Bisexuals make up the third letter of the LGBT(Q) alphabet soup. But sometimes they feel a bit left out.
In case you were unaware, bisexuals (the “B” in LGBTQ) are "family," too. Men and women who love both men and women fall within the rainbow umbrella, but for some reason they don’t always feel the love.
New York magazine recently profiled the "four most desirable people on OKCupid." There were two women (one lesbian and one straight woman) and two men (one gay and one straight). If they’re going to stick to those binaries, the least they could do is include two bisexuals, amirite?
Despite the criticisms of its lack of inclusion of diverse gender and sexuality options, OKCupid touts that it is the “best free dating site on Earth.” Indeed, it's known for being one of the trendiest dating sites. It also provides various features to keep "the gays" from "the straights" which is an added layer of protection for women who love women, and who have no interest in men and their invitations for threesomes. But even bisexuals have a hard time looking for love on the site.
Here are the five biggest misconceptions that make it hard out there for a bisexual who’s in the pursuit of love:
1. You’re greedy ... and freaky! Being bisexual means you want to have your cake and eat it too ... right? How could you ever be satisfied with just one person if you identify as bisexual? People like Ani DiFranco seem like a myth when it comes to negotiating bisexual identity. But, really, it is possible.
Bisexual means "kinky and into threesomes ... right? All of those gay/straight couples may want you to help them spice up their boring relationship.
2. You’re just experimenting. People of the same sex that you’re interested may think you're only pretending to be bi. I mean, bisexuals can't commit, right?
There’s a prevailing myth that being bisexual means that you don’t want--or are unable--to commit. Obviously no one wants to be cheated on, but for some, there’s an extra sting when their lover cheats with someone of a different sex from them. Men feel like they can’t give you what a woman can and ironically women feel they can’t give you what a man can. Bisexuals bring out insecurities in everyone!
3. You’re really just gay! Bisexuals--especially men--are often questioned about their sexual orientation. The term “sexual orientation” (a natural sexual attraction) vs. “sexual preference” (like having a taste for a salad instead of a sandwich) makes all the difference here. As someone who “likes both,” it can be hard to convince people of your identity. If only people understood that we can’t control our sexual desires, right?
And there's a double standard, too! A lot of men who like women truly believe that any woman could be into them (regardless of her sexual orientation). But when it comes to a bisexual man, many women see them as gay.
4. You don’t fit in with "family." Though you are, in fact, part of the LGBTQ fam, you may often feel left out. If you mostly hang out with queer friends, you may feel judged when you’re dating someone of the opposite sex (especially if they are cisgender).
If you’re a woman who hangs out with lesbians, they may roll their eyes when you tell them you’re dating a man. If you’re a man who is friends with a group of gay men, they may shudder when you say you’ve met a hot woman. People expect you to pick whether you like men or women, when in reality you just like both!
5. It's double the work. If you’re looking for love online, with most sites you have to make two accounts. Yes, even on OKCupid. While the site does allow you to identify as bisexual, for many, that solicits unwanted invitations to "spice up" a heterosexual relationship and can mean disinterest from those who feel threatened knowing their would-be partner goes "both ways.”
There are smaller niche sites, but the bigger ones have the highest traffic, so it would be ideal to have an account on those.
For some, bisexuals “confuse” things. For this reason, they're often left out of articles like the one New York magazine recently published.
Hopefully one day we will allow for more complexity in our conversations about those who don’t necessarily fit into one box. Once we can begin talking about it, the way we each love won’t seem so complicated.