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Subject: soc.bi FAQ

This article was archived around: 24 Aug 2009 01:00:01 +0100

All FAQs in Directory: bisexual
All FAQs posted in: soc.bi
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Archive-name: bisexual/faq Last-modified: 12-May-2001 URL: http://serf.org/~jon/soc.bi/faq/
The soc.bi FAQ list =================== soc.bi : for the discussion of any issues related to bisexuality (but NOT for commercial or personal ads!) +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | CONTENTS | +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ SECTION A: ABOUT BISEXUALITY (answers to frequently asked questions) A1. What is "bisexuality" anyway? A2. What is "a bisexual"? A3. Is there a difference between "a bisexual", "bisexual" and "bi"? A4. So if I've never slept with a MOTSS/MOTOS, but I feel attracted to one, am I bisexual? A5. Aren't bisexuals just going through a phase of being confused about their sexuality? A6. Aren't bisexuals really denying their homosexuality? A7. Are bisexuals equally attracted to both sexes? A8. Do bisexuals have to have lovers of both sexes to be bisexual? A9. Are bisexuals capable of monogamy? A10. But if they're monogamous, how can they be bisexual? A11. Isn't everyone really bisexual? A12. Why do you think bi issues are different from gay issues, since all your problems come the same source, homophobia? A13. Why would lesbians/gay men discriminate against bisexuals? A14. Why CAN'T you choose one sex over the other? A15. I've discovered that I'm bisexual - should I tell my family? A16. Is there really a bisexual community? A17. Are there any bi-friendly places in real life? A18. Does anyone know of any good books with bisexual characters? A19. What is the Kinsey scale? A20. What other resources are available on bisexuality? SECTION B: ABOUT SOC.BI (please read these guidelines before you post) B1. Hi, I'm straight. Is it okay if I post here too? B2. Is it okay if I ask you all a few questions about bisexuality? B3. Would you all please help me with this survey on sexuality? B4. "How can I pick up some hot bisexual babes for a threesome?" B5. Is there anything else I should not discuss on soc.bi? B6. Why are crossposts a bad idea? B7. Can I post my list of bi wombat fans weekly/monthly? B8. I haven't seen any responses to my posting. Are you all ignoring me? B9. Why is soc.bi so argumentative at the moment, why can't it always be nice and fluffy? B10. You flamed a newbie! Shouldn't you be more supportive? B11. I'd like to post to soc.bi but my newsreader won't let me, is there another way? And can I post anonymously? B12. What do all these acronyms mean: MOTSS, MOTOS, SO, TOCOTOX, YASBP, HBB, HNG? B13. What about: muffin, de-muffining, fluff, bidar, obBi, BBQ-ripple, nutella, sock-biter? B14. What do you mean by "monosexual"? B15. What's all this about a cabal? B16. How old is soc.bi? SECTION C: ABOUT THIS FAQ (where, who and why) C1. Frequency and purpose C2. Contributors +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | SECTION A: ABOUT BISEXUALITY | +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ This section is designed to answer some questions regularly asked about bisexuality. They should provide some background to issues which are often discussed on soc.bi. A1. What is bisexuality? Bisexuality means sexual or romantic attraction or behavior directed towards some members of more than one sex. A2. What is "a bisexual"? A strict definition of a bisexual would be someone who has romantic and/or sexual relations with other people of more than one sex (though not necessarily at the same time - see section A8). However, since not everyone has necessarily had the opportunity to act on their sexual/romantic attractions, some people prefer a looser definition; for instance, that a bisexual is a person who - in their own estimation - feels POTENTIALLY able to have such attraction. This could be anyone who has erotic, affectionate, or romantic feelings for, fantasies of, and/or experiences with both men and women. A bisexual may be more attracted to one sex than the other, attracted equally to both, or find people's sex unimportant (see section A7). The strength of their attractions to men and women may vary over time. A3. Is there a difference between "a bisexual", "bisexual" and "bi"? Yes. Definitions for "a bisexual" are suggested above - all relating to attraction and behaviour. "Bisexual" (and the short form, "bi") is sometimes used as an adjective, to describe a bisexual person. However, many people who exhibit bisexual behaviour do not identify as bisexual; and other people may identify as bisexual for reasons other than those suggested in the narrow definitions of section A2. In other words, bisexual identity and bisexual behaviour are not necessarily the same thing. So the word bisexual is being used in two different ways here. Some argue that if bisexual is to mean anything, it must have a strong definition - that of exhibiting bisexual behaviour, or at least the potential for it. Others feel it is more important to respect people's self-definition whatever it is. It has been suggested that the word "bisexual" should be limited to describing behaviour, and the word "bi" could be used for describing identity, with all the cultural implications which have grown up in the bi community. Since the word "bisexual" can be used in different ways, it is enough to bear this in mind and make it clear how YOU are using it, in the interests of good communication. A4. So if I've never slept with a MOTSS/MOTOS, but I feel attracted to one, am I bisexual? (See section B12 for the definitions of MOTSS/MOTOS) Can you be? Sure. Are you? That's up to you to decide; nobody can make that decision for you, and nobody has the right to tell you your decision is wrong. Bisexuality isn't about WHOM you sleep with, it's about HOW you feel; so a good rule of thumb in defining your sexual identity is not what you've done, but what you'd like to do. A5. Aren't bisexuals just going through a phase of being confused about their sexuality? The simple answer is "no" or at least "not necessarily" - many of us are absulutely certain that we are attracted to both sexes; there is no confusion. Many people are bisexual for life, which proves it is not always just a phase. It is natural for people who are coming to terms with a sexuality which is not society's norm to be feel confused. For some people, bisexuality is a phase between homosexuality and heterosexuality (and the individual in question could be going in either direction); for others it can just be a brief experimentation. But for many people bisexuality is a lifelong, committed sexual orientation. And even for those who ultimately do not stay bisexual for life, that does not make it any the less valid as a sexual orientation. Many people have reported that their sexual orientation has shifted over time; sexuality is dynamic, not fixed. For some people it may be a small shift, others a major change of lifestyle; but this does not make the points in between in any sense "wrong". Life is a continuous process, and few of us remain exactly the same over long periods of time. Some people who behave bisexually (having sex with both MOTSS and MOTOS over time) identify themselves as gay or lesbian or straight. This too does not mean that they are confused, only that they base their sexual identity on their primary interest rather than going for the more technical term bisexual. A6. Aren't bisexuals really denying their homosexuality? It's difficult for some lesbian/gay people to come to grips with their homosexuality, and for a while, dating MOTOS (see section B12) may make life seem a little more "normal" and bearable. Let's face it, coming out of the closet and living as a homosexual is no picnic; between the sanctioned discrimination which gay/bi men face of being in a perceived high risk group for AIDS, and the social standards of love, courtship, and marriage, being gay at times takes more energy than humans should be asked to give. But coming out bisexual is no easy matter, either. Some bisexuals have to face loved ones who have relied in the past on their attraction to them being constant, and who have to assure them that it will be there in the future. We also often have to deal with straight friends who assure us that our attraction to MOTSS (section B12) is just "a way of avoiding intimacy" or gay friends who suggest that our attraction to MOTOS is "internalized homophobia". At all events, whether or not a bisexual is currently involved with a MOTSS, to much of the straight world anyone who comes out as bi is queer, "one of them," and is discriminated against and excluded on that basis. Thus, being bi is not an "easy way out," a "denial," or a "middle ground." It is for many people the hardest decision they will ever make. A7. Are bisexuals equally attracted to both sexes? Many bisexuals feel they have a "preference" for one sex over the other, but they do not deny their attraction for that other sex. Some bisexuals, however, have no such preference, and instead focus their attractions on qualities they see in an individual regardless of that person's sex. Sometimes these qualities involve gender, sometimes not. For example, some people find men attractive as men, and women attractive as women; others find people's sex irrelevant. A8. Do bisexuals have to have lovers of both sexes to be bisexual? No. People who call themselves bisexual are saying that they are attracted to both men and women. They don't necessarily have to act on that attraction, any more than straight or gay people have to act on their attraction to people of the same sex as their partner. There is a separate newsgroup, alt.polyamory, for discussion of the issues relating to the dynamics of multi-way relationships (whether involving bisexuals or not). A9. Are bisexuals capable of monogamy? Yes, some are. It depends on the individual. It's like asking "Can a straight person be monogamous?" Some bisexuals are monogamous, and some aren't. Monogamy is the socially sanctioned option with respect to relationships, but then so is heterosexuality. It should be up to every individual, of any sexuality, to choose the lifestyle which is right for them. A10. But if they're monogamous, how can they be bisexual? A bisexual deciding to be monogamous is not deciding to be "gay" or "straight." He/she is still bisexual; he/she has chosen a PERSON to live his or her life with, not an orientation, preference or ideology. It is important to recognize that he/she still FEELS bisexual. A11. Isn't everyone really bisexual? Not by any useful definition. A useful definition of bisexuality might be, anyone who has serious relationships with members of both sexes, and anyone who identifies as bisexual. It is possible to suggest that everyone has some potential for attraction to both sexes, but since most people(*) never act on it, this is pretty irrelevant. If someone says that they are straight, or (gay/lesbian) then for you to insist that they are "really" bisexual but perhaps just don't realise it is to deny them their self-identity. Everyone should be free to define their own identity for themselves, which invalidates this kind of generalisation. Moreover, bisexuality is not BETTER than being straight or gay. The best thing for each individual is to be what they feel is right. So please do not think that people identify as bisexual if they are "more highly evolved" or more in touch with their inner feelings. Accept diversity - different people really are different. (*) Research carried out at the Harvard School of Public Health, USA in 1994 found that 20.8% of the men and 17.8% of the women studied admitted to same- sex sexual attraction/behaviour at some time in their lives. A12. Why do you think bi issues are different from gay issues, since all your problems come from the same source, homophobia? While homophobia is a bi issue (many would say the biggest issue), we do also have concerns different from those of the gay community; the most striking being that of dealing with prejudice from the gay community itself! Among our other issues is the problem of dealing with the emotion of SOs who we deeply love yet who cannot understand our attraction to both sexes. And being accepted as bisexual if we only have one partner. And we have to deal with a lot of myths which surround bisexuality. A13. Why would lesbians/gay men discriminate against bisexuals? One reason is because we are sometimes perceived as "hiding," a sense that some bisexuals use their bisexuality to look heterosexual at work, in straight social settings, to enjoy the "heterosexual privilege" that is part of the social norm. Secondly, bisexuals are sometimes seen as blurring the issues and weakening the lesbian and gay movement. Naturally, bisexual activists disagree with this view (we feel that the real issue is sexual freedom for all sexualities), but sometimes lesbians and gays label bisexuals "traitors" for this reason. A further reason is that some lesbians and gay men also have sex with MOTOS (while not identifying as bisexual). Often peer pressure means that they can't admit this in the lesbian and gay communities, and see bisexuality as a threat to their own acceptance. And finally, simply because of the fear that arises out of ignorance and out of the media's very poor record of portraying bisexuals as serial killers, homophobes and generally self-centred, confused people. The lesbian and gay communities are oppressed by homophobia and prejudice, but unfortunately being oppressed is no guarantee that you won't oppress others. Happily, prejudice against bisexuals in the lesbian and gay communities seems to be diminishing over time as more people come to accept that sexuality is not a monochrome issue. A14. Why CAN'T you choose one sex over the other? Some of us have tried, but why should we? Denying our attraction to one sex or the other HURTS. If you ask the question out of innocence (you don't feel this attraction, so why should anybody?) then you're asking us to put away feelings that we cannot and will not live without. If you ask these questions with full knowledge of the issues at hand, then your question is as patently offensive as a white supremacist asking us to choose one race over another. A15. I've discovered that I'm bisexual - should I tell my family? Look at your life, and decide that if by telling them you will help yourself, and by not telling them you won't hurt yourself (one doesn't necessarily preclude the other). Both instances, of telling or not telling, can be problems. They may not accept you, then again, maybe they will. Not telling them may leave you at peace, or it may gnaw at your mind constantly, with "I really need to tell them" or "I really need to tell SOMEONE who knows me well." There are many people in the bisexual community who can tell you of good and bad situations that have happened to us with each different type of decision. Indeed, these "coming-out stories" (so called because they describe "coming out of the closet" and telling people of our sexuality) are often to be heard whenever bisexuals meet - it is something that brings us together, because so many of us have one of these stories to tell. But, ultimately, the decision is yours, and must be made by you. We can offer support for your courage, and comfort for your loss, happiness for your gain. But YOU must make the step to make it all possible. You must decide whether any need to know, or whether you WANT any to know. Good luck. A16. Is there really a bisexual community? You're talking to one right now. We are here to share our lives, through stories, history, friends, family; we are here, on soc.bi, to reach out from one bisexual to another and bridge the gap between isolated bisexual communities. To be the human part of the interface. We are slowly coming together, demanding that our love of both sexes not be ridiculed or minimized. Demanding that as much as the gay/lesbian community wants recognition and respect from the straight community, we demand recognition and respect from both. We are falling in love or grieving in loss; we deal with the very human issues of having children; we deal with a world after the advent of AIDS. We enjoy discussing our shared experiences that make us slightly different to the rest of the world. What else is a community? A17. Are there any bi-friendly places in real life? Yes. Some lesbian/gay venues (pubs/bars, clubs, meeting-rooms) welcome bisexuals (or in some cases, at least tolerate us). Many major cities in the UK and the USA (and, increasingly, in Australia) have bisexual groups which meet regularly and provide a bi-friendly "space". Details of how to get in contact with the nearest such group to you can be found in: _The Bisexual Resource Guide_, edited by Robyn Ochs published by the "Bisexual Resource Center". Send US$11.95 to BRC, POB 639, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140, USA. Additions since the most recent edition of this are included in the Bisexual Resources List (see section A20). A18. Does anyone know of any good books with bisexual characters? The Bisexual Resources List (cf section A20) gives up-to-date details of how to get lists of books (both general literature, and specifically Science Ficton/Fantasy) with bisexual themes and/or characters. Additions to these lists are always welcomed. A19. What is the Kinsey scale? Dr. Alfred Kinsey created a scale, graduated between heterosexuality and homosexuality, to rate individuals on actual experiences and psychological reactions. The ratings are as follows: 0: Entirely heterosexual. 1: Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual. 2: Predominantly heterosexual, but with a distinct homosexual history. 3: Equally heterosexual and homosexual. 4: Predominantly homosexual, but with a distinct heterosexual history. 5: Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual. 6: Entirely homosexual. Clearly anything above 0 and less than 6 can be defined as bisexual. Although many people will say "I am Kinsey (whatever)," it should be noted that subsequent researchers such as Klein have found it more useful to rate people on a variety of levels, such as "Past History," "Present History," "Present Feelings," and "Future Inclinations". Nevertheless the Kinsey scale remains a useful tool for discussion of sexuality precisely because it is so simple. A20. What other resources are available on bisexuality? There is a great deal of information on all kinds of aspects of bisexuality on the world wide web. Among the best collections of pointers to information are: BiResource.org: http://www.biresource.org/resources.html Queer Resource Directory: http://www.qrd.org/ bi.org Links Central: http://bi.org/db/ bisexual.org resources: http://www.bisexual.org/pages/3aresources-page.asp This FAQ and many other resources are also available on the soc.bi homepage at http://serf.org/~jon/soc.bi/ The other resources at this address include mini-biographies of many soc.bi posters, a collection of recipes, poems and an archive of recent articles. +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | SECTION B: ABOUT SOC.BI | +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ This section describes the prevailing "etiquette" approved by consensus on soc.bi. The questions and answers address many issues which regularly cause friction in the group. By reading these before posting, we hope you will be able to avoid some pitfalls by which you may annoy large numbers of soc.bi posters, leading to "flame" traffic; by avoiding these situations, the group can be more positive and constructive for everyone. Pronunciation note: you can pronounce soc.bi how you like, but a recent poll showed that "sock buy" is the most popular form in Europe (closely followed by "sock dot buy"), with "soash buy" well ahead in the rest of the world. B1. Hi, I'm straight. Is it okay if I post here too? You do not need to be bisexual to post here and be welcomed. Indeed, several of the regular posters to soc.bi are straight; some others are lesbian or gay. However, if you are straight and post here then there is no need to mention that you are straight in every single posting. By all means mention your sexuality if it is of relevance to the discussion at hand, but if you feel a need to mention that you are straight every time you post then you should ask yourself why this is so. If you are scared of people thinking that you are bisexual because you post to soc.bi then perhaps you should refrain from posting here, or at least post anonymously. B2. Is it okay if I ask you all a few questions about bisexuality? Please realise that many people who are bisexual (or members of any other oppressed group for that matter) are frequently asked to justify or explain themselves. Some of us who have been asked time and time again what it means to be bisexual have grown very tired of answering such questions. If you are really interesed in bisexuality then why not read the book "Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out" (edited by Loraine Hutchins and Lani Kaahumanu; Alison Publications, Boston 1991. ISBN 1-55583-174-5. $11.95). This excellent book, which contains about 70 or more personal accounts, will probably answer most of your questions; why not read that book first, and then, if you still have a few questions, ask soc.bi for more information. B3. Would you all please help me with this survey on sexuality? People post surveys to soc.bi pretty regularly, so you are not likely to get a very good response. Many of these questionnaires appear to be badly thought out, and of little if any scientific use. So, if it looks like you just want to use our group for your end of term project, or might be from (say) a religious organisation trying to get evidence of promiscuity against us, you are liable to get more flames than completed surveys. If you undertaking a survey for some serious academic purpose, and still want to include soc.bi, you would be well advised to follow these guidelines: - Tell us exactly who you are, where you work, and why you are doing a survey. In particular, what use to you is a self-selected sample? If you have any previous publications to cite, that would go a long way to help. - Say whether the identity of respondents will be kept confidential, and if so, offer convincing arguments that you will keep this promise. You may want to include details of how to reply through an anonymous server. - Since it is often possible to guess at the identity of a respondent from quoted text, if you wish to quote segments of confidential responses in your results, you should obtain permission from the respondent first. - Out of courtesy, please post some form of your results to the group. A note on terminology: many people, including researchers studying sexual identity, seem unclear about vocabulary relating to minority sexual identities. In particular, remember that many bisexual-identified people do not feel included by the terms "lesbian" and "gay". If you intend to inlcude bisexual-identified people, enumerate "bisexual" whenever you enumerate "lesbian" and "gay". Do not use "lesbian and gay" unless you specifically mean "lesbian and gay but NOT bisexual". Moreover, to describe the sex of romantic or sexual partners, use terms like "same sex" and "mixed sex"; AVOID the term "lesbian and gay relationships" if you mean "same sex relationships", if you wish bisexual-identified people to feel included. If, for instance, you say "I am studying gay and lesbian relationships and I want you to participate" many bisexuals will read this as "I'm not willing to take the time and energy to figure out how to phrase this to include you too". B4. "How can I pick up some hot bisexual babes for a threesome?" Don't even THINK about using soc.bi for picking up casual partners. Soc.bi is designed to be a bi-friendly place; it is NOT alt.sex.*, alt.personals.*, soc.penpals or alt.romance, and attempts to use it as such are not welcomed. The group alt.personals.bi may be the most appropriate place for these posts. The newsgroup itself is for public discussion; we specifically ask you to refrain from posting to this newsgroup only to pick up on people, in other words, NO PERSONAL ADS. There are several reasons for this. One is to create a safer space for people to open up about themselves and issues they wish to talk about; including those people who may be made uncomfortable by requests for sex. Another is to lessen tactless offers (especially those including rude, obnoxious, or inappropriately gross language). So, please avail yourself of private e-mail to get to know people better and discuss anything you wish. However, bear in mind that just because a person posts to soc.bi doesn't mean they wish to discuss sex. Assume they don't unless they say they do. If you feel you have received offensive e-mail, regarding threesomes or sex in general (if discussing that is unwelcome) or anything else, you have several options; for instance to ignore it, or to reply stating that the mail is unwelcome, and asking the sender not to e-mail you again. If this fails, you can contact the sysadmin of the sender's system and inform her/him about a user's abuse of usenet news privileges. B5. Is there anything else I should not discuss on soc.bi? While by and large anything goes, any consideration of the "morality" (or even, the existence) of bisexuality is specifically inappropriate, so please, don't do it. That said, we all know that there are biphobic/homophobic bigots out there, who will be here to preach unto us as only they can. For those of you who would like a livable bi-space, please sit on your hands and don't answer them. You'll only be encouraging their favorite form of mental masturbation. Advertisments for commercial services are also inappropriate and should not be posted to soc.bi. In particular, advertisment of for-profit personals services are unwelcome. So not only NO PERSONAL ADS, but NO ADS FOR PERSONALS SERVICES. As with the rest of usenet, any endorsement of commerical services (of any kind) are appropriate only if they are personal recommendations from customers, not advertising by those who would profit. On soc.bi, we find it especially annoying when people use us as a market without participating in the bisexual community. Sometimes new people post on a topic which is a FAQ, wildly off-topic or so regularly raised as to induce boredom, and are then surprised that they don't get any serious responses. The best advice for new readers is to refrain from posting until they have read the newsgroup for a while to develop a feel for what topics are appropriate. B6. Why is crossposting a bad idea? Posting to two or more newsgroups runs a greatly increased risk of starting flame wars. It is not a good idea to start a thread between two newsgroups, or even to follow-up to an existing cross-posted thread, unless you are familiar with both newsgroups and the people involved. If you say something ignorant or offensive, the resulting flames have a wider, more diverse audience, and tend to grow exponentially. A possible exception is posting announcements of general interest to two or more groups. In this case we recommend including the header: "Followup-To: poster" to indicate that comments should be sent to you via e-mail. Be careful to look at and edit your headers so you don't unintentionally spread cross-posts while commenting on other people's messages. B7. Can I post my list of bi wombat fans weekly/monthly? It is recommended that periodic postings to soc.bi satisfy at least one of the two following criteria: - They are directly related to the soc.bi "electronic community". - They are of interest to bisexuals over a wide geographic area. If you have something you want to publicize that does not fit these criteria you might consider whether there is a place for it in some existing periodic posting or online site, such as the Bisexual Resource List, or the Queer Resource Directory (see section A20). B8. I haven't seen any responses to my posting. Are you all ignoring me? In all likelihood, people have read your posting but choose not to respond for any number of different reasons which have nothing to do with wanting to ignore or snub you. Among them could be: - they basically agreed with what you said and did not have anything to add to it, and did not want to waste bandwidth with a "I agree" posting; - they wanted to reply did not have the time to do so; - they decided to reply "sometime after lunch when I have more time" and then, by Murphy's Law, forgot all about it; or - perhaps your posting was one which was seeking advice and they did not feel qualified enough to offer you any, perhaps hoping that someone else might do so instead. B9. Why is soc.bi so argumentative at the moment, why can't it always be nice and fluffy? There is no one single purpose to the soc.bi newsgroup. Some people like the flirtations/fluff (see section B13); others prefer to have serious discussions about sexual politics or perhaps read coming out stories, or even something else still. It can be what we want it to be, and what we make it; if the current tone of soc.bi does not appeal to you then I suggest that instead of complaining about it, YOU post the type of articles which you would like to see here... post fluff, if you want it to be fluffy. If others agree, they will followup some of your postings and pretty soon the balance of articles in the group will have changed to accomodate your needs. Remember, not all bisexuals are fluffy. Liking fluff is no more an inherent part of being bisexual than liking barbecue ripple ice-cream. If we are all tolerant towards each other, there will be room for us all in soc.bi. B10. You flamed a newbie! Shouldn't you be more supportive? Soc.bi is a discussion group, not a support group. This does not mean that people having problems with their sexuality are not welcome on soc.bi, nor that we will not give our opinions or advice about stated problems, usually with a sympathetic ear - after all, in many cases others of us will have experienced similar problems. However, it is important to note the distinction between a support group and a discussion group. In a support group, the primary emphasis is on allowing people to come to terms with their sexuality. In such a case, off-topic conversations are discouraged, while opinions that may be offensive to non- bisexuals may be allowed under the belief that its a crutch in helping the person come to terms with their bisexuality. There's an entire soc.support.* hierarchy where anyone who wants support can find it. In a discussion group like soc.bi, we talk about pretty much anything and everything; soc.bi is a place (and, for some of us, the only place) where we can simply sit down and talk with other bisexuals. Most of us agree that it is dangerous to allow stupidity to go unchallenged, and different people will do this in whatever way suits them, whether that means by constructive criticism or by flaming. The best way to avoid flames is just to remember to practice safe posting; think about what you've written before you send it, and always remember that being bisexual does not exempt you from the problems of homophobia or stupidity. If you appear thoughtful, and willing to listen to other people's opinions, you're likely to be warmly welcomed not flamed. B11. I'd like to post to soc.bi but my newsreader won't let me, is there another way? And can I post anonymously? If your local news server or software won't let you post, and you have a World Wide Web Browser, there are a number of web-based services which let you. A list of these can be found at Google Groups: http://directory.google.com/Top/Computers/Usenet/Web_Based/ It is generally accepted that some people have valid reasons for not posting to soc.bi under their own name; for this reason, anonymous posting is allowed. For further information on anonymous posting to usenet, such as how to use one of the "anonymous remailer" services which can be used to post articles to usenet anonymously, see the "Anonymity on the Internet FAQ" postings in news.answers. B12. What do all these acronyms mean: MOTSS, MOTOS, SO, TOCOTOX, YASBP, HBB, HNG? MOTSS: Member(s) Of The Same Sex. Often loosely used to refer to anyone who is ATTRACTED to members of the same sex. MOTOS: Member(s) Of The Other (or Opposite) Sex. SO: Significant Other. Unrestrictive term which may apply to lover, husband, wife, playpartner, or anyone else of importance to the person concerned. On soc.bi, SO does NOT imply MOTOS or MOTSS. TOCOTOX:TOo COmplicated TO eXplain. A relationship of any type which the person using the term does not wish to go into detail about. YASBP: Yet Another soc.bi Party. HBB: Hot Bi Babe. See section B4. Nothing to do with pencils. Note that on soc.bi, Hot Bi Babe can refer to a person of ANY sex. HNG: Horny Net Geek. The sort of "clueless hetboy" who might be found looking for 2HBB (two hot bi babes). See section B4. B13. What about: muffin, de-muffining, fluff, bidar, obBi, bidiot, BBQ-ripple, nutella, sock-biter? muffin: A person who reads but has never posted to soc.bi. De-muffining means posting to soc.bi for the first time, hence no longer being a muffin. fluff: In this context, fluff is a post (or part of a post) with no serious intellectual content, only friendly greetings. Actions surrounded by asterisks, eg *HUGS* are usually fluffy. bidar: the ability to spot bisexuals just by looking at people (from radar; gaydar is also used) obBi: obligatory Bisexuality. Usually used at the end of an article with no other bisexual relevance, to show that the article really is relevant to soc.bi bidiot: a person who claims to be bisexual in order to be trendy, but who would never consider actually having sex with a MOTSS. BBQ- ripple: Barbecue ripple ice-cream. Opinions are sharply divided on whether it is nice. ObBi: the only people who like it are bisexual. nutella:A chocolate spread, with a hint of hazlenut. Relevant to soc.bi only in that it can be spread on bisexuals instead of bread. Other spreads are available and probably work just as well. sock- biter: Someone who posts to soc.bi (derived from the "sock buy" pronunciation of soc.bi). B14. What do you mean by "monosexual"? Monosexual is a term which can be used to describe any person whose long-term sexual orientation and history indicates an attraction to only one sex; a homosexual or heterosexual, a Kinsey 6 or 0 (see section A19). You should be aware that many individuals object to a term which they feel denegrates or reduces non-bisexual sexualities. On the other hand, others feel that in a discussion where the focus is bisexuality, "monosexual" is useful as a clinical term. Moreover, the concept of a commonality between exclusively heterosexual and exclusively homosexual attraction, as opposed to bisexual attractions, has been useful to some people in the process of coming to terms with their bisexuality - and the word monosexuality embodies that concept. As long as it is remembered that gays and lesbians do not fit into this same coming-out-as-bi process, and that there should be no implied sense of inferiority in the term monosexual, then the word can be considered useful. The point to remember is that just as we, as bisexuals, do not want people to talk down to us, we should not talk down to non-bisexuals. Everyone should be allowed the dignity of owning their own identity and sexuality. Don't persist in calling people by names which they find offensive. Don't offer sweeping generalisations about homosexuals or heterosexuals; and don't base your pride in who and what you are, on the fact that you're "NOT, thank God, someone or something else". B15. What's all this about a cabal? Some people make jokes about a "soc.bi cabal" of people who know each other and make secret decisions about the group. But although some of us have met each other, others haven't, and there really is nothing secret going on. The FAQ contributors would like to categorically deny this. Of course, if we were all in a secret cabal together, we would, wouldn't we - so ultimately you'll just have to make your own mind up. B16. How old is soc.bi? The group was "newgrouped" on the 22nd October, 1991. Its charter, posted in the call for votes, is as follows: Soc.Bi is for the discussion of bisexuality: what it is, what it means to be bisexual, bisexuality and bisexuals as they relate to straight and gay/lesbian culture, etc. Anyone wishing to discuss these issues is invited to take part. As with soc.motss, discussions on whether bisexuality is "right" or "wrong" are emphatically discouraged. The group is unmoderated. Yes, the 10th anniversary is coming up. It's likely to be marked by YASBPs (see section B12) worldwide. +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ | SECTION C: ABOUT THE FAQ | +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ C1. Frequency and purpose This FAQ is posted weekly to soc.bi,news.answers,soc.answers. It is available on the web at http://serf.org/~jon/soc.bi/ It is maintained by Jon Harley, jon@serf.org. Suggestions for additions or improvements are always welcome. Copyright is reserved so that I can withhold permission to reproduce this FAQ on CD-ROM for profit. The aim of this FAQ is not only to reduce traffic (and repetition) on soc.bi, but also to help you get more out of the group. Feedback on how well it does this is also welcome. C2. Contributors These are the people directly involved in developing the FAQ. Although Jon Harley is the editor, much of the text was actually written by the following people. The original version of this FAQ was drafted by Elf Sternberg. The other major contributors were Tim Pierce, Alan Hamilton, Dave Berry, Tom Limoncelli, Albert Lunde, Ciaran McHale and Adam C. Wick. Others who have contributed text are John Flanagan, Beth Linker, Ellen Keyne Seebacher, STella and Omaha Sternberg. Thanks also to Alan Jaffray, Alison Rowan, Brenda Mobley, Craig Dickson, Matt Brown, Peter Flynn, Richard Kennaway and Nyar the Aardvark. +----------------------------------------------------------------------------+ + Copyright (c) Jon Harley 2001. May not be reproduced for profit. + +------------------------------------END-------------------------------------+