March 3rd, 2005
One of the most controversial things about Kinsey was his willingness to accept and explore his bisexuality – something the movie embraces wholeheartedly.
Sadly many people used Kinsey’s sexuality as a means to discredit him personally and as a scientist. He remains revolutionary for thinking about sexuality in a way that still seems fresh and modern today.
Rather than seeing sex as divided into definite categories, Kinsey saw sexuality as being part of a continuum, ranging from being entirely straight through to entirely gay.
Have a go yourself. Here’s the scale – where do you fit in?
Describe the number that best matches the statement that describes your sexual experience…
· 0 Exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual experience
· 1 Predominantly heterosexual, some homosexual experience
· 2 Predominantly heterosexual, but considerable homosexual experience
· 3 Equally heterosexual and homosexual
· 4 Predominantly homosexual, but considerable heterosexual experience
· 5 Predominantly homosexual, but some heterosexual
· 6 Exclusively homosexual, with no heterosexual experience
This scale is still used in sex research, and I’ve used it in several studies myself. It can also be used in more than one way. You can either use it to describe the experiences you’ve had (as above), or to identify your sexual desires (what you fantasise about, or might like to try sexually).
Have another try, using the scale above describe the number that best matches the statement that describes your sexual desires.
Often there are differences between desires and experiences, and people may be gay but have heterosexual fantasies, or be straight but get off on thinking about a bisexual encounter.
For many years bisexuals were dismissed by straight and gay people alike for not opting for one or the other sexuality. Now we understand bisexuality as a sexuality in itself.
Many people wrongly assume bisexual means you have to be involved with both men and women at the same time, or bisexuals are promiscuous, or into open relationships. Some bisexuals have relationships with men or women sometimes being with a female partner, sometimes a male. Others are in a relationship with a woman or man but fantasise about sex with other genders, whilst some have multiple sexual partners – male or female.
If you want to know more about bisexuality check out Tom Robinson’s excellent web project on bisexuality
Update September 2012
Now you can wear your Kinsey Scale Score with pride! Buy the t-shirt here.
You may also be interested in a UK report on the needs and experiences of bi people (The Bisexuality Report) or learn more about BiUK – a network for research and activism.