Misunderstanding of Bisexuals

It's well-known that sexual fluidity has been working its way into the mainstream. More and more girls date girls and then went back to guys, or the middle-aged woman who left her husband for some sexy women. However,Most people can't even agree on a definition of bisexuality.In this article, I aim to dispel the biggest bisexual misunderstanding and stereotypes, shed light on some new bisexual ones, and help to document a sexual identity that is often shrugged off as a "phase," a "gateway," "homosexuality lite" or "college."

1.Bisexuals are sluts.

Yes , bisexuals would probably like a jar of chocolate if it looks into the right way. This just because bisexuals technically have more options for sexual partners, and it doesn't mean they are more promiscuous. Naturally, there are bisexuals who are non-monogamous, and who want to sow their oats into as many Quakers as possible, but the same could be said for every sexual orientation. Perhaps the truer statement is we all have the potential to be slutty, regardless of which way we swing.

2.Bisexuals are indecisive or confused.

Someone said that bisexuals “just can’t make up their minds.” but bisexuals will reply, they don’t have a problem making up their minds. Derogatory statements like the above are all too common to a bisexual’s ears. And yes, it comes from both the gay and straight communities, which sometimes think bisexuals are either cowardly or are taking advantage of straight privilege. However, being attracted to more than one gender is about as likely to make you “indecisive” as watching a lot of musical theater is likely to turn you gay. Also, isn’t it odd that it’s always the gays and straights who are confused about bisexuality, and not bisexuals themselves?

3.Bisexuality is a cop-out or a phase.

It's always scary to come out of the closet for the first time, despite what you may have seen on Bravo, but coming out as bisexual is essentially declaring that you don't have a preference. It's a revolving closet, so it's somewhat understandable that people tend to view bisexuality as a stepping stone to a more "valid" or "realized" sexual identity. And sometimes this is indeed the case. Elton John comes to mind. But this rationale is just another way people try to devalue bisexuality as an identity, the same tactic used to devalue homosexuality, or being transgender, etc. A lot of thought, turmoil and struggle goes into the decision to come out, and to dismiss it so readily is deliberately insulting.

4.Everybody is bisexual.

Not even close. This misconception started with Freud, was bolstered by Kinsey, and now seems to be spread predominantly through Yahoo! forums. However, there are a lot more people acting on bisexual desires than there are who identify as such.While not everyone is bisexual, here's a small smattering of bi celebs who are commonly mistaken or purposefully misconstrued as card-carrying homos and heteros: Sappho (yes, the Greek poster-dyke), Kurt Cobain, James Dean, Ani DiFranco, Walt Whitman, Anais Nin, Frida Kahlo, Eleanor Roosevelt, Alexander the Great, Tchaikovsky, Michael Stipe, Lord Byron, Emily Dickinson, Andy Dick, Herman Melville, Eve Ensler, Judy Garland, Georgia O'Keeffe (who was Frida's lover for a time), Marlon Brando, Cary Grant, Billie Holiday, Angelina Jolie, Janis Joplin, David Bowie, Jack Kerouac, Kristanna Loken (from Terminator 3 and the one who burned Shane's house down in Season 4 of The L Word), Madonna, Elton John, Amanda Palmer (from the Dresden Dolls), Cole Porter, Anthony Rapp (Rent), Virginia Woolf, Patti Smith, Mick Jagger and on and on. (To see a more complete list of bi celebs, check out the Wikipedia page.)

5.Bisexuals can never be happy in a monogamous relationship.

Let the record show that bisexuals are just as likely to fail at monogamy as the rest of you infidels! According to Peggy Vaughan, author of The Monogamy Myth, statistics show that 40 percent of women and 60 percent of men have affairs at least once in their marriages. Since these people aren't always married to each other, that means about 80 percent of all marriages are "touched" by adultery. But being bisexual doesn't make you any more likely to cheat than being straight or gay does. Nor does it mean that bisexuals are destined to be miserable without a variety of genitalia at their disposal. Just as in other sexual relationships, being partnered with one person doesn't suddenly negate your attraction to other people. The same goes for bisexuals in monogamous relationships.

6.Bisexuals love threesomes!

This is one that's both really irritating and understandable at the same time. Sure, who doesn't want to have their cake and eat their pussy too from time to time? But the culturally pervasive hetero dude fantasy of the threesome-as-Holy-Grail has turned a delightful, occasional sexytime experience into an annoying bombardment of cold-call propositions, usually from strangers or drunks.

7.Bisexuals love puns.

This one is true. Whoever said "puns are the lowest form of humor" was probably not getting laid regularly. Puns are a form of wordplay that exists in all languages. They're cheeky, exploit the multiple meanings of words, and are the verbal equivalent of a double take. Come again, you ask? Many bisexuals love to pun because they operate on the assumption that nothing has a fixed meaning, much like sexual identity. Take the term "hasbien" for example. This is used as a mildly derisive name for lesbians who have gone back to dating men. Instead of viewing hasbiens as traitors, or policing others for the sake of political correctness, punsters decided not to go bi the book and instead created a humorous renaming of bisexuality in the word hasbien. Another reason bisexuals like puns is because the word bi is infinitely pun-able. Take a quick look at these bi publications: Seattle Women's Bisexual Network newsletter, "North Bi Northwest"; "BiAngles," a bisexual zine; "BiCEP," the Bisexual Committee Engaging in Politics; "LeBiDo," and my favorite, the Queer Nation Bi Caucus, "UBIQUITOUS" (Uppity Bi Queers United in Their Overtly Unconventional Sexuality).

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