Apparently, 44% of Australians would not date someone who is bisexual. That’s according to the ABC’s Australia Talks survey, which polled 60,000 Aussies about pretty much everything. If you are, like me, A Friendly Neighbourhood Bisexual, that 44% statistic might have thrown you for a loop. Forty four percent –as in, six percent off half the damn population? Seems dramatic, tbh.
But yes, the stats determined that almost half of Aussies wouldn’t wanna date someone like me – not because I’m just too hot and sexy to handle, or because of my wonderful sense of humility, but they would in fact swipe a big fat ‘No’ on me on a hypothetical dating app without even speaking a single word to me, solely because of my sexuality.
It’s a very cool feeling, makes me feel really good about myself, and doesn’t feel discriminatory in the slightest.
Despite bisexuality being the largest group in the LGBTQIA+ community as well as the fastest growing, bisexuals still face a shitload of discrimination and biphobia, both from The Heterosexuals and from within the community, too.
While it should be noted that the ABC’s survey sample skewed towards older Australians, and the percentage of younger Aussies who said they wouldn’t date someone bisexual was much lower, bisexuality is still very clearly misunderstood across the board, regardless of generational differences.
There are a lot of myths and stereotypes about bisexuality that are still heavily believed. After 15 years of openly identifying as bisexual, I still get asked the same questions – it’s bizarre to me that biphobia hasn’t seemed to have evolved within the last two decades or so, but oh well. So I’m writing this to dispel a couple of common ones. Ready? Okay.
Bisexuals are all super slutty
People seem to equate being attracted to more than one gender to therefore mean that their number of sexual partners is doubled/tripled/quadrupled/whatever, but like… bisexual people’s number of sexual partners is generally in the same ballpark as anyone else’s. It’s just that the genders of the sexual partners is mixed in various ways.
Honestly, fucking ~however many times~ the amount of people to keep my gender markers even? That’s a lot of math and honestly it sounds very tiring and time consuming, and I don’t want to get up that early.
Almost every straight cis dude I’ve dated has brought up the idea of a threesome with me at some stage, as if it’s just assumed that if you’re bi, you absolutely HAVE TO fuck different genders at one time to be satisfied. Absolutely nothing against group sex obviously, it’s all well and good, go for your life if that’s what you want! Just don’t automatically assume every bisexual person wants it, because many don’t.
I’ll summarise with this: yes, some bisexuals are slutty. But some aren’t. Same as how some straight people are slutty, and some aren’t. Being a hoe is a life choice all of us could make, regardless of sexuality, and good for you if you’re travelling that road! It’s the assumption that being bisexual immediately means you’re promiscuous that’s the issue here.
Bisexuality is just a phase / they’re just confused
If I had a dollar for every time a straight person told me that I was ‘just confused’ or ‘going through a phase’… look, I wouldn’t be Jeff Bezos rich but my savings account would certainly look a fucktonne healthier than what it does now.
The whole ‘bisexuals are just confused’ or ‘Bi now, gay later’ myth is one of the most prevalent, and I don’t know what to tell you other than it’s total bullshit. I realised as a young tween fresh outta puberty that I was attracted to girls as much as I was attracted to the boys, and it took me a while to get my head around why my female friends at school only had crushes on guys. It just did not make sense in my mind. And here I am, more than fifteen years later, and monosexuality still doesn’t really compute to me. That’s a pretty long ass phase.
Bisexuality isn’t real
Bisexuality has been around for many, many thousands of years, and there’s plenty of records of it throughout history. It’s not a new concept, nor is it some sort of fairytale limbo between gay and straight. Bisexuality isn’t a phase, it’s not confusion – it’s a sexuality in its own right. If you can’t get your head around how someone can be attracted to more than one gender, that’s fine – we just don’t really wanna hear about it. Simply, it’s just not your place to tell us that what we are, what we feel, and what our lived experience looks like isn’t real.
Bisexuals are attracted to gender equally
Bisexuals ain’t a homogenous group – we’re all different. And the way we are attracted to different genders varies a lot! Personally, my identification as bisexual has always been ‘attracted to more than two genders’ rather than the binary of ‘men and women’.
I’ve had more relationships with men, but have had romantic and sexual relationships with people of other gender identities, too. I think it’s a weird concept to put, like, percentages on which genders you’re more attracted to (although plenty of people do), but bisexuality can vary.
Some bi people are more attracted to one gender than another. Or are sexually attracted to one gender, but not romantically attracted. There’s a lot of different variables here, but let’s just say – everyone is different, and yes, it takes a long time to figure all this shit out personally. If you have never had to, be thankful, because sometimes this shit is confusing.
All bisexuals miss having sex with other genders when they’re in a relationship
Again, a stereotype because we’re all different, and how I engage with my sexual identity will be different to the next bisexual person. I don’t “miss” having sex with other genders when I’m in a relationship and I personally prefer monogamy, but I know plenty of bisexual people who are in polygamous or open relationships so they can have multiple sexual partners. Different strokes for different folks, but stereotyping all bisexual people as NEEDING to have multiple sexual partners just adds fire to the ‘sexually promiscuous’ shit.
As with most of these myths, it’s the assumption that’s the issue. Communication is really the key – if you think your bisexual partner is wanting to do something sexually, the best thing to do is talk about it! None of this stuff is a big deal if you communicate.
Bisexuals will cheat on you
What a load of hooey this is – and yet, it is one of THE most common myths about bisexuality. It’s linked, I suppose, to the previous ‘miss having sex with other genders’ myth.
I’ve been rejected by lesbian women who were adamant that because I’m bisexual, I would eventually cheat on them with a man, and straight men have told me their concerns that I’d cheat on them with a woman.
For the lesbians, it seemed like their fear of being cheated on was somehow linked to their queer identity, as if my inevitable affair with A Straight Man was like, a betrayal of the LGBTQIA+ community and an affront towards all lesbians. For the men, the idea of being cheated on with a woman would be a dramatic and devastating hit to their masculinity.
Look, it’s a strange one: I’m not sure why bisexuals are assumed to all be cheaters, but I think it essentially stems from fear of being betrayed, tied in with the myth that bisexual people can’t be sexually satisfied in a monogamous relationship. Bottom line is that if you refuse to be in a relationship with a bisexual person because you think they’ll cheat on you, that absolutely says more about you than it does about them (and this fear of betrayal is probably something you should chat to a mental health professional about, just FYI).
All in all, the key thing here is stereotyping sucks. Instead of believing and relying on stereotypes to guide you through life, be open-minded enough to get to know someone as a human being. Rejecting someone outright because of their sexual identity is weird, because it’s generalising and rejecting people based on myths that aren’t even real – that person might be the love of your life, you goon! We’re human beings with different interests and sexual drives and attractions, but the one thing we do have in common is that we’re all very cute. So now, go forth and date a bisexual! We don’t bite, promise (unless you’re into that).
Chloe Sargeant is a Sydney-based writer, reporter, illustrator, radiantly queer scallywag, noodle enthusiast, and one half of the Chronically Fully Sick podcast. She’s currently writing a book about living with fibromyalgia, and you can find her at @chlosarge on Twitter and Insta.