Bisexual people... They're so confusing, right? No, not really. Not once you pull your head out of your ass and drop all of your preconceived notions and pay attention to what they say about themselves and what science has to say about them. Bisexual people, similar to you and me, have attractions for other people, but while I may be attracted only to other men, and you might be attracted only to women, a bisexual person has the capacity to be attracted to both sexes.
I know, you're still a little confused, or maybe you're screaming "BULLSHIT!" at me, but let me just list off a few misconceptions people have about bisexual people, and see if it makes things a bit clearer for anyone.
- Bisexuals don't exist. Actually, no, they totally do exist. I know this because I've met a number of them, and so have you. So, it kind of puzzles me that you think that they don't exist. I can only speculate as to why you, or anyone else, think this and my best guess is this: You are under the impression that a person's orientation is based solely on who they are fucking at any given moment. You might feel like if a dude is with another dude, he's gay, or if he's with a woman, he's straight, and there is no middle ground. You'd be mistaken, though. There's tons of middle ground. See, you were straight (or gay) long before you ever had sex, right? You knew what you were into before you ever fucked anyone. So, clearly, orientation is set, for the most part, early on, and is independent of who you actually bump naughty bits with. Orientation is about attraction, not who you actually manage to get busy with.
- It's just a phase. People might mistakenly believe that bisexuality is a phase for a number of reasons. Partly, it may have something to do with a person being in denial that a person that they love or care about might be anything other than straight. This person might also think that if their loved one said that they were gay, that this must be a phase as well. It's also possible that they see it as a phase because they see the person with someone of the same sex for a while, then later see them dating someone of the opposite sex, and dismiss their bisexuality completely. Again, though, orientation is everything to do with who you are attracted to, rather than who you are diddling. A bisexual person could be in a committed, long-term relationship with a person of the same sex and still have an attraction to other people, of either sex, just as a straight woman can be dating a straight man, and still find other men attractive, whether or not she pursues them.
- Bisexuals can't be monogamous and are more likely to cheat. There's little reason to trust your bisexual partner any less than you would trust a gay or straight partner. Most people who are in relationships, straight or gay, have a wandering eye and are still attracted to other people. Think about your last relationship, or even your current one. No matter how much you love and respect your partner, you still find other people attractive, right? But do you cheat? Eh, maybe you do, and maybe you don't. A bisexual person has those same attractions for other people but is just as capable of being committed to their partner, and monogamous, as you are. You might think that they're attracted to twice as many people as you, and, therefore, have twice the opportunity to cheat, but being attracted to both sexes doesn't mean that they are attracted to everyone. You're not attracted to every person of the sex that you're attracted to, are you? When you walk through the mall, how many people do you find attractive? Maybe, ten percent? Don't you think that might be the case for a bisexual person, too? Now, of course, just like straight or gay couples, a bisexual person might be in an open relationship, and in those cases, might pursue other sexual conquests, but I don't imagine the prevalence of that sort of relationship is all that more common in a bisexual person's relationship than it is in anyone else's. You might also be worried that while the bi person is with you, and you're a man, they'll be craving being with a woman. Or if you're a woman, they'll feel this irresistible desire to be with a man. As I said earlier, there's no more chance of them seeking out other interests than your chances of finding someone else irresistible.
- Bisexuals are attracted to everyone. No. No, they are not. Are you attracted to ALL women? Or ALL men? Well, they're not attracted to everyone, either. They have tastes in men and women just like you or I do to the one sex that we're into.
- Bisexuals are always wanting threesomes. You may want a threesome, but that doesn't necessarily mean that anyone else does. Sure, some bisexuals are into threesomes, but then so are straight people and gay people. Being bi doesn't automatically sign you up to be obligated to like threesomes. You might be looking at your bisexual girlfriend and thinking that she's the perfect opportunity for you to fuck two chicks, but she may not be into having an open relationship. She may not want a third-party involved in your relationship. Besides, her tastes in women and yours may be vastly different. So, while it may not hurt to ask for a threesome, don't assume that they'll be into the idea. Oh, and they may be sick of being asked, so be prepared for their rage-filled glare.
- They're just claiming to be bi because they think it's cool. I don't know too many people who think it's "cool" to be bisexual. Do you? Actually, bisexuals tend to be on the butt end of prejudices from both gays and straights, alike. Both gays and straights have the same misconceptions about bi folks and tend to dismiss bi people when it comes to LGBT issues.
- Bisexuals like men and women equally. This one is a bit more tricky to explain. Sure, some bisexual people like men and women equally, but I suspect that's rarer than people assume. A person can be mostly attracted to one sex and almost exclusively pursue relationships with that sex, and only occasionally pursue the other. They may be emotionally attracted to one sex, and sexually attracted to the other. They might go through long periods of being mostly into dudes and then find themselves, instead, attracted almost exclusively to women. Why this is, I don't know.
- You're less of a man if you've fucked another dude. I've heard many stories from men and women who have mentioned that if a woman finds out that a guy has ever been with another man, sexually, that they'll instantly find the guy less attractive and consider him to be less manly. This, in spite of the fact that the man standing before them is exactly the same man that he was just moments prior to her knowing this. This likely stems from homophobia. This concept is so delusional to me that I'm not even sure how to address it and explain how much bullshit is in this. Just know that it's bullshit, and we'll leave it at that.
- Everyone is a little bit bisexual. No, they're not. Stop saying that. When you say that, you're telling other people that you know their sexuality better than them. Trust me, you don't. While it's possible that more people are bisexual, or at least curious, than would like to admit, this does not mean that everyone is bisexual. I assure you that I am not. More on this topic can be found HERE.
- Bisexuals have it easy and get to benefit from straight privilege. Well, no, not really. In fact, they have additional hurdles to overcome that gay and straight people do not. Or, perhaps different hurdles. When they are with an opposite sex partner, they may find some fewer struggles while out in public, or with family and friends, but they're still bisexual. They still have desires which people tend to forget about, or judge them for having. People assume that they're straight, and they are excluded from the gay community and denied of their bisexuality by the straight community. Bisexuals still do date and have sex with people of the same sex, though, and need all of the same rights and privileges of both gay and straight people. For example, same-sex marriage benefits bisexual people as well. But, on top of this, though, they have to overcome the stigmas put on them by those of us who are straight or gay.
Tangential to all of these misconceptions about bisexual people, though, I should mention pansexuals. Many people have no clue what pansexuality means, or feel like it is just a synonym for bisexuality and is just another label for people to use to make them feel special. I know this because I used to think that, just a year or two ago. Then I made the effort and bothered to look it up. Interesting concept, I know.
So, what's the difference between bisexual and pansexual? In the simplest of terms, a bisexual person is attracted to men and women. A pansexual person, however, is a bit more complicated; they are attracted to both men, and women, and everything in between, but not everyone.
A pansexual person may find themselves attracted to transgender men and women, along with cis-gender men and women, or people who identify as being without gender, or bi-gender, or gender-fluid, or queer. It's fairly complicated, and a bit too much to go into full detail here, but those are the basics.
Hopefully, I've been able to dispel a few myths for you. If you have other opinions about bisexual people, which you may be questioning the validity of, ask someone. Ask me. Don't just make assumptions, though.