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Living In Sin: Bi Any Other Name

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Sex is something that drives us, empowers us and gets us into really stupid situations with people we have no business seeing naked. Jen Sincero is the bestselling author and sexpert with the carnal knowledge you need. Ask heryour questions (all are posted anonymously). Cuz there's no such thing as being too good in bed.

Dear Jen,
I just had a look at an editors' review of your book, "The Straight Girl's Guide To Sleeping With Chicks," and am baffled - what makes you straight? I may be one of those rare people who never particularly noticed whether people were male or female when I was a kid, but rather went for a certain kind of energy (which is found in male actors/circus people, as well as in certain creative or particularly observant women).

I've had relationships as well as sex with both men and women and prefer to have relationships with women. I think I fall in love with women more intensely, but that doesn't have that much to do with sex itself in the way you describe sex.

Most of the women I've been with were bisexual, later perhaps with men again also due to having kids with them. I tend to find lesbians too masculine or too sappily feminine (when submissive) and men too masculine as well. However, I get hellishly confused and hurt by the odd female friend (with whom I have a much too long-lasting and emotionally close bond to end the friendship with), who projects their idea of sex onto me, whereas I enjoy the romance that's there.

Anyway, I think there is nothing straight about wanting sex with another woman, even when it's only occasionally, once or temporarily. Your way of women having sex with other women sounds more like the way (some) gay men have sex. After all, the word is heteroSEXual or homoSEXual, and not emotional, like I'd prefer it.
- Baffled Bi You

Dear Baffled,
I thought about just using the very first sentence of your letter because it poses a very good, often-asked question, but then I thought, "hey, maybe she'll give me some of whatever she's smoking if I print the whole thing."

Speaking of hellishly confused, what do circus performers have to do with the title of my book? Regardless, I'm going to just go ahead here and address the parts of your letter that I understood:

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The Title: What the Hell?
I wanted to speak to the curious, confused, not-ready-to-sign-on-the-bisexual-dotted-line-just-yetters. If I'd called it "The Bisexual Girl's Guide To Sleeping With Chicks," a lot of first-timers, or women who are still figuring things out, probably wouldn't have realized I was speaking to them. Believe me, I've been in deep doo doo for this from the get go (always from people who haven't read the book because I address this issue in depth in the intro).

The Sex: What the Hell?
Yes, the book deals with sex in a graphic "you put your right hand in, you take your right hand out, you put your right hand in and you shake it all about" sort of way. It also deals with the emotional aspects. And the political. And the psychological. Again, in order to know what's in a book, you must actually open it and read.

Labels. What the Hell?
I agree, the terms homoSEXual and heteroSEXual fall very short in their attempts to encompass the many, complex aspects of sexuality. And because I, like you, prefer to focus on who makes me giddy, emotionally engaged, doodle little hearts on my notebook and brush my hair before leaving the house, not on whose naughty bits I've played with, I call myself straight. For now, anyway. And only because people demand I call myself something. Whatever happened to self discovery? Can't a girl get in there and find out if it tastes like chicken or fish and whether or not she likes it before she signs up for a whole new team? And why does she have to sign up again? It's silly, especially since all my homosexual friends who've fiddled around with the opposite set get to keep their nametags on while I'm constantly getting sent through the spanking machine. Not fair. Not fair at all.

People convert from Judaism to Christianity all the time, from Italian citizens to American, from material girls to cowgirls from vegans to hamburglers, and then sometimes back again. Getting your panties all twisted and prickly because someone is or isn't calling themselves something seems like a big fat waste of time to me. And really nobody's business but theirs.