7 common misconceptions people have about bisexuality


7 common misconceptions people have about bisexuality


Since my senior year in college, I've been publicly bisexual. And, like many bisexuals, I've had to cope with negative preconceptions and internalized biphobia, which has made coming out difficult. There are a lot of detrimental assumptions about bisexuals out there, and while I can't alter people's views, I can openly dispel a few of them right now.

1. Bisexuals are drawn to either men or women.

Because of the gender binary, it's widely assumed that bisexuality is limited to attraction to two genders: male and female. This not only excludes nonbinary people and others who do not fit into the gender binary, but it also limits bisexuality, requiring you to just be attracted to men and women. Bisexuality, in reality, refers to a person's attraction to more than one gender, which can imply different things to different people. Bisexuals who are attracted to nonbinary persons exist, as do nonbinary bisexuals. Sexual attraction, like gender, is a spectrum, and there is no one-size-fits-all sexuality.

2. Bisexuals are attracted to both men and women equally.

Many people believe that bisexuals are equally attracted to men and women because of the first myth. If a man appeals to you, ladies should appeal to you as well, and vice versa. This stereotype was one of the reasons it took me so long to come out. I used to think that because I don't feel the same way about men and women, that meant I was merely straight and experimenting. I didn't realize that attraction isn't binary until I met other bisexuals. People's sentiments are always genuine, and sexuality is multifaceted.

3. Bisexuals are attracted to people of all genders.

Would you ever say that a heterosexual individual is attracted to people of all genders? No, although many people seem to believe that bisexuals are attracted to everyone. Bisexual refers to a person who is attracted to more than one gender but not to all of them. We all have our own tastes, which are influenced by a variety of factors, many of which are beyond our control.

4. Bisexuals always cheat.

People believe that because bisexuals are attracted to multiple genders, we are more inclined to cheat on a spouse in a monogamous relationship. That, however, is not the case. Straight people cheat on their marriages for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with their desire. Sexuality has no bearing on whether or not someone will betray their partner's confidence after they've made a mutual commitment. That has something to do with who they are as individuals.

5. Threesomes appeal to bisexuals.

This is consistent with the assumption that bisexuals are drawn to everyone. You can be attracted to people of different genders yet still desire to be in a monogamous relationship. Similarly, you may be drawn to only one gender but wish to participate in a threesome. It's simply a matter of personal preference for the type of sex you prefer.

6. Bisexuals are either "straight" or "gay" depending on whether they date someone of the opposite gender or someone of the same gender.

People mistake bisexuals for heterosexuals if they date someone of the opposite gender. People assume bisexuals are gay if they date someone of the same gender. Who you date doesn’t change your sexuality. Only you get to label your sexuality and choose what’s right for you.

7. Bisexuality is a phase.

People believe that because we live in a monosexual society, you can only be straight or gay and that there is no other sexuality. True, some people identify as bisexual at one point in their lives, only to subsequently discover that they are straight or homosexual, or that another identification fits them better. Many people's sexuality is flexible. Of course, this is good, but it does not imply that bisexuality is a phase and hence not actual sexuality. Yes, it is. A bisexual individual does not "grow out of" their sexual orientation. Because of society's restrictive view of sexuality and gender binary, bisexuals should be embraced for who they are, not judged.

Don't allow anyone to tell you that your sexuality isn't valid. You're the person you're supposed to be. Your perception of yourself may shift, but you are the only one who can decide which identity, if any, is the most appropriate for you. And while this may alter over time, it is entirely up to you—not anybody else. No one else can tell you who you are; only you have the ability.

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