No you did not "turn me," and other misconceptions about me being bisexual

January 14 | Guest post by Pixels
By: Kurt Löwenstein Education Center (International Team)CC BY 2.0

I've noticed over the years that certain trends appear when I'm dating — at least when dating men. Here are the top five misconceptions about my bisexuality, that I feel I have to address…

1. I do not want to check out other girls with you

I can appreciate the beauty of others, however one common thing that happens in relationships, mostly with men, is "Hey look at her, she is hot." Sigh, yes I am glad you think she is good-looking, and she might really be, but I am the person you are dating. I do not need to know about every single other person that you think looks good.

2. I'm not down for threesomes

I am horrible at sharing. Always have been, probably always will be. I also don't like mixing. I also have not really had anyone I trust enough to do this successfully. I have tried twice and it ended horribly.

3. I am not going to cheat, with either sex

On the other side I have had guys be scared I would cheat on them with anyone. I would be hanging out with my friends who are girls, and if I was spending a lot of time with them, my partner would start accusing me of cheating. Just cause I am bisexual does not mean I am attracted to everyone. So cool your jets.

4. No you did not "turn me"

I have been asked during some relationships if they have "turned me" one way or another. I have also had arguments with friends because they said I was straight because I haven't dated a girl in a while. Just because I am dating a guy does not mean that my feeling toward women disappears — I am still attracted to women, and I enjoyed the relationships that I have had with them.

5. I'm more than just my sexual preference

Stop using my bisexuality in conversations like it is a special talent. Yes I might make jokes about it from time to time, but I am just like everyone else. I am not going to introduce you to a friend and say, "Hey this is Bob, he went to UCLA for Marine Biology, and he is straight." People of all sexual tendencies just want to be treated normally. It's just a sexual preference; there are a whole lot more layers to this onion than just that.

Anyone else have more misconceptions to address?

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  1. First these aren't really misconceptions. As a bisexual woman in an open relationship I am down for threesomes and have checked out both sexes with significant others. My sexuality is my own and that includes from people thinking they are posting on my behalf on preferences. I know monogamous bis and non-monogamous bis. I know bi's that feel like you and those that feel like myself. My point is that those are your preferences, not mine and when you use the word misconception you are trying to paint everyone as feeling the way you do.

    44 agree
    • ^Agree totally. I'm bi, but I only slightly resemble this list. But good to hear your preferences! Glad they work for you!

      11 agree
    • I feel like it is a misconception though that bisexuals are always down for the threeway–any time, any place, any people. I used to get this all the time from "friends" who just assumed that as soon as they called, I'd be willing to hop in their disgusting bed with their gross partner at that exact inopportune moment, no matter how unwashed, menstrual and hungover I was. It's an assumption of, "Oh, you're bi? Then that means you have absolutely zero standards! Come bone with us in our filth shack!"

      47 agree
    • I was thinking the same thing. I think these are common stereotypes and it's important to remember that not ALL bi women (or men) are like that, but some of us are/do. I personally LOVE checking out women with my boyfriend, for example.

      3 agree
  2. Omg, yes. I think a few of these misconceptions come down to confusing "bisexual" with "polyamourous." Yes, some people are both, but one does not automatically equal the other. There are straight, gay, & bi ppl who are poly, it's not a requirement of bixsexuals to be poly or vice versa. Bisexual doesn't mean "have sex with everyone all the time" either. Some bisexuals may want to screw around with a ton of ppl, some don't, just like some straights or gays. It's not connected directly to the orientation.

    22 agree
    • Sexuality is so complex. I'm monogamous with my husband (male) and my girlfriend (female, obvs). Does that make me poly? I don't know if I can quite get aboard that train, do I share well? It's undetermined yet, but I do know that I like men and women, and have managed to find another woman in the same bisexual boat, and we're making it work.

      But for 9 years I was monogamous with a man.

      Some days I feel totally asexual.

      Being bisexual I am *occasionally* attracted to men or women, but usually I feel 'meh.'

      The spectrum is interesting, and I like the broad misconceptions tempered with these are 'my' personal experiences.

      3 agree
      • I would say that you can only be "monogamous" with one person; polyamory is not strictly interchangeable with "open relationships" (in fact, the word, within the poly community, for a relationship that includes multiple partners, all of whom have committed to keeping their romantic relationships within the established group, is "polyfidelitous"; or you could also say "closed vee/triad/quad/whatever").

        That said, I am 100% down with you applying whatever labels to yourself and your relationship(s) that you feel are most correct. But I did want you to know that relationships like yours are not unheard of, and if that made you feel like you don't belong in the poly community, it shouldn't, because there are lots of self-identified poly people, perhaps even the majority of them, whose relationships are not 100% open.

        7 agree
        • I know the definition of monogamy and my lived experience don't match up. But it FEELS monogamous to me. I am with one man and one woman. They don't intermingle, and while I supposed that would make it a V, it still doesn't feel like non-monogamy. It feels like you said, about being polyfaithful to my husband and my girlfriend, because they're two separate relationships. I only want one man and one woman, is that too much to ask for?! 😉

          4 agree
          • Well, awesome, then! If that's what works for you, then you rock it! 🙂

            1 agrees
  3. 4.5 my bisexuality didn't disappear when I married a man and had 2 kids. It also doesn't make me a "bad bisexual" to legally marry when that right was just afforded to same sex couples in my state. I'm not trying to appear hetero-normative. Trust me, I didn't think I'd end up in this family structure so I'm feeling my way through self-definition just like everyone else.

    42 agree
  4. This!

    The cis-gendered men I have dated have always asked me questions about girls and threesomes. One in particular did manage to convince me to have a threesome, this is where I realized I don't share well.

    I also really hate the question: "do you like girls or boys better?" Everyone asks me that.

    Now I am married to a trans man and I find my bisexuality to be a benefit. I am not so hung up on body parts or how someone "should" be.

    9 agree
    • I agree with the title of this….. and nothing else. I LOVE checking out women with my husband, I like sharing girls with him too- even though it's always my suggestion and never his. Being bisexual isn't just a preference it's who I am. Though I'm in a monogamous relationship, I still have the occasional desire to be with women. And I always will.

      7 agree
    • First, I have had the exact same experience. I'm a cisgendered bisexual woman, and while my trans ex-boyfriend is my ex-BOYfriend, his sex and body presentation were not something I actively thought about. It was easy to share the perspective he had on his body, at least partially, I think, because as a comfortably bisexual woman, I wasn't concerned with what I was "supposed" to be attracted to. It wasn't matter of "I don't see bodies, just people", but that I am attracted to men, I am attracted to women, and so I am comfortable being attracted to transmen or transwomen.

      Second, I appreciate and agree with the comments discussing how sexuality and its expression is personal. Poly, monogamous, monagamish, this is not a judgement — what I think the author is addressing, and something I also faced, is the perception of bisexuality as an expression of hypersexuality, aka nymphomania. An exploration of your partner(s)' and one's own sexuality is cool, assumptions about someone based more on porn than reality, not so much. If a man goes out on a date with a woman known to enjoy casual sex, with the sole motivation being "getting laid", that action holds tacit slut-shaming, among other icky things. Sex is one of the few times where intent really matters.

      ASSUMING someone is down for some non-monogamous, non-heteronormative, and/or kinky good fun JUST BECAUSE they are bisexual is insulting and skeezy — simply enjoying fun that is fun, because it is fun, is fun and not skeezy (unless you're into that 😉 ).

      8 agree
  5. Wish the title of this post had been different–it implies a broad range of experiences when it's really one person's experience. Not all of these items are misconceptions for all bisexual people.

    Tl;dr: Threesomes rule (for me and my partners and other people of our sexual and relationship orientations)!

    4 agree
  6. I think a lot of it comes down to who you're with and how honest you are with them. I would check out girls with my husband, but we have completely different taste. Also, we both know that it's harmless because neither of us want to cheat or have threesomes. I even tell him that I miss having sex with girls. I also miss living in another part of the country, but I'm not going to leave him to live there, you know?

    The only misconception about bisexuality that I've dealt with is that sexuality is static, but that's just a misconception in general. Yes, I identified as straight for a while. Yes, I identified as a lesbian for a while. Those were valid representations of me at that time. But married or single, I've decided that bisexual is a better label for me.

    14 agree
  7. I don't even know how I'd define my sexuality, and I don't even know that I care anymore since I'm in a monogamous relationship with my husband that neither of us has any intention of ever leaving. I identify, when asked, as straight since that's the relationship I'm in and it's less confusing to everyone around us, but if my husband magically turned female tomorrow, I'd get over it (he probably wouldn't, but I wouldn't care as much). The whole thing is just a very neutral issue to me. I guess that means I'm bisexual?

    5 agree
    • This reminds me of a friend of mine that doesn't label her sexuality, but when the subject comes up she says, "gender is not the deciding factor in whether or not I'm attracted to someone." I've always liked that.

      7 agree
      • I had a friend who explained it as "I fall in love with individuals." (Not men, not women, not both, just…people.)

        2 agree
  8. Gosh, I can identify with all of this so much. Let me just add a little of my own bisexual woe to this. Friends jealous boyfriends. This has been an issue for me a LOT as being the bisexual friend. Alone time with my strictly straight girl friends gets looked upon with suspicion by their insecure, judgmental boyfriends. Apparently, I am not allowed to go out or hang out with female friends one on one because I am bisexual and must be trying to get in their pants. You know, because bisexual means I want to sleep with everyone all the time. Soooo group outings are fine only. Ughhh.

    6 agree
  9. This is a pretty neat first-pass at the weird ideas people get, for sure! I have noticed, like you, that when I date cis-males, I can "pass", but I've actually found that it's easier than I had thought to find people who actually get that I'm not attracted to 100% of people, and that orgies are not everyone's thing, regardless of the types of people they may be interested in. My fiance fits that description, and his understanding nature is part of why we've stayed together.

    Not everyone gets it, though. When I come across someone confused or insulting, I have a short, sweet script to explain. I guess I may qualify more as pan than bi, but I explain it thus: Some people are hot to me, and they're all living humans close to my age, but they don't all happen to have the same race and gender. Plus, everybody's genitals are gross, unless they're in the process of making you feel good, so who cares what plumbing is in someone's pants?… That tends to clear up any questions that people may have.

    4 agree
  10. I am bisexual and my pansexual friend and I were having a discussion about this just yesterday. I hate that people make assumptions about my relationship with my fiance once they find out that I am bisexual. NO he doesn't want to share me with women, NO he doesn't want to have threesomes, and NO he did not "turn" me. I always try to explain to people that just because I fell in love with a man does not erase my feelings for women but those feelings also don't give me a free pass to cheat. Sometimes it works but sometimes people just can't understand. Sigh.

    7 agree
  11. One of the most hurtful and unfortunate ones I run into is that some people just refuse to believe that I'm bi. I had a (former) close female friend try to break up my relationship with my now-husband while consistently claiming she was saving me from a "fake" relationship and helping me see my "true" homosexual self. And it has gone the other way, too … as others have mentioned, I've had to deal with several people who assumed I must be lying about being attracted to women because I've been in a long-term, monogamous relationship with a man for many years. In my experience, the myth that bisexual people are really just gay or straight and using the "bi" label to get attention is still a very real thing.

    9 agree

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