & Rose, 2002).
Having a short haircut is one of the historically reliable ways to replace the male gaze with the female gaze (Luzzatto & Gvion, 2004; Huxley & Hayfield, 2012; Rifkin, 2002).
#GamerGirl: Bisexual women like me can deftly identify straight males & lesbians, even though we don’t have a codified appearance like monosexuals (Clarke & Spence, 2013; Clarke & Turner, 2007; Holliday, 1999).
I had a different general aesthetic while dating that straight Elf guy (Huxley et al., 2011-male partner) than I do now while with my lesbian girlfriend (Rothblum, 2010- female partner).
And yeah, she’s femme & has long hair. It’s not as though all lesbians are inherently going to play a masculine role in a relationship with a bisexual woman. Such an essentialist assumption assumes that bisexual women don’t have a butch-femme-either-neither spectrum of their own… as if we needed any more erasure (Hayfield et al., 2013).
GG: Moreover, critiquing my my girlfriend’s long-hair shows your narrow view lesbian identity. It’s not just about the amount (if any) of makeup, the length (if any) of hair, the Doc Martens/jeans/ sleeveless shirt stereotype, tattoos or piercings. My girl has a swagger that can turn me on from a mile away.
Bunnyfran: So she’s not a bull-lesbian, or stone or baby… androgynous perhaps. You know, it seems like you had more variability in style when you were with the Elf guy.
GG: That’s just because straight males tend to be open to a wider range of what they may find desirable in women than vice-versa. Straight males are far more likely to date a tomboy than straight females are to date a tomgirl. Honestly the sex of who I’m currently dating doesn’t have some grand influence in my aesthetic.
Bunnyfran: Wait… so do lesbians have a narrower aesthetic range of what they find desirable in the women they date than straight men have in the women they date? (seems unlikely)
#GamerGirl: In short, there is no stereotypical or culturally recognized “visual bisexual identity” in the same way that people have a general degree of accuracy identifying LG individuals when sufficient visual cues have been provided (Hayfield et al., 2013).
Online Dating (Ingram, 2019)
Internet dating comes with social and technological change that has transformed modern courtship into a type of commodified game (Hobbs et al., 2016).
“an empirical analysis of interracial marriages within each US state suggests that online dating is indeed partially responsible for the observed increase in interracial marriage” (Hergovich & Ortega, 2018, p. 33).
— Men provide more textual information in their bios than do women.
— Women were more likely to have full body pictures or mirror selfies
— Women were more likely to post bikini or swimsuit photos
— Men were more likely to have sports related pictures or pictures with pets.
— Men were also significantly more likely to link their Spotify in their bios.
❌No significant difference in the number of pictures posted
— Once two people are matched, the men are usually the ones to initiate communication (Oliver-La Rosa, 2019). Moreover, men swipe on many more profiles than women do, but still get fewer matches than women. Women are more invested as parents than men and therefore are more selective with who they have sex with (Feingold, 1992).
— Cacioppo et al. (2013) find that marriages created online were less likely to break up and reveal a higher marital satisfaction, using a sample of 19,131 Americans who married between 2005 and 2012.
I can’t use a pronoun to reveal my sexuality either. If I say I have a girlfriend, I’m assumed to be lesbian. If I say I have a boyfriend, I’m assumed to be straight. The exception is for people who I’ve been friends with over a timespan in which I had partners of each sex.
“…these bisexual women could not describe a distinct bisexual visual identity. Even when asked directly, participants struggled to talk about bisexual looks, and all of them stated that bisexual women are not recognizable from their appearance. This suggests that a bisexual look cannot be talked about because it does not exist” (Nikki Hayfield et al., 2013, p. 176–177).
Bisexual Visual Identity
These aesthetics came up a lot as a potential bisexual identifier. Note, all the subjects were bisexual women, so it’s not clear if bisexual men would agree.
…this probably partially explains Jarryd dating primarily bisexual women for the past 15 years despite the statistical improbability of such a dating record. (Given the ratio of bisexual women to straight women, an implicit selection process with a preference for agentic, assertive, independent traits is likely at work)
#GG: Why do you assume agentic/ assertiveness is a bisexual trait? What are you assuming about monosexual women?
Narrator: You misunderstood me. I would just suggest that those traits would be associated with the more cultural-expectation-free, authentic-to-self style that bisexual women feel more comfortable wearing, especially given the pressure both straight women & lesbians are more likely to feel to dress a certain way for their respective social niches.
I would posit that bisexual women’s visual identity — which the bisexual women described as “free from constraints and as an unregulated identity” — reflects the potential of bisexual fluidity “to break down identity categories (Barker, Richards, & Bowes-Catton, 2009)” that remain attached (even in their resistance) to patriarchal norms (Hayfield et al., 2013).
GG: So a bisexual identity is the absence of an otherwise rigid — or perhaps more predictable — monosexual visual identity?
Comedic Mate Preferences
Comedy is a costly signal that some men are more likely to develop due to lacking other signals of fitness. Men seem to be less interested in women’s comedic talents than women are in men’s…
As such, comedic skill may benefit men more than women in the romantic marketplace. A meta analysis of 28 studies found that “men’s humor output was rated as funnier than women’s” (Greengross et al., 2020).
Greengross, G., Silvia, P. J., & Nusbaum, E. C. (2020). Sex differences in humor production ability: A meta-analysis. Journal of Research in Personality, 84, 103886.
Men were more likely than women to report that they would date someone #bisexual (Eliason, 1997).
Among #monosexual men dating #bisexuals, some #gay men fetishize their boyfriend’s perceived masculinity (American Institute of Bisexuality, 2016) & some #straight men fantasize about the idea that their girlfriends will let them experience a 3-some (Eliason, 1997; Callis, 2013).
Among monosexual women, straight women would rather date a straight male than a bisexual male (Callis, 2013) & lesbians would rather date a gay woman than a bisexual woman (Feinstein et al., 2014).
Bisexuality & Sports (preliminary data)
Among males who indicated playing cheerleading/dance/gymnastics in high school, 100% of them indicated they are currently dating a male. Indeed, bisexual & gay men are significantly more likely to have played cheerleading (and related sports) in high school than straight men. Lesbians were least likely among women
…which makes sense based on the interactions between gender roles & sexuality. Even though women playing cheerleading, Volleyball, & Tennis may wear tight/ form fitting uniforms, the only sport that also includes expectations of makeup, aesthetic/beauty value, & significant focus on the male gaze is cheerleading. As such, women who were cheerleaders indicated that playing that sport helped them get a boyfriend more than women who played any other sport.
Lastly, cheerleading is associated with both the male gaze & the male games. During most timeouts, halftime, every score, interception, etc, cheerleaders are on the sideline (or running out onto the field during a full timeout) to perform. As such, it’s a female sport that is serving men.
No other female sport does that: volleyball players/ softball players/ Tennis players/ Basketball players don’t go to all the Football games & spend 3 hours cheering on male athletes. It’s for this reason that some males don’t even acknowledge it as a sport. In short, it’s not surprising that women who played cheerleading would have an easier time finding a boyfriend in high school given gender socialization norms.
The Height of Infidelity
Bisexuality & Age Preferences
Bisexual Courtship In Distant Worlds
Women avatars like me impose costs on male avatars to gain access to us to fulfill their digital manhood. The primary reasons for this behavior are:
- To test their fitness/ gamer skills against dungeon bosses
- Determine their long-term potential in supporting me during difficult quests
- Their commitment & available resources to help me raise my avatar level high enough to solo bosses later in the game
By giving him just enough performativity to remain interested in me, but not so much that he’ll assume he’s experienced all I have to offer, I can monopolize his resources (e.g., he only has 2 hours he can game after work & he spends 80 minutes with me) which will disincentivize him from courting any other women avatars. He’d likely want to use his remaining gametime that day doing a few solo content things or other general MMORPG busywork (e.g., fetch quests, daily tasks).
My courtship behaviors with women are a bit different & generally start with a playful set of emotes, someone petting someone else’s minion (optional pets we can have follow us around — see image below), and/or sticking together as we track down new world bosses/ live battle events on our current area map (which both ESO & FF14 have frequently). Importantly, these non-verbal/ indirect courtship initiation behaviors take place prior to any blunt/direct interaction with women avatars, whereas with men avatars they’ll literally just slide into your virtual DMs in the middle of a boss fight.
Or — in what remains one of the creepiest experiences I’ve ever had — he pressed the crouch button in ESO, got directly behind me, & made sniffing sounds through his headset.
#iJustCant (and yes, I immediately blocked him after we were out of harms way; don’t want to get a GameOver because some enemies are ambushing my immobile avatar while I’m blocking another gamer’s account).
And sometimes I just flirt with men so I can feel better about my avatar. If I try on some new armor I’d like to be appreciated for it. Sadly some male avatars think it means I actually like them, so I just teleport away or log out in those instances.
Bisexual Men ‘s Infidelity Concerns When Dating Women vs. Men
Whether a bisexual guy is more concerned with sexual or emotional infidelity depends on whether he’s dating a man or a woman.
“Men tend to worry about sexual infidelity, because they want to know that their female partners’ children are their own, and women tend to worry about emotional infidelity, stemming from a time when they had to worry about men allocating resources to their relationship.
Under this theory, it makes sense that bisexual men dating women would be more worried about sexual infidelity than bisexual men dating men, who can’t get pregnant.”
HOWEVER → “A post hoc comparison between women dating women and women dating men was conducted on the proportion of women who chose emotional infidelity as more distressing and was found to be nonsignificant”
(consistent with research by Dr. Christine Harris, PhD — the person who brought me in to UCSD. Her class — Interpersonal Relationships — was the first class I ever taught as a Californian & as a new PhD in 2015)
Participants in a same-sex relationship showed no sex difference (M-M = W-W on sexual infidelity concerns)
For participants in an opposite sex relationship, the traditional sex difference emerged: bisexual men cared more about sexual infidelity than bisexual women.
(Scherer et al., 2013)
“Dissolution is highest in the first 4 years of marriage & that’s why this period is usually chosen for analysis (Bradbury 1998; Bradbury & Karney, 2004).”
“Romantic/Passionate Love has a limited life-span of about 2 years
“When relationships last, Companionate Love appears to be what lasts. Most common responses among couples married over 15 years when asked why their marriages had lasted (Lauer & Lauer, 1985):
¤“My spouse is my best friend.” // “I like my spouse as a person.”¤
Long-distance couples break up more often (Cameron & Ross, 2007).
An abridged Facebook convo with one of the brilliant women who graduated & has continued as a Triton research assistant in SoCal Lab
Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD: If all monosexual & bisexual people are assumed to be equal, but a bisexual woman expects her butch monosexual girlfriend is supposed to hold the door open for her, then that’s inequality in direction-A.
If butch monosexual women expect that they’ll hold the door open for their bisexual lovers, then that’s inequality in direction-B.
In a sense, both women would be treating the other as ‘less than’ but for different reasons.
Research Assistant: I understand that but also lots of women have reclaimed it and want to be protected… in which case they are exploiting that inequality for their own benefit.
DJ: I definitely exploit it to my advantage as GamerGirl. It makes it feel like I’m playing the game on easy mode & males can’t seem to help themselves. They use me to fulfill their digital manhood.
PrePrint Soon — Avatar Study
(Some teasers below — study was lead by the RA mentioned above)
UCSD’s Willis lab (2022 hopefully) found that women are more likely to use skin lightening filters than men when posting to social media, corroborating previous research by Varghese (2017) which found Indian women used lightening filters in photo of themselves before they uploaded them to “make the images more ‘attractive’ and ‘likable.”
In fact, we found the same significant result as Varghese (2017) (primarily South Asian Indian participants) when solely assessing Indian participants.
All monoracial women reported using lightening filters more often than monoracial men. Multiracial men reported using lightening filters more often than multiracial women. #MaleGaze #Colorism
Jarryd: Why did you include ‘MaleGaze’?
#GamerGirl: Because bisexual women dating women & (especially) lesbians are the least likely people to use lightening filters.
→ Anyone currently dating is more likely to use skin lightening filters than those that are single.
→ People dating interracially are ESPECIALLY likely to use whitening filters (the darker skinned person in the relationship).
Gay men may use filters more than straight men #MaleGaze (again)
Gay men certainly appear to use filters more than gay women (we need more gay male participants), but it’s still the case that no one uses filters as much as straight women (Dhir et al., 2016).
- Do subjects perceive filtering as a binary between real or fake, or a spectrum?
- Are filters fair when accentuating something to make it look extra, or correcting something that was imperfect in the moment but the correction resembles the real intended self (compared to the ‘moment in time’ self)
Filters reinforce heteronormative & colorist notions of socially acceptable beauty that NeoLiberalism’s aesthetic labor markets have encoded to the point that we’re now not just self-conscious in person…
we’re cyber self-conscious.
Also I’m hungry.
[End of Conversation]
#GamerGuy: Why are Cambridge scientists growing embryos from scratch?
#GamerGirl: Because women’s bodies are our species’ sole child delivery system. If ‘equality’ isn’t possible in regards to reproduction, then at least some other options may produce a more egalitarian future.
Lisa DeBruine et al. (2017)
The eye color of lesbians’ & straight men’s’ lovers matched their mom’s eye color whereas the eye color of gays’ & straight women’s lovers matched the eye color of their father.
“high-educated men prefer low-educated over high-educated profiles as much as high-educated women prefer high-educated over low-educated profiles. With preferences similar for attractiveness but opposite for education, two groups are more likely to stay single: unattractive, low-educated men and unattractive, high-educated women.”
Sexuality & Sexual Scripts
“Speaking as part of DIVA’s Lesbian Visibility Week schedule of virtual events, psychosexologist Dr Karen Gurney pointed out that there are some key differences when it comes to women who have sex with women.
“Research shows that when you ask heterosexual people what sex should look like, there is a formulaic and narrow definition given,” she said in a video talk.
“…sexual scripts for women who have sex with women provide more freedom.
There’s no typical script for what lesbian sex should look like or who should do what in what order.”
Left cheek selfies gain more likes on instagram than the right cheek or front facing selfies.
“The preference for left-facing profiles might arise from the left cheek bias (LCB) during a critical period for the development of vision (i.e., the first four months of life), given that when infants are held on the left arm of mothers, they are exposed to the left profile of the mother’s face” (Malatesta et al., 2020).
- Malatesta, G., Marzoli, D., & Tommasi, L. (2020)
The LCB was even found among White women while holding a toy baby doll. LCB is considered a natural index of a positive socio-communicative relationship (Malatesta et al., 2020). Even pictures humans have taken of chimpanzees show a significant LCB (Lindell 2020).
Caveat → it had to be a White doll. White women randomly assigned to hold a Black doll held it in their right arm instead.
In fact, the higher White women’s scores were on a measure of ethnic prejudice (i.e., empirically designated bigots), the more likely they were to hold a Black doll in their right arm (Gianluca Malatesta et al., 2020).
- Gianluca Malatesta, Daniele Marzoli, Luca Morelli, Monica Pivetti & Luca Tommasi 2020
LCB is observed in paintings (McManus & Humphrey, 1973), photographs (LaBar, 1973) and even selfies posted on Instagram (Bruno, Bertamini, & Protti, 2015; Manovich, Ferrari, & Bruno, 2017).
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Women are seen as more attractive when their selfie angle is above whereas men are seen as more dominant when their selfie angle is below (Makhanova, McNulty, & Maner, 2017).
Men (but not women) use a lower camera angle for professional site selfies than for dating site selfies, suggesting that men may wish to present a more masculine image for prospective employers, but don’t want to ‘overdo it’ on dating websites (Makhanova et al.,, 2017).
Selfies showing the left side of the face receive more ‘likes’ (social media currency) just as analyses of 1,474 real paintings made for the last half of the millennium (dating to 15th century Europe) found that most portraits were of the left side of the face (McManus & Humphrey, 1973).
This has nothing to do with handedness.
Lefties like da Vinci, Michelangelo & Rembrandt also painted the left side of the face more than the right (Nicholls, Clode, Wood, & Wood, 1999).
[Even the iPhone emoji for breastfeeding has a left cheek bias; the baby is looking at mom’s left cheek] 🤰🏻🤱🏻
“The Earth is littered with the ruins of empires that believed they were eternal.” — Camille Paglia