Now I prefer not to label myself (everyone else seems to like doing it though) and just say “my sexual orientation is fluid”, but anyway…
I see myths about being bi and what it means to be bi all over the place so I’m going to clarify some of these myths & rumours. Many of us don’t know what this really means and just make generalisations and assumptions.
Bisexuality Defined: A person who is sexually attracted to and engages in sensual or sexual relationships with people of either sex. A bisexual person may not be equally attracted to both sexes, and the degree of attraction may vary over time
Myth: Bisexuals have to like both men and women equally
Fact: There is no right or wrong way to be bisexual. You are the person who determines your sexuality. If you only date girls but are also attracted to guys, you can be bisexual. The same goes for people who date guys, but still like girls.
Some people believe that your sexuality is always changing. If you are bisexual, you could be attracted to men and women at different points in your life. It is the individual you find attractive, not their gender.
Myth: Bisexuals are promiscuous, they can’t hold down a committed monogamous relationship
Fact: News flash: a bisexual can fall in love and hold down a relationship. Being bisexual might mean you feel attracted to guys and girls, but it doesn’t give you license to be unfaithful to your partner, or to expect him/her to accept another person in to your love life. Relationships still have the same rules.
Myth: Bisexual people are just playing around, they can choose to be straight
Fact: Can a gay person “choose” to be straight? Can I choose to have a different eye colour? You don’t choose your sexual orientation, you just feel it, be you straight, gay or bi. There’s a difference between being straight and falling in love with a person of the opposite sex and being bi and doing so. In the latter case, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t attracted to people of the same sex still or that they aren’t bisexual. You aren’t turned straight.
Myth: Bisexual people are just denying that they are gay
Fact: Being bisexual is different to being lesbian or gay. However, because your sexuality can change over time, it is possible to be bisexual for a while and then to be gay or straight. But most consider themselves bisexual for their whole lives and they tend not to change the category from one relationship to the next.
Myth: Bisexuality is only a phase.
Fact: Is being straight only a phase? Is being gay only a phase? For years the gay community has challenged heterosexuals who publicly state that homosexuality is only a phase. Bisexuals face the same generalization from both the gay and straight community. Many bisexuals are completely in touch with their emotions and desires for members of both sexes and often feel limited by the thought of attraction to only a man or woman. Emotional connections often take precedence when bisexuals pursue a potential partner. Bisexuality is just as much of a natural preference as homosexuality and heterosexuality.
Myth: Bi people have to choose to be either straight or gay
Fact: Bisexuals are attracted to both men and women on both an emotional and physical level. Some “lean straight” (meaning they prefer a member of the opposite sex, but same sex partners are always an option) and others “lean gay” (which means they prefer members of the same sex, but would consider a relationship with a member of the opposite sex). Nonetheless, they are not simply gay or straight and definitely do not have to choose.
Myth: Bisexual people are sexually confused.
Fact: A common misconception in both the gay and heterosexual communities is that bisexuals are sexually confused and cannot make up their minds which sex they like. However, that’s the whole point- bisexuals are attracted to both sexes and are in many cases more clear about their sexuality than most others.
Myth: Bisexual people will never marry
Fact: Alongside the thought that bisexual men and women are sexually confused is the myth that they will never be able to settle on a partner of any sex. In many cases bisexuals put a lot of emphasis on emotional connections with either sex. This in mind, the opportunity for them to find a life partner is just as viable as it is for a heterosexual or homosexual. However, since same-sex marriage isn’t legal in most places of the world, only a heterosexual marriage in most places will be recognized by law.
Myth: Bisexual people are sexually promiscuous
Fact: Bisexuals are no more promiscuous than any others. Promiscuity (or frequent sex with multiple partners) depends on the individual irrespective of their sexual preference. However, liking both sexes increases a bisexual’s chances of a sexual encounter or potential relationship (by shear numbers alone).
Myth: Bisexual people spread sexually transmitted diseases.
Fact: Bisexual people are no more likely to carry HIV/AIDS or other STDs than gay or straight people.
Another one I saw someplace or other (about me) was that since I had some failed relationships with females, I “turned gay”. Now that’s a load of ignorant crap that doesn’t deserve any further thought.
“It is important to remember that bisexual, gay, lesbian, and heterosexual are labels created by a homophobic, biphobic, heterosexist society to separate and alienate us from each other. We are all unique; we don’t fit into neat little categories. We sometimes need to use these labels for political reasons and to increase our visibilities.”
One caveat to mention is: I don’t like gay men who act like hypersexual twelve year olds. Unlike them, my sexual orientation is not the most important thing in my life (it’s the last, actually). I don’t do stereotypes, figuratively and literally. As a friend said, “Hey, gay guys who actually want to go out and spend their lives fucking people in the butt until they die of AIDS, that’s fine by me, just never presume to represent me with your bloody gay pride parades or your damned gay bars where people practically molest each other in the street outside them.”