Bisexual desires for more than one gender as a challenge to normative relationship ideals
Lahti, A. (2018). Bisexual desires for more than one gender as a challenge to normative relationship ideals. Psychology and Sexuality, 9(2), 132-147. https://doi.org/10.1080/19419899.2018.1441896
Published inPsychology and Sexuality
© 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis GroupIn Copyright
Normative western understandings of intimate relationships continue to draw upon the discourses of romantic love and the ideal of finding ‘the one’ who meets all our romantic and sexual needs. As desire is not sexually or emotionally exclusive, even people in normative relationships have to make sense of desires beyond the monogamous ideal. Bisexual people engage in these negotiations from a challenging cultural position. As a desire for more than one gender, bisexuality is persistently culturally associated with wavering desire, promiscuity and multiple partners. In light of these cultural conditions, I explore how Finnish bisexual women – and their (ex-)partners of various genders who do not identify as bisexual – negotiate desires that exceed the boundaries of normative relationships, such as attraction to ‘someone else’. I draw on the follow-up interviews of a longitudinal interview set conducted in 2005 and 2014–2015. The majority of the interviewed bisexual women and their (ex-)partners lived in monogamous long-term relationships. Yet women’s bisexuality often brought the monogamous norm under explicit negotiation. In many cases, bisexuality as a culturally ‘weak’ identity did not offer a solid frame for women to interpret their desires for people of more than one gender. The notion of bisexuality highlights the excess of sexuality beyond any normative relationship, but makes bisexual women especially vulnerable to stigma. The negotiations around women’s bisexual desires, however, broadened the participants’ (normative) ideas of relationships, and made space for women’s bisexuality in their monogamous relationships. ...
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
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