13 Things All Bisexual People Want You to Know
International Celebrate Bisexuality Day, or Bi Visibility Day, has been held each year on the 23rd of September since 1999.
This date also kicks off the beginning of Bi Week, a week designed to highlight biphobia and to help people all over the world connect with the bisexual community.
Bi Week is over for another year, but that’s no reason to stop learning.
We can still support our friends who put the 'B' in LGBTQIA+.
Here are 13 things that bisexual people want you to know.
1. Firstly, bisexuals exist
It's something bisexual people are used to hearing A LOT, but the truth is, bisexuality is real, and has been recognised by many cultures for thousands of years.
2. They're not 'greedy'
Being sexually attracted to more than one gender doesn't make you 'greedy'.
There are roughly 7.7 billion people in the world, so whatever your sexual orientation, don't fret: there are enough potential partners out there for everyone.
3. They don't need to choose one gender
Bisexual people aren't sitting on some imaginary fence.
They're living life as it was intended for them – bisexually!
Plus, no one actively chooses who they are attracted to; it just happens organically.
4. This isn't a 'phase' they're going through
When you refer to bisexuality (or any sexuality) as a phase, you're equating someone's sexuality to that stage in the early 2000s when it was cool to wear a dress over the top of jeans.
That was a phase. Bisexuality is not.
Sure, some people do try different things and then ultimately decide that it's not really for them, but how people choose to identify is totally up to them!
5. They aren't more likely to cheat
Cheating isn't a numbers game.
Just because a person is attracted to more than one gender, it doesn't mean they're more likely to be unfaithful.
Cheating has nothing to do with how many penises and vaginas are in any given room at one time.
People of all different sexualities cheat, and the reasons are far more varied and complex than what gender they prefer to sleep with.
6. Bi erasure is a real thing
Bi erasure or bi invisibility is a pervasive issue. These terms refer to the problem in which the existence of bisexuals and/or the legitimacy of bisexuality continues to be called into question.
Imagine a married couple where one partner is a lesbian, and the other partner is a bisexual woman. The bisexual woman may find that people automatically assume she is solely attracted to women now.
Bisexual people often find that being in a relationship with one gender negates the other side of their sexuality in the eyes of others. But it still exists!
7. Don't ask them what gender they prefer
"Do you like men 60% and women 40%? Or is it more of a 50/50 split?"
Enough with this question already, people! It's like being asked what percentage of men in the world you're attracted to as a heterosexual woman, or the percentage of women as a straight man.
Bi-advocate, author and all-round bad ass Robyn Ochs defines bisexuality as "the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one sex and/or gender".
Sexuality is both fluid and a spectrum, so remember that it's not something that can be easily reduced to numbers.
8. Not all women are bisexual
Through a combination of social beliefs and misquoted scientific studies, it's a common belief that every woman has at least a 'hint' of bisexuality, whether she knows it or not.
Yes, gender and sexuality are fluid. But no, this doesn't make all women bisexual.
This kind of comment also contributes to bi erasure, because it downplays everything unique and special about the bi community.
9. They don't kiss girls/guys for 'attention'
Thanks for this one, Katy Perry.
Sometimes, a woman wants to kiss a woman, or a man wants to kiss a man, without thinking of what the reaction will be from people around them.
Unless someone is screaming, 'HEY, WANT TO SEE ME KISS SOMEONE OF THE SAME GENDER?' in your face, it's unlikely they're doing it for anyone's benefit other than their own.
10. Being bisexual doesn't mean they're attracted to you
"I don't mind you being bi, just as long as you don't hit on me! Hahaha."
Most bisexual people will have heard this line (or some variation on it) at some point, but think about it realistically.
Do heterosexual or homosexual people fancy every single person of their preferred gender that they meet? No. Neither do bisexual people.
This phrase can make bisexual people feel as though they are merely tolerated, not accepted.
11. Being bisexual doesn't mean they're up for a threesome
Though some people who love the idea of threesomes might be bisexual, it doesn't mean that every bisexual wants a threesome.
Every bisexual person will have their own likes and dislikes in the bedroom, just like the rest of us.
Saying that every person of any sexuality likes a certain thing is both inaccurate and reductive, just like saying every man likes cars, or every woman is obsessed with shoes.
They're not 'bi now, gay later'
The idea that bisexuality is just a stepping stone to becoming gay or lesbian is harmful and offensive.
Again, some people may try different things on their journey. The concept of 'ending up' as one sexuality or another is quite outdated, as many people find that their definition of their own sexuality changes throughout their lifetime.
Nearly all of the misconceptions found on this list are examples of biphobia.
These delusions play into the idea that bisexual people pose a threat to heterosexual relationships, that they are confused, in denial, or even outright lying about their sexuality.
People may not necessarily intend to say things that are biphobic, so it's important to speak up when they do.
These are just 13 thing that bisexual people would like others to know.
If you want to find out more ways that you can be an ally to the bisexual community, there are a few things you can do.
If you are close with someone who is bisexual, they may be able to answer some of your questions or explain how to best support them.
Or if you don't want to offend, consider doing some research into bisexuality, bi-erasure and biphobia in your own time, so that your bisexual mates don't feel like they're constantly being put on the spot.
Audrey Andrews is a student blogger for Lovehoney. In her spare time she loves to do craft, but would not advise knitting your own condoms.
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