Sadly, misconceptions about bisexual women abound –and they’re circulated by both straight and LGBT communities. Though I’ve dated women exclusively (except that one time I ‘went out’ with a guy –a very gay guy– in eighth grade) for years, some of my best friends and exes self-identify as bisexual. They’re routinely asked when their ‘phase’ will end and how many sexual encounters they’ve had. Occasionally, an exceptionally rude person (usually an acquaintance) will tell them that they shouldn’t date, period, because they’re greedy and will hurt everyone around them. Crazy, right? Well, I’ve had enough of the misconceptions about bisexual women. Here are seven of the most common fallacies, along with why they’re so very wrong.
One of the most common misconceptions about bisexual women is that they ALL want to be with both sexes. One is never enough. But according to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force , the majority of bisexuals in committed relationships are monogamous. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. A woman’s sexuality is completely separate from the types of relationships she has. Now, we’re all different. Some lesbians and straight women date around without commitment. But that doesn’t mean others can’t be monogamous!
When dating a person (whether bisexual or not), you should communicate with each other to establish relationship rules and boundaries. If a bisexual-identified woman does cheat in a monogamous relationship, that demonstrates the type of person she is, and should not be taken as a reflection on the sexuality as a whole. And just because a bisexual woman is with another woman, it doesn’t mean she’s also on the prowl for a guy. A bisexual can enjoy the touch of both the male body and the female body, but connect emotionally with one person.
If ‘bisexual’ comes to mind when you think of someone who is greedy, you need to reassess your way of thinking. To label a person ‘greedy’ because of whom they’re attracted to is wrong, especially when so very many issues in this world could be solved if we all did and gave more (and that’s completely unrelated to sexual preference!).
You know those two or three college-age girls at the club who make out with each other to titillate men? Chances are, they don’t identify as bisexual; if they do, they’re not indicative of the sexuality as a whole. In my experience, you’re much more likely to see a bisexual woman playing pool at the back of the bar with her partner or mingling with the crowd than ripping her top off and downing free shots.
In a 1995 survey conducted by author and researcher Paula Rust, one in four lesbians believed that bisexuality didn’t exist. We may have come a long way since then, but blatant biphobia continues to exist in both LGBT and heterosexual communities. Take a peek at the comments section on almost any bisexual-themed article and you’ll find that everyone seems less-than-tolerant of those who find both sexes attractive. Even today, women face waves of unfounded criticism for identifying as bisexual. According to a 10-year study  published in 2008, 92% of bisexual-identified participants remained bisexual-identified over the course of the ten year period in which the study was conducted. That’s quite a long phase!
Monogamous bisexual women face increased risks of domestic violence. Meanwhile, bisexuals as a whole suffer higher rates of depression and anxiety than the general population and are more likely to feel suicidal than any other orientation. The San Francisco Human Rights Commission  partly attributes these harrowing statistics to a lack of support systems for bisexual people –even in urban areas. While bisexuals who wed a partner of the opposite sex DO secure the rights and responsibilities of federally-recognized marriages, many bisexuals feel invisible in their own communities. On the other hand, bisexual women who date other women are often taken less seriously. Despite the idea that bisexuals get the best of both worlds, they often face unfair prejudice in both of them. And that’s hardly a privilege.
One of the most offensive things you can do to a bisexual woman –especially if she is in a relationship– is ask her to participate in a threesome. Never simply assume that a bisexual woman automatically wants to sleep with you and your boyfriend. And never, ever attempt to touch or kiss a bisexual woman without her permission because that is called assault.
These are 7 of the biggest misconceptions about bisexual women. Which ones have you or your friends encountered? Do you have any of your own ideas to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!
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