Today we are going to talk about something I find very aggravating.
I’m bisexual (this is not the aggravating thing).
I will now dissect the what happens when it comes up in conversation about fifty percent of the time. In this example I’m going to use a straight man as the other person, but this also happens with women and people who are not straight.
“How do you know?”
“That I’m bi?”
“I’m attracted to men and women.”
Now, ideally, this would be the be all and end all of the conversation. It is, however, not. For some reason, some people (especially those who are heterosexual) struggle to see this as a simple concept.
“Have you ever been with a woman?”
This question comes about because I’ve been with my male fiance for six years – since I was fifteen. Luckily I’ve never had to have this debate with someone who is a complete stranger.
“So how do you know then?”
“How did you know you were straight before you’d been with anyone?”
Yes, this is where I start getting annoyed. The argument that I can’t know if I like women unless I’ve been with one is ridiculous.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that before you had a girlfriend, how did you know you were straight?”
It’s not different. The only reason anyone think’s it’s different is because straight is by far the most commonly accepted sexuality. Unless you’re a very effeminate man or a particularly butch woman, people will assume you’re straight unless you tell them otherwise. No-one has to come out as straight, but most people of other sexualities do have to come out, because if they don’t then people assume they’re straight.
“How is it different?”
“It just is!”
“I don’t get what’s so hard to understand about the fact I know I fancy women.”
“You know fancying a girl is different to just finding them attractive, right?”
RIGHT. Yes, I know this, funnily enough. It is not just men who can make this distinction. Believe it or not, this is part of the reason I know I’m bisexual. Because I can recognise when I fancy someone vs when I just think they are nice to look at. And I can do this with both men and women.
“Alright, explain to me why you’re confused.”
“Well… I don’t get like if you’ve never slept with a woman, how do you know you’ll like it?”
“So you think that because you don’t like the idea of sleeping with a man, that means that no-one likes the idea of sleeping with someone the same gender as them unless they try it?”
“… Kinda, yeah.”
Ehh. I mean, I get why people think that. It’s the same logic I use when I say that I can’t imagine why anyone would like tomatoes or bananas. The thing is, though, people of the same gender are not like mushy, pulpy food. They are human beings. Just because you can’t imagine having sex with someone of the same gender, doesn’t mean I can’t.
“Well… people like different things.”
“So how far have you gone with a woman?”
“I’ve made out with one a few times.”
“So you’ve never done anything like… sexual?”
“No, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be willing to.”
“So how do you know you’d enjoy it?”
I have sexual desire. I enjoy sex. I know what sexual pleasure feels like. And I know that I would enjoy it whether it was a woman or a man also involved, and I’m not opposed to the idea of sex with either men or women.
“I don’t know for sure, but I have a pretty good idea.”
“I just can’t imagine going down on another guy.”
Okay so, to be fair, this one only happened with my fiance, but I thought it was important to include. And I want to include it because, back before I had ever gone down on a guy, I couldn’t imagine doing it and I definitely didn’t want to. Then, later, when I was starting to fancy girls but convincing myself that I was “bicurious”, I didn’t even think about going down on a girl. And even when my fiance started to ask me “are you sure you don’t like girls as well?” I would tell him that I was sure because I didn’t like the idea of putting my face near a vagina. I have, however, come to realise that this is exactly the same as when I couldn’t imagine putting my face near a penis. It is something that comes with the territory, but is definitely not something I’m required to do until I’m ready.
“And you probably never will.”
“So alright then. If what you’re saying is true, how come you only just realised?”
“I didn’t. I’m just only just saying it.”
So. I came out to my fiance at age 20 after months of him going “Emily, I’m pretty sure you’re at least bi.” And me telling people that “I’m not bi, but if a really close friend confessed her feelings for me, I’d say that I’d give it a go.” But realistically, I’ve known for a very long time. In school, when I thought I was just a little too enthralled with how pretty a girl was, I knew I was bisexual. When I thought I wanted to be around another girl’s confident, fun and outgoing personality a little too much, I knew I was bisexual. When I recognised the signs of a crush in someone else but I didn’t have a crush on her, I knew I was bisexual because I knew what it was like to have a crush on girls and guys.
“You don’t know if you’re bisexual, you’re too young!”
No, that’s not how sexuality works. Bisexuality doesn’t have an age restriction.
“You can’t be properly bisexual, you don’t have enough experience.”
Another way of reiterating the point I made earlier in this post is that the amount of sex you’ve had has nothing to do with your sexuality. Sex is sex. Sexuality is about your feelings and attraction towards other people.
“I think you’re just a closet lesbian who will one day ‘discover’ women and abandon men forever.” (Yep – this one’s for you, Adam)
I like men and women. I am sexually attracted to men and women. Even if I do one day have sex with a woman and it turns out they are much better at it than men, that is not going to stop me from being attracted to men.
So, in conclusion: I am bisexual, I know the basics of being attracted to someone, and I don’t have to prove it anyone for it to be true.
And that, so far, concludes my rant for today.
Thanks for sticking by.