Bisexuality and the Eroticism of Everyday Life by Marjorie Garber

By Marjorie Garber

"Bisexuality is set 3 centuries past due . . . however, the following it really is: a realized, witty research of the way our curious tradition has controlled to get every little thing mistaken approximately sex."
-Gore Vidal

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An appliance that works on both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) sounds handy, to say the least. Here's what Brewer's Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Phrase and Fable says about it: "[Tlhe expression originated in America by analogy with electrical devices adaptable for either alternating or direct current. " Brewer's thinks this term may be related to "the sexual imagery of electricity" in the "tradition of 'male' and 'female' " ~ it in anywhere, and it works. connectors in ~ i r i n g .

Switch-hitters, I remember from my days as a Mickey Mantle fan, were as often made as born. To learn to "swing both ways" meant practice and discipline, not just natural talent. Certainly there was nothing suspect about them; they represented a double strength because they maximized their own potential as athletes and strategists. You wanted switch-hitters in your lineup even if by swinging from one side rather than the other the hitter sacrificed a little raw power for artifice and skill. ' " 4 The newsletter of the Boston Bisexual Women's Network included a list of "Famous Switch-Hitters" (culled, interestingly, from a published book of Lesbian Lists5)that included Lady Emma Hamilton ("the BI W A Y S : C U L T U R E , POLITICS, HlSTORY mistress of both Queen Maria Caroline of Naples and Admiral Nelson"), Natasha Rambova ("wife of silent-screen heartthrob Rudolph Valentino, and sometime lover of [director]Alla Nazimova"), and Edith Lees Ellis, the wife of Havelock Ellis.

And some time ago another study proposed a Multidimensional Scale of Sexuality that measures, among other things, people who have switched from hetero- to homosexuality or vice versa, and bisexuals who have encounters with both sexes at the same time or who alternate periods of attraction to men with periods of attraction to women. Terms like "sequential" versus "concurrent" bisexuality are probably helphl additions to a language that is still struggling with linear sequence. There are also taxonomies of bisexuality itself.

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