Why Bisexuals are Not all Greedy, Slutty, or Up For Threesomes

After issues with hate crimes and mental health, we’re busting the unfair stereotypes behind bisexuality myths. The only time bisexuals want your attention.

Threesome

“Even if I were to consider [a threesome], it just seems too immature to make an assumption like that"

Saying that you are bisexual still feels like something you have to admit to or apologise for. It is often the punchline to countless jokes or victim to the same lazy stereotypes owing to a number of bisexuality myths.

In fact, we still debate the term ‘bisexual’ and what it actually means. And many are quick to criticise the word.

Even dictionaries fail to define it correctly, stating that bisexuality is simply an attraction to both men and women. This oversimplifies how we think of gender today as more than a binary.

Yet, bisexuality’s most simple and inclusionary description is the ability of an individual’s attraction moving bidirectionally along the sexuality spectrum.

This more open definition can help to explain current trends. According to new statistics, the number of young people who identify as bisexual has risen rapidly.

The Office for National Statistics reports: “[The] 16 to 24 age group [are] the only age group to have a larger proportion identifying as bisexual compared with lesbian or gay.”

The 2016 report believes this is because younger people are more willing to explore their sexuality than past generations. They are hopefully also working past some of these common bisexuality myths.

Of course, one of the biggest myths out there is that all bisexuals are ‘young, white, cisgender women’.

Take Cara Delevingne as an example. The celebrity is considered to be one of the prominent faces of bisexuality in popular culture. But bisexual people are of varying genders, ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds – including British Asians!

It still feels like a taboo to discuss bisexuality in the British Asian community, but without doing so, harmful stereotypes continue to exist. With this in mind, DESIblitz debunks some of the common myths that surround bisexuality.

Bisexuals are all Sluts

Firstly, the entire concept of being ‘slutty’ is an issue. People are free to do what they want with other consenting adults. Secondly, bisexuals are not less or more slutty than the average person.

After all, sexuality doesn’t equal a certain amount of sexual activity. As with heterosexuality, libido is dependent on other factors such as age, hormones, stress, and sleep.

Just like everyone else, bisexual people still have to find the time for mundane tasks like doing the laundry or going to the gym. In fact, Ash* tells us:

“I have a so-called normal life like everyone else. I need to make the time to see family, friends or I’m even learning coding. It’s so bizarre that everyone thinks that I have all this free time – almost funny actually.”

It feels that this is part of the treatment of bisexual men as more feminine too. After all, usually it’s only women who are slutty, whereas men are players.

Of course, there are plenty of bisexual people who aren’t monogamous. But to slut shame is unfair in itself, never mind in association with their sexuality.

Perhaps it’s time to shed this outdated term.

Bisexuals all Want Attention

As this era of celebrity and Insta-fame has shown, there are plenty of easy ways to gain attention. Ways that are far easier than being bisexual.

Admittedly some female celebrities will hit the headlines with a public lip-lock. Madonna and Britney are a classic example, or more recently, Kate Winslet and Allison Janney at the 2017 Hollywood Film Awards.

However, the protection of celebrity doesn’t exist for the ordinary person.

Hate crime against LGBT+ people has risen by 78% since 2013. More worryingly, 34% of black, Asian and minority ethnic LGBT+ people have been victims of hate crimes in comparison to 20% of white LGBT+ people.

This doesn’t even cover the discrimination felt by the LGBT+ community in other areas such as housing and disability.

There are those who even take issue with the LGBT+ community demonstrating physical affection in public. Common complaints accuse members, especially bisexuals, of ‘flaunting’ themselves for attention.

Aside from the acceptability of heterosexual people displaying PDA, more than a third of LGBT+ people don’t even feel comfortable holding their partner’s hand in public.

Jay* confirms this and adds:

“I worry even more as I’m in an interracial relationship. I hate having two reasons to rethink holding my white boyfriend’s hand in public.”

It’s clear that many bisexual people feel the need to minimise the attention to their bisexuality as it can put them in danger.

Bisexuals need to Pick a Side

Sure, where’s this game of footie at? Oh, you mean pick either identifying as gay or straight?

Bisexual erasure is incredibly unfair, and it is difficult to face the double discrimination of both the LGBT+ and straight community invalidating your existence.

In fact, it’s so difficult that bisexual people are more likely to develop mental health issues. These include depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.

The social isolation and stigmatisation from both communities mean that bisexual people often miss out on crucial support and resources.

Even when they do have access, the resources on bisexuality are often lacking, never mind when it comes to balancing this with other identities such as ethnicity and disability.

Anita* tells us: “It’s hard as I suffer from depression. My family definitely don’t understand depression and then I struggle finding other people in the LGBT+ community who aren’t confused by my bisexuality and my cultural values.”

Bisexuality Flag

Bisexuals are Equally Attracted to Men and Women

The common belief that bisexuality is an ‘attraction to one or more genders’. But suggesting this ignores the existence of those who aren’t cisgender (i.e. their gender identity agrees with their sex at birth). The gender binary leaves out people who identify as transgender, agender and so on.

Furthermore, sexuality is a spectrum. While it could use an update, The Kinsey Scale helps to explain this.

Alfred Kinsey, one of the greatest researchers of human sexuality, developed a scale for sexuality in 1948. The seven-point scale helps determine whether a person is homosexual, heterosexual or something in between.

It was revolutionary in highlighting that people don’t fit into either homosexual or heterosexual categories as well as that this can change over time.

Indeed, as Mukesh* found:

“I realised that my interest in girls was more because I found it hard to let go of the idea of getting married and having the big Indian weddings that I’d grown up seeing. Really, I’m gay and I’ll just have to have the great big gay Indian wedding instead!”

Bisexuals – they’re just like us! Like everyone else, bisexual people don’t plan who they fall in love with.

Bisexuals are Just Greedy

That’s so true. Bisexuals are incredibly greedy.

Whether it’s having the last slice of pizza, inhaling a packet of biscuits, not telling the waiter to stop adding parmesan, staying up to 3 am with Netflix, buying yet another pair of shoes … the list goes on!

Liking more than one gender doesn’t mean you have an attraction to everyone. That is like saying straight men and lesbians find all women attractive. In fact, Mina* explains that:

“I find myself more romantically interested in girls and quickly seek out a long-term relationship. Whereas with guys, it’s more of a sexual attraction, but I’ll be more hesitant to commit.”

Bisexuality also doesn’t automatically mean that you want to be with more than one person. While it’s cool if you do prefer a polyamorous relationship, monogamy is perfectly acceptable too.

Bisexuals are going Through a Phase

It’s hard to believe but bisexuals aren’t indecisive or confused.

They don’t go through years of ignoring, agonising over or not speaking about their bisexuality. They don’t go through the stress of coming out to family, friends or other people for the rest of their lives just for fun.

Indeed, bisexuality is a part of someone’s identity. In fact, people don’t have their bisexuality card revoked if choosing to settle down in a long-term relationship.

As Davina* tells us:

“I felt so self-conscious when I was in a relationship with my ex-boyfriend. It was fine that some people didn’t know about my bisexuality. But I felt that when I was out with the LGBT+ community, I’d be more careful to mention it to fit in.”

There are certain people who may stop feeling like the term works for them. However, this doesn’t cancel out their time identifying as bisexual.

We’re still working out the full-colour spectrum of sexuality and here, experimentation is more productive in evolving the way we think.

Bisexuals all Love Threesomes!

Shockingly, in comparison to what people on Tinder think, bisexual people are not all searching for threesomes.

Whether this is with you and your boyfriend/girlfriend, or you and the other stranger that you somehow manage to find.

Akin to how it’s important to realise that bisexuals can be monogamous or faithful, bisexual people all have their individual preferences. While some may be happy to experiment beyond the ‘norm’, plenty don’t.

However, the key is that it’s rude to assume. Indeed, as Priya* tells us:

“Even if I were to consider it, it just seems too immature to make an assumption like that. So immature that it shows me that someone isn’t emotionally mature enough for anything.”

Furthermore, this request is mostly from guys assuming that they will win the chance to have the attention of not one, but two girls. Yet, the possibility of two guys and a girl seems always bizarrely out of the question.

This seems to indicate a subtle homophobia in not wanting to appear “gay” in having another guy present whereas a threesome with two girls is a way to show off masculinity and be the ultimate guy.

We can see why Priya and other bisexual women get so incredibly frustrated as they are treated as little other than objects for male pleasure – just what every girl dreams of, right?

In fact journalist Suryatapa Mukherjee has this to add:

“Bisexuality is still not understood as a valid sexual orientation as much as heterosexuality and homosexuality. It’s either “everyone is a little bi” or “bisexuality is not real”. Both sentiments undermine that it is a real, valued sexual orientation.”

“As for myths, there’s just so many. I’ll say this – bisexuality is represented and talked about the most when it is as a male sexual fantasy. We are not seen to exist very much outside of being a fetish.”

This constant undermining by both the LGBT+ and straight communities is incredibly dehumanising. These myths may seem inconsequential to some, but ultimately every little snide comment or joke can chip away at an already marginalised or invisible group.

There are a lot of obstacles to navigate in reducing the stigma of bisexuality thanks to jokes or frustrating stereotypes.

The British Asian community faces unique challenges in normalising homosexuality, let alone bisexuality. Eradicating bisexuality myths in an accepting community is yet another factor to overcome.

Nevertheless, humour can help when educating others, especially as our understanding of sexuality is still relatively new.

From discussing and debating sexuality, we can build upon how far we’ve come to the extent that more serious issues of mental health problems and isolation will potentially decrease.

Thanks to the younger generation appearing to work past bisexuality myths, maybe some of these stereotypes will be something that will be a thing of the past. Let’s see.

An English and French graduate, Daljinder likes travelling, wandering around museums with headphones and getting over-invested in a TV show. She loves Rupi Kaur’s poem: “If you were born with the weakness to fall you were born with the strength to rise."

Illustration by Ray Miller

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