The Bisexuals front cover

The Bisexuals front cover

by George Bishop
Published in 1964 by Century Books

As I read The Bisexuals my depraved thoughts returned obsessively to one thing: typesetting. Why typesetting? Because The Bisexuals is so riddled with typesetting errors that I sometimes wished for a “Rosetta Stone” to help decipher it.

I debated rearranging this review so that it would be as poorly presented as some passages in the book. But since I’m the only one who would get the joke and no one else would realize the errors were intentional, I decided to spare everyone the torment that I suffered through in trying to decipher this book – there are limits to my sadistic streak.

Were this book printed overseas, I could have excused the typesetter on the theory that English wasn’t his native language. Unfortunately, in what is likely the only valid claim in the whole book, the title page says that the book was printed in the USA – shooting in the foot the notion that Americans used to take pride in their work.

Claiming to be “actual sex case histories collected by … the Western Adult Institute in its nationwide study on Sexual Incompatibility,” The Bisexuals crudely attempts to trace bisexuality through time and apply a “scientific” psychoanalytic approach to bisexual “deviation.” But beware, this book is to scientific inquiry what alchemy is to chemistry.

Still, there are a few good things about this book that kept me reading. For one, the prose flows easily and provides the requisite amount of salacious detail.

The chapter devoted to the Succubus was particularly interesting. Whether the tale of Carmen d’Angelo is historically true, I don’t know (a fast internet search turned up nothing), but the image of a repressed young man taking refuge in a cave and tying a leather thong to his cock to keep his sexual urges at bay was quite an entertaining yarn either way. Also interesting is the crime spree of Marcel Bonaventure (again, searching the internet turned up nothing). This passage proved un-arousing, but interesting all the same.

My favorite passage in the book is this quote credited to E. Burns Clarke (another likely fictitious source):

“An extreme form of this perversion (bisexuality) Burns Clarke continues, “is found when the woman watches a man have sexual intercourse with another woman and then, immediately following the orgasm, rushes to orally embrace his partially erect member, thus, in effect, performing the lesbian and heterosexual functions simultaneously by vicariously making love to the woman as well…”

How this man anticipated my fantasies several years before I was born, I don’t know. That he characterizes them as “an extreme form of this perversion” only serves to warm my little twisted heart.

Other highlights (or lowlights depending on your perspective) include bestiality, finger fetishism, and others.

Even though this book suffered from its poor printing quality and is an obvious work of fiction, I still enjoyed it and you may too.