5 Bisexual Stereotypes That Need To Die
These stereotypes surrounding bisexuality need to die. Now. Rest in peace, biphobia.
Ever since I came out as bisexual at the age of 12, I’ve been dealing with getting stereotyped based on my bisexuality. People make assumptions about my character because I am bisexual. It’s not only straight people who stereotype me – I’ve been subject to biphobic stereotypes by the LGBTQIA community as well. A friend of mine once told me that only other gay people discriminate against bisexuals, but that’s not true. I’ve experienced biphobia at the hands of different sexualities, sometimes (but very rarely) other bisexuals. I had to work hard to unpack all of the biphobia I internalized over the years.
While I was growing up, these harmful stereotypes limited my ability to express myself sexually and emotionally. Nobody should ever have to feel like they can’t be true to themselves for fear of being stereotyped.
Bisexuals are getting sick of explaining ourselves. Here are some of the biphobic stereotypes that grind my gears:
1. “Bisexuals are greedy.”
People stereotype bisexuals as being greedy. They see our attraction to more than 1 gender as a reflection of not being able to get enough. I’ve also dealt with this stereotype as a polyamorous person.
They say bisexuals are greedy because they think we’re not satisfied by 1 partner. That’s not true: a lot of bisexuals are monogamous and only have 1 partner.
By the way, there’s nothing wrong or “greedy” about polyamory. Polyamory is about having multiple relationships at once. When I was younger, I felt pressured to practice monogamy because I feared having multiple partners would fulfill this “greedy” stereotype. While there are polyamorous bisexuals like me out there, it’s not all of us. For those of us who do practice non-monogamy, it doesn’t make us greedy. It just means we have different emotional, sexual, or romantic needs than others.
When I was younger, I feared I would never get a girlfriend because she’d have a problem with me being bisexual. Older lesbians told me I’d have a problem finding a girlfriend for being bisexual because lesbians would fear I was “actually straight” and leave them for a man. For a while, I thought no woman would see me as a real girlfriend because I’m bisexual. I now know this is wrong.
The myth of bisexual greed also plays into this next stereotype:
2. “Bisexuals are hypersexual.”
When I tell people I’m bisexual, they often make assumptions about my sex drive. They assume I’m always down to fuck or have a threesome. This stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth.
For some reason, people assume I have this insatiable sex drive because I’m bisexual. Being bisexual has nothing to do with your sex drive. Some bisexuals have a low sex drive. Others have a high sex drive, but honestly, there’s nothing wrong with that. Many fall somewhere in the middle. Honestly, many bisexuals (myself included) knew we were bisexual long before we ever engaged in sexual activity.
I still find myself getting fetishized for being bisexual. My sexuality and relationships with women don’t exist to please men.
When people find out I’m bisexual, they often ask highly personal sexual questions to me. Many men feel free to ask me about my sexual activities with other women. They treat my sexuality like a public domain. Being bisexual does not automatically make anyone entitled to my body or sexuality.
3. “Bisexuals are kinky.”
I’ve had to deal with this bisexual stereotype since I first came out. I remember mentioning to one of my friends that I’m bisexual and his first response was to ask if I was into BDSM. I was mortified. When I did finally start getting into BDSM, I had to unpack a lot of guilt because I felt like I was doing bisexuals a disservice by fulfilling this stereotype. I found relief once I realized the BDSM community is very accepting of bisexual people.
Now that I’m more into BDSM, I know there are plenty of straight people who participate in these dynamics. People from all walks of life are into BDSM, not just bisexuals. When I came out at 12 years old, I wasn’t thinking about BDSM. I was just noticing that I was just as attracted to women as I am to men.
Once people (mostly cisgender, heterosexual men) find out I’m bisexual, they feel free to ask me about my kinks. My kinks are highly personal and I don’t share that information with just anyone. They’re also irrelevant to me being bisexual.Furthermore, bisexuality is not a kink. It’s a sexual orientation. Anyone of any sexual or romantic orientation can be into BDSM.
Speaking of gender, here’s another bisexual stereotype that drives me up the wall:
4. “Bisexuals are transphobic.”
Some people mistakenly think the term “bisexual” refers specifically to men and women. The truth is that being bisexual means you’re attracted to people of your own gender as well as other genders.
Identifying as pansexual is not the more inclusive or politically correct way of saying bisexual. Pansexuality is a different orientation, but it’s one that falls on the bisexual spectrum.
Bisexuality does not exclude transgender people. It doesn’t mean I’m only attracted to cisgender women and men. Being bisexual includes being attracted to non-binary people as well as other transgender people of any gender.
For the record, trans men are men, trans women are women, and non-binary people are valid. Bisexuality doesn’t invalidate these truths.
5. “Bisexuals are just gay and trying to hide it.”
When I was younger, I asked my mom about bisexuals. She said that bisexuals don’t exist because “you either play for 1 team or the other.” This crushed me because it erased my lived experience.
When you’re bisexual, people accused you of being gay or lesbian in denial. There has never been a point in my life where I’ve been attracted to one gender alone. I don’t mind people thinking I’m gay or lesbian, but my reality is bisexual and people don’t seem to want to accept that. They want to believe in a sexual binary that doesn’t accurately describe my experiences. I’ve always experienced attraction towards people of all genders.
It didn’t help that I actually knew gay/lesbian people growing up who came out as bisexual because they felt it was “safer” than coming out as gay or lesbian. I warned them that you still deal with discrimination when you’re bisexual, even within the community.
What are some stereotypes surrounding bisexuality that you’ve heard or dealt with? Tweet me at @GhiaWasHere to let me know!