Don’t consider this my grand “coming out” moment, because I’ve been comfortably out of the bisexual closet for as long as I’ve known I was bisexual (which is about two and a half years). I’ve come across quite a few people (pun not intended, but enjoyed) who seem to have very specific opinions or misunderstandings about what bisexuality is. So let’s get some things straight (ish).
Firstly, and most importantly, bisexuality is a sexuality in its own right. When I identify myself as bisexual, I’m not gay and kidding myself, and I’m not straight and looking for attention. I like both genders. I’m into men and women. If I’m in a long-term relationship with a guy (as I am now), it doesn’t negate my attraction to women, it just means that I don’t act on it because I’m monogamous, I don’t act on my attraction for anyone other than my boyfriend. When I’ve been single, I’ve hooked up with guys and girls, but who I was hooking up with didn’t dictate which gender I was attracted to overall. In that vein, having only had romantic or sexual relationships with one gender doesn’t mean you aren’t bisexual by proxy, in the same way that straight guys are straight even if they haven’t slept with a girl.
To come back around to the stereotypes often attached to bisexual people that I mentioned before: for some reason, many people who identify as bisexual are labelled “attention-seeking” (this goes for men and women, although women seem to come a cropper of this term more often for whatever reason). While yeah, there might be some people out there who choose to define themselves in an untruthful way because they think it’ll titillate their boyfriends or impress their girlfriends, bisexuality isn’t a pseudonym for desperate. If you find out a girl is bisexual and see her making out loudly at the bar with another chick, or see her on a Tuesday morning quietly walking her girlfriend to class, it doesn’t make her more or less bisexual. We all express our sexuality in different ways, and in both cases she’s acting on an attraction of some kind. Seriously: the faster we get rid of this “real” bisexual nonsense the better, because it’s bullshit and means a lot of people who feel comfortable being open about their sexuality are met with eye-rolls and stereotypes, when they might need support or help.
And while we’re on the subject of busting stereotypes, you ever heard the one about the promiscuous bisexual? Yeah, just because we like both genders doesn’t mean we want both genders all the time. This basically plays off a stereotype that says bisexual people are bad boy/girlfriends because they can’t be faithful to one set of genitals. I don’t know how people picture the lives of bisexuals, but I certainly don’t walk through the door of my pokey flat to find twelve unclothed supermodels of various genders beckoning me to an orgy. I find the cat and my breakfast mess. There’s a distinction between being attracted to men and women and being attracted to everyone you meet: basically what I’m saying is no, I don’t necessarily want to have a threesome with you and your girl/boyfriend (I got asked this question on a semi-regular basis when I was single).
Bisexuality is as valid a sexual identity as any other, and for some reasons continues to get a bad rap in some corners of society (how many evil bisexual characters have you seen on TV and film?). It’s how I choose to identify myself, and I thoroughly enjoy being in two minds.
~This is Louise’s first guest blog post with us, and I am so happy to have her on board! She lives in the UK, and we love her fresh young outlook on sexuality.