6 Bisexual Myths Debunked

There are some commonly held beliefs about bisexual people which are a bit wrong and can contribute to problems faced by the bisexual community.

Attracted to Both Genders
Photo: Bisexual Kissing

 

  1. Bisexual people are just confused. They need to pick a side: Sexuality exists on a spectrum. Many people tend to think you are either gay, or you’re straight, and that’s it. But in actuality there are many many people in this wide world of ours who don’t fit neatly into those two boxes. You’ve probably heard of the Kinsey Scale. Alfred Kinsey used a scale of 0 to 6 to document varied sexuality because he realized that people have varying levels of same sex and different sex attraction. Research has since broadened our understanding even further but Kinsey remains the most famous source. So, we are not all simply gay or straight. Some people are even fluid in their sexuality and their primary attractions can change. And, don’t get me wrong, a lot of people who are gay or straight experiment or feel confused before they figure out that they love or lust after people of only one gender. There’s nothing wrong with being a bit confused, many of us are, when figuring out our sexuality! But when the implication is that bisexuality only exists as part of the journey towards discovering you are actually gay, or actually straight, there is a problem. Because that erases the reality of countless people’s lived experience and identity. It can make bi people feel they don’t fit anywhere and contribute to mental health problems, as well as encourage rejection of bi people from communities they should be a part of.
  2. Bi people are all equally attracted to men and women: You can be 1% attracted to men and 99% attracted to women and still be bisexual. And just like gay and straight people, you don’t have to have had any sexual experiences yet (or ever) with anyone at all to be bisexual. Bisexual folks can also be just as into non binary people too. Which brings me to….
  3. Bisexual people are attracted to two genders only and that excludes trans, intersex and non-binary people: This is a slightly complicated one because many people who fall outside the gender binary feel that the label ‘bisexual’ is exclusionary towards them and prefer other terms such as ‘pansexual’. It is totally fine to use other labels (I kinda prefer Pansexual from an aesthetic viewpoint myself) but don’t assume that just because someone refers to themselves as bisexual they are excluding people based on gender. There is actually a really big push in the bi community right now to get the message out that bi, in this sense, means attraction to two or more genders. No doubt some bi people, just like gay or straight people, are transphobic or not accepting of non binary people, but it’s not all of us by any means!
  4. Bi people are just looking for attention: Unfortunately for many people the image they have of bisexuality is the idea that young drunk girls pretend to be bi and make out with other girls just to get attention, especially from boys. That is a trope we see played out in the media a lot. It’s kinda sexist and slut shamed and it also feeds into some pretty harmful misinformation about bi people. The reality is that a lot of the attention given to bi people is often very negative and on the whole we really don’t court it. In fact a lot of bi people never come out of the closet for that very reason. It’s another case of sure, some people have an exhibitionist streak, but the perception of bi people just doing it to seek attention is really just another form of bi erasure.
  5. Bisexuality is a modern invention: Bisexuality is documented to have existed since ancient times. It’s observed in many other species than in humans alone. And in many cultures through history it has been not only known but also accepted.  Just like the use of objects as sex toys has been documented by images from neanderthal man bi-sexuality has been present too.
  6. Bi people will cheat on their partners: Some people think that bi people are incapable of monogamous relationships because whichever sex they are with, they will be unfulfilled and still need partners of the other sex too. But the truth is bi people are just like everyone else. Not everyone wants to be, or is able to be monogamous. Lots of people instead have poly relationships or stay single, or, unfortunately, have covert relationships outside their supposedly monogamous ones. But being attracted to more than one gender doesn’t make you more likely to cheat. If we commit to one person, it’s just as real as it is for straight or gay people. Look, a straight woman may like more than one kind of guy too, it doesn’t mean she’ll be unsatisfied with Mr Tall, Brunette and Circumcised just because she’s also dated Mr Stocky, Blond and Uncut, does it? Nope. Related – not all bi people want threesomes. Those can be a lot of work, and bi people are just as lazy as anyone else!

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