Sometimes, it's just a cigar

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Category errors

I don’t know much about Michael Bloch.

This article about politics and sex doesn’t help know Michael Bloch, although some of the sidewalk diagnoses of other people’s sexuality and personality is pretty revealing about how much he believes he can explain the behaviour of others.

It also provides a timely reminder of how useless it is to try and characterize some people as gay or straight. Can you be a gay man who fathers children by his wife? Or are you simply bisexual? I understand what Michael Bloch is trying to do, but the idea that Winston Churchill is somehow comparable to Jeremy Thorpe is risible. Incidentally, if you’re going to do sidewalk diagnosis, the aetiology of Churchill’s ‘low sex drive’ lurks in every facet of his family history, and provides a context that Bloch skips merrily past on his mission to throw open the closet doors, ignoring the risk that what lurks there is not a handsome young buck but the skeletons of the past.

Was Jeremy Thorpe gay or bisexual? Even bisexual is an unhelpful category; I tend to divide it up further, into parallel bisexuality, serial bisexuality, and plural bisexuality.

Parallel bisexuals are those who conduct two separate sex lives, one with the same sex, one with the opposite sex, in the same time frame. Hang around a cottage on a Sunday morning, and the odds are that the man you’ll end up having sex with is a parallel bisexual – he’ll go home to his wife or girlfriend, and he’ll be just as happy having sex with her as he was with you.

Serial bisexuals are people who are only interested in one sex at a time. If they’re into sex with men, that’s what they’re into this week, and that’s it. Next week may be different, of course, but that’s next week.

I’m plurally bisexual. I don’t mind having sex with anyone I’m attracted to, at the same time.

Now, Michael Bloch might think it’s useful to describe everyone in his article as a closet queen. I think the loose use of categories and the conscription as gay of anyone who ever had a homosexual relationship is thoroughly unhelpful, and conceals as much as it reveals.


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This entry was posted on May 18, 2015 by in Uncategorized.

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