As human beings, we like to think of things as binary with everything clearly in its box. Bad/Good. Male/Female. Gay/Straight. Only problem is things are not always so black or white. When it comes to sexuality, for example, bisexuality remains a bit of a conundrum with many insisting on classifying bisexual people as either gay or lesbian, rejecting the grey area that is bisexuality. Here are some common misconceptions people have about bisexual partners that have led to widespread hesitance in dating bi-people.
Feminine men, masculine women
We often underestimate how much media frames how we view the world. Popular media often portrays bisexual men as feminine and in touch with their feelings and bisexual women as masculine and one of the boys. This misconception can set an expectation in the minds of potential partners about how their bisexual partners should act. Your partner is a unique individual, approach them as such. Don’t lay on them all these expectations set by popular culture.
One common misconception is that bisexual people are just using the title as a cover for their homosexuality. Bisexual men are just considered gay and bisexual women are lesbians. This refusal to engage in complex thinking where things are not binary is responsible for this flawed thinking. This is also why bisexuality is often considered a phase before the person decides whether they are gay or straight. Bisexuality is not about indecisiveness. There’s also this pressure for bisexual people to prove it by dating people of different genders and if they haven’t, they are considered fakers. Consider this, even if you haven’t dated anyone, you know who you are attracted to, right? For bisexual men especially, there’s this widespread belief that bisexuality is a one-way ticket to gay town. This makes many women hesitant to date bisexual men. Sexuality is not as narrow as we would wish, bisexuality is not a phase whether or not the person is in a same-sex relationship or not. Bisexuals should be accepted in all their complexity without invalidating their lived experience.
There’s a widespread belief that bisexual people are more difficult to date because of the increased competition from both men and women. Accompanying this view is the supposed pressure to consistently be on the lookout. Is that female friend just a friend? Is that guy he plays some sport with on the weekend just a friend? There’s an implicit belief that you can’t trust bi-people. It’s narcissistic not to mention poorly-thought out to assume that because someone is attracted to both men and women, they are attracted to anyone and everyone and will act on it. It’s harmful and hypersexualizes bisexual people. A straight woman will not be attracted to all men and will certainly not act on any and every attraction when it’s there. Why is this consideration not there for bisexual men and women? There’s no correlation between sexuality and infidelity. Related to this hyper-sexualization is the belief that bisexual people are always down for a threesome. No, they’re not. Bisexuals can be as faithful and monogamous as any other people.
Not just two genders
Thinking in gender binaries leads to the misconception that bisexual people are only attracted to men and women. This excludes transmen, transwomen, and non-binary people and restricts sexuality trying to get it to fit into these neat little slots. Bisexuality is complex and means different things to different people while encompassing attraction to more than one gender.
Looking for a story that features a healthy LGBTQ relationship. Check out Lonely Eyes Part 1 – Hello, Chaos!
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