Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Common myths about bisexuality



As anyone who knows or follows me will know, being bi is something I take great pride in and that’s because it took me a long time to reach that point. I was in denial about being attracted to girls until I was 18 and when I was in my first relationship with a girl that same year, I told myself I was gay.


One of the reasons for this was because I had a lot of issues with the bisexuality label. In my head, bisexual people were greedy and attention seeking and couldn’t pick a side and I didn’t want to be a part of that. Basically – I had a whole lot of internalised biphobia.

When I broke up with my girlfriend during uni, I realised that I maybe did want to date boys too. This was confusing enough for me, and then I had to deal with the reactions of everyone around me who thought I was gay. So that was a fun time. Not.

I’m so comfortable with my sexuality now that sometimes I forget that other people’s idea of what being bi means is still being formed through outdated stereotypes.

I was so excited when E!’s The Bi Life came out – a dating show following bi people – only to see almost all of the daters facing the same stereotypes I naively thought weren’t really an issue anymore.

One particular highlight of the show was when a girl went on a date with a straight guy, came out to him and was instantly told that it was fine because he was really open-minded and would be SO up for a threesome… with two girls of course. Surprise, surprise.

It was a harsh reminder that there are still many people who don’t take it seriously and misunderstand what it means.

Obviously all bisexual people are different and I can only speak from my own experiences, but here are some of the most common myths I’ve heard and why they’re not true:



It means attraction to two genders 

A lot of people think bisexuality means an attraction to men and women and for some people this is true but as a general rule, most people define bisexuality as an attraction to two OR MORE genders. Wait… there are more than two genders? Yes! The way we define gender (which isn’t the same as biological sex) is socially constructed and many people exist outside of the binary definitions.



Being bi means you're equally attracted to men and women

The 50/50 weighting (if we talk about it in terms of men and women, as in this assumption) might be true for some people but it’s definitely not true for all bisexual people. Personally I’m attracted to femininity so I find more women attractive than I do men, by which I mean that if there were 100 women in a room and 100 men and I had to pick the ones I was attracted to, I am pretty sure I’d pick a higher percentage of women than that of men. And, as in my previous point, more people exist than just men and women which the 50/50 assumption completely disregards. Bisexuality means different things to different people and you could easily have 10 bi people in a room who all define their sexuality and attractions in totally different ways.



You can't be faithful to one person

This one should be obvious. Bi people are no more likely to cheat on a partner than someone who is only attracted to one gender. Just because someone is attracted to more than one gender doesn’t mean that they can’t also be monogamous and faithful. This one is born from a place of insecurity and you should be able to trust your partner.



Bi people will be up for a threesome

If you wouldn’t ask a straight stranger you had just met if they would want to have a threesome with you, then please extend the same courtesy to bi people. If not, then I guarantee your message will be screenshotted and you will be ridiculed in the group chat. You have been warned.



It's a phase

If it is, then it’s a bloody long one! Bisexuality is just as valid as any other sexuality and it’s not a ‘transition stage’ for people before they realise they’re actually gay or straight. We don’t end up ‘picking a side’ and we’re not confused – at least not about our sexuality.




Most of these points seem like common sense to me but, drawing from my own experiences of being openly bi for a number of years now, sadly there are still people who seem to lose their manners and their respect for others when faced with a real-life bi person out in the wild.

I actually once had a guy at uni who I had only met about ten seconds earlier ask if he could have my number so he could text me any questions he had about my sexuality later that he might forget to ask me there and then. Was he ok? Does he know google exists? Not sure.  

But, generally people are kind-hearted and respectful and so if you’re at all curious then I hope this answered some of your questions. My messages are always open for anyone who feels they might need someone to talk to and I promise I won’t screenshot your questions (unless you’re asking for a threesome).

If anyone has any suggestions for any other posts they would like to see during LGBT+ History Month then let me know and until then, I’ll see you next week!



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