The LGBTQ community has definitely made strides in terms of understanding and acceptance. But there are still quite a few myths floating around out there, even among people who consider themselves accepting of lifestyles different than their own. Myths are especially common when it comes to bisexuality, so we thought it was time to set the record straight on a few things. Here are 5 common beliefs about bisexuality that are just plain wrong.
It’s just a phase
The biggest misconception about bisexuality is that it’s “just a phase,” as if sexual preference is something a person will eventually get tired of. Like Pokemon Go. Or the mannequin challenge. But nope, this isn’t the case.
Researcher Lisa Diamond recently published the findings of study she conducted over a 10-year time period. Diamond followed a sample group of females who identified as bisexual during adolescence to determine if their sexual preference changed a decade later. At the end of the study, only 8% identified as either straight or gay. An overwhelming 92% maintained that they’d been “consistently sexually fluid over time, maintaining attractions to both genders, to varying degrees,” which is the very definition of bisexuality.
So no, it’s not just a phase or an experiment. And frankly, that assumption is pretty demeaning.
“Bisexual” is just code for being gay
Guys seem to get this one a lot. If a man mentions he’s bi, people assume he’s really gay and just isn’t ready to come out of the closet. There’s even a whole Sex and the City episode about this, when Carrie decides to break up with a guy who’s bi because she’s afraid “he’s just on a layover on the way to gay town.” Which leads us to the next common misconception…
Bisexuality isn’t really a thing
It’s thing. Trust us. Or better yet, trust science. Psychology Today reports that a recent study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior studied how men who presented themselves as gay, straight and bisexual responded, comparatively, to visual stimuli containing different types of erotic film clips. Reported arousal was measured, but the participants were also connected to equipment which measured genital arousal. The findings were consistent with the subjects’ reported sexual preferences. Straight men responded most strongly to stimuli containing women, and the opposite was true for gay men. Bisexual men, however, responded to erotic videos containing both. In other words, no one was just pretending to be bi.
We feel like we shouldn’t really have to say this, but we will: bisexuality is a legit thing.
Bisexual people just want to have sex with everyone…all the time
Um, no. This would be like saying straight women just want to have sex with every man on planet earth.
Not only is this just plain wrong, it’s actually a form of slut-shaming which can be very harmful. Especially when it leads to the following belief…
Bisexual partners aren’t faithful
Chalk this one up to insecurity. Sometimes men who are in a relationship with a bisexual woman (or vice versa) assume their partner will eventually cheat since they’re also attracted to members of the same sex. This just isn’t the case. In the above-reference study by Lucy Diamond, 89% of the bisexual participants were in long-term, monogamous relationships at the end of the 10-year research period.
Cheating happens in all types of relationships, for a variety of complicated reasons. Not simply because someone is bi.
The most important component in any kind of relationship, whether that relationship is straight, gay or bi, is the same. Love.
Love is love.
And love includes accepting a person for who he or she is.