Sunday, 11 March 2012

Being Bisexual

Since I started to realise I was Bisexual nearly two years ago, I've been confronted with a number of interesting questions about who I am, and more generally what it means to be Bisexual. These are fine, if people are interested in different lifestyles, particularly in environments as judgemental as a high school, more power to them. However, I've also come across some rather bizarre assumptions about who I am and what I do.

I try not to place my sexuality at the forefront of my personality, but I feel forced to make a post addressing some of the more common and more outlandish ideas about what being Bisexual actually means; because if there's one thing I hate more than a bigot, it's an incompetent one.

1 - Erm... Do you like me?
An almost exclusively male reaction to finding out I'm Bi is the assumption that I must be attracted to them. It's quite an admirable self-confidence that these people display, as if everyone interested in the male sex must be interested in them. The question itself  is usually posed in a scared tone, as if I were some kind of sexual predator, or an excited one, as if the answer they're looking for is "Oh yes, I'd very much like to mount you right now."

Of course, the answer is probably no. I don't like all guys in the same way I - or indeed the person asking - doesn't like all girls. It's about as simple as that.  Being Bisexual does not mean I don't have a type or any kind of standards.

I have felt attraction to one or two of the people who have asked me this, and naturally I said no to preserve the peace in their insane minds, but that's neither here nor there to be honest.

2 - So you're going for a girl this time?
Possibly the strangest question I've been asked about my sexuality is that I alternate between going out with guys and girls. If I'm honest, I don't have a clue where this is coming from. My only guess would be that it comes from an expectation that Bisexuals are 'confused' and simply cannot decide which sex they like more. 

Bisexuality accounts for a wide variety of sexual preferences; some are more attracted to guys than girls (as I am), others are more attracted to girls, others like both equally; but never have I met anyone who goes out of their way to bounce between genders on a systematic basis.

3 - Who's the woman in your relationship?
The answer to this one is really quite simple: Neither of us. One of us being 'the woman' kinda defeats the object of being in a gay relationship. If I'm not being facetious, this question would better be worded as:
"Who's the feminine (read: sensitive) one?"
That's a little sexist, and it's not a discussion I want to get into, so I'll keep this one simple: Neither of us. Gosh, I feel like I'm repeating myself a little!

4 - Have you taken it up the ass?
I'm 15. So no.

5 - Will you take it up the ass?
Now this is ridiculous. I don't know. This one's more a generalisation of questions directed at my supposed sexual activity. I don't like answering questions like this because they're rather disturbing, probing and there seems to be no way out of them without looking like a pervert once a discussion begins. I'm sure this is surprising no one, but I'm not what you'd call sexually, or even romantically, active; and how I'll be having sex isn't a thought that's constantly on my mind. For the record though, I don't intend to have oral sex now, or ever.

6 - When did you decide to become bisexual?
The same time you decided you were straight. Sexuality is not something I believe is a choice. If it was, it would beg the question why so many people would choose to be a part of a group which as historically looked down upon as abominations by institutions like religion and society as a whole.

If the question you meant to ask was something along the lines of when did I start to realise... Not long before my 14th birthday, so nearly two years ago now.

7 - Are you sure?
The only question I genuinely despise answering on the list, to the point I've come close to outright refusing to answer it in the past. It generally comes in three flavours:

Yeah, I'm trendy, bitches.
7a - The Trends
Are you sure you're not just trying to be hip? Doing it because the other kids are doing it? I'm the first to admit that Bisexuality has become something of a fad - pioneered by the likes of Jessie J and Lady Gaga - and I think that's a massive shame and slightly demeaning to those who actually are inclined towards both sexes. However, as we all know, I'm hardly the kind of person who goes out of their way to follow trends. Just look at some of the shamelessly geeky posts on here.

7b - You're too young.
I can legally have sex in two months. I think I'm perfectly capable of deciding that I'm bi in the same way you are (or were) capable of deciding you were straight. I know who I'm attracted to.

7c - Maybe you're just fully gay.
This does have a degree of sense to it. Quite a lot of people have gone through phases of Bisexuality before settling on one gender or the other. In this case, Bisexuality is seen as a sort of "coming to terms with it all" phase. I went though it myself a while ago when I considered that I may have just been gay, so I didn't mind this question then. However, when I'm still being asked this after being out for two years, it gets repetitive and rather infuriating to have your sexual preferences constantly seen as a period of confusion or indecisiveness.

Well... This was fun.


  1. Another reply to a post on your blog. This is becoming a habit. :) The way I have explained it to people is:

    "Some people like Indian curries, but hate Chinese food. Some people love Chinese food, but hate Indian curries. Some people like both ... but maybe if pushed lean towards one or the other".

    It really shouldn't be any more complicated than that. As for the other questions/assumptions you mention above, yes I've probably had the whole lot thrown at me. And a few more.


    P.S. I need to work out what to use to not need the 'Anonymous' option :)

    1. Yes, it probably is wishful thinking. Although the experience that I've had from my friends has been largely a positive one, and the sillier questions/misconceptions do die down once.

      Anyway, this reply was largely to try out not being an anony-mouse :)

      Martin (just in case).

  2. Very wise comments. The questions are ones which bisexual people of any age often have to deal with. You have written very well on this matter. Good for you!

  3. I found this blog post through a retweeted link on Twitter. Reading through it I found myself agreeing with pretty much all of it, and when I got to the bit about you being 15, the coffee shot out my nose. I wish I'd been as articulate when I was 15 :)

    I'm now closer to 40, bi (had relationships mainly with women but occasionally with men) and all I can tell you (and you probably already know this) is that people generally are stupid, narrowminded and will probably never ever get the concept of bisexuality. We get shot by both sides—straights think we're putting on an act, gays think we're traitors—and point 7c is one that really rankles with me too. As they say "bi now, gay later"…and "they" are wrong.

    I could write tons more on this but don't want to hijack your blog :) so all I'll say is; revel in what you are, because you don't have to justify yourself to anyone. Except yourself.

  4. This is a good and thoughtful post that touches on many things I recognise from my own experience. Can I also say that I wish I'd had the courage to write something like this when I was 15. I didn't really come to terms with my bisexuality until I was older.

    I agree that bisexuality seems to really confuse some people (my family included). I've had many questions implying bi people alternate between genders and even people who think it means having a boyfriend *and* a girlfriend. I have tried, many times, to explain that it's very simple. Rather that fancying boys or girls I fancy people. The other rules are all exactly the same.

    People are also confused by the fluidity of sexuality. Personally, I mostly fancy girls. If I notice someone hot it's almost always a girl. I don't have any real desire for a boy now... but I enjoyed having a boyfriend and I very occasionally fancy boys now. And people don't so much ask questions as make assumptions about what I've gotten up to. I've never had anal sex (and don't really want to). My relationship was based on oral sex.

    And like you I've had people assuming that I was confused or (I quote) 'going through a crisis'. I explained, gently, that I'd first had a naughty thought about another boy when I was about 12. When I was 13 I had an enormous crush on a school friend. By the time I came out, at about 19, I was not unsure.

    Anyway, I'm rambling. Good post.

  5. Found this on Twitter, and had no idea you were 15! What a great post, my thoughts exactly! (Except I'm a 22-year-old woman.) Congrats, great post. I wish more people understood bisexuality as well as you do! Xx

  6. Great post Matt!

    In my own experiences with sexuality, and other subjects, the main confusion seems to come from a lack of understanding and honesty with oneself. I think people primarily get confused from the False Concepts taught to them by Religion and Culture. The number one being the question, "Is sexuality a Choice?". Religion will argue that It IS a Choice so Blame or Guilt can be assigned to it and therefore Judgement. Fear of Judgement and Rejection from others in the community will then lead to various levels of Denial. Every time I ask anyone though, they will always say their Sexual Attraction to others, whether Hetro, Homo or Bi-Sexual, is Instinctive and no "Choice" is Ever Involved. I don't believe anyone can Choose who they are Attracted to, but they can certainly be in Denial about it.


  7. Thank you for the informative article on being bisexual. I'm a gay man and often hear people in the gay and straight community say "oh bisexuals are just greedy." A good friend of mine is bisexual and I've know a few people who've identified as bisexual over the years and the complete opposite is true. My bisexual friends are the most picky and have the most standards about who they get in relationships with.

    If I could choose my sexuality I'd be bisexual. It must be liberating to date and go out with someone because you like them for who they are. I have met many women in my life that would have been ideal to have a relationship with and whom I would have been really happy with. But the problem for me was lack of sexual attraction because they are a woman.

    Antony x