1. You’re greedy
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard this. Apparently, because I’m attracted to both men and women, I am ‘having my cake and eating it’. This is ridiculous. The only world in which this could possibly make sense is one where I’d already worked my way through every man on the planet and decided I needed an additional 3.5 billion people to satisfy my desire. Um, no.
Being attracted to both genders is nothing to do with greed. It doesn’t mean I will date more people, or date multiple people at once. It simply means the pool of people to choose from is potentially larger, because the restrictions are fewer. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t call someone who said “I’m equally attracted to women of all ethnicities” ‘greedy’. Actually, you’d probably applaud their lack of discrimination.
2. Bisexuality is ALL ABOUT SEX
This one applies equally to gay people. For some reason, when people discuss gayness and bisexuality, they phrase everything in terms of sex – never love. It’s never that you fall in love with people of either gender, or can see yourself choosing them as a life partner – it’s always that you want to have sex with them.
I’m inclined to think this is because people find it more interesting to think about gay sex than gay love. And in some cases, because it sounds MUCH more scandalous and sensationalist. It’s much harder to sound like a reasonable, rational person saying “We can’t let those people fall in love!” than saying “We can’t let them have sex!”. But of course the reality is just as it is for straight people: gay and bi people want to be able to have loving relationships too. It just doesn’t make such good headlines.
3. You are half gay and half straight
Wait… what the hell is this? I hadn’t heard this one until yesterday, when one of my colleagues said it and everyone else backed him up. Apparently, because I like both men and women, I am both gay and straight. At the same time. This makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever.
I reckon this thinking comes from the Venn diagram school of thought, something like this:
Bisexuality is not in any way a mixture of two sexualities. It is a separate orientation. Let me explain: gay people are only attracted to the same gender. Straight people are only attracted to the opposite gender. They both rule out potential partners on the basis of gender. Bisexuals don’t do this, at all, ever. So how can I be a mixture of the two?
4. Bi girls are dramatic attention whores/doing it for men/sexy
Unfortunately, bisexual girls have a reputation for being dramatic, high maintenance, and insincere. This is partly because of a wider problem: the fetishisation by men of girl-girl sexual activity. Men see women snogging each other on the dance floor for their attention, and assume that all ‘bisexuals’ are secretly doing it for their approval. This is bollocks.
I think it’s absolutely cringeworthy that men find my sexuality towards women appealing and arousing. It gives me the creeps. If someone kept telling a straight girl that they masturbate while imagining her sexing her boyfriend, wouldn’t you find that creepy and disgusting? Yes? So why do people feel it’s OK to say to me just because the other partner is a girl?
I’m really fed up with people saying “ooh” when I say I’m bisexual, or making any sort of comment that implies it’s interesting, exotic or sexy. Bisexuality is not in itself kinky or debauched or for your entertainment. Grow up.
5. You’ll grow out of it
I got this all the time when I was a teenager and had actually plucked up the courage to tell someone I was bi. Thankfully, no one says it to me anymore (I guess 26 is old enough that they think if I was going to grow out of it, I would have done so by now), but I bet younger bisexuals still get it, so it’s worth including here.
It is, of course, utter nonsense. I’ve known I was bi since the age of about 12, although it took a lot longer to understand and accept it. It’s not something that will ever suddenly change, just like Mr. Straight Man telling me ‘it’s a phase’ isn’t going to suddenly turn gay at 30. Ridiculous.
Bisexuality is just like any other sexuality. Before you say something really fucking insulting, try to imagine saying the same thing to a gay or straight person. If it sounds immature, creepy, insensitive or just plain idiotic, please don’t say it. Thanks.
Holly is a copywriter lady and all round witty funnywoman. She writes an absolutely super blog with advertising-based rants, called Copybot. Go forth and read it for the funnies. She is also on Twitter.