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9 of 9: Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving – Preview

Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving”

BiReCon: Selected Proceedings from the 2010 Int’l Bisexual Research Conference

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD, Keynote Speaker
Conclusion: “Getting Bi” in a Very Gaian Way
If bisexuality is an unfinished project, BiReCon and this volume could be the sparkle that reignites.  My contribution gestures toward a way of being bi that is more natural and more artistic too.  As a social construct, “sexuality” seems to dominate whenever love is seen as a need or instinct.  In an erotic context, those same needs register as talents, the raw materials upon which a good education in the arts of love can build.  That’s why in common parlance “bi” is often used, with the suffix “sexual” omitted, as in Robyn Ochs’s Getting Bi.  Bisexuality has secured a place in the LGBTQ acronym, it is even poised to become an equally protected category in the marriage equality disputes at some point in the future.  But its complexity is far from being understood.  More education in the arts of loving is needed, with the special talents bisexuals offer featured prominently in the curriculum.  Only education and access to knowledge can dispel myths, and the good news is that education in the arts of loving is good for the third planet Earth too. 
In the ways of a report on the “war” we humans wage on this gracious hostess, it would appear that Gaia is at the moment not very happy with us.  At the very least, we are a mixed blessing for the “gay” planet.  She must have the impression that we humans are an abusive species that takes the lion’s share and does not respect the environment well enough.  Can we get Gaia to change her mind?  As a portal to a world without the homo/hetero divide, bisexuality allows us to imagine a planet where the erotic energy that makes Gaia alive is not blocked by socially constructed binaries.  This world puts the politics of love center stage because it loves Eros: it is erotophile.  Dominating is a lot of work.  To simply “get bi” is a lot more fun.  Wouldn’t this be a shift in paradigms?  It would open up a future where Gaia is recognized as a “gay” planet.  As a way to bode well for this future, let me anticipate two possible transformative constructs: Organic bisexuality and holistic sexual health. 
Sex educators Kamala Devi and Reid Mihalko advise against judging relationships from longevity (2010).  Quality is what counts.  Organicity.  Relationships, says progressive counselor Daphne Kingma, have a natural way of coming apart, or transmuting, when their developmental task is complete (2000).  In this context, “organic bisexuality” seems a highly sustainable orientation that bodes well for the future.  It can sustain the fluidity of a person’s lifetime as an erotic being.  It can enhance the erotic virtues of bisexual versatility while our species transitions to a culture beyond “sexuality,” where the arts of loving are revered.
As a form of sexual fluidity, organic bisexuality is also part of a more natural way to be amorous and erotically inclusive.  It’s a Gaian way of getting bi, as bisexual advocate and author Robyn Ochs would most likely put it.  This way honors the origins of our species in our four-billion years old ancestors, bacteria, whose orgiastic sex lives allowed life to begin.  The origin of sex is in the symbiosis of bacteria.  Allowing the energy of love to circulate is what infuses matter with life today too.  As we transition to a Gaian paradigm, we learn to honor the gayness of our species.  We choose to love the only planet willing to have us over.  And we become more aware of our bodies as ecosystems.  As a web of life, Gaia is made of symbiotic ecosystems.  Each and every one of us is also one such smaller combination of symbiotic beings.  For example, the friendly bacteria in our digestive tracts are symbionts without which we could not be alive.
Our orgiastic yet completely innocent ancestors have been welcome on our hostess planet for four billion years.  We have been so abusive in our short shrift of about one million years (and the past three millennia in particular), that human-made climate change and other cataclysms could soon turn most of us in homeless climate refugees.  Could this be because we need to be more in tune with sexual fluidity?  Perhaps we should consider learning something from bacteria.  That’s where a holistic notion of sexual health comes in.  As a way to develop the arts of loving that sustain our ecosystems, we need to manifest ecological styles of love that sustain the vitality of the amorous networks where these arts are taught and practiced profusely. 
So my recommendation for the project of bisexuality to sparkle anew is that we would do well to learn from our older progenitors and celebrate their orgiastic fluidity, their bisexual equal opportunism as the cure that will heal our species and end its unwinnable war against our
hostess planet.  Identity seems to be a condition for inclusion, and yet, as a basis for coalition it is tricky.  Women have had the vote for almost a century now in countries that lead the industrial revolution.  And what does the scene of politics look like?  Has love come to a center stage position?  Where identity fails, vision often succeeds. 
In a famous article of 2000, legal scholar Kenji Yoshino lamented the “epistemic contract of bisexual erasure” by which both straights and gays tacitly agree to suppress bisexuality from legal and cultural discourse.  His point is well taken, and unfortunately, he found abundant evidence to prove it.  Yet to be proven wrong is all he wished.  Can we do it?  Ultimately, who stands to gain from constructing bisexuals as the new bête noire of the sexual liberation movement?  And why does such a movement need scapegoats to begin with?  Associating bisexuals with predators, the hypersexed, the unredeemable only helps to fuel the flames of fundamentalist erotophobic leaders and the crowds who follow them, partly out of new forms of ignorance that have arisen from the privatization of knowledge and widespread corruption in the seats of power and the media.  When public education becomes a priority over the war machine, the arts of loving that bis specialize in will be redeemed.  They will be taught in schools! 
When bisexuality breaks the sound wall and opens up that portal to a world without the hetero/homo divide, a scene of world politics without binaries will emerge.  Forces will coalesce to share resources of love more generously and efficiently, and to break down the fears that separate individuals from one another and make them sick and miserable.  As an educator, I’ve had the privilege of doing research and scholarship about bisexuality in the past thirteen years under the aegis of a public institution of higher education, the University of Puerto Rico, with the added bonus of integrating this research into my undergraduate teaching.  The complete academic freedom, or libertad de cátedra, I have experienced is also significant.  I send my wish into the future.  May more knowledge about bisexuality manifest and more research into its complexities, possibilities, and virtues come to fruition. 
Bi portals open vistas on a future where the arts of love redeem our species.  We’re at war against Gaia and cannot win!  Why don’t we try to make peace?  With Robyn Ochs and others a BiReCon I cast my vision for a way of “getting bi” around the globe that is very Gaian indeed. 
May BiReCon be just the beginning! 
 
Works Cited and Consulted
Anderlini-D’Onofrio, Serena.  Gaia and the New Politics of Love: Notes for a Poly Planet.  Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2009.
______  .  “What’s The New Politics of Love that People Wonder About?” In Poly Planet GAIA. Post of July 5, 2010.  http://polyplanet.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-this-new-politics-of-love-that.html.
Barash, David, and Judith Eve Lipton.  The Myth of Monogamy.  New York: Holt 2001.
Ben-Ze’ev, Aaron.  Love Online: Emotions on the Internet.  Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Consiglio, Carlo.  L’amore con più partner.  Rome: Pioda, 2009.

Corrigan, Annie.  “Dan Savage Interview, Part 3: It’s Not Easy Being Non-Monogamous.” Kinsey Confidential, Dec 24, 2010.  http://kinseyconfidential.org/dan-savage-3-non-monogamous/

Devi, Kamala and Reid Mihalko.  Ethics for Non-Monogamous Ninjas.  N.P.: Createspace, 2010.
Diamond, Lisa.  Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire.  Harvard University Press, 2008.
Druckerman, Pamela.  Lust in Translation: Infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee.  New York: Penguin, 2007.
Dworkin, Sari.  “Biracial, Bicultural, Bisexual: Bisexuality and Multiple Identities.”  Journal of Bisexuality: 2: 4 (2002): 93-108.
Fahs, Brianna.  “Compulsory Bisexuality?: The Challenges of Modern Sexual Fluidity.”  Journal of Bisexuality: 9: 3-4 (July-December 2009): 431-450.
Fromm, Erich.  The Art of Loving.  Marion Hausner Pauck tr.  New York: Harper, 2006.  (First published in 1956.)
Gimbutas, Marija.  The Language of the Goddess: Unearthing the Hidden Symbols of Western Civilization.  San Francisco: Thames and Hudson, 1989.
______  .  The Living Goddesses.  Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001.
Kingma, Daphne.  Coming Apart.  Newburyport, MA: Conari Press, 2000.
Klein, Marty.  America’s War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust, and Liberty.  Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 2006.
Hutchins, Loraine, and Lani Kaahumanu eds.  Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out. Boston: Alyson, 1991.
Ince, John.  The Politics of Lust.  New York: Prometheus, 2003.
Lever, Janet, David Kanouse et al.  “Behavioral Patterns and Sexual Identity of Bisexual Males.”  The Journal of Sex Research: 29: 2 (May 1922): 151-167.
Levine, Judith.  Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex.  New York: Thunder Mouth Press, 2003. 
Ley, David J.  Insatiable Wives: Women Who Stray and the Men Who Love Them.  New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2009. 
Lichtenstein, Bronwen.  “Secret Encounter: Black Men, Bisexuality, and AIDS in Alabama.”  Medical Anthropology Quarterly: 14: 3 (September 2000): 374-393. 
Lovelock, James. The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth. New York: Commonwealth Fund, 1988.
______ .  Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth. Oxford University Press, 1979.
______ . Homage to Gaia: The Life of an Independent Scientist. Oxford University Press, 2001.
______  . The Revenge of Gaia: Earth’s Climate in Crisis and the Fate of Humanity.  New York: Basic Books/Allen Lane, 2006.
Margulis, Lynn and Dorion Sagan.  Microcosmos: Four Billion Years of Microbial Evolution.  University of Califronia Press, 1997.
______  .  Mystery Dance: On the Evolution of Human Sexuality.  New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991.
McLelland, Kaye.  “Towards a Bisexual Shakespeare.”  (In this volume.)
Miller, Marshall.  “’Ethically Questionable?’: Popular Media Reports on Bisexual Men and AIDS.”  Journal of Bisexuality: 2: 2 (2002): 93-112.
Ochs, Robyn and Sarah Rowley.  Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World.  Boston: Bisexual Resource Center, 2009.
Ovid.  The Art of Love.  Rolfe Humphries tr.  Indiana University Press, 1957.
Partridge, Burgo.  A History of Orgies.  London: Prion Books, 2002.  (First published in 1958.)
Perry vs. Schwarzenegger.  Finding of Facts and Conclusions of Law.  Filed in the United States District Court, Northern District of California. https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cand/09cv2292/
Queen, Carol.  Bend Over Boyfriend.  San Francisco: Good Vibrations, N.D.
Ripley, Matthew, Eric Anderson et al.  “The Decreasing Significance of Stigma in the Lives of Bisexual Men.”  (In this volume.)
Ryan, Christopher and Cacilda Jetha.  Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality.  New York: Harper, 2010.
Scott, Raymond.  “Addressing Social Invalidation to Promote Well-Being for Multiracial Bisexuals of African Descent” (207-228).  In Becoming Visible: Counseling Bisexuals Across the Lifespan, Beth Firestein ed.  Columbia University Press, 2007. 
Sharp, Mister.  “The Bizarre World of the Bisexual.”   Posted by Dan Savage on YouTube, Dec. 27, 2010.   http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/12/27/the-bizarre-world-of-the-bisexual
Spurlock, Morgan.  Super Size Me.  USA: Heavylight Digital Sony, 2004. 
Stokes, Joseph, David McKirnan et al.  “Sexual Behavior, Condom Use, Disclosure of Sexuality, and Stability of Sexual Orientation in Bisexual Men.  The Journal of Sex Research: 30: 3 (August 1993): 203-213.
Winston, Sheri.  Women’s Anatomy of Sexual Arousal.  Kingston, NY: Mango Garden Press, 2010.
Worth, Heather.  “The Myth of the Bisexual Infector? HIV Risk and Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women.”  Journal of Bisexuality: 3: 2 (2003): 69-88.
Yoshino, Kenji.  “The Epistemic Contract of Bisexual Erasure.”  Stanford Law Review: 52: 2 (Jan 2000): 353-461.

Read the article as it continues to continues to appear in Poly Planet GAIA.  Section will be posted every three or four days.  Become a follower of the blog and be notified every time a new posting appears. 

Acknowledgment: This piece is pre-published here with permission of Routledge, New York, a division of Taylor and Francis.  

BiReCon | 28 BiCon | 10 ICB

Bisexuality Research Conference, 28th Bisexuality Conference, 10th International Conference on Bisexuality, London, UK, August 26-30, 2010


BiReCon Proceedings: A forthcoming issue of The Journal of Bisexuality

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8 of 9: Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving – Preview

Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving”

BiReCon: Selected Proceedings from the 2010 Int’l Bisexual Research Conference

Contribution by Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, Keynote Speaker
Part 2 – Addressing the Audience: Bisexuality and Ecology Today
On the public-sex area of the beach, a group of bisexuals forms and we decide to meet later at the Club Le Look.  It’s a “gay” club we hear.  We feel we’d be more welcome than in other libertine clubs because we’re “gay” too.  It turns out customers are 90 percent gay men.  There is a lot of sexual play in the scene.  In our area, it includes fellatio between males under the table and light play between two bi women above.  The ever inclusive, I observe a young guy at a nearby table, alone.  He seems lonely and I weave him to join.  We all move close to the music and form a bawdy dancing circle.  The public seems quite excited.  The show is interesting.  Someone asks us to stop and we do. 
The following evening I go back to Le Look to meet the group again.  The henchman of the club meets me at the entrance.  He won’t let me in.  He is very upset with me.  He says, in a very angry, Parisian accented French:
“I’ve sent the guy away!”
I ask to get in. 
“You can’t” he says, “unless you give up you ‘het’ ways.” 
I ask for some explanation? 
“This is a GAY club!” he yells.  “Gays don’t’ wiggle their butts in het clubs,” he claims.  “So we don’t want you ‘hets’ to wiggle your butts on ‘our’ terrain!” 
“But we’re bisexuals,” I dare say, “the whole group was having fun together.  We came here because it’s ‘gay’.” 
It’s beside the point, I soon realize.  The guy is simply ignorant of bisexuality.  There’s no awareness of it as a community, an orientation, a style of erotic expression.  The henchman claims gay male customers protested yesterday. 
I move on, passing a straight club next door with female pole dancers.  The atmosphere is very gender binary, commercialized, hyper-sexualized in a consumerist way. 
My friend is just a few steps away.  I wave at him.  We sit at a nearby café, exhausted.  Over a glass of wine, I ask him the million dollar question, “why do you go to Le Look?  Are you gay?”
“I’m bisexual” he replies.  “And single.  At straight clubs there’s an extra charge for single men.  Sixty Euros, versus 10 for a het couple.”
I look at him in the face.  I date bi men, so I’m aware.  “But don’t you get picked up at gay clubs, I mean, by men?” I ask.
“Sometimes I do,” is the reply I get.  “I’m bi but prefer women.”
Later on I notice the very pronounced sensibility of the back of his body I tend to like in bi men, as it reminds me of myself.  I think of Carol Queen, another bisexual pioneer, and her historic video, Bend Over Boyfriend
The young man is French.  He speaks no English.  “What does ‘bi’ mean to him?” I wonder.  “No bi pride, acceptance, visibility?” I reflect.  “We’re in France!  We’re in the summer capital of French libertine culture.  The bi movement has been co-opted in the LGBT movement and has lost its agenda.” I conclude to myself.  “Where is the vision?”  I tell my French friend about my keynote.  He has no awareness of conferences on bisexuality.  He seems almost surprised.  “There’s a reason why this happened.”  “Right.”  “This will be a great story to tell!” we laugh away.  And, yes, that’s of course why it happened–turning my vacation into experimental research!

Read the article as it continues to continues to appear in Poly Planet GAIA.  Section will be posted every three or four days.  Become a follower of the blog and be notified every time a new posting appears. 

Acknowledgment: This piece is pre-published here with permission of Routledge, New York, a division of Taylor and Francis.  

BiReCon | 28 BiCon | 10 ICB

Bisexuality Research Conference, 28th Bisexuality Conference, 10th International Conference on Bisexuality, London, UK, August 26-30, 2010


BiReCon Proceedings: A forthcoming issue of The Journal of Bisexuality

 

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7 of 9: Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving – Preview

Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving”

BiReCon: Selected Proceedings from the 2010 Int’l Bisexual Research Conference

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD, Keynote Speaker
Part 2 – Addressing the Audience:  Bisexuality and Ecology Today, Cont’d
“So, if the project of bisexuality in the late 20th century was to make bisexuality disappear because sex would be reorganized as the art of allowing the circulation of the energy of Eros in Gaia, why does bisexuality often register as a micro-identity today?  The movement formed itself in the shadow of AIDS, when intense new fears of infection and contamination came up.  Eventually those were partly assuaged by safer sex practices.  However, changes in global ecology, including climate instability and the toxic soup that engulfs much of our lives, became more apparent and their effects could be observed in a variety of human health crises.  Why do we perceive bisexuality as a niche within the wider LGBTQ spectrum, and one that is often made invisible, assimilated, collapsed within the wider community where it supposedly belongs?  Defensiveness and fear of contamination still affect the way we approach intimacy.  Has bisexuality imploded upon itself?”
To elaborate on these questions, I proceeded to use some anecdote, for which I offer some context here.  As an experimentalist of the arts of loving, I tend to form constellations of amorous partners who are aware of each other, compatible, complementary, interdependent, and mutually respectful.  Sometimes they also genuinely love each other.  I structure my personal time and vacations around these experiments.  Through books and other forms of study and intellectual expression I put out in the world, I tend to acquire new members in my amorous circles.  In 2009 one new such member appeared, Dr. Carlo Consiglio, a zoologist and retired university professor from my birth city of Rome, who read Gaia and sent me one of his books on inclusive forms of love (2009).  Carlo is a naturist, another passion we share.  He got in action to form a group of like-minded friends to visit the naturist village of Cap d’Agde, in Southwest France, land of the mythical troubadours whose poems spread the virus of courtly love in early modern Europe; land of the Cathars and other free-love heretics. 
Today, Cap d’Agde is a major gathering point for those who love nature, nudity, and sex, with a capacity of 31,000 visitors.  We arrive in mid August, a merry fellowship of four, all from Italy with me the only one fluent in French.  The campground where we stay is for family nudism, like the nearby beach.  It’s populated with pur et dur, Birkenstock style nudists.  One can observe entire multigenerational families in perfect suntans whose skins have never been marked by a bathing-suit line.  No frills or sexy negligés here.  It’s a completely desexualized style of nudism.  Next is the plage des rencontres, a beach famous for its tradition of public sex, including male-female couples, scenes with multiple partners, some BDSM, and clusters of mildly aroused viewers forming around the most interesting action.  Remember, this is France.  All of this is not just tolerated: it’s legitimate, we learn.  In addition, the “family” area of the nude beach, with children and all, and the public-sex area seem to have found a regime of perfect compatibility.  Mutual tolerance and relaxed discretion rule.  To continue the analogy with nutrition, in French families kids are known to learn about wine, be around it, smell it, get a taste of it for initiation at some point.  The idea is that as adults they’ll drink moderately and make tasteful choices.  So it is with sex, it seems.  Naturists gather at Cap d’Agde from many world regions.  Yet people seem to quickly assimilate French wisdom.  Not too far from the non-sexualized nudism of the family campground where we are staying are large apartment complexes that host commercial centers.  This is a much more sexualized area, with people wearing provocative costumes, mild BDSM apparel, full drag, and other imaginative outfits.  It’s studded with Clubs Libertins.  Inside, one finds separés for sexual activity in open view of other customers.  

Read the article as it continues to continues to appear in Poly Planet GAIA.  Section will be posted every three or four days.  Become a follower of the blog and be notified every time a new posting appears. 
Acknowledgment: This piece is pre-published here with permission of Routledge, New York, a division of Taylor and Francis.  

BiReCon | 28 BiCon | 10 ICB

Bisexuality Research Conference, 28th Bisexuality Conference, 10th International Conference on Bisexuality, London, UK, August 26-30, 2010


BiReCon Proceedings: A forthcoming issue of The Journal of Bisexuality

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6 of 9: Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving

Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving”

BiReCon: Selected Proceedings from the 2010 Int’l Bisexual Research Conference

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD, Keynote Speaker

Part 2 – Addressing the Audience: Bisexuality and Ecology Today

As I opened my remarks, my first concern was getting a sense of what people heard when the two main concepts of my talk were mentioned: bisexuality and Gaia.  “Have bi people thought of bisexuality in relation to ecology?” I wondered.  “Do bi people think of sexual expression in relation to global health?”  If I was ever going to find out, this was the right place.  “What does ‘bi’ mean to you?”  I asked, inviting responses related to bi icons in the media, history, community, LGBTQ landscapes, movements, activism, in the past, in relation to physiology, eroticism, and health.  “What does Gaia mean to you?” was my next question, with emphasis on popular culture, science, spirituality, mythology, paganism, art, ecology, and health.  A variety of responses came my way, with a sense that enough people had thought of the two concepts together to make this a valuable occasion for my talk.  I proceeded with caution . . .
“Can we imagine bisexuality as a portal to a future that’s more sustainable in the way we use resources of love?  This is a future without the hetero/homo divide.  Can we see it in our mind’s eye for a minute?  Bisexuality, as a transformative force of society, opens up this portal, and, what do we find on the other side?  We find a world where the energy of love circulates regardless of gender.  Perhaps this is a world where bisexuality is unnecessary, because both homosexuality and heterosexuality have become unnecessary too!  Perhaps this is a world where the whole notion of “sexuality” that organizes love as a need or an instinct has become obsolete, because humanity finally realizes that love is an art.  Love: the art that makes Gaia gay: that makes her alive.”  On this occasion, I shared the insight I get from the Italian language that Gaia actually means “gay.”  “Gaia,” I continued, “is used as both a female first name and the feminine form of the adjective gaio.  It translates as “she who is cheerful, joyful, allegra, gaia, or ‘gay’ in the original sense of the word.  The Earth is green, and blue, and white, even though we humans have been at war with her for several centuries, with our warfare becoming ever so violent and destructive in recent decades.  If Gaia has not turned into a brownish rock like her neighbors Mars and Venus yet, she must be really ‘gay’!  In this case, bisexuality is a path to the actualization of this joyful, playful, shared, pleasurable mode of existence that enables our species to make peace with our hostess planet.” 
In the ways of establishing historical memory in relation to bisexuality and nature, I went back to the beginning stages of the bisexual movement, when bisexuals coalesced to affirm our distinctiveness from, and contributions to, the gay and lesbian liberation movement.  “At that time,” I reminded my audience, “this connection between bisexuality and nature seemed self-evident.”  As a contribution to a bi classic from that age, Bi Any Other Name, Annie Sprinkle, herself a pioneer and an iconic figure of bisexuality, wrote a piece called “Beyond Bisexual.”  There she explains this connection in very broad strokes.  I read from the book:
“I started out as a regular heterosexual woman.  Then I became bisexual.  Now I am beyond bisexual—meaning I am sexual with more than just human beings.  I literally make love with things like waterfalls, winds, rivers, trees, plants, mud, buildings, sidewalks, invisible things, spirits, beings from other planets, the earth, and yes, even animals” (103).
“Today this feminine/feminist leader of bisexuality has morphed into a pioneer of ecosexuality,” I continued.  “Annie and her partner Beth cannot legally marry each other, but they organize a series of performance art ceremonies where they marry a force of nature.  The next three-way wedding is to Gaia’s satellite, the Moon, to be performed in LA on October 23rd.  It will be followed by a HoneyMoon the brides will share with a bunch of ecosexuals in the world’s first symposium on ecosexuality.  ‘Ecosexual’ comes from the personals, Annie and Beth explained at an event Deborah Anapol and I invited them to in San Rafael, California, last July,” I continue.[1]  “‘Heteroflexible,’ ‘homoflexible,’ ‘graysexual,’ ‘pansexual,’ ‘metrosexual,’ ‘genderqueer,’ ‘ecosexual,’ ‘Sapphist’ are some of the buzz-words I hear.  If these are the new adjectives people use to describe how they practice love, the shared subtext is that in the new millennium there is fluidity to sexuality, flexibility around the homo/hetero divide, the desire for a spontaneity that feels natural.  The ‘sexuality’ of the new millennium seems to be ‘beyond’ bisexuality and not quite there yet at the same time.  ‘Beyond’ because all these descriptors have the ‘bi’ word as a subtext; not quite there yet because we humans are still trapped in the notion of sexuality that organizes love as a need or an instinct rather than an art.” 

Read the article as it continues to appear in Poly Planet GAIA.  Section will be posted every three or four days.  Become a follower of the blog and be notified every time a new posting appears. 
Acknowledgment: This piece is pre-published here with permission of Routledge, New York, a division of Taylor and Francis.   

BiReCon | 28 BiCon | 10 ICB

Bisexuality Research Conference, 28th Bisexuality Conference, 10th International Conference on Bisexuality, London, UK, August 26-30, 2010


BiReCon Proceedings: A forthcoming issue of The Journal of Bisexuality


[1] Recorded in the blogosphere, see “What’s The New Politics of Love that People Wonder About?” Posted by Serena Anderlini on July 5, 2010. http://polyplanet.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-this-new-politics-of-love-that.html
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5 of 9: Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving – Preview

Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving”

BiReCon: Selected Proceedings from the 2010 Int’l Bisexual Research Conference

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD, Keynote Speaker

Part 1 – Preamble: Manifesting Bisexuality, Cont’d

Back in the 1980s, for bi activists based in the US, part of the vision for bisexuality was the joy of being “out” as people who were “gay” too.  The idea was that we too had an affinity for the gay planet, and that as “gays,” united, we would affirm that love is the cure–not the diseas–for our species and the web of life that sustains it.  Getting the B in LGBT was an intermediate goal in that long-range vision.  However, when that goal was reached, it seems that something happened to the vision.  BiReCon was a perfect context to reflect on this.  I started pondering questions like, “was there a mixed blessing in the inclusive acronym?”  “Did the overall strategy get hijacked for some reason?”  The question of marriage equality is often seen as cause for some of the hijacking in both poly and bi circles.  However, this is unconfirmed by the latest jurisprudence based on the US Constitution.  According to the Finding of Facts and Conclusions of Law in the case that is likely to repeal Proposition 8 (and hopefully deter any such future initiatives), marriage equality is based on gender equality and one’s right to marry those who inspire one with “tender feelings” (Perry vs. Schwarzenegger 2010: 13, 43).  It looks like marriage equality is poised to become a 14th Amendment issue.  Experts describe sexual orientation as a “relational construct” and speak of three groups for whom equal protection can be invoked, at least as a possibility: “heterosexual, homosexuals, and bisexuals” (71).  “Regulating filiation” is only a secondary purpose of marriage, since older and infertile people are allowed to marry too (13, 41).  In the long range, marriage equality for all “gay” people is likely to transform the institution of marriage in directions that may be very widely inclusive of erotic and amorous diversity.  Yet perhaps there are reasons why this victory seems Pyrrhic.  In the short range, the high priority given to this issue does have an effect on bisexual people.  Posturing for marriage eligibility involves a certain repudiation of non-monogamy, a certain acceptance of normativity.  This posturing has happened while the question of pleasure, and the erotic practices that accrue it in relation to a sense of holistic health and well-being, is still in limbo.  While female bisexuality can easily pass for a harmless divertissement, or, to extend the culinary metaphor, a hors d’oeuvre to whet the palate before the real meal, it seems as if bisexual men, equipped with the “weapon” most often considered vehicle of infection, have been saddled with the stigma of aberrant and predatory behavior.

Here are some examples from current social media.  Dan Savage is a major LGBT columnist based in the US who to his credit believes that non-monogamy can be practiced responsibly.[1]  However, when it comes to bisexuality he conspicuously posts derogatory videos on YouTube, as in “The Bizarre World of the Bisexual,” by one “Mister Sharp.”[2]  Why does Savage get mileage with his followers from doing this?  What’s the point of reiterating the litany that bisexual people don’t make “good relationship material”?  Bisexuals, dear Dan, make excellent relationship material depending on the kinds of relationship systems one wants.  Ask me!  I only date men who are bisexual because as an artist of love I appreciate their enhanced capability to know those who are like them and love them intimately.  What could make better “relationship material” than people with a special, inclusive talent for the art of love?  Cultivating those talents is all one has to do![3]  The reason why relationships come apart more often than we’d like sometimes is that we all live in a regime of serial monogamy.  If amorous inclusiveness was more accepted, those with the capability to expand their love would simply add one member to the family. 

One way to assess webs and flows in socially transformative movements is to look at parallels between movements with affinities for one another.  In the early 1990s, at least in the US, the B in LGBT was a catalyst issue.  Female leadership in the bi movement was undisputed.  The issue of inclusion can be compared to the issue of the vote in the women’s equality movement in the early 20th century.  The vote marked a significant turning point in the countries where suffrage was won around World War I.  And yet, for women in those countries, the vote had the side effect of hijacking other important issues, like equal pay for equal work or equality in the home and bedroom.  For women in other countries, the effects were often even worse.  So for the bisexual movement, the B in the LGBT acronym repositioned bisexuals as part of those capable of envisioning a “gay” future for Gaia.  But it also had the double negative effect of temporarily de-energizing the movement based on the perception that a major advantage had been won, and of positioning bisexuality within a cultural location that was not prepared to honor its complexity or understand it for what it was. 
Before the conference, I thought about the biphobia that’s part of my personal experience as a result of my relatively tucked away location in non-metropolitan Western Puerto Rico.  One small example will suffice.  In this region, I was one of the main energizers of the only secular LGBT community discussion group to have prospered in the past 15 years, West PR Friends.  I educated participants about bisexuality and polyamory profusely.  At the end of two years, only 10 percent of members claimed they’d form a relationship with a bisexual person!  That’s how prejudiced the LGBT world still is.  Fortunately, one such person is all I needed.  And I found her!  But for a long time I believed I should have been in London, Paris, New York, or San Francisco.  Part of my involvement with polyamorous communities is a result of them being hospitable havens for bisexuals, and organized as networks that spread their wings over entire regions rather than being based in a specific city.  The experience of BiReCon and BiCon helped me realize my situation is more typical than I thought it would be.  It would appear that when considering bisexuality on a global scale, what we bi activists of the late 20th century aspired to was a modest victory whose cost was just as high and in some cases higher than the prize won.  As erotophilia expanded in the secular mainstream to include LGBT people, the B did provide some protection for bi people.  However, this very same inclusion made bis more vulnerable scapegoats within gay institutions.  As a cultural space where love can be practiced regardless of gender, bisexuality ultimately encourages love for the person.  It is a piece of the puzzle in the project of affirming the force of love.  Today I am even more persuaded that, as a transformative force, bisexuality cannot exist alone.  It intersects with other amorous variants and options that open up horizons for expression to those interested in genuine, authentic, imaginative, and respectful ways to practice love.

Read the article as it continues to continues to appear in Poly Planet GAIA.  Section will be posted every three or four days.  Become a follower of the blog and be notified every time a new posting appears. 
Acknowledgment: This piece is pre-published here with permission of Routledge, New York, a division of Taylor and Francis.  

BiReCon | 28 BiCon | 10 ICB

Bisexuality Research Conference, 28th Bisexuality Conference, 10th International Conference on Bisexuality, London, UK, August 26-30, 2010


BiReCon Proceedings: A forthcoming issue of The Journal of Bisexuality


[1] See interview by Annie Corrigan, http://kinseyconfidential.org/dan-savage-3-non-monogamous/

[3] This idea of cultivating talent in the arts of loving so as to create complex and fulfilling relationship network systems conducive of creative intelligence and even genius was not lost on people raised in such emotionally sustaining circles.  A good example is Burgo Partridge, raised in the early 20th century in the Bloomsbury literary experimental community, who grew up to be exceptionally knowledgeable in the arts of loving (Partridge 2002).
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4 of 9: Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving – Preview

Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving”


BiReCon: Selected Proceedings from the 2010 Int’l Bisexual Research Conference

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD, Keynote Speaker
Part 1 – Preamble: Manifesting Bisexuality, Cont’d
Attending BiReCon put me in touch with research projects funded by the American Institute of Bisexuality.  AIB has been in action on this count.  Its current emphasis on bi men is a way to put the accent where it’s needed.  I tend to date bisexual men because their potential for love is expanded.  They are more likely to enjoy their own erotic receptivity in the arts of loving and to be more adept in feeling the pleasure of the other.  For me that’s the mark of an artist.  I was overjoyed to see my hunch confirmed by research on bi men’s brain function.  Apparently, when given a chance to feel comfortable with their amorous practices, bi men are every bit as healthy, happy, and sound as anybody else.  The only difference is a plus: When it comes to bi men, we find erotophilia in abundance![1] 
 
I also know of course how difficult it is for bi men to be out in their professional lives and as public figures.  Most men tend to rely on their own income for social status and self-definition.  More erotophobic stigma accrues on men based on the myth that women’s sexual capacity is inferior.[2]  Poverty and the economic crisis round up the picture, with special effects on bi men in poor countries and minority groups.[3]  I would have liked to see more of the work of Lisa Diamond on female sexual fluidity and the combination of heritable and circumstantial factors that result in one’s sexual behavior and amorous practices.  Yet, by Diamond’s own admission, that of some of the women she surveyed in the longitudinal study, and from other research accounts, in our time, bisexuality in women is not as publicly stigmatized as it is in men (2008 passim, and Fahs, 2009).  The need to design separate research projects for men and women seemed a result of the different situations faced by the two groups.  Hopefully, AIB will soon develop a parallel research focus on bi women.  Given the high incidence of transgender people in bi communities, it might be wise at some point to design research projects also for this group.  Meanwhile, of course, research in the arts that extol the virtues of bisexual Eros is good too.  At BiReCon 2010, the emphasis on bi men helped to focus on the most deeply seated fears in the way of imagining a world beyond the homo/hetero divide.  Proactive research presented therein shows that, where secular values prevail, young men are less affected by the bi stigma (Ripley and Anderson, in this volume).  Once we wade through these fears, the magic and fun of being bi begins to appear.  Could sexuality be nothing but the sum total of the arts of loving in all their imaginative creativity?
The conference connected me with multiple new aspects of bisexuality in relation to activism, community, and research; aspects I could not have considered so well outside of the context the conference offered.  I refer to the combination of social, local, political, theoretical, global, and intergenerational energies and dynamics brought together by the location, the combination of national, international, and research-focused events, the venue, and the teams of organizers, participants, and presenters.  As that connection became more articulate, I became aware of how utopian, perhaps dystopian, and in any event unrealistic, my original intention was, at least in an immediate range and on a planetary horizon.  As a participant, I was privileged to brush against a whole new generation of bisexuals who grew up while people in my age group were struggling with the early impact of AIDS on sex-positive cultures.  Delegates came from many different countries and world regions.  Bisexuality coexists with homosexuality in all these areas.  However, in some cultures, homosexuality is illegal as in India; or worse, it is relentlessly persecuted, as in Uganda.  In other cultures, a fast forward movement has made strides toward equality for gays and lesbians, as in Spain and the cluster of Latin American countries affiliated with the Iberian peninsula by language and colonial legacy.  Obviously, regimes of coexistence vary with different versions of the homo/hetero divide.  Picking up the aural energies in the context of these discussions opened up my ears.  I became present to the malaise, obstacles, difficulties in the way of reaching out for that portal. 

Read the article as it continues to continues to appear in Poly Planet GAIA.  Section will be posted every three or four days.  Become a follower of the blog and be notified every time a new posting appears. 
Acknowledgment: This piece is pre-published here with permission of Routledge, New York, a division of Taylor and Francis.  

BiReCon | 28 BiCon | 10 ICB

Bisexuality Research Conference, 28th Bisexuality Conference, 10th International Conference on Bisexuality, London, UK, August 26-30, 2010


BiReCon Proceedings: A forthcoming issue of The Journal of Bisexuality


[1] This point was made in the presentation by John Sylla, from work in progress that did not make it in this volume. 
[2] Sources on women’s sexual capacity and its expanded multiplicity include Winston 2010, Ley 2009, and Ryan and Jetha 2010. 
[3] My main source is Scott (2007), another useful source is Dworkin (2002).
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3 of 9: Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving – Preview

Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving”

BiReCon: Selected Proceedings from the 2010 Int’l Bisexual Research Conference

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD, Keynote Speaker

Pert 1 – Preamble: Manifesting Bisexuality, Cont’d
The idea of a portal is useful to allude to the socially transformative potential of a certain subcultural group or community.  In my view, bisexuality is strong with this potential when it comes in conjunction with other healthy, fun, cheerful styles of erotic expression that enhance imaginativeness and creativity.  In many ways the conference confirmed this for me.  The Renaissance festive tradition was mentioned in relation to bisexual readings of Shakespeare.[1]  Styles of erotic expression one could observe at BiCon included cross-dressing, gothic, naturism, gender-queer, polyamory, mild BDSM, and others.  Research presented alluded to the need to define styles of love beyond merely functional sexual activity, especially among young people.[2]  In these and many other similar contexts bisexuality is liberating because it makes erotic expression more artistic. 
When I claim that love is an art, I don’t mean to deny its other aspects.[3]  Of course love is a need and an instinct.  In that respect, like sex, it is also an appetite and a drive.  The problem is with a culture that considers it primarily as such.  What I propose is infusing new value in love’s artistic quality.  As a bona-fide Italian, it behooves me to compare appetites.  Another well-known human instinct is hunger.  Food is what notoriously satisfies it.  In relation to this appetite, I’d like to call attention to the fact that most people appreciate the art of satisfying one’s hunger in ways that are healthy, sophisticated, diverse, creative, artistic, and respectful of one’s inclinations.  We ask for menus when we eat out.  When cooking is good, we consider it an art.  We call it cuisine!  More to the point, we tend to respect various styles of eating, including gourmet, country, nouvelle cuisine, fusion, ethnic, healthy, macrobiotic, vegetarian, vegan, locavore (for locally grown foods), and many others.  We value sampling various styles and combining them to meet the pleasure and health needs of those involved.  As an advocate of bisexuality, let me offer here the following food for thought.  If we only did the same with the arts of loving, the result would be a society where Eros, the force of love, is considered amicable.  It would be a society where erotophilia is abundant, erotophobia scarce.[4]  It would be, in short, a more loving, fun, and healthier society. 
By comparison, one can easily get a measure of the damage incurred when the artistic aspect of love is neglected.  Let’s pretend for a moment to apply to hunger the same monosexual, monogamous rules currently in use for sexuality.  What if “experts” about that particular appetite prescribed the same food, cooked in the same style, every time one eats, “until death does one part” from life?  How healthy, how loving, would that prescription be?  And, would anybody even mind “parting”?  Yet, when exclusivity is expected of sexual partners in both gender and number, that’s exactly what’s being asked!  Take “fast food” for example.  The “fast food” industry can be described as a response to hunger notoriously devoid of art.  Fast food tends to encourage what may be termed “monovore” behavior because it is purely functional.  Its dangers to the health and happiness of anyone have been recently documented in Super Size Me, a testimonial film about how one can gain 25 pounds in a month from an exclusive diet of Big Macs, plus various conditions leading to obesity, depression, and heart attacks.  Let me propose for a moment that exclusivity in the practice of love could be just as damaging.  If we can entertain that hypothesis, there is a big role to play for bisexuality.  As a portal to a world beyond the homo/hetero divide, bisexuality can produce a culture that breaks away from gender binaries and welcomes erotic love again as a positive energy in human life. 
The challenge is proving this in the current erotophobic cultural climate.  A quick survey of the kind of research on bisexuality that has taken hold in academe in the AIDS era shows that male bisexuality appears mainly in relation to some impending danger, and often in the context of staving off criminalizing attitudes in the medical and other service professions.[5]  Despite good intentions, the results are dubious.  They seem to perpetuate prevailing myths.  One title sounds especially lurid “Secret Encounters: Black Men, Bisexuality, and AIDS in Alabama” (Lichtenstein 1993).  The Journal of Bisexuality has countervailed this, but have its voices been heard outside of bi circles?[6]  Academe tends to provide a secular counterpoint to illiberal impulses from less culturally aware sectors of society, in a mainstream that can be easily manipulated through the media.  A bevy of more current sources on sex-positive cultures is now available from respected scholars who, by their own admission, appreciate these cultures.  They concur in indicating that early third-millennium societies are deeply divided about what sex is, what should be known about it, who should have it, where, when, and with whom.[7]  The rift seems to be between circles where secular values prevail, and social groups organized around institutionalized styles of religion where fundamentalist fears have had their way. 
Secular people today are much more familiar with styles of erotic expression beyond heteronormativity than when I was a kid, in the early 1960s.  In many secular communities, erotophilia has expanded to embrace gay, lesbian, bi, trans, poly, pan, omni, gothic, BDSM, metro, eco, and many other labels people use to describe their styles of sexual expression.  Free form spirituality, tantra, naturism, paganism, and swinging are also fairly erotophilic.  However, erotophobia has also become extreme (Klein 2006).  While in secular circles the AIDS crisis has promoted more awareness of sexual diversity, the same crisis has been manipulated by conservative political forces to wage what civil rights activist Marty Klein calls a full-fledged “war on sex” (Klein 2006).  Can this war be won?  Not as long as “Eros,” the energy of love, is what makes our hostess planet Gaia alive.  Yet the rift is serious and bisexuality seems to fall through the cracks.  When bisexuality becomes the location of aberrant desire in both mainstream public discourse and LGBT institutions, the artistic quality of love becomes invisible and the homo/hetero divide reigns supreme.  If proactive research can undo this positioning, we can get a sense of how practicing love beyond gender can promote health in human communities.  With renewed attention to the artistic quality of love, a holistic notion of sexual health can be articulated too.


[1] McLelland, in this volume.
[2] Ripley, and Anderson, in this volume. 
[3] The idea that love is an art is not new.  My main sources are Ovid (1957), from antiquity, and Fromm (1956), from the Frankfurt School.  It’s a subtext in many other works too.  The good thing about this idea is that it implies that love can be taught and one’s talents make one a good student. 
[4] My main source on erotophobia is Ince, 2003.  Erotophilia was discussed at the conference in relation to in-progress AIB research.  The word comes from Eros, the name of the Greek god of love. 
[5] Examples include Lever and Kanouse 1992, Lichtenstein 2000, Stokes and McKirnan 1993. 
[6] My main sources are Worth (2003) and Miller (2002).
[7] My sources on this rift include Druckerman 2007, Ley 2009, Barash and Lipton 2001, Ince 2003, and Levine 2003.
Read the article as it continues to appear in Poly Planet GAIA.  Section will be posted every three or four days.  Become a follower of the blog and be notified every time a new posting appears. 
Acknowledgment: This piece is pre-published here with permission of Routledge, New York, a division of Taylor and Francis.   


BiReCon | 28 BiCon | 10 ICB

Bisexuality Research Conference, 28th Bisexuality Conference, 10th International Conference on Bisexuality, London, UK, August 26-30, 2010


BiReCon Proceedings: A forthcoming issue of The Journal of Bisexuality

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2 of 9: Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving

Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving”

BiReCon: Selected Proceedings from the 2010 Int’l Bisexual Research Conference

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD, Keynote Speaker
Part 1 – Preamble: Manifesting Bisexuality
It was a pleasure and a privilege to be invited to give a keynote address at BiReCon.  As a scholar of bisexuality who comes from the arts and humanities, and as an author who, admittedly, lives her life as an experiment in traversing sexual cultures, I had been waiting for this conference to happen.  I had been wishing and rooting for it.  I had been wondering what was keeping it from happening–was anything wrong in the Bi movement?  When the invitation came I was overjoyed.  It took me a while to secure travel funds and confirm acceptance.  Thanks to Meg Barker, Christina Richards, Regina Reinhardt and others at the American Institute of Bisexuality for making that trip possible.  I prepared to speak of bisexuality as a portal to a world where Eros, the energy of love, is recognized as the force that makes Gaia, the third planet, alive.[1]  My summer plans got organized around the BiReCon/BiCon appointment in London, UK, beginning August 26th, 2010.
As I said, my intention in giving the address was that of presenting bisexuality as a portal to a world of amorous sensibilities beyond the homo/hetero divide.  I consider sexuality the cultural construct of Western modernity that organizes love as a need or an instinct.  I find this to be reductionist.  Love is of course a need and an instinct.  But it’s also, and perhaps most importantly at this time, an art.  The art of loving is what makes all styles of amorous expression fun, playful, and amusing, including hugging, cuddling, spooning, playing with toys, leather and Jacuzzis, gender-bending, sporting sexy outfits, swinging, threesomes, tantric breathing, and a bunch of other activities that are consensual, inventive, spontaneous, romantic, exciting, intimate, and humorous.  These activities keep artists of love in balance with the amorous communities in which they participate.  The art of loving, in my view, is inspired by the energy of Eros that infuses Gaia with life.  Hence my title: “Gaia and the New Politics of Love: Notes for a BI Planet,” which almost coincides with the title of my latest book.  Gaia, for the web of life that sustains our species on the third planet; the New Politics of Love, that places love, the source of life, at the new center of the political stage; all of which bodes well for a Planet that’s getting BI, with useful Notes provided toward that process. 
According to Gaia science, the web of life that sustains our species on the third planet is interconnected.  Our first ancestors, bacteria, are four billion years old.  They have sex with their neighbors to rejuvenate themselves–regardless of gender or reproduction—and to exchange genes.  As artists of love, their behavior is—to say the least—orgiastic.  Yet it has been evolutionarily rewarded!  We humans, the “new kids on the block” among earthly species, have been at war with Gaia now for quite a while–which has resulted in climate change and other assorted environmental disasters.  We could be extinct tomorrow while bacteria are still around.[2]  Why?  There is one simple explanation: Unlike humans, bacteria, our most resilient ancestors, allow the energy of Eros to circulate among them free of needless fears.  Gaia is blue, and green, and white.  It teems with life.  Without our ancestors, it would be as brownish as its neighbors Mars and Venus: A rock where nothing moves.  Given this scientific perspective, there is no reason why human bisexuality should not be the most natural, the healthiest thing on the planet. 

So the idea of a portal seemed fine.  It would open new horizons.  It would resonate with the work of Robyn Ochs, another keynote speaker, whose book, Getting Bi, registers voices of bi people across the planet.  Yet it felt a bit off and perhaps not quite in tune with what was out there in the melee of early third-millennium bisexual life.  After all, I came out in the early 1990s, I’ve organized my personal and professional life largely around bisexuality, and I’ve had plenty of time to select extraneous influxes out of it.  Attendance in BiReCon and BiCon combined provided a unique standpoint to get the pulse of where bisexuality is at in a variety of geo-cultural locations and from the multiple perspectives of research, scholarship, theory, creative expression, advocacy, and community building.  (For insights on those dynamics I refer readers to “BiReCon,” in this volume, a contribution by the organizers.)  The context was perfect for producing knowledge in action.  At the time of this writing, I’ve had a chance to reflect on my own keynote remarks, on the experience of participating in the two events combined, and the process of creating the present volume from contributions thereof.  I choose this as an opportunity to offer the wisdom of what I learned in the process, along with a written elaboration of my keynote remarks.


[1] Gaia is the ancient Greek name for the Earth/fertility goddess central to the matrifocal civilizations of the Neolithic (Gimbutas 1989, 2001).  Thanks to James Lovelock and Gore Vidal, it is now also used in science (1979, 1988). 
[2] My sources in Gaia science are Margulis and Sagan, 1991 and 1997.  Their work as a team shines a significant light on the connections between sexuality, symbiosis, and the evolution of life from bacteria to humans.  It falls within the aegis of Gaia theory, respected yet still controversial in many scientific circles.  I also refer to my own work (2009), and to Lovelock’s classics (1979, 1988, 2001, 2006).

  

Read the article as it continues to appear in Poly Planet GAIA.  Section will be posted every three or four days.  Become a follower of the blog and be notified every time a new posting appears. 
Acknowledgment: This piece is pre-published here with permission of Routledge, New York, a division of Taylor and Francis.   

BiReCon | 28 BiCon | 10 ICB

Bisexuality Research Conference, 28th Bisexuality Conference, 10th International Conference on Bisexuality, London, UK, August 26-30, 2010


BiReCon Proceedings: A forthcoming issue of The Journal of Bisexuality

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1 of 9: Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving

Bisexuality, Gaia, Eros: Portals to the Arts of Loving”

BiReCon: Selected Proceedings from the 2010 Int’l Bisexual Research Conference

Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD, Keynote Speaker
Abstract
This article presents bisexuality as a portal to the arts of loving where Eros, the energy of love, is recognized as what makes Gaia, the third planet Earth, alive.  It is a reflection on the author’s experience as a keynote speaker at BiReCon, and as a participant in both BiReCon and BiCon.[1]  The article is organized into three sections.  The “Preamble” muses about how bisexuality manifests today, the current status of the bisexual movement, and how bisexuals (bis) are positioned within LGBT communities, their institutions, and in mainstream society.  In this first section the author reflects upon her experience at the events.  “Addressing the Audience” is a rendition of her actual keynote address.  This second section focuses on why it’s key at this time to see bisexuality as a portal to a world that is more eco-friendly and erotophile.  By way of Annie Sprinkle’s evolving work, the section establishes continuity between bisexuality and ecosexuality.  The author also uses her own experience of bisexual erasure at the French libertine resort of Cap d’Agde in order to encourage more research and education about bisexuality and the multiple contexts where it manifests.  The address also invites readers to imagine the world behind this portal, where a paradigm shift has already occurred.  Love is considered an art, Gaia is recognized as the “gay” planet, the homo/hetero divide has disappeared, and the energy of Eros circulates beyond socially constructed binaries.  The third section or “Conclusion” suggests ways to initiate this shift by considering “organic bisexuality” and “holistic sexual health.” 
Keywords
Eros, Gaia, bisexuality, ecosexuality, erotophilia, gay planet, art of love, Annie Sprinkle, Cap d’Agde, bisexual men and women, organic bisexuality, holistic sexual health
Read the article as it appears in Poly Planet GAIA.  Section will be posted every three or four days.  Become a follower of the blog and be notified every time a new posting appears. 

Acknowledgement: This piece is pre-published here with permission of Routledge, New York, a division of Taylor and Francis.   

BiReCon | 28 BiCon | 10 ICB

Bisexuality Research Conference, 28th Bisexuality Conference, 10th International Conference on Bisexuality, London, UK, August 26-30, 2010


BiReCon Proceedings: A forthcoming issue of The Journal of Bisexuality


[1] BiReCon: Bisexuality Research Conference, BiCon: Bisexuality Conference: 10 ICB: Tenth International Conference about Bisexuality.  These three events took place at the University of East London, Dockland Campus, on August 26-30, 2010, in a coordinated, almost simultaneous way, with BiReCon on opening day, the 26th.  
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