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The Difficulties of Being Bisexual

By Matty Silver on August 24, 2016 in Other

Over the years I have encountered several clients who’ve told me they are bisexual. One of them had a dilemma. A woman in her late twenties, she had experienced several short-term relationships with women and men since she was a teenager. For the past three years, she had been in a monogamous relationship with a male partner, and now he had asked her to marry him.

She loved him and they both wanted to have children. The problem was that she had never told him that she is bisexual; she prefered to be in a heterosexual relationship because settling down and having a family was very important to her. Now her dilemma was: should she tell him or not?

I am often surprised how many people know very little about their partner’s sexual past. Sometimes this is because they don’t know how to ask, or they don’t want to know because of insecurity or jealousy. Having to compete with a member of the opposite sex can be even more daunting!

Most people don’t understand the concept of bisexuality, and the assumption is often made that ‘you are either, gay, straight, or lying’. Many bisexual people complain that they feel like outsiders who fit in to neither the gay nor the straight world. It’s difficult for them to find acceptance and there are very few role models.

Gay men often believe that bisexual men are really gay, but in denial. Bisexual women are often mistrusted by lesbians for ‘sleeping with the enemy’, while straight women may reject bisexual men out of a misguided fear they may have HIV or other sexual transmitted infections. Bisexual men are told to make up their minds.

The sex researcher Alfred Kinsey noted more than 50 years ago that sexual attraction varies along a continuum and he devised a seven-point scale to describe this. At one end are people who are exclusively heterosexual and at the other end are people who are exclusively homosexual. In between are many graduations of desire. This third category, meaning people with some significant attraction to both genders, is called bisexuality.

Many bisexuals avoid coming out because they don’t want to deal with misconceptions that bisexuals are indecisive or incapable of monogamy, or going through a phase (stereotypes that also exist among straights, gays and lesbians alike). They also feel that they are sometimes shunned by the gay and lesbian, and the straight world, alike.

So, with all the myths and prejudices that bisexuals experience, will they be more accepted in the near future? There are many gay characters in the movies and on TV, but very few bisexual ones. As for celebrities, Anna Paquin, Megan Fox, Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie have openly stated that they are bisexual, but maybe it’s slightly more acceptable for women. Katy Perry famously performed a song called I Kissed a Girl and Madonna kissed Britney Spears on stage, but I doubt that Justin Bieber or Bruno Mars would ever dare to kiss a boy!