Sex! Now I have your attention, read this post. Which is about sex.

I’ve been thinking lately (first time for everything) and I’ve decided that the way we categorise human sexuality is idiotically heavy handed. Imagine if we treated race in the same way:

… then refused to acknowledge that option C is a valid choice and actually, the 4 billion people who fall into this category are just a bit confused and/or wearing fake tan in an attempt to be cool. And while it would be considered crass to lump all human beings into just three racial categories, society still forces people to choose from an equally narrow, arbitrary range of sexual identities, with ‘option c’ = bisexuality.

I’d like to share my theory on human sexuality. It’s based on some ideas I had when drunk (although I use the term ‘ideas’ loosely).

I identify as a lesbian. However, I’ve never even been to Lesbos (although I believe it’s lovely at this time of year) and furthermore, I have a crush on David Tennant and would happily ‘go straight’ for Johnny Depp. But only if he’s dressed as a pirate.

My theory (which I’m sure is correct, I checked by asking other people who were drunk and they nodded) is that human sexuality exists on a sliding scale. Very few people are 100% straight. But they exist. Very few people are 100% gay, but, again, they exist. And are almost certainly Graham Norton.

I would say I am 97% lady oriented, and 3% Tennant-and-pirate oriented. I propose a new category for fellow 97%ers: ribenaberet.

“Are you a lesbian?”
“No. I’ve never even been to Lesbos. I’m a ribenaberet.”
“Oh, right. You’re attracted to women and, to a much lesser extent, fictional male time lords and pirates.”

I suppose you could argue that there’s already a category for that: ‘bicurious’ (or Tennantcurious, rather) but as terms go, this is surely almost meaningless given it no doubt encompasses a vast swathe of the population and doesn’t take into account those people who aren’t curious anymore because they’ve tried it and quite liked it but don’t do it very often (like drinking absinthe or watching daytime TV).

My friend mainly sleeps with men, and assures me she’s 65% manliking and 35% ladyliking. I call this category Bernice Von Crumplesnatch*, in her honour.

Now, is Bernice a bisexual? Yes, of course she is, according to the current way of categorising human sexuality. But I think the majority of people are, if not Bernicesexual, at least Bobsexual (one of the pub-goers who reckoned he was about 10% non-straight).

And all under the nose of a blissfully unaware, 100%-attracted-to-a-different-gender minority who endlessly harp on about horrible dirty gays, secure in their heterosexual castles (made from a jelly of lies and self-deception, wobbling precariously atop a mountain of illusion).

In fact, I strongly suspect Jan Moir whiles away the hours between homophobic Daily Mail columns by fantasising about Xena: Warrior Princess, and watching that episode where she goes mad and takes all her clothes off.

If society would admit this fluidity exists, there would be no need for any of us to ‘identify’ as anything. People would stop assuming my partner is a man and equally I could casually mention that I was with a woman without them making assumptions about me.

But at the very least, stop saying that bisexuality is a myth and fixing the full and amazing range of human sexual interests into such tiny, restrictive and reductive categories. If everyone who had even 10% of same-sex-interest could ‘come out’ as bisexual without being told they’re ‘kidding themselves’ then the LGBT rights movement could potentially win all of its battles by sheer weight of numbers alone.

“We’re here, we’re all at least 10% queer, there are 4 billion of us. So get used to it. And let us adopt children.”

*some names may have been changed (for comic effect, rather than to protect anyone’s identity).


About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at

8 Responses to Sex! Now I have your attention, read this post. Which is about sex.

  1. Billy says:

    The Kinsey scale goes from 1-6 and I believe ranges from “totally girls” or “totally boys”, but only takes into account what you’ve done, not what you’d like to do.

    Yours are better.

    • ladyribenaberet says:

      Ah yes. I forgot about the Kinsey scale. Hmm, well, perhaps we should call my version a ‘Kinsey scale for the complexities of the internet-using generation’. Or Kinsey 2.0, if you will…

  2. lemiffe says:

    No, I do not believe in option C. I believe that if you believe you are both, you should be able to tick BOTH boxes. If you believe to be asexual (and can physically prove it) then you should tick NEITHER box. That is the solution.

  3. Mads says:

    I demand more boxes!

  4. Reluctant Blogger says:

    I hate boxes. I never seem to fit in any of them, particularly in the summer when I have been out in the sun a bit.

    I get very cross on occasion about the whole sexuality thing. I never feel I fit into any of the little clans that exist. Lesbians disown me and label me a Hasbian because I gave up women and stuck to men for a few years when my biological clock started nagging me to have children, and straight people don’t know what to make of me either.

    In my (limited) experience there is a lot of fluidity about. Many of the women I have dated have been essentially heterosexual but easily tempted to have a bit of a fling and then some of them stick with women and some don’t. After I split up with the father of my sons I was pretty sure I would never sleep with men again but actually, whilst I am now with a woman and largely am only drawn to them I do have a bit of a thing about a bloke at the moment (a real one not a Time Lord) and I have ALWAYS had a thing about Martin Shaw and he’s not terribly feminine.

    But it is a pity that we do feel the need to categorise ourselves. I’m sure more people would have better sex lives and relationships if they could follow their hearts a bit more and choose a person rather than a gender.

    Oops – sorry that was almost as long as your post! I’m going now . . .

  5. bibaby says:

    just subscribing

  6. Lab Rat says:

    “Tennantcurious” LOL love it :p

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